Health inks up
and shows you the best and worst places for tattoos.
takes a peek at cheating and its effect at AHS
Weekend gives you
Entertainment brings you the low-down on how to make your own video from start to finish
Photo shows you the ins and outs of Krispy Kreme donuts
the scoop on the best petcare locations and nearby pet-friendly parks
ANNANDALE HIGH SCHOOL
the VOLUME #56 ISSUE 8
13 4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, VA 22003
Informiing the Atoms siince 1954 4
WEDNESDAY MARCH 9, 2011
PTSA report shows declines in sports, clubs Potential boundary change impacts school programs BY ANNIE CURRAN News Editor
Boys Varsity Basketball Record: 20-9
During the ongoing overcrowding debate, there have been a variety of questions posed about the future of AHS. Will students have to move after they’ve started at AHS? What will be the effect on the students socially? How will clubs and sports be affected by the possible boundary changes? The PTSA has released a new study called the Analysis of Participation at AHS, which gives an answer to the latter question. The study is a breakdown of the club and sport participation from the past two years in the five neighborhoods that could be subjected to redistricting: Wakefield Chapel, North Springfield, Bren Mar Park West, Parklawn and Bren Mar Park East. The study states that the loss of such large numbers of “Redistricting” continues on page 5
Community input on next principal requested As Principal John Ponton intends to retire in July 2011, the process of selecting a new principal has begun. The principal will be selected by a panel of three community members, who are traditionally parents, three members of the staff, a sitting principal, a student representative and Cluster director. This panel will meet on April 13 to interview candidates and will later report to Cluster III’s AssistantSuperintendant, Daniel Parris. In order to help the panel in its search, Parris has requested that parents and community members email a recommendation of characteristics they would like to see in the new principal to beth. email@example.com.
The school board will hear a report from Facilities Planning Services on the feasibility of the non-boundary and grade level configuration solutions on March 14. The work session will begin at 11 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. at Gatehouse Administrative Center.
COURTESY OF RICH FRUCHTERMAN
School Board meeting on AHS boundary
Junior Selam Desta (front) dances with seniors Maryoria Hernandez (left) and Redate Gashawteno (right) in preparation for their Ethiopian Dance performace on Heritage Night.
Celebration of culture gears up as big event rapidly approaches BY ROWAN SHARTEL News Editor In order to celebrate the diversity of AHS, students from many different cultures have been rehearsing for almost two months in preparation for Heritage Night, which will be held on March 17. The theme for Heritage Night this year is “A Trip Around the World!” and the show hopes to promote the feeling of a getaway to different lands combined into one action-packed evening. The cast will be performing 16 different acts, by ensembles such as the “Bonzai Crew Hip Hop”. The general goal of Heritage Night is to promote multi-cultural awareness and to showcase the diversity of the school. With students representing over 80 countries and speaking over 40 languages at AHS, there is certainly much to
display. The show has sold out in all recent years and in the past a portion of proceeds went to global causes such as the Haiti earthquake relief. “My favorite part of participating in Heritage Night is the marvelous diversity of cultures here at Annandale,” Heritage Night director and theater teacher George Bennett said. “These cultural threads weave an exciting fabric of students here at Annandale.” Preparation for this event is long and meticulous. Each of the different acts, in which 100 students total participate, have been rehearsing with their sponsors for up to three hours at a time in order to ensure that their performances will be perfect. “We’re going to be dancing a traditional Bolivian dance called Caporales,” senior participant
According to the PTSA report, 42% of the field hockey team currently lives in neighborhoods that may be moved.
FCPS revisits consequences Suicides prompt review of diciplinary procedures BY KL HOANG Staff Writer When students go to school, their parents hope that the environment they go to every day is safe and that rules that are made to protect them are followed. But what happens when these rules, and the consequences that come from breaking them, do not protect students, but make their lives more stressful and even contribute to suicides? Due to the recent death of former Woodson student Nick Stuban, there has been an increased amount of scrutiny on the disciplinary policies in Fairfax Country Public Schools. Many believe that the current zero tolerance policy toward drug and weapon
“Heritage Night” continues on page 5
“Discipline” continues on page 5
Athletes may be able to train year round VHSL ruling approves yearround training, but FCPS has yet to decide on implementation
Visit www.thea-blast.org for a look at students’s reactions to this years Oscar awards.
There may be four quarters in a school year, but for many high school athletes, the year is divided into thirds. These are the fall, winter and spring seasons, all of which bring new opportunities for the athletes. Many students take full advantage of these opportunities, whether for the love of the game or to stay fit in the off-season. However, based on a Virginia High School League (VHSL) rule change, these seasons could begin to mesh into one. Under new VHSL regulation, coaches such as Gabe Romano, above, As a result of a decision made by the VHSL Execu- would be able to work with athletes year round. However, FCPS may decide to interperet the rules strictly and prohibit such training.
BY CJ AFTERGUT Sports Editor
tive Committee on Feb. 23, high school coaches can now work with their athletes throughout the year. The measure, which will not take effect until Aug. 1, will allow coaches to make contact with their athletes in the off-season, excluding a 10-day dead period at the start of each season and a similar weeklong period in the summer. This new rule is a near reversal of prior regulation, which allowed coaches to work with their athletes only while a sport was in-season. However, the Northern Region and the Patriot District can still adjust the policy, which the region hopes to have finalized by May. “FCPS has always been stricter than VHSL, even with the older regulations.” Director of Student Activities Angelo Hilios said. “VHSL” continues on page 16
March 9, 2011
AHS community at stake
How would redistricting affect the AHS students? Students, parents need to get involved now to save school BY EMILY FRUCHTERMAN Co-Editor in Chief
“I am finally settled, and I would not want to have to re-do that again. I already feel a part of AHS.”
—Kyla Robinson freshman
“I think it’s really going to affect sports teams because half of the team members will be lost.”
— Sarah Hatch sophomore
“I’ve lost many friends and many athletic kids have left. Annandale is getting ripped apart one student at a time.”
It is inevitable that change is coming to AHS; our building is simply too much over capacity for the school board to let the situation stand for any longer. Our hallways are simply too packed, our lunch lines too long and, even though we have opened up a 14-classroom modular behind the school, our facilities too crowded. While we can’t stop change from coming, we can make this change work to our advantage. This means that our community needs to get involved - now. Right now, the picture is grim – unless the school board decides to implement the nonboundary solutions, we are going to lose part of our community. However, while students living in neighborhoods currently being considered under the redistricting plans will lose the immense opportunities they would have at AHS, the possibilities seem even worse for those left behind. If certain neighborhoods are moved, most of the activities at AHS would suffer greatly – AHS PTSA President Emily Slough collected data from each team, club and school organization’s rosters and mapped out school participation. Her results are striking – 47% of our girls lacrosse team would be taken out, 42% of our field hockey players removed, 43% of The A-Blast’s staff would be lost and countless other groups would be heavily affected. While some might argue that this would open up room for other students to participate, many of our activities, such as freshman sports, might not be able to recruit enough players to form teams and the caliber of our programs may decline. Additionally, while our program’s participants come from all over Annandale’s area, the truth
GRAPHIC BY MARY ANNE KAVJIAN
is that much of our parent-involvement comes from the neighborhoods that the school board is considering moving. Without this support structure, programs may find it harder to fund themselves and to maintain the tradition of excellence that defines everything we do at AHS. As of this moment, the school board has not made any decisions – meaning that every member of our community has the power, and the time, to make his or her voice heard. No matter if you live on the periphery of AHS’s boundary or a block away from the school, you’re going to feel these changes – not only are some of
the boundary options capable of fundamentally altering the character of our school, but the students who are moved will lose the chance to learn the unique things AHS has to offer. What many parents, especially those of younger children who have not personally experienced AHS, may not understand is that the AHS we have today is a very different school from what it was a decade ago. Principal John Ponton and his administrative team have worked hard to make AHS as safe as possible and met success. During my four years at AHS, I have never had a single moment in which I felt uncomfortable or unsafe – any vague rumors you might hear about gangs and violence at AHS simply do not apply to the school anymore. And, while many are loathe to admit it, some fear our diversity. Going to AHS certainly has been an eye-opening experience; while I was born and raised right here in Annandale, I now know people from every part of the world, each of whom brings a different perspective to the table. Students at AHS may not always get along, but we’ve learned one of life’s most important lessons – we do not judge each other based on our accents, wealth, or the color of our skin, but on the people we truly are. You cannot get this same mix of cultures, languages and academic excellence anywhere else. While other schools nearby might look better on paper, going to AHS has better prepared me for the ever-more diverse and interconnected world we’ll face after graduation. Whether or not you are rich or poor, AfricanAmerican, Caucasian, Hispanic or Asian, this change applies to you. No matter which changes you believe should be implemented or whether you want to stay within AHS’s boundaries, you need to get involved. The most important thing for us to do is to ensure that the school board gives all of the options a fair and detailed look, so that a solution can be reached that preserves the unique character of the school and hears the voices of our community.
Annandale: una comunidad en riesgo
—Kardo Omerbell junior
Estudiantes, padres involúcrense ahora mismo “It takes away a lot of the wealth and the music department. A lot of people who do extra-curriclars will end up moving.”
—Daniele Turner junior
“It separated my sister and myself and I think she would have had a better high school experience at AHS. But I see it as a necessary evil.”
— Sahnun Mohamud senior
“I hate to see [students] being moved to a different school...but we will have smaller classes and less people in the trailers. So I think it is positive.”
POR EMILY FRUCHTERMAN Co-Editor in Chief No se puede evitar que el cambio venga a AHS. Nuestro edificio está demasiado aglomerado que la junta escolar no puede permitir que esto continúe más. Los pasillos tienen demasiados estudiantes, las colas en la cafetería son demasiados largas y aunque han abierto 14 aulas más en el edificio modular detrás de la escuela, nuestras instalaciones continúan a estar demasiadas aglomeradas. No podemos evitar el cambio, pero sí podemos hacer que estos cambios nos beneficien. Esto significa que nuestra comunidad tiene que involucrarse ahora mismo. En este momento la situación es muy grave. Si la junta escolar decide implementar las soluciones que cambian los límites geográficos de AHS, perderemos parte de nuestra comunidad. Si algunos estudiantes tienen que cambiar escuelas, perderán las oportunidades únicas que tendrían en AHS. Y las posibilidades son aún peores para los que se quedarán. Para los que viven cerca de la escuela, los cambios discutidos pintan un futuro muy diferente. Si los estudiantes de ciertos vecindarios cambian escuelas, la mayoría de las actividades en AHS sufrirán enormemente. La presidenta de la Asociación de Padres, Profesores y Estudiantes de AHS, Emily Slough, ha colectado datos de cada equipo, club y organización para averiguar dónde viven sus miembros. Los resultados de su investigación son asombrosos. AHS perdería 47% de las chicas del equipo de lacrosse, 42% de las chicas del equipo del hockey del campo, 43%
de los estudiantes que trabajan con el periódico estudiantil, The A-Blast y numerosos otros grupos estarán afectados negativamente. Mientras algunos dirían que esto abrirá oportunidades para que otros estudiantes participen en estas actividades, muchos como los equipos de los estudiantes del noveno grado, tal vez no puedan reclutar suficientes jugadores para formar estos equipos y la calidad de nuestros programas deportivos puede empeorar. Mientras los participantes en nuestros programas vienen de todas las comunidades entre los límites geográficos de Annandale, la verdad es que la mayoría de los padres que están involucrados en lo que pasa en AHS viven en los vecindarios que la junta escolar piensa mandar a otras escuelas. Sin este apoyo, puede ser que sea más difícil para muchos programas en AHS financiarse y mantener la tradición de excelencia que define todo lo que hacemos en AHS. A partir de este momento, la junta escolar no ha tomado ninguna decisión final. Por eso, todavía hay tiempo para expresar su opinión. No importa si Ud. vive a las periferias de los límites geográficos de AHS o a una cuadra de la escuela, Ud. va a ser afectado por estos cambios. No sólo son estos cambios capaces de alterar fundamentalmente el carácter de nuestra escuela, sino que los estudiantes que tienen que cambiar escuelas perderán la oportunidad para aprender todas las cosas únicas que AHS tiene que ofrecer. Lo que muchos padres, especialmente los que tienen niños pequeños quienes no han tenido la oportunidad de aprovechar personalmente la experiencia de estudiar en AHS, tal vez no entiendan como ha cambiado AHS de cómo era hace una década. El director John Ponton y su equipo administrativo han trabajado muy duro para mantener la seguridad de sus estudiantes y han logrado mucho éxito. Durante mis cuatro
años como estudiante de AHS, nunca me he sentido incómoda ni insegura. Los rumores vagos que Ud. tal vez oiga de pandillas y violencia en AHS no tienen nada que ver con la realidad de cómo es AHS. Mientras muchos tienen vergüenza de admitirlo, algunos temen nuestra diversidad. Asistir a AHS ha sido una experiencia que ha abierto mis ojos. Como me críe en Annandale, he tenido la oportunidad de conocer a personas de cada parte del mundo y cada uno tiene una perspectiva diferente para compartir. Los estudiantes de AHS quizás no siempre se lleven bien, pero hemos aprendido una de las lecciones valorosas en esta vida – y así no nos juzgamos por nuestros acentos, por el dinero que tienen nuestras familias ni por el color de nuestra piel sino que nos vemos como los seres humanos que somos. No se puede experimentar la misma mezcla de culturas, lenguas ni excelencia académica en cualquier otro sitio. Mientras es posible que otras escuelas cercanas se vean mejores sobre el papel, asistir a AHS me ha preparado para la vida después de mi graduación, para un mundo que es más y más diverso e interconectado. No importa si sea rico o pobre, africanoamericano, caucásico, hispano o asiático, los cambios discutidos se aplican a usted. Usted necesita involucrarse; no importa cuáles cambios usted piense que deben ser implementados o si usted simplemente quiere quedarse dentro de los límites geográficos de AHS. Lo más importante para nosotros es asegurar que la junta escolar estudie todas las opciones en una manera justa y detallada para que pueda encontrar una solución que mantendrá el carácter único de esta escuela y al mismo tiempo que escuchará las opiniones de todos en nuestra comunidad. –traducido por Maureen Hunt
— Ola Layaly foreign language teacher
CORRECTIONS Vol. 56, Issue 7: – On the rail of page 12, Madeena Haidari’s last name was misspelled as Hadari.
Go to the web to read: – the Korean version of‘AHS community at stake’ story – an opinion on the Libyan Revolt. www.thea-blast.org
Annandale High School 4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, Virginia 22003 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vol. 56 No.8 March 9, 2011 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.
