Page 1

Money M yths “

Planetarium closing?!

Arlington County addresses community response to proposed budget

Noah Pilchen, ‘12

Photo Editor

There have been plenty of rumors floating around the schools about budget cuts in the Arlington Public Schools. On the 29th of May, the final budget was voted upon for the upcoming year. “There are a lot of steps that go into getting the final budget,” said Arlington School Board member, Abby Raphael. “The superintendent proposes a budget in February and then throughout the course of many meetings, it’s amended.” Some of the aspects in the superintendent’s proposed budget were a lessening of school transportation, shutting down the planetarium and eliminating in-school substitute teachers. One of the myths that was spread in the last couple of months was that student athletes were going to have to pay a $50 stipend for student athletes to participate in school sports. “I know that in some sports you have to buy extra clothes for warm-ups and practices,” said sophomore Paige Taylor. “And adding an extra $50 could really unable people from playing sports.” This fee however was dropped last month by superintendent, Pat Murphy.

Short library hours?!

Paying for sports?!

See Budget Page 3, Column 1

2010

SCA Olympics

Photo Montage

BY ABIGAIL BESSLER

Inside This Issue Senior

Countdown

35 days

News

As school starts to wind down, read about the changes to this year’s farewell assembly, as well as a look back on last week’s spirit week.

Pages 2-3

Lifestyles

Discover the best dessert places in town with reviews of local cupcake and frozen ice yogurt shops. Also, read about the health habits of high school students.

Pages 4-5

Feature

Learn tips on the college process. From visiting schools and how to pay, to interesting alternatives to school, it is all inside.

Pages 6-7

Opinion

Read our staff’s opinion of the prevalence of cheating in school, along with our take on the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Pages 11-12


2

NEWS

May 5, 2010

Crossed Sabres

Dresses for Prom

What’s Going On? School news and noteworthy events

Saying Goodbye to Another Senior Class

PTA sells donated dresses for $5

Farewell assembly in planning stage

Thursday, May 6 The spring musical, Godspell, will be performed in the auditorium at 7:30 p.m. The play will also be shown at the same time and location on May 7, and May 8. Tickets can be purchased for $7 in advance or for $10 at the door.

Sean Magner, ‘12

Wednesday, May 12 The spring band and orchestra concert will be held in the auditorium at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 13 Boat party tickets will be sold for $60 during both lunches. The boat party will be held on June 24. Students with financial need may see their counselor to apply for a boat party scholarship. Friday, May 14 The annual talent show will be held in the auditorium at 7 p.m. Monday, May 17 Prom ticket sales begin. Tickets can be purchased during both lunches outside the cafeteria in the main hallway. Tickets are $40 and can only be purchased if senior class dues have been paid. Students who have not yet paid their senior dues should see Ms. Terry Bell, treasurer, in the counseling office. The last day to purchase tickets is May 21. Wednesday, May 19 The spring choral and guitar concert will be held in the auditorium at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 25 Senior experience starts after an orientation meeting at 10 a.m. in the auditorium. Students should report to their work location after the orientation ends. -Christina Phang, ‘10

BY ANNIE PLOTKIN

On April 28 and 29, female students purchased a variety of donated dresses for only $5. The selection included over 400 dresses along with bags and accessories. The event was coordinated by Ms. Sandi Parker (Shown at top right to the right of the display.)

Annie Plotkin, ‘11

Staff Reporter

“Shopping for prom dresses is such a hassle, and can get so expensive,” said senior Erica Fernandez, referring to the challenge prom, a cherished tradition, can present. One solution to this problem has come in the form of Formals for Five, an event put on by the PTA to provide girls with a selection of 400 dresses for only $5 each. Items are donated by people all over Arlington, and vary from modern dresses that the old owner has no use for, to decades-old bridesmaid dresses. “It’s so convenient since it’s right at the school and all the dresses are such a great price,” said Fernandez. Many other girls felt this way as well as they crowded the Little Theatre in search for the right dress. One issue that has been brought up surrounding Formals for Five is the fact that there is no opportunity for men to get suits at a discount. According to PTA

member and organizer of Formals for Five Mrs. Sandi Parker, “Demand isn’t high enough for an entire men’s collection, and it would be logistically difficult since girls tend to want to try dresses on the spot,” said Mrs. Parker. Junior Josh Katz was not upset over the lack of discounted attire for men either. “I was planning on getting a dress anyway, so it doesn’t affect me,” said Katz. “If there was one though, I would go for a tuxedo that grips in all the right places and a black bow tie. I’m all about James Bond.” Folashade Modupe, a 2006 graduate, purchased a dress for her prom from Formals for Five. “The dress was so original, I loved it,” said Modupe. The dress has also been worth more than the small price. “I’ve worn it to a few ceremonies I’ve had to go to while in college, and it’s great.” This year, Formals for Five was held on Wednesday, April 28 and Thursday, April 29 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mrs. Parker said “We raised almost $1,300. I would say it was a success.”

Staff Reporter

Although still several months away, planning for the Seniors’ Farewell Assembly has already begun. It is set to take place during 3rd period on June 11, prom night. After the assembly, seniors will be dismissed for the remainder of the school day According to assistant principal Mrs. Margarita Cruz, only juniors and seniors were originally going to attend the assembly. However, after complaints from the other classes the administration decided to invite the whole school, so the entire student body could say farewell to the senior class. Another idea discussed was to combine the Farewell Assembly with Memories in Words and Music, a senior class talent show, dedicated to remembering high school which traditionally took place at night. The decision, however, was to keep the assemblies separate. Some plans for the assembly include juniors presenting paper plate awards, with an emphasis on positive characteristics, since last year’s “What Ifs” sometimes pointed out negative aspects of individual students. Another idea was for a small variety show of different artistic performances by students, such as vocal or video presentations remembering seniors. The original plan for the Farewell Assembly was one large variety show, only presented by juniors and seniors. Switching seats will be returning from last year as part of the opening portion of the assembly to signify a transition into next year. Several SCA officers wanted to omit this section of the assembly citing that it is usually disorganized and requires a lot of time.

New Front Door Decoration Art students aim to beautify school with sculpture Sean Magner, ‘12

BY SEAN MAGNER

Students from art I and II classes gather around the new front entrance sculpture which they designed with artist Mr. Kevin Reese. The students named the sculpture Optimus Prime.

