Page 1

Environmental Club’s efforts to end recycling contamination prove successful, p. A2

Volume 14 Number 3

James Hubert Blake HS

Silver Spring, MD

December 16, 2011

Eaglin gets chance to shine in Bieber, Carey music video

Junior has cameo appearance in “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Larisha Winley x & Leisha Winley Junior Emily Eaglin appeared in Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey’s music video “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which has over 11,000,000 views since its premiere on YouTube November 30. The music video was filmed at Macy’s in Times Square in early

had our moments,” says Eaglin. “Mariah was the nicest and looked like an angel on set [and] Justin was so much fun and such a kid at heart.” While on set, Mariah Carey also taught Eaglin her backup vocals for the song. Eaglin found out her call time for 10pm from her manager and went to

November. “I mostly chilled with Mariah, [her dog] Jill E. Bean and Santa, though Justin and I

Forever 21 for the winter

dress code for the video. Eaglin, who was accompanied by her mother, Christina Eaglin, then had to go to Macy’s to get her makeup done. Says Eaglin, “It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.” The shoot lasted until 9am the next day. Says Mrs. Eaglin, “It was exhausting, but you really don’t mind the lack of sleep because of the energy, and the people were so much fun to hang out with.” A few weeks after the video was filmed, it premiered at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting. “My mom and I literally jumped up and screeched when we saw our first frame. I knew my career was finally going somewhere,” says Eaglin, who appears 12 times throughout the music video, “but [I] had no clue I would get recognition from people who didn’t know I was in it as they tuned in.” Eaglin’s mother appears alongside her in the music video. Adds Mrs. Eaglin, “Emily is self-driven and truly takes her acting as a serious career. It was wonderful to see her on national television.” Mrs. Eaglin was not planning to appear in the video, but when a producer

asked her to partake she couldn’t pass up the chance. “I am glad I [participated]; it was a wonderful experience to share with my daughter.” Eaglin has been acting since she was six years old, when she appeared in a Freddie Mac commercial. She has since done numerous commercials, print ads, television projects and professional musical theatre. “I am thrilled to support her dream, watch her blossom and reach her potential,” says Mrs. Eaglin. “I think it’s important, not only for Emily, but for anyone to go after their dreams,” adds Mrs. Eaglin. “If you sit around and never go after something you really want with all your heart, you will never know how successful you would be.” Eaglin also has future projects in the works.

Graphic by GhulamNabi Sallman

Gay, bisexual students recount their experiences in coming out

Decision to reveal sexuality changes teenagers’ lives exponentially

by Savannah Doane-Malotte x & Kristen Frese Coming out of the closet, or revealing one’s sexuality to the public, is a very difficult and life-changing decision for any gay, lesbian or bisexual teenager, and has affected many of our own Blake students. “Even at a school like Blake, people who are gay are seen as odd or weird,” says Allies for Equality sponsor Mary Wagner. “Coming out is a risk because you don’t know how people will treat you afterwards.” Many students at Blake have exposed their sexuality, which is acknowledged as a giant step in each of their lives. Senior Malcolm Jenkins came out in middle school, but has felt more than comfortable at Blake as an openly gay male. Jenkins came out before 7th grade

Girls’ varsity basketball opens season with blowout game, p. D1

because he no longer wanted to hide his true sexuality. Jenkins says, “It’s easier to just be myself and not have to deny who I am when people ask me about my sexuality.”

If [your friends] accept you, that’s all that matters. Malcolm Jenkins The friendly environment within the school has helped Jenkins embrace himself more and find many

Alumna teen mom reveals her cherished time with baby, p. C1

people who accept him for who he truly is. “I was already out when I got to Blake…but the vast majority of students and all of the staff are either vocally supportive or haven’t directly addressed it,” says Jenkins. “Both responses create the ideal environment for gay people.” Though he is aware that homophobes exist within the hallways, he has not had a direct encounter and tries to ignore them. As for coming out, he believes that telling friends and allowing them to spread the word is the best way to inform classmates about one’s sexuality. Says Jenkins, “If they accept you, that’s all that matters; if they don’t, they aren’t your true friends.” CONTINUED ON PAGE A3

New gaming sensation scores high among teenagers, p. C3

New TLC show hopes to end anti-Muslim behavior, challenge stereotypes, p. B1


The Blake Beat

December 16, 2011

New curfew bill stalled as County Council debates merit by Savannah Doane-Malotte x & Kristen Frese

Students, teachers outraged on law limiting hours of activity, question constitutionality

Montgomery County’s controversial youth curfew bill has been tabled indefinitely after a 6-3 vote by the County Council December 6, putting the proposed law on hold until council members vote for reconsideration. The legislation would prohibit teens under the age of 18 from being out 11pm – 5am on weekdays and 12am – 5am on weekends. “The county really shouldn’t be able to have that [amount of] control over people,” says junior Maddy Bruffy. “I think that it will really put a damper on parties for everyone who goes out and walks home.” County Executive Ike Leggett originally introduced the bill in result of the July gang-related stabbing in Silver Spring. Events such as the flash mob thefts of the Germantown and Silver Spring 7-11 stores have also contributed to support for the bill. Many of the law’s supporters are concerned with teen safety as well as the

youth crime rate. However, many believe that the bill is not an appropriate approach to fighting crime and is not necessary for most Montgomery County teenagers. Raised concerns for racial profiling and infringement on youths’ civil liberties led the council members to put the law on the back burner for the time being. NSL Government teacher Mary Wagner says, “I think it is outrageous – [they should] punish the lawbreakers, not the innocent teens who are following the rules.” The bill says that due to a lack of maturity, minors are more susceptible to partaking in crimes. Says senior Daniel Louloudes, “A few bad kids are ruining

things for the silent majority; people don’t pay attention to the everyday kids who do what they’re supposed to.” Many students are outraged at the potential curfew bill, stating that plans do not always have a set end time and they should not be punished because of that. The bill allows minors to be at a movie theater past curfew as long as the film started before the curfew time, but still restricts many other late night teen activities. Some people are arguing over the constitutionality of the bill. Law teacher Donna Phillips says, “It is not unconstitutional, in my opinion, especially because it specifically states that teens retain their first amendment rights.” In addition, according to the 10th Amendment, local governments have the authority to control matters such as curfew. Mrs. Wagner disagrees with the constitutionality of the bill, however, saying, “I think [the bill] is punishing kids for something they have not yet done.”

Environmentally conscious Bengals fill school with new recycling bins Community makes necessary changes to lessen Blake’s contamination by Karen Vanegas x& Jake Gordon Attempting to improve Blake’s recycling rate to more than 30 percent from last year’s 21 percent, the science department and the Environmental Club recently teamed up to promote the usage of tall, sleek recycling bins. This recycling initiative is present county-wide in an effort to reduce amounts of trash. Environmental science teacher Nicole Houchens says, “In general, staff and students should remember

that it is our world, so we should conserve our resources.” Before the new and improved recycling bins, called Slim Jims, were introduced, the recycling bins of first-floor classrooms were at an astonishing 70 percent contamination level, while second-floor classrooms were at a whopping 77 percent. A paper recycling bin is considered contaminated if it contains any trash or non-paper item. However, contamination levels and the amount of infamous green notifications on classroom doors have decreased by more than

half since the beginning of this operation. “We may only be one small club in a local high school, but all mass movements start small and build from the base up,” says senior Anthony Bui, “So our role is nevertheless important.” The Environmental Club has played a pivotal part in creating awareness on this issue, helping spread the philosophy of environmentalism. Its members have even reached administration and negotiated with them to make sure that all recyclables actually get recycled.

The School Energy and Recycling Team (SERT) also encourages staff and students to recycle bottles and cans in designated bins located in the school’s hallways. Energy conservation is the committee’s other focus. Orange signs have been placed in classrooms as a reminder to turn off the lights. School faculty members are reminded to turn off electronic devices, turn off lights, shut blinds and close all windows at the end of the day. “We’re definitely on our way to fulfilling [our goals for this campaign],” says senior Tai Ramsey.

Anthony Bui

The Blake Beat


December 16, 2011

New NHS inductees walk stage proudly Most outstanding Bengals become part of prestigious club x by Ann Cirincione & Maryam Outlaw Twenty-eight juniors and seniors became the newest members of the National Honor Society (NHS) in an official induction ceremony December 5. The ceremony included musical performances, speeches by current members and encouraging words from the faculty. “It’s something that makes it real,” says NHS sponsor Katie Kodan. “Everybody’s dressed up and the parents are there…it’s a nice way to welcome [students] to NHS.” After signing a book to indicate their acceptance, fall inductees formally joined the school’s largest club. All members will have to complete community service activities to remain part of the club. Says senior and NHS co-induction chair Derick Ansah, “New members of NHS have the responsibility of continuing this level of participation in our community and possibly making it even greater.”

