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ANNANDALE HIGH SCHOOL 4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, VA 22003

the VOLUME #55 ISSUE 5

A

Informiing the Atoms since 19954

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 16, 2009

‘Crucible’ to debut tomorrow Everyone is rushing in and out, chatting, eating food, trying on costumes and practicing their lines. The affectionately named “Black Box” is bustling with the commotion of theater members just before one of their final rehearsals. This weekend, the AHS theater department will be performing “The Crucible,” a play written by Arthur Miller about the Salem witchcraft trials of the 1690’s. The play was written as a response to McCarthyism, when the US government blacklisted suspected Communists. “It’s really about human rights,” theater director George Bennet said. The play will debut on Thursday, almost a month after it’s original scheduled debut of Nov. 19. The change can

be attributed to the fact that the theater department is undergoing a serious transition from former director Vicky Farish to Bennett. Bennett chose the play because of the government’s recent actions against human rights. “Since 9/11, rights have been taken,” Bennett said. The dramatic and tragic plot-line of the play is something that many students have never experienced. It follows the witch trials, and the resulting hysteria, exploring how neighbors turn on against one another and accuse others of horrible deeds. “We’ve never really done anything really dramatic before. This is really testing people as actors,” senior John Odom said. The play will not only test the actors’ dramatic

RACHEL BERGEN

BY ERIN JOHNSON News Editor

“Crucible” continued on page 5

IB coordinator resigning

Annandale Atoms: 72 South County: 83

BY KELLY MCGAREY Co-Editor in Chief In early December, AHS students and faculty members were shaken by the news that Erin Albright, longtime AHS IB Coordinator, was resigning. Pulling open the door of the cramped trailer, densely packed with nearly 30 seniors assembled for the Dec. 3 CAS meeting, Albright paused for a moment at the rear of the structure to take once last glance at the mass of potential IB diploma candidates. Walking to the head of the classroom, she proceeded to give the shocked group of students the news of her departure. These seniors, among the first to hear the news that Albright, the long-time backbone of the AHS IB program, was leaving, were saddened to hear of her impending job change. Albright, whose last day will be on Jan. 22, recently took a job with the American branch of the International Baccalaureate program. Working out of Bethesda, she will now be responsible for developing a new curriculum to help

Atom Branch raffling off iPod for new members Today is the last chance to participate in the iPod raffle. The Atom branch will be raffling off an 8 GB iPod video Nano for those who open an account of $5 or more today during lunch. Current members who refer a friend to join will also have their names entered upon the opening a new account if the friend provides their name.

CHARLES SIMPSON

“Albright” continued on page 5

Choral concert to be held tonight

BY CHARLES SIMPSON Co-Editor in Chief

Get the whole story of proposed FCPS budget cuts through video, podcast, blogs and pictures at www.thea-blast.org

See how well students know our school theme song, history and other trivia in the A-Blast online video, “In the Halls.”

7 Arts explores the ancient origins and d modern execution of the popular art of dance.

The five dollar tickets bought students entertainment, and bought genocide victims hope. On Friday, Dec. 13, the AHS STAND chapter held a concert of musicians, rock bands, dancers and martial artists to raise funds for the Civilian Protection Program through the non-profit Genocide Intervention network. The concert accumulated over $1,000 for Darfur victims, and almost a tenth of AHS was in attendance. It was a creative way to bring student attention and funding toward an otherwise malaise and unappealing subject. Attendees were able to enjoy a night of fun, and ticket sales went directly toward a good cause. The concert was deeply well intentioned, but audience members, performers and STAND leadership conceded that the main interest for most attendees was the performances, not the cause. “I feel like people probably showed up because their friends were in a band,” said senior Abby Cummins. But perhaps this was not a bad thing. “It was a good way to get people to turn out,”

8 Health exposes es what is really in holiday treats atts to make you think nkk before munching.

she said. “Everyone wants to see rock music.” The decision to focus primarily on performances and avoid overtly addressing the issue of genocide was indeed intentional. A lone introductory Power Point slide played before the performances and half of the concert’s brochure was devoted to genocide awareness. The remaining majority of the concert was entertainment. STAND member Jihee Kim said, “We didn’t want to make it too depressing. I mean, it’s a concert.” Vocalist and guitarist Phillip Speiss of the performing band Union Street recognized this conflict of interest. “There could have been more done [to raise genocide awareness] but it’s hard enough to put this together. Just the fact that students are raising money is amazing,” he said. Light Request bass guitarist Will Allison said, “You’ve got to do what you can to get people to come. If you just give a lecture about genocide no one’s going to come.” STAND Regional Coordinator Sofia Gold recognizes the importance of this grounded approach. “STAND” continued on page 5

10-11 In-Depth discusses poverty during the holiday season.

COURTESY OF KEVIN FIELDS

STAND stages concert for a cause

Members of the Annandale Singers pose after a recent concert. The group is among the choruses performing tonight.

The Annandale High School Chorus’s traditional winter concert will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. All choirs are scheduled to perform. December has been a busy month for the Choral Department, which is comprised of the Women’s Ensemble, the Men’s Chorale, and the Annandale Singers. After performing a series of concerts over the past few weeks, the Annandale Singers will sing again tomorrow at the Shepherd’s Center United Baptist Church at 1:00 p.m. and again on Dec. 21 at the James Lee Center at 1:00 p.m. The Men’s Chorale can also be heard tomorrow at the Lincolnia Adult DayCare Center where they will be giving a performance at 2:30 p.m. The Women’s Ensemble will sing at The Virginian on Friday at 1:15 p.m. Tonight’s performance will be the last winter concert for long-time choral director Carleen Dixon who will be leaving at the end of the school year.

19 Enter Entertainment nter applauds the appla introduction of introd Disney’s first African Disne American princess. Amer


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EDITORIALS

Nov. 10, 2009

Texting between classes Policy should be revised to allow limited cell phone use throughout the school day

Should students be texting between classes? “To be honest, I would rather not see it. It makes our hallways more crowded.”

—KW Williams security

“Yes, because you’re never going know if you have a test next class, so you can text your friends and ask.” —Oscar

Flores senior

“Yes, because in between classes it doesn’t matter, because you’re not doing anything academic.”

The bell rings. As you make your way through the crowded school halls, you reach into your backpack and pull out your cell phone. In the seven minutes that you have to get from class to class, you know that you need to contact your mom to ask her to bring in your lunch because you left it on the kitchen counter. Your fingers tap gracefully along the smooth keyboard of your cell phone as you finish writing the message to send your mom. You type, “Mom, please bring me my…” and as you search for the L to write “lunch” you feel a tugging on your phone. Moments later, you look up to realize the harsh truth that a teacher has whisked your phone away to be turned into the office. Thoughts flash through your head at a rapid pace. How will you survive unfed? Will your mom be able to make the obnoxious trek to school to retrieve your confiscated device? Worst of all, if you get caught texting another two times between classes, you could be suspended. All this because you wanted to contact your mom in your time of freedom between classes? IDK. Something is not right. Students should be allowed to send and receive messages on their cell phones between classes. This change in SR&R regulations would have a countless number of advantages for the entirety of AHS. Not only would texting between bells reduce the evident problem of students ignoring lessons to send messages in class, but it would make life much easier for the typical busy high school student. With all of the activities that our high school has to offer, such as sports, clubs, and various projects, the average student is constantly pressed for time. Permitted access to cell phone messaging between classes would allow students to contact their parents or siblings, or even their sports coaches about their plans quickly and efficiently. They would also be able to ask other students about pending assignments or to find answers to other school-related questions without seeking out sources directly and wasting their precious time in doing so. Senior Andres Avendano said, “There’s no doubt that we should be able to text between classes without consequences.” He added, “It’s not like we are disturbing other students or classes and it’s pretty much the same as talking to people between classes.” With overcrowding in the student body that has forced expanded the size of average class, the responsibility for a teacher to patrol the hallways and bring cell phones to the office is too extensive. Reinforcement of the current cell phone rules has obviously cut in to some of this free time because an average of five to six phones are confiscated and brought to the front office every day, according to principal John Ponton. Allowing students to text during this break time would lighten the heavy burdens of staff members and let them rest and revamp between classes. Most importantly, permitted access to cell phone messaging between classes would reduce the amount of secretive texting during classes that poses a great distraction to learning. With designated opportunities between

“No, because then everyone would run into each other.”

Oliver sophomore

“As much as I’d like to say yes, I think it would get too out of hand.” —Bonne

Clark

sophomore

During the past couple of elections, the Democratic Party has claimed major victories including the election of President Barack Obama while the Republicans have taken more of a backseat in Washington. The Democrats have seemed comfortably in control as the Republicans have lost power. This year a small chance for the Republicans to redeem themselves surfaced. With an off year of

Classroom etiquette

Trading children

A school teacher implemented a system in which students use sign language to ask to visit the restroom, library, water fountain, etc, so they do not interrupt her lectures. Rule: Sign language is no longer just for the deaf.

“Yes, because it’s our time between classes.”

classes to text, students would feel less compelled to engage in conversation mid-class. They would also have an allotted time to get in touch with anyone that they needed to communicate with openly during a period in which they are not required to be working or paying attention to class. This change in rule would also minimize the excitement that a student is met with when they break the rules by texting in or between their classes. “Texting between classes wouldn’t effect our studying or our learning in class and it would make it less likely that students would text during actual class,” said junior Jenna Balicki. Ponton said, “I have two teenage sons and I know that texting has become their primary form of communication. And, I know they can text with the phone tucked in their pants pocket. I text with them as well. However, as a principal, I’m responsible for upholding the regulations of the SR&R.” If AHS were to alter current regulations of the SR&R and overlook texting between classes, it would reap the benefits. Effects would include less patrolling for teachers, open communication between students and their families and coaches, understanding of assignments and above all increased attentiveness in students. LOL. This alteration in policy would certainly be worthwhile in the long run.

only two elections, governor elections in Virginia and New Jersey, these elections drew an ample amount national attention. The race for who will be the next Virginia governor was an important battle for the Republicans to win. The Republicans managed to seal the win of Bob McDonnell as Virginia’s new Governor. With this win, the Republicans should feel more empowered. They were able to rally up enough voters to support their ticket while the Democratic Party failed to excite their party followers. For the Presidential Election last year over 90 percent of African Americans showed up to vote at the polls. In Virginia, less than ten percent of the African American voters who showed up to vote in the Presidential Election came to the polls

Poor Democratic turnout helps Bob McDonnell to win easily BY AUGUST MCCARTHY Editorial Editor

—Emily

Many students risk using the cell phones in the time between classes to communicate with parents, coaches and other students.

Change in leadership for Virginia

—Anna Smith

junior

KELLIE DEL SIGNORE

BY HOPE STADULIS Editorial Editor

Go to www.theablast.org to read more editorials.

A Louisiana couple admitted to exchanging $175 and an exotic bird for their two children.

to vote for Creigh Deeds. Unfortunately Creigh Deeds could not rally up the support necessary to win. Lucky for the Bob McDonnell, many voters including a huge number of women voters came out to support him at the polls. Another reason for Bob McDonnell’s win was the overwhelming amount of independents that supported him. For every two independents who supported Bob McDonnell, one independent supported Creigh Deeds. The Republican success of McDonnell’s win was possible due to many different factors but mostly because of the independent and women votes he received. Hopefully with a new direction in mind, Bob McDonnell will lead Virginia in a positive direction as Virginia’s new Governor.

Girl on roof The mother of a 13 year old girl was arrested in Alabama after she let her daughter ride in a cardboard box atop a minivan. The mom said it was safe because the box was attached by a clothes hanger.

Rule: Kids are worth more than a car payment and an animal.

Rule: Never do this as an adult.

—Antonio

Alves freshman

Staff Weekend Editors: Annika Jessen Jennifer Oakes

Academics Editors: Jennifer Allshouse Gessica Azzam Copy Editor: Mary Anne Kavjian

Managing Editor: Nathalie Spita

International Editors: Annie Curran Jeff Shim

Editorials Editors: August McCarthy Hope Stadulis

Entertainment Editors: Helena Belay Brenna O’Neil

News Editors: Erin Johnson Ndidi Obasi

Lifestyles Editors: Kelly O’Brien

In-Depth Editors: Emily Fruchterman Aishwarya Venkat

Health Editors: Erin George Kelsey Price

Sports Editors: Alley Adcock David Hookey

Photography Editors: Mariah Pollet

Editors In Chief: Kelly McGarey Charles Simpson “Yes, because half the time we’re texting our parents.” —Stephen

Oakes freshman

“Yeah, because it is nice to text your friends when you have free time.” —Jessica Montenegro freshman

Sports Xtra Editors: Katie Vu People Editors: Victoria Deible Cassady Keller

Maggie Craig

Ad Manager: Emma Barker Manal Elhak Circulation Manager: Rachel Coulter Art Editors: Jane Aman

Online Staff: Connor Goolrick, Zulay Huma Adeel Shams, Video Staff: Greg Nielsen, Logan Miller, Stephen Craig, Bob Stevens, Micheal Ejigu, Michael Lazar Staff Writers/Photographers: Carly Bouchard, Nicole Contrino, Hila Ghorzang, Daniela Guevera, Kristen Hennessey, Hila Haidari, Mirian Jaradat, Walleed Karimullah, Stephenie Kyeremeh, Elizabeth Marcois, Brandon Mitchener, Julia Moeller, Melissa Purvis, Jerald Sheppard, Christopher Yurko, Lance Miller, Kellie DelSignore, Jake Barnes, Esra Gokturk, Natalie Johnson, Bethany Montgomery, CJ Aftergut, Eric Malzhan, Katie Masters Advisor: Alan Weintraut

Annandale High School Vol. 55 No.4 (703) 642-4229 4700 Medford Dr. November 10, 2009 email: theablast@gmail.com Annandale, Virginia 22003 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, 2009.


