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Wootton celebrates intellectual freedom through Banned Book Week.

Is the attack against obesity in the United States justified?

Football eclipses last year’s win total with a win over Rockville.

Preview of fall performing arts: Honk and Macbeth Did It set to open in November.




Common Sense


Volume 37 Issue 2 - Thomas S. Wootton High School - 2100 Wootton Parkway - Rockville, MD 20850 - October 26, 2007

Deadly Infection Invades MCPS HSA Overhauled Writing Sections Eliminated 13 Students Diagnosed with MRSA to most antibiotics. This aggressive form of staph can result in pneumonia, or even hospitalization. A severe outbreak of the skin If MRSA makes its way infection Methicillin Resistant into the blood stream or Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) has the lungs, 25% of victims recently plagued communities across may die within one month. the country. However, if MRSA is in a Montgomery County Public Schools wound, it is generally easier (MCPS) reports that approximately 13 to cure. MCPS students, the majority of whom Staph and MRSA can cause are athletes, have been diagnosed with skin infections that may MRSA. All are currently being treated appear as a pimple, boil, or with appropriate antibiotics and are ingrown hair. The infected recovering, according to the county’s areas are also usually red, ...could result in the MRSA infection. news release. MRSA has also hit the Recently, MCPS issued a news swollen, and may feel painful. Washington metro area with at least 31 release in response to the increased Many states are now issuing student cases reported. media attention. In this statement, directives to school coaches on how to Commonly known as “staph,” County Health Officer Dr. Ulder J. prevent and recognize MRSA. Due to Staphylococcus Aureus are common Tilman acknowledged the prevalence of the media attention being given to the bacteria that normally MRSA in the community. outbreak, numerous cases exist on the skin of Twenty-eight MRSA infections have of the infection have thus or in the nose of also been reported in the past three been reported to the Center m o s t people. weeks at Severna Park, Glen Burnie, Old for Disease Control and MRSA, is a mutated Mill and Chesapeake high schools in Prevention (CDC) form of the staph Anne Arundel County. The Sherwood from across the bacteria boys’ soccer team recently had an country. More that is outbreak of the MRSA infection and high school resistant two of its players were hospitalized. athletes have Valarie Reese, health room also been technician at Wootton, emphasized the correctly importance of the precautions sent hospitalized home recently by Dr. Weast and Dr. as they Tilman. diagnose their She advises that the best methods of problems as prevention are to practice good hygiene symptoms of by washing hands thoroughly with Sharing personal items with a teammate... the infection. photo courtesy of Sam Hulsey (left) and University of Michigan (right) see OUTBREAK, page 2 Jen-Wei Chu and Sam Hulsey editor-in-chief and staff writer

Sex-Ed to Address Homosexuality

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The Montgomery County Public School system (MCPS) has decided to implement the inclusion of sexual orientation in the health curriculum, starting with the 2007-2008 school year. The curriculum emphasizes tolerance of homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual people (LGBT) and also introduces the topic Nut of transgender and sex change r Fitn ition a operations. nd ess This decision represents an enormous change to the instruction regarding sexuality in health. Previously, ry Inju d instruction involved very little an n ety content about homosexuality, Saf entio v e and information on sexual r P behaviors was mostly concerned with heterosexuality. Many students greet the change positively, seeing the new curriculum as being more open to differences between people. “I think it’s really important that we

learn about different people’s lifestyles. Many people in our country have a negative view of homosexuals, [so] it’s good that they’re teaching us to be more tolerant,” junior Emily O’ Daniel said. An anonymous sophomore said, “Although some people might be opposed to the new [material], I am glad that we are finally learning about everyone, [and] not just the majority of society.” The change in curriculum did not come y alit without opposition, exu lity S an exua m however. Hu mos The Parents and -Ho Friends of Ex-Gays Tob acc and Gays (PFOX), o, and oth Alcho National Association of er D l, rug Research and Therapy s for Homosexuality (NARTH), and Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC) have led the opposition to the changes. They have called Hu -He man S ter e ose xual xua ity lity

