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Volume 37 - Issue 8

Friday, April 26, 2013

A National Blue Ribbon School

Public opinion sways legislation, marijuana bills pass

By Sonia Shekar Lara Fu Senior Writers

Pot. Weed. Mary Jane. Herb. Bud. Nug. Whatever name you know marijuana by, laws regarding its use in the state of Maryland may be changing soon. The Maryland House of Representatives and Senate are currently debating on two issues regarding marijuana: legalizing its use for medical purposes and decriminalizing possession of fewer than ten grams of it. The Senate approved the House’s medical marijuana bill April 8, 424, and it will now go to Governor Martin O’Malley to be approved or vetoed. Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola (D) voted for House Bill 180 (HB 180), as the medical marijuana bill is formally known, because he believes medical marijuana has proven to be effective. “Studies overwhelmingly indicate the effectiveness of marijuana in alleviating symptoms associated with chronic illness,” Garagiola’s legislative aide Allan Thorson said. “Senator Garagiola feels that HB 180 will effectively alleviate the fear of prosecution for a caregiver who is in possession of marijuana on behalf of an individual with a debilitating medical condition.” According to a March 25 Washington Post article, while HB 180 legalizes the use of medical marijuana, the marijuana will at first only be distributed to a few academic

medical centers. The earliest these centers would be able to distribute medical marijuana is most likely 2016, if O’Malley signs the bill into law. According to the article, several academic centers, including the University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins University, do not want to be involved in the distribution of marijuana, as it still violates federal law. However, according to Michelle Bernstein, legislative director for Delegate Dan Morhaim, Sinai Hospital in Baltimore “submitted a written letter saying they would possibly be interested in participating in a medical marijuana program.” According to a medical marijuana information packet Morhaim prepared in 2012, HB 180 includes the creation of a network of state-sanctioned dispensaries and growers that would work with medical centers to distribute medical marijuana and collect data. Morhaim, the sponsor of HB 180 and only medical doctor in the legislature, believes that this will be effective in providing safeguards against abuse, according to Bernstein. The second bill under consideration is Senate Bill 297 (SB 297), which seeks to decriminalize possession of ten grams or less of marijuana, reducing the offense from criminal to civil. This would change the current punishment of up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $500 to a maximum fine of $100 and no jail time. The bill passed in the

Senate March 19, 30-16. According to an April 8 Potomac Patch article, as of that date, the House Judiciary Committee has not yet voted in favor of it. Garagiola also supports Senate Bill 297 and believes it will benefit Maryland in the long run. “Senator Garagiola feels that possession of small amounts of marijuana is typically a victimless crime,” Thorson said. “It is also more cost-effective to treat possession of small amounts of marijuana as a civil offense rather than a criminal misdemeanor, given that the state does not have to pay for the incarceration of defendants.” The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is an organization founded in 1995, and its primary goal is to reduce regulations and support both medical and non-medical use of marijuana. MPP lobbies for support of bills such as the ones currently being considered in Maryland. According to a 2012 NIH study featured on the MPP website, the decriminalization of illicit drugs is not directly related to an increase in drug use among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24. This study challenges the concern that the legalization of medical marijuana will increase recreational marijuana use, especially among teenagers. According to junior Tim Cheng, “recreational use won’t change” among students because it will still be illegal under federal law.

In order to better educate adolescents and parents about marijuana following looser regulations in many states, the MPP proposes introducing a marijuana education program. “Honest drug education with an emphasis on relative safety and harm reduction will benefit social efforts to curb drug use far more than policies which allow alcohol but not marijuana when the latter is demonstrably safer,” MPP Communications Manager Morgan Fox said. According to Delegate Morhaim’s medical marijuana information packet, a Gonzales Research poll conducted in January 2012 revealed that 63 percent of Maryland voters favor legalizing medical marijuana. Marijuana reforms are gaining support across the country, and changes to current law are undoubtedly soon to come.

college, people as that level is possible different. At to take Dartmouth at least they must one AP h a v e class and wanted the pass the kids to go test with through a three the basics or above. again before That is they jump pressuring into more a lot of difficult students PHOTO BY EMILIE PLESSET. chemistry t h a t Students labor overAPs that may not count in the future. wouldn’t classes.” According to Donna Hamilton, the normally take AP classes to enroll in Associate Provost and Dean for under- AP classes which eventually results in graduate Studies at the University the class not being as rigorous or of Maryland (UMD), each academic lots of students getting Cs or department at the university reviews below.” the AP exams and determines whether While students may find it the test is equivalent to their UMD more difficult to earn college course, which scores will be accepted, credit through the AP, many and how the credit will be used. colleges still want to see “I have no doubt that AP classes students challenging themselves at CHS are rigorous,” AP Literature by taking AP courses in high and Composition teacher Haroot school. Additionally, many Hakopian said. “But MCPS has schools still use AP exam scores an initiative where they want as many to allow students to be placed in

higher-level classes. “The AP exams challenge students to see how they perform based on what they absorbed all throughout the year,” Boppana said. “Taking those risks and challenging themselves to that extent is a good thing.” Students who score well on AP exams are able to gain college credit and save money on college tuition by securing enough credit to graduate early. “The exam itself has always been pitched as a way to save money on college credits,”Hakopian said. “You pay $89 and you can use that if you score high enough to take the place of a college credit class which could cost about $1,000 to $11,000.” According to CHS College Information Coordinator Luana Zimmerman, all students enrolled in an AP class are expected to take the exam. Students who decline to take the AP exam must sign a contract stating that they will instead take a final exam, which is usually an AP exam from a previous year.

37% 63%

Source: Gonzales Research Poll

News Event Center D&A Sports and Entertainment begins construction on a new event center.

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Features Hair Appreciation Which students have the most unique hairdos and what does it take to maintain them?

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Sports Big Train Local ball team offers residents major league fun while helping out a great cause.

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PHOTO BY BEN SCHICK.

Colleges have become increasingly stringent in their acceptance of AP exam scores for college credit. Many top-ranked universities are now only accepting a score of either a four or five on an AP exam, if at all. Dartmouth College recently announced that beginning in Fall 2014 it will not accept any AP or IB exam scores for college credit. According to a January New York Times article, Dartmouth gave a Psych One final exam to incoming students who earned a five on the AP Psychology exam. However, despite doing well on the AP exam, only 10 percent of the students passed the test. Some colleges may not accept AP credit for certain AP courses because they may find that these classes are not fully comparable to their entry level courses in a particular subject. “AP Chemistry covers all the basics of General Chemistry and that to me is a foundation to take higher level chemistry classes in college,” AP Chemistry teacher Jodi Boppana said. “Depending on the

PHOTO BY JULIA REAGAN.

By Emilie Plesset Senior Writer

D&A SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT GROUP.

Colleges less likely to give credit for APs


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News

theObserver

Friday, April 26, 2013

INTERNATIONAL North Korea

The law is scheduled to go into effect by Oct. 1 and will title Maryland as one the states with the most restrictive gun measures. According to the Washington Post article, the state will ban magazines that contain more than 10 bullets and will prohibit more than 45 types of rifles, classifying them as assault weapons. According to an April 4 CNN article, this law will require first-time gun users to train before shooting and will ban some individuals with mental illnesses from owning a gun. Maryland will join Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii and New York in demanding gun owners to be fingerprinted, licensed and to have passed classroom training.

Passport D.C. offers cultural opportunity By Jordan Janis Features Editor

country’s traditional heritage. According to junior Mara Zankman, who attended Passport D.C. last year, Throughout the month of May, 70 embas- she signed a banner for the Queen sies and other cultural organizations will host in honor of the diamond jubilee and Passport D.C., a collection of cultural events. walked through the gardens at the Passport D.C., created in May 2008 Embassy of the United Kingdom. by nonprofit group Cultural Tourism The Embassy of the United Kingdom D.C., celebrates and promotes the di- will showcase the Ambassador’s residence verse culture of the nation’s capital, in and gardens, as well as British business and concurrence with D.C. Mayor Vincent trade; it will also hold creative and cultural Gray’s proclamation of May as Interna- activities. The Embassies of France and tional Cultural Awareness Month. Germany will have a joint celebration in “D.C. is a wonderful resource for inter- honor of the 50-year anniversary of their national culture, with its high concentration peace treaty and have German and French of embassies and cultural centers,” Cultural food, drinks, face painting, pictures, music Tourism D.C. development fellow Liane and language lessons. Toohey A c said. “Passcording port D.C. to the EU was created O p e n as a way to House both celwebsite, ebrate the the EU diverse culwill also tures rephold a resented tour of therein and its headalso make quarters them accesin which PHOTO COURTESY OF CREATIVECOMMONS. sible to the visitors The Embassy of Indonesia is just one of the can learn public.” A c - many embassies taking part in Passport D.C. about the cording to workings Toohey, visitors can experience the of the EU, take a quiz, win prizes and enjoy most culture by participating in any other activities including a photo booth and of Passport D.C.’s three signature a Kids Corner. events: the Around the World EmAs a part of the month-long National bassy Tour, the Shortcut to Europe: Asian Heritage Festival, the Fiesta Asia European Union Embassies’ (EU) Street Fair, which promotes Asian art and Open House or the National Asian culture through activities and performances, Heritage Festival: Fiesta Asia Street will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 18. Fair, held the first three Saturdays in Hosted by the Asia Heritage FounMay, respectively. dation (AHF) since 2006, the street fair The Around the World Embassy has included more than 800 performTour, which begins at 10 a.m. and goes ers and participants in the past with until 4 p.m. May 4, allows tourists to vendors, food, interactive displays, travel around the world while staying martial arts demonstrations, a talent within the same city. Visitors have the show and a cooking demonstration. opportunity to walk through the manAccording to the AHF website, sions of more than 40 embassies repre- the Fiesta Asia Street Fair typically senting six continents, while sampling attracts over 20,000 visitors. their food, artwork, dance and music. Each of these free activities do not AccordingtoToohey,theAroundtheWorld require reservations, provide street Embassy Tour attracts over 25,000 people. parking, shuttle buses and easy access The Shortcut to Europe: EU Embas- to public transportation. They are open sies’ Open House, will be held May 11 to all ages, but it is important to bring from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and celebrates an ID in order to enter the embassies. European heritage during Europe Week. “The event is interesting to evThis casual family program offers a erybody, not only students, because unique look inside the 27 EU Member each country shows its own culture States’ and incoming member Croatia’s in many ways,” Argentinian Emembassies, as well as experiences of each bassy minister Gustavo Torres said.

photo courtesy of creative commons.

North Korea conducted a nuclear missile test on Dec. 12 in which an Unha-3 long range rocket-satellite was launched successfully. Ever since the test, North Korea has made countless threats, creating a nervous South Korea, Japan and America. According to an April Washington Post article, North Korea has created successful bombs that have a radius of up to 3,000 km. North Korea is also developing the Taepodong-2 which has a possible radius of 6,700 km, making Australia, Russia and Alaska possible targets. According to a March New York Times article, the Pentagon will spend approximately $1 billion to deploy additional ballistic missile interceptors along the Pacific Coast to try and rule out any threat of destruction to Japan, South Korea or any nearby country. DOMESTIC Gun Control

photo courtesy of creative commons.

Maryland is adopting some of the United States’ strictest gun laws, including a ban on assault weapons and a limit on gun magazines. According to an April 4 Washington Post article, the legislation passed with a 28-19 vote, and it is expected that Gov. Martin O’ Malley will sign this bill into law.

HEALTH Bird Flu

photo courtesy of creative commons.

The new bird flu in China, H7N9, is still dominating the country’s newspaper headlines as the disease continues to spread. According to an April 5 BBC article, the Beijing News is reminding the citizens not to panic but is also urging authorities to be timelier in releasing information to calm public fears. Many have questioned why it took so long for the government to announce the new cases, especially since the two victims fell ill in February. According to an April 9 Fox News article, authorities have said they needed time to identify the virus with cases that have spread between eastern Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Anhui. According to the BBC article, the concern over bird flu is growing, but health authorities have made it clear that there are no human-to-human transmission of the disease.

