december 2010 issue 2 thevikingnews.com
Weâ€™re in this together. Get your schoolâ€™s limited edition yearbook now.
first look staff
editing team Michelle Delgado Lauren Pichon Dani Psimas
Captain Mike Botelho breaks for the goal with a defender close behind. cover photo/Haley Johnston
online team Michael Carter Torri Hart
copy team Courtney Coombs photography team Jessica Carver Haley Johnston Brian Wagner
ad team Mari Kiyota Kamna Talwar staff writers Rachel Boisjolie Charlotte Cooper Tatum Davenport Tierra Dongieux Melissa Fairfax Leigh George Josh Janney Acacia Lawson Maddi Luckman Ben Lutrario Zack Miller Mae Markowski Joe Midolo Courtney Morgan Morgan Screptock Lakshman Ulanowsky Carter Waller Ben Waring Dana Wood adviser Paige Cox
Paige Cox firstname.lastname@example.org 340 N. Maple Avenue Purcellville, VA 20132 540-751-2400
6 the door
I’m more than a label. Whether I’m gay or straight or whatever, it shouldn’t define who I am. -Alex Rice, senior
the door viking view
from the eyes of a techie centerspread
abroad for the holidays sports
on the ice arts & entertainment
shutting out harassment T Michael Carter
his fall, Americans everywhere were shocked by the suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi after his roommate revealed his homosexuality on the Internet. After Clementi’s story broke, more stories of suicides caused by harassment surfaced all over the country. To many, this trend seems like an issue distant from Loudoun County. However, last February, senior Olivia Zook was hospitalized after a suicide attempt. Zook, who is openly bisexual, said that the feeling that she didn’t fit in anywhere became overwhelming. “When you’re feeling that way, you get tunnel vision and it’s almost impossible to look at other options,” said Zook. “You kind of just want to disappear for a little while.” Zook was able to recover and says that she has grown stronger since. However, orientation-based harassment remains a serious problem. “There are plenty of kids at Valley who contemplate suicide, some who will attempt suicide, and those who will successfully commit suicide. It’s not something that we really think about,” said Zook. “Nobody wears a t-shirt that says ‘Hi, I think about killing myself.’” To combat the disturbingly widespread trend, several national support networks have been established. Networks include The Trevor Project, a suicide helpline, and the It Gets Better Project, a support network discouraging teens from committing suicide. Valley students’ solution is the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), which was created last year to be a supportive community and of which Zook is president. Senior Alex Rice joined the GSA to support her friends, but since then has become the target of derogatory remarks based on assumptions about her sexuality. “I’m more than a label. Whether I’m gay or straight or whatever, it shouldn’t define who I am,” said Rice. “I know who I am, and what they think about me just doesn’t matter.” Harmful labeling has even extended to the middle door in the hallway from the cafeteria to the gym, referred to by some as the “gay door.” This concept has been at Valley for so long that the origin of its label is unknown; however, many students still have a tendency to keep away from this door to avoid harassment. “The concept itself is kind of confusing,” said Zook. “I don’t know how that got to be ‘the gay door’ or what it implies.” Zook said she has observed stereotypes that suggest that homosexuality is a negative factor. “For instance, a male that doesn’t fit into a masculine role or a female that doesn’t fit into a feminine role may be targeted. It’s not unusual for a high school, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay.” Teacher Kenyamo McFarlane learned about the “gay door” this past fall. He said, “When I first heard of it, I thought it was the most ridiculous thing ever for obvious reasons. A door doesn’t dictate someone’s sexual orientation.” McFarlane is both an advisor of the Student Council Association and a football coach. He has encouraged the SCA and football team to stop the harassment related to the door. “It shouldn’t be something that we have in this school.” In response to widespread criticism that teachers and administrators are often unaware of the level of harassment, measures to halt the growing problem have been taken. The Safe School Ambassadors program was introduced last year to teach students how to prevent bullying. “Because I am a Safe School Ambassador, I have been trained to prevent and distract bullying, so whenever I see it I do my best to stop it,” said senior Heather Baker, who has started to intentionally go through the middle door by the cafeteria and refers to it as “the cool door.” While preventing harassment is a step in the right direction, this doesn’t change the fact that the topic of suicide is often avoided because of its sensitive nature. “Suicide is not a dirty word,” said Zook. “It’s something that nobody ever talks about, but it’s something that needs to come out or else everybody else who feels that way will be isolated, which is a potential killer.” ■ illustration/Haley Johnston & Michelle Delgado Look online at www.thevikingnews.com for further coverage. contributors/Courtney Morgan and Leigh George
college just got a whole lot easier CAMPUS guides firstgeneration college students
Courtney Coombs & Josh Janney
