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Common Sense

Gordon Biersch: blessed with good location, cursed by bad, pricey food


Golf sets new record on way to County Championships



More “smart boards” to arrive in late October

Construction shows that school is moving forward


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Volume 38 Issue 1 - Thomas S. Wootton High School - 2100 Wootton Parkway - Rockville, MD 20850 - October 1, 2008

New stadium creates parking woes Limited parking leaves College Institute and internship students scrambling for spots

Danielle Buccine staff writer

photo by Ira Rickman

Fewer parking spaces are available this year as construction blocks parking access to the swelling population of seniors. Construction of the bleachers, which were scheduled for completion by Sept. 26, fenced off 30 spaces out of the 300 total that existed at the end of last year. Rationing out these 270 spots

Only 270 spots remain in the lower lot because of construction.

Football shows potential early in season Mike Weiner staff writer Coming off their best season since 1991, in which they finished 5-5 and nearly made the playoffs, the Wootton varsity football team looks to improve on last year’s record and gain respect as one of the top teams in Montgomery County. After last season’s stunning loss to Churchill in the final game of the season that kept them out of the playoffs, the Patriots have a bitter memory to ignite their season. However, the team has its sights set higher than simply qualifying for the regional playoffs. “We want to make the playoffs, obviously,” senior quarterback Mike Mooney said. “But we really want to win the state championship.” The team returns 27 seniors, including 13 starters and almost all of the key contributors at the offensive skill positions. Mooney, who led the county last season in completed passes, as well as senior wide receiver Stephane Ngoumou, who led the county in yards per catch (25.4), are expected to lead the Patriots’ high-powered offense. Both photo by Mike Weiner Mooney and Ngoumou are beneficiaries of the new Ngoumou goes in for the score on the Patriots’ pass-happy spread offense implemented by head opening drive against QO. Wootton lost 26-21. coach Mr. Greg Malling, and they look to increase their firepower this season. “The Churchill loss wasn’t as much of an One major departure from the offense is the inspiration for us as the QO loss last year,” senior center position, where Wootton must replace star linebacker Michael Cresham said. “That first week center John Dillon, who made the University of at QO last year is still our motivation [to make] the Maryland football team as a walk-on. playoffs [this year].” “John taught me a lot last year, and he’s obviously Wootton’s first game against QO was expected an amazing player,” said senior center Andy Van Wye, by most to be a test of how close the Patriots could Dillon’s replacement. “I have a lot of help beside me, come to the reigning Class 4A State Champions. and I just hope a lot of him rubbed off on me.” Instead of folding in the presence of the The Churchill loss was used as a motivational 36th ranked team in the country (according to tool during the offseason, in addition to the memory, the Patriots played with heart and of losing to Quince Orchard 41-6 in last season’s intensity, and QO needed a late touchdown in order opener. It was a painful loss for a team that had high expectations. see FOOTBALL, page 7

requires deciding which of the 650 seniors are in most crucial need of independent transportation. Assistant principal Mr. Edward Owusu, who heads the allocation of parking spots, is obligated to assign spaces to those who must leave during the school day before considering any other applicants. Many of those students attend internships or College Institute. Due to the shortage of spaces, there are still people with internships who are currently waitlisted. The 30 currently obstructed spaces may not necessarily be an option for denied students in the future. Owusu is not certain about the

A culture of

DISHONESTY: Has cheating become commonplace at Wootton? Katy Tong copy editor

number of spots that will remain once construction is cleared. He acknowledges that while some spots are unaffected by the construction, others cannot be redistributed because they will be permanently obstructed by pillars from the new structure. Mrs. Fevronia Cresham, social studies teacher and sponsor of Senior Planning and National Honors Society, recognizes the effect this scarcity will have on clubs. “This class is the biggest class that we’ve ever had and the most active class in terms of people on teams and extracurricular see PARKING, page 4

Cheater Chatter “When I cheat, I feel guilty. But I would rather not risk a good grade.” “I don’t want my friends to flunk.” “I don’t even think about whether or not I’m cheating anymore; it’s become a habit." "If there’s no guarantee that you’re going to get caught, it’s not cheating.”

is basically On the otherwise heavy-eyed "[Cheating] necessary for my sanity." morning bus ride to school, amid the consider getting prior test sea of students gathered in various "Iinformation as ‘pinpointing “territorial” hallways prior to the first locations of specific data in consider bell, in the frantic scramble during your brain.’ I don’t that cheating." the first five minutes of class, there The above quotes are from Wootton are muted whispers and suggestive students who wished to remain nudges and all-too indicative attempts anonymous. at physical sign language. No, this is not an opening scene from Gossip Girl; this is the reality of academic dishonesty at schools across the country, from Wasilla, Alaska to the Upper East Side of the Big Apple. Let’s face the fact: nearly everyone has cheated at some point in his or her high school career. National statistics suggest a significant gap in actual measurements, but ultimately, these figures pinpoint a majority of the student body guilty as charged. Wootton is certainly no exception. According to our student handbook, cheating is defined as “[t]he willful giving or receiving of an unauthorized, unfair, dishonest or unscrupulous advantage in academic work over other students, using fraud, duress, deception, theft, trickery, talking, signs, gestures, copying or any other methodology.” A first infraction results in withdrawal of credit on the test or assignment, parent and administrator notification and a three days’ worth of detention; a second offense involves an additional two days’ detention; and third-time violations entail all of the above, plus two days of suspension and a recommendation—for expulsion. “Cheating could be on a test, copying homework, cutting and pasting articles [students] find online. When a person takes credit for work they have not done, I call that cheating,” science teacher Ms. Christina Joung

see CHEATING, page 3

Wootton psychology program is largest in United States Annie Bleecker staff writer Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology is the fastest growing elective course in Montgomery County. Over 800,000 students enroll annually on the national level, and with an average enrollment of approximately 400

students a year, Wootton has the largest high school psychology program in the United States. “Psychology is a class that can apply to all students. It relates to students’ lives,” AP Psychology teacher Mrs. Jennifer Bauer said. Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. By understanding the mind, individuals

are better able to understand and adapt to society according to the American Psychology Association (APA). “While the material has been different from that of most classes, you have to look at the class differently and take it more seriously,” junior Corinne Duvall said. “The issues discussed in class

are real and apply to real people,” Duvall said. AP Psychology is taught in a style that is different from that of other AP courses, such as AP National, State and Local Government (NSL). In AP NSL, students are accustomed to an AP class being one with a lot of classwork, note-taking, and lectures. In addition to traditional

lectures and worksheets, the lessons in AP Psychology are also supplemented by movies. The teachers must be prepared to teach material that is complicated to explain to students. “Some subjects are difficult, like altered states of mind and see PSYCH, page 4



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INSIDE >> Common Sense News................................................................................1-4 Editorial............................................................................5-6 Notes.................................................................................16 Sports....................................................................7-9, 12-13 Commons.....................................................................10-11 Arts...............................................................................14-15 Features...................................................................17,18,20 Pulse.................................................................................19

Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Security registers electronic devices Danielle Rotbert staff writer Administrators visited math classes on Sept. 10 to conduct the procedural discussion on rules and guidelines. For the first time, students were allowed to register their electronic devices at this annual meeting. The new system of documenting the serial numbers on personal electronic devices was put into place by security to prevent theft that occurs in the school. Head of security Mr. Gregg Melvin decided to start the registration system because his analysis revealed that iPods are the most commonly stolen items in the school. Students like to bring their electronics to school, and it is easy to have those valuable items stolen from their bags or backpacks. “[iPods] are a popular thing to steal,” Melvin said. “If I don’t have a database of numbers, a lot of times [a student’s] iPod will get stolen, and we have no way of knowing [whose it is].” The security staff plans to create a database of information, including the serial number of each registered iPod. Each found

iPod that passes through the security office will then be matched with a student’s information and returned to that student. Without this database, security has no way of knowing if a confiscated iPod in fact belongs to the student from whom it was confiscated, or if it was previously stolen from someone else. Melvin thinks the application process for the system is easy to complete. “I have an iPod too. It is my understanding that you can find the serial number easily,” Melvin said. The registration papers filled out in each math class give security something to refer to when looking at lost or stolen valuables. The rule against using iPods during school hours applies to all students. The exception is students enrolled in art classes. “Dr. Doran told [the art teachers] that we could use iPods in art classes,” ceramics teacher Ms. Christina Gutwein said. “I think music enhances creative progress in the arts. It is personal for each student when they bring their iPod.” In the past, some teachers from other

photo by Danielle Rotbert

Junior Cami Nezam listens to her iPod at school.

departments have not confiscated iPods used during school hours, but security has recently put the pressure on them to do so. Last year, security recovered two or three iPods using the registration system. “I think [the system] will be very effective,” Melvin said. This year, security is hoping to improve last year’s database, and reach a new level of protection against petty theft. Still, some are skeptical of the new registration system. “It’s a great idea, but if you can’t find the

iPod in the first place, it might be kind of pointless,” senior Kevin Lee said. The best way to prevent theft would be for students to avoid bringing their iPods to school. Many students have reasons to bring these valuable items, however, and do not want to give that freedom up. “I always listen to my iPod before and after school,” junior Sarah Ford said. The security office says that they will continue iPod registration for students who may have missed the opportunity during the procedural discussion.

Liang dissects competition at Olympiad Emily Burklow and Eleni Kessler knowledge that is tested on the IBO completely shut out [during the exams. Fellow teammate Jonathan awards ceremony],” Liang said. news editors Gootenberg, a student a Blair High “When I won, I was like, ‘Okay, cool.’” During the week of July 13, School, proved to be a valuable After the exam, the competitors were senior Jonathan Liang and three other study partner during the months of overwhelmed with relief and were United States high school students preparation. finally able to relish in the fruits of were awarded gold medals while “We got together and literally their labor. representing the United States at the dissected everything you could “The night after the competition, 19th International Biology Olympiad think of,” Liang said. The duo [the participants] partied as hard as you (IBO) in Mumbai, India. Liang earned dissected everything from crickets can, almost,” Liang said. According to one of only 23 gold medals and to crabs, spiders to starfish. Science Liang, these shenanigans included a competed with prodigious students Department Resource Teacher karaoke contest and lessons in Irish from over 55 nations. Liang received Ms. Jackie Alton and Gootenberg’s dancing. “We did things you would the third highest overall score in the parents ordered various species for never expect the top 200 biology competition. students in the world to do.” Liang first became involved in The night after the compeLiang felt a sense of camaraderie the IBO as a sophomore, but his with his fellow Olympians as they formal preparation for last summer’s tition, we partied as hard as kept the tone of the rivalry amicable. competition began in January 2008. you can, almost “We were interested in competing He took the IBO open exam to -senior jonathan liang with the rest of the world,” Liang qualify as a high scorer with 10,000 said. “But it was a very friendly other scholars. To qualify for the semi- the pair to study. competition…we would complain In the first few days of his stay final round, Liang took another, more about questions afterwards.” in India, Liang dedicated his time in-depth exam with 600 students. Since his homecoming, Liang The top twenty participants were to absorbing as much information has been complimented by his peers invited to attend an exclusive two as possible from the nine textbooks about his outstanding achievement. week training camp to get ready for that he brought with him across the “I’ve been getting quite a few the rigorous competition that awaited Pacific. While taking the exam, Liang congratulations recently,” Liang said. Team USA in Mumbai. A final exam tried to stay focused on the task at He has co-founded the Biology Club was proctored at the end of the camp hand. with fellow senior Philip Khan. The “During the exams, I was feeling to determine the four members of club is sponsored by Ms. Nancy Peth, Team USA. Upon learning that he like, ‘Let’s do what needs to be done,’” and students who participate have the qualified as a biology Olympian, Liang said. chance to practice questions for the The IBO consists of a five-hour Liang was satisfied at the result of his IBO exam. Any students interested theoretical exam and a four-hour hard work. can meet in room 200 after school on “I was pretty excited,” Liang said. practical over the course of two days. Tuesday afternoons. “For one thing, it was India.” Before Liang’s total score was 66.62, while “Anyone who likes biology should leaving for Mumbai, Liang would the top score of 68.20 was awarded to just come and take the [IBO] exam,” have to study for several hours every Korean student Tae Young Choi. said Liang. “My emotions were kind of week to prepare for the wide range of photo by Eleni Kessler and Emily Burklow



Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Weary students crack under pressure from CHEATING, page 1

said. “Cheating is not just rampant in a school setting. You can find it everywhere else, as in a business setting—adults are just as guilty as students are.” Cheating habits tend to emerge early and subtly, but go on to rage like wildfire until they become nearly impossible to rein in during the later and perhaps more influential stages of life. “They’re a lot stricter on [cheating] in college because college professors can focus more on it than they can on a high school level. But we’ve got to get [students] ready for that. We want students to understand that plagiarism is a big deal at college,” principal Dr. Michael Doran said. Following administrative visits to math classrooms, Doran noted how well-informed students seem to be toward academic dishonesty. “Kids have a pretty good understanding of what cheating and plagiarism [are]—using words or images without credits.” Despite this awareness toward cheating and its inevitable consequences, the amount of deception students engage in during exams and schoolwork

Cheating By The Numbers...

closet? Grades. Grades. Grades. The clear trend emerges. Colleges now place so much emphasis on transcripts that the importance of “making the grade” often outweighs the guilty conscience of academic dishonesty. “I have never seen a school with so much pressure, as far as academics are concerned," Joung said. "Because students care so much, they try really hard, and when that doesn’t work, cheating is one of the things that students resort to in meeting the high expectations.” Not only is the typical student now cheating more often, but a fair number of students are also the ones least expected to cheat. English teacher Ms. Annette Evans observed that it is ironically the higher-achieving students in her Advanced Placement and honors classes whom she catches cheating most frequently. “I think that students are just not confident in their work. They are driven more out of fear than trying to get out of work; they worry that they can’t do the work themselves,” Evans said. Evans recalled a former student who had plagiarized a large out-of-class essay and

According to the Center for Academic Integrity...

-44 % of teachers who were aware of a student cheating in their course have never reported a student for cheating to the appropriate campus authority.

