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GAME, SET, MATCH: Boys’ tennis begins its season undefeated (7-0) with the help of star juniors.

Common Sense

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THE MELTING POT: Wootton has an array of teachers who were born and raised in other countries.


MULTITASKING AT ITS BEST: Junior Helena Farhi talks about balancing school, sewing and her impressive theatre career.


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A CHANCE WORTH TAKING: With Chatroulette, cyberspace is once again innovating social networking for the better.



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SUGAR, SPICE, BUT NOT SO NICE: Seniors show grit as the class of 2010 wins its second consecutive Powderpuff title.

Volume 39, Issue 7 - Thomas S. Wootton High School - 2100 Wootton Parkway - Rockville, MD 20850 - April 30, 2010


‘Honestly Sincere’ performance causes audiences to ‘Put on a Happy Face’ Azzah Ahmed managing editor

Consistent pitching leads to 11-0 start for baseball Steven Fitzwilliam staff writer The varsity baseball team continued its winning streak and captured its fifth consecutive Division title on April 24, with its 8-1 win over rival Churchill. This moves their record to an unblemished 12-0 with only six games left before the start of the playoffs. Churchill jumped out to an early lead by scoring one run in the first inning, but Wootton was able to tie it up in the third thanks to a homerun from junior first baseman James Wallerstedt. Wootton scored three more runs in the fifth inning, as they took advantage of a string of Churchill errors and were able to close out the game easily. The Patriots’ tremendous hitting has been on display throughout the season. Seven different players have hit homeruns this year, and the team has outscored its opponents 105-29 on the season. “Compared to last year, our team has

The theater department’s recent production of 1950s throwback “Bye Bye Birdie” presented an energetic performance that has been nominated for several Cappie awards. The play follows the story of Albert Peterson, the agent and songwriter for teen icon and rock star Conrad Birdie, recently drafted to the army. Senior Alex Garretson, playing Peterson, and senior Jonathan Helwig portraying Birdie, worked together to create a dynamic and impeccable performance that could be enjoyed by all. Despite the obvious talent found in both male leads, the true quality of the show wasn’t expected earlier on in the year. “I thought it really pulled together. We were kind of scared because we were cut off by a few snow days and spring break obviously; but we really pulled together,” Helwig said. The storyline continues as Peterson and his assistant and love interest Rose Alverez, played by junior Helena Farhi, travel to Sweet

Apple, Ohio, where Birdie will give an avid fan, Kim McAfee, played by junior Lauren Fagan, a final kiss before heading off to war. “I think tonight was a really great show. I’m so glad it came together and I think [it went] beautifully,” Farhi said. Cast members are not the only ones who are happy with the product. Wootton’s production team is once again responsible for an amazing performance that kept the audience captivated from the moment the curtain was drawn. Behind-the-scenes workers are just as responsible for the show’s success as the on-stage cast members. With the equal responsibility came equal feelings of success. “I think the show went really well. There was a lot of group effort with the cast, crew and pit coming to together, and it really paid off in the end,” senior Stage Manager Dahlia Ting said. The show was a huge achievement for everyone from see BIRDIE, page 8

Student’s Facebook status results in four-day suspension

much more depth on offense,” senior right fielder James Fitzwilliam said. “That’s what has led to our impressive run production so far.” Timely hitting has also had a big impact on the team’s success this season. “One of the big differences from last year is hitting top to bottom in the lineup,” senior shortstop Alex Kelly said. “Scoring has also been much more consistent and instead of scoring a bunch of runs in one inning, we’re scoring a few each inning which really chews away at our opponents.” On April 22, Wootton faced a strong Gaithersburg team and emerged with a 5-1 win. The Patriots were only ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, and as

George Ewald & Anna Tragotsi staff writers Over spring break, a junior student posted a status update on his Facebook profile concerning a homework assignment that was to be completed over spring break. In the status update, the student claimed he would have a friend assault the teacher who had given the assignment. On April 12, the student was detained by security and presented with a printout of the posted Facebook status, followed with an investigation by security. The student claimed that the comment was not meant to be taken seriously, but because it was seen as derogatory and presented a direct threat to a teacher, the student was assigned two days of out-of-school suspension and two days of in-school suspension. “Anything you put in Facebook is fair game,” security staff member Bill Shortall said. “We do the investigating; we have nothing to do with making the punishments.” Security was informed of the incident by another student in the building. “Most of our information about Facebook comes in through students in the building,” Safety and Security Leader Gregg Melvin said. “We don’t spend our time going through every

see BASEBALL, page 15

see FACEBOOK, page 3

photo courtesy of Ann Hindman

Senior pitcher Max Simon has managed to amass 33 strikeouts th. Fellow starting pitcher senior Alex Hindman has 26 strikeouts.

Budget cuts lead to faculty surpluses Aleks Timrots staff writer

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has once again proposed budget cuts for the 2010-11 school year. MCPS has been forced to surplus teachers from across the county, including five staff members from Wootton. The staff members will not lose their jobs in MCPS, but will be transferred to other schools within the county according to each school’s staffing needs. According to Principal Dr. Michael Doran, teachers are surplused based on seniority, not performance. “The longer the teacher has been at Wootton, the higher the chance is of them staying,” Doran said. Along with the decrease in staff will come an increase in class sizes. The student-teacher ratio will go up by one student per teacher under next year’s budget plan. “We will definitely have larger class sizes next year,” English Department Resource Teacher Kimberly Boldon said. “Last year we were able to maintain the integrity of class sizes. The general guideline was to have 28 kids per [English] class. But I suspect that next year that will to up to 29 or 30 kids per class.” The increase in class size translates to less one-on-one time between teachers and students, as well as a larger grading load for teachers. The budget cuts will also affect many elective courses. Classes such as Mock Trial and Debate will be combined into the same class, and elective classes with fewer than 20 enrolled students will be dropped. The elimination of elective courses may require students to rearrange their schedules and enroll in more popular classes. “I’m not sure how it is going to play out for the students,” Boldon said. The number of Educational Facilitative Officers (EFOs) will also be affected as a result of budget cuts to the Montgomery County Police Department. The EFO is the designated police officer assigned to a high school and its cluster of middle schools. “There is little the county can cut now, unless they take away things in the classroom and schools,” Doran said. “The county has proposed budget cuts for two school years in a row. The county has nothing that’s sacred–they will spare nothing.” The budget cuts are expected to have a lasting effect on every element of the MCPS system. “[The cuts] will definitely have an impact on aspects of what we do and how we do it,” Boldon said. “It’s difficult, and it’s not just here. It’s everywhere.”



Common Sense - April 30, 2010



Gubernatorial candidate sparks debate Tim James, the Republican candidate for Governor of Alabama, is running a commercial arguing that Alabama’s driver’s license exam should only be given in English. “This is Alabama; we speak English,” James says. “If you want to live here, learn it.” The campaign commercial has more than 60,000 views on YouTube.

Iceland volcano disrupts air travel On April 16, a volcano erupted in Reykjavik, Iceland, ripping a one km long fissure in a field of ice. The volcano near Eyjafjallajoekull glacier began to erupt just after midnight, sending lava a hundred meters high. As a result, airspace all around Europe was closed.

Medical marijuana legalized On Tuesday April 20, the D.C. Council unanimously approved a bill to allow chronically ill patients to receive a doctor’s prescription to use marijuana and buy it from a citysanctioned distribution center.

photos courtesy of MCT Campus | used with permission

School Calendar May 3-14

AP Testing


Senior Picnic


Junior Banquet


HSA Testing


Festival of the Arts


Senior Exams


Senior Prom




Final Exams


Exam Make-Up, Last Day of School


INSIDE >> Common Sense News............................................................................1-4 Billboard...........................................................................5 Op-Ed............................................................................6-7 Arts...............................................................................8-9 Commons..................................................................10-11 Sports........................................................................12-16 Features....................................................................17-19 Flipside...........................................................................20

Emilia Morrow trains for taekwondo in hopes of making 2012 London Olympics Lexi Pace staff writer On Valentine’s Day weekend, while most high school students were worrying about plans for the holiday, senior Emilia Morrow was competing in an international taekwondo Championship in Las Vegas. Not only did she participate in this elite level-sporting event, but she also came home with a silver medal to represent the United States. Morrow has been doing taekwondo for nearly eight years and has been competing and traveling all over the world from a very young age. She is very familiar with other countries and is accustomed to competing against a number of athletes from foreign countries. “There were countries competing from North and South America, Africa, Asia and Europe, so there were a lot of athletes,” Morrow said. “Among them were the two female athletes who attended the Olympics in Beijing, and many other Olympians and World Champions.” To reach the level of competition at a major event like the U.S. Open with so many talented athletes is an accomplishment in itself. However, Morrow did not let the pressure get to her, as she has been competing in the junior and senior divisions for a few years now and knew what to expect coming into her competitive fights. “Honestly, my expectations weren’t very high for the U.S. Open,” Morrow said. “I felt a bit underprepared. However, I just took it one match at a time and was only concerned with that I had to do to make it to my next fight.” In the final round of the championship, Morrow took on a Chinese Taipei opponent. Placing just one point behind the gold medalist, Morrow clinched a second place title in the competition. “Even though it was one point, I was still happy to have made it that far,” Morrow said. “Taking home a silver medal was awesome.” Morrow is no stranger to success when it comes to stressful, high profile taekwondo fights. When she was younger and contending in the junior division, Morrow would compete in about two tournaments a month; however, now that she has gained a great deal of experience, Morrow competes only once every few months in more major tournaments. In the past year she has competed in the World Championship Team Trials and a preliminary qualifier, the Dutch Open, regionals, nationals, trials for the US Junior National Team, trials for the Senior AAU National Team and the US Open. “My favorite part of taekwondo is definitely the traveling and all of the friends I have made and kept,” Morrow said. “It has presented me with the opportunity to travel around the world, meet and make friends with athletes from different countries and experience doing a sport for something more than just recreation.” The sport of taekwondo, which is unfamiliar to most Americans, is an Olympic, full-contact sport in which athletes fight one another in a ring, much like boxing or wrestling.

NEWS ‘11 Senior Planners chosen Among this year’s Junior Planners, only some were chosen to be members of Senior Planning next year through an application process. These members meet every day as Senior Planning is asssigned as an entire class period and will be in charge of events such as prom, the mulch sale and graduation. European diplomats to visit and discusss Union Ambassadors and senior diplomats from Embassies of European Union Member States will bring Europe to the classroom by talking to high school students about the European Union. The teaching sessions are taking place between April 22 and

photo courtesy of Emilia Morrow

Morrow (second from left) takes a break from action to pose with her teammates. Morrow was in Spain last week competing in a tournament.

However, taekwondo is based on a scoring system—one that recently switched over to electronic judging for majority of the kicks—to ensure fairness in points. There are three types of kicks, each with their respective point values: a kick to the body earns one point, a spinning kick to the body earns two points, and a kick to the face earns three. As far as tournaments are concerned, there are eight different weight divisions for both males and females alike. Within each of these divisions are brackets of athletes that compete with one another until they reach the final winner. In the larger, more major tournaments, it is typical that five or six fights ensue before reaching the finals. Taekwondo, by nature, requires a great deal of practice and effort, but being competitive on a level like Morrow is means an even greater level of commitment. For example, Morrow practices every day of the week less Wednesdays and Sundays for two to three hours. Practices increase to six hours in length during the summer before she partakes in national competitions. “It does impact my life a lot,” Morrow said. “It was hard to find a balance between training, friends, school and work. I love it though, and I get to see my friends, so I don’t mind the long practices.” At this juncture, with senior year coming ending and looming decisions in the balance, Morrow has been forced to confront her future with the sport. “I want to stick with taekwondo, and my goal is the 2012 Olympics in London.”


June 10. In recent years the program has been expanded to include school visits by EU Consuls-General in Atlanta, Boston and Miami. NHS election results announced The National Honors Society (NHS) has released the election results for upcoming officer positions on April 16. The winners of the NHS officer positions are among the following: President: Devin Goodman; Vice President: Anna Tragotsi; Treasurer: Emily Bolek; Secretary: Ari Halevy; Webmaster: Vivian Cheng. Board members: Julia Anderson, Jeffrey Popkin, Anum Shah, and Katie Anastasi. Junior members of NHS

voted on the candidates who nominated themselves during the meeting where they were allowed to speak about their qualifications. Before the school year ends, the NHS’s primary focus is to graduate their senior members and to induct new members for next year. Building service worker Freddy Mercado returns Building service worker Freddy “Buddy” Mercado returned to work this week after several months recovering from his collapse Friday, Dec. 11. However, upon his arrival to the building on Friday, April 23, Mercado briefly lost consciousness again. After regaining his faculties, he went to the

emergency room at Shady Grove Hospital on the advice of his cardiologist. Tests revealed that Mercado has a low red blood cell count and will need to undergo another surgical procedure in the upcoming weeks. Despite his unpredictable state of health, Mercado continues to work at full capacity buffing floors, collecting trash and maintaining the campus landscape. “I’m tired,” Mercado said. “It’s scary, because I don’t know when I’m going to collapse again.” Still, he is trying to remain optimistic about his condition and his ability to work. “This is my school. This is my student body,” Mercado said. “I’m going to do my best.”



Common Sense - April 30, 2010

takes part Power outage postpones SGA elections JJin Express world’s largest Ali Shumacher staff writer

On May 7, students will vote for the 2010-11 school year Student Government Association (SGA) officers. Elections were originally held on Wednesday, May 28, but a power outage interrupted the videos of the candidate speeches, and thus students must recast their votes. Juniors Katie Shniderman, Sammy Coonin, and Derek Jensen are running for President. Junior Maddie Averill is unopposed for Vice President. Junior Kaitlyn Ricci is running against sophomore Emily Levenson for the position of Secretary and juniors Eric Woodard and Pavan Rangachar are running for Treasurer. Students will vote during homeroom where previously recorded speeches will be shown prior to voting. This will be the last time candidates can influence voters before they go to the polls. Unlike class planning elections, all students vote in SGA elections. Posters advertising different candidates have been hung up around the school since April 14. Candidates are allowed to hang up six posters each. “I feel like I can be a good leader for SGA,” junior SGA member Sammy Coonin said. “I have experience, which is crucial for an officer position and the amount of work it entails.”

Candidates should be strong leaders and determined to make a difference. “The winners should be hardworking and experienced,” Jensen said. Current SGA Secretary Michelle Castagnola echoes those same sentiments. “Students should look for someone who is most efficient and gets work done because they will be the ones planning your events,” Castagnola said. SGA’s main projects include a homecoming dance in the fall, spring awareness project in the spring, and several smaller activities throughout the year. However, many students tend to treat elections like a popularity contest. This can lead to the winning candidate not being the best candidate. “Students want dedicated leaders who will fulfill the roles and the responsibilities of the position they’re running for,” SGA Sponsor and Guidance Counselor Jennifer Taylor said. “If students vote for someone who they think is popular, they are jeopardizing their class or SGA’s success.” Having an officer position is noticeably different from being a member on SGA. There is an increased amount of work and responsibility required. “Last year, I ran for an officer position because I wanted to have more responsibility and contribute more to SGA,”

service event

photo by Ira Rickman

SGA president candidate Derek Jensen shakes hands with a passerby in hopes of gaining support in the upcoming elections. Students will re-vote on Friday, May 7.

