Page 1

News 2-4

Opinions 5-7

International 8-9

Center Spread 10-11

La Marea 12-13

Yarrow, Zhang the two RM SMOB candidates

Arts 16-17

Sports 18-20

Basketball transitions under new Coach Breslaw

However, there is only so much any SMOB can do with a Board seat and votes on policies and appointments... As SMOB, I want to ensure that expanded voting rights passes the state legislature by the 2015 Legislative Session. With expanded voting rights, students will have a much greater say in their daily lives and education.

by Sofia Hu and Anna Ma

Features 14-15

by Megan White

When David Breslaw was This year, out of a total of five announced the new head preliminary SMOB candidates, coach of the boy’s Richard two are RM students: sophomore Montgomery basketball team Richie Yarrow and junior Andrew late last school year, returning Zhang. players knew they would Yarrow and Zhang are not have to adjust to some the final SMOB candidates for major changes. “Coach whom students will vote later in Spear was all about slowing PHOTO BY DAHLIA WILSON Q: What specifically makes PHOTO PROVIDED BY RICHIE YARROW April. They will first need to win it down and low pressure enough votes at the Nominating you qualified to be our SMOB? [whereas] Coach Breslaw is Convention on March 7 in order What accomplishments in your pretty much the opposite,” record are you most proud of? to be the final two. explained senior guard AZ: My greatest The Tide got a chance to catch Housain Hakimi. is …the up with both Yarrow and Zhang accomplishment Coach Breslaw successful organization of the to see what they stand for. implemented his fast first ever countywide Ultimate paced philosophy to Frisbee tournament. The highly complement this season’s Q: If elected, which policy successful tournament…linked speedy yet considerably would be your top priority to the students of Montgomery smaller squad. “Because County through what I like to call enact? we are a small team, we AZ: My first priority would ‘Frisbee diplomacy.’ Senior Tory Sharps reRY: I secured MCCPTA’s be… to attempt to gain cell phone PHOTO BY RACHIT AGARWAL leases his jump shot. rights during lunch period for all opposition to last year’s proposed PHOTO BY KENNETH youth curfew... In advocating for middle schoolers. ROOF RY: I would focus on expanded SMOB voting rights, I curriculum... That means making was one of the first signatories to sure that classes have the right former SMOB Tim Hwang’s youth technology and that teachers slate, which endorsed politicians know what to teach more than a who backed voting rights. I also PHOTO BY CONNIE CHEN few weeks before they’re required travelled to PT(S)As across the Sophomore Richie Yarrow (top) to teach it. I also want to make county, building community and junior Andrew Zhang (botsure that there are truly advanced tom) have both launched their SMOB, cont. on page 3 classes across the county. SMOB campaign.

try to stay out of half court sets where our size can be an issue,” said Coach Breslaw. While this style of play seems like a perfect fit, adjustments had to be made. “It definitely took a while for us to get used to it,” said Hakimi. To help the boys acclimate more quickly, Coach Breslaw emphasized speed and endurance as well as full court pressure during practice. Although it may be frustrating to make such a drastic transition, players remain positive on the new system. “Whatever style of play the coach brings you have to adjust,” said senior guard Justin Senou. In addition to more intense pressing and up tempo offense, Coach Breslaw has also introduced a larger rotation. “In the past, Coach Spear used an eight man rotation. I on the other hand have used up to a BASKETBALL, cont. on page 19

Black Maskers’ present plays at One Acts by Nikita Sardana “Good evening everyone, and welcome to Richard Montgomery High School’s fifth annual One Acts Festival!” The 2013 One Acts production opened with enthusiastic applause from the nearly full house audience on Friday, February 8th. The production was an eclectic mixture of four one act plays, three of which were original stories written by students at RM. The One Acts Festival has been a tradition at Richard Montgomery for five years. “One Acts is both a fundraiser for the main stage shows we do during the year, and an opportunity for students to take on more leadership positions, explore new opportunities in the theatre, and grow as thespians,” said sophomore Hannah Ferster, coassistant producer of this year’s performance. There is a job for everyone in the show, from actors to directors to lighting and set crews. This year’s show featured four one-acts, the first entitled

Opinions, 7

MD education the best?


Junior Noah Beye and senior Emily Schaefer play James and Eliza Grey in the first act, a touching story about the writing of a will. “The Life and Death of Eliza Grey,” written and directed by Aaron Hwang, the second called “How Not to Write a One-Act,” written and directed by William McNamara, the third titled “The Secret Love of Artemis,” written and directed by Eric Balcharan, and the fourth called “Porcelain and Pink,” written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and directed by Indy Weinstein. “This year’s one-acts are

International, 8

Common Grounds

unique in that three out of the four are student written,” said technical director Sarah Snider. In the past, it hasn’t always been like this. “The Life and Death of Eliza Grey” was an intense drama involving just two actors, with a serious but occasionally humorous banter between an old man and his dead wife. It included ONE ACTS, cont. on page 3

La Marea, 12

Arts, 14

Soup for the Spanish soul Poms’ County competition

Features, 16

Sports, 18

The Wheelers are too cute

Swim & Dive



The Tide

Open lunch freedom and school food stigma means that students choose less healthy lunches by Sofia Hu

At this school, students are offered freedom in what they choose to eat for lunch. This school’s open lunch policy means that students can eat at the Rocket Café, at local restaurants, and at food trucks. However, this freedom also means that some students choose unhealthy options over healthier foods provided by the cafeteria. Take for example, Hungry Howie’s Pizza Truck, which sits right outside of the school parking lot every day. The pizzas sell for $6 each, a reasonable price, especially if students split the eight-slice pizza with a friend. However, what is less reasonable is that just one slice of sausage pizza can be 208 calories, according to the Hungry Howie’s online nutritional information. For a student eating four slices, that’s already 832 calories not including the soda that comes along with the pizza. In addition, Hungry Howie’s does not offer any fruit or vegetable foods. Local eats like Hungry Howie’s attract a lot of students who rush out right after lunch ends to get in line. So much so that a rival pizza truck has also began selling at the same spot. These businesses sell what is labeled as “competitive foods” by the Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO), since they are not sold as part of a school’s lunch program. Currently, the USDA does not actively regulate these competitive foods. Either way, these businesses and restaurants do well because students chose not to buy cafeteria food. School food carries around a stigma of being unhealthy and bland. Speaking of the cafeteria food, senior Tanya Shi said, “I don’t think it’s very good. First of all, most of it doesn’t taste very good. And secondly, it’s very greasy and probably filled with a lot of unhealthy stuff. Don’t they just heat up food that’s frozen?” This stigma is no small problem. According to an OLO report released in July 2012, only 29% of high school students participate in a school meal plan in the fiscal year of 2011. The Division of Food and Nutrition Services (DFNS),

added; our division works with manufacturers to insure that sodium and fat are at the lowest level that is taste acceptable,” Mrs. Caplon said. MCPS has also begun offering healthier options next to its entrees of whole grain personal pizza, cheese dippers, and cheeseburgers. “All serving lines at all meals have fresh fruit

which oversees all food-related operations in MCPS schools, sets their goal at 60%. In the fiscal year of 2010, only 54% students gave strong customer satisfaction ratings. The DFNS target was at 85%. In 2006, the Board of Education of Montgomery County approved a Wellness Policy, which supports healthy eating habits. This

A Hungry Howie’s Cheese Pizza 1448 calories 36 grams of fat 88 milligrams of cholestrol 2232 milligrams of sodium

School-prepared Cheese Dippers

339 calories 14 grams of fat 30 milligrams of cholestrol 1300 milligrams of sodium


Wellness Policy is actually a vague and short document. While it states, “the goal of Food and Nutrition Services is to develop lifelong healthy behaviors that foster sound nutrition and physical activity,” the document provides no concrete courses of actions or measurements of improvements. However, beyond these abstract words, the county is actively seeking to provide healthier and more sustainable food. Director of DFNS Marla Caplon said, “MCPS menus exceed the USDA guidelines. In addition, all foods and beverages that are available outside of the meals program must be the MCPS Wellness Regulations.” DFNS mets all requirements set by the USDA guidelines, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and HealthierUS School Challenge. These requirements include: 0 grams trans-fat, 10% or less of calories from saturated fat, and 30% or less calories for fat. DFNS also goes well beyond these requirements. “All menu items are analyzed for compliance; as well as for content of items such as sodium. Food that is produced in the Central Production Facility have no fat

available. In addition, the current menu features a wide variety of fresh vegetables - including salads, spinach and romaine salads,” said Mrs. Caplon. According to a July 2011 report in Bethesda Magazine, all food served in secondary schools are baked, not fried, with the exception of french fries. Even so, there are still downsides to the structure and actions of DFNS. This division is designed to be self-sufficient. However, according to the previously cited OLO report, DFNS “ran a $1.6 million deficit in FY10 and anticipates an $800 million deficit for FY11.” Despite the measurable improvements in healthier options and better food preparation, DFNS is not the sustainable organization that it hopes to be. Even though it has actively improved the nutrition values of school lunches, many students in this school still choose competitive foods over school food. Until the DFNS can offer healthier and more appealing foods, students will continue picking less healthy restaurant food with the freedom they are given under the open lunch policy.


February 2013


Change in public library borrowing policies In an effort to expand its reach, Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) will expand access for its users, allowing them to checkout a wider variety of items starting on February 17th. Limits for all materials have doubled, meaning that patrons can now borrow twice as many books and DVDs as before. The Rockville Memorial Library, like all other MCPL branches, will permit users to check out 20 rather than ten DVDs, and 100 books instead of 50. In addition, the limit on number of holds allowed has increased to 30, 15 more than before. The last policy change will allow users to renew materials that have already been checked out a total of three times, instead of two times. The decision was justified by the MCPL director Parker Hamilton as a way to provide customers who need more materials for an extended period of time. “We want to continue to be responsive and accountable to our residents and users,” Hamilton explained in a statement. by Sarah Wu Maryland bill hopes to legalize medical marijuana Reintroduced by Democratic delegate Cheryl Genn of Baltimore, the Maryland Medical Marijuana Act bill would allow the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to regulate the distribution of medical marijuana for patients with authorization from a physician. “What I want to do is have a doctor-patient relationship rather than a dealer-patient relationship,” said co-sponsor of the bill Delegate Dan Morhaim in an article for the RockvillePatch. Morhaim and other proponents of the bill argue that the state of Maryland has a moral obligation to provide relief for patients suffering from chronic illnesses, such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. They contend that if the state fails to pass legislation legalizing medical marijuana, people suffering from these diseases will be forced to travel to neighboring jurisdictions such as Delaware, New Jersey, and the District of Colombia for relief. A recent survey conducted by political consulting firm Summit shows that 55 percent of Americans now approve of legalizing medical marijuana. But not everyone is ready to accept this traditionally recreational drug as legitimate medical treatment. In 2012, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley threatened to veto any legislation that legalized medical marijuana. O’Malley’s spokeswoman Takirra Winfield has stated that while O’Malley is open to discussing this hot-button issue, he is not currently engaged in negotiations. by Anagha Lokhande Bill raising minimum wage propsed in Maryland legislature Currently, the minimum wage in Maryland is $7.25 an hour, which adds up to $15,000 per year. Unfortunately, this is not enough: the government-defined poverty line is set at $23,050 a year for a family of four and at $11,170 for an individual. Senator Garagiola of Montgomery County, Delegate Braveboy of Prince George’s County, and a handful of other Maryland lawmakers proposed the “Raise Maryland” bill, which would raise the minimum wageto $10.00 by 2015. The bill will also raise minimum wages for tipped and part time workers from 50 to 70%. Finally, the bill will have minimum wage indexed to inflation. “If we had indexed the minimum wage then in 1968 the value of minimum wage today would be $10.60,” said Sen. Robert J. Garagiola. By conservative estimates, this bill will raise the pay for 300,000 Maryland residents. by Erica Lee


Eight students were selected for the 2012-2013 Maryland AllState Choruses. Freshman Nate Gillman will participate in the Junior All-State; juniors Hayley Abramowitz, Noah Beye, Sharika Dhar, Aaron Hwang, Katherine Kuckelman, Tristan Paige, and sophomore Michelle Schrier will participate in the Senior All-State choruses in Baltimore. Senior David Zhang was selected as an Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalist for 2013. Senior Donnie Weiss won 2nd place in House of Sweden’s 2012 “drug free” T-Shirt slogan contest. His slogan was “You Can’t Lose if you Don’t Use.” He was recognized during a ceremony and was

Feb 14

Valentine’s Day Enjoy those Valentides and candy grams!

Feb 15

Coffeehouse Good music, good company.

Feb 22

President’s Day No school for students.

awarded a certificate for his successful contribution to the National Drug Facts Day.


In last month’s article “A night of celebrating culture”, Nashra Zaman should be listed as a junior, not a sophomore. In Madeleine Pituscan’s article “Her experience in Moldova”, the article mistakenly stated that teachers forced students to pull weeds out of the ground. However, the teachers only suggested that students pull weeds out of the ground to improve their math skills. Pituscan herself never pulled weeds.

March 1

Common Grounds Come together for some great performances.

March 1

MR.RM May the best man win.

In the article “Black Masters put on an atypical rom-com with Seven Sisters,” Black Maskers was mistakenly written as Black Masters. In the article “Indoor track looks to sprint past tough county competition,” Tiffany Afolabi-Brown was mistakenly listed as a junior instead of a senior.

