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March 8, 2013 Vol. 13, Issue 6

Westfield High School, Chantilly Va. 20151 >>

Inside the Issue


Spanish Honor Society’s Annual Spanish Coffee House draws audience >> Page 2

Opinion Editors bid their farewell >> Page 6

A&E Justin Timberlake makes his musical comeback >> Page 13

Sports Mother’s passing inspires athlete’s performance >> Page 14

Board debates soda removal Natalie Sharpe & Brigid Hamilton >>Copy Editors Ryan McElveen, AtLarge member of the Fairfax County School Board, proposed a movement to remove all soda from the vending machines in schools and replace them with healthier alternatives for students to purchase. “The soda issue has been part of a broader discussion the School Board has been engaged in regarding improving the healthy options in our vending program and in our cafeteria. As one of the largest counties in the country, Fairfax should also be substituting sodas for something healthier,” McElveen said. The idea continues to receive support from faculty within schools. “Soda machines shouldn’t be in here. 25 percent of all kids in the country consume four sodas a day, which is empty calories. They add to the childhood obesity epidemic in the country and in my opinion it’s just poison, and that includes the diet sodas,” Bill Blank, Health and

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Pushing buttons>> Selecting a Diet Coke, Julia Coleman, 9, orders a drink from the machine. Ryan McElveen, a member of the school board, came up with the idea to remove sodas from schools and caused debate over eliminating unhealthy options for students at school. Photo by Madie Mason stand, the football stadium and not allow it anywhere on school grounds either,” Amy Hubal, FCPS Operations Coordinator in Food and Nutrition Services, said. There are varying opin-

ions on whether or not the idea should be implemented in the schools and FCPS continues to work on getting input from the public to make the decision final. “We will definitely seek student and faculty opinion

before we take any action. I will continue to work on the issue individually, reach out to the community and get answers to many of the logistical questions before proceeding,” McElveen said.

Hall shaves head to help cure childhood cancer Emily Dzubak >>Staff Writer


Physical Education teacher, said. Removing the soda machines may not actually prevent students from drinking soda throughout the school day. “If there’s no soda machine in the school, people will just bring their own so it serves no purpose to remove them from the vending machines,” Shannon Walker, 11, said. Although it may not be the healthiest option, soda often gets students through the day. “I think it’s a bad idea, because I like soda and it would be better if they didn’t take them out because I like to drink it during the school day,” David Johnson, 9, said. The School Board is still unsure of when this idea could go into effect and members are still in the process of deciding whether or not it would be beneficial when students can still buy soda at a number of places other than the vending machines. “If they’re going to take soda out of vending machines then they need to take it out of the concession

Annie Hall, 12, shaved off all of her hair for St. Baldrick’s, a childhood cancer charity funding research to help find cures for children with cancer. Participants that are sponsored by family, friends and anyone else willing to donate, like Hall, shave their heads for children who typically lose their hair during cancer treatments. Hall, too, decided to shave her head because she wanted to raise money to find a cure for cancer. “Shaving my head is something that I thought about for a while. I was going to do it last year ,but I hadn’t convinced myself enough to do it. Then this year a good family friend of mine found out that he had cancer, so I decided that it was time to go ahead and do it,” Hall said. Hall could not donate her hair because it has been dyed too many times and wasn’t long enough. However, she

still raised as much money as possible to donate to the foundation. “My first goal was $500, which I just passed the weekend before my shave. After that goal I wanted to get up to at least $600. I ended up raising a total of $700,” Hall said. All of the money goes towards the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. In 2012, the organization raised a total of $33,529,599. “I think that raising money is important because the research for a cure and better treatments is ex-

pensive and so any amount of money going toward that is going to help,” Hall said. Hall had to work up the courage to shave her head, even though it was going toward a cause she believed in. “When I first started planning it about two months ago, I was really excited to just shave my head. Then in the three weeks leading up to it, I started getting really nervous that I wouldn’t raise enough money and shaving my head in general. That’s when I started thinking

Proud to be bald>> Smiling, Annie Hall, 12, spends time with her friends in the band room, with her newly shaven head. Hall shaved her head to raise money for St. Baldrick’s. Photo by Kiki Laux

that I couldn’t go back and I had to do it,” Hall said. Hall shaved her head on March 2 in the comfort of her own home along with a few close friends and family members instead of at an event. “It takes a lot of planning to get a whole event together, and this is the first time I’ve done it. I plan to do it again in the future so maybe next time I can put something together,” Hall said. A close friend of Hall, Marika Smith, 12, helped her shave her head and was there for emotional support. “It’s always really cool to see your friends do stuff like that, especially for such a good cause,” Smith said. Before shaving her head, Smith had to cut Hall’s hair as short as possible so the razor could shave it. “I was a little bit nervous beforehand but mainly excited. As it was happening I wasn’t nervous until she made the first cut and I knew there wasn’t any stopping and we had to keep going,” Hall said. Even though she was

nervous about what the outcome was going to be, Hall is glad she decided to do it and enjoyed the outcome. “When she started shaving my head, I wasn’t worried at all. When it was done I was happy with the way I looked and I’m so glad I went through with it,” Hall said. The majority of the donators that participate in St. Baldrick’s are males who just raise money and don’t donate their hair because it is not long enough. “There are guys that have really short hair already so shaving their head isn’t as big of a deal. Most girls don’t have buzz cuts or shaved heads so it’s a little more unusual for girls to participate,” Hall said. Though many girls may have felt more attached to their hair, Hall felt it was not going to be too hard to be without it. “Other people thought that it was a big deal that I wouldn’t have hair but I wasn’t that attached to my hair and I have always thought that the cause is more important,” Hall said.

2 Vol. 13, Issue 6


The Watchdog

Third time’s a charm for Spanish Coffee House event Fatima Rivera >>Staff Writer Spanish Honor Society hosted their third annual Spanish Coffeehouse. The society raised about $300 dollars in the end, which will provide for a scholarship that can help cover the cost of a member’s book or supplies in college. “The money earned will be scholarships for the Spanish Honor Society members, they have to be used for college and we will send the money directly to the colleges,” Angela Thomas, Spanish honor society sponsor said. The society took the coffeehouse idea from the Calliope Magazine, but decided to make it into a Spanish version. “The point of it is to pay tribute to the Hispanic culture by playing music and songs in Spanish and get respect from students to appreciate Spanish” Katie Manning, 12, said. The event had food donations from places like

Moving to the beat>> (Left) Jamilia Vizcaino,12, ends the event with a choreographed dance. Tasty snacking>> (Right) Students and family members stand in line to get a taste of the food students prepared for the event as well as food catered by several restaurants. Photos by Sandy Sparace Papa Murphy’s, Panera and Chipotle. Students also brought in homemade appetizers and desserts. “We posted sign up sheets around school and anyone could sign up as long as their performance was in Spanish. Members of

Spanish Honor Society got points for performing and bringing food,” Manning said. Students recited pieces of poetry, sang songs, rapped and performed skits and dances all involving the Spanish language, music

or history. The last performance was by two members of the Latino Dance Club who ended the event with a mixtape dance of a combination of Bachata, Reggaeton, Salsa and Pop. The dancers brought up members from the audi-

ence at the end of their performance and had them follow their lead during a Latin style dance. “People had a lot of fun watching and it was cool to see students in another light by playing their guitars and acting and showcasing their

talents, cause you don’t see them like that during the school day. It was fun celebrating and promoting the Spanish culture and making people more aware of it,” Chelsea Granados, 12, Spanish Honor Society President, said.

Society requirements affect membership Mia Newkirk >> Staff Writer Students in honor societies were surprised to find changes in their membership requirements, becoming more rigorous. As a result, membership has declined. “As an officer I am not even allowed to be in the decision process. But I know that the sponsors have tightened up the requirements,” Alexis Lambert, 12, President of National Honor Society, NHS, said. These changes have forced sponsors to deny more people acceptance. “The sponsors are definitely denying more people, but I know that they are telling them why they got denied,” Lambert said. Spanish Honor Society has also raised their required amount of service points from 15 to 20. “These changes have affected the members. Now

people are participating more because they understand it is harder to stay and be in it,” Chelsea Granados, 12, President of Spanish Honor Society, said. Although requirements have been made stricter, there are many benefits of being in any particular honor society. “Having an honor society on a college application always looks nice. I have learned a lot about delegating my responsibilities and have improved my organization skills,” Granados said. This year, however, English Honor Society has made their requirements easier. A drastic change has been made to the GPA requirement. “In past years, you had to have at least one AP class and an unweighted 3.5 GPA. This year we made it a lot easier and changed it to a 3.5 weighted GPA,” Katelyn Reimer, 12, Presi-

dent of English Honor Society, said. The revisions in the requirements to be in National Honor Society have caused speculation and changed the opinions of previous NHS applicants. “I didn’t even bother reapplying this year. I think that the requirements should be the same for all high school because it is National Honor Society. I have friends at Chantilly who have gotten into NHS under easier circumstances,” Reimer said. All of the changes, however, have left the members who are willing to sacrifice their time to tutor and help out the community out. “We like to see commitment to service. It is a difficult position when the information does not meet National Honor Society standards. We can vouch for the student’s good character,” Jennifer Campbell, Cosponsor of National Honor Society, said.

