Montgomery Blair High School SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND
A public forum for student expression since 1937
silverchips AP registration changes
COURTESY OF NICK WOLF
March 14, 2013
DC Punk scene
Winner of the 2012 National Pacemaker Award
VOL 75 NO 5
2013 exam sign-up is now online By Mallory Rappaport This winter, testing coordinator Jacob Lee announced that Advanced Placement (AP) exam registration for the 2013 school year is to be conducted almost exclusively online and will be accompanied by an increase in price. Registration will be open until March 15. Online registration will offer an expanded window of time to sign up—two full weeks rather than the
one week offered with the paper registration system. Lee believes the new system is simpler and more convenient for students and parents. “Registering online saves time for everyone. In previous years, students stood in a long line during lunch in order to turn in [registration forms]. [Registering online] means no lines and no waiting,” said Lee. The price per exam is now $93 when ordered online and $89 through mail order. Students are now expected to access registration information through a link on the school’s website and pay using a credit or debit card. Students are required to register online by March 15 but can pay for their exams until April 7. Fee waiver forms can still be submitted to Lee in the Media Center. The new process does not change AP waivers for students who qualify for financial aid. Students who qualify for aid are expected to turn in their waivers to Lee in his office. Lee encourages seniors to expedite the exam-ordering process by paying for exams at the time of registration rather than waiting for
see AP page 4
SNOW Despite the hype, the storm left pristine scenes in its wake instead of multiple snow days.
Scouting to explore a new frontier Immigration march planned By Emma Rose Borzekowski The 12–year-old boys sprinted, forming a giant circle, fueled with fear and adrenaline. Out of breath, they crammed into a Porta-Potty, eyes wide with fear and excitement from being chased by one of Assateague Island’s famous wild horses. Junior Carson Schweickhardt admits that shining a flashlight into a pony’s eye might not have been the best idea but insists it did create one of the most memorable moments of his Scouting career. However, it is not an experience everyone has the opportunity to enjoy. Since the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was founded in 1910, the
organization has not allowed gay members or leaders to join. This policy was reaffirmed in 2000 when a U.S. Supreme Court case ruled that the BSA was allowed to ban gay troop leaders and again in 2012 when it stood by its policy after a two year internal review. In recent months, there has been a national debate about the Boy Scouts’ refusal to allow homosexual Scouts or troop leaders. The Obama administration called on the BSA to renounce the policy in August, although the administration said that President Obama would continue to serve as the BSA’s honorary president. In January, the BSA announced that they would consider chang-
ing their policy and after a week of media speculation, the BSA said in a press statement that they would push the decision off until later this year. For now, they stand by their anti-gay policy. But that doesn’t mean that every troop complies with it.
Takoma Troop 33 seems like an average Boy Scout troop. At their weekly meetings, the younger boys work on developing their Scouting skills and earning badges while older Scouts plan upcoming events. The Scouts, in light khaki uniforms,
see SCOUTS page 14
Potential field trip to CASA event By Michelle Chavez An immigration reform march on the capital will be the first trip at Blair open to every student if the event receives administrative approval, assistant principal Susanne Harvey said. CASA de Maryland is organizing the march in the metropolitan area. Senior Claudia Quinonez, junior Cindy Monge and junior Ryan Hodge are working to make the trip accessible to Blair Students. CASA de Maryland Youth Organizer Rommel Sandino said the nonprofit is working to get sup-
porters in the area to join and support the march. “CASA de Maryland is responsible to mobilize the metropolitan area but they are part of a larger coalition called the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM),” he said. Sandino said 50,000 supporters from across the country are expected to be at the April 10 event. Blair teacher event sponsor Dianette Coombs said Monge and Hodge asked her to help plan the event at Blair, including an assembly to raise awareness of the field
see IMMIGRATION page 3
Survey reveals lower enthusiasm MCPS ratings below national average By Evan Morris see SNOW page 4
SCOUTS From left: Dr. David Lanar, Scoutmaster of Takoma Park Troop 33, stands with a rising Eagle Scout and the troop’s Assistant Scoutmaster. Troop 33 has openly opposed the national Boy Scouts of America (BSA) policy that bans gay scouts and leaders from becoming members.
NEWS 2 SOAPBOX 7 OPINIONS 8
A recent Gallup study of American schools revealed that, compared to the national average, students in MCPS are generally less engaged in their educations. The survey sought to compare students based on school system and grade level. Almost 70,000 MCPS students in grades 5 through 12 participated in the study between Oct. 2 and Nov. 9 of last year. Nationwide, almost 500,000 public school students, representing 37 states, completed the survey. Gallup defined engagement as active enthusiasm and involvement in the educational environ-
ment. The study related academic achievement and retention of material to the students’ well-being. The Gallup survey asked students to rate the accuracy of such statements as, “I have a best friend at school,” and, “I feel safe in this school,” and used their responses to determine enthusiasm. According to the survey, 53 percent of MCPS students are engaged, 30 percent are disengaged and 17 percent are actively disengaged. The national statistics are slightly more positive, with 57 percent engaged, 27 percent disengaged and 16 percent actively disengaged. The Board of Education (BOE)
see SURVEY page 2
FEATURES 15 ENTERTAINMENT 21 CHIPS CLIPS 25 LA ESQUINA LATINA 26 SPORTS 29
March 14, 2013
SPECIALS Little Ethiopia
FEATURES Drag Racing
SPORTS Boys’ Basketball
News MCPS interest low
Broadway stars speak at Blair
Gallup poll suggests higher than average disengagement amongst county students from SURVEY page 1 presentation on the survey promoted engagement in overall student motivation. The Board said that “engaged students arrive prepared and eager to learn, and likely promote excitement about learning in those around them.” Gallup’s survey also measured how levels of engagement change as students progress. In what they call “The School Cliff,” student engagement drops sharply from elementary school to middle school and from middle school to high school. While 76 percent of students are engaged in early schooling, only 44 percent are engaged nationally upon reaching high school. The BOE is treating these findings as a baseline, instead of a problem. Moving forward, it has limited plans for improvement so that MCPS may at least reach the
national average. To accomplish this, the BOE plans to identify and focus on students’ strengths to improve their confidence in education, while also encouraging more staff engagement. The survey also assessed student well-being and hope, finding connections between these measurements and long-term academic success. Gallup also gauged teacher and staff engagement and productivity. Senior Flor de Lis said that the survey could not accurately capture life at Blair. “The categories are too broad because high school is different for everyone,” she explained. Sophomore Arun Ramamarthy agreed. “It depends on the group of students. Some are very motivated and engaged, while others don’t care,” he said.
ARTSPEAK Broadway stars Nicholas Rodriguez and Brian D’arcy James (Above) spoke to Blair students on March 9 at Artspeak. Each star sang and answered audience questions. By Evan Morris Broadway stars Brian D’arcy James and Nicholas Rodriguez came to Blair this Saturday, March 9 as a part of the local D.C. program ArtSpeak! James and Rodriguez spoke about their careers, signed autographs and performed. The free event drew a crowd of students and families from all over the county. Senior Mikayla Cleary and junior Alex Michell co-hosted the event. The evening began with a trivia game, in which the audience could win autographed prizes. This was followed by the performance, which many cited as their favorite part of the evening. “The songs they sang were breathtaking,” Michell commented. Cleary agreed. “There were multiple moments when my jaw dropped because they were so talented,” she said.
After an interview between the stars and the founder of ArtSpeak!, Mark Shugoll, audience members had an opportunity to ask questions. “The fact that busy stars are willing to come to our school to talk with us shows how genuinely nice they are,” Michell said. The Blair theater class was in charge of publicity, drawing over 200 audience members to the event. Lead by Cleary, the class publicized the event in various ways. “Over the past month, we have done a lot of publicity for this event, such as making a Facebook group, hanging posters, visiting classrooms, handing out flyers and tweeting about it,” Cleary said. “We wanted to convince people outside of Blair to come, and it worked,” she added. James has starred on Broadway in Shrek, Titanic, Sweet Smell of
Success and Time Stands Still, as well as several off-Broadway productions. Recently, James made his way to television in the first season of Smash. He has also been nominated for two Tony Awards. At the event, he spoke about his experiences on and off the stage. Rodriguez is a local name. At Arena Stage, he won a Helen Hayes Award for his role in Oklahoma and recently was nominated again for his performance in My Fair Lady. He starred in Tarzan on Broadway and also appeared on the television show One Life To Live. On Saturday, Rodriguez talked about his various roles. The event was the latest in a series by ArtSpeak!, a local organization dedicated to increasing student interest in theater and the arts. The program regularly brings nationally known artists to schools and other communities in the D.C. area.
March 14, 2013
Fields takes over varsity football at Blair
Blair welcomes Dr. Andrew Fields as new head varsity football coach
Two dead in Takoma Park
By Desiree Aleibar
Two men were killed in Takoma Park on Feb. 24. Takoma Park police suspect that the deaths of Takoma Park resident David Draa and DC resident Kyle Hickman are likely a homicide-suicide. According to police, Draa shot his friend as Hickman stopped to fix his bike outside Draa’s house after a night of drinking. Draa, an Iraq war veteran, then killed himself. They were found on Flower Avenue after residents reported hearing shots ring out around two in the morning. The two thirty-year-old men were co workers at a DC special education school.
Dr. Andrew Fields has been named the new Blair Varsity Football coach. Fields replaced former coach Jeff Seals, who was dismissed last year after a decade of coaching at Blair. Fields met on January 30 with parents, students and staff to discuss future plans with the football team. Aside from winning, Fields wants the players next year to focus on having fun. “Kids play sports because they want to have fun,” expressed Fields. “I want the players to enjoy the team because it contributes to their overall high school experience.” In the search for a new coach late last year, Athletic Director, Rita Boulé, Principal Renay Johnson and a panel of administrators, students, and parents joined to together to interview 30 candidates. The list was eventually narrowed down to seven candidates, each possessing previous experience in varsity coaching. However, Fields stood out. Boulé expressed that, “Out of the seven, well experienced candidates, Dr. Fields stood out. Not only does he have a wealth of knowledge in varsity coaching, but he is articulate, and intelligent.”
Fields spent nine years as an assistant football coach at Northwest before becoming the program’s second head coach in 2007. After two seasons with Northwest, Fields resigned on Jan. 21, 2009
NEW COACH Dr. Andrew Fields addresses Blair parents and football players during an informational meeting at Blair. to become an administrator at Gaithersburg. Prior to coaching at Northwest, Fields coached at Churchill and Poolesville. He is now in his twelfth year with MCPS. After graduating from Sherwood in 1990, Fields earned degrees from George Washington Univer-
UMD incorrectly sends out scholarship notifications By Michelle Chavez Many Blair Seniors mistakenly received an email on Feb 27 providing parking details for a Banneker/Key Scholarship interview, the University of Maryland’s College Park Campus full-tuition scholarship. A correction email was sent later that day. According to the retraction email, students who were semifinalists were already contacted by mail prior to the email, congratulating them for their selection. Non-semifinalist students who received the original email, which contained “Congratulations on your selection as a Banneker/ Key semifinalist!” in the first line, said the email still caused confusion and some disappointment. Senior Hassan Saadi said that his confusion was accompanied by surprise. “I had no knowledge of what this scholarship was so I looked it up. It got me excited but I knew it wasn’t right because it was like a follow-up email,” he said. Senior Hillary Yeboah said her initial reaction quickly faded. “I read it was for the honors college,” Yeboah said. “I am in the College Park Scholar Program not the Honors College so I knew it was a mistake.” Senior Chuck Onwuzuruike had a similar experience, but acknowledged that large colleges are errorprone. “When I got the mistake email, I was bummed but mistakes happen and with the influx of applicants to UMD, I guess I can’t blame them too much for having a few complications,” he said. Yeboah’s feelings toward the school changed after she received the email. “It finally all made sense,” she said. “It really was a mistake and it sucked.” Yeboah said the incident left a negative impression on her. “If UMCP really wants to be known as a prestigious institution it cannot be making dumb mistakes like this,” she said. “I know I was not the only one. Maryland needs to get their act together.” Onwuzuruike said the incident had no significant impact
sity, Bowie State University and Towson University. In his coaching career, Fields has acheived two state football championships, one state title and nine Maryland State Playoff appearances.
on him. “Maryland is still a great school and it’s still on my top list of schools, so no harm done.” Saadi offered an explanation for the incident. “I wasn’t disappointed but a little put down as this was a free ride opportunity. I still think Maryland is a great school, but as all big public universities, it’s very impersonal.” No member of the admissions staff was available for comment.
Although Fields is currently an administrator at Gaithersburg, he plans to leave his position and fully integrate into the Blair community. Field is very pleased to integrate into the Blair populace next year due to the diversity and welcoming environment. “I
love Blair’s diversity. The kids seem so comfortable and the staff is warm and welcoming,” he said. Junior Raymond Burtnick, Blair’s varsity quarterback, described taking on a new coach as bittersweet. “When I first found out that there would be a new coach, I knew that I was going to miss Coach Seals. Seals was not only very funny but had great character as well,” Burtnick said. “However, having Fields as a new coach will hopefully put the team in a better place. We hope to become more disciplined and organized.” Blair varsity football ended their last season 2-8 andhave won only 25 games out of 90 in the last nine seasons. The administration is pleased to welcome Dr. Fields to Blair due to his wealth of experience in education and coaching. In a letter addresed to parents and athletes, Ms. Johnson wrote, “Coach Fields is very passionate about football having played high school and college footbal.. Coach Fields comes to Montgomery Blair High School with a wealth of education and athletic experiences.”
Students plan walk out to make stand for reform from Immigration page 1 trip’s purpose. However, Coombs said the event has to undergo a series of approvals and adding an assembly may not be worth the trouble. “After meeting with [Hodge and Monge], we came to the conclusion that chances are that the government will have something passed regarding immigration reform prior to the date of the march,” Coombs said. Coombs then sug-
gested other ways to raise awareness prior to the event, which have not yet been implemented. Students are predominantly in charge of organizing the event, Coombs said. She noted that it is Sandino’s responsibility to speak with Johnson, however. “CASA de Maryland should be the one approaching Mrs. Johnson,” she said. “It shouldn’t be the students trying to recruit people to go.” Prinicpal Renay Johnson said the field trip itself needs to be approved by Financial Assistant Donna Franklin, who requires a request form to be filled out by a teacher sponsor. “If [Coombs] is going to be the staff member in charge of the students, then I’m okay with that,” Johnson said. Coombs said she hopes any complications will be resolved, especially because the nonprofit would be providing transportation. “What an embarrassment will it be for the organizers of the march if they come to the biggest school in the county with busses ready to go and students, one, are not allowed to go because no permission was sought after or, furthermore, if they get in the bus they’re doing it by cutting class,” she said. On March 11, a meeting was arranged for March 20 between CASA de Maryland, Johnson and Coombs to discuss the event and the possibilities for Blair involvement. CASA de Maryland has contributed to organizing other large marches in 2006 and 2010. Prince George’s County high schools will also contribute to the turnout of the upcoming march.
Rockville Elementary School Teacher charged with sex abuse Timothy Vincent Krupica, a Rockville elementary school teacher, was arrested on Feb. 21 on charges of sexually abusing two students. The fifth grade teacher at Meadow Hall Elementary School has been released on a 100,000 dollar bond but has been placed on administrative leave with pay. Police investigation revealed that on several occasions between September 2012 and February 2013, Krupica allegedly inappropriately touched two of his female students and forced or attempted to force both victims to inappropriately touch him. The two girls brought the allegations to school staff and were interviewed by the Family Crimes Division of the Montgomery County Police.
Tom Perez likely to head Dept. of Labor Local US attorney for civil rights and Blazer parent Thomas Perez is likely to be picked as the next head of the United States Department of Labor. Perez was the former head of Maryland’s Labor Department and a longtime civil rights attorney. He would be replacing Hilda Solis and, if selected, Perez would be the only Latino serving in Obama’s Cabinet. He started his political career in Montgomery County, serving as the only Latino on the County Council. Later, Perez served as the head of that council and had a failed run for state attorney. His daughter, Amalia Perez, represents the junior class in Blair’s SGA.
Junior Cindy Monge is also a staff writer for Silver Chips. ZEKE WAPNER
IMMIGRATION Blazers publicized the march with posters around the school and through class visits.
Students interested in the Rally for Immigration Reform should contact CASA de Maryland at (301) 431-4185
Newsbriefs compiled by Emma Rose Borzekowski
4 News Newsbriefs Arne Duncan visits Takoma Park school On Friday, March 1, United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius visited Rolling Terrace Elementary School in Takoma Park to read and sing songs with preschoolers. They visited with the intention of sending a message to Congress opposing the effects of the sequester on education. The sequester went into effect the same day, and will severely cut programs that provide funding for young children. Montgomery County would lose about $6 million as a direct result of the sequester, with part of it coming from programs such as Title I, which provides funding for schools with low-income students. Duncan criticized Congress for not acting sooner to prevent the sequester.
March 14, 2013
AP registration goes from print to online Students use new online system in order to sign up for March AP tests from AP page 1 college decisions. Lee recommends that seniors pay ahead of time and later cancel their registrations if needed, as full refunds are available through the end of April. AP French teacher Lucie Austin believes that the extended registration time and online format will make students more likely
to remember to register. “With a check, it’s harder to remember to turn it in and students sometimes expect to be able to turn in their forms late. Hopefully, with online registration people will take the deadline more seriously,” said Austin. Junior Emma Strongin ex-
plained that without a physical registration form and the absence of teachers reminding her to register, she’s more likely to forget to sign-up. “It’s uncomfortable. Now I have to remember to actually go online,” said Strongin. Sophomore Karen Lopez explained that she was completely
unaware of the new registration process, despite the impending registration deadline. Senior Ashe Welch, however, is glad that Blair made the switch to online. “Everything today is on computers; they should’ve made the switch a long time ago,” said Welch.
March on the mall
Chris Van Hollen on the Rise Chris Van Hollen, democratic U.S. representative for Maryland’s district eight is quickly becoming an influential figure in Congress, according to a recent article in the New Republic. According to the article, many speculate that if the Democratic Party takes control of the House of Representatives in the next election, he could be looking at a significant promotion. The political magazine predicted that he could become the next Speaker of the House. It attributes Van Hollen’s recent rise in prominence with his close partnership with the president and vice president, as well as the significant leadership roles Nancy Pelosi has given him on budget-related issues. Van Hollen was one of only three house democrats appointed by Pelosi to the budget “super committee” in 2011 and he led House democrats in their negotiations during the latest budget crisis.
Starr Restructures County Office According to the Gazette, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr is going to be making major changes to the Office of School Support and Improvement. Principals reported problems with the current organization, which assigns community superintendents based on geography. Starr decided to divide the six superintendents by school level instead, with one for the county’s high schools, one for middle schools, and four for elementary schools. In a letter Starr expressed his belief that the new system will prove much more helpful to schools. “The changes will help address the needs of all schools in a more equitable way,” Starr wrote. The changes are set to go into effect July 1. Former Blair Principal Daryl Williams was the Community Superintendent of the Gaithersburg, Clarksburg, Watkins Mill, Magruder and Damascus school cluster under the old plan, but under the new plan, he will hold the position of Associate Superintendent of Middle Schools. Newsbriefs compiled by Issac Jiffar
DC PROTEST Tens of thousands of people protested in DC on Sunday, February 17, 2013, asking for Obama and Congress to take action on climate change policy. Protesters marched around the mall and Washington Monument.
