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MAY 17, 2013

Interactive pages turn invasive and ugly as students create forums for expression TJ Talks Have you ever seen anything hurtful or inappropriate on Facebook?

Freshman Jake Gonzalez “No. There’s always some sort of paper trail with Facebook. I feel like I see more hurtful things on because it’s anonymous.”


hat’s on your mind?” The question tugs

at Facebook’s one billion users when they visit the familiar blue color palette. But, at Jefferson, where this social networking site is akin to an obsession, the last few months have revealed a dark side to its popularity. A recent viral trend began at Queen’s University in Ontario and reached the Facebook accounts of Jefferson students as compliments pages. Those positive sites quickly spiraled into evil twins of the original pages. These pages based on anonymous submissions were created in a frenzy in March and included ones such as TJ Confessions, TJ Confessionals, TJ Blatant Lies, TJ Crushes and even TJ Doppelgangers. These second generation pages stopped being as positive and became inflammatory. “I hate pretentious little pricks with a passion…” one TJ Confessionals submitter said. Other posts went as far as to mention names of specific students. Most submissions received little to no likes or comments. “When I first saw them, they did seem

pretty funny since everyone loves to gossip and hear silly stories. But really I don’t think it was a good thing to do,” senior Garrett Shapiro said. “Whenever you have people posting stuff anonymously, they can say whatever they want with no consequences.” In particular, TJ Confessions and TJ Confessionals met resistance from school administrators because they were posting controversial messages and criticisms of the school and students while using the Jefferson logo as the pages’ profile pictures. “The TJ community should know the use of TJ’s name and its logo is misrepresentation,” Principal Evan Glazer said. “It’s a violation of the SR&R because it’s presuming that when you use the TJ name or logo, it’s permissible by the school.” Administrators contacted Facebook to request the removal of the pages for their inappropriate, offensive and harassing content. “The valuable aspect actually was when some Facebook users went on to those existing sites and sent some positive messages to them to say that this isn’t really what the TJ culture is all about,” Glazer said. “Ultimately, I think a lot of people took down the sites themselves before Facebook authorized removal of them.” continued on p. 2

Sophomore Nur Simsek “I see comments on physical appearance, intelligence and race and stereotypical jokes.”

Junior Ben Andre “I heard someone put up a website rating girls at TJ, and people got really upset. It got taken down very quickly.”

Senior Amrutha Malladi “On TJ Confessions, people were trying to get their opinion out, and when their opinion wasn’t really the norm, it resulted in more people commenting hurtful things against them.” photos and reporting by Tahmina Achekzai

graphic by Mallika Patkar


Powerlifting team bulks up to compete


Crew prepares for championship season


Student reporters talk with Garza

facebook fracas

by Jenny Chen News Editor

Stress less, laugh more week P16


by Tahmina Achekzai and Mallika Patkar News Editor and Editor-in-chief Student journalists from 18 schools participated in a conference call with incoming superintendent Karen Garza on May 7. Student reporters from Mclean High School asked how the education KAREN GARZA model she employs in Lubbock Independent School District as current superintendent would compare to what she plans for FCPS. “What worked in Houston and Lubbock may not be what is best for students and precincts in Fairfax County. We’re going to do things that are smart and based on research and input from stakeholders,” she said. West Potomac High School’s editors asked how her policy would differ from current superintendent Jack Dale’s. “I know he has done a lot of good work. I will do a lot to build on that foundation. It will be a different way that I’ll interact with the community,” she said. “The first thing I’ll have to do is learn about the school system. I intend to focus a lot of time and energy on that in the first 60 days.” “Dr. Garza impressed me with her collaborative approach and her ability to bring people together to find solutions to difficult challenges,” said FCPS school board member from the Mason District, Sandy Evans. continued on p. 2

Cao named U.Va. Jefferson Scholar by Ellen Kan Staff Reporter The more time senior Kevin Cao spent at the University of Virginia, the more he felt the pieces of the puzzle were finally falling into place. As Cao relaxed in a rocking chair, chatting with a group of fourthyear Jefferson Scholars on the Lawn, KEVIN CAO something clicked. He felt as if he belonged. Nearly a month later, Cao accepted the Jefferson Scholarship on April 19. A prestigious organization that cultivates undergraduate leaders, scholars and citizens, U.Va.’s Jefferson Scholars Foundation provides its students with financial support and enrichment opportunities. Cao went through a strenuous and competitive selection process to become one of the 33 Jefferson Scholars in the Class of 2017. On March 25, Cao received his offer. However, he faced a difficult decision because he had also been admitted to several other coveted schools. “I felt somewhat obligated to accept the scholarship because TJ nominated me from such a large pool of applicants,” Cao said. “But that stress was minimal compared to the immense amount of pressure I felt from my parents, family and friends to go to Harvard because of the name and prestige.” Cao is the first senior from Jefferson to both obtain and accept the Jefferson Scholarship since Class of 2004 graduate Megan Dunning. Although money did not factor into his final decision, Cao was put off by the other schools due to their grade deflation and lack of focus on undergraduate studies. He reconsidered U.Va. after he visited the campus during the finalist weekend. “I met some of the most remarkable people, finalists and scholars alike. In the process, I fell in love with a school I had previously discounted and really felt like I was truly wanted and welcomed,” Cao said. “Above all, I knew I would be happy at U.Va.”

Student art garners awards


tjTODAY staff visits famous Bay islands



Kudos & Accomplishments

National Merit scholarships awarded

Seniors Alex Dalzell, Christie Freund, Kevin Huo, Andrew Jiang, Raynor Kuang, Mayank Mahajan, Arjun Nandra, Chloe Siebach and Ye Tao received corporate-sponsored scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Seniors Dhruv Bansal, Laura Brouckman, Amy Chen, Sarah Eltinge, Amani Farooque, Suhas Gondi, Lauren Huang, Katherine Lee, Yash Maniar, Seung Young Park, Jennifer Peng, Kalki Seksaria, Cody Silverman, Nalini Singh and Robert Wharton each won a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship.

Jefferson wins VHSL Creative Writing Championship

The Jefferson overall folder submission to the VHSL Creative Writing Championship won in the AAA division. Juniors Emma Hastings and Anwar Omeish and sophomore Pooja Chandrashekar took first place in their individual categories.

Science Olympiad team wins at States

The Jefferson Science Olympiad team won first place at the Virginia State competition on April 27 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Team members include seniors Amy Chen, Katie Hsia (team captain) and Austin Ralls, juniors Sparsh Gupta, Avand Lakmazaheri, Christine Nguyen and Emma Puranen, sophomore Billie Males and freshmen Jake Cui, Ryan Gottwald, Ava Lakmazaheri, Jonathan Lee, Sunlee Stechuk, Sashank Thupukari and Andy Zhao. The team will travel to Dayton, Ohio for the National Science Olympiad on May 18.

Student publications take home honors

At the NSPA/JEA Spring Journalism Convention in San Francisco from April 25-28, Threshold was named the first place Best of Show literary magazine; Techniques was named the fourth place Best of Show 275-324 page yearbook; and tjTODAY was named the sixth place Best of Show 13-16 broadsheet newspaper. In the write-offs, sophomore Ellen Kan earned a Superior rating, junior Shayna Hume and sophomore Alexis Williams earned Excellent ratings, and senior Sunny Kim and sophomore Sandy Cho earned Honorable Mentions.

Economics students win Governor’s Challenge

The team of senior Scott Gibson, juniors Catherine Shi and Robert Wang and sophomore Hamil Shah won first place at the 2013 Governor’s Challenge Champions in Economics and Personal Finance competition, which was held at Virginia Commonwealth University on April 17.

Five win Quill and Scroll awards

 In the 2013 Quill and Scroll International Writing and Photo Contest, five tjTODAY reporters won awards. Students include seniors Tahmina Achekzai and Amy Ahn, sophomore Ellen Kan and Class of 2012 graduates Joshua Baquedano and Colleen Marshall.

Three seniors win National Achievement Scholarships

Seniors Morgan Cheatham, Kleo Greenwood and Howard Small are three of the 800 black high school students nationwide who won National Achievement Scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

DuPont winners selected

Junior Nikhil Bhattasali placed in the top three of the 2013 DuPont Challenge Essay Contest. Seniors Gordon Hart and Jisu Park and sophomore Hanna Carolina Hatanpaa won honorable mentions.

tjTODAY Online

To see more news, visit our website at publications/tjTODAY

may 17, 2013

Major construction to Garza joins commence after delay FCPS as new by Tahmina Achekzai News Editor Jefferson’s beloved ceiling tiles have been removed. Protective fences are set up around courtyard trees. The practice field is waiting for an influx of trailers. And on May 20, students will be moving to the outdoor eating area. While the renovation team waits for its permit approval, contractors and FCPS employees are taking on several tasks in preparation for major construction. “The work being done right now does not require a building permit,” Director of Student Services Brandon Kosatka said. “When the permit comes through, they can focus on the larger work.” Because the Henley Construction Company, Inc. (HCC), whose contract was approved on April 3, was late in submitting a proposed schedule, some of the renovation procedures have been delayed. The first phase of the proposed plans, which will continue until September 2014, involves clearing space for research labs. The Kiss and Ride route will be modified starting on May 20 with signs directing parents around the building. Door 9 will close and Door 8 will take its place. Natalie Goldring, mother of sophomore Rebecca and senior Rachel Merriman-Goldring, attended a town hall meeting on April 25 held by the renovation team. “History suggests they’ll encounter unanticipated problems as they continue with the renovation. I hope – and assume – they’ve left time for that in the construction timeline,” she said. “My main concerns are about the process, and how the renovation is going to affect students.” The renovation team intends to pause construction during standardized testing. Currently, the only major construction before the end of the year is the demolition of the cafeteria. A service line will be created by the Chemical Analysis Research lab. New eating areas will be set up in Rooms 203-205. After the first phase, the second phase will follow beginning in either mid-August or in the beginning of September 2014, lasting until November 2015. After a very short phase three, phase four will begin in December 2015 and finish in 2016.


photo by Jenny Chen

photo by Jenny Chen

Tiles have been removed from the ceiling.