here is a myth running amuck at Loudoun Valley: That everyone who enters these doors enters college easily. That everyone who goes to this school knows how to work through the college process. That everyone who goes here has parents who have been to college and are ready to guide their children through the obstacles that face high school students. But for some students at Valley, the road to college isn’t as easy. And that is where CAMPUS steps in. College Achievement: a Minority Program for Unique Students, or CAMPUS, is a
10 photos/Haley Johnston
four-year program designed to provide prospective first generation college students with information about how to apply to college and opportunities for scholarships, as well as trips to different colleges. “It’s a four year program. We try to have four college visits a year, in and out of state, to give a feel of what it’s like to go to college. We give them as many choices as possible. We have an in-house tutoring system, where students are provided with mentorship. CAMPUS also does community service,” said Charles Smith, guidance counselor.
Through the program, students are able to learn about college through mentors and college visits, in a way that their parents may not be able to teach them. “My parents don’t know anything about it— we are first generation— so [the mentors] kind of become your buddy, help you, and teach you about it and everything,” said junior Nancy Muro. In order to be a part of CAMPUS, students must be nominated by their teachers. Students who are nominated generally are doing well in school and have high grades. “Usually we accept a student if a student likes school and wants to go to college, but needs support,” Smith. “You have to want to go to CAMPUS.” CAMPUS ultimately provides students with higher confidence in their ability to apply to and attend college. “I was really excited. I
things you need to know Dani Psimas
Hackers strike back to support WikiLeaks founder Associated Press
2 3 4
North Korea warns of all out war CNN Short-term legislators pack up as new wave prepares to move in Washington Post Tax package will aid nealy all, especially highest earners New York Times
5 6 7
Fed to spend $600 billion to speed up recovery New York Times Bernanke on ‘60 Minutes’” Grim outlook for jobs CNN Senate puts off ‘don’t ask’ vote Washington Post
was like, ‘whoa, this is the first time that I can do something and learn about colleges and things I don’t really know about,” said senior Mellanie James. “I think having someone there, having a program, having a group who are in a similar situation helps you to build your confidence with anything,” said CAMPUS teacher Rodney Jones. “I think with CAMPUS, just having someone telling you what to do, what you should look for, and how to prepare for the next four years of your life really helps.” Not only do students involved learn more about the college process, they also become a close family of their own. “They’re always there for you, and your friends that you make there, they have the same goals to get into college. We share those same dreams,” said Muro. ■
8 9 10
US ends push to renew Israeli freeze on settlements New York Times Mounting debts by states stoke fears of crisis Washington Post Talk on the left of a primary challenge to Obama New York Times
4 viking view
backstage, anything goes
Senior Will Owings works on set construction for December performances of Anything Goes. Lauren Pichon & Kamna Talwar hush falls over the audience as the house lights dim. Our eyes follow a single stage light that illuminates the leading man, and we become absorbed in the play. No one gives much thought to the man behind the curtain. Though the actors are the ones in the spotlight, techies work just as hard to make the play perfect. They stay behind the curtains, or in a booth in the back of the auditorium, ensuring that the lighting, sound, and construction of the set are up to par. “The actors are essential, but our job is to make them look better for their performance. If [another techie] poorly formats someone, or doesn’t format something correctly, we get really horrible sound during the show. It just makes it so much better,” said junior Mark Peterson, Lighting Designer. Techies help make the play just as much as the actors do, but most audience members are completely unaware due
the fact that they are hidden from sight. “That’s kind of the point of technical work. We’re not supposed to be actively appreciated. If we’re doing our jobs, you can’t really tell. You’re not supposed to notice any[thing],” said senior Alan Kyte, Sound Designer . “The only time you see a techie is when we are moving something on stage, and we’re rarely ever mentioned in show program”, said sophomore Luke O’Brien, Stage Manager. “You’re in the shadows.” Techies not only work hard during the show, but also in the weeks and months leading up to it. They construct the set and make sure the sound and lighting systems are working
properly. “For a couple of either months or weeks leading up to the show, we come in from 7-9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays to work on the set. We also work during Tech Theater classes, which are 8th block. Leading up to the show, sometimes we’re here every day after school, or on weekends, rehearsing, setting up, and getting everything perfect,” said Kyte. Many of the techies have been involved in drama for many years, and several started out as actors before realizing their calling to the technical aspect of the production. “My older brother, Brandon Peterson, was an actor, and I got started in community theater
We’re not supposed to be actively appreciated.