Engineering issues discovered in transit center Further delays announced for Silver Spring transit center By Katelin Montgomery Completion of the Paul S. Sarbanes Silver Spring Transit Center at Wayne Avenue and Colesville Road has been delayed further, resulting from engineering concerns apart from the existing problems regarding the inadequate thickness of the poured concrete. The project is designed to be a hub for more efficient transportation; it will be a three-tiered, urban, multi-modal, state-of-the-art transit facility, according to the Montgomery County website. The Project Progress Update on the county website from February reported that the pouring of the concrete was in question. “ The County has determined that the concrete slab thickness for the middle and top level elevated slabs fall outside the allowable construction tolerances for thickness. The facility has been determined to be structurally sound,” the update said. Currently, the project is two years behind schedule and $80 million over budget. The timetable remains in question due to legal threats between county officials and building contractor Foulger Pratt. The county-commissioned study by a consultant company, KCE Structural Engineers, is underway, and the findings will determine further delays in the transit center’s opening. The report is now over four months late. Montgomery County Council transportation committee chair, Roger Berliner (D-Potomac), said
in a Washington Post article that this week, KCE Structural Engineers will brief the council on the report in a closed session and that council members believe the report will reveal more problems with the facility. Berliner noted that he expects the undisclosed findings to pertain to building durability rather than to safety. “Things were constructed in ways they shouldn’t have been constructed… but they do not go to the structural integrity of the building,” he said, as reported Monday evening by WRC (Channel 4). A project progress report issued on the Montgomery County website states that the facility is 98.5 percent complete. “Ongoing activities at this time are general site work elevator and escalator testing, commissioning, interior finishes in the TRiPS Store and general office areas on the building. The Metropolitan Branch Trail has been paved, lighted and is open from the Metro Plaza to the Marc entrance,” the website said. Despite the issues, the county maintains that its intent is to open the transit center in September of this year.
COURTESY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICE
TRANSIT CENTER Completion of the Silver Spring transit center is being delayed due to additional engineering issues beyond the initial problems found in the concrete.
March 14, 2013
silverchips Montgomery Blair High School 51 University Boulevard East Silver Spring, MD 20901 Phone: (301) 649-2864 2012 National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Finalist Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown Editors-in-Chief: Emma Bergman and Sarah Wilson Managing Features Editors: Ruth Aitken and Hannah Weintraub Managing News Editors: Michelle Chavez and Katelin Montgomery Managing Sports Editor: Josh Schmidt Managing Op/Eds Editor: Puck Bregstone Managing Entertainment Editor: Peter McNally Production Manager: Puck Bregstone Managing Design Editor: Hannah Weintraub Outreach Coordinator: Katelin Montgomery Ombudsman: Ruth Aitken Distribution Supervisor: Peter McNally Fact Checks Supervisor: Ruth Aitken Extras Editor: Sabrina Bradford Newsbriefs Editor: Josh Schmidt Public Relations Director: Michelle Chavez Executive Business Director: Adrian Craig Executive Communications Director, Executive Advertising Director: Nick Seidell Executive Fundraising Manager, Executive Communications Director: Mac Keller Business Staff: Jared Collina Aniya Wood-Reynolds Alexandra Fascione-Hutchins Page Editors: Daniel Alger Desiree Aleibar Emma Rose Borzekowski Sabrina Bradford Langston Cotman Kyle Desiderio Maya Habash Isaac Jiffar Jenna Kanner Cindy Monge Evan Morris Alanna Natanson Paris Parker-Loan Mallory Rappaport Dillon Sebastian Kenyetta Whitfield Spanish Page Adviser: Dora Gonzales Spanish Page Editor: Kelly Ventura Claudia Quinonez Spanish Page Writers: Rolando Alvarenga Jannet Encinas Yessica Somoza Editorial Cartoonist: Julia Bates Managing Photo Editors: Leah Hammond Clare Lefebure Photographers: Leila Bartholet Ellie Musgrave Zeke Wapner Managing Arts Editors: Julia Bates XiXi Chen Artists: Katrina Golladay Tatyana Gubin Maggie McClain Eva Shen Puzzle Editors: Devin Rutan Michael Morganstein Copy Editors: Paul B. Ellis Claudia Gowen Rebecca Naimon Professional Technical Adviser: Peter Hammond Advisor: Joseph Fanning Silver Chips is a public forum for student expression. Student editors make all content decisions. Unsigned editorials represent the views of the editorial board and are not necessarily those of the school. Signed letters to the editor are encouraged. Submit your letter to Joseph Fanning’s mailbox in the main office, to room 158 or to silver.chips.print@ gmail.com. Concerns about Silver Chips’ content should be directed to the Ombudsman, the public’s representative to the paper, at email@example.com. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.
March 14, 2013
Why racial prejudice is not always racism By Desiree Aleibar An opinion Defining racism has become a battleground in the last few decades. In modern times, we perceive race as a form of classification. From slavery to the Civil Rights Movement, there’s no doubt that racial conflicts involving African Americans have plagued the United States from its very beginnings and continue into the modern age. With that in mind, it is impossible not to ask ourselves: can black people be racist against white people in the United States? Well, it depends on how one defines racism. If one defines racism as prejudice or deep hatred towards another race, then yes. If one defines racism as prejudice and discrimination based off of race, then yes. However, if one believes that racism is a system of oppression enforced by the existence of a privileged group who possess a disproportionate share of society’s power, property and opportunities, then no. If one believes that racism implies the ability of one power group to control a significant segment of the population economically, politically and socially by imposing law, stipulation and restriction, then no. Individually, black people can be racist. However, collectively, black people are neither the creators nor the beneficiaries of the racism that permeates our society today.
In the US, black people cannot collectively be racist against white people due to the large gap in income often perpetuated by the poverty cycle. According to Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, African American households experience disproportionate levels of poverty and have a lower average household income than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts.
dollars and 4,955 dollars respectively. Asian Americans come in second with 69,590 dollars and Hispanics in third with 7,424 dollars. In terms of entire communities, black people cannot be systematically racist against white people because as a whole, they are not economically equipped to restrict economic opportunity or severely impact the financial futures of another race. The white domination of certain industries and professions breeds an exclusionary culture. Sure money can’t buy you longterm happiness. However, if you happen to hold deeply rooted prejudices, it can buy you the power to impact the economic lives of those you deem inferior. Unless you’ve been sleeping for the past five years or find living under a rock comfortable, you are more than aware that the President is black. And despite the substantial advances in politics over the past fifty years that this accomplishment suggests, black people are still significantly underrepresented in politics compared to white people. Furthermore, in Congress, there have only been eight black senators and 138 black representatives in the history of the US. In 2010, according to Census Bureau statistics, there were 42,020,743 out of 308,745,538 or exactly 13.6 percent of individuals who identified as black in the U.S. If there are 13.6 percent of black people in the US, shouldn’t black people have at
It is impossible not to ask ourselves: can black people be racist against white people in the United States? On average, the percentage of black people living below the poverty line is 27.6 percent, nearly triple that of non-Hispanic whites which is 9.8 percent. While disparities between lowincome groups are often touted as evidence of continuing inequality, the injustice does not end there. Furthermore, it reaches into the life of the average, middle class African American. There is still a staggering amount of inequality between the races even among lower and middle class Americans. According to 2010 Census Bureau figures, the average white American has 22 times more wealth than blacks with 110,729
least 13.6 percent representation in Congress? Unfortunately, there are only 41 black representatives and 1 black senator out of total members of congress. Out of the 535 members of congress, only seven percent are black. Seven percent. Underrepresentation in politics prohibits any type of significant of the control law. Furthermore, if black people do not have the power or the opportunity to make legislation that would restrict or even take away the rights of another race, then they do not have the power to be racist against white people. Although black people cannot be institutionally racist against white people, it does not mean that they cannot hold prejudices against white people or any other race for that matter. Yes, slavery did happen. Yes, segregation did happen. Yes, Jim Crow did happen. But that is no excuse for hatred. The social construct of race makes it easy for false perceptions of various races to be passed down from generation to generation. While people who are in privileged groups may not be individually racist, they are knowing participants in a system of racial oppression that continually benefits them at the expense of others. The solution to this matter is for people to stop tying racism to those who shout the occasional racial slur and to start realizing that it’s the institution as a whole that need change.
Mental health care needs to be an affordable option Teens struggling with mental illness should have easier access to help By Sabrina Bradford An opinion With the recent incidents of gun violence gaining broad national attention, a strong movement advocating for better mental health care has sprung up in its wake and the taboo of discussing mental health care options has finally begun to dwindle away. This movement has taken far too long to begin. The lack of affordable and accessible mental health care services has endangered the lives of citizens and also shown a callous lack of concern for those struggling with issues that are beyond their control. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about two-thirds of teens with a lifetime mental disorder fail to get professional help. This is the result of expensive therapy visits, the general avoidance of discussions on mental health issues in society, a shortage of therapists, and inadequate community services. In the past three years, some states have cut their mental health programs by as much as $4.3 billion, according to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, on top of state mental health agencies imposing hiring freezes and laying off mental health professional staff and eight states that completely
closed all of their psychiatric hospitals. This is all happening as the demand for mental health care services are increasing; since 2008, the caseload of community mental health services providers has gone up 49 percent and the use of hospital emergency rooms
for psychiatric cases has gone up by 22 percent. Teens and their parents are often reluctant to acknowledge the need for mental health services, which is a risky decision. Dr. Kathleen Merikangas, a psychiatrist at the NIMH, argues that early treatment of mental disorders will help teens lead more successful adult lives. “The likelihood that common mental disorders in adults first emerge in childhood and adolescence highlights the need for a transition from the common focus on treatment of U.S. youth
to prevention and early intervention,” she says. In the past, local community mental health services have been the easiest way for parents and their teens to get help. But in 2012, 36 states had a total cut in mental health funding of $1.3 billion, causing understaffing and making it
harder for teens to talk to a professional and get help. The average psychiatric visit at a private practice can range anywhere from $200-$350 per visit and insurance companies only cover eight visits to a psychiatrist, making the counseling process extremely expensive and often out of the question for families seeking mental health services for their teens. For years, mental health has
been seen as a sign of a moral defect in our society. It has been viewed as a weakness, and even now there is a lack of sufficient moral support for those who suffer from any form of mental illness. Those who need psychiatric help end up in jail, in the hospital, or homeless instead of receiving adequate treatment. For the past four years, psychiatric visits to emergency rooms nationwide have increased by nearly 27 percent. A 2012 study done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 64 percent of local jail inmates, 56 percent of state prisoners and 45 percent of federal prisoners have symptoms of serious mental illnesses; and approximately 20 to 25 percent of the single adult homeless population suffers from a mental illness. The Center for Disease Control has found that the suicide rates among teens have been climbing over the past three years at an alarming rate, 1.5 percent. With 1 in 6 high schoolers having seriously considered committing suicide and 1 in 12 teenagers attempting to take their own lives, affordable mental health care and counseling geared specifically for the younger generations must be provided for in order to pave the way for a successful future. More money must be provided to mental health services so that community programs have the funding to help teens and their families lead happier, more comfortable lives. And not only will their lives be happier and safer, so will the lives of everyone around the nation knowing that violence related to mental illness is much less likely to occur.
March 14, 2013
Should Blair boycott the blood drive because of the drive’s discriminatory policies against gay donors? JULIA BATES
Dillon Sebastian Anybody can donate blood. Type O, A, B, AB, positive, negative, what have you. The need for blood donations is so high that the Red Cross will allow everyone to donate. Well, almost. According to an ancient rule, Type Gay isn’t going to fly. In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared a rule stating that any man who had had sexual relations with another man after 1977 could not donate blood. During the 80’s, when technology was not fully developed, gay men who had HIV or AIDS would go undetected even after testing. Today however, after decades of innovation and the development of accurate testing strategies, the FDA will not back down from their stance and continues to disallow gay men from donating blood. Just as science has made such great advancements since the 1980’s that it is now possible to live video chat with someone across the world, it has certainly become possible to accurately detect HIV/AIDS in any type of blood coming from any type of person. According to the Red Cross, only one in one and a half million samples risk containing a disease. With more than 16 million people donating blood each year,
Langston Cotman Gay men who have had sex at any time since 1977 are not allowed to donate blood. For those of you quick to jump to conclusions, you have already decided that this is a medieval policy just drenched in the bile that is backwards homophobia. For those of you who have taken time to think about this policy, it probably still sounds backward, maybe less repugnantly so. There is no reason gay men should be banned from donating blood, with all the technology available to screen blood for HIV/ AIDS and years of data disproving the theory that only gay men can contract HIV/AIDS. One hopes that the FDA and HHS turn towards reason and lift this unnecessary ban. But though it is pertinent to advocate for gay rights in this country, an agenda must not act as a detriment to the lives of millions of Americans; exactly what will happen if Blair students boycott the Red Cross blood drive on March 20th or if the SGA chooses not to host Red Cross blood drives in the future. To understand the ban, it is important to
only 32 samples are at risk of doing possible damage. The beneficial effects of donating blood completely outweigh the potential risk of the transfer of disease. 44,000 donations of blood are needed everyday. With the demand so high, volunteers are constantly being recruited to fulfill the needs of hospitals around the world. When the law omits every man who has had sex with another man after 1977 because of a problem that we have advanced to the point of solving, the number of possible donors decreases for no logical reason and the world is left with less blood to give. This simple math problem should be enough to flip the switch on the ban and allow gay people to donate blood. Not only does the restriction represent an outdated scientific perspective, but socially, the discrimination ship has also sailed. With the
the FDA to change the law. There are personal columns, letters of encouragement and motivation and the like scattered all over social justice blogs in disapproval of the ban on FDA law. While these efforts may prove semi-helpful in the long run, nothing gets a full-blown protest going like an active resistance towards blood drives. A few universities across the country have begun to protest the regulation by eliminating blood drives entirely from the campus. The universities mean well and certainly have good intentions, but the act of rebellion has received criticism from the Red Cross because ultimately, the hospitals are losing out on some good blood. By subtracting a few hundred thousand samples from the mix, people in peril are not going receive the donations they need. But how will we omit the law with out any forward action? Standing idly by, sending emailed pleads to sign petitions that get lost in spam and posting a couple flyers around a school campus is not going to get the ball rolling. The public outrage fueled by students helps the immortality of the law become public. The publicity carried by a collegiate protest will resonate throughout the local and national community, if the voice is loud enough. Over the past seven years, students from Iowa State University, San Jose State University, Sonoma State University and CUNY have all made attempts to protest the restriction by banning blood drives all together on campus. While the Red Cross did lose a portion of their blood legalization of gay marriage, the FDA should donations, the ban helped to spread the word take into consideration that cruel discriminaabout the outrageous law. If the protests were tion against the sexual minorities is so 1970’s. to continue in other parts of the country, the It is time for the administration to come to awareness of the regulation may spark political realization that the innovations in technology action. While the ban on blood donating has a and science reduce the risk of mistake and short-term negative effect on the blood supply, that the only leg their policy has to stand on is the long-term results will definitely prove the prejudice. greater value of the protest. Today, any negative opinion towards hoSexuality should not have a determining mosexuals deserves a public outrage. Activists factor when deciding whether to help people like Michael Hernandez are trying to petition in need.
The beneficial effects of donating blood completely outweigh the potential risk of the transfer of disease
examine the history of HIV/AIDS in this country. The FDA regards 1977 as the year that the under-the-radar sexually transmitted disease began its tirade against the immune systems of what would soon become thousands of Americans. As the statistics of the era showed the spread of the disease was primarily confined to the demographic of gay men. Soon, however, cases began appearing in hemophiliacs and intravenous drug users. Scientists deduced that the diseases could be transmitted through blood transfusions, and according to Randy Shilt’s epic on the history of AIDS, And The Band Played On, they continualy pleaded with the FDA and the blood banks that all groups at a high risk of contracting HIV be banned from donating blood. The ban was an intended preventative measure directed toward high-risk demographics (and members of the gay community were surely at risk) to keep the disease from spreading. Even today, men involved in sexual relations with other men “account for nearly half the approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States,” according to an article published online by CNN. That the ban is still in place nearly 30 years after its inception is puzzling, but it is important to recognize its initial purpose of protecting the American population from the spread of HIV/AIDS. The ban serves no purpose anymore, but donating blood does. According to America’s Blood Centers, 1 in 7 people entering a hospital will require a blood transfusion. In the words of Illinois Congressman Mike Quiggley, “We need a blood transfusion every two seconds in the United States.” To supply patients
with the blood they need, hospitals rely on organizations like the Red Cross. Boycotting these organizations only further endangers those in need of blood transfusions. It is a shortsighted and reactionary response to an issue that must be handled diplomatically, not by bogarting one’s own blood when somebody’s life is at stake. Especially not now. This nation is in the midst of a blood shortage--a severe one. Hurricane Sandy shut down 300 scheduled blood drives in a year that already saw blood donations down 10 percent across the country. In September, the Red Cross placed an ad in the Washington Post that read, “URGENT: BLOOD APPEAL. This is a crisis. More patients need blood and we urgently need your help. Please, give blood right away.” The Red Cross requires 80,000 units of blood on hand on a daily basis. According to an ABC News report, the organization only has access to 36,000 units. Additionally, recent reports show that the flu epidemic is limiting the population that can donate blood. All of this information boils down to one oint; don’t hold blood hostage. The difference between life and death should not be used as collateral between two brawling factions. So I urge all readers, if you are thinking about donating blood, please go do it. Don’t let your political agenda keep you from realizing the great service you will provide by donating blood. If you want to make a statement, write a letter or head down to Bethesda and make your voice heard on the FDA campus. These are the ways to change a system, while boycotting is to fail it altogether. And when you lean back in that chair in the middle of the gymnasium and they stick that needle into your vein, think about the 18,000 hemophiliacs in this country and the kidney transplant patient who may benefit from your gift to them. Just give it a little thought, and you will realize that donating blood is never all in vein.
All of this information boils down to one point; don’t hold blood hostage.
Wynston Reed Junior We should boycott. Being gay shouldn’t impair you from donating blood.
Kayla McCaw Senior No. Blair is the biggest donator of blood out of the schools involved. We have the ability to save so many lives.
Daniela Monreal Sophomore If there’s enough people boycotting then I think we could make a difference.
Molly Beckett Sophomore
We should figure out another way to change the policy. But regardless, donating blood is helpful.
Arthi Vijaykumar Freshman I dont think boycotting will make a difference, but donating blood will definitely help.
