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thehighlander february 10, 2010

mclean high school volume 54 issue 5

entertainment eating good energy boost: preview: food: a special look into the oscars

a local food review

news coverage on popular energy drink

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Caps for Cup:

Capitals sports spread

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Table of contents haiti, what’s happening?, pg. 29

facebook proves useful to class of 2014, pg. 19

conan pulls short end of the stick in unfair late night decision, pg. 32

budget cuts could hurt jv team’s success, pg. 36

the d.c. punk scene embraces the feed, pg. 8

sweet movies with your sweetie, pg. 13

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photo collage by Delaney Allen-Mills

news Seniors engaged in college tuition search Peter Behm Guest Reporter

As college application fever comes to a slow down and students wait for answers, the potential cost of tuition is becoming a focus and the key factor in students’ choice of which college to attend. The pressure of money has already influenced where many students will ultimately go by limiting where they applied in the first place. According to a recent survey by the College Board, 53 percent of those queried indicated that they had not applied to certain schools based on the cost of admission alone. Also, 41 percent of students surveyed said they were now strongly considering going to a public university or an in-state school solely because it is cheaper. Some McLean seniors are combating costs by attending military academies. The Naval Academy, West Point and Virginia Military Institute pay for all of the cost of attendance, and in return, the student must commit to being full-fledged members of the military while in school and serving five years after graduation. Others, like senior Lauren Sutherland, are participating in Reserve Officers Training Corps programs, in which a student goes to a college of their choosing and receives leadership and military training while the Army pays their tuition and living expenses in the ROTC program.

In return, once the student finishes college, they receive an officer’s commission and are required to serve three years in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or four years in the Air Force. Sutherland says the main reason she has decided that she will join the ROTC program to become a nurse is the challenge and adventure of it. “I love the whole adventure factor and the challenges that come along with being an army nurse,” Sutherland said. “Your adrenaline is pumping really fast and you never know what is next.” Some are lucky enough to be considered for athletic or musical scholarships. Senior Jake Shochet, for instance, is being considered by a plethora of schools for a saxophone scholarship. Shochet says that while the amount of scholarship money will “probably” determine where he goes, he thinks that the quality of the saxophone professor is more important. “Money is a big deal but who you work with is more important,” Shochet said. He went on to state that the additional pressure added on by auditioning for these scholarships is immense. “It really makes things crazy, because in addition to the seven or eight college applications you are already doing, you have to practice over a long period of time for those auditions,” Shochet stated. Other McLean students agree that tuition fees will directly affect their final choice. For example, senior Phil Bouchard says that “college tuition fees won’t really affect where I apply, because even if I get in, I still have a choice, but it will affect where I end up going.” Bouchard also went on to say that he will be looking for scholarship opportunities, athletic or academic, because of the large fees imposed by some of the schools he has applied to. Another senior, Kevin Pyne, concurs with Bouchard, and stated that “unless I can get a lot of money from the outof-state schools that I have applied to, then I will go to an instate school.” Even though most students would like for the college application process to be over, most will be embroiled in the quest for money to pay for their education through the end of the school year.

art by Faysal Matin

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Minority students find comfort in cultural similarities, language

David Berk Editor-in-Chief Students of an ethnic minority at McLean generally find that cultural familiarity is the strongest force driving them to associate predominantly with peers of the same ethnic background. Korean junior Joe Hwang attributes the choice of associating mostly with other Asian students to familiarity dealing with language. “When you come to school and you don’t speak English very well, it’s easier to hang out with people who share a common language with you,” Hwang said. “It’s just easier to communicate with other Koreans.” Students who do not generally associate only with students of the same ethnicity find the same premise to be true. “I moved here from Korea during my sophomore year, but I didn’t do ESOL, so I think that played a big part in me hanging around with a more ethnically diverse group of kids,” junior Yunsoo Bae said. “I think ESOL kind of segregates kids, and I found that I fit in more naturally with American kids than Koreans because I was more open to speaking English.” Bae also feels that not having to deal with the language barrier exposed him to activities he wouldn’t otherwise have been exposed to. “I changed a lot when I made American friends,” Bae said. “I didn’t get football, but now I really like it and I like to play basketball.” Other students feel that familial similarities play a large part in their choice to interact with ethnically similar peers. “We kind of have a natural bond,” Latina sophomore Carolina Mineros said. “We understand each other more

because our families have gone through the same things. Also, we have a cultural sense of humor that we understand best.” Students in ethnically homogeneous groups, however, do not feel at all isolated from the majority of the student body. “I’ve never experienced isolation or felt like I was on the outside, but I understand why someone might feel like that,” African American junior, Ibrahim Jalloh, said. “It’s just a comfort thing; people choose to hang out with people they’re more similar to culturally.” Although some students do realize that they may be viewed differently if they did not hang out primarily with students of the same ethnicity. “I know that people would see us differently if we didn’t hang out mostly with other Latinos, but I don’t like it when people insult me for doing so,” Mineros said. By and large, the faculty expresses the same sentiments as the students regarding the ethnic groups that exist at McLean. “In my experience, kids feel more comfortable with similar kids,” counselor Barrett Kashdan said. “But I think the school goes out of its way to appreciate the diversity that exists at the school.” Regarding language, Kashdan also believes that the early separation of native English speakers from non-native ones can hamper the non-native speakers from assimilating. “The ESOL teachers encourage them to use English and not hang out exclusively with each other, but they inevitably end up doing so, “Kashdan said. “If a student sat down at a lunch table with kids speaking English, they would feel uncomfortable and next time would sit with similar students.”



06’ NSPA Pacemaker finalist Hall of Fame 07’ All American winner

Editors-in-Chief David Berk Ali Shapiro Managing Editors Shefali Hegde Danny Jabbour Photo Editor Delaney Allen-Mills Advertising Manager Asli Uyanik Circulation Managers Henry Kuhl Chris Herron-Venancio

Section Editors News Nikki Kaul Charlie Park Editorials Torin Liberthson-Brown Harry Siggins Features Bryan Kress Rubina Sarkisian Sports Andrew Davis Ibrahim Jacobs Reza Masgarha

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Guest Reporter Peter Behm


Adviser Amy Poe “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

McLean High School 1633 Davidson Road McLean VA, 22101

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2.10.10 page 3

5 Hour Energy keeps McLean going Students take energy shots to stay clear

Nikki Kaul News Editor One afternoon, junior Hyun Jin Kim was casually strolling down an aisle in Staples, when a small, red bottle caught her eye and she curiously picked it up. Kim shook the sloshing liquid around a little and looked at the percentages in the nutrition facts. This was no ordinary bottle; instead, it was 5 Hour Energy, an energy shot that claims to give people a burst of energy to keep them going for five hours with no metabolic crash afterwards. “I bought one bottle out of curiosity,” Kim said. “I was buying my stuff and I saw it on the counter and recognized it from the commercials I had seen on tv.” Kim, however, is not the only student at McLean who uses 5 Hour Energy. Indeed, it has become quite photo by Charlie Park popular among McLean students. “I used it like 5 times over the Some McLean students choose 5 Hour Energy to stay alert over energy drinks and summer, just to have fun,” junior Sam coffee. 5 Hour Energy comes in Pomegranate, Grape, Berry, Orange and LemonLockhart said. “I was at friends’ hous- Lime for sleepovers and parties, and I awake during the school day. According to Swenholt, he did feel just felt like I had a lot more energy after taking it.” 5 Hour Energy contains as much caffeine as a cup of pre- a bit of a crash afterwards, but Jonas stated that 5 Hour Energy mium coffee, according to Living Essentials, the corporation was not as bad as an energy drink. Kim stated that she did feel a crash once the five hour efthat manufactures 5 Hour Energy, and has up to 2000 percent fect wore off from her body. However, Lockhart, Johnson and of Vitamin B6 and 8333 percent of Vitamin B12 in it. It also Callander thought differently, stating that they never felt their contains four calories per every two fluid ounces, which is its bodies’ crash afterwards. standard serving size. In comparison, Monster energy drinks However, Kim is one of some students at McLean who feel contain 50 calories per four fluid ounces and contains 100 perpressured by the stress of their course load from their schedcent each in Vitamin B6 and B12. ule. Some students who used it for recreational purposes felt “There was one night when I had four tests the next day and I the need to keep themselves energized by drinking the energy didn’t have much time to study,” Kim said. “So I drank the stuff shot. and was able to get through the night.” “I use it a lot on retreats, when I know I’m going to be up However, there are some students at McLean who are frereally late, possibly days on end,” junior Aly Callander said. “I quent users of the energy shot. used it over the summer a lot too.” Senior Rakesh Guha uses 5 Hour Energy at least two to three Apart from Kim, who has used the small energy booster only times a month and admits that he loves 5 Hour Energy. a couple of times this year in times of stress, Johnson, Calland“I have been using it since last summer,” Guha said. “It is er and Lockhart have all avoided using 5 Hour Energy during one of the few drinks where I’ve never had a crash like you the school year for classes, despite the stress that they may would for other energy drinks.” face from their schedules. Some students find 5 Hour Energy to be relatively addictive. Junior Jonas Swenholt used 5 Hour Energy frequently last According to Kim, “once you’ve started using it, you need more year during the school year to be able to wake up and stay of it.” While Kim asserted that she never became addicted

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to the energy shot, only having consumed it a couple of times, she did feel drawn to its powerful effects. After Kim drank a little bit of the shot, she felt nauseous and sick, and even got stomach aches once the effects wore off from her body. “I felt like my brain was turned off,” Kim said. Swenholt stated that he felt hyper initially, but then developed a tolerance for the 5 Hour Energy, an immunity of sorts, and thereafter the effects of the energy shot were not as powerful for him as they had been before. Callander, Lockhart and Swenholt’s parents were not aware

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Lockhart had a large supply of energy once she took the energy shot. “I felt like I could run five miles at midnight,” Lockhart stated. Additionally, Johnson exclaimed, “I felt hyper, I felt the urge to mess with things.” The energy shot users have each drank an entire bottle at once, while the most that Kim has consumed is half a bottle. “I have seen people drink 3 bottles at once in front of me,” Callander said.

