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oakton high school volume 44, issue 7


From alcohol, to marijuana, to heroin... drugs are not just problems for other schools

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05 Changing Schedule


21 High School Students are warned on a daily basis to stay above the influence, but it seems that drug-involved activities are more prevalent in today’s high school communities than previously thought.

The start of the fourth quarter means that plans for next year are getting finalized. A change in Oakton’s schedule will possibly include a free period, or a type of homeroom for students.


09 Master Chief Fine Halo, a popular video game, is typically a favorite thing to play in spare time with friends. It’s normally a fun, weekend relaxation type of activity. But for one Oakton student, Halo has become a job, and playing professionally comes easily. See how Sam Fine has turned his fomer hobby into a successful career.


28 Bon Appétit

Mom’s bagged lunches are having to compete with the cafeteria’s appealing food, but the cafeteria’s meals may deserve some serious calorie counting.

31 Addicting Games

Once Facebook gets boring, students need to find other things on the Internet to preoccupy their time instead of finishing homework. Find some of the most addicting games.


13 Cougar Crossing

35 Faith on the Fields


38 Row Your Boat

16 Opus Coffee House An Opus member personally reflects on Opus’ annual open-mic event that allows students to express their personal material to peers.

19 Training Room

Trainers and athletes are crammed into limited space for recovery, taping and exercises. The training room desperately needs space to reduce crowding.

With announcements for its meetings every Friday morning, the FCA sponsors religiously influenced athletic activity. But what really goes on in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes?

Crew is notorious for working out on machines outside the training room during the off season, but the sport is actually carried out on water. Become familiar with crew terminology, as well as boat positions, strokes and other commonly used rowing slang.

april 9 2010

She stands on Sutton each morning, directing traffic and allowing walkers to cross the street. She’s there every day, but who is the woman that controls traffic?

outlook news



look April 9, 2010


letter College acceptance, lunch changes and fourth quarter’s beginning start spring


e’re back from spring break, and as a consequence, we’re also experiencing some serious relaxation withdrawal. Whether you traveled to a foreign country, tanned on the beach, or kicked back at home, we all have one thing in common, and that’s that we’re all stuck sitting at our desks and have to face the impending school work. The truth is, it’s hard to kick it into high gear in school when we get stuck clicking through everyone’s spring break pictures on Facebook. Speaking of wasting time on Facebook, it seems that there’s a lot more to do than merely stalk friends or scan through pictures. Sitting down to write an English paper with the enticing Internet icon can be a deadly combination, especially with all the available games featured on page 31. is definitely not a misleading website name. Spring break aside, the past few weeks have been full of surprises, most specifically, NCAA basketball. As March Madness unwound and caused many of us to lose money on brackets, we all cursed each upset game that threw off our predictions. Who would’ve thought that Butler would make it to the championship? Continuing with surprises concerning colleges, the majority of college acceptance letters were anxiously ripped open. With the supposedly life-determining letter drama over, a lot of the seniors know where they’re going in a few short months, and whether they’ll be student-athletes, like those on page 36, or just students, college is coming, and fast. And

so is senioritis. On a less serious note, another less life-affecting surprise has reared its’ head in the lunch line; sushi. As an alternative to the normally purchased wrap or sandwich for lunch, it seems that the cafeteria is getting more creative in their options, but with more choices, it’s difficult to decide. To make the decision a little easier, take a look at the nutritional value that may steer you away or entice you towards some lunch line items on pages 28 and 29. Today marks the end of the third quarter. Though we’re losing the extra day off this Monday because of that now almost forgotten snow storm, hopefully the recent spring break, and all those activities everyone did, such as those featured on pages 6 and 7, will make up for the loss. With the start of a new quarter, and because it’s the final quarter, most of us have found friends and determined who we want to hang out with. Whether it be a relationship based on sports, academics, or social preferences, many circles have formed, but some things seem to be common among most of those different groups: the use of drugs and alcohol. A look into this topic is featured in the In-Depth section starting on page 21. With the recent excitement of all those surprises and the realization that the school year is in its last quarter, spring has definitely arrived. What better way to kick off spring than attend the Down for Dao dance, on page XX this Saturday? Have fun, and be safe with whatever you plan on doing to start spring right. Go Cougars!


From, april 9 2010

Alex Straton Co-Editor in Chief


outlook news

Erica Wohlleben Co-Editor in Chief

Outlook Staff Editors in Chief Alex Straton Erica Wohlleben News Editors Michelle Chu Elise Werner Opinions Editor Zoe Mitchell Community Editors Tesla Jensen Katie Smith Online Editor Koorosh Massoudi Ads Sarah Crain Philip Tam

In-Depth Editor Charlotte Dobry Sports Editors Alex Buscemi Daphne Martschenko Business Managers Sarah Crain Philip Tam Design Editor Sarah Kashanian Copy Editor Vipin Reddy Photo Editor Daniel Chait Adviser Chad Rummel

Staff Lisa Baumgartner Alex Belden Owen Chesser Nikki Clemons Spencer Conley Conner Dick Charlotte Dobry Drew Harrington Morgan Harwood Kyle Hughes Matt Johnson Callum Kelton Jackson Lizardo Allen Luethke Jordan Nieusma

Michelle Oh Christopher Papas Julia Picciotto Pasquale Prezioso Sonya Price Shannon Ragan Andrew Reed Shayda Shahbazi Becky Singerman Rachel Stanley Matt Steele Nick Ward Matt Woodhouse Dorothy Yen

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 may be sent via email to or dropped off in Chad Rummel’s box in the main office or in room 196. The Outlook reserves the right to edit submissions for grammar and content provided the meaning remains unchanged.


Eighth period added to schedule: ‘Cougar Time’


• The Northern Virginia Regional ith the hectic schedule changes resultalthough not every student will have the same College Fair will be ing from the “Blizzard of 2010,” freedom and opportunities to go where they held on Wednesday, students have finally begun to fall back choose. April 21, from 6:30into the pattern of a normal school week. But “Students will be able to pick which classes 8:30 p.m. This meeting before they are able to become too familiar with they will attend for the most part,” Banbury said. will be held at George the current school day, the faculty has decided to “A number of students that display particular Mason University in change the typical seven period day once again. problems in certain subjects will be required to the Patriot Center, and “Starting the 2010-2011 school year, we’re go to a specific location. We still haven’t decided it will be an opportunity going to change the schedule to afford the staff what the GPA or grade cutoff is for students who for sophomores and and students time to work with each other in a need to attend a specific workshop. juniors to learn about structured setting in efforts to meet the needs of Even with the addition of a 30 minwhat various colleges and kids,” said Principal John Banbury. “We’re addute remedial period, Collaboration universities are offering. ing another period to the day that Wednesdays are to be continued Some of the attending allows students to receive extra throughout the new school year. colleges are Christopher assistance in school.”: “Collaboration Wednesdays Newport, Elon, James New School Schedule The faculty has not finaized are still going to be part of the Madison and Regent School days will be 8 periods long details regarding the new schedule,” Taylor said. “On University. A 30 minute period will be added schedule, although an official Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and to the schedule after 1st period time schedule for the upcoming Friday there will be a period for • Rising seniors who During this time, students passing school year will be released next students to get extra in-school are interested in having all their classes will be free to week. help, but on Wednesdays, there a parking spot for the decide which class to attend “We’re currently working on will be a normal collaboration 2010-2011 school year Students failing one or more classes the specifics of the new schedschedule.” can pick up forms in the must attend the classes they are ule,” Banbury said. “We haven’t Despite his optimistic outGold office. The price failing during this time completely worked out how look on the upcoming schedule for the upcoming school long this period is going to last changes, Banbury recognizes the year will be $200. The or where exactly it’s going to take possible weaknesses of the new plan. forms will require a photo place, but right now we’re looking at somewhere “There are a few negative aspects to the new copy of a valid license around a 30 minute time block.” schedule,” Banbury said. “The new schedule cuts and a completed Student The addition of an extra period to the school into the time of other classes and some of the Parking preference day was created with the aim of helping students teachers aren’t happy about losing their minutes. form. There will be no with their studies and will be guided under the Having said that, the schedule was voted for by incomplete forms looked same prospects as a real class. the bulk of the faculty and met overwhelming at. No junior will be “The expectation is that students will be with support.” looked at until all seniors a teacher for that block of time,” said Michelle The faculty is not the only group responding are accommodated for. Taylor, committee member and band direcpositively to the new schedule changes. tor. “Although there will be opportunities and “I really like the idea of having a remediation • Debate students activities happening during this period, this is period added into our school day,” said junior competed at Westfield not a free-for-all. This extra period is meant to Flora Lee. “A lot of the time I can’t stay after High School on be instructional in nature and should be taken school and this new period gives [students] like Saturday, March 20 in the seriously.” me extra time to ask questions and get help that regional competition. Starting next year, a remediation period will be we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to receive.” Four teams from Oakton incorporated into the schedules of every student, by Michelle Chu and Jordan Nieusma represented the issue concerning providing services for people suffering from poverty. Though no teams went to “I don’t think students get states, they were content “It’d be helpful. It’ll be a sufficient amount of time with their efforts. “We’re easier to study with the to receive help from their satisfied with the results extra time.” teachers and the extra time because we performed will give them this.” well as a team. Everybody aydin wichin improved and learned a junior freshman lot, so I’m proud of us,” “It’s a good chunk of time “I think it could be bensaid Vice President for kids with a lot of AP’s eficial for the students but Merrite Johnson, to get stuff done. Kids will the kids will try to take senior. get out of it what they will advantage of it [by hanging put into it.” out].”


How do you feel about the addition of another period?


history teacher outlook news




science teacher

april 9 2010






• Leadership sponsored the first book drive for children in need, Government teacher Jihoon Shin’s fifth period class collected the most books. In second place was Kristi Layman’s class brought in about 27 books per person. Leadership worked with the Reach Out and Read Book Drive program to deliver books to local children’s hospitals. Juniors Kevin McGartland, Kit Mahoney, Jennifer Corser, sophomores Connor Anderson and Kelsey Clarke, and freshman Jeffery Gehring organized the collection of books for the drive. Boxes were put in each fifth period class and the amount of books was then recorded after a week and a half. In total, 3,200 books were collected. • Model UN will convene at Thomas Jefferson High School on April 9 through 10 for their competition. The TJ event will be their first high school competition of the year and is entirely organized by high school students. Expecting a large turnout, the Oakton team has prepared their positions on global issues as they represent the countries of Belize, Uganda, Greece and Myanmar.

april 9 2010

• Senior Kate Allen received an Honorary Mention at the 2010 National New Year’s Card Contest in the Artistic Category. The contest was sponsored by the National Council of Japanese Language Teachers.


outlook news

Students travel around Students providing aid in the world during spring Senegal experience culture vacation leven French so we will have to talk to During the springtime, an array of opportunities came up for students to experience different cultures and lifestyles. Among the trips were ones to Wallops Island, Italy, Senegal and Spain. Students on each trip had varying experiences from swimming through mud to helping out at an orphanage. by Elise Werner and Drew Harrington

When in Rome Senior girls visit Italy


uring spring break, students had the opportunity to experience the culture and see the sites of Italy. From Mar. 24 through April 1, six Oakton students, along with 13 students from Woodson high school, traveled to Rome, Florence and Capri. For about 2,800 dollars, the 19 students spent their break on a trip that allowed them to apply their knowledge of Italian history. “I [was] really excited to see the coliseum because I learned so much about it and it’s a big part of history,” said senior Jennifer Lonnquest. “Also, I was excited to see the differences between our culture and the Italian culture.” At the end of the trip, everyone left Italy with a positive experience. “It was amazing,” said AP U.S. History teacher Tim Hudenburg. “It was the smoothest trip of 18 trips I’ve been on with students.”

