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HEALTH reveals the dangers of nail salons. See page 7.

ARTS profiles the tape people seen around school See page 8.

Lost instructional time forces students, athletes and teachers to re-adjust their schedules BY DESTINY GAMMON Co-Editor in Chief

PHOTO recreates pictures found in old yearbooks. See page 13.


takes a look inside the backpacks of students. See page 14.

FAST-FORWARD to next issue

IB Biology had three days to reproduce their fruit flies with the expectation of hatching and experimenting with virgins. But after a four-day weekend due to snow days, these freshly hatched flies are not virgins any longer. For the first time in recent years, FCPS has lost ten days of school and over 78 hours of instructional time due to snow days and inclement weather, such as the day in which school was canceled due to cold weather. According to the FCPS regulations, the tenth missed school day does not need to made up in the future, but three of the previously missed days have been reintegrated in the school calendar to make up for lost time. Jan. 21, a White day, was made up on President’s day, forcing many students that previously had plans to cancel or miss school. “It was annoying because [in order to attend JMU’s open house] I had to miss my in class writing assignments

for french,” senior Eric Mejean said. Jan. 22, a Red Day, will be made up on April 7, previously a teacher workday and March 3, a White Day, extended the school year to June 24. “I hate how we have to make up days. I feel like our school days are long enough that it should be built in somehow because we already have a longer school day than many schools in the area,” Mejean said. But for seniors,the later date for the end of the school year has no effect on their schedules. “I love getting the extra snow days because it doesn’t affect us really,” senior Jasmine Pringle said. “But if they decide to extend the school day that will be upsetting.” While Pringle enjoys her time off, she admits that the missed class time does cause problems as well. “It’s hard if there’s a test coming up and I don’t get all the time I need to prepare,” Pringle said. “A lot of my IB teachers are worried about all of the snow days, and the tests not being moved, which can make class a little frantic.” IB English and English 12 teacher Catherine Gibson has witnessed

the problems that recent inclement weather has caused for the IB curriculum first hand. “It’s affected [the IB schedule] in a number of ways particularly with the oral exams we are mandated to do,” Gibson said. “We had a set schedule for that and I kept having to email my students and push it back. I had wanted to get them all scheduled before the end of first semester, but I had to bleed them over into second semester because I had so many students so there was no way to do that.” While most teachers can alter their schedules accordingly due to inclement weather, IB teachers must speed up or completely change their lessons as the testing dates can not be completed later than their already determined dates. “The IB schedule is not going to change as far as their testing in May, so we are trying to get through a number of texts in a given time and we are trying to push through it as fast as we possibly can,” Gibson said. “There’s no way to make up this lost time. We are just losing this valuable time that we have with the kids. I have a majority of IB classes, so they are the ones I am freaking out about right now.” Luckily, Gibson admits that her



4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, VA 22003 470

English 12 classes have not been as affected, as final exams for seniors are not until mid-June. This snowy season has also been proving to be an obstacle for IB Biology teacher Rachel Lazar. “I think the general consensus for all teachers, myself included, is being behind,” Lazar said. “I’m even more behind this year than I was last year. The challenge lies with trying to look at the content that needs to be covered, and covering it in a shorter amount of time.” When her IB Bio students left for the weekend on Feb. 28, they had completed the preparation of test tubes filled with fruit flies as a part of a genetics experiment. “The snow days interrupted our fruit fly lab and we weren’t able to properly mate them and obtain the infants because they stayed in the culture tubes for too long,” Pringle said. With a lab that required timeliness and efficiency, most of her students entered class after the following snow days to find that their flies were either deceased or overflowing in their tubes. “Considering days have literally been taken away because of snow, “Snow days” continued on page 5

IB Art prepares for presentations Students complete art and prepare for oral examinations BY BAYLEY BRILL News Editor

— 3rd Quarter Interims Distributed (W4) — Course Selection: Freshmen (English Classes) — IB Art Exam Prep: All Day (Clausen Hall) — JV/Varsity Girls’ Soccer Scrimmage vs. Langley (5:30/7 p.m.) (Langley) — Research Paper Writing Workshop (Atom Time in the Atoms Writing Center) — 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Student Advisory Council Meeting (Davala Hall, Robinson SS) — 2:15 p.m. - Faculty Meeting (Cafeteria) — 4:00 p.m. - Tennis Scrimmage vs. W-L: Boys (Quincy Park), Girls (H) — 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - SGA Peach Fuzz Volleyball Practice (Main Gym) — 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Color Guard Practice (Upstairs Gym) — 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. - APS Toastmasters Club (Room 75) — 7:00 p.m. - Pyramid Chorus Concert (Auditorium) — 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. - Tradiciones Bolivianas Dance Practice (Cafeteria)

“IB Art” continued on page 5


Last year, senior Nolan Gilbert was crowned the 2013 Mr. Annandale.

Top stories On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “QR Code” to view the uploaded online content for the eighth issue of The A-Blast .

Senior Amy Reynolds’ theme for her IB project is “Colors through Nature.” This untitled piece is a work of watercolor and is one of the most recent in her entire collection.

Leadership prepares for Mr. Annandale


Tues., March 11

After almost two years of working in her black sketchbook, creating sculptures and matting pictures, senior Kelcie Chandler is finishing up the last few touches on her artwork and has been preparing for the IB Visual Arts HL exam and Art Show. “It feels great to see all of my work finally completed after working so hard these past two years,” senior

Kelcie Chandler said. The IB Visual Arts exam is different than many of the other IB exams students take at Annandale. For IB Visual Arts, students are required to hold an art show to showcase their work from the class and in addition must have a 15 minute video oral exam recorded with the Visual Arts teachers. The other difference is, the student exams are given on a Saturday in early March, instead of during a school day in May. “We have the exams on a Saturday so students don’t have to be pulled out of class,” IB Visual Arts teacher Meredith Stevens said.


VHSL rule towards transgender students causes controvery in AHS.

POLL On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “QR Code” to vote on the most recent poll.

It is a time-honored tradition of Annandale: the highly-anticipated Mr. Annandale pageant on March 13 at 7p.m. in the auditorium. However, this year, due to a scheduling conflict with various sports scrimmages, multiple contestants have been forced to drop out. Each year, up to 20 junior and senior boys compete for the sash and crown and the coveted title of Mr. Annandale. Prior to the knowledge of the games, nine juniors and four seniors were signed up for the event. Senior Steven Schwartz, who was planning on participating, is upset he can no longer participate due to a

#THROWBACKTHURSDAY On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “ QR Code” to view the photos from Spirit Week and the Winter Pep Rally.

baseball conflict. The Mr. Annandale pageant is an example of the juggling act students deal with throughout the school year, as sports and other extracurriculars become overwhelming for their schedules. With this drop in contestants, leadership students are frantically been working increase sign up, as well as getting prospective contestants to turn in all of their paperwork. “Many guys didn’t seem interested or were too nervous to perform on stage. Currently we have 13 boys. We lost a couple due to rescheduled sports conflicts,” head of Mr. Annandale committee Melissa Pratt said. “Mr. Annandale” continued on page 5

SCORE UPDATES On your smartphone, scan this code using the application “ QR Code” to follow The A-Blast to get the latest updates on AHS athletics.


Do you think Leadership has done much better than previous years? “Yeah, most of the events were more organized, they were fun and creative than before.”


March 11, 2014

Leadership amazes students From the amazing pep rally to new projects, Leadership goes above everyone’s expectation

— Trinh Hoang sophomore

“I think they’ve done a lot more and have spread school spirit all through out the year.” — Sayeema Hoque junior

“Yeah they have got more events planned this year, versus last year.” — Michael Darden senior

“It’s so much better than it was last year.” — Ibrahim Ahmad senior

From the upcoming Peach Fuzz event, which is a boys volleyball tournament, to the many different activities available at the pep rally, Leadership has gone above and beyond. In past years, Leadership was always known as the group of students who bring spirit to our school and organize the pep rallies. This year, Leadership has stepped up its game and made the pep rallies pretty bearable. Usually, whether it be inside or outside, everyone dreaded pep rallies because they didn’t have anything new or interesting. It was also the same repetitive activities that happened every year. This year, Leadership has not only started new activities, but made all of the old traditions much better. Pep rallies in the past mainly consisted of one person from each class singing or some students trying to pass through the relays. This year, the pep rallies have a much more fun vibe and made it so everyone is able to interact in the activities. “I think with a new sponsor and the new opportunities and ideas, we’ve been able to implement a lot of stuff. We tried not to have the same things that we have every year and changed a lot. We also tried to follow through with everything,” senior SGA president Melissa Pratt said. Homecoming week was amazing. Though some of it was ruined by the snow days, there were still very interesting spirit days. And I am pretty sure I was not the only one that walked into school on the day of our Homecoming game and was shocked by the amazing decorations and the amount of time all the Leadership students had put into it. All of the Leadership students were expected to come to school at 5 a.m., just to decorate for us. From the streamers to the balloons, the decorations were an amazing touch to the school and really made it feel like it was Homecoming. The teachers flash mob was also something that I am pretty sure everyone enjoyed and would’ve


BY SHAMAIM SYED Editorials Editor

A couple of leadership students pose with the boxes filled with toys to send to kids around the world living in poverty.

stayed longer to see more of. Something studnets also enjoyed during Homecoming week were the Homecoming T-shirts Leadership was selling. The “Crush the Cavs” T-shirts were to be worn during the Homecoming game and from the amount of students that wore it during the Homecoming game, it was easy to tell that the T-shirts were a success. “I loved how at the powderpuff game, the girls got these really cute shirts and the tiaras were amazing,” senior Jasmine Pringle said. Another one of the big projects Leadership did was Deck the Halls. It was a great way to get all

We tried not to have the same things that we have every year and changed a lot up. We also tried to follow through with everything. – Melissa Pratt

the clubs and classes to decorate the school and whoever won got money. It’s not only a great way to get everyone to decorate the school in holiday spirit, but what class or club wouldn’t mind some extra cash? Lets also not forget that if Leadership hadn’t taken over the Date for a Cure, we wouldn’t have had one and wouldn’t have been able to raise exactly $1,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And who could possibly forget that after so many years, Leadership is hosting the first ever spring dance. Through the years, most of the students really wanted a spring dance and it was never actually executed. Leadership, after so many years is finally actually listening to the rest of the student body and doing things that students would really enjoy and want. Some things we need to keep an eye on include the Peach Fuzz event and of course the spring pep rally. I really can’t wait to see what Leadership holds in the future. Every student needs to not only thank all of the Leadership students, but also the new teacher that has made all the new projects possible. Through all their hard long hours spent not only at school, but also outside of school, they have really outdone themselves. Every student should not only thank the Leadership students, but also appreciate all the work they do for us and for the school.

” How much is too much? Aside from connecting people, social media has also become an outlet for stalking people

“Yes, a lot because they are having more events like the spring dance and the peach fuzz.”

BY SHAMAIM SYED Editorials Editor

“Oh yeah totally, because of the new spring dance planned and all the decorations. They are much more creative this year.” — Abigail Belayneh senior


Whether it be a single 140 character tweet or that 90 picture album, we’ve all been in the situation where we say we will only take a peek. That tempting and tantalizing bit of information would only help us know the person just a little bit more. Hours later, we are sitting there going through posts from two years ago and learning about the ins and outs of everything we need to know about the victim. The rise of social media has not only connected us to our friends and family, but made us closer to those we want to get to know. Even though you may think it’s creepy, but somehow you will always no A student looks through another students Twitter profile and learns a lot of information about them through their tweets. matter what, end up stalkign someones Twitter through their Facebook statuses. what I like or don’t like, then to have someone know or Facebook. But obviously there has to be a limit. I am not in a way saying stalking someone is these things because they have done a background You can learn so much through a person’s 140 bad, its just a tad bit weird. check on me. More than likely I would not think character tweets and it’s crazy to know that the You should know the limit to which you are about how cute it is, instead I would undoubtably other person would have no idea of it. going and knowing when to stop. think you are a creep and move at least 100 feet But exactly how much is too much? According to Washington Coalition of Sexual away from you. Too much would be when you have gone through Assault Programs, cyberstalking is an actual Social media like Facebook and Twitter have some random persons favorites on Twitter and crime. Obviously, that is if you have gone to a major created this outlet for people who don’t even know learned everything they seemingly “like.” Too much extent and have taken things way too far. each other to learn everything about them. Though is meeting your “victim” at a party and knowing Yes, Twitter and Facebook are an outlet to a it may be good to some extent, I still think it is what they had tweeted moments before they met person’s life, but that doesn’t mean you should go something we need to learn to control and not use you, but they have absolutely no clue who you are. on ahead and learn things about someone else you it as a way to be creepy. Too much would also be seeing someone and talking have never met in your life. to them about things you have learned about them I would rather have someone question me about


— Suhad Sayyad senior

The A-Blast wants to hear your opinion. Your response to the following question might be features in our quote collection:

What is your opinion on Leadership? E-mail your responses to

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Staff Editors in Chief: Omnia Saed Destiny Gammon Managing Editor: Joe Sehrer Editorials Editors: Shamaim Syed Christine Tamir Copy Editors: Mark Slough Bailey Oliver Sarah Metzel News Editors: Bayley Brill Jarod Golub In-Depth Editors: Andrew Peters Destiny Gammon Sports Editors: Melanie Bennett Conrad Shartel Sports Xtra Editors: Erin Johnson People Editors: Chloe Loving Kiara Patino Weekend Editors: Gaby Camilli Priya Adhikary

International Editors: Nuhami Mandefro Entertainment Editors: Ayah Oweis Megan Ryan Lifestyles Editors: Diana Quezada Phuong Nguyen Health Editors: Berta Tarqui Photography Editors: Alex Zernik Cayley Byrne Ad Manager: Chelsea Alfonso Circulation Manager: Biruk Negash Art Editors: Melissa Stamp Academics Editor: Aniqa Rashid Linus Bumbaca Web Editor/Master: Jared Lefbom Head Photographer: Olivia Lafferty Head Videographer: Nadia Elgendy

Staff Writers: Nancy Evora Andrew Nunez Ashna Viswanathan Benny Le Soulisa Pathammavong Efstathia Carayiannis Mery Bernene Luka Fernandez Sabrina Hawa Kailyn Garay Maria Baragano Marin Masson Noah Nelson Cynthia Weiner Sean To Hezekiel Yonas Daniel Yenegeta Tara Ashi Yesenia Blount Sacha Cameron Hussein Salem Marilyn Rivas Kayee Lynch Arzoo Marzi Photographers: Tiffany Huynh Videographers: Medhane Berihun Fahmi Mohammad Amir Mohammad Rahel Tecle

Alejandra Iriarte Mohaned Zyoud Andrew Gonzalez Alex Lewis Ashley Britton Alexia Sung Summer Ayoub Adviser: Alan Weintraut

Annandale High School 4700 Medford Dr.

