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The Pitch

Walter Johnson High School

October 28, 2013

Volume 59, Issue 2

6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD 20814

Listen Up:

iTunes Radio joins Spotify and Pandora in the battle of the online radios By Joshua Lang

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Due to their heavy course loads, large amounts of homework and other outside forces, many students feel highly overwhelmed, stressed and anxious in high school.

Studying, school and stress, oh my!

By Anna Hovey

It isn’t a secret that high school can be an extremely stressful time in a student’s life, but the reality of the situation may be even worse than it seems. According to Psychology Today magazine, the average anxiety level of the modern high school student is the equivalent to that of a psychiatric patient in the early 1950s. Even more shocking is that about 28 percent of people will suffer from an anxiety disorder, and 49 percent of the general population will experience substance abuse, addiction, anxiety or depression, among many other disorders and problems. Junior Shaina Rudman is not only

i s In

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enrolled in six AP classes, but is also involved in a plethora of extracurriculars such as cheer, debate team, science Olympiad, Persian club, key club, and is secretary of the Giving Tree club. Due to her rigorous and jam-packed schedule, Rudman has been personally affected by great amounts of stress throughout her high school career. Rudman has an average of five hours of homework per night, not counting SAT studying, debate research and science Olympiad studying. “I’m under a lot of stress… I feel like everything I do has such a direct impact on what colleges I get into, and my fu-

EDITORIAL pages 5-8

Teenagers should explore their extracurricular options before committing to only one.

ture,” said Rudman. Rudman said the expectations and responsibilities put on high school students are unrealistic, and students should not be forced to sacrifice their social lives and other interests completely for the sake of academics. According to WJ counselor Lisa Sorensen, some of the main signs of stress she sees in her students are a drop in grades and attendance and an overall negative personal affect, i.e. looking different, not having “that happy-golucky teenager look”. “Stress,” continued on page 4

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT pages 9-12

Get caught up in all the Halloween Hysteria with these spooky attractions nearby.

Apple has joined the online radio business with iTunes Radio, the new free app exclusively created for Apple products. Coinciding with the release of iOS7, Apple has entered the competitive field, previously dominated by programs like Pandora and Spotify. Similar to Spotify and Pandora, the iTunes Radio user gets to create stations based off of a song, artist or music genre. According to Apple.com the, stations also evolve based on the music you play and download. The more songs you listen to on iTunes Radio and iTunes, the more it develops your taste profile. You also have the option to buy songs and add them to your iTunes account. iTunes Radio even allows people to operate it verbally. With the advanced technology of Siri, users are able to tell Siri to “play more songs like this” and iTunes Radio will do exactly that, along with a variety of other commands. Apple also offers a paid subscription called iTunes Match for $24.99 a year that makes iTunes Radio ad-free. Match also allows users to upload any CDs they have onto the Cloud and listen to those songs on any device with iTunes. Pandora, created in 2000, is a website where users create a music station that plays songs similar to whatever artist, song, or genre you input in the search bar, for free. The program plays a song and displays the lyrics to it, and also includes information about the band. Pandora also suggests artists that are related to the genre, artist or song that the station was created for. “Listen,” continued on page 16

FEATURE pages 13-16

SPORTS pages 17-20

The Pitch revisits homecomings from past decades.

Itai Bezherano is the athlete of the issue.


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NEWS

OCTOBER 28, 2013

WJPITCH.COM M O R F Like The Pitch on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! @TheWJPitch

By Amanda Gross

“Gravity” Soars

Alfonso Cuaron’s thriller “Gravity” isn’t just a movie; it’s an experience. The 3D thriller set a box office record for the month of October by earning $55.6 million in U.S. and Canadian theatres, and for good reason. This movie is an instant science fiction classic. The movie stars seasoned Hollywood veterans Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two astronauts on a mission in space. Bullock wows as Dr. Ryan Stone, a novice astronaut and engineer on her first trip to space. Clooney plays her experienced mission commander Matt Kowalski, who is eager to break the moonwalking record during his last trip to space. The movie begins as the mission is winding down, and everything appears to be going smoothly. However, after the Russians demolish an obsolete satellite, debris fly through space and hits the American spacecraft hard. The impact sends the duo soaring through space, with both their oxygen and hope of returning to Earth running out quickly. Dr. Ryan Stone is a nervous, middle-aged woman whose daughter passed away in an accident when she was only four-years-old. Bullock uses a range of complex emotions to illustrate that, not only did she deserve her first Oscar for her role in “The Blind Side,” but that she also deserves another one. For a

large portion of the film, Bullock is the only actor on screen, but her presence is enough for multiple actors. Matt Kowalski adds a much needed comic relief to the intense film. Kowalski attacks the dramatic accident with a lighthearted take. From the first time he opens his mouth onscreen, the audience can’t help but love him. He charms with story after story, and his foreshadowing catchphrase, “I have a bad feeling about this mission.” He evokes some of the confidence and easy-goingness that Clooney himself possesses...

For the rest of these articles, plus more, visit wjpitch.com! Use the QR codes to go there now.

LETTER FROM THE EDITORS Dear Pitch Readers, Fall is finally here, and with the season comes all new events. From Halloween to homecoming, The Pitch has got you covered. Arts and Entertainment delivers the scoop on some spooky local Halloween attractions that offer an alternative to trick-or-treating, while Feature puts a new twist on homecoming with the spread, a “Blast from the Past” covering WJ Homecoming festivities from past decades. In Editorial, you’ll be able to find a new addition to the page previously dedicated to Up at Bat. In this feature, entitled Opinions from the Bench, The Pitch polled individual classes to get a snapshot of student opinions from each grade level. This issue, Sports provides a practical going out guide for students seeking to attend local collegiate and professional sports teams. Additionally, you’ll be able to find the fall All-Pitch Team and athlete of the issue, Itai Bezherano on page 20. News covers underage intoxication and its consequences, as well as the rising stress levels of high school students. Hopefully, to everyone’s delight, Sudoku is back on page 13. The page also includes other fun pieces, such as a Spot the Difference and a comic from our very own cartoonist, Alex Alavi. We hope you enjoy this issue and all its new components! As always, The Pitch is open to your feedback. Like us and send us a message on Facebook, or tweet us @thewjpitch.

What’s more important, USWeekly or U.S. Weekly? By Anders Norberg Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMAs, Amanda Bynes going to rehab or Kim Kardashian in general: these are all incidents that get enormous amounts of press coverage, while events like the Syria conflict, nuclear waste leaking from Iran and gay rights in Russia have taken a backseat. Now, I’m sure celebrities have important things to say, like “Don’t overdose when you’re 12 and “Watch my sextape!” However, I think that maybe we as a society should focus on more important topics like world news and global conflicts. What’s the difference between a celebrity and a regular person? According to UsWeekly “Stars-They’re Just Like US!”They buy food, they breathe air and they are human, however they are somehow more important because they are “talented” and attractive. As a society we hold these people up on a pedestal and watch their inevitable downfall into drugs and DUIs. While I like to watch a good trainwreck every once in a while, gossip and tabloids cause us to ignore the serious news that is going on in the world. Conversations about news with my friends revolves around the most recent celebrity gossip, while if I try to talk about the Syrian conflict, they remain speechless. Not because they are shocked, but because they are ignorant. It’s important we learn about the status of the world around us, because this is what will shape the future of the country and our lives, but if we focus on the lives of stars then we ignore what actually matters to our existence. popculture in the media...

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Sincerely, Print Editors-in-Chief Claudia Nguyen, Emily Cosentino and Online Editor-in Chief Megan Chun

Cartoon by Adriana Del Grosso

The U.S. population seems to care more about celebrity scandals then serious political and global problems.

Corrections from Last Issue Page 2- In the Letter from the Editors, Emily Cosentino’s name was misspelled Page 4- *means name has been changed Page 6- Online Feature Editor Julie Gozalo-Michaud’s name was misspelled Pages 10 & 11- Some photos credited to Emily Cosentino were taken by Sarah Schecker Page 12- James Morrill’s name was misspelled


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OCTOBER 28, 2013

NEWS

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Pink Out: A WJ breast cancer survival story and the fight for the cure By NickWilliamson and Joshua Lang “I’m a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed five years ago.” Jacki Robbins works for the Academic Support Center at WJ. On Nov. 17, 2007, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer affects both men and women mentally and physically, while they have the disease and after they have survived it. Also, when family members have the disease, it can affect those close to them. In 1977, breast cancer was not as publicized as it is today, and Robbins, only 15-years-old, lost her mother to the disease. “[Breast cancer] has made a dramatic difference in my life,” said Robbins. “Being a teenager and losing your mother to breast cancer is very difficult. I was the only teenager in my school who lost a parent, so no one could really relate to the problem. I learned that life is very tenuous very early on and not to take anything for granted.” Robbins persevered through her own diagnosis of the disease. She stayed calm and decided to have a bilateral mastectomy, or breast removal surgery. She did not make the decision alone, though. Robbins’ niece does cancer research for GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals. Not only has her niece been researching cancer, she is also a breast cancer survivor. Her niece has been breast cancer-free for 10 years and also had a bilateral mastectomy. Robbins’ niece helped to guide her through the procedures and helped her to better understand what could and should be done. “When we went under genetic counseling, it was found that because we had such a history of breast cancer in the family, we are an unknown gene,” said Robbins. “[Doctors] are doing genetic testing on all of us to try to find the gene that connects us.” There are many events and fundraisers at WJ run by the SGA and staff to raise breast cancer awareness. Students and teachers wear pink on Wednesdays during the month of October to show support and awareness, and many sports teams also wear pink on game day, and sometimes even wear pink during games. “Not only are WJ sports teams wearing pink, but professional sports teams have been wearing pink on game day as well,” said Principal Jennifer Baker. Robbins has been advocating for women to take the first step to treat and prevent breast cancer and get tested. She always asks what would hurt more, get-

Photo by Taylor Smith

The Leadership Class has planned a lot of events for Breast Cancer Awareness month this year and has promoted spirit for the cause throughout the school.

ting tested or having to go through all the treatments. Robbins was the sponsor for the WJ Relay for Life team and has been helping raise money for the cause. “I’m always very encouraging towards my peers to go get checked [for breast cancer],” said Robbins. “I always tell people to not be afraid. If caught early enough, your chances of survival are going to be a hundred times greater than they used to be.” Students also try to help the breast cancer cause through fundraising. One fundraiser done in previous years was the selling of pink donuts in the morning before school and also during lunch. This year, people sold pink shirts to support breast cancer awareness and raise money.