By Maher Kanwal and Sam Lawrence


News

Friday, April 26, 2013

theObserver

3

New event center to be built at Shady Grove Metro By Gil Jacobson Online Breaking News Writer

Montgomery County has asked D&A Sports and Entertainment to design a multipurpose event center to be built in the Shady Grove Metro Station parking lot. Developers are currently in the preliminary design phase, which could take up to 15 months since the event center must be approved by the Montgomery County Planning Department. An opening date for the event center has yet to be announced. “We need to collaborate with all of our partners including the community, the builder, the engineer, our architect and other interest groups such as surrounding neighbors,” said project co-founder and D&A Sports and Entertainment Principal William Askinazi. Montgomery County gave the project to D&A Sports and Entertainment more than six years ago, however it has taken a great deal of time to find a site suitable to accommodate such an event center in Montgomery County. Four additional sites were considered as possible locations for the event center over the last six years including the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Montgomery College Germantown Campus and the Rockville City

PHOTO COURTESY OF D&A SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT GROUP.

The new event center will offer a local venue for large scale events. Golf Course. However, those sites proved unsuitable for a 6,500 fixed-seat event center. The Shady Grove location had no such issue and by being on the Metro Red Line it satisfied transportation concerns. “The beauty of it is you’re on a Red Line,” Askinazi said. “You can take Metro to it, andhopefully there will be new restaurants and bars and shops right around the event center.” Some of the event center’s future uses include family concerts, indoor sports championships,

monster truck shows and Disney on Ice, among many more. “It’s truly a multipurpose arena,” Askinazi said. While the event center will serve many different purposes, it also aims to provide a suitable venue in Montgomery County for hosting high school graduation ceremonies. For many CHS seniors, the event center could fix the issue of the current five-person ticket limit per each graduating senior. “If the new center allows for

to shoot someone on his or her own property, it is still more lenient than the law enforced in Maryland. According to the Maryland law for defense of property, one cannot use “more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against the victim’s interference with the property.” “Maryland gun laws are already incredibly strict, as they should be, and bar most individuals not competent with firearms from owning them in Maryland,” Singer said. However, some CHS students disagree with the reasoning behind this law. “I think that Maryland should allow its citizens to shoot on their own property,” junior Matthew Collins said. “If it is for their own protection and the protection of their family, then it needs to be allowed. Marylanders should not be left defenseless and waiting for the police to show up if their house is broken into. One accident should not restrict a Constitutional right to bear arms.” Regardless of either of the state laws, the teenager did break into a house that was not his, and the homeowner did take another person’s life. “I do not think that there is a right or wrong to the situation,” Lee said. “It is a double tragedy. The homeowners now have to live with the fact that they killed an innocent man and the parents will have to live with the fact that their son is gone forever.”

By Dana Youngentob Senior Writer

more families to attend, then it’ll be a better venue,” senior Michael Gauch said. According to Montgomery County Community Planner Nkosi Yearwood, because the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority owns the property where D&A Sports and Entertainment wants to build the event center, they would have to sell or lease the land to the developer, which they have yet to announce. Despite having an estimated cost between $40 and $50 million, the event center will be entirely privately funded. “No one’s asking for assets here,” Askinazi said. “This is a private investment, and it’s going to be a public amenity with private risk.” Montgomery County now has over 1 million residents, and is one of the few counties of its size that lacks its own event center. According to Askinazi, the event center has drawn widespread support from the community, including Larry Bowers, the MCPS Chief Operating Officer. Bowers cited parking issues and limited seating at DAR as well as the need for a large venue to host indoor sports championships as reasons for his support of the event center. “It’s time that this county has this event center, and that’s what it’s intended to do,” Askinazi said.

Virginia shooting draws Cause of water main attention to local gun laws break goes unsolved By Emma Crutchfield Senior Writer

CHS students have heard about 16-year-old Caleb Gordley who went out drinking with his friends in Sterling, VA March 16. At the end of the evening, he accidentally walked into the wrong house. The owners of the house shot and killed him. In the midst of a national conversation about gun rights and restrictions, this incident has CHS students talking. According to the law in Virginia regarding defending property, if someone is in a residence without permission, then the residence’s owner has the right to defend and protect himself and his property. “ W h a t happened to the teenager was a devastating loss,” senior Christina Lee said. “I think that his mistake of consuming alcohol was what turned into this tragedy. It was all just a series of unfortunate events.” According to a March 19 Washington Post article, Donald West Wilder II, the owner of the house, heard his burglar alarm and went up to Gordley. Wilder warned Gordley to leave, and when Gordley did not follow his instructions, Wilder shot and killed him. “I believe that people should be able to shoot intruders on their property, but if they wish to have a firearm for the purpose of self-defense, they should undergo training as to alternate forms of self-preservation,” junior Dominic Singer said. Although the Virginia law does not directly state that one is allowed

“According to the Maryland law for defense of property, one cannot use ‘more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against the interference with the property.’”

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is continuing to investigate the causes of water main breaks in Chevy Chase March 18 and College Park March 20. The water main breaks caused major disruptions to the area for six days resulting in mandatory water restrictions in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. According to an April 8 Washington Post article, the design of the Chevy Chase water main left it susceptible to breakage without warning, even with newly installed sensors. In addition, according to a March 20 Washington Post article, the WSSC did not receive any alerts before the break. The 60-inch Chevy Chase break

occurred along northbound Connecticut Avenue at Chevy Chase Drive, while the College Park break occurred along Rhode Island Avenue. However, the pipe breakage has caused concern for some area residents including council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda). According to the Washington Post article, Berliner, the chair of the infrastructure committee, said his constituents are nervous about the possibility of more breaks that could happen, especially those near homes. While no one was injured during the March breaks, future breaks could cause harm to those people living close to large water mains. For more information regarding local water mains, visit the WSSC website at www.wsscwater.com.

PHOTO BY DANA YOUNGENTOB.

Connecticut Ave. was one of the streets affected by water main breaks.


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The Churchill

Opinions

Friday, April 26, 2013

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Observer Editors

Editors-in-Chief Emily Birnbaum Elizabeth Campbell

Chief Production Manager Jane Zankman News Editors Brittany Goodman Julia Heimlich *Gil Jacobson *Yash Nigam Opinions Editors Greer Smith *Gil Jacobson *Samantha Silber Observations Editors *Samantha Silber Features Editors Jordan Janis Jordan Maser *Katie Gauch *Emily Jin *Alissa Li *Arjun Swaminathan Arts Editors Danielle Kiefer Julia Reagan *Katie Clem *Madison Hurr *Emily Jin Sports Editors Ben Fox Julia McDermott *Madison Hurr *Alissa Li *Emily Raab Photography Editors Michael Fox Guransh Singh Erica Spaeth Fact Checkers Sam Lawrence Mitra Pishgahzadeh * Production Editors

Managers Advertising Manager Fiona Asbury Business Manager Jonathan Greenzaid Circulation Managers Caitlin Doherty Ana Faguy Contest Manager Jeanine Liu Public Relations Natalie Cortez Noah Salzberg Adviser Kelly Knarr

Our Policy

The Churchill Observer is published monthly by the students of Winston Churchill High School, 11300 Gainsborough Road, Potomac, Md. 20854. Advertising and subscription rates are available by e-mailing churchill. observer@gmail.com. Advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of staff, faculty or the student body. Every effort has been made by the staff to assure that the news is accurate and free of bias. Editorial opinions are those of the Observer staff, and personal commentaries and cartoons reflect the opinions of their writers. Letters to the editor must be signed, and assertions must be documented upon request. The Observer is a public forum for the purpose of expressing the views of and informing the Churchill student body.

Reaction to cheating only rewards dishonesty

CARTOON BY JONATHAN LEE.

During the 2013 AP Language semester exam, students found a copy of the exam online prior to taking it and, upon discovering it was the exact exam they would be taking, distributed and used this exam to study, which, of course, is cheating. Originally, these students were to get zeros for the tests, which would affect their semester grades. For example, students who got an A both quarters would get a B and students who went A, B would get a C. However, things have changed. Though Assistant Principal John Taylor refused to comment on the matter, reportedly around spring break there was a meeting and the punishment was changed. It is not evident whether the decision came from MCPS or the CHS administration. Instead of giving students a zero, the punishment was that grades were to go on trend, which is

to say, if someone goes A, B, they got a B. If someone goes B, A, they got an A. This is where trouble arises. When following the normal MCPS grading policy, the only way to get an A after going B, A is to get an A on the exam.

is still an acceptable grade. It gets the point across without destroying GPAs. The only glaring reason for changing the punishment is to make the school look better. AP Lang is a top class, which means top students’ grades

BSERVER O OPINION If one were to go B, A, E (in accord with the punishment the students initially would have received) they would get a C. By putting the students on trend, some are actually being rewarded for cheating. So why change the punishment? Students who did well in the class during the semester would still receive a C which, though not ideal,

suffered as a result of this. Seeing a chunk of students’ grades all take a similar dip reflects poorly on the school. By putting the grades on trend, some will benefit, some will not, but there will still be a lot of A’s. This is unfair, as the original punishment allowed for nothing higher than a C. Students who worked hard for their grade now

get to see some of their classmates who did not try as hard either remain on level or excel. Students should get what they deserve. If a student did not put in the work to study, he or she does not deserve a grade. There should be no special circumstances or breaks given. Students involved in the scandal who were asked to comment all declined to say anything about their thoughts on the punishment they received. Basing the students’ grades on trend conveys two bad ideas in one: hard work does not necessarily pay off because there are shortcuts, and when you make a mistake, you should try to cover it up instead of owning up to it. Students will no longer want to work hard if those who deserve zeros do not feel the blow of the punishment, leaving the door wide open for more cheating.

Rape culture fueled by double standards By Tyler Mead Senior Writer I have never received a lecture about being careful about accepting a drink from someone, dressing provocatively or making sure I have a friend around for safety purposes when I am talking to someone of the opposite sex. The reason I have never received these cautionary warnings, even though half of my peers have, is because I am a male. Girls are constantly told these things in effort to teach them about avoiding sexual assault. Then, if a woman is sexually assaulted, it becomes partially her fault for not following one of these rules. This is sexism, and it comes from a troubling male-driven culture. The overarching problem is how sexuality is viewed differently for both genders in pop culture. Males are told sex is awesome and that they should try to have as much of it with as many women as possible. Women are taught that if they have sex outside of a committed relationship, they are sluts and should be ashamed of themselves. Sex should be an enjoyable experience for both people involved so long as it is safe, and more importantly, consensual. Consensual does not mean pressuring someone to have sex, forcing them to have sex or having sex while the other per-

son is unconscious. No means no, and no amount of “mixed signals” should ever make a person think it is okay to have sex with someone who is passed out and cannot even say no. The reason these genderbased views of sexuality can be dangerous is because males can feel pressured or even entitled to have sex. This alphamale mentality of proving one-

not seen as a terrible crime. It is seen as something that is partially the fault of the victim. Think about it: would anyone blame a person for getting shot in a movie theatre for no reason? No, they would not, but if a girl’s skirt is too short or God forbid, she let alcohol touch her lips, then being raped is her own fault. This is called “Slut Sham-

self through sexual conquests could potentially lead men to resorting to force themselves on women as a way of scoring without any concern for the woman involved. The public reaction after a rape can be the most disturbing part. Because the girl was involved in sex, even though she was not consenting to it, she was still having sex outside a committed relationship and can be branded a slut by her peers. The sad fact is that rape is

ing” as Laci Green of Sex + calls it. According to Green’s recent Youtube video “WTF Happened in Steubenville?”, “Slut Shaming” is a way of dehumanizing an individual to the point where they aren’t allowed to say no. Slut Shaming is, at its core, a form of bullying to reinforce skewed gender-based views of sex. This is ridiculous, but people justify it by bringing in factors that should be unrelated, like, “She shouldn’t have drank so

IMAGE BY JANE ZANKMAN.

