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OCT. 12, 2012

Politics at Jefferson 44% Eligible Voters:

Democrat Republican

13% 42%



Going to the polls Staying home

35% 267 students responded to Intranet poll graphics by Tahmina Achekzai

Presidential candidates debate

On Oct. 3, President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney came together for the first of the 2012 presidential debates at the University of Denver . The debate focused on domestic policy. See guest columnists’ take on debate issues in Opinion page 5.

Highly ranked athletes P6


Admissions still in focus

by Tahmina Achekzai News Editor The school board governance committee met following a Sept. 24 work session to review possible changes to the Jefferson admissions policy. At their next work session on Oct. 15, the committee will present their recommendations to the full board. The board had asked for various simulations in varying the weighting for certain components of the review process, but no models were presented at the work session on Sept. 24. Assistant Superintendent for the Department of Professional Learning and Accountability Terri Breeden claimed the results were insignificant, but the board members wanted the raw data. After much debate, the school board voted not to implement any change in the weightings for this year. The board also voted to have the Student Information Sheet completed in a controlled setting, perhaps after the test itself. By doing so, it hopes to level the playing field for the applicants. In addition, the board hopes to meet before the end of the year to discuss the implementation of Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) in more middle schools. While the board approached the idea of AAP Centers positively, it recognized that they may not always be the right choice. “I’ve heard from one of the AAP Centers that there is a 2-year boot camp culture in which private TJ preparation takes place on the weekends,” Braddock District representative Megan McLaughlin said. “We want kids to get into TJ because that’s the right fit for them, not because they spent two years losing precious adolescent years.” Principal Evan Glazer hopes to implement support programs and work with the course sequence of math classes to ensure the Class of 2016 and 2017 will succeed. “We do not want to push students if we feel like they’re not ready,” Glazer said, “so they can be successful rather than be stressed out.”

Students engage in politics through election campaigning

Fleming works for Republican committee

Omeish volunteers for the Obama campaign

by Tahmina Achekzai News Editor Every week, senior Austin Fleming spends his free time volunteering at the Fairfax County Republican Committee (FCRC) to encourage Republican voting as well as increase voter turnout on Election

by Jenny Chen News Editor Junior Anwar Omeish stood face to face with President Barack Obama. Amid the rally frenzy, Omeish’s emotions can be summed up in one word: excitement. Omeish met Obama at his Centreville High School campaign stop on July 14. She was there as part of her volunteer work as a part-time organizing fellow for Obama for America. “As someone who has always been interested in not only politics but also in equal opportunity, it was gratifying to finally meet one of the people who I feel like is pioneering that,” Omeish said. Omeish dedicates over 15 hours a week to the campaign effort. Her jobs span from canvassing, phone banking and voter registration to administrative work such inputting data and setting up packets and maps for canvassers.

photo courtesy of Fairfax County Republican Committee

Senior Austin Fleming attends a rally for George Allen and Ken Cuccinelli.


Injured athletes use Kinesio tape

Day. Fleming discovered the FCRC last year, while searching for summer internship opportunities online. The FCRC is a grassroots organization that is dedicated to getting Republican officials elected, both locally and nationally. “I wanted to do something I found interesting and something I could do to actually help people,” he said. “Not many people even know who our Congressional and Senate candidates are and so few people vote in those elections.” Fleming endorses Mitt Romney’s plan to cut spending, trusting it will bring the country out of the recession. “I do not think Obama has taken full advantage of the position he is in,” he said. “We need a change of leadership to really push the U.S. out of its problems.” continued on p. 2


Choir rehearses for fall show


Area restaurants offer taco choices

“We want to spread the president’s message and explain to voters why he is the right choice for this country,” Obama for America field organizer Niket Todi said. “We do this primarily through phone calling and door knocking. We also do voter registration to help people empower themselves.” continued on p. 2

photo courtesy of Deb Cobb

Junior Anwar Omeish greets President Barack Obama at a rally in Centreville.


Teachers introduce new AP curriculum



Kudos & Accomplishments

National Achievement semifinalists recognized

Seniors Iman Abdikarim, Mossab Alsadig, Zola Bridges, Morgan Cheatham, Kleo Greenwood, Marcus Prater, Howard Small and Sean Waterton are semifinalists in the National Achievement Scholarship program, a competition by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for black high school students.

‘Best of Teen Writing’ anthology publishes students

Junior Emma Hastings and Class of 2012 graduates Kristina Hu and Jordan Myers are three of the 70 students nationwide who have been published in the Alliance for Young Artists and Writer’s annual anthology “The Best of Teen Writing.”

Seliskar selected for premiere swim team vSophomore Andrew Seliskar was named to the 2012-2013 USA Swimming National Junior Team on Sept. 1. He qualified because of his top-ranking times at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, the USA Swimming Junior Nationals and the U.S. Open.

october 12, 2012

Seniors prepare for marquee competitions by Tahmina Acheckzai and Jenny Chen News Editors For four nights in a row before senior Nathan Kodama submitted his project to the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, he stayed up working until at least 4 a.m. to meet the Oct. 1 deadline. The Siemens Competition and the Intel Science Talent Search are both contests that give high school student researchers the opportunity to have their work recognized nationally. Kodama collaborated with senior Nipun Singh and mentor Xuan Luo at the National Graphene Research and Development Center. Despite sacrificing hours of sleep to complete his study on the arrangements of nickel atoms, Kodama deems his Siemens research a positive experience. “I started working on it at the beginning of the summer during the evenings either after my chemistry internship at Georgetown, which was not related to my project, or after football practices and sometimes both,” Kodama said. Once school began, Kodama had to balance school work and college applications along with sports and the demanding nature of Siemens, which comes from a required research report. The report is set up like a professional research paper and includes information regarding the procedure, results and

ideas for further studies. Intel also requires a research report. “It is important for the students to prepare final submissions that represent all their efforts and are also in the correct format required for applications to various competitions,” Chemical Analysis lab director Brian Kennedy said. Senior Katie Ho submitted her research to Siemens after spending two months on a project about a probe photo by Jenny Chen measuring the effec- Senior Katie Hsia works in the biotechnology lab. Her Siemens project tiveness of a cancer is about a pathway for protein degradation in gram-positive bacteria. drug. “I know that in the Senior Kevin Jeong decided to do Intel affuture I might be writing papers like the Sie- ter encouragement from his mentor at the Namens paper so I thought it would be a valu- tional Institutes of Health. He did not do any able experience,” Ho said. “I knew it would summer preparation, so he had to begin work take a lot of effort, and it definitely was time as soon as his mentorship project commenced. consuming, but so is everything we do at TJ.” “The project design is done, and the first Students pursuing Intel have a later dead- round of results supports the hypothesis,” line on Nov. 14 and still have time to complete Jeong said. “I had to hit the ground sprinttheir work. ing.”

West joins front office staff this fall

Hemenway elected to National Junior Classical League leadership vSenior Molly Hemenway was elected

as the National Junior Classical League (NJCL) communications coordinator for the 2012-2013 school year and the 2013 National Convention.

Publications honored

vtjTODAY is among the 18 National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Pacemaker Finalists in the 9-16 page newspaper category. “Challenge Action Result,” the 2011-2012 yearbook, was also recognized by the NSPA with an All-American rating and by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association with a gold medal. Both publications received VHSL trophy class rankings.

Lincoln-Douglas debate competes at national tournaments

vThe Lincoln-Douglas debate team competed at the Wake Forest University National Early Bird tournament from Sept. 7-9. Junior James Eagle and sophomore Thai Le both qualified for the elimination rounds. The team also attended the Yale Invitational tournament from Sept. 21-23. There, sophomore Siddarth Ananth made the the elimination rounds.

Temin researches in Israel

vSenior Keenan Temin was among the 37 students worldwide who received Dr. Istvan Madaras SciTech Scholarships. Temin used the scholarship to do research at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, where he studied sensor placement on buildings to test for damage.

Nordstrom awards Cao with scholarship vSenior Kevin Cao was presented with

a $10,000 check by the Nordstrom Scholarship Program on Oct 5. He received the award because of his academic excellence and leadership in community service.

National Merit Semifinalists announced vA total of 146 Jefferson seniors were named National Merit Semifinalists. In order to qualify, students must have scored 217 or higher on the PSAT during their junior year. A full list of semifinalists can be found on tjTODAY online.

tjTODAY Online

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

photo courtesy of Kelsey Phipps

photo courtesy of Austin Fleming

Junior Anwar Omeish watches President Barack Obama’s rally on July 14 at his Centreville High School campaign stop.

Senior Austin Fleming (right) attends a rally for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney with FCRC Chairman Jay McConville (left).

Omeish takes on politics

continued from p. 1 Omeish finds that the most satisfying part of her work is the interaction with people in the community because ultimately, her campaign work is for them. “One of the most rewarding experiences is being able to mobilize the community to change the way we look at different members of our society and the way we make policy so that everyone can live a better life,” she said. Before Omeish began working primarily at the Obama for America Falls Church office, she had already immersed herself in politics by making phone calls for the 2008 Obama campaign. “I’ve been a Democrat since birth, and I’ve been going to rallies since the age of four. My family, my dad especially, has always been pretty involved,” she said. Omeish’s interest in politics makes her aware of what is appealing about Obama. “He’s putting us on the right track both fiscally and socially, and I really think he’s working towards equal opportunity for everyone,” Omeish said. “He cares about what he’s doing, and he’s passionate about it. That’s really important to me, and when I look at other candidates, I don’t see that.” Omeish plans to help out with future campaigns and seek a career in international relations or political science. “When you go out and you meet people who are suffering and people who are actually affected by lawmaking, you realize how important it is to fight for the things you believe in,” Omeish said. “It’s definitely something I want to continue for the rest of my life.”