Lessons in Italian

During their trip to Italy, Seniors Jennifer Lonnquest, Courtney Roth, Caroline Beury, Meredith Freund, Amelia Smith and Hudenburg participated in various classes and demonstrations that taught the group more about Italian culture. Included were a makeyour-own gelato class, italian dancing, fresco painting and a demonstration on leather-making in Florence. “I liked the fresco painting because the Sistine Chapel was large and all done as a fresco. I can’t imagine how Photo courtesy of Courtney Roth Michaelangelo did it,” Roth Seniors Courtney Roth, Meredith said. Freund, Caroline Beury, Amelia


students, along with teacher Inge Pisano and Emily Fugate-Brunino, visited Senegal for 10 days over spring break. There, they traveled to the capital, Dakar, and then headed south towards Mali. The trip was organized through Castro tours, and the group moved every day, traveling by van. Aside from experiencing a different culture, students volunteered at an orphanage, distributed food and mosquito nets, visited rural high schools and went to a wildlife preserve. “The main thing we’re doing there is working with children, so we will be visiting a lot of children’s schools and English teaching schools

them in English,” said junior Emily Farmer. “I’m going with my French class, but we will probably be speaking more English than French because we are trying to expose them to our culture.” Although illness was a concern while in Senegal, students were able to view a culture very different from that of Fairfax County. “I [was] looking forward to seeing some old friends personally and to introduce the students to a country that is rich in history, culture, and tradition,” Pisano said. “Although it’s not rich economically, I [was] looking forward to the students experiencing its treasures.”



Photos courtesy of Emily Farmer

1.Pisano talks to the citizens in another village the group visited. Pasiano taught in Senegal last year and was excited to return. I [was] looking forward to seeing some old friends personally and to introduce the students to a country that is rich in history, culture, and tradition,” she said. 2. A girl who wanted her picture taken. “They liked to look at them after we took the picture,” 2 Farmer said


Smith and Jennifer Lonnquest enjoy their gelato in Italy. “I had the best gelato while in Italy,” Hudenburg said.


from the trip in various ways. “It’ll benefit the students just to be exposed to the language they’ve been studying,”said Spanish teacher Kristi Layman. “Most students are in Spanish two or three, so it’ll be good for a true cultural experience, more than they can get out of the classroom.” In Madrid, however, as with other bigger cities, students are exposed to a wide range of buildings, people and lifestyles. Witnessing this first hand gave the students exposure to things outside of their comfort zone. “I’ve learned that the world is very different from Fairfax, Virginia,” said Casey. “Here, there’s a lot more visible poverty.”

A day in the life Students experience the life of a reasearcher on Wallops Island trip


week before spring break, students taking Oceanography were given the chance to partake in a field trip that, from Mar. 17 to 20, allowed them to experience what it’s like to work as a researcher. The trip took place at Wallops Island, which is 45 minutes from Ocean City, and at Chincoteague Island. Students did various labs relating to marine life which they had been studying in class. “We went on the research vessel the first day,” said senior Sierra Hemmig. “Then we went to Chincoteague Island and did an intertidal lab so we went to this shore area where the stream went into the ocean to study the different kinds of wild life there. We had to dig through the sand and stuff to look for little animals and plants. After, we went in the

stream and held these nets while other people went farther down the stream and chased fish into the nets, and then we brought it back to the lab. In the lab we just studied the organisms we brought back, and they gave us books of wildlife that lived in the area that gave us the phylum, so we just had to find what species it was.” While the research was beneficial to students, furthering their education in the field, those that went on the trip also experienced the conditions of working in an intertidal area. Specifically, they had to walk through a salt marsh and jump into thick mud. “The mud jumping and the shell collection were my favorite parts of the trip,” said Oceanography teacher Sean Greeny. “The mud went up to the kids necks.”

Photos courtesy of Sierra Hemmig

Students had to walk throught the mud, which at times went up to their necks. “I thought I was going to drown because it was really deep,” Hemmig said.

Photos courtesy of Sierra Hemmig

Alison Hutzler and Adriane Lopez dig through the soil in a quadrad during the Intertidal Lab. They were searching for any organisms that might be there.

• Seniors Kunjisha Ahuja, Bo Yang, Ayesha Vaid, Lily Martins and juniors Jennifer Corser, Amanda Askari and Nyah Collier won awards and qualified to compete in the national competition at the DECA state competition held in Norfolk, Virginia. Seniors Danielle Brown, Joe Clinton and Sam Tanenbaum also qualified to compete in the international competition that will be held at the end of April in Louisville, Kentucky. Seniors Maria Laura Crespo, Brandon Dunlop, Alan Myers and junior Patrick Kelly won awards. DECA members competed in various events including presenting plans to judges as sales associative. The competition was held on March 12 to March 14. • Oakton Media Group members will be attending the JEA/NSPA convention in Portland, Oregon April 15 through 18. The group’s online newspaper received the Silver Crown Award for the second consecutive year and was nominated for the Peacemaker Award. outlook news

april 9 2010

akton students toured Spain for 12 days, starting in Madrid. This trip, which lasted from Mar. 28 through Apr. 8, also gave students the opportunity to see Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Morocco, Costa del Sol, Seville and Barcelona. While visiting the various famous cities, students were able to enjoy the local culture and appreciate the foreign language. “I think Morocco was my favorite because it was really nice to see a different culture, it was so different from anything I ever expected or knew,” said sophomore Sarah Casey. In the end, students will benefit


• The class of 2011 will begin selling prom tickets from May 13 to May 21. Parent volunteers are needed to assist in selling tickets during all four lunches. All volunteers will be required to attend training to review FCPS regulations. Interested parents may contact Ellen Reilly at ellen.reilly@fcps. edu.



Spanish students visit Spain over Spring Break


¿Hablas Español?

• Juniors interested in learning about the college application process are invited along with parents to attend the junior parent night on April 15 at 7 p.m. A panel of current seniors and their parents will discuss their recently completed application process and strategies for reaching success. This event will be full of information that will make the application process smoother for juniors and their families. •All-State Choir will be showcasing its talent on April 29 through May 1 at Tyson’s Corner. The group will be singing and performing in front of family, friends and the public. “All-State Choir is a selective group of seniors,” said senior Jennifer Wolf. “I was nervous when I auditioned. It was a lot of pressure because the best of each district had come to sing. [All-State Choir] is a really good opportunity to meet and sing with the best singers and conductors.” All-State Choir is generally made up of seniors, but junior Holly Kelly is an exception. “I’m actually shocked that I made it,” Kelly said. “I was competing against seniors who had a lot more experience than I did. I just wanted to give it a shot. I figured why not? What is there to lose?”

april 9 2010

• Because of the number of school days missed due to the snowstorm, students must attend school on April 12, a day previously scheduled to be a student holiday. It will be a Gold


outlook news

What’s the 4-11? Down for Dao. Juniors organize an alternative Spring Dance in order to support the efforts of Brittany Dao and her aim to raise money for cancer research.


he junior class typically plans and runs tion. After hearing about the event’s cause, the an annual spring dance, like “Crave”, board not only approved the dance but also “Pulse” or “Tropic Like It’s Hot” to decided to waive the usual $900 fee. raise money for Prom. However, the current “We were really excited because now we junior class officers had the idea to host a dance would have more money to donate to the that would differ from the usual. American Cancer Society,” Kowarski said. “All “This year the junior class was pretty well of our efforts would be towards donations versus off with their funds for Prom, so when we sat paying the down payment for rent.” down to talk about what we wanted to do, we Upon completing the contract with the FCPA, decided we wanted to do the junior officers began to something different,” said Down for Dao Advertises publicize the event with the Sarah Kowarski, junior help of shirts, flyers, a video The front of the T-shirt class President. and Facebook. The final step holds the slogan The junior class offi“Baby are you down” was the spirit week following and the back finishes cers decided to organize spring break. it off with “for Dao”. a dance that would “Spirit week is not techniIt also emphasizes the cally affiliated with the reach out to students, symbolic date, 04while supporting The dance,” Corser said. “Since 10-10. American Cancer Soit is the week leading up to T-shirts designed by ciety. The dance will be the dance, it makes people Jennifer Corser have held April 10 from 7:30 more aware of what is goto 12 p.m. Tickets will be been sold during the ing on.” weeks which have led sold at the door for $15 The dance is open to all up to sprit week and and online for $10. students, but everyone must are still being sold “I think the dance bring a current high school for $7 from the class is a great cause for the ID in order for security to officers. obvious reason. Not only keep the population limited are we raising money for cancer, it’s important to only high schoolers. that younger people are doing their part to help,” “At ‘Crave’, a bunch of non-high school Dao said. “The fact that high schoolers are people came, and there was no accountability for going out to contribute to the cause is in itself who was there,” Corser said. “We are requiring phenomenal.” a high school ID upon entry as this is strictly a After high school contemevent.” The Down for Dao foundation was established plating a The in 2008 and has been steadily growing due to Brittheme for upcomtany’s efforts. “I want my foundation to continue growing the dance, ing spring and be able to help numerous people in the future. the officers dance will Maybe it can someday be as big as Livestrong,” photo courtesy of brittany dao needed to support Dao said. Brittany hosted two parties, her birthday party find a locajunior Britand a Halloween party, for the foundation and tion that tany Dao in raised approximately $2100. would hold her efforts “If anyone was willing to fight cancer and go the event through all of that pain, they deserve to have a fight- to raise ing chance to live [regardless of] money,” Dao said. money for the “It seemed wrong for me not to do anything.” photo courtesy of brittany dao right price. for cancer They could research. not hold a fundraising dance at Oakton because Originally, the Down for Dao foundation was Oakton is a public school funded by the governfounded by the Delta Zeta sorority at Virginia ment and cannot donate money. Tech for Brittany’s sister, Emily Dao.The majori“I was relieved once we found a location ty of the proceeds from the event will be donated because I wouldn’t have to worry about the to the American Cancer Society. financial part of it. If we weren’t able to rent the “It doesn’t matter if I can help a few people facility we wouldn’t have had a dance,” said Jenor hundreds of people,” Dao said. “As long as nifer Corser, junior class Vice President. I never give up on trying to find a way to help, The dance will be held at the Revercomb that’s all that really matters, especially if I can building off of Fairfax County Parkway, which give someone the chance my sister never had.” is owned by the Fairfax County Police Associaby Shayda Shahbazi

Baby, are you down?



paid to play Oakton junior Sam Fine plays Halo as a profession


1. Do find a comfortable place to play. Somewhere you can relax - a stress free environment. 2. Don’t take it too seriously. Remember, it’s only a video game. 3. Do find people with whom you enjoy playing. If it’s not an enjoyable experience, what’s the point? 4. Don’t cheat. Keep the integrity of the game, just like you would any other game. 5. Do have fun with it, because it really is only game. 6. Don’t let others get you down. Keep on doing what you think is fun, regardless of what might be considered “cool.”

allen luethke

outlook feature

april 9 2010

The do’s and don’ts according to Sam Fine


national competitions.” They have also participated in many live tournaments, such as Team Ladder in New Jersey, in which they placed ninth. By taking place in these contests, which occur about nine times a year and take place around the country, and performing quite well, they have garnered the attention of many sponsors. “We were sponsored by Verizon for a while, and were thinking of joining up with AlienWare as well. But as of right now, we’re un-sponsored.” During their sponsorship, members of their Halo 3 team got many kinds of merchandise – from headphones to X-Box’s, monitors to t-shirts. To achieve this level of professionalism while playing a video game, Fine used to practice a lot, often finding himself forgoing homework to play. Nowadays, he only plays about two to three hours a week, but he still maintains and hones his abilities. “I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of playing. It’s a great release from just the stress of life in general. Halo just seems to be something I gravitate to,” Fine said. Despite the recognition he has received for playing video games, Fine never receives any ridicule for what many might consider as a “nerdy” pasttime. “All of my friends are really supportive of it. My parents don’t really appreciate it as much, but they’re still supportive,” said Fine. Fine has done something very few will ever be able to lay claim to - taking what he loves and turning it into a profession. by Allen Luethke

allen luethke


am Fine plays video games like everyone else. He relaxes in his basement with his iTunes library on shuffle and a smirk on his face as he jokes with friends. But what is happening on the screen in front of him is vastly different than what is happening on everyone else’s. He is playing in a Game Battles match, one of the many competitive forms of Halo that Fine plays. He is showing an almost virtuosic ability at the game, all the while acting like any other teenage kid playing a game. The biggest difference here though, is that Fine gets paid to play Halo. Much like the average kid these days, Fine started playing video games at an early age. “I’ve always played video games for fun, but around sophomore year of high school I started playing [Halo] competitively,” said Fine, “I’m just a competitive person.” He and friends Joseph LeBerre, a sophomore at Oakton, and Jamie O’Brien, a junior at Oakton, started their own Halo 3 team a few years ago, and quickly got recognition from playing online. “We started off playing in online competitions, like Game Battles,” said Fine, “and pretty soon we were being contacted to compete in regional and