March 14, 2013
No matter where you’re from, anyone can“Harlem shake” The newest YouTube dance sensation is unfairly branded cultural appropriation By Puck Bregstone An opinion Dear God, I hope when this goes to print that the Harlem Shake is a thing of the past. Although, when the Today Show features something, you know it’s already over. Don’t get me wrong—when the meme was new, boy, was I a fan. And don’t stereotype me as an obnoxious hipster who is just annoyed at anything that has become mainstream because he “saw it first.” Although, I did see it first. Before I continue, there are a few things I need to clear up. It may be hypocritical of me to author this article, which you may have guessed is about cultural appropriation. I have filmed several Harlem Shake videos myself. I am also a middleclass white guy, making me part of a culture that, honestly, no one wants to “steal” or “appropriate.” With these disclaimers out of the way, I will attempt to lay the groundwork for a conversation. On Feb. 18, the YouTube channel SchleppFilms released a video entitled “Harlem Reacts to ‘Harlem Shake’ Videos,” which quickly went viral, garnering over eight million views. The video featured street interviews with “Harlem Natives,” who first expressed bewilderment as they watched video samples and then explained why they found it offensive or distasteful to the people of Harlem. Keep in mind, these are also people who see a guy with a video camera and a mic on the street and think, “Hey, this looks fun. Let’s do an interview.” The video has sparked a notexactly-civil discourse from the always-insightful YouTube peanut gallery. The discussions in the comments range from an expletivefilled argument about where hiphop really started to a whole group of Dutch people explaining that Harlem itself is an “appropriated name,” the original Harlem be-
ing in Holland. Many comments either applaud the outrage of the Harlemites or lash out at the interviewed Harlemite’s apparent outrage. “I don’t in any way associate this trend with Harlem itself amd no one’s going to think that all Harlem people do is this
started taking up the call. The Daily Targum, the official student newspaper of Rutgers University, posted an article deploring anyone who posts a Harlem Shake video and insinuating a conspiracy between the white race, YouTube, and the dubstep artist who created the
THE HARLEM SHAKE: Texas A&M University students do the [expletive] shake,” explained the YouTube user WalkingCAM. “AAAAAAAAAAAND white boys ruined another black invention, took it, reinvented it, and made it mainstream,” commented ManOnTheMoon110. Soon after the video went viral and the accusations of “cultural appropriation” were both implied and discussed outright, blogs
song Baauer. “ It is no coincidence that predominantly white people participate in the joke at the expense of a black dance.” This is a simple misunderstanding. Know Your Meme (the authority on general Internet nonsense) says this in the first sentence of its entry on The Harlem Shake: “ ‘Harlem Shake’, not to be confused with the hip-hop dance style, is the
title of a 2012 heavy bass instrumental track produced by Baauer.” It later states that the videos, while not really having specific dances, could be said to be influenced by hip-hop dances ranging from “ the Bernie,” to “Twerking”. As several YouTube comments pointed out, Baauer could have named the video literally anything and people would have done the same thing. Harrison Bauer Rodrigues (Baauer) is not from Harlem. He grew up in West Philly and the “dance” in the videos is not from Harlem. I am not trying to defend the dancing in Harlem Shake, but rather just hoping to explain a misunderstanding. The meme originated from a video blogger, Filthy_Frank, who posted a video of several people pelvic-thrusting to the song in different costumes. The rest is history. It just so happens COURTESY OF YOUTUBE that Baauer ’s Harlem Shake song had a less than two-secondlong sample of the 2001 track “Miller Time” by Plastic Little, a Philadelphia-based rap crew whose song referenced the Harlem Shake, a dance popularized in 1980s Harlem by Al Bm. Despite all of this, in the future, when people from Generation Y hear the words “Harlem Shake” they won’t think of black Harlem residents dancing; instead, they will
picture a bunch of shirtless longboarders from Australia humping the walls of their room. But really, most people probably wouldn’t have been familiar with the original Harlem Shake. The Harlem Shake viral sensation isn’t erasing over anything many members of Generation Y would recognize anyway. The Harlem Shake, while not a good example of cultural appropriation, is a good segue into talking about the very nature of cultural appropriation. There are definitely examples today of adopting, mixing and perverting culture, but can a dance, no matter how deeply rooted in someone’s culture, really be stolen? Urban Outfitters profiting from “Navajo” t-shirts without connection to the Native American tribe is wrong. Dancing? Is that wrong? Even if white teenagers across the country were posting videos of themselves doing the 80s Harlem Shake , would that be dangerous? Are not some of the most important things in America cultural appropriations? The English language was formed and molded by cultural appropriation. The language was formed by “borrowing” words from Latin, Arabic and Germanic languages appropriating the words to sometimes have radically new meanings. Jazz music is really cultural appropriation at its finest. Instead of seeing it as a bastardization of Blues, Big Band, Soul, or American Pop music, it is seen as a blessing—a truly American form of music. Again, I am not comparing the Harlem Shake to the English language or Jazz music. As a society that dreams of moving forward toward a state of racial equality and cultural pride, it is necessary that we establish what constitutes as subjugation and offensive use of others’ cultures and what is merely a cultural conversation between many ethnic groups that progresses us as a whole.
Prince George’s County has no right to copyright PG County’s new policy on copyrighting is counterproductive and unfair to all By Kyle Desiderio An opinion The euphoria of leaning back in your chair after finishing a long-term project or paper e is hard to describe. It doesn’t matter what the assignment is, but knowing that the finished work is entirely yours beats the fact that you probably stayed up the whole night before to finish it. Soon, however, students in Prince George’s County won’t even receive that gratification. In early February, the Prince George’s County Board Of Education reviewed a proposal that would essentially give the school system copyrights to all work by students and teachers. This means that Prince George’s County could receive monetary gain from any school-related work students and teachers create, whether completed inside and even outside of the building. An early copy of the bill states that, “Works created by employees and/or students specifically for use by the Prince George’s County Public School or a specific school or department within PGCPS, are properties of the Board of Education even if created on the employee’s or student’s time and with use of their materials.” The proposal, if passed as written, would allow PGPS to take control of any work that could be tied to a school project. For example, if your Creative Writing teacher likes a short story you wrote for class, and you edit the story into a book and have it published, the county would technically be able to take all of the money made from the book. Or if you put a video on YouTube from a class
project and it goes viral, the county could take all the money you would get from advertisements and views. This would also discourage students from creating meaningful work based around topics or issues that are important to them. Many would rethink writing a paper that is deeply personal and important if the county could use it at any time, and similarly, PG County could impose any limitations or restrictions on creative projects. Having a “big brother” mentality is counterproductive to the system’s goal to encourage productivity. Conversely, if a teacher spends years perfecting a lesson plan, the county could take and use it in any way without obtaining permission from its creator. Not only is the bill unethical, but it is also illegal. While the county technically has the right to claim what teachers do under the Work for Hire provision, the provision does not apply to students. Since most students are under 18 and federal law mandates that parents have control of what their children create, the county has no right to claim ownership over students’ work without explicit consent from a guardian. That’s why parents are required to sign a release form for their child to be filmed when student teachers are recorded for performance. But Prince George’s County isn’t some evil corporation trying to steal students’ and teachers’ individuality and creativity; they’re
just strapped for cash. Every school in the country is going through monetary struggles after education budgets have been slashed. The simple goal of the bill is revenue building. Instead of teachers selling their lesson plans for a quick buck, the county would own the plans and the proceeds would go to bettering the
struggling school system. However, it is totally illogical that students would be included under this copyright, as it is already against school policy to sell works. This bill is the first of its kind nationally that would give complete control of student and teacher created work to the school system. This not only makes the decision of the fate of this bill vital to students and teachers in Prince George’s County, but in other school systems as well. If the bill passes as is, it sets a precedent to other counties looking to gain an extra source of revenue. While the goal might be noble, the plan of action isn’t justifiable. There is no reason why student works should be copyrighted, and while it is technically legal to claim ownership over teachers’ work, it is counterproductive to encouraging creativity in the classroom. Instead of using a total control policy, PGPS should instead adopt a sharing agreement, which most colleges and universities use. These agreements state that the university must request permission to use students’ and professors’ work, but both parties receive some sort of compensation. While PGPS is not trying to become the antagonist, there is just too much ambiguity in the proposal. The wording is too broad and gives too much power to the school system.
March 14, 2013
Want to be featured in the next Soapbox? Follow @Silver_Chips on twitter and respond to any of our #soapbox questions in full sentences. If your response is creative, intelligent or interesting your tweet could be picked for the next issue’s Soap Box! We will credit you with your full name, your grade and your twitter handle.
Chips Index: ZEKE WAPNER
COURTESY OF CHRIS WELLS
The average cost of auto insurance for teens is around $2,499 per year. The Blair Sports Management Club has 12 members.
Who is your favorite underground rapper?
see page 19
16 million blood donations are collected in the U.S. each year. There are approximately 150,000 Ethiopians living in the DC area.
“Canibus. He’s lyrically as good as other rappers he has affiliated with such as The Wu-Tang Clan, Big Pun, but just not as famous.” -junior Yikalo Yohannes @Yikalo_Yohannes
Less than 1 percent of Blazers know who Keggy the Keg is.
“MF Doom. He’s different and has a unique style.” -senior Joshua Dade
The cost per student in PG county schools in 2008 is $6,694.
“Logic, because he’s from Maryland.” -junior Isabelle Brown
In the past 2 years, 6 Blair athletes have gone on to play for Division 1 schools.
Should the Blair mascot be changed?
Chips Index compiled by Sabrina Bradford with assistance from Alani Fuji, William Zhu, Birhan Nega, Rebecca Naimon, Aditi Subramaniam, Elizabeth Pham, and Blue Kehler
see page 31
“I think that there are negative associations with the mascot, but it’s also cute. It’s unique to our school!” -sophomore Christina McCann @xtna_mccann “No, have you seen our Harlem Shake video?” -junior Hugo Cantu “No, I think changing the mascot would alter our sense of school spirit, especially on the sports teams. We take pride in being the Blazers.” -junior Delia Trimble @deals_onwheels
Should Planned Parenthood receive federal funding?
Will the Blair varsity football team be more successful next season with its new coach?
see page 3
“I think they will be better next year. The coach will be more strict with them and work them harder at practice.” -junior Jessica DeMouy “Yes, because they are taking the workouts seriously.” -senior Elias Yishak “Yes, their coach has won championships before.” -junior Anthony Barrientos
see page 16-17
“Absolutely. They are a necessary assistant for families and women that need help.” -junior Mattan Berner-Kadish @MatBerKad “Yes, some families who already have a large amount of children don’t have the money to get an abortion, having another child could not only put the family under the poverty level but also make it almost impossible to support everyone.” -freshman Niko Smith “Yes, because it educates young women about safe sex. Also it helps a lot of people with their situations.” -junior Michelle Zaman “Yes. It gives women the choice between an abortion and a child.” -freshman Bobby Pfefferle
What do you think of the Harlem Shake? see page 8 “It’s awesome, it gives people who are bad at dancing a chance to dance without being judged.” -junior Simeon Kakpovi @simsk96 “It’s a fun thing to do with your friends, but other than that it’s stupid.” -sophomore Alex Boris @AlexBoris4 “The first couple were okay, but now they’re silly.” -sophomore Alex Frandsen “Gangnam Style was better.” -junior Bryan Chung
My Blair: Personal column
The secret of women
March 14, 2013
We don’t need the internet to speak for us By Kenyetta Whitfield Within about five minutes spent on Tumblr, I stumble across an all too familiar picture or text post. The phrase “what a girl means,” is followed by exhausted and demeaning stereotypes like, “When a girl says she’s t i re d she really means I miss you” or “When a girl says goodnight she’s thinking about you.” After a little investigation, I discovered many other posts on how to tell if a girl is lying, interested and anything else a teenage boy’s heart desires to know. It seems that people on the Internet are obsessed with figuring out the secret language and inner working of women while ignoring every explicit message we send. It doesn’t stop there. According to people on the Internet, JULIA BATES women pretty much have no say over their lives. As a fellow member of the female species there a few things I think the people on and off the Internet should know. First off, stop trying to figure out what girls are saying when they speak. If your girlfriend, crush, sister or really any woman says she’s tired, there is a 99.9 percent chance that (surprise) she is just tired: face-down, head –topillow, pass out tired. Putting alternate meanings to a girl’s actions isn’t a breakthrough. News Flash: you haven’t solved the Da Vinci Code. All you’ve done is helped to further perpetuate the idea that woman can’t speak for themselves. One fateful day as I scrolled down my Tumblr dashboard as well as my Facebook feed, I saw two posts of similar nature. “Girls you are beautiful in sweatpants, don’t put on any makeup for me.” Stop the presses –we’ve got some hardcore feminist deserving of big time recognition. Thank you male users of the Internet for your insightful ways of telling women you still find them beautiful without makeup. I acknowledge the contribution, but I’d like to say that we wear makeup for ourselves. Not everything points back to how you guys view us. As if disregarding our words and actions isn’t enough, the men of the
Internet have taken it upon themselves to further prove their point that women are incapable of knowing what they want. On Tumblr, it isn’t uncommon to see a lengthy text post about how nice a guy was to his crush, holding the door for her, sending her good morning and night texts and just generally being a good person. But rather than seeing his actions as those of a good friend, he’ll pull out the all too famous “friend zone”. Friendzoning, usually done by a female to a male, involves a guy who suffers from “nice guy syndrome” and feels a girl he likes is making a terrible mistake by not returning his feelings (see 500 Days of Summ e r ) . M a n y guys on the Internet blame girls for not returning their affection, citing the “friend zone” rather than their own superficial ways or lack of ability to cope with their feelings as the reason for unrequited love. So according to many men on the Internet, if I’ve got this right, women can’t speak for themselves, feel good only after the validation of men and are too superficial to notice a guy who is only nice in order to date her. Being a girl during this generation is difficult. We wake up each day thinking that we live in a world of change, yet each day we are forced to sit through rape jokes on television, slut-shaming in the halls of school and misogyny everywhere we go. So from the voice of a girl,here is what many of us are too tired to say but feel every day. Being a woman doesn’t mean talking in a circle just to make the lives of males more interesting. It isn’t wearing makeup to please someone other than yourself. A girl doesn’t live to fill the misogynistic roles that the patriarchal world we live in perpetuates. Several months ago I was told by an old camp friend of mine that all girls are sluts, weak or phonies. After writing a lengthy blog post about the struggles of a male driven society, I determined that many women think they belong in the boxes that males place them in, reinforced by popular Internet memes like “what a girl means.” But don’t settle. The secret language of woman that they so desperately are trying to decipher is much less complicated than it seems. We say what we want, mean what we say and live for ourselves.
Student & Teacher Awards & Honors Senior Sophia Hill won second place in the Maryland Student Composition Competition for her choral composition A Light Exists in Spring on Jan. 21. Music teacher Michelle Roberts is a Maryland Music Educators Outstanding Instrumental Teacher recipient. Music teacher Adam Stevens was chosen as a Marrian Greenblatt Rising-Star teacher. Junior Shaun Data and Sophomores Eric Neyman and Victor Xu won first place in Calculus, Algebra, and Probability and Combinatorics respectively in the Johns Hopkins Math Tournament on Feb. 2. Jack Foster was named an All American
Swimmer and set a Maryland State record in the 200 IM.
SLICK SLIDERS During baseball practice at old Blair, now Silver Spring International, Fred Schnabele looks on as Jack Doane attempts to evade Jack Wicklein’s tag.
SPRING TRAINING During baseball practice before the regular season, junior Mikey Gerbasi stands tall awaiting a fast pitch from junior captain Neil Gahart.
Up and Coming March 16: Blackout Dance ZEKE WAPNER
Blair Greenhouse won an award from MCPS SERT. Seniors Olivia Leung and Thomas McHale won the 2013 Dr. Vaccaro Scholarship. Magnet teacher David Stein came in 187th place in the New York Times International Crossword Puzzle Competition on Mrch 10th. Then and Now and Student Awards & Honors were compiled by Josh Schmidt, Dillon Sebastian,Maya Habash and Emma Rose Borzekowski.
March 29: Good Friday
March 25: Passover COLIN WINCEK
April 26: Into the Woods
March 14 , 2013
College aid is insufficient “If you can’t stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down,” President Obama announced in late January before a gathering of students at University of Michigan. As he proposed his new initiative to lower the perpetually increasing costs of college tuition, Obama expressed a dissatisfaction and desire for change that will be likewise felt by students across the country this month as they await their college financial packages. Rising costs of post-secondary education have been at the center of a maelstrom of media coverage, and some lament that the subject has grown trite while offering few real proposals. As the debate trickles onward, however, the disparity between cost and students’ actual paying power only increases. According to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEOA), last year saw a record-breaking 8.3 percent jump in the tuition fees that the average student at a public institution paid for higher education, even after federal grants and aid. Meanwhile, a September Census report shows that, “median household incomes fell by nearly 7 percent from 2001 to 2011.” Pragmatically, even the government cannot withstand the burden of college costs, and is likely to slash funds earmarked for financial aid in the next coming years, as SHEEOA predicts. Reduced funding compounded by a debilitated middle class and surging costs will inevitably result in a generation of high school graduates unable to afford college. During this year’s State of the Union address and his speech at the University of Michigan, Obama proposed a new Race to the Top proposal, in which 1 billion dollars would be designated for federal aid. The program would link federal funding to a university’s ability to maintain low tuition costs, rewarding school that make cuts and restricting or cutting federal funds for those that do not. Essentially, the president is threatening to tie large sums of federal aid to colleges’ abilities to reduce tuitions, which should inspire a visceral fear in university deans trying to force fees upward. Under the new proposal,
the Obama administration would expand campus-based loan programs to 10 billion dollars rather than the current 3 billion. The extra 7 billion dollars would go straight to the schools most effectively keeping tuition low. While Obama’s solution seems enticing, the central issue surrounding high tuition costs remains. Prospective college students will continue to rattle empty pockets and bemoan the exorbitant tuition bills in their futures. Take the University of Michigan, for instance, the 41,000 student school where Obama delineated his aid plan several weeks ago. Michigan asks each out-of-state student to pay a whopping 52,000 dollars per year in total costs. So why, the high school senior might ask, is the cost of today’s college experience so unreasonable? The question is valid, but the answer is evident. Michigan, along with other top ranked colleges and universities, have increasingly invested more in “student services”, which include everything from unnecessarily luxurious gym facilities to “free” laptops to the more important career services departments. Due to ample student loan funding and increased competition among the nation’s top schools, colleges often choose to up their tuition rather than making hard budgeting decisions or looking for ways to increase efficiency. Obama’s solution is moving in the right direction. Along with his Race to the Top program, the president has also proposed the creation of a 55 million dollar pool dedicated to increasing colleges’ efficiency and decreasing costs. These cuts would serve as huge investments in America’s future, preparing a larger group of students for stable, higher paying jobs. The president must take one final step. When states cut their budgets, education is often the first to go. In turn, rather than trimming the fat on excess services, state universities and community colleges often pass the costs along to students who pay a greater cost so schools can maintain their high expenses. By pressuring states to limit these cuts, the federal government would be effectively demonstrating its support for af-
Corrections Freshman Samantha Trainum’s name was misspelled in “Love’s New Identity is in the Air” on 16. 30 percent of U.S. GDP does not come from Algeria The window quote attributed to sophomore Indigo Byrd in “Love’s New Identity is in the Air” should have been attributed to freshman Samantha Trainum. Do you have any feedback or mistakes? Let us know. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org fordable higher education. “We should push colleges to do better. We should hold them accountable if they don’t,” declared Obama to an audience that likely included more than a few students already saddled with debt. Just as the increasingly
Paying for print in the age of online By Ruth Aitken If only the Beatles were right when they claimed, “Love is all you need.” Perhaps then Silver Chips would be able to avoid its fiscal woes that have accrued in recent months. Regrettably, it is not pragmatic to sustain Silver Chips on love alone. It was probably easier for four billionaires to negate the importance of funding. The reality is unfortunate: Silver Chips is financially struggling. Even with our substantial repertoire of accolades and national awards, it has proven difficult to maintain a dependable source of advertising income for the newspaper. Since BCC’s defunct 87-year-old newspaper could no longer sustain itself financially, Silver Chips is now the longest-printing high school paper in the county. Despite our history, however, we are not impervious to difficult times. In order to maintain journalistic independence, Silver Chips does not accept school or county funding. Though remaining financially autonomous has posed challenges, Silver Chips values its present ability to dictate the paper’s content without interference from the administration. Because the market for print journalism is declining while online publication is expanding, many advertisers are turning to Internet marketing outlets. Currently, Silver Chips Online is exploring a move from the school’s servers to its own domain. Under this arrangement, the paper’s online
counterpart would be able to sell ads, whose revenue would benefit Silver Chips print, as well. It is unlikely, however, that the process
ing is one that underestimates the impact of print media. Every Blair student is directly given his or her own paper copy, whereas not every student necessarily peruses Silver Chips Online, or even has home access to the online paper. The low cost to publish an advertisement in our paper makes advertising in Silver Chips an outstanding value. Because the publication is distributed to such an expansive and diverse school community, it is well worth any company’s investment to purchase ad space in the paper that reaches some 3,000 pairs of hands. From prom dress shops to SAT prep services, companies advertising student- and teen-related services can profit significantly from a paper that caters specifically to students and teens. As we anticipate financial struggles to continue in the future to some degree, we are working to implement long-term solutions, from online ads to restructuring of our own staff to fund raising LEAH HAMMOND initiatives. The paper maintains a legacy of quality student journalism, and is determined to do so in the future. Thus far, Silver Chips has of moving the site will be effective seen several donations from generprior to the end of the school year. ous community supporters. The enIn the meantime, Silver Chips will tire staff would like to thank those subsist primarily upon revenue who have made contributions thus from print ads. far, as they have advanced the paOur influx of print advertisers, per that much closer to its financial however, seems to follow a dis- goals. Maybe it is possible to print tressing course. Every month as a newspaper (partially) on love, afour Silver Chips business staffers ter all. call potential advertisers, more and Comments or concerns? Email the more long-time supporters become Ombudsman at silver.chips.print@ disinterested in partnering with us. gmail.com The trend towards online advertis-
Ombudsman Ruth Aitken
competitive college admissions process demands students to achieve higher levels of success each year, we should expect the same competitive quest for constant improvement from our schools.