Staff Reporter

“Washington-Lee has a nice new building, but it looks cold. It needs more color to it,” said Ms. Hiromi Isobe, one of the art teachers behind the construction of the new sculpture in front of the building. “Art should be part of the school.” Not long ago, the school’s art department finished the design and construction of a new moving sculpture outside the main entrance. The sculpture, named Optimus Prime by the students, was built in collaboration with the artist Mr. Kevin Reese. Mrs. Joan Bickelhaupt, another art teacher, organized Mr. Reese's collaboration with the school through the Arlington Public Schools program called the Humanities Project, which also funded the sculpture's construction. The Humanities Project provides the chance for different regional art, theater or music students to apply to work with a professional artist. Last year, Mrs. Bickelhaupt successfully applied for a grant from the project that supported bringing Mr. Reese to the school to work in depth with the students on the sculpture. The design and construction of Optimus Prime was stretched over two weeks. One of the first stages was creating a design for the sculpture. “[Mr. Reese] asked

art I classes to come up with some designs,” said Ms. Isobe. “He took all the designs home and came up with a combined [and final] design.” Mr. Reese encouraged, but not required, students to try more abstract designs that would force viewers to interpret the work in different ways. In the final sculpture, Mr. Reese implemented ideas for use of aluminum parts, and entertained the concept of a moving portion of the sculpture in the final design. Much of Mr. Reese’s work, including Optimus Prime, is also influenced by Alexander Calder, an artist well known for his abstract sculptures. Over two weeks, Mr. Reese continued to work with a wide range of art classes. Seven different art I classes, and one art II class helped develop potential designs and worked on construction. The Art Club developed the sculpture’s color scheme. Most of the construction of the sculpture was finished in just two weeks. Optimus Prime's pattern involved using different colors on different sides of the sculpture. This was the first time Mr. Reese used such a style. Both art teachers were unsure of what the next large art department venture would be. “I think it would be cool to have [a sculpture] at every single school in the county,” said Mr. Neil French, whose art I classes were also directly involved with Mr. Reese. “It’s so fun to have a connection to a permanent installation that’s going to be [at the school] for years to come.”


NEWS

Crossed Sabres

May 5, 2010

Another Graduate with an Oscar

3

Sandra Bullock becomes third former student to win Academy Award John Bardo, ‘11

News Editor

In June 1982, the school said goodbye to another graduating class. Like all graduating classes, each student would follow a different destiny. One of these graduating seniors would grow up to become Gracie Hart, Jean Cabot and Margaret Tate. She is Ms. Sandra Bullock, who earlier this year became an Academy Award winning actress. Ms. Bullock won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Ms. Leigh Anne Touhy in The Blind Side, a film that tells the early life story of Mr. Michael Oher, a NFL football star currently on the Baltimore Ravens. Ms. Touhy becomes Mr. Oher’s adopted mother and turns his life around by giving him a bedroom, an education and an opportunity to play football. Many critics say The Blind Side was Ms. Bullock’s best film. Ms. Bullock’s acting career originated during her time at Washington-Lee, where she participated in the school’s theatre program. Senior Nate Kresh, a member of the current theatre program, was pleased that someone from a similar background to his was able to achieve such a high honor. “We were all pretty shocked,” he said. “It’s weird to think that someone who went to your school and did the same thing as you did can have so much success.” Drama teacher Mr. Keith Cassidy also expressed praise for Ms. Bullock’s achievement. “A rising tide raises all the ships. When she does well it reflects on all of us,” he said. Ms. Bullock is the third school alumni

FROM INSTYLE

FROM THE CUTE KID

Two photos taken of Ms. Sandra Bullock during her four years as a Washington-Lee student. There are no yearbook photos of Ms. Bullock inside the school building because all yearbooks that were published during her high school years are missing from the school archives. Both of these photos were found on the internet.

to win an academy award after Ms. Shirley MacLaine and Mr. Warren Beatty. “I don’t think many schools have three Oscar winners,” said Mr. Cassidy. Many of Ms. Bullock’s classmates look back on their time with her with positive memories. Among them is social studies teacher Mr. Jim Thomas who graduated a year before Ms. Bullock in 1981. Ms. Bullock and Mr. Thomas had many friends in common. “We had a good group of friends and socially we would see each other, hang out and go to places and games on the weekends,” said Mr. Thomas. Ten years ago, this group of friends had an informal reunion. By this point, Ms. Bullock had already made a name in

School system proposes education cuts to abate deficit Planetarium, late bus avoid chopping block SCHOOL BUDGET, From Page 1

Saving the Planetarium Another proposed cut that was also withdrawn was the closing of the David M. Brown Planetarium. Named after the Yorktown graduate who died in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle wreck, the planetarium has hosted Arlington students for forty years. “Even though we [high school students] don’t go to the planetarium anymore,” said sophomore Maheen Shahid. “I remember how cool it was that we could visit outer space on a BY NOAH PILCHEN field trip, and I wouldn’t want 3rd graders The proposal to close the planetarium was to be robbed of that feeling.” In efforts to met with hostile reactions among the comsave the planetarium a Facebook group munity. Activism encouraged the superintenwas created that currently has over 3,000 dent to allow the building to stay in use. members. Recently, the superintendent gave the planetarium three options for the future: 1. Open on weekdays and weekends along with reducing the staff to one full-time member. 2. Open two days per week and on the weekends: Staff would be reduced to one part-time member. 3. Close during week and open on weekends: The interior would be converted to Washington-Lee classroom space.

The Fight over the Bus The late bus and the late-late bus are used by students who need to stay after school to work on a project or participate in different after-school activities. In the superintendent’s proposed budget, the buses were going to be cut from five days a week to three days a week. However, due to criticism from parents and faculty, the late busses will continue to run the whole school week. The final budget for the 2011 fiscal year was decided on April 29th. All of the proposed budgets, and budget updates can be found at http://www.apsva.us/15401081151845893/ site/default.asp.

several movies. Mr. Thomas said that fame had not altered her personality. “I was surprised how easily she settled in with her old friends. She was very sincere with her interest in how our lives were going,” he said. The characters Ms. Bullock plays in her 2009 movies are different in their philosophies and attitudes. Mr. Thomas says Ms. Bullock’s personality is a combination of the characters in The Proposal and The Blind Side. “There were occasions when you would see her in the halls or after school when she was very energetic and going in a hundred different

directions [as in The Proposal],” he said. “But she has strong family values and has always been very close to her family which comes across in The Blind Side.” There are rumors stating that Ms. Bullock was unhappy during high school. Mr. Thomas did not notice this. “I am sure that she enjoyed W-L. She was always happy, had many good friends and was involved in many school activities.” Following Ms. Bullock’s honor, Principal Gregg Robertson wrote her a letter congratulating her and requesting that she visit the school. Ms. Bullock has not yet responded to his invitation.


4

May 5, 2010

LIFESTYLES

Crossed Sabres

MGMT Album Review Connor Lay, ‘12

Staff Reporter

MGMT’s sophomore album, Congratulations, is much more than a rehash of their debut, Oracular Spectacular. Gone are the electro-pop singles like “Kids” and “Time to Pretend” that launched the group into the spotlight. This album focuses on the band’s developing progressive, psychedelic and space rock influences. The album kicks off with “It’s Working,” an homage to the thrill and nervousness of recreational drug use, echoing the words, “How will I know if it’s working right?” I particularly enjoyed the song’s push and pull between anxiety and relaxation, cleverly recreating the emotional stress of said activity. All in all, “It’s Working” carries over many of the star struck themes from Oracular Spectacular, while introducing the more human nature of Congratulations. “Song For Dan Treacy” is exactly that, a tribute to one of the band’s close friends. Although the song is the same length as “It’s Working,” “Song For Dan Treacy” felt much longer, probably due to its lack of catchy hooks and repetitive nature. Despite its statues as filler, “Song For Dan Treacy” remains a very original piece and should not be overlooked. “Someone’s Missing” could almost be considered a short intermission or

