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The Magazine of Student Opinion

D i P U t

T d e at

l i Ja

nt PReGNa



Anime, The Election, News, Advice, Reviews, AND MORE... F A L L 2 0 0 8


s e p y t o e r e t

S g n i k a Bre

Fall 2008 RATED-T 1

If you’re a student in the District of Columbia between the ages of 11 and 18 who has ever wondered what it would be like to create your own news magazine, website, radio or television program, here’s your chance. Join Friendship News Network (FNN)—a student run media enterprise located at Friendship Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Students can join the staffs of FNN Radio, FNN TV, FNN Online and Rated-T Magazine. FNN students have traveled the world from Fiji to China to New York City and have had their stories posted by MTV, The Washington Informer and WAMU to name a few! It’s FREE and open to any student in the District of Columbia! For more information and to download an application visit our website at, email or call 240-426-7685.

Friendship News Network

News from the Teen Point of View

This could be You!

Photo: Shaquanda Noble


The Election

Why Should Teens Care by Tiara Marshall 17 On the Campaign Trail by Alicia Wade and Tiara Marshall 18 Going Beyond Opinion: Obama vs. McCain by Brittany Rivers 20 The Future Looks Bleak by Flonora Merritt 22 The Future Looks Bright by Tiara Marshall 23 Obama: Inexperienced or Political Prodigy by Tiara Marshall 24


Volume 1 Number 4 Letter from the Editor by Flonora Merritt 5 Contributors 6

Breaking Stereotypes 8

I’m NOT Stupid, I Just Learn Differently 9 I’m NOT Poor Because I Don’t Wear Designer 10 I’m NOT Going to Jail by 18 11 I’m NOT a Teen Pregnancy Waiting to Happen 12 I’m NOT White Because I Talk Proper 13 I’m NOT a Nerd Just Because I Wear Glasses 14 I’m NOT Just An African American 15 Don’t Count Us Out Just Because We’re Not White Men 16 Cover Illustration: Karlton Chapman Photo this page: Travis Houze

Anime Replay


Chris Malong, Surfer Artist by Flonora Merritt 29 Anime USA Convention by Rated-T Staff 30 Best Anime of 2008 32 Fan Fictiones by Maurice Williams 34 Fan Art Gallery 35 Naruto: Review by Karlton Chapman 36 Out of the Fallout: Review by Jarrell Davis 37

Best Fiction of 2008

The Wrath of Marion by Nadean Talley 39 We Are Heroes by Kadesha Ransom 57 Nano Hit by Jarrell Davis 60 The Light by Ceyanne Foye 62 The Endowed by Randyn Fullard 64

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Metro Opens Wallets by Shaquanda Noble 26 Ralph Hodge by Nina Graham 46 From Being in Love to Being in Jail by Chantell Leak 47 The Wiz by Randyn Fullard 50 Duke Ellington School by Randyn Fullard 51 Dog Care 101 by Nadean Talley 54 Washington Humane Society by Da’Vaughn Hawkins 56 The Darkest Region of Space by Jeffrey Daise 59 The Real Nanos by Jarrell Davis 61 The Civil Air Patrol by Crystal Bulluck 68 Sugar Rush, Book Review by Chantell Leak 71

Real Talk

Walking In a Model’s Shoes by Alize Morgan 48 Paging Doctor Noble by Shaquanda Noble 49 Does Music Define You? by Maurice Williams 70

Always Alicia’s Advice by Alicia Wade 74 Only God Can Judge Me by Angel McCormick 76 The Life of a Senior by Travis Houze 77


An Interview With The Mayor by Nina Graham 27 One On Two with Ben and Jerry by Imani Strong 42 The Father of the Father of Microsoft by Flonora Merritt 44 Hill Harper by Flonora Merritt 45

Photo Essays

EnVision 2008 by Ahmed Davis 40 China Photo Essay by Adonis Miller and FPCS Staff 52 Andrews Air Show by Ahmed Davis and Adonis Miller 66 Canoeing by Kadesha Ransom and Ahmed Davis 72 THIS PAGE: Photo:Travis Houze a 2008 graduate of Hyde Leadership Academy Graphic Design: Shaquanda Noble a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy

Rated-T is the magazine of Friendship News Network (FNN), is a media enterprise run by students located at Friendship Public Charter School, 120 Q Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. FNN is free and open to any student ages 11-18 in the District of Columbia. For more information, or to inquire about becoming an advertiser for our next issue, email: info@friendshipnewsnetwork. com. For more information about Friendship News Network, visit our website at For more information about Friendship Public Charter School, visit our website at or call 202.281.1700. Rated-T, The Magazine of Student Opinion, expresses the views of individual students and does not necessarily represent the views of Friendship Public Charter School. Copyright © Friendship News Network, September, 2008. For permission to reprint articles, please e-mail

4 Fall 2008 2007 RATED-T

Dear Fans of Rated-T,

Letter from the Editor

This is our most intense issue. Despite some rough patches, our Rated-T staff was able to complete what I feel is a masterpiece. This is not kiddy press. This time we’re taking on serious topics that relate to what teens go through almost everyday. Whether it’s dealing with stereotypes or personal struggles, we talk about it all. Our Rated-T staff was not afraid to write about touching subjects that most of you out there really need to read. I believe some of the stories in this issue might make you cry or even rethink reality. We also had some fun in this issue. For the first time ever, we have an anime section, Yes, for all you anime fans we have something you can sink your teeth into. Oh, let us not forget fiction, interviews, photo essays and a whole lot more. And of course we have our political section covering the presidential election of ’08. It’s an exciting race for the presidency and there’s a good chance that we could have an African American president. So enjoy the magazine and the talents of our brilliant editors, reporters, writers, commentators, cartoonist, photographers and graphic designers. Sincerely Yours,

Flonora Merritt Class of 2008 and rising freshman at Trinity University. Graphic design by Randyn Fullard an eighth grade honors student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

Fall 2008 RATED-T 5

Flonora Merritt Editor-In-Chief

6 Fall 2008 RATED-T

Contributors Flonora Merrit: Editor-in-chief Alicia Wade: Editor-in-chief emeritus, commentator Tiara Marshall: Editor-in-chief emeritus, writer Ahmed Davis: creative director, photographer Maurice Williams: production director, writer Randyn Fullard: middle school chief of staff Shaquanda Noble: senior editor and designer Karlton Chapman: Art director, cartoonist Laquesha Barnes: writer Crystal Bullluck, reporter, graphic designer Jeffrey Daise: reporter, photographer Jarrell Davis: writer, graphic designer Darin Davis, photography and video Ceyanne Foye: writer, graphic designer, anime artist Nina Graham, reporter

DaVaughn Hawkins: reporter, graphic designer Travis Houze: senior photographer, commentator Reishad Jessup: anime artist Chantell Leak: writer, graphic designer Angel McCormick, commentor, graphic designer Adonis Miller: photographer Alize Morgan: writer, designer Kadesha Ransom: writer, graphic designer Brittany Rivers: writer, graphic designer Imani Strong: reporter Paul Thorpe: anime artist Nadean Talley: reporter, writer, graphic designer Devon Wilkerson: photographer Alicia Weston: writer, graphic designer

Rated-T Advisors: Marilyn Kaufman, Director, Friendship News Network, Editorial Instructor Brian Young, Graphic Design Instructor Extraordinaire Dexter Williams, Executive Administrative Assistant, Editor-in-chief Emeritus Student Instructors: Karlton Chapman, Randyn Fullard, Chantell Leak, Tiara Marshall, Flonora Merritt, Shaquanda Noble, Alicia Wade, Alicia Weston Principals: Peggy Pendergrass, Woodson Collegiate Academy Ralph Neal: Blow Pierce Junior Academy Publisher: Friendship Public Charter School Chairman: Donald L. Hense Thank You: Michael Spikes, Yolonda Coleman, Angela Chapelle, Kim Jones, Paula Shelton, Christian Schaeffer, Adnaan Wasey, Larry Bradshaw, Jo Bedney, Kamil Hazel, Ms. Shakelford, Ms. Crowe, Desiree Girelle, Derrick Watkins, David Barnes, Barry Lofton, Cordelia Postell, Derek Brown, Eddie Williams, Mr. Bush, Smitty, Rose, the entire cleaning and security staffs at Woodson Collegiate Academy, Ms. Lois Void, Khalil Braswell, Rich Mincer, Gail Sivils, Anita Proctor, Malik Husser, Sharnise Boyd, Linda Wright, Trooper Cooper, Cathy Reeverts, Tara Clopper, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Dr. Demos Kazanas, Hill Harper, William Gates, Sr., Mayor Adrian Fenty, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s, Darin Davis, Major Paul Cianciolo, The Civil Air Patrol, The Duke Ellington School, Cal Roberson, Jennifer Brickman, The Washington Canoe Club, Ron Burke, The Washington Informer, The Washington Post, James Kenney, The Envision program at Western Kentucky State University, Ian Rowe, MTV, Dorothy Gilliam, Lois Page, Gerald Smith, Nekosi Nelson, Gear-Up And a very special thank you to Patricia Brantley, Carol Seifert and Donald Hense whose continued vision and support makes all this possible. Funding and support: Capitol Hill Community Foundation, DC Department of Employment Services, Prime Movers, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Radio and Television News Directors’ Foundation, The Open Society Institute, The Jewish Foundation of Nashville, Claudia Zucker, Dana and Ron Feldman, Carol Seifert, David Shapiro, Sarah Bass

Fall 2008 RATED-T 7

Breaking Stereotypes

! ! ! s U l e b a L t ’ n o D



lonora F : y B n e k o e Br


oday’s African-American teens are almost always labeled by the general society. Many times adults see us as dumb, horny dangerous criminals-in-the-making, never taking the time to get to know who we really are before they judge. But it’s not entirely their fault. On the news, we don’t often hear about black teens doing good, especially in predominately black neighborhoods. We do hear about teens getting killed by other teens or the high teen pregnancy rate. Well now we’re giving you, our readers, the Rated-T magnifying glass so you can take a closer look at teens like us who break the stereotypes that follow us almost everyday. In this section of the magazine, the teens at Rated-T want you to know that just because society assumes something, we don’t always prove them right. This issue of Rated-T is dedicated to breaking stereotypes in hopes of demonstrating to our peers and readers that the biased view isn’t necessarily the correct view. Flonora Merritt is a 2008 honors graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy and will be attending Trinity University in the Fall. Illustrations in this section by Karlton Chapman, a 16-year-old junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

8 Fall 2008 RATED-T

Breaking Stereotypes

d i p u t s t o n I’m ferently

i just learn dif


ou are so stupid”, is a phrase that I am tired of hearing. Did you ever stop to think that maybe I can’t quite grasp the concept of a lesson the way you’ve grasped it? Does judging me on how fast I learn make you feel better? Did you ever stop to think, “Maybe it’s not her fault? Maybe it’s the lesson. Or maybe, just maybe she learns differently”. A lot of teens are attacked everyday because they learn differently. They may be called names for being placed in special education classes. Do they even need the classes? Just because they might show signs of “ADD” or other disorders, doesn’t quite mean that they are slow or stupid. Through personal experience, observation and research I have discovered that a lot of teens have different learning styles and I have listed them here. Bodily/kinesthetic learners learn best through movement and doing. They love being active and don’t enjoy sitting still. They grasp information by participating actively in a lesson. Visual/spatial learners learn best by seeing something done, and then re-enacting what was visualized. They tend to stare much of the time and they remember faces very well. Logical/mathematical learners learn best through their ability to use reason and logic. They think conceptually in logical and numerical patterns making connections between different

nda Noble

By: Shaqua otype Broken


pieces of information. Auditory learners learn best through lectures, speeches, and talking and listening. Their ears are their best friends and they tend to be good eavesdroppers. Musical/rhythmic learners learn best by basically turning everything into a song. For example singing the ABC song has proven to be very successful. They like turning study materials into rhythmic, catchy tunes. Also, they tend to focus better by listening to music while information is being presented to them. Verbal/linguistic learners learn best by using words and language. They think in words rather than pictures and they make wonderful speakers. Interpersonal learners learn best through other people. They tend to “die” if they don’t have friends. They have the ability to relate to and understand other people. Intrapersonal learners learn best by having “alone time” and being by themselves. If all or at least most of these learning styles aren’t addressed in a classroom setting, then it’s possible that some students will not grasp the concept. They should not be battered, teased and judged because they don’t learn the way you do. Everyone is different and no one is perfect. Shaquanda Noble is a 16-year-old junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Fall 2008 RATED-T 9

Breaking Stereotypes

r o o p t I’m no

because I don’t wear

designer Clot hes vis


Stereotype Broken By: Jarrell Da

ost students make the mistake of assuming that because you’re not rocking a Gucci purse you can’t afford it. Or if you have a fake leather, (called pleather) jacket you can’t afford real leather. However that doesn’t mean everything a person wears depicts how much money they have, unless you’re Paris Hilton…but she’s not important in this story. A wise person doesn’t tell how much money he or she has out of caution. If you walk around in a North Face, you could possibly end up getting robbed in the wrong neighborhood. Wear Gucci or some other hot fashion and maybe everyone will want to hang out with you. But to me walking around in designer is good only if you want fake friends or want to get robbed while walking home. Maybe I should back this up with facts. In 2004, seventy-nine North Face jackets were stolen in Prince Georges County.

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According to the Washington Post, in DC, as many as 11 robberies occur a day and on Fridays and Saturdays there’s an average of 5 robberies per hour. That’s about 240 robberies in two days! So, I believe that with those statistics, walking around in D.C. with anything remotely expensive is rather dangerous as the robberies usually involve guns, knives or pick pocketing. I can tell you that I don’t ever walk around, purposely with my North Face label showing for everyone to see. And I don’t buy expensive purses because I hate carrying them around. Personally, I’d rather not try to look like something I’m not and I’d rather be associated with some ridiculous social label. It’s not that I’m poor or want to stick out in the crowd. It’s the fact that I want to be a normal non-trendy person. How do you know someone else isn’t like that too? Jarrell Davis is a 16-year-old senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Breaking Stereotypes


BY 18


tatistics say that “You are most likely to go to jail before 18!” This is what my 7th grade teacher used to scream at my class whenever we acted up. “Really? I mean come on!” that was all I would think whenever she said that. C’mon lady, think! When you turn on your TV and you see news of people getting arrested, who do you think you see? Adults… right? Wrong. If you look at the news, you mostly see black teenage boys committing crimes. Which means your friend will go to jail at 17, your 15-year-old brother will get arrested for stealing cars, and you’re next! Right? No? Exactly!! That’s the point of all this! You are not going to jail by 18, and you know that! According to, “Teen crime rate is lowest in decades!” so who’s


Stereotype Broken By: Karlton Ch

most likely to go to jail by 18? Even though, I was told I’ll be going to jail in 2005, now its 2007, and I’m not in jail. And of course you know that you weren’t in jail in 2005, and I hope now you’re not. So what does that make you? An exception? Now lets finish this. We’re going to break this negative stereotype, proving, even through the media and their statistics, and even through the teens that fall prey to this assumption, you are not going to jail by 18! You have dreams, and you want to achieve them. You have family and friends who believe you won’t go to jail and rot, so why let “a lot” mean the same as “all”? And it’s that thinking that leads to breaking this stereotype. Karlton Chapman is a 16-year-old junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Fall 2008 RATED-T 11

Breaking Stereotypes y c n a n g e r P n e e T a I’m NoWt

aiting to Happen ston


irst things first: I am not a statistic! I am not what you expect me to be and I am NOT a teenage pregnancy waiting to happen. Here are the facts. Every year almost 750,000 teenage girls (ages 15-19) become pregnant. 34% of young women become pregnant at least once before the age of 20. 8 in 10 pregnancies were unintended and 79% are to unmarried teens. Teenage abortion rates are highest in D.C., Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and California. In D.C., New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts the teen abortion rate is 50% and higher. Studies show that teen parents are less likely to complete high school—only a third have a high school diploma and out of that 1.5% will receive a college degree by the age of 30 and 80% will end up on welfare. Studies take it a step further by saying that children of teen parents will not only do poorly in school, but sons are 13% more likely to go to jail and

12 Fall 2008 RATED-T

Stereotype Broken By: Alicia We

daughters will be 22% more likely to become teen mothers. What I find most strange is that black ethnic groups account for 9% of all under 18 abortions, although we only represent 3% of the world’s population. All that being said, I will not be counted as a percentage of any mass grouping. 34% still leaves more than half. Even if you were to put together the 13 and 22% failure rates, this adds up to less than half ! A statistic might as well be a stereotype when it both classifies and groups while never considering that individuality exists! We are a people but we all decide to make different choices. Statistics are not always accurate and they do not always apply to the large percentage of individuals who defy them. Defy the stats and make your own studies. Maybe then you’ll find out what’s correct! Alicia Weston is a 15-year-old sophmore at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Breaking Stereotypes

e t i h w t o n m ’ I

just because I talk proper ak


ou know it really bothers me when I’m in class and I answer a question and my fellow peers clown me saying things like, “Why you trying to be white?” or “Girl you think you better than us don’t you?” But that is not the case. Just because I speak proper doesn’t mean that I’m trying to be white. Last time I looked, it was called the English language, the language we were taught as children. I believe that all of the “ain’t’s” and verbs without the “g” were something that we slide into by being lazy. It is the twenty-first century and if you want to get somewhere in life “dis ain’t the way of goin’ ‘bout it”. In the past people used the excuse that we naturally talk like this because our ancestors couldn’t pronounce words the white man gave us. But like I said before, IT IS THE 21ST CENTURY PEOPLE!!!! Wake up!!!!! That excuse died a long time ago with our

Stereotype Broken By: Chantell Le

ancestors. We may look at it as the way we communicate to our people. However, they [Whites] look at it as our ignorance. They see it as our complacency and ultimately our demise. I say that it leads to our death because the world is constantly moving and our complacency will either crumble under pressure or move with the rest of the world. I have ambitions to go to big places and “talking like dis ain’t gon get me there”. Yes, I know that this is how my friends talk. And I know I’m not perfect and may slip up every now and then. But at least I can say that I am making an honest effort to correct my English. And I hope that in the end I influence my friends to want to make that change as well. So if you’re in class and one of your classmates uses proper English, “they ain’t tryna be White”, they’re just speaking proper. Chantell Leak is a 17-year-old junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Fall 2008 RATED-T 13

Breaking Stereotypes

d r e N a t o n I’m

Just Becaus e I wear Gl assess rmick


any people stereotype me as a nerd, which also means a smart person just because I wear glasses. But this is actually false. Truth is, I am smart, but if you look deeper into my history, I barely made it through school. I did just enough to get to the next grade. I know. Sad, isn’t it? So, whenever people see me in the street or in public, they instantly think I’m a nerd. THIS IS FALSE, PEOPLE!!!!! I’m not a nerd!! If you get to know me, then I can tell you myself that I’m smart, but to a degree. It’s just that I don’t learn as well, or as fast as others. No, I’m not “slow” or “retarded,” but I just learn differently than others. For instance, I failed one subject: Math. The point is, that I’m not a nerd just because I wear glasses!! And I‘m not just speaking for myself, either. There are many non-nurdy people who wear glasses. Liv Tyler, as well as other famous actors/actresses wear glasses. Models wear them too. I’ve been wearing glasses since… well forever, but that doesn’t make me any less of a person. In fact, with my glasses I’m a big hit with my friends.

