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e d i s InFeature



Sports Looking to learn about love? Read about what really drives compatibility, along with what not to do in a high school relationship.

Get an inside look at how the gymnastics team’s season is progressing. Also, catch up with what is going on in the Ping Pong Club.

Learn the results of this year’s Invisible Children book drive, as well as possible scheduling changes for next school year.

Read a review of the latest and most popular As Seen on TV products, and catch on to some of the latest fashion trends at school.

Our New Teacher “Laurie-ate” Staff Reporter

“I was on the run for murder, and I thought it was a good cover,” said Mr. Gordon Laurie, when asked why he became a teacher. Humor is just one of Mr. Laurie’s qualities that won him Washington-Lee’s 2010 Teacher of the Year award. According to assistant principal Mr. Paul Jamelske, a teacher needs to be prepared and go above-and-beyond in their teaching efforts to be picked as Teacher of the Year. Beyond extra work and collaboration, Mr. Jamelske said that Mr. Laurie is “very passionate about his work, and it shows.” Being picked as the 2010 Teacher of the Year is only one of Mr. Laurie’s achievements, however. He recently acheived National Board Certification, a designation achieved by only 2% of teachers nationwide that reflects an educator’s motivation to become a better teacher. As shown by his Teacher of the Year award, Mr. Laurie is also clearly well-liked and respected by parents, students and co-workers. Mr. Laurie teaches three different English classes and spearheaded the effort to make a broadcast journalism class to cover the morning announcements. He is now in charge of the broadcast journalism class, The Generals Daily Dispatch, but Mr. Laurie said that “it’s really a student-run production; once the basic skills are learned, their creativity can show through.” In addition to broadcast journalism, Mr. Laurie teaches English 10 Intensified, English 12 and IB English 12. “Mr. Laurie is a great teacher who cracks some of the funniest jokes ever,” said sophomore Leah Crangle-Young. “He always makes class memorable and we are always laughing.” The nomination process for the Teacher of the Year

award is extensive, and requires teamwork between teachers, parents and students to fill out a thick recommendation packet. After all of the recommendations are compiled, Mr. Jamelske is in charge of making the final decision. He said that it was a difficult decision this year because there were so many stand-out nominees. The deciding factor was Mr. Laurie’s dedication to and genuine love of the teaching field. “[Mr. Laurie] takes the time to make each student’s experience in his class a special learning opportunity,” said Mr. Jamelske. Mrs. Sarah Congable, another English teacher who was picked as Teacher of the Year in 2008, had more to say about why Mr. Laurie was picked. “He has a different approach to teaching than most teachers, and it works,” she said. In addition to staff members’ praise, Crangle-Young went on to say, “[Mr. Laurie] is great at getting along with kids, but at the same time his class is very challenging.” Both Mr. Jamelske and Mrs. Congable echoed the sentiment that Mr. Laurie strives to connect with his students. Mrs. Congable said that Mr. Laurie’s best quality was his genuine care for the students. “He looks at the big picture, ‘Are you doing okay in life?’ not just in his class.” Even Mr. Laurie himself commented on his efforts to look at students as “sentient beings who have a real life outside of my classroom.” In response to receiving the award, Mr. Laurie said, “It’s humbling to be honored, especially because the decision is made by students, faculty and parents.” Mr. Laurie encourages other teachers to go for the gold standard of teaching and to enjoy the “privilege to be around young people and to watch them grow into mature…beings.” He said, “The English department in this school is the best in the county, and every member should and could be Teacher of the Year.”

Laughs with Mr. Laurie

“The world needs ditch diggers too.”

“You can find it on the interweb, which is a connected series of tubes built to withstand a nuclear attack.”


2010 Teacher of the Year, Mr. Gordon Laurie, helps senior Genesis Torres with a question in sixth period English class. Mr. Laurie teaches English 10 intensified, IB English 12, English 12 and broadcast journalism.

“Now that homecoming is over, remember guys, prom is only a few months away.”

Emily Walker, ‘12

“I have umbrella insurance. Gather round me children, and I’ll protect you.”



February 2, 2010

What’s Going On? School News and Noteworthy Events

Crossed Sabres

A Monthly College Fair

Staff, PTA expose students to college options

Thursday, February 4, Early Release All high school students will be released from school at 12:21 p.m. Friday, February 5, Club Picture Day Pictures for all clubs and societies will begin at 8 a.m. They will be taken in the Little Theater. Friday, February 12, Celebrate Black history There will be a Black History Month Assembly held in the gymnasium during third period. The assembly will begin at 10 a.m. BY NOAH PILCHEN

Friday, February 12, Course Request Forms Course Request Forms are due to the counseling office. Remember that teacher signatures are required for some classes. Monday, February 15, No School There will be no school held in honor of Presidents’ Day. Students return to school on February 16, which is an “L” day. Friday, February 19, Summer Activities Fair The Summer Activities Fair at Thomas Jefferson Community Center, will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be representatives from 100 summer camps and programs, including sports camps, art and academic programs, and overnight and day camps. For more information and a complete list of exhibits, go to the Arlington County website, or call 703-228-7667. -Christina Phang,‘10

Many staff members, including administrative assistants, Mrs. Martha Helgerson and Ms. Claudia Vasquez, and counselors Ms. Meaghan Traverse, Mrs. Kristen Shapiro, Ms. Jessica Baith and Ms. Heather Mizell wear their college gear on College Pride Day. The event is held on the first Thursday of each month to stimulate student interest in the college application process.

Abigail Bessler, ‘13

Staff Reporter Up and down the hallways teachers move about in their usual way, students rush to class in a predictable manner and school begins to the same routine. Once a month, though, school escapes its typical habits and teachers exchange their Generals t-shirts for a college sweatshirt found in the back of their closets. It is not a coincidence that all of the teachers come decked out in college attire on the same day. It is called College Pride Day. Ms. Gretchen Ricks, former College Summit elective course teacher, started College Pride Day in 2007. Although the day is a fun experience for the faculty, it was created with an even more important idea in mind. “The purpose of College Pride Day is for the staff to show pride and to show support and encouragement for students to go to college,” said counselor Mrs. Kristin Shapiro. “I have a lot of students who ask me questions about my college, Marymount Manhattan College, when I’m wearing my t-shirt or sweatshirt.” Another effort to encourage students to

apply for college was started by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). “I talked to the principal about the need to bring the idea of college into the high school on an everyday level,” said PTA president Ms. Nancy Pilchen. The idea involves placement of laminated signs outside teachers’ classrooms telling students the college the teacher attended. “We want kids to feel comfortable asking questions,” said Ms. Pilchen. “It’s setting the tone at the school, which is the most important thing.” According to Ms. Pilchen, another goal of the signs is to encourage all students of all grade levels to ask questions. “We want thinking about college to extend down to ninth grade,” she said. “Applying to college is an accumulative process. Senior year is way too late to start thinking about college.” Ms. Pilchen also believes the college summit elective course, a course currently only open to seniors, could help students begin the college process earlier. “College summit is too late,” she said. “The course should be available for sophomores and juniors.”

Mr. Eric Hill, the school’s college and career specialist, has been working to expand the number of grade levels able to use Naviance, a college research tool that Ms. Shapiro thinks is very helpful. “All students should start thinking about college. That’s one reason that tenth graders are being introduced to Naviance this year,” said Ms. Shapiro. She added that even ninth graders might be able to use Naviance next year. Science teacher Mr. Ryan Miller said that College Pride Day and the signs posted outside classrooms allow students to see the variety of colleges available. “The best way to learn about colleges is to ask teachers about their experiences at their school,” he said. “I think it’s a great idea to show different institutions represented by our faculty.” Mr. Miller said that in his class, he shows students the number of career choices possible with a college degree. He praised the school in encouraging students to go to college. “The school is doing an excellent job,” said Mr. Miller. “Not just in the hallway [with the signs], but in everything that we do.”