Being a breast cancer survivor has given Robbins new meaning in life. She wants people to know that having fear about cancer in general is normal. Although it is a hardship to get through, the deed can be done. Cancer survivors are some of the bravest people Robbins knows, and she advises not to let cancer dictate your life. “I always tell people that cancer changed my life in ways I never expected. Don’t sweat the small stuff,” said Robbins. “Take each day as a gift.”

School Board considers changing school start times By Chizobam Nwagwu

Photo by Taylor Smith

If schools started later, students wouldn’t have to wake up before the sun rises and wait for the school bus in the dark.

Waking up at the crack of dawn is the daily routine for MCPS students. In response to prior inquiries of addressing students’ need for more sleep, Dr. Joshua Starr, the Montgomery County Superintendent of Schools, proposed last December for high schools to start at 8:15 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Middle school start times would be pushed back to 7:45 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. Elementary schools would keep their current start times of 8:50 and 9:15 a.m. and will extend the school day until 3:35 and 4 p.m. If passed, his proposal will go into effect September 2016. According to MCPS, the High School Bell Times Work Group convened from January to July 2013, where members reviewed research from sleep experts, administered surveys to high school students and parents, and compared the success of changed bell times in similar districts. These studies showed that students are unable to go to sleep earlier due to melatonin, a hormone inside the brain that controls the body’s natural sleep cycle.Throughout these meetings, sleep deprivation served as a key factor that would determine the effect of changing the school start times. On Oct. 8, Starr tweeted, “BOE [Board of Education] supports my rec on changing bell times. Now we have to study all of the implications and costs [to] see if we can make it happen.” He also replied to several comments to his tweet, stating that research among students and families is necessary to put his plans into action.

At WJ, students and teachers are aware of the responsibilities associated with getting to school early, such as getting work done earlier and making sure to get a good night’s rest. Probably, those most impacted by this change would be teachers who live outside of the area. “The commute in this area is very bad, so getting here early and leaving here early actually helps people that live far away,” said Principal Jennifer Baker. “They would probably still have to come here at the same time or they would have to sit in a lot of traffic. Especially going home, they would have to sit in a lot of traffic, whereas they really don’t now because they get out early.” Since the proposal was only recently brought to the Board’s attention, Starr told MCPS that he expects full cost evaluation and substantial public opinion by spring 2014.

Image from Twitter

This tweet, sent from Dr. Joshua Starr’s official Twitter page, explains the board’s approval of his desire to change school start times, which is receiving mixed reviews from the public.


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NEWS

OCTOBER 28, 2013

Student intoxication comes Drunk school life: with great consequences By Izzy Salant With high school comes parties, sports, spirit, clubs, etc.—everything essential to a thriving high school life. However, high school is also paired with something that many students are very familiar with: underage drinking. It is a known fact that some students consume alcohol during or before school events or social gatherings. Sometimes students will arrive to these events already intoxicated, and this underage drinking can result in possible arrest or other punishments. Montgomery County Police officer Arnold Aubrey explained the punishments received for underage drinking at school. “The maximum penalty is [a student] could go to teen court and/or receive hefty citations for underage drinking. The school decides if the student [will be] suspended or not,” he said. “At one school they had a no tolerance policy. If you were a senior and caught drinking, you could not walk across the stage to get your diploma.” Underage drinking may come with legal punishments, but the actions also come with mental and physical ones, such as embarrassment, regret and possibly death. One of the most common causes of death due to intoxication is drunk driving. According to the Century Council, a credentialed advocate group who fights against underage drinking, fatal drunk driving accidents involving drivers under 21 made up 35.4 percent of all drunk driving fatalities in 2011. Student intoxication also affects other aspects of student life, such as sports events. Senior and WJ hockey player Kevin Coleman shared his story an incident involving an intoxicated student “There was a drunk WJ student at a hockey game,” said Coleman. “During the game, he threw alcohol onto the ice… [And] they had to stop the game, and police and security had to respond. Not only did this obstruct the game, but it ruined the fans’ experience. It was unfair.” He added that intoxication is responsible for fights, and if there are none during the game, there is a decent chance there will be one after it. Principal Jennifer Baker explained that there are programs and education designated to teach students about the dangers of underage drinking. One method WJ enforces is the “crashed car”, in which the school obtains a car that was destroyed in an alcohol-related incident and displays it in front of the school for all to see. Baker added that students learn a lot about the effects of alcohol in Health. Aubrey helps to assist in the

Photo by Sarah Schecker

According to the Century Council, nine out of 10 American teens report drinking is not worth the consequences it causes.

teaching of this topic by giving lectures, bringing in beer goggles which simulates alcohol impaired vision and recounting incidents of injury or death as a result of alcohol. One of the issues touched upon is how being under the influence can put the lives of others in danger. Coleman recalls a time when spectators’ lives were affected by intoxicated students. “There was an incident at a BCC [hockey] game,” he said. “There was a fight within feet of the bench between two drunk fans. Not only did they harass the players, but they threw and knocked stuff over. It put the lives of the fans in danger.” Even with all the education, students still continue

to drink underage and frequent events and parties under the influence. Aubrey explained why he thinks this is. “[Students drink] because they think drinking is glamorous,” he said. “It can also do with peer pressure, experimenting, or they see their parents doing it too.” Baker agreed. “They’re still trying to understand correct decision making,” she said. “Education helps, but kids sometimes make decisions that aren’t in their best interest.”

Anxiety levels have skyrocketed among high schoolers “Stress” continued from page 1 She said that over-worked students often report that they feel anxious, tired, overwhelmed, and are unable to complete assignments and other academic responsibilities. Sorensen said that some of the main causes for stress and anxiety among students are “too much academic pressure, social issues, [and] family issues”. Sorensen feels that the usage of technology and social media may also be major distractions for students from their academics. Along with the vast majority of people, Sorensen said that junior year is the most challenging and rigorous year during high school. Senior year, while less academically stressful, is also a great challenge to students due to college applications and the taking on of other responsibilities. “Students tend to think [junior year] is the most stressful year. [Freshmen year] is a transition, [sophomore year] you’re still trying some things out, [but by

junior year] students feel the need to really step up to the plate, and they mature and… realize how important it is to do well, so I think the stress increases,” said Sorensen. Sorensen’s advice to overstressed students is to not take on too many highly rigorous courses, and to take

her opinion. “Students take on more than they should… despite consultations with counselors and parents and other teachers,” she said. “Kids feel an enormous pressure to take on a… rigorous load, and don’t believe that they would be worthy candidates for college [without it]… I also think that it’s [the] environment.” Geraldine Acquard, AP psychology teacher, feels that one of the main causes of stress in students is their lack of time. This causes in students sleeping irregularities, eating too much or too little, temperament changes, and suffering of relationships. While high school is a very academically crucial and stressful time in a person’s life, it is not everything. classes that are right for the student without concern Students need to remember to maintain their health, for what their peers are taking. It’s important to plan relationships, hobbies, and, most importantly, happiyour time well, get a good amount of sleep and ex- ness. With the help of friends, family and school supercise, and always save time for fun. She encourages ports, maintaining a balance between relaxation and students to reach out for help and support when they rigorous courses can be successfully achieved. need it from teachers, parents, and, of course, their counselor(s). In terms of being overworked, Sorensen expressed

Kids feel an enormous pressure to take on a… rigorous load


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OCTOBER 28, 2013 Editors-in-Chief Emily Cosentino Claudia Nguyen Megan Chun* News Editors Izzy Salant Tenni Idler* Elizabeth Winter* Asst. News Editor Anna Hovey Editorial Editors Wahid Ishrar Anders Norberg* Asst. Editorial Editor Adriana Del Grosso

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STAFF

Feature Editors Selma Stearns Julie Gozalo- The Pitch is published eight times a year by the students of Walter Johnson High School, Michaud* 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, Md. 20814. Advertising and subscription rates are available by calling 301-803-7184. Editorial opinions represent those of The Pitch staff Asst. Feature and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff, faculty or student body. We Editor welcome letters, articles, photographs and artwork, to be submitted to room 193 or Michael Godfrey e-mailed to thepitch@walterjohnson.com. The Pitch is an award-winning paper that works towards Arts & providing the student body with accurate, as well as credible, information. Entertainment Editor Audrey Marek American Scholastic Columbia Scholastic Nico Bonetta-Misteli* Press Association Bronze Medalist Asst. Arts & Ent. First Place 2010-2011 Editor Columbia Scholastic Columbia Scholastic Press 2010-2011 Annika La Vina Association Press Association Advisor Marylander Award Gold Medalist Sylvie Ellen Newspaper Division C

