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The Pitch

Walter Johnson High School

January 11, 2013

Volume 58 Issue 4

6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD 20814

Drawing the freedom out of giving blood FDA places restrictions on blood donations from gay men By Caroline Steel

Smoking Out the Truth The Pitch investigates student smoking culture

“Smoking” found in News, page 4

Picture this: it’s dark out. The silence is pronounced in a way that seems unnatural and immense, unreal and all-encompassing. Even the vague sound of an incoherent voice cannot seem to break through the barrier of quietude. It is an image that pierces the dead air, as an orchestra of red, blue and white lights erupts from around the corner. They dance across the shattered windows and distort the ink-blue night into a place of jutting angles and wavering shadows. In total, the bodies number six: three men, two women and a child that is barely six years old. Each injury is grotesque and unique but all are similar: purple pools of blood glint under the lights of the ambulances and police cars. Visible at the scene are white bandages, grey splints, black bruises, and so, so much red. A bad accident can require up to 100 pints of blood per victim—that’s around 100 times the amount one person will donate. Today, the blood pool is smaller than ever.

“Blood” continued in Editorial, page 8

Dancing from Asia to WJ By Audrey Marek

Photo by Caroline Steel

Creepers: Who could be watching you Social networking sites have potential to foster cyberstalking

By Claudia Nguyen and Izzy Salant

“The entire world can see what you’re posting, and I don’t think people really think of it like that,” said Principal Jennifer Baker. “They feel like it’s more private, even though it’s not.” In the news, more cases of online stalking and harassment are being reported, some escalating to the point of police involvement and teen suicide.

Over the past decade, cyberharassment has come to the forefront as one of the many growing issues that have stemmed from our increased use of technology. With the increased use of social media sites over the past few years, people are putting more and more of their personal information online. “Creepers” continued in News, page 3

Inside, Check Out:

Editorial, pgs. 5-8

Feature, pgs. 9-12

Many aspects of American culture are Asian in origin, including food, religion, art, television and even comic strips. One cultural element that has been steadily growing in America is the song and dance found in Asian pop culture. Most WJ students and teachers are likely aware of the phenomena, known as “Gangnam Style,” that came all the way from South Korea and swept the nation. This single, sung by pop star PSY and accompanied by a well-known dance, has been sung and danced to by all varieties of people in America and WJ over the past few months. This single was only the latest in a long line of Asian songs that have become popular in the United States. WJ has three separate clubs centered around Asian music and dance. The Traditional Asian Dance Association (TADA) is commonly recognized for its use of large fans in performances. The Asian Pop Dance Club and Modern Asian Dance Club are also known for their assembly performances. All the clubs aim to spread the culture and style of the dance and song, and share a love of it.

“Dancing” continued in Arts & Entertainment, page 16

Arts and Ent., pgs. 13-16

Sports, pgs. 17-20


Pitch 2 M FRO Follow the WJ Pitch on Twitter! @TheWJPitch NEWS

NEW! Use the QR Codes to access the full articles!

WJ Gone Gangster

The “ghetto” culture of upper-middle class suburbia “fly,” “swag,” “aight” and “dope,” that are now commonplace among WJ and young people in general. “Aw, dude she is so ratchet,” said one male student Why is this? The emergence of the “ghetto” culture, to his friend, in reference to a minority female student from a logistical standpoint, is who had just passed them in the hallway. She ignored puzzling. Typically, the word them. Casually glancing back, I noticed she was wear- “ghetto” has a negative connoing a black zip up North Face jacket, skinny jeans and tation, often times associated ballet flats, an outfit totally contradictory to the so- with the slums or other poor cially accepted meaning of “ratchet,” which is loosely areas with high crime rates, defined as diva-ish (with no right to be), or ghetto.The gangs and violence... word “ratchet” is among many others, such as “fresh,”

By Megan Chun, Online Editor-in-Chief

Running, Building, Helping: Charity Clubs at WJ By Christine Bersabal & Grace Leslau, Online Feature Co-Editors & Print Assistant Feature Co-Editors Run for a Cause: Doing sports and doing good Run for a Cause is a club that combines athletics with charity. The club was started this year by sophomores Evelyn Kendrix, Hannah Griffin, Katie McGill and Itai Bezerhano and seeks to raise money for charity by running. This year the club will primarily raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project. The Wounded Warriors Project provides aid for soldiers nationwide wounded in combat and their families through support systems, financial aid and public endorsement. “I think the whole idea of being athletic and giving back makes us unique,” said Kendrix. Kendrix, McGill and Bezerhano are on the cross country team and were inspired to contribute to the Wounded Warrior Project when they met a former runner who was hurt in combat and had powered through his injury...

Habitat for Humanity: Helping build homes in the community The Habitat for Humanity club, in association with the international nonprofit organization, helps provide houses to Montgomery County residents in need. After a temporary hiatus, the 25 members this year meet every Monday at lunch in room 111 to plan and discuss future fundraisers and events. The president of the club, senior Samih Karama, has been a part of the Habitat for Humanity organization since middle school. Once he acheived the position as president this year, he was excited to see that his fellow officers, juniors Sydney Litts and Elena Kindy and senior Adam Cohen, all shared a common goal of getting as much of the WJ community involved to help give back to society...

To see full articles and much more, visit

JANUARY 11, 2013


Dear Pitch Readers, This issue, The Pitch focuses largely on oftenoverlooked everyday activities that take place at WJ. We investigate athletic-induced weight loss and cyberharassment, which can pose serious problems to students over time. We also delve into the controversial piercing and smoking cultures. Additionally, in the wake of the tragic Newtown, Conn. shooting, the Editorial section discusses concerns regarding gun control and school security, and speaks to a staff member who has a personal connection to the tragedy. We hope this issue will provide you with new perspectives on serious issues, as well as a bit of light humor, to tide you through exams. We encourage you to keep up to date on all WJ news by reading The Pitch Online at www., following @thewjpitch on Twitter and liking “The WJ Pitch” on Facebook. Sincerely, Print Editors-in-Chief Sari Amiel & Phillip Resnick, and Online Editor-in-Chief Megan Chun

Some corrections from our December issue: Senior Marisa Gilman was left out of the girls’ basketball spotlight. In the “Is it still hipster to be hipster?” article, sophomore Bradley Stein’s name was spelled incorrectly as “Bradley Adam-Stein.” Finally, the “What’s Inside” photo of girls’ basketball was taken by Sarah Schecker.



JANUARY 11, 2013


Creepers: Who could be watching you? “Creepers” continued from page 1 By Claudia Nguyen and Izzy Salant According to a Baltimore Sun article published last April, 15-year-old Grace McComas, a sophomore at Glenelg High School in Howard County, committed suicide as a result of being repeatedly bullied and harassed online. But not all cases are quite as severe. From cyberbullying, which is more common among teens, to its more discrete form of cyberstalking, cyberharassment can be classified as any form of unwanted contact via electronic communications. This past summer, junior Hilarie Sawyer* was repeatedly Facebook messaged by a boy whom she did not know. “He started to chat me more frequently, to the point where it was nightly,” she said. “He started to say hurtful things. He got my phone number and kept texting me, asking me personal questions. I kept telling him to leave me alone, but he didn’t.” Sawyer added that he asked her to meet him several times, but she never accepted. Health teacher Kathleen Carey said that stalking in any form is unhealthy, and this behavior can cause insecurity and paranoia in people who are being stalked. Sophomore Deborah Muskatel and junior Edie Britt* are also victims of cyberstalking, and both admitted to feeling worried as a result. “I never knew if the people went to my school and I was scared,” Muskatel said. Britt added that it made her feel uncomfortable and anxious. “It seems like you’re being watched in your own home,” she said. “You get freaked out and you don’t know how to fix it.” According to the National Stalking Resource Center, the number of reported cyberstalking cases has risen drastically in the past decade. However, many cases, like those of Sawyer, Muskatel and Britt, often go unreported. “A lot of people are afraid to speak up about what happened to them because they don’t want other people to think that they’re a wimp or mistaking compliments for harassment,” said Sawyer. Baker agreed, and said that, although administration deals with cyberharassment issues only a few times a year, she thinks many cases are not brought to the school’s attention because it often remains a private matter between kids and their parents. She added that, for this reason, it is often difficult to handle problems occurring online, even if they happen among students at the school. “One thing we will do, even if we don’t punish


TOP SIX MEDIUMS USED TO CYBERSTALK Email- 32% Facebook- 16% Other Websites- 10.25% (4chan, Tumblr,

Yelp, etc.)

Texting- 7.25% Message boards- 7% Blogs- 4.25% Information from Working to Halt Online Abuse

Photo by Sarah Schecker

people or have any disciplinary actions, is we’ll talk to parents [and] kids,” she said. “Basically, we’ll try to get them to see how hurtful it is, and hopefully, reason prevails.” Many state governments, including the Maryland General Assembly, have created laws and proposed bills in order to prevent more severe forms of online harassment, mostly those dealing with threats. Federal involvement has also become more common as Congress recently passed legislation forbidding companies from creating “cyberstalking apps” for cell phones. Additionally, many individuals are now often taking more precautionary measures to protect their personal information. “Don’t put anything out [on the Internet] that you don’t want anyone [else to see or know],” said Carey. Sawyer said her experience with cyberharassment has caused her to be more careful with who she gives her cell phone number to, and said she no longer accepts Facebook friend requests unless she is absolutely

positive she knows who that person is. However, Muskatel added that she believes it is solely the fault and responsibility of an individual for putting their personal information online in the first place. Even when taking precautionary measures, one can still be at risk for cyberstalking. However, all three cyberharassment victims agreed there are certain methods one can use in situations of cyberstalking. “Use the block feature,” said Muskatel. “It’s your best friend.” Both Sawyer and Britt agreed that blocking is often an effective way to prevent cyberstalking, and Sawyer added that it is important for people to defend themselves if confronted by a cyberstalker. “If it gets really bad, tell someone,” said Sawyer, “but please don’t sit there and take it.” *Name has been changed for confidentiality to protect the student’s identity.