much” or, “She was wearing slutty clothing.” The last time I checked, people had the right to dress and (legally) drink. A guy can go shirtless and get wasted beyond belief and that falls under the category of “boys being boys.” This translates to men getting more freedom of expression with fewer consequences for how they act. The most upsetting part was the reporting on the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial. Two boys were accused of rape and sentenced to one year in juvenile hall. Not only does the sentence seem unfairly short, reporters on the scene were sympathizing with the rapists. A CNN reporter was bold enough to talk about how sad it was that these rapists were having their promising athletic careers hampered by this charge, and the fact that they would have to register as sex offenders. I don’t recall many people feeling sympathy for other criminals guilty of serious crimes. I would never say do not preach safety, but we also need to start seriously talking about why rape is not okay. It’s not just women’s job to prevent rape by keeping themselves safe. We have to actively work to disassemble a culture that makes rape okay. After all, men are raped too and it is not because of the length of their skirts: it is because someone thinks it is okay to take advantage of another human being.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Opinions

theObserver

5

Cars of the future should take a lesson from iPhones By Joe Nolan Senior Writer

The world caught a glimpse of what the future holds for the auto industry when Bill Ford laid out his vision for the Ford Motor Company at the Mobile World Congress in March 2012. He may have been speaking for all automakers when he declared his intention to take the car industry on a drive down Silicon Valley. Since then, car companies around the world have strived to reflect the simple yet intuitive technology that has made iPhones and iPads so popular. In reality, these companies have conjured up a goal that stands in stark contrast to that of Apple. Rather than developing more exciting cars—cars people want to drive in—car companies are developing a new line of cars that actually inhibit the driver. According to a November 2012 Wall Street Journal article, some Mercedes-Benz cars already have sensors to detect drowsiness. Lexus plans on installing cameras in its vehicles for the same purpose; Ferrari SpA has filed a patent for a headrest that monitors the driver’s brainwaves, and Ford is researching possible respiration-detecting seatbelts and heart-rate-tracking steering wheels. These companies and others are pouring all their resources into the research and development of biometric sensors and neural detectors in an effort to be

competitive in the industry’s future, a future they mistakenly believe will be dominated by monitoring technology. What makes Apple’s devices so popular? To start, neither iPhone nor other Apple products constantly collect biometric information from their users to calculate the level of risk involved in simple activities. That sounds more like Stalin’s USSR than a simple cell phone. And yet, the brave new car that these companies are banking on rejects the liberation of the iPhone, which streamlines an individual’s various social, leisure and scheduling needs into an intuitive, handheld tool. Manufactures are preferring instead a car that controls the human, not a human who controls the car. According to the Wall Street Journal article, syncing one’s phone with the car will allow it access to the driver’s glucose level so that the car can warn the driver if he or she is at risk of losing consciousness. Conductive pads in the steering wheel will detect the driver’s pulse and palm moisture to determine if the driver is undergoing stress. That’s not all. A dashboard-mounted camera will constantly focus on the driver’s head for signs of fatigue or distraction, which would be met by a prompt beep or vibration. Infrared cameras will scan the driver’s face to monitor its temperature. All these monitors can alert the car’s central control center to avoid obstacles

on the road, bring the car to a safe stop in case of unconsciousness or automatically silence a ringing phone that might distract a driver in a high-stress moment. These are all incredible features, and they certainly could stem a worrisome number of car accidents if they sell. Unfortunately for these car makers, people do not buy cars to be safe. It is style and efficiency that sell, and this cutting edge technology doesn’t make the driving experience more enjoyable. In fact, it makes the car just another place where humans must submit to authority. Apple has found unprecedented success with the iPhone because it was designed as a vehicle of human indepen-

the world, it has long been accused of having a double standard in regard to its actions on issues concerning Israel. Israel is the size of New Jersey and is bordered by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. The territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are home to law-abiding citizens as well as terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Fatah. There has been a tremendous amount of conflict throughout Israel’s existence, and the tensions are rising once again between the West Bank and Gaza Strip against Israel. Most recently, in early April 2013, a terrorist organization based out of the Gaza Strip fired kassam rockets at Israel. According to the UN website, a UN envoy condemned the rocket fire and asked for Israel to show restraint and to not fire back. While the request for “restraint” is valuable, after repeated firing of rockets, doesn’t Israeli restraint serve only to encourage additional violence against Israeli citizens by the terrorist groups in Gaza? Why can’t the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)

defend their country by firing back targeted missiles at launching sites, sending a clear message to the terrorists that this will not be tolerated by the Israeli government? This is the IDFs job—to keep the Israeli civilians safe from attacks and to destroy the enemies’ rockets supplies. According to the official UN website, an organization has been set up to send money to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to repair many of the damaged homes from a November 2012 conflict. Yes, these civilians need money to repair their homes, but what about the civilians living in Israel who had their homes damaged? Why isn’t there money being sent by the UN to help repair the homes and properties damaged by the 1,500 rockets Hamas fired? According to UNWatch.com, a site that monitors the United Nations Council, in 2011 various countries including Iran, Syria, Bahrain, Venezuela and Egypt attacked Israel for “crimes against humanity.” These countries singled out Israel, ignoring the ongoing massacre occurring in Syria. Between January and February of

2013, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) slammed Israel for “violating” human rights and international law, urged a withdrawal from the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and called for private businesses to terminate their business interests in the settlements. According to the official document of resolutions passed in the UN, the Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, has recognized that there has been an anti-Israel bias over the years but has not done anything specific to put an end to the trend. In August 2008, Israel was elected to the Universal Postal Union Operations Council, an organization that interconnects universal networks of products and services. While this is a positive step towards fairness, that still does not demonstrate Israel being treated equally. The UN is a wonderful organization in some aspects, but it needs to stop its anti-Israel bias. In order for the UN to really have a positive impact for generations to come, they need to treat each country equally and with respect.

ty, will only accept one AP English credbe bullied into taking it. By the time students register for it, and they will take the higher score. If a AP exams, many seniors already student earns a five on the AP Language know where they are going to college exam as a junior, there is no way that he and whether their college accepts or she can earn credit for AP Literature as a sediffernior. e n t AcA P s . cording If a to Prins t u cipal dent’s J o a n college Benz, d o e s even not acif stucept an dents’ AP for colleges credit, do not there accept is no the AP reason credit, that he t h e y or she should should PHOTO BY STACEY STEIN. s t i l l waste money Students are unnecessarily pressured into taking AP exams. take the exam to prove that they learned the mateto take the final exam. Some colleges, such as non-business rial. However, if a student did well throughschool students at Georgetown Universi- out the year and can do well on a teacher’s

exam, that should be plenty to prove that they have learned the information. One thing that CHS prides itself on is its high ranking. A factor of this ranking is how many students sit for the AP. U.S. News and World Report, which has CHS ranked as the number one school in MD, judges schools based on a calculated college readiness index. One factor of this is “the school’s AP or IB participation rate.” However, the ranking system also takes into account the performance of the AP test takers. If students who are ill-prepared or unmotivated to take the test end up taking it, it could negatively affect CHS’ ranking. When deciding what AP classes to take, students usually do not make their decision based on what they can earn the most college credit for. Instead, they chose AP courses in the areas that they would like to be challenged. Students take AP classes to learn, and at the end of the day, while they can prove what they have learned on an AP, the test itself will not help them learn. Students should have more of a choice when deciding what AP tests to make, in order to benefit everyone.

dence, where the individual is in charge. It is “smart” not to make the phone safer, but to make it satisfy customer desires. The entire auto industry has taken the opposite route, allying itself with governments concerned about the number of car accidents. The result is a really smart, really safe, really boring car. Since its conception, the car has symbolized escape and adventure for America. It is responsible for the creation of suburbs in the early 20th century, allowing people to escape the overcrowded cities. Its mass-production led to America’s emergence as a world super power. Cars are what Americans go to when they need freedom, not a safe incubator.

PHOTO BY ELIZABETH CAMPBELL.

Car companies like Lexus are going overboard by adding “special features.”

UN shows its true colors, they are not blue and white

PHOTO BY TYLER MEAD.

By Dana Harris Online Features Editor The United Nations (UN) was created after World War II, once the League of Nations failed. This world-renowned organization tries to keep peace between rival nations, provide humanitarian aid, assist in providing solutions for political and economic problems that arise and more. Although this organization was created for the good of

Students need to stop being pressured into AP exams By Stacey Stein Senior Writer Every year come March, every student who is enrolled in an AP class is expected to write an $89 check for each course and register to take the AP exam in May. While AP tests present a great opportunity for students to earn college credit, whether or not a student takes the test in May should be a choice, not a requirement. In order for students to be exempt from the AP exam, they must fill out a form explaining why they are not taking the test and get parent signatures. Then, the teacher must provide his or her own senior exam to give in place of the AP exam. This arduous process often leaves students feeling as if they have no choice but to take the exam. It is absurd to make teachers provide an extra exam for just a few students. While a good score on an AP test can give students college credit for much less money than it costs to take a college course, students should not


6

Observations

theObserver

Friday, April 26, 2013

It’s Academic wins counties What’s Online?

@ www.thechurchillobserver.com Features: Arts: Beloved Bethesda CHS celebrates bakery Just Cakes is now Earth Day. online only.

By Nicole Malament Senior Writer

Congratulations to the It’s Academic team for winning the county championship March 13. To win the competition the team had to correctly answer the most questions of teen-based trivia. The final competition was filmed for NBC April 6 and will air May 11.

Sports: Women’s soccer is coming back to the US.

Opinions: The advantages of social networking. PHOTO COURTESY OF RAM JAYARAMAN.

Scholastic Award winners Students’ scores exceptional

By Sammi Silber Observations Editor

Congratulations to the following students for receiving honorable mentions, Silver Keys or Gold Keys from the Scholastic Art Awards. Adam Anderson Beyant Bawa Charlene Binen Jamie Bonan Andrea Cappello Elisabeth Carpenter Jessica Chen Christina Costalas Sidney Hahm Julia Heimlich Zhen Huang

Simone Johnson-Blanchard Melanie Maino-vieytes Nina Min Meridith Newman Christina Pergantis Alex Perlman Pablo Roa Sofia Roman Se Yeon Seo Yi Yeon Seo Carly Shapiro Woosuk Shin Alexa Trost Zachary Wolpoff Marley Kinkead

By Sammi Silber Observations Editor

These students earned these awards in the areas of photography, drawings, comic art, art portfolios, paintings or sculptures.

Congratulations to the following students for receiving a “Qualified” score for the highly competitive Maryland regional exam for the International Chemical Olympiad.

Emily Greenstein Bryan Ho David Kaplan Allison Lee Amy Lin Daniel Liu Alex Pu Jessica Sun Diana Yin Emily Yang

PHOTO BY SAMMI SILBER.

Special congratulations to Daniel Liu and Jessica Sun, who had the two highest exam scores and went on to take the next level of testing April 13. With this test, they get a chance to compete and be a member of the National Team, which will represent the United States at the International Chemical Olympiad in Moscow, Russia this summer.

BYG scholarship recipients NHS inducts new members By Sammi Silber Observations Editor

Congratulations to the following students for being inducted into the National Honors Society. Elizabeth Campbell Rachel Casper Olivia Chao Andrew Crutchfield Amy Dalrymple

Brittany Goodman Hope Kean Evangeline Liu Daniel Liu Shira Rodman Melissa Vailikit Vikas Venkateshwara Isaac Weinberg Julia Reagan Jessica Sun Jessica Yau Jane Zankman

2013 AP Exam Schedule PHOTO BY TYLER MEAD.

By Sammi Silber Observations Editor Erica Spaeth General Photo Editor

Congratulations to the following students who received a BYG scholarship from the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation (CKSF) at Nova Southeastern University.

Hootan Naghshineh Matthew Schleckser Yousuf Khan Bryan Ho Joshuah Bohman The competition for these scholarships occurs September through May in an online quiz. The online trivia for the quiz topics change each month. The students worked hard and won their scholarships for answering the most amount of questions correct in the least amount of time.

May Senior Schedule Thursday, April 25 Friday, May 17 Monday-Thursday, May 20-23 Friday, May 24 Tuesday, May 28

Senior Banquet Prom Senior Exams Last Day of School for Seniors Senior Graduation

HSA Exam Schedule Monday, May 20 Tuesday, May 21 Wednesday, May 22 Thursday, May 23

Algebra/D.A. HSA English HSA Biology HSA Government HSA

Week 1 Times

Morning Session 7:25 a.m.

Afternoon Session 12 p.m.

Monday, May 6

Chemistry Envrionmental Science

Psychology

Tuesday, May 7

Computer Science A Spanish Language

Art History

Wednesday, May 8

Calculus AB Calculus BC

Chinese Language and Culture

Thursday, May 9

English Literature and Composition

Churchill Studio Art Portfolios will be electroni- cally transmitted

Friday, May 10

English Language and Composition

Statistics

Week 2

Morning Session

Afternoon Session

Times

7:25 a.m.

