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The Holton-Arms Middle School Mini-Mester Student Newspaper Vol. 3 No. 1

March 21, 2012

“I think that the brain is the most interesting and complicated organ we have.” – Ms. Edma By Meghan Hunter and Eva Gobourne Beginning Friday March 16, 2012, under the guidance of teachers Mrs. Whitley, Mrs. Edma, and Ms. Reynolds, the students of the Mindfind Mini-mester entered the eighth grade science room ready to learn about the brain, how it works, and how to keep it healthy. These concepts would take them all over the Holton-Arms School, from the science room and study hall to the dance studio. Each location would have the girls participating in different activities such as cooking from memory, making posters, or even doing zumba, dancing and yoga. Students began by learning about the different parts of the brain. “I liked it because we did a lot of fun labs. We also did art projects. We took cauliflower and painted it different colors, then stamped it on paper, and then we labeled the different parts so that it looked like a brain,” said Eden Yakimov, seventh grade Mindfind participant. On Monday the students began to learn about the basic functions of the brain and the five senses. “We did a lot of sensory labs. We got to do labs testing on each of our five senses,”

Mary Claire Medeiros ’17, Emily Gross ’17, and Charlotte Anne Miller ’17 participated in the MinfFind Mini-mester.

explained seventh grader Charlotte Anne Miller. The class also had the privilege of a guest speaker talking about her experience with a brain hemorrhage. The special guest was our own Mrs. McMillen along with her mom and sister who came to talk about her brain hemorrhage. After being asked how it felt to speak in front of the class she responded with a simple answer, “It felt fine, I did it last year.” She went on to add that having her sister and mom

there, allowed them to voice what she couldn’t see, and how they experienced her medical incident. One exercise the students shared in was eating baby food. In partners, they fed each other a small dollop of a particular food. The object was to be able to identify the food without looking at it. This did not go over well with many of the partakers. Seventh graders Amanda Bonello and Emily Gross said, “We didn’t like doing the baby food MindFind continued on page 3


The School Store: Too Expensive or a Bargain?

A Day in the Life of Mr. Shawe by Hannah Maydanik The alarm rings at 6:00 a.m. sharp and Mr. Shawe’s day begins. He has a bowl of granola cereal or an English muffin. He exits his house and drives to Holton-Arms, which takes 13 minutes. Entering the school premises, he greets everyone with a warm hello and checks his email, maybe even heads to a meeting. When assembly begins, Mr. Shawe delivers an update to the Middle School. Afterwards, he has meetings on the phone and in person, either with teachers to talk about projects, with one of his various committees, with students and their parents or with the other administrators. Regularly, the Mr. Shawe busy working Middle School principal has about four to eight meetings in one day and also teaches English 8 during third period. His hardest days are when he has numerous meetings and those meetings are “about difficult issues.” Mr. Shawe’s easiest days depend on his schedule, but he loves English class and when he has fewer meetings. At 11:10 a.m. lunch begins and Mr. Shawe can be found quite regularly


by Meghan Hunter making a sandwich with turkey, mayonnaise, mustard, pickles and lettuce. His favorite soup is mushroom barley, and he truly enjoys eating chicken salad as well. Mr. Shawe’s biggest pet peeve is when “people don’t clean up after themselves.” He says it drives him “nuts.” When not in the classroom or in a meeting, you can find him visiting classes or advising. Although he has spent a total of 19 years teaching, and first became a middle school principal in 1997, he did not always teach in a same-sex school. However, he was “intrigued” by the idea of such an environment, and when the opportunity arose to work at Holton he took it. Mr. Shawe says it’s equally difficult to teach at a co-ed school and you just “have to think about things slightly different.” Mrs. McMillen reflects, “I know he has a busy schedule and he always maintains a positive attitude.” Even when there’s chaos Mr. Shawe still says “I have one hundred thirty reasons why I like my job.” Regardless of the number of meetings or the rigor of the day, Mr. Shawe ends his day at Holton at 5:30 p.m., usually, and drives his 13 minutes home.

The Holton-Arms School 7303 River Road Bethesda, MD 20187 301.365.5300

Editor in Chief Alyce Dillon

Art Director Lee Zampella

Assisitant Editor Nicole Mahr

Staff Writers Olivia Daneker Maya Das Meghan Hunter Amreen Kanwal Sejal Makheja Taylor Simpson Alizeh Afzal Haley Butler Eva Gobourne Sydney Lampkin Hannah Maydanik Claire Michael Isabella Negro Maha Tiimob