Adarsh Kannan editor-in-chief

see SEX ED, page 10

Zach Stone staff writer

After statewide preliminary results were less than stellar, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has decided to eliminate the brief constructed response (BCR) and extended constructed response (ECR) portions of the High School Assessment (HSA). The alterations to the tests also introduce an alternative route to passing the exams. Starting with the class of 2009, all Maryland students must pass the four subject tests – English, Government, Biology, and Algebra – as a requirement to graduate from the Montgomery County Public School System. In eliminating the writing portions of the tests, the MSDE hopes to reduce the time necessary to grade and send back the scores from the previous nine-week scoring time to the now drastically shorter 3 weeks. “We need that data back as fast as possible,” Prince Geo­ rge’s county superintendent, John E. Deasy, told the Washington Post. Most students welcome the change to an entirely multiple-choice test, and see both the elimination of the writing sections and the short response time as positive aspects of the new HSAs. “Taking out the writing portions of the HSA would make it a lot less stressful for students to take the tests. It’s also more helpful that the results are coming back so soon rather than in two months,” senior Christine Sun said. Some academic instructors, however, are opposed to the change. “By taking the writing section off, students won’t be able to show that they really understand the material,” math teacher Ms. Lee Ann Russell said. While some may think that this change will make the tests less challenging, state deputy superintendent for academic policy, Ronald A. Peiffer, disagrees. “[The tests] now have a level of sophistication in the selected-response items they didn’t have [before],” Peiffer said. “The kinds of things we could only test with constructed-response items before now can be done in a valid and accurate way with selected-response items in a way that’s just as good or better.” Another important change to the HSA tests is the proposed “Bridge Plan for Academic Validation.” This plan would allow students who are unable to pass the tests to submit a project instead. Opinions on this project differ greatly. The project “is a loophole that you could drive a truck through,” said Mike Cohen, president of Achieve, a nonprofit organization that helps states set educational standards. State School Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick, who proposed the plan, strongly disagreed. She told the Washington Post, “[The project] is going to be rigorous.” Fortunately, very few people here at Wootton will be affected by the “Bridge Plan.” Over 98% of juniors have already passed the algebra, government, and biology exams—something that no other school in well-above-state-average Montgomery County can say. The English exam has been passed by 94.5% of Wootton students. For students attempting to pass the tests for the first time this year, the exams are scheduled for May 19-22.



Common Sense - October 26, 2007

Banned Book Week Sparks Discussion Elizabeth Overton staff writer

J.K. Rowling shocked Harry Potter fans at a booksigning by revealing that fan-favorite Professor Albus Dumbledore was a closeted homosexual. Although many people speculated about the sexuality of the Hogwarts headmaster, Rowling’s admission has stunned many and sparked debate about Dumbledore’s role in the books.

Massive wildfires in Southern California continue to rage on, forcing at least 900,000 residents to evacuate and destroying at least 1,500 homes. In at least 16 fires that have erupted since Sunday, at least six people have died and 70 injured. The major factors for the fires are the drought in Southern California and the forceful Santa Ana winds.

Banned Book Week was recognized from September 29th to October 5th to spark discussion on the topic of  censorship and its effects on society. The week promotes reading books students of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) have available to them despite their ban in other parts of the country.  Books are challenged and banned every year, and Banned Book Week exposes students to books they often would not expect to be questioned.  Many books that are considered American classics, such as Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, and The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger, top the American Library Association’s (ALA) list of most frequently challenged books. As defined by the ALA and numerous other co-sponsors, Banned Book Week is about granting intellectual freedom to express oneself through writing and defending the rights of readers to enrich their knowledge with books, including those considered controversial or disliked. To honor Banned Book Week at Wootton, members of the Student Library Advisory Board and the Banned Book Club arranged a display of  caged books to symbolize the effects of censorship.  The “Read Banned