Castagnola said. “For the following year, I expected and had an increased amount of work, and I had to step into a leadership position.” “Having an officer position means taking on a greater workload and even taking on other people’s work when they are unable to do it,” Shniderman said. “I’m prepared and looking forward to the task if I am awarded the position by the student body.” Necessary preparation for the elections begins a few months before voting day. Students interested in running for an officer position picked up a form from Ms. Taylor’s office

before spring break. Candidates then needed fifty signatures from fellow students supporting his/her candidacy. Primaries are held if there are more than three candidates running for one position and nominees then try to gather the necessary amount of votes from students to win the election. Students running for the positions of president and vice president need to have one year of SGA experience. Any student can run for Secretary or Treasurer. This year, no student who is not currently a member of SGA is running for a SGA officer position.

Student’s Facebook status sparks controversy

Despite the student’s claim to be protected by the First Amendment, what individuals post on Facebook or any other student’s Facebook pages.” Since his suspension, the student has Internet site has the potential of be viewed used Facebook to voice his opinions, arguing by anyone, including family, friends, and that his punishment was unconstitutional. He teachers. The teacher is legally within his or her refers to the Supreme Court cases New York rights to press charges against the student, as Times v. Sullivan and Tinker v. Des Moines long as the post can be seen as a true and when talking about his right to criticize staff direct threat. members. Teachers and counselors around the The student believes that he is protected school agree with the administration’s by First Amendment rights since what was form of punishment concerning Facebook said was outside of school, and thus outside statuses. the school’s jurisdiction. “All the staff members try to keep “It is grossly unethical for school officials everything safe. People cannot perform well to monitor students’ out-of-school activities if they don’t feel safe,” guidance counselor since Facebook is a part of life outside Dorothy Wiseman said. of school and “We take threats very therefore should If you want the whole world to seriously; safety is a big not be covered by see what you’re doing, put it on priority to everybody.” school laws,” the Nowadays, what Facebook.” student said. “The students post and share -security assistant Barbara Kyros school should not with the world on get involved with Facebook does not only have consequences what I write on Facebook. It is none of their in school but also towards their admission to business.” college and the process of getting a job. As a policy, school administration only “Colleges look at your Facebook when involves itself in students’ lives outside of doing admissions process, especially if you’re school if what the student has done directly on the cuff of making it or not,” Career affects the school community. Counselor Lynda Hitchcock said. “If they “If a fight happened on Saturday suspect something, they will look.” morning, and then is brought to school According to Doran, the police can be Monday, I get involved,” Principal Dr. involved any time there is a school-related Michael Doran said. threat. There are different standards for each Because the student’s comment was circumstance. posted on the Internet, directed toward Typically, parents are contacted and a teacher and viewed by members of the informed, but if there is a threat towards a school community, the school intervened. teacher or a disruption to the school, then “Freedom of speech is wonderful, but it administration gets involved in disciplining is limited the minute you walk into school. the student directly. There are consequences,” Assistant Principal “We can’t just ignore it,” Doran said. Dr. Anthony Nottingham said. from FACEBOOK, page 1

In 2007 the Student Government Associations (SGA) spring project informed students about Internet safety. They created a two-part project that revolved around the use of the online Facebook community. “Being safe online is what we tried to promote,” SGA sponsor Jennifer Taylor said. The SGA informed the students about how to be safe from others when online as well as how to protect personal information. The project explored different topics such as the effect of Facebook on college and job applications, which was geared towards the upperclassmen, and also about online predators which was geared towards the underclassmen. “The project was really groundbreaking. We started talking about Internet safety long before the news had started talking about the issue,” Taylor said. On the first day of the project the SGA accumulated quotes from various students’ Facebooks that were inappropriate and were posted on students’ walls. The SGA also made a Facebook account for a fictional new Wootton student and sent friend requests to several students. The fake Facebook person was a male and had asked girls to come meet him at Starbucks. Some girls actually showed up. “Our program is now in other schools and is teaching other students about how to be safe online,” Taylor said. School administrators stress that a student can potentially be disciplined for what he or she posts on Facebook, regardless of the student’s intentions, and that it is important to be aware of the wide audience one reaches when posting information online. “If you want the whole world to see what you’re doing put it on Facebook,” security assistant Barbara Kyros said.

Anna Tragotsi staff writer Student-run JJ Express Magazine recently received a $500 “Get Ur Good On” grant award from Youth Service America (YSA) to put into effect a project to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. One of 100 grantees from around the world, JJ Express Magazine joined millions of children in more than 100 countries participating in Global Youth Service Day, April 23-25, the largest service event in the world. Created by junior Jack Chen and his sister Jenny, now a sophomore at Colby College, JJ Express is a non-profit magazine whose mission is to use art to inspire youth to create lasting change in the global community. On May 1 JJ Express will host the “Comic-a-Thon for the Chesapeake,” where teams of students are challenged to create a comic in less than three hours. They are encouraged to get sponsors to donate money based on how many pages they can create. All proceeds go to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Students can sign up in teams of two or more and will create their comics at Washington Center in Gaithersburg on May 1 from 1pm–4pm. The teams that create the longest comics will win prizes such as ice cream, art supplies and movies. This event provides them space to research local, national, global, issues and inform them on how to get involved. It is also an opportunity to showcase their work by posting photos, videos, and blogs. “The Chesapeake Bay is a huge part of our home here in the Maryland area and its health affects our health,” Jenny Chen said. “We really wanted to give kids a chance to help the Bay while doing something fun.” Each of the 100 funded projects culminated on Global Youth Service Day, the only day of service that specifically highlights and celebrates children and youth as problem-solvers. Thousands of GYSD projects occur each year addressing issues that include the environment, education, hunger and homelessness. “Young people from Ghana, Ireland, Australia, India, and the United States submit exciting stories to Get Ur Good On and support each other in their desire to strengthen their communities,” YSA president and CEO Steve Culbertson said. “It was natural to offer the grants internationally, to encourage the dialogue around GYSD, and to celebrate the innovative ideas that the world’s youth offer every single day.”



Common Sense - April 30, 2010

Seniors defeat sophomores for Powderpuff trophy Jessica Ding news editor On Thursday April 15, the senior girls won the annual powderpuff flag football game. Girls from all grades participated in 30 minute games which took place on the football field. The freshmen played the seniors, and the sophomores played the juniors. The seniors and the sophomores, who were winners of their individual games, then competed against each other in the championship game. The senior and freshman girls played first. Senior Kerry Ahearn led the senior team with three touchdowns. Senior Ashanti Johnson also scored a touchdown. Freshman Lindsay DeStefano had two touchdowns. Senior Cami Nezam helped with frequent interceptions. The seniors won the first game with a score of 5-2. “I did not really have a strategy except to play really hard on defense,” Nezam said. The sophomore and junior girls played next. Sophomore Hayley Skarupa led the sophomore team with two touchdowns. Juniors Liz Inserra and Hallie Charapp each had one touchdown. At the end of regulation, the score was tied 2-2. Going into overtime, Skarupa scored a touchdown to lead the sophomores to victory. “[The game] got very competitive, but I found all the

arguing and passion to be fun and There were general sometimes amusing,” Skarupa said. concessions, a Carmen’s Italian Ice Powderpuff was especially booth, and an Alex’s Lemonade difficult for the junior girls who had Stand in which all the proceeds very few participants compared to went to benefit Children’s Cancer years past. Research, available throughout the “We were the underdogs event. with less people, but we put up a “My favorite part is the good fight against the sophomores halftime dance routines by the and took them into overtime,” guys,” Purisch said. “Seeing them Charapp said. “Our strategy was attempt to dance is always great.” just to score.” The seniors and sophomores The junior class is also battled it out in the championship responsible for planning game. Senior Ellie Fitzgerald powderpuff. They began scored the first touchdown, with brainstorming in the winter, Nezam making an interception shortly after “Puttin’ on the Hitz” shortly after. took place. T h e “ W e sophomore began with girls then the basics, scored twice, m a k i n g taking the the rules, lead. Ahearn picking the s c o r e d time, making her fourth order forms, touchdown, and then -sophomore Haley Skarupa f o l l o w e d we got into by another detail,” junior planner Jenn Purisch touchdown by the sophomore said. “We had to arrange for all girls. Fitzgerald scored her second of the refreshments, equipment, touchdown after this, temporarily and other event essentials. And bringing the game to a tie. of course we advertised, designed, At the end of the 30 minute and ordered the shirts.” game, the sophomores scored The juniors hoped to make another touchdown, bringing the powderpuff more enticing and score to 3-3. The game then went entertaining than in the past with into overtime where senior Sarah new halftime events such as pie Ford caught an interception to win throwing at staff members. A the game. raffle and a dance routine also took “I thought powder puff was place during halftime. really fun and exciting this year

game] got very “ [The competitive, but I found all the arguing and passion to be fun and sometimes amusing.”

photo by David Hartzman

Senior Amalie Joseph rushes downfield past her freshman opponent Katie Terbush.

because it was all the senior’s last powder puff game,” Nezam said. “It was really fun being able to win both games.” Many of the players participated for their first time this year. Fitzgerald, who is new to the school this year, wanted to experience the fun and competitiveness of the game. Ford was also a first time player. “I decided to play cause I’ve never played before, and I wanted to play at least once before I graduated,” Ford said. Despite the loss for the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, everyone still had a fun

and memorable time together. “My favorite part of powder puff was actually playing the game and being able to be on the same team as all my friends,” Nezam said. Junior planning was also pleased with the events outcome. “I think powder puff was very successful,” Purisch said. “As our first major event as a class we of course ran into a few minor issues along the road but the overall result was great. As [junior] planning, we all had a lot of fun and think everyone else did too.”

Pep rally hypes spring sports spirit Neal Lerner news editor The spring pep rally, hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA), was held on Friday, April 23 in order to highlight this year’s spring sports. Every varsity sport was featured along with a few performances by the Supertonics, the Flags Team and The Woottonettes. While the student body remains in class until 1:30, the SGA organizes each pep rally. “Our schedule is very detailed,” sophomore SGA member Emily Levenson said. “We allot a specific amount of time to get the crowd excited before the National Anthem, in addition to limiting each teams speech so there is enough time for everyone to exit.” The SGA also prepares the stadium for the pep rally beforehand by checking the sound system and setting up microphones for the emcees. “The microphones are actually really time consuming since we have to weave and tape them under each bleacher so that none of the students trip over the wire,” senior SGA member Matt Gordon said. As the students began to file into the stadium, president Drew Doherty and vice president Nate Baruch took their positions as emcees to calm down the crowd. Afterwards, the official start of the pep rally featured an acapella version of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner” by the Supertonics. Due to the tight schedule of the pep rally, Doherty and Baruch rushed into the spring sports. Every sport appoints two or three athletes, usually the team captains, to speak on behalf of the team. However, due to some team’s schedules, such as co-ed volleyball, they were unable to attend the pep rally. After the sport speeches, the Flags Team performed for the school, showing off their flag skills. The pep rally ended with a dynamic

photo by Vivian Chen

The Flags Team wowed the crowd throughout their entire routine as they tossed their flags.

routine from the Woottonettes, a male poms group compiled of students from all grades. “I wasn’t sure how good this dance was going to be since we started so late and didn’t have many practices due to scheduling issues,” senior SGA member and dance coordinator Jamie Burke said. “But luckily it turned out great once again.” Some student thought that the best part of this pep rally was the end of the dance when Baruch asked his girlfriend to prom in front of the whole crowd. However, other students believe the highlight of the pep rally was before it even started. “Most students missed out on the best part,” senior Drew Culbertson said. “We had a massive Joga [Frisbee] sesh on the football field for two hours before the pep rally. It was an epic way to spend my last pep rally.”



Common Sense - April 30, 2010

E-Register SAT Summer Camp Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm Sess 1 6/21 - 7/2 Sess 2 7/6 - 7/16 Sess 3 7/19 - 7/30 Sess 4 8/2 - 8/13 $880 Each Session


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Common Sense - April 30, 2010

Online post perceived as threat

Everything put onto the Internet is permanent; videos, pictures, and posts can be forwarded an infinite number of times, even after the initiator has removed them. Most Internet users are familiar with this warning. But the message that is meant to be conveyed is that students should be aware of how their actions can affect their reputations, not that students will be disciplined for their online activity. A student, frustrated with a demanding homework assignment, used a Facebook status to declare his disapproval towards his teacher. The poorly worded Internet post threatened to have another student assault this teacher. The school administration pulled him out of class and gave him a suspension. This student probably deserved some sort of disciplinary action, but he did not intentionally provoke school administration. Instead of suspending the student, the administration should have simply held a conference with the student and his family, which is the minimum disciplinary action for an electronic threat according to the Student’s Guide to Rights and Responsibilities. Two conflicts regarding freedom of speech arise from this issue. The first conflict is the extent to which free speech is guaranteed to all people. It is commonly accepted that yelling “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater is illegal because it can cause panic and threaten the safety of the people in the theater. If anybody had been in any real danger, and if this student had truly been plotting the assault and battery of a teacher, it probably would not have been mentioned on Facebook in the first place. This Facebook status was hastily typed in a moment of passion. While it was unwise for the student to post such a threat in a public place, the school administration overreacted. Neither students nor teachers were in any serious danger. The second conflict regarding this recent controversy, brought up by the student himself, is whether minors deserve less free speech protection than adults. The Supreme Court decision in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhleimer cut many student publication rights. Nevertheless, Tinker v. Des Moines granted freedom for students to express their ideas. While physical threats are not protected as personal expression, the student felt that his Facebook status should be protected as a forum for his opinions. The administration may have hoped to use this event as an example to teach students the consequences of posting too much information on the Internet. But the suspension this student received for his poor judgement was disproportionate.