12 noon

Monday, May 13

Biology Music Theory

Tuesday, May 14

United States Government and Politics

Physics C: Mechanics (Electricity and Magnettism at 2 p.m. Comparative Government and Politics French Language and Culture

Wednesday, May 15

U.S. History

European History

Thursday, May 16

Macroeconomics World History

Microeconomics

Friday, May 17

Human Geography Spanish Literature and Culture

No afternoon exam


Friday, April 26, 2013

Features

theObserver

7

CHS, Scotland move beyond perceived divisions By Spenser Easterbrook Senior Writer When National Public Radio local affiliate WAMU broadcast a feature about traditionally black neighborhoods this past February, Montgomery County’s Scotland community was highlighted. The self-established housing community dates back to 1880. Yet, many CHS students and teachers harbor misunderstandings about it. CHS has a diverse population, with approximately 40 percent of students classified as non-white. Many students from Scotland are comfortable in CHS and do not perceive major differences between themselves and the rest of the student body, beyond the fact that the neighborhood is less affluent than many others in the cluster. In interviews, several Scotland students commented that their neighborhood is an unusually cohesive community. “We’re very close-knit,” sophomore and Scotland resident Oumar Soumah said. “We know all the neighbors. When you walk outside, everyone will know each other’s name.” Students and teachers recognized beneficial friendship but also noted a possible pattern of self-separation. Non-Scotland students may see the neighborhood differently from those whom live in it. “People hear rumors and stuff about gangs, but it’s not like that,” freshman and Scotland resident Briana Martin said. “It’s like an average neighborhood.” The relationship between the school and the community has, however, been bumpy at times. There are differing opinions on whether there is a meaningful divide between Scotland students and non-Scotland students. As a whole, the adults in the school interviewed by the Observer usually perceived greater dif-

ferences in the student body than did while equally intelligent students with fewer financial resources may not have the students themselves. “I feel, to a small percentage, there are the same chance. As a result of varying socioecosome Scotland students who may perceive that they are treated differently,” security nomic levels, there may be dif team leader Terry Bell said. “Whether or fering expectations for academic performance, and these expectanot this is true, I don’t know.” In interviews with teachers from dif- tions can have a negative impact ferent departments within the school, all on achievement. “I hear kids talking about Scotland said that they do not seek out information kids getting on stubad grades dents’ adand it’s fundresses, ny to other although people,” s o m e Soumah n o t e d said. “Peothat they ple think feel there that they’re is an asnot up to the sumption ‘Churchill w i t h standard.’” in the Those school low expecthat all tations can of CHS’s be so perb l a c k vasive that students PHOTO BY SPENSER EASTERBROOK. r e s i d e The Scotland community dates back to 1880, some students may in Scotland, even making it a historic and close-knit neighborhood. find it difficult to rise above the low standard t h o u g h that is not the case. One teacher, who asked to re- others have for them. For example, one m a i n a n o n y m o u s , s a i d h e g o e s Scotland student who was not comfortout of his way to view all students able with giving his name noted that “my GPA is pretty high for a black without prejudice. According to the teacher, he has student.” Despite the perception of some, ac“never seen” a divide between students who live in Scotland and those cording to Principal Joan Benz, there who do not, but “maybe [he does not] have been “a lot of” Scotland students “who have been academically superior, want to see it,” he said. Several teachers observed that Scot- gone on to great colleges, graduated, land students tend to be underrepre- gotten excellent positions in the comsented in AP and honors classes. While munity and given back to CHS.” One of the resources unique to the reason for this is open to debate, most agree that lower socioeconomic status can the Scotland neighborhood is its have an impact on student performance. community center. CHS used to supMany CHS students, for example, have port after-school tutoring sessions, access to high-priced private tutors who and other outreach programs at the give their clients an edge in the classroom center until it was closed for reno-

vation in 2011. Long delays in the center’s renovation left many in the CHS community frustrated, but this past March construction began with a groundbreaking ceremony featuring members of the County Council. Rockville resident Caroline Touchton volunteers with the James Macdonell Scotland Community Scholarship that offers scholarships for collegebound students. “I liked meeting the students in the community center because it was a vibrant and lively place with lots of things happening,” Touchton said. “It was also very convenient.” According to Benz, tutoring is “harder now that the center is closed,” so, as a temporary solution, citizens from the community and CHS students tutor kids of all ages once a week for a “Power Hour” at Bells Mill. “The ‘Power Hour’ [helps] build up a strong education foundation,” special education resource teacher Tishya Soni-Chopra said. “We have 43 coaches.” This added support coupled with CHS’ student resources helps its students of all socioeconomic backgrounds be successful, while attempting to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible despite differences. According to Bell, Dr. Benz and administration “go out of their way for minority participation” and community involvement. “We appreciate what the school does for us,” Martin said. Many Scotland students agree, including senior and Scotland resident Darrion Locke, who believes the school and the neighborhood have moved past any previously perceived conflict. “People see that [Scotland is] not any different,” Locke said. “I think the school is doing fine with Scotland kids.”


8

Features

CHS community honors Autism Awareness Month By Jessica Gold Staff Writer Every 11 minutes, a child is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Statistics show autism now affects one in 88 children. Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disease that affects areas of the brain such as social interaction, communication skills and cognitive function. The disorders commonly appear before the age of 13. April is Autism Awareness month, and CHS will be holding events throughout the month to get people involved in this national cause. In order to emphasize a growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the autism resource program teachers Jenell Gillette and Coleman Hall have teamed up with parent Mona Zeiberg, whose son Zak is in Hall’s class. “We talked about the idea of doing something formally to recognize Autism Awareness month,” Zeiberg said. “We wanted the students at CHS, parents and the community to have a better understanding of the program and our children.” Students with autism have made appearances on the Daily Dose all throughout the month, a tradition which began last April. Similar to last April, the CHS sports teams’ home games honored and supported Autism Awareness. According to Gillete, teams “light it up blue” on the field, meaning they wore light blue or the autism puzzle symbol at one of their games to honor Autism Awareness Month. Many CHS sports teams are also promoting Autism Awareness Month by sharing some facts about autism. Track wore Autism Speaks shirts after

their run at the April 12 track meet. At the “Friday Night Spikes” track game, athletes made an announcement about autism and sold t-shirts, donating the money to Autism Speaks. April 12 was a big day for celebrating Autism Awareness because it marked the end of penny wars. CHS raised a total of $209.78 which was then donated to Autism Speaks. In addition, the bocce ball team played a game against CHS staff, while students with autism passed out blue ribbons and candy in the gym. CHS’ Best Buddies club is looking to recruit more people and get as many as they can to be involved. The club is an organization that pairs people with special needs with their peers. “We are planning to do something every month, and I think this PHOTO BY EMILY JIN month will probably be decorating baskets for Mother’s Day,” Best Buddies officer Miranda Catsambas said. According to Hall, the goal of educating students with autism is to “improve” their “interactions and communication skills.” Like Hall, Gillette’s job brings her great joy because she adores working with her students. “It’s fun working with them,” Gillette said. “It’s always a new adventure. The students are sweet, and they all have different likes and dislikes.” Both teachers encourage the CHS community to become more educated on the special needs programs available at CHS and become involved in some way. An Autism Awareness 5K race is held every July 4 near the Potomac Library at the intersection of River and Falls Roads in Potomac, MD. Learn more at the Autism Speak’s website.

theObserver

Friday, April 26, 2013

PHOTO BY CAITLIN DOHERTY.

Security guard Jeff McGowan has chosen to get his tattoo removed.

Tread carefully with tattoos

By Caitlin Doherty Circulation Manager

According to the Bethesda Tattoo Company website, those under 18 can only get a tattoo with the consent of a parent or guardian. Although it is possible to dodge this rule, getting a tattoo unlawfully and without parental permission may be dangerous and may come with severe consequences. Art teacher Brendan Roddy, who has five tattoos, his favorite being the word “strength” on his wrist, thinks communicating with parents is key. “If you have to hide it, it can’t be good,” Roddy said. Choosing a personal and meaningful tattoo is also very important when deciding whether to get one. Junior Emily Lamoreux got her tattoo at 17, in memory of her late grandmother. “My tattoo says ‘Psalm 23:4,’ and it is the title of a bible verse,” Lamoreux said. “This prayer gave me a new perspective on losing a loved one, and trusting that it will be okay to move on.” Pain is often a big fear among those considering getting a tattoo. “It hurts, hands down,” Roddy said. “But if you are worried about the pain, you

are not ready to get a tattoo.” While getting a tattoo may be painful, getting one removed is also painful. According to Security guard Jeff McGowan who is currently in the process of getting a tattoo removed, getting a tattoo removed is “worse than getting it.” McGowan’s tattoo, “The Root of All Evil $” on his palm, is a reminder that his life should not revolve around money. Although McGowan is removing his tattoo, he does not regret getting it. “My tattoo was very important to me; it was a virtue,” McGowan said. “It is just that its location is not the most professional.” According to Jason Anderson, an employee at Tattoo Graphics in Gaithersburg, tattoos “start at $50 but can be as much as $1,000.” Junior Tim Cheng got his tattoo the day he turned 16. “It says “It’s the pain that makes us real,’” Cheng said. “It means that a life without pain and hardships would be impossible to achieve, so we should make the best of who we are and what we have.” Cheng urges high school students to take their time when they are considering getting a tattoo. “Find a good shop and an artist who knows what they are doing,” Cheng said.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Features

theObserver

9

Senior prom dress group brings CHS girls together By Brett Sachs SeniorWriter

Every year around early April, senior girls begin the countdown to one of the most anticipated events of their high school experiences—prom. This year, the CHS senior girls are continuing the tradition with a new twist by forming a Facebook group dedicated to sharing their prom dresses. Originally the group was used as a forum for designing the senior girls’ t-shirt to be worn on the first day of school. The prom dress group was created by several students, including senior Danielle Chikkaswamy. “The Facebook group helps seniors get options from their fellow classmates and show people what they are going to be wearing for the evening,” Chikkaswamy said. “It’s nice to compare and get help from your classmates whether a dress is hot or not.”

In schools across the nation, girls have created “prom dress groups” on Facebook in an effort to avoid the misfortune of wearing the same dress as somebody else. “I know I’d be either embarrassed or uncomfortable if I wore the same dress as another person,” senior Chani Wereley said. In contrast to the usual female high school senior stereotype, the girls in the CHS prom dress group have been complimentary to one another, and helpful in making decisions regarding dress options. “Everyone has such different tastes and styles that I feel like people got their dresses to be beautiful for them,” Wereley said. Although some senior girls feel as though seeing everyone’s dresses before the night of prom ruins part of the overall excitement of the night, many feel as though the group is more beneficial than harmful. “I think it helps senior girls prepare for

prom by reminding them that it’s coming sooner than we think,” senior Sara Ewel said. “I would have never gotten my dress this early if I hadn’t known everyone else was getting theirs.” Others argue that the group can spark unnecessary competition among students in terms of what dresses they decide to purchase for prom. “I think the group makes some people a bit more competitive since a lot of girls take prom really seriously,” senior Carly Gertler said. Despite the downsides to having a Facebook group dedicated to prom dresses, most senior girls feel as though the existence of the group is just the beginning of a new tradition devoted to making prom as memorable as possible. “Prom is supposed to be a special night, and this is one compromise that will help make the night go as smoothly as possible,” Ewel said.

Senior girls support each other’s dress choices on the Facebook group.

more adventurous ladies sport. The look is easily obtained by either dipping the ends of the hair in a colored dye or bleach or by layering gradually lighter shades of the desired color over the hair. Junior Ivy Yen loves the fun vibe and low maintenance of the hairstyle. “My sister wanted to do something cool with her hair and she wanted me to do it with her,” Yen said. “I wouldn’t do something crazy like this in college, so I thought I would try something new now.” Junior Michelle Yan, who also wears the ombré look, appreciates the versatility of the hairstyle and plans to keep her hair this way throughout the summer. “I think it’s cool that you can dye your ends different colors, not just blonde, like pink, purple, blue and green,” Yan said. From cool colors to crazy cuts, junior Erik Wang roams the halls with half a head of hair.