2009

2011

EDITORIAL

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Sports Editors Ben Resnick Zeke Green* Josh Greenberg* Asst. Sports Editor Jake Weinischke

Social Media Consultant Sabrina Greene Staff Writers Nick Williamson Amanda Gross Zack Shapiro Artists Joshua Lang Adriana Del Grosso Chizobam Nwagwu Alex Alavi Layout Editor Copy Editors Adriana Del Grosso Anna Hovey Photo Editor Marissa Nardella Sarah Schecker Staff Photographer Business Taylor Smith Manager Claudia Nguyen *Online Editors

Gender and Education:

Photo courtesy of Wahid Ishrar

Exceeding Expectations

ByWahid Ishrar

Every weekend, my family and I make phone calls back to Bangladesh. Every conversation starts out with small talk, such as discussing food or sleep, but soon, it always manages to reach the topic of studies. Some variation of “how are your studies going?” seems to be on the tip of everybody’s tongue, as if all of the other inquiries are only a lead-in to the ever-important issue of education. Although my answer is always the same, “They’re going well,” my relatives feel the need to ask anyways. A lot of factors play into this. First of all, due to a lack of similar everyday objectives, (because of the time difference, culture gap, etc.) my conversations tend to center around a few constants. Secondly, my extended family always suspects that I may be going astray, having a bit of fun, which distracts from that 4.0 GPA, and thus feel it is their duty to act as a recurring reminder. But, most importantly, it is because there is too much riding on me. I am very much affected by my family’s expectations, and try to the best of my abilities, to mold myself to meet all that is thrown my way. An education in America is a coveted dream for 99 percent of Bangladeshis. Most students spend their entire life dreaming of what it would be like to have lockers and move from class to class as music plays in the school-wide speaker systems (thank you, Hannah Montana). Coming from that environment, getting a grade-A education in one of the best public schools in the entire country is just too big of an opportunity for me to discard. Every member of my family realizes that. Yes, the expectations that loom over my head are added pressure. I have to not only think about making my own name, but also upholding the family name. But isn’t that the only time humans can excel? At least for me, accomplishment does not occur without motivation. If a “bigger picture,” such as upholding my family name, does not exist, I find myself unable to give 100 percent, because I know that there are no serious consequences. So, even though the pressure is on, I am thankful. I have been given an opportunity that I plan on taking full advantage of, and it is a magnificent thing to have an entire family looking out for me, demanding the same level of success from me that I do from myself.

The elephant in the classroom

By Adriana Del Grosso

Many years ago, education was a separate endeavor for opposite genders. While the modern coeducational classroom involves both genders in mutual learning, it is possible that a male and a female student in the same class, taught by the same teacher, may be receiving different educations. Males have a tendency to score higher than female students on the SAT and other exams, while females are far more likely to have higher grades. Many people argue that sexism no longer exists in the modern classroom and that we have progressed past the point where people receive a better or worse education depending on any aspect of their person, sex or otherwise. However, the structure of classrooms tends to mirror the social structure of the rest of society. An individual’s gender plays a role in nearly every social aspect of life. For instance, in movies, males clearly hold the majority of speaking roles. Based on my observations, male students tend to dominate class discussions, leaving female students with comparatively less speaking time. Female students are also less likely to receive criticism or an affirmative response from teachers, and are far more likely to be met with just an acknowledgement of their answer. Female students are not the only ones to be adversely affected by this phenomenon. Males are more likely to be chastised by teachers for speaking out in class or for saying the wrong answer, because comparatively they are naturally more accustomed to speaking out. Also, female college graduates now outnumber male graduates.

Percent of people ages 25-29 who had attained a bachelor’s degree in 2010:

Women Men

36% 28%

Poll conducted by the Pew Research Center with a sample size of 2,142 adults.

Average SAT Math Test Scores

Males Females

1972: 527 489

2012: 532 499

Test scores as reported by College Board. Education opportunities for women young female students work slowly and have increased greatly over the past few think longer before coming up with an decades. More women are going to col- answer and therefore have more corlege than ever before. According to the rect answers. Years later, it is the male National Bureau of Economic Research, students with more correct answers. It in 2003 there were 1.35 females for seems as if the impulsivity earlier in life every male graduate. In contrast, there makes male students more accustomed were 1.6 males for every female gradu- to thinking analytically quicker than ate in 1960. It seems as if modern male their female counterparts. The result is students are at a disadvantage and fe- that males generally score overwhelmmale students are more likely to excel ingly higher than females on the math in the academic setting. section of the SAT. The differences emerge early. ObSAT scores for 2012 reveal that males serving early elementary school classes have a 33 point advantage over girls on demonstrates the learning difference the math section of the exam. Only on that exists between males and females the writing section do females consisfrom a very young age. While learning tently score higher. The dissimilarities basic math, for example, young male of scores between genders on standardstudents make mistakes more often ized tests reveals the outcome of disthan female students initially because similar academic treatment. they tend to be far more impulsive in I’ve heard many students at WJ say it formulating answers. Comparatively, seems as if teachers are more inclined to give girls more attention, or their grading is skewed in the favor of girls. Teachers can’t be blamed for unconsciously altering their instruction. Even when teachers go out of their way to overlook the gender difference, it is a notable social hurdle and there are very few situations where the detail of an individual’s gender has no influence on their experiences. Why do details like this often go unnoticed in the classroom? It is because they so closely resemble the situation in society.You cannot blame teachers or the education system because they are merely acting on what any other member of society would do in a mixedgender setting. They may not realize the subtle differences between how stuCartoon by Alex Alavi dents are taught.

Male and female students often recieve different treatment in the classroom based on gender.


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EDITORIAL

BILL 606

OCTOBER 28, 2013

Privacy of celebrity children protected from intruding paparazzi By Izzy Salant With the government shutdown and the U.S. in frenzy, it is hard to imagine staying sane. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and one topic is still able to keep the American public from going completely crazy: celebrity news. For some reason, people are drawn to the fact that Miley Cyrus had a vulgar performance at the VMAs or that Lindsay Lohan was arrested (again). There are networks and television shows designated for celebrity news and gossip, such as CBS’s Entertainment Tonight or FOX’s TMZ, and people tune into these

The term “paparazzi” is derived from the character Paparazzo from the 1959 film La DolceVita directed by Federico Fellini.

shows to get the “scoop” on all things Justin Bieber. And then there are the people who gather this information to provide to shows, tabloids, magazines, gossip columns, etc. and usually use unorthodox methods to do so. They are the familiar and aptly named “paparazzi.” This name is derived from a paparazzi-type photographer character in Federico Fellini’s 1959 film “La Dolce Vita.” In an interview, Fellini stated that the word sounds like a “buzzing insect” and thus the title and virtue of the paparazzi was born. As a result of these parasites, celebrities cannot complete simple tasks such as checking their mail without some fat sweaty guy in an ironic T-shirt snapping a picture to make a quick buck. What’s worse is that not only are celebrities’ personal lives being invaded, but the lives of their children as well. The dreams of the children who wished to be able to go the playground with their friends or sit on the beach eating an ice cream cone have been shattered because some creepy people hiding in the bushes are trying to get pictures so People magazine has a cover story. While I do think some celebrities deserve to be bombarded for their crappy treatment of other people (Justin Bieber), enough is enough. It is high time the paparazzi were punished for what they do. The state of California agrees with this, and a law combatting the issue was signed and passed on

Sept. 25. This law allows $10,000 fines and civil law suits to be filed against paparazzi who “harass” children in order to take a picture of them, just because they are the child of a celebrity. It would also add the possibility of these stalkers rotting in jail for 10 days to a year. Among the supporters of this law is actress Halle Berry. According to ABC news, she is “applauding [the] new paparazzi law that will protect the children of celebrities in California.” As a mother expecting her second child, it is no surprise Berry fully supported this law. What was unexpected, however, was that she lobbied for it at the California Senate, and her testimony was essential in the passing of the law. Now, I understand some might oppose this because it “goes against free speech” but a line is crossed when paparazzi invade celebrities’ privacy to the point that children may be scarred. It is completely rational to bring up, debate on and sign a law into action for the sake of children. Personally, I support this law because it punishes paparazzi for their crimes and, trust me, the paparazzi have gone overboard. Who could forget what happened to Princess Diana, who died after being in a car accident with the paparazzi? What about Matt LeBlanc who had to call his mother and tell her he was fine after tabloids reported that he died of a drug overdose? It is time these criminals be brought to justice, especially now

that the livelihood of kids is involved. With this law in place, creepers, pedophiles and people addicted to celebrity child photos won’t be able to see celebrity children as easily, but it’s a small price to pay to ensure the safety of those children. Also, to be frank, I couldn’t care less about those three types of people; they need to seek help.

All photos courtesy of © Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash involving the paparazzi, is photographed with these people that surrounded her for her entire life.