Books” campaign featured photographs of teachers and students reading banned books and was displayed outside the Media Center and in other locations around the school. These posters were also hung in Wootton’s hallways. “I don’t think you can have a democratic, free society if people aren’t allowed to read freely,” Ms. Anita  Anderson, Wootton’s media specialist said.  Books have been banned by more than just school boards. News commentators have condemned  them on national television. The US Food and Drug Administration, National Post Office, and Treasury Department, as well photo by Mr. Onley as  book supplier Barnes & Mr. Benya with his favorite banned book, Heart of Darkness. Nobles have all challenged books they deem unsuitable. thesis is false, the public is been banned for including what Books can be banned for robbed of a greater appreciation is considered to be questionable any number of reasons, ranging of the truth via its juxtaposition language and the Bible has from bad language and drug with falsity.” previously  been banned and references to being considered Many, if not most, of the forbidden because it is not in too controversial to be read. Dr. books read and taught in MCPS accordance with other faiths. Seuss’s The Lorax, for example, are currently banned in other “The knowledge that these was once banned for speaking areas of the country or have books store is limitless and it negatively of the logging previously been banned.  is more than unfortunate that industry. Banned Book Week strives people are barred from opening Dr.  Mike S. Adams, a to make students aware that them up and retrieving it. Not professor at the University of there is still censorship of only that, but book-banning is a North Carolina Wilmington books to this day, and a book violation of our natural rights to and regular columnist at being challenged is not at all speak and think freely,” senior, said, “I think uncommon. Noah Friedman, president and John Stuart Mill (a British Books that are widely read founder of Wootton’s Banned philosopher who wrote the text and well known have faced Book Club said. On Liberty) would say that book bans, including J. K. Rowling’s Wootton’s Media Center is a banning is generally wrong for Harry Potter series, Steven prime source of exploration in one of two reasons: One, if Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a literary censorship. It provides the thesis of a banned book is Wallflower, and even R. L. Stine’s numerous books detailing titles true, the public is robbed of Goosebumps series.  and authors of books that have knowing the truth. Two, if  its Various dictionaries have been banned.

Outbreak of Staph Infection Causes Concern from DEADLY, page 1

Ten-year-olds can now get birth control in Portland, Maine, without their parents’ permission. The Portland School Committee voted 7-2 to give King Middle School students access to birth control. While parents must sign off at the beginning of the year to allow their kids to go to the health center, Maine law says that the center must provide service, including contraceptives and birth control, to all students.

Comedian Steven Colbert announced last week that he will seek both the Democratic and Republican nominations for President-- in South Carolina. Colbert has been actively promoting his run for the presidency on his show “The Colbert Report.” Campaign finance laws may end his run though; his campaign is sponsored by Doritos, and Comedy Central may be illegally sponsoring his campaign by allowing Colbert to promote himself on his nightly television show.

soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, to keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed, to avoid contact with other peoples’ wounds or bandages, and to avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors. Sports equipment handled should also be thoroughly washed after each use. Physicians indicate that if the infected area is covered, the infection is not contagious. If a scrape turns red or boil-like and swells, a doctor should be immediately contacted. In the past, MRSA has usually been associated with health care issues including wounds and cuts after surgery. However, in the past decade, the infection has become increasingly more common among athletic teams. MRSA has recently spread most quickly among basketball, wrestling, soccer, volleyball, football and even rowing teams. MRSA is highly contagious due to the fact that it can be transferred not only directly between people, but also through inanimate objects, such as towels, clothing and athletic equipment. In fact, ABC News recently reported that “an athlete’s toughest opponent may not be on the field but in the locker room.” “What would put an athlete at risk is contact, like in wrestling or football,” John Francis, an infectious disease researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in an interview with the Washington Post. “A great deal of person-

to-person contact is a risk. If a person has an open wound and it comes into contact [with an MRSA carrier], that is a risk. If people are in a locker-room setting and are using the same towels or the same whirlpool, that is a risk. Shared equipment would [also] be a risk.” Nine cases of MRSA were also found in a minor league baseball team in 2003, according to the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers’ Society. In eight cases, an abrasion caused by sliding eventually became infected by staph infection. All nine players fully recovered, though five faced a recurrence of MRSA the next season. One of the most serious MRSA cases

photo courtesy of

Staph affections can affect anyone. The best way to prevent it is to keep hands and wounds clean.

