Classy Since 1969 Paint Branch High School
Volume 47 - Issue 1
14121 Old Columbia Pike Burtonsville, MD 20866
Class of 2017 Comes Together for Senior Unity Day Michael Katski Editor-in-Chief On September 14th, the Senior Panthers gathered for the yearly tradition of Senior Unity Day. The approximately 430 students packed into buses, sporting their brandnew shirts, and finally got to take the trip to Smokey Glen that they had been waiting to take for the past three years. Take it from this senior; the wait was well worth it. The first major event was a game of volleyball for bragging rights within the class. Awkward technique and questionable play aside, the game was full of excitement and fun for all. The way the two teams went at it, you would have thought they had been competing in the Summer Olympics. Next, it was tug of war. The teams split up into the infamous guys vs. girls showdown. The table was set for an intense, nail-biting, main-event worthy, match-up with both teams lining up and getting their initial hold on the rope. The crowd gathered to watch, eagerly awaiting the outcome and, boy, was it a wild one. The game began, and the power swung back and forth. At first, it looked like the guys had taken a commanding lead, but the girls fought back valiantly. Then, when the two teams met at the middle, both giving it their all, it happened. Bam! The rope snapped in half. Senior Umar Boone cited this exact moment as his favorite memory from the event, giving himself a little more than partial credit for the rope breaking. However, what most seniors took away from the event was just how unifying it truly was. Senior Kelsie Challenger, when asked what she liked the most about the
continued on p. 3
PB Homecoming 2017:
Around the World & Back Again in 4 days! Michael Katski Editor-in-Chief There is a saying that there are three constants in the life of a high school student: homework, tests, and homecoming week. Throughout their four years, students get plenty of homework and plenty of tests, but they only experience the wonderful week full of spirit only once a year. This year’s theme of “Around the World” was undoubtedly one of the most creative and fun in recent memory. Monday started off with perennial favorite, Pajama Day. Paint Branch students from each class rolled out of bed and got to keep on their favorite sleep attire for the day. No doubt that is the comfiest out of all homecoming days. Tuesday was a new addition in the form
of Culture Day. Students from all different backgrounds tapped into their various cultural roots and wore clothing that represented where they or their family comes from. It was an amazing day that not only provided the opportunity to represent a part of you that no one may have known about before, but also showcased the amazing diversity that our school has and cultivates. It is sometimes easy to take for granted that we live in a county as diverse as Montgomery County, and this day was a nice reminder that we are blessed to live in such a melting pot of a community. Wednesday was a good news-bad news scenario. First, the good: We got the day off! Now the bad: Because we had the day off, we didn’t get to have a Wacky Wednesday for spirit week. Rest in Peace to our sweet prince,
continued on Back Page
Post-Labor Day Start: p. 8 Blessing or Curse?
MCPS Applies for Start of School Waiver If the Montgomery County School Board has any say in the matter, county students will begin the 201718 school year on August 28th instead of the post-Labor Day start that Governor Larry Hogan mandated in his Executive Order. According to Washington Post writer Donna St. George, “the board unanimously backed a 2017-18 calendar that starts the school year a week before Labor Day, leaves spring break intact, builds in extra snow days and ends on June 14.” The county must now wait for the governor’s office to rule on the waiver it applied for in order to begin classes before Labor Day. The pursuit of a waiver became a bit more complicated as, on October 11th, the governor amended his executive order by setting narrow terms for districts to seek waivers.
Check-in on Fall Sports p. 10
Back to School Night p. 3
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Gold Patrons Dr. Myriam Yarbrough Elena, Elian, and Gabriela Maureen and Michael Murphy La familia Brause-Perdomo Bryan and Jenn Walker The Zipperman Family C. Smith II Family Dr. Caulfield Mary Ann and Gary Katski Marla Frenzel & Phil Kaylor Mrs. Pamela Leffler Melissa Katski Paint Branch Media Center The Anderson Family The Rehwoldt Family Bob and Carole McAlpine The Weinstein Family
Compiled by: Eric Selden
BACK PAGE Senior Spotlight featuring...
12 Burgundy Patrons
What are you most looking forward to in your What are you most looking forward to in your senior year and why? senior year and why? Getting my college acceptance letters after so much hard work.
Honestly I’m looking forward to having my high school experience fulfilled: Prom, Senior Unity Day, If you could, what advice would you give your Homecoming; I want all of those things to make my senior year worth it. freshman self. Make good relationships with your teachers, work hard, don’t BS it. Put all your effort into freshman year. Freshman year counts! Try your hardest. because when you look back you’ll be like, “Why did I do that freshman year?”
What’s the last thing you binge watched & for how long?
If you could, what advice would you give your freshman self. Don’t slack, do all of your homework, talk with your teachers if you need help. Be on the ball, fam.
What’s the last thing you binge watched & for how long?
Abdu Family Stuart Miller Mrs. Candia Patrick McGroine Ford Family Ms. Rose Alice Norris Lamper Family Ms. Michelle Newton Ava, Everett, & Stella Mr. Silsbee Greg Katski Solomon Family If you are interested in becoming a patron for Mainstream, please contact Mr. Woodward at: brian_woodward@mcpsmd. org
Psych. I binge watched it for about a month.
Stranger Things, and for less than a day.
Katski’s Korner: Frank Ocean’s “Blonde” is an Astonishing Creative Feat
continued from p. 1
Wacky Wednesday, we hardly knew ye. Thursday saw students do the time warp again in the form of Throwback Thursday. Students of the first three classes and staff took their favorite looks from bygone decades such as the 50s, 60’s, 70s, 80s, and 90s and ran with them. There was plenty of greasy hair, jean jackets, and leg warmers to go around. The seniors, however, threw it all the way back to the times of ancient Greece and Rome. That’s right, it was Senior Toga Day. Those togas were not all fun and games, though, as was evident by the various – unintentional wardrobe malfunctions throughout the day. Friday ended the week with the tradition of class colors, which culminated with a pep rally full of spirit and a battle between the classes. While the juniors put up a good fight to stake their claim to the spirit trophy, it was all for naught. The seniors, on the strength of their fantastic class unity and hallway arch, took home the gold. Once they heard the news, they stormed the court in a moment of pure joy. One thing is for sure at the end of this homecoming week; while there may be one every year, this year’s iteration was one to remember both for the senior class and for the rest of the school. Panther pride was in full effect in what will go down as one of the most spirit-filled weeks that the senior class has seen in their four years at PB.
For a while, Frank Ocean had us worried. After his fabulous 2012 debut, Channel Orange, he had seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. I have never seen an album garner more hype and anticipation than his sophomore effort. I will admit, after awhile I had given up on Frank. Even if he did put anything out, it would never live up to the hype it had garnered up to that point. He was a lost cause. Thankfully, I was completely wrong. Perhaps, the greatest part, is that he surpassed the hype while delivering an album that was completely unexpected. After repeated listens, I find myself looking forward most to Ivy, Self Control, Nights, and White Ferrari. On Ivy, Ocean croons about a distant love, “If I could see your thoughts, I could see you’re fakin’”. Self Control finds Ocean not being able to let go of a love who has moved on, “Wish I was there, wish we grown up on the same advice, and our time was right.” If there can be one complaint to be had with the album is that the song Pretty Sweet, while being short in length, is a tedious listen. It takes way too long to develop, and then when it does, it fails to turn into anything worthwhile. Ocean, with Blonde, has exceeded all expectations, and has done it his own way. In a world dominated by recent cookie-cutter efforts by some of the biggest names in music industry, it is refreshing to see such a significant name succeed, and succeed while doing it the way they want.