After sporting a red ‘do, he decided to change it by buzzing off the left side of his hair. “People call me Skrillex a lot because my hair is uneven,” Wang said. “I was the ‘Asian with the red hair’ before and now I’m the ‘Asian with the half hair.’” Junior Maddy Pasco loves to constantly change the color of her tresses. She has been dying her hair since eighth grade and has learned over time how to do it on her own. Her hair has been red, purple and even rainbow-colored. “The bright colors make me happy and it’s just something I really love,” Pasco said. “I’ve always wanted to have dyed hair and now I can do it myself.” Hair Appreciation Day is the perfect holiday to change your look. Whether it’s trying out a new color or chopping off some length, updating your hair can be the first step to a new-and-improved you.

PHOTO BY BRETT SACHS.

Students flaunt, celebrate unique hairstyles

PHOTO BY JULIA REAGAN.

Students proudly express themselves through hair cuts and colors. Chang both work their rocker hairstyles. On By Julia Reagan and off stage, the pair attracts major attention Art Editor In honor of a glorious and rather underrated holiday, Hairstyle Appreciation Day on April 30, the Observer has scoured the school in search of the best and coolest hairdos around. From long luscious locks to chopped-up tresses, CHS is chock-full of awesome hair. Senior Amanda Lotwin can be easily identified from a rear view simply by her gorgeous red curls. Lotwin is known around town for her wild mane. “People know my hair before they know me,” Lotwin said. Although she rocks her ‘do on a daily basis, she admits that the upkeep can be demanding. “It’s very difficult to manage,” Lotwin said. “I have a whole process. I used to not like my hair, but I’ve come to terms with it. I’ve thought about changing it−highlighting it or getting it permanently straightened− but I wouldn’t look like myself.” Power couple Devon Fielding and Bobby

with their cool cuts and colors. Fielding, whose hair used to be long and brown, loves her new blonde pixie cut. “I can express myself most through my hair,” Fielding said. “It’s really the only thing I can change about my appearance.” While the look is definitely unique, Fielding tries to keep her hair tame for job purposes. “You have to walk the line between professional and casual because you want to see someone professional and not be embarrassed about the way you look,” Fielding said. Chang also wears a uniquely cool hairstyle and has been dying his hair since sixth grade. According to Chang, his hair is “close to being a Mohawk without shaving the sides.” “I think the blonde is a really good contrast with the black,” Chang said. “It’s not too outrageous, but people know me for it. Often people will come up and ruffle my mane randomly.” Ombré hair has been a popular style that

PHOTO BY JULIA REAGAN.

Seniors Devon Fielding and Bobby Chang sport punk-inspired cuts while junior Maddie Pasco fearlessly dyes her hair every couple of weeks.


Features

10

Friday, April 26, 2013

theObserver

Rape is an Underreported Crime 63 60

40

Percent

37

Not Reported 20

Reported

0

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

By Jane Zankman Production Manager Rape is the most underreported crime in the United States despite the fact that one in 5 women will be sexually assaulted at one point in their lives. Why are survivors afraid to speak up? Why did the Steubenville football players ever think it was okay to rape that young girl? Why did the news and media try to blame the girl for their actions? Why does America have a rape culture? “Rape culture is deeply embedded in our society,” said Laura Palumbo, Prevention Campaign specialist for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). “Attitudes and media over time have normalized rape, victim blaming and violence.”

Victim Blaming

When survivors are brave enough to speak up, society

tries to silence them by insinuating that they asked to be assaulted. Most people argue that fault should never fall on the survivor, so why do so many people blame them? “It is easier to say somebody deserved something bad to happen to them than say we created monsters,” senior Elise Levy said. But society still calls them victims, not survivors, of rape or sexual assault. By being able to take a stand and speak up, they prove that they are survivors and not weak victims and should not be blamed for something they could not control.

Slut Shaming

Another way to make survivors seem small is through “slut shaming.” Throughout childhood and adolescence, females are told not to wear short skirts, to keep their legs crossed and to always act ladylike; even with all of this etiquette taught to girls to prevent

rape, it is rarely a success. In 2011, a Toronto police officer told women that if they wanted to avoid being sexually assaulted, they should stop “dressing like sluts.” To end the idea of asking to be raped, which no one ever is, the Slut Walk was created. According to Heather Jarvis, the co-founder of Slut Walk Toronto, the walk was to be a onetime event in order to combat the police officer’s statement, but it spread and has come to represent the goals of finding an end to sexual violence, supporting all survivors and ending victim blaming and slut shaming. According to Jarvis, the organization hopes to reach its goals through “challenging the language” that society uses towards rape and sexual violence, including no longer calling survivors of sexual violence “victims.”

Where Do We Go From Here “Women

are

put

in

a


Friday, April 26, 2013

Features

theObserver

11

Victims of Sexual Assault and Rape 9

Females Males

91

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

dichotomy,” Jarvis said. Women need to be sensual and attractive in order to entice a mate, but at the same time are expected to be pure and chaste. The ideas of purity with promiscuity do not go together, according to Jarvis, and this is where part of the problem lies. Although the process will be lengthy and sexual violence will never be 100 percent stopped, there are steps to reduce it in society including knowing what consent is.

Healthy Sexuality

One of the main concerns in society is the loss of healthy sexuality. According to the NSVRC, healthy sexuality includes being “consensual, respectful and informed,” in relationships and sexual situations. When people think it is acceptable to take advantage or force a sexual action on someone, it only furthers the idea of victimblaming and slut-shaming.

Unlearning Ideas According to Jarvis, the efforts to halt sexual violence need to be less about being preventive, and more about being proactive. According to Jarvis, society must also “unlearn” these habits of sexism and victim blaming, and eventually we will be able to “relearn consent, care and compassion.” One way to relearn how to be compassionate is through public service announcements on rape and sexual violence. “We need to start addressing how we raise men, not how people dress,” Levy said. “The best thing to do is to try and get public service announcements on channels with hyper-masculine people watching.” Although consent is the most important lesson to be taught, it is being taught to potential survivors, not potential attackers. High school presents an opportunity to shape students as members of society. This

opportunity cannot be taken lightly because it either creates caring or ignorant men. According to a March 2013 Psychology Today article, Zerlina Maxwell, a rape survivor, has a comprehensive five-point plan in order to teach boys early on what respect means. Her plan includes teaching boys about what legal consent means, how to not see women as sexual objects, how to express masculinity in a healthy way, to believe women when they report the crime and to teach boys how to not be bystanders to sexual violence. According to Palumbo, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and her goals are to “raise public awareness” on sexual violence, as well as “educate communities” on how to prevent sexual violence. “People are not born this way,” Jarvis said. “We have to unlearn sexism.”


12

Features

theObserver

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lucky Charms the winner in student breakfast bracket By Danny Gordon Staff Writer Noah Salzberg Public Relations Editor

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and according to a poll conducted by Good Morning America, cereal is the most commonly consumed item for breakfast in the United States. Curiosity led us to wonder: what is the favorite cereal among CHS students? We conducted a survey of 20 random students, five selected from each grade. We formatted our survey as a bracket

in a similar fashion to ESPN’s national bracket, keeping alive the spirit of March Madness. We then analyzed the collected data and determined the percentage of people who chose the cereal to advance to the next round. In order to calculate the percentages, we tallied up each individual bracket’s choices and created the percentage based off of how many people had the cereals in that given round. PHOTOS BY DANNY GORDON.


Arts

Friday, April 26, 2013

13

theObserver

We’re flyin’: Going behind the scenes of ‘Peter Pan’ By Elizabeth Campbell Editor-in-Chief Jessica Lee Senior Writer

The cast has long since made its final bow, and the curtains have swept shut for the last time this year. Peter Pan’s one-weekend run is over, but the weeks leading up to those three days were filled with frenzied preparation, courtesy of more sleep-deprived, caffeinefueled students and staff than usual. What happens during rehearsals? How did the set come to be? What are they really doing in the orchestra pit? The Observer takes you behind-thescenes and reveals what actually happens in order to make the annual musical production work.

By Jessica Lee Senior Writer

Director’s Chair

As brilliant as the actors and singers may be, the show cannot go on without a director. Theater teacher Lynda Scionti and choral music teacher Carlos Barillo are the staff members in charge of school productions, but providing them with valuable assistance is the student director, whose creative eye is always on the lookout. “I’ve always been a part of CHS’ choral and theater department, and I wanted to have more of a leading role before leaving,” senior student diretor Aaron Ross said. Like everyone else involved in Peter Pan, Ross invests much of his energy into making the show happen by taking charge of the other students, particularly the performers.

Pit Orchestra

This is my second (and last) year of doing pit orchestra, so I kind of knew what to expect when I signed up—but Pit is never the same experience twice. So who do we have in the Pit? Three flutes, two clarinets, one alto saxophone, three trumpets, two trombones, one French horn, one bass guitar, one set of drums and other percussion, two harpists, one pianist, plus an orchestra of several dozen bodies… …Oh, yeah, and one conductor. Squeeze all that into the Pit and you have quite a musical mess. Plus, it gets really hot in the Pit. Unlike the actors, we in The Pit usually don’t audition. Not as many students sign up for pit orchestra as they do to be Captain Hook or Tiger Lily. Pit requires a substantial time commitment, and a lot of rehearsal time consists of either sitting through pages and pages of rests or playing repetitive/irritating/boring sections. Fast forward to post-spring break, when we have approximately two weeks left before show time. Hello, time crunch. Hello, broken batons. Hello, Captain Sanz’s emergency supply of sour gummy worms. But before we know it, it’s Hell Week Tech Week. Everyone involved in the production is scrambling to finish all the preparations, and Pit is no exception. We students get cranky because we start staying after school until 9 p.m. on some days, which means little to no time for homework, socializing and other activities we usually participate in. The musicians are exhausted from playing for hours on end, with only a

PHOTO BY AIDEN GREY.

Student director Senior Aaron Ross oversees a Peter Pan rehearsal. According to Ross, some of his favorite moments as a student director were auditions and changing lyrics of songs during rehearsals. As much as Ross does for the production, he is still grateful for everything the

By Lauren Price Senior Writer

PHOTO BY LARA FU.

Senior Jessica Lee plays the clarinet in preparation for Peter Pan .

half-hour dinner break, and we’re desperately trying to match up our music with the performers’ songs, lines and movements, since we only get one or two rehearsals with the singers before we get tossed into the Pit of No Return. Did I mention it gets really hot in there? Then comes show time. This is when we have a bit of fun amongst all the craziness. Everyone in Pit, including Captain Sanz, dresses up in a theme we choose for the specific performance. Pirate Night? Bring on the eye patches and parrots! Fairy Matinee Showing? Tiaras, fake wings and glitter. Because of this, you really ought to peek into the Pit before or after the show. In conclusion: Pit is awesome, I would do it again next year if I wasn’t a senior and clearly, I must be insane.

Costumes

In order to do a musical, many components must come together in harmony. Of course these include Pit Orchestra, Tech (lighting, stage design, etc.) and the actors; but one thing that is often taken for granted is the costumes. Without the right costume, the story can fall apart. Would you believe an Elizabethan play if the actors were on stage in jeans and a t-shirt? Probably not. I’ve been part of the costume team for three years, starting with Blast sophomore year. In these three years I have learned a lot of valuable lessons. The most important ones would probably be diversity and continuity. Diversity is important because all of the characters cannot wear the same thing. Putting three characters in the same style or color can cause confusion. This is especially important in Blast, when there are a lot of different numbers. For example, the Lost Boys of Peter Pan can’t be dressed the same as the Pirates. Continuity is important as well, because if a character does not maintain his or her style of costume, it can also confuse the audience and give them the perception that the actor has changed characters. These little things may seem like common sense, but it is surprising how much of a difference this knowledge makes. The CHS costume team is not only there for brainstorming and developing costume ideas for the show beforehand. We are a large presence backstage during actual shows, too. Just as Tech Crew runs

Junior Elizabeth Campbell paints a wall for Act One of Peter Pan. By Elizabeth Campbell Editor-in-Chief Few people ever actually think about Tech crew. In fact, we’re not supposed to be thought of at all. We dress in all black, hide backstage and only come out when the lights are off in order to keep the audience thinking that they are in the world of the production and not in a logical world where that super large set

PHOTO BY AIDEN GREY.

