Walter Johnson High School
May 27, 2010
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6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, Md. 20814
Volume 54 | Issue 9
“With absolutely awe and amazement, I wandered through the Fine Arts festival, seeing works of art that rival some hanging in galleries around the world.” - Ann Gradowski, WJ Parent
Four Teachers Leave WJ Staff
Lucia Daubresse Last year, foreign language teacher Lucia Daubresse left WJ for a one-year position in the MCPS Central Office as the Spanish for Spanish Speakers curriculum reviser. After resuming her position as a French and Spanish teacher at WJ this past year, Daubresse has accepted a more permanent instructional specialist role and will leave WJ for at least four years. While looking forward to her new job opportunity, Daubresse will miss the many good experiences she has had over her ten years here. “[A favorite memory was] scaring my French 5 students on Halloween, when I jumped out of the closet dressed as a rock star and sang ‘Quand la musique est bonne’ by Jean-Jacques Goldman,” she said. Daubresse will also miss the annual tradition of her students signing her yearbook, as well as the great school productions. Most importantly, she says she will miss her “wonderful colleagues and students.” Currently, the administration is in the process of finding Daubresse’s replacement, a challenge because the teacher must be a dual-language instructor. By Eleanor Janhunen
Esther Adams By Ava Bleiberg WJ’s annual Fine Arts Festival was held from May 18 to 20 in the small gym which, after long hours put in by the art department, was transformed into an art gallery with hundreds of student-made art covered displays and tables throughout the space. “The Monday and Tuesday of festival week students hang their work and completely fill the cavernous gym with art,” said photography teacher Dan Kempner. “Every student who takes an art class has work showcased in the festival; the more advanced students are given more space to hang their work.” The WJ atmosphere is very supportive of student endeavors, such as “The Art of Dairy” Lucerne competition, an annual competition for which students submit artwork. The finalists replicate their designs on a life-size ceramic cow, courtesy of Lucerne dairy products. Sophomore Jaynie Chartrand’s design, painted by Chartrand along with seniors Stephanie Tan and Julia Baumgart, was displayed in the art show. The art department encourages students to venture into forms of art they have not yet explored and tap into their creativity. “If it was not for my art teachers and classmates, I would not have even considered going into art as a career,” said Baumgart. “I learn more and more each year not only from my teachers who are so knowledgeable and experienced, but also from my classmates. The communication and sup-
port that exists in the WJ art department is amazing.” While there is a high level of satisfaction evident among the students of the art department, suggestions for improvement have been made. Baumgart attributes a lack of sufficient resources and equipment to the downturn of the economy, citing the fact that students do not have a sufficient amount of quality supplies and they only recently received new ones. However, teachers and students do not allow the lack of material to interfere with their creative. “In all honesty, it comes down to what you can create out of the resources you have and what you choose to accept to further your own artistic vision,” said senior Thor Buntin. “From the display at this year’s art show alone, clearly we have enough equipment to see to students producing amazing art.” According to art teacher Liz Stafford, WJ’s recent modernization has provided far better lighting in the small gym, improving the quality of the Fine Arts Festival. Additionally, the construction of lab G28 has allowed for digital art teacher Paul Engelhardt to move into his own space. With more access to the computers, Kempner and art teacher Kim Venesky have been able to introduce digital photography into their curriculums. “As a teacher, you see art all year long but never really have an accurate concept of how everything will look together,” said Stafford. “When it is all put together, you’re just blown away and truly proud of the hard work and commitment that students put into their art.” Art courtesy of Sara Perone
Point-Counterpoint Pg. 7
College Survival Guide Pgs. 10-11
Pitch Picks Pg. 14
After teaching at WJ for seven years, social studies teacher Esther Adams has decided to take a year off to go on sabbatical. “It was a very hard decision, because I’m not unhappy or I want a change,” said Adams. “I’m just recognizing that I’m in a particular personal place where I need to step back [and reflect on life].” Over the course of her tenure, Adams has primarily taught AP World History, NSL Government and a college test prep course. She says the hardest part of leaving will be missing her students and the close relationships she has formed with the social studies department staff. Adams cites her best memories as the year her students won the College Board award for having the highest AP World History scores in the country, as well as her participation in last year’s spring musical, Footloose. “In some ways, it has gone so fast, I really can’t believe it has been seven years,” said Adams. “It has been such an amazing journey, both professionally and personally, and in that way, I really think that Walter Johnson is one of the best places to teach in the county.”
By Eleanor Janhunen
see STAFF LEAVING, page 2 World Cup Preview Pgs. 18-19
Pitch Volume 54 | Issue 3
From WJ to Walt Disney: Graduation Speaker Preston Padden
Members of WJ Staff Say Goodbye 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, Md. 20814
From TEACHERS LEAVE, Page 1
By Rosie Hammack His profession has taken him from Los Angeles to Shanghai, China to St. Petersburg, Russia to London, England and to countless other places in between. On June 1, graduating seniors will welcome WJ alum Preston Padden back to his roots as he delivers the commencement speech at Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall. Padden was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Silver Spring and Bethesda. He attended WJ for three years, and graduated in 1966. During Padden’s sophomore year of college, his father unexpectedly passed away. Needing the money to pay for college, Padden found his first job as a nighttime and weekend receptionist at the Channel 5 Station in D.C. It was there that he became friends with Tom Dougherty, the company’s in-house lawyer and the man who would later persuade Padden to pursue a degree in law at George Washington University Law School. During law school, he worked parttime at Metromedia as a law-clerk, filing and copying papers. Padden’s natural curiosity propelled him to read every paper before filing it, and through this he learned a bit about legal works. After graduating law school, Padden spent 12 years at Metromedia as assistant general counsel, representing their television and radio stations and learning a great deal about that business.
May 27, 2010
Photo courtesy of Preston Padden
Graduation speaker and Vice President of Walt Disney Preston Padden.
After leaving Metromedia, Padden was hired as President of the Association of Independent T.V. Stations, and later moved on to work on Channel 5 for eight years. In 1998, Padden left Channel 5 to become executive vice president of Walt Disney, where he has been working ever since. “I think having a ‘can-do’ attitude is a big part of success in any part of your life,” said Padden. “Whether it’s with your job, or your marriage, or your friends, having a ‘can-do’ attitude can bring you a lot of success and satisfaction.” Padden feels that WJ has fostered this attitude and effectively prepared him for life outside high school. He has a strong connection to his alma mater and has high hopes for the graduation ceremony. “I’ve been very, very lucky in my life, and I’m very excited to come back and share a few stories with the graduating class,” he said.
Staff development and former science teacher Jennifer Roland will be taking leave to care for her nine 1/2-month-old daughter. Roland has been an MCPS science teacher for nine years, teaching at WJ for the past four. “This graduation is going to be really memorable for me because I’m going to see kids that I knew as freshmen moving on,” said Roland. Roland expressed her deep appreciation of having the opportunity to work with both the science department while teaching biology and the rest of the staff while doing staff development. She does not anticipate any significant changes due to her absence, and fully expects to return to teaching at a later point in life. By Ava Bleiberg
Rebecca McGaffin* After teaching at WJ for two years, science teacher Rebecca McGaffin is taking a year of childcare leave to homeschool her seven-year-old son who has Down syndrome, and her four-year-old son. “Both of my boys are on a similar academic level,” said McGaffin. “They are both beginning to read and write; my hope is that with oneon-two instruction for a year I can teach them both to read and write and be better prepared for school.” McGaffin worked in a physical therapy office in high school, but decided in college to study teaching. McGaffin’s choice was rooted in
her passion for teaching, and the opportunity it provides to interact with kids and help them achieve their goals. “While I was working in a PT office I saw many clients who hurt themselves by being idiots, and realized I have little empathy for people who do stupid things and get hurt,” said McGaffin. “So I thought maybe medicine wasn’t the best place for me and I changed my focus to education.”
**This article has been corrected from its original version.
Other Departing Staff Members:
- Assistant Principal Fran Irvin - Staff Development Teacher Elly Yuspa - Paraeducator Juliana Ziorklui - Academic Support Center Teacher Diane Sandy - Paraeducator Cherise Clokes-Vincent - Paraeducator Jason Campbell - Academic Support Center Teacher Izzy Kovach
Corrections to April 30 Issue -- A fact in the Remembrance section should have stated that Carolyn Berger has four children, not five. -- A baseball article should have noted that the last baseball game occured too late to cover. -- The “Quick Hits” article incorrectly referred to Jordan Krasner as a freshman. He is a sophomore. -- The Remembrance cover photo of Karl Savage should have been credited to Aliyah Sadegh.
May 27, 2010
Taking a Gap Year Volume 54 | Issue 3
6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, Md. 20814
By Jennifer Spencer
Photo by Celia Karp
Senior Michael Adler plans to trek through India. He will be joined by fellow graduate Colin Buley as both look to gain a wordly experience by immersing themselves in the Indian culture.
By Jenny Deutsch
For graduating senior Itay Balely, the idea of taking a gap year was intriguing. During Balely’s gap year, he plans to live in a communal home in Israel along with five to seven other Israeli teens, while trying to improve the status of the neighborhood that he will be located in. Balely and his counterparts plan to achieve their goals through taking part in community service activities and befriending the youth in the neighborhood so they can develop a sense of leadership in them. Their mission is to teach the youth how to lead their community towards a better future. The Israeli Scouts Youth Group Movement, the movement which funds the program, is the main basis for Balely and others within the program in accomplishing this task. “I will not be doing this gap year program for myself, but rather volunteering a whole year of my life to helping other people improve their lives,” said Balely. “I find that an important part of devel-
Senior Michael Adler will stray from the typical approach as he plans to journey to India, work at a trade union and concentrate on personal growth over the next year. “It’s really a personal taste but I guess the gap year is meant to be a test run,” said Adler. “You travel, you work, you see the world and you get a sense of what is out there.” Taking a gap year did not mean Adler was exempt from college applications or the work that his classmates had. Adler had to work out his gap year plans and apply to schools in which he could enroll when he returns. Upon receiving acceptance to the School of Film at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts at Winston-Salem, with an intended film directing major, Adler worked out arrangements to defer for a year. “Deciding whether a gap year was right or not and figuring out exactly what I wanted to do and how it would relate to the overall goal of making movies was the difficult part,” said Adler. It helped that Adler had family and friends who had taken gap years themselves. These individuals told Adler about their great experiences and the opportunities that a gap year opened up to them for travel and work. Adler hopes to incorporate traveling into his own gap year by backpacking in India during the winter months of next year.