March 9, 2011
Oscars’ greatest deception ‘Inception’ is underrated by the Oscars selection this year BY GWEN LEVEY Videographer “Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.” Maybe it’s the words of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Cobb, that proves what happened at the Academy Awards this year when it came to acknowledging Christopher Nolan’s cinema masterpiece, Inception. Ask most people what they went to see this year at the movies and you can bet that Inception was on their list. But it probably wasn’t just on the top of their movie favorites this year, but one of the best and most fascinating films they’ve seen in their entire lives. Anyone who has seen Inception will tell you that Christopher Nolan’s story of an infiltrating group of individuals who are able to navigate their way through one’s mind through his dreams is nothing if not thought provoking. The concept of questioning what is a dream and what is actually reality has the viewer guessing throughout the full duration of the film, only to leave you on the edge of your seat far beyond when the final credits start rolling. This type of ingenuity and creative genius can only be the result of an immense amount of thought, creativity and time bestowed upon someone as great a storyteller as Christopher Nolan. In fact, it took Nolan nearly ten years to put the whole script for the film together, tying in little pieces along the way to make Inception a clearly original piece of work. So why is it that when nominations for the Academy Awards were announced near the end of January of this year, Christopher Nolan was left out of the running for “Best Director”? Clearly his incredible effort and brilliance throughout the making of the project of Inception was a struggle hardly surpassed by many and should have at least preceded him to be nominated, if not to earn him the title altogether. It would not be the first time for Nolan, though. Receiving wide critical acclaim for his direction of the blockbuster hit, The Dark Knight, Nolan and the movie were mainly left out of the running for an Oscar back in 2009 besides from picking up two awards: one for sound editing and the other for Heath Ledger’s famous portrayal of The Joker for “Best Supporting Actor.” And although Inception took home four well-deserved Oscars on the night of
Feb. 27 at this year’s awards show, the big award categories of the night ultimately overlooked the film beyond nomination. I have to wonder why this is and hope that a pattern isn’t beginning to stir in Hollywood. These epic blockbusters that will probably be remembered far past some of the actual winners are being overlooked for reasons that can probably stretch beyond the length of my arm. The w i n n e r s c l e a r l y a r e n ’t chosen by how much they made at the box-office, as James Cameron’s own epic creation, Avatar, became the most lucrative film of all time over the dates of its theatrical release, but failed to take home Oscar gold for best picture and best director, awards many believe it deserved. Nonetheless, many film critics say that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences look for creativity and originality in their choices for winners of the year ’s awards. It’s hard to wrap one’s brain around how this could possibly be true when Inception is the essence of creativity and originality, but which story got overlooked as both a screenplay and film in general. And although it was not a shock when Inception was not awarded the big award of the night, as several professional film critics had projected this outcome, the film certainly should have been awarded the credit that it deserves. So it makes me wonder if there is at least a slight amount of jealousy in Hollywood swarming about, as a film such as Inception cannot be achieved without a whole amount of thought and creativity to combine it with. And Christopher Nolan has achieved the pinnacle of what most movies have been missing these days: the simple ability to get people to think in a way that they never have before. Now that is something to be jealous of.
“Inception should have won because it was unique.’”
—Lilas Dinh junior
“The Social Network should have won because it was more modern”
— Arely Aguila junior
“I think it should have been either Black Swan or The Social Network.”
— Maha Shah senior compiled by Nasiha Rashid
Why we lost interest in the Middle East American media system fails to gather attention to the crisis in the Middle East
“It’s sensitive over there right now and what happens over there directly affects our economy.” — Carolyn Hartley
junior The media skirts around world issues, moving from one to another;never keeping direct focus.
these events took place. So, now that Egypt has calmed down, we go back to our busy lives and for a short time, forget about the changing face of the Middle East. As events become more hostile in Libya, however, we become more attentive to the atrocities that Gaddhafi continues to inflict on his people. In the shortwilled world that we live in, the fact that this event is still perpetuating itself seems too mundane compared to the fast, we have began to only pay attention to events with an action-packed sequence of changes. It is for this reason, that when asked, with the exception of what is taking place in Libya, many Americans cannot tell you what is currently happening in Bahrain – to the extent that they were knowledgeable about Egypt. While real events with real consequences were procured by the protestors of the Middle East, moreover, for America this was yet another lesson on the changing and quickly shortening interests and attention-spans of the population, fueled by the proliferation and mass utilization of social media and modern technology. What is even more reason to pay attention to this sweeping movement is that at a school as diverse as AHS, events such as these have a direct effect on our friends, neighbors, and peers. It is time to smell the change in the air.
Bring back friday morning DJ’s...please...now?
By Greg Nielsen and Pat McCann As the school week winds to a close, Annandale’s students trudge to their first period classes to the tune of Friday morning chatter, complaints of homework, and the ritual discussion of weekend plans… but no actual tunes. We’ve completed over half of the school year and as pleasant as it
Why should we keep interest in the Middle East? “If we don’t, it’s going to get worse and our economy is going to be affected.”
BY NOAH FITZGEREL Staff Writer
Greg Gripes &Pat Ponders
Which movie should have won Best Picture? “The Social Network should have won best picture.”
This year, ‘Inception’ was awarded Oscar’s Best Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.
Merely two months ago, the landscape of the Middle East was strikingly different than that of the political atmosphere found in the same area today. As the world’s major cable news networks so adequately explained to us, starting on Dec. 17, 2010, Mohammed Bouazizi started more than one fire as he burned himself in protest of the Tunisian government – he sparked social turmoil across the Saharan countries, turmoil that has since spread into the Middle East. Sensing the oncoming wave of unrest, many neighboring heads of state haphazardly promised reforms and shortened terms, in an attempt to appease their people. That is, all but Egypt. Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s former president of 30 years, attempted to hold fast to the power which he had amassed over the decades, causing the political upheaval and revolution that had seized the limelight of the media for the weeks during that of which it occurred. Quickly, Egyptians rose up, the international community increased pressure and the rest was, as they say, history. While the revolutions of the Middle East are far from being over, the profound effects of the recent Egyptian revolution will undoubtedly be felt for years to come. First, however, it is important to ask the question: what were the ramifications of what occurred in Egypt? Well, obviously, a complete metamorphosis in government, but more so, the fact that it grabbed the world’s attention unlike any other political event in recent history. Why did it do this? Many in the media dubbed it, the first “Facebook revolution,” and that is exactly the answer. In the world of up-to-the-minute information that we live in, hundreds of millions of social-media users had front-row seats to the show. However, there is more depth to this subject. Americans, tech-savvy or not, felt uneasy with the events in Egypt – concerning, to no surprise, their wallets. What was happening in Egypt was going to directly affect the prices of gas, goods that were usually shipped through the Suez Canal, and many of the other commodities that Americans use every day. The fact that Egypt served as one of America’s leading allies in the Middle East and Israel’s best friend was important, but surely that was not enough to keep this story on the headlines of the ever-present networks: CNN, NBC and Fox. One could argue that instead, it was sheer curiosity. We were all flabbergasted with the will of the Egyptian people and the speed at which
has been, there is one thing we miss: the Friday Morning DJ. For those that don’t know what were talking about, the Friday Morning DJ would play 7 minutes worth of music as we walked to our first class on Friday mornings. The music ranged from Michael Jackson to Christmas Carols and never ceased to caress our ears with beautiful melodies. We don’t know about you all, but we thought it was always fun to see what would be playing when Friday morning rolled around. Not only would the music fill the halls with the warm sound of melodious harmonies and catchy music, it would improve overall student morale, setting us up for a productive school day filled with learning and scholarly discourse.“I don’t get very excited about a lot of things in school, but I’ve always enjoyed Friday Morning DJ,” said senior Nathan Miller.
The man behind the music, Max Talley had a few words on the dilemma, “I’ve been behind on my duty but it’s not entirely my fault,” said Talley, “When I tried to start it up again, the administration wouldn’t let me.” Talley says that the administrators were against starting the tradition so late in the school year. In response Assistant principal Vincent Randazzo says that the problem lies not with the administration but in the lack of communication. “We want to have a Friday Morning DJ, but no one showed up until last week.” Mr. Randazzo hopes to coordinate with Max Talley to celebrate the genre of jazz in the month of April. With great power comes great responsibility. We shall not point fingers at who is the culprit all we ask for is a little music to get us to the weekend.
“Middle East politics affect American politics to a great degree.”
— Leo Leksang junior
“It is vital to world affairs and the future state of Middle Eastern governments.”
—Samar Faris senior
“We want to make sure that the problems in the Middle East don’t spill over and cause World War III.” —MeghanSaladino
March 9, 2011
NEWS BRIEFS Students raise funds and their ranks
Course Selections End As Spring brings fresh flowers, counselors bring freshmen to their offices. Finally, they are given their much anticipated chance to choose their desired classes for next year. Freshmen will be travelling with their English classes to their counselores until March 21. All students will be able to change their classes through their couselors if they choose to do so, but are strongly advised not to wait to change classes after the end of the 20102011 school year.
BY NDIDI OBASI Managing Editor Out of the 31 AHS students that attended the State Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) competition held in Norfolk, Virginia this past weekend, four of them received bids to attend the national competition. Senior Sahnun Mohamed, along with sophomores Joon Lee, Jae Min Kim and James Terrel all received bids to attend the National DECA competition, which will be held in Orlando, Florida. Unlike many typical club competitions, DECA, which is centered around business and marketing, has competitions that can be either individual or team-oriented. All four winners participated in role playing events, with Mohamed participating in retail
PTSA to hold meeting The Parent Teacher Student Association will be holding a nonmandatory meeting to discuss AHS questions and concerns for the future and the present. It will be held on March 15 at 7 pm, in the library. All parents/ guardiansin the AHS community are encouraged to come to the meeting. However, the PTSA understands that some parents blog for parents/guardians who ae not able to attend the meeting, can visit the PTSA blog for information and further discussion: www.keepahsgreat. wordpress.com.
merchandising, Kim and Terrel participating in business and law, and Lee participating in finance. “In a role play [event] they’re given a marketing situation like a case study and they have 10 minutes to review that and come up with their plan, and then they go into [a room] and they’re judged on how well they meet specific [criteria]. So they have two of those, then they average all three scores together,” marketing teacher and DECA supervisor Stephanie Harmony said. Participants also have the option of participating in a written event. “[The written event is] done over multiple weeks and months here at school, and then they put together a whole presentation, and present that to a judge. That can be anything from community service to advertising campaigns to market research. The written event has been comprised of the written project, which is usually about 30 pages long, and their presentation to the judge.” Students from all across the state came to compete in the event, so for many who attended, staying busy was
Julia Uglieta, Maddie Smith and Carly Bouchard practice their fundraising presentation.
not hard to do. “The day of competition is usually very hectic and there is a lot of waiting involved so since Katie [Bui] and I have more outgoing personalities, we would talk to people around us and make friends that way,” senior Banna Gebremichael said. The success of the DECA chapter over the years has been somewhat difficult to adequately calculate, due to
DECA brings home the gold
the uniqueness of the competition. “It’s not necessarily like a basketball game where you can go out and scout the other competition. You really don’t know anything that you’re up against,” Harmony said. “So I would really have to say that this year, like any other year, the kids that competed really did their best and represented us well.”
IB/AP fees to be reconsidered
WIDA testing in progress
Sighs of relief are heard as IB/AP fees are lifted
Clausen Hall will be closed from March 7 - 11 due to ESOL WIDA testing in Clausen Hall. Students should be respectful when around/passing by the testing zone as to not distract the students taking the test. The WIDA test helps determine the level of the understanding of the English language for students that have recently arrived in the U.S. and possibly need more help than other students.
BY COLLEEN ADENAN Staff Writer
Results of the Penny Wars After a whole month of fundraising and campaigning, the SNHS Battle of the Departments (also known as the Penny Wars) is finally over. With the combined donations of the AHS faculty, staff and students, a total of $1,900 was raised in support of blood cancer research. The two departments that rasied the most amount of money were P.E. (with a total of $175.93) and Guidance (with a total of $130.84).
Sophomore Shannon Casey and her mother consider possible IB and AP fees while looking at courses to take for next year.
With the bad state of the economy and the new fees that students have to pay to participate in sports or take an AP or IB exam, many families have begun to feel the heavier weight of their wallets. However, for one family in particular, this weight seems to be heavier than it is for other families. With three seniors, all of whom are taking a full-IB class-load, the Ko-Figueroa family has to pay $975 for their children just to take the exams, not to mention the fact that there is also a $400 fee for doing sports. “I was shocked to find out that I would have to pay for my IB exams. I couldn’t believe that a public school was charging money to get a higher
level of education,” senior Victoria Ko said. “It’s like a punishment for wanting more out of a high school education.” Ko’s stepsister, senior Elisa Figueroa, was equally puzzled by the new fees. “When I found out that I would be charged for IB exams [last year], I was confused why the school would charge students for taking challenging classes when our teachers and guidance counselors advised us to take challenging classes,” Figueroa said. However, there is hope for students who had to pay these fees. FCPS will not force students to pay for exam fees due to the ruling by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who said that these fees were illegal. According to district spokesman Paul Regnier, the Fairfax County school board will have the option of either refunding exam fees that were collected this year or remove the qualification that students must take these exams in order to receive credit, based on a plan that will be presented by Superintendent Jack Dale. To read the full story visit: www.thea-blast.org
High ratings earned at Festival High hopes are held for the end of Districts
Spring sports make cuts
By Stephanie Allshouse, Staff Writer
Stevens crowned Mr. Annandale 2011 By Samir Shah and Parker Gillcash, Staff Writers
COURTESY OF KYLE KOWALCZYK
Juniors begin college visits By Becca Hendrickson, Staff Writer
BY ISABEL VILLAROEL Photographer As many students begin to prepare for their academic SOLs this school year, music students are beginning to prepare for another kind of test: the performance at District Festivals. The Band Festival was held at T.C. Williams HS on March 5. Both of the competing bands, symphonic and concert, were rated superior. Students were evaluated on their musical phrasing, sound quality and intonation before several judges. The Gold Concert band participated at a grade level 4. Symphonic band participated at a grade level 6. These ratings combined with those of the Marching Atoms designate AHS as a Virginia honor band for the 14th year. “These students have worked diligently and we’ve gotten better each week,” Band Director Andrew Loft said.
For further online content, such as the stories listed below, visit: www.thea-blast.org
Chorus students rehearse after school in preperation for the Pyramid Chorus Concert and the District Competition.
The chorus department is preparing for their District Festival on March 19 and their Pyramid Concert that will be preformed tonight. The concert will be performed with students from surrounding middle schools. Many chorus students feel the chorus department has blended as a choir. District Festivals are special for orchestra as well since they will be held at AHS. Junior Danielle Turner feels prepared for the upcoming concert, held March 10, 11, and 12. “The conductor and one person from each section of the FSO (Fairfax Symphony Orchestra) came and took over rehearsal. They also did a workshop with us.” Orchestra Director Stephanie Lewis volunteered
AHS as the location for districts this year. “I’m excited. We’re hosting 52 orchestras from surrounding schools and counties,” Lewis said. The music department at AHS has traditionally done well over the past years in terms of receiving superior or excellent ratings. Students in orchestra and chorus hope to be as successful band at districts. In other music news, four musicians will represent AHS and participate in the All Virginia Band and Orchestra that at Charlottesville HS. These students are Kari Berg (french horn), Michael Sgrecci (french horn), Molly Sgrecci (violin) and Benjamin Walter (clarinet).