Word in the Hall
What do you think about the governor’s decision to start school a week after labor day, starting the next school year?
Compiled by: Eric Selden
“We should just start later so we avoid taking a day off on the second week.” Luan Dang, 10
“It’s better because it extends summer.” Kayla McDade, 10
“I’d rather start before Labor Day, so after a full week of school we have a four-day weekend” Sean Tay, 11
“We barely have enough time to go through curriculum as it is.” Maya Kodgi, 10
“People won’t have to take off school to go on Labor Day vacation” Shahed Bader, 12
“It’s kind of unnecessary because we already miss a lot of days due to snow. It would feel like a longer summer!” Luana Rojas, 9
“It’s good for the underclassmen because they get more time to finish summer packets.” Dominique Kheav, 12
Michael A. Katski Editor- in- Chief & Online Editor Henry W. Ziperman News Editor Jourdan I. Zelaya Features Editors Cayla Reed Opinions Editor Steven S. Anderson Sports Editor Hurelayn H. Abdu Olivia M. Gezahegn Tessa Paulsen Aliyu B. Saadu Eric B. Selden Aiesha Solomon Staff Writers
Emmanuel Adesina Abisola Animasahun Gerald Arung Bate Lillian Bazis Jasmine Hubbard Kiara Jones Julia Kabasela Iqra Khan Serena Kok Sey Tjong Cynthia Larios Joselyn Lopez Vasquez Eric Lugo-Lopez Dario Maldonado Naana McBrown Donald McElveen Katelynn Morgan Michael Outlaw Mariama Samateh Jordan Shorter Neonidh Singh Amelia Torres Journalism 1
Burtonsville Day, Joyful Day
Panther of the Month Gets a Makeover
Julia Kabasela Staff Writer
Imagine yourself surrounded by hundreds of people in your community, each smile-filled face bursting with laughter, while music plays and bubbles are blown and float through the air. This was the scene in Burtonsville on Burtonsville Day on Saturday, September 24th. On a fine morning, Blake High School’s band opened the parade, and then the bands from Paint Branch and Springbrook High Schools joined them. This event’s goal is to bring the Burtonsville community together for a fun day in the outside world, and that is just what it did. The attendance of the parade and festival was strong and included Nicole Jones, a resident from the Burtonsville area who, despite living here for years, had not been to this parade. She came to the event expecting “candy for her son” but also admitted to “looking forward to the marching band.” Along the parade route, candy thrown to the spectators got them in the mood of the parade. Alexis Smith, an EMT for the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department who was in the parade for the first time, enjoyed being part of the event. “The parade was very good,” said Smith with a smile on her face. Also at the parade was Mark Plaster, a Republican candidate running for the third Congressional District seat, which includes Burtonsville, and is currently held by Democrat John Sarbanes. To wrap up the parade, the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department had firefighters in the parade with the actual fire trucks with a woman driving one of them. People of all ages attended the parade from children to the elderly - with many of the children walking around after having their faces painted, smiling and enjoying the various bands performing at the festival. Those in attendance could also take pictures as a family in a booth at the festival, head over to the moon bounces for kids, or visit with the mascots that attended. Overall, it was a great day for everyone at the Burtonsville Day Parade and Festival.
Paint Branch celebrates its best and brightest Panthers each month with its Panther of the Month award. This award is available to all PB students with only one caveat: You can win the award only once in your high school career. Over the years, this award has made countless students and their families proud, as one can attest to from the number of compliments these young people receive as they walk around the building after being named POM, and the honks their parents get as they drive around with the ever-popular “My child was named Student of the Month at…” bumper stickers. At PB, students even appear on the morning announcements and enjoy the fruits of their success in the form of Panther pins and pennants as well as a warm smile and handshake from Dr. Yarbrough. However, this year, Panther of the Month is getting a makeover as Dr. Yarbrough – along with Mrs. Greene and the TV production students – work to make the event a little more exciting and a little more inclusive. To get people excited and focused on Panther of the Month, television production featured three former Panthers of the Month – Arsema Negash, Nischal Paudel, and Marley Sume – on their Wednesday, September 28th broadcast. On the program, host Destiny Phea interviewed the three students and got their thoughts on what it means to be Panther of the Month. Additionally, she asked each of them how they strive to represent the aspects of what a true Panther of the Month is each and every day. So, keep your eyes and ears open in the coming weeks as the Panther of the Month makeover continues. Look for details online by following Dr. Yarbrough on Twitter, watching the morning announcements, and at pbmainstream.com
MAINSTREAM Policy The Mainstream is a public forum that is published monthly by the students of Paint Branch High School. Every effort has been made by the staff to ensure that the news is accurate and free of bias. Letters to the editor are welcome and will be published as space allows. All letters are subject to laws governing obscenity, libel, privacy, and disruption of the school process, as are all contents of the paper. All letters should be submitted to advisor Brian Woodward in room 3301 or sent to Paint Branch High School, 14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD 20866. To contact the Mainstream via e-mail send correspondence to: Mr. Woodward at: firstname.lastname@example.org
#POMPride Watch the morning announcements and Twitter for Dr. Yarbrough’s message regarding how & when to nominate someone for Panther of the Month
Nobel Winners Announced Brian Woodward Adviser
photo by: Julia Kabasela
Compiled by: Henry Ziperman
With every year come many of the same events. From the Super Bowl to the Academy Awards, these events celebrate the achievements of participants in a wide array of areas, but none are as prestigious and honorable as the Noble Prize. The Nobel Prize honors laureates a variety of categories that recognize ground breaking and exceptional achievement in areas including medicine, literature, chemistry, and economic sciences. The most famous of the Nobel Prize categories is the Peace Prize, which has been awarded to famous civil and social rights activists including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai, and President Barack Obama. This year, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Columbian president Juan Manuel Santos. According to the Nobel Prize website, Santos won the prize “for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end.” President Santos will receive eight-million Swedish kroners for winning the prize, which is approximately 1.2 million American dollars. Other Nobel Prize laureates for 2016 include Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa (Chemistry); Yoshinori Ohsumi (Medicine); Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström (Economic Sciences); and Bob Dylan (Literature).
Aleppo Remains Under Attack
If you’ve been following the news at all, you are probably familiar with the crisis in Aleppo, a place that is often in the news for the violent and almost-constant turmoil that affects the area. However, for even the most ardent reader of news, Aleppo is a bit of a mystery. According to a profile by the BBC, Aleppo is a large city in Syria with rich culture and history. It is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities, dating back to 20th century BCE. The city was a trading hub for civilizations in Asia and the Mediterranean for centuries. In 2005 Aleppo reportedly had a population of over twomillion people living in the city. In 2012, the ancient city became a battleground due to fighting between the Syrian government and armed radical Islamist rebels, who have been fighting a war of attrition ever since. This conflict has continued since 2012, with very little change since then. Civilians living in Aleppo have been caught in the crossfire, and the conflict shows no signs of ending soon. Images of people affected by the crisis are viewed by people all over the world, and the United Nations has made efforts to aid civilians affected by the crisis but, due to the dangerous nature of the city, little has been accomplished. What was once a proud Middle Eastern city has been reduced to a war-torn battlefield.