Tweets torment teens

Social networking becomes a gateway for cyberbullying By Megan Chun and Claudia Nguyen

Prince committed suicide after being cyberbullied by some of her classmates. But cyberbullying comes in From Facebook to Twitter, the use of social net- many forms and the consequences aren’t always as exworking sites has skyrocketed over the past decade. treme in nature. Recently, several anonymous Twitter accounts were While they allow people to connect with friends, share photos and keep up with the latest news, there is opened and are currently being used to call out WJ students, although the aca darker side to these websites. With the increasing popular- “I think the creator means counts have become less acity of social networking, a new no harm. In my opinion, tive over the past two weeks. One of the most popular is problem, termed “cyberbullying,” has emerged in recent WJ’s Finest is really funny.” “WJ’s Finest,” with nearly 150 followers. The tweets on years. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, cyberbullying is defined the page reference individual students, mostly juniors, as any form of harassment or intimidation of another often making outrageous allegations, many explicit person through both text messages or internet medi- and sexual in nature. However, there has been a mixed response from those who have been mentioned on the ums, usually occurring among adolescents. Cyberbullying may have serious consequences. page. “I’ve laughed out loud at a lot of their tweets, but In 2010, Massachusetts high school student Phoebe

that’s because I think the creator means no harm,” said junior Sydney Collins. “In my opinion, WJ’s Finest is really funny.” The account previously tweeted an allegation regarding Collins’ personal life. However, she did not take it personally. “I even laughed at the tweet about me,” she added. While some, such as Collins, have found the tweets sarcastic and humorous, others, such as junior Jonathan Karpatkin, have found them malicious and offensive. “I think it’s really cruel,” he said. “People shouldn’t have random lies like that attached to their name.The only humor I see is the sheer outrageousness of these tweets. And I think the account is so popular because of that.”

To read the full article and much more, visit





JANUARY 11, 2013

SGA counts down to Pennies for Patients

By Sari Amiel

After running a number of projects this semester, including the canned food drive, blood drive, toy drive, Hurricane Sandy relief project and Secret Santa, the SGA and leadership class are gearing up for Pennies for Patients in February. “We’ve pretty much blocked out the entire month [of February] already,” said senior SGA President Chris McCurry. “[We’re aiming for] constant bombardment, except for a good cause, in a fun and exciting way.” Currently, the entire leadership class is occupied in preparing for this major annual project. “Our focus is Pennies for Patients because we have large goals for that,” said senior SGA Treasurer Barry Mangold. “Our goal is meeting last year’s total.” According to senior SGA Vice President Ty Glover, the leadership class hopes to raise at least $60,000 in the month-long fundraising campaign. In the fourth period class, students work

to meet the SGA’s goals by splitting up into groups to plan and manage different projects. “We break up into groups of three to four and discuss what comes to mind,” said Mangold. “In terms of scale [on which we carry out the events], it’s kind of a group consensus.” Before forming groups, students suggest ideas for fundraisers and events, some of which are inspired by ones held at other schools. The entire class votes on which events to organize, and then groups prepare project proposals regarding the events. “If [the proposal] gets passed by the class, [we] can move forward with it, and it has to be passed by the administration as well,” said Glover. “Every new project that we do is kind of just to leave a legacy… [and] new projects are designed to bring the community together,” said McCurry. “I would say so far all of [the projects this year] have been successful.”

Photo by Wahid Ishrar

SGA President Chris McCurry, Vice President Ty Glover, Treasurer Barry Mangold and Secretary Andrew Matus get pumped for Pennies for Patients.

Although it did not face major setbacks in carrying out its projects, it is often difficult for the SGA to get students from all grades to participate in fundraisers. “[Our projects have] all been successful; however, some more than others,” said senior SGA Secretary Andrew Matus. “We plan our projects in leadership extensively but sometimes things don’t work out – I Photo by Wahid Ishrar would say as long as The SGA officers gear up for another semester of success. the school is getting taurants, and to have a big event each something out of it, it’s successful.” Next semester, the SGA is planning weekend. “Everything will be the same, just betto include more basketball tournaments ter,” said McCurry. and another Ninja Tag competition, as So far, the SGA has been able to reach well as another blood drive and cloththe lofty goals that it set for itself and ing drive. McCurry also hopes that the the leadership class at the beginning of sense of community in the leadership this year. After working hard all semesclass will remain constant next semester, each member of the SGA has been ter. able to determine whether his experi“[Our goal is to] keep the communience met his expectations. cation up – always be thinking of pos“[Being in the SGA] has been extremesible problems and talk to people about ly rewarding, and has been something I possible solutions before they even hapalways wanted to do in high school,” said pen,” said Mangold.“[I want] to make Glover. WJ a better place.” Mangold was surprised at how many The class plans to keep the winter steps are involved in the planning and dance, video game tournament, rap organization of each project, but thinks battles, Burrito Mile and Flippin Pizza the members of the leadership class lunch fundraisers from last year, but work well together. will brainstorm new activities to get “It’s kind of like a birthday, being in more students involved. This year, Mr. the SGA – you don’t feel any different, and Ms. WJ will be moved to February but you just kind of have a name on so that it generates profits for Pennies you,” said Matus. for Patients. The SGA is also planning to have more fundraisers at local res-

Smoking Out the Truth

Some students light up and unite under common interest

“Smoking” continued from page 1 By Caroline Steel

Smoking is unhealthy—commercials, parents and health class have taught this incessantly. In today’s day and age, few contest the fact that serious risks are associated with cigarettes. However, while many people have voiced their opinions on the topic of smoking, they often ignore the views of the smokers themselves. Smoking is not an unusual occurrence at WJ. In fact, a fair amount of students can be seen with lighters and cigarettes on a daily basis. During lunch, many can be seen beneath the smoking tree or behind Giant. A smoking culture has emerged; it is a uniting force which has the power to bring students together. On the surface, smoking may seem to be merely a bad habit, but it also provides students with something in common. Senior Daniel Uribe, who smokes, said that in his opinion, smoking has developed into a culture. Although students who smoke do not

only make friends with other smokers, it is generally easier for smokers to approach someone if they see them smoking. Because the two have something in common, it is easy to strike up a conversation. “You hand out [cigarettes] to people... smokers are usually really friendly [when] giving [them] out,” said Uribe. While case-by-case instances vary, there is no denying the fact that smokers can relate to other smokers, either due to the act of smoking itself or as a result of other characteristics that smokers share. According to security guard Arnetta Rolling, smokers often form friendships based on their shared interest. Students generally tend to smoke at three main places. The most wellknown is the smoking tree standing on the boundary between WJ and Georgetown Square, but the alley behind the football field and the tables around the office buildings across Rockledge Drive are also visited on a regular basis. Although students who smoke are

generally lumped into one group, there are different levels of involvement, said Uribe. Uribe said that smoking is not really a big factor in his life. “If I wanted to drop it today I could,” he said. In fact, every so often, Uribe said he stops smoking for a period of time just to be sure he is not becoming dangerously addicted. As to its adverse health effects, Uribe said the disgusting images featured in health classes and on cigarette boxes are often hyped-up representations of the truth. He believes that while the images and scary stories may have some validity, such cases are much fewer and farther between than they are made out to be by the media. Even though general public opinion on smoking has been getting steadily more negative throughout the years, some students are nonchalant, if not accepting, of the subject. While degrees of involvement in smoking may vary from student to stu-

dent, smoking has a presence in the WJ community. Some students do not participate in any smoking-related activies, while others only smoke cigarettes. Another group of students may smoke cigarettes in addition to other substances. It is clear to onlookers and smokers alike that to smoke is to be a part of a subculture. Whatever the motive or intention, those small white rolled pieces of paper littered across parking lots and wallowing in gutters provoke a comraderie in smokers’ lives. This activity is not something that merely hurts or helps the lives of students who smoke. Instead, it manifests itself as a commonality linking students who smoke to one another.

Photo by Caroline Steel



JANUARY 11, 2013



CURVEBALL A perfectionist’s experience with teenage angst

By Megan Chun For years on end, my life was the epitome of perfect. Friends, teachers, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, second cousins and everyone in between praised me for my impeccable grades, bright future, endless motivation and a seemingly flawless life. I had everything, and, apparently, I also knew everything. Being a teenager is overhyped, I thought. You’re taller and smarter and you wear bras and you like boys, but everything else is the same as before. I was only halfway through high school and already had it all figured out. But along came junior year and a drop in my grades accompanied a drop in my self-esteem. Suddenly, my views of the world were no longer valid; they seemed elementary and stupid. I

searched for the voice inside of me, but realized I didn’t have one. For years I lived a cookie-cutter life without ever defining myself as an individual. And, as a result, the only thing that defined me was my academic performance and how I lived up to expectations others had of me. While some are able to live happily like this, I sought more in life, whatever that was. I now had days where I felt like I wanted to explode with frustration and break down with sadness, angry at the world, but too busy wallowing in my despair to talk to other human beings. So instead, I tried to find solace in movies. Yes, Anne Hathaway, I too am miserable. I dreamed a dream that I would know exactly who I was in life and school society, as a teen, a daughter

stressing about grades (to an extent that was reasonably possible for a perfectionist), plowed the high expectations out of my head and occasionally skipped a homework assignment. Whereas a ‘Z’ on Edline would have made me hyperventilate during freshman or sophomore year, I now smiled as I watched my overall grade plummet .08 percent. I also made changes in my personal appearance; I went from two piercings to seven in five months and my wardrobe shifted from happy, pink and purple tones, colors of a beautiful sunset, to black, grey and navy, the remnants of a punch in the face. I slowly began to find myself taking risks, and enjoying the rush of adrenaline when I did so. For the first time in my life, I was angsty. But one day I came to terms with the fact that I could no longer continue my “new and improved” lifestyle to its fullest extent. I still planned to go to college, so I forced myself to stop slacking off. I also and a friend, but instead I had nothing realized that if I continued dressing the to show for myself except a transcript way I was, I could actually turn into a and a shelf of trophies and certificates Taylor Momsen look-alike.Yikes. from graduating elementary and middle To this day, I have made a compromise. school. I keep my grades up, but don’t let myI adopted the mindset that I would do self flip out when they drop. I have rethings I would never have done before, instated color into my closet, but dress in an attempt to “find” myself. I stopped the way I want to, not the way someone

Suddenly, my views of the world “ were no longer valid; they seemed elementary and stupid.

would expect. My mood still takes an occasional swing, but I have returned to the land of emotional stability. However, some things haven’t changed at all, even throughout my period of teenage angst. I’m still a quiet person. I still hate change. But I feel rejuvenated. By eliminating the outside forces, I was able to key in on myself. You may read this and think it was an utter waste of time, but that’s okay. I don’t really care.