Common Sense Editors

Common Sense welcomes letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit them as necessary for style, punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Letters may be submitted to the Common Sense mailbox. All letters must be signed, but requests to remain anonymous will be considered. Please contact us at


Ilana Avergun & Drew Endick Managing Editors Azzah Ahmed, Emily Burklow, Eleni Kessler Arts Editors Melissa Frohman & Samantha Ritwo Commons Editors Naomi Sapiro & Natalie Wainger Features Editors Allie McRae & Katy Tong News Editors Jessica Ding & Neal Lerner Opinion Editors Zara Shore & Danny Wadler Sports Editors Jared Wasserman & Jeff Zifrony Photo Editors Vivian Chen & Ira Rickman Online Editors Will Browning & Gordie Gold Business Manager Daniel Moon Distribution Manager Will Browning Adviser Jaclynn Rozansky Thomas S. Wootton High School 2100 Wootton Parkway Rockville, MD 20850 301-279-8550

Patriot Points

Should Maryland legalize medical marijuana? “Marijuana benefits people in need and in pain. Since it’s easy and cheap, it should be legalized.” -Jonathan Sperber, junior

“I am very against marijuana. Legalization would be very harmful.” -Daniele Weinsweig, freshman

“I think it’s dumb; they shouldn’t do it. People would just abuse the drug.” -Kevin Chan, senior

“If something will help someone then I’m up for it... It’s okay.” -Nick Hitchens, English teacher

“Some people would benefit and others will throw away their lives, but they should just go ahead.” -Isha Agarwal, sophomore photos by Danny Wadler

‘Chatroulette’ adds new flare to online communication Sam Morse staff writer

As it was best said by our 16th President Abraham Lincoln, “Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.” Even today, these words have stuck with us; people tend take advantage of opportunities to meet new people. Now, Chatroulette is a website that can easily introduce many millions of these “common looking people.” The age of Chatroulette is upon us. The online service connects complete strangers for video-chat interaction. Recently it has become a staple of the online experience. This new tool has the potential to become an amazing revolution in the way people of all origins diffuse their cultures. What was first made available last November by 17-year-old Russian Andrey Ternovskiy attracted about 500 willing participants a day. Now at any given time there are

upwards of 35,000 people on the website. The site, which used to display the number of users online, simply displays the mathematical symbol representing infinity instead. It has become too popular; there are too many users to track. Chatroulette gives anyone with an Internet connection and a video camera the chance to relinquish all their inhibitions. One can carry on chivalrous conversation with an unfamiliar person, verbally harass total strangers with profanityladen rants, or expose his or her body to the world at large, engaging in acts that in most public places would be classified as sexual harassment. It should be noted that Chatroulette warns its users that inappropriate material is not tolerated and that users are given the option to report a user as malicious. The website, while it does offer up a plethora of immodest males and countless requests for full

Facts to know about Chatroulette About half of all Chatroulette spins connect you to America. The next most likely country is France at 15%. One in three women appear in groups of multiple users. Only one in twelve men appear in such groups. Of the spins that only yield one person, 89% show men. One in eight spins will yield an explicit image. You are twice as likely to encounter a sign requesting female nudity than actual female nudity. courtesy of

frontal nudity, raises an interesting point about global relations and social development. 50 years ago a people could only meet a finite number of people in their lives due to the contemporary modes of transportation and communication. If it maintains its popularity, the site will also be an effective media and

advertising tool. Chatroulette can introduce people that otherwise would have never met. Stories are yet to come of love at first chat, but those relationships will inevitably form. If Chatroulette in steps up its monitoring system, it could find itself amongst the ranks of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Thank you Patrons! Avergun Family, Bob and Debra Browning, Endick Family, Fran and Harold Frohman, Alexandra and Iver Kessler, Janet and Christopher Lerner, Diana Perroots, Anne and Mike McRae, Ruth and Andrew Ritwo, James Sullivan, Beth Van Wye, William and Elizabeth Wainger, Randi Zifrony



Point Counter Point Common Sense - April 30, 2010

Should students be allowed to eat in the classroom?

Eating in class helps mitigate hunger-related agitation Phyu-sin Than staff writer When hunger strikes Wootton students, waiting is not an option. They will pull out their brown bag lunches or buy snacks to eat during class. While school policy prohibits their students from munching during lectures, students should be able to eat when they wish to do so. Even though some teachers argue that crumbs bring unwanted pests into the classroom, others allow their students to eat during class despite the policy. Accidents do happen, but they are rare and unintentional. The benefits of being able to eat outweigh the risk of pests in classroom. Many teachers require the students to participate during class. To make this task easier, they usually prohibit eating. However, when students are not participating in discussion or distracting others there is no good reason why students should not be able to eat in class. For students who are always busy, eating multiple meals every day may be more convenient. Bite-sized snacks usually can be eaten quietly during class. Eating can actually keep the students on task because hunger can distract end even sicken students. Eating throughout the day instead of during a designated 45-minute time period is actually beneficial for the student’s health. The National Institute of Health suggests that an average person should eat six to eight small meals per day instead of three large meals. With more frequent, smaller meals, students are able to choose a wider

Students’ safety is endangered by the presence of food

variety of foods in appropriate proportions. Danny Wadler Students who participate in sports op-ed editor should snack an hour or two before an The primary goal of a teacher is to after-school practice to strengthen their help his or her students succeed. Both endurance. Because excessive hunger during parents and the Board of Education view a exercise can induce illness, athletes should class’s success as a reflection of a teacher’s be allowed to snack during class since they professional ability. usually do not get sufficient time in between Eating in school can undermine the 2:10 and the beginning of practice. initiatives of a teacher, and thus ruin the Students need opportunities to build image of the classroom. As unintimidating up energy before their strenuous extraas food may seem, snacking is a threat to a curricular activities. Having energy to vital part of our upbringing. perform is also important for students who Students may declare the right to eat stay after school for other reasons like play because of health concerns or simply rehearsals and club meetings. because of hunger, but they fail to consider Eating little meals and snacks how food affects a teacher’s ability to do his throughout the day continuously provides or her job properly. energy for the One of students without teachers’ primary taking away responsibilities is time, enabling to gaurantee the them to focus on safety of their schoolwork and students while in a homework. normal classroom The school setting. Allergic rules instruct reactions can only teachers to ban be avoided by food in their simply avoiding classrooms, but what the student administration is allergic to. should overturn Teachers must this rule. Students protect students should be allowed with allergies by to eat during class ensuring that time because those students it benefits the will remain safely photo by Zara Shore student’s well the Freshman Alice Gindin eats a bag of Cheez-Its during class. away from being.

Healthcare will drag America into the deep pits of socialism Garrett Schaffel guest contributor

The frauds in the federal government have finally passed one of the biggest mistakes in American history. They finally passed health care reform, or as Rush Limbaugh likes to call it, “the nail in the coffin in complete government control.” America is now a socialist nation, and we have Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama to thank for it. It’s a shame. I enjoyed capitalism and the free market. I enjoyed going to McDonald’s whenever I wanted. I enjoyed living where I wanted. That may not be the case any longer. The government has control. It isn’t important to them that more than 65% of the people disapprove of the health care reform. All the government finds really important is maintaining their absolute power. The bill will cost 940 billion dollars over the next ten years. To pay for it, the government is initiating major tax hikes. There will be tax hikes on unearned income and tax hikes on insurance companies. More than anything else, this law is the government’s ace in the hole

towards unlimited control. With it, the government is creating a socialistic society, forcing wealthy Americans to pay for others. Why does this have to happen? Why can’t I pay for my own health care? Why can’t I choose where I get my health care from and be done with it? That would have been America as Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton wanted it to be. Today, we have Pelosi, who through this healthcare reform set down a mandate for all Americans: Buy insurance, or there will be punishment. I will buy health insurance if I want to. It is my health, my choice, not anybody else’s. This bill claims to be designed to give coverage to the 32 million uninsured Americans. This bill doesn’t give coverage to them. It forces coverage on them. Not all Americans are dying souls as seen on 60 Minutes, stabbed in the heart by the insurance companies. The vast majority of these people simply don’t buy insurance because they don’t want to buy insurance. Choosing to buy health insurance is a choice that Americans get to make. When Americans are not covered,

it’s because health care companies can’t afford it, not because they love watching people die. Health insurance is greatly overused, considering the supply of medicine this country can offer. It’s part of the system of supply and demand. Take out the health insurance for incidental procedures, prices drop, and more people are covered. Last major point: A lot of the liberals are saying that because this is not a “single-payer system,” meaning the insurance money is collected in a single pool and divided among the people. They say this is not socialism. These liberals could not be more mistaken. Just because people still have the “option” of purchasing health care from an employer or private company does not make this any more innocent. The truth that the media has been hiding is that the government, with the passage of the bill, now has complete oversight of health insurance companies in this country. If health insurance companies do something that is portrayed as “wrong” by Pelosi, they are subjected to all kinds of unnecessary penalty. The government has control, whether you buy from them or not. Welcome to socialism, America.

potentially deadly reaction’s cause. Aside from physical problems encountered when food is allowed in the classroom, distraction is an inevitable and weighty consequence to eating while learning. While reading, or listening to music, it is natural for one to become absorbed into the moment of the book or song. Students cannot focus on a teacher while they have noses stuck in books, or headphones stuck in ears. Similarly, students cannot concentrate with their mouths filled with food; their minds are on their meals. Teachers and students alike have reason to complain about classroom food, for neither can concentrate on the tasks before them. But the sound of chewing, slurping, and bag-rustling can do more than just be bothersome. It can spark a class-consuming chain reaction. Food seems like a rather good solution to boredome or stress, prompting the echoing remark, ‘Can I have some?’ A meal before 7:25 AM and a meal during one of the three lunch periods, both of which can be provided by the school cafeteria for a reasonable price, is plenty to get students through the six-and-a-half-hour school day. School administration has perfectly sound reasons to ban food in classrooms. Aside from the obvious physical problems that eating poses in the classroom, food poses a larger danger to classroom initiatives that are vital to the image of our educational system.

Monthly Madness

cartoon by Demetri Tzamaras



April 30, 2010

Backstage and Behind the Scenes of Tech Week Samantha Ritwo arts editor The week before a school production comes to life on the Wootton stage, many students involved with the show probably appear anything but lively. Buzz circulates about tech week and all of the work it entails, but the question becomes: what exactly is tech week? “Tech week is where all the cast, crew, and pit all work together. It’s a week of rehearsals, and we just straighten out everything,” sophomore and running crew member Leo Meister said. The week prior to opening night involves long hours in the auditorium where all students involved in the show spend hours rehearsing and working together to created a polished final product. Although each individual aspect of the show has been working up to this moment for months, tech week is generally the first time that all three aspects – cast, crew, and pit – come together as one. “Tech week is the few days before a show where it’s like crunch time,” sophomore and stage crew member Avan Antia said. Tech week is often a stressful period for anyone involved, especially during the first couple of days when the flow of the show is still being established. The production team can’t just simply jump into rehearsal without preparation; the first rehearsals during the preliminary stage run slower so pit and cast can coordinate timing and cues while crew can mark spikes on the stage for where specific set pieces are meant to be. “At the beginning of the week we started, I had no idea what pieces I was moving and where,” Meister said. “By the end, I knew the exact order of every scene and what I’m putting on when, things like that. It’s definitely very beneficial.” The struggle with tech week comes with the late hours. Students involved can expect to spend long nights in the auditorium rehearsing and trying their best to paint that last set piece reach that last note. During the tech week for recent spring musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” for instance, students stay at school until around 10 o’clock at least two out of four nights. “The school is our home, and our house is just like our hotel,” sophomore running crew member Melanie Belkin said. “We go to sleep there and then we come back home.” Exhausted after 15 hours at school, students usually

face difficulty deciding between continuing on with work via homework or falling pretty to the ever so appealing option of sleep. It is very easy to get caught up in the cycle of tech week and leave homework behind on the backburner. “[You’re] staying really late and then going home and then sleeping and then getting up the next day having the same thing all over again,” Meister said. The spring musical this year was sandwiched right between spring break and AP exams, so students were forced to snap back into reality quickly in order to compensate for the time they would lose and the tiring work they would gain. “Tech week is a grueling time, but it builds character,” sophomore videographer A.J. Roshfeld said. Emotions certainly can and will run high during this stress-inducing time, even when everything runs completely smoothly, due to the conditions and short time allotted. However, as most often is the case, nothing quite runs perfectly until the very end. “We always hit trouble because that’s what it’s for, to make sure that we get out of trouble now so during the show we won’t be in the same troubles.” Meister said. It often times can be hard to understand the appeal of tech week and why students would make the conscious choice to partake in it. However an aspect that is often lost between the initial frustrations of tech week and then the excitement of the actual performances is the how fun it can be to spend hours surrounded by friends and how much bonding occurs. “As much work as it is, it is like the most fun week of school,” Antia said. Tech week does come with its perks. “[The best part is] you get free food,” junior running crew member Eddie Zhang said. “I think it’s just being with your crew members like for like eight hours a day [that makes it fun]. They’re just awesome people.” During down time, crew members are known to be found backstage working in homework circles. With so much time together, it’s impossible not to become closer

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photos by Samantha Ritwo

Although set pieces are critical to scene changes during rehearsal, as sophomores Leo Meister and Elise Tonelson prepare to move a bench right before a blackout (left), they can also be helpful for catching up on some much needed sleep, as demonstrated by sophomore Melanie Belkin (above).

with everyone around. “Everything comes together in the end, so it’s like a bonding moment for everyone in the cast, crew, and pit because you’re watching every thing come together, and you spend so much time together,” stage manager Dahlia Ting said. An important factor of tech week is to go into it with a positive attitude, a large supply of optimism, and a sense of humor. “One bad thing about tech week is that I start to believe I’m actually invisible when I’m wearing all black all the time,” Belkin joked. Although tech week may come with its flaws, the common theme is that at the end of the day, the pride that comes with a final product outweighs the prior stresses “Tech week is a tough time, but in the end, it’s good, and it’s all worth it,” sophomore videographer Alex Korolkoff said.

Audience struggles saying “Bye” to “Birdie” from BIRDIE, page 1 and last musical actually. I was skeptical at first because I wasn’t really into it, but after I started getting into it the last three weeks were really a great time,” senior cast member Austin Lee said. Aside from the fun, the few weeks before opening night were simultaneously enjoyable and stressful. Laughter could be heard throughout the audience during the majority of the play. Several less serious scenes had a rather promiscuous undertone. One scene in particular that captured the audience was the Shriner’s ballet scene. Ms. Alverez interrupts a group of Shriners’ private meeting and performs an unforgettable dance. Alverez tempts each of the Shriners and eventually ends up underneath a table with all of them. Some of the loudest laughter of the night was heard when a Shriner’s head or limb occasionally popped out from under the table, only to be dragged back down by Alverez. “I absolutely love doing the Shriner’s number it’s the most fun I have all night, and the whole show is a blast and I’m having so much fun doing this,” Farhi said. Several other moments had the audience stirring. One such scene was when the McAfee family appeared on the Ed Sullivan show. The rather long portion of the show combined the smooth vocals of McAfee family members with Mr. McAfee’s comedic insistence to appear on national television for as long as possible. McAfee’s disillusionment lands him a dance with Conrad Birdie. “It was very lighhearted and very fun to play. Especially on the Ed Sullivan show where I was a happy-go lucky character who was extremely excited to be on this God-like show,” junior Joey Horowitz who played Mr. McAfee said. In addition to the actor’s performance, the behind-the scenes aspect of the show worked seamlessly to create a wonderful overall performance. “Tonight went pretty well, it took a little bit to get the show going but overall I

photo by Ira Rickman

Junior Joey Horowitz and senior Jordan Smilan-Goldstein played Mr. and Mrs. McAfee. The comedic duo became a crowd favorite after their introduction.

think they did a really good job with a lot of energy,” senior Head of Sound Wolfgang Devine said. “For crew, the strongest part is that we have such good people that know what they’re doing and have worked on shows in the past, and they can take all that experience and really direct it into this one show,” Ting said. Crew will be losing five members to graduation and will have to recruit heavily for next fall. Crew’s leadership, however, remains concentrated on the pleasures of seeing their months of hard work pay off.“My favorite part is seeing everything come together in the end,” Ting said.