According to

-80% of the country’s best students cheated to get to the top of their class. -20% of college students admitted to cheating in high school during the 1940’s; today between 75-98 % of college students surveyed each year report to having cheated in high school.

According to an ABC News Primetime Poll... -23% of people admitted to the ages of12-14 years, along students among the ages of 15-17.

dishonesty arise from the most commonly cited stereotype: pure laziness. “It’s like when you go to a store and can buy something, but you still shoplift," Doran said. "Some kids are quite bright; they can do the work, but they don’t bother because they get a kick out of getting good grades by cheating—they’re almost proud of it. I have a feeling [that] we have some academic shoplifters here.” The advent of technology certainly does not aid the fight for academic integrity. “With more technology, it is easier for students to distance themselves from the guilt feeling," Evans said. "Things happen so fast and so impersonally [nowadays] that it’s easier to lose your conscience of what is moral." Speaking from experience as a former English teacher, Doran

“ everyone cheats, but teachers don’t even know how much it happens. ” -junior jason stein hours remains staggering. “People do it so much that it becomes normal. Everyone cheats, but teachers don’t even know how much it happens,” junior Jason Stein said. Cheating originates from an enormous span of reasons. But what actually is the most overwhelming motive behind this bulk of hidden skeletons in our

received a zero. The student came back the next semester and actually thanked her. “He said that it was really a wake-up call for him; to have had the consequences kind of changed his perspective about learning and education,” Evnas said. Still, a considerable number of cases involving academic

cheating from with 36% of

said, “It’s so easy to go on the Internet, and cut and paste. You tend to forget what’s yours and what’s someone else’s." “I think that it is absolutely a good idea to use other people’s ideas and images, but make them your own by running them through your own brain and [having them come] out from the other end as something that is yours…Put [the ideas] in your own words with your own spin on it,” Doran said. There is a silver lining, however, to the every hopeless tangle of reality: the meager yet steady population of the academically honorable thrives, regardless of outside pressures. Junior Heather Allentuck, with three AP classes, belongs to this minority. “It really bothers me when students cheat. I know it’s wrong, and I don’t do it because I won’t be able to deal with the guilt."

Students shoot for the Moon Buggy Azzah Ahmed features editor Every year, high schools from around the country create and race Moon Buggys, or go-carts that could be used on the moon. This year, the Wootton Aeronautics team is working on becoming a part of this distinguished event. Started by NASA over 15 years ago, this is a tradition that operates both at the high school and college levels. The Moon Buggy is a human powered go-cart, which will be raced on “lunar” terrain. The buggy must meet certain specifications, including that the passengers must be two students, one female and one male. It must be light enough that the two passengers can carry it 20 feet without any help, and it must be a width of four feet at the maximum. The Moon Buggy will be raced over a landscape that simulates the lunar terrain, including “lava,” ridges, “lunar” soil, inclines, “craters,” and rocks. The competition will be located in Huntsville, Alabama and usually lasts two days in the spring. In 2008 the winner of the competition was Erie High School in Kansas. “This is certainly a very interesting project,” Aeronautics club sponsor and science teacher Ms. Sheila Shillinger said. Before reaching Huntsville, the Moon Buggy team must overcome some financial obstacles. “I think [the success of the project] depends on fundraising to get down [to Alabama] in time,” Shillinger said. The team is comprised of members of the Aeronautics Club, with senior Nikita Gokhale spearheading the operation. “We started planning the team, and it seems like we will be able to pull together a good group," senior Alex Filie said.

Science rooms undergo extensive renovations

New facilities to be ready for use by the end of September Jessica Ding staff writer Renovations to convert four math classrooms into two science classrooms with a storage area in between began after students left for last summer’s vacation. Overcapacity has caused a shortage of classrooms. Subjects such as math and science sometimes have to be taught in the same room, while science teachers need a specifically designed classroom to teach the curriculum. Classrooms that are being renovated include 284, 285, 286 and 287. Of the two new classrooms, one will be for Advanced Placement Chemistry, and the other will be for Matter and Energy and Biology. The number of students choosing science classes as part of their elective courses was a major factor in deciding to convert the

science rooms. “Kids here take five or six [classes of science] … our kids are electing to take more science classes, so that adds more pressure on getting more rooms,” principal Dr. Michael Doran said.

“ the furniture is going to

be brand new... they are going to be cool rooms. -principal dr. michael doran

Renovations were requested about four years ago. A budget plan was made, and the idea was added to the list of renovations. The Office of School Performance, and the community superintendent gave the school the go-ahead in May. The school then had to wait for the budget to be approved so that they could receive the funds; it was approved later in May.

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the renovations among staff and students. “I think it is a good idea because it is going to be more safe with new labs,” sophomore Anna Tragotsi said. According to Doran, renovations are currently causing disruptions in the building. Doran’s list of complaints include the noise, the longerthan-expected duration of renovations, the difficulty of scheduling kids in their right classrooms, and the two teachers who will now have to commute between classrooms. “[Renovating] has been difficult, but what you always have to keep your eye on is the outcome—the outcome will be good,” Doran said. Floors, sinks and cabinet doors have yet to be installed.

photo by Jessica Ding

After hours, construction staff renovates the science wing. Renovations that create noise are forced to start at 2:30 p.m. and end at 12 a.m. “They are going to look really really nice … the cabinetry is really beautiful, the furniture is going to be brand new … they are going to be cool rooms,” Doran said. Renovations are said to

be finished around the end of September. “We’ve needed the rooms for a few years now, so if it means we just have to wait a few more weeks, it’s a short term problem and a long term solution,” science resource teacher Mrs. Jackie Alton said.



Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Parking poses problems for pupils from PARKING, page 1 activities,” Cresham said. She is grateful that Senior Planning has received four spaces. Many organizations, such as the football team, are only issued one space. Some students who expected to be wait-listed have acquired a space. One senior, who wishes to remain anonymous, regularly rode the bus to school. The student was called twice by the school regarding two separate offers for a space. The student never sent in an application and did not belong to an internship or to College Institute. After the second approach, the student

decided to accept the offer because driving to school was more convenient than taking the bus. Speculation on possible solutions arises among students and staff alike. Cresham suggests finding a way to utilize the numerous empty spaces that appear once interns leave during the day. Others look beyond the school boundaries for the answer. “There are so many empty spaces at Giant,” Dana Goodwin, a senior who interns in the afternoon said. Wootton already pays $2000 insurance for the 75 spaces available at Giant. Owusu advocates that the only realistic solution lies in reaching a consensus with the nearby neighborhoods because buying more land or building a parking garage is not an option. “We need the community to take down the ‘No Parking’ signs,” Owusu said. The two residential streets closest to Wootton, Hurley Avenue and Greenplace Terrace, are marked by signs to ward off prospective student drivers. According to Owusu, the Home Owners’ Association in the Rockshire neighborhood hired security last year to prevent students from parking at the townhouses. Owusu refers to Winston Churchill High School as a standard to which Wootton should aspire. Churchill allows students to park on nearby streets once the school lot is full. Paige Appleby, a 2004 Churchill alumna, scrambled each morning for a space on the street. photo by Ira Rickman “It was difficult, but manageable to find parking on Cars must cram together because of limited spots. the street every day,” Appleby said.

New technology makes learning interactive nation are switching over to using this new technology. “ has allowed the teachers to engage and interact more with the students,” Doran said. “[It] has revolutionized the way the students gain information in the class.”

number is expected to go up to 89 by next year. “It’s cool how the technology The recent addition of the has grown in the school... it makes Promethean boards, given by learning more fun,” senior Lauren Montgomery County Public Levine said. Schools, is enhancing the learning Although the technology has experience and making teaching been a useful tool, many teachers still more interactive. face problems learning how to The new technology [the boards] have revolutionized use the boards. comes with a projector “The biggest hurdle, I that is hooked up to the the way students gain information think, is how to use it. It used computer. A special board to take me about an hour to in the class. is mounted on a wall, and get everything planned for -principal dr. michael doran all the information from my classes, but now I can get the computer is displayed The Promethean boards have everything done in about half an on the screen. The new boards are been met with enthusiasm from the hour,” teacher Mr. Steven Orders energy-efficient and time-saving. students and staff members. said. “It’s extremely useful in my “This technology is used to “I’ve used the Promethean teaching.” enhance the learning process and boards at Frost... We should definitely The boards allow the students not to replace the teachers. Schools have more of them here,” senior and to become involved in the learning are changing because they want to Robert Frost Middle School aide Jess process. be better, not cooler,” Principal Dr. Hoffmaister said. “It makes learning interactive Michael Doran said. There are 63 Promethean boards and it feels like you’re on a game More school districts across the currently in use at Wootton. That show,” senior Yasmin Amiri said. Ajay Subramanian staff writer

Psychology is most popular AP course at WHS Wootton boasts largest Psych department in the United States from PSYCH, page 1 awareness, and require a little more tact to teach,” Bauer said. Students say that taking Psychology in high school also helps to prepare them for college and for their lives after college. “Taking AP Psychology in high school was one of the best moves I ever made. It not only helped me to learn to write research papers suitable at the college level, but it also prepared me for my double major [Psychology and Business],” junior at American University, Ashleigh Conboy said. Fundamental reading and writing skills lie at the heart of AP Psychology courses. Students learn to read a fifteen page research paper and to summarize it using one page. Learning techniques such as effective summarization helps to keep students from feeling

photo by Annie Bleecker

Bauer lectures during one of her five sections of AP Psychology. overwhelmed when they enter secondary education. “The reading and writing skills I cultured in AP Psychology helped me approach the rigor of college textbooks, and I felt well equipped for writing my college papers - no matter what the length or subject,”

Conboy said. Churchill High School, with a total population of 2,101, currently has 375 students enrolled in AP Psychology; 255 students take AP Psychology classes at Blair High School, out of a total 2,764 students. Wootton has an enrollment of 2,470.

photo by Ira Rickman

Senior Josh Lee discusses his future with Ms. Hitchcock.

Revamped Career Center appeals to ambitious students Caroline Mrohs staff writer Since July 2007, students who walk into the newly organized Career Center will immediately feel surrounded by pamphlets, flags, and banners from a plethora of colleges. The improved Career Center was designed to be more “kid-friendly,” with college flags hung around the room representing the current schools of Wootton alumni. Students are welcome to come in before school, after school, and during all lunches. A binder prominently displayed on a table includes a complete list of all the upcoming colleges scheduled to visit the Career Center. College visits are helpful for juniors and seniors still deciding what they want to do after high school, and what type of school is best for them. Career Center coordinator Mrs. Lynda Hitchcock has an office accessible through the main Career Center door. Hitchcock is available as a resource to college-bound students, ready to edit college application essays or to offer tips to current seniors. Seniors using the resources in the new Career Center, including access to college and standardized test information, have found them extremely helpful in the college search. The Career Center can be a huge help to students who are not sure what to do in college. With 175 different colleges visiting this year, there are plenty of opportunities for students to familiarize themselves with schools from all around the country, ranging from the Naval Academy to the University of Pittsburgh. “I went to a visit for McDaniel [College], and it was helpful because I got insight from an actual person,” senior Dana Goodwin said. “The brochures are obviously going to make [the school] look good, but you get the real feel for it when you talk to someone who goes there.” Seniors are advised to apply to ten schools this year, instead of the recommended seven schools last year. Included in this list should be two reach schools, three target schools, and two safety schools. “Don’t write off unknown schools,” Hitchcock said. According to Hitchcock, the class of 2009 is the largest class of college-bound seniors ever. Hitchcock recommends not going to every college visit and doing research before deciding which visits to attend to reduce application anxiety. “Keep a file,” Hitchcock said. “Work on your essays little by little.” There are plenty of resources to prepare students for both the SAT and ACT tests. Hitchcock also explained the difference between the two popular tests: the SAT is a strategy test, and once the strategy is figured out, the test is easy to score high on. The ACT test is a knowledge-based test, comprised of math, reading, writing, science, and English sections. Hitchcock has even bigger dreams to prepare students for the next step in education, though she has already made major improvements in the Career Center. She hopes to hold an application essay workshop in the summer, as well as a college preparation class during the school year. “It’s not like it was four or five years ago. Getting into college is a job now,” Hitchcock said.

Editorial Shut. Up. Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Mark Zuckerberg, also known as Zuckemberg, Zuckerman, Zuckerbergerman, and many more by furiously-scribbling teenagers pounding away angrily at their keyboards, does not care what you think. He will not go back on his “New Facebook” if 10,000 people join your silly group by midnight. Or 100,000. Or 1,000,000. Or 10,000,000. Or every single freaking person on Facebook. He is a self-made gazillionaire from starting a website, and he’s only 24 years old. He’ll be all right. You’re perfectly free to go hang with Myspace Tom and the thousands of pedophiles running around that site. Besides, change is good. What did they say to Ray Kroc, the man who ran McDonalds, when he invented the Hula burger, a burger with no meat, a slice of pineapple, and two slices of cheese? What did they say to Michael Jordan when he started playing baseball? To O.J. Simpson when he wrote If I Did It? To Vince McMahon when he started the XFL? Exactly. The 'new' Facebook is here to stay. Besides, we like it, anyway. You'll grow to as well…that is, if you don't throw your computer at the wall in your never-ending frustration with losing your beloved "old" Facebook. Stop whining, and accept it. The "new" Facebook is here to stay.

Common Sense welcomes letters to the editor, and 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

5 Patriot Points: Do you think that recent

school renovations were worth the costs? 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 Approve

Don’t Care


In a random sample, Wootton students showed that they do care about our school’s physical quality. Money well spent. survey of approx. 100 students

No Wootton student has ever been elected on SMOB. “Representative of MCPS,” my foot.


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Thomas Chou, Drew Endick

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Those elected to SMOB are known for their smiling faces.

