Lifestyles goes takes a dive into hair dye
Weekend takes a peek at the secret weekend lives of teachers
ANNANDALE HIGH SCHOOL 4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, VA 22003
Informiing the Atoms siince 1954 4
PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE FEWELL / MILESTAT.COM
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2010
Atoms Field Hockey Final Record: 8-10
Arts takes you into the darkroom with a look at black and white photography
InDepth takes a look at some of AHS’s students with disabilities
the VOLUME #56 ISSUE 4
Bile wins state championship Junior Ahmed Bile wins close race to earn first XC title in AHS history BY DAVID HOOKEY Co-Editor in Chief
Lists of students eligible for parking spaces at Ossian Hall were posted today outside of the Main Office and cafeteria. The $150 payment will be accepted in the cafeteria during all lunches on Wednesday, Nov. 10 and parking will begin next Moday, Nov. 22.
Parent/Teen Traffic Safety Program The Parent/Teen Traffic Safety Program, which is mandatory for permit-holders wishing to recieve their driver’s licenses, will be held at 7 p.m. this coming Wednesday, Nov. 18 in Clausen Hall.
PTSA meeting tonight The AHS Parent Teacher Student Association will be holding a meeting at 7 p.m. tonight in the Clausen Hall.
Fall Sports Awards next week Awards for participation in fall sports, maintaining a 3.5 GPA during sports seasons and more will be given out in the Auditorium. The event begins at 6 p.m. Monday.
Ossian Hall parking spaces available today
Representatives from various schools and community members met in the AHS Library on Wednesday, Nov. 10 to discuss potential solutions to the overcrowding certain schools have been experiencing in recent years.
Various options considered by committee as search for overcrowding relief continues BY EMILY FRUCHTERMAN Co-Editor in Chief When Vicky Hurlebaus, the mother of two elementary-school age children, moved into the Annandale area, her children’s education was at the forefront of her mind and the reputation of FCPS made her decision simple. However, due to the severe overcrowding that has plagued the school for the past several years, Hurlebaus now feels reason to doubt whether she wants her children to attend AHS. “I’m very concerned about the overcrowding at both the middle school and high school levels,” said Hurlebaus. “When we moved here, the schools weren’t overcrowded, so AHS was a really good option. Now, I would really prefer that my kids not go to an overcrowded school – if that school happens not to be AHS, that’s okay. I’m open to any school.” This sentiment, which is becoming more and more common among parents of younger children, has not gone unnoticed by the Fairfax County School Board. In order to draw more community input and perhaps find some innovative new solutions, a committee made of representatives from various schools has been tasked with undertaking the Annandale Regional Planning Study, or ARPS.
“What it’s vitally important to understand is that this is not a boundary study,” ARPS co-chair and Edgar Allan Poe Middle School representative Jennifer McGarey said. “It’s only a planning study, which means that we’re looking at a whole range of options. The school board might decide to make it a boundary study in the future.” In order to prevent boundary changes, which could force students to change schools in the middle of their high school years, the committee has been looking at what would happen if certain programs were shifted to or from AHS. “We took a hard look at the various services at AHS, such as ESOL, Special Ed and IB, and the others that are available, like AP. We tried to see which programs we could move in order to alleviate the overcrowding,” Ramona Morrow, committee representative from Lake Braddock Secondary School, said. “However, we really didn’t feel like we had significant numbers from any given program that would help us with the situation.” Since changing the programs offered at AHS would be difficult and may not totally alleviate the overcrowding, many feel that a boundary study is on its way, including School Board member Sandra “Planning” continues on page 5
Seniors really do seem to have it all. fhIn a race that covered 5,000 meters and took over 15 minutes to complete, it was just .02 seconds that separated the winner from second place. In what was truly a photo finish, AHS junior Ahmed Bile was crowned Virginia AAA State Champion for boys cross country after narrowly edging out senior Silas Frantz from Douglas Freeman HS in the state meet at Great Meadows in The Plains on Nov. 13. “It feels amazing to be a state champ,” “Bile” continues on page 16
Members of choir honored Six seniors earn spots in state’s honor choir BY KATE GRANDCHAMP Staff Writer “When I found out I jumped up and down,” senior Molly Segrecci said about her acceptance into the Honors Choir program. The six seniors who proved themselves vocally skilled enough to be accepted into the Honors Chorale are Lydia Pion, Molly Segrecci, Anne Hruskoci, Joey Mazzara, BJ Odom and Elliot Kiemel. These advanced singers will participate in the Virginia Music Education Association (VMEA) state-wide chorus performances “Chorus” continues on page 5
Sexual Harrassment and Bullying Week highlights administration’s stance BY ANNIE CURRAN News Editor
See www.thea-blast.org for a video about the recent choral exchange in which German students visited AHS.
FCPS is continuing to work on its goal of knocking out bullying in our schools. AHS celebrated National Sexual Harassment/ Bullying Prevention Week by dedicating R1 FLEX on Nov. 12 to the cause, during which students watched various news clips. One such clip was from a recent 20-20 episode on bullying, which featured a personal story about a girl who was brutally attacked by her bully. Teachers were then supposed to open up their classroom to questions on the
topic. The video concluded with a message from Assistant Principal Jamie Carayaiannis about AHS’s dedication to helping any student being bullied. The video was the conclusion to a weeklong campaign at school. Peer mediation classes sponsored Mix-it-Up day on Nov. 9, a national campaign to encourage students to make new friends. The day correlates with Sexual Harassment/Bullying week, but it was originally created during the Civil Rights movement to break racial barriers in high school cafeterias. “[The purpose is] to get students to meet students from other social groups and to break social barriers,” peer meditation teacher Kate Mounteer said. “We’re lucky at AHS, because people mix very well.” The goal of Mix-it-up Day is to make Special Education teacher Daniel Porter discusses bullying with his students realize they are not as different as class during a FLEX seminar put on by the school’s administration. “Bullying” continues on page 5
School makes move to prevent bullying
What is your opinion about the new IB exam fees? “That’s crazy. There’s no point of paying for the exams.” — Sarah Samee
“It’s ridiculous to pay for the expensive test. FCPS should pay for it like they did until last year.”
— Jennifer Hoang freshman
“Every student should get a chance to take it without paying high fees.”
—Melissa Castellon junior
Nov. 16, 2010
IB exam policy needs reform Students pay too much for exams in economic crisis BY JEFF SHIM Editorials Editor Students already have enough to worry about when it comes to education. Now, the School Board has decided to dump a fee on top of all the burden it has already placed on students, due to the nationwide economic crisis. The budget cuts are understandable and necessary, but this fee has directly impacted the students greatly. It seems appalling to this year’s students who need to face this change because until last year, the FCPS had paid for the students. Schools typically do not pay the students’ exam fees, but this sudden policy change would confuse the students. This is an anticipated result after FCPS announced many possible resolutions to fee changes last year, but the students and parents were definitely not ready to pay for the enormous exam fees. In the new policy, however, the FCPS has announced to waive exam fees for students receiving reduced-price meal benefit, but it will still definitely cause a decline in the participation of the IB Programme. The students whose family income is just above the limit are also likely to face challenges in paying for the fee. In a household size of four, the maximum household income for free meals qualification is $28,665. Will there be an evident difference in standards of living between families who make $28,665.01 and $28,665? No, but under the FCPS policy, a cent determines whether the student will pay for exam fees or not. The FCPS’s new exam-fee policy had critical impacts especially on International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma students, who would need to take at least seven exams which cost $75 each for both Standard and Higher Levels (SL/HL). Although IB’s rigorous and astounding reputation are recognized by some universities, some of its policies are hideous. Yes, it is a student’s choice to become an IB Diploma Candidate, but it is also the IB coordinators who encourage them
ILLUSTRATION BY JORDAN AMAN
This year, the Fairfax County Schools Board voted that students would pay for their own IB exam fees, which cost $75 each.
to take such an economically and academically challenging track. In the long run, IB tracks could be beneficial and the exams fees might be worth paying since the students could receive college credits if they pass the exams with a score of six or above. However, most universities’ policy applies this benefit to only HL-exams. Therefore, the $75 that SL-exam takers had to spend becomes nearly pointless. It may provide students with self-pride - but nothing more than that. On the other hand, the AP exams are not part of the requirement in completing the course. The College Board is thoughtful about the AP exam fee that students have to pay. The IB coordinators and directors should perhaps consider the range of assistance they can offer to students before encouraging them to take IB classes or follow the diploma path.
The 32 IB Diploma candidates at AHS may take pride in and appreciate their workload and achievements, but the IB policies certainly do not deserve this acknowledgment. If the IB’s goal is not to make profit by educating students, it ought to reform its exam-mandatory policy, at least for the SL exams. Soon, non-IB Diploma candidate students will put less emphasis on SL exams because a score of “seven” will get them nothing but personal pride. The FCPS’s exam fee-policy change shocked many students and will continue to cause hesitation on whether they should take IB courses or not. It is unfortunate, but will be interesting to see the number of IB students decrease in Fairfax County. Overall, IB is responsible for this result because of its exam-mandatory policy.
Students combat the cloggers through the overpopulated AHS hallways “I think it’s not fair for students because some people can’t afford it.” —Katherine Le
Greg Gripes &Pat Ponders Editorials Column
By Greg Nielsen and Pat McCann
“It’s just ridiculous because we also have to pay for the sports, too. Do we have to pay to be smart?” —Sandra Lee
With the seconds ticking down, you scamper hastily to beat the bell. As you round the corner with the classroom in sight, the audible snap of your ankles echoes through the hallway as you come face-to-face with a herd of grazing slackers. Desperately, you search for a way around the students deliberately blocking your passage to knowledge. You try to shove past, but the thick aroma of
cologne and failure block your path. As you finally squeeze through the band of hoodlums, the bell tolls and the door shuts. You, my friend, are late. AHS has a population of roughly 2700, not including teachers. The school is severely overpopulated and the consequences are apparent. We have come to accept this dilemma, but one problem in particular grinds our gears. This epidemic is known as “cloggers” and plagues the class routes in our school. We have all experienced this problem as we navigate the winding halls of our school at some time in our four-year run. Instituted as a form of hazing freshman, clogging has transformed into a school-wide crisis. All venues suffer from this congestion. “All you need to do is gather as many friends as possible and scream WALL!” stated senior Pat Khoueiry. Other AHS students are not as fond of this unique form of entertainment.
“It literally drives me up a wall,” senior Bob Stevens complained. “And I’m a senior!” “They made me trip going up the stairs,” senior Katie Bui cried, “and didn’t even help me get up!” As for the reason behind clogging, Khoueiry says, “It’s fun to see people [complain] and be late.” The calamity that we call clogging has no real end in sight. Administrators blow whistles and move students aside to improve traffic flow, but there is no definite solution. To cope with clogging, students created various techniques on steering through the masses of stagnant youth. “I’ve got two strategies,” claims Stevens. “The Bull Rush is where you just charge the pile and hope you make it through. But for those tricky blockades [of students], you need to slither your way through. I call that one the Salamander.” Although tactics of combating this dilemma vary, one universal idea encompasses the school. Clogging must cease.
Rule of Thumb Making Facebook sober
“It’s very unfair especially for the people who can’t afford to pay for it. FCPS is limiting education to the poor.”
In an attempt to curb drunk Facebooking, the Sobriety Test add-on makes it difficult for anyone to post anything embarrassing. And to maintain a person’s integrity the application puts the person’s status as “to intoxicated to type”.
— Neha Sohail senior
“The testing fees are ridiculous because it excludes people who are in financial crisis, especially those who are pursuing the IB Diploma.”
—Joshua Tastaca senior
CORRECTIONS In the Vol. 56, Issue 3: - Staff Sergeant Jeremy Morlock was misnamed as “Calvin Gibbs” on the rail in page 3. Please contact The A-Blast with any corrections.
Go to the web to read opinion about having school on the Veteran’s Day. www.thea-blast.org
Rule: Don’t post on Facebook when you’re drunk. It’s as easy as that.
Man arrested for throwing oranges at planes A man in Arizona was arrested for throwing oranges at planes and for using paint as an inhalant. Rule: Sniffing paint hinders aim and mobility, try throwing oranges when you are not high.
Chocolate will run out in the future?
The natural conservation research council announced that in 20 years, chocolate will run out. Rule: Empty out the oil reserves and put chocolate in them.
Staff Editors In Chief: Emily Fruchterman David Hookey
Lifestyles Editors: Jennifer Allshouse Erin George
Managing Editor: Ndidi Obasi
Health Editors: Katie Vu Gessica Azzam
Editorials Editors: Jeff Shim Nasiha Rashid
Video Editor: Greg Nielsen
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 Brekhnaa Gull Rowan Shartel Jerald Sheppard Gunner Thompson Kate Grandchamp Wisna’odom Keo Noah Fitzgerel Megan Flynn Haben Berihun Hila Ghorzang Parker Gillcash
Adviser: Alan Weintraut
Emma Barker Kristen Hennessey
News Editors: Annie Curran Rebecca Malzahn
In-Depth Editors: Katie Masters Erin Johnson
Rachel Coulter Daniel Park Rachel Baker
Sports Editors: CJ Aftergut Jake Barnes
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 Entertainment Editors: Mackda Dinberu Mary Anne Kavjian Annandale High School 4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, Virginia 22003 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Aman Jordan Aman Tricia O’Neill Nikki Contrino
Brook Tamir Marwa Abdelaziz Rebecca Burke
Historian: Mariah Pollet Web Editor: Liz Wilson
Gwen Levey Patrick McCann
Vol. 56 No.4 Nov. 16, 2010 fax: (703) 642-4299
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.
Nov. 16, 2010
Republicans are ready to fight
What were your favorite signs from the rally?
2012 is fast approaching and the Republicans are relentless BY NASIHA RASHID Editorials Editor
The Republicans are back and they’re not happy. After the recent election, many republicans have already jumped on the health care reform law attempting to get rid of it or several undesirable provisions. People had expected the election results; however, reality has now set in. The Republicans are here and ready to fight with no end in sight for the next two years. If that isn’t scary enough, the Tea Party has already infiltrated the house and it won’t be long until there’s more than one Tea Party member in both the House and Senate. Although it may be to soon to make assumptions about the 2012 elections, one can’t help but wonder who is going to become the presidential nominee, and more importantly, who will win? Obama is currently low in the ratings, but still has enough time to bounce back and gain the support of the people that had catapulted him to the spotlight two years ago. Sarah Palin, although it is unlikely for her to get nominated for the Republican party in 2012, there is always a chance that she may learn about the U.S. foreign policy and study a map of the world and prove herself. There are too many questions floating in the air, and too little information for any answers to be given. Compromise is another problem with both Democrats and Republicans. They’re like teenage girls when it comes to making sacrifices in order to reach a decision. For example, the Republicans have been outspoken about overhauling the health care reform that was enacted by Obama, and this directly affects students who under the new law can stay on their parents health insurance until the age of 26. They may not have become exhausted from the endless debates, but the public has and they have been asking for this to end. The Republicans are being looked to as the saviors by many voters, and have a lot to prove if they want to please those who allowed them to win. The Republicans have succeeded — now what? It’s time for them to prove themselves and accomplish what the voters set them out to do. This will include compromises, but judging by the core beliefs that both parties are adamant on promoting, finding middle ground seems unlikely.
3 “If this is the Mall, where is the Sbarro?” —Kevin Kwok
“The sign that had Justin Bieber’s picture and said, ‘Hide Yo kids! Hide Yo Wife!’”
—Brody ElAchi sophomore
“I fought Nazi’s and Obama is not a Nazi.”
— Derrick Hollenbeck junior
“Vote for [Insert your corporation name here].”
—Arish Ali senior
The above maps (Top: House, Bottom: Senate) show the shifting of power between the Democrats and Republicans. Source: Associated Press
AHS is a better place to learn the world Recent studies show TJHSST lacks diversity at AHS BY JEFF SHIM Editorials Editor In AHS hallways, students are exposed to students with very different backgrounds. We are not aware of the fact that this is a gift, but at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), it is rare to see any form of diversity. There are apparent differences between AHS and TJHSST in the ethnicity distribution, levels of academic achievements, courses, test scores and Grade Point Averages (GPAs). TJHSST opens its door only to students who achieve high traditional entrance exam and top GPAs. A recent data show the school accepted roughly 15% out of its 3,000 Class of 2014 applicants, meaning its
acceptance rate was lower than the University of Virginia’s. The TJHSST Class of 2009 students’ average SAT scores were very competitive: 747 on Math, 723 on Critical Reading, and 714 on Writing. On the other hand, the combined national average SAT scores range from 1500 to 1600 while TJHSST students score 2100-2200 on average. With its competitive curriculum and admission chance, the school prepares its students well for higher education, but seems to lack preparation for a bigger world. How would typical TJHSST students feel when encountered with people whose standardized test scores and GPA are “low,” by their standards? TJHSST students will also experience uneasiness with adjusting to ethnic diversity. Finding academic and even ethnic diversity at TJHSST has always been more difficult than getting into the school. Out of about 1700 TJHSST
students, Hispanic and Black races cover only a sparse population of 4%, while at AHS they make up approximately half of the student population. The TJHSST is a magnet school and therefore admits students who have shown academic aptitude through entrance exams, not by their race. However, like universities across the nation, the school could promote diversity by giving opportunities to potential students with special interest in science or math. During the admissions process, many talented students can be overlooked by the traditional admissions factors: GPA and test scores. It also seem that the high percentage of Asian races at TJHSST is a result of rigorous math and science education in Asian countries. However, this does not necessarily mean that they all have the natural ability, creativity and potential and determination needed to succeed in science and technology fields.
