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The Chamblee High School

Blue and Gold

Volume 87, Issue 3

Chamblee High School 3688 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. Chamblee, GA 30341 (678) 676-6902 Principal, Dr. Rochelle Lowery

November 2013

Faculty and Students Find Family and Love through Adoption by Sierra Reese

According to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, 400,540 children in the United States are living in the foster care system without permanent families. Many of these children are eligible for adoption; but often, they are in the foster care system for so long that they reach an age where they are no longer eligible. Adoption not only benefits adoptees by potentially providing them with a loving home. It also benefits those who are adopting children for varied reasons such as infertility or out of a love for children. “I was always told that I was adopted. There was never a time that I was told otherwise. Since I was so young, I don’t remember it [reaction to being adopted]. It’s just a fact I’ve always known,” said student A who wished not to be identified due to the personal nature of the topic. Many students were not shielded from the fact that they were adopted. In fact, many parents feel more than obliged to inform their children of the story of their adoption. “I told my children that ‘Mommy had tried to have a baby and then God allowed Mommy to adopt two little boys,’” said volleyball coach Lorri Reynolds, who has adopted two sons from Russia. In Russia, it is easier to adopt boys because girls are needed more for domestic work. During the first six months after a child is put up for adoption, Russian law only allows Russians the chance to adopt the child. If the child is not adopted after six months, then the adoption is open to international adopters. Not all children in America are adopted during infancy because a child can be in the foster care system until the age of 18. “I was nine years old when I was put into DFCS [Division of Family and Children Services],” said sophomore William Harron-Card, who was adopted at age 13 by a couple. “The reason being there were problems inside my family. My biological mom couldn’t mentally, physically,

photo courtesy of Lorri Reynolds

or emotionally support three kids on her own.” Harron-Card, like many other children who were put into the foster care system, constantly moved from foster home to foster home. There was no stability within his home life. For two years, he lived in The Methodist Home for Children and Youth, which is located in Macon, GA. During those years, Harron-Card wanted to go live back with his mother. He was under the impression that after spending five months in the foster care system, he would be able to go back to her. He was later told that he would not be able to see or visit his mother until he was 18. “I found my brother through Facebook and found out that my brother could go live with my mom because she was having medical issues and needed someone to take care

of her,” said Harron-Card. Harron-Card’s brother, like many other children, had become too old to be adopted. “Being adopted does change a lot of things. I can say I’m spoiled. One of the requirements [to adopt a child] is that you have to have a steady income flow, and my mom never had that,” said Harron-Card. “With my mom, we lived day-by-day. With my new parents, I can ask for things and say ‘Yeah I want that’ or ‘I want that new phone’ and they can say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. With my mom, it was always ‘Do you want food on the table?’ My mom fed us and clothed us and made sure we had a roof over our heads. Wants put a struggle on her.” The stability that Harron-Card now has has impacted his life greatly. “Being with someone for three years, it actually helps. You’re able to stay in long relationships and realize that that person [adoptive parent] actually cares for you,” said Harron-Card. Those, who were adopted as infants, also have a curiosity as to where they came from. “I think children have a natural curiosity to find out where they come from,” said Reynolds. “My son wants to know whether his parents were short or tall in order to figure out how tall he will be.” Many adopted students believe that a child who is adopted can feel just as loved as one who is living with his or her biological parents, if not more, by their parents. “When someone adopts a needy child, they are saving their life and giving them a chance. It is a great opportunity for people who don’t want to bear a child or are incapable of bearing a child. I think that even though a child may not be born into a family, it shouldn’t affect how much love exists between the parent(s), the child, and all other related family members,” said student A.

Alumni and Faculty Celebrated in the Hall of Fame On the surface, the small and contained explosion that Brad Curtis created at Chamblee in the 1960s may sound mischievous. Looking back at his career though, the image of the class of 1966 alumnus dropping sodium into a chemical room sink and then watching smoke emerge “from the bowels of the plumbing system” seems rather fitting. Curtis, one of six individuals inducted into the Chamblee High School Hall of Fame on October 24, spent 30 years working for Coca-Cola in roles such as director of flavor platform and global ingredients. While he did not reveal the secret ingredient to the soft drink in his speech during the ninth annual Blue & Gold Foundation dinner, it presumably is not chunks of sodium. Like his fellow inductees, Curtis has a long list of achievements to his name, from hiking the length of the Appalachian Trail over the course of 14 years to his work as a retired United States Navy commander. During his time at Chamblee, Curtis served as his senior class president, played for the football and basketball teams and even met his wife Melanie, who won the annual Ms. Chamblee High School title. Among the other new inductees was the late Gene Goff, who was Curtis’s football coach at Chamblee. Goff served as a teacher and assistant principal at the school for 17 years and, to this day, holds the record for the most wins as a football coach at North DeKalb Stadium. “Coach Goff had a dedication to our school and to our students that turned an institution into a true family,”

On the Inside: News 2 Sports 4 Opinion 9 Features 14

by Mollie Simon said class of 1973 alumnus, Blue & Gold Foundation vice president, and current Advanced Placement United States History teacher Steve Rubino at the dinner. In addition to paying for supplies out of his own pocket

also known as the “Pound Cake Lady” worked as a clerk for the city of Chamblee for 23 years and is a long-time volunteer with the United Methodist Church. “People talk about leaving and coming back. Well, I came, and I never wanted to leave,” said Craven of Chamblee. “This is home, and it is always going to be home.” Craven helped to organize the 75th anniversary celebration for Chamblee High and plans to help with the centennial celebration in 2017. As a student, Craven’s favorite class was home economics. One year, her class produced a cookbook in which she won a first-place award for her barbeque meatball recipe. Her recipe for success is simple; “Everybody should just pursue their dreams, no matter how hard it may seem. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this [being inducted into the Hall of Fame] would happen to me.” For Dr. Jessica Hunt, a new inductee photo by Shari Zeller, courtesy of the Blue & Gold Foundation who taught many current Chamblee students, and opening his home to students, Goff is remembered for success is less a recipe and more of a formula. ensuring that anyone who wanted to play football had the After teaching at Towers High School, Hunt joined opportunity to do so. the staff at Chamblee in 1992 where she taught math Rubino described Goff as a “schoolhouse guy” who even until her retirement in 2012. Among her many brought a real English bulldog to Chamblee. awards and the many wins to which s h e “I can still recall Cham [Goff’s dog] patrolling the helped lead the Chamblee math sidelines during football games,” said Rubino. team, Hunt was named the 1988 Rebecca Craven, of the class of 1967, also shared Outstanding Mathematics Teacher memories of Goff (who her brothers played for) when she for DeKalb County Schools. was inducted into the hall for her achievements. Craven,

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Continued on page 3

Behind the scenes with the Chamhian yearbook staff Page 14 Point- Counterpoint: Are HBCUs still necessary? Page 10

Alumuna Kailah Snelgrove embarks on a new adventure with NASA Page 15

ews NN ews

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Volume 87, Issue 3

The 411 on Student Health Emergencies With the diverse group of students attending Chamblee comes a diverse list of health conditions. The many stories and rumors of health emergencies that have occurred so far this semester has left many students wondering what exactly the faculty and staff does when these emergencies occur. The adults who are usually present when these emergencies occur are teachers. Although these incidents do not occur on a regular basis, teachers must handle the emergency and their class of students as well. Several weeks ago, an emergency occurred in the Instructional Village in which a student passed out from a seizure. On that day, there was not only an unexpected health issue, but the teacher was absent, so a substitute teacher was in charge of the class. The occurrence of the emergency not only scared the substitute teacher but students as well. “We were scared for her because she was somewhat shaky,” said Kalsang Dolma, a witness to the event. This event was even more unexpected because it was the first time that the student who had the seizure had passed out from it. “Everyone was concerned, and I guess scared at the same time. The substitute teacher did not know what to do, but she pressed the emergency button. I guess us having a substitute teacher scared people. I was just unresponsive which made people more scared,” said Dawson Carter, the student who had the seizure. In this situation, the teacher’s top priority was the student in question. “They [teachers] must take care of the student depend-

by Miriam Chisholm ing on the case. Teachers are aware of students who have previously documented medical conditions,” said Assistant Principal of Attendance Gail Barnes. The next level of staff above teachers are the administrators. Although the administrators all have different titles, they all have the same job during these issues. “Whichever administrator is the closest is contacted when a health issue occurs. A nosebleed can be handled by the teacher, but other issues require different levels of care in which we are notified,” said Barnes. During the event which occurred in the Instructional Village, students noted a quick response from administrators. “We went to Ms. Rodriguez’s class during the event. Coach Carter came and Wheeler and some other people came running to the trailer,” said student Aiyana Newman. Because parents or guardians must be contacted at the occurrence of these incidents, teachers must be able to get access to the contact information that was provided on emergency cards at registration. “Teachers do not have the card itself but emergency contact information is located online in the gradebook,” said Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Candace Steadman. Once an emergency occurs that is beyond the capability of the faculty and staff at the school and requires emergency care, the students will be taken to a hospital. This decision is not based on any preferences by the faculty. “This will be dictated by the emergency cards because some parents have specifically written a preference as

to where there child should go. We have several parents who work for say Emory, so even though Northside may be closer, the parent has contacts at Emory and they have specifically written ‘in case of emergency my child should be transported to a specific location’,” said Steadman. While the thought of having to be sent to the hospital may seem nerve wracking, students and parents can rest assured that there are several people on staff who have been trained for certain emergencies. Also, emergencies outside the capability of the staff are quickly taken care of by EMTs. “It takes less than 10 minutes for the EMTs to get to the trailer. That seems like a long time, but that is pretty quick compared to you making the 911 call and the EMTs arriving at the school,” said school resource officer William Davidson. During these emergencies, students have a responsibility as well. “The students need to make sure that they follow the directions of the teacher and clear the area if need be,” said Davidson. “They shouldn’t stand around and look and watch the student not only as safety to them but safety to the student. Also it is more of a private moment for the patient.” This piece of advice might not sit well with many students, especially those who are close friends with the patient. “Students can help in certain ways by comforting them if needed, get their book bag, hold their property and stuff like that,” said Davidson.

Atlanta’s Film Industry Catches Fire Ever since the first Hunger Games movie came out in March 2012, many Chamblee students have eagerly been awaiting the release of the sequel Catching Fire which premiers in late November. Not only is the Hunger Games a very popular trilogy among all age groups, but the second and third installments called Catching Fire and official film poster, Mocking Jay were also filmed in Atlanta. The producers for the Hunger Games are not the only ones deciding to film in Atlanta. In the past three years, 11 studios have either expanded or moved into Georgia. There is an estimated 25,000 jobs associated with the film industry

by Megan Carey now in Atlanta, 11,000 of which are full time. (according to Senior Victoria Corbett’s father, Dana Corbett, works as a set dresser. This means he creates props for the sets in movies, puts the sets up and breaks them down each day, and then puts them back up the exact same way the next day. “He’s worked on Flight, and Hunger Games one, two and three,” said Corbett. “He’s working on the third one right now.” The rising film industry in Atlanta has not necessarily changed Corbett’s father’s job, but it has affected it. “It’s better for him, so he can get more jobs back-toback, so he is in a constant stream of work,” said Corbett. More than one Chamblee student has family who works in the industry. Senior Brooke Taylor’s father, Randall Taylor, is an actor. Taylor had parts in the movies Kill the Messenger, Beacon Point, and Anchorman 2. He was also in the television show Homeland, which will air sometime in late November. “My favorite part, the hardest part for me actually, was in Revolution,” said Taylor. “This was an independent film before the television show. I played a president who got abducted in a post-apocalyptic world.” The growing industry has affected Taylor’s acting job

as well. “It’s given me a chance to work more and get bigger parts,” said Taylor. “What’s happening is more companies have committed to filming here because Atlanta has a great base with many crew and actors already living here. Atlanta is a big city, with the country, seashore, and mountains not too far from here.” It is likely that the film industry here in Georgia will only continue to rise. “Pinewood Studios from England have committed to building possibly the biggest studio in the world south of Atlanta in Fayetteville,” said Taylor. “They’re spending around half a billion dollars. The word is the next three Star Wars movies will be filmed in Georgia as well.” Both Corbett’s father and Randall Taylor enjoy the flexibility in their jobs since they do not have to work the typical 9 to 5 shift. Corbett agrees with Taylor, saying that Georgia is just going to get busier and busier in the industry. “We’ll probably get a whole lot more tourism and a bunch of people wanting to film in Atlanta just because there are people with experience here,” said Corbett. “It’s the Hollywood of the South.”


The Modern Woman: What Does it Really Mean? It is well known that throughout history, women have been considered inferior to men. Although women in the western world today enjoy many rights that their historical counterparts did not get the chance to experience, there is still much controversy and misconception over the issue of feminism. Many high schoolers seem to think they know, but many are often fed a contorted, skewed example of what the word truly means. According to Merriam-Webster, the word “feminism” means “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” This definition barely resembles the popular misconception that women who are feminists think they are better than men altogether. The goal of modern feminism is not to have more rights than men or to be recognized as better than men. The goal is simply to have equality. Even in the year 2013, sexism, and in extreme cases misogyny, is all around. From the overused (and frankly immature) “go back to the kitchen” jokes to the thought that women should not have careers in scientific fields, modern women still have to face the harsh reality that not everyone thinks that women are capable of the same things that men are. In Japan, women who try to raise a family while working full time jobs are sometimes referred to as “devil wives.”

by Solina Jean-Louis This is a horrible reality that many women face in the world. They are seen as objects whose sole purpose is to stay at home, cook, clean, and raise the children. Although most working women in America are not called “devil wives,” they still encounter difficulties in trying to move up in the ranks of the working world while simultaneously raising a family. Human anatomy and physiology teacher Leila Warren both teaches and raises a family. “Roles are different from when I was raised. My mom did all the cooking and cleaning. I am in a marriage where we share responsibilities,” said Warren. “We take turns taking the kids places and cooking dinner. I still want my husband to be chivalrous and take me on dates. I still care about those things, even though I am a leader in the family as well.” Warren loves her job and thinks that it makes her a better mother. She knows that she works hard every day, and that transfers through to her kids. “It’s super hard [having kids and a full-time job], but I am the type of person who needs to work,” said Warren. “It is nonstop from six in the morning until they [the kids] go to bed at eight, plus my responsibilities at work, but it is what I do.” Stanford University freshman Monica Agrawal, valedictorian of Chamblee’s class of 2013, believes that feminism means more than just standing up for women.

“To me, modern feminism is about defending equality and rights for women and requires the acknowledgement that we don’t live in a society that is free of sexism yet,” said Agrawal. “Unfortunately, people seem to view feminism with this horrible connotation where feminists want to be higher than men and hate men, but it’s all about equality.” When Agrawal was at Chamblee, she was very involved in science and mathematics. “I think it’s wonderful that more women are being encouraged to pursue STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] fields, if that’s what they are interested in,” said Agrawal. “Having participated in many math and science competitions, the gender disparity has been blatant, but it’s nice that the gap is closing.” Although the gap may seem to be closing very slowly, it is nice to know that the gap is closing at all. As America progresses in these modern times, many young women are hoping that they will be recognized more as equals. Though the fight may never be completely over, young women across the country can only hope that times will continue to change. “To those who think they can’t excel in a STEM field because they’re female, I would tell them that this notion is merely a societal construct,” said Agrawal. “When you are younger, you are told that boys like math, and girls like reading, but in societies where that stereotype isn’t as prevalent, the gender disparity begins to disappear.”