Cartoon by Caroline Steel

Many teenagers have an angel and a devil constantly battling in their heads as they cope with both emotional and physical change.

The end of an era: Jersey Shore concludes final season

ByWahid Ishrar “Jersey Shore,” the show that dominated the minds of viewers and critics all across the country, has finally concluded. The constant supply of booze, the unending parties, the hookups and the overall recklessness of the cast caused many Americans to deem the show an abomination that has tainted the minds of our youth. This argument is somewhat credible; adolescents have a way of being influenced, especially by the media. People who are exposed to hours of carelessness and disregard for ethics are bound to integrate what they have seen into their own behavior. In a time when young people are trying to define who they are, it is tempting to explore new dimensions, ranging from the blowout of Pauly DelVecchio to Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s outrageous slippers. However, underneath the surface of this “abomination,” the show has the potential to teach viewers about critical components of life. For one, it can teach our youth what not to do, if they don’t want to end up working in a T-shirt shop for the rest of their lives. But, more importantly, through each distinct mem-

ber of the cast, the show sends a pure message. First, the show has taught me about the value of friendship. Paul “Pauly” DelVecchio and Vincent “Vinny” Guadagnino did not know each other until the beginning of season one. In the end, they established an unbreakable bond, one that withstood six seasons of drama. They never fought once and always stood up for each other. When Vinny was depressed in season five, Pauly assisted him in his move back home, instead of accusing Vinny of leaving him. When Vinny returned, the tears in both of their eyes were evident, proof that their friendship withstood the test of distance and time. Through Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Samantha “Sammi” Giancola, I learned that true love does work out, and you always end up with the one you’re meant to be with. Starting with the constant bickering from the second day of their relationship, they were falling down a steep hill. From walking out on each other to throwing beds out of windows, this relationship has seen it all. In season three, when Sam left the house after Ron’s rage got out of hand, there was a sense of finality. However,

her love for Ron pulled her back as she returned to the house toward the end of the same season. They worked on mending their tumultuous relationship, and since then have been on the right path, with no major altercation in the two final seasons. Jenni “Jwoww” Farley has taught me to stand up for what I believe in, no matter what risks are involved. She sacrificed her friendship with Ron to tell Sam the truth about his infidelity. She stood up for herself against her boyfriend Tom Lippolis when he threatened to steal her things from her house and burn them. She stood up to all the guys in the house for bullying her friend Snooki. And, in the end, she showed me that truth and honesty and courage always prevail. Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino taught me that determination always pays off. Out of the roommates, he was the most disliked by all the others. Whether it was because of his annoying personality or his constant need for attention, by the end of season five, everybody had had enough. He realized this, and in the final season, he did little things like cook dinner or buy gifts for other roommates and, in the final epi-

sode, there was no more tension in the house regarding him. Lastly, the meatballs, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Deena Nicole Cortese, taught me to be myself, and not to have regrets. I will admit that I do not admire many of their actions. From being drunk all day and night to purchasing stripper poles as a practical joke, to falling over backwards while bowling, these girls explored all shades of crazy during the show’s run. But underneath the crazy was the most pure message in the show: be who you want to be, and don’t give in to society’s pressures. Even though the means of communicating these messages might not have been the most appropriate, “Jersey Shore” conveyed these messages in a way that was entertaining for our generation to watch. As it ends, I, and I hope some other people, are better and more experienced because of the show. Background picture: The cast of ‘Jersey Shore’. Left to right: Samantha “Sammi” Giancola, Ronnie Ortiz Magro, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Jenni “Jwoww” Farley, Deena Nicole Cortese, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Paul “Pauly” DelVecchio andVincent “Vinny” Guadagnino. Photo Courtesy of © Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.





JANUARY 11, 2013

Up Bat at

Brandon Tennyson Junior

“[I am most excited to see] ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ because the story seems very interesting and, on the news, they didn’t explore the perspective of the soldiers, so that will be interesting to see.”

Movies like “Skyfall,” “The Dark Night Rises” and “The Hunger Games” recieved a lot of hype in 2012. This is set to continue into 2013, with an array of long-awaited movies already scheduled to be released. The Pitch asked students what movies they are anticipating the most.

Yasmeen Byrnes


“[I am most excited to see] ‘Les Misérables,’ because I really like the music. WJ’s production was also very good, so I am excited to see what they do with the movie.”

Q: What movie are you most excited for in 2013 and why?

Melissa Harari

Gustavo Guevara



“[I am most excited to see] ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ because the ‘Hunger Games’ books are my life and the first movie was amazing. And... Josh Hutcherson.”

“[I am most excited to see] ‘Man of Steel’ because Christopher Nolan is co-writing it, so I know it will be awesome.”

Jon Ohlrich

Sarah Kosterlitz



“[I am most excited to see] ‘Iron Man 3.’ The last movie was pretty interesting, and, also, I expect this one to be action-packed.”

“[I am most excited to see] ‘Scary Movie 5’ because the Wayans brothers are hilarious and their jokes never fail to crack me up.”

Morgan Grizzle

Dmytro Mikhnev



“[I am most excited to see] ‘Grown “[I am most excited to see] ‘The Hunger Ups 2’ because the cast is filled with Games: Catching Fire’ because this is one funny actors and actresses and the first of the only book series that I’ve read. movie was hilarious. I am hoping it will Plus, Jennifer Lawrence has an appealing be different from any other comedy physique.” movie, like the first one was.” Editors-in-Chief Sari Amiel Phillip Resnick Megan Chun* News Editors Claudia Nguyen Izzy Salant* Caroline Steel* Asst. News Editor Izzy Salant Editorial Editors Nathaniel Rees Dashel Lewis* Asst. Editorial Editor Wahid Ishrar Feature Editors Ellie Jorling

Asst. Feature Editors Christine Bersabal* Grace Leslau* Arts & Entertainment Editor Emily Cosentino Sabrina Clarke* Asst. Arts & Ent. Editor Audrey Marek Sports Editors Ian Morrison Ben Resnick* Asst. Sports Editor Ben Resnick



All photos by Wahid Ishrar

The Pitch is published eight times a year by the students of Walter Johnson High School, 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 and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff, faculty or student body. We welcome letters, articles, photographs and artwork, to be submitted to room 193 or e-mailed to The Pitch is an award-winning paper that works towards providing the student body with accurate, as well as credible, information. Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Medalist 2009

Maryland HS Journalism Award Best Newspaper Overall Third Place 2009-2010

American Scholastic Press Association First Place 2010-2011

Photo Editors Wahid Ishrar Emily Cosentino Photographers Sarah Schecker Hope Marshall Cartoonists Caroline Steel Sarah Chipman Advisor Sylvie Ellen Copy Editors Sari Amiel Megan Chun

Business/PR Manager Claudia Nguyen Head Staff Writer

Anders Norberg

Staff Writers JJ Henn Michael Lumbuku Melissa Wainaina Hope Marshall *Online Editors



JANUARY 11, 2013


By Phillip Resnick

On Friday, Dec. 14 at 9:30 a.m. I was in the Media Center preparing for my senior project presentation. There was an English class of about 30 students learning how to access noodletools, a few other students and some teachers who had off periods in the Media Center. All of us were minding our own business, doing our own busy work and not concerning ourselves with anything other than the image on our screen and our neighbor’s loud typing. On Friday Dec. 14 at 9:30 a.m., Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. and began to mercilessly murder 26 students and teachers before taking his own life. Teachers battled the gunman to the death to protect their students,