Bark it up How do you think Honor Society requirements affect people applying?

Randy Lewis, 12

Connor McNulty, 11

“It makes people feel dumb because they don’t get in.”

“I think some requirements scare people away.”

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3 Vol.13, Issue 6

The Watchdog

Rushing student drivers make parking lot dangerous Laurel Spiegelthal >> Staff Writer As a school located in the middle of commercial and industrial zones, all students have the opportunity to ride the bus. For juniors and seniors who drive to school, navigating the school parking lot provides a challenge sometimes leading to accidents, especially in inclement weather. Chelsea Granados, 12, was involved in a fender-bender in the parking lot last year and knows how hazardous it can be. “In the morning everyone is rushing to get to school, God only knows why and after school everyone is rushing to beat the buses. People pass Officer Muñoz so fast, I always think they’re going to run him over when he comes out to stop the traffic at the end of the day,” Granados said. Lou Muñoz, Student Resource Officer, records new accidents every day and notes the most common accidents seen in the school parking lot involving student drivers. “We usually deal with kids who get into fender-benders when they’re pulling into a parking space or backing out. Kids will follow other cars too closely and hit each other. That happens a lot when the weather is bad because students drive as if conditions are perfect and they don’t account for the extra time you need to stop when the roads are slippery,” Muñoz said. A whiteboard in Muñoz’s office has a tally of the number of different kinds of accidents involving student drivers that have occurred over the month.

“We try to keep track of the accidents. This year has been pretty good, probably because more people are taking the bus. Eight years ago when I first started at Westfield, the parking lot was so crowded that we had to rent spaces in Cub Run for students to park in,” Muñoz said. Rushing to get to class on time, many students accidentally park in the wrong spaces. “Sometimes we have teachers come in and say that a student parked in their space. We tell kids to park in the crossover when someone parks in their spot, but a lot of the time they just park in someone else’s spot. It’s an almost daily occurrence,” Muñoz said. Jim Bour, Safety and Security Officer, has noticed another problem with student drivers. “It changes over the years, but currently our main problem is speeding. Sometimes I take a survey when I’m reissuing parking permits and not a lot of people know that the speed limit in the parking lot is 10 miles per hour,” Bour said. The security staff is working hard to combat these problems by being present and visible in the parking lots, especially during high-volume times like the beginning and end of the day. “We try to be visible, so people aren’t as inclined to speed. We want to make sure that people stop where they should be stopping because there’s always more speeding if people just slow down for stop signs,” Bour said. More accidents occur when inclement

weather occurs. While FCPS is in charge of plowing roads and parking lots, the student parking lot was neglected and became hazardous, resulting in more accidents than are normally seen. “When it snows people don’t really know how to drive in it and they freak out,” Patrick Anderson, 12, said. Mitch McDonald, 11, drives to school, but prefers to take the bus in inclement weather. “On the day we had the two-hour delay, my parents had me take the bus, but I wanted to because I don’t trust other student drivers in the snow,” McDonald said. There have been times when the lines for parking spots remained covered with snow or ice in the morning, causing even more morning difficulties. “I saw people get out their car scrapers to help draw lines in the parking lot for other people,” Granados said. Maddie Gehle, 11, crashed in the school parking lot on the January two-hour delay. “My brakes didn’t work because of the ice that was in the parking lot and I crashed into another car. Casualties included my pride and my dignity,” Gehle said. In regards of what student drivers can do to help ensure safety and reduce accidents, Bour strongly urges students to use caution. “Don’t be in a rush. You don’t want to hurt someone for the extra minute you gain by speeding. It’s a lot easier to explain to a teacher why you were a few minutes late than to explain why you hurt someone because you were running late,” Bour said.

Bark it up What is your least favorite part about driving to school?

Anna McCluskey, 11 “When you pull up to the intersection and you aren’t sure if the light is going to turn yellow so you don’t know if you should go.”

Jenna Welch, 12 “Leaving the parking lot after school when everyone is trying to get out.”

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4 Vol. 13, Issue 6

The Watchdog

Speech, Debate move forward after Districts wins

Addressing his peers >> With the upcoming Metro Finals and Debate Districts, Andrew Zhang, 9, practices his speech for the team. Zhang is a member of student Congress and his resolution is on immigration. Photo by Kelsey Stanton.

Westfield Student Media

Band plays bingo for the Rose Bowl

Speech and Debate teams are busily preparing for their final months of post-season competitions. Captain, Pritika Tiwari, 12, commends the strength of her team and coaches this year. “The debate team is

BULLDOG PATRONS The Class of 2011 Benjamin & Mary Ann Cox Chantilly, Va. John & Wanda Heim Centreville, Va. Mary Kay & Bill Laux Chantilly, Va. Larry O’Roark Chantilly, Va. Andrew J. Shedlock III Herndon, Va. Bob & Karen Stanton Centreville, Va.

GOLD PATRONS Sue & Leon Blondin Chantilly, Va. Onalee J. Dalaba Franklin, Pa. Valentin Garcia Chantilly, Va. Jodi H. King Herndon, Va. Chuck & Mary Mason Oak Hill, Va. David & Mary Schultz Creston, Ohio Michelle Smithgall Centreville, Va. Beth Ann Telford Camp Hill, Pa.

SILVER PATRONS JoAnne Creedon Gainesville, Va. Jeanne Garant Arlington, Va. Sherron and Donald Greulich Annapolis, Md. George & Karen Newkirk Medina, Ohio Tony & Micheline Riggio Watersound, Fla.

Peggy Sander Rehoboth Beach, Del. Penny Sander & Rufus Seder Arlington, Mass. Thomas & Barbara Sease Surprise, Ariz.

BRONZE PATRONS Almaz Bakit Chula Vista, Calif. Helen L. Brady Ledgewood, N.J. Don M. Christensen Salt Lake City, Utah Brian Cunningham Fairfax, Va. Mike & Renay Galati Centreville, Va. Janet Honecker The Village, Fla. Cathy Kelly Vero Beach, Fla. The Neun Family Centreville, Va. Brad O’Brien Asburn, Va. Leo & Peggy O’Brien Centreville, Va. Abby & Chase Orme Vero Beach, Fla. Rock & Cindy Roberts Centreville, Va. Graham & Ann Sharpe Chantilly, Va. Chip Smith Burke, Va.

BLACK PATRONS Jacqueline Bloxam Alexandria, Va. Margaret Blondin Central Square, N.Y. Monica Casey Nokesville, Va. Patsy Cox Aliquippa, Pa.

this month at Speech States for extemporaneous speaking. “As assistant captain, I’m excited to be able to represent us at States. Since I didn’t qualify last year, I’m happy I can get to go now. We have competitions for the next three weekends, so I am going to use them as practice for States,” Starkey

either won rounds, come very close to winning, or placed at the competitions,” Martin said. According to Tiwari, the team is the current champion in multiple categories. “We are doing awesome. In Speech, we have four district champions in individual categories; for Speech and Debate Metro-finals we’re taking five people; For policy debate, we hold the district championship,” Tiwari said. Competitors have had to manage their time very well in order to prepare for all of the events. “The students are also practicing on their own. We’re focusing on one event at a time,” Rapp, Speech and Debate Coach, said. The Debate team has high hopes for its next competition and plans to use it as practice for regionals. “Our congress team is extremely solid and we hope to bring home the regional debate title this year as well,” Tiwari said.

said. The debate team is still vying for a spot at the State competition this April. “We have already competed for speech at the district and regional levels. We have Metro-finals for Congress and Public Forum and Speech Metro-finals, as well as Regionals and States,” Tiwari said. Abigail Martin, 10 and Lucas Miller, 10, placed first at Districts for Policy Debate. The duo hopes to be equally as successful at regionals later next month. “Since my partner and I placed at districts we will be moving up and competing at regionals. If we manage to place at regionals, then States will be the final competition for us this year,” Martin said. While Martin focuses mainly on policy, she is confident in the rest of her team’s abilities. “We have a lot of exceptional speakers and debaters. We have many teams and individuals who have

Madeleine Bloxam >> Staff Writer

doing extremely well. As always, we’ve had a very strong congress team with Mrs. Linda Rapp as our coach, and this year, with Mr. Kyle Green as our new assistant coach, we also have a very great Public Forum, Lincoln Douglass and Policy team,” Tiwari said. Jessica Starkey, 12, will represent the Speech team


Mell Cunningham Clifton, Va. Celia DeBiase Holly Springs, N.C. The Farrington Family Collegeville, Pa. Carl Friedman Fairfax, Va. Craig Garant South Riding, Va. Ted Ghebremichael Wake Forest, N.C. Frank J. Giancola Centreville, Va. Mikki Gibson Lakeland, Tenn. John and Lisa Hart Centreville, Va. Michaelene & Steven Hitaffer Chantilly, Va. Bob & Kate Johnson Burke, Va. Melva B. Jones Lake Wylie, S.C. Richard T. Kaplar Herndon, Va. Madeline Kelly Vero Beach, Fla. Betty Klingel Centreville, Va. Mr. & Mrs. Robert Laux Forestport, N.Y. Chris and Miss Lyn Lakewood, Ohio Jim & Linda McGraw Centreville, Va. Ed & Anne Morris Springfield, Va. Cathy Nelson Herndon, Va. Taeho Noh Chantilly, Va. Susan Nye Centreville, Va. Tammy Perkins Auburn, N.Y.