Letter to the editor: Defending Our Town As a long-time reader of this paper, I have always been impressed with the quality of the content and the professionalism of the staff. However, I was not amused when I turned to the Entertainment section in the February 7th edition and found the article “Read it and Weep: books that should go back on the shelf”, complete with an illustration of students with pitchforks and torches charging at a burning book. What added even more fuel to my fire was that Thornton Wilder’s Our Town was the first book on the ‘hit’ list. O u r To w n did win a Pulitzer Prize, which gives it a little merit. It is also one of the most produced plays in the history of drama. Boiling down the play’s theme to “Life is short, so enjoy it while you can” is an oversimplification of this beautiful message. What Our Town offers that an episode of iCarly does not, is that when the students read this play, they reflect upon their own lives. A careful reader will evaluate his or her own attitude towards living while Wilder takes his audience through his three-act play. This introspection is essential to the experience of studying Our Town, which is why the Stage Manager includes the audience into the play. Sure, many people say they know that life is short and they should enjoy it, but do they? If this play makes even one student appreciate
his or her life more, then it is worth the time spent in class. I contend that we need Our Town now more than ever. In a bitterly divided country, where people seem unable to agree on anything, it is important to remember another theme that Wilder develops in his classic play - “There are many more similarities among us than differences.” Wilder adeptly develops this message with his lack of scenery and with the structure of the acts “Daily Life”, “Love and Marriage”, and “Death”. This play serves as another reminder that we should also acknowledge the similarities that all humans experience as they are the “ties that bind” us together. Instead of tearing each other down by our differences, we should concentrate on what unites us as a community, as a country. Students often ask, “Why do we always have to read such depressing works?” It’s true that most titles that we study are rather heavy and can be quite sad. Our Town’s optimistic message is a welcome break from dark themes that many of the titles in the English curriculum contain. Thornton Wilder was generous enough to include us; we would be foolish to exclude him. Andrew Clay Blair English Teacher
Please submit letters to the editor at email@example.com
March 14, 2013
Silver Chips March 14, 2013
“You know what, we’ll do it ourselves.” DC punk scene creates opportunities for unsigned bands
OF JIM SAAH
Since big record labels in the 80s were reluctant to hand over recording contracts to punk rockers, many bands proudly took matters into their own hands and began managing themselves. The concept of a band managing itself was a new phenomenon in the 80s. While the classic “garage bands” had existed before punk, punk bands were the first to fully embrace the idea of autonomy from record labels. “The certain pride of doing things your own way, doing all the things yourself and managing everything yourself came from punk,” says Aaron Leitko, press coordinator of D.C. independent label, Dischord Records. While signed bands could rely on managers to schedule and advertise, many punk bands were on their own. “Punk bands [in the 80s and 90s] had to book shows, book tours, and sell merch just on their own so they made these networks where you could go on tours and sleep on other bands’ floors, all done without the Internet,” says Saah. For Jake Lazovick, solo artist and band member of the pop punk band Foozle!, gaining a fan base and booking venues was initially difficult. Eventually finding an audience for his music became much easier as his band gained popularity. “When [Foozle!] was first starting out we found the etiquette was to already know who to ask. At first it was really nerve-racking, but then just by going to other shows [we’d] become friends with people,” explains Lazovick. “Now it’s really easy to know who we should talk to.” Despite the potential difficulties that come with managing one’s own band, musicians often find the process to be rewarding. Junior Brendan Casey, guitarist of local rock band The Flying Mighty, believes that managing his own band gives him more options. “I have a lot of freedom in terms of what I choose to do. It really teaches me skills to self-motivate and to really put myself out there,” says Casey. For Saah, punk’s do-it-yourself, commonly referred to as DIY, undercurrent acted as a creative outlet for anyone who was willing to contribute to it. “It basically gave us permission to do things that we didn’t know we could do for ourselves,” explains Saah. “I think that’s the whole crux of it. You always thought prior to punk… you needed someone to sanction what you were doing. But after punk rock we were just like ‘you know what, we’ll do it ourselves.’”
While punks were the first to embrace this DIY school of thought, many other genres now support the idea that success is possible without a traditional label, attests punk rock fan and COURTESY OF JIM SAA senior Aaron PUNK Above: Alec MacKaye of The Faith performs at the 9:30 Club Meyer. “There’s in 1983, Below from left: Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat shakes up the punk scene, but the DIY the Wilson Center in 1983, DC Hardcore at a 9:30 Club matinee in scene encom- the 80’s. passes everyto do what was once exceptionally difficult thing. There’s lots of cool bands in the area without label support. While Brian Loweitt, that aren’t punk, but are based around a DIY Dischord Records’ label manager, agrees ethic and are a part of that community,” says that the Internet offers many new ways for Meyer. bands to share their music, he feels record labels prove their importance by helping bands maximize the potential of these tools. A rising world of DIY “I don’t know if there will be as many record labels in the future, but some of the laSaah says that the spread of DIY bands bels even use Bandcamp and Soundcloud. I around the globe can be linked to the advent think there’s always a need for more record of the Internet. The increase in accessibility to labels,” says Loweitt. a wider fan base via social networking sites No matter the genre or method musilike Facebook or MySpace is just one way cians choose to be managed, Lazovick feels DIY bands have been able to use technology strongly that bands shouldn’t hesitate to to their advantage, Casey attests. “Now it’s book shows. “There were lots so much easier to record yourself on your of times where I doubted if computer and have a decent quality recordwe could do any of it, but it ing. Everything is much more available to all comes together eventuus, thanks to technology,” says Casey. ally and it’s always totally Junior Ananth Batni, guitarist for worth it,” he says. the punk band Termina, says his band made the decision to record their music themselves when they weren’t pleased with the professionally mixed version. “Our own recordings ended up sounding more raw and less processed. We liked that a lot more,” says Batini. Both Batni and Casey agree that the prosperous D.C. music scene and vast number of available venues are tremendously useful for young artists. Thanks to bands like Termina who record and edit themselves, many music bloggers like Adam Frucci, writer for Gizmodo.com, believe that record labels will eventually die out as the availability of digital music formats, music sharing sites like Bandcamp and relatively cheap home recording gear increase, allowing bands H WIEN TRAUB
A screech of feedback permeates the room as the band finishes setting up. The sound drifts through the crowd from the heads of bobbing teens in the front to the cigarettesmoking, pizza-eaters lounging outside. The high-pitched drone builds and so does the anticipation of the crowd until, finally, the noise explodes into destructive sound. The thrashing movement of the fans mirrors the aggression of the music. The band, staged amid the throng of people, and the crowd are one. This synergy within chaos is the mark of many D.C. punk shows. Junior Evelyn Hubbard frequently attends these underground punk shows. Often located in low-key restaurants, community centers, or even other people’s basements, Hubbard embraces the diversity D.C.’s punk scene has to offer. “There are tons of different shows. One night there’ll be reggae punk or something and then thrash the next,” she says. While Hubbard only began attending D.C. shows last year, she appreciates the depth the punk scene has to offer. “I like the history of punk, how it sort of started a new lifestyle. People don’t always see that it can be funny, or empowering,” she says. “It’s not sad music, it’s fun.” Punk originated in the 1970s in London and New York City as the working class youth’s rebellion against mainstream culture. The provocative and boisterous genre quickly spread across the United States, until it firmly grew roots in the 1980s among middle class D.C. residents in the form of hardcore punk – a loud way for kids to blow off steam. D.C. quickly became the epicenter of hardcore, producing big names like Minor Threat, Bad Brains and Government Issue. Photographer Jim Saah who is currently working on a documentary about D.C. Hardcore, grew up immersed in punk during this time. He feels D.C. was perfectly situated to become a hotbed for punk music because the city’s residents were educated and socially active. “Kids [in D.C.] had more means and more education,” he says. “A lot of people weren’t on drugs and weren’t drinking.” However, Saah says that punk’s violent sound, extreme image and angry lyrics were considered controversial, ruining any chance musicians had to score a record deal, often forcing them to manage themselves and creating a do-it-yourself ethic that has become increasingly common among amateur musicians today.
Cutting out the label
By Mallory Rappaport and Danny Alger
March 14, 2013
Scouts reflect on past and future of anti-gay policy
Area Boy Scouts contend with controversial Boy Scouts of America rule from SCOUTS page 1 could be from anywhere in America. But when members showed up at scouting camp, they were immediately identifiable. Carol Clayton, mother of a Boy Scout in Troop 33, had made them all rainbow ribbons to wear. Troop 33 came out a few years ago opposing the national Boy Scout policy. Based in the notoriously liberal Takoma Park, the troop opted to allow Scouts and Scoutmasters to serve while openly gay and they have
tives’ interests and concerns regarding the policy and is encouraging voting members to factor nationwide opinions into their decisions on the issue. The group will vote on a resolution on membership standards in May. Scouts in Troop 33 hope that the review will be thoughtful and that their push for homosexual inclusion will be taken into account. “Me and a bunch of people in the troop wrote letters to the Boy Scouts,” says junior Jacob Harris, a longtime member of Troop 33.
BOY SCOUTS A picture of Troop 33 hangs in their meeting room. since launched a series of campaigns to reform Boy Scouts. Clayton has been involved in scouting her whole life. “I was a Girl Scout; my brother was a Boy Scout. Scouting is a family tradition,” she affirms. She has no doubt about the values of scouting programs. “For a lot of boys that grow up in an urban environment, it can be very disconcerting to not be involved with nature. The scout law is to leave it better than you found it,” she says. “I think it’s a really great organization – except for this stupid policy.” Despite her long history with scouting, Clayton had mixed feelings about involving her son in Boy Scouts. She didn’t want to involve them in an organization that discriminated against others. “It doesn’t matter that my son and I are not gay because we’re human. This is the human rights issue of our time,” she says. Ultimately her love of scouting and the accepting nature of the Takoma troop won out. “I really wrestled with it but this troop was accepting and my sense is that organizations change best from the inside out, not the outside in,” she says. Clayton has spent the past few years working to create that inside change. Attendants at this year’s pancake dinner, the troop’s annual fund raiser, found the dining hall decorated in rainbow flags and empowering signs to match its gay pride theme. The BSA, which declined to be interviewed for this article, stated in an email that “the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.” In a statement released by the organization, they said that their executive council is interested in listening to Scouting re p re s e n t a -
Harris joined in third grade “because I wanted to have the outdoor experience” and has been involved ever since. Eight years and 40 badges later Harris has conflicting feelings about the organization. “I think that it’s an awesome experience except that it’s exclusive. If it were more inclusive, it would be perfect,” says the Eagle Scout. Sophomore Dylan Goldvale was part of the troop’s effort to lobby the BSA’s national committee. “When I was in the troop, we wrote letters to the national people saying we were not going to follow their policy” he says. Goldvale was a part of Troop 33 until December, when he quit. He was frustrated by the hierarchical structure of the organization and taxed by the time commitment it required. More importantly, he felt alienated and hurt by the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy. Goldvale has long identified as bisexual, and has openly flouted the BSA’s ruling. “Even if I weren’t bi, I wouldn’t be comfortable with [the policy]” he says, objecting to it not only on a personal level but on a moral one as well. He joined boy scouts to spend time with his friends but between the time strain and the national debate, Goldvale can’t find it in himself to go to meetings anymore. He doesn’t harbor any negativity towards the Takoma troop, however. “It makes me feel good that I’m no longer in it anymore, but the Takoma Park troop is good. They try to be inclusive,” he says. Goldvale made no secret of his sexual-
ity and several members of his troop knew he was bisexual. “If it were any other troop, I wouldn’t be allowed in,” he says.
Apathy Twenty minutes away, Troop 97 is less politically active. The Four Corners-based troop has not been advocating for a change in the BSA gay policy, but is willing to accept gay and bisexual scouts but only unofficially. “There’s not a big up in arms thing in our troop,” says Schweickhardt, the troop’s senior patrol leader. He identifies as liberal and supports issues like gay marriage, but isn’t fazed by the Boy Scout’s policy. “It doesn’t affect my feeling toward the Boy Scouts as an organization. It doesn’t really make me feel ashamed or proud or anything. I’m kind of neutral about it,” he says. Schweickhardt is able to see both sides of the issue, reasoning that while acceptance is important, the policy could deter conservatives from becoming involved in the organization. “There’s the big inclusion bit, but it does have the flip side of not allowing Boy Scouts in more conservative areas and that might hurt [boys in these areas] because Boy Scouts can really help build character,” he says. Harris explains that, like Schweickhardt, Troop 33 struggled with their feelings on the Boy Scouts’ membership policy and they are currently considering how public they want to be about their rejection of it. “We’re debating openly announcing it, and I’ve been weighing it. It would be sad if we were shut down because then no one could have Boy Scouts but gays should be able to be open about it,” says Harris. The BSA has given Harris reason to worry. In January, the organization threatened to remove a Maryland group, Pack 442, over a since-removed, non-discrimination statement they posted on their website. Despite the BSA’s threat, the troop says they will continue to accept gay members. In 2003, a California troop was shut down for their non-compliance with the policy. Takoma troop leaders shared a fear of being punished by the BSA for not following the Boy Scout’s anti-gay policy and declined to be interviewed for this article. They stressed that they preferred Scout parents and involved church members to be more vocal opponents of the policy, because the parents, unlike troop leaders, could not be fired or easily dismissed.
Churches Troop 33’s refusal to follow the BSA’s anti-gay rules meant that Goldvale was
able to fully participate in the Boy Scout regimen of backpacking trips and campfires. He says he’s happy that the troop ignored what he called the BSA’s “aggressive suggestion” to reject gays. Ultimately, though, Goldvale doesn’t understand why the policy exists in the first place. “They’re openly prejudice[d] and for some reason that’s ok,” he says. “They’re prejudice[d] [expletive] who don’t know that people are people.” Clayton is at a loss as to why the ban still exists, although she has a few speculations. “I don’t know what they think. I guess people assume that gay men are raving creatures who will prey on anyone,” says Clayton. “At its heart its fear and misinformation.” She explains that more troops aren’t protesting the ban because Boy Scout troops require working with the local – often conservative – churches for spaces to host meetings and events. “Actually, we had to justify having a Boy Scout troop to our church,” she says, laughing about the hyper liberal nature of their congregation. Troop 97, like most Boy Scout troops, meets in a church but had no trouble justifying their involvement in the organization. Despite the church’s accepting nature, it still is happy to host a Boy Scout troop. “They are pro-gay but they still encourage us. They love having us in their church,” says Schweickhardt. A big factor in the Boy Scouts’ current debate over allowing gay members comes from churches. The Church of Latter Day Saints has been a vocal opponent of allowing gay members to serve in the Boy Scouts and with every Mormon Church having its own troop; they have a lot of sway. This does not daunt Troop 33 and until the BSA changes their policy, members of the troop claim they will keep trying, in true Boy Scout fashion, to leave it better then they found it.
March 14, 2013
Drag racers hit the streets with speed and the will to win By Cindy Monge Where only first names appear, names have been changed to protect the identities of the sources. Around 11p.m., fifty cars arrived at a parking lot by I-95. Heading to the tracks in Baltimore, the group gathered and decided who would race: a white Honda and a Black Nissan. The excitement in the crowd was building as bystanders placed their bets. The cars flashed their lights, signaling that they were ready to compete. When the flagman raised his hands, the engines roared and the race began. Whether they are racing professionally or street racing, competitors say they satisfy a fascination with speed. Students get involved in this sport for fun and the exciting feeling of a high-speed race, but this feeling can turn quickly into either a career or a vicious hobby.
Start up Blair graduate and kart racer Chris Wells started to learn about the world of racing from his father who raced stock cars as a teenager. Although his racing education came from his father, beginning at an early age, he says he discovered the excitement of racing on his own. “My dad never pushed me to race. I always loved it, but I never really became passionate about it until I was around 12,” he says. Wells’ passion for racing is more than just a typical hobby. “I got a taste of success and I didn’t want to stop it,” he adds. Blair alumnus and street racer Alex became interested in the transformation of cars, watching them on TV as they changed from old raggedy-looking vehicles to modern, flashy race car. “When I was in high school, I started watching TV shows where people worked on their cars,” Alex says. He adds that watching several TV shows such as “Pimp My Ride” and “Overhaulin’” influenced him to become involved in the street racing world. Later on, as he was uncovering his love for racing, his best friend introduced him to car meets, where people with a similar interest in race cars get together to discuss ideas and organize races. “I saw a bunch of cars and a bunch of people with the same interest as me,” Alex says. At the meets, he started to look into different aspects of cars. “I started to go and see how cars can be modified. You can make it look nice, like a car show,” he says. Alex adds that he learned to change engines, apply paint and accessorize cars.
