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Montgomery Blair High School SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND

A public forum for student expression since 1937

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ZEKE WAPNER

Turtle God D3 November 12, 2014

Winner of the 2014 National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker

VOL 77 NO 2

Football playoffs-bound for first time Team advances for first post season appearance in history By Jesse Broad-Cavanagh and Alex Frandsen For all of Blair’s 80 years of existence, the football team and the playoffs have not had a good relationship. In fact, it was nonexistent. But all that changed on Friday night, when Blair (8-2) destroyed Whitman (4-6) by a score of 41-0 to clinch the team’s first ever playoff berth. On the first drive of the game, the Vikings halted the Blazers at the 30-yard line. But those defensive stops were far and few between for the rest of the game. On

the next drive, senior Yonis Blanco ran for an 11 yard touchdown, and on the very first play of Whitman’s next drive, Blair forced a safety to take a 10-0 lead. Only minutes later, senior Malik Brooks punched it in from nine yards out, giving the Blazers a commanding 17 point lead at the end of the first quarter. By the time the first half came to a close, the game was all but over. In a near replication of the first quarter, the Blair offense put up 17 more points, thanks to a field goal and a pair of touchdown runs from Brooks and senior Ray Parks. A 10 yard touchdown pass from sopho-

more Desmond Colby to senior Daymon Anderson put the Blazers up 41-0, and a running clock was officially instated. The bruising Blair rushing attack, led by the three-headed backfield of Brooks, Blanco and junior J’Den Seals amassed more than 259 yards, compared to Whitman’s 91. The stifling defense held the Viking passing

CELEBRATION Blazers jump for joy after shutting out the Vikings.

see FOOTBALL page F3

Funds requested to alleviate overcrowding By Wesley Hopkins MCPS Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr requested an additional $220.8 million on Oct. 28 for MCPS’ capital budget to combat overpopulation in schools. The request included $100,000 for a study on the Downcounty Consortium (DCC) schools to evaluate how to prevent the overpopulation of Blair, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, and Northwood. The request was submitted after MCPS received $214 million less than Starr requested for the program last year. The significant lack of funding resulted in the delay of

expansion projects needed to accommodate rising student populations. Such a request is not typical in years between budget decisions, but Starr considered this to be especially urgent. “We need some special consideration because our needs are unique,” Starr said in an interview with the Gazette. “There is no district that is growing as quickly as ours... that has the capacity issue that we do.” A sharp increase in student enrollment has become a trend over the past few years. According to Starr’s letter, countywide enrollment has increased by over 12,000

students since the 2010 school year. At this rate, MCPS projects that there will be over 3200 students at Blair in 2020, 292 students over the official carrying capacity. According to Michael Durso, the chairman of the Board of Education’s fiscal committee, the increase in enrollment is not unprecedented, but it is still alarming, and has been attributed to numerous factors, including an increase in students coming from outside the country. “Certainly immigration is and has been a factor. We’ve become much more diverse than

see OVERFLOW page A4

Fall at Great Falls

MARIS MEDINA

MCPS DIVISION OF LONG-RANGE PLANNING

REPODUCED BY PERMISSION OF DAN GROSS

Harassment in the hallways Blazers experience unwanted advances

By Emily Daly Girls clad in leggings and fleeces along with boys in sweats and t-shirts crunch on leaves as they jog to the track and begin their warmup before practice. Indoor track captain Rachel Ederer, at that point a junior, calls her team together into a circle so they can begin to stretch. As she moves into the center and bends down to touch her toes, she notices movement behind her. She shifts to her left, and the movement happens again. “I would see freshmen kids and sophomore guys changing their position in the circle to sit behind me and stare at my butt,” she says. The boys didn’t seem to realize this was inappropriate. She remembers saying, “I can see you; I’m looking at your face; you need to stop.” This did not seem to work, and Ederer knew she had to focus on leading the team’s practice. “Eventually I just gave up,” she recalls. “I was so mad that day.” When asked their favorite thing about Blair, many students are quick to respond that they like the diversity and openness towards letting students be who they are. What most girls won’t mention

NEWS A2

are the times when they are uncomfortable to walk around their own school because they are afraid of being sexually harassed. Junior Hunter Jones reveals that she often sees sexual harassment at Blair. “I will be in the hallway and just see guys yelling at girls, like saying really inappropriate things,” she says. Junior Cady Pearson adds that this behavior makes her feel uneasy. “It’s uncomfortable and unnecessary,” she adds. Sexual harassment in school is defined by Wellesley College’s Violence Against Women Prevention Center as “unwanted and unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with the right to receive an equal educational opportunity.” According to a Boston University study of urban high school students, 87 percent of girls and 79 percent of boys reported experiencing peer sexual harassment in the past school year. A common problem A simple survey of students on Blair Boulevard will find that almost every girl can think of an

see HARASSMENT page C1

PHUONG VO

NATURE ESCAPE Located 15 miles from the nation’s capital, this national park offers a convenient escape with scenic views, picnic areas, and serene trails.

PARCC testing replaces HSAs this spring By Teague Sauter The Maryland Board of Education approved a plan proposing that Algebra I and English 10 students taking the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test this spring will not be required to pass the test to graduate. According to the state Board of Education, these

students will neither have to pass a High School Assessment (HSA) nor the PARCC assessment, but they will have to pass the courses to graduate. Students who have already taken either the Algebra HSA or the English HSA and failed will have a chance to retake the HSA this spring, according to Blair English and Math department heads

Vickie Adamson and Celita Davis. After this year’s testing, students who still have not passed will be given a ‘bridge project’ in order to receive credit for the HSA and graduate, according to Davis. The PARCC assessment was implemented to promote better understanding and development of

see PARCC page A3

insidechips

KYRA SEIGER

Banned chemicals

Shoe Game

Treasure Island

Sports Roundup

MCPS plans on limiting certain additives in cafeteria foods.

Blazers express themselves through their lavish footwear choices.

Blair players shine in this year’s fall play.

Blazers close out another fall season.

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OP/ED B1

PHUONG VO

FEATURES C1

C3

ENTERTAINMENT D1

KYRA SEIGER

D1

CHIPS CLIPS D6

BY PERMISSION OF TUNG PHAM

F2

LA ESQUINA LATINA E1

SPORTS F1


A2 News

November 12, 2014

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BLISS initiates three new tutoring programs Students strive to support Blazers through peer-to-peer education

words to log into tutors.mbhs.edu, BLISS’ online tutoring website. The Blair Leaders Intern for Student page, created by junior Anthony Success (BLISS), Blair’s student- Li, is divided into individual chat run tutoring organization, initi- rooms for each core subject (Engated several new programs includ- lish, social studies, math, science, ing online tutoring, mentoring and foreign languages). BLISS for new students and community tutors will sign up to host a chat member volunteers working with room at different times to answer English for Speakers of Other Lan- Blazers’ questions about various guages (ESOL) students both one- classes. BLISS plans to officially on-one and in classroom settings. launch the program within the next This school year, BLISS’ main few months, according to BLISS goal is to reach students online, student head Elia Tzoukermann. according to Blair assistant prinThe Buddies program is the cipal and BLISS teacher sponsor second new initiative. BLISS tuDirk Cauley. “This year’s big ini- tors will be paired with undertiative has been to...help the stu- classmen to introduce the new dents not only in the classroom but students to the extracurricular outside the classroom,” he said. activities available at Blair. “InTo achieve this goal, BLISS cre- coming freshmen can get involved ated a virtual platform to enable with clubs and be a part of differstudents to access academic help ent activities that they might not outside of school hours. Students know about,” Tzoukermann said. will use their school IDs and passBLISS plans to initiate the Buddies program with ESOL In its first year students and BLISS had then expand it to the rest of the Blair population, with a student goal of 2030 student tutors. participants. “Right now Today, BLISS has over we’re focusing on ESOL because it’s easy to get a list of freshman ESOL . students,” TzoukerAMANDA WESSEL mann said.

By Eleanor Harris

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Senior Annaleigh Baremore, BLISS co-president, and Tzoukermann have a personal connection to ESOL. “We tutored in ESOL, and we know the department really well,” Tzoukermann said. “Working with these students, we realized that [helping ESOL students] was a really important thing that should [continue] happening.” Cindy Spoon, academic reading teacher, is working with BLISS to implement the program. “We have written up a list of [ESOL] students [to participate in the program],” she said. “We’ve decided to target...the higher level students so they will have enough language to participate in the activities.” Spoon hopes that the program will start early second quarter. Members of BOLT (Blair’s Outstanding Leaders for Tomorrow), a teacher-student mentoring program, are helping BLISS to organize the Buddies program. “That program already has some parameters [for mentors],” said Spoon. “[The BLISS tutors] are going to get some training on... how to mentor another student.” BLISS also initiated a program in which community members and former educators tutor ESOL students and volunteer in ESOL classrooms. “We have a couple of…retirees or ex-teachers [who] come in to help students who need extra support in classes,” Baremore said. Baremore and Tzoukermann reached out to multilingual neighbors and family friends who agreed participate in the tutoring program. The adult tutors meet with students during lunch or after school, or help in the ESOL class-

rooms. According to Tzoukermann, the mentoring relationship is a symbiotic one: the students receive academic help while the adults are able to give back to the comm u n i t y. PHUONG VO Senior GREAT MINDS Senior BLISS tutor Isaiah Silvers asBraeden Rose, a sists an underclassman at math academic support. B L I S S student tutor, is looking forward honors classes to interact with stuto the new measures. “I think the dents whom they might not othnew initiatives will help in ex- erwise work with. “We felt like if panding the [BLISS] program,” we put the kids together that the he said. Cauley agreed and em- CAP and magnet students and phasized that the program is honors students that never really completely student-run. “These got the chance to interact with stustudents are dynamic, and they’re dents that were out of those spedoing things that have taken cialized programs...would have BLISS to another level,” he said. an opportunity to learn from [the BLISS began three years ago other students], which would ultito bridge the educational gap mately create a better child - and and provide upperclassmen stu- a better citizen,” he said. Cauley dents with an opportunity to sup- was inspired to begin the BLISS port other Blazers. “Students that program after learning about a were finishing their requirements similar one at Walter Johnson. quickly and doing very well in The program has grown from school were able to support stu- five students in its first year to dents who were having trouble 80 tutors this year. “The more in classes,” Cauley said. Cauley that teachers find out about also views the program as a way BLISS, the more they want for students in magnet, CAP, and our tutors,” Baremore said.

MCPS provides busing services for select private schools

Officials say program could decrease congestion on the road By Winnie Luo MCPS began piloting a busing program which includes transportation of private school students using public school buses this school year. According to MCPS Director of Transportation Todd Watkins, the new program is in response to a county initiative, and it may be expanded in the future if it is found to reduce traffic. Participating private school students will ride public school buses when the buses are not serving public school students. County officials disclosed the four participating schools, which are all religionaffiliated: St. Francis International School and the Torah School of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, and St. Jude Regional Catholic School and Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville. Although the pilot program is costing Montgomery County $400,000 to $600,000 in county funds, MCPS is reimbursed by the county and by the private schools. “It’s a costneutral operation. We don’t make any money on the deal, but we don’t lose any...we get back exactly what it costs us,” Watkins said. Currently, students from these schools have not been interacting with MCPS students during their respective commutes. MCPS utilizes a window of 30 to 40 minutes between middle and elementary school bus runs when the buses are normally

idle to service private school students, according to Watkins. There is a possibility that public and private school students will ride the same buses as more models are explored. According to

are favorable for the participating private schools, whose locations suffer from nearby traffic problems that prove problematic during commutes, according to Principal Tobias Harkleroad of

Watkins, private school students could potentially ride with MCPS students to a public school to simplify morning transportation. “If you have a school that has a really big attendance area... a couple kids could ride each of the buses, and then we could take that group of 40 kids...shuttle them from the MCPS school over to private schools,” Watkins said. The goals of the program

St. Francis International School. Harkleroad said that the program excites many St. Francis families. “It has a lot of potential to help ease congestion on area roads and make lives a little easier,” he said. Brian Kittleson, principal of Spencerville Adventist Academy in Silver Spring, has not yet been approached by MCPS to take part in the program. However, he expressed interest in participating because many Spencerville Ad-

half the [1,137] buses,” he said. In terms of decreasing congestion, Watkins is skeptical of the overall effect busing private students will have. “I’m not sure it’s going to solve the larger traffic problem in the county,” he said. Even if it does not ease congestion, any amount of cars that are taken off the road is beneficial, according to Watkins. “I figure any time you take 40 or 50 kids that would have been going on a car and put them on a bus, that’s got to reduce the number of cars,” he said. Watkins added that replacing cars with buses has the advantage of producing less total emissions, and thus benefiting the environment. For private school students, riding a public bus provided a different experience. Aliza Goldschlag, an eighth grader at Melvin J. Bermin Hebrew Academy, likes the change. “A lot more people can go on [the buses] now, and parents don’t have to drive their kids to school,” she said. Goldschlag is in support of the expansion of the program. “In DALIAH BARG my neighborhood, no one used to walk around after school, but...now it’s different, because you see all these kids school. The project’s stage at this point everywhere,” she said. Goldschlag is limited, with 12 MCPS buses used to ride a door to door bus proserving the four religious schools vided by her school, but the public which have agreed to participate. school bus has eight stops includWatkins says that two other schools ing one at the top of her street. The have been approached by MCPS as social activity of walking home well, but their inclusion is not con- with other kids is a side effect, firmed. If the program is expanded one not considered by the county, to a larger scale, Watkins does not but one that Goldschlag approves see it getting very large. “I don’t of. “I think it would be cool if a ever anticipate it being more than lot more schools did it,” she said. ventist Academy families would benefit. “Many of my families need help with transportation,” Kittleson said. He said he believes that it could also relieve congestion on MD Route 198 next to the


News A3

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November 12, 2014

SMOB starts campaign for full voting rights The Board of Education is showing strong support for the movement By Daliah Barg The Montgomery County branch of the Maryland Student Councils (MCR-SGA) is working with the county legislators to pass a bill through the Maryland General Assembly that would allow the Montgomery County Student Member of the Board (SMOB) full voting rights on the MCPS Board of Education. The bill, MC 7 – 15, was recently drafted and is sponsored by Delegate Anne Kaiser, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. According to the official two-year platform, MCR-SGA’s position is for the SMOB to have the same voting rights as the other members of the Board. Currently, the SMOB cannot vote on matters in the school board that pertain to MCPS capital budgets, operating budgets, collective bargaining, school boundaries, school openings and closings and negative personnel, according to Richie Yarrow, the President of MCR-SGA and a senior at Richard Montgomery. The law, if enacted, will allow the SMOB to vote on all matters in the Board except negative personnel, or the removal of personnel from jobs at Montgomery County schools, according to Prim Phoolsombat, a Blair sophomore and the Legislative Affairs Director at MCR-SGA. The law would take effect on July 1, 2015, the start of the SMOB term for the 2015-2016 year, according to the draft of the bill. MCR-SGA is working with the current SMOB, Dahlia Huh, and her SMOB advisory council to pass this bill in the Maryland General Assembly, according to David Edimo, Chief of Staff at MCR-SGA and a sophomore at Richard Montgomery. “We’re working closely with our current SMOB, Dahlia Huh, to develop and push our message,” Edimo said. Huh will continue to work with these students when the legislative session begins in January. “Many students will be testifying about how the bill will affect

them so that our legislators know the importance of this issue,” Huh said. The Board adopts a legislative platform for each year’s Maryland General Assembly session, according to Yarrow, and Huh is working to make sure that the bill is a part of the Board’s platform. “MCR works closely with Dahlia in planning for voting rights advocacy,” he said. MCR-SGA is also working directly with the Board, according to Michael Durso, a Board member. When a similar SMOB voting rights bill was introduced in the legislature two years ago, the bill had strong backing from the Board, according to Yarrow. The bill was passed by the House of Delegates but never came up for a vote in the Maryland Senate, and therefore technically failed. The bill continues to have strong support from the Board, according to Judith Docca, a member of the Board. “We have all supported full rights for our SMOB and others,” she said. As a result, MCR-SGA is focusing strongly on lobbying to legislators to get support for the bill, according to Yarrow. “MCR has met several times in the past with state legislators, such as Senator Jamie Raskin and Delegate Anne Kaiser, to discuss issues in legislative process for SMOB voting rights,” he said. MCR-SGA had also reached out to community groups, including the Blair PTSA, to build support in Montgomery County for the bill, according to Yarrow. For the bill to be enacted, it must be passed in both houses of the Maryland General Assembly, the Senate and the House of Delegates, and then be signed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, according to Durso. Before reaching the Maryland General Assembly, however, the bill must first be passed by the Montgomery County Senate delegation, the Montgomery County House delegation, the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee

and the House Ways and Means Committee, according to Yarrow. The SMOB brings a unique student perspective to the Board, according to Edimo. “The Student Member provides critical input and a viewpoint that the other members of the Board are unable to

SMOB has been equally knowledgeable and prepared when issues come up. As a representative of 154,000 students, a student voice is crucial,” he said. The bill has a good chance of being passed this time around, according to Yarrow, and there is

REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF DAHLIA HUH

SMOB Dahlia Huh is the MCPS Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) for this year. The MCR-SGA is currently working toward passing a bill that would give Huh the power to cast her vote on almost every issue brought before the Board of Education. provide,” he said. MCPS students would be more accurately represented in the Board’s decisions if the bill were to be approved. “To truly be a representative of the students the SMOB needs to be able to vote on all issues,” Huh said. The SMOB is adequately prepared to vote on all matters decided by the Board, according to Durso. “The

continuous support in the state Senate as well as in the House of Delegates. “Ten out of Montgomery County’s 24 state delegates requested the current voting rights bill,” he said. The issue involves support from the entire Montgomery County delegation, which is never simple to achieve, according to Durso.

Students taking the PARCC test this year will not need to pass to graduate from PARCC page A1

the Common Core curriculum and to replace the contemporary English and Algebra HSAs, but will not be a graduation requirement until the 2016-17 school year under the plan. According to Montgomery County Director of Mathematics Curriculum and Instruction Edward Nolan, the state does not have plans to replace the current biology and government HSAs. The literacy assessment does include science and social studies readings, but they do not require specific biology and government knowledge, according to Montgomery County English Curriculum Supervisor Jim Fliakas. According to the PARCC organization, the test is to be taken entirely online and requires the school to have a one-to-one student to computer ratio for the largest grade being tested. According to a report from the Maryland Department of Education published in the Washington Post in January, necessary computer purchases could be upwards of $10 million. However, Nolan said that the county believes that they already have the resources necessary to implement testing. The PARCC test is expected to take four to six hours to complete,

Gonzaga student dies in car accident

Dominik Pettey, a senior at Gonzaga College High School in Northwest D.C., was killed in a two car crash on the Capital Beltway near Rockville around 2 am on Nov. 1. Andrew May’s 2009 Honda Accord pulled over on the shoulder due to car troubles when a 2013 Jeep hit the left rear side where Pettey was sitting. Patrick Johannessen, another Gonzaga senior in the car, suffered severe head trauma and will require surgery but is expected to survive. The three other occupants sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Margaret Baisley, the 24-year-old driver of the Jeep, was also taken to the hospital for her injuries. Maryland State police say Baisley may have been under the influence of alcohol but no charges have been announced yet and the investigation is ongoing.

400 Prince George’s students banned from class

PARCC test to replace English and Algebra HSAs according to Nolan. According to Blair Testing Coordinator William Currence, there is not yet a defined schedule for when the testing will take place. Nolan does not believe missed class time will be a problem. “We integrate assessment time into the consideration of the implementation of curriculum,” he said. PARCC testing is made up of two separate tests, Performance Based Assessments in March and End of Year Assessments in May. According to Fliakas, Performance Based Assessments include a written response such as an argument, an analysis or a narrative, while End of the Year Assessments are multiple choice and can be scored by machine. Performance Based Assessments are made up of five sessions, three for English language arts/reading and two for math. The End of Year Assessments will be made up of four sessions, two for each subject. Of the 46 states that have begun implementation of the Common Core Curriculum, only 12 have adopted the PARCC test as their form of assessment thus far. Maryland was one of the first states to adopt the common core standards for English and math through a unanimous vote from the Maryland State Board of Ed-

Newsbriefs

12 states have implemented PARCC so far

ANDREA BROWN

ucation in June of 2010. Almost five years later, the state is implementing testing to assess public schools’ progress in carrying out the curriculum. The county is still determining how they will use the scores. “We will certainly do all we can to analyze the results, but we don’t know exactly what form those results will take, so it’s hard to know whether we’ll be able to use the results diagnostically or not,” Fliakas said. He also said that the county needs to use this year’s results in a process called “standard

setting”, which determines which scores are passing and which are failing. According to the PARCC Assessment Administration Guidance form, the math section will ultimately test students in Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. Although, says Currence, this year the test will most likely only be given to Algebra I students. According to Fliakas, the test will only be administered to students in English 10, but the PARCC goal is to offer it to students in ninth to eleventh grades.

After missing a required vaccine deadline, the parents of 400 Prince George’s County public school students were notified that their children will be barred from attending school starting Nov. 4. This school year, Maryland public schools require proof that students entering kindergarten have received the chicken pox vaccine and students starting seventh grade have received the Tdap and Meningococcal vaccinations. Students were supposed to have the vaccinations by the 20th day after the start of school but the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene gave them an extension. To qualify for the extension, school districts had to have at least 250 students without vaccinations. Prince George’s was one of eight school districts to receive 45 additional days because more than 3,000 students were not in compliance. This was the largest discrepancy of any county in the state. The county began its outreach before school started and has set up free clinics on weeknights and weekends.

Marijuana legalized in D.C., Oregon, and Alaska

Voters in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. passed the legalization of marijuana on Nov. 4. The laws in Oregon and Alaska resemble legislation passed by Colorado and Washington State and allow recreational sale and taxation of marijuana. Washington D.C.’s proposal allows for a person over 21 years old to carry up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants in their house. It does not allow people to sell marijuana but allows the transfer of up to one ounce. Members of the D.C. council have said they will quickly sign the measure into law. Due to Washington D.C.’s unique status as a district, Congress has the opportunity to overrule any D.C. law and some local lawmakers have said they would like to attempt to overrule this vote. Currently twenty three states have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, but forty six have not legalized recreational use.

Newsbriefs compiled by Luisa McGarvey Edited by William Zhu


A4 News Newsbriefs Project announced to reshape Wheaton The Montgomery County Council will partner with developers StongebridgeCarras of Bethesda and the Bozzuto Group of Greenbelt to construct a town square in the center of Wheaton near the intersection of Georgia Avenue and University Boulevard. The county will pay $199 million for this renovation, which will include an underground parking garage, an office building, a town plaza and retail space. Construction will begin in 2016 and will be completed by 2018. The county plans to relocate some organizations and departments to the new office building in Wheaton. Unlike deals the Council has previously considered to rebuild Wheaton, which failed when the developer and the Council could not come to terms on a deal, the county, not the developers, will own almost all of the new structures and buildings. This includes the town plaza, the parking garage, the office building, and the retail space.

New emergency alert system in Montgomery County Montgomery County implemented a new system of alerting residents about emergencies starting Oct. 15. Alter Montgomery, the old system, was 10 years old when the county decided to debut the new system. The old emergency alert system informed residents via phone, email and texts about school closings, traffic and weather emergencies and other emergencies pertaining to the area. The new system introduces a mobile app that phone users can download to receive alerts. Additional changes to the system include automatic weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The county can also send alerts within certain areas. After the implementation of the change, each user was required to re-register for the system. The company that worked with Montgomery County to create the new alert system notified users of the change. Residents of Montgomery County can sign up for the new alert system through the county’s website.

MCPS forms plan in case of emergency Ebola outbreak MCPS health staff developed a response plan this October in the event of an Ebola outbreak within the school system. The county emphasized the importance of asking about the travel history of students with apparent symptoms of Ebola. Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, vomiting, muscle or stomach pains, headaches and fevers higher than 100.4 degrees. Health staff will ask parents about a student’s travel history if they exhibit a high fever in addition to another symptom. If the student or someone in close contact with the student has traveled to a West African country with an Ebola outbreak, health staff would isolate the student in the best location in the building as determined by the school’s administration. Then, the county’s Disease Control and Epidemiology program would assess the situation and determine if the student should be taken to a hospital. County health officials believe that an Ebola outbreak in the area is extremely unlikely. Newsbriefs compiled by Daliah Barg

silverchips

November 12, 2014

Starr requests increased budget for DCC study

Superintendent seeks money to address overpopulation from OVERFLOW page A1 we were even 10 or 15 years ago,” Durso said. However, Durso believes the increased enrollment is mostly just due to being one of the top school systems in the state. “Really people are just drawn to our county. Our schools are good to folks,” he said. If the additional funding is approved, extensive construction will take place, mostly to enlarge already existing schools. This will include revitalization and expansion projects for thirteen elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools, and addition projects at twelve elementary schools and two secondary schools. According to Durso, these additions are easier than constructing new schools because space is limited in the county. “A lot of people are not pleased when the schools get too large, but I don’t think we have a choice,” he said. “Enrollment continues to grow and there’s just not a lot of acreage around to continue to build schools.”

Ultimately, it is unknown additional capacity is not built whether this funding will even- by the 2020–2021 school year, the tually be granted. In the wake of base areas for Albert Einstein and the political change caused by the Northwood high schools will election of Republican Governor- enter residential moratorium,” elect Larry Hogan, Durso fears he wrote in his letter, meaning that it may become much harder that no new residences could be for MCPS to gain the resources built in the area due to the lack that they need. “We’re the larg- of space in the public institutions. However, even if the additional est county in the state and pay a funding is denied, Durso insists larger share of taxes, which should result in a return on state money,” he said. “But I think now with a different party in control, it is probably going to be a little more contentious in terms of funding for schools as well as other things. I just think there’s an anti-tax mentality out there with a lot of people in the new party and that’s probably going to impact our school system.” Looking toward the future, Starr is worried about some severe consequences if the requested money is not granted. “If MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL

that the county will persevere. “It’s going to be more challenging in terms of schools and programs. Blair is a school with a lot of special programs that have pretty heavy price tags. Depending on how austere it gets, those could face some cuts,” Durso warned. “But it’s not like we’re going to close up and throw up the white flag and surrender. We are always going to be ok.”

Earlier this year, the Montgomery County Council passed a $1.53 billion capital improvements plan for the school system.

Starr’s new request would increase this budget to $1.75 billion. GRACE WOODWARD

Blair teachers accepted to teacher incentive program

Program encourages teacher leadership while staying in classroom

submit a project proposal to the panel for it to be reviewed. “One of the things that you get if you Two Blair teachers, Kathleen are lead teacher: it’s not just the Robens and Adam Clay, were actitle. You can also apply to initicepted into a county teacher inate projects,” Robens said. These centive program in September proposed projects usually benefit and early October. The program, a certain department, according the MCPS Career Lattice, is a to Lloyd, and usually don’t afnew teacher incentive program fect every student in the school. designed to encourage teachers Robens has many ideas for projwith strong leadership skills to ects, including intervention proremain working with students, as grams and using her knowledge opposed to leaving the classroom. of statistics to help teachers better The program incentivizes teachinterpret student results. “This is ers to stay in the classroom and what I’d like to do: [degives them the opportunity sign] intervention proto have more leadership in grams in mathematics or the school. It encourages in other areas,” she said. teachers to collaborate with “We’re thinking of exother educators and aims panding this school-wide to help teachers improve to see if the outcomes student achievement. “The can be more effectively Career Lattice has been interpreted.” Clay plans created to provide teachers to use the opportunity to with expanded opportunienhance a program he is ties to pursue school-based already involved in. “I’m leadership and innovative the lead teacher for the instruction with attendant ninth grade academy, so salary enhancement,” I was going to do someaccording to the Montthing as the lead teacher gomery County Educafor that,” Clay said. “I’m tion Association (MCEA). trying to use some things This program supplethat I’m already currently ments the pre-existing high schools in Montgomery County have enough students receiving doing for this program.” Teacher Professional The application process Growth System (PGS). Free and Reduced-Price Meal Plans to qualify as “high need schools.” comprises of three compo“The Professional Growth MONTGOMERY COUNTY EDUCATION ASSOCIAITON ANNA O’DRISCOLL AND ELEANOR HARRIS nents. The first component System is our system is a video of the applicant where we help employees grow professionally as well Adamson, a member of a panel schools, including Blair, Gaith- teaching a class, along with a short as evaluate employees,” Vice that reviews applications for teach- ersburg, and John F. Kennedy, re- description about the impact on President of MCEA Christopher ers applying to the Career Lattice, source teachers, team leaders and students and on student learning. Lloyd said. “The Lead Teacher reiterated that the program aims to staff development teachers get the The second component is a reflecstatus is one of the tiers in our incentivize more teachers to take stipend as soon as they are award- tion on why the applicant should ed lead teacher status. “These are be given the title of lead teacher, considered schools where students including different leadership have a need for additional inter- positions the teachers have held. vention, and the resource teacher The final component consists of and the staff development teach- recommendations from peers and ers in those schools will automati- superiors. The application process Should teachers be awarded incentives for cally get the stipend,” she said. opened in spring 2014. There is improving student achievement? There are 58 high-need schools no limit to the number of teachin Montgomery County, and nine ers in the program, as it is a roll“Some teachers work really hard to make sure all of those are high schools. Accord- ing deadline, according to Lloyd. their students understand their lessons. They deing to Lloyd, 30 percent of schools Teachers need a certain score on at each level (elementary, middle, the components to be accepted. serve to earn a little more for their hard work.” If the teacher is National and high) with the highest Free - Ruth Portillo-Lopez, junior and Reduced Meals rate are dis- Board certified, as Clay and Rotinguished as high-need schools. bens are, they are able to skip “Teachers shouldn’t need incentives to produce Other teachers have the option the video part of the application excellent results from students. That should come of proposing ideas to a project process. “If you are a National panel in order to get the stipend. Board certified teacher, you are from within and wanting to help students suceed, “They get the name, but they given a base score for component not from the prospect of money.” don’t get the money automatical- one,” Adamson said. “You do not - Laura Espinoza, freshman ly,” Adamson said. Teachers can have to submit another video.”