April 30, 2010


“Music in Motion” concert warms hearts, raises awareness

sensation Helena Farhi

year and was also a member of the Anna Agarunova ensemble for this winter’s musical staff writer It’s tough to balance a thriving “Aida.” theater career and the challenges “[‘Bye Bye Birdie’] has been of studying for SAT’s. But this so much fun,” Farhi said. “Rosie self acclaimed “closet Harry is such an amazing part to play Potter freak” knows just how to and I’m incredibly grateful for this rise to the occasion. opportunity.” She also believes this According to junior Helena musical was a particular success Farhi, it’s important to manage with the family-oriented audiences time and have the right motivation musicals generally attract. to get what matters done. “I think the show was a real “It’s tough to balance school crowd pleaser,” Farhi said. “It’s and theater,” Farhi said, “but I a cliché, but “Bye Bye Birdie” actually think I work better when I really does have something for have the added pressure of being everyone.” in a show. It makes me more Outside of the school theater motivated when I’m doing both department, Farhi is involved in things for some several other I couldn’t see myself doing extracurricular reason.” Farhi has anything else with my life. groups, including been involved Musical theatre is my the all female in theatre passion” acapella group perfor mances -junior Helena Farhi “The Acabella’s” since her and the National freshman year, and played the Honors Society. leading role of “Alice” in this She is also a member of year’s fall play, “You Can’t Take it an ensemble called “Singular With You” alongside junior Gavin Sensation” which performs Kramar. musical theater numbers for This spring, Farhi starred as nursing homes, community shows, quirky Rosie Alvarez in the musical fairs, parades, and events within “Bye Bye Birdie” as secretary and the county. sweetheart to songwriter Albert “Sensations” is a part of the Peterson, played by senior Alex Musical Theater Center where Garretson. Farhi has been taking classes since This was Farhi’s fifth show at second grade. Five days out of Wootton. She was in “Honk” and the week she takes jazz, tap and “My Favorite Year” her freshman ballet lessons. With the stresses

photo by Ira Rickman

Farhi (center) plays lead Rose Alvarez in spring musical “Bye Bye Birdie,”pictured here spending a night out on the town under the alias Spanish Rose.

of junior year and long rehearsals, she admits having time to herself is a challenge. “I miss having free time actually, but I can’t complain. This year has been amazing,” Farhi said. “Theater doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for anything else, but it’s so much fun that I don’t mind. I’ve made tons of friends in Wootton theater, but I also have a really strong group of friends outside of theater which I think is extremely important.” Farhi also admits she has some other geeky interests outside of theatre. “I’m a big nerd,” Farhi admits. “Musical theater and books are my two greatest loves.” Farhi also mentioned that being involved in theater takes away

from her other activities. “Some nights of tech week are really hard, but theater teaches you time management skills for sure. I enjoy reading and sewing, but sometimes I really miss doing those things in my free time,” Farhi said. When it comes to likes and dislikes, Farhi is fairly hard to understand. She loves theater but hates drama, loves smoothies but hates fruits, does not have a favorite style of music, but can dance to anything with friends. “I can’t wait to see what we do next year,” Farhi said. “I hope to pursue theater in college and as a career. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else with my life. Musical theater is my passion.”

Musical Festival of the Arts makes its premiere

For the first time ever, FOA divided into two sections over two months Melissa Frohman arts editor

The Musical Festival of the Arts is new to Wootton this year. The Festival of the Arts displayed all forms of art over a 2-3 day period. This year, the festival was broken into two parts. This week, the orchestra and bands performed and the rest of the festival will take place in May. On Tuesday, April 27, Wootton’s three orchestras each performed. The concert band, symphonic band, and jazz ensemble each performed five to eight pieces of music on Thursday, April 29. Each director picks appropriate music based on each group’s skill. The festival performances are used as each student’s final exam in the class. “It’s one thing to practice and play well during class, and another to play it perfectly in front of an audience,” jazz ensemble director Joe Trettel said. Each group has been preparing all semester. The symphonic band played several pieces that were performed at the Montgomery County Festival and qualified for the Maryland State Festival. These pieces include “Be Thou my Vision,” “Slava!” and “Renaissance Fair.” The symphonic band also played an extremely unique song called “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas” that includes dogs barking and girls screaming. Trettel encourages the

Wootton community to attend the Festival to see the bands’ true talent. “We’re very lucky because each individual is at a very high level, so the group as a whole is very high as well,” Trettel said. Senior trombonist Kevin Downing encourages people who are not in school bands to pursue their interest in music. “It’s best to try and stay in an environment where playing music is an opportunity. Music is great for the soul and allows a creative outlet to express one’s self freely. Wootton’s Arts Society is such an environment where this can happen,” Downing said. Wootton’s musical groups are very well known throughout the region and state for their high quality of music. Recently, two of Wootton’s orchestras and the symphonic band received “superior” ratings at the county level and will move on to compete at the state level. Each group plays three selections and receives an evaluation from the judges. The Festival is one of the last times seniors will have the opportunity to play with their Wootton classmates. “I think this year’s seniors are the most talented musicians in the school, and it will be sad to see them go. The dynamic of the band will never be the same,” sophomore symphonic band member Ilana Green said. Music seniors share the same sentiment as their underclassmen.

photo by Vivian Chen

Musical Festival of the Arts debuted with an orchestra concert in the auditorium, conducted by Herman, this past Tuesday evening. FOA resumes in May.

“This last performance is one I will always remember. I enjoyed the time I spent working with everyone in band and I know I will look back on this experience as I make my way to college next year,” senior trumpet player Lauren Chacon said. Downing has been touched by orchestra and band director Carolyn Herman’s guidance and is saddened this will be his last time to work with her. “Playing under the leadership of Mrs. Herman has been a tremendous privilege,” Downing said. However, this is not the end of the musical careers for many Wootton band or orchestra members. Chacon plans to be a member of Clemson University’s

marching band next year. Downing plans to study instrumental performance at the University of Maryland next fall with a financial scholarship as an incentive. The chorus concerts were intended to take place on Wednesday, April 28 as part of the Musical Festival of the Arts, but they were cancelled due to a death in choral teacher Jacqueline Serratore’s family. These concerts will be rescheduled for May along with the remainder of the Festival of the Arts on May 18 and 19. This part of the festival will include an art exhibit that will occupy most of the gym, as well as dance and drama performances.

Jeff Hilnbrand staff writer “Music” is typically defined as an artistic form of auditory communication, using instruments or voice. However, through a joint effort between the Quince Orchard and Wootton American Sign Language (ASL) departments, last Friday’s ‘Music in Motion’ concert has proven that a song can be more than just its audible components. On April 23, over 90 ASL students from both schools put on a performance of dancing and signing to the lyrics of popular music with the tunes pumping in the background. “The purpose is to allow the community to see how beautiful sign language is and to increase awareness of the language and the Deaf culture,” ASL teacher Lea Blizzard said. The show was directed by QO ASL teacher Susan D. Gershowitz, who has headed the project for the past couple decades. Having previously taught at Wootton, Gershowitz invited the department to participate this year. Blizzard assisted in the production and taught her students the correct hand signs. While seeing students bounce and wave their arms to such songs as Justin Bieber’s “One Time” or Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” provided mirthful entertainment, the crowd was brought to tears by the heartfelt rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Senior Tasha Bera took the lead in this act, and being deaf herself, it was an inspiring performance. “The song really taught me about the world,” Bera said. Bera was excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the show this year, having been an avid member of the audiance throughout her childhood. The concert was put together in seven weeks, and after practicing in class everyday and after school once a week with the QO students, the smiles on the faces at the show’s end were filled with relief and joy. “It felt great to finally see all our work come together tonight,” sophomore ASL student Jared Weaver said. “I definitely had a lot of fun doing the show.” Many first-time audience members were impressed after witnessing the performance. “As for the irony of combining music and sign language, it is actually not as ironic as it seems,” Blizzard said. “Signing music is a large part of the Deaf culture; it is similar to the English form of poetry.” Many audience members came without knowing what to expect, but left with a new appreciation for sign language and the culture that surrounds it. “This small one hour performance has really inspired me, and now I see the true beauty of the language,” QO freshman Brandon Myers said. “I definitely plan on taking American Sign Language next year if I can.”


Ticket to the Va

Wootton Goes Global: 2010 School Trips


Spain/ France

Derrick Ryan

Number of students on trip: 14 Cities visited: San Jose, La Fortuna, Jaco Trip highlights: Poas Volcano, Arenal region, horse-

back riding in Monteverde, kayaking on Lake Arenal, La Fortuna waterfall, , ziplining in the rainforest, excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park, hot springs.

Sponsors: Viviana Cruz and Sonia Olchyk Amount of students on trip: 28 Cities visited: Paris and Barcelona Trip highlights: Seeing the city on the Seine, country side in Loire valley, Versailles the palace of Louis XIV, free time in both cities, the Notre Dame cathedral, parquet guell, unfinished la sagrada familia (church of the holy family) Plaza de Colon, Montjuic hill where the 1992 Olympics took place.

My favorite part was going on the zipline over the valley really fast and seeing everything. It was really fun! -Lindsey Allen, senior

photo by Natalie Wainger

photos above courtesy of Victoria Chai, Jaclynn Rozansky, Tessa Urovsky


ur o co


I liked the food and the architecture in Barcelona, Spain. I liked the diversity and how they were all from different time periods. - Ilan Simanin, junior

Sponsors: Alton Lightsey, Jaclynn Rozansky /

photo by Sagari Rao








Valley of Awesome

to Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. “Most of the kids thoroughly enjoyed the extreme sports,” Onley said. “Hang gliding, bungee jumping and luge were the most popular activities.” Even though some of the excursions on the trips had students’ adrenaline pumping, there were also activities that were calm and relaxing. “My favorite activity was petting the kangaroos and koalas,” junior Michelle Healey said. “They were so cute.” Healey, along with 30 other travelers, attended the Australia trip. With the guidance of tour directors, students were able to personally witness how different cultures and civilizations function and live. “There was one day when we went to visit a Thermal village that was the home to the Maori people,” Onley said. According to Onley, this particular village is built on top of geysers and steaming hot pools that the villagers use for everyday purposes. “[The village] is unbelievably dynamic,” Healey said. “Every structure is built in exactly the right ey sy of Ike Onl place.” Residents photo courte . ice of e ing was mad in which everyth ge un use the hot pools lo ice an d Australia trip visite to boil food and Students on the

photo courtesy of Tessa Urovsky

Wootton students admire the architecture and landscape as they tour through Grecian streets, alleys, and markets.

the steam of the geysers as a stove. Two separate trips to Costa Rica over spring break provided students with the opportunity to appreciate the country’s biodiversity. During one of the trips, students completed a community service project that reflected the country’s emphasis on maintaining biodiversity, planting trees at a local high school. Aside from the scheduled activities on the trip, students learned a great deal by being in the presence of other cultures. On the Spain and France trip, the group witnessed a march in Paris that involved workers asking for higher salaries. “[Marches] are something you see in Europe quite often. We’ve talked about it in class, but it’s wonderful to hear and see it at some point instead of

Sponsor: Susan Thorpe Amount of students on trip: 11, also joined with a


ea lle H iche

of M


group from California Cities visited: Athens and Rome Trip highlights: Acropolis, Mycenae and Corinth, Delphi, Democracy in Action-Learn the ways of Athenian society and debate, Sorrentine Penisula, National Archaeological Museum of naples, Pompeii, Vatican city, visit to St Peters Basillica

The best part was being able to travel without my parents. I felt more mature. -Lindsey Carver, junior




photo by Sagari Rao




studying things like this out of a book,” Cruz said. Cruz noted how valuable free time was on the trip, allowing students to interact with other countries’ residents and hone their foreign language skills. An increased value on knowledge of foreign cultures was noticeable in the majority of the trip’s participants. “I really learned to appreciate different cultures,” Healey said. “The people were so nice and friendly.” Some students that went on the trips learned to face fears. Junior Marina Riese had a chronic fear of flying before she went on her school sponsored trip. “We took about seven different planes throughout the trip ranging from three hours to 14 hour flights,” Riese said. “It definitely forced me to get over my fear of flying.”

In addition to the experiences that the students had on the trips, they were also given the opportunity to relax and forget about the academic pressures of school. “I was just relieved to get out of the United States for a while,” Harvey said. “The trip was so calming, and it got rid of my stress.” Teachers, however, see tremendous educational potential in the trips the students take. The ability for them to take the classroom to the real world proves to be an unmatched teaching tool. “Students have a bigger vision of the world, a sensitivity to others and appreciation of culture,” Thorpe said. “It could be and often has been a life-changing experience.” -Sagari Rao, Staff Writer, Natalie Wainger, Commons Editor

Sponsor: Dwight Onley Amount of students on trip: 15 from Wootton, 15 from Florida

Cities visited: Sydney,Honolulu, Melbourne, Auckland and Rotura

Trip highlights: Seeing the Maori Village and observing the unique way they live, Seeing and pettiing Koalas and Kangaroos, Ice Lounge, Sydney Opera House, Zorbing.

It was cool! In [Australia] I got to eat a kangaroo. And everybody was really nice there! -Sara Foster, junior

An assortment of oversea trips offered students an alternative to the regular spring break activites. The trips, arranged by educational traveling groups, sent students to Spain and France, Italy and Greece, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, and Costa Rica. The trips lasted about ten days and included an itinerary of interesting, educational and stimulating activities. Each trip had unique features that allowed the group to get the best sense of the countries they visited. School staff chaperoned the students in the foreign countries. The trips presented the students with opportunities to sharpen their cultural knowledge and contribute to humanity while enjoying themselves in the different countries. English teacher Ike Onley sponsored the trip

photo by Sagari Rao



Common Sense - April 30, 2010

Track Girls’: 5-0 Boys’: 3-2 May 12 @ Clarksburg

Boys’ Lacrosse

6-3 Tomorrow vs. Sherwood

Boys’ tennis

girls’ Lacrosse







Tomorrow @ Sherwood

Tomorrow vs. Sherwood

Tomorrow vs. Sherwood

May 3 vs. Kennedy

Volleyball Boys’ Lacrosse Co-Ed: 8-2 Boys’: 10-0 May 3 vs. Poolesville

High-powered offense clinches divison for girls’ lacrosse

Berman, Cresham lead team in goal-scoring in impressive drive toward playoffs

Drew Endick editor-in-chief The Lady Patriots’ lacrosse team is yet to suffer any serious setback this entire season and looks to continue their remarkable play into the postseason. Although the team has won several of its recent games by close to ten goals, team leaders expect improvement. “I expect the team to finish the season hard and start to mentally and physically prepare for the playoffs,” senior captain Molly Berman said. “I think we can improve on our ability to come out strong in the beginning of our games, sometimes we start out flat but then pick it up in the end. We need to come out ready to play.” In order to prepare for the tougher competition in the playoffs, head coach Anne-Marie Steppling will step up the intensity of practices. “We’re going to work on many different scenarios, different types of offense and defense that we may face,” Steppling said. When looking at past games, Steppling’s coaching strategies have paid off tremendously as the Lady Pats remain undefeated in division play this season. The team continued to dominate county opponents with a smooth win over Whitman on April 21. The high-tempo trio of senior captains Erika Burns and Berman along with freshman Marisa Cresham combined for 17 points on the night. Their eight goals,

photos courtesy of Michael Berman

Senior attack Lexi Pace takes the ball upfield for a potential score. Pace has added to the Lady Patriots’ offensive dominance with four multi-goal games this season.

combined with heavy support from seniors Lexi Pace, Katie Falk and Michelle Castagnola, helped push the Lady Patriots past a lategame scare. With less than six minutes remaining in the game, the Vikings had their only scoring streak. Despite the surge, sophomore goalie Angela Bauroth held the Vikings at bay to close the game with a 20-13 win. “Barouth has been a huge asset to the team this year,” senior midfield Michele Bresler said.