segue, transitioning from the honeymoon songs of the album to the more substantial compositions. Initially the song is quite mellow, building up intense anticipation that is finally released with the chorus of “It feels like someone’s missing”. Clocking in at a mere two and a half minutes, “Someone’s Missing” manages to accomplish great things in a short span of time. I would consider the next track, “Flash Delirium” the most accessible song on the album. However, do not mistake the song as another “Time to Pretend”; “Flash Delirium” departs from the group’s signature upbeat, catchy pop singles, introducing greater evolution and complexity. Subtly descending into insanity, “Flash Delirium” will leave you pleasantly uncomfortable. “I Found a Whistle” is definitely the anthem of Congratulations, fashioned in a much lighter heart than its predecessor. The chanting of “hey, I found a whistle” leaves

the impression of unity and friendship, as if the listener is one of a massive audience of fans. Although not as intimidating as “Flash Delirium”, “I Found a Whistle” continues the album’s theme of catch and release, providing an exhale after the joyride of the previous song. “Siberian Breaks” begins with a spacey, acoustic melody that increases in complexity, blossoming into a symphony of synthesizers. The use of abstract description reveals the group’s influence from both Yes and Pink Floyd alike. I would definitely consider “Siberian Breaks” the center of attention, pulling together MGMT’s electro-pop and progressive-psychedelic guises. Clocking in around twelve minutes, “Siberian Breaks” is the most experimental song on Congratulations, providing something new each listen. I found “Brian Eno” somewhat similar

to “Song For Dan Treacy” in both structure and theme. Once again, the song drags on a bit, making it more filler than original songwriting. “Lady Dada’s Nightmare” is a very twisted song. Despite its instrumental nature, “Lady Dada’s Nightmare” embodies fear and helplessness; the wailing howls throughout the song contribute greatly to this. Still, “Lady Dada’s Nightmare” is quite interesting and effective in presentation. The final track, “Congratulations”, effectively summarizes the band’s guilt and discontent with their spot in the limelight. Strip away the glitter and stardom, and MGMT just wants appreciation for their music. I felt this song was able to touch on a deep emotional level, combining nostalgia and melancholy, and proves a fitting conclusion with hopeful prospects for the future of MGMT. Congratulations proves to be a fully cohesive album in terms of both lyrical themes and musical style. Drenched in echoing atmospheres and distorted by moody neglect, Congratulations stands out among the crowd. It is only the presence of slight filler material that holds the album back. I award MGMT a four out of five for their latest effort and strongly suggest anyone interested to give it a listen! Congratulations is $9.99 on iTunes


LIFESTYLES

Crossed Sabres

Frozen Yogurt Frenzy

Artist of the Issue

Luisa Banchoff & Abigial Bessler, ‘13

Staff Reporters

BY CLAIRE MOIR

T H O M A S

COMPILED BY LIZETT CLAURE-ORELLANO, ‘11

Yogen Früz

There are two employees working at the store, located in a less central location on the second floor. The yogurt is self-serve, so customers can choose multiple frozen yogurts and put them all into a standardsized cup.

There are three to six employees working at the stand, located in the middle of the first floor. The service is very fast and efficient. According to the employees, there can be huge lines, especially over the weekend.

48 cents per ounce

Price of frozen yogurt with no fruit blended in: Small: $2.95, Medium: $3.95, Large: $4.95

Quality

The frozen yogurt tasted a little more like soft serve ice cream, but the flavor options were more exotic and multiple flavors could be tasted at the same time. A customer said, “It’s pretty standard—not out of this world, but what you would expect from mall frozen yogurt.”

The frozen yogurt was very tart with bits of blended fruit, making it taste more natural. A customer said, “I like how it’s tart. It’s not too milky or too sweet.”

Nutrition

All of the frozen yogurts available are nonfat. Upon asking the employees, nutrition fact cards were available to take. A sign inside Fruity Yogurt advertised that it was, “Natural and Healthy.” However, Fruity Yogurt does not have the no sugar added option.

There is a choice between low fat, nonfat and no sugar added yogurt. Employee Autumn Nophawan said, “A lot of people ask about low fat, so I do think that people come here because of the nutrition.” However, there were no nutrition fact sheets easily available for customers to take.

Variety of Flavors

The flavors are changed throughout the year based on customer demand and seasons. Besides regular fruit, there are also mint, cheesecake, green tea, taro and pomegranate. Ten flavors are available at a time.

First, you choose between vanilla and chocolate; then you choose whether you want any fruits blended in. Most basic fruits are available, from mango to raspberry. You can also choose to blend in more than one, creating even more flavor options.

Variety of Toppings

Toppings include fresh fruit, mochi balls (rice cakes), nuts, cereals and M&Ms. Toppings are part of the total weight and are not an additional cost.

Toppings include fresh fruit, nuts, cereals and chocolate shavings. Each topping costs 50 cents.

4 out of 5 stars

5 out of 5 stars

Atmosphere and Service

M I O T K E

Senior Thomas Miotke has been taking art classes since his freshman year, but has recently become more serious about it. He considers himself an artist, but also thinks the term applies to more people than most would give credit to. The creation of his artwork is the most personal part of the entire experience. “I always connect to the process of creating a piece more than the actual product, so when I look at my work, I see everything I put into it.” Miotke’s inspiration comes on some level from beauty, but his most personal work can really be inspired by any meaning or emotion that he may have experienced at a point in his life. “Art has the capacity to become truly universal and resonate with anybody,” said Miotke. “So it represents everything from a coherent commentary on society to my emotions and outlook on my life.” Miotke, like other artists, views his artwork with a critical eye. “I tend to notice everything that’s wrong or unwanted about [my art] so it takes some control to be satisfied,” he said. “I prefer to see people’s reactions to my work to see if I was truly successful or not.” Recently Miotke created his senior painting a collage of faces from several fellows. After Miotke graduates, he will be attending Brown University. Although he turned down an acceptance to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), he still plans to take classes there. Although Miotke will not be pursuing art professionally, he plans to continue with art for the rest of his life.

5

Tysons Mall is home to two competing stores, both with one select product: frozen yogurt. Through taste tests and interviews, we determined which one is worth your money.

Fruity Yogurt

Price



Overall Rating

If you are looking for more freedom with toppings, the amount you want and like tasting different flavors in one cup, choose Fruity Yogurt.

Kirby Miller, ‘13

The new

May 5, 2010

CUPCAKES in town



If you are looking for natural tasting frozen yogurt and the ability to create your own flavors by blending different fruits, choose Yogen Früz.

Staff Reporter

Blueberry shortcake, cookies ‘n cream and nutella are all flavors that most people would not expect to taste in a cupcake. Yet Bakeshop, the new bakery in Clarendon, has them all, and they are all delicious. While Bakeshop is creative in the numerous flavors of cupcakes they sell, the pricing of the cupcakes and other baked goods is slightly high. The cupcakes are delicious, especially the red velvet, but for $2.75 each, fairly expensive for a high school student. While prices around $3 may seem expensive for a cupcake, that price range is sadly the normal for specialty cupcakes. Both Magnolia Bakery in New York City and Georgetown Cupcake in Georgetown have a similar price range to Bakeshop. If you are willing to pay $3 for a delicious snack or dessert, Bakeshop is the place for you. Aside from the slightly high pricing, Bakeshop is very good. Everyday they offer different flavors of cupcakes so the buyer will never get bored of the same old cupcakes. Bakeshop also sells other baked goods, like cookies, for those who do not want a cupcake. Bakeshop has comfortable outside seating where customers can enjoy their cupcakes in a quiet and favorable location. There is a welcoming interior with modern bright green walls which invite customers to sit insode though seating is available on the street. Unlike most Clarendon streets, Fillmore is not busy, so customers can sit outside without the feeling that they are getting attacked by pedestrians. Even better is that customers can see where the cupcakes are made because of the open back showing the decorating tables and ovens. All in all Bakeshop is very tasty. The variety of creative and different cupcake flavors makes choosing which variety to purchase difficult, but the trouble is worth it. The taste is worth the $2.75. I give Bakeshop a four out of five for taste, service and experience. Bakeshop is located at 1025 North Fillmore Street in Clarendon.