Panther Parents Spend Time in Class Henry Ziperman News Editor With every new school year comes many of the same events; from pep rallies to school dances, these events help mark time in a school year. Of all of these events, none are as informative as Back-to-School Night, a night for students and their families to learn about the coming school year. On September 15th, Paint Branch opened its Backto-School Night event with an Activity Fair that highlighted many of the clubs and programs found at Paint Branch. From Anime Club to Yearbook, from NJROTC to SGA, visitors had an opportunity to visit with and talk to representatives from a wide array of academic, social and performance clubs and programs and receive information about them, as well as the process for how to join or support them. According to Paint Branch’s Signature Coordinator Mrs. Samantha Candia, who is responsible for organizing the Back-to-School-Night Activity Fair, the purpose of the event is to share resources and opportunities for students and families. Mrs. Candia added, “This year, we had the largest turn out yet in
photos by Henry Ziperman
Top: Mr. Miller and Ms. Edwards tell parents about National, State, and Local Government (NSL) during Back to School Night. Bottom: Chief Osborne shows course material to ROTC parents. participants (45 tables) and in families that attended!” At 7:00 PM, parents went to their child’s homeroom, where homeroom teachers gave them a schedule and played a video with a message from Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith. After their homeroom period, parents got to experience a day in the life of their student. Parents had the same five minutes that students get to navigate the gauntlet that is such a large and
somewhat labyrinth-like building. This experience of going from a first-floor homeroom to a thirdfloor English class or from period 6 P.E. to period 7 Art – again on the third floor – was enough to make parents really understand and appreciate the challenges that just getting to class on time can pose. After arriving at each class, parents met and talked with their child’s teacher and listened intently to the teacher’s presentation about course content, expectations, and grading. Each
College Essay: Amelia Torres Staff Writer How would you sum up the most important experience in your life in less than onethousand words? Well, successful completion of this task could earn you both an awesome English grade and acceptance into the college of your choice. During the early part of this school year, members of the Class of 2017 found themselves frantically trying to remember their past in order to convey this experience in the best communicable way. While some of these writers find no problem with the assignment and ideas flow freely, others battle to come up with ideas and wonder, “What is the purpose of this essay?” According to the website Road2College, the college essay became part of the admissions process focused on the students’ favorable energy towards an academic passion. While this idea still holds a significance to the essay’s objective today, this millennium has added more of a personal twist to it. English teachers all around the nation teach the college essay process, which uses the original purpose of the essay and
adds to it an important aspect that all students understand: a grade, which can determine your future. For those who assign this task, like twelfth-grade English teacher Ms. Gibboney, the assignment relates to the MCPS core curriculum but offers students much more. “If I were to infer why [this assignment is in the curriculum], it’s that we know many seniors are applying to colleges and that the essay is an important component,” says Ms. Gibboney. Senior English teachers work with students not only to write the essay for a class grade, but also to enlighten themselves about something more important than a grade: themselves. According to Ms. Gibboney, their goal is to get every student to write this essay to help them become more familiar with their personal experiences and someday apply who they are at a college that suites them best. Adding assignments like the college essay to the twelfthgrade curriculum is just part of what Ms. Gibboney sees as an overall focus by schools to prepare kids for the college admissions process. “When I was in high school, I did poorly on the PSAT,” says Ms. Gibboney. My mom
10-minute class ended with the familiar ringing of the bell that sent parents out into the crowded halls to find their way to the next class period. By the end of the evening’s program, many parents seemed as exhausted as their children are at the end of a full school day. For parents whose children are upperclassmen, Backto-School Night presented an opportunity to better understand upper-level courses and learn about important testing information like PARCC, PSAT, and SAT/ACT while, for freshmen parents, the night provided important firstinsight into what to expect during year one of high school as well as a brief glimpse into the future.
3 Seniors Unite (continued from p.1)
said, “I like how united our class is.” She went on to talk about how “we all just vibe with each other. At the end of the day, everyone really gets along.” Indeed, whether it was during the aforementioned games of volleyball and tug of war, the impromptu dance session during lunch, or even just sitting on the picnic tables relaxing, the seniors spent every single moment of the day enjoying one another’s company. Thanks to this event, the Class of 2017, no doubt, has many more memories to add to their high school years. Seniors Nishchal and Nirman Paudel certainly believed so. Nischal expressed his surprise when he said, “I actually ended up enjoying Senior Unity Day a lot.” Nirman also was pleased with the experience, saying, “Senior Unity Day was very memorable and I thoroughly enjoyed it.” Taken from any perspective, it is clear that this year’s iteration of Senior Unity Day was quite the success.
“...the seniors spent every single moment of the day enjoying one another ’s company.”
Antsy Seniors Tell Their Stories for College and Class
panicked and dished out the funds for a tutoring center to teach me how to take the test. My scores went up but, wow, it cost her a fortune. Now we have SAT prep in schools! Point is, these sorts of steps are intended to bring in-house what was formerly accessible to only those with economic advantage. Those from all economic levels should have the same opportunity to tell their stories - and to tell them well.” While teachers are the ones who assign, guide, edit, and grade the essay, students are - of course - the ones who must find inspiration and write the narrative. Helping students plan the essay is one of the key components for Ms. Gibboney. She explains, “We focus on the first five sentences of what each student thinks he or she will write. Sometimes, it’s not the right story. Sometimes, the right story is there, but it’s not being told in an engaging manner. Then there are the wild exercises that allow students to hear their own voices-literally--as another student paraphrases what he heard. This allows students to know what parts of the story they wish to tell and how it stands out the most to others. I’m looking for authenticity, but with a consideration of the audience, uniqueness, a strong
command of language, reflectionI want to read something that could be a short film plus robust internal dialogue. ” Whether the amount of time a student spends brainstorming, planning, editing, and writing the essay is an entire month or a briefer period, Ms. Gibboney - and the rest of the twelfth grade team - know that there will always be that one student who can hit a home-run essay right off the bat. One of those sluggers this year is senior Danielle Rehwoldt, who describes her process for the essay as a passionate experience. Rehwoldt shares, “My essay was about conquering typical but consecutive life tragedies during my junior year. It was intertwined with a story about climbing a rock wall when I was little, setting an example for this little girl who looked up to me and conquered the wall herself.” Rehwoldt’s story not only reveals the authenticity that Ms. Gibboney is looking for, but also utilizes an interesting technique. Her essay utilizes an entire metaphor that set her life and path to success due to what she has experienced in the past. Rehwoldt has been recognized in school before, as she is a part of different clubs and organizations and plays
sports as well. For some seniors, it is hard to compete with a person with such involvement and such a rich essay. However, when one thinks about what led Rehwoldt to such a strong piece, they are able to see the key component of what she wrote, her role as a positive influence to a young girl when she was only eight. As for how Rehwoldt decided to write about this experience and then combine it with her experiences as a junior to show her newfound strength, she says, “My family suffered from separation, then I got terribly sick and even lost my grandmother, an important piece of my childhood.” For Rehwoldt, the whole writing process was actually quite quick, and she admits it took her only an hour. She notes that being so passionate about her topic helped her with constructing and writing her piece. She says that it helped bring out the best side of herself, a side that she can now reflect on and see how it slowly shaped her life and still does to this day. Rehwoldt is a perfect example of a senior who knew her story and how to show it. While that might not be the case for every senior, the essay will be able not only to open their eyes to countless possibilities but also to gain a better understanding of who they are.