Fleming works for campaign continued from p. 1 Some weeks, Fleming works for 2 to 3 hours every day after school. When he volunteers less during the week, he makes up for it by working for 10 hours on Saturday. “This election is different from previous years,” FCRC Executive Director Jason Vespoli said. “We’re promoting voter contacts, and we’re doing a great job. I really am inspired by the success I’m seeing.” At the FCRC, Fleming spends most of his time phone banking, which includes making calls for persuasion, recruitment and survey purposes. “The more you talk, the more likely it is they will hang up on you,” he said. “I have learned to manipulate the script we are given to make it as short as possible, while hitting all the key points.” Outside the campaign office, Fleming goes door to door to contact voters, a process he says gets better feedback. Already, the FCRC has knocked on more doors than it did during the entire campaign in 2008. “People appreciate that you are out in the sun or out in the rain,” he said, “they are willing to talk to you and answer your questions.” Fleming also helps organize rallies and other events the FCRC sponsors. He recently helped with a rally in Manassas. Though he may not get paid, being a volunteer comes with its share of benefits. The volunteers from the FCRC were given seats in the VIP section at the rally and had the opportunity to meet Romney. “As of now, I am not particularly interested in becoming a politician,” Fleming said, “but I would say I want to be as politically active as possible in the future.”

by Jenny Chen News Editor You might call her “greeter in chief” or the “director of first impressions.” When Elizabeth West joined the front office staff, she took over the role of greeting students, faculty and visitors, long held by Margo Stead who retired over the summer. “I’m the first person you might see here, so I try to give you a positive impression of the school with a smile,” West said. West started as part of the administrative staff on Aug. 29, but she had already been well acquainted with the school because of her work with the summer school programs. “I have always found Jefferson to be a very interesting place,” she said. “I really like how students spend a lot of time together, and it’s a school with a lot of energy. I think it is a very different type of atmosphere from most schools.” West has been with Fairfax County Public Schools for over 10 years. She has experience with adult and community education, including the registration of adults for vocational and career enrichment courses. “It’s a great privilege to work here,” West said. “The faculty has been very friendly and cooperative, and I find that the students are polite and courteous.”

photo by Jenny Chen

Administrative Assistant Elizabeth West is a recent addition to the front office staff.


october 12, 2012

NEWSMAKERS Marching Colonials impress

Quizbowl novices win

photo courtesy of Jay Liang

The News The brass section of the Marching Colonials performs at the USBands Northern Virginia Regionals at Herndon High School on Sept. 29. Backstory The Marching Colonials placed first in the Group 4 Open category, topping three other bands from Maryland and Virginia. A total of 26 marching bands competed at Northern Virginia Regionals. Their show, which won the Best Music and Best Individual awards, is titled, “Illusion.” It includes the songs “Vessels” by Philip Glass, “Pure Imagination” by Leslie Bricusse and “Angels in the Architecture” by Frank Ticheli. “My favorite part of the show is the closer where we play ‘Angels in the Architecture’ because there are a ton of cool visual and body movements that we do besides just playing and marching, especially at the end when the drummers levitate,” senior piccolo player Alexia Kim said. Junior Maddy Naide and senior Arjun Malhotra are the Marching Colonial drum majors. They are responsible for leading the band on and off the field. “I actually believe Saturday’s performance exceeded our expectations, for many parts of the show were better than normal even though they weren’t the focuses of the rehearsals leading into the competition,” Malhotra said. “We are all proud of the performance, and we hope to continue improving.” One of Malhotra’s suggestions for improvement is to fine tune the band’s marching technique. During shows, it is challenging to manage this detail on top of already focusing on musicality, timing and formations. The Marching Colonials also competed in the Marine Corps Invitational in Annapolis, Md. on Oct. 6. They won first place as well as the Best Music, Visual, Effect and Guard awards. Still to come on Oct. 27 is the Bands of America Regional competition, which includes bands from Connecticut to North Carolina. - Jenny Chen

photo by Tahmina Achekzai

The News Seniors Raynor Kuang and Sarah Eltinge and junior Nadege Aoki plan for the Oct. 13 IFT Mirror tournament at the University of Maryland. Backstory Four teams traveled to Maryland for the Richard Montgomery Autumn Novice competition on Oct. 6. The competition gave students new to Quizbowl a chance to play seriously and gain experience at the first tournament of this year’s competitive season. Team A included freshmen Ryan Golant, Junyoung Hwang, Michael Tang and Tiger Zhang and placed first out of 30 teams participating. Sophomore Ranjani Parthasarathy ranked fourth based on the individual statistics. “Performance is usually furthered by individual effort. Obviously, it’s a team sport, but study on behalf of a single person can really help a team,” senior co-captain Raynor Kuang said, “which isn’t to say that we only appreciate powerhouse players. In the end, everyone has to work together.” Most of the teams split the topics between themselves. Freshman Lavanya Shukla, a member of the B Team, prepared for the competition by reading a book about art history. “Teams that cover more topics usually do far better, but our team was slightly literature and history skewed,” she said. The Quizbowl officers provided the competitors packets with questions before the competition. The students were also able to participate in practice rounds during eighth period. The actual competition setting, however, taught the competitors some new lessons. “I learned you should go with your first instinct,” freshman Shreya Bhatta said, “because you’ve probably seen the question somewhere and it’s probably right.” - Tahmina Achekzai

SAT Prep Exclusively for High-Achievers It’s no surprise that Honors Test Prep is the SAT prep program of choice for TJ students.


Visit to review our complete ’12-’13 course schedule and learn about our SAT Course, SAT Essay Workshop, and PSAT/SAT Course.

s a t @ h o n o r s t e s t p r e p. c o m

“My son and daughter both took the Honors Test Prep course and both scored 2380 on the test. They reported that they were given individual feedback and error analysis in addition to applicable practice problems. It is obvious that Mr. Berk keeps up to date with the most recent changes in the test and is invested in the students’ achievement. I was glad to find a course tailored to high achieving students.” Gail Gardiner, parent of TJ student, Class of 2010


Xia repeats Math Prize title

photo by Jenny Chen

The News Junior Victoria Xia works on a math problem in class after winning first place and $25,000 on the Math Prize for Girls exam at MIT on Sept. 22. Backstory Despite the 263 competitors, 150 minutes of test-taking and 20 short answer questions looming in front of her, junior Victoria Xia remained calm as she worked her way through the Math Prize exam. “I pretty much forgot about everything else going on and just focused on the problems,” Xia said. “Sure, I got frustrated with some of the problems, but overall I’d say playing around with them was pretty fun.” The Math Prize was sponsored by Advantage Testing Foundation to promote enthusiasm about math to girls in the U.S. and Canada. Students were eligible to compete if they had scored well on the American Mathematics Competition exam. Xia, who captains the varsity Math Team, came into the Math Prize exam as the 2011 winner. “To be honest, I feel like I’ve gotten lucky twice now. The scores at the top of the rankings are all so close that any of the girls in the top five or so could have won first,” Xia said. “Luck, joy, pride, accomplishment, gratefulness, I felt all of them when I was called up on stage.” Freshmen Haarika Chalasani, Joslyn Jung, Ashley Kim, Kritika Singh and Virginia Sun, sophomores Sreya Atluri, Saroja Erabelli and Sara Kim, juniors Amy Kim, Julie Kim, Veronica Lee, Ivy Ren and Wendy Sun and senior Nalini Singh were also invited to the Math Prize. “It is really nice to meet girls who share the same interest,” Sara Kim said. “It’s beneficial since usually we get overshadowed by boys, but at this event we get to shine as well.” - Jenny Chen



tjTODAY Volume 28 Issue 2 2012 Pacemaker Finalist 2012 Trophy Class - VHSL 2012 All-American - NSPA 2012 Gold Medalist - CSPA

Editorial Board Editor in Chief Mallika Patkar

Managing Editor Thrisha Potluri

News Editors Tahmina Achekzai Jenny Chen

Opinion Editors Michael Chao Arya Dahal

Sports Editors Sandy Cho Shayna Hume

Spread Editor Sunny Kim

october 12, 2012

A clear decision without 2008’s verve Lead Editorial

tion as a cornerstone of their plans. However, Romney’s failure to make education a priority is concerning, especially given the Republican Party’s historical lack of support for federally supported student aid. Obama is also interested in investing in is the environment. Romney listed natural gas and the mythical “clean coal” as future energy sources during the debate. He also continually supports the Keystone pipeline and offshore drilling, archaic energy sources. We need to look into more sustainable energy sources. Obama promises to invest in future green technology and energy sources, which are better options for ours and future generations. The senatorial race here in Virginia seems to resemble the presidential race. In terms of their economic and social policies, George Allen and Tim Kaine mirror Romney and Obama, respectively. Allen supports a flat tax rate, while Kaine supports progressive taxation. Kaine also proposes making college more affordable. In terms of energy, Allen supports exploiting energy sources for oil, coal and natural gas and supports drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. On the other hand, Kaine supports clean energy and energy conservation. It seems the results of the senatorial election will be closely tied to the

tj TODAY’s unsigned majority opinion The first of the three presidential debates was held on Oct. 3. According to Twitter, the debate generated more than 10 million tweets in less than two hours, making it one of the most tweeted-about events ever. For anyone keeping an eye on Twitter trends, it would seem the most important issues of the debate were Jim Lehrer’s unfortunate performance as moderator and Sesame Street’s Big Bird. More than 67 million people watched the debate, but how effective were the candidates at underscoring the issues that matter to viewers? Issues that directly affect students will be especially important the many seniors voting for the first time next month. For this reason, the staff of tjTODAY has decided to examine which candidate’s plans resonate more with students. In general, Romney didn’t talk much about education during the debate. Obama emphasized the importance of student assistance and is a supporter of Pell grants. These issues are very important to our voting seniors, but Romney failed to truly address education until his closing statement. Both candidates cite investment in educa-

presidential election. Kaine’s spending cuts would have hurt Northern Virginia schools if present Governor Bob McDonnell hadn’t rescinded them and Obama’s TARP funding hadn’t replaced funds unavailable during the economic downturn. Our own school would have lost valuable faculty members under the Kaine plan. FCPS projects a budget deficit for next year, so the consequences of the Romney plan would really hit home. However, looking beyond the senate and presidential races, the retirements of aging U.S. Supreme Court members looms large. With the court so clearly leaning conservative already, replacing Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a strong liberal, with yet another strong conservative in the mold of Sam Alito, one has to ask if many landmark decisions of the 60s, 70s and 80s will be struck down. We will be the generation who has to live with this change. Are we ready to face the consequences? Which presidential candidate really has the best interest of students in mind? Despite his lackluster performance during the debate, we found Obama’s plans to be more attractive for students. In terms of the senate race, we reluctantly support Kaine, if only to maintain a potential majority in the U.S. Senate. The day after the debate, the top Twitter trend was #ForwardNotBack. Maybe the U.S. would benefit from such forward thinking for a few more years.

The Jefferson student dilemma by Tara Gupta

Entertainment Editors Yena Seo Jennifer Walter

Features Editors Amy Ahn YouNa An Alexis Williams Lindsay Williams

Staff Reporters Tara Gupta Ellen Kan

Web Master Thrisha Potluri

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:

How does one balance the pressure of achieving personal academic success with the necessity of recognizing the fleeting nature of life and acting accordingly? …some don’t.