Look Both Ways and Hold Hands Before Crossing School cites pedestrian safety as a growing concern Connor Lay, ‘12


Cars file into the main entrance driveway as the school day begins. Locations around the school with heavy traffic, such as the intersection of Stafford St. and Washington Blvd., have been sites of recent minor accidents involving pedestrians.

Staff Reporter Students have many options for commuting to school, including catching the bus, walking or driving a car. For some, this has become the most dangerous time of the day. More and more incidents of students being hit by vehicles have occurred over the past year, and the administration has started to take action. Assistant principal Mr. Paul Jamelske said accident hotspots are present where Quincy and Stafford meet Washington Boulevard. “There have been several incidents of minor accidents or near misses. Thankfully no one was seriously injured,” said Mr. Jamelske. Another area of danger is the stretch along Stafford Street. Students whose parents drive them to school often exit the vehicle before it turns into the driveway in front of the main entrance. When cars stop in the middle of Stafford St. to let out students, other cars often try to drive around then and students run the risk of being hit by another car. “We have been encouraging parents to drop off students where the old bus lane is, along Stafford Street and behind the bleachers,” said Mr. Jamelske. A fence along Stafford Street, which would prevent students from treading across the grass, is also in the works.

On the other side of the school, students have been having issues with the crosswalks along Quincy. Many drivers simply ignore students waiting to cross, which forces them to march into oncoming traffic. “We have talked with Arlington Police; there are supposed to be random increases in police force at key crosswalk areas,” said Mr. Jamelske. “Their idea is, if they do it in a random way, they will be able to regulate and identify possible threats.” Other issues include blind spots created by parked cars and buses, as well as the misinterpretation of crosswalk signals. Many people think flashing red means you can go, when in fact it means prepare to stop. Fortunately, there have been improvements. Mr. Jamelske explained that the administration has been researching safer drop off areas. They have also been working with Arlington County to improve traffic flow at key intersections. “We need more appropriately lengthened opportunities for the light cycle,” said Mr. Jamelske. “We must offer opportunities for both drivers and pedestrians to cross the intersection.” Safety has always been a high priority for the school. The administration believes commuting to and from school can be risk free, with a little cooperation and patience.


Crossed Sabres

February 2, 2010


Books for the Invisible Children Junior class sponsors another successful school charity drive Andrew Elliott, ‘11

all the submitted books to determine which ones to send to Better World Books. “I counted books after school a couple days from when the bell rang until six, and also during “We are a social, many of my lunches,” said political and global junior class officer Stella Sklar. movement using the While some books were transformative power of denied due to quality concerns, story to change lives,” out of date printing or overstock says the website of in the Better World Books the Invisible Children warehouse, they were sent to Organization, a nonprofit Goodwill and Central Library organization dedicated to so none of the collected books raising awareness of the would go to waste. longest war in Africa, a Class activities often consist 23 year strife in Northern of for-profit bake sales and car Uganda between the washes, but the book drive was government and the BY ANDREW ELLIOTT free of profits. “I feel like if I Lord’s Resistance Army can do something, I should, (LRA). Junior class representatives Stella Sklar and Sonya Dagata count and collect the ISBN numbers of the books donated to and just because it doesn’t get Over the past few Invisible Children. The book drive lasted for a month and over 1,000 books were donated in third period classes. us any money doesn’t mean it’s years, the situation in Uganda has fluctuated greatly. The Patriot Act of 2001 with Invisible Children for two years, decided to bring the not beneficial,” said Helmy. In keeping with the trend of classified the LRA as a terrorist organization, and the book drive to the school. “I don’t think many were aware generosity, the junior class is also hoping to hold a spring Washington Post estimated that as of 2006, 30,000 children of the problem in Uganda, not just kids, but a lot of people dance, from which a portion of the profits would go to the had been abducted and forced to fight for the LRA. Peace weren’t aware, and activities like this will help to raise Lupus Foundation of America, an organization that works for the continued research of lupus and provides support to seemed attainable with the Juba Peace Talks, from 2006 to awareness,” said Helmy. Though organized by the junior class officers, the book people with the disease. 2008, but LRA leader Mr. Joseph Kony refused to sign the Ms. Olivo, who has been a class sponsor for three drive was a school-wide effort. It ran from December 9 to peace agreement and violence resumed. In cooperation with Better World Books, Invisible January 8, and brought in over 1,000 books. “I was really years, says she has never done a philanthropic activity with Children organized a book drive last year, collecting over surprised by the turnout, I think we all were,” said junior a class before. “I like how [the book drive] is something beyond just fundraising for prom,” she said. 2 million books. These books were sold on the Better class sponsor and science teacher Ms. Crystal Olivo. Though the book drive is over, the war rages on. “I The third period with the most books, English teacher World Books website. A portion of the proceeds went back to Invisible Children to help them work toward education Ms. Jacqueline Stallworth’s, brought in 375 books. These think [students] just need to raise awareness,” said Carten, books were all brought in by junior Katherine Carten, going on to say that many people were unaware of the and peace in Uganda. This year, Invisible Children again organized a book whose mother is a teacher and had children’s books and war. Helmy added, “I hope that people realize how we drive, aiming to collect as many textbooks, young adult novels. “I am a huge fan of Invisible Children and this can make a difference, even though we’re on a different fiction novels and children’s stories as possible. Junior drive seemed like a good opportunity,” said Carten. The junior class officers spent over a week pre-screening continent from these kids.” class president Shahenda Helmy, who has been involved Feature Editor

An Extra Credit to Improve Credit VA DOE requires finance, econ course Luisa Banchoff, ‘13

Staff Reporter

In the wake of burgeoning credit card debt among young people and the multitude of ever-increasing college loans, the Virginia General Assembly has decided to pass a new graduation requirement for an economics and personal finance course. The course will be a required credit starting with next year’s freshmen class. However, it will not be offered at the school until the 2011-2012 school year. The course is a Standards of Learning (SOL) Course, but it will not have an endof-year SOL test. In addition, IB economics will fulfill the credit requirement, given that personal finance is added as a slight part of the class. According to social studies teacher Ms. Kathleen Claassen, who teaches IB economics, the course will be divided into one semester of economics and one semester of personal finance. The economics semester will likely include macroeconomics, microeconomics, international economics and personal economics. The personal finance semester will most likely address credit, taxation, budgeting and personal money management. Many of the specific curriculum details are still under discussion. Since the Virginia Department of Education (DOE) announced its plans to introduce the course, counselors and teachers alike have been thinking over the possible scheduling changes it may prompt. “I believe it may impact some of our elective courses across the board,” said Dr. Marie Bullock, director of counseling services.

Social studies teacher Mr. Jim Thomas, who teaches psychology and ancient history, has already taken into account the possible influence the course may have on his schedule. “I am hopeful that it will not cut into the electives that I currently teach,” he said. If anything, the counseling department believes the course will raise new issues with four-year planning. Students will be able to choose whether to take the class in their sophomore, junior or senior year. “It has to be tailored to each individual student to see what their needs are, what their strengths are and what it is they want to pursue as they move on to college,” said Dr. Bullock. Of all the questions the course may raise, perhaps the greatest one is why the Virginia DOE decided to make it mandatory. This question is easy for Ms. Claassen to answer. “The state legislature doesn’t pass stuff without a reason. People have gotten into credit trouble recently, and they think this will help prevent it in the future,” she said. Junior Kelsey Butterworth provides her own reason as to why she chose to take IB economics this year. “Understanding how the world functions in terms of money is important enough, but economics is more of a study of people than it is money, which makes the class fascinating,” she said. The future of the specific course curriculum may still be undecided, but teachers and counselors think the impact of the course points in a beneficial direction. Ms. Claassen said, “This is a good thing, but it’s not clear exactly how it’s going to work itself out.”



