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ANNANDALE HIGH SCHOOL 4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, VA 22003




Informiing the Atoms siince 1954 4



2 Editorials discusses the planned mosque at ground zero

InDepth gives you the low-down on how to best prepare for the coming year

(703) 642-4229



Entertainment reviews Rihanna’s recent concert at Jiffy Lube Live

Weekend takes a look at the best student hang outs

School welcomes over thirty new staff members

Atoms Golf Record: 7-3


BY EMILY FRUCHTERMAN Co-Editor in Chief As the school year begins, Courtney Dearinger will not be the only person pulling out her map, looking quizzically from her paper to the hallway before her, trying to find her way from room to room. However, there is one major difference between her and the hundreds of disoriented freshmen in the same situation - Dearinger is a teacher. She, along with several dozen other faculty new to AHS, will not only be meeting their new students and planning lessons, but learning the layout of

the building and getting accustomed to the school’s atmosphere. “I’ve been doing laps of the building, just trying to find all of the bathrooms and vending machines before school starts,” said Dearinger, who will be teaching IB English this year. “I taught in Chicago for seven years, where I also worked with the IB program.” Like Dearinger, many of the new faculty members bring several years of experience to the school. “I’ve led in many different arenas, from school administrator to department head,” said new Assistant Principal Donna Higgins. “I have a very wide background and two decades of experience in the school system.” “So many of the returning faculty members have been here a long


Teachers arrive in various departments

Band director Andrew Loft conducts the marching band during a recent performance

“Teachers” continues on page 3


Construction complicates parking Senior picture retakes start friday

Caucasians now a minority at AHS

Seniors who missed their original picture date or were unsatisfied with their pictures have the opportunity to retake them beginning beginning this Friday, Sept. 10 until the 15th. Pictures will be taken in the dance room. Contact Niki Holmes for more information.

For the first time, Hispanic students outnumber Caucasians BY NDIDI OBASI Managing Editor

Auditions begin for the fall play Auditions for the 2010 fall play begin Monday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. in the auditorium and continue throughout the week. The play this year will be The Mouse Trap. Trap.

The chorus will be holding a car wash on Saturday, Sept. 18, while the band will be holding their tag day on Sept. 11. Both of these fundraisers are designed to raise money for music, uniforms, trips and other expenses.


Chorus and band plan fundraisers

With three ongoing construction projects around the school, administrators scramble to find space for classes and students are left without parking. Read more on page 3.

The word diversity is used in many contexts for many things, but however you use it the word is important. No other school exemplifies diversity more than Annandale. For the first time in history, the majority race has shifted from Caucasians to Hispanics. Many students and faculty however, do not find this surprising at all. “It’s just a changing face of America. Major metropolitan areas see that more than Middle America,” said history teacher Jonathan York. Despite the slight one percent difference between the number of Hispanics, at 30% and Caucasians at AHS, this change is very symbolic for a school that opened its doors under a policy of segregation back in 1954. Since then, it has been known for its diverse student body, having students from 86 different nationalities and speaking 53 languages. This growing trend of diversity in schools is something that many see as hard proof that America really is becoming a land for all. “Demographics” continues on page 3

Freshmen get a feel for school a little early BY ANNIE CURRAN News Editor

See for video showing the new modular under construction and the scool’s hopes for what it will become.

Fear, anxiety, nervousness and excitement rush through their heads. This is the first day of high school and for many freshmen all of these emotions are building up inside of them as they walk through the halls. Hundreds of new faces surround them as they try to navigate through their new environment. This is the place that they will be spending their next four years, and it is something completely new and exciting for them. Luckily for the incoming freshmen, their first day at AHS is not their first experience in the school. On Sept. 3, the school held

Freshman Orientation Day. The day was designed to show the freshmen how to get to all of their classes and to introduce them to their teachers. “I think it’s important because it’s a whole new world for them and they are probably a little intimidated, so this day gives them a little boost of confidence for the first day of school,” said English teacher Kathleen Dion. Many incoming students agree, and were looking forward to this helpful opportunity. “It’s a good idea because you get to see all of your classes so you won’t get lost the first day and your teachers won’t yell at you,” said freshman Cristhian Molina. AHS is a large school with an equally large student population, so confusion is very “Freshmen” continues on page 3


Orientation helps 9th graders adjust to AHS

Freshmen often had to ask for directions as they explored the building

Go to the Web


Sept. 8, 2010

Mosque plan is a First Amendment Right The Ground Zero “mosque plan” upsets most Americans BY NASIHA RASHID Editorials Editor

Brief History of Religious Tolerance in America

Today: Americans oppose construction of Mosques across America

1970s: Youths join quasireligious groups and spawn an anticult movement

1938: Catholic priest Charles Coughlin delivers an anti-Semitic address

It has been called Islamization of America, the “Ground Zero Mosque” or call it the “Cordoba House.” Regardless of the name, this controversy has sprung up all over the media recently. Despite the obvious fact that Muslims can build the mosque, and they should. This resulted in well known public figures such as Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and our very own President to speak out against and in favor of the mosque causing backlash among the American public. What followed was a mass output of misinformation about Islam and its teachings. This so called “Ground Zero Mosque” was proposed by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who is a well known moderate Muslim that aided the Bush Administration in building interfaith relations abroad in the Middle East. Just as quickly as this debate began, misinformed news organizations were looking for excuses to paint Imam Rauf as an extremist after a comment he made two weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. But his comments held true; in an interview on 60 Minutes he said, “I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened. But the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.” It is a known fact that Muslim dominated countries in the Middle East are not particularly fond of the foreign policy that the United States follows; Glenn Beck himself had admitted to it before on his show. However, this one quote was misconstrued and led people to believe that Imam Rauf is an extremist and therefore his proposal to build a mosque is a part of his radical agenda. However, the “Ground Zero Mosque,” now known as Park51 is actually an Islamic Community Center 14 stories high with a basketball court, a kitchen for cooking classes, classrooms, a mosque on the very top floor and various other uses. This isn’t a mosque; it’s the equivalent to a YMCA. The

War is over, but remains unstable President Obama must address more detailed plans BY JEFF SHIM Editorials Editor Last Tuesday, President Obama ambiguously declared that the “American combat mission in Iraq has ended.” Even though both conservatives and liberals display approving opinions to the official end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the war has not yet ended in reality because many Americans’ thoughts still remain uncertain. Was the war worth it? Is the war really “over?” Are American troops in Iraq safe? And what did we get out of it?

1928: A Catholic Presidential candidate loses election due to his religious faith

1854-56: KnowNothing Party called for strict limits on Catholic immigrants

The war cost more than $3 trillion, approximately 4,400 US soldiers’ lives and 100,000 Iraqi lives and wounded more than 32,000 US soldiers. However, compared to its cost, the war benefited almost no one but the defense industry and its stockholders. Also, many question whether Iraq will be able to stand on its own. In 2003, former President George W. Bush claimed that a part of the reason for the combat mission was to bring democracy and peace in Iraq. However, once U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq, will there be a stable Iraqi government? Obama said on Tuesday, “Our combat mission is ending, but our commitment to Iraq’s future is not.” He also mentioned that it is time to “turn the page” to a different issue. Agreed, but his plans should provide more vivid examples of his anticipated “commitment” and no longer be evasive. His plan is to have 50,000 U.S. soldiers remain in Iraq until the end of next year. The troop’s stated

mission is to train, assist and advise Iraqi troops. Hence, the numbers of casualties and injuries are likely continue to rise. What benefit will the U.S. gain by jeopardizing 50,000 more lives in Iraq? A continued engagement in Iraq may bring positive outcomes; but without a legitimate, clear proposal, his plans are yet to be acknowledged. We cannot anticipate any peace between the nations when the troops are still vulnerable in Iraq. Moreover, Obama cannot presume to call the current situation “an end to the combat mission.” Our central mission should be protecting Americans’ lives in the Middle East, rather than seeking a peace “that will end conflict” between the nations. This is just the beginning of an end to the combat mission; we will have to wait until the end of next year to determine if national peace and security can be achieved or not.