Student performance should be authentic in evaluations The recent teacher strike in Chicago left approximately 350,000 students without teachers and halted school for over a week. The 29,000 unionMICHAEL CHAO ized teachers in Chicago protested a wide range of issues, starting from school-day lengths to potential jobs being lost. But amidst the heated debate is a new system of teacher evaluations, something being implemented this year in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and throughout the Commonwealth. The new system calls for teachers to restructure lesson plans and strategies based on seven holistic categories (S.M.A.R.T.R.) and are required to give periodic formative and summative assessments in class to monitor student performance. Additionally, teachers are now required to attend a mandatory ninehour workshop detailing the new changes. Much of this change adds up to a new focus in teachers’ evaluations, similar to that of

Chicago’s. Forty percent of those evaluations will be based on student progress through the year. This new system, along with its intended benefits, is befuddling at best and can potentially bring some drawbacks. Through student performance, teachers are now able to pinpoint the strength of a student’s foundation and background in a certain class. According to Jefferson teachers,this could prove to be extra helpful for our students because of the number of different middle schools they come from. In doing so, teachers are able to structure their lesson plans around the individual students, tailored to their strengths and weaknesses, a process called differentiation. In the long run, teachers are able to benefit from the new evaluations from a department standpoint. Having a better understanding of student performance in-class and a shared teaching goal allows teachers to give beneficial teaching strategies to one another, thus enhancing the learning experience in class. To this end, core teachers have been asked to develop the S.M.A.R.T.R. goals together, with similar formative and summative assessments that can compare at key times during the year. These new changes are immediately apparent in a number of core areas. . Geosystems

teachers now give a 41-question diagnostic test to students, testing them on a spectrum of topics being covered throughout the year. English teachers are giving timed writings linked to Advance Placement rubrics. However, because this is the first year FCPS is evaluating their teachers through this system, its potential effect remains uncertain and untested. Some argue that the drudgery of excessive paperwork and extra testing is a conundrum at best, as unnecessary benchmark assessments will only bog down student schedules and detract from teachers’ precious lesson-planning time. Students and teachers argue that the extra time spent gathering data from the assessments do not justify the potential results. In order for the new evaluation system to attain its maximum effectiveness, students and teachers need to treat this first year as a trial run, in order to reshape the evaluation process into a meaningful and efficient way of tracking how students are doing in class. Because the new system is mandated by the Commonwealth, all stakeholders need to be sure the process does not become simply one more laborious task for all. And teachers will want to be sure that 40 percent slice of their evaluations is tied to an authentic experience, not just more metrics.


october 12, 2012


Election 2012: The Race Continues Chick-fil-A reflects Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t

Confident Romney has badly on school entered the building

Mitt Romney may have shown an aggressive, daunting attitude during the first presidential debate, but incumbent Barack Obama brought his calculator. The media and public came to a consensus after the debate that Romney won overall, since he effectively communicated his CHRIS HUGHES plans for America’s future and his arguments against Obama’s decisions as president. Yet, Obama’s reliance on numbers to back up his rebuttals to Romney’s attacks acted as a defense mechanism to win him some battles. Obama used the power of arithmetic bestowed upon him by Bill Clinton to dispel Romney’s insubstantial plans for the economy. Romney tried to hypnotize the public by convincing them that lower taxes for businesses and individuals will lead to greater job growth. Obama was not phased, as he reiterated this would lead to $5 trillion in debt over time, and that his economic plan has led to the creation of an estimated 23 million jobs. Romney lashed back, saying the national debt had doubled under the president, but Obama coolly replied with some simple mathematics: two wars and two tax cuts had to be paid for, various government programs had to be subsidized and a detrimental financial crisis had to be dealt with. Mitt became especially smote when his attempt to explain his changes to Medicare, which include a new voucher program, was dismissed by Obama who argued that this plan would cost seniors $6,000 more a year. Romney’s shields had been debilitated. If Obama wants to give a decent showing in Hempstead, he not only has to appear as if he gives a hoot about the debate, but he has to continue backing up his claims with numeric evidence. The president has gained some advantageous talking points recently that include the unemployment rate dropping to 7.8 percent in September. It is imperative Obama’s next performance is scintillating, so he better sleep with an abacus under his pillow. illustration by Arya Dahal

I expected the Oct. 3 debate to be former Governor Mitt Romney’s strongest, because it focused on his strength: getting the economy back on track. I was not expecting what actually happened. Romney unquestionably destroyed President Barack Obama. Romney was sharp and GEOFF GREENWALT articulate. The president, however, seemed unprepared and dull. Even though Romney beat around the bush with regards to his tax plan, he was able to specifically outline his goals. Obama, on the other hand, kept using personal anecdotes, stories and attempts to appeal to the audience and the moderator to make an impression. And he missed spectacularly. I should point out that my vote remains undecided. After this debate, I’m leaning towards Romney. What will it take for him to get my vote? In the Town Hall debate, he must soften his stance on social issues. He has to show me he has only publicly adopted the right-wing hard line stance on abortion and gay rights and that he will ease up after he is elected. As far as foreign policy goes, Romney needs to address how he would strengthen our defense but at the same time make it more efficient and streamlined. The Middle East is the biggest hotspot in the world, and I want to know what Romney would do. How will we benefit, how will the citizens of the region benefit and, most importantly, how will we pay for this plan? As the debate progressed, Romney became more and more confident. He knew half way through he had it in the bag. It was Romney’s intense preparation that helped him win the debate, and he has to work hard to do even better in the next debates, which will showcase his weakness, foreign policy. Nevertheless, this victory has given him the poise that he’s lacked in the run up to the election. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Confident Romney. Democrats, it should give you nightmares.

Chris Hughes is a senior.

Geoff Greenwalt is a senior.

Be happy you stuck with AP Physics If attending Jefferson taught me the existence of an A-minus, then taking AP Physics during junior year taught me that grades can fall far lower than that. Even though I wasn’t able to get the highest grade possible in the class, I don’t regret not giving in to the temptation of dropping out of AP PhysSUNNY KIM ics. So to those juniors still sticking around, I guarantee that you’ll survive, so hang in there. Of course, there are those students to whom AP Physics is considered easy. There are students who will understand everything mentioned in the class. There are students who will even get out with an A average for the whole year without much effort. But don’t worry too much about these people. I wasn’t one of them and, truthfully, not many of you are either. And these include Mr. and Ms. I-skipped-four-math-courses. I went into AP Physics confident I was going to ace the class. Having taking AP Calculus BC as a sophomore the year before, I surely had the math to back it up. But all problems given in class were word problems, and the math skills that I was so proud of didn’t come in handy when I couldn’t even figure out what variables went where. Nevertheless, I assure all of you scared and stressed juniors that staying in AP was the right choice to make – this class gave me a lot more than two AP credits. I gained so much in this class that even the time, paper, pen and sanity that I wasted every Sunday night solving twice as many Webassign problems as the Physics 1 students was worth

it. Even that low grade I got didn’t bother me. I stayed and enjoyed the class simply because every day of AP Physics (minus the test days) was fun. And I can confidently say that the majority of other now-seniors felt the same, too. Maybe it’s the unique personalities present in the class. Maybe it’s the result of many years of effort on the teachers’ part to make the dreaded course less painful for the students. Maybe I was easily amused by the tiniest things in class in an attempt to distract myself from the difficulty level. Whatever the reason is, this class is one of the classes I would happily wake up at 7 a.m. for, even if school wasn’t required. And coming from me, that means a lot. Other than that, there are times when you get the hardest question on the SLOB correct and that one extra point means the world to you. There are times when that green check mark on Webassign that you got from your third and last try is the most beautiful thing you have seen in your life. There are times when the little drawing of an elephant you did on the test earns you more points than what you would have gotten with the mess your mind was in. These are the little joys in life those students not in AP Physics won’t have the chance to fully appreciate. Even if you do get the lowest grades you have ever gotten in your life, be proud of it. Be proud that you had enough guts to take AP Physics as a junior in Jefferson. Be proud that you survived all the reminders of the drop-out deadlines. Be proud of the challenge you decided to accept. Let’s avoid that “withdraw” on your transcript, and let’s not treat the grades you received in AP as shackles that will tie you down in Physics 1. Besides, we got to party and laugh at the Physics 1 kids as they spent all their free time doing wave labs during AP week.

The controversy is not about chicken patties slapped on wheat buns with a sprinkling of lettuce and dressing. No, we’re not talking salmonella. Chick-fil-A, which has been producing these popular fast food meals for the past 66 years, is at the center ARYA DAHAL of controversy involving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual (LGBT) community. On July 17, Chick-fil-A’s president Dan Cathy incensed gay rights groups and individuals with his outright support for “the biblical definition of the family unit” on a Baptist radio station. His comments advocated traditional marriage while disparaging same-sex marriage. First, there was an outpouring of support for Cathy’s statement. Everyone from the Rev. Billy Graham to the fast food consumer on the street flocked to blogs, Facebook and restaurants. Then, the other side struck back. Across the country, same-sex kiss days as well as protests outside some of the restaurant locations bubbled up. The political sector was also deeply involved. While Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed to ban all Chick-fil-A stores from their cities, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee called for a National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on Aug. 1. The controversy struck home the night of our first home football game on Sept 7. Jefferson’s Colonial Athletic Boosters as well as other boosters from around the county have been selling Chick-fil-A sandwiches during home football games and sometimes during basketball games. Due to Cathy’s recent remarks, the decision to continue supporting the organization might not be in the best interest of the school community. Jefferson has a tradition of being open, accepting and supportive, with its Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) garnering more members every year. Although Chickfil-A is chosen as a vendor because of its cheap and individually wrapped sandwiches, in light of recent events, the school community needs to be more considerate of members of the LGBT community in our midst. Already 18 faculty members have communicated their concerns over how the sandwiches reflect on the school. The issue at hand is not about Cathy’s blunt comments. He is fully protected by the First Amendment. In fact, it’s clear from the company’s website that it advocates Christianity and strong Baptist values. Thus, Cathy’s comments should come as a surprise to no one. That being said, his remarks represent a sense of inequality that we, as a nation, have encountered with gender and race in the past century. Should all companies be held to the same standard? For example, the Siemens Foundation, which was strongly affiliated with the Nazi Party during the Holocaust, also funds student research right here. Should Ben & Jerry’s, a vehement supporter of gay rights, also be banned in the future from the school? Money, not the opinion of the company, is the real issue in this case. Chick-fil-A has been linked to many organizations, notably the WinShape Foundation, that put a real emphasis on marriage solely between a man and a woman. By allowing students to buy sandwiches from the company on school grounds, we are essentially donating money through the company to these organizations. The WinShape Foundation, which was created by the founder of Chick-fil-A, received a donation of $8 million in 2010 by the company. Through the foundation, other companies such as Focus on the Family, Marriage and Family Foundations, Exodus International and the Family Research Council, all of which discourage homosexuality, have received millions in monetary donations. Despite Chick-fil-A’s recent promise to stop funding anti-gay groups, until such action is taken, the school community should maintain an unbiased stance on the issue. Until the company completely ends its support for these groups, Jefferson’s Colonial Athletic Boosters should stop supporting the company on illustration by Arya Dahal school grounds.



october 12, 2012

Kinesio tape grows more popular with athletes by Shayna Hume Sports Editor Over the last decade, many prominent athletes started using Kinesio tape. In the past few years, high school level athletes have also begun to use it as a tool to get around minor injuries. “In the 2008 Olympics, there were several athletes using it so we had an athletic trainer that worked at a physical therapy clinic demonstrate how to use the tape,” Athletic Trainer Heather Murphy said. “This year, I made a personal goal to learn more about it.”