FEATURES October 2016 Kubo and the Two Strings
Old World Japan Meets New World Filmmaking Aiesha Solomon Staff Writer Are you interested in traditional and feudal Japan? Do you want something different from the usual animation style that most movie companies use? Well, the movie you’ve been looking for is just a short car ride and a ticket away. Director Travis Knight, writers Marc Haimes and Chris Butler, and Production Company Laika have taken a historical period in Japan and melded it with 3D, stop-motion fantasy, action and adventure in their film Kubo and the Two Strings. According to Variety magazine, Knight wanted to show the audience something new in relation to both the type of animation he and his team used and the overall storyline, which he feels deviates from the traditional Disney or Ghibli norm which is the repetitive 2D style. Well, Knight certainly accomplished what he and his team set out to do, as Kubo and the Two Strings is both eye-popping and uniquely heartwarming. The story revolves around a boy named Kubo, whose eye got
stolen by his grandfather so he, Kubo, would stay in the immortal realm with the rest of his magical family members who lack the eyes of humanity that hold the beauty of their souls. However, he doesn’t want to leave his mortal life behind and, with his magical shamisen (a threestringed lute) and the friends he meets along the way, he will
protect the only eye he has left and the love he has been born with towards all of humanity. This movie has already garnered positive reviews from movie critics like Raakhee Mirchandani from The New York Daily News, Lenika Cruz of The Atlantic, and Glenn Kenny of The New York Times who said, “The action is gorgeously fluid, the
“For Kubo and the Two Strings’ voice actors/
actresses, he was looking less at the face and the race and more at the emotion the actor could put into his/her words...
idiosyncratic 3-D visual conceits are startling, and the story and its metaphors resolve in unexpected and moving ways.” This is all true; this movie brings certain elements from ancient Japan and mixes them with modern humor to produce a “pièce de résistance.” However, the film has caused an outcry in the social media world because many of the voice actors are Caucasian and fans feel that since the movie lacks recognized Asian voice talent, this film could have expanded the talent pool for voice actors. In response to the criticism, Knight, the director and CEO of Laika Animation, stated in a BuzzFeed News phone interview, “Ultimately, what matters most for us is the ability for an actor to convey the nuance and the emotional truth of the role … using the only tool that they have at their disposal, which is their voice.” He went on to add, “There are very few actors in the world that can do that. There are a lot of great actors that can’t do that.” For Kubo and the Two Strings’ voice actors/actresses, he was looking less at the face and the race and more at the
emotion the actor could put into his/her words, as well as how each could immerse him/ herself into his/her character. A voice actor has to be gifted at communicating his/her character’s personality, and Irish actor Art Parkinson turned himself into the modest storyteller Kubo, a boy from the Heian-period of Japan who later became a great hero/adventurer. In the end, what everyone saw from the voice actors’ emotional portrayal of the characters and the producer’s 3D, stop-motion technology is the masterpiece of 2016.
Keep an eye out for future reviews from Aiesha on popular new movies and books as well as undiscovered treasures in each issue of MainstreaM
Mainstream Media; Netlflix Originals
Olivia Gezahegn Sadly, school has started, which means that we don’t have the freedom to watch Netflix all day, every day. If this is true for you, then this article is for you. Summer 2016 was a great time for new Netflix
originals. There have been a number of new, original shows that have taken pop culture by storm such as The Get Down and Stranger Things. Over the summer I did some Netflix watching myself, so I’m here to give you some ideas for your next rainy day, long weekend, or just a title you can follow until the end. First on the list is The Get Down. The show is set in South Bronx, New York in the 1970s when hip-hop was just starting. The show is centered around a teenage boy, Ezekiel, who will do anything to achieve his dream of becoming a musician. The Get Down not only shows the music during that
time but highlights the suffering and injustice towards the people living in the Bronx in the 1970s. I personally loved this show because it depicted the life that Ezekiel led very clearly and in detail. It made me feel like I actually lived through that time period. Next is Stranger Things. This show was an automatic hit between teenagers and young adults, it seemed like everyone was watching it! Stranger Things is set in a small town in Indiana in 1983 when Joyce Byers’, played by Winona Ryder, son goes missing. Byers starts an investigation with the authorities to find her son, and in the process
they uncover secret government experiments and supernatural forces. I did not see this show but many of my friends have recommended it to me over the past couple of weeks. Not only did Netflix release new shows but they also added new seasons to shows that have already been up such as Narcos. Narcos is a historical fiction show about Pablo Escobar and his drug ring called the Medellin Cartel. This show goes into detail of how Escobar started producing and selling cocaine in Colombia and how he smuggled it into Miami. It documents how the DEA (The Drug Enforcement Administration) tried to catch
Escobar over 15 months towards the end of his rein. I have watched all 2 seasons of this show and I think that it is very interesting. It really goes in depth of how Escobar got away with distributing tons of cocaine throughout Colombia and all of Miami. Narcos is however, very graphic so if you can’t handle seeing blood or violence I would not recommend this show to you. Overall, Netflix has really delivered with all their new shows, hopefully they continue to bring new shows, but not too soon because I have a lot of school work to get done.
Social Justice Why is “Feminism” Such a Bad Word? Columnist Name
Hurelayn Abdu “Don’t go all feminist on me.” These were the words my friend said to me as we discussed the idea that not only the guy in the relationship has to ask the girl to prom. This statement led me to think about why the word “feminist” has such a negative connotation, when really all feminists want to do is bring about gender equality. There is a mass misunderstanding when it comes to the true meaning of just what a feminist is today. Some may think that feminists are a group of women who don’t
shave their armpits, want to take over the world, or demand to be seen as the better sex, but the reality is far different. The feminist movement was initially born in the mid 1800’s to empower women to stand and fight against the oppressive and unfair treatment they faced in society, including a lack of political standing and no voting rights. Today, the feminist movement is no longer solely focused on those subjects but has shifted to topics such as creating equal pay and battling domestic violence. Third-wave feminism, or modern feminism, as it is usually called, is something that has been in the spotlight recently because of the Presidential election. With Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, many women’s rights issues have gained increased coverage in the media and attention from voters. Clinton’s ascension to the role of
Presidential nominee and her consistent focus on issues such as the wage gap have brought feminism into the spotlight as well. The wage gap is the difference in the pay that men and women receive for doing the same jobs. Of course, as it is with any politically charged issue, any discussion of the wage gap brings along with it some serious disagreement. While some feel that the fact that a wage gap even exists is ridiculous, others refuse to acknowledge it at all, saying that it does not exist and that it is just modern-day media trying to make nothing into something. The wage gap is such a hot-button issue that The Washington Post has often published articles examining both sides of the argument. In his article, “What’s the real gender pay gap?” Robert J. Samuelson, an economic columnist for The Washington
Post took the side of most conservatives. In this article, he argues that the wage gap is a mere exaggeration. He also admits that a very small wage gap does exist when women take maternity leave. However, Danielle Paquette took the opposite opinion. In her article, “For One Group of Women the Gender Wage Gap Keeps Getting Bigger,” Paquette argues that the wage gap starts for women as soon as they exit school and enter the workforce, which contradicts Samuelson’s argument of the gap being caused by maternity leave and other family commitments women have. Although both of these articles are talking about the same issue, Samuelson’s article does not mention feminism at all, while Paquette’s article briefly mentions feminism. To be specific, she says, “While discrimination is difficult to
prove, research offers insight into how today’s women may encounter it.” Samuelson neglects to mention feminism ,even though the wage gap has such an immense connotation with feminism. When issues that feminists are trying to battle are talked about separately from the tag of feminism, no one seems to have a problem with them but ,when people bring up the word “feminism,” some people’s whole demeanor changes. It’s as if the term has become so loaded with negative connotation that it is seen as a bad or dangerous word. To those people, I say,feminism is not a bad word and it is not a bad concept. I hope you learn to associate the word with areas such as equality and freedom and relinquish your unnecessary negative associations.
