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VOL.7 | ISSUE 5 | FEB. 2014



Underclassmen participate in the newly altered Exhibition of Learning


Netflix is sweeping into the lives of students, and it is a good thing

snailmail from the editors

outlook staff


ong time no see, cougars! The Outlook has been hibernating for a while, and now we are in full swing for the month of February! It is obvious that the love bug bit you all this Valentine’s day, because love is in the air. Key Club hosted a Winter Carnival at Centreville High School to raise money and spread awareness on maternal neonatal tetanus (pg. 5). If you love that, you’ll also appreciate the outdoor classroom being being built for the late Janine Musgrove (pg. 5). Track and Swim have won our hearts, as well as winning most of their district and regional tournaments (pg. 6). Sports unite people, as well as our love of the USA! The Olympics has started, and is bringing us together in the process (pg. 7). They always say, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. The Outlook investigates our love of food, both how it brings people together and how it has changed over the years (pg. 9 & 10). In addition to Valentine’s Day, this month is also Black History Month. We talk to a student and teacher about how Black History is treated today, and whether or not they still feel prejudice (pg. 13). Falling in love with technology? Read our movie review of “Her,” a new film about the relationship between a man and his fictitious girlfriend (pg. 14). And if this month has you eating too many candy hearts and chocolate, have a change of heart and try our healthy alternatives (pg. 14). So much went on this month, and we’re happy we get to share it with you. From the Outlook’s heart to yours, happy February!

with love , Carly Stonehouse Alana Peters

adviser Elizabeth Fortenberry

editors in chief carly stonehouse alana peters

newsworthy editor alex driscoll showtime editor anee nguyen touchdown editor

torri marquis

viewpoint editors alex xenos spotlight editor jennifer prosser indepth editor reina datta online editor laura murphy business manager katie xenos copy editor erin preaskorn photo editor sunni bean staff writers veda bhatia

jacque groskaufmanis

maggie campbell

christiana meyers

jenna colturi

sam rutzick

morgan cooper

sonaj senior

courtney do

nancy nyamaa

Editorial Policy: The Outlook is an open forum for student expression. Unsigned editorials reflect the collective opinion of the Outlook staff. Signed editorials represent the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Outlook or Oakton High School. Reader opinions are important to the Outlook and contributions are welcome. Make your voice heard by sending us a line about what’s on your mind. Letters to the editor may be sent via email to carly. or dropped off in Mrs. Fortenberry’s box in the main office or in room 135. The Outlook reserves the right to edit submissions for grammar and content provided the meaning remains unchanged. cover photo by alana peters student body: 2138 circulation: 1250

2 | snailmail | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4




Key Club hosts their annual Winter Carnival to raise funds for the Eliminate Project.


maggie cambell

erin preaskorn maggie cambell

13 12

Dungeons and Dragons, the virtual tabletop war game, celebrates it’s 60th anniversary.



Senior athletes officially sign their Division I letters of intent.




Oakton staffers meet with Ryan McElveen to discuss his new found fame by Fairfax County students.


14 courtesy of official website


VOL.7 | ISSUE 5 | FEB. 2014

maggie cambell


Focus on food: eating right can benefit you in many ways, and the evolution of food has begun to bring people together.


| Contents| 3

Memorable Moments See what fellow students have to say about everything happening this month in Oakton

alana peters

“I hit Armand in the face with a chair.” - Alex Stein | 11

“Mrs. Conely’s art class is the best.”