How much do you spend at the school store? Too much? Or perhaps it’s the same amount you spend at a regular retail store. The prices at the school store are, in some cases, higher than the prices at a retail store such as at Staples. For instance, Holton-Arms charges $5.25 for a Twist-erase pencil, while Staples charges $3.99. However, there are some cases in which Holton’s prices are better. For example, the four packs of Sharpies that are sold at Staples for $6.49 are only $5.32 at Holton. These examples show that the prices vary. Ms. Nina Gilman said about the prices in the school store, “I work hard to keep them competitive. This means keeping the prices lower or equal to those at retail stores. However, I can’t get the supplies in bulk that the retail stores do, so I can’t get the same high discount. I do think that there is a

convenience factor – being able to get the supplies you need without having to drive to the store. See, you would spend the same amount because of the amount you spend on gas.” Seventh grade School Store Manager Nina Gilman with a selection of the school merchandise. student Taylor Simpson said, the school store and if I forget an item “I think that they are overpriced… that I need for class I know I can go to when I can go to CVS or target and the school store and they will have my get a headband for five dollars, opitem. I think that the prices aren’t that posed to the eleven dollar headbands bad.” at the school store… I understand that While some prices at the school they are Holton items but I think they store are higher than those elsewhere, could be cheaper, even though I enjoy the convenience factor may be a good the products in the school store.” reason to shop there. Perhaps the right Seventh grade student Sejal price is all in the eye of the beholder. Makheja said, “It’s convenient to have

MindFind continued from page 1

When she was done, the Mindfinders had to re-create the recipe without direction! This was a success, and they went on to complete their day with a yoga exercise, taught by one of Holton’s very own alumna. On the last day the Mindfinders worked on posters to depict the 12 brain rules. “We learned that the brain is very important and that we need to keep it healthy,” said Cullen Anne Bunker and Hadley Gouldman, both eighth graders. Following the posters they moved on to talking about the different learning styles. Later the learners worked on case studies and completed their day by shopping with their well-

Photography The Scoop staff , of which this is Volume 3, Number 1 is the newspaper of the Holton-Arms Middle School Mini-Mester. It is published once a year. Letters to the editor are welcome and can be emailed to

[experiment] and having to feed it to our classmates.” As mini-mester began to wind down the learners came to the penultimate day. They took part in several different activities. They began their day watching a video on the twelve different brain rules; these rules are twelve tips to keep your brain healthy. Next, they had to practice their quick memorization skills. The class watched as TFL teacher, Mrs. Gail Whitley, cooked; however she never spoke while putting together the recipe of marshmallows, caramel, and rice crispies.

Middle School Learning Specialist Gail Whitley in her third year of teaching the MindFind Mini-mester

earned brain bucks. These brain bucks were a fake form of money that the participants earned if they did a good job during class.


Facts vs. Opinion

The Liberty in Journalism: The First Amendment

By: Maya Das

by Maha Tiimob

Courtesy of the Media Research Center President Bush accuses Dan Rather of asking biased questions.

backed up with facts that prove the reliability of the statement. Facts are the meat of the story; they should answer all the readers’ questions. Stacy Cohan, a reporter for Fox 5 News, spoke about opinion and fact when visiting the Journalism Minimester. She said all reporters have the urge to act biased, expressing their feel-

ings, but they all have to conceal that need. Reporters have to be very careful about what they write, making sure they don’t say anything biased. Mrs. Cohan said, “The choices you make are sometimes pretty heavy.” Overall, all reporters should use facts backing up their story, and keep their opinions to themselves.

Nellie Bly… Crazy Brilliant Investigative Journalist by Taylor Simpson Nellie Bly was the first female investigative reporter in the USA in the late 1800s. An investigative reporter is one who explores different things, interviews numerous people, and searches specific places to get the information

for her story. According to ABCCLIO Nellie Bly was a pseudonym for Elizabeth Cochrane. She was sent to a lunatic asylum, located in Blackwell’s Island, New York during 1887, by disguising herself as a foolish, crazy woman. Bly placed herself in this position after she was assigned by The New York World, to get the “inside scoop” on what really happened in the insane Bly continued on page 5


“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (Put Quote in Box) The five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment include the freedom of