The diversity at AHS is a gift to all its students. We are naturally exposed to different people and are likely to absorb new things more quickly. TJHSST should continue to select students who have shown impressive intellectual quality, but also determine their characters and potentials. The school ought to turn away from high test scores and grades, as they do not necessarily determine whether the student could contribute to scientific and technological developments in the future or not. There is a 7-year old student whose schoolmaster lost patience while instructing him. He was a poorperforming student and his teacher called him “addled.” Then his mother decided to stop sending him to school and his official school year ended only within 12 weeks. If TJHSST had used its traditional standard values to determine his admission, they would have lost this student: Thomas A. Edison, an inventor of the electric light bulb.
What is the benefit of diversity at AHS? “You get to learn other people’s cultures.” —Olivia Lafferty
“It is a good thing because there are different cultures.” — Mujadded Karimullah
Rally signs did more than just a protest JEFF SHIM
Humorous posters conveyed opinions of the moderates
“You meet a lot of cool people.”
— Sarah Knenlein junior
BY NASIHA RASHID Editorials Editor
“You won’t become racist as an adult.”
—Nick Doumbia senior
Hundreds of thousands of people were scattered all over the National Mall, packed into small compact areas with no room to breathe. People stood rapt with attention, holding their carefully crafted signs; some had even climbed trees or on top of cars to view the stage. This did not worry anyone, for the full extent of their concentration was aimed at the stage far off in the distance where Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert stood. The Rally to Restore Sanity, the most anticipated rally since Glenn Beck’s, had over 200,000 people present. All roamed through central D.C., completely crowding Chinatown and taking over the streets as cars trying to get through honked. Although the rally itself was all comedy, the signs made by regular people are what left a lasting impressions on those who had attended the rally. The plethora of signs mocked the essence of protesting and the current events that have been plaguing the news stations for the past year. Although the signs were meant for humor, they also took on a serious undertone with the messages they were trying to portray. Those who had attended the rally, whether they came for fun or to catch a glimpse of the notorious comedians all had the same sentiment; they were tired of the current state of politics and news. The majority represented a large group of Americans who refused to be swayed by the news and were trying to keep a sane mind despite the chaos around them. This was displayed with the
Above are a few of the many signs featured at the rally. Most were purposely made to be funny and to prove a point.
signs seen at the rally. The signs alone were the highlight of the whole day. Not only were many of the signs witty, but they were also rampant with hidden messages that alluded to the growing discontent felt by the rally’s attendees. There were numerous signs aiming jabs at the infamous Fox News, mostly attempting to poke fun at what many believe to be overly-conservative and misleading reports. Others chose to make signs to mock signs usually made for protests. The signs carried various message, such as
“My Texts are Grammatically Correct,” and “Who needs education when you have Fox News?” While on any other day these signs would be offensive or fodder for debate, the rally served as the ideal place to display such signs to express whatever the people wanted. The signs were indications of sanity among the greatly underrepresented moderate crowd in the United States. This rally was meant for those who had had enough and felt that only through rationality and compromise could the changes our nation so desperately needs be reached.
“You get more life experience.” —Raquel Ruiz
BY SAMIR SHAH Staff Writer AHS’s Model UN club will be attending the Virginia Model United Nations Convention at the University of Virginia on Thursday, Nov. 18 through Saturday Nov. 20. The 36 students that were selected will be attending this years convention. During this time theywill be debating in a variety of assemblies.
Financial Aid Workshop to be held An assembly will be held for seniors and their parent/ guardians to better their learning about paying for college and receiving loans. Seniors and others interested in attending the Financial Aid Workshop should report to Clausen Hall by 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17. The event is free, and welomes everyone. For further information on colleges, students can visit the Career Center.
Students enjoy end-ofquarter treats by Corrine Balicki, Staff Writer
The entire school began the day with an announcement over the loudspeaker from principal John Ponton, featuring a brief history of Veterans Day, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by “The Star Spangled Banner” and finally recognizing the 14 AHS teachers that are veterans of America’s armed forces along with their rank. The one who lost most is social studies teacher Gregory Commons. On March 4, 2002, Common’s son, Matthew, died in battle while attempting to save someone else’s life. At the time, he was fighting in Afghanistan Matthew served as an Army Ranger Quick Reaction Force and was part of Operation
Anaconda. Commons, himself, spent four years in the Marine Corps and was stationed behind the Iron Curtain in the Vietnam War. He spent most of his time doing security for the U.S. Embassy. “I go to Arlington Cemetery to visit my son,” Commons said, whose son died serving his country. Fisher also celebrates Veterans Day in his own way. “I think about all the people involved in protecting our country, and remember the sacrifices they make.” Fisher was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force and served for 24 years and 8 months. “I served during wars but did not go to any theaters. I worked in the Pentagon during the first Gulf War,” Fisher said. The teachers that have served in the armed forces are: Meghan Adair, Leonard Bumbaca, Benjamin Carlos, Joel Cooley, Gregory Commons, Jim Evans, Bruce Fisher, Darold Harris, Alison Lane, John Nemeth, Gregory Reed, Ray Smith, Kenny Williams and Fred Zuniga. These veterans all enjoy Veterans Day differently, other than being
BY COLLEEN ADENAN Staff Writer Continuing a tradition of ten years, exchange students from the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Gymnasium in Germany visited America to collaborate with the Annandale singers. The German exchange students arrived on Oct. 26 and met their host families, who they would be staying with for about two weeks. In most cases consisted of members of the AHS choral program. The AHS Choral Department and the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Gymnasium had a combined choral performance at Cornerstone Church on Thursday, Nov. 4. The students attended many rehearsals in order to learn all the music and be prepared for the concert in only a matter of two weeks. The German chorus students also participated in many activities while visiting America, including attending a Wizards game, going to the last AHS football game and touring parts of Washington, D.C. They were also able to shadow their AHS student host for two days at school by attending
(From L to R) Sophomore Connie Tran, German exchange junior Franziska Haas, and Tessa Iglesias pose for a picture after meeting and getting to know each other.
all of their classes with them. The exchange students quickly adapted to the American way of life. Some of the students have traveled to America more than once, while others were visiting for their first time. “America is much bigger; the whole [country], the buildings. It’s bigger than Germany,” freshman exchange student Ronja Neubert said. “School starts earlier in America; ours starts at 8:45 a.m. The class periods in America are longer. The whole
NHS welcomes newbies
Professional journalist comes to AHS by Ngan Pham, Staff Writer
Publication students learn first-hand about journalism in the work-field from speaker Courier-Journal blogger James Carroll
school system is different.” There are many differences between German and American cultures, as noted by the German students when they came to America. “There are so many rules that we don’t understand. The laws in Germany are looser,” Neubert said. “My favorite thing about America is the big shopping malls, which we don’t have in Germany. [American] clothes are also cheaper.” “The people here, they’re very nice and polite,” freshman exchange student Sebastian Huber said. “My favorite thing is to meet all the people because I have very good friends here and a wonderful family here,” Weirether, who has participated in the exchange program twice now, said. “It’s very amazing to see them again.” The German students departed for New York City early in the morning on Nov. 8, where they planned to go sightseeing. The students planned to visit Boston on Nov. 12 before returning to Germany as well. AHS choral students will also have the opportunity to go to Germany during in the summer as another part of the exchange program. “The German exchange was one of the best experiences in my life,” said AHS senior Alay Tedla. “I made awesome long-distance friends and we had great moments together. I’m going to miss them.”
Group 4 eliminates the lab experiments
Principal John Ponton hands a certificate of acceptance to an NHS inductee.
While some students enjoy the seemingly extra hour of sleep, others are against the early signs of tire and less daylight hours
legislation was passed officially declaring Nov. 11 Armistice Day. Later, on June 1, ‘54 (after the Korean War and WWII), Congress met and amended the act, replacing Armistice with Veterans. And now, across the nation and even the world, citizens honor the devoted soldiers, marines and seals who serve our country. Many citizens make use of Veterans Day to thank serving men and women for their service to nation, and for maintaining the American freedom.
New rules, no problem
by Isabel Villarol, Staff Writer
by Alex Davalos, Videographer
praised and honored by the school. A flyer on each veteran’s door allowing the entire school to recognize their service. The AHS leadership class sent each veteran a thank you letter, along with a pin for each of them to wear proudly. Veterans Day started after WWINov. 18, 1918 being the day the fighting ceased with an armistice treaty. Originally named Armistice Day, it was first incorporated by President Wilson in ‘19. In ‘38,
Exchange students perform concert and attend classes
AHS students mix it up
Return to standard time affects student’s sleep
Math teacher Bruce Fisher, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, teaches his class.
Germans experience American lifestyle
Students of the quarter rewarded with an tasty treat during the ice cream social
Mix It Up Day provides the oppurtunity for students to meet new people
AHS faculty and staff acknowledged for their proud service to the nation
New and old members alike are congratulated on their acceptance BY ROWAN SHARTEL Staff Writer As they walked into the auditorium amid the appreciative applause of parents and the occasional camera flash, the 70 inductees of National Honor Society for Fall 2010 took their seats and prepared for their induction ceremony to begin. The event, held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the auditorium, marked the culmination of the application and acceptance process for those who were selected to be new members of NHS. “I thought it was very formal and nice,” current NHS member junior Marissa Shartel said. The guest speakers were led by math teacher Jim Evans, who was accepting the award for “Favorite Teacher of the Year” after being voted by the graduating NHS members of 2010. He spoke about “finding your passion,” and congratulated students for their achievement. “The speakers made very appropriate and fitting speeches,” Shartel said. For Assistant Principal Vincent Randazzo, the speech he chose to fit with the evening focused on character development, encouraging students to embrace character qualities such as integrity and respect. Following this, Assistant Superintendent of Cluster III Dan Parris, who was invited by Principal John Ponton to attend, spoke about the importance of motivation and how it is shown in history specifically through Abraham Lincoln. He encouraged students to work hard so that they could try to “summarize their life’s accomplishments into just one sentence,” as quoted from his speech. Once the speeches were finished, four candles representing scholarship, service, leadership and character were lit and the inductees were given their certificates of membership. “It feels good to be recognized for my academic achievements,” sophomore inductee Stephen Oakes said. The new inductees were given a reception in Clausen Hall and are now officially ready to take on the responsibility of membership. “I think that NHS is a good experience, and their first year will be successful because I remember mine was last year,” said Shartel. “It was sweet to see parents all excited for their kids too.” “I am excited to be a part of National Honor Society,” sophomore Madeline de Mello said.
BY CORINNE BALICKI Staff Writer “It’s like science fair on IB steroids,” senior Jenna Balicki said. For IB Science students, Group 4 is the equivalent to the Science Fair. However, the students are expected go into more depth about real world applications and understand the scientific method. The IB website states that Group 4 is supposed to help students further “explore the concepts, theories, models and techniques that underpin each subject area and through these develop their understanding of the scientific method.” The Group 4 projects at AHS were finished on Friday, Nov. 12. Group 4 is a collaboration between students from different science disciplines. This includes students from the IB classes of Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Design Tech. This year certain aspects of Group 4 were changed. The groups were assigned by teachers, instead of being chosen by the students and approved by the teachers. The groups consisted of three to four students. This year the Group 4 topic was “Managing an environmental disaster”. Groups researched topics, like atomic bombs, tsunamis and other natural disasters, oil spills and toxic waste runoff. The final product of Group 4 is a poster board, filled with information, research and visuals. Students can get as creative as they want on their posters, as long as they have all the requirements. Participants must also submit a log sheet that tracked “collaboration time, methods, and research progress” and a self reflection to be submitted after their
panel presentation. In addition, this year the participants did not have to complete an experiment. The project was focused on research and real life application. Many students were happy for the change like junior Eliad Gebrehiwot who was “glad we didn’t have to do an experiment.” Others who were looking forward to doing an experiment were disappointed. The students presented their project in Clausen Hall on Nov. 11 - 12 to four science teachers and IB administrators that judged their project. The students had a substantially less amount of time to complete their project than Science Fair participants usually do. While presenting their projects, students were judged by either panel A or panel B. The students were randomly split up half and half. The four teachers that judged included physics teacher Thomas Chorman, biology teachers Claudia Lemus and Francesca Mast, and chemistry teacher Isaac Boakye. Design tech teacher Russell Youmans and chemistry teacher Sara Hubbart also participated in Group 4. The teachers were looking for a complete and correct board that presented the information in a pleasing way, an air of preparedness by the students and a substantial knowledge about their topic. Each presentation was a total of ten minutes long. The first five consists of the students actual presentation and the last five is when the judges pepper the students with questions about their topic. Students are expected to be able to answer the questions with complete thoughts and accurate information. “I thought the presentations were awesome, it showed a lot of hard work on behalf of the students and they represented Annandale well,” IB Coordinator Shirley Campbell said.
Model UN club to attend convention at UVA
Nov. 16, 2010
NEWS Veterans Day recognizes soldiers
Junior Gursheen Kaur stands in fornt of the judges to present her portion of her Group 4 project.
Nov. 16, 2010
AHS taking a step against overcrowding “Planning” continued from page 1
Evans, who represents the Mason District. “Realistically, the chances are 90 percent or above that a boundary study will be approved by the school board,” Evans said. “If by some miracle the planning study comes up with an idea that would not involve boundary changes, that would be fantastic.” Although Evans believes that boundary changes are close to inevitable, she still appreciates the work thatARPS has been doing. “I hope that they can come up with the best solution possible,” Evans said. “The side benefit of this committee is that it has truly involved the members of the community. Although I would love to see more students come to watch the proceeds, after all, they’re the ones who will be most affected by this.” The ARPS committee will submit their final report to the school board at the end of January.According to Denise James, the Director of Facility Planning Services for FCPS, the Department of Facilities and Transportation, which takes care of many logistical elements needed to run the school system, will then submit a report of its own. “In our report, we respond to what the [ARPS] committee has said, highlight the ideas that we believe most feasible and make preliminary recommendations as to what should be done,” James said. Unlike the ARPS committee, which has limited access to specific numbers in order to protect student privacy, the Department of Facilities and Transportation can take a more exact look at how any change will affect students. “We actually have enrollment projections for the
next six years,” James said. “We look at where all of the problems are and the areas a boundary study should target in order to balance enrollment in schools like AHS, Poe Middle School and Frost Middle School.” Many parents, students and other community members fear that a boundary change might upset the somewhat delicate economic and racial balance within the school. “One of the requirements pertaining to boundary changes says that any change we make wouldn’t cause a huge swing in demographics at any given school,” Evans said. “We don’t want to have any radical shifts.” The Department of Facilities and Transportation also takes into account some of the economic factors when making their report. “We are required by [school] board policy to note the ESOL and Free/Reduced lunch demographic,” said James. “Our goal is to see that these figures do not spike up at any given school.” For now, however, the study remains in the idea stage, and the committee is open to input. “Right now we’re focusing on coming up with as many solutions as possible,” McGarey said. “We’re seeing what would happen if we changed programs or created different magnet schools. We’re trying to find ideas that are out-of-the box.” McGarey also hopes that the committee’s actions will be able to act as a guide for future interaction between the School Board and the community. “We really want this to serve as a model for any future issues,” McGarey said. “Individual members of the School Board seem really open to looking at the different scenarios we’ve come up with. However, I don’t expect that they’ll take just one scenario, they’ll most likely combine several to come up with a workable solution.” In order to get more community members involved, McGarey stressed the potential impact any individual
NEWS BRIEFS Senior dues to be collected
FCPS holds meeting to discuss the future of the school
Junior Jessica Campanilla attempts to open her locker in the crowded science hallway after school.
could have on the proceedings. “The community has a tremendous opportunity to help formulate ideas and really make a difference,” McGarey said. The ARPS committee will hold two more public meetings before the submission of their final report. The meetings, scheduled to take place in AHS’s Lecture Hall, will be held on Dec. 1 and Dec. 15. For more information regarding the Annandale Regional Planning Study, visit http://www.fcps.edu/fts/planning/annandalestudy/index. htm.
On Nov. 23, AHS will host Red and White night for all winter sports. It will begin at 5:00 in the cafeteria will a potluck dinner. The assembly will begin at 7:00 in Clausen Hall and Angelo Hilios will give information about AHS’ sports policy.