The Last Year: “It’s the easiest”
Tessa Paulsen For most people, throughout their high school career, they hear the phrase “don’t worry, senior year is the easiest,” and it eases – for a moment – the stress they are feeling during their freshman, sophomore or, especially, junior year. I was one of these people
and my stressed-out little heart was counting on the promise of a “break” before college. Boy, have I been surprised. We are only five weeks deep at this point, and I think I’m more stressed out than I was my junior year, the year that is stereotypically the hardest. The thing about senioryear stress isn’t the grades or the workload; it’s the pressure. There is something terrifying about thinking of the unknown that faces us in the upcoming years. College, work, the military; it’s all such different, uncharted territory for us. Senior year is not the easiest year, in my opinion, it’s the hardest. You have counselors
breathing down your neck wondering where you will apply for college, what you want to do after graduation. They ask, “Did you get all your SSL hours in?” “How’s your GPA?” Then there is the Common Application, which took me about two days to complete. It is comprised of many intimidating pages of questions pertaining to your high school life and even the educational background of your parents. You sit, reaching back into the far, far, reaches of your brain and cringe, thinking that you should have done more. As a senior, you are constantly bombarded with emails and letters and postcards
from all sorts of colleges and universities. You might care about some or be interested in them, but, for most, you’ll simply roll your eyes and sigh before chucking them in the recycling bin. To put it bluntly: Senior year is overwhelming, and people need to chill and back off! This is our choice, our future, our lives. We get it! You’re worried we’ll miss a deadline or forget about some crucial thing we need to graduate, but we can do without the constant reminders that very soon we are going to be all alone in an unknown place and spending tons of money.
Senior year is important; it really does set the stage for how we feel about college. However, too much stress might result in being scared and deciding – for all the wrong reasons – to stay in-state and never give ourselves the chance to really grow. If we are too lax, we might strive too far and wind up in a situation we can’t get out of all the way across the country. There has to be a happy medium, right? Of course. Our parents, teachers and counselors can’t protect us from everything. We need to make mistakes and learn from them, so let us explore who we are, where we want to go, and what we want to do.
ople all e p e e s o t e y. I lov Culture Da cultures! t n e r e f f i d in dressed up eh, 12th t a m a S a Mariam
H P O A M J E A C M O A M I N G Vacation
Pajam a Day want to because I do n’ g Jasmin et dressed!! t e Haye s, 11th ause c e b Day ng! a m Paja ve sleepi th , 11 I lo o V a tin Chris
Culture Day because it gave me an opportunity to show pride in my country. Elile Kebede, 12th
ryone e v e e s u y beca a D e r u lves. t e s m Cul e h t ess can expr eliz, 11th Karen V Throwbac k Day beca use it’s fun seeing all the differe nt eras! Noami Lee , 11th
2 0 1 6
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPIRIT WEEK DAY?
TOGA CLASS O L O R S
S P I R I T
photos and text by: Jasmine Hayes and Jourdan Zelaya
What do you like MOST about Spirit Week?
Mahnoor Qureshi 12th
Aiesha Solomon 11th
Donald McElveen 10th
Iqra Khan 9th
I like that it brings us all together as a school!
I like that we can represent our cultures!
“Seeing people show their school spirit in the most spectacular way possible!”
Seeing how different everyone dresses, and seeing everyone’s unique cultures.
W E E K
October 2016 Governor Hogan's Executive Order to Require Maryland Public Schools to Start Classes After Labor Day is Good for Schools
PRO August 31st, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued an Executive Order mandating that schools start after Labor Day, effective next school year. According to a press release from the Governor’s website, the “Executive Order signed will require that Maryland’s public schools begin after Labor Day, complete the 180 days that are required under state law, and adjourn by June 15, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. ” By extending summer vacation for schools, Governor Hogan promises economic benefits for Maryland. According to Governor Hogan, “a 2013 economic impact study by Maryland’s Bureau of Revenue Estimates found that a post-Labor Day school start could generate an additional $74.3 million in direct economic activity, including $3.7 million in new wages and $7.7 million in state and local tax revenue.” This multi-million-dollar increase in revenue for Maryland businesses could help re-energize the Maryland economy. You can’t fight facts – a post-Labor Day start time means more money in Maryland’s coffers and more money means better schools. Governor Hogan is not the only one who recommends a post-Labor Day start for schools. In 2013, a group of teachers, administrators, school board members, PTA members, and other members of the public formed a nonpartisan task force convened by the Maryland State Government to “examine the effects of a post-Labor Day school start on Maryland’s education system, as well as its economy and tourism industry.” On May 19, 2014, according to a press release by the task force, “a motion was made to recommend to the Governor, a post-Labor Day start date for Maryland Public Schools. The motion was carried by a vote of 12 votes for the recommendation and 3 votes against the recommendation.” The task force also stated that “there was no compelling evidence that showed there was any impact on education starting post-Labor Day.” Again – the facts speak for themselves. This decision by the governor was not simply a pro-business plan that puts students second, it is a plan that has solid research behind it that shows that we can start school after Labor Day and provide a top-notch education to students. An extended summer could have its drawbacks, like more expenses for Maryland families due to extra weeks of child care or summer camps. What this point fails to consider is that schools are not meant to be used as day care; the main focus of most schools is strictly academic. A post-Labor Day start is not only recommended by experts like the task force mentioned above, but is also proven to have other economic benefits for Maryland. With an extended summer comes more tourism, which generates revenue for Maryland businesses. The taxes from this extra revenue could go towards public services, like roads, parks, and schools. Starting Maryland schools after Labor Day is in Maryland’s best economic interests, will not affect student performance, and extends the time that students and their families can spend together.
CON Of course, there are pros and cons to the decision made by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, to have Maryland public schools start after Labor Day and end by June 15. However, a close inspection of this plan reveals some major flaws. For those who feel this is a good idea, one key element is the longer summer break. Instead of starting school in August and having a day off from school on Labor Day, school would now start after Labor Day, which means that summer would be close to three months long. We should keep the school schedule how it is now because, no matter when we start or end, we still have to be in school for 180 days. Lengthening the summer and specifying when we must finish the school year leaves a cramped school schedule. This could mean that delaying the start by a week or two from late-August to after Labor Day would mean that we have to squeeze those 180 days into a shorter period of time. This means we will go to school on days that used to be days off, and could mean shorter or no breaks at all. The truth is, this decision benefits only students and their parents until school starts. The cost of this plan could also have a negative effect on families. The fact is, not everyone has money to pay for a babysitter or have their child in a camp for that long during the summer. Adding another two weeks to that could result in kids being left alone at home or creating a financial hardship for families. Another issue for some students is being out of school and out of food because they cannot take advantage of the Free and Reduced Meals Program (FARMS in schools. According to a Baltimore Sun article from Erin Cox and Liz Bowie, “Eightyfour percent of public school students in Baltimore qualify for subsidized meals, and many of them rely on the school system for at least two meals a day.” Parents finding a food source for their kids during the summer is already a struggle, and this change will simply add to their problem. Our summer break now is already long enough for kids to suffer a little “brain drain,” which is when students lose information they learned the previous year or before. Making the break longer will only worsen the issue for students who tend to suffer from not having the school routine of getting up in the morning, doing work and retaining information they learned during the last school year. People may think this decision is good without thinking of the consequences of where the days will be made up and how it may negatively affect the students who need school the most. While a long summer sounds good on the surface, it means something very different for struggling and poor students. Also, for those who see it as a condensed school year, if you would rather have more of a summer and less of a winter break and possibly no spring break, then this choice fits you perfectly. When you really think about all the consequences, it's not worth having a longer summer.