February 2013 3 NEWS Students and teachers find political, personal signifiance in President Obama’s speech and the inauguration parade

The Tide

by Dahlia Wilson The past decade has not proven easy for the American people. Rising unemployment and fiscal cliffs in the headlines have put the average citizen on edge and distrustful of the government’s efficacy in saving the nation from massive debt and possible economic depression. Politicians on both sides of the aisle demonstrated a seeming inability to compromise on an assortment of political issues. President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech displayed his intention to help allay the people’s fears by pushing forward with his agenda. Obama’s second swearing-in ceremony was an occasion for him to reaffirm his electoral mandate. U.S. Government teacher Daniel Evans explained, “From a Democratic point of view, his speech was an endorsement of the progressive agenda. The speech, as

Republicans thought, was too politicized. They thought it was a speech of big government, and they painted it in darker terms than President Obama and his supporters would. He was just reasserting things he wants done during this term and the Democratic policies overall.” Some students appreciated the significance of President Obama’s second term as well. Senior Jerusalem Demsas, who worked on his campaign, said, “The symbolic nature of the President's reelection as well as the overwhelming support he had from usually politically apathetic sectors of the American public will have his entire 2008 election as well as his 2013 speech studied for years to come.” The 2012 election marked surprising poll results from swing states such as Ohio and Virginia. Those victories were, at the end of Election Day, some of the most decisive votes that helped welcome Obama into the White House once again. “The moment Fox announced that Ohio had gone for the President?

I was surprised we didn't blow out the windows!” Demsas said, remembering the reaction as she watched the election results with other members of the campaign staff. The celebratory response of the campaign staff can be expected but President Obama’s re-election signifies more than just a political victory to Americans. He heralds a new decade of race relations in the country. “His race is more than

just a statistic,” Mr. Evans said, “It has symbolic significance. He’s the first black President reelected, and that transcends partisan politics. He is living proof of the continuance of the healing process for minorities after so much racism in the past.” I was there on the Mall the day of the President’s swearing-in. Michelle Obama’s smile shone out at the thousands of people and Biden jovially grinned. To me, it was a feel-good moment and a day for the history books. From a gay and lesbian band playing in the official Inaugural Parade, to scores of African-Americans, Latinos, and women mingling in the packed crowd, it was proof enough of the growing minority majority in America. For many there, Obama’s catch phrase truly resonated: “Yes, we can.” PHOTO BY DAHLIA WILSON

First Lady Michelle Obama waves to the crowd at the presidential inauguration. Her husband’s speech at the inauguration was a politically significant moment that attracted crowds of people.

SMOB pre-candidates Zhang and Yarrow talk plans and policies SMOB, cont. from page 1 support which reversed a vote in the Montgomery County Senate delegation and helped bring voting rights farther than it had ever before gone. This past fall, I met with the superintendent to discuss technology problems and advocated to the County Council for the MCPS technology plan, which will soon upgrade technological infrastructure at over a dozen high schools. Q: What distinguishes you as a candidate? RY: I am the only candidate with more than one year of experience in a regional student government board, the only candidate with experience in the countywide Parent Teacher (Student) Association, MCCPTA,

and the only candidate to have addressed the Board of Education, County Council, and state legislators. I am also the only candidate this year to have visited meetings of the Montgomery County Junior Councils (MCJC), which represents MCPS’s 35,000 middle school students... I’ve also met with different Board of Education members... All of this is crucial preparation for work on the Board of Education. AZ: I feel that my ability to connect to others easily and openly allows me to act as an effective medium for students spread across the county and the Board of Education. Q: What fresh insight do you have in comparison to former SMOBs?

RY: I feel that my experience in PT(S)As will give me a unique advantage compared with previous student Board members. Many of the adult Board members... gained vital experience working in MCCPTA. As the largest nonprofit advocacy group in Montgomery County, MCCPTA plays a huge role in helping to develop the MCPS Operating Budget and Capital Improvements Program, in addition to new policies and regulations. As the SMOB must work for all county citizens and not just students, strong relationships with our county’s amazing parent advocates will be very important to success on the Board of Education. AZ: Through my school visits for the past few weeks and in the coming weeks, I have

become more acquainted with the problems of students from different areas and background in the county. A reoccurring issue is misrepresentation of students from different areas of the county. Q: The SMOB has many responsibilities. Given the responsibilities of the position, what would be your primary task and objective as SMOB? AZ: The most important responsibility of the SMOB is to effectively represent the voice of the students on a variety of issues. While it is impossible to represent the unique perspectives of 150,000 students, it is important to condense the demands of each student population to present to the Board. RY: Have you ever had a teacher keep an entire class

after the bell because one kid misbehaved? Once, when I spoke up against one of these policy violations, the teacher told me to “go tell Jerry Weast”, who was then the superintendent. Many principals and officials talk about “respect”, but MCPS really has a problem with respect for students... We need a change in MCPS’s culture. To start, we need a SMOB who is hardworking and dedicated enough to win the respect of administrators and other public officials. We will never gain SMOB voting rights, or even greater appreciation, if we remain silent at the back of thousands of classrooms. We need a SMOB with the necessary experience and leadership to show the county that the student voice should and does matter.

Clockwise: castmembers gesturing up to the lighting and sound booths in recognition of their work; sophomore Ross Berman on the sound booth; actors in the second act

One Acts a success of student productions ONE ACTS, cont. from page 1 dim lighting and a minimal set and themes of life, love, and loss. “How Not to Write a One-Act” was a comedic performance with a narrator who spoke directly to the audience, making the play interactive. The play prompted laughter with its unpredictable plot and sexual references. “The Secret Love of Artemis” followed themes of a Greek drama but included a fresh twist on a classic love story. It included authentic Greek costumes and even an occasional Greek word in the script. The play was slightly unique from the others in that it incorporated music and interpretive dancing. Finally, “Porcelain and Pink” ended the night with a quirky and light hearted storyline. Its set featured an elaborate bathtub and a witty banter between two

siblings. The shows were not only meant to entertain but also educate the audience with their underlying messages. Junior Genevieve Wall, one of two producers, said of the morals, “At the heart of all theatre, you find very human characters confronting very human challenges at very high stakes. So, while the plots and the characters call to us from an entertainment perspective, we also learn valuable lessons about how to handle situations. As for the lessons they teach, that’s up to each audience member to determine.” After intermission was a light show which featured the entire backstage crew dancing to upbeat music, accompanied by colorful strobe lights, and a disco ball. “Last year I started a custom of doing light shows during the one acts after intermission,”

said technical director Michal Shafrir. “I figured crew members should get to try something new too.” “The show gives lighting crew an opportunity to showcase all the cool lighting effects they don’t often get a chance to,” producer Isabel Dunn said. The Fifth Annual One Acts Festival was a night loaded with rich performances and plays. “Drama at RM is truly one big team working together to put on a great show. It’s really awesome to see so many people who are genuinely passionate about the show working together at their highest level to make it a success,” said senior Sarah Snider. The festival’s success is more than enough to show that the RM Black Maskers tradition will carry on for years to come.



February 2013 NEWS Bill to expand SMOB voting rights fails in Maryland Senate

The Tide

by Clare Luo and Matthew Zipf


Photo of the Month

“Rest in Peace, we will remember what happened on that day for the rest of our lives. May all the family be comforted,” reads a student-written message on the memorial for the Newtown shooting victims, which was located on Main Street.

Newtown shooting causes MCPS schools to reevaluate safety issues by Sedef Berk and Sarah Krosnick The December 14th shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut is certainly a tragedy that has struck fear into the hearts of many. Now that the once unimagined possibility of a school shooting has become reality, Montgomery County Public Schools has been prompted to tackle resulting security questions. The day following the shooting, Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr sent an email to parents, reassuring them that, “We take the safety and security of our students and staff very seriously and work every day to make sure that our children are learning in a safe environment. We will continue to make safety a top priority.” In terms of policy, Board of Education member Patricia O’Neill issued a memorandum listing the County’s goals in improving security. The capital Improvements Program, establishing in 2009 and ending 2014, has already outfitted numerous MCPS schools with Closed Caption Television Systems, visitor management systems, and Access Control systems, with the intention of installing these technologies in the remaining school. SMOB John Mannes described his experience with visitor management systems. He explained, “When I went to visit King MS the day after the Sandy Hook Shooting; my student ID was searched and

I went through full security. When I asked about it and asked if it was result of Sandy Hook, they said it had been their system for years. Montgomery County has established procedures in cases of emergencies.” Sophomore Richie Yarrow, said of the School Resource Officer (SRO) program, “they are police officers who protect schools. Before the recession there was one in every school but after the recession there was six for the whole county. After Sandy Hook, the PTA held a safety and security forum in Rockville and officials and Craig Rice promised he would double the number of SRO’s in High Schools this year. I strongly support the SRO program and it is essential to safety.” At RM, students and teachers hoped to commemorate the lives lost through an art gallery with pieces dedicated to victims. The gallery featured a banner for any student to sign, giving each student the opportunity to contribute personally. Art teacher and gallery organizer Katherine Stanton explained that, “in the gallery, there are the children’s clothing and bios but what is most powerful was the banner that students are signing. We will send the banner to Sandy Hook Elementary School so they can see that our community is thinking about them.” In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, MCPS has reevaluated and improved upon current school security systems. In addition, RM students have worked together to develop a memorial to offer remembrance of the victims.

As excitement continues to grow for the nominating convention to determine the next two candidates for the Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB), advocates of a bill whose purpose is to grant the SMOB full voting rights have relatively little to celebrate. Presently, the law grants the SMOB selective voting rights; that is, he may vote on administrative appointments and some policy proposals but not on other issues, including union relations and budget appropriations. Despite the incorporation of this enhancement of SMOB power in the Board of Education’s legislative platform, it is still necessary to first pass an official bill in the Maryland House of Delegates and in the Senate. Unfortunately for the proponents of the bill, however, the Senate ratification of the bill is proving to be a struggle.   In the most recent attempt to pass such a bill aimed towards giving MCPS students a stronger voice, the Senate never had an opportunity to even vote on the bill, due to a minority of Senators who worked to permanently delay it. “[The SMOB] should be able to vote and serve as a powerful voice on the Board,” freshman Sara Hunt explained. “We chose someone who is informed and intelligent enough to make decisions. Now let them!” Hunt’s voice was resonant throughout Maryland; the bill quickly passed through the Maryland House, until Senator Brian Frosh (D-District 16) of Montgomery County procedurally and permanently delayed the vote on the bill, claiming that it was “undemocratic” and dubbing it the “eleven year-old bill” due to the fact that students in sixth grade can vote for SMOB. “It is never right to be ageist, but that is why the SMOB still lacks power in MCPS,” Hunt said, clarifying that, “students are still underrepresented on the board.” Sophomore William Lu agreed. “The SMOB is more of a lobbyist than a member,” he said, but he is unsure about the competency and ability of the SMOB. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable having the SMOB vote on the $2.2 billion operating budget,” he stated. Richard Montgomery’s Student Government Association sponsor Toni Kellinger questions the viability of full voting rights for the SMOB as well. “I have faith in young adults, but the SMOB is not a taxpayer, and the SMOB lacks vital experience,” she said, emphasizing that even though she recognizes the intelligence and motivation of such an individual, she, “cannot support full voting rights for the

SMOB.” Senator Frosh, according to the official weblog of the Montgomery County SMOB, listed the fact that taxpayers do not vote for SMOB as a large reason for killing the bill. He maintains that because the student voters do not pay taxes, they do not have sufficient perspective to make educated decisions. In contrast, many current and past members of the Board of Education fully support SMOB voting rights. “My experience has been many students take it more seriously than some of the adults and come better prepared,” said board member Patricia O’Neill (Bethesda-Chevy Chase), who has served with about 10 student members since 1998, in an interview with the Washington Post. “If you look at voting patterns and

“If you look at voting patterns and press leaks, you’ll see that the SMOBs can be more responsible than some adult candidates.” -SMOB candidate Richard Yarrow press leaks, you’ll see that the SMOBs can be more responsible than many adult politicians,” sophomore SMOB candidate Richard Yarrow affirmed. “MCPS isn’t perfect, but it needs effective student input to make improvements.” Yarrow argued, “The Student Member of the Board is uniquely positioned to hear [local] concerns and bring them to the Board table,” an ability that no other board member is capable of. “After all, the students are most affected by what goes on at MCPS’s central office.” Hope continue to exist for advocates of full voting rights, but many county officials and politicians maintain that the SMOB is not educated enough. According to the Washington Post, Sen. Delores G. Kelley (D-District 10) would “rue the day” that the Senate granted full rights to the SMOB. With most students ready for stronger representation, a clear and divisive demographic gap is emerging between the younger students and the elder politicians. Despite the objection of some officials, however, Montgomery County student advocates will not hesitate to bring up the bill next year, when Senator Frosh will have given up his position to run for Attorney General.