I’m straight. People started spreading rumors that I was a lesbian. - Paulina Stehr junior
Jahangir does feel regret some of the things he has done to his fellow students. “I feel it’s a negative thing personally, even though I do it. It portrays your character as an evil one, because you’re attacking people physically and mentally in order to feel better about yourself.” Many students are reluctant to discuss
Students Involved of Incidents of Bullying in 2009
Social Studies Honor Society Inductions
Percent Reporting Cyberbullying at Their School
AHS in Action
their experiences with bullying because it was a painful part of their past. Others use their experiences to bring about change from their peers. Junior Lena Nour struggled to cope with ongoing bullying in middle school. When she came to AHS, she was able to move on and start fresh without the fear of being tormented. “In middle school I was bullied, but I overcame the obstacles.” Nour was bullied by two girls in her grade, but received the brunt of the bullying from one of them in particular. She recalls certain instances where bullies would do things to upset her, and at the time they succeeded in doing just that. “She would push me and call me names. She had to feel like she was powerful. This other girl took my stuff and put it in a trash can.” At the time, Nour tried to ignore the girls and did not confront them or any adult about their behavior. “I let the situation die out until she moved away,” said Nour. “If the situation happened again I would act more maturely.” Junior Paulina Stehr is a member of AHS’s Gay/Straight Alliance. The GSA holds bimonthly meetings to discuss
various topics, many times including the issue of bullying. “We usually address bullying and if people are confused we can help them figure their issues out.” Stehr has had her own battles with bullying, which stemmed from her involvement with the GSA. Since becoming a member she has had to deal with various rumors about her sexuality. “I’m straight. People started spreading rumors that I was a lesbian,” said Stehr. “Whenever I told people that I was in the GSA they would say “Oh, you’re gay.” As time progressed, it continued to escalate and Stehr found out that people were talking behind her back. “First people thought I was weird. Eventually people called me a faggot.” Despite the rumors and name-calling, Stehr stands firm in her beliefs and is a proud member of the GSA. She tries to not let the bullying get to her, and instead uses it to lend her support to the gay community. “I’m fine with it because I know I’m not. The whole reason I’m in the GSAis because I’m a huge supporter of gay rights.” The efforts of Bullying/Sexual Harassment week have made many
Honors choir prepares for VMEA Several students selected to represent AHS in the 20102011 Honors Choir
“Chorus” continued from page 1
Senior Joey Mazzara, who is a member of Honors Choir, practices with Senior Byron Felt during Men’s Chorale rehearsal.
On Nov. 16, The AHS Social Studies Honor Society will hold there annual induction ceremony. It will begin at 2:15 in Clausen Hall. All faculty members are invited to attend.
“Bullying” continued from page 1
they seem. Each student received a colored sticker on their hand, which determined what table they sat at and who they sat with. “We hope that people will make new friends that differ from one another,” said Mounteer. After students made a new friend, they could go up and sign a large poster on the cafeteria wall together. “I think it’s awesome and you get to meet new people,” junior Jason Moujaes said. “Anyone who doesn’t participate is a loser.” In fall of the 2009-2010 school year, sixth, eighth, tenth and twelfth grade students took an official county-mandated survey. The survey covered sex, drugs, alcohol, bullying and other unhealthy habits. Recently, FCPS has released the results of the survey with an executive report that explains the trends. There were 42,582 students polled in 21 high schools, four secondary schools, 22 middle schools, 126 elementary schools and four alternative schools. The official report stated, “Youth who are bullied are more likely to report carrying a weapon; using drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes; being depressed; or considering suicide.” Over half of the students reported being bullied or teased at some point, but only nine percent reported being bullied over 20 times within the past school year. This is a two percent decrease from the 2008-2009 school year. The number of students who stated someone has taunted them for their race has decreased to less than half of the students polled. The report also states that cyber-bullying is most frequent in eighth grade and decreases as the students age. The majority reported that it happens to them less than two times a year. Last year was the first time the survey featured questions that specifically focused on cyber-bullying. The survey also included questions about gang-related activities, which fell the bullying section. Less than four percent of students reported that they had ever been in a gang. This data did not change from
the 2008 report. The 2010-2011 survey was distributed to students on Wednesday, November 10 and Thursday, November 11 to sophomores and seniors. Some of the questions asked whether the student had been cyber-bullied, been a cyber-bully, whether or not they would report cyberbullying if they saw it and whether they believed they had the right to say whatever they want on the Internet. Though FCPS is pleased with the data, they are still determined to limit the amount of bullying within the schools because it is still considered a problem. The results of a poll posted on TheA-Blast.org show that 61 percent of the students who responded believe that it only happens sometimes, while 26 percent think that it occurs frequently. There are a number of reasons that experts believe the aggressors bully their victims. Some believe that certain students bully because they want to feel stronger or because they want to fit in at school. “I bully people because it makes me feel better about myself. It makes me feel stronger because other people are weaker,” junior Ziya Jahangir said. Jahangir began bullying in elementary school, where he would verbally berate friends and other classmates. He would even physically hurt his peers from time to time. Sometimes it stemmed from negative comments from other people, other times he would bully without a reason. He began bullying more when he began middle school. “Once middle school started I wanted to have a new persona. I wanted to fit in and no one would be friends with a scrub.” As a high school student, Jahangir has used the Internet to bully. Social media outlets like Facebook have given him the opportunity to target his victims from behind the computer. “I’ve verbally harassed people several times on the Internet because I get angry at people. I’ve harassed people by making fun of them and their friends,” said Jahangir.
Any senior who has not yet turned in their dues will have another opportunity on Nov. 17 during all four lunches. The dues are $62 and students can pay by cash, check or money order. The check should be made out to Annandale High School. Seniors must pay their dues in order to participate in the graduation ceremony.
Red and White Night to be held
FCPS releases new bullying statistics Students discuss personal experiences with bullying after new statistics released
from Nov. 17 to Nov. 19. “I am really looking forward to meeting new people,” Senior Elliot Kiemiel said about the VMEA conference. According to their website, VMEA is a “non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide mutual helpfulness to its membership and promote the advancement of music education through schools and other education institutions.” Molly Sgrecci plans to major in music education, making her an ideal candidate for the VMEA
program. “I am most excited about the two spirituals we’re singing. The conductor wrote both of them and I love singing spirituals,” Sgrecci said. “[I have been singing] my whole life. My entire family is involved in music.” Before auditioning in October, students who endeavored to become members of the exclusive choral group studiously prepared for their try-outs. “I prepared by looking at the music when we got it right away and practicing with my voice teacher,” senior Lydia Pion said. The website also states, “The Mission of the Virginia Music Educators Association is to provide leadership and professional development to ensure quality music education.” “I went out to eat with my family when I made it and was really excited [to become part of the program],” Pion said.
Sophomore Nick Warner listens intently during photography class.
Students practice with the buzzers for It’s Academic after school.
Photography teacher Meredith Stevens works with junior Kelly Dwyer.
Pictures by: AJ McCafferty
Go to the web to see a video about AHS students hosting German exchange students. www.thea-blast.org
6 Visit www.thea-blast.org for a spotlight on AHS teacher Bruce Fisher, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
Are you a part of a club at AHS? “I am in Men Chorale and we meet after school.”
— Charlie Montano freshman
“I’m in National Honors Society, National Art Honors Society, and Key Club.”
—Kelsey Pendergast sophomore “I’m in Hispanic Leadership Club.”
— Henver Palma sophomore
“I am in Key Club and it helps me get community service hours.”
— Evelyn Jaramillo junior
––Compiled by Kylee Nisker
November Celebrity Birthdays
A.M. alcoves and hot spots AHS students prepare for the day ahead each morning with friends in different corners BY CAROLA ROJAS Staff Writer After all-nighters spent writing essays and cramming for quizzes, many students file into the doors each morning seeking a quiet area to spend time with friends before the first bell. While some kids go to their lockers or to the library to print out an essay, others go to their own morning hang-out spots. The main lobby does not have a specific crowd of people there each morning, but instead small groups that are dispersed around. Whether they are sitting on the benches or on the floor, the main lobby is almost always filled with students enjoying each other’s company. “All the cool kids meet up [in the main lobby] to start their awesome day together,” junior Cynthia Quintanilla said. Right around the corner many students sit on the benches in front of the auditorium catching up on some reading or finishing up a homework assignment. This area of the school is packed with students from every grade. “It is the nearest spot from the car,” junior Carolyn Hartley said. Hartley likes to go to the auditorium in the mornings. Two of the most well-known hang-out spots in the morning are the athletic (commonly known as “jock”) lobby and the hall by
the girls’ athletic locker rooms. It would definitely be rare for a student to pass by these halls and not see anyone around because they are usually so packed with people. “All our friends from middle school come [to the jock lobby] and it is the only place big enough for all of us,” sophomore Jenny Ha said. T h e g i r l s ’ On collaboration days, many students can be found in a t h l e t i c l o c k e r the main lobby waiting for the first bell to ring. room, where a group of mostly juniors stand together, come close for all of us to be able to sit down.” The cafeteria is surely to blocking the short hall that considered an area where most makes it impossible for athletes to get through and put their stuff students are found. There’s space for students to eat breakfast, as away in the lockers. “We started coming here well as catch up on homework and freshmen year and we just kept talk with friends. “I’m doubling up in my classes coming back every year so it just so I go to the cafeteria in the became our spot to be,” junior mornings to get some breakfast Evelyn Jaramillo said. AHS tradition has the current and do my homework” senior seniors claiming a small entryway James Cromwell said. No matter where students just past jock lobby. “We’re all so tired in the morning we basically spend their time until the first bell just sit there and complain about at 7:13 a.m., the small amount of homework in the mornings,” se- time they can spend with their nior Elisa Figueroa said. “We used friends in the mornings helps to to stand under a nearby staircase stem the upcoming pains of the but this hallway has more room school day.
Students congregate in the jock lobby before school to socialize with friends and continue homework not finished the night before.
AHS juniors gather in the alcove between the main hallway and girls’ locker room to hang out with friends.
––Photos by Alley Adcock
DECA students share club experiences Andrea Vega, 12 Officer What is your favorite part about DECA? “I love going to the conferences.” Why did you decide to join DECA? “I joined because I love the teachers and it’s fun. I am also interested in pursuing marketing as a career.” How long have you been a part of the DECA club? “I have been in DECA for two years.”
––Compiled by Corola Rojas
1 Jenny McCarthy 38 2 Nelly 36 3 Elizabeth Smart 23 4 Laura Bush 64 5 Kevin Jonas 23 6 Emma Stone 21 7 Dana Plato 45 8 Jack Osbourne 24 9 Nick Lachey 36 10 Brittany Murphy 32 11 Leonardo DiCaprio 35 12 Sammy Sosa 41 13 Whoopi Golberg 54 14 Condoleezza Rice 55 15 Zena Grey 21 16 Trevor Penick 30 17 Rachel McAdams 31 18 Owen Wilson 41 19 Calvin Klein 67 20 Josh Turner 32 21 Troy Aikman 43 22 Jamie Lee Curtis 51 23 Miley Cyrus 17 24 Katherine Heigl 31 25 Donovan McNabb 33 26 Natasha Bedeingfield 28 27 Caroline Kennedy 52 28 Trey Songz 25 29 Kim Delaney 48 30 Ben Stiller 44
Nov. 16, 2010
Banna Gabremichael, 12 President What is your favorite part about DECA? “I like getting to plan fundraisers and getting other people to join the club.” Why did you decide to join DECA? “I knew other people in the club and they got me interested.” How long have you been a part of the DECA club? “This is my third year being part of the DECA club.”
Katie Bui, 12 Executive Board What is your favorite part about DECA? “I like to meet new people and challenging myself in the competitions.” Why did you decide to join DECA? “My sister did it and she said that it would be helpful because I want to go into the business field.” How long have you been a part of the DECA club? “This is my fourth year being part of the DECA club.”
Maddie Smith, 12 Member What is your favorite part about DECA? “I like to go to competitions and learn about business.” Why did you decide to join DECA? “I thought it would be interesting.” How long have you been a part of the DECA club? “This is my third year being part of the DECA club.”
Nov. 16, 2010
Disabilities affect attention Students are forced to cope with affects of ADD and ADHD during the school day BY NATALIE JOHNSON Staff Writer
ILLUSTRATION BY GESSICA AZZAM
Junior Mackenzie Wright’s pen clicks rapidly, her feet tap against her desk, and she keeps looking up at the clock wondering why time is going by so slowly. This sounds like many bored high school students, but the difference between Wright and other students is that she has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In just fourth grade, Wright discovered that her severe inability to concentrate and focus in class was not due to boredom, but rather a disability that decreases her ability to focus. “I had always been a good student and didn’t have any trouble with my homework until third grade when my parents noticed I was having trouble focusing on math problems. I used to be able to finish my homework in twenty minutes but then it started to take an hour or two,” Wright said. “It was really hard because I didn’t understand why all of the sudden I just couldn’t get it. My parents knew what was going on so they took me to the doctor in fourth grade and had me tested.” Students suffering from disorders that decrease concentration have to cope with Like Wright, many people are diagnosed with these types of disorders at dealing with their condition and paying attention on a daily basis. a young age after experiencing the revealing symptoms of fidgeting, having “I never studied in high school. I got by with my natural smarts and the difficulty remaining seated, being patient or following instructions. Talk- fact that I knew how to take tests. My whole philosophy was “a ‘C’ is good ing excessively, constant interruptions and forgetfulness are also common enough for me,” Suqi said. I would do what I needed to do in order to get symptoms of attention deficiency disorders that, in severe instances, can an A for the first few quarters and then I would just do enough through only be treated with prescribed medicine. Nonetheless, falling behind or the last few quarters to get enough points to score a C. It was really bad.” struggling in school has become prevalently common among students sufUnlike Wright, medication had a different effect on Suqi. fering from ADD/ADHD. “It was unnatural. I felt like I was a zombie. Even Although Wright was diagnosed with ADHD and though I was myself, it was like I was looking at the world prescribed medicine, things did not get easier quickly. through someone else’s eyes. I lost my spunk. The crazy, I couldn’t remember School became incredibly hard for Wright and her wild, fun and exciting me had been replaced by a slower, frustration only grew. what someone had just more boring me that I didn’t even like. The drugs lasted “It used to be really hard to pay attention, and I was all of about one day when I decided not to take them anyextremely fidgety. I couldn’t remember what someone said and I wasn’t able to more,” Suqi said. had just said and I wasn’t able to follow directions. I Although Suqi still suffers from ADHD, she believes follow directions. didn’t want to take the medicine that the doctor had that the effects of the disorder have positively affected her. given me because I thought they were going to change “Sure, because of my ADHD sometimes I start on a Mackenzie Wright how I acted and change who I was so I would hide the lesson and it goes in a way that I did not intend or I will junior pills in my pockets,” Wright said. forget to give out homework, class assignments or sheets Wright, along with other students, was able to see that I’m supposed to hand out from the office. However, drastic improvements in her grades and ability to concentrate with the I have an advantage because I can connect to my most difficult to reach help of medicine. ADD/ADHD is not curable, but it can be greatly sedated students and know the difficulties that they go through. Also, because I’m through medication or therapy. Medication can greatly help students’ ability hyper, I stay active and “alive” and make it difficult for students to fall to concentrate, plan ahead, follow through on tasks and control impulses. asleep or get bored,” Suqi said. “I’m still fidgety in class but I am able to concentrate and focus. The Regardless of their condition, ADD/ADHD is a lifelong issue diagnosed medicine I take makes me more confident because it allows me to be who students endure. Although concentration and certain actions may be affected I am and be able to do my best in everything I do without having to try due to the disorder, medication, therapy and self-control have allowed stuharder to control myself than everyone else,” says Wright. dents to overcome their disability to use their condition to their advantage Biology and Human Anatomy teacher Mariam Suqi at AHS also suffers and put their best effort into what they do. from ADHD. She recalls high school being incredibly hard for her.
What do you do when you have trouble concentrating in class? “I lay down on my hand and try to fall asleep.”
--Giacomo Modica freshman
“I just try to pay attention to the teacher to see if there is anything important to learn.”
---Areeqa Khilji sophomore
“If I can’t concentrate I just fall asleep in class.”
Medicines taken for concentration
--Ahmed HajAssaad junior
“I usually take my ADD medicine and try to take notes because it helps me focus.”
---Annie Rutherford junior “I chew gum and play with my pencil and doodle.”
—Alan Van senior
Given the severity of their conditions, different medicines are prescribed to students and teachers
Concerta Layla Razmgar History teacher
Q: How long have you taken it? A: “I’ve never taken it on a regular basis, I only take it when I need it, but almost my whole life.” Q: What are your side affects? A: “It’s different for everybody you may feel over-energized and have a rapid heartbeat which is its own distraction, and has happened to me a few times.”
Kenzi Wright Junior
Q: What are your side affects? A: “Loss of appetite, cannot sleep.”
Q: How long have you taken it? A: “Since I was in third grade, so about ten years.”
Q: How long have you taken it? A: “I have been taking it for six years.”
Q: What are your side affects? A: “I lose my appetite and I get really irritable sometimes.”
Nathan Miller Senior
Q: How do you feel when you do not take this medicine? A: “I get excited really easily, and I get loud and distracted really easily. but it’s gotten a lot better.”
By Katie Vu and Gessica Azzam
This bagel is the perfect snack for inbetween class breaks or after school. Rather than depending on the vending machine to satisfy hunger, students should save themselves the trouble and try the bagel.