“Hopefully, I will be traveling with [senior] Colin Buley as well as a friend of mine, [WJ alum] Ethan Clark, who did the same thing last year and said it was the best experience of his life,” said Adler. When he returns from India, Adler will have a job in the communications department of his father’s work, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a trade union. Adler feels here he will gain work experience in a field that connects perfectly to film directing. “SEIU works all over the country in securing stable jobs for people who are mistreated,” said Adler. “I will work in the film archives sorting and compiling footage of protests they have organized so that it can be used in future campaigns.” While Adler is enthusiastic about his travel and work plans he has a goal of his own entailing self-discovery. Adler is confident that what he learns and experiences in the “real world” will help him mature and become a better person. “I have a lot of family friends who said that taking a gap year was a great experience,” said Adler. “My aim is to grow on my own and travel to sick nasty places.” Although before senior year, Adler was uncertain about taking a gap year, he is now satisfied that he made the decision to try it out. He perceives the potential benefits as worth the time he is investing next year outside of college. “I can’t wait to meet new people, try authentic Indian cuisine, start earning money and just living,” he said.
opment and maturing for me so that I can learn a lot more about myself.” After his gap year in Israel, Balely plans on attending the University of Maryland, College Park as a part of the Scholar’s Program where his major will include a focus on community service and public leadership. Balely plans to use his time away from conventional learning to develop and mature so he can make more meaning of his college experience to come. “I didn’t want college to seem just like a continuation of high school and figured that if I matured through this one year, college would mean a lot more to me,” said Balely. Although Balely is concerned about leaving behind his family, friends and country, he is excited to embark on this adventure, meet new people and make a difference. “Taking a gap year will open me up more to learning, while not textbook learning, the learning that I am expecting to get from this program is far greater than anything a textbook can ever teach,” said Balely.
Photo courtesy of itay Balely
Senior Itay Balely will be spending next year in Israel on a program funded by the Israeli Scouts Movment.
Alexa Bandeian & Evan Spurrell
By Jemile Safaraliyeva
Photo by Celia Karp
Seniors Alexa Bandeian and Evan Spurrell pieced together their own gap year, putting together elements of travel, work and volunteering. They have been life-long best friends and are excited to spend the year together.
In the fall of the next school year, as most former high school seniors will be preparing for their college classes, seniors Evan Spurrell and Alexa Bandeian will be preparing to backpack through Europe before heading to South Africa to teach and care for orphaned children. “I really just want to get some life experience, explore other cultures and see the world,” said Spurrell. “This is really the only time in my life where I will get an opportunity to do something like this and it’s too big to give up.” As the heat of the summer months cools down, Spurrell and Bandeian will travel to Europe with a special train pass allowing them to freely explore Europe for their two month residency there. They will then fly to South Africa, followed by Singapore, and finally New Zealand, where they will get an apartment together and work until mid-summer next year under the British Universities North America Club (BUNAC). BUNAC is an organization authorized by the New Zealand Government which helps to
allow young Americans, from ages 18 to 35, access to New Zealand for one year. Spurrell and Bandeian will receive a Special Category Working Visa, allowing them to take any job in order to support themselves financially. “Not only are we going to have tons of fun, but it’s going be a really good experience,” said Bandeian. Both undecided as to their college majors, Spurrell and Bandeian are hoping that a gap year will help them figure out their futures. “I have no idea what I want to major in or what I want to do,” said Spurrell. “I hope that taking a year off will help me find a career path so I can get the most out of my college experience.” Primarily looking forward to working with children in Africa, Bandeian wants to give back to those less fortunate. “I just really want to help those who haven’t been blessed like we have,” said Bandeian. After concluding their gap year in the fall of 2011, Spurrell plans to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder and Bandeian plans to attend the University of Michigan.
May 27, 2010
May 27, 2010
What has been/will be your most spontaneous venture over the summer?
Spur of the Moment Escapades By Abby Singley Photos by Andrea Linder and Stefany Carty
“Epic trip to Puerto Rico.” - Senior Michael Bouvet
“Most likely go to Russia.” - Freshman Andriy Zvyerintsev
“Either go to Austria for a photo shoot, or go to California with [my] cousins.” - Freshman Heather Lewis
My past eight summers, I followed the same routine: go on vacation, go to sleepaway camp. No planning involved. But this summer, I’m left doing some last-minute planning, something I’m sure many of you are stuck doing, too. As an act of kindness, I’m letting you peek over my shoulder and take a look at a few items on my summer planning list. Visit family: There’s always that family member who will eternally welcome you with open arms. In my family, that is Grandma. It’s a known fact that if you go to Florida to visit Grandma, you can go crash her West Palm Beach pad and take full advantage of all the amenities her retirement community has to offer – the resistance pool, hot-tub, swimming pool, clubhouse…need I say more? And, no one ever returns from visiting Grandma without freshly manicured and pedicured nails. So, why wouldn’t this be first on my list? Scratch something off your bucket list: The summer is a full nine weeks for you to do whatever you want, so why not get a few “must do’s” out of the way? And my bucket list item for this summer? A road-trip. My friend Carley and I will venture off to wherever two 17-year-old girls with worried Jewish mothers can go…even if that’s just back and forth between my North Bethesda and her Baltimore home. Do something brag-worthy: It’s always nice to feel like you’ve actually accomplished something over the summer, or at least done something that you can hold your head high when talking about. For
B a t
v i d e o
To go with my “journalism-themed” future, I will be meeting the one and only Cal Thomas at Fox News studios in New York City to get a tour and watch a livetaping of the news. Thank you, very much. Be a little rebellious and take a risk: We’re teenagers…all of those studies claim we like to do “risk-taking” behavior. So why not rebel a bit over the summer and take a few risks? Besides, this summer is all about me taking a big risk: getting jaw joint replacement surgery. Yet, it’s really about the risks that lie before the procedure. First, I am going to spend the final five days before the surgery absolutely destroying my jaw joints. What harm can I do if the joints are coming out just a few days later? My plan to do this involves chewing gum 24-7, biting into an apple, jumping on a trampoline, heading soccer balls, doing headstands and the list goes on and on. See, you just have to think outside the box a little and your “rebellious” side will come right out. And then, here comes the big risk. In order to get this surgery, I will be putting my life in danger by simply entering the bureau of NewYork City of Staten Island – the land of deafening nasal voices, Battle Royal road rage, larger-than-life meatballs and, well, larger-than-life meatheads. As I’ll have the souvenir of my new jaw joints from my summer ventures, make sure to save some things to remember whatever plans you come up with. And whenever you get the chance to do something at the spur of a moment, just think, “What would that girl who writes ‘Up At Bat’ do?” Enjoy your summer, WJ!
r e s p o n s e s ,
v i s i t
“I am spontaneously going to go camping at Swallow Falls over the summer.” - Junior Jordan Hamm-Mcewen
“Hanging out with my friend, Barbara.” - Junior Chris Mejia
“I went pier jumping in California.” - Sophomore Catherine Maloney
“[Visiting] Brazil with my family and friends.” - Senior Luciano Arroio (Left)
“I would go parasailing over the summer.” - Sophomore Bryn Molloy
“I want to go to a Justin Bieber concert and sneak backstage and just give him the biggest hug ever and tell him how much I love him.” - Junior Putri Surya (Right)
Editors-in-Chief Arts & Entertainment Editors Colin Buley Sasha Tycko Luke Wilson Sophie Meade Abby Singley* Rylee Genner* The Pitch is published nine times a year by the students of News Editor Feature Editor Walter Johnson High School, 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Ava Bleiberg Camilla Yanushevsky Bethesda, Md. 20814. Advertising and subscription rates Ku Jung* Katie Levingston* are available by calling 301-803-7302. Editorial opinions Assistant News Editor Assistant Feature Editor represent those of The Pitch staff and do not necessarily Liz Wasden Allison Gordon reflect the opinions of the staff, faculty, or student body. Editorial Editor Layout Editor We welcome letters, articles, photographs, and artwork Alexandra Sanfuentes Parker Smith to be submitted to room 211 or e-mailed to thepitch@ Ian Green* Copy Editors walterjohnson.com. The Pitch is an award-winning paper Assistant Editorial Editor Abby Singley that works towards providing the student body with acDevon Murtha Devon Murtha curate as well as credible information. Sports Editor Photo Editors Mateo Williamson Celia Karp Columbia Scholastic National Scholastic American Scholastic Hannah Flesch* Kathleen Seale* Press Association Press Association Press Association Julia Haymore* Jeremy Smith* Gold Medalist Pacemaker Award First Place Special Merit Advertising Manager Assistant Sports Editors 2009 2008 2010 Hannah Flesch Kathleen Seale Zach Gordon * Online Staff
“Hanging out with my friend, Chris.” - Sophomore Barbara Issiakou Print Staff Writers Jennifer Spencer Flor Martinez Jenny Deutsch Cameron Keyani Abby Singley Alex Spinard Josh Benjamin Orli Berman Girard Bucello Julia Cinquegrani Taliah Dommerholt Marielle Eldridge Jessica Evans Daniel Gorelik Rosemary Hammack Eleanor Janhunen Alison Jawetz Danielle Markowitz Roshel Mullokandov Phillip Resnick Jemile Safaraliyeva Michael Sattler Sarah Scalet Lily Sieradzki
Online Staff Writers Ryan Lynch Miklos Szebeni Daniel Fanaroff Rosemary Hammack Roshel Mullokandov Online Reporter Peter Langer Stefany Carty Artist/Cartoonists Krithi Ramaswamy Will McGowan Samara Fantie PR Manager Alex Spinard Business Manager Flor Martinez Photographers Kathleen Seale Andrea Linder Advisors Hilary Gates Sylvie Ellen
Luke’s Life! Admission of Guilt
By Luke Wilson
As far as you know, this column has been a trip through the dazzling, daring and dangerous life of me, Luke Wilson. Or has it? Have a few lies snuck their way into the column? It’s possible. Have some of the stories been based on nothing more than a fleeting dream? Perhaps. But more importantly, would I, a student journalist, defy all ethical standards and common sense to write a column of fictitious fantasies, more likely to be seen in a Walt Disney movie than in real life? Absolutely. As a columnist, it is my number one goal to entertain the reader, even if that means forgoing the truth. However, seeing as this is my last column, I have two things to accomplish. First, I am here to admit that most of the Luke’s Life columns have been complete fabrication (the first step is admitting you have a problem…). Second, I would like to provide my readers with real-life stories. I personally guarantee that this Luke’s Life is a lie-free endeavor. October 2, 2009 Fiction: In this column I claimed that I rear-ended a car on Democracy Boulevard that caused the car ahead of me to set off a sequence of rear-endings, victimizing five cars in total. In the column, I blame this accident on the fact that I thought I saw a green light that was actually red. Fact: This accident was caused by pure negligence. Don’t tell Geico or that damn gecko will up my insurance rates. October 30, 2009 Fiction: The story for this issue went something like this: I went to a college interview in a purple suit and carried out a more-than-gauche conversation with the woman. At the end, it is claimed that I leaned in for a kiss to seal the deal after a great interview with the college admissions officer. Fact: This story is true. No wonder I didn’t get into Occidental College. December 22, 2009 Fiction: I allegedly went to my Aunt Hazel’s house, who recently had a baby, and ate Christmas dinner. At the end of this dinner, I excused myself from the table and got a drink. Upon entering the kitchen, I grabbed what I thought was milk and ended up taking more than a few swigs of breast milk that she had recently pumped. Fact: None of this was true. I never even drank breast milk when I was a baby, so I wouldn’t even know what the sweet nectar of a teat tastes like. January 29, 2010 Fiction: As a preview for Valentine’s Day, I ran through a series of awkward dates with multiple women and one man on various Valentine’s Days. Fact: I have never been on a date with a woman. April 30, 2010 Fiction: Inspired by Ashton Kutcher, I punked my own house by lighting a bag of dog poop on fire and knocking on our door. My Dad then stomped the fire out, and in the process got dog poop on his shoes. Fact: My house got forked and egged; I tried to convince my Dad to clean it up, but he locked me outside and wouldn’t let me back in until I cleaned it all up. The truth feels good, but kind of pathetic. Oh well, life’s a b**** isn’t it?