Feel the thrill These two racers are involved in different kinds of racing, but both feel similarly fulfilled by the sport. When Wells races, he feels like an epic hero. “The closest thing I can describe the feeling [as] is [feeling] like superman. You feel untouchable, made of iron,” Wells says. For him, kart racing is about forgetting the world and just focusing on the exhilarating sensations. “When I race I feel like nothing in the world matters,”he says. “When you strap your helmet on it’s like an escape from everything.” Alex explains that competing raises his energy. “It’s an adrenaline that goes from your feet up to your head, and it’s an energy that goes inside of you. You just want to smash the pedal,” he admits. Some racers compare their hobby to yoga because it releases their stress. Alex adds that when he
is going through girlfriend drama or just feels upset, he works on fixing his cars to help him relax. Car racing is an expensive hobby for Alex, who owns seven cars. To him, cars represent power in a competition. He adds that he recently bought an old car, which he is turning into a show car that he will use to race. “Right now I’m building…a Honda Civic EG6 hatchback,” Alex says. “I b o u g h t it old with no m o t o r ; ground zero to make it look like a show car and street race [with it].” He COURTESY OF CHRIS WELLS says that the modifications in the engine can make the RACING (Above) Chris Wells in the scene of a car race at a faster speed. kart race. (Right) Championships and awards “I found a motor from another Honda,” he says. “It Chris Wells has won for kart racing. originally had 200 horseonce,” Wells says. “I never got so many power.” Although racers invest much of congratulations after a race. I told them I their time and large amounts of money did it for all of us. ” into their cars, the reward comes when they win competitions. On the low Wells competes in ten to fifteen races each year. “The season is usually from While some racers participate exclusiveMarch until October,” he says. Wells has ly in professional races, others race both leraced in most states on the East Coast and gally and illegally. Alex participates in illehas won 26 national championships. “My gal street races and bets money with friends success in the sport has been a four-time for fun. national champion, eight-time Mid-AtlanDepending on the location, the amount tic champion, three-time grand national of money people bet varies. “The more champion, four-time [legal] money race people show up, the better the bets get,” winner, [and] seven national wins,” Wells Alex explains, adding that people tend to says. bet the most on races with the fastest cars. Wells remarks that in his most recently “If there is an occasion where different racewon championship in New Jersey, he had cars that are super fast decide to run, there an unpleasant moment with a dishonest will be huge bets on them,” he says. racer. “He was very aggressive, but at the Alex also comments that the most he same time, disrespectful and dirty on the has bet is $3,000. He agreed to this bet to track. In our series, people don’t drive that embarrass a racer who believed he was the way. We race hard but clean,” he affirms. fastest one in the group. “Because it was a Wells adds that his opponent was illegally big race and the other guy thought he was blocking Wells’ way during both the secfaster than anyone in his crew… I wanted ond and third round. He lost his temper, to put him down,” he says. Even though going up to the racer and telling him to betting in street races can win racers subquit cheating during the race. “So after the stantial amounts of money, Alex states that race I got in his face to ask him what the legal races are more fair and cleanly done. [expletive] was his problem. Telling him “But the best races are the ones done legally the next time he does that I was going to at the track, because first of all they are legal park him,” Wells states. and the distance is exact and the time too, so Wells says that the crowd of people was we know who really won,” says Alex. happy when Wells’ opponent lost after Alex adds that street rache had made a rude comment about ing is much more the rest of the racers the night before. “So it became personal. When I came across the finish line with the win I won a grand national race, a fourth championship, and a boatload of respect all at
UB RA IN NT LA EI CC W M AH IE NN AGG A H M
COURTESY OF CHRIS WELLS
risky than professional racing on the tracks. He says that when some opponents do not agree with the outcome of the race, they will break out into fights. “On the street, they start getting jealous. It’s like in school when someone is prettier than the others; people start attacking,” he says. Many find that the consequences of this hobby can be serious. Once, police pulled Alex over for street racing. Alex was simply warned and sent home, but he wanted to keep racing so he exchanged cars with another racer to hide his identity from the police. Alex believes that “rookies” are the ones who ruin most races. He argues that new competitors try to race, but are not careful drivers. “The new people cause accidents when… they don’t know how to run on streets,” Alex states. He also comments that most of them tend to get caught by police during their first race. “When we go crazy on the Beltway, we know where to stop, but they don’t,” he says. “They kill the scene.” Police officer Rosa Lugo says that she was recently involved in an investigation of a race that occurred between University and Piney Branch Ave. She comments that she once caught two drivers who had been racing and they were penalized. “They had been racing for a quarter mile; they stopped because of a red light,” Lugo says. She adds that races in these intersections are common, especially after dark. “It’s usually at night. It can be anywhere on the highway here on 29,” Lugo says. She comments that in some cases the drivers can suffer serious charges. “You can [receive] multiple tickets: obviously the one for speed, the fines, points. They can face serious criminal charges they can go to jail for,” Lugo says. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, drag racing is not only dangerous for the car racers, but also for other drivers and pedestrians. Even though Alex is aware of the consequences street racing might bring him, he says he will race regardless. “I’ll do it just for the adrenaline I feel through my veins, You never know what could happen,” he says.
March 14, 2013
By Jenna Kanner Art By Mia Massimino
ho gets to
Students fall on different sides of the debate over choice and life
Where only first names appear, names have been changed to protect the identities of the sources. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, children swing back and forth with the help of their parents’ push. Juie boxes and graham cracker crumbs are scattered across the picnic tables and kids run by, chasing each other. Across from the park, yellow balloons line the sidewalk, full of life. Literally. On each balloon, the word “life” is written in delicate curved letters with black sharpie. A woman—face hidden by sunglasses— paces in front of an office building, clutching rosary beads, a white cross dangling from her hands. With each step, she passes the Spring Street Planned Parenthood clinic, also known as the Teen and Young Adult Health Connection or TaYa. In 2011, Planned Parenthood provided roughly 11 million health services to around 3 million people. As the nation’s largest provider of reproductive health care, Planned Parenthood’s services include LGBT counseling, HIV testing and men’s health care. The much contested and controversial abortions that Planned Parenthood provides make up three percent of all services offered. Their accessible abortion option often inspire activists locally and nationally to take to the streets and protest Planned Parenthood’s existence. Many states, such as North Carolina and Arizona, have attempted to block Planned Parenthood services but courts have overruled the bills. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) works at the national, state and local levels to advance reproductive health care and sex education. It is also the target of activists and politicians who are against both abortion and birth control. During many weekends, protesters can be found picketing in front of Planned Parenthood clinics, attempting to dissuade women from receiving abortions. Maryland proves abortion to be a convoluted topic: only 58 percent of Maryland counties have abortion clinics or providers. Blair is mixed in its opinion too, with both supporters and protesters of abortion and Planned Parenthood. Developing reproductive health care When Sally, a senior, needed birth control, she knew her parents would not endorse her decision to go on The Pill. Still, determined to protect herself from unwanted pregnancies, Sally turned to the TaYa clinic. When she got there, she was alone, nervous, sitting in a room of unfamiliar people, many of whom were with their boyfriends or families. A nurse walked into her checkup room and asked her some basic heath-survey questions, such as why she wanted birth control and how many sexual partners she had had. “They usually give you two packets [of pills] if you are there for birth control, it takes awhile to find the right [pill] so you usually come back and refill them after two months if that type of birth control works for you,” she says. Elise, sister of a Blair student, usually goes to a clinic in D.C. or Charlottesville, VA once a year to get tested for STD’s, receive a pap smear and prescriptions for any pills that she might need. These clinics are very similar to a doctor’s office. The waiting room tables are stacked with magazines, medical posters crowded with reproductive health advice fill the walls; people sit in plastic armchairs while waiting to see a provider. The way that Elise uses Planned Parenthood, simply as a typical doctor’s office, is not unusual. Every year, Planned Parenthood health centers provide more than a million pregnancy tests, half a million pap tests and 6,000 breast examinations. The goal of the organization is to make sure women and teens have access to the best healthcare possible—not just to provide abortions as may people assume, says Amanda Harrington, the Assistant Director of state legislative and policy media. “Planned Parenthood advocates broader than abortion rights. The organization also lobbies for education, access to emergency birth control and for all of women’s health care needs to be met,” she says. When Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in 1916, women did not have the right to vote, divorce, or have their own bank account. Sanger lived while the Comstock Laws made contraception illegal, resulting in many women having numerous unwanted pregnancies and dangerous births that could threaten a mother’s health and well being. In 1923, Sanger’s organization joined with the American Birth Control League to create what is now known as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) which encompasses two tiers of advocacy: lobbying groups and clinics. Harrington also explains that Planned Parenthood is committed to being a leading source of sex education for teenagers. “We run health websites which include PPFA.org, Planned Parenthood for Teens, and Planned Parenthood in Español,” she says. Many assume that the clinics only provide abortions. Elise experienced the public’s skewed view of Planned Parenthood when she told her boyfriend that she used Planned Parenthood resources. “I dated a very religious guy for a while and I told him I used Planned Parenthood as my doctor. He did not even know they were a normal doctor’s office, he thought it was just an
abortion clinic,” she recounts. “I think there are protesters because the public has no idea that Planned Parenthood is not just an abortion clinic. That is only a small part of what they do, and most doctors/ OB/GYNs will perform those or give a prescription if their client wants a pill-induced abortion, anyways,” she says. But there is one difference setting these clinics apart from a typical doctor’s office: some also have a hidden extra door so that patients can access a doctor even when protesters outside the clinics become rowdy. Protesting Planned Parenthood For forty days in 2013, people knelt outside of clinics while they clasped their hands together, clutching rosary beads as babies lay across their arms. They prayed in front of lawn chairs and signs that said, “Pray to end abortion.” Across the country, 261 groups prayed for the end of abortion in a protest known as “40 Days For Life.” But similar to the lady clutching rosary beads outside of TaYa, many protesters give up their weekends to make their points, such as junior Marisela Tobar. Tobar usually protests with a group of friends who are mostly college students. “I protest against Planned Parenthood and abortions because I believe that abortion is the killing of a life and that life should be respected at the moment of conception,” Tobar says. Her view on abortions stems from her family’s experiences with them. According to Tobar, when her mother was pregnant with her, she was told that she might have a miscarriage. When the doctors broke the news, she was in the process of deciding between having an abortion and having the baby. Eventually, she chose to keep the baby, which ended up being Tobar. “When she told me this story I thanked her for giving me my life,” she says. For 40 years since the court decision of Roe v. Wade, a pro-life march has been held in Washington D.C. on the anniversary of the court decision. Tobar has attended the march for the past three years. Since the origination of the march, the crowd has grown from 30 people to several thousand. Tobar feels that the march has been instrumental in preventing abortions. “The march that I attended the past few years has been very successful because there have been many stories of people that had planned to get an abortion and changed their mind after seeing the huge crowd protesting abortions,” Tobar says. Family Research Council (FRC), a pro-life group, also attends these protests. Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which are affiliated with FRC, provide pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, as well as clothing for infants and other services to pregnant women. Although the crisis centers do not usually protest Planned Parenthood, they do try to dissuade people from using Planned Parenthood’s services. “We try, and pray, and address people if they are willing to get support and education but do not pressure them if they do not want to talk,” says Anna Higgins, a volunteer for a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Even though Tobar is open about her views on the issue, Blair’s liberal environment sometimes inhibits her from speaking up. In classes where abortion is discussed, Tobar keeps to herself or talks to the people involved in the argument after class. “It sucks that there aren’t as many similar opinions. It’s hard. You’re always trying not to hide it. I’m for the cause but sometimes you have to back away because people tend to attack you,” says Tobar. Supporting the cause Elise has also encountered protesters during her visits to the clinics. Outside of the 16th street clinic a man once asked her, “Have you ever been pregnant? You have options!” It could have been a clash of the titans but instead Elise chose to ignore him and walked inside the clinic. “I really wanted to scream, ‘No [expletive], I have never been pregnant, thanks to this place giving me affordable pill prescriptions!’ Instead, I just ignored him and walked inside,” she says. She was furious. “Who stands outside a doctor’s office and asks extremely personal questions to women walking inside? Crazy people, that’s who. I’m sure he wouldn’t like if I stood outside a urologists office and asked if he had problems with erectile dysfunction and tried to sell him Viagra,” she says. Pro-life supporters voice their opposition to other organizations outside of Planned Parenthood. During a fundraising event held by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) Pro-Choice Maryland, protesters were holding signs and chanting outside. Even though these protests are commonplace at pro-choice events, the experience was notable for senior Adam Maisto who was volunteering at the event. “It is interesting to see how divided a state that is typically thought of as blue and progressive is,” he says. “Even out in Olney, there were still ten to 20 protesters who
came and stood outside with signs next to them.” During this past semester, Maisto interned at NARAL after becoming interested in reproductive rights when he joined the Women’s Advocacy Club. “Personally, as a white male, I feel privileged but not in a good way. It does not seem right to me that I could get money for Viagra, but birth control is not supported,” says Maisto. “Until everyone’s rights are equal, I do not feel that my rights are just.” Senior Alex Hamburger also volunteered for NARAL Pro-Choice and Planned Parenthood, working at galas, manning information booths and lobbying outside of the Senate building. Hamburger always had a passion for reproductive health issues, but her interests were similarly fueled by discussions in Women’s Advocacy club. Hamburger feels that all women should be able to make decisions about their own body. “I support pro-choice because it is a right that belongs to all women. Women should have the right to choose what to do with their bodies and, as a woman, I feel it is extremely important to ensure that women all over are educated and empowered,” she says. Recently, political polarity and stalemate have resulted in a lack of legislative decisions in laws related to abortion and reproductive rights. Maisto believes that even the little things count. “The bigger picture [of the conflict around abortion] is uplifting, and it’s chilling to see what still needs to get done,” Maisto explains. “Even if I was filling out a spreadsheet [in the office], I [still] felt that I was doing something [to help find a solution].” PPFA avoids reaching out to pro-life groups. “Instead of directly interacting with pro-life groups, we work by addressing the real health care inequities against American women, addressing contraception to reduce unintended pregnancies,” says Harrington. “One thing that is disheartening is that people that oppose abortions are people that oppose policies that would reduce abortion rates in our country.” Maisto thinks that there is a common misconception among prolife groups that pro-choice groups are “baby killers.” “No one wants abortion. Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion,” he says. Maisto sits down with his extended family, a large part of which is Catholic and pro-life. He decided to break the news of his internship. With such a subjective and emotional topic, there was no way to know exactly what the result of the news would be. When he told them, the conversation quickly got heated, but they agreed to disagree. Other options Planned Parenthood clinics often take health insurance but many serve populations of people who do not have health insurance. Instead, such services are paid for with Title X (10), a program enacted in 1970 through which the federal government funds family planning services, such as birth control pills and contraception, so that lowincome women have access to these services. Most people who use Title X services either do not qualify for Medicaid or are uninsured. However, Title X cannot be used to fund abortions. Elise and her mother began using Planned Parenthood because they do not have health insurance. “Health insurance will cover your appointment if you have it. But the reason myself and my mom and many of my friends go there is that they will treat you if you don’t have health insurance, which we do not. They even give you a discount for not having insurance,” she says. Insurance still provides cheaper health care for most people. Services provided by the clinics are discounted for the Planned Parenthood clients because they do not have insurance. To qualify as a beneficiary of Title X, clinics must provide voluntary health care regardless of income level, religion or race. The services must be confidential and accessible to people of all ages, including teenagers. Teens are encouraged to talk to their parents about services they are receiving, but are not required to. Aside from Title X services and Planned Parenthood, there are not many health care centers that provide low cost reproductive health care to low-income or uninsured people, leaving Planned Parenthood as one of few medical options. FRC does not provide abortions or contraceptives, but does provide ultrasounds and clothes for mothers and babies. Although Planned Parenthood does provide other medical services besides abortions, the clinics still face anti-abortion legislature that aims to close them down. But, Harrington feels that even if there are differing opinions on the issue of abortion and reproductive health, women should still have options. “Politicians should not interfere with women and [their] abortion rights,” she says. “Either way, there is no reason to demoralize either side,” says Maisto.
Women’s health clinics near you Planned Parenthood 1400 Spring St Silver Spring, MD 20910
Mary’s Center 3912 Georgia Ave NW Washington, DC
Columbia Health Center 7180 Columbia Gateway Drive Columbia, MD 21046
March 14, 2013
Silver Chips March 14, 2013
In the last few years, Washington D.C. has became increasingly visible in the hip hop sphere. While many immediately associate the District’s rap identity with Wale, who has become a radio staple since he signed to Maybach Music Group, the District hosts a vibrant and growing population of talented artists whose names are less likely to be heard on major radio stations.There is a large list of names worth being discussed, but here are a few notable of the DC rap scene.
Though many don’t know about him, Asheru is not a new voice in the world of hip hop. He has been turning out much-beloved music since the mid-nineties and has a dedicated following of hip hop heads. Emerging with a talented group of synergistic rappers including Talib Kwali, Asheru’s sound is robust and classic. He is laid back but presentational. His songs exhibit a wide range of tones, some built on light-hearted guitar riffs, others on simple oldschool drum tracks and loops. Asheru’s lyricism matches this contrast. In songs like “This Is Me”, Asheru keeps it light and whimsical with longtime collaborator and fellow DC rapper Blue Black. Contrastingly, in tracks like “You Don’t Have To Worry”, Asheru is serious and heartfelt in his account of a personal relationship. In both cases, he navigates the amiable warmth of some of his more jovial music as adeptly as he does with his more earnestly emotional work. Music is not the only instance of Asheru’s fierce versatility. Graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in anthropology, Asheru has worked as an arts educator as well as collaborator and composer for the award-winning show The Boondocks. He is currently the Director of Arts Integration at Ballou Senior High School, a public school in DC. In short, Asheru is a real renaissance man and a true treasure of
Even if you’ve never listened to Oddisee before, there is something soothingly familiar to his sound. Skillfully sampled jazz, soul and funk-based beats remind you of laidback Sunday radio around the District, a la WPFW. The heartfelt lyricism that Oddisee layers on top of his tracks makes you feel like you are engaged in a one-on-one conversation with the PG native. All these captivating features blend to create a sound that is distinctly DMV. But the sound is not the only thing that makes Oddisee’s music so relatable for those of us
By Peter McNally
PHOTO COURTESY OF CYPHERLEAGUE.COM
EI W N AH AN H
It is common for rappers to exist only at two stylistic poles. While some take the “models and bottles” approach to stardom, others choose to remain focused on topical issues of social importance. Ras Nebyu defies this trend in a subtle way. On his mixtape Babylon’s Most Wanted, Nabyu gives the listener a snapshot of himself. At first listen, his music resembles that of more conventional rap music. Percussive drum tracks glued together with choral synths and the occasional old school sample. But on further examination, the message of his music is more complex. While his lyrics are not as introspectively reflective as those of Oddisee, Nebyu’s verses contain messages about D.C.’s juxtaposed existence; poverty living next door to big wig politicians. Nebyu communicates this message and proudly represents D.C.’s Ethiopian community, the largest in the country. While his sound is not definitively international, his ethnicity shines through with reverberating Rastafarian references and energy. But Nebyu’s true strength derives from an adherence to his identity. His youth, authenticated in some of his earlier music videos by the braces studding his teeth, comes through his music with a swaggering attitude. This is especially present in some of his more boastful tracks. However, the young rapper’s youthfulness can come off as flippant instead of casual and his production sometimes lacks an attention to detail. Even so, his cultural heritage, a blend of Ethiopian Rasta and bornand-raised DMV native, make Ras Nebyu a unique voice worth being heard.
who call the District— and it’s surrounding area— home Though he draws on his family’s Sudanese origins, a thread of locally-rooted subject matter runs through all of Oddisee’s work and his lyrics are peppered with references and shout-outs to numerous locales, including our own MoCo. For Silver Spring natives, Oddisee’s work truly hits home in the music video for “Different Now,” shot primarily in the Tastee Diner over a plate of corned beef hash. The District of Columbia’s musical identity has been confusing these past few years. But in a city whose hip-hop can be cluttered with bounce-beats and bravado, Oddisee is a champion of the District’s soul.