- Cayla Reed
- Henry Ziperman
How the Tragic Death of Harambe Became Something Much More
Jourdan I. Zelaya Features editor Laughter is the best medicine. Today, this colloquialism extends to the Internet, where the idea that comedy is the best way to send a message is ever-present. The internet takes serious events and turns them into funny ideas, or memes. This humorous change is evident for almost any topic online, and one particular topic that has brought with it a number of funny memes is the tragic story of Harambe. When this name is heard – or read – it brings to mind many different words: heroic, “brave,” if you want to take it there, and even tragic to name just a few. While many words and thoughts come to mind when people hear the name Harambe, one’s reaction to the topic at this point all comes down to whether or not you’ve continued to follow or immerse yourself in the social media that still talks about it. Even a little over three months later, Harambe and the events that occurred at the Cincinnati Zoo are still central to many discussions online as people debate the incident and share thoughts regarding Harambe’s unfortunate demise. Harambe was a 17-year-old Western Lowland gorilla
that was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo on May 28th because a three-year-old boy had fallen into his enclosure. Fearing for the little boy’s life, a zoo worker, who reported that he had no other choice, fatally shot the gorilla with a rifle. When word got out, outrage ensued on social media, especially Twitter. Many users stated that the zoo did not handle the situation properly and that they could’ve easily used a tranquilizer gun to disorient the gorilla, thus saving the boy while at the same time not causing excessive harm to Harambe. Many users also said that the use of force was not necessary at all, as Harambe was not harming the child but, rather, was trying to protect him. According to the Cincinnati Zoo’s website, Zoo Director Thane Maynard stated, “This is a very emotional time at the Cincinnati Zoo. It is a big loss to the Cincinnati Zoo. Harambe was one of our most magnificent animals; he is a critically endangered species. We’re one of the key players in gorilla captive breeding & conservation. Everybody at the Zoo feels the loss.” However, as time has passed and outrage has lessened, a new emotion
has gathered alongside the outrage and sorrow for the loss of an animal of an endangered species. This once-serious topic has become a viral sensation, a sensation that is almost exclusively humorous. Users on Twitter - specifically millennial users - have taken this moment and turned it into something that the internet is famous for doing; making jokes about it. Users have cracked many jokes about the situation, including but not limited to, creating petitions to erect a White House statue in memory of the gorilla, turning him into a Pokémon, as well as putting his face on the $50 dollar
bill, replacing Ulysses S. Grant. The attempts at humor are endless. Twitter has an average of 90 tweets per 30 seconds that revolve around a Harambe joke. Yes, the event occurred in late May, but the meme is still stronger than ever. It is still (although ironically) the topic of discussion for many people. I feel Personally, like they should have used a tranquilizer dart/gun to disorient Harambe, but that would mean running the potential risk that the tranquilizer dart/gun would not have worked quickly enough, only angering him further instead of putting him to sleep. And if he were to get angry, zoo officials would have run the risk that he would attempt to harm or even kill the little boy who was in the enclosure with him. Had this happened and they used a tranquilizer gun rather than a lethal weapon, then surely the internet would not have cracked as many jokes as they did following the event. The truth is, this very transition – from serious to humorous - is just what the internet is famous for doing. A look at almost any serious event – some, like terrorist attacks, the death
This once-serious topic has become a viral sensation, a sensation that is almost exclusively humorous.
of children and rape are, of course, off-limits – the internet turns potentially serious events into something that can be looked back upon and viewed not only as it was, but as it came to be seen: as a humorous event. What we can learn from this is that no matter what, the internet will always find a way to turn unusual situations such as this one into something people can look at that and think, “Ha, that happened!” The internet often crosses a fine line when it comes to things that can be joked around with. Racial matters, gender issues and religion are topics that aren’t touched very often – though some individuals tend to buck this trend - but when it comes to a little boy and a gorilla, let the blurred Mr. Krabs memes and the Arthur fists take control.
The Newest Form of Entertainment:
Hurelayn Abdu Staff Writer The 2016 presidential election has been far from boring. Whether the topic has been one of sheer numbers – such as the large number of Republican candidates in the primary – or of clear controversy like Donald Trump’s various offensive comments or Hillary Clinton’s emails, this election cycle has been one of almost -constant turmoil. From the very beginning of this presidential election, the debates have been very eventful. As the candidates in both parties began dropping out, the debates became less political and more entertaining. Throughout the primaries the debates brought forth some strange and ugly behavior on the debate stage, especially in the Republican contests, as candidates bashed one another both politically and socially. Well, it turns out that those debate shenanigans had nothing on what we’ve seen in the Clinton/Trump debates. With a little over a month left until the election, our two main candidates have brought the level of debate discourse to a new low. On September 26th, Trump and Clinton had their first debate – a one-on-one affair that took ratings through the roof. According to CNN MONEY, the debate brought in more than 84 million viewers. Two weeks later, they held their second debate, which brought in a slightly smaller number of viewers, but resulted in similar tone and effect as each candidate consistently attacked the other. In both debates, important topics such as trade, taxes, immigration, race and public safety were discussed, but
an entertainment element clearly overshadowed the candidates’ positions on each of these issues. At times, the whole event seemed more like a scripted comedy skit than a serious political event. After these two debates, it is quite clear that the focus of the discussion is not on what the future holds for each candidate’s p o t e n t i a l presidency, but what each candidate has done in his/her personal lives. Both candidates have hurled insults at each other during the debates, including Clinton saying of Trump: “A man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his hands anywhere near the nuclear codes.” Not to be outdone, Trump noted that Clinton “doesn’t have the look; she doesn't have the stamina” to be president. Additionally, Trump referred several times to Clinton as a politician who consistently lies to the American people and harshly critiqued her work as an elected and appointed official with the comment, "Hillary, you've been doing this for 30 years. Why are you just thinking of solutions now?” Although viewers made few political discoveries, some moments that stood out and conclusions can be drawn. The first is that Donald Trump is shady with his taxes. Trump has consistently refused to release his tax returns and has relied heavily on the excuse that he is under audit and will release them when his accountants
and lawyers say it is done. When Clinton noted that he doesn't pay federal income tax, Trump did not deny it but, in fact, said that it shows how smart he is. To combat some of this tax-talk, Trump brought up Clinton’s “friends” and supporters who he noted, also take advantage of the tax codes. Trump was also painted as racist and sexist, as Clinton brought up him calling former Miss Universe Alicia Machado Miss Piggy, after she gained thirteen pounds. He also, reportedly, called her Miss Housekeeping because she is Latina, which wasn’t surprising, considering offensive comments he has made about Latinos in the past. It also came to light during the first debate that Trump was sued by the Justice Department for housing discrimination against African- Americans and Hispanics. While this seemed to be pretty harmful evidence of his prejudicial behaviors, Trump continued to express that he is good for minority voters and that he has “developed good relations with the African American communities.”