5-Hour nutrients facts Caffeine

Natural substance, diuretic and stimulant. Helps to give immediate focus. Excessive intake lead to anxiety, vomiting, increased heart rate, etc. 138 milligrams in 5-Hour Energy.


Non-essential aminoacid that helps to establish cell membranes. Claims to increase exercise performance. Reported not to cause serious side effects. Daily dosage not established.

Vitamin B-3 Assists in the functioning of the digestive system, skin, and nerves. Important for the conversion of food to energy. 5-Hour Energy cites a possibility of Niacin Flush, a type of skin rash.

information from / / infographic by Charlie Park

that they were using 5 Hour Energy, while Kim, Johnson and Guha’s parents knew. However, Kim’s mother knew and did not like that Kim was using it every now and then to alleviate academic workloads. Kim cites AP Calculus BC, AP Psychology, Physics Honors and SAT preparation as her biggest sources of stress this year. In addition, Kim also volunteers frequently in Annandale, and sometimes did not have the energy to cope with the amount of work ahead of her. So she consumed 5 Hour Energy to keep her going despite her lack of sleep. The after effects that the 5 Hour Energy users felt were immediate alertness, an increase in heart rate and Callander even felt twitchiness while being in an excited physical state. “Later I felt tired from all the physical activities I had done while I was hyper off the 5 Hour Energy, but I was never actually tired from the 5 Hour Energy itself,” Callander said.

In comparison to other various energy boosters, such as Monster and Red Bull, Callander and Lockhart prefer 5 Hour Energy. “Monster gave me the same twitchy feeling and tasted gross, but I felt the crash from it,” Callander said. Moreover, Lockhart saw some nutritional benefits to 5 Hour Energy. She also found its taste to be better than other popular energy drinks. “5 Hour Energy overall is much healthier so it is better than Red Bull, because 5 Hour Energy has less calories, and it is also more effective,” Lockhart said. However, Swenholt provided an opposing opinion, stating that “the only difference is that 5 Hour Energy tastes a lot worse.”

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The D.C. punk scene embraces The Feed

Nick Siler Reporter The smell of vegan wraps was still wafting in the air while a sound check was dying down. Everyone’s attention now turned towards the band on stage. It was day two of the Positive Youth Fest, a two day event held in D.C. which includes music and various seminars, and “The Feed” had the stage. For the next half hour, those in the mosh pit would be hit with incredible riffs, witness astounding drumming and be caught up in the happening of the mosh pit itself. The Feed are a five piece post hardcore band that blends elements of “screamo” and punk, and three of the members go to McLean; junior Paul Cavanaugh on guitar, junior Eric Chubb on drums and junior Jesse McComas on bass. The other two members are former McLean students; Chesapeake Academy senior Aroutin Begian for vocals and junior Chris Henley from Yorktown High School on guitar. “Paul and I have been playing music together since elementary school.” Chubb said. “Freshman year was when we basically got our line up that we have today, aside from a few line up changes.” The band’s songs are a form of expression over a riff the bands agree upon. “One of us comes up with a riff

photo courtesy of Rachel Atcheson

Chesapeake Academy senior Aroutin Begian sings at the Positive Youth Fest (PYF) in D.C. as fans look on. Attendees could hear live music and go to valuable seminars.

or something, and we work off of it, and it goes off from there.” Begian said. “Lyrics are usually made after the song is created, by me. They’re basically brainstorming what’s on my mind, like a topic or something the song reminds me of. It usually won’t fit in the beginning, but after I’ve got what’s on my mind out, it’s then fit into the song.” Since their formation, The Feed are well known in the D.C. DIY (Do It Yourself) punk scene, playing alongside other well known bands, with their gigs attracting a considerable number of fans. The members of The Feed enjoy every moment of it. “It’s basically, to me, my personal view, photo courtesy of Rachel Atcheson a community of people Junior Jesse McComas (left), and Yorktown junior Chris with interests in Henley, perform a show at the Electric Maid in D.C.

activism and music coming together to form a safe environment for everyone.” Begian explained. “We play shows periodically in the D.C. metropolitan area. We love playing houses, basements and DIY spaces. We very rarely play shows for money, it’s all about having fun, not making profit.” Chubb said. Washington D.C. has a notable history of Punk, Hardcore, Emo and post Hard-core music scene since the 1980’s, with bands like Fugazi and Bad Brains becoming world famous. Even today, new bands are sprouting up in the Greater DC area with much potential. “There are so many good, young bands in the DC Punk scene right now; we’re stoked to be a part of it,” Chubb said. He also stated that The Feed will possibly be releasing another album sometime in the next couple of months, and the band is looking into a potential summer tour.

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Senior dials up (703) clothing line Claire Chretien Reporter It is not uncommon for senior Sy Durham to be found sitting at his computer, blasting music and improving his t-shirt designs on Adobe Photoshop. Designing clothes is more than just a hobby for senior Sy Durham. The 18 year old started “703 Clothing” in early December 2009 and the idea has recently grown into a business that allows Durham to channel his creativity while making a fiscal profit and providing clothing to area teenagers. Durham said he wanted to “show the rest of the country how great my home is,” by creating shirts that promote northern Virginia’s area code, 703, while pursuing his love of fashion design. “Despite all the adversity and hardships I have faced, [this] area and especially the people in it have been really supportive and genuine with me,” Durham said. His shirts feature a picture of the state of Virginia with the numbers 703 inside the state. Durham has always been inspired by his surroundings. As a child, he played with toys that allowed him to explore his artistic potential. “My inspiration has come from many sources. I’ve always have a creative side to me since I was little. I was obsessed with Legos and Lincoln Logs,” Durham said. “I’m a creator and [a] builder. I like to create meaningful things, whether it be with photography, music, or fashion.” Durham admits the image that is displayed on his merchandise was not always intended for clothing. “The clothing design was originally a tattoo design I had for my chest,” Durham said, “and I’m gonna get it.” Durham has largely used Facebook to promote 703 Clothing. The “703 Clothing” Facebook group has 304 members, and 173 people are fans of the “703 Clothing” page. Durham’s shirts usually sell for around $15. He takes special orders, although “I’m not so much concerned about

photos by Delaney Allen-Mills

Sy Durham is a senior entrepeneuer who designs and sells his own t-shirts. His clothing range promotes northern Virginia. turning a profit as creating something that people collectively enjoy.” Durham admits that the extra money comes in handy at times. Durham has worked as a soccer referee and a babysitter, but he prefers designing clothes to giving red cards or changing diapers. “There’s nothing I’d love to do more than be able to make a living doing what I love to do best, which is express myself with art,” Durham said. “I’m very excited for my brother because it’s nice to see him dedicated to something,” sophomore Clare Durham said. Durham wants to promote his clothing with bands in the area to raise awareness of his style. “I’d like to maybe get some big local bands to wear my clothes,” Durham said. He hopes that as “703 Clothing” continues to grow, locals will be able to “have pride in where they live,” because, “the people around here are amazing.”

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The McLean Crew Club Announces Its

2010 Mulch Sale

• • • • •


Order form found on For any additional information, please contact Carol Sanders at 703-847-9409 The McLean Crew Club recieves no direct financial support from Fairfax County Schools. Please help support this award winning team.

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features Students enter the workforce Jobs offer more than just paycheck Ragini Jha Guest Reporter On an average day after school, a McLean student might do sports, a club, music or all three. But for some students, the day doesn’t end there; many people are now taking on jobs to earn some extra cash and get a firsthand experience in dealing with people, managing money, and applying these important skills to their futures. “I’m not just learning how to manage other people’s money, but my own as well. I actually think about what things cost now, and when I spend money, I think twice about it,” Senior Tayyaba Feroze said of her job at Rite Aid. “It’s definitely made me more patient with people too.” George Pottanat is a senior who worked with science at Georgetown University. It’s a research project on “green” chemicals, where they create these chemicals and try to figure out what they are through testing. He plans to get a major in medicine or science and eventually pursue a career in that field. The extra cash is nice, but I mainly do it because it’s a great experience,” Pottanat said. “It’s teaching me how to be a really great scientist, and I love it.” While most go into these professions for the money, Pottanat has other interests and is using his job to get a head-start. He thinks the job will help him advance in the future. Other than giving him experience in scientific fields, he is learning life skills. Pottanat has had to make some sacrifices for his job though. He has lost free time to spend with friends, while

also paying for metro fare. Time at the lab can range from “5 hours or 5 minutes” and notes that one time he “left the house at 10 am and didn’t get back until 9 pm.” More students like Pottanat are doing things they really care about, and getting a head-start on the jobs they may want to pursue as adults. Another McLean student, Sophomore Jordan Saffer, is not only getting an important experience, but is helping the people in Haiti through his job at a non-profit organization called “Stop Hunger Now .” Along with his job, he is also helping his father write a book. “I’m getting to know my dad better, and it’s teaching me how to write, about poverty and what needs to be done about it” Saffer said. Like Pottanat, Saffer is learning basic life skills that can be used in the future. “ I’m learning time photo courtesy of management, which is also important because this work takes up a lot of my time, and if I didn’t know how to balance it my schoolwork would suffer,” Saffer said. “I’m really learning about things that will help me if I pursue this career later in life.” While some students get jobs to make money, others like Pottanat and Saffer look ahead to find jobs with their future interests in mind. Students can gain life skills like time management from balancing their jobs and school activities, all while doing something they love and making money.