In order to minimize disturbances, the renovation team will be working at night for demolition purposes. In addition, construction workers and contractors will be separated from students in walled-off designated “zones,” to ensure there is no unnecessary interference with the regular school day. Shanti Khanna, a junior at Marshall High School, has experience navigating through her school day during renovation. Marshall has been undergoing renovation since 2011. “I don’t think it affects how well we do in school. Most of the work and loud noises tend to happen after we go home,” she said. Since most major construction and demolition will be left for breaks, summer school will be at Woodson High School. When students return, over 1,000 lockers will be taken out, and more trailers will be added on the field adjacent to Weyanoke. “Cottage City,” as Glazer calls it, is expected to hit its peak during phase two, when 64 total trailers will be available for classroom use. Classes will start moving back into the building after phase two. “To keep the contractors on track and keep them focused, we’ve set dates with financial penalties if they go over,” FCPS Construction Manager Jay Zayas said. “The goal is to be done on time.”

Facebook maintains strong presence continued from p. 1 the class groups are a great place to fill in Not all students thought the invectives missing information that someone else were funny or appropriate. might have,” junior Jordan Goodson said. “When did this thing become about Among other high schools in the bashing people? Seriously…what the f*** Northern Virginia area, Jefferson appears to guys?” a submitter to TJ Confessionals said. be somewhat of an anomaly because of the TJ Salaries posted the salaries of Jefferson large presence of Facebook in students’ lives. faculty and staff at the request of anonymous “I use Twitter more. It’s more current and submission forms that included fields for the there are more active people,” Annandale request as well as the question: “If you could High School junior Melissa Pratt said. fire one faculty member, who would it be?” “There have been Twitter fights that have English teacher Emily Orser was the led to suspensions as well as Twitter fights target of one salary causing real-life request. fights which have “Since public school led to expulsions.” teacher salaries are R o b i n s o n public information Secondary School if people know the senior Anagha number of years and Srikanth is in the education level of a IB program and teacher, I don’t mind has noticed that IB that it has been posted,” students use social she said. “It does make media a lot more. me rather curious why “The thing photo courtesy of Facebook someone would with Facebook is want to know.” someone has to Anonymous submission pages began requestAdministrators ing students to add them as friends in March. take the initiative to did not ask this start a group, invite page to be removed people and make the because faculty and staff salaries are page useful,” she said. “Twitter isn’t really accurately represented on TJ Salaries. organized, but people use it if they just have Once these new pages sprang up, TJ a question or to make quick announcements Compliments started posting less frequently. they want a lot of people to see.” “During all that hullabaloo, we decreased Junior Carrie Murton observed the same the amount we posted because we wanted connection between students’ social media to make sure it was OK for us to continue and academic habits. posting,” the TJ Compliments creators, “I mentioned a class Facebook group to who asked to remain anonymous for now, one of my friends at another school, and he said. Their identities will be revealed in thought that was really strange and said that Techniques, the Jefferson yearbook. his school has nothing like that,” Murton The negative pages temporarily obscured said. “TJ kids are so caught up in school and some of Facebook’s more positive functions. obsess over grades and homework to the “A lot of times assignments aren’t really point it factors into their entire social life, made clear in class or on Blackboard, and including social media.”

continued from p. 1 When her term begins on July 1, Garza will be a key player in current Jefferson issues, including the evolving admissions process and Jefferson’s status as a regional Governor’s School. “That’s essentially a hot potato thrown into her lap,” Principal Evan Glazer said, “and I don’t think she even realizes that yet.” Garza worked as the Chief Academic Officer for Houston ISD. In both Lubbock and Houston, each high school has specialized programs in various subject areas. When asked about the magnet program in FCPS, Garza responded that she is in favor of largescale magnet schools. “I would support them as long as Fairfax County has resources to support that and as long as kids from FCPS are not turned away,” Garza said.

Renovation limits class fundraising by Tahmina Achekzai News Editor In a few weeks, the senior class will enjoy prom at the Key Bridge Marriot and receive their diplomas at the Patriot Center. For the Classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016, fundraising for graduation and prom isn’t easy because the renovation is interfering with plans. The Patriot Center is charging over $11,000 for graduation bookings this year. With a country club for prom at about $20,000, the cost can easily add up to more than $30,000. “We’ve been worrying a lot more about prom,” junior Tiffney Kathir said. The freshman class held the Lock-Out at Camp High Road in Middleburg. Because the renovation was expected to be well underway at this point, the freshmen had to find an alternative to an event held inside the building. The class made half of what they expected. According to class treasurer Andrew Howard, Lock-Ins usually make around $10,000. The junior class was planning to hold the Camp Out at Burke Lake Park, but the event will not be overnight. “We’ve had little to no access to the school. In the beginning of the year, there was a flat out rule that there were a lot of areas we couldn’t use,” Class of 2014 president Christine Mayuga said. This year, they juniors hosted a fundraiser at Menchie’s and a “Reston Town Center Hangout,” where a portion of proceeds from the ice-skating rink and various restaurants in its vicinity went to the Class of 2014. However, fundraisers outside of school can be an inconvenience. “There weren’t too many people at the Reston Town Center event,” junior Sonia Thakur said. The sophomore class didn’t make as much as they hoped from the Pi-Miler because of fees related to police and security. They anticipate that by next year there may be too much construction to have it on school grounds. The Class of 2016 is spreading out their senior dues so that members of their class pay $25 each year instead of $100 senior year. Junior class treasurer Joey Valery says the Class of 2014 officers aim to charge senior dues between $25 and $30. “We currently have no plans to raise them,” he said. The cost depends on Camp-Out success. “Last year, we did a lot of thinking and planning, but when it didn’t work out, we didn’t do much,” Mayuga said. “This year, we’ve had to be more creative.”

April Issue Corrections: •

In the Kudos “InvenTeam wins historic first at innovation competition,” team members were incorrectly identified. The team included seniors Yash Bhatnagar, Ben Hsu, Max Kanwal and Anand Prasanna.


may 17, 2013

NEWSMAKERS Gray makes U.S. Physics Team Freshmen learn from drama


One Question announced

photo by Jenny Chen

photo by Yena Seo

photo by Jenny Chen

The News Junior Owen Gray was selected to be on the 2013 U.S. Physics Team and will compete for one of the five spots on the U.S. Physics Traveling Team. Backstory Gray is one of the 20 students nationwide who will attend the U.S. Physics Team training camp at the University of Maryland-College Park from May 28 to June 7. This select group of students was chosen based on performance on the Fnet=ma and semifinal exams. Gray took AP Physics as a sophomore and was a semifinalist to be on the team that year. His junior year schedule included Computational Physics first semester and Relativity, Electrodynamics and Quantum Mechanics second semester. “TJ physics is impressively rigorous and comprehensive. It definitely helped me prepare for this and to learn enough to make camp,” he said. During his sophomore year, Gray was one of the U.S. Biology Olympiad finalists and attended the camp at Purdue University. “I think camp will be a lot of fun due to both the activities and the other people there,” Gray said. “Biology Olympiad camp last year was one of the best times of my life, and I hope this year Physics will work out similarly.” At the training camp, students will prepare for the 44th International Physics Olympiad in Copenhagen from July 7 to 15. Only the five members of the Traveling Team will go to the international competition. “I like physics because it explains things and it makes sense,” Gray said. “I’m also interested in biology and chemistry for similar reasons, but physics underlies both of those along with everything else in the universe.” - Jenny Chen

The News Juniors Ben Andre and Jordan Goodson, as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, performed in MacBatman as part of the Shakespeare Performance Festical. Backstory Freshman English classes enjoyed a day of learning about Shakespeare and acting on April 2 during the 13th annual festival. The event was held during the students’ IBET periods and featured professionals from the Educational Theatre Company. Each student was able to choose three workshops to attend. The teachers chose to hold the workshops while the freshmen were working on Romeo and Juliet projects. Multiple workshops were offered throughout the day, including “Movement for the Actor,” “Slapstick Humor,” and “Stage Combat.” Workshops on text interpretation and incorporating emotion with words were also offered. The TJ Shakespeare Troupe was invited to help out with the event. They performed a preview for “MacBatman,” a full length play based on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” The freshmen were able to watch a few scenes from the show and afterward, they went on stage to play acting games with the performers. “The freshmen seemed to enjoy the performances,” said junior Ben Andre, who performed in the “MacBatman” play. “They were kind of shy at first, but then they got more into it as we progressed.” The workshops were intended not only to expose the students to theater and Shakespeare, but also to prepare the freshmen for their Romeo and Juliet group troupe performances, which they will be performing soon. -Tahmina Achekzai

The News Sophomore Emily Rogers’ question was selected to be the One Question for the 2013-2014 school year. Backstory “How can we maintain a passion for learning in a school system where a pronounced emphasis on receiving good grades has a tendency to reduce genuine interest in gaining a deeper understanding of subject material?” This is the One Question Rogers is challenging the Jefferson community with for the next school year. Her question was selected out of three choices presented in an Intranet poll in April. Rogers’ question is based on her observations of the school. She noticed a contrast between her middle school, which promoted a love of learning, and Jefferson, where students seemed to care more about grades than learning. Her question also developed from her English class. “This year, my English class discussed the two goals of getting good grades and loving to learn, and how these mindsets often pull in opposite directions,” she said. When Rogers submitted her question, she had already been thinking about the topic and just needed to find the best way to word it. “The question is definitely one that’s been on my mind,” she said. “The ideas have all been there for a while.” For the One Book, Rogers suggested “Drive” by Daniel Pink. The book focuses on intrinsic motivation. “I’m hoping that with the idea on their minds, teachers and students will ask themselves what they’re trying to achieve, whether it’s good grades or real understanding,” Rogers said. “I’m not sure what results that thought process will produce, but I’m excited to find out over the course of next year.” - Jenny Chen



