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New year, new classes, new food United States Department of Agriculture releases new requirements for school lunches Elena Parcell, ‘14

March 6, but they have until July 1 to make the modifications. The program is estimated to cost $3.2 billion over the course of he 32 million students across the country who eat school five years, with schools receiving one billion to implement the breakfasts and lunches will see their meal options be- revisions. The USDA intends to introduce the changes over an come healthier over the course of extended time period the next few years. In January, to give schools, stunew school lunch and breakfast dents and personnel standards created by the United time to adjust, since States Department of Agriculture the standards have (USDA) were released. Though not been changed for the changes have already been fi15 years. nalized and announced, the new Students may not standards will not take effect until find the changes to March 6. The changes are based the plan to be as saton the new food pyramid and the isfying. Sophomore new standards provided by the InElizabeth Neureiter stitute of Medicine (IOM). says that the quality The new standards do not only of the food will deaffect the meals themselves; the termine whether or plan contains several other main not the new standards BY ELENA PARCELL provisions according to the USDA make the meals more website. Meal pricing will be re- A school lunch consisting of a fish sandwich, orange, tater tots, cookies or less enjoyable. vised to reflect the changes to the with whole grain and low fat milk. Though Arlington meals already com- She thinks healthier standards, and vending machines ply with the new standards, other regions will soon see drastic changes. school lunches are in schools now must contain healthy snacks and drinks. To en- a good idea “because a lot of children are overweight.” Gracia sure that the program is as successful as possible, training will be Luoma-Overstreet said that the changes to the meals will hopeprovided to schools about the revisions. fully improve them. Some of the major changes pertain to fruits and vegetables. According to Principal Gregg Robertson, the changes to meals Fruits and vegetables are now considered separate parts of a meal at Arlington County schools will not be significant. Many of the and students must choose at least one as part of a school lunch. new standards have been in place in the county for seven to eight Schools will be required to offer a wider variety of vegetables, in- years “to provide students with healthier and better choices,” said cluding leafy greens and legumes, and to provide fruits at break- Mr. Robertson. fast. According to the USDA, the new “nutrient-dense” meals Mr. Robertson does think, however, that the new standards will provide good nutrition without adding too many calories to will help students across the country make better decisions when students’ diets. it comes to school meals, particularly in areas that still serve The modifications to the school menu are apparent. A school foods such as pizza and french fries regularly. meal prepared before the standards were revised might contain The new USDA standards are a sample of the balancing act one or two fruit or vegetable options, and hardly ever offer both that occurs with all meals today; the struggle to provide the propa fruit and a vegetable. A school meal after the revisions would er amount of calories while maintaining good nutrition. Arlingcontain three to four vegetable and fruit options and more whole ton students might not see many of their meals change, but the grain. Schools are supposed to adopt the changes beginning on revisions will be more pronounced in other parts of the country. Staff Reporter


New IB exam structure Isabel Amend, ‘12

Staff Reporter

International Baccalaureate (IB) language exams are permanently changing for next year’s students. The English and foreign language tests will now be significantly different, but teachers do not yet know whether that will for better or for worse. The structural change comes every three or four years and is accompanied by exam syllabi being completely rearranged. Students taking IB French will have five minutes to look at a picture and then around ten minutes to talk about it for their exam. This strikes a heavy blow to language students who treasured the article assignment, in which test takers


Feature, pages 6-7

were given a month to read an article, dissect it and, with prepared notes, talk about it for seven minutes to an examiner. A poll conducted in January by two IB French students showed that an overwhelming majority of seniors preferred the old way of testing--approximately 80 percent circled the “article” option as opposed to the “photo” one. An interesting contrast is that 60 percent of juniors, who have had little to no experience with the “article” option, actually chose the picture option. On the English side of affairs, the oral exams that seniors stress about each December will be replaced with a more predictable test. Beforehand, seniors will open an envelope and have 20 minutes to read and annotate a poem from a predetermined


Students go to Washington, D.C. often, but may not be taking advantage of all the district has to offer. Check out new places to visit and things to do.



author--most likely Emily Dickinson for next year’s examinees. The first five minutes will be spent talking about this author’s passage, and then the next five minutes will be spent discussing any of the three novels that the student read earlier in the year. Examiners will tie in themes from Dickinson to the randomly chosen book discussion. Mrs. Sarah Congable, an IB English 12 teacher, said, “in a nutshell, this new exam format will be a lot more stress-free and narrowly focused, yet challenging at the same time.” Senior Manon Loustaunau, a veteran of the stress inducing oral, notes that “having a mere 20 minutes to write a comprehensive literary argument was difficult--what made it torturous was the fact that my passage was Shakespeare, my least favorite author.”



Specials, page 10

First annual Crossed Sabres scavenger hunt features tricky clues that lead you to different rooms around the school.

Education vs. tourism Repeal of “Kings Dominion law” allows counties to set their own schedules Nataly Farag, ‘13

Staff Reporter

Every year parents, teachers and employers in Virginia debate whether school systems should follow the 25-year old “Kings Dominion law” that requires schools in Virginia to start the school year after Labor Day. Although the law allows local school boards to set their own calendar as far as holidays, it does not give them the option of choosing when to start school. The law was originally created to protect the tourism industry within the state because many tourist attractions, including theme parks such as Kings Dominion, rely on high school students as summer employees. Opponents of the law, however, argue that it sets Virginia students behind in preparing for standardized tests, and the Arlington School board has supported the legislation to repeal the law for a decade. Two-thirds of the school districts in Virginia already qualify for waivers to start before Labor Day, mostly because they have a high average number of snow days each year. Republican Delegate Robert Tata recently proposed a bill to repeal the law, which is similar to six others previously introduced in the General Assembly. Delegates voted 76-23 last week to approve the House bill. Virginia school districts may finally be able to start classes before Labor Day without getting special state permission if the bill is approved by the Senate as well. Still, it remains uncertain whether the bill will survive; the Senate committee killed a similar bill on a 9-6 vote last month. Abby Raphael, chairman of the Arlington School Board, believes that local school districts might be close to getting the law repealed, as some Senate members are reconsidering their votes this time. “We certainly wouldn’t reschedule it this year, though, because we’re already far down the road for setting our calendar for next year,’’ Mrs. Raphael said. She also indicated that if schools were allowed to start before Labor Day, the matter would be discussed with the community before making any final decisions. Raphael continued to say that “One of the big advantages would be to give AP or IB students more time to go through the curriculum and be more competitive with students nationwide.’’ According to Assistant Principal Ms. Margarita Cruz, starting school later puts students at a disadvantage as they have to work harder in order to cover all the material before exam time. “It would be better for school districts to decide what’s best for their students. Starting a week earlier will definitely make a difference for students and teachers here,’’ she said. Senior Mona Fahmy also agrees that starting sooner would encourage more effective use of classroom time. “Not only would there be more instructional time before...exams, but the school year would end sooner. Families would, therefore, have the same amount of vacation. I don’t see where the problem lies.”


March 7, 2012


Crossed Sabres

Conservatism in the General Assembly Politically-minded students divided over recent legislation

Sarah Sears, ‘14

Staff Eeporter

The Virginia General Assembly, comprised of the state Senate and the House of Delegates, began its 60-day regular session on January 11. Following the state’s elections in November, the Republicans held a majority of the seats in the House of Delegates, and seized control of the Senate on the opening day of the 2012 session. Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling (R) can serve as a tiebreaker in the chamber, which is equally divided between Democrats and Republicans. The session’s goals included passing a two-year budget for the state and assessing thousands of bills. The Republicans capitalized on their newly-won majority, proposing numerous bills based on conservative ideology. These included reduced gun control laws, stricter abortion legislation and a movement to provide unborn children with full rights as citizens of the state of Virginia. On February 1, the House voted to institute House Bill 940, a law that would remove the state’s 18 year-old law prohibiting the purchase of more than one gun per month. Twelve days later, on February 13, the Senate voted to pass the bill. The bill was drafted by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and is one of more than 40 gun control laws expected to be considered under the new Republican-dominated legislature. The gun control bills’ main arguments are that gun-control laws infringe upon the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution that assures the right to own and bear arms. “It is a constitutional right to bear arms, but you would think that in [light of] the shootings at Virginia Tech there would be a more sensitive outlook on gun laws,” said sophomore Matthew Nice. “If you’re in a public place, public safety is more important,” said junior Dana Raphael, vice president of the Young Democrats Club. Sophomore Kaitlin Dumont took a more conservative stance based on personal freedom, saying, “People should be allowed to own as many guns as they want,

