features the first graduating class for the AVID program
highlights the music of a student dubstep producer
By the numbers
The number of families that one student has in her life See page 6
covers the traditions of Quinceaneras and coming-of-age celebrations
features the prom experiences of several AHS teachers
4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, VA 22003
Informiing the Atoms siince 1954 4
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2012
Math SOLs become more challenging
The admission fee to see the Fairfax Wind Symphony perform in the auditorium See page 4 The current number of laws that actively censor the Internet See pages 10-11
BY COLLEEN ADENAN Co-Editor in Chief
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA LAFFERTY
contemplates the effects of CISPA and online censorship
ANNANDALE HIGH SCHOOL
the VOLUME #57 ISSUE 11
The number of AHS teachers that share their Prom day pictures See page 14 The number of seniors in the first graduating class of the AVID program See page 4 The number of students who acted in this year’s Theatre Without Border’s play See page 8
Senior class announcements
23 percent of sophomores and 12 percent of freshmen. That means that of the 275 students surveyed, overall Sophomore Jennifer Nguyen ponders a difficult math question with the help of her calculator. only 24 percent of those students are overweight or obese with the majority fill-in-the-blank, drag and drop and questions that will ask students to made up of underclassmen. This comes at a difficult time, for select all possible correct answers BY GWEN LEVEY the U.S. Centers for Disease Control from a set. “The overall goal of the new and Prevention released a new report Co-Editor in Chief that predicts that 42 percent of standards is to increase the rigor of Like most students, the stresses of Americans (32 million) will be obese the entire test to ensure students are school work such as IB classes, honor by the year 2030. This increase in ready for a successful future in college society meetings and extra curricular obesity rates would also cause an and careers,” department chair Karen activities drained energy and time out increase in healthcare costs, adding Olarinde said. “While revising the of senior Sally Abilmona’s life. With to the national deficit and an already test, the Virginia Board of Education so much to focus on, it’s not hard to looked to national organizations such failing economy. imagine how she forgot to focus on one “I think right now, [AHS would] be as College Board and the ACT that of the most important elements of her below the predicted average. Many created college admission tests, as life: her weight. well as college faculty, teachers and students are involved in sports and “I used to be uncomfortable with mathematics specialists.” “Is AHS fat?” continues on page 5 The new mathematics standards are now equal in rigor and depth to the national standards, known as the Common Core State Standards, which many states have adopted. Sophomore Faith Paletti has been preparing for her geometry SOL since the beginning of the school year through eCART tests and practice SOL question provided by her teacher, Olarinde. Yet after all the time put into studying, she still feels unprepared for the changes. “I’ve always been confused with math, and the changes to the SOL throw me off,” Paletti said. “It’s the hardest subject for me. The changes have only made it more difficult.” “I think that the changes will be effective, because college is pretty challenging, and having harder questions than before will let students get used to the kind of work in AHS alumnus, Don Gibson, ‘80, drives his club in order to raise money for the Red & White Golf Classic hosted by the PTSA every year. college,” junior Andrew Boyd said.
Study shows that 42 percent of Americans will be by the year 2030
my weight,” Abilmona said. “I’d come home and have so much homework, so I really never had time to pay attention to it.” Abilmona is one of seven percent of 275 AHS students surveyed that do not consider themselves physically fit or have struggled with their weight before. Of these students surveyed, five percent are girls and two percent are boys. The survey also highlights the fact that of these boys and girls surveyed from each grade, junior girls are the most overweight with a poll of 42 percent, with sophomore girls falling shortly behind with a total of 29 percent. Freshmen and sophomore boys were found to be the most overweight or obese, with
PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAR CREEK PHOTOGRAPHY
Prom tickets are now on sale in trailers 21 and 22 for $45 cash only. You must bring the signed conduct form and guest form (if bringing a guest), which are available to pick up in both trailers or in the front office. You must have all obligations paid before you’ll be allowed to purchase tickets. Guests must not be over the age of 20 and will be required to have an ID with them the night of the dance. All Night Grad tickets are also on sale for $45 and must be bought by the end of the month in order to receive a t-shirt. Tickets will be available for $60 at the door.
Is AHS fat?
With math SOL tests less than two weeks away, students and teachers are scrambling to fit in as much study time as possible in order to prepare for changes to the SOL. Changes will be applied to the Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 SOL tests, which will be given May 25 through 31. Some of the new questions on the test may require students to solve an equation and then plot points on a graph instead of choosing one of several graphs from a multiple choice question, as they did before. In addition to these, there will be PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA LAFFERTY
BY CHRISTINE TAMIR News Editor
Guitar ensemble hosts annual concert On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “QR Code” to read about the annual guitar ensemble concert.
The PTSA will host the 15th annual Red and White Golf Classic on May 18 at 8 a.m. at Laurel Hill Golf Club where all members of the Annandale community are invited to attend, or volunteer at, the high-grossing event. It is recognized as one of the main sources of money for the PTSA’s academic programs, and nets between $10,000 and $15,000 a year. “It’s an enjoyable experience,” Safety and Security specialist Chris TIppins said. “I’ve played at a lot of tournaments.” The majority of participants are returning players and sponsors, and have been involved with the tournament over many years. “Many of our players and sponsors
Red & White Golf Classic sponsors Jerry Bouchard of the Tysons Watch and Jewelry Exchange and Bill Flynn of Green Ventures are thanked by tournament organizers Charlie Hookey, Lisa Baker and Katherine White.
have been doing so for years. Our two top sponsors this year and last are Green Ventures, a company run by Bill Flynn, whose son Zack graduated a few years ago and whose son Evan will graduate next year, and the Tysons Watch and Jewelry Exchange owned by Annandale alum Jerry Bouchard and his wife Rose,” co-chair Rich Fruchterman said. “Golf” continues on page 5
Atoms 5K attracts hundreds of runners from community BY STEPHEN OAKES Copy Editor
“Math SOLs” continues on page 5
COURTESY OF WASHINGTON RUNNING REPORTER
Golf tournament expected to be year’s most lucrative event
COURTESY OF RICHIE FRUCHTERMAN
Fundraisers to begin this week
One of the Athletic Boosters best fundraisers will take place on Sat., May 19. The annual Atoms 5K will feature a course winding throughout Students complete last year’s Atoms 5K. the Annandale neighborhoods firstname.lastname@example.org. starting at 8:30 a.m. According to Back in 1993, The AHS Athletic tradition, the Atoms 5K Run/Walk Boosters held the first Atoms 5K Run/ will start and end on the AHS track. Walk. It has been used inconsistently The Atoms 5K Run/Walk is dual- over the years as a main fundraiser purposed. It was created to raise for the boosters. funds for the Athletic Boosters and to The senior class is being sponsored bring the AHS community together. by ESOL teacher Tricia Kapuscinski Most of the funds will be used for and science teachers Thomas Athletic College Scholarships that Chorman and Claudia Lemus. Math are given out at the conclusion of each teacher Karen Olarinde and science season. The Athletic Booster Club teacher Rachel Lazar will sponsor the hopes to raise $9,000 this year. For freshman class. The sophomore and registration and questions, students are being referred to emailing “Atoms 5K” continues on page 5
May 16, 2012
—Kevin Wilson freshman
“No, because what you post doesn’t always represent you. You could be trying to make people vent or you could be venting.”
—Eric Mejean sophomore “Yes, because they want to see your background and whether or not you are a hardworker and if you are appropriate in general.”
— Ann Marie junior
“No, because personal life and professional life is seperate and a good worker would keep it that way.”
The Homecoming game for varsity football got lots of support from students.
Atom spirit lacks for some sports
sports such as golf, softball, and soccer, this type of advertisement is rare. The appreciation for certain teams get is great, but other teams should also recieve equal appreciation. Being a varsity softball player myself, I see the decrease in support from students at my games By Destiny Gammon compared to the support given to a lacrosse player. Editorials Editor This loss in support is from a long history of putting You take the ball down the field, pass if it off, more sports on a pedastal, and not others. Many and your team mate scores the game winning students show little care or respect for the work goal. Your team cheers from the sidelines, but all that each athlete puts into their team, and instead you hear from the crowd is the clapping from four base all judgements on past seasons of that same parents. This is the affect of a decrease in students’ sport. During pep rallies, it is obvious which teams interest in different sports. have gained more I recently attended a JV respect from the Now that Ponton is gone, and varsity girls soccer game school. Football, and I observed that the total the teacher support has too basketball, and number of parents and friends and has left some sports with lacrosse are the in the stands was less than the sports with empty stadiums. 15. This number is almost a the highest one-hundred percent decrease recognition. It is from the number of people that well recognized that there is some type of respect attend varsity football games in the fall. for all sports teams, and the more support the This low number of support could be cause by better, but every team deserves the same amount multiple factors, one being school spirit. Many of cheers and respect from their peers. sports at AHS do not get the hype that they very The faculty is another contributing factor to well deserve. Before big games, sports such as the little support for certain sports. At many high lacrosse, football, and basketball, there are signs schools, teachers spend their evenings cheering on all over the school that wish them luck. But for students at home games going on at their school.
Students and faculty fail to support all at AHS
“Yes, because they should know the background of who would be representing their company if they hired them.”
—Sally Abilmona senior
The A-Blast wants to hear your opinion. Your response to the following question might be features in our quote collection:
What is your opinion about the lack of support for certain sports at AHS? E-mail your responses to email@example.com
To be honest, I do not think I have ever seen this kind of recognition from teachers. Students thrive off of the respect from their teachers and principals. When it seems those individuals do not care about the student’s efforts, it’s saddening. I remember when former principal, Mr.Ponton,was here, he made it his goal to visit every sport, whether it be during a practice or game, to congratulate the team and wish them luck. This showed commitment as a principal and as a leader and gave athletes the attention they deserve. Now that Ponton is gone, the teacher support has too and has left some sports with empty stadiums. Students are not informed about upcoming games for all sports. Sometimes in the announcements at the end of the day, a small “Good Luck” is wished upon certain teams, but not everyone is always recognized. Each sport should always be recognized no matter how much student support it receives. Being an athlete, I know how much time and effort is placed into all sports. It doesn’t matter whether you run, swim, dribble, bat, punt, check, shoot, or hit. Every time an athlete steps on the field, they represent AHS. When the stands are left empty on the home side, yet filled on the visitors, it is an embarrassing mark on AHS and our sports teams.
Two words: permanent record
—Fatima Khan senior
Sports such as girls soccer gets minimal spirit from teachers and students.
arker’s arks Editorials Column
By James Barker “I was so wasted last night…me and my friends hit up all the parties. Can’t remember much, but who cares #YOLO” For those who are familiar with a tweet such as this, two words: permanent record. The average number of tweets per hour is over one million. Twitter has drawn in over a billion users, including celebrities and politicians, but mostly young adults. The ability to be able to vent to the whole world about how bad your day is or just to say some witty remark or joke is incredible. Humans desire to be loved, and Facebook and Twitter are easy ways for us to feel that we are a part of something significant. It gives us the feeling that people care. When I find out that I have a new follower or a friend request, it gives me a sense of acceptance inside. Many people in the older generations do not like Twitter. They feel that is a waste of time and is just another distraction from real life. Though I see their point, it is just our way of connecting with each other and the world. Every generation has and will have their new way of interacting with one another, but what happens when we take our freedom to post as we please too far? Anyone can say whatever comes to mind on Twitter or Facebook, with no immediate retribution. This can lead to cyberbullying; which can cause depression, fear and in the worst cases death. Those are only extreme cases as the
Vol. 57, Issue 11:
average person does not bully another individual on the internet. Yet, there are other things said online that can cause issues. Sexual comments, explicit language and talking about inappropriate behavior on any social website can and will negatively affect your life in the future. Many people “live in the moment,” not thinking of what the outcome could be. Not only does this apply to online communications, but in many other aspects of life. A multitude of mistakes have been made by people “living in the moment.” Before I head out the door, my cousin never fails to tell me, “two words: permanent record.” As funny as it can be when she tells me this, it does have a lot of worth to it. Anything that post “tweets” and posts on Twitter and Facebook is tweeted or posted can be seen by anyone, no Students without considering the consequences of their actions. matter what the safety controls you think you might have on it. If the government needed to do (or potential employers). Cordial conversations a background check on you, all they would have that are sensible, with respectful and tactful to do is call up Mark Zuckerberg. arguments to boot are both preferred and quite If Facebook were a country, it would be the frankly, more effective.” third largest in the world with over 800 million They continue with, “Random expletives and users. The amount of information that they can sexually explicit language does nothing to prove access is inconceivable. That is why my parents, a point - it just comes across as belligerent noise. being the good parents that they are, always tell Be sensible people. Just because the online world me to watch what I say. Anything can be used gives us a sense of anonymity doesn’t mean you against you by your friends, family and even the should trash and smear an idea just because you court of law. can without any real ramifications. We all have Not too long ago I created a Facebook group the right to free speech, but it came at a cost. Let’s called Boycott Walgreens. The whole point of the not abuse the privilege.” group was to express how frustrated and angry Do we, as Americans, have the right to freedom I was that Fuddruckers was being replaced by of speech? Yes, of course we do. However, I find Walgreens. I knew that when I created it, it would it distasteful and unacceptable that the world get some backfire. However, I was not prepared believes that because they have this right that for the onslaught. they can abuse what they were given without Many posts that people put up were funny, but consequences. The foundations of this country most were inappropriate and utterly uncalled for. were written with thoughtful words of freedom After a while, a good number of group members from tyranny, using quill and scroll. It frightens became upset with the people putting these me that through the same way the founding random posts. fathers created the principles of this free nation, “I think the group was a fine idea,” one we have been unrestrained in saying what we frustrated member said. “Folks just tend to be please, using unthoughtful words, which in turn unnecessarily spiteful online. For those of you makes the value of words less important. It’s not who are in this group - be careful what you post that Twitter and Facebook are bad; it is just that - both here and elsewhere. What you say online we need to learn restraint. Be careful what you is not secret to the world, friends and family post. Zuckerberg is watching.
–– On the rail of page 16, The varsity softball team was against Lee for the first and third pictures and the person in the third picture is sophomore, Destiny Gammon.
––On the rail of page 4, Harris Fitzgerel’s name is mispelled as Fitzgereld and James Barker is a sophomore, not a junior.
The Affects of Twitter In your smartphone, scan the QR code to read a story about the positive and negative affects of Twitter on today’s society.
Annandale High School 4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, Virginia 22003 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vol. 57 No.12 May 16, 2012 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, 2012.
GRAPHIC BY DESTINY GAMMON
“Yes, because posts are a reflection of who you are and they reflect your personal life.”
COURTESY OF BRIAR CREEK PHOTOGRAPHY
Should employers use Twitter or Facebook as a factor for hiring worker?
ILLUSTRATION BY DESTINY GAMMON
EDITORIALS Reaffirming affirmative action May. 16, 2012
“She only got in because she’s black.” Admit it, you’ve either thought of it in your head, said it aloud or heard it from someone else. It has become an idea that permeates through the college admissions process. And as the Supreme Court looks to review the concept of Affirmative Action in admissions this fall, the “race card” has once again captured the national spotlight. Fischer vs. The University of Texas will once again regenerate the Affirmative Action debate. The case involves Abigail Fischer, a Caucasian student currently in Louisiana State University, who is challenging the universitie’s admission process. The state of Texas currently uses the “Top 10 percent rule” as apart of its admission process, in which the top high school students within the 10 percent margin are guaranteed admission to all public Texas universities. Those who don’t qualify then apply through a regular admissions process. Abigail Fischer applied to the University of Texas with a 3.59 GPA and an SAT score of 1180, yet wasn’t eligible for the rule as she wasn’t within the 10 percent range. Like many, she found herself applying through the standard admissions process and found herself rejected. She cites that the university had favored minorities after accepting the top 10 percent, since the UT policy uses race as a factor in choosing applicants. But, it seems to me that Fischer is just finding an excuse for her rejection. As she finds herself rejected, the scapegoat: the black student who worked hard throughout their high school career, seems to be the only clear reason for why. Let’s start off with a history lesson. Affirmative Action is a set of policies that were created to eliminate the effects of past discrimination through either race, religion, sex, or national origin. One of these policies allows colleges to use race as a factor in college admissions, meaning a minority student has a small advantage when applying for college. A heated topic that has created ongoing debates, the Supreme Court has reviewed multiple cases concerning this provision of Affirmative Action.