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A Night at the Oscars


Bryan Kress Features Editor

best picture Avatar The Blind Side District 9 An Education The Hurt Locker Inglorious Basterds Precious A Serious Man Up Up in the Air

Should Win: The Hurt Locker Although the Academy expanded the Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10, the decision will come down to 2: The Hurt locker and Avatar. My pick is going with The Hurt Locker because no war movie has been this gritty and realistic since Saving Private Ryan. While Avatar had incredible special effects, it was lacking story-wise. My official pick is with The Hurt Locker because it was clearly the best movie, but Avatar could take home the trophy solely on the fact that it is now the highest grossing movie of all-time.

best actor in a leading role Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart George Clooney, Up in the Air Colin Firth, A Single Man Morgan Freeman, Invictus Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Should Win: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart It’s a relatively unknown film, and Jeff Bridges stars as a washed-up country singer looking for redemption. His role is oddly reminiscent of Mickey Rourke’s Oscar-winning role in The Wrestler from last year. Bridges has been cleaning up at every pre-Oscar awards, and the positive buzz from the movie can only help cement his victory.

best actress in a leading role Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side Helen Mirren, The Last Station Carey Mulligan, An Education Gabourey Sidibe, Precious Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Should Win: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side Sandra Bullock is taking the Oscar world by storm. Typically an actress in romantic comedies, she stars in the football biopic The Blind Side as a southern suburban mother. While the movie itself isn’t memorable (how did it get the Best Picture nod?) Bullock’s performance stands out. She’s already won the Golden Globe, and now she can add an Oscar to the mantle.

best actor in a supporting role Matt Damon, Invictus Woody Harrelson, The Messenger Christopher Plummer, The Last Station Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds

Should Win: Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds The international actor effortlessly humanized a Nazi commander, combining evil with hilarity. Waltz’s character Hans Landa is trilingual, conniving and incredibly silly. How anyone could manage to blend these traits together is beyond me, but Waltz nails it. In a movie filled with heavy dialogue, Waltz carries every scene and adds tension to every line. He’s intense, he’s deceptive, and he’s “made a bingo.”

best actress in a supporting role Penelope Cruz, Nine Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air Mo’Nique, Precious

Should Win: Mo’Nique, Precious This race is the least competitive. Mo’Nique, typically a comedienne in critically scorned films, underwent a significant transformation as the abusive matriarch Mary in Precious, a role so revolting it will haunt viewers for a long time. There are so many scenes where one has to wonder how Mo’Nique kept herself from breaking down. The sheer evil of the character and Mo’Nique’s ability to bring her to life should make her the most obvious pick.

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Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Sweet movies with your sweetie


YWhen in Rome: Perfect for a movie night at the theaters Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y

Mary Spulak and Caroline Gray Reporters When in Rome is a classically corny romantic comedy. From funny falls to stereotypical old men, this movie is good if you can tolerate the cliché jokes and moments. This movie stars Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel who are a destined couple and just can’t seem to get things right. Bell is the classic workaholic who has yet to find true love, and Duhamel is a guy that can’t get Bell out of his head since his friends’ wedding. After Bell’s younger sister gets married before her in the romantic city of Rome, Bell feels as though she’ll never find love. When Duhamel comes in and sweeps Bell off her feet, Bell feels as though this love could never be true. Instead of taking the initiative with Duhamel, Bell takes coins from the fountain of love tines

n n Vale e T p o Our T vies o Day M

and jump-starts her adventure of finding true love. On her way she meets four odd lovers that seem to come out of nowhere. These four characters have the biggest personalities of the movie. There’s the extravagant Italian artist, the old sausage “king”, the eerie magician, and the hotshot wannabe model. Through the movie, Bell and Duhamel go back and forth between love and avoiding each other—so much at times it can get a little annoying. Along with Bell and Duhamel, stars such as Danny Devito and Anjelica Houston are intertwined into the plot. For this Valentine’s Day, When in Rome is the perfect choice to see if you’re looking for comical scenes and a

The Notebook:

Y Y Y Y Y photo by Anika Crone

bland plot line. Overall, if you’re into romantic comedies grab your popcorn and go and see When in Rome.


A Valentine’s Day Tear-Jerker

ok This classic love story depicts the true love and hard work that Notebo ummer e h T . S 1 f keeps love alive. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams star in this o s Day movie that is set in both the present and the 1940s. This movie is 2. 500 ove You IL a story within a story, which is told from the perspective of an old 3. P.S. c i n man, who is actually Ryan Gosling’s character in the present time. a t i 4. T tually bama c A Going back and forth from the present to Gosling and McAdams’s e v 5. Lo e Ala m o childhood shows constant ebb and flow of their love. During their H r t e e 6. Swe to Rememb ut You teenage years, McAdams and Gosling have a summer love. After lk bo 7. A Wa ngs I Hate A summer, however, McAdams moves away leaving Gosling hearthi ife broken, but still in love. Years later they come back together 8. 10 T raveller’s W in 10 Days y eT u m G i and try again at their old love. After many hard years of a rough T A . 9 o Lose t w o relationship, Gosling and McAdams keep their love strong and H 10.



aC y Anik phic b




make it prevail. This is the perfect Valentine’s Day movie for the sappy couple who loves a good cry.



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page design Anika Crone

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New to McLean!

Store Hours:

Mon-Sat 11 am to 9 pm Sunday 12 pm to 8 pm

5% off Any Chicken-Chop or Pita-Pockette! The terms & conditions:

Always healthy, always fresh, always done right!

Not valid on beverages. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Not valid for delivery orders. Must present coupon at time of purchase to receive discount. Excludes Kid’s Meals.

McLean Marketplace, 2nd Floor 1375 Beverly Road McLean, VA 22101 (703) 288-5058 Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on to remove this watermark.



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Chop-n-Chicken hits the spot

David Berk Editor-in-Chief Chop-n-Chicken is the tasty, quick and inexpensive food option McLean has needed for a long time; and better yet, it’s actually good for you. Located on Beverly Road, just up the road from the one-arch McDonald’s, and next door to Wok ‘n’ Roll, Chop-n-Chicken serves up a delicious blend of Bolivian food, all of which comes from the recipes of the owners. The restaurant is entirely family-run and its goal is to provide a healthy and inexpensive, yet flavorsome alternative to the community. It certainly did accomplish its goals. The menu is dominated by six “chicken chop specials.” The “Original Chicken-Chop” has chicken, fresh lettuce and tomatoes, as do all the others. The “Mexican Chicken-Chop” adds black photos by David Berk beans, the “Santa Fe” adds fresh, flavorful guacaChop-n-Chicken is located next door to Wok ‘n’ Roll. The Bolivian restaumole, sour cream and cheddar cheese, and the rant opened last October and offers a healthy, yet tasty option for diners. “Vegetarian” adds black beans, sour cream, cheddar cheese, guacamole and savory pico de gallo. cooked in. The “Oriental” chop has chicken cooked in oriental The food is certainly a healthy choice. All of the ingredients spices and herbs, topped with sesame seeds and scallions are prepared in-house during the day. Brown rice is offered in and covered with a sweet teriyaki glaze. The “Southern Boureach dish, and each dish consists of a portion of vegetables bon” chicken is like the “Original,” but the chicken is slathered and succulent chicken. None of the sauces are heavy, espewith a unique barbecue-like sauce with a hint of Latin flavor. cially the guacamole and sour cream, which are lighter than Each chop is served on either white or healthier, brown rice. at any restaurant I’ve ever eaten at, yet have more taste. The The menu also features “Pita Pockets” which are essenchicken noodle soup and “Tres Leches” cake are homemade tially a chop put inside pita bread. With every dish comes a and light on the calories. homemade “special” sauce. The yellow, curry-based sauce is Pricewise, Chop-n-Chicken is more than within the budget extremely flavorful and combines a cool yogurt-like taste with a of high school students, with the highest priced dish at under kick of zest. seven dollars. However, the portions are much more than what My favorite dish was the “Southern Bourbon” chicken beyou would expect for seven dollars. cause of the unique taste of the sauce. I expected it to be like Chop-n-Chicken should definitely be a consideration for barbeque sauce, but it was much lighter and drier and had a those trying to escape high-fat food, flavorless food, or a quick little taste of spice. meal that won’t weigh you or your pockets down. Also, for famiThe food’s great taste comes from the freshness of the lies who like to order out, the restaurant offers a free delivery ingredients and the original sauces and spices that they are option for houses and businesses within four miles.