Why we don’t need SMOB

Thomas Chou op-ed editor

I despise SMOB. The idea. The purpose. The implementation. Even the name, SMOB. SMOB, like Nixon’s CREEP, manages to be such a well thoughtup acronym, sounding more like a chemical pollutant contributing to global warming than an administrative position for the “Student Member of the Board of Education.” But unlike CREEP, which was successful in re-electing President Nixon, SMOB has had little impact on high school students. It is a superfluous organization cobbled together by the bureaucrats at MCPS to make it look like the students in Montgomery County have an “active interest” in the cluster-fuddle that is our democratic institution. Perhaps that’s too harsh. Admittedly, SMOB does try hard, toiling for an overtly idealistic and unrealistic goal. The purpose of SMOB has never been clear to the students. The organization lacks transparency. The only time of the year that anyone is aware that SMOB exists is on the day of the SMOB elections, a pointless process


that typically results in students choosing the candidates based on superficial qualities. It’s like the elections in Zimbabwe; a meaningless expenditure used to legitimize a corrupt and inefficient administration. Even without the transparency, SMOB is impotent, having little power to actually do anything. MCPS policy prohibits the SMOB appointees from “collective bargaining, capital and operating budgets, school reopenings, and boundaries, negative personal action.” Essentially, SMOB is not allowed to touch anything that actually counts, restricted mainly to unfunded programs and some policy disputes. In the end, it doesn’t matter which extra-curricularhungry whuddle gets elected; the appointee becomes merely a puppet for MCPS, paraded around by MCPS if to say, “Hey look kids, we actually give a heck about you.” It’s not that students aren’t able to communicate with MCPS; it’s just that SMOB isn’t an effective venue to do so. Cut the pointless elections and cluttered red tape. If Wootton students have any problems, we’ll take up with MCPS directly.

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Common Sense - October 1, 2008

New boards brighten students’ days

Drew Endick op-ed editor Despite Montgomery County’s dramatic decrease in budget, technology continues to advance in public school systems. The start of the school year, part of a MCPS classroom investment plan are five new Promethean boards. MCPS spent close to 26 million dollars to pay for future smart-board distribution in every middle and high school. Many might think these expensive boards are responsible for staff dismissal or relocation, but previous middle school tests have shown that these boards greatly increase teacher and student success. Shortly after Wootton receives 65 new Promethean boards in late October, every teacher that will have access to a classroom equipped with a board will go to a mandatory three and a half hour clinic teaching staff how to use the boards. Following this workshop, teachers should be able to use all of the unique features with the new boards, including connection to internet, files, and the digital student response tablets, a.k.a. "egg sets."  Teachers can use internet sites that may make lessons easy-to-understand and have the ability to show an assignment. But the egg sets are the most exclusive feature of the smart-boards and extremely valuable to teachers. With these sets, students are able to submit class discussion responses and teachers can then reveal the class answers. Without the rest of the class knowing, a teacher can look at student participation and which particular

Prison bells go silent

Drew Endick op-ed editor

student is doing well or struggling with a subject. Promethean boards' engaging characteristics and entertaining student answer tablets can only provide teachers help with effectively teaching most class members. The Promethean boards provide digital and relaxed teaching methods, a joy to students. The boards not only have access to computers, but the egg system is strikingly similar to audience surveying tools in game shows such as "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." By the end of October, students who have classes in rooms equipped with the "smart" boards will not only be intrigued by the board's unique characteristics, but also will have better access to teacher help. Experimental results, although only in middle schools, showed increased grades and test scores. As schools steadily increase their Promethean board numbers, expect substantial increases in higher grades and test scores. The start of the 2008 school year has been marked with noticeable and expensive changes within Wootton and much of the student body appreciates these advancements. Even though Montgomery County's public school technology program may  lead to  a consequential budget or sizeable  cuts  on MCPS staff, students will benefit from these altercations. Nothing can be given up for a dramatic increase in scholarly success.

School facial bound to create excitement in community Chad Larsen managing editor

After more than four months in the making, the school has nearly finished its renovations. What has changed so far? Well...

There is nothing more beautiful than a fresh field and a set of bleachers with that “new car feel” still clinging to it. Four months in the making, this steel stadium has not even been sat in, let alone been allowed to host a good, close game under the blinding white stadium lights. Right now, the school is about to open up the largest gift of them all, a bright, shiny new toy to play with. Construction has laid the beams and set the seats. It’s up to Wootton to put the soul that that last set of bleachers had into this one. It won’t be hard; come October 3, the first football game we play at home, when the fans in the stands are screaming their hearts out, they’ll feel just right.

Bells go off and security guards escort prisoners to their next designated area, either from their room, the cafeteria, or a labor activity. Every day, inmates’ lives are coordinated by this type of system until they reach parole or complete a sentencing. When asking if there is any other system similar to prison, it is actually reasonable to think of Wootton’s previous loud bell schedule, which was appropriately replaced with “silent bells” at the start of the fall 2008 school year. Dr. Doran and the administration decided to eliminate the bells for the benefit of teachers and students. The loud bells system hindered a successful relationship between staff and students by advocating rude classroom behavior. Yes, Wootton is a highly regarded academic environment but that does not deem the student population as polite. Administration stated that the bells were merely an “excuse” for students to leave class, even if it meant interrupting the closing statement of a lecture or sprinting out of the room before homework was assigned. Teachers cannot control this behavior because students had a very justified reason for exiting; the signal to leave class was heard. “Going silent” does have its negative consequences such as probable irregular attendance and tardiness. But these effects of adopting the silent system have not yet been profound throughout the school. If repetitive tardiness occurs with particular students, the teacher is designated power to fix the problem. Keeping track of tardies, calling home, or eventually causing the student to lose

credit can undoubtedly change poor attendance problems. However, lack of disciplinary techniques with the loud bell system cannot prepare students for life after secondary education. Silent bells are merely the first step in this process. Even though students may have had consistent attendance records due to the bells, students cannot become prepared for a mature work life being subject to this prison-like and industrial system. After high school, the only places that do have bell schedules are prisons and menial labor jobs such as factories; two places you probably do not want to be in. The only thing ringing in Universities is clock towers or church bells and those noises do not take you from place to place, unlike Wootton’s previous loud bells. Universities, along with office work environments, are completely independent from bell systems and have been effective with a silent system such as ours. Does this mean our prior dependence on the bells reveals our inability to complete our daily schedule in a mature way? Doran and school administrators reasoned that students need to adapt to a silent system and create a self-regulating system, only to get out of a controlled groove. With the assistance of teacher timeliness, assistance, and fair yet strict discipline, the new silent bells will work better in terms of student maturation. Although many teachers and students reason that abruptly changing the system in reaction to its success during AP week was unjust and not thought out, the altercation is experiment with intentions of helping us as young, determined adults. Like many other Wootton students and faculty members, I have realized that silent bells is instituted for our own success. I have realized that acclimation to this new system that upperclassmen must endure is a small cost to pay for the good it will do us in the future.

The science hallway seems to have received the brunt of the construction work. These two new additions to the school, a shiny new physics lab and a top-of-the-line AP Chemistry room, will be ready for the student body within the next few weeks. The school is apparently turning its priorities from math to science, reflecting a change in student schedule applications over the past few years. In a sense, the student body chose to take two classrooms out of commission for the first few months of the first semester, not the administration. However, since one room is going to be devoted completely to AP Chemistry students, maybe it would be more accurate to say that Wootton's AP culture made the decision.

photo by Drew Endick

The new sign presents a large target for more school vandalizers.

A new press box replaced the deteriorating decade-old one.

Photo by Thomas Chou

Finally, a bright new LCD screen sign is being set up to replace the plaster-and-plastic sign that was ruined last year in the same vandalism that caused $10,000 of damage to the lower parking lot. Now, this new sign, instead of being run by tacking letters to slots, will be programmed to run messages remotely. It warms my heart that the school’s version of a good idea is replacing something very easily vandalized with something extremely expensive and equally easy to vandalize.



Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Records & Schedules Football: 2-2

Next: Friday vs. Northwest Boys’ Soccer: 2-3-1

Next: Today vs. Springbrook Girls’ Soccer: 4-2-1

Next: Today vs. Springbrook Volleyball: 2-4

Next: Today @ Paint Branch Field Hockey: 3-3

Girls’ soccer team fights through early loss Jared Nelson & Evan Pappas editor-in-chief & staff writer The girls’ soccer team survived the first two weeks of their regular season schedule with a seemingly mediocre 4-2-1 record; however, the Patriots’ two losses came at the hands of perennial powerhouses McDonough and Bethesda-Chevy Chase. Coming off a heart-breaking overtime loss to Urbana that ended BCC’s deep 2007 playoff run, the Barons were impressive against Wootton in the first game of the regular season. The Patriots were outplayed in all aspects of the game, and the county champions led from start to finish in a 7-2 blowout. Junior midfielder Allison Yeager, who led the Patriots in goals scored, points, and shots on goal in 2007, scored both of Wootton’s goals in the loss. The loss marked the second straight year that BCC defeated the Patriots in the opening game of the season. “B-CC was extremely strong up top and we just couldn’t shut down every one of their forwards, senior midfielder Erin Morris said. “The main thing that went wrong was that they scored three goals in the first 10 minutes and we didn’t know how to handle that.” At the McDonough Invitational on September 13, the Patriots defeated Eleanor Roosevelt 4-2 in a close match, but lost to McDonough, who is widely considered one of the best teams in the state, 7-0. These two games do not

photo by Jon Cohen

Sophomore midfielder Liz Inserra shoots from a tough angle against Sherwood.

count towards the team’s overall record for the State playoffs. The Patriots recovered from the loss to McDonough with a 4-1 win at Blake on Sept. 15. Yeager continued her outstanding start to the season, chipping in two goals, while sophomore forward Abbey Engleman and junior center-back Molly Berman added one apiece. “We started to play more as a team,” Morris said. One day later, Wootton extended their success with a 1-0 win against Walter Johnson in their home opener. After senior midfielder Eryn Avjian scored the Patriots lone goal early in the

match, the defense held the Wildcats to a limited number of shots on goal in the second half. Molly Berman led the defense in stopping Walter Johnson and was responsible for stopping the Wildcats on numerous scoring chances. “We have really solid defensive minded players that work well as a unit together,” head coach Mr. Keith Yanity said. “Molly Berman is doing a fantastic job.” In arguably the Patriots’ most anticipated game of the regular season see GIRLS, page 13

Next: Tomorrow @ ClarksPatriots’ early success spurs playoff hopes burg from FOOTBALL, page 1

Tennis: 4-2

Next: Today vs. Blake Golf: 14-1

Next: 10/13 @ Rattlewood Golf Course

to secure a 26-21 victory. “The mindset was that we expected to win,” Malling said. “We weren’t looking for a moral victory.” Wootton started the game with a touchdown drive that ended with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Mooney

Down 20-7 at the half, the Patriots started the third quarter with a near disaster. Punting from inside their own 20-yard line, the snap went over the head of punter Scott Ayers and Wootton turned the ball over on downs at their own fifteen-yard line.

momentum, using a variety of Mooney passes to advance into the Quince Orchard red zone. On a fourth-andgoal play from the 10-yard line, Mooney rolled to his left and found sophomore wide receiver Pete Spiropolous for a key score. Mooney used all of his receiving

Girls’ XC: 3-0

Next: Sunday @ Magruder Boys’ Cross Country: 0-3

Next: Sunday @ Magruder

photo by Mike Weiner

Mooney completes a pass to Scherer against Quince Orchard. to Ngoumou. Quince Orchard aided the drive, committing two 15-yard penalties to advance the Patriots’ offense. The Cougars struck back on their first possession, though, with a 65yard touchdown run on their first play from scrimmage.

The Cougars looked to blow the game open with a quick touchdown, but a rejuvenated Wootton defense stuffed them on fourth down to get the ball back for the offense. The Patriots took advantage of the change in

options in the game, as two receivers, Ngoumou and senior Matt Paris, had more than 60 yards receiving and four receivers had at least three catches. While the defense keyed on Ngoumou, Mooney, who had 244 yards passing and three

touchdowns, had no problems finding his other targets. “Our offense gives everyone an equal opportunity to catch the ball,” Mooney said. “Instead of keying on one guy, the defense has to pay attention to three or four.” After the defense shut down QO on three straight possessions, Mooney and the rest of the offense regained the lead on a touchdown pass from Mooney to junior wideout Matt Grimm. After the defense stuffed the Cougars again on four plays, Wootton seemed as if they were going to pull off the upset of the season in the opening game. However, the offense was forced to punt on their next possession and QO regained its championship swagger, embarking on a 70-yard drive that resulted in the winning touchdown with 27 seconds left in the game. Malling was satisfied with the heart his team showed, but admitted

there was a lot his team did not do. “We left a lot of points on the field,” he said. The Patriots looked to avoid a lapse in their second game against Walter Johnson, who did not win a game last season. In what was a dominating performance from the get-go, Mooney and Ngoumou shined. The tandem connected on touchdown passes of 40, 75, and 26 yards. Mooney finished with 234 yards passing and four touchdowns with two interceptions, while Ngoumou accumulated 151 receiving yards, in addition to three touchdowns. Paris was on the receiving end of Mooney’s other touchdown. In week three against Whitman, the Patriots made a statement against a playoff team on Sept. 19, beating the Vikings 34-7. Mooney led the way with another stellar performance, completing 22 of 35 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns see FOOTBALL, page 13


SPORTS Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Injuries mar tie against Churchill Zach Stone sports editor