In the case of Estes v. Texas in 1965, the Supreme Court reversed the On Dec. 15, conviction of Billie Sol Estes on charg1791, the Bill es of swindling because the trial judge of Rights was had allowed broadcast media coverage added to the of the trial. The Court accepted that U.S. Constifreedom of the press must allow the tution in orcourt proceedings to be covered. They der to protect also realized that the judicial process citizens from the power of the federal had to uphold its fairness. “The evergovernment. The first ten amendments advancing techniques to the Constituof public communication are formally tion and the adjustknown as the ment of the public to Bill of Rights. its presence may bring The first freeabout a change in the doms guaraneffect of telecasting teed in the Bill upon the fairness of of Rights were criminal trials. But we stated in the 45 The United States Constitution was adopted September 17, 1787 following the Constitutional are not dealing here words writConvention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. with future developten by James the press. The Virginia Declaration ments in the field of electronics. Our Madison that we know to be the First of Rights (1776) declared that “the judgment cannot be rested on the Amendment. In the world of jourfreedom of the press is one of the greathypothesis of tomorrow but must take nalism, the most important of these est bulwarks of liberty and can never the facts as they are presented today,” freedoms is the freedom of the press. be restrained but by despotic governstated the Court. The Court ruled that ments.” The Constitution of Masthe press is entitled to the exact and sachusetts, in 1780, also stated, “The same rights as the general public. This Bly continued from page 4 liberty of the press is essential to the ruling resulted in reporters not being security of freedom in a state: it ought allowed to bring typewriters, presses or asylum. This was considered a big deal not, therefore, to be restrained in this anything that would allow them to anbecause she was the first woman ever to commonwealth.” nounce the story, into the court. be an investigative journalist, according The founders of our nation agreed, Sixteen years later the Supreme to the Newsuem located in Washingresulting in the addition of the freedom Court ruled in Chandler v. Florida ton, D.C. Nellie Bly went undercover of the press to the First Amendment. (1981) that a state could allow the to the asylum for a total of ten days Freedom of press gives people the right broadcast and still photography coverand experienced the unsuitable livto publish news, information and age of criminal trials. The First Amending, mistreatment, abuse, and torture opinions without getting in trouble ment or most importantly allows the that the patients went through. The with the law. Out of all the freedoms, freedom of the press, the world of result of this job was that her story was the freedom of the press is what writers journalism to report the truth throughpublished to the public and that funds and journalists depend on most. out our nation. were raised to improve the institute.

Opinions can cause problems for many reporters; they should not include their feelings in an article. Fact is a statement that is verified by many sources. On the other hand, opinion is a statement expressing your feelings. As a reporter, a journalist should always stick to the facts. According to a documentary viewed at the Newseum, opinion is something all journalists should avoid unless they are writing in the editorial section. When reporters express their opinion they are being biased. Bias is when you favor one side and act persuasively. When reporters have strong feelings about a topic they tend to act biased. A strong, opinionated, and biased reporter seems less credible to the readers. Facts are a reporter’s best friend. Every statement needs to be

Photograph of Nellie Bly


Investigative Journalism

What’s Behind the Teacher Lounge Doors?

by Eva Gobourne on leads, and went to court, all for information. Like Woodward and Bernstein did to find information, any investigative journalist can use legal documents, lawsuits, dataBob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, investigating the Watergate bases of public records, case at the Washington Post interviews, anonymous and services, or freelance journalists. To on-the-record sources, and be a good investigative journalist, you have the right to get any type of inforhave to have certain characteristics and mation from government agencies. materials. You have to be patient, have A journalist that is working on a time and good sources. Most imporstory that involves investigative jourtantly, you need to be able to follow nalism can be any type of reporter. and explore ideas thoroughly. They can be from newspapers, wire Photo courtesy of ABC-Clio

Over two years passed before Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein figured out who had robbed the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. and who was behind the whole scandal that rocked the nation in 1972. They used the only type of journalism that would help them find the answer: investigative journalism. For two years both men searched for the truth, and the evidence to convict the culprits of the burglary. They called people, they wrote short articles

by Sejal Makheja

Diversity in the Female Jungle of an All Girls Middle School by Taylor Butler At Holton-Arms School, the male middle school faculty all have their own individual style, whether it is expressing themselves through separate pieces of clothing or a whole ensemble. Mr. Sowers, mathematics teacher of seventh and eighth grade, has a very diverse set of pants. On Tuesday, he was wearing a pair of solid light brown pants. His collection includes madras, solids, seagull pattern, amongst many others. He says that he picks them out in the morning. He also says that his

wife usually buys his pants and that “I love her for it.” Mr. Shawe, Middle School Director and eighth grade English teacher, has a very simple yet professional way of dressing. He dresses up his outfits with a stylish tie. Mr. Shawe says he has a conservative style and that he should try to get more creative but “something holds him back,” when he picks his outfit in the morning. He also says that he has one rule when he is dressing. “When I have black shoes and a black belt, I typically try to not have a navy blue tie. If I have brown shoes and a brown belt then I can wear a blue tie.”

Bethesda, Maryland – Ever wondered what’s behind the teacher lounge doors at Holton? The secret’s out! Journalist and member of the press Sejal Makheja had a quick glimpse at what’s behind the closed doors of teacher territory. Ever had the burning desire to know what’s back there? Here’s the answer: it’s a hangout for teachers. It has a kitchen, a coffee machine, a seating area, a table, and a place for extra food. Gail Whitley, Middle School Learning Specialist, said the reason why students are not allowed in the faculty lounge is because, “We need a place to talk about you.” She continued, “It really is a home away from home. We want something to call our own.” Whitley further explained, “The eighth grade spends most time in the nook, the juniors have the junior lounge and the seniors have their senior room.” Whitley says that the faculty lounge is exclusive for teachers and is restricted from students. “It’s just a

Male Faculty continued from page 6

History teacher Stephen Cutts wearing his green bow tie.

He also says, “I don’t remember the last time I went tie shopping, but most of them are gifts.”