By Anna O’Driscoll

Professional Growth System.” The career lattice is a partnership between MCPS and MCEA. “MCEA devised the career lattice to support teachers, to reward and recognize teachers and to give teachers incentive to stay as teachers,” Blair resource teacher Vickie Adamson said. “MCPS obviously has to fund it and sanction it.” The idea for the program has been around since 2007, according to Lloyd, but this is the first year the funding was granted and dedicated to the program.

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soapbox

leadership positions while remaining in the classroom. “Sometimes, teachers feel that they need to leave the classroom in order to make more money. Whether or not they pursue administration, or 12 month positions within the school system, we have a system that doesn’t recognize and reward when teachers choose to stay in the trenches where the students are,” she said. Once accepted into the program, teachers are given the status of “lead teachers.” According to Adamson, at certain high-need


News A5

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November 12, 2014

Additional chemicals to be prohibited in MCPS meals Vendor contracts no longer permit controversial additives in some foods By Amanda Wessel MCPS Division of Food and Nutrition Services recently decided to prohibit additional chemicals and additives from vendor contracts for food served in MCPS cafeterias. According to Marla Caplon, Director of Division of Food and Nutrition Services for MCPS, the new additions to the list of prohibited additives include a number of artificial colorings, sweeteners and flavors. Meals such as the spicy chicken breast patty and those containing orange chipotle sauce and sweet and sour sauce will be impacted by this change and are susceptible to removal. Trans fats, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and lean fine textured beef, often referred to as pink slime, have already been prohibited in food served by MCPS. The new specifications will be implemented as new contracts with food vendors are awarded; however, current contracts will be unaffected. Since present contracts are not affected, the timeline regarding the removal of these chemicals and additives in food remains unknown. According to Caplon, the new product stipulations will affect vending machine, also referred to as a la carte, snacks in addition to regular cafeteria food. The reason for this decision, Caplon said, was to supply quality products to the staff and students of MCPS. “We are always looking for ways to improve the quality and nutritional value of foods and beverages available to students,” she said. According to Caplon, since Montgomery County is a substantial customer, the food manufacturers are likely to make the change. “We work very closely with vendors and manufacturers.

KYRA SEIGER

ADDITIVES Certain snacks, incuding Blazer favorites such as Doritos and Cheetos, may be removed from schools under the chemical ban. It is our plan that products’ formulation will be adjusted to meet our specifications,” Caplon said. Real Food for Kids Montgomery (RFKM), an advocacy group that focuses on nutrition in Montgomery County schools, has been pushing for the removal of many chemicals in school foods for over a year, according to the RFKM website. Many of these chemicals and additives were identified as potentially harmful by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Members of the RFKM organization advocated for this change on the basis that foods containing these chemical additives tend to be highly innutritious and the additives are often used as a cheap replacement for nutritional ingredients. Additionally, many parents in the organization are concerned about allergic reactions to these chemicals as well as the

potential link between some of the additives and ADHD, cancer and hyperactivity. According to RFKM co-founder Lindsey Parsons, in an October interview with the Gazette, the organization understands this is a major adjustment for the MCPS food system and is grateful that MCPS was willing to change the ingredients used in food served in schools. While Caplon said the decision will primarily affect baked products, RFKM lists the following snacks on their website to be removed by the specifications of the change: Welch’s Fruit Snacks, Cheez-It Crackers, Cool Ranch and Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos, Baked! Cheetos, Eagle Popped Crisps and several ice cream bars with artificial colorings. While RFKM was the main voice recommending this action, Caplon and her department con-

sulted product manufacturers and conducted research in order to make the decision. “We work with our manufacturers, listen to all stakeholders and conduct focus groups with students and others,” she said. Not all the chemicals RFKM requested for banning were prohibited in this decision. Although pleased with MCPS’s decision, RFKM would have liked to see additional additives banned, including red dyes #2 and #40, blue dye # 1, caramel color, all artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, sodium nitrite/nitrate and substances similar to MSG. “Red dye #40, the most common of all food dyes, will still be allowed, a choice which I personally find confusing,” said RFKM co-founder Karen Devitt. Senior Juan Puesan said the ingredients and nutritional value of the food from the Blair cafeteria

does not deter him from eating it. “It’s the food I like,” he said. Puesan would be mad if anything happened to the french fries, which he eats every day, he said. Sophomores Sandy Hunter and Samuel Strongin enjoy the current cafeteria food for its taste, affordability and accessibility, but the poor nutritional value of some meals does not concern them. “I just don’t care,” said Hunter about the potentially unhealthy ingredients in food. Strongin was especially concerned about the possible removal of the chicken patty meal. “I would be mad. That’s all I ever get,” he said. If many of the products sold in the cafeteria are removed or changed by ban on these additives, Hunter said he would be disappointed and would not purchase lunch as often. “I would probably start bringing my lunch,” he said.

Republicans sweep the country in midterm elections Dissatisfaction with Obama and the economy fuels a shift to the right By Aditi Subramaniam The results of the gubernatorial and house elections across the country indicated an overwhelmingly Republican representation, including in Maryland. Republican Larry Hogan will replace Democrat Martin O’Malley as governor of the state. In the past forty-five years, Maryland has been a red state only once before during a term when Robert Ehrlich, Jr. was in office. Hogan’s victory can be attributed to low

THE WASHINGTON POST

turnout from areas critical for a Democratic victory. Democratic candidate Anthony Brown won Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, which are by far the state’s largest jurisdictions and both strongly Democratic, but voter turnout was down by twelve and seven percent, respectively. Overall, only twenty-two percent of Maryland’s registered voters participated in the election – a new historic low for turnout. Brown also lost traditionally Democratic

EMMA SOLER

votes because he received criticism for the unsuccessful rollout of Obamacare. Under O’Malley’s administration, he was the one responsible for introducing the program to Maryland and took responsibility for the initial failure. During his campaign, Hogan attacked his opponent on this issue as well. But the Republican wash has less to do with specifics of the gubernatorial candidates of each state and more to do with overall dissatisfaction with the Obama administration. Exit polls showed that voters

THE WASHINGTON POST

were unhappy with the state of the economy and President Obama’s slow pace in implementing changes. Hard-core Republican candidates also focused their campaign on addressing disparities between socioeconomic classes such as taxes, wages and race. This is unexpected coming from the GOP, but it shows that even the most conservative candidates are recognizing the direction that the country needs to head in – a change that seems to have piqued tired voters’ interests.

EMMA SOLER


B1 Opinions

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Montgomery Blair High School 51 University Boulevard East Silver Spring, MD 20901 Phone: (301) 649-2864 Winner of the 2014 National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Winner of the 2013 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Editors-in-Chief: Alex Frandsen and Kelsey Gross Managing News Editors: Emily Daly and Leila Habib Managing Op/Eds Editor: Landon Harris Managing Features Editors: Alexis Redford-Maung Maung and Grace Woodward Managing Entertainment Editor: Naomi Weintraub Managing Sports Editor: Jesse Broad-Cavanagh Managing Design Editor: Grace Woodward Ombudsman: Naomi Weintraub Fact Checks Supervisors: Leslie Chen and Emily Daly Extras Editor: Luisa McGarvey Newsbriefs Editor: William Zhu Public Relations Director: Kalanzi Kajubi Executive Business Directors: Liza Curcio and Jackeline Portillo Business Staff: Alexandre Alia Maddie Boyer Joe Estrin Nobel Girmay Anna Hukill Dana Hunter Ian Kiefhaber Javier Lopez Adina Rombro Sebastian Rubinstein Ben Segal Page Editors: Daliah Barg Julian Bregstone Sam Butler Leslie Chen Camille Estrin Eleanor Harris Wesley Hopkins Sarah Hutter Mariam Jiffar Camille Kirsch Reva Kreeger Winne Luo Luisa McGarvey Maris Medina Anna O’Driscoll Teague Sauter Emma Soler Aditi Subramaniam Amanda Wessel William Zhu Spanish Page Editor-in-Chief: Milena Castillo Spanish Page Editors: Joseline Ayala Sarah Canchaya Milena Castillo Camila Fernandez Alisson Fortis Carlos Fuentes Ilcia Hernandez Odalis Llerena Mario Menendez Ruth Portillo Itencia Quezada Andrés Romero Managing Photo Editors: Kyra Seiger and Zeke Wapner Photographers: Peter Berger Nola Chen Chimey Sonam Phuong Vo Managing Arts Editors: Elizabeth Pham Ben Safford Artists: Andrea Brown Amanda Gross Candia Gu Nazea Khan Shivani Mattikalli Nino Migineishvili Victoria Tsai Angel Wen Puzzle Editor: Julian Bregstone Copy Editor: Katherine Murtha Professional Technical Advisor: Peter Hammond Spanish Page Advisor: Dianette Coombs Advisor: Jeremy Stelzner 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 Jeremy Stelzner’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 silver.chips. ombudsman@gmail.com. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

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November 12, 2014

Bullying has changed and schools cannot keep up The MCPS reporting form falls short of addressing real student conflicts By Mariam Jiffar An opinion When someone mentions ‘bullying,’ the first images that come to mind are probably of a nerd being stuffed in a locker, or a burly kid beating up a wimp over lunch money. But just because we have tiny three-foot-tall lockers that we can’t fit in and an automated lunch money system doesn’t mean bullying isn’t a problem at Blair. The “Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation” reporting form that we have right now doesn’t recognize how bullying is changing, nor how students are responding to it. If someone shoved you into a locker, maybe you wouldn’t have a problem filling out some paperwork so it wouldn’t happen again, despite how embarrassing it might be. However, it’s much harder to feel justified in filling out a form if the ‘incident’ was being belittled, taunted or insulted, despite the profound emotional impact this kind of abuse can

have on students. Explaining these emotions to a piece of paper isn’t an effective way to handle them. MCPS says it has a “zerotolerance” policy for bullying, but when asked if they’d feel comfortable filling out the reporting form, many Blazers say it depends on how bad it is. Freshman Charles Gryder says he would use the form, “if something got bad,” but what exactly does that mean? The fact that students must assess how bad a bullying incident is before reporting it is indicative of quite a bit of tolerance among the student body itself. Unless we have multiple methods in place for students to get help when they’re being bullied, they’ll just keep quiet until they reach a breaking point, which could result in self-harm or, as we’ve seen too many times before with school shootings, the harming of others. It’s not as if MCPS doesn’t have any other policies thought up for dealing with bullying -- it’s

On average, about 1 out of 5 students are bullied on school property NATIONAL SAFE PLACE

just that they’re not being put into effect. In 2010, the Board of Education of Montgomery County said MCPS would implement programs to involve staff, students and parents in preventing and intervening in bullying. However, it’s been four years since then, and Blair students and parents remain uninvolved in bullying prevention, the reporting form is one of the only interventions available besides seeking out an adult to talk to, and the staff isn’t doing many bullying workshops. This indefinite gap between the publication of the policy and its implementation has been enough time for the class of 2014 to go through all of high school without ever benefitting from its proposed initiatives. Surely there were students being bullied who might have been helped a great deal by what MCPS said it would do four years ago. The obvious first step for MCPS to reform how it handles bullying is to implement the policy it has already written. And, to further combat bullying in schools, MCPS should institute a peer mediation program in which one student, an impartial third party, is trained in conflict resolution and meets with the other two students who are in disagreement. Plenty of research, including the book Teaching Students to be Peacemakers and an entry in Conflict Resolution Quarterly, has shown that peer mediation is effective in helping students value communication as an effective method of problem-solving as opposed to violence.

Another practice Blair must enact is taking advantage of advisory days every now and then to talk about bullying. As it is now, teachers pass out the reporting form at the beginning of the year along with all of the other bureaucratic paperwork we’re supposed to fill out with little to no discussion. We don’t have to devote a lot of time to discussing bullying, but students deserve a brief description of the form by their homeroom teacher encouraging students to use it if they feel bullied and emphasizing that there is nothing wrong with getting help from an adult before things get out of hand. Talking about bullying shouldn’t be reserved for times of desperation or tragedy; our goal should be to encourage students to seek help for bullying before it gets to a point where they feel unsafe or unwelcome in their own school. We only hear about conflict resolution every once in a while, and it’s usually over the P.A. system after some cafeteria brawl. If that’s the only time it comes up, then the implicit message is that students should only get help if it gets that bad, which does not promote “zero-tolerance” for bullying at all. Simplifying all bullying down to just another piece of paperwork is not effective or doable for students -- it’s just too impersonal. MCPS needs to actually implement programs to encourage students to take active roles against bullying through communication, so we can all work towards a safer environment.

KYRA SEIGER

Blair has to improve its history curriculum Many students are not represented in the ‘white faces’ of history By Sarah Hutter An opinion With Thanksgiving approaching, many students can remember the familiar story of the feast shared between the Pilgrims and Indians, which was hallmarked as a moment of friendship and collaboration and told throughout history classrooms across the country. It’s a great story, but it distorts history in order to tell a highly romanticized version of what actually happened in order to place American ancestors in a better light. The popular story of the pilgrims’ arrival in America doesn’t mention some of the negative effects European settlers had on Native American communities, such as spreading deadly diseases, like smallpox, which decimated the Native American population. European settlers drove out and slaughtered the Native Americans, but tragic events such as the Pequot Massacre in 1637, where 90 armed white settlers burned a Native American village and massacred its inhabitants, are hardly ever mentioned in history class. The U.S. History curriculum taught in Montgomery County underrepresents the history of not only Native Americans, but many other cultural minorities, instead favoring the western European perspective. The history books have been written by the white Americans who have held power in this country for so long, and this is harmful to students and greatly affects how they view their diverse country’s history and culture. A new curriculum must be put in place in order to give students an accurate depiction of history and the legacies of different cultures.

The current curriculum fails in giving students an accurate depiction of American history simply by omission. The majority of the 9th grade history textbook focuses on white history and culture, and leaves out the rest of the melting pot. Here’s how far it goes: in the entire 9th grade U.S. History textbook, the history of the Latino population in this country is reduced to one and a half pages, included in a chapter titled, “Ethnic Minorities Seek Equality.” In a number of paragraphs, the book breezes through rich and complex topics such as cultural identity, discrimination and the Chicano Movement. It’s not nearly in-depth enough, at most dropping maybe seven names of influential Latino Americans, but it’s better than the representation received by Asian Americans in the textbook. Besides a page glossing over Japanese internment during World War II, the textbook includes only half a page on Asian American discrimination and political advances in the U.S. This general absence of cultural and ethnic minorities, whose history makes up such a large part of where we are today, is especially harmful to non-white students. “A lot of kids feel they don’t see themselves in U.S. History, they can’t relate to it,” says Anne Manuel, a U.S. History teacher at Blair. “That’s a problem.” The issue is especially prominent in a school like Blair, whose population is incredibly diverse. “It’s more important all the time because the U.S. is becoming an extremely diverse country,” said Manuel. “To have a history that ignores such large segments of the

population is very unfortunate.” As lacking as the history curriculum is, it has greatly improved in recent decades. For a long time, U.S. History started with the white settlers arriving in America, even though they were not the first communities to live here. Now, U.S. History begins in 1491, before most Europeans settled on the continent.

actions,” says Manuel. A new curriculum would have to strive to emphasize the political, economic, social and cultural influences different ethnic minorities have had on the country as a whole, and teach history as it relates to all populations. Students and parents in Montgomery County can take steps to try and change the current curriculum. While county officials are somewhat conscious of the problem, more awareness in the community could persuade the county to make changes and to allot funds to further develop the curriculum. “There are lots of levels on which people could be demanding that The curriculum is this be added,” says no longer exclusively Manuel. from the perspective The cultural bias of white Americans, that is so prominent in as there is more of an history classrooms is the emphasis on social root of years of teaching history, African Ameriexclusively white history. can history and the While in recent decades NAZEA KHAN women’s movement. there has been a gradual However, there are an abunshift towards better representadance of other changes that tion of different cultures and should be made. Especially ethnicities, the United States’ important are lessons that show huge diversity is, for the most historically oppressed populations part, not reflected in the history as agents of their own history. curriculum. The U.S. populaThis can be done partially by tion is changing so that within studying African American and the next few years we will have Native American resistance to reached a minority majority, and oppression. It is an important step it is important that these histories in teaching students that ordinary are accurately and prominently people need to be causes of the taught in public schools. While change they want to see. Manuel our country still has a long way explains that it is empowering for to go to achieve cultural and students to see their own people’s racial equality, it is crucial that history, and participation in the our history curriculums reflect development of this country. the progress we’ve made and the “People should not see their own direction in which we should be people as victims of other people’s heading.


November 12, 2014

ELIZABETH PHAM

Opinions B2

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Should MCPS have an SSL requirement? ELIZABETH PHAM

YES:

NO:

From the heart, not for the transcript

SSL enriches the classroom experience

KRYA SEIGER

ZEKE WAPNER

Camille Kirsch

Eleanor Harris If you’ve attended high school, middle school or any school at all, you’ve probably heard this complaint from a frustrated classmate: “I’ll never use this in my life!” Whether you’re learning trigonometry, the water cycle or the customs of Ancient Egypt, there is always at least one student uttering that common refrain. The Student Service Learning (SSL) Program works to mitigate this common occurrence by encouraging practical applications of concepts that further community interests. By incorporating SSL hours into curriculums as well as requiring outside volunteering, MCPS can encourage civic involvement, help students build personal and professional skills and further students’ education. Maryland’s Board of Education adopted the current service requirement in 1992, making us the first state to do so. The mandate requires students to complete either 75 hours of individual service or a locallydesigned program approved by the school superintendent. All 24 school districts have opted for the latter, designing programs to best fit their students. In Montgomery County students earn hours both through independent volunteering and through completing different classes, such as National, State and Local Government and various high school electives. The SSL requirement engages students by encouraging service. Students who might not otherwise volunteer are motivated by the graduation requirement, so that all teens have the opportunity to give back to their communities while learning practical skills in a non-school environment. Helping a local nonprofit, volunteering at a nursing home or tutoring younger children are different learning experiences than sitting in a classroom and taking notes. By engaging in these service learning activities, teenagers experience working in professional environments and in groups, create practical skills and build their resumes. Students can also try out different career paths and explore their interests. Volunteering at a hospital, for example, provides a glimpse into the life of a doctor without the years of school and thousands of dollars of tuition. However, the most important effect of the SSL requirement is not simply encouraging volunteer work. More significantly, incorporating service learning into curriculums enriches students’ education. Service learning requires students to apply information learned in the classroom

to real-world tasks. “Through servicelearning experiences, students get to see the relevance of the material covered in the classroom, draw on that reservoir of knowledge, and help make their communities healthier and stronger in the process,” Maryland Department of Education service learning specialist Julie Ayers said. Incorporating service into the classroom complements the drier information that students learn from textbooks or lectures, and personalizes abstract information. For example, the Department of Education provides a lesson plan to teach students about lobbying through service learning. Students are required to research a community need and respond to it by creating a public service announcement, circulating a petition or writing a letter to a senator. Engaging in meaningful service through the school’s curriculum reinforces and expands academic knowledge. Without the SSL requirement to integrate volunteering and academics, many students, even those who volunteer often, would miss out on this benefit. Additionally, the SSL requirement is virtually never a barrier to graduation, contrary to what many students believe. According to Marguerite Berardi, Blair’s school registrar, no Blair students fail to graduate solely because they lack SSL hours. Before graduation, administrators work to reach students who have not completed their hours and provide them with opportunities to do so. In fact, there are plentiful opportunities to complete the SSL requirement throughout all of middle and high school. In addition to the hours received from certain classes, Blair offers many clubs devoted to service, such as Key Club, the International Cancer Alliance for Research and Education or the Therapeutic Rehabilitation Club. The counseling office also sends out a weekly email advertising SSL opportunities in the community. As long as schools provide options for SSL and remind students to complete their hours, there are few obstacles to completing 75 hours in seven years.The SSL requirement encourages service and enriches curriculums, conferring benefits upon students that far outweigh the inconvenience of volunteering for a few hours each year.

There was a time when students who volunteered outside of school would consistently describe their service as a passion, something they did to help others and make a change. They considered volunteerism rewarding and inspiring. It could even be called life changing. Today, though, that conception of service as a higher calling is long gone. The Student Service Learning (SSL) mandate cheapens students’ community service, emphasizes quantity at the expense of quality and unnecessarily widens the purview of schools beyond academic development into moral territory. Volunteering in your spare time is now simply called getting your SSL hours in. When volunteering becomes Student Service Learning, students miss out on having meaningful experiences; they become more focused on getting 75 hours (or 260, if they’re gunning for that coveted purple tassel) than on actually helping other people. This runs contrary to the SSL requirement’s supposed goal of instilling in teenagers a love for community service and a habit of giving back. Instead of being motivated by a desire to make a difference, students view service as something they are being forced into and must complete as quickly and effortlessly as possible. The proliferation of SSL requirements at schools around the nation even leads some students to pay thousands of dollars to go on “voluntourism” trips, which take them to another country to work on projects which help residents. There, the pain of performing community service is ameliorated by the excitement of being in another country. Of course, students who go the voluntourist route aren’t actually giving back to their local community--but an SSL hour is an SSL hour, right? Under the MCPS SSL system, an hour of making posters for a fundraiser you never carry out is equivalent to an hour of following your passion at the local food bank. A meaningless day volunteering at the first “SSL opportunity” you found online is equivalent to a day that changes your life. And some of the most passion-driven, impactful community service hours aren’t even accepted, as junior Tuyet Nguyen found out. “During a trip to Vietnam, I got to be an English teacher,” she says. At the school where she worked, the kids didn’t even have working toilets. For her dedica-

tion, she got a grand total of zero hours: the Vietnamese school hadn’t been approved for SSL. Instead, she says, “I got my SSL hours by working at ELO SAIL for 3 summers, volunteering at Grossman’s farm, and helping out the Latin club.” Nguyen is far from the only Blazer whose most meaningful services hours didn’t fit the SSL label. Junior Stephan Loh got most of his hours working with a children’s chorus. “Most of the time I stack chairs as each group leaves and pass out snacks during break,” he says. “I don’t find this particular way of getting hours very meaningful. I’m not really helping anyone who needs it.” Instead, Loh has found meaning playing viola at retirement homes. “I don’t get hours for this,” he says. “I don’t need the hours anymore and seeing the smiles on people’s faces is rewarding enough.” Even if the system could be revised to reward quality over quantity and encourage students to serve in ways they find meaningful, though, requiring community service for graduation would still be fatally flawed. For one, service requirements are far more easily accomplished by affluent, privileged students. Students who have to work to support themselves or their families and students who do not have easy, reliable access to transportation are at a disadvantage when it comes to completing service hours, while affluent students are at an advantage because of their relative flexibility in scheduling and transportation. Then, too, mandating community service is an example of schools overstepping their bounds. American public schools are meant to be academic institutions, not moral indoctrination centers. Schools shouldn’t be encouraging students to take time out of studying to pursue service: high school is about academics, not moral development. It is unfair and anachronistic to make a moral value like service an integral part of getting your diploma. Leave morality to individuals, their families, and their churches. Community service is certainly admirable and should be recognized as such, but it is hardly a fitting prerequisite to obtaining an academic diploma. MCPS should leave the decision to serve up to students and their moral consciences. Maybe then we can stop measuring service in terms of hours and start seeing the worth of student passion.

voicebox “What can you do in 75 hours? I think there should be more.”

“I haven’t done any of it yet and I don’t really want to.”

“It’s annoying, but I actually think it’s a good idea.”

“It gives you more experience doing volunteer work.”

“I abused the SSL requirement. I haven’t actually helped anyone.” PHUONG VO

Peter Peng Senior

Lara Blaize Junior

Jordan McDougall Freshman

Laszlo VanStraelen Sophomore

Mazda Moayeri Junior


B3 Opinions

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November 12, 2014

Who needs adults? Student tutors are effective

Familiarity with material and the students is key to tutors’ success

By Luisa McGarvey An opinion Imagine you are having trouble in a class and you are faced with two options: to receive help from an older, more intimidating person who took the class many years ago or a young, approachable student tutor who excelled in the class very recently. In this situation the latter is often the better option due to the student tutor’s experience in the school curriculum and their proximity in age. The use of student tutors enables students to learn in a comfortable, less expensive environment, where new relationships can be formed. At Blair, student tutors have already taken on a crucial role as part of the program Blair Leaders Intern for Student Success (BLISS). To some parents, the thought of having just another student teaching their kid raises red flags. To them, an adult logically seems like the better choice for a tutor because age is often equated with knowledge. However, because of the amount of time passed since an adult was last in the class, it may be more difficult for them to recall key information. On the other hand, student tutors still have the course fresh in their minds even if they took it a couple years ago because in high school, core material from every class is built upon and added to as one ascends to the higher level courses. The familiarity student tutors have with the curriculum allows student tutors to more effectively prepare their pupil for tests.

Many parents also struggle with the idea of student tutors since they believe that because student tutors carry less authority

$80

dents can,” explained Cauley. It can be less intimidating if someone closer to their age helps a student because the student will start thinking that if the the tutor can do it then he or she can, too. With one-on-one attention from an approachable individual who is close to their age, struggling students are more inclined to inquire about things they don’t understand. Another upside to the implementation of student tutors is that it allows students who wouldn’t normally associate with one another to meet. Although Blair is an extremely diverse school, there is a great deal of selfsegregation. The BLISS program helps combat this by matchELEANOR HARRIS AND ANGEL WEN ing upperclassmen with lower level classes they have already their teacher questions. According taken, helping connect students to Dirk Cauley, the BLISS coordifrom different economic, social, nator, one of the reasons student and ethnic groups. BLISS allows tutors are successful is because they make students more comfort- student tutors that are motivated and have a heart for teaching othable than adults do. “Sometimes ers to meet and assist struggling we as adults can’t relate to young students. When a BLISS tutor is adults as much as the BLISS stuA contributing factor as to why some students struggle in school is because they do not want to appear incompetent when asking

An hour of student tutoring costs around $15, while adults can charge more than $80. $15

Student than adults, their child will not be able to learn as well. However, a student tutors proximity in age to their pupil allows a struggling student to relax and become more comfortable, creating an improved learning environment without the need for authority.