“Scales, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails”
How Pets Make a Difference Tessa paulsen Staff Writer I have always been a firm believer that every kid should have a pet. That doesn’t mean a dog or a cat or even something with fur. My first pet, I believe, was a hamster, but I had lots of fish as well. In my mind, it doesn’t matter; having a companion, whether it be with eight legs or none, is good for kids and everyone else. Multiple sources – including Akitarescue and Pet360 - tell us that animals help children understand and develop a sense of responsibility that they will utilize later in life. So whether it be a lizard, a hermit crab, or a Great Dane, I say give the kid a friend. When faced with his two children endlessly begging for a dog, my father told us, “Kids, if we get a dog, I will not be the only one taking care of it; you have to do your part.” Now, seven years after adopting an adorable – albeit slightly dim-witted - shelter dog, I am an independent senior in high school and my older sibling is a
20- year-old completely taking care of herself in college. You might say I’m partial to having a furry friend trotting around the house, but he’s done more than just teach me to care of him; he’s also taught me how to take care of things other than myself. The truth is, having a dog certainly taught me some important lessons in responsibility, but it also provided me with something more important: peace of mind. I have never been shy about admitting I am flawed and sometimes need help. Hey, I’m a mess, I admit it. When I was eight, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and a few years after battling with myself to handle this condition, my family – after much begging (see above) - we greeted Jax, a basenji mix, into our home. You could say I made a complete 180-degree turnaround. Instead of being angry with my condition, I found myself finding hope and happiness in the skittish fur ball. Like me, Jax is deeply flawed; he forgets what bugs are, barks at bags, and runs, tumbling, down
the street and rips all of his toys into pieces. But, somehow, he and I fit, like two very odd puzzle pieces. Due to my experience with Jax, it is my firm belief that everyone, at some point in their childhood, should – if circumstances allow - have an animal companion. From what I have learned in my seven years of having my little fuzzy mess, which includes helping him avoid the pitfalls of chewy toys (one needs to make sure their dog doesn’t swallow the squeakers out of his toys), I can honestly say that animals help. That statement in itself has been a point of emphasis for anyone who has an emotional support animal or therapy animal in their life. Just being around our thumb-less companions can reduce stress and raise dopamine levels in our bodies. And remember, it doesn’t have to be the world’s cutest dog or most precious cat; whether it’s a gecko, a fish, or a common pet like a dog or cat, animals help people be the best person they can be.
However, the biggest bombshell from this presidential saga has to be the video The Washington Post released from 2005 in which Trump brags to entertainment host Billy Bush about sexually harassing women. In the muchtalked about video, Trump can be heard saying, “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.” Trump continued, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” This video certainly did not help Trump’s candidacy as the clearly well-timed release of it led second debate comoderator Anderson Cooper to ask Trump about the video and Trump’s overall attitude toward women. Trump was not the only one under the spotlight, though, as many of Clinton’s own scandals came up in each debate. Trump
continued to attack Clinton’s email scandal as expected, but what wasn't expected was Trump’s comments about them in the second debate. His exact words were, “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there have never been so many lies, so much deception.” He then tried to characterize Clinton as sexist by bringing up how she “bullied” the women who accused her husband, former President Bill Clinton, of sexually assaulting them, and then brought up one of the first cases she worked on as a lawyer where she defended a man who was accused of raping a then- twelveyear- old. The truth is, although this back-and-forth banter has been entertaining, it has also left very little time to talk about policy and has done nothing to close the chasm that exists between the two candidates. Ultimately, the loser in both of these debates was not Clinton or Trump but the American voter.
“9/11 Bill” not a Good Fit for U.S. The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, more commonly referred to as the “9/11” bill, was put into action September 28th, 2016. While President Obama vetoed the act, Congress overwhelmingly voted in favor of overriding the veto, the first of Obama’s presidency. While one could argue that Congress needed to override some of Obama’s past vetoes instead of letting him get a clear pass, one thing is clear; this veto was not one to override. Many Americans will find themselves questioning what the bill even implies. To keep it short and focused on what many call the primary reason for the law, the bill gives family members the opportunity to sue Saudi Arabia for damages from the events of 9/11. However, the bill also severely damages sovereign immunity, which prevents officials of governments from being prosecuted or facing litigation in the courts of other countries. By opening up a path for U.S. citizens to sue officials of another country, the bill has the potential to set a very deadly precedent. This could prove especially problematic – even lethal - for the United States, since our country is tied to more diplomatic policies than any other country and has a far broader military presence. If citizens of other countries feel wronged by the U.S. and choose to take similar measures and prosecute our military or diplomatic personnel who are overseas, it could put an overwhelming majority of security, diplomatic, and military personnel at risk. The question then becomes, why was a bill with such potential consequence passed by a 97-1 vote in the Senate? If Congress knew that the bill could put millions of Americans at risk, why did they go through with it? Unfortunately, this vote reveals the biggest flaw in modern American politics. They did it because they want to secure votes. They were too worried about their public reputation. How could they feasibly vote to veto a bill that was being touted as “justice for the victims of 9/11”? The damaging effect of putting their stamp on vetoing a bill that sought to give justice to those who were wronged in the most catastrophic event of this era would be profound. Voting to veto the bill meant putting one’s public reputation on the line. As it seems, doing such a thing, especially in an election year, was far too much to expect. This should be the biggest concern of the passing of the bill. We vote these officials into office with the expectation that they will do what is right for the country, even if the general public may not perceive it to be that way. They are the ones responsible for the well-being of our nation. The men and women who are elected to national offices need to care more about our nation and do what is in the best interest of the United States and less about their own personal reputations and making sure they save their jobs. What is the point of being in their position if they don’t make any weighty decisions and instead opt for what will ensure them their spot? With this bill, our elected officials in Congress have revealed that they care not about the safety of our country, but rather, only for their own personal safety and job security. That is a scary thought. Michael Katski- Editor-in-chief
October 2016 Panthers Rock Blue Devils
Another year and another homecoming game is in the books for the Panthers. And what a game it was. The Panthers, coming off a disappointing loss to the Einstein Titans last week, looked to put that game in the rearview mirror and come out strong against their consortium rival, Springbrook Come out strong they did as the offense, led by senior quarterback J.D. Guerrero and senior running back Tatah Njoka, put up points in a hurry. Guerrero finished the night with five touchdown passes and one rushing TD; Justin Hockaday and Keon Taylor scored twice; and Darius Harris, Rysean Grant, and Njoka each scored once. Paint Branch got off to an explosive start, leading the game 35-0 by halftime. Much of the credit for the lead goes to the aforementioned Njoka, who consistently found holes in the Blue Devil defense as both a running back and kick returner. The defense also stifled the Blue Devils all game, thanks in large part to a dominant interior rush that consistently got to the Springbrook quarterback and running backs in the backfield. It seemed that the Blue Devils had no answer for the Panthers the entirety of the game, whether it was on offense or defense. With the final score reading 56-0 in favor of Paint Branch, the taste of victory was sweet. Perhaps the icing on the cake came from the fact that it was against a rival and could go a long way in deciding the final standings of the Consortium Cup down the road. Nevertheless, the Panthers came out and made a statement this week. By beating both consortium rivals, Springbrook and the Blake Bengals this year, the Panthers have proven that they still are the football powerhouse of the consortium. - Michael Katski