as long as they are not endangering others.” Another topic of interest to conservative legislators is abortion. The Republican stance is generally pro-life, arguing that a fetus has the right to protection of its life by the government and that abortion should be outlawed. Senate Bill 484 was passed by the senate on February 1 and by the house on February 22, an amended version was passed by the Senate on PHOTO COURTESY OF FROMTHEEDITR.COM February 28 af- Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly’s House of Delegatres meet in the House Chamber. Republicans currently ter increased me- hold a majority of the seats in both the House of Delegates and the Senate, and have used that majority to propose dia coverage and legislation that promotes a more conservative ideaology. However, some of these bills have been stalled. public criticism of the bill. The bill would have required that a phael. Both bills stalled towards the end tion agencies to reject prospective parents mother undergo ultrasound imaging before of February; HB 1285 was moved to the based on the agency’s moral or religious getting an abortion and have the opportuni- 2013 agenda. ideology, including their views on homoty to either view the ultrasound image, hear The House proposed a bill that would sexuality. House Bill 1063 would repeal the fetal heartbeat or sign a waiver saying grant an unborn child full rights as a citi- the King’s Dominion Law requiring state that she the opportunity to see the ultra- zen of the Commonwealth and the United schools to open after Labor Day. The bill is sound image. “A lot of women getting an States, arguing that life begins at concep- supported by Virginia Democrats, accordabortion are doing it for financial reasons tion. Similar bills have not passed in Colo- ing to Raphael. The bill passed the House and having them pay more to [go through] rado and Mississippi in the past four years. on February 2, but the Senate Committee an even more painful process makes no “This makes no sense,” said Raphael, “[fe- on Education and Health defeated it on sense,” said Nice. tuses] are not advanced organisms in any March 1. Other bills considered during the 2012 way, and this would give them freedom of Ultimately, there may be little Virginia session include the Virginia Pain-Capable speech and rights of assembly and press.” Democrats can do to combat the session’s Unborn Child Protection Act (House Bill The House passed the bill on February legislation at a state or local level. The Re1285), which would prohibit abortion past 8, but the Senate Committee on Education publicans’ actions may affect the presiden20 weeks of gestation and a bill that would and Health voted to pass by the bill indefi- tial race in November, however, especially repeal state funding of abortions for wom- nitely. in regards to Governor Robert McDonen who meet financial criteria if the doctor The legislature is also expected to de- nell’s chances of being chosen as the Reconfirms that the baby will have an inca- bate on issues regarding gay rights and publican nominee’s running mate. Raphael pacitating deformity or deficiency. “Forc- education. House Bill 189 and Senate said, “My hope is that there is so much tering someone to pay for an abortion would Bill 349, which passed on February 21, rible Republican legislation that it will help limit abortion along class lines,” said Ra- are identical bills that would allow adop- Obama get reelected.”

Honoring diversity through song and dance Black History Assembly celebrates the achievements of past and present African-Americans Saira Rehman, ‘15

Staff Reporter The struggles and accomplishments of African-Americans have had their extremes: from slavery to having the first African-American President of the United States. On February 17, the school celebrated the annual Black History Month assembly. The school uses this time to celebrate the struggles and successes that African Americans have been through. “It’s a chance for us to think about the tough times African Americans have been through,” said freshman Brandon Timpane. Mr. James Sample, the Minority Achievement coordinator, took a group of students to an exhibit at The National Portrait Gallery to find inspiration in preparation for the assembly. It was in the gallery that they came up with the idea to structure the assembly around important and inspiring African Americans who have led the way for black people today. Throughout the assembly, there were a number of performances. The host was senior Terrance Ellis, who has been host-


African-American students pay tribute to inspirational African-American women. The students held signs that listed the many characterisitics the women embodied.

ing the assembly for the past four years. At the beginning of the assembly, a PowerPoint consisting of pictures of inspirational African Americans including Whitney Houston, Chris Rock and Tyra Banks was shown. “I felt that we portrayed Black History Month a lot better than in years past,” Ellis said. “We usually do a lot of talking about history, but this time it was definitely more

modern and entertaining.” Students especially enjoyed the musical aspects of the assembly. “My favorite part would have to be when Abir Haronni sang a song by Whitney Houston because she was amazing,” said sophomore Katie Stephenson. Senior Devin Parker said his favorite part was when the Jazz Band performed because, “they really projected the culture

of African Americans. They showed a variety of different songs and it really got me excited.” There were also a number of dance performances, both traditional and modern. Singing and dancing were not the only aspects of African-American culture celebrated. Junior Kirubel Fessesework recited an original poem and received a loud round of applause. “The assembly really spoke to people because it was all about diversity,” said Mr. Sample. Mr. Sample also said that the focus of the assembly was “to remember people who have passed away that have contributed to African American awareness and also living legends that have done the same, especially Whitney Houston.” This assembly, though, is just one part of Black History Month, and students are excited to continue honoring African Americans. “Black History Month is a fabulous time,” said sophomore Christopher Holland, “Because it shows the struggles and endeavors that African Americans have been through.”


Crossed Sabres

March 7, 2012

ACTA under fire

Protests grow worldwide over international treaty Lucy Naland, ‘15

speaking out against it. Several parts of Europe especially are in an uproar since it is their government, the European Union, that Since news first surfaced about the will ultimately decide if ACTA is passed or Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its not. Though there currently have not been Senate counterpart, PROTECT IP (PIPA) as many ACTA protests or as much media in October of 2011, the public has become coverage taking place in the States, ACTA increasingly aware of the problems with is still important and should not be taken the crime of online piracy in lightly, as it will affect U.S. citizens greatly America. However, most if it is passed. “Internet users should be people are unaware of concerned about ACTA,” said anti-ACTA the similar act, the Antifreshman William Edmisten, “It not only Counterfeiting Trade will affect Europe, but a large percentage Agreement, also known of the world.” as ACTA. Though the popular opinion on ACTA Introduced in Ocis negative, the treaty is not all bad. tober 2007, ACTA is a There are some elements intreaty between 39 countries cluded in it intended to prethat is similar to SOPA and serve freedom of speech and PIPA, but significantly more genuine online commerce. expansive. However, it is not The European Commission’s yet in effect because it needs website states, “ACTA ratification from the European guarantees all safeUnion (EU). The countries inguards and exempvolved in the act are among tions provided by the world’s most developed, inexisting or Eurocluding Canada, Japan, Austrapean norms, such as lia, the European Community, fundamental rights, South Korea and even the privacy, freedom of United States, who signed it speech, etc.” on October 1 in 2011. However, citizens ACTA not only seeks to of countries worldwide enforce copyright but also continue to protest the aims to target counterfeited act, and this June, goods and certain medicines. the EU will come Unfortunately, up until 2010 to a vote. Whether most information known about ACTA seems right ACTA was taken from leaked docor dangerous, it uments as the countries involved in PHOTO COURTESY OF STOPACTA.COM definitely deserves the treaty have been very secretive The ACTA treaty, though not as well know as SOPA and PIPA, has still more attention as it about it. In fact, all of ACTA’s nego- inspired some protest movements. The image taken above is from the will effect everyone tiations have been done covertly, and website of one such moevment, “Stop ACTA.” This group offers an online in the 39 countries intentional secrecy to mislead the petition and oppportunities to campaign against the treaty at home. involved. public has been recently revealed. Staff Reporter

While SOPA and PIPA ultimately failed and were dropped by the U.S. government in January 2012, ACTA is getting increasingly more recognition. Still, the majority of the public is not aware of it. In a recent survey among Washington-Lee students, only 35% of the 20 surveyed knew what ACTA was. Like with previous bills of this nature, many people are


What’s going on?

Important upcoming events to put on your calendar March 8: Choral Pre-District Festival Concert March 8-March 9: IB Spanish A2 oral exams (8:00 am) March 9-March 10: Distract Band Festival March 14: Middle School and High School Pyramid Jazz Festival (7:00 pm-9:00 pm) March 16: Heritage Assembly (8:30 am) March 16: Extended Essay/CAS Celebration for full-IB diploma candidates of the Class of 2012 (11:45 am to 12: 30 pm) March 16: IB History of Americas and Topics HL mock exam (3:00 pm) March 16: Chantilly Jazz Festival (5:00 pm) March 26:- Senior Experience applications due March 28-March 31: Band Southern Tour COMPILED BY NOHA OSMAN, ‘11

Ten traits every high school student should exhibit The IB Learner Profile defines the qualities of an IB student Sydney Johnson, ‘15

Staff Reporter

“If you walk around the building or into any IB classroom you will see the learner profile in action,” said the International Baccalaureate (IB) Coordinator Mr. Chad DeMagistris. “Students are curious about learning new skills, taking risks, listening to others and respecting ideas and abilities.” The official IB Learner Profile reads, “The attributes and descriptors of the learner profile define the type of learner the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) hopes to develop through its programmes.” This booklet has a list of characteristics that help students have “international mindedness” and “global competence.” The learner profile was first published in 2006 and was revised in 2009. Mr. DeMagistris explained the goals of the learner profile. “The International Baccalaureate Organization has translated its mission statement into ‘a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century’ and has called it the Learner Profile,” he said. “The learner profile helps to bring about coherence within a school--the opportunity to focus on common themes, putting them into action and challenging all members of the school community to be active life-long learners.” There are ten attributes in the learner


An IB Learner Profile poster that will soon be up in the hallways. The posters are meant to help inform students who are considering participating in the IB program about the characteristic they will need to excel in the program.

profile. IB learners are expected to be “inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective” in order to benefit from the program. An attribute that is often taken the wrong way or misinterpreted is “risk taker.” According to Mr. Paul Jamelske,

parents are skeptical about the meaning. “It’s not meant to encourage kids to put themselves in dangerous situations. It’s meant to encourage them to go outside of their comfort zones.” “One of the most important attributes is ‘balanced,’” said Mr. Jamelske. “Some students have too much on their plates.