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A Triumphant return to the city under the sea

Chris Herron-Venancio Distribution Manager This February players will once again be able to explore the underwater, splicer infested dystopia in BioShock 2. If you never played the first game, BioShock takes place in an underwater city called Rapture. Originally designed by Andrew Ryan to escape from all government and morals, it initially prospered under his rule. But soon after the discovery of ADAM, a stem cell-like genetic material, its rapid industrialization gripped Rapture. Originally, the ADAM was acquired primarily by sea slugs, but this process was too slow, so Little Sisters acted as living ADAM refineries. To protect these Little Sisters heavily armed “Big Daddies” were invented. Combined with the lack of ethics and the capitalistic mindset of the inhabitants, the radical genetic modification (splicing) caused rapid and unpredicted mutation. These ADAMcrazed “splicers” soon split into two factions; those following Ryan and those following the idealistic Atlas, and civil war broke out. The game takes place 10 years after the events of the first BioShock. With the loss of Andrew Ryan and the death of John Fontaine, crime lord of Rapture, a power vacuum existed in Rapture. Sofia Lamb, the new antagonist in BioShock 2, has taken control of Rapture. Where Ryan believed in the power of the individual, Lamb believes that strength comes from a group. To consolidate her power, she has control of a new addition to the game, the Big Sister. The Big Sister has a similar look to the Big Daddy. But whereas the Big Daddy is slow and powerful, the Big Sister is fast and agile. The gamer plays as a Big Daddy, changing the game play much from the first. You are much stronger and durable than the previous games main character, Jack. Normal splicers will only attack you in groups and individuals will run off. Also as a Big Daddy you have access to all of the same weapons including the drill and rivet gun. Another change is how you interact with Little Sisters, the ADAM carrying denizens of rapture. While you can still harvest the sisters for ADAM you now have

design by Regis Brett

the option to adopt them. Adoption allows you carry a little sister and will tell you when you find a source of ADAM where you will have to defend the sister from splicers while she harvests the ADAM. But you’re not just any Big Daddy, you’re the first. This means, unlike your counterparts you keep your independence. Another big difference is that you can use plasmids and this brings a new feature to the franchise, dual wielding plasmids and your weapon. Probably the biggest edition though is the multiplayer. The multiplayer acts as a prequel for the game, you play as splicers fighting each other during the fall of Rapture. The game types are the usual affair. There is Survival of the Fittest; free-for-all, Civil War; team deathmatch, Last Splicer Standing; a version of Survival of the Fittest where there is no re-spawning, Capture the Sister; capture the flag, ADAM Grab; players attempt to hold onto a Little Sister to gain ADAM until they reach a pre-determined limit, Team ADAM Grab; like regular ADAM Grab except with teams, and Turf War; players attempt to hold specific areas in a map for as long as possible to gain points and who ever reaches a pre-determined limit first wins. What sets the multiplayer apart from other games though is the chance to play as the Big Daddy. In all game types, except for capture the sister, a Big Daddy suit spawns somewhere in the map and the first player to find it has the option to play as a Rosie. If you choose to play as it you get augmented health, strength, and an unlimited rivet gun but you cannot use plasmids. In capture the sister the Big Daddy is chosen randomly from all current players. Another new feature is the ability to research other players after you defeat them, giving you bonus damage against that player. BioShock 2 brings plenty of new features to the franchise but still retains the atmosphere which drew players in the first time.

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Where did you grow up? My father was a naval officer and a diplomat from America so I lived half my life in Europe. I lived in Germany, London, Brussels, and the French Riviera.

II What was your most memorable Valentine’s Day?

One year I bought my daughters all pearl earrings, and I thought it was neat because none of them had any. I thought it would be something nice to do for them.

III If you could be anywhere

in the world right now, where would you be? Right here. I like to teach. I was a lobbyist before this, and spent so much time on the phone. I still have this nightmare that I’m sitting there on the phone and then I wake up and think, “Oh no, I have to stay on the phone all day!”

IV What was the happiest moment of your life?

The birth of my first child- Your life really changes, it’s kind of fun. You have to grow up all at once. It’s nifty.

V What was your favorite part about boarding school?

I went away to an all boys boarding school at 9. Sports were great fun, and the school was small so everyone got to play. I was good at them too, so that was fun.


Least favorite part about boarding school? We were in a prison. We could only leave once or twice a semester, and most of us just ended up staying all the way through. We were basically locked up there.


What is your favorite quality in others? Sincerity, but then they could be boring. I would say liveliness, but then they could be stupid. I guess just being interesting; the enemy of life is boredom.


Describe your first date. It was in boarding school, and she had come down from one of the girls’ boarding schools. She had a wonderful name that I can’t remember at the moment. The boarding school had a planned weekend with a non-formal dance on Friday, a formal “spring dance” on Saturday, and lots of barbecues and events in between. The boys at the boarding school would invite girls up for the weekend, so they would come from all over the country.

IX Where is your favorite place?

Because I’ve lived all over the world, my favorite place depends on the season. In the winter, New England; in the spring, England; in the summer, Coronado; and in the fall, here.

X What is your favorite book?

I read a ton, but I would say Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler. photos and page design by Delaney Allen-Mills

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facebook Search

features Profile



2.10.10 Inbox

Nuha Naqvi

An experiment with Facebook Applications Ads and Pages Photos Groups Events Marketplace Mobile Causes more

Addiction Stats Average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook Average user clicks the Like button on 9 pieces of content each month Average user writes 25 comments on Facebook content each month Average user becomes a fan of 2 Pages each month Average user has 130 friends on the site All facts were taken from

The effects of losing a favorite website for a week

Nuha Naqvi

Day 1: “I’m so tempted to go on facebook, its so hard because it is on my phone and it is just a click away. I had a lot of time to study.”

Nuha Naqvi

Day 3: “I had a lot more time on my hands last night. I studied for my physics test, which I probably would not have done if I had been able to go on facebook. I also had time to make brownies for my friend’s birthday.”

Nuha Naqvi

Day 5: ”I really wanted to go on today. But I ended up reading the Scarlet Letter for my English class. Usually I never do homework on a Friday but there was nothing else to do.”

Nuha Naqvi Day 7: “I did other things today. I completely

forgot about facebook, it did not even cross my mind.” Nicole Magnusson Reporter Threats against the negative consequences of Facebook have become white noise to McLean students. However, a recent case study on junior Nuha Naqvi and opinions from McLean students have provided evidence that Facebook can have even worse effects than sucking up students’ time. All of the six Mclean students interviewed said they liked having a Facebook because it made them feel more connected with their friends. Although this seems like a good thing, there are drawbacks to having access to a friend 24/7. Researches at Stony Brook University in New York have found that too much Facebook usage can leave teenage girls more prone to anxiety and depression. Girls who are constantly venting soon blow a small issue out of proportion, leading to anxiety. Senior Dena Pargament always has a friend to talk to on Facebook. “I like Facebook because if you don’t have someone’s number, you can still talk to them.” Boys, like sophomore Alejandro Pena, are also negatively affected by constant gossiping on Facebook. “Facebook is where all drama starts. It just

gets you into trouble,” Pena said. However, even those who do not use Facebook as a tool to fuel drama are not free from Facebook’s negative consequences. A study conducted by Aryn Karpinski of Ohio State University and Adam Duberstein of Ohio Dominican University found that Facebook users had GPAs between 3.0 and 3.5 compared to non-users who had GPAs between 3.5 and 4.0. Freshman Sydney Baer admitted that she would probably be better off if she deleted her Facebook. “You get on for hours and forget about what you were doing. If I deleted it I would definitely study a lot more,” Baer said. However, despite Facebook’s negative effects, seventy percent of students said they would not delete their Facebook if offered 100 dollars in exchange. To help students see the positive results that can result from deactivating Facebook, junior Nuha Naqvi volunteered to quit Facebook for one week. After reading her story, it is evident that deleting a Facebook page can also delete a lot of problems from the hectic lives of McLean students. page design by Andrew Ramadan and Cammie Meade

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Facebook proves useful to Class of 2014 Seniors “friend” their future college classmates before they step on campus Alison Shapiro Editor-In-Chief A high school senior from New York writes, “I’m from New York and I’m planning on majoring in education at St. Lawrence. Anyone else?” Another senior from Pennsylvania responds, “I’m planning on majoring in education as well! Maybe we’ll be in the same classes!” Senior Gillian Hunt scans the dozens of other conversations posted on the page, reading about people’s interests, their prospective majors, where they are from, and finding that everyone shares the same feeling of senioritis and the excitement of college coming up. Hunt immediately feels as though she already knows her future Class of 2014. Hunt nervously tore open a St. Lawrence University envelope on December 17 with anticipation, only to find a congratulating note from the dean of admissions announcing her acceptance to the college. Only shortly after jumping up and down and pasting it on refrigerator door, Hunt logged on to Facebook to meet her Class of 2014, along with many others from all around the country. The social networking site known as Facebook has become an accessible outlet for high school seniors to meet their potential classmates before even graduating, giving students who are concerned about transitioning from high school to college an easy way to find a friend despite being miles away. For Hunt, it was very simple to discover the group. “I got an invitation from someone from admissions,” Hunt said. “When I joined, it was about 65 [members].” As of February 4, the group had about 154 members. Colleges across the country are using Facebook groups to connect their classmates and give them a chance to meet each other prior to starting the school year. The groups are not as large at the moment, such as St. Lawrence’s, but that is because only a select group of kids have already been accepted to college. The Facebook groups are largely consisting of high school students who have applied to school early action or early decision. Those who were recently accepted are starting to meet their future class months before other students can when they find out their admission in April. Hunt typically goes on Facebook once a day and she regularly looks through the St. Lawrence page, and each time, she is introduced to more classmates. “Every time I sign on Facebook, I meet new people,” Hunt said. A typical post from a high school student is not much; simply an introduction and then it’s a waiting game until someone else who could be miles away feels like striking up a

photo by Alison Shapiro Senior Gill Hunt searches Facebook to meet her future class. She was relieved to see that, “there were acutally other people who feel the same way about finding friends.”

conversation with you. “You get friend requests from a lot of people,” Hunt said. “The first post from a student is to introduce yourself. Then, you kind of just randomly talk to each other. You kind of learn where people are from, what they’re interested in.” Over 400 universities and colleges in the United States have Facebook pages dedicated to either specific graduating classes or certain majors or departments at the school, allowing prospective students to have an outlet to explore the college of their choice. George Mason University has around 125 members to their Class of 2014 page as of February 5, 2010. Simply glancing over their wall, accepted students are briefly introduced to their fellow classmates, and converse with each other regarding dorm assignments and potential majors. A student from New Jersey posted that he was interested in studying criminal justice, and within a few days, found three other students posting things such as, “totally criminal justice!!!” Many others post, “let me know if you are looking for a roommate,” and soon gets dozens of messages from potential roomies. The idea of these Facebook pages such as St. Lawrence’s and George Mason’s are to acclimate high school students to what’s ahead and who to expect to be with for the next four years. Senior Marshall Masterson said that he was able to discover new things about certain colleges, like how freshmen can have cars their first year at William and Mary University. “[College Facebook pages] are good for students because they can learn more about the school through things like discussion boards,” Masterson said. Hunt has found that the St. Lawrence Facebook page has given her a comforting feeling about meeting new people. “You feel like when you step on campus, there’s already going to be a community feel,” Hunt said.