Kev Brown Do any in-depth digging for hip hop artists with local flavor and you are guaranteed to come across Kev Brown’s work over and over. In the interwoven network of DMV rappers, Kev Brown seems to be the intersecting point where they all meet. A skilled producer with a masterful ear for elegant beats, Kev Brown has produced for a long list of both A-list and hometown artists. But producing is only one of the hats this virtuoso wears. In addition to producing beats for other artists, Kev Brown is a recording artist himself and heads a crew of likeminded D.C. musicians known as Low Budget Crew. In both his verses and his beats, Brown is a minimalist. Instead of the air horns, synth tracks and thudding drum loops favored by many big-name DJs, Brown sticks to simple effects and tasteful samples. Similarly, his verses utilize simple rhyme patterns and identifiable rhythm in place of fancy word play and gloating bombast. But make no mistake, Kev Brown is not boring. The back-to-basics essence of his music is razor sharp, crisp and focused. Some music is a flavorful explosive dish of numerous components, while Kev Brown’s work is the perfect grilled cheese: smooth, luxurious and satisfying. Check out tracks like Another Random Joint and Albany, which exhibit his power of thoughtful wordsmithing and a good beat. His straightforward, down-to-earth and somewhat low profile style seems to be a wall between him and the public sphere of fame, but listening to his work, you get the sense that he is ok with that. It is entirely believable that Kev Brown’s number one priority is to make good hip hop.
“Between independent, rebellious hipster souls and dubstep-loving party animals, we are pretty creative.” -Kenyetta Whitfield page 22
March 14, 2013
Urban Dictionary caricatures our local culture By Maya Habash
Oh the wonderful world of Urban Dictionary, a veritable cornucopia of streetwise lingo that helps us understand the slang term we just heard and pretended to already know. Common slang terms thrown around the hallways of Blair and around the virtual world of Urban Dictionary include “bait,” “hip” “rapping” and other lingo that help us talk to each other in a cool way. While these definitions are usually spot-on, when it comes to the DMV, Urban Dictionary users sometimes miss the target. It’s just a natural thing to take pride in your hometown, but a lot of us in the D.C. metro area often incorporate our region as part of our identity. Anyone with a Twitter has seen countless bios with phrases something along the lines of “reppin’ the DMV.” We are one interconnected group of rowdy fun, crazy, Chipotle-loving, trend-setting, educated and unique individuals who agree that this is the greatest region in America. And while we all have our #DMVproblems, annoying as they may be, the DMV family has all come to accept them because they are a part of us. Whereas a true resident of the area knows what’s up, Urban Dictionary sees us in a slightly different light. “The whole DMV listens to go-go music which originated in DC. We love Northface gear and mambo sauce in Chinese carry-outs. We rep our hood to da fullest cuz aint no other place like us anywhere in the US. Our whole swag and slang and music and clothes is different from everybody else,” says Urban Dictionary user robertnewman, aka
the source of all knowledge in the world. While most of this description isn’t too far off, to say that these attributes belong to the whole DMV is pretty out there. But it wasn’t a negative post so we’ll just take the compliment. Narrowing it down a bit, Montgomery County, or “Moco,” has its own little definitions in the Urban Dictionary world. Some of them put us in a bad light, but honestly, I can’t really deny this one: “The only place on earth where rappers rep hard for a hood consisting of million dollar homes and X5-driving soccer moms,” to quote urban dictionary user TyVAN. Zoe of Urban Dictionary nails it by describing it as the “county where the heads of the public school system suffer from a severe case of storm-phobia.” Enough said. Narrow it Down further and here is where Urban Dictionary really gets creative. Silver Spring. We all know what Silver Spring is like. In general, it’s a lot of middle class families, good neighborhoods, good schools and good people. But according to Urban Dictionary user SilverBlinger, Silver Spring is “referred to primarily as Bling Bling Silver Spring or $ilver Bling because of its abundance of wealthy suburbanites and flashy diverse urban neighborhoods.” Right, of course ! You can hardly make it down Blair Boulevard without running into kids with chains around their necks and dollar bills falling out of their pockets because they’re repping none other
than the infamous “Silver Bling.” Let’s not forget about Takoma Park: the kingdom of hipsters and hippies; an extremely liberal town where everyone knows each other, shops at thrift stores and eats organic food. It has a completely separate culture than the rest of the D. C. metro area, and is basically a different country. And unlike the terribly off description of Silver Spring, Urban Dictionary users seem to be quite informed about the essence of this suburban city. Described as the “capital of hippie-land,” and home to the “squirrel lady and that guy who walks around swinging a dead fox,” by user hotness. and a “SWEET hippy town” filled with “lots of TREES, chill spots, parks, and blaaazers young and old. A place where you can walk to all your friends houses, smoke on every street, and enjoy the environment” by user Flinz, one can see how Takoma Park is perceived by the internet world. And I think anyone who has had any type of experience with Takoma would agree that these descriptions aren’t too far off. And of course Blair itself couldn’t have survived nearly 80 years without making a few friends and attracting a few cyber bullies. Luckily, when it hits closest to home, Urban Dictionary isn’t too outrageous. Blair, with its ranking as #255 of 22,000 Public Schools in the U.S. based on U.S. News ranking criteria, is one of
the top public schools in the nation. Urban Dictionary agrees, but has a little bit more to say. “Montgomery Blair High School is a really big, way too overpopulated school in the heart of Silver Spring (MoCo) Maryland. With over 3500 students, they passed capacity the year the new building opened in 2000. You’ve also got the magnet which means you have the smartest kids in the country there but you’ve also got the stupidest,” says user ex-blaza. Well let’s start off with the blatantly obvious fact that even though yes, we are a huge school, our school does not contain almost 4,000 students, something one would expect an “ex-blaza” to know (nice try, Northwood). And I would also beg to differ that we have the stupidest students in the country. Yeah, maybe some of our test scores aren’t as high as Potomac private schools , but take a look at the rest of the country. Honestly, we’re pretty dang smart. Overall, Urban Dictionary is a useful, sometimes half-witted website for understanding terms you hear on the street and don’t know, or more importantly, for looking up your name when you’re bored. But when it comes to defining a location and understanding its culture, it can only be as reliable as Wikipedia for an important research project. You can still look at it, just don’t believe every word (or let it hurt your DMV reppin’ pride). We have our perks and we have our quirks, and collectively they make up the characteristics that define the DMV, characteristics that simply cannot be reduced to even the best dictionary definition.
Blair bathrooms made interesting with the addition of art
Students find bathroom artwork and graffiti to be an outlet for personal expression By Sabrina Bradford The typical high school bathroom littered with dirty paper towels and caked with grime would be incomplete without its graffiti. Whether profanity or a piece of modern art, this graffiti gives the school a bit of vibrant personality and inspires looks of disgust, contempt, or admiration. Most of the scribbling on the bathroom walls is far from original, often distasteful or purely random. One message reads, “I love guacamole,” and sparked a considerably lengthy discussion on the side of a toilet paper dispenser as Blazers passionately agreed with the statement. So it was a lovely surprise to find a skillfully drawn human profile with a detailed eye one day on the wall of a second floor bathroom. In the same stall, a little higher up the wall, was an equally creative drawing of a dream catcher. The detail on the feathers and the intricate weaving of the center pops out from the wall, as if to catch the broken dreams of those students trudging between classes. Unfortunately, the spirit of Drake still lives on in the lives of many Blazers, for written in the same stall is the once-popular motto, “YOLO.” This creative, inventive artwork is a refreshing change from the alltoo common (and frankly, boring) drug references often found etched on the walls. Artwork is not the only creative medium; humorous, inspiring, and understanding messages
ELLIE MUSGRAVE AND ZEKE WAPNER
GRAFFITI Blair’s girls’ and boys’ bathrooms are filled with interesting and creative graffiti doodled all over the walls and stalls, courtesy of Blair students. Shown above are drawings and writings from the second floor bathrooms.
make their way on to the walls that are quite different from “what is the best class” polls or a poll that reflects the reasons for visiting the bathroom are sure to brighten your day or at least draw a second look. One sympathetic message reads, “I know how you feel,” while another more somber one reads, “Sometimes sad people need to heal themselves.” Whatever the validity of these messages, some people take to the bathrooms in order to express their most personal thoughts and sentiments, very clearly depicted through a “Help me” written in large capital letters on the wall of a second floor bathroom stall. The bathroom wall is also a medium for entertainment. Want to start up a game of tic-tac-toe with a total stranger without ever having to meet them or use a precious sheet of paper that could go towards that English essay you have to write next period? Just draw a tic-tac-toe square on a bathroom wall and make your first move. Check back tomorrow, someone will have taken your challenge to a game and made the next move. Don’t worry, you and your opponent aren’t the only ones participating in this activity; plenty of other Blazers have been taking part in these games. The remains of completed tictac-toe games are strewn across
the walls of the bathrooms for the average Blazer to gaze upon the bitter defeats and sweet victories (and also to pick up potential strategies). One question that remains to be answered is in reference to the “Free Joey” inscriptions in bathrooms all across the school. To quote another Blazer, free him “from what?” Specificity is needed in order to help free Joey from whatever trouble plagues him. Most likely these bathroom graffiti artists are taking the time out of their classes in order to (intentionally or unintentionally) provide entertainment to the Blair student body. With the Four Corners/Woodmoor businesses in cahoots with Blair administration, it has become harder for students without a halfday schedule (and ID to prove it) to sneak out of the building and grab a bite to eat at Chipotle or enjoy a drink at Starbucks and avoid their last period class. So the oldschool method of avoiding class has come back in fashion, and with that comes an outburst of creative energy that is not manifested in the classroom due to boring assignments and mindless worksheets that students are forced to fill out. Whatever the motive for the sudden skyrocket in the number of some of the most creative bathroom artwork that Blair has seen, Blazers should be thankful for the opportunity to look upon these new messages and drawings that add color and character to the bathrooms and the school overall.
March 14, 2013
March 14, 2013
Culture, flavor and injera in Little Ethiopia By Hannah Weintraub
net Kebede, this large presence of Ethiopian shops is Many often struggle to define what a refreshing change from Downtown Silver Spring has “sprung into” the largely Ethiopian-void following the area’s redevelopment. Harbor- community in Oklahoma ing what seems to be a multiple personality where her family first imdisorder, downtown has become both a hub migrated. “It was hard for awkward middle school hangouts and a being the only black kid place where young urban professionals can in my school,” Kebede feel hip while eating at FroZenYo. Still, even explains, “but coming to with this identity crisis, the downtown area Maryland was a relief.” remains a place where residents’ cultural Kebede’s family relocated roots can flourish. to Silver Spring for her Around 100,000 people of Ethiopian father’s job and the area’s descent live in the Washington D.C. area, large Ethiopian populamaking the DMV home to one of the largest tion. Without any family ZEKE WAPNER Ethiopian populations in America, accord- in the DMV, Kebede and Food Arat Kilo sells ingredients for Ethiopian food ing to the Ethiopian Community Develop- her parents relied on the and cooks Ethiopian dishes as well ment Council. Even thousands of miles from vibrant Ethiopian commutheir East African origins, these residents nity to help them adjust can still find a taste of home thanks to the to American life. “We just had Ethiopian place,” Yimer attests. Kebede also explains numerous Ethiopian restaurants and busi- friends here. That’s the way we adapted,” that many Ethiopian businesses often provide Ethiopians with jobs at their stores. nesses throughout the city and its suburbs. says Kebede. “With friends.” The Ethiopian Yellow Pages, an unofficial Many Ethiopian shops help to foster the “People are attracted to these opportunimarker of the Ethiopian presence in the area, supportive and opportunity-rich environ- ties,” Kebede says. Even with the area’s many Ethiopian resboasts over 1,000 pages of Ethiopian busi- ment that Kebede and her family found ness listings in the region. in Silver Spring. Down the street from taurants, Arat Kilo and Addis Ababba have Historically, many of these Ethiopian busi- Addis Ababa sits the small Ethiopian cor- had no trouble attracting customers. Yimer nesses have been centered around U Street ner shop, Arat Kilo. Nestled next to Silver attributes this lack of competition to the in D.C. In recent years however, Ethiopian Spring’s retro comic book store, Arat Kilo DMV’s large Ethiopian community while restaurants and shops have begun to move has been providing Ethiopian-Americans Lakew says it is because each restaurant or out of the city to and immigrants the shop offers a unique take on Ethiopian food find residency comforting flavors of and culture. “Its almost like Burger King amongst Silver their homeland since and McDonalds. They both have burgers but Spring’s mélange the store opened in they are very different,” he explains. If this is the case, then Addis Abbaba’s of music stores, April of 2010. Jamaican food Upon first walking perspective on Ethiopian cusine can simply and Piratz. into the market, it is be described as well-made comfort food. The One such ureasy to assume that the restaurant is calm and relaxing with comfy ban transplant is small grocery is just sofas, cushioned chairs and a sun-lit dinAddis Ababba. a typical convenience ing room. Addis Ababba offers up homey Located on Fenstore with American renditions of typical Ethiopian fare, which ton Street, the products like Wrigrestaurant is disley’s gum and Coca tinguished by Cola displayed close its second level, to the store’s entrance. open air eating However, the smell space and its large of Ethiopian cooking sign displaying wafts from the kitchEthiopia’s colors en in the back, dousof red, green and yellow. ing the store in that distinctly spicy aroma. Dogmawi “Doguey” Lakew, the restau- Further from the door are shelves of dried rant’s owner, originally opened the restau- lentils, spices and legumes that are used in By Kenyetta Whitfield rant in Adam’s Morgan in order to expose many Ethiopian dishes. “Some of our ingreAmerican patrons to his Ethiopian culture dients we import directly from Ethiopia,” At 4pm on a Tuesday most adults might and cuisine. However, following Downtown the store owner’s husband Aseged Yimer ex- expect to see high school students’ noses in Silver Spring’s redevelopment, Lakew relo- plains. Arat Kilo also sells fresh meat, such textbooks with coffee handy in case they get cated his restaurant to the newly booming as goat, that may be hard to find at other big- tired. Instead, the scene resembles somearea because he saw an opportunity to widen box groceries. Next to the spices and in front thing more like a mall; dozens of kids on his market and give even more people a taste of the meat counter are bags of spongey in- their phones, Ipads and Laptops, Facebookof Ethiopian fare. “One of the reasons we jera, a sourdough-like flat bread that is eaten ing, Tumbling, and tweeting. This scene is moved was because other Ethiopian restau- with many Ethiopian dishes, proof that this Generation Y— the most plugged in, crerants opened in the D.C. area and the Ethio- is truly an Ethiopian establishment. ative and socially active generation to date. pian culture was very rich there. We wanted Like many immigrants before them, tranIn his book The Dumbest Generation, auto go to another area where we could intro- sitioning to American life was a challenge for thor Mark Bauerlein explains that Generaduce our culture,” says Lakew, “We thought, Yimer and his wife. Remembering this hard tion Y , (anyone under the age of 30) isn’t ‘why not start the movement?’” move, Arat Kilo helps Ethiopian-Americans to be trusted. We are, according to BauerAddis Ababa’s move out of the city has honor their roots but also acts as a spring- lein, self- obsessed and lazy. While Bauercertainly caught on amongst other business- board for recent immigrants to find oppor- lein may be partially right, Generation Y es. Within a small radius, there are at least tunities in America. Immigrants often use has many amazing and practical qualities four or five other Ethiopian establishments. the store’s bulletin boards as platforms to such as our ability to adapt to technology, For Ethiopian Club president, senior Beem- look for jobs or places to live. “It’s a meeting and rally together for causes we believe (Remember Kony 2012?) Our constantly moving hands are almost as fast as our constant social lives. Between status updates and tweets, we young adults of the present are able to go from informing ourselves on what Obama said in his State of the Union to what Snooki named her baby. There is nothing more admirable than versatility and a plethora of knowledge. Bauerlein isn’t the only one filing complaints over our generation’s obsession with being social. A boat load of other bloggers and writers have probed and picked for reasons that we, as a generation, are the way we are. Even they wouldn’t be able to resist stalking the cute kid in their math class via Facebook pictures. Sure many teens may not be able to name even one Supreme Court justice but they can name how many followers they have on Tumblr, Facebook and ZEKE WAPNER Twitter combined. The gap between social knowledge and knowledge of things like SHOP Arat Kilo gives Downtown Silver Spring residents a taste of Ethioforeign policy is evident and of course has pian cuisine and culture. got to be closed. Yet with all these new op-
Addis Abbaba’s perspective on Ethiopian cusine can simply be described as well-made comfort food.
is no surprise; all of the dishes come from Lakew’s mother’s trove of recipes. “Everything’s original,” says Lakew, “including the highly secret recipes.” Addis Abbaba’s menu of thick meat stews and buttery sautéed vegetables are served atop flat ingera. Their yellow curried lentils, chicken and eggs sautéed in a thick tomato sauce and tender lamb stew all create a rich bite that makes any diner feel at home. On a Monday afternoon, Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian diners sat in the sun-drenched dining room at Addis Ababba. The loud din of conversation and laughter rose over the smooth jazz playing in the background. Lakew’s goal of bringing Ethiopian culture to Silver Spring is nearly accomplished, he says.
portunities technological and social no one can blame us for not wanting to name all the countries in the Middle East. We as a generation are not just extremely social, we are also able to obtain information quicker than many people over 40 due to our infinite wisdom with the World Wide Web and anything above 3G. With a few clicks of a button or swipes of a finger, those of us in our finer years can find what we want when we want it. There are, of course downfalls such as, lack of patience and an inability to pay attention to things for more than a couple of seconds but that doesn’t outweigh our ability to gain and recite information faster than a contestant on Jeopardy. Generation Y is a pillar of culture as well as information. Between independent rebellious hipster souls and dupstep loving party animals, we are pretty creative. Our love of the humanities is endearing. The point is that those under 30 may have bad sides but they are great in different, more unconventional ways. Walking the halls of Blair one could hear students talking about the many AP’s they are trying to rack up on just in an attempt to get looked at by colleges. The days of taking a few hard classes and excelling have been replaced by doing average or poorly in many hard classes. So it’s understandable that every now and then some of us would rather watch copious amounts of Breaking Bad rather than doing our homework. Plugging in may be the downfall of a generation to some but for most of us it’s been liberating. No matter what the medium, Generation Y is one of those unforgettable generations that seems so unlike the others. From our extremely social lives to our sometimes unhealthy attention spans, we are a source of enlightenment and entertainment. Cut us some slack and don’t forget the next generation can only get worse.
March 14, 2013
24 Chips Clips BACK AND FORTH by Devin Rutan and Michael Morganstein
Winter in Washington
March 14, 2013
Across 1. Baking acronym 4. 10th on Greek “row” 9. Rose 14. RG___ 15. “America’s Finest News Source” 16. Wrestle _____ 17. Consumed 18. Incompetent 19. Bond employment 20. Fast paced palindrome 22. Web address 24. Basketball location 25. Fire pile 26. “Holy Mackerel!” 29. “Girls rule, Boys ____” 32. Panda activity 34. Arrested Development Director Spiro 37. Tree fruit 39. Observant palindrome 40. Ammonium, weakly 42. Rapids palindrome 44. Wooden pins 45. Bladed palindrome 47. Sank on the green 49. Fish’s bane 50. Glitz companion 52. Philadelphia ice bird 54. Black gold
26. Raven Hall of Famer Jonathan 27. Coming-_____ 28. American Golfer Pat 30. Hardwood 31. Large, colorful fish 33. Opposite of pan 34. Slow, musically 35. Unwelcome ingredient in meat, abr. 36. Pulse, for example 38. Handball target 41. End of free Down 43. It has all the answers 1. Toddlers’ clothing article 46. Deodorant applicators 2. Indian instrument 48. Wrecking ball objective 3. Pie Slice 51. Nemo’s brothers and sis4. Pond Fish ters 5. ____ Karenina 53. DNA messenger 6. Boardwalk extension 56. John Quincy and Sam 7. Southern soda 58. Town in central New York 8. Fidgety 59. Camera setting 9. American Idol contestant 60. Lets loose 10. Hourly pay 61. Cancer part? 11. The loneliest number 62. Decays 12. Cousin or Uncle 63. Opposite of ins 13. Indulge in 64. Mom’s partner 21. An inning of Curling 65. Green creeper 23. Irritate 66. Even finish 25. March Madness, for example 68. MN mega shopping center
55. Brick of bread 57. Put out 61. Toboggan 62. Spinning palindrome 64. Shape shifting Pokemon 67. Love, For Jaques 69. Rocks? 70. Like an eagle 71. Slogan 72. Pool ball? 73. Hair colourists 74. Smart 75. Beast of burden
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Water Water Everywhere...