March 9, 2011
Students give their blood N BY: REBECA MALZAHN News Editor Goosebumps arise as the soggy surface of an alcohol drenched cotton swab circles around two inches of the arm. The doctor counts down the numbers preceding the injection. The slight pang forces the eyes closed. Nevertheless, the head swivels to the right and glances down at the sight of the thick, burgundy colored liquid travelling from the arm to the needle, then spiraling through the twisted transparent tubes and compiling in the seemingly flimsy bag. Many AHS community members were able to experience this at last year’s annual INOVA Blood Donor Service. On March 14 it will, yet again, be time for students, teachers, and other faculty members to give blood and save lives. All of the healthy blood collected form the donor service will go directly towards patients in need. In Northern Virginia, and the world, cancer patients, newly born premature babies, and injured hospital patients are in need of transfusions, transplants and new organs. And just a little over an hour can
help save up to three of those lives. The event will be held in Clausen Hall from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., where medically trained professionals will exam and access donors. As in past years, the AHS Student Government Association and Leadership Team will sponsor it. “Donating to the blood drive helps out many people,” first time donor, senior Edgard Santos said. “It helps out people who need blood and it helps me get out of class. So it’s win, win.” Although January was National Blood Donor’s Month, it is never too late to give blood. Over 200 units of blood are in need every day in just the Northern Virginia region. The availability of positive and negative counts of O, A and B blood types are the least available everyday. However, all types of blood are consistently in need. While at the event, donors will be screened to indicate any possible diseases in the blood. Most disease-contaminated blood will not be of use to patients in need, with the exception of certain diseases such as the common cold. But donors should be healthy when donating blood, or else they are at a greater risk of harmful side effects. Each donor will donate one pint of blood, which is the equivalence of two cups of water. Due to the loss of blood, the body may take up to three days to fully recover. Therefore, donors may experience side effects such as nausea, dizziness, fainting,
Daylight savings time begins this weekend
Upcoming blood drive attracting many students
Business teacher Monica Bentley cringes while having blood drawn during the 2010 blood drive.
chills, and stiffness in the joints. Approximately 11% of teenagers receive temporary side effects from donating blood, whereas adults are more commonly left without effects. “I wanted to [participate in the blood drive], but I am really bad with needles,” said junior Christina Miller. Although the service will only last one day at AHS, blood tests and donations can be given all year long at any of the INOVA hospitals located in the Northern Virginia and Wasington D.C. region.
Heritage Night rehearsals begin Students to show off their culture ROWAN SHARTEL
“Hertiage Night” continued from page 1
Andrea Villarroel said. “Mostly everyone is familiar to it because other groups have performed in previous heritage nights.” The show only occurs once a year, so the students and teachers involved want to be able to show off their cultures at their
best. They take pride in the way they are able to display their unique traditions. “We will be doing a modern dance about our culture and our outfits will be made out of kente, which is the most expensive cloth in Africa,” senior Debbie Suppey said. Suppey will be performing the West African dance. Heritage Night 2011 promises to be an interesting and exciting show for everyone involved. Participants hope that their performances will not only please the crowd, but will help them feel that they
have made their contribution to spreading cultural awareness. “I’m participating because it’s my last year in Annandale and my goal was to participate in heritage night my senior year; and also because most of the people in my group go to Annandale so it’s something we could all participate in together,” Villarroel said. “We hope to sell out for the 2011 Heritage Night show,” Bennett said.
Daylight savings time begins on March 13. Clocks will need to be set forward one hour. Daylight savings time was created to conserve the daylights hour so that farmers would have more time to work. It will end on Nov. 6.
Varsity math meet The Varsity Math Team will hold a non-mandatory meeting on March 9 and 16 in Clausen Hall. Students participating in the math meet will be given 36 minutes to complete six questions. Calculators will not be allowed during the course of the test. All students in higher levels mathematics classes are encouraged to join.
Writing SOLs continue today and tomorrow Today the multiple choice writing SOLs will continue for juniors. W2/R7 Flex will be switched to the end of the day to accommodate the students taking the test. Juniors will take the direct writing SOL test on March 10. They will begin during R1 Flex, though students will have as much time as they need to finish writing.
Sophomore Miguel Alvarez practices his traditonal El Salvadorian song on the drums.
Sports and clubs could lose participation PTSA publishes new study “Redistricting” continued from page 1
students poses a threat to some activites and that student participation decreases the further students live from the school. “It’s meant to illustrate the current and past dynamics and serve as a resource,” PTSA President Emily Slough said. The statistics report that if Wakefield Chapel, part of North Springfield and the east side of Bren Mar Park were redistricted, 47% of girls lacrosse and 42% of field hockey would be lost. Girls basketball would lose 33%, while swim and dive would lose 31%. Boys lacrosse would lose 34%, boys baseball would lose 29% and boys basketball would lose 24%. For the arts programs, band and color guard would lose 28% and chorus would lose 20%. As for academic programs, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program would lose 21% and The ABlast would lose 43%. “I want to take [the study] into account,” School Board member Sandy Evans said, who represents the Ma-
son District of FCPS. “We don’t want to change the culture of any school negatively.” By 2015, AHS is projected to have 2,750 students, while the capacity of AHS is 2,178 students, which means the school is already overpopulated. There are two major options to current the situation: boundary changes and non-boundary changes. Boundary changes would move students to other high schools. All other high schools in the area have room, except West Springfield. Non-boundary changes would utilize Poe and Holmes middle schools. In one of the proposed ideas, Holmes would become a 6 and 7 grade Percentages of participation lost in sports and clubs from Wakefield Chapel, North school, Poe would become a 8 and 9 Springfield and Bren Mar Park East if they are moved from the AHS district. grade school and AHS would hold 10 there. rom what I heard from my little wouldn’t have for a variety of reathrough 12 grade. brother it’s worse,” Nguyen said. sons,” Wilson said. “[The study] really Of the current IB Diploma candiTessie Wilson, the School Board does bother me because it’s saying dates, 8% live outside the AHS bound- member who represents the Braddock that some groups of kids are better ary because of the 2009-2010 changes. district, believes AHS thrives because than others.” Numbers like this are also shown in of the diversity. “This is what the real On March 14, the school board the Swim/Dive categories, in which world looks like,” Wilson said. “I un- members will meet to discuss the pro11% live outside the boundary and in derstand the concern, but for lacrosse, posals suggested by the Ad Hoc comthe Choral department, where 12% there’s another 53% and their partici- mittee. “Every School Board member live outside of the boundary. pation is every bit as valuable to me.” will be weighing things through their “We have yet to feel the loss of the The study has provided the board own lens,” Evans said. neighborhoods,” Slough said. with a better view of what AHS To see the full report go to: http:// Junior Andy Nguyen opted to take looks like in terms of participa- keepahsgreat.wordpress.com/ and to the rigorous course load the diploma tion, but Wilson is not that easily read the full story, go to www.theademands in order to remain at AHS. impressed. “It gives other kids the blast.org “I did not want to move to Fairfax opportunity to come and try out, who because of the things I had heard from
process so that EVERY child’s Constitutional, due process, and educational rights are protected; the process is restorative, just, consistent, individualized, transparent, monitored, and protects safe
Theater teacher George Bennett blocks choreography during the rehearsal for the spring play, Grease.
(Left to right) Senior Victoria Gowland, senior Molly Sgrecci, sophomore Skye Lindberg, junior Paulina Stehr and senior Tori Clodfelter rehearse as the Pink Ladies for the spring play, Grease.
2011: Nick Stuban, Age 15 Stuban was suspended from Woodson HS for buying a JWH108 capsule. The legal substance has similar properties to those in marijuana. His suspension last 7 weeks because of his family’s appeal. Instead of expelling him, he was transferred to Fairfax HS. On Jan. 20. he committed suicide. The Washington Post published a detailed report of the events, including his mothers struggle with ALS, which required her to breath through a ventilator.
SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON POST
“Discpline” continued from page 1
possession is ineffective and unfair. Students that face charges against them concerning drugs are expelled or sent to another school. One organization that is at the forefront of changing the policies in the local area has been the Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform (FZTR) led by Caroline Hemenway, who has been involved with education advocacy for more than 15 years and is the parent of three children in FCPS. The group contributed to the unanimous vote of the Fairfax County School Board to review topics related to student discipline procedures on Feb. 24th. “We believe that in order to ensure a thorough review, the board needs sufficient time to explore our discipline policies and procedures,” said Kathy Smith, chairman of the Fairfax County School Board, on the FCPS website. “We will schedule work sessions over the next three months to examine our values on student discipline and possibly recommend changes to the process.” There will a School Board work session on March 14th that is open to the public and a town hall meeting on the 19th at Falls Church HS. Hemenway started the FZTR with other concerned parents, coaches, teachers, therapists, and students in 2006. She is a founding member of the Fairfax Education Coalition and has worked with FAIRGRADE and SLEEP to better the lives of FCPS students. The mission of the Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform is to “reform the FCPS student disciplinary
High Profile FCPS Cases 2009: Josh Anderson, Age 17 After being suspended from South Lakes HS a second time for possession of marijuana, he was recommended for expulsion. The night before his hearing, he committed suicide. His parents have since written an open-letter to FCPS stating why the policy should be changed.
SOURCE: 2010 WOODSON YEARBOOK
FCPS zero tolerance policy questioned by organization
schools; and so it functions as intended.” “There are very few student rights and there is no due process. Fairfax County takes a punitive and criminal approach to discipline. Unfortunately, it takes the deaths of two students for parents to get aware,” Hemenway said. “Disciplinary procedures should be therapeutic and the consequences should match the crime.” Some argue that FCPS disciplinary procedures have impaired the lives of students, rather than help them. Stuban became isolated, moody, and was finally diagnosed with depression as stated in The Washington Post. The FZTR argues that suspension and expulsion hurts them by making them miss school and creating emotional trauma. “Teachers have to teach students who come back from suspension and this takes time away from other students. It serves nobody,” Hemenway said. The director of FZTR also said that insufficient and vague data has led to problems. “The data on infractions is not granular enough or specific enough for good policy decisions. An assault and an altercation were listed as the same infraction in 2009. The scope of the problem is not known.” The FZTR states that any reform effort must “support the safety of schools, engage the community, eliminate suspension and expulsion as the cornerstone of disciplinary actions, promote policies that reflect evidence-based research, ensure that civil rights of students are protected, and reduce inconsistencies and eliminate discrimination in disciplinary practices.” “It’ll take time and community engagement for a comprehensive job. It even may take a new school board,” said Hemenway on reform. “Students are key in our success. They need to be more educated about what their rights are.”
Tragedy puts spotlight on zero tolerance
English teacher Julia Hanneman and junior Lena Nour work during the English Honor Society bake sale on March 2.
go to www.thea-blast.org to see the newest installment of the A-Blast All Access.
What do you look for in a partner? “Blonde, nice legs and they need to smell nice.”
— Sean Flynn freshman
People A Blast The truth behind attraction the
AHS students share what they really want in the opposite sex
You’ve all seen it–– that disney movie where the princess is swept off her feet by the ever so handsome Prince Charming. But, for girls in high school it doesn’t always work out that way. Most girls seem to have their ideal guy all planned out in their heads, down to their clothing and personality.
Whether it is head over heels sweeping girls off their feet or subtle romance, every guy has his own approach to impressing women and becoming “Mr. Right.” The same thing is true for what a guy looks for in a partner. Even though most guys would prefer knocking heads in a football game than sharing feelings and going out on dates, there are guys from both sides of the spectrum throughout the halls of AHS.
It seems like many girls are extremely specific about what they want their boyfriend to wear. “I like guys who are kind of preppy and put together, but not overly dressed up all the time,” freshman Gaby Camilli said.
“They need to be nice and good looking.”
—Kunnica Kou freshman
All guys have a different opinion on what they want girls to wear. “I like a girl’s style to be more conservative with a good sense of style,” junior Adam Huenemann said. Most guys are not too specific about what they want girls to wear, as long as they are put together. “I like girls that dress nicely but not overly dressy and not dressed like a bum everyday at school,” senior D’Angelo Boyce said.
Every girl has had the guy who texts every random thought that crosses their mind and is constantly checking in with them at every minute. On the other hand, many girls have also experienced the exact opposite––a guy who never texts or calls. But which way is correct in the eyes of girls? A happy medium. “ I d o n ’ t l i k e being attacked constantly with texts or with my boyfriend calling me at every opportunity, but I do like to hear from the guy I like so that I know they want to talk to me,” senior Elisa Figueroa said.
Just like girls, all guys have different opinions on how often they would like to be communicating with their girlfriend over the phone whether it’s texting or calling. “I would rather her text me all the time because it shows that she is interested but at the same time she should understand that I’m not available to respond all the time,” senior Matt Chiappane said. Some guys recognize the need for space. “I like talking to my girlfriend a lot but we do not have to be talking to each other all the time,” Huenemann said.
“Someone who is funny and has a good personality.”
— Nina Caballero junior
Someone who is as goofy as me and I can just chill with. Also someone with a lot of confidence.”
— Banna Gebremichael senior
While girls expect to be taken on creative, well-planned dates, some guys are much more casual with their choices. “I take my girlfriend out to dinner and a movie normally,” Boyce said. Others point out the fact that dates are hard to have before they get their licenses. “The hardest part is hanging out with girls when I can’t drive,” sophomore Joe Bermingham said.
Juniors Adam Huenemann and Evelyn Jaramillo
AHS crowns winner Senior Bob Stevens won the annual “Mr. Annandale” contest held Feb. 25
1 Justin Bieber 16 2 Jon Bon Jovi 48 3 Jessica Biel 28 4 Landon Donovan 28 5 Eva Mendes 36 6 Shaquille O’Neal 38 7 Jenna Fisher 36 8 Freddie Prinze, Jr. 34 9 Bow Wow 23 10 Emily Osment 18 11 Rupert Murdoch 79 12 Darryl Strawberry 48 13 Emile Hirsch 25 14 Taylor Hanson 27 15 Eva Longoria 35 16 Flavor Flav 51 17 Mia Hamm 38 18 Adam Levine 31 19 Bruce Willis 55 20 Spike Lee 53 21 Rosie O’Donnell 48 22 Reese Witherspoon 34 23 Michelle Monaghan 34 24 Peyton Manning 54 25 Danica Patrick 28 26 Kenny Chesney 42 27 Fergie 35 28 Lady Gaga 24 29 Katie Vu 24 30 Celine Dion 42 31 Al Gore 62
Visit www.thea-blast.org for a feature on AHS student volunteers.
Girls expect to be swept off their feet with cute, adventurous dates that guys think of on his own. “I think that dates should not just be romantic but fun and the activities should be ones that both people enjoy,” senior Kate Bermingham said. Others prefer a softer touch of romance and old fashioned love. “I would rather go on dates that are romantic and cute,” senior Maddie Smith said. ––By Kelsey Knoche and Alley Adcock Photos by Becca Hendrickson
––Compiled by Alex Brown
March Celebrity Birthdays
March 9, 2011
How did you prepare for Mr. Annandale? “In order to prepare for the contest I practiced my dance and planned out what I was going to do in all of the different parts of the contest. I had done the contest last year so I knew what to expect for the most part.” What was your favorite part of the contest? “My favorite part was doing my dance to the song “Cotton Eyed Joe” because I felt like it got the crowd into the whole thing and it was just a lot of fun. I also obviously liked winning.” Were you surprised that you won? “I was a little bit surprised because I thought that [fellow contestant] Gabe Litvin would win it. I would have been fine with anyone else winning it.” What advice would you give next years contestants? “I would tell them to just have fun with it and make a fool out of yourself because that’s the best way to have fun with it and enjoy the whole atmosphere of the contest.”
March 9, 2011
Think before you ink
Virginia laws about tattoos
Tattoos are shown to have different effects on the body according to location
Chest and Stomach
Head, Neck and Face
Tattoos on the chest allow a larger canvas for tattoos to be drawn. They also make the upper chest area look broader. This spot is usually more painful because the rib cage is so close to the skin. It is easily concealed, allowing people to cover up tattoos more easily in this area. For women, tattoos will begin to sag or even stretch with age.