COURTESY OF SHAMAIM SYED
By Omnia Omn O mnia ia Saed SSae aed d
This fall the Supreme Court will review the concept of Affirmative Action by deciding Fischer vs. The University of Texas.
Today, based on previous precedents, including the infamous Gratz vs. Bollinger court case in 2003, the Supreme Court has ruled that colleges may use race as one of many factors that determine a student’s admission. However, a student can’t be granted “extra points” simply because of his race nor can a school assign a set amount of students to be filled by minorities. And this fall the Supreme Court will once again take on the issue of race concerning university admissions in Fischer vs. The University of Texas. Reality check Ms. Fischer: what makes you so sure race was the only factor that impeded your admissions? How can you be sure to pin-point your personal rejection on affirmative action? Why not blame the legacy students? The poor students? The extraordinary students? The list goes on. Unfortunately, many fail to see that necessity Affirmative Action. To get rid of it completely would be an ignorant and naïve move which suggests that racism is no longer an issue in American society; which is an oxymoron in itself, as this issue highlights the existence of racism today. As much as many try to avoid the idea, racial discrimination is still a major force in American society. Not to say that we are in the same state as were 50 years ago, or ignore the strides of progress that have been made. But, to declare it non-existent or having played no effect on society today is simply ill-bred. Especially when statistics shows that an African American is three times more likely to live in poverty than a Caucasian child, and the National Center of Education reports that African Americans and Latinos are more likely to attend high poverty schools. A large pool of minority students seem to be steps behind in the academic race to college, add
malfunctioning schools, and a lack of resources. It seems unfair to compare them to a student whose parents enrolled them into after-school tutoring, SAT Prep classes, and successful schools. Which is why the one key improvement to Affirmative Action is to factor in socio-economic background. We can’t categorize one race to fit statistics, trust me I understand that complexity. What really doesn’t make sense is how many seem to overlook other so-called unfair disadvantages in the college admissions process, specifically legacyadmissions. It is common knowledge that a student with alumns as relatives have a larger probability of acceptance into that school, a probability that nearly doubles-solely on the basis of your family. At Harvard University, the legacy acceptance rate is a whopping thirty percent, more than four times the regular admissions rate according to The Crimson. Interestingly, Yale University noticed a large correlation between alumni donations and legacy-admissions. Meaning rich have a larger unconsecrated advantage, one that is largely overlooked. Oh, and Ms. Fischer, Texas A&M has one of the biggest legacy programs in the country, according to the Houston Chronicles. In the end, colleges there are many injustices that occur in the depths of the college admissions office. No doubt about it. But to blame a certain set of students because of your rejection is unfair and quite frankly, pretentious, if you’re not blaming everyone. Colleges don’t simply look at your skin color, your gender, you ethnicity and admit you in simply because they’re in need or because policies tell them to. So the next time you think a black kid got in because of their race, think again.
The misconceptions of AHS N oah’s otes
By Noah Noa N oah h Fitzgerel Fitz Fi tzge gere rell Over the past several years, I have garnered an insight into the rarity that characterizes AHS that I think would be quite appropriate to share in my last Noah’s Notes column, as I move on to the In-Depth section of The A-Blast for my senior year. As I sit and learn from my peers and teachers in each of the classes I take, I never cease to be amazed by the sheer talent with which I am surrounded. From world-class violinists to bassists, actors to fan-fiction writers, debaters to athletes to well-rounded students (all of which do not comprise an exhaustive list), I have come to understand why people such as my mother like to call AHS the “secret that is the gem of FCPS.” While AHS, in communities such as my own, is often the butt of criticism, students walking the halls of FCPS enjoy the benefits of attending a school with the perspectives of youth from every corner of the Earth. Such is a fact that is often overlooked by those whose ignorance causes them to cite testing scores and IB enrollment statistics
On an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, President Obama officially supported same-sex marriage
in order to argue that AHS is not “on par” with those of its FCPS neighbors. If education is just as experiential as it is instructional, AHS certainly offers an education that rivals none else. In fact, this diversity is what attracts faculty members who are certainly qualified to teach universitylevel courses (and Michelle Obama, for that matter), or teaching as a second career after fruitful and arduous primary careers. It is this multitude of perspective that allows for the classroom debates, discussions, and presentations that abound in AHS classes to be of such great value. What fun would it be to learn from those who possess similar viewpoints such as your own? For those of you in middle school who are on track to attend AHS, know that you have a bright future. Becoming an IB Diploma Candidate (and doing well in the program) will put you on an academic level equivalent to those attending preparatory schools in the mountains of New Hampshire and Massachusetts whose parents pay in excess of $50,000 annually for such an education. Interacting with AHS’s student population will expose you to a world which such students could never experience, nor contemplate. For those of you who are AHS students and have not seen our school in the same light as I have, I urge you to look closer. Some of your closest friends might excel at physics or chemistry or art at a level you could have never guessed! Or even more likely, such friends might be developing such talents! But most importantly, AHS fosters an environment that encourages the betterment of one’s self. The talent that I mentioned above that
IB Exams are in full swing for AHS seniors.
Districts begin for all varsity AHS spring sports
There are no more Collaborations for the rest of the year
Do you think race should play a factor in college admissions? “No, [college admissions] should not be based on race.” — Andre Lopez
“No, because everyone should have equal opportunities if they’re smart, then race shouldn’t play a role.” — Lily Montes Do Oca
AHS has become an undermined “hidden gem” in FCPS.
pervades our school often serves as an impetus to many students to work harder. Although at some times stressful, ultimately such competition only benefits one’s self. Thus, although my columns have sometimes seemed to scour the administration or school policies to a degree that seems to express my dissatisfaction with AHS, the fact that I was able to publish such criticisms furthers my case. AHS publications enjoy a freedom that is rarely found in other American high schools, and with such freedoms are able to earn national acclaim. I hope that my columns have allowed for you to pick up on the uniqueness I enumerated above that travels throughout the halls of AHS. It seems as if FCPS’s little secret is safe for now, and that is how it should stay.
“I think so because they should give minorities a chance, especially regarding financial issues.”
— Fowzia Abdi senior “No, they should [look at] your GPA, how you do in school. It’s a kind of discrimination.”
— Hien Dang senior
What really takes place during Beach Week Student’s rebuttal to the myths about Beach Week BY JESSICA HOTTER AND CORY BROOKS Special Columnists Beach Week is intended to be a celebration of our hard work, successes in high school and our transition to college or work careers. It’s a time to catch rays, be with friends (many for the last time), relax and have fun. But let’s be honest, beach week is a time when some graduates do partake in drinking, using recreational drugs, and having sex. But aren’t all these actions possible here in Annandale as well? These opportunities surround us all now and will for the rest of our lives. It is up to us to make good decisions. It is a time to relax and get away from the stresses of school and everyday life, as well as a last “hoorah” to enjoy our final summer together as Annandale’s graduating class of 2012. Yes, beach week has a bad reputation, but one must remember that it is a small number of the graduates themselves whom make the bad decisions. Not all of those who attend Beach Week find themselves in the hospital, going to jail, paying fines, and/or calling mommy and daddy for help.
For the most part, parents are not ignorant to the spectacles of beach week. They too have participated in the tradition, and if not, have heard about what goes on. Students will gain many new experiences while attending beach week, mostly positive, but sometimes negative. It is a chance for each individual graduate to display how mature and responsible they can be to their parents and peers. For some, it is the first time they will be unsupervised by their parents and things may get a little “messy” as they struggle with their new-found “freedom.” It is up to the graduates themselves as to how they react in these situations. This gives us the chance to prove to our parents and ourselves that we are capable of handling the opportunities that lie ahead of us at college. Though some take advantage of this freedom, the entire graduating class should not be stereotyped as immature, hormone driven, alcohol obsessed robots. Let’s face it. Parents aren’t thrilled about us going to what some may believe is “Girls Gone Wild,” but my dear friends, it is all about trust. If your parents don’t trust you, most likely it’s because you’ve done something to make them lose trust in you. Just like most opportunities in life, you can either make the most of it and have a enjoyable
and positive experience, or you can go in the other direction and ruin it for yourself. Your friends and others you may not even know and who may follow in your footsteps. Contrary to popular belief, our parents actually want us to enjoy ourselves and trust us to be safe. Some parents this year have opted to actually go along for the trip, while staying a close, but reasonable distance away. We as kids need to be responsible, and though for some it is harder than others, should talk to our parents about our beach week plans. By bringing up the conversation in a calm and level headed manner, they’ll respect our efforts and hopefully view it as a sign of responsibility. We should remind parents about all the things we’ll be doing other than the assumed activities, such as playing frisbee, tanning, fishing, meeting new people, and checking out the boardwalk. So, YES, beach week is different – it’s meant to be. It’s not a week-long “all-night graduation party” under full control of your parents. For the majority, it’s a week of fun, sun and friends. It’s a week that will be remembered long past this summer. Just ask your parents – Do you remember YOUR beach week? Did you have fun and wasn’t it one of the greatest weeks of your life?
“Yes, because if you go to an all Caucasian school and you’re a minority you’ll probably get better opportunities. It depends on background.”
— Monique Diggs senior
“No, I think that the U.S. is a melting pot and always has been and every race has worked to assimilate themselves. I don’t think the racial issues this country has encountered are still relevant.” — Jamie Carayiannis
“Everything; being away from my parents for a month, taking classes with college professors and meeting others with the same interests from all over the state of Virginia.” —Amelie Trieu
“I’m looking forward to just having a month to be independent and just to work on singing. I’m excited to meet a bunch of people from all around Virginia.”
AVID celebrates senior class Fourteen seniors in the first graduating class By Christine Tamir News Editor
After more than four years of AVID classes, senior Anais Flores and thirteen others will be recognized as part of the first AVID senior class. “Well, it has definitely been a long journey since I have been in it for four years,” Flores said. “But I wouldn’t change it.” For many, AVID started in middle school. It’s an elective that requires commitment and extra requirements that non-AVID enrolled students don’t deal with, such as weekly binder checks and the use of Cornell notes. The extra checks and tools are used to assist students’ achievement. As a result of the extra assistance, stereotypes have arisen about the group of students enrolled in the class. “Most people think that AVID is for disorganized students or people that need a lot of help in school, but it’s not true because AVID students are required to take a minimum of two IB classes in order to be
in AVID,” Flores said. “So, I don’t think that’s true; if anything, it’s the complete opposite.” The fourteen graduating AVID students have faced many of the same challenges as AVID students before them, but have gone the extra mile. “This is the first group of students that have been involved in the AVID program for four years, which reflects their determination and commitment to stay focused on attending a four-year college,” AVID Administrator Donna Higgins said. The AVID seniors will be recognized at the senior awards ceremony, according to Higgins. The graduating group requested cords to symbolize their achievement, and were granted approval by Principal Randazzo. However, class sponsors have said that cords are only to be used for honor societies. “Being a part of the first AVID graduating class is an honor. We made it possible for kids currently in AVID to also graduate as AVID students and pursue similar goals of attending college their Senior Isabel Villaroel and Jocelyn Terrazas work in their AVID class. They have been in the class for four years. senior year,” senior Paul Singh said. Singh and his classmates have already inspired Singh said. other younger generations of AVID students to “I’ve been doing it so long and it really helps. persevere with AVID, including his younger sister, It motivates me to actually keep my grades up for sophomore Amanda Singh. college,” Amanda Singh said. “[Paul] wanted to quit a couple of times, but he “I am extremely proud of their accomplishments,” realized it helped him, and stuck with it,” Amanda Higgins said. COURTESY OF ISABEL VILLAROEL
What are you most looking forward to about Governor’s School?
May 16, 2012
Seniors begin graduation preparations
— Stephen Oakes junior Visual and Performing Arts
— Sherief Beshara junior French Governor School “The one month college experience, the freedom from parental restrictions and the chill atmosphere.”
— Hung Truong junior Mathematics, Science and Technology “I’m most looking forward to the college courses I’m going to take for example, astronomy.”
— Brian Khong junior Mathematics, Science and Technology
News Briefs FBLA to host banquet The FBLA will be holding a banquet after school today in the Bistro at 2:00 p.m. During the end of the year banquet, students will vote for the officers for the next school year.
Dance tryouts begin Dance tryouts will begin on June 5, and will continue until June 7. Each day of tryouts will last from 4-6 p.m. in the main gym.
Jazz/Percussion Ensemble to perform The Jazz/Percussion Ensemble will have a concert in the auditorium on May 17 at 7 p.m.
By Gwen Levey Co-Editor in Chief On the first fall morning of the school year four years ago, freshman Marissa Shartel stood timidly in front of the red doors of AHS, took a deep breath, and walked inside the hallways of a new school that held many new possibilities. Now a senior, Shartel will be entering through a pair of different doors on the night of June 14 dressed among a sea of red caps and gowns with her head held high. This is the night, after all, that will end four years of hard dedication to studies and a successful high school career for the entire graduating class of 2012. “I feel like all of this time I have been working so hard for something that at times almost seemed never ending, but now that high school finally is ending, I’m both sad and excited for everything graduation has to offer at the same time,” Shartel said. Leading the traditional graduation ceremony for his first time will be Principal Vincent Randazzo, who replaced former principal
AHS alum Victoria Gowland receives her diploma from former Principal John Ponton at the 2011 graduation.
John Ponton this year. While Randazzo will be making the opening statement for the ceremony and leading the night’s events along, administration is choosing to keep this year’s much anticipated guest speaker a surprise. “The tradition at Annandale is to find an interesting speaker who can engage the audience and inspire the graduates,” English teacher and head coordinator of this year’s graduation ceremony, Bonnie Vining, said. “Additionally, we try to find someone who has a
Fairfax Wind Symphony to perform at AHS Music related to American history By Gwen Levey and Rachel Wilson Co-Editor in Chief and Web Master AHS has been privileged to host several prominent visitors this year, and on May 20 it will be able to add the Fairfax Wind Symphony to its list. The entire community is invited to join this honorary band as part of a prestigious, free concert titled “An American Evening” in the auditorium at 5 p.m. under the direction of Stanley Schoonover and guest conducted by Col. Arnold Gabriel. “Performing symphonic classics and patriotic selections, this is a wonderful musical opportunity for our community,” band director Andrew Loft said in an e-mail to the AHS band community. The Fairfax Wind Symphony will perform seven songs throughout the concert’s duration, including
symphonies from conductors such as John Williams and George Gershwin. These compositions, such as the scheduled opening number of the concert, “Liberty Fanfare” by Williams, and the closing number, “Porgy and Bess” by Gershwin and Robert Bennett, highlight the concert’s celebration of American classics. “I am very excited to have such a great band coming to Annandale,” junior Andrew Riddle said. “Stanley Schoonover is a great director.” After 32 years of teaching public school music education, this is Schoonover’s twelfth year conducting the Fairfax Wind Symphony and he has been recognized for the performances of his bands nationally and internationally. Joined by retired military veteran, Bronze Star recipient, and former director of the US Air Force Band, Col. Arnold D. Gabriel, as guest conductor, the concert is scheduled to take place over the course of about an hour. “[The concert] will feature music related to American history,” Loft
COURTESY OF KAREN EPLEY
“It’s a great opportunity to make my French more fluent. I’m going to be speaking for more than one month and I’ll need to make friends with the language.”
Band Director Andrew Loft talks with junior Raphael Miller. Loft will be performing with the symphony during the May 20th performance in the AHS auditorium.
said. “So there will be a lot of great music for students to enjoy.” In addition to these special conductors, the symphony will include teachers involved in music education throughout FCPS. Music educators that plan to participate include the band teachers of Holmes
On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to view a story about the pressure students face during auditions for the 2012-2013 school bands.
MS, assistants to the AHS marching band and Loft himself. “This is a great opportunity for teachers to give back,” Loft said. “It will be a nice music exchange and I hope students come. We would really like to pack the auditorium for the event.”