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Stereotype Broken By: Angel McCo

People with glasses are actually cool human beings too, with just a tad bit of a vision problem. Of course, there are alternatives to glasses. There’s Lasik eye surgery, and contacts. But I chose glasses, because one--I didn’t really have a choice; two--they come in really cute frames and colors; and three--well because they help me see. I guess that last one’s the real important reason. Some people with glasses help create the stereotype that nerds are smart and many are actually smart. But the same goes for people that don’t wear glasses—like Albert Einstein. He discovered the theory of relativity, and the speed of light. Which means, if you travel faster than the speed of light (which is 186,000 miles per second), and come back a thousand years from now, you’ll still be the same age. The theory itself is cool, and very informational. This proves that many people with or without glasses may or may not be smart and may or may not be nerds. Therefore this stereotype is not accurate. Angel McCormick is a 15-year-old sophomore at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Breaking Stereotypes

n a t s u J I’m Not



am tired of being forced to label myself “African-American”. Neither I, nor my parents or grandparents were born in Africa. If we’re labeled “AfricanAmerican” because our ancestors were from Africa, then why are Caucasians called “Americans”? Shouldn’t they be labeled “European-Americans” since the first whites were colonists and not natives? The only people I believe should be labeled “American” are the Native Americans because they were here first. When I read books about AfricanAmericans (who were born in America) it

Stereotype Broken By: Laquesha


irritates me. When I take standardized tests, I feel forced to check the AfricanAmerican box. The term, “Black American” is not any better than African American. Should I be called “Black-American” even though the majority of my ancestors’ were many shades of brown and black...not the color black? Why should anyone have to settle for a label that not only doesn’t fit, or is not even accurate? Laquesha Barnes is a 16-year-old senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Fall 2008 RATED-T 15

Breaking Stereotypes

t U O S U t n u o c Don’t Beca use WE’RE Not White M En

Written by Flonora Merritt


or over 200 years, the United States had white male presidents with the same tired idea and fake promises. We were lucky to get a few good presidents like Washington, Lincoln, JFK, and Bill Clinton. In my opinion, the rest just don’t compare to them. Now in 2008, it is very possible we can have a black man or a white woman as president, or a woman as vice president. Is America ready for such a big change? Women and blacks have been oppressed for centuries. In the old days, women were given certain roles like cooking, cleaning and obeying their husbands. Blacks were considered to be 2nd class citizens and were given few opportunities. Today, roles have changed. More and more women are thriving in the work force. Women are even becoming more powerful in politics. Take a look at who’s the leader of the House of Representatives. It’s a female, people! Girl power is growing everyday and it will never stop. Blacks are not left out of the change. Blacks have been and will continue to dominate anything if they put their mind to it. Blacks have flourished in the entertainment and business industry. More blacks are entering the field of medicine. Yet,

16 Fall 2008 RATED-T

on and Barack Obama

Stereotype Broken By: Hillary Clint

there are very few blacks making a change on Capitol Hill. We do have Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson on the political scene but the numbers are still small compared to hundreds of white politicians on Capitol Hill. Now that Barack is running for president, more blacks may be inspired to get into politics. Hillary and Barack clearly demonstrate that they go beyond those stereotypical roles. Hillary represents one of very few women in politics who have made it to the top and Barack shows that blacks are capable of doing anything. These two presidential candidates represent perfect examples for our generation. Hillary is a strong political leader and was taking action even while her husband Bill Clinton was in office. Barack is determined to make changes in the country and is often thinking of the well-being of its youth. Hillary and Barack did not fall into these roles accidentally. They are making history. Flonora Merritt is an honor graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy and will be attending Trinity University in the Fall.

The Election: Why Should You Care? Commentary by Tiara Marshall Graphic design and photo by Ahmed Davis


he election is very important because it determines the fate of our country. Of course adults can relate to this, but what about teens? The main question that teens ask is “WHY? Why should I care?” It is a legitimate question. If teens cannot vote, then why should they care? Well the answer is simple. Teens should care about the election because it impacts their future. Teens who are too young to vote can still influence and inform eligible voters (like parents or teachers) to elect the best candidate for the job. Whoever is elected now could impact what happens when you become an adult. Whoever is elected, Barack Obama or John McCain, will decide if more money goes toward education or the war in Iraq. The new president will decide if we invest in offshore drilling or alternative energy which can contribute

to a problem or resolution when it comes to transportation. When teens go to college in the near future, college may not be affordable if more money goes toward a war instead of education. And health care will be a big factor for teens, because when teens turn 21 if they have to pay for their own benefits, including health care, they may or may not be able to afford it. Most likely the president that is elected will do eight years in office. Therefore, even someone who is 13 now will be impacted eight years later, when he or she turns 21. It doesn’t matter what age you are or are going to be because one way or another, America’s leadership is going have an effect on you. That is why you should care, no matter how old you are. Tiara Marshall is a junior at School Without Walls. Ahmed Davis is a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Fall 2008 RATED-T 17

On the Campaign Trail With Obama


One Man, Many Changes Commentary and photo by Alicia Wade. Graphic Design by Ahmed Davis


ycoming College, Williamsport PA, April 18, 2008. He walks into a hot overcrowded gymnasium with a predominantly white crowd and smiles, making the entire situation just a little cooler than it was just moments before he arrived. The audience roars when he enters with minutes of nonstop hand claps, whistling and yelling for this guy who believes in change…”Obama, Obama, Obama!!” So what is it that makes these people who live here in Williamsport, PA have so much faith in him? He relies on them for their votes and they rely on him for change. How will this all come together? This is the question that ran in the back of my mind, as I, for the first time, had the chance to watch up-close-and-personal, this African American candidate with so much potential, deliver a “naturally from-the-heart speech” to the people in the gym. Starting out by joking with the crowd about his being late, he naturally created an atmosphere that made everyone feel like one big family. So, the essential question that’s running in the back of many minds is, “Why does he want to run?” He states that he isn’t running because of some long-held ambition or because he thinks it’s his turn or because it’s owed to him. He tells the crowd he is running because of what Martin Luther King once said, because of “the fierce urgency of now”. With a strong approach, he shows that he came prepared for anything thrown his way. He touches on the situation we are all affected by in some way…the wars. He says the war in Afghanistan with Al Quaeda can’t be avoided and the other, the war in Iraq should have been avoided altogether and ended long ago. He discusses the changes that need to be made and how he can bring about that change. He talks to the Pennsylvanians about their issues. He understands that they need change as well. He can bring that. Repeating that he is about change, he makes the statement stronger and stronger each time around, no longer claiming “if ” but “when” he becomes president what he can and will do. He goes on to speak to the audience about the problems they face in Pennsylvania stating that manufacturing jobs are being outsourced to Mexico and family incomes in Pennsylvania are not keeping up with the rest of the country. He emphasizes the fact that prices for things now are

18 Fall 2008 RATED-T

simply outrageous, showing that he as a citizen, understands that healthcare, gas, grocery and college prices all are a part of the long list of things we pay more for. We are in need of change and a change can and will be granted if and when there is change in the office of the presidency. He goes on to explain that the cost of these changes should in no way shape or form be a major problem because we can take the 10 billion dollars being wasted in Iraq and make something positive out of it. Offering faith and the hope, he tells the crowd that there is no problem we can’t solve and no destiny we can’t fulfill. He’s confident. He knows he has the support. It’s obvious. During a question and answer session, one audience member stated that he knew Obama would win in November 2008, but the ultimate question is—what he would do to stay there until 2012? And the confident, but not cocky, Obama replied “actually it’s 2016”. He’s got it. The audience found his message to be that change was needed. They were ready to make this fearful move that America has backed away from for the longest time. One woman named Darby explained that she hadn’t been this excited about politics for 40 to 50 years…ever since we lost Bobby Kennedy. He has definitely inspired the youth. A young audience member, Jennifer, said she has never endorsed a candidate before and that he would be the first she was really interested in. She said she really likes the fact that he forces people to discuss race issues because they have been pushed aside for a while now. Overall, Obama admits that change is something that takes time and he let it be known that he is convinced that change doesn’t happen from the top down. It happens from the bottom up. Just like “Goodtimes”, we should consider ourselves “moving on up.” Obama is the change that America for the longest time was afraid to grasp. He has slowly but surely opened the door to many. He has helped us believe that it’s the change that we constantly avoid that we need the most. As one of his supporters would say, “Its time to take care of home, take care of our country and its definitely time for change.” Alicia Wade is a junior at School Without Walls. Ahmed Davis is a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Obama Appeals to Pennsylvanians With His Message of Change

Story and photo by Tiara Marshall. Graphic Design by Ahmed Davis.



consumption because higher prices for fuel equals less money

Obama For Change…What does it mean? I had a chance

for workers which leads to cutting corners and unpleasant

to know what that meant first-hand when I attended one of his

trips for passengers. He also said that finding the right type of

rallies at Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA, where Obama

environmentally-friendly fuel for energy is going be a long-term

had another theme called, “On Track for Change”. It was

problem. So the solution will also be long-term. He said that war

exciting to see what looked like a thousand people coming out

is one of his main priorities, and that he has a plan for getting

to support Senator Barack Obama. Everyone seemed to have an

the troops out. He emphasized that the $10 billion dollars going

idea of what they wanted to change in America and it seemed

to the war every month can be used for something else.

that Senator Obama appealed to everyone’s needs. At this

At the rally, I did not get a chance to ask him a question

particular rally, he showed that he truly is a man of change.

nor did I get an interview with him. I did not realize how tightly

Arriving late didn’t stop Obama from using his sense of

packed his schedule was. Nevertheless he made me feel like he

humor to appeal to the crowd. While being comical, Obama still

is truly going to be a president with the interest of the common

tackled some very important issues and questions. The words

people at heart. He said that the common people fund his

that really appealed to me came home when he said, “The

campaign—not lobbyists. He said he works for working people

American People are desperate for change”. Speaking like a true

and he wants tax cuts—not for Wall Street but for Main Street.

American citizen and now just someone in Congress, Obama

Obama really appeals to me and people my age. He

emphasized that after eight years of the Bush Administration,

made me feel like he actually cares about me. I truly believe he

change is a must. At this rally, he did mostly Q&A. People asked

wants me to go to college by making colleges affordable and by

him about what he would do to make college affordable, fix

giving each student a $4000 tuition credit. He even said that

the No Child Left Behind Act, solve the problems that the airlines

he would pay teachers more. When he said that $150 billion

face because of the economy and bring the troops home

will go to energy technology, my heart soared because I am an

from Iraq. Obama answered that under his plan students will

environmentalist. He just wants to change the world altogether.

receive more money with a $4000 tax credit and lower interest

At the rally, I really liked what he was talking about and that’s

rates on student loans. He said he will strengthen the No Child

how he won my vote.

Left Behind Act by fixing the flaws and financing it with federal funds. For the airlines, he said that it is all a matter of energy

Tiara Marshall is a junior at School Without Walls. Ahmed Davis is a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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Change We Can Believe In

OBAMA VS McCAIN Going Beyond Appearance by Brittany Rivers Who will succeed Bush as our 44th president? You’re probably hoping it’ll be Barack Obama. But do you really agree with his opinions or are you merely conforming to what those around you believe? For instance, are you pro-life or pro-choice? If you’re for abortion, then you may agree more with Obama, but if you’re pro-life, McCain may be the candidate for you. So who’s the better candidate? Make you own choice instead of agreeing with who you think you “should” agree with. Read their opinions on important topics today—from the Iraq War to high taxes. And then YOU decide who’s the better candidate.

The Iraq War One of the biggest issues today is the Iraq War. The war started five years ago on March 20, 2003 and still gose on today. Thousands have died as a result of this ongoing war, including tens ofw thousands of civilians.

McCain Says: “It would be a mistake to end the war immediately. Ending the war now, without any real result, would mean the past five years would be a waste. Leaving Iraq so soon, where it hasn’t changed, is almost the same as leaving it as “a haven for terrorists. We should finish what we started and come up with a better way to leave Iraq as a democratic country.”

How It Affects You: The way it looks now, this war is going to continue for at least another year, possibly much longer. That means more soldiers will be needed. Will your cousin be next? Your brother? Maybe your father? Or possibly even YOU?

Obama Says: “This war was a mistake and we need to come up with a way to responsibly end it without any disastrous results. We need to devise a plan that would end the war by the end of summer 2010 while simultaneously helping Iraqi leaders learn to “secure their own country” without the U.S. Army’s help.”

No Child Left Behind

McCain Says: “The NCLB law should stay in place. It should not be revoked, just changed. It was a good start in bettering our education system and has proved effective in some places. There are some things that need to be fixed with this law, especially some parts dealing with minorities, but it shouldn’t be “scrapped” altogether.”

President Bush created the No Child Left Behind act to help better our education system. The law put an emphasis on preparing children for standardized tests and hiring qualified teachers. Whether or not the law was effective is debatable. How It Affects You: As a student, this act affects who your teachers are, how you learn, how your learning is measured, among other things.

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Obama Says: “The goal of the law was good but it ended up being ineffective because it wasn’t carried out right. Millions of students are still reading below their grade level, America still has the highest drop out rate, and a lot of students who do graduate do not go on to college. Millions of children are obviously still being left behind. We should focus more on the teachers instead of focusing solely on tests because teachers are the ones who are supposed to help better our students.”

Healthcare is an important issue in today’s society. Because of rising prices, many are unable to afford healthcare for themselves and/or their family. Over the years it seems insurance has become higher and higher. How It Affects You: Have you ever seen the movie John Q? The movie is based on a father trying to find a way to pay for his son’s surgery after he finds out his insurace doesn’t cover it. When he is unable to raise $250,000 in time, he holds patients in the hospital hostage, his only demand being that the hospital give his son the surgery. Realisticly we can’t all kidnap people to pay for our hospital bills. Therefore, we need our leaders to find ways to make healthcare more affordable.

Money: Rising Prices America is known for being one of the richest countries in the world. However, in the last few years our economy has been declining. Due to the war, we are in debt and prices are rising. People are losing jobs or are unable to find work and quite frankly, it’s becoming hard for alot of Americans to make ends meet. Instead of living, many Americans today are merely surviving. How It Affects You: Not only is it harder for you to get that after-school job to buy that new outfit you were eyeing, but the more your parents have to spend on basic nessecities the less they can afford to spend on you.

Abortion: Pro Choice or Pro Life? Whether or not the constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion has been debated for decades. Currently, abortion is legal in America as a result of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade case. However, the case’s decision still didn’t douse the debate on whether or not abortion is morally right. How It Affects You: Laws on abortion affect females, so every girl should be concerned about where a president stands on this issue. It affects males as well, because it is well known that females don’t get pregnant by themsleves.

McCain Says: Instead of people receiving insurance through their jobs, to encourage healthcare and help with costs, taxpayers will receive a $2500 ($5000 for families) deduction on their taxes to get their own insurance. The money will go to the insurance company and if there is any left over, the money will be deposited into a health savings account. Also, awareness should be raised on the different insurance companies available to Americans. Obama Says: Americans should have the same healthcare plan that Congress has. That plan states that every American is eligible and no one can be turned away. It will pay for any medical need, including psychological treatment. You will also be able to switch jobs and still have the same healthcare plan. And those who wish to have a private insurance plan instead of this one would be able to do so.

McCain Says: “To help Americans with the constantly rising gas prices, a “summer gas tax holiday” should be put in place. This would mean that between Memorial Day and Labor Day, there would be no tax on gas. The reason it is becoming so hard to pay for basic necessities is because taxes are so high. Plans should be put in motion to lower taxes for Americans.” Obama Says: “The problem is that salaries are staying the same while prices are rising. The tax cuts now are favoring the wealthy whereas the middle and lower class are getting the short end of the stick. To make things fair, working Americans should receive a $500 tax cut ($1000 for families).”

McCain Says: “With a couple of exceptions (rape, incest, mother’s life in danger) abortion should not be legal and the Roe vs. Wade decision should be overturned. However, as of right now, it shouldn’t happen because women would resort to illegal, dangerous abortions. Instead we should work on getting to a point where abortion isn’t necessary. We should work on improving our foster care system and encouraging more people to adopt.” Obama Says: Abortion is a personal decision. It is a woman’s right to be able to decide whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. No one wants to have an abortion. It’s a tough decision that affects the woman the rest of her life. But if she feels it needs to be done then she should have that right. Instead of fighting about whether abortion should be an option, we should be coming up with ways to stop people from putting themselves in situations that cause unwanted pregnancies.