Unaddressed issue of school safety needs to be fixed

and students hid in closets and behind open lunch and the time between class- home security systems to protect a small desks trying to evade the killer. While es, there are hundreds of students con- family, yet there is little to deter people I adjusted my headphones and tried to centrated in very small hallways. Given who want to enter a school building work on my Powerpoint, Sandy Hook the availability of semi-automatic weap- containing thousands of people. I don’t principal Dawn Hochsprung tried to ons on the open market, it is a miracle care if they have a semi-automatic gun put out a code red to her school and that the largest school shooting in the or a pair of scissors; we need to prioridied trying to fend off the armed assail- country’s history had only 26 victims. tize our school’s security over everyant that had just entered her You can say that almost thing else. school. every school shooter is Since the Sandy Hook shootings, WJ It is a scary reality that characterized has made some steps in the something like this could as a maniac who right direction, including happen at a school. School is has been able to locking all exterior doors, Full time The number supposed to be a safe place access weapons but there are definitely still where you can worry about too easily, but security guards some major flaws with our of students what the answer is to probyou can also say school’s security systems. lem number four on your enrolled at WJ that about every employed at WJ For one, in my four years math test instead of worryshooter that has as a student, we have never this year ing about getting shot. Yet committed a had a practice lockdown school shootings occur all murder, be it at a school or drill at lunch, the time that our campus too often around the country. on the side of Rockville Pike.The bigger is the most vulnerable to a major attack. In the immediate aftermath of the issue with school shootings is that these According to Nicole Morgan, the Sandy Hook shootings, people all over people have such easy access to school administrator in charge of coordinatthe country began harping about gun buildings. Adam Lanza didn’t shoot off ing lockdown procedures, if there were control. Although I believe that certain a padlock to enter Sandy Hook Elemen- to be an attack, the campus would be modifications need to be made to gun tary; instead, he walked right into the secured, leaving all students that went laws, there is a bigger issue that contin- building. At Columbine H i g h to Georgetown Square or Montgomues go unaddressed all over the country; School, which has a stud e n t ery Mall off campus and out of harm. WJ has an On-Site Emergency Team (OSET), headed by Principal Jennifer Dec. 14 2012 - Adam Lanza, Baker and made up of other members of age 20, fatally shot 20 children Worst school shootings and six adults at Sandy Hook the WJ staff and building services, which Elementary School. in the event of an attack is activated in in America order to initiate procedures to ensure April 2007- Student Seung-Hui the safety of staff and students. Morgan Cho killed 32 people and wounded 15 others at Virginia Tech, making acknowledged that trying to lock down it the worst mass shooting in the the campus during lunch is difficult, but United States after 2000. stated that, with the proper procedures, April 20, 1999- Two students, Eric the school can be safely and effectively Harris and Dylan Klebold, shot and locked down, even at lunch. killed 12 students and one teacher, and then committed suicide at The scary truth is that no matter how Columbine High School. many security measures we put into place, if somebody really wants to get into our school building to cause harm, they will find a way to do so. The only the lack of school security. population of nearly 1700, thing we can do is make sure our buildBefore Dec. 17, 2013, anyone could the only armed security guard the ing is as secure as possible and be prewalk into WJ through a number of en- school had was in another part of the pared. trances completely undeterred. Espe- building when Eric Harris and Dylan cially in times of “controlled chaos,” as Klebold opened fire on their classmates. some would describe it, which include People lock their doors and install


Photo by Emily Cosentino



Photo Courtesy of © Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Newtown shooting hits home with WJ staff member In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, The Pitch decided to interview journalism advisor Sylvie Ellen. Ellen grew up in Newton, Conn. and, with close ties to the families of Newtown and the tragedy itself, she gives her personal input on the effect of one of the largest school shootings in U.S. history. The Pitch: Do you still know people in the area?

SE: I happened to check my phone at the end of the day of the shooting and I had 45 new messages. I was Sylvie Ellen: I have friends’ parents who are or were shocked… as the day progressed I called my mom and teachers [at Sandy Hook]. [I also] have friends who all she was upset, which made me upset. live in the area. President Obama was speaking from my high school auditorium, which was very weird. TP: How do feel about the Sandy Hook shooting from a political standpoint? TP:What elementary school did you go to? How is it connected to Sandy Hook? SE: It’s hard for something like this not to turn political and it’s hard to ignore. If something good can come SE: I went to Hawley Elementary School. Four ele- from this, it’s that people will be more aware of the mentary schools fed into Newton Middle School, in- issues related to gun control and mental health in our cluding Sandy Hook. country. [However], fear cannot run our lives. TP: How did the Sandy Hook shooting affect you TP: What are your thoughts on the misinterpretapersonally? tion of information by the media?

SE: As a journalism teacher, [I know] there is an upside and downside to social media and the 24 hour news cycle. We were able to find out [the shooting] was happening, but social media also perpetuate rumors, which causes fear. TP: In the aftermath, how did you, your family and your friends cope with the tragedy? SE: I did not watch the news all weekend. I listened to music instead of NPR on my way to work. Listening to the name of my town in relation to this tragedy was too much.





JANUARY 11, 2013

Students should show more support for S*T*A*G*E By Anders Norberg

Rees’s Pieces By Nathaniel Rees

We need to stop the madness. The madness that left 12 slain at a neighborhood movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and the madness that caused the premature death of 20 innocent children in Newtown, Conn. The madness of mass shootings in the U.S. It is shameful that gun control becomes an important topic of debate only after a massacre. And it’s even more shameful that these mass killings happen so often. When these shootings occur, we discuss the shock and horrible scope of the tragedy over the dinner table, and then the horror begins to fade away into the back of our minds, and the tragedy of gun violence becomes, once again, a tragedy of the inability to create necessary gun laws. And everything goes back to “normal.” But how can we describe America as normal, when 20 children were mercilessly shot multiple times to death by a psychopath? How can America be “normal,” when a student slaughters 32 students at Virginia Tech before committing suicide? “Normal” is tragically unacceptable. In 2010, there were 11,078 gun homicides in America. In contrast, Britain had only 58 homicides. Here, we would consider that a statistic for a month of homicides in the city of Chicago. What explains the difference? The difference cannot be blamed on America’s gun-loving culture; you will find the rural population’s love of guns in Britain quite similar to the love of guns and hunting in America. And Britain has the same social ills that America has: racial strife, poverty, mental illness and crime all exist in Britain as well as in America. No, the monumental difference lies in Britain’s stance on gun control. Britain recognizes the obvious distinction between a hunting rifle and a semiautomatic firearm. Most handguns are banned. All automatic and semi-automatic weapons are banned, including the kinds of firearms used in Aurora, Virginia Tech and Newtown. The monumental difference also lies in the immense power of the NRA, whose Chief Wayne LaPierre believes that the best way to prevent future school shootings is to place armed guards inside schools. Never mind taking the guns away from the psychopaths. Just fight guns with more guns. Stay paranoid. This year, though, it is time for America to say: “no more.” No more drafted and then forgotten gun control bills wallowing amidst the dust. No more speeches, no more skirting around the subject. We don’t want talk, we need action- and we need it now. Politicians and citizens must have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby. They must do it for all those slain, for the safety of the kids and for all the families torn apart by mass shootings. They must do it so that 11,078 more Americans will see the ball drop when the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, 2014.

For the past three years I have been a part of every S*T*A*G*E production at WJ. As is the custom with many other teams and clubs, we put in plenty of practice and hard work. Every day, all members in the production go to the auditorium and put in several hours of rehearsal, consisting of anywhere from six to 15 hours in a regular week and sometimes even up to 38 hours during the week of opening night, also known as “hell week.” While this work is always worth it, sometimes it feels a bit disheartening to know that the student body still ignores the posters and constant announcements for the shows. Last year’s production of “Les Miser-

Photo courtesy of Joe McCary

A poster for WJ’s “Noises Off,” the fall play performed by WJ S*T*A*G*E.

ables” was the first time a S*T*A*G*E production sold out the 1,100 seat auditorium since its renovation was completed over five years ago. This was an amazing achievement for S*T*A*G*E. However, during this year’s fall play, “Noises Off,” we barely had a third of the auditorium filled on our busiest night. This is disappointing because many other schools in the county sell out their shows every night.That’s right, every single night they have a full house. Most of the student body doesn’t seem to appreciate it, but WJ has an amazing theater department. We have resources in the fields of technology, acting ability and directing. Those who have seen the shows can vouch for this. It is truly sad that we can almost never get a full house unless we perform a popular, well-known show. I am aware that “Les Miserables” is a critically acclaimed and widely appreciated musical and that musicals are more popular because they are well-known by the community. However, the point of theatre shouldn’t be to watch something you know about or to see something you’ve already seen, but rather to watch a completely new story and an entirely different production. Some of the common arguments against seeing a show are that people are either too busy or the ticket price is too expensive. Each production is shown for four nights, two Fridays and two Saturdays. While it isn’t impossible, the likelihood of someone being busy all four nights is unrealistic; plenty of

Photo courtesy of Joe McCary

The cast and crew of the play Noises Off.

people are able to see this show and yet decide not to utilize this tremendous opportunity anyway. When it comes to price, our tickets generally range from $10 to $15. This may seem expensive; however, this is about the price people pay for lunch at G-Square for a week, so for someone to say it is too expensive just seems ludicrous. The reason these prices need to be so high is because the quality of our performance requires materials for the set, lights, costumes, props and microphones. The price tag for the production of “Les Miserables” was over $10,000, so the $15 ticketprice is reasonable. While I can’t force people to see the shows we put on here at WJ, I strongly urge everyone to see at least one night, because you’ll never know how lucky you are to have such an amazing theatre department at your school unless you’ve experienced its productions yourself.

Drawing freedom out of giving blood FDA places restrictions on blood donations from gay men

“Blood” Continued from page 1 By Caroline Steel It’s for that exact reason that the existing FDA ban on MSM (Males having Sex with Males) donors is so irrevocably illogical. The U.S. blood supply has hit a 15-year low, and with agencies such as the Red Cross down 10 percent in donations, the current ban is not only illogical, but also potentially harmful to patients across the country awaiting transfusions. In 1983, when the ban was initiated, a country deeply afraid of the deadly AIDS disease took actions as the death number climbed high. By 1991, out of the 206,563 reported cases, there had been 156,143 deaths. The CDC estimated the number of infected Americans at one million. People were terrified. But it’s now 2013. assures the public that all donors are pre-screened for a risk of HIV before giving, and insists that all blood is tested and “safely discarded” if found to be infected. With such a thorough system so radically different to the frantic methods in place in during the late 1900s, chances have become slim that HIV will be injected into the blood supply.