Kellan Peterson Oak Hill, Va. Marcia Pryor Flat Rock, N.C. Darielle Ruderman Durham, N.C. Judith Ruderman Durham, N.C. Cynthia Scanlon Centreville, Va. Daniel Taggerty Rochester, N.Y.

FRIENDS OF WSM Mary Baumann Leornardtown, Md. Amelia Bradshaw Centreville, Va. Linda Bradshaw Centreville, Va. Mindy Conway Centreville, Va. Bernadette Cornell Auburn, N.Y. Richard Cornell Auburn, N.Y. Lesley Dawson Centreville, Va. Norma Dzubak Fullerton, Calif. James Farrington Auburn, N.Y. Margaret Farrington Auburn, N.Y. The Hartley Family Centreville, Va. Amy Kempf Louisville, Ky. Diane Kosteknik Medford, N.J. Paul & Sue Moskowitz Oak Hill, Va. Jim and Pat Talbot Auburn, N.Y. Vince & Liz Trombetta Monaca, Pa. Ken & Sue Utterback Centreville, Va.

Mulch Day Students, parents and faculty all join in for a full day of delivering mulch on Saturday, March 16. The mulch sale is a fundraiser for the Class of 2013’s All Night Grad Party, as well as other PTSA functions. More volunteers are always needed. Visit the PTSA website for more information at http://ptsa. Senior vs. Faculty Basketball Game After a disappointing loss during the Winter Pep Rally, the senior class plans to take on the faculty again on March 21.

Crystal Park >> Staff Writer After being chosen to perform in the 2014 Rose Bowl Parade, the band has looked for creative ways to fund the trip all the way to Pasadena, Calif. “We’ve been accepted to the Rose Bowl, and so we need to raise a minimum of $200,000,” Steve Panoff, band director, said. The Band Bingo Night was a fundraiser that was held to help with financing the band’s trip to the Rose Bowl. Many families gathered together to raise money for the band and have a good time while playing bingo and winning raffle prizes. “I think it was a good opportunity for students of all ages and adults to come together on a Friday night to spend time together,” Savannah Tamariz, 9, said. Many people came to enjoy activities including raffles with prizes donated by local organizations, families and businesses. “It felt like a good idea to come. It seemed like a four in one: I could support the band, hang out with friends, win prizes and play bingo,” Tamariz said. The parents of the band students, the Band Booster Club, dedicated their time to set up and host Band Bingo Night. “ A committee of parents have been working ever since we got accepted

Coming together for the band >> To raise money for the band’s trip to the Rose Bowl next year in Pasadena, California, Patrick Kearney, 9, enjoys a game of bingo with visiting friends from the Ormond Stone Middle School band. Photo courtesy of Band Boosters to generate ideas,” Panoff said. Because of the effort of parents, students and instructors, the Band Bingo Night ended successfully with a packed house. “Bingo Night was a lot of fun and we also succeeded to raise just under $5,000,” Panoff said. This wasn’t the bands first fundraiser for the expensive trip to the Rose Bowl and it won’t be the last. “I participated in many past fundraisers, too. Some were the Runathon and Tag Day which were really fun,” Whitmore Young, 9, said. The band plans to continue on to hold booster meetings and fundraisers in order to reach their goal. “We are going to hold many sales like a pasta sale, and hold many car washes in the summer,” Panoff said. The band needs to raise

enough money to send its current and returning members to California, along with their instruments. “I’m happy to contribute and with every opportunity I get to help with the Rose Bowl, I will use my time and try my best,” Whitmore Young, 9, said. The band is asking for support from their peers to accomplish their goal of the playing in the 2014 Rose Parade, since being chosen to perform in the parade is a very coveted and rare offer. “The band has gotten so big that we need a lot of money to send equipment and instruments over to California and get new uniforms. It would help a lot if anyone in the community that wants to help or donate should just contact me,” Panoff said.

The Watchdog


March 8, 2013


Top 5 reasons to take a journalism class at Westfield 5. College admissions people say they like to see students who have a journalism/publication background because it’s a strong indication that they can write. They say the biggest problem with incoming freshmen is a lack of writing skills, which can keep students from being admitted or doing well. 4. Members of Westfield Student Media have opportunities to travel to workshops and conferences where they meet journalism students from other schools and compare their work. 3. Learning occurs in a fun, exciting and innovative environment; it’s unlike any other class you’ve ever had. Ask the people who are in journalism now. While the work is hard, it doesn’t seem like it because journalism is fun and self-fulfilling. 2. See your name in print. The excitement of seeing your byline on a newspaper article, page layout, or photograph, and having people congratulate you is indescribable. 1. BEST OF ALL, when you take a journalism course, you are involved in a learning process that affects the entire school. Whether it be writing articles, taking pictures, designing the print or website publication, contacting businesses and selling advertisements, or editing graphics and videos, producing an award-winning school publication, participating in a journalism class makes you feel good about yourself and more connected to the school environment.

For more information about Yearbook, Broadcast and Newspaper contact Mr. Whitten,

6 Vol. 13, Issue 6 the


Volume 13, Issue 6 distribution 3,500

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Principal: Mr. Tim Thomas Journalism Business Office: (703) 488-6476 School Main Office: (703) 488-6300 Fax Number: (703) 488-6428

Editor-in-Chief Melinda Heim Managing Editor Jessica Starkey Design Editor Emily Sharpe Online Editor-in-Chief Luke O’Roark Copy Editors Cartoonist Brigid Hamilton Romeo Natalie Sharpe Sarmiento Kelsey Stanton Columnist News Editors Rebecca Pryor Samantha Drew Jennifer Staff Writers Steinhilber Ghazal Azizzada Opinion Editor Ashleigh Bielen Meghan Garant Madeleine Bloxam Arts & Caroline Cook Entertainment Jenny Cox Editors Kayla Christina Cunningham Beiene Joseph Maddie Gray Dewechter Katherine Sports Editors Drezwieki Dylan Brown Emily Dzubak Mike Sander Savannah Frye Samuel Hollen Photo Editors Farhana Khan Cortney Jordan Latham Mecimore Kiki Laux Kelsey Stanton Shane Martin Mia Newkirk Photo Staff Anita Katie Blondin Pathammavong Kiki Laux Crystal Park Maddie Mason Fatima Rivera Julian Sanchez Business Parul Sanjiv Manager Romeo Brian Deely Sarmiento Laurel Asst. Business Spiegelthal Manager Jordan Uffelman Sam Clark

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Editorial Policy The Watchdog is published monthly and is an open forum for student and faculty expression at Westfield High School. It is established to disseminate news, ideas, and opinions on matters of interest, importance, and concern to the community. The Watchdog will publish no material that is libelous, obscene, or has a clear potential for disruption of the school routine, as has generally been determined by law. The Watchdog staff makes every effort to avoid conflicts of interest, to be fair and balanced in reporting, and to reflect the diverse population. The Watchdog solicits letters to the editor. Letters must be signed. The Watchdog reserves the right to edit such letters for grammar, usage, clarity, punctuation, and length. The Watchdog reserves the right to refuse advertising for reasons of appropriateness, as determined by the editorial board. The content of the Watchdog is determined by the editorial board. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the faculty adviser, administration of Westfield High School, or Fairfax County Public Schools.


The Watchdog

Final Goodbyes begin; time to reminisce Staff Editorial


rint happens. In the past four years, so many monumental events have shaped our outlook on life. Time moves so quickly we often don’t spend the time to remember the events that were once so important to us. Freshman year. Jan. 12, 2010: 7.0-magnitude earthquake hits Haiti. April 20, 2010: BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Sophomore year. April 29, 2011: Kate Middleton marries Prince William. May 2, 2011: U.S. troops kill Osama bin Laden. Junior year. Sept. 11, 2011: 10 years pass since 9/11. Oct. 5, 2011: Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, passes away. Senior year. Dec. 31, 2012: Kim Kardashian announces her pregnancy. Jan. 21, 2013: President Obama celebrates his second inauguration. Maybe it’s just us, but these events have escaped our memory far too quickly.