Junior Anna Steinfeld, recently inducted at the ceremony, is eager for the upcoming year as well. “I’m excited to learn how I can be a better leader in my community,” says Steinfeld. “I will learn the qualities necessary to be successful in life.” Being in the NHS requires an elevated resume. Members must have an unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.5 or weighted GPA of 4.0, 60 Student Service Learning hours and demonstrate good behavior during class and extracurricular activities. “[NHS members] are held to a really high standard,” says NHS sponsor Beth Shepherd. “They have to think about the decisions that they make.” To be accepted into NHS, students submit their applications to the faculty advisory committee, who reads them over to make sure they meet the criteria. There isn’t a limit to the number of students who can be admitted to the NHS, but due to the requirements, only a select number of Blake students are eligible. “We want [NHS members] to be role models and leaders here at Blake,” says Ms. Shepherd. “We want them to pull other kids into positive activities.” Along with organizing service projects, NHS members tutor students in the Academic Commitment to Excellence program during lunch. “The induction is really just an outward sign that you’re in,” says principal Christopher Berry. “[It] says you’re here [and] you’ve made it... [now] here’s what’s important about this organization and heres what you need to do.” As a new year for the NHS approaches, students will quickly find themselves busy aiding each other in charitable endeavors.

Anna Steinfeld

Classroom meets congress in constitutional knowledge showcase

and succeed.” Dr. Phillips and other staff members created Global Issues and the Law after the success of eight students who attended a mock hearing as an exhibition team. “This experience really changes the students who participate in it…it gives them much more of a stake in our democratic system,” says Dr. Phillips. In the classroom, the group benefits from contact with Congress members and the support of various organizations. Guest speakers including Maryland state senator Paul Pinsky, and Mary Beth Tinker, from 1969 Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines, have been invited to speak with the class in the near future. The class will also observe the Maryland General Assembly soon and is planning to go on a field trip to the Supreme Court. Although many of the students currently enrolled do not plan to pursue political science as a career, the course has helped them grow as individuals. “I am not that great of a public speaker but I know that all of the speeches we have to give and write will help me in the future,” says senior Kim Toxie. Dr. Phillips adds, “[These students] are more likely to participate in politics. They are also able to keep up with current events and make better informed decisions.”

Teens attain valuable experience in American politics, public speaking

x by Janine Taira & Karen Vanegas

Today, local and state officials will be at Blake acting as judges for the regional Mock Congressional Hearing (MCH) in which Global Issues and the Law students will discuss local, national and international topics. In the MCH, students will testify before a panel to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles for four minutes. Judges will question the speakers, who will have opportunities to take, defend and evaluate positions on historical and contemporary issues. “This is truly civic education at its best. Students [obtain] real-world experiences,” says social studies teacher Donna Phillips. Since Blake is the only school competing in the region, the team will automatically move on to the State Simulated Hearings taking place February 3 in Annapolis. If Dr. Phillips’ class wins first place in state, they will advance to the national Simulated Congressional Hearing in Washington, D.C. taking place next April. Even so, the idea of public speaking can intimidate most high school students. Senior Nick Tatnall says, “I am pretty nervous, but I [have practiced] very hard and I feel like I’ll go out there

This is truly civic education at its best. Students [obtain] real-world experiences. Donna Phillips

MCPS policy says yes to struggling students seeking second chance Re-take option reassures quiz-takers, eliminates underachievement by Danielle Moore x & Nicole Sterling Controversy has recently risen over MCPS’ retake policy regarding quizzes; some believe giving this extra chance is a positive, while others believe it is sending the wrong message to students. The progressing issue with the retake policy questions whether or not students are taking advantage of the policy and getting a second chance that they don’t truly deserve. “The retake policy doesn’t really prepare us for life because in life you rarely get second chances,”

says junior Becca Schwartz. Many students rely on retakes to improve their grades. However, there is a growing trend in not studying the first time, knowing there is always another option to fall back on. “Last year I used to not study the first time for some classes because I knew the retake was the same as the first one,” says senior Julie Lopatka. While the retake policy provides students with another opportunity to get a better grade, it does tend to add to the pile of work for teachers. However, biology teacher Elaine Power doesn’t

mind the extra work. “What I want to make sure is that [students] know [the material] before the concept shows up on their unit test, which they can’t retake,” says Mrs. Power. Teachers and educators aren’t oblivious to the retake trend, but most agree that students are only hurting themselves by not putting in the time or effort to learn. Not all students rely on the retake policy, but they do feel more comfortable knowing that it is a backup option. Senior Erica Wang says, “It is nice to know that when I haven’t studied enough or didn’t understand the content, I will still have

another chance to improve my grade.” Most students see a huge increase in their overall grades at the end of the quarter because of the boost that retakes give. Although retakes seem helpful, they come with the task of re-studying and potentially having to prove to the teacher that one understands the material. Many teachers are known for making students do infamous ‘quiz corrections’ as a way to reinforce what they learn. “It’s better to study for the first one, so you don’t have to take time out of your life to sit through [the quiz taking] horror again,” adds Wang.

Homosexual minors possibly face oppression, bullying in real world

Blake provides adolescents safe haven from harassment, ignorance CONTINUED FROM A1 Senior Steven Alvarado decided to announce his bisexuality at the end of his junior year as he believed that people’s opinions wouldn’t affect or upset him. Having already told many of his close friends, Alvarado posted a Facebook status in May to tell other students about his sexuality. Though aware of the bullying he could face for coming out, Alvarado decided that his openness and happiness was more important than what bullies would have to say. Senior Kealea Foy, who began to identify herself as bisexual in seventh grade, decided to officially come out sophomore year after joining Allies for Equality. Says Foy, “I came to Blake as the shy new girl…and joining [A4E] made me not only feel welcome but also completely safe and respected, which was refreshing.”

Foy encourages students to openly talk about their feelings about their sexuality in order to deal with the struggles of being homosexual and coming out. “Talk it out with any and everyone who’s willing to listen,” says Foy. Not all students feel as safe announcing their sexuality or do not have the proper support. Gregory Johnson* tells only a select group of people about his bisexuality, in fears of hatred and rumors being spread. Johnson does not want his family to discover his sexuality as he believes they are very judgmental. Says Johnson, “I don’t think I would ever be accepted in my family, therefore I don’t think I will ever come out [to them].” He was hoping to come out to the student body next year, but is no longer sure because the news would reach his family. Johnson believes the hatred of homosexuals is decreasing, but still worries about the torture many gay

students around the world endure. Johnson says, “It’s really not anyone’s business to know my sexuality, [so] it really shouldn’t bother people.” Mrs. Wagner also acknowledges that these same problems exist for those who are perceived to be gay, or seem to fit the homosexual stereotype. “These students have a hard time defending themselves,” says Mrs. Wagner. “We need to remember to be supportive of everybody.” Students and staff alike encourage homosexual or bisexual students to make the decision to come out at their own time. Adds Alvarado, “Students should come out when they feel ready and not simply because they’re being pressured to come out by people who already know.” These teens also urge teenagers who are burdened by their sexuality or don’t know how to come out to find support within their family and friends. *Name has been changed.


December 16, 2011

The Blake Beat


Aida finished its strong run November 19 after performing six shows. From top, Aida, played by senior Alex Reeves (double cast with senior Yasmin Wamala), holds an Egyptian guard captive. Center left, Zoser, played by junior Sam Jaffe, plots the Pharaoh’s death. Center, Radames, played by senior Yann Ellinghaus (double cast with junior Ryan Reynolds) returns to

Egypt from war in Nubia. Center right, Amneris, played by junior Jourdan Lewanda (double cast with sophomore Michelle Carter) sings the story of the two lovers, Aida and Radames. Bottom left, sophomore Rebecca Hill strikes a pose in a fashion show. Bottom right, Wamala as Aida, leads her fellow Nubians to redemption. -- photos by Dennis Chan

The Blake Beat


December 16, 2011

Recent grads to share college experiences with seniors seeking advice

Alumni Panel event allows former students to speak minds, give guidance

x by Molly Cohen & Emily Simmons Juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to discuss the college experience with Blake graduates at the Alumni Panel in the amphitheatre next Friday at 12:30pm. The Alumni Panel has been a tradition since Blake’s first graduating class of 2001. Alumni at this year’s panel will include current college freshmen Aron Crews and Daniel Arias. The panel will discuss college advice, among other topics. “You need to have a plan for your life,” says Crews. “It doesn’t matter if you only have a rough idea. You need to have goals and plans set for yourself.” College and career counselor Katherine Moore recommends the panel to all juniors and seniors. “We hope that our juniors and seniors listen to the advice from our 2011 grads,” says Mrs. Moore. She advises students to start planning ahead, work towards good grades, take rigorous courses and participate in extracurricular activities and community service opportunities.