National Honor Society cancel original plans for Battle of the Bands by Alicia Loh

Fifteen minutes. Fifteen short minutes is all that each band had to prove itself the best in the school. Battle of the Bands was the chance for the many bands at RM to shine. Unfortunately due to a combination of circumstances, the National Honor Society has decided to cancel the event. Battle of the Bands was an annual fundraising event hosted by the National Honor Society. This year, all money raised by National Honor Society will be donated to the local charity Back on My Feet, which provides positive motivation and support for the homeless through running. The organization believes that running helps provide the clarity and strength needed for people to take back control in their lives. “Every year NHS members vote for a charity to raise money and donate to. This year the members chose a local charity because local charities have the most direct impact on our community and often need the most help.” Last year, the National Honor Society managed to raise over $1000 for the Somaly Mam Foundation, an impressive sum, but

one which they hope to beat this year. In order to do so, the NHS officers had been carefully planning and advertising for Battle of the Bands. “We’ve been organizing this event since December,” said Gross. From informational meetings to auditions, the NHS officers had coordinated efforts within the honor society and with the bands in order to provide the best show possible. However, due to lack of interest, high costs, and bad timing, the National Honor

Society decided that the event needed to be canceled. “It’s a shame because it’s a great fundraising event for a good charity,” said Gross, “and despite setbacks at the beginning, we were finally getting interest in the event. We are considering the possibility of having the event later in the year.” Senior Arvind Srinivasan and his band Enter the Main Front had been preparing for Battle of the Bands. “This would have


been my third [time attending] Battle of the Bands, but I started [competing] only last year,” said Srinivasan. His favorite part is getting to play music for fellow students. “We as the band get to choose the songs and we also are responsible to set quality standards on what we play,” said Srinivasan, “Battle of the Bands has traditionally attracted bands that play music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, but last year we had more variety, including rap.” While the bands tend to be more vocally rather than instrumentally focused, the wide variety of music and entertainment ensures that everyone will find an aspect of the performances to enjoy. Senior Raghav Mehra of the band The Heavy Mellow, “loves the energy of both the crowd and the musical sets, as well as the commentary and light show.” For Srinivasan, this would have been a “bittersweet” experience as he knows it would have been his last time, and he “looked forward to playing as a senior.” “We’re very sorry that the event had to be canceled due to the issue of costs,” stated Gross. “We were looking forward to the event and hopefully Battle of the Bands will make a comeback later in the year or in the following years.”

The Tide


The Tide Editorial

Students come into their senior year with burdens on their minds. The impending processes and decisions that lie ahead often stand to define the next 4 years, or perhaps even more than that, of their lives; it is no understatement to say that the first semester Senior year is perhaps the most crucial, stressful time students face throughout their 12+ years in grade school. The typical reaction to this semester, once it is over, is a

as they begin to give less value to grades as well. Senior Rachel Odyssey said that she “feel[s] like [she] is falling behind, but [she] has no motivation to catch up.” Teachers, on the other hand, are often frustrated by the senior’s reaction to this newfound time. While they understand how stressful the beginning of the year has been, it is also true that they have a a curriculum that they must teach; furthermore, for those students planning to take AP and IB tests come May, have to devote enough time to prepare. Says Mrs. Goetz, about her seniors in AP classes: “the AP

easier for students be much more relaxed about their work, because their isn’t much of it!” says Mrs. Goetz. Mr. Hines agrees, saying that seniors cannot afford to “go into ‘coast mode’ so early in the year. Rather, ”enjoy yourself around graduation time, you'll have a great time around summer when you're future is taken care of, a beautiful couple months around your senior year. It's one of the best times of life to pause and reflect.” It’s simply a question of motivation, and looking at the greater picture, that we need to


Letters to the Editor

Epidemic senioritis spreads across Richard Montgomery by Ankit Sarkar

February 2013

Rolling backpacks should be banned As I walk between classes each day I am astounded by the numerous times I am accidentally hit by others’ back packs. Although unintentional, these hits are the result of the hallway congestion. The dangers presented by backpacks are compounded by rolling backpacks. Owners have less control over their bag and take up more space in the halls. Furthermore, these bags are impractical on our school’s many stairs. The time has come for the administration to ban rolling backpacks and remove this danger from our halls.

-Deborah Gross, 12th grade

Hall sweeps keep tardy students in check I’ve definitely noticed that hall sweeps have been occuring more frequently than before. I think hall sweeps are more or less justified because being tardy is an established rule that many people seem to overlook as a formality. However, a lot of the students caught in the hall sweeps are not repeat offenders; they are just students in the wrong place at the wrong time. -Christopher Chee, 11th grade

RM swim team is strong in Division 1


More seniors seem to be cutting back on studying and napping during RMBC. combination of relief and elation. Seniors are encouraged, both by ourselves and our peers, to “take a step back...and embrace life’s joys and opportunities”, said Jay Matthews of the Washington Post. It often seems to students that, while they have been working in pursuit of greater learning opportunities for the last 3.5 years of their lives, the work of second semester is inconsequential; in turn, students often feel like senior Sarah Snider, who said that “it’s nice to be relaxed, even though I know that it’s a fake relaxation.” This also often impacts seniors’ performance in school,

Exam doesn’t move, for snow days, for assemblies, for your vacataion to Europe, or for your trip to an awards ceremony. So when you add on these absences with skip days and the typical senior absences, it leaves you behind. I want all of my students to be absolutely comfortable with the material come May.” The teachers begin to complete their material around May, and since senior finals are two to three weeks before the rest of the school takes finals, seniors get out of school and head off to summer vacation two to three weeks before the rest of the school. This is when “it is much

tell ourselves to push through these last couple months. While it is often a disease that virulently spreads through the halls of high schools everywhere, it can be combated. Mr. Goetz put it best, saying, ”First, scientists developed ways to fight gingivitis. Next, it was meningitis. Logically, the next great scientific leap will be in the area of senioritis. I see a future where the NIH will devote entire labs to finding a cure for this disease. I, for one, would certainly walk a 10K and donate spare change if it would save but a single senior from this devastating disease.”

Poll of the month: Should exams count for a larger part of the semester’s grade? by Rachel Gold It is undoubtedly hard to wake up the morning after winter break. And for many students, the thought of imminent exams has them pushing the snooze button. Exams currently make up

25% of each semester grade, accounting for significantly less than our quarter grades. Each quarter is 37.5% of the semester grade. Exam season has now come and gone, but the question remains: Should exams count as a greater percentage of students’ semester grades?

Yes 6%

No 94% A sample of 99 students was used to create these results. Data was collected from RM Broadcasting Channel from January 28-31, 2013.

On one hand, exam grades can tip the scales in a student’s favor. “I think exams should count for more because it would give me more of an incentive to prepare,” said freshman Gayatri Girirajan. But then again, as freshman Max Frankfurter put it, “exams are hard.” Pressure to do well on up to seven exams can be overwhelming. If it were up to some students, there would not be a set weight for exams. Freshman Emily Newcombe said, “If [the exam] is going to bring your grade up; if it is going to have a positive effect, then I think it should count for more.” Everyone wants to do well on exams. But since exams can also make or break semester grades, there is still no consensus on exactly how much exams should weigh.

I think the RM swim team has been the strongest team in years. This year, we have a lot of depth and a lot of strong new swimmers, which is just what we need for a good run in Division 1. I’m looking forward to Divisionals, Regionals, and States, because I believe RM will be a strong contender. However, it will be a much tougher matchup, and I think that the RM swim team will be able to place 2nd or 3rd at States, under, of course, the loving guidance of Ms. Wheeler. -Peter Wang, 10th grade

Student produced One Acts are a success I’m excited because One Acts is going really well so far! The plays are creative and fun and the different crews are all working really hard to make the plays look great. I’m looking forward to seeing everything come together at our performance. -Kathleen Arnett, 9th grade

Please send any comments as letters to the editor to Submissions may be edited for length and/or clarity.

The Tide

250 Richard Montgomery Drive Rockville, Maryland 20852 301-610-8000 The Tide is the student newspaper of Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland. The Tide is dedicated to keeping the Richard Montgomery school community accurately informed and to providing a forum for student expression. 1,000 copies of the newspaper are printed and disctributed among students. Any corrections are printed in the following issue on page 2. The opinions presented in The Tide do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff and administration at Richard Montgomery. Questions, concerns, and suggestions on articles, advertisements, and photos can be submitted to Editors-in-Chief.................................................................................David Chen, Sofia Hu, . Marni Morse, Megan White News............................................................................................. Sarah Krosnick, Anna Ma Opinions..................................................................Sharika Dhar, Emily Ma, Ankit Sarkar International.........................................................................................Hari Devaraj, Julia Di Center Spread...............................................................................Alina Bui, Isabella Huang La Marea....................................................................Alexander Bazan, Camilla Villasante Features...........................................................................................Vivian Bui, Christina Xu Arts............................................................................................Zack Young, Andrew Zhang Sports.............................................................................Stephen Alexander, Jonathan Marx Photo....................................................................................................................Connie Chen Copy...............................................................................................Neha Sardana, Zuri Zhao Online.....................................................................................Michelle Wang, Matthew Zipf Sponsor.................................................................................................Mrs. Lisa MacFarlane


The Tide


February 2013

Black & Gold Do Maryland schools deserve to be ranked best in the nation?


Maryland schools deserve this honor There are still obstacles to overcome by Rachel Post and Yueyang Ying Maryland schools strive for excellence and once again, they have delivered! Maryland schools have just captured the top spot in Education Week’s “Quality Counts” ranking. This success is not due to mere luck. For five consecutive years, Maryland schools have proved themselves victorious in the “Quality Counts” ranking because of stellar teachers, test scores, and curriculums.

consistently improving. Since the start of this century, Maryland’s average scores in mathematics, reading, science, and writing have been continuously increasing year after year. Moreover, our scores have been increasing at a higher rate than other states. Maryland’s ever-changing standards of education exemplify why our state deserves such high recognition. Our strong and progressive educational policies, solid Board of Education, and centralized state curriculum help Maryland lead the country in academics. Beginning in June 2011, Maryland


Richard Montgomery has been awarded the Blue Ribbon in Education Award. In 2012, six other schools across Maryland were also honred by this prestigious award. Education Week determines a school’s overall quality by rating peer relationships, safety and security, and disciplinary policies and practices. The newspaper also takes into account a school’s positive environment since a positive environment strongly contributes to the academic excellence of a school. As the only state in the nation to receive an overall score of B-plus, Maryland surpasses the national average of 76.9 percent by more than 10 points and scores well ahead of many other states. Massachusetts, the state that received the next highest score, is more than 3 points behind Maryland. In 2010, Race to the Top awarded Maryland a portion of the federal government’s $4.3 billion education funding. With a goal of education reform, our state has taken advantage of the funding to implement higher standards for students and educators and to improve teacher evaluations. As Maryland students, we see that our teachers are well qualified in the classroom every day. In order to teach, teachers must fulfill the required passing score on the teacher qualification test, the Praxis. According to the Educational Testing Service, Maryland sets one of the highest requirements in the country, ensuring that we have top-notch teachers. Maryland’s superior education is also demonstrated through academic standards of assessment. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a report generated by the National Center for Educational Statistics, shows that Maryland’s fourth and eighth graders consistently score above the national average in math and reading. Even more significantly, Maryland scores are



has begun to move from the current state curriculum to the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum, a set of new and more rigorous standards that will lead to even greater academic achievements. The new Common Core Standards clearly define a student’s expectations in both core subjects and auxiliary subjects. For example, beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, a more demanding Algebra

“Maryland schools have proved themselves victorious because of stellar teachers, test scores and curriculums.” I course will be put into effect. This course will be based on the new Common Core standards and will be the same for every Marylander enrolled in the course. Parents will also have access to these standards and will know exactly what is being taught. Most importantly, the new course focuses on the depth of learning rather than the superficial knowledge of facts. This new technique will help students transition between high school and college without a need for remediation. Our evolving curriculum not only ensures that students stay afloat in today’s changing society, but also illustrates the collective state effort towards providing the best education possible. It comes as no surprise that Maryland continues to be a leader at the forefront of education. Maryland schools have a positive atmosphere and well trained teachers. Our schools have already been ranked as #1 by Education Week four times, have students who perform well above average on standardized tests, and are also moving ahead to implement a new and even more challenging curriculum. Mayland schools have truly earned this honor becase they continue to strive for and successfully provide their students with the best educational experience in the nation!

by Jennifer Zhang As students at Richard Montgomery High School, we see firsthand how Maryland schools are a fantastic learning environment. However, despite their high rankings in Education Week’s “Quality Counts 2013” assessment, Maryland schools was merely given a “B plus” rating. Although Maryland schools have ranks of great distinction, our schools still have some serious problems that need to be addressed. The widening achievement gap is the most troubling problem for Maryland schools. Judy Jenkins, the director of the curriculum for the Maryland Department of Education, acknowledged that, “In terms of eliminating the achievement gap, we still have much work to be done.”

“A new advocacy group, MarylandCAN, denounced Maryland as one of the worst performing states in terms of the achievement gap.” Only a week after Maryland was named the premier state in the nation for public education, a new advocacy group, MarylandCAN, denounced Maryland as one of the worst performing states in terms of educational achievement gaps. According to the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Maryland’s difference in scores of low-income students and those of wealthier classmates on the 8th grade state math test is the second largest in the country. On a corresponding 8th grade English test, statistics show that only 18% of African American eighth graders scored proficient or higher compared to the 56% of the white students. What is even more troublesome is that this performance gap is more than two times greater than it was two decades ago. In the words of Curtis Valentine, a former teacher and the current executive director of MarylandCAN, “we have a lot of be proud of in Maryland when it comes to educating our kids… [but] we struggle to serve all Maryland students.” In addition, Montgomery County’s 2008 report on the achievement gap found that major racial gaps existed in suspension rates and in gifted and special-

Gold needs student classification. Although the Gazette maintains that the Montgomery County school system has been working hard in order to close the performance gap between certain “subgroups of students, such as black and Hispanic students and their white and Asian peers,” there is still much ground to cover. Not only are there significant racial achievement gaps, but there are also complaints that Montgomery County’s new math curriculum does not address the needs of advanced students. Alison Friedman, a frustrated parent whose son is three levels above state math standards, said, “[Maryland teachers are] never going to pay attention to the [advanced] kids who need more enrichment”; instead, she claims that teachers put greater effort into helping struggling kids. Although Erick Lang, MCPS’s associate superintendent, maintained that “[the county is still] trying to figure it out, and it’s on us,” the fact of the matter is that the new math curriculum hinders the intellectual development of mathematically advanced children. The NAEP, ranks Massachusetts’ schools as number one in terms of public school achievement, but ranks Maryland as

“There are complaints that Montgomery County’s new math curriculum does not address the needs of advanced students.” number six. As different institutions have different methods for determining what makes a great school system, it is unclear whether or not Maryland’s schools are, in fact, the best in the country. Although Maryland schools are certainly excellent, it is clear from NAEP’s report that the quality of public education in other schools may be even better. In order for Maryland schools to truly be great, they must confront formidable issues that have yet to be addressed.