Anticipation builds up for cancer walk Event will last 12 hours this year as money is raised Medical experts have spent the past decades striving to find the solution to cancer, but they are not the only ones making a difference. Many students and teachers are planning to collaborate to participate in Relay For Life, an overnight relaystyle event held at AHS on June 9 and 10, to raise funds to fight against cancer. “I participated in this event last year and it was very emotional,” junior Hung Truong said. “I learned a lot about cancer and I recommend it to everyone.” Relay For Life will last a duration of 12 hours this year, starting with the opening ceremony at 6:00 p.m. and ending with the closing ceremony at 6:00 a.m. The event lasts throughout the entire night, unlike other charity walks. People join teams and camp out at the walk site. At least one representative from each team must be walking around the track for the duration of the event.
distinguish themselves and so all of the other participants can celebrate their victory. The Luminaria Ceremony will take over the event at 9:30 p.m., when personalized white luminaria bags will be illuminated. These bags are placed along the track and in the bleachers to honor those who have fallen victim to cancer. Relay For Life is a global event, taking place in 21 different countries. Almost four million people participate in the United States alone. It is organized by the American Cancer Society (ACS), a health organization devoted to eliminating cancer by raising awareness and funds for research. The money raised through Relay For Life goes to multiple different programs. Some of these programs’ actions include providing college scholarships, motivational sessions, transportation to treatment centers and financial burden relief to cancer patients and survivors. “I am actually in the process of raising money right now, so I am really looking forward to the walk,” Truong said. Relay For Life’s slogan is “Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back,” which is exactly what students and teachers are devoted to accomplishing for this upcoming event.
COURTESY OF DANIEL PARK
By Dana Filipczyk News Editor
Band begins auditions
connection to Annandale. We are very fortunate to have someone [this year] who has been very close to Annandale and everyone will be happy with our choice.” “I wish they would tell us who the guest speaker is now so we wouldn’t have to be left in the dark about who it is,” senior Sarah Holmlund said. “But I understand why they want to keep it a surprise for everyone, so I am still excited for the ceremony and all of the pictures that will be taken of me in my cap and gown.” Another difference of this year’s graduation compared to previous years is that seniors will have the opportunity to be given five tickets for the ceremony instead of the traditional four. Vining explained that since this year’s graduating class is smaller, more tickets are available to be given out. “There are usually extra tickets available, which we distribute to interested graduating seniors the morning of graduation,” Vining said. These extra tickets usually go on sale around 6 a.m. “I plan on buying more tickets for more of my family members to come to graduation,” Holmlund said. “So I plan to be there early the morning of graduation to pick them up.”
COURTESY OF BRIAR CREEK PHOTOGRAPHY
Seniors can now invite five guests instead of four
Senior Daniel Park and junior Marwa Eltahir helped plan the event. They also participated in the relay last year.
Many students and teachers are forming teams and working on raising money. “This is my first year participating and I am doing it with the Just World Club,” junior Andre Vaca said. “I am looking forward to helping raise a good amount of money.” After the opening ceremony is initiated, the Survivor’s Lap will begin at 6:30 p.m. This is the invitation for people who have survived the battle against cancer to start off the relay by walking the first lap. This is done so the survivors can
May 16, 2012
School gives conflicting health signals Survey out of 275 AHS students
– 7 percent struggle or struggled with their weight. - 5 percent are girls - 2 percent are boys – 42 percent of of the 7 percent are junior girls. – 23 percent of the 7 percent are sophomores. –12 percent of the 7 percent are freshman. –Freshmen and sophomore boys are found to be the most overweight or obese. the pressures that being overweight would add to her everyday life. However, it would take her father suffering a heart attack last summer for her to realize the risks that not monitoring her weight could cause. “I stopped going to McDonald’s and all of the fast food places I used to when I needed something quick to eat,” Abilmona said. “I used to skip breakfast too, but now I stick with eating something healthy - like whole grains, fiber, and
“Math SOLs” continued from page 1
After taking the SAT and an SAT prep class, Boyd feels prepared for the test. “The SOL doesn’t have a time limit, whereas the SAT gives you 20 to 25 minutes for each math section,” Boyd said. “If I come across challenging questions that are the same format as the SAT based questions, I’ll have more time to figure them out and I’ll already be familiar with them.” “These questions and the increased rigor will be an adjustment to students, just as previous changes to the tests have been,” Olarinde said. “But as in the past, we will work with our students each year to meet this new challenge.” Math teachers have used Atom Time, assessments for the SOL subjects and technology support provided by the state to prepare students for the test. With the most recent cycle, students
that but want to help, we can always use volunteers.” Besides the benefits the school gets from the fundraising event, the classic is a full day of golf for community members to enjoy one of the best
“Atoms 5k” continued from page 1
junior classes are without Atoms 5K class sponsors. “I have been fortunate the last two years to have an amazing planning committee that is made up of about 10-15 parents and faculty that help with everything from getting sponsors, t-shirts, and trophies to publicity and lunch raffles” AHS 5K Run/Walk Organizer, Jenn Montes de Oca, said. Last year there were around 200 people who participated in the Atoms 5K. “This year my goal is 250 people signed up,” Montes de Oca said. The administration is using incentives to get people to sign up. The class with the most runners receives $150 for their class fund. Last year, the juniors won and this
SOL NEW CHANGES AND GENERAL FACTS – New format includes: Drag and drop questions, fill in the blank and graphing. – SOLs will be held from May 25-31. – VA Board of Education decided to make changes in 2009. —Students have prepared through practice questions and eCart tests. — Statewide pass rate for Algebra 1 was 49 percent in the fall. are being directed to teachers specifically for SOL remediation as the test date approaches. “My class has been practicing questions that
aren’t multiple choice and questions that are twostep questions rather than one and answering things,” math teacher Allison Wheeler said. “I think that [the students] are doing a great job preparing for the SOL. We’re doing our best.” In addition to the support being used in school, the county and state have developed additional support for students and parents by posting information on each of their websites. “Even though the tests are more difficult, I think that they’ll prepare students for college like they’re supposed to,” Paletti said. “If the college curriculum is like the test, then the SOL will prepare us to find the answer without using shortcuts.” According to NBC, the average statewide SOL score in Algebra 1 has dropped from 84 percent to around 49 percent for the Algebra 1 test when high school students took it in the fall. The overall passing rate is expected to drop greatly. “It’s hard to tell what the success rate will be at this point,” Wheeler said. “I think we have a great chance of doing well. The department has worked hard to adjust, but only time will tell.”
ATOMS 5K QUICK FACTS –The walk is May 19, at 8:30 a.m. –All participants will receive a t-shirt –The class with the most runners gets $150 to their Class Fund. –The Dash for Cash rewards the fastest two classes. First place gets $75 for their class and second place gets $50. – The Athletic Boosters have been holding the 5K off and on since 1993. – Last year about 240 signed up but only approximately 207 ran. year the sophomores currently are in the lead with 55 percent of the enrolled runners being sophomores. Another incentive is the Dash for Cash. This contest rewards the two fastest classes by adding up the
For further online content, such as the stories listed below, visit: www.thea-blast.org
courses in Virginia with community members. “Anybody who likes golf, I would definitely recommend this tournament to,” Tippins said.
Atoms 5K aims to collect funds for athletic boosters Students participate in run to win prizes for their classes
The Choral Deartment is making preparations for the German Choral Exchange program. Choral sudents will be hosting German students in October for two weeks. Chorus students have also received their new choir positions for the next school year.
Parents Rich and Sallie Williams Frutcherman will be coordinating the event on May 18.
Teachers take measures to prepare students Overall passing rates expected to drop greatly
German Choral Exchange Preparations
total time of the first five runners from each class. The class with the least collective time will receive $75 for their class while second place gets $50. Last year, the seniors and juniors finished in first place and
second place, respectively. AHS clubs and sports participate in the race as well. The marching band plays every year, while the girls lacrosse team coordinates the water stations during the race and at the finish line. Last year, over 20 student volunteers stood along the course providing encouragement and direction to the race participants. “Runners came up to me afterwards and commented on how great it was to have the students out there cheering them on,” Montes de Oca said. “They really felt the presence and it meant a lot.” Senior Ahmed Bile has been selected to be the honorary race starter. “Mr. Kerns came up to me at lunch and asked me to be the race starter, and I told him it’d be an honor,” Bile said. “This is my first time being a race starter because I’m usually in them, so it’ll be a different experience, even though it’ll only last a second and a half. But I’m really excited to be a part of it.”
“Golf” continued from page 1
In addition to parent sponsors, K i l r o y ’s r e s t a u r a n t h a s b e e n a recurring sponsor, and a Thai restaurant called Rice and Spice has sponsored the event as well. “The success of the tournament hinges on the involvement and generosity of Annandale’s parents, alumni and community,” Fruchterman said. As of April 27, there are ten hole sponsors, including School Board member Sandy Evans. The event also raises money from players as well as sponsors with entrance fees and spaces for recognition in the programs. Besides entering to play a round of golf, participants can buy multiple entries into a raffle for door prizes like gift cards and bowling games or golf balls. Prizes are donated by parents or community members. This marks the second year that
The ATOMS Booster Club is giving four $1,000 scholarships to eligible senior student athletes. Two male and two female athletes will be rewarded. Applications are available in the Activities Office and are due by Friday, May 18.
Pre-order your yearbook for $75 by Friday, May 31. The remaining yearbooks will be sold on distribution day. Filament has completed their literary magazine, which will be distributed along with the yearbooks.
COURTESY OF BRIAR CREEK
Alumni parents contribute to goal
New Television Monitors
Four television monitors have been installed in various locations throughout the school. The 60 inch television displayed in the lobby was donated by the Korean Embassy. The other televisions were donated by the county. They will be used as information boards for students and guests.
Yearbook Sales and Filament
Golf fundraiser to raise over $10,000 the Red and White Golf Classic will be held at the well-known Laurel Hill Golf Club. It is one of the top courses on the East Coast, and will be hosting the 2013 United States Golf Association’s Amateur Public Links Championship. “The Red & White Golf Classic was played there last year, too, and I think everyone had a wonderful time, in part because it is such a good course,” Fruchterman said. The course is well-known among the AHS community as well, whether it is for its high price (for high quality) or as one of the courses the golf team occasionally uses for practice. Since the classic is this Friday, May 18th, it is too late to participate or volunteer, but there will be future opportunities. “But there is always next year. If you are a parent, alum, neighbor, teacher and you play golf at all, please come out and play next year. If you or your company can sponsor some aspect of the tournament, please do so next year,” Fruchterman said. “If you have items that you can donate to a raffle or silent auction, please do so next year. And if you can’t do any of
Students tackle three IB exams in a day
By CJ Aftergut
IB students stress over pending exams.
COURTESY OF KATHIE TURNER
“AHS fat” continued from page 1
that helps curb the problem. Also, 42 percent [of an obese population] would basically mean 1 out of 2 people in the school is overweight; which I don’t see as a good prediction,” junior Thien Mai said. Locally, AHS students fall victim to what can be an overwhelming problem that can cause high school to be an even more stressful time in one’s life. With the daily message given to health classes that obesity can cause serious health risks countered by unhealthy food options, such as processed burritos, pizza and french fries, in the school cafeteria, the proper way for a teen to maintain their health and weight can be confusing. Living in this technological era full of many excuses to sit on the couch and “veg out” after a day of school can add to this confusion, for students can easily let their control on an active and healthy lifestyle slip away. For Abilmona, it happened all too easily her first three years of high school. “I was never what someone can call a couch potato, but I was used to my older eating habits from middle school,” she said. “I was never involved in sports and being born with flat feet made me clumsy and made it twice as difficult to run. I was always that kid who was one of the slowest on the pacer and the last to finish the mile, so I knew I’d never be a good athlete.” With her self esteem low, Abilmona would feel
lots of protein - and I eat five times a day to keep my metabolism up.” As Abilmona began to shed the weight because she changed her eating and exercising habits, her father did not after his heart attack. As his heart weakened, so did his health, and just a couple of weeks ago, he suffered another heart attack which ended his life. “It really woke me up,” Abilmona said. “I plan to continue my new healthy habits for myself and for him. I want to be healthy and continue to have lots of energy for school, because when I go to the gym after a school day, I have more energy to do my school work compared to when I’d just come home and sleep last year. Going to college in the fall is also my motivation to keep in shape and I’m really looking forward to going to VCU’s gym, which they’re famous for, before classes.” With ethnic Lebanese roots, Abilmona was used to eating the carbs that come with eating extra pita bread with already carbohydratefilled meals. With such a diverse ethnic student population that AHS has, it is only natural that with certain cultures come different eating habits. “I am part Cambodian, so I tend to eat a lot of fish and rice, which generally makes me healthier than some of the other kids I know,” junior Daniel Critchfield said. Obesity in adulthood has been proven to be caused by weight issues in childhood, so starting to live a healthy lifestyle now will prove its effects in the future. “I used to be jealous of those who always seemed to have a grasp on their weight,” Abilmona said. “But now that I see the sacrifices I have to make to stay healthy, I’ll always be inspired to keep my own grasp on what it takes to stay healthy.”
Poe MS’s “Aladdin” a success By Destiny Gammon and Gwen Levey
Middle school’s theater department
COURTESY OF AHS YEARBOOK
AHS student talks about weight loss experience
AHS STUDENT WEIGHT STATISTICS:
Davis takes head coach position at West Potomac By Colleen Adenan
AHS says goodbye to assistant football coach.
“More stressful because teachers make us do more work to prepare for finals.”
—Nina Fairman freshman “It’s more stressful to prepare for exams but more relaxing because everything is ending.”
—Tyler Pacak sophomore
“More stressful because everyone has to make up for their bad grades earlier in the year by doing well on finals.”
—Absara Mesfun junior “I think it’s more stressful due to the fear of bringing your grades down with final exams.”
— Tatiana Niang senior
One child, five families Senior elaborates on her extensive family history By Kate Grandchamp People Editor Senior Mercedes Fabiana Magana is used to multiples: three screen names, two email accounts, four jobs, two names and five families. At AHS, Magana is known as Katie Sydlik. With a set of biological parents, two foster families, adoptive parents and a cumulative step/ half-family, Sydlik’s family tree is anything but straight and narrow. She was born to 20-year-old Lydia Honaker, resident of Alexandria, VA, and a mysterious Nicaraguan named Carlos. Honaker put Sydlik into foster care when she was just a few weeks old as a result of her drug addiction-related financial problems. “I lived with each [of my two foster families] for about a week, and one of them gave me my name, Mercedes Fabiana Magana, but my birthmom backed out on [them] both [as options],” Sydlik said. At nine months, Magana was renamed Katherine Ann Sydlik by her adoptive parents Alan and Sharon Sydlik, who had been married for eight years. “I came home on Saint Patrick’s Day,” Katie said. She celebrates her move to Maryland with with her adoptive father every year. Her adoptive parents divorced when she was two, providing the opportunity for yet another family to form: Sharon Sydlik married Hank Anca when Katie was five. “A lot of people don’t know I’m Hispanic [because of my name] but I can get Latin scholarships, I just have to call around,” Katie Sydlik said. She stayed with the Ancas in Florida, where the Sydliks had originally moved for Alan’s job, while Alan moved yet again to the Washington/ Metro area for government work. “[Sharon Anca] was pregnant when she got married to Hank in February,” Katie said. Amanda Anca was born in May 28, 1999, becoming Katie’s half-sister. She also gained a stepbrother named Tony Anca whom Hank had from a previous marriage. “It took me some time to warm up to Amanda… [and] the idea that Tony wasn’t just my friend... [or] my mom’s boyfriend’s son anymore. I felt like I was being replaced. But I’ve always been the middle child,” Katie Sydlik said. The entire family moved to a bigger house after the wedding, at which only Katie and Amanda were present because Tony’s biological mother had full custody of him. “There was always conversation about how much I looked like my parents,” Katie said. The same year, her adoptive dad, Alan Sydlik, revealed to her that she was adopted, surprising her but without true upheaval; she had always
PHOTOS COURTESY OF KATIE SYDLIK
Is the end of the year typically more stressful or more relaxing?
May 16, 2012
(Top) Senior Katie Sydlik poses with stepdad Hank Anca, adoptive mom Sharon, step brother Tony and half sister Amanda. (Above left) Sydlik poses with biological mother Lydia at the age of three. (Above right) Sydlik poses with adoptive father Alan Sydlik at age one.
been told she was adopted but had finally come of the age at which she was able to fully register what “adopted” truly meant. It was not until five years later, at age ten, that she met Honaker, her birthmom. “She was really secretive about her life. There was a lot of things my dad didn’t tell me,” Katie said. Following the reunion, Katie was informed that when she was given up for adoption Honaker had chosen an open adoption, meaning that her adoptive parents were required to both send and receive updates via pictures and letters. Honaker’s and Katie’s correspondence kept up until Christmas of 2008, when Katie learned that the reason she had been given up was due to her biological mother’s troubles with the law.