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V News Downtown Chamblee Receives Culinary Facelift


Downtown Chamblee is little more than Peachtree Road, a relatively small thoroughfare that is flanked on one side by assorted antique shops and small businesses, and on the other by active railroad tracks. Other than the abundance of antique shops, the facades of Peachtree Road have been constantly changing for the better part of two decades. There have been several mainstays; success stories that attest to the success that can be found in historic Chamblee. Zen Tea, a tea room, that also hosts yoga classes and sells tea online, was rated the best tea room in Atlanta by Atlanta Magazine. Vintage Pizzeria opened in 2005, and has received high marks for its New Jersey inspired pizza and rustic décor. The Chamblee Bistro, formerly the Old Chamblee Bistro, recently re-opened and has been welcomed by the community as a Saturday night hangout. Other than these few exceptions, however, the downtown area has not been able to compete with the likes of Midtown or Buckhead, places teeming with high-rises and four-star restaurants. But two newcomers to Chamblee believe that can be changed, and that the lackluster avenue will soon have a ritzier appeal. Chef Alexis Hernandez, a New Jersey native, recently opened Union Hill Kitchen on the corner of Peachtree Road and Pierce Drive, a restaurant inspired by his hometown of Union City. “This [Chamblee] is the perfect place,” said chef Hernandez. “This is the perfect place to blow up. It is ripe for what is about to happen to it.” Hernandez has a formidable culinary resume, having been a featured chef on CNN Café, competed in season 6 of “The Next Food Network Star,” cooked for such names

by Alex Bragan as Lady Antebellum, and much more. Now he is trying his hand at reinvigorating Chamblee’s food scene. Union Hill Kitchen, which sources its ingredients from local growers, draws influence from “New American” cuisine, which is American food in the truest sense of the word. “In my opinion, the American pallet is the most sophisticated pallet in the world,” said Hernandez. “And that is because it doesn’t matter if it’s a store brand or not: on Monday you may have something Mexican, on Tuesday you’ll have ravioli, and so on. Americans sample such a wide variety of foods on a daily basis.” The menu at Union Hill offers diners a plethora of options, everything from a Sirloin Burger to a Thai Noodle Salad, with a few Cuban inspired dishes in between. “[Union Hill Kitchen] is upscale casual,” he said, referencing the atmosphere. “Do you have to come in a suit and tie? No. Is it nice to be here and is it sophisticated? Yes.” Hernandez also utilizes his knowledge of food science to create tastier, more complete dishes. “I look at it from a food science perspective,” he told Atlanta Magazine, “not like nitrogen, but more like the basic unraveling of foods, such as how proteins denature, which leads to the best way to braise a tough piece of meat or make a meatloaf.” Union Hill is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hernandez says that once the kinks are worked out, the restaurant will open for dinner service as well. Just down the road from Union Kill Kitchen, at the intersection of Peachtree and American Industrial Way, is another culinary project: Southbound. Southbound is the brainchild of chefs Cooper Miller

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and Mike Plummer. Miller began his career waiting tables to make extra money during college, but soon realized he had found his calling in cooking. He finished up his bachelor’s degree in business management at Mississippi State University, and then moved to Atlanta to attend Le Cordon Bleu in order to hone his skills. “I fell in love with the city and decided to put down roots,” said Miller. He worked at some of Atlanta’s finest establishments, such as Holeman and Finch, Livingston, and Restaurant Eugene. Most recently, Miller was executive chef at The Feed Store in College Park. When imagining Southbound, Miller and Plummer wanted to create a “soulful, comfortable” space in which to community to gather and enjoy great food. The age of the building, which is over one hundred years old, adds to Old South feel of the space. “We just let [it] inspire us,” said Miller. “Nothing fancy, nothing flashy, just good, old fashioned southern ambience and hospitality through and through.” Southbound are juxtaposing the old and the new. Their event space features a restored bar from the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, while the porch offers a “chef’s counter,” in which up to four guests can sit and have their food cooked in front of them while chatting with the chef. Miller says he welcomes the challenge of reinventing the downtown area. “I don’t think we will recognize the downtown area in five years or so due to all the change coming this way. We definitely have some more plans to do other things in the area in the near future.”

Reigniting Talk of “Shopping While Black” Being followed, lingering stares, and subpar customer service are the usual suspects of racial profiling in stores. The phenomenon of “shopping while black,” as it is nicknamed, is not one which is new, but it has gained much media coverage in light of recent incidents in high-end New York retailers. In October, news broke of black college student Trayon Christian’s lawsuit against the New York Police Department in which he claims that he was unfairly arrested at a luxury department store in April. After Christian bought a belt at Barneys, undercover policemen were called by the sales clerk. The young man was confronted and asked “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt,” according to the pending lawsuit. Once he complied with authorities by showing identification and the debit card used during the transaction, Christian was handcuffed and taken down to a local precinct, an action which is arguably more extreme than the more common rude behavior some black shoppers admit to experiencing. Senior Alexis Creagh says that she sometimes feels as

by Liya Mammo if she is being racially profiled while shopping. “If I go to certain stores in certain parts of town, and I’m not dressed a certain way, they [employees] will stare at me and watch me walk around,” said Creagh. Mark Lee, the CEO of Barneys, has since expressed his apologies to Christian and has said that the incidents are being looked in to. “We take this issue very seriously, and if any employees were to deviate from our policies, we would terminate those individuals immediately,” said Lee following a meeting with civil rights activist Al Sharpton. The second wave of criticism was directed at rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z, who is partnering with Barneys for a luxury holiday collection. Jay-Z remained fairly quiet amidst the racial profiling allegations against Barneys, but fans took to social media, pushing him to drop out of the deal. He defended his silence in a statement on his website saying, “I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?”

The same statement includes that he is not profiting from the deal; in fact, a quarter of the proceeds will go to the Shawn Carter Foundation, which provides need-based college scholarships to students. “I think he [Jay-Z] should still go forward with it [the deal]. He shouldn’t back out because it is just one Barneys and not all of them,” said Creagh. According to an anonymous former employee at Barneys in an interview with the Huffington Post, sales associates would often make jokes about customers who “did not belong.” These comments aimed at black customers ranged from “Why are they even here?” to “Their card is probably not going to go through.” A recent Gallup poll, in which 24 percent of blacks interviewed said they were unfairly treated in a shopping situation within the past 30 days, shows that racial profiling is very much a current issue. “You have no reason to think that someone is lower than you or is doing something wrong just by being in the store,” said Creagh.

Hall of Fame Inductees, Continued From Page 1 Jovan Jones, a class of 1997 graduate who is currently a teacher at Chamblee, introduced Hunt at the inductee dinner. “If you wanted to beat Dr. Jessica Hunt to Chamblee High School, you had to be up very early,” said Jones of Hunt’s routine 6:30 a.m. arrival time at the school. As a senior, Jones, who once hated math, was in Hunt’s AP Statistics course. “She made a point to encourage me through every challenging problem and to praise me through every success,” said Jones. “Her belief in me made me believe in myself. I got my first ‘A’ in a high school math course with Dr. Hunt, and today I teach math to struggling learners.” Hunt is just one of the many influential mentors who have walked the halls of Chamblee. When John Barrett Reed of the class of 2000 took the stage to be inducted into the hall, he used the opportunity to thank the teachers who most impacted him: Dave Smiley and Maggie Lawson. “Just to give you an idea of how innovative Mr. Smiley was, he was the first person I ever saw use Google,” said Reed, who had Smiley (a 2009 Hall of Fame inductee) for three years of darkroom photography. Reed credits Smiley with teaching him about creativity and Lawson with inspiring him to help others—two skills he has made immense use of. Reed is a photojournalist and entrepreneur and cofounded the Nuru Project, which sells photo prints to raise money for non-profit organizations. In addition to earning a National Press Photographers Association Award and a

Fulbright Fellowship in Kenya, he has had work published in USA Today, the New York Times, Washington Post and New Yorker. “I wear having gone to public school like a badge of honor,” said Reed. “I didn’t go to just any public school; I went to what I believe is one of the best public schools anywhere.” Like Reed, class of 1978 graduate and inductee Deborah Lane Scroggins has taken on the role of journalist. Scroggins, who graduated a year early from Chamblee, has worked as a foreign correspondent for the Atlanta Journal Constitution and is currently the writer for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. She was also the 2003 Georgia Author of the Year and wrote Emma’s War and Wanted Women. “We are honoring the good works that Chamblee students and faculty have done, but we are also honoring Chamblee because that is where they got their start,” said counseling secretary and Blue & Gold Foundation president Nancy Farrey of the Hall of Fame. “We hope that students will think that perhaps one day their picture will be on the wall, and that they can contribute in many different ways to the world.” The current Hall of Fame (located

between the gym and senior courtyard) was constructed by Chamblee parent Jim Jenrette, and is now filled to capacity. The foundation (which formed in 2004 with the purpose of raising money to support Chamblee High and the Chamblee community) has plans for an updated wall in the new school. Based on the suggestion of principal Dr. Rochelle Lowery, the goal is to place the wall of names in the fine arts building and to possibly add a display space for Chamblee memorabilia. For information on how to nominate individuals for the Hall of Fame, please visit

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One of Chamblee’s newest additions is a first-year teacher, not only because of his cultural and academic qualifications, but also because of his passion for

soccer. Wanddolff Bretous is the new French teacher and the new head boys soccer coach. Bretous is no stranger to soccer or the lifestyle that accompanies its true fans. Bretous was born in Port-auPrince, Haiti in 1964. He starting playing soccer at the age of two, and around that same time started speaking French and Creole. “Haiti can be compared to Brazil in its love for soccer,” said Bretous. “It is not just a sport like American football; it really is a part of life. When a game is on, you know everyone is watching it.” Bretous did not just experience soccer in Haiti; his father was a French teacher and also a Haitian diplomat who traveled extensively for his career. Bretous spent time in France, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and several more Latin American countries. During this time, he played soccer and learned new languages. Bretous played in leagues throughout his youth and was given the nickname Frérot, which is French for “little brother.” He was given this name because he commonly played with older boys. With an extensive amount of experience, Bretous has

Sports Cultured Bretous to Assume Head Boys Soccer Coach Post

by Dan Richardson played almost every position. “My favorite position was, and still is, midfielder,” said Bretous. “I enjoy the opportunity to move the ball up field and stay constantly moving.” Soccer took the back-burner though when Bretous attended the State University of Haiti, where he earned a degree in law. “University in America is very different than it is in Haiti,” said Bretous. “Here, college football is a very, very popular activity, but in Haiti, there is no college soccer league. There are leagues for soccer, and the university is for higher learning.” After college, he was offered a scholarship to study how to create credit unions in Tel Aviv, Israel, so he could help the government of Haiti build a stronger economy. Bretous continued to work for the Haitian government until he moved to America. Bretous is now in fluent four languages: French, Creole, English, and Spanish. When studying abroad one year in Spain, Bretous met his wife and found his second true love: the Barcelona soccer team. He continued to follow the team constantly wherever he and his wife traveled. From China to Australia and Morocco to Costa Rica, nothing can stand in the way of a man and his soccer team. Bretous moved to America with his wife to establish a home. Traveling so much as a young man and as a young adult left him with no real roots. When Bretous came to America, he decided to give back

Volume 87, Issue 3

photo by Chris Smith

and become a teacher. He also had the advantage of having teaching in his blood. His father, his uncle, his grandparents, and brother were or are all teachers. While Bretous has experience with several sports including soccer, basketball, and tennis and has experience coaching sports, he is still nervous about this upcoming season. “I am nervous about this season, but I also think we will do well,” said Bretous. “I have met my players, and they are great guys, and I look forward to getting to know them better. I will talk with them throughout the season and help make decisions with them.”

XC Boys and Girls Finished Third in the Region, Ran Tough at State As it turns out, the purpose of the extra money that twenty-five cents a case to bring food into the school, so cern as of late, some students are still not convinced that students are spending on food is not to improve the quality of the foodathlete or produce more food for it is to Every aspires to know thestudents, exciting but feeling of fund bringing the food into the school. advancing into the next round of competition. The members “Food prices cross have country gone upteams all over the world, it afof the Chamblee recently got tosoexperifects us, too. It’s not just Chamblee or ence this feeling as they qualified for the Dekalb County that’s suffering,” said AAAA state-finals meet. Chamblee lunch manager TownThe meet was held onJohn Saturday, sand. “It costs us more than an November 9 in Carrollton, Georgia.extra This has been the site of the Georgia High School cross country state finals meet for around 25 years. “The girls team didn’t perform as well this year but they had some great individual performances,” said head coach Brett Belcher. “This is the best that Chamblee has done in the four years that I’ve been coaching, so it’s certainly a step in the right direction.” The boys team moved up from 16th place to 15th place from the year before, and the team average dropped about 40 seconds per runner. Although girls team captain Maddy Wetterhall had a rough season due to two injuries, she was still able to finish the season strong and run at state with the rest of the team. “I ran my race Saturday with a sinus infection,” said

really, if you think about it, weMagee are doing the kids a favor this justifies the change in pricing. by Sarah because we are barely making it inlast terms paying for “They [Dekalb County food suppliers] can get seasonal, Wetterhall, who was junior captain yearofand is senior said Wetterhall. the food.” regional goods from local farms or vendors and support captain this year (along with Sidney McAdams and Darcy Boys team captain Sidney McAdams improved his time Even though raised food prices is an international conour community without the added price of shipping. They Linde). “But all things considered, I am happy to have gotten last year from 20:35 to 18:35. don’t really have to get food from overAs all runners know, the course of a seas it ismeet hurting them so crosssince country can affect themuch,” way the said Scialo. race is run. continued onwas page 3 very hilly,” said “The course very, McAdams. “At the finish, there was a long uphill then a downhill sprint.” In addition to the hilly course, the temperature was also tough to run in. “As I was running, I was getting colder and colder and losing feeling,” said junior Abraham Araya. “But overall I got 27th photo courtesy of Maddy Wetterhall place out of 227 people so I feel like I the chance to run at state for my fourth year in a row, and it did pretty well.” was really nice to have the team there with me.” Junior Maddy Clowse ran her fastest time in the state Before two years ago, it was unusual for the Chamblee finals, which is a runner’s dream come true. cross country team to make state, which is why Wetterhall “I was really nervous about running in the varsity girls says she is so proud of the team for making it there the race because of how hilly the course was and how fast the past two years. other runners were, but I felt really good once I got started “We had some excellent workouts during the season and and I even broke my PR,” said Clowse. “Seeing my team our schedule included meets with a high level of competi- cheering me on always made me go faster, all the way to tion, so all of the planning going into the race was good,” the end.” As for how prepared both teams were for state overall, Belcher said it is a “tale of two stories.” 5105 Peachtree Blvd. “The boys team was very prepared,” Suite 105, Chamblee, GA 30341 said Belcher. “We had our top eight runners there yet we only needed seven. On the girls side, this season was frustrating just because we had so many injuries. Almost all of our runners struggled with injuries at some point or another and we ended up not running our full strength team. One of our runners dropped out with an injury [at the state meet].” As for the team bonding aspect of the Chamblee cross country team, it is safe to Behind-the-wheel say that the team is like a “family”. Our Teenage Driver’s Education Program “The team is definitely like a family, lessons can be scheduled especially since Belcher is our coach and fully meets all Joshua’s Law requirements. at your convenience, he’s really relaxed,” said Araya. “We all Completion of the course will also allow you and can fit your schedule. goof around together and we’ve really to be eligible for a $150 GA Tax Credit. to know each other and have a deep These lessons are available gotten personal connection.” Upon successful completion of our .cn week every day of50the Picnics and other events help to foster 1 e I ,loo tiuS hc 30+6 program, you may also be eligible S team spirit and bonding. (including evening niv 143 ,drav gs elu irD 03 to take the road test with us instead of at the DDS. “This year we had a smaller team than s o aig ds)! and weeken roe B eer ’naht aN which helped. Instead of having a G ,e thcusual, 001 elb aeP mahundred-something 5 kids show up for prac695 9.454 hC 015 . 9.4 077 ten tice, most of the kids that came were fairly 32. . : online. and Our program is available at a wide variety of times including weekends, winter break, l O o ten 077 o .loo hcsgn :F dedicated to it, which I prefer,” said Belcher. iv h