You shouldn’t be overwhelmed and [you should] make time to have fun, socialize, and relax.” Mr. Jamelske also said that the attribute “reflective” is equally important. “Students need to be able to think back and ask themselves questions to figure out what they’re doing well and where they can improve,” said Mr. Jamelske. “How am I growing? How am I learning? How am I interacting with people?” According to the Learner Profile, students should also be active thinkers. The IB version of an “ah-ha moment” was dubbed an “IB Moment,” which was allegedly coined by English teacher Mrs. Sarah Congable. “Usually these IB moments crossconnect English classes with IB Topics, IB Social Anthropology, IB Philosophy or Theory of Knowledge,” Mrs. Congable said. “Occasionally a science link emerges, too, but not as regularly.” The IB Moments aren’t just for full IB students. A fairly common route for some students is to take only one or two IB courses and not go into the full IB Programme. Mrs. Congable said, “Even the students that aren’t doing the full IB Programme can have their IB Moments after hearing about the other courses from the other students that have told them about their experiences.”

March 7, 2012 4 LIFESTYLES

Crossed Sabres

Like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, only classy Two fans explain the merits of Downton Abbey

When we first started watching Downton Abbey in its first season last year, we were alone in our old lady British television fanaticism. Now, just after the end of its second season, the miniseries has gotten praise from Vanity Fair and Cosmopolitan and has seen its own fan-made Valentine’s Day cards, trading cards and lists of pickup lines. Its growing young viewership has made us feel less like stuffy, tea-drinking spinsters and more like discoverers of great entertainment. Downton Abbey is classy, humorous and addictive. Whether you have followed the esteemed Crawley family and their team of servants from the beginning, are looking to jump on the bandwagon when the third season airs in September, or are completely out of the loop, we are confident that the following reasons will make you want to join the Downton Abbey cult of class.

Class. And lots of it. I think it is fair to say that many of the old rules applied to social situations, conduct and dining have been thrown out the window in today’s society. You hear about it all the time from your parents; in their day, people were actually polite to each other. They never acted like animals. Of course, some of that can simply be attributed to the change of times. But there are many other rules, ones that maybe should have stuck around, that are alive and well in Downton Abbey. Men rise every time a woman enters a room and hold her chair out for her. The butler spends most of his time pouring wine precisely through a napkin and literally has a heart attack when one of the servants serves soup incorrectly. If you want to impress your parents with some knowledge of advanced etiquette, or simply long for a glimpse of a more genteel time, this is absolutely the show for you.

Respectful men Though the time period for Downton Abbey would mandate old-fashioned male supremacy from the upper-class patriarchs of the Crawley family, some of the male characters are models of respect and class. Lord Grantham undergoes a transformation from a seemingly heartless father only concerned with his fortune and the social status of his daughters, to being an accepting man capable of sympathy and understanding of what it means for his daughters and wife to be happy. His flaws are common for the times, especially his preoccupation with his daughters marrying into another elite family and his adulterous relationship with a member of his service staff. However, there are other men in the show that better embody sophistication. Matthew Crawley, the heir to the fortune, is proud of his humble middle class, working man background. He refuses to sacrifice his job to fit in to the larger Crawley family, and tries hard not to inconvenience anybody by not requesting a man-servant. When he discovers that the servant he has been given by Lord Grantham feels use-

less working for him when he requires so little assistance, Matthew demonstrates compassion and sympathy by going out of his way to make his servant feel needed and comfortable in his new job. Matthew is polite to everyone and is exceptionally loving and respectful of his mother. What a gentleman! Matthew’s only flaw is that he underestimates people’s love for him, so ends up breaking their hearts trying to do what is best for them. All of Matthew’s selflessness and dignity left viewers ecstatic when he finally got some happiness of his own at the end of the second season. Let’s just say that there were not any broken hearts this time!

Gorgeous everything What Downton Abbey lacks in historical accuracy at times, it makes up for tenfold with beautifully designed sets, costumes and scenery. Not to mention the attractive people who grace the screen, including Lady Sybil Crawley (Saturday Night Live ran a parody commercial that referred to her as “way hot”), Matthew Crawley with his piercing blue eyes and an unfortunate Turkish man named Mr. Pamuk who lost his life during a racy rendezvous with Lady Mary Crawley. Highclere Castle, designed by the same architect who did the British Parliament building, has been converted into the lavish Crawley estate. Period accurate furniture, lighting fixtures, silverware and art worthy of being in a museum complete the set. Adding to the aesthetic appeal of Downton Abbey are the costumes. The Crawleys always look magnificent, and the servants, even though they dress very simply, wear clothes that reflect their status in the hierarchy of their own world.

Dame Maggie Smith Most of you might best know Dame Maggie Smith from her role in the Harry Potter films as Professor McGonagall. In Downton Abbey, despite her lack of an awesome magic wand, Smith still manages to be amazing in her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham. She is sassy and

sharp with a British accent to boot, a British Betty White. Every scene featuring her is peppered with witty one-liners and comebacks, such as “What is a weekend?” and, “Don’t be defeatist, dear. It’s very middle class.” When Mr. Pamuk dies tragically “in his sleep,” all the Dowager Countess has to say is, “Of course it would happen to a foreigner. No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house.” Snobby? Yes. Cynical? Yes. Hilarious? Absolutely. Her constant quips have led to the formation of multiple appreciation blogs and memes, as well as an Emmy win. However, it is not merely her humor that makes the Dowager Countess such an asset to the show. It is how through that humor, the richer group of characters are made much more accessible to the audience. Because we love the Dowager, we learn to love the rest of her family, as well as see their point of view more easily. She represents the old world and its traditions that are slowly being lost in the turn of the century.

You can sound more sophisticated than all your Jersey Shore watching friends. Tired of hearing how Snooki was punched in the face last night, or how The Situation ran into a wall to get out of a fight? On Downton Abbey, the characters deal with serious problems that are far different than being really hung over or fighting with your roommate. One character must deal with her increasingly radical ideas that conflict with her family’s traditional values. Another character must try to break out of her lowly station as a maid and make something of herself. Other characters face the many horrors of World War I and the difficult task of readjusting to life back at home. Of course, it can be easy to rely on shows such as Jersey Shore in order to get your regular dose of drama. However, there is no lack of those kinds of story lines on Downton Abbey. One maid has an illegitimate child after a brief relationship with a soldier. Another marries a valet, only to have him accused of murdering his exwife. Overall, Downton Abbey is able to deliver dramatic plots, but with actual emotional impact. COMPILED BY EMILY WALKER, ‘12 AND ISABEL LARROCA, ‘14

Out of your comfort zone?

IB Social Anthropology classes take field trip and see poverty, racism in D.C.

Abigail Bessler, ‘13

Features Editor

A group of students stepped out of the Metro doors at the Brookland-CUA stop, clutching cameras and talking excitedly. Instead of walking with the other passengers to leave the station, the students spread out across the platform and stared eagerly at the graffiti decorating the dirty walls of the metro station. On February 23 and 24, students from Mr. Robert Summers’ and Mr. Peter Vogel’s International Baccalaureate Social and Cultural Anthropology classes took a field trip not only to look at graffiti, but to go to the N-Street Village women’s shelter in the district. At N-Street Village, students sat in rows and heard about the services offered by the shelter, which included housing and therapy and mental health programs for women living there. There were two different speakers who shared their personal experiences with homelessness: Noelle and Barbara. Both women were forced into poverty after losing their jobs--Noelle lost her


The Brookland-CUA Metro stop was part of the IB Social and Cultural Anthropology field trip. The metro stop is notorious for graffiti and other street art, which was a focus of the class in their poverty unit.

corporate job due to the recession, and Barbara lost her job after being diagnosed with diabetes. Senior Nina Troy listened to Barbara’s story. “I thought her story was very moving,” Troy said. “It was nice to see that she didn’t let homelessness affect her as a person.” The classes had just finished reading In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio, a study of the underground crack economy on the streets of New York City written by anthropologist Philippe Bourgois. The ethnography focuses on the combination of structure and

individual action that pushes people in El Barrio, particularly members of the dominant Puerto Rican population, into poverty and into the crack economy. Prominent themes in the ethnography included sexism, gentrification, racism and generational differences in the Puerto Rican community. “It was interesting to see many of the things we read in the book come alive as we took pictures of graffiti and walked through Anacostia,” junior Clara Martin, a student in Mr. Summers’ second period class, commented. This is the second year that

social anthropology classes have gone on the field trip, but Mr. Summers said it was the first time they had gone to Anacostia, a neighborhood in the district known for its high crime rates in the 1990s. The Anacostia stop was added as a connection to the idea of “racial apartheid” discussed in In Search of Respect. According to the Metropolitan Police Department, the number of homicides in the district encompassing Anacostia (the seventh district) has decreased from 61 in 2001 to 42 in 2009, accompanied by a decrease in aggravated assault. However,

robberies and burglaries have increased in the past years. In 2009, the seventh district comprised 4,205 of the 24,684 crimes city-wide. The high crime rates have led to fewer tourists entering the district, and as students walked from the Anacostia Metro station to Cedar Hill, the location of one of the homes of renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass, they noticed the racial stratification of the neighborhood. “There was a renovated house with brand new, shiny windows and paint right next to a house that was completely torn up with a dead front lawn, littered with broken bottles and cigarette packets,” Troy said. “I found it interesting the two houses were adjacent to one another.” After returning from the field trip, many students said they had felt out of place in Anacostia. Despite this feeling, Martin said she enjoyed the field trip immensely. “It changed some of the views I had on homelessness and artwork in the form of vandalism,” she said. “I think it was a really valuable experience for all of us who went on the trip.”