STRESSED Y our hands shake. Your stomach turns. Sweat drips down your brow. You panic as the world crashes around

Meet Rachel Schwartz Junior Schedule: 1. Int. Women’s Chrous 2. AP U.S. History 3. Spanish 3 4. AP Chemistry 5. AP Calculus BC 6. Physics 1 HN 7. English 11 Activities: Model UN, History Honor Society, National Honor Society, Varsity Tennis

april 9 2010

A Day of Stress

On dealing with stress: “For the most part, I just suck it up and I deal with it and continue on. I don’t have time.”


outlook feature

The Root of the Problem

Just as it is difficult to document the symptoms of stress, it is difficult to document what causes it. Zak Goldberger, junior, provides a litany of issues that cause him stress. “Not having enough time to do anything, homework, bad grades, colleges, hoping I can be successful, and females.” Goldberger also places pressure on himself, causing him to be even more stressed. “I want to be good at things, and when you The Hydra to Your Hercules improve, sometimes, its stressful.” Fellow junior Rachel Schwartz blames not One of the problems of dealing with stress is herself but the mountains of homework she that it’s so hard to define. It’s “individualized,” as school psychologist Rebecca Bernotas puts it. is often assigned, a feeling all too familiar for students at Oakton. “What I see,” Bernotas “Deadlines,” Schwartz emphanotes, “[is] anxiety that causes 5 Common sized. “Knowing I have multiple people to end up having a negaSymptoms of things due on [a certain] day tive impact.” causes me a lot of stress.” Stress This anxiety manifests itself Teens are particularly suscepin many ways. According to the 1. Headaches tible to the pitfalls of stress as American Institute of Stress, 2. Depression and mood they deal with the hormones and there are 50 common sympswings hankerings that go along with toms of stress, from headaches 3. Frequent illness adolesence. and insomnia to depression 4. Weight gain, loss “I think adolesence is a time and anger. The problem is that 5. Nausea, stomach pain when you’re maturing physically a person experiencing stress and intellectually,” Bernoatas said, may experience some of these Source: American Institute “but sometimes what we overlook symptoms or have entirely difof Stress is the maturing process emotionferent reactions. ally. So I think there’s so much “I think everybody’s stress change going on during adolescenece- socially, or anxiety is seen in different ways,” said Bernoentering high school, and filling that gap betas. “In some people it could affect their social tween being a child and becoming an adult- that relationships. They might isolate themselves all those changes can often times lead to stress. more when they’re stressed. They don’t feel as I think it makes you really vunerable to those comfortable being social or outgoing. Other things.” people, it might affect their eating habits.” Bernotas also adds that teenagers aren’t fully you. No, you’re not in some horror movie. You’re dealing with a problem that everybody has to face: stress. Students at Oakton know about this psychological problem all too well. But what is stress really? What is it doing to us? That question proves to be a bit harder to answer.

9:30 am- Rachel takes notes in Spanish class. Stress level: 4.

7:00 am- Rachel studies for quiz in 20 minutes. Stress level: 6

9:45 am- Zak rehearses for production in Drama Class. Stress level: 4


equipped to deal with stress. “If you’ve not matured emotionally, you don’t always have the coping skills. Whereas as an adult, you would hope you develop those coping skills to deal with anxiety and stress.”

Its everywhere all the time, but stress might actually be helping you

The Human Function Curve

Expected Performance

Everybody has stress in their lives, and a lot of it is undue. However, when a deadline is closing in around you, stress can actually be your friend. “It helps you,” said Goldberger. “It motivates you a little bit.” “There’s an appropriate amount of stress and anxiety that’s healthy,” said Bernotas quickly, “that makes us all do things, and get things done. I think without stress or anxiety, I wouldn’t get a lot done during the day.” Indeed, stress is good to a certain degree. Some amount of stress motivates people to do things, but too much can have harmful effects. How much stress is an individual determination.

How to Cope People also deal with stress in their own individual ways, and that fact becomes extremely important when stress goes from good to bad. Bernotas stresses the importance of recognizing stress. “I think if you’re stressed to the point of where it’s impacting something important in your life, then it’s reached the level where you should probably try to find some assistance or help.” Dealing with stress when it first rears it’s ugly head is also important. according to Bernotas. “If you access the right help [when] stress is

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The Human Function Curve shows how stress can help or harm you. A certain amount of stress is helpful, but too much can overwhelm you and eventually cause a breakdown. affecting you negatively and you can build and develop the kind of skills you need to deal with anxiety and stress [as well as] access the help you need or find things that help you relax and calm down or reduce that stress, then during adulthood you’ll be okay. You’ll have those skills. I think it’s when you don’t realize that you need to develop those skills or you don’t set aside the time to develop them, it can eventually overwhelm you.” Good people to talk to about dealing with stress are teachers, counselors, parents, or Bernotas herself. And when all else fails, Schwartz offers a piece of advice. “Sometime, I just like to finish up and go to bed.” by Chris Papas

Schedule: 1. Physics 1 2. AP U.S. History 3. Theatre Arts 3 4. AP English 5. Precalculus 6. AP Biology 7. French 3 Activities: CrossCountry, Winter & Spring Tack, Theatre, Temple Youth Group On the effects of stress: “I don’t get much as much as sleep as I want to [when I’m stressed]. It makes me feel like I’m not the best I could be.”

3:15 pm- Zak works out at track practice. Stress level: 5

april 9 2010

8:20 pm- Zak studies for AP Biology, along with other homework. Stress level: 7

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11:15 am- Rachel finises lab for AP Physics. Stress level: 7

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Cougar Crossing

Crossing guard Sharon Lewin shares her story


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april 9 2010


h ka




after she was hit by a car driving through, severely damaging her knee to the point that it required surgery. “When she asked me to take over [the intersection], I was a little reluctant,” said Lewin. “But it’s not too bad.” Although they have similar uniforms, crossing guards do not perform the same duties as the police. “Little kids always ask me if I have a gun,” said Lewin. “I don’t.” However, crossing guards do have to undergo a lot of the same training. After learning the signals she needed to conduct traffic, Lewin had to become CPR certified and undergo medical training. Crossing guards also share some of the same abilities as the police. “I don’t think a lot of people realize that I do have the power to give tickets when I need to,” said Lewin. “The people at Oakton are pretty good, but I have gotten into a few arguments.” In addition to her job as a crossing guard, Lewin is a mom and an athlete. “I like skiing, running, playing soccer...” said Lewin. “I like to stay active.” Even outside of work, Lewin’s job as a crossing guard often has an impact on her day-today activities. “Being a crossing guard has made me realize how important it is for people to use turn signals,” said Lewin. “It’s the only way to communicate to other drivers what you’re doing, and I get really frustrated when I’m driving and people don’t use them.” by Kyle Hughes

sarah ka

efore and after school every day, the intersection at Sutton Road and Country Creek Road right near Oakton becomes incredibly hectic. The four-way stop sign, in combination with those walking across the intersection to get to school, would cause terrible confusion if not for the guidance and assistance of crossing guard Sharon Lewin. For fourteen years, Lewin has held the duty of safely directing walkers and cars through the intersection in order to avoid collisions. For the last seven years, the intersection outside of Oakton is one of the three posts Lewin covers each day, and according to a study conducted by Fairfax County, the intersection is the most difficult crossing to manage in the county. “I think it’s the combination of the driving to school, kids walking to school and incoming metro traffic,” said Lewin. “It can be really crazy, especially in the morning when it’s darker.” In addition to the volume of traffic, many of the cars at the intersection are students who have just learned to drive, adding to the chaos. “I have a lot of patience for the new drivers. If they forget to use their turn signals or something, I know it’s because they’re still learning,” said Lewin. “I get frustrated at the people I know should know better.” The span of time that Lewin controls the Oakton intersection before and after school is only a small part of her daily schedule. “I have two crossings in the morning, then I usually go to the gym, then [to Oakton], then I have two more crossings in the afternoon,” said Lewin. “I also volunteer to do crossings at races a lot.” Before Lewin, the guard who covered the crossing outside Oakton was forced to resign

Creating a safe haven OHS Gay-Straight Alliance starts its year


eople of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community have always been part of a minority. Although they face civil rights injustices and discrimination, they’ve never had a predominate place in the media spotlight. However, recent events in the news have brought new attention to the LGBT community. Those who keep up with the military may have heard about the changes in the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, the policy that prohibits gay service members from revealing their sexual orientation while serving in the U.S. Military. The Constance McMillen story garnered interest from high school students across the country. When Constance, a senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School, Miss., asked permission from her school to take her girlfriend to prom, they refused and canceled prom. Gay-straight alliances were created to establish a connection between the LGBT community and the straight community in schools and to give students the opportunity to learn more about each other. GSAs also connect students with the larger outside community fo LGBT and the cur-

rent events they’re involved in. The OHS GSA sponsor is Kelly Tatian, one of the English teachers here at Oakton. The club started late this year, but it’s grown to nearly twenty members. “I joined because I support gay rights,” said sophomore Tim Collins. One of the major goals of the club is to create a safe atmosphere where gay and straight students can come to relax and hang out. “The atmosphere is always really chill and open, and all the students are very accepting,” Collins said. A priority of the club this year is to educate Oakton students about the LGBT community and the issues they face. “Uneducated people tend to discriminate against people they don’t understand,” Collins said. “I hope we can educate people who are ignorant and get more of the student body involved in the gay rights movement.” At club meetings, students usually discuss current events relevant to the LGBT community and future plans for the club. Their current focus is the aproaching Day of Silence, coming up on April 16. by Shannon Ragan

Gay-Straight Alliance By the Numbers 28 % of LGBT youth drop out of high school because they feel unsafe.

27 % of gay and lesbian youth have been physically harrassed by other students. In 1989, only the U.S.

60.8 % of LGBT students report feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation.

32.8 % of LGBT students report missing at least one day of school a month because they feel unsafe.

41.5 % of LGBT students who experi-

ence physical harrassment do not intend to go to college.

DOS Traditions

april 9 2010

The Day of Silence is a student-led action where concerned students take some form of a vow of silence to bring attention to the name-calling, bullying and harassment—in effect, the silencing—experienced by LGBT students and their allies. This year the day takes place on April 16. Traditionally, students go the entire school day without verbally communicating with others. Often there will be a “Breaking the Silence“ gathering at the end of the day. Students can break their silence as a group and discuss their experiences of the day.


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2 GSAs were present in

By 2004, over ent in the U.S.

2000 GSAs were pres-

Sources: and

The Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The first Day of Silence was organized by students at the University of Virgina in 1996. Today, over eight thousand middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities participate. This year will be the fourteenth year that the Day of Silence has taken place.