Change We Can Believe In


Brittany Rivers is a 2008 graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy. Graphic design by Ahmed Davis is a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Fall 2008 RATED-T 21


his country is slowly going down the toilet. To be honest I’m not very flush myself. The United States, once known as the greatest country in the world, is now nothing but a laughing stock. We once had one of the strongest armies in the world and now it has been diminished and crippled in Iraq. Gas prices are getting higher and higher with no end in sight and people are having trouble getting to work. According to, the United States has a huge debt, which is now about 9 trillion dollars. I didn’t think that trillion was a real number until I heard it. The Bush Administration has messed things up so badly that

it seems as if the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) still hasn’t learned its lesson. California is still on fire because its forests are dry from no rain. I don’t think that it’s been fire-free for several months. Glaciers are slowly melting causing the oceans to rise and since DC is so close to the Atlantic Ocean, we might as well buy our boats and swimsuits now. There’s hardly any ozone left and it’s getting hotter and hotter every summer. Maybe it won’t be long before the Sun burns us all alive. All this being said, I doubt that any president can come up with an effective plan to fix all of these enormous problems. It’s doom day for us all. And I

The Future Looks Bleak Commentary and Design by Flonora Merritt

whoever becomes the next president will have a lot on his plate and I doubt he will be able to clean it. You may ask why I feel this way. The answer is all around you. The economy is so messed up that now teens are having trouble finding summer jobs, something that used to be a snap. According to only 34.2 percent were expected to work this summer because most adults are taking on second jobs at places where teens traditionally work. That is a low percentage. If teens who need to work can’t get summer jobs then how are they supposed to pay for college, books, clothes and other necessities. And let’s not forget about the increasing price of gas and food. Teens gotta drive and eat too. And oh yeah, how about this weather we’ve been having. It’s crazy right. In fact it’s down right insane. In the midwest there’s nothing but floods. They’re going through what New Orleans went through in 2005 and

believe it will take a great miracle for everything to be right again. Like R.E.M said, “It’s the end of the world as we know it…” but I don’t feel fine.

“It’s the end of the world as we know it...” but I don’t feel fine.

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Flonora Merritt is an honors graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy and will be attending Trinity University in the Fall.


mericans seem to take the need to find alternative energy sources lightly. No matter what, petroleum eventually will run out and cease to exist, because it’s a natural resource, and it’s not renewable. Scientists say that oil reserves will only last 25-40 years, which is not a long time at all. If an answer is not found, then America will be in trouble. Despite this potentially awful fate, I believe that America will find a solution to the problem at hand. America has a knack for bouncing back from terrible situations, i.e. The Great Depression. Scientist are already coming up with potential solutions to the energy problem, like using more hydro (water), wind and solar power. I believe that in 10 to 15 years, America will have found environmentally friendly energy sources and then will share them with the rest of the world. That is what America does—solve its problems and then help solve the world’s problems.

booming, those same people can sell high and get lots of money With everyone selling stock right now if you buy low, then when the country gets back on its feet, you can sell high and make lots of money. One thing I believe is that, a stable country ALWAYS, gets back up. All it needs is good leadership, and with the general election coming, I believe America will be up on its feet in no time. Unemployment rates are very high right now, which is very bad for everyone, especially teens. In America, jobs go to people in order of priority, first adults and then teens. If adults cannot find jobs, then teens won’t be able to find a job either. Sad, but when America gets back up for round two, this will all be fixed. Crime rates increase when people do not have enough money to feed their families and it’s unfortunate but all that is required is patience. The government is working on several solutions right now and although there will be no true solution; they are working to fix the NAFTA agreement which was responsible for so many American jobs going overseas. If jobs stop going oversees or to our

The Future is Strong Commentary by Tiara Marshall

One of the biggest problems facing America right now is the current recession. Due to the Bush administration’s poor business and economic decisions, as well as an unnecessary war in Iraq, trillions of dollars are being wasted everyday. Our country’s money is not really benefiting its people right now. In addition, the value of the dollar is falling, inflation is increasing, foreclosures are increasing, etc; Furthermore, if American troops do not get out of Iraq soon, I believe America will face a depression. This may sound bad, but there’s another way of looking at the problem. In order for a stable economy to thrive, it sometimes has to fall. If an economy does well all the time, with businesses thriving, prices would go up and stay up and then people would have a hard time. It seems contradictory but it is not. Stock traders call it ‘buy low, sell high’. A good example of what I am talking about is the example of Microsoft. Microsoft first started when the demand for technology was low and everyone who bought stock in Microsoft bought low. Now that Microsoft is

America has a knack for bouncing back from terrible situations...

neighboring countries, then Americans can have jobs again. Health care is also an issue that can be resolved by the government. Right now, America is one of only a few countries that does not have universal health care. That is a very big issue because it is very hard to receive medical attention without it. When I had a surgery that cost $16,000 dollars, my mother didn’t have to pay because she has good health insurance, but imagine someone who did’t? I believe that the new president and Congress will make sure that health care will be one of the first bills put on the floor of Congress and signed unto law. Education is a big issue because with more technological advances, a good education is essential. Most likely, a high school diploma is essential at the minimum. Although the Bush Administration has poor country-running skills, it did attempt to address education with the No Child Left Behind Act. Both McCain and Obama said they will fix the flaws of the act and make it better. Climate change is a problem that America is going to have to adapt to because nobody can really control nature. Climate change is evident in the frequent natural disasters from hurricanes to wildfires. However, the solution will come in the form of helping the people overcome those natural disasters and FEMA, (Federal Emergency Management Agency), is making an attempt. Progress always comes from continually attempting to solve problems. Overall, when you look at both sides of the story, the situation doesn’t look that bad. Actually, the situation seems bright. I do believe that in the future, America will once again flourish and prosper. I believe that with the right leadership and resources, America can be at the top of the world’s food chain again. Tiara Marshall is a 16-years-old junior at School Without Walls.

Fall 2008 RATED-T 23

a m a b O ?


Prodigy or Inexperienced? Commentary by Tiara Marshall


a m ba


ama b O Since announcing his presidential campaign in February 2007, Barack


Obama has laid out an extensive agenda for change which includes ending the war in Iraq, increasing energy independence, decreasing the influence of lobbyists and promoting universal health care. Even with his innovative agenda for America, the biggest problem he faces is what critics elsewhere call, “inexperience”. Yes, inexperience. In addition to the “race card” being played many times, the “inexperience card” gets played even more when pundits (so-called media

experts) mention his name. The same people who play that card say that his naïveté shows up when he presents these “quixotic ideas” about the changing America. However, there are two sides to every story


and although pundits may say that he’s inexperienced, I say that he is a PRODIGY. Sounds like a quixotic idea? Maybe. But then again, think about Mozart. Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the musical prodigy, started composing his first musical works at the age of five. At five years old Mozart really did not have any experience playing music but yet he wrote complex musical pieces. The same story applies to Obama. He really has no experience but yet he has demonstrated time and time again that he can be the

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? Obama


a m a ? Ob ? a m a b O Obama Obama ? ?


man for the job. For instance, as a freshman senator, Obama

background and his working-for-everything-he-has-ever-had

introduced “The Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007,” a

story, gives him the right to say, “I understand what you are

well thought out bill to cap troop levels in Iraq, begin phased

going through”. Presidents before him were white or usually

redeployment, and remove all combat brigades from Iraq

came from a wealthy background, which meant that they

before April 2008.

never experienced being black, poor, in poverty or working

Barack Obama is a political prodigy because he has

two jobs to buy the food on their tables. Being black, Obama

developed an agenda for America that people with decades

grew up having to work twice as hard for everything he has

of experience couldn’t even dream of. Who says you need

and will ever get. He knows the hardships that the working

experience to run a country? Running the country was

class goes through. The Bush family before him had stuck to

supposedly in our currentt president’s blood and family.

the stereotype that the person who runs the country has to be

He was supposed to be the best president because he had so

uptight, dressed in suits and speaking properly all the time.

much experience and look what happened. George W. Bush

Obama had the common sense to show the America people

ran one of the wealthiest, thriving countries into the ground.

that if he is going to be a man of change, it all starts with his




In this case, experience was simply passing down ideas from past presidents to future presidents in order to run the




persona. When Obama gives rallies and speeches, he speaks from his heart and you can tell because of his analogies

country. For instance, if being dependent on other countries

and occasional mispronunciations. The media often shows

for energy was a bad business decision from the start, a smart

Obama off the campaign trail, playing his favorite sport,

president, with his own mind, would have stopped it and

basketball or dancing on a talk show like Ellen. I don’t think

found an alternative solution. However, our current president

that I have ever seen a picture of any political figure without

with “experience” just took the advice and ideas from previous

a suit. When Obama shoots jumpers from the three-point-

presidents and continued the bad idea. Therefore, logically, it

line, it makes me realize that he is just like me. Barack Obama

would only be smart for this country to look towards a man of

is a common human being just like me; only difference, he’s

change who has fresh ideas for America.

running for president. On that note, it’s time for America



Obam a Obama ? a

It’s not just Obama’s ideas that make him a prodigy. It’s also his ability to connect with the American people

on a common and more personal level. Obama’s minority

? Obama m a Ob

to experience leadership from the mind of a prodigy, from the mind of Barack Obama. And so I leave you with this question, is Obama inexperienced or is he a prodigy?

Tiara Marshall is a junoir at School Without Walls. Illustration by Karlton Chapman, a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Graphic Design by Ahmed Davis, a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Fall 2008 RATED-T 25

by Shaquanda Noble

We all know money doesn’t grow on trees. In fact nowadays it’s a little hard to get. So why does the price of gas slowly rise and now thanks to the Metro Board, metro fare? Starting Sunday, January 6, 2008, metro fare rose to its highest ever in the history of metro. Bus fare is now 10 cents more for those paying with cash, and regular rail fare is now 30 cents more and 75 cents more during rush hour. However, prices are still the same for SmarTrip card users. The Metro Board’s reasoning for this sudden increase in transprotation is to help close a budget short fall. If fares weren’t raised, then Metro would have to cut service. These shocking prices are affecting people all over the Metropolitan area, especially SmartPass users who are now paying $27 a month instead of $22. A lot of families couldn’t afford

metro fare last year, and now it’s even worse. About 84% of students in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia depend on Metro as their way of transportation to and from school. For those ‘’not so well off’’ families, some students might not be able to make it to and from school. High school student, Alicia Weston states, “When metro fares rose it was as if I was working to get to pay for work.” Schools are doing all they can to provide token slips and discounted fare cards, but eventually they won’t be able to do much. If transportation prices continue to rise I wonder what’s next.

Shaquanda Noble is a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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Rated-T Interviews Mayor Reported by Nina Graham

Graphic Design byRandyn Fullard

In April 2008, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty visited Friendship Public Charter School’s newly opened Friendship Southeast Academy to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. After he finished delivering his speech to the students at the Academy, FNN Reporter Nina Graham had a chance to interview Mayor Fenty before he left. Nina: What is your purpose in being here? Mayor: Ah, my purpose is to not only celebrate the memory and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also to acknowledge the great work of educating young people here in Washington, DC at Friendship Public Charter School, specifically this new extension on the Southeast campus. Nina: How did Dr. King’s dream influence you? Mayor: Well, I think that Dr. King inspires all of us in different ways, but he was someone who stood up for what he believed in. He had a saying that went…. ah…how did it go, I believe it goes along the lines of “if you don’t stand for something, you fall for anything.” He really stood for what he believed in and I try to do that in everything I do as mayor of the District of Columbia.

Nina: Is there a specific quote of Dr. King’s that you follow on a daily basis? Mayor: You know I thought that was a good quote. But try this, “A man that doesn’t have anything he’s willing to die for, isn’t fit to live.” That’s another good one. Nina Graham is a 15-year-old sophomore at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Randyn Fullard is a 13-year-old student at Blow Pierce Juinor Academy.Jarrell Davis is a 16-year-old senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Layout by Randyn Fullard.

Fall 2008 RATED-T 27


Illustration by Karlton Chapman

KC A lmos t Ev erything Yo u Ne e d t o K n o w A b o u t A n i m e By Flonora Merritt and Rated-T Staff Anime is a growing phenomenon that has taken the United States by storm. In case you are unfamiliar with anime, it’s Japanese animation. You know, like Pokemon, Bleach or Naurto. It’s amazing. Anime encompasses many forms of media—from TV shows to movies to manga (graphic novels) to video games. It has become so popular that there are increasing numbers of anime conventions coming to our area and new anime movies like Speed Racer, which came out in May. With that being said, Anime Replay is here to fill you in on the world known as Anime. You’ll get an inside look into the Anime USA Convention, admire great fan art from our Friendship Public Charter School students and get a look at an up-and-coming anime artist. In short, you’ll find lots of good info about anime right here in this issue. Flonora Merritt is a 2008 graduate of Woodson Collegiate Academy. Karlton Chapman is a junior at Woodson Collegiate Academy.

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Anime Aritist Chris Malone Brings His Dream to Life With His Cartoon Blue & Blonde By Fl onora M e rri t t


hris Malone is a 23 year-old surfer from Northern Virginia. He started surfing and drawing when he was six years old. In fact, his whole family surfs. Malone’s father is over 60 years old and still boogie boards to this very day. Currently Malone is a cartoon major at Virginia Commonwealth University. But these days Malone isn’t just surfing. He’s on the brink of making the next biggest anime series and graphic novel called Blue and Blonde. The cartoon is about these two guys, Blue and Blonde, from New Jersey who travel around the world to compete in surfing tournaments. Blue is more into the “art of surfing” which means he’s more into customizing surfboards. He has his own surfboard shop and his friends are his employees. Blue is more responsible and down to earth. Blonde is all about catching the waves and winning the competitions. So far, Malone has completed one episode of Blue and Blonde (which can be seen on You Tube at

watch?v=NkbsHxesVeE). His friends did most of the voiceovers but Malone also got some professionals on his team. His video has Greg Ayes who’s the voice of Goku (from Dragonball Z) and Saiyuki (Saiyuki Reloaded); Michell Knotz who’s the voice of May (from Pokemon) and Bill Rogers who’s the voice of Brock (from Pokemon). Now let’s not forget about his graphic novels. Malone has two out right now and book three, Forever Sunset is coming out in February. It’s going to be a parody of Endless Summer. That’s Malone’s style. In his comics, Malone does parodies of various movies. It’s kind of like how Family Guy or The Simpsons does it. If you want to see more of Malone’s comics, go to his website where you can also learn more about all the characters, join the forums and chat with Malone himself. Flonora Merritt is a 2008 graduate of Friendship Colligate Academy. Photos by Karlton Chapman, a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Fall 2008 RATED-T 29

Anime USA Convention 2007 Story by Jarrell Davis Photos by Karlton Chapman Graphic Design by Flonora Merriit

Ever thought about going to a local anime convention? Last October, yours truly went to AnimeUSA 2007 with fellow FNN reporters Flonora Merritt, Kalton Chapman and Darin Davis. On this spread you’ll find some of our top pics at the convention.

Artist’s Alley

So you like anime and manga art? Can you actually draw like these guys? All right, I can’t draw either but there are lots of talented people here at the convention who’ve created the perfect fan art and their own original art too. They’re even willing to let us buy the pictures they created (a perfect fan art supply). Yes, the Chibi (little anime characters) are adorable and in their best poses. I bought a cute Rukia (Bleach) and Kyouya (Host Club) magnet! Hey, if you can draw and plan to go to a convention, check and see if they have tables available. Who knows, if they do you might be able to join these talented people and make money. Art by Lori Collins Art by Chris Dame art by Amelie Belcher

30 Fall 2008 RATED-T Art by Lori Collins

Dealers Room So you like Naruto or maybe Sailor Moon? Do you like those cute little plushies? Then the Dealers Room will make you spend money without trying or thinking about it. Mangas, anime DVDs, plushies, pocky (Japanese candy), and even kimonos (yes,kimonos) are sold in this room. If that didn’t get your attention then the authentic weapons sold in that room will! Project Surreal Art by Veronica Mullen

However most cons don’t allow people to walk around carrying the dangerous weapons and if caught you will get booted from the room. Booths are set up and lined with all of the Japanese goodness. If you ever go to an anime convention definitely bring money (lots of it) and check out that room! It will fulfill all of your anime desires. Just make sure you have money to get home! :) by Ginger Currence

Games Galore At AnimeUSA 2007, the game room was full of gamers completing against each other. Game cubes and other game consoles were set up around the room connected to TV sets with choices for video games. AnimeUSA employees had a small booth set up to sell video games for various platforms. A DDR contest was being started as we entered. The art of Jessica Pfeiffer by Jim Lovetro

DDR, Dance Dance Revolution, is a fun dance game to play against friends or the computer. It’s a step game with many songs to choose from. Personally, I’m not good at the game and only play for kicks. It’s in the game room. I suggest this room for all you people out there who love video games and want to meet all types of skilled people (which I, dear reader, am not!) Karlton and Darin however highly recommend this room. They want you guys to check it out!

Jarrell Davis, Darin Davis, Flonora Merritt and Karlton Chapman attend Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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T he Hottest An im e Lis t . . . E v e r

By Flonora Merritt, Jarrell Davis, Maurice Williams and Karlton Chapman

Hey there. You got nothing to watch, nothing to talk to your friends about? Do the cartoons shows you watch now lack the realism of life? Well, luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best anime out there. If you’re wondering what anime is… it’s the slang term for Japanese animation here in America. Japanese animation is made in Japan and then is dubbed here in America for all of us deprived fanatics. So to all you inquisitive young minds sit back, relax, and be entertained… or informed by Rated-T’s best pics.

Best Plot Death Note: This new fantasy horror suspense thriller will keep you at the edge of your seats. It’s about how a high school senior named Light Yagami finds a notebook and discovers that if he writes someone’s name in the notebook they die. Light plans to use the death note to rid the world of criminals and make a perfect world. But L, a detective is right on his trail. The battle between Light and L grows more intense with every episode. Who will catch who? Death Note is an excellent anime show and has the potential to be number one. Full Metal Alchemist: Edward and Alphonse Elric are two brothers with a single purpose…find the “Philosopher Stone”. It all starts when their mother dies. When they try to bring her back, they fail. In the process, Alphonse loses his body and Edward looses his right arm and left leg. Edward, the oldest brother, joins the state military to get funding that will help lead to the stone. As they work towards their goal, the brothers uncover many conspiracies within the state military. They discover that their father may be the link to the Stone. The show is definitely fun, but some episodes can get boring.