Crossed Sabres

Acting as one A backstage look at student directed on acts Noah Pilchen, ‘12

Managing Editor

Even though the school theatre department is run by Mr. Keith Cassidy, once a year, students play the role of directors and produce a series of one-act plays. This year, students from the school’s IB Theatre class chose the plays and directed them as their independent projects for the class. The IB Theatre students recieved a major grade for their direction and production of the individual one acts. This year, the shows chosen were: The One Exception, Variations on the Death of Trotsky, The Cagebirds, Twelfth Night, Words, Words, Words and The Monkey’s Paw. Although all of these were performed at the school one-act festival, The One Exception and Twelfth Night were both part of separate, regional competitions. The One Exception competed in the Virginia High School League’s Theatre Festival and Twelfth Night will compete in the Secondary School Shakespeare Festival on March 13. “I really don’t have a part in the oneacts,” said Mr. Cassidy. “It’s entirely the students’ responsibilities.” This means that not only do the students cast and direct the plays, but they also must design costumes, sets and other theatrical elements. “I point them in the right direction,” said Mr. Cassidy, “but only if they ask me for my input.”

Many of the directors quickly realized that they would not only have to direct their show, but also assist in the organization of the school one-act showcase. “I never knew how much work went into running a showcase,” said senior Peter Hazel. “We had to work on big issues such as tech and the length of each play, but we also had to focus on the small like programs and advertising.” The artwork on the programs and posters was even designed by sophomore Meredith Sweeney. One of the major problems that arose early in the rehearsal process was the need for a staff member supervising rehearsals in the theatre. “Ms. Shirey is the reason why we were able to rehearse in the theatre,” said senior Emma Banchoff. “She graciously graded IAs in the theatre while we rehearsed.” Whether they were acting, costuming or doing tech, students from all grade levels were involved during the rehearsal or production process. “Everyone is all so kind and helpful,” said Freshman Bailey Kowalski said. “Being a freshman I was afraid of working with upper classmen, but they were all so nice and helped me improve a lot.” Although there were some major and minor hitches during the rehearsal process, the directors and actors pushed through to produce a wonderful weekend of one-acts that were enjoyed by students and teachers alike.

Springing into the season Arlington’s many springtime entertainments Alice Maggio, ‘13

Staff Reporter

Once the days grow longer, there is more time to get out and do something fun. There are plenty of activities to do in Arlington, whether that is giving back to the community, exploring, trying new experiences or just having a fun relaxing time. The following options should keep Arlingtonians entertained throughout the coming weeks. To help to preserve the community for the future, look into the County Stream Clean Up that will take place on March 10. It will be a free event that will help clean streams in various locations along Four Mile Run. All volunteers are welcome to help. Another springtime activity happening in Arlington is a special musical event by the Metropolitan Opera. They will be showing Ernani Encore on March 14 in selected Regal Cinema Theatres in Arlington and Washington, D.C. The plot is centered on two lovers, Ernani and Elvira, who fight fate in order to be together. The show stars distinguished actors Angela Meade and Ferruccio Furlanetto. Sleeping Beauty Wakes will appeal to your innner 90s kid, and will be showing at Wolf Trap on March 16. This musical stars

Valerie Vigoda and features Tony Award winner Rachel Sheinkin. The story is about Sleeping Beauty awakening in modern times in a sleep disorder clinic. Charles McNulty, a writer for the entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times said, “The most delightful thing about Sleeping Beauty the way it whisks a classic fairy tale to a modern day locale that freely mixes medical science with pixie dust.” It will be a night of musical fun in the distinguished barntheatre in Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center. There is also the Cherry Blossom Kite Festival on March 31. It will take place on the Washington Monument grounds, and is a good opportunity to have fun and fly a kite on a windy spring day. In addition, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Cherry Blossoms being in the United States. In 1912, Japan gave 3,020 cherry blossom trees to the United States as a sign of friendship, planting them in Manhattan and Washington. Try not to miss the Family Skate Nights every Saturday in March at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center. From 6:308:30 p. m. is the Family Skate, and from 9-11 p. m. is the Teen Only Skate. It is a $2 entrance fee and $3 for renting skates. There is also a live DJ, a moon bounce and an open café. There are so many events to choose from that there is something for everyone.

March 7, 2012

Going Green


D.C. hosts numerous events for Saint Patrick’s Day Abby Boshart, ‘13

Staff Reporter

St. Patrick’s Day is a popular holiday among Irish descendants and even those who have no Irish heritage. Virginia and Washington, D.C. are home to some of the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations that allow everyone to participate in this festive and historic day. The nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day music celebration takes place very close to Arlington, right in the district. For the past 12 years, Irish food, crafts and music connoisseurs alike have gathered together at the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds to celebrate Ireland’s favorite holiday. All ages are permitted to enjoy all that Shamrockfest has to offer, but VIP areas are only open to those who are above the age of 21. Families may be particularly interested in Shamrockfest because kids under 12 are free. This year’s National Shamrockfest will be held on March 24 and feature over 50 bands, DJs and other artists including Gavin Degraw and the Dropkick Murphys. All of these performers will be playing more than just Irish music, so a lack of knowledge or appreciation of Irish music should not discourage people from attending this festival. Music will not be the only thing featured at this year’s Shamrockfest. Live Gaelic Football tournaments, food and craft markets, and carnival rides are also

available at the festival. Junior Emma Schimley plans on attending Shamrockfest this year with a few of her friends. “I’m Irish,” said Schimley, “and they have some really great music. I love Gavin Degraw”. In addition to Shamrockfest, the district will be holding its 41st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade at noon on March 11. The parade will proceed along Constitution Avenue from Seventh to Seventeenth Streets, N.W. Although the parade is free, tickets for the grandstands are only five dollars and offer a more comfortable environment and better view for watching the parade. You can even celebrate this popular holiday and kick off the spring racing season by running in one of the district’s largest races. The 24th Annual St. Patrick’s Day 8K, or the 1K fun run for the less conditioned runner, will take place on March 9 at 9 a.m. Runners can register online and pick up the packets on-site a few days before the race including a complementary t-shirt for the race. Prizes will be awarded to the fastest runners in each age group as well as a few lucky, but random, individuals. For those who prefer to throw their own party, or showcase their St. Patrick’s Day spirit in school on March 17, many local stores carry inexpensive, green gear, much of which is already stocked in stores. Come the 17th, expect to see a sea of green and maybe even a leprechaun or two running around the halls. ALL ART BY MAHEEN SHAHID


Crossed Sabres

Wish you were here

Farm-fresh food sold at an unlikely location

The restaurants, museums, and hang-out spots in the district that you wish you knew Washington, D.C. has over 70 different museums and thousands of places to eat or just hang out, but only a small handful of places get attention from tourists. If you live in the Metro area, you have probably been to the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art many times on school trips or weekends. You have probably also had your fair share of Five Guys burgers, overpriced concerts and trips to the Sculpture Garden. If you are looking for something fun and different to do, here is a sampling of some lesser-known options to explore next time you are in the district.

