Bengals face new parking lot regulations, students unhappy, call for change p. A2
Volume 16 Number 2
James Hubert Blake HS
Silver Spring, MD
Student athlete Paul Farrell recovers from devastating injury
November 15, 2013
x by Courtney Hutchinson During a kick return, center Paul Farrell bruised his spine due to helmet on helmet contact leaving him in shock during the game against Sherwood October 25. Farrell is now in a rehabilitation and orthopedic institute with a neck brace that he will have for the next six weeks. Paul’s twin brother Stephen Farrell says after the hit, Paul blacked out for about 30 seconds and adds that it is a blessing Paul is not paralyzed. “He said he couldn’t breathe. He didn’t have feeling anywhere,” Stephen adds. Stephen Farrell explains the feeling he had when he found out what happened. “I didn’t really feel anything. I was in shock,” he says. “It scared me and I’ve been scared since then.” Cheerleader Alvine Nnadi tells her story of what happened that evening. While cheering, Nnadi and the rest of the team were instructed to “take a knee” meaning someone on the field was injured. Once she got the information on Paul, Nnadi was astounded. Says Nnadi, “When I found out what happened I was shocked because I knew the person.” One of Farrell’s fellow teammates Bryan Pharaon was on the sideline watching as all of the action went down. Pharaon explains exactly how frightened he was watching his friend motionless on the field. “I kind of felt like I was about to lose a brother,” Pharaon says. Pharaon went to visit him October 27 to check on his condition and explained that despite his neck brace, Farrell is doing much better than before. “He’s fine, he was making jokes.” Pharaon says. “He says the only problem is his arms keep sleeping but other than that he’s fine.” One of Farrell’s close friends Moses Ganya says how close he and Paul are and how frightened he was seeing Paul in that condition on the field that game. “That’s my brother. Blood couldn’t make us any closer,” says Ganya. “Seeing him in that state, knowing that’s your brother put me in shock.” Head coach of the football team Tony Nazzaro says despite the pain of not having Farrell on the field, the players have never been more motivated. “The kids are emotional and have rallied around it,” says coach Nazzaro. Nazzaro adds that he and the team want Paul to get better and hope that he will be healthy soon. “You just hope and pray that he’s going to be okay,” he says. Stephen Farrell explains how resilient Paul is. “He’s going to keep on fighting until he gets through it,” says Farrell. “He’s never going to give up on himself and start breaking down. That’s not how Paul is. He’s a fighter.” Junior Paul Farrell during the Blake v. Whitman game, prior to his debilitating injury.--Photos by Maggie Simpson
Superintendent Starr researches policy to begin high school hour later
Proposed time change to cost large amount of MCPS yearly budget
x by John Kos After a year of discussion, Montgomery County Public Schools’ Board of Education has begun researching in efforts to figure out if high schools will potentially begin an hour later during the 2015-2016 school year. Although it is not a done deal, a plan to allow high school students to come in an hour later is now being studied for the board of education. Says principal Christopher Berry, “This change would present students with the opportunity to get an extra hour of sleep every night.” A number of factors are being considered, such as when traffic is at its worst, the number of students with jobs and how students would feel about the change.
IN THIS ISSUE Oberfield sets cross country record, p. D4
Although many students would be for the year. This cost would cover the happy to get an extra hour of sleep at additional buses and personal expenses night, many other students are not willing to make the entire change work. “It is to give up the hour at the end of school. a pretty hefty cost to make this change, Many students depend on that extra hour fifty million is nothing to sneeze at,” says after school to supMr. Berry. port their family The large cost by working a job of changing the or by taking care schedule would mean of a younger sibthat there would have ling. “[It’s going to to be fundraising and be] a challenge to cutbacks in other students who are areas of the budget extremely… [into make the change vested in] activities possible. Says Mr. Christopher Berry after school,” says Berry, “Bringing up Mr. Berry. the possibility of cutbacks makes people The estimated cost of this change question if this change is necessary.” is around $50,000,000 which equates to The change will also affect stuaround two percent of the total budget dents ages five to 14, as it pushes back
It is a pretty hefty cost to make this change...
Students struggle with heavy backpacks, p. A3
middle school times by fifteen minutes, and elementary school times by half an hour. “This change will affect everyone: students, teachers, and parents,” Mr. Berry says. “Many teachers and parents have childcare needs that will be have to be dealt with.” Changing school times will also have a strong impact on athletics. Right now gym time is divided among different teams and one less hour in the day would mean one less day for teams to use the gym. The change in schedule would also mean that the sports teams miss out on another hour of daylight practice during the winter. Clubs, on the other hand, will not be affected as severely by the time change because most clubs either do not require day light or meet during school hours.
Sixteen boys’ soccer seniors to depart, p. D5
Northeastern Consortium Open House is judged a success by students, staff, p. A3
The Blake Beat
November 15, 2013
New parking regulations leave student drivers unhappy Car owners brake, swerve away from new, stricter parking lot rules by Zach Kushner
x & Darien Waters Blake student-drivers are shifting away from the school’s new parking system and hope to see positive change to make the school year a smoother, more enjoyable ride. Since the beginning of this school year, many students have felt that the rules of student parking have changed for the worse. “We are restricted from accessing our vehicles when we need to,” says senior Dunchadhn Lyons. He also notes that there is stricter towing enforcement this
year. He adds, “These differences from last year take away student freedoms.” Presently, students must have an administrator accompany them to their car if they need something from it. This is so that students do not go to their cars and skip school or do something they should not be doing. “I believe a change should be made so that the upper-class students who are supposed to be trusted don’t feel harassed,” says senior Ezra Roschu. Senior Aboubakar Toure thinks there is a better way the student parking lot can be moni-
tored during the day. He suggested having a security guard station at the exits or by the parking lot so they can assess the situation and see what the student needs to be at their car for. “It would be much more efficient because the student would not have to go searching for an administrator every time,” says Toure. Even once they’re in the parking lot, students have complained that the drop-off/pick-up and parking lines become very hectic during the morning and after school rushes. Students think more needs to be done to ease the process so that students
are less worried about how long they might have to sit in line to park and more about important things, like school. Junior Brandon Johnson, who is relatively new to the Blake parking scene, has already noticed that there is much room for improvement. “I don’t see a need for assigned parking. It should be first come, first serve,” says Johnson. “The overall experience, though, is a good one,” he adds. Many students favor a first come, first serve system because they feel it would be beneficial to our student drivers as it would
These differences from last year take away student freedoms.
allow them to hop out of line and choose any parking spot if necessary when the line gets too long. It may also encourage students to get to school earlier so their favorite spot doesn’t get snatched up. Schools like Sherwood that do not have assigned parking spots also do not tow students’ cars from the lot. At Blake, if students’ cars are towed, they must pay the fee to get them out of the towing lot. Toure says, “The fact that they have strict rules for the parking lot that can be proven unjust is not fair to students.”
Lady Bengals rise to occasion, promise to help peers graduate on time x by Elana Harris America’s Promise Alliance has partnered with Blake High School to conduct a national experiment to help eliminate the dropout crisis that exists in the United States. Blake has chosen 12 girls to plan activities that support academic achievement and build the academic identity of students in the building. “Girls who are now the Alliance for Academic Achievement have taken on the challenge of helping our students at Blake do their very best and essentially inspire them to graduate on time,” says world language resource teacher Monica Abuliak, who is in charge of the program along with tenth grade administrator Beth Thomas. Founded by former Secretary of State and four star general Colin Powell and wife Alma Powell, APA is a non-
profit organization that is the nation’s largest partnership focused on the well-being of America’s youth. “It’s very much an organization about service leadership. They work with high school age students primarily, [as] they see that as a good age group right on the cusp of adulthood,” adds principal Christopher Berry. The twelve girls chosen showed the documentary Girl Rising to raise awareness about the importance of education. The feature film tells the story of nine girls around the world who live in harsh conditions and hope to identify ways that leaders can support and protect girls. “We’re starting with building some awareness about how important education is in general and how we need to be thankful first for the resources that we have,” says Ms. Abuliak. The film was shown last Tuesday and Wednesday after school. Future plans for the Alliance for Academic Achieve-
ment include recognizing students and classes for their grade point averages. Says Ms. Abuliak, “The girls are committed to the vision. They’re very collaborative and they’re willing to work with other groups and teachers and anyone in the building who can support.” Through positive peer pressure, the AAA hopes to encourage other students to work harder and reach their full potential. “Education is important for innovation, it’s important for personal happiness and the development of mankind,” says Ms. Abuliak. She and Ms. Thomas hope to spread this idea through the Blake community through the AAA. As the year continues, more news about Blake’s partnership with the APA and the AAA are sure to arise. “Here at Blake High School, this is one model of how students can become educated, how students can get the skills that they need to be successful in school,” adds Ms. Abuliak.