EDITORIALS Budget cuts harm students Nov. 10, 2009

3 Go to the web!

In making budget cuts, Fairfax County should consider the welfare of the students they are affecting BY PTSA EXECUTIVE BOARD Special to The A-Blast

Should troops be decreased in Afghanistan? “Yes, because it is unnecessary since we are fighting over nothing.”

HOPE STADULIS

We are all painfully aware of the economic realities that are impacting the nation our state, and our locality. We have seen the preliminary reports and individually attended community dialogue meetings in order to better understand this situation and the priorities that will guide decisions of the Board of Supervisors and Fairfax County School Board, and the stated needs of our fellow citizens. With those experiences and that information in mind, we would like the Fairfax County School Board and Board of Supervisors to consider the following. Annandale High School is one of the most diverse high schools in the county, with some of the highest ratios in the county of students who require free and reduced meals and ESOL services; AHS is also the most overcrowded school in the county at present. This situation will be only slightly moderated by a boundary change in 2010; the school will remain overcrowded by at least 400 students in 2010 and 2011, even after 200 to 300 students are moved to other high schools. A comprehensive boundary study is expected to begin this spring, which will ultimately move additional students out of the AHS boundary by 2012. The School Board worked to enact a few measures that help with the crowding in the short term, the school now “boasts” 27 trailer classrooms in the rear lot, and the school administration has done an amazing job of containing Teacher John Hawes engages in a class discussion in his after school Theory of Knowledge Class with his what could be absolute chaos. As a result of their dedication, the IB students who may have to pay for IB testing in the upcoming years due to budget cuts. impact to current AHS students is greatly minimized, and for that we are grateful. Nonetheless, to say the school’s resources overcrowded school like AHS should be given an exception to the formula are stretched thin would be more than an understatement. or guideline for how many APs a high school should have. We also believe However, we are also aware of the potential for disastrous additional cuts that the imposition of test fees and athletic fees will cause a decrease in the to our county and to our schools because there simply is not enough money. number of poorer students (who comprise about a half of the population of our We are concerned that AHS, which is already stretched thin and bursting school) actually participating in advanced academics and athletics. Students at the seams, would be disproportionately impacted by some of the ideas are much less likely to self-identify as needing financial help in high school, already being circulated with regard to program cuts and eliminations. As which means they simply will not take the class or join the team if they feel the School Board debates how best to address these enormous deficits and the they cannot afford to pay the fees. multiplicity of needs across our county, it is important to remember that our The elimination of programs specifically designed to help at-risk students schools will suffer enormously if required to absorb these projected millions will be particularly tough on the Annandale pyramid population as a whole in reductions, and some schools could be harder hit than others. –students in our feeder elementary and middle schools benefit from the For instance, one current thought being floated by Dr. Dale is to reduce the modified calendar, from needs-based staffing, to a Project Excel. Several of number of Assistant FCPS Principals by 10 percent. It has been said by some the elementary schools are Title 1 school, and this is a good indication that that AP’s are unnecessary, that FPCS has too many relative to comparable the population of our area as a whole is in need of the additional boost these counties. We can tell you that every single one of the assistant principals at programs provide. AHS is not only hard-working and necessary, but actually absolutely essential We fully recognize that this is the worst situation our county has ever faced to the safety and security of our student body. We have a current student and that cuts must be made. We respectfully ask that the Fairfax County population of 2650+ in a building with a stated program capacity of between Board of Supervisors and Fairfax County School Board keep all of the students 2134 and 2200 (depending on which document you review). in mind as they consider how best to meet this challenge. We would like the School Board to consider the idea that a severely

Go to www.thea-blast.org to read more editorials!

Keeping the game the same The brutal nature of football is inherent to its popularity BY CHRIS YURKO Staff Writer There seems to be a very obvious link between football collisions and brain injuries that has now caused the House Judiciary Committee on Brain Disease and Injuries to review the National Football Leagues medical records of players. Twenty years ago, if a high school football player received a concussion, they got a pat on the butt and were told to stop whining and go back out and play. Now, there are tests administered to athletes that help to gauge their awareness as well as judge whether or not they have sustained a concussion or brain injury while playing. These tests have become useful in the protection of our young athletes, and will hopefully stifle the growing number of people who suffer sever concussions each year. The debate has risen that perhaps we should change the way we play sports, however this is a ridiculous notion. Football is a violent sport, and although concussions and their link to brain disease later in life should be closely studied and moni-

tored, there should be no change to the sport. It is a game where your body endures brutal punishment, and people play it willingly all the time. Any attempt to change the sport in efforts to make it safer would have a similar effect on the sport as if you told boxers not to hit one another too hard. Any change would only help to numb the experience of the game; it would make it something less than it is. There is not much more powerful than a huge game winning hit or the raw emotion of the crowd when a player gets decked and drops the ball. In our societies attempts to safety-proof everything possible, we are only numbing down the entertainment delivered by the game. We are in fact helping to ruin it by implementing so many rules regarding the way players are hit and when they should or should not be hit. Safety is of the utmost importance, but let us be honest, sports are meant to be entertaining and that is the driving force behind sports and competition, which is the exact reason why they are televised. Nobody forces these athletes to play the game of football, and those who reach the National Football Association know better than the rest that it is a game for tough people. Athletes will receive inju-

ries, athletes will recover from them and continue to play and other may not ever recover. I personally think it is not the governments’ job to exercise power over a sports league unless it is of the utmost importance, but this is something that we were already aware of. Anybody with an ounce of common sense can witness a football hit and say, “hey that can’t be good for your head”. If any changes should be made at all, it should be in the equipment used. If there is still a large connection between head trauma and football as this progresses, then perhaps changing the pads should be considered. The NFL has a responsibility only to pay their employees and to compensate them when they are injured and retired. Other than that, the NFL needs to baby every player that has injuries later in life, let the money that they earned while playing do that for them. Head injuries are just simply going to happen in a sport that involved violence, and there is not that much that can be done to curb that other than completely changing the style of play, which would ruin the game. Quite frankly, the whole thing is ridiculous and as the disgruntled fan would yell to the referee after a bad call, “let em’ play!”

Consequence for chant was too harsh

“That would be the wrong decision because it would send the message that we were no longer willing to fight extremism.” —Max Kirkman senior

“Yes, because we need to get people home so they stop dying.” —Kate Bermingham junior

“No, because we need to beat them.” —Andy Craig

junior

“Yes, because they are dying and those are people who are loved by their family.” —D’Angelo Boyce junior

“No, because Afghanistan has not been able to support itself with its own government.” —Corinne

Balicki freshman

AHS administration unfairly ejected senior girls from last home football game BY AUGUST MCCARTHY Editorial Editor

“Troops should be decreased because they have been there too long and nothing has happened.” —Michael

Hennessey freshman

LANCE MILLER

The last home football game that the class of 2010 would ever see did not leave great memories for many senior fans and their parents. With their hopes of an upset over new district rival, Woodson High School, shattered, many students who attended the game left early and unsatisfied. There were a few factors that played into this, not all of which were on the field. As the second quarter neared its end, many spectators felt optimistic about trailing the seventh best team in the state by only a touchdown. Beating the Woodson Cavaliers would be a major boost for all of Annandale, as this match-up will most likely become the most anticipated game of every season. Located less than five miles down the road, Woodson is now the closest school in our district. Because of this, as well as the school’s history of above average athletics, a rivalry is sure to develop quickly among all sports. Along with Woodson, some students now believe that the administration is also their opponent. With a few minutes left in the second quarter, the school’s student resource officer, Mike Ferraris, took steps to stop what the students thought was an innocent chant. As the chant “Woodson sucks” was repeated for the third or fourth time, Ferraris quickly turned around and walked over to where the 10-15 students were chanting. After a brief second, he pointed at four girls, and told them to follow him. There was an immediate pause among the students in the nearby section, as many were confused about what had just happened. The four senior girls were escorted out into the parking lot, where they were told to leave school grounds immediately. The girls asked if they could call their parents, most of whom were at the game, but were denied. One of the girls tried to argue her case further, but was told that if they did not leave school grounds they would be arrested for trespassing. “I think his actions were correct,” Assistant Principal Carayiannis said. “That behavior is not acceptable. He did what he thought was appropriate.” Though the administration would agree that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated, many students found that the punishment did not fit the crime. “We chant ridiculous stuff at our games all the time,” Woodson sophomore Jack Wecker said. “There’s just so many of us that the teachers just don’t do anything.”

—Mike Slaughter senior

Students cheer for the varsity football team, knowing that they could be pulled from the crowd for any slight slip of the tongue.

Roughly ten minutes before the girls were escorted out, a group of four or five students had already chanted “Woodson sucks.” Ferraris was close by, and had immediately told the group to not use that kind of language. This warning was not heard by many in the stands, and they would soon learn that this would be the only warning. Whether or not this chant is school appropriate will ultimately be decided by members of the administration. They share the responsibility with Ferraris to help maintain a safe and friendly school environment. But, at the same time, they should try to treat all students fairly and equally. One of the girls who was kicked out was not even chanting with the rest of the students behind her. “It was wrong to not even provide us with an explanation of what was happening, or why,” one of the girls said, disappointed that this is how she will remember her last football game at AHS.

Issue 2- corrections: Issue two article “The Science of Embarrassment” Katherine Gould was quoted as saying that the brain’s occipital lobe processes information about public humiliation. This information is processed by the temporal lobe. This causes the brain to release neurotransmitters like adrenaline, which helps deal with embarrassment. Freshman Boris Mewborn was not photographed accurately on page 6 of issue 2


NEWS BRIEFS

Mix it Up today during lunch Students step outside their comfort zone for a day BY ERIN JOHNSON News Editor

Filament holding Annual Coffeehouse The Filament is holding their annual Coffeehouse fundraiser tomorrow from 2:15 to 4:00 in Clausen Hall. Tickets are $2 in advance and $3 at the door. All the funds will go towards supporting the AHS literary magazine, The Filament.

Last Chance for ID Photos All students who have not received an ID will need to have their photographs taken on Thursday during your White Day English class or Flex. If the student’s English class is on a red day, they will need to get a flex pass from their English teacher. This will be the last chance to be photographed.