-Alan Kyte, senior
photo/Brian Wagner as a stage hand. Once I got into Valley as a tenth grader, I started technical theater,” Peterson said. For many techies, the work is entirely intrinsically motivated, and the lack of recognition isn’t a turn off. “It has been really amazing. I’ve learned to use power tools… and even use the electric saw, which is really cool because I’m just this little girl, but I can cut wood like none other,” said Grandfield. “It’s been cool to learn something completely new.” Despite their lack of recognition, techies enjoy every aspect of their work, whether it be social or otherwise. “We get to be really close because we can recognize how hard the whole thing is,” Grandfield said. Senior Ian John, Assistant Technical Director, said “I’m happy in a way about being a part of it, without people actually knowing. It gives me a weird sense of satisfaction.” ■
viking view 5
“I play percussion. Band brings the school together and is really energetic. Marching band is important!”
“I like to build stuff. Right now, we’re rebuilding the water wheel for the little garden outside.” -Jimmy Vanderveldt, junior
-Veronica Lusetti, sophomore
what makes you unique? “I make an effort to help others in every way I can. I always try to be the best friend I can be.”
“I’ve played softball for a while, and I’ve always enjoyed it. We have a tradition at Valley that before games, we don’t step on the foul lines.”
-Cate LeSourd, senior
“I’d like to help the country in a way. I’d like to be a CSI guy, catching murderers.” -Robert Alexander, freshman
-Lindsey Bowles, junior
n this season of celebration, The Viking staff has decided to dedicate this issue to celebrating differences within our school community. Whether gay or straight, first generation college student or legacy, behind the curtain or on the stage, on the ice or on the field, Valley students represent
a rich variety of differences that deserve celebration and respect. Difference isn’t a spectacle for effect, and inclusion isn’t a worthy deed to be flaunted. Rather, subtle differences add endless dimensions of diversity to our community; inclusion is a natural action that requires no
thought. This New Year’s Eve, as we watch the final seconds of 2010 tick away, we will be presented with an awesome opportunity to shape the next year of our lives. Let’s put our differences aside and focus on making this the best year possible. The Viking staff proposes that we – the entire
Valley community – resolve to embrace our differences, rather than let them drive us apart. The point isn’t that we always agree; the point is that we communicate with one another. This is the year to share your talent, and it’s our job to give you the venue to do so. Let us publish your unique story, and let’s begin celebrating! ■
holidays away from home
Exchange students spend the holidays far from home.
Torri Hart & Jessica Carver
Brazil >> 4095 miles
When Americans imagine a carnival they envision cotton candy, a Ferris wheel, and clowns but for Brazilian exchange student, Helena Barros, the word has an entirely new meaning (even the spelling is different: carnaval). “A typical holiday is carnival (carnaval). It’s [carnival] in February, people dress up however they want too. It doesn’t celebrate a specific thing; it’s not a religious holiday,” said Barros. Christmas
may not be the most popular holiday in Brazil but Helena is still missing her family, “It’s kind of sad because we’re usually together. It’s difficult because I’ve never been away for the holidays.” Though she is away from home through the happiest season of all, her festive personality is still glistening beneath the Christmas lights.