History of DOS Information from

COUGAR TIME Next year’s schedule provides a second “home” for homework.


outlook voice

april 9 2010


akton is eliminating In addition, it can easily be used Break. as a last minute review period for 2010-2011 Schedule That prized 13 students to brush up on material. minutes set aside for students Teachers are being encouraged 1st/2nd 7:20 – 8:50 and teachers to socialize, snack to hold reviews for AP exams, and study. Idolized and appreciespiecally during testing season. Cougar Time 8:57 – 9:32 ated by all, Break has become an This would allow a structured institution in Oakton’s schedule so everyday time period for students 3rd/4th 9:37 – 11:07 important to students that should to focus on their upcoming not be tampered with lightly. exams without having to disrupt 5th/6th 11:14 – 1:10 But could there be something their already busy after school A Lunch 11:14 –11:44 better than Break? schedules. B Lunch 11:44–12:15 The answer: Cougar Time. The library will also be open C Lunch 12:20–12:50 Despite the corny title, Cougar to students, but will most likely D Lunch 12:50 – 1:10 Time is actually the best thing to have a pre-register system so as come to Oakton since collaborato avoid overcrowding, just as 7th 1:15 – 2:05 tion. Cougar Time replaces break it does for collaboration. The *Schedule subject to change with a (tentatively set) 20-30 **Different for collaboration days Oakton Writing Center is also minute period in which students rumored to be opening its doors are provided with a “study hall” in which to spend time for students during Cougar Time as well, which could with teachers working on homework and assignments. prove incredibly valuable for students. Both of these Cougar Time provides different benefits to students programs futhur expand the options for academic imfailing a class and students passing their classes. For any provement for students. student not reaching the academic standards of a class, Cougar Time should help limit the floods of stuCougar Time requires them to visit that classroom. This dents stuck after school, especially with the elimination time will prove beneficial for any failing student who of late buses. It allows students to have time to ask legitimately wants to improve their grade, as they will questions during school, instead of having to stay after be given added instructional time with teachers. only to have to wait after school for parents and rides to Students who reach the mark of a (soon-to-be-set) pick them up. GPA are rewarded by Cougar Time, as they are able to Of course, Cougar Time will be abused by many decide what classroom they wish to work in. Of course, students to text and divert teacher attention from the it has to be assumed that failing students will be given students who are actually utilizing the time. But the priority over passing ones, but this provides passing overall benefits to the majority of the student body students with a variety of options over how to spend should not be overlooked because of a few selfish troutheir Cougar Time. Rooms will be on a first come first ble-makers. The system itself will require a few weeks, serve basis and if a classroom fills up, then students maybe months, for students and faculty to adjust. But, are required to move on to another classroom, which is just as the kinks have been worked out of collaboration, reasonable. Oakton will adapt. The overall goal of this time will be to provide stuNothing about the free period is completely set, as dents with extra educational instruction. But the time Oakton administrators are considering everything from will hopefully be adapted to provide students with extra the time, the purpose and even the name. But hopefully homework time that they could actually be appreciated they will decide to set this time as an unofficial study and utilized by all. hall and provide students with a chance to complete Of course, each classroom would have a different athomework and projects under teacher supervision, mosphere, some being more serious and structured than something that all motivated students and procrastinaothers. This allows students to pick which environment tors would appreciate. they would want to work in, whether it be relaxed or foCougar Time brings Oakton up to the standard of cused, based on their own study habits and the amount every other Fairfax County school. Every other FCPS of work they are determined to complete. already implement a Cougar Time type of policy for Cougar Time will no doubt be a students. Oakton finally joins in blessing to the procrastinators. It prothe ranks of the rest of FCPS and The Staff Editorial is vides that extra 20-30 minutes to finish students who learn to utlize the time the official opinion of benefit immensely. that assignment that one just doesn’t have time for as the clock strikes 2 a.m. Even if it means losing Break. the Outlook


s the cacophony of the sounds of my heart beats out of my chest, the crowd and the roar of feedback mixed together to form one moment: the beginning of “Dark.” I started to count the beats in my head as the guitar played the intro. I hovered one stick over the hi-hat, wiggled my toes inside my old Vans, and as the bass line came in, I began to play. My name is Andy, and I am the drummer for Sounds of Gray. Our first legitimate show was the Rock Show for the Committee for Helping Others (CHO) benefit concert on Jan. 23 at The Soundry. That Saturday, Richards, Larson, Schueler and I sat around playing COD: MW2. All of us were a bit nervous, but luckily everyone waited until reed after the show to flip out. staffer About an hour later, the Xbox controller was swapped for picks and sticks as we finalized our set list for the night’s frivolities. Halfway through our hit single sarah kashanian “Contradiction,” we all realized that we, in fact, had a gig Senior Charlotte Dobry sells brownies to a student entering the Opus Coffee and had to be on stage in about an hour. House. The event showcased student-artists and performers and raised By the time we finished, packed up and put the guitars money for the Opus Literary Magazine. in cases and in the back of a parent’s car, it was time to go. As we were about to leave, the sounds of our grumbling s with anything, the Opus Coffee House had its ups and downs in coming together. stomachs collided with my mom yelling “Do you boys want pizza?” We rushed inside background A subcommittee of the Opus staff, and shoved down three pies worth of pure composed primarily of people in the business, - Sounds now consists of pepperoni and pineapple goodness. marketing and music departments and headed -Jorey Richards (vocals, acoustic En route to our show, we ran a quick by music editor Sandra Bocharnikov, had a lot of check to see if we had everything (Cymbals: guitar) work to do, culminating in what I believe can be -Andy Larson (electric/acoustic Check, Bassist: Check) and everything considered a successful show on March 24. guitar) seemed to be there. We sat in silence in the The various tasks which went into pulling -Andy Reed (drums and nice, comfortable SUV listening to a jazz the coffee house percussion) together—recruiting channel on XM radio and before we knew it, we had reached our destination. We piled -Eric Schueler (James Madison bands, reserving out of the Acura RDX, opened the trunk space, configuring HS) (bass) and started unloading all the instruments. seating, arranging - The band first started as Event We entered through the front entrance the audio system— Horizon, and has gone through and immediately liked what we saw. It were all achieved in two other members that have left could only be described as an artist’s haven, a relatively short span of time. Individual complete with a coffee shop, art studios, and for bigger and better things staff members worked the bake sale table, - Sounds played at the Opus a stage. We wandered through the confusing managed admissions and other small Coffee House featured on the labyrinth of corridors and eventually tasks throughout the afternoon. I floated found the stage, lead singer and guitarist other side of this page dobry wherever extra help was needed and staffer of the headlining band Irresponsible, Ryan helped manage the set-up and clean-up of - Check out SOG at myspace. Paladino, as well as an audience of our the event. com/sounds_of_gray A modest turnout of both students and faculty closest friends and family. The sound guy, Sean, asked us if we were ready to go on and after a quick members joined us for a relaxing afternoon listening to student-artists perform in the cafeteria. mic check and monitor check, we were plugged in and had a crowd of soon-to-be-fans listening attentively. Some audience members lounged on couches Show time: Richards (vocals) and Larson (guitar) ran borrowed from the journalism and drama through our acoustic songs “Indecision” and “Sympathy” departments. Others chatted quietly with friends which were followed by Schueler on the bass and me on and enjoyed free drinks and bake sale Be sure to order your the drums for “Dark,” which was very dark indeed. After goods at round tables as they listened to copy of the magazine “Dark”, we played the disco-beat powered “No Matter,” the bands perform. by picking up an order then the frantic “Sophisticated Labrador,” and then we The profits from admission and the form on the English closed with “Contradiction.” All in all, it was a fantastic hallway bulletin board or selling baked goods will help fund a show and we did our job of opening up the show for The new addition to the Opus literature and downloading one from Celestials, Josh Apt and the Regulars and headlining arts magazine: an audio CD containing band performances and poetry readings Irresponsible to come in and put on a killer concert. I just wish there was more pineapple pizza. by Oakton students. Some bands that performed Live, Love, Rock. and others who have submitted samples of their music will be represented on the CD.

Sounds of Gray: humble beginnings




Opus’s Coffee House proves to be modest success charlotte

april 9 2010

Sounds of Gray has a show at Jammin’ Java on May 1.


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the yearbook is coming soon!

check out a sneak peek of the yearbook on our facebook page. OaktonMediaGroup




Involvement with illegal substances can’t be avoided

Health needs an updated curriculum to impact students becky

owen april 9 2010


outlook voice


eciting facts and examples of life stories from a ook around you. How many kids do you know, school text book while 75 percent of the class sitting within five feet of you now, who do stirs in their sleep may seem like a drab and drugs? Too many. The health class curriculum useless way to teach a health class; however, it is the is clearly an ineffective and obsolete way of keeping only way aside from scare tactics. Most students view students from experimenting with drugs and alcohol. health class as unnecessary and spend the time texting, Outdated videos are not effective in detering students sleeping and generally not paying attention. There are from drug and alcohol abuse or experimentation. students who Considering that health take careful teachers are notes and retain able to teach some tidbits of reproduction knowledge; but in a way in truth, kids will that makes be kids, and drug students and alohol usage never want is inescapable. to give Health birth, surely teachers they can present the find ways to teach students about standard county drugs so that students will be less curriculum on tempted to try them. Mr. Cowdery’s the harms of description of babies pushing their drugs and alohol way through a cervix was scarring. on the body in Health class instead should follow order to keep Human Growth and Development’s students from approach by awakening students to engaging in the reality of drug use with real-life illegal activities. “on the street” stories about drugs’ owen chesser owen chesser These classes detrimental effects on peoples’ show teens the harmful side effects along with video lives. Nothing health teachers tell us could ever be as testimonials of victims and their families affected by frightening as the first hand accounts of people, not drug abuse in order to show how a drug user’s behavior unlike us, whose futures were impaired by drug use affects others. In an environment where just about in their youth. For even more of an impact, FCPS everyone has access should consider allowing to drugs and alcohol, reformed illegal drug all a teacher can hope addicts to share their for is to keep at least stories and experiences one kid off drugs including their path to and maybe prevent rehabilitation. the ones who will The outdated health ignore the warnings of drugs from continued videos currently used hardly dissuade students usage. from illegal drug use. The disorienting camera High school students will inevitably be movements and colors paired with the outdated offered or at least somehow be connected styles and poor scripting make the videos little to drugs. It doesn’t matter who you are or more than material for wise cracks out of half singerman chesser the class. It’s difficult to take a person wearing staffer where you come from, it will happen. Now staffer a health class will not change your life in mom jeans and one of those ugly 80’s sweaters any significant manner, but when it comes seriously. But drug use is a serious subject, one that to making the choices concerning drugs and alcohol, should be handled with a more serious approach. it allows students to make educated decisions. Health Outdated videos make what should be a sobering classes cannot make the choice for you, but they do subject a joke. provide the knowledge for students willing to consider Students might be more deterred from drug use if the consequences of their actions. they know its real dangers from the relaying of firstFCPS health classes are doing all they can to warn hand experiences. Being tested on every street name students about the consequences of drug and alcohol of meth is no way to dissuade students from using use. The presence of bad influences in the world will it. Learning about how it could make all one’s teeth always be there and are often stronger than a few facts fall out and the horrific withdrawal effects would be learned in school. Keeping every kid off of drugs is much more effective. Health teachers use convincing not a realistic goal, but the drug education is sufficient scare tactics in regards to unprotected sex and there’s enough to warn students of the dangers of drug and no reason why they shouldn’t also employ them when alcohol experimentaion and hopefully the message will teaching students about the dangers of drugs and get through to some students. alcohol.


altzing in at 2:10 p.m., thinking I had ample time to ask trainers Rupp and Cowdery a few questions about my recent injury, get treatment and make it to practice in time, I poked my head into the training room. I didn’t expect to see both hot and cold tubs already filled and athletes already sprawled across the treatment benches. I didn’t expect to see Rupp already taping someone, sending them off to practice and then telling another athlete to hop up on the counter. In general, I didn’t expect to see so many people in the training room. The place was packed like sardines, and when trying to get an opinion from a trainer when there’s a ratio of probably 1 trainer to 20 athletes, my chances were looking slim. Despite those slim chances, Rupp handled me with efficiency, and I was impressed while being shuffled among multiple athletes to a corner opening where I could soak my foot with relative space. Regardless of the efficiency with which I was dealt, a larger question hovered in my brain while I was enduring 10 agonizing minutes in ice water: why isn’t the training room big enough to accommodate the straton editor-in-cheif obvious demand it has? Because of the limited space and overcrowding, it’s almost as if we’re getting robbed of the work our trainers are capable of. Our ATC’s are too skilled to have to rush their work and too vital to our athletic programs to have limited space when giving athletes recovery and prevention exercises. In regards to the limited space, having someone doing band work as you struggle to jump over them is not the best condition. We may even be promoting possible injury in some of the cramped fitting as athletes maneuver around each other to reach their stations. The trainers need more space. Another room should be dedicated solely to mobile recovery, such as band work or other moving exercises. There are definitely lounges or offices that could be converted into training rooms for this purpose. The current room should be used only for stationary recovery, such as heating pads and ice on the tables and hot and cold tubs. Another possibility to remove the excess of athletes in the training room would be to design some sort of shift system dependent on practice time or game days. Though it is very clear that the training room emphasizes getting treatment immediately after school, this is sometimes not possible due to afterschool activities, or the altered indoor-sport schedule that forces athletes to be prepared for practice at 2:15 p.m. For example, girls lacrosse practice starts significantly later than girls soccer practice, and for this reason, girls soccer may need to have priority in getting treatment so that the team members can get to practice on time. If we’re going to take full advantage of our trainer’s abilities we need to eliminate the crowding in the training room.