The Blake Beat
November 15, 2013
Juniors Maya Eaglin (left) and Arnold Chonai (right) wielding heavy bags, and an oversized backpack similar to many students’ (center). --Photos by Dennis Chan and Sami Wright
Large backpacks weigh students down, cause back pain x by Brian Dicken Students know how it feels to pick up their heavy backpacks and immediately feel the strain it can put on their shoulders, neck, and back. Everyone knows that moment when they get home after a long day of school, and can finally take off that heavy backpack. This time of the day becomes a special moment that brings about a feeling of euphoria. Junior Maya Eaglin says, “It’s like a sigh of relief because you carry it all day and it really
hurts to carry.” Studies show that a growing number of students need treatment for pain caused by carrying backpacks. Senior Connor Shaw says that her backpack gives her moderate to severe back pain “about four or five days a week.” Shaw says that her back hurts the worst when “walking up and down the stairs a lot.” It has been proven that carrying a heavy backpack has a direct correlation on the amount of stress a student is under. If it is a struggle to pick up a backpack, it is clear it is too heavy.
With the intensity of classes nowadays and the amount of papers, packets, and textbooks students are getting, it is no wonder that back pain is especially prevalent to today’s students. This is definitely true for junior Arnold Chonai. “I have to carry two binders now because I get a lot of papers in my AP classes,” says Chonai. Many people do not even think twice about the weight of their backpack. Even if they think that their backpack is heavy, they probably do not think that it will have any kind
of lasting effect on them. Doctors have found that lasting pain generally occurs in students with a backpack that is more than 20% of their body weight. Some of this pain can be avoided though. There are many different strategies to try to help relieve some back stress. Says Eaglin, “On block days I will take out a lot of my work and books for classes I don’t have.” Even though this only works on block days, it will still give a nice, temporary break. Another strategy to try is the locker tactic. “I like to use
my locker a lot. I will keep most of my afternoon things in there,” says Chonai. “My backpack used to be pretty heavy and using my locker really helps.” One drawback of this is that it takes up a lot of time between classes. Heavy backpacks are becoming a serious problem in schools today. Unfortunately, it is not a problem that students have much control over. This is why students will try to make the best of the situation at hand and try some different strategies intended to make backpacks lighter.
Student ambassadors promote Blake, welcome potential freshmen
Bengals deem Open House successful
x by Brian Dicken and Darien Waters Student ambassadors reflect on the recent Northeastern Consortium (NEC) Open House and share their experiences representing the school community to its future dancers, artists, musicians, athletes, and their parents. Hundreds of prospective parents and students came out October 29 to see what Blake High School is all about. There were several Dance Company and Poms performances, along with booths for sports, clubs, and more. People took tours for most of the night, but were also allowed to go to whatever activity they pleased. One of the ambassadors who ran the tennis booth was junior Ati Ok. “It was a lot of fun,” says Ok. “Hopefully I was able to convince an incoming freshman who was between Blake and Paint Branch that Blake is the better choice.” Senior Maia Gadsden, ambassador and Dance Company member, performed at the open house. “The night went really smoothly,” says Gadsden. She and her fellow Dance Company members performed between five and seven times by the end of the night. “[Performing so many times] was definitely tiring, but it wasn’t too stressful,” she adds. One thing that made the Open House run so smoothly was its leadership. Signature Coordinator Elizabeth Yargici was maestro to over 100 ambassadors and many more parents and students during the night. Says sophomore and first-year ambassador Tayllor Afram, “[Mrs. Yargici] is really nice and understanding towards people who had questions.” Junior ambassador and Poms captain Lauren Gil, who is also a Dance Company member, had a different experience with stress during the annual Open House. “Right after I danced [with Dance Company], I’d have to run back and dance with Poms, then be back before the next number,” says Gil. Despite this, Gil adds that overall, “[The open House] was well set-up.” Junior Arnold Chonai volunteered at the open house for the first time this year. Chonai says that after doing so, he regrets not going when he was an eighth grader. “It makes you aware of all the clubs and activities that you can do. I missed out on some of these activities freshman year because I didn’t know about them,” adds Chonai. The first face that many of the incoming freshman saw when they arrived was that of junior ambassador Aaron Cooke, who was at the welcome table. Says Cooke, “I enjoyed meeting some new people and seeing all the smiling faces of the eighth graders as they came in.”
I enjoyed meeting some new people and seeing all the smiling faces of the eighth graders as they came in. Aaron Cooke
November 15, 2013
First Quarter Freshmen adjust to high school life, workload, enjoy newfound freedoms
x by Ann Cirincione This being their very first quarter in high school, many freshmen have noticed substantial differences from middle school, enjoying their newfound freedom as they find their footing and adjust to this transition. Compared to middle school, high school allows for many more freedoms, such as a longer lunch, looser dress code, and more independence. Says freshman Janice Eveillard, “I like how [teachers] don’t come at you and nag you for stuff...it’s up to you, and if you don’t do it, you don’t do it.” Freshman Adeigh Bynum agrees with Eveillard, saying, “You have to go take the initiative to go and do it on your own.” This mindset is common in most classes, with students having to step up and ask questions. The work also becomes more challenging. “I didn’t expect it to be that hard that quick,” says freshman Daejon Jenkins, “so it kind of caught me off guard.” Despite this temporary shock, Jenkins has enjoyed most of his classes so far. Similarly, says freshman Kevin Sorto, “I like all my classes, especially my world history and geometry class.” Adds freshman Isis Deskins, “I like science, it’s fun.” Despite differing opinions on the positives and negatives of high school, these freshmen agree that they are looking forward to the rest of the year. Says Bynum, “I’m looking forward to the classes I’m taking, and new opportunities.” Adds Sorto, “I’m looking forward to finishing the school year, finally graduating, and finishing high school.” One quarter down, 15 more to go.
Freshman Kevin Sorto studies his notes in US History class. --Photo by John Kos
Juniors battle tough, stressful academia, balance social life, workload
x by John Kos
Junior year is not only considered the hardest year, as many students take Advanced Placement classes, but also the most important because it is the last full year before applying to college. Junior year is when students take on their hardest AP courses and have to deal with the extremely heavy workloads that come with these classes. Says junior Richelle Claytor, “I’m not going to lie [AP’s] are difficult and time consuming.” Many juniors without good study habits have to adjust to taking their AP classes seriously, and trying to keep up with the all the work. “The first quarter came fast and with a lot of work, but after a while I started managing my time and the work wasn’t as hard,” says junior Ben Haley. The juniors that do change their study habits find that it pays off when they receive their grades for the quarter. Says Claytor, “I was so surprised that I was able to get a 91% in AP lang with it being such a hard class.” Even with all the work, some juniors are still finding time to spend with their friends and do other activities after school. Says junior Melissa Guzman, “Going to the football games and hanging out with my friends has been fun.” The constant upkeep of the heavy course load in AP classes and spending time with friends are bound to tire many students out. Adds junior Katie Delaney, “I rather be in bed sleeping.”
Junior Melissa Guzman listens attentively in AP Psychology. --Photo by John Kos
November 15, 2013
r Impressions Sophomores begin to take more advanced classes, prepare for future
x by John Kos
After experiencing their first year at Blake, the sophomores are just getting settled, enjoying their teachers, getting involved with activities and meeting new people along the way. Some sophomores experience a lighter course load than in freshman year, which gives them more free time to experience many of the other activities offered at Blake. Says sophomore Daniel Gordon, “The workload is a lot simpler than last year, and because of that I was able to get involved in activities like guitar.” Other sophomores experience a heavier course load as they have begun taking their first AP classes and consequently must take their work more seriously. “The classes themselves aren’t harder but there is much more work involved from day to day,” says sophomore Ken Musika. Many sophomores find that having a good teacher really helps with trying to understand to course material and the increased course load. Says sophomore Tommy Noone, “There is definitely more work involved, but it helps when you have a teacher that is good at explaining the material.” Going through another year at Blake also gives students the chance to meet new people. Says sophomore Sam Phimphachanh, “I have had the chance [to meet] plenty of the new freshman and even some of the transfer students.” Now that first quarter is over, many students are looking forward to the rest of the year. “First quarter looks like it will be the beginning to a really great year,” adds Phimphachanh.