occurred with Ricky Lannetti, a football player at the Division III college level. Lannetti, a wide receiver for Lycoming College’s football team, died from MRSA on December 6, 2003. On October 22, 2007, senior Ashton Bonds from Stauton River High School

in Bedford, Va., died after being diagnosed with MRSA. According to the California Department of Health, 25 to 30% of the population carries the bacteria but does not come down with the infection associated with MRSA. The California Dept. of Health also cites that cases have increased significantly in recent years, particularly with athletic teams. On October 18th, the office of student affairs in Fairfax County schools issued an urgent notice regarding MRSA in an attempt to alleviate parents’ fears. Their notice cited that “approximately 25-30% of healthy people may carry staph and only 1% carry CA-MRSA (community-acquired MRSA).” The Federal Government has also begun calling the drug-resistant staph infection “The Super Bug,” noting that it could soon kill more people in the U.S. than AIDS. Medical experts have emphasized the importance of understanding that people who die from MRSA are usually immunecompromised already, with systems weakened by another infection or disease. The Wootton administration is taking additional precautions. “The county is looking into it; we will be putting posters in the locker rooms. Building services will be supplying soap and wipes for the weight room,” said Athletic Director Rhett Ross.



Common Sense - October, 26 2007

Forty Donors Go Under the Needle Blood Drive Provides Opportunity to Save Lives Katy Tong staff writer Geared towards building an adequate supply of blood in the event of emergencies, Wootton’s fall blood drive took place on October 4 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the lower gym of the school. The event was planned and sponsored by the American Red Cross Club (ARCC) and was dedicated to improving the blood supply and bringing awareness to students about the importance of aiding those in need. With each unit of blood said to save up to three lives, the blood drive was a huge success. About 75 students signed up to give blood, with 10-plus on the waiting list, as only so many people could go through the process at a time. “The blood drive really reflects how much Wootton can impact the community. After seeing the lines of staff and students waiting to donate, I felt that we, as a school, really do impact our community,” senior and ARCC president Simmi Singh said. Unfortunately, only 40 of the donors were eligible to participate in the end. Many potential donors were barred from the drive because of low iron levels that make it unsafe for them to donate, or because they had gone out of the country in the past year. “A lot of the kids were upset that they couldn't donate, but I hope they aren't too discouraged because we will have another blood drive in March, providing them another opportunity [to donate blood],” Singh said. “It’s about saving lives. [The blood drive] teaches people to give back to their community,” counselor and ARCC sponsor Ms. Lynn Goodman said. Students cited various reasons for deciding to donate blood, some because of prior personal experiences and some a desire to gain a sense of self-satisfaction.

“My grandma was anemic and this summer, we had to rush her to the hospital to give her a blood transfusion, so I wanted to help others in the same situation,” junior Angelina She (shown on left) said. “I did it last year, and I really liked it,” junior Alex Bragason said. “It feels good to know that I am helping people,” junior Alex Bragason said. Despite the feelings of fear and anxiety that inevitably arose as donors waited for their turns in the donor room, the students nevertheless remained grounded in their decision to strengthen the community blood supply. “I’m scared of needles, but it’s for a good cause, so I’ll do it,” senior Marriam Shah said. Student volunteers played a prominent role in ensuring that the donors received optimum comfort during and following their procedures, providing snacks and drinks at hand whenever necessary. “I think that it’s important that people give blood because so many lives would be lost [if they didn't]. I’m just here to help,” sophomore ARCC member Stella Wong said. After conducting a health history checkup and physical examination under the privacy of individually enclosed booths, students were led into an area of stretchers, where nurses checked their veins and blood pressure conditions before ultimately drawing and collecting their blood using disposable needles. The blood is then sent to the Mt. Hope Donor Center, where its components are separated and finally distributed among various regional hospitals. In order to arrange the blood drive, the American Red Cross Blood Services first contacted the school to set up a date for the event, and the ARCC then takes responsibility from there, working alongside the national organization to ensure the drive’s success. “We’ve done it many times, so it’s easy,” Goodman said. Qualified donors must be at least 16 years of age and

photo by Katy Tong

Junior Angelina She gets her blood drawn. weigh 110 pounds. They are additionally advised to get a restful sleep the night before, to eat a rich, healthy breakfast, and to drink plenty of fluids prior to donating.