Required Electives Restrict Student Interests

Graphic by Adriana Del Grosso Photo by Sarah Schecker

By Megan Chun After taking a multitude of AP and honors courses, experiencing more mental breakdowns than healthy for my still developing brain and three years of 7:25 a.m. start times, one would think I would be happy to catch a break during senior year. Instead, I find myself bored out of my mind. As a senior taking health second semester, in addition to full year introductory art and technology classes, all of which are required, I can easily say that the so-called “senior year” schedule is not all it is cracked up to be. My morning is full of academic classes, but as soon as lunch ends, I’m down in the art wing trying to decipher two-point perspective drawings. Forty-five minutes later, I’m upstairs operating a scroll saw and avoiding the millions of sawdust particles that end up all over my clothes. I haven’t taken health yet, but I

somehow imagine it to be similar to the infamous scene from cult classic “Mean Girls,” in which the health teacher/ coach fallaciously says, “Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die.” In many ways, my life could be worse. As my parents say, the problems I am describing are exclusive to those living in first world countries. I am lucky to receive a world class education in a school with so many courses offered. But right now, I feel as if I am learning very little in these “elective” classes. Although the curriculum makes me think in ways I am not accustomed to, the material does not interest me in the slightest. The teachers are friendly and understanding, but I’m too busy rolling my eyes at my immature classmates to notice anything else. And with college application deadlines right around the corner, I spend too much time worrying about things I have to do rather than what’s going on presently during my classes, many of which are chaotic due to the overwhelming numbers of underclassmen. I can almost feel my brain cells rotting away from the lack of stimulation, increase in college stress and distracting environments. It’s not that I don’t think these classes are important: Health educates students about the effects of drugs, the risks of unprotected sexual activity, depression, eating disorders and other hardpressing topics. Art and tech both open up new opportunities and experiences to students who may not have explored them otherwise. But do these potential

benefits, especially for the latter two courses, really outweigh the freedom students should have to choose what they want to study? MCPS mandates that students take four years of English, three years of science, two years of foreign language, three years of social studies and math, through Algebra 2, prior to graduation, in addition to physical education, health, art and technology. Although I see how the County wants a well-rounded curriculum for its students, for some, it is a larger hassle than for what it’s worth. I took the Journalism 1 course freshman year and have taken Journalism 2 (Newspaper) for my sophomore, junior and senior years. These are four “elective” credits that don’t count for art or technology classes, yet in them, we learn various Photoshop, InDesign and technology skills. Now, I must try to cram in required classes so I can graduate in May, eliminating other history or science electives I may want to take. While I simply cruise by in my art and tech classes, figuring out the easiest ways to get an A, I feel I would actually challenge myself if I took the courses I wanted to. Students who took multiple years of band, orchestra, chorus or art often find themselves in similar predicaments: While they wanted to continue learning about their topic of interest in more advanced classes, they missed opportunities to get required classes out of the way. In the scope of county-wide hot top-

Illustration by Adriana Del Grosso

Students are required to take many electives that don’t necessarily interest them in order to meet graduation requirements.

ics such as the achievement gap, later start times and an ever decreasing budget, this is just one of many issues. But it is something to think about for the future. Students who want to take four years of physical education, art, music or journalism should be able to do so, and those who want to take a sampling of different classes should be able to do what they wish. By reformatting the required curriculum, everyone will benefit.


Up Bat

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OCTOBER 28, 2013

7

EDITORIAL

at

The WJ community fosters a friendly and open environment among its students and staff members. To get to know some of our teachers better, The Pitch asked “Who was your childhood celebrity crush?” Rachel Gold English

“Elijah Wood because of his baby blue eyes and his beautiful smile. I was hooked after ‘Radio Flyer’ and was a proud member of his fan club.”

Graphic by Adriana Del Grosso

On Oct. 10, The Pitch polled students from four English classes about topics specific to each grade level. Here are the results. SENIORS

AP Literature, Melanie MacFadden

How many colleges are you applying to? 11.5% 34.6% 38.5% 15.4%

1-5 6-10 11-14 15 or more

JUNIORS

All photos by Wahid Ishrar

Jamie Grimes Science

“Tiffany Thiessen. Have you seen ‘Saved by the Bell?’”

AP Language, Rachel Gold

How much more pressure/stress do you feel

compared to sophomore year?

Significantly more More About the Same Less

50.0% 25.0% 15.0% 10.0%

SOPHOMORES

Jennifer Hall Social Studies

“Simon Le Bon. He was cute and he was the lead singer of Duran Duran. It’s a no-brainer.”

Christopher Murray Social Studies

“Christina Applegate. ‘Married with Children’... period!”

English 10, Frances Burnet

What aspect of school life has changed the most since freshman year? Academics (classes, workload, etc.) Extracurricular Interests Friend Circle Other

59.0% 13.6% 13.6% 14.8%

FRESHMEN

English 9, Aishling McGinty

What is the most difficult thing about high school so far? Homework Getting from class to class Interaction with upperclassmen Keeping up friendships

54.0% 17.0% 16.0% 13.0%


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8

EDITORIAL

OCTOBER 28, 2013

Delay the commitment!

Teenagers should explore all their options before following a specific calling

Graphic by Adriana Del Grosso Photo by Sarah Schecker

Go Hard or Go Home By Claudia Nguyen

Many high school students choose to participate in a plerhora of activities before finding their one true passion.

By Emily Cosentino

I consider myself to be a modern Renaissance student. I have found myself lacking one particular activity that drives and shapes my life. Like a ‘Renaissance man,’ I am interested in a plethora of different pursuits, ranging from writing to running to drawing. As a high school senior, I have been slaving over college applications for the past couple months and while filling out the activities section of various applications, I have been curious whether one driven passion or a multitude of activities looks better in the eyes of admissions officers. On one hand, a common piece of advice is to follow your heart and find your passion. But on the other hand, it seems that students are frantically trying to rack up achievements to display to colleges to improve their chances of acceptance.

Graphic by Adriana Del Grosso Photo by Sarah Schecker

By Anders Norberg

Dear Anders, There is a guy in one of my classes who classifies himself as the ‘class clown.’ Although his sarcasm is funny most of the time, it can be offensive and hurtful to some people. How do I tell

When it comes to students in high school, they have their entire life to figure out exactly what they want to do. Having multiple passions mirrors the values of our society. In our generation, many people hold multiple jobs over

Illustration by Adriana Del Grosso

interest in that field will demonstrate more of an engagement than having multiple extracurricular activities. Throughout high school, it is not necessarily a bad thing for students to have multiple interests and not know exactly

high school, it is not “ Throughout necessarily a bad thing for

students to have multiple interests and not know exactly what their one driven passion is.

the course of their lifetimes. Students interested in one particular passion can keep their interest peaked by participating in and exploring a variety of activities as they progress through middle and high school. However, when graduating into a more serious role in life, having one focus may be necessary. When a student is trying to gain admission to college for a particular major, having a consistent

what their one passion or drive is. Once students begin to focus on attaining higher levels of education in their selected field, however, this is not always the case. However, while committing to one passion may be necessary during higher levels of education, exploring a multitude of interests during the teenage years is paramount for personal development.

him to tailor his humor so that it is not inappropriate without sounding rude? -Kid with Good Intentions Dear Kid with Good Intentions,

it, zip your lips and talk about them behind their back like a normal person. However, if the jokes are borderline hate speech or offending you as a person, say something to the ‘class clown’ because I’m sure he or she is not a heartless monster. Just go up to them, say to their face “Please stop making jokes about this and that because it is offending me,” and it should work out fine. If they don’t, just be passive aggressive with them and give them backhanded compliments. Sincerely, Anders

The first thing to realize is that humor is subjective. Life isn’t G-rated and it is impossible for everyone to find something funny, and someone will be offended. The important thing to understand is that you can’t control what someone says. The best thing you can do is just accept that and calm yourself. If the humor that is bothering you is immature like fart jokes, then just ignore

It’s nearly midnight, and a chat pops up on my Facebook window. “Hey, Claudia! How are you? Want to give me the answers to the homework?” Another night, another lazy student trying to cheat his or her way out of doing actual work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than willing to help out my peers, but at the same time, these students are usually the ones most capable of doing the work themselves. They’re the ones who wait until the last minute to start a multi-page essay or a week’s worth of math assignments due the day of the test. As a senior, I understand the overwhelming feeling of having to balance school, extracurriculars, college apps and other stressors. I am a chronic procrastinator, and have been known to ask for homework help on occasion. But it’s not every night, not every single assignment. It pains me to see these incredibly intelligent kids simply not trying. While I, and many others, diligently slave away to complete assignments in the time between sports practice, music lessons and a billion other activities, some students are hanging out with friends and taking naps after school, then scrambling to extract answers from those who had to put in time and mental effort. I’m tired of the games of manipulation. I refuse to feel guilty for not spoon-feeding answers to kids who are perfectly capable of doing an assignment on their own. In the amount of time it takes them to plead for the answers from some exploitable peer, they could have finished it themselves and gained more knowledge, as well as a greater sense of self-sufficiency. To be fair, there are many assignments that pose challenges. In which case, I am not opposed to a collaborative environment. However, there is almost always one freeloader who takes advantage of everyone else. You know that person, the one who says they’ll get the assignment done this time, but 99.9 percent of the time this person doesn’t come through. Imagine the possibilities for these people if they just decided to try. School, in this case, is analogous to life. It’s not a question of whether or not a person is intelligent, it’s about how hard they are willing to work to overcome barriers and get over that wall.