Rules of Thumb Walmart marriage?

Human magnet Brenda Allison attracts metalic objects and can hold them on her chest and head up to 45-minutes. Rule: Sadly, this woman attracts more magnets than men.

1844: Mormon founder Joseph Smith murdered in Ia.; Brigham Young leads his followers to Utah

location of where the center is to be built is exactly two blocks from Ground Zero, and consequently cannot be seen from there. While the American public is regurgitating the cries of “insensitivity” on the Muslims’ part, they fail to acknowledge the strip club and sex shop that are also located nearby the hallowed ground. This is no longer an issue about First Amendment rights; it’s about the inability of America to accept and understand a religion. Even with extensive information on the Internet and billions of Muslims worldwide, one would think that the information acquired about Islam is genuine; however, this is not the case anymore. Islam in the media is portrayed as radical extremists bent on killing and converting Americans. The media is at fault for causing a strain between the widespread public and Muslims, it’s as if history is repeating itself once again. No longer is it about the Irish, Jews, African Americans, or Japanese; the new wave of xenophobia is aimed at Muslims. The mosque is just the beginning to Islamophobia. This is understandable looking from a New Yorker’s perspective, where one might feel the Muslims backing the mosque are being insensitive, Junior Basma Talballa reads the Qur’An and prays Taraweh. but what’s the excuse in Tennessee, Connecticut, Muslims have every right to build a mosque Kentucky and California? two blocks away from Ground Zero; why should There is no excuse; the arguments made they have to go the extra mile to ensure that they countering the Park51 serve as a catalyst to Anti- have no ties to terrorists? Why should Muslims Mosque campaigns across the nation. collectively hold the guilt to the 9/11 attacks, which Not only that, anti-Islam rhetoric from former were instigated by individuals who used religion speaker of the house Newt Gingrich, right-wing in the wrong way to act as a crutch to justify their blogger Pamela Geller, who ignited the controversy, actions? and, not surprisingly, Fox News, has instilled fear Let us not forget that the Ku Klux Klan was the and hatred towards Muslims living in America. largest terrorist organization operating within the Newt Gingrich said that Muslims’ building a United States, and their emblem was the cross. mosque at Ground Zero is akin to Nazis’ protesting You don’t see Christians bearing collective guilt in front of the Holocaust Museum, and Sarah over what an organization with over a million Palin asked of all Muslims in an infamous tweet members did. There’s one thing that people need to to “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab be reminded of: terrorists orchestrated the attacks, you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the not Islam the religion. heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.”




Turning himself into Sheriff A teenage boy accidentally sends a text message to a sheriff asking to buy a pot.

A couple marries inside a Walmart. Rule: To save money for a better honeymoon, go to Walmart.

Rule: Honesty is the best policy.

Staff Editors In Chief: Emily Fruchterman David Hookey

Entertainment Editors: Mackda Dinberu Mary Anne Kavjian

Historian: Mariah Pollet Web Editor: Liz Wilson

Managing Editor: Ndidi Obasi

1732: Georgia colony founders attempt to ban Catholicism

Lifestyles Editors: Jennifer Allshouse Editorials Editors: Jeff Shim Nasiha Rashid News Editors: Annie Curran Rebecca Malzahn In-Depth Editors: Katie Masters Erin Johnson Sports Editors: CJ Aftergut Jake Barnes

1654: Jewish refugees were claimed to “infect” the colony

Sports Xtra Editors: Brenna O’Neill Esra Gokturk People Editors: Kelsey Knoche Alley Adcock Weekend Editors: Kelsey Price Helena Belay International Editors: Haumaira Safi Jayran Moridzadeh

Source: Time Magazine

Video Editor: Greg Nielsen

Erin George

Health Editors: Katie Vu Gessica Azzam

Videographers: Gwen Levey Amanda Denny Patrick McCann Stephen Craig

Photography Editors: Emma Barker Kristen Hennessey Ad Managers: Rachel Coulter Daniel Park Circulation Manager: Rachel Baker Arts Editors: Jane Aman Jordan Aman Academics Editors: Tricia O’Neill Nikki Contrino Copy Editors: Brook Tamir Marwa Abdelaziz Rebecca Burke

Annandale High School Vol. 56 No.1 (703) 642-4229 4700 Medford Dr. Sept. 8, 2010 email: Annandale, Virginia 22003 fax: (703) 642-4299

Staff Writers/Photographers: Lance Miller, Helina Daniel, Carly Bouchard, Maria Suri, Elizabeth Kruse, Ngan Pham, Viviana Valle Rocha, Samir Shah, Alexa Lafferty, Mohamed Tunis, Isabel Villarroel-Teran, Alex Davalos, Alexis Gunther, Arthur McCafferty, Kim Long Hoang, William Labarca,Rachel Bergen, Sarah Bergen, Natalie Johnson, Kylee Nisker, Kida Gizaw, Stephanie Allshouse, Carli Loeb, Colleen Adenan, Brekhna Gull, Rowan Shartel, Jerald Sheppard, Gunner Thompson, Kate Grandchamp, Wisna’odom Keo, Noah Fitzgerel, Wiz Odom, Megan Flynn, Haben Berihun, Hila Ghorang, Parker Gillcash, Soo Bin Kam Adviser: Alan Weintraut

The A-Blast is an award winning newspaper that strives to inform, educate and entertain the student body and community. Published every three weeks, The A-Blast will not print any material that is obscene or libelous; or that which substantially disrupts the school day, or invades an individual’s right to privacy. The A-Blast is an independent, open forum for discussion that is printed at the Springfield Plant of The Washington Post. Signed letters to the editor of 250 words or less may be submitted to room 262 or mailed to the school. The A-Blast reserves the right to refuse advertisements. All submissions become property of The A-Blast, Copyright, 2010.

NEWS Big changes around the school Sept. 8, 2010

Construction around the school creates parking problems for students and faculty

album and video of Freshmen Orientation Day.

Throughout the summer, as students encompassed themselves in family and friends, AHS was surrounded by tractors, cement trucks, and various other machines. These machines clogged the streets around AHS, while construction workers were hard at work in Ossian Hall Park, the trailers and the visitors bleachers.



Ossian Hall Park Upperclassmen and faculty from the previous year witnessed the start of the construction on Ossian Hall Park. Since the initial clearing of the forest, around the first week of February 2010 until now, a lot has been accomplished. When completed, Ossian Hall Park is expected to not only have an extended parking lot, but also two concrete basketball courts, a synthetic turf field and an amphitheater. The county also plans on remodeling the softball fields residing behind the parking lot. Lit pathways will be added as well, to help people navigate around the park. Lights will also be added to the fields, in order to make use of the fields at night. Ossian Hall Park was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of October. However, due to changes in the plan for the field to be made of turf, the full renovations most likely will be finished by November. AHS is lucky to have a very good relationship with Fairfax County and the park authority. During the day, the county will allow the school to use 45 parking spots. They also allow AHS to use the softball fields for the baseball and softball teams to practice on.