It seems as though politics are affecting blood and, with it, the health of the American population. Obviously, at the start, there was cause for the ban: screening wasn’t adequate and the death toll was horrifying. Today the reasons are somewhat different: a subtle but still pronounced prejudice is tainting the donation process and with it the

accusing the U.S. government of racism. Just to be sure, notes that gay and bisexual men “of all races” are of higher risk, as if trying to say that the government doesn’t discriminate all the time. The ban is simply deepening entrenched stereotypes about homosexuals through its blind and outdated notions. It needs to be brought to the table as a real, controversial issue. Too many people are unaware of a decree that hurts not only censored donors, but also the people in desperate need of blood. According to a study conducted by the Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, 89,000 donations could have been added to the blood supply last year if gay donors Photo by Wahid Ishrar were allowed to give blood a minimum A doctor takes blood from a WJ student. The doctor cannot legally take blood from gay of one year after the last time they had sex. On average, every two seconds an students. American will be in need of a blood minds of Americans. transfusion. Donations are declining, Ignorance dictates this ban as it is to- and politically-motivated restrictions day, not common sense. Consider it this only contribute to that statistic. way: if another minority group—such Today, with the stakes rising, such hate as African Americans or Hispanics— becomes irrelevant and superfluous. were to be banned from donating, there Blood is life. And when fewer people is almost no question about the intense are allowed to donate, ultimately, fewer debate that surely would be sparked. will receive. From every corner, questions would fly



JANUARY 11, 2013


National Board Certification:


Teachers earn external recognition for job well done

From left clockwise: National Board Certified ESOL teacher Suzan Borno helps her students at lunch. History teacher Fred Delello, who was Board Certified in 2005, works with senior Kima Sluchansky. Board Certified teacher Rebecca McGaffin talks to her DH, junior Sergio Gabaudan.

All photos by Wahid Ishrar

By Grace Leslau While teachers must evaluate students regularly on their performance and achievements, teachers too can face a test of the quality of their teaching. National Board Certification is a way for teachers to reflect on their own teaching ability and demonstrate their high level of qualification as instructors. In order to obtain National Board Certification, teachers have to go through a grueling process. The process involves four portfolio entries designed for teachers to critique their teaching performance. One of the four portfolios is an essay accompanied by a student’s work.The other two portfolios consist of videos of a teacher’s interaction with students, along with reflection on these videos, and one document with evidence of a teacher’s accomplishments outside the classroom. Teachers are also required to take a test that assesses their knowledge on their subject. The test is strictly timed and can prove challenging because it tests a teacher’s knowledge on everything within the scope of his or her field. The certification is a learning process that allows teachers to work to improve their own teaching methods. “It helps you understand your own teaching styles,” said history teacher Fred Delello, who obtained his certification in 2005. “You learn how you as a teacher can improve in helping students learn.” Science teacher Rebecca McGaffin obtained her National Board Certification in 2002. Although the certification was time-consuming, the experience was valuable. “It really helped me reflect on what I am doing,” she said. “You are thinking about how you teach.”

Infographic by Grace Leslau

This year, McGaffin will have to go through a recertification process. This involves a reflection that proves the teacher is still utilizing strategies and standards of the National Board to improve her teaching. The recertification process also helps teachers develop new methods to educate students and promote more interaction between students and teachers in a more active learning process. “Teaching is not just showing up and handing out worksheets,” she said. National Board certified teachers belong to a listserv and attend conferences where teachers can share ideas about advancing education nationwide. In Montgomery County, there is a sup-

port system of teachers working toward a certification. These teachers can help each other and edit each other’s portfolios. Time management is crucial for teachers looking to be National Board certified. The extensive amount of work required, combined with the strain of teaching, discourages some teachers. However, the rewards of board certification are numerous. “By becoming board-certified, it has truly helped me think about what objectives I write on the board each day and how I am held accountable to ensure that the objectives are met,” said National Board certified ESOL teacher Suzan Borno.

The county does have a support group, and the National Board offers a salary increase to certified teachers, but the certification is a lot of work and is very time-consuming. “It would be conducive for potential NBPTS candidates to receive more time to work on the portfolio by receiving more professional days,” said Borno. The No Child Left Behind Act created a strict and narrow definition of a highly qualified teacher. The act defined a highly qualified teacher as an individual who is licensed by the state, holds a bachelor’s degree and is competent in the subject he or she teaches. However, this definition leaves little room for improvement and can be thought to diminish the meaning of the term “highly qualified,” since it implies that a good teacher simply fulfills prerequisites but does little to improve the quality of education. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) seeks to recognize teachers who are not simply qualified but are “highly effective” in their instruction. They have five Core Propositions that measure the quality of teachers. These propositions seek to ensure that teachers are committed to teaching, are knowledgeable about the subjects they teach, monitor student progress, reflect on their own skills and shortcomings and are members of a learning community. National Board Certification encourages teachers to fulfill these standards and acknowledges their accomplishment once they do.





“The Apple”

JANUARY 11, 2013

Winter One

Written by Jimmy Brunelle Directed by Lital Firestone Cast: Moonshot: Margot Cohen Understudy: Katrina Young

Rope: Matthew Khor Understudy: Ashley House

Janitor/Mime: Talia Skolnik Understudy: Julieta Gozalo-Michaud

Elvis/Moocher: Ben Simon Understudy: Mandy Spiwak

Mona: Sarah Taylor Ebee: Julieta Gozalo-Michaud

Cally: Mandy Spiwak Sisky: Ashley House

Synopsis: This burlesque skit is about the farce perception of art, the way in which people look at the concept of art and the aesthetic appeal that it holds. An apple is set to symbolize the art everyone likes and finds so much meaning in, but in reality it is just a simple apple. This One Act has the largest cast, consisting of a janitor, a mime, a peculiar kid and an Elvis impersonator.

Curly: Katrina Young

The Winter One Acts will be performed on Friday and Saturd

From left: senior Matthew Khor, junior Julieta Gozalo-Michaud and sophomore Ashley House practice a scene with costumes and props for “The Apple.”

Freshman Ben Simon and junior Talia Skolnik rehearse a dialogue.

“Plaza Suite:Visitor from Forest Hills” Written by Neil Simon Directed by Felice Amsellem

Cast: Norma: (Double Cast) Ivanna Barrientos and Chopper Carter-Schelp Roy: (Double Cast) Josh Beede and William Combs Synopsis: Mimsey is getting married and her parents, Roy and Norma, are very happy for her. However, instead of being excited, Mimsey, in a fit of nervousness, locks herself in the bathroom, and her parents have to cajole her into attending her wedding.

Junior Ivanna Barrientos and freshman Josh Beede rehearse a scene for “Plaza Suite: Visitor from Forest Hills.”

Junior William Combs and sophomore Chopper Carter-Schelp practice their parts for the One Act play.

After a two-year hiatus, WJ S*T*A*G*E’s W Saturday, Jan. 12 at seven p.m.This year, seniors and Nell Quinn-Gibney are each directing app plays, featuring WJ students. All of the direct productions in some way, either through acting members have never been in a main stage prod “We created a rule that would bring in new S in a main stage production in the past, you we Hamel, director of “The Mystery at Twicknam V This opened up the pool of actors auditionin ten did not know their casts personally before Nightmare” director Quinn-Gibney, was actual “I didn’t know most of [the actors] before th because they got to know me as a director rathe “There are definitely always challenges. In prev ting other actors to listen to me [and] to take has their own ideas. But with this group, it’s b they’re great at listening and paying attention a The most difficult part of the process, acco Whether it was searching for hours and hours o ing for theater teacher Colleen MacAdory’s hel Directing, as opposed to acting, was a new f This new experience, though a challenge, has b “Directing, in my opinion, is just as fun as a terpret all of the characters in the way that I se Apple.” “I can also work with people to build a [n blocking and stage directions, so I got to create characters.” Though the directors are not necessarily the o still are acting behind the scenes. “As a director, you’re basically doing the actin how to act out certain things,” said Felice Amse est Hills.” “They’re taking your teachings and ac



JANUARY 11, 2013

e Acts Preview

day Jan. 11-12 in the WJ auditorium.

By Ellie Jorling and MelissaWainaina



“The Actor’s Nightmare”

Written by Christopher Durang Directed by Nell Quinn-Gibney


Synopsis: An accountant has a nightmare that he is backstage during a show. The stage manager runs up to the accountant and tells him that he has to replace the lead actor, who has been in a car accident. However, the accountant doesn’t know where he is, who he is, who the other actors are or what play they’re performing.

 (Double Cast) Nickolaus Marek Liya Lachovizer Sarah:
 (Double Cast) Leanna Taylor Yuval Luger

 (Double Cast) Kristen Perera Julia Souza Ellen:
 (Double Cast) Hannah Wilcove Minjee Kim

All photos by Sarah Schecker

Winter One Acts are back on Friday, Jan. 11 and Junior Nickolaus Marek and freshman s Felice Amsellem, Lital Firestone, Sarah Hamel Julia Souza rehearse a scene. proximately 15 to 20 minute One Act comedic tors have already participated in S*T*A*G*E g or on stage crew. However, many of the cast duction. S*T*A*G*E members…if you had been a lead Written by David Ives ere not allowed to try out [for One Acts],” said Directed by Sarah Hamel Vicarage.” ng to be in each of the casts. The directors ofthe start of rehearsals, which, for “The Actor’s Synopsis: lly a good thing. A man has been killed at a dinner party he [start of the One Acts] so that made it easier that is hosted by a reverend and his wife, nobody knows who committed the er than as a classmate first,” said Quinn-Gibney. and crime. A plucky young inspector tries to vious shows I’ve directed, I’ve had trouble get- figure out who committed this murder. me seriously because everyone in the process The One Act is a mockery of British Masbeen really good. They’ve been very respectful, terpiece Theater murder mysteries. and they’ve put a lot of effort into the show.” ording to the directors, was finding their plays. on Google, looking at the public library or asklp, it certainly was no small task. field for most of the directors of the One Acts. been enjoyable for all of them. acting, but I like directing because I get to inee them,” said Lital Firestone, director of “The new] person. My script actually [had] very little a whole new story with my ideas and re-create

Senior director Nell Quinn-Gibney (right) oversees (from left) sophomore Yuval Luger, junior Liya Lachovizer and sophomore Kristen Perera as they act out a scene.