Nov. 10, 2009

During every lunch period most students move into the cafeteria, purchase a meal from the lunch line, and sit down at the exact same table. Each lunch is unvarying; students are eating the same lunch next to the same people. Today, that is all going to change. “Mix It Up Day” is being sponsored at AHS by the Peer Mediation Class. “‘Mix It Up Day’ is a national event where we try to get students to go beyond their comfort zone and meet new people,” peer mediation teacher Kate Mounteer said. For “Mix It Up Day,” students are encouraged to leave their normal seat, and go sit in a different part of the cafeteria during lunchtime. It is being held during all lunch periods, and is a great opportunity to meet new people. “Mix It Up Day” was created by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is a nonprofit organization notable for its tolerance education programs such as Teaching Tolerance which supports the endeavors of K-12 teachers and educators to encourage

respect, tolerance, and appreciation of diversity. According to Teaching Tolerance, students thrive in schools that are inclusive, but many schools are full of exclusion. The goal of “Mix It Up Day” is to break down barriers between students and improve interracial relations to decrease conflicts, bullying and harassment. “‘Mix It Up Day’ was started when there was a lot of racial divide,” Mounteer said. Mix It Up day at AHS is seen as an opportunity to students to make friends. “It would be beneficial if people actually participate in Mix It Up Day because high school isn’t all academics. We can build relationships with people, and you can build these relationships by sitting with new people,” junior Victoria Ko said. Peer Mediation has been preparing for Mix It Up day for a while now. “It’s a project, we’re staffing the event. We tried a mix it up class, and they had a great time. We’ve made t-shirts, banners and hope to decorate the cafeteria,” Mounteer said. “Mix It Up Day” does not have to be as scary as it might sound. Peer mediation does not plan to just let students wander free-for-all around the cafeteria to sit with strangers. “We want to have stickers and colored tables, and tell students to go to a [table] with a different color,” Mounteer said. While Mounteer and her classes are looking forward to lunch, many

CHARLES SIMPSON

4

NEWS

Posters were displayed all around AHS, such as the one above, to promote Mix it Up Day, which is being sponsored by the peer mediation class.

students do not know very much about “Mix It Up Day.” Others have heard of it, but do not believe that it will be very successful. “Not many people will participate in Mix It Up Day. It would be awkward to sit with people [they] don’t know,” sophomore Jiyeong Park said. Others do not plan on participating because they do not want to go beyond their boundaries. “I sit with the same people every lunch. I don’t think I’ll participate in ‘Mix It Up Day’ because I’m used to sitting with my friends,” Park said. Mounteer acknowledges that students find it difficult to move around during lunch, but Mix It Up day is not all about just moving around in the cafeteria. “It builds more school spirit, friendship and a more peace-

Model UN returns home happy

Annandale High School District Choruse Members Congratulations to the following students who were selected to participate in All District Chorus over the weekend:

Alto 2 Hope Stadulis, Andrea Aquezada, Tori Clodfelter Tenor 1 B.J. Odom, Maxwell Talley, William Bennett

KELLY MCGAREY

Soprano 1 Julie Jurenas, Rebecca Pelkey, Zene Saife Selassie, Elizabeth Flint, Sophia Mortensen, Anne Hruskoci, Lucy Webb, Bethlehem Solomon

Alto 1 Molly Sgrecci, Michelle Kinzer,Lydia Pion, Jessica Riddle, Tori Gowland, Margot Henric, MonicaAthey, Kelly Nguyen, Kerry DeMello

“I had a lot of fun,” said junior Ben “The big thing is the students meet kids they don’t know and work Wolfenstein, who represented Nigeria together to solve a common problem,” at the conference. “We ate wherever said York. This is an overarching we wanted,” he said. Students were skill that is not taught to students in granted relatively broad indepena traditional classroom setting but dence and responsibility while on the holds fundamental value throughout trip, largely due to the flexibility and life, regardless of whether students affability of advisor, Jonathan York. “We had a curfew at 12 every pursue a career directly involved with night… but we didn’t the United Nasee him [York] at all tions or not. during the day,” said In addition to Wolfenstein. “He was teaching knowlpretty chill but by 11 edge regarding though he started international panicking.” Forturelations and nately there were debate, the con—Jonathan York no apparent student ference served history teacher abuses of responsibilas an opportuity throughout the nity to explore the University of Virginia campus. trip. York said, “They had a lot of “They toured the campus, that was fun… [and] I think we brought all the kids back.” part of it as well,” said York. The Model United Nations club is “We have a lot of underclassmen,” he said, many of whom are prospect- currently in the process of preparing ing potential colleges for application for their next expedition. “We’re not in the coming year. “I think about it sure where we’re going to next,” said [applying to UVA] more now that I’ve York. “It may be Johns Hopkins or MIT in Boston,” he said. The choice been there on a trip,” said Haines. He said “getting to talk to students will depend on interest among the there” helped to invoke a growing students. As for now, the club remains interest in the school. “Our chairman proud of their accomplishments. “[It was a student there,” he said. But the conference was not just was] one of the best conferences that writing, intellectual debate and tour- we’ve had,” said York. “Every teacher ing. It also was described as simply should have the pleasure of taking fun. Students had plenty of free time 20 some odd kids out of town for four to socialize with friends, meet new days… I couldn’t be happier with the students with common interests kids,” he said. and explore the youth friendly area of Charlottesville surrounding the campus.

[It was] one of the best conferences that we’ve had.

Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass (SATB)

Soprano 2 Diana Herring, Jessie Diroll, Katie Panther

ful attitude. The cafeteria is full of people [and] they want to sit with the group they’re comfortable with,” Mounteer said. “It’s challenging because [the cafeteria] is so crowded and lunch is so short,” Mounteer said. So today during lunch, instead of sitting down at your usual table, go find a group of people who you do not talk to and sit down. Most people rarely go out of their social groups, and lunch today is the perfect opportunity to do so. “You got to meet new people, those who don’t normally socialize together will,” junior Arish Ali said. “You don’t have to do it alone, take a friend and go to a part of the cafeteria where you don’t normally go, and sit down,” Mounteer said.

From left to right: junior Georgia Garney, freshman Liz Wilson, junior Mary Anne Kavjian, junior Helena Belay, senior Ben Wilson, junior Dan Doan, junior Matt Haines, junior Kelsey Price, and sophomore Derrick Hollenbeck.

Model UN trip to UVA is a big success “Model United Nations” from pg. 1 Junior Matt Haines, who represented Nigeria in the OPEC committee and won the “outstanding delegation” award, cites extensive research as primary cause for his achievements. “We had to research the economy of our nation and do a research paper on our topic,” he said. Flexibility while in committee was also a necessity for positive recognition. “It was

a small committee so we had to come up with a lot of responses to other delegations,” Haines said. The conference, and the club in general, serves as a major extracurricular learning experience for students. “I did not know anything about its [Nigerian] economy or it’s affiliation to OPEC,” said Haines. “I think it gave me a better understanding of how economies interact and how they work in organizations,” he said. From a broader perspective, the conference helped to teach students about interacting with peers and successfully debating a position.

Band falls flat at state competition

Bass 1 Michael Lazar, John Odom, Stephen Oakes, Joseph Mazzara, Matthew Stough, Byron Felt, Jason Eman, Alan Van

State competition marks the end of the season for the AHS marching band

Soprano, Soprano, Alto Alto (SSAA) Soprano 1 Susie Sowa, Katherine Mock Soprano 2 Abigail Fleming, Deborah Tong, Sarah Hatch, Michelle Quiroga, Caitlin Hill Alto 1 Evan Washington, Leila Soulen, Kunnica Kou, Natasha Strutts Alto 2 Laura Hackfeld, Kayla Meadows, Van Khanh Dinh

compiled by: Ndidi Obasi

BY BRIA WHITE Staff Writer While most AHS students were primping and priming for the day’s festivities on Halloween, the AHS Marching Band was marching its way to the VBODA State Marching Festival, which was held this year at West Springfield High School. Although in the state competition there are no real placements, the AHS Band received a rating of “Excellent,” which is the second highest award possible. This year’s States competition marked the end of the first season for band director, Mark Carter. When asked about his feeling immediately after placing, Carter responded saying, “I wasn’t disappointed or angry because I don’t really go off ratings...I felt they did a great job throughout the season.” Though the weather was gloomy, cold and slightly rainy, at 11:30 a.m. the band members boarded the bus fully energetic, pumped and ready to work. They suited up in their uniforms and prepared for warm-ups, and the pit left to set up their instruments. At around 1:40 p.m., when the band was preparing themselves for the upcoming performance, the energetic mood still echoed throughout the hearts of the bands and the audience. When it came time to perform the band marched on the field and played.

Members of the AHS Marching Atoms perform the show opener.

COURTESY OF KAREN EPLY

Bass 2 Chris Fuller, Daren Lopez Villanueva, Elliot Kiemel, Kevin FIelds, Jonah Stover, Daniel Coquelin, Jonathan Zorn, Daniel Schmoker

The band’s piece was entitled “Magical Mystery Tour.” They played songs such as Magical Mystery Tour by the Beatles, For the Love of Money by the O’Jays, Moondance by Van Morrison and Viva La Vegas by Elvis Presley. “The show was very energetic and fun!” said an audience member when asked of their thoughts of the performance. After the performance the band left the field to stand by the bleacher and watch the other schools, and wait for the results. “[I was] so proud of them. [Especially] when another bands would go by after they finished their performance, and [our band] would pause and recognize and support them. It’s not a win sort of thing, we enjoy what we do,” said Carter. Although the band did well, there were those who thought the band’s potential was not reached at VBODA State Competition. Among those was junior clarinet player, Sandra Lee. “I was anticipating us getting a two. With the transition of a new director we couldn’t grasp everything he told us [and] I think discipline is a well needed component,” Lee said. It is evident that the band members overall enjoy their time participating in band by their high moral and smiles on the members’ faces. Many students felt the best part of band was not only being a part of a well-ranked band, but the friends that come along for the journey. “In the whole season, I think my favorite experience was just spending time with all my friends at the competition,” said junior and piccolo player Rebecca Hoehn.

COURTESY OF KAREN EPLY

Tenor 2 Devante Mosely, Daniel DeVera, Alay Tedla, Andy Riddle, Carolos Lefter, Ji Kim, Tien Nguyen

The Marching Atoms perform Magical Mystery Tour during their last competition of the season.


NEWS Sexual harassment/bullying week

5

Nov. 10, 2009

Today marks the beginning of the annual event that brings to light school issues

To read more about bullying awareness.

CHARLES SIMPSON

AHS Culinary Department sells turkeys

Culinary students prepare turkeys to sell for those who cannot afford them. CHARLES SIMPSON

“Band States” continued from page 1 matter of power, and people don’t usually recognize this. It crosses every ethnic, gender, age, socioeconomic, and racial group. Anyone, unfortunately, can be a victim, and anyone can be a bully.” Annandale’s strategy is to extend information about what constitutes bullying and sexual harassment, and what can be done to avoid or prevent it. The Guidance Department prepares a lesson plan to be shown during Flex, and this year the Leadership class is making a video to raise awareness. The ninth grade transition program also addresses the issue. “We’re having a cyber-bullying speaker come in, and we’re doing a lesson plan. Ms. Mounteer in Peer Mediation also does a lot of work on it,” said Reyes. “I think bullying and sexual harassment occurs at any age. It starts with little kids, and continues into the work place. It’s an issue that’s ongoing.” Though sexual harassment and bullying are preeminent issues both in schools and professional settings, some don’t feel that school-sponsored programs have an effect on the behavior of students. “Sexual harassment and bullying programs don’t work at all,” said junior Eduardo Albright. “Whatever the schools tell us to do, we don’t do it anyway. We’re just being rebellious. It’s the nature of teenagers.” “They don’t really work, because it’s still happening in schools,” said Berihu Lkadir. Over 5.7 million youths in America are thought to be involved in bullying, either as victims, as bullies themselves, or both, according to www.safeyouth.org. Victims of bullying often suffer from low self-esteem, nervousness, or fear. Those who bully also often suffer from low self-esteem, but can also be headed towards more serious delinquent behavior, such as truancy or shoplifting. Many schools, however, practice bullying prevention programs that have been proven ineffective, involving overlystrict enforcement and harsh punishment. Because bullying and sexual harassment are dominant issues, this can lead to a headlock between school

Over 5.7 million youths are thought to be involved in bullying as victims, bullies themselves, or both.

authorities and the harassers. One of the most widely accepted systems for bullying prevention is the Olweus Program, the result of research by Dan Olweus at the University of Colorado. The program involves the use of anonymous questionnaires to asses the level and nature of bullying at individual schools, along with staff training, to enable faculty to deal with situations in the best proven method. Bullying prevention committees are often formed, and students are more frequently supervised, especially in school areas shown to be bullying “hot spots.” Above all, school-wide rules for bullying are established, and support is given both to the victims, and the bullies shown to suffer from emotional problems. Student and parent participation is encouraged, and awareness events are held often.

There are also those who believe that bullying and sexual harassment are not a problem at AHS. “I think the programs are pretty effective, because you don’t really hear about any major sexual harassment or bullying problems. It’s pretty under control at our school,” said Katherine Le. Annandale especially wants to encourage victims of bullying and sexual harassment to seek help, and for bullies to take into account the feelings of others. “The school would be remiss if we didn’t do some educational programming on it, and treated it like it was okay,” said Reyes. “This isn’t just a weeklong thing. It continues, and every student should realize that it’s serious, it’s not just something they should blow off.”

2011-2012 school budget proposed IB students and athletes will have to pay for participation in their activities “Band States” continued from page 1 Board proposed cuts to cope with the projected $176 million deficit that is looming over the county. The 2009-2010 school year’s $17.9 million budget decrease brought noticeable changes that are currently impacting AHS students and faculty. Although many were angered by the reduction of late bus days, the freezing of teacher salaries and the elimination of several positions, these alterations to the school are nothing compared to what may happen next year. According to documents released by the office of the superintendent, proposals for trimming the budget for the 2010-2011 school year include imposing a $100 activity fee per sport, charging students for IB tests, increasing class sizes by one student, reducing the number of guidance counselors by ten percent and increasing the student-teacher ratio for autistic students.