Bleachers New bleachers on the visitors side of the football stadium were erected this summer in anticipation of a safer viewing environment. The old ones, installed during the renovation about ten years ago, were not up to par with current safety regulations. “There was only one way in and out of [the old bleachers] so it was not safe in terms of emergencies,” said Director of Student Activities Angelo Hilios. “There are three now.” The exits aren’t the only new addition to the bleachers. They were moved back from the field and handrails were installed to provide an even safer atmosphere. The new bleachers are also smaller than the old ones, as its capacity is down about 500 seats. “[The construction] took about a month,” said Hilios. “They had to take down the old ones, dig an area for a drainage pipe (because a lot of water was held between the back of the bleachers and the tennis courts), relocate a water pump for irrigation, and pour a cement pad that the bleachers now

School pictures to be held Underclassmen pictures will be taken on Sept. 9 and Sept. 10, in the auditorium.


Back to school night is around the corner

Construction workers cleared a large area to prepare for the new modular unit.

sit on.” The bleachers will first be put to the test when the Atoms play their home opener against Falls Church on Sept. 10.

What this means for parking Construction throughout Ossian Hall Park, the trailers, and on the visitors bleachers has inflicted slight chaos in AHS. Approximately 100 parking spots were lost because of the new additions to the school. “The parking has impacted every single person at school: students, parents, teachers, volunteers,” said dean of students Hassan Mims. Due to the construction of the modular unit, there has been a massive reduction of parking spaces in what was previously the faculty and staff parking lot. As a result, many staff and faculty members will have to parallel park along Four Year Run this year. A yellow line was also added along Four Year Run to distinguish the different sides of the (now very narrow) road and help the traffic flow. Since many of the 290 parking spots reserved for faculty and staff will now accompany what was previously used as parking for students, there will be very few spaces left for students. “Until further notice there will be no student parking,” said Tippins. “Students are still allowed to apply and get their applications in [for parking spots].” “AHS is the oldest operational school in the county,” said Mims. Unlike other schools AHS has stayed in the same place as it’s original base was built, and has just been built onto. Therefore, it was not built for as many cars as the students and faculty have. In 1954, mainly just faculty members had cars. Whereas now, not only are there more students and faculty residing at AHS, but there are also a large portion of students and faculty members own cars. Despite the fewer parking spaces, most students have the option of taking the bus to and from school. “The county does provide transportation and that’s a nice, easy, feasible way to get in and out of here,” said Tippins. However, not every student has the option to take the bus when staying after school for sports and other activities. “Parking at AHS has always been a challenge but we will explore every available option to meet the needs of our students,” principal John Ponton stated in an e-mail sent out to students and parents on September 1.

Freshmen ease into their first year “Freshmen” continued from page 1

common for new students at the school. The class of 2014 is a record-breaking 672 students, and more students continue to be enrolled. “This is the largest class we’ve had in a long time,” said Student Services Secretary Rose Ann McCourt. AHS gets students from Edgar Allen Poe, Holmes, Robert Frost, Glasgow and private middle schools; all schools that are much smaller. The drastic change in size is quite a shock and an adjustment to many. “I went to the same private school for 11 years, so this will be a lot different,” said freshman James Barker. “My old class was 36 people. It’s definitely The class of 2014 posed for a picture in their new AHS shirts at the end of orientation day. a big change.”

The day consisted of an assembly in the auditorium to welcome the class of 2014. The auditorium was filled with a sea of eager faces. Director of Student Services Steve Sengstack introduced Mr. Ponton, who welcomed the class, followed by an introduction of the counselors. Mrs. Sims, the cafeteria manager, discussed cafeteria procedures; Angelo Hilios, the Director of Student Activities discussed freshman sports and other activities, counselor Rebecca Lockard discussed the Big Atom Little Atom Program; and representatives from AHS Leadership discussed preparing for high school. “There are not many new beginnings,” said Sengstack. “You have a couple along the way and this is one of them.” A.J-. MCCAFFERTY

Orientation day and summer sports help incoming students

To read more of the story, visit

shift in the cultural AHS welcomes new teachers New breakdown of the school Fresh faculty become acclimated to the school

“Teachers” continued from page 1

time,” said Higgins. “Seeing a staff so dedicated and enthusiastic about their work has really energized me. Since I’m new, seeing how close the Atoms family is has really fired me up.” Several other new faculty members also commented on the atmosphere they have encountered in their first few weeks. “I have worked in many other schools and this was one of the only places that I saw an environment where I really wanted to work,” said biology teacher Rachel Lazar. “Last year, I took over for Claudia Lemus when she went on maternity leave and loved my time here. So when a position opened up, I was super excited to take it.” For other new faculty members, such as math teacher Allison Wheeler, AHS is their first school. “I’m from here and I actually went here,” said Wheeler. “I just graduated from college and graduated from AHS in 2006. My mom is actually Linda Wheeler, the counselor.” “I went to a week long orientation called New Beginnings, which is put on by FCPS,” said Wheeler of her preparations. “They give all teachers new to the county lessons on planning and on what to expect.”

Go to the Web To see a photo

BY: REBECCA MALZAHN AND DAVID HOOKEY News Editor and Editor in Chief

On Aug. 23 construction workers began moving trailer quads and clearing out space for a modular unit to be built in the back parking lot. The freestanding, portable pod is made up of 17 pieces which will be brought to AHS and assembled like a puzzle. The modular will contain 14 classrooms, an office, a conference room, and student and faculty bathrooms. The building will include two biology labs, along with classrooms for several other departments. “Teachers that have to go to several classrooms [to teach] will be in the modular,” said assistant principal Vincent Randazzo. The modular is being installed to aid to the needs of the overcrowding issue within AHS. Construction workers plan on finishing this project by Columbus Day weekend. However, since there are multiple factors that rely on each other (such as Fairfax County, the sewage company and contractors) involved in the development of the modular, the completion time of the building may change later on. One new pathway was constructed to help students find their way around the immense fenced in area reserved for the modular unit. Certain students, with classes that stand behind the metal fence, will have to take a bit of a longer trek to their trailer classes.


“We’ve had lots of meetings about curriculum and planning,” said Dearinger, highlighting the emphasis on mapping out lesson plans that many teachers have felt this year. While each new teacher brings something new to the school, the impact that new band director Andrew Loft and choral director Jessica Lardin will have is especially pronounced. “I’m leading everything related to band,” said Loft. “Marching band, symphonic band, concert band, you name it. The students that I’m working with this year are hardworking and really fantastic.” With the recent turnover in band leadership, as last year’s director Mark Carter stayed with the school for only one year, Loft acknowledges that he has a unique road ahead of him. “With any job there are always going to be traditions,” he said. “I’m honored just to be here.” “We’ve just been movin’ and groovin’,” said Loft of the marching band’s progress under new leadership. “We’ve been out here since August and have been actively preparing for competition and the year.” Although many of the new teachers are looking forward to the new year with a mixture of nervousness and excitement, most are confident that the year will be a success. “This is exactly where I want to be,” said Higgins. “What I want most is to become a part of the Atom family and to pour all of my passion into the school.”