Photo by Kelsey Stanton

As EIC, I have acquired a list of pet peeves specifically related to typography and newspaper. 1. Comic Sans: this font should never ever ever be used. There is no excuse. 2. Effect v. Affect: If you take one thing away from reading this editorial, I hope it is this; effect is a noun and affect is a verb. 3. Publication Lab: I absolutely cannot stand when someone forgets to log off their computer. - Melinda Heim

Giving in-class tests for our staff became my responsibility this year as managing editor. Now it’s time for another informative mini-lesson, only this time it’s for you! There are 24 hours in a day. They’re going to the mall. It was their idea. Score less than a 90 percent and you’ll have to retake the test. Score poorly again, you’ll have to go through remediation with M Dubbs. - @jaystar

The first time I walked through the door of C109 I was an awkward, unambitious 16 year old with no direction. Now, it being my last deadline on the managing board, I’ve realized how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown as a person. I still have a lot to learn about writing and being a journalist, but I would never trade these last three years for anything different. Colin Gibson, if you’re reading this, thank you. -Luke O’Roark

I’ll admit I thought about walking away, but there was something always pulling me back. Along the way I have made plenty of mistakes as well as a few triumphs. I would like to believe I have become a better journalist over the years. But in reality, I’ve become a stronger, more independent person because of the numerous hours I’ve spent with these indescribable people. - Emily Sharpe

A note from the Watchdog: From the Feb. 8 double truck, DreamHome Remodeling would like to reiterate that William Gazo, 10, generated seven appointments while working for them, however, only one was validated. In his first 10 days of working, he made $384.

College visits skewed by untrue stereotypes


Ashleigh Bielen >> Staff Writer

t’s that exciting, yet stressful time of year again where juniors are starting to tour prospective colleges. With friends and classmates touring in close proximity with one another, thoughts on colleges are bound to be a topic of conversation. However, talking about colleges can become a sensitive topic due to the different opinions each individual will form. How these opinions may form, that’s where problems lie. A person’s mouthful of insults or compliments about a school usually comes from the piecing together of all the things they’ve been told. Rather than researching a college or visiting it themselves, they have created these ideas of how things are, and nothing can change their minds. Personally I’m tired of hearing all these negative judgments about colleges. People categorize what kind of person should belong at each school based on what they think it’s like, and that’s not the way it

should be. Whether a school is titled as super prestigious for academics, for partying, or one field of career, nobody should rid it off for its reputation. Too often I hear people say it’s a party school or they have way too high of a GPA average. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply there or even just consider looking into these colleges as an option. Why rule them out because of these factors? For all you know this could be the school for you, and you were just too opinionated to even give it a chance. One time I was talking to a group of friends about a college I had recently visited. I was saying how I liked it, and when I mentioned the name of the college, one of my friends gave me a disgusted look and said, “you can do better than that.” This comment really stuck with me. What is that even supposed to mean? I can do better? That person themselves had never visited this college nor had any knowledge of it. My friend completely based it off of two things: its party school reputation, and average GPA to get in. This bugged me more than anything, and I felt so insulted for the school itself. What really struck me as ignorant was the fact this

friend had nothing to back themselves up with because they knew virtually nothing about what the school was really like. My mom told me before I ever started looking at colleges to be open minded and look into colleges before creating my own preconceived notions. I think hearing all the comments I’ve heard about colleges is how I came to form my own opinion that judging them without the appropriate knowledge is so wrong. There is a college for everyone out there and with so many stereotypes that exist today, people may be limiting themselves to finding the right one for them. Finding a college should be about what’s really important, such as what the environment of the school is like for them, if they have majors and/or minors they are interested in and how they genuinely like it. Finding a college for you should be about feeling like you belong there and finding a place with all the right tools for you to succeed in whatever career you want to pursue. It shouldn’t be about where you would look good going to school or the school that everyone else likes. Form your own opinions about colleges before you let society form them for you.

Illustration by Emily Sharpe


The Watchdog

March 8, 2013


Bigger picture comprised of complex individualities


Meghan Garant >> Opinion Editor

discovered a word the other day. The most fantastically awe inspiringly brilliant word. Sonder. The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. And I didn’t even discover it per say. It was more like a stumble, a terribly undignified trip into heightened awareness. But when I saw it, my mind exploded a little bit. okay, more than a little bit, my metaphorical gray matter was all over the place. But it had every right to, because this one word has single-handedly undermined my entire view of the cosmos. My eyes are now open to a whole realm of thought that I didn’t even know existed before. Sure, people claim that they knew this. Ever heard of a word called empathy? Yes. Yes, I have. But let me tell you, dear reader, this is

something bigger than empathy. Because empathy is feeling what you imagine another to be feeling. Sonder is the knowledge that everybody feels, all the time. And not just feel, they also act. They sing out of tune and write bad poetry and crave BLTs and watch the new episode of Teen Wolf and all the while you are existing. Doing those very same things and more without ever realizing that your actions could be in tandem with those of another. Another word that I hear tossed around a lot is solipsism. For those of you who are a little confused, solipsism is the idea that you are the only person who exists, and every one and everything exists only inside your own head. The universe is a device created by yourself for your own enjoyment. And most people assume it’s as far away from sonder as you can get. Most people are wrong. Because solipsism means you acknowledge the rest of the universe, albeit believing it to be a figment of your imagination. That’s what sonder is. Realizing

Illustration by Romeo Sarmiento the complexity of everything and reveling in it until your head hurts. The only difference is that those who are solipsistic believe that they created the object of their wonderment, whereas others are willing to let the universe have some credit. When I initially reached sonder, I’m pretty sure a bit of my brain came dribbling

out of my ear. Because that means that every single antagonist in my life, is at the same time a protagonist. And I, who tries so hard be the dashing heroine of a bestselling saga called my life, I am the Voldemort to another’s Harry Potter. It’s like when you look at tapestry. You know, one of those wall sized pictures


Meaning forgotten as hurtful word overused

Becca Pryor >> Columnist


any people believe that the word love should be used sparingly and only in meaningful circumstances.   It shouldn’t be tossed around in every sentence and should only be directed toward that someone special.    The antonym of love, which is hate, should also be used sparingly.  It’s surprising how many people claim to hate a person, group of people, team, or activity so passionately without any substantial reason to feel such a way.   The Webster Dictionary defines hate as “intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.”    Now I know that as teenagers, we are encouraged to find our passions and explore our feelings; but I highly doubt that hating something or someone is an appropriate or even necessary way to direct those emotions. Hate is used very often and usually without much

thought. I for one am guilty of using the word hate without thought and I’ll admit it.     I can’t stand certain types of music and probably wouldn’t be able to count on both my hands all the times I have used the word “hate” to describe genres that I dislike.  One reason I stopped using the word hate so frequently is the effect that using it had on others who disagreed with me.   Just as I have strong feelings toward a subjectmatter, my friends and family have strong feelings towards that topic as well.  Most of the time our  viewpoints do not coincide with each other and throwing the h-word out there to describe what they like makes me come across extremely disrespectful and narrow-minded.   Dismissing other people’s viewpoints as illogical or unacceptable because of a differing personal opinion has become a frequent way of expressing likes and dislikes in society today.     Just because you have different taste than someone else does not mean that his or her taste is incorrect or irrelevant.   People   all around our school, the community and even the county like and dislike dif-

ferent things and that is perfectly fine. It’s important to realize the strong impacts our words can have on others.   Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can be just as hurtful.   I know that I would be hurt if someone, especially a friend or close acquaintance, started to bash on everything that I enjoy.  Even though expressing so-called “hate” toward a topic may not be directly insulting its supporters, the indirect insults can be just as painful.   Love and hate are powerful words that are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but they are not the only two words that can be used to describe your feelings toward something.     Thinking before speaking is a simple lesson with a large effect.   If hating becomes an even more acceptable emotion in our society than it is today, people will be uncomfortable expressing their opinions and viewpoints in fear of being dismissed by those who simply disagree.   There’s a proverb that says “the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.” So next time you open your mouth to say you hate something, think about it. Is it hate or just apathy?

formed entirely of woven strands. Everybody gets that analogy that we are all a piece of string and when you compile our lives and experiences you finally get the bigger picture, which is the whole tapestry. But we are not just bits of string. The way string is compiled is by weaving tiny fibers, and each fiber is

a personality trait. The fact that we like pizza, that time we gave a homeless man 86 cents. Every single string in that grand tapestry called life is made of fibers like that, made of real people. But that doesn’t mean we have to unravel all of them, that would be impossible. All we can hope for is recognition and sonder.