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page designed by Alison Shapiro

The faces of Haiti

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photos courtesy of Save the Children Canada

page 22 2.10.10

in-depth news

2.10.10 page 3

A shift in their world

After surviving the Haiti earthquake, two sisters deal with enormous change. By Shefali Hegde, Managing Editor

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2.10.10 The house was shaking. Elisabeth Merten didn’t know why or how, but she was sure her house, the ambassador’s residence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was moving. The floors jerked from side-toside like a conveyor belt. She pinched herself to make sure this wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t. “Caryl!” She screamed for her older sister, who was in the next room. No response. Books flew out of a wooden bookshelf. What was this? If it was lightning, wouldn’t it have stopped by now? “Caryl?” Elisabeth rushed to the door and found her sister standing outside the bathroom. Next to the sink, a hot water heater exploded.  “What’s going on?” Caryl yelled, but her voice was drowned by a deep rumble that grew heavier with every passing second. The sisters made eye contact and began running, only one thought in mind: Get outside. The rumble kept pace with their quickening pulse as they ran down the stairs, through the living room, past the kitchen. The next 45 seconds were a blur of flying objects, broken antiques, and their mother’s screams. A  refrigerator slid away from the wall. A desktop computer came crashing to the floor, destroying all the files on it. An expensive glass vase shattered to the ground. As they navigated barefoot through the hall, they had to avoid stepping on shards of glass. “We weren’t trained for earthquakes,” Elisabeth said. “We didn’t know how to recognize one, or that we were supposed to hide under a table for cover.” “My first instinct was to just run,” Caryl said. “But I kept asking myself, ‘Where is everyone? Where’s my family?’” Finally, they reached the door leading to the front lawn, where the rest of her family and household staff were assembled. Susan Merten enveloped her daughters in a tight hug. The earthquake that entered Portau-Prince at 4:53 p.m. Jan. 12 had

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in-depth left all 20 people in the ambassador’s house unscathed. Others were not so lucky. Outside, everything was covered in dust and rubble. In the distance, people were screaming. The house was still.

A Damaged Haiti

That 90-degree Tuesday afternoon started out just like any day. “We came home, had a snack, and went to our rooms,” Elisabeth said.  At 4 p.m., Elisabeth was out on the verandah, which had a “beautiful view” of palm trees, the posh Hotel Montana, and a collection of gingerbread houses painted bright green, coral, and yellow. Port-au-Prince had been home for little over four months. The Merten family had moved to Haiti from McLean, Va. after Kenneth Merten, Elisabeth and Caryl’s father, had been named ambassador last August. After three years in McLean, Elisabeth had been looking forward to the move, but she had some worries. “It’s still a third world country,” she said. “You don’t know what the schools are like; you don’t know what your high school experience is going to be for three years of your life.” While Elisabeth was meant to stay in Haiti till 2012, the end of her junior year, Caryl was to graduate this year. “I was really excited about the experience, and tried to do as much as I could in a limited time,” Caryl said. “Before the year was over, I wanted to learn Creole.” “That didn’t happen,” she added, dejectedly. In 45 seconds, the first earthquake killed 170,000 people, according to the United Nations, and destroyed much of Haiti’s infrastructure. “It’s so strange to imagine everything we loved and visited in Haiti is gone,” Caryl said. The Hotel Montana, “the place everyone went to hang-out or eat or look at the view on the gorgeous balcony,” had collapsed. Caryl describes the scene. “Usually I can see the Hotel Montana from the balcony in my room, when I went back the five-story

building on the top of the mountain had flattened. It looked as if it had fallen partially down the mountain.” Like the hotel, the Presidential Palace went through the same fate. “We had gone there the weekend before to see the Christmas lights,” Elisabeth said. The local grocery market shut down. Many friends lost their houses completely. “All of it is destroyed. It’s gone.” Haiti, which had been hit by a devastating hurricane in 2008, was still “in its early stages” of developing a responsive disaster agency, according to the United States ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten, who The Highlander contacted through email. “Frankly, most people were unprepared for such a devastating earthquake, especially since one hadn’t occurred in Port-au-Prince since the 1700’s.” According to Mr. Merten, “the infrastructure here – roads, electricity, water – was in poor shape before. Now, with vaporized buildings blocking streets and absolutely no electricity or city water things are even more difficult,” he said. Schools have also been hit hard, according to Jean Marc de Matteis, a chairman on the board of la Fondation Haïtienne des Maladies Endémiques (FHAME), a fundraising organization made up of Haitian business people from the private sector. “During the days after the quake I rushed to two collapsed schools with many students trapped under tons of rubble,” he said. “I will surely never erase those voices and calls for help out of my mind.” The high school which Elisabeth and Caryl attended had not been built to withstand earthquake damage. Classrooms were devastated. Computers fell and broke, wiping out 12 years of student records and transcripts. One P.E. teacher at the school died. “We still haven’t heard from so many people,” said Caryl, who is getting most of the information about her friends on Facebook. According to de Matties, thousands

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page 24 12.16.09

in-depth news

2.10.10 page 3

only slightly betrays the anxiety she felt that day, the anxiety she still feels. Immediately after the earthquake, people from the Embassy began flocking to the family’s house. There was Morgan Groth, the son of an embassy worker, who had been completely alone at home, his family away in California. He hid under the bed during the earthquake, terrified, not comprehending what was going on. He spent the night with strangers. photo printed with permission from Save the Children Canada There was Chris Williams from the Southern Save the Children Canada is one of the thousands of organizations that has travCommand Military. He was found eled to Haiti with supplies including food and water. Despite the influx of relief, the on the street, brutally injured days following the earthquake were filled with struggles and fights for the limited after falling five floors from the supplies. Hotel Montana. Elisabeth and her mother attempted to nurse within the capital are affected by the damage to schools. “The fortunate ones have been able to leave and enroll their his wounds with what little medical equipment they had. According to de Matties, who had turned GHESKO’s kids at school in other countries,” he said. “Other people wait AIDS centers into refugee camps, there was a shortage of and see.” “In my grade of seniors, we all have to finish school.” Caryl supplies. “For three days after the quake I was personally said about her classmates, most of who had moved across giving Advil to patients with smashed legs, broken backs, and fractured pelvises as they lay on the cement floor of our the border to the Dominican Republic or to Miami. “Schools have not re-opened and I have no idea when triage area writhing in pain,” he said. “It was all I could do to help them.” they will,” de Matties said. The embassy in Haiti had been In the meantime, Haiti’s children will have to utilize the into a makeshift hospital. available resources. “Students will be taught in tents, turned crammed into the few existing schools or simply taught in “Dad’s office turned into an operating room overnight,” open fields while we slowly rebuild,” said de Matties, who Elisabeth said. “Last week, they had performed four dropped his business in order to dedicate himself entirely amputations and over a hundred operations.” Living through “scenes from a disaster movie [was…] to coordinating relief efforts through his fundraising group surreal,” according to Caryl. Halfway through the interview, GHESKO. “It will take years.” However, he remains hopeful. “The damage is massive a little boy runs up to greet the sisters. The boy, brown-eyed but it must not be beyond repair. We will rebuild them. We and wide-smiled, was another evacuee. Nobody passing would guess what these three had seen in the past month. have to.” Mr. Merten agrees that his daughters were “adaptive, calm, cool, and collected.” After-Effects “After the earthquake they helped calm people at our No word is used more often and more accurately in the house down,” he said. “They played games with the small interview than “lucky”. The hot water heater that exploded in children to distract them from the continuing aftershocks Caryl’s bathroom missed her by seconds. The sisters emerged and the resulting screams.” from a house of flying objects with no injuries. And due to The morning following the initial earthquake and the 5.3 a roof replacement two years prior, their 60-year old house aftershock later than night, Elisabeth, Caryl, and her mother was one of the few left standing. (The French Ambassador’s were evacuated to McLean. residence, the Spanish Ambassador’s residence, and the On their way to the airport, dead bodies littered the roads. prime minister’s office had all been flattened.) “Mass crowds of people were walking the streets like zombies, “If the roof had caved in,” Caryl said, “We would have just wandering, with nowhere to go.” Elisabeth said. been dead.” She says this in a calm, collected voice that

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“The entire world has come to help,” he said. “You see, we had no idea anybody really knew how bad the quake was, as Back at McLean there was no communication for days.” Still, there remains After the Merten’s return to McLean, they stayed at senior much to fix. Eve Spielberg’s house for a week. They re-enrolled at MHS “For the past weeks I have seen terrible things,” de Matties on Jan. 15, switching from their previous class size of 17 to said. “I have been forced to make awful decisions.” 400. Guidance counselor Barrett Kashdan, along with many Though the change was overwhelming, the Merten sisters student leaders, has spearfit back into the McLean headed the McLean Haiti community easily. “It was Project to raise money for one of the best first days I’ve the Bush-Clinton Fund. After ever had,” said Elisabeth, a four days of collection, the freshman. “My Big Mac was school raised over $900. really nice to me. Everyone The Merten’s are is so welcoming.” unsure about the length Caryl re-joined Madrigals, of their stay in McLean. which she had been a part They don’t know when they - KENNETH MERTEN of last year. “We’re hoping will see their father again. U.S. Ambassador to Haiti to hold a benefit concert in “Everything is indefinite,” May for Haiti,” she said. “It Elisabeth said. The U.S. will be good to bring Haiti government may switch back to the scene because their father’s ambassadorship to an unaccompanied post, they’ll be in the rebuilding process by then.” meaning they would not be able to return to Haiti, even for Still, it will be hard to erase the echoes of January 12. visits. “But it’s not a warzone, so it shouldn’t be considered “While on the computer the other day, I heard some banging an independent post.” Caryl said. on the wall and I completely freaked out,” said Elisabeth. Until then, the Merten’s are staying at the Marriott “The sound made me almost run out of the room.” Staybridge Suites with other evacuees. “It’s not home,” Caryl In Haiti too, according to Mr. Merten, “people are working said. “But we’re the lucky ones, we don’t have anything to to get back to normal as best as they can.” complain about. “The country has benefited from the “speed and competency of the United States’ response,” according to FHAME chair Jean Marc de Matties.