Kinesio tape doesn’t speed up recovery. However, many people think of it as a tool that helps athletes play in spite of minor injuries. “I think more people will be using it soon because it is very helpful in stopping pain from affecting your ability to play,” junior cross country runner Luke Kuprenas said. At present, student athletes from cross country, football and field hockey use Kinesio tape. Three of those athletes use the tape to aid their kneecap’s alignment. “It definitely helped to keep my knee in place and made walking much easier,” senior football player Scott Gibson said. As publicized in the Olympics, the use of Kinesio tape has gotten to the point where the tape is worn to the events themselves. In high school sports, too, athletes can wear it to competitions. Kinesio tape is meant to last several days and can be worn even when not playing sports. However, athletes shouldn’t apply the tape themselves. “Taping and bracing is a special skill set for an athletic photo by Shayna Hume Athletic Trainer Heather Murphy begins to apply Kinesio trainer so it falls within our scope of practice,” Murphy tape after numbing senior Annie Burch’s right knee.

said. Kuprenas uses the tape specifically for a knee issue often referred to as Runner’s Knee. It often occurs in longdistance runners, but many other sports end up causing the same types of difficulties. “My kneecap was being pulled out of place. The tape helps to keep it in place,” Gibson said. Other injuries that Kinesio tape can help mute photo by Shayna Hume include strained Athletic Trainer Heather Murphy cuts the end of the Kinesio tape after usmuscles and ing it to brace senior Annie Burch’s left knee. sprains. “I strained my continue their training, many researchhamstring the second week of school, ers are looking into whether the tape right in the middle of our season,” senior actually helps or whether it is just a plafield hockey captain Ceci Vollbretcht cebo. said. “Ms. Murphy decided I should try “We are only using the tape if there is out the Kinesio tape. I haven’t missed a benefit in their performance. If we tape a day of practice, and my injury hasn’t the athlete and they don’t like it, or don’t gotten worse.” get a benefit from it, then we stop using Despite its uses in helping athletes to it and try something else,” Murphy said.

Juniors’ summer training pays off in competition

Kameron Wong competes in ice dancing Nationals after qualifying in her region

Bridget Anderson medals in international taekwondo championship in Slovakia

by Shayna Hume Sports Editor Junior Kameron Wong arrived in Colorado Springs, Co. to compete in the 2012 National Solo Dance Championship on Sept. 20. The competition, which lasted until Sept. 23, typically admits six ice dancers from each of the three major regions of the United States to compete against each other. “Ice dancers have a series of competitions starting in October. If there are more than four girls competing and you get first place, you get 13 points, second, 12 points, and so on,” Wong said. After the series of competitions, the ice dancers’ three highest scores are combined and from that number the top six are chosen from each region. In the case of a tie, extra people may be admitted. This year, there were 20. “I met a lot of the people at local competitions, but only four went that I knew from previous competitions,” Wong said.

by Shayna Hume Sports Editor After a summer of taekwondo training, junior Bridget Anderson flew to Bratislava, Slovakia for the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) Juniors’ and Cadets’ World Championships. The international competition took place from Sept. 9 to 15. “I have attended many national tournaments before, but this was the first time I competed internationally,” Anderson said. Anderson qualified for the WAKO World Championships earlier this year. Out of all the participants in her category, only one could represent the United States. Anderson started taekwondo in 2001 and earned photo courtesy of Bridget Anderson her black belt in 2010. “I started doing tae- Junior Bridget Anderson completes her bronze-winning kwondo mainly because forms routine in Bratislava. my older brother was doing it. Once I got my black fied in the preliminary trials from the belt and started competing, my prog- United States. ress became more intense,” Anderson During the competition, Anderson said. competed in a fighting division and a Over the summer, Anderson trained forms division. In the fighting division, an average of 6 to 7 hours a day to pre- she did not medal. However, in the pare for the competition. Her training forms division, she placed third overall. included several runs a day and hours “It was a great achievement, and both of jump roping, calisthenics, solo prac- my family and I were super excited,” tice and sparring at her martial arts Anderson said. studio. The WAKO World Championships “If you get to a competition and takes place every 2 years, but this is the you are out of shape, you don’t stand a first time Anderson has been able to atchance,” Anderson said. tend. In addition to her training, An“I still have to decide if I am going derson had to stabilize her weight so again. I would like to, but in 2 years I that she wouldn’t be disqualified for will be in college and it may be difficult weighing in above or below her weight to find time to train,” Anderson said. class once the competition began. With the school year underway, An“Dieting was probably the hardest derson doubts she will be able to keep part of the experience. Many times I up the training she did during the sumconsumed nothing but grapes and wa- mer. ter,” Anderson said. “I may go to a couple of national tourAnderson traveled to Bratislava naments, but I’m done doing really inwith the other competitors who quali- tense training for now,” Anderson said.

Over the past year, Wong has attended six ice dancing competitions. They included the Cherry Blossom Invitational, the Chesapeake Open and the Hershey Open. Her total scores from the top three were 34 points for pattern dances and 35 points for free dances. During the summer, Wong prepared for Nationals by skating every day for 2 to 3 hours after getting home from summer school. At Nationals, Wong was registered for both the compulsory Solo Pattern Dance and the Solo Free Dance events. “This is the first year solo free dance was hosted at Nationals. Whether I’m going again depends on what scores I get next season,” Wong said. In both of her events, Wong placed eighth. Wong started ice skating when she was 5 years old, but only started ice dancing more recently. “I have no idea how I got started with ice dancing, but it’s now one of my favorite parts of the sport,” Wong said. When she started ice skating, Wong focused on freestyle competitions for several years. Freestyle tends more towards jumps and spins. However, the ice dancing that Wong does now includes more turns, edge elements and technical skills. “I’ve been ice dancing for about 4 years, but I’ve only been competing for about two,” Wong said. Until next September’s National Solo Dance Championship, Wong will be participating in the regular season competitions as well as her training. “Now that it’s the school year, I skate a lot less. About an hour on weekdays and on weekphoto courtesy of Kameron Wong ends I do synchronized skating practice for 5 to 6 Junior Kameron Wong skates at her final qualifying competition for the Ice Dancing Nationals. hours,” Wong said.


october 12, 2012


Injured athletes wait to get back in the game by Sandy Cho Sports Editor Among the football players standing on the sidelines, one stood on crutches with his knee bandaged up. Although it was evident he was not able to play, he stood as close to the action as possible, right beside those who were ready to go. His booming voice shouted encouraging words to his teammates while his eyes never left the field. Senior Weldon Burrow, a varsity football player, is one of the many injured athletes this season who is unable to play for a certain period of time. Injuries can range from sprained limbs to torn ligaments. Athletic Trainer Heather Murphy works with students to make sure they are receiving the proper treatment and stretching correctly to prevent more damage. “In the treatment and rehabilitation process, our main focus is getting athletes back to the way they were before the injury,” Murphy said. Freshman football player Edward Zhou had a sprained wrist after falling during a game. Luckily he did not have to be out for an extended period of time. He needed several days of rest and had to have his wrist taped up in gauze bandages before being able to go out and play. “The difficulty of not playing is knowing I’m letting down my team while I could be getting real playing time,” Zhou said. Senior co-captain Christina Shincovich injured her knee at the volleyball match against Chantilly High School on Sept. 12. “My knee popped out and then back in, and I fell to the ground because I couldn’t

support myself,” Shincovich said. During the time she was unable to participate, Shincovich supported her team at the Washington-Lee High School tournament on Sept. 15. “I can do simple things like moving my arms to pass, serving, and hitting down balls but jumping doesn’t really work well at the moment,” Shincovich said. “My knee still pops out a little when I try to do that. There really isn’t a different way to train without use of one knee because my position requires jumping and ability to use my knee.” “An athlete might have a minor ankle sprain as far as ligament tissue damage, but it might affect their life as far as wearing a walking boot, having to use crutches, missing class time for appointments, missing practices and games,” Murphy said. “If it is their first injury, then they are in a new territory and there is anxiety about the unknown.” Even if the location of the injury on the body is known, often players have to sit out until the injury is identified to prevent worsening the damage. Sophomore cross country runner Maddie Zug had to have an MRI to discover the

stress fracture in her shin. “It’s really hard not to be running and competing in meets because I was really hoping to improve my times this year,” Zug said. Although not being able to participate is disappointing, Zug remains optimistic for what she is able to do. “I still get to be a part of spirit days and secret pals which is great,” she said. “I help out at meets sometimes with recording times or marking the course.” Burrow tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and is facing about one year of recovery. For an injury this serious, surgery was necessary and was performed on Sept. 19. Burrow is currently doing an athletic training program at a nearby clinic. Although he cannot play for a long time, he is still able to join the team at practices and games, providing support to the members. “I stand on the sidelines, congratulating and motivating teammates,” Burrow said. Although the severities of injuries inflicted on the athletes can vary, they all remain positive for the team, cheering them on and contributing in the best way they can. “An athlete could have a season ending

injury but everything is temporary and can be treated and rehabilitated,” Murphy said. “The amount of time it impacts the athlete’s life is small in comparison to their life span.”

The difficulty of not playing is knowing I’m letting down my team while I could be getting real playing time.

–freshman Edward Zhou

Senior Weldon Burrow shouts to motivate his teammates at the game against Stone Bridge on Sept. 28. photo by Sandy Cho

Players remain dedicated despite downtime on sidelines by Sandy Cho football team and how much it means to him. Sports Editor “As cliché as it is, I believe the most imporDedication: It is one of the most basic and tant part of being on the team is the camaradeyet important foundations needed for sports rie and sense of brotherhood,” he said. team to succeed. Although not all athletes can As a committed player, Wei always shows have the same amount of time on the field, the up to every practice and game, making sure devotion they contribto help out his teamute can have a powermates. ful effect on the team. “During practices A wide receiver I’ll help out on scout offor the varsity football fense and defense,” he team, senior Quark said. “In games, callWei has devoted four ing out plays from the fall seasons to his sideline can really help sport. However, the the defense, whether amount of time he the other team is runcan play on the field ning or throwing the is shorter when comball.” pared to the other However, Head members of the team. Coach Kenneth Kin“Part of the reason I caid is not as conphoto by Yena Seo have less playing time Senior Quark Wei watches the game cerned about the is due to my hands, against Stone Bridge from the sidelines. amount of time conor lack thereof,” Wei tributed but more so said. “A wide receiver about the effort. that can’t catch isn’t very useful, unfortunately. “If you are always comparing yourself to Sometimes it can become really frustrating — the best player on the team, you may become putting in a lot of effort every day at practice, discouraged and give up,” Kincaid said, “but and then only getting on a few plays each if you are focused solely on improving every game,” Wei said. day, you will look at yourself down the road Wei remains positive about being on the and realize just how much better you’ve got- (written in English, Chinese and Korean) AP Chemistry/Chemistry Olympiad AP Biology/Biology Olympiad AP Environmental Science Summer Chemistry preview (May/June) Physics (from summer to May) IBET, Brain Bee, and Organic Chemistry

By doctors specialized in helping TJ students for the last 20 years. The website was written from experience by TJ students. or See website for details.

ten, and your coaches will, too.” Although sophomore Grace Liu’s situation differs from Wei’s, Liu gives the same kind of dedication to her junior varsity volleyball team. Liu is new to the volleyball team this year, having only played the sport at a camp before the season. Because she lacks experience, she ends up having less time than the other members on the team. Even with this, she still feels a big commitment to the team, always showing up at every practice and ready to play in games. photo by Sandy Cho “I feel like I still have an equal responsibility as the rest of the Sophomore Grace Liu prepares to set the ball during a JV team, because even if I’m not volleyball practice. Liu hopes for more play time next year. playing as much, I can help the she said. players in the game call balls, Although not all athletes can claim full for example whether it’s in or out,” Liu said. “Also, when teammates get tired or injured, game playing time, they do appreciate those people with less playing time have to step in moments when they’re called into action. “I’m not sure if I can explain it,” Wei said. and play their best.” As she grows with experience from her “Playing on the field is just an amazing feeling. The feel of adrenaline coursing through first season, Liu is positive about her future. “I hope to improve my volleyball skills in my blood, the sound of the crowd, and the the future now that I have more experience sheer excitement of the game are a potent and hopefully get to have more playing time,” combination.”



october 12, 2012


october 12, 2012


With the Hispanic demographic growing in numbers and importance, educators and politicians focus on both the potential and the problems that follow Spanish emerges as dominant second I agree more with Obama’s policies in genlanguage in county

San Jose, Calif.

eral. On the one policy that is related to my background, illegal immigration, I think his policies are much better than Romney’s.