May 27, 2010
Everything You Wanted to Know About Junior Year (But Were Afraid to Ask)
By Alexandra Sanfuentes What? We’re done? It seems like just yesterday that a fourth of WJ’s population launched into the year that has become known as “Hell Year.” The year when students try to juggle a zillion tasks at once. Junior year. Now that it is all over and we’re all in the process of re-growing our damaged brain cells, everyone is reflecting on how the year went and how we possibly managed to survive. But that’s just it. Surviving implies accomplishing the bare minimum just to get by. It implies nearly dying on your quest to exit high school with a graduation cap on your imploded cranium (a condition that developed due to years of bubbling in tiny circles and keeping your eyes open for hours on end). Why did we have to suffer so much? There are just a few things that we just wish we had known at the beginning of this year. Know What You Are Getting Into With AP’s Jumping from one AP class to five isn’t necessarily the greatest idea when you have a bunch of other things on your plate during junior year. Easing your way into the Montgomery County AP pressure-cooker that fries your brains (and your wallet) is better than plunging head first into college level, and college paced, classes. And trust me the head is definitely the first thing to go. Always Carry a Rubber Band Well, if you have five AP classes to work for, you are going to need something to dumb the brain down a bit and serve as a much-needed stress-reducer. Having a rubber band on your wrist doesn’t necessarily mean flinging random items at people, it just means if you get a horrible grade on a test and you want to yank something apart, you have a rub-
ber band to stretch out. A hoop earring would work, too. SAT II Subject Tests I had no idea what these tests w e r e until junior year and I really w i s h someone had told me before I started. Imagine how unwelcome it is to find out that in addition to t h e regular SAT, you also have to pay even more money to take more certain subject-orient- e d
standardized tests. Take these before junior year if you’re taking
Graphic by Krithi Ramaswamy
a class that you know you won’t continue with into the higher levels. Getting them out of the way early definitely helps reduce stress come junior year. Get in the Sleep If you don’t force yourself to go to bed a decent hour, you’ll end up with leftover shampoo in your hair. Trust me, this has happened on numerous occasions. It’s going to seem impossible to catch any sleep at all during the first few weeks of junior year (and definitely during exams), but you have to catch some shut-eye otherwise you’ll be roaming around with permanently bloodshot eyes. FOOD Always have food with you during the day because chances are you can’t wait until lunch. For some reason this wasn’t as much of an issue last year. Now we just can’t stay awake or full at all. Had we been warned about these things our lives would have been a heck of a lot easier considering junior year is supposed to be the toughest year of high school. Shouldn’t we have been given some kind of warning before being launched in?
‘09-’10 Activist Clubs Lacking Chutzpah By Lily Sieradszki Clubs:WJ has lots. And activism? We’ve got that more than covered. Walter Johnson prides itself on being a school that makes a difference. We raise money to fight cancer, collect food and clothes for the needy, and mobilize quick support in the face of earthquakes and tsunamis. Community Cupcakes, Seize Life Fashion Show, Pennies for Patients, Nothing but Nets: these are all examples of our outstanding activism. The Activism Fair is a great representation of the diversity of ideas and causes of the student body, and the passion with which they’re displayed. But do we really live up to our legacy as activists? This past year, WJ hasn’t completely failed at making a difference, but there’s a lot that our activist organizations are lacking. Where’s the passion? While we see the Environmental Club making halfhearted efforts to sell tickets for EcoCafé, and the French Honors Society trying to sell over-priced candy to support Haiti, what we don’t see is real drive. There were days when club activities included covering walls of WJ with stars that represented soldiers, getting administration to give us recycling bins, lobbying in congressmen’s office. Not only did students come up with these projects, they successfully carried them out. While
Amnesty International is organizing a group to attend the Darfur rally in D.C. this weekend and Habitat for Humanity has had several successful builds, something is different, and not in a good way. Club members still have good ideas, and still implement lots of great projects. But our motives are no longer pure. In years past, activist clubs were about one thing and one thing only: changing the world for the better. This year, there’s a strong sense clubs are about something very different: looking qualified for colleges. Some individuals still truly want to make a difference, but our clubs are contaminated by the ever-present and ever-growing pressure of college, and it’s affected our motives and our actions. WJ clearly still cares, and wants to make a difference as much as we ever did. The problem here could be that our club leaders devote little energy or effort to making a difference – but we all know that that’s not the case. So what is it then? According to my personal observations, it’s an issue of time. WJ prides itself on being a top-tier school that provides challenging classes and a great education. While I’m sure I will appreciate this in the future, now it just means one thing: work, and lots of it. And I know that many smart, dedicated club leaders have a lot more on their plates than just changing the world. They also need to
survive high school. Their situation is totally understandable, but at the same time, unacceptable. Because, really, how much more wrapped up in our own lives can we get? Yes, we’ve got three tests tomorrow and facing a week of sleepless nights ahead, but we get the privilege of attending a recently remodeled, excellent institution of learning. Students should never take this for granted, because millions of people out there would trade anything to be in our places. And that’s exactly why we have activist clubs: to raise awareness and directly help those people. We cannot let our own small, busy lives get in the way, no matter how tempting it is. Disinterest and dispassion exist within WJ clubs, and it feeds off our growing workloads and our busy lives. It’s incredibly important for our clubs and their leaders to overcome their own apathy, and do all they can to reverse the apathy of others. Helping those less needy is not just a good thing to do – it’s a responsibility we have, as the more fortunate. Our clubs at WJ have not effectively fulfilled this responsibility this year, and it’s something we really need to work on. Meanwhile, we all need to consider how much we have, and how much we need to, involve ourselves in the trademark idealism and activism that defines Walter Johnson.
May 27, 2010
Centipede Crushes Caliber of Movies
By Cameron Keyani
Violent Films Maintain High Quality Standards By Alex Spinard
Since the 1950s, media has gradually become less censored “[Usually] I am required to award stars to movies I review,” said Roger Ebert of the latest sickening movie, The Human Cen- regarding racy subject matters, vulgar language and grotesque tipede. “This time, I refuse to do it. The star rating system is un- images. Some call it blasphemy, some call it rubbish and some suited to this film...It is what it is and occupies a world where completely ban it from their respective communities. Increased vulgarity and violence in movies is a positive trend, not a negathe stars don’t shine.” The film is the story of a deranged German surgeon who tive one, because it allows new levels of artistic freedom and attaches three tourists together by connecting their digestive theatrical exploration. Movies undoubtedly are able to project tracts and forces them to do tricks and crawl around in syn- a message more concisely and clearly than books can. Many conservative movie critics find the degree of violence, chronization. If you are now intrigued to go out and see this gore and suggestive themes to be almost disgraceful and feel movie, I am sincerely sad for being an enabler. Since movies have become more vulgar and violent, they have they should not even be considered art. These “unorthodox” gotten worse in quality and less legitimate as an art form. The forms of art merely reflect the interests and desires of its targetHuman Centipede is evidence enough as to how low the quality of ed audience and society. Needless to say the majority of people movies have sunk. This movie, and other films like it, are truly seeing movies like The Human Centipede or any of the Saw movies despicable trash that have no place but on the cutting room are under 30, while the more of well-credited movie critics are much older floor of a B-movie and praise studio. once highly In the second controver half of the twentisial films like eth century, movies A Clockwork Orstarted to be conange. However, sidered an art form, unlike The Huwith masterpieces man Centipede like Lawrence of Arabia or Saw, A Clockand Ben-Hur blowing work Orange is away audiences. In derived from retrospect, even films a classic 1962 that were considered novel and folcontroversial and lows the lives inappropriate like of a group of A Clockwork Orange, trouble makwhich was banned in ing youths in some countries and the near future blamed for rapes and England who murders, had a sorun about in the cietal critique, plus Graphic by Krithi Ramaswamy night commitcomplex and flawed characters, but that was another era. There is nothing complex ting senseless acts of violence such as rape, vandalism, battery/ assault and random acts of murder, which was all expressed in about a Human Centipede, except how to feed it. Movies have simply declined over time, and American cul- great detail. By the time A Clockwork Orange was turned into a ture has declined along with it. An America that laughs at cheap movie in 1971, the novel had been considered by many critics fart jokes and over the top violence is an America that tolerates as piece of literary art and intellectual expressionism. Traditional American gung-ho films such Saving Private Ryan and even encourages depravity in movies. and We Were Soldiers have encountered little controversy conRecently, I went to see the popular and well-received Kick Ass, expecting to see comedic film with a few half-hearted ac- cerning the amount of graphic violence in the films. The films tion scenes. What I got was a mildly comedic gorefest about an use attention-grabbing images and dialog to shock the viewer in 11-year-old girl dismembering heroin addicts. I greatly enjoyed order to provoke them to understand, to a certain degree, the the movie, with its believable dialogue and beautiful cinema- brutalities of war. In a novel the attention-grabbing images cantography, until I realized that I was laughing at images of a child not be portrayed as strongly through words and therefore may not appropriately or effectively pass on the correct or intended murdering people and swearing like a sailor. Is this the best we can do? Because films have drifted away message to the viewer. Art is not clearly defined; art is made to pass a particular from the classic story of a flawless hero who gets the girl and lives happily ever after, does that mean every movie must push message or theme across in a particular way in order to add the boundaries of how much violence, sex and swearing can be substance and drama to otherwise boring and dry plot lines. The vulgarities in movies mostly are designed to provoke included without an NC-17 rating? Film makers like Quentin Tarentino have made well-liked strong emotions from the audience. With the introduction of movies featuring lots of violence, and he even made a film with new technology, producers have increasingly higher and higher one of the most uses of the F word, Pulp Fiction, but at least his standards to meet. Sure, some movies are needlessly violent films have purpose.They have a well-written and complex plots and writers turn the plots into sadistic stories that focus on that make the audience think. But the problem is, most direc- the deaths of characters over the intellectual progression of the tors don’t have a fraction of Tarentino’s skill, so they fill their films, but those movies will receive bad ratings and poor atfilms with profanity and vulgarity and bank on the unsuspect- tendances. What’s even better is that the movie industry over ing viewer who doesn’t know what kind of trash they just paid time will adapt to the demands of mainstream society. Just because producers make movies that focus on unnecessarily vio$10 for. If movies don’t take a cue from television and clean up their lent subject matter does not make it art; the plot needs to have content immediately, they will become moronic and pointless substance as well. entertainment just like cable. All I can hope is that we never live to see RealWorld:The Movie! Storyline by Cameron Keyani, Drawn by Will McGowan
Curveball I’m free! I’m free!