Tech Crew sible drip of power, and there is

piece was actually just moved by two sleep-deprived teenagers. However, long before those teens ever get to move the set, they first must build it. Prep for a show realistically begins about three weeks before opening night. The student Tech directors meet with staff supervisors Scott Selman and Sheri Phillips and director Scionti. Together, they work to design everything that the audience will see. Once the plans have been established, the construction begins. This sounds straightforward, but plans are known to change on an hourly basis, making progress feel slow. It seems as if the tiniest projects get finished and everyday there is a new, bigger project to be done. With two weeks left until the show, the crew goes into overdrive. Weekend Tech starts and those brave enough to face the school on Saturday and Sunday head to work. Screw guns are used to the last pos-

teachers do. “Ms. Scionti is a fantastic teacher, and I don’t know where the theater program would be without her,” Ross said. “Mr. Barillo is very invested, and CHS music wouldn’t be where it is without him.”

a never-ending line for the wall saw. There is now also dealing with the daily challenge of explaining to our parents why we come home covered in different things. One day we might have saw dust overflowing from our shoes, the next day we’re covered in slimy white plaster and the next day we may have paint splatter down our pants. I personally brought an all-white pair of shoes in order to spray paint with the same colors as that beautiful backdrop. Despite all this hard work, the crew manages to squeeze in a lot of fun along the way. One set piece was the crocodile that chases Captain Hook throughout the play. It was made out of pieces of wood on wheels fastened together with wire, making it a constant source of amusement as Techies took turns riding or skateboarding it down the hallway next to the auditorium.

PHOTO BY AIDEN GREY.

Senior Lauren Price sews a costume. the sets, Costumes runs the clothes. There is never a night where things do not rip or get stained or just don’t fit; costumers wait backstage with pins, needles and Tide-To-Go to quickly fix any mishaps, ensuring that the show goes on without a hitch. Another job for costumers is aiding with quick-changes. Ever wonder how characters change costumes in 30 seconds flat? Waiting in the wings is a team of costumers ready to assist the actors with getting in and out of outfits as quickly as possible—fastening buttons, tying shoes, preparing shirts and pants so that the actors put them on the right way (they are, quite literally, getting dressed in the dark). It can be very hectic and challenging to stay out of the way when doing this, but the costume team here at CHS has developed a rhythm and works together easily. Every component of a musical, especially Peter Pan, is important. A good director, a good cast, good musicians and a good backstage crew, among other things, must work together in order to make the show run as smoothly as possible. One cannot work without the others. With one week left until the show, what was previously overdrive now seems like a vacation. The average leaving time is 10 p.m., with the high possibility of staying later. The crew becomes even more scatterbrained and cranky as everyone is running on only a couple hours of sleep. My fingers begin to suffer cramps as a paint brush seems to get heavier with every passing day. The fly system looks less and less fun with every passing rehearsal as those volunteers working on it begin to suffer the pain of constantly lifting people in the air. After the last curtain closes, strike begins. This is supposed to be where we calmly take down the set and salvage everything we can. That does not always happen because as soon as one person gets their hands on a hammer, everyone wants a turn. After all who doesn’t love smashing the set that just caused them three full weeks of stress?


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Friday, April 26, 2013

Sweetlife Festival

PHOTO BY JANE ZANKMAN.

On this new social media app, users create short, looping videos, or GIFs, with a few taps of the finger. Videos can be shared on Twitter or Facebook, and similar to Instagram, people can follow other accounts and “like” their videos. Vine is currently the number oneselling free app on iTunes.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LENNONANDMAISY.

The fourth annual Sweetlife festival will be held May 11 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Sponsored by Sweetgreen, the day-long music and food festival will be featuring artists Pheonix, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Solange and Holy Ghost!. PHOTO COURTESY BY JORDON MCGEE.

Hallway Swimming

The Observer sifts through the hype and the hip to bring you topics worth talking, Tweeting and texting about. Sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella have been YouTube celebrities since their first video was uploaded in 2010. The pair is known for their unique voices and beautiful harmonies. Recently, the girls have shown off their singing chops on ABC’s hit series Nashville, where they play daughters of country star Rayna James (Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights).

PHOTO COURTESY OF MOVIECLIPSCOMINGSOON.

Lennon and Maisy

After watching a video of Hallway Swimming, your walk from second to third period may never feel the same again. This trend was initially created by Canadian students Chris Bell and Cole Pugsley, whose YouTube video has received nearly three million views. Each video consists of one or multiple persons lying down on a buffed floor and kicking off the opposite sides of a hallway in a swim-like fashion. Although the security guards may not be too pleased if you decide to try it, Hallway Swimming appears to be an excellent form of exercise and entertainment.

PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR.

Vine

By Danielle Kiefer Julia Reagan Features Editors

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic read The Great Gatsby is coming to theaters in 3D May 10, causing anticipation among juniors who just read the book in AP Lang earlier this year. The story follows hopeless romantic Jay Gatsby in his attempt to win back F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic read The Great Gatsby is coming his lifelong love Daisy Buchanan. Upon arriving in New York, to theaters in 3D May 10, causing anticipation among juniors new Carraway immediately introduced whoGatsby’s just read theneighbor book in Nick AP Lang earlieris this year. The to follows the glitzhopeless and glamour of “The Roaring ‘20s.” The to eclectic story romantic Jay Gatsby in his attempt soundtrack, which includes songs by Florence and the Machine, win back his lifelong love Daisy Buchanan. Upon arriving in Beyoncé, Lana Del Reyneighbor and Gotye, and an all-star (Leonardo New York, Gatsby’s new Nick Carraway is cast immediDiCaprio, anyone?) promise captureofthe excitement of the era. ately introduced to the glitz andto glamour The Roaring 20’s. The eclectic soundtrack, which includes songs by Florence and the Machine, Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey and Gotye, and an all-star cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, anyone?) promise to capture

The Great Gatsby


Friday, April 26, 2013

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‘Bankrupt!’ satisfies, but fails to surpass expectations By Julia Greenzaid Senior Writer From the opening lines of the title track of Bankrupt!, Phoenix’s newest album, it is clear that the album is far from experimental and, in fact, falls in line with expectations. Phoenix has made another interesting album cut from the same cloth as their 2009 breakthrough album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Wolfgang is an indie pop legend, but after a four-year waiting period, Bankrupt! has been subject to high hopes and extraordinary hype. As expected, Phoenix’s newest songs are just as good as lead singles from their former album, but less radio-friendly. The title track is nearly seven minutes long, slowly building up to its climax in the final few minutes. The long ride up leads to an explosive blast created through the use of a toy keyboard and drum machine.

The track then plateaus and ends on a gentler note. For such a long wait, it could have been made worthwhile with an exciting ending. Fortunately, the album features notable tracks such as “Entertainment,” a quirky upbeat marvel. As far as making an album that will be able to compete with 2013’s best, Phoenix has succeeded, despite failure to break new ground. Though a lot of Bankrupt! was recycled from Wolfgang, this is a great catch. The record’s vibe is fresh enough for another take. Why change something that is already so fantastic? It is tough to say whether this album overrides Wolfgang, especially since most listeners are still in the honeymoon phase. Join the wave of excitement, pick up a copy of the album available April 23, and see if Bankrupt! has what it takes to be another epic success like Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS.

French rockers Phoenix released their fifth album Bankrupt! on April 22. This album is a follow up to their Grammy-award winning album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

‘Indicud’ showcases Cudi’s increasingly indie sound By Greer Smith Opinions Editor

The last time Kid Cudi released an album, there were mixed reviews. Cudi became known for his trippy, stoner style presented on his first two albums, Man on the Moon: The Guardians (2009) and Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager (2010). After he reportedly stopped using marijuana, he released his 2012 album WZRD with Dot da Genius, which was for many, an unwelcome break from the norm due to its punk rock sound. Now he is back, independent of his former label G.O.O.D Music, with his latest album, Indicud. The title could be a reference to a blend of his name and the Indie music style that Cudi emulates on a few of the tracks. However, it is more likely a play on his name and the word Indica, a type of marijuana, suggesting that he is back to his old habits. Whatever the reason for the name, Indicud is a strong blend of the hip hop sound Cudi fans once knew and the rock sound he seems to enjoy. Unlike his last solo album, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager,

which had a dark sound and theme, Indicud is very upbeat. It starts with the song, “The Resurrection of Scott Mescudi,” which Cudi produced without words, just a powerful beat. The title, which uses Cudi’s birth name, suggests that this album is a rebirth of some sort for Cudi. One of the most uplifting songs on the album is “Brothers,” featuring rappers A$AP Rocky and King Chip. The song is about Cudi’s love for the people who have come into his life and are now like family. He says in one line, “The brothers that I never had made my life a lot less sad.” In addition to his new outlook and sound, Cudi is also taking the reigns as producer of the entire album for the first time. Instead of rapping or singing on some tracks, he has no, little to no lyrics, or features another lead singer. One of the most notable songs of this kind is “Red Eye” which features the Los Angeles band Haim on the lead vocals. It is a catchy song about being lost and just “floating through the night on the Red Eye.” Some songs, such as “Young Lady” featuring John Misty, present

a combination of hip hop and punk rock. The song has a strong electric guitar and punk vibe while Cudi raps and sings along. Two other songs, “Solo Dolo Pt. II” featuring Rapper Kendrick Lamar, and “Cold Blooded” show off the hip hop aspect of the album. The beats are both strong and make for two of the best tracks on the album. Though there is still the hip hop presence in the album, it lacks a lot of Cudi rapping himself. He is still a rapper, and it would be nice to hear a track where he shows off his signature flow. Instead of leaving “The Resurrection of Scott Mescudi” void of lyrics, maybe he could have dropped a few bars to remind the hip hop fans he is still with them. Despite giving up some of the rap we know and love, it is still a great album. It is definitely versatile, crossing genres as well as featuring various artists, from Kendrick Lamar to Michael Bolton. Some fans may not appreciate it as much as they did Cudi’s earlier albums because his sound has changed over time, but any real fan will recognize it for the musical gift it is.

Tyler’s lighter side, he pulls the curtain to reveal the dark, isolated states of mind that he experiences due to the outcome of past events. In “Answer,” Tyler conveys his frustration for his father’s abandonment saying “Dad isn’t your name, see fa***t’s a little more fitting.”

Another darker tune is “Lone” where he describes his thoughts surrounding his grandmother’s death, who played a major part in raising him. Even though there are a few serious tracks, Tyler skillfully manages to leave audiences giggling with his sarcastic digs at critics who say that

PHOTO BY GREER SMITH.

Cudi fearlessly tries to mix rock and hip-hop vibes in his latest album Indicud.

Tyler, The Creator reveals sensitive side in ‘Wolf’ By Kara Philips Senior Writer Constantly being in the limelight, celebrities and other public figures must build a tough exterior in order to endure the inevitable criticism. This exterior, however, can become difficult to penetrate, leaving fans feeling disappointed and public icons feeling bitter. Tyler, the Creator, Odd Future ringleader, callously unveils his interior on his sophomore album Wolf released April 1. Full of his usual vulgarity and bluntness, Wolf leaves fans disgusted in the best way. While generously dropping F-bombs in almost every track, each song expresses one of Tyler’s multiple traits, both musically and personally. “Cowboy” and “Awkward” delineate Tyler’s down-to-earth quality; on “Cowboy” he talks about how he yearns to do normal things like skateboard and hang with his friends, whereas on “Awkward” he talks about first dates. While the preceeding songs display

PHOTO COURTESY OF CREATIVECOMMONS.

Tyler, the Creator is known for his intentionally offensive lyrics and dry humor.

he is “a racist homophobic.” Also, when discussing his personal issues, instead of simply purging his emotions Tyler uses jokes as a mechanism to maintain his tough exterior, a method that many people share with him. Even though Wolf is strong overall, the pacing of the album itself is questionable. Tyler placed “Domo 23,” a more energetic track, right before “Answer,” a somber, slower track; the inharmonious transition prevents listeners from relating to the latter. Also, some of the tracks sound poorly cut and produced; for example in “PartyIsntOver/ Campfire/Bimmer,”Tyler combines three songs into one, where the pauses in between only emphasize the song’s lack of fluidity. However, most of the tracks on Wolf are worth purchasing, displaying Tyler’s adroitness in producing high quality tracks, delivering heinous yet poetic lyrics, and offending listeners unapologetically.