Sophomore Ken Musika works in his NSL classroom. --Photo by John Kos
Seniors savor elective classes, try to work hard despite creeping senioritis
x by Ann Cirincione While counting down the days until graduation, seniors both anticipate and dread what will come in between, but are overall excited about their last first quarter. Senioritis is a problem for many seniors that only gets worse with time. However, since it is only first quarter, some have not reached that point. Says senior Hyla Jacobson, “Now that I’ve gotten my first [college] acceptance, I feel the pressure to do well has slightly lifted but...I’m still working hard.” Contrastingly, says senior Shannon Corry, “I feel like I’ve had senioritis since junior year.” Being a senior also allows more freedom when choosing classes. Says Corry, who is on the yearbook staff, “Most of my classes are electives, so it’s fun.” Seniors also deal with the stress of college applications during first quarter. Says senior Jason Fleischer, “I think teachers understand that we’re seniors, and they know how hard we’re trying especially with colleges.” There are many things seniors look forward to, like prom, senior banquet, and graduation. Says Fleischer, “I’m looking forward to wrestling in the winter, playing volleyball in the spring, and graduation after that.” While graduation is exciting, it can also fuel nostalgia and mixed feelings. “I want to leave, but at the same time I don’t,” says senior Alexis Hughes. Adds Jacobson, “[Graduation] will be a special day to celebrate…[but]...it’s all really sad to think you will separate from friends you have known most of your life.”
Senior Shannon Corry tackles math problems in precalculus. --Photo by John Kos
November 15, 2013
The Blake Beat
Students sell bracelets to raise money Arts Honors
French Honors Society donates fundraiser profits x by John Kos Giving half their proceeds from selling bracelets to a charity called GHAFAR and the other half to the original charity called Threads of Hope, the French Honors Society is looking to make a difference. Instead of selling towels or other items to raise money for a French dinner, the FHS is selling bracelets to help the less fortunate in impoverished French speaking countries. Says club sponsor Claire Schwartz-Menyuk, “The students just wanted to raise money and give back.” The bracelets originally come from Threads of Hope, which is a charity that mails bracelets from the Philippines to school clubs around the nation. Those school clubs then send back half the proceeds to the Philippines. Says senior president Riley Cruickshank, “Many Americans don’t realize how high our
standards of living are.” The FHS donated the other half of the proceeds to GHAFAR which promotes education in Haiti. Adds Cruickshank, “People in other countries suffer a lot more than we do, and we need to spread the wealth.” What makes this donation so unique is the decision to donate the other half of the proceeds to GHAFAR was done completely by students. Says Mme
After only two weeks of sales, the FHS managed to sell most of the bracelets and then distributed the remainder among members who were motivated to sell the rest. Says Mme SchwartzMenyuk, “We only had 40 left out of 300, so I would say that the students were very successful.” Members also learned valuable lessons from their experiences selling the bracelets to many of their classmates. Says junior member Kate Campbell, “Selling the bracelets gave me experience Riley Cruickshank in selling Schwartz-Menyuk, “This fundraiser was things and interacting with people when handled completely by the students, I I want them to buy a product.” was just the treasurer.” The FHS hopes to have sold all The FHS had mixed luck with sell- their bracelets by the end of the funing the bracelets. “Most of the students in draiser, in order to make the biggest the FHS worked really hard to sell their impact they can. “If I have any left over, bracelets,” says Cruickshank. “But I’ve I’ll probably buy them all myself,” says found that people are more likely to buy Cruikshank. “The money goes to a good bracelets when they know the money is cause so I would be happy to buy any that going to a good cause.” are left over.”
People in other countries suffer a lot more than we do and we need to spread the wealth.
Mr. Francis supports the Blake Beat!
Society expresses love of all art x by Tabi Orock
Students come together in the first officially recognized union of young artists on campus, the National Arts Honors Society (NAHS). The group consists of student painters, illustrators and photographers. Senior Jocelyn Ko is the president of the NAHS at Blake. The senior says of her goal for the group, “we want to spread the word about art and share it with our school.” The self-proclaimed painter hopes to bring the school community together through art. She adds, “I don’t want people to be intimidated by art; I want them to like it.” The group made its public debut at the Maryland State Art Conference October 18th hosted at Blake. The students were privileged to attend the conference facilitated by the Maryland Art Educators Association. At the event, the young artists got the opportunity to meet and network with art educators from all over Maryland. The students also sold handmade, cardboard journals as part of fundraising for the brand new group. Junior and NAHS treasurer Samantha Duong admits that attending the conference was a learning process for all. She says, “we saw art battles at the conference and we liked that, so we decided to bring that into our group.” Duong is a photographer herself, but hopes that through the NAHS, she will be able to develop her skills in other forms of art such as drawing. Having been Vice President and President of the NAHS at her former high school, art teacher Alyssa Crane felt it natural to introduce the program to her new school. She expresses her nostalgia for the group. Says Ms. Crane, “It was my favorite part of high school.” Ms. Crane currently teaches Drawing & Design and Fashion Illustration and classifies herself as a painter. In respect to upcoming projects, the young artists have an idea to paint a mural for the school in celebration of its arts program. Duong says, “we all know Blake is an arts school, but we want to show that.” While the idea is still very much in its early stages of fruition, the students are excited about the prospect of taking part in such a large-scale project. Ms. Crane encourages all students to join the group. Provided that students have taken at least one art class in which they maintained a B average, they are welcome to join. She says, “[The group] is for any student that wants to do more with the arts.” Since most students are enrolled in AP art classes such as AP Studio Art and AP Darkroom Photography, it provides a learning opportunity for all members. The NAHS holds open meetings every Wednesday at lunch in E170.
Bonnie Cullison, Delegate for District 19 in the Maryland House of Representatives, spoke to Blake’s Allies 4 Equality club Tuesday. Ms. Cullison, an open lesbian woman, spoke to Blake’s gay-straight alliance about the role of legislation and what it took to pass Maryland’s recent referendum on legalizing gay marriage. Ms. Cullison worked as a MCPS teacher for 32 years before successfully running for office in 2010. When marriage was legalized, she and her longtime partner wed. Ms. Cullison says, “I did not expect it to happen in my lifetime,” when asked about gay marriage being legalized. Ample time was spent speaking to the club members about making a difference. Ms. Cullison adds, “To make something happen, like your group, you need lots and lots of allies.”
The Blake Beat
ntoVn a t S ic s
November 15, 2013
n n n The POSSE Foundation has selected four finalists from Blake who will go to their selected schools if accepted. These seniors are Claudia Alarco (Bucknell), Bethany Hamson (Sewanee: The University of the South), Clauton Kum (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Samuel Preza (University of Rochester). n n n POSSE semifinalists were seniors Hesu Ha, Megan Kong, Dianne Techwei, Victor Phimphachanh, and Thomas Stanton. n n n
ugl s Do
Seniors Julia Bell, Torie Broer, Ann Cirincione, Riley Cruickshank, Dong Kang, Dunchadhn Lyons, Theodora Martin, Fiona Molloy, and Thomas Stanton received a letter of commendation for the National Merit Scholarship based on outstanding performance on the 2012 PSAT standardized tests. n n n Senior Raul Escobar was selected for the boys all-state soccer first team. Seniors Dunchadhn Lyons and Jose Cooper received all-state honorable mention. n n n
Junior Dominique Ingram was crowned Jr. Miss Wheelchair Maryland Nov 2 at the Ms. Wheelchair Maryland Pagaent.
Seniors Thomas Stanton and Miles Douglas were selected as National Achievement Scholarship semifinalists. The designation is awarded to African-American students with high PSAT scores.