photo courtesy of; R. Dorceus
Coach: Commander DeCavage Record thus far this season: 0-18
Coach: Alexis Prada Record thus far this season: 4-5 Key games Remaining: Richard Montgomery Athletes to watch: Krystal Augustin – 12th Alayna McFadden – 11th Dani Rehwoldt – 12th
Key matches Remaining: Scramble Tournament 10/17 at Poolesville Athletes to watch: Sean Bryant- Team Captain Erick Syme- Lowest Average thus far Jasmine Hubbard- consistent improvement shown throughout the season “The record of 0-18 was because we were placed in the incorrect division. Our division had very strong golfers; however, throughout the season, we improved.” ~ Commander DeCavage
Tennis Coaches: Judy Rothstein, Stephan Mulrain Record thus far this season: 5-3 (as of 9/27/16)
photo by: Olivia Gezahegn
Coach: JC Llerandi Record thus far this season: 2-12 (as of 10/13) Key Matches Remaining: Senior Night vs. Einstein 10/28 Athletes to watch: Bianca Borda, Danica Williams, Yaan Asante & Sefanit Berhanu “This is my first year coaching here at PB and I have found that this group of young women enjoy playing this wonderful game. The effort is always there and communication is present from those on and off the court. I truly enjoy the practice sessions because I can see the overall ability getting better each day.” ~ Coach Llerandi “Our record does not reflect our improvement this season. We have a very young team but are developing a true team chemistry on and off the court.” ~ Bianca Borda - 12th
Key Matches Remaining: 9/27 Damascus 10/4 Rockville Key players: Christina Dao - 9th Abi Animasahum -12th Sydney Muhinde -11th Simran Kalsi - 12th “The team has been doing a good job at their positions. We have four matches to finish the season. Then the starters enter the County Tournament.” ~ Coach Rothstein
photo by: Olivia Gezahegn
photo by: Serena Kok Sey-Tjong
Coaches: Coach Dillard & Coach Anderson Record thus far this season: 2-3 (as of 10/6/16) Key Meets Remaining: Regional Championships: November 3rd State Championships: November 12th Athletes to watch : Steven Anderson – 12th Yasmine Kass – 11th Vincente Maltagliati – 10th “Cross Country is looking to capitalize off of the momentum from the previous season! The athletes have been very careful so far this season concerning injury prevention. They did a great job working together to log their miles during the summer, which is now paying off in the stellar performances we’ve seen so far. We look forward to another appearance at State Championships as well as the National Qualifier in North Carolina.” ~ Coach Dillard “For this season, I hope to drop my time, hopefully I can go subnineteen soon, but as a team, we would like to win the DCC Championship at Northwood, place top 10 at counties, qualify as a team to go to states, and then hopefully go to Nationals from there.” ~Yasmine Kass - 11th
“The girls are always playing hard and really enjoy the being around each other.” - Coach Prada “The team adapted well to our new coach. Even with a new mixture of teammates, we still work well on and off the field to implement our coach’s new coaching style.” - Krystal Augustin - 12th
photo by: Olivia Gezahegn
Coach: Shawn Shannon
Coach: Morgan Kauffman
Record thus far this season: 2-8 (as of 10/14)
Record thus far this season: 5-6 (as of 10/14)
Key Games Remaining: 10/18 Richard Montgomery 10/20 Northwood
Key Games Remaining: 10/17 Blair 10/19 Rockville
Upcoming Schedule Wednesday 10/19: Varsity Field Hockey vs. Rockville @6PM Thursday 10/20: Boys’ Varsity Soccer vs. Nothwood @5:15 PM Girls’ Varsity Soccer vs. Northwood @7:15PM Friday 10/21: Varsity Football vs. Sherwood @6:30PM
October 2016 Smacktalk
NFL Predictions - 2016 Aliyu Saadu
The NFL season is still in its early stages and, although a few teams are certainly already out of playoff contention, the rest are going to battle it out until week 17 when it all shakes out. Taking a shot at playoff predictions can be tough, as one injury can change a team’s whole outlook, but I’m going to take a shot at it. Let’s start with the division winners. In the AFC, it will be Patriots, Steelers, Texans, and Broncos. The Wild Card teams will be the Chiefs and the Raiders. The AFC North will be the closest because the Steelers, Bengals, and Ravens will fight for the top spot in that division. The other three divisions won’t be as competitive, as the Pats and Texans should win easily, but the Broncos will have to deal with the Chiefs and Raiders. The AFC Championship will be the Patriots and the Broncos with the Broncos coming out on top - again - because of their dominant defense. In the NFC, it will be Eagles, Vikings, Panthers, and Cardinals. The Wild Card teams will be the Falcons and the Packers. Every division in the NFC will be a close one, especially in the East where the Eagles will have to battle with the Cowboys, Giants and Redskins. In the South, the Panthers will have to battle with the Falcons. In the North, the Vikings will have to battle with the Packers for division title. Finally, in the West, the Cardinals and the Seahawks will battle for this tough division. The NFC Championship will be the Minnesota Vikings and the Carolina Panthers with the Vikings on top due to the coaching of Mike Zimmer and game manager Sam Bradford taking over in the end. In Super Bowl 51, the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos will meet, and the Vikings will win because of their dominant defense, which is going be like the 2000 Ravens. As for individual awards, the MVP will be Aaron Rodgers, who will win his 3rd MVP Award because he has Jordy Nelson back and other explosive receivers. It wouldn’t surprise people if he throws for 5,000 yards this season and 50 touchdowns. The offensive player of the year will be Antonio Brown because he will catch 200 balls and - in a bold prediction – I think he will be the first NFL receiver ever to reach 2,000 yards receiving in a season. The defensive player of the year will be Luke Kuechly, because he will have another 100 + tackle season and will have a least 7 interceptions on top of that. The Comeback Player of the year will be Victor Cruz, because he will have 1,000 yards receiving in his comeback from a knee injury in 2014.
Steven Anderson The NFL season is under way, and it hasn’t taken very long to separate the good teams from the bad teams. Those of you who are Redskins fans should feel very confident about the start they are off to in the rejuvenated NFC East. Those of you who are Ravens fans should be very worried about their start to the season even with their seemingly easy schedule. Those of you who are fans of other teams will just have to read my predictions to see how confident you should feel about this season. The AFC North will be won by the Steelers with the Ravens coming in second, which should earn them the first Wild Card spot in the playoffs. The Texans will grab first place in the AFC South, even with the loss of J.J. Watt for the season. Even though the Patriots will have had at least three quarterbacks start, they will completely dominate the AFC East. The AFC West will be very interesting, and I believe that the Broncos will win the division with the Chiefs earning the right to the second Wild Card spot. The NFC North will be a tight race. I have the Vikings winning the division, but Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will be right on their heels, which will earn them the first Wild Card spot. The Falcons, who have gotten out to a blazing hot start, will win the NFC South. The Eagles will fly high in the NFC East, and the Cardinals will soar to victory in the NFC West. The second Wild Card spot in the NFC will go to the Seahawks, who want to prove that they still are a force to be reckoned with. Many close games will take place in the playoffs this year, because only one team (in my mind) could beat any team on any given day. That team is the Patriots. The Patriots and the Cardinals will square off in Super Bowl 51, with the Pats winning 2821. Now, for the season awards. Matt Ryan will win the MVP award and will lead the league in both passing yards and passing touchdowns. Ryan has great chemistry with wide receiver Julio Jones, so I believe he will be able to sustain the productivity throughout the whole year. Some of you may say that the start he is off to is a fluke but keep in mind: Ryan is a veteran quarterback who has been in the same Falcons system for his whole career. He has gotten very comfortable with running this Falcons’ offense. The offensive player of the year will go to Antonio Brown, and the defensive player of the year will go to Von Miller. The comeback player of the year will go to Jordy Nelson, Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target, as he returns from injury.