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Friday, April 26, 2013

‘Spring Breakers’ has viewers springing for the door

By Jamie Lescht Online Editor-in-Chief Uncomfortable. Awkward. Displeasing to the eye. All these descriptions come to mind when describing director Harmony Korine’s (Kids) new film Spring Breakers. Spring Breakers portrays four friends, Faith (Selena Gomez, Wizards of Waverly Place), Brit (Ashley Benson, Pretty Little Liars), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens, High School Musical) and Cotty (Rachel Korine), who go to Florida for a booze-filled spring break. They soon find themselves arrested for drug and alcohol use, but are liberated by a strange gangster named Alien (James Franco, 127 Hours). The movie attempts to be an artsy version of Project X, as the characters try to create meaning and emotion while doing drugs. One example is when Faith believes that she can find herself through snorting cocaine, an idea that adds on to an unrealistic and ridiculous plot. Brit and Candy then prove themselves to be completely psychopathic when they take

pleasure in killing people for Alien. Instead of creating relatable charac-

ters that embody the everyday lives of teenagers, Benson and Hudgens

PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR.

The starlets pose with director Harmony Korine at the film’s premiere.

portray mentally unstable lunatics. While Franco should be applauded for acting diligently as Alien, his character is creepy and creates widespread discomfort amongst audiences. Viewers shutter and feel ill, especially when Alien makes eerie rhymes or kisses his gun. The worst part of the film is seeing Disney stars Hudgens and Gomez attempt to leave their innocent reputations behind and move on into more scandalous roles. When Hudgens tries to appear sexual with Alien, all the audience saw was Gabriella cheating on Troy. Although Korine fails in multiple areas, the cinematography successfully captures the drug-induced ecstasy the girls experience during their spring break. Scenes are occasionally filmed in a documentary style while other takes appear raw. While Korine attempted to create a meaningful film, it is nearly impossible to associate emotion with crack and heroin. As a result, the plot was poor and the characters unrelatable. After seeing the film, it is recommended that you wash your eyes and erase your mind of the foul scenes that make up Spring Breakers.

‘Arrested Development’ fans anticipate new season By Ben Fox Sports Editor

Arrested Development, the 2003-2006 Fox sitcom that launched the careers of Michael Cera (Superbad), Jason Bateman (Identity Thief) and Will Arnett (Blades of Glory), will be returning for 15 new episodes exclusively on Netflix. The entire season will be released simultaneously May 26 and features the return of the entire original cast. The show, which gained a dedicated

cult following due to its unique humor and fantastic cast, was critically acclaimed despite averaging a small audience of 2.7 million viewers. Though Arrested Development won six Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe during its original run, the Fox Network canceled it after only three seasons. The basic premise of Arrested Development follows the lives of the Bluths, an extremely wealthy family that runs into legal trouble after patriarch George Bluth Sr. (Jeffery Tambor, The Hangover) is accused of embezzling money from the family company. Michael Bluth

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(Bateman), George’s son, decides to move in with his dysfunctional family in order to run the Bluth Company and clear his father’s name. “It’s a layered comedy TV show that’s brilliantly written, with tons of hilarious, subtle jokes you’ll find every time you watch it,” said junior Jose Carbonell, who has been a fan of the show for over a year. Arrested Development has been long known for its clever hidden jokes, which can only be understood after frequent rewatchings of an episode, or if one has previous knowledge of a future or past plotline. This has created many fans at CHS, where many students began watching long after the show was canceled. “Every detail of the show is meticulously planned out, and nothing is accidental,” senior JW Goldman said. “Throughout the show, you can occasionally pick up on the writers leaving clues as to what’s going to happen in the future. My favorite thing to do when watching old episodes is to look for the clues that I may have missed the first time around.” After months of catching up on favorite characters and searching for hidden jokes, CHS students are ready to see the first new episodes in seven years. “I’m excited to see what will happen next,” junior Will Gallagher said. “The

end of the third season was pretty suspenseful, and I’m sure that with all this time for development they’ve come up with some mind-blowing resolution.” Though the large majority of fans are excited for Arrested Development’s return, some are worried about how well the show will carry over, considering its seven-year lapse. According to junior Ethan Finke, he is worried that the new episodes “will not be as witty as the old series.” Other fans are concerned that the show’s trademark style and humor will change. “I’m worried that the overall style will be different,” Carbonell said. “I hope the new season will have all the subtle stuff from before.” Whether they are excited or anxious about the new season of Arrested Development, the show’s fans will flock to Netflix on May 26 to rejoice in jokes about seals, bananas stands and African American puppets. “Arrested Development is so unlike any other show on the air today,” Gallagher said. “The lives of all the members of the Bluth family are all woven into one incredible story, and if you watch the series from the beginning, I guarantee you will appreciate it.”

PHOTO BY BEN FOX.

Juniors David Kaplan and Junho Phue catch up on Arrested Development.


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Despite third place finish, crew’s hopes high for spring By Manisha Singh Senior Writer

PHOTO BY BEN SCHICK.

Big Train’s season begins June 1 at 7:30 p.m. against the Mid-Atlantic Rookies.

Big Train offers a way to swing into local baseball By Ben Schick Senior Writer

It is the bottom of the ninth inning. There are two outs, the bases are loaded, and the home team is down by three runs. As the batter takes his place in the batter’s box, the pitcher wipes a thin layer of sweat from his forehead. The pitcher winds up, delivers the pitch and… The suspense of a baseball game can bring fans to the edge of their seats. However, this type of excitement is not only experienced at Nationals Park and in the MLB, it can be felt at any Bethesda Big Train baseball game. Big Train, founded by Bruce Adams and Jim Ourisman in 1997, is a summer college team that allows college players to compete in the sport they love while not at school. “When you go out there you see a lot of good talent,” Adams said. While Big Train allows college players to compete during the off season, the organization does much more for baseball in the area. The money raised from each Big Train game goes to the restoration and creation of children’s baseball fields in the area. “I was looking for a way to improve playing fields for kids,” Adams said. “I wasn’t coming up with anything, so I thought of summer college baseball.” Early on in the process, it seemed as though it would be difficult to create and sustain a college summer baseball team in an area that offers so many available forms of entertainment. According to Adams, college summer baseball was something that people thought would not succeed in Montgomery County. However, the community rallied around the formation of the team. “We defied the history of college summer baseball,” Adams said. Since 1997, Big Train has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars that has gone toward their goal of improving

baseball fields in Montgomery County. In May 2012, Big Train paired up with Bethesda-Chevy Chase (B-CC) Baseball to help attract more fans and sustain the program. “We have the same goals as a non-profit,” General Manager Adam Dantus said. “It’s really helped us increase our fan base.” Although Big Train has staged a monumental effort in making baseball easier and more fun for kids in the area to play, it has also provided Montgomery County with entertaining, high level and affordable baseball throughout the summer. Big Train attracts some of college baseball’s brightest players. About three to four Big Train players per year get drafted in the MLB draft to play professional baseball. Big Train has four former players currently playing in the MLB. In 2011 Big Train was named National Champions among college summer teams. According to Dantus, since the summer of 2011 the talent on the team has been outstanding. “College coaches call us to have players play for Big Train,” Dantus said. “Recruitment has been easy since the 2011 season.” In addition to great baseball, Big Train offers fans a family-friendly outing. The team showcases a non-profit of the night and offers tasty concessions and activities for kids such as the mascot race and the balloon bash. “The value that you’re getting is second to none,” Dantus said. “We have high expectations for this season.” Big Train is also a great way for students to get SSL hours. Senior Johnny Francheski volunteered for three years at Big Train, two as their mascot, and one as their score board operator. “It may not be helping the needy, but it is still helping the community,” Francheski said. “I’d recommend it to anyone looking to get SSL hours.” Big Train’s exhibition games start June 1, and the home opener is on June 7.

The crew team experienced a loss at the Cindy Cole Cup April 20 after placing third in its scrimmage against Woodrow Wilson and Walter Johnson on the Anacostia River April 6. “Seeing the competition has really made us put crew as a priority for this upcoming season,” junior Dominic Singer said. “I expect our team to show much more commitment.” Despite the upsetting defeat, the team remains hopeful for an improved season. According to team president Bill Snider, CHS has the potential to overcome many other competitive rowing teams due to indoor physical conditioning. “Winter conditioning really puts us at an advantage to work on both technique and mental commitment,” senior Charlie Morris said. According to Ryan Ludick, the new male varsity coach and previous USA NCAA rower, “a successful race stems from months of training.” Conditioning is not the only factor that might put the team up ahead. According to Singer, although the team has much lighter rowers than other crews, it is easier for them to compete in the shorter 1500-meter races in the spring season.

Ludick has also greatly contributed to the team’s morale. “Because he is a former college coach, we feel much more encouraged to show up to every single practice and give our greatest effort,” Singer said. Ludick has coached multiple college and high school crew teams in the past including Walt Whitman HS, Lehigh University and University of Florida. “I’ve been working with my crews for just over a month,” Ludick said. “I know we can and will build on the lessons learned at the scrimmage heading into the bulk of our season.” While the boys feel their technique and speed has been improving due to the new coach, girls search for confidence within the team. “Rowing is a sport that relies heavily on camaraderie,” senior Nazel Malhani said. “Having close relations with all of the girls translates to a strong bond on the water.” However, neighboring schools that have more experience on the water remain potential competition for both the boys and girls crew teams. “As we continue into the season, competition will only get harder,” Morris said. “More schools participate and better ones too.” The Maryland State Championship regatta will take place April 27.

Young co-ed team works together, proves skill

PHOTO BY MICHAEL FOX.

Despite the young talent, volleyball aims high for the rest of the season. By Fiona Asbury Advertising Manager Despite having an almost entirely new team, co-ed volleyball may be on the road to topping last year’s stellar season. With only four returning players, the team hopes to be county champions. “Last year we got to the semifinals and lost to Northwest,” sophomore Sara Chang said. “This year we will beat them.” So far, the team has beat WJ, Paint Branch, Rockville, Kennedy and Clarksburg, but lost to its rival, Northwest.

According to assistant coach Cindy Hillard, the game against Rockville was “very representative” of what the team could accomplish this year. Clarksburg was also a “big win.” According to Hillard, the team did face difficulties at the start of the season when trying to achieve the cohesive nature necessary in volleyball, due to the fact that a majority of the team was newcomers. Now, as the team is working together more, newcomers, such as sophomore hitter Chris Hallock, have been a huge addition to the team. “Even though we lost players, our team is still very strong,” Chang said. Other standout players include junior captain Olivia Chao on defense, sophomore setter Chang, and junior captain hitter Kaitlyn Hillard. Despite challenges, the team now works more as a unit than individuals. “I don’t think a lot of teams can have a group of people who don’t really know each other come together and mesh as well as we have on and off the court,” Chang said.

Experienced boys volleyball team aims for states By Emily MacDonald Staff Writer CHS boys volleyball is off to a promising start this season with a record of 7-2. After a rough loss in their first game against Clarksburg, 0-3, they came back with recent defeats again Kennedy 3-0,

Northwest 3-1, Blair 3-1, Paint Branch 3-0, Rockville 3-1, Northwest 3-1, and WJ 3-2. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs fell to rival Wootton, 0-3, April 19. They faced Whitman April 24, and will face B-CC April 26 and Blair April 29. “We have a lot of potential,” sophomore Casey Monson said. With only two freshman on the

team, the Bulldogs have a lot of experience and are working toward unity. According to freshman Wesley Cheung, states are a possibility although tough opponents Wootton and Blair stand in their way. “We’re pretty decent,” Monson said. “We can realistically look at playoffs.” Wootton is the team’s biggest threat as they prepare for the

upcoming season. “We have to learn to communicate better,” said freshman Jason Arndt. “I focus on playing well, getting the ball up and going for the net.” According to Ardnt, the team’s goal this year is to keep a winning record. “I think we’ll get a lot better,” Cheung said.