Mr. Cutts, Political History and World Studies teacher dresses up his ensembles with bowties. His collection of bowties range from solids to patterns, like the one he was wearing on Wednesday which was a green bowtie with a silver pattern. He says that he tries to match his bowties with the color of his pants or the color of his shirt. Most of his ties are gifts but he

A view of the Middle School faculty lounge during Mini-mester with an oatmeal bar set-up by Ms. Reynolds

place to kick our legs up in between classes.” Spanish teacher, Nicole Mahr, feels that teachers need their space away from students. “It is a place where grading and private conversations take place. It’s really none of the students’ business what goes on. I store my personal items in there.” Mary McMcmillen, Middle School Secretary, feels that teachers need a place where they can plan. “Sometimes the discussions include things that

are not appropriate for the ears of the students. They simply don’t need to hear certain things.” When asked why the content of the room is kept a secret she shook her head and simply said, “It’s not.” In general she feels restrictions are a good thing because, “In our society there have to be restrictions in order to live in a happy, healthy lifestyle.” Maybe it’s not so secretive – teachers are humans too and need a place to relax away from their students.

also buys them at men’s clothing stores. Mr. Hansen, music teacher, explains his style in two words “Oh God!” He still enjoys expressing himself through clothing but he says he has two types of clothing, Mr. Hansen clothes and Jon clothes. He says that when he has time he tries to look nice but he sometimes get dressed at 5 o’clock in the morning and “I just put on what is in my right hand and my

left hand.” He explains some of his outfits have been ok and some not. The men of the middle school faculty all have their own unique style. Some of the men keep their style more conservative and some express themselves through multicolored parts of their outfits. They all try to keep themselves unique in the jungle of women and girls known as the middle school of Holton-Arms.

Male Faculty continued on page 7



Restricting Free Press, Restricting Livelihood: Journalism in the United States, India, and China by Isabella Negro Free Press: two words that you may not think a lot about, but crucial to preserve the American way of life. The United States has a free press, guaranteed to everyone in the first amendment. Citizens can write anything they want, without fear of retribution unless what they write is libel or a threat to national security. Television news is the most popular form of journalism, but the United States also uses radio broadcasts and newspapers. According to the Newseum, there are 1,400 newspapers in existence today in the United States alone.

India has a partially restricted press. In their constitution, the people of India are guaranteed freedom of speech and expression. Journalists in this country frequently criticize the government and express their opinions, but the government sometimes covers up stories. The television industry is large and booming, but movies must go through a government censorship board before viewing. Aside from censorship, journalists face other consequences because of their work. Some have been killed in crossfire during their coverage of a war. For instance, in 2005 in Srinagar, eight journalists were injured during a grenade attack. Radically different from the United States, China has a restricted press,

declared by the freedom house to be one of the least free presses around the world. Chinese citizens cannot criticize party leaders or write about important or sensitive events like visiting presidents. Exposing local news can get a journalist physically attacked or even sent to jail. To even be considered a journalist, one must carry government issued press passes. Without such a pass, journalists are in danger of being assaulted. Not only can they not write much in newspapers, all television and radio stations are owned by the government. The difference between a free press and a restricted press can be the difference between life and death.

Pulitzer Prize Photo’s at the Newseum By Sydney Lampkin On Friday, March 16, 2012 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C, the Journalism Mini-mester saw an exhibit that featured all of the Pulitzer Prize Photographs. In this particular exhibit there were photos of very gruesome and emotional events. The images showed people in war, conflict, and many terrible situations. However, these images also depicted triumphant victories and joyful moments. One image in particular was titled Burst of Joy by Slava Veder, who worked for the Associated Press. Taken on March 17, 1973 at Travis Air Force Base in California, this image depicts a scene of a prisoner of war from Vietnam, coming home and being reunited with his family. Anyone is able to see

Pulitzer Prize winning photo Burst of Joy by Slava Veder,

the joy and contempt in his family’s faces as they run to him. The man coming off the plane was Colonel Robert L. Stirm. While flying over Hanoi, Vietnam his plane was shot down and his family did not know if they would ever see him again. After many years of being held captive overseas, the family was finally able to see him. This photo quickly tells the story of a long and tragic war, and the feeling of joy and love after seeing a family member who had been held hostage in

a prison camp. Anyone who sees this photo will understand the meaning of “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The Pulitzer Prize is a very prestigious award that is given to photography, writing, and other works of art. In the year 1974, this photo was chosen out of many to receive the award. Many of the images selected for the Pulitzer Prize often convey powerful messages and have a strong impact on any person who sees them.

Middle School Beach Trip! Monday, June 4 Throughout the world, some countries are free, some are partially restricted, and many are completely restricted.