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Samurai Champloo: This actionpacked sword fighting adventure is number three on our list because it takes a modern spin on the feudal era in Japan. It’s loaded with violent scenes and has some comedy too…that is if you think cutting people with a sword is really good for a laugh.

Popularity Yu-Gi-Oh: This show is about a children’s card game called “Duel Monsters”. The card game is based on an ancient Egyptian game called ‘Magic and Wizards’. Yugi, the main character, is holder of a previous Egyptian Pharaoh’s spirit. He now works to defend the world from shadow magic using the ancient card game. It’s a really good show; however the spin off (Yu-Gi-Oh GX) killed it. FLCL (Furi Curi): FLCL is brilliantly insane. You’ll have to watch the show from the first episode otherwise you will be left in the dark. FLCL was a brief series with only about 10 episodes. Speed Racer: This classic anime series also made its way towards the big screen this past May. But making it to the big

screen is not the reason why it’s on the list. Speed Racer is a very memorable anime show. When you bring up anime, Speed Racer is the first thing that comes to mind. Sure, some may criticize the show’s style, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s one of the most recognized anime shows today. Inuyasha: Kagome was a normal Japanese teenager living with her family at her grandfather’s shrine, until the day she fell down the closed well in her grandfather’s old shack called the “bone eater” which was really a time portal. She popped up in feudal Japan and befriended the arrogant half-breed InuYasha who was pinned to a tree. Kagome posseses the Sacred Jewel of Four Souls, a sacred jewel inside her body thought to be burned and destroyed by a priestess named Kikyo. Kagome’s accident ultimately turns into a catastrophe as demons everywhere along with an evil demon, Naruko, are after the sacred jewel that only Kagome and Kikyo can sense. To make matters worse, Kagome becomes shattered and lost in the atmosphere. Then, Kikyo who is Inuyasha’s first love interest is revived by an evil demon witch and stirs up love troubles for InuYasha who must choose between Kikyo or Kagome. Kagome and Inuyasha travel around feudal era Japan searching for the

shards of the Shikon Jewel and discover more allies and enemies. This show is more for people who are into the whole love triangle thing as well as for people who love to see demons go at it in some unpredictable battles.

pilots down to Earth. After that the battles between Oz and the Gundam Pilots began. The animation on this show is pretty good considering the year it was made. There’s good character development too. The movie has the best graphics in this Gundam series.

Best Characters Blood +: The way the characters are drawn in Blood + is tremendous. The fight scenes were well done. It made you feel like you were right in the middle of the battle. When the chiropterans turned into monsters it was scary theatrics. The animation was so good that sometimes you would think the monster would come out of the TV and get you. The way the chiropterans’ eyes would glow red made me want to hide under the covers. Zatch Bell: Zatch Bell is filled with colorful characters. When you first look at it, you think it’s the cute anime. You know the type of anime, babies watch in between Telly Tubbies and Barney. Those cute little kids pack a punch. The power they hold can create mass destruction. Zatch Bell is a good show and it draws you in to each character’s back-story. It goes to show you that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Animation Bleach: This action fantasy fully entertains the anime geek within us. It’s about Ichigo who used to be an average high school student living a pretty average life. That is until he meets Rukia, a soul reaper (grim reaper) who protects souls, hunts and destroys Hollows. During a battle with a Hollow; Rukia gives her powers to Ichigo who becomes a substitute soul reaper. Ichigo continues to fight Hollows until other soul reapers capture Rukia to execute her for the crime of giving Soul Reaper powers to Ichigo. Now Ichigo will not rest until he has saved Rukia. Gundam Wing: Organizaton of the Zodic (OZ) has joined an ongoing struggle between Earth and the five colony clusters. The year is After Colony 195 (AC). In an attempt to stop the war and bring peace to the Earth, scientists have sent 5 gundam

Overall Best Anime Full Metal Alchemist: See review under Best Plot. Ghost In the Shell: This is a beautiful looking anime that airs too late for the littluns to know about. This story is basically a futuristic-crime series revolving around a special anti-crime force known as “Section 9” as they crack down on “copycat” murderers and criminals whose originators seem to have never existed. Blood +: This is a great Anime show that will grab your attention. It’s about the war between humans and Chiropterans (vampires) that has been going on for over a century. The heroine, Saya appears to be a young high school girl. But looks can be deceiving. In reality, Saya is a 173-yearold vampire-slaying machine and the present day fighters are called the Red Shield. Details of Saya’s past lead to a sibling rivalry between Saya and her little sister Diva. The season finale made me cry. It was that good. The way it all came to an end was brilliant. Hopefully it left room for a spin-off or another season.

Honorable Mention Cased Closed: Jimmy Kudo is the best detective in town, but investigating strange people in black coats leads to his new predicament. Jimmy is trapped in his eight year-old body and is now trying to the find the organization that gave him the drug that caused it. Things don’t go as planned and Jimmy becomes Conan Edgawa. He stays with Detective Richard Moor and his daughter Rachel solving cases using the latest in spy gear. This show is very interesting and had new cases to solve nearly every episode, yet it wasn’t meant to be and was cancelled too soon.

Ouran High Host Club: The rights to this show were just given to Funimation. Ouran Host Club is about a group of rich Japanese teens with too much time on their hands. What better way to spend that time than by getting more money hosting for the equally rich girls of Ouran Academy? The main character, Haruhi Fujioka is a middle-class commoner and now the newest Host working to pay off her debt. The show follows the wacky lives of the Host Club as Haruhi uncovers more about her new friends. It’s a pretty good manga. The show is new in America and will be released by Funimation in October 2008. Pokemon: Pikachu, I choose you! Yes, Pokemon! Pokemon!! POKEMON!!! Ah yes Pokemon. In a world where Pokemon and humans coexist, a boy named Ash Ketchem from Pallet Town turns 10…or 11. Was it 12? Whatever. Ash, who dreams of becoming a Pokemon master, is finally old enough to get his first Pokemon and become a Pokemon trainer. And this begins his adventure! I never understood why he didn’t just go get a Pokemon himself. That’s like putting a bunch of money in somebody’s face and saying,“Wait till you’re older.” But anyhow, Ash oversleeps! What a twist! So now he has to pick the lame Pokemon, because all the good ones are gone, and the only lame one left is Pikachu! So Ash and Pikachu leave Pallet Town to achieve Ash’s dream of becoming a Pokemon master. Now it’s been 9 seasons or so, and Pokemon is still alive and kicking. Love it or hate it, Pokemon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Yu Yu Hakashio: Yusuke Urameshi is the normal delinquent teen in Japan. He’s arrogant, has no problem beating a guy up or skipping classes. However Yusuke’s life takes a turn when he saves a little kid from getting hit by a car and ends up dying. The problem is that Yusuke wasn’t supposed to die and the friendly grim reaper, Botan, doesn’t know what do with his soul—at least not until he agrees to become a spirit detective working for Prince Koenma to rid the world of high class demons sneaking past the barrier separating the three worlds of: Spirits (Raiki), Demons (Makai) and Humans. The show is really good and it is one of my recommend shows! (continued on page 78)

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Fan-fic-Shi-O-Nes by Maurice Williams Graphic Design by Flonora Merritt Fanfic-Shi-O-Nes is my definition to describe readers and writers of fan fiction—

a well-known writing style. Fan fiction includes stories from popular shows, videogames, manga (japanese comic books) and other story telling media written by fans of stories like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Naruto, Devil May Cry, Gacha Gacha, etc. Fan fiction writers create alternate situations involving the characters from stories they like using different, ingenious plots in different genres like romance, drama, comedy, action, thriller and many others.

To find out what motivates Fanficiones, I interviewed Brittany Scott, V’Sheta Purnell-Cropper, Madre and Tia Campbell. Everyone I talked to got into fan fiction between elementary and middle school. They all told me that either a friend introduced them to this alternate universe of storytelling or they found out about it on the internet. The main genres of fan fiction that are both popular to read and write are romance, drama, horror, alternate-universe (AU) and comedy. Fan fiction writer Tia Cambell stated that she liked to write and create stories from her favorite authors based on her own imagination. She didn’t think she could write better stories. It was more of an outlet. She puts real life problems and situations into her stories. and mostly writes about Kingdom Hearts since she knows the storyline so well. But she also writes stories based on Naruto, Inuyasha, Jak and Daxter and Gravitation. The writer wouldn’t give us any links to past stories she’s written but she did tell us that people want to read fan fiction because it’s fun and you might particularly like it without having to write it yourself. So there you have it, a true fan fiction…….uh fan…… in the flesh, well ink. You can find fan fiction on sites like, and various other websites. Fan fiction is one type of writing style that will never die. So long as there are stories to be told there will be people to retell them. This is Maurice Williams, a Fanfictiones, signing off. Later days. If you have written fan fiction email it to us at info@friendshipnewsnetwork. com and we’ll put it on our website this fall. Be sure to include your name.

Maurice Williams is a 17-year-old senoir a Friendship Collegiate Academy. Pictures provided by Teddy Chindavong a 21-year-old artist who lives in France. To find more of his artwork look him up at

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Fan Art

Reishad Jessup Spider Man

Anime that’s in your face from Friendship Collegiate Academy Fan Artists!

Paul Thorp Samurai Jack Paul Thorpe Yoda

Kalton Chapman Evolution of Naruto Fall 2008 RATED-T 35



Review and graphic design by Karlton Chapman


mmm ok…” is how I describe Naruto (Naa-roo-toe) . With a cliché plot, cliché character design, and WAY-too-crazy storyline, Naruto seems to be just one big STAY-AWAY show. But actually, there is something really great about this hit anime. Within this cliché plot (what with Naruto wanting to be the highest ranked ninja and all), I actually found a touching reason why it’s so great. I just burst into tears when I saw flashbacks that depicted Naruto suffering as a child. But you had to follow the show from the beginning to find out about this. In Naruto there are many times when flashbacks explain why the characters do this and why they’re like that. But this is where Naruto fails. Because when the characters are engaged in hardcore ninja vs. ninja action, a lame flashback ruins the whole battle! Don’t get me wrong. Flashbacks help you understand the opponent relationships, what’s on the line and the battle’s limits. But not when flashbacks last till the end of the...snooore —HUH WHA?! Oh…yeah…the review. Yeah, yawn, the end of the show. The problem is, you’ve got to see six whole episodes of flashbacks just to see a ninja slap a guy & make him cry. Next, I decided to pick Sakura (Sa-ker-ra) to give you an idea of Naruto’s cliché character design. We all know how Sakura is the pretty one who everyone is supposed to love (just like the high school movie junk you see on TV). I’ve seen it all before. Or there’s Hinata (Hee-nah-tah), that girl who secretly likes the main character (Naruto). But Naruto (OF COURSE) is completely oblivious to the fact. This cliché character design really makes the show predictable, but Naruto makes up for it with a moving, intense story. Finally, let’s get to Naruto’s crazy storyline…Okay all viewers know how Naruto possesses the mighty nine-tailed fox demon Kyuubi in his body and how Sasuke (Sa-skay) is a survivor of a clan that was slaughtered by his brother Itachi (E-tahchee), and finally Sakura is…Sakura. Then we watch 25,000 episodes of Naruto just to find out that the fourth Hokage (Ho-kagay) sealed ol’ Kyuubi in Naruto! Then, we watch about 12,000 episodes of Naruto repeats, and another 30,000 episodes to find out that Sasuke’s brother is called Itachi! WOW! Then we learn Itachi is a part of the mysterious group known as The Akatsuke (Uh-ka-skee), and the Akatsuke run around stealing people’s tailed-beasts like Naruto’s Kyuubi!! This goes on forever ‘till I’m like 40 and I discover that Naruto is really a brunette!! WHOA!! Surprisingly, even though my criticism is harsh and true, it still doesn’t change the fact that Naruto, is a great show. In spite of the cliché plot, characters, and convoluted story, Naruto remains a favorite in my book whether I’d like to admit it or not! And for all of you in the question mark, you can watch new Naruto episodes on Saturdays from 9:00 to 9:30 on the Cartoon Network!

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An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the i mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability tow control e v e flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability too control flames… An anime book kR o B e about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with m i n A the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental abilBy Jarrell Davis ity to control flames… An anime book about a teenage boy with the mental ability to control flames… An Design by Flonora Merritt

Out of the Fallout: Volume One

“Wow,” is an exclamation that describes this book. Out of the Fallout, Volume One, is an interesting read about the psychic world, written by Veronica A. Mullen who appeared at Anime USA 2007 selling copies of her book series, Out of the Fallout. Ms. Mullen was happy to be around the convention and had fun talking about her book series. When I interviewed her, Ms. Mullen was nice to talk to and spent time talking about her struggles getting the book published as well as things that inspired her to keep going so she could write the book series. One of the two heroes Jason Silver a 15-year-old teenager is a pyromaniac who can communicate using telepathy. He’s just one of the characters in this story who are realistic and have interesting backgrounds. Jason has a connection to Michelle Teller that leads him back into the past of their families. Michelle’s past is a sad tragic one that is slowly revealed in the book. It’s pretty interesting to read about her life and personality in the book. Michelle was raised by her uncle, after her mother’s death. Her uncle however makes a not-so-happy appearance trying to kidnap/kill Michelle. Jason is a boy who rebels against authority and is protective of his friend, Michelle. The book is one I would recommend because it’s interesting and has good action scenes. The book is an excellent read and can be bought at In addition, Ms. Mullen has written an entire Out of the Fallout series that can be found on the website listed above. Jarrell Davis is a 16 year-old senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Flonora Merritt is a 2008 honors graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy and will go to Trinity University in the fall.

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T D E T A R Anni

iti on


ve rsary Ed FEATURING:

Rated-T’s founding members...Where are they now? THE BEST ICE CREAM IN DC GLOBAL WARMING AND ENDANGERED SPECIES



THE WRATH OF MARIAN In The 1600’s there was a lady named Marian. She was 67 but looked very young. She was very mean and when angered ran away. One day she ran into the woods and the further she went into the woods, the more she began to feel lost. As she was looking around, she stumbled upon a trunk and it opened. She was sucked into the trunk and was never seen again until….one day when it was found by my great-grandfather and brought into my house. And there under the dining room chair it sits…… One night I got a little hungry and decided to go for a little midnight snack. I opened the fridge and pulled out some cherries to eat. As I sat at the table I thought I felt something crawling up my leg. I shook my leg even though there was nothing there. During this act, I accidentally kicked the trunk, and Marian flew out. She made a loud shreik as she walked though my kitchen door and made her way down the alley. By this time I heard a voice yelling “Marian please come back.” I think it was my conscience, So I began yelling “Marian, Marian please come back,” But I was to late. By the time I said something, she was already down to the end of the alley. Suddenly, I felt a shock and began to cry. I turned around and walked back in the house and as I made my way up the stairs going to my room I heard a loud shriek. Suddenly I saw a ghost-like creature coming towards me. I ran to my room and locked the door. It began banging at the door so I hid under my covers. Then, I woke up from this dream but I couldn’t believe it was really a dream. It was 6:00am so I had to get ready for school. I walked towards the door and opened it. And there stood Marian. I was so scared that I woke up from my dream, This time for real, I realized that it was actually my dad telling me to get up for school. After I got myself together I went downstairs to go out the door. And there was the trunk sitting there waiting to be

opened again…..

Fiction by Nadean Talley , an 8th student at Hart Middle School. Photo by Travis Houze, 2008 graduate of Hyde Leadership Academy.

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enVision2008 high school photojournalism workshop high school photojournalism workshop

“...we affect everyone we come in contact with; so why not affect them in a good and positive way.” -Ahmed Davis enVision 2008 Participantt

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Story, graphic design and photos by Ahmed Davis.


hat is Envision? Envision was an opportunity for me to enhance my abilities to become a better photographer and a better photojournalist. This summer I was one of nine elite students that were chosen from across the country to participate in five days of intense instruction at Western Kentucky State University’s nationally acclaimed photojournalism program. The program, evision 2008, consisted of a very experienced faculty that helped me and other students that were involved with envision— James Kenney, WKU photojournalism coordinator; Jahi Chikwendiu, Washington Post photographer and photography coach. Carol Fisher, Nikon USA Inc. representative;

Francis Gardler, PJ in residence, WKU; Nathan Morgan, Multimedia Producer WKU; Elizabeth Lauer, Multimedia Assistant WKU; Curtis DeGidio, Online Producer WKU; Christopher Fryer, Lab Technician WKU; and Weston Kenny, the sidekick. The one thing I learned from this program is that we are not just taking pictures for people to view, we are taking pictures that will capture not only a moment in time, but history in the making. If anyone is interested in finding out more about this program I would encourage him or her to go forth and seize the opportunity! Envision is your chance to make your dream a reality.

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Recently, Rated-T reporter Imani Strong had the opportunity to interview Ben and Jerry, the actual founders of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. Here’s some excerpts from the interview. Ben: Hi, It’s Ben Cohen, the ice cream guy and you know who else is here! Jerry: It’s me Jerry! Imani: Hi Jerry. Jerry: How is school today? Imani: Fine. Jerry: That’s good, are you having any ice cream at school? Imani: No Jerry: No! The school oughta sell ice cream everyday don’t you think? Imani: Yes. Jerry: Whom should we talk to about that? Imani: The principal. Jerry: The principal! Well when we’re done you put the principal on the phone and we’ll talk about that. Imani: Yes. (Editor’s note: Unfortunately the principal was not available for comment at the time of the interview.) Jerry: Well thank you for calling. What are we going to talk about? Imani: About Ben and Jerry’s, of course. Jerry: All right, what do you want to know? Imani: I would like to interview the both of you for our magazine Rated-T and our radio show. We are also doing a story on the best ice cream in Washington, DC for

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our 5th anniversary issue coming in February 2009 and we have narrowed it down to Ben and Jerry’s, Baskin Robbins, and Coldstone. We are doing our taste test at Ben and Jerry’s next. Are you ready for the interview? Jerry: Yeah! Imani: What makes Ben and Jerry’s different from all the other ice cream shops? Ben: Well I think the flavors are better. I mean all the ice cream companies we’re talking about have different flavors but Ben and Jerry’s has big chunks of cookies and candies in its ice cream flavors. We also have sorbets and frozen yogurt in the ice cream shops. And you can get great sundaes, drinks, smoothies and milkshakes. But, one of the best things about a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop is that there might be a photo of Ben and Jerry in the store and that would be very, very good. Imani: Is there a certain atmosphere that you try to create for each shop? Jerry: I think we try to create a fun atmosphere. There’s music that plays and people can come in and get samples of different flavors so they can get a taste of the flavors. And the core of the shop is decorated. It’s very colorful. There’s a mural with cows, clouds and green fields. The best thing about the green fields is it is also my last name, Jerry Greenfield. Ben: You know I think the difference between our ice cream and say Baskin Robbins is Ben and Jerry’s has a lot less air in it so it’s actually heavier and chewier. In comparison to Baskin Robbins our ice cream is all natural. I would be very surprised if theirs is all natural. Also we don’t have any added colors so if you get mint ice cream it looks white instead of green.