The International Baccalaureate program in various schools in Maryland tend to have an uneven racial distribution in their student bodies that widens the achievement gap.

The Tide


February 2013


The right to religious expression should be protected for public school students by Charlie Kang and Jack Qian

From courtroom battles such as McCollum v. Board of Education in 1948 to high school sporting events today, the debate about religion in public schools is still running hot. The big question is: Should students check their beliefs before entering school, or is it protected under the Bill of Rights? Without a doubt, students have the right to freely express their religion without fear of persecution. The First Amendment explicitly guarantees its citizens that “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the

“Students have the indispensible right to express their religion in schools.” free exercise thereof.” Thus, any attempt to stifle a student’s religious expression in school is practically a violation of the Constitution. Take for example an event that happened a few months ago. A Texas high school cheerleading team was banned from using banners displaying Bible verses and nothing else. The cheerleaders stood up against the order because they felt that their liberty to express their religious beliefs was intruded upon. The case ended up in court, and the result was decided in the cheerleaders’ favor, asserting students’

right to freely display their religious beliefs. The ability to express one’s belief, especially their religious ones, is a freedom that drove millions of immigrants to the US in the past and even today. Since schools are the place for students to learn skills to use outside of education, the ability to assert their beliefs is just as, if not more important, than any other academic subject. But while students themselves have the indispensable right to express their religion in schools, any public educational institutions must remain completely and utterly secular. The Establishment Clause in the Constitution clearly affirms that no part of the US government should endorse or have any ties with a specific religion. Therefore, schools cannot officially back or in any way seem to favor certain religions over others. The criteria to determine whether or not a school has gone beyond its limits have been firmly established in the Supreme Court case Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971). The court case states that there are only three instances where public institutions like schools are able to offer any aid to a religion. The first is if the primary purpose of the assistance is secular. The second is that the assistance must not endorse or inhibit the religion, and the last case is if there is no excessive entanglement between church and state. School-wide prayers have been subject to strict scrutiny by the courts, and have consistently been declared to be against the Establishment clause. In 1962, the Supreme Court ruled in Engel v. Vitale that any kind of prayer initiated by the school system is unconstitutional. Even studentled prayers over a school’s PA system have been declared unconstitutional in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000), because the PA system is a school-owned

object. While school prayer is obviously an infringement on the separation of church and state, some other instances are much more difficult to determine. A famous example of such a situation would be the Pledge of Allegiance. Many people view the phrase “under God” in the Pledge to be against the Establishment clause because of its obvious reference to Christianity. Since the Pledge of Allegiance was ruled to be non-compulsory in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), the

phrase remained. By keeping schools neutral and secular, and at the same time allowing student-based religious activity, the community ultimately benefits. Students gain perspectives and exposure to normally inaccessible cultures, creating an environment that fosters acceptance. The right to express religion anywhere and at any time is one of the founding principles of the US, and thus this generation possesses an obligation to continue the great legacy that created this amazing nation.


Richard Montgomery openly allows religious expression and activities in school. Many religion-based school clubs, like the Muslim Student Alliance, meet regularly.

Silver Spring suspension: justified or too excessive?

While drastic measures should be taken to prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting, the suspension of Rodney Lynch cannot be justified. The school’s decision was an overreaction due to the recent tragic events in Newtown. Even so, it is crucial to remember that children can only be expected to do juvenile things and are victims of a society that glorifies violence. Children are even taught games with violent undertones, such as playing cowboys, cops, and robbers. These games mimic violence but never actually mean to harm one another. Media today also contains an abundance of violent images that encourage young children to naively and innocently mimic the actions they see without thinking. And - just like other instances of childish behavior - there was no actual bullying or aggression involved. So when an innocent, soft-spoken, sixyear-old boy like Rodney Lynch points his finger into a gun and says “Pow,” it is not

Newtown. Aurora. Columbine. Most students have heard of these places and know the horrors that have happened there. Yet, only recently has there been a willingness to address a fundamental problem that plagues the United States: gun violence. Most people do not recognize the extent to which gun violence exists in the United States. In the U.S alone, roughly 30,000 people die each year due to wounds from firearms; on average, 86 deaths per day according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. However, it is not the average adult who is most impacted by this violence; it is the child, the inquisitive learner that is exploring the world. But, what are children nowadays exposed to? They are exposed to a trending culture of gun violence. They live in a society that owns 283 million civilian guns and manufactures four to seven million new guns each year, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

because he wishes harm upon anyone else; he is simply reflecting the ideas and actions that surround him. Suspension is far too extreme for an act borne of immaturity and naivety. Schools should not target these young individuals, but rather attempt to eradicate the inspirations of their actions. Lynch’s actions should be frowned upon and be subject to some disciplinary action, but suspending him is only superficially fixing a problem of violence that stems far beyond any one student. ~Tristan Paige

“Pow,” said Rodney Lynch, a Maryland first grader, pointing his thumb and forefinger at a fellow student. He was immediately suspended. Since this event occurred a week after the Newtown shooting, it does not seem extreme that a school would discipline a child for acting this way. Lynch’s father may insist that his son was only “playing” at that moment, but this intense punishment prevents future tragedies from happening. Students absorb more from their peers than from almost anyone else. If a young student sees his or her peers act a certain way and


School children often use this gesture to represent a gun. In the wake of a gun-related national tragedy, Rodney Lynch’s casual use of the sign was especially discouraged. A six-year-old boy in Silver Spring was Furthermore, according to the Psychological Bulletin, 90% of U.S. kids suspended a little over a month ago due who play video games are exposed to to his actions in an event the school’s new, increasingly violent games that have administration characterized as ‘a threat to shoot a fellow classmate’. The first shown to make children more aggressive. At the basis of our society is the next grader, Rodney Lynch, became the victim generation. Thus, there is always an of this outrageous accusation after making emphasis on education and on teachers childish gun gestures with his thumb and and administrators to educate children on forefinger. His suspension and his ‘violent what is right and wrong, on what can be behavior’ would have left a permanent done and what cannot be done. Educators demerit on his record had the school not must make it clear to children that gun rescinded the charges weeks later. Whether or not the school believed they violence is not tolerated – and should take any and all measures, even as extreme as a were justified in punishing the boy, the fact remains that exacting these kinds of harsh suspension, to convey this vital point. -Steve Chen punishments on any impressionable youth

they remain unpunished, the child may decide to mimic such behavior, considering it acceptable within society. Recent events have caused many to change the way they perceive violent action. The media is known to glorify and encourage the use of guns and violence, and younger children are often exposed to such ideas. What happened to Lynch is not exactly setting a precedent, but it should bring awareness to the situation. Society needs to control the way gun violence is perceived, and it can begin with small steps, even in local elementary schools. However, it should be reassuring not only to the nation but also to the community to know that schools are changing their policies to teach children about the dangers of such actions. The country, which has seen its share of tragedies, is only trying to educate future generations to prevent history from repeating itself. -Ramnik Dhingra

will have dismal consequences. Academic leaders nationwide have been attempting to reduce the number of student suspensions, since the resulting collateral damage, such as lower achievement rates and higher percentages of school dropouts, is obviously detrimental to the educational system. School officials have already recognized that severe disciplinary actions are tremendously harmful to an adolescent’s academic progression, especially in the younger ages. Punishing a student for an act as innocent as a mildly disruptive hand gesture could also lead to a dangerous precedent for other young children caught in comparable situations. Other expressions of youthful imagination could be labeled “inappropriate” by school officials and children could be irrationally punished. The school made the right decision in clearing the boy’s record and rescinding their decision, and hopefully such an inane situation will not set a standard for future punishments. -David Nyugen


The Tide

February 2013

Cultural fun in Common Grounds by Jimmy Li and Adithya Girish On March 1, 2013, student performers will host an event all of the school will attend. They will sing and dance at Common Grounds, a festival demonstrating the school’s extraordinary array of cultures. “We are celebrating the international diversity of the school community. It’s going to be the best Common Grounds ever!” said Math teacher John Chase, the coordinator of the event. The Common Ground acts range from caporales (a type of traditional Bolivian dance) to martial arts. Junior Alex Lu is performing Wushu as an artistic exhibition of Chinese martial art. “It’s a performance art compared to martial arts. You can’t fight somebody with it,” Lu said. Junior Amy Xiao is performing with Lu along with junior Sophia Chang. Speaking of the performance, Xiao said, “It’s fun, it’s really cool to see the culture and talent. [There is a] lot of dancing to look forward to.” Seniors Arif Jadji and William Segovia auditioned with a guitar and vocals act, in which they played Breakeven by The Script and sang in Filipino. When asked what motivated him to audition, Segovia said, “I’ve been singing my whole life.” Sophomore Charlie Kang is also looking forward to Common Grounds. “I feel that this is an excellent assembly to expose

the student body to the cultural diversity present in the student population.” A student, who requested to remain anonymous, also gave his opinion. “I think that it’s a great way to get to know the cultures from many different areas. We can tell, usually, from which area a person is from by their clothing and can adjust our actions and

manners accordingly to respect those cultures,” he said. However, junior Susan Xiao offered a different perspective. “I like watching it, and seeing my friends up there, especially. But truthfully I don’t really get how it celebrates different cultures, and it just seems like a talent show that’s loosely based on the idea of culture.”

In addition to a wide array of performances, there will be a fashion show between acts one and two where students and teachers showcase the unique and varied clothing of different countries. The show will conclude with all of the performers, with the RM concert choir joining to sing “Al Shlosha D’Varim,” or “For our world, for our world, justice and truth and peace.” The concert choir will sing in Hebrew while the performers will sing in English.

Common Grounds Line-up: Act 1 • Irish Dance by Fiona Caretto and Kia Ramarui • K-pop dance by Claudia Hendrick • Song by Galina Belolipetski • Nepalese Dance by Sujata Rai, Anjila Regmi, Inna Regmi, Kerisha Singh, and Pasang Tamang


Senior Hari Devaraj will play the tabla during the Common Grounds performance. The tabla is a traditional Indian drum set.

Act 2 • Chinese Dance by Amy Liang • Dance by Iris Ramos, Natalia Arciniegas, Gabriela Huarran, Donna Terrazas • Indian song by Hari Devaraj and Meem Haque • Dance by Chelsi Aguilar, Daphne Salazar, and Cecilia Velarde • FTW Dance Club

Students respond to rape controversy in India by Matthew Zipf Eight thousand and twenty six miles away from Washington, D.C. exists a cultural hub that is comprehensible to only those who have visited it: India, a beautiful country known for its political, economic, and religious diversity. Nevertheless, questions of safety in the country have recently emerged due to a horrific gang-rape incident in New Delhi, the country’s capital. On December 16, 2012, five adult men and one juvenile male raped and killed a 23-year-old female student in a New Delhi bus, according to the New York Times. The gang rape horrified the Indian public, and led to many movements for greater student safety. After days of protests, the government reluctantly consented to try the six suspects in court. The courts have yet to reach a verdict. “The rape itself was not so much a surprise—rape is everywhere in India,” said sophomore Kaamiya Hargis, who has traveled to India multiple times. Her complaint, like the complaints of student protesters across India, revolved around the government’s lackluster response rather than the offenders’ crimes. “The government responded by almost letting the rapists off... [such] corruption is the reason rape continues to persist there,”

Hargis said. In contrast, sophomore Sedef Berk blamed the media for perpetuating the violence. “The main issue is that the media [does not report] news; it [reports] pop culture events,” Berk said. “Women like the Indian girl who died after being raped on the bus are barely heard of.” Violence has been a continual problem for India. Since 1953, there has been a 231% increase in murder and a 356% increase in kidnapping, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. The attacks, such as the recent gang-rape, have largely targeted students, which raises questions about student safety in educational environments both domestic and abroad. “India remains unsafe for students, [unlike] the United States,” Hargis emphasized. “An incident like this makes us think about how rare these occurrences are in the US,” freshman Mark Zic commented, recognizing the stark contrasts in violence between the U.S. and India. “We are extremely fortunate to have a society in which we have such laws that keep us in order,” he added. While Richard Montgomery has reacted to domestic outbreaks of violence, the school community has only recently begun to respond to more global problems. After building the memorial at Richard Montgomery for the Newtown, CT shooting, local students have noticed international needs and are

organizing ways to help mediate problems around the world. “I believe everyone should take part in building more memorials to remember tragedies across the world so that we can remember the victims as people, not just statistics,” suggested junior Kate Weishaar, who worked on the Newtown memorial. Berk agreed, declaring that “Although we cannot honor every victim with pictures in our art gallery, small steps like fundraisers on Main Street or bake sales to raise money for education could help women and children in India.” RM may just be a dot on the map. Nevertheless, motivated students, such as Weishaar and Berk, are generating solutions that extend beyond our borders and into new realms on the international scale.

Country Profile:

Djibouti (ja-boo-tee) Total Population 774,389 Languages • Arabic • Somali • Afar • French Ethnic Groups • Somali (60%) • Afar (35%) • Other (5%) Religions • Muslim (94%) • Christian (6%) Major Cities • Djibouti (captial): population of 604,013 • Obock (port)

GRAPHIC BY LILY XU Indian gang rape sparks debate over student safety, while the country mourns for a lost life.