February 2, 2010

And the winner is...

The Golden Sabre Awards for 2009

Best Movie to See With Your Younger Brother or Sister Up Carl Fredrickson and his wife promised each other they would build a house in South America. After she dies, he keeps his promise and flies to South America by tying thousands of balloons to his house. Unexpectedly, he is accompanied by Russell, an eager young wilderness scout. Together, they face surprising adventures in the form of a forgotten explorer, a talking dog and a colorful bird named Kevin.

Crossed Sabres

Best Actor/ Actress

Most Likely to Make You Laugh Out Loud

Sandra Bullock The winner for best actor/actress from 2009 goes to Washington-Lee’s very own Sandra Bullock! She has been acting in movies since 1987 and been nominated for multiple Golden Globe awards. This year she won the Golden Globe award for Best Actress from her performance in The Blind Side.

The Hangover Four friends travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, only to wake up the next morning not remembering a thing and missing the groom, whose wedding is scheduled to occur the next day. The friends must retrace their steps to get the groom to his wedding on time.

Most Likely to Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat

Best Movie to See on a Friday Night Date 500 Days of Summer Mark meets Summer and discovers they have plenty in common despite the fact that she seems out of his league. Before long, all Mark can think about is Summer. Unfortunately for Mark, Summer sees true love as a fairy tale, and is not looking for romance. Mark does all he can to pursue Summer and convince her that their love is real.

Star Trek The prequel follows James T. Kirk and Spock before they unite aboard the USS Enterprise to combat Nero, a Romulan from their future who threatens the United Federation of Planets.

Best Movie That Will Make You Feel Good Inside Julie and Julia Great performances are given by actresses Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. The story shows us the experience of two women learning to cook and trying to find success. This movie is sure to bring laughs throughout the whole movie.

Best Movie That Will Make You So Scared You Will Not Sleep for Days Paranormal Activity Students say this is the spookiest movie of the year and a must see. A couple starts videotaping themselves as they sleep to catch a demon that has been following the woman since childhood. Make sure you have some friends with you if you rent this; you will not want to see it alone.


Student Artists Honored Two organizations recently recognized students for their work in the arts. The PTA announced its Reflections contest winners and honored them with a pizza lunch. The Scholastic Art Award Exihibition, sponsored by Arlington Public Schools, Arlington Public Library and the Arlington Artists Alliance, will run through February 10 at Central Library. Participating students were honored with an awards reception on January 20. PTA Reflections Contest County Level Winners Joshua Patecell, Literature Lara Sierra, Visual Arts FROM DAILYSKEW.COM

Avatar Technology Impresses Connor Lay, ‘12

Staff Reporter

When Avatar hit the theaters on December 18, audiences were blown away by its photorealistic environments and immersive 3D experience. Avatar seamlessly combines live action and computer generated environments to create a truly spectacular theatrical experience. The film has already broken the box office record previously held by director James Cameron’s 1997 film, Titanic. However, the film will ultimately be remembered for its incredible technological feats. Mr. Cameron said himself that he had the idea for the film some 10 years ago, but the technology available then was not powerful enough. According to MSNBC. com, the world of Pandora required 1,000 terabytes of computer space; that is over 12,000 iPods worth of data. Avatar pioneers the new virtual monitor, a device that allows the director to “walk” through the virtual world as if it were real. Mr. Cameron was able to observe actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana through the virtual monitor as their blue avatar counterparts during the filming process.

To create the illusion of depth, Avatar was filmed with a new contraption that contains two cameras, one for each eye. When the audience wears the special polarized glasses, they see the two images melded into one, 3D environment. The polarized glasses improve upon the vintage red and blue glasses from the 1950s. It is true that Avatar’s plot borrows from other movies, most notably Bill Kroyer’s Ferngully, Disney’s Pocahontas and the Wachowski brothers The Matrix. However, most people will not be going to theater for Avatar’s plot, but more for its groundbreaking visuals. The fictional universe developed for the film is incredibly detailed. Overall, Avatar is a spectacular film that will transport you to an entirely new world. The action sequences are well choreographed and the main characters develop thoroughly throughout the film. Despite the somewhat generic plot, Avatar boasts amazing visuals and is sure to please all. Avatar is rated PG-13. It recently won Golden Globe Awards for Best Director and Best Movie.

PTA Reflections Contest Ribbon Winners Olivia Czerewko Hannah Dannenfelser Sean Hoffman Biru Jones Alex Kopenhaver Ariana Mazzucchelli Kassidy McElheny Aaron Michalak Joshua Patecell Sara Neel Andy Rodriquez Andrea Salad Lara Sierra Abele Tuwafie BY CLAIRE MOIR

Scholatstic Art Award Winners Portfolio Gold Awards Dane Fitzmaurice, Painting Kate Fleming, Painting Kathryn Rabatsky, Photography Leah Woodruff, Photography Nicolas Zevallos, Film & Animation Portfolio Silver Awards Patricia Murray, Photography Lina Silverman, Photography

Reflections contest ribbon winners junior Abele Tuwafie and freshman Andy Rodriguez discuss Tuwafie’s entry with one of the contest judges. Winners were invited to an awards luncheon in the main office conference room.

American Vision Awards Dane Fitzmaurice, Food Still Life Tom Miotke, Reverie


Crossed Sabres

As Seen on TV Claims Put to Test Andrew Dudka, ‘12 ! s Staff Reporter k r It Wo

Fashion Forward Abigail Bessler, ‘13

Staff Reporter Although there are plenty of students who just roll out of bed and throw on whatever is available in the morning, there are some students who place a high priority on fashion. We scoured the hallways to find two of the most fashionable and to get their tips on looking good.

The Snuggie

Emily Walker, ‘12

Staff Reporter

Save your money!

The Instyler

Presented as a smart alternative to a flat straightening iron, the Instyler combines heating and dual action brushes to curl and straighten hair. Operated by girls on the staff, the Instyler proved to be fairly successful with straightening hair and definitely expedited the process; however it fell short with curling. After 10 minutes of attempted curling, there was barely any noticeable change. It also presents a new danger with straightening, due to the open barrel that heats up that can burn BY CLAIRE MOIR the user pretty The InStyler straightened the hair severely. The of Crossed Sabres staffer Kirby consensus was Miller with ease. It also left her hair that it was shiny and bouncy. useful, yet not worth the three payments of $39.99.

In Ballston Mall, there is a store that many students have probably heard of. It specializes in selling infomercial products with snazzy names that rarely work. As Seen on TV is the go-to spot for everything from Bumpits to Snuggies, Billy Mays to Shamwow. Though some of these products may be functional, I found two that were anything but.