Effects of Cheating in School are Far-Reaching Thanos Leontaris staff writer Cheating. Copying. Plagiarizing. Students hear these words all the time from friends, classmates, teachers and counselors. They refer to the same thing, but are they truly similar? Is copying homework the same as cheating on the SAT? Should punishment be the same in both occasions? At Wootton, two-thirds of students admit to have cheated at least once, according to an in-school survey taken last

or cheating. Most students, while not fully aware of what constitutes cheating, are aware of the consequences. Farley said that “[he] knows the

“No one wants to admit that they cheat on tests, but homework is a free-for-all,” senior Joe Greenhead said. “Homework is something everybody copies from each other.”

Homework is something everybody copies from each other.

- senior Joe Greenhead

year. Nationally, according to a Rutgers’ Management Education Center study, high school students have admitted to cheating at least once at a rate of 75% . Most of the students that took part in the survey did not think that a number of forms of cheating should, in fact, be considered cheating. Many said that “cheating is a way of getting ahead” and “the pressure to get into a good college” drives them to cheat. “I don’t cheat,” Wootton senior Ryan Farley said, but when asked what he defined as cheating, Farley went on to say that he did not consider working together or looking at another student’s homework as cheating. Farley’s views conflict with school policy, which states that “any willful receiving of academic work to gain advantage over other students is considered academic dishonesty,”

photo courtesy of

Many students hide quiz answers on notecards, waterbottles, hat brims, and more.

consequences,” which can include expulsion in very serious cases. More important, however, is the fact that academic dishonesty offenses in Wootton are cumulative, meaning that if a student gets caught cheating once, this offense is counted as the first offense and any consequent offenses will be added on throughout the student’s high school career. Upon the third academic dishonesty offense the student receives a two-day suspension and recommendation for expulsion.

Students say that most teachers pay attention to cheating on tests in order to foil even the most elaborate cheating methods. “I’ve seen my friends using water bottles to write notes on and putting cheat sheets in their calculators in math tests,” senior Maria Gonzaga said. “Some of [the teachers] don’t really care [about cheating].” Many seniors are now concerned that their high school disciplinary record might hurt their college applications. Mrs. Antoinette Yannis, Wootton’s registrar, said, “It will stay on [student’s]

records,” but it will not appear on transcripts. “Schools generally don’t ask for a disciplinary record unless you are border lining [their acceptance standard]”, said Mrs. Lynda Hitchcock, Wootton’s College Resource Specialist. Cheating scandals often damage even the most promising students. In 2001, Whitman’s SGA president was caught cheating on his SAT test. He was immediately reported to the College Board officials and as a result lost his admittance to his first college choice. “Cheating just isn’t fair,” said Dr. Jay Bass, the new head of the counseling department. However, records are not the only way that cheating will stay with a student. “[Teacher recommendations] will not be the same if you are a known cheater,” warns Dr. Michael Doran, Wootton’s principal. Teachers will not praise a student’s moral character, something that many colleges look for in applications, or academic performance if a student has a dishonest pattern of behavior. High school record is not reviewed only by colleges anymore. The FBI, CIA and other agencies will include your high school record in their background checks. “We had an agent from the FBI come in and check a former student’s record who applied [at the FBI]. I had to sit with him while he went through the student’s file,” said Mrs. Yannis. “Generally cheating is not a problem in this school because of the highly competitive nature of the school and the attentiveness of the teachers,” Mrs. Julia Walsh, Wootton’s assistant registrar, said.