Says Arias, “I know that [last year] I greatly benefited from talking with people who had already been through the application process.” The panel may provide the extra boost needed to help ease students through the college application process.

Blake was really great at helping make that transition as smooth as possible. Daniel Arias

Crews, a freshman at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, is taking part in the panel to share his wisdom with the students of Blake. “I love helping others,” adds Crews. “I want to share my knowledge with all of the amazing people

at Blake.” Arias, who attends Yale University, enjoys the freedom and vast experiences that come with the college experience. “College offers a unique and wonderful opportunity to meet cool people, engage in exciting projects and mature as a person,” says Arias. “There is no other [experience] quite like it.” “Blake was really great at helping make that transition as smooth as possible,” says Arias. The panel is strategically placed in the middle of the school year, as many students are eagerly awaiting acceptance letters from the colleges they have applied to. The hope is that it will make ease the nerves of stressed-out students. Arias has one last piece of advice: “Be yourself. I know it’s totally cliché, but if you express your unique interests and show your genuine enthusiasm in pursuing them, you will stand out among the crowd.” Arias and Crews are the only confirmed participants at this time, but more are expected to take part in the panel.

Limiting passes perfect solution for teachers

by Priya Dadlani x & Jane Hwang

Lillian Watkins

Student complaints pertaining to teachers in our school who give out a limited amount of bathroom passes during the year have been increasing because of its annoyance and unfairness. Environmental science teacher Nicole Houchens limits the number of passes to three times per quarter. She has a very systematic way of letting students out of the classroom and she sticks to it the whole year. “I only let one student out of the room at a time, so they usually know that they have to get back,” says Mrs. Houchens. Most students do not agree with the teacher’s view on restroom usage. “I find it to be restricting,” adds junior

Lillian Watkins. ”I think teachers do it so people do not use the bathroom as an excuse to skip, but not all of us skip.” Watkins, as well as many others, would appreciate more trust and freedom from their teachers. Biology teacher Elaine Power believes that any missed class time is crucial to a student’s learning and gives each student a bathroom sheet with four passes per quarter. She suggests leaving the classroom for only three minutes. “[Using the restroom] is really disruptive, and an enormous waste of everyone else’s time,” says Mrs. Power. “It becomes an easy way to get out of class, which often means they miss important concepts.” “I have found that SAT prep, with its long testing sessions, inspires wanderlust among students and generates

a great number of hall pass requests,” says English and SAT prep teacher Joseph Caulfield. Although he says he would never deny anyone from going to the bathroom while they had an “emergency,” Mr. Caulfield gives any student who has used up their passes, which Mr. Caulfield hands out to students in the beginning of the year for the entire semester, a 20 minute lunch detention if they have a “crisis.” Complaints about these enforced bathroom rules have only grown in the past year. “We can’t control when we have to use the restroom; teachers are humans just like us and they should understand this,” says junior Patrick Richard. However, teachers do not reteach things to students who miss class because of bathroom visits.

[Using the restroom] is really disruptive, and an enormous waste of everyone else’s time. Elaine Power


The Blake Beat

December 16, 2011

Students, teachers benefit from Zero Tolerance for Zeroes

School policy results in decreased ineligibility, increased work ethic x by Joal Chen & Janine Taira Freshmen ineligibility decreased first quarter and the percentage of students on honor roll increased notably under the “Zero Tolerance for Zeroes” (ZTZ) campaign, which promotes zero-free grade reports and an improved freshmen mentoring program. From fourth quarter last year to first quarter this year, 178 extra students made honor roll, making a 31% increase in the number of students on honor roll. Spanish teacher Monica Abuliak, who started the ZTZ program with other resource teachers, believes that the program has contributed to the school-wide progress. “[ZTZ] brings awareness to the school community that zeroes are unacceptable,” says Mrs. Abuliak. She believes that this system will lead to students checking their grades more frequently. Adds Spanish teacher Denise Ramos-Roman, “[ZTZ] has its pros and cons, [but] we’ve had a lot of girls going over the 2.5 GPA that we ask for.” In 2011, the overall freshman ineligibility dropped by 3.4% . But when broken up by race, African-Americans, Asian and Hispanics saw a decrease in ineligibility while there was no change in Caucasian freshman. ZTZ, unlike the mentoring program, is a school-wide initiative to stop zeros. In the first quarter, students who had no zeroes in grade reports were able to receive Coke Zeros, while in the beginning of the second quarter Propel Zeros were provided to students without zeros. “A free soda may be a nice reward for people who don’t have zeroes, but it does not provide much incentive for people who are already falling behind on their schoolwork,” adds senior mentor Danielle Blocker. Mrs. Abuliak, along with other faculty members, hopes that these rewards prompt students who may be receiving zeroes to make a change. “I think they hear the [ZTZ] message and subliminally it makes them think twice about an assignment they might otherwise [not complete],” says Mrs. Abuliak. Adds junior mentor Michael Kister, “ZTZ shows students that administration cares, which can provide some motivation, but what will really get the student to do their work is a personal commitment to success.” Though the program is intended for all students, not everyone is feeling the effects of the program. Junior mentor Erik Barrios says, “I don’t think there is a change in attitude among the students because of ZTZ. Since our mentees are just freshmen, they aren’t really aware of the [school] policies.” “The program can’t make every student a straight-A student,” says Kister, “but it has helped individuals gain a stronger work ethic and a lower tolerance for bad grades.”

Percentage of Students at James Hubert Blake Who Were Ineligible First Quarter for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012



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Grade 11



Grade 12



Online attendance updates leave educators at ease, teens on edge Edline’s technological advancements hitting way too close to home by Adele Leishman x & Ellen Wood

Since the beginning of second quarter, Edline now informs parents and students of absences in each class, the date of the absence and whether or not it is excused. Living in a world full of technology with constant advancements, school policies have changed, whether for better or for worse. The new attendance feature on Edline has everyone on their toes. Many, like senior Courtney

Cristaldi, are trying extra hard to get to class on time and get their absent notes in. “Sometimes I forget to have my mom write a note, and by the time three days goes by, I no longer can get that absence excused [even if it’s supposed to be],” says Cristaldi. “With this new [policy] thing, I’m afraid of failing with these mistakenly unexcused absences.” For teachers, this policy may be a sigh of relief. They no longer have to bounce back and forth between two different programs. This

eliminates the hassle of forgotten passwords and tedious screen names for each time a teacher wants to take attendance or enter in a grade. Says history teacher Mrs. Rowe, “It’s phenomenal. It really makes [the process] easier in the long run.” Now, it’s just one simple program for both attendance and grades. Although Edline benefits teachers that are already bogged down from grading at the end of the quarter, some students take an opposite stand on the new attendance

policy. “I don’t think there is really a difference between [attendance] voicemail and email,” says freshman Daniel York*. “It just makes no sense and wastes time.” The policy, though strictly enforced, makes mistakes that displease students like sophomore Luke Marks. “[It makes me mad because] my parents have punished me several times already for the false accusations of being late or absent,” Marks says. The new Edline policy has left inaccurate emails to Marks’s parents, saying

that he is not in class. Most students feel the policy is a burden rather than helpful. While some parents and staff rejoice the program, many students are sitting at home on weekends, loathing the new attendance policy for punishing them more than the regular voicemails did. Says Marks, “Let’s just hope Edline doesn’t add more into the mix- then I would officially have no social life.” *Names have been changed.

I don’t think there is a real difference between [attendance] voicemail and email. It just makes no sense and wastes time. Daniel York*


December 16, 2011

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Senior David Hylton was awarded the Posse scholarship to Pepperdine University in Malibu, California December 7. The Posse scholarship is a full tuition scholarship awarded based off of leadership, community service and diversity. Hylton went through a three-stage interview process, the first in September and the last December 7. The Posse


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For the first time in four years, Fuego Latino participated in the MCPS Annual Latin Dance Competition. Senior Ginayra Garcia placed second in the Jack and Jill division with Einstein High School senior David Cuevas, and Garcia placed third in the Salsa couples division with senior Diego Vallejos. Junior Katia Segura and her father placed third in the Parent-Student division. Senior Karen Vanegas was awarded the Leadership Award by the After School Dance Fund. n n n




The Blake Beat

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Foundation is an organization that recruits, identifies and trains students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential. Hylton will be attending an award ceremony January 4, congratulating him on his accomplishment. Starting in mid-January, Hylton will be attending weekly meetings at the Posse headquarters in DC with nine other individuals from across the DC-Metro area who also got the scholarship for Pepperdine until he goes to college in August. Hylton was the only winner from Blake this year. This scholarship was awarded to two Blake students last year. n



Looking for a new way to stay connected to Blake athletics? The athletic department has created a Twitter account providing fans the latest updates on Bengal athletic events. So if you can’t make a game, @BlakeAthletics is your source to catch big plays and score updates. “Two Magnus Richards dunks and Blake Varsity boys are up 10-0.”- @BlakeAth-


letics December 6.