Trainers need more space to provide athletes care alex

graphic by matt steele


part of the Texas State Board of Education voted to make radical right-wing changes to their textbook curriculum on March 12 by a 10-5 republican majority vote. In some areas of the textbook, one of America’s most influential and important philosophers, Thomas Jefferson, has been removed and replaced with French Christian theologian John Calvin. The new books also question the separation of church and state, which has helped dramatically to keep laws rational and different from those of a theocracy. The extremely religious committee members went on to refuse to require that students be informed that the Constitution restricts the US Government from promoting one religion over others. This is a dramatic step backward for our entire country. The decisions made by the school board will affect far more than just Texas. Because of the state’s massive textbook market, matched only by California, which is suffering from financial problems, the modified books will quickly appear in out-of-state classrooms. steele staffer “They are going overboard, they are not experts, they are not historians,”said democratic board member Mary Helen Berlanga. “They are rewriting history, not only of Texas, but of the United States and the world.” The board members failed to contact any historians or sociologists while reaching their decisions, making the textbook a selective telling of the past. These astonishingly biased changes will eventually spread throughout our nation, potentially warping the views of the next decade’s worth of students. It is extremely important that we put only absolute fact into the pages that will be educating America’s impressionable youth.

Texas makes radical right changes to student textbooks


april 9 2010


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It’s pretty hard to determine how well you’ll fit into campus life if you’re visiting an empty campus, so think about taking advantage of your spring break week to see colleges as they really are. High Whether your tour experience school break weeks generally was good or bad, it’s best to don’t coincide with college break think of it as an introduction and weeks, which means that college not the full story. Tours, by students will be on campus. Try definition, only give a broad attending a class to see if it’s overview. They try to dazzle you lively or dull, if with campus beauty students are or their sports learn more tips engaged or program or their Visit the PrepMatters YouTube daydreaming. latest and greatest channel for recent webinars: Try talking to architectural wonder. students you That’s fine so far as meet on it goes, but it take a test campus to see only scratches To schedule a free diagnostic what they have the surface. ACT, SAT, or subject test, to say. call 703-356-6390 Keep in mind that or send an e-mail to Don’t be like your college life will the tourist who revolve primarily sees Europe around classes and through the classmates, so in window of a bus. Experience as each campus visit try to come much as you can so you’ll know if away with a clear sense of both the college you’re dreaming of is the academic style and the a place where you can succeed personality of the student body. and be happy for four years of How comfortable you are with your life. those will tell the real story. sunshine or clouds and relentless rain. It’s hard to keep these factors in proper perspective, but you do need to try.

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oakton’s drug community For many students, the high school years are all about the focus on academics, sports and clubs. For a portion of the student body, however, these years are all about pushing physical, biological and chemical limits. This In-Depth section focuses on the drug network underlying Oakton’s prestigious reputation. by Erica Wohlleben and Katie Smith

photo illustration by katie smith

outlook in-depth


april 9 2010

with help from Matt Steele

Progressionof Drug Use

Kevin* is a senior and a former Oakton student

8th Started smoking weed Started doing heroin

Went to rehab and stopped doing drugs

9th Started drinking alcohol

10th Started smoking weed again

Experimented with prescription drugs, including Oxycontin, Percocet, Adderall, Xanax and Vivance


had one night where I think I had done cocaine, Oxycontin, Xanax, and I was drunk. And then every time I would snort a line of cocaine, I would throw up like two seconds after... I did that for like eight lines before I was like ‘this is probably bad,’” recalled 18-year-old Alex Duff. “Then I really don’t remember much, except that I woke up in the backyard of that guy’s house the next morning. It was a bad experience at the time because I felt really sick—I don’t know why I kept going.” Alex, a former Oakton student, started abusing illegal substances as early as seventh grade and has since experimented with a wide range of highly-addictive drugs. While Alex’s story is uncommon within the Oakton community, he represents a small and often overlooked subset of the student body that has taken drug experimentation to the next level. When Westfield High School made headlines in 2008 for a heroin scandal that left several students dead, the issue of hard

Drug Survey: Have you ever experimented with drugs?

11th Continued experimentation; cocaine, salvia, acid and ecstasy




drug use (strong and addictive controlled substances) was still largely regarded as “someone else’s problem.” “I don’t think hard drugs are really used at Oakton,” explains one senior girl. “I know people who drink and smoke weed, but nothing like heroin or cocaine or anything like that.” The issue may be somewhat masked within a school focused on AP testing and college placement, where people are afraid to discuss drug usage and acknowledge that it’s a problem. “I think it’s a lot safer to think it’s not happening where you live, where you’re raising your kids, in your school, in your kids’ school,” explains Oakton’s Psychologist Rebecca Bernatos. “Throughout history, things that’re taboo to talk about—or, that scare people—are sometimes avoided because it’s easier to think ‘let’s not bring this up or discuss it, because what if we find out it’s the truth.’” While hard drugs may be the most controversial, marijuana is said to be the most prevalent drug. “Drug offenses are not something we see happening on a weekly basis,” said Rick Mey, student resource officer. “The most common thing we see is marijuana and prescription drugs.” Oakton has a full spectrum of drug users within its walls. Starting at students who abstain entirely from substances, all the way to the rare, yet existent, group of students like Alex, who have ventured to cocaine and heroin use.

Do you know anyone who has experimented with drugs? Yes


Are you for or against legalizing marijuana? For











Cut back use of illegal substances. Drinks alcohol and smokes weed

60 50 40 30

april 9 2010

20 10


outlook in-depth


Survey from 150 random students


Please note that terminology and slang differs according to location, and the following terms are based in NOVA.

To Fake: (v.) To fail to show up at a deal, or to fail to respond to texts/calls.

Good: (adj.) To be in possession of marijuana.

“...the kid behind me knew that I was intoxicated and kept leaning forward and going ‘everybody clap your hands’ and I’d do it because I was [messed] up.” that can trigger cravings, even for someone who has been sober for a long time,” said Gayathri Dowling, deputy chief of the Science Policy Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Patrick*, a current Oakton student, describes his experience of withdrawal from the prescription anti-anxiety medication Xanax. “That was bad. When I came off of it, I didn’t see people for like three days—I just basically sat alone in my room, didn’t eat, didn’t talk to people, didn’t care about my work or anything… I just wanted more Xanax.” While both Patrick* and Alex acknowledge that their relationships with their family members have been affected by drugs, both say their parents have become somewhat desensitized to it all. “Originally, [my parents] were horrified, but now they’ve sort of come to accept it,” Alex said. “Actually, it’s sort of depressing, but I think they just think of it as a part of life. Like, I’ll come home, and I’ll be really high, and they’ll be like ‘Great. You still have all these chores to do. Have fun doing them while you’re [messed] up.’” Despite his record, Alex still hopes to make something of himself. “I still have aspirations, even though I use drugs,” Alex said. “I want to be an architect and build houses…. I’m probably going to go to NoVA, then hopefully transfer to a nice Virginia school.”

“Don’t have to look like a pothead”

Strains: (n.) High grades of marijuana are distinguished by “strain names” such as Grand Daddy Purple, Purple Kush, or AK47. They all have slightly different effects.

Blunt: (n.) A cigar that has been

emptied of its cancerous insides by vertically slicing it, removing the tobacco, and unpeeling the chemical strip known as “cancer paper.” Filled with marijuana, it is rolled back up like a large joint.

Bowl: (n.) A common term for

a marijuana-smoking pipe (often glass). Bowl can also refer to the bowl-shaped area where marijuana is placed to light.

Mids: (n.) Mids (or “middies”) are nearly the lowest quality of marijuana, fraught with seeds (which cannot be smoked).

KB: (n.) Good marijuana, or “kind bud.” KB rarely has seeds and is essentially great marijuana with less potent effects than headies (see below).

Headies: (n.) Headies is always

top quality cannabis, in regards to both the plant matter and the effects. High-quality marijuana is recognized by its sweet-smelling aroma, red hairs, and visible crystals of THC. source: Oakton Students

John* doesn’t stand out too much from the crowd. He plays a varsity sport, takes

outlook in-depth

april 9 2010

Alex doesn’t remember much about his last day at Oakton, but he knows that the Cha Cha Slide had something to do with it. “I took some amount of Percocet, and a couple Soma… and then they mixed to form some sort of terrible combination that made it very obvious that I was intoxicated in my German class,” Alex remembers. “I remember sitting next to [a friend] that tried to calm me down, but the kid behind me knew I was intoxicated and kept leaning forward and going ‘everybody clap your hands,’ and I’d do it because I was [messed] up.” Since his expulsion, Alex has attended two different high schools, attended three different outpatient drug treatment facilities (he was kicked out of one), completed one inpatient substance abuse program and been to jail twice. He’s been arrested more times than he can count. Technically, he’s not even allowed on FCPS property. Although he first began to experiment with hard drugs while attending Oakton, Alex said the kids he uses with come from many different schools and backgrounds. “It’s a few people from a lot of different schools — I don’t know really how we got to know each other,” Alex said. “I guess it’s because one kid would get expelled and sent to a new school, and then they’d make new friends there and combine friend groups.” Alex didn’t start using drugs with the intention of becoming a regular user. In the beginning, it was pure curiosity that led him to drugs like Oxycontin, cocaine and heroin. “For a long time, I thought I was being, like, cheated out of parts of my consciousness, and that I should be able to experience all of them and if I didn’t do every drug then I wasn’t able to explore certain feelings of well-being that I could have,” Alex said. “And then after that it just sort of became ‘oh, this is fun, I guess I’ll keep doing this.’” Curiosity is often the catalyst for a drug habit. “I think experimentation is scary because it can lead somewhere really scary,” Bernatos explains. “You’re betting that it won’t lead to something lifelong, but it’s like rolling the dice. It could lead to a lifelong addiction that could affect the rest of you life. You might not finish school, you might not have



“I just wanted more”

a career, you might even end up homeless… The ‘what if ’ is the scary part. Like, what if you’re the one person that experiments, but experiments again and again and it becomes a daily habit?” At this point, Alex doesn’t consider himself an addict, though he does claim to have had an opiate addiction. “That was a painful experience,” Alex said. “I had to go to rehab and just not do them.” But rehab isn’t always enough to conquer addiction, nor is success guaranteed to be permanent. “Even with good treatment, relapses are likely. There are actual changes in the brain


“On one end, there are kids who are getting messed up every weekend, addicted to stuff,” explains one student, “and then there are kids who have no idea that this is even happening. Like, your lab partner in science might be high when you’re doing your experiment and you have no idea.”

Pick Your Poison Schedule I — Deemed to have a high abuse potential, no safe medical use. Schedule II — Also deemed to have a high abuse risk, but are also considered to have safe medical uses. Schedule III, IV, or V — drugs with an abuse risk less than Schedule II. These drugs also have safe and accepted medical uses in the United States.


Type: Psychoactive / Hallucinogen Schedule I Cost: Typically sold by the gram for anywhere from $10-$30.


multiple AP classes and maintains a decent GPA. What his teachers and peers would probably be surprised to find out, however, is that he distributed marijuana for over two years. “[Selling] was such an adrenaline rush,” John* remembers. “I’d be driving along with [so much marijuana] and cash. It was pretty ridiculous. I think about it and I’m like, ‘how did I not get caught’? I’m glad I got out when I did. I stopped because everyone else was getting busted. It’s too much of a risk.” While not quite a social norm, marijuana usage is certainly widespread within the Oakton community and Fairfax County at large. According to the 2008 Fairfax County Youth Survey report, 38.1 percent of 12th graders reported having used marijuana within their lifetimes, while 17.3 percent admitted to having used it within the last 30 days. “So many people at Oakton smoke—all kinds of kids,” John* said. “There’s no certain look or group. Yeah, you have the kids who wear the Marley shirts and beanies, but I think at Oakton there are all kinds of different kids, from all kinds of different cliques, that smoke weed.”


Type: Opiate Schedule I Cost: Sold for $40 per “gram.” A gram on the street is not close to entirely pure heroin—it is often mixed with another powder, such as quinine, which is a natural anti-inflamatory.