Chicago, Ill.


–senior Sebastian Lerner

I don’t think my Hispanic roots have anything to do with my political preferences, but I would go for Obama.

Los Angeles, Calif.

photos, graphics and reporting by Sunny Kim statistics from U.S. Census, U.S. News and World Report, Center for Latin American, Caribbean & Latino Studies, Los Angeles County Census and Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

“ ” “

For Hispanics, voting is more important because it is a bigger deal in Latin America than it is here. –Spanish teacher Alexandra Pou

Features Editor


aving lived in the Dominican Republic for 14 years, Spanish teacher Alexandra Pou excitedly debates immigration policies in

the upcoming election with AP U.S. History teacher John Struck. With Hispanics being the largest minority group in the U.S., the Hispanic vote will prove to be an important factor in this year’s election as well as others to come. As of July 1, 2011, the Hispanic population had risen to 52 million, according to the United States Census Bureau, and every month for the next two decades, 50,000 Hispanics will turn 18. President Barack Obama has been campaigning to appeal to the Hispanic vote with new policies on immigration. “Even though Obama has increased the deportation of immigrants by a lot, he also supports positions such as the DREAM Act,” AP U.S. Government teacher Dale Kummer said. The DREAM Act is a proposal that provides conditional permanent residency to undocumented students who have immigrated here illegally, but have lived in the country for at least five years. “The worst thing would be to deport the kids who came here as children or were born here back to their native countries where they have nothing to relate to,” Pou said. Obama has also been highlighting his administration’s accomplishments for the Hispanic population, such as his plans for restoring job security and improving student loans and overall education for Hispanics. There have been initiatives created such as “Latinos for Obama,” which allows


he Spanish language is the most prevalent foreign language spoken in Fairfax County schools with

Dallas, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

the Hispanic community to get involved in support of his campaign. Republican candidate Mitt Romney, too, has been working to win the Hispanic vote by making speeches directly to the Hispanic population, arguing that Obama’s policies haven’t benefited Latinos and that the president’s future policies will only make immigration a bigger issue. “Since Hispanics are a growing presence in the U.S. it will affect how much each candidate connects with them,” said senior Christina Shincovich, who is part Puerto Rican. “For example, Romney has tried to win the Hispanic vote by being endorsed by Tito Muñoz, and Obama visited Puerto Rico during his first campaign.” The lineup of Latino speakers at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, such as Florida Senator Marco Rubio for the RNC and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as the keynote speaker for the DNC, show both parties’ efforts to appeal to the Hispanic vote. Looking at the efforts made by both parties to target the Hispanic population, exactly how important is the Hispanic vote in presidential elections? “Right now, the election cannot be won without the Hispanic vote,” Pou said. This has proven crucial in past elections, such as the 2010 Nevada Senate race when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won due to Hispanics choosing him over Sharron Angle 90 percent to 8 percent, according to Latino Decisions, a surveying firm. “Even here in Virginia, Prince William County is becoming heavily Hispanic, and since Virginia is one of the swing states, what it comes down to is voter turnout,” Kummer said. “Minority groups usually have very low voter turnout so the candidates try to motivate the minority to go

The county’s

now makes up 15.6 percent, according to the U.S. Census

My parents aren’t necessarily Republicans or Democrats, but they tend to vote conservative because of moral issues rather than our Hispanic background.

” ”

–junior Caitlyn Carpio

The rule of thumb is that Hispanics vote Democrat, except for Cubans, because of Cuba’s history with Castro.

Houston, Texas

Hispanic voters form an influential group in upcoming election by Amy Ahn

Spread Editor

Hispanic population has experienced a steady growth and

–AP U.S. Government teacher Dale Kummer

El Paso, Texas

by Sunny Kim

42 percent of language minority students.

–junior Daniel Carballo

Phoenix, Ariz.

San Diego, Calif.

New York, N.Y.

vote.” According to Resurgent Republic, an organization that gauges public opinion about policy proposals, 51 percent of Hispanic voters affiliate themselves with the Democrats and 18 percent with the Republicans. “The conventional wisdom of course, is that Cuban-Americans tend to vote overwhelmingly for the Republican candidates, while most other Hispanics favor Democrats,” AP U.S. Government teacher Haywood Torrence said. “How successful a Republican candidate is in overcoming traditional voting patterns depends on the individual candidate – what efforts that candidate makes to reach out to the Hispanic voting community and how that candidate and his or her policies are perceived by that community.” “I think the Republicans have trouble appealing to the Latino vote, but they’re not really trying that hard to,” said junior Luke Barbano, who is part Venezuelan. Romney has made speeches in Los Angeles and to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and both candidates will continue to target this minority group in key swing states such as Colorado, Nevada, Florida and Virginia. “The Hispanic vote will become increasingly important. The percentage of Hispanics is going way up, and in 10 to 15 years they could be a decisive factor in the elections,” Kummer said. “As it stands now, I think Obama will receive the Hispanic vote because of his appeal to minority groups and because the Democrats are typically more lenient in regards to immigration laws and the road to citizenship,” said Dan Matson, a senior who is part Venezuelan and who will also be voting in the election.

Miami, Fla. KEY

Percentage of voting population within the Hispanic demographic block

Mexican Puerto Rican Dominican South American Central American Cuban Spanish Other

Bureau. In addition, during the 2011-2012 school year, there was an overall increase in the number of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers needed. These teachers have to be certified by the state but don’t need fluency in a second language. “The growth in the number of English learners in FCPS is greater than that of the general student population, a trend that is mirrored nationally,” said Darina Walsh, the ESOL coordinator of the Office of Language and Acquisition and Title I. Not all students in that 42 percent need ESOL services. The metric represents students where Spanish is spoken in the home. With the growth of the ESOL program came the financial obligations. The school system spends $3,300 per student for ESOL lessons, and the Fairfax County School Board has allocated funds for the fiscal 2013 budget to hire 160 new ESOL teachers in addition to the 860 who are already on staff. “The ESOL services and allocated funds are responsive to our district’s need to ensure English learners access to high quality curriculum,” Walsh said. Even though the lack of English-speaking ability can be a hindrance to the students, the ESOL programs are structured to provide the best services possible. “Our English learners have the same curriculum and the same standards as the other students,” Walsh said. “Their ESOL classes help them articulate their understanding of the content standards.” Spanish teacher Alexandra Pou, who is from the Dominican Republic, learned English as a second language. She remembers that being immersed in the language helped her learn it. “I went to school where there were very few Hispanics. The homeroom was in Spanish, but all the other classes were in English,” Pou said. “The difficult part was adjusting to the weather, the clothes, the language and the food. Back in the day, we got baloney sandwiches for lunch, and I still hate baloney to this day. But hey, it was free lunch.” Junior Jose Acuna came to the U.S. from Bolivia a month before his fourth birthday and took ESOL classes until kindergarten. “I didn’t know anyone, neither of my parents spoke English, and my older sister was struggling heavily in her school as well,” Acuna said. Acuna was learning to read at the time, and his extensive reading helped the language come quickly for him. “My major challenge in learning English was actually preserving my ability to speak Spanish and adjusting to the fact that I had to keep that ability to speak with my parents because they still haven’t learned English,” Acuna said. Unlike Acuna, seniors Crystel Calderon and Giovani Basurto learned Spanish and English at the same time. “I don’t remember ever learning English. I learned it alongside Spanish before entering kindergarten, probably through TV,” said Calderon, who moved to the U.S. from Mexico in 1995. “I’ve kind of always known English.” Even though Basurto was born in the U.S., he spent a lot of time in Peru, his home country, while learning to speak. “I did learn Spanish first, but I also learned English in the same year,” Basurto said. “I would get the languages mixed up a bit, but eventually, everything clicked and I recognized Spanish and English are two completely different languages.”



Nothing lies ‘Between the Lines’

photo courtesy of

by Shayna Hume Sports Editor It’s a happily ever after story, but not for the characters who have to live in it. Cue “Between the Lines,” a young adult novel by acclaimed writer Jodi Picoult and her daughter, debut author Samantha van Leer. “Between the Lines” asks a question that many writers have focused in on in the last decade: What do characters do while we aren’t reading the story? “Between the Lines” follows the story of social outcast Delilah McPhee as she discovers a fairy tale by the same name as the novel in her school library. Delilah quickly becomes obsessed with the picture book, only to discover that the main character, Prince Oliver, is alive. In a twist that was hardly unexpected, Delilah is smitten with the chivalrous Oliver and promises to help him escape. The ensuing adventure is told from three points of view: Delilah’s life in the real world, Oliver’s perspective from the confines of his story and the text of the picture book itself. In an unusual attempt to mark each of the storylines more clearly, Picoult and van Leer represent each point of view with a different font and color. The switch in font and color is not the only unique graphic characteristic of the novel. Scattered throughout the chapters, black silhouettes and full page illustrations add emotion to the text descriptions. These unusual techniques are interesting, and they add to the personality of the novel. “Between the Lines” blends the two authors’ writing styles almost seamlessly. However, Picoult’s name on the front cover conveys certain expectations in quality, and that is where “Between the Lines” falls short on several levels. For one, the vast majority of the characters aren’t emotionally poignant. Prince Oliver is supposedly blessed with everything but courage, but that flaw is hardly ever exhibited, adding disbelief to the rest of his monotonous nature. Secondly, the struggle to get Oliver out of his story feels contrived. The challenges that Van Leer and Picoult set up against Delilah and Oliver are consistently dead ends and so inconsequential to their overall success or failure that they carry little weight with the reader. The final solution to Oliver’s problem—when it finally happens—feels superficial and leaves the reader wondering whether that was actually the end of the story. All of those deterrents could at least have been partially excused if the basic theme of the novel had been well executed. However, with the novel’s faltering plotline, the potential strength of the theme seems to get lost along the way. If “Between the Lines” had focused exclusively on the concept of living characters or on Delilah’s suburban problems, it might have been a moderate success. The way it tried to include both ensured that the reader would not be able to become invested in either plotline. Despite all other issues, the biggest problem with “Between the Lines” was taking this novel seriously after having read Picoult’s other books. Though it was a collaborative effort, “Between the Lines” nevertheless fell far short of the meaning that Picoult typically finds, even in urban circumstances. “Between the Lines” would not have been a book I would have fallen in love with in the first place. However, it lost the chance of being one I could have liked when the conclusion arrived so easily and with so little effort on the part of the protagonists. The fairytale sections of “Between the Lines” are more interesting than the actual novel, if just for the fact that they do nothing less and nothing more than they are expected to.