Adult

matched with a class it gives them the opportunity to interact and forge friendships with people they wouldn’t have otherwise met. Many struggling students want to succeed in school yet they do not have the resources to hire a professional tutor for support outside of school. With a lot of pressure on students to get good grades that will pave the way to college and a successful future, poor students are at a significant disadvantage when competing with students who have the means to hire professional tutors. The hiring of a high school student tends to cost around 15 dollars an hour which is significantly less expensive than hiring a professional tutor which can cost up to 75 dollars. Unless one comes from a more privileged family, hiring a professional tutors is out of the question. One should not have to choose between parting with large sums of money and their future success in school. Since student tutors tend to be less than half the cost, this is a feasible option for less affluent students. For many students, there is an immense deal of pressure to succeed in school. This stems from teachers, parents, and even the students themselves. To achieve this degree of success, many students require extra help in the form of tutors. However, not every family has the means to pay for a professional tutor, so they turn to a high school student for assistance. Tutors are beneficial in all ages and styles, but student tutors’ don’t deplete bank accounts and their familiarity with the material makes them the best option.

ABCs to SATs: students face college pressure too early College application stress starts prematurely for too many students By Leslie Chen An opinion There’s the SAT or the ACT. And AP’s. Plus extracurricular activities, like sports or music or art. Oh, and don’t forget community service. But also remember to maintain a high GPA. With all of these factors that are considered to be important in the task of getting into your dream school, many students begin to worry about college way earlier than they need to. Starting to classify students from their SAT or ACT scores starts as early as middle school. The Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) 7th grade Talent Search is a program where “eligible” 7th grade students with “strong intellectual abilities” are given the opportunity to take the ACT or SAT. If these students score at least in the 95th percentile, they qualify for programs from the Duke TIP, including Scholar Weekends and Summer Studies Programs, because they have been deemed gifted. Defining some as “gifted”, solely based on being above a certain SAT score, and declaring the rest not “gifted” is an invalid way for the education system to treat students. However, it’s not just programs like TIP that make students define themselves with these standardized testing scores as early as 7th grade. Statistics of enrolled freshman classes at universities are thrown around by not only the universities themselves, but also news organizations like U.S. News & World Report: Education. A Princeton profile shows that for the freshman 2014 class, the middle 50 percent SAT scores of admitted students was 2120-2400. The freshman 2013 class at Towson University had an average 1629 SAT score. These numbers tend to cause anxiety among prospective applicants to universities, years before it should be on their mind. User get-

College To-Do List Take SAT/ACT Prep Class Join 5 Clubs Get 75 SSL Hours Join a Sports Team Get a 4.0 GPA Take SAT Take ACT

scores on tests scores to the number of extracurricular activities. Students become obsessed with how many extracurricular activities they have and too many people focus on “resume-building”, where all they do is join as many activities as possible, rather than pursuing and focusing on the ones they are actually passionate about. “Do things that you truly enjoy in high school, rather than trying to outguess an admissions committee,” said Jeff Brenzel, the

on what you like to do, because you will end up wanting to spend more time doing it, and thus get better. A common high school thought process is, “Oh, I’m going to join this club because it’ll look good on my resume for college.” Wrong. The activities you decide to participate in should always be for yourself, and college admissions counselors will be able to tell which ones you actually care about based on your commitment, your leadership within the activities, or how you describe them in application essays or interviews. Obviously, your grades and your GPA are important determinants in college applications, no one is denying that. However, only caring about the grades rather than trying to understand the material does not help your learning at all. High school is supposed to be a time for students to discover what they are interested in and learn how to think for themselves. How did it suddenly become all about doing whatever it takes to get that 89.5 percent? College professors will not care when you are whining to them about failing a class. It is not their fault that you have no idea what is being covered in their class, just because your high school teacher was nice enough to give you A’s—and that was all you cared about.

REVA KREEGER

tingready2017 was a 7th grader at the time when he created a thread on College Confidential where he posted his worries about the 1660 he got for his SAT score in the 7th grade, while the national average SAT score from the class of 2013 was a 1497. His concern was that this score meant he would not be able to improve enough with future scores to get into Ivy League universities, like Harvard, Princeton or Yale. Yet, college was still five years down the road for gettingready2017 and there is so much more to getting accepted by an Ivy League university than just good SAT scores. The numbers game expands from the

previous Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University and a Yale alumnus. What many students do not realize is that the quality of the activities you do will beat the quantity. It is important to pick your activities based

soapbox Does the college admissions process place too much pressure on students? “I think college puts way too much pressure on students. I’m only a freshman and already worried about college applications.” - Alia Rice, freshman

“Yes, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing because it pressures you to do better in class.” - Sherry Rollins, sophomore


November 12, 2014

THEN:1961

Opinions B4

silverchips

My Blair: Personal Column Transitioning from anxiety to positivtiy By Alexandra Marquez Guest writer

COURTESY OF SILVER CHIPS ARCHIVES

OVERSEAS STUDENTS Alejandro Otengni from Spain and Laura Gualino from Italy, exchange students sponsored by American Field Services, meet their host students.

& NOW:2014

PHOUNG VO

GERMAN EXCHANGE Junior Jan Fahrenholz left his home country, Germany, for a year to attend Blair and live with his host brother, sophomore Nicholas Fechner-Mills.

For the past two years, I’ve dealt with serious anxiety and depression. I’ve found that rather than worrying about what my conditions stem from, it’s easier to deal with their effects. However, anyone with anxiety can vouch for how hard it is to deal with panic attacks. There’s nothing worse than feeling your heart race and your body shake as a reaction to anything slightly stressful. I’ve tried many things to deal with these attacks: everything from breathing exercises to stretches to just letting myself cry it out. Some have been helpful, and others have done barely anything. Just recently, I found myself on the other side of an anxiety attack. Rather than being attacked, I witnessed someone melt down into a mess of tears in the space of ten seconds. The worst part was that I had no idea what to do. About two weeks ago, I was babysitting for my neighbors. I was in charge of three children, two school age brothers and a seven year old girl I’ve known all her life. When it was time for her screen time to end and one of the brothers to take over the computer, I could tell she was upset, so I followed her upstairs to the living room. Like a good baby-sitter should, I asked if she wanted to play a board game while the two boys finished up their Minecraft. She quietly replied that she would rather play by herself and that’s when I saw the first tear roll down her cheek. She began to explain how unfair it was that she always came second to the two boys. In two minutes, she was shaking, barely breathing, as she sobbed about how sad she felt. I sat, in shock, as I watched a seven year old girl succumb to a panic attack, a feeling I’d experienced countless times before. What surprised me the most was that I had

no idea what to do. As someone who’s dealt with panic attacks, I felt like I should’ve been helping her calm down, but all I did was offer a glass of water and sit, confused about how to help. Later, when everyone’s parents were home and I’d returned to my house, I was still surprised that I’d been at a loss how to react. So I did some research. I found barely any credible sources that could explain to me how to help anyone with anxiety. The only reliable article I found quoted Todd Farchione, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University. He gives these four statements to say when someone is experiencing a panic attack: KYRA SEIGER “Can you tell me more about your experience?” “I’m sorry you’re going through that,” “This is not your fault,” “That must be really hard for you.” He explains that each of these shows support and understanding to the person suffering and makes them feel comfortable and safe. Hopefully, this can help someone in the future when they, or someone they know or love, experiences an emotional breakdown like an anxiety or panic attack. But this one article does not silence the call for guidance on how to help the millions of Americans living with an anxiety or panic disorder. To keep us healthy, and the people around us happy, everyone must take action on helping those who suffer feel comfortable, safe, and attack- free. Want to submit a personal column? Email it to silver.chips.print@gmail.com The Editorial Board will read through all submissions and determine a selection.

Up and Coming November 26

November 12

Report Cards Distributed

Early Release Day

November 18 Fall Athletics Awards Night

November 27-28

No School; Thanksgiving Holidays

Student & Teacher Awards & Honors Mongtomery Blair won the MCPS School Energy & Recycling Team Got Paper Contest.

Seniors Michael Fan, Samuel Myung, Eric Neyman, Arjuna Subramanian, and Brenda Wu and junior Matthew Yu won semifinalist in the Siemens Competition.

Senior Cherie Carter advanced to the State Golf tournament.

Senior Ashwin Ojha won Best Delegate in the Legal Committee at Montgomery County Model United Nations.


B5 Opinions

silverchips

November 12, 2014

Schools should be meant for learning, not for earning

We interrupt your education for a quick commercial break By Reva Kreeger An opinion If you take a look around America’s schools you will see desks, books, students… and ads. Ads for McDonald’s, Nike and any other company that wants to exploit our children. Since almost all children go to school, school commercialism makes it impossible for children to escape advertisements. For example, Channel One News is a news program directed to students and is shown in eight million classrooms around the U.S. Its programs are 12 minutes long, with two of those minutes devoted to ads that students watch in their classes. By having these advertisements, we are basically forcing children to buy into commercialism. Advertising brings in enormous revenues for companies, but school is not a place that should promote the success of a company at the expense of its students. Advertising in schools allows companies to inscribe their brands into the minds of children from a young age. Advertisers have access to a captive audience because students cannot change the channel or skip the ad. These advertisements are the same ones that we see on regular news channels, which are essentially made to deceive consumers by only showing the positive aspects of the products. In the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Economics, Victor Danciu states, “manipulative advertising intends to [use] facts and arguments… in a misleading manner.” Schools are allowing this deception to be brought directly to all the students. Also, communities trust that schools will do what is best for their children, and schools throw all of this trust away when they allow companies to promote their products.

School commercialism also mainly advertises an unhealthy lifestyle. In a study on school commercialism, Public Citizen, a nonprofit organization that works to make community voices heard in government, noted that 62.7 percent of advertisements in schools are for

Teaching kids to choose a Sprite over water sends the wrong message throughout the school system. A typical 20-ounce soda contains 15 to 18 grams of sugar and around 240 calories, and every day students are subjected to ads that persuade them that soda is good. These messages

PETER BERGER

OODLES OF NOODLES An advertisement for Noodles and Company sits on the bottom of Blair’s scoreboard, visible at every sporting event that takes place in the Blair Stadium. unhealthy products. In MCPS, the study found that 83 percent of the schools have advertisements for food and beverages, and in 2000 a Government Accountability Office report stated that the most prevalent form of advertising in schools was for soft drinks.

counteract the responsibility of a school to set a good example for its students. Advertising in schools promotes bad habits and labeling to students as well. The study done by Public Citizen points out that this discourages students from developing critical thinking skills because

the advertisements teach them that one thing is always better than another. “Central to [advertising]... is the desire not only to lure desired audience segments but also to exclude those who do not fit the profile,” Randall Rothenberg states in his article “How powerful is advertising?” in The Atlantic. This enforces separation of social and racial groups in schools, which is something our country has been working against. Many proponents of school commercialism argue that without the support of outside companies, schools would not bring in enough revenue to maintain their programs, but this argument is completely faulty. According to the Center for a New American Dream, a nonprofit working against hyper-consumer culture, advertising brings in less than .1 percent of a school’s budget. “Companies advertise at schools for a fraction of what it cost them to advertise elsewhere,” Golin said, leading companies to exploit schools by cheating them out of their profits. We need to work against school commercialism, but we also need to find the best plan of action. “The biggest thing is changing public opinion because companies act like they are doing a public service when they are really just exploiting schools and students,” Golin said. Nonprofits like Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood are working with PTAs to spread awareness that will lead to an abolishment of advertisements in school, and we need to bring this type awareness to Montgomery County. It is important for MCPS to advocate against school commercialism. As one of the leading counties in Maryland, we can set the example for public schools in Maryland. The best way we can do this is by spreading awareness about this topic throughout the county. MCPS needs to do its part to help end advertising in schools throughout the nation.


Editorials B6

silverchips

November 12, 2014

Casting a ballot for a stronger presence in voting booths Youth have the responsibility to make their voices heard in elections

Stepping in front of one of the boxed off computers on Nov. 4, immense power and influence are now at your fingertips. Your vote could be the deciding vote in a race that sets the tone for the next cycle of legislation and leadership. After eighteen years of watching your parents vote from the sideline, you now have the power to make a difference. You hit your choice, you press ‘send,’ and you have now put your own two cents into the major decisions of our government. Well at least that’s how it should have been for some Blazers. Instead, many eligible Blair student voters decided not to vote. Perhaps not so coincidentally, after the results of the midterm elections, there was a palpable sense of near outrage from many Blair students. The heavily democratic community here assumed Maryland would remain blue, simply because we’ve been blue so often in our history. We live in an area packed with liberal sentiments, and a large chunk of the student body has been surrounded by that their whole lives. The Nov. 4 election pushed us to look outside of our liberal bubbles and painted a very different picture of Maryland. We now have a Republican governor. Whether you were pleased or angered by the election, its results were surprising and showed us

that every vote can make a difference, including ours. Granted, the majority of Blair is not eligible to vote, given that not many in the school are 18. But regardless, a large portion of eligible Blazers stayed at home, shrugging off the responsibility because of the assumption that their vote be just another drop in a sea of blue. This is never the case. Voting is vital for our community and will not cease to be. From our active advocacy groups to Blair’s political clubs to the vast amount of volunteer work performed by students each year, it is clear that Blazers hold and stand strongly by their political beliefs. It is certainly admirable that our student body is politically aware and is knowledgeable about important issues in today’s murky political climate. However, our opinions are meaningless unless we make them heard. By voting, students finally can have a direct say in the political decisions which will impact our generation. There was a very different scene in the Blair hallways as we approached the 2012 presidential elections. Volunteers lined Blair Boulevard with clipboards and pens in hand as they encouraged students to register to vote. Even students under eighteen but over sixteen received assistance as they registered in advance for the upcoming years. Assistance with

voter registration is a privilege, not a right, but it is useful to have others to help new voters through the sometimes complex registration process. This year, the volunteers did not return and it was up to us to register on our own to vote. But we didn’t. And while we as the student body certainly bear some of the responsibility for this, schools should still be promoting

voter registration at a significant level. Filling out an information sheet is essentially all that’s needed to pre-register, and having these forms given to us in homerooms, for example, would be an easy step for school administrations to take. There are too many factors to point the blame in any one direction. An unassertive political attitude augmented by a lack of

encouragement to register muted teenagers voices in the election. This combination made voting a passive process in the Blair community, when in reality, it’s anything but. Do you have any feedback or see any mistakes? Let us know. E-mail the editors at silver.chips.print@gmail.com

ELIZABETH PHAM

Bienvenidos to a much needed Spanish section addition

Silver Chips proudly welcomes a third page to La Esquina Latina

By Naomi Weintraub

Spanish-speaking population in school. The Spanish page is written entirely in spanish and often covers stories that are relevant to the Hispanic community at Blair. Stories covering anything from immigration rights to the Blair Latin dance team can often be seen featured in this nook of the paper. In order to fully actualize our goals to engage with the entire Blair student body we have decided to extend the Spanish page. While this section used to span two pages, it will now be a three full pages, allowing for more in-depth coverage of stories written in Spanish. I personally believe that this change is well overdue because the Spanish-speaking community at Blair has previously been under represented, and it is our duty as a school newspaper to report news and provide a voice to the entire student body. I encourage readers to welcome this new addition to a vital aspect of our paper. To better explain the details and components, I am going to pass the mic to the Spanish page editor in chief Milena Castillo.

Blair is an ant hill. Hundreds of students weave through these hallways, each following their own unique paths for education and success. No two students are alike, all having different passions and means to achieve their goals. Our students come from all over the world and everyone brings their own slice of individuality and personal identity to make the diverse quilt of cultures that our school pieces together. At Blair, we have 11.1 percent students enrolled in ESOL programs. Within these ESOL programs, 7.2 percent of students identify themselves as Hispanic. Silver Chips strives to represent the entire school, and ignoring the prominent Spanish-speaking community at Blair would be neglectful. The Silver Chips Spanish page allows our publication to get on step closer to fulfilling our goals. We want to reach as many readers and students as possible and recognize that a language barrier may prevent that. To mend this concern we devote a space of the paper to stories that specifically reaches the

Thank you, Naomi. I’d like to start off by expressing my immense gratitude on behalf of the Hispanic/Latino community here at Blair for all the support that Silver Chips has shown us as we’ve built our way up to this incredible transition. I believe that the Spanish section of the paper is now stronger than ever, and well-prepared for this change. As of now we have twelve very talented and dedicated young students who have been so brave as to take on the duty of representing the views and voices of the hispanic/latino Blair students, despite having no previous training. I have been working closely with them through weekly workshops and meetings to inform them of the newspaper’s ways, and they are making great progress. I sincerely commend each and every one of them for their hard work, and hope that they are aware of the magnitude of the importance of what they are doing. By gaining a third page this year, the Esquina Latina can now offer even more passionate young students a space to share

ZEKE WAPNER

Ombudsman Naomi Weintraub

stories and views that they believe are relevant and important to the Hispanic/ Latino community, especially at Blair. The purpose of this section, however, is not only to unite spanish-speaking students through freedom of self-expression, but also to better inform students of other backgrounds about our specific community. While having understanding between people of different backgrounds is the key to building a strong community, I find it is all too often lacking, even in a school as diverse as ours. I hope that the growth of this section will at least provide a sort of footpath towards eliminating this culture gap. Above all, I also hope that the section will make spanish-speakers at this school feel properly heard and included, which is not always the case. Along with the addition of the third page, the Esquina Latina is working closely with the main branch of the paper to implement other changes that will help to further develop and solidify this vital section. We hope to spread awareness of the paper by encouraging Spanish teachers to incorporate stories from the section into their lessons occasionally. We are

also encouraging all our current writers to take journalism classes next year and learn how to work with the designing technology so that they can play a more active role in the production process of Silver Chips and later pass on their knowledge to future writers. As Naomi previously noted, this change has been long overdue, and I am so thrilled to finally see it become a reality. With that, I encourage you all, to flip on over to page E3 and take a gander at our newest addition. Hasta luego! Comments or concerns? Email the Ombudsman at ombudsmansilverchips@gmail.com

Corrections Junior Anna Reachmack’s name was mispelled in the F2 story “Checking out the fall sports teams.” The F3 story “Blazers defeat Barons for fourth win of season” reported that B-CC football lost to Northwood. B-CC and Northwood never played. We did not list Wesley Hopkins as Layout Editor in the staff box. The photo of field hockey on F2 should have been credited to Peter Berger. The caption of the cross country team on F2 incorrectly identified varsity volleyball player Maggie Wang. Senior Joel Weisburger’s name in the D1 story “Silver Spring celebrates folk, funk, and flying machines.”

KYRA SEIGER

La Esquina Latina Editor-in-Chief Milena Castillo

The seal on page B6 incorrectly identifies 1937 as the year Blair opened. Blair actually opened in 1935.


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November 12, 2014

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Features C1

silverchips

November 12, 2014

Sexual harassment in the hallways of Blair Aggression and accidental objectification both lead to discomfort from HARASSMENT page A1 instance where a guy has either said or done something to make her feel uncomfortable, and many guys can think of examples as well. Sexual harassment can be verbal, visual or physical and can range from obscene remarks – often referred to as catcalling – to rude gestures or even actions. Freshman Maddy Kershow says she can

“The overall picture is that if a guy compliments you randomly, it’s probably for reasons other than just being nice.” - Yvann Tientcheu think of multiple times when she has been walking down the hallway and an unknown person has touched her butt. “I try to avoid the Boulevard because that’s where the most people are; that’s why I take back hallways,” she says. Male Blazers have reported the same occurrences. Senior Ibu Bundu says girls have made him uncomfortable by touching his butt before. “Girls just think, ‘Oh, it’s cool, guys like

it when I touch their butt,’” he says. “But that’s not true.” Blazers have also experienced uncomfortable glances and vulgar references. Freshman Zenie Plain says she has had boys say inappropriate things to her on a number of occasions. “I was walking down the hallway and there were two boys behind me and they kept hollering at me like ‘Oh girl, I see that a**,’” she recalls. “I don’t like it and I get scared,” she says. According to the nonprofit Equal Rights Advocates, sexual harassment stems from female objectification. Objectifying a woman means viewing her body parts as objects to be used and appreciated instead of viewing her as an individual with feelings. As social networking has become more prominent, objectification has extended to online platforms. Pearson says that while she per-

sonally has not felt harassed, social media accounts have made her feel objectified and targeted. “It’s never been to my face,” she says, “but I know that on social media, especially Twitter and MBHS confession pages, [things have come up].” Tweets often pop up that say “Bless all the girls who wear yoga pants” or “Thank God for the girls wearing leggings.” “It’s not to our faces but still it’s sexualizing our bodies when we’re at school,” Pearson says.

A painful truth No matter the form of sexual harassment, experts have concluded that it can be damaging to both sexes. However, a University of Michigan study in 2008 found that girls appeared to be more affected by sexual harassment. Science Daily, a website that synthesizes recent scientific studies, wrote that the Michigan study found girls were “suffering from lower self-esteem, poorer mental and physical health, and more trauma symptoms (thoughts and feelings arising from stressful experiences) than boys.” Harassment can negatively affect girls’ self-esteem both when it occurs and when it doesn’t. One senior insists that she has never experienced sexual harassment and explains, “I’m not cute enough for that.” That thinking is another negative effect of harassment. According to University of Southern Maine Professor Susan Fineran, girls begin to base their self-worth off of what boys think of them. Senior Yvann Tientcheu thinks that sometimes girls misunderstand guys’ intentions. For example, he thinks of the times that he’s liked a girl’s outfit and sincerely wanted to tell her so. “I could give her a compliment like, ‘That dress looks very nice on you,’ and that doesn’t necessarily mean I was trying to hit on her,” he explains. “I just wanted to give her a compliment.” At the same time, he recognizes that this is not always the case. “The overall picture is that if a guy compliments you randomly, it’s probably for reasons other than just being nice,” he concedes. Blair junior Mia Bristol recounts her negative feelings when guys comment on what she is wearing. “I feel dirty,” she says. “I’m not technically exposing anything extreme. I’m being CANDIA GU pretty conservative so I don’t think that it should be a problem.” Girls such as Bristol and Ederer explain that they get angry when boys call out to them or make comments on what they are wearing. “Sometimes it does [make me self-conscious] when I dress a certain way and get honked at on the side of the street or some person like creepily roles down their window,” Ederer explains. “I don’t feel respected and I feel like I’m not being taken seriously.” Although some girls are quick to comment that sexual harassment makes them angry, it also inflames other vulnerable emotions. Junior Isabella Calingaert says that she often becomes upset when guys make inappropriate comments towards her. Wearing a v-neck t-shirt one day, Calingaert got a few comments from guys about the shirt. These

statements did not sit well with her. “Obviously a guy doesn’t care about my shirt. If it’s from a girl they’ll be like ‘Where’d you get it?’ but if it’s from a guy they’ll be like ‘Your boobs look hot,’” she says. “I get uncomfortable. Angry is not my first reaction.” Ederer often feels uncomfortable at first as well, but she thinks the only way to get it to stop is to be abrupt. “People respect you more if you are assertive and you tell them ‘You’re objectifying me, stop,’” she says. “Something in their head goes ‘Oh people don’t like that?’” She recognizes, however, that sometimes a girl can be so disturbed by what happened that she does not want to confront the perpetrator. “It is hard because sometimes all you want to do is put them out of your way and just leave,” she says. Sophomore Carlos Rivera thinks that the only thing a girl can do to stop sexual harassment is to address the aggressor. “Girls should say something back… They need to stand up. I mean nothing can happen to them,” he reasons. Rivera also does not believe sexual harassment to be a big problem at Blair. “I don’t really see it,” he says. “And when I do see it, girls are letting” boys make inappropriate remarks.

Verbal harassment Street harassment, also referred to as cat-calling, does not always happen in the street. Certain Blair hallways are more prone to this type of harassment than others. Plain says she does not use a particular second floor hallway because guys tend to congregate there. “I avoid [it] in the morning because there’s always a bunch of guys standing in the hallway looking at you pass,” she says. Senior Beau Jacquette says he thinks boys do not think about the girl’s feelings when they’re cat-calling. “They mainly want to look good in front of the other guys,” he explains. “They do it expecting you to not pay attention.” Jacquette says he does not participate in this type of interaction because it would make girls like him less. Bundu agrees. “It makes girls think we’re creepy. I don’t want to come off to anyone as creepy; then I’d be like ‘Creepy Ibu,’” he says, laughing. Some women view catcalling as a form of flattery, according to an article published in the New York Post last summer. But what is important to note, psychologists say, is the way the comment is given. Street harassment is not complimentary, but defined as verbal abuse. Pearson agrees that cat-calling is wrong. “It makes me feel disgusting; it doesn’t make me feel flattered. I feel like I can’t even wear what I want to wear,” she says. Tientcheu says that over the years he has come to an understanding the cat-calling is inappropriate. “I’m making her feel like the only reason my group is even looking at her is because we have sexual desires,” he says.

Striving for a solution Calingaert believes that the solution is education because currently boys are not taught that their actions are wrong. “It’s not something that you talk about with guys, it’s just the girls are always not following the dress code. But for the guys it’s not like they say ‘Don’t do that,”’ she says. Tientcheu

thinks the situation is complicated. “You can tell someone to be respectful,” he says, but it won’t help if boys don’t realize that what they are doing is hurtful. In Virginia, the state public school curriculum focuses on building healthy teen relationships and emphasizes the differences between flirting and harassment. It highlights that flirting leaves both parties feeling flattered while harassment is often one sided and demeaning. Pearson would love to have a lesson of this type at Blair. “I think we need to educate males and tell them that they need to learn proper etiquette. They should mention it in health class,” she says. According to Blair health teacher and department head Lauren Gonzalez, the health curriculum does not specifically address sexual harassment. “We don’t really touch on it that much,” she says. “We do talk about respecting yourself and building healthy romantic relationships, so indirectly we do.” The student population is educated about sexual harassment, albeit briefly, by their class administrator at the beginning of the school year. Principal Renay Johnson does not create the presentations, but says she knows that at least one administrator, Vice Principal Dirk Cauley, talked to freshmen explicitly about sexual harassment this year. “He made a comment to the ninth graders that even saying ‘You look good in that’ could be inappropriate,” she says. Johnson adds that though sexual harassment is men-

“It makes me feel disgusting; it doesn’t make me feel flattered. I feel like I can’t even wear what I want to wear.” - Cady Pearson tioned, there is a lack of focus on specifics because the administrative team believes that students should already know how to act appropriately. “That’s just one administrator with the ninth grade,” she says. “Is there an entire curriculum? No. We think by high school, which maybe is a misconception on our part, kids would read the code of conduct and know not to misbehave.” Girls at Blair, however, continue to find that is not the case. Ederer asserts that “if someone’s going to compliment you, they should do it in a sincere way.” Genuine compliments can make a girl feel great about herself, she says, adding that she is determined not to let harassment get in the way of her life or her participation on the track team. “That’s my sport. I have to wear those leggings or else I’ll freeze my [butt] off. And if I run in baggy sweatpants, then I can’t perform. I’m not going to let this one experience deter me from being good at my sport,” she says. “I have a body. Sue me.”

soapbox Do you see sexual harassment at school? “I see many boys make sexual comments to a girl behind her back and even to her face. I haven’t noticed it much with boys being the target, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.” - Mary Clare Callahan, senior

“There is plenty of sexual harassment at Blair. The catcalling girls get while walking through the hallways is horendous.” - Niarah Jackson, sophomore


C2 Features

silverchips

November 12, 2014

After ESOL, a little known path to fluency

Looking at the transition between ESOL and Blair’s English classes By Anna O’Driscoll The bell rings as the last few students slip into the room and sit down. As some girls chat in one corner, others turn and talk quietly to a friend behind them. Most are simply sitting, looking for something in their bags, waiting attentively for the teacher to begin class. The class is smaller than most, with only a few more than 10 students in the room. As the bell rings, the chatter gradually switches from Spanish to English. Despite differences in the subject matter, this bridge English class starts the period with the same introductions any class would have. Bridge classes are traditionally available for eleventh and twelfth graders who are in or have graduated from the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. The course aims to smooth the transition from ESOL classes to regular English ones. Most students take this class as seniors, but those who finish it in eleventh grade are able to take an on-level English class as seniors. Students

receive recommendations from their ESOL teachers or pass proficiency tests to get into the bridge classes.