People are working to get back to normal as best they can. Everyone is very wary of the possibility there could be another quake.

Collecting funds for Haiti at MHS Come and learn how shelterboxes aid victims in Haiti In a partnership with Shelterbox, Rotary, and Interact Club, a set up Shelterbox will be on display on: Tuesday, February 16th 10 am - 2pm Lecture Hall Pamphlets, literature, and information will be distributed and a representative will be on hand for any and all questions!

Open during all lunches!


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Don’t gamble with your SAT Scores. Sign up with Dalby for the best test preparation in metro DC. Conveniently located in McLean call 703-356-2728 or register at Dalby Test Preparation 1401 Chain Bridge Road; suite 102 McLean, VA 22101 Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on to remove this watermark.


editorials Join the club (unless we don’t have it) Bryan Kress Features Editor

I never thought Glee would make me jealous. It wasn’t the characters or songs that caused me to think this way, but the enthusiasm. The camaraderie between the members of William McKinley High School’s Glee Club was astounding and something I’ve never really seen before. This notion made me think: why haven’t I seen this before? The first concern to address is that we don’t even have clubs like this. Sure there’s plenty of variety for people with special interests, like Magic Club or Dance Team, but most of these clubs don’t have the same enthusiasm that is expected of clubs in general. However, this is not the fault of the administration or the sponsors. A club is only as good as its members and their willingness to contribute. The club on Glee has a certain determination and enthusiasm that appealed to me, but struck me as odd because the characters weren’t worried about putting their membership on their college application or their schoolwork. When they have club meetings, it is always about practicing. The members actually want to be there. Granted this show is fictitious, but if one were to think about it, this isn’t so hard to achieve in reality. Junior Sameer Essa has tried to create several clubs, including a Ping Pong club. While ultimately unsuccessful, he is currently a member of several established clubs. “I truly believe that the majority of clubs do not require participation whatsoever,” Essa said. “There’s all this fervor and excitement at the beginning of the year for numerous activities, and then they are never heard of again.” Juniors Meryem Ok and Elizabeth Lee discussed the prospect of creating a Glee Club for McLean that “would provide students with a resource for self-expression and selfdiscovery,” Ok said. “It would be an outlet for students who

may or may not have room in their schedules for musical and theatrical arts.” While Ok says that it is too late in the year to start a new club, the idea still stands. A club should be a place where a student can discover something new about themselves or do something they love. I understand we have classes for that, but as Ok points out, some students simply don’t have space to fit in an extra elective. So while McLean has a class for chorus, would it be too much to have a club for those that don’t have room in their schedules or are maybe a little scared to take a yearround singing class with grades? The beauty of clubs is that while they provide an outlet for student expression, they don’t have the same functions as a class with restrictions or grades. Also, there should be pride in a club’s achievements. The most unique clubs get the least exposure. Clubs like art by Kelsey Hopkins Film Club hardly get attention (or members) despite their universal appeal. I’m sure that more than 10 people in the school like movies, so why are students hesitant about joining a club that could interest them? Without the fear of failing, a student should have no apprehension in joining a club. If a club is just a group of students with the same common interest, then there shouldn’t be any fear of being judged. I’m not saying McLean should necessarily get a Glee Club. I would just like to see more clubs that look to help students find new hobbies and interests. As Ok said, “if enough students are interested in a club, the school should have that club.” However, it is not enough to have more clubs, it is up to students to become active and maybe learn something new about themselves. If students are generally interested in something, then it should be no problem turning the tight-knit club of kids from Glee into a reality.

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Don’t get mad, get some perspective McLean students really have it good if they think about it William Romov Reporter On any typical morning in February most McLean High School students will eat at least one meal before noon. In Africa, during the same month, 2,500 children will die of starvation each day. On Friday night, an MHS student might not be allowed to go out with friends; that same night 2,500 children in Africa will have died from dehydration. A week prior to the release of this issue of The Highlander, a staff of over 40 people will be stressed while trying to raise enough money to publish the news magazine. During that same week 17,500 children in Africa will have died because they don’t have access to clean water. All of a sudden our problems seem trivial in comparison to the struggle for life occurring elsewhere in the world. It is not our fault that we have a higher standard of living than children

in Africa. What a person considers to be a problem is relative after all; most students at McLean have not experienced such extreme hardship as those children in Africa. And, let it be clear, I am not saying that MHS students should have to experience the same hardships as those suffering African children. The problems that our students face are very real and very significant; there is merely a difference in perspective. Students like junior Wade Zhang have their own issues that strain their mind that aren’t any less important. Zhang, who is applying for a summer internship at the National Institute of Health (NIH), said,“schoolwork and my application for the NIH internship are my number one concerns right now.” Under the intense social pressures of this area one can see how MHS students don’t have a worry free life.

What I am trying to convey is that the drastic difference in the lifestyles of these two very different groups allows the more fortunate of the two a chance to pause and realize how fortunate they are. This isn’t a lecture to stop complaining; without complaints and feedback, society wouldn’t progress. This is a chance to improve one’s self mentally, a self-help guide of sorts. When you think you’ve hit an all time low, remember there is a large chance that someone else in the world is having even more troubles. Although this is quite a melancholy view, it really does put life in perspective. After all, you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. So next time you fail a test or lose your license for doing 90 in a 65 and think that life can’t get any worse, remember that for 2,500 children in Africa, it will.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs Self Actualization morality, creativity, etc.

Esteem Needs respect, confidence, etc.

Love/Belonging Needs friendship, family, etc.

Safety Needs

security of property, of health, etc.

Physiological Needs food, water, etc.

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Haiti, what’s happening? Kelsey Hopkins Reporter Less than one percent of each U.S. dollar sent to Haiti for earthquake relief finds its way into the hands of the Haitian government, according to the Associated Press. When these fiscal amenities are within grasp of the national government, that money is not spent for the benefit of the people. It would be a pernicious lapse in judgment to delegate any more funds than this directly to the Haitian government, which has a tradition of instability and corruption. Especially after the government’s reaction to the recent earthquake, which generated gargantuan controversy and empathy, it is becoming increasingly clear that all monetary expenditures must be sent directly to the people. Currently, the president of Haiti is attempting to orchestrate the activity of his corrupt and disheveled administration while living out of a ragged tent, while many of his citizens lie in the streets without food, clothes, and shelter. Although his people are being denied their basic human rights, the country is making slow progress towards stability. Considering the overall state of disarray in Haiti, this degree of volatility may not seem like a significant problem. However, it is a problem that has plagued the country throughout its history. The corruption in Haiti is “very hard to miss,” Soraya Chovil exclaimed. Chovil spent a week in Haiti as part of a mission’s trip with the Organization of American States, otherwise regarded as the OAS by the United Nations. She visited the island of St. Triniti, interviewed children and teens, and compiled a survey about the quality of life in Haiti.

“In the area where we stayed, there were a lot of demonstrations against the president,” Chovil exclaimed. According to Chovil, the discontent among the Haitian people towards their federal government was unequivocally evident. Global funding for earthquake relief, which includes both money already sent and money legally committed to be sent, totals nearly $1.4 billion to date. The US has contributed the largest portion of that amount, with donations from the US government amounting to approximately $379 million. This is not the first time that the United States has sent money to Haiti for myriad purposes. Over past years, US financial assistance to Haiti has been compromised of approximately 40 percent of the nation’s budget. In the 1990s alone, the US gave nearly $1.6 billion to Haiti in aid. And yet, most of this money disappeared into a black hole of government corruption. Political officials took advantage of the money dispensed into the country and used it for personal gain rather than ameliorating the condition of the populace. However, Chovil keeps her prospects optimistic. “You see a lot of poverty, a lot of unemployment, but you also see a lot of good potential,” Chovil remarked. Additionally, Chovil is launcing a project to make three youth orchestras for youth at risk in Jamaica, Haiti, and the island of St. Lucia. Chovil hopes that this program will lead to an increase in education and improve the quality of life in the Caribbean nations. page design by Rummer Bershtein

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photo courtesy of American Red Cross

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Valentines day: overrated and outdated Hamiz Quershi Reporter Roses die. Chocolate candies make you fat. Stuffed bears end up under the bed collecting dust. Cards are thrown away after just a few days. This is the inevitable fate for the dozens of types of gifts that seem to be so graciously given around a certain February holiday. These “signs of affection” are given purely because boys and girls have learned that it is a way to let your significant other know how much they mean to you. But how can a wrapped box or a sealed card do that? This is where it all begins. What does Valentine’s Day really mean? Remember in second grade, when Valentine’s was for dropping store-bought Valentines into a brown paper bag on everyone’s desk, whether you liked the person or not? But now in high school, February 14th is known for the heart shaped candy boxes and red roses that are overdone. The day is obsessed over as a holiday where guys think that

true love is to empty out your entire wallet over your loved ones. While the true meaning of Valentine’s Day is sweet, the point of it all seems to be lost over the materialism that is said to “demonstrate” love. The holiday needs to be toned down and take some steps backwards to make it simpler and more about the reason that it is there. Why make Valentine’s Day a bid deal for your wallet or for Hallmark to gain another record year of sales? Start the day by saying “I love you” instead of thinking of the first thing you should buy. Remember, a stuffed monkey holding up a sign is not as important as the spoken words. Sure, some people will never appreciate those three words without some $100 gift, but if that’s the case maybe that love is not true. In the 19th century, when Valentine’s, or “declarations of love”, first became popular,

affectionate notes of love were hand written and homemade to be given to a loved one on February 14th. Now, however the so-called affectionate notes are actually general, commercialized cards rather than personalized statements of love. Valentines Day is not a horrific or dreadful day that couples should just skip. It’s a day where you can go the extra mile to let someone know you love them or just make it another day where you say “I love you” like you would on any other day. But there is no reason to go crazy down the red and pink covered aisles of CVS to shower your loved one with unnecessary gifts that will be meaningless in a few weeks. Roses and cards end up in the trash, and let’s face it, chocolate just ends up on your butt and other places you don’t want it, but a simple “I love you” or even an “I care about you” will stick for a really long time.