Rehobeth Beach, Delaware 9

Sources, a Must Have for Reporters by Olivia Daneker on the problem from the operators of the metro system. Also, reporter Stacy Cohan, who came and spoke with the Journalism Mini-mester, said that she needs lots of sources to write a news story, and one way to get sources is to become friends with people, and be open to what they say and the information they give you. Sometimes sources can be anonymous, which means that the identity of the person who gave the information is unknown, or wishes to remain unknown. Anonymous sources are not always the best kind of source, because they could be biased, and you don’t necessarily know whether or not they are telling the truth. Also, anonymous sources are not always trusted by readers and can be controversial. Reporters try not to use anonymous sources too often, but sometimes it is the only way to get the desired information. A famous example of an anonymous source is Deep Throat, in the Watergate investigation. He gave reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein information on the Watergate Scandal

Don’t Miss The Middle & Lower School Spring Choral Concert! Thursday, May 24 5:00 p.m. Lewis Theater 10

by Alizeh Afzal photo courtesy of the Associated Press, Ben Margot

A source is an important and necessary part of writing in journalism. A source is where the press can get information on a story. It can be a person, place, or thing, as long as it gives true facts about the subject. Sources are necessary if you want your article to be believable. It’s also important to make sure your sources are trustworthy and give only the truth, because when writing an article, you want to make sure you include just the truth, and no opinions or false facts; an unbiased view. In the Sunday, March 18, 2012 edition of The Washington Post, there was an article about the metro system, and how there is not enough time to allow people to get on and off trains. The reporter used many sources to write this article, including two interviews with train drivers; quotes from regular metro riders, and views

Holton’s Own Stacy Cohan Visits the Journalism Mini-Mester

Former Associate FBI Director Mark Felt revealed that he was Deep Throat, the anonymous source from the Watergate Scandal in 2005.

involving president Nixon, and used Deep Throat as his code name. He later revealed himself to be Mark Felt, the Associate Director of the FBI. It’s also better to have more than one source when you write an article. If all the information is from only one source, that source might only have views from one side of the story, and it could come out biased toward one side.

On March 19, 2012 Stacy Cohan, a reporter from Fox 5 news came to the Middle School Journalism Mini-mester, to discuss the life of a journalist. Stacy Cohan spoke with the students about the daily life of a reporter and the hardships of getting the breaking news. She said that many of the people that influenced her to become a journalist were her teachers. They told her that she would be a good public speaker and that she had a knack for writing. She talked about her favorite cases that she covered, and the ones that were the most touching to her. Mrs. Cohan said that one of her favorite interviews was her one with the Dalai

Stacy Cohan interacting with the journalism students.

Llama. Cohan felt relaxed immediately when he walked in the room. She also confessed that there had been times when she wanted to be biased, but knowing the consequences her colleagues had to face, she had to restrain herself. “There were definitely times I

Deception: Is the Information You Read True? by Claire Michael Deception in journalism is when a reporter makes up a story about someone or something that is partially or entirely false. They do this to make their writing seem more interesting and to jazz it up. In the spring of 1998 there was a big deception scandal involving a man named Stephen Glass. Glass

was a journalist from the United States who at the time worked for a magazine called The New Republic. According to Biography in Context, Glass made up quotations, sources and even entire articles that he wrote for The New Republic. Glass was finally busted for putting together those

wanted to be biased especially on one particular case when it had to do with someone I cared about.” When Stacy Cohan came to visit she seemed to give the students a better understanding of the job of a journalist.

stories in 1998. He wrote a false article titled “Hack Heaven.” After reading his article a journalist from Forbes set out to confirm if Glass’s story was true. He uncovered that some of the people in Glass’s articles did not exist and other articles contained false information. Glass was fired and now editors everywhere make sure that their journalists’ stories are factual and have hired fact checkers to make sure that their articles are truthful. The consequences for deception can ruin a person’s reputation. Printing libelous information for the world to read can get a writer sued or even arrested!


Middle School Oh-hoh-hoh-hoh Dive into French Culture

Journalism Mini-Mester by Amreen Kanwal

by Haley Butler During the French Impressionism Mini-mester, March 16-21, students of Holton-Arms explored the French art form Impressionism, by studying art pieces and experiencing the struggles of Impressionist paintings. Seventh grader Victoria Powell said she chose this mini-mester because she wanted to learn more about art. She also talked about her first day, saying, “We watched a movie first. We then made mini-reports on paintings that we chose.” Eighth grader Sophie Mills said she chose this mini-mester because she liked the French teacher, Mademoiselle Selim, and she also wanted to learn about art. Mills said she learned about the struggles of Impressionist painters and she now has a newfound respect for art. On the second day, the group went to the National Gallery of Art. Olivia Heflin, an eighth grader, talked about their trip. She said, “We saw lots of paintings by artists like Van Gogh, Pissarro, and Monet.” She also said that some of her favorites were Roses and Mulberry Tree, both by Van Gogh. After they were finished looking at paintings, the girls went on to look at


Letters to American collectors

sculptures, mostly of horses, and then went to get gelato. On the third day, the students made Pointillism paintings. Pointillism is when you paint with small distinct dabs of color to make a complete painting. Sophie Mills painted a picture of a vase of flowers using the style pointillism. That day they also wrote letters to a collector in America, pretending to be French painters trying to get a collector to buy their art. The last day of mini-mester, the class finished the letters to the collectors in America. They then went to the French restaurant, Bistro Lepic.