You are capable of hiding a tattoo on your head with your hair, but if you want to show off your tattoo, you may have to shave your hair in some places to see it. If the tattoo is on the face, covering it up is harder and requires makeup. Also, if you decide to get a tattoo inside the mouth, remember it only lasts for about a year.
Lower Back Certain nicknames accompany tattoos on the lower back, such as “tramp stamp.” This chosen area was extremely popular among women in the late ‘90s and early 2000s but has decreased in popularity since.
Arms The arm area is the most popular among men. This is the most visible spot to the sun, which can cause discoloration. Since there is a lot of muscle in the arm, it often compliments muscles on men. A very popular trend is to get a tattoo “sleeve,” a term that describes an arm entirely covered in tattoos.
The surface is considered an easy area to tattoo because of the vast space available. It also emphasizes muscle on the shoulders. Skin on the back is much thicker, making it not as painful. Disfiguration of the tattoo, however, may occur as a result of muscle gain.
Calves This area of choice is easy to cover up with clothes. It is also less painful since there is a lot of muscle covering the bones. Men have to shave their legs in order for the tattoo to be seen by others.
A ATR THA
Tattoos on the bottom of the feet tend to be less painful than any other part of the body because of the thick and dead skin. Tattoos on the top of the feet are among the most painful because there is no muscle and the bones are so close to the top layer of the skin. Tattoos in this area may begin to look very spotty with not much space for a larger tattoo. These tattoos are easily hidden, although tattoos on the bottom on the foot typically last for less than a year.
Sources: Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service, Discovery Health and Livestrong Teens Health
Tattooed bodies have been found in many different places, dating all the way back to 3300 B.C. The word “tattoo” comes from the Tahitian word tattau, which means to mark. Tattoos have been found on Egyptian and Nubian mummies dating back to 2000 B.C. An ancient tattooed man was found frozen high up in the Alp Mountains in 1992, who scientists discovered was approximately 5000 years old.
Tattoo artists use an electrically powered machine that injects ink into the dermis layer of skin using a solid needle. The solid needle moves up and down continuously, puncturing the epidermis and moving about 3000 times per minute. As the needle enters your skin it deposits small ink droplets, causing the tattoo process to take up to several hours for the making of one tattoo.
Do not leave the bandage on for more than 24 hours.
Keep the tattooed skin clean.
Moisturize the area.
Be aware of the risks and precautions involved with tattoos.
Skin reactions such as bacterial infections, swelling, and pain.
Make sure that your tattoo artist has proper credentials, such as a license and references.
Granulomas, or small red bumps that are caused from ink.
Bloodborne diseases, because if the needle is not clean, there is a chance of contract AIDS or HIV.
Do not wear clothing that will cause skin irritation.
Allow the tattoo to heal for at least 2 weeks.
Always use your own judgment when looking for a tattoo parlor.
---Federico Zeballos sophomore
--Glenda Sanchez junior
What are the risks?
Avoid sun exposure for a few weeks.
Where would you get a tattoo?
“I’d like to get one on my hip.”
Before you get a tattoo...
Bloodborne illnesses should be prevented with standard sterilization and antiseptic procedures by tattoo parlors.
“I would definitely get a tattoo on my face.”
How to care for your tattoo?
Make sure that sterile equipment will be used.
Tattoo materials should be changed and/or disposed from person to person.
--Max Jones freshman
How are tattoos done?
Tattoo parlors are expected to have the proper credentials and follow the guidelines of the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.
“I would get one on my arm and it would say “Aaliyah,” for my niece.”
What to know before you get a tattoo History of the Tattoo
In the state of Virginia, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to tattoo their body, unless a parent or guardian is present.
Ankles This area is one of the most poplular area for women. it is very trendy and allows it to be visible during the summer or winter depending on what shoes are worn. Getting a tattoo on the ankles is, however, very painful.
Senior Gabby Hankinson got a tattoo on her hip following her 18th birthday. The hip is a painful location to get a tattoo because of its close proximity to the hip bone. “I got a tulip because my Nana and I were best friends. When she passed away, I got it to remember her because the tulip was her favorite flower,” said Hankinson.
“I would like a tattoo on the back of my shoulders.”
---Brenda Mendez senior
“I would get my tattoo on my back.”
--James Cromwell senior
––Compiled by Carola Rojas and Alexis Gunther
Kelvin Fuentes, 10
Sam Pokraka, 12
Daniela Morales, 12
Q: When and where did you get your tattoo? A:I got my tattoo in October on my upper back.
Q: When and where did you get your tattoo? A:I got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday in December on my upper back.
Q: When and where did you get your tattoo? A: I got it the summer of my junior year in Bolivia on my hip.
Q: What is your tattoo of and why did you get it? A: My tattoo is my zodiac sign, Gemini. The sign is really important to me because it represents the month that I was born.
Q: What is your tattoo of and why did you get it? A: It’s “ Live and Learn” with a peace sign. “Live and Learn” is a philosophy I’ve always said and looked up to.
Q: What is your tattoo of and why did you get it? A: The tattoo is of a star. I thought it looked like a really cool tattoo to get.
Q: Did getting the tattoo hurt? A: It kind of hurt. It was a really weird feeling. Q: How is your tattoo significant to you? A: I’m just really interested in horoscopes so I thought getting a tattoo with my zodiac sign was a good idea.
Q: Did getting the tattoo hurt? A: It actually didn’t hurt for me at all. I expected it to hurt a lot more than it actually did. Q: How is your tattoo significant to you? A: The tattoo describes a lot about the outlook I have on life. Whenever something bad happens, I think about its meaning.
Q: Did getting the tattoo hurt? A: Yeah, it did hurt. Q: How is your tattoo significant to you? A: I just thought it looked like a really cool tattoo so I decided to get it for that reason.
Tattoo parlors near you! Marlowe Ink 10405 Main Street Fairfax, VA 22030 Comes a Time Tattoo 3852 Old Lee Hwy Fairfax, VA 22030 Vanh’s Tattoo Studio 5659 Columbia Pike Falls Church, VA 22040
March 9, 2011
A quick glance at up and coming performances, shows and other events in the AHS art world
IB Visual Art Show
This photographic print was drawn and painted on to give a distressed feeling, and is just one of over 100 pieces to be on display at the IB show.
As we move into the warmer weather, the IB Art students are beginning to make their final preparations for the culminating event of their art careers at AHS: The IB Visual Art show. Every year AHS hosts an art show in which IB Art students can showcase the pieces that they have completed throughout their two-year IB Art career. “It is exciting because this is our first real showcase as artists,” senior IB Art student Jessica Camilli said. The show will be held in Clausen Hall on April 14. “The IB Visual Art show, following the IB examinations, is historically the best annual show at AHS,” art teacher Ann Harper said. “We welcome everyone to the reception to share food, terrific art, and a good time.” Requirements for displaying work are different for many students. Standard level students are required to have between eight and twelve pieces, while higher level students must display 14 to 18 works of art. While most students are working to
bring their portfolios to completion, the common worry for painting students is the lack of space. Each senior artist is given only a seven foot by twelve foot space on the walls of Clausen hall, on which to display their work as well as a table for supplimentary pieces. “Because of my large paintings, I am concerned about the lack of sufficient space, “I’m excited but we will to see all of figure out a my hard work together in one different way show and to to display the see how the paintings that paintings and won’t fit,” sedrawings look nior Kevin displayed all together,” senior Muller said. IB Art student Despite Jessica Camilli possible dissaid. play issues, expectations for this year’s show are high. “I’m very excited for the show,” photography teacher Meredith Stevens said. “It’s something all the students have worked hard to achieve.”
Every girl’s favorite slumber party musical, Grease is making its way to the AHS stage. Each spring, the AHS drama department puts on a musical for their community. Auditions have already been held and preparations are on their way. “Right now we’re starting to get solid with the music enough to learn the dances,” senior Tori Clodfelter said. These shows take months of hard work and dedication to perfect. “We’re starting to choreograph the big numbers and have just begun staging the
beginning scenes of the show,” Clodfelter said. The show will run from May 5–7 in the AHS Auditorium at 7 p.m. “I’m excited to perform! The entire cast is so talented and it will be great to watch everyone really grow into their characters and have fun with it.” For more information, stop by the Black Box, which is located in the hallway just outside of the auditorium, and be sure to come watch the AHS drama department dance the night away in Grease!
ine bo un of Ja zm
March 16th 2p.m. to 4 p.m. @ Clausen Hall
This year, the AHS drama department has chosen “Grease” as it’s musical. The cast is currently busy preparing and rehearsing for their exciting performance on May 5-7.
– Compiled by Jane Aman and Jordan Aman Arts Co-Editors
Graphic by Jerry Sheppard Graphic by jerry sheppard
AHS Drama presents: Grease
The Filament’s second coffeehouse of the 2010-2011 school year will be held on Mrach 16. Bands such as Audio Essence (pictured above) will be among the performers.
of original student poetry and prose. “I love getting the snaps at the end [of our performance],” senior Berihu Abdulkhadir said. Abdulkhadir’s band, Audio Essence, was one of the performers at the last coffeehouse and will be playing again to an audience of fans. At the end of every performance, audience members are encouraged to snap, not clap for the performance. Free coffee will be given out at the coffeehouse. Baked goods will be sold as well. Students wanting to perform at the coffeehouse are encouraged to attend auditions, the times of which will be declared during the afternoon announcements and flyers will be posted around the school.
Smooth jams, poetic rhymes and the smell of freshly brewed coffee on a wednesday afternoon seems like a great way to end a stressful school day. With the second semester of school in full swing, such an event would be a great respite from the turmoil of the school day. Luckily, The Filament, AHS’s literary magazine, will be holding it’s second coffeehouse of the 2010-2011 school year on Wednesday, March 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.. The coffeehouse is held twice yearly to help raise funds for the publication of the literary magazine. “I’m excited to hear the performers and drink coffee and eat baked goods,” senior Filament member Ashby Nelson said. The coffeehouse usually features both electric and acoustic musical performances and readings
The Filament’s spring coffeehouse
March 9, 2011
How often do you cheat on homework assignments?
Survey reveals mixed results about students’ cheating habits at AHS
How do students cheat on homework assignments?
By Tricia O’Neill & Kate Grandchamp Academics Editor & Staff Writer It is no secret that students cheat on tests, especially in high school where students are under a tremendous amount of pressure to do well. A national study done by nocheating.org, revealed breaking the honor code had become a fairly common practice. Approximately 75% of high school students admitted to some form of “academic misgivings.” These academic misgivings included cheating on tests, plagiarizing, and copying others’ homework. However, in a recent survey conducted during W2 Flex, 47% of students reported they never cheated on tests and 25% percent reported rarely cheating on tests; figures well under the 75% margin. Despite this, in the same survey 18% of the 332 students polled rated cheating a 10 on a scale of 0 to 10, indicating that it was a serious problem in the classrooms. “I think cheating is a problem at all schools, including AHS. I do see some cheating within my classes, but usually it is less common in my IB classes then in my regular [classes],” juniorAlli Foster said. “Students just get stressed out and resort to cheating as an easier option than having to do the work and study ahead of time.” Research done in a separate study by nocheating.org showed that cheating began escalating among middle school children, most likely due to the onset of parental pressure and emphasis on getting good grades. “Even though I know cheating is wrong, a lot of the time I do it anyways,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous. “There are times when it is because I am too lazy and other times because I know I will fail if I don’t. My parents pressure me to always do well in school too, so that tempts me further.” Cheating takes varying forms, some of which students don’t consciously realize are a form of cheating. While some teachers have developed different methods for combatting the most common methods of cheating, such as passing out different versions of tests and having papers submitted through Turnitin.com, students at AHS and even in middle school have adapted to the teachers’ vigilance. As a middle school student, freshman James Barker witnessed a friend who had broken his arm inscribe the answers on his cast during lunch. “It was before a math test,” Barker said. “He was just writing in formulas we had needed to memorize and I didn’t notice until afterwards.” In recent years, technology has become one of several other tools students use to cheat. In addition to looking up answers, students record themselves saying important information on their iPods and hide earphones in the sleeve of sweatshirts. One student, who wished to remain anonymous, said he uses an App on his iPhone to store answers for tests. Although only 6% of the students surveyed atAHS admitted to having cheated on a test using Smartphones, technology, especially in higher-level courses has become more common. The majority of students preferred the more traditional methods of breaking the honor code, among which is writing answers ahead of time. Of the students surveyed at AHS, 13% admitted to using pre-written answers to cheat on tests. “I’ve also seen girls wear low-cut shirts and put the answers [on cheat sheets tucked inside the neckline] so it just looks like they’re checking themselves,” sophomore Julia Copenhaver said. Another student admitted to using her clothing to cheat by propping up a folded piece of paper on the inside of her zip-front sweatshirt. After hours of homework, the temptation of copying homework from a friend becomes increasingly hard to ignore. Today between 75 and 98 % of college students surveyed each year reported having cheated in high school (www.nocheating.org). Approximately 22% of students surveyed at AHS say they have never cheated on homework, also indicating that 45% of the AHS students surveyed cheated on homework by copying a friends’. The Educational Testing Service and the Advertising Council believes that this is due to the facts that “grades, rather than education, have become the major focus of many students.” The majority of students, such as one who wished to remain anonymous, admit to copying homework assignments on a fairly regular basis. “ I try not to cheat, but I don’t think copying homework is that big of a deal,” the student said. “Most of time I copy it in the morning when we meet by our lockers.” English teacher Bonnie Vining witnessed a similar situation when she student-taught
How often do you cheat on tests?
On a scale of 1 to 10 how big of a problem is cheating at AHS?
How do students cheat on tests?
Survey Methodology: Of the 500 surveys distributed during W2 Flex on February 23rd. , 332 were returned.
SAT Words to Know
at Louisiana State University. “I once had a remedial student copy a higher-level student’s paper; it was clear whose was whose, especially since they both had me for a teacher,” Vining said. Despite the heavy risk and consequences of cheating, a significant percentage acknowledge that they are breaking the honor code sometimes multiple times a week, even while understanding it is wrong. On its Academic Cheating Fact Sheet, the Educational Testing Service and the Advertising Council has posted that “fewer college officials (35%) believe that cheating is a problem in this country than do members of the public (41%),” and that “cheating no longer carries the stigma that it used to. Less social disapproval coupled with increased competition for admission into universities and graduate schools has made students more willing to do whatever it takes to get the A.”
Match the word to the definition to test your knowledge of these SAT words 1. Immaculate 2. Laud 3. Malicious 4. Nefarious 5. Obsequious 6. Obfuscate 7. Paragon
Teachers beware: creative cheaters
8. Rancid 9. Sacrosanct 10. Tedious
Definitions A. boring, dull B. horribly villainous C. to applaud or praise D. model of perfection E. sacred, holy F. torenderincomprehensible G. rotten, spoiled, disgusting in smell or taste
Sophomore Angel Ly poses to show one of the most common ways students cheat. Writing the answers ahead of time on arms and legs is an ancient method of cheating. For girls, hiding pieces of paper underneath skirts and pulling them out during the test has also become popular.
Freshmen Dennis Naranja poses showing another common way students have begun cheating on tests: text messaging. Students within classes share answers this way as well as texting friends test questions. For students with Internet access on their phones, googling answers is becoming increasingly popular.
One of the most creative ways students cheat is illustrated by sophomore Michelle Gonzalez. Students write the answers to test questions as well as formulas and important information on the inside wrapper of their water bottles. To check the paper, they then pretend they are drinking from the botte, giving them a clearer view of the answers inside.
