Page 1

Volume 37 - Issue 9

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A National Blue Ribbon School

Teachers plan to pursue passions outside of CHS Scott Selman

Carlos Barillo

By Julia Regan Arts Editor Jane Zankman Production Manager

If you’ve ever gone to Blast, a football game, Homecoming, heard the Daily Dose or walked through the CHS building, Scott Selman has affected your time in high school. After nearly a decade as CHS’ Media Service Technician and in other roles, Selman has decided to leave CHS. “For nine years it’s been my job to help teach people to follow their dreams and, at some point, you have to take your own advice,” Selman said. “I didn’t come here as a teacher. I came here in a support role, but everyone in this building teaches or impacts students in some way and that’s kind of been my role— to show people that it’s okay to dream a little bit or take that step that maybe they are afraid to take, and sometimes you have to listen to your own advice.” This advice has led Selman to focus on his own video production company, CYM Media and Entertainment, which he started in 2009. “I’ve been planning for some time to be able to grow my company and take that into full

Dave Kelley


Selman works with senior Andres Roa to produce the Daily Dose. swing, and the tough part is having to be here from 7 o’clock to 3:30 everyday doesn’t allow you to either travel or do some of the other things I would want to do to grow my own company,” Selman said. When Selman was first hired at CHS, it was to help with the technical side of the school’s productions, but in only three short days, he had been hired full time. Since then, his job has been evolving almost daily to fit the needs of the school, starting with working on the overhead projectors in classrooms to


CHS has yet again been ranked the #1 high school in Maryland.


late fall,” Kelley said. “A friend of mine, John Ellenger, is a soccer director for SAC. It will be good to get back into coaching and work with a friend of mine.” Besides looking forward to getting back into coaching, which he refers to as his “love,” Kelley is drawn to SAC because it is part-time work. After working full-time at CHS for so

See Kelley, 3


News CHS is #1

See Selman, 3

Michael Foo

By Emily Birnbaum Editor-In-Chief

Kelley is in charge of the managing the athletic department. Developmental Academy. By Emily Birnbaum “I decided to retire back in Editor-In-Chief Dave Kelley has worked as a coach, teacher and athletic director for the CHS athletic department, and after 15 years of work, he will retire at the end of this year. As of now, he plans to accept a part-time coaching job at the Soccer Association of Columbia, MD (SAC). He will mainly coach for their under-14 boys program, which is part of the U.S. Soccer

managing the auditorium and then the Daily Dose. Though Selman admits to overworking himself, he has created some very fond memories at CHS including proposing to his wife on the CHS stage and working with the Class of 2013. “There are a lot of amazing students I have worked with on a one-on-one basis but, as a group, I’ve learned more from the Class of 2013 officers than I have working with anybody else,” Selman said. “Obviously I’ve tried

Michael Foo has been CHS’ respected photography teacher for 33 years. He has helped countless aspiring photographers mature, proudly watching many pursue majors and, eventually, careers in photography. After all these years of relentless hard work and involved teaching, he has decided it is time to retire. He is not finished working, however. While he is retiring from photography, he has decided to start his own graphics business. “I decided to retire last year and pursue my other interest,” Foo said. The news of Foo’s retirement has been surrounded by nervous rumors, as students worry about the future of CHS’ photography department. According to Principal Joan Benz, the school is currently looking for Foo’s replacement and promises that the photography

Features “Perfect Body”

CHS girls and boys disagree about what constitutes the ideal female figure.


CHS will be losing one of its most beloved and inspiring teachers at the end of this school year when Carlos Barillo, choral music director of 12 years, will be continuing to share his love for helping people through pursuing a career in nursing. Through his time at CHS, Barillo has been involved in the choral music department and the annual Blast from the Past performance. “I think Mr. Barillo has given incredible opportunities to students through his master teaching, coaching and giving

See Barillo, 3


Barillo directs the Simply Irresistable show choir. department will survive. In order to commemorate his leaving, his AP Photography class threw him a party on May 6, a celebration of both his birthday and retirement. According to junior Adam Anderson, the class brought in balloons, cakes and a huge card which the class signed. “He is the funniest person on Earth,” Anderson said. “I am sad that he’s leaving.” Foo is not only known for his humor. His enthusiasm for photography has been known

to rub off on his students. “He made photography something I really enjoyed because he loves photography and is so good at it, so he shares his passion with his students,” junior Lauren Feinberg said. According to Benz, he has not only excelled in his teaching: he has also helped CHS through favors he does for the school. “If we need calligraphy for certificates, he is right there and they look beautiful,” Benz said. “He is going to be missed.”


Foo inspires his students to follow in his love of photography.


By Elizabeth Campbell Editor-In-Chief

them opportunities to perform in front of a wide variety of people,” Principal Joan Benz said. Barillo is planning to pursue a Registered Nurse degree, which will involve taking classes at a community college to satisfy his prerequisites and beginning a clinical at an established nursing school. Currently he is interested in attending Chamberlain Nursing School in Arlington, VA. Having taught at CHS for over a decade, Barillo feels he needs to change his life path in some way. “I’m kind of like a free bird, a free spirit,” Barillo said. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stay in one place for a length of time. Before teaching at a high school level, I taught at a university level,

Sports Ultimate Frisbee The Ultimate Frisbee team wins the state championship.




CHS captures top spot for second year in a row

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


By Gil Jacobson Emily Jin Production Editors HEALTH Plan B One-Step


Principal Joan Benz raises up a number one in celebration of CHS’ first place ranking in U.S. News and World Report. By Madison Farrand Katie Quackenboss Staff Writers U.S. News and World Report recently released their annual ratings of high schools across the nation. CHS is once again ranked number one in the state and number 52 in the country. Rankings are based on four main criteria: percent of college readiness, algebra proficiency, English proficiency, and student-to-teacher ratios. CHS performed well in each category, with 85.6 percent in college preparedness, 3.7 out of 4 in Algebra, 3.6 out of 4 in English, and a 19:1 student-teacher ratio. U.S. News calculates their college preparedness percentage based on school-wide averages of AP participation and passage rates. CHS’ results are comparatively high, with a 92 percent participation rate in the AP program, and an average of 4.8 AP exams for each test-taker. The passing rate among the participating students is 91 percent. “From test information, colleges can see that CHS is a rigorous academic environment,” college and career information coordinator Luana Zimmerman said. “Generally speaking, students who graduate from CHS are prepared for college level work. I believe that adds value to a student’s application.” CHS’ consistently high test scores are a contributing factor to its success in the national and local rating systems. Based on the Maryland standardized High School Assessments (HSA), 64 percent are at or above the advanced level and an additional 33 percent of CHS students are considered proficient in English. Similarly, 68 percent of students’ scores were

advanced in the Algebra assessment, and 29 percent scored proficiently. In both cases, CHS scores are slightly higher than MCPS averages. “We look very closely at student data to determine areas for improvement and to identify any pockets of students who are not meeting with success so that we can analyze why, and then make changes to give them the best opportunity to achieve,” assistant principal John Taylor said. According to the CHS school improvement plan for the 2012-2013 school year, administrators focused on bettering student-teacher relationships in order to improve cooperation and provide a better learning environment in the classroom. Tactics include school-wide student surveys which gather information on teaching strategies in each classroom. The continuous recognition CHS has received over the last few years for having exceptional staff and student accomplishments has students feeling motivated to exceed academic expectations and proud to be a part of such a highly-ranked school. “It makes me feel proud to go to CHS,” sophomore Nesma Belkhodja said. “Since it’s at such a high level, I feel encouraged to take harder classes.” The administration and staff will continue working to maintain CHS’ success and standards in coming years. “The CHS staff and leadership is continually looking at students’ achievement and teacher expectations to ensure that all students are meeting the very high standards of our staff and teachers,” Taylor said. “Our staff is amazingly dedicated and hardworking, and these forces working together make for a consistently great school.”


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the emergency contraception pill Plan B One-Step or the “morning-after pill” to be available as an over-the-counter pill to women 15 years or older April 30. Emergency contraceptives are most effective when taken 24 hours after engaging in sexual activity, but are designed to be taken within 72 hours. Previously, the pill was only available without a prescription to women ages 17 or older. According to an April 30 Washington Post article, the cashier is supposed to request verification of the customer’s age by using a driver’s licence, permit or even a birth certificate. Without verification, a 15-year-old will not be able to buy Plan B One-Step. According to the article, women’s health groups strongly support the decision and are even urging the federal government to further widen the access to emergency contraceptives. According to a May 4 Denver Post article, however, some parents are concerned about the reduced age limits because they feel they have a right to be involved when their children make decisions about sexual activity and pregnancy. DOMESTIC Stock Markets


The S&P 500 finished above 1,600 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 15,000 for the first time ever on Wall Street due to the positive April jobs report.

According to a May 3 Washington Post article, government data showed that the economy had added 165,000 jobs this past month, far more than expected. With stocks at a record high, the surge could continue into the summer. According to the article, stocks could continue to rise as long as interest rates are low and no sudden economic issues arise. Despite these high numbers, some economic analysts are still skeptical about the recent success. According to a May 3 International Business Times article, the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 7.5 percent, but that is still high by historical standards. The stock surge could indicate that the economy is finally recovering from the 2008 crash. DOMESTIC Gay Marraige


The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act by the end of June. Hollingsworth v. Perry deals with the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot measure which recognized marriage between a man and a woman in the state of California. United States v. Windsor concerns the constitutionality of Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), signed into law by PresidentClintonin1996. Theactpreventedthe federalgovernmentfromrecognizingsame-sex marriages under federal laws and programs. According to a March 27 Politico article, the act appears to be on “shaky footing,” as a majority of the justices questioned its constitutionality. Aside from these two cases, the expansion of equal rights for gays and lesbians has been on the rise. In late April, Jason Collins became the first openly gay active athlete in an American men’s team sports league and in mid May, Minnesota became the 12th state to allow same-sex marriage.

Rachel Goslins announced as graduation speaker

By Michael Fox Sports Photo Editor

CHS chose Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the President’s Committee of the Arts and Humanities, as the guest speaker for the Class of 2013’s graduation May 28 at DAR Constitution Hall. Goslins works closely with President Barack Obama and the White House to discuss ways to improve humanities and arts throughout the US and abroad. “You want somebody who can give a good message, and I think she is going to talk a lot about being willing to take risks and being able to follow your dreams,” Class of 2013 adviser Scott Selman said. Goslins graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz and majored in political science. Goslins also was active in theater and spent much of her spare time working with the arts,

which gave her experience for her current job. “I have a fantastic job,” Goslins said. “I get to work with issues that I really care about like getting more arts education for kids in high poverty public schools or using the arts to reach across international boundaries. I really do wake up every day feeling lucky to work in the area that I’m passionate about.” Before working with the government, Goslins had careers in law and film directing. “I did copyright law for the government internationally,” Goslins said. “I went back to school and studied film and became a documentary film director.” Class of 2013 President Brianna Burke feels that Goslins is a good choice as the commencement speaker. “She was very interested in getting to know me and the essence of the CHS community to capture in her commencement speech,” Burke said.


Goslins works in schools in high poverty areas alongside First Lady Michelle Obama to increase funding for the arts.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013




Teachers look forward to relaxing retirement

Joel Aronchick By Emily Birnbaum Editor-In-Chief

Health and physical education teacher Joel Aronchick plans to retire at the end of this year after 35 years of teaching—28 of them with MCPS and four with CHS. He has chosen this year to retire because his daughter and stepdaughter are both graduating from college while his youngest stepdaughter is entering her first year. He wants to take this time to enjoy his own health and be grateful for the shape he is in. “You don’t know how many years you’ll be on Earth,” Aronchick said. “Now, I am healthy enough


Aronchick announced his retirement at the beginning of this school year.

to enjoy the lifestyle I want to.” He and his wife are moving to a house near the beach in Florida. “This is a great way to spend my life,” Aronchick said. “It is a beautiful community. I get to do what I want without being constrained by schoolwork.” Aronchick has had his career planned out since he was a high school junior. In his high school yearbook, when asked what he planned to be when he grew up, he wrote “physical education teacher.” Although he has enjoyed teaching physical education, he finds that his true passion lies in teaching health. “I am passionate about nutrition and fitness,” Aronchick said. “I try to motivate the students to be healthier—to eat properly, to exercise. The habits that you establish now will carry with you. People sometimes get off on the wrong foot.” He will be remembered for his humor and down-to-earth teaching style. “He is one of the few teachers that you can joke with,” sophomore Panos Nicolaou said. “If you say something dumb, he’ll actually laugh. He’s a lot of fun. I wish I could visit him in Florida.” Aronchick has truly enjoyed his time at CHS. “I will miss some of the kids,” Aronchick said. “Churchill is the kids. When you have a great class, you enjoy it.”