“Full school weeks make me feel horrible.” - Reed Limoner | 11

“Snowdays rock.” - Spenser Robbins | 12 “Valentine’s Day is a good time to get food.” - Justin Turner | 9

- Jonah Driessen| 11

“Yesterday I was walking in the hall and a stranger whispered something in Spanish in my ear and walked away.” -Natalie Park | 11

“Softball’s boxing day was so great.” -Makenzie Cothran | 10

“Flappy Bird makes me feel good.” - Trevor Lalande | 9

“Swim won regionals... it was great.” - Julia Capobianco | 11

“This salmon bagel is blowing my mind.” - Katya Maslova| 12

“Physics? You mean that midterm everyone failed?” - Tommy Clark | 11

“My Man Crush Monday is Vladimir Putin.” “It smells like something’s burning - Anna Cacher | 11 4 | recurring | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

and I hope it’s the school.” - Fallon Ragan | 12

newsworthy| Key Club Winter Carnival Key Clubs from schools all over the


district hosted their annual Winter Carnival at Centreville High School on Feb. 8 in order to raise funds for the Eliminate Project. The Eliminate Project’s goal is to eliminate maternal neonatal tetanus. According to the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), “once the disease is contracted, the fatality rate can be as high as 100% without hospital care and between 10% to 60% with hospital care.” “The Eliminate Project is a promise between UNICEF and Kiwanis International to come together and eliminate maternal neonatal tetanus that can be cured with one vaccine,” said President of the Key Club, senior Caitlyn Yee. “It’s not expensive, but it will cure the mother and all her future children.” The different Key Clubs organized several activities, such as temporary tattoos, penny in the fork, musical chairs, gift baskets, and face painting. Many members of the community attended, including the coordinator for Fairfax Kiwanis, Andy Deems. “I think it’s just exciting to have all the kids put something like this together for support,” said Deems. “We’ve already eliminated maternal neonatal tetanus in about twenty countries.” Altogether, the Key Club was able to raise over $2,000, which didn’t meet their goal of $3,000, but still providing enough money to cure thousands of woman, and any children that they may have, of maternal neonatal tetanus. “These groups have already eradicated iodine deficiency disorder so I have high hopes that we will eliminate maternal neonatal tetanus soon,” Yee said.

erin preaskorn


A quick overview of the past month and a brief look at upcoming school events. Be sure to check oaktonoutlook. com for more newsworthy stories.

Outdoor classroom to be built in memory of Jeanine Musgrove


On 5 Aug. 2013, Jeanine Musgrove, the AP Environmental Science and freshman biology teacher passed away unexpectedly. The school’s science department was left with a gaping hole to fill. Her passion for the environment and teaching was a rare combination that has been difficult to replace. AP Chemistry teacher, Abigail Giordano, was a personal friend and coworker of Musgrove, and took the loss especially hard. In an effort to both honor her memory and further Musgrove’s former passion for educating students, Giordano began the “Jeanine Musgrove Memorial Fund.” This fund will be dedicated to the building of an outdoor classroom on the western grounds of the Oakton High School campus. “The outdoor classroom will resemble an amphitheater,” said Giordano. “The change in scenery will recharge the students, and it is my hope that it will be used by not only science but performance arts classes will use the space.” In order for the class to be completed, the fund needs to raise around $15,000. Donations and verbal promises for contribution have already begun pouring in, but in order for the Jeanine Musgrove outdoor classroom to become a reality the support of even more Oakton students and parents are necessary. Donations can be sent to the school’s finance office.

Exhibition of Learning returns to oakton


The Exhibition of Learning returns to Oakton on March 18 and 19, but this year with a few new changes. The event starts at its usual 6:30 until 8:30 time period, but is divided into two sessions per night. The first session lasts from 6:30 to 7:15 and the second session goes from 7:15 to 8:00, in order to give students a chance to view their peers’ work. “We had a lot of students saying how much they wanted to be given time to view other student’s projects last year,” said English teacher Katherine Hovanec, who is in charge of running the program. “By creating two sessions, we can give the students the time to do that.” Another change this year is that feedback forms are no longer mandatory. In past years, students have had problems keeping track of the paper forms, as well as lack of participation using QR scans by parents, so teachers have no longer made them a requirement . Just like in past years, some adults coming to see the projects will include Dr. Banbury, assistant principals, as well as local FCPS board members. They will all be given nomination forms and throughout the night can choose the presentations that they think are the most well prepared. “The Exhibition of Learning provides students the with real world experience of presenting. All too often students are given an artificial audience just being shown in a classroom. Great work deserves an audience and the Exhibition of Learning gives them that chance,” Hovanec said.