Pitch

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OCTOBER 28, 2013

Airsoft Club gives students a rush of adrenaline

FEATURE

Political Forum Club is a new field for debate

9

By Amanda Gross

By NickWilliamson

Airsoft is a combat sport similar to paintball, but even more similar to modern warfare. It is a military simulation using an airsoft replica gun that shoots small pellets and uses various types of military-styled gear. Players can wear anything from sweatpants to military uniforms. Senior Jonathan Karpatkin, president of the Airsoft Club, started the club after his friend, senior Matthew Chun, kept begging him to try Airsoft, and they formed the club together. “I tried it and absolutely loved it,” Karpatkin said. “I love Airsoft because it brings a whole new level of an adrenaline rush that you just don’t get from regular sports,” said Chun, who is now Vice President of the club. “What’s great about the club is that I get to meet so many new Airsofters just like me and I get to share my passion for Airsoft with them.” The club has about 25-30 official members, 15-20 of which regularly play. Some students that do not attend WJ occasionally join the club in their games. These students, as well as every member of the club, get a “team patch”, a green circle they can sew on their

New at WJ this year, the Political Fo- backgrounds come and express their rum Club was formed from the expan- opinions. The club wants to create an sion of the Young Republicans club, in environment where people feel coman attempt to bring in more students fortable sharing the opinions they want for debate. The club sponsor, English to discuss. teacher Janelle Ryan, helped students Senior co-president Nevo Magnezi create a bi-partisan club when members got involved because he liked other poof last year’s club found they had more litical clubs, and thought it would be fun when they could debate against peo- great to debate topics that are also beple with different opinions. ing discussed only a few miles away in “[The Political Forum Club] is a safe Washington. The club discusses issues place to come and display [one’s] pas- from all parts of the political spectrum; sions and know that it’s all in good fun,” on Oct. 9, they debated issues surroundsaid Ryan. “In the end, everybody is just ing global warming, and what should be there to enjoy debating with each other.” done regarding the environment. The club is a good place to learn about “The topic can vary from week to how people from different ends of the week,” said Magnezi. “A while ago, we political spectrum view certain issues. debated gun control, but then the govRyan finds it interesting to hear stu- ernment shutdown happened the next dents’ opinions, and how they devel- week and people wanted to debate that oped them. She also likes listening to instead.” students back those opinions up when Since the club was formed in order others disagree with them. to create more debate among students, “I learn [new] things every single all opinions are accepted and people can week,” said Ryan. share theirs and have a good debate. “[The Political Forum club] lets [me] “If you have an opinion, and want to see what other people are thinking, and share it, come to the Political Forum everyone can learn what the other side Club,” said Leonard. of the story is,” said senior and club secretary Alisa Leonard. “It opens your eyes to other points of view on the issue.” It is interesting for Leonard to see the mix of people with differPhoto by Sarah Schecker left to right) Senior Kendra Allgood, sophomore Steven Krupinski, and ent political (From senior Nevo Magnezi debate controversial issues.

clothes to show others they belong to the club. When the club was first created, they had some difficulty finding a teacher to sponsor them. “A lot of people in this area are liberal, and teachers are hesitant to be involved with anything gun-related,” said Karpatkin. “I wish the sport wasn’t so closely related to guns, but it is.” A parent of a student in the club has agreed to be the sponsor. The club is still awaiting approval from administration to become official. The club meets weekly, and Karpatkin is trying to organize competitions against other schools such as Blair, Magruder and Richard Montgomery. Usually, team members play against each other or in pickup games. “We want to play for bragging rights, because we will absolutely destroy [other schools],” said Karpatkin. Upcoming events include Revelations Four Post-Apocalyptic Event in Southern Virginia, an Airsoft tournament styled to feel like participants are playing while the world is ending all around them. “It’s on a great field and very, very unique,” said Karpatkin. “We are excited and looking [forward to] a lot of support for the team.” Karpatkin believes that the club is ideal for people interested in trying new things, who enjoy a thrill and an adrenaline rush, plus physical and mental challenges. “I love Airsoft because of the great teamwork and kindness of all players,” said treasurer, senior Brandon Tennyson. “It’s a game for everyone,” said Karpatkin. “This year we are building a Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Karpatkin strong foundation for the club so that John Moreno (top left), David Bergman (top [Chun] and I have something amazing right), JD Beavers (bottom left) and Jonathan Karpaktin (bottom right) show off their Airsoft gear. to leave behind.”

By Amanda Gross

Are the mad cows losing their madness?

With homecoming on the horizon, many are debating the strength of school spirit this year. SGA President Bobby Ellett said that spirit this school year is off to a great start. Ellett, a senior, has seen many great spirit day costumes, but encourages even more. He said spirit weeks are important for boosting school-wide support for sports teams. “School spirit at WJ is always a good thing,” said Ellett. “We have great ideas for spirit days, but we’d love to hear more suggestions of things people would like to see.” However, not everyone agrees about how strong school spirit has been so far. “I think that school spirit could always be stronger, especially among underclassmen,” said senior Isabel Moreno. “But the seniors have been doing a really good job this year.” Moreno said it’s important to encourage all of the students to participate in

school spirit because it’s especially lacking among the underclassmen. She suggested making a video promoting school spirit and showing it on the morning announcements to encourage all students to have more pep. Senior Arielle George, a member of the Leadership Class, agreed that the level of energy is not as high as it could be. “Overall, this year school spirit is lacking more than ever,” said George. “I see now more than ever that students have chosen to not participate in school spirit due to what’s ‘cool’ and what’s not.” George wishes students, especially underclassmen, could get past their fears that spirit-related activities are not seen as ‘cool,’ and join in on the fun and morale-boosting traditions of WJ. Both George and Ellett said the Leadership Class is doing a great job of brainstorming fun, potential new spirit days for this year, such as ‘80s Day, Twin Day, Camo Day or Farmer Day. They are also

thinking of cool ways to present spirits such as videos, hall marches and a “Mad Towel” that students can swing during games. “Throughout the years, WJ has recycled the same spirits, [but] this year we’re putting an end to that tradition and trying to start new ones,” said George. Some believe that when a sports team continues to lose, it can cause a decrease in school spirit. Ellett said that when a team doesn’t perform well, it only affects spirit to some degree. “Fans always come out no matter what,” he said. “Spirit is strong at WJ.” “If our sports teams aren’t doing so well, people lose hope for the team and are less spirited,” said senior Isabel Owens. “But if a team knows the school isn’t exactly behind them for support, they may have less motivation to play well. Sometimes the more spirited the school, the better the team plays.” Ellett said the homecoming game and

dance are upcoming events that will significantly boost school spirit. Homecoming hallways are being decorated and judged on Halloween this year, and Bad Day to Be a Pumpkin, the homecoming game and the homecoming dance are approaching fast. Ellett said the jam-packed homecoming will bring a lot of fun to the student body and fuel spirit for all students. Ellett added that students will carry on the tradition of delivering strong school-wide spirit. “We have new awesome ideas in the works, so stay tuned,” he said. “This year is gonna be great.”

What do you think of WJ’s spirit this year? Go to www.wjpitch.com to vote!


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Pitch

FEATURE

OCTOBER 28, 2013

Blast from the past: The h

By Michael Godfrey and Selma Stearns

1960s

A girl at the Snowball Dance, a popular winter event, in the 1968-1969 school year.

Susan Conrad Graduated WJ in 1961

Susan Conrad attended WJ when the school was only 10th, 11th and 12th grade. Back then, the school was surrounded by pastures, and cows frequently came up to the fence and interacted with students. The school was brand new, and Conrad was in one Conrad’s senior of the first graduating classes portrait. in 1961. Dances such as homecoming were held in the gym, except for the Senior Prom which was held at a hotel. “Back in those days, people had dates and went to dances in pairs, sort of like the animals going into Noah’s Ark,” said Conrad. For homecoming, as well as prom, boys bought their dates corsages and girls wore long dresses. However, in Conrad’s memory the dance was not a very big deal. “There was a dance that night, but there were no floats, no spirit days, no outfits, no decoration,” said Conrad. This is in stark contrast to today, where students plan months in advance and spirit week is an important time for students in different grades to compete for the title of most spirited. The homecoming game was not a large social event, and WJ’s football team was not very good. “I have a vague recollection of losing to B-CC 63 to 0,” said 71-year-old Conrad. “Or maybe that is not a memory but a nightmare.”

Maria Clifford and Kevin Holt sport their crowns at the 1975 homecoming dance.

The Mighy Moo has been a part of WJ cult many years.

1970s

Teens enjoying themselves at the Square Dance in 1976, another event held by the student government.

Stude

All photos courtesy of the WJ Media Center and Archives.

Lindsay Field Graduated WJ in 1994

Lindsay Field graduated from WJ in 1994 and still lives in the area. She went to the homecoming game every year, and attended the homecoming dance her senior year in with a group of friends. The dance took place in the gym and in the surrounding halls, Fields’ senior as it does now, and in the week portait. leading up to homecoming there were various activities organized by the student government. “We had the hallway decorating where you would stay late after school to decorate for the next day, and I think that’s been going on for a while,” said Field. Just like today, the seniors always won the hallway decorating contests, since they have the most resources and are more knowledgeable about the judges’ preferences. For Field, the homecoming games were fun, but she said the football team was not very good. The stadium was also much smaller, with only a few benches carved into the hill. Before the homecoming game began, there was a pep rally featuring many forms of entertainment. “Right before [the game started], [floats] would drive down the driveway and drive around the field,” said Field. “Each [class] would have a float that they would decorate.There was also usually a bunch of guys pretending to be cheerleaders.”

“Schools t traditions. H is a way to ce school trad spir - Principal Je

90s

As tradition dictated, the seniors won the float contest in 1997.

The Varsity Pom squad performed in the rain at the 1997 homecoming game.

1990s

A senior dances with her homecoming date from Whitman in 1993.

Nico Atencio, former discusses homecom

Nico Atencio has been teaching at WJ for nine years, and for five of those years he was the staff advisor to the SGA. He has chaperoned homecoming for seven years, and will most likely do it again this year. Atencio attended Pope John Paul II High School in Boca Raton, Fla. “Homecoming there was a little different, mostly because it was a private Catholic school,” said Atencio. “Students definitely have more freedom here.” Similarities exist, for example both events revolve around the football game and students attend a dance; albeit the teachers were stricter about mostly everything at his high school. In his seven years chaperoning dances, there has not been one most memorable


the

Pitch

OCTOBER 28, 2013

FEATURE

history of WJ Homecoming

Cheerleaders enjoy themselves at the 1969 homecoming game.