october 12, 2012

s r e w e i v e u g i r t n i s e i r e t s y m w o h s e m i r C by Yena Seo Entertainment Editor Juniors Anna Seo and Iris Hyon sit in front of the screen, eagerly watching the scene about to unfold in the hit television crime-drama “Revenge.” Never taking their eyes off of the heroine, the girls wait in anticipation until the episode ends in a cliffhanger and the credits begin to roll. “I think it’s a really unique show because the plot is intricate, smart and full of suspense. It’s different from a lot of other shows because the protagonist is a female,” Hyon said. “Revenge” is only one of many crimedrama programs that have continued to thrive in the television world and have captivated the attention of Jefferson students. “Revenge” premiered in 2011 and has quickly become one of ABC’s highest-rated series. The show focuses on Amanda Clarke, under the secret alias of Emily Thorne, and her plan to exact revenge on the family who framed her father for a crime he did not commit. Clarke, now posing as Thorne, returns to the Hamptons to set her plan in motion and destroy everyone who played a role in betraying her father. “I found out that the storyline is a spin-off of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by Alexander Dumas, and that really sparked my interest because I was curious to see how that would be portrayed in a modern perspective,” Seo said. Several other longer-running shows such as “Dexter” and “Bones” have continued to attract a strong fan base. “Bones” is in its last season and has been on air for 8 years on Fox, while “Dexter” is in its seventh season on Showtime. “Dexter” is centered on a man named Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst who, because of his need to kill, becomes a serial killer. However, Dexter follows something he calls “The Code,” so that he only kills people who are guilty of having wrongfully murdered someone. “Dexter” has garnered many awards nominations and has been nominated for 19 Primetime Emmy Awards

and seven Golden Globes. “The show has some of the best acting in my opinion, and the director does a brilliant job. The best part about the show is the plot; there are no better twists and turns than in ‘Dexter,’” junior Saad Guliwala said. “Each season has many subplots in one main over-arching plot, and the writers tie everything together is amazing.” Unlike others in its genre, “Bones” relies heavily on the chemistry and relationships between its characters, and focuses on a group of people rather than a single protagonist. It is about a group of forensic anthropologists, led by Dr. Temperance Brennan, working in combination with the FBI. Each episode focuses on an FBI case concerning mysterious human remains, which are brought to the anthropologists and other scientists at the Jeffersonian Institute. “It has both serious and comedic themes to it, which is unlike other crime shows,” junior Puneeth Uttla said. “There are a lot of special effects and comedy embedded throughout.” Crime-drama programs continue to be a hit for viewers across the nation and at Jefferson. The mystery and suspense that these types of shows feature are something that many students seem to

thoroughly enjoy. “I think crime shows appeal to TJ students because there’s a lot of scientific elements involved in them, in addition to mystery, deception and plot twists,” Hyon said. “They’re smart shows, and they’re very intense.”

Junior Saad Guliwala is a fan of “Dexter.”

photo illustration and graphic by Mallika Patkar and Jennifer Walter

Web provides alternative to print comics by Jennifer Walter Entertainment Editor As senior Bobby Huddleston prepares for school, he opens up his computer, clicks on his bookmarks and checks out “xkcd,” one of his favorite Web comics. “I read Web comics because they are a quick and easy way to de-stress every morning before going to school. It takes only a few seconds, but I get a laugh out of them and relax a bit,” Huddleston said. “Most of them are very nerdy, and I find they are much funnier than other more conventional comics.” Web comics appear solely online, usually on a website devoted to the individual comic. They are targeted to an Internet-based demographic and generally feature short drawings that appear on a daily or weekly basis. The potential for Web comics is perhaps b e s t shown

by “Homestuck,” an ongoing story that encourages fan participation. Created on April 13, 2009, a date important to the storyline, by Andrew Hussie, “Homestuck” has evolved since its inception by taking advantage of the Internet medium and incorporating animation, role playing games and point-and-click into the story. “The Web comic is presented in a video game format, where you, as the reader, are privy to every character’s thoughts and actions,” senior Christine Xu said. “However, unlike an actual video game for completely interactive storytelling, ‘Homestuck’ gives you direct choices on what to do next, in the form of the link to the next page.” After “Homestuck” is completed, Hussie intends to create an actual adventure game based on the comic. However, long plot-centric comics don’t appeal to all Internet users. “I usually don’t read any that are stories,” sophomore Billie Males said. “I read ones that make fun of historical events like ‘Hark, a vagrant.’” “Hark, a vagrant” is one of many online comics whose appearance is more simplistic than their print countergraphic by Jennifer Walter parts, with sto-

rylines that usually don’t last beyond a single page. Among this type of Web comics are sites like “Cyanide and Happiness” and “xkcd” which is, according to writer Randall Monroe, “a Web comic of romance, sarcasm, math and language.” “‘xkcd’ is really suited to TJ students because it deals with a lot of things in our lives, such as math, science and academia, in a dry, humorous way,” junior Jamie Simon said. “It strikes a balance between classy and classless.” While the Internet medium encourages experiments in presentation, it also allows a change in tone from print comics. “A lot of the change is in the audience,” senior Alana Whitman said. “The Sunday morning funnies have to be family-friendly, because what 6-year-old doesn’t immediately go straight for the colored sheets? However, to read a Web comic, you have to know about the comic and what website to go on. This means that Web comics can contain darker, racier humor that might be hilarious to some, but inappropriate for others.” “Questionable Content,” another popular Web comic, is a mixture of the two styles, with a storyline that doesn’t delve into the complexity of “Homestuck.” Other popular comics that fall between these two extremes include “The Adventures of Dr. McNinja”, “The Order of the Stick,” “Darths and Droids,” “Doghouse Diaries,” “Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal” and countless others. “There are such a large number of them that their humor is pretty much infinite,” freshman Catherine Im said. “They’re pretty addicting.”


october 12, 2012

Album photo courtesy of



photo courtesy of


DVD Release

photo by Yena Seo

photo courtesy of the

‘The 2nd Law’


iPhone 5

‘Hunger Games’

by Tom Stone Special to tjTODAY Returning to the studio three years after the release of their Grammy Award-winning smash hit “The Resistance,” the English alt-prog rock band Muse kicks their act into the stratosphere with their new album, “The 2nd Law.” Well-recognized for its incorporation of sounds ranging from classical music to heavy metal, Muse is a band that is difficult to attach a label to, but that’s not at all a bad thing. It’s apparent that the dynamic of “The 2nd Law” is spread across a much wider range than their other work from the very beginning of the album, with the opening notes of “Supremacy” dominated by a massive guitar riff that strongly evokes many a Radiohead tune and the emotion of Muse’s explosive live performances. Other landmarks on the track list include “Panic Station,” a hysteric funk tune with a bass line that will get anyone up on their feet, and “Survival,” a majestic piano-driven power rock opera that harkens to the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen as well as Muse’s previous albums. Finally, the band takes a bold yet promising first step into the electronica and dubstep genres with “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable.” The song, anchored by the journalistic narrative of a woman about the science of energy, signals the turning over of a new leaf for the group and is one of the best-produced tracks on the entire album. Muse succeeds with “The 2nd Law” in a way that many other bands simply cannot. The ability to re-invent a well-loved and clearly defined style is critical to the continuing success of a group, and they pull it off without a hitch. I would highly recommend this album to any fans of Radiohead, Daft Punk, modern takes on classical music, or any other acts that venture into the arena rock/operatic realm.

by Jennifer Walter Entertainment Editor “Frankenweenie,” a stop-motion animation produced by Tim Burton, illustrates the story of young Victor Frankenstein who loses his beloved pet dog, Sparky, and brings him back to life. The movie is a remake of a short film that Burton created for Disney in 1984. With its black and white appearance and bizarre cast of characters, “Frankenweenie” pulled out all the stops to create a weird and occasionally downright creepy atmosphere. The best parts of the movie were undoubtedly the interactions between Victor and Sparky. Victor’s unconditional love for his dog was real and touching, giving a measure of authenticity to the story. However, Burton failed to bring this believable motivation to Victor’s parents and the school children, causing the subplots to fall flat. For a movie that encourages scientific exploration and caution, “Frankenweenie” has a surprisingly loose grasp of scientific theories. Bringing animals back to life with electricity was essential for the plot. Creating a cat-bat hybrid via lightning strike was a little weirder, but still understandable within the premise of the movie. I draw the line at killing sea monkeys with extra salty popcorn because freshwater creatures apparently die when they consume too much salt. A redeeming aspect of the movie is the multitude of horror movie references and black humor that provide funny moments in an otherwise bleak film. For lovers of the strange and creepy, “Frankenweenie” may be an enjoyable watch, but for all others, it might be best to leave Burton’s caricature of “Frankenstein” alone.

by Jay Hebert Special to tjTODAY The iPhone 5, released by Apple Inc. to the public on Sept. 21, is the sixth generation of the Apple’s premier smart phone. The iPhone 5 comes as a major revision to its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, with several improvements. It boasts a larger screen, LTE (4G) communication and the new Apple A6 processor, in addition to being thinner and lighter than previous generations. The screen is now 4 inches across the diagonal, heightening the device just enough to fit another row of icons on the home screen, and is the first iPhone to provide a 16:9 widescreen screen ratio. Some other minor changes to previous generations have been the replacement of the 30-pin dock connector with a much smaller eight-pin dock connector, named “Lightning.” Overall the phone feels much lighter and elegant, and the hardware improvements that allowed the phone to be the width that it is, such as a thinner screen and a camera that is a quarter thinner, are truly amazing. Although most reviews remain positive, there have been some complaints reported by users including purple flares occurring in very low-light photos and the back of the phone being less scratchresistant. However, I have not had any hardware problems within my weeks of ownership. The phone itself is also not the only innovation a buyer will receive. The iPhone 5 comes preloaded with the latest iPhone operating system, iOS 6, and the box comes packaged with a pair of Apple’s newest headphone design: the EarPods. The iPhone 5 starts at $199 with a twoyear contract from AT&T, Verizon or Sprint with 16GB of storage.

by Mallika Patkar Editor-in-Chief In March, “The Hunger Games” hit the big screen, exciting fans already heavily invested in the popular book series by Suzanne Collins. The movie came out on DVD and Blu-ray in August and topped DVD sales charts in mid-September. The DVD set includes not only the film, but also an additional disk of special features. The film received praise for its loyalty to the text. The special features disk highlights this and also explores the relevance of the books and film to present society. Director and co-writer Gary Ross explains his thought process behind everything from casting to special effects in the documentary entitled, “The World is Watching: The Making of the Hunger Games.” The technical aspects of film are supplemented by actors Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson’s explanations of how they prepped physically for the film. The eight-part documentary is interesting to fans who want to follow Ross’s process of transforming the novel into a film. Equally as fascinating is the feature, “Game Maker: Suzanne Collins & The Hunger Games Phenomenon,” which includes an interview with Scholastic Inc. publisher David Levithan. Levithan describes how Collins was inspired by war and reality television when she first began writing the novel. The book series and subsequent film that were produced are relevant across generations, exploring themes such as power, war and poverty. The special features disk shows how the actors, producers and director were heavily invested in the original text and sought to preserve it through the film. The DVD and accompanying special features disk allow fans to intimately follow the process of turning a beloved book into a powerful film.