Everyone has seen them; those arch-shaped, head-gripping hair pieces that are supposed to add “instant salon style” and volume to your hair. Coming in four different colors to “match your hair shade,” the Bumpit is easily the most hideously ugly and absurd hair product I have ever seen. Instead of making hair “volumized” and “Hollywood styled,” they make your head look deformed and your hair style unnatural. I tried out the Bumpit, and the first thing I noticed was the difficulty I had putting it on my head and the nagging pain of it being in my hair. To put the plastic arch on your head, the directions say to part hair at the crown, lightly tease hair, place the Bumpit firmly behind the part line and then to brush and clip hair behind the Bumpit. Little plastic spikes will keep it in place by digging into your head and sticking out from your hair. Beyond that, my hair style looked thoroughly ridiculous with a giant poof of hair on top of my head. The Crossed Sabres staff certainly does not endorse the Bumpit, with comments such as “it looks like a tumor” and rounds of laughter when adviser Ms. Claire Moir tried it out. BY MRS. ALLISON WALKER

Eigler-Harding’s outfit Jacket: Urban Outfitters Shirt: H&M Boots: Clarks’ Desert

Sophomore Lukas Eigler-Harding Q: What is being stylish about? A: Details. Anyone can usually dress well, but being unique with little details is what it’s all about. Q: What is the inspiration for your style? A: Just stuff I see on a daily basis. I’ll be like, “Oh, that looks good, I should try it.” Also, the seasons or mood. Right now I’ve been in earthy/brown colors still from my fall phase, but slowly shifting out again [be]cause of the freezing cold. Q: What do you think is ‘in’? Or ‘out’? A: Plaid shirts, North Face and military shirts are definitely in. I don’t really have any of the plaid or North Face though because I try not to go with what EVERYONE is [doing]. BY ABIGAIL BESSLER

Recently gaining infamy for its supposed stupidity, this robe-turnedbackwards presents an BY SONYA DAGATA unprecedented Crossed Sabres staff reporter Noah c o n v e n i e n c e Pilchen shows how easy it is to stay for clothing warm and enjoy a drink while usin which to ing the Snuggie. lounge. Touted as a “Blanket with sleeves,” the soft, colorful cloth is worn as a blanket with arm holes, allowing the user to move freely while staying warm. With such a simple design it is relatively hard for a product of this nature to be a failure. We found this to be true, and came to the conclusion that the advertisements speak the truth. The Snuggie was soft, comfortable and most of all, more functional than a blanket. Of the few complaints, the extreme length of the cloth presented a problem, especially when trying to walk around with the Snuggie on, presenting a danger of tripping. With a variety of colors and prints, from animal to collegiate, the staff endorses the Snuggie.



When watching TV, it is very likely that during a given commercial break, an advertisement for a product will come on, asking viewers to call and order the product. These products have come to be known as “as seen on TV” products. Some people write these products off as either scams, pointless or poorly made knick-knacks. However, two of these products can offer a valuable and unique service, one that cannot be reproduced by a product bought at a generic store. To prove this, Crossed Sabres presents an in-depth review of two “As Seen on TV” products.

February 2, 2010


Yes, the cleaning product so intense that its spokesperson needs to wear a headset to advertise it. The “Sham-WOW!”in essence is just a piece FROM ADVERBLOG.COM of German-made felt Vince Shlomi, the Shamthat claims to clean wow guy, is enthusiastic up all your spills and about his product. Our reeven clean your car viewer was not. or dry your clothes! Sounds great, if only it actually did that. When I used the Shamwow, it did work to an extent. The material cleaned up most of a spill, but sopping up the remaining water drops was nearly impossible. The already damp Shamwow served only to spread around the water, and was not at all absorbent. Furthermore, after setting the product down on a counter, it left a large wet spot, which goes against the claim that it can retain up to almost 30 times its weight. I also tested the claim that the Shamwow will dry out damp clothes or other cloth materials. I tried rolling up a damp washcloth in the material, and then I tried rubbing it, patting it and even squishing the cloth and the Shamwow together, but that cloth was just not getting dry. It seemed that the miraculous Shamwow was not absorbing any of the water. For this product, all I can say is “Sham-ciao!” Staff reporter Emily Walker found the Bumpit to be both uncomfortable and unsightly. In fact, the Bumpit resulted in rounds of laughter, not the praise it advertised.

Hadzibegovic’s outfit Shirt: Anthropologie Cardigan: Macy’s Jeans: Abercrombie Boots: Steve Madden

Junior Hana Hadzibegovic Q: What kind of shoes do you feel most stylish in? Boots, flats or heels? A: I feel best in heels. They are a girl’s best friend—minus the pain—but of course you learn to get used to it! Q: What do you like to wear to dress up? A: To dress up, I love wearing something classy but chic, something that stands out yet looks gorgeous. I would pair leggings with a white blouse and red heels. To put it together, [I] wear a leather jacket. Q: How much does comfort matter in the outfits you pick? Do you sacrifice comfort for fashion? A: Comfort isn’t an issue. If something looks good, the uncomfortable side of it is worth it.


February 2, 2010

Crossed Sabres


Crossed Sabres

February 2, 2010


The Newlywed Game BY NOAH PILCHEN

Staff Reporter The Newlywed Game is an old TV game show that tests couples to see how well they know their significant other. The host of the show asks questions to the males in the relationship about the females. The male contestants then answer these questions by how they think their female counter-part would answer them. Then the females are asked the same questions. If the two answers are the same, the couple gets a point. The host then reverses the roles and asks the females the questions. The couple with the most points at the end of the game wins. The Crossed Sabres tried to replicate this, but with two teams of high school couples: freshmen, Rourke Donahue and Kayla Tarlton, versus sophomores, Eric Schmidt and Brianna Hogan. The couples were asked 13 questions. The grand prize was a $25 Chipotle gift card, “food with integrity.” Schmidt and Hogan ended up winning the game with nine points out of the possible 13. Donahue and Tarlton lost by one point, scoring eight points.

When did you start going out?

Where was your first kiss?

What is your girlfiend’s worst habit?

What is your girlfriend’s comfort food?

Rourke Donahue and Kayla Tarlton


November 2

November 2, 2009


Outside Ballston

Biting Nails

Texting the same text



Eric Schmidt and Brianna Hogan July 7, 2008

July 7, 2008

Courthouse Theater: Get Smart

Courthouse: Get Smart




Chicken Fried Rice

What is your girlfriend’s ideal date?

Candlelight Dinner

Candlelight Dinner

Pizza and Movie

Candlelight Dinner

What was your boyfriend’s childhood nickname?

Didn’t have one

Didn’t have one



What attracted you to your boyfriend?





What is one thing you would change about your boyfriend?

Picking up the phone more often

He has way too many friends



If your boyfriend was a dog, what would he be?

Bull Dog

Russell Terrier

Bull Dog

Bull Dog

8 points




9 points

High School Relationships Annie Plotkin & Andrew Karpinski, ‘11

Staff Reporters

In a time when having to be responsible for balancing school work, clubs and sports is a source of stress, extra time taken for relationships can increase the pressure put upon students. Despite heavy and still-developing emotions, high school students always seem to find time for relationships. Everyday obstacles mean relationships take work, and some students prefer to avoid them for that reason. According to freshman Ian Hall, one reason to stay in a relationship is the constant presence of a confidante, someone you can depend on. Hall and his girlfriend have been in a relationship for two years now, and he attributes their success to “setting boundaries and talking.” Although usually supportive, boyfriends and girlfriends can prove to be distracting. “I’d rather be with [my boyfriend] than doing homework,” said senior Cynthia Carson, who is in a relationship with someone from another school. Her relationship has benefits because, according to Carson, “We aren’t always together, so when we see each other it’s more special.” Other students, however, prefer not to date outside of school. “[I] wouldn’t like to be so far away from them, I like seeing him every day,” said an anonymous junior, who cited mutual friends as an additional benefit to going to the same school as your significant other. Mutual friends, however, can cause tension in a relationship. “They involve themselves in the relationship, and try to get you to hang out with them more,” explained Hall. In addition to breakups, some students have concerns about relationships as a whole. Senior Daniel LeSueur feels two negatives are feeling responsible for someone else and growing tired of someone of whom you were once fond. “Commitment,” added junior Peter Janetos, explaining his avoidance of relationships. “I hate commitment.” Relationships are more than just a consuming activity however. One benefit is that “high school is a good time for experimenting with relationships and you can learn how to handle future relationships,” said Dr. Ricia Weiner, school psychologist, explaining the benefits of dating. High school is a time when many students experience their first relationship. Despite the ups and downs of relationships, at least one student believes her experience will benefit her. “My boyfriend and I have been together for a while but college is coming up soon and neither of us knows what we want yet,” an anonymous source said. “If we happen to break up, I’m grateful for the time we shared, because I know already it has prepared me for the dating world.”