Vol. 60 No.8 Mar. 11, 2014

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, 2013.

EDITORIALS LGBT rights are human rights March 11, 2014

Current events show international and wrongful persecution of gays

Do you think gay rights are protected throughout the world?

BY CHRISTINE TAMIR Editorials Editor It’s the 21st century and yet we’re still prone to the blind hatred of the Jim Crow era. This time, however, the world has targeted a new minority – members of the LGBT community. There are two widely-publicized cases of legislature targeting members of the LGBT community in the U.S. and several others across the world. A South Carolina case involves the ban of literature written by gays or lesbians and Arizona’s Supreme Court passed legislature that would allow small business owners to use their religion as an excuse to discriminate against gays or lesbians. Arizona’s SB 1062 bill has been in the national spotlight since Feb. 20, when it passed the state House of Representatives with a 33-27 vote, according to In a nutshell, SB 1062 gives businesses the right to refuse to serve anyone “based on religious motivation”. SB 1062 gives businesses the right to discriminate against people with no constitutional basis. The actual text of SB 1062 states that “person” can mean “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly, institution, estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity” and that said person is not required to serve anyone that they don’t wish to, a term that is called “unreasonable burden” in the bill. A few have tried to argue that SB 1062 isn’t necessarily discrimination against members of the LGBT community, but the largest persecution of gays and lesbians (in the U.S) comes from those with strong religious convictions, such as the Westboro Baptist Church or the Evangelicals. Thankfully, state governor Jan Brewer repealed the bill on Feb. 28, but quite frankly, it’s ridiculous that these pieces of legislature gain the majority vote in a state’s house of representatives. South Carolina’s House of Representatives has also exercised its legislative power in an aggressive manner towards gays. According to The

“No, they’re not. In a lot of places, [gay rights] aren’t exactly protected. Especially in the U.S,–people aren’t okay with it in many places here, which has a big impact on whether they’re protected or not.

— Julius Miller freshman

Washington Post, members of the house voted to cut $70,000 from two colleges that assigned books about same-sex relationships to freshman students. Colleges have always been institutions where students learn different perspectives and push boundaries, but according to South Carolina Representative (R) Gerry Smith, that’s not possible with LBGT literature ,according to The Washington Post. “I understand academic freedom, but this is not academic freedom,” Smith said. “This was about promoting one side with no academic debate involved.” Let’s be realistic – the majority of classic novels have some type of religious motifs and colleges are not places where students are simply indoctrinated with a single perspective. Colleges are learning institutions where students are encouraged to engage in discussion. Dissent is welcomed and even encouraged. It’s obvious that the U.S. isn’t the bastion of antigay sentiment, but those against gay rights find underhanded, devious manners to legalize their views. In some cases, their attempts are vetoed or deemed illegal (as with SB 1062). In other countries, the methods of suppression

are more apparent and met with less opposition. The worst example of this occurred in Africa on Feb. 20. The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, signed an anti-gay law into effect which sentences anyone who is accused of repeated homosexuality to life in jail. If that wasn’t bad enough, the law also persecutes people who know of friends, neighbors, co-workers or relatives who are homosexual. If a Ugandan knows that someone is gay, they must report them to the authorities, or face up to 14 years of jail time. The bill that Museveni signed into effect fosters an atmosphere of fear and legalizes persecution, which is in direct violation of human rights. It’s appalling that the UN, which recognized LGBT rights as human rights, failed to intervene before the law was signed into effect in the African country. The point of this is that LGBT rights aren’t given the protection they deserve and various government systems make it far too easy for large majorities to violate the rights of gay people. LGBT rights are human rights and infringing upon those rights shouldn’t be possible, let alone simple to do.

Five myths about feminists We’re not all manhating lesbians nor are we hyper masculine BY KATHERINE ROSS Special to The A-Blast In conjuction with the March 8 International Women’s day, senior feminist Katherine Ross debunks the myths about feminists. 1. All feminists hate men. It’s totally not true. We don’t hate men. What we fight against is the patriarchy, which is the institutionalized system that prefers men over women. I read a statistic once that a man with a master ’s [degree] makes only $4,000 less than a woman with a doctorate, which is much more education, and more money, and you would think that even though they’re separated by gender, a doctorate [degree holder] would make more money, but that’s actually not the case. So things like that are what we’re trying to work against. Men, themselves, no. 2. All feminists are lesbians. It goes along with the whole hating men thing. That answer is the same. No, we’re not all lesbians. It’s used to demean us, because being gay is still seen in society as being bad or being lesser, as well as being female is being seen as lesser. So, it’s diminutive and it sort of lessens what people hear. [They think] “Oh, you’re a man-hating

lesbian, and I don’t have to listen to anything you say because what you’re saying is ridiculous, what you’re saying is too angry,” kind of thing. You can’t equate feminism with the being gay. There are lesbians who are feminist, but there are also straight women who are feminists, there are bisexual women who are feminists. There are even gay, straight and bisexual men who are feminists. So, firstly, being called a lesbian isn’t an insult and second, we’re not all lesbians. 3. Feminists hate women who

perform traditional child-raising roles. That’s definitely not true because feminism is about equality, and it’s about freedom of choice. If you want to be a doctor and get paid as much as a man, or if you want to be a congresswoman, that is okay. But it’s also okay to want to be a mother and take care of your kids. What we fight for is the choice, and that’s the most important. My mother, for one, is where I get a lot of my inspiration for being a feminist. and she had children. Some feminists choose not to have children and that’s their own choice. They shouldn’t be ridiculed for it. That goes back to this idea of patriarchy, you now where women are ‘of the home’. But there are feminists who choose to have children because it’s something that they want. They want to pass on what they know to another child, be it male or female, and so it’s really honestly up to them. It’s not demeaning to be a woman, so that’s the sort of idea that we’re fighting against. Women are just as strong as men, even though they don’t exhibit their strength in the same way. 4. Feminists are very masculine. That’s not true. I’m using myself as an example, and though I am not stereotypically feminine all the time (which, again, is another problem) all of the time. But I like to put on makeup, and I like to dress up on special occasions, and that has nothing to do with my being a feminist.

Femininity is something that can be accepted in everyone, and is the choice in whether or not you want to be more traditionally feminine or more traditionally masculine. Femininity is not bad, and I think that’s where a lot of these myths come from. This idea that feminists are trying to be men. Just because we’re trying to be equal with men doesn’t mean that we want to be men.We want to express ourselves in a way that is unique to women everywhere. No matter if a woman is a tomboy or stereotypically feminine or that kind of thing. 5. Women who are feminists must have had bad experiences with a male. Definitely not true. This ties in with the myth that all feminists hate men. I personally have never had a terrible experience with men and many of my friends who are feminists are the same way. Granted there are feminists who have had bad experiences with men but the above myth is a generalization used to diminish what the person says and deflects the issue being addresses to something that doesn’t make the listener uncomfortable. Feminism, at its core, is not about hating men or punishing them in any way; it’s about equality between men and women. Equality doesn’t hurt men in any way, and a lot of the aforementioned myths and insults are used to deflect the conversation because the listener is uncomfortable with what is being said.

Changes to SAT aren’t strictly beneficial Overall, modifications make test easier BY CHRISTINE TAMIR Editorials Editor The changes that are to be made to the SAT are a mixed bag - the removal of the mandatory essay is a step in the right direction, while the elimination of the penalty for guessing is simply catering to a lower standard. First, we must remember that the SAT is considered to be a college entrance exam. It’s supposed to measure one’s readiness for the higher learning in college. Any changes to the SAT have to match the trends in the college application and decision-making process. For that reason, getting rid of the essay matches the recent tendencies of many colleges. A growing amount of colleges look at the SAT on a 1600 point scale, where the writing score is reported, but often disregarded. For example, the University of Chicago doesn’t place much weight


on an applicant’s writing score on the SAT because the school considers an applicant’s response to their admission essays to be a better indication of a potential student’s writing ability. The writing portion of the SAT, quite frankly, is outdated. It measures a student’s ability to respond quickly to a question, whereas a better display of an applicant’s talents is seen when they respond to a prompt after careful deliberation. The majority of real world occupations value deep thinking and delib-

eration over quick thinking. Yes. it’s a nice measurement to see about an applicant – how well do you think on your feet? – but the format of the SAT makes it easy for test-takers to falsify facts to prove their point, which shouldn’t be permitted in the first place. A more admirable skill for students to have is the ability to draft a strong and legitimately well-supported argument, which the SAT writing section doesn’t measure. Making the essay optional is a good move on the part of the College Board.

However, the removal of the penalty for guessing lessens the ability of the SAT to measure a student’s readiness for college. In theory, under this new policy, a student could guess and earn the same score that a student who didn’t guess. What’s worse is that college admission counselors wouldn’t be able to tell which applicants were simply lucky, and which genuinely earned their scores. In the real world, there are penalties for guessing. You either know the answer or you don’t, and the current SAT policy that penalizes test takers who randomly choose answers best imitates what happens in the real world and, by extension, college. It can be argued that the new SAT, overall, is easier than the current format of the SAT. In the case of the essay, the modification fits the changing college admissions process. However, the elimination of the penalty for guessing is simply catering to a lower standard, something that our education system (as a whole) is guilty of doing.

“I don’t think they are because there are some countries that enforce religion more than others.”

— Michael McLean sophomore

“No, a lot of countries are harsher than the U.S about gay rights. Around the world, their rights aren’t protected not just because of political reasons, but religious reasons.”

— Shira Steinberg junior

“No, I feel like people always bash gays because they grew up with different religions and had different backgrounds.”

— Xavier Felix senior

“No, and I don’t think they’ll ever be protected because everyone has their different opinions and their different beliefs [about gay rights].”

— Raymond Ma senior

“I don’t, I think there are a lot of countries who don’t agree with it.”

— Hannah Listopad senior

“No, because in some countries people are persecuted for being gay, and in some cultures being gay is welcomed.”

— Theresa Nguyen senior

On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to visit



March 11, 2014

NEWS BRIEFS Math Meet There will be a Varsity Math meet held in the cafeteria on Wednesday, March 12 starting at 2:15 p.m. Students must be in Algebra 2 or above in order to participate in the event.

Mr. Annandale Mr. Annandale will be taking place on Wednesday, March 12 in the Auditorium. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Tests will be held at AHS from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 15. Exams will be administered in room 78.

Spring Pep Rally The Spring Pep Rally will take place on Friday, March 21 during W4. There will be a modified schedule that day in order to accomodate for this. The schedule will be W2/W8/W6/W4.

District X Orchestra The District X orchestra assessment was held at AHS on Saturday, March 8. The assessment is for midde school students.

First Day of Spring Spring officially begins on Thursday, March 20.

Spring Dance Leadership is holding the first annual spring dance at AHS. The theme of the dance is Color Craze. Students are expected to wear neon colors. The dance will take place at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 21 in the Cafeteria.

Heritage Night Rehersals Rehersals for the annual culture presentation will take place every Wednesday from 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Class of 2015 Pizza Fundraiser The Class of 2015 will hold its pizza sale every Friday beginning at 2:00 p.m. The sale will take place in the hallway outside of the cafeteria.

Class of 2014 bake sale The Class of 2014 will be holding a bake sale on Wednesday, March 26 at 2:15 p.m. outside of the cafeteria.

Collaboration AHS will be observing collaboration on Thursday, March 13. The schedule will be as follows: W2/W8/W6/Atom Time Students will be released at 1:30 p.m. Busses will depart at 1:45 p.m.

Students have facilitated a new event for AHS BY JAROD GOLUB News Editor Leadership is hosting the first annual Spring Dance at AHS. The dance will take place on March 21 at 8:00 p.m. in the Main Gym. Tickets for the dance will cost $10 and can be bought at all lunches. “We took a vote on whether or not to have the dance and more than half of the class was for it, so that’s what we decided on,” Leadership student Eric Mejean said. The theme of the dance is “Color Craze” according to posters put up around the school. “The theme is a sort of neon out, we’re looking to have a lot of neon colors, neon lights and black lights,” Leadership student Melissa Pratt said. “We wanted to kind of give it a rave-like feel without it being an actual rave.” “We knew we wanted to do something this spring since the only dance we currently have is Homecoming.” Leadership adviser Carmen Bartley said. “We debated doing a Sadie Hawkins theme, but ultimately decided that we wanted a casual dance so that seniors aren’t having to pay for a formal dance and then for prom.” While Bartley helps to supervise the planning process, most of the ideas come from the students in the Leadership program. Bartley’s role is mainly as a financial adviser to the students and as a facilitator for their ideas.

Posters have been put up around the AHS by Leadership with information pertaining to the event.

The students themselves are the ones that come up with the ideas. “Many other schools have winter or spring dances and we thought it would be kind of fun to have something different besides the very formal homecoming and prom,” Pratt said. “In the past we’ve heard that kids might be

Spring Spirit Week arrives Minor changes made to Spirit Week events BY JAROD GOLUB News Editor As the third and last Spirit Week of the year approaches, Leadership students have developed a system of planning and executing the events of the week. “We do three [spirit weeks] each year, so by the time we get to the spring, we’ve sort of figured out what the students like and what they will dress up for,” Leadership adviser Carmen Bartley said. The themes of each day for Spring Spirit Week are as follows; Bumday Monday, Neon Tuesday, USA Wednesday, Tie-Dye Thursday and Atomic Friday. The days will take place the week of March 17-21. The Leadership students choose

specific days for Spirit Week that they believe will work the best for other students. “We try to choose relatively easy days, so that everyone can partake,” Leadership student Eric Mejean said. “We don’t want kids to have to go out and go shopping for spirit week, we want them to be able to use things that they already have.” Spring Spirit Week is going to be a little different. In the past, the week has just led up to the pep rally on Friday. This year, however, the week will also lead up to the Spring Color Craze Dance, as well as the Peachfuzz game during the week on March 18. “Spirit Week will lead up to the dance and during that week we will also have the Peachfuzz game, similar to Powderpuff during the homecoming week,” Leadership student Melissa Pratt said. Along with adding the Spring Dance, Leadership is also planning to make the pep rally more student-

Part of the job of the Leadership students is to create decorations for the events.

oriented. “We are going to have student relays and we are going to do little competitions between the sports,” Mejean said. “It’s going to be a little different than our traditional pep

rally, but you’ll see a lot of the same aspects.” Despite the minor changes, Spirit Week will remain true to its roots.