“The Mystery at Twicknam Vicarage” Cast: Dixie: Nina Banerji Jeremy: Adam Rarey

Sarah: Danya Firestone Understudy: Celina Shih Mona: Carly Meyers Understudy: Sierra Jarcy

Roger: Marek Haar

ones on the stage during the performances, they

ng, because you’re teaching your cast members ellem, director of “Plaza Suite: Visitor from Forcting them out.”

Senior Sarah Hamel directs as sophomore Danya Firestone and freshman Adam Rarey practice a scene from “The Mystery at Twicknam Vicarage.”

From left: Freshman Adam Rarey and Marek Haar rehearse a scene with junior Nina Banerji.





JANUARY 11, 2013

Ninja Tag incites schoolwide paranoia

By Christine Bersabal

The popular schoolwide game Ninja Tag came back this year, adding a healthy dose of chaos to the hallways. A total of 45 freshmen, 33 sophomores, 36 juniors and 95 seniors signed up the week before Thanksgiving break, all set to win the pride and glory of being the stealthiest student at WJ. This year, organizers of the game, seniors Georgie Carter, Michael Kirchner, Sasha Marshack and Rachel Wang, decided to split the game into upper and underclassmen to avoid a long monotonous game where freshmen were potentially too intimidated to tag seniors. “Each of us took a grade and [was] tasked with finding [the participants] on Facebook and adding them to a group where information was held,” said Kirchner. Participants were assigned to tag their “target,” another student, by clearly saying the phrase “hasta la vista,” meaning “see you later” in Spanish. However, there cannot be any witnesses of the tagging. In addition, a student may tag someone they suspect is their hit man by saying “sayonara,” the Japanese word for “goodbye.” “[Ninja Tag] gives students something to keep their mind off school,” said Kirchner. “It makes the school day more interesting. In addition it makes stalking fun and less creepy for all those who love to do it.”

This year, many new rules were added. In previous rounds, the game would often stall out because students did not feel the need to immediately tag their target. For this round, students must have made a tag by the end of the week or else be automatically eliminated, and the “sayonara” counter tag could be made even with witnesses. “One of the main difficulties, for the underclassmen group at least, was people not knowing what constituted as a witness,” said Carter. “I would get messages from the two people involved saying, ‘Someone tried to tag me but there were tons of people around so it shouldn’t count’ and then the other person would say, ‘I tagged this person and there weren’t any people around’ so it was hard to take sides because I didn’t know who was telling the truth.” After resolving a few discrepancies over the presence of witnesses, the winner of the upperclassmen was decided: senior Matthew Skay. He admits to have only tagged one person by running into him alone in the hallway and having another student sacrifice himself for Skay to advance to the next round. As for the winner of the underclassmen, sophomore Sam Jacobson kept a low profile and did not tell anyone else his targets. Though she did not win, senior Amy Caplon is proud of having had the most tags. Caplon tagged a total of 12 people. “As weird as this sounds, sometimes

Infographic by Christine Bersabal

I had to stalk the people I had and get their schedule,” said Caplon. “Also, I would walk around during lunch to see where they sat, but I had to make sure that they did not suspect that I had them or they could have counter-attacked me.” Another round of Ninja Tag is expected in February to raise money for Pennies for Patients.This time, students will

have to pay a small sign-up fee as a donation, but will earn a prize if declared the winner. Kirchner expects more participants from students who have seen their friends play and now want to join. “The thing that makes Ninja Tag enjoyable is that everyone gets so into it and [becomes] paranoid,” said Caplon.

Johnson Thomas, pictured above in a 1999 newspaper article at the house, has many great memories of her childhood home.



JANUARY 11, 2013

Under the Needle:



Self-piercings in the student body By Selma Stearns

Ear, nose and navel piercings are desired by many students at WJ. They can wait until they meet the requirements of a professional tattoo or piercing parlor, but the easier and cheaper option is to get pierced by a fellow student or to pierce themselves. Sophomore Krista Smith-Hanke pierced her own ear lobes five times and she knows many students who have pierced or have been pierced by other students. Smith-Hanke isn’t bothered by these unsanitary practices. She thinks that, if it’s done carefully and cleanly, then there is no problem circumventing traditional piercing options. However, she herself wouldn’t have her nose or bellybutton pierced by another student. Hannah Cherry, a 2007 WJ graduate,

Top Photo: Sophomore Monica Shomali’s navel piercing. Bottom Photo: Junior Bela Cunha-Benjamin’s nose piercing.

is the piercing manager at Fatty’s Tattoo in D.C. At Fatty’s, Cherry does not pierce any body part other than earlobes on people under 18. This was not the case when she was in high school at WJ, where she used to pierce other students all the time. “I’m pretty ashamed of it now actually,” said Cherry. “I don’t tell many people.” There are many dangers involved in self-piercing, such as the risk of contracting MRSA, a staphylococcus germ that is not responsive to first-line antibiotics, according to an article published on NIH’s website. Using unsterilized equipment can lead to AIDS and other diseases, which can result in death. Teenagers can become infected because they do not have access to proper sterilization techniques, such as an autoclave machine or a special gas that is only available to professionals. Cherry said teenagers feel that if they have had a successful experience with self-piercing previously, they assume that all future experiences will be similar. However, they don’t know the risks involved. If a piercing gets infected, the infection can travel to other places via the bloodstream and a true infection requires antibiotics and a doctor’s visit. Obstacles can discourage teens from getting pierced safely and professionally. In Maryland, the minimum requirement is that teens must bring their parent or legal guardian if they are under 16 years old. Price is also a factor. “It’s probably because they don’t want to pay for it,” said Smith-Hanke. “They

pay each other, but not nearly as much as it costs professionally.” Since the Maryland House Bill 45 passed in 2009, it is illegal for a minor to receive a piercing without parental consent. There must be a document signed by the parent or guardian of a minor wishing to get a body piercing. This doesn’t guarantee that all minors will be serviced at all shops. For example, at Pop’s, they do not pierce anything on minors. “[A lot of tattoo shops in Maryland] object to piercing anyone under 16 for moral or personal reasons,” said Cherry. Cherry said that it is up to the individual teenager to decide whether to pierce themselves or to have it done by a friend. “I know from a very young age [that] I just wanted a ton of piercings,” she said. “I always loved them, and I felt like I truly needed them. It was a really strong urge for me.” The laws can cause minors to resort to dangerous methods, but can also stop other minors from being pierced. While Maryland has regulations on the minimum piercing age, in Washington, D.C., there are no restrictions. “The District remains something of a national outlier when it comes to regulating the tattoo and piercing industry,” stated the dcist blog, a website that features news, events and culture in D.C. Theoretically, one could bring a baby into a tattoo parlor to be pierced, but each parlor holds the right to set its own regulations on age, as Cherry does. Cherry thinks laws everywhere need to be stricter because anybody can open

All photos cortesy of models pictured.

Top photos: sophomore Samantha Rice’s ear and tongue piercings. Bottom: sophomore Krista Smith-Hanke’s multiple ear piercings.

a shop and call themselves a professional regardless of their knowledge. “I think we need very strict laws regarding piercing,” Cherry said. “D.C. doesn’t even enforce where you dump your used piercing needles or whether or not you use sterilized equipment. Half of what I do lately is fix other [professionals’ and individuals’] hackwork.” She said that tattoo shops have good reasons to refuse to pierce minors. At her parlor, teens come in every day asking to be pierced, but she feels obligated to refuse them, even though it might be easier for her to just pierce them. “I know it seems like an eternity to wait until you are 18,” said Cherry. “But it’s a much better alternative than to have your friend pierce you in their bathroom and lose the top half of your ear because of an infection.”






This winter, scarves have been a popular staple with many outfits. Coming in all sorts of colors, shapes and textures, scarves can spice up any outfit in a variety of ways. A scarf can add color and character to some outfits or bring modesty to others. With this accessory, there is a lot of room to create an outfit that reflects one’s personality.

JANUARY 11, 2013

FLATS A cute pair of flats can add an elegant and sophisticated look to an outfit. Coming in many color schemes and designs, each pair can be unique, while not being the attention grabber of the outfit. A pair of shoes can make or ruin an outfit, and these simple but chic styles can finish any trendy style. Be charitable and fashionable at the same time by purchasing a pair of TOMS. The company donates a pair of shoes for every pair that a customer buys. Save the world and be chic at the same time.

All photos by Emily Cosentino

Trend Alert!

By Emily Cosentino

Here is a sampling of the latest trends, from tribal to lace. We dressed up our online editor, junior Megan Chun, in these fun fashions that can spice up your winter wardrobe. From neck to toe, we’ve got you covered!


When it comes to lace, there are a wide variety of outfits that can be created. Wear light shades of lace to create a cute and innocent look. A more edgy and sexy look can be achieved by using darker and more creative pieces of lace. Dresses, blouses and tank tops can come with a striking lacey accent. Do not overdo it with other accessories; the look is supposed to be simple, not busy and overdone.

TRIBAL PRINTS Fashion takes an exotic turn with tribal prints. These bold designs consist of strong, graphic prints in earth tones, such as black, brown, deep red and orange. These designs are showing up on shirts, bags, skirts and other pieces. Since the tribal look is a daring statement, it is best worn with an otherwise simple outfit, such as a pair of jeans and solid color shoes. Wooden bangles, beaded bracelets or matte metallic can set this look off.