How students at AHS do it
1. Writing answers on the bottom of shoes. 2. Bribing teacher’s assistants. 3. Taping a cheat sheet on the back of the chair in front of them.
4. Making clicking noises to communicate with other students.
Stealing teachers’ gradebooks if all else fails.
I. malevolent, harmful J. excessively compliant or submissive
– Illustrations Compiled by Nikki Contrino
1: H; 2: C; 3: I; 4: B; 5: J; 6: F; 7: D; 8: G; 9: E; 10: A
5. Writing important notes on the back of a tie on dress-up days. 6.
Although relatively uncommon among students, writing answers using a mechanical pencil or pen on finger nails has started to emerge as an alternate method of sneaking in helpful information on test days.
H. impeccably clean, spotless, pure
Visit www.thea-blast.org for a student compiled list of why they would not cheat
10 Stereotyping is a common problem at AHS: Strongly
icks + t nes
March 9, 2011
I hold stereotypes about people outside my own gender/race/ ethnicity? Strongly
Which group receives the most negative stereotypes? Women Caucasians
How likely do you think students/ faculty at AHS are to stereotype than at other schools? Equally likely
Has a teacher ever treated you differently due to your race, ethnicity, gender or physical appearance? No
This survey was distributed on March 1 during R7/W6 Flex. Out of the 350 surveys distributed, 311 were returned and counted.
Stereotypes still affect AHS Many students feel that they are treated differently due to race By Katie Masters In-Depth Editor AHS students understand the special feeling of struggling through a narrow hallway while being crushed against hundreds of other high school students making a desperate effort to get to class on time. The between-class mosh pit that everyone goes through is positively ubiquitous at this school. It is while observing these daily struggles that the diversity of AHS is most clearly apparent. The student body represents 84 different countries and a slew of different cultures, yet presents a united front when struggling down the hallways five days a week. It seems that stereotypes could never exist in such an atmosphere, but a survey of AHS students proves that they are, indeed, present in the school. Of the 311 students surveyed, 46% agree that stereotyping is a common problem at AHS, 32% admit to holding stereotypes about those outside their gender, race, or ethnicity and 25% say that a teacher has treated them differently due to their gender, race, or physical appearance, perhaps the most alarming statistic of the three. IB Spanish teacher Maureen Hunt expressed surprise at the responses to the survey.
“Personally, it surprises me that I would hear something like that from a school like AHS,” Hunt said. “I just don’t see a lot of stereotypes at this school. I also wouldn’t expect teachers to treat students differently based on stereotypes that they formed, or that students would think their teachers would do something like that.” Most AHS students, however, have personally experienced stereotyping. “I’ve been called a FOB (fresh off the boat) because of my accent even though I was actually born here and my accent comes from a speech impairment I had when I was young,” senior Doreyn Ngo said. “Many people also assume I am a shy and quiet person just because I’m Asian.” The fact that even a school as diverse as AHS is susceptible to stereotypes does not bode well for the rest of the country. Countless scientific studies have confirmed the negative impact that stereotypes have on school environments and students’ ability to learn. A study conducted by psychologists at Ohio State University found that racial stereotypes can lower school performance in students primed to think about them, as well as the victims of the stereotype. According to the results of the study, Caucasian students who were told that African-Americans do not perform well in school scored lower on a math test than other white students who were not given the same information. A similar study was performed in which a group of 157 non-AfricanAmerican students were asked to write a story about a day in the life of a student named either “Tyrone” or “Erik” Walker, based on the presumption that the students would picture a student named Tyrone as black and a student named Erik as white.
After finishing their stories, the students participating in the study took a standardized test. Their results showed that the students who wrote about “Tyrone” scored lower than those who wrote about “Erik.” In one of the trials, the “Tyrone” students scored an average of 4.5 on the test, compared to the 6.2 points scored by those who wrote about “Erik.” Stereotypes are also notoriously hard to kill, especially since many are not necessarily considered negative. Many believe that the common stereotype “all Asians are good at math” is less offensive than the stereotype “all black men are violent,” but this still generalizes the behavior of a large and diverse group of people. Most stereotypes are also based on some semblance of truth, which makes them harder to shake. “I mean, when we look at different stereotypes, they tend to be based out of a kind of truth,” Hunt said. “I think it’s human nature to look at someone and judge them by how you see them. The problem occurs when you don’t change your view after you get to know the person, or don’t make an effort to know them at all.” Stereotypes can also strongly affect personal identification. A survey conducted by the University of Oregon revealed that people who identified with the label of “white” were more likely to continue identifying themselves in the same manner if they had remained out of jail than if they had been incarcerated during the course of the study. Many AHS students and teachers share a general consensus that stereotypes are less prevalent at school due to our high level of racial diversity. Surveys show, however, that eliminating stereotypes completely has not yet been accomplished.
brief history of racial
1796: The pseudoscience of craniology is developed by Franz Joseph Gall. Craniology asserted that head size and shape determined intelligence and personality, and allowed Anglo-Saxon scientists to form stereotypes about the intelligence of women and men of different races
1798: Two European printers invented a way to reproduce images called stereotyping which came to refer to images that are simplified to make a generalization
1820’s: White Americans classified Native Americans in two stereotypes: the noble savage and the ignoble savage. The noble savage would be a peaceful, spiritual guardian at peace with the land where the ignoble savage is an untamable murderer and demon who scalps women and children
1830: A white minstrel performer blackens his face with charcoal paste and danced to “Jump Jim Crow” to mock AfricanAmerican slaves and justify their enslavement
1834: George Dixon performs Zip Coon, an ostentatious character whose grammar mistakes undercut attempts to be dignified, mocking free blacks. The term coon became a racial slur against African-Americans
1860’s: Irish immigrants fleeing the Great Famine in Ireland looked for jobs in America and were seen as brash, hostile and angry. Many Irishmen served in law enforcement, beginning the stereotype of the Irish cop
1896: African-American performer Ernest Hogan popularized the racist characterization of blacks by singing “All Coons Look Alike to Me”
March 9, 2011
you see beyond stereotypes?
11 How to handle stereotypes Being stereotyped in any situation can be both extremely demeaning and frustrating. Most people will run into problems concerning their race, gender, ethnicity, physical appearance and/or sexual orientation. If you are faced with a situation like this, here are some helpful tips to guide you through it. – Do not ignore it. Allowing a person to continue with their discriminatory ideas will not get you anywhere. – Confront the person who is using stereotypes against you. It is possible that their statements or actions are born out of ignorance, and they do not know they offended you. –Tell them that you were hurt by what they said and explain why. – If they persist with their stereotype, explain to them that
they cannot lump everyone of that particular group into one unified body. – Explain to the person why
their assumption of a race, gender, ethnicity and/ or sexual orientation is incorrect or embellished. – If the person does not understand what you are trying to convey, or continues with their intolerance at an equal or increased rate, tell a teacher
or counselor to talk to him or her to educate them on the negative effects of stereotyping.
– Always be the best that you can be. If someone decides to prejudge you using a negative stereotype, know that you are who you are no matter what they think about you. –Compiled by Erin Johnson
Students’ views on stereotypes AHS neutralizes the Stereotypes are sometimes the effect of negative stereotypes due to diversity a grouping mentality By James Yu Special to The A-Blast As individuals we consciously and subconsciously gravitate toward people that are like us. Take for example the lunch tables at AHS, where one can easily identify an obvious similarity amongst groups from table to table. It can be ethnicity, style of clothing, attitude towards academics and so on. Identifying oneself with an IB crowd, an ethnic background, a country, or any other kind of identification is natural. Personally I think stereotypes, which are generalized and often offensive labels of identifications, have less potential to cause a problem in a remarkably diverse place like AHS. I’ve faced stereotypes from my friends here, and more often than not they’re trying to be funny rather than serious. We give meaning to stereotypes by choosing whether they will be offensive to us or not. I think AHS students understand this pretty well.
By Ashton Johnson Special to The A-Blast Stereotypes are ever present anywhere that anyone goes and may appear at any time during a conversation or interaction. At AHS, there is more room for stereotypes to occur because this school is immensely diverse. Many different cultures and personalities matter in the make up of the stereotypes that are formed. I think the stereotypes, overall, are neutralized here because the students and staff become so accustomed to coexisting with different people. I consider that a huge advantage because it allows for other people to step out of their comfort zones. I myself have come across several instances where stereotypes were thrown my way and I had to accept the fact that that was the way the other person thought of me as an AfricanAmerican male at AHS. Stereotypes allow for a person to categorize another person based off very superficial means. It does not allow for someone to really get to know another person. This causes huge problems in a multi-cultural atmosphere like AHS where interaction with people of different ethnicities is a part of daily life.
People can be avoided due to their apparent negative stereotypes By Diego Ledezma Special to The A-Blast As different races, cultures, ethnic groups, etc. begin to coexist, many types of stereotypes also emerge. For being of a specific race, one can be judged as rich, poor, gang-related, troublemaker, etc. before people can really know you. People might lose the opportunity of getting to know others simply because of stereotypes. For example, most American families limit their kids’ interaction with kids whose race has violent stereotypes. Stereotypes are also found on how people dress as well as their body shape. When people see a fat man or woman they think that they eat a lot or that they eat like pigs while in fact they eat less than anyone and that their condition happened due to genetics. Stereotypes are just excuses to not meet someone that looks or acts a certain way.
stereotypes in America • 1897: Thomas Edison made a short film titled “Fatima Dances” in which “Arab” women in revealing clothing dance to seduce the men in the audience, generating a belly dancer stereotype
1915: Director D.W. Griffith releases The Birth of a Nation, a ground breaking and explicitly racist film that depicts AfricanAmericans as violent and aggressive. The film helped perpetuate the stereotype that all black men are brutal rapists, which was a common belief at the time
1942: President Franklin Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 to send Japanese Americans into internment camps as a reaction to the bombings on Pearl Harbor to protect the country from Japanese “spies”
1993: The Screen Actors Guild did a study of women and minorities in the media. They found that roughly 18.3% of major network primetime casts are people of color
2001: After the terrorist attacks on September 11, many Muslim Americans and Middle Eastern Americans began to feel discriminated against and stereotyped as terrorists
1995: The American film My Family (Mi Familia) was released. It portrays Latin Americans in America not as negative stereotypes, but as regular families
How do you think stereotypes affect people? “It makes people act a certain way. If you’re judged one way, you’re expected to act that way and you follow that trend.”
—Camila Camacho freshman “It’s a negative effect on them.”
Aysha — Ghaffar freshman
“It sets the boundaries between groups of people such as popular or smart.”
—Ahovar Sakta freshman “It makes them closeminded, you’re making them meet someone else’s expectation of them.”
Edgard — Santos senior “People try to laugh at them, but deep down their heart is breaking each time a stereotype is used.”
—Andy Nguyen senior –Compiled by Erin Johnson
International ABlast Murtaza’s journey to America the
March 9, 2011
A first-person account of the difficulties of leaving one’s homeland back of the car seat and there was a bump. I hit my forehead on the flashlight which was on the back of the driver’s seat. My forehead started bleeding and Editors note: Junior Murtaza Mahmoodi my mother started cleaning blood from my forehead may look like your typical student. He has during the night time. In the day time, we were riding math and English class like everyone on the back of camels. It was hard for a five year-old else, but there is something his kid [to ride] four, five hours in the sun with less water. classmates would not probably My lips were so dry that they turned white. At last we know about him from first arrived in Tehran and my aunt was living in Tehran. My father glance. Mahmoodi started working embarked on at construction. I a dangerous, remember when difficult and long It was hard for a five my father used to journey to flee from year-old kid [to ride] four, come from work his homeland, five hours in the sun with to home and I took Afghanistan, barely any water. his hand and it to the U.S. was so hard. I had when he was Murtaza Mahmoodi a feeling of how just a young boy. junior hard he worked Everyone had to feed his family a different time in and survive. After their life. I was four years old when the war started in two years we emigrated back toAfghanistan and after Afghanistan. No one could go out one year living in my mother’s land we emigrated to of their house. Outside was raining Pakistan. It was a different cultural environment and bullets and rockets. After one year language. For one year when the people were talking we emigrated to Iran. On our way I did not understand a word in school and outside of we saw a lot of difficulties. We used school. I tried my best to learn their language and to walk some part of our journey about their culture. The only thing that I hated while during the night and daytime. The living in Pakistan is their cops because they used most hard part was walking at night to bother people a lot. Also, I remember when a cop time because there used to be some slapped my brother for no reason. In my opinion, everyone had a bad and difficult holes in the ground. A lot of Afghan people fell on those holes and died and day in their life because of some reason and there will their family in the other country or state always be a crisis ahead of us. We need to be prepared would not even know what happened to and educated. Without education it will be hard to their son or husband. There were no solid handle those kinds of difficulties in life. roads. All roads were rough and had a lot of bumps. I still remember when we were traveling at night time. I was sitting in the
See if you can guess what country
• The capital of this country is Brussels • This country has three official languages; Dutch, French and German • Renowned for their bakeries • Senior Josh Jean-Jaques plans go to school in this country
Can you guess where it is?
Mahmoodi poses for the camera in front of mountains on a visit back to Afghanistan.
Where in the world?
By Murtaza Mahmoodi from Afghanistan
Mahmoodi and his family enjoy the cool stream.
Q: What was the most memorable part of your journey? A: When I got on the plane. It was my first time stepping in a plane.
Q: Can you explain a little more what it was like for you and your family back in Afghanistan? A: I was a kid when I was there, I was like six, so the conditions were not easy since the war was going on there.
Zaidi lived a sweet life in Pakistan
Q: Your story stops in Pakistan, how did YOU come to the U.S.? A: My parents were living in the U.S. at the time for six years,
To listen to American Stories, go to www.thea-blast.org!
Q: Was the journey worth it? A: Yeah, it was worth it because my family was here and I was alone back [in Afghanistan] with my aunt. I got to come live with my parents, so it was worth it. Q: What was your journey life overall? A: It was difficult. Q: What do your parents do now? A: My mom is studying and my dad is a pizza delivery man. They are happy to be here. My sister’s husband helps us a lot.
Murtaza Mahmoodi (bottom left corner) and his aunt and uncles took this picture while still living in Afghanistan.
Top: Mahmoodi holds a baby relative back in Afghanistan. Right: Now living in the U.S., Mahmoodi works hard in school, such as his math class.
My country Pakistan is totally different from the U.S. in many ways, like in schooling, clothing, food, language and traditions. Undoubtedly, the U.S. is a developed and beautiful country with the charming lights and tall buildings. My country is not as advanced but we have a great history too. The main three things which I would like to share with you so you will be aware of my country’s traditions and way of life are the food, language and school. The food here is not better than my country’s. For me, food from there is always better, but I have never tasted Americans food so did not know how it tasted. But, I love my country’s food because my country’s food is spicy and too delicious. In our food, we have many spices while in American food, they do not have that much spice. Maybe that’s why this food does not attracts me. The school system of my country is also different from the U.S. My home country school is so much bigger then Annandale. We have 3,000 students. We all have to wear uniforms. Our school uniform is blue and white. If anyone wears anything else they will send you home. I really had a good time there. It was the best time in my life and I wish I could go back to see my friends again. My language is different from here because people come from different places and speak different languages. We have five different languages that are spoken in my country. Some people know all of these languages while other people know only a few of them. Pakistani school, language and food are so different from here. I really miss my country and I would like to go back. Pakistan is a unique place, school, language and food are so different from here I really miss my country I would like to go back.