Common Sense - October 26, 2007

Letter to the Editor Dear Editor: Everyone knows that I am a strong advocate of free speech for adults and kids alike. Students should always have a forum to address tough issues, and as teachers we are duty-bound to encourage scholarly inquiry into all subjects. I am, however, profoundly disappointed by your recent editorial (“The Negative Consequences of Affirmative Action Policies”). I can’t decided what I found most offensive: the condescending tone, the blatant lack of knowledge about the subject, the fact that it was published without an opposing view, or the graceless rhetorical question, “ I’ve never heard of a school basing their admissions process off something like hair or eye color, so why should skin color be given more weight?’” Wow! Skin color doesn’t matter? Since when? In what alternate universe? For decades, qualified minority (and female) students were denied a college education while less able white males were eagerly admitted. For example, President Bush was not accepted to Yale because of his stellar academic record. I assure you that more worthy minority candidates were turned away to make room for him. He was accepted to an Ivy League school because he was the son of a rich graduate of the university. Now that is also Affirmative Action. Look, the purpose of an editorial is to allow the newspaper’s editors to voice an official position about an important societal issue and, in doing so, educate the public. Rather than educating us, your editorial merely trottedout atavistic caricatures. You have created a good school newspaper, but if you want to make it great, you’ll have to do much better. I have no doubt that you will succeed. Quality is the key. Sincerely, D. Onley English

“I think that it’s easier for students. They can focus more on multiple choice.” Lahni Saben, senior

“I think it’s easier but it’s probably not a good test of what people can do.” Alan Pugh, sophomore

“I don’t think it’s fair now that I already took it!” Becca Leighty, junior

Should America Step In To Help Foster Peace in Africa? Editors-in-Chief Jen Wei Chu, Adarsh Kannan

Common Sense Editors

Patriot Points What do you think about the elimination of the writing portion of the HSA?

Managing Editors Reese Higgins, Jason Krakower

Layout/Art Editors Lindsey Binder, Lauren Sternberg

News Editors Preston Cornish, Bryan Oringher

Sports Editors Mike Briggs, Jared Nelson

Commons Editors Lindsey Binder, Lauren Sternberg

Features Editors Sidney Kao, David Taylor

Op-ed Editors Chad Larsen, Lauren Pace

Business Manager Zach Asman

Sponsor Ms. Jaclynn Rozansky COMMON SENSE welcomes letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit them as necessary for style, punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Letters may be submitted to the COMMON SENSE mailbox. All letters must be signed, but requests to remain anonymous will be considered.

Drew Endick staff writer There once was a time when we would have been able to intervene in Africa to address human rights violations. For instance, in the 1990s, the United States lead U.N. coalition forces in Bosnia to stop genocide against the Muslims there. Unfortunately, our recent involvement with Iraq and Afghanistan make intervention for human rights, such as in Africa, impossible to undertake. To deploy additional forces to other countries, we need to prioritize and complete our current missions, establish international coalitions whose countries goals are uniform, and apply pressure on African dictators In order to enter any country, we need to dedicate sufficient resources. Currently, we have over 170,000 troops in Iraq, and around 15,000 in Afghanistan. Along with most of our army, a huge amount of supplies is being sent to these countries with many of our top military advisors. There is no prospect in sight to significantly decreasing the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Further, we face a threat from Iran which could require additional troop deployment to the middle-east. Additionally, to force cruel African regimes to change, we need to intervene with a multi-country coalition of forces. Although we entered Iraq and Afghanistan with support from other countries, international forces have been greatly reduced in recent years. Many of the Iraqi coalition forces have lost faith in the American government due to the United State’s unsubstantiated reasons for entering the country. There are no troops from many powerful European countries such as, Germany, France, and Italy. To imprint our moral authority on country, we need to reveal our position as world leaders. Our war in Iraq has led to the beginnings of a civil war and decreasing troops in Afghanistan has resulted to the Taliban’s re-emerging as powerful as once before. Many of the conflicts in Africa are similar to what has occurred in Iraq. There is rivalry between tribes in Sudan and