courtesy of abigail giordano


courtesy of katherine hovanec



| newsworthy| 5



Four athletes sign to different Division 1 schools

rom freshman to senior year, being part of Oakton Athletics is a rewarding experience. One of these honors is being recruited to the college level, and signing to a school of their choice. On February 10, four of Oakton’s very own signed. Seniors Hailey Dougherty, Connor Fagan, Jack Stoney, and Noah Pilato signed their official commitment to Division 1 Schools. Doughtery and Stoney both signed to run track at the University of Pennsylvania and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, respectively. Fagan signed to play football at Davidson College. Pilato signed to play soccer at Pennsylvania State. Leading up to their recruitment, the athletes visited their schools and get to know the feel of the athletic program. When Dougherty made her official NCAA visit at University of Pennsylvania she got opportunity to know the team and the school.

“It was fun and we got to do fun activities and got to know each other through team bonding,” Dougherty said. The ability to sign to D1 schools was celebrated at a reception on Feb. 10 in the cafeteria. These accomplishments have been due to years of hard work. Each one of the athletes was surrounded by proud parents and supportive friends. Following the mock signing, athletes posed for photos with friends and family then enjoyed cake. This reception was well deserved for these athletes. Dougherty, Fagan, Stoney, and Pilato definitely have shown that they are dedicated athletes who are going on to great possibilities. “[Committing] was almost surreal because I have had this goal since fourth grade, and finally accomplishing it was a relief,” Fagan said. “But you want to get back to work; you still have more to do. You are not done.”

Cougars cross the finish line

maggie campbell staff writer all photos by maggie campbell

Posing for pictures post-signing, Hailey Dougherty smiles with her family. “[My parents] really do come to every single race I’ve ran in the past four years. Good ones, bad ones, they’re always there,” Dougherty said.

(From left to right) Seniors Noah Pilato, Hailey Dougherty, Jack Stoney, and Connor Fagan pose during the mock signing of their letters of intent.

christiana meyers staff writer

Winter recap of Oakton athletes and their seasons of success courtesy of brenna debellas


Swim and Dive

he Oakton Varsity Swim Team crossed a finish line with a District title in their win over Robinson, Westfield, Herndon, Centreville, and their toughest opponent, Chantilly on February 7th. This is the fourth District title for the Cougars in a row. In addition, girls brought home a Regional title and boys were runner up. “Overall, the season went better than we could have hoped for,” said junior Jenna Bayer. “We had a lot of new freshmen and a lot of new talent that really pushed us ahead of our competition.” The Cougars continued their winning streak on Friday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 22 when Girls won States for the third year in a row.

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courtesy of


Track and Field

fter crossing a finish line at Districts with their win over their toughest competitor, Robinson High School, the Cougars claimed the District

title. “Our season was very successful, and I am really proud of how we all did this season and in Disticts” said junior Allie Klimkiewicz, a captain of the team. In addition, Oakton Track also won in Regionals. So what’s next for Oakton Track and Field? “We really want to go and win States of course. It would also be really cool to make it to Nationals for the mile.” Due to the recent winter weather, States are rescheduled for February 28th and March 1st.

USA takes Sochi

torri marquis touchdown editor

Sage Kotsenburg

Jamie Anderson

Snowboard Slopestyle Gold Medalist Twenty year old Sage Kotsenburg from Park City, Utah took the United States’ first gold medal of the Games in the snowboard slopestyle competition. His winning run involved a perfect 1620 Japan Air, and in an interview he declared that he had never tried that trick before in his life. In his words, he “just winged it,”

Snowboard Slopestyle Gold Medalist

and his daring attitude won him his first medal at his first Olympic Games.