“She is only a sophomore and has stepped up at every game and has had amazing saves.” “She works hard to get better,” Steppling said. Despite the strong performances by Barouth and several high-producing seniors, the girls’ victory showed that the team as a whole has grown together since the beginning of the season. “I think our team now has more team chemistry and is able to play better together than in the

beginning of the season,” Berman said. “We communicate more now than we did in the beginning, which has really helped.” On April 15, the Gaithersburg squad proved to be a small obstacle for the stacked Lady Patriots’ lineup. Cresham led the way on the offensive side with five goals, while Falk and junior Stephanie Dwyer posted two assists each to pull away with a 16-7 win. “[Cresham] is extremely valuable to us. She is running the draw for us and setting up the offense,” Steppling said. Two days prior to the win against Gaithersburg, the Lady Patriot’s picked up an easy 21-11 win over the Richard Montgomery Rockets. Berman led the team with seven goals and four assists. The team considers their April 13 win over rival Churchill as one of the more memorable moments of the season. “Our Churchill game was a huge accomplishment for the team since they have always been our biggest rival and beating them was really exciting for everyone,” Bresler said. Berman had another dominating performance with six goals and five assists. Berman and Cresham’s energy was unmatched, leading to a 16-6 win over the Bulldogs. The Lady Patriots’ next test will be tomorrow against the Sherwood Warriors who are coming off a 20-4 blowout win over Paint Branch. The April 28 game against Blake ended too late for this edition.

Junior midfielder Stephanie Dwyer uses speed and agility to pass a defender.

Senior captain Molly Berman has posted 29 goals and 15 assists thus far.

Sophomore goalie Angela Bauroth has been a vital part of the team’s success.

At 10-0, boys’ volleyball eyes unblemished regular season Will Browning distribution manager With two games left to go in the regular season and the Division title already clinched, the boys’ volleyball team looks to carry their success into the playoffs. The Pats’ record is a perfect 10-0 and have two non- division games remaining against Gaithersburg and Poolesville. On April 26, Wootton defeated the Gaithersburg Trojans in straight sets. Senior Kevin Liang and freshman Jeffrey Qui led the way for the Patriots. “It was a good win, now we have a nice break to prepare for the playoffs and get ready for higher level competition.” senior outside hitter Zo Asmail said. The Patriots played their first nondivision game at Paint Branch on April 23. Despite the unfamiliarity that is present when playing a non-division foe, the Pats won the game handily – sweeping all three sets. The team clinched their second consecutive division title on April 16, adding to their already impressive undefeated season.

With the playoffs looming, it is hard to find a glaring weakness of the team. “We’re always looking to be a better team,” head coach John Hartranft said. “Precision, speed and coming up with a balanced attack – we can improve on all of those.” On April 19, the squad’s precision and speed were on full display against Magruder. The Patriots kept their undefeated season alive, winning all three sets by the scores of 25-11, 25-11, and 25-10. Even more impressive than the Patriots’ undefeated record is their 27-0 set record. The Patriots hope to extend the streak through the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs. “We try and finish opponents off – we want to keep both unbeaten records intact,” junior setter Aaron Yee said. The squad faced a similarly undefeated Kennedy team on April 16, winning by the scores of 25-15, 25-23, and 25-18. With the victory, the Patriots were able to clinch a playoff spot with four games still left to play. “That game was somewhat of a

deciding factor,” freshmen outside/middle hitter Jeffrey Qiu said. “The winner would go on to win the division – fortunately that was us.” April 14, the Patriots played at Churchill, easily sweeping the Bulldogs, 3-0. Along with terrific play from Yee and Malinauskas, sophomore Nic Texier, Qiu, and Justin Fowler all had solid games. Junior Eray Wang played an excellent match in the setter/ outside hitter position, while fellow junior Mark Yang had a few key aces to contribute to the Pats’ win. The team played three games in six days, but handled the schedule with relative ease. From April 7-12, the Pats played at Rockville, against Northwood, and at Northwest. Despite the increased workload, Wootton swept each opponent, proving that they can win on the road and without much rest in between games. In the first three games of the season, the team showed glimpses of their potential to be the dominating team that they are now. Yee and Malinauskas’s solid play led the Pats to wins over Rockville, Damascus and a season-opening victory over the Richard

photo by Vivian Chen

Senior Wen Sheng Wei spikes over Kennedy blocker.

Montgomery squad. The Patriots’ last game will be played on May 3 and the playoffs will start shortly thereafter. Regardless of their performance in the games to follow, Wootton has had an excellent regular season and will look to complete the postseason without losing a single set, let alone a match.



Common Sense - April 30, 2010

Undefeated tennis team dominates county Will Browning distribution manager

As the boys tennis team’s regular season comes to a close, their unbeaten streak remains intact and their level of play is increasing with every game. The 8-0 Patriots have yet to lose a game, set or match this season. Their dominant play has vaulted them to the top of the division standings and the team will likely finish the season unbeaten. They have three games left to play. “We’re playing extremely well right now, but we can’t let up,” junior Eiichiro Okuyama said. “Our perfect regular season won’t mean anything if we lose in Divisionals or Counties.” In a true test of their ability, the Pats’ played their long awaited game against undefeated Whitman on April 23. Despite being the most competitive match of the season, the Patriots swept the Vikings by the score of 7-0. Junior sensation Anton Kovrigin, who was absent from recent games due to conflicting individual tournaments, dominated Whitman’s number one ranked player. None of the Patriots’ singles players or doubles teams lost either a set or a match.

“It was a great showing,” junior Charlie Sun said. “If we can continue our play then we can go deep into the playoffs.” On April 20, the Pats hosted the Blair Blazers in what turned out to be another blowout win. The Patriots kept their unbeaten streak alive behind excellent play from the singles players and the doubles teams – neither of whom were seriously threatened by any of the Blazers. On April 17, the Patriots defeated a Poolesville team that was unable to stack up with the Patriots’ depth. Despite the absence of juniors Kovrigin, Jacob Lipman, sophomore Julian Mu, along with freshmen Alex Hahn and Mateo Cevallos, the Patriots still dominated. Again without Kovrigin, the Pats had little trouble against B-CC and Northwest. The Patriots possess a wealth of talent, so much so that they can excel even without their number one player. “We have a promising future ahead of us, with an extremely talented underclass,” Okuyama said. Even without their starstudded junior class that consists of Kovrigin, Okuyama, Lipman, Sun, Gaurav Gopal and Akshay Sanker,

the Patriots would still have one of the most talented teams in the division. Nine out of the 18 varsity tennis players are freshmen. Three of them are nationally ranked in the Mid-Atlantic. Along with a talented freshman class, the two lone sophomores on the team Mu and Allen Lee - will contribute to future Pats success. Last season, Mu made the All-Gazette team and has excelled again this season. Against rival Churchill on April 7, the Patriots dominated yet again. Okuyama and Hahn swept both of their sets, while no other Patriot had trouble defeating their Bulldog opponents. The Patriots started off the season with wins against Springbrook and Wheaton. Although they provided little competition, the team’s wins against Churchill, B-CC and Whitman have allowed the Pats to gauge their abilities before the playoffs begin. “I expect us to sweep every game and set in the divisional playoffs,” head coach Fevronia Cresham said. If the Patriots win divisionals as expected, they will go on to the county playoff – which consists of a wider range of teams, yet is still made up of the best from each

photo by Ira Rickman

Junior singles player Anton Kovrigin is amongst the top prospects in the nation. He looks to extend his winning streak despite the increased level of competition in the postseason.

division. After that, there are the regional and state playoffs. However, both Regionals and States are individual tournaments which could cause problems for the squad down the line. The Pats’ top players could have conflicting individual tournament games that would hold them out of Regionals or States. Nevertheless, the Patriots should experience enormous success in each postseason tournament, with the bright outlook of boys’ tennis.

“I expect our team to win Counties, Regionals, and States this year,” Okuyama said. “We have the depth to do so and during the season I believe we proved that we’re capable. We beat all the other DI teams 7-0 and without losing a set. I don’t expect anything less from the team. Hopefully, they’ll prove me right and continue working as hard as they have during the season and continue dominating in the upcoming playoffs.”

Junior MVPs take the lead on varsity squads in 2010 season Michael Krakower staff writer Juniors are often shoved aside on varsity teams to make room for the bigger and more experienced seniors. However, four juniors this year have shown exceptional skill and composure to lead their respective teams despite lacking seniority.

Josh Bretner, Hockey Bretner has been touted as one of the greatest skaters to ever don a Wootton hockey uniform. He was on the ice for two consecutive state championships victories and he hopes to win a third and final championship next season. “I will only settle for another state championship,” Bretner said. “With the players we have coming back and the incoming freshman, nothing is out of the question.” Bretner brings immense experience to the table from his time on Team Maryland. The team finished third at this year’s National Championships. He will try to replicate his success next year not only to win another


State Championship, but also to catch the eye of college recruiters. Bretner hopes to play hockey at the University of Michigan or Boston University.

Anton Kovrigin, Tennis Kovrigin has been a major contributor to the tennis team since his arrival in 2008, but has only taken on a significant leadership role this year. He has been playing competitive tennis outside of school for nearly his entire life. He has risen up USTA rankings and continues to prove he is a force to be reckoned with at the national level. Kovrigin currently ranks 2nd among boys 18 and under in the USTA Mid-Atlantic Division and 55th nationally. Despite experiencing such success at a more competitive level, Kovrigin loves his time on the Wootton team. It is much less individual than what he is used to and he enjoys the camaraderie with his teammates. “I like having teammates who are always there to cheer you on,” Kovrigin said. The University of Maryland is among Kovrigin’s top choices of schools for which he would play tennis. He practices at the


team’s official facility and is familiar with the players and coaches. He is also considering the University of Virginia, Stanford University and the University of California Los Angeles.

Gabby Flinchum, Basketball Standing at 6’3”, Flinchum is a power house center that is the backbone of the Lady Patriots’ basketball team. She began her career at Wootton seeing significant playing time at the varsity level. As time progressed, she developed a strong relationship with head coach Maggie Dyer. “Coach Dyer has helped me so much these past few years,” Flinchum said. “She has definitely made me the player I am today.” Flinchum’s offensive prowess has truly blossomed under the leadership of Dyer. She has racked up 786 points in her threeyear career and hopes to achieve 1,000 by the end of her senior season. Flinchum is also currently entertaining the idea of playing college ball. Notable schools that have taken an interest in her game include the University of Kentucky,


Fordham University, Rider University, and Temple University.

Thomas Finn, Swimming Unbeknownst to many, the Wootton swim team is one of the school’s most successful athletic programs. The squad captured a County Championship this year with the help of junior standout Thomas Finn. Ironically named, Finn has consistently been the top swimmer on the team. His hard work and dedication to the sport have paid dividends in his pursuit of becoming a college athlete. When asked how he prepares in his offseason, Finn replied, “Offseason? Ha, swimming has no offseason.” It is this passion for the sport that has interested schools such as the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. Finn hopes to attract recruiters not only with his athletic ability but also with his academic achievement. For now, the focus remains on high school athletics. Finn hopes to close out next season with a victory in the 500-meter race at the Metropolitan Championships.

Finn photos and graphic by Michael Krakower



Common Sense - April 30, 2010

Boys’ lax extends county streak to 58 Jared Wasserman sports editor

What’s Good in Sports Each issue, sports editors Jared Wasserman and Jeff Zifrony break down the who, what, where, when, and why of the sports world. The NFL draft — so popular they had to add another day to it. The traditional two-day format was not enough to satisfy the budding TV audience, so this year the powers that be unveiled a new three-day event that featured the first round in primetime on Thursday night. As expected, the opening round yielded 30% higher TV ratings than in 2009. However the question still remains: why? The admitted ridiculousness of the NFL Draft is not to say that we didn’t watch the entire first round, and unnecessary portions of the next six. But how do they get us to sit there for five hours hanging on Mel Kiper Jr.’s every word and anxiously awaiting whatever name comes out of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s mouth next. The most obvious answer is hope. The draft represents a new beginning for fans, an opportunity for the lowly Rams to lock up a franchise quarterback, or for the Redskins to protect McNabb’s blindside. Well, that’s part of it. The Skins had just four picks in the entire draft heading into Thursday (after one season and 3.5 sacks, Jason Taylor now dons a Jets jersey). Their true impact had been felt when they took the long-awaited left tackle about a half hour into the event, as they didn’t have another pick until the fourth round. There was every incentive to turn off the TV — at least change the channel. But I didn’t. The Kansas City Chiefs were on the clock. Loving football doesn’t suffice as a reason either. Kiper’s detailed analysis of each player’s body is about as far away from football imaginable. The glitz and glamour of the event seems to clash with the sport’s gritty nature. It’s not whether Kiper thinks your guy squats enough to handle a 350-lb nose tackle that keeps the audience engaged. It’s the reality moments that shows like Flavor of Love couldn’t dream of that keep millions glued to the set. When the golden boy Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn dropped late in the first round after being a potential top-5 pick, it was captivating watching him squirm on National TV, seeing millions go down the drain with every passing selection. USC safety Taylor Mays - a top-10 talent who had an underwhelming 2009 senior campaign – wasn’t taken until the 49th pick after his former coach passed on him in favor of Texas sophomore safety Earl Thomas in the middle of the first round. Mays’ displeasure with Pete Carroll has been highly publicized in recent days. Then there’s Tim Tebow. A polarizing figure who some say is an over-hyped, self-righteous pretty boy, while others literally think he’s the second coming of Jesus. No matter which side you’re on, you tuned in to see how high he would be taken. In an interesting side note, senior Blake Band, who attended the draft this past weekend sporting a Florida #15 jersey, walked up to Goodell after he made the pick and asked for the card that he read the most decorated and debated quarterback in college football history’s name off of. Band is now in possession of a note card with words such as Denver Broncos, #25, and Tim Tebow along with Goodell’s signature on it. That card is rumored to be worth tens of thousands of dollars if auctioned off — and what could better capture the essence of the NFL draft’s allure? So maybe next year your team finds that one missing piece to the championship puzzle. The only certainty is that we’ll be watching to find out.