Juniors Andrew Latona (guitar), Hannah Wynne (alto saxophone) and Greg Chaimson (trumpet) made the 2011 All County Jazz Band. They performed Tuesday night at the Kennedy Center. The band members tried out in the beginning of the year by performing a piece given to them by their band instructor. They practice once a week at Walter Johnson High School. n



Senior Samuel Rivera, member of Burtonsville’s troop 480, became an Eagle Scout Saturday in a ceremony attended by family and friends after multiple years participating in his troop. To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, Rivera completed a community service project building benches in the courtyard at Benjamin Banneker Middle School. Rivera plans on assisting his brother through the Boy Scout process and will continue to help his troop in their activities.


December 16 Varsity Girls’ Basketball vs. Quince Orchard, 7pm Varsity Boys’ Basketball at Quince Orchard, 7pm JV Girls’ Basketball vs. Quince Orchard, 5:15pm JV Boys’ Basketball at Quince Orchard, 5:15pm

December 17

Boys’ Swim and Dive vs. Poolesville, 9:15am Girls’ Swim and Dive vs. Poolesville, 9:15am Varsity Wrestling vs. Einstein, 1pm Varsity Wrestling vs. Rockville, 1pm

CALENDAR December 19 Varsity Girls’ Basketball at Wootton, 7pm Varsity Boys’ Basketball vs. Wootton, 7pm JV Girls’ Basketball at Wootton, 5:15pm JV Boys’ Basketball vs. Wootton, 5:15pm

December 20 Varsity Wrestling at Walter Johnson, 6pm JV Wrestling at Walter Johnson, 7pm PTSA Meeting, 6:30pm Choral Concert, 7:30pm

December 21 Varsity Girls’ Basketball vs. Springbrook, 5:15pm Varsity Boys’ Basketball vs. Springbrook, 7pm JV Girls’ Basketball at Springbrook, 3:30pm JV Boys’ Basketball at Springbrook, 5:15pm

December 22

Varsity Wrestling vs. Clarksburg, 6pm JV Wrestling vs. Clarksburg, 7pm Holiday Band Concert, 7:30pm


December 16, 2011

The Blake Beat

Senior doesn’t understand Taylor Swift’s appeal, questions if success is deserved, p. B7

Section B

Hot trend captures art of tarnishing snapshots

Blake Beat Opinion

December 16, 2011

Photobomber antics give new meaning to picture perfection

x by Lucas Irvin

Photo op! You make sure your hair looks perfect, put one arm around the person with you, position the other on your waist and put on your prettiest smile. And when someone finally snaps the picture, some random person is jumping and screaming in the background. That random person is likely to be me. Combining my inability to take myself seriously for a fraction of a second and the opportunity to peeve my picturesquely posed peers, photobombing is among my favorite hobbies. It is especially fun because anyone can participate, be it around friends or complete strangers. Photobombing is always entertaining, regardless of how you do it, whether by jumping, flailing your arms or simply making the most disturbing face possible. However, if you want to elevate photobombing into an art form, you must move past these basic, overused attention seekers and get more creative. As an improvisational art form, you can’t plan exactly what to do, but you can be prepared when the opportunity strikes. Be on constant lookout for opportunities and be able to make instantaneous judgment calls on what would best (or from the view of the photographer, worst) action to take. Props and partners help, giving you more possibilities. Eating disgustingly is nice, juggling on a unicycle is better. Whatever you do, make sure you detract as much attention as possible from the actual subject of the picture. If you think that you have reached the position of master photobomber, you may be eligible to join the Ordo Fratrum Bombrum, a centuries-old society of masters going all the way back to the era of painting bombing. Submit your portfolio of your best work to me and we will deem you worthy or not of entry. If you survive initiation and become a member of the Order, you can get your own portrait (there are some pretty hilarious ones mounted in the Lodge) and come to meetings. Next Saturday, we’re all dressing up in gorilla suits and going to the Mall to photobomb as many unassuming tourists as possible.

Locked up students face repercussions for the rest of their lives x by Vanessa Newman

All of us probably know at least one student who has gotten arrested, but what a lot of students don’t know is how getting arrested now can affect the rest of one’s adult life. Let’s face it; teenagers can act pretty stupid sometimes. From the one time you decided to drive home after illegally consuming alcohol at that house party, to the time your headphones broke and you figured stealing a new pair would be more convenient than buying new ones, you should know that these actions have the potential to render some serious con-

sequences. Some of the top reasons teenagers get arrested include driving under the influence, shoplifting, assault, overly exercising one’s right to free speech (i.e. participating

convictions is drug possession. It’s hypothetical situation time… Let’s say you’re 17 and you just got convicted for possession of marijuana. Well, you can forget filling out the FAFSA; drug convictions automatically

When you make decisions...they can damage your life far beyond your teenage years. in out-of-hand protests) and drug possession. So you got arrested for one of these things, now what? In my opinion, the worst of all these

disqualify you from financial aid. No big deal, you didn’t think college would be for you anyway. So you’re considering the Navy, Army or Air Force.

Or perhaps you have plans of working for the government or a bank after high school. Well, I wish you luck because each of those jobs could choose not to hire you because of your criminal record. So now you’re 18. Your parents kicked you out the house because you’re now officially an adult. But because of that one adolescent mistake, you now can’t afford college and in today’s economy, you probably can’t find a job either. This scenario doesn’t sound like the life any teenager wants to live out. So keep in mind, when you make decisions, don’t make stupid ones; because they can damage your life far beyond your teenage years.

Many Americans’ views of Muslim community shaped by stereotypes x by Savannah Doane-Malotte

Americans have a superficial image of what looks like a terrorist imprinted in their minds basically anyone who looks like Osama Bin Laden.

Upon seeing a man with tan skin, dark facial hair and a turban, or a woman with conservative clothes and a traditional hijab covering her hair, most Americans can’t help but to think one thing: terrorist. A terrorist, according to Google Dictionary, is a person who uses terrorism (violence or intimidation) in the pursuit of political aims. But within the past decade, Americans’ stereotype of a terrorist has changed. Because of the September 11th attacks, the Iraq War and other related events, those who are MiddleEastern American or Muslim American are seen as our country’s primary enemies. This trend has grown to be so widespread that it has gained the official title of Islamophobia. It is appalling that our nation, where so many come to escape persecution, is still persecuting its own citizens. Middle Eastern Americans do not deserve this prejudice that is heaped upon them, as they are just as American as anyone else. Americans have a superficial image of what looks like a terrorist imprinted in their minds – basically anyone who resembles Osama Bin Laden. This results in hatred and oppression of those who aren’t even Arab, Muslim or Iraqi. Because of their “similarities in appearance”, there have been many incidents of attacks

on Christian, Sikh and Hindu Arabs, Iranians (who constitute a different ethnicity than Arabs), as well as South Asians. This stereotype therefore not only affects Arab and Muslim Americans, but also those who only appear to be Arab or Muslim. This mindset against these groups is not only wrong, but is strongly racist. There is no difference between this discrimination and the discrimination of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The question is: did we learn our lesson, or are we going to continue to blame an entire race or religion on one group’s actions? The new TLC show, All-American Muslim (which airs Sundays at 10pm), aims to break down the racial barriers against Muslim Americans. In the show, Muslim American families acknowledge the existence of opposition against their faith and background, while enlightening viewers on who they truly are. I most definitely recommend this program to the public - it will make you think twice before you stereotype. The next time you want to classify someone as a terrorist, don’t look to Middle Easterners. Someone who talks about hating America and is planning to bomb a historical landmark, for example, is probably more likely to be a terrorist. So I ask of you, stop the religious and racial prejudice against our fellow Americans. It’s immoral, ignorant and against our nation’s core values of tolerance and acceptance.