Imani: Out of all the jobs in the world, what made you both become ice cream makers? Ben: Well, we couldn’t really succeed doing any of the other things we were trying to do. I was trying to be a potter and make a living making pottery and I couldn’t really sell my pots. Jerry wanted to be a doctor. The only thing we liked doing together as friends was eating. We really both liked to eat and we were very good at it. So we decided we would start our own business. And we decided we needed a business that had to do with eating. So it became ice cream. We also thought about making bagels. So it was between making bagels or ice cream. Those were the two we considered and we picked ice cream. Imani: What is your motivation to keep the business going? Ben: We want the business to give back to the community and to be a good neighbor. We want to use the business to help with social issues like education, healthcare and trying to convince people that the government should be helping people instead of bombing people. Imani: When you initially started the business did you expect the shop to be as good as it was? Jerry: No. We expected it to go out of business because we usually fail and we thought that the odds were that we were going to fail. Also we didn’t really know how to make the ice cream and we didn’t really know how to run the business. Even though the odds were running against us, we though we’d like to give it a try. Imani: Did you have any personal goals for the business and if so what? Ben: Well my goal would be have more of

ONE ON TWO With Ben and Jerry

By Imani Strong Graphic Design by Ahmed Davis the ingredients we use to be fair traded so that the farmers who are producing the ingredients get a good wage for their hard work. I would like the company to be more active in terms of changing our government so they give the people what they need like houses, clothes, food and education. Imani: What has changed since you started Ben and Jerry’s? Jerry: Well the company has changed quite a bit. When we started, it was a little homemade ice cream parlor. And now there are about 450 ice cream shops around the country. And the ice cream is sold in grocery stores and super markets. There are now several hundred people who work here so it’s much bigger and better known. Also there are more interesting flavors. I think we have a great variety of flavors. Imani: Do you see any changes in yourselves since you started Ben and Jerry’s? Ben: Well I’m a lot older and my waistline is bigger...up maybe 2 inches. I have less hair on my head. Jerry: Are you wiser? Ben: Yeah, I’m a lot wiser, kinder and gentler. Imani: What were your initial goals in the beginning? Ben: All we wanted to do was stay in business and have enough money to survive, and of course to have a good time. We never really had any initial goals for the business to be super successful or to be very big or to make a ton of money. That was never our goal. Jerry: We wanted to be a community-based business where people would like to come together and spend time. Imani: How has ice cream changed the world? Jerry: The interesting thing is that all over the world no matter what country you go to, everyone loves ice cream. I think ice cream brings people together. And I also think that ice cream

has been involved in global warming since cows fart and the cow farts contain methane gas and that contributes to global warming. Imani: What is the most popular flavor of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream? Jerry: I think the most popular flavor is the Cherry Garcia. Imani: How do you come up with the names for the flavors for your ice cream like Cherry Garcia? Jerry: I think the best ones are the ones the customers come up with. A customer wrote us a postcard suggesting the name Cherry Garcia. Another customer suggested Chunky Monkey and Chubby Hubby, a chocolate flavored pretzel. Imani: Can anyone get a job at Ben and Jerry’s? Jerry: Go to our website and it lists what jobs are available. The best job for you would be at the scoop shop in Washington D.C. You can do that when you are 16. Imani: Would you consider creating a flavor tasting internship? Ben: I think we should mention that to the bosses because it would be great to have flavors that the children your age would like. Since I’m very old, what I like may not be what you like. But, I don’t want to you to come up with ideas like gummy bear or bubblegum because I don’t really like that stuff.

Imani Strong is a 7th grader at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.. Ahmed Davis is a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy..

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The Father of the Father of Microsoft Story and Graphic Design By Flonora Merritt nerds (including myself). That’s why it was an honor to have the opportunity to interview his father. Now you might ask yourself, “Why did he visit our school?” Well it turns out that Gates Sr. is involved in The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation founded by his son. The foundation funds health and education projects including scholarships for high school students at our school. Gates sends his father on trips to check on his “investments”. You know, to find out what programs need funding and to make sure that the school isn’t wasting the money on something ridiculous. I not only interviewed Gates Sr. but was also part of a focus group of advanced placement and early college students who Gates Sr. interviewed. After we shared our experiences with Photo by Rated-T staff memberAdonis Miller Gates Sr., he took a tour of the school. Before Gates Sr. said his goodbyes, I managed to sit down with n March 17, 2008, the father of him and have a chat. Now just because Gates Sr. was here on the father of Microsoft came to business doesn’t mean he can’t have a laugh. During the interview visit our humble school, Friendship he was hilarious. When asked if his son was as generous as a teen Colligate Academy (FCA). I’m as he is now, he joked and said, “Is any teen generous?” Nice to talking about Bill Gates’s father, know that Gates Jr. has changed into a giving soul. Bill Gates Sr. In case you are It was a real pleasure to have Bill Gates Sr. at FCA and we unfamiliar with the genius of Bill Gates Jr., he is the creator of hope that he and his son come back soon. You can view a video Microsoft. Gates was one of the visionaries who made computers of the entire interview on our website, personal. In other words, Gates made computers small and


compact so everyone could have one in their homes. Since 1978, Microsoft has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Because of Gates’ creation, the man is worshiped by billions of computer

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Flonora Merritt is an honor graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy and will be attending to Trinity University in the Fall. Adonis Miller will be a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Hill Harper Reaches Out to Youth


Written and Designed By Flonora Merritt

n June 17th, 2008 CSI: NY star and author Hill Harper came to Friendship Collgiate Academy for the signing of his new book Letters to a Young Sister. Hill read a passage from his new book to our students and gave some words of wisdom. Girls from various ages kept emailing and sending letters to Hill and asking him some difficult questions. It was the same thing with his first book Letters to a Young Brother. So many letters were coming in Hill decided to write a book that would answer all their questions. Of course, Hill is not perfect. Some of the questions from the girls had Hill a little stumped. I mean, this time he’s dealing with “girl issues”. Fortunately, Hill had some backup from his friends like Mrs. Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama. I am not joking. Hill and Barack Obama were buddies at Harvard University and still are today. So while Hill was writing his book, he called Obama up and asked if Mrs. Obama could help him out with a few questions. How awesome is that. Years ago, Hill was inspired by a book called Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. Hill said the words from the book were very powerful and it made him want to change the way he looks at life. When Hill was a teen, he too had low self-esteem and saw no

hope for the future. As soon as Hill read the book, he felt that he could do anything. I was amazed how a book could do all that. That’s another reason why Hill wrote those books. Hill wanted to inspire other teens that were just like him back in the day. He wanted to use the power of words to reach out to the youth of our generation. It’s rare to see big stars like him caring so much about the youth. Usually the only time you see most celebrities reaching out to young people is when they have to do community service. If you have any questions for Hill Harper you can go visit his website www.manifestyourdestiny. org. Three cheers to Hill Harper. HipHip Hurraaaaaaay!!!!! Flonora Merritt is an honor graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy and will be attending Trinity University in the Fall.

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In Loving memory




Losing someone you care about is always a painful experience and remembering them can only make it better or worse. When young people like Ralph Hodge become fresh memories and have to be buried by their own parents, that’s just UNACCEPTABLE. As a teenager I hate to see the people I’m supposed to grow up with “end the race early”. Especially, when this could’ve been avoided. A split second decision caused a precious life to be lost and many hearts to be broken. According to newsroom., on Wednesday, August 27, 2008, shortly after 5 pm , police responded to a report of gunshots in the 4800 block of Benning Road. On the scene and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds was Ralph Hodge Jr., a fellow student at Friendship

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Collegiate Academy, who was transported to an area hospital and pronounced dead.

Adults such as Brian Young, an instructor at Friendship Collegiate Academy, felt that there have been major negative changes in the black community since his upbringing. Young stated, “I never had to face the epidemic of death that young black children have to face today…What’s so sad is that you guys have choices.” Often we make the mistake of thinking that someone else will provide the solution for our problems. But that can no longer be envisioned at our expense. We have to do it for ourselves! Leading by example to enforce the change will begin with me. But I can’t do it all by myself. I need you. -by Nina Graham, a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Graphic Design by Ahmed Davis

6 2 #

: 3 8 0 0 The Price of Love 7 3

The Kemba Smith Story From Being In Love to Being in Jail...

In 1996

, Kemba Naimbi Smith was sentenced to 24.5 years in prison­­—all because she had fallen in love. Kimba Smith grew up living a very sheltered life. She finally received a little freedom from her parents when she went away to school at Hampton University in Hampton, VA.

There she met pretty-boy-on-campus, Peter, whom she fell madly in love with. Knowing the kind of reputation Peter had around campus and the type of girls he dated, Kemba just knew that he was the one who would treat her differently. And he did. He made her feel like she was a queen, buying her expensive designer clothes and taking her out to

Story and Layout by: Chantell Leak

fancy restaurants. For three months Peter treated her with the utmost respect. The months that followed were not so pleasant. A lavish relationship soon turned abusive. However, Kemba remained­—all because of love. She loved Peter and thought that he someday he would change and that she could possibly change him. Kemba found out that not only did he have a bad temper but he was also a drug dealer. Yet she still stayed with him and ended up pregnant with his child. When the law finally caught up with Peter, Kemba stayed quiet in fear of what he was capable of doing. It wasn’t until her eighth month of pregnancy that she turned herself in. During her trial, even though the prosecutors believed that she did not sell or do any drugs, she was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute 255 kilos of crack cocaine and received 26.5 years in federal prison. While in prison she gave birth to her son who is now 12 years old. Soon the media picked up her story and began letting the public know of the injustice that had occurred because of current drugs laws. Colleges and organizations all over America began to protest and petition for her release. Finally in 2000, Former President Bill Clinton gave her clemency and she was thus released. Having to serve six unfair years in prison would have taken its toll on anyone. But Kimba did not let that experience slow her down. Since her release, she has kept moving and only looks back to bring others along with her. In May 2002, she graduated from Virginia Union University with a bachelor’s in social work. She also completed her first year of law school at Howard University while managing and continuously developing her foundation, The Kemba Smith Foundation. Her ultimate goal is to ensure that youth and people in general know about the corrupted drug

laws and about love for self. She wants to change the way the justice system treats African Americans since we are the race that these unfair laws disproportionately affect. So she goes around to speak to people about her story and explains to them that at any moment they could be in her shoes and that they might not be as lucky as she was. I take personal interest in her story and want to aid her in her mission because I hear so many people talk about how the system is so messed up and how we, as African Americans fall victim to it when we don’t have to. If we educate ourselves on matters that we take to heart, if we stop complaining and actually do something about the matter then maybe things will get done. Maybe you or your daughter would not end up in this same situation. Maybe your son can actually stand up and fight to change the system’s unjust laws. Maybe if we take more interest in our community, we could get the “Peters” off the street so our young girls wouldn’t have to fall for the things that they say. If we try to change the community as a whole, then it would be a lot better. Then our children can grow up living as part of a positive reality. Many people don’t know about Kemba Smith’s story but it’s important to know about her. Any of us could go through what she went through. The current drug laws are unjust. We fall victim to them everyday. Kemba Smith is not the only one who has been wrongly and outrageously sentenced. If we educate ourselves on these matters, if we come together and find out how to solve such problems within our judicial system then we can right the wrongs. And you won’t have to read about the Kemba Smiths anymore. Chantell Leak is a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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Catalog shoots, runways, make up, free stuff ( clothes, shoes, cars, shades,etc) , endorsements … The is the life of a model. I was an aspiring model. Now I have taken on the title of ROOKIE in the fast-paced fashion industry and though I am only 15, it seems as though I am living the life of a 20-year-old woman. My success in the world of fashion has made a big difference in my life—both negative and positive. In the process, I have become more mature. My first photo shoot (for my portfolio) took place at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins. During the drive I was filled with anticipation. But I did have support from my mom and my dad. I felt like a celebrity when I went to meet my stylist. The make-up artist told me I had really good gorgeous skin. Although I was nervous when I worked with the first photographer, after the second photo shoot, I felt like a pro. I felt as though I was the queen of that empire. It was one of the most exciting days of my life. Since my first photo shoot, I am more confident about asking any question on my mind to any person in the fashion industry— no matter what rank or how high up they are in the industry. For example, in July, I walked into a cute little vintage boutique called Remix. For a long time I’d wanted to ask about how to be involved in their runway shows. This time I asked the woman at the front desk. To my surprise, she turned out to be the stylist for their next show, Walk for AIDS, hosted by Tocara with a special guest performance by Mario. I was so excited when she invited me to the open call for this star-studded event. Now that I’ve gotten over my fear, booking jobs is easy and I have made it one of my favorite things to do. I think I have a great chance to gain a position among the top 10 models. Not to toot my own horn, but in my opinion, my strut is more eye-catching than the average cat-walker. So, I hope that my story will be an inspiration to other young girls who are like I once was...dreaming to put on a beautiful mask/an alter ego to hide behind and to boost self-esteem. It seems as though modeling is now a big trend in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) especially for girls my age. I think for some girls modeling is a title. But for me modeling is a way out, a career, a dream fullfilled, and a story that has yet to be told. I’ve learned that just because one person doesn’t think that you’re beautiful, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t beautiful to someone else.

‘’Big dreams are not only aspired, they are reality’’ Alize’ Morgan, is a sophomore at Friendship Collegiate Academy

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Walking in A

Model’s Shoes

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ver since I was little a girl, I truly enjoyed playing doctor. From the first time my kindergarten teacher asked me “What would you like to be when you grow up?” my answer has been a doctor and that has been my answer to that question ever since I was little. As I grew older I realized there are plenty of different types of doctors. Almost every year I changed my mind as to type of doctor I wanted to be. It wasn’t until a tragic family incident occurred that I realized what I truly wanted to become. In 2006 my aunt, Christy Smith, became very ill. She began menstruating and didn’t stop for 3 months straight. Once she was admitted into the hospital, she immediately had to be given several blood transfusions. After the doctors conducted research they came to the fear-provoking conclusion that my aunt had uterine cancer which is cancer in the uterus. The uterus or womb is a holding place where a fetus develops into a baby. After hearing this devastating news I was extremely hurt. After all the years my aunt struggled to bear children we finally knew why she had been unsuccessful. To save my aunt’s life, surgery had to be performed and her ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and almost her entire female reproductive system was removed. No menses and even more devastating, no children. Everyone in my family was completely distraught. After this episode, I sunk into a deep depression. If only there was something I could have done. I continuously asked myself, “Why does cancer ruin and take lives almost everyday?” Then after weeks of research I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. This time it wouldn’t change. No more women would have to face the horrible consequences of cancer that affected the reproductive system. I wanted to be the one to help them, not only the women but also the men and children. First I wanted to start with the women who are affected more drastically and emotionally. I finally made up my mind. My career choice ever since then has been to become a Gynecological (guy-nuh-co-lahji-cal) Oncologist.

A Gynecological Oncologist, or a women’s cancer doctor, is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer’s found in the female reproductive system. These special oncologist treat cancer found in the, ovary, uterus, vagina, cervix, endometrium, and the vulva. My goal in life is to possibly find cures for all these types of cancers so that removing the organs won’t be an option, instead everything would be treatable. The future Dr. Noble is a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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By Randyn Fullard Photo by Travis Houze

Did you see The Wiz? If you didn’t, you should. If you want to see a thrilling and exciting version of The Wizard of Oz, then go to Duke Ellington School. The Wiz is the modern-day African American musical version of The Wizard of Oz. This production at Duke Ellington was fly! From this experience I have realized that Duke Ellington School of Arts really knows how to get things done. What amazes me is that this was their first musical in a long time and it seemed like they had been doing this forever. After seeing this play, my mind is set to go to this school for high school­­­—no matter what I have to do. Some of the highlights of this experience for me were meeting the principal [who invited me to come back any time I wanted], meeting the director of the play and finding out more about this school. Throughout all my field experiences with FNN this has been the best! To find out more about The Wiz, please visit Duke Ellington School of The Arts. Randyn Fullard is an eight grade student at Blow Pierce Juinor Academy. Travis Houze is a 2008 graduate of Hyde Leaderrship Academy.

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My Day at Duke By Randyn Fullard

On May 14, 2008, my news crew and I visited one of the best arts schools ever! You guessed right if you guessed Duke Ellington School of the Arts. So sit back and read about my life changing experience. “ Wow!” I thought, as we arrived outside of the historical school. I had been waiting for this all day and I was pumped up. When I first got to the school, it was a little shocking because it was actually smaller than it looks in pictures I’ve seen. I hadn’t thought about being nervous until we entered the school and made our way down the hall and up a flight of stairs. When we got to the main office we asked for Cal Roberson, Dean of Arts, who would be giving us a tour of the school. We had to wait a few minutes for him to arrive. So we took some seats and as we waited, I watched how the students were able to express their personalities through the clothes they wore. It was amazing how you could tell what major they were in by the way they dressed. While waiting, my photographer Ceyanne and I decided to take a look at the art exhibit. There were all different types of art— portraits, collages, scenery and many others. When Cal showed up, we greeted each other. “Hi my name is Randyn Fullard and I’m from Friendship News Network,” I said shaking his hand. “Follow me,” he said. We followed him around a corner and into an office where the secretary who was very nice greeted us. She asked me why I was interested in Duke Ellington and what I wanted to major in. I told her that I was interested in Duke Ellington because I thought it was a great way to get my face out there in the music business and also to find a positive way to release my stress at the end of the day. At Duke Ellington, the end of the day is when students work on their major. And I also thought it would be fun to go to school with kids interested in the same things as me. I interviewed two students and asked them about when they discovered their talents. Their answers were really interesting. I was intrigued by the way their answers were based on what they had majored in at Duke Ellington. It was as if their whole lives were already planned before they even knew what they were going to do. The favorite part of my visit was at the end when Cal told us that we could audition for Ellington at the end of the summer in 2008. If we were accepted, we could go straight to Duke Ellington for high school. For more information on Duke Ellington School of the Arts Randyn Fullard and Ceyanne Foye are eighth-grade honor students at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

photo of a painting at Duke Ellington by Ceyanne Foye.