JANUARY 11, 2012

Hair twister: How to braid basic styles


The “Katniss” Braid: This style has had its fair share of publicity since the pre-

miere of the popular movie “The Hunger Games.” To begin the braid, if you have bangs, secure them in front of your face with a clip or hair tie. They will stay out of the style, as they do in the movie. If you do not have bangs, then all hair will be incorporated into the style. To begin the actual braid, gather a section and split it into three like a regular French braid, but instead start at the front left corner of the head. Instead of crossing the sections over, the way you would in a regular French braid, cross each section under the others to achieve an “inside out” braid. Take the braid in a downward diagonal across the head, gathering hair from the front and back of the head (not including bangs), and continue the braid down to the lower right, where it can fall over the right shoulder.

The plain French braid: This classic style is very common around WJ, but if you’re feeling out

of the loop, here’s a crash course. Begin with a small section of hair at the front and center of the head. Divide said section into three smaller parts, and begin the braid. Once each section has been used once, begin to gather hair from the sides. Each time you cross a section over, take a small amount from the side and add it to the existing portion. By the time you reach the nape of the neck, all the hair should be consolidated into one braid, which you can continue as long as you’d like. This simple procedure is the basic tool used in many other styles, so it is a good skill to master.

Waterfall: This is a quick and easy braid that is great for school days. Like with the Katniss braid, start with a small section of hair at the front left. Begin a regular, not a French, braid. After about an inch, let go of the section nearest to the bottom of the head. Pick up a section of hair that is not yet in the braid and replace the released one with it. Continue this every two cross-overs until you reach the other side of the head, or wherever you want to take the braid to. From there, take the three sections you are using and continue to braid them as far as you want, and then tie them off with a hair tie.

Each set of photos depicts two of the steps involved in hair braiding and the final style.

Star art word search!



See answers at!

Photos by Emily Cosentino


Third Base




JANUARY 11, 2013

Dancing from Asia to WJ

Locked lips of lovers

By Ian Morrison Young love: one of the highlights of high school. Teenage boys and girls seek the perfect match, the one they can hold hands with in the hallway, take out on a weekend and spend a few months or even years dating. I’ve been in relationships, I’ve enjoyed them quite a bit and, in my opinion, they are completely worthwhile. But inevitably, people always approach relationships in different manners. Many high school couples are very expressive, open and public with their affection. I’ve been the guy to hold a girl’s hand, or even give her a quick kiss in the hall, but I am proud to say I have gone no farther than that in front of my peers and teachers. For many couples, this is not the case, and walking down the hallway this year looks like something out of a cheesy high school movie. You’ve got freshmen practically sprinting in an attempt to get to class early, upperclassmen dragging themselves to yet another boring class and, amongst all this commotion, couples that seem to always find a chance to hook up between classes. Privacy has been thrown out the window. It’s not hard to find guys and girls practically on top of each other making out, pressed up against the wall as if they’d gone months without seeing each other. This is nothing new to students or teachers, but I’d still guess that Ms. Baker doesn’t want to watch her students attack each other’s faces between periods. Considering it’s uncomfortable for students to watch their peers make out with each other during school, I’m quite sure it’s many times worse for teachers. Can you imagine making out with someone while your teacher was in the room? I sure can’t, and I don’t think making out across the hallway is too different. Now, picture your teachers making out with each other as you walk to class. That’s a terrible thought, if you ask me. Thankfully, teachers have the sense not to do that, so why don’t students? Couples do not stop at kissing either. More often than I would like to, I see guys sneak a feel while making out and I must say it’s a bit unsightly. Passion is an aspect of any relationship, maybe more so for hormonal high school kids than anyone, but kids seem to have lost all sense of appropriateness. The point is, kids seem to get more and more daring with public displays of affection and I think that we need to put an end to it, before it gets any worse. Every kid at WJ has heard stories of couples caught getting funky in the stairwells, and, yes, there are repercussions, but even though kids get sent to lunch and after school detention, nothing has changed. It’s not punishments students need, it’s common sense. I don’t think anyone would hook up with their partner in front of their parents (at least I hope not…), so why would we not treat our teachers and peers with the same respect? Kids are surrounded by hookups. They’re all over movies, the Internet and television shows. Hell, half the music released in the past year has been about partying and sex. So can school be the one safe haven where students can escape the locked lips of lovers? I’m sure we can make WJ this type of haven, so please, control those raging hormones until 2:10.

Photo by Audrey Marek

TADA practices one of its numbers with its signature fans.

Photo by Audrey Marek

The Asian Pop Dance club practices its current dance.

“Dancing” continued from page 1 By Audrey Marek

All genres of Asian music and dance, from classical to pop, have caught the attention of viewers and listeners in the United States. Even classical dance has its representation at WJ in the form of TADA, which meets every Thursday directly after school. In previous years, the club has performed at the Asian Assembly. Outside of school, the club performs in dance shows in Montgomery County, and annually shows its skills in Fiesta Asia, a May festival on an outdoor stage in front of the Capitol in D.C. The dancers also showcase their talent in public libraries and Lake Forest Mall for events such as Chinese New Year. The president of the club, WJ senior Jennifer Chen, has been with the club for four years now, and has been associated with it for much longer through her older sister, a former member. She has been taking classical Asian dance since a young age, and uses her experience in the club. “There’s a lot of people in our club that have never had dance experience before,” said Chen. “They get to learn something that’s not a normal high school experience.” The club currently includes seven seniors, and has 14 members in total, so it is looking for new members next year. “I think that we should be able to convey our culture to the school,” said Chen. There are other varieties of Asian dance on the WJ campus, including the Asian Pop Dance club. This style of dance is more common in the United States media, and its movements and steps have been incorporated into many other styles of choreography. The club is new this year and has started meeting on Wednesday afternoons. They work studiously on a dance to one specific song, using elements from music videos that they find interesting. They request that new members, or those who are interested in joining, do so when they are starting a new song, as the dances they do are choreographed with a part for each person. The club performs a variety of dances, including Japanese Pop and Korean Pop, as well as some Western Pop. “It’s technically just any song that has an interesting dance that we want to learn,” said senior Julia Roh,

Photo by Audrey Marek

Photo by Audrey Marek

Photo by Wahid Ishrar

Some members of the Modern Asian Dance club pose for a photo. From left to right: Seniors Petip Laowngam and Anastasia Khibovska, junior Seika Suzuki and seniors Kima Sluchansky and Hanna Cha.

vice president of the club. This year, the group hopes to perform at school events like last year’s Asian assembly. “Everyone works really hard,” said sophomore Bao Vy Ngo, president of the club. Their main performances are International Night and the Asian assembly, so they work the hardest to prepare for those exhibitions. This variety of dance and song is not only for the purpose of performance, though, as the Modern Asian Dance club displays. “Mostly the club is for the members to get some exercise while having fun,” said president senior Kima Hiraoka-Sluchansky. The club meets after school on Mondays, though meetings can be somewhat sporadic, as many members are seniors and have other after school commitments. They join together in the pursuit of fun, and to spread different varieties of Asian music, other than just Gangam Style. “There is a huge amount of people around the world who really enjoy Asian pop music, and a major factor of its appeal is the fun choreography that goes along with each song,” said Hiraoka-Sluchansky. The club hopes to perform in International Night, but whether it are prepared to do so depends on its rehearsal schedule. No experience is necessary, just a desire for a fun way to spend time with friends. Though Asian pop is not as well known in the United States as some other types of music, it is still a popular and fun style to listen and dance to. It is an easy way to join a unique community, get together with friends, meet new people and get exposed to a different type of culture that is becoming more and more a part of our own culture at WJ. Photo by Wahid Ishrar

From left to right: Vice PresidentJulia Roh and President Bao Vy Ngo of the Asian Pop Dance club, President Jennifer Chen of TADA, and President Kima Hiraoka-Sluchansky of the Modern Asian Dance club.

Fielder’s Choice

NHL players and owners still have work to do to salvage hockey

By Phillip Resnick

After 113 days, 500 plus games and millions of dollars of revenue lost, the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) and owners finally came to an agreement in the eleventh hour to salvage the 2013 NHL season. However, despite the relief of avoiding the second completely lost season in the last eight years, people in and around the hockey world have expressed dismay at the apparent disconnect between the players’ association, the owners and the real world. In reality, there was no reason why any of this season’s NHL games should have been missed, but some spotty negotiating and inflated egos may have done irreparable damage to a league with an already tarnished reputation when it comes to labor talks. Over the past few years, the NHL has drastically increased its fan base, airing games on national TV and building support for previously irrelevant teams. However, after losing almost half of this season to a lockout, all of the league’s progress since the ’04-’05 work stoppage may have been for nothing. First, we need to address why this lockout was so ridiculous. Eight years ago, the NHL lost an entire sea-



JANUARY 11, 2013

son so that the owners could completely restructure the league. During the ’04-’05 season, according to the league, over half of the teams in the NHL lost less money by not operating at all then they would have lost if they had played a full season. Unlike other major sports, like football and baseball, which are popular all over the country and whose teams all do well financially, the NHL only has a few major “hockey hotbeds,” including Boston, Detroit, Chicago and Canada. Outside of those select markets, many teams often struggle to attract fans and make profits. There weren’t any good TV deals in place, which is the biggest revenue producer for major sports leagues, and the league’s revenue sharing policy wasn’t effective, leaving small market teams in the red. However, since the last lockout, the league has ex-


ers, the league didn’t place limits on contract length. As a result, teams still paid players out the nose, but they spread over $100 million out over more than a decade. This practice put teams who signed the wrong player to a mega-deal in major cap trouble and debt, and effectively nullified the only reason for the salary cap. The problems with the last collective bargaining agreement were obvious, but it was the egos of the players and owners that really caused this lockout. Although the league thinks it has finally solved its problem, it has only just begun. All over the country, hockey was starting to gain popularity in cities where it had been an afterthought for years. After decades of being a second-class franchise in D.C., the Capitals have sold out over 100 straight home games over the last three seasons. Columbus was supposed to host this season’s NHL All-Star game. The league was going to host the Winter Classic, where over 100,000 screaming fans would pack “The Big House” at the University of Michigan to see the Detroit Red Wings take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, all of this has been put off to next year because of the lockout. However, after two lockouts in eight years, the league has lost the interest of most of its new fan base and left the hardcore hockey fans feeling disenfranchised and angry. The fans are fed up with league officials putting themselves above the game, and many are set on abandoning the sport forever. The NHL thinks hockey is back for good, but if the fans have a say, it may not be around for as long as the league thinks.