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Page 5

Sports Max the Mascot Hopes to Leave a Legacy

Senior Elijah Mobley, the face behind Max the Mascot, never fails to translate his pride and love for the school to both football and basketball games. “Max and I are one, and school spirit never ends. When I would be in the stands last year during games, I would be just as hyped as I am now as Max,” Mobley said. Considering Mobley’s positive attitude and boundless energy, it did not take much for him to become the mascot. Searching for an outlet that would allow him to be himself and boost student morale, he gladly accepted the position and worked hard to make students excited about sports. “I asked around for the position, and it was open so I took it,” said Mobley. “I was so nervous at my first game, but every game after that got better. I think that my best night was either at the Marist game or the Lithonia game when I ripped off the head of the other mascot.” Even though Mobley received no prior mascot training, getting the crowd excited comes naturally to him. He does, however, admit that being inside the suit can be a challenge. “It is pretty stuffy at times, and the process for getting into the suit is extremely complicated,” said Mobley. “The head stays connected to the body so I can’t take it off until the night is over, and the night is not over until the kids get their hugs, high-fives, and pictures.” Getting Chamblee students just as excited as he is about our athletes also proves to be challenging at times for Mobley, but he never lets low morale damper his spirits. At Chamblee’s game against Marist, he did not allow the score or the school’s doubts hinder him from being a riled up and energetic mascot.

by Emani Jones “No one could have known the outcome, and I said repeatedly that we would win. You just have to have faith in the team because even giants can fall. I was very proud of our players [in spite of the final score] because we really fought hard,” Mobley said. Picking up on the mood of the crowd is important to Mobley. When the crowd reacts, he responds accordingly. “I danced a lot more than usual at the Marist game to get the fans excited, and I threw Scooby Snacks into the crowd, which made them go crazy. The crowd likes interaction,” said Mobley. “Being at the game is one thing, but interaction makes the fans feel like they are included. Positive morale is best shown when the odds are against you, when a student’s true pride comes out.” Mobley does not take breaks during games. When the crowd feels a certain way, he shares the same emotions. “I mostly get a lot of hoots and hollers when I have a very big crowd, but I pay close attention to the game so that I can respond along with the crowd. I share the ‘yay’ and the ‘oh no’ moments with them. They [the fans] came for the game and the band so I respond to both,” Mobley said. Mobley has plans for bringing more pride and excitement into the school. He plans to kill two birds with one stone by having a fundraiser

Volume 87, Issue 3

that will raise money for a new Max suit for next semester. “I have ideas that still need to be discussed with administrators. One of them is for students and teachers to take pictures with Max during the holidays. Max will be dressed for the occasion, too. I also thinking that handing out treats in the halls during the holidays would be fun,” Mobley said. Since this is Mobley’s last year as a student at Chamblee, he hopes to leave a lasting impression for next year’s mascot. He says that school pride is everything to him, and he hopes that next year’s mascot will be someone with school pride, respect for Max, and a connection with the school and the school’s teams. His goal is to leave a legacy that next year’s mascot can easily take on. “When I have the suit on, I am the Bulldog, and it is exhilarating. I’m still me, but with a different face that everyone recognizes, whether you are with Chamblee or the opposing team,” Mobley said. “Max has allowed me to fully express just how much I love my school. When it is over and done, I can look back and reminisce on the great times I had as Max and, hopefully, know that I left a good enough impression—a legacy, even if it’s small.”

What is in Your Shugars? According to the team’s leading rusher, it is hard work not just talk by Nelson Raphael Many know Xzavier Shugars by his jersey number [24] or his talent on the football field. The team knows him as a brother. The school knows him as a fellow student. Shugars, who is a new transfer at Chamblee Charter High School, is a junior who plays running back on the varsity football team. A 5-9 soft-spoken student and dedicated athlete, who has been nothing short of phenomenal this season, plans on being successful in achieving his dream of making it to the NFL. Having currently amassed a total of 908 rushing yards and 154 carries for this entire season, Shugars has come a long way. “During the play I try to think about what to do first, execute or find the hole [spaces between the offensive linemen that the running back passes through] and then make a good play,” said Shugars. “I like to set it [the scenario] up in my head.” One of his best performances this year was the Dunwoody game, where Chamblee was victorious 28-0 and Shugars amassed 192 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. “Dunwoody boosted my confidence once we completed one play; I knew they could not stop me, since I knew how to take care of business,” said Shugars. During the game against Greater Atlanta Christian the expectations were high, but they were not fulfilled. Shugars only walked away with seven rushing yards and 12 carries. “I felt like we went in excited to beat them, even though

we had watched film and knew it would be hard, but once they started scoring a lot of points we kind of gave up,” said Shugars. When getting to know Shugars, one instantly realizes his quiet personality and his quiet tone of voice. He never draws attention to himself and often stays in the background in the classroom. “I don’t know exactly where it came from, it’s just my personality,” said Shugars. “My dad always taught me to be humble and not to let the excitement get to me, because I have not made it yet.” When asked which team he would play for in the professional leagues he said the Philadelphia Eagles, and he models himself after the running back Lashaun Macoy. “I had an instant love for football from day one with my dad coaching and the fact that I always watched it,” said Shugars. Outside of sports, Shugars enjoys science and likes shows such as Phineas and Ferb and the Boondocks. “I like experimenting and figuring things out, that is why I find it [science] interesting,” said Shugars At one point, he even wanted to be a photographer, when he used to make highlight tapes for his little brother. “I think the best thing about

photo by Chris Smith

Xzavier Shugars eludes defenders during game against South Atlanta

photography was capturing the moment in the photo,” said Shugars. As a kid, he did play baseball as well, although he was not very fond of it at the time. “When I was in little league I played the position of outfielder, which was kind of boring, but now I kind of wish I still played baseball,” said Shugars. When he goes to college he plans on majoring in sports business or physical therapy. “If I am not playing football in the next few years, I see myself doing something in photography, physical therapy, or sports business,” said Shugars. As an athlete and a student, Shugars knows how important his actions are to his present and his future, thus he is very careful and thoughtful about what he must precisely do. “Actions speak louder than words, and you want to work hard in silence so your actions can speak on the field,” said Shugars.

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Volume 87, Issue 3

Winter Sports Commence with High Expectations It is that time again, the air is getting cold, the courts are getting waxed, the mats are being mopped and the pools are being cleaned. It is time once again for winter sports. Basketball, wrestling and swimming are all getting underway for the beginning of their season. The coaches of these respective sports shared with the Blue and Gold their opinions and whether they are looking forward to something or someone in particular this season. Boys Basketball “I’m optimistic, and I’m really trying to get the maximum amount of effort out of the guys,” said head boys varsity basketball coach Caesar Burgess “I want these guys to be a fist instead of five separate fingers.” Returning to the team this year are Daniel Graves, Ryan Burgess, Quintarius Boyd, and Kendrew Wynn, but there are a few notable transfers that are joining the Chamblee family. Courtland Rodgers, Deonte’ Davis, and Joshua Worley are all new students to the school and new players to the team. “This team has a lot of potential, but it is up to the leadership of the coaches to motivate them and inspire them to be the best they can be,” said Burgess. “We are stronger in one through nine than we have been in a long time, so come watch us.” Girls Basketball On the girl’s team, the returning players are Beija Velez, Candace Rhodes, and Jessica Ferrell. “Candace Rhodes was our leading scorer last year and I am expecting great things this year,” said head girls varsity basketball coach Paul Ireland. The team has also received a pleasant surprise this year, Louise McGirt is playing as a guard on the team. “She has great soccer feet, so she already has the footwork,” said Ireland. This is McGirt’s first year playing on the Chamblee girl’s basketball team. The next game for the varsity boys and girls basketball teams is on December 3 against Grady at Grady High School; the first game starts at 5:30 p.m. and the second starts at 7:30 p.m. For the junior varsity teams, they will be facing off against Lakeside at Chamblee on December 4 at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Boys Swimming and Diving In the pool, head coach of the boys swimming and

by Nelson Raphael diving team Wesley Graham is looking forward to their Last but not least is the wrestling team led by head coach upcoming meets. Adam Winkler, assistant coach Clint Momon, and four other “Everyone is faster this year and we are much deeper additional wrestling community coaches this year. and more versatile as a team,” said Graham. “Our four new wrestling community coaches has been His returning swimmers and divers are Matthew Wil- the biggest new surprise concerning Chamblee’s wrestling liams, John Mitchell, Jacob Jordan, Nick and Noah Oh, team, and we are also looking forward to our new facilities and Caleb Wikle. in the winter,” said Winkler. “This past meet we took first in all of the events and took This year the wrestling team has a large returning roster first and second in seven of those events,” said Graham. and it only means great things are in store for this season. Graham is very excited about the records that have been “Yalwaiker Eshete, Jody Thule, Ian Carpio, Nayden set in the past and may possibly be broken in the near future. Valev, Joe Hines, Chris Ray, Aramis Matthews, Jay Snypp, “This is the start of a new dynasty for the boys swim- Maurice Weston, Chris Garcia, Korey Banks are all returnming team,” said Graham. ing wrestlers who work hard and should do well this year,” Girls Swimming and Diving said Winkler. On the girls side with head coach Rebekah Carrington, There is also a new sophomore, that coach Winkler has who is also an expecting mother, the returning swimmers already displayed large interests in. and divers are Rachel Solomon and Sara Marawitz. “We have a transfer, whose name is Coen Williams, from “Each girl presents a valuable asset to our team, and we Alaska and has tremendous potential for a tenth grader,” never have swim meets or practices without all my swim- said Winkler. mers attending, cheering, and swimming,” said Carrington. The wrestling team will challenge Stone Mountain on In contrast to last year, the girls team has a lot of new November 27 and Dunwoody on November 30. incoming freshmen, which means new untapped potential. “We are very young, so I am looking forward to years ahead with these girls,” said Carrington. Mike Bishop Due to the number of newcomOwner ers, the girls will also be able to have their first all year-round girls Need an affordable expert plumber to help fix relay team this year and Carrington plumbing problems in your home or business? is looking forward to the progress that the team will make this year Mike Bishop is your everyday low price solution! Mike Bishop and in years to come. Plumbing Call 770-895-0647 now “Anytime you combine a group for a MASTER PLUMBER who is committed to of girls with great attitudes, some770-895-0647 thing great is bound to happen,” getting the job done right the first time! said Carrington. The boys and girls varsity swim Water heaters, sewers, faucets, and dive teams’ next upcoming toilets, showers, bathtubs, meet is on December 3 against kitchen sinks... the Atlanta International School at you name it, I do it! Chamblee at 5:30 p.m. Wrestling

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Sports Viewpoints

Volume 87, Issue 3

Tweeting From the Sideline

Why Professional Athletes Should Not Use Social Media

by Miriam Chisholm Sports have been one of the greatest injured player has to worry about is regainsources of entertainment for people since ing health, but this was not true for Jacobs. ancient Greek civilization. These athletes An upset fantasy football member began were praised and idolized for their perfor- to send out death threats to Jacobs through mances in the setting of whichever sport Twitter because the running back’s inability they played. With increased use of social to play could possible affect his fantasy media outlets, athletes have become enter- football scores. According to the threats, tainment, not only on the field, but off the Jacobs would lose his life unless he ran for field as well. 50 yards and scored two touchdowns, a task As social media sites such as Twitter, that is near impossible to complete while Instagram, and Facebook continue to rise in nursing an injured hamstring. popularity, professional athletes and other Although if asked, Jacobs will probcelebrities have begun to look at them as ably say that the tweets did not affect him, another source of business and a quick and these threats were not only to him, but to inexpensive instrument for branding. The Internet has become a common meeting ground for people from many different walks of life. Until now, the average person had no way to contact or possibly engage in conversations with professional athletes. Twitter, a place where instant reactions and responses to other tweets and events are normal and somewhat encouraged, has been a trap for many professional athletes, as there are no rules in professional sports his family as well. If Jacobs did not have that prohibit professional athletes’ use of a Twitter account, these threats more than social media. likely would not have occurred. Amar’e Stoudemire, who plays as A common argument by athletes is power forward and center for the New York that they are people as well and that they Knicks, was fined $50,000 by the National should have the same right as others to post Basketball Association (NBA) for his use whatever they want to. The main problem is of a gay slur in a tweet. Although he was how much young children and impressiononly reacting to a somewhat harsh tweet able teenagers idolize professional athletes. from a fan of the Knicks, he was still heav- When these easily persuaded minds conily fined because his tweet goes against stantly see athletes inappropriately using the NBA’s no-tolerance policy for anti-gay social media, but still receiving enormous derogatory slurs. salaries, they begin to think that there is no Social media operates like a two-way penalty for posting whatever you like on street. When you send something out, a the Internet. response can easily be sent back. An averAnother problem with the use of social age tweet or post is usually seen by 10 to 15 media is that athletes usually have upwards percent of the poster or tweeter’s followers. of 500,000 followers or people reading their Because professional athletes have a sub- posts whereas the average person has about stantially larger number of followers than 200. This large difference effects what the average social media user, their tweets should and should not be posted by athletes. are seen by more people. One of the most Most professional athletes who have dangerous problems that is associated with social media accounts post whatever they social network use by professional athletes want to as if they were your average person. is not always what is sent out, but more Because of this, professional athletes are alcommonly what is sent back. ways heavily scrutinized for what they post. Take New York Giants running back Even though social media is a branding Brandon Jacobs as an example. As a result tool, athletes must first be taught how to of a hamstring injury, Jacobs was not able properly use social media before they can to play in a game against the Minnesota begin wide scale use of it. Vikings. Usually after an injury, all the

Why Professional Athletes Should be Allowed to Use Social Media

by Justin Henderson Today, 56 percent of Americans have at only a powerful promotional tool, but also least one social networking profile accord- a forum for him to discuss things that he ing to Nearly likes such as the television drama Boardall professional athletes use social media walk Empire. as well. In addition, players use their public When properly used, social media can platform to discuss serious issues and topics be a great tool for athletes that allows them that often transcend sports. In the aftermath to connect with fans in real time, as well as of tragedies or political upheavals, athletes expand their brand. sound off. This summer, after George While some, such as Chad Ochocinco, Zimmerman was found not guilty in the may occasionally take it too far, athletes murder of Trayvon Martin, Atlanta Falcons for the most part are well-behaved online. star wide receiver Sharod “Roddy” White All four of the major American sports expressed his opinion on Twitter and had leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL) have an open discussion with fans who disagreed with him. Social media allows for these types of interactions to take place. More recently, when Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson’s two-yearold son was murdered, the entire NFL community, as well as the general population, reached out to offer him support. Social media allowed for a public outlet for teams to express support, as well as an immediate way for Peterson to get all of the loving words from fans and followers. social media policies in place to limit what Social networking can be great for players can say and do on social media. boosting the popularity of leagues. In June, These limitations include rules on posting cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Darrelle official team business without prior ap- Revis got into a Twitter feud over who was proval and the prohibition of posting gener- better at the position. This took place in ally offensive tweets. Staying within these early June, during the NBA finals, and yet guidelines, athletes who use social media this story still put the NFL on major sports tend to gain a lot of attention for themselves, news outlets when they were not even in their teams, and their sport. season. A player who uses Twitter in the right Sports leagues are businesses. Banning way can see unprecedented growth for his players from using social media is banbrand. Take for example Detroit Lions run- ning them from taking the business to the ning back Reggie Bush, who has over 2.8 customers. Yes, the players should be monimillion followers. tored, but an all-out ban is unnecessary. Pro He uses his platform to congratulate athletes are adults, and should be allowed teammates, interact with fans, and promote to have the freedom to use what the rest of events and activities that he takes part in in the world is using. the Detroit community. His Twitter is not


Quiz Yourself!