Art of the Issue Luisa Lacsamana, 12, submitted her artwork, Balance in Nature, to the Watchdog editorial staff.

“I really wanted this project to be unique, so I used saran wrap and some flowers I had around the house to give it that rippled effect.”

8 Vol. 13, Issue 6

The Watc

IF YOU REALLY KNE The Watchdog continues its monthly, in depth, feature with Nick Lenker, 12, an average high school athlete who overcomes life-threatening injuries. I just remember I went to go hit a guy and his stick went into my ribs [while playing ice hockey], and apparently my ribs just cut up my organs.

AT FIRST IT FELT LIKE THE WIND GOT KNOCKED OUT OF ME; BUT WHEN I SKATED TO THE BENCH I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG. There was this pain like I kept getting punched in the ribs. After I got off the ice and went to the locker room I almost passed out. I couldn’t even move I was in so much pain.

THE DOCTORS SAID THE PAIN WAS EQUIVALENT TO OR WORSE THAN CHILDBIRTH. After several tests and a CT scan they were able to find what was wrong.

I FOUND OUT THAT I HAD A GRADE FOUR KIDNEY LACERATION AND I PUNCTURED MY SPLEEN IN THREE PLACES. It was just a lot of pain, they gave me two blood transfusions. It was just a lot of pain basically.

I SPENT EIGHT DAYS IN THE ICU. I had to have surgery.

THEY PUT A TUBE INTO MY BACK, IT WAS A TUBE GOING INTO MY KIDNEY AND IT WAS THERE TO HELP IT HEAL. They were giving me Morphine and Percocet, but it wasn’t really that much help.

I COULD NOT HAVE ANYONE VISIT ME IN THE HOSPITAL BECAUSE THE FLU WAS GOING AROUND. The only people who could visit me were my parents. My brother couldn’t even visit me which was kind of sad.



High School Sports Injur

My teammates were really helpful. My teams, travel and high school, were really supportive. They helped me and made a poster with pictures of me playing ice hockey through out the year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of death among adolescents ages 0-19. Each year, an estimated 9. gency departments for their injuries. Also, 12,175 youths die as a The program Stop Sports Injuries, was created to inform chyil safety procedures for the most common sports. Stop Sports Injur sports-related injuries occur during practice, one-third of parent same safety precautions at practice that they would during a gam There has been an 88 percent increase in high school students 2006. National Federation of State High School Association has a in order to prevent a further increase in such serious injuries.

DESPITE MY INJURIES, I PLAN ON PLAYING HOCKEY NEXT YEAR IN COLLEGE. I’m not scared to play; my parents are getting me a kidney protector. Now, I feel a lot better, just weak.


Bark it up: Ic

I’ve been playing since I was three, so I really can’t see myself not playing hockey. I love it so much.


How did you react when you heard o Tucker Winfrey, 12 “I was pretty shocked, no one expected it to be that traumatic. I thought it was going to be an every day type of injury.”

Hunter Trefny, 9 “I was scared for him because he is a good friend and a great player.”

March 8, 2013




Emily Sharpe >> Design Editor Brigid Hamilton >> Copy Editor

facebook: news feed

Nick Lenker and his mother, Shelley Lenker, documented N. Lenker’s time spent in the hospital.

Natalie Sharpe >> Copy Editor

N. Lenker’s injuries took place at an Icedogs ice hockey game on Feb. 1, 2013. He was sent to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital to be treated for his severe injuries.

Feb 2

Nick suffered a serious injury while playing high school hockey on Friday night. He was taken by ambulance to Loudoun Hospital and then transferred to Fairfax Hospital where he is still in the Trauma ICU. He is approaching the 48 hour critical mark this evening but still won’t be out of the woods for another week or so. He will be in the ICU for another 1-2 days and hospital for another week or so depending on progress. He is making slow but steady progress. He is on morphine for pain which is still considerable but his blood count is now stable and he is starting sips of water today. Words cannot express our appreciation for the many thoughts, prayers & outpouring of love for our family during this extremely stressful time. - Shelley Lenker


Feb 4

Start of day 4 in ICU: Nick is having a bumpy journey with a lot of ups and downs. He had a setback yesterday when they discovered a large pocket of fluid around his injured kidney. His injured kidney suffered 50 percent damage and we are unsure what the outcome will be. Basically, we’ve come to appreciate that a kidney that functions at 50 percent is better than none so please continue your prayers. In between the drama and scary stuff, Nick still smiles and brings humor and laughter to the situation. I never would have believed that we’d be in this situation. It is breathtakingly scary and very hard to handle day in and day out. -Shelley Lenker

Feb 2

About to have best Super Bowl party in my hospital room tomorrow night. I got mouth swabs for water and morphine. Hopefully I can eat food and drink tomorrow. - Nick Lenker

3 Critical moments >> (1) Spotting the injuries, doctors perform surgery to repair internal wounds Lenker recieved during an ice hockey game. Warm wishes >> (2) Wearing a brave face, Lenker poses with his girlfriend, Somya Alice. Ice, ice, baby >> (3) Taking a shot, Lenker plays in a previous hockey game. Photos courtsey of Nick Lenker


, CDC, injuries are the leading cause .2 million children are seen in emera result of being injured. ldren, parents and coaches about ries reports 62 percent of organized ts do not have their children take the me. s playing ice hockey from 1990 to altered the rule book for ice hockey

Feb 5

He had to have a blood transfusion yesterday and may need more prior to discharge as he lost a lot of blood upon the original injury. He is battling hard but still has pain and is very weak. His primary doctor (so, so many doctors) assured Ed and I yesterday that while Nick had an extremely serious injury, it is far from the worst case he has seen and although no guarantees, he feels reasonably sure that Nick will keep his kidney. His recovery will take weeks until he regains his former level of health. We continue to appreciate your emails, texts and support and look forward to the day when Nick can get home and start receiving some visitors. FYI- contact sports is one of the most common causes of this type of kidney injury- ice hockey, lacrosse and football…….. (auto accidents right up there as well) Blood Donation- anyone willing to donate blood for Nick’s use, please let me know & use info below to set up an appt, etc… (I need to know before you go to donor center so I can have the proper paper work completed at the hospital & your blood gets to Nick.) Due to Nick being in ICU, they will rush the process & blood will be ready in 24 hours for his use. If Nick doesn’t use it, someone will- they told me yesterday that their supplies are too low. Nick can use 0+ or 0-, so if you have either of those types, please consider donating. - Shelley Lenker

Feb. 5

First meal since friday. - Nick Lenker

Feb 4

Hospital is so lonely since I cant have visitors. Hopefully I am out of ICU in next few days. - Nick Lenker

Feb 6

We have really great news. Nick is BACK! He is extremely weak, but his blood count is stable and his body is slowly recovering. Physical therapy started working with him this morning and actually walked him around the unit. As he was making a lap, the residents/nursing staff broke into applause! Nick really appears to have turned the corner in the last 24 hours and we are hopeful that he will be moved out of the ICU today. I want to say though that the nursing and medical staff here was AMAZING! And with my critical care background and overprotective mom instincts, I know what I’m talking about. (A special shout out to Missy McLaughlin, critical care RN and fellow Reston Raider parent- she works a lot…….and served as Nick’s surrogate mother last night so I could go home for a few hours sleep- you are a wonderful person!) Blood Donation Request- Needs have been met- Ed, Nick and I are humbled by the generosity and compassion of our friends. The response to our request has been overwhelming and we feel any of Nick’s potential needs have been met. - Shelley Lenker

Feb 6

Thank you to all the people who donated blood for me. It really does mean a lot. -Nick Lenker

ce Dogs

of Nick’s injuries?

Feb 7 & 8

Patrick Anderson, 12 “ I was shocked that it was that bad. That’s the worst injury I’ve ever heard of anyone getting.”