Work-outs that get your heart pumpin’
Q: How do you feel when you do not take this medicine? A: “I feel wired and hyper. I can’t pay attention to what is going on and I feel rude because I cut people off and don’t listen. I definitely cannot follow multiple step directions.”
Q: How do you feel when you do not take this medicine? A: “I would feel a little more pressured because when you need to get something done you cant afford to lose time. I also feel nervous and more distracted.”
Q: How long have you taken it? A: “I’ve been taking it since fourth grade, so like seven years. I didn’t always take the same thing. It changed with my side affects.”
––Compiled by Katie Vu
Step one - The Model’s Pose: The first step is to sit and cross one of your legs over the other as shown. Then, take the arm opposite to the crossed leg and stretch your body in the direction of your extended arm. For a more fast-paced workout, alternate between your left and right sides every 5 seconds.
Q: What are your side affects? A: “The biggest side affect is loss of appetite, and the other affects are really minor.” Q: How do you feel when you do not take this medicine? A: “When I do not take the medicine I feel the same, it usually just helps me during bigger assignments like essays, tests and quizzes.”
Step two - Leg Ups: Lay down with your hands behind your head and lift your legs about 45 degrees off the ground. After doing so, continue to raise and lower your legs without touching the ground. For a challenge, keep your arms extended straight by your sides.
Peanut butter and banana bagel – A light mid-day snack
1. Slice a whole-wheat bagel in half. 2. Toast the bagel until it becomes lightly browned. 3. Spread peanut butter fully over one half of the bagel. 4. Thinly slice a whole banana. 5. Spread the banana pieces over the peanut butter. 6. Add honey and sprinkle on cinnamon according to your taste. 7. Put the bagel together and enjoy!
Step three - Bicycle: Lift your legs to a 90 degree angle and begin to pedal the way you would on a bike. Keep your hands straight by your sides. This exercise is meant to work your abs and get the blood pumping throughout your body. ––Compiled by Gessica Azzam
8 Nag Natalie Advice Column
Nov. 16, 2010
Dye your hair at home
Use these steps to stay at home and easily switch up your style by changing your hair color
By Natalie Johnson Dear Natalie,
Dear Just Friends, It is very hard to be in your situation; especially since you two are such great friends. It is even harder since you have no insight as to how she is feeling about you. Instead of approaching her first and telling her how you feel, try talking to one of her close, yet trustworthy, friends about your feelings. This friend can give you some insight into how she feels about you which can help make your decision easier. It is a huge risk to open up to this girl especially if she does not feel the same way. By talking to a friend, it will make the risk smaller and help you either save a friendship or create a romance. This friend could also help set you two up. If you do decide to go for it and tell her how you feel, make sure it is not awkward. Do not forget that you guys are still the same people and that just because she knows that you like her, things do not have to be completely different. Also, do not be too serious when you tell her how you feel. Make sure she knows your feelings are true but do not make it an intense or awkward conversation. Ultimately, the decision to tell her how you feel is yours and the risk could be detrimental to your friendship but it could also create something amazing and wonderful. Just do your research before you take the risk that way you are not blind as to how your friend feels. —Natalie
Before you begin applying the dye to your hair, you want to make sure that you’re protecting your clothes from getting stained. Wear dirty clothes that you don’t care about and plastic gloves. Drape a towel around your shoulders and neck because the dye tends to drip.Apply Vaseline around your hairline and ears so that the dye doesn’t stain your skin.You may want to lay down a drop cloth or apply the dye over a shower so that you don’t drip any of the dye on the floor. Separate your hair into 6 or 8 sections depending on your hairs’ thickness. Clip each section apart so that they stay separate.
I really like this girl, but we have been best friends for a while now. I don’t know if I should tell her how I feel about her and change our friendship into something more. I don’t know how she feels about me so I’m afraid that we could lose what we have now and ruin our relationship. What should I do? —Just Friends?
After you’ve finished applying the dye to your hair wait the amount of time stated in the directions. It’s usually around 20 to 30 minutes. Then you want to rinse your hair to remove the excess dye. Make sure you don’t use any shampoo or other products in your hair until the water runs completely clear. After the water runs clear, use the conditioner that’s included in the kit. This will keep your hair healthy and prevent breakage. The directions will tell you to keep the conditioner on your hair for five minutes and then rinse your hair with cold water. This will close the cuticles in your hair, which helps keep the color from fading.
Read the directions included in the box thoroughly before beginning to dye your hair. Usually the box will contain an activating cream and a coloring liquid. Mix these liquids together according to the directions. Using the comb provided in the box, start applying the dye to your hair. If you are dying your hair a darker color you want to start with the bottom sections of your hair and work up but if your dying your hair a lighter color you want to start at the top and work your way down. You always want to apply the dye from the root of your hair to the tip. Make sure you apply the dye evenly over all of your hair.
Take care of your color treated hair BY ALEXA LAFFERTY Staff Writer During high school, many students are either trying to stand out from the crowd or find ways to fit in. Both of the options pressure teenagers into trying out different styles or trends that they would normally avoid. This is no exception when it comes to hair. From the stereotypical blonde to an outrageous purple, dying your hair is a common way people try to change their image. You can use a permanent color, which lasts until your hair grows out, or a semipermanent color, which will wash out over time. You can color your own hair at home with a kit that you can buy at the drug store or get your hair colored professionally at a salon. No matter what type of process you choose, or where you get it done, coloring your hair is applying a chemical process to you hair. Which in simpler terms, damages you hair. An occasional chemical process will not do severe damage to your hair, but if you use chemicals on your hair frequently you can permanently damage you hair. If you color your hair avoid other processes which damage your hair, such as perms or
applying heat to your hair. All the chemicals will damage your hair and may cause it to break. There is nothing wrong with dying your hair, but if you have, make sure you continue to take care of your hair. After dying your hair, you should switch up your routine to pay better attention to your hair. According to kidshealth.org and essortment.com, it’s okay to dye your hair as long as you do the following tips to keep your hair healthy. Cut your hair regularly to keep split ends at a minimum. Wash your hair only if it’s dirty and use products for colortreated hair. Let your hair air dry as much as possible before blow-drying to reduce the amount of heat you apply to your hair. Also to reduce the amount of heat used on your hair use curling irons and flat irons occasionally. If you must go into a pool with chlorine, add a small amount of conditioner into your hair to protect your hair. If you use products like gel and hair spray, use as little as possible because these products can dry out your hair. Coloring your hair can be a quick fun way to change up your style but make sure you care for your hair or it might end up completely damaged.
—Michelle Burnett freshman
“Skinny jeans and vans.”
—Ronald Romero freshman
Senior Eboni Mclaurie
“Jeggings! They seem really popular right now.”
What’s your favorite current trend?
Have a problem? E-mail Natalie at email@example.com
Junior Randle Coon
Q: How did you color your hair? A: “I did it at my friends house out of a box.” Q: Why did you decide to color it? A: “After I saw Leah’s on Bad Girls Club, I wanted to have my hair like that.” Q: How did you change your routine after dying your hair? A: “I still wash my hair and stuff the same.” Q: How was your hair different after you dyed it? A: “It felt the same but I didn’t like it because my hair is too dark so it didn’t come out right.”
Q: How did you color your hair? A: “I did it at home out of a box. I mixed two different dyes. It’s long-lasting semi-permanent dye.” Q: Why did you decide to color it? A: “I really like standing out. I don’t like following trends and being like everyone else.” Q: How did you change your routine after dying your hair? A: “I treat it just like I would my normal hair.” Q: Do you like how your hair turned out? A: “I like how it came out. It’s a lot brighter than I thought it would be, but I like it.”
Products to help your dyed hair
Junior Kayla Meraud Q: How did you color your hair? A: “I get my hair professionally colored by a family friend. I get it highlighted, I have like five colors.” Q: How did you change your routine after dying your hair? A: “I use shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair.” Q: How was your hair different after you dyed it? A: “It feels the same but after I first got it done it smelled differently.” Q: How often do you color your hair? A: “I do it every break, like spring and winter break and right before school starts.”
“I like Uggs and yoga pants, they’re so comfy.”
“I like the breast cancer bracelets, I wear mine everyday.”
—Lorraine Turner junior
Compiled by Sarah Bergen
Go to the web for more recaps of Halloween, including animal costumes and home-made outfits. www.thea-blast.org
Redken has a whole line of products ranging from treatments to just your average shampoo and conditioner.
Pantene features treatments, shampoos, and conditioners to help your hair that focus on either shine, volume, or smooth hair.
John Frieda provides color glazes for your hair to keep its shine and put a gloss on your colored hair.
Herbal Essences has a shampoo, conditioner, and a 2 in 1 to help keep your hair healthy and radiant.
TOMS stepping in for the greater good BY ROWAN SHARTEL Staff Writer For many students, getting new shoes is like a mini adventure. Opening the carefully placed cardboard lid, smelling the freshness, and wearing the crisp new shoes for the first time is always exciting. For numerous children in third world countries, though, this experience is entirely foreign. In an effort to change this, TOMS Shoes is a company that has a unique “one for one” movement. For every pair of shoes purchased from TOMS, the company donates one pair to a needy child abroad. According to TOMS.com, the idea began in 2006 when Blake Mycoskie, the owner, traveled to Argentina and witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by children growing up barefoot, which included being unable to attend school because shoes are a required part of the dress code. The
company website also claims that soil-transmitted diseases run rampant in third world countries, and can be acquired through the bottom of the feet. Furthermore, wearing shoes prevents the spread of other diseases because it decreases cuts and sores on the feet that can cause blood to be shared. The website lists 24 different countries that they aid, including China, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Haiti, Mongolia and more. AHS students have embraced the movement by purchasing and wearing their own TOMS, which cost between $50 and $60 for men and women. “I like my TOMS because they’re comfortable and they promote a good cause,” said sophomore Debbie Adderton. The shoes are flat-soled, with a canvas body and simple design. While solid colors are the most common, the company has branched out and designs now include striped, sequined, and even corduroy. This way, the broader appeal attracts more customers and in turn helps more children. The movement being present inside AHS is helping more students to gain recognition, and helping further the mission of the company, which is what they originally hoped to achieve. “I think it’s great that they’re giving back to people that don’t have their own shoes,” said Freshman Victoria Huenemann.
— Julia Copenhaver sophomore
Sophomore Debbie Adderton shows off her TOMS as she walks down the hallway.
Nov. 16, 2010
9 In your opinion, do boys or girls take harder classes?
Students compare the ratios of girls and boy enrolled in IB classes
“Boys, because boys are more advanced than girls.” —Lewis Folli freshman
Ever since the beginning of the Women’s Rights Movement in 1848, competition between boys and girls has been a major aspect of daily life in America. Beginning as young as kindergarten, boys and girls compete against each other in everything from school and sports to who can color the prettiest picture. This mind set rarely changes as both genders mature. Despite the fact that the average male brain is an estimated ten percent larger than that of the average woman, men are not inherently smarter. However, the idea that men possess more natural intelligence than women has been around for thousands of years, dating back as far as the ancient Roman Republic, in which boys were taught subjects such as philosophy, astronomy and mathematics while girls were taught how to take care of the household. But even today, certain cultures around the world see their women as subordinate to men when it comes to intelligence levels and capabilities. Recent findings in modern sciences show this is not necessarily the case and that men and women simply excel in different areas. According to an article written for WebMD, recent studies suggest that girls are typically stronger in more creative subjects, such as English and Foreign Languages, while boys show a greater understanding of math and the more logical subjects. The reason for this is simple; the area of the brain associated with problem solving matures approximately four years faster in males, meaning an 8 year-old boy has the math skills of a 12 year-old girl. The aptitude typically shown by females for creative subjects can be correlated to their use of both of the brain’s hemispheres to process information, while males normally only use one. This accounts for girls having stronger language and fine motor skills as well, which research suggests develops six years faster on average. The greatest difference, and perhaps the most obvious to girls, is the level of maturity seen in boys and girls of the same age. Girls normally reach full brain maturity by age 21, while boys can take to almost ten years longer.
ILLUSTRATION BY RACHEL BERGEN
BY TRICIA O’NEILL AND NIKKI CONTRINO Academics Editors
AHS students portray the battle of the sexes as they debate the academic capabilities of boys versus girls.
Junior Tatiana Niang is one of many girls who associate this finding with the higher number of girls enrolled in advanced courses at AHS than boys. “I think girls take harder classes than boys because boys usually look for the easy way out and try to have more fun.” “[I think] Girls [take harder classes,] because they demand more of themselves,” agreed senior Jordan Cowles. Data collected from IB classes at AHS supports students’ view on the subject, as it shows that girls enrolled in IB courses approximately 600 more times than boys during the 2010-2011 school year. Regardless of what current statistics show, the competition seems to be stronger than ever, both in school and in the job market. As colleges become more competitive and jobs become scarce, one can only expect the battle to rage on.
Gender in advanced courses: English Courses
Although many classes at AHS seem to be gender balanced...
“I believe girls, usually, take harder classes, because usually they’re more mature, and can handle the rigor of advanced academics —Noelle Davis English teacher
-Compiled by Isabel Villarroel
Match the word to the definition to test your knowledge of these SAT words
other classes, such as Honors English, show an overwhelming imbalance in the number of girls to boys.
“I think boys, because we’re studs and our brains are more developed.” —Dane Harlowe junior
SAT Words to Know
“Girls, because they want to achieve more than boys.” —Andrea Lopez sophomore
Language Courses Definitions A. (adj.) flaunting wealth B. (verb) to free from blame C. (adj.) clichéd D. (noun) The quality of being discerning Information provided by: Steve Sengstack, Director of Student Services
E. (noun) out of the context of time, out of date F. (adj.) hateful, unpleasant
The flaws that come with faking it
G. (adj) fearless H. (adj.) careful, watchful J. (adj.) enthusiastic, loud
Google translate is a fast, and easy, way to convert text from one language to another.
Because online translators, such as Google translate, save students hours of time spent on foreign language homework, they have recently become popular. The problem is, they prevent absorption of new vocabulary and translate wordby- word, which often leads to grammatical errors.
Although synonym. com and other online thesauruses are alright to use, it is important to confirm the intended meaning using a dictionary in order to make sure the new word makes sense in content.
Spark Notes and Cliff Notes, as well as other similar sources, are often used as an alternative to reading the book, when intended to be a supplement. Teachers also look out for repetition of the analysis given by these sites.
Synonym.com is a quick way to find alternative words to use in the place of a more common, or basic, word.
Spark Notes and other reading aids provide chapter-bychapter summaries and analysis to help readers understand books better.
K. (adj.) polite
1: E; 2: J; 3: C; 4: G; 5: A; 6: F; 7: D; 8: K; 9: B; 10: H
Go to the web for study advice from IB Diploma Candidates. www.thea-blast.org
Nov. 16, 2010
Paralympics: bringing international competition to all
• The U.S. Paralympics begans in 1948 as a sports competition between WWII veterans with spinal injuries that caused them to become disabled. • The different disability categories for the Paralympic Games are amputees, cerebral palsy, wheelchair and visually impaired •They occur every four years and coincide with the Winter and Summer Olympics and take place in the same cities. • Summer sports include archery, boccia, cycling, equestrian, fencing, goalball, judo, powerlifiting, rowing, sailing, shooting, sitting volleyball, soccer, swimming, table tennis, track and field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis. • The U.S. Paralympic Team was started in 2001 • There are more than 21 million people living with a visual or physical disability. Less than 10 percent of them are physically active. • “Paralympic” means “parallel to the Olympics.” • The Paralympic Games are different from the Special Olympics. The Paralympic Games are elite-level sports competitions for athletes with physical or visual disabilities only. Special Olympics are for all competitors with cognitive and mental disabilities. —Compiled by Erin Johnson Freshman Alex Gonzalez was born with the birth defect Spina Bifida, which is an incomplete closure of the embryonic neural tube, and has been confined to a wheelchair his whole life. Despite this, he is an avid player of sled hockey, tennis, basketball and other sports. He one day aspires to be a paralympian in wheelchair tennis on the U.S. Paralympic team.
Sled Hockey: DC Sled Sharks vs. Philadelphia Hammer Heads
Playing sports in a wheelchair
Freshman Alex Gonzalez starred as goalie in his sled hockey game on Nov. 7.
Alex Gonzalez is an avid sled hockey, tennis and basketball player
BY ERIN JOHNSON In-Depth Editor Most students go through school thinking about friends, schoolwork and the latest drama. Most students do not focus on how they are getting to class. Most students see the single elevator as something that might be fun to hop on, and the ramps all over the school as slower alternatives to move from place to place. Freshman Alex Gonzalez is not like most students. Born with the birth defect Spina Bifida, which is defined as the incomplete closure of the embryonic neural tube, Gonzalez has had to use a wheelchair to move around. While many may think that this limits him, Gonzalez sees it differently. “Everything in the life of a person in a wheelchair is different. We can do everything you can, we just do it differently,” said Gonzalez. While this does include moving around and daily activities, Gonzalez is also referring to his love of sports. “I play basketball, tennis and ice hockey,” said Gonzalez. “It keeps me active [and] in shape, so I don’t become a blob of fat when I’m older.”
“ Go to the web to see a video of Alex Gonzalez’s sled hockey game.