Facing a daunting schedule in the dominant 4A West region, the boys’ soccer team has gotten off to a good start, with an overall record of 2-3-1. Last year’s squad went 8-6-2, and lost in the regional quarterfinals to Churchill. The Patriots had plenty of holes to fill entering this season, including All-American, AllMet Player of the Year, Ryan Gracia. Wootton also graduated All-County center-back Andy Streilein and top defender Michael Greenberg. These losses have left room for other players to step up. Senior captains Ethan Alkan, Sam Hulsey, and Skylar Olson (see p. 12) lead the team on and off the field. “The captains keep us working hard throughout each practice, and before games they really pump us up,” junior Matt Harlow said. The Patriots had little time to adjust, as they faced the 2007 Maryland 3A State Champion Bethesda-Chevy Chase in their season opener. Wootton held the Barons scoreless in the first half, but couldn’t keep up in the second, eventually succumbing 3-0. The team rebounded quickly, however, beating Watkins Mill 21 on September 13. Junior striker Drew Ricci tallied both goals in the victory. Wootton kept the momentum going two days later. The Patriots defeated Blake 3-0, with goals from junior striker Stephen Ho, Ricci, and Olson. The next two games would pit Wootton against two favorites for this year’s state title: Walter Johnson and Churchill. Against WJ on September 16, the Patriots acquitted themselves

well, but fell 1-0. In the early part of the first half, Wootton had sustained pressure in the WJ side of the field. Unfortunately, as the Wootton defense pushed up, the Wildcats stole the ball, and executed a quick counter-attack that resulted in the only goal of the game. Wootton had plenty of chances to score, but poor corner kicks sealed the shutout. Despite the loss, this game proved that the Patriots could play with anyone in the area. Wootton demonstrated this again against a very strong Churchill squad. The Patriots earned a hard-fought 1-1 tie with the Bulldogs, who were picked by the Washington Post and The Gazette to win the 4A state championship. The game was full of controversy and drama, as emotions ran high between these perennial rivals. After an evenly played scoreless first half, Churchill got on the board early in the second half. Striker Kevin Dansky, who is being recruited by many strong Division I programs, got by the stingy Patriots defense on a broken play, and found the back of the net. Down a goal in the second half, after being shutout in the previous game, Wootton could have let up, but instead, they played harder. “You saw no let down [after that goal]…they just kept going,” head coach Doug Schuessler said after the game. “The way the kids carried out our tactical plan for this game was exceptional; I thought everybody’s mental buy-in to their individual roles was brilliant.” The hard work finally paid off in the waning minutes of the game. Junior midfielder Jeff Robinson

photo courtesy of Zach Stern

Harlow battles for possession against two Walter Johnson opponents. received a nice pass from Ho and reached in overtime. After already Churchill contingent, which had delivered a cross into the box. earning a red card and multiple been rowdy all game, cheered and Fellow junior midfielder Efe Halici yellow cards in the second half, jeered from the bleachers. It was collected the ball, maneuvered Churchill picked up additional determined that Olson could not around the goalkeeper, and fired a red cards in each of the overtime move, and needed to go to the shot. A Churchill defender blocked periods. hospital. An ambulance was called the shot, but the ball was deflected The aggressive Churchill style to the track, and after a substantial to Alkan, who was open on the injured five key Wootton players. delay, Olson was driven away. other side of the box. While no-one is suggesting The last couple minutes were Alkan, who had just been Churchill played with the intent played without incident, and the moved to forward from his usual to injure, “they did cross the line game was a draw. position of left-back, capitalized between aggressive and violent,” With a depleted roster, and on his opportunity, calmly heading Schuessler said. the team coming off such an the ball into the open net. The last violent Churchill incredibly emotional game, the “We just caught a break, got tackle of the game proved to be Patriots lost to Sherwood, 3-0, on a good bounce, and I was there,” the most costly. As he was trying September 24. Alkan said. to clear the ball in the middle of Despite this setback, Wootton Regulation ended seconds the second overtime, Olson was has gotten consistent play from later, resulting in two 10 minute tackled hard, and hurt his right senior goalkeeper Matt Black. sudden-death overtime periods. foot. While medical personnel Black anchors a strong defense, The entire game was incredibly attended to Olson, who was lying that has only allowed nine goals in physical, but a new level was on the ground in pain, the sizable six games this season.

Star freshman helps lead tennis to 4-2 start Mike Briggs managing editor

The Wootton girls tennis team has started off their season well, rolling out to a solid 4-2 start (Issue completed before result of Sherwood). Led by seniors Amy Lipton, Malavika Ramchandran, and Sara Biron, the team boasts one of the deepest squads in the league. On Sept. 20, Wootton showcased just how dangerous and deep they are against Damascus, blowing the Hornets out 6-1. As a Division One squad, Wootton has a solid team throughout. Even the lower seeded players provide Wootton photo by Ira Rickman with great depth, which was Heimberg serves it up against Damascus. seen as the Patriots dominated

Damascus throughout all seven matches. What separates Wootton from Division Two opponents is the incredible depth they have throughout the seedings. From 1-7, the Patriots are often able to beat their opponents in the later matches as their depth is shown. "I think this year we have as deep of a team as we have ever had since I've been here," junior co-captain Rachel Heimberg said. "I think that's what makes us one of the 'teams to beat' this year." Against Walter Johnson on Sept. 17, Wootton got its third win of the year in a strong, total team performance. Wootton took advantage of an injury to Walter Johnson’s number one singles player,

winning the match 4-3. One of the matches of interest against Walter Johnson featured freshman sensation and number one singles player Meghan Hahn. The match started at 3:30pm and rolled along all the way up to 7: 45 pm before it was called due to darkness. The match resumed the next day, with Hahn losing the 3rd set in a tiebreaker. In their fourth match of the year, Churchill proved to be too much for the Patriots to handle, as Wootton lost the match 1-6. One major bright spot was the performance of Hahn. Against Churchill’s Lauren Pinsky, Hahn came back from being down 52 in the second set to win the set 7-5. Her strong comeback shifted the momentum, which helped propel her to win the

match overall. It was one of the few bright spots for Wootton, on which otherwise was a poor showing. "Megan has been a great addition to our team," Heimberg said. "She is really good at reaching drop shots and is consistent through every set." Whitman, which has a perenially strong squad, beat the Patriots 6-1. The mastch was much closer than the final score, as Wootton dropped three matches in which they won the first set. Once again, Hahn was the star. Facing Whitman's best player, Hahn won the #1 singles match 6-3, 6-1. Hahn, 13, is ranked #293 of 1,792 nationally in the USTA Girls 14s.



Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Sprinting out of the gate, XC team hopes to pull away from pack Jared Wasserman staff writer The boys’ and girls’ Cross Country team is primed to improve on last year’s season, thanks to strong leadership from coaches and captains, as well as more strenuous practices. Last year the girls’ team won their division, and also finished fourth in the county and seventh in the state. Despite the graduation of several key runners, such as Veronica Salcido, Iona Machado, and Kerry Nisson, the team is confident they can improve on last season’s success. “Coming into this year I am so impressed with the hard work my younger runners did over the summer,” head coach Kellie Redmond said. “They are really working to fill those shoes.” At the first meet of the season, the girls’ team came out victorious with an emphatic 15-50 win over Gaithersburg (lower score wins in Cross Country). Top finisher Jessie Rubin posted a time of 20.30 minutes, almost five minutes prior to any Gaithersburg finisher. Juniors Andrea Maxwell and Amy Levine were not far behind, finishing 2nd and 3rd place respectively, and within two minutes of Rubin. “This season is going to be a lot better than expected, despite the loss of many seniors,” said Levine following the race.

Continuing their winning streak, the girls’ beat Richard Montgomery 21-36 and Sherwood 22-33. Jessie Rubin and Andrea Maxwell were the top finishers in the race. So far this season, junior captains Jessie Rubin and Annie Munro have impressed Redmond with their leadership abilities. “[The Captains] bring great leadership, motivation, encouragement, and organization - they are second in command behind the coaches, and play that role exceptionally well,” Redmond said. Rubin describes her leadership style as vocal. “I’m not afraid to tell someone constructively what they need to improve on or that they need to focus, or that they did a great job,” Rubin said. From players and coaches alike, there has been a noticeable difference in the way the team has prepared for the season. “[Coach Redmond] also stepped up her game and is being a tougher on us this year to make sure we do the absolute best we can do,” Rubin said. As a result, the girls’ team is optimistic that their hard work in the off season will pay off during the fall season. The boys’ team did not fare as well as the girls last season, finishing with a losing record. However, last year’s disappointment has not deterred coaches and players from being confident about the upcoming season,

thanks in large part to the leadership of senior captains Jonathan Loewy and Kevin Butts. Turning in a strong performance against Gaithersburg, the boys’ team lost a heart breaker 30-29. photo by Jon Cohen The race was close throughout, but Juniors Levine and Maxwell placed 2 and 3 in the first meet. three Gaithersburg the season started compared to last year, and runners pulled away at the end, followed were ready to take on harder workouts.” closely by Loewy (18.42), and juniors Luke The loss of top runner Kenny Sui left a Smith (18.50), and Christian Haudenschild gaping hole on the boys’ team, but the team (19.11). is confident that the hole can be filled. “We wanted to catch those three “The bulk of our team is still here,” Gaithersburg players, but we showed good Redmond said. “They are a year older and depth, and stayed unified as a group,” that much stronger.” Haudenschild said. Strong leadership and preparation could In their tri-meet against Sherwood and finally lead to a winning season for the boys’ Richard Montgomery the boys appeared team. overmatched, losing 37-18, and 40-15. “I expect much more success than last Loewy and Smith were again the top two year,” Loewy said. “Our boys’ team has a finishers for Wootton, but finished 10th and chance of qualifying for the state meet for 11th overall in the race. the first time since 2002.” Similarly to the girls, the boys’ team With the changes in coaching style, worked hard this summer to make this leadership, and hard work of the athletes, season a successful one. this could be the first year in many that both “The boys got much more mileage in the boys and girls teams are running to the this summer to prepare for this season,” state finals. Loewy said. “We were in better shape before

Field hockey team struggles to meet lofty expectations in season’s start

Will Browning staff writer

Rachel Marcus copy editor

After winning regionals last season, the varsity field hockey team did not expect to lose three of their first six games this season. Following a 3-0 win over Seneca Valley on September 8, the Patriots headed to Springbrook two days later looking for another convincing win. Instead, they stumbled, losing 2-1. In the next game against a tough Quince Orchard team on September 15, they photo by Rachel Marcus continued their slide, falling Rebello and Tian look to lead the team back from a slow start. 5-2. Senior midfielder Rachel Zolet is the backbone of a their three losses. Baron scored and had an assist If the team plans to defense that also has holes due in the losing effort. return to regionals, they must to last year’s graduating class. “I think they were work together and play better Senior Liza Ansher is beatable,” Baron said. than they have shown in another key part of the defense Nonetheless, the team the opening games of their that will attempt to return to has shown tremendous season. its shut-down tendencies after potential, dominating Watkins “We have to beat the easy allowing five goals in the game Mill by a score of 6-0, and teams,” Rebello said. against Quince Orchard. edging Whitman 2-1. Senior The team blames their “It’s slowly coming midfielder Amy Eaton scored opening losses on consistency. together,” Ansher said. both goals in the win. “We have to minimize our “There’s a lot of potential.”  The need for improvement mistakes if we want to win,” As the season moves was clear in a 1-0 loss to Eaton said. “We have to have forward, the team cannot Walter Johnson on Sept. 19. the right mindset.” afford any more upset losses.  WJ scored a goal in the first Their captains are “They need to bring their few minutes, and neither team expected to lead the way if level of play up,” Parrish said. was able to score the rest of they plan to get back on track “They have some big shoes the game. following their .500 start. Despite returning two “I’m expecting good to fill.”  “We want to win regionals of their top three scorers vocal leadership and good from last season, Gazette examples,” coach Mike Parrish for the second year in a row,” Baron said. “I expect us to honorable mention Baron said of the captains. and fellow senior midfielder On the other side of the reach our goals.” Amanda Rebello, the team had field, junior goalie Caitlin a minimal offensive output in

Golf team starts season off swinging

Photos by Ryan Farrell

Connor Tendall (above, ‘11) and Brian Hollins (below, ‘09) have been key to the golf team’s success this season.

Following last season's strong 15-3 season, the golf team looks to build on their success after they qualified for the state tournament and tied for second among Maryland public schools. The team graduated five seniors from last year’s squad, including starters Matt Schreiber and Chris Arabe, but three returning players qualified for states last year, including All-Gazette performer senior Andrew Stein. “Depth is a strength of this team,” senior co-captain Brian Hollins said. “We go a lot deeper and all of our kids can score well.” The team practices three days a week for three hours at Lakewood Country Club. “[Practicing] keeps the students in a competitive mind set,” head coach Erin Williams said. “It allows students to build their confidence throughout the season.” “The Lakewood golf course helps us stay prepared for our matches because it is longer and more difficult than most others,” senior co-captain Andrew Stein said. The team has lived up to their high expectations, jumping out to 14-1 start. The lone loss came in the opening match, against Damascus, by one stroke. The highlight of the season was undoubtedly in the third match, on Sept. 11. The six starters combined for a 54hole score of 179, one under par. Star sophomore Conner Tendall led the way with a 2-under round of 33. The Patriots' average score of 191 is more than seven shots better than any other squad in the county. Through five matches, Wootton has four of the top six players in the county: Stein (#1), Tendall (#2), senior Dylan Skarupa (#4), and Hollins (#6). “Last year's team left a promising impression on this year's success,” Skarupa said. “This year’s team is better and more experienced, and the expectation is that we win states.”


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Common Sense - October 1, 2008



Rachel Heimberg

As the girls’ tennis team begins a new season with the expectation upon improving from last season’s fourth place finish in the county, you won’t find a much bigger reason for their success thus far than junior captain Rachel Heimberg. Known for her rigorous work-ethic, Heimberg capitalized on her time off in the summer by participating on a team that won the championship in the Montgomery County Team Tennis league. “The team hopes to move up to at least number 2 or 3 in the count, by working really hard on our game and focusing on our weaknesses so that [the team] can improve,” Heimberg said. “Last year my record was 7-5 [and] this year my record is 5-2 but will be 10-2 by the end of the season [along] with the rest of the team,” Heimberg said. Heimberg is looking forward to knocking off last year’s champs. “I am most looking forward to the Walter Johnson match because last year they were division champions,” Heimberg said.  “I am always up for a  competitive match. I think we have a really good chance against them.” Heimberg believes her biggest attribute is her

athletic ability. “My main strength on the court is being able to run down most balls,” Heimberg said. “I am good at getting to drop shots or angle shots, but I need to improve on my down the line shot.” Heimberg speaks highly of her coach Brian Ligon, explaining that he helps her improve on the court and is vital to the teams success. “Coach does a good job of figuring out what we need to do in order to win a match,” Heimberg said. “If he notices us struggling on the court during a match, he will come over and give us encouraging words, which really help when you don’t have a lot of confidence on the court.” Heimberg explains that their team chemistry plays a huge role in their success.   “We all love to play tennis, and it’s really fun to spend a season playing a sport you love with people who share the same interest,” Heimberg said. “I also like knowing that I am contributing to a successful team.”