“Demographics” continued from page 1

“I think its good that Hispanics are rising to become the majority. There’s always been the saying that America is a nation of immigrants, but that pride seems only to be held by a select few. For instance, the prejudiced immigration laws of Arizona epitomize the fact that the pride of immigrants to our country is skewed to those that come here in a privileged manner. To truly accept diversity Annandale needs to realize the demographic change the U.S. is going through, even if it means for the long time majority giving up their spot,” said senior Julian Jordan. Other students see this change as a positive one for many reasons, like real world experiences. “I think the diversity at Annandale is a positive educational experience and will prepare me for when I graduate and enter college where there will be a greater range of diversity in more means than just race,” said senior Dan Doan. It is not just a change in our demographics, but our thinking and lives as well. Nobody realized the dramatic shift, yet the time has come. “I think that it’s interesting because it makes Annandale very unique. Not a lot of high schools I know have this much diversity and I think that it’s just one of the things that sets Annandale apart from other schools, specifically in Fairfax County,” said senior Tyler Britton.

On Sept. 22, AHS will host Back to School Night for parents. Parents will have the opportunity to go to each one of their child’s classes and meet their teachers. It will begin in the main gym, where parents can receive information about the PTSA and other clubs and activities. Men’s Chorale will perform and there will be several keynote speakers. Childcare is provided on behalf of the Key Club in the Principal’s Conference Room.

Obituaries Former Principal Ralph E. Buckley On July 17, Ralph E. Buckley passed away at the age of 95. Buckley served as Principal of AHS for 12 years, and served a vital role in hiring all of the staff members and helping to create the curriculum. After serving as Principal, he went on to serve as Assistant Superintendent of Fairfax County. Buckley had been staying at the INOVA Fairfax Hospital for a month prior to his death.

Former Arabic teacher Khitam Omar On Aug. 1, former Arabic teacher Khitam Omar passed away at the age of 60. On Aug. 3, an Islamic Prayer Service was held at Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in her honor. In September 1998, Omar was appointed as the first person to teach Arabic at a public school in the Washington area. She was responsible for running the Arabic Language Program (ALP) at AHS and taught here for 11 years.

Former English teacher John Heins Former English teacher John Heins passed away on Aug. 11. Heins taught at AHS for 23 years. A memorial service was held for him on Aug. 28 at Rock Spring Congressional Church in Arlington, VA. He leaves behind a loving wife of 42 years, two children, and two grandchildren.



Sept. 8, 2010

Back to school

freshmen You are new to AHS, how will you adjust to high school life? BY KATIE MASTERS In-Depth Editor Starting off on the right foot as a freshman can have a huge impact on your entire high school experience, so it is important to keep a few things in mind as you start off the school year. As a freshman, you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself in an entirely new setting, explore and experience a huge variety of new extracurriculars, and influence the pace of your academic life. By taking steps to ensure that your school experience is as close to perfection as you can make it, you will help make the next four years of your life as fun and successful as possible! Talk to your counselor about your plans for the future, however unclear they may be. If you plan on pursuing the IB Diploma, or want a more challenging curriculum, honors classes are the way to go. These will help prepare you for the increases in work that occur in junior and senior year. Academy classes and specialty courses such as Culinary Arts or Auto Tech are great ways enrich your academic life and to experience professions you might be interested in. Whichever courses you choose to pursue, make sure that you feel good about your decisions and confident that they’ll help make high school a more pleasurable experience. One of the best ways to meet new people is to involve yourself in extracurricular activities. AHS has a huge assortment of after-school organizations, and joining a few will help you integrate into the community and meet friends that share some of your interests. Take a more active role in your classes by participating in discussions and answering questions. Introducing yourself personally to your teachers and finding out what they expect from their students will distinguish you from many of your other classmates. Although individualized attention can seem hard to come by in a school as big as AHS, most teachers hold study sessions or will arrange one-on-one conferences after school. AHS is a big school, so don’t be afraid to ask faculty or returning students for directions if you get confused. It’s rare to find someone that’s unwilling to help you find your way. Attend school functions like athletic events, pep rallies and dances. These are organized to help increase school spirit and boost morale, and will help you feel more in-touch with the school community. Remember, though students at AHS come from all different backgrounds and have many different interests, we’re brought together by the fact that we are all Atoms!

juniors How to handle the immense work load and stress of junior year BY KATIE MASTERS In-Depth Editor Most educators agree that junior year is the most stressful time in a high school student’s life, but it is also the most important. Juniors take on the SAT, an increased work load and extracurricular activities in addition to planning, visiting and beginning to apply to colleges. To navigate through your junior year, it is important to focus on getting good grades and developing a plan of action for the college admission process. Keeping up fairly regular habits and seeking help from friends, family, teachers and counselors will help you leave junior year with a strong idea of where you are headed after graduation. Give a strong priority to your schoolwork. It is especially important to do well in classes your junior year, so make sure to stay on top of homework and projects and consult your teachers or friends if you are having difficulties in any of your studies. Colleges and other after-graduation programs look for well-rounded students, so make sure not to abandon your extracurriculars. It is important to find a balance between these activities and your schoolwork by only participating in organizations that you absolutely love and feel passionately about. Though it is tempting to try and pad your transcript with a huge array of intramural activities, colleges are more impressed by students with a high involvement in one to three activities than those who stretch themselves too thin. Study for the SAT with prep books, flash cards, or courses designed to help students obtain higher marks on the test. It is also a good idea to reflect on how you deal with stress, and what your usual test-taking strategies are. Knowing this can help you to plan a strategy for tackling the SAT. Bringing in items like earplugs, mints, or a stress ball in addition to the usual materials can also help increase your focus and improve your performance on the exam. And of course, a good night’s sleep and healthy breakfast are crucial for enhancing your performance and making the day of the test go as smoothly as possible. Create a list of your top-five college choices and actively obtain information about them. It is a great idea to familiarize yourself with basic information such as admission requirements, and you should mark a calendar with important admission deadlines to help you stay organized and informed. Above all, you should listen to the advice given to you by recruiters from the colleges you’re interested in and meet the expectations they set for potential students. Give yourself time to relax and enjoy yourself. Junior year is hectic and at times exhausting, and giving yourself treats can alleviate some of the stress. Your health is more important than anything else, and pushing yourself too hard will ultimately cause you to collapse.

Things to remember... • You will be at AHS for four years, and a lot of things will change between those years • Start getting the “high school experience” early by going to events like football games and Homecoming • There are roughly 600 other students in the exact same boat as you

Stuff to avoid... • Mean-spirited upper classmen • Establishing bad study habits early on • Not using your agenda, this tool is very important to a successful high school career!

Advice from last year’s freshmen... “Have as much fun as you can, and don’t forget to study!”

“Don’t procrastinate and don’t do your work in the last minute, and don’t get lost.”

—Gunner Thompson sophomore

—David Belay sophomore

Things to remember... • This year is extremely important, do not slack off! • Prepare to take the SAT’s, remember to sign up! • Start thinking about college; go on visits and do some research

Stuff to avoid... • Not continuing to take a language class • Overcommitting; get involved in a few extracurriculars that are important to you • Getting too stressed out; make sure to create time for relaxation

Advice from last year’s juniors... “Manage your time, don’t take on too much.”

—Lydette Yonas senior

“You should schedule an early SAT date, so you can take it a second time before you’re doing college apps.”