Mademoiselle Selim discussed her feelings about this mini-mester and why she decided to work with Mrs. Grandison. “We were interested in reading the artists’ personal correspondence, as well as taking the students to the museum to look at the artwork first-hand; giving the students a studio art experience, and having them experience authentic French cuisine in a bistro.” The students in the French Impressionism Mini-mester learned a lot about Impressionism by studying art. The girls now have a newfound respect for art, all of them learned about how hard it was to be an Impressionist painting.

The journalism mini-mester is offered to the middle school girls at the HoltonArms school in Bethesda, Maryland. Mini-Mester takes place the week before spring break, this year March 16-21. The participants of this mini-mester include Mrs. Dillon, Ms. Mahr, and Mrs. Zampella, and fourteen seventh and eighth grade girls. Within these four days the girls took a field trip to the Newseum, had two speakers visit and give advice, and explored the Washington Post Printing Facility. Mrs. Dillon and Mrs. Zampella created this mini-mester three years ago to teach girls about reporting and news. The experience of writing two articles and putting together a newspaper shows the girls the feeling of an actual journalist career. “Since I don’t work with the kids, I look forward to minimester so I can interact with the girls in Middle School,” says, Mrs. Zampella. However each teacher has their own reason for enjoying this mini-mester. Mrs. Dillon admits to loving writing and if her teaching career didn’t work out she would have liked to believe she would become a journalist. Ms. Mahr finds pleasure in listening and learning new things and taking a break from

planning and teaching her normal Spanish class. The students in this mini-mester seem to be enjoying journalism as well. Their reasons for loving this minimester range from an “interest of all aspects of uncovering and reporting” to “loving all the funny moments and great memories that will be taken away

at the end.” Some favorite events and activities the girl did were creating their own newscast at the Newseum and writing their own articles to put to together a newspaper for the middle school to read. According to the teachers, or editors, the girls have worked hard for their final product.

Hannah Maydanik ’16 takes notes in her reporters notebook.



Deciphering the Codes: The World of Cryptography

Videos: Fun, Interesting, and EDUCATIONAL?! by Alizeh Afzal

by Claire Michael and Taylor Simpson


decode secret messages, and some are easier than others.” The students of cryptography participated in many activities. Eighth grader Suhina Lal said, “We encrypt cipher texts and we are learning how people would send secret codes to each other about news and important information without other people being able to understand it.” One of the teachers, Mrs.King, commented on why she started teaching cryptography. “This is one of the subjects that is interesting! It is math based connected with the computer. Cryptography is the history of mankind. When we first began sending messages to each other, we had to cypher them, and it’s important to know how to do [this].” Cryptography continued on page 15

educational video on the topics of artificial intelligence, independent and dependent variables, types of verbs, fractions, and the laws of motion. Each video is supposed to be between four

and five minutes. It was Mr. Sowers hope, “that this mini-mester helps bring out the creativity in all the students that participate.”

Mr. Sowers and the participants of his mini-mester listening to a guest speaker Erin Lindsay, White House Deputy Director of Online Engagement for the Office Of Digital Strategy

Cryptography continued from page 14 The students use symbols, signs, and different codes in place of letters to write messages that others would not understand unless they had the key. According to Feyerick, at the end of the mini-mester the class will make up their own secret codes and make posters that display their codes. The poster will be hung up in the Middle School so that other kids can have a chance to try to decipher their messages.

Photo courtesy of Claire Michael

In the 2012 cryptography mini-mester, taught by Mrs. Reddinger, Ms. Hsu, Mrs. King, and Mr. Bautista, students learned to decode messages, read secret languages, and even make up abstruse notes by creating their own codes. The cryptography mini-mester met in room D110, and worked from March 16th to the 21st. Cryptographers took time out of the classroom to visit the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. On March 20th they took a The Cryptography Mini-mester students displaying their posters field trip to the National thing interesting in this mini-mester.” Cryptography Museum. Charlotte Referring to Cryptography’s activiMasters, a new seventh grader at ties, Lizi King, a new eighth grader, Holton-Arms , enjoyed “seeing crypmade this statement, “We did many tographers in action at the National fun worksheets, an online scavenger Cryptography Museum; both encrypthunt, saw informative videos, did ing and decrypting. We learned about the ‘adventure spy’ activity at the Spy this in class, and I am glad I got to see Museum, went to the National Cryphow people use cryptography in their tography Museum and we also got to jobs to decipher important codes and encrypt our own message on a poster.” messages.” She also added, “The cryptography Suhina Lal, returning eighth grader mini-mester taught me dancing men, at Holton-Arms, stated, “I enjoyed the pig pen, creaser shift, Jefferson Vingenadventure/spy mission we had in the rie,” which are the names of different beginning of the trip because we got codes. “We also learned about some to know how it felt to be a spy. My times in history when codes were favorite part was when we had to figure useful,”she added. out clues and find information and Sydney Feyerick, returning eighth objects.” Leah Eastment, another new grader at Holton-Arms, commented seventh grader, joined cryptography on the complexity of coding messages. because, “it sounded exciting to learn a “There are many different ways to new skill. Also, I felt I would find some-