The transition For senior Evelyn Diaz, the main difference between her ESOL class and the bridge class is the workload. “It’s more writing, more essays, and everything,” Diaz explains. Though they are more challenging than ESOL classes, bridge classes have similar content. “There’s no big difference because in the ESOL classes they give you vocabulary, how to write paragraphs, essays, pronunciation of the words, and in the Bridge classes you do the same,” senior Cristopher Olla says. One of the more challenging aspects of the class, he notes, is that students have to speak English all of the time. In 2011, Olla moved to Maryland from El Salvador, knowing barely any English, and began high school in the ESOL program. After completing the first two ESOL levels, Olla

TORY TSAI

was able to skip level three and enter level four. “They kicked me out,” jokes Olla. He graduated from the program, and now takes a bridge class.

babying them, and not sounding condescending, because these kids have lived life in a sense outside of school that shows their competency as adults?” asks Ivey.

Taking students across the bridge

Looking into the future and past

Sandra Jacobs Ivey teaches twelfth grade bridge classes, and says that the class provides the skills necessary to pass various tests. “A lot of the kids have not passed the High school assesmnet (HSA) so we do focus on the skills they need to master in order to pass the HSA as well as the exit exam,” says Ivey. Ivey discusses American culture with her students, but also teaches about traditions of other countries, including those native to her students. Ivey says when the students see people like them in the writing, they can relate more to the material. “Students can see that literature lives, and [if] they can see themselves in the literature, they will be more invested in the class and learning,” Ivey says. For Ivey, the most meaningful benefits of teaching bridge classes come from seeing her students develop a greater global understanding. “There are [the improvements] you can substantiate on paper by scores and grades, but the rewards are the ones that are more abstract, the ones that give you the satisfaction that you’ve done a good job and that not only they’ve learned something that is integral to a curriculum, but they also learned that this world is global and that we can respect other cultures and have compassion for humankind,” says Ivey. One of the major challenges that Ivey encounters when teaching this class is the age of some of her students. Some of her students are 19 or 20 years old, since MCPS offers education to students up to the age of 21. “How do you still manage to treat them knowing that they are old enough and not

After graduation, Olla hopes to get a job and go to college, and says that the skills he learned in his bridge class will help him accomplish these goals. For Olla, ESOL was a challenging yet rewarding experience. “I loved the ESOL classes because I learned a lot from them. But at the same time it was hard, because I just came from [another] country. And I didn’t know anything, and I had to work.” Many of the students in bridge classes and ESOL classes are lower than grade level proficiency in English, and may still have some fears because they are in a situation where they might not be comfortable with the language around them. “They do need more validation of things that they know and so that’s the task for the teacher to pull that out of them. And [the teacher has to] validate them so that they feel comfortable and willing to take risks in the class,” Ivey explains. This validation is often necessary to overcome their initial unease resulting from an academic culture that speaks a new language. “They are also kind of fearful, too. They still have a sense of fear about what they sound like,” she says. Transitioning from El Salvador to the ESOL program was very difficult for Olla, especially since he didn’t know the language at the beginning. “El Salvador to ESOL was hard,” he says. The bridge class, although more challenging than the ESOL classes, was not as difficult of a move. When asked about this transition, Olla smiled. “It was easier.”

Dealing with a new type of parent/teacher conference Students enjoy the perks of having parents who double as teachers By Luisa McGarvey Senior Shailee Bruck shoves open the school doors at 7:05 a.m. and is greeted by the familiar bustling crowd full of sleep deprived students. As she greets her friends, her mom follows close behind. When Bruck first realized her mother Debra Adler would be starting work at Blair this year, she was skeptical. “I wasn’t sure how having my mom in school would affect my senior year,” expresses Bruck. Nevertheless, Bruck, along with other Blazers, quickly realized the positive aspects of having a parent employed at Blair far outweigh the negative ones.

Getting adjusted Other students had the same dubious outlook as Bruck when their parents first began working at their schools. In sixth grade, senior Jordan Johnson and his mom Renay Johnson were both unsure of her becoming the principal of his school. After having been his principal at Takoma Park Middle School and now Blair, Johnson and her son resolved any problems long ago. “Some people would think it is a conflict of interest but it isn’t because my husband deals with teacher meetings and things like that to eliminate any weirdness,” Johnson says. Bruck had already attended Blair for three years before her mom began working there which resulted in an easier transition than either of them had expected. “I thought it might be weird at first but because I had already established myself at Blair I didn’t have to deal with the difficulty of everyone knowing your parent is a teacher in the school and just got to enjoy the good things about having her here,” says Bruck. Senior Conor

James experienced the same degree of initial uncertainty about having his mom, Danelle James, at Blair. Soon after the school year began, James changed his mind and realized he enjoyed having her around. “At first I thought it would be pretty awkward or weird seeing my mom randomly in the hallways of Blair but it has actually been a really positive thing for me,” expresses James. A common fear of students whose parents are teachers at Blair is the possibility of having their mom or dad teach one of their friends’

“At first I thought it would be pretty awkward or weird seeing my mom randomally in the hallway, but it actually has been a really positive thing.” -Conor James

classes. “Luckily the way things worked out [my mom works] in [the reading] department that none of my peers are in,” says James. With a parent roaming the hallways, there is often fear of constantly running into them between

classes. Although Junior Lena West thought she would walk by her dad all the time, she now realizes she was mistaken. “At first I was scared I would end up seeing my dad everywhere but really unless I go out of my way to see him or walk by his classroom we never run into each other,” explains West. With a population nearing 3,000, the chance of running into anyone is slim, which has worked out well for sophomore Maia Pramuk who almost never sees her mom during the school day. To Pramuk, having her mom at Blair has not made much of a difference in her school experience. “We don’t even drive to school together in the morning because she doesn’t have to come until 8:00, so our schedules are completely different,” explains Pramuk.

don’t feel well instead of having to call home,” voices West.

The inside scoop

Parents employed at Blair are bound to know more about things going on at the school than other parents. Yet even as a principal Renay Johnson still occasionally relies on her son Jordan Johnson to keep her informed. “Sometimes he keeps me in the loop about things going on around school,” states

Johnson. According to Danelle James, “I think I know more about what is going on at Blair because I get to watch Infoflow every day and talk to all the other teachers.” For West her father David West might even be a little too in the know for her liking. “Once he half-jokingly told me people were definitely smoking in the bathroom, and he also tries to gossip with me about the fights at school and teachers,” West discloses.

The perks From running to a parent’s office to print out last minute work to a constant supply of toffee, having a parent at Blair has its fair share of upsides. When the library printer is down, instead of arriving to class frazzled and empty handed, James calmly proceeds to his mom’s office where he can use the printer. James also frequents his mom’s office after school to grab some money before heading across the street to Four Corners. Bruck describes with air quotes how she spends her fifth period taking advantage of the various luxuries as a “student aide” for her mother. “For the most part I can just hang out in her office and get my work done,” expresses Bruck. For West the little conveniences is what makes having her dad at school enjoyable. “[The perks include] being able to put an empty bowl of food in [my dad’s] room instead of having to carry it around all day or being able to talk to him when I

CHIMEY SONAM

FAMILY Teacher Danelle James and her son, Conor James, have the opportunity to spend time together at home and at school.


Features C3

silverchips

November 12, 2014

Eritrea in profile: African nation by the sea A young country born of war with an uncertain future

By William Zhu War is a gruesome affair. Soldiers endure showers of shrapnel and watch their comrades die around them, at the same time advancing further into the killing field. The possibility of death burdens everyone’s minds. The end of battle is no relief for survivors who are captured by the enemy and held for a year before being released. This was reality for senior Josef Woldu’s father. He fought in the Eritrean war for independence and after being held captive for a year, he eventually settled in the United States. “My dad used to live in Italy and came back and fought in the civil war,” states Woldu. “He was a POW (Prisoner of War) in 1975 for a whole year [and] he was released in 1976.” Woldu’s father later moved to the U.S., where he had no relatives. Long and bloody history Eritrea officially gained its independence from Ethiopia May 24, 1993, two years after the conclusion of a decades-long war for independence. Eritrea has over 1,000 miles of coastline and a variety of geographical landscapes. “It is a mix of lowlands and highlands and is really beautiful,” says Junior Idris Romodan. When visiting the port of Massawa, Romodan noticed that a large military base was there, a common sight due to recent wars. “Eritrea, let’s say, doesn’t trust their neighbors,” Romodan explains. Eritrea has had a long and tumultuous relationship with Ethiopia since World War II, when Italy attacked Ethiopia from Eritrea and was later defeated by the Allies. Afterwards, the British redrew the borders, making Eritrea part of Ethiopia. After the overthrow of the Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie, and the communist Derg junta coming into power, the Eritreans in the north rebelled. The war lasted over 30 years and

tensions are still prominent today. “Some people say it never ended,” says Romodan. It was due to this instability that part of Romodan’s family had to leave. “My grandfather sent his sons and daughters out of the country,” Romodan says. The chaos and dangerous environment caused by years of war had forced many Eritreans to leave the country. According to the American University of Cairo, over 900,000 Eritreans have left Eritrea as of 2010.

fied into the ethnic group of the same name. “The government approves a tribe by the language it speaks,” explains Romodan. Woldu explains that many tribes in Eritrea

is more of a community thing. People are really hardworking and have a strong personality and mindset,” says Woldu. Woldu experienced this during a visit to Massawa,

Present day Eritrea Today, Eritrea maintains a tenuous relationship with its neighbors and the U.S. Although there is an Eritrean embassy in the U.S., there is no Ambassador. Eritrea is a one party republic and has had the same president since its independence. “Some would call that a dictatorship,” remarks Romodan. Due to human rights abuses, the U.S. and United Nations have passed economic sanctions against Eritrea. Eritrea’s economy has taken a heavy toll, causing a large portion of the population to live in poverty. “I visited many times; I don’t want to live there. When it comes down to it, it’s really a third world country,” reflects Romodan. “It’s a different country due to the economic sanctions.” Romodan harbors mixed feelings towards Eritrea. On one side he sees that the people living there are being ruled by an authoritarian government and have restricted rights. “I see [that] people have less freedom,” says Romodan. On the other side, Romodan does not want to see Eritrea descend into another war that would result in more deaths and displacement of people. “I don’t want my country to fall apart,” he says. There are nine tribal ethnic groups officially recognized by the Eritrean government. Romodan is part of the Jeberti, a minority Muslim ethnic group that speaks Tigrinya, which has caused it to be classi-

REPRODUCED WITH THE PERIMISSION OF ONE WORLD NATIONS ONLINE PROJECT

MAPPING ERITREA Eritrea is located on the Horn of Africa along with Ethiopia. When it finally gained independance in 1993, Ethiopia became landlocked from the Red Sea. share roots with tribes in Ethiopia, further complicating matters when it comes to ethnic and national identity. “The culture is similar to Ethiopia’s,” Woldu explains. Hope for the future Woldu says the element of Eritrea that stands out the most is the environment and the society. “They have more rural areas; it

when he was stung by a jellyfish and instead of seeing a doctor, he was treated by a local nurse from the community. “She put salt and lemon juice on my back and it helped,” remembers Woldu. Romodan acknowledges that there are a lot of issues that Eritrea must overcome in the future, yet he sees hope for the country. “We are an optimistic people and we will overcome whatever obstacles in the future,” Romodan assures.

The shoe game is in play in the hallways of Blair Blazers go to great lengths to trade their shoes for style and cash

By Daliah Barg Where only first names appear, names have been changed to protect the identities of the sources. Freshmen Andre Westley and Xavier Frederick are arguing about shoes. But this is not a petty argument, and these are not just any shoes. They’re arguing about Jordan Low Top Cherry XIs and Nike Foamposites, Adidas Jeremy Scotts and Jordan Retro Vs – mostly brightly colored basketball shoes that can go for up to $250 at their retail price. Shoes are a serious matter to these Blazers: higher quality shoes garner higher respect. Some Blazers get caught up in the shoe game: buying, selling, and trading shoes in a quest for the best pair. Where to shop Shoe enthusiasts commonly camp out overnight in front of stores to buy shoes that have just been released. Westley has camped outside of a store overnight on a school day. “I took [a blanket] to school and after I left school I went to the store and sat there,” he says. Many in the business, such as Steven, a sophomore, say that Footlocker and Sneaker-Con, an annual convention all about sneakers, are the best places to buy shoes. For sophomore Keva Chawla, Sneaker-Con was a good opportunity for him to update his closet – Chawla walked away with three new pairs of shoes at the end of the convention. Blair Security Assistant Adrian Kelly has a different way to up-

date his collection. Kelly has a friend who works at Footlocker and helps him skip the lines for the newest shoes. Over the years, Kelly has accumulated about 65 pairs of shoes. He spends about $1200$1500 a year on shoes, the majority of which he’s bought from the store. “It’s something that I have to have,” he says. Shoe enthusiasts say that footwear impacts reputation and popularity. “When you wear brand

to dedicated buyers, sellers, and traders. “If I don’t have a new pair of shoes within three weeks I don’t even know what to do with myself,” says Westley. “Shoes are life.” Westley isn’t the only one to assign the meaning of life to shoes, Steven agrees. “The shoes define the person,” he explains. Senior Ivray Tchoutang used the power of shoes to shape his classmates’ perception of him. He got into the shoe trade business in

buying and selling shoes,” says Tchoutang, “and it just started off.” Tchoutang has traded shoes ever since, and he now makes about $300 a month just from participating in the shoe game. Sketchy sales

A common way to buy, sell, and trade shoes is through the DMV Shoe Trade group on Facebook. DMV residents post pictures of shoes they want to sell and then arrange the exchange at a certain location. “It’s a buy-sell-trade in the DMV area and you tell people when you want to meet,” says Chawla. When Chawla has participated in a shoe trade, he’s set up an exchange and met with the stranger at a 7-11 on the same day. According to freshman David Wilson, some opt to bring a friend because they don’t know the person they’re trading with. Crime is common PHUONG VO within the shoe business. AccordTHE SHOE GAME Blair shoe enthusiaists often collect and sell shoes that usually exceed $200 a pair. The shoes are not a hobby but have become a status symbol. ing to Jake, a lot of people within the Facebook group shoes there’s a higher chance you 7th grade, when he was trying to steal and there are numerous fake hang out with the popular kids,” blend in with his new peers after accounts. Steven agrees. “You says Jake, a sophomore. he’d immigrated to the U.S. from have to trade out in the open,” Shoes also show off style and Cameroon. “I was trying to fit in he says. People have stolen from personality, and they mean a lot and one way that I did was by Jake before and since then he’s

always brought a friend when going to trade shoes. “I met up with [someone who wanted to buy a pair of shoes] and he had people with him,” says Jake. The guy’s friends showed up, surrounded Jake, started pushing and shoving him, and then took his shoes and ran away with them. The fight resulted in bruises and the loss of a $150 pair of shoes. Some Blazers have stolen shoes during trades as well. During last year’s pep rally, Steven stole shoes from another Blazer that he was supposed to trade with. He just took the shoes to try on and then never paid for them, later trading the same shoes for Jordan Vs. Jake tells a similar story – he once told the person he was trading with to take off his shoes and then Jake took the shoes and ran away. Jake was chased but was not caught and was able to keep the shoes. Not just for kicks

The motivation for such a large interest in footwear is manifold for these Blazers. “I want to be in the same group of people,” says Jake. Shoe lovers make friends within the shoe trade community and build a reputation based on the shoes they wear. For Tchoutang, the shoe trade is a good way to learn about business. “I’m trying to major in business, it’s a good way to get experience,” he says. For many in the shoe business, “shoes are everything,” says Wilson. Whatever the reason for their shoe addiction, it’s important to point out that those within the shoe game aren’t in it just for kicks.


Features C4/C5

silverchips

November 12, 2014

J

unior year of high school is marked by an increasing number of AP courses, demanding SAT/ACT preparations, and looming college visits. It’s commonly thought of as the hardest and most stressful year of a K-12 education. Like many Blazers, senior Britteny Etienne spent her junior year tired and burdened. But unlike the majority of her peers, school was not the biggest weight on Etienne’s shoulders - instead, she had to endure strenuous treatment in an attempt to beat Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. In 2012, Etienne was among the 225 children and teenagers diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma tumors each year. With the knowledge of a severe illness, Etienne and other students face a tough question: if they can overcome life-threatening diseases.

The side effects, like blackened, burned skin, were excruciating. She also recalls feeling overwhelmingly exhausted after each treatment. Etienne remembers, “Twenty-four hours, I [would] be sleeping. They would wake me up to eat, but I would just go back to sleep.” Rather than a medicine-based remedy, Hazelwood’s treatment involved wearing a brace every day for almost a year. To start out, Hazelwood was eased into the uncomfortable experience by wearing the brace for one hour the first day, then two the next, until she was in the brace for a maximum of twelve hours a day. But in the summer before her freshman year, Hazelwood’s treatment abruptly became much more extreme. Her doctors recommended that Hazelwood started to wear a plastic brace for twenty-three hours a day, seven days a week. After almost a year of wearing her brace to school and to sleep, doctors decided that the treatment wasn’t working. Instead of one curve, Hazelwood’s spine now had two, which were an alarming 58 and 61 degrees, more than double when she first started wearing a brace. At this drastic new angle, surgery became unavoidable. “Scoliosis can be fatal and once they start reaching 60 [degrees of curvature],” Hazelwood reflects mockingly, “that’s when they really start pushing for surgery, because that’s when the really nice part comes in when your spine and your vertebrae and all those spiky bits get really close to your lungs and your heart and other really important organs.” Hazelwood received surgery to straighten her spine and end treatment once and for all on June 13, 2014, the day after school ended. After spending the summer going through a straining recovery process, Hazelwood can now walk around school each day without the added difficulties of a brace.

255

“The world just stopped moving”

children and teenagers are diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma tumors each year.

The first signs that something was wrong came when Etienne began to experience sharp pains underneath her left armpit. “I felt like someone was stabbing my side. I couldn’t breathe most of the time, [and] I couldn’t sleep,” remembers Etienne. For two years, doctors misdiagnosed her and blamed the symptoms on a poor exercise routine and incorrect lifting technique. Finally, in 2013, doctors delivered the catastrophic news: she had Ewing’s Sarcoma in her soft tissue, and would need to begin painful and intense treatments immediately. According to Etienne, her diagnosis was devastating. “The world just stopped moving,” she says. Etienne is not the only Blazer to battle a se-

One afternoon, White came home from school disoriented and distressed. He sensed that there was a problem, and thought it might have to do with his grades, but couldn’t elaborate. “I was just freaking out. I didn’t know what was going on,” he remembers. Ultimately, White’s dad gave him sugar, which raised his blood glucose levels and resolved his symptoms. This problem was likely caused by hypoglycemia, a condition in which glucose levels are abnormally low. In White’s case, hypoglycemia caused a low amount of sugar to go to his brain, which led to problems with normal brain functioning. In more severe cases, this condition can result in impaired vision, seizures, fainting, or even death. In addition to medical obstacles, Etienne has overcome educational challenges. When Etienne was first diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, she had to transfer from Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park to Blair so she could switch to home and hospital education. This out of school program, which makes it possible for students to keep up with their classes, is easier to access if the student attends public school. During these sessions, Etienne was also going through intense treatment, which made it difficult for her to focus. During a time that Etienne was heavily medicated and not fully conscious of what was happening around her, one of Etienne’s home and hospital teachers pushed her to verify that the teacher had taught her for the entire week. This was, in fact, not the case. “She somehow, like, made me sign every single slot so that at the end of the week she could just go get paid, and I would never see her,” Etienne says. “I called [Home and Hospital Teaching] like, ‘Oh, where is she, I need my work, this this that,’ and they were like, ‘Oh, I thought she’d come, you signed in all the logs!’ and I was like, ‘I probably did, but...’” Eventually, Etienne smugly declares, that teacher was fired.

hard because I’m still trying to manage. To really recover from cancer takes years, it’s not just months,” she remarks. Nevertheless, Etienne is optimistic about the future, and hopes to attend George Mason University next fall. While Etienne and Hazelwood have made significant progress in overcoming their illnesses, White’s struggle to stay healthy while managing other aspects of his life will continue long into the future. New technology, which involve an insulin pump and a glucose monitor to automatically maintain glucose levels, offers exciting opportunities to lessen the effects of diabetes in the future, but a cure does not currently exist. While White is careful not to be overly optimistic, he says life would be much easier if he no longer had to deal with

“A giant jumble of being upset”

the obstacles that stem from his diabetes. “I’m not getting my hopes up for it being cured, but it will probably be cured in my lifetime,” he reflects. Both Hazelwood and Etienne are grateful for the good

As one might expect, the ups and downs of diagnoses and treatment led Etienne on an emotional roller coaster. She re-

“I think it’s kinda given me a different aspect on life, cause you can’t take everything for granted. Like, you have your spine, okay, but what if your spine has a curve in it?” - Liza Hazelwood REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF BRITTENY ETIENNE

A SPOT OF BRIGHTNESS Etienne celebrates her 16th birthday in the hospital during her battle with cancer. She is currently enrolled in a hospital education program.

Facing a grave test with a brave face

Instead of pushing through the hallways, some Blazers are fighting for their lives story by Emma Soler

vere illness as a high school student. In the summer of 2010, sophomore Miles White began to experience extreme fatigue, intense dehydration, and stomach aches. “I would just chug water bottles and be like, oh, I’m still thirsty,” he remembers. Eventually, White went to the doctor, who referred him to the hospital immediately. It was there that White learned he had type 1 diabetes, a chronic illness that develops when the body can no longer produce insulin. People with this disease must administer insulin to regulate their blood glucose levels. Shocked and frightened, White was confronted with life-changing news. “It was pretty stressful at the beginning because they were telling me, ‘If you mess up, bad stuff is gonna happen,’” he says. Like White, sophomore Liza Hazelwood was also faced with news that would alter her perspective on life. She was at a doctor’s appointment in eighth grade when her pediatrician asked her to bend down and touch her toes. As she looked down at the sterile office floor, Hazelwood’s doctor ran his fingers down her spine. He was concerned and recommended that Hazelwood get an x-ray to check for scoliosis. Hazelwood and her mom obliged, but were told that her degree of curvature was small enough that no treatment was needed. Months later, something was nagging at the back of her mom’s mind, so she took Hazelwood in for a follow-up x-ray. This time, more serious problems became apparent. Previously, Hazelwood’s spine curved at only eight degrees, an unconcerning number. Now, the curve had increased to 25 degrees, and Hazelwood’s spine had alarmingly shifted from a degree of curvature she shared with 3 percent of the population to a curve experienced by a mere .3 percent.

Undergoing treatment After being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, Etienne was suddenly thrust into a world of daunting medical treatments. By the second semester of her sophomore year, Etienne had begun year-long chemotherapy at Children’s National Medical Center. The smell of chemo, which Etienne describes as a mix of old vinegar, fish, and hair dye, still resonates with her as one of the worst parts of treatment. Even now, almost a year later, Etienne clearly recalls side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and loss of appetite, a combination of which led to her dropping down to 96 pounds. Etienne also received radiation therapy, a form of cancer treatment that uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. For each treatment, she would sit down on a mat molded to each curve and contour of her body. A table would rotate around her as she underwent treatment. “I could smell my flesh burning,” she recalls.

While Hazelwood’s treatment is over, White’s does not have a foreseeable end date. His regimen consists of a series of insulin shots and constant carb counting to ensure that his blood glucose level stays between 80 and 170. Every day, he visits the nurse’s office at the beginning of lunch. There, he injects himself with an amount of insulin he calculates based on what he expects to eat that day. At first, a combination of stress, anger, and sadness led White to rebel against his diag-

“I could smell my flesh burning.” -Britteny Etienne

nosis by eating significantly less than normal. “For a while I just didn’t eat. I was like, ‘If I don’t eat, I don’t have to inject,’ so I would just eat one or two meals a day, and skip lunch,” he says. Despite his initial grief, White’s perspective has evolved. “I was just like, ‘Whoa, this is gonna be a horrible thing I’m gonna have to do forever. This is terrible’...but it’s not that big of a deal. You just get to learn how to manage it, and I don’t even notice it anymore,” he reflects.

Complications along the way Throughout the time she wore a brace, Hazelwood received periodic x-rays to monitor for changes in the curvature degree of her spine. Her first set of doctors only took x-rays of Hazelwood while she was still wearing a brace, making it difficult to get a reliable measure of changes in her spine’s curve. These doctors reassured Hazelwood that she would not need surgery, yet her mom remained dubious. Eventually, Hazelwood got a second opinion. To guarantee a more reliable reading, this time Hazelwood took off her brace to allow her back to return to its natural state, a critical step her previous doctors had been neglecting. The results were dramatically different. She remembers, “There was this instinct in me that something was wrong...so they took x-rays of me and my mom was like, ‘You’ll be fine.’ And then it was like 55 and 46 [degrees]. And they’re like, ‘Yeah, she’s gonna need surgery.’” While White has learned to manage his diabetes, the possibility of short and long term complications remain. “Going high, like having a high blood sugar, that can have long term consequences. Lows can hurt you right now, cause you can pass out,” White says.

design by Grace Woodward

members the pain she experienced when none of her friends came to visit her in the hospital. “I would have thought that they would have at least called me or something...I was really, really sad because I just wanted to feel like a regular teen, not just stay in the hospital all the time,” remarks Etienne. White’s hardships have mostly been related to his day-today treatment, as opposed his social relations. According to White, dealing with his diabetes has gotten less difficult as he has become more familiar with his body’s natural changes and rhythms. “It’s gotten easier just knowing the patterns of everything you do [and] how that can affect your blood sugar, [because] that’s different for every person. Doctors can’t actually tell you that. So learning what insulin does, and what carbs do to your body [helps],” he reflects. Hazelwood’s sarcasm and humour are obvious when she talks about her scoliosis. Because of her back problems, Hazelwood couldn’t carry a typical backpack around school, and instead wheeled around a large, clunky rolling bag, which was difficult to maneuver in hallways that accommodate Blair’s three thousand students. “I’m pretty sure I ran over every person’s feet in this building,” Hazelwood jokes. Additionally, Hazelwood’s brace impacted her social interaction in a combination of typical teenage angst and decreased self confidence. “I’m already a pretty awkward person in general, and then add a brace, which equals self-consciousness, and then just go with the whole teenager hormones thing, then you have one giant jumble of being upset about almost everything,” Dr. Michael Guerrera, a pediatric hematologist at Children’s National Medical Center, says that he works hard to help his patients overcome limitations that are put in place by their illnesses. “That’s really our job, to try to help them succeed where their illnesses tell them they can’t,” he comments.

art by Ben Safford

things in their lives and have learned to adapt to changes with the use of a flexible attitude. “I think it’s kinda given me a different aspect on life, cause you can’t take everything for granted. Like, you have your spine, okay, but what if your spine has a curve in it?” Hazelwood says. Anticipating negative moments isn’t the point, according to Etienne, but rather enjoying positive experiences. She declares, “I just need to be happy, and upbeat, and just have a good time, cause you never know what’s going to happen. You never know if you’re gonna wake up tomorrow.”

COPYRIGHT © 2011 NEPHRON

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE Ewing’s Sarcoma is a primary bone cancer that affects mainly adolescents.

Looking forward After her surgery, Hazelwood’s height, as well as her self-respect, grew immensely. She now stands tall, proud, and confident at five feet and ten inches. Today, people notice Hazelwood’s stature and even consider it when thinking about her future career. “I’m a bit more up in the self-esteem world which is kind of understandable because of the whole hunchback thing going on and then just like, hello, I’m tall. And people are like, ‘You’re so tall, you should be a model,’ and I’m like, ‘Yes, I should be,’” she says. Hazelwood also plans to use her experiences with scoliosis to help others. “There’s this organization called Curvy Girls that helps girls with scoliosis in DC, and I thought that I could join, and talk about it, and help other people who are going through it right now,” Hazelwood says. As for Etienne, the battle has not ended. Recently, doctors found a small mass starting to grow in the same place where her tumor used to be. On October 27, 2014, she went in for surgery to get it removed, and is now getting better. “It’s really

Before

After REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF LIZA HAZELWOOD

SURGICALLY STRAIGHTENED Hazelwood’s surgery radically transformed her spine. She can now walk each day without the struggles of wearing a brace and other complications arising from scoliosis.


Features C4/C5

silverchips

November 12, 2014

J

unior year of high school is marked by an increasing number of AP courses, demanding SAT/ACT preparations, and looming college visits. It’s commonly thought of as the hardest and most stressful year of a K-12 education. Like many Blazers, senior Britteny Etienne spent her junior year tired and burdened. But unlike the majority of her peers, school was not the biggest weight on Etienne’s shoulders - instead, she had to endure strenuous treatment in an attempt to beat Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. In 2012, Etienne was among the 225 children and teenagers diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma tumors each year. With the knowledge of a severe illness, Etienne and other students face a tough question: if they can overcome life-threatening diseases.