—Neha Sohail senior


Sept. 8, 2010


for every class Transition from frightened freshmen to savvy sophomores BY KATIE MASTERS In-Depth Editor Sophomore year can have a huge bearing on your future academic life, so it is important to take advantage of any opportunities you find that can help you further your plans for the rest of high school and beyond. Almost all sophomores take the PSAT, but few realize how important it really is. It is true that the test helps introduce and prepare you for future standardized exams, such as the SAT or ACT, but it also offers other benefits. National Merit scholarships are offered on the basis of PSAT scores, and Ivy League schools often take your score on the test into greater consideration than the exams you take as a junior. Now that you’re familiar with the high school routine, you are better able to map out the specifics of your studies and can take advantage of the resources AHS offers to ensure that the goals you set for yourself remain within reach. It may seem strange, but many academic institutions believe that the PSAT is a better indication of your abilities than the SAT or ACT because high school students generally don’t prepare for the test as intensely. That being said, you shouldn’t stress out over the prospect of taking the exam. As with any standardized test, get plenty of sleep the night before you sit for the PSAT, eat a healthy breakfast and make sure you are equipped with all of the supplies needed to take the exam. Continue to discuss class options with your counselor, and choose ones that seem the most beneficial to you. Tenth grade is the time to determine whether or not you want to pursue the IB Diploma, so make sure to consider all the different aspects of the program before making your decision. Stay on top of your grades and continue to seek help if you are struggling in any of your classes. A strong high school transcript is crucial for the college admissions process and can be a big asset in any other areas of focus after graduation. Put effort into all your extracurricular activities, and go the extra mile whenever possible. Become a club officer, organize fundraisers and participate in whatever other events your organization puts on. Developing and pursuing passions will help you feel happy, busy and fulfilled. And remember, if you are interested in a topic that is not covered by existing AHS organizations, you can always start your own club! Though it may seem premature, get a head start on the college application process. Begin to compile a list of schools that seem appealing to you, and go check them out. Attend college fairs and ask for advice from your parents, teachers, and counselors. Your industriousness will provide you with an advantage over your classmates and take a huge weight off your chest come junior and senior year.


How to enjoy and be successful in your last year of high school BY KATIE MASTERS In-Depth Editor As your final year in high school, your time as a senior should be one of triumph, your last victory lap before continuing with higher education or a career. There are, however, a number of things that you should accomplish before you graduate. Getting into college, an alternative post-graduation program, or the workforce is no easy process, but it is one that will ensure that you have something to look forward to after graduation. Senior year is also when IB Diploma candidates take the cumulative exams that determine whether or not they graduate from the program. You should definitely take pride in being a senior, but also keep in mind that there are still a few hurdles to overcome. Unless you completely failed to make plans for the future as a junior, you should have a fairly good idea of where you want to end up after high school. College-bound students should obtain and fill out applications from the schools they want to attend, fit in last-minute college visits, and look into scholarship and financial aid options. The current economic state combined with rising college admission fees make it critical for almost everyone to pursue monetary assistance, so make sure you know when your scholarship and financial aid forms need to be submitted to colleges. Those looking to participate in alternative post-graduation programs such as the Peace Corps should also look fill out their program’s applications and try to arrange a talk with a current or former member, recruiting officer, or employee about the program to reaffirm that you really wish to pursue it. Students planning to join the workforce after graduation should talk to their counselors or visit the Career Center to try and find jobs best suited to their skills and interests, and check newspapers and the internet for employment possibilities. It is still important to get good grades in your senior year, especially in the first two quarters if you wish to improve your academic transcript before sending it to college. Though it can be difficult to force yourself to focus, continue to strive for excellence in your classes and form connections with your teachers. Classes taken in your senior year often turn out to be some of the most rewarding and thought-provoking you have ever taken while in high school. Doing well on final exams is a cumulative effort. By consistently studying and reminding yourself of the material you’ve learned throughout the school year, you’ll legitimately absorb the knowledge and find yourself more than prepared for your exams. Studying with partners can make the reviewing process more interactive and help you learn by both giving and answering questions. Be proud of yourself! You have already accomplished twelve whole years of schooling, and there is no limit to what the future holds for you.

• Now that you have become more acquainted with AHS get further involved in extracurriculars • Take honors classes in order to prepare yourself for IB classes next year • Start thinking about your future, college is not that far off!

Stuff to avoid... • Making fun of freshmen, you were in their shoes last year! • Not talking to your counselor; you need to work with them to have a better high school experience • Creating too much drama; you have two more years with these people!

Advice from last year’s sophomores... “Don’t take it as a joke, ‘cause I slacked off and it ruined my GPA. So really pay attention in class and do your homework. Especially chemistry.”

“Do your homework the day you get it and don’t procrastinate on your projects.”

—Adam Huenemann junior

—Hiba Abuelhawa junior

Things to remember... • Get started on college applications • Colleges are sent your grades for the first two quarters, but keep up your grades for the rest of the year • It’s your senior year! Have fun and take advantage of any senior privileges

Stuff to avoid... • Getting senioritis early; stay focused in school! PHOTO COURTESY OF JOCELYN CINTO


Things to remember...

• Limiting your options; you do not need to know exactly what you will do with your life right now! • Not fundraising; you need to get money for events like prom

Senior Events 50’s

• September 10, 13, 14, 15: 7:00 AM-3:30 PM Senior Pictures, Dance Room • October 6, 7: 8:30 AM- 2:30 PM Senior dues collection, Clausen Hall • October 6: 7:00 PM Senior parents night, Clausen Hall • October 20, 21, 22: 2:00 PM- 8:30 PM Senior pictures make-ups, Dance Room

• April 11: Flexes, Senior meeting/ Graduation announcements, Auditorium • June 3- Senior prom • June 9- 7:00 PM Senior awards, Auditorium • June 15- 6:30 AM- 3:00 PM Graduation rehearsal, Auditorium • June 16- 7:00 PM Graduation, Constitution Hall



September 8, 2010

New coach, new season

Go to the Web!

For more photos of preseason action, visit:

Mike Scott looks to rebound from last year’s losing season in his first year as head coach

Coach Profiles

Coach: Bill Maglisceau Sports Coached: Freshman football, varsity lacrosse Years Coaching: 17 What do you enjoy about coaching? “I enjoy coaching the offensive line.”


What do you hope to accomplish this season? “I hope to find athletes who can take a hit.”

Coach: Sarita Viloria Sports Coached: Cheerleading

Despite 61 days of 90°+ heat this summer, the football team has practiced almost every day since Aug. 10. To them, the heat is just another opponent to beat while trying to adjust to a new coach and prepare for their ’10-’11 season which kicked off on Sept. 3 against Centreville. “The team looks good,” said head coach Mike Scott, who took over for the legendary Dick Adams this season. “We had a physical first two weeks of practice and a lot of guys were hurt but we’re starting to get some guys back. We’re nowhere near where we need to be though.” Scott takes over the head coaching position after having served as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator last year. “It feels good [to run practices now],” said Scott. “Coach Adams took care of a lot of things and allowed us to coach our kids. We had a lot of freedom, so I learned from him about how to run practice, but there are definitely a few things different. It’s a lot of fun, but a lot of work.” As far as the team is concerned, the Atoms will rely on incumbent starting quarterback, junior Tony Hysjulien, to lead the offense. Seniors Devin Lawrence and Andy Craig will be the primary receivers, while senior Stephen Cook and junior Tyrek Worrell will lead the rushing attack. Along the offensive line, senior Bob Stevens will start at center, seniors Nick Doumbia and Paul Phongsavan at tackle, and senior Abenezer Anteneh and junior Ali Ali-Musa at guard. The key to success, however, will not be the offense according to Scott. “If we want to be successful we’re going to have to play great defense, which I think we definitely can do,” said Scott. “We’ve got to stay healthy and give the offense opportunities to score points. Then we have to get the ball in the hands of our playmakers like DJ Lawrence, Jake Barnes, and Andy Craig.” The defense will be lead by senior linebackers Yari Mizouri, Mo Bah and Craig, while the secondary will depend on Lawrence and senior JP Jenkins at cornerback, senior Stephen Craig at free safety and junior Adam Wattenbarger at strong safety. Musa and seniors Henry Cooper, Ian Griffin and Joel Hoisington will man the defensive line. “We’re coming together as offensive and defensive units,” said Stevens. “We’re working hard and we’re excited to have a good season.” One noticeable absentee from the practice field this summer was senior



BY DAVID HOOKEY Co-Editor in Chief

The Atoms square up and prepare to execute a play during a recent practice. The team will compete against Falls Church HS on Friday, September 10 at Bolding Stadium.