The Science of Compatibility Luisa Banchoff, ‘13

Staff Reporter

When it comes to relationships and compatibility, the first thing that might come to mind are astrological signs that determine whether or not you have found your perfect someone, the partner with whom you were meant to be. But if there is a real science to what makes two people “click,” it probably is not the kind you can read on the palm of your hand. According to Michael Myerscough, author of Identify Your Ideal Partner,

compatibility is “the key principle that determines whether your relationship will be a lifetime of love and laughter or destructive disaster.” Of course, what that actually means is guaranteed to be different in every relationship. According to the Nemours Foundation’s website,, “Most of the time we grow close to people who have the same values and beliefs, or people who have qualities that we admire.” This is referred to as consensual validation and is one asset found in some relationships. However, the classic “opposites

attract” view is not necessarily fictional. The important thing to understand is that although two people may seem different in many ways, they may also be more similar than one would think. “No matter how different they are, there have to be common values,” said Ms. Sara Fiorini, a health teacher. “It’s about accepting, not changing one another.” Age and experience may play a part in determining whether or not you are compatible with your partner. However, this does not necessarily mean that adults have it that much easier than teens. “You

can have the same experience a hundred times or you can have a hundred different experiences,” said Dr. Ricia Weiner, the school psychologist. Most of all, according to Dr. Weiner, it is important to remember that you should not change yourself or your partner to boost compatibility. “It’s not about finding the perfect person; it’s about finding the person whose faults you can live with. Nobody out there is perfect.”

Faux Pas

Dating FOR




Rachel Schwartz, ‘10 & Andrew Dudka, ‘12

Managing Editor and Staff Reporter

It bothers girls when guys…

It bothers guys when girls…

Send eight text messages in eight minutes.

Make drama over minor things.

That is, unless she is responding with the same amount of enthusiasm as you are clearly showing for her. Constantly having someone wondering what you are doing later can be wearing. “It’s so aggravating when guys do that. If I’m busy, I’ll get back to them later,” said junior Kristi Kem. “But if I just don’t want to talk to them, I think they should take the hint after I don’t respond.”

Treat them like one of the guys.

Friendship is important in a relationship, but you should make an effort to treat your girlfriend different from the rest of the crowd. “When guys have disgusting habits that they don’t bother to cover up when they are around you, it can be really gross,” said sophomore Laura Holston. “Save the gross stuff for guy time.”

Act like you are someone else.

Trust that who you are is enough to make someone happy. “I hate when guys use really cheesy phrases and act fake around other people,” said sophomore Julie Brooks. “If I like you, it is for who you really are, not the cheesy cover you think is cool.”

Are fickle.

If you want a committed relationship, stay committed. If you want some space, ask for it. Not everyone is ready for serious relationships in high school. “In my last relationship we had some real problems being on the same page. In the end, it just came out that we didn’t want the same level of commitment,” said an anonymous junior. “If I had known that earlier, I may have spent some of the last few months in a different way.”

“There’s no need to jump to conclusions about things and worry over things that are unimportant,” said freshman Luke McCartin. “Blowing things out of proportion is a definite no-no.”

Make all aspects of your relationship public.

“I hate when you tell something personal to a girl and they just go flaunt it to all their friends,” said senior Thomas Edwards.

Include their friends in all activities.

“I understand that your friends may be very important to you, and that you want your friends and I to get along, but you and I wont get along if you never spend personal time [with me],” said sophomore Brendan Craig.

Are jealous about them talking to other girls.

“I have friends that are girls too, and girls should be able to recognize that and understand that they are just friends,” said junior Tyler Cook. “If I’m not interested in you, you will know, but just because I’m talking to a friend of mine who is a girl doesn’t mean I dislike you or anything like that.”

Are clingy.

Do not insist on always knowing where your boyfriend. “Just because we haven’t texted or talked for 30 minutes does not mean I’m off with some random girl cheating on you,” said junior Tyler Cook. “Trust needs to be a big part of this.”

Awkward Dating Moments Kirby Miller, ‘13

Staff Reporter

Ten minutes into a date and a prolonged, uncomfortable silence brings the evening to a halt. This is just one of the many things that can make a date awkward. Awkward dates are a part of everyday teenage life, but there are ways to avoid awkward moments, or at least make them less uncomfortable. Here are some possible mishaps:

Awkward dating moment number one:




Noah Pilchen, ‘12





The awkward silence. The way to avoid an awkward silence is to avoid topics that could be taken offensively. Try to stay away from talking about politics, religion and other controversial topics, especially if you do not know you date’s opinions. Also, it may help to have in mind a few conversation starter questions. Try not to ask close-ended questions because they leave no room for expansion of the conversation.

Awkward dating moment number two:

Having a clothing malfunction. Something going wrong with your clothes is another thing that can make a date uncomfortable. Not only will you be uncomfortable with how you look, the person you are with might be left feeling uncomfortable as well. To remedy this, find out where you are going before the date and it will be easier to dress accordingly. You might also want to bring layers, to easily adjust to temperature changes.

Awkward dating moment number three:

The confusion about who is paying what amount on a date is one thing that can make even the smoothest of dates suddenly extremely awkward. Whether you do not have enough money or no money at all, it can be embarrassing to find yourself unable to pay. Avoid this by always bringing money on a date, even more than you think you will need. Even if you do not think you will be expected to pay, it is better to be safe than sorry.



February 2, 2010

Crossed Sabres

Coaches on Track for Romance Kirby Miller, ‘13

Staff Reporter

A love for running that grew into a love for each other; track coaches Mr. Matthew Przydzial and Ms. Laura Jenkins recently got engaged. They agreed to give Crossed Sabres an interview and some insight into their relationship.

Q: How did you meet? A: We met when Laura began coaching cross country in the fall of 2007. Both of us were assistant coaches.


How long were you dating before you got engaged?

a: 15 months.

Q: How did everyone react when you told them about the engagement?

the word seemed to spread very quickly. Within days, I had many students coming to my classroom to ask, “Is it true?”

Q: When was the proposal? A: November, 2009. Q: How did he propose? A: Matt wanted to propose on a hike on

Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland but when we arrived, the mountain was closed because of construction. Finally, we found the next closest hiking location, Catoctin Mountain. The view was not exactly picturesque, but Matt proposed when we stopped for lunch.

Mr. Matthew Pryzydial and Ms. Laura Jenkins warm up during practice. They met in 2007 while coaching the cross country team.

tant part of our lives, so coaching together is one more way for us to share something that we both truly enjoy.

that was something that we both enjoyed together but the specific location was not significant.

What is your favorite thing about coaching track together?


Running has always been an impor-

Ping Pong Proves Popular

and now it is more time we get to spend together. It is also nice knowing we get to see each other at 3:30 p.m. every day.