The seniors’ Flintstone-themed float won the contest in 1986.

1980s

ture for

ents dance among the stars at the 1975 dance.

thrive on Homecoming elebrate our ditions and rit.” ennifer Baker

11

In 1986, Class Secretary Michelle Chiang decorates the sophomore hallway.

In 1986, seniors show their style at the homecoming dance.

Seniors decorate their hallway banner in 1986.

2000s

r sponsor of the SGA, ming at WJ today

dance as they are all similar in his opinion, but some things stick out to Atencio. “Last year’s group was phenomenal, especially with the hallway decorating,” he said. Andrew Matus, a 2013 graduate, agreed that the SGA did a great job last year. Atencio said many schools in the area decorate hallways by grade with different themes, but the idea of a homecoming video is fairly unique to WJ. The video has evolved over time to become what it is today. He is looking forward to seeing the movie this year, as he has not been as involved in the production of it. Overall, the SGA, senior class office and leadership class work hard to put on a fun week for all the students.

The freshman hallway was decorated attractively in 2001. Civilization Day was a spirit featured in Spirit Week in 2007.

Girls in all grades show their Wildcat pride at the 2007 homecoming game.

Seniors Ben Leffler and Amelia Meyers are crowned Homecoming King and Queen for the 2001-2002 school year.

Seniors have good time dancing at homecoming in 2007.


Pitch

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12

FEATURE

OCTOBER 28, 2013

APs are not adequate representations of college courses

By Chizobam Nwagwu

30 years, you can see that the AP exams In October 2012, Dartmouth College now are less challenging than they were decided against awarding college credit 30 years ago. So, in that sense, Dartfor Advanced Placement (AP) exams. mouth may be correct in saying the AP The college’s decision will not apply exams no longer reflect what they exto current students of Dartmouth, but pect out of their freshman class.” Since 2002, the overall pass rate has starts with the incoming freshman class dropped from 61 percent to 57 percent of 2018. But according to the NewYork Times, of the 100 plus incoming freshmen at Dartmouth who scored 5s on the AP Psychology exam, 90 percent of them failed a placement exam given by the college. “We looked at the students who failed our on-campus exam but decided to enroll in Psych 1, to see whether they did any better than students who had never taken the Advanced Placement class, and we couldn’t detect any difference whatsoever,” said Dartmouth Professor Hakan Tell in an interview with the New York Times. The college’s actions sparked waves of controversy regarding whether the AP exam is an accurate assessment of college credit. With the plethora of AP courses available, students are especially aware of the work needed to prepare for the exam. One of the key reasons for Dartmouth’s decision is the belief that students are simply taught to the test, rather than the entire context of their college courses. “I think that AP classes are not as comparable to what used to be considered a traditional freshman level college class,” said AP Physics B teacher Stuart Safford. “If you look at the AP exam over the last

for the class of 2012. The growing demand for AP courses among students has increased to extraordinary heights. According to the College Board, in 2002 1.2 million AP tests were taken, whereas in 2012 2.9 million were taken, meaning the number of tests doubled in only a decade.

AP English Literature and Composition teacher Jonathan Bos said that people don’t necessarily take APs for the college credit, but rather to improve their college applications. “It’s a way of showing colleges that you’re taking the most challenging and demanding courses possible,” said Bos.

Illustration by Alex Alavi


Pitch

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OCTOBER 28, 2013

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

13

Spot the Differences Five things have been altered in this photo of the set of the Daily Lineup. See if you can spot them!

Photo by Emily Cosentino Graphic by Audrey Marek

1. American flag replaced with Maryland flag 2. Upper right light removed 3. Wire leading to camera on right 4. Paper hanging from camera on left 5. Platform leg on right removed

Sudoku

For answers, go to wjpitch.com!

Photo by Emily Cosentino

Comic Corner

Cartoon by Alex Alavi


Pitch

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14

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

HALLOWEEN

OCTOBER 28, 2013

Get your scares at these nearby attractions

Y Field of Screams S T E R I Bennett’s Curse A

they’re doing. Most of the actors chose to stand out in the open and growl once in a while rather than taking advantage of the trail’s many hiding places and startling people. The fact that the actors can’t touch you takes away a lot of their scariness and most of the actors have makeup that looks like they had their face painted at a child’s birthday party. The best part of Field of Screams is the food. The fried Oreos and Twinkies are melt-inyour-mouth delicious, and a unique treat that you can’t get anywhere else. If you have never been to a haunted house before and want to see what it’s like, this is a great way to get a taste of something scary. You don’t have to worry about blood and gore, but still have the experience of a Photo courtesy of Field of Screams A promotional poster for Field of Screams’ Scream City in Olney, Md. spooky environment. With great food and a fun By Zack Shapiro Field of Screams is home to The Trail of Terror trail, Field of Screams can be very enjoyable if As you enter Field of Screams ($20-25), Hades Hayride ($15), Paintball Apoc- you don’t have your heart set on the best scares. in Olney, Md, you’re greeted by alypse ($18) and Lucian Manor ($15). Event ends Nov. 2. When it comes to the actual scares, Field of rows of tiny camp fires. The entrances to the four attractions are Screams falls short. There are very few actors non-descript and easy to miss. and many of them don’t seem to know what As you pull into the parking lot at Bennett’s Curse, located in Jessup, Md, it doesn’t look like anything special. There’s no huge sign or giant bonfire, just a gravel parking lot and what looks like a giant white building. There are two carts set up in front of the building, one sells tickets and the other sells food, but it is not a place where you would come to hang out. Bennett’s Curse knows its customers are there for one reason: to be scared beyond belief. Your experience at Bennett’s Curse is divided into three parts: House of the Vampyres, Zombie

Kingdom in 3D and Sanctuary of Insanity. All general admission tickets ($30) include the three haunted houses which feed seamlessly into each other. Although the names are corny, Bennett’s Curse manages to deliver the scariest house in the area. After you escape the maze you are greeted by the cool night air, and your stay at Bennett’s Curse is over. Event ends Nov. 2.

tickets to games, and once in a while a fire thrower makes an appearance to please the crowd. All of this surrounds an enormous bonfire, at which employees continuously throw lighter fluid to keep the flames high. Unfortunately, the area is missing the live band and smaller attractions from past years and becomes boring rather quickly. Markoff’s boasts three attractions, two trails ($21-30 ea.) and a hayride ($12). A numbered enPhoto courtesy of Markoff’s try system allows you to enjoy A circus themed banner greets you as you enter Markoff ’s Haunted Forest. the festivities while you wait your Walking into Markoff’s Haunted Forest, turn, rather than having to wait in line. you’re greeted with loud pop music and a large If you plan on attending Markoff’s Haunted tent with a DJ, not what you’d expect from your Forest, keep in mind that the actors can and will typical haunted house. Colorful flags are strewn touch you, grab you, and hit you with vibratfrom the tent in the middle, to various carnival ing chainsaws (without the chains). While this games around the perimeter of the area. Clowns makes the attraction much more fun for people wander about, encouraging patrons to buy more who like to be scared, you may not enjoy it as

much if you’re easily frightened or don’t like people touching you. Also keep in mind that both trails feature large amounts of strobe lights, fog, pitch darkness, tight spaces and poorly lit paths through the woods. It’s often difficult to know where to go next. I would also recommend eating before you arrive as the menu at Markoff’s is lacking and the food is overpriced. Overall I would definitely recommend going to Markoff’s for trail number one and the hayride, but skip trail number two. Event ends Nov. 2.

Photo courtesy of Bennet’s Curse

A promotional poster featuring two attractions at Bennett’s Curse in Jessup, Md.

Markoff’s Haunted Forest

For more on these attractions and others, as well as costume ideas, go to wjpitch.com!


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Pitch

OCTOBER 28, 2013

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

15

Beauty Break: How to keep skin flawless this school year

Smart Store Finds

By Annika LaVina

After two months of school, maintaining a clean and clear complexion proves too time exhausting and repetitive to put thought into. Added stress can cause students to break out, especially since acne problems go hand-in-hand with adolescence. Luckily, new products, routines and ideas prove that skincare doesn’t have to be dull and monotonous. These routines are approved by Lush employees.

Olive Oil, Salt and Sugar

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser $6.49

Boots Botanics Conditioning Clay Mask $9.39

This inexpensive cleanser works well with all skin types. Its light formula doesn’t cause skin irritation, like some cleansers, and also reduces swelling and redness. This gentle substance is perfect to scrub on before bed or rub on in the morning.

Most skin masks sport a thick substance that seems to cake on the skin, but this light, airy mixture clears acne-scarred skin and removes blackheads as well. Since this is a clay mask, this product is the ultimate bang-for-your-buck; Squeeze some on twice a month and your complexion will instantly brighten.

Homemade Treatments

This skincare mix leaves the skin silky smooth with its exfoliating ingredients. Mix three tablespoons of olive oil with one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of sugar. The salt and sugar opens pores through exfoliation, while the olive oil relieves dry skin and moisturizes. The linoleic acid present in olive oil prevents water from evaporating, leaving your skin bright and smooth.

Lemon Juice and Honey

For the ultimate acne-fighting mixture, try this effective blend. Mix three tablespoons of honey with one teaspoon of lemon juice. The honey strips the skin of unnecessary leftover skin cells while the lemon juice aggressively combats blackheads and oily skin. Apply the mix on your face and leave it on for five minutes.