Feb 8

Best news of my life after 7 1/2 days in the ICU the doctors say I can come home. -Nick Lenker Photos by Kiki Laux

Nick was moved from ICU at 4:00 a.m. this morning. He is very tired but otherwise stable and getting discharged to home later today. They were talking tomorrow and then Nick negotiated an earlier release Nick still has a ways to go on his climb for recovery. Thanks again for all the prayers, support, encouragement, blood, etc… (Although surgery is still a possibility, it grows less likely as time moves on and everyone is encouraged by his progress and hopeful that the kidney will continue to heal, no infection develops, etc...) - Shelley Lenker

10 Vol. 13, Issue 6


The Watchdog

Social awkwardness becomes socially acceptable

Jordan Latham >> Staff Writer


ell, this is awkward. Here I am, typing away at a computer, trying to think of ways to tell you something. But now that I’ve spoken up, I regret it. Is this acceptable conversation? A one-sided degradation of the self where the individual regresses into a shell of social awkwardness is now acceptable, believe it or not. Through recent events, a generation with every means of contacting someone have become hermits. I blame Tumblr. Not to say I scorn Tumblr’s existence, I myself have an account and could

probably spend the majority of a sunny day online. With the introduction of Tumblr, it suddenly became cool (or at least passable) to be someone who pinned away hours blogging and reblogging whatever entertained you for point five seconds. It’s such a big part of life it must be a religion by now. This has become the standard for Friday nights. When offered to go out with friends, we are all guilty of declining for the pure reason of wishing to be antisocial. I present to you another question, since when has it become acceptable to drop any and all social graces? I would hope your parents taught you to say “please” and “thank you.” I would hope your parents also taught you to be polite and make conversation. Regardless, I find it almost offensive when I attempt to make conversation, and the other person flat out refuses

to respond. It’s one thing to leave your phone during a texting conversation, but out here in the real world, people expect an end to the conversation. One time, after practice, I was left with a group of my teammates as we all waited for our rides. As the minutes ticked past, the number of people left dwindled to myself and one other student. To avoid the dreaded awkward silence, I rooted around in my bag

for my water bottle, using it as an excuse to pause and think of what I could say. They hadn’t been particularly responsive to me so, I decided to rack my brain for a topic of interest. When I looked back up, water bottle in hand and a conversation starter on the tip of my tongue, my teammate had silently made their way to the end of the hall. It wasn’t as though I was forcing them to stay and talk to me, but then

Illustration by Romeo Sarmiento again, couldn’t they have ever need. All in the name of entertainment, but all for said goodbye? I point another finger the use of avoiding an awkat addicting smart phone ward situation. I’m not saying it’s your apps. In the pre-iPhone era, you had no choice but sole purpose to make to talk with the person you conversation with evhad been left alone with. ery individual you meet. Now, should you be left We don’t need to take it alone with someone you that far. All I ask is be the don’t particularly want to bigger person and attempt talk to, what are you doing? to take the ‘awkward’ out of the awkward situation. Temple Run. We have texting, Angry You might be surprised as Birds, Twitter and really to how much of an effect it more apps than we could may have.

Anti-feminism remains present day problem Profanity treated as more than white noise Ghazal Azizzada >> Staff Writer


few years ago, I read a quote that said, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are equal.” Yet it has stuck with me all this time. Feminism, by definition, does not signify hotheaded, aggressive, temperamental young women who have an overwhelming vengeance against all men who have wronged them. So why does society nowadays feel the need to portray feminists this way? This point of view is degrading to a group whose main priority is to bring real gender equality issues to the surface. For women, unstable emotions are deemed socially unacceptable. To be angry is completely unjustified; we women must be zen at all times, no matter what how righteous our rage. To be sad is completely selfish; “cheer up,” they say, “don’t be such a girl.” When I am in a conversation with people, and I get passionate and become bold and assertive about a certain topic, my passion is dismissed as “PMS.” My whole argument is disregarded because of my strong opinions and beliefs. Why is that? Because people in this day and age are afraid. They are afraid of

Kayla Cunningham >> Staff Writer


women raising their voices and standing on their own two feet without the help of a man by their side. This negative perception of feminists has made its way into the political realm as well. Hillary Clinton made headlines when testifying during the congressional hearing on Jan. 23 over the embassy attack in Benghazi. Clinton’s emotional reaction to a senator’s question during the hearing prompted the news outlets, including the New Yorker, to twist her words to be spewed from a fiery, unhinged woman. Never mind the fact that Clinton has an honorable reputation in the political world, graduating from Yale Law School, becom-

Illustration by Romeo Sarmiento ing a prestigious lawyer, a thoughts and insists that “it First Lady, a U.S. Senator is thoughtless to condemn and almost becoming the [women], or laugh at them, first female president of the if they seek to do more or United States. learn more than custom has The media’s portrayal of pronounced necessary for Clinton during the hearing their sex.” presents her as a raging, It is imperative that we irrational woman with no stop with the complaints substance to her. If a man of overbearing feminists had shown as much com- and start encouraging the passion and response as “I need feminism because” Clinton, he undoubtedly movement. Women everywould have been perceived where are condemned for as a powerful man. expressing their fundamenIn my English class, we tal rights not just as a citiare currently reading Char- zen, or a woman, but as a lotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. human being. Eyre, and Bronte for that Any woman who wants matter, don’t seem to fit the to define herself, by herself stereotypical 19th century and for herself should have mind set of oppression of every right to do so. And if, women’s rights. Through- God forbid, she is proud of out the novel, she voices her that too, she has every right wonderfully progressive to be.

oul language; it’s vulgar, rude and just not allowed. Public profanity will often elicit stern looks and even a reprimanding from passer-by. Older generations are stereotypically less tolerant and hail from an age where it was acceptable to shove soap into the mouths of peevish children. Of course, nowadays it’s on cable TV and popular music, but that doesn’t mean it’s become completely okay. There’s a whole spectrum of animosity towards profanity, ranging from completely accepting, to totally intolerant. I personally, have never been bothered by it. For as long as I can remember I’ve understood that words only mean what we let them. When we talk to people, we’re just making noise. The sounds that we make don’t have meaning in of themselves. So in that sense, I find it a bit silly that there are certain sounds that are impolite to make, and words that are considered ‘bad’. Compare the worst swear you know to the word elbow, and they’re both just noise. Why should we let

ourselves be bothered by something as little as that? That being said, I can’t ignore the fact that there are a great deal of people that have attached meaning and emotion towards these words. Explicatives uttered in times of extreme emotional stress, are of course going to convey emotional stress. I’ll also admit that because of this, some words are downright cringe worthy. I think that’s why when kids say ‘bad’ words, it sounds so wrong. Kids shouldn’t need to use them, it sounds wonky or out of place, and is on par with underage sexual innuendos. Of course though, children are attracted to the allure of “forbidden fruit”. Then of course, there are my peers, whom I suppose could use them for an array of reasons. It could be our burning desire to grow up and be mature, or to simply stress a point. The latter of which being less lame, and something I can personally be found guilty of. All of this being taken into account, I think that we should all try to be a little less offended by words, since that’s all they are. We should also not carelessly sling them around, and accept the fact they are emotionally charged and chock full of negative implications. Ideally, we’d live in a world where there were no ‘bad’ or forbidden words, just words to be taken more or less seriously.



Jack the Giant Slayer acting falls short of expectations >> See Below


Netflix breaks boundaries with original TV series >> Page 12


Justin Timberlake makes a much anticipated comeback >> Page 13


Artist of the issue: Mitchell Buckley Emily Dzubak >>Staff Writer After four years of being a part of theatre, Mitchell Buckley,12, is taking the next step of his life to continue his future in acting. “I love acting and found it is a good way to express myself and reach out to people,” Buckley said. In theatre’s most recent production, Flowers for Algernon, Buckley played the role of Charlie, a man with an IQ of 68 who is selected to take part in an experimental surgery to increase his intelligence. “Flowers for Algernon was a really significant experience for me. It was such a powerful show and Charlie was such a challenging character to play,” Buckley said. Buckley has been in a total of 10 Westfield Theatre productions, playing a lead role in several of them. “I have gained a lot of experience with Westfield Theatre. I had a lot of opportunities to play a variety of different roles and I’ve been lucky to have the privilege to act with so many talented students,” Buckley said. Buckley auditioned for several theater programs at different universities and plans on majoring in theater. “I’ve auditioned at New York University, Pace, Bos-

ton University, Emerson, Fordham, SUNY (State University of NY) at Purchase and Ithaca. I should probably start hearing back in mid-March,” Buckley said. As he was a member of the theater program for all four years of high school, Buckley had the opportunity to work with a lot of different people. “The upperclassmen were such a huge influence on me when it came to carrying on Westfield Theatre’s tradition of excellence,” Buckley said. Buckley also attended the 64th Annual South Eastern Theater Conference, SETC, to perform their award winning, including the state title, production of Hothouse and compete against schools from the southeastern region. “I think it’s a huge honor that we went so far and I know we were all really excited for the opportunity to perform,” Buckley said. Buckley has gained a lot of experience in the theatre program and is ready to learn more and further pursue his career in the theatre industry. “Of course I’m excited for the future. I think I’ve made the most of my four years here, but I’m ready to move on to the next thing. I still have so much to learn and college is definitely the next step,” Buckley said.