National Anthem • Jabuuti STATISTICS FROM CIA

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February 2013 9

Seniors choose to apply abroad for colleges by Suzanne Xu Imagine studying for your college French exam in Paris or learning about ancient Greek architecture in Athens. While many students plan to apply to colleges in the US, some students begin their college search on an international scale. According to Fox Business, in 2011, more than 40,000 American students were receiving their higher education in full degree programs outside the United States. There are many differences between colleges in and outside the US. One of the most important aspects to consider when applying to out-of-country colleges is the culture differences. Students studying abroad must not only cope with new accents, but often completely different customs and languages. “On one hand, your education is extremely new and interesting,” said senior Victoria Zhao, “On the other hand, you are unfamiliar with the country and with the people, and you may feel lonely because you do need to adapt so quickly.” Zhao applied to five schools in the United Kingdom, including the University of Oxford and the University of St. Andrews. Many international programs are quicker to complete than the four-year American university and have different workload expectations. Students should keep in mind, though, that other

PHOTO BY DAVID CHEN Shanghai University of Finance and Economics is a finance and economics oriented research facility located in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. Founded in 1917, the university is just one of many colleges abroad that current seniors want to apply to. countries have different grading standards, which may need to be explained to future employers. In addition, some degrees earned in one country may not be transferrable to another. Application processes are also different for colleges outside the US. Unlike US college applications, which ask for multiple student narratives and interviews, international colleges tend to focus more on the numerical aspects of a student’s profile, such as GPA and test scores. “[Applying abroad] was a

tad disheartening, but I guess the point [the colleges] were trying to make was you can be whatever kind of person you want to be, [the colleges] just want to know that you’re good [for higher education],” said senior Jerusalem Demsas, who applied to McGill University in Canada. Even though college abroad may seem exciting in concept, studying abroad may have hidden expenses. Students must not only consider room and board and tuition, but also extra travel costs for sightseeing and visits home.

US federal financial aid can be tricky for students in foreign countries. Before applying to a foreign college, students should find out about a college’s financial policies. Attending college in another country is not for everyone. “International colleges let you see different viewpoints [due to] regional differences, […] but there is a difference between experiencing something [briefly] and living it. I would be more comfortable with just the experiencing part,” said freshman Jesse Huang.

Junior Milka Piszczek, in contrast, said, “I think I would enjoy the experience of living and studying abroad. The freedom of living in a different country is both terrifying and very exciting.” Students should carefully consider all the above factors when choosing where to apply. In addition, students should do their own research on not only the college or university, but also the institution’s location before applying. Should a student choose the international path, he or she is bound for an adventure.

Cultural Exchange Club attempts to promotes international learning by Claudia Xie Students cautiously stepped into room 240, eager to fill their bellies with ethnic foods yet hesitant to join others already in the room. Cultural Exchange Club was founded this year, after all, and they had no idea what to expect. After enjoying Korean shrimp crackers, Choco-Pies, and golden Persian sweets, the students more comfortably settled in their seats for a fun and engaging PowerPoint presentation. Though she had prepared to speak extensively about the importance of cultural identity, president Maryam Ghaderi knew that others will soon jump in for discussion. Sure enough, after a few slides, the first hand is raised, signaling a shift towards discussion. Officer Matthew Daniels encouraged junior Sarah Eppley to simply say what she thought. “Don’t raise your hand. It’s Socratic. Just speak!” he said with gusto. Daniel’s attitude reflects the general essence of the club, which revolves around students bouncing ideas off each other, adding or objecting as they please. “What I hope to achieve is intercultural understanding and respect within the RM community,” said founder

Ghaderi. “It’s a shame that we don’t take the time to appreciate the full mosaic of cultures that we have at RM.” After Daniel’s gentle reminder, Eppley continued, posing the question, “Is knowing your identity necessary?” There was a slight pause as students considered what identity truly meant. The discussion eventually became one on the differences between race, skin color, and culture, a subject that particularly touched the students who live in a melting pot. “Culture is what makes our identity,” sophomore Charlie Kang insisted, arguing against race and skin color having complete control over our identities. Officer and junior David Song can relate. After moving from Korea, he could easily see the diversity of the United States. “It’s unique in the US,” he observed. “[In Korea], you don’t have to think about [race and culture].” He attributed this to being around people of the same skin color who shared his language and cultural background as well. By the end of the meeting, nearly everyone had spoken and even looked hesitant about leaving, since there was still more to discuss. Meetings are Thursday in room 240 during lunch. Come and join the discussion!


PHOTO BY CLAUDIA XIE (from left to right): Officer junior David Song, president junior Maryam Ghaderi, officer senior Claudia Hendricks, and officer junior Matthew Daniels.

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February 2013


The Tide

MR. Arent Hiltermann Mr. Isn’t

Teddy Kotsatos Mr. Swayze

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? The power to teleport; sneaking out would be so much easier!

Perfect date? Schaatsen under the maanlicht at Middennact in the grachten of Amsterdam (Skating under the moonlight at midnight in the canals of Amsterdam)

How do you see yourself in 10 years? With a mirror, duh! I would imagine we still have those

Guilty pleasure? Belgian chocolates

Nicest thing you’ve ever done for your mom? Writing a poem for her and reading it to the world



Alvin Fonkoua Mr. Sentimental Guilty pleasure? Doing the unexpected

February 2013

Why are you going to win Mr. RM? Because I’m Dutch

Nicest thing you’ve ever done for you mom? I got my parents an anniversary gift

Dylan Corr Mr. Hardcorr

JP Whaley Mr. Renaissance

Describe yourself in 5 words. I am the disaster master One thing you can’t live without? Allyson Sun Why are you going to win Mr. RM? Because it is my destiny

Why are you going to win Mr. RM? Because all the teachers love me

Guilty Pleasure? Reading the Dictionary. Speaking Chinese Perfect date? A tandem bike ride through the park, with a calm meditation period after One thing you can’t live without? WOMEN’S RIGHTS!

David Udwin Mr. Wheel Deal

Alex Bazan Mr. President

Guilty pleasure? Watching Food Network in the middle of the night when no one can see me

Guilty Pleasure? And then everything changed, when the

Nicest thing you’ve ever done for your mom? Make every day Mother’s Day

Perfect date? Start by grocery shopping for food, go back to Jonathan’s place, he makes me a pasta dinner and then we play Mario Kart

Why are you going to win Mr. RM?

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Waterbending would be pretty cool...

Tim Do Mr. Nice Guy

Perfect date? A candle-lit dinner in my boat after a surf session

Levon Favin Mr. Wildcard

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Probably to clone myself so I can help more people across the world

Guilty pleasure? Crying over South Korean boy band members

Why are you going to win Mr. RM? I’m going to win because nice

Perfect Date? Getting sushi and then going out and making a snowman How do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully at least 5’7”

Robbie Barletta Mr. Jr MacGyver Guilty pleasure? Bromance before romance

One thing you can’t live without? Music to soothe my soul What is the nicest thing you’ve done for you mom? Reminded her that I will always be here for her

Aldwin Delcour Mr. Mixmaster

Guilty pleasure? Red velvet cookies with cream cheese One thing you can’t live without? Sarcasm Describe yourself in 5 words. Sensible Modest Ambitious Responsible Tranquil

Anthony Phan Mr. Phantastic

Guilty pleasure? Playing Pokémon. That’s my whole childhood right there Perfect date? Drifting down the Mississippi River on a candle-lit wooden raft while reading Huckleberry Finn to each other Describe yourself in 5 words. Really entertaining visionary of society

Matt Guevara Mr. Heart-throb

Austin Font Mr. Dynamite

Perfect date? A day trip to Great Falls then a candlelit dinner that I cook and cuddling to the Notebook

Perfect date? With a female.

Guilty pleasure?

Why are you going to win Mr. RM? Because I have the voice of an angel

Guilty pleasure? Watching the Bachelor.

Why are you going to win Mr. RM? Because I am legen..wait for it..DARY!



The Tide


Febrero del 2013

¿Sabes lo que te puede ofrecer la Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica? por Farah Kabir

“SHH” no es solo para decirle a alguien que se calle… Es la abreviatura de la Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica… ¡una organización que puede darle una vacación a Argentina o ayudarle pagar por la educación universitaria! ¿Cómo? La Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica (SHH) es una organización por estudiantes del décimo grado o mayor que han tomado tres o más semestres de español o portuguesa. La SHH póliza de excelencia académica requiere que el estudiante mantiene unas “notas de honor”: en Richard Montgomery se necesita, por lo menos, 3.8 en su clase de español y una nota media de 3.5. “Andalucía,” “Don Quijote” y “Rubén Darío” son unos de los nombres de capítulos locales de SHH. Un capítulo de SHH se compone de un o más escuelas, todas de una región, y tiene nombre único que represente un aspecto de la cultura hispana o


Los co-presidentes de la Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica son Kyana Waters y Brianell Osorio. portuguesa. Richard Montgomery es el capítulo Alejo Carpentier, un novelista cubano cuya obra más famosa El reino de este mundo es sobre la revolución de Haití. Para ser miembro “activo” de SHH, también hay que participar en una Ceremonia de Iniciación. Los anuncios de la ceremonia son completamente en español. Al final, cada estudiante toma un juramento, con guion oficial de SHH, para estudiar la lengua y dedicarse a promover la paz

mundial a través de amistad y entendimiento. El resultado: el estudiante recibe su certificado de SHH. La SHH promueve el estudio de español con varios reconocimientos y premios. Cada año, ofrece 52 becas a universidades para los estudiantes en el doceavo grado y 24 viajes a los estudiantes en el onceavo grado. Pero para recibir esos premios no es fácil. Muchos los reciben por una calificación alta en

el Examen Nacional de Español, que es ofrecido a estudiantes de cualquier nivel de español en marzo. Y es competitivo solamente un estudiante en cada capítulo puede ganar un premio. Aparte de dar el Examen Nacional de Español, el capítulo de SHH a Richard Montgomery participó en la Noche Internacional, donde unos estudiantes, hispanos y no hispanos por igual, hicieron el baile de salsa. Uno de los

bailarines, Calvin Chao del onceavo grado, dijo que, “Estuv[o] nervioso por bailar frente de una audiencia larga, pero todo salió bien y [s]e alegro de que tuviera la experiencia de alg[o] nuev[o].” Además, la SHH de Richard Montgomery organiza unas fiestas culturales donde los estudiantes traen platos y comen la comida de varios diferentes países, llevan y aprenden los trajes típicos del mundo hispanohablante, bailan los bailes de tango y salsa y ven películas hispanas. Maestra de español, y directora de la SSH de RM, María Solernou piensa que las fiestas ofrecen a los estudiantes la oportunidad de disfrutarse mientras que aprenden cosas nuevas sobre la cultura hispana. ¿Necesitas ayuda con tu tarea de español? ¿Piensas que tu clase de español es difícil? ¡La SSH de RM puede ayudarte! Como todas las sociedades honores, la SHH tiene un programa de tutores. Si entregas una aplicación, la SHH te dará un tutor. Apropiadamente, el lema de la Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica es “¡Todos a una!” (o “Todos juntos por una meta”). Lo captura la filosofía y el sentimiento del grupo.

La ciudad de los toros Un poema

por David Sobalvarro

Puedo sentir todos sus ojos, los espectadores en las corridas. Soy un toro. Deambulando por las calles, hay banderas rojas en los ojos de cada hombre que encuentro. Los rascacielos me encarcelan; siempre voy a ser un ani-


Esta sopa es perfecto para comer en el invierno porque tiene vegetales, carne, y caldo y es nutricional.

¡Sopa peruana: perfecto para el frío!

mal. Los toreros me estan esperando debajo de la tierra, o tal

por Camila Villasante

vez atras de las puertas de los edificios vanos y en los ojos que me miran de todas partes.


Cuando era niña, mis visitas a mi familia en Cusco, Perú eran llenas de diferentes tipos de comida. En el avion, solo pensaba en la marmelada de frutilla, huevos frescos, lomo saltado, y todo tipo de comida que me esperaba cuando llegue. Pero recuerdo que cada vez que iba, mi abuelita tenía ya preparado sopa cuando llegue del aeropuerto. Era perfecto para calentarme y darme fuerza después de un viaje largo! Esta es la receta que recuerdo de mi abuelita--es increíble lo que uno pueda hacer con ingredientes tan simples como repollo, carne, y huesos de vaca. Es perfecto para un día frío y es muy traicional. Con la variedad de ingredientes, esta sopa es muy nutritivo. Esta sopa me hace recordar mi niñez, y pues ojalá que les gusten. Como dicen en Perú, “Barriga llena, corazón contenta”!

Ingredientes: - 1 kg huesos de vaca - 2 zanahorias - 4 dientes de ajo - 1 nabo - 1 poro - 5 tallos de apio - ¼ cebolla - ½ taza de trigo - 2 papas amarillas - ¼ repollo - 1 taza de habas - Pequeñas tiras de carne, al gusto - Oregano seco, al gusto Instrucciones: 1) Corta una zanahoria en pedazos. 2) Corta el nabo. 3) Corta el poro. 4) Corta dos papas amarillas en pedazos. 5) Corta ¼ repollo en pedazos. 6) Pela una taza de habas. Asegúrate que todos están peladas.