By Mujtaba Zaidi from Pakistan
so they [arranged for] us to come.
March 9, 2011
Where it all started
Courtesy of Alex Barker
A closer look at Krispy Kreme, a delicious hangout for anyone with a sweet tooth
Seniors Brittney Terry and Yari Mizouri go for the better deal by buying a dozen Original Glazed doughnuts fresh out of the oven.
The first Krispy Kreme opened in 1937 in Winston-Salem, NC. Vernon Rudolph acquired the secret recipe from a French Chef in New Orleans. In a small building in today’s historic Old Salem, he began baking and selling the doughnuts to local grocery stores. Soon the delicious aroma hit the streets attracting pedestrians. Rudolph cut a hole in the wall of the building and started selling the doughnuts to customers. The first international store opened in Canada in 2001. Since then, stores have opened in London, Turkey, New Mexico and Austrailia.
Senior Nathan Miller sports his new Krispy Kreme hat given to him upon purchasing his warm doughnut. “Eating a hot doughnut is absolutely delightful. It has a slight crispyness to it and then it evaporates in your mouth,” Miller said.
Sophomore Hari Mizouri satisfies his sweet tooth with an Original Glazed doughnut, right out of the oven.
Thoughts from the customer What’s your favorite part of Krispy Kreme? “I really like how Krispy Kreme has so many different flavors of doughnuts.”
Courtesy of Briar Creek Photography
— Abby Converse freshman
Last year’s varsity girls lacrosse team celebrated their win over West Springfield in the Patriot District Tournament at Krispy Kreme. Not only did this satisfy their competitive spirits, but their sweet tooths as well. Coach Cindy Hook rewarded her team with this delectable treat.
What’s your favorite?
When you bring home your box of freshly baked doughnuts, here are three tips to re-heating them to perfection:
“I love the glazed, epecially right off the rack. They’re really good!” — Shantrice Washington junior
“I’m not a big fan of their coffee, but I like how you can see the doughnuts being made.” — Daniel Griffin junior
1. Pop them in the microwave. 2. Smell the aroma for 8 seconds.
“Well, I haven’t been since I was little, but I remember that the doughnuts were really good.”
3. Enjoy with a glass of ice cold milk.
“I’m a Dunkin’ Donuts man, myself.”
Jenna — Wingfield senior
—Henry Smith senior
For the Chocoholic 270 calories, 13g of fat
Sophomores Joey Rainey, Brooke Terry and Hari Mizouri make their doughnut decisions. With over 25 different flavors, it makes it rather hard to choose.
Go to www.thea-blast.org to see pictures from the varsity boys basketball season.
Junior Annie Rutherford and seniors Adrienne Williams and Evan Smith look onto the doughnut conveyor belt where the dough is fried and iced.
For your Inner Child 260 calories, 12g of fat
For the Traditional Folk 200 calories, 12g of fat
March 9, 2011 Left: Senior Lillian Singer sports her silver 2003 BMW 330i Right: Senior Roger McGinnis stands in front of his royal blue Ford Mustang
Easy ways to personalize your vehicle
• Seat covers with decorative patterns and colors
• Cute air fresheners in your favorite scent
• Bumper stickers from your favorite store, vacation spot or sports team
Zooming with personality Students express their unique styles in their cars with head covers and stickers By Carly Bouchard Photographer
• Custom light covers to fit your car
• Hanging quirky decals from your rearview mirror
• Decorative antenna toppers
It’s Friday afternoon and the bell just rang. The sun is out and all you want to do is get out of the crowded science hall to begin your weekend. You finally reach your car in the senior parking lot, laugh at the kids who have to ride the bus and hop in your vehicle to turn on your favorite tunes. You slip your sunglasses on and roll down the windows, just when you start to feel cool, you take a look at the person next to you. He is enjoying himself just as much as you are, but he is driving the cool car. The tires are new, the exterior is spotless and suddenly you are ashamed of being seen in your little hunk-of-junk. There’s nothing worse than being put to shame by the hot rod in the parking space next to yours, but have you really ever heard the tales of the kids who drive the fanciest cars in the senior parking lot? Many students who paid the $200 for a parking spot have their parents to thank for their cars. Senior Matt McCartney received his 2005 Mazda rx8 as a gift from his father. McCartney’s car, though eye-appealing, requires some extra care than the rest of the mini vans in the lot. “Every two gas fill-ups, my car requires an addition of oil for its 1.3 liter rotary engine,
which can get kind of annoying,” he said. Senior Lillian Singer, owner of a 2003 BMW 330i, inherited her swanky car from her mom. “[She] bought it back in 2003,” she said. BMW’s are known for pioneering extra features in their models, so Singer has a particular favorite aspect to her car that many companies hadn’t utilized until recently. “It’s got great bun warmers! But I also love singing in my car, even though I’d deny it if I were caught. The stereo system is A+ for singing along to the radio.” Stereos are a critical feature to seniorsAndrew Pack and EdcelArgueta—both installed sub-woofer systems in their cars, which allows for better base tone amplification and an overall better sound quality. Pack also put extra work into his Toyota Solara (which he lovingly nicknamed “Jamel”) by installing aftermarket tire rims and a better air intake filter to maximize fuel efficiency. Two lucky seniors own the most popular American sports car: the Ford Mustang. Jordan Cowles and Roger McGinnis both drive the popular vehicle and like riding down “long empty stretches on the road“ because of the vehicles ease with speed. McGinnis has a customized licence plate, and even purchased his bright blue 2004 GT model as a stick shift. Although automatic transmissions are more common nowadays, he “wouldn’t have it any other way.” All of the car owners agreed on the same maintenance to keep their cars happy and healthy: wash it frequently, vacuum it every once in a while and always get your oil changed in a timely manner.
By Natalie Johnson
Tough Year Dear Natalie, This year has been so rough. I can hardly balance my social life with my academic life. What happened to senior year being a blast?! It’s nothing but hard work. Most of the time I feel very overwhelmed with my workload and stressed all of the time. I would cry... but there’s no time for that! Can you offer me any advice regarding time management/ getting through senior year alive? --A Stressed Senior Dear Stressed Senior, I am a senior as well so I can completely relate to what is going on. Between college applications, IB projects and the large workload that teachers have been giving, it is hard to maintain both a social life and good grades in school. You need to understand that right now is not the time to give up and let your grades slip, but rather the time to push through until the end. I am sure that once you get your responses from colleges and, if applicable, all of your IB projects and tests finished, you will be rewarded with not only good grades but with a strong feeling of accomplishment. A good way to balance your social life with your academic life is to manage your time, prioritize and not procrastinate. Schedule your school work in a way that works for you. Maybe you cannot focus directly after school. If so, plan to take a 30 minute break when you get home to check Facebook or watch T.V. and then start your homework. Maybe you take too many breaks throughout your homework time. If so, do not allow yourself to take a break until you have finished a certain assignment. I know that right now things seem stressful and impossible, but you will soon be rewarded as long as you stay on top of things. --Natalie Have a problem? E-mail Natalie at email@example.com
Go to www.thea-blast.org to view more from nag natalie.
Left: Senior Tiffany Tran shows off her flower steering wheel cover and a hanging flower ornament from her rearview mirror. Above: Senior Julia Delpizzo has a matching Ed Hardy seat and steering wheel cover.
• Floor mat’s with colorful patterns to cover your car’s carpet
Junior Anna Dinh shows her football team preference with an Eagles head rest cover and a decorative black and purple steering wheel cover.
Call in style The type of cell phone you choose, displays your personality traits By Megan Flynn Staff Writer In today’s world many, people feel that they cannot function without their trusty cell phones. From texting to tip calculators and apps that cover everything in between, cell phones have become a basic necessity. Most cell phone users try to upgrade old phones for the latest and greatest, while others stick with the same basic models they’ve had all year. Phone companies try their best to appeal to the newest trends and what’s in demand, hoping to match phone features with personality traits of buyers. Many people find it easy to stick to a phone that matches their personality. Having a phone that meshes with your character makes it easy to integrate it as a part of your everyday routine. For example people that need organization and structure are better off with a BlackBerry or other smartphone, where they can use the coordinated calendar to keep track of multiple things and handle e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and other alerts all in one place. “My BlackBerry relates to my personality because I like to plan ahead and it helps me to remember everything I have going on,” sophomore Connie Tran said. For all the text savvy users, phones are an integral connection to the outside world. Many phones offer full keyboards to accommodate the growing social norm of texting. “My phone has a full keyboard to text faster because I’m social and like to keep in touch with my friends,” freshmen Ally Mastrota said. Ally sends on average about 6,000 texts per month. Phones that specialize in texting are helpful with all types of communication and also bring out the talkative side in users. On the flip side, some people have a cell phone for the sole purpose of calling and just for safety reasons. These people aren’t interested in the bells and whistles all the recent phones have to offer, they are perfectly content with a basic cell phone. “My tracfone says I’m simple and don’t need technology,” freshmen Noah Green said. Tracfones and other standard flip phones are good examples of people not getting too dependent or attached to technology. Some believe that these people who don’t rely on the use of a high tech cell phone often have better social skills in the real world and have more street smarts. Another simple phone is the Verizon Brigade. The Brigade has been advertised for its everywhere use and ability to survive water, shock and dust. Sophomore James Terrell brings his Brigade everywhere with him, and said, “My phone holds true to its description, I’ve dropped it too many times to count and it’s still in perfect condition. I can also bring it to the pool without having to worry about it breaking.” Having an indestructible phone similar to this can show that you’re clumsy and may be prone to dropping your phone often, but are smart enough to get something that suits you well. As new phones are produced almost monthly by competing wireless companies, there is a phone out there for every personality type. When meeting a person for the first time, steal a quick glance at his phone as a little insight on his prominent qualities and see if what his phone says about him holds true.
Sports X-tra U.S. cricket wins America’s Cup ABlast
March 9, 2011
Senior Waleed Karimullah wins ICC America’s Cup with U-19 U.S. Cricket team The wickets are loaded, the batter is up, the bowler is winding up for the throw. No, this is not a new form of bowling or some strange baseball lingo. This is cricket, a sport originally from Britain that has gotten millions of people worldwide to pick up a bat and give it a swing. Cricket is a sport that does not get very much media coverage in the United States, especially at the high school level, due to the fact that there are not many high school cricket teams in the area. However, despite all of this, AHS senior and cricket player Waleed Karimullah made the U-19 U.S. Cricket Team, a team that just recently traveled to Florida and won the ICC Americas U-19 Division One championship, commonly known as the America’s Cup. Karimullah has been playing since he was nine years old. “My dad taught me how to play, he was basically my coach,” Karimullah
Courtesy of waleed karimullah
By Esra Gokturk Sports X-tra Editor
After winning the America’s Cup, senior Waleed Karimullah (third from right with hat) will travel with the USA team to Ireland to compete for the ICC U-19 World Cup Global Qualifier.
said. Considering that there is no official high school cricket team at AHS, Karimullah had to find his own means of practice and improvement. “I would just play around with my friends, but I do wish the school had a cricket team,” Karimullah said. He previously played on the AHS baseball team, but could not do so this year due to his cricket commitments. Karimullah was invited to the tryouts for the U.S. team after entering a tournament in which he was noticed by the U.S. team’s coach.
After impressing the coaches at the tryouts in January, he officially became a member of the U.S. U-19 Team. From Feb. 5-13, Karimullah and his teammates had the opportunity to go to Florida to compete against teams from all over the world for the America’s Cup. While the opportunity was great, the work was hard and the competition was tough. Hard work is a key component for the team so that they can prepare for the competition they face from all over the world. For the America’s
Cup in Florida, the coaches worked the players rigorously. “We would practice before and after our games, every day; it was very tough,” Karimullah said. The team has two coaches, a manager and a physical trainer, to help them throughout their tournaments. The hard work paid off in the end with the team winning the America’s Cup, after defeating Argentina, the Cayman Islands and U.S. cricket rival, Canada. The team won by getting the most runs, which are scored when a batter runs safely between the two wickets on the field. Karimullah shows his dedication to the sport of cricket every day, practicing and committing to his team even with the tough travel the sport requires. “I have to travel to New York and New Jersey for practices. It is difficult sometimes, but worth it,” Karimullah said. He is the only player on the team from Virginia, so he has to travel farther than most. “We will be starting practices soon in Burke though, which will be nice,” Karimullah said. The team will be traveling to Ireland for the 2011 U-19 World Cup Global Qualifier on July 28 through August 9. Let’s hope the hard work continues to pay off for the team in Ireland, in hopes of qualifying for the ICC U-19 World Cup.
Fielding positions on the cricket pitch How the game is played:
The object of the game is to score the most total runs. This is done by the batters running safely between the wickets, which are located by the batsmen and on the opposite end of the field. Meanwhile, the bowlers, or pitchers, try to strike out the players or try to hit a wicket with the ball. These both make a player out and ends their runs. The teams only have one opportunity to score the most runs, because cricket only switches fields once. Runs may be scored even if the batter does not hit the ball; they can choose to just run straight to the wicket.
Cover: role is to stop the runs coming from the batsman.
Gully: usually has the ability to react quickly. This player is expected to catch the deeper-hit shots.
Third Man: role is to save runs; The player is positioned behind the wicketkeeper and is expected to recover a catch that is not made by the slip or gully. Slips: makes catches; The first slip must stand directly behind the wicketkeeper, while the second and third are off to one side.
15 Cricket vs. Baseball
FIELD Baseball: Diamond shaped field Cricket: Circular field PLAYERS Baseball: 9 players Cricket: 11 players PITCHING Baseball: Pitchers can go until they get tired or decide to switch Cricket: two bowlers that rotate every six bowls BASES Baseball: Four bases that a player runs around to scorepoints Cricket: Two bases that a player runs between to score the most runs BATTING Baseball: Round topped, thinner bat; teams swicth sides after the batters accumulate three outs; foul balls can occur Cricket:Flatter bat;all batting is done by a team throughout an entire inning; the batter can hit in any direction and can run even if he does not hit the ball INNINGS Baseball: Nine innings throughout the game Cricket- Ranges from two to four innings depending on the level of game being played EQUIPMENT Baseball: ball, glove, bat, helmet, catcher’s mask, cleats Cricket: ball, bat, leg, chest and thigh pads, helmet, thick gloves, keeping gloves, keeper pads, and cricket shoes LENGTH A cricket game can last as long as two baseball games in a row. around five hours
Cricket Terms Translation Bowl, Bowling, Bowler— pitch, pitching, pitcher Wicket— the equivalent of a base in baseball, but there are only two of them Bumper— a ball that is bounced high towards the batter’s head or shoulders during a bowl
Over— the set of six pitches delivered from one wicket to the other by a pitcher
Sticky Wicket— a term used for a partially dry and partially wet field, making it difficult for batters during runs Run— safe crossing by a player between wickets, earning them points Blob— a score of zero
Long On/Off: protects the boundary line and keeps the opposition from scoring runs.
Mid-Wicket: covers the area in the center of the leg-side in order to keep the opposing team from scoring a run.
Fine Leg: role of the fine leg is to catch balls that are hit near the pitch. Square Leg: square of the wicket, the role is to cover the area to the right of the wicket.