Diane Benson


Benson’s job has evolved to include helping students in the classroom. By Emily Birnbaum According to Benson, before, working in the department meant mostly clerical work—typing Editor-In-Chief

Resource teacher Diane Benson has seen incredible amounts of change over her 18 years at CHS. She remembers the renovations and the restructuring of the Resource department as clearly as if they had happened yesterday. Now, after being an important part of the CHS community she has decided that it is time to move on. Benson was a Spanish teacher her first six years here but decided to switch positions because her asthma made it difficult for her to work so tirelessly. “I decided to stop teaching and become part of the Resource Deparment, which would mean I wouldn’t have to grade and it was a less stressful job,” Benson said. However, the resource department has changed dramatically since twelve years ago.

and answering the phone—it now is a more hands-onjob.Benson found herself in charge of helping students with their accommodations and teaching actual classes again. She has chosen to retire this year because of recent health issues and because she wants to spend more time with her husband. Nevertheless, she does not plan to stop working altogether. She is considering tutoring Spanish during the afternoons. “I haven’t focused on the fact that I’m going to be retiring,” Benson said. “I’ve just been taking it day by day. Things always have a way of working out. I’m not going to be idle.” According to Benson, the part she will miss the most about CHS is the student body. “I have nothing but fond memories of this school,” Benson said.

From Barillo, 1

Barillo looks back positively on his experience at CHS. He hopes to have successfully shown his students his passion for music. “You can teach, teach, teach as much as you want, but I think it’s important to show your passion and show what you’re made of,” Barillo said. “By me leaving, it shows that you can still pursue a different career from what you started. It’s possible.”

Community reflects on teachers’ memorable influence From Selman, 1

to teach them a thing or two also, but over the four years I think I’ve learned more from them than I have from other groups and I think that’s important because part of what makes me, me is from what I’ve learned working with other people.” One of those officers is senior Gauri Bhatnagar, who has been able to witness firsthand the work of Selman and the effect it has on people. “Scott Selman is a very reliable, organized person that you can always depend on,” Bhatnagar said. “He is always on top of things, and helps us ensure that everything is done to perfection. Whenever he does anything from performances to fairs to even ticket sales, people commend him on how smoothly and efficiently it all goes.” In addition to the special bonds Selman has made with his students, he has also cultivated several great friendships with staff members throughout the school. One friend in particular is Selman’s self-proclaimed rock, bridge teacher Sheri Phillips who Selman worked with closely on several CHS productions. “Scott has an energy level and an excitement level that is contagious,” Phillips said. I will miss his support and kindness.”

Selman’s exit will not be an abrupt one, however, as he plans to stick around to continue to work with the performing arts, as he feels he owes it to those students in the program. “I have a great group of kids that do the theater program and do the technical program that I’ve helped build, and I’ve got an amazing group of senior leaders next year, and I wouldn’t want to abandon them for their senior year,” Selman said. Selman also plans to help Class of 2014 sponsor Shelley Perrett in dealing with the monumental task of running the senior class. “The more involved the better,” Perrett said. “I need someone who knows everything, so I hope he is involved as much as he can be.” As for finding a replacement, Selman plans to be very involved with the transition. Selman has committed to helping the new person once they arrive at the school; showing them around the building and helping them learn to navigate his massive key ring. “My goal is to make sure that I’m leaving the school in the best place possible after I go to make the transition as seamless as possible,” Selman said.

and I also was a freelance performer, performing everywhere in the world. I just knew that I was going to go somewhere else.” Barillo cannot make any promises about returning next year to help with school performances, as he will be extremely busy with nursing school. However, depending on his classes, he hopes to continue working with the show choirs next year, as well as Blast. While he assumed that his students would be disappointed, he did not expect the reaction he received when he announced the news the night of the choral concert May 1. According to Barillo, he still has a bruised ribcage from Showstoppers hugging him so hard. “I knew that there would be sadness, I knew that there would be tears, and I knew that there would be questions,” Barillo said. “It’s humbling.” One of the things he will miss most about CHS is his connection with his students. “I’m going to miss his personality and the way he makes us laugh,” junior Nicole Gonzalez said. “I’m mostly going to miss his creative ideas, his choreography, and the way he treats us.”

From Kelley, 1 long, he looks forward to being able to slow down and relax. He also plans to work on fully recovering from the knee-replacement surgery he underwent in January, and is glad to have more time to play golf and not have to wake up early. According to Principal Joan Benz, while the athletic department will not experience any drastic changes under the new director, who has not yet been chosen, the school will surely feel the loss of Kelley’s leadership. “The school will adjust, but his knowledge and expertise will be hard to replace,” physical education teacher Don Higgins said. “Mr. Kelley knew what coaches needed, parents wanted and the support teams required.”

Executive and Employee Benefit Planning Estate and Financial Strategies















Stuart L. Youngentob, JD, CPA 7500 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 1225 Bethesda, MD 20814 Tel. (301) 951-0070 Email


The Churchill



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Observer Editors

Editors-in-Chief Emily Birnbaum Elizabeth Campbell

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


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. 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.

Students should pay attention to the arts


Because of the departure of notable teachers in the arts department, rumors are swirling about the future of CHS performing arts. Students are worried that the programs may change for the worse, but instead of panicking, students should focus on using their own talents to keep the arts going strong. No matter who the teacher is, the students remain the same, and they are very talented. Students are capable of taking the care of the performing arts into their own hands and should continue to do so. The real problem is that many students outside of the arts programs do not care to give them the attention they deserve. According to Principal Joan Benz, there is no need to worry, as the administration is looking for replacements for Choral teacher Carlos Barillo and teacher and SGA/Class of 2013 adviser Scott Selman who is often involved with productions. Benz is confident the performing arts department will proceed as it always has. According to Barillo, there is change due. However, the pro-

gram experiences change every year, both good and bad, and students should not be worried. CHS is known for taking care of its football team and other sports teams. There are often cookouts before games, pep rallies and t-

ers to perform for their peers. It is understandable that sports get a lot of attention; they are a huge source of revenue. However, the arts are still full of hardworking students trying to entertain, and the student body needs to recognize



shirts made for the general public, yet the performing arts does not get this sort of attention. In the past, there were teasers for Blast and the musical, but last year there were no teasers, and this year there were teasers only for the musical. The teasers help to give people a taste of the show so they will want more and allow perform-

each other and support each other. CHS football is good, but they are not the best, with a 7-4 season and ranked 79th in the state. Yet the school rallies all their support around them. The CHS performing arts puts on professional productions that pull in crowds for several nights of the performance. Yet the overall school spirit or attention towards them often

seems slim and limited to those participating and their friends. Now is a good time to reflect on how the students treat the arts. They seem second to sports even though they produce many talented students. What CHS needs to do is to bring more attention to the arts. Make more announcements on The Daily Dose about the plays, musicals, and the annual CHS art show, and highlight the achievements of local artists in the community like they do for athletes. The Observer will be working hardest to highlight CHS’ art students and to more regularly draw attention to the great art performances, shows, and opportunities in our community. CHS needs to let their performers and artists know they are behind them and that the students have the talent to maintain the programs that these students use as an outlet. Otherwise, rumors and worries will continue to swarm the student body any time a teacher packs up and goes.

Students can help stop the violence What we learned from the Boston Bombing

By Katie Clem Emily Jin Production Editors

The fear that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother Dzhokhar, 19, instilled during the Boston Marathon bombing has led many to question whether stricter gun regulation will put an end to the acts of violence and terror. The true threat lies not with the weapons, but within the people behind the weapons. The repeating pattern that occurred in not just the Boston bombing, but also in the Newtown and Aurora shootings, is that the perpetrators have been young males who have trusted corrupt family or felt isolated from their communities. Until our communities begin to work tirelessly to reach out to people who feel isolated and to care for them, they will continue to turn to violence. According to an article in a May 2006 International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, behavior can be directly influenced by environmental factors. In other words, a healthy and social environment can instill good behaviors. Unfortunately it can be the other way around too. A poor environment can influence bad decisions. During the Boston marathon bombing, for example, Dzhokhar was negatively influenced by his older brother to take part in the bombing. According to a Feb. 3, 2011 New York Times article, psycholo-


We are all responsible for including those who seem isolated in or outside of school. gists found that teens are more likely to imitate their friends and take risks that they wouldn’t normally commit if they are alone. Adolescents are more likely to crumble under peer pressure and surrender to close friends. In a society where everyone desperately wants to fit in and no one wants to be the odd one out, people can put their trust in the wrong person and be influenced to commit actions they will later regret. The Boston marathon bombing proves this. However, tragedies can still occur even without external influ-

ences. In the recent Newtown shootings, Adam Lanza, the perpetrator, never interacted with the community and was completely isolated from society. According to a March 29 CNN article, Lanza rarely left home and was constantly playing violent, military style video games, living in a gun-prevalent environment. His diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, which can cause a lack of empathy and poor social skills, may have contributed to his isolation. Passing legislation is not going to solve these problems, but treat-

ing people with compassion will. According to assistant Principal John Taylor, students should reach out to others who are not included both inside and outside of school. Asking students to join your lunch group if they are sitting alone, inviting people to join your school assignment if they are working alone, and going out of your way to talk to them just to let them know you care are all great ways to include others and prevent them from turning to violence.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013




Smartphones aren’t always the smartest choice By Ben Fox Sports Editor In a world dominated by smartphones, I remain stuck in the past. My phone does not have Internet capabilities, cannot send out Snapchats and cannot upload photos to Instagram. The extent of my cellular abilities is small: I can text, call, and take grainy pictures that look like they’re from the ‘80s. I believe that my cell phone might actually be the worst phone in all of Churchill. It certainly isn’t sleek or sexy like the iPhone and Droid. The battery is held in place by a piece of duct tape. There are countless scratches on it, and in certain lighting, the screen is impossible to read. But soon things will be different. After two years of owning the most useless phone in existence, I am finally giving in to the future and trading my piece of junk for a new iPhone. But, as I prepare for my upcoming upgrade, I have been reflecting on some of the benefits of having a phone

that is simply just a phone. Despite my phone not having many of the resources of smartphones, it has served me well throughout high school. I have been able to call and text with relative ease, remain undistracted by tweets and notifications when it is time to study, and have been happily unaffected by the lack of available WiFi at CHS. Though smartphones have many incredible capabilities, it seems that many people make the mistake of thinking that they need smartphones to live their daily lives. With a constant stream of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchats and more, people hardly have time to look at the world around them. Whenever I see people who are in awkward or boring situations, such as a long line at the DMV or even while waiting to get a Big Mac, I often see them immediately take out their smartphones and immerse themselves in apps, games and the internet. With the mass production of iPhones, Galaxies and Droids, it

has become socially acceptable in our society to interact with a screen instead of interacting with the people around us. Another thing I have noticed about smartphones is the frequency of cracks, dents and scratches that appear only weeks after being purchased. After encountering many perilous situations involving my phone, including being dropped in two swimming pools, falling from high places numerous times, and even having become a chew toy for my dog, I can proudly say that it still works in close to perfect condition. Because of my phone’s toughness, I have grown used to treating it recklessly without having fear of it breaking. I have played catch with it, and regularly flip it into the air. On the off chance that it happens to fall I can be confident that it will work fine. Throughout all my abuses, my phone never broke and never cracked. It just keeps on going. Though I am prepared and excited for an upgrade to my old phone, I also realize

that I will need to be more careful with my new technology. I know it will be fun to take advantage of all the new opportunities that the iPhone will offer, but I will still keep in mind the benefits of having a phone from the so-called stone age.