Peachfuzz match to take place Spirit Week volleyball game provides male alternative to Powderpuff

Annandale Bible Study On Friday, March 21, Annandale Bible Study will be held from 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Clausen Hall.



Story of the Day On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to view the A-Blast website.

interested,” Mejean said. “Not everyone gets a chance to go to prom, so we decided to have another homecoming-like spirit week in the spring.” The Leadership students did not have an easy time planning the spring dance. It is an entirely different process than planning an old tradition than beginning a new one. “One reason it [planning a new event] is difficult is promoting it to students because they’re not used to it like they are to, say, the homecoming dance or prom,” Bartley said. “So it’s getting the word out there and making sure that everyone knows about it and is excited about.” There is also nothing for the students to base the dance off of since this is the first time that a Spring dance is happening. “The planning process is kind of starting from scratch because this is the first time that we’ve done this,” Pratt said. “So we had to come up with what we’re going to do for decorations, how we’re going to deal with security and stuff like that.” Students can buy tickets to the dance at all lunches. For the juniors and seniors a percent of the proceeds will go into their prom funds. “50 percent of seniors ticket sales go towards their fund, and 30 percent of junior proceeds will go towards the junior class,” Bartley said. Leadership is hoping to use the dance as an opportunity to raise more funds to be used for future events. “We hope to break even with ticket sales, so we hope a lot of people will come out,” Pratt said.


Mock SAT/ACT Exams

Leadership plans dance


IB Art Exam IB Art students are required to talk about their artwork for a total of 15 minutes. Tests will be administered between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 15.

At the annual Powderpuff game, boys cheer for and coach the grade that they belong to. The Peachfuzz match will be utilizing the same idea with the girl coaches and cheerleaders.

Leadership will be sponsoring the first annual AHS Peachfuzz volleyball game on March 18 at 2:30 p.m. in the gym. Peachfuzz is a volleyball game played in the spring that is available to junior and senior boys. “Peachfuzz is a boys volleyball game that is similar to girls Powerpuff,” Leadership sponsor Carmen Bartley said. Powderpuff is an annual girls football game that is played in the fall in the week preceding the

Homecoming Dance. Powderpuff and Peachfuzz offer girls and boys a chance to participate in sports that do not have teams for their sex. “We wanted to host an event in the spring to have another fun event during our spring spirit week to accompany the new spring dance.” Bartley said. “It will also offer a male alternative to Powderpuff in the fall. There are two coaches for both teams that will help the junior and senior boys. Also similar to Powderpuff, the coaches for the teams will be of the opposite sex. The junior coaches are Kaitlyn Cook and Erin Johnson. In order to prepare for the game, the boys will have a total of three practices taking place over the course of about two weeks, similar to the Powderpuff game. “There are three practices leading up to the game,” Bartley said. “We are hoping for two teams, one team of 15 junior boys and one team of 15 senior boys.”


March 11, 2014


Snow days force teachers to catch up labs have been affected and so have projects that require an extended amount of time,” Lazar said. “For example, before the fly lab even began I had to delay the start date we had snow days prior to that and many of the flies died. Time in labs such as this is crucial, and when we have extended weekends it is impossible to check on the flies when necessary.” Not only have snow days affected Lazar’s scheduled labs, but her loss of class time has forced her to remove pieces of her schedule “I don’t really want to do it, but for all my classes it’s now to the point where I’m looking at the curriculum and I have to take out activities and hands-on projects and labs, things that I’ve wanted to do, but might not have time to squeeze in,” Lazar said. Since Lazar teaches seniors, she has considered altering her final exam to make it more creative or project-based. “Just like I am throughout the year, I need to keep the class interesting without too much pressure, because


“Snow days” continued from page 1

pressure is not helpful for anybody,” Lazar said. “Everything is just crammed now, and there isn’t really much we can do. The challenge for me is just realizing it is what it is and we can’t change the fact that it is what it is. We have to adjust.” With the spring sports season in full swing, the inclement weather schedule seems to be a necessity already, as

tryouts and practices for many sports have been forced to move indoors. “The cold and snow are always a challenge to spring sports,” Head Softball Coach Caity Butler said. “We have to improvise and change plans on short notice when practicing inside. It does make it harder to achieve the necessary drills needed to prepare us for games.”

“Snow days have prevented us from being able to see our fields and we haven’t had a single outdoor practice yet,” Softball senior Carly Potts said. “It’s disappointing that we can’t practice outside because we have scrimmages and games coming up, and we need time to practice on our actual field to prepare the right way.” Despite a slow start to the season due to bad weather, Butler admits that her team has adapted to the challenges at hand. “The girls are taking each day as a new challenge, but have graciously accepted the fact that we can’t be outside and are working hard on the drills that we can do,” Butler said. “Even with the modification to our practice schedules, their attitudes have remained positive and skills are improving each day.” While sports such as lacrosse and soccer have the ability to utilize turf once the snow melts, which dries much faster than dirt, baseball has already cancelled their first scrimmage, as the fields have not yet begun to thaw out.

Artist Showcase Senior Artist Amy Reynolds recently finished her IB Visual Arts pieces. She chose to do the SL route, meaning she has spent the last year working on her project. Her theme is “Colors Through Nature.” She uses her theme to showcase the beauty of color throughout nature.

“Home” Acrylic

Games create Art students finish conflict for pageant pieces and portfolios “IB Art” continued from page 1


The Mr. Annandale pageant consists of four categories: elegance, talent, muscle and spirit. For the elegance category, the contestant will walk out in their nicest formal-wear with their female escort. In the talent category, each contestant must present a special talent to the audience. For the muscle category, each contestant will attempt to prove that they are the manliest of all the competitors. For spirit, each contestant must provide a clever way of showing school spirit. “I’m really excited to be returning and for the free pizza before the competition,” senior Lewis Folli said. Last year Folli won Mr. Fan Favorite. After all the contestants have competed in all four categories, the judges will consult with one another to crown Mr. Annandale. This year, teachers John Hawes, Pat Hughes, Phillip Harris, Norm

Ash and Kathleen Mathis will make up the panel of esteemed judges. The judges will work together to crown Mr. Muscle, Mr. Talent, Mr. Elegance and Mr. Spirit; then, they will finally crown Mr. Annandale. P r e p a r a t i o n f o r t h e M r. Annandale competition has been extensive, as the Leadership students and contestants have worked to make the event as successful as possible. “The boys have worked really hard and put in a lot of time on the weekends to prepare for the competition,” Pratt said. The juniors competing in Mr. Annandale are: Abu Kamara, Aviad Gebrehiwot, Dre Wright, Jacob Velasquez, Ron Alston and Tony Gibbs. The seniors competing are: Ali Imran, Mustafa Elrayah, Nick Torrico, Eric Mejean, Lewis Folliand Carlton Johnson. All participants who have not yet turned in their papers must do so by the end of the day to Pratt.

Last year, enior Lewis Folli won the Fan Favorite award. He is competing also this year.

IB requires that the Art exam be administered earlier in the year, with earlier submission deadlines as well. Students can elect to begin IB Visual Arts their junior year, taking the HL level, a two year course that requires 12-18 works and 25-30 submitted sketchbook pages, along with a 15 minute oral exam. Students can also elect to take the SL level, which is only one year and requires only 8-12 pieces of art, with 15-20 of sketchbook pages submitted, along with the 15 minute oral exam also required for HL. In addition to HL and SL, another aspect that makes IB Visual Arts unique is that there are two options for both levels. A student can choose Option A, which most students choose, which is studio-based. This means IB grades the work on a 60/40 scale in favor of the artist’s artwork and a lesser grade on their sketchbook. A student can also choose Option B, which has only been chosen twice in AHS history. Senior Amelie Trieu is one of those two. Option B is more research based, meaning the 60/40 grade is more in favor of the research in the book and less focused on their studio work, so they are required to submit more workbook pages than Option A. This also means they have less work to present at the show. “When I first heard about Option B during Photo 2 I thought it was the best because of my interest and appreciation for art history and world cultures. I knew that I wasn’t very interested in the experimental process of art and I would rather study artists and art movements. I wanted to take the self directed art history course AHS doesn’t offer,” senior Amelie Trieu said. For many IB Visual Art students, the upcoming art show is a culmination of the past four years of art at AHS.

“I took photography my freshman year and after seeing all the seniors in IB [Visual Arts] really inspired me to keep taking art classes,” senior Amy Reynolds said. Many students choose to have multiple mediums in their show such as graphic design, paint, photography and sculpting. “I use mainly acrylic paint, but I sometimes dabble with watercolors. I like using paint because it’s always come easy to me and I don’t like trying out my hands with clay,” Reynolds said. This was also an opportunity for students to experiment with other mediums of art they don’t normally use. “I feel I’m best at photography, but my teachers wanted me to experiment with a different medium which is why I decided to do sculptures as well,” Chandler said. The IB Art Show will be taking place on March 13 at 6:00 p.m. in Clausen Hall. There is no admission fee and food will be provided. Anyone is welcome to attend.

“Broken Tree” Acrylic

“Light in the Sky” Acrylic

“Behind the Barn” Acrylic


“Mr. Annandale” continued from page 1

“Twisted Tree” Acrylic

Trieu’s photograph “Untitled” shows the symbolism and color of butterflies in the world.

Band succeeds at states BY SEAN TO Staff Writer Months of hard work have finally paid off as both Concert Gold Band and Symphonic Band scored multiple superior ratings at state assessment. This year ’s state assessment was held at Jeb Stuart High School Feb. 28-March 1. Both bands each played three pieces that they had to prepare for and then each band entered the sight-reading phrase. They were given pieces that share the same level of difficulties as what each band played. Afterwards they were given about 10 minutes to prepare and then were judged based on how well they could play it in one attempt. Concert Gold Band took home three superior ratings from all of three judges and received a 2, the second highest possible score, for their sight-reading. The three pieces that they played for their main performance were Gallant Marines by Robert King, An American Elegy by Frank Ticheli and Symphonic Dance No. 2 by Clifton Williams. “My favorite piece was An American Elegy because it was emotional, poetic and flowing” senior Josh Musih said. Concert Gold Band fell a bit short of a perfect score, but nevertheless they are proud of what they accomplished. “I wasn’t surprised, after we finished playing I knew we played at a superior level, we were anchored by our seniors this year like Michael Sgrecci [who is 4x all-state band],” Musih said.

Symphonic Band was able to score a perfect line, superior ratings across the board. They played Canzona by Peter Mennin, Semper Fidelis by John Philip Sousa, and A Longford Legend by Robert Sheldon. “My favorite piece is Canzona because I love the composition of the piece, its not just like where the woodwinds have the melody, it switches around, it goes from woodwind to brass, like a complete circle,” Musih said. “It helps show the uniqueness in each section,” senior Kamran Shahbaz said. This year’s symphonic band was very team-orientated and they credited this to their success at assessment. “We don’t have any key members, everyone is a key member, because everyone contributes in a way,” senior Ahyeong Park said. This assessment was the last for several seniors and many of them displayed their dismay in leaving soon, but flashed their pride in what they accomplished over the past 4 years. “I felt very proud of myself and the entire band, I felt very satisfied that I finished my band career with a superior” said Park. Scoring several superiors is no easy feat, the hard work of both bands show how powerful the band program is here at Annandale. The Annandale Band program is now eligible for yet another Virginia Honor Band banner that will be displayed proudly in the band room.

“Palm Trees” Acrylic

SAT changes format On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to read the new SAT changes at


Spring Arts Events Calendar

ARTS Art club plans to continue murals March 11, 2014

Members plan to complete multiple murals by end of the year

Chorus Concert March 11 at 7p.m.

IBArt Show March 13 at 6p.m.

As you walk to class, you may have noticed a change in the Art Hallway. Senior Amy Reynolds painted what is the first of a series of large murals which will go up in various spots around the school. Her mural, which took twenty wone school days and two months to complete, features art supplies spelling out the word art. “Ms. Pappas and I came up with the idea together in November when the project was approved by the administration and then I sketched background shapes and letters myself,” Reynolds said. Starting last year the Art Club and Art Honor Society began collaborating to do a service project. “We wanted to make our school community more beautiful,” senior Art Club and NAHS president Bayley Brill said. Murals are the oldest form of art, dating back as far as cave paintings. Famous artists who created great murals include Leonardo da Vinci and Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Over the next year the Art Club will continue to paint murals in the areas where they have been requested. So far plans to create more are in process for the Business, ESOL, Auto Tech and Orchestra hallways. Art Club and Art Honor Society started by painting the panorama in the entrance of the school building which says “Welcome to Annandale High School” last year. The biggest mural will be in the Auto Tech hallway, which plans for the six bay doors to be painted to appear as if they are open. Orchestra has proposed sillhouttes of student musicians with quotes above each one. The murals have begun to receive a good response from the school community. “I think the murals add creativity and color to the school, we should add more to make the school look less boring,” sophomore Amanda Adenan said. Mural created by IB Art senior Amy Reynolds in the downstairs art hallway took two They have been a great way to showcase some of AHS’ attributes. months to complete. She was assisted by Art Club members and other art students. “It’s going to the give the school character and give students something to talk about,” Brill said.

Tape people take over hallways Spring Coffeehouse Auditions March 26 at 2:15p.m.