n n n
n n n
The ambassador program is selling We Are Blake drawstring bags for five dollars for at least two weeks. Contact Mrs. Yargici for more information. n n n New teacher Thomas Squire is moving to create Blakeâ€™s first all boys step team. Contact him for more information about interest meetings. n n n The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) will be administered Tuesday in the cafeteria. Although the test is required for those admitted to the military, it can also be taken for career identification purposes by any student without any military obligation attached. The test is recommended for juniors and seniors. See Mrs. Moore in the Career Center for information. n n n
CALENDAR November 19
Pippin at auditorium, 7:30pm
ASVAB Testing, 7:30am
Boys varsity soccer vs. Severna Park at UMBC, 8:30pm
PTSA meeting at media center, 7pm
Ice hockey vs. Northwest at Rockville-2 Ice Arena, 8:10pm
November 16 Pippin at auditorium, 7:30pm Varsity cheerleading competition, 1pm
Pippin matinee for middle schools at auditorium, 10am
November 20 AP parent meeting at ampitheatre, 7pm
November 21 Pippin at auditorium, 7:30pm
November 22 Pippin at auditorium, 7:30pm
November 23 Pippin at auditorium, 7:30pm
November 25 Winter parent sports meeting, 7pm
November 27 Early release day, Thanksgiving
November 28 No school, Thanksgiving
November 29 No school, Thanksgiving
November 15, 2013
The Blake Beat
Senior shares discomfort of adjusting to combination holiday Thanksgivukkah, p. B6
Section E B Section
James Hubert Blake High School James Hubert Blake High School
October 4, 2013 November 15, 2013
Local girl has pen stolen, works through traumatic event
Community, police speak out; whereabouts of trusty utensil still unknown The dismaying event has not only shaken Pincil; it has affected her entire community as well. Says one small-town citizen, “You know, you see tragedies like this on television, but you never think it’ll happen in your own vicinity. It really make you wonder: are any of us safe?” Pincil’s English teacher also gives her condolences to the broken teen. “That pen was like family,” she says. “She’d use other pens sometimes but she always came back to that one...they were just so close. It’s a true misfortune.” Another commentary offers little sympathy for Pincil and blames her for all the commotion in town. Says the anonymous source, “Yes, it’s sad, but it’s her own fault. Any girl in her right mind would know that this is what happens when people try to be nice and let others borrow their supplies.” Law enforcement has not yet released an official statement, however, one anonymous officer has individually commented on the incident. He says, “We know that this isn’t easy for Pincil. Both our prayers and hearts go out to the victim and her family. We promise we’re doing everything we can to bring that pen home.” Through her warm tears, Pincil was able to speak on her difficult situation. “I believe the hardest part is just not knowing. Even if my pen is gone forever, I have to know what happened. I won’t rest until I find the truth, but until then, I plan to grow Graphic by Ty Skeiky stronger from this.”
x by Maryam Outlaw After frantically peering through backpacks with scarlet eyes and tired hands, the search continues in hopes of restoring what once was in its rightful custody, but is now being held against its will by a stranger: the used and abused writing utensil. Junior Wheresma Pincil was waiting for her honors English class to begin at approximately 9:15 am when a mysterious classmate asked to borrow a pen for his upcoming essay. Pincil, being the generous person that she is, agreed. Little did she know, but that would be the last time she would ever see the little fella. Unfortunately for Pincil, the classmate made off with her beloved ballpoint pen (along with two lead pencils, eight erasers, and a sharpener) and is now nowhere to be found. “[Pincil] is hysterical. She mostly sits at home praying for the safe return of what belongs to her. It’s hit the family very hard and we just hope this all ends soon,” Woody Pincil, father to Wheresma, reports. A witness brought in for questioning describes the crime as “chilling, horrific, and downright sly”. “I just don’t understand,” says the witness. “How could anyone find it in their heart to do something so evil to another human being? I know if someone ran off with my pen, I wouldn’t be able to move on.”
Second quarter slump proves fatal for students’ grades, spirits, joy
Teens’ boredom spreads like wildfire; Carter, Hutchinson explain why
by Michelle Carter x& Courtney Hutchinson
It is that time of year again. No, we are not talking about Thanksgiving. We’re talking about the period of time following Homecoming week in which students fall into a second quarter slump. Students patiently wait the first few weeks of the school year, highly anticipating the arrival of Homecoming week. Yet few people stop to think about what exactly students have to look forward to after the Home-
coming hallways are taken down and the cafeteria transforms back into a place of eating. Honestly, students do not have much to look forward to after Homecoming and because of this, many students begin to get bored with school. Students begin to see less days off and more of the inside of their eyelids as they begin sleeping through classes. This time of post-Homecoming depression tends to occur in Blake students right around the beginning of the second quarter each year, and
continues up until the end of the semester. Along with failing classes, side effects include continuously getting in trouble with friends, teachers, and parents as well. Other reasons for the “second quarter slump” include many students who play fall sports having their seasons come to an end around the second marking period. Going to school merely for the purpose of going to school when one used to have a sport to look forward to afterwards can be a depressing transition.
Schoolwork becomes tedious and tiresome around this time, another reason for the slump. Teachers start assigning a heavier workload. Also, with the studying students must do before semester exams roll around, second quarter can become a drag. Teachers are a lot less lenient now because it’s the second quarter and more is expected of us as students. It’s hard to be in class struggling to stay awake and get good grades when nothing fun happens at school anymore.
The only source of excitement coming up is winter break. That’s such a stretch from now. Knowing that we have a ton of five-day weeks ahead makes the slump way hard to get out of. Maybe if all of us students could be a little more understanding of one another’s attitudes, we could make it through. Sassiness among students is about to get real. We’re all in the same boat with the same teachers, the same school, and the same boredom. Let’s just hold it together until winter break.
If all of us students could be a little more understanding...we could make it through
County elementary school bids annual Halloween parades adieu
Juniors deem fall festival political, call dress-up parties harmless by Courtney Hutchinson x & Jenna Ramirez An iconic elementary school experience was taken away from the youth of this area. A feeder school for Blake, Burtonsville Elementary School, stripped their students of the celebrated Halloween parade. The costume walk around the blacktop, the distribution of candy in classrooms, in-class parties hosted by parents...these once cherished memories were snatched away in a horrible case of politics. Instead of the annual Halloween parade, ninja turtles and princesses spent
the afternoon of October 31 in class. Burtonsville replaced their party with a fall festival, taking place on the day before Thanksgiving. This cancellation, one of definite people-pleasing and upsetting politics, does nothing but hurt the children. Yes, there are children who don’t celebrate Halloween, but measures were always taken to ensure that they had just as much fun. The “alternative party” supplied ice cream, candy, and games for all students who chose not to partake in the Halloween festivities. Now, one might say that this fall festival enables all children, whether they celebrate Halloween or not, to be together.
As great as that may be, most children do celebrate Halloween. The small minority of students that don’t should not be the deciding factor when they were properly accommodated. The question is: what’s next? Most school choirs cannot sing Christmas music and schools are not allowed to display Christmas trees and menorahs. Why has one of the most non-religious holidays been targeted? Will the Valentine’s Day celebration be discarded too? Is St. Valentine too religious for this county as well? Many high school students can recite every Halloween costume they ever wore. They remember their parents stopping by on the afternoon of the 31, taking
pictures of costume-clad students and helping pass out the Halloween cupcakes decorated with limited spider rings that everyone always fought over. A horrible case of political correctness has struck who it hurts the most—children. One school is always the starting point. This cancellation will spread its claws around the county and soon, younger siblings of Blake students will miss out on this classic elementary school memory. No more miniature-sized witches, Screams, or Hulks. Unless kids can enter school dressed as pilgrims or Indians (which of course is also politically incorrect), this fall festival will never live up to its predecessor.
November 15, 2013
The Blake Beat
What would Maryam do: on ratchets, turkey day, keeping warm Senior gives clever advice, responds to students’ questions, concerns x by Maryam Outlaw 1. How can you avoid ratchet people at school? Ratchet people are like ants in your house during the springtime: they are EVERYWHERE, they are not going ANYWHERE, and once you see one, you know that twenty more can’t be too far behind. The truth is, there’s not much to do but ignore those pesky ratchets because they tend to sabotage themselves. Surround yourself with tranquility and when you catch those zebra-striped jeggings from your peripherals, run. 2. What are alternative options for turkey if you’re a vegetarian? Do you really need one? There’s like, 20 different dishes to go around during thanksgiving time and usually the only one containing meat is the turkey! You have mashed potatoes, stuffing, and candied yams. YOU’RE GONNA GET FULL. But if you must, you can always be that one dude who brings their own tofu mush “dish” to the feast. Just don’t get all “Omnivores suck!” at the dinner table. 3. What time should you leave for Black Friday? The real question here is: When exactly does the battle begin? Well, there probably isn’t a “right time.” Most people either show up at midnight or around noon, so you’re only real option to beat the rush is five am. But honestly, a lot of the fun regarding Black Friday is the fear of having to possibly beat a 30 year old woman with a six inch stiletto for the last winter stockings. Embrace the chaos no matter what time it is! 4. How do you stay warm during outdoor sports games? Sigh...by day the weather is beautiful, but by night it’s a freaking meat locker out there! You pretty much have to Ice Age it and let out your inner Eskimo. Bring endless amounts of scarves, your favorite winter coat, and some oh so cozy mittens. And if you’re feeling extra sweet, Styrofoam cups and a thermos of hot chocolate is a kind gesture for others freezing their toes off, too. 5. When should you introduce your significant other to your parents? When they stop breaking out the baby books every time you even mention the name of a person of the opposite sex as you. Parents get crazy (like...Jerry Springer crazy) about these kinds of things but it’s only because they care. So when it’s getting pretty serious, invite your boo over for dinner, give your parents a pep talk, and enjoy the show because it might be ABOUT TO GO DOWN.