Melvin Robinson, who moved in with his father in July to play for Maryland state champion Gwynn Park HS. Robinson has led the team’s wide receiving corps for the past two seasons, earning All-Met honors both years. He finishes his career two touchdowns shy of the all-time record at AHS, held by Thomas Fadden. The Atoms will have their home opener on Sept. 10 against Falls Church, a game in which they should be favored. The team then starts district play on Sept. 16 against South County. Last year, the Stallions were 7-5 and advanced to the Northern Region semi-final, where they lost to Woodson. Woodson should again be a force in the Patriot District, despite the loss of their quarterback last year. Lake Braddock is again projected to be the class of the district after advancing to the state championship game a year ago. Robert E. Lee is projected slightly ahead of AHS, but any given week a team could rise to the top of the district. “Every game is going to be key for us,” said Scott. “We want to play well and get better each week, which is what I think we have done up to this point.” The ultimate goal, of course, is to win the district, and with Scott as the new coach and an experienced squad of varsity starters, the team certainly has the potential.

2010 AHS fall preview

Years Coaching: 1

XC prepares to take on tough district lineup as Monroe Parker Invitational nears

What do you hope to accomplish this season? “I am hoping to accomplish teaching the team new stunting techniques and placing higher in competition than last season.” —compiled by Esra Gokturk


September 10 vs. Falls Church Gunnar Thompson

September 16 vs. South County September 24 @ Oakton October 1 vs. Robert E. Lee October 9 @ T.C. Williams

Head Coach: David O’Hara

Head Coach: Cindy Hook

Last Year’s Record: N/A

Last Year’s Record: 6-10

Key Players: Ahmed Bile, James Grandchamp, Matt Haines, Samir Shah, Natalie Johnson, Caroline Kane, Victoria Ko

Key Players: “Every player is key to our success,” said Hook.

Key Games: Monroe Parker Invitational, Patriot District Tournament

Varsity Football Schedule

Field hockey looks to improve on previous season’s record under new senior leadership

Player Outlook: “I think we’re gonna do really well [this season] because we’ve been practicing really hard,” said sophomore Gunnar Thompson.

Coach Outlook: “Two major indicators that transfer to success are getting large numbers of athletes to come out and having guys that are willing to work hard, and we have both! Our district is probably the toughest in the state so just getting to regionals (top four teams go) will be extremely tough, but we have the ingredients to make it happen,” said O’Hara.

Key Games: Woodson, Lake Braddock Player Outlook: “I think we will have a successful season because we have a strong team this season and work really well together. It’ll be good if we keep progressing as we are. Our communication has really taken off, and we’re starting Jessica Hotter to bond as a team. As long as we find a good balance with school and field hockey we’ll have a successful season,” said Hotter. ESRA GOKTURK

What do you enjoy about coaching? “I enjoy passing on my knowledge of cheer, gymnastics, and dance to my team.”

Coach Outlook: “I am really looking forward to helping this great group of girls grow into an awesome team of champions!” said Hook.

October 15 vs. West Springfield October 22 @ Lake Braddock

November 5 vs. West Potomac

With one regular season match remaining, team looks strong heading into districts

Varsity Field Hockey Schedule

Head Coach: Richard McCormack

September 11 @ Albemarle September 13 @ Madison

September 21 vs. Westfield DAVID HOOKEY

September 23 @ Lake Braddock September 25 @ AHS, Atoms Challenge

Last Year’s Record: 4-4

Last Year’s Record: 14-3

Key Players: Anthony Banaszak, Greg Nielsen, Eric Reynolds

Key Players: Grace Franjie, Bethany Montgomery, Teppi Shultis, Allison Warth, Izzy Yaroch

Greg Nielsen

Player Outlook: “The golf team this year is doing pretty well. We lost our top player from last year, but different people are stepping up when it is needed, allowing us to win some big matches. The biggest win so far was against Woodson. Our goal is to have a winning record at the end of the year, but more importantly play well at districts,”

October 5 vs. West Potomac

said senior Greg Nielsen.

October 8 vs. South County

Coach Outlook: “To this point, the team has done extremely well. The golf team this year has gelled into being an extremely competitive unit led by seniors Greg Nielsen, Eric Reynolds, Anthony Banaszak, Evan Smith and David Hookey. In their dealings with the hundreds of people engaged in the sport of golf, all 16 members of the golf team are the best ambassadors that could possibly represent AHS. As coach, I cannot be more proud to be associated with such a group. The team has come a long way in a short amount of time. We have the potential to shock some schools in the district tournament in late September,” said McCormack.

October 12 @ Woodson October 18 @ AHS, Districts - 1st Round October 19 @ Robert E. Lee, Districts - Semis October 21 @ Robert E. Lee, Districts - Finals

Head Coach: Jan Austin

Key Games: South County, Patriot District Tournament

September 15 vs. Robert E. Lee

September 30 vs. T.C. Williams

Volleyball begins season under new head coach with hopes of another successful year

Key Games: Woodson, South County Player Outlook: “I think we will do well. I’m very impressed with our new coach, Ms. Austin, who shows a lot of knowledge about the game. We have a lot of players coming from JV, but they’re getting Teppi Shultis the hang of it really well. I think we are very strong offensively but need to work on making our defense stronger so we can compete with teams like South County. We definitely have a good, tall block when Allison, Izzy, or I are in the front row. Overall, we have bonded well as a team and I am positive we will do well this season,” said senior Teppi Shultis. RACHEL BERGEN

October 29 @ Woodson

Coach Outlook: “I think that we have a very talented group of volleyball players this season. There are four returning Varsity players, Teppi Shultis, Beth Montgomery, Grace Franjie, and Izzy Yaroch. This team has not had a lot of experience on the court so we have spent a lot of time trying to learn how we can use our strengths and fix our weaknesses. When we are at our best I see an amazing team and feel that we have a very good chance of going pretty far in districts this year. Our captains are Beth and Teppi, who are both amazing leaders to the varsity team as well as the whole program. They have been working hard since August 10, and are really excited about the season,” said Austin.


Sept. 8, 2010

Fall TV shows debut



Networks brand new fall lineup is sure to be a success Hawaii Five-0

Boardwalk Empire

Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb.18)

Better With You

The Event

You will soon be forced into a tough situation. Be sure to listen to your decided what is right.

Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20) Push yourself to the limit, it is amazing what you can do when you give it your all.