After dropping its first three games against Bullis, Severna Park, and Gonzaga, the boys’ lacrosse team has since reeled off six straight victories to extend its winning streak to 58 games over Montgomery County opponents. The Patriots claimed its first victory of the season against Walter Johnson on April 7, setting up yet another highly anticipated matchup with the undefeated Churchill Bulldogs. After upsetting the Sherwood Warriors by the score of 9-7 just three days prior, Churchill figured to provide more of a challenge to Wootton’s county dominance than in recent matchups. However, the game affirmed the Patriots’ place atop the 4A West division once again. Behind a combined 16 points from senior attack Jeff Zifrony (five goals, four assists) and junior attack Chris Doran (four goals, three assists), Wootton cruised to a 14-7 victory. The highlight of the game came with 1:28 left in the first quarter when Zifrony received the ball in his familiar position behind the goal, faked left and cut sharply back to the right to lose the initial defender. He then split the oncoming double team and put a quick shot past senior goalie Max Kalicka. “We wanted to come out and put it on them early, and I knew we needed a goal to keep the momentum going,” Zifrony said. “The game was getting chippy, so we wanted to keep our heads and retaliate with goals.” Senior goalie Bobby Riso had his best game of the

photo courtesy of Brian Greenberg

Senior midfielder Michael Brailovsky wins a faceoff against Whitman. He won 15 of 19 faceoffs on the day.

season to that point, saving nine shots on the day. “I think [Bobby’s] done a pretty good job,” head coach Colin Thomson said. “He got tested early and often when he saw a lot of really good shooters. He’s getting tougher and he’s becoming a really good player.” Senior midfielder Michael Brailovsky also won 17 of 22 faceoffs, providing the attack with numerous opportunities in its offensive zone. On April 13, the Patriots easily defeated Richard Montgomery, and then dominated Gaithersburg three days later. Zifrony and Doran combined for 11 points against RM, while sophomore attack Max Romm led the way against Gaithersburg with four tallies of his own. Wootton outscored those opponents by 10 and seven goals, respectively. In its first real test since the Churchill game, Wootton edged the Whitman Vikings

by the score of 9-7 on April 20. Led by senior Reid Shepard, the Patriots’ defense did well to slow down a strong Whitman attack that is headed by Ithaca-bound senior Pat Slawta. Although the Vikings kept the ball in their offensive zone for large stretches of the fourth quarter, they were unable to capitalize on those opportunities and never came within a goal of the Patriots. Zifrony, Doran and Romm combined for 13 of the team’s 18 points on the night. “We played them tough there but we can do better as far as knowing when to take chances and when to play for position,” Shepard said. On April 22, an overmatched Northwest squad provided Wootton’s second-line with ample opportunity to obtain game experience. Doran (six goals, two assists) and Zifrony (six assists) dominated the opening quarter and were

subsequently confined to the bench with 36 minutes of game play remaining. Romm and senior attack Ari Cowen, along with junior midfielders Alex Kyle and Mack Hollins, tallied two goals apiece en route to a 19-3 victory. On May 1, a contending Sherwood team will visit Wootton to offer the Patriots one of their biggest challenges of the regular season as they prepare to embark on a run deep into the state playoffs. “Our team has played in big games and Sherwood is just another county rival that we have to take care of,” Shepard said. “Our team had to deal with adversity in the beginning of the season and those early struggles have made us a strong team mentally and physically and definitely have us playing our best lacrosse heading into the playoffs.” The April 28 game against the Blake Bengals ended too late for this edition.

Equestrian team places fourth at Horseshow Annie Bleecker staff writer

The equestrian team boasted an impressive season this year, placing fourth out of 42 schools in the InterSchool Horseshow program. “We want to get back to the top two spots,” junior captain Marina Riese said. The Inter-School program mostly consists of riders from high school teams. Those squads compete against other schools in the horse sport of Hunter Jumpers. Hunter Jumpers ride many different classes, with the InterSchool shows having riders do a “hack” class which is just walking, trotting, and cantering — no jumping. This class qualifies the top six riders to go on to a jumping course at 2 feet-2 feet, 3 inches. The team had much more participation this year than in years past, allowing them to break the squad into a varsity and JV team. The varsity squad was co-captained by Riese and junior Aleks Timrots. “I’ve been riding for nine years; I love the sport and really wanted to be a part of the high school team,” Timrots said. “[The captains are] in charge of

photo by Aleks Timrots

Sophomore Emma Vogel saddles her horse in preparation for the equestrian competition.

organizing team activities.” “I wanted to be on a school team where I can do what I love,” Riese said. Their shows were held at Nothing Fancy Farm in Poolesville, Maryland and Oatland Stables in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Riders had the option of either transporting their own horses to the show or being provided with one by the host stable. Horseback riding, particularly

in jumping disciplines, requires extreme focus and anticipation, which is hard to accomplish with an unknown horse. However, all the horses that are chosen by the host stable are reliable and relatively easy to ride. The other contributing members on the varsity squad included sophomores Lainey Bartos, Gwen Shaw and Emma Vogel along with freshman Erica Edney. The JV team benefitted from the participation of senior Laura Michelotti, sophomore Selin Demir, and freshman Damini Singh. The team also made time to give back to the sport by making a donation to Days End Farm Horse Rescue, an organization who works within Montgomery County to save horses from slaughter and abusive or neglectful situations. The seniors on the team look forward to continuing to ride in college, while the juniors hope to build on their 2010 success next season. “[Our goals for next year are] to beat Churchill, stay in the top six because we have every year, and be as competitive as possible,” Timrots said.



Common Sense - April 30, 2010

P A T R I O TP R O F I L E S Alex Hindman: Baseball

Erika Burns: Lacrosse

Gordie Gold business manager

Jeff Zifrony sports editor

The baseball team has created a lot of buzz with a 12-0 record and a #9 ranking in The Washington Post. The player catching everyone’s attention is senior pitcher Alex Hindman. Hindman was recently named the ABC High School Athlete of the Week. “It was pretty cool being on television,” Hindman said. “At first I didn’t even know why the camera guy photo by Vivian Chen was only interviewing me, Senior pitcher Alex Hindman was named the ABC Athlete of the Week. but I found out later on they had named me Athlete of “Whether it be giving for me when I found out I the Week.” motivational speeches had a torn ligament in my Hindman has a 4-0 before each inning or elbow and wouldn’t be able record with the top earned carrying the team with to play in college anymore run average in the state (.26). his pitching, he makes it a because that is what I had “Alex has been pitching lot easier to win,” senior wanted to do all along,” amazing this season,” shortstop Alex Kelly said. Hindman said. “However junior first baseman James When he’s not I think it will be the best Wallerstedt said. “His dominating on the mound, decision for me in the end.” curveball is impenetrable.” Hindman is the “Alex is an awesome In the Patriots’ third pitcher with a killer ERA: .26 Patriots’ first baseman and curveball,” senior pitcher game of Innings Pitched:27 has a batting Max Simon said. “Its a the season average of shame he’s not playing against Paint .400. college baseball.” Wins: 4 Branch, “ E v e n Hindman was being Losses: 0 Hindman t h o u g h recruited by Trinity pitched a nopitching is my University in San Antonio Strike Outs: 27 hitter. main thing, I and West Virginia University. “Pitchenjoy being Instead, he will be No-Hitters: 1 ing a noable to play attending University of hitter was third base and Nebraska next year and is Opp. Batting an awesome having the still thinking about whether Avg.:.082 feeling, chance to play or not he will try to walk on although it some offense,” to their baseball team. didn’t really Hindman said. “My arm has felt a lot hit me until after the game,” Although Hindman is better this year than I had Hindman said. one of the most dominant expected it to feel, so I His teammates have pitchers in the state, he will may try out for their team, also appreciated Hindman’s not be attending college but I’m not really sure yet,” performance this season to play baseball due to an Hindman said. not only as a dominating injury in his elbow. pitcher, but as a leader. “It was pretty frustrating

The girls’ lacrosse team has had their best start in recent memory, winning seven of their first eight contests. One of the main reasons for the team’s success is senior attack Erika Burns. Burns, who began playing lacrosse competitively freshman year, has lived up to her high expectations this season. “Private schools in this area are known for being strides ahead of public schools in terms of lacrosse talent,” Burns said. “Coming into the season with such a tough schedule was daunting, but beating Bullis the way we did made us believe in ourselves and gain some confidence before playing Churchill. The Churchill win was soundly the most rewarding part of the season so far because they beat us twice last year, once in the regular season, and again to eliminate us from the playoffs. This win was revenge.” During the offseason, Burns was a member of the club team Ultimate PlayHer, which plays some of the toughest competition in the country. In addition, she participated in a wide array of camps and tournaments including the Under Armour Maximum Exposure Rising Junior Showcase. “The experience definitely improved my skills and introduced me to a level of play that I hadn’t seen within the county since

photo by Vivian Chen

Senior Erika Burns cradles the ball with a Northwest defender trailing.

Montgomery County is more accurate shots.” relatively new to lacrosse,” Burns hopes to play Burns said. “I didn’t realize at the club level in college, how intense it would be, but but Erika’s focus remains it definitely made me better on making a lasting impact because I had to step up to on the Wootton lacrosse a much higher level than I program with a long was used to and as a result postseason run in her senior I’m now able to apply that season. experience to my game “The ultimate goal for play.” this year’s team is to go Bur ns to States,” Goals: 16 grew up Burns said. sur rounded “I believe we Assists: 14 by the game have a really Wins: 7 of lacrosse. strong squad Her brother, this year and Losses: 1 former star we have the attack Sam potential to Points: 30 Burns, along win the region with her father, and challenge have tutored and devloped teams in more competitive her into the player she is areas of the state. However, today. I want to take it one game “I love playing lacrosse at a time and keep the team and that passion fuels my in check because every game work ethic,” Burns said. “I we play is equally important constantly shoot on the goal in working toward that in my backyard and work to goal.” get faster, stronger, and have

Baseball team starts season off 12-0, ranked 9th in Metro Area from BASEBALL, Page 1 The Patriots were only ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, and as the first two Wootton batters were put down easily, it looked as if their bats would never come alive. However, back-to-back singles from Wallerstedt and freshman third basemen Andrew Craig energized the bench and brought senior center fielder Coki Cruz to the plate. Cruz came in with a hot bat and did not disappoint, hitting his second homerun in two games, and third on the season. After that, the Patriots cruised thanks to senior pitcher Max Simon’s dominating 8-strikeout performance. The game against Northwest on April 20 was another pitcher-dominated game, as the Patriots went on to win 6-3. The Patriots went up 4-0 in the second inning behind Cruz’s two-run homerun, but then turned to senior pitcher Alex Hindman to maintain the lead. In his previous three starts, Hindman had pitched phenomenally, giving up zero runs and only five hits. Against Northwest he remained hitless through the first five innings. However, in the sixth inning he allowed two hits and gave up his first run of the season, ending his streak at 25 and 1/3 innings. This year, the experienced pitching from Simon and Hindman, coupled with the astute play of senior catcher Andrew Weinstein behind the plate, has been a huge part of

the team’s success. Simon and Hindman have accounted for nine of the 11 wins this season, boasting .89 and .26 earned run averages, respectively. “Our pitching this year has just been incredible,” Weinstein said. “It’s easy to win when your pitchers only give up one or two runs per game.” In sync with the excellent pitching, Wootton has also been playing dominant defense. On the season, they have turned eight double plays, emerging unscathed from several tight spots. On April 17, the Patriots put their win streak on the line when they visited Richard Montgomery. However, RM did not put up any fight as Wootton demolished them, 13-4. Cruz led the batting onslaught with three RBI’s Weinstein and junior second baseman Pete Spiropoulos had two RBI’s each as well. Craig had seven strikeouts on the mound. The biggest test of the season came on April 15, against an undefeated Walter Johnson team. Wootton won 2-1, leaving them as the only undefeated team left in the county. Wootton scored first in the second inning with an RBI double from Cruz. Simon held WJ scoreless through six innings and struck out nine batters. After Kelly put Wootton up 2-0 in the top of the seventh, Spiropoulos was brought in to close out the game. Spiropoulos gave up one run and allowed runners on base, but Wootton’s defense was able to pull through and

maintain the lead. The only other close game this season was on April 7, when the Patriots visited Damascus. At first, this game did not look like it would challenge Wootton, as they managed a 7-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning. However, Damascus scored six runs in one inning, and took an 8-7 lead into the seventh and final inning of the game. Showing their resiliency, the Patriots were not about to let a five-run lead slip through their hands. Kelly, Fitzwilliam, and Hindman all came through with clutch hits and put Wootton back on top. They took the field for one last time, and were able to hold Damascus to one run, barely escaping with a 10-9 win. Although their record is perfect, head coach JD Marchand still believes there is a lot of room to improve. “[We could still improve in] every phase of the game,” Marchand said. “Situational hitting, base running and fielding. There is still a lot of work [to be done] and the regular season at this point is only half over.” Kelly speaks for the entire team when he explains that regular season accolades are nice, but the team’s goals have not yet been accomplished. “This undefeated streak has been great, but once the playoffs come, the slate gets wiped clean,” Kelly said. “We want to make a run in the playoffs this year, that’s what’s important.”