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A Trip To Remember


An interview with Adonis Miller about his trip to China by Shaquanda Noble. Graphic design by Ahmed Davis. Photos by Adonis and his fellow travelers.


n June 21, 2008 Adonis Miller arrived at Dulles International airport to embark on his journey to Beijing, China. After a 13hour flight, he arrived at the Beijing International Airport. From there Adonis and his group checked into The Seven Days Inn and then began to scope the neighborhood. The next day Adonis went to visit the Emperor’s Summer Palace, which was where his group’s first meals were held. During the time spent in China, Adonis’ group visited several schools and talked to the children about how their schools differed from the schools in the US. The group did research on China’s water and learned how the US is helping the Chinese conserve their water. They visited a wetland and learned the three different processes the Chinese use to purify their water with plants. They even helped rebuild a wetland. They pulled weeds that would endanger the water cleansing plants. After 12 days of working, Adonis and his group were treated to a trip to the beach to relax. According to Adonis, there were lots of Asian children running

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around. On another day, they hiked up to the Great Wall of China. “It was a fun experience because I’ve never been that high up in the mountains,” said Adonis. Besides the beautiful view and extremely crowded metro, food was the best part of Adonis’ trip. He ate duck, octopus, chicken, pork, plenty of vegetables, fish, and of course everything was served with rice. Adonis said the best meal was at the wetland. He ate a great dish made with sautéed beef and peppers. Everything Adonis consumed was eaten with chopsticks. Adonis was surprised at the bathrooms. The public bathrooms were indeed “public bathrooms.” There were no stalls, just a hole in the ground where you squat to handle your business. There was no privacy at all. At the end of the trip, Adonis and his group went to the Hi Ho Market to buy souvenirs. They used the Chinese currency in which 1$ of American money equals 6 Chinese Yuan or RMB’s. Adonis told me that this was the best trip he’s ever taken and he would like to return someday.

Adonis Miller, Shaquanda Noble and Ahmed Davis are juniors at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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Dog Care 101 Hi, my name is Nadean Talley. I’m writing this article because many of the dogs I see are not being taken care of properly...AT ALL. So here are some tips on how to treat your dog properly. By Nadean Talley

How to Care for Your Dog… Make sure your dog stays cool… . Keep a small container and an ice-cold bottle of water with you at all times. . Make sure to not keep your dog in the sun for long periods of time. . Do not keep your dog in the car for a long period of time even with the windows rolled down. . If you do keep your dog in the yard in a doghouse put straw or bedding in it and keep plenty of water there.

Keep Your Dog Clean…. . Dirty dogs cause bugs, so clean your dog every week especially if it is outside a lot. . Wash your dog’s feet every night because believe it or not, they will began to stink. . Brush your dog’s teeth everyday and or give them doggie mints. . Keep your dog’s nails clipped, so there won’t be overgrowth. DO NOT STRESS YOUR DOG OUT…. 54 Fall 2008 RATED-T

. Even though it is hot allow your dog to exercise. Take your dog on a daily walk around the neighborhood. . Change your dog’s food and water everyday. . Keep the temperature in your home cool, so your dog stays cool. . If your dog is dark-colored, KEEP YOUR DOG OUT OF THE SUN. I say this because, dark-colored dogs absorb heat. So that’s another way your dog can become over-heated.



Face it, nobody likes to step in dog poo. I know I don’t. So why let other people get their shoes all dirty and stinky? Point blank...CLEAN UP BEHIND YOUR DOG!! can have the cutest dog in the world, but if it stinks, NOBODY WILL LIKE YOUR DOG! Wash your dog. Wash its feet, hair, eyes and ears. Treat your dog like you treat yourself and MOST IMPORTANT.....NEVER ABUSE YOUR DOG...EVER...there’s such a problem with that these days, imagine if your were your dog. Would you like to be beaten or deprived of food?



photography by Travis Houze & Nadean Talley story by Nadean Talley Fall 2008 RATED-T 55


If They Could

n January 31, 2008, my FNN team and I had the opportunity to visit the Washington Humane Society to interview Ms. Shakela Brown and other staff about the adoption process and animal cruelty. The trip to the Washington Humane Society was very educational and somewhat fun. During our tour around the Washington Humane Society, we learned the whole adoption process. The adoption process begins with choosing an animal to adopt. Then you sign and complete an application to adopt that animal. After that you are interviewed by a staff member. Then a staff member will come to your home and check to see if your home is suitable for your new pet. After your application is approved your new pet will come home to you. While waiting in the lobby, my FNN team member, Ceyanne and I had a chance to go with a staff member to walk a Pit Bull mix named Clarice. On the walk, Clarice and I practiced simple commands such as sit and stay, but she wasn’t really

Speak What

Would They

After that I interviewed an animal cruelty officer about animal cruelty. We learned the ways they can rescue animals from a bad situation. They also said that even if they aren’t on duty and they see an animal abandoned by their owner, they have they the right to take that animal from that situation. This experience at the Washington Humane Society was great and I hope I can go back. And to all the people out there “ Speak up for the animals because they can’t.” For more infomation on the Washington Humane Society, visit their website at Da’vaughn Hawkins is a rising freshman at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Randyn Fullard is an eighth grade honor roll student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

Story By Da’Vaughn Hawkins. Photo by Randyn Fullard.

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cooperating with me. Then we walked back in the building to look at the cats. When we were observing the cats we came across a wonderful one named Marcie, who has been at the Washington Humane Society for over 130 days waiting for a good home.

We Were Heroes Fiction by Kadesha Ransom

“ Dear Diary, I feel very happy today. I am actually glad that I am here. It all started the day I was born, October 28, 1994, at Southeast Community Hospital. I wasn’t really born until my aunt Midnight came. Then she held my mom’s hand and told her to be strong and push. I was out after a few pushes. I saw a bright light and started to cry. Next thing you know, I got smacked on my backside and ouch, that left a mark. The doctor discovered that it was actually a birthmark. Soon, I went to elementary school, which wasn’t cool and I graduated middle school on June 6, 2008. I graduated high school in the top ten percent of my class on May 23, 2012. I was offered a full scholarship to the University of Maryland. Four years later, I graduated with flying colors. I was rejected from some of the jobs I applied for, but I got a job at a veterinarian clinic. Then one day, this friend comes back into my life and it turns out his name is Dragon Jones from my twelfth grade class. He’s into snow leopards and asks me to go on a mountain camping and hiking trip with him and some friends. I said, “Sure, why not?” The next day, I packed my bags and bought a digital camera to take pictures of the animals that I would see. Then I went downstairs and made some red velvet cake and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I also packed some hamburger meat, hotdog meat, hamburger and hotdog buns, chips, ketchup, mustard, soda, cups, juice, cookies, more cake, doughnuts and pies. I called Dragon and asked him to bring a grill, charcoal, newspapers for the fire and an oblong lighter. He picked me up late in the afternoon and we all drove to the mountains. We set up the tent, cooked food, ate, sung songs and had fun. The next thing we

heard was a cry from far away. We all got scared. Then we pulled ourselves together, grabbed a flashlight and headed into the woods. We were told by Dragon to split up. I walked for a long time until I came closer to the sound. In the light of my flashlight I found a snow leopard stuck under a broken tree. I yelled until Dragon and our friends came. We pulled the tree off of the leopard and rushed it to the animal hospital. It turns out that the snow leopard was the last female in the world. The last male was at the zoo. We had our pictures taken, were interviewed, were in the newspaper and on the news. We were heroes.” A few months later, I got a call from one of the zookeepers saying that I needed to come right away to the zoo and to bring Dragon with me. I hung up and called Dragon and told him to pick me up and take me to the zoo. He came in twenty minutes and he drove me to the zoo. I got out of the car and ran to find the zookeeper who called me. Then, we all ran to where the snow leopard that I found had been taken. The zookeeper told Dragon and me that she was going to have cubs any minute. I jumped up and down with excitement. I helped with the delivery. The snow leopard had five cubs and I was the first to pick a name for a cub. I picked out the cutest one, even though they were all so cute. I named the one I picked Shadow. Dragon named the others. We had the best time. All five cubs will be able to stay with their parents until they are fully-grown. After that day, I came to visit every day. The snow leopards were a family, and I was a part of it. That’s all for now. Goodbye!”

Kadesha Rsansom is a 9th grader at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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The Darkest Region of Space by Jeffrey Daise


n July 18, 2008 I went to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with my news team, Randyn Fullard and my cousin, Davon Wilkerson, to find out about black holes. The man I went to interview was Dr. Demos Kazanas, an expert who studies black holes. Black holes are also known as death stars or worm holes. A black hole is a region of space. The gravity force of a black hole is so strong that not even light can escape from it. The surface of a black hole could be 2 miles long but nobody knows for sure. Nobody will ever live to visit a black hole...not that I’m sure anyone would want to. It will take 10,000 years to get to the closest black hole at the speed of light and over 100,000 years at regular speed. Then if you get close to a black hole you will get sucked into the center. As you go to the center, it will stretch you and then turn you into a tiny point. And that’s how you die. A black hole can also shoot you from one edge of the universe to the other.

A black hole may reveal its presence through an interaction with matter that lies in orbit outside its event horizon. A black hole may be perceived by tracking the movement of a group of stars that orbit its center. Gas from a nearby star may go into the center. The gas spirals inward, heating up to very high temperatures and emitting large amounts of radiation. This renders the hole’s interior invisible or, rather, black, like the appearance of space itself. That’s why it’s called a black hole. Black holes are formed by exploding dead stars. Planets can also turn into black holes. For more information, go to or visit www. this fall. Jeffrey Daise and Randyn Fullard are 8th grade students at Blow Pierce Junior Academy. Davon Wilkerson is also an eighth grade student. Fall 2008 RATED-T 59

t i H o n a N

Fiction by Jarrell Davis Illustrations by Karlton Chapman

The sky darkened and the rain poured. In one scientist’s lab the lights flickered on and off as the man in a bright white lab coat activated the remote control. The man, Doctor Steven Stovall, was in his early 30’s with a round oval-shaped face. The most distinctive feature on his face was the scar that ran across his left eye. “It works!” he whispered to his assistant, Amelia, a woman in her late 20s with brown hair and dark brown eyes. “Doctor, are you sure it’s safe?” she asked. “Amelia, do not question me,” the doctor said as he turned the lights on once again. Amelia looked at the doctor wonderingly. The project they were working on had taken weeks to develop and a few more days to perfect. “Our project is perfect now, and now I will test it.” Amelia raised her eyebrow as she turned to look at her boss. “What are you going to test it on?” she asked as the thought that he might try to test it on her passed through her mind. Amelia didn’t know much about her boss other than his last assistant just up and quit. She didn’t know that at the moment he was having some rather disturbing thoughts. “Why Amelia, on you of course. Thank you for your help. Unfortunately, I cannot have any witnesses to my new project.” Amelia had barely moved when she begin to feel a crawling sensation on her legs, but she couldn’t see anything. “You see Amelia, I created this new project with no regard for any weaklings around me, like you. No, I created it to ensure that I get what I want. Isn’t that the American way?” Amelia opened her mouth to scream in horror as billions of sub-microscopic things began attaching themselves to her legs. Her scream came out as a choking sound as the things attached themselves to her voice box. “Good bye, Miss Neanda,” he said as the things covered the brunette woman’s face, flashing a smile where the woman’s lips once were. Doctor Stovall laughed as the things disappeared in a gust of wind just as lightening struck near the window. Then, the computer screen sitting on his desk flashed: PROBLEM TERMINATED! As the things disappeared one of them jumped on a set of blue prints that read: PROJECT HIT: NANOBOTS. -Weeks Later“Oh that’s just terrible!” a woman complained to her half-listening husband. “People in New York are just disappearing, Congress isn’t doing anything and the police are not helping.” The woman’s husband rolled his eyes. “Yes, I’m sure. It’s truly sad dear. However, what can they do in

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Congress? Nothing, I assure you. It’s all up to the police,” he replied. Just then, the wind outside the house blew a submicroscopic blue thing past the window. It attached itself to the Mercedes Benz outside. The woman walked her husband to the door smiling at him. “Have a good day at work honey,” she said as she closed the door behind him. “It’ll be your last,” she thought to herself. “And you thought I wouldn’t find out about you cheating on me.” The man, Robert Herman, a big time vice president for Bank of America was rather hated by his co-workers. He was far from being a team player and only received his promotion because of his ‘hard work’. Robert arrived at work as usual. But, then the normalness of the day was interrupted by a new sound. Scraaaape. Pause. Scraaape. Robert would never admit that he was a paranoid guy. But, his wife had been acting odd all weekend and he wondered about those missing people. He knew every single one of them. One of them had been his mistress. Her disappearance wasn’t a problem. It meant his wife wouldn’t find out about her. Scraaape. Pause. Scraaape. Robert turned around and looked out of his 10th floor office window and noticed a man cleaning the window. The scraping sound came from the wiper sliding down the glass. Robert frowned. He didn’t remember anyone ever cleaning the window during the day— at least not when he was in his office. “Hey you!” Robert called out as he walked towards the window. The man cleaning the window looked at him. At least Robert assumed the man was looking at him. It was hard to tell with the hat shielding his eyes. “Yes?” The man answered in a monotone voice. “What are you doing?” Robert demanded. The cleaning man waved the bottle of cleaning solution. “Washing the windows wouldn’t be too obvious for you, would it, corporate man?” Robert glared at the man. “Are you supposed to be cleaning right now?” The guy cleaning the window sneered. “I’m working, right?” the man pointed out. If Robert had been paying attention he would have sensed the tiny things crawling on

his shoes and moving up his legs to his body. Robert sent the guy a glare, “I’ll have your jo…!” He looked down, but couldn’t see anything. He began to feel billions of tiny things crawling up his arms. “What the?” A chuckle made Robert look up. “You don’t get it do you?” said the window cleaner. “While you stood there acting like a snob, my nanos have completely overtaken you.” Finally the guy lifted his hat. “W-what? Why?” “The name is Stovall, Steven Stovall.” “S-Steven? Crazy Steve from Princeton?” Robert asked. Steven said nothing. The nanos terminated Robert and then briefly organized themselves into a smiley. Then, the evermysterious wind blew them away leaving nothing in their place. “I guess I became crazy after what you did to me.” Doctor Steven Stovall said as he left the empty office.

Jarrell Davis is a 16 year-old senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Karlton Chapman is a 15-year old junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

To find out why Doctor Stovall went crazy, visit the fiction section of later this fall.

Nanos That Really Exist! Ever wondered if Nanobots actually exist? They’re actually part of a new science called nanotechnology, which is the development of submicroscopic robots that can be used for many purposes including medical science. Nanobots could make medical procedures a lot faster in the future. As of now nanotechnology is a growing field with new nanobots being developed, tested and researched by various business and universities. Well, I searched the web for interesting nanotechnology projects that actually exist and here are my top four.

NANOBRAIN You read that name right, I said ‘Nanobrain’. Now you may be wondering, “what the heck does a ‘Nanobrain’ do?” A Nanobrain is made from 17 molecules of the chemical Duroquinone. Duroquinone is derivative of 1,4-benzoquinone (a 6 member ring compound chemical). Researchers have found that changing the state of the Nanobrain can control the states of Nanobots surrounding it. According to scientists this will be helpful for future operations performed by Nanobots because it will be easier to control them. For example, if you give the Nanobrain something to do, all the surrounding Nanobots will do the same thing. Source: http://news. SILVER NANORODS The nanorods are designed to test for diseases and illness while giving results in a minute.