“I was pissed,” Katie said. The final straw came for her around Christmas of 2011, when an angry Facebook status concerning Honaker’s family and personal problems caused her to realize that blood was the only thing tying them together. “I appreciate the fact that Lydia was able to give me a better life, but I don’t consider her my mom,” Katie said. “My ‘adoptive’ parents are the ones who were there for me [as parents].” At age 18, she made the decision to cancel her open adoption, as she was no longer legally bound by the adoption agency. Sydilk has lived with father Alan Sydlik in this area since 2006.
Alumni Postcard: Tyler Rauer May 16 Megan Fox 17 Bob Saget 18 Tina Fey 19 Jordan Pruitt 20 Busta Rhymes 21 Mr. T 22 Naomi Campbell 23 Drew Carey 24 Bob Dylan 25 Mike Myers 26 Lenny Kravitz 27 Henry Kissinger 28 Jesse Bradford 29 Melissa Etheridge 30 Cee Lo Green 31 Clint Eastwood
26 56 42 21 40 60 42 54 71 49 48 89 33 51 38 82
What have you done so far? I’ve been to boot camp at Parris Island; School of Infantry at Pendleton, CA (my home base) and I’m currently on the Thirty-First Meu, which is in Okinawa, Japan. We’ve gone to Thailand, Korea and the Philippines. I’ll be back in Pendleton in June.
75 40 45 37
• This is my second year teaching at AHS.
• This is my third year teaching at AHS.
• I attended Ohio University.
• I attended Boston College and attained a masters there.
• In my spare time I grade papers and I spend a lot of my time playing with my baby.
• I majored in Curriculum and Instruction. • In my spare time, I like to work out, read and dance. • I like all types of music.
• I like to listen to Indie music.
• I have traveled to Central America, Europe and Asia.
• I have traveled to Italy.
• My birthday is January 11.
• My birthday is August 25.
• The sports I have participated in include track, cheerleading and horseback riding.
• The sports I have participated in include softball and swim. • My favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy.
On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “QR Code” to see a student spotlight of junior Maddy Reinert.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in going into the military? Join the Air Force. But seriously, it’s a lot of training [to be a Marine]. Start talking to recruiters and people who were in the branch you’re interested in to find out what their options are and to find out more about what it’s like.
Who am I? • I majored in Secondary Education English/Language Arts.
Student Spotlight: Maddy Reinert
Why did you choose to enlist? I chose to enlist rather than going through ROTC because I’d rather be the one doing the work-- officers do more paperwork.
How did AHS prepare you for life after high school? Playing high school sports prepared
June 1 Morgan Freeman 2 Wayne Brady 3 Anderson Cooper 4 Russel Brand
me the best for [being in the Marine Corp] by learning to overcome adversity and just being used to working hard physically.
What college do you attend? I don’t attend college, but I’m in the military-- the Marines.
• An interesting fact about me is that I have moved seven times in the last eight years, but I have only lived in four different cities in that time frame. • My favorite parts of working in a school are the relationships I build with my students and how I feel like I make a difference daily. • My motto is: “Let’s be better people today than we were yesterday.” –Anonymous
• My favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory. • An interesting fact about me is that I was in a Pepsi commercial when I was 11 years old. • My favorite part of working in a school is discussing literature. • My motto is: “To thine own self be true...” from Hamlet. • My favorite store right now is Buy Buy Baby! –Compiled by Carli Loeb
To find out who these teachers are, visit www.thea-blast.org/category/student-life/people/
May 16, 2012
Benefits of aromatherapy Many natural and extracted scented oils stimulate brain function when inhaled
Relaxation Lavender: used for relaxing and healing stress. Produces a restful and peaceful sensation. Use when: tired, recovering from a sinus headache or migrane.
Lemon: used to stimulate and awaken the senses. Provides a refreshed feeling. Use when: studying or cleaning.
Rose: used to relax and balance hormones. Considered a sensual scent which can lift moods and emotions. Use when: feeling anxious or fearful.
Cinnamon: used to increase awareness and presents a calming sensation. Use when: feeling fatigued, exhausted or nervous.
Ginger: used to energize the senses. Helps improve mood and is considered a calming fragrance. Use when: feeling nauseated, depressed or anxious.
Peppermint: used to help vitalize and refresh the mind. Use when: wanting to reduce fevers, relieve pain or to cure colds.
By Brekhnaa Gull Health Editor Words like “floral” or “musky” may seem pleasant to the mind, but they can easily cover up and distract people from the chemical hazards that may be present in products. According to a recent study done by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group, human bodies are filled with
cosmetic ingredients. Chemicals can be inhaled or absorbed by the skin as a result of spraying perfume. “I love purchasing floral scents. They are my favorite,” junior Paula Naanou said. “I’ve never looked at the ingredients in fragrances because I never really thought that they had chemicals that could be dangerous to us.” The common hazardous chemicals found in these fragrances include Diethyl Phthalate, Musk Ketone and food additives. Diethyl Phthalate is an unlabeled chemical in fragrances, that causes sperm damage. Musk Ketone affects fat tissue and breast milk. The safety of food additives has not yet been evaluated, but it
Vanilla: used to combat a sad mood to increase the feeling of being happy and relaxed. Use when: feeling sad or craving sweet foods.
continues to be a common unlabeled ingredient in fragrances. Other chemicals that are disclosed on the labels include ultraviolet protectors, which can cause hormone disruption. Chemical sensitizers, which were also found in these fragrances, can cause multiple allergic reaction symptoms such as headaches, wheezing, infant diarrhea, vomiting, asthma and airway irritation. “I don’t feel safe knowing that something as small as a splash of perfume can be dangerous to my health,” junior Nardos Assefa said. “I really don’t care. I just want to smell good,” junior Jenny Ha said. Many fragrances omit several
Coffee: used to stimulate the senses and hold alertness. Initiates healthy antioxidant activity in the body. Use when: feeling stressed or clearing your sinuses.
Try these healthy alternatives to your usual snacks Apple and Peanut Butter Sandwich Ingredients Needed: 1 cored apple, 2 tablespoon peanut butter and 1/2 cup low-fat granola.
1.) Core apple and slice apple horizontally into several slices. 2.) Spread two apple slices with 1 tbsp. peanut butter each. 3.) Sprinkle with granola. 4.) Place another apple slice on top of the other apple with peanut butter. Serves: 2 Average Calories: 300 per serving Nutritional Grade: A-
ingredients in their labels, which may be dangerous to the public. This is legally allowed because of the loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which states that all cosmetic products need to include the ingredients list on the labels. The loophole in the law exempts fragrances, causing fragrance companies to keep the public uninformed about all of its ingredients, especially those ingredients that can jeopardize our health. “This is scary, I believe that this act should be repealed because we need to know what we put on our bodies,” junior Abigail Palacios said.
Prepare this elegant snack when entertaining guests Black-Eyed Pea Nachos WHOLEFOODSMARKET.COM
By Brekhnaa Gull and Kylee Nisker
Stress Relieving Yoga Positions
Seated spinal twist: Begin sitting with one leg folded under your body. Then, cross the opposite leg over the bent one until it reaches the floor, or as far as it can go. Using the opposite arm, hook it around the bent leg until you feel the stretch. Hold for about six seconds and repeat using the other leg. Make sure to breathe deeply.
Health hazards in fragrances Students are faced with the reality of fragrance labeling
Ingredients Needed: 2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil ,1/2 red onion, 3 diced cloves garlic, 1/2 bag frozen Black-Eyed Peas, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 4 ounces tortilla chips, 1 cup shredded cheese, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and 1/2 lime. 1.) Preheat oven to 450° 2.) Heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. 3.) Add in peas and salt. Cook for 1 more minute. 4.) Spread chips on the bottom of a baking dish and spoon pea mixture over the top. 5.) Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. 6.) Sprinkle with cilantro and squeeze lime over the top of the nachos. Serves: 4 Average Calories: 330 per serving Nutritional Grade: B
Cobra pose: Begin laying flat on your stomach. Raise your upper body off the floor while keeping your arms straight and hands flat on the floor. Hold for about seven seconds as you should feel the stretch in your abdominals. Make sure to breathe deeply to ensure relaxation.
Frog pose: Begin standing and squat to the floor while rising to your toes. Slightly bend forward and put your hands flat, or as far as you can to the floor. Take deep breaths to relax as you hold the stretch for about seven seconds.
Half lotus pose: Begin sitting with legs crossed in a pretzel formation. Place your hands on your knees; fix knees to oint of comfort. Close your eyes while taking deep breaths for at least ten seconds.
Plank pose: Begin laying flat on your stomach with hands at your sides. Lift your entire body until only your hands and toes are supporting your body. You should feel this stretch in many places. Hold for at least ten seconds while taking deep breaths.
Cat pose: Begin with your hands and knees flat on the ground. Push your stomach down to arch your back while sticking your bottom out. Hold for at least ten seconds while taking deep breaths.
Coffee beans clear sinuses On your smartphone, scan this code above using the application “QR Code” to view a story about the many positive affects of coffee beans.
May 16, 2012
‘Much Ado About Nothing’ wows audience
How has Theatre Without Borders helped you? “I’m new to America and I didn’t talk a lot. But now I talk louder and I made a lot of friends.” —Vy Pham freshman
“It helped me lose my shyness. I can improve my English. I can express how I feel in different ways.”
Theatre Without Borders performs its last play BY ABBY BARNES AND CARINA CHU Arts Editors Proud families, friends and teachers watched as Theatre Without Borders performed Much Ado About Nothing on May 10 in the auditorium. The Shakespearean comedy was amazingly pulled off by a cast of non-English speakers who kept the audience laughing the entire time. For some, the humor was the highlight of the night. “I thought it was really fun.
It was a good physical comedy,” English teacher Niki Holmes said. Much Ado About Nothing features the love story of two couples played by senior Rocio Sanchez, junior Paulo Gallo and sophomores Muhammad Malik and Maria Cambero. The cast consisted of students from a wide variety of native countries, including Pakistan, Bolivia, Ghana, the Dominican Republic, and more. Their different verbal interpretations of the classical script gave it a new kind of flavor. Though their first language was not English, the students were able to pull off the 17th-century-style vocabulary. Theatre Without Borders, a theatre group for ESOL students, was created to showcase the talent of students who could not join
the regular theatre class due to language barriers. Though learning a new language was difficult, they seemed to easily show off their own talents on stage. “I’m just proud of them because they’re an example for others,” senior Yoselin Raymundo said. “They come here to learn another language, and this is their way of showing us.” Co-sponsor Nick Liacopoulos, thought the learning process was valuable to the students involved. “Instead of them having to come to us, they have the tools to find the solution,” Liacopoulos said. “They have to take ownership; it’s their show, not ours.” Another co-sponsor, Leslie Chekin, was proud of the hard work the students had put into the production.
“I think it went really well. We’ve been here every day this week including Sunday,” Chekin said. “They’ve been working late, and their hard work paid off.” The ESOL students’ hard work definitely did not go unrecognized: Principal Vincent Randazzo described it as one of the best plays Theatre Without Borders has produced since it was created. “I thought it was excellent. I think the kids did great,” Randazzo said. “The plays keep getting better and better. I really enjoyed it.” English-speaking, Spanishspeaking, or Arabic-speaking, AHS has proved that it has talent in all of its cultural groups. All in all, the play succeeded in proving that art doesn’t have a language.
Far left: Don Pedro, played by sophomore Hendell Concepcion, holds back Claudio, played by junior Paulo Gallo, as he argues with Don Jon, played by senior Joel Pineda. Left: Beatrice, played by Rocio Sanchez, and Benedick, played by Muhammad Malik, confess to each other.
—Maria Cambero sophomore
“[It] improved my confidence in front of people. I use to get stage fright. It improved my speech and vocabulary.” —Hendell Concepcion sophomore
“It helped me build up a lot of confidence and I’m less nervous doing things in front of a lot of people.”
Students participate in All-State choirs
“It’s fun to see my friends acting and me and my girlfriend are in love in the actual play.”
“I used to be very shy. I believe acting made me confident; not just on stage, but in life.” —Yolany Nunez senior
“It helped me a lot because it gave me more confidence with expressing myself.” —Rocio Sanchez senior
—Compiled by Carina Chu
BY ABBY BARNES Arts Editor Seven students from AHS were chosen to perform in the Virginia AllState chorus concert in Lynchburg, Virginia from April 26 through 28. The students stayed for two nights to perform for an audience of parents and other spectators. AHS participants included juniors Laura Hackfeld, Patricia Webb and Katie Mock, and seniors Abigail Fleming, Evan Washington, Kayla Meadows and Jordan Winkler. Hackfeld believed the trip was a success. “[It was] an unforgettable weekend for every student involved,” Hackfeld said. Hackfeld performed as an alto in the mixed choir. Juniors and seniors auditioned for the All-State choirs in February through District Chorus. The students received scores and the number of participants chosen for each voice part varied. Participants were then split into groups; the top and third scores into one group, then the second and fourth scores into another. Two alternate singers were also chosen. This year, the second and fourth scores were put into the mixed group. The mixed group contained the voice parts of soprano, alto, tenor and bass. The first and third scores were put into the women’s group. The women’s group contained soprano and alto voice parts. In total, 32 chorus students from each district in Virginia participated in the All-State event. SSAA, or the women’s group, performed “Muie Rendera”, “I Thank You God”, “Torna Surriento”, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child”, “Overture to the Marriage of Figaro”, and “Song of Ruth”. SATB, or the mixed group, performed songs such as “How Can I Keep From Singing”, and “Stars I Shall Find.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF KATIE MOCK
Chorus performance in Lynchburg, Virginia ends on a good note
—Paulo Gallo junior
From left to right: seniors Abigail Fleming, Evan Washington, Kayla Meadows, and Jordan Winkler with juniors Laura Hackfeld, Patricia Webb, and Katie Mock.
“The music was well-received and we really embodied the themes of the music,” Washington said. “We got a standing ovation by the end of the performance, which really made a lot of the performers feel great.” The participants worked hard to make an impression. Two months were spent preparing for the concerts, and the standing ovation made the journey worth it. “We all put in a lot of work to give the best possible performance,” Hackfeld said. “The students who went to All-State showed true musicianship and maturity and made our wonderful director, Ms. Lardin, and Annandale very proud,” Washington said.
Q&A with Steve Aderton On your smartphone, scan the code above using the application “QR Code” to read an interview with Steve about his Dubstep music.
PHOTO COURTESY OF STEVE ADERTON
Artist in the spotlight: Steve Aderton
Student musician produces Dubstep music BY ABBY BARNES Arts Editor Freshman Steve Aderton has only been at AHS for eight months, and he is already taking its theatrical scene by storm. But between starring in productions and attending school, Aderton produces Dubstep music; becoming a bit
of a YouTube sensation on his free time. Dubstep: a recently viral genre, typically consists of a drum beat, wobble bass and other instrumental elements. Aderton uses these principles as the backbone of his creations. Aderton currently has a contract to produce a soundtrack for PRNDL Development Studios, a gaming and software company. Sometimes it can take Aderton a while to assemble his final product. “The process usually begins with an intro to the song, and if I like it enough I’ll make a drum beat, and if I like that enough I’ll make a drop, and if the drop is good enough I’ll finish the song,” Aderton said. “I can spend months on a single song. In fact, right now I have an unreleased single that I’ve spent about 3 months on now.” A ‘drop’ is a musical term that describes the crescendo of sound, a brief pause, then the continuation of the sound as before. Aderton started producing Dubstep music in 2011, and has already been recognized by Ronald Jenkees, a highly talented YouTube sensation whose videos have accumulated about 57 million views to date. He describes being recognized by Jenkees as incredible. “It’s like being the chosen crayon in one of those eight hundred bazillion crayon boxes,” Aderton said. Aderton has also collaborated with Amanda Lee, a local YouTube musician.