These proposals are unsettling for many AHS parents, students and faculty members who fear that these changes will adversely impact the quality of education. One of the proposed cost-cutting measures is to charge students $50 for their first IB test, and $100 for two or more tests. This has sparked concern from many who worry about the impact that such financial pressures will have on a student body where more than half of its members

We will continue to put the students needs first Robert Landon Special Education Department Co-Chair

are on free or reduced lunch. IB Coordinator Erin Albright is concerned about the effect this will have on AHS students, for whom $50 is a hefty price to pay. “We went through this

before,” Albright said, in reference to last year’s similar budget proposal. Although the imposition of test fees was struck down in the previous budget, Albright cautions that “students don’t know their economic situation from year to year” which will impact how will AHS students plan their course schedules if money is factored into the equation. Albright’s own job, as well as those of the county’s seven other IB coordinators, is also far from stable due to a new budget proposal which proposes that the position be reduced from a 0.83 (three periods a day) job to a 0.17 (one period a day) job. Because the IB program requires so many unique tasks, Albright is concerned that this could signal its end here at AHS. “IB is different from AP,” she said. “It is impossible to run an IB program on a 0.17 job...People need to decide whether they want to fight for the program or not.” The proposed budget will also have an impact on the school’s special education department, which is the largest in the county. “We’re going to have to be creative and allot our resources appropriately,” department co-chair Robert Landon said, “We will continue to put the students’ needs first and do the best we can with what we are allotted.”

The aroma of seasoned and roasted turkey cooking encompasses you. It smells even better knowing that you or your parents did not have to go through the grueling preparation of stuffing and seasoning the turkey because you bought it from the culinary department at AHS. And knowing that the money you used to buy this turkey will help those who are less fortunate makes this turkey that much more special. Three years ago, Chef Christine Gloninger started the Turkey Drive program after she met a very unfortunate student. “There was a student my first year who I taught and he would come to me every week for lunch. Three people had been shot in his family that year and I saw the free or reduced lunch ratio and I thought people needed help,” she said. That was when Gloninger, and the students in the culinary program started the Turkey Drive. The Turkey Drive is a program that helps students in need by providing them with a meal for Thanksgiving. For a reasonable price people can buy a fresh, seasoned, delectable turkey but also give back to the community. Even if you do not need a turkey or you just want to help families in need, buy a turkey from the Turkey Drive, where prices range from $23 to $36, to donate to families in need in the AHS community. With purchasing one of these fine turkeys you get a cleaned, seasoned and delicious turkey, placed in a double disposable roasting pan for you to take home and roast on Thanksgiving morning. –Humaira Safi and Jayran Moridzadeh Staff Writers

NEWS BRIEFS PTSA hosts binge drinking presentation

Elementary music a potential cut

The PTSA is hosting an

Many students believe that cutting music programs will cut off opportunities

interactive presentation about students binge-drinking, using inhalants and being depressed on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7:35 P.M. in the Library. Join the PTSA to make a difference and learn more.

FCPS Community Dialogue on budget

NDIDI OBASI

“Band States” continued from page 1 The effects of such a cut is imagined to be detrimental to the current success of all FCPS music programs in middle and high schools. “The band and strings departments at the middle school level will be severely and significantly impacted if the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders would not be allowed to take band or orchestra until 7th grade. Since students at the middle school level start band or strings in the elementary grades, they make up the vast majority of the students enrolled in our advanced and upper intermediatelevel ensembles, not to mention our jazz bands,” said Scott Niehoff, “So, it would be very difficult to have these types of ensembles if the cut goes through due to the lack of instruction and experience the kids would need to have in order to be considered ‘Advanced’ or ‘Honored,’” Niehoff continued, saying that “it would also not allow for much competitiveness in the groups or allow the students to have a chance at going on competitive trips due to the lack of experience the students would have on their instruments. It takes many years to learn, establish and grow into a mature musician, whatever instrument is studied.” “Not only would it affect our schools, but it would affect our communities as well. Our programs are very popular with outside organizations who invite our students to perform at countless events over the course of the school year,” Niehoff said. Many students have also found this idea very unsettling. “Kids need it. It gives them freedom, and it’s the only place where they can express

Go to the Web

Sophomore Carolyn Hartley packs up after band practice, an event that might not happen soon in elementary schools.

themselves,” sophomore T.T. Arriola said when asked about her opinions on the issue. Another effects of elementary school music being cut may include a decrease in participation in middle and high school music programs as the years go on. “You start to lose people because they find other activities to get involved in, and you’re a year behind in your music level…it degrades the quality of the high school because [the students] are starting later,” Carter said. Many kids who went through the music programs in elementary school found it to be extremely vital to their success now in high school. “It set up a foundation for my musical talent. It helps to start out earlier so you can advance more

quickly,” junior Jake Page said. Page also added that eliminating these programs would not be worth the money the county would save. “I feel like its cutting off opportunities for young children,” he said. Niehoff shares this view, saying that “there are so many musical skills that are taught in fine arts classes, not to mention life skills that help students live better lives. Examples of these are dedication, commitment, responsibility, maturity, passion, creativity, expression, compassion, understanding, emotional awareness, healthy competitiveness, the feeling of success and learning how to inspire people.”

School budget officials are meeting for the final round of FCPS Community Dialogue to discuss fiscal challenges in FCPS for FY 2011 on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 10 A.M. to noon at Kings Park Library, Sherwood Regional Library and George Mason Regional Library.

Atom Branch to raffle off gift cards The Atom Branch is raffling off two $25 gift cards on Friday, Nov. 20 to those who open up an account. The Atom Branch is open during all lunches on White days except Mondays.


PEOPLE

6

Nov. 10, 2009

Helping hands fill the halls

Go to the Web

Who is a hero in your eyes?

Senior Daniela Guevara works to prevent the spread of STDs All to often, students join clubs to hang out with friends or boost their chances of getting into a top university. These students don’t fully dedicate themselves to the club or the cause it is supporting. They take advantage of the perks and lose much of the value that clubs can present. But for senior Daniela Guevara that is anything but the case. “I’ve been in SAFE (Stopping AIDS For Everyone) club for four

“My hero is T-Pain because I get excited when he drops a beat.”

—Julia Moeller senior “My hero is Spiderman!”

—Daniel Nguyen junior

“My heroes are Brandon Jacobs and Eli Manning.”

years now, since freshmen year,” said Guevara. “And I think this is probably the best club I have joined at Annandale.” Although as a freshman she merely stumbled across the club at orientation, she has since made the SAFE club and the cause it supports among her top priorities. The SAFE club promotes the awareness of HIV/AIDS and the prevention of it and other STDs. And the students who make up this organization, Guevara among them, participate in training sessions in order to promote the prevention of these avoidable diseases. “After participating in Northern Virginia Aids Ministry training sessions, students become certified members of the SAFE club. These now certified members, we meet once or twice a month to sign up for the “Face to Face” Presentations,” Guevara said. “The presentations we do to the 10th grade health classes. Each of the members pair up to talk to 10th graders about everything they need to know about HIV/AIDS and other STDs: like dangers, facts, protection, transmission and

testing information.” These facts and numbers that Guevara presents certainly make some skirmish, but such awkward responses do not affect her. Guevara believes that getting the information out is more important than keeping everyone comfortable. “Most people don’t like to talk about how HIV can be transmitted, but I really don’t mind it,” Guevara said. “It’s important to discuss the topic because if you don’t, people are left with false information that could lead to bad decisions. I feel that the awkwardness is all worth it if you can make a difference.” And Guevara’s work and presentations certainly have made a difference. Although she has also reaped benefits from the SAFE club: maturing and improving her public speaking, it is the students of AHS that are rewarded most. The information that Guevara exposes helps save lives, prevents the spread of harmful diseases and opens the eyes of otherwise oblivious kids. By just getting the word out, Guevara makes a difference.

CASSADY KELLER

Presenting in the name of prevention of STDS

visit www.thea-blast.org To check out the new “Where are they now?” section on AHS Alumni

Daniela Guevara has been a member of the SAFE club for four years and has passion for preventing HIV/AIDS.

Saving the world, one shoebox at a time Ellie Holcombe packages gifts for children at Christmastime

—Hamid Saadlla freshman

“I have to say my hero is Superman.”

Every Christmas senior Ellie Holcombe donates shoeboxes full of toys to impoverished children around the world.

Fighting flames for the Annandale community Senior Jesus Castro assists firefighters at the local fire station

2 Nelly

1974

4 Sean “Diddy” Combs 5 Bryan Adams 6 Glenn Fray 7 Prince 8 Tara Reid 10 Josh Peck 11 Leonardo DiCaprio 12 Omarion 13 Whoopi Goldberg 16 Shigeru Mayamoto 17 Daisy Fuentes 18 Owen Wilson 19 Calvin Klein 20 Robert F. Kennedy 22 Scarlett Johansson 23 Miley Cyrus 24 Katherine Heigl 25 Christina Applegate 26 Tina Turner 27 Jimmi Hendrix 28 Anna Nicole Smith 29 Jon Knight

1970 1959 1948 1958 1975 1986 1974 1985 1955 1952 1966 1968 1942 1925 1984 1992 1978 1971 1939 1942 1967 1968

30 Clay Aiken

1978

have prepared and prepare them for shipping” Holcombe said. “These gifts go to many countries around the world so our part is pretty important.” After the shoeboxes are stuffed with fun holiday treats, Holcombe along with other volunteers assist in packing the gifts into cartons and then loading them into tractortrailer trucks for further shipping. The process is time consuming but Holcombe is confident that the cause is worth her time. “Christmas should be a happy time for everyone,” Holcombe said. “And by helping these children, I not only make them happy, but myself happy, as well.” Although it may seem small compared to your new purse or CD, even a shoebox-full can change the mood of a young child on Christmas Day.

Young boys around the country stare wide-eyed at roaring red fire engines. Their hearts pound when they see one of the brave men or women, in their boots and yellow suits, exit the engine. No one can deny that this profession is a truly admirable one. The firefighters that risk their lives for community safety are respected members of this area, and senior Jesus Castro is working to become one of them. For three or four years now, Castro has been interested in this field and all it entails. “When I was little I was always impressed by the work that firefighters did,” said Castro. “But is wasn’t until about three years ago, when my Academy teacher recommended I look into firefighting as a profession, that I decided I wanted to make this my career.” Castro is currently a junior chief and has duty once every six days. During his duty at the firehouse, he is responsible for accompanying the firefighters to the scene of any 9-1-1 call that is reported. He may ride in the fire engine, the heavy rescue

truck or the ambulance; but no matter what vehicle he arrives in, Castro is sure to be in the action and lending a hand whenever needed. “A 9-1-1 call can be anything from a fire to a car accident,” Castro said. “When we are called we have to be ready for whatever danger and hazard that may come with such a misfortune.” And with the training that Castro has received, he is prepared to help the professionals in any way that he can. He has successfully completed his FFI and II training (which cover basic tasks firefighters face in the firehouse) and has his HAZMAT and MAYDAY OPS, which prepare him for situations of crisis. Also, while most of the teenage population is fast asleep on Saturday mornings, Castro is continuing his training. His classes include training on rope handling, vehicle extrication, elevator rescue and much more that will prepare him for a career in this field. “I really love this line of work,” Castro said. “And making this my career, by getting hired by any department would be great.” With his dedication and allegiance to this heroic field, it is evident that Castro will continue his laudable efforts and make firefighting not only a career, but also a part of his life.

CASSADY KELLER

November Celebrity Birthdays

CASSADY KELLER

—Muhammed Aatif freshman

Christmas is a time of giving. But all too often, children today lose sight of what is important during this time. Rather than focusing on helping others, they worry about getting the latest Coach purse or the newest Now CD. However, senior Ellie Holcombe doesn’t have problems avoiding this troublesome trend, and is an active participant in the program “Operation Christmas Child.” “I have been a part of this program since I was five,” said Holcombe. “I work with OCC because it allows me to help kids all around the world.” And that is exactly what

this program does. Operation Christmas Child, a churchbased organization, delivers Christmas gifts to children in impoverished countries around the world. Holcombe participates through her church, which serves as the regional collection center for Northern Virginia. “This is a huge program and my church is only a little part of the organization,” Holcombe said. “But every little bit definitely makes a difference and that is why participating in this program is so rewarding.” All across the country, families donate shoeboxes full of toys for boys and girls who would have no Christmas without them. The seemingly small gesture for most who donate is a huge present for these kids to wake up to on Christmas morning. “Once a year we collect all of the shoeboxes people

Senior Jesus Castro (fifth from the left) is in training to become a firefighter at the local fire station every six days.

––By Cassady Keller People Editor

Impressed by these everyday heroes? Be sure to vote for who you think is most admirable at: www.thea-blast.org!


The swine flu survival guide Six key products to help prevent and relieve the various symptoms of the H1N1 virus

1. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that helps support the body’s immune system. There are chewable tablets as well as pills that you can swallow, which are available at all drug stores. This key nutrient can also be found in high quantities in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit. 2. When the skin around the area of the nose becomes red, dry and cracked, use a nasal moisturizer, such as the saline mist pictured to the right. This spray can be used by simply placing the tip of the can around the rim of nostril and pressing down gently, releasing a light mist. Products such as this one offer temporary relief from the damage caused by scratchy tissues. 3. A relatively new product in the United States, which originated in India, is the neti pot. It is used by placing a mixture of warm water and salt into the neti pot, then leaning over a sink or bath tub with your head at a forty five degree angle and pouring the liquid into one nostril. The liquid will run through one nostril and out the other, removing the buildup that causes sinus pressure.