tjTODAY Volume 28 Issue 8

2012 Pacemaker - NSPA 2012 Trophy Class - VHSL 2012 All-American - NSPA 2012 Gold Medalist - CSPA

Editorial Board Editor in Chief Mallika Patkar

Managing/Online Editor Thrisha Potluri

News Editors Tahmina Achekzai Jenny Chen

Opinion Editors Michael Chao Arya Dahal

Sports Editors Sandy Cho Yena Seo

Spread Editor Sunny Kim

Entertainment Editors Jennifer Walter Lindsay Williams

Features Editors Amy Ahn Shayna Hume Alexis Williams

Staff Reporters Omar Ahmed Tara Gupta Anjali Khanna Esther Kim Brandon Pang

Adviser Jennifer Seavey, MJE

Printer Silver Communications TjTODAY is the official newspaper of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology published monthly by the journalism staff. It serves as a vehicle for student expression and is an open forum of issues of interest and concern to the school community. A full-year subscription can be purchased through the Thomas Jefferson Publications Package or by sending a check or money order for $20 to tjTODAY. The staff is deeply committed to a code of journalistic ethics that demands the exercise of accuracy, good judgment and impartiality. The content of tjTODAY is determined by the editorial board. Unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the staff of tjTODAY, but not necessarily the opinions of individual editors. Signed editorials and letters to the editor reflect the views of the authors. TjTODAY solicits advertising but reserves the right to reject any material deemed libelous, disruptive, obscene or otherwise inappropriate. 6560 Braddock Road Alexandria, VA 22312 Phone: (703)-750-8375 Fax: (703)-750-5010 Web site: Online: Send letters to: tjTODAY@tjhsst. edu

may 17, 2013

Construction hurts fundraising efforts Lead Editorial TJMUN’s Techmun and TJ Quiz Bowl will have to co-host or host their events on other campuses. These events are also major fundraisers for the clubs involved. Though many clubs will be able to go a year or two without revenue from these events, cutting down on or even canceling them entirely will cause financial problems down the road. Academic Boosters tries to augment income through their own fundraising, but they can’t cover all the shortfall. The practice fields and other areas will be sectioned off next year, meaning other activities will suffer, such as

tj TODAY’s unsigned majority opinion

The staff of tjTODAY had our production late night on May 8. As we discussed our pages and weighed reporting decisions, overhead, it sounded as if the ceiling was about to come down on our heads. Shortly after the intense pounding stopped, a construction foreman walked in. He asked if anything had come through the ceiling. Luckily, our answer was no. This is the life of our campus for the foreseeable future. Construction will not only affect work in the classroom, but also hinder many of the major traditions that define our school culture. The editorial board of tjTODAY has discussed the renovation with various administrators, and we are not sure that the level of disruption construction will cause is registering fully. The responses we get are something like, “We’re aware there will be disruptions, but everyone will power through.” But are those perfunctory assurances enough? Here are just a few of the disruptions we’re already aware of. This year, the class councils were hit hard when many big fundraisers were no longer possible due to changes in the building. The freshman will no longer host the traditional lock-in in the building, and the juniors could not have their campout on the practice fields. Though both classes found alternatives to these and other traditional events, the replacements have not proven to be as effective in raising revenue as the traditional events. Out of school fundraisers are not as successful as traditional in-school events because the class councils have to pay for venues and students have to organize transportation. With less successful fundraisers, it is possible that parents may have to shoulder the expenses through senior dues when it gets time for classes to fund prom and graduation. Timely communication between student government and administration will be vital. School-wide events will also have to be significantly altered in coming years. Techstravaganza, the annual event that took place just last month, may have to be cut or moved to another school. Clubs with large tournaments and community events like

the athletics and performing arts departments. TJ Drama may have to cut down on one of their seasonal shows, for example, while certain sports will lose their practice areas during their season. Our school community has the reputation of being resilient and creative in dealing with obstacles. Still, administration needs to assure us they recognize how hard the renovation will hit our best efforts to keep our outstanding clubs and organizations afloat. They need to talk to more students than just SGA officers on a regular basis. We’re committed to weathering the renovation, but we need help.

Tara Gupta

Increasing costs of college education put students at risk It was late April, and I sat anxiously waiting to hear back from colleges, not on my acceptance status, but MICHAEL CHAO rather from the financial aid office telling me how much money I would be awarded. I am not one of the fortunate students who can afford to pay their way through four years in college. When I graduate in 2017, I will have accumulated a debt figure that runs into six digits. The average debt for a graduating college student has risen, going slightly over $27,000 during the last academic year. With most loans hovering around an 8 percent interest rate, it will take an average student about eight years to completely pay off their loans. This is much easier said than done, as all these figures are contingent upon securing a financially sound job. To make matters worse, the amount

of financial aid being provided is dropping across the country. During the last school year, the average amount of student support dropped a whopping 9 percent, to an average of $5,846, the lowest it has ever been in 25 years, driving college graduates’ debt up by an average of 5 percent. For years, the Federal Pell Grant has been the savior for low- to middle- income students in helping them afford the hefty costs of college. In 2011, a series of budget cuts approved by Congress cut approximately $5.7 billion from the Pell budget. The money went towards defense spending. The maximum possible grant was lowered by $845, and approximately 1.7 million students were axed from eligibility. This is an absolute travesty. Not only were the given Pell grants lowered in value, but about 9.3 percent of all college students are being cut from the program, the only given aid for students in most cases. More and more high school seniors are basing their college decisions on how much they will be paying over the four years, not on how much they truly like a particular school. Unfortunately, allocating funds for the financial aid program will mean taking money away from other important

worthy projects. Colleges are working furiously to balance an already uptight budget with the increasing costs of educating a student for four years. University of Virginia recently voted to increase in-state tuition by 3.8 percent and out-of-state tuition by 4.8 percent. Virginia Tech and the College of William & Mary both adopted similar, if not higher, increases in tuition. What for? These were all just precautions taken in order to preserve the financial future of each institution. So what can we do? Unfortunately, there is no clear cut solution to this major dilemma. The economy is in too big of a hole to allow a sudden increase in financial aid distribution. Sooner or later, politicians and policy makers must realize that taking too much away from college students can cause irrevocable backlash. People are starting to doubt if a college degree is truly worth its price tag or not. As for me, I plan to take out countless loans to cover the exorbitant costs of college. I hope that eventually my business major will teach me some ingenious ways to maximize my resources and minimize the time it takes to pay off my debts, making my four years truly worthwhile.


may 17 2013

What I’ll miss after the demo W h e n the renovation is complete, I will be long gone from the Jefferson s c e n e . But when I return ARYA DAHAL to visit the school, I might as well be another freshman. Just like my first months here, I will need maps and assistance to guide me from one classroom to another. Although the renovation will be seen as a boon by many, it won’t be a source of excitement for me. The dilapidated building, the dysfunctional PA system and the learning cottage city are what made this campus my home for four years. Inside the 1964 brick building is where I found the cutting edge technology to carry me through science fairs, the inspiration to write dozens of articles and the opportunity to talk to my peers about everything from dating etiquette to Google doc groups. We’ve started to see the beginnings of the demolition process. The library and many classrooms towards the front of the building have already moved to different locations. Recently, personalized ceiling tiles along the front hall disappeared overnight. Our beloved senior lounge where our class collapsed after Freshmen Lock-In will follow suit. Slowly but surely, the insightful quotes along the stairwells, the murals, the secret courtyard and our classrooms will all be forgotten. Although the bathrooms are in dire need of restoration, even they tell a story of their own. With famous sayings from movies like “Mean Girls” and “Forrest Gump” and anonymous letters about courage, hope, love and life decking every bathroom stall, one can find something to amuse or comfort them. Punnett squares, facts about the brain, biomes, and other biology-based decorations have also added a nice touch to improve the bathrooms’ current conditions. These paintings, which were contributed by former biology teacher Chris Charnitski, have been a part of our culture since the early 2000s. The school building doesn’t just represent the students and the faculty. It represents visits from former President Ronald Reagan in 1986 to former Vice President Al Gore in 1999 to President Barack Obama in 2011. Indeed, it’s an impressive living memory that’s soon to be torn down. There are parts of the building, however, that won’t be missed. The air conditioning and heating systems, the broken windows covered with aluminum foil, the old blinds and the fire alarm system all need repairs. And while some may miss our greenhouse (yes, we have a greenhouse) and learning cottages, I am very fond of our journalism work room, where I have spent numerous work nights and class periods. With our very own wall of shame and a recent wall of fame, the good, bad and the ugly of tjTODAY’s tenure is on display. Although I’m counting the days until graduation, I’m also walking the halls knowing it will be the last time I see a lot of the features that make Jefferson the school I know. I’m watching the “TJ” I knew crumbling around me. It is a truly bitter-sweet experience. Goodbye old building. When I visit the new Jefferson, only the faces and the dedication to education will be familiar. And while the new building may replace the old superficially, it will never be able to replace the culture that is etched into the old Jefferson. And before I know it, I’ll be getting that solicitation in the mail asking for my donation to the ongoing renovation costs.