By Colin Buley So this is it, my last column. I’ve been waiting to write this for a long time, because it means that I am done. I am done with high school. I’ve been repeating that sentence in my head for the past couple weeks and it still makes me feel a little bit giddy when I say it. I am done with high school. *Insert giant grin here* I’m not going to miss Walter Johnson, not yet at least, but I’m going to remember it. This school and the experience I had here helped make me who I am, and I’m rather fond of myself at this point in time. It’s been really fun, and it’s been really boring. It’s been incredible at times, and it’s also been horrible to the point where I’ve wanted to scream because I was stuck here. I used to spend every day going from class to class, working hard to keep my grades up so as not to disappoint my parents or my teachers. I used to spend hours in my room forcing myself to concentrate on studying easy subjects that didn’t interest me in the least bit, just so that I could get into some college that I didn’t even know I wanted to go to yet. I used to have to spend time each morning after waking up, convincing myself that it was indeed worth getting out of my beautiful bed at an ungodly hour to go to a place that made me miserable. It all sucked very, very much. At some point though, I realized one very important thing; that I should be doing everything because I want to do it, not to appease anybody else. And everything I was doing, I did not want to do. So I changed things, albeit in a slightly irresponsible way, but it felt right. I stopped caring so much about school because it was not important to me, I’m after bigger things. My parents saw spotty attendance and bad grades; I saw freedom and time spent doing things I cared about. My teachers saw laziness and a troubled kid. I saw a guy acting on what he believed in and damning the consequences. I felt bad at times, knowing everybody was worried, but I knew I was doing what I needed to do to reach my goals. Not by conforming to a system in which I see no meaningful purpose but by doing what I know to be right for myself. An interesting thing happened as I changed. People started hatin’. People don’t like change, especially when the change is not normal or in line with what their views. People resist change, even when it’s not any of their damn business. And let me tell you, it’s really confusing when I am trying to figure out life here. But, as always in times like that, Jay-Z gave me inspiration to brush that dirt off my shoulder and carry on. Before I was chasing happiness, now I have it. Forgive me, haters, for trying to not lose the thing that most people spend their whole lives looking for. So yeah, I’m not going to college right away. I didn’t take any AP tests to get ahead in college (where I will end up eventually). I’m LC-ing a couple classes this semester. But I learned more while “messing up” than I ever did in years of trying to do what other people wanted. I am damn happy right now. I don’t know where I’m going, and I’m completely cool with that. Because I know, wherever I end up, it’ll be because I want to be there. Peace out WJ, thanks for everything.
May 27, 2010
Pitch Opinion: Inter County Has Loose Connection The Inter County Connector, an eighteen-mile toll road designed to connect Prince George’s and Montgomery County, has caused controversy since its construction was first proposed in the 1950s. Proponents of its construction argue that it will help alleviate traffic flow, while critics maintain that it serves little purpose and is detrimental to the environment and the communities it destroys in order to make space. The continued push for this road’s existence has been scorned and praised by various Maryland politicians for decades, and has been a major issue in political campaigns for over fifty years. But finally, construction is underway. While supporters, like former gov-
ernor Robert Ehrlich, are glad to finally move forward with this long-debated plan, many people were devastated by the news, and with good reason. The road is set to result in the destruction of nearly 1,000 acres of forest and contribute to a significant amount of urban sprawl, as well as displace upwards of fifty families from their homes. Multiple environmental groups have filed law suits against the ICC, citing the possible harm to air quality and forest life. The environmental impact and disruption to communities is bad enough, but worse are the repercussions to Prince George’s County’s economy and traffic flow. The ICC is predicted to primar-
ily spur development in Montgomery County, shifting jobs and recourses away from PG County. More than 30 Prince George’s County officials signed an amicus brief opposing the ICC’s construction. This highway project is one of the most expensive in the country, estimated to cost $2.5 billion in taxpayer money, not to mention the immeasurable cost to individuals and Maryland’s environment. And is it worth it? Probably not. There’s limited evidence to support that it will do anything for the traffic, and the very limited improvements it does offer cannot outweigh the damages to PG County and Maryland as a whole.
The Pitch Seniors Sign Off
Compiled by the Editorial Section
It’s been a crazy year for the Pitch staff, and how could it not be with miscreants like Colin Buley and Luke Wilson running the paper?Well, when we say running, we mean really, Luke ran the paper. And Colin... we don’t know what Colin was doing. He was off being sketchy somewhere. But regardless, the senior editors made the Pitch an experience to remember, hopefully fondly. So, what will you guys miss the most? Mateo: That’s a good question…What will I miss? Well, I’ll miss sneaking sexual innuendos into the sports section. If you haven’t noticed them yet, it’s ‘cause we’re that good. Honestly, it’s the only thing that makes writing about your dumb sports somewhat tolerable. Colin: In The Pitch, as in life, the little things are the best. I will always remember the first time Luke spanked me with a ruler, and the sneaky booty spanking war that followed. Good times, good times. I will also miss the purple, crayon smiley face drawn on my computer. I named him Schlep Schlep. Oh yeah, and sneaking curse words and controversial topics into Curveball always gave me some satisfaction. Trust me, it was for the good of all you sheltered children. But the thing that I’ll miss the most is the couch. It’s so comfy. Celia: Only Cami would suggest that life, one day, should be in 3-D. His strange Youtube videos and music selection have kept me curious for the past year. I am not sure how I will survive without his slightly awkward personality and the same purple plaid button down that he wears every day. Between the man-point system that I do not think I will ever understand and Parker’s undeniable manface, my life in Pitch has definitely taught me more about what is truly important in life than all of my high school courses combined. Luke: Web MD says the silent killer is hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, but I know better than that. After spending an entire school year sitting next to Jennifer Spencer, my nerves are close to dead and my feelings are already there. After writing my first Luke’s Life, she turned to me and said, “Nobody cares about your life, not even your family cares about your life, stop writing this column.” Ever since then, we have sat in complete silence. Ava: These past three years have been amazing. Quietly witnessing and recording the ridiculous things you people say…no, Jenny, Haiti does not suffer from voodoo…I’ve gotta say this has been the best piece of high school. While I’ve kept the staff well-fed with brownies, cookies, cakes and the occasional pie, I have to say that nothing has kept me more well-fed than the PB&Js I stole from Luke Wilson day after day. A special shout out to Luke’s mother, who coincidentally has the same name as my mom;
Photo by Sasha Tycko
From top, left to right: Jennifer Spencer, Alli Gordon, Mateo Williamson, Luke Wilson, Zach Gordon. From bottom, left to right: Colin Buley, Camilla Yanusbevsky, Ava Bleiberg, Kathleen Seale, Krithi Ramaswamy. Center: Celia Karp.
you make a damn good double-peanutbutter-and-strawberry-jelly-on-potatobread sandwich. Jennifer: I will miss a lot of things, but I think the number one thing I will miss is listening to Gucci playing on Luke’s computer. While not much other communication went on, I will remember Gucci’s tune ringing in my ear as I wrote my articles. That and Parker’s facial hair on his facial hair. Camilla: I’m going to miss Feature and all the funny, awkward memories: e-mailing Krithi if we could make her over with March Makeover Madness (even though she was sitting in the computer next to me), filming a super embarrassing video with Alli in the Zohra salon about how the love of our life will propose to us, last minute cramming at press night and all the rest. Alli: I’m going to miss a lot of things about The Pitch. I’ll especially miss how much Ms. Gates trusted us. My favorite example of this was when we needed $400 to go shopping for the two people we were making over in the March Makeover Madness edition. Having forgotten to get the money the day before we needed it, Ms. Gates sent Camilla, Abby and me to the ATM machine near Giant with her debit card and pin number and told us to take out the $400 from her ac-
count. My mom won’t even give me her pin number. Krithi: I will miss the sense of purpose I felt as a member of the newspaper. I will miss all my friends on The Pitch and all the fun I had this year. Kathleen: I will miss the awkward friendships. I was new to the staff this year and I had to work with Mateo and Zach. It took me so long to try and be Zach’s friend because he was so unaccepting. I would be like, “Hey Zach what’s up?” and I would get back, “Yeah nothing…” That wasn’t good enough for me, so every day I tried harder and basically eased my friendship on him so that he knew he had to accept me as his friend or that his life would be hell for the rest of the year. It’s a love-hate relationship. Zach: I will miss the relationships I had with everyone. I will miss Luke Wilson who I verbally harassed each and every day, along with stealing his lunch and intercepting his passes on the football field. I will miss my love-hate relationship with Kathleen. I will miss Ava, The Pitch’s resident baker. I will miss my fellow editor Mateo Williamson, who constantly ignores my pleas for help. We are one big, dysfunctional, happy family, and even though we yell and fight and scream at each other, we all come together each month to make one of the best damn papers this nation has to offer.