Elena Amparo, ‘14

National Building Museum

The National Building Museum celebrates engineering and is situated in a historic building that is in itself a stunning piece of architecture. The Great Hall in the center of the museum boasts eight 75-foot-tall Corinthian columns and a central fountain. The museum has many exhibits and interactive features, so if you want to see everything, plan on staying a long time. This is a great museum to come to with younger siblings. There are lots of play areas and exhibits geared towards children, but there are also plenty of exhibits that will interest teens and adults. Most of the exhibits focus on the district, and if you do not know the city very well, you will not understand a lot. For example, the current Unbuilt Washington exhibit shows designs for buildings and parks in the district that were never realized. The museum does not do a very good job of comparing the unrealized designs to the actual architecture of the district today. It assumes that you already know what certain buildings and squares look like and that you can mentally compare those images to the alternate designs the exhibit presents. This is frustrating at times even for people who know the city well, and it would be even more frustrating to people less familiar with the district. Location: 401 F St. NW; Times: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Price: $8 for adults, $5 for youth (ages 3-17) and seniors


Mr. Yogato

Forget Pinkberry, Mr.Yogato is the way to go when it comes to frozen yogurt. Sure Pinkberry and others of the like are good, but do you get ten percent off your tab for singing “Mr. Roboto” or do you get 50 percent off for dressing up like infamous 80s tennis legend Bjorn Borg and singing “I’m Too Sexy” in a Swedish accent? I do not think so. For an eating experience where is it just as good as it is fun, go to Mr. Yogato. Mr. Yogato can be found in Dupont Circle. To find more interesting ways to get a discount go to Location: 1515 17th Street NW; Times: Sunday- Thursday 12 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday-Saturday 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Average price: $4


9:30 Club

With great music, low prices and cupcakes from Arlington’s very own Buzz Bakery, the 9:30 Club is a worthy scene change for the music around the district. The 9:30 Club hosts acts from all over the board. Indie wonder child Youth lagoon has played the club multiple times as well as hip hop heavy weights like Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller. The 9:30 Club’s ticket prices start at $15 which is a relief from the $100 and up prices of seeing a concert at the Verizon Center. The 9:30 Club draws lesser known, more eclectic artists, so going to concerts there is a good option for the fans of more indie and alternative music. The 9:30 Club’s closest Metro stop is the U Street stop. For more information, to order tickets or see the 9:30 Club’s schedule visit their website at Location: 815 V. Street NW; Prices for show usually ranges from $15 to $45




Students who live in Arlington have often seen these familiar sights. However, many parts of D.C. are often left undiscovered.

Staff Reporter

Despite the wind and near-freezing temperatures, the Dupont Circle farmer’s market had a good showing of shoppers and vendors. Tables and tents stretched for three blocks, and several of the stalls had long lines of customers. Although the Dupont Circle farmer’s market is larger than many of the markets in Arlington, it hosts some of the same vendors. One example is Martin Jolin of Twin Springs Fruit Farm. Jolin goes to the farmer’s market in Courthouse, as well as the one in Dupont Circle and two

Greetings from

Kramerbooks and Afterwords

There is something automatically charming about a hole-in-the-wall café attached to a jack-of-all-trades bookstore. At Kramerbooks and Afterwords in Dupont Circle, you can get a delicious meal before, after or while you shop for a good new book to read. The restaurant offers a wide array of meal choices ranging from sandwiches and salads to roasted chicken and gourmet deserts. Afterwords gives large servings and great food for a reasonable price and a peaceful experience. Kramerbooks offers many types of books alternating between New York Times best-sellers, self-help books and quirky, satirical essays. The literature is priced significantly lower than Barnes & Noble or other major book sellers, and with a student’s budget, a discount goes a long way. Kramerbooks and Afterwords is a short five minute walk from the Dupont Circle Metro stop. With easy access and a fun trip to get there, going to Kramerbooks and Afterwords is a new alternative for a day trip into Washington, D.C. Location: 1517 Connecticut Avenue, NW; Times: 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily, 24 hours Friday-Saturday; Average Price for lunch: $15

National Museum of African Art

The National Museum of African Art seeks to foster an appreciation for art from Africa. Its collections include both traditional African art forms and contemporary works by notable African artists, showcasing a wide variety of artwork from mostly sub-Saharan Africa. Though it is not a large museum, it would be easy to spend a long time wandering through the exhibits. To get the most out of this museum, make sure to read the wall plaques and descriptions that accompany each piece of art. Every description is wonderfully detailed and gives a thorough historical and cultural context for the artwork. It might be tempting to breeze through the exhibits and ignore the descriptions, but slowing down will give you a deeper appreciation and understanding of African history and culture as well as each individual piece of artwork. There are fewer interactive elements at this museum than the others, so this is not a good place to bring younger siblings or friends with short attention spans. However, if you really take the time to immerse yourself in the artwork and come ready to learn something new, the National Museum of African Art will prove highly rewarding and fascinating. Location: 950 Independence Ave., SW; Times: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily; Price: Free



March 7, 2012


other markets in the winter. In the summer, Jolin sells at when necessary and after attempts at less risky pest conas many as 17 farmer’s markets. trol, such as highly targeted chemicals or weeding, have Jolin said that the farmer’s market does attract a failed. “younger crowd,” but joked that many of them “have Many of the prices at the farmer’s market were as high problems getting up in the morning.” He said that most or higher than grocery store prices. A pound of apples was of his customers are recurring, but that he sometimes gets about $2.50, a pound of ground beef was $6.50,a loaf of tourists. bread was $5 and a dozen eggs was $4.75. The farmer’s market offered a large selection of fruits One area in which the farmer’s market cannot compare and vegetables, particularly apples. There were some fato a grocery store is convenience. The farmer’s market is miliar varieties, such as Pink Ladies and Granny Smiths, only open one day a week for three hours, while grocery as well as more unusual varieties such as Goldrush, Staystores are almost always open. In addition, beman and Cripps Pink. The greens for sale also Farmers Marke . C . D t, loc cause the farmer’s market only offers the ranged from the everyday such as letate s at e l d in local produce, fruits and vegpp tuce, to options like Red Russian a Du s etables that are not typically l l po se kale. Other available vegetables r nt grown in the region, such o C included turnips, brussels end as citrus, may not be sprouts, radishes and winavailable. ter squash. Senior Frances Cheeses, free range Canavan goes to eggs and pastured the Courthouse meats were also offarmer’s marfered, as well as ket, one of bread, honey and the markets canned goods in Arlington. such as apple but“ F a r m e r ’s ter. One stall in markets are the market even a great alsold fresh flowternative ers. Many of the to grocery vendors offered stores and food samples. provide a One advantage good source of of shopping at any healthy food,” farmer’s market is besaid Canavan. ing able to buy food that Canavan has was grown locally. Acnever been to the DuPH OT cording to, OB pont Circle market. “I YE only producers from Delaware, LA N like going to my local farmA AM PARO Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia er’s market because it’s more and West Virginia can sell at the Dupont convenient and has a lively atmoCircle market. sphere,” said Canavan. Although the produce at the farmer’s market is guarThe Dupont Circle farmer’s market is a fun, vibrant anteed to be local, it is not necessarily organic. Pesticides area to pass through while exploring Washington, D.C. are used on some of the crops. However, many of the proHowever, if it is a cold day, it is advisable to plan a trip ducers, including Toigo Orchards and Twin Springs Fruit to one of the nearby shops or bakeries to warm up afterFarm, use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. wards. According to the website of the Environmental Protection Agency,, IPM involves establishing the The farmer’s market is located along level of pests that necessitates taking action, and moni20th Street NW in the district. It is open on toring and identifying the pest population to determine Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. whether pesticides must be used. Pesticides are used only le irc


Crossed Sabres


March 7, 2012




National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

This museum, part of the National Arboretum, is home to about 150 bonsai and penjing plants situated in three different pavilions. In addition, it has a collection of viewing stones (interestingly shaped stones that may be displayed in a scholar’s study) and an exhibition of ikebana, or Japanese flower arranging. The museum also features several special exhibits at any given time, which may showcase the work of local bonsai masters or highlight specific plants from the museum’s permanent collection. The museum is tranquil and quiet, with very few visitors, especially in the winter. The strolling gardens allow visitors to reflect and meditate. Soft music plays in the International Pavilion, adding to the atmosphere. However, there may be a reason for the lack of crowds. The museum is fairly small, and in the winter, only the International Pavilion, Chinese Pavilion (with some plants from the Japanese Pavilion on display) and the Tropical Conservatory are open. The North American Pavilion and Japanese Pavilion are both closed. It might be better to visit the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in the spring, summer or autumn when more plants are on display and the deciduous trees are not leafless. Going through the whole museum does not take long, so visitors might consider looking at other parts of the National Arboretum while they are there. The Arboretum is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m. daily. Its other attractions include the National Herb Garden and the National Capitol Columns. Location: 3501 New York Ave., NE; Times: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Price: Free COMPILED BY CLAIRE SPAULDING ‘15 AND KIRBY MILLER ‘13

Let the good times roll

Sarah Angell, ‘14

Staff Reporter Touring the monuments in Washington, D.C. is fun, but getting downtown can be a nightmare: miles of backed-up traffic, expensive parking, or worse, no parking available at all. In the past year and a half, a different mode of transportation has been opened up to the public: biking. Capital Bikeshare, a bicycle rental program for the D.C. metropolitan area, was founded by Arlington County and the District of Columbia in September of 2010, according to Chris Eatough of BikeArlington. The system was modeled after the VeloVie system in Paris. “Arlington and D.C. are pioneers,” said Eatough. “This is the biggest system in the U.S.” The first stations in Arlington were in Crystal City and Pentagon City. Stations in Rosslyn and Courthouse opened in 2011, and now there is a station on nearly every block in Clarendon. Stations are even “creeping into Ballston,” said Eatough. There is one at the Central Library, just a couple of blocks away from the school, and one went in at the Virginia Square Metro station on February 15. Commuters, students, or tourists can rent bikes at one station, ride to another one, and park the bikes there. This way, it is easier to make a one-way trip . “You are not tied down to any one

people renting bikes through Bank on D.C. get a $25 discount; it only costs $50 for a yearly membership. “I think it’s is a great way to help people who may not be able to afford a clean form of transportation,” said sophomore Gracia Luoma-Overstreet. According to Eatough, Bikeshare’s main goal is to “help give people more options to get around, so that they do not have to use cars all the time.” Arlington has been trying to reduce pollution and improve air quality, and Bikeshare has the potential to help with this immensely. Eatough said the overarching purpose is to “keep Arlington a great place to live.”