Annual art project captures attention of students and faculty alike BY MELISSA STAMP Arts Editor They are attached to walls and hiding around corners all around the school. They strike terror into the hearts of unsuspecting passer-bys and they provide more calm people a good laugh. They’re the tape sculptures that the Art I classes make each year, both intriguing and frightening students and faculty. “I think the sculptures are very cool, even

Annandale Theatre Company Spring Musical March 27-29

Artists: Gissela Aparicio-Lopez, Madison Sample, Nicole Jordan, and Sasha Silva

All-State Chorus April 26-27

Broadway Desserts May (Date to be Announced)

The theme of our sculpture is dreams. We decided to make the sculpture of a ballerina because our group thought it was a common dream that all young girls share. The plastic bubbles around the drawing represent the sculpture as a dream and not reality. In this sculpture we aimed to commnicate that not all dreams are meant to come true, sometimes we outgrow them.

“Ms. American Soldier” Artists: Preston Do, Moiz Ahmer, Brent Escueta, and Vincent Oliver The theme of this sculpture is heroes and heroines. The sculpture depicts a female soldier holding an American flag. The ultimate goal of the piece was to express that gender does not matter when courage and heart are involved.

“The Amazing Spiderman”

“Rosie the Riveter”

Artists: Lihn Do, Jacky Fatima, and Ajaya Corothers

Artists: Melanie Valencia, Alaina Garay, Kelsie Licatovich, and Bebhinn Tyree This sculpture is of Rosie the Riveter. When choosing a topic the artists decided to express feminism and power. Rosie is commonly used to represent women who joined the work force during World War II. She was first introduced in the year 1942.

“The Amazing Spiderman” was influenced by the artists belief that anyone can make a difference regardless of their personal characteristics. Spiderman represent the hero in everyone and is dedicated to anyone who feels weak in order to be inspired. The suit was also handmade by the artists.

“Superman” Artists: Trung Nguyen, Andres Celedonio, and Foday Mansaray The artists chose to portray the DC Comic classic, Superman in order to convey the message that, “justice and strength can keep everyone safe and bring peace to the world.” Superman holds the scale of justice to represent his dediation to saving the world.

On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to read about bands results at state assesments.

gestures. Students are also encouraged to use props to assist them. To mold the packing tape, students use live models and wrap each body part separately. The tape is then cut off of the model and stuffed with news paper. Ultimately each body part comes together to resemble the human body. “I learned to be very patient with this project, it took a long time and I hope the student body not only grasps the message of each sculpture, but appreciates how much work it took to make them,” freshman Jessica Ferson said. Packing tape sculptures, which are spread out throughout the school will remain on display for the next week before they are moved to teachers who have claimed one for their classroom.

Get to know the tape people “Dreams of a Future Ballerina”

Filament Spring Coffeehouse April 9 at 2:30p.m.

though they scare me when I don’t see them coming. It makes me want to create one of my own,” senior Kaitlin Martindale said. Art 1 students in Jacqueline Pappas’ class form teams of three or four in order to create their sculptures. Each team member assumes the role of either model, tape wrapper or assembler. The process includes molding the tape, creating an identity for the sculpture and writing an artists statement to explain the creative elements incorporated in the design. The project is part of a unit on figure drawing where students learn to draw porportions, anatomy, and physiology of the human body. Each group chooses a theme from a list of possibilities supplied by their teacher and discusses how the theme can be portrayed through body

“Angelic Demon” Artists: Josue Orozco, Daniela Manchorro Destephen, Yajaira Madrid, and Katherine Martinez This piece titled “The Conflict Within Us” is about young adults in the world struggling to choose between good and bad. The sculpture contrasts dark and light colors to symbolize both personalities. It holds its heart because the “demonside” has taken over and in order to clean it. The heart must be taken out.

—Compiled by Melissa Stamp





Mar. 11, 2014

Junk food marketing ban

Chemicals and infections at nail salons

Advertisements in schools may soon begin to disappear BY BERTA TARQUI Health Editor



The White House and the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed a ban on junk food marketing in schools. Items that can be marketed in schools have to meet certain regulations, for example, foods must be low in fat, sugar and salt. At a White House event, First Lady Michelle Obama announced two new reforms that will promote a healthier lifestyle to families across the nation on Feb.25. This ban is just one of her many proposals to help reduce obesity rates. Michelle Obama’s campaign against obesity, called “Let’s Move” has been trying to make changes regarding, unhealthy foods and the overall lack of exercise of many. Marketing techniques used in schools usually come in the form of posters or the use of products that are sponsored by a company. Several organizations are trying to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic. With several reforms promoting healthy living, the Journal of the American Medical Association, reported that the obesity rate among children aged two to five years old has decreased 43% since 2004. Previous Bans Vending machines are scattered around many schools, including AHS. These are popular during lunch time because thy provide quick and lowpriced snacks. Several schools around the nation are starting to ban the machines, or limit the times they can be used, as an effort to decrease the amount of snacking and calorie intake. According to Time Magazine, in 2013, regulations such as reducing the salt content in vending machine snacks sold in schools were implemented to help kids eat healthier Some were not satisfied with this rule because they felt like their choices were being limited and should be allowed to choose what to eat. “I don’t think sponsorships necessarily make people get more [junk food]. I guess that’s one aspect, but I think that would just be silly to take it out,” junior Annika Hackfeld said.

A common place to relax can be a danger to health

It is a ironic that four vending machines with sugary snacks and drinks are found right outside the gym and locker room.

Marketing Towards Children It is not uncommon to see advertisements in children’s movies and programming sponsored by fast food chains. Companies lure children to want their parents take them to fast food establishments by offering toys with meals and giveaway contests. Also children do not have much of a say of their food choices at home. “I think that it won’t have much of an impact because parents probably still eat and drink [junk food] at home,” sophomore Erin Anh said. The marketing of junk food to kids has been scrutinized in the past because many see it as an easy way to gain business since many small children do not understand the concept of advertising. According to Time Magazine, “A 2013 study showed that between 2009 and 2010, 99% of fast food ads that aired on children’s TV channels like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon came from McDonald’s and Burger King.” Children are already susceptible to advertisements outside of school and the U.S Department of Agriculture wants to make sure that while kids are at school, they are not being marketed to by fast food companies. Many of these techniques are overlooked

because at first glance because they do not seem to be a marketing ploy. Many schools offer junk food as prizes for participating in activities. Some may remember having competitions in schools, such as offering a pizza party if everyone in the class passes the SOL. “That’s the only real way for them to do stuff. I mean especially if they’re kids.” senior Karen Davilla said. “What else would they give them? Money? Broccoli for straight A’s? Junk food encourages kids.” Who Is Affected? Surprisingly, companies that would be the most affected such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. are not too upset about the new restrictions to their advertisements. CEO and President of American Beverage Association, Susan Neely also believes that these new restrictions are fine. “Mrs. Obama’s efforts to continue to strengthen school wellness make sense for the well-being of our school children,” Neely said. Despite the new ban promoting healthier meals, many are not happy that there are several reforms about what people eat.

Food advertisements in AHS Many are unaware of the techniques used to persuade consumers

Getting a manicure every once in a while is a fun activity some people around Annandale area do because of the availability of salons. However, nail salons have unknown risks to many clients that visit them frequently. Long exposure to chemicals in a nail salon can do great harm to your skin, lungs and your brain. Chemicals in the Products Some nail polish contain ingredients such as toluene, dibutyl phthalate and formaldehyde. Toluene has been known to cause birth defects if a pregnant woman is exposed to the chemical for a prolonged period of time. Inhaling toluene can affect your cardiovascular and nervous systems. If any of the nail polishes in the salon contain toluene or the other two chemicals, you may feel a little dizzy or get a headache if you have been inside a nail salon too long because it is an enclosed environment.

Nail Polish Dangers Continued On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to continue this story.

Tips to keep yourself safe at nail salons Make an early appointment

There is a better chance that a nail salon will clean when they first open for the day than later on.

Do not go with open cuts/wounds

This Coca-Cola machine that advertises sugary drinks is found near the auditorium.

In the cafeteria line, posters advertise instructions on how to pick a healthy meal.

Right after the last bell rings, lines start to form for the snack bar. Snacks such as candies and chips are sold here.

The five stars are used to remind students to choose one vegetable or a fruit.

Six unsanitary objects Earbuds Headphones and earbuds can carry a large amount of bacteria if left uncleaned and shared often. A study done by the Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences have found out that 92 percent of people who share earphones have bacteria on the earbuds.

Having cuts or open wounds can greatly increase your chances of catching an infection. Also avoid shaving your legs if you are getting a pedicure because shaving creates tiny cuts that are not seen regularly.

Snack Bowls

Bring your own supplies

Out at restaurants and offices, bowls filled with candies and snacks are tempting to grab. However, germs thrive on your hands, and fecal matter can be found in these bowls because many do not wash their hands.

Salt and Pepper Shakers


Almost any condiment in restaurants are often touched at restaurants and are not cleaned very often. Also kids in restaurants will sometimes play with the containers and transfer germs to you.

Cellphones are constantly being touched and being held against your face. Bacteria on your phone can pass to your face and may cause acne. E.Coli, a bacteria that is that was also reported to be found on cellphones.

Hair Brushes Hair can hold a lot of bacteria and residue, but people wash their hair. However, many forget to clean their brush. Brushes hold dead skin cells and sometimes lice.

Pet Food/Water Bowl Many forget to clean their pet’s feeding bowl. When your pet uses the bowl, they can contaminate the bowl. If let uncleaned, bacteria can grow and possibly make your dog sick.

If you want to make sure that possibly dirty supplies are not being used on you, then bring your own tools and give them to your nail technician. Make sure your tools and polishes are clean as well.

Recipe: Tuna and Veggie Wrap On your , scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to view a recipe on how to make a tuna and vegetable wrap.

This feature is inspired by Humans of a New York, HONY, as many refer to it. The project is a photojournalism blog, which has also been published as a best selling book by photographer Brandon Stanton. It has over four million followers, mostly on Tumblr and Facebook. HONY gives a insight to the lives of strangers in New York through photography. While some of the photos are accompanied by a short description some are not. Examples taken from Stanton’s Tumblr are shown below.

Humans of Annandale The lives of students and staff are captured through a series of photos


Humans of New York

March 11, 2014




Seniors Lewis Folli and Sarah Prince “Sophomore year, third quarter, Driver’s Ed. I sat next to her and realized that she was pretty cool. I’m trying not to sound sweet.”


Sophomore Jordan Hermann “What was you’re most embarassing moment?” “Swimming the wrong stroke for an event. It was pretty embarrassing.”

Freshman Ceilidh Williams “I love watching Adventure Time on the couch and eating huge tubs of cheese balls.”



“Is that you?” “Kinda.”

Senior Sultan Naieem “My most prized possession is my dog. He is a Shitzu and his name is Kuba.”


Freshman Dontae Johnson “A motto I live by is to be positive.”


Senior Kamren Shahbaz “I don’t sing in the shower.”



Senior Sukhjit Garcha “What is your biggest fear?” “Spiders.” Sophomore Luke Daggle “What is your biggest dream?” “To be a famous movie actor.”

Teacher/Coach Matthew Behne “We fail everyday. That’s how we get better, right? [It] is to fail.”


Seen at Comic Con I can confirm it was breathing

Teacher Joe Valentino “My grandfather was determined and hard working. He told me, ‘work as hard as you can, let the chips fall where they may later on in life’”.



Freshman Beckman Hollis “I can do a really good cow impression. That’s why its a hidden talent.”

Junior Marco Cespedes “Don’t give up, even though its tough. Last year, fourth quarter, I was diagnosed with Cancer and I had a really fast recovery.”

Senior Vivian Cao “What is your guilty pleasure?” “One Direction.”

Sophomore Lucero Barahona “My brother started playing soccer and I watched him play. It seemed really fun.”


-Complied by Chloe Loving and Kiara Patino



“Honestly, I don’t care what they’re doing or selling, if a kid is trying to make some honest money, I am paying up. Entrepreneurship takes a lot of courage and I think it’s a civic duty to support a child with ambition. On the flip side of that, there comes a time when you are too large to attempt back flips on the subway. Not everyone realizes.”

Senior Tyler Hohenstein “Would it be a guilty pleasure if I let people know?”


March 11, 2014

SAT requirements changed

9 What would more accurately demonstrate college readiness?

Starting 2016, the essay writing portion of the admission test will be optional BY LINUS BUMBACA Academics Editor


The College Board has modified the SAT test, making the timed essay portion optional for students. This change does not take effect for two years, so this will only affect current high school freshmen. Other changes include using a 1600 point scale instead of a 2400 point scale, and removal of point reductions on incorrect multiple choice answers. “Overall, if the essay is gone, then SAT scores will be higher,” senior Michael Lam said. “Most students who take the SAT are from regular English classes, and aren’t used to writing essays like that.” This change follows a study done by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, showing that SAT and ACT scores have minimal effects on college graduation rates and student grade point averages. To some, this study only confirms what they thought about the SAT before. “I don’t think the SAT is an accurate measurement of how successful a student will be in college,” career center specialist Robin Roth said. The purpose of the SAT and ACT tests is to measure how successful students will be as they go into college. Having been shown to be inaccurate indicators of success by the NACAC study, the College Board will be changing the test to assess other kinds of skills. “The idea is to even the playing field,” Roth said, “so that students who have less resources financially, who are bright students, can take advantage of the free preparation and hopefully be just as prepared as students and families with deeper pockets.” According to The Washington Post, students in

“[I think] extracurriculars are instead very important for college.” ––David Ngoma junior

Along with the essay being optional, other sections of the SAT are being changed to assess students more accurately.

families that earn less than $20,000 a year have an average total score of 1326, compared to students in families that make more than $200,000 a year who have an average score of 1715. This score gap is greatest in the writing section of the test, which is one of the reasons why the essay was dropped as a requirement. Other factors that create gaps in SAT scores are the ethnic groups students belong to and how educated their parents are, instead of the actual skill and knowledge of the student themselves. “It’s a test to measure a student’s general knowledge of all subjects,” sophomore Ahmed Mohamed said. “Colleges take a look at it to see your strengths and weaknesses.” “The purpose of the SAT is to test basic knowledge, especially in math and English,” Lam said. “In math,

Old SAT vs. New SAT — 2400 points, paper only.

— 1600 points, paper or digital versions available.

— Does not require students to provide evidence in reading and writing sections.

— Students must cite specific passages and explain how that supports what they are saying.

— Vocabulary students are expected to know includes obscure and uncommon words.

— Vocabulary includes words that are important for students to know later in life or in other subjects.