We can do everything you can, we just do it differently
Gonzalez is a member of three separate out of school teams for people with disabilities and is also in the AHS weight training class. When Gonzalez went to Coach Adams to ask if he could join, Adams was slightly surprised. “I guess he wasn’t expecting a guy in a wheelchair to be in his class, but he let me in!” said Gonzalez. Weight training is particularly special to Gonzalez. “My dad was in it [at AHS]. I wanted to follow in his footsteps, then I realized how tough it is, but I like the challenge,” said Gonzalez. “Coach Adams has allowed me to grow tougher in that class.” Gonzalez also thinks that his weight-training is a source of inspiration. “Yari Mizouri and Bob Stevens are the most inspiring people I’ve met so far,” said Gonzalez. “They inspire me to do harder in the class.” After school and on the weekends, Gonzalez pushes himself to the limits and the other sports that he plays. He does so to become more independent. “A lot of people in wheelchairs realize [their condition] and don’t think they can do anything and they become lazy,” said Gonzalez. “In the real world, they can’t do that.” Gonzalez’s sled hockey team, the DC Sled
Sharks, was created by the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in association with USA Disabled Hockey. The team ranges from ages six to sixteen and plays year round with Gonzalez as the team’s goalie. Sled hockey is played in specially-designed sleds that the players sit in, which are propelled by two short hockey sticks with metal picks on the end. All other elements of the game are the same, including the number of players, positions on the rink and the size of the hockey rink. Gonzalez has been playing for around two years, almost as long as the team has been in existence.
A lot of people in wheelchairs...don’t think they can do anything.
One of Gonzalez’s main inspirations for staying active is his parents. “My parents push me to be as independent as possible,” said Gonzalez. However, not all parents are as supportive as Gonzalez’s are. “Nowadays with kids in wheelchairs, you don’t see parents willing to reach out to other people,” said Gonzalez, “I’m sorry to say but Hispanics seem to be ashamed of it, but thank God not my parents!” One of the things that his parents encourage him to excel in is his tennis ability. Gonzalez has been playing tennis for a little over two years, and prefers it to his other sports. “When I’m playing a team sport, I don’t feel as if I have that much drive to win, because I have four or five people to rely on,” said Gonzalez, “When it comes to tennis, it is me and one other person, or just me, so I feel I have more of a reason to play my best.” Gonzalez’s dream is to become a paralympian in tennis. To achieve this, he has to go to Grand Prix’s to be judged and ranked on a national scale based on performance. “You’ve got to start at the bottom and work your way up,” said Gonzalez. Gonzalez enjoys the solitary drive and success which he achieves in tennis. He prefers singles tennis to double tennis. “It’s just me and the other guy. It gives me more of a reason to do it,” said Gonzalez, “I [don’t] have anyone to depend on. I would have to be the hero.”
clude track and field, swimming, fencing and even dancing. “When I was seven I was in a [Bolivian] dancing group,” said Gonzalez, “I knew that I was different, not because of my disability, that’s obvious, but because we all have different color skin.” Gonzalez’s Bolivian and Colombian heritage greatly influences him. Both his parents immigrated to the United States as children. He got involved in dance groups learning traditional dances such as the Caporales to get more connected with his roots. “When I learned about [Caporales] I was really intrigued,” said Gonzalez, “I wanted to learn more about my heritage and tradition.” A student looking to learn more of their heritage is not unusual to see at AHS. Gonzalez feels that AHS also accommodates his disability. “I think the fact that there are ramps everywhere is really awesome,” said Gonzalez, “The only thing I find discouraging is that there’s only one elevator. I’m not the only kid in a wheelchair here!” At AHS, Gonzalez is an encouragement to others to work hard. “My parents have said that in my sports and in my day to day activities I inspire people,” said Gonzalez, “I don’t see it. I just do what I do!” Besides his dream to become a paralympian in tennis, Gonzalez also is interested in becoming a motivational speaker. “My mom has said that my purpose in life is to inspire people to do more things,” said Gonzalez, “I love to talk, too!” Gonzalez’s dreams are nothing that he cannot achieve. “I think I’d be okay as a motivational speaker, but obviously sports have been my main focus,” said Gonzalez, “If I could do both I’d blow the roof off I’d be so happy!” Gonzalez is a prime example of someone who does not allow difficulties in his life to hold him back. Instead, he takes his physical disability in stride and works diligently to get the most he can out of life.
Information on Spina Bifida • It is manifested in the womb • It occurs in 7 out of every 10,000 live births in the United States • There are around 166,000 people living with Spina Bifida in the United States • The risk of Spina Bifida occurring is de
I [do not] have anyone to depend on. I would have to be the hero.
creased by 70% if the mother takes mu
In addition to becoming a paralympian, Gonzalez is also considering trying out for spring tennis at AHS. “I want to strive to be the best player out there. Even though I might not be able to go to tournaments with the team, I still want to practice with them and be one of them,” said Gonzalez. Other activities in which Gonzalez takes part in-
tivitamins with the B-vitamin folic acid • The average total lifetime cost to society for each baby born with Spina Bifida is approximately $532,000 •Hispanics are most at risk to have Spina Bifida Source: spinabifidaassociation.org
Nov. 16, 2010
in the classroom
11 A backstage look at The Taming of the Shrew
AHS embraces the disabled Accommodations such as ramps and elevators allow students to adapt BY KATIE MASTERS In-Depth Editor Eight years ago, in her home country of El Salvador, sophomore Alba Campos suffered a car crash caused by a drunk driver. After her left arm was found to be broken she was taken to a nearby hospital, where her hand and forearm were amputated because of the severity of the fracture. Campos is just one representative of the disabled community at AHS, which is remarkable for its highly positive attitude and resiliency. Campos, for instance, participates in sports like motocross and snowboarding and is currently rehearsing for the ESOL production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, in which she plays the part of Grumio. “I don’t have any limitations because of my arm,” said Campos. “It helps me a lot because I learn to do more stuff and I realized that I can learn to do things that seem impossible. My other senses are also better developed because of it”
I can learn to do things that seem impossible. Alba Campos, sophomore
Though Campos is an example of a disabled student who requires little outside assistance, AHS offers a large array of services to its less
mobile students. Sharon Perkins, the Co-Chair of the Special Education department at AHS, is very aware of the long list of resources offered to students who need additional assistance to help them navigate the halls and prosper in their classes. The accommodations are given based on a student’s physical and learning capabilities. “Extended time on tests is given to some students who write or think more slowly than their classmates,” said Perkins. “We also offer different kinds of equipment. Some students have computers that read back their writing, or recording pens that allow them to save classroom lessons.” Students without the ability to speak can also communicate using a DynaVox, the machine iconically used by physicist Stephen Hawking. Those who use it can type in what they wish to say, and the gadget will say their words out loud. Students gain access to the equipment offered by AHS after being evaluated by the Academic Technology Services (ATS), who assess their needs and suggest items most likely to be useful to them. Students can also bring in technology from home. Accommodations for disabled students are also built directly into the school building. In addition to ramps and the elevator, Perkins says that there is a bathroom equipped with amenities like changing tables, which is not open to the student body at large. There are also two open bathrooms that are designed specifically to be handicapped accessible. The rooms are unmarked, but contain different faucet attachments and operators on the sides of the toilet that help with flushing, among other additions. Freshman Hurricane Gomez suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a condition that causes rapid loss of muscle mass. As a result, he is confined to a wheelchair, and is limited in his ability to perform everyday tasks. The services offered by AHS help his performance in class and ability to navigate the school. “They give me technology, like a computer, that helps me do my work more efficiently, and I have
an aide who takes notes for me in class and other writing stuff,” said Gomez. Gomez’s aide is an employee of AHS who works with him exclusively. He is also one of the students granted extended time on tests and is allowed to leave his classes five minutes before the bell to avoid traffic in the hallways. Despite his muscular disorder, Gomez leads an active lifestyle. He takes three honors classes and helps produce The Filament, AHS’s literary magazine. Outside of school, he also participates in power soccer, a sport played by people with motorized wheelchairs. Thanks to a bumper placed at the front of the chairs, he and his teammates are able to direct the ball, which is bigger than the standard size. AHS offers a welcoming attitude to its disabled community, along with its many services. Both Campos and Gomez say that they never feel
The students really come together and allow each other to feel comfortable. -Sharon Perkins Co-Chair of the Special Education Department
Alba Campos gets a helping hand with her costume from a friend backstage in the Blackbox.
uncomfortable or discriminated against while at school, and Perkins also offers high praise to the student population. “AHS is one of the most accepting schools I’ve ever been in,” said Perkins. “The students really come together and allow each other to feel comfortable in their environment.” Acceptance is an important trait for any school to possess, and is one AHS is frequently lauded for. Most frequently it is applied to our highly diverse population, but it is good to know that our student body and faculty can also extend a welcoming attitude to our disabled community. Campos enjoys a between-scene snack break.
The cost of living for the disabled This ultra high-tech wheelchair allows its disabled owners to climb stairs, mount curbs and even “stand” and balance, all through a simple shift of its wheels. –Cost: $25,000
—Compiled by Katie Masters
• Smartboard A piece of technology familiar to most AHS students, Smartboards are a great addition to classrooms geared towards disabled students because of their touch screen capability, which allows those confined to wheelchairs to demonstrate their knowledge in class.
If you had a physical disability, how would it affect your life? “I know I wouldn’t be able to get friends as easily because people tend to avoid them, regardless of how nice they are.”
—Elizabeth Cohan-Lawson sophomore
• Lift chair table An accessory to the zerogravity lift chair, this table allows disabled students to write and work comfortably.
“I probably wouldn’t have the same friends.”
—Jennifer Alfaro junior
• Zero-gravity lift chair This chair allows disabled students to recline in any position and provides support to those with spinal problems. –Cost: $1,044
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY KATIE MASTERS
• iBot wheelchair
Campos, as Grumio, rehearses a scene with her fellow actors.
“It would give me obstacles, it would be something to overcome.”
—Joe Carter junior
• Recording pen A recording pen allows students who are unable to take down notes to record classroom lectures, helping them succeed in their classes. —Cost: $200
• Boost Personal Video Magnifier This little gadget can magnify text that appears in books, worksheets and websites, and can help the classroom performance of students with limited eyesight. —Cost: $359
• Battery-operated scissors These scissors are operated by battery and controlled using a guiding device and switch, allowing mobility and independence to students with limited mobility. —Cost: $35.20
“I would definitely feel like a misfit and be limited to what I could do.”
—B.J. Odom senior
“It would be harder for me to perform my job to the best that I can.”
—Leonida Gibson Math teacher
—Compiled by Erin Johnson
In Myawaddy, Burma, over 12,000 residents have left the town after the elections on November 7 in order to avoid chaos created by the fight between troops and ethnic Karen rebels. The fighting began because the ethnic Karen rebels were opposed to the elections for they saw it as a tool for the military to hold power.
After suffering through the effects of a dramatic earthquake, Haiti now faces an increasing rise of cholera. About 544 residents have died while another 8,000 are infected. Officials say that cholera has most likely developed from the increasingly dirty water that is created as a result of storms, flooding, and hurricanes, and is then drunk by the residents.
If you can go to any one place in the world, where would it be and why?
Traveling around the world Students and staff reveal that their boundaries go beyond the halls of AHS
Senior Adeeba Rasoli Afghanistan Q: Who did you go with and when? A: My family in the Summer of 2009. Q: What was your most memorable experience from the trip? A: When I went to The Valley (Panjsher) the rivers and the extreme beauty of the place was astonishing. Q: What was your favorite part of your trip? A: The natural mountains, landscapes and beauty.
“Italy, because they have really good food and people.”
Q: What was your least
Did You Know...
Nov. 16, 2010
Freshman Noah Wolfenstein Paris, France Q: Who did you go with and favorite part of your when? vacation? A: I went with my family in A: The time change, I was very August 2010. tried. I felt foreign!
favorite part of your vacation? A:The food. Q: What’s the biggest noticeable difference between the US and Afghanistan? A: I have lived in Germany before and I love it there and I’m interested in global issues and intercultural understandings.
Q: What was your most memorable experience from the trip? A: Visiting the different vineyards and wine tasting. Q: What was your favorite part of your trip? A: My favorite part was eating at the French cafes and restaurants, also the food there was yummy!
Q: What would you tell somebody who has never been there before? A: Take a lot of shampoo, soap and lots of lotions.
Q: What was your least
Q: What’s the biggest noticeable difference between the U.S. and Paris? A: The language. Also the drivers were really crazy, especially on the mopeds. Q:What would you tell somebody who has never been there before? A: It is really fun and the only thing you have to do is go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
freshman “Hawaii, because I like the beaches.”
“Paris, because everything there is fancy, the food is great and it’s somewhere I’ve never been to.”
—Kayla Elahi freshman
—Sun Min sophomore
Senior Margot Henric Alba, Italy
“I’d probably go to Venice, Italy. I heard it’s really pretty out there and I’ve never been outside America.”
—Zack Beland junior
Q: Who did you go with and when? A:Anna Smith in the beginning of August 2010. Q: What was your most memorable experience from the trip? A: Visiting the different vineyards and wine tasting. Q: What was your favorite part of your trip? A: My favorite part was immersing myself in a different culture and trying new things. The night life was fun and exciting as well.
“I would travel to Australia to go surfing.”
—Jorge Zeballos senior
Q: What was your least favorite part of your vacation? A:My least favorite part was
the lack of communication I had with my parents who were still back home. Q: What’s the biggest noticeable difference between the U.S. and Italy? A: The culture was out of this world different. The food was amazing, the fashion was gorgeous, and there was a noticeable difference in the importance of family. Q: What would you tell somebody who has never been there before? A: I would tell them that Italy is a wonderful place to visit and that the landscape is absolutely breathtaking!
English teacher Kathleen Dion Egypt Q:Who did you go with and when? A: A group of teachers... from July to August 2010. Q: What was your most memorable experience from the trip? A: I’d have to say seeing the pyramids up close is something I’ve always dreamed of doing. Q: What was your favorite part of your trip? A: The best part was getting to travel all over Egypt and learn about its rich culture and history.
home for so long. Also, the language barrier made it difficult to communicate. Q:What’s the biggest noticeable difference between the US and Egypt? A: One striking difference was the way women dressed. They are much more modest than we are in the U.S. Q: What would you tell somebody who has never been there before? A: Eat, do and see everything Egypt has to offer!
Q: What was your least favorite part of your vacation? A: It’s hard being away from
in the middle of the ocean, just to see what that’s like and be free in the water.”
–Compiled by Haumaira Safi & Jayran Moridzadeh
Go to the web to see more American Stories! www.thea-blast.org
Coming from India through Sahejpal’s eyes BY DEEPAK SAHEJPAL from India Would you like to see India through my eyes? I didn’t expect how my life would change after I immigrated to the United States. I noticed many differences when I came, such as culture, school and driving rules. I would like to share my observations about India and the U.S. I heard a lot about U.S. culture being very open and different from Indian culture. When I came here I saw it was true. In my country most people are Hindu and Sikhs, but here as I see all people come from different countries and they all belong to different religions. I like American culture but I miss my country too. I noticed many differences between my old schools and Annandale. In my country we don’t need to move from class to class; their teachers come to you. In India teachers were very strict and sometimes they beat you if you didn’t finish homework. Also there are only 50 teachers for 500 students; that is not enough. Annandale teachers are very friendly and helpful. I miss my friends and teachers from my old school. The third big difference between India and the U.S. is driving rules. I was shocked when I saw people drive here on the right side because in India I drove on the left side. Sometimes I was confused when I was driving and crossed the road here. In the United States everybody follows the rules all time; in my country nobody cares. I think driving in the U.S. is safer than driving in my country.
—Kathleen Gilfoil English teacher
Senior Deepak Sahejpal shares his differences from transitioning from India to the U.S.
I still miss my country, friends and family every moment. I hope one day I will go back to visit my country and spend time with my friends and family. Also, I would like to see the places where I played and grew up.
Nov. 16, 2010
A slice of delight
Students mix, beat, chop, bake, baste, cream, blend, grill, marinate and steam their way to the top of their culinary experience. Chef Christine Gloninger prepares her young chefs to enter into the exciting culinary workforce.
13 Become your own chef
2 c diced mangos (fresh or frozen) 1/4 c minced red onion 1 c chopped cilantro 1/2 c diced red peppers A few dashes of salt and pepper Combine all ingredients together. Can be served with chicken, fish or chips. Makes 3-4 servings
The Culinary Program at AHS was created nine years ago under Chef Gloninger’s control. They compete in a national organization called SkillsUSA in addition to serving faculty lunches and catering a variety of events at AHS.
Meet Chef G
How many years have you taught culinary? “I’ve taught at AHS for 8 years and previously at the college level for 6 years.”
Chef G helps senior Laura Garcia organize the day’s menu for the Bistro. On certain Thursdays, teachers are welcome to join the AHS chefs for a delicious home-made meal.
A student fills their cup with coffee at AHS Meets the Press. Culinary served coffee and pastries to Journalism, Yearbook, and Filament students who gathered in Clausen Hall to listen to James Carroll.