Common Sense - April 30, 2010

Softball looks to rebound from slow start before playoffs Katie McKenna staff writer

The softball team has had a disappointing start to this season with a record of 2-8, but the Lady Patriots have their eyes fixed on the playoffs and are eager to get back in the win column. On April 22, the Lady Patriots competed against the county powerhouse Gaithersburg Trojans, who emerged victorious by the score of 0-9. The team played even with the Trojans through three innings, but Gaithersburg began to pile on the runs, scoring four in the fifth inning and three in the sixth inning. “[Gaithersburg] is not as good as we made them look,” Lightsey said. “We hung in with them the first couple of innings defensively, but we could not finish.” The team started off the season with a 0-4 record after losing to Spingbrook, Paint Branch, Damascus and Blair. “It was upsetting to see our team fall apart like we did in those games, but I definitely think that by the time playoffs come we should be one of the toughest teams to contend with,” junior first baseman Amanda Lyberger said. Against Paint Branch on March 25, the squad only recorded four hits, while Paint Branch dominated with 16. Freshman third baseman Andrea Kemp had two of the

Track team holds top two spots in division Robert Logan staff writer The track team has come out of the gates firing, as they have beaten almost all of their competition this year. Behind a strong senior class, the girls’ squad is sitting in first place in their division with a 5-0 record while the boys’ team is in second with a record of 3-2. In the first meet of the season, both teams destroyed the Whitman Vikings on the road. The boys’ won 98-38 and the girls won 96-40. “This year is by far the best team I have seen here, on both the boys’ and girls’ side,” head coach Kellie Redmond said. “Everything we do is a stepping stone, from one day to the next, one week to the next, and one meet to the next.” In their second meet of the season, both teams defeated Blake High School. The girls defeated the Bengals 77-60, and the boys’ won 77-59. “The Blake meet was very tiring. The heat did affect everyone, but in a good way,” junior Taariq Elliot said. “We came out on top and pushed through the heat to do the best that we could.” Junior Daniel Moon took two of the six individual wins, winning in the 110 and the 300 hurdles. The girls’ also won six individual events and three relays: the 4 x 200, 400, and 800-meter races. Four athletes made the

four hits, stole a base and scored the Lady Patriots’ lone run in their 10-1 loss to the Panthers. “We need to improve in all areas of play before playoffs roll around, and it will really help us when our older players start getting some hits,” head coach Alton Lightsey said. On April 8, the team suffered a crushing loss to Damascus 0-14. Senior Liza Cornfield recorded the team’s only hit on the day. “I think we started off the season strong in the scrimmages,” junior outfielder Erin Newsom said. “We’ve been struggling the past couple weeks, but this team has a lot of talent. We just need to work on bringing it all together to accomplish our goals as a team.” In their April 10 matchup against Blair, the Blazers started off strong, scoring eight runs in four innings. The Patriots left those runs unanswered until the fifth inning, when the squad started to rally back, but could only muster one run. The team fought to put a dent in the Blazers early lead but lost 2-8. “[The Blair game] was one of our better games we have played. We worked well as a team, and I think that we can only do better from here,” Lyberger said. The Lady Patriots’ first win of the season came against Whitman on April 12, when the squad defeated the Vikings 10-0. Senior captain Rachel Laufer had two hits and three RBI’s in the game. Whitman

MoCoRunning “Athletes to Watch” list: seniors Jessie Rubin in the 3200, Annie Munro in the high jump, Saarah AbdurRa’oof in the triple jump, and sophomore Elaine Chen in the long jump. “We never look too far ahead, just focus on what we are trying to accomplish at that moment, knowing it is getting us where we need to be by the end of the season,” Redmond said. In the first tri-meet of the season, the Patriots took on two tough opponents in Walter Johnson and Kennedy. The girls’ defeated both teams and the boys’ beat Kennedy handily, but were dropped by WJ, losing 66-62. On the boys’ side, senior Nate Baruch excelled in the discus with a distance of 126 feet, and Elliot dominated the 400-meter with a time of 50.5 seconds. The girls’ had similar results, with senior Andrea Maxwell posting a 2:22 in the 800-meter while sophomore Grace Corbett posted a 2:24 in the same event. “I expect the girls to go undefeated, with the boys’ winning the rest of their meets as well,” Elliot said. In the Viking Invitational, Wootton was pitted against 38 teams from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. At the end of the long day, the girls’ came in second place and the boys’ took fifth. Rubin was a double winner with first place finishes in the 1600 and 3200-meter races. She also broke the meet and stadium record in the 3200-meter with a time of 11:13.20. “To continue our winning streak we need everyone to work even harder in practice

managed seven hits in the contest, but Wootton’s strong defense kept the Vikings from scoring any runs. “It felt great to get our first win. We’ve all been working really hard and we finally got to see some results,” Newsom said. On April 14, the Patriots played Walter Johnson in what turned out to be a scoreless affair through five innings. In the top of the sixth, Wootton was able to score two runs, but the Wildcats answered with two runs of their own. Tensions ran high in the top of the seventh inning when the Patriots were able to reclaim the lead, but WJ pulled ahead once again, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning en route to a 5-4 win. Despite the frustrating end against WJ, the team showed that their future is undoubtedly bright. Sophomore starting pitcher Casey Haynes proved to be a source of precision pitching and endurance that the Lady Pat’s will need in the upcoming games and playoffs. The Patriots earned their second win against Northwest on April 19, as the team turned in a dominant 5-0 performance against the Jaguars. Laufer led the team with four hits and three RBIs. “[Laufer] leads the team in hits and has been a huge contributor,” Newsom said. “We all aspire to play like her.” After falling to rival Churchill on April

photo by Ira Rickman

Freshman third baseman Andrea Kemp throws out a Gaithersburg base runner in the home game April 22.

24, the Lady Patriots will look to rebound at home against Sherwood on May 1. The April 28 game against the B-CC Barons ended too late for this edition.

Chen, Shi lead co-ed volleyball into postseason Gordie Gold business manager

photo by Ira Rickman

Freshman Sylvia Deppen hurdles during a home meet against WJ.

and push themselves like they never have,” Elliot said. The boys’ were led by Baruch and senior Matt Gordon, who were both in the top six for discuss and shot put. Sprinters Elliot and junior Seth Margolis were top five in the 400 and 200-meter races as well. In the Patriots’ last meet, they took on the Richard Montgomery Rockets at home. The girls’ squad won by a score of 111-2 and the boys’ fell 103-34. Rubin ran a 10:51 twomile, becoming the first girl in Montgomery County to break the 11-minute mark since 1996. To add to that, thirteen athletes were accepted and competed in the very prestigious Penn relays in Philadelphia. The highlight of the event was the girls’ 4 x 800-meter relay which placed 15th out of 65 teams. “We [were] all very excited about this, and I [knew] we [would] see some great performances that weekend,” Redmond said.

After a strong start, the co-ed volleyball team is 8-2 on the season following a disappointing 3-0 loss to Paint Branch. It was the first time this year that the Patriots did not win at least one set against their opponent. Despite losing the first two sets by scores of 15-25 and 18-25, the Patriots did not quit. In the third game, they showed their resilience, but ended up losing by the score of 30-32. Missing from the game due to a sprained ankle was senior Allison Wynant, who provides the team with height and a strong presence near the net. “It’s tough being hurt again after I just came back from my torn ACL,” Wynant said. “The team is playing well right now though and I will be back in time for playoffs when it really counts.” In a match against the Magruder Colonels, the Patriots came out fast and ended up winning the match, 3-1. The Patriots won the first two sets by scores of 25-11 and 25-18, but then lost in a sloppy third set. However, they quickly rebounded and won the fourth set. Senior Eddie Shi was dominant on offense, while seniors Rachel Gao and Weingshei Wei provided strong passing throughout the match. The Patriots won the Gold Division trophy and remained undefeated in their division with a dominating win over Kennedy by the score of 3-0. Senior Jenn Chen led the team with 8 service aces, while Shi had 8 kills. “Division champs is nice, but it’s not really the accomplishment that we are more focused on — being county champs,” head coach Mary Malinauskas said. “It would have been kind of a big

photo by Vivian Chen

Senior Jenn Chen sets Eddie Shi for a spike.

underachievement had we not won the division, so it doesn’t really change our outlook for the rest of the season now that the division competition is over.” In a 4-set match against Churchill, the Patriots emerged victorious by the score of 4-1. “It was a pretty fulfilling win for us because Churchill beat us last year 3-0,” Shi said. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead against the Northwest Jaguars, the Patriots seemed to lose their edge, allowing the score to be evened at 2-2. However, the Patriots came back strong in the fifth set, winning, 15-9. Jenn Chen led the team with 7 aces, while Wynant had 3 aces. Shi headed the squad with 9 kills, while senior Kevin Chen had 6 kills. “We’ve had a lot of 4 and 5 set matches this season, so it didn’t really feel like anything to panic about,” Malinauskas said. “I think that experienced players know what needs to be done in a match like that and so really, very little needs to be said.” In another one of their easily handled matches, the Patriots beat Northwood by the score of 3-1. Junior Abby Hsiung led all players with 9 kills, while Jenn Chen led the team in aces once again, this time recording 6. Seneca Valley will visit the Patriots on April 30.


Features Common Sense - April 30, 2010

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Teachers in our classrooms share their global perspectives

photo courtesy of Alexandra Brasoveanu-Tarpy

Math teacher Alexandra Brasoveanu-Tarpy poses with her daughter, Irene. Brasoveanu witnessed the 1989 Romanian Revolution when she was in a retreat with students in the Capathian Mountains in Bucharest.

Daniel Moon business manager


he United States of America is a country of diversity – people of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds gather from all over the world; Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews, blacks, whites, yellows, reds, oranges, greens, purples and whatnot – and so is Wootton. Along with the diversity of the students, there is also a mixture of teachers from different places, each with his or her own stories about the country’s important historical events. Math teacher Alexandra BrasoveanuTarpy lived in Romania before she moved to the United States 18 years ago. She also witnessed the Romanian Revolution of 1989, which overthrew Communist Romania and installed a democratic government. “You were always concerned with how to get your daily food,” Brasoveanu said.

“But in Romania, you could walk to get to places, like grocery stores and the work place.” While in Romania, she enjoyed some “Americana,” including singers like Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash. Though the communist government regulated the flow of Western goods and customs, many Romanians kept in touch with the American culture. “The US is very interesting because of its multicultural differences. It’s hard to compare Romania to the US because they are two very different worlds,” Brasoveanu said. Brasoveanu was a math teacher in the city of Bucharest, and was also the coach of the city’s math team. She and her students were in a retreat to the mountains preparing for a math competition when the revolution started. “We were locked out in the mountains for 10 days, until the revolution ended in Christmas,” Brasoveanu said.

The city of Bucharest now has a cemetery honoring those who died during the revolution. Later, Brasoveanu moved to the US and married her husband, who is from Kansas, and adopted a daughter from China. Now, she celebrates two New Years – one American and one Chinese. Meanwhile, Spanish teacher Viviana Cruz was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and taught Spanish Literature to high school students there. She also worked in a college in Patagonia, the southernmost part of South America, and helped develop the first generation of Spanish Literature teachers there. “It was rewarding to see that the students there could have teachers for themselves instead of having to go to the cities,” Cruz said. With her father working for the US government, Cruz lived in a variety of places, including Spain, Mexico and Italy, besides Argentina and the US. “Students in the US are wonderful, and I can say the same for other places,” Cruz said. While she has enjoyed meeting people and visiting new places, she found certain differences between the US and the countries she has lived in. “People in other places are not so tied up with routine. They find time to actually stop and smell the roses,” Cruz said. However, she also noted that people in general are not bound to be different because of their nationalities. “There is no real difference. It mostly depends on how you treat the others,” Cruz said. In addition to teachers of South American and European origins, science teacher Dr. Mary Anne Fletemeyer was born in the Philippines, teaching physics in the city of Manila for a total of 16 years and witnessing the People Power Revolution that overthrew the Marcos regime in 1986. When she was growing up, the Philippines used English as the medium of instruction, though the policy has changed now. She studied in a private all-girls Catholic school and watched English TV shows and movies, listening to music groups such as The Mamas & the Papas and the Beatles.

Although the country spoke the same language as the US, the public schools in the Philippines were unlike the schools here. When Fletemeyer was teaching, there were around 50 students in each class. The students cleaned their homerooms, and each homeroom was assigned a portion of a vegetable garden where the students would grow various types of plants. “Kids were very respectful there,” Fletemeyer said. In college, she taught to a body of diverse students, including those from Iran, Lebanon, Hong Kong, and so on. It was during the years of her teaching that many Filipinos became disgruntled with President Ferdinand Marcos, who attempted to stay in power by declaring martial law and ordered the arrest of opposition leaders. “It is hard to envision a country where people used to have private armies and could kill people,” Fletemeyer said. From then on, there were clashes between protestors and the authorities, which often led to bloodshed. “One time, I was teaching my students when a bullet came through the window,” Fletemeyer said. “Some of the students and teachers were convicted as Communists and shot.” When the revolution started, Fletemeyer joined the movement, which eventually toppled the Marcos regime. Despite the country’s hopeful mood after the revolution, Fletemeyer decided to move to the US, where many of her relatives lived. Since 2007, she has been teaching at Wootton. “I’ve always considered the US as the land of opportunity. That was one of the motivations that drove me here,” Fletemeyer said. Although they now teach in the same building, many teachers of Wootton have come from different parts of the globe and witnessed their countries’ important historical hours. But after all, the teachers are not the only ones with stories of their own. Students of Wootton - all of them from around the country and the world also have plenty to share. The life stories of the students, teachers and the faculty members all gather to form the diverse community of Wootton.

Foreign-born students adjust to school life in America Alisa Sonsev staff writer Montgomery County is well known for its many cultures and ethnicities. Wootton holds a portion of this population inside of its walls, creating a diverse student body. One student in particular, junior Tiziano D’Affuso, originally attended school in Italy and now resides in America. D’Affuso was born in Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. and moved to Italy in 1994 at the age of one. He lived there for nine years and attended school there from kindergarten through fourth grade. While in Italy, D’Affuso’s school day started at 8:20 in the morning with one teacher for every subject and no changing of classrooms. He moved to Montgomery Country at the beginning of his fifth grade year. “It took a bit of time to adjust to the school life here,” D’Affuso said. “I had several teachers for different subjects, and I wasn’t used to it.” In his school in Italy, the students were taught some English, but not enough to sufficiently know and understand the language. D’Affuso’s school did not have a subject specifically for learning English; instead students were taught the language more off-handedly. “We learned a few basic words here and there but it wasn’t a major focus there to learn English,” D’Affuso said. D’Affuso lived in a small town called Trofarello, located in the Italian Province of Turin. Along with slight variations in school life, he also noticed differences in everyday life between the Italian and American cultures. “When I lived in Italy, everything felt more laid-back. Everyone in my town knew each other. I feel like everyone

photo by Daniel Moon

Junior Tiziano D’Affuso reviews his class notes on a typical day at school. D’Affuso was born in Washington DC, but moved to Italy in 1994 at the age of one. He moved back to the area in 2004.

in America is on a busy schedule all the time,” D’Affuso said. Although Italy has a more relaxed lifestyle, D’Affuso says that he would still rather live in America because everything is more organized and functional in this country. He still visits his entire extended family and a few close friends in Italy almost every summer.

Junior PhyuSin Than also immigrated to the United States at a young age. She was born in Rangoon, the former capital of Burma, and lived there until she was seven years old. She has moved six times. “I’ve moved so many times that I don’t think I can live in one place anymore,” Than said. “I don’t like the idea of being settled in one place.” After moving out of Burma, also known as Myanmar, Than and her family lived in Thailand for a year where she was homeschooled by her father. Than then moved to Texas until age nine, Pittsburg until ten, Rockville unil fourteen, Ohio until fifteen, and then back to Rockville two years ago. Than describes the Burmese school system to be corrupt, with the government only allowing teachers to teach certain information, even though there is no public school system. The schools teach British English as a subject in school, but many children learn it outside of school, too. School starts much later in Burma than in America, but the kids have many extra-curricular activites, like sports or learning another language. “Since school started at noon and ended at five, I had English tutoring before and after school. I also had swimming practice before school,” Than said. The culture and lifestyle of the people in Rangoon is different from America as well. “Burma is a very conservative country, especially in the way they dress. What’s considered a good skirt length here would be completely different there,” Than said. Despite the constant upheaval, Than values her global travels because they have enriched her life with culture and diversity. “I liked all the moving around because I learned a lot of different types of English as well as many different cultures within America,” Than said.


Features Common Sense - April 30, 2010

CD Reviews:

Musical Medley

She & Him Volume Two


n She & Him’s sophomore effort Volume Two, Zooey Deschanel returns in her unlikely collaboration with acoustic guitar virtuoso M. Ward. By infusing indie pop with hints of country charm, the album perfectly embodies summertime à la The Beach Boys. It is unsurprising, then, that while much of her songwriting concerns with heartbreak, she points to optimism yet in the wake of emotional storms. In the elegant opener “Thieves,” Deschanel croons above billowy guitar layers: “We two are makers/Just made this mess/ Two broken hearts don’t beat any less.” Certainly, a breakup, however brutal, is not the end of the world. As an actress-turned-singer, Deschanel gravitates more towards Jenny Lewis of Riley Kiley than to Lindsay Lohan (or any other notable Mouseketeers, as a matter of fact). Indeed, her music is not remarkably avant-garde, and her vocal range is quite limited—evidenced in the strained, too-saccharine “Don’t Look Back”—yet she makes up for her deficits with sheer personality. Like the girl holding up a paper cup telephone on the album artwork, Deschanel isn’t truly over whoever she’s grieving for, but her front is convincing enough.