Despite graduating All-Gazette Player of the Year Ryan Gracia, the boys’ soccer team has gotten off to a good start, with an overall record of 2-31. The team is led by senior center-back and team captain Skylar Olson. Olson began playing soccer when he was six years old. At age ten, he joined the Potomac Internationals, a competitive club team that he continues to play on today. "I joined the Internationals since the team began,” Olson said. "It's been like a second family for me.” At age twelve, the Internationals joined the prestigious National Capital Soccer League, a league known for producing great players in the metropolitan area. Since then, Olson has participated in many nation-wide showcase tournaments, such as the Disney showcase in Florida, the Surf Cup in California, and the Raleigh Shootout in North Carolina. While Clemson University is Skylar's first choice for playing soccer in college, he is also being heavily recruited by Wisconsin, George Mason, Carnegie Mellon, Navy, and Georgetown. Olson does not want college soccer to be the end of his playing career. "The goal for my soccer career has to be playing in Europe," Olson said. "Whether it be in the top division

such as the English Premiere League, or the Spanish Premiere League, or any other subdivisions, just making it in Europe would be amazing." One of Olson's key attributes as a soccer player is his versatility. Having played almost every position from sweeper to center-midfielder in his three-year varsity career, Olson is used to being moved around. As a sophomore and a junior, Olson had eight (2goals, 6assists) and ten points (2g, 8a) respectively, and looks to improve on those stats this year. Olson's versatility along with a talented supporting cast has raised expectations for this year's team. "I expect nothing short of a state championship," Olson said. "It might be a high goal, but you have to dream big to perform big." In the September 19 home game against Churchill, Olson went down in agonizing pain, and was carted off by a stretcher and an ambulance picked him up and transported him to Shady Grove hospital. Olson wound up with four toe contusions, but is expected to play in the next game. While Churchill's fans cheered and jeered from the sidelines, they probably should have known who they were making fun of: one of the county's most competitive athletes, a fiery superstar who will certainly come back with a vengance should the teams play again.

-Jeff Zifrony

-Alex Kelly

Volleyball struggles in quest for repeat Lexi Pace staff writer

After an incredible 2007 season, the Wootton girls’ volleyball team is struggling through a rebuilding season, losing four of their first five matches. The volleyball program had its most successful playoff run ever last year, reaching the state finals before losing to Broadneck High 3-2. The team lost the crucial 5th set 18-15 to end the season. Although the team graduated six seniors, they are still left with some experience, in the form of four seniors and seven juniors. Many of the girls have had ample experience in volleyball. Unfortunately, much of their experience comes from competing on teams outside of school, and the squad’s lack of chemistry may have been a photo by Jon Cohen factor in the team’s struggles The Wootton volleyball team has struggled through a rebuilding year. thus far.

The season opened with a 3-1 loss to Blake on Sept. 9. The girls’ luck did not improve two days later, suffering a 3-0 loss to Churchill. This was the first loss against Churchill in five years. “We lose it, pick it up and by then it’s too late,” junior Kassandra Reyes said. Due to such a difficult schedule, this was not a surprising start. “We [had] a hard start, the first five games [have been] very hard,” head coach Mary Malinauskus said. However, the team proved they can come together, earning their first win on Sept. 15 against Quince Orchard. Senior Susie Williams had a strong game, keeping Wootton in a number of points with 31 digs. Juniors Kassandra Reyes and Allison Wynant each had two blocks apiece, in the center of Wootton’s defense. “Our team has good

chemistry,” junior Rachel Gao said. On Sept. 17, the team lost to Magruder, dropping three sets in a row to result in a 3-1 loss. Williams had a strong game with 14 digs and three aces, as did Joanna Wang with six kills and two blocks. The girls had difficulty against Poolesville later in the week, losing 3-0 to put their record at 1-4. Junior Jenn Chen played a solid game with six aces, as did Wynant with five kills. Captain Grace Zhang leads the team on and off the court. “Grace Zhang and all our seniors have the most experience. They teach us and cheer us on,” Gao said. “It’s all about the playoffs,” Malinauskus said. Despite a rough start, the goal for this season is simple. “REPEAT!” Wynant said.



Common Sense - October 1, 2008

JV Football loses late leads, starts 0-2 Steven Fitzwilliam staff writer The junior varsity football team got off to rough start this season, losing their first two games. They were close in both games, but could not seem to finish off the other team and come away with a win. Some blame the unsuccessful start to the season on a lack of experience among the players. “Almost all of [last year’s] starters moved up to varsity this year, so we are starting new this season,” sophomore Jake Bradley said. Out of the 60 players on the JV team this year, only one-third of them are returning sophomores. However, they still remain optimistic for this season, and hope to improve on last year’s 4-5 finish. Many players participated in passing leagues over the summer, and every player took part in year-round lifting and conditioning. The JV team has faith that their rigorous offseason training will prepare them for the regular season. “[The team’s goal is] to develop into a cohesive unit offensively and defensively where everyone knows and takes care of their responsibilities,” head coach Mr. Mark Rabon said. Their hard work was tested

on September 13 in their home opener against Walter Johnson. The team took a six-point lead quickly in the first quarter when sophomore Nick Wise threw a touchdown pass to fellow sophomore Mack Hollins. However, Walter Johnson tied the game when they recovered a Wootton fumble for a touchdown in the second quarter, and the first half ended in a 6-6 tie. In the second half, Wootton came out strong again with another touchdown; this time, sophomore Grant Hemberger delivered the pass to Hollins. However, Walter Johnson scored a touchdown in the last drive of regulation to send the game into overtime. In OT, Walter Johnson scored another touchdown and stole the win away from the Patriots, 18-12. Many on the team attributed the loss to their four costly turnovers and their failure to score on two different drives that brought them within the five-yard line. “We worked too hard to lose that game, and we are a better team than what we showed,” sophomore Shane Bramble said. The JV team had a short break to regain focus before their next game at Whitman on September 18. They had a great start to the game with a kick return touchdown by Hollins. Wise looked sharp in the first half with no turnovers and touchdown passes to

photo by Ira Rickman

The junior varsity football squad has struggled with maintaining their leads. Bradley and sophomore Matt Greenblatt. Wootton went into the half with a 20-15 lead. However, similar to the Walter Johnson game, Wootton could not hang on to their advantage. Whitman came out strong in the second half and scored on their first drive, and then scored another touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach and handing

Falk Tears ACL, MCL; Season Over from GIRLS, page 7 against Churchill, a hard-fought, intense game resulted in a 1-1 tie. Wootton went ahead in the first half when Yeager headed in a free kick from Berman, but the Bulldogs got even in the second half to send the game into overtime. After two thrilling overtime periods of strong defensive play, the game ended in a tie. Now that the Patriots’ toughest regular season stretch is behind them, the team looks to improve their record against some of the weaker teams in the county. “We’re going to be running a lot more in practice to build endurance to be ready for the last part of the season,” Yeager said. “We’re also going to have to play with a higher level of intensity.” “I think we can really use this time to regroup from an injury standpoint and build some confidence as we head into the final month of the regular season,” senior Becca Koutsandreas added. The Patriots took care of business on Sept. 24 against Sherwood (1-5), beating the Warriors 3-2 in yet another close match. Engleman, Ahearn, and sophomore forward Becca Kelly each scored

to help the team improve to 2-0 against divisional opponents. Yanity, in his first year as head coach, has high expectations for the squad. As a former goalie, Yanity is able to help train the team’s young goalies, junior Paola Chrysostomou and sophomore Melissa Schumaker. “Both Melissa and Paola have done a fantastic job for us so far this year,” Yanity said. “We expect them to continue to improve throughout the season and continue to contribute to the team’s success.”  Senior defender Caroline Stapleton, a veteran leader on the team, believes that the transition of coaches has gone smoothly. “He runs practices a lot like Thompson and he helped us out a lot last year; so many of the girls are used to having him around,” Stapleton said. “Yanity is very laid-back, but cracks down on us when he has to.” In order to get back to the top of the 4A East Division Standings, the team will need to overcome a number of injuries. Junior defender Katie Falk’s season ended prematurely due to a torn ACL and MCL, and Morris has been out for a few games with a separated shoulder. Avjian and junior Lexi Pace are also playing through minor injuries.

photo by Jon Cohen

Junior Molly Berman prepares to clear the ball from her own goal against Sherwood.

Wootton their second loss of the season. “We needed to step it up all around and finish [Whitman] off after we got the lead,” Wise said. The JV team looks to learn and improve from every game. Despite the losses, they stay confident. “You will see great things from us this year,” Bradley said.

A Promising Start

photo by Mike Weiner

The captains head out in their ritual way for the pre-game coin toss. and an interception. from FOOTBALL, page 7 “Our linebackers blitzed effectively and our coverage allowed the defensive with no interceptions. line to get a lot of pressure on YoungMooney’s first touchdown, a Wiseman,” Hollman said. 35-yard pass to Ngoumou, gave the Wootton’s running game was pivotal Patriots a quick 7-0 lead. Ngoumou had to the Patriots’ offensive success against five receptions for 98 yards and two the Vikings. Senior tailback Andrew touchdowns. Rosenblatt had 85 yards rushing and a Both Mooney and Ngoumou are touchdown, and the Patriots had 122 leading the county in various passing yards rushing as a team. The run game and receiving categories. was a key factor in spreading out the “Stephane is a great athlete and a Vikings defense, something Wootton great receiver,” Mooney said. “Having him out there as a weapon is great for had failed to do in the first game against QO. a quarterback.” “We saw that their defensive Wootton’s defense was faced with ends weren’t crashing down hard,” the challenge of defending Whitman’s Rosenblatt said. “We weren’t doing versatile star, Anthony Young-Wiseman, anything differently, really. We just went who plays quarterback, defensive back, out and [executed].” and punter. The Patriots suffered a major Led by a plethora of seniors, setback against Clarksburg in week four, Wootton forced Wiseman to become however, stumbling to a 49-7 defeat. one-dimensional, a move that made In rainy conditions, Wootton’s him easier to contain. passing offense struggled mightily “We sent a lot of pressure off the against the Coyotes. Mooney threw edges and stayed in man coverage,” said four interceptions, two of which were Cresham. “We didn’t want to let him returned for touchdowns. The Patriots pass the ball and we just focused on never seemed to be in the game, as containing him in the run game.” Clarksburg used two long touchdown Senior linebackers Cresham, Justin Dhyani, and Alex Castelli, along with runs in the first five minutes to jump senior nose tackle Sam Hollman, had out to a quick lead which would build at least 4.5 tackles each, with Hollman to 42-0 by halftime. Star tailback Avery adding a sack and Dhyani adding a sack Graham (Maryland) ran for 260 yards and 3 TDs on only eight carries.



Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Fashion students rock the runway Samantha Ritwo arts editor

On Saturday, Sept. 13, six fashion students were given the opportunity to “strut their stuff ” at Bloomingdale’s “Bringin’ It Back” fashion show at its Chevy Chase location. Juniors Dahlia Ting, Clare Tobin, and Taleen Safarian, and sophomores Kyra Suh, Naomi Samake and Jessica Rodriguez modeled in Saturday’s show. None had prior modeling experience. “I thought it’d be an interesting experience,” Ting said. “It’s sort of another side to the fashion industry.” Walt Whitman High School and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School students participated in the show as well. These schools were personally chosen because they are three of the six MCPS schools listed in the Newsweek as top U.S. schools, each with a strong fashion department. The models themselves were not selected, but instead their participation was completely voluntary. “The models were selected very randomly,” fashion teacher Ms. Grace Buas said. “I asked all of the sophomores and juniors to come to the front [of class] and those who were interested [were] in [the show].” The only requirements for the models were being a sophomore or junior taking a fashion class. Before the day of the show, the models did not have to

a half hours to talk,

do any preparation work. The models arrived to Bloomingdale’s at 10:30 that morning, needing nothing more than a pair of brown or black flats and a pair of high heels. An hour each was devoted to hair, make-up and wardrobe, with rotations among the stations. With so much time before the show, the models had the opportunity to mingle with those from other schools. “We all had like three and so we really had a lot of bonding

It truly was a fun fashion event.” - fashion teacher grace buas

time,” Tobin said. “It was really fun.” After being pampered for three hours, models then had a half hour to line up and rehearse for their big moment. The show was scheduled to start at 2 p.m. However, the show was running slightly late, with the rehearsal itself starting at that time. The audience eagerly cheered anyway, even though the students were modeling their own clothing. Despite Wootton being misspelled on the event invitation, everyone was made to feel welcome. A DJ blasted up beat tunes, and complimentary snacks and beverages were served. Although off to a late start, the show started with a bang at 2:30 p.m. as Tobin came out onto the runway. “[I felt] like ‘I can’t believe I’m actually doing

this. I’m going to fall on my face,’” Tobin said. Luckily, neither Tobin, nor any of the other models, actually did slip. The show itself ran very smoothly. Each student showcased two outfits, with the overall show focusing on denim. The first look was more casual, whereas the second walk featured more dressycasual attire. Throughout the show, the models maintained their composure. None of them cracked a smile even once. Backstage, it was a very different story. “[It was] stressful, chaotic, and overcrowded,” Samake said. The models were so professional that the audience was clearly impressed due to the constant cheers. “They looked beautiful; they looked poised,” Buas said. “It was truly a fun, fashion event.” Overall, the experience was both enjoyable and even educational. “This definitely helped me [to see] how fashion shows work and how fashion is,” Tobin said. “[At first], I was literally shaking. I was very nervous,” Samake said. “[But overall] it was wonderful. It was breathtaking… to have your moment.”

photos by Samantha Ritwo

Band performs with a bang

Watch your mail for an order form to be sent to your home in the next few days!