Snack attack Ten steps to make a fruity parfait •

1/2 cup granola cereal

1 large banana

2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup sliced pineapples

1/2 cup sliced strawberries

Agave Nectar

Parfait glasses

Step One: Slice the strawberries, banana, and pineapple. Strawberries are high in antioxidant levels, which can help slow the aging of cells. Bananas are high in potassium, which helps prevent muscle cramps when exercising. Pineapples are high in vitamin C and support a healthy immune system. Step Two: Toss fruit gently into a large bowl, being careful not to bruise the exterior. You may want to sprinkle some agave nectar, which is a natural sugar substitute, on the fruit to add additional flavor. Step Three: In a parfait glass first layer the bottom with 1/4 cup of the vanilla yogurt. Step Four: On top of the yogurt place another layer with the fruit mixture. Step Five: Add one tablespoon of the granola on top of the fruit mixture. Step Six: Add another 1/4 cup of the fruit mixture over the granola. If you don’t have a granola cereal you can try Life or Special K in its place Step Seven: Over the fruit place another layer of 1/4 cup yogurt. Step Eight: Next sprinkle what is left of the granola on the top of the yogurt. Step Nine: If there are any sliced strawberries left over, you can place them on top of the whole parfait. Step Ten: Lastly, enjoy! Serving Size: One parfait Nutrition Information: 343 calories

4. Since the H1N1 virus is highly contagious, students should use hand sanitizer after coming into contact with objects that are used by multiple people. These objects may include things like keyboards, door knobs, and railings. Remember not to over-use hand sanitizer because the alcohol in it kills both good and bad germs. 5. The only way to fully immunize your self from catching the H1N1 flu would be to receive the swine flu vaccination. This comes in the form of a shot, similar to the regular flu shot. However, because of the high demand and low supply, it will be difficult to get one until more shipments arrive in the northern Virginia area. Contact your doctor’s office to see if they are available. 6. If you do happen to catch the H1N1 virus, the current treatment that doctors are using is the drug known as Tamiflu. This prescription medication is given to patients who have been exposed to the swine flu from someone else or have had the illness for less than two days. It works by slowing the spread of virus within the body. The side effects of this drug include insomnia, coughing, nausea or vomiting and headache.

Healthy Habits

7 Student Perspective: “I survived H1N1”

ERIN GEORGE

HEALTH

Nov. 10, 2009

Junior, Emily Fruchterman, details her experience with the disease that is causing a media frenzy.

“I had a pretty high fever, my whole body hurt, and my head ached so badly that it was painful to even move my eyes. Breathing itself was not too fun either, as my chest burned with every breath and it felt, as one fellow sick-person nicely put it, as though “a fat kid was sitting on my chest,” keeping me from breathing as deeply as I usually could. For all of Monday and most of Tuesday, I could not force myself to do anything but sleep. I finally got a doctor’s appointment for Tuesday afternoon, but was told that if I had the flu, there was very little the doctors could do about it. Their shipment of the vaccine, Tamiflu, was late, and they had been advised not to use the H1N1 test because it was not very accurate. After receiving the antibiotic and going home for more rest, I began on the road to recovery. On Wednesday I only had a mild fever and was feeling much better, though still not very energetic. I was able to get a bit of the mountain of work sent to me by my teachers done, and felt much better about staying caught up. Thursday I was forced to stay home because of my fever the previous night and my exhaustion, which still made me take frequent naps. Food, which had appeared absolutely unappetizing for the past few days suddenly seemed a bit more appealing, and I was able to force myself to eat more than the tiny amount I had forced down in the past few days. All-in-all, I was recovered with remarkably little damage.”

Helpful Health Tips

By Erin George and Kelsey Price

Bringing vs. buying your lunch Walking in the hallways before lunch can be an unpleasant experience. It is common to see students rushing to the cafeteria to get a good spot in line. If you happen to be one of these students, then you understand how frustrating it is when you get to lunch 5 seconds late and you have to stand in line for half of lunch before you actually receive your food. Packing and bring your lunch to school makes it easy to avoid this problem. This may not seem like a habit that helps your health, but it can be if you know what to pack. Packing your lunch causes you to be in control of what you eat, while standing in a lunch line creates many temptations to make unhealthy choices. When you pack your own lunch you can bring a variety of food so you are not always eating the same thing. This also allows you to eat things that may not be available to you in school. If you have activities after school, such as sports or drama, you can pack a bigger lunch and be able to save food for a snack later. Make sure to pack foods for your lunch with a high amount of carbohydrates to give yourself energy throughout the whole day. Another big advantage of bringing your own lunch is that you also don’t have to spend yours or your parent’s money. Buying lunch everyday for a month is about $70. Especially since the economy is not doing so great right now, saving money is something everyone is looking for. If you already bring your lunch to school, make sure you change up what your eating. Peanut butter and jelly may be your favorite sandwich but that does not mean it is healthy to eat it everyday. A good way to switch up your lunch is to go to the grocery store with your parents so you can help pick out what foods they buy. You can also buy a thermos so then you can bring soup to school and still have it hot when lunch comes around. Try different fresh fruits and vegetables everyday. If you do not like fruits and vegetables, you can try them with peanut butter or ranch respectively.

What precautions are you taking to protect yourself from the Swine Flu? “I always wash my hands before I eat and I use hand sanitizer.” .”

—David Belay freshman

“I keep hand sanitizer in my backpack and use it throughout the day.”

—Johnny Penny sophomore “I wash my hands in between every class. ”

—Jordan Cowles junior

“We have handwipes for the students and the teachers to use, and we use chlorox to sterilize the tables and the chairs.”

—Jessica Raynor Marketing teacher teache h r

To see how the H1N1 virus has directly impacted Annandale students, visit us on the web:

www.thea-blast.org


ARTS

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Nov. 10, 2009

Artist in the spotlight

Smithsonian Photography Initiative

Senior Anna Lynch expresses her individual style through her edgy photography

Discovering Rastafari! Through Nov. 2010

National Museum of American History The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the

Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 Through Jan. 3

S. Dillon Ripley Center (International Gallery)

BY JORDAN AMAN Staff Writer Senior Anna Lynch is one of many AHS artists currently enrolled in IB Photography. Her portfolio theme for IB is “fashion photography” making fashion the main focus in her works. However, Lynch’s work outside of her theme (as shown in the photos below), consists of selective focus, high contrast and elements of pop culture or commercial photographic themes. “My artistic style is a bit more edgy than my personal style.” said Lynch. Her lines in her photos are just as evident and have as much impact on the piece as her use of contrast and color. Lynch’s use of strange angles and lighting add to her message and the overall mood of her photos. Lynch hopes to pursue her passion for photography by studying fashion photography in college.

COURTESY OF ANNA LYNCH

National Museum of Natural History

Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America Jan. 15-April 25

In keeping with her theme “fashion photography” senior Anna Lynch snapped this photograph, utilizing the interesting lighting in her surroundings.

Smithsonian Institution Building

COURTESY OF ANNA LYNCH

World View: Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Through Jan. 17

National Portrait Gallery

Portraits, such as this one (left), from the early American frontier are on display at the National Portrait Gallery. They exemplify photography when it was in its infancy.

Alex Prager is an artist with a unique taste for the unusual. Prager uses bright colors to intensify her somewhat controversial topics. Her bubblegum, candy shop, pinup girl approach is a product of Prager’s experimentation with styles reflective of William Eggleston, Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon. As a child, Prager moved between California, Florida and Switzerland. Because of her rapid change of residence, she never got the chance to settle down for a conventional education. After being inspired by the works of William Eggleston, Prager began to pursue her fascination with photography. Prager is a completely self-taught photographer. Even though she did not attend art school, Prager was forced to learn to use photographic equipment, such as lighting, through experimentation. Her first solo show, “Polyester,” was put on in 2007 in Santa Monica, California. The show revolved around basic ideas of pop culture and superficial beauty. Many of the subjects in the show are highly dressed up in makeup and bright colors to exemplify this sort of “Barbie” style. Prager’s latest solo exhibition entitled “The Big Valley” is currently showing in the Yancy Richardson Gallery in New York City. This show is a continuation of her previous show, though in a bit different light. Rather than forcing the ideas of her photos upon the viewer, The Big Valley is not as shrill and profound as Polyester. Instead, the subjects are more so expressing a deeper individual emotion, while the subjects in Polyester were more focused on image and outward expression.

ALEXPRAGER.COM

-Jordan Aman Staff Writer

A look into the creative assessment of photographs BY KATIE MASTERS Staff Writer Is photography still an art form or has its accessibility undermined its status as a serious study? A question posed in a recent article in the Washington Post spurned a wave of discussion throughout the artistic world, with photographers and art critics taking up arms over the issue. Titled “Open to Everything?,” the story by Blake Gopnik begins by addressing the purported economic woes of Annie Leibovitz, the commercially successful celebrity photographer. Leibovitz has photographed celebrities since the 1970’s. She is known for her iconic portraits of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, shot in gritty realism, and a famous picture of John Lennon and Yoko Ono taken just hours before his murder at the front of the Dakota Building. More recent shots ranging from Brad Pitt to Whoopi Goldberg, have appeared in Vogue, The New York Times Magazine and the New Yorker, as well as advertisements for American Express, the Gap and the Milk Board. The question posed, however, was not on the reason for her failing success, but whether or not she deserved the fame and renown given to her as a “serious artist.” Gopnik argues that the subject of her work detracts from its value and the presence of similar works by other photographers removes the individualism that defines true art. Therein lies the debate. Does the commercial nature of Leibovitz’s photography detract from its value as an art form? And on a deeper level, does photography continue to deserve

HTTP://WWW.PUPPIESANDFLOWERS.COM

ALEXPRAGER.COM

The angle and focus that Lynch used to photograph her subjects in this photograph give a feeling of age to the house and the rusted truck. Although it does not fit in with her theme, this photograph emulates Lynch’s artistic style.

Is photography still an art?

This work entitled “Sarah” shows Prager’s dramatic use of color in her photographs.

“Wrath” by Alex Prager is one of a series that she published in 2005 called “The Seven Deadly Sins.”

COURTESY OF ANNA LYNCH

Lynch captures this inspiring moment from a lower position than her subject.

respect as a mode of expression on the same plane as painting, sculpture, and other creative works? By Gopnik’s standards, no. His main complaint on modern photography focuses on its lack of originality. “Room for innovation may be shutting down,” he said in his article. “We’re seeing repetition instead.” The commercial and widespread use of photography, from his angle, is taking away from its integrity. One of the key traits of photography today is its accessibility. Cheap Polaroid cameras can be bought in pharmacies and grocery stores, digital cameras are more and more easily obtained and anyone with the proper resources can buy a professional digital or film camera. Photography does not discern between the young and the old, and the constant movement of mass media, especially television and the internet, makes it easy for amateur family albums and cheap blog shots to be viewed alongside more serious work. In a sense, the wide use of media outlets adds to the variety of photographs displayed. Galleries such as the Corcoran and the Smithsonian American Art Museum show exhibits that range between the strictly conceptual photography of Christopher Williams and the commercial endeavors of Richard Avedon, adding to the sense of the multiple realms of photography as art.

HTTP://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/LIBRARY/PHOTOS/LEIBOVITZ/

Reinventing modern photography

COURTESY OF ANNA LYNCH

WWW.NPG.SI.EDU/EXHIBIT/FRONTIER/

Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924 Through Jan. 24

This photograph is a good example of how senior Anna Lynch uses unconventional angles to provide a new perspective in the scene. It also gives her viewer a good sense of the resourceful way she uses her surroundings to create interesting photographs.

The unique aspect of photography is the variation in its interpretation. There are those who express the idea that art must have a specific meaning or concept to be labeled “fine,” or “serious,” and those that will argue for the value of such iconic commercial works as the Star Wars movie poster. Those who disagree with Gopnik take offense at his black and white comparisons between “high” and “low” photography. “Photography is an art. It takes time, it takes understanding, and whether you are two or two hundred you can create art with a camera by expressing yourself. To me, that’s what art is. It’s self-expression,” AHS photography teacher Merideth Stevens said. “It’s not always about the technical process. It’s about knowing when to take the picture. That’s the true art of it,” said long-time art student Jessica Camilli. Whether or not something counts as “fine art” cannot be verified by the opinion of one person. The definition of art is a personal one, and the views vary. Some will argue that even Facebook photo posts count as an art form, as they express both the efforts of the photographer and the emotion of the moment. “I personally think that as long as the photographer has put in effort and is trying to convey emotion it is art, regardless of whether it is used for commercial purposes or not,” said Camilli. Others claim that the title of “fine art” can only be claimed by a piece which demonstrates an underlying meaning or concept. Art is a broad term, and encompasses all fields of work, from everyday amateur shots to conceptual stills to celebrity portraits. “I don’t think there really is ‘fine art’. I hate that. Why should art be characterized into groups?” Camilli said.