6

FEATURE

May 5, 2010

tives

FEATURE

Crossed Sabres

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$5 $50,000 $50,000 Rachel Schwartz, ‘10

Sports Editor

While many juniors and seniors are busy preparing for college, others are making different plans. The alternatives to college include joining the military, taking a gap year and attending a trade school. If students want to serve their country, they can choose the military. The candidate must be at least 18, according to the Armed Forces website. This option is particularly appealing to many because they can learn a profession and start their career early. Additionally, as a benefit of their years of service, the military will help pay their college tuition. Senior Miguel Stewart plans to join the Marines and become a combat engineer. This path has always appealed to him, but not necessarily to the rest of his family. “[My mother] is fine with it now, but not at first,” he said. Stewart sees many benefits in joining the Marines, such as the college tuition benefits later and the opportunity to travel around the world. However, what appeals to Stewart most is the job security. He has a friend whose sister has been looking for a job for two years without any success, mainly due to the struggling economy. “But I won’t have to worry about a thing,” he said. Another option is the gap year, where students take a year or two off school to pursue an interest of theirs in greater depth. Casey Botticello, a 2009 graduate, took advantage of this opportunity. Botticello deferred acceptance to the College of William and Mary to take a gap year, even though he was a full IB student facing many college acceptance letters. Alternatively, some students take specialized classes at the Career Center to be capable of entering the labor force after high school. Students can take carpentry, auto mechanics, multimedia productions, electrical operations and many others. For some seniors, college simply may not be the right fit. Stewart, for The most important thing underclassmen can do is keep their example, found he was best suited to the Marines because of the rigorous grades up. Yes, colleges do see grades all from all four years of lifestyle and the many advantages they offer. Many students find these high school, including those from freshman year. Make sure that other options both fulfilling and fascinating. you are taking the hardest classes possible to build the foundation for a strong transcript and application. Your GPA is cumulative, and includes every year of high school. It may be difficult to were r-olds a increase your GPA when you are an upperclassman, so your grades e y 9 - and 1 as a freshman do matter. It is also important to continue building t of 18 in 2007 n e c r e e 49 p your reading and math skills which are critical in the SAT and colleg sus Bureau led in l en o r C n e s e ACT. Sophomores specifically should consider taking an SAT Stat d e t i n --U or ACT practice test to decide early which test is best. Practice tests are offered in Arlington every year. Test prep books, which you can buy or check out from the library, also include several practice tests. Get involved in more extracurricular activities like clubs or community service. Schools want to see that you are Annie Plotkin committed to several activities throughout high school, instead of just having a long list of random activities.

ART BY EILEEN SOILES

Underclassmen...

Annie Plotkin, ‘11

Rising Juniors... Juniors should be more focused on the actual college search process. Think about the general qualities you want in a college. Do you want a large or small school? Does being near a big city appeal to you? Find more information about schools that fit the general criteria and decide which ones to visit. Spring break is the best time for college visits. By the end of the year, have a narrowed-down list of which schools you are going to apply to. Still keep your grades up, because this year’s grades are the most heavily considered by colleges. At the end of the year, ask two of your teachers and your guidance counselor to write your recommendations. Some schools require SAT subjects and it is best to take these in the spring of your junior year, after you have completed a full year of an AP or IB class.

lleg

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$50,000

$50,000 ART BY NOAH PILCHEN

Chad Hilla, ‘11

May 5, 2010

The a ve wait l rage studen ist has t who le ch ceptan ce into ss than a 30 ooses to st ay on --U.S. percen the co th News l and W lege or uni t of eventua e versity orld R l aceport

“Epic Roadtrip” ‘11

Managing Editor

Senior Maddie Templeton held her breath in anticipation as her Emory admissions decision loaded on her browser. “Congratulations!” was the only word she read before she sprang up and raced to tell her friends and family. It was only hours later, when she returned to her acceptance page and found that she had been allotted no financial aid, did the realization of her situation dawn on her. She had been accepted into the college of her dreams, and she had no way to pay. One of the most common conundrums that college students face throughout their four years at school is simply how to pay. Methods of payment for tuition, room and board, food, textbooks and transportation all need to be determined. These fees can add up to a pretty hefty price tag, not to mention the added costs of clubs or other social activities in which many students which to partake. According to College Board’s Trends in College Pricing (CBTCP), students attending a public institution for the school year of 2009-10 paid an average of $7,020 with aid, and students attending a private four year institution paid $26,273 with aid. Although paying for college seems like a daunting task, with the right approach, students can find a way to minimize cost while maximizing education and experience. In order to start on this path, students must assess what it is exactly they want out of college, and what they are able to pay for. When it comes to college expenses, Janet Bondnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance,

Staff Reporter

suggests that students sit down with their parents and discuss exactly how much is plausible. Once this bar is set, students should begin searching for a college in their price range. This may mean a pubic four-year school, or a private four-year school that is known for being generous with scholarship money. Along with these schoolbased scholarships, there are thousands of others for seniors to apply, including need based, merit and athletic scholarships. Along with scholarships, students may be eligible for federal grants or loans. Grants are sums of money allotted by the government that require no monetary return, while loans require the money borrowed to be paid back with interest over time. According to the CBTCP, an average full-time student at a private four-year university receives around $14,400 of grant money, reducing their overall average net tuition and fees by around $11,900. After filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students will be alerted by each school what their estimated financial aid package is, whether loans or grants. With the average private school charging over $25,000 a year for an education, and the 2008 United States census estimates for the average per capita income hovering right around $27,000 a year, Templeton, a reporter for the Crossed Sabres, is just one of thousands of high school students struggling to find a way to pay for college. With the help of scholarships, financial aid programs and loans many students can make the collegiate dreams a reality. For more information on how to pay for college, go to www.trends-collegeboard.com. 19 million st udents are ex pected to enroll in Un ited States u niversities and colleges this fall. --United Sta tes Census B ureau

Staff Reporter

Day 1: Oberlin. Day 2: University of Chicago. Day 3: Northwestern. Day 4: Washington University. And so it went for junior Katherine Ponds’ spring break. “It was an epic road trip, and we saw like a billion colleges. It was fun though.” College touring can be both an educational and fun experience. One of junior Spencer Hemstreet’s most memorable experiences on a college visit was spending a night at his brother’s fraternity. “I got to experience what most people don’t experience until college.” Junior Cayden Brehaut also had a memorable experience on a tour of James Madison University. “I was on a tour with this total jock and he was talking to another girl about Greek life when he asked her if she was going to join a maternity. Needless to say, they stayed on opposite sides of the group for the rest of the visit.” While Brehaut, as well as most students, go on tours with their parents, juniors Kristi Kem and Michelle Smyth visited the University of Virginia on their own. This was different from a college tour with their parents because, “Parents can sometimes put unnecessary pressure on you that can make the experience less enjoyable and more frustrating,” said Smyth. Seniors also go college touring, both to get last minute ideas for applications and to finalize their decisions after getting acceptance letters. Senior Alex Jones revisited the campuses after getting her acceptance letters to help her make her final decision.. “It’s important to visit campuses so you can see all the students along with the campus, as well as all the activities they have going on.” Jones also advised prospective students to make sure to ask questions on the tour, as well as eating in a campus cafeteria. College touring is more than just learning about the application process and getting suggestions on what subject tests to take. It is also getting a feel for where students take the next major step in their life. “College touring has a huge impact on your decision,” said counselor Mrs. Pam McClellan. “You need to be able to see yourself there, and there has to be that match.”