— Essay prompts ask students about past experiences and their own opinions. — Math section covers all aspects of math throughout high school. — Calculator is allowed for entire math section. — Documents and passages are from uncommonly known texts. — Incorrect answers deduct a quarter of a point.

— Essay is based on analysis of evidence and other authors’ texts. — Math section focuses on areas of math that are more important for college and future careers. — Some parts of the math section do not allow students to use calculators. — Documents and passages will include wellknown speeches and documents. — No points are deducted for any wrong answers.

NEHS BookTalk Club broadcasting biweekly discussion of popular teen books BY ANIQA RASHID Academics Editor

The National English Honor Society will hold the biweekly Book Talk, taking place during morning announcements on White Days in W4. One student will essentially describe the book they read, giving an interesting perspective, thus explaining why the rest of the audience would want to read the book. The second installment of five remaining book talks took place March 7 when Andrew Hendrickson talked about 1984 by George Orwell.

Like the Drop Everything and Read Program, which is dedicated to silent reading time during W4 classes, the goal of the Book Talk is to increase the number of students who could pick up a book and read whenever they have the chance. “We thought it would be a really good idea, since we’re trying to get literacy throughout the school,” said IB English teacher Catherine Gibson. The Book Talk also acts as a way to give NEHS members the chance to earn mandatory service points by speaking to the AHS community and making a poster. A small poster designed by the student who speaks about the book during the announcement will be put in a display case. Students can go and see what the book was before the next talk. The very first book that was presented in the talk was Bleak House

The showcase in the English hallway for the book talks, has a sign in large letters above the poster titled, “Read Me!”. The poster will give a small glimpse into the book, with an interesting illustration to capture the attention of students. “While we were coming up with new activities where members could earn points rather than just tutoring and our usual book drive, this seemed idea for members to get involved as well as benefit the whole school.” - Nguyen Cao Public Relations “If we do the book talks every couple weeks and showcase a book to read then maybe kids would be more interested to read on their own.” - Catherine Gibson NEHS Sponsor

students are tested on applying previously learned knowledge to find an answer, while English is about knowing how to use knowledge in your own way.” Despite not being an accurate assessment of success in college, taking the SAT can provide opportunities to students that they would not have had otherwise. “What students should consider is what schools are looking for,” Roth said, “different schools have different criteria for accepting students. Some smaller, liberal arts colleges offer merit scholarships to people with a certain GPA or SAT score. These are not competitive schools, they are less selective.” “Seeing how you need to take the SAT to get into colleges, it does matter if you get a higher score because that’s what colleges will be looking at,” junior Gillian Thomas said. More reliable indicators of college success are the grades and classes a student gets. “To me, it doesn’t necessarily count as much as my GPA or actual courses,” Mohamed said. “It’s up there, but not as much as my grades. As of now, I haven’t been preparing for the SAT, but I’ll probably study for it over the summer.” “If it does affect which colleges you want to go to,” Thomas said, “then you should focus more on it, but there are other factors that you have to weigh in, like grades and schoolwork, that colleges will be looking at.” “Coursework and grades are much more of an accurate assessment of how successful a student will be in college,” Roth said. The SAT and ACT tests as they are now can be challenging for some students, especially those who have not spent as much time practicing, preparing and studying. “The SAT wasn’t that difficult for me,” Lam said. “The math portion covers the first three years of high school, from algebra one to two. English may be more difficult for some people, especially on questions that ask you to choose the best answer.”

“I believe that colleges should look at students’ grades to determine how ready the student would be.” ––Nana Forson sophomore

“Colleges should consider talking to the high school graduate’s friends and family to have an idea of the type of person they are.” ––Amanie Joseph junior

“I think it should be your activities and how much you participate. It shows more commitment and character.” ––Zoe Tran senior

Vocabulary Words VILIFICATION verb To make vicious and defamatory statements about. EBULLIENT adjective Overflowing with enthusiasm or excitement. QUAGMIRE noun A difficult or precarious situation; a predicament. CONCILIATE verb To overcome the distrust or animosity of; appease. VIRTUOSO noun A musician with masterly ability, technique or personal style. QUERULOUS adjective Characterized by or proceeding from a complaining fretful attitude.

12 Years a Slave to be distributed to high schools On your smartphone, scan this code above using the app “QR Code” to learn about the film being distributed.

Student talks about her homeland and how similar South Korea is to the States BY JAMIE LEE Special to the A-Blast Today, I am going to talk about what is different between America and Korea. Differences make countries unique. Korea is unique and so is America. There are many different things like uniform, holiday and music. That is different between both countries. Korea and America are really different. In Korea, we do not have school buses. In America, they have school buses for students. In my country, we have to wear uniforms. Most uniform comprise of a blouse, a skirt and a jacket for girls. There are no skirts for boys. Boys wear pants. In America, they do not wear uniforms, except in some private schools. Thanksgiving Day is a national cultural holiday in America. America and Korea both have Thanksgiving Day. America Thanksgiving day this year is on Thursday, November 28, whereas Korean Thanksgiving day was on September 19. In Korea, we do same things they do in America during Thanksgiving Day. We eat different kinds of foods. I like Thanksgiving Day in both countries. Korea music is famous and popular in other countries. Some Vietnamese girls like Korean singers. In America, they have good songs too. Korea and America have similar kinds of music. I like the music in both countries. My country and the U.S.A are really different. When I came here, there were so many differences and there were many new things to learn. It changed my life. I like to live in both countries.

Fun facts on North and South Korea — North Korea has no diplomatic representation in the United States. They also do have a permanent mission to the United Nations. — The Swedish Embassy represents the U.S. as consular protecting power. — Only military and government officials can own motor vehicles. — South Korea is one the most eccentric countries in the world whereas North Korea is one of the most isolated. — South Korea spends approximately $900 million on male based make up. — South Korea has an estimate of 50.95 million people. Their population over triples North Korea’s population

Just World Festival On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to visit the website to sign up. Read more about the Just World festival

BY NUHAMI MANDEFRO International Editor Junior Daniela Rambal is from Venezuela and left most of her family in 1999 after former president, Hugo Chavez, came into office. Her parents knew that emmigrating to the United States was the best decision as they saw the country began to deteriorate. “My dad’s brothers own a Sony store in Caracas (the capital) and all these protests and riots have impacted them heavily because they’ve had to close down the store for several days at a time simply because of the insecurity going on,” Rambal said. “My cousins have not been able to go to school for this entire period as well.” Daniela’s family did not support Hugo Chavez, however, they all agree that ‘Chavismo’ without Chavez has proven to be significantly worse. Despite all the wrongs he did while in office, there was much more order in the country than there is now. Hundreds of angry citizens marched to the capital, Caracas, protesting for the death of their family and neighbors. In early Jan., former Miss Venezuela, Monica Spear, 29, and her ex husband were shot cold blooded in front of their five year old daughter. With her leg being the only thing physically injured, Spear’s young daughter’s soul will forever be scarred - like the other hundreds of thousands of citizens in Venezuela. With thousands of random acts of violence, approximately 28,000 murders have occurred within 2013. Though violence was occurring since the ruling of Hugo Chavez, murder rates have increased to 55.2% since Chavez succumbed to cancer. A number of students have strong opinions and personal connections with the protests and the corrupted government. “I find it unbelievable that this all got out of hand simply because of a peaceful protest that took place on Venezuela’s Youth Day,“ Rambal said. “It’s heartbreaking to see so much violence

Junior Daniela Rambal with her parents at a recent family reunion.

Photo Courtesy of Daniela Rambal

Moving from Korea to America

Students discuss former life and family struggles under corrupted Venezuela

Junior Daniela Rambal was born and raised in Venezuela. This picture was taken in December 1998 when she was a year and half. She moved to the States in 1999 and greatly appreciates her parents’ decision and life in America.

and people being thrown into jail just for fighting for basic rights and security that they’ve been deprived of for so long; as painful as it is to see all this going on, the fact that they’re fighting for a government system free of corruption makes it worthwhile.” The Rambal family is fully invested in the protest but isn’t in the action like Ronald. Senior Ronald Romero has over 80 percent of his family living in Venezuela and they are protesting. “It is mostly my student cousins who have taken to the streets to exercise their right to free speech and the right to protest peacefully,” Romero said. “One of my cousins was close friends with one of the victims of excessive police force during a peaceful protest.” For over 14 years, Venezuela has been under the control of Hugo Chavez and ‘Chavismo’, which is a policy the left wing adapted under Chavez’s rule. After Chavez passed away, in 2013, President Nicolas Maduro established the “Patria Segura” which is the security plan that authorizes military against force crime. Instead of cracking down on hate crimes, the system only seems to train fight wars and control public freedom. With the government in turmoil, inflation has swept through the nation due to the policies in place by the government which has stopped national production of goods and stalled economic growth by importing goods from other countries and creating a similar rationing system as the one in place in Cuba. “My thoughts on Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro are that they have failed and are currently failing to unite the people of a beautiful country and have destroyed the once promising future that the Venezuelan nation had,” Romero said. “Maduro’s ‘security plan’ consists of

the hiring of murderers and criminals to patrol Venezuelan streets and ‘maintain the peace’ when all they have done is abuse their power and damage the lives of Venezuelan citizens.” “In office, Hugo Chavez never considered the people’s desire for change and opportunity,” Rambal said. “He took control of all branches of the government (supreme court, the national assembly, etc) which has resulted in no real separation of power.” “Nicolas Maduro has proved to be a failure as president due to his lack of the education and credentials needed to be a leader,” Rambal said. “He is also highly influenced by the Cuban government which is practically being carried out in Venezuela right now. Under Maduro’s administration, Venezuelan’s have just confirmed that ‘Chavismo’ without Chavez really is worse.” Both families have been close and present to outbreaks in the country. Fortunately, no one was harmed, but danger still lurks around. “Luckily, my family is one of the more better off families in Venezuela in terms of location, but they have seen firsthand the neglecting that the government has done to it’s people,” Romero said. “Basic necessities have become scarce and crime and homicide rates are at all time highs. My family has never been supporters of Chavez and/ or Maduro and has bored against their party in every election.” “I believe that the outbreaks of violence are a result of suppression of the people in Venezuela and the neglecting of the basic human rights by the supposedly socialist government of Venezuela,” Romero said. “Human rights such as freedom of the press and speech are constantly being violated and it is our job to help and correct it.”

Thailand under family turmoil Student talks about family status under Thailand’s control BY NUHAMI MANDEFRO International Editor Senior Kessarin Horvath was born in Thailand in a town north of the capital. Her family took her away to the United States at a time when the Shinawatra family was under the radar. She greatly appreciates her move due to the corruption the family has committed. “I have family in Thailand, but they aren’t participating in the protests as they predominantly live in the north, and the protests are occurring mostly in Bangkok,” Horvath said. Though her mother’s side is from Thailand and her father’s is white American, it is her father who is affected by the fiasco. “My dad does have some friends who are participating in it,” Horvath said. “A few have been placed in dangerous situations with the police and convicted protesters.” On Nov. 24, approximately 20 anti-government protesters were murdered on the Bangkok street in Thailand. One cannot walk out of their home without protesters stirring up controversy in every corner. The opposition of the Democratic Party has completely reigned over the country. Thaksin Shinawatra was convicted of numerous counts of corruption and was kicked out of office by the military coup in 2006. With chances of reentering power, popular vote from rural voters makes the possibility strong for the country. Civilians from urban and middle-class voters are enraged with the passing of the amnesty bill in late 2013. The bill was proposed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party in hopes of retrieving her brother. Citizens greatly fear that the bill will allow former leader Thaksin Shinawatra to come back to office without serving any jail time. Protesters believe the government is buying votes which ultimately creates a corrupt Thai economy and government. Weeks of protests were peacefully and acceptable until pro-government “red-shirt” rally started up on Nov. 30. Protesters marched on

Photo Courtesy of Kessarin Horvath

Jamie Lee easily adapted to the states and loves AHS.

March 11, 2014

Violence in Venezuela

Photo Courtesy of Daniela Rambal

Nuhami Mandefro



Senior Kessarin Horvath has visited her family in Thailand as a toddler. The experience has stayed with her until this day.

Government House, the prime minister’s office after opposition MPs resigned on Dec. 8. Retaliating against the public, Yingluck Shinawatra boycotted the polled and recreated the schedule in early February. Since then, the police for the most part have confronted the protesters, in a non violent manner. But that quickly changed later that month when deaths resulted after clearing protesting sites. The most recent deaths were caused by a bomb blast at an anti-government protest on Feb. 23, killing a woman and two children. A child was killed the day before. Those responsible for the attacks have yet to be identified which outsiders determine will forever be inconclusive with both the pro and the anti-government groups accusing each other. “I think the government system needs to be corrected and aided by other countries,” Horvath said “Despite that my family lives North of Thailand and they’re not immernsing impacted by the violence, they still don’t support her, as they agree with the protestors that the government has become corrupt,” Horvath said. With numerous deaths and protests

continuing, various legal moves have been made to accommodate future situations. On Jan. 8, the anti-corruption protesters attempted to elect the Senate by charging over 300 politicians. Thailand’s constitutional court, meanwhile, has rejected their request by the opposition Democratic Party annual election. Results have yet to be announced. Thai government officials have been discussing how to complete the polls. The Election Commission announced that by late April, the earliest time for the by-elections must be held much sooner to meet the constitutional requirement for parliament to by within the month of voting day. “The lack of rights the government permits is something that my family has really struggled with these years,” Horvath said. Charges were fired on Feb. 18 against Ms. Yingluck in connection with corruption with polls and her brother. The country still awaits for justice towards the passing of the protesters. “My family thinks she should be ousted and have free elections to determine a new, fair prime minister, in order to create a non-corrupt government,” Horvath said.

Principals through the ages

Ralph E. Buckley 1954-1966




A Blast from the Past




March 11, 2014


James Finch 1966-1986



Don Clausen 1994-2003


Rod Manuel 2003-2005




1973 vs. 2014


The pictures above show the development of The A-Blast from its earliest years to now. It all began in 1954 when the newspaper known as The A-Blast was simply named Annandale News. It wasn’t until the following year that they officially changed the name to The A-Blast Newspaper. As technology became more advanced, The A-Blast didn’t miss a beat. They progressed from typewriters to computers and from a six page newspaper once a month, to a 20-page newspaper every three weeks. Top photo, shows the staff of 1957 culminating material to piece toghether their issue. Second photo from the top, Susan Main strikes the keys of her typewriter during deadline. Above, Ingrid Thomas takes advantage of new technology and copies her story on to her computer. Right, current AHS student Andrew Peters types up an interview on a iMac.