Have you visited recently? If not, check it out now to help you ace this quiz (and to check your answers)! 1. Who is Barbara Moore? 2. When is the next Pizza with the Principal? 3. Which Chamblee almnus is now a sports producer with Fox 5 Atlanta? 4. Which assistant principal graduated from Lakeside High School? 5. Where in the world is Jannis Lichtenberg from? 6. Which new Chamblee staff member was once a Teach for America teacher? 7. What restaurant hosts the John Henry Challenge?

Sports Young Coaches Embark on Parenthood

Volume 87, Issue 3

Page 8

by Nelson Raphael Parenthood is the fundamental building block of creating a strong family. As a person, one must take on the additional responsibilities of caring for and nurturing a child. But does this mean that one’s previous responsibilities are just cast off to the side due to a lack of importance? No, they remain and become part of the juggling act that is central to a parent’s life. Here at Chamblee there are four teachers who are soonto-be parents or new parents that are currently adjusting to this school year. However, a few of these teachers are also school-team coaches, and that is a large commitment all by itself. How does one balance their life between their family, work, and team? “I would say it [being a parent] is a need to prioritize your time,”said head girls soccer coach Curtis Engsburg. There is not as much free time as before. Due to new obligations, some teachers have to leave much earlier in order to take care of their families. Assistant cross country coach Jeremy Karassik knows he has to take some time away from coaching in order to get home to his spouse. Engsburg is on paternity leave, which means he is absent on Tuesdays and Thursdays to spend time at home taking care of newborn Theodore with his wife. “Last year I was able to stay after [cross country] practice with the kids and build some rapport with the students,” said Karassik. “But, now if you ask [cross country assistant coach] Smith, as soon as 5:15 rolls around, I’m gone because I have to fight traffic.” Other coaches with newborns also notice how their time management is having to change.

“Usually on the weekends while the girls are playing on their club soccer teams I would go and check in on them and see how they’re playing, but that has not happened at all this year,” said Engsburg. Karassik has also found that more time has to be spent effectively at school in order to increase the amount of time they have at home. “I have to utilize my planning periods more than I used to, along with being more organized and keeping track of things,” said Karassik. Due to the amount of time it takes to care for a child, it may soften a teacher’s perspective towards their students or players. Whether or not an emotional change is evident within the teaching methods may be difficult to discern from the outside, or there may not be a change at all. “There is about a 15-year gap between my students and my child, since he turns three in December, so I still think I am pretty hardline with my policies,” said Karassik. Head girls swimming coach Rebekah Carrington feels just about the same way, but she does realize the amount of time it may take away from her teaching and coaching. “There’s no crying in swimming,” said Carrington. “If anything, I am worried that becoming a parent will make me less focused on teaching and coaching; if you were focused on your job before, you likely become less focused as you are concerned with the safety and well being of your family.” However, they do take into account that they are not the only ones being affected by the transition; they are conscious of the impact of the change on their colleagues and family. “It is very difficult to give advice when I haven’t met my

photo by Chris Smith

Swim coach Rebekah Carrington

son yet, but the advice I can offer pregnant women is to enjoy every moment of pregnancy before the craziness begins,” said Carrington “you’ve got to decide what the right thing for you and your family is. At the end of the day, that is all that matters.”

Love Letter from a Sports Junkie Dear Sports, I am writing you because I think we need some time off. This isn’t to say we need to break up; I just need a break from the relationship. I wanted to tell you that you are one of the best things that has ever happened to me, but you are high maintenance. On the radio it always seems that you are telling me about our next date or reminding me that I am going to have the best time ever. I want to take the night off sometimes and just have some “me” time. Is that too much to ask? It used to just be Saturday or Sunday, but now you want me Thursday and Friday. Your appetite for fun is insatiable, and maybe I am just getting old, but I don’t know if I can keep up. Why does it have to be both day and night with you? It has gotten to the point where I have to turn my phone off at work because you keep sending me notifications and updates about your list of demands. To quote Whitney Hous-

by Todd Spearman ton, I believe “The children are our future.” For heaven’s sake, have some decency; I am trying to educate the future of America! I thought I told you I was a gentleman when we first met. I didn’t want to tell you this, but even when we are together I am getting tempted on my cell phone from your “friends.” I have to admit it can be very enticing at times. Sure, I might tell you I need to step out for some fresh air, or my sister is calling me again, but I think we both can see the writing on the wall by now. When I am with you, I don’t have to wear my date shirt, wonder if my clothes match, or even pretend to be interested in wine tasting. I can be myself around you. I know I don’t have to wait for you to put your face on, or even fix your hair resulting in us being twenty minutes late for our reservation at an obscure “hole in the wall” restaurant located in a sketchy part of town. You let me be a guy, and

I will always love you for that. I can just stare at you for hours in a non-creepy way without having to apologize. You don’t mind if I yell for joy or scream in horror at the things you do even when you fumble around. You do drop the ball sometimes, but don’t we all. Deep down I know you have always been out of my league, but I am just happy to be around you. Even just hearing you at a sports bar, walking past you in a book store, or hearing other people talk about you makes me smile. It’s not you…it’s me. So this is just me saying I can’t guarantee a commitment, but I hope we can still be friends and hang out after all this. Sincerely, Me.

Athletes Turn Off the Lights and Tear Up the Competition After attending morning practice, grabbing breakfast on-the-go, spending seven hours in classes, and making it through yet another training session afterschool, the workday is still not over for your average student-athlete: he or she now has mountains of homework to complete. With such a busy day that seems to never end, it is a wonder that high school athletes even make it to bed for a few hours of shuteye. Sleep is underrated—it is something we treat as a luxury when it actually is a necessity. In a study published in the Huffington Post in August, researchers found that during sleep, the brain processes and stores all of the information you learned during the day. Just as studies have established a strong correlation between more sleep and improved cognitive memory, researchers have recently discovered that sleep seems to solidify muscle memory as well, especially during the seventh hour of sleep, an hour most teenagers fail to get. There can be enough hours in the day to find time for friends, school, extra-curricular activities, and sleep, but such a feat is attainable only when time is managed very precisely. It is a life skill that must be learned early on, and once acquired, an athlete can improve his or her performance overnight. First and foremost, being organized is key in gaining control over life. “To do”

by Maddy Wetterhall lists, calendars, folders, and sticky-notes study best is crucial. Some work well late are must-haves when it comes to planning at night; others, early in the morning. ahead. Keeping your living and work spaces Either way, it is imperative that study clean also has proven helpful, as much time time takes place with minimal distractions can be wasted when you have to constantly and interruptions. If the buzz of a text or search for misplaced items. tone of a Facebook notification is too in“It is really important to find a balance triguing to tune out, try silencing them and between how much of your free time you de- only check them as a reward to yourself vote to playing sports and school work,” said senior Ally Jones, who participates in two varsity sports. The power of prioritizing is often overlooked. Those with the mindset that every small endeavor can be life-altering tend to become overwhelmed the second something starts to go awry, whereas those who understand how to devote the most energy to the tasks that have the most meaning to them keep life in perspective. As for conquering the mountains of homework in a timely manner, figuring out how you learn and

for having completed ten math problems or reading five pages. In doing so, getting up to that morning alarm clock will be a much easier feat, and after seven hours of sleep, your stronger, more rested muscles will be ready to take on another full day.

Page 9

Blue and Gold Staff Editor-in-Chief Mollie Simon


News - Maddy Wetterhall Editorials - Solina Jean-Louis Features - Liya Mammo

Staff Writers

Onna Biswas Aurora Blumberg Alex Bragan Morgan Brown Megan Carey Miriam Chisholm Kunal Goel Justin Henderson Emani Jones Sarah Magee Nelson Raphael Sierra Reese Dan Richardson Michelle Serrano Kobi Warner


Christopher Smith The Blue and Gold accepts and encourages all signed letters and other submissions but reserves the right to edit such submissions for size and content. The Blue and Gold exists to serve the needs of the Chamblee High School student body and therefore is a forum for free expression. The opinions and views expressed within the Blue and Gold do not necessarily reflect the views of the faculty and staff of Chamblee High School or DeKalb County. The views expressed in all signed articles represent the views of the author only. Likewise, all unsigned articles represent only the views of the staff and editorial board of the Blue and Gold and in no way reflect upon the views, opinions, or beliefs of Chamblee High School, its faculty, staff, or students or DeKalb County, or any agent or affiliation thereof. The Blue and Gold is a student publication of Chamblee High School 3688 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. Chamblee, GA 30341

Editorials Letter to the Editor

Dear Chamblee High Blue and Gold Editor,

I am a proud member of the Chamblee Marching Band and captain of the Epiphany color guard/dance team. I am writing in response to Morgan Brown’s article “Marching Band Entails Great Commitment” in the October 2013 issue of the Blue and Gold. After reading the article, I noticed that Epiphany was not mentioned nor was there a picture of us printed. As captain, I can attest to the fact that we are just as part of the Marching Bulldogs as the drum major, an instrument

player, or a drumline member. Along with the band, we should be recognized for all the hard work and dedication we put in. We add color, flare, and pizazz – a unique factor – to the band that only Epiphany can accomplish. Not including Epiphany in this article made me feel as if we were not important; we felt left out. We are all treated equally and are recognized as one unit. Along with the band, we paid the same amount of dues, had long practices in the scorching heat, and attended the same week-long camp at Rock Eagle. We also had our own week-long dance

Volume 87, Issue 3

camp and had extra practices outside of regular band practices on Wednesdays. Additionally, what we do is more physical because we dance at pep rallies and in the stands for three quarters, and we handle flags and dance during halftime field shows. Hopefully, in future articles about the Marching Band, Epiphany will be included. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and concerns. Best regards, Chayla Lee

Christmas Dominates Over Thanksgiving Rolling into a Starbucks drive-through the day after Halloween, customers were asked if they wanted a seasonal drink. Most assumed a pumpkin spice latte coffee, but surprisingly the barista was talking about a peppermint coffee, which the barista described as “very Christmas-y.” Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving used to be the start of the Christmas shopping season, but now that idea is over. Black Friday used to start on the actual Friday after Thanksgiving, but now stores such as Wal-Mart and Sears start on Thanksgiving night, and Kmart will begin sales on 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. A time originally meant to bring people together has now become full of competition between people trying to save $100 on a television. Christmas has always overshadowed Thanksgivng, but in the last few years, it has swallowed the holiday. It just has turned into a celebration to shop for Christmas. According to a recent Gallup poll, 95 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas, but America is not 95 percent Christian. In fact, 80 percent of non-Christians celebrate Christmas. This disproportion shows that Christmas has become a commercialized holiday used as an excuse to give people gifts.

by Aurora Blumberg Wal-Mart has already begun advertising for Christmas shopping by running television ads mentioning special deals and layaway. Many

Cartoon by Emani Jones chain stores are also trying to advertise earlier because of Thanksgiving being on the later end, so if traditional Christmas shopping starts on Black Friday, then people would only have less than a month to shop. According to Investopedia, the average American family spends $854 in 2012 on Christmas, while only spending $49 on Thanksgiving dinner. The average American family spent $423 on Thanksgiving weekend,

where most money is spent on consumer goods. American parents spent $271 per child in 2011. This number is expected to rise for 2013. Last year, according to Business Insider, Americans spent $400 million on Thanksgiving Day from only online purchases. Online shopping is really starting to make a dent on people. The Mall of America has started to pay celebrities to come to the mall to get people through the door. The fact that Christmas has taken over does not seem to bother most people. The “most wonderful time of the year” has become a major excuse for people to become greedy. For many, a longer celebration of Christmas means more time and money to give and receive gifts. In 2002, the average family spent $690 on Christmas. Ten years later, after the infamous “Great Recession” that is still debatable if it is over, people spent $70 more. If people think that buying gifts early will get you ahead of the game and help you save, it is quite the opposite. People who buy brand name electronics will spend around 5 percent more. This holiday season, patience will be a virtue when it comes to long check out lines.

Common App Offers the Best Means for Applying by Liya Mammo Manila envelopes, a bustling counseling center, and stressed out seniors all indicate that it is indeed that time of year again – the time to start submitting college applications. The decision of which schools one will be applying to also determines the medium that one will utilize to apply. Forgotten are the ancient ways of handwritten applications. Though some schools request that supplementary materials such as transcripts and recommendations be sent via mail, most require that the actual application be submitted on a predetermined online source. Since the innovative introduction of the Common Application, or “Common App” as it is frequently called, over 35 years ago, students and school officials have been able to submit an application and additional materials to multiple colleges and universities through one common source. Currently Common App has over 500 member universities and colleges, spanning across the United States and even internationally. Despite the growing widespread use of the Common Application by schools, some colleges popular to Chamblee students such as the University of Georgia and Georgia State University opt to offer their own personal online application. Unlike with the Common App, these applications are solely used for the consideration of admission into that one school. Common App has been on the receiving end of much criticism these past few weeks after the site experienced major technical glitches just days before the early action/early

decision deadline for many schools on October 15. Students faced problems including trouble logging in, and recommenders had issues with submitting their resources. Despite recent criticism, Common App still offers students with the best, most convenient method for applying to the schools of their choice. For one, students are spared from entering repetitive, basic information multiple times. Common App breaks down this basic information that will be sent to each college into six sections: profile, family, education, testing, activities, and writing. No matter what school one is applying to, the factual information presented in the first five sections will not change. For example, extracurricular activities and parents’ education history will remain constant whether one applies to Georgia Tech or Stanford. The time saved as a result is critical to seniors who often have to juggle harder courses, volunteer work, club and sports commitments, and even jobs. A recent editorial on Huffington Post criticized how the writing supplement does not allow students to successfully apply to schools that have differing focuses. It argues that the “generic” personal essay that would be sent to each school does not serve those who, for example, are applying to an engineering-oriented school and a liberal arts school. However, Common App does feature an “Additional Information” writing section. It has no writing limit and allows students to speak

on any qualifications they have that were not reflected in the application. In addition, most schools offer their own mandatory supplemental essay(s), which allow students to either provide more personal details and qualifications or express why they are interested in that school. Though Common App does bear the blame for its recent technological problems, students who were impacted and distressed by the issues may need to acknowledge their own role in their difficulties experienced. One should logically expect that Common App will have more Internet traffic closer to deadlines. Procrastinating and submitting parts of an application the day before a deadline is risky and evidence of poor planning. Time management is crucial in the college application process and is also a necessary skill to master for success in college. In response to persisting problems experienced by students, teachers, and counselors, Common App has been posting daily updates since mid-October that offer solutions and explanations. Each post starts off by saying, “We are sending daily updates regarding system performance and support. We will continue this communications long as there is news to share.” Thankfully for some, a few Common App members like Georgia Tech and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill extended their early action deadlines a week to account for any issues students faced when submitting applications.