(Top) Looking for support >> Brandon Sanchez, 11, Mitchell Buckley, 12 and Alex Mann, 12, pose for promotional pictures for the winter mainstage, Flowers for Algernon. Photo by Madeleine Bloxam (Bottom Left) Practice makes perfect >> Buckley rehearses a solo scene the week before opening night to prepare for the first performance of the fall mainstage, Laughing Stock. Photo by Kelsey Stanton (Bottom Right) Teamwork makes the dream work >> Julian Sanchez, 11 and Buckley present a scene from Westfield Theatre’s annual Back To School Cabaret. Photo courtesy of Westfield Theatre Boosters

Jack the Giant Slayer disappoints critics, sales prevail Julian Sanchez >>Staff Writer We’ve all heard the famous tale of Jack and the Beanstalk; a legend of childhood whimsy, harrowing monsters, and supernatural flora of epic proportions. But the movie that came out last weekend isn’t your average Mother Goose story. Jack the Giant Slayer is a violent, one dimensional take on the classic story we’ve all learned to enjoy. This high-budget fantasy film chronicles the misadventures of Jack, a young farmhand who’s eager for adventure. One day, while Jack is selling his calf, he is given magical beans by a mysterious priest. After a series of ill-fated events, these beans end up sprouting and becoming a portal to the land of the Giants. Meanwhile, the princess

of the city is captured by the angry giants, who are taking revenge on the humans because of an unsettled ancient war. Jack must kill all of the giants, take back the princess, and save the kingdom before it’s too late. Directed by renowned action filmmaker Bryan Singer, this disappointing film adaptation fails to enthrall. The juxtaposition of action-packed scenes of tension with the more slowpaced romantic scenes makes for a jarring combination. Despite the efforts of Singer and his screenwriting crew, the film is extremely formulaic and largely unimpressive. Nicholas Hoult has an admirable performance as Jack, the curious farmhand who gets into all sorts of trouble.

Hoult is able to capture the excitement and youthful spirit of his famous role, but his mediocre acting chops only gets him so far in this film. During more dramatic scenes where he shows his serious side, he tends to lack chemistry with his scene partners. Opposite Hoult was newbie Eleanor Tomlinson, as the royal Princess Isabelle. Although Tomlinson strives to make her role substantial, by the film’s end she fails to break out of her lifeless role. Some of the only surprisingly good acting in this movie came Stanley Tucci as the evil Lord Roderick. Tucci plays the slimy, usurping advisor with great vigor, and he commendably walks the line between seeming benevolence and

inner malice. Another standout performance came from Ewan McGregor, who played the Elmont, the noble guard of the city. McGregor’s invariable talent and believability stood out in against the

largely transparent acting of this film. Altogether, this film lacks substance in its pursuit of excitement. Rather than fully develop the characters and work on their relationships, Jack the Giant Slayer’s re-

dundant and long action sequences take precedence. This basic, contrived film struggles due to the weak story and average acting but found box office success through its thrilling moments of high drama and impressive CGI.


12 Vol. 13, Issue 6

The Watchdog

Netflix breaks barriers releases original TV shows Featuring Arrested Development, House of Cards

Christina Beiene and Maddie Gray >>A &E Editors With the recent success of premium channel television shows such as Homeland and Game of Thrones, Netflix has emerged as a top television outlet. Netflix started as a modern way for renting and

streaming movies and television shows but has now evolved into a source for premiering its own shows. Netflix released a 13 episode political drama series all at once on Feb. 1, called House of Cards. House of Cards is the first ever TV series to accomplish this. The show is a witty, dark and twisted drama that exposes the inner workings of Frank Underwood lobbies for the teacher’s unions support for his education bill in the series House of Cards.

legislation in Congress. House of Cards focuses on Frank Underwood, House majority whip, and his interactions with the media, his colleagues, and the President. The characters are thoroughly developed with extreme twists and a hidden motive hinted at throughout the series but only revealed at the end. The show features a star studded cast and production staff with Frank Underwood as Kevin Spacey and David Fincher as the show’s director. In addition to House of Cards, Netflix will release Arrested Development’s fourth season in the same way House of Cards premiered. The comedy Arrested Development is centered around the wealthy but dysfunctional Bluth family and their family business.

Arrested Development has received much praise 56% disagree and was even listed in Time Students binge Magazine’s “Best 100 TV watch television Shows of All-TIME” in series 2007. Though Arrested Development received critical 44% agree acclaim the show had poor 4% on Hulu ratings and was cancelled 47% on after three seasons. The 16% other fourth season will consist television websites of 14 episodes with the same cast members such as Where students Jason Bateman and Michael watch the majority of Cera, to reprise their previtheir television shows ous roles. 27% on With the new technology of smart TV’s , NetfNetflix lix is now capable of being streamed directly on to 6% on network television webthe television, breaking the sites confinement of DVD discs 49% disagree and computer screens. Students watch Netflix’s breakout into television for mainstream television with more than five these original series and 51% agree hours a week more to come have proved that the future of television is going digital. Watchdog poll of 300 Westfield students

Congratulations 2nd Quarter Summa Cum Laude Students Mandana Abdollah Julianne Abruzzo Emma Afferton Dilare Aihaiti Lakshay Akula Aleena Ali Jose Alvarado Cabrera Tae Hoon An James Anderson Paul Anhalt Laura Anhalt Madhumita Aryasomayajula Nazat Ashraf Zara Asif Anurag Avadhuta Christine Ayad Sara Ayoub Narges Azimi Hae Jin Bae Jacqueline Bae Julianne Ballschneider Joseph Ballschneider Muthappa Ballyatanda Bethany Baron Melanie Baron Elizabeth Barron Aaron Bartoe Amanda Bartoe Devansh Bawa Frances Beard Taylor Bell Jasmine Benbei Nicholas Benedetto Sara Berrios Jonathan Bidinger Emily Bielen Jake Bowen Jasmine Bowen Maria Bowser Jocelyn Brown Emily Brubaker Mitchell Buckley Maria Philina Cardenas Joseph Castro Caroline Cecil Shiva Rama Challa Jenny Chau Lirong Chen Corey Chen Andrew Chen Kevin Cheng Won Bin Cho Ryan Cho James Choi Bo Woo Choi Geson Chong paid advertisement

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From the PTSA


The Watchdog

March 8, 2013


Justin Timberlake returns to music industry; better than ever Maddie Gray & Christina Beiene >>A&E Editors After spending five years focusing on his acting career, Justin Timberlake made a splash back into the music industry with his two new singles “Suit and Tie” and “Mirrors.” Additionally Timberlake’s new album, The 20/20 Experience is set to release March 19. Produced by good friend and long time collaborator Timbaland, critics and fans highly anticipate the release of The 20/20 Experience. “Suit and Tie” is one of the already released tracks off his upcoming album. With its suave beats and groovy lyrics, “Suit and Tie” is a catchy tune that offers something different from Timberlake. His classic falsetto and Jay Z’s smooth rap verse are complementary, adding an innovative dimension to the song. The music video for “Suit and Tie” was directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker David Fincher. The video epitomizes old-Hollywood swagger from its smooth style to its black and white cinematography. In addition to “Suit and Tie”, “Mirrors” was released after Tim-

berlake’s jaw-dropping Grammy performance. The song’s long length and jazzy fresh style resembles “What Goes Around Comes Around” off of his prior album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, arguably the most popular song from the album. Rumored to be written about his now wife Jessica Biel, “Mirrors” is a soulful ballad that takes a 180 halfway through the song and changes to a slowed down falsetto oriented tune. It makes anyone jealous of Biel. “Mirrors” overall is a stronger song and more pleasing to fans over “Suit and Tie.” Timberlake’s first solo performance in four years was at the DirectTV Super Saturday charity event the day before the Super Bowl. He performed “Suit and Tie” and “Mirrors” as well as two unreleased songs from The 20/20 Experience. The promotional events Timberlake has been doing builds up the anticipation for the upcoming release. He will embark on his highly anticipated 12 city stadium tour titled, Legends of the Summer, this July with his “Suit and Tie” partner, Jay Z.

Solo Timberlake yet to surpass ‘N Sync success ‘N Sync

Justin Timberlake


The 20/20 Experience

(2001) 5x platinum: 5,000,000+

(2013) Release date: March 19

No Strings Attached

FutureSex/ LoveSounds

(2000) Diamond: 11,000,000+

(2006) 4x platinum: 4,000,000+



(1997) 10x platinum 10,000,000+

(2002) 3x platinum: 3,000,000+


Boys Lacrosse

Team looks to bounce back after district tournament defeat >> Page 15


Shields makes switch from offensive to defensive coordinator >> Page 15


Lacrosse: more than just a sport for O’Sullivan Luke O’Roark >>Online Editor-in-Chief Suiting up for her first lacrosse season without her mother, Molly O’Sullivan 11, will look to continue from last season’s success. Last year, O’Sullivan set a career high with seven goals scored in a 13-12 loss to Langley. The team’s leading scorer obtained more than half the team’s points just days after her mother passed away from her battle with pancreatic cancer. “I mean she was sick for a while and it wasn’t the first game she’s missed. But not having her there to cheer me on and not having her support really sucks. She was always the balance between my parents and my dad knows not to be as hard on me now. She always noticed the good in everything and I know she’s watching over me, but its hard to know that she won’t be there to experience my season and future,” O’Sullivan said. As a tribute to her mother, the team wore purple colored wrist bands and shoe strings during the last half of their season. “I feel like we had something to play for and more of a reason to play for Molly. We did the same thing during field hockey season for her and it brought us all together,” Katelyn Rennyson, 11, said.