MGMT Congratulations


GMT makes a triumphant return with their sophomore album. Although this album does not sound as electronic and synthesized as their first, it still has an MGMT feel to it. The vocals are still falsetto, the music is still trippy, and the whole album is a blast to listen to. “Brian Eno,” a tribute to the musician of the same name, is quick, catchy, and engaging, even though the listener may not understand the lyrics. The twelve-minute “Siberian Breaks,” described by MGMT as “a pop surf opera” is exactly that; the track starts off slow, but it escalates in sound and speed until it resembles a classic surfer song, before eventually shifting into a synthy, almost Beatles-esque romp. Overall, “Congratulations” is a beautifully recorded album that any dedicated MGMT fan will enjoy.

-Demetri Tzamaras

Switchfoot Hello Hurricane

-Katy Tong


Gorillaz Plastic Beach

his album stinks. Most of the songs are boring and use the same musical beat. “White Flag,” featuring British rappers Bashy and Kano and the National Orchestra for Arabic Music is my favorite song on the album because it’s catchy. The Gorillaz aren’t even on the track, and in addition to tying into the unifying concept of the album, it sends a message. Listen to it. “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach,” which features Snoop Dogg, is the worst song on the album, because it plays one boring beat for about a minute before the rest of the music and lyrics jump in. Snoop is at his worst here, and should remove his name from the track. Skip this album -Demetri Tzamaras


witchfoot is playing at this year’s DC chili cook-off, and they deserve to. Hello Hurricane boasts many enjoyable tracks that make up for the few stragglers. “Mess Of Me” is one of the harder songs on the album and is also the best. It’s got attitude, but at the same time it has a level of emotion that Switchfoot fans are used to. “The Sound” does the same: it is hard rock yet it has something to say. “Red Eyes” is much slower and more emotional, but is still a decent track. “Red Eyes” is the most emotional song on the album, but is also the most boring. It takes too long to become interesting, so some listeners may just skip to the next track. The album as a whole is well done; every track is decent with some standing out and others falling behind. Overall, Hello Hurricane is worth checking out.

-Demetri Tzamaras


Features Common Sense - April 30, 2010

Inspired by a budding doctor in a Kenyan village, Mr. Butke never planned to become a teacher. When his first prodigy was tragically robbed of a chance for success, Butke decided to follow the young man’s advice and pursue a career as an educator.

Teacher Profile: Math Teacher William Butke

All Grown Up Emily Burklow & Eleni Kessler managing editors

photo by Christine Chang

Christine Chang staff writer While math teacher William Butke has earned respect among both students and faculty, he confesses that he never originally planned to become a teacher. “I fought my counselors on this issue all through college,” Butke said. “Teaching was the last thing I wanted to do.” Now as an Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics, Quantitative Literature, and Calculus with Applications teacher, Butke is fully committed to and content with his job. “I love going to work each morning, as cliché as it sounds,” Butke said. After graduating from Shepherd University, Butke spent two years in the Peace Corps teaching Calculus at Isiolo Secondary School, a Peace Corp school in Kenya. While teaching at Isiolo, Butke forged a friendship with Joseph, a 16-year-old Kenyan student of his. Though brief, their nine-month friendship made an indelible impression on Butke. “If people want to judge me as a teacher, I feel that they should first know Joseph’s story,” Butke said. “It shaped my view on teaching and my approach to life.” Because he was designated to be his tribe’s future doctor, Joseph received the rare opportunity to be educated in various missionary schools as a child. “Joseph’s selection was not a fluke,” Butke said. “Joseph was one of the brightest and friendliest people I have ever known.” Despite only having a fragmented education prior to enrolling in Isiolo, Joseph quickly ascended from Form One math to Form Five math, the Calculus class taught by Butke. Besides Joseph’s sheer intelligence, his poise and maturity impressed Butke. “He was very hard-working and ambitious,” said Butke. “I sometimes struggled to motivate my students, but he never needed me to motivate him.”

After Joseph’s initial pretense of seeking Butke out for help long wore away, they still met after class to talk. They eventually developed a close friendship. Butke and Joseph helped each other understand their respective cultures. “I was a mentor for him for life in America,” Butke said. “And he was a great mentor for me for life in Africa.” Their relationship was characterized by daily amicable debates on philosophy and other topics. “He was a cool guy to hang out with,” Butke said. With Butke’s stint in the Peace Corps ending in a few months, Butke was grappling with his plans for his life after returning to the U.S. In a memorable conversation, Joseph urged Butke to commit to teaching. “Joseph was surprised when I told him that I didn’t think teaching would be something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Butke said. “He had full faith in my abilities as a teacher and told me that I should definitely become a teacher.” That was the last conversation they had together. A week later, Joseph died of malaria. “His sudden death was a huge shock to me,” Butke said. “Something as small as a mosquito carried away the hopes of an entire village.” In accordance with his tribe’s customs, Joseph was hastily buried on a nearby field, in an unmarked grave. “I have no doubt that Joseph could have contributed a lot with his life if he had lived,” Butke said. “Lots of people lost a great future doctor.” Because of Joseph’s death, Butke committed to teaching. “I wanted to contribute my two cents towards carrying out one of his hopes,” Butke said. After earning a Masters degree in secondary education at Trinity University, Butke was hired as an AP Calculus teacher at Rockville High School in 1997. Under Butke’s direction, the fledgling AP Calculus program grew from one class to several classes, and later, Butke assumed responsibility for the AP Statistics program, which saw similar growth.

“He basically single-handedly built up the AP Statistics and Calculus program,” administrator Dr. Carol Sander said. “He showed a total commitment towards growing the advanced math program,” Sanders said. In 2008, Sander asked Butke to interview for a vacant teaching position in the math department. Needing a change, Butke agreed to interview and began teaching AP Statistics at Wootton in the fall of 2008. His students attest to his ability to effectively communicate. “He‘s good at encouraging class participation,” senior AP Statistics student Sonya Davey said. “He incorporates AP Statistics into its real-life applications so that Stat becomes a meaningful subject.” Besides engaging in AP Statisticsrelated tangents, Butke is known for peppering his classes with anecdotes designed to motivate his students. “The way he presents the repercussions of what would happen if you didn’t try hard in school is so powerful that you become inspired to do work,” senior Dev Shah said. According to Butke, he believes his understanding of adolescents stems from his own experience in high school. “I got to know the disciplinarian in high school,” Butke said. “We would have coffee and hang out in his office. I was goofy, spoke out of turn and made jokes. I always considered myself a serious learner, but my effort level depended on how interested I was in the subject.” Principal Dr. Michael Doran agrees with Butke’s self-assessment. “I think the reason why he can get to those students who aren’t as motivated is that he can empathize with them,” Doran said. “He has credibility in their eyes.” Admittedly, Butke has not had the most conventional career path, but ultimately, he is satisfied with his choice. “From Joseph, I learned that life is fleeting, and you have to get every minute you want out of it,” Butke said.

It’s official: the end is in sight. After eight years living in houses so close we can see into each other’s living rooms (a la Taylor Swift’s “You Belong with Me” music video), it is time for Elemily to divide. For the last half of our lives, being apart for more than two weeks has been known to result in alarming side effects. Headaches, decreased brain function, shakiness of fingers, even spontaneous leprosy are the most debilitating of our symptoms. This has evolved into an alliance, the likes of which has not been seen since the days of Watson and Crick, Calvin and Hobbes… even MaryKate and Ashley (yep, we are that awesome). We are the whip and fedora to the Indiana Jones of Wootton High School. These testaments to our friendship make our parting more bitter than most. Next year, we begin anew. Separate schools, separate worlds, united only by a shared childhood in suburban Maryland. As Emily heads to the Windy City and Eleni drives down I-95 to our nation’s capital, we’ll be forced to take our friendship to a whole new level. Don’t lose hope! We’re resourceful gals, and you be trippin’ if you think a mere 660 miles will get in our way. We are ready to roll, armed with the best friends a college student can have: care packages. Brownie-a-thons will preserve our bond more than becoming lame-o pen pals ever could. Our care packages will be one-of-a-kind, customized to appeal to our unique personalities as well as our chosen homes away from home. For Emily, Georgetown cupcakes will be shipped in the first of many gifts from the motherland. As Emily misses the chocolate-y fluffiness of home-baked goodness, the treats will make hibernation for the Chicago winter a little sweeter. Eleni has also embarked on a mission to learn the old art of crocheting, with her first project including a pair of purple and white mittens to protect Emily’s fingers from Lake Michigan’s frigidness. To fit in at a place where being a sports fan becomes a way of life, Eleni will send Emily a jersey for the good ole Cubbies to keep her safe from being mugged. When she begins her reign of terror at Georgetown, Eleni will open her first care package to find a slice of Gino’s East deep dish pizza. The melty mess of mozzarella and tomato sauce will be the envy of all the east coast students; dining hall fare just can’t compete. Eleni’s hands are special, with palms like those of Betty White or Pope Benedict XVI, and to protect her endearing wrinkles Emily will FedEx some Kiehl’s so she can smell nice and stay as moisturized as a baby’s bum. For the final step to Eleni’s takeover, she needs the world’s finest spy supplies. Getting ready to join the CIA, a dossier will help her keep tabs on the riffraff in Northwest DC. She’ll have blackmail ready for everybody by second semester. For romantic couples attempting to preserve the tenderness of love, long distance relationships are a source of angst, anger, and anguish. Not for this pair of pals. We’ve been through thick and thin, so what’s a little distance? It just means at Thanksgiving break, we’ll have even more to gab about. Our dominion will expand to two of the greatest cities on earth, so if anything, the friendship will strengthen. Elemily will thrive… long live the regime.




Common Sense - April 30, 2010

LA X Attack!


ecause lacrosse is one of the most popular spectator sports during the spring season, most students are familiar with the lax player ensemble on the field. There’s the heavy duty helmet, long netted stick and other padding patriotically decked out in our school’s red, white and blue. But between the hours of 7:25 and 2:10 walks a different version of our beloved laxer “brah.” Their outfits vary but still show the same zest for life, casualness and comfort of an athlete. There is something distinguishing about the daytime lax wardrobe. Unconventional use of pattern, color and otherwise mundane accessories have transformed lacrosse into a vibrant subculture that’s hard to miss. From their lanyards to their Oakley sunglasses to their chino shorts, the laxers have carved out a niche in high school fashion. Common Sense has decided to figure out the appeal of these unique ensembles by asking the question everyone is thinking: “Why?”

lax jersey

pensive pencil

checkered shorts

My Life is Average Avergun

Ilana Avergun editor-in-chief Four weeks, four countries, four languages, three loafers continents, seven plane rides, and one amazing month. Hello! Hola! Dzien dobry! Shalom! “The sport started as a prep school activity, so That’s right Wootton, my passport and I have both everyone was pretty rich. Designs from Ralph gotten some color recently in my travels to Mexico, Lauren and Sperry were really prominent, bePoland, Israel, and back to the good old U-S of A. cause they were preppy. That carried over to a I’ll hold off on the whole saga for now, but feel free more flamboyant style combining classic prepster to seek me out if you want the real play by play of my with new age alternative. With regards to the trip later. For my column’s sake, however, I’ve taken lanyard seersucker pants bright, checkered shorts, laxers like making a the liberty of breaking down my adventures in to a few statement on the field. You might be terrible at bite-sized points and stories. lacrosse, but if you look good playing, nobody FOOD: Come on, you had to have known this one cares.” -senior midfielder Keegan McDonald, was coming after I said bite-sized. All right, so let’s sock & flip-flop duo commenting on senior midfielder Gordie get started with foreign McDonald’s menus. Every Gold’s ensemble (pictured above). country has its own version of our standard happy Sperrys meal fare. Who knew? Poland offered the McKielbasa LAXER LINGO and their take on the Big Mac, WiezMac. There is an •brah: variation of bro “This is just a classy outfit. It’s extra charge for ketchup, so be prepared to shell out “I wear my lanyard, because it’s the most •sick: awesome, skillful going back to old school preppy. a few more zlotys for your condiment craving. Israel convenient for me. If I ever need to open The seersucker pants are preppy, •dank: severely cool followed in Pulp Fiction’s footsteps with the McRoyal my car, it’s right here. I usually wear just but it’s a part of the lacrosse •snipe: nice shot, good look socks and sandals because the mid-calves on the menu, and also paid homage to local cuisine style. Because lacrosse is associatare the way to go, and sandals are just re•sesh: session with the McKebab. Mexico had the McBurrito and their ed with prep schools, the clothes ally comfortable. We strive to be the best big selling burger, the McNifica on the menu. Overall, reflect that wealth. My Sperrys •rip: hard shot looking team on the field.” are just really comfortable.” I wouldn’t suggest heading to Poland for finger-licking •flow: athletic swag, hair -senior attack Ari Cowen on his -junior midfielder Alex Kyle on his •tilt: angle of your helmet or hat good food, but Israel and Mexico are tied for first. My casual ensemble dressy lacrosse look favorite find? Magnum ice cream bars. I might start a petition to get them in the US. LANGUAGE: Spanish, Polish, and Hebrew have different alphabets, vowels, sounds, and vocabulary, so it was pretty tricky to bounce from one to the next, week after week. Luckily most locals knew a smidge of English, but I’ve compiled a list of the top ten phrases through a field with 1000 rattlesnakes or three land mines? I found myself using most often in each respective “Three land country. 1. Hello! How are you? mines because the odds of getting bit are more 2. Thank you! than one, and there are better odds of not getting hit with the land 3. How much does this cost? mines.” -social studies teacher Kraig Bauer 4. It’s hot! 5. I’m hungry! 6. Let’s party! ...have an extra arm or an extra leg? 7. It’s cold! 8. Where is the bathroom? 9. I really have to pee! “An extra arm because 10. Can I have your number? you can do homework a lot faster and so sleep more. I haven’t been BEING AMERICAN ABROAD: Mostly, no one likes sleeping recently.” -sophomore Dayana Orgaz you. Poles, Israelis, Arabs, Panamanians, Brazilians, Mexicans and more all think you’re pretty ditzy and try to get you to pay more for food or shopping. However, ...streak naked through your classroom or be known as the class I found the key to avoiding the “silly American” trap. Though we at Wootton are suburbanites, saying you’re farter? from Washington D.C. makes being from the States a little less bad. About 9 out of 10 times when I said “Fart, “D.C.” to a foreigner, they yelled back “OBAMA!” and forgot how much they hated me a few seconds earlier. because I do that anyways.” My friends from New Jersey were out of luck on that -freshman Andrew Kim one though… Well, that’s all for now! Later! Hasta luego! Do widzenia! Shalom! preppy polo

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