From March 16 to 21 in room D-116 at the Holton-Arms School, students made educational videos and one promotional video for third graders. This is the first time that this course was offered by Middle School math teacher Mr. Sowers. In this mini-mester, participants had the chance to visit to the NBC4 showroom and meet the deputy of Twitter. Ashley Nobi and Mia Kimboko said they signed up hoping to help out those younger than them. They explained that they enjoyed this mini-mester because it was hands-on and fun. Mr. Sowers responded that the reason he designed this program was because he wanted do something unique and different that involved technology. Throughout these four days, small student groups made an

Lizi King is working hard to decrypt a code.


Sculptures in D.C. By Sejal Makheja

Josephin Davis ’16, Inshira Mohi-ud-din ’16, Emily King ’16 with their final projects in Cup of Humanity

Drink It Up: Cup of Humanity by Hannah Maydanik Thirteen Middle School students participated in the Cup of Humanity Mini-mester, March 16 through March 21 in room D116, who learned various aspects of Chinese and Japanese culture. Their activities included tea ceremonies, drinking tea, watching movies and eating dishes typical to the two cultures. Ms. Liao, one of the teachers of this mini-mester, wanted to teach this class because she always liked to drink tea and because of her experience growing up in China. Mrs. Phillips, the other teacher, has been interested in Japan since third grade because her best friend was Japanese. She also lived in Japan for one year after she graduated college where she taught English. The


two women wanted to introduce these cultures to Holton-Arms students and decided to do so through a focus on the tea ceremony. Josephine Davis quickly talked about the mini-mester saying she drank a variety of teas and ate an assortment of rice snacks, egg rolls and sweets. She watched movies about Chinese and Japanese culture, noting that these two cultures are highly involved in tea. Some people revolve their whole lives around tea. When asked to describe it Davis said it is, “calming and tastes good,” and that “Sam Danshes and me [I] are having a lot of fun.” Davis joined this mini-mester because she wanted to learn more about, “the cul-

ture behind the tea.” Samantha Danshes, also an eighth grader, joined this course because she loves to drink tea and it was her first choice. As the class learned about tea they tasted Oolong tea and Green tea. On Tuesday, March 20 the girls traveled to a house in Georgetown where they saw a tea ceremony being demonstrated. The following day they ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant called Ching Ching Cha. Their final project was to create their own Japanese or Chinese (or combined) tea house which can be 3D made from cardboard and paper or made on a computer.

In the 2012 mini-mester, Sculptures in D.C participants and their leaders, Mr.Cutts and Ms.Grant went to the National Mall, explored the beauty of U Street, visited the Portrait Gallery, went to Capital Hill, and traveled to Rockville and the National Cathedral. Returning eighth grader, Becca Bishof, shared that contrary to her initial idea of the mini-mester , she discovered sculpture in D.C. to be “better than I expected.” Although this was not necessarily Becca’s first choice she says, “It was great.” At the Portrait Gallery, the most intriguing sculpture she viewed was, as she described, “Made completely out of recyclables and when I stepped up to the camera, the recyclables fixed to my body. It was so cool! I learned to appreciate art much more in D.C.” When asked if she considered herself artistic she gave a befuddled look and answered, “No way!” Gabriella Sulzer, another returning 8th grader, shared that the reason she enjoyed the mini-mester was because “I like walking through D.C and I love photography.” She, too, enjoyed the sculpture piece that Becca spoke of. Although this mini-mester was not her absolute first choice, she agreed that she was happy she ended up doing it. She least expected it to be interactive, but Gabriella found that this was not the case. She considers herself to appreciate the art in D.C. more after this course. Last interviewed was Mr. Steven Cutts, one of the two teachers leading this mini-mester. “I enjoy history, I enjoy teaching history. Sculptures tell a lot about history.” This is Cutts’ first

Andrea Sloter ’16, Becca Bishoff ’16, and Nala Lindsey ’17 getting a close up view of a sculpture

year doing this mini-mester. When asked how he planned the course he responded, “Ms.Grant and I did a lot of talking over the past year. We planned one bit at a time” He said, “Some sculptures I was seeing for the first time, and others I have seen many, many times.” He has appreciated art much more since the mini-mester.

Although he has no background with sculptures or art, he does enjoy explaining it. Before this mini-mester, Cutts and Grant did the U.S Space Program Minimester. The Sculptures in D.C Minimester gave many participants a greater appreciation and understanding for the meaning of art and sculpture.