Older phones provide an escape from often overwhelming technology.

MoCo needs to follow suit and raise age for tobacco

By Jeanine Liu Contest Manager

For its latest effort in a relentless campaign against smoking, New York City began hearings May 2 on a proposal to raise the city’s legal sale age of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, along with City Council speaker Christine Quinn, plan to prevent smoking at its roots by making cigarettes harder to obtain for young adults. With a population of over 8 million, NYC is taking the lead to curb underage smoking. If one city can do that, then Maryland can too. According to an April 22 New York Times article, Quinn said that the new legislation will target young adults and teenagers, the age group at which the majority of smokers start. In Maryland, the minimum legal sale age of tobacco products is 18. The state has the authority to increase the legal age, and in a nation where nearly nine out of 10 smokers start by age 18, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human services, increasing the legal age is the first step to raising a healthier generation. According to American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control, a website dedicated to tobacco facts and statistics, 12.5 percent of all Maryland high school students smoke and 3.5 percent of Maryland middle school students smoke. If even kids as young as 11 years old are smoking, it is a clear sign

that something must be done, and the government needs to step up. Raising the legal sale age of tobacco products may also prove beneficial to teenagers’ health, since most teens’ bodies have not fully matured by the time they start smoking, resulting in cardiovascular damage, a reduction in lung function and even a permanent halt in lung growth, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Not only will smoking damage their bodies prematurely, but nicotine addiction is more severe in youths and causes tobacco dependency to grow over time. According to MCPS psychologist Judith Amick, early smoking habits could have more of an impact on young adults because the brain is not fully matured until age 25. Smoking has the potential to destroy brain cells permanently, the effects of which last even after quitting.

Smoking is a huge part of entertainment and culture. Teens are often pressured by their peers to smoke and by what they see in movies, which often sensationalizes smoking through iconic figures like James Bond or Johnny Depp. According to Amick, young adults start smoking either because they think it is “cool” or because they figure it is harmless since some family members might also smoke. In addition, for many students, getting their hands on a box of cigarettes is not hard; they only have to ask friends or siblings who are at least 18 years old or dealers loitering on street corners to obtain cigarettes. It is not easy to change teenage mindsets, but the government can cut down on access. If by increasing the minimum legal age it will make it harder for young adults to have access to tobacco products, then it is certainly a step in the right direction and will discourage them from smoking simply because there is too much effort involved to obtain it. According to an April 22 New York Times article, a 2010 British study showed that smoking rates among 16 to 17 year olds dropped 30 percent when the legal age was raised from 16 to 18. Although at 18, young adults have the right to vote, drive, and fight in the army, these are all moral responsibilities and privileges as a citizen of the U.S. and all come with a certain respect. Smoking however, merits no honor and is a social toxin, and underage smoking destroys a future generation of brains.

often fail to comprehend the not-so-sunny side to this situation. Individuals need to be educated about the effects of sun exposure and realize they are not invincible. Truth be told, even one bad sunburn could end with you under the knife. CHS parent Andrew Gold went through many years thinking that the irritation on his stomach was just a form of eczema. It wasn’t until the mysterious mark was tested that he found out he had been harboring skin cancer for 14 years. Fortunately, the cancer did not spread and was removed immediately. This is not always the case. More serious forms of skin cancer, such as Melanomas, can take over other organs and potentially be fatal. According to, the CDC reported that less than onethird of American teenagers practice effective sun protection. According to dermatologist Danielle Drezek, from The Dermatology Center,

it is crucial to check labels on cosmetics and medicines for possible sun sensitivity. It is also important to avoid the sun during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and wear clothing that covers the body. Sunscreen is preferred, so pick one with an SPF of 15 or higher. Reapply every hour if possible depending upon how long one is out in the sun. Teenagers may be educated on the dangers of tanning, which is why they look for a “safer” means of achieving a sun-kissed glow. Sunless self-tanners and spray tans that yield instant results have become an easy and more convenient way to go. Although spray tanning is often considered to be the “safer alternative” to tanning beds, it is far from risk-free. The seemingly quick and harmless procedure of getting a spray tan is proven to cause anywhere from mild to extremely serious consequences.  The FDA has received reports of spray-

tan users getting rashes and experiencing coughing, dizziness and fainting.   Medical experts have recently found much more devastating problems associated with spray tanning, such as chemicals that, if inhaled, may get into the bloodstream through the lungs and damage DNA. It would be unfair to say that spraytan users do not check their facts, or care about their bodies, because most do. The problem is the abundance of faulty information online. Recent discoveries conclude that websites have been mistaking the dangerous chemical DHA, found in spray-tans with an Omega-3 fatty acid known by the same abbreviation. The skin is like armor—your best defense against the harsh conditions of the outside world. Having a tan is not worth destroying this crucial part of the body, or any other part. Instead of trying to change your skin, flaunt it. You’re perfect the way you are.


Cigarettes cause too many problems to be legal for 18 year olds.

Students should forget about tans and go natural By Jessica Gold Staff Writer Ilana Berger Online News Editor With school days dwindling down to single digits, it seems like almost every teenager is talking about heading to the beach to get a nice summer glow. However, for every way that tanning may seem to benefit an individual, there are a million ways that it could go horribly wrong. This obsession with being “beautiful” is not worth the many health risks associated with toasting your skin. Habitually laying in the sun can cause eye damage, premature aging, skin cancer and may even lead to death, so why do people expose themselves to such dangers? In the US, tanning has become widely accepted and commonplace, so people




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mol-Gen students attend What’s Online? symposium, present work

@ Features: The News: Brood II cicadas Top 5 most are on the rise, as soon as effective stress the ground temp rises. relievers. Sports: The pros and cons Opinions: Why cabs are a of athletes who use social good option. media.

By Sammi Silber Observations Editor Thirty Molecular Genetics students attended a Molecular Biology and Genomics Research Symposium on April 27 where they had the opportunity to present their published research on genes in Landoltia punctata, a certain type of duckweed. “It was amazing,” said junior Molecular Genetics student Zoey Maggid. “It was such an accomplishment not only to be published as a scientist but also to do the project with my friends.”


It’s Academic reaches final round of tournament

By Sammi Silber Observations Editor

Congratulations to the It’s Academic team for advancing to the final round of the It’s Academic TV show. The team has a regular season from August until May and competes against the top academic

high schools in the state. Seniors Prithish David, and Ramakrishna Jayaraman and junior Nikhil Perincherry represented CHS at Channel 4 Studios on May 18 against James Hubert Blake High School and the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

50 billion apps downloaded

By Sammi Silber Observations Editor

Apple announced May 15 that its 50 billionth app was downloaded from its app store. Many people, including CHS Bulldogs with iPhones, have contributed to Apple’s big feat. The company has an average of 800 apps downloaded per second, and Ohio resident Brandon Ashmore downloaded the 50 billionth app.

Seniors receive awards

Juniors Maddie Frank and Zoey Maggid were two of the students who attended the symposium By Erica Spaeth General Photo Editor with teacher Ginny Brown.

Congratulations to two students for receiving awards from the Black Educators Association of Montgomery County Schools. Senior Adrien Bossogo-Eguom won a scholarship and senior Tina Brownlee won a community leader certificate. Congratulations to both students.


‘Observer’ staff attends conference in San Francisco By Emily Birnbaum Elizabeth Campbell Editors-in-Chief


Ten members of the Observer staff attended a journalism conference in San Francisco from April 26-29. The National Scholastic Press and Journalism Education Associations held the conference with the goal of educating students on how to improve their high school publications. The students attended sessions outlining how to optimize the sports section, gather exceptional quotes, write humorously, reorganize the newspaper’s website and more.

Congratulations, Seniors! Final Exam Schedule PHOTO BY SAMMI SILBER.

By Sammi Silber Observations Editor

Congratulations to the Class of 2013 seniors for their hardwork over the past four years to get where they are today. They will be graduating from CHS on May 28 at 2:30 p.m. at DAR Constitution Hall.




Monday, June 10

Exams Periods 1 and 2

Tuesday, June 11

Exams Periods 3 and 4

Wednesday, June 12

Exams Periods 6 and 7

Thursday, June 13

Exam Period 8 and Makeups

Friday, June 14

Make-up Exams and 9th Grade Orientation

Observer patrons, thank you for your support! Michael Baron Lucy Bedewi Deborah and Jeffrey Birnbaum Dr. and Mrs Young Kwon Choi Lesley & Ron Cooper Sharon Day Debbie Demske Donald Demske Sue Demske Robert Demske Lillian & Marvin Denicoff Drew Denicoff Joel Denicoff Todd & Sheryl Denicoff Pat & Bill Denlinger Rob Doherty Donna & John Duvall Danielle Fang Omar Farooqi Richard Fox Ruth Fu Rhoda Galembo Dorothy Gauch

Janette Gilman Helene & Andy Glick Alexa Goodman Mr. & Mrs. Gordon Leslie & Art Greenberg Dr. Florine Greenberg Laura & Joel Greenzaid Robin and Mason Harris Hartmann Family Caroline Heming Horn Family Mr. & Mrs. Irwin Hyman Jonathan & Roberta Jacobson Robert & Estelle Kabik Tony Kanwal Jeff Kemp Family Kemp Family Lou Ann Kennelly Kelly Knarr Nancy Kolodin Sue & Peter Kopperman Kramer Family Ellen & Alan Lescht

Judy Leventhal Debra Lindsey Yeena Liu Nate Maane and Family Mayer Family Janet Mayer Julie Mayer Kathryn Mayer Brett Mead Kevin Mead Lauren & Chris Mead Dr. & Mrs. David A. Meyerson Nolan Family Stephen & Andrea Papermaster Susan Pereles Amy & Bob Quackenboss Elizabeth Quackenboss Raab Family The Salzberg Family Irene Saltzberg Hannah Marie Roop Elizabeth Rotman Laura Roseman & Jeff Saltzberg

Diane Savinelli Alan & Sharon Schick Julie Schumacher Rajwant Singh Courtney and Jim Spaeth Albert Steinberg Stein Family Strassman Family Andy & Ann Swaminathan Joel & Sonya Taubin Barbara Thomas Corinne Wallerstedt Dr. Frederick J. Walsh Sara Beth Watson Weisbaum Family Staci & Gary Weltmann Kathi & Ed Whitman Amy Wolf Xin Xu Nancy Yasharoff David & Susan Zankman Shuren Zhu

Wednesday, May 22, 2013



There’s no place like home: By Catherine Goohs Online Arts Editor

As the end of May draws closer and closer, so does the graduation of the Class of 2013. Whether these soon-to-be alumnae are headed for foreign countries clear across the globe or 15 minutes away, all are planning on discovering some new terrain after high school graduation. But how many will end up back in Potomac after graduating from college? Are these seniors saying adiós to the 20854 or will they make their own addresses close to their hometown? “I can definitely see myself moving back to Potomac,” senior Alexandra Cid said. “It’s a bubble of saftey. I’d first love to travel around and see new places and get new perspectives of life, but ultimately, ending up in Potomac would be great.” Cid is planning on going to Montgomery College. Like many other members of the Class of 2013, proximity to home was a major factor of her college choice. According to senior Alex Korty, who plans on attending Stenvenson Univeristy, also located in Maryland, he did not want to move too far from home initially but would like to end up in a major city, such as New York, a few years down the road. “College is a lot to adjust to, so I wanted to be close to things I know,” Korty said. Several CHS teachers used to live in the area, including AP Language Teacher Jennifer Miller. Miller grew up in Takoma Park, MD and went to Richard Montgomery High School. According to Miller, after a year of working in New York, she decided her job was not challenging her enough, and she missed friends and family, so she looked at graduate programs around the D.C. area. “I think it is really good for some people to go away from home for college

and truly immerse themselves in a new experience,” Miller said. “I was nervous to do that because I’m so close with my family and I had never really been away from home much, but it was a challenge that I thought was important to take on. It really helped me broaden my perspective, meet different kinds of people, and ultimately, really appreciate all that the Maryland-D.C. area has to offer.” Predicting whether one will come home is difficult as so many factors can alter one’s destined path. According to an Observer survey of three English classes, 53 percent of the seniors surveyed can see themselves living in