Kazakhstan >> 7005 miles
Being away from home for the holidays is never easy but Dinara Dauletbayeva does not let herself lose contact with her family, “I miss my family because I have never been so far away from home for such a long period of time. I call them every other week and email them often. I’m really thankful for my [host] sister, Faith Dean, she always supports me.” Back home, in Kazakhstan, Dinara
enjoys Christmas but in her country New Years is the main event; when families get together and enjoy one another’s company over a big meal. “New year is when you realize what you have accomplished then make wishes for the next year… it reminds me of magic.” Hopefully her first New Year’s in the United States will be just as magical as it is back home.
Kyrgyzstan >> 6993 miles
Kerim Uulu Nurlan
ayeva “I live in the capital so I don’t need a car because I can walk everywhere. Museums and anywhere else I want to go to are right there,” said foreign exchange student Kerim Uulu Nurlan. Usually a city slicker, Nurlan is not yet accustomed to small town life here in Loudoun County, but his host family is helping him to
Shanna Bauer “I write e-mails and messages with my mom every day. They send me packages with Christmas stuff,” Bauer said about keeping in touch with her family while 4,850 miles away from home. Holidays are very different in Germany than they are in America. “We celebrate Christ on the 24th, in America, you celebrate on the 25th.” In Germany, Christmas is not the only thing that
adapt. “My [host] family practices English with me. They’re really nice,” said Nurlan. This winter, Nurlan is looking forward to going camping with his host family. “It will be my first time ever camping. It will be cold, but fun,” he said. Though small town U.S.A is a long way from his home in Kyrgyzstan, Kerim is enthusiastic about spending the year with his host family.
Germany >> 4850 miles
comes early., Santa Clause does too. “Santa Clause comes on December 6th and the angel brings the presents on Christmas,” Bauer said. Even though this bubbly, rosy-cheeked teen is away from home for Christmas, she’s definitely not lacking holiday spirit!
Timm Gaetke, a German foreign exchange student, is coping well with being away from home for the holidays. “I’m pretty okay with being away from my family. I usually talk on the phone with them,” said Gaetke. Christmas, Timm’s favorite holiday, is celebrated differently in Germany but is based on all the
same principles. “I like Christmas because you get to eat so much,” he said. This winter, Gaetke is also looking forward to shredding some snow. “I hope I get the chance to go skiing because I love it,” said Gaetke. Despite being away from home during the holiday season, Gaetke, always a gentleman, is taking his experiences in the U.S. in stride.
photos/Torri Hart & Jessica Carver
A & Q
e sat down with goalie and captain Ben Adams to get the inside scoop on the life of an ice hockey player. The Viking: How did you start playing ice hockey?
Ben Adams: My uncle had
season Capitals tickets and would take me to all the games. That really got me interested.
V: How old were you when you started playing?
B: I started when I was little
by playing roller hockey, then started playing ice hockey when I was ten.
V: Were you always a goalie? B: No, I actually started out as
B: Over the summer I pulled
my groin- it’s definitely something that doesn’t heal overnight. I had to do a ton of physical therapy. I pulled it during a training camp while I was competing for a starting position. It was really hard to play at my full potential with the injury. I just had to give it time.
a center forward. One game our goalie wasn’t there, so I jumped in and decided to try it. It just worked.
V: As a goalie and a captain, do
V: What is the worst injury
I’m a captain I have to set an example and if I get thrown out
you’ve ever had from playing?
you feel more pressure to be on your game?
B: Yeah definitely, now that
of the game for something we have no goalie.
V: How has your commitment to hockey affected your life?
B: The hours to practice are
usually late. It’s been a big commitment. For my travel team we’d go to New York, Michigan, and Massachusetts every weekend, leave on Friday and return late Sunday night.
V: Do you plan to play in college?
B: Yes, I got into West Virginia and am applying to Bowling Green State.