Rising Seniors... This is when the work really begins. By the start of your senior year, know exactly which schools you are definitely applying to. Start early if you know you are applying early action or decision. If you apply regular decision, make sure you apply to one or two schools you know you are likely to get into, and one or two that may be a “reach” for you. Start your essays early, so you will have plenty of time to go back and make them as personal and detailed as possible. If needed, take the SAT or ACT one more time in the fall. There is a lot to keep track of and it is easy to forget things like sending in test score reports, recommendations or mid-year transcripts for all of the schools. Keep all parts of your application organized by using folders and checklists for each school. This process will be a lot of work and can be very stressful at times, but stress can be reduced if you stay organized and do not procrastinate. ALL “ADVICE” COMPILED BY MADDIE TEMPLETON, ‘10

7


8

SPORTS

May 5, 2010

Crossed Sabres

The Soccer Special Athlete of the

Profile of a Coach:

Issue: John

Jimmy Carrasquillo

Sheahan

Alicia Carter, ‘10

Business Manager

Many describe John Sheahan, a senior captain on the boys varsity soccer team, as hard-working and a leader on his team. His great work ethic and love for the sport help him make a positive impact on the team. “He leads by example,” said head varsity coach Mr. Jimmy Carrasquillo. Sheahan makes a point to set high standards for the rest of his teammates, and he keeps them focused and on task. “His teammates see that he works hard every time he is on the field and that sets a standard,” said Mr. Carrasquillo. Sheahan got his start playing soccer in a first grade league, and moved up to a higher league in the seventh grade. Sheahan wanted to play football when he entered high school, but his parents disagreed. So, when Sheahan entered the ninth grade, he played on the junior varsity soccer team and quickly advanced to the varsity team as a sophomore and became a starter. Sheahan enjoys both soccer and track because they keep him fit in different ways. Track builds up his endurance, enhancing his ability to sprint during the soccer season. “Soccer has always been my favorite

BY CLAIRE MOIR

sport...but both track and soccer have been great for me in different ways. I’ve really enjoyed doing both,” said Sheahan. Although he is confident in his abilities, last year’s game against J.E.B. Stuart was a mild setback for him and the team. Conditions were horrible and a wet field was not easy to run on. “We should have won,” said Sheahan. However, even though there have been hard times on the field, Sheahan still loves the sport. “I’ve always been a fan of soccer,” he said. His love for the sport occasionally has him wishing overtime was longer. Sheahan will miss the friendships he has made over the years, along with the many memories he made. “Whenever you put a lot of time and effort into doing something, you miss it when it’s over,” he said. Sheahan has received offers from division two and three schools and several letters of interest from coaches. Though Sheahan has followed up with Allegheny College and Washington and Lee University, he may attend the University of Virginia in the fall. Sheahan said, “If I go to UVA, I may play club soccer.”

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bumpy on the sidelines!” His passion for soccer was so strong that BY CLAIRE MOIR Mr. Carrasquillo knew he wanted to coach since his freshman year of high school, he Lizett Claure-Orellana, ‘11 practiced by coaching his younger brother, Staff Reporter who is now coaching along side him. Coach Jimmy Carrasquillo started playThough he has many wonderful memoing soccer at the age of ries of coaching the four. Today he is coachvarsity team, his most Winning my ing high school varsity memorable was the boys soccer. His inspi2006 season. “We had first districtration grew from teama great team that went championship work and the skill that is 15-1. Winning my first involved with soccer. district championship is a great Mr. Carraquillo with W-L is a great memory. played on an all-star team memory,” said Mr. throughout his childhood. Carrasquillo. One of his vivid memo“Coach Jimmy,” ries was playing in freezing cold weather as he is known by players, has been coachwith a huge parka on and his jersey on top. ing here since 1999. His love for soccer Somehow he was able to keep his energy keeps him motivated to keep coaching. He up and continue playing hard. Eventually, believes that this also allows him to be a his team won the tournament. positive influence on the boys while teachHe played four years on varsity at ing and passing along the passion for socWakefield and earned the distinction of be- cer. ing an honorable mention All Met in 1993. Mr. Carrasquillo faces each season with The most significant difference from optimism. “I think we have a very good when he was playing for Wakefield is the team! My expectations for every year are fields. “When I played the fields were hor- to win a district championship, and do well rible, they were all dirt in the middle and in the region.”


SPORTS

Crossed Sabres

May 5, 2010

9

The Great Outdoors: Rock Climbing An Interview with Elijah Kennedy Emily Walker, ‘12

Staff Reporter

Q When did you start climbing? A I’ve had a thing for climbing

things since I was very young, since around the age of five or maybe younger. I was always the one [to] get yelled at for climbing the trees at recess.  I think the first time I climbed in a gym was for my ninth birthday.  The first time I climbed outdoors was at summer camp the summer after 6th grade at Great Falls.

roping has a somewhat similar scoring system, but there is a wide range of variation, and speed of climb is taken into consideration.  

Q What’s been your favorite part of the sport?

A

Possibly the people. It seems to me like rock climbers, especially the hardcore ones that really embrace the lifestyle, are a completely different kind of human. 

Q What attracted you to rock

Q

A

A

climbing?

I have a natural urge to climb things. I didn’t really have any exposure to the sport from an early age, but my dad used to rock climb in college.  I like full body sports, and being high up has a basic appeal to me.

Q

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from it? Humility.  I used to think I was the best climber in the world until I met hundreds of other people who have a zillion times my climbing skills.  

Do You Have What It Takes? A beginner’s guide to rock climbing 1. Who are rock climbers? Rock climbing is a very physically

and mentally demanding sport which requires strength, endurance, agility, balance and superior mental control.

It is Sportrock Climbing Center in Alexandria, Virginia. It offers three major types of climbing lessons, outdoor programs and cardio workouts. It also has a Quick Start Program for $75. Above: a sport climber’s harness, minimalistic and lightweight. Below: a modern climbing rope of kernmantle construction.