part of the marching band is the sousaphone, a type of wearable tuba. The pride of the Wootton marching band is the Wootton Drum Line, which won 1st place at the Drum Line Competition last year. This year’s drum captains are senior

up for the supposed lack of practice by practicing regularly after school. “We’re hoping to reclaim 1st place and have honors in all divisions,” Ravichandran said about their goals for the competition this year. The divisions in the

lot of hard work, but it takes persistence.” The construction of The Wootton the new school bleachers marching band is made things a little hard starting the 2008-2009 for the marching band at school year with a bang. the start of the year; they Led by Ms. Carolyn had to travel to get to the Herman, the band is first two games because practicing regularly and the construction did not at full force to prepare allow for home games. for the football Nevertheless, they were, games. and still are, out on the Senior Alex field practicing everyday Markowitz is the during third period. drum major and leads Assisting Herman the band in practice this year is Loren each day. They are Westbrook, a cellist working on many from the University of new songs by the Maryland, College Park. Beatles, including He is a first year student “Can’t Buy Me Love,” teacher working towards a “Eleanor Rigby,” and degree in music education. numbers from the As part of his experience, “Magical Mystery he shadows Herman. photo by Naomi Sapiro Tour.” Additional The students in the works include tunes The marching band practices every day in school. marching band form close from Spiderman and Ajay Ravichandran and competition include tenor, bonds through practicing Tales of Crit, composed junior George Peng. The snare, bass and cymbals. together. Just like any by Danny Feldman. Drum Line consists of The Drum Line other team, they have The marching band sophomores, juniors, spends every afternoon disagreements, but in the showcases a variety seniors and a few practicing for the end, they have come to of brass, wind and freshmen. competition. Students know one another very percussion instruments. The Drum Line’s must have mastered well. The more commonly biggest competitors are both juggling academics The band is also a way known instruments Kennedy and Northwood and extracurriculars, in to welcome freshmen into are the flute, clarinet, High Schools. Unlike addition to Drum Line. the school. They make oboe, saxophone, Wootton, Kennedy has a When asked if all friends they can depend French horn, trumpet, class for students on the of this can be a burden, on throughout the year. trombone, tuba and Drum Line during school. Ravichandran “We’re like one big said. cymbals. A more unique But this is not an issue “Juggling APs, college family,” Markowitz said. instrument that is also for the Pats; they make apps and Drum Line is a

Nikita Gokhale staff writer

Arts Horror High hopes to thrill


Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Allie McRae staff writer

The scary excitement of Halloween is coming to the Wootton stage October 23-25 in this year’s fall play Horror High. The play takes place at a private boarding school called the Toombs, which is between a graveyard and an asylum for the criminally insane. During Thanksgiving break, only a few students decide to stay at the school. One night during the break, there is a big storm, and someone from the asylum is thought to have escaped. His name is Marcus Toombs, and he has plotted revenge against the school. The students who are left at the school must cope with scary events. They do not know if they are in danger or if there is even a killer on the loose. There are mistaken identities along with both fake

and real murders, all adding up to one horrifying high school experience for the students at the Toombs. “Don’t expect it to be a predictable story,” sophomore Divya Mouli said. Mouli plays Edna, a student who decides to stay at the school during the break. The show will be performed around Halloween to coincide with the plot. Some students however, do not agree with the choice of a scary play. “Since we already did Sweeney Todd like a year ago, another scary play is not the way to go,” sophomore Lawrence Dong said. However, director Mr. Adam Graham did have his reasons for choosing this show. “I picked a show that would lend itself to the talent we have right now,” Graham said. Horror High was chosen to show off the comic ability of the casted actors. There are 18 students in the cast of

the play. Due to the small size of the cast, the students h a v e gotten to know each other quickly. “They are like my second f a m i l y, ” junior F a i t h photo by Naomi Sapiro N e l s o n Dedicated students practice for this year’s fall play. s a i d . Grease, the musical being oriented, so a lot of Nelson performed this fall, people can relate to it,” plays Ms. Wellington, the are strong shows that Nelson said. The play school’s headmaster. showcase the talents is designed to appeal Because there is a of the arts program. to Wootton students short amount of time Unlike Grease, Horror because the characters between auditions High may be relatively are normal teens put and the opening night unknown to students. into a very frightening of the show, the cast “Sometimes the position. rehearses every weekday shows you don’t know “I’m expecting a from now until the about can be the most story about a mysterious show. The stage crew spectacular,” said senior murder to be awesome,” is creating sets that are Jessica Futran, who sophomore Daniel designed to add to the plays Marlo in the play. Moon said. scary mood of the play. Some students disagree. According to Since the students are “I’d be more likely Graham, Horror High is dressed in normal high to go to a play if I’ve appropriate for kids 8 school clothes, the set is heard of it before,” and up. Tickets are $10 important to conveying sophomore Hayley per adult and $5 per the mood of the play. Hunter said. child. Horror High and “It’s teenage

Grease returns to Wootton stage Neal Lerner staff writer Reprising the last 2002 production of Grease, director Ms. Carla Ingram hopes the return of the show this December will be as energetic as ever. This is the fourth time that Wootton’s theatre program will perform Grease, and Ingram is sure that it will be the best one yet. “With a completely different set, song list, and more experienced actors, the audience will not be disappointed,” Ingram said. Six years ago, the Wootton’s Center for the Arts performed a faithful version of the original Broadway show Grease. Unfamiliar with the Broadway version, the audience was disappointed because they were expecting to see a plot similar to that of the 1978 Golden Globe and Oscar nominated movie. “I’m hoping that this time around we can integrate the stage show to the movie. This year the audience will not be as confused,” Ingram said. “We are also including more songs from the movie.” The song “Hopelessly Devoted to You” is being added to the musical this year and will be sung by sophomore Lauren Fagan, who will be playing Sandy. “I’m excited to sing this song because it’s challenging

and gives the viewers an talent at Wootton and believe intimate look into Sandy’s that Grease will display it most life,” Fagan said. Sandy and increase the interest in the expresses her feelings toward theatrical program. her “boyfriend” Danny “We chose Grease based Zuko, who will be played on the returning kids in the by junior Jonathan Helwig. program,” Graham said. Helwig has played lead roles in Another part of the show shows since elementary school, that people are already getting so when asked if he is nervous, animated about is the set. he simply said “no.” “In 2002, the set was very “I’m more excited for the plain with only a few props challenge,” Helwig said. Since and platforms,” said Ingram. Grease is such a well-known Heads of crew Mr. Kenny stor y, Jacobs and Helwig Mr. Nick knows Hitchens that the hope to audience create a w i l l completely critique different - director carla ingram his role if set with a it is not conceptual performed with perfection. backdrop to make the audience Since everyone is already feel as if they are in the movie. aware of how the characters The pit is also undergoing should be played, the rehearsals drastic changes from a large are going smoothly. band to a small but powerful “Everyone seems to be instrumental combination. picking it up quickly,” said This year’s pit size is a talented Helwig’s sister, senior Stephanie cast of about 40 students. Helwig, who will play Frenchy, Grease has a large cast, one of the pink ladies. At least which could bring in bigger a dozen performers in the cast audiences, as well as more have also performed for The money for Wootton’s theatre Musical Theatre Center (MTC) program to fund future shows. in Rockville. The spring 2009 musical Beauty “We have stronger male and the Beast is very expensive roles, as well as stronger to produce, so the hope is singers,” Ingram said. for Grease to attract large Co-director Mr. Adam audiences to help with the Graham and Ingram are well funding of Beast. aware of the strong musical With four months to

The audience will not be disappointed.”

practice, Helwig is confident that the cast will be ready to entertain their audience. “It’s a fun show with lots of funny lines and dance numbers that should attract quite a crowd,” Helwig said. “I really liked the show in 2002, and I’m glad they’ve decided to do it again this year. Now I have the opportunity to entertain the audience too, hopefully even more so than before,” junior and ensemble member Sarah Ford said. One final change that will hopefully attract a larger student audience will be a special dinner provided by Wootton’s Center for the Arts. The show opens Thursday, Dec. 4. The cast will perform an early matinee followed by the dinner, which will take place in a 50’s style diner like the Frosty Palace in the movie. Members of the audience will have the freedom to chat with cast members and to get to know them one-on-one. Live singing by the cast members, similar to Ellen’s Stardust Diner in New York City, is expected. Grease is set to return on the Wootton stage December 4, 5, 6 and 7. Tickets cost $12 for reserved seating and $8 for general admission. The ticket order form can be found on the Wootton website.

Horror High Cast List

Ms. Wellington.........Faith Nelson Debra......................Milagros Diaz Ferdinand..............Jeffrey Popkin Burt.........................Gavin Kramer Clint...........................Sam Hendel Audrey............................Mia Katz Edna...........................Divya Mouli Evelyn....................Suzy Bobadilla Elmo.................................Joe Ray Joe......................Mitchell Meyers Marlo.....................Jessica Futran Marcus..................Felipe Coimbra Spot............................Andre Silva Dr. Diggs.............Johanna Koenig Dan..........................Jordie Halevy Kate........................Brittany Byers Hope.....................Jasmine Bossie Miss Grimm.................Julia Butler DIRECTOR: Mr. Adam Graham

Grease Cast List

Danny...................Jonathan Helwig Sandy.........................Lauren Fagan Kenicke...........................Bryan Pike Rizzo........................Rachel Lipman Roger......................Alex Garretson Jan..............................Jenay McNeil Doody...........................Aaron Gage Frenchy...............Stephanie Helwig Sonny......................Jack Stonesifer Marty.....Jordan Smilan - Goldstein Eugene........................Matt Popkin Patty............................Helena Farhi Teen Angel.............Mattia D’Affuso Cha Cha..................Taylor Bardwell Johnny Casino......Jonathan Loewy Mrs. Lynch..........Rose Weinschenk Vince Fontaine........Spencer Wight Ensemble: Kayla Taitz ~ Adam Uslan ~ Max Tishler ~ Andrew Neely ~ Ben Gershowitz ~ Dana Lipowsky ~ Lauren Frost ~ MJ Peltier ~ Sean Rhinehart ~ Jesse Cheever ~ Devin Goodman ~ Tiffany Jen ~ Kelsey McDonnell ~ Vivian Sung ~ Sarah Ford ~ Lynda Cholvibul ~ John Leung ~ Dan Feldman ~ Samhita Tankala ~ Ceecee Yao ~ Ari Halevy ~ Alexa Engel ~ Lauren Golderberger DIRECTORS: Ms. Carla Ingram and Mr. Adam Graham

Behind The Scenes

Assistant Director: Salah Czapary Stage Manager: Dahlia Ting

Notes: Super Funky Comic Edition


Common Sense - October 1, 2008

News of Tomorrow: Today

Apathetic _voter65

McDaddy99 has entered the chat. Hucklebuddy has entered the chat. Mitchy(-_-;) has entered the chat. ObamaXoXoX has entered the chat.

I understand there are some concerns with regards to Palin's nomination, specifically in terms of experience. I believe that Palin will bring a fresh perspective to the White House. She represents everything that small town America stands for. Based from what I've seen, Alaska's proximity to Russia and the amount of sexy bikini photographs out there show that Palin has more than enough experience when it comes to foreign policy, despite being completely politically inept and hopelessly naive.

HockeyGurl <3 has entered the chat.

ObamaXoXoX has responded to HockeyGurl <3.

ObamaXoXoX has left the chat. ClintonCankles08 was never in the chat. HockeyGurl <3 sees Russia from her house.

Four Day Food Plan: Manly Food for ManlIERP Men residential In August 2008’s Good Housekeeping, they published “Your 5-Day Food Plan,” where they propose an ultimate diet of, basically, fruits and snacks. Our nutritional experts here at Common Sense find these findings so totally not manly. Before these un-manly ideals hit popular perception, we wanted to get the word out of a diet that’s actually sensible and will allow you to succeed in being a manly man. We would like to highly recommend that you try our diet, and please write to us how your results turned out at woottoncomm The following includes the breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert suggestions of Good Housekeeping, followed by our corrections. Enjoy.


Mon. GH Meal

Mon. MAN Meal

Tues. GH Meal


Peachy Cereal


2/3 cup cherries 2/3 carton of manly beverage


Salmon Spinach Salad

Meat, a healthy way to start your day. We pray that you can pay for meat today. Meat's manly and vegetables are child's play. Side effects include cancer and possible death.

More meat

Meat with more meat. Don't skimp on the fat; that's God's way of handling us with love. Get it? Love handles? If you don't, don't worry. We don't get it either.

Mid-Day Snack

1 cup Honeydew & Lime Soup

Jerky meat


Seared Scallops

Meat on bread

Like normal meat, but with that extra jerkinicity that makes it all the more manlier.

Bread totally optional.


Tues. MAN Meal

Be creative with it.

1 Mini pita

Three straight hours of kung fu action films. Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, the choice is yours. Rush Hour films do not count. Bonus points for ninjas.

1 ½ tablespoons Jerky meat and a peanut butter glass of Chardonnay Chardonnay enhances the jerkicity.

Pork loin cutlets

“Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden harshly criticizes Palin by angrily pointing downward.”

Manly cake So delicious.

“McCain contemplates a response. Jazz hands?”

“Jazz hands!” Notes writers: Thomas Chou, Preston Cornish, and Bryan Oringher

Important Disclaimer

NotesisWootton’spremierepageforhumour,absurdismand otherrandommusings.Hopefully,littleonthispageisfactual.

* *Blatantly obvious plug


Features Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Spotlight On...

Homecoming looks to be a magical night come true

Faith Nelson Melissa Marcus features editor

Meet junior Faith Nelson. Faith will be playing the house mother, Mrs. Wellington, in this fall's upcoming play, Horror High. Horror High, which takes place at a boarding school for high school students, is under the ruling of Wellington, who looks after the students and cares for them. She is a proper woman and a little on the nervous side. “I enjoy playing the role because there is a lot of physical activity involved and I like to move around a lot,” Nelson said. Nelson, who also had roles in last year’s dramas Macbeth Did It and My Favorite Year, has had experience playing an older and wiser character. “It is interesting to portray an older person because I am able to go out of my box and experience things that I am not normally accustomed to," she said. While acting in

various roles for the drama department, Nelson has also been fortunate enough to work with theatre director Mr. Adam Graham. “Faith works very hard. She is diligent, takes direction well, and is always very prepared,” Graham said. “She listens well and does not take any direction personally, and she uses what you say to better herself.” Nelson not only enjoys acting in the play, but she looks foward to the interactions she has with other cast members because of everyone's personal qualities and the diversity of the cast. “I love the theater department and am close friends with everyone,” Nelson said. “I value the time that I have with the show because time flies so quickly.” As for balancing her studies with her time commitment to drama, Nelson manages to handle everything life throws at her. “It gets a little hard

Briana Rotello staff writer

photo by Naomi Sapiro

Nelson rehearses for her role in Horror High. once the show date gets closer because I am after school a lot for [final preparations in] tech week,” Nelson said. “[Before that week], it is pretty easy to balance everything because I am only at rehearsal until about 5 p.m.” Nelson has made the most out of her drama experience, enjoying every minute of her acting career thus far. “I love to explore new things within each role, and I have had many

eye-opening experiences,” Nelson said. Besides participating in Wootton's theater department, Nelson often spends time with friends and dances for fun. "Faith is such a character, and she is a sweetheart," fellow thespian junior Jenay McNeil said. "She is a great performer and is always getting better when she performs on stage."