Yes, Valley does have a hockey team.
students weigh in on their favorite pro hockey teams
Haley Johnston and Tatum Davenport
t may seem surprising that hockey has trickled down into the rural suburbs of Northern Virginia, but a small fan base for hockey has started to grow. From an outsider’s perspective, ice hockey seems like every other sport: action packed, thrilling, and exhilarating. But a closer look at Valley’s own team reveals that hockey demands a lot more from its players. Stepping into the cold rink invigorates both the players and fans, who anticipate a victory, an amazing
the price to play
goal, a rivalry fight. Hockey requires a multitude of abilities such as speed, precision, agility, balance, and coordination. It is a fast-paced, physical sport and is one of the most difficult sports to master. Hockey players face atypical challenges; practicing late hours, traveling to different states for games and tournaments, and spending a small fortune on equipment and gas. The team’s home games are played at the Ashburn Ice House, a good 45 minutes from Purcellville, but the late hours become
second nature to veteran athletes. “It’s a big commitment,” said senior Mike Botehlo. “The long drives are the most difficult thing, because there aren’t many ice rinks nearby.” Dedication is apparent in not only the players, but their families and coaches as well. At each game you see the hopeful faces of each parent and fan, and the concentration and focus of the coaches: Greg Hunter, Alex Bennett, and Jim Regnery. Each player has a passion for the
game; it’s an easy thing to say but a rare thing to find. “It’s the thrill of the fast pace game, whether it’s a goal or a big hit, it’s always exciting and keeps me coming back,” said junior Chris Fiedler. This optimistic and determined attitude is demonstrated by all aspects of the team, both in the actions and ambitions of the players, and through the encouragement and energy provided by the coaches. Though the team is combined of athletes from Valley, Heritage and Woodgrove, the players on the team
stick together. “I feel like as a team we have chemistry. A lot of the guys hang out together, which helps us to be more in sync on the ice,” said Fielder. At the games each fan is on the edge of their seats, watching and waiting to see who will score. The team is filled with high hopes that the best of the season is still to come. With the continued support of the fans, parents, coaches, and the consistent application of hard work, unity, and determination, the team looks forward to a strong season. ■
71% Washington Capitals
13% Pittsburgh Penguins
New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers
1 2 3 4 5 6
10 arts & entertainment
f you think there’s nothing to do that’s both fun and local, we’re here to prove you wrong! 40 minutes from Purcellville, Reston Town Center offers trendy shopping and dining in a clean urban setting. Explore Apple, Anthropologie, J. Crew, Nine West, or Sephora. Visit the outdoor skating rink for the perfect date night or girls’ night out. Then, after working up an appetite, try one of the diverse dining options. Choose from Japanese, Thai, Mexican, Italian, steakhouses, grills, tap rooms, and cupcakeries for the perfect bite.
clockwise: peppermint latte at Marvelous Market ■ unique ingredients top a burger at The Counter ■ tart frozen yorgurt topped with fresh fruit and nuts at Sweetgreen
1820 Discovery St Reston VA 20190 If you’ve been to Europe, walking into Marvelous Market will instantly call to mind the village grocery shops that are common there. Fresh salads, sandwiches, and soups are all made on site daily, but the first thing you’ll notice is the dessert case, which is stocked with freshly baked pies, brownies, and other sweets. In keeping with its European style, Marvelous Market’s menu incorporates local produce to optimize freshness and support local agriculture.
Marvelous Market is located right next to the Reston skating rink. Stop by for apple cider or locally roasted Mayorga coffee after to warm up after skating.
local insiders: best eats
Michelle Delgado & Danielle Psimas
11922 Democracy Drive Reston VA 20190 At The Counter, you can design your own burger, custom built with unusual ingredients including brie, grilled pineapple, roasted red peppers, and more. If the over 300,000 possible combinations seem a bit daunting, The Counter also offers a selection of predesigned burgers. Protein options include humanely raised beef or turkey burgers, grilled chicken, and a Market Selection (crab cakes the day we were there). If you’re not a carnivore, The Counter also offers veggie burgers. Be sure to order some fries – the portions are large and perfect for sharing. The sweet potato fries we tried were perfectly cooked, with a light crunch, creamy interior, and spicy dipping sauce.