7) Corta tiras de carne. 8) Combina los huesos de vaca, la zanahoria entera, los dientes de ajo, el nabo cortado, un poro cortado, el apio, y la cebolla en una olla grande. 9) Hierve el caldo por 30 minutos. 10) Voltéalo en un colador 11) Colecciona el jugo en un tazón grande. 12) Remoja ½ taza de trigo para 30 minutos. 13) Pone el caldo a hervir otra vez. 14) Cuando hierve el caldo, añada el trigo. 15) Hierve por 15 minutos. 16) Agrega las papas cortadas y la zanahoria cortada. 17) Hierve por 15 minutos. 18) Añada el repollo cortado y las tiras de carne. 19) Hierve por 15 minutos. 20) Agrega las habas peladas. 21) Hierve por 15 minutos. 22) Condimenta con oregano seco al gusto. 23) ¡Disfrútela!


The Tide

February 2013


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The Tide

Poms falls short of high expectations by Brian Harrington The Richard Montgomery auditorium was radiating with the body heat of the poms squads, fans, drum lines, and even furry school mascots. Teams, identically dressed with perfect makeup, danced in unison to impress the poker-faced judges. After all the teams had performed their routines, Poolesville walked away victorious, with Rockville earning second, and

Rockville’s routine, themed around fire, concluded with the team forming the shape of a candle and the captain “[blowing] them out.” Whitman decided to theme their routine around superheroes, including sound bites from the movie, The Dark Knight, and superhero tunes like Iron Man by Black Sabbath. Richard Montgomery elected to not stick to a theme. Instead, senior captain Marilyn Rodriguez focused on choosing music that evoked emotion and “[made] us want to get up and dance.” She added,


Mr. Agnew teaches Production & Performance, an introduction to film and theater class.

P&P introduces students to arts at RM by Andrew DelVecchio and Max Molot PHOTOS BY CONNIE CHEN

Poms are judged on level of enthusiasm including their eccentric facial expressions. Quince Orchard in third. The Richard Montgomery poms were disappointed by their sixth place result since they had leaped from fourth place to second place in the prior competition. However, senior captain Marilyn Rodriguez tied for third place with the Quince Orchard team’s captain in the captain awards for her effort in leading the team. Clarksburg, Poolesville, Seneca Valley, Walter Johnson, Quince Orchard, Rockville, Whitman, and Richard Montgomery were the eight schools in attendance Saturday. Many teams decided to give an overall theme to their routine that was reflected in their music and dance moves. Poolesville performed a cultural routine, featuring songs from around the world. “Welcome to the madhouse,” a Seneca Valley poms member told the crowd before she and her team began their routine, which featured zany hits from bands like Evanescence, Disturbed, and even Nicki Minaj. The main theme for Walter Johnson’s routine was shapes. The dancers grouped together many times in order to appear as one shape to the crowd; the highlight of their routine was when they clustered into the shape of a bomb, which ticked down as the girls then violently disbursed in an “explosion.”

by Raghav Mehra Some students simply cannott imagine not being part of the art world. They’ve been part of it their entire lives, attempting to conquer more than one artform and constantly striving to master what they do. Senior Sarah Snider is one such artist. Her hands first touched a piano in third grade, and today she’s one of RM’s jazz pianists and a composer of original music. Snider credits much of her music development to past summers she has spent at the Walden School of Music. When asked about her experience at Walden, Sarah said

“It’s hard to envision a routine without having that.” The team worked hard to make sure their movements reflected the tempo of each song, so that the audience could experience the intensity as well. Junior captain Stephanie Moore, reflecting on the difficulty of creating a routine, said, “It’s such a delicate balance when coming up with routines because people’s interpretations vary so much with this sport.” This difficulty is compounded because, “there are no wins or losses to calculate. Judges change [with each competition] and we want to change along with them while still staying true to our vision as twelve unique girls,” Moore added. Rodriguez credited her captain’s medal to the rest of her team and said, “I am so proud of my girls, they inspired me to work harder and I wouldn’t have this award without them.” It was truly a special moment for her.

“there were tons of instruments at our fingertips.” Snider started her more intense compositions at Walden, giving parts to the various other musicians (and students), and even recording them. Snider’s varied music taste has also had a significant impact on her own compositions, citing artists like Brian Eno and John Cage as major influences. Snider has published her most recent work on soundcloud, one of the most popular music sharing sites for rising musicians, and her compositions can be heard by anyone at “”. The latest musical instrument Snider has been tackling is the computer, developing an experimental style by processing acoustic instruments and generating new sounds.

During this busy time of transitioning into a new semester and looking ahead to schedules for next year, the need to fulfill the MCPS requirements for graduation can often be a frustrating obstacle that prevents students from taking classes they find more interesting than others. If you are a person in need of an Arts credit, and you are not sure if your skills with clay or a paintbrush are on par, then Production and Performance is the class for you. Production and Performance is a fun and modern choice compared to the some other electives that RM provides, with Sophomore Alex Fehlinger enthusiastically calling it “a nice alternative to a typical art class.” With a counselor’s approval, students can easily enroll in this theater and film based class that offers the experience to observe, study, and create short films and screenplays. Mr. James Agnew has been teaching the class since its first semester at RM in 2011. When asked why he enjoys teaching it, Mr. Agnew, typically an English teacher, said that he enjoys “the creativity of the students and watching them change an idea into a script.” Rather than going through the typical syllabus, the goal of each semester in the class is to produce a short film using the techniques and lessons from a semester’s worth of learning. Mr. Agnew says that this is what makes the class unique, as “it has a specific goal from beginning to end,

which is ultimately for a student to develop his or her own production.” With that goal in mind, students are able to focus on the specific details of a film that may go unnoticed to most viewers. Peter Szwerc, a sophomore in the class, said that he “can now appreciate film techniques that [he] would not normally pick up on in a movie.” This past semester, students researched and studied an unproduced script. After weeks of analysis and preparation, they spent the last month of the semester producing a short film using the scripts they had selected and the skills they had learned. Szwerc, one of those who appreciated the independence given to students, said, “It’s the only class where we get complete creative control over our projects.” Fellow sophomore Kevin Chatlin agreed, adding that “it gives us creative freedom and a chance to develop ideas independently.” This next semester, students are working on writing their own scripts, after which they will go through a similar process and finish off the year with the production of their own short film. Throughout the year, Production and Performance offers students not only the opportunity to satisfy a graduation requirement, but also the chance to explore artistic interests outside of the traditional art setting. In class, students are able to analyze (and often watch) some of their favorite movies in-depth and develop a deeper and more complete understanding of the art of film. The class has become one of many ways in which RM opens its students and classes to the broad horizons of media.

As well as being sic classes, as well as a musician, Snider is being editor in chief also a visual artist, havof RM’s award wining taken art classes ning literary and arts since middle school. magazine, Fine Lines. Although she enjoys Students could catch drawing, Snider’s meher performing at updium of choice is sculptcoming jazz concerts ing. Over the past two and see her work on years Snider has dedisplay at the IB art veloped her own style show this April. Some with diverse works on of her work was also various concepts. R displayed at the RM ecently Snider has art gallery in honor been working on a of the kids at Sandy Yin and Yang concept Hook Elementary which can be seen on School. Sarah looks her website http://www. forward to ing her art career at “When you look Oberlin Conservatory, PHOTOS BY SARAH SNIDER where she will be part at it, you see how one characteristic cannot ex- Sarah fills her work with thoughtful of the Technology ist without the other,” messages and minimalistic designs. in Music and Relasays Snider in describtive Arts program. ing her piece Three, “when you look from “To me, music and visual arts are my the front, the three pieces of wood look necessary creative outlets. I’m always itchlike they’re descending in size, but when ing to push the boundaries and with muyou look from the side it’s the opposite.” sic, sculpting, and drawing, I feel that there At school, Snider takes both art and mu- are always new things for me to discover.”


The Tide

February 2013


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February 2013

The Tide

Love is in the air and on the screens by Mary Melati

The inside of a Whoopie Pie!

Red Velvet

Valentine Wendy Sue Risso Love is in the air! If you are looking to impress that special someone – or just satisfy an empty belly, red velvet Whoopie Pies are a delectable choice. Not only are they fun to make, but they are also impressive to look at. The recipe yields 2 dozen whoopie pies in a little over an hour. INGREDIENTS Whoopies: • 3 cups all-purpose flour • 1/3 cup cocoa powder • 1 tsp baking powder • ½ tsp baking soda • ½ tsp salt • ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature!) • ½ cup vegetable shortening • ½ cup light brown sugar • 1 cup granulated sugar • 2 eggs • 2 tsp vanilla extract • 3 tsp red food coloring • 1 cup buttermilk Filling: • 4 oz cream cheese (room temperature!) • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature!) • 3½ cups powdered sugar • 1 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS 1. Set four baking sheets on the pan (or spray pan with nonstick spray) and preheat oven to 350°. 2. Using your hands, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. 3. Beat butter, shortening and both sugars for five minutes until fluffy and smooth either by hand or by electric mixer). Add the eggs one by one, beating well. Add the vanilla and food coloring and beat until just blended. 4. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the batter and beat. Add the remaining flour mixture and ½ cup buttermilk and beat. 5. Use a spoon to drop a tbsp of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake two sheets at a time for 10 min or so. Let them cool afterwards. Be careful, the sheets will be hot! 6. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the filling. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and sugar. Add vanilla and beat until creamy and smooth. (4 min) 7. To assemble, spread the filling onto the flat side of a cake using a plastic baggie with a small hole in the corner. 8. Top it with another cake (as if making an Oreo).

In February, you can always count on movies about pretty actresses traipsing in the city in search of true loves. This Valentine’s Day, The Tide separated the classic from the sappy for you to enjoy during the season of love! 1. There’s Something About Mary


This hilarious tale of jealousy and persistence follows the life of a shy, but lovable loser (Ben Stiller), who never gets over the love of his life, Mary (Cameron Diaz). Their relationship proves that there is always something special about first love.



3. Waitress (2007) This romantic comedy is every bit as comforting as the delicious pies Keri Russell bakes in the film. A guaranteed tearjerker, Waitress chronicles a woman’s struggle to avoid an abusive life and to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. 4. Pretty Woman (1990) Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) was not expecting Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) to change his life. But when he hires her as his escort to his many social events, he is proven wrong as he gradually falls in love with her. As senior Marni Morse affirmed, “Pretty Woman is a classic.” 5. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003) Journalist Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) takes on the challenge of writing an article titled, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” while Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey), aims to make a woman fall in love in 10 days. Hilarity ensues.

A closer look at Valentine’s traditions around the world by Sedef Berk 1. Each Valentine’s Day, Verona, Italy, the setting of Shakespeare’s romance Romeo and Juliet, is flooded with thousands of letters addressed to Juliet. Ettore Solimani, a custodian, was the first “secretary” to write back to the senders of these letters. Currently, there are fifteen secretaries who reply to these letters with advice. 2. Japan was first introduced to Valentine’s Day in 1936, but due to a mistranslation, only women bought Valentines gifts for their partners and friends on February 14th. Men would shower their girlfriends and spouses a month later on March 14th, known as “White Day”.

Whoopie Pies are fun to bake and even more fun to enjoy, Valentines Day or not.

2. The Proposal (2009) In this hilarious romantic comedy, Sandra Bullock stars as a pushy boss who forces her young assistant (Ryan Reynolds) into a marriage in order to avoid being deported to Canada. Invite a few friends to enjoy the awkward meetings with inlaws-to-be and to find out if Bullock succeeds! Junior Emily Ma exclaimed, “Sandra Bullock is awesome!”

3. Saint Valentine is not just the patron saint of love and engagements. He is also the patron saint of epilepsy, which he is rumored to have suffered from. He also

is the saint of plague, travelers, young people, greetings, and bee keepers. 4. In Germany, young girls used to plant onions inside a pot on Valentine’s Day. They would then place the name of a boy next to each onion; the name next to the first onion to grow would be the name of the boy they would marry.  5. Young girls in America and the United Kingdom believed that the type of bird they first saw on Valentine’s Day would represent the profession of the man they were to marry. For example, blackbirds would correspond to clergyman and sparrows to farmers. Seeing a woodpecker meant they would never marry.  6.  In the Middle Ages, young men and women would draw the names of their Valentines out of a bowl and wear the name on their sleeve for a week. They also believed that they would marry the first unmarried person of the opposite gender they met on Valentine’s Day. 