The Prom Conundrum Robby Vasta: I need to manage my budget to avoid bankruptcy


Amanda Nelson: I can’t find a dress, but it will be so magical

I was a bit shocked to see the Facebook group and pictures of Prom will most certainly be a night to redresses start popping up in my newsfeed way back in January, but I member. Unfortunately, the memory of went with the flow and started searching. There was certainly presprom will also be evident in the walsure to find a dress early, theoretically before somebody else claimed lets of seniors across the nation. the same one. As people found theirs and posted pictures, The elaborate asking, the fanthough, I realized that each person’s style and taste cy dinner, the tuxedo rental, coupled with the vast selection of dresses nearly the limo ride to the dance guaranteed that there would be no “race” for the they can all take quite a bite one perfect dress. out of a senior’s income (esI started out shopping in stores, since pecially if you’re like me and of course it’s preferable to try on a dress that income is $0). I’m doing my in person to ensure that it fits and is in best, however, to not have to spend good shape. Unfortunately, no matter my college fund on this one night. where I tried – local malls, wedding shops, My initial thought on how to ask someboutiques, and even the Mall of America one to prom was to hire someone to skywrite en route to a cousin’s wedding – the seleca cute message above the school. While that tion seemed a bit limited, or else I just beeasily would have made me the best boycame increasingly aware of exactly what I friend ever, I was glad my girlfriend was dewanted and hence more choosy. I was primarlighted with a $20 bouquet and something ily searching with my mom, and although she sentimental. It turns out that’s less expenwas irked by my lack of specificity about what sive by a factor of about $100. Who’d have I wanted, soon she displayed disbelief when I guessed? rejected dresses she had liked as I discovered For the pre-prom dinner, I’m all for bewhat worked on me and what didn’t. ing frugal and having a delightful meal Currently, I’m still searching stores and at Taco Bell, but I don’t think that would looking for suggestions of places to try, but sit terribly well with my date-or any by now I’ve also ventured into the dangergirl for that matter. I’ll pay for both our ous realm of online shopping. There are meals, of course, even though she’ll ofendless horror stories of ordering dresses fer to split the cost. The restaurant we’re online, and for good reason. Is the site safe looking into offers entrees in the $25 to or a scam? Will it arrive in time? Will it be $30 range. Add tip, tax and perhaps two possible to return the dress if something’s non-alcoholic drinks, I’ll still be looking wrong? Will the dress fit how I expect it to? at $80 or so. And shipping costs how much?!? Sadly for my budget, though, there I’ve found one dress I really like, but are some additional elements to prom: each company which claims to sell it the tux and the limo. I’ve been ignoring checks out as a fake site when researched. those two as if they and their weighty Price checking can also be quite headacheprice tags would vanish, but alas, inducing. Many dresses are sold through they’re still prom musts. That said, I’m multiple vendors, and seeking out the still trying to limit these costs as much as most reasonable one, while balancing a I can. Tuxedos at Men’s Warehouse can doable return policy is tricky. A reasonable be rented for around $125, which seems price is an absolute must, and though I’ve like a good deal so I’ll probably rent from half fallen in love with a handful of multithere. For the limo, Fairfax Limo prohundred-dollar getups, I acknowledge vides prom packages at pretty good that they’re solely dream dresses. rates. An eight-seat limo costs $840, This coming Saturday is already and split between the guys in the scheduled as another shopping couples, that’s only $210 out of my day, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed pocket. While that’s definitely a hit graphic by Arya Dahal and Thrisha Potluri that this will be the lucky trip. Our prom to my budget, it’s less than I imagined limo group is coming together, dinner reservations are being made, and my rentals would be, so I’m happy. friends are asking and being asked to prom in spectacular ways. It’s Add it all up and I’ve got a fixed expense of over $400. I’m sure nerve-wracking now to be so close to prom without a dress, but I have it will be worth it, but be assured there will be no skywriting for full faith that this will resolve, one way or another. effect.

Suhas Gondi My Voice Our relationships foster science ‘Science here is a culture of interests, of ideas and, most of all, of people.’ Over the past four years, I’ve grown to love science at Jefferson. Although that may sound a little clichéd, it’s nothing short of the truth. Science here is a culture, of interests, of ideas and, most of all, of people. Project after project, year after year, my experience in our scientific community of brilliant and incredibly talented people has continually inspired me, shaping my interests as well as my goals. For me, science is about collaboration. From IBET-wide study guides for quarter exams to in-class projects, working together is necessitated by the rigor of our curriculum, the approach of our teachers, and the nature of science. Beyond that, however, are the extracurricular pursuits which have in many ways come to define my time. From rocketry to robotics to Rubik’s cubes, there is no limit to the number of students who choose to spend their time outside the classroom pursuing science. Many might say that the abundance of extracurricular activities such as these at TJ is due to the high concentration of scientifically inclined students in one place. I think there’s more to it than that. I think that TJ’s community is home to so many science groups because of the support it provides, not only in terms of resources but also, and perhaps more importantly, of people:

students and teachers who are willing to go out of their way to help out. I remember one instance during an InvenTeam meeting when we needed some electronic components we had forgotten to purchase, and couldn’t progress further without them. I walked into the electronics lab and found a junior working furiously to wire a circuit. He stopped everything he was doing and started scouring the lab for some alligator clips and special capacitors.

On another occasion, we were able to secure the help of a CAD-savvy senior, who took our rough design of a bracelet-like device and came back with a 3D-printed model. One of my favorite examples is of a time when a camera we were relying on ran out of battery, and three different students in the Neuroscience Research lab came over and started working out how to power the camera with a 9-volt battery we found laying around (which actually worked!). No matter what I’m working on or who I’m working with, I know that if we hit a roadblock of any kind, there is someone we can go to for help. In the end, it all comes down to the people. The supportive environment that allows science to flourish here is a product of each student’s attitude and contributions, as well as each teacher’s readiness to work with students. The relationships we form with one another as we together tackle the problems of how to move wheelchairs with our brains and how to finish WebAssign before 10 p.m. are the ones that foster the collaboration that I have grown to love, and are what I will remember most about my time at Jefferson.

photo by Arya Dahal



may 17, 2013

Top 6 in tennis look forward to state recognition

It’s all in the ball

Physics plays important role in contact dynamics

No. 1 Senior Chris Vrabel “Every player on the team contributes in their own unique way, and we are able to grind through matches.”

No. 2 Freshman Mark Prettyman “I’m looking forward to representing TJ and hope our team will be successful in the state tournament.”

No. 3 Sophomore Kevin Wan “Our team was really successful because Coach Myers always made sure we prepared for the matches properly.”

No. 4 Freshman Nikhil Ramachandran “I’m looking forward to play with our team in what I think is going to be a great run towards the state finals.”

No. 5 Sophomore Saelig Khattar “We had some good freshmen join the team this year and a nationallyranked senior playing for us.”

No. 6 Senior Ian Lin “This year, the top six are strong mentally and are able to play their best in tight matches. We have a solid chance of finally getting our first state championship.” photos and reporting by Yena Seo





One of the most popular pitches is the curveball. The ball initially spins at an angle of approximately 45 degrees, but dives down as it approaches the batter at theplate, making it difficult for the anticipating batter to successfully hit it. The velocity of the ball is equal to the velocity of the swing multiplied with the radius of the arc. Thus, athletes hold the bat at the end to create a longer arc and generate more energy.

Speed and spin play important parts when kicking a soccer ball. When kicked, the ball first travels through turbulent flow, or a flow having chaotic properties, and then curves due to the difference in air pressure. A curve can be applied by shooting at a different angle. The ball is held in the air for different time intervals depending on the spin, but some goalies find that catching a ball with no spin is more difficult because it wobbles through the air.

Spinning the ball allows players to create a larger margin of error by achieving higher net clearance and putting down the ball quicker, making it more difficult for the other player to hit the ball back. To accomplish a successful spin, a player must “brush” the ball with the racket. Two different spins are used by tennis players, a topspin and a backspin. With a topspin, the movement of brushing is low to high, while the backspin is in the opposite direction.

The arm and stick can be used as a lever to “whip” the ball into the air. To have greater force, the arm must be pulled back further in order to release more energy as the wrist snaps forward to throw the ball. Keeping hands further down the stick and keeping it above the shoulder allows players to throw the ball a longer distance. To gain maximum distance, players need to completely straighten out the elbow when swinging down.

You want to be quick to the ball so you make contact, but then have a long swing so you transfer a lot of power into the ball. -sophomore Kayleigh Vance

You don’t have to shoot straight. You can put a spin on the ball to make it curve so that it’s harder for the goalie to know where it’s going. -physics teacher Mark Hannum

Spin is the most important thing in tennis because it helps with the consistency of your shots, making it more difficult for the opponent to return. -senior Zach Hosseinipour

Holding the stick above your shoulder provides more power as you release the ball, and following through with your stick helps make the pass direct. -junior Quinnlan Sweeney

” ” ” ” New powerlifting team trains for competition graphics and reporting by Sandy Cho and Yena Seo

by Yena Seo Sports Editor When entering the narrow hallway leading to the boys’ locker room and the Athletic Trainer’s office, the sound of blaring music and clanking of heavy metal can be heard coming from the weight room. This scene occurs every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday after school, when the newly-formed Jefferson powerlifting team meets to train for their upcoming competition on June 8. “The purpose of powerlifting is to build muscle. Many athletes do it to train for other sports, like wrestling.” junior Ben Stoyen said. In powerlifting, people compete in three lifts, the squat, deadlift and bench press. It is often confused with Olympic weight lifting, which consists of two disciplines, the snatch and the clean and jerk. “Often times the full body patterns associated with powerlifting are neglected by regular weight lifters,” junior Taylor Yohe said. In competition, athletes have three attempts at each lift to lift the maximal amount of weight possible for one repetition. Their best numbers are totaled up and placed against other competitors in their age bracket, gender and weight class. Athletes can receive awards for the largest total as well as the best individual lifts in each weight class. This is the first year for the powerlifting team, and three out of the 12 participating students are female. Because there are no female powerlifting records for Jefferson, they will be able to set them at the upcoming American Challenge competition in Charlottesville. “It’s definitely different being a girl on the team,” freshman Emily Hutcheson said. “The reactions I get when people find out I lift are interesting, at the least. Most of them are shocked.” The team was created by Health and Physical Education teacher Ryan Wood earlier this year. Wood has competed in the sport for four years now and thought that powerlifting would be a great opportunity for Jefferson students to better their physical strength. “I’ve noticed that strength is becoming an endangered quality in

photo by Yena Seo

Junior Taylor Yohe demonstrates a front squat as Health and Physical Education teacher Ryan Wood instructs the other athletes on proper form.

both kids and adults,” Wood said. “I wanted to show people, especially young people, that being strong is something that should be achieved and can complement one’s intelligence.” A regular practice starts with warm-ups consisting of basic stretches and light lifting. Then, athletes practice one of the three main lifts and also do different supplementary exercises to target weak points such as sticking points, weak muscle groups or more technique work. “Powerlifting has taught me patience and that I can’t expect instant results,” Hutcheson said. “It’s a slow process, but it’s making me stronger physically and emotionally.”


may 17, 2013


Left to right: Junior Daniel Carris, senior James Bollinger, sophomore Nick Zugris, senior Michael Cooper, sophomores Peter Zablocki and Stefan Young row at a practice on the Occoquan River on May 7.