December 16, 2011

The Blake Beat

All I want for Christmas is stop playing music x by Michael Errigo Radio stations seem to go crazy when the holiday season rolls around, playing the same holiday classics over and over again. This repetitive music turns the “most wonderful time of the year” into a nightmare. Some radio stations began playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving. What’s the point of this? If their goal is to make their listeners despise these holiday tunes by the time Christmas rolls around, then mission accomplished. Holiday music is a great background for activities such as decorating the tree and opening presents, but not for buying a turkey. Christmas music and Thanksgiving just do not mix no matter how hard radio stations try to force them to. Not only do radio stations repeat the same songs, but they play some songs that are down right bad. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”? Really? That song is an insult to Grandmas and Christmas lovers everywhere. Also, I don’t know about you, but for me, nothing says happy holidays quite like Madonna singing “Santa Baby”. There’s just something about a pop star telling us about how she loves Santa a bit too much that warms the soul. I hope this diatribe doesn’t make me seem like some kind of Scrooge. I don’t hate all Christmas music. In fact, there are some songs that I’m quite fond of. But this fondness tends to disappear when the radio plays them to death. “Silver Bells” is played so much that I’m pretty sure Kenny G himself is sick of hearing it. I understand that the point of this music is to

get people in the Christmas spirit, but when I hear “Feliz Navidad” three times in an hour the only thing I want to say is “adios.” In a world where every station (even our favorite HOT 99.5) seems to play the same ten songs on a loop and the Delilah After Dark show is considered cathartic, “bad radio” is not unusual. I guess I just assumed that it would be hard to tarnish Christmas music and the joy that it brings;

When I hear “Feliz Navidad,” the only thing I want to say is adios.

many times. The Christmas season is a time of gifts and all I want this year is one simple thing: some variety. All I ask is that these radio stations switch it up a bit. Throw in some lesser played songs like “Run, Run Rudolph” by Chuck Berry or “This Christmas” by Chris Brown. Songs like these have a modern flair to them that is sure to appeal to the masses. Having said that, if I ever have to hear a song from Justin Bieber’s ill-attempt at a Christmas album on the radio, I may just throw up. Maybe I am a part of the minority. Maybe there are people out there who can stand to hear the same songs an infinite amount of times. I f

there are, then these radio stations will never stop. So, while Bing Crosby is busy dreaming of a white Christmas, I’ll be dreaming of a a November day during which I can turn on the radio and not hear the same incessant Christmas music.

but it seems that I was wrong. I can’t be sure of this but these holiday radio stations may secretly be the reason why the Grinch stole Christmas. He must’ve heard the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas song one t o o

Students hooked on top choice before receiving acceptance letters

Seniors need to keep college options open during application process x by Leah Patterson After hours of visits, searches, essays and applications, responses from colleges are beginning to roll in. For some seniors, this is a series of uplifting acceptances and disappointing rejections. But for others, the decision of one school can make or break their entire future and lead to some crushing disappointment. While it’s okay to have a number one school, no school is perfect. Every college is either going to have boring food or terrible weather or strange professors. Some students spend so much

time romanticizing the idea of their “dream school,” which can really lead to a bitter disappointment when it’s not everything they imagined it to be. What people should also understand is that much of the admissions decision is completely random and has nothing to do with you. Colleges are looking for specific numbers to shape their school body. There’s a chance you might not get in, even if it seems like the perfect school for you. Students shouldn’t invest all their energy into one school that might reject them for reasons they cannot

control. This mindset probably starts way before seniors start rushing to fill out their applications. With all of the college-search sites and social media we use now to help us “shop” for colleges, we spend so much time narrowing down our list that our list becomes a single college. It’s so much easier to find something wrong with all the colleges that aren’t your number one choice in order to rationalize your fixation on that one school. It’s important to find a way to search for schools with an open, fresh mind. Every time you go on

an interview or visit a campus, focus only on that school. If you spend too much time comparing it to another school, it will never live up to the other school and the ideas you’ve built up surrounding it. And what’s most important to remember is that you’ll probably be fine wherever you end up if you keep an open mind. It’s okay to be excited about a school, but it would be to your benefit to consider the vast array of other options. The possibility of rejection is bitter and painful, and it can only be made worse if you focus your hopes too much into one college.

But for others, the decision of one school can make or break their entire future.

The Blake Beat


December 16, 2011

Senior reforms school course offerings, dreams of classier future Curriculum gets revolutionized as Joiner calls for new studies x by Michael Joiner Reflecting on my years at Blake, I’ve come to realize that its high school curriculum lacks imagination and needs some pepping up; so I have developed the following courses that will add the zing back into school. In Cooking for a High Schooler’s Palate, students will learn how to prepare all of their most favorite foods, including such complex foods as microwaveable Easy Mac, Strawberry Frosted Pop Tarts, Movie Theater Buttered Popcorn, and Cup o’ Noodles soup (students will be supervised for safety purposes). Not only will students be able to eat these delicacies, but the class will have an entrepreneurial aspect allowing for sales to other starving students. All students who take a foreign language class will agree with me that online translators have become their best

friends. In Languages of the World, Google Translate is your teacher as you become immediately fluent in any language. You won’t have a full sense of the difficulty of the language, but as long as you can communicate your thoughts, does it really matter? Let’s chat about Mime Class 101, or actually, let’s not say a word! Mime class has one of the easiest lesson plans: don’t talk or you’ll fail. Some students will struggle at first—especially those professional conversationalists in each grade—but as soon as students realize that the teacher won’t be talking either, they’ll realize it’s their dream class. I ask you, what could be better than a 45-minute class without an annoying teacher nagging and lecturing you? MCPS officials will love The Art of Naptime. Students in this class will snooze away to sounds of chirping crickets and rushing waterfalls. No longer will the

county be haunted by the specter of tired teenagers or worried about the early start time for high schoolers. Now students will be able to simultaneously recoup those lost hours of sleep and improve their GPA. I’ve heard too many times from Blake teachers that we students take our historically rich environments for granted, but fear no more my soon-to-be former teachers, we are about to be the adventurers you always wanted us to be. In Field Trips Extraordinaire, our new classroom will be the great outdoors. From our nation’s capital to the beaches of Florida (my personal favorite), we have no boundaries for where we can learn. When we are hours away from Blake, I don’t think we will be hearing any more comments from the disappointed staff. No doubt these classes will be highly popular, and should they be added to the curriculum, I might just have to repeat my senior year.

No doubt these classes will be highly popular, and should they be added to the curriculum. I might just have to repeat my senior year.

Tweeters take desperate measures to top total Twitter followers Determined teenagers post usernames in attempt to gain social status x by John Beers Ever since its beginning in 2006, Twitter has taken off among celebrities and highschool students alike. However, there is something that the everyday teenager doesn’t seem to understand: having a Twitter does not make you a celebrity. It has become a trend among Twitter users at Blake to go to somewhat extreme mea-

sures to gain followers. What started as simple as “I’ll follow you if you follow me” has escalated into antics such as posting their Twitter names on Facebook with the plea “FOLLOW ME!” Those desperate for followers have turned to writing their Twitter names on the chalk boards throughout the school, hoping to lure extra readers for the endless stream of tweets. The difference between

these people and celebrities is that the general masses really don’t care about what normal people think—they just care about what celebrities have to tweet. While many would like to consider themselves among the likes of Lady Gaga (16.1 million followers), Justin Bieber (14.6 million followers) or even President Obama (11.2 million followers), the simple fact is you aren’t on their level, Twitter or


otherwise. When celebrities tweet about the release date of their latest movie or newest album with a picture of them with their latest romantic interest, people flock to it quicker than Rebecca Black can name the days of the week. However, if people cared half as much about your tweets on how the test you are not studying for is ruining your life or how disappointing the latest Redskins game


was, you would get more than the occasional re-tweet. So next time you think that your tweet about #thingslongerthankimsmarriage was the funniest thing since the idea of Kim Kardashian actually getting married in the first place, stop and ask yourself: Is this really so funny that I need to nag other people to follow me just to see it? More often than not, the answer will be no.

Blackberry iPhone 4S Baby Shiloh Baby Knowles American Idol X Factor Trees ICC Class of 2011 Class of 2012 Twilight Hunger Games Selena Gomez Emily Eaglin Planking Slothing/Tebowing Toddlers and Tiaras Dance Moms Mariah Carey Adele Vans Toms Oprah Anderson iPods in class Phones at lunch Cougar couples Dating your own age Sarah Palin Michele Bachmann Rams Head Fillmore Graphic by Ellen Wood


The Blake Beat

Decemer 16, 2011

Senior goes ham on lunch lines, demands organization Congestion, lack of management proves headache for Blake’s hungriest x by Robert Krakaur The 10:51 bell rings. You run down the stairs and into the cafeteria, only to be disheartened by the hordes of people already pushing and shoving their way for food they may not even get. Anyone who has tried their luck at buying lunch knows what I’m talking about. Within one minute of the bell ringing, the two center lunch lines (the only two out of the four with good food) are mobbed with hundreds of Blake’s hungriest. The line on the left is titled Soup/

Salad & Deli. I am by no means expecting the servers to adhere to these titles. They are meaningless to me. But I think the fact that this line only serves chips and cookies while people are waiting almost all of lunch for food is ridiculous. How can anyone expect us to eat a healthy meal when it’s so difficult to get real food? We have clubs to go to, teachers to see. Most people don’t have time to camp out for 40 minutes for a hamburger. This mismanagement line organization has only one exception: the line on the right, titled Hot Food. This is laughable

because they serve NO FOOD. It was closed last year; the explanation given was because of “rude people.” If administration thinks rude people are going to stop being rude, I can assure them that it’s not working. If anything, they are even ruder because there are fewer lines for more people. “But Robert, don’t they have anyone to slow down the chaos?” They sort of do... security is in the cafeteria, but they just stand at each line, relaxed, arms folded. The mad scramble for food outside is of no concern to them. So after waiting 35-40 minutes for that

steak and cheese sub, you get to the front and they tell you there are no more. This happens all the time, and it begs the question: why not buy more? I am sure the servers would not lose money, as there are always people looking for more fries or cheese dippers. I write this urging administration to either: 1. Open all the lines to promote efficiency, or 2. Give Blake open lunch to reduce congestion in the cafeteria. Before you tell me to take a bagged lunch to school, I encourage you to try my mom’s “tuna” sandwich (the FDA is still investigating the “tuna”).