One day after her American teammate took the gold, snowboarder Jamie An-

photos courtesy of USA Today

derson won the women’s snowboard slopestyle competition. With eleven of her family members there to support her, Anderson was able to snatch the spot at the top of the podium. Snowboard slopestyle was new to the Olympics this year, making Kotsenburg and Anderson the first ever gold medalists in the event.

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night for the men in the halfpipe, the American women came out strong the next day in their halfpipe competition. Twenty-three year old Kaitlyn Farrington took the gold medal with a score of 91.75, beating others who were highly favored above her, including Australian defending champion Torah Bright. Farrington did not even expect to medal, let alone win the gold. Americans Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter took third and fourth, respectively.

the American dominance, skier Joss Christensen won the gold medal in the ski slopestyle event. The Americans swept the podium, with Gus Kenworthy winning the silver and Nick Goepper winning the bronze. This was the first American sweep in a Winter Games since the 2002 Salt Lake City men’s snowboard halfpipe. Christensen performed beautifully throughout the whole competition, posting three of the top four scores of the day. His winning run scored a 95.80.





Meryl Davis & Charlie White Ice Dancing Gold Medalists The ice dancing pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White took the gold medal in the Olympics ice dancing competition, giving the United States its first Olympic gold medal in a doubles figure skating event. The two have been skating together for seventeen years, and they have grown up together on and off the ice. Their winning routine, with its perfect lifts and synchronized twizzles, was flawless. The reigning Olympic gold medalists from the Vancouver Games, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, took the silver.

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| touchdown| 7


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Indepth alana peters editor-in-chief reina datta indepth editor




ating right is one of the key factors for succeeding in high school, and balancing your diet with the proper amount of exercise will result in better focus, and therefore better results in school. Below are different types of snacks that will help you excel in different aspects of your life.

Working out...

Good for protein and carb benefits

Oatmeal It will settle fast with long lasting energy

Greek yogurt Fuel with susbstantial proteins and carbs

Whole wheat bagel with jam Benefit from both simple and complex carbs



Try these good body-fuel foods before and after exercise Eggs Protein shake with added carbs

Yout post-workout dose of protein and carbs

Bananas Rehabilitate your heart with potassium

Salmon Anti-inflammatory omega-3’s for muscles

Blueberries The “perfect food” with an antioxident boost

Studying... Make sure you eat these kinds of foods for optimal concentration


Before studying or taking a test, it is always good to eat protein- rich foods .

Vegetables Raw vegetables like bell peppers and carrots are good choices to give you the satisfying crunch, without eating potato chips.

Bread When eaten alone, carbs make you feel more relaxed and alert, which is beneficial the day before an exam

Gum Studies show that chewing mint gum promotes blood flow and memorization



Granola Bars Get the protein you need while still satisfying your sweet tooth

Oranges Meeting daily vitamin and mineral requirements will make doing your best much easier, and oranges are filled with Vitamin C and other essential vitamins FEBRUARY 2014

| indepth| 9



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carly stonehouse courtney do editor-in-chief staff writer



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kelsie mcwilliams

Truett Cathy made the first original chicken sandwich.

10 | indepth | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4



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Walgreen’s employer, Ivar “Pop” Coulson, added 2 scoops of ice cream to a malted milkshake.

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First opened at a former Dolly Madison Ice Cream location.



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16 year old American, Hanson Gregory, invented the first donut on a ship.

Girl Scouts invented the first s’more. The first recipe was in a Girl Scout’s 1927 handbook.

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Thomas Jefferson brought the first waffle iron into the United States from France.




American colonists brought recipes for ice cream from Europe. It was first documented on May 19, 1744 at the home of Maryland Governor, Thomas Bladen.