Jefferson crew prepares for championship season by Sandy Cho Sports Editor The cold spring rain mingled with sweat as the rowers sped down the river. Over the sound of oars slicing the water, the loud voice of the coxswain urged them on, straining as she shouted out the number of strokes. The atmosphere was electric as the athletes of the top varsity boat refused to slow down, whether there was rain or shine, until the very end of their practice. After competing in several regattas every weekend earlier in the season, the crew team began rigorous training for their championship season. On May 4, they kicked off the beginning of their championship season with the Ted Phoenix Regatta, which is States for the lower boats. Those boats include the freshmen, novice rowers and third eights. The lower boats were successful as the men’s third varsity placed third and the women’s third varsity placed second. In addition, the men’s fifth eight placed second, the men and women’s fourth eight placed third. “I’m really proud of our win. There were a lot of changes in the lineups of the boats the week before, due to injuries,” said sophomore Emily Rogers, who rows for the women’s third varsity boat. “We worked around that and were able to medal for coming in second place.” The upper boats had their Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association (VASRA) State Championships on May 11. The men’s second and junior varsity were able to receive medals for placing second and third, respectively. In addition, the men’s first varsity placed fourth, women’s first varsity placed ninth and women’s second varsity placed sixth. Later, on May 17, the upper boats will travel to the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia for the Stotesbury Cup before qualifying boats head to Camden, NJ for Nationals on

May 25. In order to gear up for these challenges, the rowers had to shift their focus when it came to training. “Whereas the early portion of our season is spent building speed for the future, the main goal at this point in the season is to prepare the rowers to perform at their peak,” head coach Kimberly Ehrman Bryant said. Initially, the rowers performed cardiovascular activities to build an aerobic base. However, as they approached the championship season, they worked on increasing strength, boat speed and endurance while on the river. “As we shift into the championship season, mentality shifts and we work a little harder and push ourselves even more beyond the limit to squeeze out more boatspeed than we thought possible,” said senior Emily Bartlett, one of the captains of the girls’ boats. The team was not alone in this endeavor. Earlier in the season, esteemed rowing coach Kris Korzeniowski visited Jefferson to help lead the rowers for a few practices as a guest coach on March 15 to 16. As a coach for many national teams, he has won multiple medals at world championships and the Olympics. “He introduced several new approaches and ways of looking at the stroke to our coaches to help us become more efficient rowers,” junior Joey Valery said. At his visit, Korzeniowski offered valuable advice to the coaches and rowers, such as the rowers needing to try “gentle catches to the water” and everyone “stroking together.” “He came pretty early in the season, and we still think about a lot of what he told us,” said senior Deanna Buttaro, another one of the captains of the women’s boats. “Our coach incorporated a lot of Kris’s advice into our practices. It was really a once in a lifetime experience having a practice held



by a gold-medal-winning Olympic coach.” Changes on the team were made as more resources were allocated to the men’s boats since they have seven boats competing while the women only have five. In fact, the men’s top varsity will be receiving a new boat next year. In addition, the rowers got new equipment to utilize their advantage. Both top boats of the women’s and men’s varsity team are using new oars made of lighter material and have a more aerodynamic shape, allowing the members to be faster as they race on the river. “You don’t have to pull more weight so when you pull strokes, they don’t tire us as much,” senior Julia Arthur said. “You can focus your energy on propelling the boat through the water and not on moving your oar back and forth.” The oars will also be aesthetically pleasing, coming in with a brand-new style. Rather than being white and having the team paint them, they will already be red, preventing any paint scraping off, unlike the previous oars. Equipped with new equipment and helpful guidance from coaches, especially Korzeniowski’s useful advice, the team just has to continue practicing for the competitions coming up. “As of now, we have solidified our lineups, so practice focuses more on making a unified boat as opposed to picking the individuals to put on each boat,” senior captain Willie Nuckols said. “TJ Crew has long had a winning tradition. My main goal as head coach is to uphold that tradition, which is based on teaching our athletes to row well and asking them to work hard,” Bryant said. “In rowing, nothing is rewarded more than hard work. TJ students are used to pushing themselves, and our crew team exemplifies that willingness to work hard.”


Recovery photos by Sandy Cho

Left to right: Sophomore Nick Zugris, senior Emily Bartlett, junior Daniel Carris and sophomore Claire Murphy demonstrate the four main components of the stroke, a motion to move the boat.

Go Colonials! Tel: (703) 478-6800

ORTHODONTICS Dr. Ashkan Ghaffari

1043 Sterling Rd. Suite #101 Herndon, VA, 20170

“Teach You Safe, Responsible & Accountable Driving”

Tel: (703) 560-1602 262 Cedar Lane #M-1 Vienna, VA, 22180



6550 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria, VA 22312

may 17, 2013





may 17, 2013


may 17, 2013



Seniors contemplate profusion of college life decisions Pros and cons of Greek life weighed

Collegiate level athletes experience more depression by Omar Ahmed Staff Reporter There are two seconds left on the clock, and Grant Hill must throw the ball the length of the court to his teammate Christian Laetner. Laetner catches the ball at the free throw line, turns and shoots as the clock expires and scores. The shot, seen in ESPN archival footage from the 1993 NCAA men’s basketball semifinal, epitomizes why college sports are loved and adored by people of all ages around the world. As Laetner runs around the court celebrating with his teammates, any observer can see he is one of the happiest individuals in the world. But what if, underneath all the smiles, the young student-athlete suffered from depression? A study published in March by Daniel Merenstein, Sabrina Weigand and Jared Cohen at the Georgetown University Medical Center suggests that college athletes suffer from depression nearly twice as much as retired college athletes. Retired athletes go through drastic lifestyle changes such as the loss of identity, social support, structured schedules and peak physical fitness. But, current college athletes suffer from depression at a far greater rate, due to the constant pressure to perform at a high level, which results in overtraining, chronic fatigue and depression. Athletes trying to earn playing time put in countless hours of strenuous training in an effort to impress a coach. “There is so much talent in Division 1 athletics that it is incredibly difficult to even get on the field,” said senior Patrick O’Connor, who will be playing Division 1 football next year at Davidson College. “This could be incredibly frustrating for someone who works hard and was a high school star.”

Although much of the responsibility for overtraining falls on the shoulders of the individual athletes, coaches must also be aware that extensive training will not benefit the athlete come game day. “I’ve talked with the coaches and players at Davidson, and I feel they do an excellent job of helping the athletes balance schoolwork and athletics,” O’Connor said. Depression that emerges from athletics, however, seems to be more or less limited to the collegiate level. “I have only known a few athletes at TJ that have suffered from depression at the high school level,” said athletic trainer Heather Murphy. “And in those cases, the individuals were dealing with body self-esteem issues as well.” Jefferson, in fact, may be a good preparation for collegiate athletic pressure because the rigorous curriculum exposes athletes to the schedule and pressure demanded by colleges. “TJ has helped me sharpen my time management skills, and the challenge of TJ’s academics should help make my transition to college much easier,” O’Connor said. Merenstein, Weigand, and Cohen have begun discussing their plans for disseminating their findings to the various athletic departments at Georgetown and to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). “As a courtesy to the teams that had strong participation, we have personally explained our findings to the head coaches of those teams,” Cohen said. “However, our study encompasses individuals from all over the country, so we plan for our findings to reach out much farther than just the Georgetown community.” The scientists hope their findings are able to help studentathletes all across the country cope with depression and enjoy playing the sports that they love.

by Sunny Kim Spread Editor

AP credit opportunities University of Virginia AP Examination

College dorm checklist photo, graphics and reporting by Sunny Kim

Bed, Bath & Beyond representative Jason Delp presents his store’s college dorm necessities to seniors during eighth period on May 1.

Sleep mattress protector comforter bedside caddy

Organize underbed storage all-purpose cleaner first aid kit

Wash shower tote laundry hamper towels

Eat food storage travel mug water filter

Study dry erase board wastebasket desk organizers

Relax fan room fragrance door stop

Biology Chemistry English Language English Literature Government Calculus BC


4 or 5 4 or 5 5 4 or 5 4 or 5 4 or 5

University of Illinois AP Examination

Biology Chemistry English Language English Literature Government Calculus BC


5 4 or 5 4 or 5 4 or 5 4 or 5 4 or 5

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Number

Number of credits earned AP Examination

6 credits 6 credits 3 credits 3 credits 3 credits 8 credits

Biology Chemistry English Language English Literature Government Calculus BC


4 or 5 4 or 5 N/A N/A 4 or 5 4 or 5

Number Cornell University of credits earned AP Examination Score

8 credits 6 credits 4 credits 7 credits 3 credits 8 credits

of credits earned

8 credits 8 credits none none 3 credits 6 credits

Number of credits earned

Biology N/A none Chemistry 5 4 credits English Language varies by college English Literature varies by college Government 4 or 5 3 credits Calculus BC 4 or 5 8 credits

information courtesy of

While entry to fraternities and sororities varies from school to school, “going Greek” is one more looming decision many rising college freshmen will have to make. The terms fraternity and sorority are taken from the Latin words that mean brother and sister, which are frater and soror, respectively. According to the University of Virginia Office of the Dean of Students Fraternity and Sorority Life website, the organizations promote “principles of scholarship, leadership, service, diversity and honor.” Class of 2012 graduate Caroline Woods spent her first semester at U.Va. joining a lot of different groups before becoming a sister in Delta Gamma. “What is great about U.Va. is that we have delayed rush, which means that we do not rush until the second semester. This gives students a chance to get settled here on grounds, to make friends and to join organizations before even thinking about rushing a sorority or fraternity,” Woods said. Class of 2007 graduate Jen Gilbert always had a plan to “go Greek.” “I am the first person in my family to join either a fraternity or a sorority, so my image of Greek Life was largely shaped by what I had seen portrayed in popular culture, such as the parties and the hazing,” Gilbert said. “What I learned throughout my time as a collegiate member of Delta Gamma was that all of these things are far from what actually goes on ‘on the inside.’” Gilbert, who was initiated as a Delta Gamma at the University of Georgia, actively participated in her sorority life even after graduating. She spent last year traveling to 23 different college campuses as a collegiate development consultant (CDC). “I visited our chapters on each of these campuses, and in addition to ensuring that their programs were following international policy and procedure, inspired and learned from other women. The year I worked for Delta Gamma was one of the most challenging and fulfilling years of my life,” Gilbert said. Naren Tallapragada, Class of 2009 graduate and brother at the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was an only child and never had the experience of having siblings. “It was nice to join a community where I had 30 other people I could call brothers,” Tallapragada said. “Being a part of the fraternity was the closest thing I had in my life to interacting with siblings. Experiencing both the good and the bad parts of having siblings helped me mature as a person.” Rebecca Edelstein, a Class of 2012 graduate and member of the InterSorority Council at U.Va., is satisfied with her decision to become a sorority sister. “I realized there are so many privileges that come with being Greek: the ability to be part of an organization that offers social events, the chance to make new friends and, for only children like myself, to finally have sisters, the potential to meet upperclassman and get school advice, the opportunity to work on a philanthropy event, and the possibility of gaining a leadership role,” Edelstein said. Membership in a fraternity or a sorority isn’t limited time spent in college. “Once you join a fraternity or a sorority, you are a member for life, and that was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to join,” said Adil Dittmer, Class of 2010 graduate and brother at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. “Another big reason I joined was to become a part of something bigger than myself. College is a much bigger place than high school was, and being a part of a fraternity makes the school community seem a lot more manageable in size,” he said. While being a part of Greek life has many advantages, some weighed the disadvantages heavily. One of the reasons Class of 2004 graduate Andrew Baldinger transferred from U.Va. to the University of Wisconsin (UW) was specifically because he felt all of his friends at U.Va. were joining fraternities and turning into drinkers. “A lot of my friends dropped out of their fraternity because they didn’t like that kind of life style,” Baldinger said. “They didn’t like having to abide by the rules and participate in the heavy drinking.” Another disadvantage to joining Greek life is having to fight the negative stereotypes that are associated with it. “People who don’t know much about fraternities might assume that we are joining it for the alcohol and that we are an organization that is disrespectful to women,” Tallapragada said. “It takes work to convince people that these stereotypes are categorically false.” Still, participants strongly encourage rising freshmen to “go Greek.” “I’ve never met a single person who didn’t believe their fraternity or sorority experience wasn’t worth it,” Dittmer said.