Seniors discuss returning to Potomac after college

who don’t necessarily want to move back to Potomac may see more importance in hobbies, friends, personal satsifactions; it’s an over achieving culture we have here. Just because they don’t want to come back to Potomac doesn’t mean they don’t want to come back to Montgomery County.” Some students may wish to come back home in order to to maintain strong family relationships. “It’s good to stay close to family,” Cid said. Yet anyone determined to stay in the area may face a change of heart later on, be it a year or a decade from now. “I think that it’s natural for some


Potomac as an adult and 23 percent had a parent who grew up in Potomac. Also, the survey indicated that 66 percent of seniors in an AP English class see moving back to Potomac as a possibility compared to 53 percent of an honors English class and only 33 percent of a regular English class. According to AP Literature teacher Eleanor Goodwin, these statistics may be relevant to the high expectations attributed to AP students in Potomac. “My gut reaction is that this area might have too much pressure in academic expectations, even American Dream expectations,” Goodwin said. “Students


people to want to come back to their hometown area, it is familiar, it is where we have roots, and often where we still have family,” Miller said. “I think that probably makes the bigger difference. I have friends from high school whose parents moved to another state as soon as high school was over and those friends haven’t moved back to this area.” Like most major decisions in life, there exist a rather lengthy list of benefits to both sides of the distance one moves. Moving far away from home is an action that creates new experiences and opens one up to the a completely new side of the

world, but staying close to home allows for stability and safety. A reason why half of the Class of 2013 wants to leave Potomac may be because of a Western cultural influence. According to AP Human Geography teacher Adam Field, it is a Western cultural value for children to have experiences beyond the home. Remaining stationary isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it would mean a loss of opportunity. “My advice would be don’t call home everyday, don’t Skype or email because that makes homesickness worse,” Field said. “Try as hard as you can to develop a safety net at school and build a new social circle. Fear of the unknown is good, normal. It heightens your senses.” And yet staying in one place seems to carry a negative connotation, for what does it say about a person if they never leave where they are comfortable? Is this wise or lazy? According to Miller, staying home can have a negative implication as it can be seen as “the easy route” and “falling back on your comfort zone.” But coming back home can be a positive thing. “I think it is good to live in other places and have new experiences, but there is also nothing wrong with knowing that you might like to raise your own family near where you grew up,” Miller said. “Sometimes we take things for granted and don’t realize how good we had it until we go somewhere else.” No matter who the student is, fear of new places is inevitable, but also normal. The seniors who do choose to leave Potomac for some faraway land will not be alone in new place anxiety. Leaving home may actually be a very gratifying action, as well. “It can be scary, but also incredibly rewarding,” Miller said. “Going away for college is like most things in life: you’re only going to get out of it what you’re willing to put in. If you don’t take the risk, you might not get the reward.”

Girls’ vision of a ‘perfect body’ differs from boys’ By Skylar Whitman Staff Writer It’s almost summertime, and many teenage girls are working hard to get the stereotypical “perfect beach body” that “all guys care about,” which seems to mean not having your thighs touch and having a toned stomach. Sometimes, girls want a flat stomach and thin legs so badly that they do not consider the consequences of the unhealthy actions they take. According to certified nursing assistant Robyn Baron, the health room sees cases of anorexia and bulimia every year, the effects of which can be severe. “It’s not only the lack of eating, but the brain and organs shut down,” Baron said. Girls and boys have different perspectives about the importance of that “beach body.”

How girls feel: Many girls think the “perfect body” should be like a model’s body. “I think the perfect body consists of skinny legs and a skinny stomach,” sophomore Stephanie Casabe said. “Girls work out an extreme amount and some don’t eat much.” Being toned is a trait that most girls commonly want. According to senior Paige Brody, being toned means a “flat stomach, muscular, but not big arms and legs.” “I don’t like how it looks when thighs touch,” senior Paige Brody said. “A thigh gap would make a perfect body.” However, some consider not being too

skinny as a factor for the “perfect body.” “Skinny, toned, and tan,” said a junior girl who asked that her name not be used. “I think some curves are nice. A thigh gap is nice too, but also with some meat on them and not like a twig.”

How boys feel: Despite what girls feel about thigh gaps and having a skinny body, boys feel that it is not as important as looking healthy. “Girls think thigh gaps look so cool but guys really don’t even notice it,” freshman Sebastian Paez said. “I don’t care if a girl’s thighs touch. Actually, I’d like them better not to be too skinny.” In some teenage boys’ eyes, a girl’s “perfect body” does not only involve their stomach and legs. According to one boy who asked that his name not be used, a girl has a perfect body if she is “skinny but not too skinny.” Hobbies and activities factor into boys’ perceptions of the “perfect body” as well. “Athletic girls, like someone who runs, are always more attractive than girls who just diet and don’t eat stuff because they have better toned bodies, and because girls fussing over whether or not to eat a slice of bread is a turn off,” senior Jacob Jankel said. In reality, what girls see about themselves is often a lot different than other people’s views. They point out their flaws while others do not even see them. “Everyone’s got an image stuck in their heads as big boobs, little stomach, nice butt,” sophomore Kristin Lane said. “Girls get so fixated on this image it becomes a sudden competition and death trap, and it’s really bad.”


If she were real, Barbie would be around 5’ 9” with a 36-inch bust, 18-inch waist and 33-inch hips, weighing roughly 110 pounds. According to researchers from the University of South Australia, the likelihood of a woman having the same body shape is one in 100,000.




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

His name is Grody, Charles Grody, contest finalist By Sammi Silber Observations Editor

There’s a secret agent walking the CHS hallways, but it’s not James Bond—it’s freshman Charles Grody, a finalist in the Burn Notice Science Challenge. Charles is one of 25 finalists across the country who is participating in the Burn Notice Science Challenge, sponsored by the USA television network and the crime show Burn Notice. For the project, high-school students must work out a scientific solution to one of three scenarios on the contest’s webpage. “I watch Burn Notice, and I found out about the contest on a commercial in November,” Charles said. “I pretty much wanted to do it, and since it’s sponsored by my favorite show, I thought I’d try it out.” Charles got to work immediately and chose to find the solution to the “Loud and Clear” scenario, in which he has to communicate with an operative in an office building from 100 feet away with-

out alerting the enemies inside. Charles successfully solved the problem with supplies easily found in an office. “I had to write an essay and make a three minute video,” Charles said. “Even though it was frustrating at times, I was satisfied with the amount of time I put into it.” His solution involves using the Pythagorean theorem, the formula to find kinetic friction and more. Miles Grody, Charles’s father, believes that this is an amazing chance for his son to demonstrate his academic skills. “I think this has been a great opportunity for him to show creativity in applying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) principles to solve a problem presented by his favorite television show,” Miles said. Charles’ solution is complex, but in simple, his operative, Sam, uses office supplies to make a slingshot and send a hook down to Charles that would create a zip-line. With the use of this line, Charles and Sam can communi-

cate by tugging on the wire. According to Miles, Charles’s solution “has a reasonable chance to place in one of the top five slots” since “the show could actually use Charles’s solution as a means for resolving the situation.” Overall, Charles is happy that he is a finalist, and he is thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the challenge. “It’s really exciting,” Charles said. “I’m glad I get to compete with kids all over the country.” Charles has also used this experience as an opportunity to work toward his future goals, since his current career path involves using science and math. “I’ve always been interested in engineering, and I love the show,” Charles said. “This challenge is right up my alley.” Charles will find out around June 1 if he wins the contest. If he wins, he will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and a free trip to the set to meet the cast. His solution will also be featured in the episode.

Charles is one of 25 finalists nationwide in the USA Network’s Burn Notice science challenge.

“The MCR Rep is our representative to what is going on within county and state politics as they affect the students at CHS,” Class of 2013 and SGA adviser Scott Selman said. According to Class of 2015 MCR Rep Erik Johnson, representatives discuss various topics including the budget, adding new programs to the county and the Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) at MCR meetings. Johnson tries to make the position his own by communicating with student representatives from other schools at meetings and focusing in on the issues that matter at CHS. “My favorite part about being MCR Rep is getting to see what’s go-

ing on in other schools, and seeing if there’s anything we could or should be doing,” Johnson said. However, MCR Reps are not always able to attend these meetings, held several times a year. One major reason why MCR Reps tend to miss meetings is because students’ course-loads do not always allow for them to miss class. “Especially for our upperclassmen, most choose just to get the important information from the meeting minutes [e-mailed from the MCR] because of the rigorous coursework they are taking,” Selman said. Johnson said his teachers are generally flexible with students attending meetings and have never objected to it.

“None of my teachers have minded,” Johnson said. “I only miss four classes and lunch each time, so it’s not too bad. “ Many of this year’s MCR Rep candidates have their own reasons why they are running for the position. According to prospective candidate, sophomore Kyle Solomon, he is running to help improve his class and CHS as a whole. “Helping plan events and fundraisers is something I enjoy doing,” Solomon said. Solomon also believes that the position is important because it provides a connection between CHS and other high schools’ SGAs.


MCR Reps give students a voice in local politics By Gil Jacobson Online Breaking News Writer

It is that time of year again: the time for students to exercise their democratic powers and select their SGA and class officers for the upcoming school year. While many officer position descriptions seem clear, one common question students ask is, “What does the MCR Representative actually do?” Most of the officer positions are self-explanatory, such as the treasurer, who is in charge of funds. However, the title Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils (MCR) Rep is unfamiliar to many students.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013




Students take ‘promposals’ to a whole new level


It took Jablonski a week to prepare for his balloon-themed promposal. By Jordan Janis Features Editor Katie Gauch Production Editor The only thing better than stalking seniors on Facebook the morning after prom (Other than going to prom, that is) is catching a glimpse of cute proposals—a.k.a. “promposals.” Here are some of the Class of 2013’s sweetest promposals. A Twist on the Classic Senior Noah Bergman hung neon signs on the fence leading into the A-lot with senior Paige Brody’s name on them and arrows pointing to her parking spot. He then placed cups spelling “PROM?” in the fence in front of her space. When Brody pulled into her parking space, which is next to his, he was standing in the spot with flowers and a neon shirt with writing that read, “Paige, Prom?”

“I had no idea it was happening until that moment,” Brody said. “I love the way I was asked. It was perfect.” Putting the Pieces Together Senior Jared Liss asked senior Alden Knife to prom when she was in elementary school. Well…at least when she was working at one. Liss gave a customized puzzle that read, “Alden, prom?” to the teacher of the Bells Mill Elementary School class that Knife interns for. The teacher gave Knife the puzzle to complete with one of the students. “The kid started to put it together and all of my kids were watching me and then I saw my name,” Knife said. “I was freaking out, and the kid who was putting the puzzle together said he knew the surprise, so then I realized what was going on.” Once Knife put the puzzle together, Liss walked in with flowers asking her to prom. “I thought it would be cool to do

something with her kids, and to be asked somewhere she wasn’t expecting anything,” Liss said. According to Knife, she did not know “when, how or even if” he was still going to ask her, and she “was totally shocked.” The Hole-in-One While at the driving range of Falls Road Golf Course, senior Jack Reese not only succeeded in playing golf— he also succeeded in asking senior Camille Chetrit to prom. While Reese and Chetrit were hitting golf balls, an employee at the River Falls Golf Course drove the golf picker by with a sign that Reese had made that said, “Camille, prom?” “It was sort of windy so we had a bit of trouble anchoring it to the cart,” Reese said. Chetrit was caught completely off guard by Reese’s promposal. “ I lo ve d th e w a y I w a s a s ke d ,” C h e trit s a id . “ I t w a s s o c u t e a n d o rig in a l. ” Parking Lot Party Imagine attending a free concert with music blasting, a crowd cheering and ample confettithrowing. Junior Adam Settlage brought the concert to the bus loop circle on four cars blasting the same song and with banners that spelled out “PROM” for senior Amanda Lotwin. “This one just seemed to be the most epic,” Settlage said. “And that’s what every girl wants, an epic promposal.” Settlage had some difficulty getting the party to the parking lot, so senior Chani Werely created a public event on Facebook inviting everyone to come out and join the fun. According to Settlage, Lotwin saw the event but restrained herself from reading the description until Settlage could change the privacy of the event. It took Settlage, Werely and juniors Shelley Austin and Maddie Krueger a day to prepare for the promposal because they had to buy all the confetti and other materials. About 120 people showed up for the event. “I couldn’t have asked for a better promposal,” Lotwin said. “It was clear that he put so much effort into it, and I loved that it involved the rest of my close friends.”