March 14, 2012
La Esquina Latina
Silver Chips 14 de marzo de 2013
Muere el Presidente Venezolano Hugo Chávez y crece el caos Por Janett Encinas El comandante Presidente Hugo Chávez Frías falleció, poniéndole un fin a los 14 años de un turbulento gobierno socialista. Chavez murió a sus 58 años de edad a consecuencia de un “infarto fulminante” en medio de su ardua batalla de casi dos años contra el cáncer. En la tarde del 5 de marzo del 2013 a las 4:25 el vicepresidente Nicolás Maduro anunció la muerte del mandatario a toda la nación venezolana y países extranjeros como a Estados Unidos. El falleció en un hospital militar del oeste de la capital ve-nezolana donde estuvo internado por casi dos semanas luego de retornar de Cuba. Él había permanecido en La habana por 70 días tras ser operado el 11 de diciembre, por cuarta vez desde que fue diagnosticado con dicho cáncer. Ya desde hace dos semanas existían rumores de que la salud del presidente no era tan buena como el gobierno venezolano querían que todos creyeran. Mientras tanto durante el proceso postoperatorio Chávez sufrió una in-
fección respiratoria. Como parte del tratamiento de esta insuficiencia, el gobernante estuvo respirando por varias semanas a través de una “cánula traqueal” que le dificultó el habla. Pero a inicios de la semana del 4 de marzo la salud de Chávez empeoró a causa de la sevéra infección. El fallecimiento del manda-
tario introduce al polarizado país sudamericano en una nueva etapa de incertidumbre, en medio de la constante lucha por el poder entre las fuerzas chavistas y la oposición. Mientras tanto el vice-presidente Maduro
es el presidente encargado. Los venezolanos tienen su destino en sus manos ya que podán elegir a su próximo presidente en los siguientes 30 días , en el cual Maduro también se postulara para dicha posición. Un hombre que murió amando a su patria. Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías fue un militar y político venezolano, presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Él tomó mando de esta nación desde el 2 de febrero de 1990 hasta su muerte el 5 de marzo del 2013. Chávez impulsó el referéndum constituyente, formando así una nueva manera de gobernar en toda Latinoamérica. Este está basado el Socialismo del siglo XXI. Fue considerado un dictador ya que ejerció de una manera nueva de gobernar conocida como el chavismo. El chavismo es un sentimiento, una profunda identificación con un estilo y forma de liderazgo único que el presidente Chávez tenía. Aunque en principio se alimenta del personalismo, trasciende a una forma de concebir la política que va más allá de este liderazgo y tiende a poseer cuerpo y doctrina propia.
Y tú, ¿Qué piensas? ¿ Qué opinas de la reforma migratoria?
“Es una buena idea. Hay gente que trabaja fuerte para sobrevivir y no es justo que cuando la familia crezca, se separe.” -Jessica Hernandez (décimo grado)
Más difícil que escalar una montaña cuesta arriba Aún con algunos obstáculos, el paseo al teatro Gala fue un hecho By Cindy Monge Llenando permisos y contratos requeridos por las escuelas del condado de Montgomery. Haciendo llamadas, y pidiendo más de una donación especial para poder hacer el paseo más económico para sus estudiantes de las clases de español de niveles avanzados. Así fue como pasó más de cinco meses la señora González, antes de que cualquier excursión pudiera llevarse a cabo.
¡Qué problema! Salir de excursión no solamente se trata de saber quiénes van y adónde van, implica mucho más que eso. Las escuelas del condado de Montgomery (MCPS), piden requisitos para permitir cualquier excursión. “La oficina de finanzas de la escuela nos entrega una carpeta con todos los documentos legales que el condado necesita,” dice la Señora González quien también comenta que ha estado trabajando en este paseo desde el mes de septiembre. El condado requiere que se le especifiquen las razones por la cual la excursión beneficiaría a los estudiantes. “Exponer la cultura hispana, promover la literature hispanoaméricana y mejorar las destrezas del lenguaje” son algunos de los objetivos que se cumplirían con esta actividad. Aparte de llenar el papeleo se tiene que crear una serie de documentos como la carta para los padres, el permiso, hojas de contabilidad, organizar el medio de transporte, y llamadas al teatro Gala. La Señora González comenta que el día que se había seleccionado para ir ya el teatro estaba totalmente comprometido. “El día que había elegido no estaba disponible,” dice ella “Yo quería ir el primero de marzo, pero ya los boletos estaban vendidos.” Como si fuera poco, con el fin de lograr la excursión la Señora González tuvo que someter una petición a de beca a Target para hacer el paseo más módico para sus estudiantes. “Desde septiembre enlisté la ayuda de la señora Sands, madre de una ex-estudiante para que me ayudara a escribir la solicitud de una beca de las tiendas Target,” explica, y añade, “Target nos otorgó una beca de $700 dólares”.
Esto hizo posible la accesibilidad del paseo y redujo el costo original de $22 dólares a $12.00 para mis estudiantes. Una vez casi todos el dinero estuvo disponible, le llovió sobre mojado porque el Teatro Gala no tenía mas matinés, un programa que reserva días especiales de función en el teatro exclusivamente para los estudiantes. La administración del teatro le advirtió que ellos solamente podrían realizar una función si se garantizaba la asistencia de por lo menos cien estudiantes a la obra, “La Casa de los Espíritus”. Su tres grupos de Español Avanzado solo llegaban a 74 estudiantes. A la señora González se le ocurrió la idea de invitar a la señora Coombs, maestra de las clases de de Español Para Hispanohablantesnivel 3 y de Literatura de Español Avanzada. Ella comenta que sus clases por total no llegaba a este numero que el teatro requería. Así fue que la señora González como toda una heroína, llevó acabo una misión casi imposible. Se logró que la excursión fuera posible el día jueves, 28 de septiembre.
La experiencia Este viaje fue hecho con el propósito de disfrutar de una obra teatral en español basada en la novela “La Casa de los Espíritus”. A través de la obra los estudiantes podrían profundizar de la vida cotidiana y las costumbres familiares en Latinoamérica de mediados y finales del siglo XX así como aspectos políticos de Chile basados en hechos reales. La obra demuestra a los estudiantes norteamericanos una perspectiva de los
conflictos sociales y políticos que afectan las vidas de los ciudadanos chilenos. Según los estudiantes la experiencia en el teatro fue una exhibición más profunda de la sociedad latinoamericana. Giovanni Corti, un estudiante de la clase de Espanol de Languaje Avanzada, dice que su experiencia fue agradable y también comenta que le gustaron muchos aspectos de la obra. “Mi experiencia fue positiva,” dice Corti. Además él añade que la enseñanza del trasfondo histórico y cultural de la obra le expuso la perspectiva de el pueblo chileno en aquellos tiempos. “Aprendí mucho sobre la historia [política y social] de Chile, y también aprendiísobre la costumbre en las familias latinoamericanas,” expresa Giovanni. Delia Trimble estudiante del unceavo grado, quien esta en la clase de Español de Lenguaje Avanzado, comenta que ella aprendió mucho sobre el papel que jugaban las mujeres durante esa época en Latinoamérica. “se dirigió mucho al tratamiento de las mujeres. Cómo los hombres trataban a las mujeres y a la historia de Chile,” dice Trimble. Para Delia, la obra fue una experiencia única ya que el idioma español es su segunda lengua, “Me gustó mucho, fue una experiencia genial el experimentar... una obra en un idioma y con una cultura diferente.” Delia añade que la obra trataba un contenido fuerte, la forma en la cual los actores interpretan sus papeles de una forma sutil y reservada para la ocasión. “ Me sorprendió que una obra tan emocional con temas tan relevantes, estuviera relacionada con la clase de español,” comenta Delia. Aparte de eso, ella dice que disfrutó de la actuación de los actores de Gala. “los actores eran muy buenos,” Dice Trimble. “Clara, era muy emocional y no sientes como si ella hubiera estado actuando, se sentía como si estuviera en contacto con el papel que estaba interpretando.” TATYANA GUBIN
“Es importante porque ayudaría a los inmigrantes.”
-Selvin Argueta (doceavo grado)
“Con tanta gente que no tiene oportunidad de trabajar, la reforma inmigratoria les daría al fin la oportunidad de proveer comida a la familia.”
-Edgar Campos (doceavo grado)
El programa “InDesign” utilizado para realizar el periódico de la escuela, está diseñado para la lengua Inglesa. Con tal propósito, Silver Chips ofrece disculpas por cualquier error gramatical que tengan las páginas de La Esquina Latina después de haber sido intensamente editadas. Gracias.
14 marzo de 2013
La Esquina Latina 27
Una larga propuesta hacia la reforma migratoria
La lucha continua con el proposito de lograr cambios en las leyes
COURTESY OF LIBERTYTAXESESPANOL.COM
Por Claudia Quinonez y Marisela Tobar Según el presidente re-electo, Barack Obama, este es el año en que una reforma migratoria será pasada, la cual beneficiaria a los casi once millones de ciudadanos indocumentados que viven en Estados Unidos. Durante el discurso de su segunda inauguración presidencial él dijo que “América, no es América, si no recibimos a los inmigrantes”. A la misma vez, los estudiantes Soñadores y sus familias indocumentadas celebraban y le dejaban saber que “ no somos uno. No somos cien, somos millones. Cuéntanos bien.” Muchas organizaciones pro inmigrantes también aseguran que “este es el año de la reforma migratoria”
El camino a la reforma migratoria comienza El pasado 15 de Junio del 2012 el presidente declaró la orden ejecutiva de la Acción Diferida. Esta política ayuda a que los jóvenes indocumentados que llegaron al país cuando eran infantes tengan la oportunidad de poder prevenir su deportación por 2 años y conseguir un permiso de trabajo. La orden ejecutiva tomó por sorpresa a los cientos de estudiantes indocumentados que por muchos años habían esperado por alguna noticia como esta. Muchos, como Juan, un alumno de Blair graduado en el 2009, siguen sintiendo la alegría y la euforia que sintieron el día en que se enterarón. Están conscientes que un permiso de trabajo les da la oportunidad de tener un futuro exitoso a estos jóvenes soñadores. Juan, que ha vivido en este país por once años, y que concluyó sus últimos años de escuela en Blair; dejó de darle importancia a sus estudios porque veía que no habían oportunidades para él, “No sentía entusiasmo de luchar porque sentía que no podía alcanzar mis metas y me ocupaba más en trabajar en vez de mis estudios”. Así como Juan, muchos estudiantes vieron que las puertas estaban cerradas y dejarón de luchar para recibir una educación después de la secundaria. Después de un proceso que aproximadamente duró tres meses, Juan al fin recibió su permiso de trabajo. Juan dice “Me siento contento porque hay un esperanza de recuperar el tiempo que he perdido” Luego de recibir su permiso de trabajo Juan va a aprovechar las oportunidades que le permite adquirir la Acción Diferida. Entre estas oportunidades, Juan está en el proceso de una licencia de manejo que le servirá como una identificación legal de este país.
Montgomery College y la acción diferida Aunque muchos no lo saben, la acción diferida no es un documento válido para ir a la universidad y pagar la cuota que el condado ofrece a sus residentes. Al inicio de las inscripciones del semestre de invierno muchos jóvenes se vieron sorprendidos al notar que su cuotas
del condado habían cambiado a cuotas de fuera del estado durante la noche. Por la misma razón, alrededor de 10 estudiantes crearon el comité de estudiantes de Montgomery College que en menos de tres días consiguió que Montgomery College cambiara su política sobre las cuotas de su institución. Ricardo Campos, un estudiante que se graduó de la escuela secundaria de Wheaton y uno de los principales emprendedores dice” Montgomery College siempre ha sido una escuela pro inmigrantes, tal vez una de las pocas en la nación. Debido a la otorgación del Acta de Sueño de Maryland y la acción diferida, las pólizas de la escuela cambiaron de la noche a la mañana. Esta acción sorprendió a muchos estudiantes. Lo peor es que puede afectar a estudiantes de otras escuelas a través de la nación. Lo única forma que encontramos para arreglar el problema fue buscar una solución pasiva y beneficiosa para ambas partes. Tuvimos una marcha pequeña en el campus principal. Aunque fuimos unos cuantos estudiantes, nuestra demostración fui exitosa. Nos reunimos con los altos ejecutivos del colegio que nos otorgaron lo que estábamos buscando. Karina Lopez, Una estudiante que se graduó de Montgomery Blair y fue partici-
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pante de la acción dijo, “Me siento feliz de haber recuperado lo que habíamos perdido. Fue una lucha muy difícil. Montgomery College siempre nos ha apoyado en la lucha y estaba muy triste al saber que nos estaba dando la espalda. Ahora más que nunca, tenemos que dar gracias porque nos han dado una nueva oportunidad. “ A causa de la acción tomada por estos estudiantes, Juan, también ha retomado sus estudios en Montgomery College porque ha visto que ahora paga la cuota que cualquier otro estudiante del condado paga, “Fue un cambio drástico que sentí. Fue como un respiro, porque ya puedo descansar de esa preocupación que antes sentía”. Al igual que muchos estudiantes que anteriormente no habían asistido a la Uni-
versidad por los precios elevados y que ahora tienen la oportunidad de hacerlo, Juan dice: “Tengo más motivación de alcanzar mis metas trabajando fuerte para poder recuperar el tiempo perdido y poder cumplir mi ‘sueño americano”. Aunque la Acción Diferida significa un alivio para muchos jóvenes, aún existen personas que siguen en las sombras como los padres y madres que no son beneficiados y tienen el riesgo de ser deportados, al mismo tiempo son negados de muchos beneficios que ofrece el sistema.
Modificación de la ley de castigo El 4 de -marzo del 2013 se puso en efecto las nuevas modificaciones de “la ley de castigo”. Estas modificaciones fueron anunciadas por la secretaria Janet Napolitano estableciendo que esta sería la regla final que reduciría el tiempo de separación de ciudadanos estadounidenses y sus familiares. La nueva regla sigue aún la antigua póliza que determina que los ciudadanos americanos pueden solicitar la residencia permanente de sus familiares inmediatos. Por ejemplo, cónyuges, hijos/as menores de 21 años que estén solteros, al igual que los padres de los ciudadanos americanos. La antigua ley de castigo, establecía que las personas que solicitaban la residencia permanente necesitaban salir del país entre 3 a 10 años dependiendo del tiempo que dicha persona estuvo viviendo indocumentada en el país. En este periodo de tiempo, la agencia de Inmigración revisaba el caso y determinaba si la persona sería perdonada o no. Este proceso dejaba a muchos en una incertidumbre, además de separar a las familias. La nueva histórica ley de castigo, facilita el proceso del perdón y la solicitud de la residencia. Muchas personas que están afectadas por esta ley ya no tendrán que tramitar su solicitud fuera del país, sino que procesarán sus documentos desde aquí. Aun tendrán que salir del país pero solo por el lapso de algunas semanas o meses. Además, esta nueva ley ayudará a personas que salgan de su país natal, con un seguridad que podrán regresar a los Estados Unidos legalmente. La disminución del tiempo afuera del COURTESY OF KEEPINGFAMILIESTOGETHER.ORG país beneficiará a muchas familias porque estarán menos tiempo separados. Esta nueva modificación de la ley castigo es un paso grande para el cambio de las leyes de inmigración de los Estados Unidos.
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Campañas por una reforma migratoria El pasado mes de diciembre, la campaña Keep Families Toogether( Manteniendo las Familias Unidas) con su evento de Un deseo llevó, por los días festivos más de diez mil cartas escritas por niños con padres indocumentados, que temen la separación familiar. Estos escribieron estas cartas y las llevaron a los distintos senadores que pueden hacer la diferencia entre la separación de familias y la oportunidad de mantener las familias juntas.
Marcha del diez de Abril
El día diez de abril, una marcha está siendo preparada en la área metropolitana. Casa de Maryland y otras organizaciones hermanas están organizando la marcha por la reforma migratoria que tomará lugar en el capitolio a las 3:00 de la tarde. Alexandra, una joven que está trabajando con la campaña dice que “El motivo por el cual estamos haciendo esta marcha es para pedirle al congreso y al presidente Obama que pasen una reforma migratoria compresiva. La acción diferida no es suficiente porque no cubre a los padres y madres de los jóvenes que han sido beneficiados, si el gobierno quiere hacer las cosas, que las haga bien.” En las redes sociales, como Facebook o Instagram las fotos que se están tomando con la invitación a la marcha se están convirtiendo virales.
Mirando hacia el Fututro Muchas personas emigran a los Estado Unidos buscando una mejor vida o escapando de las injusticias. En los últimos meses el tema de la inmigración y los jóvenes soñadores se han estado conociendo y escuch ando en los medios de comunicación. Hasta el momento ya hay muchas nuevas leyes y políticas que están ayudando a estas personas. Es muy posible que una reforma migratoria sea pasada.
March 14, 2013
March 14, 2013
Is it just me, or does having a devil strutting around the football field like he owns the place seem a little sketchy to anyone?
-Our mascot’s going down in a Blaze of Glory
Managing the action from the sidelines
Members of sports management club don’t want to play games, they want to run them By Alanna Natanson They have eight frantic minutes. Fluorescent lights beat down as they stand on the sidelines. Buzzers are going off like crazy, the crowd is leaning in, chanting, shouting, cheering. Adrenaline kicks in. And they’re ready. They step onto the court. The Sports Management Club members pick the ginger in the middle bleacher for the half-time contest. To them, it’s the most tense part of the game. The Sports Management Club doesn’t pitch, toss or kick, but its members are on their guard every minute of the game, watching, waiting, planning, acting. With 41 sports teams, the Sports Management Club is on a mission to give 3,000 Blazers a little more school spirit.
Game plan Wednesday afternoon, in the room lined with “Dangers of Smoking” posters, Boulé leans back on the front table, making eye contact with each one of the club members. Cue the inspirational music. “You guys are problem-solvers,” Boulé says simply. She glances at sophomore Liza Curcio, pulling the strings of her Blair Basketball sweatshirt. Senior Jean Paul Faye, splayed out behind a corner desk, watches quietly. “You’re managers,” says Boulé. “That’s what you do.” Nguyen quietly cheers. The games send the members on wild chases, disappearing through one door, reappearing through another. They’re racing through the swelling crowd to announce the players’ names, to sell tickets, to grab microphones, grab ice, grab anything. They set up halftime shows that could compete with Beyoncé or the Teddy mascot. The funniest halftime promotion, smiles Curcio, is Dress, Dribble and Drain, in which two audience members race each other to dribble to the free throw line, throw on a basketball uniform, and then make a shot. It all has to happen in the eightminute halftime. “So you have to be moving quick,” she says, snapping her fingers double time.