Senior Josh Jean-Jacques sports the appropriate culinary uniform. This consists of a red chef’s hat, a name-embroidered chef’s jacket, an apron, checkered pants and plain black shoes.
What made you want to teach culinary instead of be a professional chef yourself? “I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. Also, after working in industry, I learned that I was good at teaching other people.” - Compiled by Kristen Hennessey
Go to the wev for pictures from the football team’s senior night. www.thea-blast.org Fall Senior Night
Senior Adam Goodison pours sauce into a funnel while creating meals for the staff during his R5 class. He will compete in the district competition with other students this year.
What is your favorite part of teaching these young chefs? “I love food and I love seeing kids understand the techniques. I really enjoy the excitement, speed and creativity that takes place in the kitchen.”
Into the dark room
Upcoming shows and exhibitions in the D.C. area
Photography students share their passions for all types of work
Ganguin: Maker of Myth Feb. 27- June 5, 2011
Baltimore Museum of Art Photography since 1960 Feb. 20- May 15, 2011 Advancing Abstraction in Modern Sculpture Through Feb. 20, 2011
1. Shoot a roll of film
Processing film is a tedious process. Students develop their film for printing using dektol developer, acetic acid stop bath and a fixing agent.
The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA Life Drawing Classes Every Thursday 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Cost: $15 (non-members) $10 (members and students) Open Drawing Classes Every Thursday 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Cost: $15 (non-members) $10 (members and students)
To watch a detailed video about how photos are developed in AHS’s darkroom, visit www.thea-blast.org/arts.
5. Dry the paper After washing the paper, the photographer passes the paper through the rolling drier which removes all moisture and prepares the print for display.
Artist in the spotlight: Becca Sponga Black and white photography is better than color for this IB photography student BY JORDAN AMAN Arts Editor Imagine seeing life through a black and white lens. Would there be beauty? Would there be interest? Well, this is what junior Becca Sponga is trying to prove to AHS’s art community.
COURTESY OF BECCA SPONGA
Classes and opportunities
Guillermo Kuitca is known for his abstract work, such as this piece which will be on display at the Hirshorn in January.
6. Proudly display your photograph!
3. Enlarge the negative Students place the film in a negative holder and project it onto light-sensitive paper using a negative enlarger. This is done in a darkroom, where the amber light will not expose the paper. 4. Process the image Students then place the paper in the developing tray, agitating the solution until the image on the paper has fully appeared. Next, the paper passes through a stop bath and fixer, and is then washed for several minutes.
2. Process the film
Directions: Cuprien Gaillard and Mario Garcia Torres Through March 27, 2011
Guillermo Kuitca: Everything— Paintings and Works on Paper, 1980–2008 Through Jan. 16, 2011
Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977 Feb. 24- May 15, 2011
of work, as they now shoot in both film and digital.
How the IB photography students print their photos
Hirshorn Gallery & Sculpture Garden
Black Box: Hans Op de Beeck Dec. 6- Feb. 27, 2011
COURTESY OF YARITZA PACHECO
Venice: Canaletto and his Rivals Feb. 20- May 30, 2011
This piece is called “The Square of Saint Mark’s, Venice” by Canaletto. It is one of many pieces being featured in the upcoming exhibit.
Each photograph can be printed to any size, although most commonly, 8”x10” prints are used. The only limit when processing photographs in the darkroom is the size of the enlarger and the imagination of the photographer. “In learning how to work in the darkroom, you learn a greater appreciation for the work and craft of photography, whether it is film or digital. A handful of students have made darkroom photography either a feature or the focus of their IB Art portfolio. Junior Kelly Dwyer has been working in the darkroom for two years and is making photography the focal medium of her portfolio. The freedom given through classes such as IB Visual Art really allows This photograph by IB Art student Yaritza Pacheco exemplifies the use photography to become an experimental of contrast and composition. process, where art students can explore Darkroom photography continues to be bentheir interests in photography, after completing the basic Photography 1 course, and learning all eficial to students and teaches students both the process of developing a photographic print as the essential skills. Other students like senior Yaritza Pacheco and well as the basic mechanics and artistic aspects junior Becca Sponga have used darkroom photog- of shooting a photograph, whether it is film or raphy as a small but important piece of their body digital.
This shot of shoes shows Sponga’s personal interests as well as her love of nature.
Sponga is currently enrolled in the IB Visual Arts class, with a concentration in photography. Her work is very technical, focusing mainly on texture and detail. Producing images of water, family, and nature, Sponga creates a theme of adventure running through her work that gives the viewer both a nostalgic remembrance of childhood and the feelings of curiosity that come with it. “I love film photography because I feel like my photos come out more artistic. I get the photo to look the way I want because through photography I am able to show people the world the way I see it,” Sponga said. She has perfected her printing process to include a full range of tones through her photographs as well as a comfortable and pleasing contrast between both the light and dark tones and the positive and negative spaces throughout her shots. This attention to detail shows Sponga’s advanced composition skills and her sharp eye for an interesting scene. “Plus, I shoot better with film and the darkroom is my home away from home,” Sponga said. Although Sponga is only a junior, she has set her sights on art school. “I want to either major or minor in photography. I don’t have any specific school in mind, but preferably I would like to go somewhere in North Carolina,” Sponga said. This young artist shows promise as both a photography student and a photographer on her own. She exemplifies a clear sense of direction and a common theme throughout her work,
COURTESY OF BECCA SPONGA
National Gallery of Art
Senior Yaritza Pacheco views her film with a loop to check for image quality and focus, as well as the contrast of the photos on the film.
The imagery of the ocean and boats is a common theme within Sponga’s work.
COURTESY OF BECCA SPONGA
Robert Irwin: Gypsy Switch 2010 Nov. 20- March 6, 2011
Washington Color and Light Nov. 20- March 6, 2011
Above is a piece from the Washington Color and Light exhibit.
camera. Rather than the good old family camera, kids and parents alike now own cameras of their own, whether they are camera phones, handheld digital cameras, or, although very rarely, fully manual film cameras. While most of the mainstream use of photography is purely documentary, such as Facebook pictures, vacation photographs and other forms like them, the art of film photography is alive and well, especially within the walls of AHS. Through classes like Photography 1-3 and IB Visual Art, students are given the opportunity to explore the seemingly lost art of film, or darkroom, photography. “I think the biggest benefit of working in the darkroom is that every time you work on a print, you give a little bit of yourself, much like any other artist in mediums like painting or drawing,” said photography teacher Meredith Stevens. The process of darkroom photography is an intricate method combining math, chemistry and an artistic eye to develop photos with rich contrast and a full range of tonal values. One of the tricks of this process is finding the perfect balance between dark and light values, as well as ensuring proper exposure and focus within the image. “The best thing about working in the darkroom is that you do everything yourself from start to finish. Digital is so common now that it is really cool to learn how to make photos by hand,” said senior Yaritza Pacheco. A feature of darkroom processes that is not widely known is that all the editing that can be done in Photoshop or any other photo-editing program, such as brightness/contrast manipulation, cropping and image size, can be done by hand in the darkroom.
BY JORDAN AMAN Arts Editor The process and practice of darkroom photography dates all the way back to the early 1800s, where photographs took hours to produce and had to be developed almost immediately. More recently, photography has become a hobby and pastime for virtually anybody with access to a
The Corcoran Gallery
This is one of the many pieces that will be on display at the “Advancing Abstraction in Modern Sculpture” exhibit.
Nov. 16, 2010
This flower is reflective of Sponga’s love of nature, and shows her use of composition within the shot.
Nov 16, 2010
A cheerless winter season To compensate for lack of funding, AHS eliminates winter cheerleading
Go to the web to see a new slideshow of winter sports tryouts. www.thea-blast.org
BY BETSY KRUSE Staff Writer
What club sport do you think should be made a high school sport?
Due to the FCPS budget cuts, AHS has cut winter cheer from its winter sport activities.
people are coming up with creative solutions to the problem of not having cheering on the sidelines. “I think not having cheerleaders at the games means that the [basketball] team will have to step up and be more encouraging to each other to take the place of the cheerleaders,” sophomore Abby Barnes said. Another event that will be affected will be Pack the Pit, which is the wrestler’s senior night and easily the meet with the most attendance. Without the cheerleaders being there a lot of spirit won’t be there either. “The cheerleaders definitely added to the high school spirit atmosphere and did make [senior night] seem like a special event,” junior Wally Geiger, said. “I’ll probably go to the games and meets and cheer anyways, just not with a team and uniform this year,”said Goodison.
Most popular athletic fundraisers Receipt Collecting
“I do stock-car racing. I don’t wish it was a school sport because it makes my sport unique.” — Alexis
As many of the county-wide budget cuts are becoming more apparent to students, there will be a shortage of cheerleaders and pom-poms walking the halls on game days. With the athletic program being one of the most affected aspects of the budget cuts drastic measures have been taken in order to save what sports are left. Not only has a $100 fee been required for anyone who wants to play a sport, but swim practice times have been reduced, and now an entire sport has been eliminated from the winter lineup- winter cheerleading. Kelly Goodison, who was a member of the winter cheer last year can’t believe the changes that are being made to the athletic program. “I don’t think it’s fair that [winter] cheer got cut because we don’t really use that much money, just insurance,” Goodison said. Because winter cheer has been excluded from the athletic program the former participants of the sport will now be given the choice to either find a new activity to join, or have one less extra curricular activity to participate in during the school year. There is question as to whether or not it is fair that cheer was singled out. “I might do gymnastics for fun, but if not then probably nothing. I’m really sad, I wish we could still have winter cheer,” Goodison said. Another thing to consider is that this year there won’t be any cheerleaders at the basketball games. While the cheerleaders sometimes get in the way of the game with balls and players flying over the sidelines, they still stay strong and do their best to help support and cheer for the boys. Many basketball players, including sophomore Shannon Casey, a member of the JV team last season, have mixed opinions. “I’m not going to miss the cheerleaders because sometimes they would get in the way of the game and they could be distracting. Also, they didn’t really help pump me up for playing,” Casey said. While some basketball players may not miss the cheerleaders, others, including sophomore Jae Kim, are disappointed that they won’t be at their games anymore. ”I want there to still be cheerleaders because they help motivate me to win my games,” Kim said. Even though there won’t be cheerleaders at the games anymore many
Mueller freshman “I do crew. I wish it were a school sport so I could finally be an Atom at heart.” —Ana Rosa
Garcia junior “I skateboard and it would be awesome if there were a skateboarding team at AHS.” —Alec
Stewart sophomore —Compiled by Kate Grandchamp
Nova Ice Dogs
by Esra Gokturk
AHS students join club teams As fall sports end, students join teams outside AHS
COURTESY OF KIM WRIGHT
BY ESRA GOKTURK Sports X-tra Editor While high school athletic budgets are diminishing and college education costs are rising, students are turning to club sports to help them improve their athleticism and chances of getting into a good college. Club sports are outside teams and leagues in which the athlete pays to play and be a part of the team. It used to be an expensive alternative to teams sponsored by the school, but with the new athletic fees they can now be viewed as practical. “If we have to pay for school sports now, it makes more sense to me to pay for a club team that will help get me into college, said junior Jessica Hotter, who plays club softball. “It’s ridiculous to have to pay the school fee and the travel team fees on top of that.” Student athletes play club sports for a few different reasons. Some clubs offer a wider variety of sports that high schools simply do not offer, such as ice hockey and crew. According to senior Matt Chiappane, it is just a matter of making room for new sports. “If they would consider cheerleading or gymnastics a sport, why can’ they make room for ice hockey?” Another reason is that it is more likely for an athlete to get recruited into a college through a club sport.
Junior Kenzi Wright and her club team Future Elite Lacrosse have competed in recruiting tournaments all over the East Coast including Virginia, Maryland and Florida.
College coaches don’t have the time to come to multiple high school games, but they go to club tournaments to see players from all over compete at a higher skill level, so they can evaluate hundreds of potential recruits at one location. Some athletes just want to play the same sport year round, either for fun or conditioning for the regular season. “The tournaments that our team goes to really helps get us noticed by college coaches and they help us get better”, said junior club lacrosse player Kenzi Wright. “It gives you a head start on other people that don’t play year round.” Cheerleaders and gymnasts can also improve their skills and con-
COURTESY OF JESSICA CAMILLI
PHOTO BY: ESRA GOKTURK
All fall sports at AHS are asked to sell a minimum of 15 Gold cards with discounts for local business for $20 each. This is the school’s highest grossing fundraiser with tens of thousands of dollars added to the athletic program every year.
dition with classes and training sessions at places like the Fairfax Gymnastics Academy. Some coaches might suggest club sports to their players so they can maintain their skills year round,or even encourage players to register as a team. That way they can improve on their level of play and teamwork with the athletes they will be competing with during the school season. Other coaches would rather them stick to AHS sports, like head boy’s lacrosse Coach Bill Magliscaeu. “I would much rather my lacrosse athletes play on the AHS Basketball, Wrestling, Swim and Dive, or Winter Track teams than play box [indoor]
lacrosse for an hour or two on the weekends simply because it will make them more competitive and it will more likely keep them out the trouble that comes with having free time on their hands after school.” Club sports also have the benefit of offering teams for both boys and girls. Schools don’t always offer a sports team for both boys and girls, such as boy’s volleyball, which is surprisingly a popular and enjoyed sport to play by both sexes. There are club teams as well as co-ed and intramural leagues in which both boys and girls may participate in a sport that is not offered for their sex at school. As far as fundraising is concerned, AHS sports programs and other high school raise money for the booster program, not the individual team members. The money from fundraisers such as gold cards and red letters for AHS fall and spring seasons are used for other useful purposes in booster funds like new equipment. However, while the money is very much needed and appreciated, it does not really help the athletes with the new fees they are paying for school sports. Accommodations are also made for student athletes that are in difficult financial situations. Club sports fundraise as a team, but the money earned goes towards the player’s fees to participate in tournaments to decrease their expenses. For all of these reasons, more and more student athletes are turning towards club sports to benefit themselves during both the school seasons and the off-season.
The Ice Dogs came in second place in their 2009-2010 season.
COURTESY OF JESSICA CAMILLI
Club teams like Future Elite Lacrosse work out deals with local businesses to get back up to 15% of all receipts they collect and turn.
Senior Matt Chiappane is a lead scorer for the team.
COURTESY OF JESSICA CAMILLI
Freshmen Jocelyn Hotter works with her softball team to raise money for tournament by washing cars in their area for small fees. The team raises an average of $450 per car wash.
PHOTO BY: ESRA GOKTURK
COURTESY OF JOCELYN HOTTER
Club Ice Hockey skates into the 2010 season
The players substitute out of the game approximately every two minutes.
Upcoming Club Events: NOVA Ice Dogs game at Fort Dupont Ice Rink Nov. 21 at 4 pm Turkey Shoot-Out Girls and Boys lacrosse tournament Dec. 5. Boys and Girls Club Basketball games at Hoops Magic in Chantilly every Sunday all day November-January.
Nov. 16, 2010
Junior Ahmed Bile looks ahead to Foot Locker South Regional in hopes of qualifying for national championship race “Bile” from page 1 Bile said. “I honestly didn’t expect it.” Bile is the first cross country state champion in the 57-year history of AHS. Coming into the race, Frantz was favored and ranked first in the state. Bile ran alongside the leaders throughout the race, but with about 600 meters left in the race, Frantz was able to separate from the pack a little and establish a lead. “[Going into the race] I was planning on staying with the front pack for as long as I can and make a move with about 800 meters to go and kick 100200 meters away from the finish,” Bile said. “I was really exhausted going into the last 600 meters and started to give up because the guy in first was about 80 meters in front of me. But as I got closer, I realized I had to make a move.” And quite a move he made. Utilizing his long legs, Bile steadily gained ground on Frantz at the end of the race. As the crowd lined the sides of the final straightaway, Bile pulled even with Frantz and tension built as the distance left in the race turned from meters to feet. As they crossed the finish line, Bile was able to lean into the red tape and finish literally a nose
Junior Ahmed Bile finishes his race at the cross country state championshp.
ahead of Frantz. “He did everything I asked him to and executed the race strategy to a ‘T,’” first-year Head Cross Country Coach David O’Hara said. Bile’s time of 15:27 was a personal best for a runner who was forced to sit out seven weeks after spraining his foot in the first meet of the season. “This was my best full 5k time,” Bile said. “It was a lot faster than what I’ve run throughout the season so I’m really happy about it.” “He overcame a lot of obstacles this season,” O’Hara said. “While everyone else was training, he had to do rehab. He worked really hard and diligently in the training room to get back in shape.” Bile, who won the Northern Region Championship on Nov. 4, will now compete at the Footlocker South Regional on Nov. 27. The race will feature the top runners from 13 states, with the top 10 finishers qualifying for Nationals in San Diego. “We’re still training hard this week but, we’ll probably let up on the mileage for the week before [the race],” O’Hara said. “It’s going to be tough; I’m just hoping to get top 10,” Bile said. After winning states, O’Hara believes anything can happen for Bile. “He has a shot,” O’Hara said. “It’s a flat, fast course which will suit him well.” Regardless of the outcome, Bile has already inked his name into the record books at AHS. In the coming weeks, he will have the opportunity to do it again.