Slap Shot “Mass, can’t wait to go to prom with you! Love, Dillon.” ’12 graduate Dillon Nuss-Baum asked senior Jessie Prussick to prom during a game with this message on the big screen. Although the Caps messed up the name, saying “Mass” instead of “Jess,” Dillon had a backup plan. “I also took a Caps shirt I had and put “Prom” on the front with duct tape,” Nuss-Baum said. “Then I snuck it into the game without her knowing. I attempted to act like I got a free shirt and gave it to her.” Nuss-Baum only had two days to prepare because he was invited last minute to the game by Prussick. “I was so shocked,” Prussick said. “It was such a surprise, and I even felt like it was just in my head. I didn’t actually see the message on the screen. I thought it was so thoughtful of him, and I really appreciated it. I think any girl would be happy with that promposal.” Balloonza Senior Peter Jablonski filled a computer lab with 720 balloons as a surprise for senior Erica Roberts who found them after going on a scavenger hunt Jablonski created. “It was about a week of prep, ranging from gathering up materials to enlisting help and figuring out where to get flowers,” Jablonski said. His original plan was to attach balloons to the ceiling and scatter them all over the floor but because his 6th period English teacher Eleanor Goodwin moved to a lab, he could only have them scattered on the floor. “I’ve got a reputation for pulling off the insane and impossible, but even so, there are limits,” Jablonsky said. “This one worked because it had an air of impossibility but was still very possible and was quite cute.” When Roberts was about to enter her sixth period, four people jumped out in front of her and told her to go on scavenger hunt. Eventually, she arrived back in the lab where she found Jablonsky holding a sign with all of her friends’ signatures on it and a bouquet. “I don’t enjoy being in the spotlight usually, but the promposal was so sweet I completely forgot that everyone was taking pictures and really enjoyed it,” Roberts said.

Local trails offer ample summer biking opportunities

By Caitlin Doherty Circulation Manager Emily Raab Production Editor

May is Bike Month, and with the weather warming up, now is a great time to explore the metropolitan area. Students can participate in many events throughout the spring, including BikeJam, an all-day familyfriendly festival held in Baltimore’s Patterson Park May 19. There is also Tour Dem Parks Hon, an annual tour of the Baltimore parks system in early June. For students looking for a local outlet, the CHS Cycling Club also offers students the chance to go on bike rides with their peers. “CHS Cycling is exactly what it sounds like,” Cycling Club president junior Matt Baris said. “We encourage our members to join us on optional bike rides throughout the area.” A variety of biking trails throughout the metropolitan area allow bikers of all levels to find a trail that suits their needs. Many students’ favorite trail is

the Capital Crescent Trail that stretches from Silver Spring to Georgetown. “I like the Capital Crescent Trail because is has smooth pavement, it is nice and flat, and it goes right along the C&O Canal, so the scenery is great,” Cycling Club vice president junior Ethan Finke said. According to junior Julia Taladay, she also likes the Capital Crescent trail “because it is shaded and in the woods.” Other popular places include MacArthur Boulevard, the Bethesda Trolley Trail and the trails within Cabin John Park. “MacArthur Boulevard has sidewalks most of the way, and features beautiful views including wealthy houses and stunning scenes of the Potomac River,” Baris said For those who don’t have bikes but would like to get out and ride, Capital Bikeshare allows people to rent bikes daily, monthly or annually. Bikeshare stations can be found throughout DC, and new plans have been announced to expand into


The CHS Cycling Club plans group bike rides in the Maryland-D.C. area. lower Montgomery County. “Capital Bikeshare was very convenient,” said junior Nora Cleary, who has used Bikeshare. “I would recommend it to others because it is cheap and you can bike in places you never would have before.”

For first-time bikers, several things must be kept in mind to ensure a safe and fun biking experience. “Try to stay as close to the curb as possible, and take sidewalks whenever they are available,” Baris said. “Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with.”



Don’ your t be a “sp pers ace you a onal item hog.” Plac s re do e ne us away whe ing th n em.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Cleanliness is important. Make sure you keep the bathroom smelling fresh with automatic air fresheners or sprays.

By Natalie Public Rela

College life for the Class of will have to e sooner than t might be read aspects of colle the basics of in Whether stu venture to an are four thing graduation . S to these import

se o u e. t e els d lik oul eone w u m if yo s to so n g sio mis t belon r e p a Ask hing th et som

T pla ake th ce t e no Ca hem i odle s refu n a lly b mic out of rea row the a ku p th ve-sa bag a e n fe b nd ood ow les. l.

the r out of e t a w e of e of th mount m a o ll s a r m u Po ix. ly a s ving on asoning and m a S. le l, MMON O w IVEC se bo d d CREAT F A O . Y t f TES water le RTEZ AND COUR

Pour about 2 c ups of water in to the bowl (enough to cover the no o dles). Cook for 3-4 m inutes on high.





Wednesday, May 22, 2013



Textbo priced oks are very over expe as che $100. Check nsive. Some a o to rent ut websites s re or buy textboo uch ks.

Try not to bring your ca r with you to college. This eliminates extra ca r-related expenses such as having to pay for gas or parking.

Cortez ations

is right around the corner of 2013. Even underclassmen experience true independence they think. Although seniors dy for the academic and social ege, many will struggle with independent living. udents stay in Maryland or nother state for college, there ngs they should master before So please, pay close attention rtant life lessons.

y da k ee and w , n a ndry o e u k. im r la ee t w u ly ar o yo ery e v an to d it e k o g Pic rnin ick t t mo s


, eason r h t i w rs, natic— newspape a f n o s. ny in coup me a ere are ma e website o c e B h lin rse. T nd on of cou gazines, a ma

e tur n a r pe ptio em ate o ge. t ar the ri st prop , or l u j d ap m t, a the ediu b ou se , m n d choo mall i en d --s Wh d, an size l co ad to or lo f

f nt o he u o nt am ight pends o hed. r e th was h de r in Pou nt, whic s being rge othe dete er of cl b num


ZIP IT!: By Emily Jin Production Editor

The bell has rung and a student reaches down to take his math binder out of his backpack. He actually did his homework last night and is eager to show his teacher, but for some reason, he cannot seem to open his bag. He looks down and sees a small, thin plastic strip standing between him and his ten out of ten. Zip ties have become all the rage at CHS. Good old-fashioned nuggeting, when someone turns the backpack inside out and put the binders back in, has been replaced with these small but powerful plastic straps. These tricky ties allow the user to strap something together, but once you put the end through the head of the tie, only scissors can break the bond. “I zip tie people’s bags as a joke,” sophomore Julie Kang says. “I only do it to my close friends or people who won’t get mad. I don’t do it to people to be mean or to get them angry. I just think it’s all in good fun. If I have zip ties, why not use them?” Although zip tying backpacks is all in good humor, some students consider it a cruel prank. “Zip ties are funny but mean,” sophomore Zahra Iqbal said. “I wouldn’t want it to happen to me.” However, students seem to take zip ties more lightly than teachers do. Biology teacher Sara Nemati feels especially strong against zip ties. “I take zip tying very seriously and do consider it a form of bullying,” Nemati said. “I think many students feel zip tying is a harmless joke, but they need to consider how the victim of the prank feels. The victims are



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Students’ new method of pranking badly inconveniences peers

made the object of a classroom joke, which obviously is not a good feeling. Zip tying is mean and goes against the spirit of the CHS community.” It is questionable whether zip tying should be considered a form of bullying, but one thing that is clear is that there is an assailant and a victim. “Students spend time wrestling with a zip tie which makes them late for class,” Nemati said. “The student may feel additional humiliation when talk

spreads to the other class that he was a victim of zip tying. While some students will ‘brush off’ such pranks, others simply pretend it doesn’t bother them and feel resentful inside.” There have been several cases of zip tying reported to administration and consequences vary based on each individual case. “This specific action is not listed in our handbook, but it could fall under either class disruption, or the

bullying/intimidation/harassment infractions,” assistant principal John Taylor said. Despite teacher warnings and reports to administration, students still continue to zip tie their friends’ bags. “It’s not really a big deal because you can just cut it off,” freshman Lily Pham said. In the end, the real question is: where do people get all of these zip ties from?


Zip ties are sold at department stores and home improvement stores such as Target and Home Depot.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013




Reality show reveals Ke$ha’s true, glittering colors

By Julia Reagan Arts Editor

You probably know her best for waking up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy or constantly rocking absurd amounts of glitter, but in her new show My Crazy Beautiful Life, Ke$ha reveals her softer side and shares with viewers the reality of being a superstar. The six-part documentary series, which airs on Tuesdays at 11 p.m. on MTV, follows Ke$ha during her first headlining world tour, Get Sleazy. Each 20-minute episode manages to capture the ups and downs of her stardom perfectly. Whether she is eating breakfast in her pajamas or performing in front of an audience of thousands, Ke$ha seems to be shamelessly herself on camera. Ke$ha’s brother Lagan Sebert, who filmed the series, never fails to reveal her sensitive and intimate moments. Fans who view Ke$ha as a powerhouse of strength and confidence may be surprised to see her heartbroken over her first love, Harold, or upset over a blogger who put

personal pictures online. While at times raw and emotional, the show also exposes Ke$ha’s funny side. Viewers see her doing everything from complaining about her terrible cartwheel during a concert to searching for bearded men while

in Scotland. The editing style of the show, though sometimes chaotic, is unique and attention-grabbing. In one particular scene, the camera rapidly alternates between different clips of Ke$ha at a night club, overwhelming the viewer


Ke$ha is unafraid to reveal her psychotic tendencies on her new show.

with color and loud music. In another scene, the cameraman effectively creates the feeling of being at a real concert, flipping between shots of Ke$ha on stage and the audience rocking out to her music. Sebert’s use of cool transitions between scenes makes the show more interesting to watch. The names of Ke$ha’s tour cities appear on the screen in a bold font as she is shown traveling around the world, and her original songs are layered over video shots. Ke$ha also narrates particular events, such as when she is preparing to leave her family during her tour, which helps the viewer feel more personally connected to the star. However, it can feel slightly disorganized, as the cameraman doesn’t focus on any particular experience for very long. The documentary is refreshing compared to other reality shows that appear scripted and fake. Whether they see Ke$ha comforting a fan who has been bullied or stalking her ex-boyfriend, fans will truly appreciate the woman behind the glitter in this series.

MTV’s ‘Awkward.’ returns for third season Show captures the harsh realities of teenage life

By Ana Faguy Circulation Manager Last season on MTV’s Awkward., Jenna (Ashley Rickards, Fly Away) answered the question teenagers all around the world were asking: would she pick Matty (Beau Mirchoff, Scary Movie 4) or Jake (Brett Bavern, Player 5150)? Although there were conflicting opinions, many teens were thrilled when she chose Matty. Awkward. returned April 16 with a whopping 20 episodes for its third season. The MTV hit has become increasingly popular among high school students, as it plays on the issues many teens are experiencing and adds a satirical twist. “The show uses the high school experience and gives it a more humorous side,” freshman Tiffany Cao said. Despite other characters’ changing attitudes, school bully and head cheerleader Sadie (Molly Tarlov, Simply Irresistible) never

strays from her biting insults. CHS students have even begun using her classic sarcastic catch phrase “You’re welcome” in real life. According to sophomore Jillian Goss-Holmes, Sadie’s cynical humor is what makes her the best character on the show. This season also plans to change the dynamics of many friendships and relationships. The first two seasons were filled with Sadie torturing Jenna and Tamara, but now that Sadie’s tough financial situation has been announced to the school, the spotlight may shift. Another change viewers will see this season is the blossoming relationship between Tamara and Jake. According to Cao, the amusing plot line and Sadie are the reasons she continuously watches the show. Season three will also delve deeper into Jenna’s internal struggles. She is registered to take a creative writing class, despite insults about her writing from her teacher who is beginning to push Jenna to look inside herself and channel those feelings into her writing.