All photos by Annika La Vina

Avocado and Honey This combination of natural ingredients is perfect for clearing and moistening the skin. Split an avocado into four slices and smash it until it has a creamy consistency. Pour in three teaspoons of honey and mix it all up together. Spread it across your face and leave it on for about five minutes. The combination of honey and avocado removes dead skin cells and also sports a good concentration of Vitamin A, which rebuilds tissues and can help heal scars. The anti-bacterial elements in honey also speed up the healing of acne and targets breakouts.


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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

By Audrey Marek

Let the Games Begin

“The Ender’s Game” original book was published in 1985.

Photo courtesy of imdb.com

Photo courtesy of hatrack.com

“Ender’s Game”, “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” come to theaters

“Catching Fire” sold thousands of copies before being made into a movie.

most of the plot.” Both books face this issue, but the author of “Ender’s Game,” Orson Scott Card, has lost some readers’ loyalties. He has recently come out in opposition to gay marriage, which has caused some controversy around the release of the movie. “I know the production company and the movie [have] tried to distance [themselves] from the author based on his radical commentary about gay marriage, and other things too, but I think you can’t do that because [Card] is obviously still going to profit from the production of this film,” said sponsor of

The upcoming movie’s poster features a new design. Photo courtesy of imdb.com

Photo courtesy of suzannecollinsbooks.com

This fall, two post-apocalyptic series will hit the big screen. One was written in 1985, the other in 2008, but both can be seen around the halls of WJ. The long awaited movie adaptation of “Ender’s Game” will come to theaters on Nov. 1, followed by the highly anticipated second installment of “The Hunger Games” trilogy, titled “Catching Fire” on Nov. 22. The books which inspired these blockbusters both have a strong following at WJ, in and out of class. “Ender’s Game” can be found in some freshman English syllabi, and “The Hunger Games” trilogy inspired the creation of “The Hunger Games” Club and a musical adaptation of the movie created entirely by students. However, both books come with baggage. Often, when a book is sent to Hollywood, the movie makers take liberties regarding how closely they follow the original text. For some fans, this is an exciting experiment that expands previously held views on the books, but others view it as a betrayal of the author’s original work. Sophomore Brianna Austin commented on the matter. “Because the film is [from] someone else’s perspective and not [from author] Suzanne Collins’, it’s not going to go along with everything,” she said, “but I hope it does stick to

The poster shows main character, Katniss Everdeen.

the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) and English teacher Aishling McGinty. She said that even if it is not intentional, paying for the movie supports the hate speech that Card has released. Meanwhile, new director Francis Lawrence has taken over “The Hunger Games” franchise and must live up to the high expectations set by the first film, which was written and directed by Gary Ross. “I think it can live up [to the first movie] and do better,” said sophomore Daniel Leonard, who served as “The Hunger Games” Club vice president.

OCTOBER 28, 2013

Both films have recruited bigname actors to fill these high profile roles, with Jennifer Lawrence playing the leading role of Katniss in “The Hunger Games” and the less well-known Asa Butterfield as Ender, the hero of “Ender’s Game.” The film also has other well-known actors such as Harrison Ford as General Graffe, an integral character in “Ender’s Game.” Casting for this movie is challenging, because there have not been any prior movies to form opinions of the cast. The mental image that readers have formed, especially in regards to a book that has been around since 1985, can be difficult to accommodate. “[Butterfield] seems too old to me . . . but I understand they have to cover a good amount of time,” said McGinty. “Initially I think of Ender as a child, and malleable in that way.” “The Hunger Games” sequel faces a different challenge, in keeping characters as interesting as they were in the first movie. The initial reaction to the casting has faded, giving way to already formed opinions about the characters. “I like President Snow. He’s awesome,” said sophomore Marek Haar, who is the producer and composer of the upcoming student written production, “Hunger Games the Musical.”

LISTEN UP!

“Listen” continued from page 1 By Joshua Lang

“I have a ton of music that I have bought myself throughout the years, and still listen to [it] through iTunes at home, but [I] cannot take all of my music with me to work,” said math teacher Mike Egan. “Pandora allows me play music anywhere without filling up my computer’s hard drive.” However, Pandora does have its drawbacks. A person can only skip six songs within an hour-long period even if that person is a member on the site. There is a paid version of Pandora available called Pandora One, for $36 a year or $3.99 a month, which comes with ad-free listening, higher quality audio and a

desktop feature to avoid the use of a web browser. Lastly, Pandora One allows users to visually customize the site and listen practically all day with little to no breaks or pauses. “I have found myself stopping and saying ‘that sounds good… who is that,’” said Egan. “I think it is great that Pandora tries to match my interest in music with similar artists.” The free version of Spotify, another online radio site, allows users to personally hand pick songs and put them into their own playlists that they can continually listen to whenever they want to. This feature is only available for free on a computer, so playlists are inaccessible on a mobile device and come with the occasional advertisement. However, users can listen to their

own radio stations on their phones and their computers. Similar to Pandora, Spotify creates a station that has similar material to the song, artist, or genre that is put in, and has a skip limit of six songs. “I use Spotify because I find it easier to get the music that I want to listen to,” said sophomore Christian Martinez. “And also so I can block out what I don’t want to hear.” If you’re feeling a little adventurous and willing to pay some money for it, there is a Spotify Premium subscription which overlaps all the features of the free version, but gives users the option to download playlists onto their mobile device. With Premium, users gets unlimited skips on the radio. On both the mobile and computer versions of Spotify, there is a “Discover” tab,

which allows users to sample excerpts of songs. “I like that I can access the music that I want to at any time and create my own playlists,” said Martinez. “I don’t think iTunes Radio is any different than Pandora or the radio on Spotify.” Finally, there is Songza, a less popular, free, online radio. “On most days, I usually choose to use Songza . . . it helps me discover new types of music.” said senior Ronit Feifer. Songza has a feature where users can input what time of the day it is, and it will play music according to the time and occasion. “Songza creates playlists based on the type of mood I am in and the type of music that I would choose to listen to,” said Feifer.


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SPORTS

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By ElizabethWinter

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SPORTS

Redskins

After a strong end to last season and a division title, Redskins fans were looking for big things from the team this year. These hopes were tossed aside, however, when the Redskins opened their season with a disappointingly slow start. All things considered, there is still plenty of time for the team to turn their season around with many upcoming exciting games. Upcoming home games at FedEx Field are against the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. amd against San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 25 at 8:40 p.m. Tickets are already available online, the cheapest selling for about $30 on ticketexchangebyticketmaster.com or stubhub.com. The cheapest and easiest way to get to FedEx Field, located in Landover, Md, is by metro.This prevents wasting time in traffic and also saves you from having to spend money on parking at the stadium. Single game parking permits cost between $40 and $50. The metro station closest to the stadium is Morgan Blvd on the Blue Line. Students can first get on the Metro Red Line in Bethesda or White Flint and ride it to Metro Center where you can transfer to the Blue Line and ride to Morgan Blvd. The station is less than a mile from FedEx Field and an easily accessible pedestrian walkway offers direct access to the stadium.

OCTOBER 28, 2013

By Sabrina Greene

Capitals

Our hometown hockey team is definitely exciting to root for. Coming off a division title, the Caps are a thrilling team to watch. The team plays its games downtown at the Verizon Center in Chinatown. Before you go to the game, there are many restaurants like Rosa Mexicano or Matchbox to stop at for dinner. Some cheaper options available nearby include Chipotle and McDonald’s. Verizon Center is easily accessible by Metro taking the Red Line to Gallery Place-Chinatown. Students can easily board the Red Line at the Grosvenor, Medical Center or Bethesda stations. Tickets for games start at around $26 for upper level seats (prices vary game to game), so make sure you plan your night out ahead of time to get the best deal.You can visit www.capitals.nhl.com for more information. Keep your eye on star captain Alex Ovechkin, as well as fan favorites Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom. The regular season lasts until April, so there is plenty of time to head down to Verizon Center and Rock the Red!

Go out on a Sunday afternoon to cheer on your hometown Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

All photos courtesy of flickr.com

See your Washington Capitals’ hit the ice while rocking the red in Verizon Center’s electric atmosphere.

Going out Guide A 2013 guide to local Professional and collegiate sports teams

Come watch the high power Maryland offense.

By Josh Greenberg

Terps

For most sports fans, Saturdays are commonly reserved for college football. Take a short 25- minute drive up Route 29 and you will find Byrd Stadium, the home of the University of Maryland Terrapins football team who have had their best start in recent memory. The Terps’ electric offense consists of former local high school standout wide receiver Steffon Diggs, and quarterback C.J. Brown who leads the charge as Maryland tries to take home an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in their last year playing in the ACC. Tickets are generally around $35 for the lower bowl seats which consist of a terrific view of the field. If you arrive to the game early, head to the Jerk Pit for some Caribbean cuisine. Tailgating is another popular option as fans gather in the parking lot and grill and play games such as corn hole and two hand touch football before the football game starts. Maryland plays ACC rival Boston College in their second to last game this season on Saturday Nov. 23. Make sure you arrive early to hit the famous Maryland tailgate that starts around noon on each Saturday before 3:30 p.m. games. Wear all the red, black and yellow you can find, and remember to cheer for the Terps.

Come see the Wizards as they attempt to secure a playoff spot.