This May Be Too Late, But Oh Well By Parker Smith It’s that time of year again: class elections. If you’re like me, you’ve received a dozen Facebook group invitations asking you to vote for class officers and signed a dozen election petitions, and won’t know who you’re voting for until the last moment. So, candidates, if you want to get elected, here’s what you gotta do. 1. Before anything else, get your name out there, because people won’t vote for you if they don’t know you’re running. In recent years it has become customary to create a Facebook group for your campaign, and while it may sound stupid, unnecessary, or both, it has become as close to an “official” candidacy announcement to the student body as it gets. Beyond Facebook cyber-campaigning, a catchy slogan and campaign posters can often help to get publicity. But, be careful. If all of this campaigning works like it should, people will remember you by the slogan that you’ve selected, so it better be representative of you. An overly-corny slogan or an obnoxious campaign poster is sometimes just enough to lose votes. 2. Be funny, because the homecoming video needs to be great. I think we all know that people run to be in the video, and people get elected because people think they’re funny enough to be in it. With your campaign, you need to show me and everyone else that you would help to create the funniest homecoming video in recent history. That means a clever spinoff of a popular movie (Batman, Harry Potter, etc.), some memorable and iconic lines (orange mocha frappachinos!) and teachers involved in ludicrous plot lines (everyone loves a Garran-Merrill showdown). While you don’t need to outline the video in your speech, you need to treat the speech as a tryout, as a chance to convince me that you have the humor and creativity to make the homecoming video hilarious. 3. Explain to me what you’re running for, or at least try. Attempt to explain what your title means. For example, does being the treasurer mean you actually oversee the activity of some sort of treasury? Does the secretary actually answer phones? What does the president actually do? We all know that officers don’t raise taxes or go to war, so explain to me what you can do. Tell me, practically, how you can improve and lead WJ for the upcoming year, and explain how your title entitles you to do so. 4. In your speech, prove that you actually have ideas. From what I can tell, that’s what officers’ main job is: to brainstorm fundraising ideas in order to win Pennies for Patients. Candidates in their speeches always boast that they have fantastic and creative ideas, only to either never specify ideas or mention that these new ideas have actually been done hundreds of times before. To get votes, you need to give me something truly original, no matter how inappropriate or impractical it may seem. If you do these four simple things and do them well, you’ll earn my vote. But I don’t speak for everyone, and it’s probably too late to change your carefully orchestrated campaign strategy now. Oh well.
May 27, 2010
Megan Razick Milad Emamian
United States Coast Guard Academy
Manori De Alwis
University of Maryland
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
University of Virginia
College Prep Guide
Freshmen to Seniors
Senior Scatter Where are your classmates going?
pg. 13 Photos by Celia Karp Wildcat courtesy of www.walterjohnson.com
May 27, 2010
I Think I’ll Miss You, WJ By Allison Gordon Although the days can seem slow and the weeks can seem even slower, the four years I have been in high school have passed in a flash. I remember everything so clearly: from freshman year – being scared of all the big, tall seniors in the hallways, to this year – becoming one of the not big or tall seniors in the hallways. High school is something everyone has to go through and no two people will ever have the same high school experience. Everyone takes away something different, even from the same class. For example, my best friend and I had math together sophomore year and while she may have enjoyed the class because the teacher was good and we got to sit next to each other, I enjoyed it because I got to talk to the cute upperclassman boy who sat on my other side. Although high school is said by some (namely Steve Carell in Little Miss Sunshine) to be our “prime suffering years,” I can’t imagine suffering through these four years not being at WJ or not with the friends I’ve made here. And although there has been some serious suffering – getting Ds on freshman APEX English essays with Mrs. Baker, walking from portable to portable in the rain and snow and not seeing a single football game win until my junior year – let’s be honest, I am really going to miss those times. Freshman year English class was when I learned how to write and although Mrs. Baker was strict, she is one of the best teachers I had at WJ. And the portables? Yeah they were a pain sometimes but come on, they are the reason we have seven minutes in between classes. And yeah, walking in the rain was annoying, but being out of the building, even for a few minutes, felt really good. And football is actually something I will miss a lot. Even though we didn’t start winning until last year, I’ve had some good times and met new people by being spirited and sticking out the games until the end, even in the rain. And then there are the things about high school that I will miss that could never be considered close to suffering. Number one on that list would be the school spirit. One of the greatest feelings when waking up at 6:15 a.m. to get ready for school is knowing you don’t have to spend time picking out an outfit because you have to dress up for spirit. The spirit at sports games is also incredible. Being on the amazingly awesome girls volleyball team this year made me really appreciate the Mad Cows. Being on that team and seeing the support of our fans (whether they were there for the short spandex or the actual sport, that I will never know) made me want to go out and support all other sports at WJ, and definitely be spirited in college. I know WJ isn’t perfect though, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs just this year, but for a place where 2000 moody teenagers go for about six hours a day, I can’t imagine anywhere better…well, except for college. And now that the class of 2010 is off to college, or other things that are bigger and better than high school, Asher Roth has some great advice that we should all follow: “Don’t pass out with your shoes on, and don’t leave the house ‘till the booze gone*, and don’t have sex if she’s too gone, when it comes to condoms, put two on.” Stay classy, WJ. *The legal drinking age is 21
Ar tw ork
by K r
May 27, 2010
College Prep Guide
Lessons Learned Lesson #1: Speak Up
Lesson #2: Work Hard/Play Hard By Alina Marciniak Special to The Pitch
By David Riva Special to The Pitch
I’ve always considered myself a nice person, but at the same time, somewhat of a pushover. I thought that you couldn’t have one without the other, like Simon and Garfunkel. Or Brett Favre and bad decision making. Two things that sometimes don’t go together, however, are roommates. Which was definitely the case for me and my humbling companion from New York City. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against those who choose to spend 22 hours per day sleeping in the nude. And the other two hours awake… in the nude. I do, on the other hand, have something against living with this kind of person. For the first month or so Cartoons by Krithi Ramaswamy of college, I put up with my roommate’s interesting behavior. I sat in my room all day with the lights off while he slept, and went to bed with the lights on while he did things I’ll never know. And never want to. Point is, I thought that if I spoke up, I wouldn’t be a nice person anymore because I would be interfering with his personal choices. However, enough was enough and I had no choice but to ask my roommate to adopt living habits that were at least a little bit normal. After I manned up and confronted him about this, the rest of the year was much more manageable. Though still the most awkward living environment on Earth. Am I still a nice person? I like to think so. So when you find out that your roommate next year is way too interested in Revolutionary War reenactments, don’t hesitate to ask them to, well, be a little bit more normal.
When I first imagined what my college would be like, I thought of that quintessential university coffee shop with all those kids with glasses slaving over their 50 million page term papers over flavored espressos while casually discussing international affairs. Now, I’m not saying that coffee shop doesn’t exist, but I was in for quite the surprise. Now, I had never been the partier in high school. My ideal Saturday had always been seeing the latest flick at Regal or sitting around with friends complaining about how boring sitting around and complaining was. By the end of my first week of college, I had been initiated into the School of Fratology, a school that I didn’t even know my university had. That first week, I ate a live goldfish for a front pocketed Tshirt, dressed up as Snooki, played countless games of corn hole, experienced my first hangover (from all of that root beer) and even invested in my first pair of Croakies (a frattessential sunglass holder). It was a week straight out of Animal House. The rest of my year was tough. Not only did I have to balance my school work, clubs and sorority involvement, but I had to fit in all that extra time for parties. College parties are so much fun and college is supposed to be the best time of your life, so, by all means, live a little. But don’t forget that the whole purpose of college is to get an education. Believe me, it’s tempting to go out to that crazy rager when you have your neuroscience final the next morning at 9 a.m. But remember, there is plenty of time for fratting after you bring home that Magna Cum Laude diploma home to mom and dad.
Interviews conducted by Flor Martinez
Reflection of Time at WJ By Camilla Yanushevsky
When I finally hit the sack Saturday night from 40 hours of little sleep and prom/after-prom partying, it dawned on me: high school is over. I wanted to savor the last 40 hours. I didn’t want to think about graduation, or college, or the future. I was exhausted. I knew physically I needed rest, but mentally my mind, my brain was sizzling. I opened the window, pulled the covers upon my back and put the pillow upon my head. I closed my eyes, trying to remember the moon bounce, the hypnosis show, how stupid I was at 7 a.m. to run after the sunrise with my best friend barefoot. I was happy. I couldn’t remember the last time I was so happy. But my heart kept beating, faster and faster. I tried taking deep breaths, but it would not stop. Bumph Bumph Bumph I was scared. The only time my heart beats so fast is when I’m scared. “But scared of what?” To answer this question, I got out of bed and went downstairs on the computer. I made my way onto Facebook and one by one analyzed each of my photos from freshman year onward. Pictures of me with curly hair and no sense of style, pictures of me with my friends, pictures of me at WJ, pictures of me at debate and forensics, all the way to pictures of prom. And then suddenly it hit me. Afraid of leaving familiar surroundings? Frightened at the feeling of missing my friends, the people I met, WJ as a whole? Not so much. Time was ticking. I’ve already lived 17 years of my life and I was still trying to figure myself and our world out. Loving and Missing Love: synonymous with a strong attraction and a warm attachment or devotion. Love. I’ve never been in love, but from all the chick-flicks I have seen, the Shakespeare, the Jane Eyre, the Margaret Mitchell works that I have read (the list goes on an on), I have come to associate love with happiness or more like a plethora of emotions that helps one in the journey to discover, or rather rediscover oneself. To make an analogy: it is like an instant, unclenching attraction like between protons and electrons. I through centuries of research and lab experiments have come to terms with the “the purpose of life” and that is to find love, true love. To Love is analogous with to miss. Miss: synonymous with to fail to hit, reach or get something, to escape, to avoid, to leave out, to regret the absence of. Thus, through the logical connection between these two words, it is only through love, with the feeling of undeniable, unmoving love can one truly miss. The Road Ahead As we make our way to college we are given a clean slate. For many this is the main reason why they are looking forward to college. But through reinvention, you also experience loss, loss of yourself and identity. Reinvention is confusion, a stray on the path to selfdiscovery. Man Up Stop with the whining and complaining. Seniors, we’ve gotten through four years of high school and each and everyone of us is ready for a change, for college. Although leaving what is familiar and reflecting back on how fast the clock ticks might put us at ease at times, soon, before we even know it, the unease will be at the back of our head turned into memories that will last us a lifetime.
Remember to pack these essential items to give style to your dorm room.
Photos courtesy of Flickr
Posters and Pictures
May 27, 2010
Our Changes From Freshmen to Seniors By Julia Cinquegrani and Sari Amiel
Every year, The Pitch makes over two WJ students or staff members in the March Issue, but we fail to acknowledge those who do the hardest thing of all: make themselves over. We have all done this in some way or form, as you can obviously tell when you go back and look at your Facebook pictures from freshman year. These two people have truly engaged in a metamorphosis.
Peggy Mariani walked into school wearing washed out jeans, a cheetah print shirt and a short black cardigan. But less than a year ago, Mariani would have instead come to school wearing a traditional Muslim headdress, called a hijab, and modest clothing that covered her from head to toe. Yet last summer, before her senior year, Mariani made a life changing decision: to permanently take off her head scarf. “I never really believed in or valued the religious beliefs of the Halal meat or head scarf anyway, but I always felt like I had to follow it,” said Mariani. Until recently, however, Mariani had still followed these customs. Since the summer before her sixth grade, Mariani wore her head scarf and attended services at her mosque every night with her father, and many of her close friends. “But even after I removed my scarf, I’m still the same person I was, especially to my friends. My personality didn’t change at all. My father was a little disappointed with my decision, but my mother, who’s not very religious, was pretty happy with me,” said Mariani. She also began eating meats that were not killed in the Halal method, a method which is approved by Islamic religious laws. Mariani said that since she became more liberal with her religious beliefs, she has felt less inhibited in her activities and more independent overall.