The side effects, like blackened, burned skin, were excruciating. She also recalls feeling overwhelmingly exhausted after each treatment. Etienne remembers, “Twenty-four hours, I [would] be sleeping. They would wake me up to eat, but I would just go back to sleep.” Rather than a medicine-based remedy, Hazelwood’s treatment involved wearing a brace every day for almost a year. To start out, Hazelwood was eased into the uncomfortable experience by wearing the brace for one hour the first day, then two the next, until she was in the brace for a maximum of twelve hours a day. But in the summer before her freshman year, Hazelwood’s treatment abruptly became much more extreme. Her doctors recommended that Hazelwood started to wear a plastic brace for twenty-three hours a day, seven days a week. After almost a year of wearing her brace to school and to sleep, doctors decided that the treatment wasn’t working. Instead of one curve, Hazelwood’s spine now had two, which were an alarming 58 and 61 degrees, more than double when she first started wearing a brace. At this drastic new angle, surgery became unavoidable. “Scoliosis can be fatal and once they start reaching 60 [degrees of curvature],” Hazelwood reflects mockingly, “that’s when they really start pushing for surgery, because that’s when the really nice part comes in when your spine and your vertebrae and all those spiky bits get really close to your lungs and your heart and other really important organs.” Hazelwood received surgery to straighten her spine and end treatment once and for all on June 13, 2014, the day after school ended. After spending the summer going through a straining recovery process, Hazelwood can now walk around school each day without the added difficulties of a brace.

255

“The world just stopped moving”

children and teenagers are diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma tumors each year.

The first signs that something was wrong came when Etienne began to experience sharp pains underneath her left armpit. “I felt like someone was stabbing my side. I couldn’t breathe most of the time, [and] I couldn’t sleep,” remembers Etienne. For two years, doctors misdiagnosed her and blamed the symptoms on a poor exercise routine and incorrect lifting technique. Finally, in 2013, doctors delivered the catastrophic news: she had Ewing’s Sarcoma in her soft tissue, and would need to begin painful and intense treatments immediately. According to Etienne, her diagnosis was devastating. “The world just stopped moving,” she says. Etienne is not the only Blazer to battle a se-

One afternoon, White came home from school disoriented and distressed. He sensed that there was a problem, and thought it might have to do with his grades, but couldn’t elaborate. “I was just freaking out. I didn’t know what was going on,” he remembers. Ultimately, White’s dad gave him sugar, which raised his blood glucose levels and resolved his symptoms. This problem was likely caused by hypoglycemia, a condition in which glucose levels are abnormally low. In White’s case, hypoglycemia caused a low amount of sugar to go to his brain, which led to problems with normal brain functioning. In more severe cases, this condition can result in impaired vision, seizures, fainting, or even death. In addition to medical obstacles, Etienne has overcome educational challenges. When Etienne was first diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, she had to transfer from Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park to Blair so she could switch to home and hospital education. This out of school program, which makes it possible for students to keep up with their classes, is easier to access if the student attends public school. During these sessions, Etienne was also going through intense treatment, which made it difficult for her to focus. During a time that Etienne was heavily medicated and not fully conscious of what was happening around her, one of Etienne’s home and hospital teachers pushed her to verify that the teacher had taught her for the entire week. This was, in fact, not the case. “She somehow, like, made me sign every single slot so that at the end of the week she could just go get paid, and I would never see her,” Etienne says. “I called [Home and Hospital Teaching] like, ‘Oh, where is she, I need my work, this this that,’ and they were like, ‘Oh, I thought she’d come, you signed in all the logs!’ and I was like, ‘I probably did, but...’” Eventually, Etienne smugly declares, that teacher was fired.

hard because I’m still trying to manage. To really recover from cancer takes years, it’s not just months,” she remarks. Nevertheless, Etienne is optimistic about the future, and hopes to attend George Mason University next fall. While Etienne and Hazelwood have made significant progress in overcoming their illnesses, White’s struggle to stay healthy while managing other aspects of his life will continue long into the future. New technology, which involve an insulin pump and a glucose monitor to automatically maintain glucose levels, offers exciting opportunities to lessen the effects of diabetes in the future, but a cure does not currently exist. While White is careful not to be overly optimistic, he says life would be much easier if he no longer had to deal with

“A giant jumble of being upset”

the obstacles that stem from his diabetes. “I’m not getting my hopes up for it being cured, but it will probably be cured in my lifetime,” he reflects. Both Hazelwood and Etienne are grateful for the good

As one might expect, the ups and downs of diagnoses and treatment led Etienne on an emotional roller coaster. She re-

“I think it’s kinda given me a different aspect on life, cause you can’t take everything for granted. Like, you have your spine, okay, but what if your spine has a curve in it?” - Liza Hazelwood REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF BRITTENY ETIENNE

A SPOT OF BRIGHTNESS Etienne celebrates her 16th birthday in the hospital during her battle with cancer. She is currently enrolled in a hospital education program.

Facing a grave test with a brave face

Instead of pushing through the hallways, some Blazers are fighting for their lives story by Emma Soler

vere illness as a high school student. In the summer of 2010, sophomore Miles White began to experience extreme fatigue, intense dehydration, and stomach aches. “I would just chug water bottles and be like, oh, I’m still thirsty,” he remembers. Eventually, White went to the doctor, who referred him to the hospital immediately. It was there that White learned he had type 1 diabetes, a chronic illness that develops when the body can no longer produce insulin. People with this disease must administer insulin to regulate their blood glucose levels. Shocked and frightened, White was confronted with life-changing news. “It was pretty stressful at the beginning because they were telling me, ‘If you mess up, bad stuff is gonna happen,’” he says. Like White, sophomore Liza Hazelwood was also faced with news that would alter her perspective on life. She was at a doctor’s appointment in eighth grade when her pediatrician asked her to bend down and touch her toes. As she looked down at the sterile office floor, Hazelwood’s doctor ran his fingers down her spine. He was concerned and recommended that Hazelwood get an x-ray to check for scoliosis. Hazelwood and her mom obliged, but were told that her degree of curvature was small enough that no treatment was needed. Months later, something was nagging at the back of her mom’s mind, so she took Hazelwood in for a follow-up x-ray. This time, more serious problems became apparent. Previously, Hazelwood’s spine curved at only eight degrees, an unconcerning number. Now, the curve had increased to 25 degrees, and Hazelwood’s spine had alarmingly shifted from a degree of curvature she shared with 3 percent of the population to a curve experienced by a mere .3 percent.

Undergoing treatment After being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, Etienne was suddenly thrust into a world of daunting medical treatments. By the second semester of her sophomore year, Etienne had begun year-long chemotherapy at Children’s National Medical Center. The smell of chemo, which Etienne describes as a mix of old vinegar, fish, and hair dye, still resonates with her as one of the worst parts of treatment. Even now, almost a year later, Etienne clearly recalls side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and loss of appetite, a combination of which led to her dropping down to 96 pounds. Etienne also received radiation therapy, a form of cancer treatment that uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. For each treatment, she would sit down on a mat molded to each curve and contour of her body. A table would rotate around her as she underwent treatment. “I could smell my flesh burning,” she recalls.

While Hazelwood’s treatment is over, White’s does not have a foreseeable end date. His regimen consists of a series of insulin shots and constant carb counting to ensure that his blood glucose level stays between 80 and 170. Every day, he visits the nurse’s office at the beginning of lunch. There, he injects himself with an amount of insulin he calculates based on what he expects to eat that day. At first, a combination of stress, anger, and sadness led White to rebel against his diag-

“I could smell my flesh burning.” -Britteny Etienne

nosis by eating significantly less than normal. “For a while I just didn’t eat. I was like, ‘If I don’t eat, I don’t have to inject,’ so I would just eat one or two meals a day, and skip lunch,” he says. Despite his initial grief, White’s perspective has evolved. “I was just like, ‘Whoa, this is gonna be a horrible thing I’m gonna have to do forever. This is terrible’...but it’s not that big of a deal. You just get to learn how to manage it, and I don’t even notice it anymore,” he reflects.

Complications along the way Throughout the time she wore a brace, Hazelwood received periodic x-rays to monitor for changes in the curvature degree of her spine. Her first set of doctors only took x-rays of Hazelwood while she was still wearing a brace, making it difficult to get a reliable measure of changes in her spine’s curve. These doctors reassured Hazelwood that she would not need surgery, yet her mom remained dubious. Eventually, Hazelwood got a second opinion. To guarantee a more reliable reading, this time Hazelwood took off her brace to allow her back to return to its natural state, a critical step her previous doctors had been neglecting. The results were dramatically different. She remembers, “There was this instinct in me that something was wrong...so they took x-rays of me and my mom was like, ‘You’ll be fine.’ And then it was like 55 and 46 [degrees]. And they’re like, ‘Yeah, she’s gonna need surgery.’” While White has learned to manage his diabetes, the possibility of short and long term complications remain. “Going high, like having a high blood sugar, that can have long term consequences. Lows can hurt you right now, cause you can pass out,” White says.

design by Grace Woodward

members the pain she experienced when none of her friends came to visit her in the hospital. “I would have thought that they would have at least called me or something...I was really, really sad because I just wanted to feel like a regular teen, not just stay in the hospital all the time,” remarks Etienne. White’s hardships have mostly been related to his day-today treatment, as opposed his social relations. According to White, dealing with his diabetes has gotten less difficult as he has become more familiar with his body’s natural changes and rhythms. “It’s gotten easier just knowing the patterns of everything you do [and] how that can affect your blood sugar, [because] that’s different for every person. Doctors can’t actually tell you that. So learning what insulin does, and what carbs do to your body [helps],” he reflects. Hazelwood’s sarcasm and humour are obvious when she talks about her scoliosis. Because of her back problems, Hazelwood couldn’t carry a typical backpack around school, and instead wheeled around a large, clunky rolling bag, which was difficult to maneuver in hallways that accommodate Blair’s three thousand students. “I’m pretty sure I ran over every person’s feet in this building,” Hazelwood jokes. Additionally, Hazelwood’s brace impacted her social interaction in a combination of typical teenage angst and decreased self confidence. “I’m already a pretty awkward person in general, and then add a brace, which equals self-consciousness, and then just go with the whole teenager hormones thing, then you have one giant jumble of being upset about almost everything,” Dr. Michael Guerrera, a pediatric hematologist at Children’s National Medical Center, says that he works hard to help his patients overcome limitations that are put in place by their illnesses. “That’s really our job, to try to help them succeed where their illnesses tell them they can’t,” he comments.

art by Ben Safford

things in their lives and have learned to adapt to changes with the use of a flexible attitude. “I think it’s kinda given me a different aspect on life, cause you can’t take everything for granted. Like, you have your spine, okay, but what if your spine has a curve in it?” Hazelwood says. Anticipating negative moments isn’t the point, according to Etienne, but rather enjoying positive experiences. She declares, “I just need to be happy, and upbeat, and just have a good time, cause you never know what’s going to happen. You never know if you’re gonna wake up tomorrow.”

COPYRIGHT © 2011 NEPHRON

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE Ewing’s Sarcoma is a primary bone cancer that affects mainly adolescents.

Looking forward After her surgery, Hazelwood’s height, as well as her self-respect, grew immensely. She now stands tall, proud, and confident at five feet and ten inches. Today, people notice Hazelwood’s stature and even consider it when thinking about her future career. “I’m a bit more up in the self-esteem world which is kind of understandable because of the whole hunchback thing going on and then just like, hello, I’m tall. And people are like, ‘You’re so tall, you should be a model,’ and I’m like, ‘Yes, I should be,’” she says. Hazelwood also plans to use her experiences with scoliosis to help others. “There’s this organization called Curvy Girls that helps girls with scoliosis in DC, and I thought that I could join, and talk about it, and help other people who are going through it right now,” Hazelwood says. As for Etienne, the battle has not ended. Recently, doctors found a small mass starting to grow in the same place where her tumor used to be. On October 27, 2014, she went in for surgery to get it removed, and is now getting better. “It’s really

Before

After REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF LIZA HAZELWOOD

SURGICALLY STRAIGHTENED Hazelwood’s surgery radically transformed her spine. She can now walk each day without the struggles of wearing a brace and other complications arising from scoliosis.


C6 Features

silverchips

November 12, 2014

It’s not me, it’s you: breaking up with high school When traditional school is not the right fit, teens explore other options By Amanda Wessel

ous and if you don’t understand, that’s your fault,” she says. She also received little inspiration and guidance from her teachers. “You want to find a teacher that really makes you want to learn,” she says, but she never found that at Blair. Santi Fletcher, 16, also found traditional public high school challenging. In tenth grade at Woodrow Wil-

Like Fletcher’s parents, Mohan’s mother understood that her teen’s dissatisfaction with school went beyond that of a typical high school student. “My mom understood that it wasn’t that I just wanted to get out of school, but [that] I honestly can’t wake myself up in the morning to go to this place to do pointless things,” Mohan says. Mohan’s mother allowed her to withdraw on the condition that Mohan pursued her GED and found a job. For Thompson, it was remarkably easy to withdraw from school. The simplicity of filling out a single form reinforced the neglect she had been feeling. “It was really easy... That really emphasized the situation. No one cared if I was there or not,” she says with affliction. She withdrew in Febru- a r y of 2010, at the beginning of second semester of her freshman year.

self-driven learning while still challenging students, precisely the kind of education she longed for in high school.

“I love to learn, I love to learn,” affirms 17-year-old Ciara Mohan. “But sitting in school for eight, nine hours a day, with these Plans for the future annoying people –– people who don’t give a f***, teachers who don’t give a f***–– it’s not Currently, Mohan is unemployed, but motivational at all,” she says. Mohan felt lost hopes to move in with her older sister in and uninspired in school, so a few months Chicago in January after completing the into her junior year at Blair, she became one GED process. She has yet to find a career of the 1.2 million American teenagers who that interests her but is not planning on foldrop out of high school every year. lowing the traditional college path. “[Society Across the country, dropout rates have expects you to] go to college and then get a steadily declined. In 2013, the dropout typical job where you have to sit in an ofrate in Maryland reached its lowest refice all day and type on the computer and corded rate of 9.36 percent. Still, some do nothing but stupid work,” she says. Mostudents feel they cannot complete han is also not interested in that lifestyle, nor high school and decide to withdoes she want to pursue a degree that she draw. Their reasons include lack will be paying off until she is 35, she says. of interest in school, the need to However, she does admit that if she finds a financially support their families, pregnancy or the decision to pursue an alternative program such as General Education Development (GED) or Finding a better fit Job Corps, a career training program. In Maryland, teens Withdrawing from high have to be officially withschool can be risky; it is a dedrawn from school for cision that impacts the rest of three months in order to one’s life. According to a 2009 able to take the GED test. report by the U.S. Census Bureau, Mohan has completed parts individuals who have up to a reguof the test and has the remainlar high school diploma earn an avering two sections scheduled for age salary of $33,213, while those who this November. Fletcher traveled have a GED or alternative credential U.S. D to Massachusetts to take the HiSET E R TE make $30,915. Those who do not graduate PARTME test, a GED test alternative, and reUT H H NT RA OF earn an average of only $24,520. The MarySA ceived his high school equivalency creED UC AT land State Department of Education reports dential. ION that around one third of teen dropouts find A few months after dropping out, Mofull time employment and only 11 percent of han got a job working as a hostess, then as a those individuals are earning wages above son High School in D.C., he found he could waitress. To her, work was far more gratify-Santi Fletcher the poverty threshold. not concentrate in class due to his complete ing than school. “It was nice to be able to go Maryland law states that public school lack of interest in the material. “I felt like into work and then at the end of two weeks students cannot legally drop out until they school was a waste of time,” he says. “I have a nice paycheck,” she said. “Something turn 16. On July 1, 2015, the law will extend thought that if I truly wanted to do what I you can feel good about.” While working, passion that requires a degree, she will conto age 17, and then to age 18 by 2016. In want to do, I should get a head start early. I she studied and prepared for her GED. sider further education. two years, it will be virtually illegal to drop couldn’t see myself doing four years of high When Fletcher withdrew from school, After completing college, Fletcher hopes out of high school. With this plan, the state school.” he was not sure what his next steps would to realize his longtime dream of opening an hopes to decrease crime, unemployment, Like Mohan, Fletcher did not like the tra- be. “I kind of saw myself just getting a job. art gallery in D.C. after he has more money and dependence on social services, all of ditional educational structure. “I didn’t like I didn’t really know what I wanted to do,” saved. “[I want to] own my own retail space which characterize the lives of many who that they would make us sit down every day he says. However, after completing the di- and open up a gallery, and paint and sell drop out of school. for...seven hours a day and make us memo- ploma equivalency test, he found that he paintings for a living,” he says. Despite ominous statistics and negative rize and regurgitate notes,” he says. Fletcher was not completely fed up with schooling. Thompson plans on completing a Masattitudes toward dropping out, some stu- was not engaged by this method and, as a “I like school and I like learning. I just didn’t ter’s degree at Sarah Lawrence College, and dents, struggling to find their places, leave result, he believes he learned very little. like high school and the stuff that we were hopes to pursue a career where she can work school in an effort to live and learn on their For Sydney Thompson, a troubling expe- learning,” he says. He wanted a more cre- with victims of sexual assault. Her indepenown terms. rience in her freshman year in 2009 was the ative and alternative type of higher educa- dent experiences guided her toward finding catalyst for her decision to withdraw from tion. When he found out that he could apply her interests. “Having left high school, I was ‘A waste of time’ Blair. Coming into ninth grade, she was ap- to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with his given a lot more free time-- time to explore prehensive about the learning environment HiSET test scores, he knew he wanted to at- what I like and what I don’t like,” she says. Mohan entered the public school system in a large school. “I prefer education where tend. He was accepted and began studying Thompson feels that her self-guided eduin 7th grade from Waldorf education, which somebody cares about me as a person, and there this fall. cation prepared her for, as she describes it, aims to foster creativity and social compe- somebody cares that I am learning and am Despite being 16 years old, Fletcher has “figuring out how the real world works” tence over testing and discipline. She found stimulated and challenged instead of push- thrived in the college environment. “I’ve better than traditional school would have. the transition difficult. Waldorf, she ex- ing me through the cogs of a huge school been supporting myself, buying and making “In public school you are taught how to plains, is about “developing your brain and like Blair,” she says. She was feeling “like a my own food and getting myself up to go to absorb information quickly and regurgitate number in a factory system,” and when she class,” he says. “Because I have so much in- information quickly but you are not taught returned to school from being out sick for dependence, I feel the need to do better and how to think or how to learn,” she says. two weeks, she received almost no support because of that I am doing better,” he adds. Neither Fletcher nor Mohan feel that they Thompson committed herself to inde- made the wrong decision withdrawing from from her teachers. As an eager student, she proactively sought to get school. Mohan says, the work she missed but a “There are sometimes I lack of guidance caused her think that I could have to fall behind. stayed for two more Mohan moved to Viryears and finished, but ginia to see if a different when it comes down school system would betto it, I’d much rather ter serve her needs, but she of 18- through 24-year-olds be able to expand on suspected that the general things I think are more held some form of high school credential, with public school philosophy important to expand on was the source of her conthan sitting and learnholding a GED and cern. She was right. “I went ing pointless things for to school over there for a [seven] hours a day.” holding a high school diploma month and it was no differFletcher reflects that ent, nothing had changed,” he and a few of his or alternative credential. she says. After moving back friends have taken alhome, she had no desire to ternative paths to purreturn to school. She offisue their interests. He cially withdrew from Blair notes that some people in December of last year. thrive in traditional high Fletcher also withdrew last school, but he knows -Sydney Thompson year, halfway through his people who left to purU.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SARAH HUTTER AND AMANDA WESSEL sophomore year. sue Job Corps to start Although dropping out learning “their trade” is often a battle between students and their pendent learning that fit her educational early. He has even received emails from old your body, and, of course, learning.” But in parents and educators, these three teens needs. She enrolled in a homeschool pro- high school teachers, including those he did her eyes, public school proved to very one- have parents who supported their decisions gram and worked vigorously to graduate not get along with, who comment on how track minded, and her mind was never on to leave high school. Fletcher discussed his from high school six months early. After proud they are that he found his own path. that track. desire to leave school with his mother and spending a few months volunteering in “There is no right path for everyone. EveryAt school, Mohan felt that she was not stepfather. At first they were ambivalent, Central America and working as a barista in one has to find what makes them happy,” getting the support that she needed to learn. but soon they understood his frustration New York, she looked toward small liberal says Fletcher. “This is what’s making me “Going into public school, it’s all very seri- and allowed him to withdraw. arts colleges that provided alternative and happy right now.”

In 2009,

89.8 percent

of 18- through 24-year-olds not enrolled in high school had received a high school diploma or alternative credential.

“In public school you are taught how to absorb information quickly and regurgitate information quickly but you are not taught how to think or how to learn.”

84.4 percent

5.1 percent 79.3 percent

“I thought that if I truly wanted to do what I want to do, I should get a head start early. I couldn’t see myself doing four years of high school.”


November 12, 2014

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D1Entertainment

silverchips

November 12, 2014

Treasure Island turns out to be not-so-hidden gold

Blair’s fall play has audiences enthusiastically singing its praises

By Camille Kirsch

pirate crew ensues. In the midst of it all, Hawkins creeps off to explore the island on his own. He discovers a half-crazed former pirate named Ben Gunn and the much-contested treasure. The drama climaxes when Hawkins and Smollet take advantage of the pirates’ infighting to capture the treasure and defeat Silver’s crew. The pirates are left marooned on the island and the loyal sailors return home, divide up the loot and go back to normal life. Senior Milena Castillo shines as Jim Hawkins. Her air of genuine innocence captures the audience’s sympathies as surely as her

The Blair stage drifts out to sea with this year’s fall play, Treasure Island. Its rousing sea shanties and well-crafted set transport the audience to a far-away world of adventure and treachery on the high seas, aided by compelling acting from both casts. Treasure Island tells the story of young Jim Hawkins, played by Milena Castillo and Eli Cohen, who meets an old sea captain by the name of Billy Bones, played by Abby Rowland and Lucy Glenshaw, at his parents’ inn. When Hawkins takes a map from Bones’ sea chest, he quickly finds himself at the center of a pirate crew’s murderous intrigue. As the play unfolds, Hawkins sets sail on a voyage to Treasure Island in a ship led by the uptight Captain Smollet, played by Luc Picone and Jack Russ. Unbeknownst to the squire, his KYRA SEIGER crew has been infiltrated by ARRRR From left, freshman Erin Obaonrin, sophomore Faith DeLong John SilGroat, and freshman Henry Wiebe energetically dance in the play. ver, played by Liam Mendizabal and Conor James, and his character captures the pirate treasure. Liam pirates, who are plotting a mutiny so that Mendizabal also gives a commanding perthey can seize the island’s treasure and kill formance as Long John Silver. It takes a off the witnesses. Fighting between Smol- strong actor to stay in character while hoplet’s loyal sailors and Silver’s treacherous ping around the stage on one foot; luckily,

Mendizabal is up to the job. He also works well with sophomore Luc Picone, who plays strait-laced Captain Smollet with aplomb. Silver and Smollet’s enmity comes across as terrifyingly real. Without the supporting cast, Treasure Island would fall flat. Junior Hannah Kaufman turns in an exuberant performance as the mutinous Israel Hands, complete with a spot-on accent. Like Kaufman, senior Ben Holland clearly enjoys his role. He had the audience in stitches with his portrayal of Ben KYRA SEIGER Gunn, an insane former pirate. TERRIFYING Sophomore Abby Rowland pretends to Samantha Chyatte also drew use a knife to threaten sophomore Niarah Jackson. laughs for her hilarious caricature of a pompous, chatty English squire. pirate costumes add visual interest to the Even the cast members with smaller parts crew’s seafaring adventures. The contrastshone in Treasure Island. Freshmen Erin ingly prim and muted costumes of the loyal Obaonrin and Desmond Workman show men, on the other hand, helps the audience great potential for their first show, and the keep track of who is who. entire cast did an excellent job in the show’s Although it is not a musical, Treasure ensemble fight scenes. Island relies heavily on song. The opening Treasure Island’s small world is artfully song “Dead Man’s Chest” stands out from established by the dark lighting and weath- the crowd. The sea shanty is sung at various er-worn, grimy set. The stage crew, direct- points throughout the play, and is full of ed by Brandon Crabtree and Becca Shofar, throbbing menace and sticks in the listener’s deserves applause for their deft realization head. It is powered by Senior Liam Mendizof Junior Dio Cramer’s versatile design. abal’s gravelly voice: his singing is possibly Thanks to all of them, the set switches effort- the best part of his portrayal of Long John lessly from land to ship to land again. The Silver, though his acting as the wicked pirate show’s directors, John and Kelly Newman is no slouch. Student band Useless Grant’s O’Connor, made an equally smart choice “Maritime Adventure” is another standout. in using intimate black box seating. It helps It captures the spirit of a long, arduous voyplunge the audience further into the play’s age on the high seas. setting. All in all, director Kelly O’Connor and The costumes are another essential part student producer Patty Pablo made excelof the show’s aesthetic. Costume designer lent choices, and the show’s cast pulls them Kelly O’Connor’s colorful, artfully ragged off. Blair’s 2014 fall play is a treasure indeed.

Reaching for the stars: Blazers audition to make it big Students audition with the hope of landing that one big break

By Sarah Hutter Sophomore Arielle Gottlieb had only just arrived on the busy streets of New York City, excited and nervous about a possible big break, when the very next day she had to pack her bags and race back down to Washington D.C. At age eleven, Gottlieb was spending her weekend auditioning for two different shows in two completely different cities. This amount of travelling was just part of the process of auditioning for professional theater productions, something Gottlieb was already accustomed to. Gottlieb had already participated in auditions for a variety of shows, including three different productions of The Music Man. Gottlieb is not the only Blazer who has become used to the process of auditioning for professional roles. Some Blair students have used auditions to test their auditions to test their luck at getting famous.

Trying Out Senior Emani Hears’ first audition was big: she was auditioning for a lead role on Broadway, in the hit musical The Lion King. She was anxious, but excited about the prospect of being in a prestigious show. “It was the greatest feeling ever,” she says. “But it was also kind of scary.” Hears, who has been dancing since she was six years old, found out about the Lion King audition through her mother. She decided to audition because she loved the show, although she did not have much experience

with musical theater. “At that time, I wasn’t trained in acting,” says Hears. “I’m not a person who likes to act or sing.” However, she thought the experience would be good for her and the audition happened to be in the area, so she decided to go for it. “It was a good chance to do something out of my box,” she says. Hears got two callbacks, which are follow-up auditions where directors can consider candidates for a specific role. Getting a callback usually means the director is interested in the candidate. “When I did get a callback, my confidence got higher,” says Hears. After the callbacks, Hears had a huge growth spurt, which disqualified her from being considered for the role that required a younger, smaller actor. Gottlieb has also experienced difficulties with being too old for a role. She got a callback for the role of Amaryllis in The Music Man, but didn’t get the part. “I was excited just to be considered for the part,” says Gottlieb. “I think they wanted someone younger.” Junior Sofia Sandoval-Ferriss, who

has auditioned for several smaller-scale musicals and short films since age eight, has had similar audition experiences. Her most recent audition was about two years ago, for a short film produced by students at the University of Maryland. Like Hears, Sandoval-Ferriss

found the audition opportunity through a parent. She is interested in being either an actress or a filmmaker, and wanted to get a head start in the field. “I figured I could at least try to get experience,” she says.

Dealing with disappointment

SHIVANI MATTIKALLI

Hears and Sandoval-Ferriss both emphasize that auditioning can be a nerve-wracking but useful experience, even if the audition is ultimately unsuccessful. Sandoval-Ferriss, whose last audition landed her a short film role, says she often feels that she could have done better after auditions. Hears says she was not too disappointed when she wasn’t cast in The Lion King. “I kind of was, but not really,” she says. “After a while, I was like, it’s okay. Other chances will come in the future.” Auditions can be especially disappointing for those who crave fame. “They want

to be known,” says Hears. “They want everybody to watch them.” Sandoval-Ferriss notes that some people who audition for shows do not realize the amount of work they require. “[People think] it seems easy,” says Sandoval-Ferriss, “[and that] you don’t have to do much to get a lot in return.” She explains that this is generally not the case, and that music and theater can be exhausting. Gottlieb also points out the time commitment professional theater involves. She was glad when she got an understudy role in the Shakespeare Theater’s production of Cymbeline, partly because she only had to commit seriously for about a month. “I don’t think I could have handled that same commitment for months on end for any production, especially if it meant having to leave home,” says Gottlieb. “It would have completely screwed with my life.”