Head over wheels in love with Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler by Nancy Jin and Michelle Wang Watch out Mr. and Mrs. Goetz! There’s another RM teacher couple in town. The Wheelers, both physical education teachers, have been married for six years. Here is their story. 1. What brought you two together? Mr. Wheeler: The sealer was how well we each got along with the other one’s family. Her parents and sister treat me like I am their son or brother.  Her dad and I have become pretty good friends.   My mom would kick me out of the family before she would get rid of Mrs. Wheeler. Mrs. Wheeler: I remember seeing him the first day and wanting to know who he was. Since he was big into athletics and coaching and I was a PE teacher, we got to know each other and became good friends. We both lived

near each other and started hanging out more with one another. 2. What are your favorite things about each other? Mr. Wheeler: Mrs. Wheeler’s favorite thing about me is my stunningly good looks (that keep improving each year) and of course the charming personality. As I am reading this to Mrs. Wheeler, she is rolling her eyes and shaking her head.  My favorite thing about her is that she lets me believe that I have stunningly good looks and she generally finds all the stupid, silly things I do cute. Mrs. Wheeler: I always have a good time when I am around him. He knows exactly what to say to make me laugh and

smiles every day. [He] always puts me first ahead of everything. 3. What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Mr. Wheeler: We usually don’t do a lot on Valentine’s for each other because we do not celebrate our love one day out of the year; we celebrate our love every day of the year. Mrs. Wheeler: We usually don’t do anything on Valentine’s Day, as it usually is on a weekday and we have to coach sports and hold practices. We will probably go out to a nice dinner over the weekend. We don’t do anything big

or go all out. 4.What are some quirky or funny habits your significant other has? Mr. Wheeler: I am not allowed to tell. Mrs. Wheeler: If I were to give you any, then he has free range on mine, so I am pleading the 5th on this one and hope he will do the same. 5. How was the proposal? Mr. Wheeler: [It was] pretty boring. Of course [I] did the one-knee and the ring thing.  But we had been together for a while, so it was not a surprise when I asked. Mrs. Wheeler: We were at his place watching TV and staying in when he asked. He did the whole getting down on one knee and everything.  We had been together for a while and I knew it was coming, but I will always remember it. PHOTO BY WENDY RISSO


The Tide

February 2013

VALENTIDES: Words of love To Claudi, Merp herp derp. Love you lots Claudi Thank you for being the bestest best friend ever! From Victoria To The Family, Hi family! Sorry I don’t know like half of you, but I love you all anyways! Remember to always live, love and laugh :) Be happy! From Victoria To my dear family, Hello everyone! You know who you are. :) Thank you for filling my high school years with warm, happy memories. Stay in touch okay? Love you! From Claudi To Baka Child, Rawrrr! (tackle glomps) Hehe, how are you dear? I hope you like the surprise I made for you. Smile! I’m here; and I love you :) From Baka Mother To Yeobo , You, my dear woman, are the single most amazing human being on this planet. I’ll get a tumblr or skype for college, so don’t disappear! From Your Affair To Daddy, You’ll let me perform experiments on you right? For science! :) Bahahaha, you know I love you. Thanks for being friends with this ditzy child. :P From your loving daughter To Grace Hanger, Hey Grace! I want to say something cheesy and Valentine’s Day like so you’re my twin and I love you. Yeah. Bye. From Helen Hanger To Yingsta, Go to prom with me! Awkward conversations and hellos in the hallway, forever and always. From Sofia To Shaana JungleGym I am sorry I was ever scared of you. I love you so much and you are beautiful. Be my Valentine? Love your best friend From Anonymous To Melissa Lipnick Hey hot stuff you da bait- can I buy you a drank? From Shaana Jhangiani To Alex Fehlinger, Stacks on stacks on stacks. Alex is my mans. Sosa. Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex From Shema To Alex Fehlinger, Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex Alex We love you. #freesosa From Aseem To Alex Fehlinger, A haiku for Alex: Alex, I love you, But I also love haikus. Refrigerator. From Andrew To Matthew Szwerc, I was using Ankit to get to you. My love for you travels 3,000 miles. Play with my hair and Peter will bake us cookies. From Liza Upton

To Americans, Fellow Students, Single Ladies, Shaana Sarah Melissa Alina Trisha Raaga Jackie Geena Alysha Sophia Susan Nishka Tiffany Megha Michelle Trisha Sophie me sometime From Roy Liu

To Katie Zeng, Happy Valentine’s Day, Benevolent Leader! From Charlie Kang

To Lara I really can’t top your Valentide, so I’m just not going to try! From Marni

To my 1st period Chemistry Class, You are my FAVORITE PreIB Chemistry Class. I you! From Mr. Turner

To The Jew Crew As much as I love you all, I love Indian food more. And feeling like the quiet one for once! From Marni

To Simone, I left the body behind the tree. It’s you’re turn to clean up. From PIC

To my 1st period aide Kate, You are my FAVORITE aide. I From Mr. Turner

To Resonance, Ladies, you’re beautiful and talented, and I adore every one of you. Here’s to the time Duke’s Men called us hot. All my love. From Hayley To Zuri Zhao, Hi dahling! Happy Valentine’s day from your not so secret admirer From Katherine Zeng To Chloe Ouimette, Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope it’s filled with our love and happiness. Can’t wait until Friday! Love you! From Alec Manougian To Mr. Goetz, U R THE LOVE OF MY LIFE for ever and ever and ever and ever to ∞ and beyond :) From Ms. Goetz To Mrs. Goetz, I derive so much pleasure from our life together because you are such an integral part of it! XOXO From Mr. Goetz To Anjila, Thanks for being the amazing friend you are. Happy Valentine’s Day! From Vanessa To Alicia, You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. I (dashingly and handsomely) acknowledge that you are quite the lady. From Darcy

To my 2nd period Chemistry Class, You are my FAVORITE PreIB Chemistry Class. I you! From Mr. Turner To my 6th period Chemistry Class, You are my FAVORITE PreIB Chemistry Class. I you! From Mr. Turner To my 7th period Chemistry Class, You are my FAVORITE PreIB Chemistry Class. I you! From Mr. Turner To my 7th period aide Victoria, You are my FAVORITE aide. I From Mr. Turner


To my 8th period Chemistry Class, You are my FAVORITE PreIB Chemistry Class. I you! From Mr. Turner To my 8th period aide Arvind, You are my FAVORITE aide. I From Mr. Turner

To David, Megan, and Sofia You all are too amazing for words! I’ve had so much fun at layout over the past two years, but I know these last two issues will be the best yet! From Marni To Deborah Thanks for supporting The Tide even if I force you too! And don’t worry, I’m brainstorming ways to fulfill your summer goals! From Marni To the amazing Tide Editors. Marni: We hope you’ve enjoyed all the “lovely” treats during layout! You are all fantastic and despite the sassy emails, we love all you lots! (And thanks for letting me pick the music every once and awhile!) Sofia: You guys could be better. David: But they’re already the best! Megan: Let’s all love each other. From The EICs


To Eunji Choi Thanks for such a magical Valentine’s day filled with SGA, blood, and forms. From Megan

To Marni Morse A kind caring beautiful friend doing so much more than is asked of her. She does above and beyond. I’m blessed to know her. From Ross Berman

To Richard Montgomery, I really don’t have anything to say I just wanted to see my name in the paper. Congrats, class of 2013. :) From Neha Kundagrami

To Rapper, Role Model, and Based God Lil’ B, Will you Lil’ B my Valentine? From your number 1 fan Spencer Glass

To Running Crew Continue to dance under the stars, sneak around in the dark, and always eat Chinese food and ice cream cake! And never forget rule 1! From Marni

To Tanya, What else can I say, other than thank you for how happy you have made me? From David To Alan Lang, Alan, you are so amazing and we love you so super much, forever and ever. From everyone everywhere

To Alicia, I don’t know who this Darcy fool is, but you’re mine. From Draco To Kayla, Roses are red. Violets are blue. You’re so beautiful, and I love you too. From Daniel To Sky Guy, You make each day awesome! xxooo :) From LJ To Casey Q, My dearest love Casey; You are the absolute bestest person ever. I love you so much Even if you are a crackhead/ballerina. From Casey Q






The Tide

February 2013

Boys swimmers lap all divisional competitors


Sophomore Peter Szwerc leads the pack in practice as his teammates follow behind.

Indoor track sprints towards regionals by Nancy Jin With regional and state championships coming up, Richard Montgomery Indoor Track & Field is working as hard as they can to maximize their performance. Between hitting the weight room and putting in extra time on the track, the team hopes to stay up to par with other schools such as Paint Branch and Northwest. So far the team has seen positive results and looks to continue the trend in the postseason. Track & field, as with all sports, requires effort and determination in order to see improvement. Senior Tiffany AfolabiBrown said, “When practices get canceled, you see track out there putting in the work to get better and do better. For throwers, we start warming up before 2:30 and work ‘till as long as 5:30 or longer if that’s what it takes, and it’s all a choice.” The throwers have seen dramatic improvements as a result, and have put together one of the strongest units in the county. Senior Tiffany Afolabi-Brown finished second and junior Ozioma Edokobi finished fifth at the county championships with throws of 3601 and 35 feet, respectively.

The athletes must be willing to put in the hard work, no matter how difficult the workouts might be. Even though track is mostly an individual sport, it is essential that the team members support and motivate each other in order to improve. While the athletes compete as individuals, they win as a team, and with consistent encouragement from the coach and fellow teammates, this principle is better understood. Senior Tise Taiwo said, “Just having the support of your teammates is very important, because they want to see you succeed, and hearing them cheering for you as you run gives all runners that much needed extra motivation.” Taiwo has had a strong season so far, finishing second at the county championships. The team mindset is evident in the boys 4x800 meter relay, which finished 3rd at the county championships. The group decided to forgo the 1600 as individuals to run as a team in the upcoming regional championships. With every team member focused on improving themselves and achieving personal records, it can be easy to forget that at the end of the day, they are competing as a team. Having a team-oriented mindset can make a huge difference in overall performance, which can ultimately tip the scales in RM’s favor.

themselves into the swimming conversation as a team not to be overlooked. Losses to by Daniel Hirsch most teams wouldn’t inspire swimmers to move forward, but the one to Walter Each year, swimmers across the Johnson certainly did. As Song explains, country line up and prepare to dive into the “last year, WJ was at the top of Division season ahead, and each year the Rockets 1. Seeing us lose by so little gives us swimmers lead the pack. This year is no confidence to do well in the postseason. different. Same with [the tie against] Churchill. They Junior swimmer Greg Song (last are one of the best in the county and tying month’s athlete of the issue), who finished them is very encouraging for Metros and eighth in the 200-yard individual medley States.” and fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke at In the words of junior swimmer this past year’s Metros, explains that “our Jonathan Huang, “metros are coming up, team has an incredible amount of depth and much like other competitive meets, this year and will put up a fight. For the you must make a time cut in order to first time in a while, the team has become a participate. These meets are more fun real competitor you get to compete in states and against and watch metros… we some of the best all show up to swimmers in the win and that’s county and [they what we plan allow] swimmers to do.” The from both private boys finished and public 5th at the 2013 schools to meet divisional meet in a competitive and the outlook environment.” for states is very When asked to promising. elaborate on the A f t e r team’s strengths, w i n n i n g Huang emphasized Division II in that while “our 2012, Richard team doesn’t Montgomery’s have swimmers PHOTO BY CONNIE CHEN boys, currently who will win with three wins, Sophomore Daniel Kipnis competes in a meet. everything, we have a close loss to more depth.” state champion Walter Johnson, and a tie With the Rockets headed to the with perennial power Winston Churchill Maryland 4A/3A championship meet on earlier this season, have proven to be February 25th, they will try to make some legitimate contenders in the county’s top noise and draw more attention on a larger tier. After years of weaker teams when stage. matched up with division opponents, this While Churchill, Walter Johnson, and year’s boys have held their own against the Wootton remain the favorites, the Rockets county’s finest. look to be more than able to compete with Since an excruciating 88.5-82.5 loss to any of these three local foes. Staying neckdefending Maryland state champion and and-neck with the top in the state will prove perennial powerhouse Walter Johnson no easy task, but it is one these Rockets are on January 5th, the Rockets have thrust ready to undertake.

New coach helps wrestling team grapple with past failures by Stephen Alexander The Richard Montgomery wrestling team has redefined itself this season with a new coach, a new record, and a new attitude. “Coach Munsey and I have installed confidence in our wrestlers. They go out on the mat with a chip on their shoulders,” according to Coach Blake Godsey.   “We keep reminding them of all the hard work they have done in preparing for a match.” The team has had success across all of their weight classes, from David Silverberg at 106 pounds to senior captain Jordan Wilkerson at 220 pounds. Silverberg, a sophomore, has led the team with a 23-4 record and is an athlete to watch according to the Maryland State Wrestling Association. After being asked what makes Silverberg stand out, Coach Godsey states that the most important quality is “his dedication to the sport. He wrestles year round.” “He’s been wrestling a long time and knows how to prepare for matches,” sophomore Elan Rubin further elaborated. His 23-4 record makes him one of

the best wrestlers in the county and puts him as one of the favorites for the upcoming county championships. Silverberg is not the only one with an impressive record though. Junior Thomas Fitzpatrick has a 19-9 mark, Kevin Chatlin’s is 19-8, and Wilkerson’s is 14-4. According to Coach Godsey, Fitzpatrick is a “fearless” wrestler and Chatlin “is a student of the sport.” Wilkerson has stepped into his role as captain this year and has let his teammates know just how dedicated he is. “[Wilkerson] has lost 23 pounds since the beginning of the season,” Coach Godsey beamed. Losing 23 pounds in less than 3 months points to Wilkerson’s admirable focus and dedication to the sport. His focus has also rubbed off on his teammates, as according to Coach Godsey, “Most of the wrestlers have showed great interest in wrestling in the off season. Mat time leads to success.   So the wrestlers that wrestle in the spring and summer usually ends up on the podium in the winter.” Coach Godsey predicted that this season will be a starting point on a new path for the Rockets. “We will place more wrestlers this year at counties than any other

year in school history.” Rubin agreed, predicting that “2013 will be a banner year for RM.” The hope is that with young talent such as Silverberg and

an increasing interest from gifted athletes, the team is building the foundation for future championships. “The wrestlers have responded well

to our philosophies,” said Coach Godsey. And if the wrestlers respond well in a coach’s first year, the signs point to success in the near future.


After a grueling match, sophomore Christian Valle takes a moment to enjoy his victory. Along with his teammates, Valle has enjoyed great success this year, inspired by the coaches’ dedication to the team.