Photos courtesy of interviewees
Reggie Leslau One day, in early fall 2007, Walter Johnson student Reggie Leslau coasted into school with contact lenses and a new haircut. He was only a sophomore then, but that incident altered his identity to this day. Today, Leslau is a senior about to graduate and travel to Israel, where he will serve in the army. A major transition “is something that completely alters your life… and changes your habits,” according to Leslau, who categorizes his transformation in that way. With his hair cut short and his glasses removed, Leslau developed a new identity and a new reputation. “Personality-wise, I haven’t changed,” said Leslau. His younger sister agrees with this statement. “He’s always been talkative,” said freshman Grace Leslau of her older brother. However, while he might have maintained a constant character inside himself, others’ views of him completely evolved. Today, Jackie Fisher, his girlfriend, can hardly remember sitting next to him in ninth grade biology. In fact, she cannot recall his presence until the last half of tenth grade, after he had transformed. “[It’s] because he was good-looking [then],” she said. Leslau’s conversion consisted of “one major change” and “it was kind of gradual” after that, as Reggie continued to become more of a noticeable figure in his classes.
May 27, 2010
Senior Scatter Congratulations to the Class of 2010!
School in Spain
U of Pittsburgh
U of Miami
St. Mary’s of MD
St. Mary’s of MD
St. Mary’s of MD
U of Delaware
U of Michigan
East Carolina U
Savannah Coll of A&D
St. Mary’s of MD
U of South Carolina
Edison School of Tech
New England College
St. Mary’s of MD
U of Pittsburgh
St. Mary’s of MD
U of South Carolina
U of South Carolina
U of Tennessee
U of Edinburgh
Florida Int’l U
U of Edinburgh
Int’l American U (Bolivia)
Continuing at WJ
Continuing at WJ
Naval Academy (Spain)
U of Florida
Continuing at WJ
Johnson & Wales-Denver
Queens U (Canada)
U of Mississippi
Ohio State University
U of Michigan
U of Miami
U of Arizona
Ohio State University
Ohio State U
James Madison U
Mount St. Mary’s
St. Andrews (Scotland)
Continuing at WJ
U of Michigan
St. Mary’s of MD
Georgia Southern U
U of Michigan
U of South Carolina
St. Mary’s of MD
St. Mary’s of MD
Frostburg State U
Carnegie Mellon U
Georgia Southern U
St. Mary’s of MD
U of Rochester
U of Connecticut
U of Redlands
St. Louis University
St. Mary’s of MD
Johnson & Wales Denver
York College of PA
U of Adv. Tech
U of Minnesota
U of South Carolina
U of Michigan
College of Charleston
U of Miami
St. Mary’s of MD
William and Mary
Franklin & Marshall
College of Charleston
U of St. Andrew’s
U of Georgia
Those seniors whose names are not included in the Senior Scatter did not provide information to The Pitch. Compiled by Danielle Markowitz Infographic by Camilla Yanushevsky
Pitch Picks MUSIC
May 27, 2010
Big Boi, born Antwan Andre Patton, is an American rapper, singer, producer, and actor most famous as one half of the duo Outkast! He appeared on “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out” in Season 3, was a musical guest on “The Dave Chappelle Show” and acted in the movie Who’s Your Caddy. He is also featured in Missy Elliot’s “All N My Grill,” Fantasia Barrino’s “Hood Boy” and Jay-Z’s “Poppin’ Tags.” Big Boi’s long-awaited solo album Sir Luscious Left Foot:The Son of Chico Dusty is set to be released in the summer and has been preceded by the single “Shutterbug” to positive reactions. Big Boi mixes Southern hip hop and funk with a smooth flow, adding something refreshing to the music industry.
Photo courtesy of www.thelocalnatives.com
>Sleigh Bells Sleigh Bells is an American noise-pop duo who originated in Brooklyn, New York and is composed of Derek E. Miller as the guitarist, producer and songwriter and Alexis Krauss as the lead singer. They released their debut album Treats on May 11, 2010, which has landed as #2 on iTunes’ most popular albums. Treats was also put at #39 on Billboard’s Hot 200. Several tracks from their album, including “Tell ‘Em” which was released online, gained attention from the New York Times and Pitchfork Media. Pitchfork, a Chicago-based daily Internet publication devoted to music criticism, also named the Sleigh Bells track “Crown on the Ground” as the 57th best song of 2009. Their album was released exclusively through the iTunes store by M.I.A’s N.E.E.T. Recordings in partnership with Mom + Pop Records. The duo first performed at the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival in 2009, for which they received a lot of publicity. Their genre is mostly described as a sound of noise pop and dance punk and the single “Treats” loud and banging noises come together in an interesting and well put together track. By Josh Benjamin
MGMT got big in 2007 with their debut album Oracular Spectacular and just released a new album Congratulations in April. The indie-rock band became popular with their electro-pop sound. The songs still keep their same psychedelic sound, but they have gone with more upbeat tempos and strayed away from catchy pop singles like “Kids” and “Time to Pretend.” Despite the different sound, the album is interesting in that the songs flow together for a more cohesive sound. The best song is “Flash Delirium” because the song adheres to the previous album’s pop sound and has a good beat. The lead single “Congratulations” is not as catchy and audience-geared as 2008’s single “Time to Pretend,” but the album as a whole is still a good listen.
>The Dead Weather: Sea of Cowards Photo courtesy of www.whoismgmt.com
Photo courtesy of www.thedeadweather.com
For those of you who know The White Stripes and The Raconteurs, you know Jack White. The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist created a third group in 2009, The Dead Weather, which already released its second album in May. The group is composed of Alison Mosshart (from The Kills and Discount), Dean Fertita (from Queens of the Stone Age), and Jack Lawrence (also from The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes). With the new album Sea of Cowards The Dead Weather brings a brand new style that is unlike any of White’s former projects. The album debuted in the top five on the Billboard 200 album charts. The beat of the music is slow but fits the vocals well and allows listeners to focus on the impressive lyrics. This is an album worth buying and fans of The White Stripes are likely to enjoy this new sound. By Daniel Gorelik
May 27, 2010 MUSIC continued
By Roshel Mullokandov
>LCD Soundsystem “All I Want”
Sometimes you just want to listen to music and forget that it’s there. The song “All I Want” is a perfect example. The same guitar riff- a sped up version of the guitar riff from “Heroes” by David Bowie- repeats throughout the entire song, followed by a voice that is barely audible. Although the guitar riff sounds really cool, it gets to be annoying quickly. After a few minutes of listening to the same intoxicating guitar riff and whispers, a keyboard is introduced to drown out the voice even more. The guitar riff and drum beat get repetitive, until the end when the song becomes more chaotic. A screeching noise enters in the background, which provides an eerie effect to the sound. Despite the repetition, the song is well produced and draws the listener in from the beginning to end.
Photo courtesy of www.lcdsoundsystem.com
Photo courtesy of www.erykahbadu.com
[arts&entertainment] >Erykah Badu “Window Seat”
Joel McIver, who has written 17 novels specifically about music, wrote a book called “Erykah Badu: The First Lady of Neo Soul.” Badu certainly earned this title with the release of “Window Seat” off her latest album. Badu grabs the listener’s attention with her natural, soulfilled voice that contrasts most mainstream music of today. The song describes Badu on the window seat of an airplane not wanting to sit with any strangers and longing for her lover when she gets home. However, the video for “Window Seat” sparked controversy for both its nudity and political messages. It takes place in Dallas, Texas where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and begins with a sound bite of the moment before his death. Badu exits a car, and slowly starts taking off all her clothes. After five minutes of her taking off her clothes in slow motion, there is a gunshot with a puddle of blood spelling the word “groupthink.” Although many people have taken it as an offense to Kennedy, Badu claims that she sees Kennedy as one of her heroes, and the video was a protest against groupthink, which is a group philosophy saying that people should deal with catastrophes and disasters in a rational matter, and to not involve any emotion in their decision. Regardless of the video, the song is beautiful in its soulfullness and natural simplicity.
>The Kids Are All Right By Ali Jawetz
Photo courtesy of www.filminfocus.com
Lisa Cholodenko’s most recent work is about two siblings (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson), who were conceived by artificial insemination. They decide to search for their birth father (Mark Ruffalo) so they can bring him into the family that was created by their two lesbian moms. The film has received much positive reception from critics at the Sundance Film Festival with its funny but poignant lessons about family relationships. Reviewers have noted that The Kids are All Right is refreshing in that it does not preach about gay rights. Though the film depicts a family with lesbian mothers, it does not try to convince the audience that this type of family is better or different than a straight one. Many reviews emphasized that the movie is actually realistic in its depictions of family life, without focusing too heavily on political elements.
By Marielle Eldridge
Photo courtesy of www.cropseylegend.com
The independent documentary film Cropsey, directed by Joshua Zelman and Barbara Brancaccio, debuted this year at the Tribecca film festival. Growing up in Staten Island New York, Zeman and Brancaccio often heard stories of the urban legend Cropsey. Supposedly Cropsey was an escaped patient from Willowbrook Mental Institution, who would come out in the middle of the night and kidnap children off the streets. The story was used as a precaution to keep children out of the abandoned institution. But in 1987 when 13 year-old Jennifer Schweiger, a child with Down syndrome, went missing the legend of Cropsey became a reality. As adults Zeman and Brancaccio wanted to discover the truth. They were determined to uncover the alleged madman Cropsey which led them to Andre Rand the suspected killer. And what they uncovered about Cropsey was more thrilling than they ever expected. This documentary promises to be a suspenseful thriller that will keep audiences guessing until the very end.
QUICK PICKS [summer bucketlist]
By Taliah Dommerholt
Latin rhythm – Habana Village, a hip restaurant in Adams Morgan, offers three floors of old school salsa dancing at beginner and intermediate levels. Every Wednesday and Saturday, you can dance for only $10 per person, as well as enjoy the restaurant and its traditional cuisine.
Learn to garden
Roll through town- You’ve probably seen Segways all over the place and secretly always wondered what it’s like to ride one. Well, now is your chance. City Segway Tours offer tours in D.C.
Sleep beneath the stars
Great balls of fire- A bonfire is a great way to get together with friends and enjoy the outdoors. Have a bonfire party on a summer’s night and treat your guests to a cookout and s’mores. From dusk to dawn- There is nothing more classically romantic than a drive-in theater. Take someone special or simply go with friends. The closest drive-in is Bengies Drive-In, in Baltimore, M.D.
Go fruit picking Vamoose it- Take some friends and go to New York for the weekend The Vamoose bus is relatively cheap at $60 round trip, and New York is completely worth it. Visit www.vamoosebus.com for more information.