The show has proven successful at relating to teenage life in a funny and unique way. We will

just have to wait and see what is in store for Jenna and her friends in the rest of season three.

were dancing, which may explain why, oftentimes, people incorrectly think of capoeira as a dance. “You cannot classify capoeira [by] only one of its components,” Cordeiro said. “It’s the same as classifying a person as ‘legs.’ You can say it’s also a dance, but the correct thing is to call capoeira just ‘capoeira.’” Capoeira is a worldwide sport, with global organizations teaching and promoting it. Several of these groups exist in the D.C. region, such as CapoeiraDC, Universal Capoeira Angola Center and Abadá-Capoeira (which has many regional branches in over 40 countries). I train with the last group, as does Walter Johnson sophomore Doron Pinto. “I changed physically by getting stronger, especially my legs, and it has helped me lead an active life,” Pinto said. “Mentally, I appreciate much more the com-

mitment it takes to get to a high level of graduation and respect those who have made it immensely.” Like other martial arts, capoeira has a graduation system of different colored belts, or cords. Beginners have naturalcolored cords, and students move up half a belt color at a time. But besides teaching me various kicks and defenses, capoeira classes have also taught me how to say random words in Portuguese (Tomato! Beehive! Blowfish!), how to sing out loud (despite not knowing what I’m singing) and how to perform several Brazilian dances (which proves I do indeed possess two left feet). “I learned from capoeira classes how to play the berimbau and drums, and I’m even learning some Portuguese,” Pinto said. Music is integral to capoeira. When players engage in a roda, a circle where

two people play at a time, everyone follows the rhythm of the longbow-shaped berimbau, the instrument that decides when the roda starts and stops. Other instruments are the drum, tambourine and double cowbell. Unlike most sports, dances and other physical endeavors, capoeira doesn’t promote competition. On the contrary, capoeiristas help and encourage each other during class. “In Brazil, capoeira is a strong tool for equality, helping poor communities, giving opportunities to students in less privileged communities, and at the same time teaching those more fortunate to respect and treat all equally in society,” Cordeiro said. “Capoeira has brought the notion of equality to different nationalities, religions, gender, political parties and all sorts of differences and discriminations that are in the world today.” Capoeira, too, gets an A.


Tamara excitedly presents the concept of the “BFGFBFF”--the boyfriend-girlfriend best friends forever double date--to a disgruntled Jenna.

Afro-Brazilian Capoeira opens minds and bodies By Jessica Lee Senior Writer

Pop quiz: I’m Asian and grew up on Jackie Chan movies. Which martial art do I practice? No, it’s not Kung Fu or Tae Kwon Do. But here’s a hint: it originates in South America—and “it,” technically, isn’t really a martial art. If you said capoeira, you get an A. “Capoeira is not just a martial art, because of its origin and history,” capoeira professor and author Yara Cordeiro said. “It’s a mix of components that includes martial art but also dance, music, acrobatics, game, history, ritual, all in harmony.” Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian art, began several centuries ago, when Brazilian slaves taught themselves how to fight. In order to prevent overseers from realizing what they were really doing, the slaves added music and pretended they




Wednesday, May 22, 2013


AT&T’s new series of “It’s not complicated” commercials feature adorably hilarious kids who debate the question of whether “more” is indeed “better.” The kids’ simple logic has made viewers laugh and look forward to more. The kids provide random ramblings that have helped AT&T market the idea that even kids can figure out that more coverage is better.


This style rage has taken CHS by storm with all of the warm weather. High-waisted shorts come in all styles and colors. The most common shorts styles around CHS are denim cutoffs with pops of color. As the weather continues to get warmer, look for more students sporting PHOTO BY FIONA ASBURY. this 1980s vintage look.

After announcing that Orson Scott Card’s bestselling science fiction novel Ender’s Game will be made into a movie by Summit Entertainment and premier November 1, the movie released sneak previews that have added to the anticipation. Directed by Gavin Hood, the movie stars Asa Butterfield (Ender Wiggin), Ben Kingsley (Mazer Rackham), Harrison Ford (Colonel Graff), Abigail Breslin (Valentine Wiggin) and Hailee Steinfeld (Petra Arkanian). The story takes place in the future at an outer space military training academy that prepares exceptional children to protect Earth against an alien invasion. Many CHS students have read this book and are excited to see it play out on the big screen.

High-Waisted Shorts

AT&T Commercials

By Fiona Asbury Advertising Manager

Ender’s Game The Observer sifts through the hype and the hip to bring you topics worth talking, Tweeting and texting about.

This reality show on E! chronicles the life of Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte as he trains, parties and spends time with his family. After premiering on April 21, 2013, Lochte’s documentary series left many viewers confused. Lochte, equally famous for his lack of intelligence as he is his attractiveness, spends much of the show joking around with his family and “Lochterage”—a group of dedicated friends and followers, and keeps a COURTESY OF FLICKR.

devoted group of CHS students glued


This new music video released April 12 by Psy features even more catchy singing and awkward dance moves as Psy tries to recreate the fame he received with Gangnam Style. Within its first 24 hours, the song was already setting YouTube records for its sky-rocketing views. Although many claim the song is not as good as Gangnam Style, “Gentlemen” has faced much more controversy. The lyrics of Gentlemen were called into question when some believed Psy’s refrain said “Mother father,” while others believed he used profanity.

to the show.

What Would Ryan Lochte Do?

“Gentlemen” by PSY

Authentic Chinese food restaurant opens in Rockville By Alissa Li Production Editor Although it seems that there is at least one Chinese restaurant per corner on any given street, diners have yet to experience authentic Chinese street market food—until they go to the East Dumpling House, which opened in Rockville April 4. Upon entering the café, diners will feel as if they have been transported to China. The décor is Asianoriented, with Chinese calligraphy covering the walls and chairs and a large Asian-style arch hanging over the cash register. Unlike many other Chinese restaurants, this dumpling house handmakes its dumplings from its own dumpling skins, rather than buying them from the nearest supermarket. “We try to bring 100 percent original, authentic Chinese taste [to the table],” co-owner Hong Ren said. Just like the scrumptious dumplings the House is known for, its tofu products are also made from scratch and according to the style in the Northeast regions of China. “Many customers come back


East Dumpling House’s menu is styled after the food of Harbin, China. and say that they felt like they went to China when they tasted the food,” Ren said. It also offers a wide selection of Chinese cuisine including soups,

cold dishes and kabobs. Chinese kabobs are generally found in New York, but the East Dumpling House offers incredibly savory kabobs. Coming right off

the grill, they are served fresh while still hot and sizzling. According to Ren, the restaurant features food that she had in Harbin, China as a child. Harbin, found in Northeast China, is known for its bread, which the restaurant incorporates into its menu by making the dough of the dumpling skins similarly to Harbin’s famous bread. The dumpling house is perfect for those who want to grab a quick and inexpensive meal. At the cash register, customers can purchase a smoothie made with real fruit or bubble tea. Take out is also available, and customers can call in advance to place their order. Since the restaurant is right on the outskirts of Rockville Town Center, parking may get crowded during lunch and dinner hours. Guests can scan their parking tickets at the cash register and receive free parking for two hours with validation. The East Dumpling House is the place to go for food lov ers with a taste for homemade dumplings and other authentic Chinese cuisine.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013



‘Iron Man 3’ reveals Tony Stark’s sensitive side By Charlotte Scarborough Staff Writer Scratch away Iron Man’s philanthropic, playboy, billionaire, and shiny metal and what do you get? Iron Man 3. Director Shane Black parts from the usual Iron Man soundtrack by opening the film not with AC/ DC but with another blast from the past: “Blue” by Eiffel 65 and a 1999, pre-Iron Man Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr., The Avengers). This sequel of a sequel delves into the big picture of Tony Stark with something old, something new and something blue. The storyline is introduced at a 1999 New Year’s party, as a young and arrogant Tony Stark rejects a disabled scientist, Aldrich Killian. Killian is the inventor of Extremis, a virus that leaves the human body and the mind virtually indestructible. Skip to 2013 in L.A.: an aged yet still arrogant Tony, burdened with PTSD, is faced with a character familiar to the comic universe, the Mandarin. The villain takes credit for bombing government agencies and public places in order to educate the United States, as he tries to re-shape the human race. Tony takes on the new threats, with help from his girlfriend, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow, Thanks For Sharing), who is the Stark Industries’ CEO, Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle, House of Lies) and a small town Tennessee character, Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins, Extracted). Pepper and Rhodey take front seat roles in the destruction and debilitation of the big, bad plans

of the night. Iron Man 3 gives importance and substance to the two sidekicks’ actions. Both get to wear suits and help save the day. Viewers get a closer look at Tony’s insecurities. He has panic attacks throughout the film, which speaks more about Tony’s purpose as a hero than his tendencies to save the world. He’s not a result of the superhero cookie-cutter. He doesn’t stay constant and reliable throughout his story. He is shaky and wobbly and has finally gotten to a point where he feels comfortable reaching out for help. Since he was first written, Tony Stark has been portrayed as the most unlikeable superhero of them all. His flaws, from arrogance to snarkiness to crippling fear, make him the favorite of many, and in this film, the unheroic characteristics he embodies make him all the more vulnerable and relatable. Even under the new director, the special effects highlight and capture all the technology portrayed in the comics. Nights of tinkering produced autonomous suits that could be controlled by a headset or JARVIS, Tony’s A.I., and prototype suits that assemble on call one piece at a time. Extremis takes the form of red hot lava crackling at the seams of skin, trying to work its way from the inside out. Iron Man 3 does have faults– it gets off to a rocky start with cheesy narration and does not give the ample attention to the three-story arc it tackles, but the details tie together neatly with well-timed comic relief and adventurous twists. The third segment of Iron Man’s story is worth watching and watching again.


Though the film gets off to a rough start, it picks up speed and ultimately proves itself to be worth the three-year wait.

Summer concerts provide exciting entertainment By Danielle Kiefer Arts Editor

Verizon Center

There is nothing like the feeling of seeing a favorite musician live on stage, and summer is the perfect season to gather a few friends and head to an awesome concert without having to worry about waking up for school the next morning. The Observer took a look at some of the major concerts coming to town this summer.

Merriweather Post Pavilion Big name stars, such as Superbowl performer Beyoncé, are coming to this sports and entertainment facility that is home to the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics.

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Verizon Center


Of Monsters And Men with HAIM and Half Moon Run June 11 5:30 p.m. $35-$45

Bruno Mars June 22 8 p.m. $40-$94

OneRepublic, Mayer Hawthorne and Churchill August 5 7 p.m. $30-$125

FUN. with Teegan and Sara July 20 6:30 p.m. $35-$45

One Direction June 23 7:30 p.m. $29-$89

Ke$ha August 12 8 p.m. $38-$48

O.A.R. with Andrew McMahon and Allen Stone August 1 5 p.m. $35-$175

Beyoncé July 29/30 8 p.m. $48-$253

Carly Rae Jepson August 28 7 p.m. $30-$125

Keith Urban with Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch August 8 5:30 p.m. $45-$75

Justin Bieber August 3 8 p.m. $45-$95

Get Your Tickets Now!


This outdoor concert venue, which has hosted legends like The Grateful Dead and The Who, will be visited this summer by many popular musicians, including indie folk/pop band Of Monsters And Men and rock band O.A.R., four members of which graduated from Wootton. “Merriweather is a really pretty venue,” junior Laura Smithberger said. “It’s really wide open, and there’s lots of space for a lot of people. The stages are really nice.”


Fans of “Call Me Maybe” and other pop hits will be thrilled to see their favorite artists perform live at this outdoor amphitheater that features inhouse and lawn seating.