Bile takes state championship
Boys XC state championships 11/13
Junior Ahmed Bile and cross country coach David O’Hara pose with a photo of Bile’s finish. Bile came from behind to win the race by two hundredths of a second.
Senior signs with Howard University Bile is greeted by his family following his finish at the state tournament. To the right is his father, Abdi Bile, who is a 1987 world champion in the 1500 meter race.
Teppi Shultis earns Division 1 volleyball scholarship through determination and hard work
Bile waits in hope as the race’s finish is reviewed. The finish was so close that officials had to determine the winner electronically.
—photos by A.J. McCafferty
Teppi Shultis By the Numbers
The age at which Shultis began playing organized volleyball. She began playing the sport with Braddock Road Youth Club, and has played for the Metro American Volleyball Club since eighth grade.
The number of full seasons that Shultis has played on the varsity squad. She was called up to the team her freshman year to compete in the district tournament.
The number of states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Nevada, that Shultis has played volleyball in. She has also played in Washington, D.C.
The age at which Shultis competed in the United States Volleyball A s s o c i a t i o n ’s J u n i o r National Championships in Reno, Nevada. Shultis’s 17 and under team finished thirtieth out of 48 teams in the American Division.
The annual tuition for a student enrolled in Howard’s 2010-2011 undergraduate program. This cost will be covered as part of Shultis’s full-ride scholarship to the university.
Visit www.thea-blast.org for more photos of Shutlis’s signing with Howard University.
Most athletes only dream of playing a college sport. But for senior Teppi Shultis, this dream is now a reality. On Nov. 10, Shultis and her family met in the principal’s conference room to sign a letter of intent to play volleyball at Howard University. The University, located in Washington D.C., boasts a Division 1 athletic program and has awarded Shultis a full-ride scholarship to play collegiate volleyball this coming fall. In signing the document, Shultis has moved one step closer to finally playing on the college stage, a dream that she has pursued since learning of the opportunity. However, Shultis has had to do more than just dream to achieve this goal. Since she began playing volleyball in third grade, she has completed countless hours of training on and off the court at practices, camps, clinics, training facilities and even in her own home. “She has, in essence, been in-season year-round for the past three years, with perhaps a one- or two-week break thrown in somewhere, usually in the summer or at Christmas time,” her father, John Shultis, said. However, Shultis has not always been so dedicated to the sport. She began playing volleyball for fun at age nine, and it was not until eighth grade and her first year with Metro American Volleyball Club that she decided to play competitively. It was then that she developed a love for the game and decided that volleyball was something at which she wanted to, and could, excel. This determination has driven Shultis to work hard, realizing that no matter how good she gets, there is always room for improvement. “I try to make it my goal to work harder than the people around me, and that has always made me successful,” Shultis said. “A lot of it just has to do with perseverance and my refusal to give up.” Her father agreed that, although Shultis herself is very talented, her perseverance is one of the main reasons that she has been able to achieve such a high level of success. “She sets tough, lofty goals, then she pursues them doggedly,” he said. “She also believes that she can and will get better, and that she can beat other players who have not prepared as well nor worked as hard as she has.” However, success has not always come easily for Shultis, who was not selected to play travel volleyball after her first tryout in eighth grade. “Here was this tall eighth grader who jumped nearly ten inches higher than any other player in the gym that day, and she didn’t make one of the five 14 and under teams in her age group,” her father said. This failed to dishearten the young player, however, who received a call the following day to play for a 15 and under Metro American Volleyball Club team. A big step up from the league in which she had been cut, Shultis faced a lot of time on the bench before outplaying several of her older teammates
BY CJ AFTERGUT Sports Editor
Senior Teppi Shultis and her father, John Shultis, sit down to sign an agreement with Howard University. Shultis was awarded a full-ride scholarship to play volleyball at the D.C. University this coming fall.
and proving to her coaches that she deserved playing time. This rejection sparked Shultis’s own determination and desire to improve, which, in turn, has led to her success in both high school and travel volleyball. “She definitely has a passion for the game,” head volleyball coach Jan Austin said. “I feel like she lives, breathes, eats volleyball.” Captured by this passion, Howard’s first-year volleyball coach, Dawn Barnes, pursued Shultis as a possible setter for next year’s squad. Having seen her play at a volleyball camp this past summer, Barnes made it her goal to bring Shultis to Howard as a future setter and leader of the team. Shultis’s own prowess on the court as both a right side blocker and hitter, in addition to her skill as a setter, made her appealing to a number of other college coaches. However, in the end, Shultis decided that her best fit would be as a setter at Howard. “It means a lot that I’ve accomplished this because I’ve had to face a lot of tough things as well as rejection from college coaches before I found a school I loved and would thrive at,” Shultis said. When asked if she had any advice for younger players, Shultis delivered a response expressive of her own determination and perseverance, which have led to her success on the court. “Never give up and if you think you’re doing enough, then do more,” she said. “People are always going to tell you that you’re not good enough, but make it your goal to prove them wrong.”
Nov 16, 2010
West Potomac Elimination Bowl Football spoils West Potomac’s playoff chances with a 41-31 victory on senior night
AHS Football By the Numbers HELINA DANIEL
BY DAVID HOOKEY Co-Editor in Chief For a sports team, if you can’t make the playoffs, the next best thing is spoiling another team’s hopes of making it. After being forced to forfeit two of their wins, the varsity football team found themselves in this very position: out of the playoff hunt with one game left against playoff hopeful West Potomac. “The theme of our week was the West Potomac Elimination Bowl sponsored by Giant Food,” Head Coach Mike Scott said. “That was our goal. They’d be collecting their equipment on Friday night and Saturday morning just like we were.” Coming into the game, the Wolverines were favored, sporting a 6-3 record with wins over T.C. Williams and South County. The Atoms, meanwhile, entered the game coming off a big win over district rival Woodson. West Potomac got out to an early lead on a 4-yard run by junior Tamaric Wilson. AHS answered with a 1-yard run by junior Tony Hysjulien, but the Wolverines scored a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff to take a 14-7 lead. After senior JP Jenkins found the end zone twice in the second quarter, the Atoms came into halftime with a 21-17 lead. In the second half, Jenkins scored two more touchdowns and junior Adam Wattenbarger added another to en route to a 41-31 run. “It was great to win the last game of the year,” senior Bob Stevens said. “And to know they wouldn’t get in [to the postseason] because of us is a good feeling.” Jenkins led the Atoms in the game with 20 rushes for 172 yards and four touchdowns. Senior Steven Cook added 46 yards rushing, while senior Andy Craig added 46 total yards. “We know that the team out there on Friday night wearing the red and white can beat any team in the state,” Scott said. “It felt good to win at home because we’ve played well at home all year; we were undefeated on the field at home.” With the win, the Atoms finished the year with an official record of 4-6, though they won six games on the field (two wins against Falls Church and Centreville were forfeited due to an ineligible player). If those games had not been lost, the team would have made the playoffs. Instead, Langley took the final spot in the Northern Region Tournament. “It was a fun season so it’s too bad it had to end ‘cause our wins got taken
First year head coach Mike Scott calls in a play to senior free safety Stephen Craig. After not playing for two years Craig returned to play in his final year.
away,” said Andy Craig. “We were playing really well and probably would have done well in regionals.” Despite the loss, the season can still be considered a success for Scott’s first year as head coach. “We won six games on the field and lost to three teams ranked at the top of Northern Region in Lake Braddock, Oakton and Centreville,” Scott said. “The team improved throughout the year which was our goal and we had some really good team chemistry.” Many players also received All-District recognition by the coaches. Jenkins, along with fellow senior Henry Cooper and junior Ali Musa, earned first-team. Seniors Bob Stevens, Paul Phongsavan, Devin Lawrence, Ian Griffin, Yari Mizouri and Jake Barnes and junior Adam Wattenbarger earned second team , while seniors Stephen Craig and Nick Lalande made honorable mention. “It was great for those guys,” Scott said. “I pushed hard for Musa to be Defensive Player of the Year and I thought Bob, Paul, Yari and Jake Barnes should’ve been first team. Steve Craig and Donnie Lalande were as good as any in the district, but there were some good linebackers and safeties they had to compete with.” “We ended a good season on a good note,” Stevens said.
The total number of touchdowns for the Atoms this season. Senior JP Jenkins led the team with 6 rushing touchdowns and 429 yards. The next closest rusher was senior Steven Cook who had a total of 413 yards.
The total number of recieving yards for the Atoms this season. Two different junior q u a r t e r b a c k s , To n y Hysjulian and Adam Wattenbarger, split time and combined for the total.
The average number of yards per play given up by the Atoms defense to opponents. Senior Yari Missouri led the Atoms defense and started at middle linebacker throughout the season.
The average number of yards earned by senior J.P Jenkins on punt returns this year. Jenkins return ed one punt this year for a touchdown.
Fall 2010 key athlete honors Football
Athlete: Ali Musa
Athlete: Ahmed Bile
Athlete: Annie Rutherford
Athlete: Eric Reynolds
What was your reaction to being named first team all district?
What was your reaction to being named first team all district?
What was your reaction to being named first team all district?
What was your reaction after winning the State Championship?
“I was stoked because i hadn’t expected it at all.”
“I feel very honored and appreciative to have made 1st team. All the girls selected for the team are so talented and skillful and I feel very special to be included.”
“It was exciting making the 1st team all District. Working hard at my game over the summer really paid off.”
“I was really excited to win the race. I wasn’t expecting to win, so it was nice to prove people wrong.”
Games to Watch for this Winter Season
What are your future plans? What are your future plans?
“I hope to play baseball in college and keep playing golf in my spare time.”
Other Athletes Honored: 1st Team: Sr. Alley Adcock Sr. Katie Bermingham
Dec. 10 Boys Basketball vs South County
“To get All-American honors”
Other Athletes Honored: 1st team: Sr. Greg Nielson
Dec. 17 Girls Basketball vs T.C Williams
2nd Team: Sr. Jen Allshouse Sr. Mackda Dinberu
Lady Atoms exit quietly
One shot short of semi-finals
Volleyball ends quickly in the first round of district play-offs to W.T Woodson
Varsity field hockey comes to a close after losing to the Oakton Cougars 2-1
After a disappointing season, the girls varsity volleyball team ended the year with a record of 5-11. Unable to reach their goal of making it to the Northern Region Tournament, the Atoms fell in the first round of the Patriot District playoffs. “[The season] was not as successful as we had hoped,” head coach Jan Austin said. “The season did not go as well as we had hoped,” senior Teppis Shultis said. The team felt frustrated with their performance and some seemed disappointed with the Freshmen Jocelyn Hotter blocks a spike during results. Despite big senior hit- practice. Young talent such as Hotter makes for ters and a high level of talent, the a bright future for AHS volleyball. team never seemed to be able to come together and meet their potential. They lost important games to teams that they should have beaten, such as Edison. After winning the first set, the Atoms fell prey to the Edison Eagles, losing three straight sets. “The potential of the team never measured, especially during the tough matches,” Shultis said. Shultis recently committed to Howard University to play division one volleyball. The team, however, seemed to enjoy themselves and had a fun year in the end. The future is looking strong for AHS volleyball and Austin seems pleased with her younger players. “[I] learned a lot as a coach and as a team. We will miss our six seniors, but we have six returning players, three of which are sophomores, and I am excited for next season,” Austin said. The junior varsity girls volleyball team ended the season with a winning record of 9-7. With the talent of the JV team combined with returning varsity players, the future is bright for the AHS volleyball program. For the complete list of results, visit annandaleatoms.com.
Jan. 26 Wrestling vs South County (Pack the Pit) Dec. 4 Indoor Track vs Lee/West Springfield at Episcopal High School
BY JAKE BARNES Sports Editor
BY PARKER GILLCASH Staff Writer
Jan. 14 Swim and Dive vs West Springfield at Lee Rec Center
A final loss against the Oakton Cougars cut the varsity girls field hockey team’s season short. The Atoms 2-1 loss in the second round of the regional tournament was an unfortunate ending to a very productive season. “Overall, this season was a great success. I was very impressed with the level of commitment, heart and hustle through our ups and our downs. Everyone continued to improve throughout the season — especially during the post season — and our teamwork really came together in the tournaments. We learned a lot together and gave it our best!” said head coach Cindy Hook. The Atoms ended with a final record of 8 wins and 10 losses, improving their record from last year’s of 6 wins and 11 losses. “The season went great, but had its ups and down and every meeting we had before our games made us stronger,” senior Kate Nguyen said. The Atoms junior varsity team did well this year and finished with a record of four wins, three losses, and five ties. Strong performances from junior team leaders Hiba Abu-el-hawa, and Evelyn Jaramillo helped bring experience to the otherwise young team. “It was a good season and we should be a strong team next year as well,” said junior Hiba Abu-el-hawa. The Atoms hope to continue their improvements and be even better in the 2011 season next fall. “We have many younger experienced players that are ready to step up. Fans can expect to see exciting, actionpacked games as the 2011 Atoms chal- Head Field Hockey Coach Hook helps lenge for the Patriot District title--and teach senior Erin Johnson defensive more!” said a very excited coach Hook. skills. Johnson earned an honorable mention award this year.
2nd Team: Sr. Bob Stevens Sr. Paul Phongsavan Sr. Devin Lawrence Sr. J.P Jenkins Sr. Yari Missouri Sr. Ian Griffin Sr. Jake Barnes Jr. Adam Wattenbarger
-Compiled by Jake Barnes
Other Athletes Honored: 1st Team: Sr. Henry Cooper Sr. J.P Jenkins
The number of consecutve years that the Atoms have not made the playoffs. The 2008 team was Co-District Champions with district rival West Springfield. The Atoms missed the playoffs by two games this year that were forfeited due to an ineligible player.
Go to Thea-blast.org to see the slideshow from the Atoms final football game against West Postomac High School on Nov. 7th.
Nov. 16, 2010
Up-coming Concerts November 18: Wiz Khalifa 9:30 Club
22: Allstar Weekend Rams Head Live! 30: Michael Bublé Verizon Center
Main characters Frank and Will, played by Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, work together to save their city from a dangerous runaway train in a race against time.
Pine picks up momentum
30: Sam Adams 9:30 Club
December 4: Dashboard Confessional
Tony Scott’s movie Unstoppable surpasses poor expectations BY CORINNE BALICKI Staff Writer
5: Carbon Leaf Rams Head on Stage
17: Usher Verizon Center
19: My Favorite Highway Jammin’ Java
Go to the web for an online review of Keith Urban’s newest album. www.thea-blast.org
Past Survivor Seasons May 2000 Borneo Jan. 2001 The Austrailian Outback
For a movie about a runaway train, Unstoppable, created by Tony Scott, isn’t boring in the least. The movie opens up with a scene showing, of course, trains. It then changes to Chris Pine shirtless and sleeping, and it was all uphill from there. The characters, setting and conflict are all set up quickly and the nail-biting intensity soon ensues. From a train full of children on the same track to tons of hazardous chemicals possibly exploding, there never is a moment where you aren’t at the edge of your seat. Unstoppable is loosely based on a true story about a runaway train in rural Ohio. However, like most Hollywood movies based on true events the stakes were raised and conflicts were added. The plot is simple, an unmanned train with no airbrakes is hurtling down a main railroad track and is carrying tons of toxic chemicals and diesel fuel. Chris Pine and Denzel Washington play Will and Frank, two railroad employees that take it upon themselves to stop train 777 themselves. Their characters are very simple, Will is the young
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Sparky Feb. 2002 Marquesas Sept. 2002 Thailand
Feb. 2003 The Amazon Sept. 2003 Pearl Islands Feb. 2004 All-Stars
Sept. 2004 Vanuatu Feb. 2005 Palau
Feb. 2006 Panama
Sept. 2005 Guatemala
Feb. 2007 Fiji Sept. 2007 China Feb. 2008 Micronesia
Feb. 2009 Tocantins Feb. 2010 Cook Islands
Sept. 2008 Gabon Sept. 2009 Samoa
“Survivor” still lingers Cudi really kills it The ancient show is renewed for yet another season Rapper Kid Cudi drops a crowd-pleasing album BY KYLEE NISKER Staff Writer
Sept. 2006 Cook Islands
The interactions between her, Frank and Will, and their collective interactions with the company VP Galvin, display the trite theme that hard-working employees are good while the VPs and the men in suits only care about money and are therefore bad. This was the main problem with the movie. Although the movie was gripping and suspenseful, the characters and their interactions were overwhelmingly cliche. The pairing of a newbie and a veteran, the workers were good while the bureaucrats were bad, the unappreciative daughters of a hard-working man and finally the lovers quarrel between the hunky star and his wife; all these cliches were so blatantly obvious it could been seen as insulting. While some aspects of Unstoppable were trite it is still worth the time and effort to see it in theaters. The movie never slows down and is a continuous “full steam ahead.” There is never a second where there isn’t some sort of obstacle to overcome. As more and more plans to stop the train fail, the stakes get higher and higher. Washington, Pine and Dawson deliver their roles flawlessly and enhance the film’s appeal. Overall, Unstoppable is a hit and tells an enthralling tale of courage and danger.