Thursday, when I have nothing else to do,” Staff Reporter said junior Michael Yuhas. There is not much structure to the For the past couple of years, many meetings yet, but to make sure everyone people have wondered why there was gets about equal play time, Hathotuwa not a ping pong club, especially among and Newton are there to oversee things to ping pong fans. Now, however, juniors make sure people rotate out after winning Peter Hathotuwa and Trevor Newton have a couple games. “Balls and paddles aren’t become the first students to finally create the biggest issue, it’s more getting enough a club for all those who love to play table tables, because we have so many people, tennis, but never some people have have the opportunity to wait a long to play at home or time to play,” said during the school Newton. Our first meeting had 30 year. Hathotuwa and kids. We really realized The two were Newton are planning the demand and first inspired when on organizing a they played ping more structured popularity of it [table pong with Mr. Josh competition against tennis]. Shapiro in physical each other, and -Club founder Peter Hathotuwa education (P.E.) last even though the year. “I know I taught club is fairly new, ping pong last year many members said in P.E. and it was a lot of fun,” said Mr. they would love the chance to play against Shapiro. “Peter and Trevor enjoyed class other schools. Mr. Shapiro, however, said so much they came after school to play and that he would probably prefer to keep the even during their lunch period.” table tennis club as an informal after school When the club first started, it was activity. unexpectedly popular, to the point that Hathotuwa and Newton were not the there were not enough tables. “Our first only ones planning on starting a club for meeting had 30 kids. We really realized the playing table tennis. Yuhas and his friend demand and popularity of it [table tennis],” Daniel Browning were planning on talking said Hathotuwa. to Mr. Ron Revere, who also likes ping The club meets every Thursday for pong, about starting a club. Yuhas said, an hour and a half, and provides a good “We went to talk to him, but [Trevor and chance to practice and play new people. Peter] had already gotten to Mr. Shapiro. It “I’ve played ping pong since fifth grade. was just a race.” [The club is] just fun, something to do on a ILLUSTRATION BY ANNE DONNELLY

Sean Magner, ‘12

have the most fun when we’re running, biking, swimming, hiking or playing sports with one another.

Q: Did you ever consider not telling the Q: Do you have a wedding date set? track athletes about your engagement?

If so, when?

A: Considering most of the track athletes A: We are getting married July 2.

Athletes of the Issue Alicia Carter, ‘10

Business Manager

Wrestling: Manik Sarik

already speculated about the two of us dating and the diamond on Laura’s finger, we knew that the team would find out.

Q: Was there anything significant about Q: Is it easy working with your fiancé? the proposal and where it was done? A: It is extremely enjoyable working Q: What is your favorite thing to do A: From the beginning, Matt always knew with my fiancé. We have always had fun together? that he wanted to propose on a hike since coaching together before we were engaged A: We enjoy being active together. We

A: Most of the athletes had a reaction Q: of “Finally!” I think that most of them had speculated that we were dating and once the first team member found out,


Weighing in at 140 pounds, senior captain, Manik Sarik, has been wrestling for five years. “I started wrestling because I wanted to keep busy,” said Sarik. “I discovered I was good at it.” After making the varsity team in 8th grade, Sarik realized his potential. Many believed he would place first at districts his junior year, but he sadly dislocated his ring finger in the semi-final round. Sarik placed third. Having recovered from this injury, senior year has been a success for Sarik. With his current 18-4 record, he enjoys having the upper hand in a match. “I love physically dominating my opponent to the point where they seem powerless,” said Sarik. Despite his record, becoming a successful member of the team was a challenge at first. In previous years, Manik felt he had to compete with his older teammates, who he felt had a physical advantage. “I had to work harder to be on the same level as the seniors.” With his love of the sport and dedication to the team, Sarik’s coach Mr. Jim Mon believes wrestling has made him a stronger person. Coach Mon said, “He is a leader, he works hard and gets his teammates to work just as hard.” PHOTOS BY CHAD HILLA AND NOAH PILCHEN

Gymnastics: Lizzie Ramos

Many students question the legitimacy of the gymnastics team. “Do we even have a gymnastics team?” some students ask. “I bet there are only like three people on the team,” others respond. In past years, there have only been two to five people representing gymnastics, but senior captain Lizzie Ramos, who has been on the team for three years, wanted that to change. “I decided to get people to join because I didn’t want the gymnastics team to disappear,” said Ramos. “I got some freshmen to join, told some of my friends and my friends told other friends.” With over 20 girls on the team, her hard work paid off. Winning all of their meets thus far has built the teams’ confidence, along with increasing team bonding. Ramos appreciates the encouragement from her team. “I wish I was better at beam, and when I am feeling bad about myself, my teammates have always been there for me, to support me with anything I need help with.” Ramos also feels that gymnastics can build character and that many people should participate in it. “It [helps] overcome fears, [builds] your athletic physique and encourages teamwork as well as an individual competitiveness,” she said. With her senior year coming to a close, Ramos hopes the team will continue to be strong. “I’m going to miss the feeling of exhaustion after a great practice, the adrenaline high after nailing a routine and just being with my teammates, who love gymnastics just as much as I do.”


Crossed Sabres

February 2, 2010


Gymnastics Team Vaults to Success Noah Pilchen, ‘12

Staff Reporter

“It almost sounds like a cheesy sports movie,” said senior captain Lindsay Cowen. “We went from a two-person gymnastics team who never placed at a meet, to an undefeated team of 23 amazing gymnasts.” Apart from Cowen, there are two other captains. Senior Myeisha McBee is a second year on the team and one of the three captains. “Last year’s team consisted of about eight people and we constantly got second and third places at meets,” said McBee. As captain, McBee puts in extra work to make sure the team works together to perform to the best of their abilities. “As captain, I not only assist the coaches during practices, but I also assist in creating teambonding activities,” said McBee. There are seven gymnastic meets each year. “A typical meet can last up to five hours,” said Cowen. “After we have a team warm-up, each of the school teams are presented and we are introduced to the judges.” Cowen has competed in over 25 school gymnastic meets and is a true veteran of school gymnastics. “We then compete in our separate events, in what is called ‘Olympic order,’” said Cowen. Olympic order is the sequence of events that take place at a gymnastics meet. For women’s gymnastics, that order is vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor

exercise. Once the events have finished, the judges deliberate and then announce their decision. The judges critique the athletes on four categories: grace, presentation, difficulty and execution. The judges announce individual winners who placed third, second and first in the different events and then announce the team awards. “It’s always exciting to be part of a winning team. Like I said before, it’s like a cheesy sports movie; the team produces so much excitement it almost feels like the moment is in slow-motion,” said Cowen. During the team’s first meet of the season

Guest Writer

High school is an unpredictable time for everyone, especially athletes who have to deal with the constant threat of injury. Injuries are a part of any game and this reality is one we are forced to face more and more as we get older. Most athletes experience injuries in one form or another during their careers. These injuries are often confusing to athletes and subsequently difficult for them to overcome. By examining a student who has overcome such difficulties, perhaps it will help those who will have the unfortunate experience of encountering them first hand in the future. Senior Nathan Shagam has a great deal of experience with long-term injuries and the struggles they produce. Before his injury, Shagam was a starting defender for a Division One soccer team. But in December 2006, Shagam tore his ACL for the first time. The ACL or, Anterior Cruciate Ligament, keeps the knee from wobbling or giving out when you move. An ACL tear is one of the most common long-term knee injuries experienced by teenage athletes. Tears occur most commonly in non-impact situations in which the knee is forced into an unusual position and the ligament snaps. The injury is serious and requires arthroscopic surgery as well as a 6-12 month rehabilitation period. Shagam, forced to wait months for his operation because of underdeveloped growth plates, got his operation the next summer. He worked diligently through months of pain and physical

Invitational against 10 other schools. Freshman Maia Mandel got first place in vault, uneven bars and all around. The team competed again in the District Championships at Mount Vernon on January 28. Without breaking its winning streak, the team placed first again at the National District competition. This is the only first place districts win the team has had since 1971. This time, freshman Mary Lynn Clark got first place in the all around category as well as receiving the highest score of the meet. Other standouts on the team were Mandel and junior Samantha Sachs.


Left: Freshman gymnast Lili Olsen completes her balance beam routine while her coach, Ms. Nancy Nuñez, spots for her. Right: Freshman Maia Mandel launches into her routine during practice time before a meet.