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n this day and age, liking food has become extremely mainstream – people constantly Instagramming their meals, buckling their Chipotle into the passenger seat, becoming noticeably upset when Chick-fil-a is closed on Sunday, etcetera – but has anyone ever wondered why? Since the start of the Americas in the 1700s, we have been pulled towards the promise of good food. There is a reason why Pilgrims and Native Americans decided to set aside their differences for a while, and that reason is food. Since then, American food has evolved, for better or for worse, and has been bringing people together for centuries. This country has grown to be a melting pot of cultures, consequently leading to a variety of deliciously ethnic food. Majority of the time that people decide to get together, it has to involve food. Date night? Food. Movies? Food. Family reunions? Food. Aside from fueling the body’s nutritional needs, food is a major part of the basis of a community. It is the core of almost all social gatherings and provides something for people to bond over and talk about, whether they are eating a bowl of ice cream, or a Chipotle burrito bowl. So next time someone pulls out their phone to Instagram their meal, do not be so quick to judge.



reina datta

Time for a menu shake-up The FCPS high school menu needs healthy and cost-sensitve alternatives


t is a common thing for students to complain about the food the cafeteria serves. However, it is more than the quality of food that is served that deserves attention. The lack of information about the food is discouraging to those who want to eat healthy. It is hard for people to eat smart when they do not know what they are eating. The nutritional information of the food served is simply not made available in the way that it should be. In order to gain access to this information, students must go online and find it for themselves. The PDF file that can be found on does not provide the amount of calories from fat that each item contains. Although it does provide grams in fat, it would be nice to know the proportionality of how much fat the item contains (most people do not know that a gram of fat contains nine calories). There is also no listing of things like sugar. This is troubling since as everybody knows, consuming too much sugar will lead to health problems, not to mention make you fat. The solution to this problem is pretty obvious. The school should have a card

above each food item being served that contains its complete nutrition information. Most people are not going to bother looking up the information and if they do, they are not going to print it out and bring it to lunch every school day. Another problem is the actual nutrition information of the food. Most of the food served is loaded with fat. Now it is fine to have foods that are high in fat on the

The Staff Editorial is the official opinion of the Oakton Outlook menu; it is not okay when there are only a few low fat alternatives. On some days there are no alternatives at all. A Grilled chicken sandwiches is supposed to be a lean choice but, not at FCPS. A “Spicy Chicken On Bun” contains 330 calories, 270 of which come from fat. This one item says a lot. A restaurant like McDonalds would no doubt be a better food provider for the county. A “Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich” from

McDonalds contains 350 calories with only 80 of which come from fat ( In fact, McDonalds gives you a better variety of choices and much more healthier ones as well. Pricing is a whole another issue. $2.75 (lunch meal price for Fairfax County Public middle schools and high schools) may not seem like a lot, but think about what you are getting. Some items like the chicken sandwiches are a good deal but, most are not. A couple of cheese sticks and half a handful of smiley fries are not worth $2.75. McDonalds is a great comparison for pricing as well. Just take a look at McDonalds’ Dollar Menu and you will understand why. McDonalds sells (delicious) double cheeseburgers for a dollar where as FCPS sells their plastic looking one-patty burgers for $2.75 each. It is not even a close decision, McDonalds would win every time. Perhaps FCPS should hire McDonalds to provide school lunches because it is clear that the county is not serious about providing an appropriate menu. FEBRUARY 2014

| viewpoint| 11

Netflix vs. live television

Netflix is becoming the new way to stream television is $8 per month. This cheap way of streaming television gets better. Netflix currently has contracts with channel networks like AMC, for example, to get shows that they want to stream 3 months after they air on live TV. They know that the viewers want an acclaimed series to be hooked onto and coming back for, every night. This reason is also why Netflix has its own original series. Both “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” have helped Netflix add 1.29 million members in the United States. The director of “House of Cards” acquired ‘outstanding directing drama series’ in the Emmys in 2013. With these web-series improving, there’s another reason to switch to Netflix. If you aren’t completely convinced with Netflix’s potential, they offer a 30-day free trial for all new members. Overall, Netflix is the leading company for online TV streaming, and is quickly cutting the cable cord of many families.