Q How does rock climbing work

4. What equipment will I need? Rock climbing involves an inherent

A

I’ve only ever attended competitions for indoor rock climbing, which uses a system involving colored tape to mark climbing routes with varying difficulties. There are two main types of rock climbing: top-roping and bouldering. Top roping usually involves wearing harnesses because of a greater height, and bouldering generally involves close to the ground problems [challenging climbing routes] with a minimal amount of moves and holds and a more concentrated challenge.  The competitions vary in rules and structure depending on the type of rock climbing.  In a bouldering competition, each individual climber climbs as many problems as he/she can, and their most difficult climbs (rated with a numerical scale of V0 through V16) are counted towards their score.  Top-

A

Many aspects of rock climbing are individualistic-personal struggle, like increased awareness of body and responsibility of oneself while on the wall. I wouldn’t consider rock climbing a team like football or soccer. However, competitiveness connects climbers together.  There is always a need to prove yourself to whatever group of friends you’re climbing with or the climbing community you belong to. It is definitely a social sport.

Q What’s your favorite type of climbing?  

A

I prefer bouldering over toproping and leading. It presents more of a raw challenge.

Athlete’s Corner: by Emma Wolfarth

COURTESY OF DOUG MILLS

Soccer players such as senior Ellie Mills, who plays for the varsity team, play a fast-pacedgame that sometimes requires moves such as slide-tackling or acrobatic headers that put them in danger of concussions.

Researchers at the Colorado Medical Society studied 1,219 mild brain traumatic injuries (MTBIs) over three years and found these statistics. SPORT: Football Wrestling Girls Soccer

Percent of MTBIs: 63.4% 10.5% 6.3%

with top-roping, where the climber is anchored to the summit and can take as long as he or she needs to get to the top. It is also very safe.

3. What is the indoor climbing facility closest to the D.C. area?

as an individual and team sport? How to competitions work?

2. How do I get started? Beginners are typically advised to start

amount of risk, and so climbers use a lot of gear to ensure their safety, some of which you can do without. However, certain pieces of equipment really are necessary. These include: climbing shoes, harnesses and ropes. Climbing shoes are meant to enhance the grip of the foot with increased friction provided by a tough rubber sole. This sole can also be replaced when it wears out, decreasing the cost of buying new shoes. Harnesses are used for attaching ropes to the climber. Usually they are worn around the hips and pelvis. Each type of rock climbing has unique harness requirements. Sport climbing, which most beginners prefer, does not require a particulary high-tech harness; sewn-on loops for the ropes are the only necessity.

Climbing ropes are usually composed of a material called “kernmantle.” The kern is on the inside, made up of long fibers twisted together. The mantle is on the outside, made up of colored fibers woven together. The kern provides most of the tensile strength, while the mantle is very durable.

What You Need to Know About Concussions People often assume that the most serious injuries in sports have to involve either a brutal dislocation or inordinate amount of blood, but this is not always the case. While these are often devastating, one of the most serious wounds high school athletes sustain is in the form of a visually undetectable kind of head trauma called a concussion. Concussions are dangerous injuries. The word itself means violent agitation of the brain and it results from a blow directly to the head. A concussion can vary significantly in severity and is often cast aside as nothing more than a bump on the head; but athletes risk serious consequences by continuing to play with a concussion. High school athletes are also more susceptible to concussions. Scientists have been studying the subject and have found evidence that suggests a younger athlete has a more immature nervous system and is more vulnerable to disruptions of proper brain function. Senior Molly Wolford, a varsity soc-

cer player, knows much about the dangers of concussions. In her sophomore and junior years, Wolford missed part of the soccer season due to repeated concussions. She said this of her frightening experience: “The worst part about my head injuries was that I couldn’t tell when I was fully recovered, and I would push myself too hard…I really hated it.” Here is some important advice about concussions. Be sure to properly manage a concussion. If improperly managed, this hard-todetect head injury could lead to long-term problems including severe and permanent brain damage. Seek medical treatment and most importantly listen and follow any instructions given to you. Even if this means missing out on the Yorktown game. Risking the health of your game is not worth it. Keep in mind that loss of consciousness is not the only sign that you sustained a concussion. It has been estimated that 5% of high school athletes become concussed each year while participating in contact sports. So please be careful on the field or the court.


COMMUNITY

Crossed Sabres

May 5, 2010

The Newest Social Stop

10

Northside Social opens in historical Arlington building, former home of Murky Coffee Kirby Miller, ‘13

Staff Reporter

When the recession hit, it did not miss local businesses, including student favorite Murky Coffee. When Murky Coffee could not make their rent anymore, they had to shut down, leaving an historic Arlington building vacant. Fortunately, neighboring business Liberty Tavern bought the space and turned it into Northside Social Coffee & Wine, which recently opened for business. Murky Coffee customers will not have to worry about a drastic change with this new business, because not only has Northside Social management kept the layout of the building mostly the same (something they had to do because of the historic importance of the building), but they have also hired former Murky Coffee employee Marianne Tolosa as Director of Coffee. Northside Social had some difficulty renovating the building because of the

construction rules they had to meet. The Northside Social building is registered as a historic landmark in the county because 3211 Wilson Blvd. was one of the original buildings in Arlington. Not only has the building been used by Murky Coffee and now Northside Social Coffee & Wine, but it has also been used by a business called Common Grounds (another coffee shop), an Amoco station and a dry cleaners to mention a few. During the renovations, Northside Social expanded a room in the back of the building and opened the upstairs for more seating. There is also seating outside and in the front room by the coffee bar and register. The newly expanded back room also has a bar where laptop computers can be plugged in for internet usage. In addition to coffee, Northside Social also sells sandwiches, salads and pastries. Northside Social Coffee & Wine is located at 3211 Wilson Blvd. in Clarendon. Northside Social can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

BY KIRBY MILLER

Patrons at the newly opened Northside Social Coffee and Wine Bar enjoy the nice weather in the coffee shop’s outdoor seating area. Northside social took over the historic building formerly occupied by Murky Coffee at the corner of Washington and Wilson Blvds.

In A League of Its Own

Arlington late night basketball draws praise, fans Andrew Karpinski, ‘11

Staff Reporter

Spring is here, and an all-new season for Arlington basketball fans is underway. The Arlington Late Night Basketball league is a recreational league that holds games for students at Wakefield High School on Friday nights. The earliest games start at 7pm and games continue on as late as midnight. This league has carried on in Arlington for several years now and seems to grow in popularity with each new year. Over the years the purpose of this Friday night league has remained the same: to give teenagers an alternative activity on their weekend nights by playing basketball as opposed to possibly getting into trouble. Senior Brent Powell has been playing in the Late Night league all four years of high school. “[It is a] great league because it’s laid back, yet still competitive,” he said. Other participants in the hoops league feel the same way. “The league is not too intense, but I take it seriously anyways, because it’s still basketball,” said senior Charles Copening. There are no tryouts for the Arlington Late Night Basketball League, giving a chance for less-skilled basketball players to participate in what is a step up from just a pick-up game.

It is a great league because it’s laid back, yet still competitive. -Brent Powell, ‘10

“I like the league ‘cause you get to play with and against people that you normally would not be able to,” said senior Cornelius Drayton. Drayton, who played basketball for the school team this year, still uses Late Night as a chance to continue improving his game without the pressure of a real high school coach watching. The fan base at these games is another

great aspect of the league. Players say the games are fun to watch when there are friends playing against other friends. This surprisingly attracts many students to come

out and just watch the game even though they have to give up a large chunk of their Friday night. Players believe the games move by

quickly and after games, players can go out and enjoy what is left of their Friday night with feeling of an accomplished fun-filled workout already done.