Type: Stimulant Schedule II Cost: Regarded as a very pricey drug. Sold by the gram for $80–$120.


april 9 2010

Like many Oakton students, Emily*, an Oakton senior, has a Friday night routine: after telling her parents that she’s going to a sleepover, she’ll meet up with a group of friends and search for a party to go to, where they’re guaranteed to find good music, cute guys and plenty of alcohol. “I think the older you get, the more people party,” she said. “I don’t think that many kids drink all the time, but I do think there are a lot of people who do drink on occasion.” And as students grow older, alcohol use becomes increasingly prevalent. According to the 2008 Fairfax County Youth Survey, 71.7 percent of FCPS seniors have consumed alcohol. This is a significant increase over sophomores, with 57.9 percent reporting lifetime alcohol use. Emily* said that as she’s grown older, her attitude toward alcohol has become significantly more relaxed. “Freshman year, I would’ve never even thought of drinking or smoking; I thought that would be a huge sin,” she said. “But now I try to party every weekend. I definitely have stopped caring as much about the rules and have become sneakier behind my parents’ backs.” Students believe alcohol to be the illegal substance most accepted and expected by adults and their peers. “My parents are generally really chill about it, as long as we respect them and talk to them when they come downstairs,” explains Kevin*, a former Oakton student who regularly throws parties with alcohol. “My mom knows what we do; she just passes it off as teenagers being teenagers. So she’s fine with it—she doesn’t mind the drinking, as long as we clean it up. Pretty much as long as we clean up afterwards, everything is fine.” Like their children, the attitude of parents toward alcohol use can become more laid back as their kids grow older. “I’ve thrown four parties at my house throughout high school when my parents were away and they found out about two of them,” Emily* said. “The first time was sophomore year and my parents were shocked and really mad, but the second time was this year so they didn’t really care as much. I think it’s more accepted that I drink now that I’m a senior and about to go to college.” Many students choose to drink because of the impact it has on their mood and personality. “I feel like when I party, it brings out the part of me that likes to be the center of attention, which is the person that I like to be,” Kevin* said. “I like being the center of attention.” However, those same qualities that students

“[My mom] just passes it off as teenagers being teenagers...she doesn’t mind the drinking, as long as we clean it up.”

Type: Psychedelic Schedule I Cost: Usually sold for $30-$40 per eighth of an ounce (3.5 grams.)

Type: Opiate Schedule III Cost: Sold by the pill for about $30-$40, depending on milligram content of the pill. source: Oakton Students


outlook in-depth

“I don’t remember what I did”

Because it’s so widespread, marijuana use is not always concentrated into specific social cliques. “You can’t just look at someone who wears real preppy clothes and say, ‘You’re wearing a polo, there’s no way you smoke,’” John* said. “That’s not the case at all at Oakton. So many kids smoke. They don’t have to look like a pothead—most of the kids who smoke all the time don’t even look like potheads.” The high rates of marijuana usage within the Oakton community can be attributed to the availability of the drug. “It does differ from school to school and from place to place, partly because of what is available,” explains Susan Weiss, chief of the Science Policy Branch of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “We know, for instance… that there are pockets in the country where methamphetamine abuse is much higher than in other places. It also matters what the prevailing attitude of the community is: whether or not drug use is cool or not, etc.” And because there are Oakton students who distribute marijuana to their peers, John* said it is not hard to find. “Weed is absolutely easier to get than alcohol. Anyone can get weed,” he said. “You know who sells it, you know who smokes.”

by the

enjoy while drunk (a carefree attitude, recklessness, the desire to be friendly and have fun) often lead to unintended consequences that can lead to humiliation later on. “Definitely, a big thing that I’m embarrassed about is if I ever don’t remember what I did the night before, or if I hook up with someone I shouldn’t have,” Emily* said. “Or if I act stupid or get sick, you can’t take it back and it’s really embarrassing.” In addition to embarrassment, the decisions students make while intoxicated can be extremely dangerous. “I don’t think kids are really safe at all when they’re drinking,” Emily said. “I know I’ve driven drunk once, and I know girls and guys that do it a lot. People just make dumb choices when they drink. My friends and I usually just sleep at the house that the party is at so we don’t drive drunk.”


Fairfax County conducts a Youth Survey Report every few years to monitor trends in teen behavior, including drug use. The data is gathered from countywide anonymous and voluntary surveys taken by students in eighth, 10th and 12th grade. The statistics show that Fairfax County students abuse drugs and alcohol less than the national average and that substance abuse increases by grade.

Changes Since 2005

Lifetime Percent of FCPS students who Use have ever tried the following substances

Changes in percent of lifetime Use


Marijuana +1.4 Alcohol

Heroin: 1.3%


Non-Painkillers Perscription Abuse


4.0% 8.5%

+2.6 Marijuana



Alcohol 50.8%

+0.2 Inhalents

+0.6 Cocaine

Differences By Grade Lifetime Use Alcohol


6.8% 38.1% 14.2% 6.3%


2.1% 6.8%


1.8% 6.5%



8th Grade

april 9 2010



12th Grade

1.0% 1.5% outlook in-depth


It would be false to say that Oakton students are drug free or free from drug-related problems. However, the problems are not unique to this community. “I’ve worked at three different high schools [in Fairfax County],” Officer Mey said. “All three had different demographics of students, but all high schools are going to have students who use alcohol and drugs.” Although students within the Oakton community may have drug problems, the Fairfax County statistics are below national averages. Using drugs is far from paramount in maintaining a social life. “I’ve never really felt all that pressured,” said senior Erin Turley. “I mean, I’ve been offered alcohol before and have had the opportunity, but I’ve never been in a situation where I felt bad for being sober.” Throughout her high school career, Erin chose to abstain from using controlled substances, a choice that students make regularly. They may be concerned for their futures, choosing to obey the law and their parents or simply are not interested. “I’ve just always thought that because academics and sports are so important to me, I wouldn’t want to risk anything by drinking or doing drugs,” she said. “It’s just not something I wanted to get involved in during high school.” Erin’s choice puts her at less of a risk for the social, physical and mental complications assosiated with drug use. “Studies have reported that drugs cause loss in life satisfaction, more physical problems, problems with relationships; almost all aspects of your life can be effected by abusing drugs,“ Weiss said. “I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to give up on their aspirations, and help for drug addiction is always available, but they do need to realize that these drugs can have quite devastating effects and can take over their lives.”

Perscription Painkillers Abuse

“I wouldn’t want to risk anything”


movies to look out for

Date Night April 9th Steve Carrel and Tina Fey star as a suburban couple comically trying to reignite their marriage.

I Love You, Philip Morris April 30th Jim Carrey plays a con-man who falls in love with his prison inmate, played by Ewan McGregor.

Nightmare on Elm Street April 30th A group of teenagers is haunted in their dreams by a gruesome killer in this remake of the classic 1984 slasher.

Game P

okémon has always been one of my favorite game franchises. The original “Gold” and “Silver” versions on which these remakes are based were my favorite generation of Pokémon games. They were the second generation of games, expanding on the groundwork lain by “Red” and “Blue” versions. “Gold” and “Silver” were able to fully utilize the creatures and regions available. They allowed the player to explore the Pokémon world to its fullest.

Pokémon: HeartGold and SoulSilver

Babies May 7th This documentary follows four different babies from around the world throughout the first year of their lives.

Iron Man 2 May 7th

feb 4 2010

Robert Downey Jr. returns in the sequel to 2008’s hit summer blockbuster.


outlook a&e

Movie “Clash of the Titans”


ased off of the 1981 cult classic with the same name, “Clash of the Titans” follows a similar plotline following Perseus, son of Zeus, on his quest to slay Medusa and the kraken. While The special are quite convincing, with a desert-rock Djinn, giant scorpions, and a very reptilian Medusa. The action was defintely intense consisting of swords and guts and lava,

In “HeartGold” and “SoulSilver”, the depth of the “Gold” and “Silver” versions receives an expansive and colorful upgrade. New features introduced in the third and fourth Pokémon generations come together in a brilliant new way, offering an entirely new playing experience. The transfer of many of the menu screens to the Nintendo DS’ touch screen makes the games more playable and simple than ever. Old favorite Pokémon and characters come to life with the DS’ bright palette and cleaner in-game design, and the “Gold” and “Silver” story feels completely new. by Kyle Hughes

and Sam Worthington did a respectable job as Perseus though his character had little depth other than asserting that he man, not God and being seriously awesome with a sword. The story wasn’t very deep, and the attempts at character develop seemed to fall a bit shy of expectations. I didn’t walk away from the movie feeling as though I had witnessed anything moving or life changing, but it was an enjoyable 118 minutes that I would definitely see a second and possibly third time. The acting may not have been as emotive as , but it was okay because I got to hear Liam Neeson say “Release the kraken!” by Lisa Baumgartner



ove. The painfully obvious topic that the seemingly underaged, questionably male Justin Bieber aims to get across in his new CD, “My World 2.0.” I noticed this reoccurring theme right off the bat; I mean, really, the first three songs are called “Baby”, “Somebody to Love”, and “Stuck in the Moment”. As Bieber crooned on about his “baby”, “shawty”, “girl”, what have you, my mind started to drift to other, unrelated things; I could guess prematurely what was coming next. Each song had to do with Justin Bieber and his undying love for one girl or another, and the theme begins to border on the edge of desperate— creepy, even, in the track “That Should Be Me”— as the CD wears on. The repetitiveness of each song, paired with the strangely feminine voice that hits notes that I didn’t even know existed,

Justin Bieber “My World 2.0”

New Super Mario Bros. Wii


will be the first to admit that I am a Nintendo fanboy; I often consider my Nintendo 64 to be like a brother to me. “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” will make even the most diehard “Call of Duty” player pick up a Wiimote for a few hours. The new “Super Mario Bros.” keeps what made the 1985 classic so much fun: warp tunnels, sidescrolling action, bouncing on a Koopa’s head like a trampoline, and added levels worth of improvements including better graphics, harder missions and the ability to play as Toad. There are two new additions

quickly loses a listener’s interest. There’s not much to be interested in, seeing as each song has a slightly techno background, Bieber’s trademark high vocals and a famous accompanying artist. I have to admit, though, that some of the songs do standout and are undeniably catchy, “Eenie Meenie” featuring Sean Kingston, and “Up” being the most notable tunes. For fans of upbeat pop and boyish good looks, this album is a must hear. People looking for diversity, variety, someone who has hit puberty…well, they should promptly run the other way. by Nikki Clemons

april 9 2010

Name: Sue Anna Clark Position: Psychology Teacher Favorite Genre: Rock, rhythm & blues Top Three James Brown, Bonnie Raitt, and Artists: Savage Garden Top Five Tracks: 1) “I Feel Good” by James Brown 2) “Carmina Burana- O Fortuna” by Carl Orff 3) “Imma Be” by the Black Eyed Peas 4) “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana 5) “Oklahoma” from the musical Oklahoma!


that I particularly love, such as the Penguin Suit, which allows you to turn enemies into a block of ice--I hear it’s going to be huge this fall in Paris. The other addition is the multiplayer feature. Unlike previous “Super Mario Bros.” games, in which multiplayer was simply two players taking turns, in “New Super Mario Bros.Wii”, up to four players can have their character on screen at once, which provides an exciting new twist to the classic gameplay. Overall, this game is a must buy for all Wii owners that are in the market for a classic game retooled for a new generation, not just Nintendo fanboys. by Pasquale Prezioso

outlook a&e




Counting Calories

Mindlessly picking up an entree, various sides, a drink and, most likely, a dessert, a majority of students move through the lunch line each day. While there could be healthier entrees, all in all, the school lunch is good for your body and your wallet. Here’s a closer look at what you’re actually eating.

by Matt Johnson

Spicy Chicken Wrap Calories - 384 Protein (grams) - 21.8 Carbohydrates (grams) - 37 Fat (grams) - 16.6 Saturated Fat (grams) - 8.25

Chocolate Chip Cookie Calories - 150 Protein (grams) - 2 Carbohydrates (grams) - 25 Fat (grams) - 5 Saturated Fat (grams) - 1.5

1% Milk

Calories - 110 Protein (grams) - 8 Carbohydrates (grams) - 13 Fat (grams) - 2.5 Saturated Fat (grams) - 1.5

april 9 2010


outlook a&e

Fresh Fruit (Orange) Calories - 83 Protein (grams) - <1 Carbohydrates (grams) - 21.5 Fat (grams) - <1 Saturated Fat (grams) - 0

Vegetables (Variety) Calories - 20 Protein (grams) - 1 Carbohydrates (grams) - 4 Fat (grams) - <1 Saturated Fat (grams) - 0

Sun Chips (Original) Lunch Total Calories - 887 Protein (grams) - 35.8 Carbohydrates (grams) - 119.5 Fat (grams) - 32.1 Saturated Fat (grams) - 12.25 Cost - $4.20