By Zeke Green

Wizards

The Washington Wizards’ journey to find their way back to the playoffs begins soon and fans are anxiously awaiting the first game of the year on Oct. 30 to see how far this team can really go. It’s been 161 days since the Wizards last played a regular-season game, and their first game of the 2013-‘14 season against the Detroit Pistons will mark the beginning of a new era and hopefully a winning tradition .The Wizards play at the Verizon center in Chinatown, a quick Red Line trip away. WJ students can jump onto the metro at convenient locations such as the Grosvenor or Bethesda stations and take it to Chinatown which is right at the Verizon Center. When you’re done watching John Wall, you can visit one of the city’s many renowned dining options including Matchbox, Chinatown for Chinese or Zenga for some upscale Tapas. The team’s young talent makes up a large amount of excitement in the city. The team finished in third place in the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division and 12th place in Eastern Conference last year.


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Ebobisse commits to Blue Devil soccer By Zack Shapiro High school sports can be stressful with many athletes competing for playing time. Most envy the apparent stress-free life granted to the superstars who are guaranteed starting positions, but those superstars often times are the most stressed of all. For a lot of these athletes, sports is their ticket into college. They have to work hard in their academics while being committed to their sports in order to be accepted to top colleges and receive their education. For an athlete, it can be a huge relief to be lucky enough to commit to a college early in senior year. One athlete who is planning on playing his sport in college is senior Jeremy Ebobisse. He began playing soccer around the age of six and eventually went on to play for the WJ Varsity Boys’ soccer team for two years including an exciting playoff run that ended with a loss in the state championship. During his freshman year, Ebobisse was named All-Gazette first team All-State second team, and AllMet honorable menPhoto By: Sarah Schecker Senior Jeremy Ebobisse shows off some of his Duke apparel.

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Leading Off Athletes excel on the field but struggle in other aspects of life By Ben Resnick On a typical Wednesday night I go onto ESPN.com and three out of the top 10 stories are: “Prosecution seeks Hernandez judge recusal,” “Felony charges for

tion. During his sophomore year, Ebobisse was named All-Gazette second team, All-State second team and All-Met honorable mention. Ebobisse currently plays for the prestigious Bethesda-Olney Academy team which prohibits him from playing for his high school team due to a new academy rule. Ebobisse began receiving offers from colleges his freshman year. He received offers from many PAC 12, ACC and Ivy League schools. Ebobisse’s coaches, including WJ’s Mike Williams, helped him sort through his numerous offers and gave him advice. “Getting all those different offers wasn’t too stressful,” said Ebobisse. “The coaches made it easy.” Ebobisse eventually decided to commit to Duke. “They have great amenities and coaches and the [soccer] coach promised me a spot on the team,” said Ebobisse. Ebobisse’s ticket to college rides on his soccer skills, but education was also an important factor in choosing which school to attend. “I like that Duke is a smaller school,” said Ebobisse. “I know I’ll receive a good education there.” Ebobisse knows he will soon be playing bigger games. He will be playing in front of larger crowds, and he will be playing on a more competitive team. In spite of this, his view of his current Academy team hasn’t changed. “I still love playing soccer,” said Ebobisse, “I still want to see my team win.” Ebobisse has spent the majority of his life grinding through hours of soccer practice. With his recent commitment, some might assume he would grow complacent. However,

that is not the case. “I haven’t changed how much time I spend on soccer,” said Ebobisse. “I’m still putting in the same 10 hours a week.” A growing problem for college athletes is injuries. College athletes can have their scholarships taken away, and their playing career ended in an instant due to injuries. Although Ebobisse knows that injuries can be a problem, he refuses to let the fear of an injury change the way that he plays. “I haven’t changed the way I play,” said Ebobisse. “There’s always going to be people who try to injure you or take you out. I’m not going to worry about it.” Ebobisse worked hard throughout his high school career to earn his spot on a college team. His hard work and dedication to soccer allowed him to have his choice of many great schools. Although committing to college comes as a relief, he is determined to stay true to his playing style and work ethic. Ebobisse looks forward to representing Duke on the soccer field.

49ers’ Smith” and “Browns’ Sandusky refused DUI blood test.” As far as I am concerned, these headlines are not “sports news” but rather an excerpt from a crime blotter. As an avid sports fan, I am constantly watching ESPN, reading sports magazines and checking the Internet to get the latest updates on all things sports. Time and time again, one of the top stories is inevitably about a star athlete who has broken some law or rule, and is being punished for it. Why are we idolizing these athletes? To me, these athletes are anything but role models. They are closer to hoodlums, and are not people we should admire. Not all athletes are negative role-models in our society. Locally, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Zimmerman, Brooks Laich and Bradley Beal continue to do community outreach and (so far) they have never broken the law. These local athletes are exemplary citizens and individuals, and these are the kind of athletes who should be considered role models in our society. Although there are many superb individuals in professional sports, there are the few bad apples that severely hurt the image for all professional athletes. These individuals do not know how to handle the re-

sponsibilities that come with fame and money, and they make terrible choices. These athletes come out of college and are handed millions of dollars and are expected to act as mature adults, while simultaneously playing their best, against top competition. While this is not an excuse for their actions, and it certainly does not justify them, it could explain the high rate of criminal activity in sports. “Broke,” a documentary which aired on ESPN, highlighted professional athletes’ carelessness with their finances. According to the documentary, “by the time they have been retired for two years, 78 percent of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress; within five years of retirement, an estimated 60 percent of former NBA players are broke.” “This glaring statistic indicates how unprepared for the real world these kids are coming out of college. Professional athletes are typically in their mid-20s to early 30s, the age when their bodies are at a physical peak. At this age, athletes’ brains are just finishing development and they are still maturing. It is rare to find a 20-year-old who is ready to be a national celebrity and make millions of dollars. These athletes need guidance and mentors, and it is the leagues’ job to help these athletes and keep them out of trouble.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Meyers

Because of a new academy rule, Ebobisse was unable to play for WJ this year.


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What’s InsideAn insight into the life

A going out guide to local professional and college teams for WJ students

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OCTOBER 28, 2013

Fall All-Pitch Team Compiled by JakeWeinischke

Junior Greg Battle, Football

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Photo by Sarah Schecker

Battle has proven to be a star offensive player ranking first on the team in touchdowns and rushing yards. Senior Ben Meyers, Soccer

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Meyers has offered considerable contributions to boys’ soccer, averaging seven saves per game. Senior Daniel Kosogof, Cross Country

Photo courtesy of Marleen Van Den Neste

Kosogof is one of the fastest runners on the boys’ team, recently placing seventh overall at the County Championship.

Senior Anna Rowthorn-Apel, Field Hockey

of Jeremy Ebobisse a Duke University commit

Sophomore Noah Moss, Golf

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Rowthorn-Apel is once again dominating in her final year at WJ. She’s first on the team in goals by eight points, and is one of the leaders in assists. Senior Alejandra Ramos, Soccer

+

Sports Editor Ben Resnick’s column “Leading Off ” questions today’s role models

Photo courtesy of Richard Payne

Moss was an integral factor all season, recently tying for fourth place at the MCPS Co-ed District Tournament.

Senior Kasey Yamashita, Tennis

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Ramos has fulfilled her role as a senior captain, ranking second on the team in goals and fourth in assists. Junior Kiernan Keller, Cross Country

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Girls’ tennis has a .500 winning percentage, due mainly in part to Yamashita’s contributions. Junior Emily Burk, Volleyball

Photo courtesy of Marleen Van Den Neste

Keller led the girls’ team, recently placing sixth overall with a notable 19:21 time at the County championship.

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Burk currently leads the team in digs and is second in kills, establishing herself as a leader on the girls’ volleyball team. All records as of Oct. 22, 2013

Athlete of the Issue: Itai Bezherano

By JakeWeinischke

The majority of the student population would attribute the words “15 minutes” to showering and getting dressed in the morning, or the various other processes we exercise on a daily basis. However, when junior Itai Bezherano hears those words, it is generally in the context of running three miles. He began running in fifth grade, training for the Pikes Peek 10k. Coming from a relatively athletic family, the 10-year-old Bezherano considered his training to be a fun way to pass time. That was his embarkation on the road to success, which has led him to becoming one of the fastest runners on the boys’ cross-country team. While such a large stride in such little time is mind-boggling, Bezherano achieved this position through numerous steps, gradual progress and, most importantly, hard work. “I just try to take it day-by-day and take something good out of every workout or race,” said Bezherano. Bezherano demonstrates this through his rigorous workout regimen. “In the summer [the cross-country team] usually [likes] to focus on long runs of between eight to 20

miles and hit about 45 miles a week,” he said. He then works to maintain his endurance while increasing his leg speed and anaerobic ability during the season. Bezherano’s diligent work ethic has elicited immense production, clocking at 16:16 in the standard 5k race and an astounding 15:32 for the three mile. No doubt his work ethic is the predominant factor in his success, but the derivation and sustenance of his work ethic can be largely attributed to coach Tom Martin. According to Bezherano, Martin is an inspiration and the best coach in the state of Maryland. “Without him it would be very hard for me to keep doing this sport. Even last year when I tore my glute he remained confident in my ability to recover and continue on the course to success,” said Bezherano. Bezherano and the rest of the cross-country team also has the privilege of

working alongside former state champion and current assistant coach, Ashley St. Dennis, someone who knows what it takes to win. However, Bezherano’s significant strides and tumultuous success have only left him hungry for more. He is not content. As the season progresses, he hopes to break the 16-minute mark in a 5k race in addition to winning the state championship. “My daily goal is just to turn heads… so far it’s been pretty good,” he said. “I’ve managed to stay away from injury so I can’t complain, but there is always room to improve both as a team and as an individual.”

Photo courtesy of Mocorunning

Itai Bezherano pushes the pace early in a race.

Oct. 28 Issue  
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