A Capital Bikeshare station in front of Arlingon Central Library is convenient for students to use. The program’s mission is to promote exercise and reduce pollution.

mode of transportation. For example, you can spontaneously decide to take the Metro or bus home if it’s raining,” said Eatough. Increased availability of bike rentals will allow tourists and locals to get around the city more easily. Some ways for students to take advantage of Bikeshare are: going to and from school, touring D.C. on a weekend, going places to meet up with friends and getting exercise! You have to use a credit card to rent a bike. The reasoning behind this is insurance for the system; if a bike is stolen or goes missing, the person who took it out

will automatically get charged. Even with 1.5 million rides so far, almost no bikes have gone missing. The distinctive look prevents theft; it would be difficult to sell one of the brightred, clearly labelled bicycles. Eatough explained that the parts of the bike are also custom-made, so they could not be stolen and used separately. The only exception to the credit-card mandate is a program called Bank on D.C. that helps people get a debit card even if they have poor credit history. These cards are recognized at Bikeshare stations, and

To borrow a bike, you must register either at a bike station or online. You can get a one-day, three-day, one-month or oneyear membership. The fees for joining are: One Day: $7 Three Days: $15 30 Days (One Month): $25 One Year: $75 Visit for more information.


March 7, 2012


Crossed Sabres

Winter Sports Wrap-Up As the winter sports season ends, certain teams relish their opportunity to participate in state competitions Angela Mestre, ‘13 Staff Writer

at states was to use his muscle to his advantage and to “practice 110 percent”. He recalls his season on the wrestling team very fondly, relishing his role as

The winter sports season ended with a bang this year. Both the basketball and track teams excelled this season and numerous others sent athletes to compete at the state level. The Virginia State sports competitions in the High School division took place the weekend of February 17th. Senior Jared Deiner was a star wrestler this IMAGES COURTESY OF IMAGEFLO winter season and earned himself a well- Above: Senior Jared Deiner prepares for a wresdeserved spot in the state tling match. Deiner was the only member of the team to participate in the state competition. competition. Deiner prepared for Right: Junior Mad Sendek performs a routhe meet, which took tine for the gymnastics team. The team won place in Robinson High the school its first regional championship in School, by working decades. one-on-one with Coach Derek Sweet and practicing intensely with captain and having his challenging competitors from around the younger teammates look county. up to him. He also bestows “Going to states felt great, because my praise and admiration for match to qualify for states involved me his Head Coach: “[Coach beating the [person] that beat me in the Sweet] really was a great district finals,” said Deiner, whose dream coach, in all honesty... has been to compete in states since his Seeing Sweet’s bright smile freshman year. Deiner’s plan to succeed cheered me up, and he truly

cared for our health.” Though Deiner did not place at States, “It’s an amazing accomplishment; we haven’t had a wrestler qualify for States in years,” said Sweet. Along with Deiner, the school had other athetes participate in state competitions. Junior Mary Lynn Clark, along with the rest of the gymnastics team competed in the state gymnastics competition at Salem High School in Virginia Beach. Clark had been practicing five nights a week prior to the competition. “I feel like my skills have become cleaner and more consistent,” said Clark regarding her personal improvements throughout the season. “As a team, we just kept breaking our team score every meet, which was great.” Clark became the State Champion in the vault and the uneven bars

as well as the runner-up in the all-around competition, achieving a personal best allaround score. The gymnasts were especially excited to have qualified for States this year after having come so close during the last two seasons. Clark enjoys the positive environment of the team, in which the girls encourage and help one another learn new things. “All our hard work has really paid off. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come since my freshman year, and we’re only going to get better!” The coaches from both sports could not be more proud of their athletes. Coach Sweet truly enjoyed the way the Wrestling Team bonded and improved throughout the season. Gymnastics coach, Ron Melkis, said, “We obviously have a lot of talent that runs very deep into our roster, but beyond that our girls have a great competitive spirit and positive attitude.” Other athletes and teams also experienced success in the postseason. The boys swim team as well as girls indoor track won a district championship and senior Carl Buergler of the varsity swim and dive team placed second in the state dive competition. The boys varsity basketball team reached the district championship and the first round of regionals, losing to Edison and Centreville, respectively.

Spring Soccer Preview After losing last year’s seniors, soccer team must rebuild need up to two weeks to adapt to their teammates and create good chemistry. Staff Writer The soccer team is particularly The boys soccer team has little room excited to have two sophomores on for improvement this year as they were the team this season, Michael Katz and 16-2-1 last year. Backed by ten starting Rommel Romano. According to Coach seniors, the team won the district Carrasquillo, “They are talented players championship against Mount Vernon that we think will play a big part in our and eventually reached the regional success for the next three years.” The semifinal game. varsity team practices at the same time This year, however, the team must and place as the JV team, so the varsity search for coaches have replacements the ability to for the ten see younger seniors that players that graduated. may have a Junior Ryan bright future Uckert tries on the varsity to take an team. These optimistic young players view when can look up examining to varsity this season’s captains, situation. seniors Jack “I’m actually Beckman and really excited Eric Schmidt, PHOTO BY MATTHEW HIRSCH because I The boys varsity soccer team warms up before practice. who will think this After losing ten starting seniors to graduation, the team take the field year I’ll have must find production from younger players. alongside a pretty vital fellow seniors role. As a B r a n k o sophomore last year I didn’t get as much Picavia and Manuel Benites hoping to playing time as I would have hoped but lead the Generals to victory. I’m hoping to get a good starting spot Despite the recent success of the and definitely impact the team.” boys soccer team, they are not perfect. Although last season was “I think we have players that will entertaining, the team hopes it was not an score goals. Our challenge will come aberration and is focusing on repeating on defense,” said Coach Carrasquillo. their strong performance. Thirteen year “We lost two good goalies and our MVP Coach, Jimmy Carrasquillo thinks his defender. Thankfully we have some team can “replicate last year’s success by players that I think will step up and fill working hard and not being complacent in well.” with just winning our district.” The team’s success will depend on Last year’s team having a large leadership of the seniors and how much number of starting seniors was fortunate, the team is willing to work together but the team’s success can not all be after the loss of last year’s seniors. We attributed to this. Uckert thinks “the have some new players, so hopefully team chemistry was a big part of [our they can make the adjustment to varsity success].” In terms of this season, coach soccer fairly quickly,” concluded Coach Carrasquillo believes that new players Carrasquillo.

Chris Seymour, ‘15


Crossed Sabres

March 7, 2012

March Madness Preview


The NCAA tournament reveals who is the best team as well as gives young players an opportunity to prove they are NBA ready Zach Perlman, ‘13 schools that you do not normally see in