There’s no “I” in “BSMC” The club recreates those glorious eight minutes from the last game. “The Dress, Dribble, Drain was phenomenal,” says Stern. Boulé nods in agreement, adding that everyone coordinated perfectly. Nguyen cheers quietly again. The stress, says Nguyen, glues the group together. “We each have different interests,” she says, “but we bring our skills together.” Boulé does have a suggestion for the next contest. “You make some
little guy’s day when you let him join,” says Boulé. “So you should have a big guy and a little guy, and then have the big guy lose.” Everyone laughs. Boulé never says no to the students’ ideas for promotions or entertainment. “If we fail, we’ll let it fail,” she says, “so we can get better.” After all, this is only the first year of the club. “We’ll see bigger results in subsequent years,” Boulé adds. Boulé also hopes that the thirteen members in this year’s club will bring in more members for next year. “Kids will pick up the culture,” she explains. At the end of the meeting, Boulé asks who’s coming to the next game. There’s an enthusiastic chorus of “I’ll be there.”
Building Blazer nation In Stern’s dreams, the Blair games are larger and livelier than the Wizards’ are. “There’d be a crowd every night to hope for the hometown team,” he laughs. Currently, says Faye, crowds are sometimes sparse. “At the wrestling matches” he sighs, “there are probably like 20 or less people.” The Sports Management Club is trying to change that, Boulé explains. “We’re making Blair athletics more a part of the overall school experience,” she says. The promotions, like Honor Roll night or buying a lollipop for the chance to get in free, allow the community to participate in the games, adds Curcio. “We help the community unify around the team,” she says. Sports Management also tries to attract the larger Silver Spring area with community group promotions. The cutest special guest group, recalls Curcio, was a girl’s youth basketball team. “They had so much fun watching their community high school,” Boulé adds, smiling. It’s hard to tell, Boulé notes, if the promotions and other activities
DISCUSSING THE FUTURE Above, Athletic Director Rita Boule discusses the next steps in fundraising for the Blair Sports Management club with senior Elan Stern. Below, Stern and fellow members senior Christian Maduro and sophomore Sammy Wichansky review weekend game plans that were prepared at the previous week’s meeting. directly influence attendance at the games. “Where we’ve seen increased attendance has also been where teams have been successful,” Boulé explains. But if the managing team can increase attendance, it may affect the athletic team’s performance, says Boulé. When there are more people in the stands, “the players are excited,” she explains. “They
want to play well in front of the crowd.” With enough dressing, dribbling, draining, with enough lollipops, with enough long nights dashing around for microphones and volunteers and with enough bemoaning losses and celebrating successes the Sports Management Club—the Sports Management Team—could win gold.
EMMA BERGMAN AND SARAH WILSON, PHOTOS COURTESY OF SILVERLOGUE
By mid-October, Rita Boulé, Blair’s second-year athletic director and the former Sports Business teacher at Kennedy, knew she wanted a club to promote the school athletics. “The club would market and manage the school athletics. Basically, they would create a fun atmosphere,” she says. So she picked the starting lineup. There was senior Elan Stern, the self-professed sports addict who also loves business. “So sports management,” he grins, “it’s my passion.” And Junior Diem Nguyen, who thinks she might pursue business after graduation. “Now is the time to try new things,” she shrugs. None reported that they had managed a team before and only a few had been on a Blair sports team. Stern had never been to a Blair game. And they didn’t know each other at all. “I barely knew half these people,” laughs Stern.
But they stepped up to bat.
ALL-AMERICAN BLAZERS In the past 37 years, Blair has seen five All-American athletes in a variety of sports, from soccer to basketball to swimming. This year, senior Jack Foster became Blair’s most recent All-American athlete, after he met the automatic qualifying time in the 200 meter Individual Medley.
March 14, 2013
March 14, 2013
Our mascot’s going down in a Blaze of Glory It may be a Blair tradition, but the Blazer needs to disappear from our turf
By Isaac Jiffar Blazer. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a coloured jacket worn by schoolchildren or sports players as part of a uniform.” Wikipedia claims it’s “a type of jacket resembling a suit coat cut more casually, typically with metal buttons.” But at Montgomery Blair it’s “an ambiguous horned creature who makes appearances at Blair football games and may or may not smoke pot.” Hey, at least they’ve got the alliteration down. In all seriousness, though, what is a blazer? Is the name meant to suggest that Blair students are trailblazers, boldly venturing where no other high school students dare to go (a plausible claim if you’ve seen the state of our bathrooms)? Did the administration that came up with it have a curious affinity for men’s formal wear? Devils? All worthwhile questions. And as a certain tootsie pop-licking spokes-owl once said, the world may never know. There have been cries again recently for the Washington Redskins to change their name and mascot, because apparently in today’s politically correct society, using a racial slur as the name of a sports team is frowned upon. But why isn’t anyone talking about changing the Blazer? As one student remarks, people outside of Blair don’t even know what it is. If we’re going to have a mascot that bewilders other schools, it might as well be something fun and fantastic that we can all get behind. That is why I propose we become the Blair Hippogriffs. Think about it. How cool would it be to have a hippogriff running around our stadium during football games, striking fear into the hearts of the Northwood Gladiators? Not to mention the huge business opportunity this offers. Harry Potter enthusiasts would stand in line to take pictures with him and buy hippogriff
T-shirts. Maybe the school could even make enough money to do something about the bathrooms alluded to earlier. It’s a win-win situation. Besides, is it just me, or does having a devil strutting around the football field like he owns the place seem a little sketchy to anyone? Whatever
Waclawski says. “He put up posters saying Keggy would be at our next football game.” After a while, the public grew antsy. Once people started asking where Keggy was, the Jack-O-Lantern decided to give the people what they came to see,
putting together a costume, and sneaking Keggy into the football stadium. “They snuck him in as a drum with the marching band,” Waclawski says. And thus, a legend was born. The irony of it all is Keggy was created because Dartmouth was lacking a mascot after it got rid of happened to sepathe Dartmouth Indiration of church and an, the lesser known state? I would like to enjoy my little brother to the hot dog without having religious Washington Redskin figures shoved in my face thank (how come we never you very much. see a sports team called the “Baltimore When Dartmouth College White Guys” or something like that?) needed a mascot, students Unfortunately, the administration refuses took matters into their own to recognize Keggy, so he’s not the official hands, and created Keggy mascot. But as Dartmouth freshman and the Keg, (yes, he is a giBlair alumna Kathryn Waychoff points ant beer keg) ranked the EVA SHEN out, Keggy has become a part of Dartnumber one most unique masmouth’s culture and there’s no denying cot by Yahoo Sports in August 2012. Kenny Waclawski, former editor-in-chief of that the students’ allegiance lies with him. the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern, the humor “All of us are just really fond of Keggy,” magazine that created Keggy, tells the story Waychoff gushes. “At this point, I can’t see of how Keggy was inadvertently started by any mascot for us but Keggy.” Waclawski even contests that Keggy may a member of the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern in 2003. “He just sort of thought up a prank,” contribute to the success of Dartmouth sports
teams. At one point, Keggy was banned from football games for a five-year stretch, and lacking their guiding light, the football team consistently underperformed. But when Keggy returned, Waclawski notes, the reinvigorated team surged to new heights. Perhaps if Blair had a better mascot—cough, hippogriff—our football team would have more success. I think our 2-8 varsity record this year and 0-10 record last year should tell us something needs to change and as anyone who follows sports closely knows, any attempts to improve our team through such ill-conceived strategies as “practice” are pointless until we address the more serious issue of the mascot. Now Dartmouth’s got the right idea. After all, what could be more inspiring to a bunch of college students than a keg of beer? We need to find what inspires us. And if a flying, mythical pseudo-horseeagle-creature can’t do the trick, then dang it, I don’t know what will.
BLAZING THE WAY The reactions of Blair students to the “Blazer” were mixed. One student said of the Blazer, “I think it’s kind of cute,” while another described it as “ kind of satanic.” Some people liked the mascot, but for the wrong reasons. One person remarked “blaze is life” while smoking an imaginary joint, explaining how well the name suits Blair’s “culture.” (To be fair, I am endorsing a beer keg, so I can’t really criticize him too harshly here.) Others just find it strange or not well defined. We need a mascot we can all get behind. One who will strike fear into the hearts of our enemies and make us swell with pride. One who will get us on a Yahoo sports ranking and make our DCC friends say “man, I wish I went to Blair.” We need a hippogriff.
When training doesn’t end with the season closer Committed Blair athletes maintain intense training regimen year round
By Paris Parker-Loan When the bell rings at 2:10, junior Hugo Cantu’s school day is far from over. Cantu, a second-year varsity football player, spends three hours every weekday working out with his teammates. Like Cantu, many of Blair’s student athletes dedicate time after school to training for their sports. Though the regular football season does not start until fall, Cantu says he and his teammates use the entire year to prepare themselves to play. “After the season, some players come straight back to weights, some take a week or two off, some take a month off. In the third marking period we do weights and running, and in spring we try to do a sport to stay in shape,” says Cantu, who plans to run outdoor track this year. “Working out this early shows other people what you have to give.” Cantu’s daily workout starts right after school, as he and the rest of the football team do warm-up runs before moving to the weight room, where they perform fifteen sets of workouts on different machines. “Monday, Wednesday and Friday are for upper body, Tuesday and Thursday are for lower body,” says Cantu. Every day includes an hour-and-a-halflong session of timed sprints across the gym, which are important because Cantu, a receiver, is expected to be one of the quickest players on the field. “Receivers only have about ten or eleven seconds to sprint down and back,” he says. After sprinting, Cantu and the rest of the varsity squad run through offensive plays with the junior varsity team. “It’s about being a family,” says Cantu. Despite the intensity of his off-season workout regimen, Cantu says that he values the outcomes of dedicating time to football. “I think you become a better person,” says
Cantu. “To tough it out, it takes a special group of people and coaches to do that.” Like the football team, the girls’ varsity indoor track team has been working long hours in preparation for the upcoming track and field season. “Over the summer it was weights three days a week,” says junior hurdler Arnelle Kodjo. “We came in the morning to do functional strength stuff and we also did summer track meets. Now, it’s six days a week running and weights only one day a week. We’re here from 3:00 to 5:30. We go hard every day.” “No days off,” confirms junior sprinter Yamiley Nelson. Despite these commitments, the girls find time to keep up with their schoolwork and social lives. “You learn to balance things like that,” says Kodjo. “You have to prioritize yourself.” Part of prioritizing, they say, comes from knowing that their work in the weight room will help their team on the track. “It’s about bettering yourself, together,” says senior sprinter Martina Atabong. “We don’t compete against each other, it’s a collective effort.” While they share workout routines, the track girls have different reasons for going the extra mile. “I do it to give Blair a name,” says Kodjo. “To make track known here,” says senior sprinter Emily Vo, who is one of two members of Blair’s ‘550 Club’ for females whose combined squat, bench and dead lift weights surpass 550 lbs. “To have fun,” says junior distance runner Morgana D’Ottavi. “To get better,” says junior sprinter Deborah Olawuni. “To be the best,” says Nelson. The girls’ work in the weight room paid off at the state competitions on February 18,
at which Olawuni placed fourth in the 55 nity to play football at a college level, but meter sprint, junior Kafilat Oladiran placed for now he mainly values the lessons he has third in the 55 meter hurdles and the 4x200 learned from football. “[Working out] remeter relay team of Olawuni, Oladiran, ally teaches you responsibility,” says Cantu. freshman Susanna Maisto and junior Gw- “If you can keep that responsibility up in ladys Fotso placed fifth by a difference of college then you’ll be better off in life, and 3/1000ths of a second from the Walt Whitman team’s fourth place time of 1:47.56. The girls say they owe their success to their assistant coach, Mike Lockard, who creates their workouts and joins them in the weight room every Saturday morning. “Without a coach, we wouldn’t be a winning team,” says Olawuni. However, some athletes say that their intense workouts mean more than just a win. In April, eight of the indoor track runLEILA BARTHOLET ners will compete in the Penn Relays LIFTING A HEAVY LOAD Sophomore Marcus Forrester lifts at the University in the weight room to get ready for football. of Pennsylvania. After graduation, Olawuni says she plans on running for that’s ultimately the goal.” a Division I college. “I went to Brown this While most Blazers are eager to get out summer for a clinic after they contacted me. of school when the bell rings, Blair’s athletes I talked to a top sprinting coach there,” she come before the bell and stay after hours to says. put in the work that makes them successful Cantu adds he would take the opportu- on and off the field.
March 14, 2013
Blazers fall to Kennedy in second round of playoffs Strong basketball season for boys’ basketball comes to a close By Jack Estrin KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL, Feb. 28– A year ago, the Blair boys’ basketball team capped off a disappointing 7-15 regular season with a first round loss in the playoffs. This year, the Blazers (15-9) advanced to the second round before falling to a good Kennedy team (17-8) 74-67. The Blazers incredible turnaround from last season left many wondering what is in store for next year. But one thing is clear: mediocrity will no longer cut it for the Blair basketball team. The Cavaliers and Blazers had played twice previously this year with each one winning on the road. Knowing that Blair had already won a game at Kennedy earlier in the season, Blair students made sure that they went out to support their team. Although it was a home game for Kennedy, both Blazer and Cavalier fans made the trek out to Kennedy to support their team. The stadium was packed and almost no seats were left unfilled. In the opening six minutes of play, the Blazers stormed out to a 12-2 lead. The opening run was fueled by a three from leading scorer Danny Canary as well as a couple highlight reel worthy plays from flashy senior point guard Trey Wainwright. However, towards the end of the quarter, Kennedy finally awakened. Up 12-2 with 2:30 left in the quarter, Blair had a great chance to put away Kennedy early. However, the Cavaliers began to gain some momentum back after senior sharpshooter Alex Brown hit a tough fade away jumper to bring Kennedy to within 12-7.
the game out when they went up 56-47 on Blair early in the fourth after converting several floaters inside. However Raymond Burtnick completed and and one layup to bring the Blazers to 60-54 with 3:27 left in the game. After Burtnick made another putback, the Kennedy lead had evaporated to just three. But after more floaters inside, and Kennedy center Lawrence Feldman’s put back, Kennedy had broke the game open and it was 69-61 with less than two minutes to play. Despite the disappointing final score, the Blazers are optimistic about the future, “Coach said we got the program rolling,” Kung said. “We set the EMMA HOWELLS bar.” Burtnick also reflected BASKETBALL Left, senior Trey Wainwright looks for a on the Blazers successful year, pass. Right, senior Justin Kung reaches for the ball in “We definitely did better than people thought. We got better EMMA HOWELLS a crowd of Cavalier defenders as the season went on,” he said. Canary stayed hot for Blair to open the the Cavaliers getting hot at the right time, “The bar” is now another winsecond quarter, hitting his first two shots to “We have to give credit where credit is due,” ning season, and a further run in the state being the Blair lead to 21-17. But the Kenne- Kung said. “They were hot today.” After tournament will be expected of next years dy shooters began to heat up. The Cavaliers Brown’s three tied the game initially, the Blair team. ability to get three point field goals up early game went back and forth, and it was tied Despite the disappointing final score and and often proved to be effective against the up 33-33 at the half. end of the season, the Blazers are optimisBlair defense, “They took quick shots, kept After back to back jumpers by Murray, tic about the future, “Coach said we got the us off the ball,” Blair junior Raymond Burt- Kennedy took 46-39 lead, their largest of the program rolling,” Kung said. “We set the nick said. Kennedy shooting guard Alex game. But the Blazers would not go away bar.” Burtnick also reflected on the Blazers Brown responded to a Canary jumper by quietly and Wainwright, who finished with successful year, “We definitely did better drilling one of his three threes on the day. a team high 14 points, hit a spinning layup than people thought. We got better as the However it was another Brown three that in traffic to cut the Blazer deficit to three. season wpent on,” he said. “The bar” is now brought Kennedy to its first tie of the game But the Blazers went into the fourth quarter another winning season and a further run at 27-27. Blair senior guard Justin Kung at- trailing 50-43. in the state tournament will be expected of tributed the Kennedy three point display to The Cavaliers appeared to have closed next years Blair team.
Years of effort pay off: the gratification of recruitment By Josh Schmidt When senior Cherrah Barclay began playing soccer at age five, she knew that she liked the sport, but she didn’t realize the depth of her passion for it until years later when many of her peers quit the rec leagues and school teams as the commitment became too great. On the other hand, senior Jack Foster knew he loved swimming the moment he took a dip in the pool at age seven. Junior Delia Trimble “knew right away” that soccer was the sport for her even when she first stepped onto the field at the age of six. Barclay, Foster and Trimble have dedicated the majority of their lives to their respective sports and the dedication has finally paid off with their college recruitment.
recruitment was a big factor in making the decision. “Academics [have] always been really important so I knew I wanted a good and prestigious school,” Foster explains. In searching for and comparing schools, Barclay also consid-
First contact Foster, who has been on the Blair Swim and Dive team for his four years at Blair and has set numerous records during his tenure, had his first communication with colleges in the spring of his junior year. The letters he was receiving from colleges ranged from those he was very interested in to those he had no desire to attend. But instead of waiting for colleges to come to him, Foster reached out to numerous schools he was interested in, including Dartmouth, Princetown, Georgetown, University of Virginia and Columbia, where he has committed to for next year. Considering both the athletic and academic sides of his college
COURTESY OF DELIA TRIMBLE
ered both the college’s quality of academic and its athletic prowess. “Soccer will only take me so far, but my education will last so much longer,” Barclay says. Barclay currently has a list consisting of St. Leo University, Earlham College, and Delaware State University. Trimble initially began contacting different schools at the beginning of junior year. Taking notice of Temple University in Philadelphia, Trimble reached out to the school this past winter when she sensed that the school would meet both her needs on and off the field. “Academically it had to be pretty good, and it had to have things I
was interested in, like psychology,” Trimble said. Temple then sent some faculty to attend her games in order to scout her skills. Other factors in Barclay’s decision included the support of coaches, volunteer work opportunities and the connection the school had
nearly 80 year history, Foster finds time to swim outside school competitions. Foster is a member of the Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club which is considered one of the top swimming clubs in the country. In addition to being named an All-American for this past season, Foster also received national recognition after qualifying for his first junior national meet in the spring of sophomore year and has done soevery year since. Barclay has also had her fair share of success. She has been on the girls’ varsity soccer team for all four years of her high school career and was a captain this past seaCOURTESY OF STUART FOSTER son when she was also named to the second BLAIR CAREER Left, junior Delia team All-State. Trimble has been on the girls’ varsity Playing with Barsoccer for two years and senior Jack clay for the past two Foster, right, has been a force for Blair years, Trimble has Swim and Dive for all four years. been on the girls’ varsity soccer team since with the surrounding community. her sophomore year. Captaining His love of New York City pushed the team next year, Trimble hopes Foster towards Columbia just as to continue to dominate as a prithe diversity of Philadelphia and mary goal scorer for the team. her personal connections, she was born there, to the city drew TrimFuture success ble to Temple. When these athletes were considering colleges, it was Having committed to college, far from a simple decision based these Blazers must now turn their solely on athletics. focus to the future and create new goals to build on their high school successes. Foster, though, is unsure High school careers of what to expect beyond chlorine Between breaking numerous pools and facing new records to Maryland records including the break for a new school. “I don’t Individual Medley at the recent really have expectations,” he says. State meet and becoming Blair’s “It’ll be challenging but it will be fifth All-American in the school’s fun to push myself.”
insideSPORTS No rest for the weary See page 31
Athletes across a multitude of Blair sports work hard year round after most go home.
New Blair Mascot? See page 31 Columnist Isaac Jiffar examines the ever perplexing question of the Blair mascot.
Published on Mar 13, 2013