HBO’s new series is a drama set in the Prohibition era. Nucky Thompson, played by Steve Buscemi, is the ruler of Atlantic City’s gang world. As Thompson works in the illegal alcohol business, his former friends become his competitors and enemies. With the pilot directed by Oscar-winner Martin Scorcese, this show is bound to be a success. Sun. at 9pm

Following in the trend of show remakes, Hawaii Five-0 will be returning to CBS after thirty years of being off-air. The show is about a group in charge of eliminating crime in Hawaii. Hawaii Five-0 has a different feel. The group members are from various different backgrounds, giving their work an interesting dynamic. Mon. at 10pm

The mysterious commercials have been seen on NBC lately; triggering the question: What is The Event? As of now, viewers only know minimal details. The show stars Jason Ritter as an average man who stumbles upon a groundbreaking government cover up and Blair Underwood as America’s president. The Event has quite a bit of hype to live up to. Mon. at 9pm


Mike & Molly

Running Wilde

ABC’s newest show, Better With You, is a romantic comedy, much like Modern Family. The show follows three relationships which coincidentally meshes into one big family. The family must deal with typical situations, like pregnancies, and marriage issues. Better With You is definitely going to have some competition on theABC network. Wed. at 8:30pm

Aries (March 21- April 19) Things might be coming at you full speed, but just take a breath and it will all be over in a matter of time.

Hellcats Taurus (April 20 - May 18) Lately there have been many things distracting you. Although these distractions have not been for the best, they will eventually lead to better things.

Fox’s new comedy Running Wilde stars Will Arnett and Keri Russell. Arnett plays Steven Wilde, a billionaire who has never encountered something he could not have. Russell is a down-to-earth activist who has no interest in Wilde. The show follows Wilde’s outrageous pursuits for her love. Tue. at 9:30pm

The latest CBS comedy from Chuck Lorre is about an improbable couple that meets at Overeaters Anonymous. Mike is a Chicago cop and Molly is an elementary school teacher. Together, they go through the struggles with their weight while dating. Mon. at 9:30pm

JJ Abrams’ newest action show, Undercovers, is about the lives of two married reactivated CIAagents. While similar to other shows by Abrams, Undercovers has more of a romantic and comedic twist. NBC’s new show is sure to please audiences. Wed. at 8pm

The CW, known for its classic teenage dramas, is now the home of Hellcats. Continuing off of the hit movie, the storyline is about a teenage girl struggling with financials for college and looks to pursue becoming a cheerleader in order to get a possible scholarship. Wed. at 9pm

Gemini (May 21- June 20) These past couple of days have been the greatest for you, but, sadly, those days are numbered. Take advantage of what you have right now.

Same girl, but better

Cancer (June 21- July 22) There will be days when it may seem hard to see the light of day but soon enough it will get easier.

BY MACKDA DINBERU Entertainment Editor As Rihanna came out with her electrifying red hair, the entire venue lit up. It was finally time for what everyone had come for. This was not a concert like any others, this was her big comeback to the world. Rihanna had suffered some pretty hard times, with the whole Chris Brown beating and all the press taking over her life; and after her latest album, Rated-R, the world saw a new Rihanna. There are some who don’t appreciate Rihanna’s music, such as senior Lydette Yonas who said, “she tries to be edgy, when she really isn’t. She seems out of place.” People definitely misinterpreted her anger and emotions for a look to be edgy because she had opened up through the tracks of the album which ended up changing the tone of her music. She was done with her little teenybopper music and had a much more serious tone. She had transformed into a powerful woman. “I feel bad for Rihanna, she has been through a lot, but it’s good to see her getting back on stage, it’s been long, “ said senior Banna Gebremichael. Rihanna has cancelled many of her shows on her Last Girl on Earth lately and of all the one’s she actually did attend, they were far from being sold out. Her fan base has definitely gone downhill. “Everyone was mind-blown at how amazing she sounded and looked. Everyone was singing and dancing to her performances,” said senior Alyssa Suchar. When she got out on the stage with her leather, skin-tight dress with

lasers blasting off of it, the audience went haywire. Her dancing was beyond extraordinary and her singing was on point; it even gave everyone chills. She performed with so much passion and emotion. She performed a mix of her old songs including, SOS, Breakin’ Dishes, Shut Up and Drive, and many more classics. It was as if this was her final concert and she had to give it her all, because the amount of energy she put into this concert was amazing. Her performance was much like a circus show. There were many lights flashing everywhere, and there were so many interesting dance numbers. At one point two aerial contortion dancers came out and did a stunning performance. It was unreal that what they did was even possible. Surely, everyone’s mouth dropped on many occasions from all the special effects and dancing performances Rihanna included in this performance. This was possibly one of Rihanna’s greatest performances. Without a question, anyone who saw her performance has definitely become a Rihanna fan. With a performance like that, it is kind of hard not to. She should be applauded for her tremendous performance. Everyone should give her music a listen, and keep an open mind for the change in her style. And if you haven’t seen a concert of her’s, you should definitely look for any upcoming ones.


Rihanna’s new style rocks Jiffy Lube Live

Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22) Rihanna struts fiercely down the stage as she sings one of her hit songs.


Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22) School has begun and it is time to buckle down and concentrate. It is important to start the school year off right.

A friendship complication is coming your way. Do not lose sight of who your true friends are.

Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22) Stress has been building, but do not let it get to you. Your friends are noticing the change and it is affecting your relationships with them. Take it one step at a time.

Instructions: The objective of the game is to fill all the blank squares in a game with the correct numbers. There are three very simple constraints to follow. In a nine by nine square Sudoku game every row of nine numbers must include all digits one through nine in any order. Every column of nine numbers must include all digits one through nine in any order. Every three by three subsection of the nine by nine square must include all digits one through nine.

Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21) You have had a hidden talent that you’ve been afraid of sharing. It is about time to let loose and share it with the world.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) WWW.WEBSUDOKU.COM


Your friends might be making bad decisions these days, but take the initiative to make smart decisions for yourself.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 19) Do not rush into any major decisions just yet. Take some time for yourself to think it through.



Sept. 8, 2010

High school hang outs

Last weekend I...

Right: A group of senior boys enjoy a night session of skating at the Fairfax Ice Arena

Although school has just begun, you can take advantage of all the fun winter has to offer at Fairfax Ice Arena. Located just ten minutes up Little River from AHS, it has every ice activity one could think of. With lessons, hockey, public skating, parties, groups, and fundraisers there is something for everyone to enjoy. It is the perfect place to meet up with friends, casually skate and catch up. For approximately ten dollars, this is great alternative to an unreasonably

priced movie theater, where you sit in silence for two hours instead of making new memories. If you go with a group of seven or more you can receive tickets at a reduced price. Ice-skating is a considerably wallet-friendly outing, costing around of 55 for a twohour session. If you’re looking to make an entire evening out of it, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants nearby such as First Watch and Noodles and Company.

National Harbor This is the perfect activity for a large group of friends on a Saturday night and has features that both guys and girls will enjoy. Just a quick drive down the beltway brings you to this ultra-trendy waterfront along the Potomac River. The marina is packed with new restaurants, ranging from upscale steakhouses to Peeps & Company candy store. There is plenty of room to run around and explore the sculptures along the beach. If you are not up for walking and you are willing to pay a little extra, hop on a Segway tour of

National Harbor, which are offered both during the day and at sunset. The Gaylord National Resort recently opened nearby and offers an excellent array of concerts and entertainment for all tastes. On Sunday nights, outdoor movies are featured on a jumbo screen up all the way through the month of September. For a limited time, Cirque de Soleil will be performing in one of the National Harbor arenas. Visit www. to learn more about all of the various activities National Harbor has to offer.