These photographs by Annie Leibovitz show the sharp contrast between commercial photography and artistic photography. Left is a photograph from Leibovitz’ photography for Disney. Right is a portrait of Gwyneth Paltrow and Blythe Danner. Graphic by Jordan Aman


ACADEMICS

Nov 10, 2009

Community service done right Students find community service activities for their school requirements or simply just for fun BY TRICIA O’NEILL Staff Writer

1 2 3 4 5

Senior Hassan Dib collects trash around the AHS campus as required community service for his government class.

elderly neighbor. JuniorAnne Hruskoci said, “My four year old neighbor lives with his elderly grandma and I babysit him a lot. She tries to pay me, but I never take it. I know that community service looks good for colleges because it shows that you are able to manage your time well. It also shows that you are well-rounded and care about other people.” Regardless of what kind of work you do, it is important to remember that at any given school, there could be thousands submitting applications. You need to make your application stand out. Find a charity that interests you and get involved. Not only will it make you feel better, knowing that you made a difference, but it will also help you come time for applying the school of your choice.

5 easy ways to break the news of bad report card grades to parents Sound confident and honest while telling them. You do not want your parents thinking that you do not care or do not take your grades as seriously as they may. Being straight-forward and confident gives the impression that you have ultimately learned from the grade, realized that you did something wrong, and are prepared to take the consequences and try harder the next time.

Talk about that excellent paper you turned in or how “aced” your last science test - then drop the bomb. It is good to show your parents that you are not perfect. Part of being a successful student is making mistakes, learning from them, and attempting to put that lesson to the test the next time you are expected to perform a difficult academic task. Let them take into consideration that you may not slack, but are not perfect either.

More interesting community service ideas for students: Setting up a dog-walking service in the neighborhood. Baby-sitting younger children after school. Volunteering at a local hospital or shelter a few hours a week. Volunteering at a local hospital or shelter a few hours a week. Organizing a free car wash with friends.

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Setting up a lemonade stand or bake sale and donating the profit to a charity organization.

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Cooking Thanksgiving meals for the needy at a soup kitchen.

GESSICA AZZAM

Friday night football games promise excitement and fun. Students fill the bleachers at 7:30 P.M. file in and find their friends. But what many people forget are the people responsible for cleaning up the mess. Saturday morning sophomore Helina Daniels arrives at the school at 7:30 A.M. to clean the bleachers. She is a member of Key Club, a community service club at AHS. Still tired from the night of fun, Daniels slowly walks through the parking lot to meet up with the rest of the club. “Key club is a lot of fun. I mean getting up early isn’t my favorite part, but it helps the school out and it looks good to colleges,” Daniels said. “Plus,” she said, “Key Club is fun because you get to do it with your friends also.” AHS students admit that they sometimes overlook this important aspect when preparing to apply to college. For some colleges it is not just about grades and the classes a student takes, but extracurricular activities and community service as well. “Some schools emphasize volunteering more than others. Some are big into it, but most are not,” Career Center specialist Robin Roth said. Middle Years Program Coordinator Christine Loop strongly advises students to be active within their communities and to participate in extracurricular activities. “Colleges look for how you manage your time, how motivated you are, and what skills you could bring with you. They look for evidence that you are a well-balanced, well-rounded student,” she said AHS students donate their time and energy to various causes. Some, such as sophomore Annie Rutherford who volunteers through her church group, works with organizations on the weekends. “This Saturday I’m actually going to McLean Bible Church and helping out with kids that have disabilities for the day. I also went on a missions trip over the summer,” Rutherford said. One of the biggest problems for students is finding the right opportunities to help out. AHS has numerous clubs that enable students to get involved and do their part. Key Club members, for example, help out at soup kitchens once or twice a month, in addition to fulfilling their duty of picking up trash after football games. GreenAtoms and Just World are two other clubs that are dedicated to making the world a better place. If you are interested in helping out, there are several places to look. Roth suggests coming to the Career Center where she keeps a notebook full of information about volunteer opportunities. In addition to this, she recommends asking teachers. She explained that she forwards emails to different teachers about volunteer opportunities relating to the subject they teach. For example, if you are interested in government, talk to government teachers about helping with different political campaigns. You can even check out local animal shelters, parks, homeless shelters or visit an

9

Be completely honest. It may be difficult to tell the truth, but in the end it’s better for your parents as well as yourself. It is better for your parents to find out from you rather than finding a horrible report card in the trash or under your mattress.

Tell your parents that you are willing to bring up your grades for the next quarter after showing them your report card; this shows determination and responsibility from you. It is great to show your parents that you will learn from your mistakes, but you might actually have to try getting good grades if you did not the last quarter. Working hard actually does pay off.

Do not stress too much over a bad quarter grade. Life goes on. Keep in mind for the future to practice healthy habits that help increase your focus and overall success in school. Less interference with people that may take away your focus or discourage your potential may be the best idea. Remember, over the course of the year, with hard work and willpower, the grade definitely can improve.

Why do you do community service? To help other people and I enjoy doing it!”

—Matthew Stevens freshman

“It makes me feel good to give back to the community.”

—Noah Fitzgerel freshman

“It helps me get into a great college.”

—Nisreen Al-Suqi sophomore

“I love helping my community in different ways.”

—Angelica Bolds sophomore

“I do community service to fulfill graduation requirements and my government class.”

—Redate Gashawtena junior “I do it to get hours for my honors societies.”

—Nissa Vadakoot senior

PURCHASE AN AD FOR YOUR BUSINESS TODAY! VISIT THEA-BLAST.ORG TO DOWNLOAD YOUR CONTRACT

“I only do community service to pass government.”

—Pablo Davila senior

Compiled by Stephenie Kyeremeh


IN-DEPTH

Sept. 30, 2009

the armed forces

11 ROTC Spotlight

Pressures placed on families BY EMILY FRUCHTERMAN In-Depth Editor For most high school students, the thought of their parents coming to harm is an unlikely idea that rarely surfaces. These students have lived in the same school district for a large part of their lives, moving perhaps once or twice, and have cultivated strong friendships over the years. Life, however, is completely different for those in military families and are involved in frequent relocations and the constant threat of a parent on active duty being sent to war. Although the friendships forged by military children are no less strong than those made by other students, they must make their friends as quickly as possible, often with little time to enjoy these new acquaintances before moving on. For some students, these moves come with startling frequency. “I have lived in 48 states, three provinces in Canada and Puerto Rico,” said senior Samuel Leslie, whose father was in the Coast Guard for 20 years. “I’ve never actually settled anywhere and I don’t open myself up to a lot of people… It’s extremely painful when [I] have to leave.” For others, these frequent moves

have made it possible for them to enjoy living in other countries. “Language is a big thing when moving, especially to a foreign country,” said senior Ashley Wallage, who moved out of the AHS area last year due to her parent’s military careers. “Going out to eat is always an experience.” But frequent movement has it’s benefits. For example, students from military families have lived around the entire country, not to mention the world. “I’ve lived in Japan, Arizona, Germany, Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, New York and California,” said senior Zac Robinson. And while most agree that it’s hard to leave friends behind, moving is not always bad for one’s social skills. “Moving so often has made me more social. If you are not social it is not fun at all because you will be a loner in your room all day entertaining yourself,” said Wallage. “There are definitely challenges in relationships with people, but I have become good at making friends. I have learned to be outgoing, which I feel is the result of my dad being in the Marine Corps,” said senior Sam Sofge. Although moving can be a painful experience, it is nothing compared to the fear many students undergo during their parent’s deployments. “Since 2001, my dad has been to the Iraq region three times. Once

he was stationed on a base in Kuwait and the two other times he was in Al Asad, Iraq,” said Sofge, “Other than combat missions, he’s done several deployments, which is something they do regularly. He’s usually gone about six months at a time.” The absence of a parents affects every aspect of a student’s

Air Force

Mota, Miguel Best part of JROTC: The 40minute bus ride to Chantil ly Worst part of JROTC: Dressing up Hopes for the future: I hope to study military combat , and maybe engineering.

home life. “It is important when one of them is traveling or is deployed that the rest of the family picks up the responsibilities of the other... It is sad when he leaves, but it gives us a reason to look forward to the future when he comes Students in military families are subject to several hardships, such as frequent moves and missing parents. home,” said Sofge. This wish, that one’s parents will rethat these students face, most keep turn safely from overseas, is held in a positive attitude by focusing not on the heart of almost every military their struggles, but on the tremenchild. dous service that their parents are “The most important thing is that doing for their country. I know my dad is doing a service to the nation, and I am thankful to have him in my life,” said Sofge. Even with the many challenges

CHARLES SIMPSON

Students deal with parent’s deployments and frequent moves

Armed Forces of the United States

Military has high expectations for recruits BY EMILY FRUCHTERMAN In-Depth Editor The future is a daunting prospect for many high school students, many of whom desire nothing more than to figuratively hide under their covers. Whether it is going to college, getting a full time job, or even starting a family, the possibilities that bombard students daily are seemingly endless. Real life is about to start, and many students have no idea what they want to do with it. This is one of the reasons that the military attracts those just out of High School. After putting in a couple years of service, the military has agreed to pay for college under the GI Bill. This greatly reduces debt, and allows people to begin their lives without having to worry about student loans after college. However, one must fulfill certain requirements before enlisting. For each of the five branches of the military, one must be at least 17

years of age to enlist, and must have parental permission before they join if they are under 18. All of those who enlist must be in good physical health and able to pass a standard physical screening. Several branches have additional requirements, such as the Air Force, which requires all of those enlisting to be within certain weight ranges. The values for this range are available at www.military.com. All branches of the military also prefer that recruits have their high school diploma or GED. Anyone who wants to enlist but has not completed high school will not be treated as a serious candidate according to www.todaysarmy.com. There are also several mandatory tests for all recruits. One, called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam, is similar to the SAT and focuses on a variety of different areas. Another test, called the Armed Forces Qualifying Test or AFQT, requires that each applicant receive a minimum

score, although the exact values accepted change from branch to branch. For instance, the Army will accept people with a minimum score of 31, while the Air Force and Coast Guard will not accept those with scores under 36. Drug and Moral history are also taken into account during the recruitment process. Using a drug such of marijuana will not necessarily cause one to be rejected, although it depends on the individual circumstances. Certain crimes result in immediate rejection from all military service, such as bribery, assault, murder, kidnapping, and other crimes of a more heinous nature. Although there are restrictions on enlistment, it is still a viable option for many students. Joining the military can open up many opportunities, and can reduce the stress students experience while finishing up high school and figuring out their futures.

Armed Forces of the United States Air Force

Dang, Amy getting recBest part of JROTC: ements and iev ognition for your ach r school. you ent res rep to g tin get C: there is Worst part of JROT none. : I hope to Hopes for the future elligence in Int ion cat pli Ap dy stu the Air Force.

Teacher Spotlight Armed Forces of the United

Ages accepted into military:

States

Army: 17-42 Navy: 17-34 Air Force: 17-27 Marines: 17-28 Coast Guard: 17-27

Army

Citizenship requirements: All U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens may enlist in the army. Those with other immigration status’ may enlist, although those are handled on a more individual basis. For more information, see www.military.com

Carlos, Benjamin d: Ge rm an y, Pl ac es tr av el le a, Vi etn am , re Ko Ita ly, Gr ee ce , , a Peru and Spain, Panam l l a s Te x a s , e w s a y, e Tu r k and Virginia. a rid Flo Oklahoma,

to Vietnam “I volunteered to go s about. wa it at just to see wh in nv ced me That experience co do th in gs d ul co th at ev en I arge, so I ch in e os th an th r bette cepted to ac s wa d applied for an officer training.”

Armed Forces of the United States Air Force

JROTC: Preparation for the future Students take JROTC courses to train for a future in the armed forces BY AISHWARYA VENKAT In-Depth Editor “At your command! Face the platoon to the right, Command!” said Lieutenant Colonel Tim Lambert at 10 a.m. every Wednesday morning. “Right, Face!” replies a class of enthusiastic cadets, ready to begin an intensive hour of Physical Training. Clad in sharp, navy-blue uniforms, the JROTC cadets stand in attention every Thursday at Chantilly High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps ground. The class includes seven AHS students, who stand in complete attention, listening intently for their Lieutenant Colonel’s next command. The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program began in 1916 under the National Defense Act, as a measure to be implemented in high schools across the US. The program was revitalized in 1964 under the ROTC Vitalization Act, which provided the programs with scholarship funds and more resources and training for cadets. JROTC is a far-reaching program across the United States. Army JROTC exists in over 1645 schools in the US, and in several American schools around the world, with more than 4,000 instructors and 281,000 cadets enrolled globally. The Army is closely followed by the Air Force JROTC program, with 102,000 cadets and over 1,900 in-

structors. Navy JROTC is also very popular, with over 620 schools and over 81,505 cadets enrolled. Marine Corps JROTC has around 260 units. “I joined Army JROTC when I was in Japan,” said senior Zac Robinson, who lived overseas for five years. “It was the most enjoyable experience of my life. I went to Mt. Fuji with my unit and [we] camped there, and navigated through the wilderness. We’ve traveled and performed in the Far East, like Guam and Korea. We even did the

I went to Mt. Fuji with my unit. and it was the most enjoyable experience of my life. We camped there with my Army JROTC unit when I was in Japan. —Zac Robinson Senior

Honor Guard—it was the best.” Physical fitness is also a major component of the JROTC program. “During training we do PT (Physical Training) testing; push ups, sit ups, and a timed mile and a half run. We also do line drills and formations,” said Amy Dang. The JROTC program is also reputed to develop good citizenship, leadership, self-reliance, communication, basic military skills and respect for the armed forces in the cadets. “Students are also required to dress up once a week, and know the chain of commands, ranks, and military history,” said junior Miguel Mota.