Silver nanorods are used in conjunction with a special chart to help determine if a virus has been spotted. Then the doctor will determine which diseases (if any) that you have, This process is like a really elaborate mood ring only it tells if you’re sick. According to scientists, the nanorods are designed to be very sensitive to any the virus cells they find. Source: asp?newsID=3383 CARBON NANOTUBES Yep, the name says ‘Nanotubes’. Nanotubes are inserted by injection into the blood stream and attach to cancer cells. Then they’re hit with an infrared beam and in less than two minutes they explode, destroying the cancer cells while doing nothing to the normal healthy cells. Source: http:// CHROMALLOCYTE NANOBOT In the near future your cells could be able to repair themselves. Nanobots are being developed that can analyze the problem and provide a quick fix for damaged cells. For example if you have a cut, the nanobots will help the damaged cells repair themselves. Source: Details.asp?ArticleID=2035#_Chromallocyte:_A_Hypothetical_Mobil

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Light The

Fiction by Ceyanne Foye


t was a dark night with a clear sky. Nothing can go wrong, right? Wrong. Tomas was walking down the street just coming from a party. He decided to take a short cut, so he went into the alley. The alley was dark and creepy, like the ones in those scary movies. There was nothing really in the alley—just some boxes and trash cans. As Tomas walked through the alley, all he could see was smoke. Just as he reached the middle of the alley, he heard something behind him. As soon as he turned around, three figures appeared out of nowhere. The three figures started whispering something that Tomas couldn’t comprehend. It was as if they were speaking a totally different language. They slowly walked towards him. He backed up a little. But, still Tomas couldn’t understand what they were saying. All of sudden, although he couldn’t explain it, he knew what they were saying. They were saying “The Light. The Light. The Light.” “The Light? What?!” Tomas yelled. “What do you all mean? What is The Light?” They weren’t listening to him. All they kept saying was “The Light. The Light. The Light.” Then they said something else, “You…You…You are The Light.” “Me? What…” Tomas heard something behind him and the next he thing he knew everything was pitch black. Three long years had passed since that mysterious night in the alley. Since that time, Tomas hadn’t even thought about it. But in his head, he still remembered the sound of what the three figures had said about ‘the light’ and his ‘being the light’. “Tomas are you alright?” asked Rosa, his

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Designed by Shaquanda Noble

big sister. “Huh? Oh, yeah, I’m alright.” Rosa was on her way to the store and Tomas asked to come with her. Tomas was deeply in thought as they walked to the store. “Tomas are you sure your alright? You’ve been acting kind of weird,” said Rosa. “How many times do I have to tell you that I feel fine.” “Until you look like you’re fine. You’re still not thinking about…” “No! Now can we please get off the subject? Thank You!” Tomas was tired of her asking the same old thing. She had been asking him that question over and over again, ever since he told her what happened that night in the alley. “My bad! I was just asking…” “Well don’t!” There was silence between the two. They were getting closer to the store. “Well, why don’t you just get some rest. You know, to get your mind off things,” said Rosa. When Tomas didn’t say anything, Rosa gave him the puppy dog look. “Okay. Fine. I’ll do just that.” They stopped in front of the store. “You’re not going to rest, are you?” said Rosa. Tomas gave a stern smile “Now, I never said that. Bye sis.” He turned around and headed down the street, trying to get his mind off things. As he walked, he passed the park where he saw kids running and laughing. He continued walking and came to an alley. He looked down the alley and realized that this was the exact alley where the three figures had shown up. He continued to look at the alley thinking about that night. Then, all of a sudden, a sharp pain shot

through his head like a bullet. Then he saw himself standing in front of himself. He looked a little bit older, but he seemed stronger, much stronger. He was holding a sword in his hands. The sword had ancient writing on it and it was glowing as if it were a distant light…the kind of light that you wish you could just hold onto forever and forever. But there was someone else—someone else beyond him. There was a girl in the distance. Tomas couldn’t really see her face, but she was also holding a sword and she was different, very different. Tomas felt like something was disturbing her. He felt as if she was filled with darkness and that she was trying to get away from it—but she couldn’t. Then everything disappeared and he found himself on the ground. Realizing that it was almost dark, he got up, took one more look at the alley and went straight home. When he got home he laid on the couch for a while just thinking about everything that had happened, trying to find something­—some kind of clue as to why all these things were happening to him. When he couldn’t take it anymore, he went upstairs to his bedroom and fell asleep. As he slept, Tomas had a mysterious dream. “You are our savior, our Hero. You are the Light.” Tomas was spinning around and around. All he could see were people wearing white cloaks. The white figures were all around him. “What do you want from me!” Tomas was going crazy. All he could hear was whispering. That’s all they were doing. Whispering. Whispering. By now Tomas was on the floor, covering his ears. He just couldn’t take all the whispering anymore.

“SHUT UUUUUUUUUUUP!” Tomas woke up all of sudden still screaming his head off. He couldn’t handle the whispering. Sweating from head to toe, he kept repeating “Shut up! Shut up! It took 20 minutes for Tomas to calm down. Still sweating from head to toe, he got out of bed— almost falling in the process—and went into the bathroom. He looked in the mirror, just staring at himself for about 5 minutes. He took his washcloth off the hanger, wrung it out and wiped his face. He put the washcloth away looking back at the mirror and said, “What’s going on with me?!” Then he hit the wall with his fist. He went back in the bedroom and laid down on the bed and turned on his side looking out of the window. The sky was clear. The moon stared down at him. He fell asleep staring up at the moon. The next day, Tomas woke up, got dressed and went downstairs into the kitchen. Rosa was sitting at the kitchen table reading a newspaper. Tomas grabbed a glass, filled it with orange juice and sat down next to Rosa. She folded up her newspaper and looked at him. When he noticed that she was looking at him, he got up and went to the fridge. While still looking at him she took a deep breath and said, “Tomas, you need to stay home today.” He was stunned. “Why?” he asked. She stood up and said, “You’re not feeling well and…” “How do you know?” “Last night…” “What about last night?” “Last night when I came home you were talking, no, yelling in your sleep.” “And, what about it?” “I think something is wrong, so you…” “I don’t have time to listen to this.” Tomas walk towards the front, which was just outside the kitchen. He got his jacket, put it on, opened the door and said, “I’m going to school, see ya.” And he shut the door leaving Rosa standing in the center of the kitchen, in shock. On his way to school he passed other students without noticing them. Tomas went to a high school called “ Lightly High School”. Kind of strange huh—Tomas going to a school called “Lightly” when it just so happened that three years ago

he had been called “The Light” by three figures and now he is having dreams about being called “The Light”. And whoever heard of a school called “Lightly”? Tomas went inside the school without saying a word to any of his friends. After school, Tomas went to the soccer practice in hopes of releasing all his anger on the soccer field. He ran down the field with the soccer ball heading towards the goal. Then someone came in front of him. No one could ever get past Tomas because he was one of the best players on the team. He thought of a trick he’d seen a famous soccer player do on TV. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he could do it. He jumped up higher than he usually jumped, did a twist, and kicked the ball real hard into the air. It went straight towards the goal. When he landed back on his feet and looked up towards the goal, he noticed that he not only made it, he actually kicked the ball so hard that it tore the net off the goal. Tomas was amazed and so was everybody else on the team. He had never done that before, even when he was mad. After practice, Tomas went straight home. He lay down on his bed thinking about what had happened on the field and how high he had jumped. I mean, it was really, really high. He wondered if he had powers. He thought to himself, “Maybe I can fly!” Now he was excited because he might have super powers. He got up, ran outside and climbed the ladder leaning against the side of the house onto the roof. He stood on the edge of the roof. Right before he jumped, he looked down to see if anybody was walking by. Nope. No one. He looked down at the ground. He thought he must be about 20 to 40 feet from the ground. To be honest, he was a little bit scared. I mean, was he ready to jump off a roof in hopes he could fly? What if he couldn’t fly? Would he just fall 30 feet to his death? “Guess I’ll find out,” Tomas thought as he jumped off the roof. He couldn’t see anything because his eyes were shut. He could feel wind brushing against his body as he fell. Then, it stopped. The wind suddenly stopped brushing against his body. Am I dead? Tomas open his eyes. No. He was still well and alive. Tomas was facing the green grass in front of his house. When he

looked up, he realized that he was floating. FLOATING. He was actually floating! As soon as he realized he was floating, BANG! He fell flat on his stomach. “Ouch!” His stomach hurt. He got up rubbing his stomach. He looked up at the roof, amazed that he had actually jumped without falling to his death. Did he have the ability to fly? No. Instead, he has the ability to float in mid-air! Thinking about what he could do with this power, he walked into the house and went to sleep. That night Tomas had the exact same dream as before. Suddenly, he was shaken awake by Rosa. “Tomas! Tomas!” Tomas sat up and yelled, “What!?” “Tomas! Come outside, quick!” “What? Why?” “Come on!” Rosa ran out of the room and down the stairs. Tomas got out of bed and headed towards the front door. When he reached the door, he saw a ball of light floating in mid-air. Tomas and Rosa looked at each other. He started towards the ball of light, but Rosa grabbed his arm “Tomas…” “Rosa. It’s alright.” said Tomas with a smile on his face. Rosa let go. Tomas walked towards the ball of light, but stopped when he came face to face with the light. Tomas raised his left hand, getting ready to touch it. To be honest, Tomas was a little bit scared, but still… 3 inches…2 inches…1 inch... He looked back at Rosa who looked really scared. Tomas turned back to face the light and he touched it. As soon as he touched it, there was a rush of wind. The ball of light got bigger and brighter almost blinding him. Then, suddenly, Tomas disappeared. Rosa couldn’t believe it. Her little brother, Tomas was gone. Disappeared from the earth. Probably never to be seen again. “Tomas? Tomas! Tomas!” Wonder what happens next? Then, check out the new fiction section of this fall for the next installment of “The Light”. Ceyanne Foye is an eighth-grade honor roll student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy. Shaquanda Noble is a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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Endowed Fiction by Randyn Fullard

Once there were four boys—Jay, Nick, Jason, and Chad who grew up in a small town called Endowed. People always wondered why the town was called Endowed. Some say that the town was mysterious. This story is about these four boys and how they unlocked the secret of the town...but at a cost. Their lives would never be the same again. Ahhhhhh! Nick screamed. He woke up—his sheets drenched from his sweat. He had a nightmare again—the same one he had every night for sixteen years. In his dream, he would see a hooded figure emerging from the darkness. The figure would chase him asking for ‘The Power.” “What power?” he would ask. Then a bright blue light would appear and Nick would scream so loudly that the sound could make your skin crawl. Now Nick sat up in the middle of the night and didn’t dare go

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back to sleep. He had this dream almost every night and never got enough sleep which meant that at school he would fall asleep in class. He started to fail due to the lack of sleep. Nick thought about telling his friends but was afraid his friends would think he was a wimp. So he never told them. Coincidentally Jay, Jason and Chad all had been having the same dream but they never told each other until one day. It was Friday and the boys had planned to hang out over at Jay’s house. But on this particular day after school they decided to take a short cut through the woods. Jason, the smartest and most interested in nature, started examining the bushes. But Jay, who was more cautious said “Cut it out. You don’t know what’s in the bushes.” “Wow look!” The boys turned around. “What is that?” asked Chad

“It’s a cave,” said Jason. Without thinking he walked into the cave. “Hey wait! Are you mental,” said Jay. “You just can’t go in there. Who knows what’s in there.” “You’re right and that’s what I’m going to find out,” said Jason. Finally the boys decided to follow Jason. It seemed like they had walked for miles. They suddenly came to a halt. There seemed to be a cracking noise coming from the cave. Then a rumbling. Rocks started falling. “RUN!” Chad yelled, too scared to think. The boys ran forward. “STOP! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!” yelled Nick. “THIS WAY!” But it was too late. The boys turned around in horror when they saw the sight. The cave had caved in and there was no way out. “Wait. Look over there,” Jay and Chad said together. There was a bluish, metallic door covered in vines. “Let’s go in,” said Jay, tearing off the mud-matted vines. He pushed the door open. To their surprise, there lay a green, blue, white and red box on the ground in the center of a small circular room. “What do you think is in it?” asked Jason. “I don’t know. But let’s find out,” said Nick. He rushed forward and opened the box. To their surprise, nothing seemed to be in the least that’s what they thought. “Let’s get out of here. This place is weird,” said Jay. “Smart idea,” said Chad. “If only we could get out. LOOK! There’s a crack between the roof of the cave and the rocks. I think it’s big enough for us to fit in.” After what felt like hours all of them were free. “Woo,” said Jason. “We’re free. Let’s get away from here.” When the boys finally got to Jay’s house, there on the table lay a gigantic leather book. Jay’s mother and father sat on the couch “What’s up Mr. and Mrs. Powls? What’s going on?” “We have news. We wanted to wait until you all were eighteen but you have stumbled upon our family secret. This town is called Endowed because strange and terrible things happened here twelve years ago. Four boys around your age found a strange box and told the town that it had some type of power inside of it. One power was freezing time; one was healing; one was fire; and one was earth. It was said that these powers combined could make anything happen. Then, one of the four boys got powerhungry and tried to take the powers from the other three. He almost did. But, he couldn’t take the power from the last boy. This particular boy had the power to shape-shift and he used his power to turn himself into an animal. No one ever saw him again. As for the power hungry boy...he died three years ago. We believe you four boys are their descendants, which means you have inherited your rightful powers from that box. First, you Nick. We believe you inherited the power of fire from your ancestor Nicholas Flaming.” Ms. Powls took out a folded piece of paper. She told Nick to point at the paper and think about fire. And before their very eyes the paper began to burn as fire shot from Nick’s fingers. “Ahh! What’s happening?” said Nick. “Don’t worry, Nick. You’ll soon be used to your power,” said Mrs. Powls. Nick hurriedly sat down feeling as if he had lost his breath. “Next it’s your turn, Chad. We think you may have inherited the power of earth.” They all went outside under the darkening sky. This time Ms.

Powls stood in the center of her back yard. She then told Chad to try and lift her up by moving the ground. Finally, after his third try, he got her off the ground. Finally, after all the boys had a go at their powers, they went home wondering what had happened to them and why. The next day at school the boys met up in the school’s big courtyard and decided to take a visit back to the cave. Once there, they would try to figure out more about their ancestors and how it all started. When they got to the cave, they decided to let Chad go in front since he could control earth. He had become confident with his powers after several practice rounds the previous night. Once they were halfway into the cave, Nick stopped. “Wait! Look over there!” Everyone stared in amazement at the giant golden door. “Look at the words on the door,” said Chad. The emboldened words read: “Those who enter must pass these tests: intellect, strength, flame and trust.” After thinking for a long time, the boys decided to let Jason go first. After being convinced that it was he who needed to go first, he stepped through the golden doors and saw amazing site. Little golden lights were flying around. He reached out his hand to touch them and got burned. And before they knew it, they were being attacked. “Do something Jason,” said Chad. “I don’t know what to do” said Jason. “Why don’t you try stopping time,” said Nick. He closed his eyes and imagined everything freezing. When he opened his eyes he realized he had frozen both his friends and the lights. He started to freak out. He didn’t know how to unfreeze his friends without unfreezing the lights. “You can do this,” he thought. He closed his eyes again and heard a burst of yells. He opened his eyes to see his friends unfrozen. “You did it!” said Jay. “Let’s go on,” said Nick. It was now Chad’s turn. They had already figured out why there was a big stone wall in front of them. Chad had to find a way through it to the other side. “But how could he do it,” he thought. “Concentrating on earth, he pushed his hands forward. A big chunk of the wall fell out onto the other side. They crawled through and saw a room full of bookshelves. Nick picked up a humongous book off a nearby table. The title said: The Endowed Book. “Hey, that’s the book that was on the table at your house Jay,” said Nick. “What’s it doing here?” said Chad. “No, the question did it get here?” said Jason. Wondering what was inside, the book the boys opened it. The pages looked yellow like a newspaper when it’s outside too long. In bold letters, the first page read, The Standard Book of Spells. “Do these spells really work?” asked Nick. “ Let’s find out.” Nick opened the book and picked a spell. (continued on page 78)

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Soaring through the sky and performing for the crowd, the Blue Angels amazed all with their death-defying tricks. The Blue Angels own the skies over their base during the Andrews AFB Air Show! Viewing them that day amazed all, as kids looked up into the skies searching for the next feat to amaze them. With such grace, they zoom past their audience performing all sorts of air tricks. For those of you who were not there, here are amazing photos to thrill the naked eye. -Ahmed Davis

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Photos by Ahmed Davis and Adonis Miller. Ahmed Davis and Adonis Miller are juniors at Friendship CollegiateAcademy.

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Story and design by Crystal Bulluck Photos by Travis Houze Assistance from Randyn Fullard

The Civil AirPatrol

An interview with Civil Air Patrol Cadet Flight Sergeant Darin Davis who is also a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Crystal: What is the Civil Air Patrol? Darin: It is the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force. It was founded December 1st 1941, one week before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Crystal: How did you become interested in the Civil Air Patrol? Darin: Well, it all started one day in August. I was talking to one of the Air Force generals who told me about the Civil Air Patrol and what it could offer me as a student since I wanted to be in the Air Force. Crystal: What steps do you take in order to become a member of the Civil Air Patrol and was it a difficult process? Darin: Well, first off, you have a three-week training course after you first submit your application. Then, you go to boot camp which we call ‘Incampment’ in the C.A.P. After graduation from boot camp you are free to do many different activities. National Cadet Activities is what we call them. We could also travel around the world. Crystal: What do you expect to get out of being a part of the Civil Air Patrol? Darin: Hopefully I can obtain a certain rank 68 Fall 2008 RATED-T

before I graduate high school. That way, I could obtain a fifty-thousand dollar scholarship towards the Air Force Academy. Crystal: What are your plans after the Civil Air Patrol? Darin: I don’t think there is going to be an ‘after’. I might as well stay in the Civil Air Patrol for the rest of my air force career. Crystal: Could you describe an average day at Civil Air Patrol? Darin: I have two average days. One average day is the day my squadron meets at Andrews Air Force Base. There we practice drills, take tests, take leadership classes and classes on air and space education. An average day on a mission is alot of fun. You go out (depending where the site is) early in the morning. We are out there for hours searching for whatever it is that they have us looking for. Crystal: Would you recommend the Civil Air Patrol to anybody? Darin: Yes, I would reccommend it to anybody who’s interested in being in the military because this is the training you’ll receive in bootcamp. You will gain the skills needed to make it through.

Patrolling the Air Photo: U.S. Airforce

After I interviewed Darin, I was given the opportunity to visit the Civil Air Patrol unit stationed at Andrew’s Air Force Base. This was my first assignment for Rated-T and I was very excited to be the lead reporter and immediately got to work. Darin invited us to come to one of his squadron meetings. At the beginning of the meeting they drilled and practiced basic skills.

three-hundred-sixty degree circle going in the direction with the strongest signal.

Major Cianciolo, the commander for the Andrew’s Composite Squadron, split everyone into groups. Then he instructed us on how to properly hold the radio and gave us a demonstration on how the black box would sound. Everyone had a chance to locate the black box but the only catch...we had to be Then we got a chance to participate in one blind-folded. We were given a radio and of their practice missions which was a traininstructions on what to do in order to locate ing to find the ‘Black Box’. Since the Civil Air the black box using only our hearing. It Patrol is in charge of 90% of aircraft search was really fun to try and over all a very and rescue missions in the U.S., they use this great experience. device that is built into most aircrafts. The black box goes off if there is a hard impact This is a picture (if a plane crashes on land) and/or if it gets of me at the Civil wet from salt water (if the plane crashes into Air Patrol search the ocean). and rescue training When searching on the ground for the black boxes in the planes that have crashed, the search and rescue team uses a radio. It is tuned to pick up the black box signal. Once they locate the signal, they begin to search in the area. Once they arrive in the area where the signal is strong, they search in a complete

after I finally found the black box after about ten minutes. The black box pictured here is orange.