“Although the league thinks that they have finally solved their problem, it has only just begun.” ploded onto the scene.With the creation of the Winter Classic, the rise of superstars like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin and the success of hockey at the 2010 Olympics, the NHL rose from being a subpar professional league with a niche fan base to become a respectable North American professional sports league. Hockey popularity increased in places like Washington, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles, all once irrelevant organizations. However, despite all of the progress the league made after the ’04-’05 lockout, there were some completely boneheaded deals made to end it that doomed the league. First off, after instituting a salary cap to try and curb the trend of teams ridiculously overpaying play-






JANUARY 11, 2013

Weight Watchers: Junior Chelsey Campillo stretched at her ballet studio.

Photo courtesy of Chelsey Campillo

Photo by Wahid Ishrar

Wrestlers run through a hot stairwell each day before practice; many wear pants and long sleeves to maximize sweat. Photo courtesy of Chelsey Campillo

Campillo must watch her weight and fitness in order to perform ballet.

By Ian Morrison and Ben Resnick

The desire to be skinny can be extraordinarily powerful, even blinding, and it has driven many people to take extreme measures just to obtain the body of their dreams. Now, as the issue of unhealthy weight loss becomes more widespread, parents have begun to steer their children away from the idea that they must look like models to be perfect, but the stress that many sports place on athletes to lose weight often goes unnoticed. Sports such as ballet, other types of dance and wrestling push athletes and competitors to their physical limitations as they work to maintain and achieve a certain weight. Dancers are trained to maintain a low weight, and often run the risk of reaching an unhealthily low weight; whereas wrestlers rapidly shed pounds in order to qualify for certain weight classes. Both practices can be harmful to athletes. Junior ballet dancer Chelsey Campillo has not had any negative experiences while trying to maintain her weight, although she does admit that she and her fellow competitors feel pressure to stay thin.

pacts on the eating and training habits of their dancers. “[Instructors] consistently remind us to always eat healthy and to constantly do exercises that would increase our strength and flexibility,” Campillo said. Though this may not be any problem for Campillo, a study recently performed by the University of Minnesota revealed that there is a definite correlation between dancing as a child and the development of some sort of eating disorder. “Participation in dance as a young girl has a long term effect on a woman’s eating behavior,” said researchers from the University of Minnesota UMN study. The ideal body mass index (BMI) for a dancer is on the cusp of that of an anorexic person, according to UMN researcher Steve Bloomfield, so even after dancers end their careers, they often strive to maintain the weight they once maintained for competition. Furthermore, certain stunts require lightweight “Once youngsters become aware of how they look dancers. Often, male dancers lift female dancers into the air. This is a trick that can only be completed if the it can become quite a consuming interest,” wrote female is lightweight; she must be light enough to be Bloomfield. Dancers are not the only athletes that want to mainhoisted smoothly and gracefully in to the air. tain a low weight in order to compete; wrestlers also Coaches and instructors can also have profound im“Because ballet is about’s expected that a dancer is thin,” she said. Dancers feel as though they must be thin in order to provide a quality performance. Since a viewer expects a visually appealing show, performers feel as though they must be thin in order to please crowds. This expectation is set by society, so before dancers experience any pressure from individuals, they already feel as though they must stay thin in order to be adequate performers.

“Participation in dance as a young girl has a long term effect on a woman’s eating behavior.”



JANUARY 11, 2013



Athletes take drastic measures to achieve peak physical performance Photo by Sarah Schecker

Senior wrestler Tommy Branthover after a match at the “Big Train” dual meet, which was hosted by WJ.

Photo by Wahid Ishrar

Wrestler Connor Jobes often consumes just a granola bar, an apple, and a water bottle for dinner when he needs to lose weight.

like to lose weight so that they may qualify for lower weight classes. If a high school student came home from school after not eating breakfast or lunch and participating in a grueling after school workout, and then ate only a piece of fruit for dinner, it would raise eyebrows. Yet high school wrestlers across the country put themselves through this starvation routine every day. Senior Connor Jobes has been wrestling at WJ for four years. Over the course of the wrestling season Jobes loses approximately 15 pounds so he can wrestle in the lowest weight class possible. Cutting excess weight and building muscle is a common strategy used by wrestlers, but they often go to extremes to lose their weight. Every day before practice, wrestling teams across the country isolates themselves in a staircase and run stairs for over 15 minutes. Once they are done, it is common to find puddles of sweat on the ground as wrestlers try to eliminate their “water weight.” This is just one of the methods wrestlers use to achieve an ideal weight. Jobes often practices while wearing multiple layers of clothes to maximize the amount of weight he loses. On most days, Jobes will not eat breakfast and he

Photo by Wahid Ishrar

Members of the WJ wrestling team weigh themselves on the electronic scale in their team room regularly to track their weight class.

will only have a very small lunch if he is under the weight he needs to be for competition. Finally, after wrestling practice, he will finish his day with a dinner consisting of “an apple, a granola bar and a glass of water.” According to, a popular health website run by the Livestrong foundation, boys from ages 15-18 require 3,000 calories, 52 grams of protein and 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day to function properly, though wrestlers may require more, due to the amount of exercise they do throughout the day. If wrestlers are overweight and need to lose a few pounds, they may eat a dinner similar to what Jobes described. With

team needs him to because he already knows he can do it, and Jobes willingly does it to wrestle in a lighter weight class. In 1997, three college wrestlers died in a month due to extreme weight cutting methods. After losing 21 pounds in the past few weeks, the college wrestlers were trying to lose a pound or two an hour while wrestling in full body suits in hot conditions. These are the same weight loss methods that Jobes uses at school. “It feels like I have no fuel in my body,” said Jobes, who also runs track in the spring. However, despite concern about safety in other sports, particularly concussions in contact sports, wrestlers across the country continue to eat less than they are recommended to and push themselves to the brink to lose weight. In today’s society, body image is a major issue. Girls see models in magazines who are skinny and “gorgeous” and they feel the need to look that way. Boys often see pictures of body builders and want to drink protein drinks and “beef up” to become more muscularly defined. This unfortunate trend has led to an increase in eating disorders in the U.S.

“It feels like I have no fuel in my body.” that dinner, they would intake approximately 167 calories, two grams of protein and 81 milligrams of sodium. This is about 5 percent of nutrients the wrestler should consume each day. Even though he puts himself through such a demanding daily routine to lose weight, Jobes said he doesn’t feel pressure to lose weight, but rather views his actions as a choice. Jobes will drop the weight if the



What’s Inside Editor-in-chief Phillip Resnick’s column, Fielder’s Choice, addresses the NHL lockout Photo by Sarah Schecker

JANUARY 11, 2013


A feature article exploring the association between athletics and body image


Girls’ Basketball


Swim & Dive


Boys 3-0 Girls 2-1

Photo by Sarah Schecker

3-1 in dual meets

Boys’ swimming won the The wrestling team had an inSenior guard Megan Spurrell state title last year and their dribbles up the court. credibly successful season last 3-0 start to the season reyear, as Elad Covaliu won the inveals hope that they will win The Lady Wildcats have gotten off to a fantastic dividual state title and the team for the second year in a row. start this season. Senior captain Kristen Larwas the 4A/3A South division University of Virginia comrick leads the team in scoring with 13.1 champion. This year it has kicked mit Barry Mangold is playpoints per game. The team also receives the season off strongly once ing a vital role in the team’s constant contributions from junior again. Seniors Tommy Bransuccess this season. The girls’ guard Melanie Ackerman, who thover and Colin McCoy have team hopes to improve upon has logged in at 9.1 points per had standout seasons thus far and last season’s middle-of-thegame. are working to win the divisional pack divisional finish. title again.

Senior captain Barry Mangold prepares to dive in the pool for a race. Photo courtesy of Andrew Ship

Indoor Track

WJ athletes reign in the new year Boys’ Basketball 6-6 Senior Tommy Branthover prepares to wrestle at WJ’s “Big Train” dual meet.

Photo by Sarah Schecker

By Ian Morrison

Indoor track has battled Senior captains Michael various injuries this season, Lumbuku and Sean Poosas a majority of the team’s son lead the boys’ team distance runners have been in scoring, each with over forced to sit out. Despite 11 points per game, while this, cross country runner fellow senior captain Jusjunior Dan Kosogof has tin Hom leads the team in emerged as WJ’s top runner assists with 4.2 per game. Sophomore Jon Ohlrich leads the team in the mile. Junior sprinter The boys look to avenge with five goals and four assists. Standout Mary Rose Melnicki and last year’s losses to rival junior goalie Ben Perone allows an average of sophomore sprinter Tae Churchill tonight at seven 4.22 goals per game. Hockey needs just one more Woo Kim have also had sucp.m. at Churchill. win to surpass last season’s win count. cessful starts to the season.



Photo by Sarah Schecker Photo by Sarah Schecker

Sophomore sprinter Tae Woo Kim works out on WJ’s track every day, despite cold temperatures.

Senior captain Justin Hom looks down the court.

Senior captain Jessy Gendelman takes a shot.

Photo courtesy of Billy Glover

All records as of Jan. 8, 2013

January 11, 2013  

Walter Johnson High School's January 2013 print issue of The Pitch.

January 11, 2013  

Walter Johnson High School's January 2013 print issue of The Pitch.