Raymond Watson 1986-1994





Above, senior Julio Menditea plays the guitar on the stairs in a back hallway by the auditorium, just as Cynthia Forbes did back in 1973. Left, sophomores Nathan Corcoran and Brooke Thadeus laugh during lunch, looking almost identical to a photo of students Nancy Wilson and John Rollins Watkins. Right, the science hall is bustling with students going from class to class, similar to the rush of students on their way to Young Life.

Vincent Randazzo 2011-Present





John Ponton 2005-2011

On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to view a slideshow of pictures of AHS in years past.

Do you think the new cell phone policy is beneficial? “Yes, because you can get reliable information off the internet using your cell phone.”

— Nathanael Bennett freshman

“Yes, because you can get reliable information off the internet using your cell phone.”

— Nathanael Bennett freshman

“Yes, because you can get reliable information off the internet using your cell phone.”

Sept. 2, 2013

Red and White Golf Classic AHS community comes together to raise money for golfing By Bayley Brill News Editor Hi my name is DestinySi rate eum, cone con rerum et des nihilignimus ex et quasi berum natur?Hicti int vent poratus prori accupita conem lab is dolorum ipsunt.Ficte non core doluptiis moditio blatur as aut modita dia velentur?Aditaquo es quid esto qui dolor aut quaecuptati ate ipsam ea sed utem et qui te sequi sunt dolupta quas quiae cus expero volum re de que arit dest officaes plianditat.Ehendustrum voluptatur, omnimpore pro ipsanimus abo. Nequae veligenis is peritiorrum idus, sum ipitaque consedis dolupti dolo con consequam coressus milit venti autest, soluptam la nam expe aperum etur? Quibust otamus di nihilic to etum quo que omnihil eaquamet laborio. Por adi tem nihilis elenis ea expelit atio te pro odis ex eribusa ndunt.Upta vellut illatures in pres enienitasi si officiu ntibus doluptas dolut mod que nim abore imusapis deris ut earum etur min et, sam, quid et earupta turions equiasi ute ipsam, sequiatur sustia quide iminim et exernatem volorion porest poratati quia que rem qui dolupti to blam audioreris as molest volorem repudi ius, optatus nes audam faccaecum et est, ea sit volorit porum nos esequi autas ipsam et as sant assum repudae si sum voluptatur ad eium reic temquis imagni ut audis volorpo raturio nectas dolo molectenis adigeni hillaut estrum aborenis repudant volo coremqui simost assum reris molorit quas quaesti onsequamus int, corions equisciduci dolor simodipsum, sim consequundem aut magnatin plaborem nonseque cum quis ut fuga. Ut quatio excero eicto event ex eosse ni occabor aliquam et laboribus eum verion eicimagnim nonet volupta sitati as exceritium none res as soluptatur sapid qui solest haritatquo magnati umquam id quae doluptat volore cusdaes atur aut ea doluptatur adit qui blaboribusam volorruntur ant, odit quid expe videneceaque cuptate ndamet ma quamendam re nem quid estiumenias suntion paribus dis ditas dolupta





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Ehentiur, simolorem ut aut erspeliquam quas idit, sitatinti inihili aeptiur minihit earunto tatemquam, con

— Nathanael Bennett freshman

“Yes, because you can get reliable information off the internet using your cell phone.”

— Nathanael Bennett freshman

“Yes, because you can get reliable information off the internet using your cell phone.”

— Nathanael Bennett freshman

This a very insightful and long quote about animal behavior like when students go to the zoo with the psychology department. —Karen Olarinde

ESOL teacher

On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to visit the Red and White Golf Classic website to sign up.

14 What’s up WhatsApp? LIFESTYLES

What’s your favorite messaging application?

March 11, 2014

Messaging applications become popular among socially active students BY SACHA CAMERON AND PHUONG NGUYEN

“KakaoTalk. It has cute emotions and a lot of my friends use it.”

—Casey Nguyen sophomore

“KiK becuase you don’t have to use your number. It’s fast and you can do a lot of group chats and stay connected with others.”


Staff Writer and Lifestyles Editor What’s up! These are the first two words that nearly start every conversation. WhatsApp, a messaging application, was recently bought by Facebook for $19 billion. WhatsApp provides a fun, easy way to keep in touch with friends. Users can send texts, pictures and even engage in group messages when using Wi-Fi or a data plan. WhatsApp is known especially for its ability to connect users internationally. Senior Jasmine Hitalani is a frequent user of WhatsApp. The app allows her to communicate with loved ones in her home country. “I usually talk to relatives and friends back home in Syria,” Hitalani said. I like that you can talk to people for free without paying.” As people are always looking for a cheaper, easier way to do things, texting apps such as WhatsApp are becoming more popular. For a mere $1 a year,

Sophomore Loui Al-Ayoub uses WhatsApp to chat with a friend on vacation in Thailand.

users can message their friends without any limits, instead of paying higher rates for generic texting. “I like WhatsApp because it allows me to interact with people near and far, for practically nothing,” sophomore Loui Al- Ayoubi said.

Other students like that fact that messaging apps offer a customized and more private experience in contrast to ordinary texting. Compared to the amount it costs to get a texting plan from phone carriers, using an app may seem to be a good deal to many. It is no wonder more and more people are making the switch. The question now is whether the huge investment will be a success or loss for Facebook, considering the company bought Instagram for only $1 billion in 2012. Many students are skeptical whether WhatsApp will be as enjoyable under Facebook’s management. “No, I think that it’s a bad idea that Facebook bought WhatsApp,” Hitalani said. “[Now], it’s going to be filled with ads.” “I think it’s a bad idea because no one uses Facebook [and its services] anymore,”sophomore Jocelyn Giron said. They’re all using Twitter and Tumblr. It’s just a way [for them] to make money. It’s not going to work because no one knows about WhatsApp, unlike others such as KiK and Snapchat.” WhatsApp recently announced that it would be adding a voice feature to the App. The new feature will help cater to the new users always looking to socialize in

different platforms. With almost half a billion users subscribed to WhatsApp, there could be a change coming for cell phone plans as people begin to switch over to using messaging apps to text. There are many different options to pick from if you want to use a messaging App. As a result of Facebook’s marketing and technological influence on WhatsApp, a sudden surge of similar and competing apps will start to emerge. Sophomore Vanessa Nikolic is a regular user of KiK, a similar competing app with many of the same features as WhatsApp. “You can communicate easier because you can set up a profile picture and you don’t have to use your real phone number,” Nikolic said. “You can delete your username if somebody’s being a creep.” Other popular messaging apps that are already popular with students include Viber, Line, KakaoTalk and Snapchat have large followings among students. The trend of using messaging apps is growing rapidly. Although people will still have to pay for a data plan to use them everywhere, using these apps could save many people a lot of money.


— Angel Adu sophomore

Students always carry certain items that they can’t come to school without. From ear buds to mascara, here are items that students describe as essential for a comfortable day at school.

“I have lotion on me at all times that way I can keep my skin smooth.”

— Bridgett Rivera senior

“It’s a very cute app and you can use it to talk to people all over the world. I use it 3-4 days a week. It’s free and you can [use it] to call and chat.”

— Jessica Alba junior

“I have money in my bag because I go to 7-11 everyday after school to buy food.”

— Chris Phan freshman “I always have a pack of gum [in my backpack] just in case I or a friend might need some. ”

“Its helpful to have mascara in your bag that way you can touch up your makeup at any time.”

— Hammad Lodhi sophomore

—Rayvn Hankinson junior “[I like Snapchat because] you get to see someone’s face. As you use it more and more, it gives you a score.”

— Susan Lin senior

“I keep a charger in my backpack because sometimes my phone dies during the [school] day. ”

— Nelson Bersal junior

“I’m injury prone so I leave bandaids in my bag for emergencies.”

“I use my earbuds a lot during school so I always have them in my bag.”

— Karen Lara freshman

— Nick Torrico senior

“So my lips don’t get chapped I keep chapstick in my bag.”

— Julie Swenton sophomore

–Compiled By Phuong Nguyen

–Compiled By Phuong Nguyen and Diana Quezada

On your smart phone, scan this code using the application “QR code” to read and see a slideshow about the best and dressed celebrities at the Oscars.

Spring forward fashion ideas New spring fashion trends to consider as the warm weather quickly approaches

As alternative to the sometimes unflattering and uncomfortable high waisted jean shorts, try “flowy” high waisted shorts. The loose fit makes an outfit casual and comfortable. Available at Franchesca’s in Tysons Corner Center.

Pair a halter crop top with a shirt or high waisted skirts for a sleek and fun look. They are a good choice for warm weather ahead. Wear a cardigan over halter tops for an appropriate look in school. Available at Garage. A layered skort (shorts/ skirt) is the perfect spring item. It has the comfort and security of shorts but the look of a sleek skirt. Available at Zara.

To add flare to any outfit, add a pair of ankle boots to create a polished and classy look. Available at Urban Outfitters.

Don’t know what to wear? Add a graphic tee or crop top to any bottoms for a relaxed and chic look. Available at Forever 21.

– Pictures compiled by Diana Quezada



Mar. 11, 2014

Spring sports soar into action Boys & Girls Soccer

Boys & Girls Lacrosse

Q: What challenges are you facing this season? A: We play in a tough Conference and our conference teams are always our hardest teams to face - Woodson, West Springfield, Lake Braddock and South County

Head coach William Maglisceau Q: What challenges are you facing this season? A: We have a good amount of kids who don’t have experience on the field at the varsity level. They will have to use scrimmages as experience to get ready for district games.

Q: What advantages does your team have? A: We have a lot of seniors with solid Q: What advantages does your Q: What advantages does your team have? experience. A: We have a lot or returning starters. team have? Q: Who are your biggest rivals? Nine of our 11 players are returning A: The kids care about each other, they want to see each other be starters and we did well in our Why? successful and they support each A: Lake Braddock because they have conference last year. other. They’re very team-oriented. knocked us out of districts the last Q: Who are your biggest rivals? two years. Q: Who are your biggest rivals? Why? A: Our biggest rival is probabaly Lake Why? Q: What is your strategy for Braddock. We always tend to play well,A: Lake Braddock, because they practice and games? knocked us out of the tournament last A: Right now in practices we need to but have a hard time beating them. year. figure out a line up and in games we Q: What is your strategy for need to figure out how to score. Q: What is your strategy for practice and games? practice and games? Q: What are you really focusing A: We will continue to work on the A: Start off small and work up to team aspect of the game. If we can get on this season? A: This year I really want us to win the whole team on the same page, we bigger things at practice. In games we have to get ground balls and make districts and I think we have a good will do well during the season. good decisions once we get the ball. shot.

Boys & Girls Track

Q: What is your strategy for practice and games? A: The strategy for practices are the same as for the meets. We want to compete everyday. If you practice daily and you don’t compete or pushyourself in practice you are much more likely to quit when things get tough in competition so we push hard everyday.

Head coach Phillip Harris

Q: What advantages does your team have? A: We have numbers. We used to have over 200 kids and now we have tryouts so we pick out a group of kids who are dedicated to the sport. Q: Who are your biggest rivals? Why? A: The girls think it is South County because they have an excellent 4x200 relay. Q: What is your strategy for practice and games? A: Interval workouts are great. Q: What are you really focusing on this season? A: Form. Q: What injuries are most common for your team? A: Shin splints.

— Janan Gokturk Sophomore

“I like to run in the sun and get dark-skinned.”

Q: What are you really focusing on this season? A: Team defense, team attack, team transition and teamwork!

Q: What challenges are you facing this season? A: Last year our record was 2-13, we have a lot of challenges so we have a lot that we can improve on. Q: What advantages does your team have? A: I think we have a lot of hungry players, the young blood will be helpful. Q: What is your strategy for practice and games? A: To work on fundamentals and do the same thing over and over and over again.


Q: What challenges are you facing this season? A: Our main challenge is our youth. In tennis, the top six tennis players “start.” This season three out our top six players will be new starters including Yesenia Blount, Lara Raid and Lizeth Laime. Q: What advantages does your team have? A: Senior leadership is our primary strength. Seniors Chloe Loving and Hannah Coulter are the team’s top two players.

Q: Who are your biggest rivals? Why? Q: What are you really focusing A: Lake Braddock HS is out biggest on this season? rival. For the past couple years, A: Fundamentals, when you’re every match has been so close and 2-13 there is obviously something lasts 3-4 hours. wrong. Q: What is your strategy for Q: What else should we know practice and games? about your team? A: To continue working on A: Everyone on the team is a good our strengths – consistency, commitment and teamwork. guy.

— Aviad Gebrehiwot Junior


Head coach Daniel Porter Q: What challenges are you facing this season? A: We want to finish top four in the district and make regionals. We’re in one of them most competitive and talented district and region in the state. Q: What advantages does your team have? A: We have good upperclassmen. [We have advantages] in pitching, and a lot of returning senior atoms. We also have good younger players who are athletic and we have a nice mix of maturity and energy. Q: Who are your biggest rivals? Why? A: Woodson or Lake Braddock. A lot of our kids grew up playing against the kids who go to those schools. Also, we haven’t had a lot of success against those schools. Q: What is your strategy for practice and games? A: To run efficient practices where everyone can be better individually and get us up to be in a better position to win games. Q: What are you really focusing on this season? A: [I am focused on] winning games and having fun. I want guys who enjoy winning games. Hopefully we will have a positive environment. Also, we’re trying to stay aggressive and have a lot of fun.

“Lacrosse season is my favorite sport and it is in the spring.”

— Lemine Cheikh Senior

Conference 7 Teams 1. Annandale 2. Lake Braddock 3. Woodson 4. West Potomac 5. West Springfield 6. South County 7. T.C. Williams

Upcoming spring sports events Girls soccer vs. Langely @ 7 p.m. (A) March 11 Girls tennis vs. Washington-Lee @ 4 p.m. (A) March 11 Boys soccer vs. Marshall @ 7 p.m. (H) March 17



“Lax is life and I enjoy playing outside because the weather is nice.”