Breaking Dawn leaves some yearning for more Vivian Chen staff writer Before reading Breaking Dawn I must admit that I had relatively low expectations of the book due to my utter disappointment with Eclipse. To my surprise I found that even my low expectations were crushed. Breaking Dawn is the fourth and final book of the Twilight series written by Stephenie Meyer. I must confess, I absolutely loved the first book, Twilight, and read New Moon, the second book, in one sitting. However, after reading Eclipse, the third book of the saga, I was too disappointed to revive enough love for the final novel of the series. I am proud to say that I now label Breaking Dawn (B.D) as “Bitter Disappointment” or “Brain Dead,” both of which accurately describe my feelings for this atrocious novel. Breaking Dawn begins a few days before 18-year-old Bella Swan’s wedding to Edward Cullen, whom she has worshipped since her arrival in the town of Forks 1,700 pages ago. *WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW*

Coincidently, her crush just so happens to be part of a “vegetarian” vampire coven that only drinks the

blood of animals. Throughout the series, the happy couple faces evil fiends, cute and cuddly werewolves, a crazy exgirlfriend and an insanely old vampire coven. After plowing through continents of gooey mushy love talk and really awkward love scenes, Meyer describes the aftermath that results from their “real” honeymoon: Edward and Bella consummate their marriage. Cue the awkward love scenes. However, Meyer lets her imagination fly in her ghastly descriptions of the pregnancy. There’s Bella ingesting of large amounts of blood to satisfy the baby’s hunger, (What ever happened to her overwhelming fear of blood in Twilight?) a few broken ribs from one of the b a b y ’s kicks, a n

extremely bruised stomach, a few IV’s. Basically, a pregnancy that can be easily mistaken as torture. Bella has become a masochistic idiot who is determined to give

Pictures courtesy of

birth to some kind of super strong mutant spawn. The actual birth faintly resembles a cross between the birth scene from Dawn of the Dead and What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Outrageous new plots twist and sprout up like the Huns in Mulan. Reading this book was probably the biggest disappointment I have had in a book in a long time. For a book with no substance it was annoyingly long; 768 pages of complete worthlessness. Besides the fact that I was barely able to finish the book, I eventually got to the ending and unsurprisingly, wasn't happy. I no longer respect Meyer's writing, and the fraudulent ending didn't make things any better. Big thumbs down on the end. I rate this book a 0.13 out of 5.

With October 31st looming, seniors jump off vines and play with the gorillas, juniors search in wonderland to find the perfect props, sophomores hang out with Christopher Robin and eat way too much honey and freshman work on their developing roars as they put together their float. “I think homecoming this year is going to be really great,” junior class president Swetha Iruku said. This year for homecoming, the Student Government Association has picked a theme that brings every student back to those days when Disney movies played a main role for the imagination. “We had a list of about 10 topics that we had suggested…and narrowed it down to a couple of choices,” SGA Vice president Jeremy Rosenthal said. “We were excited to see how the floats would come out and which classics would be chosen.” The Disney theme has sparked imagination and creativity in the class plannings of all four grades. “We’re really excited…especially now that we are a little bit more experienced and have a great theme.” Emily Galfond, president of the sophomore class said. Disney gives each class many ways to design their floats and halls with bursting colors and characters at every scene a person can watch, says SGA. “[The theme] brings back childhood memories,” Rosenthal said. “I am more excited than nervous,” freshman class president Jessyca Khianthalat said. Classes have already started to come up with new ideas and designs for their themes. “We have a great group of kids in junior planning,” Iruku said, “and we definitely have a chance to win.” Last year, it was the seniors who got the one hundred dollars for taking first at the float and hall. “Seniors should win again,” senior secretary Jay Mottla said but the sophomores seem confident as well. “I can’t wait to win,” sophomore Sara Foster said. Plannings are secretly mapping out ways to make their float and hall better than the next. Galfond attempts to reassure her school with praise. “It’s all just friendly competition,” Galfond said. The contest for the float and hall is decided on how well the classes design them according to the theme they have been given. All the float and hall themes are the student’s favorite Disney classics. Seniors have been given Tarzan for their hall and Aladdin for their float, juniors chose Alice and Wonderland and Jungle Book, sophomores got Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan, and freshman were given The Little Mermaid and The Lion King. “I think our theme is cute,” Foster said. Just imagine all the creative scenes they can come up with for Winnie the Pooh. Juniors have already had plenty of meetings to discuss and determine what everyone is working on. “We have all of our ideas together and it looks very promising,” junior secretary Danny Buchanan said. Along with the floats and halls, the SGA is hard at work on ticket sketches, games and prizes, DJ picks, the half time show, and how to get the school pumped up the week before the game and the dance. The spirit days for the week before homecoming have already been assigned. Monday is Maniac Monday-Wacky Wednesdays’ equivalent only earlier in the week. Tuesday is Team Tuesday where students can dress up in their favorite team uniform. Wednesday is Walt Wednesday, a perfect way to celebrate Disney. Students can feel free to dress up in their favorite Disney fairy tale attire. Thursday is Tye-Dye Thursday and finally, Spirit Friday, where everyone dresses up in their class colors in order to show their support at the homecoming day pep rally. “[The SGA] has gone to different stores and restaurants and they [have donated] gift cards and such,” Rosenthal said. The gift cards will be the prizes of the many games during the spirit week. New games have been made up in order to add a little pizzazz to the week, but do not worry. The traditional Gatorade Chug and “Chubby Bunny” contests will still be in action during all lunches, so practice opening wide.



Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Newest O.A.R. their best yet "The thing is, O.A.R. has never been just one style. From song to song we like to switch it up," Roberge told the official O.A.R. website. "Maybe in the past we had felt In 1996, Marc Roberge, Chris Culos, Richard On, and the need to explore just one of those musical alleys and see Benj Gershman were pretty similar to you and me. They where it took us. This album is all about recording a variety of experiences with a variety of sounds. Essentially, all sides wandered the halls of Wootton High School, wondering of O.A.R." where life would take them, what surprises it All Sides kicks off with “This Town,” a had in store for them, and--oh yeah, they catchy tune that makes you just want to were also in a rock band. And they rock. Immediately after is “Shattered,’ came out with an album while they Top Ten O.A.R. Songs of All-Time: one of the group’s greatest were at Wootton. And another 1. Crazy Game of Poker accomplishments to date. Pretty right after they graduated. 2. About Mr. Brown much everything on the album Pretty typical, right? is good. “Something Coming 3. Love and Memories Twelve years later, Over” is even better than it was 4. Untitled and with the addition of at Madison Square Garden a 5. About an Hour Ago saxophonist Jerry DePizzo, few years ago, as is “Living in 6. Hey Girl who they met at Ohio State the End." “What is Mine” pays University, it’s pretty clear that 7. King of the Thing homage to the group’s roots on it worked out well for them. 8. Heard the World “Black Rock,” where they spent They’ve come a long way. 9. Dareh Meyod many of their days in high school, The four are, of course, 10. Shattered with a great beat with resemblance to the founding members of the Bob Marley, one of their inspirations, popular rock group 'Of a Revolution,' and a catchy chorus. “Try Me,” “Whatever better known as O.A.R. They have the Happened,” (which opens with a kick-butt distinction of being the most famous Wootton Australian instrument called a digeridoo) and “War alumni we know of, and sure, that may get them some Song” also belong in the top 30 O.A.R. songs of all time. bonus points in our review of their latest album, All Sides. The lone misfire on the album is the slow “One Day,” but Still, we assure you that this is a group that far too few people even that’s not too bad. All in all, it’s a great album to listen have heard of. O.A.R. is quietly cementing its place among to fully, as O.A.R. doesn’t fail to deliver the goods. Almost rock’s elite, easily as good as Dave Matthews Band (on that every song on the album is very different from the previous note, R.I.P., DMB drummer LeRoi Moore), who they are Bryan Oringher managing editor

often compared to, and All Sides doesn’t disappoint. The album is the sixth studio CD for the group, the first of which was released while still at Wootton. All Sides delivers the same O.A.R. people came to know and love, in addition to a new, more mature sound with great range and variety. Indeed, that’s where the album gets its name—the group wanted to show all of its unique talents and lyrical abilities, so they tried to make the album a showcase of, basically, the best they could do, and didn’t let any restrictions about going out of their “usual” sound get in the way.

This album is all about recording a variety of experiences with a variety of sounds." - O.A.R. lead vocalist Marc Roberge

one and brings a great new sound to O.A.R.’s repertoire. It really is a CD you can listen to all of. The highlight of O.A.R. without a doubt is lead vocalist Marc Roberge. His voice is incredible. Listen to the difference from the albums from high school to today. It’s

pretty clear he’s taken some voice lessons (that and they’re not producing their own albums anymore). His voice carries most of the tracks with his incredible range, and it’s clear that he’s the money-man of the group; if he ever leaves for greener pastures, O.A.R. will without a doubt collapse. For now, they’re one of the best groups to listen to in large part because of his voice. At Wootton, it’s our obligation to support our alumni and if you haven’t heard the new C.D., much less O.A.R. at all, you’re really missing out. All Sides is O.A.R.’s best work to date and doesn’t fail to live up to the group’s increasing promise. All in all, it’s not quite the summer hit that is Tha Carter III, but All Sides doesn’t fail to represent Wootton in this house. If you’ve never seen O.A.R. live, be sure to check out for upcoming tour dates. They are one of the best live bands out there. Their sound isn’t altered much by studios, unlike the aforementioned 'Weezy.' Their concerts feature a lot more sax playing, which they leave out of albums because they feel it doesn’t sound as good in studio. They always put on a great show for the home crowd, and you need to check them out if you haven’t already.

Sneaky students sabotage Emily Burklow & Eleni Kessler news editors

Students who seek employment have always been heralded as responsible, upstanding young citizens. They dedicate their time to providing services, which are crucial to society, for a meager salary. Working teens make their parents proud. They act as role models for the children of the world today. Their youth adds zest to working environments. Their enthusiasm makes their fellow employees eager to work. There is, however, a darker side to the utopia that student employees seem to create. The following stories are told by teenage workers here at Wootton. While their tales may shock you, try not to judge their transgressions too harshly. The stresses of being a young adult in today’s society would drive anyone insane, even the Jonas Brothers. (They will lose it eventually.) PASTRY THEFT: Spotted: one hungry adolescent, with a grumbling stomach, surrounded by temptation. A worker at the Fractured Prune, this teen is allotted just one lone donut for every shift that he works. Is this enough for a growing boy? Not according to his standards. “One donut wasn’t going to cut it,” John* said. The seductive scents of frying dough were too much for the tortured soul. However, he is anything but fearful of his fate, should his crime be discovered. “I didn’t really do anything,” John said.

“Donuts aren’t that hard to cover up.” This young man remains unpunished for the misdemeanor. Only time will tell if he will be able to continue his scandalous routine. BEHIND THE SCENES WASTE: The life of a waitress is a bleak and often a depressing one. Constantly being ordered around, getting mysterious burns from greasy foods that drip, and cleaning up after sloppy customers. And yet, there is one brave soul, call her a beacon of light if you will, that dares to rebel against this degrading system. “At the end of the night, when I get tired while cleaning, instead of walking all the way to the kitchen to put away dirty silverware in the washer, I just throw it away,” Mary* said. Finally, a spokesperson for waitresses everywhere! An individual above the institution! Despite her groundbreaking efforts, Mary denies any rebellious intention behind her actions. She has established good relationships with her superiors, which she now exploits to do what she wants. “My manager likes me,” Mary said. CANVASSING A WEB OF LIES: Interest groups beware! Corruption at the grassroots level! Adolescents, roaming the streets, may not be getting out the ideal message that they were hired to convey.

One canvasser for slot machines lost all

patience with his banal task, eventually testing just how far racial profiling would allow him to fudge the facts. Instead of waiting for cooperative citizens to respond to his questioning, he decided to i n v e n t statistics

about people’s feelings about slot machines. “[My employers] had no idea…because I’m Asian, they think I’m all hardworking and honest,” said Charles*. While some may see this as an unethical crime, the fact is that Charles is breaking down societal barriers. He is willing to risk his future just because he knows he can get away with it. “A lot of people get fired for that,” Charles said.

SLIP AND SLIDE ICE CREAM: Everyone grows up adhering to the five second rule... at least when they know exactly where the dropped food has been. Have you ever thought of what would happen if ice cream workers lived by these sketchy standards? This young lady was so terrified of wasting ice cream, she chose to endanger the community at large. "[A tub of ice cream] fell from the top of the freezer, face first," Jessica* said. "We knew we would get in a lot of trouble if our boss found out." In the face of trauma, however, Jessica managed to keep her "cool." Instead of tossing the contaminated bin, she and her fellow employees scraped off the layer of hair and dust that clung to the surface of the luscious dessert. "We probably would have gotten in a lot of trouble...That’s kind of hygienically nasty," Jessica said. * The names of these students were changed to protect their identities .

19 Common Sense - October 1, 2008 120

Favorite Burrito Place

Teacher Talk



80 60 40

True Love For Teens?

20 0


Baja Fresh Chipotle


Sydni Mitchell, 2010 “Chipotle because I’ve never been anywhere else.”