Students recognize fads that stand test of time, stronger than ever Chucks, Beatles, SNL still rage after decades of recognition, prominence by Kristen Frese x & Nicole Sterling With the new year approaching, we all like to find the things that are “In” and those things that were SO 2011 (See B3). But as we put together this list, we couldn’t help but notice that there are some trends that just never lost popularity. Let’s start it off with our favorite drink: Coca Cola. Nothing can get as timeless as this; it’s in every vending machine, every restaurant, and has even spun off a series of flavored Coca Cola drinks, such Coca Cola Zero, Coca Cola Cherry and Coca Cola Vanilla. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, thrilled us all with every

song he released. Although he passed away, his music is still very much alive. Dances like “the Dougie” and “the Cupid Shuffle” may be Youtube hits for a while, but no dance will ever exceed the fame of “Thriller.” Even our own Poms squad performs this hit every year on Halloween. And let’s not forget The Beatles. Do we even need to talk about how they’re timeless? They’ve been proven to be one of the most successful bands in music history and their songs will forever live on. After their albums were added to iTunes in recent years, their popularity has soared once again. Now let’s move on to fashion- Levi jeans, anyone? You probably have at least one pair

in your dresser and the vintage styles from the 1930’s are now even more “in” than a brand new pair of Hollister jeans. Grease by itself is a movie we’ll never stop loving, but it’s the shoes that Danny wore that will truly never stop being stylish. Chuck Taylor’s, by Converse, can be found in any teenagers’ closet, regardless of gender. Though they all started out black and white, they now range in different patterns and colors. Created in 1917, your grandparents might even own a pair. The standard for appearances changes every year. One year girls should be curvy and voluptuous, the next year thin is the only way to look. But girls can always turn to their little black

dress to make sure they’re stylish. When full figures are in, these tight black dresses can accentuate curves. When being skinny is back in, black dresses help girls look slim. In terms of TV shows, it seems there is a new series coming out every month. When a new show gains popularity, another show ends and is quickly forgotten. But Saturday Night Live (SNL) has been on for over 25 years and still keeps us up until 1am watching. This is one show where a new cast doesn’t hinder the quality of the show. So, while throwing out your Blackberry and Vans to keep up with the latest 2012 trends, don’t forget to stop and remember these timeless classics.

We couldn’t help but notice that there are some trends that just never lose popularity.

The Blake Beat


December 16, 2011

Happily ever after: more of a fantasy than it seems

Movies create Prince Charming persona that are not authentic x by Hayley Fixler Cue the heavy rainstorm, the dramatic music and star-crossed lovers confessing their passionate affection for one another, and you’ve got yourself a romantic movie scene that captivates us all. We’ve all seen romantic movies that make us sigh with envy and hope, that one day our own prince will come. But are these movies really helping us by providing us an escape from reality and hope for the future? Or do they give us a false sense of romance and relationships? From an early age, Disney has drilled into our brains that love will prevail; that some perfect guy will come to rescue you, sweep you off your feet and carry you (with those amazingly toned arm muscles) to his castle. As we grow older, we learn that not everyone can become royalty and that fairy godmothers aren’t real. However we still cling to the notion that the perfect love and the perfect fairy tale romance still exists. I’m not a cynic. I believe in true love, and appreciate romantic comedies and tear-jerkers like any other

17-year-old girl. But while watching The Notebook (for the 20th time) with some friends a couple weeks ago, I realized that no matter how hard I look, I will never have a Noah Calhoun. And for that matter, there will never be a Landon Carter from A Walk To Remember or Titanic’s Jack Dawson or any other perfect guy who devotes himself to the girl he becomes infatuated with. This is not to say that guys like that don’t exist – I’m sure some do. But they are the exception, not the rule. Movies have created this fantasy; this flawless image of a perfect boyfriend, fiancée or husband that the real male race can’t possibly fully live up to. As a result, females have become “picky”, over-analyzing each prospect and finding the flaws in every one of them. So while we all love romantic movies, it’s important to realize that that kind of love is not real. Love is real, but the image that we have when we close our eyes and envision our future lover isn’t. It’s imperative to take a step back and be thankful for all the wonderful guys out there that aren’t Hollywood’s Prince Charming, but rather our own special prince.

Storybook fairy tales join to create new happily ever after “Once Upon A Time,” others emerge as fresh twists on classics

x by Niki Byrd Once upon a time in a land far, far away...well, you know the rest. Or do you? Recently, the classic fairytales that we all know and love have come back into our lives with unexpected twists. This year alone, two new shows based on fairytales, Once Upon a Time and Grimm, as well as two movies, Beastly and Red Riding Hood, were created. And let’s not forget last year’s Tangled and Alice in Wonderland, which are undoubtedly new classics. I am personally addicted to Once Upon a Time, which centers on a little town in Maine where fairytale characters are unaware of their real identities, for the wicked queen has cursed them to live in an alternate world – our world. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I know all the words to the Tangled soundtrack and own the DVD. Sometimes, however, these new spins on old classics spin out of control. Producers and directors try-

ing to improve fairytales often push the envelope a little too far, creating a dark and morphed version of the original. For instance, in Red Riding Hood, instead of a little girl going to grandma’s house, Amanda Seyfried is offered as a sacrifice to a werewolf and is caught in a love triangle. This is just the beginning. Word has already spread that two new versions of Snow White are in process, as well as a new Hansel and Gretel and a new Sleeping Beauty. But why the sudden return to fairytales? I think fairytales are a source of common ground for everyone. We all know them, and whether we deny it or not we all have a soft spot for a “happily ever after” – I know I do. Fairytales never get old, and I will continue to come back to my ancient VCR to watch Cinderella. And that’s why these new versions are such a success. Despite the new, modern, and sometimes dark twists (which are occasionally overdone) they still remind us of when we were children, and that never gets old.

Taylor Swift still reaps benefits from notorious Kanye West VMA incident Pop country artist triumphs at award shows due to American sympathy vote

x by David Hylton

“Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you…I’ll let you finish. But Adele had one of the best albums of all time!” This is what I wished interrupted Taylor Swift as she accepted her award for Artist of the Year at the 2011 American Music Awards (AMA). The victory of this 22-year-old girl triumphed a woman who has undeniably one of the best voices of all timethe world’s new favorite star: Adele - or an artist who made history this year (Katy Perry tied Michael Jackson’s record for most number one singles from one album), is an absolute conspiracy. First off, can anyone think of any major hits Swift had this year? Hello? (Crickets chirping…) Oh right, she hasn’t. People like to think that

Taylor Swift is an amazing artist, but what has she done that makes her so special? All she does is write songs calling out the things her ex’s have done wrong (side note: if every song is about a different guy, maybe you are the problem), whine on stage (no, not sing, but whine) and try to win hearts over by acting like a 17 year old girl (I swear, she’s been 17 for five years now). So why is she winning all of these awards? Because people still feel bad for her due to the MTV 2009 Video Music Awards incident in which Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech, receiving America’s sympathy; but do we need to continue to harp on it? It’s been two years now. I feel as though people make it sure that she wins whatever awards she is nominated for in order to cancel out her “horrible experience.” For example, Billboard

named Taylor Swift Woman of the Year for 2011…really? Yeah, it completely makes sense to ignore Katy Perry who became the first woman ever to score five number ones off of one album, I mean that’s not a big deal or anything. It’s not like Taylor Swift’s Speak Now album sold millions less than Adele’s 21 album even though it has been out longer, I mean pshh who cares about that? When it comes down to it, Taylor Swift, although some may disagree, is just a “come and go” artist, as I like to call it. When she releases new material, people go crazy about it for a week or two, until they realize she’s just written the same vengeful or heartbroken lyrics just to a different tune over and over again. Does this type of artist really deserve the same awards that have been given to the legendary Beyoncé? Mmm…I don’t think so.