Love is in the air at McLean:

Happy Valentine’s Day, Pam!

To Anne Hathaway

From Jack Bensinger

To Pam Garcia

From Marshall Masterson

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Henry Kuhl Reporter


Valentine’s Day is a very enjoyable holiday that exists for the sole purpose of showing your appreciation for loved ones. This great holiday is enjoyed by many, but loathed by others, who make it a lonely day for themselves. No one should waste their time disliking Valentine’s Day. It is a great day whether you are in a relationship or not. Sadly, however, there are still a lot of people that dislike Valen-

tine’s Day. The majority of people who dislike Valentine’s Day feel this way for two main reasons. The first reason is because they must have a significant other to share it with, and if they don’t, then it is pointless and stupid. The second reason is because people don’t understand the holiday’s purpose, and denounce it as a “hallmark holiday”. “I think most people that don’t like


It’s the most wonderful time of the year

it, don’t like it because they feel like it has too much of a commercial aspect,” senior Giulianna Estrella said. “If they don’t focus on the commercial aspect it can be a really nice day.” When we were little kids, everyone celebrated Valentine’s Day with a smile on their faces. We would spend the night before sitting at home writing out every single student in our classes name on a little card. Then, the next day, we would go to school, and students would gleefully exchange cards and other various treats or gifts. Of course as a young child, you would enjoy the holiday. Getting free cards and candy from your friends sounds great. But Valentine’s Day is a completely different animal once in high school. For the entire week preceding the holiday you can feel the love in the air. Many students give each other flowers, balloons, candy grams, and other assorted gifts to show love and appreciation. For some reason, people often have the misconception that Valentine’s Day is only for people that are in a relationship. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The purpose of Valentine’s Day is to show and cel-

ebrate your love for other people. This includes friends, family, pets, and anyone else that you may feel love for. “If you have a pack of friends who are single too I don’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy it” Estrella said. Complaining about Valentine’s Day doesn’t do anyone any good at all. It just dampens a wonderful holiday, and makes people who are trying to be happy and enjoy this special day feel down. A common complaint is that Valentine’s Day is a “hallmark holiday”, meaning that is extremely commercialized. This is true and untrue at the same time. Flower delivery companies, party stores, drug stores and the like certainly profit off of Valentine’s Day. For them, it is certainly a hallmark holiday. But, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a hallmark holiday. It can be enjoyed without spending money. It really is just what you make of it. Regardless, it is a great holiday that everyone should make use of to show the people they care about how much they love and appreciate them. Everyone is capable of enjoying it, and if you don’t enjoy it, you are really missing out.

I love you babe To Kelsi From Anonymous To Rummer

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From Rummer



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Conan pulls short end of the stick in unfair late night decision Harry Siggins Editorials Editor After seven months behind the wood paneled desk of The Tonight Show interviewing countless celebrities and hosting music performances, Conan O’Brien was let go from NBC after disagreeing to renounce his rightful time slot to the overrated Jay Leno. The thought of firing Conan brought much frustration to his fans. Some even took a stand such as Billy Jenkins, the creator of the popular Facebook group name “I’m with Team Coco.” However these protests against the decision of firing Conan were met with the sad news that Conan would leave NBC. The reason that this subject is affecting many is that Conan is one of the greatest late-night hosts around and that many did not want to see the old fashioned and washed up Leno take the place of the new age comedian that can relate to the younger generations. Last year, NBC signed Jimmy Fallon to take the position of hosting the Late Show. This excited many including young adults because with Conan Obrien, Jimmy Fallon, and Carson Daly hosting they brought a sense of youth to the very old late night schedule that other stations have. This unique approach to late night was shattered when Conan Obrien left NBC. To high school students, late night television has had a large effect on their lives. The shows themselves are unlike any other shows because of its unique design. Even though there are daytime talk shows such as Oprah, but they do not include the entertaining or comedic value that late night shows do. The news of Conan’s release from NBC has affected some at McLean. “[Conan] is the best late night guy there is,” Senior Crist Vans said. “Conan O’Brien and Max Weinberg are funnier together than David Letterman and Paul Shaffer.”

NBC made this decision to move Leno back to his old time slot which was, at the time, occupied by Conan. They made the decision last year to give Leno a show during the primetime hours of television; however, this plan backfired due to the poor ratings. NBC believed that if he was aired later on in the night, he would receive more viewers. What I don’t understand is how they could think Leno could reach the standards of Conan. “Many stations complained about Leno’s show ‘The Jay Leno Show’ leading up to their local programming due to the bad ratings and lower viewership.” -Billy Jenkins, creator of the Facebook group “I’m with team Coco” said. If stations were complaining about Leno due to his lack of talent, why would NBC feel it would be best to replace a late night hosting legend with a scrub? With this latest decision from NBC, many have been outraged about how Leno handled the situation. “Conan is a victim of unfair values and Red Hair,” Jenkins said. “But I do believe he will bounce back with a less restrictive show that knocks Jay Leno back to 1992. I believe that Jay Leno should in the sense ‘Man Up’ and not be the next Brett Favre of late night.”

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sports Sports Editorial:

Athletes: overpaid and overconfident Reza Masgarha Assisstant Sports Editor The D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area has seen its fair share of athletic tragedies; from the Len Bias tragedy in 1986 to the recent disaster involving Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton. On December 24, 2009, Arenas and Crittenton pulled loaded pistols on each other during a debate about an unsettled gambling debt, reportedly incurred during a card game played on a team flight to Washington D.C. For a guy that is accustomed to sitting in tiny seats with no leg room, eating bags of stale pretzels, and watching bad movies on flights, gambling and guns almost sounds like a fun distraction. But in all seriousness, I cannot understand why a person who makes an immense amount of money playing basketball would do anything to mess that up. I support the right to bear arms, especially if you’re a public figure like an athlete who makes a lot of money, since that would naturally make you a target for violence. However, I feel that a more extensive background and psychological check on the purchaser should be required prior to the acquisition of such a dangerous weapon. Clearly, some people aren’t capable of handling the kind of power and responsibility that carrying a gun demands. On top of that, in today’s society athletes seem to be, in a sense, above the law. Earlier this year, the Cleveland Brown’s receiver Donte Stallworth was driving drunk when his Bentley mounted a sidewalk, striking and killing a pedestrian. Suitably, Stallworth was found guilty of manslaughter and DUI. But what sentence did he receive? You guessed it, only 30 days in jail. He ended up serving only 24 of those days, as he was released early for good behavior. This kind of attitude that athletes possess—that they feel that they can do whatever they want without fear of repercus-

sion—seems to me to stem at least in part from their outrageously high salaries. Professional athletes are some of the most successful and wealthiest people in the world, and many of them seem to feel that their wealth is a shield from punishment and calamity. According to, Gilbert Arenas gets a $147,208 check for every game that he suits up for, regardless of whether or not he plays well, or even plays at all. To put that into perspective, the average personal income in Washington D.C. in 2009 was $42,340. In Virginia, the amount was $49,689. Most youths, myself included, would be extremely happy to make $10 an hour. Arenas makes just over $50 a second. Touché, Monsieur Arenas, you are 18,000 times better off than I am. So regardless of whether Arenas scores 1 point or 100 points in a game, he’s entitled to make, in 48 minutes, three times what the average person makes in a year. For some reason, our society has allowed basketball players to be that much more valuable to us than teachers, doctors, etc…. But just when you think it has to stop, Arenas’ money train keeps on choo-chooin’ along. Arenas has been plagued by several knee injuries over past two years. Those injuries have limited his play time to 15 games during those two years. However, because every contract in the NBA is guaranteed money, he has been paid as if he had played in 164 games. However, after being officially suspended without pay by the league following his involvement in the near-shooting incident, Arenas won’t be able to collect any more game checks for the remainder of the season. Does anybody else find that insane? My head would be the size of the Good Year blimp if I were getting paid like that for doing something I loved.