Q: Who are your biggest rivals? Why? A: Our biggest rival is always our next opponent! We need to take it one game at a time; any team can beat any other team on any given day!

Head coach Steven Zaret Head coach Hassan Mims

Q: What challenges are you facing this season? A: We are running in a very strong conference. Usually the teams we run against are the teams that win states.

Q: What else should we know about your team? A: [We are] looking forward to having a good year and hopefully the student body will come out to watch a fun baseball game.

Q: What advantages does your team have? A: We have positive “can do” attitude, great senior leaders and hard-working players with great potential and a real love of the game.


Q: Who are your biggest rivals? A: For the boys it’s Lake Braddock because the are the most well rounded team.

Q: What challenges are you facing this season? A: We have a great mix of returning players and players that are new to our team, but we need to develop our rock-solid teamwork.



Q: What advantages does your team have? A: Our biggest advantage is the size of our team. We have so many great student athletes pushing themselves and their fellow teammates to be their best. By far we are the most competitive team in the conference

— Katie Garrish Freshman

Boys & Girls Tennis


Q: What challenges are you facing this season? A: On both the boys and girls side we are looking for more depth in the middle distance and long distance events. We also are in need of some high jumpers.

“How it is the perfect weather to play in.”

Head coach Cindy Hook

Girls tennis vs. Lake Braddock @ 4 p.m. (H) March 17 MELISSA FORTECH, BY ANTENNA

Q: What challenges are you facing this season? A: This year on varsity we have a lot of new players so we’re going to be working on team cohesion. But, I think we have a lot of good leaders this year.

Head coach Janeen Westphal




Head coach Steven Brooks

Head coach Dave O’Hara

What do you like most about spring sports?

Assistant coach Craigan Winkler Q: What challenges are you facing this season? A: We have a great team on the field, but what hurts us now is that we don’t have an experienced pitcher on the field. We have Jocelyn Hotter pitching when she should be in the outfield.

Boys soccer vs. Marshall @ 7 p.m. (H) March 17 Girls lacrosse vs. Thomas Jefferson @ 5:30 p.m. (H) March 18 Boys Tennis vs. South County @ 4 p.m. (H) March 20 Baseball vs. Centrevile @ 6:30 p.m. (A) March 20 Girls lacrosse vs. West Springfield @ 7:30 p.m. (A) March 20 Boys tennis vs. West Springfield @ 4 p.m. (H) March 24 Softball vs. West Springfield @ 6:30 p.m. (H) March 25

Q: What advantages does your team have? A: We have speed on the bases and we have a lot of returning players on varsity this year.

Girls soccer vs. Mount Vernon @ 7 p.m. (H) March 26

Q: Who are your biggest rivals? Why? A: Woodson because both games last year were really tight against them.

Baseball vs. West Potomac @ 6:30 p.m. (A) March 28

Q: What is your strategy for practice and games? A: Take the skills we have now and enhance them and score some runs during the game.

Softball vs. West Potomac @ 6:30 p.m. (A) March 28

Q: What injuries are most common in your sport? A: Concussions and ankle injuries. Q: What else should we know about your team? A: We have a great group of girls coming out this season and the games are going to be good this year. There is going to be a lot of action. Last year, Jocelyn Hotter had 30 stolen bases which is in the VHSL record book. —Complied by Erin Johnson, additional reporting by Noah Nelson, Winnie Mason, Kiara Patino, Alishia Sampene and Alex Zernik

On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to visit the Red and White Golf Classic website to sign up.



Mar. 11, 2014

Tyler Pacak starts his last season on the team before college career


BY MELANIE BENNETT Sports Editor With the winter season over and tryouts complete, the baseball team prepares for their upcoming season. The team has been holding green days since mid Jan. in order to get a jumpstart on the season preparation. “We have been hitting a lot inside the gym, lifting and doing conditioning in order to prepare for the season,” sophomore Aaron Boyd said. Senior Tyler Pacak is especially excited for the season because it is

his final season before attending Randolph-Macon College on a scholarship to play baseball. He recalls what he had to overcome to achieve his success. “I was injured my sophomore and junior year so it was difficult to deal with not playing,” Pacak said. “Lots of people said I would not be able to do it but that just added fuel to my fire to come back and prove everyone wrong.” “The AHS baseball experience has taught me that hard work, dedication and determination to always do your best will help you achieve success,” Pacak said. The team has had a few setbacks in reference to the weather however. The unusual amount of snow this season has caused the team to do most of their practicing indoors. But, when the snow completely melts, the team looks forward to practicing on the field .


SPORTS Baseball prepares for season March 11, 2014

Girls softball has good hopes for the season, even with the inclement weather setbacks BY MELANIE BENNETT Sports Editor

Senior Tyler Pakak practices hitting at baseball practice in preparation for his last season on the team.

Boys and girls tennis starts fresh this spring with many new players and new teams BY CYNTHIA WEINER Staff Writer The boys and girls tennis teams have started their season off promptly after selecting their teams at tryouts. With their new teams in place, the tennis teams are already beginning practices to prepare for a successful season. “Our co-captains are our top seeds. We have six freshmen and several of them have a shot at extensive playing time,” boys head Steven Zaret said about his new team. The composition of the girls team is very different this season. “We have a mix of experienced and beginners this year,” senior Hannah Coulter said. With these new teams in place and fresh players on the court, both teams look towards specific practices to build their team to succeed at meets.

“I am hoping that we compete well and each player improves their game,” girls head coach Hassan Mims said. With this specificity, the girls team is focusing on mentality and match skills to beat their competitors. “Preparing for our first tennis matches includes working on mental toughness and match situations,” Mims said. “This year we want to focus on hitting more winners while becoming more consistent,’ Coulter said. On the boys team, the focus is more on the fundamental skills of the players and this translating into better meets. “For practice I think we’re going to try and make sure everyone has a good foundation,” junior cocaptain Todd Lee said. “I think if everyone has a good handle on basics we’ll be okay.” “With all the snow, we still need more opportunities to work on fundamentals and match play,” boys coach Steven Zaret said. “Fortunately, we have two scrimmages coming up.” With these focused practices for both teams, they hope to be prepared for their first match .against Boys tennis team practices returning the ball over the net at Lake Braddock on March 17. practice.

Boys soccer team starts meeting goals Boys soccer is excited for the amount of chemistry and skill on their team


BY ZEKE YONAS Staff Writer Soccer tryouts for boys took place last week and the team has already been assembled. Players and coaches reflect on tryouts and try to meet expectations for the upcoming season. “Tryouts were difficult because there were a lot of good people,” Mario Veca said. “I was nervous in the beginning, but once I started to calm down, I just did my thing.” “I’m pretty confident we’re going to have a great year as long as we can find a net,” boys varsity soccer coach Ryan Mrowka said. “We got a great group of guys, I think we can take down some big teams.”

The Atoms soccer teams believe they can have a great season as well. They have a lot of players returning from last year. Players on both sides are also very confident about the upcoming soccer season. “We have a very skillful set of guys on the team and I think we can go very far this season” junior Mario Veca said. The soccer coaches are pleased with the things they saw at tryouts and hope to use their strengths to their advantage. “A lot of these guys have been playing for years and have also played together,” Mrowka said. “We also have a few strong, young guys moving up, so there are a lot of positives.” Based on tryouts, coaches have set goals for their team this season and hope they will achieve them. “[Our goal is] to have a better record than last year, and finish in the top two or three in the district,” Mrowka said.

The boys soccer team practices dribbling around opponents at one of their practices.

Girls soccer has high hopes this year Girls soccer is confident with the fact that they have many returning players this season


BY ZEKE YONAS Staff Writer

Jenny McCann (left) works on her headers in a drill with Daniela Salinas (right) at practice.

Soccer tryouts for girls took place last week and teams have already been assembled. Players and coaches reflect on tryouts and try to meet expectations for the upcoming season. “[Tryouts] went really well, I showed off my skills and talents to the coaches”, sophomore Savannah Ross said. “I wasn’t as nervous as last year.” The Atoms girl’s soccer teams believe they can have a great season as well. They have a lot of players returning from last year. “The varsity team is looking very strong,“ girls varsity soccer coach Janeen Westphal said. “We only lost two seniors from last year, so we have nine returning starting players.” Players on both sides are also very confident about the upcoming soccer season. “I think the team is going to do really good this year, we have a lot of talented players on the team this year” Ross said. The soccer coaches are pleased with the things they saw at tryouts and hope to use their strengths to their advantage. “I saw a better fitness level than we had in the past” said coach Westphal. Based on tryouts, coaches have set goals for their team this season and hope they will achieve them. “[Our goal is] to win the conference and to advance farther in the district.”


Tennis hits the court for a new year

Although the weather has not been reflecting the time of year, the girls softball team has been getting ready for this year’s season. “I’m excited for this season,” head coach Cragin Winkler said. “We have a good group of girls that want to work hard and a great new head coach.” As the season begins, the softball team is coming equipped with a new pitching coach and many key senior players. “Last year we were missing a pitcher so this year we have a pitching coach to help the girls,” Winkler said. The softball team is adding a pitching coach to help their girls because they were missing a pitcher the previous year. Winkler admitted that the end of the season would become a bit emotional for her because she would have to let go of many seniors on the team. “This is the first group of girls I’ve coached with for four years,” Winkler said. “It’s going to be tough at the end of the season letting it go because I’ve been with them all four years.” With the winter weather refusing to let go, however, the team has been unable to go out on their field as of yet. “We’re looking forward to actual spring weather,” Winkler said. The softball team is energized and looking forward to going out there and playing some ball.

Alumni Postcard Kurtis Neal Q. What is your favorite memory of AHS soccer? A. “My favorite memory would have to be have fun with the team mates on a ride home on the bus after a win.” Q. What advice would you give a current soccer player this season? A. “My best advice would be to play to the best of your ability and to honestly believe in your abilities.” Q. Why did you choose soccer in general? A. “I enjoyed playing soccer my entire life, and playing for high school was another thing to advance playing soccer and to make friends.” Q. What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome playing AHS soccer? A. “My biggest challenge would have to be keeping up with the game schedule throughout the season.”

Compiled by: Melanie Bennett

18 It’s about time they ended ENTERTAINMENT

SomeTVshowshave lost their appeal BY MARIFE BARAGANO AND AYAH OWEIS Staff Writer and Entertainment Editor

SPOTIFY has a wide range of stations, from ‘Songs to Sing in the Shower’ to ‘Your Favorite Coffeehouse Music.’ You can like songs and add them to playlists.

Using the SHAZAM app, you can hum or play a song and it will detect and find the song for you. It then directs you to different site where you can download the song.

The BAND OF THE DAY app reveals one artist a day. However, users can also look back at previously featured bands.

TV producers need to get the hint; there has been a recurring trend in the length that shows run on air. TV shows that run for too long cause viewers to grow weary on whether or not they should continue watching. Many shows have been dragged on way longer than their they should have while other promising shows have been cut short. Pretty Little Liars is one of these TV shows. Producers continuously add to the original book’s plot and twist the plot every other episode. “I think this show is being dragged on,” sophomore Caroline Lowery said. “People are getting anxious that they don’t know how it ends.” Wi t h t h e s p i n o f f s e r i e s , Ravensworth, the new show is also beginning to take a turn for the worst. Much like Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries is also beginning to lose respect from viewers. As the show goes on, it gets more complicated, making even its most loyal fans confused.

Abdul, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and around half a dozen more, not including guest judges and its loyal host Ryan Seacrest. There are, however, a few shows that have been on air for many years and show no signs of ending, like Supernatural. Supernatural’s creator, Eric Kripke originally intended on the series lasting only three seasons, but because of its constantly growing popularity it continued. The show is now on its ninth season and is still going strong. “I like the show because it has appealing main characters and they have interesting cases,” senior Kelly Pratt said. “It has a great combination of action and horror.” However, even the most loved Two and a Half Men lost viewers when it killed off Charlie Sheen and replaced him with Ashton Kutcher shows run their course. Supernatural Although teen dramas do have an throw in spin-off shows and surprises. is an example of this, much like The America’s Next Top Model has had Simpsons; just because a show is appeal to a younger generation, there needs to be a time where the plot a British Invasion season, a Boys vs loved, that does not mean that it twists and all loose ends are tied up. Girls season and even ordered a spin should go on forever. “I think it should end soon because Competitions shows such as off named Operation Fabulous, that they have done a lot of plotlines,” Project Runway, America’s Next Top was (thankfully) declined by The CW. When judges get switched, that Pratt said. Model, and American Idol have also TV schedules are complicated been added to the list of shows that is when you know a show is ready and packed, making it hard for need to be cancelled, according to to end. American Idol is notorious for amazing new shows to premiere and viewers. These shows usually include some it constant switching of judges. be renewed for second seasons. It’s time for those old shows to type of prize at the end of competition Throughout the years, American and only have one winner; they also Idol has had Simon Cowell, Paula take a step back and let the new talent come in. COURTESY OF CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS

Nine music apps to download

March 11, 2014

“I think American Idol should go away; it’s not fun to watch anymore. It’s done it’s time and they keep adding new judges.”

“I still like the show but it needs to end; it is getting to be repetitive.”

PANDORA is a music streaming app that allows you to create your own playlists or stations. These stations can be based on genre, artist and ‘liked’ songs.

SONGKICK users are able to track their favorite bands for their upcoming events and concerts. It also has alerts the user when a band is coming to a venue near them.

— Sanusi Jalloh senior

The MTV reality tv show started first debuted in 1992 and has had 29 seasons and 557 episodes since. “I feel like the whole show is fake and there’s way too much drama.”

Although the DROPBOX app was originally meant for sharing files and photos, you can easily create a folder and share your music files with friends.

On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to read the review of this year’s Academy Awards.

— Carly Potts senior

The TLC reality tv show is relatively new, starting 2009 but has since had six seasons. “I think Toddlers and Tiaras should be cancelled because it was a dumb show to begin with and it’s not a good show.”

— Jackson Trollinger senior

Even though it is still really funny, it’s time for it to end because no one keeps up with the new episodes anymore.”

The beloved adult animated sitcom first aired on FOX in 1989 and started season 25 in Sept. 2013.

Much like Pandora and Spotify, the BEATS MUSIC app allows you to search an artist, genre or even your mood and then plays songs based on your response.