A new year, a new approach

ot doing your homework

What Netflix means to teens


he future of cable television seems dull with new apps like Netflix spurring up on mobile devices and game consoles. The success of this new way of watching TV is due to Netflix being able to provide a full series worth of episodes in bulk so viewers can quickly finish a series and move on to the next. Netflix does not run commercials like live most television networks do, which allows people to finish episodes quickly and has them wanting more. You can spend eight days watching “24” without even getting off the couch, plus the next episode will instantly queue up when the episode being watched finishes. Netflix has thousands of movies and shows available for instant watch and numbers of genres to choose them from. There is a separate page called “Just for Kids” for children’s shows and movies. For all the families under budget cuts, Netflix is the best decision. Cable TV is on average $70 per month, versus Netflix which

veda bhatia staff writer

ating food while watching rying to stay awake ast streaming ying in bed nstant queue tra enjoyable

nikki singh staff writer

Disney takes the box-office and homes all around the world by storm


t is only the second month of the year and Disney has already managed to break records and make a worldwide statement. Their most recently released musical, Frozen, made over $93 million while confronting controversial topics. Disney introduced the first same-sex couple in a scene of the animated movie as well as on their networks show, Good Luck Charlie. Both sparked debate among several people regarding whether or not this step was necessary. It’s great for Disney to take this jump towards allowing for more tolerance in today’s society. For their viewers, however, they need to address their approach carefully and slowly. Many fans of the company and even celebrities, such as Miley Cyrus, commended Disney. Cyrus tweeted out, “They control so much of what kids think. Life isn’t bright sets & wardrobe & kids becoming superstars. This is inspiring!” On the other hand, several parents and organizations were disappointed with Disney, as so many young kids saw Frozen and watch the Disney Channel. A group of parents, One Million Moms, stated “This is the last place a parent would expect their children to be confronted with topics that are too difficult for them to understand.” This change has not only affected young children and adults, but also teenagers. Jewel Moore, a junior in Virginia, was inspired to create a petition requesting the introduction of plus-size princesses. Disney movies and The Disney Channel often set unrealistic standards for young girls, only casting the girls with the “Barbie

12 | viewpoint | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

doll” figure such as Bella Thorne in “Shake It Up.” Knowing the amount of girls Disney influences, Jewel believes that the acceptance of her petition would “make many young girls feel confident and worthy to see a strong character that looks like them. This move on Disney’s part would have an amazing positive ripple effect in people all around the world.” Disney broke new ground this year and their attempt deserves a great deal of respect as they are trying to broaden their understanding of human relationships to help raise more awareness and acceptance among families and children. To parents the question remains, has Disney taken a step towards creating a more accepting atmosphere or have they introduced this mature topic too soon for children? The concerned parents around the world have the control to monitor what their kids are exposed to and as society progresses it is only fair for Disney to help encourage this acceptance. Mr. McCulla “The simple thing is, if you’re a parent and you don’t like what the tv channel is showing, change the channel .” Dr. Steele “Although we think that kids are ready for this cultural change , not everybody is.”


Ryan McElveen

maggie campbell erin preaskorn copy editor staff writer

The man, the myth, the legend


n Dec. 8, school board member Ryan McElveen became an overnight sensation when he tweeted that school would be closed the following day. “I just tweeted out that school was going to be closed,” said McElveen. “All of a sudden people realized that I was a reliable source and started retweeting me, but I think it was the next day that it went to the extreme because people started to realize I could be trusted.” McElveen is conscious of his twitter audience, and while he wants to keep his followers hooked by more creative tweets, he also wants to keep them informed of more serious matters in Fairfax County. “I try to keep it light and not to do too much business,” McElveen said. “But my goal over time is to engage students more in the issues of the school system and get their input on many issues including cafeteria food and start times.” Although many would let fame go to their head, McElveen finds it amusing, though realizes that he should use it to his advantage. “I think it’s hilarious,” McElveen said. “Having been a student I know that often times students don’t know or even care who their school board members are, but I think the popularity is a good thing for students to know more about the elected positions and democracy in general.”