Listening to Aderton’s musical creations is anything but an ordinary experience. In his original track, “Glass Factory”, you hear a compounding series of mystical-sounding bells, steadily increasing in depth, until a machineproduced voice breaks the hypnotic melody to unwind a chain of heavy bass lines and staccato techno notes. The whole compilation of sounds does not make sense to more simplistic music lovers, but it certainly allures fans of Dubstep or anything of the like. Though he seems to have it all in the bag now, Aderton did not start out knowing exactly what type of music he wanted to produce. “I switched around a lot from genre to genre, and I began to notice and understand things most people missed,” Aderton said. “Eventually I got bored making hip-hop and soundtracks, so I decided to look for a new genre. That’s how I found Dubstep.” Already an active member of the theater department having been the lead in one play and a principle lead in another as only a freshman, Aderton is an avid supporter of the arts. “I spend a lot of time doing things with the theater department and I love acting. Overall, I love just about all the arts.” With all of his newfound success, this actor turned musical genius is sure to become a star.
Academics Motivation for the end of school May 16, 2012
AHS students grow tired of school, but discover many different ways to finish off strongly
ASK Abby Academic Advice Column
By Molly Keck and Berta Tarqui Academics Editors
By Abby Barnes
Over the past few weeks the phrase, “I just want it to be summer already,” has been floating through the halls of AHS repeatedly. It is understandable to be stressed out and tired of school at this point in the year. With homework, projects, SOL’s and finals cramming, it is hard to stay positive and focused. However, it is important that students stay motivated. Just because students are tired of doing school work doesn’t mean the school work will stop piling up. Many teachers at AHS will continue to make their students work to the bitter end of the school year and they also won’t spend a lot of time reviewing for SOL’s and finals. This comes as a major shock to the majority of the freshmen class at AHS, who spent most of their time reviewing or just relaxing the last couple months of school, for this is what they were used to last year in middle school. “My teachers always said that next year would be harder and it never was. So I was surprised when this year actually was harder,” freshmen Emily Lien said. It can be challenging for some freshmen to adjust to these new circumstances since many of them weren’t counting on doing much work in the end of the year. However, that does not excuse freshmen from all of their assignments and tests. In fact, they must change their current lethargic mentality into industrious attitudes. Another change for freshmen is that they might miss class time because of SOL’s. Usually in middle school, SOL’s were taken with the class that students would go to. Now it could take up a whole class, and those classes could be reviewing for their SOL. This is why it is important for freshmen to be organized and always get their makeup work. That’s not to say that upperclassmen aren’t tired of school too. Most AHS seniors are complaining that they have a case of ‘senioritis,’ or in other words are ready to be done with high school. ‘Senioritis,’ typically occurs when seniors have been accepted into college and so they feel like they no longer have to maintain good grades in school. This is completely reasonable, since most seniors have been working to this point for 12 years straight. “I am really tired of doing school work,” said senior Favia Toledo. Seniors are still in school though which means they should still be trying to participate in the classroom and learn material that is still being taught. With SOLs and finals starting it is even more crucial for students to continue to work hard in school. Many AHS students don’t take SOLs seriously since they don’t count in their grades. Nevertheless, the grades AHS students get on their SOLs are a reflection on AHS and they should be taken seriously. Furthermore, SOLs are typically before finals so they should also give students a rough idea of what will be on their finals. Finals are in the last weeks of schools, when everyone is checked out from school. Finals are very important though because they play a major role in the overall grade of the class they are on. Finals can determine whether you pass or fail. They also will make an impact on students’ GPA’s. Overall, no matter how nice it is to daydream about how relaxing and fun summer will be it won’t make it come any faster. AHS students must continue to try their hardest and give their best effort in school. Every part of the year is important and should be considered essential.
Ways to motivate yourself - If you feel really stressed with all of your school work, try visiting the website pinterest.com. Then type in the word summer in the search box and let all your stress get melt away as you get a sneak peak of what will soon be a reality. But don't fantasize too long though, because that school work is still waiting for you. - Eating a healthy diet can boost your energy and help keep you positive. Some foods that are good to snack on while studying are chocolate (it actually increases your happiness), fresh fruits, nuts, yogurt, tea, and berries. - Do a countdown to the last day of school. Put one in your AHS agenda or calendar so every time you look at it you'll be reminded that school will soon be over. - Sometimes when you are worrying about everything you have to get done, you forget to reward yourself for getting as far as you have. Try to take off every Friday night to do something that you enjoy whether it may be handing out with friends, seeing a movie, reading a good book, or going for a walk. - When you are planning out your week set mini goals for yourself (example: finishing a project). When you complete these goals, you will feel a sense of accomplishment that will motivate you to finish even more work. Making goals will also you keep you organized and help you manage your school work. - When you wake up for school and you are having the hardest time getting out of bed, try blasting some 'feel good' songs. These songs will help wake you up and improve your attitude so that you will start school on high note.
HANG MAN Math 1. Two lines are perpendicular if the product of their ________ is -1.
Science 2. Protozoans, algae and amoeba are examples of this kingdom.
Dear Abby, How can I deal with academic competition against my peers? I always feel like I’m competing for the better grade even though I’m happy with my own work. - Sincerely, Worn Out
Dear Worn Out, Competition can be either good or bad. If your grades are improving due to careful planning and more attention to detail, competition can be beneficial. But if you are always worrying about others who are going for the same goal, it may be detrimental to your selfesteem. Zoe Weil, the President of the Institute for Humane Education, wrote an article about competition in school and whether she thought it was advantageous or not. She concluded by saying that competition was not something to be avoided, rather modified; if the goal was solving problems, it would be beneficial. Learning to win or lose is part of life. It makes an individual both cooperative and strong. On the other hand, unhealthy competition can cause extremely low self-confidence and doubt in one’s abilities. You should be careful not to compare yourself with others. Your work is probably no better or worse than your peers’, it can only be judged by a certain standard. Your individuality should never be lost to competition. Think about all of the things that make you yourself. These can include hobbies, work, achievements or any interests you have. You will definitely find you have something that your peers do not. Do what makes you happy and you will find fulfillment. A little competition can always keep you on track, but it should not overwhelm you. Abby Have a problem? E-mail Abby at email@example.com
Vocabulary Words English 3. This type of poetry contains 14 lines of iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme of abab, cdcd, efef and gg.
4. This man wanted a divorce and the Catholic Church wouldn’t allow him to get one, so he started the Church of England.
REDOLENT adjective Smelling sweet and agreeable EQUANIMITY noun Evenness of mind or temper DOGMATIC adjective Making statements without argument or evidence ACRIMONIOUS adjective Full of bitterness TORRID adjective Excessively hot
The passion for collecting books
Answers to Hangman On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “QR Code” to view the answers to The Hangman Game.
May 16, 2012
Customary quinces redefined
As time progresses, the common tradition of a girl’s transformation into a woman has changed in the eyes of society
Student reflects on Immigration to U.S. By Nguyen Cao Special to the A-Blast I came to America in 2001, when I was about five years old. Everything about America was new to me at the time: school, customs, culture and, of course, food. Before we got to settle down, we lived in a motel for about a week until we moved in with my grandpa. I never complained much and liked the idea of this new country. Everything was definitely cleaner and bigger than Vietnam. Vietnam is a small country, yet populated, with so many people that everything had to be squeezed in. There is so much land that houses were built longer in length than height. In Vietnam, to save space, all houses were like townhouses in America, generally with three floors, longer in height than length. My biggest difficulty was learning English. I remember being bullied by this snobby girl in my kindergarten class. She had asked me for something, and I didn’t know what she was saying. She must have gotten mad at that, so later in the day she got my jacket, threw it on the stairs and started stomping on it. I had no idea how to tell the teacher, so I sat in class, enduring the hurt I felt. I had thought, are all Americans like this? I was angry that I do or say anything about it, just because I did not understand the language. So, as time progressed, I tried my best to pay attention in class, and listened to the teacher to better improve my English.
What coming of age tradition have you or will you take part in?
With a dress costing on average $300, a ballroom for $5000 and a cake costing an average of $700, quinces have become increasingly extravagant. Many cultures have this celebration to acknowledge the time in a teen’s life in which they transform from a girl to a woman. “Well it’s a big deal because it’s a traditional event, it’s something that celebrates how they are transforming into a young women, and it is also a proud moment for the parents,” junior Celina Reyes. “Usually the parents plan everything, depending on how strict they are, but they also need to have the approval of the quinceanera.” Quinces have particularly become largely recognized in the AHS community. A quince, a Latin American tradition, is the 15th birthday celebration for girls in which they transform from a young girl to a woman in the eyes of the community. Depending on the country, some quinces have more religious significance than others. “My family followed the actual tradition,” junior Mirian Romero said. “We celebrated a Catholic mass, which is usually when your parents are offering you up to God and whatever is planed in your life is because God wants it that way.” On the other hand, some people simply have a big party, similar to that of a sweetsixteen, and celebrate it in a more modern way. “ Mine wasn’t religious based, it was more of a big party because I had already turned fifteen,” sophomore Geraldine Hoyos. “We just had a party.” Over time, these events can become quite elaborate, taking on the magnitude of weddings. There is a ceremony, commonly a catholic mass, and a reception afterwards, with an array of songs, dances and meals. Two main dances are performed during the quinces, one which the quinceanera or the girl dances with her father ,and then another in which the girl performs a dance with the court of honor. The court of honor consists of friends or close family of the quinceanera Most commonly, the girl wears wedding-like attire and wears a tiara, which are both given by the parents or family members of the girl. Traditionally, the quinceanera is given a rosary, a bible and the last doll. The last doll has a significant role, in which the parents give the quinceanera the last doll the girl would ever get. Since the girl is
COURTESY OF GERALDINE HOYOS
By Joe Sehrer and Shamaim Syed International Editors
Geraldine and Joslin Hoyos pose at the ballroom of their quince before guests arrive.
changing into a woman, she is getting over the stage of playing with dolls, so the parents, as a final homage to her childhood, give the youthful gift of a final doll. Another very important traditional ceremony is when the girl is given heels to show how she has changed from a girl to a women. The quinceanera and her father have the first dance together, then the mother and the quinceanera sits on a throne-like chair. From there, the father of the quinceanera changes her shoes, which are usually flats to heels. After the changing of shoes happens, the father and daughter continue their dance together. The quince is a ceremonial step in a girl’s life where she transforms from a girl to a women in the eyes of the community, holding herself with a newfound sense of modesty and beauty. “My parents just say I am a young lady who is now accountable for her actions and knows what’s right from wrong,” Romero said.
Romero’s traditional celebration
Romero poses with her court of honor which consists of her close family and friends. Romero receives the host during communion during mass.
“I was in a sweet 16. I was one of the dancers. We went to D.C to take pictures and eat dinner.”
—Daniel Velasco sophomore
“I had a Barmitzvah. We basically get money and celebrate adulthood. ”
— Robert Lamb freshman
Romero received her last doll, a ceremonial gift, from her parents.
“I was confirmed, which is basically the reaching of adulthood in my religion.”
Romero participates in the traditional father-daughter dance with her father.
— Christina Tran
“ A Debut is a Phillipines tradition when a girl turns eighteen. The tradition is that eighteen boys have to give you a flower.”
-—Kristen Peralta freshman -Compiled by Dili Akililu
Student immigration to U.S. continued On your smart phone, scan this code using the application “QR code” to read more about sophomore Nguyen Cao’s journey from Vietnam to America.
Romero poses with her elegant three-tier cake. Romero receives blessing from her priest during mass.
-PHOTOS COURTESY OF MIRIAN ROMERO
Romero’s father changes her flats to heels symbolizing the change into womenhood.
May 16, 2012
The sunny side of Georgetown Famous for both its commercial and historic attractions, Georgetown draws in connoisseurs of food, clothing and architecture.
13 What is your favorite thing to do in Georgetown? “I like to go shopping in Georgetown. My favorite store is Urban Outfitters.” —Giselle Garamendi senior
“Walk around and go to Georgetown Cupcakes. I like taking dates there because there are fun things to do there like the boat rides.” —Hari Mizouri junior
As they come across the Key Bridge, tourists are welcomed by a view of green trees and the famous architecture.
“My favorite thing to do in Georgetown is to go shopping because they have really nice clothes that are in style.” —Herson Palma sophomore
—Deann Gowland PRIYA ADHIKARY
Ice Berry, to the left, is a refreshing way to cool down on a sunny day with some frozen yogurt. It serve all-natural, nonfat frozen yogurt. It provide a variety in toppings and flavors. Above is a honeydew flavored yogurt topped with mango dices. Other options of flavors include original, honeydew, strawberry and chocolate with over a dozen toppings from gummy worms to fruit. People can modify their frozen yogurt in any way that they want, which is one of the many reasons people choose to go to Ice Berry. Along with frozen yogurt, people can also order fresh fruit smoothies.
The legendary cupcake shop has become a hotspot for dessert lovers all over the nation. With an assortment of frosting and cake flavors Georgetown Cupcake is a great way to sweeten up your visit. Their unique pastries are like no other.
“I like to eat in Georgetown cupcakes and I like shopping at Urban Outfitters. I go every day because my brother is in a jazz band. They play at a jazz club called Blues Alley.”
“My favorite thing to do in Georgetown is to go to Georgetown cupcakes.”
—Nuhami Madndefro freshman
Urban Outfitters has a collection of edgy and eclectic clothing for its eager shoppers. The alternative clothing attracts young customers.
This Juicy Couture outlet is one of the few in our area. While often pricey, this location gives lots of selection to its many shoppers.
“My favorite thing to do in Georgetown is to run along the Georgetown waterfront and then go to Baked and Wired for a cup of coffee and a cream cheese brownie.” —Melissa
Phillips English Teacher
H&M is a popular place for teens to purchase fashionable clothing.
The designer store gives a great variety of shoes, accessories and purses.
The Chesapeake-Ohio Canal runs a total of 184 miles and it is often referred to as the “Grand Old Ditch.”
These stairs were the setting of a famous scene in the 1973 film, The Exorcist. They now connect the residential, downtown, scenic water side walk and university all together.
The canal that was used from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s, is now a lovely scenic walk along the water side.
For more pictures, check out the online slideshow for more detailed content.
The historic “Old Stone House” is the only prerevolution building still standing in the District of Columbia. Its gardens and estate provide an interest for tourist of all ages from young to old.
On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “QR Code” to view exclusive pictures from this year’s visit to Georgetown.
May 16, 2012
Prom changes with the years A look back at teacher’s past experiences highlights the differences in Prom today
Johnson files chapter 11 The economy definitely takes a toll on all sorts of businesses. Recently, Betsey Johnson clothing has had to file for bankruptcy. Do not worry fashionistas, she is only closing her high-end boutiques since they have not been as profitable. Sixty three stores are closing in a few weeks and approximately 350 workers are going to lose their jobs. Betsey Johnson will continue to have runway shows and is even coming out with her own reality show sometime later this year. Steve Madden has taken a big part to keep the company alive since Madden LLC bought the company in August 2010. They have emphasized that the Betsey Johnson Collection will now be moderately priced and sold at Macy’s Inc. and other retailers. Soon all of the spring line will be moderately priced and the remainder will be highend with a major reduction in price. The company was auctioned off on May 8 to get more protection behind it in terms of money. Johnson is still moving ahead and despite all this, she will release a new fragrance called Too Too Pretty, and will soon develop another fragrance later this year. There is a Betsey Johnson store in Tysons Galleria, Georgetown and other high end malls, so if you want to get a peek before the doors close, go ahead and do so. I will say it is one of my favorite stores, particularly because it has lots of pink!