Attention seekers’ lack talent on reality TV shows, frustate junior

Selfish wannabes pull incredible stunts to get fifteen minutes of fame x by Emily Eaglin These days, you can be a reality star by doing just about anything: from getting pregnant at 16 to getting drunk and partying your pants off to airing all 19 of your children for the world to see. Only two Bachelor couples have actually had a “happily ever after.” Fame and scandals have torn apart the majority of the couples including the most recent bachelorette Ashley Herbert and her beau J.P. These shows cause viewers to think

there are a group of young and attractive people out there who would fight for them, but how real can a reality show centered on finding your ‘soul mate’ be? And then there are families like the Kardashians. They are frequently referred to as “America’s favorite family” but what have they actually done? They do not deserve to be famous just because they have good genes and a daughter with a sex tape. And now we have to question if Kim was really desperate to get married just for the fame.

The reality show Real World portrays people doing stupid things like getting disgustingly drunk and hooking up with strangers. The people on this show degrade themselves just for the fame and fortune of being on TV. It seems that people have no limit as to what they’ll do for attention, but there is nothing real about creating fake relationships for a few extra bucks. I’m not bashing all reality TV. In fact, lots of the reality TV shows that we have to select from are as close to real as

a “reality show” can get; and they actually serve a purpose. The cast of The Buried Life, the documenters of True Life, and Andrew Jenks’ show World of Jenks all remind us that reality shows don’t have to be trashy. Ace of Cakes and DC Cupcake (both close to home) are also prime examples of how everyday professions just like catering can turn into something entertaining and huge. Instead of watching all these scripted and bogus shows, live your life and make your own reality.

The Blake Beat


December 16, 2011

The James Hubert Blake administration, faculty & staff congratulate these students on making 1st Quarter Honor Roll 9th GRADE Barnabas Afley Sarah Ajih Oritsetsolaye Ayuka Troy Alexander Andrea Andrade Princess Anyaibe Tiffany Azenon Dyniyah Beaudouin Sage Bennett Zachary Berry Nathan Bonsu Taylor Boone Bronson Boyd John Bunke Kate Campbell Elana Carr Alexis Carter Joshua Chaimson Chun Chan Keith Chen Richelle Claytor Alison Comer Aaron Cooke Erika Cornejo Katherine Delaney Margaret Delaney Zana Dempsie Brian Dicken Vinson Do Kieran Dollemore Buffee Dorsey Logan Dreher Kira Dunlap Maya Eaglin Kathleen Edquiban Olivia English Bronwyn Evans EMILY EVANS NAOMI FESSEHA Juan Fisher Nailah Fisher KHALIA FLORES-MADISON Gabriella Garcia-Ruiz Brook Gil Malcolm Gilbert DANIEL GOLDBERG Ariel Gomez Tenay Graham Alyssia Graves Elizabeth Gross Andrea Guirola Melissa Guzman BENJAMIN HALEY ELANA HARRIS Zoe Hatzes Markel Hawkins Sophie Hayman Frank Hedgepeth Jordan Holbrook Jina Huleis Jolin Huleis Courtney Hutchinson Ashley Jackson Orlando James Jr. Brandon Johnson Grace Johnson Cameron Jones Colleen Kalkofen LEVKO KARMAZYN Dina Khadder Samuel King NIKOS KOUFOS FILIP LAESTADIUS Jaleel Larkins Mark Lee Keenan Lo Amanda Long Samantha Lowenthal Samantha Luckert Michelle Markward Chloe Martin Poteet Nijaee Mathis-Butler Wyatt McInturff Ashley McLaughlin Janelle McLaughlin Jordan McLean Summer Meile Na’ila Mendonca Mariatou Mendy Stephen Michur Allysa Mulrain Melissa Mulrain Kate Murphy Olivia Ndebumadu Jamal Nganga Anh-Thu Nguyen Tyler Nine Madeleine Noonan-Shueh Christopher Nugent MAX O’GRADY Adedamola Orimolade Emily Park Cameron Payton Camila Penaloza Keyri Perez-Roque Adassa Phillips Thomas Plihal Leon Polyzos Avery Potts Taanya Puthran Jenna Ramirez Lexxus Ransom Amber Reese Bryson Reyes Marygrace Reyes Shianne Richardson Taylor Riddick Leslie Rodriguez Francesca Sabelhaus Martha Sam Kyla Schweber Adrian Sebion Gerardo Serrano Jr. Stacy Shin COLLEEN SIMMONS Emerson Sirk

Ian Smith Charles Spaid Kimberly Specht Samantha Steel Sydney Steel Nicholas Steffes William Taggart Maika Taguchi Renee Treacy Datena Trinh Isaac Umar Alice Umoh Natalia Ventura Chensley Villasson Jacqueline Villatoro Keri Walker Darien Waters Deborah Waters JORDAN WEBER Chloe Wehling Ebony Wolfe Sydney Wolk JOAN WOOD Leon Yeung 10th GRADE Alexis Afamefune CLAUDIA ALARCO Stephania Andino-Escobar Abigia Arage MARY ARONNE HUNTER BALOG Edward Bamfo Tiffany Barrett Nicole Barriga Zachary Bartlett Sean Bartley Gregory Bell JULIA BELL Adam Beuttler Grayson Boone Sarah Bridegum TORIE BROER Asha Brown Niara Brown SILVIA BUGLIO KEVIN BUI Kimberly Callahan Jewel Campbell Tayahd Campbell Devin Cannon Sherry-Mae Canoy Jasmine Carter MICHELLE CARTER Justin Chan Samantha Chau Chukwujindu Chiazor Shoshanna Chito ANN CIRINCIONE Bryan Citrenbaum Matthew Clanton Casey Clark Kaelyn Clark Myles Clark Jay Cleofe Kaylah Cooper Rene Cordon Alison Coyne Alexis Crispin RILEY CRUICKSHANK Gabrielle Cudjoe Dario De Los Santos Yancy Del Cid Yodit Denu Kaylie Deshler Natalie Domaas Miles Douglas Ashley Escobar Jahmilla Fisher JASON FLEISCHER Morgan Fletcher Xavier Fox Emma Friedman MAIA GADSDEN Kimia Gaines Shawn Gamarra Jason Glantz REBECCA GLATT Tavares Glover Leah Goldberg Betsy Gomez Andy Gonzales Patrick Griffin Sandra Guevara Alexandra Hadyka LILLIAN HALLMARK Bethany Hamson ASHA HENLEY Rebecca Hill Kirsten Hines Cathleen Ho Thao Hoang George Hyde Jacqueline Hyman Hyla Jacobson Ashley Johnson Gabrielle Jones Madeline Kalen Dong Kang Daniel Keller Eunseo Kim Amanda King Sophia Klein Jocelyn Ko Alana Kominski Mina Konaka Emily Kong John Kos Alexandra Krakaur Clauton Kum Zachary Kushner Meyer Lahat Cassie Le Gracia Le Jamie Lee THEODORA LEMBEROS Nicole Lertora

Christina Lim Faubricio Lopez Laura Lopez DUNCHADHN LYONS Mahdi Malik Oscar Mariscal Kevonn Martin THEODORA MARTIN Kristina McKenna Logan McMurray Tatyanna Mitler Angela Mix Mary Molloy Nyah Muhammad Diego Munoz Jamie Nathlar Radelle Ndi Brigit Ngaleu Kevin Nguyen VAN NHAN NGUYEN Danielle Norris DAPHNE O’GRADY Demonte Ojinnaka Chukwunonso Okonkwo Kimberly Ann Omar Emmanuel Oppong Maryam Outlaw Melanie Outtarac Nicholas Park Matthew Parsons Estefania Perez Victor Phimphachanh Sheyla Pintado Samuel Preza Meghan Proctor Julieta Quiroga JEREMY RADOV Diarra Radway Maiah Richards Tiara Royal Matthew Russell Kara Savercool Ada Seye Ashley Sheibaniagdam Larson Shilling Brett Silverman MARGARET SIMPSON Joel Sorto Thomas Stanton David Steele Noah Sturdivant Safra Tadesse Nina Tan Caroline Tatnall Melinda Tchokogoue Dianne Techwei Jonathan Tober Kelsy Turner Karley Valdes Stephanie Van Albert Heather Veli Gerson Villanueva Tan Vo Robert Walker Capria Williams Tanner Williams Amielia Wilson Victoria Wolsh Dashawn Woody CAROLYN WORDEN Kevin Wright Samantha Wright Fatou Yatassaye FELICIA YAU Michelle Yeung Joseph Young Bayron Zepeda 11th GRADE MOHAMMED ABBAS Aiman Abdelmouti Phrasaengd Adhatamsoontra Nora Adjah-Provencal Kwame Asante Kristina August Nader Ayoub Angela Bair INDIA BANKS JENNA BEERS John Beers Madeleine Benjoar KATHERINE BLACKFORD Paul Bourelly Lillian Bradley Cole Bradshaw Carla Brizuela Graylyn Broadnax Michelle Brooks Lilet Broomes Michael Brown Madison Bruffy Toure’ Burgess Thais Calderon Megan Cameron Cory Camp Devora Castillo Rebeca Cedillo GREGORY CHAIMSON Ryan Chang Maurya Chaurasia Kevin Cheung Deanna Chirigos Ryan Choe Hoyoung Choi Peter Chu Reyna Claytor Nicholas Colburn Lindsey Comer Andrew Conchas Miya Cook Nicholas Corsillo Cory Covington LYDIA CURDTS PRIYA DADLANI BRANDON DAVIS Nicholas Davis Aliya Dean