From lemon juice to blood, Russell spins her magic

may 17, 2013

What’s in an image?

Award-winning art comes from diverse sources of inspiration

This picture resonates with a feeling of depth and the infinite, which is ironic because I couldn’t see more than a few feet.

It was basically an underside view of my closet. It’s a pretty weird angle, but it was cool because it turned kind of abstract .

Senior Lohitha Kethu

Senior Emily Bartlett

photo courtesy of

by Shayna Hume Features Editor Vampires drink blood, not lemon juice. Humans can’t transform into silkworms. A massage therapist doesn’t have the ability to change the tattoo of a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and erase his memory. But none of these paradoxes seem to matter in Karen Russell’s new collection of short stories, “Vampires in the Lemon Grove.” Russell came to public notice in a big way with her first novel, “Swamplandia,” which garnered multiple awards, including New York Times Best Book of the Year in 2011. A great choice for young adults as well as adult readers, the story stretches the reader’s imagination while telling a poignant tale of a dysfunctional family in a forgotten theme park in Florida. “Vampires” consists of eight short stories, none with similar plots, or that even seem to takes place in the same universe. Each of the storylines begins innocuously, with a few oddities, but nothing strange enough for the reader to break stride. However, all of these oddities are soon expanded into inhuman proportions. Displaying proficiency, if not expertise, in topics ranging from rehabilitation therapy to made up spectator sports such as the Food Chain Games, Russell delves into each story’s idiosyncrasies with an expansive style that virtually creates a world out of thin air. What is most inconceivable about how Russell spins her stories is how even as a protagonist is creating a web of tendrils from her fingertips, the realism of the story is as strong as ever. Even as the reader has the ability to mentally scoff at her choice of storytelling tactics, the message she has written comes across strong. These messages are no trite clichés, either. In stories that range from a barnyard full of ex-presidents to women transformed into an industry to a pair of love-struck vampires in search of their Eden, Russell asks potent questions about heaven, individual rights and the mortal problems that exist no matter what your lifespan is. Despite the puzzling moment at the beginning of each short story when readers can’t help but wonder how on earth this is going to transform into a story, they won’t mock when they are done reading, Russell’s writing quickly calls them to attention. “Vampires in the Lemon Grove” sends its readers in all directions, but together, all eight stories cause readers to question their own world. They are well worth the time spent reading them.

“Fog” by senior Emily Bartlett will be recognized with a Scholastic National Silver Medal at Carnegie Hall in New York on May 31.

“Underneath My Closet,” by senior Lohitha Kethu was shown in the Congressional Art Competition (10th District) at George Washington University.

I got my inspiration from random pictures of New York City. I wanted to show the beauty of the business in the city.

Artificial light is really interesting to me, and I liked the contrast between the yellow cast of the streetlight and the bluer LED flashlight.

Senior Emily Barrett

“Search” by Senior Emily Barrett will be recognized with a Scholastic Art National Silver Medal at Carnegie Hall in New York on May 31.

“Happy Feet” by sophomore Jeong-In Seo was selected from 2013 Scholastic Art entrees to be exhibited at Lorton Station.

I believe diversity is everywhere, so I wanted to show various objects that meant this to me, like a dragon and a sea turtle.

I took a keyboard, which is significant to me because I’ve always been into technology, and I overlaid it on my face and body like a mask. I thought the image represented my identity.

Sophomore Jeong-In Seo

Senior Michelle Wang

“To be nobody but...” by senior Michelle Wang received an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Scholastic Art regional awards.

Junior Ji Whae Choi

“Diversity” by junior Ji Whae Choi was shown in the Congressional Art Competition (10th District) at George Washington University. graphics and reporting by Jennifer Walter and Lindsay Williams

Coming Attractions infographic by Lindsay Williams

‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ May 17: Theaters everywhere

‘And the Mountains Echoed’

April 15: Barnes and Noble


May 21: iTunes

Symphonic Band Concert May 28: Jefferson

Jazz Band Concert May 29: Jefferson


may 17, 2013

Album photo courtesy of

Movie photo courtesy of



TV photo by Jennifer Walter

photo courtesy of

‘Now What?!’

‘The Great Gatsby’

‘Real Pirates’

‘Under the Dome’

by Brandon Pang Staff Reporter Every band has their heyday. There’s no doubt that when it’s over, they miss it. But it’s almost always a mistake when they try for another shot at it. Remember any songs from David Bowie’s “The Next Day”? No? Exactly. Some old bands acknowledge the end of their musical days and choose to enjoy their fame and wealth. But some can’t handle putting down their instruments. Well, after their longest hiatus since their famous split in 1976, Deep Purple just had to ask, “Now What?!” “Now What?!” , which came out on March 29, starts off promising. A Simple Song has a very classical feel: a simple chord progression introduces the song before a melody appears. As the guitar solo ends, Gillan begins crooning softly. Just as the listener settles into the calm and slow mood of the song, a dynamic shift that Beethoven could have written drops as the guitars turn up the distortion and slide into the high energy rest of the song. A Simple Song sets a high standard for the writing that is unfortunately missed by some of the other songs. In fact, a lot of the keyboard work didn’t sound very good. Out of all the instruments, though, I think Ian Paice deserves the MVP award. He drums with an unexpected amount of energy, considering he’s recently turned 64. There are lots of times in the album where it seems like there’s no bass player. A combination of poor mixing in the low end and writing that makes the bass part too similar to the guitar part makes it very difficult to hear Roger Glover. Producer Bob Erzin also chose to let Airey emulate too many sounds with his synth – like the cheap and fake sounding strings in the intro to Out of Hand. It would have sounded much better with a real strings set, and there’s no way a band like Deep Purple couldn’t afford session musicians. Overall, it was still a pretty good album. I think it’ll be a critical success, and some songs might even get played on the radio, but I don’t see it becoming very popular.

by Jennifer Walter Entertainment Editor “The Great Gatsby” came roaring into theaters on May 10, bringing with it a representation of an extravagant but hollow lifestyle that both amuses and disgusts. Any student who survived English 11 should be familiar with the story. The narrator, Nick Carraway, moves to new money West Egg in the middle of the Roaring Twenties and ends up witnessing and aiding a romance between his married second cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and his extravagant neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Director Baz Luhrman strived to keep the movie true to the book, going so far as to set up the story as if were being told by Nick a few years later at the behest of his psychologist. This allowed Luhrman to include some of Fitzgerald’s magnificent prose, though the scenes where the written words floated off the page were a bit much. Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway was wooden and awkward except for a few emotive interactions with Gatsby, thoroughly living up to his representation as a wallflower. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Gatsby was extremely sympathetic and Carrie Mulligan’s Daisy felt far more real than I could have expected. However, it was the more minor characters, like golf star Jordan Baker (Elizabeth Debicki) and Tom Buchanan’s mistress Myrtle (Isla Fisher) who really took the show. Visually, the movie was overwhelming. Gatsby’s parties overflowed with fireworks, alcohol and a pounding mixture of modern and period music. The valley of ashes, as Nick calls the poverty stricken areas outside the city, provided an excellent contrast to the shimmering glamour of Gatsby’s house and the conspicuous wealth of the Buchanan mansion. The best praise that I can heap on “The Great Gatsby” is that it expanded my understanding of the source material and allowed to me to finally sympathize with Fitzgerald’s unlikable characters. The production as a whole left me with the same simmering anger I acquired while reading the novel.

by Lindsay Williams Entertainment Editor Stepping off of the “dock” and onto the “ship” creates a feeling for visitors of being actually aboard the Whydah, complete with a window of the stormy Caribbean waters and Captain Sam Bellamy peering at all those who walk through. “The Real Pirates” exhibit at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., is an amazing collection of artifacts coming together to tell the story of the sunken Whydah and its crew and give a general overview of the golden age of piracy. Masterfully done, the part of the exhibit that focuses on pirate crew holds artifacts taken from the deck of the sunken Whydah, but also weaves in historical background. Visitors walk down a narrow corridor with a dockplank wood floor before stepping onto the “ship’s deck,” which incorporates items from the actual ship as well as a replicated captain’s cabin complete with Bellamy’s facsimile and sound effects. After “disembarking,” visitors are told the story of the ship’s sinking and the arrest of many of the crew members, complete with several amazing escape stories. Last, there is a small section on the recovery of the Whydah nearly 300 years later. The best part about the exhibit was the well done story line set up. The shape of the exhibit allows visitors to see the story of the Whydah and her crew in order—beginning with the ship’s first life as a slave ship, then the golden age, the sinking and the discovery. The purchase of an adult ticket ($11) to “The Real Pirates” covers entry to the “Birds of Paradise” exhibit, which includes some beautiful photography and a fun game called “Dance Dance Evolution.” The National Geographic Museum has a special student rate at $9 and will run through Sept. 2.