Crytsal Bulluck is 15-year-old sophmore at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Travis Houze is a 2008 graduate of Hyde Leadership Academy. Randyn Fullard is an eighth grade honor roll student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

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Does Music Define Who You Are? Story, Photos and Graphic Design by Maurice Williams What affects your personality? What blasts in your eardrums when you’re walking down the street or chilling at home? What influences your behavior? What moves you to unexpected actions with bass-pumping, soft melody-like, or smooth-cruising sounds? That’s right, Music! Whether your partying like a rock star, jamming like a rap star or singing like a pop star, music defines who you are. Music can be defined based on any manner of speaking, but how does music define you? If you listen to rock, does that make you a head banger or gothic? Does listening to southern rap make you country? Or does pop make you a prep student? This reporter wanted to find out why people act the way they do or more specifically, if the kind of music people listen to affects or defines their personality. I’ve noticed that when I listen to a marathon of rap, I use more slang, but after listening to a marathon of rock I start speaking properly and feel more energetic. After listening to each genre of music, I’ve concluded that music not only affects emotions but it affects aspects of your personality and use of language. Therefore, my assumption is that people who listen mainly to rap and go-go will probably use slang and people who listen to rock and alternative will probably talk properly without the use of slang. Music can also affect your mood and actions. I’m guessing music can also determine how you move when you’re listening to it depending on the song or genre. When you listen to rap, you almost always move from side to side snapping your fingers to the beat of the song. With pop music you just get up and jump around singing the lyrics to the song you’re listening to. Rock music makes you move your head to the beat of the song. Other genres like go-go, classical, and country can have you either “freaking,” doing the “Waltz” or “Square Dancing”. I interviewed a few of my colleagues about the matter at hand and found out that 2 out of 5 believed that music affected their personality. However, others pointed the finger at television, their surroundings, or and I quote, “Clients that don’t want to pay me”. My colleagues also answered that they always do some sort of movement or action when listening to their favorite genre of music. Everyone said music affects their moods. One of my colleagues said that after listening to Neo-soul (which, go figure, is actually a genre of music) she feels relaxed and laid-back. Rapcore keeps another one of my colleagues energetic and jazz keeps my boss “funky”. So whether you’re a preppy, the self-proclaimed eccentric soul searcher, or just an average run-of-mill head banger, music can’t affect your personality but apparently it’ll affect everything else. Maurice WIlliams is a 17-year-old senoir at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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Another Dose of Sugar

Book Review and Graphic Design by Chantell Leak


n 2005, we were first captivated by Sugar Rush, Love’s Liberation, a story of black love that everybody, no matter what age, could relate to in some way. You probably knew a Dolly or a Gerald, or wanted to be like Dolly and Gerald or remembered the days when everybody loved the “Dolly and Gerald way”. And like many others you probably wanted to know what happened to them after you finished the book. Did Dolly’s rival Vanya come between her and Gerald? And what about Dolly and her

crazy ex who just popped up out of nowhere? I thought he was kinda psycho. Well you’ll find out all that and more in the sequel, Sugar Rush: Love’s Elevation by Yolonda Coleman. Just when you thought that Dolly and Gerald would leave you hanging at the end of the first book, Ms. Coleman has come through by providing us with the next installment of Dolly and Gerald’s relationship­—everything from

taking their relationship to the next level to meeting the family to closing relationship hindering doors together. The sequel has lots of action and love and you never know what to expect. Reading this book is like being on an emotional rollercoaster. From tears to smiles, from anger to love, from worry to peace and everything in between, you will experience it all. It is a real page-tuner and will make you believe in love again. I recommend this book to everyone.

Sugar Rush: Love’s Elevation is Yolonda D. Coleman’s second published novel. You can purchase this book as well as Sugar Rush: Love’s Liberation online at keyword: Yolonda Coleman or from her website

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n o t g n i h s a ub W e o an


l C

n July 20, 2008, the Friendship Collegiate Academy Leadership and Criminal Justice program went canoeing at the Washington Canoe Club. There, we met the USA Olympic Canoe Team. They taught us how to paddle, how to steady a canoe and we learned cohesion. The experience was so scary! I almost fell out of the boat, but Trooper Cooper caught me. I was happy I didn’t fall out of the canoe because I didn’t have a change of clothes. Then we learned the history of the building where the club is housed, saw canoes, took pictures and got autographs. After that, we saddled up and left. It was cool! Story by Kadesha Ransom, a ninth grade student at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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Graphic design and photograqphy by Ahmed Davis, a junior at Freindship Collegiate Academy

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Always Alicia’s Advice:

When Trust is absent.

the parent. You’re the leader, the role model, the light to Readers! I’m hoping you all are as excited as your child’s path. You set the foundation. You set the paveI am! We are constantly progressing and in ment on which your child will walk. some sense we’ve grown together. I look forward to advising you all on another go around of Al- Birth is the Foundation... ways Alicia’s Advice. So, as usual buckle up and Whether parents realize it or not, when the child is born, prepare to go above and beyond the skies! For this issue, I want to discuss how teens and parents can gain one another’s trust. This article doesn’t favor teens or adults but acts as a two-sided mirror, challenging both sides to use the mirror to look at themselves and stop playing the blaming game.

it is totally dependent on the adult. The child unknowingly trusts the parent to care for them, raise them, tend to them when they cry, feed them when they are hungry, clothe them when they are cold and so on. Without any words being stated, parent and child rely on each other to make that relationship work.

First of all, in any relationship there needs to be a strong foundation for both teens and their parents to stand on. The basic foundation is made up of many aspects. One of the most important aspects happens to be trust. So, who needs to look into the mirror first? Well, of course it’s the

As the child gets older, the parent trusts that the child will behave as taught, whether in public or at home taking any “home training” and displaying it properly, because as my mother would say, “both parent and child are a representation of one another.” That line right there, shows how

“Trust...a big chunk of the foundation of a relationship between parent and child. Without it everything will crumble because there’s no stability.”

Photo by Travis Houze

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strongly each depends on the other. Reputations are everlasting and no one wants their name to be marked down.

It’s the little things... Parents, when you say you are going to do something, do it. And if you genuinely can’t come through with a promise, you should explain why you couldn’t come through. No, I don’t believe adults should have to explain themselves in all situations, but you’d be amazed how little things go a long way. Say you promise your child a game system, but let’s say rent was higher than normal this month so you couldn’t get it. Do not take this lightly because just like the people you pay the rent to, your child was looking forward to what you agreed to. If you didn’t have your rent money you would have to explain your situation to the landlord so that TRUST would still be there. So what makes you think that you don’t need to explain it to your child? Children need to understand things happen beyond your control. By explaining what happened, not only are you maintaining that trust between the two of you, but you are also teaching your child to mature and understand there are unexpected occurances in life. They’ll learn that mommy and/or daddy do care and haven’t forgotten the little things that do matter. Teens, just as much as the little things your parents say or do go a long way and have an impact on you, you must understand that the little things they ask of you mean just as much. And when you tell them where you are going, or who you may be dealing with in life, be honest. Because like a wise man said a long time ago, “once you lie, you have to lie multiple times to cover the first lie.” Why go through all that when you can just be honest. Simple as that. You should take the little things like home training and basic principles and use them the way your parents would expect for you to. This will create a bond of trust that both sides will just feel without discussion. But please note that both sides should sit down and discuss what each at the minimum expects from the other. This will form a level of respect and understanding between the two of you.

The Atmosphere Is Everything... Many times, what people, in general, fail to fully understand is that in conversations, arguments or simple talks, your actions or what you say have the greatest effect on how things turn out. You create the atmosphere. Parents, this one is more for you because nine times out of ten you dominate discussions. Your child needs to trust you to always be open-minded when he or she may want to discuss issues with you. This means that throughout any conversation, discussion or debate between you and your child,

you stay level headed. And when disagreements occur, you should respond respectfully, regardless of what the situation may be. When it comes to your children’s feelings and what they have to say to you, treat them just like an adult. Respect their privacy when they want to talk openly and take their feelings seriously. Give them your full attention, and make time to discuss whatever may be on their minds. Honesty is key, but always consider how you express things, because in the end, they want to trust that you are there for them. So whatever they may come to you with, keep it confidential.

Boundaries we love to hate.... As I grow up, one thing I’ve learned to appreciate is the word, NO. Don’t get me wrong, I hate when my parents tells me NO. But at the same time, I’ve learned to appreciate it when they do. I’ve learned to TRUST my parents judgment regarding some things, whether I find them to be fair or not. Looking back, they have always done things in my best interest. So, parents, set boundaries. And be firm with them. Your child may not fully understand at the moment and think you’re being unfair. Explain and tell them to, “Trust me on this one, it’s in your best interest.” No, don’t make this the line for everything or because you just want to say No. Actually communicate responsibly why things are a certain way. For example, set a curfew, and say this is your rule and they must abide. By doing so, they are gaining your trust. And it’s up to the teen to come through, because if they don’t follow along with the plan, the trust is lost.

...Trust me? Parents trust yourselves. How can you expect for a child to trust you and your decision-making, if you don’t fully show confidence in yourself ? Your child needs to see that your position is firm and that you are in charge. Because the moment they see a weakness, the trust is lost and they take matters into their own hands, believing you couldn’t handle it. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying walk around with a paddle and a whistle yelling all day. But I am saying when you say something stick to it. Follow your own rules, because right behind you are your children following in your exact footsteps, trusting you to guide them into the light. Trust is a big chunk of the foundation of the relationship between parents and children. Without it everything will crumble because there’s no stability. -Alicia Wade The author and designer, Alicia Wade is a junior at School Without Walls. Travis Houze is a rising freshman at Saint Augustine’s College in Raliegh, North Carolina.

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Only God Can Judge

Me! Commentary and layout by Angel McCormick


abels. What are they really? People often label others in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, or bad—like an incident that happened to me. When my hair was longer I had it draped over my face like a curtain. People started calling me “emo.” It was kind of foolish, but for a while I thought they were right. When I started believing what they were saying, I became depressed and began cutting myself. I don’t mean to scare you, but this is what some people go through. Two girls I know also suffered from being labeled when they wore black one day. And all of a sudden they’re “emo” or “Goth.” People, labels are just society’s way of belittling you, or making you hate the way you are. Those people who label you are just too judgmental. And when you try to contradict them and say that you’re not what they try to stereotype you as, they keep coming with the insults. And even when someone tries to take up for you, they (the accusers) say that the person who’s taking up for you is just like you—which is not necessarily true. And as a result, the person who tried to take up for you might feel verbally abused or

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hurt too. Then when you need help and you try to go to that person again, they’ll probably not agree to help you at all because in past times when they tried to help you, they were ridiculed too. And because you don’t want to send that person through a guilt trip, you accept their refusal, only to find out that they were making fun of you too. It’s sad, when you think about it, but these things happen...not just to teens, but to everyone. If you defend someone that everyone is making fun of, then everyone thinks you’re like that person when in truth you’re not! Finally, what I’m trying to say, is that all kinds of people suffer from all sorts of labels. So, don’t think that you’re the only one going through this type of problem. If you’re a person with a ‘label’ problem, then talk to your parents or guardian about it. And if that doesn’t help, then, well, I’m here to talk to you, because I went through this problem (as I stated in the beginning of my article) and I have experience. You can find me at I’ll be glad to talk with you or email you back. Angel McCormick is a junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

the life by Travisof Houzea SENIOR by Travis Houze, Photo by Alize Morgan

There’s a difference between saying something and actually doing it. I promised myself that when I entered my senior year of high school I wouldn’t mess up and I would try to get high grades. I also decided I would work to have minimal distractions because this was a year I couldn’t afford to mess up. In the end, everything I promised myself wouldn’t happen, ended up happening. The first week of my senior year, I walked into my school determined to give my teachers no problems, turn everything in on time and never slack off. This method led me to a 3.1 GPA at the end of the first quarter. I thought to myself, “things are going well,” and decided that I wouldn’t mind taking time to just relax and do some stuff I wanted to do. One day of laying back led to a week of relaxing. That one week turned into a month. The month led to a semester and soon my grades were lower than they had ever been. That’s when stress entered my life. I was doing too much of what I wanted to do instead of what I needed to do. As that became a problem, so did the people I associated with. I was a leader known not to follow or act like other students. My friends didn’t challenge me to do my best in class, yet they expected me to challenge them to do their best. It wasn’t a two-way street. I learned that a leader always faces a time when he or she needs help. But those who follow that leader may not always provide the needed support. And that lack of support from my friends made me angry. I didn’t realize that I needed to stop being influenced by those holding me back until it was nearly too late. It was only when I took myself away from their drama and started to focus on what I had to do instead of what I wanted to do, that things got back on course. Then I was able to pass all my finals with one grade of 78, and the rest 80’s. So, if you’re an upcoming senior, never wait till the last minute to get yourself together for school. When you wait until the last minute, often times it will be hard to make the grade. You’ve made it this far, so there is no reason to give up now. You’ve already stuck it out the last 14 years. Don’t expect support from friends because even though they may want you to help them, you might not get the support back. This is what I experienced in my 2007-2008 senior school year so I know how it feels. No matter what happens, just know that giving up isn’t the best option. There are so many more benefits for the future for those who graduate from high school than for those who don’t.

And finally, I’d like to leave all you rising seniors with the following quote I created to push me throughout my senior year:

“With aspiration, dedication, and motivation; there’s nothing anyone can tell me I can’t do.” -Travis Houze ‘Class of 2008’

Travis Houze is an upcoming freshman at Saint Augustine’s College in Raliegh, NC this fall studying filmmaking and business.

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(The Endowed continued from page 64) UNDERNENEATH THIS FIRE IS the light of HIDDEN DESIRE. All of a sudden tiny blue, white and green lights popped into the air. The boys decided to follow the lights and were surprised when the lights led them to an opening of the cave. “Oh, no,” said Nick. “How are we supposed to get rid of the lights? We left the spell book back in the cave and it’s too late to go back. Our parents are probably worried sick.” This time the boys were trapped with no way out. They couldn’t go home or to school. There’d be no way to hide the lights. Just when they started to give up, they heard a snapping of twigs. “Wait don’t run!” “Who are you?” asked Chad. “I am Rosezario and I am here to help you.” Sorry, we don’t need help from people like you,” said Jay. “Oh really,” said Rosezario. “I believe you need my help to control those powers of yours. But first you need to get rid of those lights.” Rosezario closed his eyes. Then in the blink of an eye, the lights disappeared. “Wow! How did you do that,” said Nick?” “Who said I didn’t have a power, Rosezario said cockily. “I have the power to project anything with my mind and I can shape-shift into anyone or anything.”

“Wow! Who knows what you could do with your power which is exactly why we shouldn’t trust you. You could picture one of us dead and it could happen. All you have to do is project it.” “I am sorry you think that I am evil. Right now, I have no time to tell you my life story. But I’ll be glad to tell you after we get somewhere safe.” “What do you mean somewhere safe? Is this place not safe?” “Actually, no it’s not. It almost midnight and that’s when the Apocalypses come out.” “What are the apocalypses?” “They’re zombie-like creatures who only come out at night. Be careful not to look into their eyes. They’re called Apocalypses for a reason. They can make you go blind and they also have the ability to randomly affect different people in different ways.” “Wait. What was that? I think I heard something in the bushes. Look,” said Jason. “No! don’t look! yelled Rosezario at Jason. But it was to late. Jason already looked. All of a sudden a zombielike creature jumped from behind the bush and grabbed Jason. “Help! Help!” yelled Jason. Then, within a blink of an eye, Jason and the creature vanished into thick air. “Oh no, we have to save him!” ....To be continued. Later this fall, check out the new fiction section of Randyn Fullard is an eight grade honor roll student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

(Best Anime Ever continued from page 33) Rurouni Kenshin: This is a classic anime about a samurai named Kenshin who repented from his previous life as “Battosai the manslayer” in a previous time era. Now Kenshin Himura wanders Japan helping others to pay for his crimes without killing. A classic in my book and a must see for ANY Samurai lover! Samurai Jack: Long ago in a distant land, Aku the shape-shifting master of darkness unleashed an unspeakable evil. But, a foolish samurai warrior wielding a magic sword stepped forth to oppose Aku. The two opposing forces fought till only the samurai stood. But, before the final blow was struck, Aku tore open a portal in time and flung the samurai into the future where Aku’s evil is law! Now the samurai, Jack, seeks to return to the past, and undo the future that is Aku. This was an anime to remember. With more violence than you can shake a stick at, Samurai Jack should be a classic by now.

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Trinity Blood: This anime is about the ongoing struggles between vampires and humans. The Catholic religion is the main theme of this show, however don’t let the religion keep you from watching this show. It has some good gore with vampires attacking and killing people. The plot line of this show is also really interesting even if it takes a few episodes to understand. Father Nightroad is one of the main characters, When you first see this guy you might laugh at his stupidity, but when he goes into fight mode it’s all whoa! Flonora Merritt is a 2008 honors graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy and will be attending Trinity College in the Fall. Jarrell Davis is a senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Shaquanda Noble, Maurice Williams and Karlton Chapman are juniors at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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You believe your child can do

Anything. So do we.

FRIENDSHIP PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL Five campus locations serving students in Grades PreK-12 Friendship Chamberlain Elementary (K-5) 1345 Potomac Ave. SE (202) 547-5800

Friendship Southeast Academy (K-6) 645 Milkaukee Place, SE (202) 562-1980

Friendship Woodridge Academy (Pre-K-7) 2959 Carlton Ave. NE (202) 635-6500

Friendship Blow Pierce Junior Academy (6-8) 725 19th street, NE (202) 572-1070

Friendship Collegiate AcademyCarter G. Woodson (9-12) 4095 Minnesota Ave., NE (202) 396-5500

For more information call (202) 281-1700

Rated-T Fall 2008  

Rated-T is the magazine of Friendship News Network (FNN), a program of Friendship Public Charter School, 900 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Washingt...