Participate in a mosh pit Develop a skill- Darkroom photography is an artsy outlet for your creativity, and classes are offered all around the area. Glen Echo Park in particular offers classes during the summer: www.glenechophotoworks.org Leave only footprints- Trek along the Potomac River on the Billy Goat Trail. Plan on having a picnic on the rocks and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Find your Zen- Take up yoga. Listen to the dulcet tones of Tibetan Monks or Enya, and reach a state of inner peace. Classes are offered at Down DogYoga and Balance Studio. Document the Memories: Whatever you end up doing, make sure you record it. Keep the memories forever in a scrapbook or journal, so you can relive the experiences and laugh at your younger self in a few years.You can get supplies at craft stores like A.C. Moore or Michael’s.
>Welcome By Sarah Scalet
Welcome, directed by Philippe Lioret, tells a controversial tale about a community of illegal immigrants that exists off the coast of the English Channel in Calais, France. One such refugee, Bilal, a 17 year-old Kurd, illegally crosses Europe in order to reach England, and stops at Calais. With no options left, Bilal decides to swim across the Channel separating him and freedom. He seeks the help of Simon, a middle-aged swimming instructor, who is privately dealing with an impending divorce from his socially-conscious wife. In order to win her back, Simon uncharacteristically decides to risk everything, including arrest for aiding a fugitive, to help Bilal. Welcome has been awarded the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, Best Film at the 2010 Lumiere Awards and ten Cesar nominations including Best Film and Best Director. The film strives to go beyond simple entertainment by raising public awareness about the plight facing immigrants in France and around the world.
May 27, 2010
Out of Left Field: Summer Style Guide: Bathing Suits
Entertainment Overload By Sasha Tycko
Before laptops and iPods, “studying” meant a two-hour cram session with nothing more than a book and a pen. The boredom of the classroom was interrupted only by doodling and daydreaming. During car rides people either argued about the radio station or accepted it and stared out the window. But this is the 21st century and people don’t dare be bored. In fact, boredom is virtually unattainable in the era of Facebook and iPods, because entertainment is everywhere. “Studying” now means checking Facebook, which leads to YouTube, which is then interrupted by an important text message. Two hours later, I’ve only read two pages. Of course, no one wants to be bored. It’s boring. Thus, the problem is not that we aren’t bored enough, but that we don’t know how to be bored effectively. We fill our free time doing mindless activities because it’s easy. Even if I want to go outside, read a book, or listen to music, I often end up on my laptop, clicking my way to mindless relaxation. This time could be spent productively; we could all become artists and musicians if we devoted an hour each day to whatever we love doing. But we don’t, because it’s easier to let computers and technology entertain us. We’ve gotten used to this over-stimulation to the point that our brains are addicted to it. The overload of information forces our brain to process quickly and reduces our attention span, because we’re constantly bombarded by something new or different. This addiction is fed by new advances in technology – more apps, faster computers and flashier websites. The moment we’re not active, we switch to doing something else. The time we would have spent waiting is diminished so that we are constantly in a state of arousal. This need for stimulation is reflected in what we choose to entertain us. Reality TV shows give us a fix of high drama and low quality. They keeps us mildly interested, but don’t force us to actually think or question. The frantic music that we listen to keeps us in motion, because the simple lyrics and melodies are paired with jumpy beats and excess noise. Pop music has become background noisesomething to get us “pumped up,” but not to be appreciated. Our social dynamics are shortening, too. We communicate through rapid-fire text messages and Facebook instead of letters or long phone calls. They feed us with a constant stream of information but reject genuine face-to-face interaction. Because we crave entertainment, we are left anxious and dissatisfied. We can’t stay in one place; we need new information, new stimulation. Stillness is disconcerting and constant motion is standard. The chase after new means of entertainment is without end and can never be fulfilled unless we slow down. Not that moving fast is inherently bad. Our ability to multi-task carries out tasks and keeps us interested. In fact, our methods of action are dependent on consuming information quickly. Yet we have to retain the ability to control our attention. To slow down our thought process we have to allot time to unplug ourselves from the constant assault of stimulation being forced upon us and focus on one activity at a time. Read a book in a quiet place. Listen to music without doing anything else. Paint. Draw. Take a breath and relax; it’s something we all need to do.
Choosing the right bathing suit for your body
By Eleanor Janhunen
To minimize your top-half, play up the bottom of your torso. An easy way to achieve this look is to buy bikini bottoms with side ties, belts or sashes to enhance your hip size. Also, look for bold colors and prints, as well as thick straps and square necklines. Avoid: plunging necklines and teeny bikini bottoms
2 3 4 5 Top Heavy
For the most flattering bikini look, find simple tops paired with embellished bottoms, so that the emphasis comes away from the chest to balance out your body proportions. If possible, always buy tops with underwire and wide straps to increase the suit’s supportiveness. For onepiece suits, look for plunging v-necks to elongate the body and lessen the prominence of your bust. Avoid: spaghetti straps, bandeau tops and horizontal stripes
When wearing bikinis, take the opposite approach of the top-heavy body type. Find simple, one-tone bottoms paired with tops that have fun prints, ruching, ruffles or other embellishment detailing to make your top-half appear more substantial. If you prefer, you may also buy padded bathing suits to enhance what is not naturally there to equalize your top and bottom halves. Suits with horizontal necklines also work for this body type as they draw attention away from the chest by emphasizing the shoulders. Avoid: one-pieces and tops with too much fabric
If you want to go for the two-piece look, a great way to achieve this is with a flattering tankini, which provide just enough coverage. However, if you want the true bikini feel, buy one with boy short bottoms, which cut below the stomach, and an embellished top to draw the eye upwards, while also looking for a darker color on top than bottom. When sporting a one-piece, look for a suit with a fun color or pattern that has draping around the waist or hips to offer some tummy coverage. Avoid: itsy bitsy bikinis, horizontal stripes and solid color one-pieces
The key, as always, is balance. Achieve this by wearing bikinis that draw attention away from your bottom half by having tops with prints, ruffles or some decoration. Then, pair these tops with skirted, solid color bottoms for ample coverage. When wearing one-pieces, look for those with wide straps and a horizontal neckline to again balance out your silhouette, preferably a maillot cut. Color-wise, go for a dark suit or a large print, both of which have a slimming effect. Avoid: boy shorts, skimpy bottoms and too much bottom detailing
You can find the above swimsuits at both South Moon Under and Anthropologie such as: Floribunda one-piece, La Blanca bikini, Ralph Lauren bikini top, La Blanca onepiece, Splendid bandeau bikini
Spectator Magazine: A Reading, Reflection & Review By Sophie Meade At first glance, the sleek-covered Spectator Literary & Arts Magazine may mean
no more to a Walter Johnson-outsider than The Pitch probably means to elite journalists on the National Mall. And even if this outsider were to pick up the magazine and open to the first page, upon reading the page-long vision statement he or she would most likely be in disbelief that these high school students could really address such national-scale issues as the decline of the American empire and definitive cultural values. But not only are these issues comprehensively addressed in the vision statement, they are also embodied in both the content and organization of Spectator. Reading the magazine in one sitting is, in true honesty over flattery, overwhelming. There is something so teen-angsty yet seemingly beyond the abilities of adololescent expression in the writing featured in the magazine. Each contributor- artist or writer- manages to establish his or her own personal recurring tone as the contributor’s pieces generally appear multiple times throughout the magazine. But once the student names in the margins fade from the reader’s view, these personalized tones create a unified fabric, like a single resounding voice, undoubtedly a result of the wise placement decisions of the editors. The small group of contributors has made way for a new wave of artists and writers. Through the brevity of each haiku’s last line or the poignance of a photograph’s color contrast, the artists and writers have given a temporary voice to those who haven’t yet found their own. Beyond the sheer genius of the student art and writing within Spectator is the clear ability of its editors to create a consistent yet transformative organization of a mature larger concept. After choosing the theme of entropy for this year’s issue, the staff faced the daunting task of combinining the literal and conceptual in order to arrive at a final product that represents both a multi-dimensional theme and the varying tones of each individual contributor. Their success in this goal has resulted in a publication that embraces every aspect of our teenage anguish and glory, that addresses our awareness of the world around us and that our generation of students can be proud of.
Cover art by Eric Smith
Photos courtesy of Spectator Staff
A page from Spectator: Art by Kristin Cotter and Daryl Oh, poetry by Samantha Schwartz
May 27, 2010
south africa 2010 This One’s for Africa By Jessica Evans
Every four years, fans unite to cheer and scream for the greatest event for the most popular sport, the World Cup. Starting June 11, every day is like a pep rally with people cheering, waving flags, and representing their country in any way possible. People who live on opposite sides of the world, who may not have anything in common but their passion for soccer, come together in South Africa to witness this incredible event. “It will be one big, festive, vibrant party with good natured competition,” said social studies teacher Mike Williams who will be going to South Africa to attend games this summer. “People screaming, cheering, jumping, everybody laughing, enjoying the atmosphere; that’s all part of the World Cup.” This is the first time in World Cup history that the tournament will be played in the continent of Africa. “Soccer is a very important part of South African culture,” said junior Daniel Jacobs, who was born and grew up in Johannesburg. “It is the most played and watched sport amongst all South Africans.” South Africa’s love affair for the game began in the 19th century when British officers played against civil servants in Cape Town. In 1975, South Africa was removed from Federal International Football Association (FIFA) because of Apartheid and the resulting discrimination among soccer leagues. In 1992, South Africa was accepted back into FIFA with the creation of the South African Football Association (SAFA) in December 1991. South Africa has been working hard to prepare to host all 32 teams as well as fans for the tournament. The South African government has invested billions of Rand (South Africa’s currency) to create The Gautrain, a train system created to efficiently transport people around the country. Citizens of South Africa are taking pride in their country for hosting the prestigious event. “It means a lot to me and to other South Africans to host the World Cup,” said Jacobs. “I know that everyone over there is very excited and is counting down the days until it starts.” Both Williams and Jacobs hope that the World Cup will increase tourism to South Africa and cause the country to gain more global attention. “The global community is recognizing that South Africa has made [an effort to bring] about changes,” said Williams. “It’s an event that will bring more attention and more money coming in their country as well as prestige; and South Africans are going to embrace it.”
May 27, 2010
May 27, 2010
The Pride of a Nation(s)? By Kathleen Seale
Preview by Phillip Resnick
Photos courtesy of flickr.com
Projected Order of Finish: France (Advance), Uruguay (A), Mexico, South Africa
Projected Order of Finish: Netherlands (A), Cameroon (A), Denmark, Japan
Players to Watch: Thierry Henry (France), Diego Forlán (Uruguay)
Players to Watch: Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
This group is likely to draw high attendance and lots of attention because of host country South Africa. This is a talented group with three teams in the top 17 of FIFA’s rankings. France had trouble qualifying, and if not for a no-call and a handball by Thierry Henry against Ireland, they may not even be in the tournament. Mexico and Uruguay are both very talented and should make this a very unpredictable group.