by Jennifer Walter Entertainment Editor It is a quiet day in the town of Chester’s Mill, Maine, when a massive dome appears around the town, cutting off the entire population from the outside world. From the creative team of Steven Spielberg and Stephen King comes the new supernatural TV drama, “Under the Dome.” “A town gets closed off by an unexplained, supernatural force, and the councilman turns into an evil dictator since he no longer has to answer to anyone.” Mark Bruner, script coordinator, said. “They’re cut off from electricity and water,” Bruner said. “It becomes a little anarchical.” The show follows a group of characters caught in the town, from army veteran Dale “Barbie” Barbara, to investigative reporter Julia, to Joe, a teenager trapped inside the town without his parents. The main antagonist of the series will be “Big Jim” Rennie, the unscrupulous councilman and used cars salesman played by Dean Norris. Norris is most well-known for his portrayal of Hank Schrader in “Breaking Bad.” The first promotional video for the new series featured the panicked 911 calls from the citizens of Chester’s Mill when the dome first appears. “The book is pretty violent and pretty graphic,” Bruner said. “CBS got it, and as a result, it had to be watered down.” Apparently, the idea of a Spielberg-King partnership was so tantalizing to CBS that they bought into the project without requiring a pilot episode. The origin of the dome will also differ from the book, and the studio is working to keep the twist a secret. Stephen King will executive produce along with Brian Vaughan, the producer of “Lost,” hopefully ensuring that the series will retain its source material’s feeling of horror. “Under the Dome” will premiere June 24 on CBS.

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may 17, 2013

Neuroscience provides students with exciting avenues for study What do you wish your brain could do?

freshman Ana Stevens “I would like to be able to pick up radio stations in my head and be able to listen to my favorites.”

Sleep helps brain learn material taken in by day By Anjali Khanna Staff Reporter Dozens of sleep-deprived students line the school hallways on Monday mornings. Some sip coffee to stay awake, others attempt to make up for lost sleep in the 10 minutes before classes begin by dozing off against a wall. Every student has his or her own methods to retain information they have studied the night before, but a recent study shows that the best way might even be the most basic: getting more sleep. Timothy Brawn, Howard Nusbaum and Daniel Margoliash of the University of Chicago conducted a study in March 2013 testing the effect of sleep consolidation on the cognitive performance of adult starlings, a bird species sharing similarities to humans. “Starlings are a vocal learning species like humans, which means that they have a certain kind of sensory-motor ability that is not found in all species.” Nusbaum said. For the first set of starlings, the scientists tested their ability to remember two songs while staying awake for the

entire testing period. For the second set, they tested the starlings on the songs the birds had learned after they were given the opportunity to sleep. The second set of starlings was able to remember more of the songs they had learned than the first set, demonstrating the idea that sleep aids the ability to process information. In a school setting, teenagers are often not given the opportunity to sleep as much as they would like, which may inhibit their ability to store information learned in the classroom. “A great deal of mental stability and concentration is necessary for exams, so a good night’s sleep is always very important,” senior Sid Sivakumar said. A healthy brain has a balance of chemical concentrations that can be disrupted by a lack of sleep. Yet, the purpose of sleep is still unknown because those necessary chemical concentrations cannot be replaced artificially. The brain must be allowed rest. According to the study, this resting period may serve as time for the brain to consolidate the previous day’s information. Sleep consolidation, the idea that the brain

does its learning while the body is asleep, is a common theory about how the brain processes information. “We still are unaware as to why evolution has caused us to require sleep,” Neuroscience Research lab director Mark Hannum said. However, different students also have different ways of coping with sleep deprivation. “In order to pull an all-nighter, you have to have motivation,” junior Olivia Sullivan said. “This means no Facebook, lots of caffeine, and 10-minute naps every two hours.” Brawn, Nusbaum and Margoliash bring up an important point. Getting a “good night’s sleep” might not necessarily mean just resting your brain. The act of sleeping can serve as time for the brain to take in information learned during the day. Every night, students must ask themselves one question. To sleep or not to sleep? “I kind of think of it as a trade-off. Getting more sleep will help my performance, but so will studying,” junior Allison Ko said. “Which one I choose depends on how much I believe studying is helpful in my situation.”

Seniors launch NeuroInspire for STEM outreach sophomore Paris Mitzelfeld “I would master every language on the planet. It would open doors to experience new cultures, which is a passion of mine.”

sophomore Neway Araya “I would love to be able to read people’s minds because I would like to be able to tell if someone is lying.”

By Sandy Cho Sports Editor “What’s a humane way to kill a chicken?” senior Sid Sivakumar asked a class of eager faces on May 10. Immediately, enthusiastic answers were bouncing off the walls of the classroom, such as yanking a chicken’s head through a cone or snapping its neck. Instead of correctly answering the question, Sivakumar turned to a video of the famous Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the state of Washington to help explain a phenomenon in physics that can also be used to kill chickens through frequencies rather than physical contact. A chorus of “whoa” was heard as the students of Longfellow Middle School were in awe, watching the video with wide eyes. Sivakumar, along with seniors Suhas Gondi and Nathan Kodama, is a founder of NeuroInspire, an outreach program that targets elementary and middle school students to help develop a passion in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. “We aim to use the highly multidisciplinary field of neuroscience as a means of inspiring young, aspiring students to learn more about STEM, hopefully helping to address this

pressing issue,” Gondi said. Unlike other outreach programs that aim to tutor younger students, NeuroInspire is based on discussions and demos. Rather than listening to lectures or studying with a mentor, students can give input in a class discussion without needing to raise their hands. They also participate in fun hands-on demos, like dissecting a sheep brain or building neuron models using K’Nex toys. “It is very difficult to create an effective outreach program that teaches students subjects based in STEM,” Kodama said. “You aren’t helping a student if you’re just giving them a math worksheet.” The founders of NeuroInspire began the program several months ago when they wanted to motivate students in the field of neuroscience, but also incorporate fun. In fact, Kodama and Sivakumar ended up pulling three consecutive all-nighters in preparation. “During the program, everything is just as fun for us as it is for the kids,” Kodama said. Currently, NeuroInspire is working its program at Kent Garden Elementary School as well as Longfellow and Kilmer middle schools. However, they plan on expanding to underachieving schools that are on the

Priority Schools Initiative (PSI) list. “I was shocked there was such a learning gap right under our noses,” Kodama said. “Some of these schools are less than three miles away from TJ.” However, there are difficulties when setting up programs, such as the high expense necessary for certain supplies like an electroencephalography (EEG) machine or electromyography (EMG) kits. The three graduating seniors believe their program will continue next year. “We have students from every year at TJ involved as instructors or administrators, and we are confident that the organization will continue to grow and thrive next year after we leave TJ,” Gondi said. “We are also currently hypothesizing if and how we can start NeuroInspire programs near our college campuses.” “We have students from every year at TJ involved as nstructors or administrators, and we are confident that the organization will continue to grow and thrive next year after we leave TJ,” Gondi said. “We are also currently hypothesizing if and how we could start NeuroInspire programs near our college campuses.”

Emotion-reading bracelet helps autistic children junior Daniel Fontenot “I would like to have instant comprehension of how something works through visual analysis. Imagine being able to look at a car engine, for instance, and then being able to build your own.”

senior Saloni Chaswal “Sometimes I wish that when I thought of a food, I could just automatically taste it in my mouth.” graphics by Alexis Williams

By Esther Kim Staff Reporter When WUSA9 came to Jefferson on Feb. 14 to interview the Lemelson InvenTeam, not many people on campus had heard about the burgeoning project a group of seniors were developing for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This group of 15 students is one of many teams worldwide working on different ways to help individuals with ASD. The students are working on a bracelet that will act as an “emotive aid” for individuals with ASD. When finished, their invention will be used to receive voice inputs of others and display the type of emotion that the voice is trying to convey. “One of the biggest symptoms in autism that hinders social interactions and everyday communication is a difficulty in interpreting emotions,” said senior Suhas Gondi, a member of the InvenTeam. For the future, Gondi believes his team’s device will open new pathways for improving social interactions between autistic children, such as creating an android app that will function the same way as the bracelet. “There are lots of different ways we can take on this project, and I hope that many students will take those paths and continue

with this project next year,” Gondi said. In addition, a February 2013 study published in PLOS ONE stated that the presence of animals may instigate positive behavioral changes among children with autism. The scientists, Marguerite E. O’Haire, Samantha J. McKenzie, Alan M. Beck and Virginia Slaughter, observed the behavior of 33 autistic children playing with two guinea pigs. The study reported that the children displayed a greater number of positive actions such as talking and smiling while they were around the two guinea pigs than when they were given just toys. “The next step for my research on animal therapy will be to study whether or not children with autism and their peers have a physiological reaction to animals,” O’Haire said. Through the experiment, researchers hoped that Animal-Assisted Intervention, a therapy that incorporates the involvement of animals, could possibly be used to assist individuals develop their social interaction skills. Music has also been recognized to produce therapeutic benefits on autistic individuals. Ching Mey See, a professor in the School of Educational Studies of University Sains

Malaysia, reported in the December 2012 edition of Pertanika Journal about the behavioral improvements of autistic children through music and movement therapies. Forty-one participants with ages ranging from three to 24 spent time every week for 10 months engaging in various musical activities, such as using ribbon wands while singing. Using monthly Target Behavior Checklists that evaluated the children’s performances, the results revealed that there were several massive improvements in the behavior of the participants, especially in reducing the severity of restlessness that they exhibited. Ranging from animals to music, countless numbers of researches are currently being studied to solve another complicated jigsaw puzzle that our brain has questioned us. Yet, there is still much left to uncover to better understand ASD. “It will be more successful to formulate a possible treatment for autism if we understand more about the biological and neurological processes that are causing the disorder in the first place,” said Mark Hannum, Neuroscience lab director and adviser to InvenTeam.