11935 Democracy Drive Reston VA 20190 If you want something sweet but light to finish off your meal, Sweetgreen offers the perfect dessert fix. Frozen yogurt is tart and creamy, and each generous serving comes with up to three toppings of fresh fruit or nuts. Sweetgreen also offers a salad bar stocked with locally grown produce, and because the menu is based on what is in season, options change based on the time of year.
If you can’t decide between fries, sweet potato fries, or crispy onion strings, try the “Fifty-Fifty,” a split portion of two options.
If you don’t finish your salad, don’t worry – there is a compost bin alongside the trash can and recycling bin. Even the utensils are compostable!
arts & entertainment 11
movies worth watching
Courtney Coombs & Michelle Delgado
A Christmas Story
Year Released: 1983 “You’ll shoot your eye out!” No matter what holiday you celebrate, this is a funny movie. Despite its relatively unknown cast, A Christmas Story is a must-watch for the holiday season. Told from the perspective of a little boy in the 1940s, the story is one that anyone who ever grew up can relate to. Be sure to watch the annual allday marathon on TBS on December 25.
our theme With winter break quickly approaching, it’s important to plan your movie marathons in advance for the long hours of snowy relaxation. A planned marathon helps to avoid the boredom and irritation associated with aimless channel-flipping. When the holiday cheer of traditional festive films becomes a bit too cheery, try some of these off-beat classics.
Year Released: 1990 Do you know where snow really comes from? In what is perhaps one of Tim Burton’s greatest creations, Johnny Depp stars as the unbelievably gentle Edward, a man unfortunately afflicted with scissors for hands. When a sympathetic Avon saleslady brings Edward home with her, Edward changes the lives of the residents of Suburbia forever. Though it is set during Christmastime, the movie focuses more on the characters and the changing world around them than it does on the actual holiday.
Year Released: 1972 This movie is certainly “an offer you can’t refuse.” Although the film is set at Christmastime, this is definitely one to take your mind off of the cheery world of the holidays; The Godfather is not a film for the weak of heart, with more explosions and death in its three-hour blood-bath than you’ll see in any Christmas movie, for sure. Despite its extraordinarily violent nature, The Godfather is a classic that can never be overlooked. In a world fascinated with mobster movies, The Godfather is the quintessential must-see.
Year Released: 1985 Set in a dystopian future, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil explores the disastrous consequences of a simple misunderstanding. The film’s name comes from its theme song, which is catchier than “Jingle Bells” and will have you humming all winter break. The mind-bending film contains multiple dream sequences that become increasingly nightmarish and eventually merge with reality. Okay, this really isn’t a Christmas film. But it does include a brief (and bitterly funny) appearance by a cynical Father Christmas.
gh u o r h yt a y d n Mo y is Happ ! Frida from 4-5 r Hou
Mon to Fri: 7 am - 9 pm Sat: 8 am - 9 pm Sun: 9 am - 6 pm 540-338-6703
Serving all ages, abilities and subjects/content areas In-home tutoring services All tutors K-12 certified Virginia teachers www.loudountutors.com 703-728-0111
Your ad could be here.
We know teeth.
Contact email@example.com to advertise.
Orthodontics 17333 Pickwick Drive, Suite A Purcellville, Virginia 540-338-0004
Jasmine’s Chinese Cuisine & Sushi
“The best Chinese food I’ve ever had.” -Ellie Burnett
110 South Street Leesburg, VA 20175
(703) 737-2288 call for quick takeout!
Material the viking Girl Elegance
Scarves for every occasional and outfit, plus jewelry, purses, socks, and new rain boots for every fashionista at Valley! 600 E Main Street Purcellville 540.338.7799
hot drinks, live music, friday mornings.
he Viking staff handpicked these three wintry photos from submissions provided by Valley’s new Photography Club. Though all of the submitted photos were excellent, the staff felt that these three best captured winter in western Loudoun County. counterclockwise ■ 1st place photo by Kyra Kilfeather ■ 2nd place photo by Cate LeSourd ■ 3rd place photo by Jessica McCann Interested in joining Photography Club? Stop by Ms. Demary’s room (304) on A Club rotation with your $5 dues.