Staff Writer There is no crazier month when it comes to college basketball than March. Not only is it the start of springtime and warmer weather, it is the time in which the best 68 teams in college basketball compete for the right to be crowned champion. The 2012 competition promises to one of the best yet, adding four extra teams to the bracket, increasing chances for upsets and Cinderella stories that the media and sports fans have come to salivate over. Last year, perennial college basketball power, the University of Connecticut Huskies won the tournament, continuing their tradition of excellence. However, the Huskies may fall short of the tournament this year. The Huskies, ranked fourth nationally in the preseason, are now nationally unranked and are ninth in the Big East with a 7-9 conference record. While Connecticut winning last year’s tournament and the prestige of their program gives them an edge in having a spot in this year’s bracket, the Huskies will have to finish the year well to have a decent seed, if they even receive a spot in the tournament. Along with Connecticut, two other Final Four teams from last year are likely to not make the tournament. Butler, a team that has made the National Championship Game in the past two seasons is currently fifth place in the Horizon League with an 11-7 conference record and will likely not make the tournament. Also, the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams, last year’s famous Cinderella team who controversially entered the tournament and made it all the way to the Final Four, are fighting for a spot in the tourney. State teams, such as the University of Virginia Cavaliers, have experienced more success this season than in seasons past. The Cavaliers started the year extremely strong, boasting a 14-1 record through the first 15 games including strong wins over teams like the Michigan Wolverines. However, when conference play began in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), their production has tapered off a bit. Virginia currently stands in fourth place in the ACC with an 8-6 conference record. Even after their level of play seemed to have weakened, the Cavaliers are still likely to make the tournament. This year, teams such as St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Murray State are having successful seasons, vying to gain a spot in this year’s bracket. Junior Bo Butts stated, “I think this year’s March Madness is going to be so much fun to watch because of the number of

the tournament.” Murray State has won 25 games already and sits comfortably atop the standings in the Ohio Valley conference with a 15-1 conference record. Although Murray State is a lock to make the tournament, some sports analysts feel that they will not receive the high seed that they deserve because of the perceived weaker conference that they play in. Along with these analysts, many students, like junior Alex Coppa, feel that it is unfair that schools with worse records that play in arguably tougher conferences will end up being seeded higher than teams like Murray State. “In my opinion a win is a win regardless of conference and schools should not be punished because of what conference they compete in” said Coppa. Coppa went on to also point out that past years have allowed teams with losing records into the tournament which he felt was very unfair. “When there are 68 teams allowed into the tournament, no winning team should be turned away regardless of conference” Even with all the debate over what teams should be allowed in, March Madness will also be the spotlight for future NBA players such as Thomas Robinson of Kansas and Kentucky’s Anthony Davis. Both players have proven they will be successful at the next level and have displayed some of the best highlights of the season while simultaneously performing and succeeding in two of the strongest programs. “[March Madness] is where the moments of your favorite basketball players are set in history and expose you to new players you’ve never really heard of,” remarked senior Brendan Kiviat in regards to the players set to perform in the tournament. March Madness, which is a tournament to find the NCAA’s best basketball team, is also a time for players to showcase their talents and prove they are ready for the next level of basketball. When asked what he thought about the tournament, senior Brendan Kiviat said, “It’s where the moments of your favorite basketball players are set in history and expose you to new players you’ve never really heard of.” All the stages are set; the tournament from the Final Four and on will be held in the New Orleans Super Dome. The drama, Cinderella stories and plethora of star players help to make this a very intriguing tournament. It will also be one of the last times for players to prove they are NBA worthy before the draft, and one of the last opportunities to bring a championship back to the school they have played for.

Current ESPN NCAA Basketball Rankings and Points Per Game (PPG) 1. Kentucky, 77.8 PPG 2. Syracuse, 75.9 PPG 3. Kansas, 74.9 PPG 4. Duke, 79 PPG 5. Michigan State, 71.9 PPG 6. North Carolina, 82.1 PPG 7. Marquette, 75.9 PPG 8. Missouri, 79.7 PPG

NCAA Leading Scorers (Points Per Game) 1. Reggie Hamilton, Oakland, 25.5 PPG 2. Damian Lillard, Weber State, 24.5 PPG 3. Doug McDermott, Creighton, 23.1 PPG 4. Shane Gibson, Sacred Heart, 22 PPG 5. Gerardo Suero, Albany, 21.7 6. C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, 21.5 PPG 7. Nate Wolters, South Dakota State, 21.2 PPG 8. Terrell Stoglin, Maryland, 21 PPG 9. Frank Gaines, IPFW, 21 PPG 10. Alex Young, IUPUI, 20.7 PPG

“I want UVA to win because they’re a state team. They haven’t won many titles, so it would be cool if they won.” -Freshman Andrew Long

“Mark my words: John Thompson III, coach of the year, will bring Georgetown to New Orleans.” -Senior Shane Macnamara

“I think March Madness is amazing and Duke is going to win.” -Freshman Cameron Anderson

“I’m rooting for the UNC Tarheels because ever since I was a kid, I watched them play and they have always been my favorite team.” -Junior Ireedui Batsaikahn QUOTES AND PHOTOS COMPILED BY ZACH PERLMAN AND ANGELA MESTRE


Crossed Sabres

March 7, 2012


l a u n n A t s r i F

Crossed Sabres Hunt

HOW TO PLAY: * Below are eight clues. The answer to each clue is a different room number in the school. We suggest you look at the map of the school in your planner and follow @wlcrossedsabres for helpful hints.

crossed sabres hunt Scorecard Clue #

* After you figure out the answer to a clue, go to that room number and get the teacher in the room to sign off on the hunt scorecard.

Teacher Signature

1 2 3

* After all of the clues have been solved and you have all eight signatures, return the completed scorecard to the Publications Lab (Room 1028).

4 5 6

* Teachers will verify the signatures and if they are legitiamate, the first person to hand in their scorecard will win a a $20 giftcard of their choice and their photo in the next issue of the paper.

7 8






#2 E U

#3 E U

_, _, _, _, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34


you “EACH” have a cellphone? CL

#5 E U

ABC easy as 123. “B BAD.”



“It is my lady. O, it is my love!”

Act ___, Scene ___, Line ___ COMPILED BY NOAH PILCHEN, ‘12 AND EMILY COOK, ‘12


Tres Cero Tres Seis





#7 E U

Backwards and forwards I am the same, proceed to the fourth floor to continue this game.




Crossed Sabres


March 7, 2012


“If you want to overcome the world, overcome yourself.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky, in support of IB Philosophy? Alex Stephanson, ‘12

develop the necessary qualities and abilities not taught to understand communication, are probably correct. Staff Reporter to help them excel in their studies. Every only to communicate. Theory of Knowledge is the study The study of philosophy expands on of epistemology, which is a branch of In The Republic, which became the area of study requires certain prerequisite cornerstone of all of western philosophy, knowledge. However, there seems to be the natural human ability of metacognition, philosophy concerned with knowledge: Plato described a utopia in which society lack of emphasis on the prerequisite for and allows students to gain a deeper what it is, and how and why we attain it. understanding of their abilities that allow However, if you are not an IB diploma was governed them to achieve understanding in the first candidate, then you do not have the by an oligarchy place. opportunity to take TOK. Unless you sign of philosophers. In this sense, I think that philosophy up for IB Philosophy, you may miss out He argued that serves as a necessary introduction to all on the chance to learn how to understand someone with academic inquiries. Without effectively yourself and your world in a very pivotal a philosophic addressing the basic components of time in your personal, academic, and temperament academia and intellectual pursuit one will intellectual development. made the most never have a holistic understanding of So, to all underclassmen who are rational and academic materials in general. Indeed, they filling out their Course Request Forms, I beneficial may never have a holistic understanding hope this little article serves as a bit of an decisions within of themselves and what it means to be a advertisement for IB Philosophy. Take the a society. This line of thinking would probably seem antiquated and overly vague to most people; BY ANDREW DUDKA however, I A poster hangs in Mr. Summers room advocating student enrollbelieve that there ment in I.B. Philosophy. Students appreciate the way Mr. Sumis something mers’ teaching style complements the curriculum. inherently academic study itself. The study of brilliant in this idea. The school offers an IB Philosophy philosophy provides understanding of course, taught by Mr. Robert Summers. those propaedeutics: rational argument, Throughout the course, students learn their analytical thinking, introspection and fair share of the history of philosophy, from effective communication. Mr. Summers Socrates to Sartre to the Taoists of ancient notes, “The study of philosophy is like China and the Upanishads of the Hindu studying oxygen. It explores the most basic and fundamental components of religion. More importantly, as students learn life.” BY ANDREW DUDKA I feel that these fundamental A collection of some of the books read by IB Philosophy students. IB Philosophy is relatively about specific philosophies, they also develop their own philosophic skills. components are unfortunately left similar to Theory of Knowledge, but enrollment is easier for non-IB diploma candidates. Students develop their analytic and unexplored by the standard American public human being. As Mr. Summers pointed class! As for the administration of argumentative skills through in-class education system. Students are taught the out, “Philosophy taps into what it means to Washington-Lee High School, let this debates and essays, and are encouraged to basics of arithmetic and English, science be human.” Any full-IB student reading this might serve as a completely unofficial request develop their introspective skills through a and history, but never are we specifically taught to develop and understand the think that my description of the benefits to make philosophy a mandatory course required personal blog assignment. What I believe IB Philosophy really human capacities that underlie all of these of philosophic study sounds a lot like of study. After all, as Mr. Summers said, does, speaking as someone who is currently studies. We are not taught to understand the benefits and results of the mandatory “Philosophy is a prerequisite for life, not taking IB Philosophy, is help students the actual analysis, only to analyze. We are Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class. They just school.”

“Stampede, in the hallway, freshmen down there!”