By Gaby Camilli Lifestyles Editor
As the teachers reminisce about their Prom memories, it is evident that Prom is much more overplayed today. The past month at AHS has been filled with bouquets of flowers, decorated cars, orchestras playing love songs, posters and romantic speeches over the loud speakers-all in the hopes of asking a date to Prom in a cool, creative way. “Back then, no one made such a production out of asking people to Prom,” guidance counselor Carrie Schaefer said. “We all just said, ‘do you want to go to prom with me?’ That’s it. No fuss, no pressure.” This pattern of going all out to invite someone to Prom is more of a recent fad. It was a much more
casual process several years ago. “I asked my date to Prom,” history teacher Kellie Burke said. “He was a friend from another school that I worked with, and I think I did something cool like IM him.” Not only was the invite to Prom nonchalant and different in the past, but the style of clothing that people wore has changed greatly. The outfits for Prom were much less dressy and underplayed in the past. Dresses that were long, solid-colored, silk and spaghetti strap were the common style among Prom dresses. There was not as much sequence, textures, cutouts, lace and bright prints on dresses back then. Today, dresses are usually floor length, standout dresses. Girls also have shoes and a bag that go with the color scheme of their dress. “I don’t think I spent over $100 on either of my dresses,” Schaefer said. “The fashion for Prom dresses back then wasn’t really crazy, outlandish or extravagant. Most people in my school wore a knee length or tea length dress, not full on gowns like they do now. For the senior ball, I wore a simple
ancing through the ecades
black dress. Simple and classy is what most people went for back in the day.” With a change of style has also come a change of price. Girls going to Prom spend hundreds of dollars on their dress alone. The flashy, attention-grabbing dresses that are the common style for Prom today is not cheap. “I paid for half of my dress, so I only spent a little over 200 dollars, but the total of the dress was $450,” senior Natalie Ford said. Perhaps teenagers’ outlook on Prom has changed because of Hollywood movies playing it up, or maybe it is because AHS only has a senior prom; therefore it is more special to the students. “[Prom] was underwhelming,” Burke said. “I’m glad I went but it certainly was not the highlight of my senior year. I think I enjoyed the getting ready part more.”
teachers share photos from their Prom
COURTESY OF CARRIE SHAEFER
Counselor Carrie Shaefer poses before her 1993 senior ball wearing a classy black dress of which she paid under $100. Shaefer paired the black with silver jewelry.
Top websites to buy prom dresses: COURTESY OF HASSAN MIMS
www.promgirl.com www.simplydresses.com www.lulus.com www.camillelavie.com www.lafemmefashion.com www.windsorstore.com
Top department stores:
COURTESY OF WHITNEY DUNNING
Rent a prom dress:
COURTESY OF STEPHANIE GUFFEY
Nordstrom Macy’s Sears Lord and Taylor Bloomingdale’s
English teacher Stephanie Guffey wore a white, floral printed silky textured floor length dress. Her date sported a black tux and blue vest to their 2000 Prom.
History and Psychology teacher Whitney Dunning bought her zebra-print dress herself from Nordstrom with her money from working at Abercrombie and lifeguarding. Her Prom was in 2002.
www.renttherunway.com is a website where designer dresses and accessories can be rented for four or eight days and mailed back in a prepaid package when done. This website provides the luxury style of fashionable dresses, without having to spend a huge amount on something that will likely be worn only once.
COURTESY OF JOHN NEMETH
Hassan Mims is pictured at his 1995 Suitland High School Prom wearing a black tuxedo with a daring patterned vest with a pocket square.
History teacher John Nemeth stands in his pre-Prom picture with his white tux in 1963.
Donate used prom dresses:
Tricia Kapuscinski wore a pale yellow thin strapped dress paired with long while gloves and feather boa. Her date matched with a yellow boutineer in 2000.
Spanish teacher Debbie Estes attended her 1980 Senior Prom wearing a long white dress with lace trim. She accessorized with classic red lipstick and a pearl necklace.
COURTESY OF KELLIE BURKE
On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “QR Code” to read about a discount makeup brand
COURTESY OF DEBBIE ESTES
E.l.f. makeup products
COURTESY OF TRICIA KAPUSCINSKI
Donatemydress.org is an organization that puts together local dress drives across the US. Girls are encouraged to donate gently worn special occasion and prom dresses.
History and government teacher Kellie Burke poses for her 2001 Prom picture. Burke’s pale blue, glittery spaghetti strap dress was simple yet elegant as was her up-do hairstyle.
May 16, 2012
Two different worlds
Upcoming MLS Games
Roughness between girls and guys lacrosse is worlds apart By Hanna Carlson Circulation Manager
May 15 8:30 PM Houston Dynamo v Portland Timbers May 16 7:30 PM D.C. United v Colorado Rapids
Q&A with Coach Davis
COURTESY OF ANNANDALEATOMS.COM
Lacrosse has become one of the most mainstream spring sports nowadays. The boys varsity had stands full of cheering fans and supporters at every game, as did the girls team. Lacrosse is not just sticks and nets, most people don’t know that there’s a lot more to lacrosse than that. Girls and boys lacrosse players both play the same sport, but it’s a very different game. “There’s a big difference between boys and girls lacrosse. There is a lot of physical contact and hitting in guys lacrosse. In girls lacrosse, we wear a lot less protection because it’s not as physical,” junior Paige Britton said. One of the major differences between girls and guys lacrosse is checking. Checking is a term used in lacrosse for hitting another player with a lacrosse stick. Boys lacrosse wears a series of pads including a helmet, gloves, elbow pads and a chest pad. The pads allows players to hit each other without causing much harm to the other player. Checking is legal in boys lacrosse, but in girls lacrosse it is Senior Annie Rutherford attempts to defend her Garfield opponent during a scrimmage earlier this year. heavily regulated. This is one of the reasons boys lacrosse is more rough. has a personal bubble; if it’s broken, a foul is called. their skill and their speed. “Girls lacrosse is fun, “I don’t mind it being rough; it’s not too bad,” Girls also have to be careful about hitting but during games some people get aggressive and senior Junior Montoya said. Lacrosse is an all another player’s body with their stick because they start to check even though they’re not supposed to. around tough sport to play, even after an “easy” can get carded and have a penalty called against I think girls should start wearing helmets because practice, players still are drenched in sweat and them, while for the boys its the opposite. Anyone sometimes things get out of hand and girls get covered in bruises. “Lacrosse wears us down, it’s who watches any part of a boys lacrosse game concussions,” sophomore Faith Paletti said. tough,” senior Wallace Geiger said. risks seeing heads getting smashed and players Girls and boys play entirely different games, “Girl’s lacrosse is definitely more strict with falling everywhere. even though they play the same sport. Each its rules,” sophomore Sureyya Gokturk said. Girls and boys lacrosse games are extremely gender has a different set of rules and different “Referees are more strict with hits and checking popular not only because of the players but also equipment. Overall, lacrosse is an intense contact because girls can easily get hurt since we don’t because of the show the players put on every sport. It requires a lot of skill and endurance. for wear much protection other than goggles and game. Especially at boys lacrosse games; the high example,some players run up to four miles in one mouth guards.” Girls lacrosse players are allowed intensity playing shows how much heart every game. The whole game, girls and boys are running to check each other, but only in certain places of player puts on the field in every game they play. off of an adrenaline rush. The craziness of lacrosse the stick, and only if the stick is a certain distance Despite their strict rules, girls lacrosse players is what keeps people coming to every game. away from the player’s face. In a way, each player continue to find a way to wow the full stands with
How many injuries have there been this season?
“There’s been a few. But most injuries were ankle sprains that didn’t keep players out for more than a couple of games.” —Mo Osman
Assistant football coach Jeremiah Davis has accepted the head football coach position at West Potomac High School and will start at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.
“There’s only been around six injuries. They were either concussions or rolled ankles.” —Danney Davalos
senior “There haven’t been that many injuries, only about three. They were mostly concussions” —Alexandra Willaims
Q. What do you plan to do with the West Potomac players? A. The first thing that I am doing is identifying the kids with academic problems so that we can do our best to get their grades up. We are also going to do a couple of football camps in the coming weeks to evaluate talent and put people in the best position to succeed.
“There’s been around three concussions overall this season. It’s pretty bad.” —Kunnica Kou
Soccer: rough and reckless? Soccer these days has become more about the fights and less about the skill It’s late in the second half of a game tied 1-1 and the players are exhausted from the constant running up and down the field, dripping sweat from every place possible. You would expect them to be fatigued by now, but players are still out on the field slide tackling, head butting and tugging on other players’ jerseys, doing anything possible to win the game. In any soccer game, whether high school, college, or professional, players are playing dirtier than ever before. Soccer games are becoming more violent and vulgar, making it apparent where so many soccer injuries are coming from. Although the injuries are the most obvious offenses of the game, there are also things unseen and heard by the fans, and most importantly, the referees.“I hate when people talk smack to you on the field and when they pull your jersey or trip you,” junior Gaby Ripani said. These are the little things that set players off the most, such as bad mouthing each other, tugging on jerseys or taking cheap shots. In soccer, injuries can range from cuts, to bruises, concussions, and broken limbs. “ A guy broke his ankle, those (injuries) are the worst. A kid from the opposing team stepped on him and broke his ankle, it wasone of the worst injuries I’ve seen,” junior Marco Marquez said. As players mature and become more experienced, the game becomes less about being on the team just because your best friend is; players want to be the best soccer players they can be. Even if that means playing dirty. With that comes a fiercer game of soccer with a more competitive edge. “I don’t think soccer is getting too rough. The older you get, the bigger you get, so you need to be prepared for the contact because soccer’s a contact sport,” said Ripani. The roughness doesn’t stop there. Although there are many injuries in the game, a lot of the tripping and pushing goes unnoticed by the referees. As the time on the scoreboard ticks down, players become anxious
COURTESY OF ANNANDALEATOMS.COM
By Erin Johnson Staff Writer
Junior Absara Mesfun reaches to get the ball from the opposing West Springfield player.
and tired of dealing with the same kid pushing them around all game. Before you know it, there’s a yellow card here, another one there, and at times maybe even a red card. “I pushed a guy to the ground because throughout the whole game he kept grabbing my shirt, I got tired of it so I hit him back. I got a yellow card,”sophomore Charlie Montano said. Soccer is one of the world’s most loved sports, played by many people all over the world. Professional and college teams have fans from all over rooting for them to win, especially when the World Cup rolls around. Once the World Cup comes, millions from every country tune in to watch their favorite teams players play. Even the best teams in the world still play rough . Professionals play just as dirty as amateur soccer players in most cases. Soccer fans remember the incident in the 2006 World Cup game between Italy and France, when French soccer star Zinedine Zidane head butted his Italian opponent Marco Materazzi in the chest. Soccer is the world’s most loved sport but it’s a lot more than shoving.
Q. How did coaching at AHS and playing at Penn State prepare you for this job? A. Coaching under Coach Scott and Coach Adams was a great experience. I was able to see how to organize a group of task oriented coaches that work well together and work well with the kids. At Penn State and at Annandale I saw how tradition and a commitment to coaching the fundamentals not only made a great football team but produced great young men. Q. What are your future plans for West Potomac? A. I would like to have a competitive championship caliber team, but more importantly I want to coach group of good character young men that want to accomplish goals as a team. I want to continue a tradition of excellence and become a force in the Northern Region. For a background on Coach Davis scan this barcode on your smartphone.
Baseball’s Senior Night On your smartphone, scan this code above using the application “QR Code” to view a slides how of baseball’s senior night.
Senior Sunuse runs the 100 meter. He will be competing in the district tournament as both a jumper and sprinter.
By Jarod Golub Sports Editor The varsity baseball team did not have a good season even by their own standards. “We didn’t play baseball like we’re capable of,” Coach Ron Abrigo said. However, after beating West Potomac 4-3, Lee 14-3, and losing to T.C. and Lake Braddock both 5-0 in their last four games of the regular season, the Atoms feel good about their chances of moving past the district. “I think the season started off rough, but we’re coming into the district tournament hot,” senior Pat McCann said. Their current record is 6-14, not including the tournament game scheduled for Tuesday May 15. To see this score, go to www.thea-blast.org/sportscenter/. This does not, however, hinder the Atoms intensity, hope and focus of moving past the district tournament. “After these last few games we’re feeling pretty good, and we can win the district games it takes to move on to the region,” McCann said. Along with the teams confidence, the coaches too seem confident in their players abilities, “We have a very good chance of going to regionals,” Abrigo said, “we only have to win two games in the district tournament, we can definitely do that.” The coaches are ready to take on the rest of the district, and they have no doubt that their players can too. “I believe that our players are ready to compete, and they can win the district,” Abrigo said. The players too have faith in their own ability to win in the Patriot District. “We have a great team this season, and the record doesn’t really show how good we are. I think we have a good chance of going to regionals,” junior, Luke Lundy said. The first district game for the Atoms is against T.C, a team they recently lost to. The team seems confisdent that they can beat the team that they recently lost to 5-0. “I am confident that we can beat T.C., and anyone else we play,” Lundy said. This season the Atoms have won five games total, two during the season, and then three at the Myrtle Beach Mingo Bay Classic, a tournament that the team goes to every year. At the tournament the team made it to the championship game, which was not played due to rain. “I think that we have not been playing up to our potential as a team,” Lundy said, “that can be seen from our oerformance at Myrtle.” The team hopes to win in the Patriot District, and then advance past the regional tournament into the state. They eventually wish to win the state championship.
By Jarod Golub Sports Editor
Senior Adams Kumara runs the 100 meter. He is a sprinter on the squad.
- Photos by Jarod Golub
After a productive season, the girls lacrosse team fell to West Potomac 4-10 in the first round of the district tournament. Although the girls lost in the first round, the team thinks that they had a good season. “I think we made great progress with the younger players, the whole team worked very hard,” Coach Cindy Hook said. The team had a lot of young talent this year, and they did a very good job compared to their experience as a team together, ending the season 5-7. The team worked hard this season to get used to each other, seeing as most of the team is new, and not accustomed to working with each other. “We worked really hard in all of our practices,” sophomore Megan Ryan said, “and we gave each game our all.” The girls were off to a slow start due to injuries, with three of their
Sophomore Megan Ryan shoots on goal during practice. The girls will continue practicing during the off-season after a 4-10 loss to West Potomac cut their season short.
better,” Hook said. If the Atoms can stay as focused as they have been, and
keep working hard, then in the future they hope to be a winning team.
Soccer takes on district rival LB By Jarod Golub Sports Editor
On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “QR Code” to view a slideshow of photos from a recent baseball practice.
Junior Alex Lash lays down a bunt during practice. Lash and the baseball team were scheduled to take on T.C. yesterday.
starters out with concussions, Sarah Bergen, Sureyya Gokturk, and Amanda Villafana. This also hindered the Atoms ability at the beginning of the season. “Injuries really slowed down our team at the beginning of the season,” Hook said. Aside from this, the girls also suffered from the loss of seven senior starters from the last season. “We did a pretty good job helping the younger kids out, and I think they did well in game situations,” junior Betsy Kruse said. “I think the girls did a great job for a team that consisted of a lot of first and second year players,” Hook said. The girls, however, were not happy with their performance. “Most of the games were pretty close, but I think with a few minor changes we could have done a lot better,” Kruse said, But overall I think the season went relatively well. Next year the team hopes to advance farther by moving some people around. They hope to place higher in the district tournament, and maybe move into the region. “The players will be older and more experienced next year, and hopefully that will help us play
Boys look to defeat Lake Braddock second time
Varsity baseball continues preparation
Junior Matt Stevens practices his throws down to second base. Stevens is the starting catcher for the Atoms.
Girls lax season stops abruptly Girls lose to West Pot in first round of Patriot District Tournament
Senior Robel Soloman practices his long jump at a recent track practice.
AHS has dominated the district with their track team this spring. With many older runners to hold the team up, such as Ahmed Bile, Dylan Van Balen and Walter Manlen, they had a solid base with lots of other strong runners. “The season was great,” coach Sean Miller said. “Both teams were really successful.” Aside from the regular season the district tournament is looking up to, the Atoms are optimistic of their chances of moving to regionals. The first round of districts will be held today at W.T. Woodson High School. “I think both teams will do great,” Miller said. “The girls will do well, and I think the boys will win it all, and possibly win regionals and states too.” There were also a lot of personal and team records set this year, including Ahmed Bile holding record times in the mile and the 800 meter. Although Miller thought the season went well and is still looking up, the players seem to think different. “[The season] went well, but not as good as last year,” junior Hung Truong said. Aside from all of this, the team is still optimistic on its chances in the district tournament. “I think we have a really good team for the districts this year, and I think we can go on to the region too,” Truong said.