Many students may regard McElveen as the only school board member worthy of having a twitter following, but he disagrees, believing that more members should tweet. “I think from now on it is going to be a prerequisite that school board members know how to tweet,” McElveen said. “I’m glad that I’m able to show school board members aren’t all stuffy old people.” McElveen first got involved in making changes for Fairfax County Public Schools when he attended George Marshall High School. “[Marshall] didn’t have stalls in the bathrooms; there were just toilets,” McElveen said. “I saw it as a privacy issue, so I made it my goal to see that change and I went to the principle and other people in the school system, did a petition, and finally got stalls in the men’s bathroom.” When McElveen went to college and beyond, he brought his passion for making differences in his community. “In college, I really focused more on issues of diversity and internationalization, which is studying abroad, learning languages, and other things like that,” McElveen said. “As a school board member, I emphasize these problems. Even though McElveen is a favorite among the students, he will not be on the school board forever. “I don’t plan to stay on the school board for too long,” McElveen said. “It’s stressful. I might go do something else politically.”

FUN FACTS With Ryan Mcelveen Speaks Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and English Makes $20,000 a year for being a school board member Lived in China Is the youngest member of the school board Graduated George Marshall High School in 2004 Responsibile for bathroom stalls at Marshall Can be reached at

Black History Month

sunni bean The experience as a minority at Oakton shared by junior Muriel Wandey photo editor


lack History month is an annual time that attempts to highlight the black achievements that were typically whited out in history. Everybody knows how racism infected both the United States and other parts of the world for the past couple of centuries proceeding the 21st, but it is hard to quantify how much racism really still plays into our lives now. The progress that has been made in just 50 years has been enormous. But past that there is no doubt there are still issues we always will need work on with the traces that slavery left behind. “Absolutely [we still need black history month],” said Mr. Heckel, a teacher of AP Language and Composition at Oakton High School. “I think often we like to think that we are sort of in a post racial period in the United States and that we’ve moved past race, but I think that we really haven’t.” The message of this time of remembrance was first expanded to a month in 1973 in order to encourage integrating education and acceptance. “Some people see black history month as a pity time for black people but I just see it as remembering the history of what happened to black people so stuff like this doesn’t happen again,” said Muriel Wandey, junior. “It’s just a little reminder because in history we tend to study the European past and that side, so it’s just a nice time to be recognized.” Still there is some debate on whether Black History month does anything, because it often seems that is a month that comes and goes with little said or done. With a remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. and the back ground drone that we should have equality, the presence of the

months meaning is slowly fading away. “To be honest not that much [is done for BHS]. Since its inception, we get less and less of its influence.” Heckel said. “Now I just sort of look around and there’s a lot less done for black history month now than there was 15 years ago when I was in high school, and when I would imagine less then in the 90s than in the 80s, so the more we think that we’re growing as a culture the less that we actually take a look at some of these hard issues.” The hard issues to discuss come in all shapes and sizes. The echoes of the history of cruelty towards people who were African American in the United States can make people who are black feel the overly politically correct tone still implied today, even with all the progress the civil rights movements created. For Wandey, being the one of the only black people in an AP Language and Composition class talking about slavery in a socratic seminar, she has felt the unitentionally built wall when talking about race. “It feels like people are almost censoring themselves and being really cautious about what they’re saying because I am in the room.I feel like people are aware, you know, that Oakton doesn’t have that much of a black population.” said Wandey. “People are aware, like ‘Yeah she’s black, so she’s probably sensitive on this topic’ or something. There could be some truth behind that, but I’m never offended. I’m taking the class just like they are, and we should talk about it.” FEBRUARY 2014