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Alumnus brings CHS legacy to New York music scene By Elizabeth Campbell Editor-in-Chief

Many teens dream of becoming famous and finding their big break in the music world, but few actually experience it. CHS 2006 alumnus Sanjog Nirola is living out this dream as a musician in New York City. The Observer sat down with him to talk about his start at CHS and his music.

pretty much knew nothing about it at the time. All I knew was I found my passion and was willing to do anything for it.

from and why do you call yourself One Sun? Most of my songs have a muse behind them. Many are real life experiences, while some are stories I have seen or heard about. As for how I ended up with the name One Sun, it is for a number of different reasons. When I first moved to NYC, my manager coined me the nickname “Sun” which kind of just stuck among all people I am acquainted with.

1. How did you get your start in the music industry?

9. How do you go about making your music videos?

I actually started with a band called OTT back in 2005 at CHS. I happened to jam with some of the most talented musicians in MCPS and we ended up forming a hip hop fusion band. The rest was history. Our first show was the MCPS Battle of the Bands where we won second place, followed by other competitions that we ended up winning. After about two years with the band, we decided to go our separate ways, and I decided to buy a one way ticket to New York City. Since then, I have played shows all over NYC, worked with multiple record labels and released a mixtape and five music videos.

So everything pretty much starts with the song. Some songs have story lines in which the concept of the video is fairly selfexplanatory, but others are feeling tracks where you want to convey a certain feel and look. I used to think very by the book when it

comes to concepts but recently I have started to see outside the box with shots and scenes. 10. Do you come up with your own lyrics? Most definitely! I take pride in my work and wouldn’t feel that pride if it was not deserved by my own hard work. I practice writing and free styling every day. To me, this is a job, and just like any other job, you have to constantly build your skills and produce quality work to receive that promotion. You can checkout One Sun’s music on his YouTube channel, “Theresonlyonesun” and his new video for Fallin’, which was released last month.


Sanjog joined the music scene in 2005 with his band OTT. 4. In what type of genre would you consider yourself? As an artist, it’s kind of hard to confine yourself in a specific genre, but if I had to it would probably be a hip hop/pop artist. I cross the line between different sounds and love worldly music, so most of my track sounds different. Honestly, I would rather let my audience decide what they would categorize me as. 5. How many songs do you currently have out?


Sanjog films his music video for “Highly Motivated.” 2. Have you been planning to pursue music since high school? It’s funny; things kind of just fell into my lap. I was a skateboarder for a number of years, then after my “crew” went its separate ways, I ended up chilling with a lot of musicians and it kind of worked itself out. That was around the end of my junior year. Many of the other members of the band had been in respectable rock bands around the Maryland-DC area, and when we started working together, our chemistry was like magic. 3. How did CHS influence your decision to go into the music industry? Well, I guess it was the musicians I was working with and the support of our school. We pretty much all went to CHS and when we released our first demo in 2006, it went viral around the school and many of the students, faculty and even teachers became fans. As far as knowledge of the industry, I

How many songs have I created and how many I have release are two vastly different numbers. So I’ve probably made over hundreds of songs, but only released about 30 to 40. That sounds about right, but I can’t be 100 percent certain, considering I have been in different hip hop bands and groups. 6. What are some of the venues you’ve preformed at? In the past few years, I’ve performed at Time Square Arts Center, Sofa Lounge in the Bronx, and a bunch of events in Texas, New Jersey, D.C., Virginia, and of course at many bars and lounges in the NYC area. 7. What are your plans for the future? I actually just released two music videos “Highly Motivated” and “Fallin.” I’m really excited because “Highly Motivated” just received over 70,000 views, and I released “Fallin’” a few weeks back. Everybody should check out the “Fallin’” video on YouTube, all the people involved went to CHS. My next releases will be a series of songs on a weekly basis I call “OneSundays”(one track every Sunday by One Sun). This is to help promote my new demo “Seasons” that is expected to release this summer. I have a few shows lined up in the NYC area and within the next week I am heading to LA for a few meetings and performances. 8. Where do you draw your inspiration


Sanjog’s music video “Fallin’” features images of him courting a girl into a new relationship along with shots of a piano solo.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013



Frisbros win state championship, look to next year By Guransh Singh Sports Photo Editor

The Frisbros finished the season as this year’s state champions. They changed the tune from last year’s loss in the state championships with senior captains Leo Blooston, Evan Rheingold and Will Sickels leading the way for the veteran squad. “This year we had a lot of experienced, returning players so we were able to start out at a high level,” Blooston said. “However, many newcomers have also played a major role in our success, quickly learning the game and getting involved right away.” In the state championship game, the Frisbros played against Mount Hebron, prevailing 15-10. Hein and Spielman were crucial in spreading the field for Rheingold when Mt. Hebron’s swarming defense cut off the short throws to the cutters. Until this game, CHS had not faced much competition, but Mt. Hebron was a worthy opponent for the Frisbros. The team worked on incorporat-

ing its less experienced players and building up its chemistry throughout the season. Sophomore Emet Zeitz, senior Ben Spielman and senior Elliot Pack contributed as newcomers to Ultimate Frisbee. Senior Johnny Hein and Spielman functioned as deep threats for stud handler, or designated thrower, Rheingold, while senior Joe Nolan and Zeitz served as cutters, similar to receivers. “The trust and communication between the Frisbros was simply unparalleled throughout the statewide tournament,” Rheingold said. “The offense was firing on all cylinders, and our lockdown defense gave us the competitive edge we needed to win the championship.” The team ended the season with an impressive 17-0 record and now looks forward to continuing its success in the coming years. “In addition to those on the A team, our B team is also fostering even more potential for years to come,” Rheingold said.


Serious threat senior Ben Spielman catches the frisbee in the state championship match which the team won this year.

Boys volleyball suffers disappointing playoff run By Noah Salzberg Public Relations Editor


Senior Roy Zhou spikes the ball in the April 16 match against B-CC. The team would eventually go on to lose 3-2.

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR TEST SCORES? . . . Worry No More! Here’s what former clients have to say about HBATestPrep: “I totally changed my mindset and applied the unique strategies Harriet had taught me. I couldn’t believe I achieved my goal in the compressed time I had.” -Katherine B., WDC



ANY Tutorial Option with this ad expires 6/30/13

“I am a much more confident test-taker and more effective reader. I went from a 20 to a 28 in English; from a 19 to a 25 in reading – actually exceeding my goal! - Nick L., Rockville,MD

Over 35 years experience Taught ALL levels of students from an Ivy-League---bound former President's daughter to the student struggling with basic reading skills ● Average increase: ACT: 3-5 point;s; SAT: 50-120 (per sections) ● ●

Take your FREE 60 Second Best Test Assessment: ACT or SAT? Go to

OR CALL TODAY FOR INFO: 301.299.4380 :

The boys volleyball team lost to Watkins Mill 3-0 in its first round playoff game May 2. The loss put an abrupt end to a great season for the Bulldogs, as the team finished with a 7-4 record. “I knew this would be a good season,” junior setter Alex Fang said. “This is the best we’ve done in four years.” The playoff defeat came three days after losing the final game of the regular season to Blair, 3-0, April 29. The loss followed the team’s previous loss to B-CC April 26. “We need to develop a hunger to win or, more importantly, a mindset where losing is not an option,” head coach Erika Eastham said. Throughout the season, defense was the vantage point for the Bulldogs. Their offense, self-admittedly, needed a little tweaking. According to senior middle Evan Rheingold, the team had “great offensive potential,” but was not able to capitalize on it at times.

However, the team’s season cannot be defined by their faltering at the end. With strong wins during the regular season over nearby competitors Walter Johnson and Whitman, the team has a bright future for next year. “Sophomore Charles Yang is definitely a rising star,” Eastham said. “He has the ability to give our team depth on offense.” The team will still be losing six seniors this year, including key players Roy Zhou and James Wu. Along with middles Rheingold and Leo Blooston, setter Alex Chiang, and libero Brian Chen, the bulk of the starting lineup will be graduating, leaving many questions about the team’s future. Yet, Eastham has a plan to compensate for their absences. “Two big things we really need to work on in the future are transitioning from defense to offense and having a strong killer instinct,” Eastham said. “But, that’s really the fun part of volleyball, so I am looking forward to making CHS a really aggressive team.”

Young co-ed volleyball team gains experience By Danny Gordon Staff Writer

After a strong 9-2 season, the young co-ed volleyball team lost to Sherwood May 7 in the second round of the playoffs. Last year the team lost six seniors and was left with only four returning players. Although some feared that the lack of experience would hurt the team, returning players like junior captain Olivia Chao have stepped up as leaders. “This year our record is pretty good,” Chao said. “I am really pleased with how we are preforming.” According to Chao the returning players have been very helpful to the new players, who have been diligently listening and learning.

After losing to Northwest on March 23, the Bulldogs went on a winning streak in April to defeat seven of their next eight opponents, losing to only Wootton April 19. According to sophomore Chris Hallock, Northwest was very difficult to play against because the players were so tall. The Bulldogs defeated Richard Montgomery 3-1 in the first round of playoffs, but then were defeated by Sherwood in three sets May 7. The team will only be losing one senior and next year hopes to accomplish its goal of winning states. “I expect people to work hard in the off season and to train their bodies and minds,” Chao said. “I expect a high level of intensity and physical skill from each player.”

“I expect people to work hard in the off season and to train their bodies and minds. I expect a high level of intensity and physical skill from each player.” - Junior Olivia Chao


Winston Churchill High School 11300 Gainsborough Rd. Potomac,MD 20854

the churchill



Volume 37 - Issue 9

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

By Maher Kanwal Staff Writer Junior Nora Cleary began playing softball at the age of 10 and has been pitcher for the CHS softball team for three years. She decided to be a pitcher so that she could participate in every single play. “When I strike out the batter, the look on their face is great,” Nora said. Nora’s family has played a significant role in her softball career. She was influenced to play after seeing her older brother, alumnus Brian Cleary, play baseball. “I started playing baseball at a relatively young age as well, and I guess she followed in my footsteps,” Brian said. According to Nora, her parents have supported her every step of the way, armed with sports beverages. “They come to every game and al-

ways bring me Gatorade, because I forget,” Nora said. According to teammate Alex Votaw, Nora has always been a team player. “Nora is a fantastic teammate,” Votaw said. “She is just so much to be around, and she is really dedicated.” Nora is committed to bettering herself each year. She practices in the off season twice a week with a pitching coach, plays on a fall league, and attends a winter clinic to improve her batting. “She goes every Sunday to learn pitching at Striders Fastpitch Academy,” Brian said. “She has really invested a lot of time in this, and I think it shows.” According to head coach Jamie Collins, Nora’s “outstanding effort” is what helps her improve each season. “She understands that if you want to get better, you have to play off season,” Collins said, “She is aggressive on the


Nora practices with a pitching coach twice a week during the off-season. base and a pretty good hitter.” Nora pitches at a speed of approximately 46-49 mph and continues practicing to advance her speed. According to Nora, her coaches and teammates helped her become the player she is today.

“When I make a mistake, they still cheer me on,” Nora said. After high school, Nora hopes to continue playing softball. “I plan on playing senior year and possibly club or intramural in college,” Nora said.

history. Their determination has been showcased through a dominating regular season. “Ever since our loss to Westminster in the state semifinals last year, our goal for this year was to win the state championship,” Moshyedi said. “Everybody on the team believes that we have the talent to win a state title, but we must make sure we work hard enough these next couple of weeks so that we can reach this goal.” The goal of reaching, and winning, the State Championships is shared by the entire team, many of whom feel certain that they have the ability to do so. According to Leonard, the Bulldogs “definitely have the talent to go far in the playoffs and we look forward to doing so.” For the Bulldogs, winning the state title would not only mean winning the first boys lacrosse championship in CHS history, but also in Montgomery County Public School history. “Winning a state championship is important to all of us as a team,” Dilsizian said. “Bringing CHS its first state championship as well as MoCo’s first state championship would be a tremendous feat to accomplish. We strive for no less than to make it to that game.” Two of the Bulldogs’ greatest

strengths this season have been their offensive efficiency through Leonard and Moshyedi, and their deep rotation of bench players. “Our offense does a great job of controlling the ball and scoring goals,” senior defenseman Harry Criswell said. “We have a lot of depth to our team and everyone ends up contributing to every single game.” Though the Bulldogs may have finished their regular season on a high note, the team still believes that the best lacrosse is still to come. “We have yet to play our best game, and that is what is making this season so exciting,” Criswell said. “Lacrosse is a pretty simple game: have our heads right, pay attention, hustle, and make sure we leave it all out on the field.”