Shows that need to go

— Natalie Valle senior

LAST.FM is online but can also be found in the app store. This app is an online radio and also notifies its users about events coming up.

The MUSIC MANIAC app lets you search a specific song or album and finds it for you to (legally) download.

American Idol started off strong in July 2002 and have continuously had 13 seasons. They started season 14 this January.

This family based game show first premiered in 1976 and has since had 31 non-consecutive seasons, including a celebrity special.

— Brooke Thadeus sophomore

This reality competition show first premiered in 2003 and has since had 20 seasons, including an All Stars season and a British Invasion season.

“I think it started out with a main idea and as the show went on it lost track and started to add things like ‘British Invasion’ and it got annoying. ”

— Jessica Ferson freshman


March 11, 2014

Disney changes its views

Are the developing female roles in the movie a good thing?

BY MEGAN RYAN Entertainment Editor What do you first think of when someone says the word “princess” to you? Do you think of a respectable and classy woman in a big dress, or a woman carrying a bow and arrow who wears raggy dresses and shoes? If you thought that they should be elegant and graceful, then you’re in agreement with most people. But with these statistics, this means that we should not consider the new Disney characters “Princesses.” In Brave, for example, the main character Merida (Kelly MacDonald) shows signs of burliness and manliness. Between her defying her parents and while fighting her inner self, she does not possess the qualities that a princess should. Instead of being considered Disney princesses, they should be considered disney warriors because they would rather fight in a battle than ride a horse to her mothers house to have tea. Even though in the movie Brave, Merida is a literal princess, she does not posses the true qualities of a Disney princess, such as grace. The original princesses, like Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty all contain poise and classiness. They are beautiful and wait for their “knight in shining armor” to come and save them, Rather than showing some form of aggression and fighting the battles themselves. When I was growing up, Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Belle were the original princesses and with that mentality that my knight in shining armor needs to come save me. I grew up with those princesses and how they act. They are classy, elegant and that’s always what I think of when I think of being a princess. The modern Disney is trying too hard to cater to the feminist values that are prevalent in today’s society. Instead of the women having their battles fought for them by their esteemed princes in shining armor, they are having to fight their own battles. The biggest issue I have with the new princesses is that they are not the original ones and that these new so called “princesses” are taking the younger generations by storm. The original princesses were made and created by Walt Disney’s era and he saw over them. This was his idea of how the original princess should be and act. Another prime example is Kate Middleton. She is elegant and classy, poised and beautiful. She doesn’t eat like a man and looks like a typical princess. She performs her duty as a princess by appealing to her country and having people like her as a role model for its women and girls. She is the classic princess role model. Even with the roles of women changing, there is still that expectation that the princesses should be classy and perform those classic princess roles.


BY SACHA CAMERON Staff Writer Being a princess does not equal needing to be saved. Young girls everywhere dream about being a princess, living in a castle and marrying a prince. As such, Disney princesses are very popular and many girls dress up as their favorite for Halloween or when playing make-believe. The most senior members of the Disney princess ‘club’ include Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. With each princess movie that was made, more were added into the club. Apparently, there’s some controversy over whether the newest Disney princesses should even be included in that exclusive group. So what makes up a Disney princess? Above all else, they are role models that are seen by millions of young, impressionable kids. Girls grow up wanting to be like them, which is why it is very important for Disney to create very strong female characters for them to idolize. The oldest Disney princess movies, like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, were about a couple of girls who were asleep most of the movie and saved at the end by a prince they barely knew but ended up marrying anyway. As time has gone on, the Disney princesses have transformed from girls whose life ambition were to meet a handsome prince to strong-minded individuals who stand up for themselves and their oppressed families. Belle and Jasmine both questioned marriage and the lives they were expected to lead. Mulan challenged the strictest of gender stereotypes and saved the lives of many of her male friends. Now, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Anna and Elsa (from The Princess & The Frog, Tangled, Brave and Frozen, respectively) are to be added to the list of Disney princesses. They are all strong role models in their own rights. Tiana started her own business. Rapunzel didn’t need a man to rescue her. Merida didn’t even have a love interest, but she had really cool bow-and-arrow skills and a refreshingly unconventional look. For Anna and Elsa, familial love triumphed over any external love interests. Girls deserve to be able to pretend to be princesses, with everything that comes with it. But they also deserve to be shown role models that clearly show that they don’t need to be saved by men instead of damsels-in-distress that sing, “Someday my prince will come.” Just because princesses nowadays don’t fit into the classic princess troupe does not mean they shouldn’t be included as an official Disney princess. Young girls deserve to be able to pretend to be their favorite princess. Why shouldn’t that princess be a strong, independent individual? It’s the 21st century. We need some more princesses with a modern mindset and Disney princesses are moving in the right direction.


What Disney Prince or Princess do you consider yourself to be?


Horoscopes Pisces (Feb.19- Mar. 20) This week you’re fun to be around, and hanging out with your friend gives you an amazing bond. Opportunities will be at your doorstep so act on it.

Aries (Mar. 21- Apr. 19) During this week your mind will be focused on your money and possessions. But don’t forget the simple things in life and take a step back because your mind is going faster than your body.

Taurus (Apr. 20-May 20) You might be feeling overworked this week and that you need to take a break. You should block out any and all distractions and focus on the more important things in life.

Gemini May 21- June 20) You will face many issues this week and you might not know how to go on. Ask someone for help and don’t be self reliant. But everything around you will be better than before so enjoy it!

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You will be in your feelings this week but pay attention to what you’re feeling it might surprise you. Keep it to yourself but still hang out with friends because you will also be charming.

Leo (July 23- Aug 22) You have been stressed about something lately, but stop worrying because everything will work out if you just face your problem head on instead of ignoring it.

Virgo (Aug.23-Sept.22) Everything has been decent for you lately, and it will only get better from here so take chances that come to you because it will result in something amazing.

“I consider myself to be Mulan because she is brave and a hero for her country. ”

“Elsa because she has ice power and can run in heels, up slippery ice stair cases.”

—Sasha Silva freshman

—Toby Singh freshman

“I consider myself to be Cinderella because she is really pretty, and so am I.”

— Alex Ramos sophomore

“Aladdin because he’s really sneaky and mischievous. I happen to be sneaky, too. ”

—Daisia Kranwinkel junior

“Sleeping Beauty because I’m always tired and I just sit in my house and watch Netflix until a hunk comes and hangs out with me”

—Kara Hoisington junior

“I’m most like Taiana because I love to cook and I happen to be black.”

— Chealsea Barrett senior

“Rapunzel from Tangled because she is really independent and I think that is a strong quality to have.”

— Laikumah Faisal senior

The Best Movie Remakes True Grit (1969)

The Original

The Remake

A classic western starring John Wayne includes a mix of violence and heartfelt acting. There is also a slight feel for comedy as Wayne has a big belly, spits and takes bad guys off to jail, portraying the original cowboy role

True Grit (2010) It’s made by the Coen Brothers, and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards. That just says it all. Jeff Bridges did an amazing job as Rooster Cogburn along with Hailee Steinfield as a first acting role.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Between the music, the exploration of a young boy following his dreams and having element of a classic film make it amazing. It is just a genuinely good movie for the entire family.

This version of the movie stuck closer to the storyline and the improved graphic techonology just added to the film. Not to mention, Johnny Depp is just amazing with his quirkiness.

Libra (Sept.23-Oct. 22) You haven’t been noticing that you’re pushing a certain person away. Try to seek out old friends that you may have been ignoring or mistreating and confront them about everything.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Being independent is always a good thing but if you aren’t happy with the current people in your life don’t settle for being alone. Take the opportunity to get close with new people.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Someone close to you has made it clear that you are doing something that makes them upset. Don’t ignore that information. Really try to fix this issue because it may lead to future problems.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan 19) You have recently experienced a loss. If it involves social or love life, keep in touch with your emotions. An unexpected third party will also come and help you when you need it.


Hairspray (1988)

Hairspray (2007)

This movie was honestly creepy in a sense. Edna was not portrayed the best because she was just extremely visually unappealing Although, the period and settings were on point. Everything else just lacked.

With Zac Efron and John Travolta, this version of Hairspray brought a lot of popularity to this film. There was such a wide range of characters, which truly enhanced the film.

(Jan. 20- Feb. 18) In the near future you will have to give up something for a freind but as time goes on you will realize that it kept you from making a big mistake.

King Kong (2005)

King Kong (1933)

This version of the film is a lot more realistic given the advanced CGI technology. With the use of the CGI, Kong has a much wider range of emotions, which makes the audience feel for him.

For the age it was produced in, the special effects and the movie itself was amazing. They used claymation to produce what they couldn’t do electronically, which is impressive in itself.

Watch this one!

On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to read about the Titanfall beta and a preview to the game.

20 Upcoming Events in the Capital Cherry Blossom Festival


March 11, 2014

Take me out to the ball game Students anxiously await the Washington Nationals’ opening day

Atoms show their nattitude

When: March 20 - April 13 Where: National Mall What: The Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual celebration of not only the arrival of spring and the Cherry Blossoms, but also of the relationship between Japan and The United States. Celebrate the festival by going to one of the many cultural art shows, paddle boat tours, dance classes and many other daily activities during the festival while surrounded by the natural beauty of spring in the capital. The peak bloom dates are forcasted to be from April 7-11.

Ringling Bro’s and Barnum & Bailey

BY GABY CAMILLI Weekend Editor America’s favorite pastime is far from dead in the nation’s capital. In just two weeks, the streets of Washington D.C. will become jam packed with devout baseball fans embracing their Natitude. Many AHS students anxiously await the first pitch at the Washington Nationals Season opener on April 4th against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park at 1:05 p.m. “I’m hoping they will win the East and go deep into the playoffs this year,” senior Noah Wolfenstein said. “My dad gets 25 games a year from an office pool; we usually sit in section 110 which is on the third base line.” The official Washington Nationals website offers both single game tickets and multi-game package deals. Ticket prices vary based off of seating and there are often many specials that the website offers. Tickets to the season opener can also be bought at for as low as $37 and for as low as $46.95. Many students get ticket deals through their parents work. “My dad shares season tickets with his office and we sit in club section,” senior Carly Klima said. “My favorite part of the game is the presidents race and during the 7th inning stretch when the whole crowd sings along.” Nationals Park offers a wide variety of performances, food and games to draw in their fans. Some of their delicious food establishments include Ben’s Chili Bowl, Boardwalk Fries, Capitol Creamery, Hard Times Café, Steak of the Union and Georgetown Grill. “My favorite part is watching the game and walking around the stadium to get food. We sit right up behind the visiting team dug out on the third base line and the tickets are about $55 each,” sophomore Sara Deible said. The Nats have been a beacon of hope for D.C. sports in the past several years as the team has grown in both talent and fan base. The stadium embodies the vibrant, exciting atmosphere of the Capitol and makes for the perfect location for the beautiful game. “I think my favorite aspect is the atmosphere of the stadium, everyone is really excited about the game and it makes it more fun to watch,” junior Lee Hayes said. Baseball has featured national scrutiny and a loss of interest due to its lengthy nature. However, Nats Stadium has brought life back into the sport by including features like the Presidents Race and stadium giveaways. “My favorite part is the last couple of innings of close games and I usually sit on the first base side middle level,” sophomore Tucker Mack said. Unfortunately, crowded stadiums means crowded roads, so if you are planning on driving leave early. If you are planning on taking the metro, take the green line to the Navy Yard stop which is located one block north of the stadium.

When: March 20-23 Where: Verizon Center What: With an array of fearless circus performers, talented exotic animals, astonishing acrobats and amazing energy, The Greatest Show on Earth makes for a spectacular perfomance that will leave you in awe. Tickets to the Greatest Show on Earth are available for purchase online on and vary in price.

Aer Concert

When: March 22 Where: The Fillmore Silver Spring What: The two artists that make up Aer have brought a fresh sound to pop-rap. With hit songs like Feel I Bring and Floats my Boat, the pair are both talented and unique in their sound. Tickets to the concert are available online for purchase for $15, the concert starts at 8:30 p.m.

2014 class bulletin Make sure to buy Color Craze tickets! 50 percent of the profits from tickets bought by seniors go to our class!

Dessert BOSSES

As frequenters at Swiss Bakery, we already knew what to order. The Ismelda is a personal favorite made up of two raspberry macaroons with custard in the middle and raspberries on the side. The taste and the display of the bakery’s pastries, ice cream and deli foods are exquisite. Swiss Bakery is located in the Ravensworth Shopping Center.

Ismelda Rating:

Weekend Editors Gaby Camilli and Priya Adhikary rate the best pastries that Annandale has to offer.


Graduation countdown: 98 days! Seniors, make sure to participate in both the class competitions and spirit week!


The Swiss Bakery

Breeze Bakery Cafe Located at 4125 Hummer Road, Breeze Cafe is a quaint two floor bakery cafe that features a terrace overlooking Annandale. Breeze offers a variety of delicious sweets from refreshing gelato to home baked breads and delicious cakes and pastries. The mouth watering selection of treats mixed with the atmosphere make Breeze Bakery Cafe our top pick for bakeries in Annandale.

Tiffany’s Bakery


Located at 7022 Columbia Pike in the Silverados shopping center, the first thing we noticed about the bakery was the delicious smell of fresh baked goods. We ordered the Old Fashioned Napoleon and we highly recommend this sweet and light cake. It was the perfect size to split and extremely affordable.

Old-Fashioned Napoleon

Strawberry Cake

Rating: Rating:

2 On your smartphone, scan the above code using the application “QR Code” to look at a “Last Weekend I” from an AHS student.

Shilla Bakery For someone with a big appetite who is not looking to spend a lot of money, Shilla Bakery is the perfect place. They offer free samples for the majority of the food items in the bakery. From their signature bubble tea to their delicious array of breads and pastries and sandwiches, Shilla’s selection was enormous. It is located at 7309 Little River Turnpike.

Oreo Monster


Napoleon Bakery Napoleon Bakery offered several samples of pastries which made it much easier to select a food item. We went with the twisted donuts which had a funnel cakelike taste which was absolutely delicious. The Bakery’s menu was more focused on breads rather than sweets if you are in the mood for something other than a pastry dessert. The bakery is located at 4217 Annandale Center Drive.

Twisted Donut

Rating: Rating:

Issue 8  

the a-blast re-pdf

Issue 8  

the a-blast re-pdf