OPINION

Crossed Sabres

May 5, 2010

11

Confederate History Month

One student looks at the controversy over honoring Virginia’s past Andrew Elliott, ‘11

Features Editor

What does the word “confederate” mean to you? A gun-toting racist who betrayed his country fighting for the preservation of slavery because it brought him money and power? A hero, whom you are proud to call your ancestor, as he fought to preserve the rights the government attempted to strip away from him? Or maybe it is just a word, which never really leaves the context of a history class. In a location as rich in diversity as Arlington, nothing is truly homogenous. Everyone has a different story, a different opinion or a different way of looking at things. So when Governor Bob McDonnell boldly announced that April was to be commemorated as Confederate History Month in Virginia, the reactions were varied. Most of the negative reactions immediately called foul on the proclamation completely ignoring the issue of slavery, and McDonnell’s quick justification that he wanted to focus on the aspects of the Civil War that were most pertinent to Virginia’s history. Naturally, he quickly reversed his stance, and added a section on slavery to the proclamation, apologizing for the oversight, along with emphasizing the significance of slavery in starting the Civil War. Admittedly, the first time I heard about this proclamation I, too, was perplexed, and mildly irritated. Already McDonnell’s young administration has given me pause

with some of its polarizing actions; Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s letter to state colleges and universities requesting they remove anti-discrimination policies that protect people from prejudice based on sexual orientation or identity was one of the more egregious political transgressions to come out of this generally moderate state. However, as time passed, and the idea began to sink in, I found myself continually torn on this latest hat trick of McDonnell’s. Before I discuss the potential merits of a Confederate History Month, I would like to say that this proclamation does not mean anything to anyone who does not choose to add significance to it. Nestled in Northern Virginia, most students probably went through the month of April without seeing a single Confederate flag. The effect of this proclamation is entirely symbolic, and should be treated as such. It means something to some people, and nothing to others. Having been born and raised in Arlington, I feel no personal attachment to the Confederacy, though I fully respect those who do. That being said, there is a valid argument that as we live in a state with such a rich Confederate-based history, we have the duty to honor and respect that part of Virginia’s past. As part of his proclamation, McDonnell wrote that “this defining chapter in Virginia’s history should not be forgotten, but instead should be studied, understood and remembered by all Virginians.”

u o Y r e ? r d o A ni ce Se ien r e p x E

Compiled by Miles Coulton-Thompson and Kevin Donahue, ‘10

As the Senior Experience deadline draws near, most seniors wonder what their peers, and even themselves, are doing. Is it better to get a job and make some money or do a project that reflects personal interests?

Upon reading this, I find it impossible to disagree with his sentiment. While I have no doubt that the motives behind this declaration are a political attempt to rile the conservative base, the foundation of his message is sound. What makes people still question this proclamation, ignoring radical leftists who refuse to approve anything McDonnell touches, is the word “Confederate.” To those of us who grew up anywhere but the southern region of the United States, “Confederate” carries a stigma, a sort of dishonor that we admit is not entirely logical, but nevertheless exists. We do not necessarily object to Confederate history—how many of you thought twice about our school name, J.E.B. Stuart High School or Lee Highway, questioning the rationale behind naming a school or street after someone who waged war against the Union? What we object to is the idea of the state government calling upon us to look back on something called “Confederate” with fondness. Stigmas rarely change, and certainly not in a timely manner. So, perhaps, McDonnell would have been better off calling for “Civil War History Month,” heeding to political correctness. Though this undoubtedly would have made his plan to excite the Civil War reenactment enthusiasts less effective, it would perhaps have gone farther towards reaching his supposed goal: educating Virginians about Virginia. Instead, this proclamation has been a

MILES I honestly love Senior Experience for a few reasons.

Firstly, it allows the student to reflect their true interests and loves. I, for one, am making a rap mixtape with a few friends. This shows my love for music and my interest in the music industry and the effect that the internet can have on it. I would love to have a finished product that I can always look back on and remember fondly. It is also a great opportunity to be with my friends and make something fun. Look out for the Flight Plan mixtape at the end of Senior Experience!

KEVIN

I am going to be a lifeguard at Fort Myer’s Officer’s Club pool. Ever since seeing the seniors lounge at work in the first weeks of pool season during their Senior Experience two summers ago, I knew I wanted to do just the same. I view Senior Experience as a chance for collegebound teenagers to make some extra spending money for college. Working a shift at the pool for five days a week ends up being a hefty chunk of change. If I’m going to miss out on the last days of my high school career, I want to at least have some money I can fall back on when I become a poor college student next year

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 wlcrossedsabres@yahoo.com.

sound bite on The Daily Show, and was quickly forgotten as the next political misstep grabbed our attention. What could have been the chance to open a dialogue about history and bring in tourist dollars as a nice bonus, has instead become a joke. Every Martin Luther King Day, people all across the nation leave their house and commit an hour or more to a volunteer project, in the spirit and memory of a man who so greatly and proudly defines our past. Why then, does ConfederateBY History Month NOAH PILCHEN have to be so trivial? Why can Virginians not manage to take this month, and make it a time to learn about the people who shaped our history and defined the direction of our state? Having a month does not have to mean celebration, and McDonnell, in fact, specifically called for remembrance and studying. So why, Virginia, can we not do that? Why does Confederate History Month, or perhaps the more aptly worded Civil War History Month, get swept under the rug with Frog Month and Soy Foods Month, also “celebrated” in April? Though the month may have passed, the opportunity is still here. Living just minutes from Washington, D.C. does not excuse us from recognizing that we are a part of a state that once stood as the capital of the Confederate army. It is time we find a way to look past the terminology and the electoral math, and simply take this proclamation for what it should be taken for: a call to study, understand and remember what so definitively and profoundly defined who we are.

“I have a paying job working for the department of homeland security.”

- Kyle Thornhill

“I’m going to be a nanny for a small child during Senior Experience.”

- Kristie GOgo

“I’m going to train for a half marathon or a 10K race.”

- Drake Anderson

Adviser: Claire Moir Editor-in-Chief: Christina Phang Managing Editor: Rachel Schwartz Photography Editor: Noah Pilchen News Editor: John Bardo Lifestyles Editors: Andrew Dudka and Anne Donnelly 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-Orellana, Andrew Dudka, Andrew Karpinski, Connor Lay, Sean Magner, Kirby Miller, Noah Pilchen, Annie Plotkin, Maddie Templeton, Emily Walker


12

OPINION

May 5, 2010

Crossed Sabres

Generally Speaking

The Biased Opinion of the Crossed Sabres Staff

Praise for Decision to Cut Sports Fee We want to laud the decisionmaking process of our superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy, and no, not because of snow days, although they were great. Throughout the school and even the county, numerous programs are undergoing budget cuts in order to balance the budget. Recently, several of the aforementioned cuts were directed to Arlington Public School sports programs, which is not acceptable. In the 2011 Budget Proposal for Arlington County Public Schools, it was proposed that a $50 fee was going to become mandatory per student to try out

for a sport. The fee was to be applied per sport, for every student. However on the April 9, 2010 revision of the proposal, the sports fee provision was removed. Removing the provision was really the only course of action that was acceptable in this situation. This school remains a public school, and while cutting a sport would be a drastic move, it would defy the namesake to charge for sports, and cutting the sport would be more acceptable as then it would at least be understandable. Part of the attraction of public schools is the anticipation of not having to pay for benefits.