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Oct. 2001 Africa
inexperienced worker, while Frank has been working for the company for 28 years. Their interactions are pretty cliche — veteran giving the newbie advice and the newbie disregarding it and then making the veteran proud. However, Washington and Pine had a nice on-screen chemistry that added a freshness to the relationship.The high intensity is coupled beautifully with witty remarks and well-placed jokes by the characters. Another great thing about the movie is the way it was filmed. The filming techniques create a very intense atmosphere. Because the movie is about trains, director Tony Scott had to emphasize their awesome power, which he does with great execution. He also does a great job integrating the action sequences and character interactions with media coverage. The technologies used by the news stations and by the train company facilitated viewers’ ability to understand where the train was and how close it was to what towns. All in all, the movie was executed wisely. Rosario Dawson was also a great addition to the cast. She played Connie Hooper, the station master in charge of the train yard from where train 777 originated.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be stranded somewhere with limited resources and competing with other candidates trying to win a million dollars? Well in case you aren’t lucky enough to get the chance, you might try watching the TV series “Survivor.” The original series was first aired by CBS in summer of 2000 as a replacement show. Soon after the premiere, millions started acclaiming this reality-based adventure show and it become watched nationally. The original survivor series consisted of twenty seasons with 281 episodes. CBS recently signed a contract stating two more seasons, or competitions, of the show will be broadcasted. With slightly different rules and regulations, viewers are having opposing outlooks about this. “I don’t think they should be messing with the original show. It is never as good as the first series,” sophomore Olivia Franjie said. The 21st season, Survivor: Nicaragua,
was premiered on Sept. 15, 2010 and takes place in Central America. For the most part, the rules are the same — sixteen candidates abandoned with limited resources to see who will outlast the others or get voted off the site. However, producers say the Human Immunity Idol has been found too easily in the past so it will be hidden differently with visual hints. The tribes, each group of contestants, will have a new item known as the Medallion of Power; whoever possesses this medallion with have an advantage in the upcoming challenge. Previous seasons had taken place all over the world, including in Brazil, China and Guatemala. Each location offers different resources and challenges the tribes have to endure, so no two seasons are ever the same. The next two competitions will take place in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. What’s your decision, should CBS have changed the original show, or finished out with no new changes?
BY SAMIR SHAH & HABEN BERIHUN Videographers Kid Cudi’s newest album, Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager is definitely one of the best new albums out. His music offers a change from the mainstream rap and hip-hop that everyone is used to. His smooth lyrical use and hypnotic beats have really appealed to the general public since the album release. He is well known for his intricate and cryptic lyrics that, unlike tadays rap and hip-hop, are personal. As he says in the fourth track on the album “Mojo So Dope,” “I live through words not metaphors” and “you must understand, when I speak about a song it’s how I really am. “ His music comes from a variety of sources, his childhood experiences, his hard times getting to where he is, and his run ins with the law. One of his tracks, “Scott Mescudi vs. the World” features personalized lyrics based
on his life, where Cudi even reveals his real name to all of his fans. This track seems to represent Cudi’s dreams and aspirations for his career, and what he has sacrificed to get them. Unlike the previous track, “REVOFEV (Revolution of Evolution)” is an upbeat and positive song with an emphasis on life. He asks his fans “where’ll you be for the revolution?” He says this very vaguely, not specifying what revolution he is talking about. Leaving each listener to think for themselves about what the revolution really is. He leaves very ambiguous endings in his songs, leaving the listener thinking. Most of his other tracks mainly focus upon raps about meaningless things while adding in some history of his own. But nevertheless it is still a good album. One aspect of Cudi that many admire is his creativity and originality. Fans can always count on Cudi to produce mind-blowing tracks and hope to see another album drop sometime soon.
Nov. 16, 2010
The end of an era approaches BY MARY ANNE KAVJIAN Entertainment Editor The robes, the spells and, of course, the scar – from its humble beginnings 13 years ago, the universe of Harry Potter is now recognizable by millions. Words such as Gryffindor, quidditch and muggle are now commonplace. The success of Harry Potter can also be seen in the creation of numerous computer games, a theme park and a movie series which is currently the highest grossing film franchise in history. There are even entire websites dedicated to all things Potter such as mugglenet.com and hp-lexicon.org. What began as a standard fantasy novel has now become something much greater. While there is always religious controversy surrounding the content of Harry Potter, the series has undoubtedly contributed to enthusiasm in reading for children and teenagers. Although the plots of the Harry Potter series are not revolutionary to their genre, the books have a message that can be appreciated by all: goodness and love will conquer evil and hatred. This idea, embedded in 4,058 pages, is surrounded by the trials of being a teenager and the need to grow up in times of desperation. The books are so easy to relate to that both children and adults can feel equally connected to J.K. Rowling’s characters. For most Harry Potter fans at AHS, the books have been an integral part of their childhoods. “My babysitter first started reading Harry Potter to me on the bus rides home from school, and then I asked my mom to buy it for me and started reading it myself,” senior Elisa Figueroa said. “I read every book in a week, except for the last one which I read in a day.”
For those who have known the Harry Potter series for so long, it is very hard to believe the beginning of the end is coming in just three days. “I think that the books are bound to give way to spin-offs, potentially TV shows, like the route many popular movies and books take,” senior Lillian Singer said. After nine years of Harry Potter films, part one of the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will be in theaters Nov. 19. As announced in August, the first part of Deathly Hallows will break just after Voldemort gains possession of the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s tomb. This breaking point will leave the adventure at a very pivotal part of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s journey. However, Harry Potter fans will have to wait until July 2011 for their beloved series to come to an end. While the ending of the book series was a huge monument for Harry Potter fans, the closing of the movie franchise will truly signify the end. “I am happy about the last movie release because I want to see what happens in the end in movie form, but I’m sad to see Harry’s journey come to an end,” senior Victoria Ko said. For many, the ending of Harry Potter will be a very bittersweet experience.
Test your wizarding world smarts
4. Which of the following creatures was not studied in Care of Magical Creatures? A. Nifflers B. Bowtruckles C. Salamanders D. Snorkacks
7. What is not a floor of St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries? A. Magical Bugs B. Spell Damage C. Potion and Plant Poisoning D. Transfiguration Injuries
2. What is the counter spell to engorgio? A. Relashio B. Reducto C. Reducio D.Rictusempra
5. Which of the following students is a half blood? A. Justin Finch-Fletchley B. Seamus Finnigan C. Gregory Goyle D. Penelope Clearwater
8. Who is the Hufflepuff ghost? A. Moaning Myrtle B. The Fat Friar C. The Grey Lady D. The Bloody Baron
6. How many sickles are in a galleon? A. 5 B. 12 C. 17 D. 56
1. Harry Potter- 6 $5,417,104,072 2001- current
2. James Bond- 22 $5,029,014,110 1962- current
3. Star Wars- 7 $4,279,632,749 1977- 2008
9. Who does Harry meet first in the series? A. Draco Malfoy B. Ron Weasley C. Neville Longbottom D. Hermione Granger
10. What was Lee Jordan’s name on Potterwatch? A. River B. Rodent C. Royal D. Rapier 11. Which of the following was not a Weasley Wizard Wheezes product? A. Puking Pastille B. Headless Hats C. Portable Swamp D. Dungbombs 12. Who is not related to Sirius Black? A. Andromeda Tonks B. Bellatrix Lestrange C. Augustus Rookwood D. Narcissa Malfoy Answers at the bottom of the page
Potter fanatics look forward to release Georgia Garney, senior
Julia Hanneman, English teacher
Which is your favorite book and why? Goblet of Fire because it is the start of the battle between the Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix. It’s also when Harry if first forced to start to grow up.
Which is your favorite book and why? Goblet of Fire because I like the whole challenge aspect. I like that it is the most contained adventure, with the Triwizard Tournament starting and ending in the book.
What are you doing for the upcoming movie release? I am going to the midnight IMAX premiere and I will be dressing up as the golden snitch and my boyfriend is going to be a Firebolt [broomstick]. My friend is coming with us and she will be dressed as Dobby. What do you do to prepare for a new book or movie release? Well even if there isn’t a book or movie coming out, I usually read the entire series every summer. One time, my cousin and I made our own Harry Potter recipes. We made butterbeer and treacle tart. They tasted awesome!
4. Shrek- 4 $2,940,602,128 2001- 2010
5. Lord of the Rings- 3 $2,915,155,189 2001- 2003
1. Which type of dragon did Fleur Delacour battle in the Triwizard tournament? A. Swedish Shortsnout B. Chinese Fireball C. Welsh Green D. Hungarian Horntail
3. How is Susan Bones related to Amelia Bones? A. She is her niece B. She is her daughter C. They are twins D. They are not related
Top grossing movie franchises
GRAPHIC BY MARY ANNE KAVJIAN
The legacy of Harry Potter continues with the release of the seventh movie
6. Pirates of the Caribbean- 3 $2,681,440,232 2003- current
7. Batman- 7 $2,588,156,775 1966- current
8. Spiderman- 3 $2,496,346,518 2002-2007
9. Indiana Jones- 4 $1,978,055,564 1981- 2008
What have you done for the book and movie releases? I’ve been to the midnight release for the last three books. I also went to the midnight movies releases of the last four movies and will be at the upcoming release too. One year, I made “Potter cakes” that were cupcakes with little wizard hats on top that were decorated with Gryffindor’s house colors.
10. Toy Story- 3 $1,945,669,664 1995- 2010
What do you do to prepare for a book or movie release? I usually re-read the books when a new movie comes out, so I know exactly what they do right and wrong in the film.
Years and years ago... number one movies
1950 - Cinderella 1951 - Quo Vadis 1952 - The Greatest Show on Earth 1953 - Peter Pan 1954 - White Christmas 1955 - Lady and the Tramp 1956 - The Ten Commandments 1957 - The Bridge on the River Kwai 1958 - South Pacific 1959 - Ben Hur 1960 - Swiss Familfy Robinson 1961 - 101 Dalmatians 1962 - Lawrence of Arabia 1963 - Cleopatra 1964 - Mary Poppins 1965 - The Sound of Music 1966 - Hawaii 1967 - The Jungle Book 1968 - Funny Girl 1969 - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
1970 - Love Story 1971 - Billy Jack 1972 - The Godfather 1973 - The Exorcist 1974 - Blazing Saddles 1975 - Jaws 1976 - Rocky 1977 - Star Wars Ep. IV: A New Hope 1978 - Animal House 1979 - Kramer vs. Kramer 1980 - Star Wars Ep. V: The Empire Strikes Back 1981 - Raiders of the Lost Ark 1982 - ET: The Extra-Terrestrial 1983 - Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi 1984 - Ghostbusters 1985 - Back to the Future 1986 - Top Gun 1987 - 3 Men and a Baby 1988 - Rain Man 1989 - Batman 1990 - Home Alone
1. C (Krum had the Shortsnout, Diggory had the Fireball, Fleur had the Welsh Green and Harry had the Horntail) 2. C (Relashio releases someone from binding, reducto blasts through solid objects and rictusempra tickles one’s opponent) 3. A 4. D (Snorkacks are a creature written about in The Quibbler) 5. B (Finch-Fletchley and Clearwater are muggle-born, Goyle is a pureblood) 6. C 7. D (Magical Bugs is the second floor, spell damage is the fourth floor and potion and plant poisoning is the third floor) 8. B (Moaning Myrtle has no house, the Grey Lady is the Ravensworth ghost and the Bloody Baron is the Slytherin ghost) 9. A (Harry and Malfoy first meet in Madam Malkin’s shop in Diagon Alley) 10. A 11. D 12. C
Go to the web for an exclusive review on the brand new Kid Cudi CD, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. www.thea-blast.org
Top 10 iTunes Downloads 1. Teenage Dream Glee Cast 2. The Time Black Eyed Peas 3. We R Who We R Ke$ha 4. Start Me Up/Livin’ On a Prayer Glee Cast 5. Firework Katy Perry 6. Raise Your Glass P!nk 7. What’s My Name? (feat. Drake) Rihanna 8. Like a G6 (feat. the Cataracs and Dev) The Far East Movement 9. Stop! In the Name of Love/Free Your Mind Glee Cast 10. One Love (People Get Ready) Glee Cast
WEEKEND Teacher’s weekend adventures Nov. 16, 2010
What teachers really do when they are not busy grading students’ papers Visit us on the web at www. thea-blast.org to view an exclusive “Last Weekend I...” column.
Jonathan York View the new Culinary Conquests slideshow.
Subject: History of the Americas Years at AHS: 15
Subject: IB Math Studies and Algebra I Years at AHS: 2
The to-do list 1. Help the homeless On Saturday, November 20, the Fannie Mae Foundation is sponcering a walk to help the homeless. It will be held on the National Mall and check-in begins at 7 a.m.
See a new movie On Friday, Noverber 19, the Russell Crowe thriller The Next Three Days comes to theaters. It is the perfect substitution if Harry Potter is sold out.
Jonathan York prepares to take his dog, Hendrix, for a walk with his wife, Mary Anne.
Q: What is your favorite weekend activity?
Q: What is one thing that you never do on the weekend?
A: My wife and I love spending time together on the weekend. We love taking our little boy for long walks so he can chase deer and we can enjoy the outdoors together.
A: I don’t grade papers because I like to keep boundaries between my job and my personal life. I stay at school late during the week rather than bring work home.
Brianne Trotochaud and her husband stop in front of the historic home at Mt. Vernon, the place where they got engaged.
Subject: IB Environment Systems Years at AHS: 3
Subject: Geosystems Years at AHS: 7
Q: How do you typically spend your weekends?
Washington Craft Show Held at the Washington convention center, the Washington Craft Show begins Friday, November 19 and ends on Sunday, Novermber 21.
Neal Jarvis takes a break at the top of the Half Dome at Yosemite National Park.
Q: Do your weekend activities change with each different season? A: In the winter, I like to ski. Throughout the rest of the year, however, I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee.
Kim Becraft pretends to eat a purple sea star while kayaking with Orcas in the San Juan Islands off of the Seattle coast.
Assistant Principal Years at AHS: 3
Subject: IB Anthropology and World History 1 Years at AHS: 7
Ice Show at the Gaylord Hotel
“ICE!” is a show featuring scene recreations from the classic story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It opens November 18 at the Gaylord hotel in the National Harbor.
A: I like to walk my dog, go to my local farmer’s market, do some yoga and spend time with my family.
Q: What things do you enjoy doing on the weekend?
Aaron Schneider runs in his 23rd Marine Corps Marathon.
Q: Is training for marathons a regular weekly activity for you? A: It is now. I started about nine years ago after my daughter was born. I am hoping to complete 50 marathons before I turn 50 years old.
Honey Pig Restaurant
The Washington Capitals face off against the Philedelphia Flyers on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online for roughly $50 on various ticket vendor sites.
A: The weekends I enjoy most are those spent with friends camping and hiking in the mountains.
Holly Miller hikes with her husband in Glacier National Park in Montana.
Below: A steaming helping of the flaming hot chicken over a bed of perfectly cooked white rice. Right: Honey Pig offers an interactive dining experience where the food is cooked directly in front of guests at their table.
Culinary Conquests Restaurant Guide
2011 class bulletin Senior Dues are due tomorrow. You may pay the $62 during all four lunches. Look on the Family Connections page for scholarship information.
By Kelsey Price and Helena Belay After attending Annandale for four years and hearing all of the wonderful things fellow students had to say about Korean Barbeque, we decided to try it out. Many fellow classmates recommended Honey Pig Gooldaegee Korean Grill, so we decided to check it out. With very little Korean cooking in our backgrounds, this experience was completely new to us. Overcome with excitement to see what all of the buzz on Korean Barbeque was about, we headed out to eat. Our first impression of the restaurant was somewhat overwhelming, with extremely loud playing pop music glaring over the speakers that was virtually impossible to ignore. Nonetheless, when we made it past the entrance hall into the actual restaurant. It wasn’t until we were seated that we noticed the interesting décor. All the walls were covered in a faux crimped metal wall covering, which gave the place an urban and young street vibe. Another noticeable feature was the giant
picture displays of their menu options, with subtitles in both English and Korean. Our waiter promptly arrived and brought complimentary bowls of salad with a special dressing. Next came small samplings of traditional, cold Korean dishes, including kimchi and seaweed. When it finally came time to order, the pictures on the wall really came in handy. One interesting thing we could not help but notice is how every item on the menu is on sale. Most items are $12.99, but have a crossed out price of $17.99. After careful deliberation, and a few recommendations from our patient waitress, we finally decided on the Bulgogi Beef with cabbage and Spicy Hot Chicken. To our surprise, the waiter brought out a
circular frying pan and began to cook both of our meals at the same time, directly in front of us. Hearing the sizzle and the steam that left the scorching hot pan truly heightened our dining experience. Once both dishes were cooked, our waitress plated a small portion of both dishes for each of us, giving us the opportunity to try both. If you are a traditional macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders fair kind of person, Honey Pig might be a little too adventurous for you. However, if you are willing to sample different kinds of meat with a variety of sweet and savory sauces, we would definitely recommend this restaurant. Overall the food was delicious and we are very thankful to the friendly staff at Honey Pig that helped us navigate the menu. All photos by Kelsey Price