Big dreams Despite the effort required for auditioning and participating in shows, Gottlieb and Sandoval-Ferriss still aspire to enter the entertainment industry professionally. Although Gottlieb is no longer regularly auditioning, she has not given up hope of becoming famous. “I think I could still have a chance to be famous, especially once I finish school,” she says. “I could pick up professional theatre again or even do television and movies, maybe I’ll form a band and we’ll make it big, or maybe I’ll become the richest person alive. You never know.”


silverchips

November 12, 2014

Entertainment D2

Blair-anormal activity: Turning over the tarot card

Students recount their encounters with mysterious phenomena

By Maris Medina It’s a beautiful summer day. Sophomore Luc Picone sits in an open-air pavilion deep within the forest and gazes at the cards spread out on the table. It was a well-kept deck of tarot cards adorned with classic steampunk designs. The card Picone picks up first features one with a brightly-colored wheel floating in a baby blue sky. “We [first] looked up our own tarot cards, so the tarot cards that represent you,” Sophomore Luc Picone recalls the experience, “Mine was the wheel of fortune and I read it and it sounded like someone had written a description of me.” Picone laughs and comfortably leans forward. As he subsequently flipped card by card that day last summer, little did he know how many eerie coincidences they would touch upon. From smaller, yet hair-raising, otherworldly encounters such as Picone’s to terrifying ghost interactions, Blair students have undergone vast encounters in the paranormal realm. Luckily, they’ve lived to tell the tale.

we were like, ‘No,’” Monamua Mohamud laughs nervously, shaking her head. After the encounter, Monamua Mohamud didn’t dare defy her parent’s rules again for fear of running into the peg leg man another time. “I don’t believe in ghosts,” Monamua Mohamud confesses, “but I don’t want to tamper with that kind. So I’m always on edge.” Not your average campfire story

A handful of Blazers have tales about the less spoken-about spirit world—voodoo, Ouija, the not-so-average paranormal entities. It can be argued that these stories feature the bravest enthusiasts because they are the ones that daringly attempt to diminish the barrier between reality and the spirit world such as what happens in an Ouija session or a tarot reading. They are the ones that ghosts don’t provoke; rather, they provoke the ghosts. When Picone decided to play around with tarot, he wasn’t planning to gain profound insight on the spirit world. Regardless, his experience with tarot cards altered his alGhostly encounters ready fairly open-minded beliefs. After he had turned over the eerily descriptive cards Over the years, we’ve seen our fair share about himself, Picone decided to consult of blockbuster scary movthe cards about a comies. It’s all too familiar-plicated situation with the ominous darkened his friends. “There was hallway, the scratchy voice a lot of drama going at the end of the line, the on at camp,” Picone exlooming shadow edging plains, “And the friend around the corner. These who was on my side, are all elements that have we looked at our situaus jumping out of our tion and we did what’s seats but also reinforce the called a three-line tarot notion of the typical (and reading.” sometimes predictable!) They took one card scary story. Moviegoers to symbolize the past, and film critics alike yawn another for the present, -Yamai Jack at the sign of angry ghosts and the last to describe and awakened spirits bethe future. The first card cause such entities appear he flipped over was surin almost every movie. But prisingly accurate by what happens when you spookily describing his take these elements and relationship with one of translate them into real life? A story that the friends he was feuding with. The present truly gives you nightmares. talked of turmoil--exactly what was happenTake, for example, the typical haunted ing at camp. As for the artwork on the card, house setting. Sophomore Angie Mejia Picone details that they all bore resemblance didn’t know she had lived in a haunted to the situation as well, “The artwork--it house for three years until her parents fi- changes from card to card but what struck nally broke it to her when after they moved us about the boy and the girl being on [all into a different house. three of] the cards, was that the dispute was When she was seven, she was looking out between me and my friends who were both the window with her friend when her friend turned to her and asked, “Angie, who’s that person walking across your backyard?” Surely enough, a white, shadowy figure was pacing back and forth. “We weren’t scared or anything because we didn’t know,” Angie nervously chuckles. Later on, when she asked her parents if there were indeed paranormal entities lurking inside, they finally confirmed it, explaining that the basement tenants heard footsteps and weird noises when the Mejias weren’t home. Unlike Mejia, freshman Suraya Monamua Mohamud fortunately didn’t have a spirit wandering her home, but was out in the middle of the woods when she chanced upon a real-life urban legend. A few years ago, she went camping for the first time with a handful of friends. What had begun as an innocent night stroll to the lake turned into a meeting comparable to Friday the 13th’s Jason’s scavenger hunt for bodies to murder. “There used to be a little ghost tale of a man who cleaned up the parts of the camping site,” Monamua Mohamud explains, “He had a peg leg.” She and her friends were sitting down by the lake when they heard rustling in the trees. At first she doubted anything suspicious, “I was just like, ‘Oh, it’s probably just a bird or a bat’ at the night and we turned around and we saw the footsteps of a peg leg.” The girls sprinted across the woods back to their cabin, yet, to their horror, the door was bolted and their families were sound asleep. Just when the ordeal couldn‘t seem to get worse, they heard a scream arising from the trees. This was the breaking point for Monamua Mohamud and her friends. Thankfully, after a few minutes, one of the parents finally awakened and opened the door for them in which they gladly entered. “We just sat there and when we looked back out the window, it was still rustling and

“I was aware of my body but I couldn’t really move.”

brunettes, and they were both brunettes on crawling on me and my blanket was moving the card.” up and down like it was on and it was off.” Additionally, from the past to the future Sleep paralysis has been a controversial cards, the figures seemed to develop in a and not widely researched phenomenon. way that Picone believed symbolized matu- Some call it the “demon in the bedroom” rity. He analyzed it as a sign that the situa- or even theorize that it is caused by aliens. tion would resolve itself and indeed it did. Thankfully, she has not experienced it since. “We interpreted the [future] card that there But among all Americans, an article on Webwould be a climax event and that everything MD says that, “Studies show that between would even out. Two days later, precisely 25% and 50% of Americans have had sleep that happened,” Picone says. paralysis at least once.” Another means to communicate with the supernatural world is through voodoo. SeCultural ties nior John Kargbo has never actually used voodoo before, but has extensive insight on Among the Blair students who shared it. He believes it to be somewhat like karma. their stories about paranormal encounters, “Voodoo is kind of like karma, except people none of them claim that their experiences plant it for you.” He explains that one could changed their lives. But it often emphasized use voodoo simply by ties to their culture and implementing it on a religion that serve as the ragdoll, and the victim foundation in their belief would never know. systems. Kargbo recalls a Picone has lived and time that he had once traveled in a sundry of cheated on a test and places such as Australia, even after confessing South Africa and Thailand to his teacher, his face with a total of 27 countries broke out with terrible total. With a childhood’s bumps. He says he is worth of beautiful and conconvinced that karma trasting cultures, he feels played a role. He even blessed with an open mind. has suspicions that voo“Moving around was part doo might have been of my upbringing,” Picone -Suraya Monamua part of it as well. explains, “I learned to have Mohamud Freshman Charlotte an open mind as I learned Cook, once sat in on how to walk.” Through his a Ouija board session travels, he was molded by with her older sister the belief systems of the and her neighbor. They countries he’s resided in, were all at her neighbor’s house when the allowing him to be exposed to numerous older girls concocted the daring idea to play cultures. around with the Ouija board. They went into As for Mejia, her religion emphasizes the the darkened basement and began to ask the importance of avoiding ominous spirits. spirit, who they presumed to be present, his When she encountered another spirit in her name. “It said T and the number 8, and it home, her grandmother began to recite bible was like Tate,” Cook recollects. verses and throw holy water around her They asked him other questions such as bedroom. She recalls her grandmother askhis job and received a response that was ing God to, “‘Please help this soul find the a strange variation of the word, hoarder, light.’” which they later discovered was the name of Since her camping incident with the pegan occupation a long time ago. To this day, legged man, Monamua Mohamud underCook has still not gotten over her experience stands a native Somali proverb more clearly, with the board. “A dead man’s path is never to be crossed.” A couple months ago, junior Yamai Jack As Blair turned 80 years old last month, experienced sleep paralysis that left her 80 years’ worth of ghost stories continue to trapped in her body but aware of what was be passed down from class to class. To this going on around her for a few seconds. “I day, you never know what could be lurking was aware of my body but I couldn’t really around the corner as you saunter down an move,” Jack says, “I felt like things were empty hallway… watch out.

“I don’t believe in ghosts, but I don’t want to tamper with that kind.”

BENJAMIN SAFFORD


D3 Entertainment

silverchips

November 12, 2014

Sampling the fine dining in Blair’s hallways

Blazers of Note

A guide to the best and worst of the vending machines

By Teague Sauter

NOLA CHEN

Katherine Wu Freshman If you have taken Driver’s Ed, you have surely been warned about the dangers of drowsy driving. Over winter break last year, freshman Katherine Wu created a system called “Drivers Companion” to keep drowsy drivers awake during long car rides. This device uses brain waves and eye blinks to determine how drowsy the person is, and alerts the driver with audio messages or music. She was inspired to design this device because her family often takes long car rides to Florida, and she noticed that her father struggled to stay awake for the entire trip. Wu was a finalist for the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist challenge, for which she won $1,000 and a trip to Costa Rica. Other similar technologies have been developed, but Wu’s is the only one that uses brain waves and eye blinks. “They find the drowsiness after the person has already been in danger, whereas mine works proactively to help prevent it,” Wu explains. She has tested it on human subjects, but has yet to try it out on a drowsy driver.

If you want to find a decent snack at Blair you have to look beyond a simple “C6” or “B12”. The best treats are often hidden in places you wouldn’t think to look, like concealed in the corner of a machine, deep in the back hallways or simply unavailable for purchase until after 2:40. When you are hungry during the school day your options are pretty limited, so choose wisely. If you really are hungry, don’t count on a salty snack to fill you up because chances are, with Blair’s vending machines, you’re getting a whopping bag full of air along with a few chips or pretzels at the bottom. Let’s start with the Cheetos Puffs: they may look appetizing, but don’t let the large bag fool you, it’s unlikely that you will get more than 10 in a package. It’s easy to call your product “reduced fat” if you accomplish this by significantly reducing the amount of puffs in a bag and cutting down on the cheese powder too. A better option during the school day would have to be the Chocolate Chippers. This bag of mini cookies actually has a surprising amount of food, and the cookies themselves aren’t bad either. If you happen to be at school when candy is available, the sour gummy worms are by far the best value in the machine. Hidden in the bottom corner, but hardly out of sight due to the bright colors, this candy is a great find. For only one dollar you get a fairly large bag of sugar coated sour gummy worms that would likely cost over a dollar fifty elsewhere. The cluster of vending machines outside the Student Activity Center are surely the most popular. This hopping snack spot not only has one of the only machines with candy in the entire school, but also hosts its own unique ice cream machine. The convenience

factor is golden: if you’re thirsty after your salty snack and the water fountain right around the corner is just too far, you can pay just a dollar fifty for a 20-ounce water bottle. The machines at this location work most of the time, but they might not always have your favorite item in stock. Another popular location is right outside the media hallway under the main stairwell featuring two, that’s right two, fully operational soda machines. It also has the traditional snack machine and two “fruit wave

serve the same knock off soda as all the other machines. It always delivers, so if you’re craving consistency this machine is one of your best bets. Unfortunately, the coolest machine in the school is in a lesser known location so it doesn’t get the fame it truly deserves. Outside the main office you will find the soda machine from the future. Not only is this one of the only machines with a totally transparent window in front; it also has a robot arm that moves around to select your drink and bring it to you. It only serves “fruit wave H2O”, water and orange juice, but it doesn’t matter because just watching this robot arm retrieve your drink is often more satisfying than the drink itself. If you ever find yourself feeling extra sporty and you need a sugary sports drink to satisfy your thirst there is only one place in the school you can go. Right outside the weight room there is a drink machine emblazoned with the Aquafina logo, but don’t be fooled by this clever advertising. This machine also houses a variety of different flavors of Gatorade. However, if you are suffering from an extreme thirst don’t expect it to be quenched here: this machine only serves mini-bottles. Then there are the stairwell machines: left untouched since Blair’s construction, seeing somebody use one of these machines is almost like seeing a ghost. The point of these backalley maANGEL WEN chines is really unknown as nobody has time to stop and get a snack on their way H2O” machines. This spot has one of the to class, but if you are a strange soul who only two vending machines in the entire decides to use one of these ancient machines school that sells brand name soda. As for the you are in for the same food you could get other beverages, the machine labeled “cold anywhere else, granted food from these madrinks” is hardly trustworthy. Sometimes chines is a little more stale. giving you two carbonated flavor waters Blair’s vending machines really aren’t and sometimes none at all, this machine is anything special, but if you’re willing to lose all about luck. The Nesquik machine doesn’t a few quarters in the process, you can find actually serve chocolate milk, but it does little gems hidden all over the school.

He’s only 17 but he’ll “tear it up like a tissue” Jakob Little (a.k.a. Kasey Jones) excels in local rap community

By Wesley Hopkins

NOLA CHEN

Alex Wiebe Senior When one imagines a typical bird watcher, one thinks of an older man wandering in the forest with his fanny-pack and binoculars at the ready; but that does not characterize senior Alex Wiebe. Wiebe started bird watching at 8 years old when his uncle took him on bird watching trips. He is now a member of the Maryland Ornithological Society, where he leads and attends trips in the Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia areas. He also participates in competitive bird watching. “The general idea is that it is timed and in a region.The idea is to see as many species as possible usually in one day from midnight [one day] to midnight [the next day],” Wiebe explains. Throughout the day the competitors keep a checklist of the species they have seen or heard. Wiebe spent 9 weeks this summer in Panama studying the spotted ant bird, and observing 300 other bird species. In the future, he hopes to pursue research on birds and biology in general. Written By Camille Estrin and Amanda Wessel

Two large men stand outside the doorway, holding back the line of people waiting in the cold, some shivering, others smoking cigarettes to help warm up. “Five bucks, no exceptions,” they say, holding wads of cash in each hand. A narrow stairwell leads to a room no bigger than a math classroom, with at least 60 people packed in. Two large speakers, connected by wires running along the floor, are intended to separate the “stage” from the crowd, but at least once per song, the crowd gets too excited and crosses the line, ripping cords out of sockets and cutting the music off. “I’M WATCHING THE MOSH PIT, YOU BREAK THIS I’LL BEAT YOU’RE A**, BACK UP!” shouts the 20-something boy who lent the equipment for the show, toning the crowd down for just a minute or two. This is DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) local rap, and this is where senior Jakob Little thrives. He’s a performer in this show, a 7-set act called Soly Ghost. Small, yet incredibly high-energy shows like this are made up by a tight-knit group of rappers and fans. “Our community is really cool, there’s so many different sounds and everyone has just been super-supportive,” says Little. It isn’t without fault, though. “Some of the local guys kind of suck,” he admits. “It’s kind of like high school, there’s a lot of cliques. But I’ve been lucky enough to be received pretty well, I mean, at least I think people like me.” And they certainly do. Little posts his music to Soundcloud under the pseudonym Kasey Jones, and his most popular song “Haze” has over 20,000 plays. He’s also been featured on a song approaching 40,000 (“Dark” by Matt McGhee). Each time one of these songs drops, his name buzzes around the internet for hours. Little compares it to being a superhero. “Everything is happening at once and you’re getting a lot of praise, it’s like being invincible,” he says. Outside of school, Little hangs out mostly with people he’s met through music. One Wednesday afternoon, he sits around with

a group of friends, each connection traceable back to one of these song releases. Tashan Spencer, an Einstein graduate, reached out to Little after his first song, “Nightquilt”, was released. “Someone retweeted it and I had no idea who he was, but I messaged him like ‘yo this song is dope’ and we just kind of went from there,” says Spencer. Since then, this relationship has beREPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF DR. SOL come Little’s first sponsorship, by Spencer’s clothing DROP THE MIC Senior Jakob Little performs at rap company GRIME. “Jake gets free stuff, he shouts show Soly Ghost as fans dance and chant around him. us out; we shout him out on our stuff, it’s a real cool partnership,” ex- rens blarin’, I’m kinda carin’, but my bloodplains Spencer. “Legit though,” agrees Little. stream tellin’ me hey don’t stress,” screams Back at the show, Little sits down with the audience, completely uncontained by Spencer at the GRIME merchandise table the barriers established by earlier threats. in the back corner of the room. Between t- Little is the epicenter of an uncontrollable shirt sales, they bob along with the crowd crowd, and he can hardly contain his smile. This high point for Jakob Little didn’t to Publik Theory, a rap collective made up mostly of recent graduates that used to come without a dip earlier in high school, dominate Blair’s rap scene. “All I wanted back in his sophomore year. “I dealt with a at one point was to join Publik Theory, but lot of depression. I had some health probin the end I’m glad I didn’t,” reflects Little. lems and I wasn’t going to school for a “I like being on my own, I can do whatever while,” admits Little. “But I made it through I want.” The group did leave him with his that and eventually I stopped feeling sorry original rap name, though. “They said that for myself, and it was just like alright, I’m my head comes out so much further from gonna f**king do something.” After his set, Little, now shirtless, shakes the rest of my body, so I became Turtle God for a while,” laughs Little. “People always hands with his fellow rappers and fans. He ask me about that, I hope this clears that shares a special hug with his “mans”, Virgil Newport III, known as Al Hostile. A second up,” he adds. On stage, Publik Theory is wrapping up year student at Montgomery College, Hosand the crowd is beginning to chant, know- tile and Jakob are often featured on each ing which act is next. Chants of “Ka-sey- other’s songs and the two can usually be Jones! Ka-sey-Jones!” fill the small room. Lit- seen together. “Jake will never tell you this tle puts his hat on backwards, takes a deep because he’s too damn humble, but I’ll tell breath, and takes the mic. He captivates the you how good he is. I’ll go ahead and say it, audience, taking control of the crowd like he’s one of the top five rappers in the DMV,” no other performer of the night. By the time he claims. “His image, his dedication, and his final song comes on, his microphone has his passion will take him as far as he wants long been disabled, but the rest of the room to go. He’s got so much going for him, he’s has no problem filling in. “Is that EMS? Si- only 17 and he’s only going up from here.”


November 12, 2014

Super Critical by The Ting Tings

You’re Dead by Flying Lotus

Under Pressure by Logic

With a Little Help From My Fwends by The Flaming Lips

1989 by Taylor Swift

Gone Girl 20th Century Fox

The Ting Tings have an upbeat, happy and very treble-heavy sound. Their latest album, Super Critical, is full of light, lyrical and melodic songs that almost come off as superficial. Unlike their past albums, this one sounds more like 1980’s pop and less like Indie rock. This is primarily because the vocals are more free-floating. Although this album is different from The Ting Tings past work, pop fans will still find it enjoyable. Flying Lotus is an experimental electronic artist who has been producing tracks since 2006. His most recent album, “You’re Dead”, combines rap, jazz and electronic music into a dark sound. Even though over half of the tracks on the album are instrumental, the album is still captivating. FlyLo appears to have a dark perception of the future as exemplified in Never Catch Me. The track features Kendrick Lamar, who raps about an enchanted semi-apocalyptic world. Many of the tracks have a deep bass component and a moving synth line, creating an electronic flavor. Smooth jazz saxaphone riffs and gospel choirs fall in and out throughout the album. FlyLo showcases his carefully crafted style and deep soulful searching in an album that dips into confusion before finding sweet serenity. “Under Pressure” can best be described as a concept album about life itself. Listening to the album feels as if one is sitting in a lonely jazz bar, stirring a drink as a singer’s solemn notes pass through the ears. In tracks like “Metropolis” and “Never Enough” soft jazz guitars whisper underneath Logic’s vocals and a bass lurks lightly underneath. Logic’s jazz influences may seem corny but the rapper’s use of the American art form works to create a sense of serenity. Logic’s excellence is not only due to his rhymes, which can be lazy and typical of mainstream rappers, but rather the advanced technical skill he possesses.

What’s New on Silver Screens

Story by Julian Bregstone and Aidan Keys Art by Ben Safford

The League FX

Bob’s Burgers Fox

Are You the One MTV

With A Little Help From My Fwends is an extremely psychedelic cover of the Beatles’ album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Flaming Lips can get away with this because of their reputation as an exotic indie band, and their careful concoction of each song. Parts of the cover sound nothing like the original, but before long a recognizable melody will appear and bring the listener back.

In her anticipated new album, Taylor Swift has made the complete transition from a country singer to pop music machine. The most popular song on 1989 is Shake It Off, which was released as a single two months before the album came out. The catchy chorus and satisfying low bass make Shake It Off a perfectly constructed pop hit. This album was made for when you want to dance around, while previous albums which were lamenting about her heartbreak. Blank Space, a track where Swift pokes fun at her portrayal in the media, is easily the best on the album. 1989, as a whole, is catchy and worth a listen.

This dark drama thriller is filled with subtle foreshadowing and solid acting. Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, comes home one day to find his wife, played by Rosamund Pike, missing. The situation immediately gets heavy press coverage which brings up the notion that Nick Dunne murdered her. As the evidence against Nick begins to pile up, the townspeople start to turn on him. There are multiple confusing clues that all work out in the end, but not before tons of media speculation. The plot is full of twists and turns, which does impact the duration of the movie. Despite the length of the film, Gone Girl is worth watching because it is thrilling and well made.

Entertainment D4

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The League is a raunchy comedy about an intense fantasy football league. The most impressive and little known part of this show is that it is mostly unscripted, so the actors can be their naturally funny selves. The drawback to this improv method is that some of the scripted lines are awkward and cringe-worthy. In every episode there are at least four completely tasteless jokes, that even media-desensitized high school brains could not find funny The show’s best characters, however, Taco, Ruxin and Rafi, are guaranteed to deliver a few hilarious one liners each episode. Bob’s Burgers is an animated show about a family burger restaurant. This established sitcom is entering its fifth season this fall. The writing and voice acting are what make this show constantly full of dry humor. The show is engaging with fast dialogue and hidden ironic elements. The complicated but clear storylines use dynamic characters and keep every episode original.The main character, Bob Belcher, voiced by H. Jon Benjamin, is constantly creating schemes to make enough money to support his family. They are often ridiculous and lead to hilarious situational irony. If you like Archer, you will like Bob’s Burgers because of the similar appeal to subtle humor.

Are You The One is a dating reality show with a twist. 10 guys and 10 girls are brought into a large house in Hawaii and compete to find their perfect match. If all matches are found by the end of the season, all of the contestants get to share 1 million dollars. At certain times the men are interviewed without shirts. This is not explained at any point in the episode which provides a perfect example of how the whole show feels like a skit from “The Kroll Show.” The most structured part of this show is the daily challenges. In these challenges the men compete to win extravagant dates with a woman of their choice. From the dates, one couple is voted into the “Truth Booth,” the only way to actually find a true match. At the end of each episode, the contestants find out if they have found any matches during the last 40 minutes (most of these sessions end in tears).This show essentially reduces humanity to primal desires and gluttony, with no purpose but to get drunk and find a mate but is however entertaining. Are You The One provides entertainment but can get to far fetched at times.

I Am Ali Focus Features

Interstellar Paramount Pictures

This documentary takes us through the life of professional boxer Muhammad Ali. In this movie, archived interviews of Ali are used to give us a deeper view into his life. Unfortunately, the film is not particularly captivating due to the focus on the relationship between Ali and his daughter, which dominates the plot. Some of the interviews are emotional and touching, but don’t capture the viewer because of the poor filmmaking techniques. The movie does not focus on the fights, and the B-roll is not engrossing. Despite its shortcomings, the movie does provide a well-rounded look into Ali’s life and you are guaranteed to learn something from it.

Christopher Nolan delivers another visually stimulating, thought-provoking and exhilarating film. In this movie, Earth can no longer sustain human life. Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, along with his crew travel through a wormhole in an attempt to find a planet that can support human life. The idea of Earth being unable to support humans has been used before, but Interstellar brings it to a new level in filmmaking and scientific accuracy. The physics in space are more precise than they have been in any other movie. The visual effects are incredibly detailed and fluid. Cooper works with NASA, who has already sent expeditions into the wormhole and have looked at three planets that could have the capability of sustaining humans. Interstellar is a film worth watching and has all the components for an epic movie.


D5 Entertainment

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November 12, 2014

Peace, love, unity, and respect: It’s all the rave

Rave culture is a way for Blazers to let loose and show their love

By Aditi Subramaniam

“The first rave concert I went to was Carnage at the Fillmore. I Enter a rave and you are im- was just happy the whole time. mediately enveloped by the Everyone was so nice and I was crowd and become fluid, drifting surrounded by people who enjoy through the mass of concertgoers. the same music as me, which is the Your mind is unburdened of all best connection you can have,” she thoughts except the synthesized remarks. Junior Alex Melinchok sounds and dropping beats that adds that people at raves are alsurround you. The stranger you ways friendly and helpful. “Once, just jostled into asks if you’ve ever when I fell down, everyone around heard this DJ live before he hoists me stopped dancing to check if I you onto his shoulders, where you was okay and helped me up,” she can look down at the colorful array said. of fellow ravers. For the most part, This ever-present vibe at raves this scene won’t change whether is termed PLUR, which stands you’re local at Freefest or overseas for peace, love, unity and respect. at the Sziget Festival in Hungary. A In their study, “A ‘Rave’ Review: rave is more than just a concert; it Conceptual Interests and Analytiis part of cultural movement that cal Shifts in Research on Rave Culemphasizes self-expression and ture”, University of Delaware prohappiness, uniting people through fessors Tammy L. Anderson and music. Philip R. Kavanaugh determined that PLUR is integral in defining The rave mantra ravers’ identity. “[Ravers] view this ethos as a closer approximaSenior Maya Montenegro be- tion of a society in which they decame a frequent raver because she sired to live,” they wrote. fell in love with that atmosphere. The PLUR attitude manifests itself physically in the way that people dress and act. Melinchok recalls seeing some crazy costumes at raves. “The best ones I have seen were someone wearing a panda head at the White Panda concert and girls wearing those fuzzy REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF PETER NOOWIN legwarmers,” DANCE PARTY Ravers rock to elecronic music she rememperformed at the 9:30 Club during the summer. bers excitedly.

Montenegro also enjoyed watching ravers bring light up props and put on their own displays in the crowd. “I love seeing people who do hula hoop tricks or do poi, which is when people swing around those glowing balls on strings and make cool patterns,” she says. Exchanging “kandi”, or beaded bracelets with often crude sayings on them, is another rave tradition; the bracelets are exchanged while holding hands and the beaded accessories are slipped over interlocked fingers to further represent the PLUR mindset.