The JROTC program continues through college as ROTC, a college-level elective course which fosters problem-solving skills, strategic planning, and professional ethics among older and more experienced cadets. FCPS currently offers JROTC programs in seven high schools—Chantilly (Air Force), Edison (Army), Hayfield (Army), Herndon (Navy), Mount Vernon (Marines), South Lakes (Army), and West Potomac (Army). Of these programs, only Air Force JROTC at Chantilly Academy is open to AHS students as a valid course. “I took Air Force JROTC this year because AHS didn’t offer any other JROTC courses,” said Mota. For many students, JROTC programs serve as an escape from the humdrum of schoolwork. “The best part about JROTC is the 40-minute bus ride from AHS to Chantilly,” Mota said. JROTC offers excellent career opportunities for just about anyone. “I’m planning to join the Air Force to pursue application intelligence,” said Dang. “They offer really great opportunities, and great benefits for the cadets,” she added. “I’m hoping to study actual combat, and maybe engineering,” said Mota, who hopes to join the Marines after graduation. But students who are actually doing JROTC argue that there is something beyond the opportunities and benefits that it offers. “The best part of joining the Air Force is that you get to represent [your school], and you get recognition for doing something great,” said Dang. This spirit of being a good community leader, an ethical person and a dedicated soldier is an ideal that AHS students continue to strive for as they prepare for a military career through JROTC.

Fisher, Bruce Places travelled: I was stationed in Turkey, South Korea, and in the UK.

“We lived on an American base in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. I remember once, when we entered a shopping mall, a man came up to my daughter and asked her if she could take some of her blonde hair, because he had never seen a blondehaired girl before.” Armed Forces of the United States Marines

Commons, Greg e served Places travelled: I hav ublic, and in Prague, Czech Rep Germany.

US “I wa s att ach ed to the g tin tec pro , ent tm par State De er oth d an embassy personnel ving officials in these areas. Ser ome bec s ha in the armed forces my for ion dit tra a of t somewha my fafamily- my grandpa, hae all ther, I and now my son ces.” served in the armed for


life in y r a t i Mil

Benefits of Enlisting All branches of the armed forces offer benefits for their enlistees. Here are some of the unique benefits each branch provides its officials:

Army • • • • •

Average compensation package of $99,000 Tax advantages for military employment Comprehensive health care 30 days of vacation earned annually Family services like money management, relocation assistance, etc.

For more information, visit www.goarmy.com.

Coast Guard • • • •

Part-time employment Telework Federal Flexible Spending Account Program benefits Access to fitness centers, health programs, and other programs offered.

For more information, visit www.uscg.com.

Marine Corps • •

Monthly housing allowance and loans for purchasing homes. Opportunities for community involvement in presentation, sporting events and other community ceremonies Duty assignments at American embassies, consulates and delegations throughout the world.

Nov. 10, 2009

The AHS “Brats” Legacy

AHS’s location and diversity has attracted military families for over four decades BY AISHWARYA VENKAT In-Depth Editor In past years, as today, AHS has served as a major school for military families from all branches of the armed forces. With its strategic proximity to Fort Belvoir, the Pentagon and Quantico Marine Base, Annandale served as a convenient place for a variety of military families to live in, allowing parents to work near home and students to study at AHS. The D.C. Metropolitan Area was home to about 58,378 military personnel in 1980, and numbers increased to 67,059 in 1990. Residence continues to grow, due to American involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and other territories. As of 2000, Fairfax County has become home to over 7,000 military personnel. According to the U.S. National Census Bureau, almost 300 of these individuals choose to live in Annandale, due to geographic proximity, mobility, and the comfortable vibe of the area itself. Annandale was a popular destination for military families in the 1950s and 60s. “I attended AHS from 1962 to 65 while my dad was stationed in the Pentagon, and many of my fellow students had a father in the military,” AHS class of 1965 alumnus Jim Larkins said. Several military families chose to send their students to AHS in the ‘60s and ‘70s due to athletics. “My dad was in the Navy, and we moved here from Maine when I was 11. We found that AHS had one of the best football teams in the country,” said AHS football coach and class of 1975 alumnus Dick Adams. “Annandale was also considered affluent, so most of the students’ parents were either military personnel or blue-collar workers who got directed to AHS when they asked for good athletic programs at work,” he said. This large military population played a major role in many wars and protests that occurred in AHS at the time. “Many in AHS, including athletes and teachers, were supportive of the [Vietnam] War, and opposed to the protests that were beginning. It

For more information, visit www.marines.com.

was a collision of world views,” said AHS class of 1975 alumnus Daniel Butler. Ongoing wars also directly affected AHS graduates from this time period. “War was a very real prospect for AHS students in the 1960s and 70s,” Larkins said. “Vietnam had a huge impact on young males in the 60s and early 70s. I went to college and was able to earn a bachelor’s degree in 1969, and I ended up landing a job with the Air Force and was sent to Clark AB, Philippines in 1972.” “The possibility of getting killed in Vietnam was a very real one for my generation,” Beste said. “My own involvement with the Vietnam war began earlier, in 1966, when two of my three older brothers were sent [there]. My third older brother applied for Conscious Objector Status and was awaiting a hearing around that time. My friends were all registering for the draft that spring and summer.” The Anti-War movement was also extremely popular at AHS during the time period. “Several of us attended a workshop at American University about a Moratium against the war,” said Beste. “During the academic year of 1969 to 70 at Annandale, there also was a beginning of an ‘underground newspaper’ that reported on the

The possibility of getting killed in Vietnam was a very real one for my generation. My friends were all registering for the draft when I was in school. —Linda Beste AHS Alumnus, Class of 1970

social action-type stuff, neat music groups and so forth. One of my best friends worked on that newspaper, and we went one afternoon to the University of Maryland to cover a demonstration against the war and we got tear-gassed along with the crowd,” she said. War protests were very common

THE ANTENNA YEARBOOK 1961

10

IN-DEPTH

This picture from the 1961 AHS Antenna yearbook shows students’ everyday life in the 1960s- an era of many changes and protests, especially for the large numbers of military

in AHS around the 1960s. The Kent State shooting was one of the major events that caused an outpouring of emotion among the AHS community. “Many of us students wore black armbands the day after the Kent State Massacre, and tried to put up black crepe paper as a sign of mourning. Many of the teachers, especially the ex-military were incensed, and would rip off any armbands and crepe paper they saw in the halls,” Beste said. This incensed atmosphere died down around the 1970s, by which time many AHS teachers entered the high school as freshmen. “I don’t remember anything serious going on in AHS when I was in school,” Coach Adams said. “Some people who were seriously against Vietnam and stuff were riled up, but protests were few and far in between.” Yet, AHS remained a great place for military families to stay, and for military kids to grow up. “I remember growing up in North Springfield, and almost everyone’s father was an officer in the armed forces,” said Jamie Carayiannis, an

AHS administrator and class of 1976 alumnus. “We were all from similar backgrounds, and none of us had a lot of money. Many of my friends were military brats too— we would go to the underground Pentagon sports facility, and we’d play handball there.” “Many of my friends also had families in the military, and they often switched homes. One of my best friends had a house in North Springfield, which they rented out to another military family when they were posted in Germany,” AHS alumnis Mike Scott said. Despite the changing times, AHS still continues to be a fairly popular school for military students and families. With about 1.8 percent of the student population seeking to enroll in the armed forces, several students have been influenced by the military in one way of another— be it through the recruitment tables in lunch, or the Annual AHS Military Fair. Many students who roam the halls have parents or relatives in the armed forces and add the AHS experience to their ever-growing list of the places they have seen.

“Military Brats” at AHS

Navy • • • •

Full medical coverage Generous retirement income and Thrift Savings Plan Discounted travel Great opportunities to earn advanced degrees from the Navy

For more information, visit www.navy.com.

Air Force • • • •

Military pay raises and incentive pays Base exchange programs On-base recreational and sports facilities Education: The Air Force 100% of tuition fees up to $4,500 annually in accredited universities.

For more information, visit www.airforce.com.

Compiled by Aishwarya Venkat

Army

navy

Coast Guard

Marines

Air Force

Sam Sofge, 12

Samuel Leslie, 12

Lived in: Virginia

Lived in: Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Virginia

Lived in: 48 states, three provinces in Canada and Puerto Rico

Lived in: California, Arizona, Virginia, Maine and Oregon

Lived in: Virginia

Best Aspect: Good discipline

Best Aspect: I think that it is important to be a part of something that is greater than yourself

Best Aspect: seeing so much of the country that most other people would never have seen in their entire lives

Best Aspect: You get to see a lot of new things

Best Aspect: It gives you character

Worst: It is a very challenging lifestyle

Worst: Your parents leave for months at a time and you move a lot

Worst: Your parents are really strict

Worst: It’s really strict

“My mom served in the Navy, and my dad is in the Marine Corps. The way I look at it, everywhere we go, and everything my family does is an adventure. That certainly helps me get through situations where things are not looking too bright.”

“Once we moved to Alaska, we lived in Kodiac Island, and it was a lot of fun—we did a lot of hunting, fishing, etc. I saw a grizzly bear cub walking just a few feet from me, and we also went paintballing just about anywhere.”

“Dealing with moving around is pretty easy, you have just have to expect it and be ready for it. My dad was deployed during Operation Desert Storm.”

“My dad was deployed to Vietnam years ago. I’ve been considering having a career in the military myself.”

Andrew Courtney, 10

Worst: Getting yelled at constantly “My dad was in the army, but I have never moved. He was deployed to Vietnam during the war.”

Alex Hopkins, 10

Daniel DeVera, 12


Recruiting Timeline A guide for student athletes

Send your game schedules to the schools you are interested in.

Create a profile sheet you can send to colleges that you are considering.

Register to take the SAT, ACT and SAT II

Proofread profile before sending it. Begin to narrow your list of interested colleges Contact the coaches of your top five to ten schools.

Provide copies of your transcript, SAT/ACT scores, and class schedule to send to your coaches.

Consider attending lax clinics at the schools your interested in.

Be proactive!

Redskins’ ownership causes problems With the constant losing record, fans blame Daniel Snyder for the outcome BY KELSEY KNOCHE Sports X-tra Editor

Junior Year

Prepare videotapes to send to coaches.

Plan an “unofficial visit” to your top schools

Return all questionnaires and requested info to the schools you may consider.

Senior Year

Steps for a Successful Recruiting Process Contact the coach Whens its in-person or face-to-face, dialogue is the first thing to do, let the coach know that you are interested.

Evaluation of the student athlete Any off campus activity designed to assess academic or athletic ability. Communication Coaches may begin calling you on July 1st of your junior year for Division I schools. Dead Period A coach may not have an in-person recruiting contact or evaluation on or off campus. Quiet Period A coach may not have any contact with you or your parents. Coaches do not watch you play or visit your high school. Junior Days This is a time where the coach can get to know you. With an invite only visit, you may tour the campus, watch practice and meet the team and coaches. Unofficial Visit Any visit to the campus and coach that is paid for by you or your parents as long as its not during the dead period.

Official Visit A visit to campus paid for by the school or coach.

Nov. 10, 2009

There is plenty of blame to go around when discussing the disaster that is the Washington Redskins. The players—a mediocre group to begin with have played poorly since week one of the season. The coaching staff, hired very late in the game during the tumultuous off season after Joe Gibbs retired, has completely failed to inspire any sense of pride in the team or in its fan base. Beyond that, they simply appear to be incapable of putting together a successful gameplan on a weekly basis. As huge as those issues are, they are completely compounded by the incompetence of the Redskins ownership and front office. Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder and General Manager Vinny Cerrato have done their best to put together an over-priced aging dinosaur of a National Football League team that is long on big names and short on depth and, for the most part, talent. Ever since the day Snyder took over the team he has always been inclined to over-pay for big name players like Deion Sanders, Jeff George, Brandon Lloyd and the like. This year’s Deion is Albert Haynesworth, arguably the game’s best defensive tackle with Tennessee the last two

seasons who now only plays about half of the time the defense is on the field. Snyder regularly throws money at players who have already had their best years in other cities. It is no secret that Snyder is not only the worst owner in the NFL, but also probably the worst in the world of professional sports. He has proved to be incapable of hiring a coach, as the Redskins have gone through five in just ten years. Since buying the Redskins in 1999, the team has gone 78-88. He has turned Redskins games at FedEx Field into torture—charging ridiculous prices for parking and stadium food. Who wants to pay $11 for a hot dog and fries, not to mention $40 for parking, to watch this nightmare team? This year, the Redskins have proven to be a complete disaster on the field. Ranked near the bottom of the league in almost every offensive statistic category, the team really hit rock bottom when they lost to the Detroit Lions on Sept. 27, a team which had previously lost 19 straight games. At press time, the Redskins are a dismal 2-5 and it does not seem like relief is anywhere near. There is no doubt that a change must be made, but what can be done when the players and coaching staff are only part of the problem? The owner and front office are incompetent and until there is a change fans of the burgundy and gold will likely still experience heartache every Sunday.