Finishing a legacy>>(Left) Molly O’Sullivan, 11, warms up with a passing drill at the beginning of practice. Molly will be the last of five O’Sullivan children to play varsity lacrosse. Photo by Madie Mason Memories>> (Right) O’Sullivan poses with her mother during the winter holidays. Photo courtesy of Molly O’Sullivan Molly, the youngest of five children, will be the last to play varsity lacrosse. “[Lacrosse] runs in my family. My dad was an All-American. My sister Amanda plays at Colgate and Katie played club at JMU. My brothers, Sean and Ryan, play at Loyola together, so I started playing a long time ago and I’ve grown to really love the game. My dad is always the one pushing us to get better and my mom always was the one giving us support no matter what,” O’Sullivan said. The O’Sullivan family has been playing lacrosse before and since the high school program started in

2001. Lacrosse, one of the fastest growing sports for the past several years, is much more than a sport to the family. It is a symbol of tradition. “My dad always says the only thing he ever grew up with was a $15 lacrosse stick his mom got him when they moved here. He thought he would never be where he is today without the sport of lacrosse,” O’Sullivan said. Although O’Sullivan lost her mother, she maintained a positive attitude over the past two years and will look to lead the team as a team captain. “I’m usually a goofy person, but now I need to be someone that everyone

looks up to and try harder to focus more. It feels good to be in a leadership role,” O’Sullivan said. The midfielder has been playing lacrosse since the second grade, with Molly adjusting her skills from watching her siblings play. “She has excellent stick skills. Especially from the long line of family that has played here. She being the youngest has really helped her, as she has watched her siblings develop and taken in their play internally to make her better,” Kathleen Ruch, Head Coach, said. O’Sullivan, who helped the Lady Bulldogs garnish a regional playoff berth last season, has learned much

from her siblings, father and SYA head coach over the years. “My dad taught me everything I know about the game. He always asks me if I want to go to the gym with him or go on a run, but what is different is that he never coached me during my SYA days. I played with Brian Newell and the same team basically every year growing up, so my dad worked a lot with my older sister and my brothers. They would always be in the backyard shooting for hours and he was sometimes hard on my brothers,” O’Sullivan said. In terms of skill set, O’Sullivan causes confusion

for opposing defenses, as she utilizes strong cuts to the goal and movement around the crease. “Molly is a really sneaky player with the ball. She is really good at seeing the whole field and moving without the ball,” teammate and friend Kelly Duncan, 12, said. With the team’s first game on March 12, Molly will look to help the team get back into the playoffs and remind herself of how far she has come from her adversity last season. “I’m trying to move on by not looking back over my shoulder and moving forward with my career,” O’Sullivan said.

Rugby shows rapid growth among student athletes Austin Hollen >>Staff Writer

Can’t be touched>> Phillip Grant, 12, busts through a line of defenders in order to get closer to the goal line. Grant came to be one of the leaders on the NOVA rugby team this year. Photo courtesy of Phillip Grant

A group of students have recently become a part of one of the fastest growing sports in America: rugby. Joon Yeo, 12, is one of these students that enjoys playing this relatively uncommon sport. “It’s good to be a part of something that I can look back on in five years and say that I played a sport that no one really played 10 years ago. It’s really big everywhere else,” Yeo said. The small but passionate following includes Yeo, Brian Deely, 12, Sam Clark, 12, Tyler Morson, 12, and Phillip Grant, 12. The enthusiasm shown by the members of the team helps improve the experience for all involved. “Rugby is awesome. It’s not the biggest sport, so

people are really connected more to it. It’s more about the people and less about the image,” Grant said. Yeo played offensive lineman in football, and did not get the ball very much. In rugby he is able to show his athleticism by running through defenders and being a big part of his team. “It’s fun to get better and to show what you can do. It’s a great way to build endurance, too,” Yeo said. One of the draws of rugby is its simplicity, as little equipment is required and it is easy to pick up. “Surprisingly rugby is a lot better than people would expect. There really isn’t any preparation. You just need to grab some shorts and a mouth guard. It’s a lot of running, but otherwise you can get off the couch and play,” Grant said.

Rules of Rugby Rugby is similar to football, as both are played on fields that are 100 yards and both require stopping the offense by tackling the opponent. However, unlike football, a rugby ‘match’ does not stop after a player is tackled. Play stops when the ball goes out of bounds, a foul is committed, or points are awarded. Points are awarded after a player scores a goal by kicking the ball between the uprights, or a try is scored. A try is scored after a player ‘grounds’ the ball past the goal line, or has their hands on the ball while it is on the ground.


The Watchdog

March 8, 2013


Boys’ lacrosse looks to revamp, seeks first banner Caroline Cook >>Staff Writer As the clock hit 1:10, boys’ lacrosse watched Oakton make their final goal to clinch their lead, and their chance at a district championship slip away. This year the team will look to avenge their 9-8 loss. “It was a really tough loss, but we didn’t hold through the entire game. Playing all the way through is something we have to work on this season,” Tucker Winfrey, 12, said. The boys’ lacrosse team has never won a district championship, and the team hopes 2013 will be the year they earn their first banner. “When we lost in districts it was really emotional for the whole team, but we learned from the experience,” Jake Katchmark, 12, said. Right after the end of the 2012 season the team made plans for the 2013 season. School conditioning and stick skills began in October in order for play-

Access denied>> (Top) Standing in goal, Tucker Winfrey, 12, practices in the preseason. Winfrey completed last season with a 68 percent saving average. Photo by Madie Mason Looking to attack>> (Right) Carrying the ball, Drew Magnusson, 11, heads downfield in a game against Chantilly last season. The Bulldogs fell by a score of 9-8 in the district finals to Oakton. Archive photo by Molly Burns ers to prepare for a week of tryouts and the start of the new season. “This year we run a lot more and we want to be more conditioned than the opponent,” Connor Rogers, 11, said. The boys struggled in-

side the Concorde District with the team going 5-6 in its past two seasons. The team knows what they must do in order to defeat their opponents this season. “We want to get better every day, while giving maximum effort and ener-

Shields takes new position as offensive coordinator Matt Glowacki >>Staff Writer After three years of coaching and two seasons as defensive coordinator for the varsity football team, Jon Shields, Drivers Education and Physical Education teacher, switched to the other side of the ball as the team’s new offensive coordinator. “There was an opportunity for me to do something that I have not done in a long time and there was an opening on offense and I asked Coach Simmons for the opportunity to switch,” Shields said. A former defensive player for Shields, Tyler Morson, 12, praised Shields as a coach. “He was a great defensive coordinator. He was very fiery. And one of the things I liked about him is that he tried to connect with the players. I think that will be really good for coaching offense. He’s a good coach and he’s a really good guy. I liked that he got very emotional at games and in practice he expects perfection from you at all times,” Morson said. In addition to his perfectionism, Shields worked his defense very hard in practice, something that the offense will have to adjust to. “He definitely dedicates a lot of time to it which

Leading with intensity>> Making a call, Coach Jon Shields shouts to the field during a game against Fairfax this past season. Shields switched positions from defensive to offensive coordinator during the offseason. Photo courtesy of Kevin Delaney is good. He does a lot of game planning so we’re always prepared. I think the offense is going to have a much harder season next year with him because there is no goofing off and not a minute is wasted in practice. Every minute is used on getting ready,” Matt Winesett, 12, said. Changes to game preparations may only be the start as Shields takes control of the offense. “I don’t plan on changing much schematically, just some of our formations. I

will bring my work ethic and enthusiasm,” Shields said. Shields’ former players eagerly anticipate the results of this change. “He’ll probably be a good offensive coordinator and it will be interesting to see if he can make the transition,” Tommy Weston, 12, said. On the defensive side of the ball, Rob Everett, math teacher and former defensive line coach, will be taking over for Shields as defensive coordinator.

gy,” Head coach, Phil Polizzotti, said. Even though the team lost a majority of their starters, it still has a lot of experienced players returning, such as Kyle Petrillo, 10, as well as new talent from the sophomore and freshmen

class. “I feel like I can help out the new players. The seniors are really invested and they will push us to go really far” Petrillo, said. This year’s team has a common goal; to win districts and advance to the

regional and state tournament. The players this season realize they need to work to make the team better, not themselves. The boys started the season with a scrimmage against Woodson on March 8.

16 Vol. 13, Issue 6


The Watchdog

2012-2013 Issue 6  

The March 8, 2013 issue of the Watchdog newspaper of Westfield High school in Chantilly, Va.