Junior urges teens to remain grateful, grounded this Thanksgiving x by Kate Campbell Thanksgiving weekend has always centered around spending time with family and appreciating gifts received, regardless of their price tag. Sadly, in the era of re-gifting and ebay.com, the true worth behind most presents has been lost and it is no longer the thought that counts, but rather the receiver’s criticism. It’s rare for a friend to respond with, “It’s up to you. I’m just happy that you care about my birthday at all,” after being asked what they want for their birthday. And even those who do say that are only doing so to be polite. Let’s admit it, regardless of these
polite intentions, the outcome continues to be a sinking feeling in your stomach when the fuzzy socks you get are not the Tiffany and Co. earrings you were expecting. Pertaining to Thanksgiving, most kids don’t put much thought into the meaning behind this holiday. Although in most households, the kids prepare the feast alongside their parents, the outcome of most Thanksgiving dinners is a stuffed belly, not a humbled mindset. We have all seen plenty of specials on the history behind Thanksgiving, and even if you have not, it is never too late to watch one and learn the story of selflessness between the Pilgrims and the Native
Americans. But no matter how fictitious the story may be, the lessons learned from the history of Thanksgiving are applicable to each of our lives at any time of the year. Even within the Blake community, members of the student body seem to have more of a focus on what they are lacking rather than what they have, and as a result, life’s daily graces continue to go unrecognized. High school is the bridge from one stage of life to a bigger, more daunting one. Since every high school student has come a long way and has an even longer way to go, there is no better time than now to appreciate the community that was taken to get each of us to where we
currently are. While some would refer to it as a path over a community, path implies that this journey was taken alone, when in actuality, there was always someone helping each of us every step of the way. Every bus ride, every pair of shoes, and every “A” would not have been possible without a bus driver to drive you, a parent to supply the money for those shoes, and believe it or not, a teacher to teach you. This Thanksgiving, as many of us prepare to leave the coop and submit applications for college, the actions taken to ensure our happiness should be not only kept in mind, but understood and appreciated as well.
Senior deems signing in after 7:25am class bell inefficient, wasteful
New attendance policy requires students to check in no matter how late x by Jacqueline Hyman I breathe nervously as the car enters the Blake parking lot. We are driving at 5mph behind the line of other cars. 7:21. Finally we arrive to the entrance and I jump out of the car in the carpool line and slam the door shut. 7:24. I feel my backpack and my violin ricocheting against my thigh as I run through the school doors. Woo, I exhale. I made it! But as I dash towards the stairs, I hear the bell. 7:25. A security guard immediately stops me and directs me towards the main lobby to a table where I am required to sign in. In previous years, students were required to sign in at the attendance office when they arrived later than 7:45am. If they arrived before then, they simply went straight to class, where teachers
could handle the situation with their own discretion. That was a much better and more efficient policy. This year, students are required to proceed to the main office lobby right
after 7:25am is nearly impossible because all entrance doors besides front doors are closed at this time. This new policy is unfair and unproductive. Firstly, the passes direct
A student who may have been 30 seconds late to class will end up getting to class ten whole minutes late. away and sign in at a table administered by a security guard, who must then take the time to write out and sign a pass for each student to continue to class. Sneaking past the security guards to get to class
teachers to mark students unexcused tardy. Security guards claim that this will later be changed in the attendance office to excused, but what is the point of this? Why make the process so complicated? It
seems like an unnecessary step. Secondly, because people are stopped virtually the second after the 7:25 bell, the lines to sign in tend to be very long. This makes the sign-in process wasteful, as it limits classroom time for students. Oftentimes, a student who may have been 30 seconds late to class will end up getting to class ten whole minutes late after waiting in line to receive their pass from security. Overall, the policy has the opposite effect of its purpose. Students are actually inhibited from getting to class closer to the start time of school, and teachers get confused about what they are supposed to do with the little passes they are given. Switching back to the old procedure would be much more helpful than keeping this new one.
The Blake Beat
November 15, 2013
Social media’s provocative displays negatively impact youth
Television’s violence, curse words leave teens desensitized, apathetic
x by Emma Friedman Kids these days are unaware of the effects violence in social media has had on desensitization. Curse words and violence flow easily through an environment rich with grime and gruel existing as persistent normalcy. From NCIS’s shootouts to blood soaked patients on Grey’s Anatomy, TV show plot lines detail horrific and traumatic events. Americans dedicated to seasons of their favorite shows bounce excitedly on couch cushions and in front of computer monitors, throwing popcorn into their eager mouths the minute programs air. Most television has unrelenting and unrealistically occurring tragedy to reel in viewers. The availability of violence thanks to the Internet allows terrifying material from Hollywood and real world disasters to fluctuate in and out of daily life. All is available at the touch of a button. Computerized explosions and Fox breaking news mesh together into one
category as prime entertainment for viewers who see both as normal and are unaffected by their true horror. News stations and popular social networking sites provide both authentic reports and disputed rumors of chilling wars, the latest deaths and serial rapists in your area. Crime is easily detected because we are so adept to dealing with events seen all throughout daily life whether in the latest blockbuster or through destruction in Syria. Teenage slang and popular hip-hop and rap music heighten the intensity of vulgar garbage spoken from the mouths of children. Curse words lose meaning as they are used regularly and with ease among peers. Unaware of the gravity carried behind real meaning, kids throw around F, N and C words like a swift baseball, unaware they have caused a black eye. These influences have begun to remove the severity instilled in their images. AP Lang students may remember the social experiment performed in class last
year. When shown on the Promethean board, the famous photo of a meditating monk on fire was met with no abrupt impact or severe reaction. Video games too, extract warmth and nurture from the virtual world. The basis of every quest or challenge has ferocious intent necessary to achieve goals. Engaging in violence through surreal settings may influence the rise in undisturbed effects of desensitization. Gamers feel the success of victory, but never the physical altercations which leave actual victims permanently injured or mentally scarred. The question is not whether or not humans are uncaring, but why we have become accustomed to promoting the regularity of forceful influences. Yes, destruction grabs hold of attention, but why has it gotten to the point where it is so constant and familiar? We must each individually analyze the reactions and results of tragedy to better sympathize with and understand the impacts of those who live their pain.
Campbell, Gomez elaborate on “spooky” films, dying scare tactics
Today’s horror movies lack original character archetypes, storylines
x by Kate Campbell & Ariel Gomez It’s officially the era of unoriginal horror movies as it seems that if a storyline, film, or character is successful once, it becomes viral. What better examples are there other than movies like Saw and Final Destination that seem to release a sequel every year and show no signs of stopping? There just aren’t many new horror movies being released these days; they all seem to be sequels. Just this year the SEVENTH film in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise was released, and the sequel to Insidious was released just two months ago. The FIFTH Paranormal Activity is coming out in 2014, and a SIXTH one is already in development. It seems that this trend will never stop. The people of Hollywood have run out of ideas and fans are left watching the same banal plots. How many movies have you seen lately that are supposedly telling the true story of a haunting? Remember The Conjuring, The Haunting in Connecticut, and The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia? And it shouldn’t be a surprise that a sequel for The Conjuring and a third installment for The Haunting in Connecticut are already in development. Even characters are being used over and over again. Take characters like Freddy Krueger who went on to star in NINE different movies. Or Friday the 13th’s mass murderer Jason Voorhees who has been brought back TWELVE times, so far. How about the demon wearing a white gown, whose face is covered by her long black hair? Some variation of this entity seems to appear in every horror movie being released. It’s so common, that it isn’t even scary anymore. Producers and directors see an idea that works and utilize it for as long as they can until finally they aren’t making any more money. Hollywood lacks originality by stealing horror movies such as The Grudge and The Ring from their original Japanese productions and watering them Graphic by Ty Skeiky down to fit American ratings. For most horror movies, the formula is as follows: sad family moves into a house that is CLEARLY HAUNTED, hears noises and develops strange marks on their bodies but STILL remains in the house, daughter is possessed by a demon, exorcist saves the day, THE END. Not only has this storyline been overused, but it also causes the audience to have less of an attachment to the unoriginal characters who seem to have been copied and pasted from another “paranormal” or “insidious” movie.