Choral Department plans two popular productions by Jennifer Walter Entertainment Editor Junior Hannah Pho scans the stage and scribbles in her binder, making note of what changes need to be made as her classmates rehearse. After her classmates finish singing, Pho stands center stage and gives blocking directions. The Choral Department will be performing “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” by Andrew Lloyd Weber from Oct. 26 to 27. The musical is a comedy based on the Biblical story of Joseph. The Saturday performance will be geared towards children. “The characters will come out and greet the kids at the beginning and ending of the show,” Choral Director Molly Khatcheressian said. The retelling of a more serious Biblical story as a comedy will have silly and fun elements, such as the portrayal of the pharaoh as an Elvis-like character. Sophomore Ben Parsell has been cast as Joseph and senior Matt Swanhorst will play the pharaoh. The performance will be almost entirely student controlled, with curricular choir and drama students taking over the staging, scene directing

and teaching of the music. “I want the students to have an opportunity to run all aspects of the show themselves,” Khatcheressian said. Parsell is one of the six scene directors who are working under Khatcheressian. “This is the same thing that Mrs. K did last year with ‘The Secret Garden,’ but this time she is choosing to be even less involved,” Parsell said. “It’s supposed to be a learning experience.” Another director is senior Arisa Smith, who is in charge of the first two songs. “We’ve only been working on it in class so far,” Smith said. “I had a day where I told everyone in the class to sing and act out their parts and then the next day the next director would start their scene.” The winter show, “Sweeney Todd in Concert,” will be performed Dec. 6 and 7. The show will be an interpretation of “Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” by Stephen Sondheim. The musical thriller tells the story of Sweeny Todd, a falsely convicted criminal who returns to London to find his wife dead and proceeds to swear revenge on the world. With the help of Mrs.

Lovett, Todd opens a barber shop where he slits clients’ throats and bakes their bodies into meat pies. “Sweeney Todd will be similar to ‘Pirates of Penzance’ last year in that it will include an orchestra and not be fully staged,” Pho said. “There will be more stage movement than Pirates.” Senior Julia Ruth has been cast as Mrs. Nellie Lovett, Pho has been cast as Johanna and freshman Nova Zheng has been cast as the Beggar Woman. The lead male roles consist of freshman Tyler Larkworthy as Anthony Hope, sophomore Adam Goldstein as Sweeney Todd and senior Alex DiLauro as Judge Turpin. While this schedule may be tight for the Choral Department, it’s proven itself in the past by putting together the production of “Les Misérables” in about a month. “We will be hard at work learning and staging these musicals for the next three months at least,” Pho said. “It’s a lot to do in a little time, but we have a history of putting shows together in record time. We are blessed to have a director who can make things like that happen.”

photo by Yena Seo

Sophomore Ben Parsell rehearses as Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”



Hit Books: What popular novels topped the teen charts since 2007?


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sophomore Mallika Subandh “I liked it because it was a unique book. It shows a story that rarely happens in real life, but you want it to.”


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junior Mason Chee “‘Hunger Games’ is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It was exciting, thrilling and awesome. I particularly enjoyed the archery aspect of the book, because I’ve always been a fan of the sport.”


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junior Kai Eubanks “Although ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ may not be written in what I would consider the best style, I still very much enjoyed it because of the interesting interactions between the characters and the captivating plot.”

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senior Kyler Blodgett “‘New Moon’ was great to read because everyone else was talking about it at the time, so I could add to the conversation. Plus it was written in a way that I didn’t have to think much but could just enjoy the story. Every once in a while, it’s nice to read a book like that.”


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october 12, 2012

Principal returns to teaching math

by Lindsay Williams ranges of understanding. Some students need to be challenged, Features Editor some need support,” Glazer said. “The class has to be more There’s another new face in the teaching corps this year. dynamic than just giving all students the same problems. The Unlike the teachers new to our campus, he’s been here before challenge the teachers have is to find a balance that works for and even taught a senior leadership class. In fact, he regularly as many students as possible.” leads administrative meetings, cheers at football games, and Students are enjoying the enthusiasm and knowledge directs front hall traffic. Glazer brings to the classroom because he really enjoys what But now, Evan Glazer is back in the classroom teaching an he is teaching. He has a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Algebra II with Trigonometry and Data Analysis with math Education from the University of Illinois as well as a Ph. D. in teacher Carol Rychlik. Instructional Technology at the University of Georgia. The class has double Glazer has been the amount of students teaching math on and off as a normal class and is for 18 years, but has not taught differently. Glazer taught it since becoming makes recordings of his principal at Jefferson. lessons, called pencasts, “I feel that Dr. Glazer for the students to watch is an excellent math at home and devises a few teacher. He seems to homework problems. When know the topics we are the students come into learning very well,” class the next day, they are freshman Fox Wilson separated into levels based said. on how well they did on the Although he doesn’t homework. The different have a favorite topic, levels then do more he is excited to promote problems and are separated inquiry among his again. students and use the “This method allows new technology that is us to talk to every student developing in the field every period, which because it changes how doesn’t normally happen math is taught. with teacher centered “You can do problems instruction,” Rychlik said. that were previously The teachers like the undoable with new photo by Alexis Williams different format because Principal Evan Glazer tries out function aerobics and other innovative technology,” said Glazer. it allows them to work ideas as part of his new math curriculum. In addition to the cooperatively and use each collaboration between other’s strengths. Rychlik and Glazer, all “We work really well together. Being able to bounce ideas of the teachers doing Algebra II this year are sharing most off each other is really good,” Rychlik said. handouts, online material, quizzes and tests to reduce the Students also like this format because they have more time workload for teachers and to promote consistency in the to absorb the material they are learning and they have entire course and among the students to determine where the class periods to ask questions. problem areas are. “I like the pencasts because you listen to them at home and “We share performance data so that we have a mindset of you can ask the questions the next day after you’ve had time helping all students in Algebra II instead of just our own.” to process it,” freshman Vivian Fang said. Glazer feels like this class will help him gain perspective as Glazer took on a math class to experiment with cutting- to how the newer students are faring and what the transition edge teaching technology and to determine what caused a to Jefferson is like. He chose Algebra II specifically to help significant number of people to have trouble in that class last new students. year. “Dr. Glazer is a great math teacher. He’s really good at “I think when students are in that class, there have wide explaining problems,” Fang said.

Special ed team aids students in learning by YouNa An Features Editor It’s a typical lunch period, and a student walks into the Special Education Department office. He starts chatting with resource teacher Marilyn Levine. Soon, another student comes in, and between the spoonfuls of yogurt and sandwich bites, the three of them converse easily about courses, teachers and days on campus. These are two of the approximately 20 students the Special Education Department helps directly every year. The team primarily meets with students and parents, advises counselors, and works with outside agencies. “We also provide suggestions and work with teachers,” department chair Martin Dubin said. “If you ask me about physics, I’m not an expert, but I can help teachers present information to students.” The department aids a variety of students, including those with disabilities in vision, hearing, physical needs and learning disabilities. In addition, Dubin and Levine deal with emotional issues, speech and language, and autism.

sophomore Paris Mitzelfeld “‘Twilight’ was addicting but not really good literature. It was like potato chips... good but not haute cuisine.”

7 0 0


freshman Minjoo Kang “I liked ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ because it was the finale and everything came together. It was thrilling; it had a lot of suspense and a happy ending.” photos and reporting by YouNa An and Alexis Williams infographics byYouNa An and Ellen Kan information from USA Today photos courtesy of

photo by YouNa An

Department chair Martin Dubin points out tools to facilitate learning while resource teacher Marilyn Levine works in the rear of the Special Education space.

“We work with students on a one-on-one basis to help them with organizational skills as well as other areas on a needed basis,” Levine said. The team members provide special devices for better notetaking and study skills. One tool is the smartpen, a processor that records a lecture as the user takes notes. The pen lets the student listen to the part of a lecture corresponding to a certain section of his notes, facilitating studying. Other equipment the team uses include the student’s sonic ear and teacher’s microphone set, large print books and books on tape. “We try to help students be self-sufficient. Ms. Levine might take notes at the same time as a student and compare the two sets, helping the student develop note-taking skills until she doesn’t have to accompany the student anymore,” Dubin said. Dubin became interested in the field of special education as an undergraduate. He received a master’s degree in general education and special education and a doctorate in educational leadership and organizational behavior. His previous jobs include principal and classroom teacher. “People think students at a high intellectual level don’t need special support, but that’s not necessarily true,” Dubin said. The department also serves to review students who have not been identified as requiring services as an early intervention strategy. “Dr. Dubin always pushed me to stand up for myself and take charge of my life,” said a senior who preferred to remain anonymous. “He always provided helpful advice when things got too much to handle on my own.” Levine, on the other hand, initially wanted to teach history. When it didn’t work out, she followed her friends’ advice and went back to school to get her degree in special education. “It has turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I enjoy working with small classes and really getting to know my students and their families,” Levine said. Dubin compares the uniqueness of his job to trying to solve a puzzle, in a positive way, and loves the fact that “every day, every student and every challenge is different.” Levine agrees. “I never know for sure what each day will bring,” Levine said. “I can walk in the building with a list of things I want to accomplish and then a phone call or e-mail has me off and running around the building. I enjoy the freedom my job allows me.” In the future, Dubin hopes to influence nationwide special support for people at the same level as Jefferson students. Levine will continue to support students to grow to their full potential. “I would like to help the students I work with become more self-sufficient and learn to advocate for themselves. This is a skill everyone needs throughout his life,” Levine said.


october 12, 2012


Mexican-inspired cuisine provides options of varying quality Tepid


The chicken in the Mesquite Chicken Tacos was juicy and distinctive, and the seasoning gave it a nice texture. However, it would have been better had there been more variety in the ingredients and flavors. The Grilled Steak Tacos were really greasy, and the oil was dripping out of the meat. The shells also weren’t very hard and fell apart as soon as they were picked up. The meat itself passed muster, but wasn’t different from tacos you can buy at other stores.


California Tortilla


By the numbers California Tortilla

Mesquite Chicken Taco.......$2.59 Calorie count: 224 Total fat: 8.41 grams Size: 6-inch tortilla

Taco Bell

DoritosLocosSupreme.......$1.69 Calorie count: 200 Total fat: 11 grams Size: 6-inch tortilla

Moe’s Southwest Grill

Overachiever........................$3.29 Calorie count: 440 Total fat: 22 grams Size: 6-inch tortilla

Address: 301 Swamp Fox Rd. Alexandria, VA 22314 Phone: (703) 329-3333

photo by Sandy Cho

Taco Bell

Moe’s Southwest Grill

The Chicken Gordita Supreme had a crunchy shell and good chicken which, combined with the sour cream, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes, made it a satisfying taco. The Doritos Locos was difficult to get down, and the shell became soggy quickly. While the meat was palatable, the Dorito shell did not blend with the meat well. Address: 7450 Little River Tpke. Annandale, VA 22003 Phone: (703) 256-2086

Address: 5855 Leesburg Pk. Falls Church, VA 22041 Phone: (703) 578-6637 photo by Mallika Patkar

The tacos and ingredients were bland at best. There was nothing from the restaurant that made it stand out from other restaurants that served similar styles of food. The best part may have been the unique salsa choices and the touch screen soda fountain (although more and more food chains are getting those). photo by Jenny Chen

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Spotlight on: Alumni


october 12, 2012

Where are they now?