Other Meal Options Sushi (Vegetarian Roll) Calories - 240 Protein (grams) - 5 Carbohydrates (grams) - 0 Fat (grams) - 4.5 Saturated Fat (grams) - 0 Cost - $4.75

Pretzel Calories - 180 Protein (grams) - 6 Carbohydrates (grams) - 38 Fat (grams) - 3 Saturated Fat (grams) - 0 Cost - $0.75

Chicken Filet on Wheat Bun

april 9 2010

Calories - 441 Protein (grams) - 25.1 Carbohydrates (grams) - 15.2 Fat (grams) - 30 Saturated Fat (grams) - 6.6 Cost - $2.15

outlook a&e


Calories - 140 Protein (grams) - 2 Carbohydrates (grams) - 19 Fat (grams) - 6 Saturated Fat (grams) - 1

SCHOOL Hunan Tasty DELTA DRIVING OFFERS Chinese Restaurant

Located in Oakton Shopping Center 2912A Chain Bridge Rd Oakton, Va 22124 We Deliver (usually within 35 min.) Call Us - 703-281-1668 or 703-281-1670

Visit us - Our Mission is to Bring You the Best Food


703-573-1231 OR 703-593-4897 OR VISIT TO GET A FREE COUPON VISIT

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-Beach Houses Hold 6-26 People -Special Family Discounts -Spring Break and Winter Rentals


SAT Prep Exclusively for High-Achievers

It's no surprise that Honors Test Prep is the SAT prep program of choice for top Oakton students.  Outstanding test results (Ask for our list of parent references.)  All instructors have scored 800 on the exam sections they teach  Detailed written critiques of each student's writing exercises  Locations in McLean and Falls Church  Small classes Visit to review our complete '09-'10 course schedule and learn about our SAT Course, SAT Essay Workshop, and PSAT/SAT Course. 703-237-2665

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-Classroom and Behind the Wheel for Teens -Driver Improvement Clincs and Online Courses (Earn 5+ points!) -Re-Examination Courses

inc. 703-255-5051 245 Maple Ave West #201 Vienna, VA 22180


Mary Jean Merlin, parent of Oakton HS student, Class of '09

Regular Price: $280

Make your own group of three and pay only

5 $25each

When studying or paying attention in class calls for a break, the Outlook has five suggestions for killing your time. Curveball

Take pong to the third dimension and test your coordination. Use the mouse to control your curve ball paddle. To gain more points hit the ball in the center of the paddle and curve the ball as you hit it. How many levels can you go through before running out of balls? Practice your virtual driving skills with Drivers Ed. In Drivers Ed you are a 16-year-old pursuing their driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s license. Start the game by selecting your driving instructor. You can then Jill is back with a brand practice driving in practice mode or move directly to new adventure. Explore the driving test. Drivers Ed may not prepare you for six bakery locations, real roads, but it is a fun. serving up delicious creations. Will Jill choose fame and Guide the four-legged creature called fortune or even love? In the Doodler up a never ending series Cake Mania 2, you decide what path of platforms without falling. The Doodler Jill will take. Each decision has a congets extra boosts from special objects, sequence and will lead to new baking such as propeller hats, rockets, springs or challenges and dilemmas. Cake matrampolines. Throughout the game there are nia 2 has 204 levels of baking chaos monsters that the Doodler has to shoot or jump on to and 6 different possible endings. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eliminate. When the doodler falls, jumps into a monster, up to you in Cake Mania 2. get sucked into a black hole, or is abducted by a UFO, By Tesla Jensen the game ends.

Drivers Ed

Cake Mania 2


Super Text Twist

Put your vocabulary to the test with Super Text Twist. This game challenges you to use six jumbled letters to build as many words as you can before time runs out. If you find a word that uses all of the six letters, you can advance to the next round. Text Twist is a fun and challenging game that tests your vocabulary and ability to spot patterns.

april 9 2010


outlook outlook a&e




Oakton students perform at Jammin Java to raise money for victims of the earthquake which ravaged Haiti in January.



outlook a&e

Daniel Chait

Founder Amanda Wright, Junior, starting the concert with a speech.

Goal Earnings: $2,000 Actual Earnings: $2,335 Length of Concert: 7 p.m.-11 p.m.

The Attendees



History Teacher

“They showed admirable organization and committment to the cause. I really respect that they saw an idea through. It was nice to be in a different situation, to see everyone outside of school. There was a really nice sense of community. Oakton could use more of that.”

“I go to Jammin Java a lot, so it was kind of awkward going to this since there were so many people from school. I’m not used to that; it kind of threw me off. It’s not necessarily bad... just different.”


april 9 2010

photo courtesy of Yasmina Karrakchou

Esther Workman, Junior, sings as the opening act.

“[The concert] went a lot better than I expected,” said Wright. “We almost sold out. Jammin Java’s employees said that more people had showed up for our concert than usually do for student run benefits.” The night consisted of performances from both soloists and bands. Performances included pianos, guitars and even bongos. Junior Esther Workman sang accompanied by Alex Le on the piano as the opening act. “It was really cool to be able to perform at a place where I have seen people whom I admire perform,” said Workman. “A plus was that I got to do what I love.” It is a rare event in which Oakton parents, students and teachers all converge in the same place for a common cause. “It was really great to be able to perform with my friends for my community and spread relief,” said Workman. Wright and Horil aren’t done yet. They are planning to continue collecting change in jars; they have already collected an impressive $500. Supporters can also look forward to another concert of sorts, though perhaps for a different cause. “We’re probably going to do it again in the summer, after school,” said Wright. “We’re not sure though; we’re still planning.” By Nikki Clemons and Becky Singerman

The Facts


n any other Tuesday night at 7PM, 161 Oakton students would be relaxing after practice, eating dinner or doing homework. However, March 23rd was not a normal Tuesday night. Just over two months earlier, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook Haiti, leveling cities, killing hundreds of thousands and displacing millions more. Oakton Junior Amanda Wright and Chantilly Junior Erin Horil were moved by the harrowing news reports and decided they wanted to make a difference. “My friend [Horil] and I were talking about doing something like this a long time ago, before Haiti,” Wright admitted. “But when the earthquake hit, we decided that Haiti should be our cause.” The two began to think of ways of collecting money that they would send to Haiti to help aid the locals there. They started with some jars— jars set up at different public locations, asking store patrons for donations. Most notably, the two of then set up a concert at local music venue and coffee house, Jammin Java. Student musicians and artists performed; from 7 p.m. - 11 p.m., Jammin Java was filled near capacity with Oakton students, cheering and dancing as they eagerly watched the performances of their peers.

photos courtesty of Yasmina Karrakchou

Karrakchou Junior

COUGAR CARIC A TURES Quidditch Sweeps Area

the Oakton Outlook satire page

New Sports Craze Stirs up Cauldron of Controversy


he high-flying, death-defying world of quidditch has finally made its way into high schools across the area. The sport features players flying at high speeds on broomsticks and was originally banned from public for encouraging “witchcraft and other debauchery.” After months of heated debate, the Fairfax County school board finally gave the O.K. to allow competitive qudditch at local schools. After the ruling, headmaster John Banbury got right to work assembling a team. “Creating the team was a huge undertaking,” Banbury said, “Finding the equipment as well as the athletes who possessed the unique set of skills required to play a sport like quidditch was nearly impossible.” One of the select athletes who had this special brand of skills was junior team captain Ricky Bassett. For Bassett, whose father taught him to fly a broomstick at the tender age of two, the addition of a school quidditch team was like a dream come true. “I’ve been training my whole life for an opportunity like this,” Bassett said. “Being the leader of this team is the culmination of all my awesomeness.” Other than Bassett and a few others, most members of the team are straddling their brooms for the first time in their lives. For head coach John Glufling, training the fresh-faced flyers in the ways of witchcraft and wizardry has proved to be a perilous task. “It’s tough to know how someone will react to their first time on a broom,”

Glufling said with a sigh, “We’ve already lost a couple…right into the side of a trailer.” Other than a rather messy death, athletes face many less fatal, but still painful, dangers: bludger beatings, blagging, blatching, and blurting are all hazardous parts of the game. Athletic trainer Paul Rupp has had a difficult time treating the kinds of injuries that are an inevitable facet of the magical game. “Transfiguration, Potions, Charms, Herbology, Defense Against the Dark Arts…they don’t teach you this kind of stuff at Syracuse,” Rupp said. Qudditch is indeed a different kind of sport, and the magic and mysticism that go along with it have caused outrage amongst parents and teachers alike. “I don’t want my students to be subjected to practices as evil as witchcraft,” said furious English teacher Beth Blankenship. “Also, I’m tired of cleaning up the side of my trailer.” Despite the dangers, quidditch has grown in popularity at a rapid pace. Athletes school-wide have signed up to be a part of the team, many resigning from all previous sports obligations to devote their time solely to quidditch. “Football was fun and all, but I’ve rediscovered myself as a quidditch player,” said ex-star-full-back junior Jordan Willetts, who recently made the switch from shoulder pads to cape, “I was born to fly.” by Alex Buscemi

Quidditch Rules for Muggles Matches are between two teams of seven players who ride on flying broomsticks. Chasers race back and forth passing the quaffle, a tetrahedronal ball. ten ponts are scored for tossing the quaffle through one of the opposing team’s three hoops Each team’s keeper is in charge of protecting the hoops, like a goalie Small, metal balls called bludgers whiz at players with enough force to knock them off their brooms. It’s up to the beater to swat bludgers away using a small wooden bat The seeker chases after a tiny, gold, winged ball called the snitch. When the snitch is caught, the match ends and the successful seeker’s team is awarded 150 points

Clockwise from top: Senior Kevin Opoku, Junior Ricky Bassett, Junior Jordan Willetts, and Junior Luke Willis perfect their flying skills during practice.

-Marybeth Schmitt, Jr. Seeker

3/1vs. Madison Win, 200 - 165 3/8 vs. Westfield Win, 230 - 50 3/12 vs. Chantilly Win, 190 - 80 3/19 vs. Hufflepuff Loss, 180 - 220 3/26 vs. Robinson Win, 230 - 120 outlook a&e


The seeker is the most important position you can play since whoever gets it first will almost always win. I guess if you think about it, the whole rest of the game is kind of pointless.

april 9 2010

On the Scoreboard: Quidditch

hew on this

Rupp and Cowdery experiment with new mouth guard design to help improve athletic performance while providing necessary protection from injury in sports

Athletes imprint their teeth into a material that forms a mold.

ATC’s Rupp and Cowdery take many steps to make athletic mouth guards. Square, plastic sheets are the base material to create the mouth guard and must be melted down. A machine is used to heat the previously square plastic sheets into melted, malleable plastic that can be pressed into the mouth molds.

A lever presses the melted plastic into the mold of the original imprint.

Final Product

Excess plastic is re-used by melting them back into squares.

The edges of the mouth guards are sanded down to eliminate excess plastic and rough portions. The final mouth guard can be customized with name, number and choice of color.


any athletes are aware of the fitted mouth guards, provided by athletic trainer Paul Rupp, that offer great protection and also, all that is necessary is a quick mold of your teeth. Something that people might not know is that new performance enhancing mouth guards are also offered. The new mouth guard is a free mold and is currently only being used by Oakton athletes. The idea was created by Dr. Canal, a dentist that currently is working with Rupp on the program. “The mouth guard creates a space in the mouth which decreases fatigue in the athlete,” says Rupp. “It increases the oxygen flow into the blood stream.” The mouth guard also helps the athlete be more responsive and awake. Many different sports are currently participating in this trial such as football, boys and girls lacrosse and girls crew. The mouth guards are also completely customizable so athletes can put their name, number and Oakton colors onto the mouth guards to be able to identify them as their own and also put their own personal twist on the it. Throughout the course of the program, the athletes and Rupp have seen very positive effects. “Football swears by it when lifting,” says Rupp. “Crew sees better effects on the erg as opposed to on the water.”

On the Scoreboard: Lacrosse

april 9 2010

Boys 3/16 @ PVI: Lost 1-6 3/18 vs. Westfield: Lost 4-9 3/26 @ T.C. Williams: Won 11-4 3/27 @ Madison: Lost 6-18

As a young team, I see ourselves improving every day in practice, and at the end of the season, I hope we will be where we want to be.