Induced happiness While those attending raves generally arrive happy and ready to party, unfortunately their outgoing behavior can also be attributed to drugs, which are closely intertwined with rave culture. MDMA, otherwise known as ecstasy or molly, is the most popular drug of choice because it induces happiness, increases sensory perception and better enables people to connect with each other. Other popular substances include LSD, marijuana and, of course, alcohol, which are often freely shared between ravers. Melinchok says that this trademark of rave culture enhances the experience. “A lot of people do drugs at raves and I think it’s unique in the sense that there’s a whole spectrum of inebriation. Everyone is kind of doing their own thing, enjoying the music and creating their own experience. And, in general, drugs just make people more open with each other,” she explains. Junior Sarah Joyce, however, feels that the drugs pose a huge risk. “My friend took molly [at a rave] but it reacted badly with her

prescription drugs, causing serotonin syndrome. She had to be escorted out by the EMTs and she could have died,” she said. Joyce prefers to be sober because she would rather be safe than sorry. “People also be taken advantage of REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF SAM HOWELLS or become deHANDS IN THE AIR Overwhelming crowds cheer hydrated when on Australian performer Flume at the 9:30 club. they’re inebriated. There’s just a lot that can go wrong,” she Hopefully, people who aren’t dediwarned. cated to the music will learn about new artists once they’re there,” she Eat, sleep, rave, repeat said. Regardless of sobriety and Senior Sam Howells also makes dedication, all the Blazer ravers a distinction between true ravers feel that embracing the PLUR atwho take drugs to enhance their titude is the most important aspect experience and high school stu- of raving. For Montenegro, rave dents who use raves as an excuse culture has brought her lasting to get wasted. “I’m not one of those friendships. “I met one of my best people [at raves] that is covered in friends at Savoy earlier this year kandi and I don’t think I ever will and have made other close friends be. But there definitely is a differ- throughout all the other concerts I ence between ravers embracing have been to,” she reflects. HowPLUR and drunk teenagers wear- ells appreciates this atmosphere ing neon,” he said. especially when he and his friends Montenegro has also observed a film raves to later edit into recaps range of seriousness about raving. of the night. “I love filming beShe hopes that even concertgoers cause you get to go up on stage that aren’t as dedicated as she is and run in front of the crowd and will take on the rave culture after get really close to people. It’s easy attending. “I know people who to get good shots because everydrop hundreds of dollars and trav- one is excited to be there,” he exel to see their favorite artists. One plained. Others, like Joyce, simply of my friends has been to Bassnec- go for the good vibes. “You can just tar 87 times. But I also have friends dance and meet new people withwho go just to get drunk and party. out judgment. It’s a good excuse It’s your choice and what’s most to go out with your friends for a important is if you are having fun. different experience,” she says.


Chips Clips D6

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November 12, 2014

Grocery Run by Julian Bregstone

October Crossword Answers

Across 1. Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh, ____ Gangnamstyle 5. Congealed animal fat 9. Short peice of writing done often for school 14. Algae alternate spelling 15. ____name and password 16. Similar to a violin but a bit bigger 17. Single teenager 18. ____chute 19. Multiple mistakes 20. Used to sit on a horse 22. Dinning sets 24. Small crown with ornaments around it 27. A rug laid infront of a fireplace 30. Man eating giants 35. The process of introducing air to something 36. The sound a sheep makes 38. 8th book of the bible 39. To form something before hand 41. A fish notorius for is ruthless feeding frenzies 43. Unit of liquid commonly used to mesure beer, paint and ice cream 44. A stupid, clumsey person 46. Completely lacking 47. Makes bread rise 49. The quality of forming a unified whole

51. Illegal action of lending money at unreasonably high rates 53. Having the power to change things 57. A story that has not been recounted 61. A book read electronically 62. American Society of Plastic Surgery 65. Milk’s favorite cookie 66.A probe that transmits information about its sorroundings 67. Long body part used for balance by cats 68. 11762 106 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5G 3H6, Canada 69. Disreputable act 70. Tense, nervous, or irritable 71. In addition to or besides

Down 1. Hippie fuel that can be cooked into cookies or bread 2. A request made in an urgent manner 3. Lived for a long time 4. A craft made by hand 5. Batman, Spiderman, Superman 6. The country in which we live 7. Energy Efficiency Rating 8. A countries total imoprts exceed its exports 9. In spite of

10. Statewide Interoperable Radio Network 11. Having tired muscles 12. Many 13. Newest album from Rich Kidz 21. Game of chance for millions of dollars 23. Used to identify a noun 27. Pharrell’s latest hit 28. Strange, frightening 29. Political ______ 31. An inscribed headstone marking a grave 32. Sentence that goes on to long 33. A set of moral principles 34. Under a tree is a place that has _____ from the sun 37. Grotesquely ugly 40. Marked with a spot 42. Old show aired on T.V. 45. Intended to belong to 48. Main Thanksgiving food 50. A short expression greeting 52. Means significant other online 53. Irish or Scottish tax 54. Double-reed, small instrument 55. ____ of the above 56. Sweeney ____ 58. Spoken by mouth 59. A necklace of flowers; plural 60. Anec_____ 63. To be unhappy

Sudoku: Hard

Sudoku: Easy

COURTESY OF WWW.WEBSUDOKU.COM

Number Olympics

COURTESY OF WWW.WEBSUDOKU.COM

Social Media Versus Reality

ANGEL WEN

NAZEA KHAN

Skipping Thanksgiving

Firmware Issues

BEN SAFFORD

ANDREA BROWN


E1 Spanish

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November 12, 2014

La Esquina Latina

Silver Chips 12 de noviembre del 2014

¡Celebremos! Homenajeando la herencia hispana

Como se festejó el mes de herencia hispana en los EE.UU.

Por Ilcia Hernandez e Itcenia Quezada La palabra herencia se define como un conjunto de ideas, morales y otros bienes inmateriales que se pasan de generación a generación. Cada septiembre, en los Estados Unidos, se celebra el mes de la Herencia Hispana para hacerle homenaje a la cultura y las tradiciones de los hispanos radicados en este país. De igual manera se celebran las contribuciones de los hispanos en los Estados Unidos. El presidente Lyndon B. Johnson fue quien estableció una semana de festejos de la herencia hispana en el 1968. Después, el presidente Ronald Reagan declaró un mes de celebraciónes en el 1988. El 15 de septiembre fue escogido como el inicio de la celebración ya que es la fecha del día de independencia de varios países hispanohablantes. Este año, el mes de la herencia hispana se celebró en muchos diferentes ámbitos. Por ejemplo, la Liga Nacional de Fútbol Americano (NFL) celebró esta fecha con una serie de eventos especiales. Quince equipos de NFL celebraron a los jugadores cuando jugaron en su propio estadio. Solo hay cerca de diecisiete jugadores que son hispanos o de herencia hispana en la NFL. Entre estos jugadores

se encuentran Víctor Cruz de los New York Giants y Mark Sánchez de los Philadelphia Eagles. Para la celebración del Mes de la Herencia Hispana 2014 la NFL, la fundación

nidad hispana. La NFL no es la única en reconocer esta fecha; las Ligas Mayores de Fútbol (MLS) también la celebra. Este año, el equipo de Wash-

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¡BAILANDO Y FESTEJANDO! Después de 43 años, aun seguimos celebrando la diversidad hispana en el area de Washington D.C. “Herencia Hispana” y Verizon patrocinaron la cuarta entrega anual de los Premios de liderazgo NFL de la Herencia Hispana. A cada ganador se le otorgó $2,000 para donar a alguna de las organizaciones que benefician a la comu-

ington D.C., (D.C. United) participó en la “Fiesta D.C” y tenían su propio quiosco donde daban información y tenían una rifa. También tuvieron un juego especial llamado la “Noche de Herencia Hispana” con entretenimiento y diversion

para todos. El mes de herencia hispana no solo se celebra a nivel nacional, si no también localmente. “Fiesta D.C.” es uno de los festivales latinos más grandes en el la área de D.C., Maryland y Virginia. El 11 de septiembre pasado este festival celebró su aniversario número 43 con un desfile, música y bailes que reflejan la pasión característica de los países representados. También hubo comida de diferentes países hispanos y venta de ropa tipica. La atmósfera fue muy alegre. Esta clase de eventos ayudan a reunir a la comunidad hispana y también da a conocer nuestra cultura a la de los demás. En el área metropolitana, hubo un festival donde se celebró el mes con música e instrumentos musicales tradicionales de España, México, Centro America, Sudamerica y El Caribe. Este evento se llama “Festival del Día de la Familia” y tomó lugar en el Museo Nacional del Indio Americano el 13 de septiembre del 2014. Otro evento interesante fue el “Prince Georges County Hispanic Festival” en el parque “Lane Manor” en Adelphi, MD, a solo diez minutos de Blair. Con actividades como juegos de carnaval, ventas de comida típica, paseos en potros y música, se busca atraer y reunir a

la numerosa comunidad latina que vive en el área. Una estudiante de MCPS participó en este festival con su familia, cuenta sobre su experiencia. “Sentí como que estaba en mi país disfrutando de la comida y música típica de mi herencia,” dice ella. Estos tipos de eventos nos traen recuerdos de nuestros países nativos o los de nuestros padres. El Mes de la Herencia Hispana también fue celebrado en las escuelas. En Blair, donde los hispanos tenemos gran presencia, tuvimos una noche de película para los estudiantes y sus familias. La película se llama Bajo la misma luna y trata de una madre mexicana que viene a los EE.UU para trabajar y deja su hijo en México. La película narra el viaje de esta madre y de su hijo para reunirse de nuevo. La población hispana está creciendo rápidamente. Según la oficina del Censo de Estados Unidos, se proyecta que habrá 132.8 millones de hispanos para 2050. Los hispanos representamos una comunidad muy valiosa por nuestro aporte a la economía y la cultura de este país. El Mes de la Herencia Hispana es importante porque nos da la oportunidad de celebrar el valor de nuestra cultura, y la integración de la comunidad hispana en la sociedad de los Estados Unidos.

Comunidad latina utiliza la creatividad en sus leyendas

La evolución de la cultura hispana a través de las leyendas

Por Camila Fernández y Andrés Romero El término “leyenda” tiene su origen en el vocablo “legenda,” que pertenece al latín. “Legenda” significa “debe ser leído.” Así que, en sus orígenes, las leyendas fueron narraciones que se plasmaban por escrito para luego ser leídas públicamente generalmente en las iglesias u otros templos religiosos. En la actualidad, las leyendas son narraciones sobre hechos naturales, sobrenaturales o una mezcla de ambos que es transmitida de generación en generación de forma oral o escrita. Estas se ubican en un tiempos inmemorables de la comunidad ya que esto le aporta cierta credibilidad que hace que sea más fácil imaginar, asimilar y comprender la historia sobre la que habla. Los diferentes tipos de leyendas se clasifican según dos criterios, por su temática o por su origen. Desde el punto de vista del tema existen leyendas etiológicas, que aclaran el origen de los elementos naturales; leyendas escatológicas, tratan de temas paranormales y leyendas religiosas, historias sobre el bien y el mal. Desde el punto de vista del origen se encuentran las leyendas urbanas, que son parte del folklore contemporáneo y se transmiten de manera

oral; las leyendas rurales, que son leyendas creadas en el campo y no pueden adaptarse al ambiente urbano y las leyendas locales, las cuales son narraciones propias de una zona o región específica. La maestra de español Dora González indica que, “La última leyenda que surgió en mi país fue la del chupacabras, dicen que nació en Puerto Rico y luego se expandió por toda latinoamérica. Le chupa la sangre a los animales de granjas. Incluso, tuve un estudiante salvadoreño que me juraba que lo había visto. El impacto que crea en nuestra cultura es que le da poder a las supersticiones. Esta superstición no tuvo un impacto en las personas que viven en la ciudad porque no tienen animales, pero los agricultores le tienen miedo a algo que quizá nunca han visto.” El propósito de las leyendas es captar la historia, cultura y valores de una comunidad para luego ser transmitidas a las nuevas generaciones y así evitar el deterioro de los aspectos más únicos e importantes de dicha sociedad. BENJAMIN SAFFORD La maestra peruana de ESOL, Pilar Romero, nos cuenta la leyenda del imperio incaico. “Según la leyenda, se cree que Manco Capac y Mama Ocllo (hijos del Inti) salieron del lago sagrado de los Incas, el lago Titicaca. Se dice que salieron caminando de él y actualmente cada cuatro de noviembre se escenifica, o sea, se hace la representación de la leyenda. Cuatrocientas balsas pequeñas vienen de una isla frente a la ciudad de Puno

y luego se aproximan a la ciudad, hay una presentación de danzas folklóricas en el estadio nacional. Se celebra recordando que [los Incas] fueron los fundadores del Imperio Incaico,” cuenta la Sra. Romero. Ella también explica que esta historia tiene un gran impacto en la comunidad peruana. “Lo que transmite son los valores de los Incas de no matar, trabajar, ayudar al pobre y al anciano, a los niños. Esta leyenda se enseña en los colegios para seguir cultivando la cultura peruana,” dice la Sra. Romero. Las leyendas también se utilizan para dar una enseñanza a los niños. A través de los hechos fantástiTORI TSAI Y ANGELA WEN cos de la leyenda, los niños aprenden de las consecuencias que sus acciones pueden tener, ya que la mayoría tratan sobre alguna criatura fantástica que persigue a los hombres de mal vivir. Otro aspecto muy importante de las leyendas es que son tan capaces de demostrar la creatividad de cada comunidad, ya que muchas veces las comunidades agregan o suprimen parte de las leyendas originales para adaptarlas a sus propios valores, según el paso del tiempo; o simplemente para hacerlas más interesantes.

Gracias a este cambio constante, podemos encontrar diferentes variantes de la misma historia en diferentes regiones de un país. En diferentes países estas leyendas se van distorsionando como por ejemplo la leyenda del cadejo. Junior Germán Echeverría de El Salvador cuenta su versión de la leyenda así: “La historia del cadejo es sobre un perro que aparecía en la noche. La misión del perro era atacar a las personas que entraban en las casas. [Entonces] se veía como un perro blanco… emitía un silbido, cuando el silbido estaba cerca el cadejo estaba lejos pero cuando el silbido estaba lejos el cadejo estaba cerca. Cuando el perro descubría un ladrón, sus ojos se volvían rojos y se hacía agresivo y atacaba al ladrón.” Otro estudiante nos cuenta una versión de la misma historia que difiere un poco de la de Germán: “El cadejo es un lobo, pero hay dos cadejos. El cadejo blanco [es] un espíritu protector [quien representa el bien], vela por la seguridad del pueblo por las noches y cuida a las personas [inocentes] de [su enemigo], el cadejo negro. El cadejo negro es el mal y tiene ojos rojo, da miedo.” Las leyendas son una parte integral de la cultura hispana; no solo transmiten la historia y valores de la comunidad de generación en generación, sino también porque al sufrir cambios constantemente, se puede ver como los valores y creencias de la comunidad hispana van evolucionando con el paso de los años.


November 12, 2014

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E2 Spanish

Honrando a los muertos y burlando la muerte

El Día de los Muertos no es lo mismo que Halloween

Por Sarah Canchaya y Mario Menendez Muchas personas pueden confundir fácilmente a Halloween con el Día de los Muertos. Ambos suceden dentro de tres días, y debido a las similitudes entre ellos, muchas de las tradiciones parecen confundirlos, pero ambos tienen creencias únicas y tradiciones en las cuales se basan. Mientras que tienen cosas en común, las creencias religiosas y los valores detrás de Halloween y el Día de los Muertos los hacen ser muy diferentes. La Noche de las Brujas, conocida como Halloween, es una noche en donde la gente se disfraza para salir a pedir dulces o asistir a fiestas de disfraces. Su origen viene de la conmemoración Celta del Samhain, una celebración del final de la temporada de cosechas, considerada el “Año Nuevo Celta,” y de la festividad cristiana del Día de Todos los Santos. Vista como la frontera en donde se superponen los mundos de los vivos con ese de los muertos, la celebración de Halloween, celebrada el 31 de octubre y fue traída a los Estados Unidos por los irlandeses en 1840. Aquí fue donde se perdieron la mayoría de las ideas oscuras detrás de Halloween y fue donde se convirtió en una celebración familiar celebrada anualmente. En diferencia, el Día de los Muertos es una costumbre de origen mexicana, que es celebrada en toda Latinoamérica. Combinando una tradición mesoamericana precolombina de culto y sacrificio de los muertos, con el catolicismo, el Día de los Muertos reconoce a la muerte como una causa natural de la vida. La celebración dura del 1ero al 2do de noviembre y a través de esta celebración es que los espíritus “reviven” para festejar con los vivos, en festividades alegres, que no in-

sultan a los muertos. La razón más obvia, de porque se pueden confundir Halloween con El Día de los

ANGEL WEN AND NINO MIGINEISHVILI

Muertos, es que ambas celebraciones ocurren una después de la otra. A través de los disfraces como una forma de expresarse, tanto Halloween como el Día de los Muertos, tratan el tema de muerte y del más allá con humor en lugar de miedo. Además, ambas celebraciones tienen que ver con la

familia. En Halloween, la familia se reúne para ir de compras por disfraces, para esculpir monstruos en calabazas, llamadas

“Jack-o-lanterns”, y para salir en la noche de las brujas e ir de “Dulce o Truco.” Igualmente, en el Día de los Muertos, prácticamente toda la celebración está centrada a base de la familia. El estudiante Esteven Sosa, explica que esta fiesta es muy importante para su familiar. “Nos reunimos para hacer tradiciones divertidas en familia… ha-

cemos una acción de gracias, y después nos disfrazamos. Luego visitamos las tumbas de nuestros difuntos y las decoramos, pintandolas y hasta dejando las comidas favoritas de nuestros difuntos,” cuenta Sosa. Halloween es una celebración sin un trasfondo religioso ni espiritual. En cambio, en el Día de los Muertos, muchas personas van a la iglesia y rezan por sus muertos. En el Día de los Muertos, se usan golosinas para hacer calacas y decorar los altares de los difuntos. Coincidentemente en Halloween también se usan golosinas para la tradición de “Dulce o Truco.” El Día de los Muertos celebra a los muertos al dejar comida y decoraciones en altares que erigen en los cementerios. La estudiante guatemalteca, Nohemí Cabrera, cuenta la tradicion del Dia de los Muertos en su familia. “Es una tradición familiar que viene desde mis abuelos. Celebramos llevándole flores a los difuntos en el cementerio y bailando el Son,”dice Cabrera. En cambio, en Halloween no se busca honrar a los muertos; usa a los muertos y zombis para asustar o hacer reír, mientras que el Día de los Muertos es un día de conmemoración entre los vivos y sus muertos queridos. Aunque Halloween y el Día de los Muertos comparten muchas similitudes, son fundamentalmente muy distintos. Halloween trae a la mente imágenes de esqueletos y fantasmas que dan miedo, mientras que el Día de los Muertos trae a la mente imágenes de calacas y festividades que celebran la vida y la muerte. Donde uno conmemora y valora a los muertos en forma de celebración, el otro se aleja y se burla de la muerte. Definitivamente Halloween y el Día de los Muertos son dos formas distintas de celebrar y expresar la cultura.

Chikungunya: una nueva epidemia en las Américas

El número de afectados crece por segundo y todavia no hay cura Por Odalis Llerena y Alisson Fortis ¿Has escuchado algo sobre un virus llamado chikungunya? Es muy posible que no, pero no eres el único. Recientemente el enfoque en las noticias y discusiones sobre el virus ébola. Muy pocos son los saben de este virus devastador que está afectando especialmente a los países de América Latina y para el cual no existe cura. Tanto el ébola como el chikungunya son peligrosos, pero se difieren en muchas maneras. El ébola, por ejemplo se transmite a través del contacto con los fluidos corporales de otra persona, mientras que el chikungunya se transmite por la picadura de un mosquito o zancudo conocido como Aegypti, el mismo que causa el dengue. Según explica el doctor salvadoreño Eduardo Suárez, “una persona puede contraer [el chikungunya y el dengue] de forma simultánea y esto puede causar más complicaciones.” El virus chikungunya causa fiebre alta, dolor de músculos como en las piernas, dolor de cabeza e hinchazón de las extremidades. Un ejemplo de estos efectos es una estudiante del grado 11 que prefiere mantenerse anónima, cuenta que su tía de el Salvador tuvo fuertes inflamaciones en septiembre pasado. “Mi madre me informó que mi tía estaba enferma con chikungunya y me dijo que sus pies están inflamados y nos preocupamos porque ella siempre estaba bien de salud.” Este virus generalmente no es mortal, excepto en las personas de edad avanzada, mujeres embarazadas y bebés, a quienes les presenta más riesgos. En Colombia, ya

se ha confirmado la muerte de un que trabajará para reducir el im- está preocupando a las familias ven con frecuencia. Como la famibebé de origen venezolano de 10 pacto del virus. En El Salvador, las por todo el mundo. lia de Cynthia, las demás familias meses debido al virus. Por ahora, alcaldías están limpiando los ríos Los estudiantes de origen cen- de Latinoamérica se preocupan no hay una vacuna o cura para el y fumigando las calles. A su vez, troamericano que viven en los Es- sobre cómo pueden prevenir llegar virus así que los doctores general- Costa Rica está recomendando que tados Unidos se preocupan por sus en contacto con el chikungunya. mente recetan acetaminofén para se pospongan los viajes a Repúbli- familiares y seres queridos en otros Para evitar contraer el virus el dolor y recomiendan descansar, ca Dominicana. Como se ve, los paises. Una de estas estudiantes de cuando se viaja a estos países, El mantenerse hidratado y evitar los gobiernos por todo Latinoamérica Blair es Cynthia Quintanilla del Centro para Control y Prevención antiinflamatorios. El periodo de están trabajando juntos para pre- grado once, quien cuenta que una de Enfermedad recomienda usar recuperación puede ir de una se- venir una crisis de salud a nivel tía suya en El Salvador contrajo el mangas largas, pantalones, y usar mana a un año, dependiendo de internacional. virus chikungunya el septiembre repelente de mosquitos. Esta epila edad y del estado de salud de la Desafortunadamente parece pasado. “Ella llamó una tarde a demia de chikungunya ha probado persona infectada. que sus esfuerzos no son sufi- mi padre a decirle que tiene chi- que África occidental no es la úniDesafortunadamente, la a recu- cientes. Según informes recientes, kungunya y que ya no aguantaba ca región que enfrenta problemas peración demora, causando que el la crisis ya es tal que en la capital el dolor que no se podía levan- de salud pública. Desafortunadaespacio en los hospitales sea cada de El Salvador no se puede con- tar, mi familia estaba preocupada mente ni en África o Centroamérivez más y más limca se cuentan con los itado para otras perrecursos necesarios sonas que afectadas para tratar estas enque estan llegando y fermedades de forma necesitan ayuda. En eficiente. muchos países se está Es extremadabuscando una cura mente importante que cortara el tiempo que los gobiernos que toma recuperarse eduquen a la poy que pare la propablación sobre manegación del chikungunras de prevenir estos ya. virus y que la comuEste virus muy nidad internacional preocupado a la comuse una en sus esfuernidad científica interzos para combatir nacional. “El Instituto estas peligrosas y Pasteur” de Francia y potencialmente dela clínica central de los vastadoras enfermeInstitutos Nacionales dades. Muchos de de la Salud (NIH) de nosotros nos enfoCORTESIA DE CNN.COM CORTESIA DE PRI.ORG los Estados Unidos camos solamente en están trabajando para ENFERMEDAD Arriba se ve el virus chikungunya a la izquierda y el virus ébola a la derecha. una cierta enfermeencontrar una vacuna dad, como lo es el vipreventiva. Mientras rus ébola, sin darnos tanto, Panamá y Guatemala han seguir más acetaminofén. Por su que afecta a otros miembros de la cuenta existen otras enfermedades activado alertas nacionales para parte, en Jamaica también se ha familia,” explica Quintanilla. Ella fuertes que nos puede afectar. Esto asegurar que las personas tomen declarado el estado de emergencia, dice que su tía estuvo con fuertes es algo serio y problemático. Es precauciones para evitar con- ya que el 60% de su población está dolores en los huesos por toda una crítico que estemos alertos de otras tratar el virus Chikungunya. En infectada y en Canadá ya hay 200 semana y los médicos le recetaron enfermedades y que también nos Venezuela, el presidente Nicolás personas diagnosticadas con este acetaminofén. A pesar de haberse mantengamos informados de las Maduro anunció en Sep- tiembre virus. Cada vez hay más personas recuperado, la tía de Cynthia dice situaciones en otros países que no la creación de un comité especial afectadas por chikungunya, lo cual que los dolores del cuerpo le vuel- sean los nuestros.


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November 12, 2014

Tratamiento en desarrollo promete cambiar vidas

Científicos han descubierto posible cura para la leucemia Por Carlos Fuentes e Iris Olivia La leucemia es un tipo de cáncer que aparece en la sangre y que ha sido una prioridad de estudio para los cientificos por mucho tiempo. En general, se cree que la leucemia ocurre cuando algunas células de la sangre adquieren mutaciones en su ADN - las instrucciones dentro de cada célula que guían su acción. Otros cambios en las células que aún no han sido plenamente comprendido también podrían contribuir a la leucemia. Ciertas anormalidades causan que la célula crezca y se dividen más rápidamente y para seguir viviendo cuando las células normales se morirían. Con el tiempo, estas células anormales pueden desplazar a las células sanguíneas sanas en la médula ósea dando lugar a un menor número de células sanguíneas sanas y aparecen los signos y síntomas de la leucemia. Los síntomas principales son la gripe, que incluye fiebre, tos, dolor de garganta, congestión o secreción nasal, dolor de cabeza o cuerpo, fatiga y sensación de náusea. Pero, solo con una prueba médica se puede confirmar la presencia de células cancerosas. La probabilidad de tener leucemia aumenta si el paciente ya está infectado con el virus HIV y también si ha tenido contacto con radiación artificial. Cada año hay un promedio de 500 casos de pacientes adolescentes y adultos que no responden a los tratamientos de quimioterapia para la leucemia. Aun en los casos en que la terapia si tiene éxito, los pacientes no suelen sobrevivir por demasiado

aproximadamente tres semanas un grupo de investigadores de NYU Langone Medical Center encontraron como bloquear la enzima JMJD3, lo cual daría más tiempo para tratar a los pacientes y reduciría los casos de mortalidad en pacientes. Además, estos investigadores encontraron otra enzima llamada PRC2 que hace que los tumores paren de crecer. De esta manera, las células cancerígenas emCORTESIA DE COLLECTIVE-EVOLUTION.COM piezan a morir hasta QUIMOTERAPIA Este tratamiento ayuda a combatir la leucemia, aunque también que, finalmente, la tiene efectos secundarios que pueden dañar o destruir algunas celulas normales composición de la como las que se encuentran en los huesos, en el cabello y en los intestinos. sangre se normaliza por completo. tiempo. Esto se debe a una enzima ando radiación al tumor hasta que En este momenllamada JMJDE, la cual funciona no pueda aguantar más. to, los científicos están probando También trae efectos secun- muchos compuestos con la enzima como un interruptor y hace que el tumor continue creciendo y crean- darios como dolor en el pecho, PRC2 en células humanas e intronáusea, y dificultad tragar. Un duciendo esas células en ratones do células anormales en la sangre. Hoy día la manera de combatir trasplante de células trae más para garantizar un compuesto que la leucemia es por el proceso de riesgo, este tratamiento usa la qui- sea lo más seguro posible y que quimioterapia, terapia de radia- moterapia y después tienen que re- apague la enzima JMJD3 y prenda ción, y un transplante de células. emplazar los celulos perdidos con la enzima PRC2. No se sabe cuánto La quimioterapia es el proceso de sangre donada. La lista de efectos tiempo pueda tomar este proceso, inyectar drogas al cuerpo por el secundarios de este tratamiento pero si resulta exitoso, marcaría un vientre para matar al los células es muy larga para incluirlos todos gran avance para el tratamiento pero incluye la pérdida de cabe- no solo de la leucemia, sino cancerosas. La quimioterapia es conside- llo, bajo cuenta sanguínea, ca- también de otros tipos de rado el tratamiento más eficiente mbio en la pigmentación de la piel cáncer. pero también trae efectos secun- y esterilidad. Aunque todos estos En estos tiempos difíciles, darios como la pérdida del cabe- tratamientos tienen un historial de donde enfermedades terrillo, dolor, y inflamación. La terapia éxito todavía hay enfermos que no bles como el ébola causan pánide radiación usa las rayos x para sobreviven el cancer. co e incertidumbre en nuestra La buena noticia es que hace sociedad, es bueno estar bien inforeliminar uno o más tumores envi-

mado de adelantos médicos como este que podrían llegar a combatir enfermedades tan graves como la leucemia. En una encuesta de 50 estudiantes de Blair, 64% sabía lo que era la leucemia y solo 14% sabía de tratamientos nuevos para combatir esta enfermedad. Se puede encontrar más información sobre este nuevo descubrimiento en la página web de el NYU Langone Medical Center y en muchas revistas médicas. Es bueno mantenerse informado ya que es muy raro vivir todo la vida sin por lo menos conocer a una persona que ha sufrido de algún tipo de cáncer. Por el momento es esencial mantenerse al tanto de descubrimientos, cuidarse y continuar de tratar de estar informados sobre la salud y enfermedad.