“Cheaper” by the Dozen

Alexis Roffeld, 2011 “Chipotle, because it’s delicious.”

Emily Rosen, 2010 “Chipotle, obviously, because it’s amazing and it’s cheap”

Zohair Asmail pulse & layout editor

Last year, in 2007, the freshmen marched in, all a uniform height. There were exceptions, but the average height was about 5’5” for the boys and 5’0” for the girls. This year the freshman class looks like they came straight out of Three Mile Island. Something must have happened at Shady Grove Hospital in 1994. These freshmen are not normal. They belong to a new classification of creature. Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Pyrobrood (Fire Breathing), Order: drakōn, Family: Freshman, Genus: monstre, and then 800 different species; no two are alike. One of the many species of freshman crawling around Wootton are so small, they are classified as microscopic. A massive number were unable to survive the stampede of the hallway, were squashed on their way to class, and have not been seen since. The members of the Class of 2012 are more evolved than those of any other freshman class that has passed through Wootton. There aren’t many inappropriate jokes that go over their heads, nor are there many things that they have not dabbled in. Some freshman have more experience than juniors in college. The scariest variety of freshman fit into the Giant species. These guys and girls are scary big. They tower over the school and have single-handedly kept the construction workers employed, as they make new holes all over the place. You can now jump through the basketball hoop in the main gym by hopping off the Commons bridge. Not only are the freshmen the result of a nuclear spill, they have peculiar congregational habits. They meet in groups that are extremely exclusive and organized by shared verbal tones, not necessarily a common species. One of the larger groups that congregate have members of the microscopic species as well as those of the giant variety, but are tied together by over-usage of sounds that resemble the human words “like” and “hot.” They utter these sounds at least twice in every sentence they release to the world’s ears. Another group congregates and utters no verbal tones, but it is the lack of audible emissions that binds them. They sit at the lunch table, take in nutrients, and stare at each other for 45 minutes.


Joe McCarthy, 2009 “California Tortilla, because it’s cheap.”

Shorty’s Family Portraits Clarissa: The doting wife

Sherm: The veteran from the War of 1985

Anna: The teenage rebel

The Groundhog Gang

Shorty: The Patriarch

Lurking in the shadows beneath the portables, barely allowing the sun’s rays to grace his furry coat, Shorty (as dubbed by the Common Sense staff) was thought to be the lone groundhog who roamed Wootton's premises. Little do most students know, he has a family, of at least three fellow ground-hogs. They elude students and staff members alike, only emerging from their burrows to nourish their flabby frames. While some may claim that they resembles R.O.U.S.s (see Princess Bride for more information), Shorty and his family have tunneled their way into the depths of our hearts. A symbol of perseverance for any student that has ever felt out of place, Shorty has brought hope to the masses. While he cannot communicate with humans, Shorty and his clan have nonetheless shown their nobility as crusaders for animals residing in cities all over the world. Forest creatures have flocked to them from every corner of Montgomery County to seek their advice on how to navigate the concrete

Mrs. Starr, Yearbook Advisor Every day, in the hall outside my classroom, a couple kisses goodbye before 7th period. It’s not a quick peck on the cheek, but a real salivaswapper. And every day I am rushed back to a time when I was in high school, outside the door to my chemistry class. I was a junior, my boyfriend was a senior, and we had been dating since early in my freshman year when we met at a party. He asked me to dance, the next day he asked my friend for my phone number, and we had been inseparable ever since (except for the 43 times we broke up). So when we parted before chemistry each day, it felt like we would be apart for days, weeks, months even. I missed him tremendously for those 45 minutes. I needed that kiss to sustain myself in his absence. A friend of mine was recently telling me that her high school niece has a boyfriend and my friend dismissed the relationship. She said there was no way her niece knew what love was – she had not yet been through college, or started a career, or gotten married, or had children, or shared any real sort of deep connection with her boyfriend, so how could she know love. I was amazed. I loved my boyfriend when I was 16 as richly and deeply as I love now. Granted, there are more layers, what with the kids and careers and passage of time. But the connection was no different. My heart felt the same as it does now. It irks me when adults say teenagers don’t have deep emotions, or enough experience to recognize those emotions when they have them. At 16 I knew trust, and anger, and frustration, and joy, and I certainly knew love. So to the young lovers outside room 242, kiss away. Don’t let adults diminish your feelings. Don’t let the grown-ups in your life call it “puppy love”. You know in your heart what is real and what isn’t. Who knows what road the two of you are on together? I had no idea where my high school boyfriend and I were headed, but I knew we loved each other. When he asked me dance that fall day, I had no idea he meant for the rest of my life. Twelve years later, when he asked me to marry him, I knew the answer was yes. Teachers, if you would like to submit a column, please submit it to by Oct. 15.

wasteland that they have been forced to call home. Being a prime example of an “urban legend,” Shorty’s family have single-pawedly masterminded a network of underground channels. The series of mysterious holes that can be found in Wootton’s backyard characterize the unappreciated value of Shorty’s genius. His innovative engineering has not only allowed him to build himself a nest, but has also let him construct a private utopia. This haven is perfect for the annual hibernation that allows his family to survive the bleak months of winter. When they fail to gather the food that they need to sustain themselves, they can always count on “Elemily” and their friend to fill their nutritional voids. In their inconspicuous holes, we routinely leave offerings of fresh baby carrots, their favorite snack, as a testimonial to our devotion. They can never thank us, for Mother Nature has been too cruel to allow us means of communication, but we know that our gifts are always accepted with gratitude. Our hearts are with them always. Emily Burklow & Eleni Kessler




Common Sense - October 1, 2008

Gordon Biersch: Sold by Location Gordie Gold staff writer First Glance Walking through Rockville Town Center near Regal, I spotted Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant located in the street window. As I entered the restaurant, I noticed the décor included many vintage posters of different beers and breweries. The restaurant can accommodate a large crowd, with its three areas including a bar, dining section and an outside seating section. For all the sports fans, this place is great for sporting events since there are multiple televisions with satellite TV. Grade: 5/5 Service When I entered the restaurant I was immediately seated and asked if I had a seating area preference. I chose a roomy booth. After

being seated, my waiter arrived quickly and was friendly. Throughout the time I was there, he frequently came back to check on the table and to refill drinks. The food came out quickly and not once was I wondering or questioning


by preston cornish

The Brazilian film City of God (Brazil, Portuguese w/ English Subtitles, Rated R, 2002), broke on to the international movie scene with its gritty look at life in the favelas, or slums, of Rio de Janeiro . After the huge success of the film, a television series City of Men was produced in as a companion to the film. The TV series, which is excellent in its own right, spawned this year’s City of Men, a spin-off featuring the characters in the show. For fans of City of God, City of Men is an excellent follow-up. For those who saw City of God as too heavy on action and too light on plot, I recommend giving the Brazilian series another shot. The movie is violent, with street shootouts, but is less so than City of God. City of Men focuses more on the humanitarian aspect of living in the favelas. It is, in many ways, more satisfying than its predecessor because the characters, 18-year-olds Ace and Wallace are likeable. Directed by Paulo Morelli, the movie lacks the fast-paced, music-video-like editing of City of God and replaces it with a more traditional cinematographic style. If there is any fault with the movie, that would be it. The visual flair of the first movie was one of its major strengths, and City of Men doesn’t

have that. Overall, it loses little of the flavor of the original, but spices it up with a much more plotdriven story.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. His two most recentcomedichits,TheSavages(R,2008)andCharlie Wilson’s War have him playing a fat, unhappy, middle-aged college professor (The Savages) and a cranky, straight-forward CIA spy (Charlie Wilson’s War). The Savages, the funnier of the two, and sadly, the lesser known as well, is about two middle-aged adults faced with caring for their aging and senile father. The movie grossed just over six million dollars in a limited theatrical release. It’s too bad. When Hoffman’s dad, played by Philip Bosco(HitchandFreedomland)loseshislong-time girlfriend, his children, Jon and Wendy Savage, must find a suitable new home for him. Most of the movie works because of the successful writing of director/writer Tamara Jenkins. Jenkins, a relative cinema unknown, has a breakout directorial performance. Hoffman’s best work has been in the cult comediesHappiness,ThebigLebowskiandStateand Main. In The Savages, Hoffman is in classic form, portraying Jon Savage with sarcasm, wry humor and a human touch unknown to most Hollywood actors. The movie is witty, subversive and dark. Wendy, neurotic, single and addicted to pre-

La Verdad by preston cornish

Bottom Line Gordon Biersch is lucky that it is in a great location of Rockville Town Center and that it has quick and friendly service, because their food would not pull it off. If you want to go see a movie and have a nice sit-down dinner, Gordon Biersch would be an okay option since it is fancier than some of the other choices in Rockville Town Center, such as Five Guys or California Tortilla, but I would recommend another restaurant in the area, such as Austin Grill. I didn’t try dessert here because of Gordon Beirsch’s proximity to other good dessert places, such as Fractured Prune and Gifford’s. Since the food is mediocre and somewhat expensive at Gordon Biersch, I would not go out of my way to eat there. The only thing that will get me to come back is so that I could sit down and enjoy watching some football games while eating appetizers and using my Wootton Football restaurant card to get a 10% discount. Final Grade 3 out of 5. The great service and location is what gets them this grade, not the food. left: Chef Miguel Arteaga adds garnish to an entree. top right: Swiss turkey sandwich on marble & rye bread photos by Azzah Ahmed

scriptionpills (LauraLinney;Breach, Mystic River and Love Actually), plays a perfect foil to the realistic, blunt and oft-sarcastic Hoffman.

images courtesy of Miramax Films, Fox Searchlight Pictures & Blueprint Pictures

a m e n i c .

where the waiter was or when our food would arrive. Grade: 5/5 The Menu Gordon Biersch has a huge menu with a variety of choices. They have seafood, steak, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, burgers and salads. For appetizers, I ordered the crispy artichoke hearts and the shrimp and chicken pot stickers. The crispy artichoke hearts are a big portion for an appetizer and could easily serve three people. The breading is similar to calamari. The only problem with this appetizer was the lack of Parmesan cheese on the artichoke hearts. This made the appetizer greasy, and the taste of the artichoke overpowered everything else. The chicken and shrimp pot stickers were nicely presented on a plate drizzled with a sweet Asian glaze. Though the appetizer is called “shrimp and chicken pot stickers,” they were mainly filled with chicken and had very little shrimp. For my entrée I ordered a medium bacon cheeseburger; however, it came out well done. It was a good-sized burger of 10 ounces and was served with french fries for $10. The french fries were cooked perfectly, with a good amount of crunch, yet still soft inside. I also tried the linguine marinara, and I immediately noticed that the pasta wasn’t drained well since the marinara sauce was watery. This entrée had chunks of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes mixed in, which provided it with a refreshing flavor. The linguine marinara is a bit overpriced at $12.50, considering the small portion and the fact that nothing else was served with it, like garlic bread. All in all, I would rate this a sub-par dish. Grade: 2/5

Every once in a while a movie comes out that is just so perfect that you wonder to yourself, “How has this story not been done before?” In Bruges (United Kingdom, R, 2008) is one of those movies. The story, about two hit men, Ray and Ken (Collin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) forced to hide out in the Belgian tourist town Bruges is brilliantly executed. Ray is a hit man whose first hit, on a Catholic priest, goes horribly awry when he accidently shoots a young boy in the church. Their boss, the hilarious and Geico-gecko sounding Harry, played by Ralph Fiennes, sends them away and puts them in a typical touristy bed-and-breakfast, where they are to wait for his call. In Bruges is in the same vein as other English action comedies like Hot Fuzz, but is funnier and more action-packed than that film. Farrell, who is well known for the recent stinkersMiamiVice(2006)andAlexander(2004),is an exceptionally talented comedic force. His command of his facial expressions and ability to deliver the stressed-out, depressed character of Ray is impressive. The movie is hilarious in the absurdism of two killers attempting to blend in to the most innocent and fake of environments. It is one of my favorite movies and is easily one of the best movies of 2008.

Now that fall has officially arrived, I would like to be the first to wish you a happy Essay Season. Every year from September to May in classrooms and computer labs and libraries and bedrooms and living rooms and garages and random park benches from Alaska to Alabama (well, maybe not in Alabama) students sit at their computers to ponder the impact of the various literary devices of chapter six on the tone of the book. For me, it’s like Christmas every day for eight months straight. I wake up in anticipation of the potential presents my English teacher will deliver. And like Christmas, each essay day is a vastly disappointing letdown that causes immense emotional (and, in the case of carpal tunnel), physical pain. Consequently, the average student can prattle on for hours about the syntax of page 73 of To Kill a Mockingbird or how Friar Lawrence was essential to the theme in Romeo and Juliet, but lacks the ability to write a half-decent essay on that topic. One skill that often gets thrown by the wayside is how to cohesively form an interesting and well-written essay. When students go on to the working world, it matters less that they can look at a two-hundred year old piece of fiction and extract the meaning from it than that they can write well enough to convey the information they need to. What I’ve found is that the meaning of the text is more interesting to teachers, and thus, more likely to be talked about than writing skills. Some teachers, granted, do spend a considerable amount of time talking basics, but it still isn’t enough. Without practicing the fundamentals, students dread essays because they have no idea how to write them. It isn’t that they lack the ability to scrutinize a text; it’s that they lack the ability to turn that knowledge into an well-written paper. It isn’t that students lack the ability to learn; it’s that they haven’t ever been taught. When freshmen arrive in high school, they are spoon fed cookie cutter essays and paint-by-numbers formats that allow them to Mad-Lib their way through Honors English 9. At some arbitrary point in 10th or 11th grade, the training wheels come off, and students are expected to miraculously make the jump from plugging in analysis into a prefabricated prompt to writing a full essay on their own. Lacking from the transition is a grounding in how to write a full essay. There is no process for essay self-improvement, other than the comments teachers write. Teachers don’t spend nearly enough time going over essays after they are returned, which means that students are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Hopefully, English teachers will not jump to defend themselves and the teaching styles that have failed to help so many students. In the end, what matters is that pupils are getting the best education possible during their four high school years. That is not happening now. Period. Comments?

Vol. 38 Issue 1  
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