Boys lax succeeds as number one seed in playoffs By Ben Fox Sports Editor The boys lacrosse team finished its regular season with a 12-1 record, and took advantage of its number one seed in the 4A South Division to advance to the divisional finals. Though the Bulldogs were unable to capture a perfect season due to a 13-14 loss to Quince Orchard in overtime May 3, the team now looks toward a bigger prize: the Maryland 4A State Championship. According to junior attacker Matt Moshyedi, the game exposed a few key weaknesses that the Bulldogs need to work on. “In preparation for the playoffs, our team needs to work on clearing the ball over the midfield line,” Moshyedi said. “So far, against good teams, we have struggled to clear the ball and set up our offense. Our offense is one of the highest scoring teams in the state. Also, we need to work on team defense and communication.” The atmosphere after the game was an unusual one for the Bulldogs, who rarely had a reason to be disappointed this season. Head coach Jeff Fritz used the loss as an opportunity to remind his team to stay prepared and not become overconfident during the playoffs. “Everyone was pretty pissed off because we knew it was a game that we should have never lost,” senior

attacker Matt Leonard said. “[Coach Fritz] told us that we need to come ready to play, and we can’t just roll on the field expecting to win.” The Bulldogs took this message to heart and dominated Watkins Mill, 17-4, May 6 in their final game of the regular season. “The game’s key player was easily Louis Dubick,” junior midfielder Steven Dilsizian said. “He can take over any game at any time and always makes his teammates better. He can see the field better than anyone else.” The Bulldogs continued their fantastic season into the playoffs, where they first defeated Blake in the first round 24-2, and then Sherwood 15-8, to advance to the 4A South Divisional finals against rival Wootton. “Before the [Blake] game, our coaches preached that this is the first game of our run to the state championship,” Moshyedi said. “They repeatedly said that we have to play our best lacrosse of the season.” The Bulldogs’ next game might be their most anticipated of the season, as they face their long-time rivals Wootton. “Because the game is against Wootton, it will be a very intense rivalry game,” Moshyedi said. “No games can compare to CHS vs. Wootton battling for the regional championship.” After losing in the state semifinals last season, the Bulldogs are focused on capturing their first state title in school

Team Records* ls r i g -6 8

ED Co9-2 ys Bo 7-4


The team, hopeful for a championship title, lost to Westminster, 23-9, May 18. *as of 5/16/13

s Boy 0 10-


ls Gir 4-10

s Boy 15-1

Wednesday, May 22, 2013




Despite perfect season, tennis finishes second at counties By Ethan Denicoff Staff Writer

After several nail-biting matches, CHS finished the county tournament, May 10, in second place behind Wootton. Not only is Wootton our rival, but this is the fourth consecutive year they robbed the county title from the CHS boys. “All in all it was a great season,” sophomore Elliot Thaker said. “We just chose the wrong day to not play genuine Churchill Bulldog Tennis, and it cost us a title.” All CHS players won their matches in the first round of the county tournament. Some of the victors include seniors Michael Gauch, Kevin Chen and junior Sohrob Ganjbaksh. “All of the matches were close, and it showed that the people who won could play well under pressure,” senior captain Michael Gauch said. “We are very capable of winning, but everybody has to stay focused and go out there and play like were underdogs trying to prove that we are the best team.” Under the leadership of Dave Hurless, the new head coach this year, the Bulldogs have played with the utmost intensity and, as a result, have had great results. According to senior captain Christopher Gauch, Hurless is always cracking

jokes “as if he is another player,” and creates “a great environment that we can all thrive in.” In addition to a strong post-season, CHS had a perfect regular season, finishing undefeated. CHS beat Whitman 7-0, April 26, with wins coming from Michael Gauch, Chen and doubles team sophomore Jared Spiegel and sophomore Kevin Wang. “For a while it looked like it might actually come down to the wire,” Thaker said. “I knew we could rely on [Kevin] Terminator Chen to pull it out, and then the other matches finished, and we knew we had it.” For the first time in five years, CHS defeated Wootton April 24. Before this loss, Wootton had a 57-match win streak. “It felt amazing to beat Wootton because they hadn’t lost in such a long time,” junior William Szamosszegi said. “We are the team that ended their streak, which solidified our slot at the top.” Szamosszegi and Chen played first, with Szamosszegi winning and Chen losing. Number two doubles lost their match putting CHS behind 2-1, but then Michael Gauch clutched his match to make it even. Christopher Gauch and Thaker won their doubles match, putting CHS ahead 3-2.


Chris Gauch hits a forehand at his regional match May 13. “Chris and I played a feisty, emotional match with a ton of screams and high-fives on both sides,” Thaker said. “We ended up pulling out a killer match.” Finally, to close out the win, Ganjbaksh, or “Big Sohrob,” won his singles match. A huge dog-pile on top of Ganjbaksh followed after they shook Wootton’s hands. “To be honest I didn’t know they had a 57-match win streak until after the fact,” Christopher Gauch said. “But beating them was surreal.”

Despite the regular season victory over Wootton, CHS’ inability to repeat the win at counties left them dissapointed. “It would be great if we [had] won, but all I can ask as a senior captain is that when the people who played are done with the last match, whether they win or lose, they are able to look every team member in the eye and say I gave everything I had,” Michael Gauch said. Next year, Ganjbaksh, Szamosszegi and Thaker say they will return with more fire and determination than ever to beat Wootton.

Girls lax pulls out winning season, upset in playoffs By Katherine Michael Staff Writer


Junior Chrissy Kennedy fights for the ball against Kennedy May 8.

As girls lacrosse closes the end of the regular season, the team hangs on to a winning regular season record of 8-5. The Bulldogs ended their season with the second playoff game May 10, losing 14-12 against Blake in the MPSSAA 4A/3A West Region Quarterfinals. “Competition this year has been a lot more difficult, but we tried our best to stay in the game,” Rindner said. The Bulldogs won their first playoff game, 26-4, May 8 against Kennedy. “I was really proud of how well our team played together, especially considering the field was not in good condition due to the weather,” freshman Annabelle Humiston said. Girls lacrosse ended the regular season with a home win against Watkins Mill May 6 with a final score of 11-9. “We lost a lot of players this year and

basically started out with a whole new team of girls,” sophomore Cassidy Caulk said. “But with all that being said, I think we have all come together very well.” The Bulldogs have won the past three 4A/3A West Region championships and intend on making it four. “It would be amazing to be able to win again and go to states,” Caulk said. “But it’s also important that we keep developing as a team in order to reach our full potential as players.” The Bulldogs’ close connection amongst teammates is yielding positive results. “Our team works very well together, on the field and off,” sophomore Emily Rindner said. “This year everyone on our team is really close, which is an important component to not only playing well together, but being supportive of each other.” As a team with many underclassmen, the Bulldogs have had to find a way to maximize leadership.

“With such a young team it has been an opportunity for everyone to step up and have the chance to make plays,” head coach Jamie Frank said. “I have a great group of girls, and they work well together.” In her first season coaching the team, Frank aimed to continue in the successful footsteps of previous Regional championship-winning seasons but also realizes the importance of strengthening a young team. “My ultimate goal was to develop their skills and teach them how to play the game,” Frank said. “I have always tried to develop a goal-oriented approach to coaching.” Girls lacrosse faced tough opponents, including B-CC and Wootton, which created a struggle for the Bulldogs. “It comes down to wins and losses,” Frank said. “Hopefully the girls have developed the skills necessary to take them as far as they want to go.”

Baseball works toward state championship title By Emily Raab Production Editor The baseball team beat the B-CC Barons 5-4 in the 4A West semi-finals May 15. The Bulldogs had previously defeated the Whitman Vikings 10-8 in the second playoff game of the season, and the Kennedy Cavaliers 11-0 May 10 in a shutout game to begin the playoff season. With playoffs now underway, the team hopes to improve its mediocre 9-9 record and make its way to the top of the state. “We want to win a state championship,” junior Matt O’Lone said. “We have to win one game at a time and not get ahead of ourselves.” The Bulldogs confidence was lifted after an impressive 5-4 win over Sherwood, the 4A East Division champions, in the 11th inning May 2, adding to the team’s four-win streak. Despite this victory, however, there is still room for improvement.

“We have to be better at taking advantage of the opportunities we are given and become better at hitting with runners in scoring position,” O’Lone said. The team’s 22-0 win against Wheaton April 30 showcased the Bulldog’s ability to play as a team with few errors. “If we play like that every game and don’t make mistakes in important situations, we can beat anyone,” senior captain Charles DeFilippo said. Despite losing nine seniors last year and having only two seniors currently, this relatively young team is focusing on growing. “We lack experience,” junior Drew Legum said. “We have lost a lot of onerun games, or let leads slip away, and with experience we will close out those games and finish with a win.” Several injuries have also created obstacles, including a torn elbow ligament on DeFilippo. “At the beginning of the season we were already a small team, and we’ve


Eric Brodkowitz pulls back before a pitch in the game against Whitman. had many unfortunate injuries since then that haven’t helped us,” junior Ryan O’Carroll said. Despite the setbacks, the Bulldogs are optimistic about playoffs.

“We’re starting to come together,” head coach Scott Blackwood said. “Everybody is contributing and playing unselfish baseball.” CHS took on Wootton May 17.




Young softball team faces first round playoff exit By Caitlin Doherty Circulation Manager Despite a disappointing regular season and a 3-0 loss to Richard Montgomery in the first round of the playoffs, the girls softball team has high hopes for next year. After losing to Richard Montgomery by one in the regular


Junior Juhee Kim sprints down the track as part of the Penn Relays.

Strong track and field teams head to regionals By Jamie Lescht Online Editor-in Chief The boys and girls varsity track and field teams competed in the Montgomery Country Championships May 9, after performing well in the Penn Relays and Katie Jenkins Invitational. According to junior Emma Coleman, the runners at the Penn Relays ran their “best times of the season.” “I was pretty proud of my performance because I had great handoffs with my teammates,” Coleman said. In the May 4 Katie Jenkins Invitational, senior Johnny Hein placed second in the quadrathalon—an event where runners participate in four track events and earn cumulative scores for their performances.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

“The team performed well, lots of our runners achieving personal records in the events they ran, and our very own David Kaplan won the discus,” junior Breanna Boggan said. In order to prepare for countries, the runners have been pushing themselves and relying on coaches to improve. “We always have to commit ourselves 110 percent when it comes to practice and always have to trust the coaches’ workouts,” sophomore Noah Jenkel said. In the Montgomery County Championships, junior Kyle Beatty came in first place in the pole vault competition and the boys 4 x 100 meter running team. “I was extremely relieved because it was a close win, but my training paid off and it was nice knowing I could give my team a lead into their running counties,” Beatty said.


Senior Katie Jenkins winds up in a game against Rockville.

season, the team hoped to start the playoffs off strong with a win. “It was frustrating to lose because we played the best defense we had all year,” junior pitcher Nora Cleary said. “We just couldn’t get any hits.” A variety of discouraging injuries throughout the season put a significant dent in the team’s chemistry, resulting in a 4-10 regular season record. Among those who were injured were senior Katie Jenkins and sophomore Laura Werber. Junior Alexis Tanenbaum missed the second half of the season due to a broken finger, and Cleary could not play for two games after suffering a back injury. The team will lose star player Katie Jenkins and fellow senior Amory Tetteh, but keeps many key players, including junior captains Cleary, Alex Votaw and Dana Harris. “I’m excited for next season,” Cleary said. “We will have many players returning.” Coach Jamie Collins pointed at youth for his team’s struggles this year and says he expects to see improvements next year—if the players put in the time to prepare. “We need to have more players play in the off season and attend camps and clinics to improve their skills and knowledge of the game,” Collins said. Votaw has high expectations for next year’s team. “Next year we will work on our team chemistry and give every single practice, play and game 100 percent of our effort,” Votaw said.

May 2013 - The Churchill Observer  

The May 2013 issue of the Churchill Observer