Page 10 Volume 87, Issue 3

The Predicament of HBCUs Persists by Kobi Warner

After the American Civil War, many African American families were allowed access to higher levels of education, as the Emancipation Proclamation was in action near the end of the War. However, after a few Quaker philanthropists came together in the years 1837, 1854, and 1856, the first three all black colleges and universities, Cheney University of Pennsylvania, Lincoln University, and Wilberforce University, were established. Go 109 years into the future and one is in the middle of educational history in the making with the passing of the Higher Education Act of 1965. As a part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society agenda, this act was brought into law to strengthen the educational resources of America’s colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education. After countless fights in the courtroom, including the life-changing court decision of the Brown vs. Board of Education case, African American men and women have finally come to establish a group of universities known as Historical Black Colleges and Universities. The 106 establishments have become a place for black students to have access to higher education. Morehouse College School of Medicine is ranked sixteenth in primary care by U.S. News. Despite the great accomplishments of HBCUs, they are criticized for segregating students in America from other universities and not contributing to today’s society. These are false, ignorant statements. The people making the assumption that HBCUs have no purpose in the higher education world have not checked their facts. Rumors have spread that HBCUs do not produce well-rounded students, much less provide blacks to the workforce. According to Science Career, HBCUs awarded 28% of all baccalaureate degrees to African Americans. Another rumor is that there is no purpose of going to an all-black school when the students will be forced to enter the job force with Caucasian co-workers. That statement has two things wrong with it. First, universities like Howard University have a growing demographic of Hispanics and Asians attending in the past four years. Second, when companies consider the fact that they need more diversity among their interns or first year employees, common sense will tell them to head towards the prestigious Morehouse College than an equally prestigious University of Georgia or Georgia Tech for students. Former Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) student Omari Crawford attended FAMU for his undergraduate degree and said that he has become a better person thanks to his attendance. “Going to a HBCU, I had the chance to get back with my roots,” said Crawford. “FAMU, for example, is not just some university for African Americans to get away from other races, but a place to come together and bond in brotherhood and sister-

hood, something they may not have been able to do before college.” The only problem with HBCUs is that they are underfunded. In the 1992 case of US vs. Fordice, the Supreme Court ruled HBCUs as a holdover of segregation, forcing public HBCUs to integrate more white students or lose funding, and private HBCUs to relinquish essential federal funding. This case threatened the continuation of HBCUs, making future generations subject to downfalls of HBCUs. In 2012, Morris Brown College was forced to file for bankruptcy after missing payments and accumulating $22 million in long term debt and $5 millions in short term debt. The positive impact on future generations may be the only thing holding up many HBCUs. Dr. Romeo Stockett, professor at Morehouse College of Medicine, works with students daily and can see the positive impact at work among his students and faculty peers. “I am old-school and believe that the mind is a terrible thing to waste,” said Stockett. “When I see young men at Morehouse doing great things for themselves, while learning about their culture and receiving nothing but the best internships and jobs, I see all the money donated by alumni and families going to work.” It is definitely a shame to see people’s minds bend to that of the media’s hand and believe only the bad things that they have heard. Take a look in the history books and one can see the contribution of notable HBCU alumni. Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison and Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker have paved the way for young African American writers. Herman Cain, a past candidate in the race for Republican nominee in the Presidential election, helped show African American students how to run a successful business and make it in politics. Most notably, the Morehouse College graduate Martin Luther King Jr., taught Americans that there should be no racial discrimination in the country that was born for the same thing minorities have been fighting for up until the mid 1960s: freedom. HBCUs have produced the most hardworking men and women in America today, and will continue to do so, criticism or not. With hopeful signs of a better financial future, HBCUs can go on to achieve greater and more innovative things. HBCUs must continue on in order to preserve a safe haven for the struggling families of minorities in the nation who will not be further looked by most postsecondary schools and have the same potential as “all-A” students, but could not show it because of real-world struggles plaguing their community. “If I were given the chance to give a motto for HBCUs, it would be that they are a place of Leaderships, Change, Brotherhood, and Hope,” said Crawford.

“HBCUs have produced the most hardworking men and women in America today, and will continue to do so, criticism or not. With hopeful signs of a better financial future, HBCUs can go on to achieve greater and more innovative things.”


HBCUs Remain Necessary by Justin Henderson

There are 106 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States. Most of them were opened in former slave states during reconstruction. From reconstruction, to the civil rights era, the only way an African-American could pursue higher education was at an HBCU. As time went on, and integration became the social norm, this is no longer the case. HBCUs are not only for African-Americans, students of all races can be admitted. Some are now saying that HBCUs are obsolete, that their purpose is no longer needed. Today, HBCUs serve a different, but equally important purpose in society. HBCUs provide nurturing to students that they are unlikely to receive at primarily white institutions (PWI’s). The average HBCU has about 2,000 students enrolled, compared to the average PWI which has about 3,700, according to findthebest. com. Smaller campuses mean more intimate classes as well as a better relationship with the staff. For a student who is not necessarily a high achiever, that nurture could be the difference between a degree and dropping out. In 2012 African-American males who attended HBCUs had a 45 percent graduation rate, compared to 33 percent who attended PWIs, according to HBCU’s have an element unique to their institutions: high concentrations of African-Americans who value education and are, for the most part, on the right path. Generally, throughout the nation, schools that have a predominantly African-American population do not meet standards, and those that exceed standards have a miniscule African-American population. For a student from a county like DeKalb, it would be foreign to see an all black school not underperforming like those in the southern part of the county. Also, it would be unfamiliar to see a school excelling, with nearly all AfricanAmerican students, unlike those in the northern part of the county. In the AfricanAmerican community, unfortunately, the intelligent are often ostracized instead of celebrated. Often, there is little to no motivation to excel in the classroom, as a student does not want to stand out. There is the mentality of “the tallest blade of grass gets mowed first,” and, as a result, many African-American students with great po-

tential fall through the cracks. Although it is unfortunate, race does still matter in this nation. It still is a divisive characteristic in too many aspects of life. HBCUs are the few places in the nation where race positively unites a group of individuals. By being around peers that look like them, but have various back-

grounds, students learn to appreciate the diversity within their own race, and subsequently throughout the nation. In addition, since most professors at HBCUs are African-American, they know what it is like to be African-American in the “white world,” and can dispense advice and counsel that other professors cannot. HBCUs, as the name suggests, carry a long history of propelling African-Americans forward in life to great success. HBCU alumni are successful in nearly every field from politics (Herman Cain), to film (Samuel L. Jackson), to athletics (Jerry Rice). The value of HBCUs is not found only in the actual education, but the social experiences that shape each of the students. Their role in the African-American community is a growing one, that should continue to be cherished throughout the African-American community.

What are HBCUs? The Higher Education Act of 1965, defines an HBCU as: “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.” Photo of Carter and Jones by Chris Smith



Page 11 Volume 87, Issue 3

History Continues to Hold Us Back by Miriam Chisholm

Historically Black Colleges and Universities, better known as HBCUs, were created for the sole purpose of serving as a higher-level education opportunity for black Americans. N o w that it is 2013, more than 175 years after the establishment of Cheyney

University [Cheyney, Pennsylvania], the first HBCU, the question rises of whether or not these learning institutions still serve their purpose. Let us begin with the most obvious issue: Are these schools only for black students? Based on the name, it would be easy to answer “yes” to this question, but that answer would surprisingly be incorrect. According to statistics provided by the University Of Pennsylvania Graduate School Of Education, more than 20 percent of the students enrolled in an HBCU are not black. These students are Caucasian, Latino American, and Asian American. This diversity can be seen as progress, but in reality, it is one more deviation from the original purpose of these institutions. Court mandates are what has forced several of these schools to change their demographics. This does not sit well with many students and graduates of HBCUs.

Some associated with these HBCUs believe that these campuses and schools are somewhat of a sacred ground because of their black cultural significance. Another crucial statistic is the graduation rate at HBCUs. The graduation rate that was calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics [NCES] in 2011 was 30 percent. The income of the families and these institutions’ acceptance of students with lower SAT scores can only take so much responsibility for this discouraging statistic. Accreditation and funding have been recurring problems that HBCUs have had to face. One of the oldest HBCUs and the first one in Georgia, Morris Brown College, faced bankruptcy after its loss of accreditation in 2002, which was a result of financial mismanagement, a common problem within the HBCU community. Once stripped of accreditation, students of Morris Brown lost access to financial loans and federal aid, which caused many students to begin to stray from this institution. Howard University, one of the most well-known HBCU with notable alumni such as Thurgood Marshall, Albert Wynn, and Debbie Allen, had been the face of success in HBCUs for years until it began to face a string of financial issues, which were recently uncovered during the beginning of 2013. These struggles leave many questioning the fate of the smaller HBCUs. The difficulties that these educational institutions are continuously trying to overcome have hurt not only the reputation of HBCUs as a whole, but also have had a serious impact on graduates and students of these institutions. A 2007 study conducted by Roland G. Fryer Jr., a professor of economics at Harvard University, and Michael Greenstone, a professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, exposed a 20 percent decline in the wages of HBCU graduates in the 1990s compared to wages from the 1970s. Greenstone and Fryer believe that this decline could have possibly been caused by the fact that in recent years, HBCUs have not done such a great job at educating and preparing their students for life after college compared to their traditionally non-black counterparts. Until these institutions become as progressive as they once were from 1837 to the 1960s, it is safe to say that they have outlived their purpose.


HBCUs: Surpassed by Their Own Purposes by Morgan Brown

Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were originally created to allow African-American students safe places to receive a higher education Despite many HBCUs’ original success in the past, they have shown trouble maintaining the same standard of excellence since. While HBCUs were important in the past in educating black people including some of the key activists in the fight for the progression of black people, the purpose of HBCUs has diminished despite historical significance, particularly as many predominantly white institutions (PWI) have done better at completing this same task. Although the graduation rates of many HBCUs have increased over the years, HBCUs tend to have graduation rates much lower in percentage than the black graduation rates of many of the country’s top colleges. Overall, about 79 percent of black undergraduate degrees are not owed to HBCUs. Based off of the performance of black students attending HBCUs versus traditional universities, black students are more likely to excel independently in life after college. Conversely, HBCU graduates are likely to struggle in graduate school at a non-HBCU where there is less intense guidance and often have to depend on the “old boys” mentality of HBCU alumni to find work. Another issue which arises both for HBCUs and their students are the continuing financial struggles that HBCUs have. For one, they have a small base of affluent contributors and little source of substantial endowment, possibly as a result of students of higher socio-economic status attending PWIs instead. Since the United States Department of Education became more stringent about

its requirements for PLUS federal loans in 2011, there has been a decrease in loans to HBCU families and a subsequent loss in of income to HBCUs. This effect indicates the need of a lower standard for HBCU students and the less effective education that the students are receiving. Additionally, many dependent black students and parents still find HBCUs too costly, leading many parents to still send their children to less expensive state colleges. According to their college profiles, Morehouse College has a cost of attendance of $48,390 while Georgia State University has an in-state cost of $23,516 as well as an out-of-state cost of $41,727. Georgia State University grants more undergraduate degrees than any other research university in the country, according to the Georgia State Office of Undergraduate admissions. The increasing trend of lost accreditation of HBCUs further invalidates their existence. Morris Brown will likely completely shut down once the last of its students graduate after losing it accreditation due to misuse of federal funds. It will be impossible for HBCUs to preserve their prestige if they receive federal funding but cannot follow through financially or academically. The social climate of the country in the 21st century no longer supports HBCUs. Their existence only encourages the polarization they once condemned. Though they once criticized schools for lacking in diversity, schools filled almost entirely with black people do nothing to combat this issue. The also cannot provide adequate preparation for futures, because schools in which black people are the majority don’t represent their futures.

“The social climate of the country in the 21st century no longer supports HBCUs. Their existence only encourages the polarization they once condemned.”

Where do you stand? Share your opinion with the Blue and Gold via Twitter: @bulldogspage1 Email: We want to hear from you!

Latino-American Students Aspire to the American Dream It is often said that there are various opportunities offered in life and everyone should take a hold of the ones that present themselves. Latino-American students, who are U.S citizens but have illegal parents, are often faced with these scenarios. Being a United States citizen gives all Latino students the opportunity to have an education. In a Pew Research study done in 2012, the percent of Hispanic students who go to college after graduating high school was higher than the number of white students by two percent, (69 to 67 percent). “It was hard for my parents to help me with my school work when I was young. However, thanks to them I was always motivated in doing my work,” said senior Sandra Gomez. “They’ve always taught me that you have to follow

by Michelle Serrano your dreams and to take the opportunities you get in life such as going to college and maintaining a good record.” When it comes to one’s education, it becomes a matter of how hard are you willing to work to go where you want to go in life—not just for Hispanics but for every student. Having illegal parents can also bring fear; maybe one’s parents are driving without a license or working illegally at their job. There are many contributing factors to this fear, and of course there is always the fear of one’s parents being deported to their home country. Numerous Latinos come to the United States in search of a brighter future and a better education for their children. As the children of these people think, they realize the great opportunity that is being given to them; some take it, some do not.

As of 2012 there are now more than two million Hispanic students enrolled in college from the ages of 18-24. That is 16.5 percent of all college enrollments, according to Pew Research Hispanics is now the largest minority group in four-year colleges. Although there are many obstacles that a Hispanic U.S citizen must tackle due to having illegal parents, from having to worry about financial problems to worrying about their parents getting deported; it is very possible for a Hispanic student to attend college. “It’s your choice to learn and to have aspirations,” said Gomez,“I believe if you want something, go for it, don’t let your surroundings and/or circumstances in life affect what’s going to take you somewhere. Having illegal parents or even you being illegal can’t hold you back.”


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Volume 87, Issue 3

God Should Not Need a Permission Slip to Be in School There is an unwritten rule that the word “God” is taboo inside the classroom. Expressing or contemplating a belief in God or a supreme being or force has always been something that, to put simply, should seemingly “just stay at home.” “At a young age we develop a propensity to shy away from speaking of God in a state facility,” said social studies teacher Brian Ely. “We learn that anything with religion can create a contentious and difficult situation.” This concept that the philosophy of God is a forbidden discussion in school, and that it should remain a personal topic not to be brought up in classroom discussions or activities is a huge flaw in the classroom standard. It is worth noting that promoting a religion, or forcing someone to believe something they do not is not the purpose here. Personal philosophy or the belief in God is something that an individual must reach for himself or herself. However, this is not accomplished alone contemplating in the dark – this is accomplished through critical thinking and an acceptance of a diversity of opinions which a school can provide. Belief in God is undoubtedly a polarizing, sensitive, and powerful topic. However, this significance that the idea holds is all the more reason why it should be an accepted and promoted discussion topic for teenagers. Yet, at Chamblee, quite the opposite is known to the students. For this reason, many people are fearful to share their views in the classroom, and the values and morals for many that result from faith, are shunted out of the classroom scene. God, for many, is not a question, rather an answer. The concept answers questions of the meaning and purpose of life, and gives direction into the fabric of human nature and human existence. And yet, one of the reasons the entrance of God ends a discussion, is because it is viewed by many at Chamblee as an anti-intellectual, irrational view of the world, with no

by Kunal Goel place in an education system. However, by ignoring such a meaningful topic in class, the opposite effect is seen. “Censorship is anti-intellectual in nature,” said literature teacher Adam Winkler. “If you can talk about politics, why can’t you talk about religion and God?” Simply casting out such an important discussion as unfit for school is unfair and potentially damaging to many struggling teenagers, who are the crossroads of their lives, trying to understand their goals and future. Critics of this argument point to schools such as Marist, and suggest that if one wants to learn and discuss religion or God in school, there are schools specifically geared towards a particular religion.

However, these schools tend to focus on a single religion or belief system, and preach only teachings of this belief. The public school on the other hand, poses a terrific opportunity to instead discuss God in an unbiased, and purely intellectual format, allowing students to express their true views without fear of rejection or oppression. These critics would continue to argue, that perhaps God is a viable discussion topic, but one that should simply remain out of school, and be carried out in a more private instance. However, these critiques would again be missing a central point: there is no better venue for such a discussion than a school, where thousands of diverse, religious and non-

religious people gather everyday to learn and think critically. Giving students the freedom to express themselves through God in the classroom would be giving students the power to learn and grow off of each other. Not to mention that perhaps no one needs spiritual guidance or reassurance more thank teenagers – a recent study done in Stockholm University suggests that one in three teenagers suffer from chronic stress. Recently, I personally have discovered God and come to believe in His presence. For years, I, like many other I know, was guilty of looking down and ignoring those who believe in God. However, after years of contemplation, I came to the realization that my desire to learn and live, and find meaning in life could only stem from a higher power, and that, whether we realize it or not, God’s presence is always apparent in our intrinsic, human nature. I want to share my realizations and learn more with the students around me, so that they too, if they want, can share in my newfound beliefs and happiness. Yet I feel stifled by the dismissal of such a discussion that so often occurs at Chamblee, and the purely intellectual discussion I long for is constantly ignored by so many who simply do not think the conversation is worth their time. This imbalance where debates on history, on politics, on literature, and on so many numerous topics (most of which have some spiritual aspect that goes ignored) happen so often, however the buck stops when the topic turns to God, and the conversation ends. Understanding God is impossible for even a believer, so it is quite reasonable that many fear such an abstract, personal topic. However, the passion and uncertainty surrounding God is all the more reason why the spiritual aspect of the lives of teenagers should not go ignored.