Athletes’ Corner Emma Wolfarth, ‘10

this year, they received first place for the first time in at least five years. With six seniors, next year’s team will lose more than a fourth of their gymnasts. However, both Cowen and McBee believe the remaining members of the team are more than capable of continuing the undefeated legacy. “These freshmen are some of the most talented gymnasts I have seen. If everybody continues next year, we will still have an amazing team,” said Cowen. On January 23, the team continued their undefeated season when they received first place at the annual Washington-Lee

therapy in the hopes of returning to sports. His work paid off and he was cleared to play again in February of 2008. That same month in a recreational basketball game, Shagam tore his ACL for the second time. Frustrated, he returned to his doctor for a second surgery. According to Shagam, he relived the treacherous rehab period for one reason and one reason only: “Because I really just wanted to play soccer again.” He persevered and was cleared once again to participate in athletics. In an attempt to regain his fitness and athletic mindset, Shagam joined the cross country and track teams where his determination and dedication continue to inspire his fellow teammates to this day. In the spring of his junior year, Shagam became a member of the varsity soccer team for the first time. He started the season successfully, but then in a game in May his knee gave out for a third time. This meant a third surgery and a third recovery period. While many would have retired entirely from athletics at that point, Shagam decided to give it another shot. When asked about his situation Shagam said, “Mentally I kept it all about the soccer. Ignoring the depression was hard, but I have been dealing with my knee for so long I was almost used to it. I still want to play again.” Varsity soccer player and recent ACL victim, Maddie Brothers, has used Shagam’s story to assist her through her own struggles. “Nathan is an inspiration to us. The strength and perseverance that he has maintained through these injuries is admirable. We’re all proudly watching from the sidelines as he climbs back to the top.” Shagam’s story is evidence that while our growing bodies may be fragile, our strength of will separate the athletes who experience success from those who accept defeat.


Crossed Sabres

February 2, 2010


Teachers For Today

Students get the opportunity to teach a class of their own Maddie Templeton, ‘10

Staff Reporter

Many high school students are unsure about which careers they will choose, but students enrolled in Teachers for Tomorrow, taught by Ms. Margaret Schreiner, want to teach. Through this class, students have the opportunity to learn about their anticipated career by actually teaching classes in elementary and middle schools in Arlington.

They will work with teachers at those schools to plan a lesson and student-teach at that school during 6th period, a rare opportunity for high school students. “This experience gives them a feeling of ‘Do I really like this?’” said Ms. Schreiner. “It gives them a taste of what they want to do, and an opportunity to learn about teaching in high school.” The student-teaching portion of the course allows them to use everything they have learned so far this year, such as child development and effective teaching

methods. By actually teaching, students will learn through experience about lesson planning and how to deal with the students they teach. “I’m looking forward to the hands-on experience of being in an environment where I can be the teacher instead of the student,” said junior Chaimae Haronni. Teachers at other schools have agreed to give up their class time to allow students to teach. Students must create their own lesson plan based on the curriculum and be prepared to teach everyday. “I’m nervous,

but I observe the class before I teach it,” said senior Katie Dorset, “so I will be more comfortable with the class.” Students in the class also learn about the education and assessments that are necessary to become a teacher. They hear from guest speakers and teachers here at Washington-Lee. Ms. Schreiner says that this experience allows students to understand which subjects and grade levels they prefer to teach and to get excited for their possible future profession.


Above, a 3rd grader at Glebe Elementary School shares a secret with senior Katie Dorset. At left, junior Chaimae Haronni helps a 2nd grader with his classwork assignment. The students, enrolled in the Teachers For Tomorrow class, have the opportunity to observe and teach a lesson at either Swanson Middle School, Glebe Elementary School or Science Focus Elementary School during their 6th period class.

A Swipe Towards Safety

School to pilot new security program; visitors will swipe IDs Jack Bardo, ‘11

News Editor

In a nation with a growing concern for safety, security protocols have become tougher at many crowded public locations such as museums, train stations and airports. Schools have also been riding this national trend. Washington-Lee has been chosen to pilot a new security program for Arlington Public Schools (APS). By the end of February, all visitors will be required to scan an ID Card (such a driver’s license) upon entering the building. Once scanning is complete, a visitor’s pass will automatically print in the front office and the name of the visitor will be saved into an electronic guest book. Any visitor ordered by a court to stay away from schools will be flagged by the security computer and denied access to the building. The ID swiping device is manufactured by Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. In addition, a full-time security camera will be placed at the front entrance. The program has yet to be implemented, but since the opening of the new building, visitors have been required to press a button and show their face to a camera lens in order to enter the building. According to assistant principal Ms. Margarita Cruz, Washington-Lee is the only APS high school that has been chosen to pilot the program, but various APS elementary and middle schools have also been selected. Eventually, every school in the county will have this ID swipe security system. Ms. Cruz has attended several meetings regarding the new security protocol and says it is a nationwide trend. She says many details about the protocol are still being discussed and the administration has limited knowledge about how the system will function. Ms. Cruz believes the program will make the school safer. “The system will also prevent adults who have been instructed not to have contact with minors, or a specific child, from entering the school,” said Ms. Cruz.



Junior Jack Bardo demonstrates how the new security system will work. Visiting adults will be required to scan a photo identification card before entering the building. Exterior doors are kept locked during the day, and signs, like the one above right, instruct visitors to ring the bell at the school’s main entrance. Below, campus safety officer Mr. Jorge Caballero answers the phone that connects to the exterior system. The phone allows school personnel to see and hear who is at the door.

Various students are also in favor of the new security system. Sophomore Jared Deiner recalled a recent incident in which a fellow student was sexually harassed by a male visitor on the track. “I think it made parents very scared and the new security system might ease [that fear],” said Deiner. Junior Kibret Tsige said the system would make him feel safer at school. “Added security is nice and it makes you feel more comfortable,” said Tsige. New security measures oftentime cause intense debate regarding civil liberties issues. Tsige does not believe school security should be controversial. He said, “What reason do you have to hide if you are just seeing your child?”



Crossed Sabres

February 2, 2010


Problems with Precipitation Weighing the good and bad of snow days

Annie Plotkin, ‘11

Staff Reporter

One of the best feelings in the world for any student is to find out they can sleep in: it is a snow day. Few things can beat looking outside and seeing the streets covered in ice, making any attempt to get to school treacherous. But is missing school actually worth it? Five days are built into the Arlington Public High School schedule, so the first five are pretty much guilt free. However, teachers’ reactions are not so forgiving. School days that are already packed with long classes are even more crammed with lessons, and evenings are even more filled with homework. Some students seem to agree and prefer half days. “We don’t have to make up for

them, and what matters is that I get to sleep in,” said junior Marshall Anders in favor of two hour delays. The most recent string of snow days came right before break, with exams coming right after our return to school. Teachers hastily prepared us for our tests, but most of the work was left to us on the nights coming before. Is having one day off worth several days of time crunch? On the bright side, these lost days will not have to be avenged in the summer. In fact, as of right now we still have two more to be spent at sledding, snow ball fighting, or just sitting at home wishing it was 50 degrees warmer. However, these days are not necessarily filled with friends and frolicking. The streets are hard to navigate, especially

without a four-wheel drive. Even for those with a car meant to drive through anything, parents are the second line of defense some students have to go through. Driving in ice and snow is not the safest idea with the possibility of drifting, skidding, snow blindness and possible collisions from other cars experiencing the same dangers. This could be a blessing in disguise though. A day stuck at home can be spent doing some homework in advance, or studying for the test that you were going to have that day. Weekends are always going to be there (no matter how far away they may seem on a Monday), and plans can always be made for Saturdays and Sundays. A day of rest can be important, and unexpected snow days can be the perfect excuse. Snow days are held in the highest regard

by students throughout the school. “I love them,” said junior Kaleb Gared. Time is spent playing video games and snow ball fighting. Whether they are spent out pelting snow balls or inside studying, they are bound to be better than trekking to school at the crack of dawn.