Girls 3/18 @ Westfield Won 16-11 3/24 vs. Stone Ridge Won 19-9 3/27 FLA Invatational Loss 8-19 sarah kashanian


outlook sports

This shows that, although the program is relatively new, it is working quite well and shows promise. The research on the mouth guards is empirical and is encouraged “if [Rupp] sees benefits.” “They also give significantly better teeth protection compared to the other molded mouth guards.” Rupp creates them by melting a special plastic over the teeth mold and then lets it sit. Then he cuts off the excess plastic before sanding it down to produce the finished mouth guard. There is alot of unused plastic that comes out of the process, and the trainers intend to re-use it. “We are going to take all the excess platic and melt it down to creat new multi-colored designs for the mouth guards.” These mouth guards are currently in high demand for all sports. The athletic trainers have a filing cabinet filled with mouth molds ready to be turned into performance enhancing mouth guards as well as molded mouth guards. The mouth guards give a glimpse into the future of competitive sports. These mouth guards make for a more competitive setting and helps athletes perform at their maximum strength for longer periods of time. If proven effective, these mouth guards could be used frequently throughout Oakton and maybe other high school athletic programs. By Spencer Conley

Performance Mouth Guard Starting Point Process

-Nick Ward, Sr.

Keeping the Faith Oakton’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes combine their passion of both religion and sports.


he sun won’t be up for another fellowship of the church.” hour. Most kids would rather For Mazon, FCA represents somestill be asleep or grabbing their thing more than a definition written morning Starbucks than be at school. on the official website. Yet every Friday in the Lecture Hall, “We meet every Friday,” said Mathere are several students meeting to zon. “We mostly hang out, talk about discuss being a Christian athlete, or God, and share experiences.” simply being a Christian. They are Mazon, club leader, has been a the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. member since his freshman year. “My Every Thursday, you may see their brother was a leader in FCA before I bright red shirts with the bold white was,” noted Mazon. “My volleyball “FCA Tomorrow” text on the front. coach was also the previous club “[The club members] wanted to get sponsor.” shirts made,” said JV baseball coach FCA also has a speaker to say Todd Burger, club some words at every sponsor. “The meeting. Most often, idea to have the it’s a member of the [I joined because] faith has ‘FCA Tomorrow’ group. However, always been the most was also their a few weeks ago, important thing in my life idea as well. It’s a faculty member a great way to known to many stu- K Scarry, Sr. advertise.” dents shed his gruff Just because image to talk to the the club is known for athletes, doesn’t members of FCA. mean that every one in FCA is exclu“Hutch [Security Administrator sively an athlete. Ron Hutchinson] spoke on March 5,” “I don’t play any sports here [at Scarry said. “He talked about being Oakton], but I manage the boys’ basgood examples of God’s grace.” ketball team,” said senior K Scarry. The club meets before school every “[I joined because] faith has always Friday, a time that would normally been the most important thing in my heavily cripple any group’s attenlife.” dance. However, FCA has avoided “Some members are just in Band. any problems, and even thrived in We accept anyone, whether or not their unusual time spot. they’re Christian or an athlete,” Se“The early time isn’t an issue,” said nior club leader Ryan Mazon said. Now some may inquire, what Coach Burger. “It’s an easier time for does FCA do exactly? If you ask the everyone because of the after school official website, their mission is “To schedules of many of our members. present to athletes and coaches and [Attendance wise,] we averaged about all whom they influence the challenge thirty people early in the year, but and adventure of receiving Jesus we’re in the forties now.” Christ as Savior and Lord, serving by Pasquale Prezioso Him in their relationships and in the

I think we are going to be undefeated this year because we have a really strong team. -Gary Yeh, Fr.

sarah kashanian

outlook sports

april 9 2010

Girls 3/23 vs. Centreville: Win 8-1 3/25 @ Chantilly: Win 6-3 4/06 @ Robinson Secondary: Loss 4-5


Boys 3/23 @ Centreville: Win 6-0 3/25 vs. Chantilly: Win 5-4 4/06 vs. Robinson Secondary: Loss 3-6

On the Scoreboard: Tennis

Club leader Ryan Mazon

e th Fr om


As many sports’ college signing days have passed, Oakton athletes plan to take their high school athletic success to the next level as they prepare to compete in the NCAA. In pursuit of athletic opportunities at one of the highest amateur levels, they have made recruiting visits and finally made their decisions regarding which schools to attend. Considering the fact that Oakton alumni have attended universities or colleges and played the same sports as some of the recruited seniors, we asked both future and current collegiate athletes about the logic behind their decisions, their training regimens and their current accomplishments and future goals.



Senior athletes reflect on upcoming collegiate athletics while alumni athletes share current experiences Womens Soccer

Cross Country and Track Name: Andrew McCullen Oakton Grad: 2010 College Choice: North Carolina State

• • •

Chose NC State because “they have a good running program and a soild math and science school.” Major Accomplishments: 2008 Cross Country Team Title, Running 14:48 for 3 miles, a top 10 all-time performance at Burke Lake Runs 50-55 miles a week

Name: Erin Reynolds Oakton Grad: 2010 College Choice: University of Mary Washington

• • •

Chose Mary Washington because “it’s a competitive DIII program, and it’s a good school.” Future goals: “I definitely want to play freshman year; I plan on playing all four years. I hope to continue playing in some form after college.” Practices 14 hours a week

Name: Joe LoRusso Oakton Grad: 2008 College Choice: Villanova University

Name: Jenna Cahill Oakton Grad: 2009 College Choice: Radford University

• •

Chose Villanova because “it’s a really good school academically, and there were better opportunitites to run post-collegiate.” Major College Accomplishments: Ran a 4:06 mile and made Big East Cross Country Team Runs 70 miles a week

• •

Chose Radford because “I liked the size of the school and I knew some of the people there and I could play soccer.” Future goals: “I want to continue to do well in my classes and graduate with a degree in athletic training.” Practices 24 hours a week

On the Scoreboard: Track april 9 2010

Results: 3/27 Battlefield Relays: Boys 5th, Girls 1st Upcoming events: 4/9-10 Wildcat Invitational 4/16-17 Volunteer Track Classic 4/24 Milestat Elite Track Classic


outlook sports

We are really excited to begin the season and we have a lot of exciting meets coming up.

-Shelby Windmuller, jr

courtesy of charles fulghum

by Matt Woodhouse

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machine used when rowers can’t go out on the water. The ergs are pulled out and taken into the Auxiliary Gym hallway during winter conditioning.

the place where all the ergs are stored during the off-season.

power ten (n.)

april 9 2010

3/27 Polar Bear Regatta Varsity Girls 1v8- 2nd in finals. Varsity Girls 2v8- 4th in finals. Varsity Boys 1v8- 4th in heat. Varsity Boys 2v8- 4th in finals. Note: v stands for varsity and n stands for novice. The number after stands for the number of rowers in the boat. The number before stands for the level of the boat, where 1 is the most competitive.


outlook sports

the board with the shoes rowers wear while rowing. Unlike most sports, rowers do not use their own shoes, but ones built into the boat.

the leader of the boat. The stroke is the person everyone else in the boat follows. The stroke is also eighth seat. The stroke and coxswain work together to keep all rowers in sync.

“catching a crab “

when the blade of the oar gets stuck in the water, causing the rower to lose control of the oar handle.

cox box (n.)

an electronic device that with a digital stroke rate (strokes per minute) monitor, a time readout and a microphone. The coxswain uses the cox box to communicate with the rowers.



the act of placing the blade into the water in order to stop the boat.




oar is what’s placed into the water and propels the boat. The pattern on the blade distinguishes teams from each other.

COXSWAIN LINGO “ready all row”

command to start rowing


command to stop rowing

seat (n.) and slide (n.) rowers move up the slide, or a track in the boat.

bow (n.)

oar lock (n.) the oar is kept in place by the oar lock.

4/3 Walter Mess Regatta Varsity Girls- 1v8 3rd in finals. Varsity Girls 2v8- 2nd in finals. Varsity Boys 1v8- 6th in finals. Novice Boys 1n8- 1st in finals. Novice Boys 2n8- 3rd in finals. Novice Girls Frosh8- 3rd in finals. Novices Girls 1n4- 3rd in finals.

stroke (n.)


oar (n.)

On the Scoreboard: Girls & Boys Rowing

foot stretchers (n.)


10 sprint strokes.


Because crew practice requires water, rowers must find ways to work out for their sport in the off-season. Using indoor machinery, the rowers are often seen in the aux gym hallway outside of the training room during the winter months.

erg shed (n.)

the “back” of the boat. The stern is the last part of the boat to cross the finish line at the end of a race.

check (v.)

In the off season

erg (n. or v.)

stern (n.)


finish (n.) the end of the stroke where the oar exits the wate; the oar handle is close to the body.

by Daphne Martschenko


drive (n.) the part where the legs engage to move from the catch to the finish with the blade in the water.

The propelling of a boat by means of oars : the action of one that rows. The sport of racing in shells. STERN

catch (n.) the start of the stroke where the oar enters the water; the legs are fully bent.



Though it may appear that crew members are easily synchronized when the boats power by so swiftly, each member is actually carrying out multiple actions with their oars that keep the boat moving. Three different motions sum up a perfect stroke on the water.


Parts of the stroke

the “front” of the boat. The tip of the bow has a bow ball, a rubber ball that protects the boat during a collision. Bow also refers to the person rowing in seat 1.

We’re getting better as a team every year. We’re getting stronger and our program is gaining popularity.

-Michael Becker, So.

courtesy of shafer dobry


Nutrition Facts

Athletes focus on nutrition and personal training to get the extra edge.


any athletes at Oakton have decided to take on a personal trainer in order to improve their performance by learning better training techniques as well as what to eat and how to maintain a healthy diet. One of these athletes is James Craig, a sophomore football player. “Last January I decided to get a personal trainer because I wanted to get faster and fit,” said Craig. “One of my biggest goals was to run a sub 4.7 40 yard dash.” Because of his goals, all of Craigs workouts are geared toward making him faster. “In order to run faster straight forward you have to train your muscles to run in every direction. So I do a lot of side shuffling as well Jamie

Breakfast of Champions “You want a more complex carb,” Rupp said. “You want fiber to your breakfast. Oatmeal or cereals are good. There’s nothing wrong with eggs, bacon and sausage, once in a while.”

Snack Time “Athletes should shoot for 5-7 meals a day,” Rupp said. “Consider everything you eat a meal. Just a sandwich and banana is a meal. Stay away from simple sugars”

Stay hydrated “[Energy Drinks] are horrible. There not good for a growing heart and body,” Rupp said. “Chocolate milk is the best recovery drink.”

Craig, So.

running backwards.” Even though his main goal was to improve his speed, much of the focus has been on his diet. Craig has been told to gain weight for football, where he plays linebacker. “My trainer told me to follow a 3,000 calorie diet,” said Craig. “So I have to load up on carbohydrates and protein.” In addition to the students that follow training regimens, some teachers act as trainers for kids who ask for advice. John Masters, an assistant coach for varsity football recommends a diet and weight lifting program to players in all levels of Oakton Football. The program gives you a plan based on how much you weigh, which tells you how what has he been eating? many calories you a look inside of the fridge of an can eat. The plan also athlete that uses a nutritionist to stresses the importance aid performance of loading up on carbs, like pancakes or oatmeal, For dinner Jamie as well as eating proteins makes sure he’s eating carbs and and meat. proteins by eating The players also have chicken, pasta and steak. a specific schedule for To drink Jamie has what weights and excerwater and gatorade sies they should do every but tries to stay away from soda. day. After players do any lifting they are told to run in order to keep For lunch Jamie eats up their agility. The last a tuna sandwich and fruit such as an thing the plan suggests apple is to eat power bars after workouts in order to encourtesy of jamie craig courage muscle growth. by: Callum Kelton and Jackson Lizardo

Athletic Trainer Paul Rupp talks about a healthy diet for an athlete

vs. vs. vs. vs. vs.

Washington Lee Win 12-0 Falls Church Win 19-2 Washington Lee Win 4-2 Woodson Loss 4-15 Chantilly Win 7-3

We’re coming off a good win at Chantilly, and we’re looking to do even better the rest of the year. -Patrick Burns, Sr.

sarah kashanian

outlook sports


3/20: 3/27: 3/27: 3/31: 4/01:

april 9 2010

On the Scoreboard: Baseball

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Oakton Outlook 2009-2010 Issue 7  

the latest issue for the Oakton Outlook