Crossed Sabres is the student-produced newspaper of the Washington-Lee High School community. Editorials reflect the opinion of the editorial staff and, unless otherwise noted, are written by a member of the staff. The editorial board encourages responsible commentaries and letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit for grammar, style or lack of space. Letters and commentaries containing obscenities, racial slurs or libelous content will not be published. All letters must be signed by the author to be published. They can be printed “name withheld” upon request. The Crossed Sabres publications lab is in room 1028. Any correspondence may be dropped off there or emailed to

Contact information Washington-Lee High School Attn: Crossed Sabres 1301 N Stafford Street Arlington, VA 22201

Editor-in-Chief: Emily Walker, ‘12 Managing Editor: Noah Pilchen, ‘12 News Editor: Isabel Larroca, ‘14 Art Editor: Maheen Shahid, ‘12 Lifestyles Editor: Kirby Miller, ‘13 Features Editor: Abigail Bessler, ‘13 Sports Editor: Matthew Hirsch, ‘12 Washington-Lee currently has 1,925 Opinion Editor: Andrew Dudka, ‘12 students enrolled. Special Sections Editor: Paige Taylor, ‘12 Online Editor: Emily Cook, ‘12 2,000 copies printed. Business Manager: Manbir Nahal, 14 Adviser: Ms. Kira Jordan Staff Reporters: Isabel Amend, Katelyn Reilly, Zach Phone: 703-228-6200 Perlman, Elena Parcell, Sarah Sears, Claire Spaulding, Fax: 703-524-9814

Nataly Farag, Alex Stephanson, Sydney Johnson, Saira Rehman, Abby Boshart, Angela Mestre, Noha Osman, Chris Seymour, Elena Amparo, Lucy Naland, Alice Maggio, Sarah Angell


March 7, 2012


Generally Speaking

Crossed Sabres

The Biased Opinion of the Crossed Sabres Staff

A ride to school, not through school

As students, we are obligated to go to school each and every day. What we do with this obligation, however, is up to us. Whether we do the work given to us in our classes is our decision and, in turn, our grades are our responsibilities. So, earlier this year, when all of the school’s parents received a letter in the mail regarding the new Parent Access Center or APS Grades Online system, we were disconcerted. We are the ones going to school and choosing whether to work, so why was this letter addressed to our parents? Furthermore, what can our parents do about our grades? They will not do our work for us, so it would have been much more rational to notify students of the new service, and let us choose our own usernames and passwords. High school is not only a

place where we come to educate ourselves academically. It is also supposed to help us transition

primary access to our grades is counterproductive as it causes parents to try to motivate their


Information about the Parent Portal was addressed as seen above, sidestepping students entirely.

from adolescence to adulthood. Not giving us access to our grades is equivalent to telling us we are not ready for any type of responsibility. Arlington, fortunately, is a community with many involved and motivated parents who clearly want to instill the same qualities in their children. Ironically, in terms of this goal, providing parents with

students rather than forcing students to find motivation by themselves. Aside from how distribution of this system was carried out, it is not clear what the school system intends it to be for. The way that the system went about notifying families of the program, it seems as if it was created to only inform parents of our

progress in school. Yet the school website, which has the system link under the “Parents” tab, describes it as “an added way to communicate student progress to families.” The communication is not open.   So far, it seems communication has been solely between the school system and our parents. This lack of open communication exacerbates the problem of students not having access to their own grades. Students still ask their teachers in person if they can see their grades; a recent, typical response from teachers following this request is, “I thought you guys have been checking those online.” Apparently, even the teachers are unaware that the system was advertised and distributed to parents and that most students cannot access it themselves. The entire process to set up and distribute this system was a failure.   If it is intended to keep

us on top of our work, it has not fulfilled that purpose thus far. The only thing that parents can do if they do not give their child full control of the system is nag and, in turn, annoy the student more. This, we imagine, is not what the school system intended when creating the program. Aside from this, parents, including many of ours, have not even bothered to create a personal account yet, not seeing it as imperative to the success of their student. Overall, we feel neglected as members of the school community. We deserve to be notified of our progress in our classes as we are the only people who can truly do anything about it. By depending on our parents for something as simple as being aware of our grades, we are not learning to depend on ourselves for future, potentially more important things.

The repression of intellectualism in American schooling Or, why nerds are actually chill, bro Andrew Dudka, ‘12

Opinion Editor

What thoughts does the word “nerd” bring about in your mind? What about “dork” or “geek”? These terms are familiar to anyone who lives in American culture, but are very hard to define. There is little in the way of a standardized definition, and explanations of these phrases vary greatly depending on who you ask. The general consensus, however, is that a nerd is someone who is unwaveringly devoted to their intellectual and academic interests. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately there are several personality traits which have become irrevocably synonymous with this label. Social ineptitude, lack of personal hygiene and little regard for one’s appearance are some of these keynote traits. Therefore, whatever a nerd is exactly defined as, very few people will ever admit to being one and likely no one will aspire to fit this role. The connotation that comes with these words is undoubtedly negative. Not only that, these loosely justified generalizations are perpetuated by schooling environments and entertainment mediums throughout the country. From movies like The Revenge of the Nerds in the 1980s to the running TV series Beauty and the Geek or The Big Bang Theory, television and cinema alike have constantly separated people into two distinct groups. First are the beautiful, who are conscious of their physical

appearance, amiable and wellliked, although sometimes are portrayed as somewhat inept in academics. Next are the intelligent people, who are portrayed as having obtained their academic success at the sacrifice of social skills and friendships. Very rarely in American history, literature or cinema is a character depicted as both a meticulous thinker and socially skilled. Given how much this stereotype deals with academics and education, it is not surprising how much impact it holds for young children. Anyone who has gone through American schooling in the past 50 years can likely vouch for this impact. At an early age, children who flourish academically are singled out as “nerds” or “teacher’s pets” in their schooling environments, and shunned socially as a result. This trend is not only nonsensically unfair to children who enjoy learning at an early age, it also serves as a powerful deterrent for kids who take longer to begin to pursue knowledge. Students who start to develop a love of math or reading will be less likely to follow these interests if they have witnessed peers being chastised for doing just that. This slows the progression of the individual student, but given the national prominence of this stereotype we are starting to see national implications as well. In a 2009 Programme for International Students Assessment, students aged 15 from the United States ranked

fourteenth in reading, fourteenth in science, and twenty-fifth in math out of thirty four countries of comparable economic status. Given that our country has one of the longest standing public schooling systems and that a huge amount of our national budget is committed to education, these results are certainly startling. However, when one considers social factors which cannot be measured directly by test scores or dollars spent, these findings start to make more sense. It is very surprising to me how prevalent the nerd stereotype remains in our society, and furthermore how perpetuated it is by adults, who find the whole concept comical. As people age they begin to understand that it is childish to be scared of pursuing what you like, but these revelations come with time. Children are the most susceptible to permeating social notions such as this, however dumb they are, but we often seem to forget that. Essentially, this “nerd” stereotype has developed because of a generalization about people that are so invested in their interests they do not deem it necessary to interact with people who do not share those interests. Furthermore, this devotion to their passions may have left them little time to concern themselves with trifling matters, such as wearing matching socks. It was added into this generalization that such interests were usually obscure and intellectual in nature. The absurdity of this concept should be apparent; there are no biological, social or personal

reasons why someone who loves math and science can not have a lot of friends, and even a girlfriend or boyfriend. There are plenty of people right here at our high school who prove this silly notion wrong. But the stereotype pervades. I could spend all day talking about stereotypes which are untrue though, such is the nature of stereotypes. What really confuses me is how and why this stereotype ever developed in the first place. Complete commitment to your passion is one of the most commendable things that our society and our country has valued since its inception. Devotion to a cause is also one of the most important things I believe in, and the only proven, widely applicable path to success. That is the primary concept embodied in the idea of a “nerd.” In fact, these people are characterized as having such an intense focus to their interests, that they do not have time or energy to consider mulling over trivial issues. So why are they criticized and singled out for being focused? One could attempt to say that what they are typically focused on brings the negative attention, but at both young and old ages it is emphasized that school comes first. Every spring when numerous hardworking individuals get accepted to prestigious colleges they are never made fun of on that basis. In fact it is quite the opposite, and acceptance letters such as these are some of the most sought after pieces of paper to the average high school student.

It is our job as grown individuals to purge this poisonous concept from our schooling systems and societies. It can only result in a more intelligent expansion and growth of our country, and will save students everywhere from blasphemous ridicule. Whether it comes down to more closely watching what children around you read or watch on TV, or a simple discussion, it needs to be made clear to kids that pursuing what you like is not only okay, but the best course of action as one ages. By emphasizing the positive, we may even be able to remove the need to discourage negative behavior. That is, if we could get every student to find what they are interested in and follow it, there would be less children bullying the so-called nerds due to more students focused on their own interests. It may seem ambitious and unlikely, but if you manage to bolster the confidence of even one child in pursuing what they believe in, you have already made a difference in their life. In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge a book that first brought my attention to many of the concepts I have just discussed, and provides further discussion on them. In 2007, David Anderegg, Ph.D, published Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them, and I would recommend it to anyone who has ever attended school, or has any contact with people that do currently; basically, anyone who just took the time to read this.

March Issue  

Crossed Sabres 81-5