Beamer— fastball by the bowler that goes low and does not bounce off of the ground; it is not considered a legal bowl Circle— the painted circle on the ground marking the center of the pitch Knock— refers to the batting innings of any cricket player Skipper— captain of the cricket team Bunny/Rabbit— a member on the team who cannot bat and usually goes last; they are the specialist bowlers or wicket-keepers Box— an abdominal protector worn by batters and wicket keepers Lifter— a ball that rises unexpectedly towards the batter
of the game
Stonewall— to protect one’s wicket at all costs, putting defense above any other aspect
Ton— 100 runs by a single batsman in one inning
—Compiled by Brenna O’Neill and Esra Gokturk
Go to the web to read a story on the Washington sports updates on the training deadline.
16 Boys Basketball @ I.C. Norcom 3/5/2011
March 9, 2011
Postseason run ends at states
Boys basketball falls to I.C. Norcom to end the best boys basketball season in AHS history
Senior Karl Ziegler defends an I.C. Norcom player during the Atoms’ loss. Ziegler led the team with 14 points in the game.
Sophomore Sanar Shamdeen passes the ball to a teammate. Shamdeen led the team with 42 3-pointers this season, including four in the state tournament match-up.
Junior Monte McCarthy looks toward a teammate early in the state game. McCarthy was a crucial component in the Atoms’ postseason run.
Playing in an unfamiliar gym in front of a hostile crowd against the defending state champions, it’s easy to see the kind of opponent the boys basketball team was up against in the first round of the Virginia AAA State Tournament on March 5. After the best season in AHS history, the Atoms’ season ended with a 49-43 loss to I.C. Norcom. “I’m very pleased [with our team’s effort],” Head Coach Anthony Harper said. “We came out and played hard and weren’t in awe of their team or their record.” The Atoms came into the game at a severe disadvantage with Eastern Region Champion I.C. Norcom having home-court advantage. This advantage was more than just being close to home, however. The Greyhounds had the benefit of playing on The College of William and Mary’s gym floor during their regional tournament and, with the exception of one small section behind the AHS bench, had the entirety of the stadium cheering for them. The Atoms, however, did not let this affect them. “We weren’t at all intimidated [by Norcom],” junior Monte McCarthy said. “We played them earlier during the summer and beat them so we were confident in ourselves and our ability.” The Atoms came out strong and held a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter behind strong 3-point shooting from sophomore Sanar Shamdeen. “We came out with more heart than they did and I think that they underestimated us early,” senior Karl Ziegler said. In the second quarter, Norcom senior Dorian Finney-Smith, who is the No. 25 high school basketball recruit in the nation according to maxpreps.com, set the tone defensively for the Greyhounds and brought his team back into the lead. Norcom led 27-22 with less than 30 seconds left to go in the half, but a put-back by Ziegler cut the lead to three as the teams headed to the locker rooms. Senior D’Angelo Boyce knocked down a deep
BY DAVID HOOKEY Co-Editor in Chief
Senior D’Angelo Boyce moves the ball quickly downcourt in the AHS loss against I.C. Norcom in the state quarterfinals. Boyce was subdued in the game, and the team relied on scoring from seniors Karl Ziegler and Melvin Robinson and sophomore Sanar Shamdeen to stay in the game.
3-pointer from the top of the arc to start the second half and tie the game at 27. From there, the teams went back and forth with the Atoms eventually taking a 37-36 lead into the fourth quarter. After the Atoms built up a three-point lead, the Greyhounds stepped it up defensively and shut down the AHS offense. With 1:30 left in the game, Norcom led 45-43 and was able to corral a loose ball and turn it into an easy lay-up. After a missed shot and a turnover, the Atoms were forced to foul and Norcom was able to make just enough free throws to seal the 49-43 win and advance to the state semi-finals. “It came down to not hitting shots at the end of the game,” Harper said. “We were missing shots and they picked up their defensive intensity. Our ball screens weren’t as effective as they had been earlier in the game and key calls from the refs in the last two minutes kind of broke us down.” In the game, the Atoms were led by Ziegler’s 14 points and Shamdeen’s 12 points. Senior Melvin
Robinson added 10 points and led the team with 8 rebounds. Despite the loss, this year’s team will go down as the best team in AHS history. No other boys basketball team had even advanced to the regional semi-finals; much less the state tournament. “We had good senior leadership with Karl, Melvin, D’Angelo and Greg [Nielsen],” Harper said. “They worked hard when we needed it and we finished strong down the stretch of games this season. In previous years we might’ve lost some of those close games we won this year.” The team is losing six seniors this year in Ziegler, Boyce, Robinson, Nielsen, Peter Hagen and Matt McCartney, but looks to continue the success from this season into next behind Shamdeen, McCarthy, junior Tyler Schwartz and junior Reggie Scott. “Even though we lost, it’s a great feeling to be known and hopefully remembered as the best team in AHS basketball history,” Ziegler said.
VHSL adopts new off-season policy
Senior D’Angelo Boyce defends Norcom’s Dorian Finney-Smith. Boyce had 5 points and 4 rebounds in the game.
—photos by Rachel Bergen
Varsity girls lacrosse schedule March 15 vs. Marshall March 17 @ Falls Church March 19 @ AHS, Annandale Invitational March 21 @ Lake Braddock March 25 vs. West Springfield March 26 @ AHS, Annandale Invitational April 4 @ Woodson April 6 vs. Robert E. Lee April 12 @ South County April 26 @ T.C. Williams May 2 vs. West Potomac
Visit www.thea-blast.org for more photos from the state quarterfinals. Galleries from regional play are also available online.
“VHSL” from page 1 Though the Northern Region could still interpret the policy strictly, the new rule is expected to result in at least minimal change to the offseason training of athletes in the 2011-2012 school year. “I think it would affect my off-season training because our coach would be able to work out his philosophies a lot easier and more in depth over more time,” sophomore Nolan Gilbert said of his baseball training. Gilbert is just one of the many AHS students who participated in multiple high school sports under the old regulation, which prompted athletes to become involved with other high school and club teams in order to stay in shape and train during the off-season. However, now that this rule has been modified, many students are unsure of how their participation and training will be affected. “Allowing coaches and players contact during the off-season promotes a much heavier focus on a single sport, and for me personally, I would love to be able to work all year round at field hockey,” junior Annie Rutherford
Change spurs greater interaction between coaches and players
Assistant Baseball Coach Danny Brown works with senior Evan Smith during a recent practice. Depending on the decision of the Northern Region, a change in VHSL regulations could allow high school coaches to work with their players for most of the off-season.
said. “However, it may create a conflict with my club team because the coach could want players to solely focus on the school’s team.” This is just one of Rutherford’s worries, who despite feeling that the extra practice would be beneficial, believes that the change could have a negative impact on high school athletes. “It would limit or possibly take away the ability to be able to play
multiple sports because a coach may require training all year round,” Rutherford said. Others believe that the new regulation could prove advantageous should the Northern Region choose to interpret it broadly. “There could be more organized practices in the off-season than in the past where we could only have open gym,” junior varsity basketball player David Croghan said.
Since the Northern Region normally forms stricter policies than VHSL, its teams are put at a disadvantage when competing against those from other regions. Therefore, should the region choose to interpret the rule broadly, it would help level the playing field across Virginia. Not only that, but the rule change is expected to make one-on-one training with coaches both more affordable and more convenient. Many players pay large amounts of money to work with private coaches and play on travel teams in the off-season, a problem likely to be remedied by the new rule. “It will give an opportunity to those players who cannot afford for individual coaches to work with them to come to the high school and work with their coaches,” Hilios said. This will be especially beneficial to individual players because according to Hilios, “coaches can only work with a controlled number of kids,” giving athletes a chance for special attention. However, each of these scenarios depends heavily on the decision yet to be made by the Northern Region. VHSL may have passed a new regulation, but the region can still adjust its policy, leaving athletes with no other option than to wait and see to what extent their off-season training will be affected.
March 9, 2011
17 Games to watch this spring March 28 - Boys tennis vs. W.T. Woodson March 29 - Softball vs. West Potomac April 4 - Girls Lacrosse vs. W.T. Woodson
Senior Luis Parrado warms up for tennis practice by running laps around the track.
Junior Bonne Clark prepares to hit the ball during practice. The girls tennis team shows promise this season.
Spring Sports Preview As the winter season comes to a close, spring sports start to heat up
Baseball A dedicated senior class looks to lead this year’s baseball team deep into the playoffs. Led by coach Ron Abrigo, the team looks to have the makings of a great season. Key Players: Eric Reynolds, Ryan Keck, Jordan Cowles, Jake Barnes and Pat McCann Big Games: Lake Braddock and South County Player Outlook: “Our seniors have worked very hard this year and there are a lot of leaders out there. I think we will have a good season,” senior Eric Reynolds said.
April 28 - Girls tennis vs. West Springfield April 29 - Baseball vs. Lake Braddock
“I have high expectations and [the team does] as well. We have 11 of 14 players returning this year and if we can play as a team we can go further than last year,” Head Coach Chris Tippins said. The girls look to better their 12-9 record and win the district
After a tough loss in the Patriot District Championship to cross town rival W.T. Woodson, the boys lacrosse team plans on district dominance. Last season’s record of 12-2 will be a tough act to follow, but a strong senior class shows promise.
Key Players: Isabelle Yaroch, Jessica Hotter and Kelly Hughes
Key Players: Nathan Miller, Ryan Miller, Peter Hagen, Andy Craig, Stephen Craig, Nick Lalande and Bob Stevens
Big Games: South County, Lake Braddock and West Potomac
Big Games: W.T. Woodson and West Springfield
Player Outlook: “We have a solid team this year and a lot of returning players. I’m excited to get on the field and beat our toughest rivals South County and West Potomac,” junior Emily Krause said.
Player Outlook: “I’m looking forward to this year because of the hard work we all put in,” senior Bob Stevens said.
April 8 - Baseball vs. South County
Senior Kate Bermingham passes during practice. Bermingham will be a starting defender on this year’s team.
April 5 - Boys soccer vs. Lake Braddock
Ron Abrigo Baseball Q. How many years have you been coaching? A. “This is my sixth year coaching.” Q. What are your expectations going into this season?
A. “To win.” Q. How are your preparing for the season? A. “We’re out here everyday getting better and fully focusing every moment. Our theme this year is being in the moment.”
With a new coach and new dedication, the varsity boys soccer team looks forward to a bright season. Coach Stephen Howes has taken over as head coach. “We want to be undefeated state champions,” Howes said. The Atoms hope to improve on their record from last year of 8-2-6. They were eliminated in the first round of the district tournament by T.C. Williams.
Last season ended with disappointment after the girls team lost the Patriot District Championship to district rival W.T. Woodson. The team lost six players to graduation, but hope that a strong core of seniors this year will be able lead the team. Key Players: “Everyone is a key player,” Head Coach Cindy Hook said.
A. “Win. That’s our number one thing. Just win.”
Key Players: Marco Hurtado, Wilson Martinez, Jordan Fox and Melvin Perla
Big Games: W.T. Woodson and West Springfield
Q. Keys to success?
Player Outlook: “I think that this season should go pretty well. We have a handful of returning players that will be a strong unit on the field,” senior Kate Bermingham said.
A. “Senior leadership and pitching from [Eric] Reynolds, [Ryan] Keck, [Jordan] Cowles, [Jake] Barnes and [Tyler] Schwartz.”
Big Games: Lake Braddock and T.C. Williams Player Outlook: “I think this season will go well, not only because the soccer team is more organized, but because we have a pretty solid team,” junior Sergio Moya said.
—Compiled by David Hookey
Big Games: Robert E. Lee and West Springfield Player Outlook: “If we work hard at practice and grow as a team our season will be very successful,” junior Kim Rowland said.
With a new coach this season in Dean of Students Hassan Mims, the girls tennis team looks to improve on last year’s 4-7 record. With five returning players, the team is looking to its seniors for leadership. Key Players: Kelsey Knoche, Alexa Lafferty and Bonne Clark
No. 2 - Senior David Hookey No. 3 - Junior Philipos Ousman No. 4 - Senior Luis Parrado No. 5 - Senior JP Ramirez No. 6 - Sophomore Kyle Jamieson
Player Outlook: “We lost quite a few good seniors last year, some of which were in the top six, but so far it looks like we can pull through and have a successful season,” junior Bonne Clark said.
Track and Field
With a solid core of returning seniors, the varsity tennis team looks to capture its first regional tournament berth in over ten years. With three seniors who have played in the top six since their freshman year, the tennis team is loaded with experience and primed for success.
Coming off of a winter Patriot District championship, the outdoor track team looks to be a favorite this spring season. The indoor team took 7th overall in the state this year and has many of the same athletes, so the team should be successful this season.
Key Players: Erik Morton and David Hookey
Key Players: Ahmed Bile, Nathan Seeto, JP Jenkins and Joel Hoisington
Player Outlook: “I think that with our experience and raw young talent, the tennis team should be able to finish top 3 three in the district and qualify for regionals,” senior Erik Morton said.
No. 1 - Senior Erik Morton
Big Games: Lake Braddock and West Springfield
Boys Tennis Big Games: W.T. Woodson and West Springfield
Boys tennis projected top six
Big meets: West Potomac and T.C. Williams Player Outlook: “This year could be a great one. Especially after the strong winter season,” senior Nathan Seeto said.
Key Players: Alley Adcock, Jane Aman and Jenna Balicki
Girls Soccer The girls soccer team is coming off of a 6-6-5 season and hope to improve to a winning record. Goalie Jane Aman, who has committed to play soccer at The College of William and Mary, should give the team a solid foundation with which to get better. With 16 returning players, the Atoms should be a force to reckoned with this season.
Q. What are the team’s goals?
Go to www.thea-blast.org to read a story about spring sports teams making cuts.
This week on TV Wed. March 9:
6 p.m. - 106 & Park: Top 10 8 p.m. - American Idol 8 p.m. - NBA: Dallas vs. New Orleans 9 p.m. - Modern Family 9:30 p.m. - Mr.Sunshine 10 p.m. - Off the Map
Thurs. March 10: 3 p.m. - The Tyra Show 7 p.m. - Top Chef: All-Stars 7 p.m. - NBA: Los Angeles vs. Miami 8 p.m. - Vampire Diaries 10 p.m. - Jersey Shore 10 p.m. - Fairly Legal
Fri. March 11: 5 p.m. - Gilmore Girls 7 p.m. - E! News 8 p.m. - D.C. Cupcakes 9 p.m. - Say Yes to The Dress 9 p.m. - Fringe
Sat. March 12:
11 a.m. - When I Was 17 3 p.m. - NBA: Miami vs. Memphis 4 p.m. - Cupcake Wars 11:30 p.m. - Saturday Night Live
Sun. March 13:
9 p.m. - Desperate Housewives 10 p.m. - Kim and Kourtney Take New York 10 p.m. - Real Housewives of Atlanta
Mon. March 14: 7 p.m. - Inside the Actors Studio 8 p.m. - Pretty Little Liars 9 p.m. - Gossip Girl 9 p.m. - Greek
Tue. March 15: 7 p.m. - NHL: Washington vs. Montreal 8 p.m. - Glee 10 p.m. - Teen Mom 2 11 p.m. - My Life as Liz
Who is your favorite one hit wonder? “Rick Astley who sang ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.” — Austin Chavez sophomore ‘“The Macarena.’” — Jenna Balicki senior
March 9, 2011
The future of talk shows With many big time talk show host retiring recently, who is left? “I can only watch them during the summer because of
By Corinne Balicki Staff Writer The king and queen’s talk show regime is almost at a close. Larry King, the iconic night time talk show host, retired in January and Oprah’s retirement is looming in the distance. Oprah has been the poster woman for daytime television and both have been dominating the television for two decades. Their names have been commonplace in households around the country for years, but as their regime comes to an end the future of television talk shows is unclear. Oprah’s self titled talk show is one of the longestrunning daytime television talk shows in history. Now that it is in it’s final season viewers are trying to figure out who will be the new face of daytime television. “I do not think anyone can take her place because no one is like her and she is a hard act to follow,” sophomore Harris Fitzgerel said. No daytime host has a viewer base like Oprah’s and none are as well known. Some hope Tyra Banks will fill in, but she has a long way to go. Daytime television talk shows are almost completely off the radar at AHS and Oprah retiring will be even more detrimental to the ratings and number of viewers. “I never watch daytime talk shows because I’m at school and then I have sports,” junior Wally Geiger said. On the other hand, night time talk shows are still popular, for the time being. With Piers Morgan replacing Larry King, we see what the new focus of talk shows is. While King was a classic, Morgan is young, cool and brings the element of entertainment. Eliot Spitzer is replacing his former co-host Kathleen Parker. Spitzer captured America’s attention when he was arrested for paying for prostitution while being Governor of New York. He, like Morgan is someone who has made a name for himself before becoming a host. “I never watched Larry King but I watch Peirs Morgan because I know of him and he is funny,” junior Carina Lin said. ‘Live! With Regis and Kelly,’ another famous talk show, is also changing their hosts. Regis Philbin, a TV personnel for over 40 years announced that he will be retiring after the summer season of ‘Live!’. Regis and Kelly is a morning program that is enjoyed by many students over the summer.