This is first of a series of alumni profiles highlighting graduates who had connections with each other during their time at Jefferson. Bello and Kaylor were high ranking SGA officers in their year and distinctive figures during Homecoming Week’s activities.

Honors ‘fun HUM’ offers juniors a choice

Bello turns Ivy studies into urban education

photo courtesy of Jackie Bello

Jackie Bello mentors a senior at Northwestern High School.

by Alexis Williams Features Editor She had heard about Desmond. All of the other teachers had warned her. They said that he was in a gang. He was 19 years old, and still had not graduated. He was a hulk of a man, huge and tough. But Jefferson Class of 2004 graduate Jackie Bello was determined to help Desmond graduate. Bello worked with Desmond, and discovered that he could not read at more than a second grade level. He was disruptive to the classroom environment and embarrassed by the fact that he did not understand what was going on in class. By the end of the year, Bello had him fully understanding “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and presenting it to the class. Bello had done this with countless students during her two years at Northwestern High School in Baltimore, Maryland, while getting her master’s degree at Johns

Hopkins University. For every student she got hooked on a book or excited about school, she felt a burst of pride. All of this was part of the Teach for America program, in which bright graduate students, like Bello, teach inner city students who don’t have enough resources. “The highs were high, and the lows were lows,” Bello said. “It was definitely challenging and rigorous.” While Bello was at Jefferson, she was president of the SGA. She created Junior Campout, which is now a tradition, and gave back by adding the benches outside the auditorium lobby and doing odd jobs like painting. Her crowning achievement was securing offcampus lunch for seniors. Bello also participated on the Chemistry Team, in TJ Drama and Shakespeare Troupe. Bello has pursued a love of education throughout college and after. She attended Princeton University for her undergraduate degree. “One thing I would do when I was touring the colleges is walk up to people and ask if they were happy. At Harvard, they hesitated and sounded unsure. But when I did it at Princeton, everyone immediately said yes,” Bello said. Bello wanted to go to a school with as much spirit and pride as her high school. After graduating from Johns Hopkins, Bello decided to further contribute to education by becoming a consultant in Milwaukee. She is currently writing a $40 million grant and is competing against 900 districts, including Fairfax County Public Schools. The grant is given in various categories, and the Milwaukee Public Schools district is in the same category as FCPS. Even though Bello has moved on, she has not forgotten her former students. “I am still friends with my students on Facebook,” Bello said.

Kaylor thrives on fast-paced rhythm of the ER by Lindsay Williams undergraduate, partly because he loved the school’s Features Editor reputation for having good sports and spirited sports fans. When recent medical school graduate Jordan Kaylor He didn’t go to Duke to play, but to cheer on the sports arrives at Northwestern Medical Center, he knows he’s teams. got a full day ahead of him. It may not be exactly like “I think Jefferson and being on SGA got me excited the experience you remember on hit TV show “ER,” about school spirit and leadership, and it taught me early but it’s pretty crazy. Anything from on about leadership,” Kaylor said. dressing a gunshot wound to opening Kaylor decided not to go into politics or a patient’s chest to routine sore throats have leadership positions in college because and lacerations, Kaylor lives the life once he wanted to relax and enjoy his college portrayed by George Clooney. experience. However, he became an EMT and A Jefferson class of 2004 graduate, then a paramedic while at Duke. Kaylor is currently in his first year of “Durham was a great place to be an residency to become an emergency care EMT because ambulances were based out doctor and is planning to do a couple of fire departments. I got to work at a fire years of fellowship when he finishes. He department, and my friends thought I was a wants to pursue emergency medicine firefighter,” Kaylor said. long-term as a physician with special Unfortunately, Duke didn’t quite meet his training in critical care. expectations. He felt that the school lacked While Kaylor enjoys residency real enthusiasm and was very commercial in photo courtesy of Jordan Kaylor because of the real experience, it can be its school spirit. Jordan Kaylor graduated from very taxing with long hours. “I felt like school spirit was a business “My biggest challenge has been Emory Medical School there, a way to sell merchandise or get shown finding free time in residency. We have on ESPN,” Kaylor said. new work hour restrictions that limit us After graduating from Duke, he went to to 80 hour work weeks averaged over one month, which Emory University for medical school. isn’t much of a ‘restriction’, so it’s hard to have much of a He is now doing his residency at Northwestern University life—although I did just get a cat.” so he can realize his goals. He applied to Northwestern In his time at Jefferson, Kaylor was the SGA vice because their focus is on academic emergency medicine, president, which he enjoyed. and the school provides training in trauma management. “It let me shape my Jefferson experience both for me and Being in emergency care has personal satisfactions. other students,” Kaylor said. “I like the idea of being prepared for anything,” Kaylor Kaylor went to Duke University in Durham, NC for said.

photo by Shayna Hume

English teacher Suzette Henry directs a class discussion in HUM II.

by Shayna Hume Sports Editor The AP exams are still over seven months away, but already, juniors are beginning to feel the difference in their choice to take AP U.S. History (APUSH) HUM II or not. “AP classes have a specified amount of information that needs to be covered,” junior John Panagides said. “Taking the honors curriculum allows both the students and teachers to focus without worrying about what we need to know for the AP exam.” Every previous year since U.S/VA History became an option for HUM II in Fall 2008, around 45-55 students have enrolled in the two available sections. This year is the first year a third section was opened. Because so many rising juniors consider APUSH the regular HUM II course, the HUM II with honors history often gets referred to as “fun HUM.” “If you’ve got other interests, you don’t have to take APUSH. There’s a few different ways to scale back junior year. Taking honors HUM is one of them,” counselor Tonya Lathom said. The students at Jefferson often have many reasons for needing to scale back. For some, it’s the other courses they take that make APUSH seem like one step too far. “My biggest reason was because my other courses were pretty hard,” junior Priyanka Raju said. For other students, it’s their extracurricular activities and commitments outside of school that make adding another AP class as a junior not seem like a good idea. In the past, teachers who taught regular HUM together include John Struck and Denise Castaldo, and Struck and Kate Lewis. This year, the staff members teaching the three sections are history teacher Amanda Hurowitz and English teachers Lewis and Suzette Henry. “In APUSH, you have to have both breadth and depth. In our class, we have the luxury to emphasize depth. What we do is just as intellectually rich, but a little more targeted,” Hurowitz said. In addition, the U.S./VA HUM II’s complete a year-long research paper that integrates the skills they learn from being able to examine history at a slower pace. “It’s not like we’re doing the exact same thing as APUSH.” Hurowitz said. “My students aren’t just learning history; they’re actually doing the history themselves.” The English 11 class paired with U.S./VA history covers the same materials as do the ones attached to the APUSH courses. However because of the HUM II integration, the English teachers often keep in mind whether their partner is teaching APUSH or not. “Our classes give students exposure with depth and the ability to develop an enjoyment of history and literature without some of the pressures that could potentially accompany an AP course.” Henry said. Many students feel the pressure of another course would be too much. During the scheduling meeting at the end of sophomore year, students can talk with their counselors to decide which history course would be better for them. “I keep a list of all my students’ extracurricular activities, and we look at it during the scheduling process. It’s all about maintaining balance,” Lathom said.

AP Biology curriculum updated to include more experimentation by Alexis Williams Features Editor When AP Biology teacher Sonia Del Cerro first announced the changes to the AP Biology curriculum, there was a palpable sense of relief in the classroom. Everyone was thinking about their friends who had already taken the course and had had a rough time with the memorization, which had been taken out of the curriculum. The AP Biology curriculum has changed for the new school year. Many items were taken out of the curriculum, and the main focus has switched. The College Board changed their expectations for the test, and the AP Biology department is making its own changes. “Luckily, many of our changes matched up with the College Board’s changes to the curriculum,” AP Biology Teacher Barbara Wood said. The changes focus on replacing the

large amounts of memorization involved in the curriculum, with student-designed experiments. “The new curriculum does not have as much breadth and the number of topics has diminished. There are more in depth experiments,” Del Cerro said. Wood believes the curriculum will be helpful for the students who wish to go into the Neuroscience or Biotechnology senior research labs. Essentially, the teachers want to focus on more on analysis of articles, which Wood says is critical to students and student experimentation. This will greatly affect the teaching. The new experimentation plans mean the experiments will be longer and harder to grade, so it will be more work for the teachers. Some students who have already taken AP Biology are not happy about these changes because they think the new curriculum involves much less tedious memorization,

which they believe gives the students taking it now an advantage. “There were some people who really struggled with the memorization, and I believe the whole class would have done better with the new curriculum,” junior Will Ashe said. However, some people believe that the changes are better late than never. photo by Alexis Williams “I think it will help AP Biology teacher Sonia Del Cerro explains new concepts students have a better basis for learning biology if they to sophomores Hannah Gaudet and Azman Garcha. understand the concepts now, “The tests require us to actually apply especially if they want to do research, where knowledge,” sophomore Azman Garcha self-designed experimentation is necessary,” said. “Personally, I like to visualize when I senior Navya Kandukuiri said. Most of the students who are currently am learning biology, and I really enjoy the taking the course are happy about the changes. changes.”


october 12, 2012


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october 12, 2012

Can you discern party affiliation from apolitical choices? Intranet poll reveals patterns in student decision-making NPR as news source of choice DEM: 31% GOP: 11%

FOX News as news source of choice GOP: 51% DEM: 6%

“NPR is slightly biased towards Democratic audiences. The same demographics that are usually Democrats are more interested in the things NPR discusses.” - senior Tom Hay

“Most of everything we know about politics is through news sources and FOX News obviously has a lot of Republican bias.” - freshman Vooha Putalapatty

Prefer hybrid cars DEM: 67% GOP: 31%

“Democrats believe in change and being progressive, and alternative energy is a change that’s becoming more and more important as we consider the environment. I like hybrids because they save money on gas, and I feel good about making my carbon footprint a little smaller.”

Prefer pick-up trucks GOP: 27% DEM: 3%

- senior Avanti Shirke

“I’m guessing the consumer choices are related to the mind set of each party, but that mind set is only a broad generalization. Personally, I would prefer a pick-up over a hybrid, but I’m sure there are other Republicans that would prefer hybrids over pick-ups.”

Have done yoga in the past year DEM: 31% GOP: 17%

- junior Kyle Alexander Have gone hunting in the past year

sophomore Donny Waymire

Have a cat

GOP: 36% DEM: 7%

DEM: 20% GOP: 17%

Enjoys watching the History Channel

“I prefer cats because they’re much more autonomous and they think for themselves, just like Democrats.”

GOP: 55% DEM: 47%

- junior Andrew Corzo Have a dog GOP: 58% DEM: 45%

senior Jasmine Denizard

Watches Animal Planet DEM: 20% GOP: 17%

“I like dogs because they truly are a man’s best friend. I do not think that Republicans prefer dogs more. Dogs are loved by all. I think that might be due to the stereotype of many Republicans hunting with them.” - junior David Chae

253 students responded to Intranet poll layout and graphics by Amy Ahn

October 2012 Issue  

October 12 Issue 2012

October 2012 Issue  

October 12 Issue 2012