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Budget cuts could hurt JV team’s success Sophomore cocaptain Caroline Assaf takes a defensive position against Marshall. The JV team has continued its unbeaten streak from last season. With freshmen budget cuts however, feats like these may be harder to come by in the future.

photo by Ibrahim Jacobs

Ibrahim Jacobs Sports Editor McLean JV girls basketball beat Marshall 34-24, and is now one step closer to perfection for a second year in a row after improving to 12-0 on the season. After posting an undefeated record of 16-0 during last year’s freshman season, the JV girls team will try and duplicate that mark this year. However, with Fairfax County deciding to eliminate freshman sports due to budget issues, feats like this may be hard to come by in the future. The JV team this year is essentially the same freshman team that went undefeated last season. Four players from this year’s team were not part of last year’s undefeated freshman team, sophomores Caroline Assaf and Claire Karakozoff and freshmen Lisa Murphy and Lexie Slotkoff. Because last year’s freshmen team essentially became this year’s JV team, team chemistry has been crucial to their success. “We have a lot of talent on this team,” sophomore captain Emily Winchester said. “It helps that we played together last year because it developed team chemistry for this year.” When freshman sports get cut, it will be more challenging to produce winning JV and varsity teams due to a lack of chemistry and preparation. The level of play and pace of the game is much different going from house league basketball to JV. Freshmen sports were designed for this purpose; to provide a transition to high school sports. “It is going to be harder to develop the program starting with the freshmen because they will not be as prepared,” sophomore captain Caroline Assaf said. The teams at McLean that offer freshman sports are basketball, football and volleyball. These sports are typically some of the most popular to students, and therefore, more

teams are used to give all students a greater chance to play. Without freshman sports, the athletes that do not make JV teams will not have the opportunity to stay involved in their respective sports, possibly causing them to lose interest. “Losing freshman sports is going to be horrible,” JV head coach Rob Bouchard said. “It helps the kids get involved in basketball and the school and it helps keep them active. Girls might not make the team initially and lose interest.” The freshman sports cut might have extremely negative effects on athletes who do not make their freshman teams. According to the Washington Post, a cut in freshman sports would leave 2,200 Fairfax County students unable to play freshman sports. Even freshmen who make their JV teams are not likely to receive a wealth of playing time and could possibly quit the team or ask not to be put on the JV team at all. This leaves 2,200 students with nothing to do after school, including the possibility of getting in trouble. According to studies done by Fairfax County, from 20052008, students who participated in sports got into less trouble, joined fewer gangs and received better grades. Without playing a sport, there is less motivation to keep grades up and stay out of trouble. Should freshman sports get cut, team chemistry and overall talent would potentially decline in coming years. Seeing that sophomores and a handful of freshmen would be thrust into the JV level without any prior experience. That is, if they decide to continue playing basketball. “It is going to impact the amount of kids involved in the school,” Bouchard said. “The more kids you have involved in the basketball program the better the program will be. With no freshman sports, people won’t get a chance to play and that is very sad.”

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Athlete of the Issue

Varsity Swim Captain Charlie Putnam


Height- 6’2” Weight- 160 lbs.

Competitive Experience: 11 years Awards: 5th place in 200 m backstroke at junior nationals Being a Team Captain

“ “

I just try to be a motivator. I just want to help the other swimmers go out there and win meets.”

Biggest Improvement This Year

I improved most on my turns. I really worked on maintaining my speed coming out of those turns.” photo courtesy of Origa Amolo

Junior Charlie Putnam poses with a medal won at a recent swim meet. Putnam, who is a McLean swim team captain, is planning to compete in a junior national tournament in June

Swim Team Captains Margaret Harlow Senior

Favorite Winter Olympics sport? Ice skating or the biathlon, which is skiing and shooting

Colin Fitzgibbon Senior Snowboarding. Curling is intense too Charlie Tenney Senior

Emily Gibson Senior


Ice skating and skiing

Best thing about swim team?

Leading the cheers before the beginning of the meet One of the most fun things to do... while wearing the least amount of clothing

How many more snow days will we have? All days until graduation

Best part of 2010 so far? Probably beating Langley in both relays at Districts

Hopefully more, Can’t think of but it doesn’t really matter to anything, but me; im a second the best is yet to come semester senior

Screaming and Direct inquiries to the Magic cheering for Flake someone less than a foot from their face Winning a close meet and then Probably a celebrating after few, but way by getting fat on more 2 hour McDonalds delays

Finding a perfectly good 27” TV sitting by the side of the road Getting into college and not caring about school anymore

How does your car handle in the snow? It’s a low riding tank that plows through snow

Surprisingly well for its size

The handling of the car cannot exceed the skill of the driver It’s horrible. I get stuck way too often and skid on the ice

page by Andrew Davis and Ibrahim Jacobs

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Sports Editorial:

This is their year

Why the Washington Capitals will win the Stanley Cup Andrew Davis Sports Editor For the last three years, the Washington Capitals have been considered among the best teams in the NHL. With one of the most explosive offenses in recent memory, and arguably the best player in professional hockey in Alexander Ovechkin, many Caps fans have been expecting great things from the team. Despite these lofty expectations, Ovechkin and the Capitals have failed to progress past the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Last season’s game seven loss to the arch rival Pittsburgh Penguins left many Caps fans heartbroken, and wondering if their team really is good enough to bring home the club’s first Stanley Cup. The answer is yes; this is the year that the Washington Capitals finally win the Stanley Cup. Right now the Capitals might be SportsCenter’s pick of the week to win the championship. They recently set the longest win streak in franchise history, and Ovechkin is playing like the perennial MVP candidate that he is. They are also atop the Eastern Conference, and have opened up a chasm of a lead in the Southeast Division. But ask any real hockey fan and they will tell you that while it’s just dandy to be winning games and sitting atop the standings in February, what really matters is how many games you win in May and June. The Capitals have made the necessary changes, and are playing in high enough form to get the job done this spring. For one thing, head coach

Bruce Boudreau made Ovechkin the captain. No disrespect to former captain Chris Clark, but Ovechkin was the obvious choice for captain. While it is not advisable to make a player captain just because of his superstar status,

team put up an astonishing 14-1 record. It is no coincidence that this started relatively soon after Ovechkin became captain. His natural leadership skills combined with his newfound authority as captain has transformed the Capitals from a perennial playoff team to the favorite to win the Eastern Conference. “I think having Ovechkin as the leader of the team has helped tremendously,” senior Michael Ho said. “He is right near the top in points even though he has missed a considerable amount of games due to injuries and suspensions.” Even with a megastar like Ovechkin, it is not possible to rely on one player throughout the months long struggle that is the Stanley Cup playoffs. Even since the beginning of the current campaign, the Capitals have shown a marked increase in their commitment to defense and goaltending. Since their rise to NHL relevancy, the Caps have been known for their high-powered offense and a sometimes less-than-stellar defense. The team often had to count on a prolific offensive night to best the better teams in the league. This showed in the playoffs the last two years, no example more painful than the game seven 6 goal defensive art by Andrew Davis fiasco in the Pittsburgh series last Ovechkin has time and again shown year. The Capitals needed 14 points the leadership qualities needed as a from Ovechkin just to make it game captain. Whenever the team needs a seven. goal late, or could use a spectacular play Even in the early stages of the to start a rally, Ovechkin is the man the current season the Capitals were still other players look to. criticized for giving up too many goals. To see Ovechkin’s impact on the Some critics even referred to goalie Jose team, one has to look no farther than Theodore as “Jose Three or More.” the record setting win streak. In the first In the last month all this has 15 games of Ovechkin’s captaincy, the changed. Theodore put up his best

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2.10.10 performances as a Capital with a 44 save night against the Detroit Red Wings, and a 41 save effort against the Boston Bruins. Ho agrees that the Caps’ recent success in goal has elevated the team to a new level. “When the goalies were not playing that well, it was hard for the Caps to beat the better teams in the league,” he said. “With Theodore playing as well as he has been lately, the overall ability of the team is greatly improved.” About the only thing that could inspire more confidence that this season will result in a championship is a win against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. On January 22, the Capitals finally avenged their playoff loss to the Penguins. On Pittsburgh’s home ice, the Caps finished with a three goal third period to soundly beat the Pens 6-3. Although Pittsburgh fans will undoubtedly point out that this is only one game, and one in January no less, the game does have ramifications for the playoffs. It shows that the Capitals can shake off last year’s defeat, that they can win in Pittsburgh, and that they can deal with the playoff-like hype and atmosphere that surrounded

page 39

sports game. This is the best lineup that has been assembled in the 36-year history of the Washington Capitals. Likewise, Ovechkin is surrounded by the best supporting cast he has ever had. The risky strategy of completely rebuilding the team by trading veterans for unproven prospects and draft picks has finally paid off. It is difficult to realistically see the Capitals getting any better than they are now. In the coming off-season players like Shaone Morrisonn, David Steckel, and Brendan Morrison will all be unrestricted free agents. In addition to those players, standouts Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin will both be restricted free agents who, because of their breakout performances in recent years, will be seeking large, multiyear contracts. It is difficult to see the Capitals satisfying both Backstrom and Semin without sacrificing other players. This means that this is probably the last year that this cast is assembled.

Ovechkin and the Capitals have this year to capitalize on this fantastic lineup. The players seem to know this too. They are playing with increased urgency and intensity. They realize that this year is the best chance the Capitals are going to have at winning a championship. With such a lineup come increased expectations not only from fans, but also from the players themselves. Unlike the last two years where the Capitals were new to hockey’s center stage, this year’s squad has a more experienced and more focused mindset. This team knows what it is capable of, and how to achieve that goal. To this team, anything less than winning a championship would be a disappointment. All of these factors contribute to making the Capitals one of the most dominant and exciting teams in the NHL Unlike years past, the Caps will capitalize on this talent, and for the first time ever, Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals will raise the Stanley Cup.

art by Faysal Matin

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pages designed by Andrew Davis

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Madison DELI We Love McLean High School!

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Buy a Yearbook Before It’s Too Late!!! Yearbooks are going fast and soon you will miss out on all the memories! Buy a yearbook full of your friends, quotes, and best moments with all the people you love!

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Dear Katie We’re so proud of you. We know that you’ll have many more wonderful accomplishments to come! Love, Mom and Dad

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Highlander Issue 5  

The Highlander Newsmagazine issue 5