November 15, 2013
No excuses, just excellence. The Beat, named the state’s best student newspaper for the last five years, is published monthly by journalism students at James Hubert Blake High School. Co-Editors-in-Chief Ann Cirincione Jacqueline Hyman Associate Editors Emma Friedman Emily George John Kos Zach Kushner Maryam Outlaw Directors Nicholas Aylward (Opinion) Brian Dicken (Sports) Bronwyn Evans (Arts) Ariel Gomez (News) Elana Harris (Features) Kloe Johnson (Opinion) Jordan McLean (Sports) Tabi Orock (Arts) Jenna Ramirez (Features) Darien Waters (News) Sami Wright (Photography) News Managing Editors Logan Dreher Courtney Hutchinson Opinion Managing Editors Kate Campbell Sports Managing Editors Alyssia Graves Fine Arts Managing Editor Michelle Carter Photo Managing Editors Paola Arbaiza Dennis Chan Graphics Managing Editor Marie Anne Louis-Charles Tanner Medrano Ty Skeiky Staff Writers Adam Beuttler Yodit Denu Kirsten Hines Shak Magona Torie Broer Adviser Joseph A. Caulfield
Survivor: Blake parking lot edition
Any student agrees that the last thing they want to be doing at 7 am is walking into school. Yet, now at Blake High School, getting dropped off at school is even more stressful than usual. This is in part because the student parking lot has become a battle ground. Student drivers apparently now think it is okay to become the next big NASCAR star, cutting off everyone and anyone who gets in their way. Also, could it be that not being able to color in between the lines as a child reflects some students’ ability to park in the lines of their parking spot? Then there are the some of the parents of students who drive at speeds slow enough to qualify them as tortoises. In addition, unforgettable are the parents who proudly lead a parade of cars down the student drop off lane, haphazardly halting at imaginary stop signs. Their children, still groggy, then proceed to get their backpack and exit the vehicle in slow-motion, with the parade procession of cars waiting behind them. Not to mention, there are clueless pedestrians walking into school, taking their sweet time. THERE IS THIS FABULOUS NEW INVENTION CALLED A CROSSWALK. In all seriousness, there is no way anyone walking into school that slowly can get to class by 7:25. Consider this your wake-up call, Blake. It is time for what should be a normal morning commute not to end like an episode of “Survivor”.
Stop the Facebook game requests
Candy Crush, Farmville, Dragon Slayer, Mafia Wars, Words with Friends. The list goes on forever of pointless Facebook games that waste time and money. They seem futile, but these addictive Facebook games attract a horde of obsessive, zombie-like players. This isn’t a major problem (except for the people who spend hundreds of dollars trying to get to that next level on Candy Crush, or go to expensive rehab centers to cure their “addiction” to Facebook apps). However, when these zombies include their friends and family in their madness, it becomes a serious issue. App-crazed Facebook users sending notifications every single day to all of their Facebook friends (including that one guy whose face looked familiar so they accepted his friend request four years ago) is certainly unacceptable. If you are one of these people, please stop your crimes against humanity. Do not include your Facebook friends in your madness. You are welcome to fall into a downward, app-induced spiral, but please spare your family. They do not deserve to be spammed with Candy Crush requests for lives, nor do they want an invitation to play Words with Friends. A Facebook friendship is an agreement. You agreed to be a part of your friends and family’s online life, and in return you will share yours. They did not agree to be a part of your insane app obsessed experience.
The war against headphones
Nowadays it’s become the norm to see someone with their headphones connecting them to ever-present iPods and iPhones (unless, of course, they’re in class). It’s understandable that the MP3 players of all kinds must go away when teachers are instructing or lecturing. The teacher droning on about Pythagorean Theorem turns into singing along with Adele and then both the concept and the song are over. Students get behind in a class when they are distracted by their favorite tunes. But in elective classes, where the teacher may not ever lecture, or during independent work, it’s less logical to ban music. Most students use music when they’re home to focus themselves and drown out background noise. This concept is even more relevant in class, where rumors and gossip are distractingly common. Some teachers have already recognized the usefulness of music and ignore the ear buds or headphones of their students. But the vast majority of teachers, especially academic teachers, are waging a war against music. They only notice the obnoxious students that misuse the power of their iPods and blast their music at full volume and then punish the entire student body for it. But for students who are willing to play their music at a respectable level and follow other rules, music could become a tool just like computers and Promethean boards have become instruments of learning.
On Maryland, the human body, and killer key rings Welcome to the second edition of Quirky Facts and Life Hacks! Do you like the color blue? Studies show that owls are the only birds that have the ability to see the color blue! Speaking of colors, did you know that not all of your dreams are in color? That’s right! You may very well have dreams in black and white! Want to put your shoes in the dryer, but can’t stand all the tumultuous rumbling? Keep your shoelaces in your shoes, then tie them in a knot and close them in the dryer door; the knot will keep your shoes from tumbling around, and they will still dry just as well. World-renowned soccer player and underwear model Cristiano Ronaldo has been recorded shooting the ball at a blazing 81 miles per hour! That’s faster than you drive on the ICC… or faster than you should. Next time you’re folding your clothes, place them in the drawer on their side so you can see them all when you open it. Think you know where your strongest muscle is? Your Bicep? Your Quadriceps? Wrong. The strongest muscle in your body is your tongue. Just ask Thomas Blackthorne, Guinness World Record holder for the heaviest weight lifted by a human tongue (27 lbs., 8.96 oz.). Speaking of your body, did you know that it is impossible to tickle yourself? Stop trying, people are staring…
Key ring holding your keys hostage? Hate sacrificing your fingers to get them back? Use a staple remover to hold open the ring while you slide the key off. Scientists have proved that humans are the only animals that shed emotional tears - every other animal that cries has a physiological reason. Another handy tip to stop your tears: use old bread clips and fasten them around each chord that runs behind your television, computer, or other electronic device. Label the bread clips based on what chord does what and goes where. Boom. No more hopeless tangling and untangling to plug your mouse back in. Do you know Maryland’s motto by heart? Did you know Maryland had a motto? The official motto of the state of Maryland is Fatti maschii, parole femine, which means “Manly deeds, womanly words.” Figure that one out. Maryland also has an official beverage, which is (drumroll please?) milk. Yes, milk. In case you ever find yourself at a hotel without an outlet adapter, the televisions usually have USB ports. One last hack I’m sure you’ll love: if there’s someone in your phone whose call you don’t want to answer, customize their ringtone to your favorite song. That way, you can jam out to your favorite tune while you swerve the life out of them. Blocking their number also works just fine.
DITCH THE COLORED LIPSTICK Blake students, especially females, the colored lipstick epidemic has to go. It was fine when it started with unique reds, pinks, and even some purples. But the black, whites, bright blues, and other exotic rainbow colors took it too far. I’m not saying get rid of colored lipstick completely because it is a great way to show off your unique style and complement your outfit, but if you look into the mirror before school and see a clown then maybe you should reevaluate your choice of makeup. Junior Elizabeth Gross COLLEGE COSTS SKYROCKET Isn’t getting into a good college/ university hard enough with our grades? Now it is nearly impossible to go to college with how much it would cost us. I know that seeing that five-digit price tag can scare anybody off. Most students nowadays have already given up the idea of even going to college or are just settling for community college. Maybe it’s about time college boards start rethinking how much it costs to go to their school because I think it’s more important that students have more opportunities to expand in their choice career. It’s getting really sad to think some students won’t ever get that job they’ve dreamed about because they don’t have a college diploma. Many students might say, “Why don’t I just get a loan?” But I don’t see the point in a loan if you’re going to spend your adult years just paying it off.
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BRANCH Music on what we a group of never reach
November 15, 2013
Seniors respond positively to iOS 7 update, declare changes productive Apple consumers across the globe simultaneously plugged their products into charging ports, starting the long process of transitioning from the iOS 6 to iOS 7 update on September 18. The iOS 7 update was the biggest design change that Apple ever released to the public. With new features like Control Center, Airdrop, and smarter multitasking, this design was created in order to provide consumers with a more effective, yet simple iPhone or iPad. In comparison with iOS 6, the still relatively new update, iOS 7 is a breath of fresh air. “Design defines so much of our experience; there is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity, clarity, and efficiency,” says Senior Vice President of Apple Design, Jony Ive. From its functional layers to its better means of organization, the best word to sum up iOS7 as a whole is “coherent.” New transparent layers, photo collections and moments, and new forms of systematizing lists work together to provide users with the best possible up-to-date experience. While iOS 6 contained a must less vibrant color palette and entirely flat dimensions, its level of productivity cannot match what iOS 7 can provide. En-
tirely redesigned applications provide people the world at their fingertips. The main changes present in this update include multitasking, Airdrop, and Control Center. Multitasking entails the simple motion of double clicking the home button, all opened applications appear in smaller forms of rectangular documents, able to be chosen or swiped away. Airdrop allows users to share files such as photos and contacts easily if someone nearby also has iOS 7 running. Finally, Control Center brings together useful options such as flashlight, Wi-Fi, Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb, etc. together onto one main settings page. Once the update from iOS 6 to 7 is complete, it can’t be undone. Therefore, it’s important for users to be fully aware of the drastic changes headed their way. To especially nervous individuals, we recommend independently researching the pros and cons of making the update just so comfort is met. There are certain precautions and tricks available that also make this transition easier; such as keeping an iPhone synced into iTunes during the process of updating to ensure that all files are kept safe and to avoid storage issues.