Praying for a Separation of Church and Classroom


Home to over 840 congregations and religious charitable organizations and every group from Buddhists to Baptists (according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics), DeKalb County is the ultimate example of the American melting pot. The range of customs found within the county are reflected visibly in the halls of Chamblee, where atheists sit next to Muslims and Hindus to study chemistry and calculus. The variety of students’ beliefs is an undeniable benefit, helping every individual learn to accept and appreciate people different from themselves. Unfortunately though, such diversity also brings a challenge when the word “god” enters the picture. While every student has the constitutional right to discuss their beliefs without fear of persecution or repercussions, public school classrooms and sports fields are not the ideal places to debate the quintessential question of the existence (or absence) of a higher power. Public school is a place for learning and growing, but talking about god is playing with fire. With students’ ages ranging from 14 to 18, high schools are home to many different levels of maturity. While this may not be an issue when dealing with concrete discussions of politics or environmental protection, god is another conundrum entirely. In a back-and-forth over politics, it is possible to bring data and evidence to the table, and it is easy to establish an end goal: to convince someone of the merits of a leader or a system. Discussing god is not so simple. One can introduce their religion and share their cultural values, but telling a student who does not believe in god that a supreme being exists is not a way to form understanding. In a 2007 Pew Research study, 56 percent of American

by Mollie Simon adults surveyed and 68 percent of Georgians stated that religion was very important to their life, but 44 percent of those questioned “profess a religious affiliation that is different from the religion in which they were raised.” The reason for this is clear: religion is part of a personal journey and of individual identity. At Chamblee, there are a number of religiously affiliated clubs, including Young Life and the Jewish Student Union, which give students the opportunity to make a personal and conscious choice to discuss god. When god is brought up as a topic in the classroom or a team decides to pray before a game though, students no longer get to make that personal choice to enter the conversation. Not only is a classroom conversation about god tough for students, but it is even more challenging for teachers. “As employees of the government, public-school teachers are subject to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and thus required to be neutral concerning religion while carrying out their duties as teachers,” according to “A Teacher’s Guide to Religion in the Public Schools” which is published by the First Amendment Center and endorsed by the National PTA and more than 15 religious groups. This means that while students can bring up the topic of god, teachers—whose purpose is to moderate and guide students—cannot always comfortably bring an adult voice to the conversation. There are times when religion and history are inseparable and must be taught. One cannot understand ancient Greek society without recognizing the role of Greek mythology, nor can one read about the Civil Rights Movement without noting the importance that churches and other

religious groups played. The essential distinction is that these are not debates about the existence of god, but rather lessons on how different societies have approached the question of belief. It does not matter if one is atheist or Protestant, they still must understand the importance of the conquistadors in the spreading of culture before the Renaissance. If one is atheist though, having a Protestant peer debate the existence of god with them only creates discomfort. The key to learning about religion is seeing it as a system of values and traditions and not a debate about the existence of god. When a discussion turns toward the presence of some “higher power” a number of students are guaranteed to feel isolated. In a country where 16 percent of people do not affiliate with a certain religion and a state where nine percent of people either do not believe in god or are uncertain about their belief in god, it is not just a matter of accepting or denying the existence of god. While it is true that many religions include similar supreme beings, from Christianity to Judaism to Islam, not every follower of these faiths actually believes in such a power and some people may believe in many gods let alone one. If students want to talk about their beliefs in god (or lack thereof), they should do so outside of the classroom with friends, family, or religious clubs in a context where people can choose to opt-out easily if they do not want to take part. Alternatively, those who want religion to be an integral part of their education should attend a non-secular school.

Sophomore Forgets Pencil Pouch, Expects College Application to Take Hit

With so many students applying for college, many institutions have begun using detailed criteria to weed out the achievers from the losers. For example, Ivy League schools have added a “WRITE DOWN EVERY DAY FOREVER” section to their application, requiring students to list every single material they brought to class each day from the first pencil in freshman year to remembering their gowns on Graduation Day, including gum and snacks. To ensure legitimacy, each day must be signed off by one of their teachers.

by Alex Bragan “You essentially have to commit to us during your eighth grade year,” said an anonymous source from the Princeton admissions office. Although many education pundits have praised the move, it has caused some students extreme stress. One such student, Kevin Tan, is a sophomore at Chamblee. Tan, a successful student and member of the marching band, arrived at school early on October 31. Excitement and expectation began to build about the nights Halloween festivities, for Tan planned on trick or treating

as “” “I really thought that costume would capture the true essence of horror and frustration,” said Tan. “I myself felt mildly disgusted every time I tried it on.” Little did Tan know of the impending disaster awaiting-or rather not awaiting-him in his backpack. Tan says he arrived at his first period on time and sat down to work. He joked with his classmates, checked his Twitter, and beat several levels of Candy Crush; by any measure a successful and rewarding class period.

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Editorials Common Application Making a Stressful Time Even More Difficult

Volume 87, Issue 3

by Solina Jean-Louis

Every senior can describe the symptoms associated with the college application process: extreme stress, looming deadlines, and a general feeling of anxiety and worry. It is a process that all college-bound students across America are feeling the pain of. Although the knowledge that college is only a few months away often helps push seniors through the school year, the process of applying to those colleges is one that takes great effort and drains energy. The Common Application is a website where a student can fill out one application that can be used at over 500 schools across the United States. The Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and Mercer University are among the many colleges that use the Common Application. This year, Common App rolled out a new version of the website with the goal of making it easier for seniors to apply to schools. Unfortunately, much like the plagued, Common App users (both students and teachers) across the country and world have faced numerous technical glitches, including (but not limited to) log-in errors, lagging credit card payments, problems uploading letters of recommendation, and delayed sending of applications. AP human geography teacher Brian Ely has faced many problems when trying to submit teacher recommendations for his students. “I have been using Common App for as long as I can remember. It used to be really simple and user friendly, but I’ve had so many problems this year,” said Ely. “When

students list me as a recommender, their names do not show up. It is very frustrating, but I’m hoping that it’ll get fixed soon.” For the roughly 800,000 students across the country expected to use Common App for their application process, these new findings certainly do not bring any hope that this process will be as easy as the designers of the new Common App intended. The glitches and problems with the website have been so bad that 46 universities, including Georgia Tech and University of Pennsylvania, pushed back their early decision and early-action deadlines to accommodate the numerous students who had been experiencing difficulties with the website. This, in turn, will put more stress on the colleges’ admissions offices to read through and organize the thousands of early applications they get in order to get decisions out by December. This year will be the second year that various colleges extend their early decision and early action deadlines, as many extended them in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy last year. Although many are frustrated at the difficulties plaguing, Common App is well aware of these problems and is working diligently to fix them. The Common App Facebook page is functioning, and representatives are responding to many concerns of both students and parents. “As we approach the busy deadline season, we are fully committed to ensuring complete and timely review of appli-

photo by Megan Carey

cations for all Common Application members, particularly those with November 1 deadlines,” wrote Common App on their Facebook page last month. For many seniors, it is hard to understand why Common App would release a new version of the website when it obviously was not properly tested or ready to be used by thousands. For as hard as seniors at Chamblee and across the nation have worked in their high school careers, they certainly should not be subjected to the uncomfortable and often gut-wrenching agony of not knowing whether their college application will go through to the college of their dreams.

Education is Underappreciated in the U.S. While Fought for Abroad

photo by Michelle Serrano

On October 9, 2012, a young man with a handkerchief over his face boarded a bus filled with 20 singing, chatting girls on their way home from school in the Swat Valley of northern Pakistan. “Who is Malala?” the man asked. When the girls unwillingly glanced toward their 15-yearold friend at the back, he lifted a black Colt .45 and fired three shots, sending a bullet through her head. The attack caused outrage around the world and it was given widespread coverage in the local and international attention. Malala Yousafzai, the girl shot, survived after doctors in Pakistan and England performed multiple surgeries on

by Onna Biswas her face and head. Today, Yousafzai lives in the United Kingdom and has vowed to continue working for the cause of women’s education in Pakistan, which was the effort for which she was originally targeted. She also wants to help in the areas of the country where extremists and militant outfits are said to have been blowing up girls’ schools, according to New York Times. While many girls are fighting for their education rights in the Middle East, girls in the United States are not taking advantage of what they have. “I dont think its right for girls in other nations to not have the education rights that our country has,” said junior Brittany Jones. “Everyone deserves to get the same opportunities that we have.” It is not fair that girls are disproportionately held back in some notions in comparison to the male population. “Honestly, I think that the Taliban shot Malala because they were afraid that when one girl stands up for her rights, then all other girls will stand up for them. They are afraid that females might become powerful, [like] we already are,” said Jones. Unlike the female students in US, many Middle Eastern girls have to fight for their education rights. Malala is not the only female fighting for her education rights. “Education isn’t really valued here because everybody has access to it, and so it’s taken for granted,” said economics teacher Iris Staten. “I guess if something wasn’t given to you I think people would value it a little bit more.” Staten thinks that education should be valued because it is important and will help you in the future. “I think education should be necessary worldwide. I think girls around the world should have the same opportunity as our country. I don’t think they should be destined to

a life of taking care of family and doing household chores.” said special education teacher Mary Gossett. There are also many students at Chamblee High that are from different countries and are glad to have the opportunity to come to America and get the free education that was not offered in their country. “I think that everyone has equal rights for education,” said freshman Jabin Lina. When Jabin was in Bangladesh, she noticed how the poor families did not get the education that they wanted to provide for their children because they did not have the money. Also, even if the children did got to school, they typically would get kicked out of school because their parents did not pay for their fees. In the US, however, this is not an issue because the government finances education. “I am from India and I have noticed that many girls there don’t get the education that girls get here,” said sophomore Joyshree Saha. Saha is from India and she has observed how many girls from India want to go to school, but they cannot because of several reasons. One of the reasons is because of their family heritage. In some cases, it is required for a girl to get married at a young age and be sent off to her groom’s house for the rest of her life. Girls are considered to be outsiders, which is why some parents do not want to waste their money on them. Another reason why is because the families do not have much money to pay for their tuition, and if they wanted to go to a good school, it would cost a lot of money. “I think that girls should be treated like human beings in some places. I don’t understand why in many places girls can’t do the things that guys can do. I mean we are human beings as well. I think what Malala did was brave,” said Saha.

Pencil Pouch Destroys College Application Potential It was not until his second period that Tan made a startling realization. “I felt the life being leeched from my soul,” he said. “My pencil pouch was not in my book bag. It was literally a nightmare.” Tan frantically searched for any sign of a writing utensil that may have been in the backpack, but not a trace could be found. Tan recalls the bitterness of the moment, and can explicitly remember a single tear creeping down his face. He was, according to his own account, an emotional wreck. “My teacher gave me a zero for that semester’s classroom participation grade,” said Tan, “and worst of all, I probably can no longer get into Harvard.” “It is really an effort to understand the student as a

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person,” said University of the Southeastern Middle-North admissions officer Desere Bimmer, whose school recently pioneered the “Trivial Pursuits” stipulation, in which students are given a test in one of three subject areas (Masters of French Opera, Fashion of the 1730s, Basics of Cast Iron Enameling) and admitted entirely based on their scores. “We want the students to be prepared to spend four years studying non-critical subjects,” he said. Some schools in the west are doing away with application essays altogether, and instead are putting together a linear narrative of every single Snapchat prospective students have sent. Back at Chamblee, Tan is not alone in his displeasure. Every day, students’ college hopes are washed down the drain when they arrive to class a minute late, forget to write

their name on their homework, or cut in the lunch line. “I can tell who is going to college by asking whether or not they use abbreviations when speaking,” said one teacher. “The ‘mod’ world requires ‘s’one’ who is quick and to the point.” Despite the peculiar measures being given by colleges, Tan says he still prefers them to older measures of success, such as GPA’s and essays. “I mean, it’s not like they are taking the weighted sum of all the work done during the most unstable and emotionally chaotic time in my life, then arbitrarily comparing it to other students, factoring in race and income, and then asking me to think like a cog in the machine and write a boring, useless essay that only further ensnares me in the trap of higher education, right?”

V 87, I 3 Features Chamhian Reinvents Yearbook Design with “Anticipation” Page 14


For some, the most exciting smells of the year are pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving or ocean breezes in the summer. For one group of 19 students, the best smell is that of freshly printed yearbooks the first week in May. While they are often seen interviewing Chamblee’s teachers and students or capturing and immortalizing candid school moments, the Chamhian [Chamblee High Annual] yearbook staff conducts much of its work away from the public eye. Deep in the depths of their room 203 headquarters, the annual production comes together. “People don’t realize that we start out with an entire book of blank pages and then make it into what they are looking at the end of the year,” said senior Ally Jones, who is the editor of the sports and freshmen sections. Starting with a two-day summer workshop hosted by publisher Walsworth at St. Pius X High School, the staff begins to bond and train new recruits (who are recommended by teachers and prove themselves in a written application). This training includes working with design programs, such as the Pixlr photo editor, which are needed to produce the final product seen in May. Under the guidance of “Larry the Ladder,” a color coded poster of their spreads and due dates, and veteran yearbook adviser Amy Branca, the staff submits pages to the publisher throughout the school year until the last element goes in at the beginning of April. The Chamhian must meet their largest deadlines set by Walsworth (each requiring 70 pages to be completed) the week after Thanksgiving and again in the middle of January. “We all have to have our work done by the deadline, and if one person doesn’t, it affects all of us,” said Jones. If the deadlines are not met, the books can become delayed, and Branca has heard of schools that do not get their yearbooks until summer break begins. Anticipating a new design When students see the work of the Chamhian team in the spring, they will be quick to notice changes to the way the book is organized. “The most difficult part about this year is that we are taking on a new design, where each grade is broken down into its own student life and honors sections,” said junior Claire Jirasevijinda, who is in charge of the sophomore sec-


by Mollie Simon tion and is the co-editor of “clubs and happenings” along with senior Christina Zeigler. The idea for the reorganization originally came from senior Alejandra Perez, who oversees the twelfth grade section, as a way of covering all students more evenly. “Being the sponsor for 18 years, I saw that staff members got tired of doing the same things,” said Branca, who teaches

the book and color blocking and slants in the graphics. In addition to the visual changes to the 2013-2014 yearbook, the book will also have a noticeable size difference as it will be dropping from 320 to 264 pages due to production costs. The price to print While the $90 price tag for a book may seem hefty, it is actually quite shy of what the books each cost to publish. “We don’t charge as much as it costs,” said Wall. “We get the other money from selling ads and generous donations.” The Chamhian sells 500 copies each year, for a sum of $45,000. This left a large gap in the $72,000 yearbook bill last year that could not be fully met purely from ad sales, which are required of each staff member. The immense base cost of the books also runs the risk of increasing throughout the process if pages need to be “reopened” after they have been submitted to Walsworth. While it has not happened this year, if an edit must be made to a page submitted during say the post-Thanksgiving deadline, the yearbook staff must pay $200. For this reason, each spread passes many sets ith of eyes before getting sent to press. m S ris by Ch photo Class structure Before a spread is sent off, it is first read by the staff y e a r b o o k member who created it and is then sent up the line to a secfourth period in addi- tion editor, to Wall, and then finally to Branca—at which tion to her British literature classes. time it is expected to be perfect. “Everybody wants to work on the student life section, and To determine the editors for each year’s staff, the new if somebody is just covering clubs and organizations, they yearbookers are put to the test using the spring sports seconly see one facet of the school. Now, the staff gets to have tion. All first year staff members are required to take on a broader and more rounded view of Chamblee.” one spring sport, which they are 100 percent in charge of. After students are done finding themselves in the year“It is to get them ready to take on their own pages,” said book, they often take a closer look at the book’s cover. Wall. “It shows how much they have learned in a year.” This year, the theme conveyed throughout the layout will Despite having a few less pages, the yearbook is fobe “anticipation.” cusing on quality over quantity and is anticipating a solid “We chose this theme because we have all been in this finish come May. state of anticipation, especially for the new building,” said “This is a really strong year for us, and we are really editor-in-chief senior Josie Wall, who also works on the proud of what we have done so far. We are expecting the index, ads, and the opening and closing sections. best,” said Wall. “For the staff, seeing your name by a byThe book will focus on the moments that lead up to big line is very cool because you can say, ‘I took that picture,’ events, such as the campaigning that occurs prior to the or ‘I wrote that caption and stayed up until four in the announcement of homecoming queen. morning editing.’” Students can anticipate a heartbeat design element across