Atoms face T.C. in first district tournament match-up, look to advance to regional competition
By Nuhami Mandefero Staff Writer
Baseball looks to districts
Track prepares for district tournament
May 16, 2012
Although the team did not win in the district tournament, they feel that the season went well. “We played pretty well together, and I think next year we’ll all play really well,” Ryan said. After tying with the T.C. Williams Titans 5-5 last Thursday, May 10 the boys varsity soccer team looks towards the district tournament. The team played Lake Braddock on Monday, to view the scores go to www.thea-blast.org/sportscenter/. Earlier in the season the varsity team beat Lake Braddock for the first time in 16 years, ending the game with a score of 1-0. The team has had a relatively good season overall, ending the season 3-6-4. However, injuries did play a part in their less than perfect season.“I think we did good, it could have been a lot better though,” Coach Doug Miller
said. “We had a lot of injured players that couldn’t play so that really hurt our record.” The team is confident in their abilities, and believes that they have a good chance in the district tournament. “I think we can do well in the district based on our playing during the regular season, and hopefully this year or next year move on to regionals,” Miller said. The players too have faith in themselves and each other on the field. “I think we did well this season. We played well as a team,” junior Cesar Flores said. The team has a lot of younger players this year, with a third of the team being made up of underclassmen. They will also be losing five seniors next year, and that will lead to more younger athletes being needed on the team. The soccer team, after playing their first district game will find out if they move on to the next round of the tournament. To find out the scores of Monday night’s game go to www.thea-blast.org/sportscenter/. The boys team hopes to advance to the next round of districts, and hopefully regionals as well.
Sophomore Charlie Montano juggles a ball at practice. Boys soccer finished 3-6-4 in the regular season.
May 16, 2012
Boys lacrosse stopped short Lacrosse district run ends during second round with a loss to W.T. Woodson A late season loss to Woodson diminished their hopes of a regular season Patriot District Championship. A district semifinal loss to the same Woodson team cut short their hopes of advancing to the Patriot District final. Now, the only path to a championship for the boys lacrosse team lies through Mount Vernon, who the Atoms were scheduled to take on last night in the first round of the Northern Region Tournament. The match-up, which ended too late to be covered in this issue, featured a Mount Vernon team Junior Will Oviatt brings the ball downfield with hopes to evade Woodson defense and score. reeling from a National District ball on our side of the field,” junior goals.” Championship loss and an Atoms James Terrell said. “What killed us Similarly, junior Joe Bermingham team that finished 5-2 in the district was our lack of communication on cited the team’s mindset as a only to fall to Woodson 4-17 in the defense and our inability to win the possible reason for falling behind so Patriot District semifinal. face-offs.” early, saying that “we just weren’t “It really came down to their faceTerrell also noted the team’s ourselves.” off guy having a strong night and mentality heading into the game as “I don’t think everybody realized we just couldn’t get groundballs,” a possible cause of its sluggish start, how big of a game it was and it really head coach Bill Maglisceau said of which resulted in a one-goal first half showed,” Bermingham said. “We the semifinal loss. “They out-hustled that found the Atoms trailing by 11. were really mad at ourselves [after us on groundballs and we didn’t get “I don’t think we had the right the loss], but we realized we can still a chance to step up on offense, let mindset going into the game,” Terrell make this season as long as we want alone score.” said. “We should have been more it to be.” “We did pretty well moving the ball focused; we had too many simple With that goal in mind, the on offense when we actually had the errors that turned into Woodson Atoms prepared to take on Mount
COURTESY OF NKPHOTOS
By CJ Aftergut Retiring Co-Editor in Chief
Girls softball looks forward to districts
Vernon last night in what Maglisceau described as a battle between “two hungry teams.” “Mount Vernon does the exact same thing as Woodson: they hustle,” he said prior to the match-up. “I think in a six-on-six settled game we’ll be able to score a little more than they will.” “We have focused heavily on our defensive sets and groundballs. These two things will be key as we head into regionals,” senior Ryan Miller said before the contest. “We want to come out fast and aggressive and we want to out-hustle Mount Vernon.” With an entire week of practices in preparation for the Mount Vernon match-up, the Atoms had time not only to work on their defensive play, but also to hone their fundamentals, which Terrell noted as important to their success. “We want to play four quarters of good lacrosse and end somebody’s season; simple as that,” Terrell said. “As a team we have to have great fundamentals, cut down on turnovers and most importantly trust every teammate completely.” Miller echoed a similar sentiment, citing that the team members need to trust one another and remain mentally tough in order to advance deep into the postseason. “We have to trust our teammates, our coaches and our plays,” Miller said. “During the playoffs, there are times where things don’t go your way, and it is easy to get rattled. If we stay confident in ourselves, it will really help us in the tournament.”
By Betsy Kruse and Megan Ryan Sports Editor and Staff Writer In their final game of the regular season, the girls varsity softball team delivered a crushing blow with a 12-1 victory over the T.C. Williams Titans. The Atoms improved their district record to 9-5 and will be the fourth seed in the Patriot District tournament playing W.T. Woodson tonight at home. The team has previously defeated the Cavaliers twice this season. The victory over the Titans, although celebrated, was quickly looked over as the team refocused its attention to accumulate success in the postseason. “We need to become more aggressive when batting and eliminate mental errors,” senior captain Casey Fait said. Despite a seven game losing streak in the middle of the regular season, the overall 10-10 team is determined to play to its strengths. “We’ve played well defensively and if we can come out and get a few runs early we should be good,” head coach Chris Tippins said. “If our defense is playing and communicating together, we come out on top. If our defense plays well, then our offense plays well.” The team has not made a regional appearance since the 2009 season and hopes to overcome
Soccer prepares for postseason The girls varsity soccer team played hard in the final game of the regular season, but came up just shy of a win against T.C. Williams. The Atoms, with a 2-5 district record, fell to the Titans by one goal, with all three of their goals scored by senior Micaela Filsoof. The Atoms have been spending their practices readying themselves for the postseason. The team’s first round of the Patriot District Tournament was against West Springfield Monday night, but ended too late to be covered in this issue. “I would like to see us make it to the finals of districts,” head coach Janeen Westphal said prior to the game. “I believe we have the talent to get there. We have to continue to play as a team and support each other on and off the ball.” In the previous matchup against the West Springfield Spartans, the Atoms lost 0-1 in overtime. The Annandale players feel like they have improved greatly since then and are ready for their rematch. “We have a very young team this year,” Westphal said. “The greatest obstacle was getting the younger
By Betsy Kruse and Stephen Oakes Sports Editor and Copy Editor
Junior Alex Williams warms up before the West Springfield game. Williams is one of 12 new players on the team.
players up to the varsity level speed of play.” The team only has two seniors, Filsoof and Natalie Ford, to lead the team this year, but the amount of younger players, including six freshman, foreshadows success for future seasons. This season, only seven of the 19 players are returning varsity players. “I really enjoyed playing on the girls soccer team this spring,” freshman Jenny McCann said. “I feel like I have gotten a lot better at soccer [and] improved.” “I want to have every team member come back so that we can have a fantastic season next year,” junior Alexandra Williams said. The team’s surprise victory against the Lake Braddock Bruins, who was undefeated in the district before they encountered the Atoms, gives the players hope for an underdog upset in the district tournament. The back and forth game against the Bruins ended with the Atoms coming through for an overtime victory of 3-2. “My favorite moment of the season was beating Lake Braddock on their senior night,” Williams said. The coaches and players are optimistic about how far the team has come and are hoping for much post-season success. “In the six years I have been coaching, this is the best soccer I have seen at Annandale,” Westphal said.
Team’s regular season ends with 2-5 record in the district
Junior Anne Marie Frankfurt warms up her throwing arm before practice.
Boys tennis ends strong Girls tennis takes a hit Team’s season ends after participating in district tournament
By William Bennett Staff Writer
Despite early season struggles, the AHS boys tennis team managed to end the season on a high note by winning their senior night and putting on a strong performance in the district tournament. Faced with unfamiliar courts and stout competition, the team struggled through the district tournament, but there were some positives. “The district tournament had a bad turnout overall, which can be partly accredited to some bad fortune,” senior Josh Kim said. “Our fantastic freshman Todd Le got the short end of the draw with a first round match against one of the top seeds in the district. Since tennis is single elimination, it’s tough luck if you lose your first match.” “Junior Thien Mai and I were pitted against the #1 seed of West Potomac on indoor courts, which had a faster, awkward bounce; this rewards serve-and-volley play which was against our favor since Thien doesn’t have a huge serve and I prefer to play defensively,” Kim said. After starting the season with four wins in their first nine games, the team continued to improve their game and finished the season with a 6-9 overall record. “Overall, the season went stupendously,” senior James Bui said. “I would say the highlight was the victory over previously unbeaten Lake Braddock on senior night. It
By Betsy Kruse Sports Editor
Junior Thien Mai works to on his serve.
was the first time that they have been defeated in 7 years.” “We did not expect to win that game,” senior Chris Boado said. The match against the Bruins was close, but the Atoms won their Senior Night with a 5-4 victory. “Coach Gould talked to us before the match and gave us the seemingly insane courage to believe that we had a chance to beat Lake Braddock. I distinctly remember roaring the loudest ‘IMUA’ of the season, which means to always go forward and never give up,” senior Josh Kim said. “We went 6-9 but our record doesn’t justify how the season went,” Kim said. “Coach Gould did something remarkable with our team; she made us into a tribe: a family that looks out for each other.”
The 3-11 girls tennis team fought hard during the Patriot District Tournament, but its season came to a close with no one advancing to regionals. “I played really well, but I lost on paper,” senior Bonne Clark said. All Annandale participants lost during their first round of the tournament. Seniors Clark and Alexa Lafferty played singles matches. The doubles teams were comprised of Clark and sophomore Chloe Loving for the number one seed and junior Jenny Ha and sophomore Hannah Coutler for the number two seed. The team of Coulter and Ha received second team all district honors. “As my first time in districts, playing with Hannah, I think we did pretty well playing the number one doubles from T.C. Williams,” Ha said. “I can’t believe we made second team.” This season was Loving, Coulter and Ha’s first time participating in the district tournament. The team may have only won three district matches, but the last match of the regular season against Lake Braddock, won by the Atoms with a score of 5-4, exemplified the improvement made over the season. The team had previously lost to the Bruins by a score of 2-7. The Atoms also beat the Lee Lancers twice
during the season to secure two more wins. “Our win against Lake Braddock was our greatest success because it was a team we had been trying to beat and when we won, it completely lifted our spirits, which was a great way to end the [regular] season,” Clark said. This season, the team was relatively young, with only two seniors. Many new players joined for the first time with little to no experience. “Over half of the team was new from the previous year and they improved significantly,”head coach Hassan Mims said. “Next year, our goal is to, of course, win more matches and continue building the program.” Despite the team’s losing record, the players has many strengths that will help lead them to success in future seasons. “We were really focused on improving both individually and as a team and we really grew closer through that,” Clark said. “We just needed to be more aggressive and have that killer instinct.”
Girls lacrosse Senior Night BETSY KRUSE
Despite rain, tennis competes in Patriot District Tournament
South County and Lake Braddock, the Atoms top rivals, regardless of regular season losses. “My goal for the district tournament is to make it to the second round and beat Lake Braddock or South County,” sophomore center fielder Jocelyn Hotter said. During the regular season, the team encountered injuries, including a concussion to starting senior catcher Alex King, which forced her to miss a few key games, while freshman Kara Hoisington still remains unable to play with her fractured fibula. “We’ve had such a rough year with losing games, but we still came back to win the games we needed to and held the better teams as well as we could,” Hoisington said. There are many elements that the Atoms learned during the regular season that they plan on keeping and feel confident will transition well to their post season play. “I want to keep up the fact that we don’t have very many fielding errors and have [senior] Justine [Niner] keep pitching really well for us,” Fait said. Niner received second team alldistrict honors along with junior Anne Marie Frankfurt, King and Fait. Jocelyn Hotter and Jessica Hotter both made first team alldistrict. “The team works really well together, which will benefit us and help us to play well in the district tournament,” Jocelyn Hotter said.
Junior Jenny Ha returns the ball to her opponent during a set using her backhand.
On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “QR Code” to view pictures from girls lacrosse senior night.
MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK Thurs., May 17 The National
LADY ANTEBELLUM Sun., May 20 Merriweather Post Pavilion
WILLIAM BECKET (formerly of The Academy Is...) Sun., May 20 Jammin Java
May 16, 2012
Carrie Underwood “Blown Away” with more of a bubbly tune. The even gentler melody of “Forever Changed,” brings more of a peaceful sense on Carrie’s album along with her soothing vocals. Carrie co-wrote eight of BY EMILY BLANK the album’s fourteen songs, which included “Good Girl” Entertainment Editor and “Two Black Cadillacs.” It has been seven years since she won over the hearts This continues the ongoing of America on the fourth season of “American Idol.” Carrie trend of her taking on more Underwood has been a chart-topping country singer of a songwriter role on her ever since. In her new album Blown Away, Underwood albums. Later in the album, brings out more of a dark storytelling side of herself to Carrie’s songs take more light in her music, telling stories with her songs in a of an optimistic turn. The theatrical sense. With an explosive and powerful voice enriching sound and vesting like Underwood’s, that isn’t very hard to accomplish. “Nobody Ever Told You” Blown Away starts off with three songs gives more of a that really grasp the attention of the listener, positive message, taking them through the journey of the story Album Review: “You shine like a Blown Away she tells. The handclap, drums and edgy diamond and twist on her current Top 10 single “Good Girl” glitter like gold / adds fire to Carrie’s electric vocals through You need to know swift melodies and with its catchy hook. The and nobody ever powerful track, “Blown Away,” opens softly told you.” The and then bursts into spinning harmonies, and cheerful track, “One Way Ticket,” has more attracts listeners through its dynamic use of of a bohemian theme, showing off Carrie’s flowing instruments throughout the piece. She then moves on vocals. In her tract “Thank God For Hometowns,” to a more dramatic piece in “Two Black Cadillacs,” that Carrie really takes the time to stop and express her takes one through a tale of revenge with deep percussion love for hometowns and how much they mean to her. and its particular use of strings that set the frame of the Underwood’s soft and sincere track “Good In Goodbye,” song, taking more of a soulful twist in Carrie’s vocals. gives an honest piece of advice to listeners through her Carrie then takes on a slower tempo in “See You storytelling, with her soft melody and striking vocals. In Again,” really showcasing her vocal range and empowering a more playful song, “Leave LoveAlone,” the spirited beats lyrics. The soft and sweet track “Do You Think About highlight the catchy lyrics. In an even more finger-tapping Me,” takes a simple, acoustic-like beat and underlines it tone, “Cupids Got A Shotgun,” the dynamic change of
Underwood blows away her fans with her new album, tour to begin in September
melody brings more movement into the piece. Then, to slow it down, Carrie’s track “Wine After Whisky,” takes off with a soft melody that moves along with her powerful voice throughout the song. Underwood then ends the album with “Who Are You,” using her inspiring vocals to push through, leaving a satisfying ending to a vibrant album. Blown Away showcases Carrie’s dynamic range and unique vocals. Although the album begins with its darkest tracks, it lightens up in the end with its cheerful change in tunes. She paints a vivid picture with her vocals, and through her lyrics in each song, it will blow you away.
How long will Married To Jonas last? Reality TV series to premiere on E! Entertainment ft. Kevin and Dani Jonas BY SARAH BERGEN Entertainment Editor
ONE DIRECTION Thurs., May 24 The Patriot Center
Four years ago, you could walk into any teenage girl’s room to see the faces of Nick, Joe and Kevin plastered to their walls. Their names would be screamed if they entered a room and they sold out venue after venue across the world for three years. After releasing four albums including Nick Jonas’ solo album, the boys stopped making music. In December of 2009, the oldest brother, Kevin, traded in his guitar for a wedding ring. Not even three years of marriage have gone by and Kevin and his wife Danielle Deleasa Jonas have begun filming their new reality TV series on E! called “Married To Jonas.” Ryan Secreast and his team jumped on the
THE BAND PERRY Thurs., May 24 Job.com Pavilion
Get inside your favorite celebrities’ heads
DRAKE Fri., May 25 The Verizon Center
CITY AND COLOUR Wed., May 30 Rams Head Live!
“When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.” —Ashton Kutcher
ZAC BROWN BAND Thurs., May 31 Merriweather Post Pavilion
FOSTER THE PEOPLE Sun., June 10 Merriweather Post Pavilion
RADIOHEAD Sun., June 10 The Verizon Center
“The best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve seen & the memories you’ve seen along the way.” —Paris Hilton
opportunity to follow a young married couple and the past Jonas Brother member to show fans what it’s like to be a married pop sensation. Kevin has announced that the show will follow Danielle and him around to see what goes on in their “suburban lifestyle,” the show will also feature the other Jonas’ Nick and Joe. The brothers are planning on recording and releasing a new album, which will be their first release since 2009 “Lines, Vines and Trying Times.” Fans of the Jonas Brothers react to the news of the show and don’t think it’s going to last long; “I don’t think the show will last. The reason I say that is because it’s not what TV viewers are looking for. I feel like it will be another Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson tragedy as seen on the old show ‘Newlyweds’.Aside from Jonas fans who is going to be interested in watching it?” senior Jessica Campanilla said. The show will preimere on E! on Monday August 19th at 10pm. “Nonetheless, I’m excited about it because it’s always interesting to see what goes on when they’re not touring, making music, etc... anything Jonas related entertains me,” Campanilla said.