Students pursue sports outside of AHS A lack of ice hockey, crew, and rifle causes senior Jeremy Gillcash to travel 45 minutes to participate in ice hockey BY KATIE VU Sports X-tra Editor While Annandale has a lot of sports to offer, it does not have the immense variety of neighboring schools Lake Braddock and W.T. Woodson. In addition to the usual sports field hockey, football and volleyball, both schools also offer additional sports like ice hockey, crew and rifle. “In order to have these sports at our school parents need to get together and form a booster club to support the financial part of it,” said Angelo Hilios. Adding an additional sport onto our sports program would raise economic issues, and would only work if students were willing to finance it. Senior Jeremy Gillcash is one of many student athletes who plays a sport outside of school that is not offered within. “If our school had a club hockey team that would be legit,” said Gillcash who travels at least 45 minutes to be part of the Prince William Panthers. “I

guess it’s just not as popular around here.” Students at W.T. Woodson are offered three sports that are not offered at any other school in the patriot district. Although ice hockey is not necessarily tied with the school due to the prices and danger involved with them, schools in the area have a club team that is officiated with the school. “I wish our school had it. It would be something fun to do since ice hockey is the only sport I play,” said junior Matt Chiapanne. “It would give a chance for students who all like the same thing to interact and meet each other.” In addition to ice hockey, crew is another sport that the neighboring schools have. “I wish that our school had crew, it would be really fun and definitely different than any other sports at our school,” said senior Caroline England. Crew is currently not financed by the county because of the amount of money it requires. One shell, crew boat, is around $3,000 and would cost about $30,000 to start a program at Annandale. With the economic issues, you also need to find a good amount of people who are interested in the sport. “About two years ago, two people wanted to start crew, but never followed through,” said Hilios. “It’s a lot of work, and usually the same students who are interested in crew also participate in other school sports, so financing it would be difficult.” And so, while additional sports remain desirable

KELSEY KNOCHE

12

SPORTS X-TRA

Junior Matt Chiappanie enjoys playing ice hockey, a sport that is not offered at AHS, with the Nova Ice Dogs.

at AHS, they are ultimately unattainable. Unless interest risks and funding increases, AHS will continue with its current regiment of sports.


PHOTO

Nov. 10, 2009

Athlete by nature, cheerleader by choice Cheerleaders positively represent our school and lead Atom fans in support of our many athletic teams. In order to be a good cheerleader, besides being committed and motivated to support your team, you have to be energetic, outgoing and enthusiastic. Cheerleaders can be seen at our football games, basketball games, wrestling matches and other events.

13 Cheerleading Stunts

A liberty is when a base holds up the flyer with one of her feet in both of the base’s hands while the other leg is bent.

A heel stretch is when the flyer grabs her bent leg and holds it straight up with her hand.

Seniors Aimee Jennings, Letitia Romero and Devon Merchant use megaphones to direct their voices toward the football players.

Sophomore Allison Foster is performing the cheer that goes along with the fight song. The fight song is performed by the band every time Annandale scores a touchdown.

A scorpion is when the flyer grabs the toe of her bent leg and brings it up to almost behind your head.

A backspot is the person who stands behind the stunt and is used to stabilize the flyer while stunting.

The bases are people who lift both feet of the flyer in a stunt. The bases are responsible for supporting the flyer’s feet in the air and catching her legs and back when in a cradle position.

Senior Letitia Romero flies in a prep. It is common that cheerleaders can do several positions; Romero bases and flies.

Cheerleading Uniform Shells are the top of a cheerleading uniform and is worn over body suits. Body suits are worn under shells. There are two different color body suits: red and white. Body suits are not provided by AHS. Jackets are worn on game days or during games when it is cold outside.

An arabesque is when one leg is down straight held by the bases and the other is behind you almost at a ninety-degree angle to your back.

Skirts are the bottom half of a cheerleading uniform.

Bloomers are worn under the cheerleading skirt and match the uniform. Bloomers are not provided by AHS. Pom Poms are a hand held ball of plastic stripes used to help cheer and chant. Pom Poms are not provided by AHS. Freshman Carli Loeb cheers on the football players using poms poms.

All photos taken by Mariah Pollet

Cheerleading shoes are specially made for cheerleading to provide comfort while stunting, tumbling, dancing and cheering. Cheer shoes are not provided by AHS.

A scale is when the flyer holds her leg and it is fully extended.


Peanut Butter Candy Pizza recipe

Ingredients 1 package(s) (16 1/2-oz.) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough

Upcoming styles are beginning to make an appearance throughout the halls of AHS BY MAGGIE CRAIG Lifestyles Editor This winter, the fashion industry will introduce new styles that are more overthe-top and extravagant than previous seasons. Over-the-knee boots have grabbed the attention of the fashion world this season. Whether or not they have a heel, these boots from the past are being unveiled to the world in a new way this season. Celebrities such as Kristen Stewart have made them wearable by pairing them with simple articles of clothing that help tone down the reputation this type of shoes are known to have. This year, these boots will be popular in a whole new light. Jackets are a must for staying warm this winter. Now is the time to consign your old pea coats and pick up a new military jacket, cape or cloak. These three outerwear pieces, often shown in the popular television show “Gossip Girl,” are making a jump off of the TV screen and into your everyday wardrobe. Along with these three new trends, trench coats are predicted to make a return this winter, which go with anything from jeans to dresses. Trench coats have a classic style that continues to find its way back onto the runways of the world great designers, such as Burberry and Hermes. Trenches can vary in length from knee to ankle, so everyone is bound to find their perfect fit.

Popular jacket colors this year include neutral colors, dark greens, midnight blues and deep reds. These jackets make a statement for themselves, so bright colors are discouraged when it comes to these long coats. Long scarves are the perfect accessory to these simple coats. These are not only meant to shield you from the cold weather, but also to help complement an outfit. This winter, long scarves are best because they are a versatile way to spice up your wardrobe. Drape and wrap yourself in these fashionable addition to look stylish this winter. Whether as a stimulating pattern to pair with a plain t-shirt or a simple one to match up against a bold outfit, Sophomore Kim Rowland models the long scarves are a popular article this scarf fad. winter. Leather is being taken to an entirely new level this year. With leather being the most popular material to be wearing this coming season , designers are integrating it into more clothing items than just jackets. This year, look for leather skirts, pants, leggings and almost any clothing article that leather can take the form of. This material is becoming a widely accepted substance for clothing, and not only are the runways taking full advantage of this. Affordable stores are taking notes from top designers and are stocking up on leather pieces for shoppers this winter. From H&M to Old Navy, every shopper will surely find what they are Here she styles the classic North Face looking for. Denali jacket.

KELLIE DELSIGNORE

When Halloween is over, many find their cabinets full of an overwhelming amount of leftover holiday treats. Instead of leaving the chocolate to pile up, create a fun and unique treat that is sure to impress your friends.

Cold weather, hot styles

KELLIE DEL SIGNORE

What to do with your leftover Halloween candy

Nov. 10, 2009

KELLIE DEL SIGNORE

14

LIFESTYLES

Rowland shows off her Ugg boots, a must have for the upcoming season.

1/2 cup(s) chocolate chips 1/2 cup(s) chopped chocolate peanut butter cups 1/2 cup(s) candy-coated peanut butter pieces

3. Let cool slightly, then sprinkle candies evenly over crust. Cut into wedges; serve warm or at room temperature.

to Jane Advice Column

By Jane Aman Dear Jane, I recently decided that I want to take a year off next year and not go to college. My parents have been pressuring me to apply to very prestigious schools for years and do not even see taking a gap year as an option. However, I have made up my mind that I do not want to apply to college. How can I explain this to my parents and make them understand? Application Denied Denied, I want to start off by letting you know that not many people would be able or confident enough to make the decision to take a gap year and your tenacity is much appreciated. When speaking to your parents the objective is to make them understand that your decision is all about you, that it has nothing to do with them. Make sure they know that you are planning to attend college in a year and give them clear reasons for taking a gap year. The college experience is different for everyone and what may have suited your parents when they were applying to schools, you may not feel ready for. If it is necessary, approach your parents with a plan (i.e. a ready job, housing, etc.) that will give them the same confidence in you that you already have in yourself. Finally, let them know that this was a big decision for you and you would really like their support. After all, you couldn’t have gotten to where you are without them. Good luck! Jane

This sweater not only looks stylish but serves a practical purpose by keeping you warm.

Combining a scarf, sweater and high wasted belt gives a fashionable look.

High fashion at a low cost Various mannequins sport store’s hottest clothing at low prices throughout the mall BY TORIE DEIBLE People Editor There is no doubt that the winter season is steadily approaching, and as trees begin to loose their leaves and flurries of snow fall from the sky, new styles also begin to find their places in stores and magazines, making a bold statement for the chilly season ahead. Yet, with the economy still in the dumps, price is still a common concern of the avid shopper. Thankfully, trendy stores realize that more shoppers now keep a hopeful eye out for great sales, and only enter when they know they will get a great deal at the register. Even when venturing through Tysons Corner Mall which is known to have more “upscale” stores than other malls such as Springfield and Landmark, one can clearly see that there is an increase of stores promoting amazing discounts and mark-downs. Who would not want to get more for their money? “I’ve actually noticed a lot more stores promoting great sales and marked down prices. Usually, I’ll go to Tysons knowing I’ll get a couple of cute tops and dresses for about $100. But now, I’m seeing that I walk out of the mall with more bags in my hands and even a couple extra 20’s still in my wallet,” said senior Eunice T’Chawi. Popular stores like American Eagle, Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Delia’s offer a wide range of accessories and clothing with prices either dramatically marked down or cheaper than most other shops. Stores that commonly have higher prices such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Delia’s, and American Eagle are now expanding their sale racks and clearance sections. Forever 21, which doesn’t necessarily have an abundance of merchandise on sale, is a great store to find high-fashion styles found on the runway for

very low prices. Women who strive to mimic models in couture magazines such as VOGUE or ELLE can find similar styles in Forever 21 for extremely low prices. “I love Forever 21 because it has the same styles I see done by designers, but with a huge decrease in price. I can look hot, trendy, and sophisticated just like the women living in Upper East Side Manhattan, but pay more than half the price they pay,” said senior Desiree Triunfel. Hot trends like hooded sweatshirts and plaid flannels are being marked down tremendously, especially at Abercrombie & Fitch. Sweatshirts went from being nearly $70 to only $35. Plaid Flanels and stylish sweaters were also put on clearance for 50 percent off. American Eagle is wrapping up its big Fall Season sale and beginning to promote its new low prices for the winter season. Both American Eagle and Delias have flannels and outwear starting at only $24.95 to $29.95, and jeans ranging from a mere $15.99 to $29.99. “I’m really looking forward to all the low prices in the stores. Now I don’t have to stress about spending too much money to look cute. I’m really liking the effect the bad economy has on the store’s mentality,” said junior Elisa Figueroa. Price can no longer be a concern among frugal groups of high school students swarming the malls on the weekends. Stores are finally beginning to realize that the cheaper the price; the more they will sell. So once the winter whirls in, put on your striped scarf and leather jacket and head on over to these five hot stores to get some great deals on hot clothing and trendy styles! You can look like a million bucks’ by only spending a few.

Check out these stores websites’ for more deals American Eaglewww.ae.com Deliashttp://store.delias.com Abercrombie and Fitchwww.abercrombie.com

At Amercian Eagle a mannequin is showing off an outfit accessorized with a striped scarf.

KELLIE DELSIGNORE

Complain

Short jackets gives an outfit flare and you can rock it with anything.

KELLIE DEL SIGNORE

source: www.quickandsimple.com

KELLIE DEL SIGNORE

KELLIE DEL SIGNORE

2. Bake cookie 12 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let stand to soften chips, then spread evenly over crust.

KELLIE DELSIGNORE

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Break up cookie dough and press evenly over the bottom of an ungreased 12-inch pizza pan or 9” x 13” baking pan.

Forever21www.forever21.com

Letting a tank top show under your sweater is simple but very trendy.


Issue 5