Prose and Cons

Should Poetry Out Loud be required? Sean Magner, ‘12

Staff Reporter

Every year, the required poetry presentation, Poetry Out Loud, fills many students with dread. There are complaints about not enough practice time, hard grading or simply having to present in front of the class. Poetry Out Loud puts a lot of stress on students who are uncomfortable with presenting, or who are not very good at it. I know the question has often come to my mind: Is all that stress necessary? The ultimate goal of the contest is to move on to higher level competitions for a chance to compete for scholarship money. In every class, the teacher picks the best presenter and they move on to the grade level competition. Students who move on are comfortable in front of an audience and do not get stage fright. They are not students who spend their whole presentation staring at the wall and fiddling with their hands. That is my problem with Poetry Out Loud: While some of the nervous students may have worked longer and harder

Congratulations to our Poetry Out Loud winners! 1st Place - My-Anh Nguyen “The Sun Rising” by John Donne 2nd Place - Luisa Banchoff “A Properly Scholarly Attitude” by Adelaide Crapsey


My-Anh Nguyen will move on to the regional competition of Poetry Out Loud

to practice and get as good as possible, a drama student with a gift for public speaking will always win. It seems pointless to put students who have little chance of winning on the spot, other than to add a big grade to the quarter. Presenting as an option could be one way to take pressure off nervous students. However, if

3rd Place - Aaron Goler “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning

it was only an option, enough students might not volunteer, just viewing it as more work. I predict lots of students who would have a decent shot at moving on to at least the school level would not present, feeling like they would probably not win or even get past the county level, even if they practiced a lot. To get around this potential

Crossed Sabres is the student-produced newspaper of the Washington-Lee High School community. Editorials reflect the opinion of the editorial staff and, unless otherwise noted, are written by a member of the staff. The editorial board encourages responsible commentaries and letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit for grammar, style or lack of space. Letters and commentaries containing obscenities, racial slurs or libelous content will not be published. All letters must be signed by the author to be published. They can be printed “name withheld” upon request. The Crossed Sabres publications lab is in room 1028. Any correspondence may be dropped off there or emailed to

problem, teachers could offer extra credit for presenting, or for making it to a higher stage in the competition. Still, the problem would again be a lack of volunteers, or too many volunteers who only want the credit, but do not care if they win. For now, Poetry Out Loud seems to be something students

will not be able to avoid. Perhaps it is not completely unnecessary; oral presentation has always been part of the English curriculum, and reciting poetry may help build public speaking skills for some students. There are students, however, that Poetry Out Loud does not help. Some students who hate presenting may simply pick an easy poem. In which case, the contest is not helpful, but simply added stress. Teachers could easily find other ways to work on oratory skills, such as class debates or seminars. Even group presentations or skits put less focus on only one person. Nonetheless, I am in the camp pulling for Poetry Out Loud to be removed from the curriculum. While it may be good for building oral presentation skills, class debates can build the same skills without putting students on the spot as much. I can understand the reasons for developing those skills, but quite honestly, I do not see myself ever presenting poetry at a business meeting. Although “Fire and Ice” would be a nice icebreaker.

Adviser: Claire Moir Editor-in-Chief: Christina Phang Managing Editor: Rachel Schwartz Photography Editor: Anne Donnelly News Editor: John Bardo Lifestyles Editor: TBD Features Editor: Andrew Elliott Sports Editor: Chad Hilla Community Editor: Kevin Donahue Opinion Editor: Miles Coulton-Thompson Business Manager: Alicia Carter Staff Reporters: Luisa Banchoff, Abigail Bessler, Lizett Claure-Orellano, Andrew Dudka, Andrew Karpinski, Connor Lay, Sean Magner, Kirby Miller, Noah Pilchen, Annie Plotkin, Maddie Templeton, Emily Walker


February 2, 2010


Crossed Sabres


We were going to come up with a headline but were too lazy to think of one Miles Coulton-Thompson & Kevin Donahue, ‘10

Opinion and Community Editor

You guys have no idea how hard it was to start working on this. We both have had senioritis for some time now. For those of you unaware of this phenomenon, senioritis is a term used to describe decreased motivation toward school by seniors nearing the end of their high school career. Symptoms include increased laziness, slipping grades and less effort in studies. Why is senioritis such a problem for seniors? There seems to be a correlation between finishing applications and getting into college that affects a student’s work ethic. Studies show that second semester seniors have a harder time attending class and for some reason have a hard time getting an absence excused. There are some ways that you can battle this idle illness. You could get involved in a sport or a club, like the Recess Club for example, and yes, this is a shameless plug. This allows staying active in school and sports while also requiring you to maintain good grades. Maintaining grades is pertinent because your college status can be rescinded if you are unable to keep the same GPA. What tends to happen is the senior students start to not complete simple homework assignments. This trend continues and then those students do poorly on tests. The laziness compounds and the snowball effect occurs, leading to less than desirable grades on report cards. We have at times been stricken with the illness. However, we have managed to keep our symptoms under wraps. Our grades have slipped some, but not nearly to the extent of some of our peers who lack the cure for senioritis. As we pass this halfway mark, we are all anticipating the end of our high school careers. We have four months until Senior Experience and about five months ‘til graduation. Many of you are counting the many months, weeks, days and even minutes until the glorious day when we graduate. It may be better to not do that though, because counting will make the days go slower. For now we suggest going with the flow.

You have now entered your last semester of high school.

How has your work ethic been affected by this fact? I’ve Done a lot More Work I’ve Done a lot LESSWork



I’ve Done More Work




I’ve Done LESS Work


“I’ve still been trying in school because I haven’t gotten into my number one school yet,” said senior Emily Nolan

“When I saw that “Congratulations” in my [acceptance] letter, I told myself all I have to do is pass until senior experience,” said senior Andrew Grande-Pierre

“Senioritis? I’ve had that since freshman year,” said senior Iver Altamirano

” Generally Speaking


The Biased Opinion of the Crossed Sabres Staff

What Should I Take Next Year? Advice For 9th Graders

Advice For 10th Graders

Advice For 11th Graders

Advice For 12th Graders

Find an elective class that you are passionate about. It will make your day a lot more fun.

We recommend continuing with a foreign language, even if you have fulfilled your requirements for your diploma.

Plan carefully this year; it is arguably the most important academic year in high school.

Let freshman year be a time to discover your interests so you can be more confident in choosing future classes.

Start choosing classes with college in mind. For example, colleges love seeing foreign language classes on your transcript and it looks great on an application.

If a class turns out to be too easy or too hard, do not be afraid to ask to switch into another class. Be sure not to procrastinate, you might not be allowed to change at all.

Take challenging classes, especially if you did not your junior year. Colleges like to see an “upward trend” in your curriculum.

Continue or start taking a language, there are foreign language requirements to get your diploma.

Choose classes that interest you, not just the hardest class that you can find.

Check out IB and AP electives, you can learn about something that interests you while still getting a quality point. You do not have to be an IB diploma candidate to take an IB elective.

Be realistic about the classes you take, we encourage you to take more challenging classes but try to have a workload you can handle.

Keep in mind you have more freedom with your schedule and there are more core and elective classes to choose from.

Find classes that peak a career interest, maybe look into Career Center classes.

Take courses that you may not have had a chance to take before. Make sure you work hard first and second quarter. Early action looks at only the first quarter and regular decision looks at your first semester. There is no reason to not enjoy your senior year. Take a relatively easy class in contrast with other difficult classes.

Crossed Sabres: February 2010  
Crossed Sabres: February 2010  

Crossed Sabres from February 2010.