However, ratings have showed that Morgan and
1: Piers Morgan, British journalist who replaced Larry King, sits with former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. 2: Talk show host Larry King retired at age 76 after 25 years of hosting Larry King Live. 3: Hot television talk show host, Oprah Winfrey has a laugh with David Letterman.
school but I like them because they have great chemistry and work well together,” sophomore Meghan Lynn said. ABC plans to replace Regis with a new, younger cohost for Kelly. As a new era of hosts is ushered in we see everything that they have to offer. Their connection to a young audience will appeal to the younger dynamic while their familiar time slots will keep their old viewers.
Spitzer, although popular at first, have a smaller number of viewers and lower ratings then those they replaced. Hopefully, we will learn to love them as we did their predecessors.
Where have the lost stars gone? Uncovering the unglamorous lives of once-famous one hit wonders By Ngan Pham Staff Writer We all remember that artist who created that song that everyone turned up when it came on, but when he or she seems to disappear, we are all left wondering; where in the world did they go? Some have moved on with their lives while others are still stuck on the music scene, just not as popular as they used to be. Once you lose your lust, its hard to get it back, unless your name is Britney Spears or Eminem. The thing we cannot deny is that we loved one of their songs at one point and that they might even have a comeback. “I’ve always wondered whatever happened to Cassie. It’s like she fell off the face of the earth,” senior Meriem Khadraoui said. James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” was an undeniable hit worldwide in 2005. However, after the song began to slide its way out of the ears of the radio, Blunt has yet to reach the popularity that he was at
when the Daniel Powter
song debuted. “Even though that was a top hit, it sounded so bad. I honestly don’t even know how it became so popular,” sophomore Sean George said. Now, he continues to tour with his relatively new album Some Kind of Trouble and partakes in several charities. Though he has not been as active in America, he remains popular in the UK. The American Idol runner up, David Archuleta is another one-hit wonder that has grabbed the attention of listeners, right after Idol.
Archuleta Ryan Cabrera
melted the hearts of teenage girls with “Crush,” but little did we know that Jive Records would release from him from his contract. It was also announced within a year, thatArchuleta left his management group. He intends to continue writing original material and stay away from the spotlight for a while. “I really liked [DavidArchuleta] because he was so different. It surprised me that he was dropped so soon,” sophomore Lois Kim said. Similar to David Archuleta, David
Cook, the actual winner of American Idol did not even last as long as Archuletta. After releasing an album that was overlooked, he is now stuck to making small cameo appearances and small shows here and there. “Most of the idol contestants go nowhere after the competition; it is the ones that don’t make the show but have talent, like Daughtry [who have success],” senior Aya Ibrahim said. Mario Vazquez is another artist who got his start by winning American Idol and has had it rough in past years. After “Gallery” lost its shine, he quickly became a nobody. After releasing his second single “One Shot,” events turned for the worst after he was dropped from Arista Records in early 2008. His website was shut down shortly after being dropped by his label. Theonehitwonderswerememberseem to be in all kinds of different situations. Some artists have continued their work in music, but others have lost their luck and completely fallen of the music map.
Celebrities making a scene
“‘Ice Ice Baby’ by Vanilla Ice.”
Top news on today’s hottest and most popular stars
— Skye Lindberg sophomore
“‘Like a G6’ by Far East Movement.” — Daniel Turcios sophomore “‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ by Ricky Martin.” — Travis Swann freshman
Go to the web to read more about one hit wonders on The Fountain blog located on The A-Blast Blog Directory.
Being pregnant was not the only big news for this exceptional actress and now mother who was awarded as best actress at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. She has successfully starred in many films this season including money makers, “Black Swan” and “No Strings Attached.”
Yes, Britney is back. She had been poking her head in the music industry for a couple years now, but finally she released a music video for her popular song, “Hold it Against Me.” Now she has an album in the works and has revealed news that a collaboration track with will.i.am is in the works.
Charlie Sheen As if his life could not have gotten worse, Charlie Sheen, who is now in rehab, has lost his job due to the cancellation of his show “Two and a Half Men.” Sheen has also become a new sensation on twitter, constantly rambling on about nonsense like “tigerblood” and calling himself an “unemployed winner.”
Actor and model Alex Pettyfer is in several films coming out soon. Before he was on his way to the premier of his movie “Beastly,” a small fire broke out at his house. The fire was quickly contained, and no one was injured. He even managed to attend the premier of his movie.
British fashion designer John Galliano has recently been arrested due to making antiSemitic slurs at a cafe to two women in Paris. He has also been fired from his former job at popular fashion label Christian Dior because of the incident. Word now, is that the fashion designer is in rehab.
Entertainment How to be the next Spielberg March 9, 2011
Five step by step instructions to turn your brilliant idea into a cinematic masterpiece
Successful Low Budget Movies
Once you have determined the basic elements of your movie, it is time to write your script. The key pieces to a script are the descriptions of the setting, the dialogue of the characters and all scene transitions you wish to add in later. Your script should include every detail that you want to have in your final product. Creating a good script is the first step to creating a good movie.
Senior IB Film student Kyle Rayo presents his treatment to his classmates.
Mary Anne Kavjian
Write your script
Senior IB Film student Chris Marshall makes edits to his movie’s script.
Paranormal Activity (2009) Production Budget: $15,000 Domestic Total Gross: $107,918,810
Develop your ideas
Once you have an idea for your film, write a treatment. This is a one page summary of your movie from start to finish. Now, present your treatment to your friends and family so they can help you to refine the plot. With their comments, make changes to your treatment as needed.
Make your vision come to life
The program FinalCut Express can pause footage second by second, giving the user a great amount of control.
Senior IB Film student Andy Nguyen studies lines for his movie.
Shoot your footage
Once all of the individual pieces of your movie are in place, it is time to begin the daunting task of filming. When it comes to cameras, there is a wide range of type and quality. Simple cameras, such as Flip camcorders, can be found for just a little over $100, while nicer ones can be as pricey as $3500. It is important that you make sure every shot is significant to your overall storyline. To make sure you get the shot you need, do multiple takes from various angles.
Blair Witch Project (1994) Production Budget: $60,000 Domestic Total Gross: $140,539,099
Mary Anne Kavjian
Edit your shots into one cohesive piece
It is important to keep the camera steady while filming, whether with a tripod or by maintaining steady hands.
Get inside your favorite celebrities’ heads
Clerks (1994) Production Budget: $27,000 Domestic Total Gross: $3,151,130
Top 10 iTunes Downloads 1. Born This Way Lady Gaga
2. S & M Rihanna
3. Blow Ke$ha
4. Rolling in the Deep Adele “I really need a girlfriend. Think that’s why I been slackin in the gym and not workin out.”
“Just got invited to do the Nancy Grace show... I’d rather go on a long road trip with Chuck Lorre in a ‘75 Pacer....”
“FUN TIP: Insulting a celebrity shows people that u know a celebrity! “Sly’s great but he’s SO Paranoid.””
“I’m doin me, and you should do you, why you worried bout me ? You need to worry bout YOU. =) ”
—Nicole “Snooki“ Polizzi
5. I Need a Doctor (ft. Eminem) Dr. Dre
6. E.T. (ft. Kanye West) Katy Perry
7. F**kin’ Perfect
8. On the Floor (ft. Pitbull) Jennifer Lopez
9. Forget You Cee Lo Green
It is at this final stage of the film process that all last minute touches are made. Simple programs such as iMovie and Windows MovieMaker can get the job done, but there are also higher level options such as FinalCut, which offers more control over little details. In the editing process, it is important to cut out any mistakes and bloopers that occurred during filming. It is also at this step that you will add any scene transitions that you envisioned. Once you are satisfied with your final product, congratulations, you have finished your first movie! Come to the IB Film Festival on June 10 at 6 p.m. to see the studentcreated movies.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004) Production Budget: $400,000 Domestic Total Gross: $44,540,956
Mary Anne Kavjian son John Erin
Mary Anne Kavjian
Once you have finished your script, you must prepare to begin the filming process. To do this, get your friends and family to be your actors and actresses as needed. This is also the stage in which you will select the setting for all of your shots and any props you may need in your scenes. Keep the mise en scene in mind as you plan. This means that all aspects of a scene must be significant to the scene’s message.
What do you and your pets do on the weekend?
Mar. 9, 2011
Pal around with your pets
The best parks, pet stores and play toys for your favorite animals Maddie Smith fondly feeds her new tropical Betta fish.
A walk in the park Dog parks are the perfect place to bring your dog when your looking to deviate from your ordinary walks. Some allow dogs to be let off the leash and socialize with other dogs. While the parks below do not offer this option, they provide beautiful scenery that both you and your dog will love.
“I play with my dog outside and take her for walks.”
—Mark Slough freshman
Lake Accotink is one of the best and closest local parks to enjoy an afternoon with your pet. The park has a 55-acre lake offering beautiful views and trails that offer the perfect place to go running with your dog. Located in Springfield, Virginia, this neighborhood park can range from a two minute walk to a five minute drive for most people.
“I take him to the dog park and he does tricks and stuff. ”
Senior Katie Panther plays fetch with her Black Lab, Dylan.
Treat your pets Whether you own a dog, cat, fish, parrot, lizard or any other animal, every pet deserves a little treat now and then. Check out these places below if your looking to purchase treats and toys.
“I have five tanks of fish, so I feed them a lot.”
“I have a doberman and I take him to Mason District dog park.”
—Zeni SaifeSelassie senior
A little further down the road in Fairfax is Petland, located near the well known Fair City shopping center. This store is known for their ready to go supply of rabbits and small dogs on display and to play with, if age 18 and older. This unique shop has been servicing animals and owners for over 35 years and certainly has the experience with all types of animals and situations. They have dedicated counselors who can even match up pets and owners.
“I had a yellow lab that I would take to local ponds and lakes.”
—Dick Adams Asst. Director of Student Activities
of freshly baked brown bread was delivered to our table to munch on while we contemplated all of the menu options. For those of you who are unfamiliar with traditional Irish fare, there are a few standard dishes that we recommend you try. Shepard’s pie is a ground beef and vegetables covered in a thick, mashed potato crust along the top. Essentially, this combines an entire dinner plate into one single platter, and the flavor combination works perfectly. If you are slightly less adventurous, we recommend the Reuben sandwich, which came piled high 3971 Chain with meat and oozing, Bridge Rd. melted cheese. Fairfax, VA Around 7 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, a 22030 traditional Irish band plays live music that has been known to cause spontaneous outbursts of jigging and dancing among diners. As we waited for our meal, we thoroughly enjoyed the music and entertainment group who played traditional songs like “Wild Rover” and “Man of Constant Sorrow.” The lively atmosphere included people dancing along to the music, fans at the bar cheering for the local game and plenty of conversation from
––Complied by Rachel Bergen and Isabel Vinaro
Senior class t-shirt are available for $5
Culinary Conquests Restaurant Guide
By Kelsey Price and Helena Belay Senior graduation countdown: 99 days
Bake sale days will be posted on the Class of 2011 group on Facebook
Visit us at www.thea-blast. org to view Last Weekend I... went to the Wax Museum slide show
Sophomore Varinia Frias relaxes with her Maltese poodle.
New to Annandale’s Little Run Shopping center is the recently opened PETCO. This widely known chain store is a reliable place to satisfy all your pet needs. It has everything from clothes to crates and in-between. It also has a wide variety of services such as dog training, pet care, medical insurance, grooming, photography and vaccination. Make sure to check online for their pet adoption events that are typically held on Saturday mornings and are perfect to save a life and add another friend to the family.
—Tisha Vo senior
2011 class bulletin
Senior Anthony Banaszak hugs his new dog named Boo.
A little luck of the Irish If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to visit Ireland, the lush, green country known for St. Patrick’s Day and Guinness, we highly recommend the restaurant and pub, Auld Shabeen. Located in Old Town Fairfax, the authentic Irish cuisine featured on the menu is completely unique to the Annandale area. The live music offered on a weekly basis captures the spirit of the restaurant, which makes Auld Shabeen a true destination spot. In Ireland, a Shabeen was an after-hours speakeasy where friends would gather for with good conversation, food and drinks. That spirit and camaraderie of its original purpose has been perfectly encapsulated, which is why Auld Shabeen is one of the hottest restaurants in the Northern Virginia area. It was named one of Washingtonian Magazine’s Best Restaurants of Fairfax in 2010, and we’d have to agree with that assessment wholeheartedly. The first good sign we encountered came when we entered: the entrance was packed with eager diners, waiting to be fed and to hear some live Irish music. After politely elbowing our way to the front of the line to claim our reservation table, we were seated by a friendly hostess and presented with our menus. A delicious basket
—Dane Harlowe junior
Junior Annie Rutherford plays with her bunny, Riley.
Senior Deanna Epley tests her birds talking skills with fun games.
“Sometimes I take naps with my dog and feed him treats. I love my dog.”
—Nina Caballero junior
Burke Lake Park, located at 7315 Ox Road in Fairfax Station, Virginia, is worth the drive with a park that has a 218-acre lake with fishing and an 18-hole golf course. It includes horse shoe pits, picnic areas and, during the summer, a miniature train.
friendly neighbors across the restaurant. As a multi-seating establishment they also feature a lower-level area called “The Cellar,” which can accommodate 200 guests and hosts live bands and DJ’s every weekend. After a filling meal, we decided to try the black and white cake off the specials menu. After biting into what could only be described as a little piece of heaven, we knew exactly why it was placed on the specials menu. The cake had alternating layers of white and dark chocolate with whipped cream and a hard piece of white chocolate on the side perfectly topped off with a strawberry. After an amazing meal, great entertainment and even better service, our only regret was that we didn’t bring bigger appetites.
Top: The steaming hot platter of Shepard’s Pie with fresh vegetables. Above: A slice of the black and white cake, one of the delicious options listed on the Specials Menu. Left: A picture of the chicken club sandwich for the less adventurous eaters. ––All photos by Kelsey Price