Above: The Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center is 18 stories high and offers a wide variety of entertainment for guests. Left: The restaurant, McCormick & Schmick’s, sits on the bottom level of this building alongside the marina.

AMF Annandale Lanes NDIDI OBASI

The September 11 5k Memorial Run Above: A beginner manages to get the ball stuck from a slow roll. Right: Senior Ndidi Obasi enjoys a night of extreme bowling to celebrate her birthday with friends.


The race begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday in Crystal C i t y, Vi r g i n i a . Registration costs $30.00 and can be done online at www.


Fairfax Ice Arena

The to-do list 1.

Above: Junior Willie Labarca poses in front of the Jefferson Memorial while paddle boating. Right: Two students enjoy a quiet day on the Tidal Basin Inlet.


Last weekend I went to Georgetown and National Harbor with my cousins who came to visit all the way from London & Canada. It was obviously a big change of scenery for the both of them, but the usual for me. The atmospheres at both of these locations are fun and entertaining. You can do pretty much anything and everything from going shopping, to eating, and having fun all in one place. At National Harbor there is a gorgeous view overlooking the water, you can enjoy a water taxi ride, and you can even see the monuments in DC off in the distance. After watching the water and enjoying the area we went to an early dinner at a restaurant called Ketchup. Of course after dinner we had to do some shopping so we stopped by a shop called Charming Charlie’s, a cute little boutique with every kind of accessory you could imagine in every color. After spending the day at the National Harbor we spent the next day in Georgetown. While we were there we did a little too much shopping. And for anyone who’s been to Georgetown, you know that you have to stop at Georgetown Cupcake and get a beautifully made, delectably delicious cupcake. I got the usual, a Chocolate and Peanut Butter Swirl while my cousins each got classic flavors. After cupcakes we walked around to burn off some of the calories, shopped, and called it a day.

Make a day of paddle boating and go out to lunch at a nearby restaurant or pack a lunch and it eat on the National Mall lawn, only a few blocks away from the Tidal Basin boathouse. Paddle Boats are available for rent from 10:00 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday. The Tidal Basin boathouse closes for the season after Columbus Day Weekend so do not wait to go try this fun activity. Grab a friend and head into the D.C. for the day!



If you are looking for a quiet and peaceful place to catch up with friends, try Tidal Basin paddle boating in Washington, D.C. This man-made inlet is situated alongside the Jefferson Memorial and provides stunning views of the monument. Two passenger boats are available for rent for $12.00 an hour. However, if you are going in a group, Tidal Basin also offers four passenger boats for $19.00 an hour.


Delectable cupcakes from the wildly popular bakery, Georgetown Cupcake.

Tidal Basin Paddle Boating



The best places to reconnect with the friends you have not seen all summer long

When looking for a place to reunite with friends lost in the shuffle of summer look no further than a mile from AHS. Annandale Lanes is a longstanding, local business, home to some of Annandale’s most prominent bowlers. However, after 9 p.m. when the lights get turned down and the music starts thumping, the atmosphere quickly turns from family fun into the ultimate teen hangout. Across the Little Run Shopping

C e n t e r, t h i s h i d d e n s e c r e t i s definitely the right place to go after a football game or on a Saturday night. Annandale Lanes is more then just a place to casually bowl. It offers ample space for parties and extreme bowling, which is perfect for beginners. Annandale Lanes is reasonably priced and is the perfect environment to talk and reconnect with the friends you haven’t seen in a couple of months.



Film Festival The annual D.C. shorts film festival starts on Sept. 9th and end on the 16th. General admission tickets can be purchased for approximately $12.00. For more specific information visit

Free Karaoke Fairfax Corner is offering free karaoke on their Grand Plaza Stage this month only. On Friday, Septmeber 10, this fun filled event kicks off at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m.


By Kelsey Price and Helena Belay As this is our first official food review of the year, we would like to first start by giving you, the readers, a brief introduction into our thought process behind this column. It has been a long and time-honored tradition that the Weekend section of the A-Blast gives a food review of a new or interesting restaurant every issue. This year, however, we decided to put a little spin on the old model and decided that we would only review restaurants with cultural influences. As AHS contains such a diverse student population, we found that reviewing different ethnic cuisines would not only appeal to a larger portion of our readership, but would also provide us with the opportunity to learn about new cultures through food. Having said that, let us begin with our first Culinary Conquest: Duangrat’s Thai Restaurant in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia. Upon first entering the restaurant, we were both amazed at the beautiful spectacle before us. The walls were painted in a deep red and meticulously decorated with ornate statues and detailed artwork. On every table sat a white linen tablecloth, a small candle and a purple orchid, which carries special significance in Thai

culture. After adjusting to our new environment, the next sense to come into play was smell. A wonderful aroma wafted towards us from the kitchen that was both savory and spicy. Having only ever experienced Thai food at Noodles and Company (if one can even count that), both of us were incredibly eager to dive in to this new, exciting cuisine. We were greeted by a hostess in traditional Thai attire and quickly seated at a comfortable booth in the main dining area. As it was relatively early, around 5:00 p.m., there were only a few other customers present. The reason we decided to eat at this time was because of Duangrat’s small plate special. This is ideal for the customer new to Thai cuisine, who would like to try a little bit of everything. There were thirty dishes on the small plate menu, designed to be either appetizers for two, or a smaller portioned dinner for one. This menu is available from 4:30 until 6:30 on weekdays and reasonably priced at around $6.00 a plate. We quickly scanned the menu and wrote down anything that sounded remotely intriguing or an item we had never tried before. The total amounted to 15 dishes, which we then cut down to nine. Our waiter was incredibly patient with us as we bombarded him with questions: “What is the difference between green and yellow curry?” “The green is much spicier than the yellow.” and so on and so forth. I’m not exactly sure what we expected when we ordered, but the amount of food that soon came pouring out of the kitchen and onto our table was downright embarrassing. Dish after dish came out of the kitchen. We ordered shrimp and lobster “cigar” rolls, lemongrass chicken spring rolls, shrimp tempura,

Duangrat’s Thai


Top: Our feast at Duangrat’s consisted of ten small plates, which we evenly split and sampled. Right: Our dessert, Green Tea ice cream with banana spring rolls and fresh fruit.


The concert venue is Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia. Trace Adkins opens for Toby Keith beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for as low as $30.00.


2. Toby Keith live

duck in a crispy egg roll shell along with many others. As each new food reached our table, our waiter would smile and explain what we would soon be eating, as well as how to eat it if we were unsure. The chefs in the kitchen must have assumed that a party of ten was sitting in the dining room for the amount of food we consumed. And boy did we eat all of it. Not a single condiment, shred of lettuce or noodle was left after we were finished. We then ordered an exotic dessert of Green Tea Ice Cream with a banana spring roll, at which point we contemplated unbuttoning our pants. We paid the bill and left to the sounds of many friendly staff members asking if we enjoyed our meal and to come again soon. Overall, our experience was fantastic and we will most definitely be making a return to Duangrat’s soon.

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Teachers arrive in various departments A NNANDALE H IGH S CHOOL Orientation helps 9th graders adjust to AHS EditorialsEditorials dis- cusses...