Brandon Deane Jeenaba Deme Julia Dennis Alison Dionne Albert Djoum Julia Doh McKenzie Dreher Emily Eaglin Darien Ellis Monica Eng Michael Errigo Mauriel Espinoza Jessica Flores Alexus Ford ARYN FRAZIER Connor ‘Horseman’ Gaffney Megan Gagern Corey Glocker Derek Glocker Daniel Gonzalez Chante Goodger Jamil Gordon ERIC GOTTLIEB Jose Grandados Anjelica Grant Candace Grant PAUL GREGG Emily Greitzer Duncan Grundham Anna Haley Da’Shawn Hall Brittany Hargrave Charles Harper Antony Harris BRADLEY HARRISON MARVIN HART IV Kellen Healy Vivian Henderson Breon Herbert Azalia Hernandez RACHEL HEWITT Olivia Hubbard Jodeh Huleis Jane Hwang Ryanne Hyatt Samantha Ignacio Justin Ingram Karen Jacob Zachary Johnson Irene Jones Melania Karmazyn Tharana Karzai MANPREET KAUR HAMZA KHAN-TAREEN Barzillai Kim Yoseph Kinfu Rute Kiros Michael Kister Ava Koufos Franchesca Kuhney Cecilia Kwakye Dae Kyu Lee Westin Lee Francisco Lendor Jourdan Lewanda Blaine Lowry Cindy Luu Camile Maddow Krystal Martindale Mayia McKenzie Rosie Meile Marissa Metzger Cianna Miller Richard Miller Yvette Mingia Brandi Murrell Michelle Nguyen Brenna Noone Adefolarin Orimolade Andrea Ortiz Olivia Park Jennifer Perez Heidi Petersen Kevin Pharaon Mariuxi Pintado Jared Puwalski Vijay Raju PRADIP RAMAMURTI Timothy Ramey Karelin Ramirez Rosa Reyes Ryan Reynolds Christine Ricciardi Christopher Richard Patrick Richard Lara Richli Andrew Riedel Aldo Rivera Anika Rumph Estefan Santos Rebecca Schwartz Katia Segura Min Shim Stefan Sigwalt Sandra Simmons Samantha Sinanan Janelle Smart Laura Smethurst Rebecca Smith Danielle Snowden Joo Yeoung Song Anna Steinfeld Nicole Sterling Sarah Sterling Julia Stewart Kelly Stock Suriya Subha Rao JANINE TAIRA Lucas Tax EMILY TCHAI Emily Tempchin Valdes Tita Lena Traore Sopheak Ung Calvin Vasquez Estefania Velez Denise Venero

Natasha Virjee Wanjiru Waithaka Russell Wanke CAROLINE WANNEN Lillian Watkins Deneen Watson Matthew Weiss Chris-Ann Whitehead Natalie Wiggins Kionna Wiley Bryan Wilkerson Deasia Winslow Cassandra Wolsh Karissa Wong RACHEL WOO Hannah Wynne Rebecca Yim 12th GRADE Cody Acker Kimberly Adam Francisca Agbodzah Nicole Alexander DERICK ANSAH Henry Aparicio Isaac Appel Erika Arancibia Mohammad Ashrafi Mamadou Bah Brian Battaglia SARON BIREDA Danielle Blocker Stephen Bonhag Brittany Bradley Daryl Brooks Jordan Brooks Christina Buckley ANTHONY BUI Katya Buresh Elizabeth Butler Nicole Byrd Javian Caceres Alexa Calderon Edwin Callender Carolina Camacho Bria Campbell Selena Castillo Estevan Castro Man Chan Joshua Chang Deja Charles Victor Chau Joal Chen Charles Cheng Mark Cirincione Molly Cohen Cameron Constantine Charles Conteh Dashae Cooper Nero Cooper III Courtney Cristaldi Bethany Crump Giancarlo Curzi PHUC VU DANG Ryan Deane Angelo Dibiasi Savannah Doane-Malotte Christian Domaas Moortala Drammeh Alexis Earley Johnyie Edwards Sara Elalami Faith Ely Antonio Escoto Maricana Esteves Kathryn Evans Matthew Evans MARY FERNANDES Anthony Fischetti Hayley Fixler Angelique Fleming Jennifer Flores LANE FYLNN Manyi Foncham Angelica Fortunak LINUS FRANCIS Amanda Freeman KRISTEN FRESE Kathryn Fuchs Reina Fuentes Matthew Gagern Neva Gakavian Valentina Garcia Jacob Gill Hayley Glantz Shawn Glisson Catherin Gonzalez-Mata Jake ‘Sloth’ Gordon Mathew Grady Ramanda Graham Bridget Gratton Charles Gross Wossen Hadero SARAH HAGAN Kimberly Hanson Lucy Harrelson Jack Hawvermale Nana Hayford Amy Heim Heather Heim Jamaal Hopkins Tyasia Hutchinson David Hylton LUCAS IRVIN Amina Irving Bruce Jackman Dorienne Jackson Rachel Jaffe Malcolm Jenkins Christian Jeong Devon Johnson Michael Joiner Thayzel Jones ASHLEY JUDAH Rebecca Kalinich Sandra Kindete Cross Klemko

Names in all caps indicate Straight A’s

ROBERT KORYCINSKI KEVIN LAM Melina Latona ZOEY LEE Adele Leishman IRENE LEMBEROS Peyton Leonard Samantha Levitt Chelsea Lewis SARAH LIPKOWITZ MATTHEW LIPSHULTZ Eugene Litman COLLEEN LIVINGSTONE Dontava Lodenquai Jenny Lon Zachary Long Monika Looney JULIE LOPATKA Brianna Lopez Daniel Louloudes Stephanie Luk Kayla Mack Huma Mahmood Ricardo Mancia Leslie Mata Meredith Mathis Travon McMillian KYLE MCARTHUR Courtney McKenna Melissa McNabb Charis McNamara Jeramiah Medina Matthew Mehallick MacKenzie Meyer Tara Mitchell Danielle Moore Alexander Morales Juan Moscoso Marcus Murray Mihir Nakrani Michala Nathlar Vanessa Newman Victor Nicholson Tayler Nine Nnamdi Odoazu Damilola Oluremi Alexis Page Alexandra Paintsil Lauren Paniati Seong Hwan Park Jonathan Parks Leah Patterson Susana Pena Antonella Perez Ferrero Jessica Perla Mandy Pham Grace Plihal Sarah Prather Matthew Present Zachary Radov Erica Ragland Andrea Ramirez Tai Ramsey Maurice Rankins III Lenasia Ransom Shardae Rawlins Kevin Reedy Alexandra Reeves BROOKE REHMAN Elizabeth Ann Reyes Magnus Richards Samuel Rivera Jahmila Roberts Ryan Romig Traceyan Rosel GHULAM SALLMAN Amanda Salmon Alison Scher Brianna Scott Jamila Seasay Emma Shannon Kyle Shaw Andrew Simmons EMILY SIMMONS Jehwo Sims Danielle Smith Bilguissa Sow Taneigha Swingler Nicholas Tatnall Kara Thompson Maiha Thompson Kimberly Torchenot Emily Touch Emma Towriss Kimberly Toxie Savannah Tryens-Fernand Samara Tu Taylor Turner Jean-Claude Tzeuton Joann Valentin Karen Vanegas Lynne Virgil Phabiene Volcimus Antonio Wade II Jonathan Wahler Cadijah Walcott Cheyenne Walker Denise Walker Yasmin Wamala Erica Wang Zhichen Wang BRANDON WEBER JEFFREY WELDER REBECCA WELLMAN Melissa Whitaker KIELAN WILCOMB Jenna Williams Larisha Winley LEISHA WINLEY Ellen Wood RHEA WYSE Grace Yoo Kevin Zelaya

The December 16 Issue Part One  

The December 16 Issue Part One of The Blake Beat