This group is one of the most intriguing due to high expectations for both the Netherlands and Cameroon. The Netherlands are considered the most balanced team in the tournament and are very talented all over the field. Cameroon is also very good with star striker Samuel Eto’o. Denmark is an underrated team and has a chance to beat out Cameroon if they play to their potential. If you’re looking for upsets, this is a group to watch.
Projected Order of Finish: Argentina (A), Greece (A), South Korea, Nigeria
Projected Order of Finish: Italy (A), Paraguay (A), Slovakia, New Zealand
Players to Watch: Lionel Messi (Argentina), Lee Keun-Ho (South Korea)
Players to Watch: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Stanislav Sestak (Slovakia)
With Argentina by far the best team in the group, the second spot is up for grabs. Nigeria is a solid team and should continue to play as well as they did in qualifying. Greece is an underrated team and should surprise many people if they play to their ability. South Korea wasn’t challenged in qualifying in a weak Asian group, but they should be able to hold their own.
Italy, the defending champions, received a very easy draw in the group stage. Their only competition will be Paraguay, who qualified third in CONMEBOL. New Zealand is one of the weakest teams in the tournament, and this is Slovakia’s first international tournament ever. Italy has a very talented squad and have one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Buffon, who allowed only two goals in the entire 2006 World Cup.
Projected Order of Finish: England (A), U.S. (A), Slovenia, Algeria
Group G Projected Order of Finish: Brazil (A), Ivory Coast (A), Portugal, D.P.R Korea
Player to Watch: Landon Donovan (U.S.), Stephen Gerrard (England)
Player to watch: Danny Alves (Brazil), Emmanuel Eboue (Ivory Coast)
This is one of the weaker groups in the tournament, with the U.S. and England the likely favorites to advance. The U.S. has a very talented squad, balanced with young stars and experienced players. England is loaded with talent and is trying to reverse a recent trend of disappointment in the World Cup. Slovenia is the dark horse of the group; they knocked out a favored Russian squad in qualifying and are capable of an upset.
The “Group of Death” is loaded with star players such as Didier Drogba, Christiano Ronaldo and Kaká. Brazil, Portugal and the Ivory Coast all have a chance to advance and all could contend for the Cup. North Korea, the fourth team in the group, is looked upon as the least challenging team, but with a defense that allowed only five goals in seven qualifying matches, they could be a dark horse in such an offensively powered group.
Group D Projected Order of Finish: Germany (A), Australia (A), Serbia, Ghana
Projected Order of Finish: Spain (A), Chile (A), Honduras, Switzerland
Players to Watch: Miroslav Klose (Germany), Tim Cahill (Austrailia)
Player to Watch: Cesc Fábregas (Spain), Noel Valladares (Honduras)
Although it doesn’t have the star power of other groups, Group D is the most balanced group in the tournament. All four teams are in the top 32 of FIFA’s world rankings, with Germany being highest at six. Germany came in third place on their home turf in the 2006 World Cup and will be returning with their leading goal scorer Miroslav Klose, who scored five goals in 2006. The Germans should be able to go far due to experience and good coaching.
Spain, ranked second in the world, is a favorite to win the World Cup, but they will have to advance through the group stage first. With all four teams ranking in the top 33 and qualifying easily, this group is extremely intriguing. Chile had wins over Argentina and Ecuador in qualifying. Honduras beat a talented Mexico team en route to qualifying third in North America. Switzerland won its qualifying group is good as well.
On the 11th of June, our lives will change. When I say our lives, I mean all the soccer fanatics’ lives. We (or just some people) will come together and huddle around the T.V., just to watch 48 matches in the span of 15 days. Seeing that I’m the assistant sports editor, I should have a favorite team…right? I started going through my family tree of our nationalities: Cuban, Italian, American, so then I was thinking, who am I going to root for? Cuba’s not in it…so that’s easy, no. Italy? They won in 2006, but because I’m not originally from there I won’t root for them. Now the United States. I’ve lived here for 18 years so it’s kind of in my blood to root for them. That is the only team I will actually want to win the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Sure, there are other countries that are good, but I am only picking one, as my fellow students from WJ should do as well. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you can’t just start liking a team just because they are winning, but maybe that’s just me. I know I will be rooting for the United States, but I’ll still watch Italy and hope they win. However, I will be more upset if U.S. loses. I know that WJ is one of the most diverse schools in Montgomery County and there are plenty of people from other countries. But whenever the World Cup or even the Olympics comes around, I see students ditching their “favorite team” after they lose one game and changing their team to the team who is doing the best. It’s like those kids who walk around school and have 10 jerseys all from different countries: can you please explain to me why? Who do you actually want to win? It doesn’t make sense to me. Another thing that baffles me is the fact that there are people who follow a team, but do not actually know any of the players’ names on it. I’m not even going to lie, that was me. But instead of seeming clueless whenever someone spoke about players, I would casually nod my head then secretly look up the names online to find out who they were so I could pretend that I already knew all the information. That technique has been key to my sports life. There’s just a couple things I’ll actually admit to people, and that’s one of them and although that’s embarrassing, I could care less. I know some of you out there do it too. I guess that is all that I will tell you right now, or basically ever. So WJ, keep on promoting diversity by wearing your teams’ jerseys, but stick to one.
6000 Executive Blvd., # 510 Rockville, Maryland 20852 301-770-7900 Neil Barkin, MD Stephen Rockower, MD Victor Wowk, MD Carter Mitchell, MD
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Sports W i l d c a t
May 27, 2010
World Cup 2010 P. 18-19
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The Sports Travel Guide Profiling America’s Unique Sports Venues By Zach Gordon
“Build it, and they will come.”- Field of Dreams They play in parks, fields and arenas, stadiums, domes and coliseums. The entire world is consumed in the spectacle that is sports, and this is shown by the multimilliondollar venues where these events take place. So let’s take a look at some of the most historically, visually, crowd-pleasing, or flat-out spectacular sports venues in America.
Qwest Field, Seattle, Wash.
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.
As much as it pains this D.C. fan to say it, Pittsburgh has some of the best sports venues in America. Situated on the Allegheny River, with a picturesque view of the city’s skyline is this monument to the black-andgold, which has sold out every home game since its opening in 2001. With some of the rowdiest fans in the league (see: Terrible Towels), as long as you sport Steelers colors, you are welcome in this park. While you are in the area, try a sandwich at the world famous Primanti Brothers.
This city is famous for rainy days, Starbucks and grunge rock, but the home of the Seattle Seahawks and MLS’s Seattle Sounders is the city’s landmark. The stadium’s massive seating decks are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they actually channel the sounds generated inside the stadium down on the field, making it one of the loudest stadiums in America. The fans are felt even more by the Seahawks’ tradition of the “12th Man,” which is evident all around the city throughout the season. It is a can’t-miss attraction nestled in downtown Seattle, with one of the best experiences (and concessions) you’re likely to find in the NFL or MLS.
Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif.
No, it’s not in San Diego, San Francisco or Los Angeles where you will find California’s best sporting venues. Travel about 30 miles south of Hollywood and you’ll see the iconic 230-feet-tall, haloed “A” marking your proximity to the home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.This 210-ton sign lights up following every Angel win, home or road. The main entrance to the park is marked with two giant Angel hats, complete with tags and all (even indicating the hat size of 649.5). There’s even a waterfall cascading down rocks outside the left-center field fence. And if all that isn’t enough to please you, Disneyland is right down the street.
Other Noteworthy Venues
Xcel Energy Center, Minneapolis, Minn.
When it comes to hockey arenas, one would think some of the more traditional teams would have the best venues (such as the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit or the Bell Centre in Montreal), but the Minnesota Wild have the best palace in all of hockey, which has sold out its doors for every game since its opening in 2000. Hanging in the rafters in the concourse is a hockey jersey from every high school in the state, reflecting the team’s motto as the “State of Hockey.” It was also voted the “Best Overall Sports Venue in America” by ESPN in a 2004 ranking. They even have an organ in the shape of a zamboni. Sorry Canada, but Minnesota’s got you beat when it comes to the best NHL venue.
HP Pavillion, San Jose, Calif. Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis. Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Mich. Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo. Prudential Center, Newark, N.J. Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.
Slid e r Closing Thoughts By Mateo Williamson
I’m not sure what it is about the summer that makes the senior Pitch editors so giddy. Luke is probably thinking of a new way to fabricate an interesting situation in his banal excuse for an existence for his next column. And I suppose Colin can’t wait to spew some more rants onto a “Curveball” column that will more
likely resemble the incoherent thoughts of a paranoid schizophrenic. And then there’s little ol’ me. Mr. Sports Editor. Issue after issue, I am forced to write within the confines of the sports section. A writer, whose dream it was to pen one hilarious column, being forced to write about uninteresting high school teams. If you didn’t already know, sports are just inherently unfunny (unless you consider steroids/murder/rape/gun violence/Helen Keller jokes funny). Even my assistant editor Zach Gordon attempted to write funny sports columns, and God bless his little heart, failed miserably with each attempt. I decided that if I wanted my final “Slider” to be hilarious, I was going to need some outside help.
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pa. Fenway Park, Boston, Mass. Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wis.
After e-mailing Nigerian Prince Ete Magoogoo to let him know that his check was in the mail, I shot an email over to ‘09 “Slider” columnist David Riva begging for his help. I sat in front of my computer waiting for Prease_Riva_Emair09@ yahoo.com to respond. Seconds turned into minutes. Minutes turned into hours. Hours turned into that thing between an hour and a week, when I got a less-than-helpful response from David asking why I was e-mailing him the day before my article was due. But I didn’t have time to answer David’s silly little questions. I needed to come up with something good, and something fast. I laid out my pen and paper: the two
Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach, Fla.
Take exit 261A off I-95 while driving down Florida’s coast, and you will undoubtedly see one of the most intriguing venues in the nation. It’s so massive, it’s pretty much impossible to miss it. It just keeps going. And going. And going. (The straightaway at Daytona is over a mile long.) Besides the massive size of racing’s most iconic venue (it can hold around 175,000 people), it also features something called “The Daytona 500 Experience,” where for a small admission fee, fans can get in an actual race car and simulate a race, and try their hand in an actual pit stop.
All photos courtesy of flickr.com
Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga. Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y. Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kent. things I would need to write my final column. I would need to come up with enough sports references, double entendres and Helen Keller jokes to tightly fill a 500-word limit. With the clock ticking, my supplies ready and my body lying fast asleep on the couch, my column was surely doomed. But in those final two hours a glorious thing happened...I realized that I can make anything funny (especially on Facebook). Even if I chose to write my final column on the history of women’s midget tossing, I’m pretty sure I could find a way to get a chuckle out of you. And that’s the legacy I’d like to leave. The one and only funny sports editor. (Sorry Zach)
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