Distinguishing Random Kindness from Acting

photo courtesy of Grace Ryback

During the holiday season, as people give thanks and celebrate together, random acts of kindness--done both with and without thoughts of recognition--are even more common. From picking up an item someone has dropped to helping others carry a heavy load, these acts are something people do on a daily basis.

by Michelle Serrano Both students and teachers have completed many ran- David Scott. dom acts of kindness. World history teacher Theresa Abernathy agrees. Junior Ashley Ford once gave the only $10 bill she had “The holidays don’t really affect what I do. I try to do away to a homeless man as she walked by, while others that all year round; I don’t really focus on the holidays,” gave him single dollars. said Abernathy. “I felt really happy afterwards because I know I helped Grace Ryback visits an old woman every week or two, someone in need; although, I didn’t get anything back, it and brings her items such as books and food. The woman, was okay because knowing I helped someone was enough who is a friend of Ryback’s family, lives alone and has no for me,” said Ford. family of her own. When performing these acts, people usually think of the “I do it because we actually have nice conversations and praise they may get. In Ford’s case, no one really saw her she tells me stories of her life,” said Ryback, “Old people give the money away. are really wise and have great advice, and it makes me feel However, in the case of volunteering, one usually gets like I’m worth something to someone.” some form of recognition for the effort. Regardless of the motives behind a random act of kindMany people believe that although it is around the holi- ness, they are beneficial to both the party on the giving end day time, random acts of kindness are more of an everyday as well as the receiving. thing as opposed to a seasonal custom. “Helping others out just makes the world better. Ev“I think sometimes being blessed by somebody in a erybody needs a little help sometime, so I hope it comes surprising way changes your mindset and gives you a back to me if I ever need help. It’s karma,” said Abernathy. greater capacity to be more generous,” said math teacher

Preparation for the Annual Musical Production Begins by Morgan Brown

Preparations have begun for Chamblee’s annual musical. With the new Choral director Linda Lirette and the move to the new building next semester, there are likely to be some changes in producing this year’s musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Senior and student director Anastasia Levie-Sprick, who assitant-directed last year’s musical, tells about the musical and also some of the work that will be going into producing it. You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, a comedy, will have the familiar characters such as Lucy, Schroeder, Snoopy, and Charlie Brown himself. All of the human characters are going to be six years old, and all of them will each be experiencing their own conflicts within the plot. “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown will be about six year olds and the only problems six year olds can have,” said Levie-Sprick, “so the comedy will come in when you see 16, 17, and 18 year olds acting like toddlers.”

The play will likely feature many of the Chamblee students from last year’s production, the Mystery of Edwin Drood. “There’s a two year cycle with these kinds of things. So this year and last year had [the senior and junior class] and the two years before had many of the same set of people,” said Levie-Sprick. “A lot of what we do this year will entail preparing for next year. I will have to think about who will be the next student director.” As student director, Levie-Sprick, aside from collaborating with and answering to Lirette, will be in charge of organizing large parts of the play. Already, there are plans for a new set up in the production, such as the plan to have the musical span over two weekends instead of just one, an idea which Levie-Sprick credits to Lirette. The two-weekend set-up, in addition to allowing for a larger audience, will also allow them to implement new methods in casting. There will be two sets of casts, and they

will switch roles throughout the weekends. “This setup will allow us to feature even more talent,” said Levie-Sprick. Levie-Sprick warned that many of these plans are not wholly concrete and may be subject to change. She and Lirette are not yet sure exactly how much the move to the new building will complicate or impede these ideas. “Like, right now we don’t even know where the blackbox theater will be,” said Levie-Sprick. “The auditorium won’t be finished yet, so it could be the cafeteria or wherever chorus classes will be next semester. On that part we’re really speculating.” Help is already being accepted for the musical. LevieSprick intends to post a list of available jobs to Facebook, and encourages people to either express interest or questions there or email at For those interested in being part of the actual cast, Auditions are to be held December 4th and 5th at 3:30pm in the Chorus room.

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Features Senior Ben Thesing Captures the Moment

There are a lot of unique and talented individuals at Chamblee Charter High School, but not every individual is recognized or appreciated. Almost everyone in the photography program knows who senior Ben Thesing is, but students who are not in the program may be unaware of his incredible skills. “Photography for me started when I had this little point and shoot camera,” said Thesing. “I went kayaking in the Okefenokee [swamp] and there were all these cool little frogs everywhere, but I couldn’t really get any good photos because it wasn’t a great camera.” Since then, Thesing has upgraded from his previous Kodak Z981 to his current Nikon P510 which has fantastic photo quality, a 1000 millimeter zoom, and good manual settings. Thesing has found his passion in photographing wildlife, particularly birds, salamanders, and snakes. “I just like being out in nature and seeing all these cool animals,” said Thesing. “You kind of just have to go look. I look at the animal first and photograph it second. I just take my camera with me wherever I go.” Thesing’s favorite animals to photograph are birds. “Birds are hard to photograph because they move around so much. Just getting

by Megan Carey that right photograph is really satisfying in the end,” said Thesing. He is fond of snakes as well, and wants people to notice the more uncommon types instead of the typical Georgian snakes. Not only does Thesing take photos of reptiles and birds, he works with them. “I spent a couple years taking care of the reptile collection that we have in Atlanta [at the zoo], and now I’m in the bird department,” said Thesing. “I threw grapes up in the air for the Toucans the other day, and they just caught them in their bills.” Almost every weekend, Thesing takes a trip somewhere in Georgia to see interesting new animals or plants. He especially likes learning about marine life, and recently he took a boat trip. “I was out on a boat for 16 hours off the Georgia coast,” said Thesing. “I went about a 100 miles out to the Gulf Stream and saw some cool sea birds, dolphins, flying fish, and turtles.” He and some friends left at three in the morning and drove for six hours to St. M a r y ’s Island to get on the boat Cumberland Queen 2. “As soon as the sun started coming up, we saw black-capped petrels, bridled terns, and audubon’s sheerwaters. We could see the entire sky,” said Thesing. “Then we stopped at the

Volume 87, Issue 3

Navy towers [towers built for communication reasons that are no longer in use], the only place in a very vast ocean for birds to perch.” There, Thesing and friends saw many more terns as well as the sea turtles. Thesing does not just take photos with expensive equipment. Sometimes, he experiments with improving current technology. “I made a macro lens for my iPhone so it can zoom in on things really closely,” said Thesing. “I had this magnifying glass just sitting on the table and attached it to something else to make it more permanent. It holds the lens about half and inch away from the camera.” To do this, Thesing cut a film canister in half to make two open ends and attached Velcro to the back of the iPhone creating a real camera lens. “If I had put it right on the phone, everything would have been out of focus,” said Thesing. The first photos he took with his self-created macro lens were of pennies. Those shots were just a test, and then he tried foods, animals, and plants. His favorite photo from the iPhone macro lens is of an Oreo. Through photographing wildlife, Thesing has learned the best ways to get great photos. “Probably the most important thing when you go out to take photos of an animal is to be quiet and patient,” said Thesing. “I don’t always get decent shots every time. You have to really try.” To view some of Thesing’s best work, visit his Flickr account at benthesing14.

Chamblee Alum Takes Flight with NASA by Sarah Magee

As their high school years pass by, students are often confronted with the question of what they want to do after they graduate. When students look at potential colleges, they have to take into consideration the majors offered there and whether they fit their ideal future job. Some of these students have known what they want as a career since they were in elementary school, but others might still have no idea. Either way, most students ride the wave of life until they decide what it is they would like to do, or a good opportunity comes up along the way. Kailah Snelgrove, Chamblee class of 2012 graduate and now junior (but in her second year) at Georgia Tech, recently took an internship in August at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island in Florida. She is working in the electrical, avionics, and communications systems branch. “NASA internships had been on my radar for a while, ever since it was mentioned at a Georgia Tech co-op information session,” said Snelgrove. “It was really a leap of faith because literally months passed by and I was convinced I had already been turned down, but I knew NASA was where was I was supposed to be because the more I prayed for clarity, the more I felt a pull toward the agency.” A few weeks into the summer, Snelgrove got a call

from a branch chief at the Kennedy Space Center and had an interview with them. She was offered the position a few days later. Snelgrove’s most recent project at the space center has been working on a new software that receives telemetry (science and technology of automatic measurement and transmission of data by wire, radio, or other means from remote sources, as from space vehicles, to receiving stations for recording and analysis) and sends commands to test hardware. “Next semester I’ll end up somewhere different, probably doing flight dynamics or computational fluid dynamics with the Launch Services Program,” said Snelgrove. “Other than that, I just tour a lot of cool stuff.” The space shuttle program at NASA recently ended, but Snelgrove says that although it was a huge loss, “everyone here is eager to talk about it. Most employees have been here for 20, 30, even 40 years, and just have endless stories about their experiences working shuttle. [It] makes me extremely excited about the new program I’m jumping on board with in such early stages.” In the midst of her new NASA endeavors, Snelgrove is majoring in aerospace engineering at Tech. “I’m probably going to take it slow from here and gradu-

ate [in] May 2016, but I may wait even longer so that I can get to do the aerospace honors program at Tech, [which] lets you get your Master’s degree simultaneously with your BS (Bachelor of Science).” Snelgrove is currently interning, meaning that even though she is still a Tech student, she is not currently taking any classes. “It’s a great situation because it gives you a real-life work experience, a break from studying, and a huge advantage when applying for jobs later,” said Snelgrove. “I have evenings and weekends completely free of homework, studying, and tests.” Like every student, Snelgrove has picked up several different techniques from years of schooling that she is now able to apply to her career. “One of the biggest things that school has instilled into me is a good work ethic,” said Snelgrove. “Other than that, I would say problem solving is one of the best tools school can give you. I didn’t walk in here and whip out my notes from class or the formulas I’ve learned… But I was absolutely equipped to absorb everything I can, and to acclimate quickly and solve whatever they put in front of me.”

Aspiring Inventor Sams Khan Walks Chamblee’s Halls Inventors have conquered the frontier of new ideas and revolutions for centuries, whether it was Leonardo da Vinci and his innovative thoughts of flight or recent geniuses such as Steve Jobs, who put a whole new spin on phones, computers, and storing information. The impact of these leaders has traveled through time, making its way from the minds of college students to those of current middle school students. Some students, such as senior Sams Khan, can already attribute success to pursuing a passion. “I was seven years old when I first started using computers,” said Khan. “I used to attend a school in Bangladesh, which offered a curriculum where you could have a computer class.” Khan was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a country with high-crime rates. Khan did not let this deter him from gaining an education. He found his calling in computers after taking a class in the first grade which taught him the fundamentals of Central Processing Units. “I used to learn about hardware and using different Microsoft programs like Excel Word,” said Khan. “I used to watch a lot of Jimmy Neutron back then, and that made me think that computers were the coolest things.” After arriving to Georgia in 2009, Sams pursued his love of computers even more. With a little help from family, he was on his way to building his first computer. “My push was my dad,” said Khan. “He told me to do what I want to do and would help me in any way possible. He financially helped me out when I needed things.”

by Kobi Warner Years since his first computer class in the first grade, Khan has evolved in to a computer enthusiast. His knowledge ranges from the entire Windows operating system to computer hardware to learning how to program. After a while, however, Khan felt that he needed to start somewhere on becoming a computer genius. What better place to begin than to start building his first computer, beginning his progression towards his ultimate goals. “It felt great,” said Khan. “I could finally do work without all the unnecessary hassle that my old computer gave me.” Khan does not consider himself an aspiring inventor just because he made a computer. He considers himself an inventor because of the ideas he has for the future. “I do consider myself an inventor,” said Khan. “I want to make computers more understandable to citizens, whether they are from the United States or the slums of other countries.” Khan has not stopped at only building computers. He went on to become a part of Chamblee’s VEX Robotics Team, a team he has stayed dedicated to in his senior year. Khan has taken engineering class at Chamblee since his ninth grade year. In his junior year, his fourth period engineering class became the third robotics team at Chamblee, in addition to seventh period engineering and an after school program led by freshmen and sophomores. Using what little resources they had, Khan and his teammates got to work on building a robot for the 2013 VEX competitions. Khan even taught himself how to program the robot through the Internet.