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New coach brings hope for rebuilding team By Julia McDermott Sports Editor

With the hiring of new head coach Jamie Frank, the girls lacrosse team hopes to repeat last year’s triumphs and win another regional title. The team has been the reigning regional champs for the past three years. After the loss of the seniors, including top scorers Mairin Hall and Maddy Flax, the Bulldogs will have to find a new way to maintain their title. “We will continue to improve,” Frank said. “My goal is to develop skills and the ability to play as a team.” Whitman fell to the Bulldogs April 15 with a 14-10 final score. The fifth game of the season added a tally to their list of wins with a 12-11 success in overtime against Walter Johnson April 11 along with a 20-6 win against Paint Branch April 8. After returning from spring break, the Bulldogs lost to state championship hopefuls Damascus, 18-5, April 4. The team played over the break, securing a 15-5 win against Blake March 23 after a shaky start to the season with a 17-9 loss against Bullis March 21.

“We had a bumpy start, having to play a private school the first game out,” Frank said. “They start a week before we do.” According to senior captain Emily Muscarella, Wootton and Sherwood will be some of the team’s biggest rivals this season. After three years of being hopefuls for states, the goal of the team is to simply maintain its record from previous seasons. In these past three years, the team has had stellar results, with no more than three losses per season. However, they were not fortunate enough to continue past the state semifinals after they had won the regional championship. “I think we can get as far as we did in past years if we play as a team and work hard in practice,” Muscarella said. The Lady Bulldogs will continue to train hard until their next game against Springbrook April 29 and for playoffs in May. “Our goal now is to regroup and get some momentum playing together as we go forward in the season,” Frank said. “We have a lot of talented players that, as they grow more confident, will be able to execute our game plan.”

theObserver

PHOTO BY GURANSH SINGH.

Junior Ryan O’Carroll pitches against Whitman April 11 in a Bulldogs 3-10 loss.

Baseball struggles to connect at the plate

By Josh Denicoff Senior Writer

PHOTO BY MICHAEL FOX.

The Bulldogs defeated Richard Montgomery at home, improving their record.

Friday April 26, 2013

The baseball team has not gotten off to a very strong start, holding a 2-7 record thus far this season. The team is currently on a losing streak after a loss to WJ April 16. “Pitching and defensively we played well,” coach Scott Blackwood said. “At the plate we couldn’t get anything going and couldn’t capitalize on anything we had going.” The team tried to capitalize on momentum after defeating Richard Montgomery, 6-5, April 13. “We played very well [against RM],” senior Charles DeFilippo said. “Junior Max Grody pitched four innings and only gave up one earned run in his first start ever, junior Zach Thibodeau hit 2-3 and had two stolen bases, and I hit 1-3 after coming back from a torn labrum.” The Bulldogs struggled again Whitman April 11 with a 3-10 loss

and prior against B-CC, April 9, with a 6-7 loss. “We didn’t play badly, Whitman just outplayed us,” DeFilippo said. “They hit the ball where we weren’t.” According to DeFilippo, the thing that killed the team was poor base running and walking too many people in the bottom of the seventh inning to give B-CC the game-winning run. The team defeated Einstein 10-0 April 6 in their first win of the season. “We played very well pitching and defense-wise,” Blackwood said. “Our bats finally woke up.” CHS lost their first three games of the season to Northwest, Magruder and Damascus. “We have been playing extremely well lately, but have lost a few one run games to very good teams,” senior Michael Albers said. “Hopefully though, we will get over that hump and start closing out games.” The team took on Gaithersburg April 19.

Despite injury, softball team stays focused By Anjali Chatterjee Staff Writer The Bulldogs lost to Gaithersburg, 17-7, April 19, making their record 2-9. Sophomore Laura Werber had many hits, leading the team to pull ahead 8-7 by the beginning of the last inning. “In the last inning we lost focus and the other team started to hit like crazy, so we ended up losing,”junior Alex Votaw said. Despite their hard work, the girls also lost to Richard Montgomery, 7-6, April 12. “Our heads weren’t in the game and we just have to practice,” junior Alena Garcia said. The team also lost to Whitman 15-4 on April 10 with sophomore Kriza Sy replacing junior pitcher Nora Cleary who was out with a back injury. The girls have been training hard to improve this season.

“We are working really hard and everyone is focusing on improving themselves so we can improve as a team,” sophomore Laura Werber said. The team lost two seniors to graduation, but the remaining players have stepped up. “Dana Harris has filled in nicely at first base, after missing most of last year with an injury,” coach James Collins said. The team is extremely close, and relies on each other to develop skills and learn from one another. According to senior Katie Jenkins, the team meshes well, and focuses on playing “clean, fundamentally strong softball.” This spring the girls hope to have a winning record and enter the playoffs. “If we keep working hard we could play way better,” Votaw said. “We have a lot more potential than we are showing.” The Bulldogs look optimistically towards the rest of their season as they prepared for their next game against Wootton April 22.

PHOTO BY GURANSH SINGH.

Sophomore Laura Werber hits against WJ in an April 17 game.


Friday, April 26, 2013

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Tennis starts the season with total domination By Ethan Denicoff Staff Writer Boys tennis has come out this season with more fire than ever. Starting with a 5-0 record, the Bulldogs appear to be invincible. Churchill had a 7-0 win April 17 against Blair. Senior captain Michael Gauch faced a tough opponent, but managed to clutch the win in the third match. In first doubles, sophomore Elliot Thaker and senior captain Christopher Gauch beat the one seed from last year’s county championship. “Blair has always been a solid team, and we always expect it to be a dog fight,” Thaker said. “This time we fought harder and came out strong.” Richard Montgomery fell to the Bulldogs just as hard as the rest April 5. CHS won 7-0 without dropping a single set for the third time this season. “RM we expected to beat, but anything can happen when you play the matches,” Michael Gauch said. “The fact that we won our first 4 games 7-0 shows how good the entire team is and that all of the players will be able to step up and play. That gives us a lot of confidence moving forward.” The third match against Walter Johnson April 4 was more of a challenge, but the Bulldogs still prevailed. Junior Will Szamossegi won his match against a player ranked in the top 500 in the country. Seniors Michael Gauch, Kevin Chen and Ben Shick all won their matches. Se-

PHOTO BY MADISON HURR.

Senior Michael Gauch winds up for a serve against Clarksburg. Gauch went on to win his sets 6-0, 6-0. nior Christopher Gauch and Thaker also won their doubles match. “WJ was a big match for us,” Thaker said. “We went in seeing them just the way they are, one of the top teams out there. We didn’t underestimate them, and we went out there and played like it. Everybody was up for the challenge, and I think that match got the word out there that we Dawgs are here to fight.” The Bulldogs’ second match at Springbrook had a simi-

lar result, with all matches won and a total of only five games dropped. “As Springbrook is not in our division, we expected a win,” Michael Gauch said. “However, it was a useful match because it was cold and windy, so it helped us learn how to adjust to playing in poor conditions.” In their first match against Northwest March 21, the Bulldogs showed up and won every match without losing a

single set. With this momentum continuing, the Bulldogs have aspirations for the county title. “We’re going for the county title and won’t settle for anything less,” Thaker said. “There are a lot of good teams standing in our way, namely Wootton [April 24], but if everyone brings their game, we have the goods to do it and we all think we will.”


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Volume 37 - Issue 8

Friday, April 26, 2013

By Katie Gauch Online Sports Editor Like most child soccer players, junior William Szamosszegi had dreams of becoming a super star soccer player. His passion for the sport deteriorrated, however, before he entered high school. At age 14, William faced the tough choice of deciding between tennis and soccer. “It was a difficult choice, but I chose tennis because it was an individual sport,” William said. “It is more rewarding to win and know that it was all you. Also you know that you control how you do, and you don’t have to rely on someone else.” William was influenced by his mother who also plays tennis. “His mother actually tricked him into attending a week-long tennis clinic at Potomac Tennis over a Christmas break,” Andrew Szamosszegi, William’s father, said. “But after that he was hooked.” William played one season a year during his years as an avid soccer player. Around age 13, his soccer team dissipated so he started focusing on training for tennis. “I started playing like four days a week

and started playing tournaments soon after that,” William said. Since he began playing seriously at 13, William has grown as a player mentally, which is key in tennis. “His mental toughness under pressure and his ability to control his emotions on the court makes him unique as a tennis player,” Andrew said. William spends many hours focusing on his daily fitness off the tennis court to prepare for tournaments. “I have always used my athleticism to my advantage in tennis,” William said. “I have been developing my strokes but have spent the bulk of my time on physical training and exercises.” William is influenced by his friends pressuring him to win, and his coach because of his support for him to improve. However, he feels his biggest influence is himself. “My biggest influence is my personality because I put all the pressure on myself and hold myself accountable when I mess up,” William said. On the court, William shows potential with all of his strokes, but his favorite stroke is his backhand. “I like my backhand the most because it is really solid,” William said.

PHOTO BY MADISON HURR.

Junior William Szamosszegi holds the number one singles spot on the tennis team. As a CHS player, not only does William hold the number one singles spot, going undefeated so far this season, but he also acts as a true leader. “Will’s very athletic, which enables him to have intense focus and the ability to make him a great player,” coach David Hurless said. “He stepped up to the position of number one and a leader as number one.” William not only performs on the court, but he continues to cheer his teammates on when he is not playing. “William has a good spirit with his teammates and always cheers us on during matches,” freshman Mark Dager said. Aside from CHS tennis, William trains at Four Star Tennis Academy in

Virginia and has participated in a summer tennis and academic program at the University of Virginia. He has also given back to the community by setting up a program for children with special needs. “This winter, he and his friend [Saint Albans junior] Nick Bayh set up a program at the Tennis Center at College Park so that local juniors could train Special Olympic tennis athletes,” Andrew said. William continues the season strong and looks ahead to play college tennis. “I learned that tennis can have a huge team aspect that you don’t get to see in Mid-Atlantic tournaments,” William said. “Also I learned you sometimes have to put the team on your back.’”

Lacrosse starts strong, aims for division title By Katherine Michaels Staff Writer

cord for points in a game with seven goals and seven assists against Damascus,” Fritz said. Dubick was not the only one to set a record. “The team is playing very unselfishly,” Fritz said. “Fourteen different players regis-

to contribute to the team. “Louis Dubick stands out to me as he is a sophomore and has Boys lacrosse began its season strong already committed to play at with a 7-0 start and hopes to maintain this Maryland,” Leonard said. “Harry winning streak for the rest of the season. Criswell has filled in a crucial spot The team plans to carry out on defense as well.” this season similarly to, if not betDespite the winning ter than, how they did last year. streak, the team hopes to “We are playing really continue to improve. well together and running off “The defense is still gella lot of momentum from last ing and learning to be a year’s season,” senior captain cohesive unit,” Fritz said. Matt Leonard said. Expectations are soarThe Bulldog s de fe at e d ing this season, and if rival Walter Johnson, 13t he team cont inues t o 11, April 11 in the toughest perform as they are, the game so far this season. state championship could “Louis Dubick took the PHOTO BY MICHAEL FOX. be in reach. game over with will and de“Goals are high,” Fritz termination in the fourth quar- Louis Dubick leads the team offensively to victory. said. “We want to win the ter,” head coach Jeffrey Fritz said. 4A South Division, then the The Bulldogs brought home a win tered either a goal or an assist verses 4A/3A West Region Championship, March 23 with a final score of 20-1 against Paint Branch, setting school records and finally a 4A/3A State ChampiBlake. The team performed exceptionally for most players with at least one onship.” well again April 9 against Paint Branch point in a single game.” The Bulldogs played rival with a final score of 23-1. The team lost 17 seniors last year, Wootton April 24 at home. “Louis Dubick set a school re- but several players have stepped up “We always look at Wootton as our

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toughest game of the year,” Dubick said. “April 24 should be a good one.” No matter what the score, the Bulldogs show their full effort on the field every game. “We are always stressing to play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back,” Fritz said.

All-Met

By Julia McDermott Sports Editor Congratulations to the seven CHS Swim and Dive athletes named All-Met by the Washington Post. Sophomore diver Kali Becker was named first team, and junior diver Mashal Hashem and freshman swimmer Hannah Lindsay made second team. Swimmers Elaina Gu, Michelle Illig, Harrison Gu and Austin Cole represented CHS in the honorable mention category. *as of 4/22/13

s Boy 6-0

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April 2013 - The Churchill Observer