I OF THE TIGER by Emma Friedman & Emily George
YesororNo? No? Yes
Beat writers debate over a controversial isssue: Should the Washington Redskins change their name?
Yes: Name offensive, mascot outdated
Makes America hypocritical and demeaning x by Maryam Outlaw
Sophomore Nicole Granados
M’S ALBUM IMPRESSES back! Eminem’s new album The Mathers LP 2 released Tuesday 5 and I could not be happier eturn to reinvent rap music. Emiums aren’t only music but diaries that he discloses to the world, and bum did not disappoint. Eminem into his past to pull out hit after ongs like “Berzerk,” Eminem old school hip-hop and rock to bute to music in the 90s era. His adlights” and “Monster” reflect tionship with his mom and his o prescription pills, putting a real, l into the album. Eminem has a ance between slowed down, true d club bangers. This will be an be putting on repeat on my iPod t wait to hear more. Junior Nailah Fisher
H OUT INTO NEW MUSIC c is life. Isn’t it time to expand e call “life?” Many of us stick to artists, one genre of music and h out of our comfort zones. The
music industry has so much to offer and a majority of us push it away. Let’s listen to underground music, or instead of hip-hop and rap music, take a look into indie rock. Or maybe instead of listening to Drake all the time, try out a Sam Smith song for size. Rock music isn’t all screaming in terror and rap music isn’t all sex, violence, and drugs. Get out of your default modes of preconceived notions on what music you will or will not like. A person will never know until they put an ear bud in their ear and really sink in to other types of music. You’ll be surprised when you find new music you enjoy. Junior Tsola Akuya NEW CAMERAS INSTALLED I agree with the cameras installed in the gym and in the weight room. I like the way the administration has taken into consideration that there are people who steal and rob other people’s things. The gym and the weight room are the places that I have heard the most things or objects are stolen or taken. I also heard that someone was sneaking into the weight room, at night and has been using and taking weights. I can feel safer and not have to worry too much about my stuff now. Thank you. Junior Sergio Gomez
The staff welcomes all signed letters to the editor but reserves the right to edit or condense them. Letters may be submitted to Room A205 or mailed to: The Blake Beat, Blake High School, 300 Norwood Road, Silver Spring, MD 20905. The telephone number is (301) 879-1379.
Yes, the Washington Redskins should definitely change the name of their football team. I don’t know why it has even taken so long for this topic to become so popular considering the fact that it is 2013 and this country is supposed to be better than the disrespect we have been dishing out to Native Americans for what seems like for FREAKING ever. Forget about tradition and memories and all the money it’s going to take to make a new name, new logo, find new endorsements, etc. because that’s what’s wrong with America. Business always comes first. Let’s think purely from a moral perspective. First off, no one calls a Native American a redskin because if they did, I assume it would parallel to the idea of calling a homosexual a “fairy” or African Americans “colored folk,” which is outrageous, offensive, and most importantly, outdated. Secondly, who decided that a Native American could qualify as
a MASCOT? As far as I’m considered, a mascot is a non-human being. And if it is a human, it’s either a pirate or a leprechaun. Now, this country has made leaps and bounds regarding race and ethnicity over the last 100 years, but arguments like this force me to question our progression as a united nation. Even though most Native Americans allegedly don’t really care about what the Skins call themselves, I find that very unlikely. Surveys can be molded to make anyone say what another wants them to say. It’s called politics. So I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it. And even if Native Americans don’t mind, does that mean the discussion stops there? Absolutely not. Calling ourselves “the great American melting pot” while keeping the name is contradictory. No one can just SAY this country is one of acceptance and venerability. They have to ACT with acceptance and venerability. America can’t think about it. They have to be about it.
No: Native Americans find name innocuous
Now associated with pride, not prejudice
“Hail to the Redskins” we are speaking of the “Redskins Nation” with honor and pride, anything but prejudice and racism. The late coach George Allen consulted with the Red Cloud Athletic Fund from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota about designing the Redskins helmet emblem. He was even honored by the Red Cloud Athletic fund for his work. People are offended that they have a Native American head as a logo but even that was designed by Native Americans for that specific purpose. Who am I to argue against what Native Americans think about the Redskins? Does Redskin refer to me? No. This is directly affecting Native Americans and if they take no offense to it then why should I? Says Chief Green, “You can’t rewrite history – yes there were some awful bad things done to our people over time, but naming the Washington football team the Redskins, we don’t consider to be one of those bad things.” “Hail to the Redskins! Hail Victory! Braves on the Warpath! Fight for old D.C.!” If this isn’t pride then I don’t know what is.
The Blake Beat
November 15, 2013
Bizarre college essays fail to provide efficient instruction
Friedman considers examples of newest puzzling university prompts x by Emma Friedman College is for the education and enrichment of the next generation of young adults, yet its admittance relies on merit of silly or ridiculously themed essay prompts. Tuft’s YOLO themed question sounds almost sane when compared to other prompts of college admittance. The University of Chicago has an essay dedicated entirely to “super-huge mustard.” Students are told to imagine walking down the aisles of popular warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club and think about who exactly is buying products in such hefty bulk. Brandeis University asks students about the kind of parents they would choose if given option themselves… too bad the choices are robots, dinosaurs and aliens! But at least this essay is general unlike the University of Pennsylvania’s request for page 217 of a hypothetical 300 paged autobiography. Many prompts often go beyond confusion to plain disbelief and laughter such as University of Chicago’s bizarre essay “so where is Waldo, really?” Bizarre is taken further in St. Mary’s exclusion of an essay completely. Students applying to this college may choose to submit audition tapes online or through DVDs with only the advice, “consider your audience.”
Other essays provide alternative states to your existence. Hamilton College wants to know how life would affect you living on a flat plane while Tuft’s uses famous children’s icon Kermit the Frog to state “it’s not easy being green. Do you agree?” Meanwhile, the University of Notre Dame’s prompt captures the terrified mindset students feel when faced with writing essays, telling students “you have 150 words. Take a risk,” which is nonetheless alarming. With no central guide to writing, this prompt leaves students to ponder what unlimited topics they could choose to cover. Johns Hopkins University not only wants you to write an essay, but construct a creation. Given specific materials that include a piece of wire, a Hopkins car window sticker, an egg carton, and any inexpensive hardware store item, students must create something that would solve a problem and speak about this random design through an essay. Despite the outlandish appearances of many essay prompts, colleges are really only after students’ true sense of self. These essays are a way to get to know students from personal and relatable experiences or ideas. The fundamental attributes of a successful college candidate can be expressed in each of these essays if students sincerely put their hearts and souls into words.
Hybrid holiday Thanksgivukkah causes many to face new customs x by Jacqueline Hyman For the first time in history, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will overlap November 28 for the new phenomenon that people are calling Thanksgivukkah. While this is a cool once-in-alifetime experience, it makes things inconvenient for those celebrating both holidays. Usually, Hanukkah overlaps with Christmas, not Thanksgiving. That is a whole month later and leaves a lot extra time for planning the parties, the food, and the presents. Now that there is no winter break before Hanukkah, there won’t be any time to buy presents for family and friends for the holiday. Celebration won’t be as plentiful regarding gifts as it has been previously. When people hand out gifts, there could be a lot of awkward pauses as others apologize for not being able to return the favor. Many people use the time off from school to search for the perfect present to buy their parents or grandparents but with not even a single day off before the start of the holiday, students may be too busy to spend time on this endeavor. In this day and age, having Hanukkah in line with the Christmas season also makes the two feel like equals in the commercial aspect. And what are we supposed to do about food? Are we expected to eat turkey and cranberry sauce, or latkes and gefilte fish (which aren’t that great anyway)?
Is there supposed to be a combination of the foods? Mixing the two types of foods doesn’t sound very appealing to the taste buds. Celebrating both holidays together is going to be hectic and perplexing. Neither holiday will get the complete attention it deserves, at least not for the first couple nights of Hanukkah. The first night will be occupied by Thanksgiving feasts, and American traditions might be broken up if Jews wish to read Maccabee stories or gamble with chocolate coins in a game of dreidel. The second night of Hanukkah will be plagued by Black Friday deals and shoppers. While Hanukkah is not considered a High Holiday that holds the same importance as Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah, it is one that many people look forward to. It carries a deeper meaning of hope and faith, and tends to be a fun family experience. Now it is forced to share its glory with the highly-anticipated Thanksgiving. Obviously this is an unavoidable conflict; America follows the Gregorian calendar, and the Jewish religion follows the lunar one. Neither calendar can simply be updated just for convenience. However, apparently the next time an event such as Thanksgivukkah will happen is in 79,043 years. While this is a unique experience about which stories will probably be told later, I must admit, I’m glad it won’t be happening again within my lifetime.