By applying the fee, the school would stand to lose a large number of students who cannot spend money on recreational sports. The decreased number of students trying out would most likely result in a less talented team. A less successful team draws out fewer spectators, and the school loses money on ticket sales. The reality simply is that if the school strives to field the most competitive team possible, tryouts must be as widely accessible as possible. It would be more equitable to parents and students to set a requirement that each sport and gender within that sport

or team would have to fundraise a certain amount of money to donate to the school for the ability to play. That would allow all students the ability to try out regardless of their financial situation, give the school the required revenue to continue the sports. A little bit of fundraising never hurt anyone either. We understand the need to generate more money, a fee such as this is not the way to go. This is one budget proposal that should never resurface, for the sake of athletes, spectators and families throughout the county.

One Nation Under What? Luisa Banchoff, ‘13

Staff Reporter

Every morning during third period, students across the school stumble out of their seats groggily to recite the words they have been learning since kindergarten: “I pledge allegiance to the flag….” Perhaps unknowingly, students are not only pledging to their country, but also to God. Whether they believe in the God they pledge to or not is another matter. In regards to being patriotic to the United States, the pledge provides smooth sailing—until you reach that little “under God” phrase. Those two words have unearthed lots of controversy, long before this article got to its first draft. This controversy is not entirely unfounded; adding a religious perspective suddenly switches the purpose of the pledge from a declaration of allegiance to a political state to that of a religious belief. The fact that God is part of the pledge in public schools

is blurring the line between church and state. The phrase excludes other religious beliefs such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Other people who are not included are atheists and agnostics. Of course, the pledge is no longer a mandatory recitation. The law requiring it was slammed down by the Supreme Court in 1943. At that time, “under God” was not a part of the pledge; the phrase was added in 1954, perhaps a product of the anti-communist hysteria of McCarthyism. The fact that the pledge has been used without the words support the fact that they are inessential to the pledge. The words were nearly nixed in a Supreme Court case in 2004, but the issue was narrowly avoided when the plaintiff was said to not have enough legal standing to bring the case to suit. What would have happened if a ruling on the case had occurred? We might not be saying the same words every morning. In my opinion, the conflict has been pushed to the sidelines too many times. Although some people may

not find it an important issue, I believe that it needs to be addressed. This is not a matter to be decided by a group of judges who may only reflect one religious background. I think that a bill needs to be introduced to the legislature in order for a group decision to be reached that best reflects the opinion of the country. Although I am a firm believer in God, I think that God has no place in a pledge towards my country. America is a country of rich diversity and as such should be accepting of all cultures and religions. Therefore, it seems only paradoxical to single out monotheists in a statement of patriotism. Students who do not believe in God should not have to choose between loyalty to country and loyalty to religion. If a student is a faithful believer of a polytheistic religion or not a believer in religion at all, they may feel uncomfortable having to make such a choice. That decision is one too large to force upon students every morning in third period. Especially if they are half-asleep when that time comes.

A Day Not In Their Shoes Students actions stifled by health code regulations

Emily Walker ‘12

Staff Reporter

Student protests and solidarity movements sometimes teeter on the fine line that separates the acceptable from the radical. For the most part, our school administrators are accepting of student’s acts of protest, and students are satisfied. However, on April 8, these feelings turned quickly from satisfied to sulking. “I thought the administration was wrong in their persecution of our expression of these very important ideas,” said sophomore Jordan Ricker. Why were students so upset? April 8 is the annual “Day Without Shoes,” sponsored by the TOMS Shoes company. The day is to raise awareness for the impact that a single pair of shoes can have on a child’s life, like preventing soil-transmitted diseases and protecting against cuts and sores that can become infected. Many children lacking shoes cannot attend school because of uniform requirements and health codes. Said sophomore Thomas Fontaine about the effects of poverty, “While most people only consider food, they always seem to overlook going shoeless, which can cause just as much pain and suffering.” Some students, like sophomore Maheen Shahid, even had personal reasons to raise awareness for TOMS. Shahid said, “In 2007, I went to Pakistan, and my family

there is rich to middle class. We realized that there is a lot of poverty… my family there does a lot to help out poverty, but it’s never enough, so I felt like I had to [raise awareness].” The movement to provide poor children world-wide with shoes has been received well by many areas. The “Day Without Shoes” has been declared an Oklahoma state holiday by senators Steve Russell and Andrew Rice, after they went barefoot in the capitol. Students at H-B Woodlawn were also free to show their solidarity and go barefoot. According to Woodlawn student, freshman Ashley Meredith, “There are people who do it [go barefoot] all the time; the school could care less!” Unfortunately for our school, the “Day Without Shoes,” like so many other wellintended student movements, was met with mixed responses from teachers and administrators. Students, myself included, were allowed by some teachers to remain barefoot, but were ultimately shut down by the administration on the grounds of health code violations. However, there are no National or Virginia codes that require students in public schools to wear shoes. In 1997, Virginian Mr. Bill Shakely sent a letter to Mr. Gary L. Hagy, who worked for the Virginia Department of Health asking about shoes in public places. Mr. Hagy said that

he was “not aware of any law or regulation in Virginia that requires shoes to be worn in restaurants, shops or markets.” Another letter sent in 2002 reaffirmed that shoes did not need to be worn in public places like restaurants. In fact, the only Virginia laws that could be found requiring shoes was a law that requires shoes while driving and one that requires employees, not patrons or students, in some public buildings to wear shoes. No Arlington-specific shoe laws could be found. Even without any codes specifically requiring students to wear shoes, the administration stressed student safety as a reason to disallow bare feet. In recognition of the school’s desire to protect student safety, I offer a couple of suggestions to the school, students and state to give students their right to barefoot solidarity. At the school level, our administration could adopt a more lenient policy like Woodlawn’s. After all, the school continuously ranks higher than us on Newsweek’s list of the top public schools in the country, so allowing students their freedoms of speech and expression clearly have no negative effect on the overall quality of a school. The administration says that they have the student body’s best interests in mind,

but is going barefoot for one day really causing anyone any harm? By not wearing shoes on April 8, I was not trying to hurt or offend anyone, nor was I trying to thwart school policies; other shoeless students and I were just trying to raise awareness for an important cause. This brings me to the state level. I believe that combating worldwide poverty with shoes is an important enough cause that Virginia can designate a day to the issue. If our governor can be dedicating an entire month to confederate history, one day for the poor children of the world does not seem like a lot to ask. Finally, I address the student body. If our bold actions are deemed unacceptable by the administration, we do have a couple more venues to get our messages out. Administrators suggest clubs. Club fundraisers, for example, could work for the TOMS shoes cause. If students wanted to create a club that focuses on sending shoes to children in need, that is perfectly acceptable. Or, get creative with your protests. Not allowed to go barefoot? Bring a sign, wear a shirt promoting the cause or use April 8 to donate a pair of shoes. Next April 8, go barefoot everywhere you can, or just kick off your shoes for five minutes, and, as TOMS shoes says, “take a walk with us.”

Crossed Sabres: May 2010  
Crossed Sabres: May 2010  

Crossed Sabres from May 2010.

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