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Taste quest

anee nguyen showtime editor

40 years of D&D

Try some of these alternatives to traditional sweets

media mix

Candy: Organic

Fruity Hearts Company: Surf Sweets

These gluten-free, all organic gummies are the sweet treat replacement to any gummy things you have a craving for. 100% organic, these little hearts come in watermelon, strawberry, and cherry. Don’t let words like vegetarian and vegan put you off because these are perfect for no regret binge eating.

courtesy of surf sweets

Candy: Rasp-

berry Chocolate Company: Theo

Chocolate is must-have on Valentine’s day. Theo’s Raspberry 70% Chocolate is the healthiest and most taste-bud activating chocolate to buy for yourself or for a significant other. The Valentine’s Theo Chocolate collection also includes “My Cherry Baby” and “Cinnamon Love Crunch,” which use all organic materials and are soy free. courtesy of Theo

The eccentric ‘Her’ hat to say about Spike Jonze’s understated


Candy: Chocolate

Strawberries Company: Shari’s Berries These healthy foods are a bit on the expensive size. However, dark chocolate on strawberries is one of the most illustrious Valentine’s Day gifts. Obviously organic and full of antioxidants, dark chocolate covered strawberries are a treat to be savored. If you’re not into expensive things, you can to make these yourself.

courtesy of Shari’s Berries

futuristic romance, ‘Her’? When going in to watch ‘Her,’ it is vital to understand the preoccupations and the anxieties that come with the digital age. Jonze shows the battle of life’s every day struggles and the enticement of new technology through the conventional love story of Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix). Taking place in a slightly more futuristic Los Angeles, Twombly looks for concord when downloading the newest upgrade for his operating system. In this world, the Sirilike voice, Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) and the other operating systems, help manage the average person’s every day necessities. In this case, Samantha helps Twombly with his life and career of choice; writing heartfelt notes for loved ones through a website, beautifulhandwrittencourtesy of official website Living an ordinary yet melancholy life, Theodore takes refuge from his ongoing divorce by finding a controversial love with Samantha. Jonzes’ vision of the world to come was farfetched yet, easily imaginable. We see the real life struggle that comes with relationships today and how if someone is desperate enough, they can find love in anything. However, Twombly and Samantha’s relationship is far from what love really is. This version of happiness is perceived to be a “socially acceptable form of insanity,” when in reality, the exploration of love is forever changing and this network crazed society is far from being in the present. Although our society has begun to be more absorbed by the screens of our phones than the eyes of our friends and family, society is still incapable of having a relationship defined by the vocalizations of needs and desires. Twombly may be able to endure a relationship where you don’t have to be physically expressive in order to be happy, but society today, is not as close as Jonze would like it to appear to be to this kind of carly stonehouse editor-n-chief showtime F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 relationship.

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he popular roleplaying game “Dungeons and Dragons” celebrated its 40th anniversary on January 31. “Dungeons and Dragons,” created by Gary Gygax in 1974, was originally a modified version of a tabletop wargame called Chainmail. Evolving from a game where players controlled whole armies of soldiers, Gygax modified the rules so that each player controlled a single character, doing quests and missions assigned by an omnipotent “Dungeon Master.” The game essentially created the modern roleplaying game, with such iconic aspects as the gamemaster, character sheet, and numerical attributes entering the scene for the first time. Dungeons and Dragons has gone through many iterations in its 40 year history, and has spawned many spinoffs, from an eponymous movie to multiple video games. Most recently, the game entered its fourth edition in 2008, to critical acclaim. Redesigned to be more welcoming to newcomers, the new edition sold out within days after being released. Anyone interested in improv theater, board games, epic fantasy, backstabbing their friends and defeating enemies would love “Dungeons & Dragons.”

sam rutzick staff writer

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Oakton Outlook 2013-2014 Issue 5  

Issue 4 of the Oakton Outlook for the 2013-2014 school year

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