“Go forward: You’re braver than you believe, & stronger than you seem, & smarter than you think.” —Rev Run
“Scars remind us of where we’ve been. Not where we’re going.” —Miley Cyrus
May 16, 2012
Introducing Cady Groves
We spoke with Oklahoma solo artist Cady Groves about insight to her music career and upcoming album releases for the summer.
Cady: Definetly Alanis Morissette. I’m convinced God looks like Alanis.
Q: Introduce yoursef and a bit about yourself. Cady: Well, I’m Cady Groves! I’m from the smallest town in Oklahoma.. I like the movie “Joe Dirt.” I also write and sing songs!
Q: If you had to pick one song for someone to hear that’s never heard you music before, which song would you pick? Cady: I would say my song “Love Actually,” because it shows that I can be vulnerable.
Q: When/how did you know you wanted to pursure a career in music? Cady: It sounds so fake to say this, but I mean it whole-heartedly, music was my destiny from birth. I never had to question if this sort of expression would be my consistent outlet.
Q: What’s some advice you could give to a high school musician? Cady: Everyone will broadcast their laughter if you said you wanted to do what I do. Don’t listen to them! Work at it, please, and don’t be scared of what getting better entails.
Q: What has been the most enlightening moment of your musical career? Cady: Finding out who my real friends are.
Q: What’s the hardest part about being a solo artist? Cady: That I’m alone.. a lot. Q: Being from Oklahoma, what’s the music scene like? Do you feel
Q: What inspired you to become a musician?
like it helped or hurt you as an artist? Cady: I know every country song on the radio at all times, and I’m obsessed and still couldn’t tell you probably half the singers on pop radio. It definitely makes my writing style different from all the other pop artists. Love it.
Q: What would your dream tour be? Cady: Right now? Hmm. Maybe Pink!! I love her. She’s so real! Or Katy Perry. Q: Can you spill any details about anything new you’re coming out with? Cady: Everything!! Album out soon!! It’s my child!! So excited! Waited my whole life and I’m freaking out!! Q: Where do you hope to see yourself a year from now? Cady: Successful, genuine and respected Q: Any last words to say to our viewers? Cady: I like the way you work it!
BATTLESHIP: One of the biggest films of the year is a sci-fi themed film that is based on Hasbro’s classic naval combat boardgame. The action filled thriller stars actors Taylor Kitsch as Alex Hopper, Brooklyn Decker as Sam Shane, and pop singer Rihanna as Petty Officer Raikes. May 18
The Fray goes home to Red Rocks Colorado locals, The Fray perform at the famous Red Rocks Ampitheater By Sarah Bergen Entertainment Editor Let’s go back a year. I was in Colorado making my way up to the top of Red RocksAmphitheatre. The sloped entrance to the outdoor venue was covered in ice, and the only way to reach the top was by pulling myself up by the railing to watch the sunrise from the top. As I arrived I said “I have to see The Fray here, they’re my favorite band and hometown shows are always the best.” Well, last weekend my dream came true. I traveled with my family to the small town of Morrison, Colorado to see The Fray’s second to last date of the Scars and Stories tour. Covered in ponchos and multiple layers of clothing, we waited in the 30-degree freezing rain and slight snow. The warm up bands were Colorado locals Churchill and Utah solo artist Dia Frampton (originally in the duo Meg & Dia), [with each playing about 8-10 songs.] The Fray finally took the stage around 9:30 to entertain the sold out crowd of almost 10,000 fans, many of whom had traveled far to get to the show, proving to be a very dedicated fan-
base. Opening with the song “Fighter” which is off their most recent release, “Scars and Stories,” the show finally started and at that moment the rain stopped. As they continued to play, Issac Slade (lead singer) said “Well here we are, this night’s for all of you, enjoy yourselves,” as well as shouting out “303” which is the Colorado area code. About halfway through the set, Slade made his way through the crowd. After finishing the song, guitarist Joe King and drummer Ben Wysocki made their way up to join Slade. Slade began talking about how Colorado was responsible for putting the band on the map and thanked them for making the past 10 years so incredible.
He ended his speech by saying,“for every guitar we borrowed, every band we opened for, here’s to another 10 years.” The crowd roared. The speech was followed by an acoustic rendition of the popular song “How To Save A Life” from still in the crowd. Isaac ended the song with his microphone stretched out to the crowd, stood back and heard the echoes of almost 10,000 fans singing their lyrics back to them. The band continued the rest of the set playing almost every song from their latest CD “Scars and Stories,” as well as older songs like “Over My Head (Cable Car),” “You Found Me” and “Look After You.” Near the end of the show, Slade asked the crowd to repeat lyrics after him. To get the crowd louder, he jumped off the stage and ran up the side stairs of the amphitheater, through the crowd and back down the other side. He jumped back on stage and continued singing, not even out of breath. After leaving the stage, and being cheered back on for an encore, I made my way down to the front row to watch the last three songs. I can now say that I’ve crossed off the number one thing on my bucket list and that no concert will ever top what I saw on May 11. If you haven’t seen The Fray live, I highly recommend you purchase tickets for their summer tour with Kelly Clarkson at Jiffy Lube Live, because you won’t regret it.
The Dictator does not command well First Borat, then Bruno and now The Dictator By Emily Blank Entertainment Editor After Borat and Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen manages to come up with another typical comedy to leave you unsatisfied. Baron Cohen unsuccessfully makes fun of Osama Bin Laden, a known dictator of the past who was responsible for the attacks on 9/11. The film does a mediocre job at poking fun at the dictator in all ways possible, making fun of his culture, along with his appearance. There’s something everyone
can laugh about in the new film, or Baron Cohen hardly leaves audiences at least, something for everyone to be laughing. offended by. The biggest downside of the film is that As Baron Cohen has become more it is rated R, which makes a challenge for successful and well-known, he has had to more of a diverse audience. The again, raise the bar and cross several boundaries Baron Cohen has done a pretty good job and barely manages to do so. at being successful with a more This film is by far his most narrow audience. In the movie, outrageous picture yet. Unlike Movie Review: Baron Cohen makes predictable Borat and Bruno, The Dictator is jokes about topics like terrorism, The Dictator completely staged and scripted. torture and 9/11, and are pretty In the gimmick, Admiral offensive at some points in the General Aladeen, (played by film. Toward the end of the Baron Cohen) who is the dictator film, the jokes begin to fall flat, of Wadiya, moves into New York and dry. City when a democracy is brought to Similar with his past movie projects, his country. He has to make a living by Baron Cohen continues to make others working as a store clerk while making laugh, but seeing this film once was efforts to return himself to power in his probably enough for me. Disregarding homeland. With the clash of cultures, what others may think, he is clearly a
talented actor and filmmaker, and the fact that he can continue to branch debate is definitely a talent. If you are going to see the film, be sure to see it with an audience, for it will definitely boost the experience. The bigger the sudience, the more you will enjoy the movie.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING: Four pregnant couples learn that having a baby is anything but predictable. This romantic comedy takes one through the journey to parenthood, which doesn’t always go as expected. The film stars actresses Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lopez, and Cameron Diaz. May 18
MEN IN BLACK 3: Actrors Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reunite for the third time in Men In Blank III. Agent J, played by Will Smith, travels back in time to MIB’s early years in the 1960s to stop an alien from assassinating his good friend Agent K, played by Tommy Lee Jones. May 25
Snow White and the Huntsman: This new take on the fairy tale sees an expanded role for the Huntsman. In the original story, he is ordered to take Snow White into the woods and kill her, but instead lets her go. In this film the two are chained together for part of the movie as they make their escape. June 1
On this day in entertainment history
“Don’t waste your time looking back on what you’ve lost. Move on, because life is not meant to be traveled backwards.” —Sofia Jorgenson freshman
“Hardest thing about the SAT? Rewriting that statement thing in cursive...” —Kevin Tran junior
1960 —Berry Gordy formed Motown Records 1966 —Janet Jackson was born, she is the youngest of the Jackson family 1986 —Actress Megan Fox was born 2002 —“Star Wars: Attack of the Clones” opened in theaters 2005 —Sony’s Playstation 3 makes its first apperance 2011 —After 23 years running and 1151 fugitives caught, the FOX network “American’s Most Want” ended
“I swear it feels like yesterday was my first day as a senior... Where the heck did this year go?”
PIRANHA 3DD: After the horrific events at Lake Victoria in “Piranha 3D” the flesh eating piranhas are back, and this time,no one is safe. The blood thirsty piranhas are ready to sink their razor sharp teeth into this summer’s best attraction, The Big Wet Water Park. June 1
—Hiba Abuelhawa senior
zSzUzDzOzKzUz MADAGASCAR 3: Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman are still fighting to get back to their beloved home in the Big Apple. Their adventure takes them through Europe where they find the perfect disguise; a traveling circus, which they reinvent themseleves, Madagascar style. June 8
Marvels The Avengers movie review On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “QR Code” to read a movie review of The Avengers. Don’t forget to rate the film as well.
20 What is your favorite restaurant in Annandale?
Annandale’s world of taste A look into the diverse places to eat around the community
—Robyn Strong freshman
7039 Little River Turnpike Annandale, VA 22003
----Chris Smith freshman
“I like Kilroys, they have great food and it has a family oriented, laidback atmosphere.”
—Sean Flynn sophomore
SHILLA BAKERY: Bing Soo
“I like Szechuan Star because everything there is delicious.”
“Fuddruckers because I love the burgers.”
May 16, 2012
Shilla Bakery is a Korean-style bakery and pastry shop that has been in Annandale since 1998. It offers breads, paninis, salads, wraps, smoothies and frozen yogurt. More Korean-style fare includes the popular bing soo, which is shaved ice topped with yogurt, fruit, cereal, chocolate and various other toppings. Bing soo flavors include red bean, coffee, green tea and strawberry, among others. A unique feature of the shop is that they offer a myriad of samples from many of their baked goods, such as angel food cake, green tea bread, and cream rolls. Upon entering, you can usually spot a number of people making their way around the front of the store, helping themselves to these samples in the baskets provided. If you are looking for a traditional bakery experience with some Korean flair, Shilla Bakery is the place to go.
6548C Little River Tpke, Alexandria, VA 22312
IndAroma is an Indian cafe that opened in 2009. It offers many traditional Indian dishes, such as samosas and chicken tikka masala, along with over ten different types of curries. It also offers food for the less adventurous eater, such as a grilled chicken wrap and a BLT sandwich. The cafe highlights its colorful and decorative cakes that the staff designs. Along the top shelves on the sides of the store, cakes in the form of castles, gift boxes, and decorative swirled patterns are on display. IndAroma caters and offers these cakes for events by ordering ahead, but the bakery also offers many grab-andgo treats. Eclairs, cannoli, and cake slices are available, along with pastries and croissants. Annandale does not have many options in terms of Indian food, so IndAroma is definitely a restaurant worth trying.
SZECHUAN STAR: Lo Mein
CHICKEN POLLO: Peruvian Chicken
“Silverado because it’s really good!”
----Dylan Gore junior
6960 Braddock Road Annandale, VA 22003
7320 Little River Tpke Annandale, VA 22003
“Tropical Smoothie because they have quick food and are really healthy.”
—Jessica Fredericksen senior
“Bistro Italiano on Capitol Hill because they have the most amazing homemade sauce and pizza crust made out of pastry dough.”
Chicken Pollo is a Peruvian chicken restaurant standby in Annandale. It is known for its traditional Rotisserie chicken served with yucca fries and special white and green sauces. The menu is simple, with the rotisserien chicken as the main focus and several side dish options, but this is on no way a deterrent. Crowded on a daily basis, it’s the perfect atmosphere for group dinners and family outings. Chicken Pollo can be expected to be packed during the weekends, especially lunch and dinner. With long lines, and tickets waiting to be called out, this restaurant’s variety of customers is a surprising feature that is a nod to the quality of its food. Most customers are accustomed to the question, “Are you in line?” and wait at their respective tables to be served once their food is called. Steaming hot and ready to devour, this is the perfect place to enjoy lunch and a couple of jokes with some friends.
FOOD CORNER KABOB HOUSE: Kabobs
----Niki Holmes English teacher ––Compiled by Rowan Shartel and Andrea Melendez
2012 class bulletin All Night Grad is now $45; money must be turned into the PTSA
Graduation countdown: 29 days
5224 Port Royal Road Springfield, VA 22151
Food Corner Kabob House, a local chain that began in Annandale in 1997, offers Afghan cuisine in a fast-food atmosphere. The quality of the food well exceeds this, however. The restaurant offers chicken, lamb, beef, and seafood kabobs that come with rice, flatbread, salad and Afghan sauce to accompany the meal. They also offer gyros, platters and vegetarian dishes. Food Corner can get extremely crowded during the dinner hour, and the wait after ordering food can be up to 15 minutes, so calling ahead is an option. For those who have not tried Afghan food before, the boneless chicken kabob entree is a good option because it combines new flavors with a familiar food. There are side dish options with every meal that include sauteed vegetables, pumpkin, and fried spinach, but chickpeas are the general favorite. Try Food Corner for a Middle Eastern experience. that exceeds all others in the area.
Szechuan Star has been a local favorite for over 20 years and has been home to many families craving a steaming plate of traditional Chinese cuisine. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes from egg drop soup to Kung Pao Chicken and Shrimp. The restaurant is decorated to create a family style setting with small booths and low lighting. A Friday lunch buffet is offered for nine dollars per person from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. When first entering the restaurant, a medium sized tank full of turtles welcomes visitors, as well as a sitting area which offers hot tea to customers waiting for their carry out. A unique aspect of the restaurant, which it has been commended on in the past, is that it offers several low calorie, healthy and vegetarian options. If you are looking for a traditional Chinese restaurant with a myriad of options, look no further than Szechuan Star.
THE SWISS BAKERY: Tiramisu
7031-A Little River Tnpk Annandale, VA 22003
The Swiss Bakery, which opened in 2001, is a cafe, pastry shop, and bakery that specializes in food and drinks from Switzerland and other European countries. Their extensive menu includes brawturst, salads, quiches and giant soft pretzels. They also offer various coffee, tea and espresso drinks, as well as ice cream and sorbet by the scoop or pint that is made in the store. Their breads are baked daily, and they also have a glass case filled with tarts, cakes, cookies, and other treats, including unique ones such as a “chocolate caramel pyramid.” They also offer custom order cakes and other catering options for events. The cafe is accompanied by a small store inside that carries Swiss food products like pasta, cheese, candy and bottled drinks, but there are tables available for customers to sit and enjoy their food. Stop by the Swiss Bakery for breakfast, lunch or a treat.
Students weigh in on Annandale’s restaurants SHILLA BAKERY
Bakery treats On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “QR code” to view a slideshow of the other treats available at Shilla Bakery.
THE SWISS BAKERY
Connie Tran junior 1. How often do you visit Shilla Bakery? I usually go to Shilla about one or two times per month.
Francisco Lam sophomore 1. How often do you visit The Swiss Bakery? I have been there twice before.
John Pham senior 1. How often do you visit Szechuan Star? I think I go there about once a month.
2. What is your favorite thing to order? I always get the yogurt bing soo because it’s huge and you get bits and pieces of everything. It’s a shareable meal because it’s so big, so I share with my cousins .
2. What do you order there? I had a raspberry macaroon cookie and I thought it was really good.
2. What kinds of dishes do you get? I like the orange chicken, wonton soup, chicken and broccoli and lo mein, not all at the same time, but depending on when I go I’ll get one of those.
3. What do you think makes the bakery so popular? The Korean population in the area is big, but Shilla is unique, so many other cultures eat there too.
3. What is your favorite aspect of the bakery? It has everything laid out for you to see and choose something. The people who work there are also really nice to customers.
3. Why do you like Szechuan Star? I like the restaurant because there are not many Chinese options in the area, it is a good place to get Chinese food and they have very good customer service that helps with lunches and loading buses.