graphics by Amy Ahn and Mallika Patkar


may 17, 2013


Historic islands tell stories to reporters

by Sandy Cho and Ellen Kan Features Editor and Staff Reporter As the first rays of sunshine penetrated the misty morning, the heavy bay fog finally lifted, revealing a breathtaking panorama of San Francisco’s horizon against the cerulean sky. Our ferry neared the shoreline, and we leaned over the railings to take in Angel Island’s picturesque cove, complete with colorful sailboats and lush vegetation. The staff of tjTODAY visited Angel Island State Park and Alcatraz Island on April 27 as part of our journalism convention experience. After a leisurely walk across the city from our hotel, we boarded the ferry to Angel Island at Pier 33. As our boat sailed through San Francisco Bay, we were buffeted by icy winds, and we struggled to see the coastline through the dense fog. Fortunately, the fog eventually thinned and gave way to a delightful, sunny day. “I was looking forward to seeing Alcatraz because I’d heard a lot about the stories and history surrounding it,” junior Shayna Hume said. “Because I had never been to the West Coast before, I was excited to explore one of its famous attractions.” After a brief opportunity to take pictures of Alcatraz from afar, we continued our one-hour ferry ride to Angel Island, the largest island in San Francisco Bay. Known as the “Ellis Island of the West,” Angel Island

is most famous for processing one million Asian immigrants into the United States from 1910 to 1940. However, the Union used the island as a fort during the American Civil War, and the U.S. Army used the facilities from the late 19th century up until World War II as a transit station. “As an Asian immigrant myself, I wonder how important Angel Island would have been to me if I was born about a century earlier,” senior Sunny Kim said. After our tram tour of Angel Island, we again boarded our ferry and shortly arrived at Alcatraz. Graffiti scrawled across a sign proclaiming Alcatraz a U.S. Penitentiary greeted us. The crumbling buildings and lone lighthouse looming overhead from the cliff tops brought back compelling memories from the 1996 movie, “The Rock.” Although Alcatraz Island has been used as a military garrison and was the site of the 1969-71 American Indian occupation, we were most eager to see the main attraction: its notorious prison. Donning headphones, we began the award-winning Alcatraz Cellhouse Audio Tour. As we made our way down rows of endless cells, the gruff voices of prisoners and correctional officers painted a vivid picture of an inmate’s life. “Although Alcatraz is small as compared with contemporary maximum security prisons, it is so steeped in

infamy that you forget how insignificant it looks,” said tjTODAY adviser Jennifer Seavey. The sound of bullets and shouts pierced the air as we heard reenactments of historical moments, including the unsuccessful escape attempt of 1946, known as the Battle of Alcatraz. We passed the darkened cells of infamous inmates such as Al Capone and the “Birdman of Alcatraz,” Robert Stroud. It was hard to imagine living in such a small cell with almost no privacy or room for movement. It was even harder to imagine how the inmates engineered their attempts at escape using spoons to scrape out large holes in the concrete walls of their cells. When we emerged from the dark cell house into the bright sunshine, we were still reeling from the powerful images evoked by the inmates’ moving story. Our memorable excursion came to a satisfying end when we once again boarded the ferry back to the mainland. For anyone contemplating visiting the two islands, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this unique and “inescapable” adventure. “I still remember looking at the San Francisco skyline through a tiny window in the prison,” Hume said. “The contrast between the cramped cells and the sunlit view of the city was so shocking that I really sympathized with the inmates.”

Starting clockwise from the top: the tjTODAY staff passes by Alcataz on the way to Angel Island; Students disembark from the ferry onto Alcatraz; visitors pass by remnants of the 1969 Native American occupation of the prison; each criminal in the Alcatraz prison was given a 9-foot by 5-foot cell.

photos by Sandy Cho and Ellen Kan



What books should be added to the library?

freshman Cece Xiao “I would want ‘The Notebook.’ It’s my favorite book because it’s easy to connect to.”

sophomore Luke Thorsell “I really like ‘The City of Bones’ because it’s a great, fast-paced novel with fantastical elements, and it’s going to be a movie soon.”

sophomore Andrea Donate-Perez “I think ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ shows an interesting perspective on mental health and is one of the better books he’s written.“

may 17, 2013

Alumni target library for donations by Shayna Hume Features Editor Class of 2000 graduate Jennifer Michaels posted a link to the library’s Amazon wish list on the growing TJ Alumni Facebook group on March 2. By the end of the day, the thread had already gotten 22 likes and since then, the library has received Amazon packages every week with books gifted by former students and parents of students. “Once in a while moon, a parent would buy one of the books,” Head Librarian Anne Applin said. “Since advertisement of the wish list we’ve gotten books almost every day from TJ alumni.” The wish list got started by the librarians as a way for the community to contribute to their paper collection. “The TJ Library maintains the wish list on Amazon. It was set up by the previous head librarian. When I came to TJ, I inherited it and I’ve been maintaining it since,” Applin said. One of the problems the library faces is a small budget for buying books in paperback and hardcover. “So much of our local budget is spent on electronic databases,” Applin said. Michaels, who posted the wish list to Facebook, found it by accident after an Amazon search. “I got an email from the University of Virginia Alumni Association, and somebody had posted about this thing they started called BookMentors, which allows teachers around the country to request a particular book. I started wondering why we didn’t have one of these for other schools I cared about, and sure enough, I found the wish list,” Michaels said. After buying a book for the library, Michaels immediately posted the link to the Facebook group of upwards of 6,000 alumni. Her post included the dare, “Wouldn’t it be fun to clear the whole list with alumni donations?”. “I thought it would get some response. I was thinking maybe 10 books. As best as I can count, we’ve given 50, and it’s still going. It’s above and beyond,” Michaels said. In addition to the many donations from graduates, one graduate even went as far as to link the Amazon wish list to her wedding registry. “Eventually it got to the point where we were running out of books to buy. It just got bigger and bigger,” Michael said. The books on the wish list itself range from scientific to just published. Some of the most recent additions to the wish list include “Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World” by Eugenie Samuel Reich; “Sea Change: Britain’s Coastal Catastrophe” by Richard Girling; and “Keepers of the Trees: A Guide to Re-Greening North America” by Ann Linnea. Po-Heng Chen, who graduated in 1998, recently bought copies of the Ender Quartet by Orson Scott Card for the library’s collection. “I just don’t like traditional fundraising, and I certainly don’t like that a portion of my monetary donation will inevitably go towards overhead costs. That’s where the Amazon wish list is different,” Chen said. “It allows

me to give back something tangible directly to the school.” “En For many alumni, wor joy yo the Amazon wish Alu d of m ur gift list provides a way to ! mn i Fa outh o Throu stay connected to the n th ceb gh Kim ook e community as well as pag Cla berly e.” ss o ( share their professional f 19 Chasn ov) 96 Nic experience. e “I recently considered being a mentor, but things are a bit busy so I didn’t sign up yet. In the meantime, I was hoping something like this would come along so I could feel like I was giving back in a small t time a grea was h c u I s way,” Class of 2006 “I had SST when is the H J graduate Grace King s i T th at ve and to gi said. there, can do s.” p l e I h Some of the Jefferson least hope this I back! alumni now donating n books find ways to connect Ranga initra 2008 V their current career with of Class their purchases. Enayet Rasul, who graduated in 1994, sent “The Science of Good Cooking.” “I hope the students “I am s have fun trying these o can do happy to lea techniques in their n r where ate to the lib n I cooking,” Rasul said, ra I happy spent so m ry a h Class of 1989 graduate time a ours during ny t TJ. my Jon Guhl commented on his book, a E nd bes njoy the donation, the “Gold Medal t wishe s.” Physics: The Science of Sports Alice O hlson C by John Goff,” “As probably lass of 2005 one of the few alumni to work in sports, I hope this book inspires someone to follow a different path!” he said. These notes aren’t ed exclusive to alumni with finish e just es and, W ! themed purchases— y v “Enjo ok oursel n the o o most of the packages the this b seeing it n’t red l n u library have received have o o up ec ist, w included a note from a wishl graduate or family member sist!” Renee of a graduate. w and e r d n A “It’s heartwarming to get le Schol f 2007 those Amazon boxes every o Class week. We get wonderful notes from TJ alumni about their memories of TJ and the library,” Applin said. Despite the time elapsed since the original Alumni sent perpost went up on the alumni Facebook group, the sonal messages including their graduates’ enthusiasm hasn’t seemed to slacken. year of gradua“You kind of feel as if you have a direct connection tion along with to the school because you’re giving something to the their book donalibrary that students can appreciate,” Michaels said. tions.

Local Korean barbeque offers more options

The staff of tjTODAY sampled non-barbeque take-out dishes from Honey Pig, a popular Korean restaurant off Little River Turnpike, to see if they lived up to their reputation with aficionados

junior CheyAnne Rivera “It’s really interesting because as people, we just interact from one point of view. ‘The Gift of Fear’ is about understanding the subtext between people.”

Left and center: mild and spicy bulgogi This grilled dish had a deliciously addicting flavor and the meat was tender. The marinade had a sweet tinge which went perfectly with the beef’s natural savory taste.

Right: pork belly The fresh pork belly was delicious, albeit grainy, but the sauce that accompanied it was overwhelming and slightly bitter. Luckily, the sauce can be served on the side.

Honey Pig Restaurant Address: 7220 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003 Phone: (703) 256-5229 Overall rating: 3/5 stars Experience: For a non-Korean speaker, the menu was difficult to order take-out, and the small portions were expensive and in non-ecofriendly containers. However, the most popular dishes, bulgogi and pork belly, were cooked perfectly. As an alternative to the meat, there is seafood, though it is less popular with nonKoreans. Caution should be used while ordering because many of the dishes are extra spicy.

senior Kyler Blodgett “This book documents the crazier things people have done and is a great read for anyone interested in running outside of the suburban sense.” graphics courtesy of photos and reporting by Shayna Hume and Alexis Williams

photos by Shayna Hume

Left to right: The dishes are traditionally consumed in lettuce wraps with rice, and the shrimp dish, served with vegetables, offers an alternative for seafood lovers.

may 17, 2013





may 17, 2013

Active Minds offers tips and fun activities for students to maintain a healthy state of mind before AP exams


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Senior Schyler Pa accepts her free hug from seniors Sebastian Lerner and Chris Piller who went around to classrooms on May 1 to brighten people’s days.

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layout, graphics and reporting by Amy Ahn

May 2013 Issue  

2013 May 17 Issue

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