The Scoop on Sustainable Living by Maya Das and Olivia Daneker The Sustainable Living Mini-mester offered by Dr.Winston, Mrs. Chen and Mr. Hansen in D108 teaches kids how to live their lives without harming the environment. This mini-mester was created to show kids how to be eco-friendly. Protecting the environment is extremely important to the teachers who created the program. Mr. Hansen said, “I am concerned about the planet and try to live my life without any negative impact on the environment.” Many students chose sustainable living because they want to help the environment. Seventh grader Samantha Noland said, “I chose this mini-mester because I see the effects that people release into the environment and want to help.” During the course the class went on many field trips including the Red Wiggler Farm, Sidwell Friends, and Whole Foods. At Red Wiggler Farm, a nearby community farm, located in Bethesda, the girls saw a solar house and the farm’s organic methods of growing crops. At Sidwell Friends, students explored a solar room and roof top garden. One of the highlights of the course was making a vegan lunch which tasted much better than everyone anticipated. Mrs. Chen said, “I really enjoyed cooking the vegan lunch, and it tasted a lot better than I expected.” Also, seventh grader Reagan Crowley and Hunter Smith said, “I like cooking things and making things in the solar oven was a lot of fun.” This mini-mester has taught the students how to be greener. All the kids interviewed really enjoyed this class and had a great time with the different


Exploring Nature with Pen and Paper: Ecosystems and Art Mini-mester by Isabella Negro

The solar house at the Red Wiggler Farm

Ms. Hansen makes sure the girls understand the scientific piece of nature.

Students looking over the turf field at Sidwell Friends School

activities. Seventh grader Joelle Walker said, “I would recommend this minimester for people next year because it was a lot of fun.”

For the past three years, Mr. Shawe and Ms. Hansen have offered a class option for girls who love science, art, and the outdoors: the Ecosystems and Art Mini-mester. Ms. Hansen explained that this class “is a combination of poetry and ecology.” She went on to say that the mini-mester was created to show the link between science and creativity. The first day, the group listened to Ms. Hansen while she explained the scientific aspects of nature, covering everything from symbiosis to food webs. Then, Mr. Shawe stepped in and taught the class poetic devises. Yasmin Alamdeen, a seventh grader, laughs

and said that Mr. Shawe is funny and entertaining while Ms. Hansen is exciting. Throughout their time together, they all took trips outside, from the Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, to Booze Creek in Holton›s backyard. Mr. Shawe stated that all the activities are «geared to give students tools and inspiration... The tools come from the class… the inspiration comes from outside or reading sample poems.» The group also spent time just writing. Mr. Shawe commented that the class «allows us to carve time for reflection and observation.» The group took part in writer workshops where the girls created poetry and drawings.

The final product: a field journal filled with their original work. Anne-Sophie Fratzscher, eighth grade, chose the mini-mester because she «always loved science and art.» Both she and Miss Alamdeen wish that they could spend even more time outside. When asked to comment, Mr. Shawe said, «We try to strike a balance between outdoor exploration and time for students to complete their assignments.» According to the students, the Ecosystems and Art Mini-mester has potential to be a success for years to come.


Students dancing on stage at the famous Busboys & Poets café.

U-Street Rhythms by Sydney Lampkin Throughout the four days of minimester, the students in the U-Street Rhythms Mini-mester, taught by Mrs. Vaughn, Mrs. Mandel, and Mrs. Greene, enjoyed many activities in which they learned about the history of U-Street and African American culture. Many students reported that they have thoroughly enjoyed the mini-mester. On Friday, the group went to Washington, D.C. to tour the famous U-Street. They ate at a popular eatery named Ben’s Chili Bowl where they met the late owner’s wife. Later on that day, they visited one of the first banks in Washington, D.C., the Industrial Bank. They also met up with a tour guide that took them on a tour of the entire U-Street area. On the tour the class learned about U-Street’s important history with African Americans in D.C. and the development of jazz in America. U-Street provided a place for wealthy African


American’s to become successful in their affluent community. Closer to the end of their day, the students visited the Civil War Museum to see the African Americans who fought in that war. Throughout the rest of the mini-mester, the group learned traditional jazz dances and painted chairs and tables that they would later donate to MarMegan Saunders ’16 paints a chair for the donation to tha’s Table, a local charity in Martha’s Table the U-Street area. Mrs. Vaughn, “going to Martha’s Table to play with a music teacher in both the Lower and all of the kids there.” This seemed to Middle Schools, also taught the stube the highlight of the entire minidents how to make remixes of original mester for many of her peers as well. jazz songs in the Music-Technology On Wednesday, the group traveled to Lab. Bus Boys & Poets, a poetry café on On Tuesday, the group went on U-Street, to hear spiritual poems. The another field trip. Again, they returned students gave lots of positive feedback to U-Street and got the chance to visit about the course. Cameron Lee ’16 the children at Martha’s Table. Student even said that “I would do it next year Tyler Anderson ’16 said her favorite if I was allowed to.” part of the U-Street Mini-mester was,

The Scoop  

The Holton-Arms Middle School Mini-Mester Student Newspaper

The Scoop  

The Holton-Arms Middle School Mini-Mester Student Newspaper