Like every other inventor before him, Khan has gone through many trials and tribulations. “We got to the finals of our first tournament, and Woodward destroyed us,” said Khan. “We kept rebuilding the robot, improving it after every competition. I even got better at programming.” Practice makes perfect, and that perfection goes into every design. After a tournament, Khan’s team won the design competition. After winning the programming award, the team was qualified to participate in the World Championships. Being the only programmer on the team, Khan no doubt helped pull the team through the competitions. Despite this, they placed 66th in their division, after a long and hard season. Khan is an example of what happens when you put your heart in to a task and finish it. “If money was not an object, I would use my knowledge to help influence kids around the world,” said Khan. “I would also invent a way for you to drive your car from your photo courtesy of Mollie Simon

Page 16


Volume 87, Issue 3

Strife in Syria Strikes Home

by Emani Jones Civil war and political distress in Syria have caused a I spoke to my cousins, they told me that they are terrified was saying that the best thing for them [involved political great deal of tension around the world. Often times, it is since they are never sure if they will wake up in the morn- leaders] to do was to go to Geneva and have peace talks.” difficult to assess the gravity of world affairs, such as what ing,” Warren said. Fear for her father’s safety worsened when Warren asked is happening in Syria, because they are so distant and seem Both Warren and Saffaf worry about the situation in Saffaf what he knew about the chemical weapons that were to have no visible effects on the U.S. Syria, and they often talk about potential resolutions for the being used in Syria. Human anatomy and physiology teacher Leila Warren country. Warren admits to not having a solution to Syria’s “He doesn’t even know if the president [Bashar aldiscussed how her father Mohammed Saffaf, who lives in strife, but she is concerned about not only her father, but Assad] is using them, which makes me doubt what America Damascus, has closed the distance between her and the her country’s reputation as well. actually knows about the situation since people like my dad events that have transpired in Syria. who live so close to the war don’t know what’s really “My father is Syrian, and Damascus is his home, so going on either. Everything is so unclear that I can’t I don’t think he will leave anytime soon since a lot of his help but question what the media tells us,” said Warren. family lives there too,” said Warren. The ambiguity and terror of the civil war in Syria Considering the potential danger for countless Syrare not just associated with the bombings and fighting ian civilians, it is unsettling to Warren that her father in the streets. It affects the day to day activities of the is so content with staying in Damascus. Some citizens civilians that have been trapped in the midst of their have elected to relocate to neighboring countries such country’s turmoil. as Jordan. “I don’t know how he [Saffaf] can do regular things Warren said that her father has no plans in the near like go grocery shopping or visit the bank when there future for moving to America or any countries that is fighting so close to home that he can hear it. I don’t neighbor Syria. feel comfortable asking him stuff like that because I am “My dad has dual citizenship with the United States sure the experience is horrifying for him and he does and Syria, but my step-mom doesn’t, and he won’t leave not want me to worry, but it makes me wonder. He can her behind. He also wants to stay with his father to help barely visit his father who is ill,” Warren said. him since he is ill,” Warren said. Staying in contact with her father overseas is chalSaffaf’s family ties won out against his fear for his life lenging for Warren, so she tries to stay informed about when he made the decision to remain in Damascus. When events in Syria in order to have an idea about what may asked about her father’s reasoning for staying behind in affect Saffaf. spite of the turmoil, Warren said that he is not entirely “Everything that has happened with Syria has afconcerned about his own well being any more. fected me because I have learned so much about the “My dad is almost seventy years old, and I don’t think Google Maps view of Damascus in relation to Atlanta world recently. I keep up with the news more than I that he is too worried about his survival at this point. He would have if my father was not involved in Syria,” loves his country, and whatever happens to him as a result “I don’t pretend to be a politician,” Warren said, “but Warren said. of its troubles is fine by him. He just wants to be at home,” I know that something needs to be done. I don’t want this Saffaf’s residence in Syria has also reinforced Warren’s said Warren. generation of America’s legacy to be that people were suf- firm belief that life should never be taken for granted. However, Saffaf’s decision to remain in Damascus for fering in Syria, and we just stood by and watched.” “I don’t know if I will see my father again. He may stay loyalty and family does not erase Warren’s worries about It is difficult for Warren to choose between United States in Damascus depending on how he feels and what happens her father. His resilience does not change the fact that a civil intervention in Syria, and keeping distance from the civil with Syria. I have always believed that we should live life war is brewing not too far from his home. war, because she is torn between assuring her father’s safety, to the fullest,” said Warren, “but this [having a relative in “He [Saffaf] doesn’t tell me a lot because he does not and finding a resolution for Syria. Syria] really brings it home because you don’t know when want to worry me, but he did tell me that he can hear ‘the “If my father was not in Syria, I would support an air it is that you’ll see your loved ones again or when you sounds’ from his house, which I take to mean the bombings strike because something needs to be done, but it’s hard to will ‘go’. I don’t mean to sound dark, but every minute is and all the fighting. It really is nerve racking because when say because my family is there,” said Warren, “and my dad precious.”

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Page 17

Six People

Volume 87, Issue 3

by Liya Mammo

1. What is your fondest holiday memory? 2. What class, real or fake, could you teach? 3. Name and describe your biggest pet peeve.

Mati Alemayehu, Sophomore 1. I think it was Christmas in 2011; my mom’s cooking was on point that day. 2. “Internet safety.” There are a lot of bad sites out there, and I know all of them. 3. I hate when people say “same difference.” Is it the same, or is it different? Or is it equally different from one thing as something else is from another? 4. I would invent a machine to stop time. I need naps. 5. If I were a superhero, I would be “RearrangeMan.” I could change everything and nothing at the same time. 6. My theme song is the Pokémon theme song. It is accurate. Varsha Chiruvella, Junior 1. I was born in Ohio, and every year for Thanksgiving, all of my family and family friends would get together at my house and have a big, potluck-style dinner. 2. “Procrastinating 101.” 3. My biggest pet peeve is when people make noise when they chew, like smacking gum. 4. A time machine. I would want to go back in time and relive happy moments and have a chance to fix my mistakes. 5. “Varshmallow.” I would capture villains in marshmallows. 6. “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic or anything by [the band] Mumford & Sons. Harper Stanfield, Junior 1. I spent last New Year’s [Eve] snowboarding in Snowshoe, WV. I was too ex-


hausted to stay up for the fireworks, but I could not have cared less. In fact, I am doing it again this year. 2. I have always wanted to share my passion for Ultimate Frisbee, so I could teach “A Brief History of Ultimate,” a mandatory freshman course on the political and social ramifications of Ultimate since its founding, and why everyone should be required to play it. 3. I do not think “like” needs to be every other word in a sentence. When I hear excessive “likes,” I cannot help but add them up in my head and completely miss what the person is trying to say. 4. A machine that turns trash into gas. I never realized just how much gas costs until I had to pay for it myself. 5. “Phatman.” Like Batman, but instead Phatman. (I’m a 90s kid.) 6. “It’s A Beautiful Day” by Michael Bublé is my inspiration. Even after I bomb a calculus test, Michael’s always there to keep me going.

4. What gadget or machine would you invent? Why? 5. What would you name yourself if you were a super hero? 6. What is your theme song?

py” class where everyone would learn how to make the best of every possible situation and enjoy life. 3. I hate the noise people make when they chew. I know it is natural, but it bothers me, so I have to make sure there is background noise to cover it up. 4. I would invent a machine that would hang up clothes and keep your closet organized because folding and hanging clothes is not fun. 5. “Laugh Attack” with the power to make anyone laugh. 6. My theme song would be “Take a Walk” by Passion Pit. Rachel Domingo, Senior 1. My favorite Christmas memory is when I won our [my family’s] Cuban traditional song game. It is similar to musical chairs but with red solo cups. I won three years in a row. 2. I could teach “How to Sass Your Parents and Not Get in Trouble 101.” 3. My biggest pet peeve is when people comment on “how short and tiny” I am every time I am around people taller than me, which is always. 4. I would invent a helmet that could read what you wanted to eat and would

Alejandra Perez, Senior 1. My fondest holiday memory would be making cookies with my brother for Christmas to see if Santa would come and eat them. 2. I could definitely teach a “Hap-

make the food appear in seconds because I love to eat. 5. “The Girl on Fire” or “Torch” 6. My theme song would be “Love Me” by Katy Perry. Matthew Cabrices, Senior 1. My favorite holiday memory is building my first computer during Thanksgiving break in 2008. 2. “Keys To Successful Last Minute Studying” 3. A pet peeve of mine is when people make fun of others. 4. I would invent a safe teleportation device, so I can travel to different places easily. 5. Sir Cabrices 6. My theme songs are “Galileo” by The Indigo Girls and “Something More” by Sugarland.

Visit blueandgoldnews. to meet more interesting students

photos by Chris Smith

The time has come for staff to move into the new building and start fresh. Many staff members have had their bad and good moments in the old building. The Blue and Gold asked three staff members questions about their experience at Chamblee: Math III teacher Clint Momon, Jr., calculus teacher Zareen Hagan and custodian Larry Hall. “I started the year 1989. I have been working at Chamblee for about 25 years now,” said Momon. Momon has been through about six or seven different principals at Chamblee, along with changing administrations. Momon likes how there is now a bigger group of teachers than there was when he started working at Chamblee. Around the year 1991, there were not many teachers because there were fewer students. After the magnet program started, the population of the school increased, along with the amount of teachers. During his career at Chamblee, Momon has had a number of unique and interesting

by Onna Biswas

experiences. “One time I saved a boy’s life at the swimming pool and pulled him out. One coach was unsuccessful, and so, I came in, pushed the student’s stomach, and he began to breathe. Along with that, I calmed everyone down. Last year, he came back to see me on the sideline during our homecoming game, and thanked me for saving his life,” said Momon. “This is something that happened about 18 years ago.” In 1990, Chamblee was scheduled to close and multiple principals had left, but principal Dr. Martha Reichrath brought the school back up. She was at Chamblee from 1991 to 1998. “[Dr. Reichrath] had turned Chamblee around. Thanks to her, Chamblee is what it is now,” said Momon. Reichrath who was the cause of the magnet program at Chamblee, is honored on a plaque in Chamblee’s hall of fame. “I came in with the magnet program when it first started,” said Hagan.

Hagan has been working at Chamblee since 1991. “The school was going to close in 1991 because the population had dropped. Then when Reichrath was selected as the principal, she fought for it, and created the magnet program. That’s what kept Chamblee going,” said Hagan. The population had dropped below 400 at that time. “It’s been an exciting 22 years at Chamblee, and I wouldn’t change anything about it,” said Hagan. Hall is a custodian in Chamblee and has been at the school for 31 years. “The main thing that has changed in Chamblee is the students,” said Hall. Around the year 1982, there were not many students at Chamblee, and it was not as diverse as it is now. “What I like about Chamblee now is that there are more students and staff, unlike when I started working here,” said Hall.

The Blue and Gold wants to hear from you! Do you have the inside scoop on an interesting event or activity that a Chamblee student is taking part in? If so, please stop by trailer T4A!

photo by Michelle Serrano

Tenured Staff Members Notice Changes at Chamblee

Page 18

Back Page The Bush’s Fate Finally Realized

Change is quickly approaching as the Great Chamblee Migration is planned to take place in less than two months. The migration is to blend friend and foe alike and create a new Chamblee culture and dynamic, the likes of which has never been seen on this Earth. The past month alone has seen rapid development in the conflict between the Bush and the Ivory Tower. The traditional tactics of sabotage and infiltration have been traded in for flattery. As it is obvious that the physical battleground that these two factions squabble over shall soon be changed, the Ivory Tower and the Bush have turned to winning over the affection of Chamblee’s citizens. The Bush has taken to its hardcore patriots to win over new sympathies from the masses. A t-shirt campaign has been started by the Premier Karassik to encourage the return of the great leader of the Bush, Governor Ely. The camo style shirt has the Governor’s face across the chest and the phrase “Free Ely” across the back. The Bush has gone as far as to create Free Ely bumper stickers and place them on the cars of Ivory Tower leaders. Some cars were said to be so covered in stickers that AAA had to be called in to tow the cars away because they were

by Dan Richardson no longer “fit to drive.” The Ivory Tower fired back on Halloween when they handed out hundreds of masks that resembled the Premier,

saying that Chamblee students need to understand the true horror that lives out in the Bush. According to two Ivory Tower janitors, three kids became ill upon first sight of the masks, claiming that the face disturbed their souls. The Blue and Gold has been unable to verify this story. This entire dynamic of one upping the others’ actions

Volume 87, Issue 3

all came to a halt when the Imperial County took all the Chamblee teachers on a tour of New Chamblee. This was the wake up call that both sides needed. The walk around the school awoke a new sense of urgency that both the Ivory Tower and the Bush had not truly understood: neither of them could truly win the Tin Can War. Both the Ivory Tower and the Bush have to be wiped off the map so the Glass Monstrosity can be finished. While both sides are beginning to plan their strategies for taking influence over the Glass Monstrosity, the leaders of both sides are not going to easily forget how special the Ivory Tower and the Bush have been to them. Thanks to the lack of any real higher supervision by the Imperial County, the Ivory Tower and Bush have both funneled some of County’s frozen account funds to set up funding to create memorials for their respective countries in honor of everything that they have given them. If anyone has inspirations they would like to share for the Bush Memorial, please talk to either Premier Karassik or Governor Ely.

Teachers Share Their Past Job Experiences by Aurora Blumberg

For a lot of students, it is hard to think that teachers have any type of life outside of the classroom. What is even harder to realize is that they might have held other occupations before teaching. Literature teacher and wrestling coach Adam Winkler has had so many jobs that he has lost count. Some examples include working as a Stanley Steamer carpet cleaner, a waiter, a dump truck driver, and an airport ramp agent. “My favorite, though, was being a flower delivery guy,” said Winkler. “Everyone was always happy to see you, except when delivering at the funeral homes.” His longest held job other than teaching did not last for more than a year. “I like to mix it up, and everything I was doing was jobs and not careers,” said Winkler. His last job is what got him into teaching. He was working as a paralegal and saw the sadness caused by foreclosures, and knew he could not do that for the rest of his life. “I wanted to do something that would benefit the community. I didn’t know what I wanted; I only knew what I didn’t want,” said Winkler

As a polar opposite, photography and visual arts teacher Angela Georges knew what she wanted to do in life. “I worked as a bartender for a few years on-and-off, but I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was 12,” said Georges. Another faculty member who, like Winkler, had a hard time choosing a career was Christine Holland. She has two master degrees and had to pay her own way through school. She worked at TV69, which is now known as The CW, organizing programs for three years before going back to school to get a masters. When Holland was working for one of her masters degrees, she worked her most interesting jobs. She worked as one of Santa’s helpers at a mall for two seasons dressed as an elf. Holland thought the worst job she had was working as a perfume model though. “I worked for Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdales, the high end department store,” said Holland. “I would be dressed really nicely, with lots of make up, asking people if they wanted to sample a certain perfume. I only did it because it paid well.”

Advanced Placement United States History teacher Stephen Rubino used to fill people up with his culinary masterpieces as a chef before filling students’ minds with knowledge of history from Columbus to Clinton. He worked as a chef for four years at different locations including Aunt Charlie’s and Atkins Park, which is still around today. “I was a chef because it was fun,” said Rubino. “And I love food.” Rubino’s longest job outside of teaching was owning a business for almost a decade. He owned a furniture refinishing business that led him into teaching. “Every job I’ve had ended up with me training someone to do something and after the refinishing business, [it] got to the point where I had to incorporate or close it,” said Rubino. “I thought maybe I should use my degree, so I started to look into teaching.” Rubino believes it does not matter whether you know right away what you want to do or want to try a few things out before deciding. “Each person has their own path to find.”

Deciphering Holiday Taste Buds With the passing of Halloween, the two biggest commercial holidays of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, are right around the corner. Soon, holiday decorations will adorn every house on every street. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, large amounts of food are consumed. As per tradition, many people eat turkey and ham with various sides such as stuffing with cranberry dressing and macaroni ‘n’ cheese. However, not every Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is “traditional.” “My mom makes this Hunan-style turkey stir-fry with celery and hot peppers [see recipe at right] because she’s from Hunan. It’s delicious. She makes it for the day after Thanksgiving,” said junior Laya ByrnZhan. Many students come from diverse ethnic backgrounds; therefore, they combine traditional holiday foods with ethnic dishes. “For Christmas, we eat tamales. A tamale is a

by Sierra Reese Mexican dish that has chicken in it. It’s cooked for four hours,” said sophomore Miriam Nava. “We have the same traditional side dishes for Christmas, but the tamales are our main dish.” Some students eat foods that go beyond the scope of the normal palate and challenge the taste buds. “We’ve always had deer stew at Thanksgiving to go with our regular deep fried turkey and yams. Normally, my cousin Trey skins it, because he actually hunts the deer in the woods near my grandma’s house. Then, my aunts will do all of the vegetable chopping and seasoning,” said junior Ciara Allen, who enjoys a very untraditional Thanksgiving meal. Occasionally, Allen eats possum stew if someone is willing to set up the traps. “It’s nice to have stews during Thanksgiving. The warm flavors and seasonings reflect the warm family,” said Allen.

Mama’s Post-Thanksgiving Hunan-Style Stir-Fry INGREDIENTS


1 cup 3-4

1. Put one tbsp of oil in a pan and put the ginger and the peppers in to fry when the oil is hot. Fry for a minute or two to let the flavor infuse into the oil. 2. Once the oil is saturated, put the turkey in to stir-fry just long enough to get the flavor in, and then finally put in the celery and stir-fry until just tender but still crunchy; not too long, maybe five to eight minutes.

4-5 To taste To taste

Leftover Turkey Jalapeno peppers or crushed dried red peppers Stalks of chopped celery Ginger Slices Minced black fermented soybeans

Planning on trying this recipe out? Tweet us a picture of your creation @bulldogspage1

November 2013 Issue of the Blue and Gold  
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