February 2013 19 SPORTS Ice hockey breaks the ice with talented new players and looks forward to a promising future under Coach Lofgren

The Tide

by Krishnan Patel and Kyle Deppe The RMR (Richard Montgomery, Rockville, and Magruder) ice hockey team is closing a strong 2012-2013 campaign, at 8-2. The team finished 7-2-1 last year, and is leading the 1A division in the Montgomery Hockey Conference. Its impressive play has left the squad confident and eager for the playoffs in February. The club has benefited from multiple pools of talent; though its captains are Rockville Juniors Stephen Nagiel and Lucas Flavell, Magruder forward Alex Fuksenko has contributed as well. However, Richard Montgomery makes up the bulk of the roster, including juniors Zach Blanken and Shane “Shanesaw” Corcoran. The most influential player could be the new goalie. “Jeremy Skaife stepped up as a freshman and gave us a leader in net we can depend on,” said Coach Paul Lofgren. RM junior student manager Andrew Peterson agreed, “Jeremy has really stepped up with Connor [Inglefield, the incumbent at goaltender] out due to injury and has kept the puck out of the net.” Blanken believes the


Sophomore Connor Inglefield makes a save against the Churchill Bulldogs. Inglefield has played excellently but has suffered from injuries this season and has been replaced by freshman Jeremy Skaife. newcomers have been a crucial A telling statistic is the team’s over Blake, and the two wins over element of this year’s success. undefeated record in divisional Poolesville,10-0 and 5-0. “The freshmen as a whole have play. The team beat Damascus Its only losses have come stepped up. Jeremy becoming a twice this season, by scores of 8-5 from Bullis and last year’s solid goalie and Jack Blitz (RM and 6-5. state champions, Washington freshman) becoming one of our RMR’s most dominant wins County, by scores of 7-0 and 9-3 best players so quickly shows have been the 9-2 win over Blair, respectively. The two losses show how bright of a future we have,” who knocked them out of the that outside the division, there are said Blanken. playoffs last year, its 13-1 win plenty of worthy opponents.

Putting “student” before “athlete” by Jonathan Marx Findlay Prep, in Henderson, Nevada, is not your normal high school. The school’s entire student body is made up of the ten varsity basketball players, who live in a large mansion together and attend a local private school free of charge. The students attend about three hours of classes every day, receive special SAT tutoring, and travel about 30,000 miles every season (including trips to Canada, Ohio, Hawaii, and Massachusetts this past year). Every single student in the school’s history has received a full basketball scholarship to a Division I school. At what point do we cross the line are these ten incredible basketball players really student-athletes, or are we sacrificing the student for the athlete? Too often, when we use the term student-athlete at the most competitive levels, we forget that the student comes first. We see it in college football and basketball, where students are paid tremendous money under the table and have class assignments fraudulently completed by others in their name so that they can continue to represent the school in athletic competition. And now, this epidemic has extended to high schools. Luckily, here at Richard Montgomery and at most area schools, we have our priorities straight. Maryland has been ranked as the nation’s top state for education, and the athlete eligibility rules are strictly enforced. In addition, students rarely miss more than a single period each week (if that) for away games, and many of the school’s top athletes continue to make honor roll and perform at a high level both in the classroom and on the field. This doesn’t mean that sports don’t take away from our academic opportunities. As a member of the school’s baseball team, I’ve found myself forced to choose on numerous occasions between letting down my team by missing a practice and letting down my parents by doing a lackluster job on a major assignment or not

studying enough for a test. Similarly, on an extracurricular standpoint, I’ve often had to relinquish opportunities to compete in national tournaments for the It’s Academic team or attend youth group events because of baseball obligations. Many student-athletes argue that while the direct time commitment of practices and games can be a detriment to one’s education, the time management skills learned are invaluable as a general life skill. I undoubtedly buy into this notion – I certainly procrastinate less during the season, and the focus that I must bring to every day of grueling practices and intense games helps me to more efficiently complete all of my schoolwork. I feel blessed to reside in one of the nation’s finest school districts – in Montgomery County, I have never been given the option to prioritize my athletic responsibilities over my academic ones even if I wanted to. But not all students are so fortunate. This brings us to the situation depicted in the book/movie/TV show Friday Night Lights. FNL, as fans refer to it, depicts the trials and tribulations of a high school football team in an intense town in Texas. In the story, we see high school student-athletes (most of whom will never play in college, much less professionally) who are babied through school with help from teachers and illegal assistance from fellow students, all in order to keep the school’s well-funded football team successful and fully loaded. By offering students these academic shortcuts to further their athletic careers, schools are in fact handicapping their potentially bright futures when they emerge into the “real world.” These schools must face the facts – 1% of high school basketball players make it to a Division I team, and about 1% of those Division I players are drafted onto an NBA team. As the NCAA commercials always say, “There are over 400,000 NCAA studentathletes, and almost all of us will be going pro in something other than sports.” Just as they have at Richard Montgomery, all schools should make it their imperative to prepare students just as well for the reality of a regular job as they do for their dream of playing professional sports.

Lofgren, the coach since the formation of the team in 2002, is confident in his squad, calling this year’s team, “the best team we’ve ever had.” According to RM senior Phillip Hoddinott, the coaches have developed a winning formula. “The strategy the coaches use helps us keep our winning streak and also keeps us penalty free, which was a major issue in previous years,” notes Hoddinott. Another key change for the team is the goalie situation. They went from one goalie two years ago to five goalies this season, a “luxury” according to Lofgren. Possibly the biggest change this season can be seen off the ice. “We have the best support from the fans and faculty. They are coming out to support in large numbers we’ve never seen before. The RM fans are especially fantastic,” said Lofgren. While past seasons drew crowds of mostly parents and siblings, this year the games have had fans numbering over a hundred, with student sections creating an observable buzz within the arena. The strong regular season play has prompted loftier goals in the club’s tenth season. “We hope to go all the way and win the coed championships in Laurel in February,” said Lofgren.

Basketball players adjust to Coach Breslaw’s up tempo style of play BASKETBALL, cont. from page 1 Breslaw. This larger rotation complements the team’s speed of play as well as enhances competitiveness in practice. “Guys work harder in practice knowing that they have a chance of playing a bigger part,” said junior guard Colin Mattingly. Although the team has undergone various changes, many players have adjusted smoothly. In fact, with an exception of a few, most of the squad has played under Coach Breslaw when they were on Junior Varsity. “We were a small team when Breslaw coached our JV team so many of us are familiar with his run and gun style,” said Mattingly. RM’s up-tempo play proved to be an effective formula in their 56-47 win against Walter Johnson last week when in the last three minutes of the game the Rockets went on a 24-4 run. They turned what had been a dismal performance into a dominating end to the game by extending their defense

into a full court press and turning steals into points. “We definitely used our speed to our advantage against a much bigger WJ team,” said junior guard Noah White. The Rocket’s speed was also an ingredient for success over the Sherwood Warriors in a 58-56 buzzer beater win last Friday. Adjusting to a new playing style is not the only adversity the Rockets have overcome this season. There have been numerous injuries this year, including junior guard Matt Fitzgerald who suffered from a season-ending concussion before the fourth game of the season. Other players like senior Tory Sharps have also missed games due to illnesses. The Rockets have also endured a more difficult schedule compared to past seasons. During the season so far RM has already faced two defending state champions, Patterson and Magruder, and two state finalists, Sherwood and Arundel. Not only have the Rockets played difficult teams, it is also “harder not having as many Friday night home games,” said Mattingly. Friday night home games are when RM basketball draws the largest amount of fans which can boost the morale of the team. “Fans definitely motivate us and we always need more,” said Mattingly. This season, the RM boys were only scheduled to play two Friday night home games, one in which was rescheduled due to snow. As the regular season comes to a close, players and coaches look forward to the post season. “As a senior I wish our regular season was longer but I am confident we will do well in the playoffs,” said Sharps.

Boys basketball by the numbers


Career points by Justin Senou



Conference wins

Number of players who have made over ten 3-point shots PHOTO BY DYLAN CORR

Justin Senou attempts a three-point shot against the Wootton Patriots.


place for most points per game in Maryland by Senou


20 The Tide

December 2012

Athlete of the Issue: Shane Corcoran by Leilani Stacy He might be a defensive player, but junior Shane Corcoran has scored eight goals this season. During this new year of the winter competition, he led the team by example with his love for hockey. The RMR Ice Hockey Team is composed of players mainly from RM but also a few from Magruder and Rockville. So far this season, the Rockets are undefeated in their league. As a team captain, Corcoran’s drive to “play the best I can” shows in his effort on the team on the ice, helping to lead it to five victories already this season. Corcoran started playing hockey at the early age of 8, and since then he has never put down the stick. A junior now, his dedication shines through his play as fellow junior and teammate Zach Blanken said, “The best word to describe Corcoran is clutch, because he is always in the right spot and he never messes up.” After Corcoran’s years of experience, freshman Jack Blitz described, “Shane has great stick skills and when he gets the puck in our defensive zone, he has the talent to bring it all the way down the ice setting up great scoring chances” that lead to more big wins on the schedule. In addition to Corcoran’s technical abilities, his fearlessness emanates through his aggressive nature when playing and Blanken mentioned, “ [ S h a n e ] consistently is

able to plow through people which always inspires us.” Motivating the others on his team and also in the crowd, freshman Jack Blitz said “Shane is always looking for a big hit to rally up the team and our fans!” Being a leader means more than scoring goals, and Corcoran leads other with his heart as well. He explained, “I love playing hockey because it’s intense and fast paced.” Blitz noted that as an upperclassman, “Shane has the experience of playing high school hockey which provides leadership to our new players on the ice and inside the locker room” through his hard work PHOTOS BY VALERIE SMITH during practice and games, Corcoran has been playing hockey for years and emerged as a leader and the best player on the squad. as well as his positive attitude and personality. College options are still too far in the future for now, but outside of RM Corcoran plays AA travel hockey for the Reston Raiders. This high level of competition is an opportunity for Corcoran to play out of school but also translates back to the Rockets’ team. Blitz said, “He has a great hockey IQ and his experience with the sport really helps our team to grow and develop.” In addition to his eight goals on the season, Corcoran has added five assists for a total of thirteen points. Of those eight goals, four have come on the all-important power play. And Corcoran’s best game of the year, two goals and two assists, came in a dominant victory over archrival Montgomery Blair. As for the rest of this 2013 season, the RMR team is looking forward to playoffs and potentially even a run for the state title. Although Corcoran cannot remember a specific event that is the highlight of his career, he considers “just playing hockey [as] an achievement in itself.” Accompanied by a strong team, Corcoran will make sure to do everything he can to help the Rockets become champions. Yet at the same time his passion for hockey prevails as Blanken noted, “ Shane just makes the game fun because he’s a fun dude.”

Girls basketball suffers growing pains but prepares for upcoming playoffs by Sam Deutsch Working with a young and inexperienced roster, girls basketball coach Mark Yantsos came into the 2012-13 season with mixed expectations for his squad. Although Coach Yantsos had experienced some success with last year’s team (finishing the season with a 9-14 record), this year appeared to be a rebuilding season from the beginning, especially considering the decisions made by a few of last year’s key juniors to quit before their senior season. As a result, carrying a roster with only four seniors and few returning varsity players, the main goal for this season was to “incorporate an up tempo style of play, [working] on speeding up the transition game,” explained Coach Yantsos. While they have been able to wean away the “focus on half court sets, the progress has been slow but steady,” Coach Yantsos laments, and the team has struggled to put points on the board while making these changes to the offensive system. This year’s Rockets squad is not devoid of talent, though, and the preseason outlook looked good. Just like any strong team, the leadership and offensive responsibility starts with the team’s guards – sophomore Allie Parrish, senior Alejandra Sarmiento, and junior Danielle Spencer. Parrish has played excellent defense all season, hounding opposing players and forcing bad shots and turnovers in key situations. Offensively, Sarmiento has shown an ability to shoot the three-pointer and drive off the dribble, and Spencer has been able to fill the point guard role by effectively

distributing the ball to the team’s main scorers. These main scorers mainly reside at the forward and center positions. Center Brittney Brown, arguably the team’s best player, has dominated all season in the

senior Victoria Cobb. Although she’s been sidelined with a torn MCL, Coach Yantsos touts Leahy’s role as a “team captain with great floor presence and leadership skills.” The other two forwards (in addition to junior Courtney Smith) have also made

has to offer. “We feel that our chances are good – being overachievers, you always feel you can do better and we have made an effort to practice more intensely,” Coach Yantsos elaborated. With the breakout performance of freshman Devon Goetz,

the team has found ways to combat all of their setbacks and Leahy feels that they “have the capacity to beat anyone in the playoffs.” Even if this season isn’t perfect, however, the future looks bright. Freshmen Maeve Givens and Kristina Brown have been practicing with the varsity along with Goetz, and the return of center Brittney Brown, forward Grieve, and guards Parrish and Spencer (among others) should leave the team in a much better place as next year rolls around. However, they will not rest on their current talent. Coach Yantsos has PHOTO BY CONNIE CHEN planned “team camps, Sophomore guard Allie Parrish looks to break the Churchill zone as three enemy defenders eye her. offseason conditioning, summer workouts, and dynamic ball skills paint and scored a game-high 17 points in their own respective contributions – Cobb the team’s big upset win over Whitman, is the team’s best shot-blocker, and both training” in order to whip the girls into the highlight of the season so far. As senior Grieve and Smith have shown the ability shape for a brighter future. If all works forward Caroline Leahy describes, Brown to finish around the basket, even in heavy out, then Leahy’s “excitement to see how well they do next year” could pan out has “been fantastic all season, battling traffic. much taller players to grab rebounds and Despite the team’s struggles, the loss with a deep playoff run and contention in score points.” of Leahy to injury, and the exit of guard the county’s toughest division for the first At the forward position, the team Tyra Sinclair, Coach Yantsos feels that his time in years. That would certainly exceed features Leahy, junior Caitlyn Grieve, and team is prepared for whatever the season everyone’s expectations.

The Tide - February 2013  

The Tide: February 2013

The Tide - February 2013  

The Tide: February 2013