Senior baffled by upcoming fifth Pirates of the Caribbean installment Carter deems Disney franchise tired, unoriginal, upsettingly irrelevant x by Michelle Carter Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, was highly anticipated when it was released in 2011. Yet, the film was a major flop with movie-goers, fans, and critics alike. The extreme failure of the fourth Pirates was extremely surprising, but what may be even more shocking is the fact that a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean is currently in the works. Yes, that is correct, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a go. Currently, Johnny Depp is the only veteran cast member who has publicly addressed being a part of the new movie. In addition, the movie site, Bleeding Cool, has released that everyone’s favorite pirate, Jack Sparrow, will be interacting with a new female lead. It has been rumored that this new female lead will be a scientist suspected of witchcraft.
Also rumored is that two other romantic leads, a young boy and a young girl both from farming families, will somehow make their way into the story. Wow. This film is introducing another young couple to fall in love? No one’s ever seen that in any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies before (*cough cough, Elizabeth and Will*). First of all, Pirates of the Caribbean completely lost its magic when Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightly announced that they would not participate in the fourth movie. Their continuous on-screen chemistry was one of the reasons the movie franchise was able to take off in the first place. Without them, Pirates = pointless. In addition, I don’t even know who Penelope Cruz is, even after she played Angelica in the fourth movie. What makes the imaginative team behind Pirates of the Caribbean 5 think that adding another new female lead will turn out any differently? Let’s be honest, Johnny Depp is the only reason
people even bothered going to the movie theatre to see the more tragic sequels. But why even bother giving him a romantic interest in Pirates of the Caribbean? His character does not seem like the type who would drop everything for a girl. Plus, there is also current gossip speculating that the movie’s title gets its name from another one of the characters, a ghost. Really, Jerry Bruckheimer? Have you really gotten that unoriginal that you are resulting to turning Pirates of the Caribbean into a bedtime ghost story? So, in conclusion, let’s just say that making over four movies as a part of a single entertainment franchise might have worked for Harry Potter, but for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Bruckheimer needs to stop ruining a good thing before he completely destroys it. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Pirates of the Caribbean, and I’ll still go to see the fifth movie. I just think that too much of a good thing sucks the fun out of it.
The Blake Beat
November 15, 2013
Students consider food mooching generous art form
Juniors say unprepared Bengals bumming food makes the world go round x by Bronwyn Evans & Elana Harris
Let’s be honest: everyone is a freeloader at heart. From birth, we mooched off of our parents for their constant attention. Now, we still mooch off of our friends, family, and sometimes even strangers for their food. Mooching can be defined as begging for anything without paying for it. Though some may argue that it is a rude habit, is there really a problem with asking others for a small piece of their grilled cheese? Think about it like this: freeloaders are true friends because they show that they are comfortable enough with people to ask for things with nothing to give in return. A person is sure to have a moocher’s full attention, so long as he or she provides some food. Are moochers ill-prepared? Yes. But are they stupid? No! By narrowing down their friends to those who will be kind enough to donate some snacks for a good cause, moochers can easily choose who will be best to hang around with. Also, they save huge portions of money by cozying up to their friends’ parents and then swiftly clearing out their pantries. We recommend students start up freeloading; it’s an art, really. Just tell your parents that it builds charisma, increases flexibility, and will help anyone with business proposals in the future, and then you’re on your way. Some pointers: First, don’t bum food off of people you hardly know or off of parents you have not yet met. It’s hard to recover a relationship once people you barely know figure out that you are hungry and not afraid to guilt-trip them to satisfy this need. Second, be a courteous moocher. Don’t become “that guy” who blows way past the title of “freeloader” and becomes a full-on parasite. People appreciate the moochers who are also willing to give into the guilt-trip and will donate some food on occasion. Third, don’t be a picky moocher. If some courteous angel is willing to gift you a taste of their food, don’t you dare complain that it isn’t good enough. Feeding the hungry is a lesson of charity that we were taught when we were younger. Helping others builds character and motivates one to give. In reality, mooching makes others become better people. Now go beg for food and make the world a
Children’s networks steadily snowball downhill, disappoint teens
Seniors scrutinize kid’s shows, believe classics authentic, irreplaceable
by Yodit Denu x & Maryam Outlaw Once upon a time, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network were channels that included both entertainment and learning. But what once had teenagers smiling and sobbing all in one episode, now has kids clinging onto yesterday’s television. Every 80’s kid misses The Cosby Show. Every 90’s dude will never forget Boy Meets World. And those from the new
millennium can’t deny the magic of Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire, and Raven Baxter. But ten years from now, if teenagers are complaining about how everything was so much better when they had Adventure Time and A.N.T. Farm, I. Quit. Life. Though Disney Channel has always been for children, it never used to shy away from more mature content sincerely. Dyslexia, infidelity, and racism are just a few sore subjects Disney used to address in a both positive and endearing light.
Now, all that “drama” shown on kid-friendly stations is portrayed either forcefully, superficially, and untruthfully, or is never portrayed at all. Not only are their content and concepts lacking, but children networks’ own performers serve as a stress-inducing dilemma. Sure, youthful actors are underdeveloped, but if MaryKate and Ashley Olsen can leave America both in laughter and in agony at the age of two years old, I’m sure producers of these new shows can find some eager
and talented twelve year old somewhere. In addition, Disney Channel movies are spiraling out of control as well. Remember Stuck in the Suburbs, Luck of the Irish, and The Cheetah Girls? Sure, the broadcasting station had one silver lining by the name of Lemonade Mouth, but should wellcrafted Disney Channel original movies really be premiering once every blue moon? And don’t think that kids don’t know what’s going on when stations play Hey Arnold! and All
That on Teen Nick, create a Boomerang channel, and play original movies once every week at 3am in the morning. It isn’t enough and it isn’t going to change this inevitable downfall. So, in conclusion, kid shows suck. Children used to love coming home early from school due to their 101 degree fever and snuggling up to a good episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, but it’s all over now. Goodbye Drake and Josh. Hello MTV’s Snooki and JWoww ... unfortunately.
Junior lashes out, condemns stupidity of students’ off-season dressing x by Jenna Ramirez Tacky, unnecessary, contradictory, ill-informed, revolting… so many words to describe the act that so many individuals fall victim to--- off-season dressing. Imagine. The weather is cold. It’s at least in the upper 30s and an unsteady rain is keeping the sky sunless and dead. Most girls come to school dressed in rain boots, Uggs, Sperrys, whatever...but there’s always that one girl. Most girls are wearing jeans, sweat pants, yoga pants, hell, even leggings, but then, as students walk down the hallway, they see that one girl. They whisper amongst
one another, questioning her outfit choice, casually asking her in class if she’s cold. Her response is always “of course not!” or “why would I be?” These subtle hints always go right over her head. And then finally, it seems in the last period of the day, someone stands up and asks her what has been on everyone’s mind all day --- “Why are you wearing flip flops?” Everyone takes a sigh of relief. She finally knows how stupid she looks. Why do people insist on wearing flip flops in the winter? Girls, there is no logical excuse to show your pedicured toes in 30 degree weather. Or better yet, the mixture of shorts and Uggs. If it’s cold enough to
wear Uggs, it sure isn’t warm enough to wear shorts. Yet, ignoring these logical outfit choices or even checking the weather, many girls continue to mix seasonal outfits. Every day in the winter, students witness a fashion atrocity: booty shorts and Ugg boots. Of course it’s logical to wear Uggs in 30 degree weather! Now where do the shorts fit in? The purpose of Ugg boots is to keep feet warm and cozy when it’s freezing outside. Booty shorts do the opposite and present legs to the fierce, cold weather. But the fashion atrocities don’t end there. So many students, not limited to girls, show up to the bus stop and school without
jackets in below freezing weather. There is absolutely no excuse to come to school without something to help keep warm. Yes, maybe these kids can’t afford it, but when they’re walking around in real Ugg boots or the newest pair of Jordans, one can doubt. Jackets can be thrown into a locker or backpack the minute students get to school. Why give parents heart attacks by risking the cold without one? The point, even though the majority of these students have lived in Maryland or the East Coast for all of their lives, they still don’t know how winters here work. Wear jackets, skip the flip flops, and pray that another Snowpocalypse is avoided.
Girls, there is no logical excuse to show your pedicured toes in 30 degree weather.
November 15, 2013
The Blake Beat
News and Opinion