CANDIA WEN

Las hojas empiezan a caer y la moda del otoño se asoma Las tendencias del otoño se apoderan de los estudiantes de Blair

Por Joseline Ayala y Ruth Portillo

sólo usan los “iPhones” y “Androids.” Los artefactos electrónicos evolucionan a En cada temporada, aparece una tendenveces de un año a otro y la gente encuencia nueva en la moda. Cuando una tendentra nuevas cosas que les llama la atención. cia pasa, otra tendencia nueva surge para En la moda para las mujeres, los accesoreemplazarla. Haga frío o haga calor, seas rios son especialmente importantes y estas hombre o mujer, siempre hay algo difecosas pueden tu vestimenta sea fabulosa o rente para poder lucir. Muchos piensan se vea común. Una de las tendencia más poque la moda es solo cosa de pulares de accesorios cuando hace mujeres, la verdad es que los frío son las bufandas. Estas se usan hombres también siguen la para mantenerse caliente, pero a la moda. La ropa también no misma vez agregan forma y estilo es la única tendencia en el a tu vestimenta. Las tendencias de mundo: también hay cortes la belleza también son muy imporde pelo, aparatos electrónitantes para la temporada. Entre las cos, calzado, y muchas cosas chicas de la escuela los colores de mas. Cuando una temporapintalabios oscuros y el delineado da nueva comienza, muchos alargado son muy populares. De adoptan estas tendencias la misma manera el otro extremo para relacionarse con la gende moda es lucir un maquillate de su grupo y edad. Senior je con tonos neutrales. Mendoza Carlos Orellana cree que soltambién aconseja que, “Debes amente por que algo sea posentirte cómoda y usar lo que te pular, no significa que todos gusta a ti. También tratar combilo deben comparar aunque naciones de colores y vestirse apno les guste. “No gastaría ropiadamente,” afirma Mendoza mi dinero en algo que no me La revista de moda y belleza gusta, aunque sea popular,” Elle, una de las más vendidas comenta Orellana. en el mundo, anunció recientemente que los colores para este Sin embargo, muchos esotoño e invierno son el rojo intudiantes sienten la necesitenso, el lila oscuro, el verde oliva dad de encajar y por eso, KYRA SEIGER y el azul marino. Si te interesa la cuando los últimos meses del moda, puedes aprender más sobre año se acercan, se preguntan EL ESTILO BLAZER Los estudiantes (de izquierda a derecha) Michelle Servin (9), Johana Contreras (9), Marlas tendencias en revistas popucuál será la nueva tendencia vin Castillo (11) e Ivonne González (12) modelan sus ajuares del otoño con orgullo y alegria en el SAC. lares como Teen Vogue, InStyle, para estas estaciones. Seventeen o mirar a las gurús de En Blair, como en otras partes, las tendencias comienzan cuando muchachas tienen por lo menos un par de más populares es la “North Face.” Otra ten- belleza en Youtube. Sin embargo, ninguna una persona compra algo que le gusta a otra Toms, Mary Jane o UGGs para estar a la dencia de esta temporada son los “leggings” revista compara con ver a tus alrededores persona, después otras personas lo ven y el- moda. Aunque algunos zapatos son los y calentadores de piernas ( leg warmers) que y aprender los gustos de la otra gente. Así los también lo compran, así se va formando modelos que se usan la mayoría el año, los se usan en combinación con botas y camise- que busca y explora las nuevas tendencias una cadena hasta que al final la mayoría de zapatos más populares en el otoño son los tas largas (una moda que grita, “¡Es otoño!”) de la moda que te llamen la atención. ¡Dila gente lo adopta y se vuelve popular. Sin Sperrys, UGGs, Toms y las botas largas. En cuanto a los aparatos electrónic- viértete y haz que esta temporada del otoño embargo, sophomore Franchezca Mendoza Pero los hombres no se quedan atrás en este os, la mayoría de los estudiantes de Blair sea una en que te veas y te sientas regia! no cree que la moda y las tendencias son lo más importante. “La moda es importante pero también no todos se miran bien con cosas que otros usan. Es importante usar lo que te hace sentir cómoda y única,” dice Mendoza. En nuestra escuela, el calzado es muy importante a la moda y la mayoría de las

aspecto. La mayoría de los muchachos aquí en Blair llevan zapatos Jordan y hasta existen algunos aficionados quienes los coleccionan. Algunas de las tendencias para la mujeres que son específicas al otoño y el invierno incluyen las chamarras o abrigos verde oliva y también las de H&M. Una de las marcas


November 12, 2014

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November 12, 2014

Washington sports teams leave fans wanting more As many DC teams disappoint fans, the Wizards are the city’s only hope By Sam Butler Washington, D.C. sports fans have grown accustomed to disappointment over the years, but recently, their teams have started to play better, which is only making it worse. Since 2012, all of D.C.’s teams have reached the playoffs at least once (the Capitals, Nationals and Redskins in 2012, the Wizards in 2013), but none were able to rise to the challenge and win it all. After another Nationals playoff letdown, and with the Capitals and Redskins looking discouraging, fans now pin their hopes on the Wizards, D.C.’s one team with a chance. The Nationals, despite arguably being D.C.’s best sports team, are definitely the most disappointing. After earning the National League’s (NL) best record this season, they managed only one win in their playoff series against the Giants. The Nationals’ regular season dominance is what made this outcome especially confusing. The Nationals had the league’s best Earned Run Average, and only two NL teams scored more runs than they did in the regular season. So one can only wonder where it went wrong for the Nationals, but it’s hard to tell. Nothing really changed from September 30th to October 1st. The only explanation one can give is that they just, for whatever

TEAGUE SAUTER

reason, aren’t a good playoff team. Their pitching held up, as they only allowed nine runs in 45 innings, but they couldn’t produce offensively like they had in the regular season. The San Francisco Giants, who knocked them out of the playoffs and went on to win it all, have shown year after year that the playoffs are when they play best. The Giants narrowly made the playoffs, but won when it mattered, earning two elimination game wins during their run. Even though they’re a better team than the Giants, the Nationals just haven’t shown that same playoff magic the Giants have. The same thing can be said for another of D.C.’s disappointing teams: The Washington Capitals. In 2012, the Capitals made the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and won the conference quarterfinals, but then disappointed in the conference semifinals by losing a seven game series to the New York Rangers. Last year, the Capitals underachieved once again, missing the playoffs entirely. Alex Ovechkin was at least partially to blame, as his plus/ minus fell from a +2 to a horrid -35. This season, the Capitals are looking up, thanks to improvements on the defensive side, such as additions Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, and a new coach in Barry Trotz. These changes should ensure an improved record, but they don’t ensure a playoff run. Their odds to win it all, according to Vegas odds-makers, are just 40:1. But the Capitals aren’t D.C.’s least likely team to win it all. That title belongs to the Redskins. The Redskins have a lot on their plate, even without mentioning their on-field play. Quarterback Robert Griffin III has finally recovered from an ankle injury that has had him sidelined since Week 2. In his first game since returning, he was sacked five times, and received a big hit on one run that drew a penalty. The Redskins are failing to protect a player for whom they traded away two first round picks. He’s already missed eight games in his two and a half year career, and with the hits he’s taking, he’ll likely miss more. As if this weren’t bad enough, one of the Redskins most valuable players, linebacker

Brian Orakpo, tore his right pectoral muscle and is out for the rest of the season. Ryan Clark and Tracy Porter, both offseason additions, are dealing with ankle and hamstring injuries, respectively. Injuries aren’t the only thing the Redskins are struggling with. They are currently 23rd in the NFL in points allowed per game, giving up an average of 25.4 points. Their offense isn’t much better. They’re 22nd in the league in points scored, scoring 21.9 per game. The Redskins are the worst team in the NFC East, despite their narrow overtime win in Dallas in Week 8. Their division is comprised of two likely playoff-bound teams, the Eagles and Cowboys, and a decent Giants team. The Redskins have to play each of these teams twice this season, which all but ensures a losing record. If the Redskins want any shot at the playoffs, Robert Griffin III will have to begin playing like he did in 2012 and pull off a miracle. But that’s almost certainly not going to happen. These D.C. sports teams are struggling to find any postseason success this year, but at least there is one team with a shot: The Wizards. The Cavaliers and Bulls look like the teams to beat in the East this year. The East’s top team last year, the Indiana Pacers, lost two key contributors in Paul George and Lance Stephenson. Also, the conference’s second place team, the Miami Heat, lost LeBron James, unarguably the best player in the NBA. The Wizards might still have a remote shot to surpass the Cavaliers and Bulls, though. While, talent-wise, Cleveland has the best team (see Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James) there is no way of knowing how well their star-studded roster will play as a team. The same goes for the Bulls, who are finally going to get Derrick Rose back from injury. Rose was a top five point guard in the league when he was healthy, but it has been almost a year since he played in a regular season game for the Bulls, and three

AMANDA GROSS

years since his last full season started. The Wizards, on the other hand, have a very similar team to the one they had last year, with the exception of losing forward Trevor Ariza. But with the addition of Paul Pierce and role players DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries, the Wizards are coming back a deeper, more experienced team than they were last year. Young guards John Wall and Bradley Beal have another year under their belts, and have an opportunity this year to continue to fine-tune their chemistry with each other and the rest of their teammates. But unfortunately for the Wizards, injury issues will be a problem. Their star shooting guard Bradley Beal will miss the first month of the season with a wrist injury suffered during a preseason game with the Charlotte Hornets. Kris Humphries is also injured to start the season, after receiving surgery on October 12th to repair nerve damage in his finger. D.C. having bad sports teams is not a new phenomenon (D.C.’s last championship came from the Redskins in 1991), and the Redskins and Capitals certainly don’t look like they’re in any position to win it all this year. As D.C.’s only legitimate contender, the pressure is building for the Wizards to finally give D.C. something to celebrate.

The waiting game: when day after day, you’re still on the bench Blair backup athletes explain why they continue to play without starting By Camille Kirsch Before every varsity soccer game, junior Nick Shereikis spends hours with his teammates and coach, planning the team’s strategy and getting psyched up for the game. As the start time approaches, the team warms up together, getting ready to play. Shereikis kicks a soccer ball around. He stretches. He runs laps. Then the whistle blows, the game starts and as his teammates begin to play; Shereikis heads to the bench. It’s hard being a back-up athlete. They are often unseen and uncelebrated; they can be the butt of jokes about “benchwarmers” and endure cracks about their athletic ability. Their experiences are vastly different from those of starting athletes on the exact same team. “Earn your time” Many back-up players are on the bench because they just don’t have the same skill level or experience as the team’s starters. “I wish I was a starter, but I know I’m not as good as the people who are starting,” admits freshman Matt Morris, who plays defense on the fall league lacrosse team. Senior John Kargbo, who was a fullback on the football team until being injured, concurs. “You gotta earn your playing time,” he says. Shereikis agrees that ability is the biggest factor in determining playing time, but he says that

other qualities sometimes affect a player’s starting status. “It’s about skill, but it’s also about chemistry,” Shereikis says. “Coach has to do what he thinks is right.” A supporting role The actual duties of back-up athletes can sometimes be murky. “You just gotta be ready for anything,” Kargbo says. At one point, he had to substitute for a friend who was injured in the middle of a game. “You can go in at any time,” he explains. Morris, too, sees replacing injured players as one of his main duties. But Morris doesn’t just stick around in hopes of a starter being injured. “You get fit at practice, and it’s still fun to be on the sidelines,” he says. He also thinks that being a back-up will help him get ready for the spring season, when he hopes to be a starter on the JV team. Like Morris, Shereikis looks at his back-up role with an eye to

what’s to come. “What keeps me going is the knowledge that in the future, when the seniors graduate, it will be my turn,” he says. To him, spending time as a back-up is a normal part of paying one’s dues, and a way to grow as an athlete. “It’s made me re-evaluate my own ego and work harder to prove myself,” he explains. “I don’t want to let my teammates down.”

the people on the team, they’re like family,” he explains. Unlike Kargbo, Shereikis understands both mindsets. “At the beginning of the year, I

sport.” Morris isn’t going to let scarce time on the field dissuade him from following his passion. He plans to keep playing lacrosse throughout high school and hopes to be a starter on JV lacrosse in the spring.

“Worried and disappointed” Too much time on the bench can take an emotional toll. Kargbo says some of his fellow backups dropped off the team, disappointed by the scarcity of playing time. He doesn’t understand that attitude, though. “You don’t just put in all that hard work and then quit because you don’t get enough playing time,” he says. Plus, there are lots of positives to being a back-up. “All

was kind of worried and disappointed, but now I’m fine with it,” he says. “It’s an honor to be on the team at all.” Plus, he says, he loves soccer, and for the chance to play he’s willing to put up with a lot. Morris feels the same way. He first got into lacrosse when he was six, and he’s still playing at age 14. “It’s action-packed and there’s a lot of teamwork,” he explains. “Lacrosse is just a really fun

SHIVANI MATIKALLI

For now, though, he says, “Even a little bit of playing time is great.” Back-up athletes are often overlooked. The team members on the playing field get most of the glory: they’re the ones who score or keep Blair’s opponents from scoring, the ones fans see throughout the course of a game. A back-up’s role is different and less conspicuous: they support the team, sub for injured players, and hone their skills behind the scenes. Ultimately, though, from soccer to lacrosse to football, no team could function without its hard-working back-ups.


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November 12, 2014

A bittersweet goodbye to fall sports

By Camille Estrin

Boys’ Soccer

PHUONG VO

ADVANCING The girls’ tennis team will send three of its top players to compete in the regional tournament.

Girls’ Tennis The girls’ tennis team, first in their division, will send three of the 10 players to regionals. One doubles team comprised of sophomore Lauren Frost and junior Divya Rajagopal will go, and one singles player, freshman Priscah Rodenhuis will compete at Regionals, beginning on Thursday, Oct. 27. To get to Regionals, all ten tennis players on the team competed in the county tournament, where players earn points for their team, which are then tallied up in the end to declare a winner. Out of 25 teams, the Blazers were ranked fifth. The regional tournament is, “What decides who is representing MCPS at the state level,” describes Coach David Ngbea. Both Frost and Rajagopal are usually singles players, but for the purpose of winning at the Regional tournament, they are paired together. The pair beat B-CC on Oct. 28, and played Wootton on Oct. 29. They lost to Wootton, but Frost says, “I think we played well but they were more experienced and we just needed to learn to play together, because we are both single players.” Rodenhuis played a Sherwood player on Oct. 30 but lost, moving her to the consolation round where she faced B-CC. She lost her match against B-CC, but she was ranked fourth in county regionals.

The boys’ soccer team had an unfortunate end to their season with a difficult loss to the B-CC Barons Thursday, Oct. 24. They tied in regulation, 2-2, but the Blazers lost in penalty kicks by one goal. At the half, the Blazers were up 1-0, but the Barons responded to that with two goals in the second half. Luckily, Blazer Senior Rohan Oprisko was able to score in the second half to tie the game. After the game, senior captain Ashe Durban says, “I felt awful, our team worked so hard and played so well throughout the year and we didn’t deserve to lose on penalties.” During the regular season, the Blazers lost to the Barons in a similar way; they lost during overtime. This game, with senior Javier Lopez out, they were already down one player, but Durban believed the team played very strongly even with this setback. He thought that, “Overall, I think we deserved to win the game, we outplayed them in every area on the field but it just didn’t happen for us.” This makes it two years in a row that the Blazers have lost tough postseason games to lower seeded teams. “It’s definitely disappointing,” said Durban, “but we have a great opportunity to come back next year and do even better than this year.”

DONALD DE ALWIS

END GAME The injury-plagued Blazers lost to the B-CC Barons 4-0 in their final game of the fall season.

Girls’ Soccer

Much like the boys’ soccer team, the girls’ soccer team lost to the B-CC Barons, which marked the end of their 2014 season. The Barons beat the Blazers 4-0, scoring two in the first half of the game, which Coach Robert Gibb described as “two early gifted goals”, and two more goals in the second half. The second goal was a penalty kick, which was a controversial call made by the referee. Gibb believed that this penalty kick was an unfair goal because it was unclear whether or not the foul was actually made inside the penalty box. The Blazers had three injured players, which forced them to change up their usual lineup. Gibb says, “We were limited by the fact that a couple people were, due to injury, out for the season…and it changed the offensive dynamic.” Even with these injuries, Gibb says, “in the end, they [B-CC] were probably going to come out on top…but we were fighting to the last minute.” Junior captain Kelly Mayo said she agreed with Gibb’s assessment. “We worked really hard and never gave up.” The team is fairly young, so there will be many players returning to the team next year. Gibb thinks that, “next season, the girls will have a better understanding of what it HANNAH RAPP takes [to play].”

OVERTIME The Blazers lost in penalty kicks but tied 2-2 in regulation in a close match-up with the lower seeded B-CC Barons.

Handball

REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF AUDREY KRIMM

FINAL STRETCH Blair runners give a final push to finish strong against Paint Branch and Gaithersburg teams.

The handball team defeated Wootton High School 26-20, on Thursday, Oct. 30, making them county champions this year. The Blazers finished second in their division for regular season, behind Wootton. In the semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 28, the Blazers defeated Sherwood 25-21, which then led them to face Wootton for the final match on Oct. 30. During the regular season, Wootton and Blair tied, but this time, the Blazers pulled through and came home with the county champions’ title. When talking about the success of the game, Coach Louis Hoelman says, “I think that throughout the year we really improved on team defense, and everyone communicated and moved really well on defense.” Hoelman also attributes the win to impressive goaltending from junior Della Seworye, and great passing on offense.

REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF TUNG PHAM

LAST STAND The Blazers field hockey team finished up the season with a postseason loss to B-CC 4-0.

Cross Country

Field Hockey

The cross country team completed their fall season after their regional meet on Thursday, Oct. 30.. The girls’ team finished tenth out of 13 teams, and the boys’ team finished eleventh out of 13 teams, just short of the making states. In order to qualify for states, the team would have had to place in the top seven in the county. Coach Angelique Bosse thought that, “In terms of the individual runners and their times, they had a lot of PRs [Personal Records], they were really happy with how they ran…but if you look at our places we didn’t do really well.” At regionals, only seven runners, chosen by the coaches, compete. Blair competes against other 4A west teams, which Coach Bosse describes as being one of the toughest divisions to compete in. Senior Captain Natalie Gradwohl, one of the seven runners at Regionals, said that, “Overall, our times were fast considering our performance at the county meet and the extra hills added to the regionals course.” This year, four of the seven girls were freshmen, so both Coach Bosse and Gradwohl feel confident about next season. Gradwohl says, “I’m glad to be leaving the team in good position for next year.”

The field hockey season came to an end when they lost to the B-CC Barons 4-0 on Thursday, Oct. 23. The Blazers fought hard throughout the game, but could not score when they needed to. The Barons scored their first goal within the first 10 minutes of the first half, forcing the Blazers to play from behind for the entire game. The Barons notched another goal in the first half, and the last two in the second half. In the regular season the Blazers lost to the Barons, so Coach Candace Thurman wanted to change their strategy before this game. Thurman decided to play four players in different positions and also made a new corner option. Despite the gouth loss, Thurman was still proud of her team. “[The girls] were focused the whole time,” she said. The Blazers are graduating six seniors, but have a strong group of underclassmen to lead next year’s team. Thurman believes that for next season the team will only get stronger. She hopes to have more players who can drive the ball harder, but feels confident with the level of athleticism on the team for next season.

REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF OF RENAY JOHNSON

VICTORY The Handball team won the county championships against Wotton 26-20 Oct. 30.

Can’t get enough Blazer sports? Visit silverchips.mbhs.edu for more!


F3 Sports

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Offense and defense come up big in blowout Dominant rushing attack racks up over 259 yards from FOOTBALL page A1 attack to zero yards. After the game, emotions ran high on the Blazer sideline. Coach Andrew Fields, who has helped increase Blair’s record by three wins in each of the past two years, was given a Gatorade bath on a chilly night. And after they returned to Blair, the group had a celebratory dance-off, a tradition begun this year to celebrate wins. According to senior Sam Popper, the difference between this team and previous editions was both the practice time and the chemistry. “We really work hard and put in long hours to get success,” he said. “We’re such a close team. The games become so much easier and more fun when you’re playing alongside a bunch of guys you would truly do anything for,” Popper continued. Blanco agreed with that sentiment, stating, “We put in a lot of work to get to

the playoffs and for our record. The harder we practice, the better we get.” He also praised the coaching staff, who he believes were a big factor in the resuscitation of the program. “They motivate us, they push us to be great,” Blanco said. The win not only propelled Blair to the playoffs, it helped legitimize a football program that had been wallowing before the arrival of Coach Fields. According to Popper, the victory establishes the Blazers as a team other schools should be scared of. “This win helps change Blair’s reputation as a football program, from a DCC [Down County Consortium] school to a state powerhouse like Northwest and Quince Orchard,” Popper said. But for now, the team is just focused on next week. The Northwest Jaguars, with a record of 9-1, are the defending state champions, which makes the upstart Blazers an underdog. Northwest is an extremely

well-rounded team, according to Blanco. “They like to pass, they have a good quarterback and wide receivers. But they also like to run,” Blanco said. “So in terms of preparation, we’ll try to keep them inside and not let them run around.” Popper was similarly cautious about the game. “This is easily the best team we’ve faced. We need to watch a lot of film on them to get a leg up strategically,” he said. But he maintains an optimistic outlook. “Anyone can beat anyone, including Northwest. If we are disciplined and do our jobs, it’s going to be a very competitive game,” Popper said.

insideSPORTS Washington sports leave fans disappointed see page F1

DC area sports fans look to the Wizards as the last hope for a win.

Closing out the fall season see page F2

See how Blair’s sports teams performed this fall.

The Blazers take on the Northwest Jaguars on Friday, November 14th. The game starts at 7 p.m. at Northwest High School.

Girls’ Volleyball defeated by Richard Montgomery By Kalin Vassilev The Blair girls’ varsity volleyball team (11-5) lost to the Richard Montgomery Rockets (6-10) in four long and hard-fought sets. Ultimately, the Blazers were not able to surmount their opponents. The first set of the match seemed to start off in favor of the Blazers, as they secured a few easy points with powerful serves and spikes from freshmen Maggie Wang and Tiffany Mao respectively. This trend did not last long as the Rockets got into a rhythm and started focusing their attacks. Powerful spikes broke through the Blair’s defense, too fast for the Blazers to respond effectively. Eventually, the Rockets pulled out a first set win. The Blazers came back in the second set revitalized. They quickly got off to a good start with serves from senior Leila Habib that zipped by the Rockets and confounded

REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF GABRIEL COTE

UP IN THE AIR Freshman Tiffany Mao prepares to serve the ball to the opposing team. their defense. The Blazers closed the set with a powerful spike and a big lead. The third set proved far more contested than the previous two since both teams were

November 12, 2014

ready and composed. Richard Montgomery started off with a disheartening five point lead, but once their streak ended the set become more evenly matched. The last few points were a painful back and forth struggle, which ultimately ended in the Richard Montgomery team ripping away the set with a two point lead. After three long and gruesome sets, both teams were clearly tired, but the fourth set saw them fighting just as hard. Richard Montgomery got a good lead in quickly with some killer servers and coordinated plays. Unperturbed, freshman Ariel Zhang went on to serve and thanks to her consistently powerful service, as well as amazing coordination of Blair’s attackers. The Blazers got 7 consecutive points, leaving the score at 2422. The Rockets refused to leave the match at that, and they were able to even it out at 26-

AMANDA GROSS

26, and finally win the match with two more powerful serves. Junior Karylena Cruz felt that though the match was lost, it was very good experience. “The game went really well, it was very close and it was very fun to play in,” she said. “Even though there is a lot of pressure we always seem to have fun together,” she said. Coach Christopher Klein was proud of the team; he felt that they did a good job. “I’m really proud of my girls, I think we came out of the gates a little slow in game one, but the way we went about adjusting down a set I think was really phenomenal,” he said. “They gave it everything they had and there’s nothing you can say about that, it was a great season, a really nice running record that we haven’t had in a while,” he said.

Football, sure, but what about polo and rock climbing? Some students are committed to less-than-conventional sports By Winne Luo The field rumbles as the force of a half-ton of muscle pummels through the grass. It’s not the Blair football team, but another force to reckon with: Nate Chappelle on the back of a charging horse, wielding a mallet which he dips down to send a small white ball flying. An estimated 30 percent of Blair’s student population participates in Blair athletics, according to athletics director Rita Boule. However, a select few play sports completely out of the mainstream. From paintball to rock climbing, these sports are part of an entirely different ballgame.

qualify, but Krimm is optimistic. “Our coach thinks we’ll make it,” Krimm says. Not everyone competes in their sports competitively. For Lara Shonkwiler, curling offers more

her to a session. “We have a ‘bring your friend to curling’ day,” she says jokingly. “It’s hard to recruit people in curling.” However, this singularity helps generate a sense of closeness with-

Competition and recreation The first foray into a sport at a young age is usually under the heavy discipline of a parent. Less common sports, however, are left up to the individual to discover and attain passion for. Chappelle, a sophomore, grew up in Virginia next to a horse ranch. “All we did was ride the horses,” he remembers. From there, Chappelle discovered polo, and joined a club team soon after. Enthusiasm and dedication is essential for junior figure skater Audrey Krimm, who practices three days a week at the ice rink at 5:45 AM before school. This year is the first Krimm is eligible to qualify for synchronized skating Nationals. A team must be of the top four in the division to

REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF NATE CHAPPELLE

HORSING AROUND Sophomore Nate Chappelle, on his horse, Bart, prepares to hit the ball with his mallet in a game of polo. relaxing practices than those of her prevailing sport, running. “Running’s all about how much pain you can endure,” Shonkwiler says. “Curling is...kind of relaxed, almost.” Niche market The unconventionality of these sports in itself adds unique aspects. Shonkwiler was introduced to curling after her friend brought

in the community of the sport. Shonkwiler enjoys the atmosphere when she plays. “People are friendly...just a general feeling of camaraderie,” she says. Shonkwiler calls it a very ‘Canadian’ sport, and adds, “I can say this because I’m half-Canadian.” Junior Aleksandra Dagunts agrees that the scarcity of rock climbers results in a very tight-knit community, in which individuals reciprocate trust when belaying,

also called spotting. The climbing gym in which she has practiced for many years and now works parttime, “feels like another home.” Unique pains, unique gains Dagunts clung to the rock wall, but as her mind began to wander, her grip on the rock holds loosened. Before she knew it, she was sprawled on the mat and would need surgery: she had broken off a fragment of her ankle. Pain is a consequence that many athletes suffer when something goes wrong; in paintball, however, the goal is to shoot opponents. According to junior Alfredo Revelo, getting hit by a paintball hurts—a lot. That does not stop him from playing recreationally, although competitive play is another matter. “I don’t have the right equipment for it,” he says. According to Revelo, a gun that is small and compact, necessary for competitive play, is at least $1,000. Revelo acknowledges that paintball is an expensive sport. For Chappelle, the primary expenses from playing “the game of kings” are from maintaining his horse. Bart, a Missouri fox-trotter in Nate’s ownership since he was seven, lives on a friend’s ranch. “Usually I spend most of my time with Bart,” he says. The monetary and time expenses, however, are absolutely necessary. “Your horse has to feel that... it’s not a piece of equipment, it’s your partner,” says Chappelle.

With speeds on the horse reaching 35 miles per hour, this partnership is key to succeed in polo: “Just being with your horse...so you get better in tune, better chemistry with your horse.” The intimate liaison between horse and rider is one that most other sports do not involve. “You can’t have a relationship with a football because a football doesn’t talk back to you,” says Chappelle. “[Bart]’s also an extension of my body, he’s a part of me.” To play an unconventional sport is to uncover a new realm. Chappelle plays other sports, but the best moments in polo are unparalleled. “It’s when you’re running on that horse full speed and you wind up and you crack it back and you just hit it perfectly and your horse just veers off to the side and you just see that ball...go right into the goal.”

GAME PLAN What is something that rock climbing, paintball, and curling have in common? The answer: a great deal of thinking. Rock climbing, especially indoors, involves solving “puzzles”, where the climber must determine the best way to scale the wall. Paintball, often used by the military in its training, is all about strategy. Curling is the least physically strenuous of the three but the most mentally. Says Shonkwiler, “It’s like you’re merging physics with sports...it’s a lot of thinking.”

November 2014 -- Silver Chips Print  

November 2014 edition of Silver Chips Print. Editors-in-Chief: Kelsey Gross and Alex Frandsen

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