Darfur which is similar to the current battle between the Sunni and Shiite tribes of Iraq. Before we enter Africa, we need to fix the havoc we have created within Iraq to show we are capable of intervening, establishing order in the country, and leaving the country with a stable government. As of now, if we were to intervene in other conflicts, there are very few countries that would join us. Do not get me wrong, there are multiple countries in Africa where it is necessary to intervene. Sudan’s dictator Omar al- Bashir has only supported the genocide of tribal groups in Darfur. He has single handedly funded the Janjaweed military who has displaced over two million Sudanese citizens from there homes and killed over 180,000 people based on tribal and religious ethnicity. Zimbabwe’s own Robert Mugabe has let the life expectancy decrease from 62 to 38. He has done nothing to stop HIV/ AIDS from ravaging his country and he has forced 700,000 people out of their homes to “clean” the country. Another country that has sustained great difficulty to its people is Equatorial Guinea. Their dictator, Teodoro Obiang Nguema has created a judicial system based on torture. In some countries such as Sudan, military intervention can be justified, but in some other countries military intervention cannot fix the problem. Military intervention cannot stop rampant AIDS in Zimbabwe. There are many things we can still do in Africa, even in this chaotic environment. First, we can apply specific economic penalties to the dictatorships in Africa. and we can encourage other economic powers to do the same thing. Second, provide humanitarian aid to the people in the countries who need assistance. Third, provide further support to groups that seek power and freedom through democracy in those countries. Finally, we need to fix the problems we have created in the Middle East so that other countries will once again view us as world leaders.

Thank you to our Common Sense Patrons! Rahul Yenigalla, David Taylor, Trisha Larsen, Elizabeth Luu, Debra Dillon, Liz Rubin, Lexy Kessler, Michael McRae, Steve Bossie, Mickey Bolmer, Andrea Golden, Mahbubul Hal, Ellen and Bill Sternberg, Tom Pappas, Carol and Jon Plotsky, Debbie Astrove, Rob Loewy, and Liz Shore



Common Sense - October 26, 2007

Sounding Off: Do We Have A Right to Condemn Obesity? Yes, We Need to Make Sure that No, People Have the Right to ConPeople Remain Healthy and Aware trol Their Own Weight and Health Alex Veremeychik staff writer Though the crusade against obesity may seem harsh and callous, it is completely justified in the context of today’s America. Obesity is a condition in which a person’s energy reserve, aka fat, is increased to a point where their health begins to deteriorate, increasing mortality. Being overweight is having more fat than the body needs to function properly, and is often a precursor to becoming obese. More than 66.3% of American adults are overweight or obese. Obesity is one of the leading causes of diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. It is also a factor in acquiring asthma, fatty liver disease, carpal tunnel syndrome, and dementia. Recently, perhaps for these reasons, Americans have adopted the tendency to categorize obesity as a disease. Such a word suggests that those who are obese are helpless and merely victims of misfortunate occurrences. This mindset sharply contrasts the truth. Obesity is rarely out of the control of its sufferer. Obesity is a lifestyle, not a disease. Obesity is not acquired, or passed on. It is a condition that occurs over a buildup of time eating poorly and maintaining a low level of activity. Furthermore, such ideas contribute to the overall social acceptance of obese and overweight people. And why shouldn’t we? Is this not the “land of the free,” where one can chose to do and be whatever they wish? Yet no one directly chooses to become obese. One only chooses not to exercise. One only chooses to eat poorly. Yet, acceptance of an overweight nation grows. It is now considered a great evil to use words such as “fat” to describe a person. More and more people are accepting their “voluptuous” and “full-figured” forms. There is even an entire Fat Acceptance Movement dedicated to being prideful of their large excess of adipose tissue. These movements are supplemented by the growth in girth of the population in general. The average American is nearly 25

pounds heavier than in 1960. With a greater percentage of the population being overweight, more and more Americans are assuming that it is perfectly fine to be “big boned” and are joining their friends and neighbors in hopping on the band wagon to a land of clogged arteries and decreased fertility, among many other consequences. The only way to combat these health problems is for society to accept that being overweight is generally wrong. Americans must accept that being overweight and obese endangers one’s health. It is not just a body type, but your quality of health. The majority of people have been convinced of the dangers of smoking and other drugs. Smokers are being criticized more than ever, so why not obese people? Are they not gambling with their health just as much as the average smoker? Massive crusades against smoking and using other drugs have been launched in the past, so a massive crusade against obesity is not only inevitable, but necessary.

David Taylor features editor It may seem like a crusade against obesity is a productive initiative, but the concept is misdirected and entirely detrimental to society at large. The mentality that being obese a life choice as opposed to a disease is fundamentally flawed. On April 12, 2007, professor of molecular medicine Andrew Hattersley at Peninsula Medical School in England announced that there was a relation between genetics and obesity. In a review of over 38,000 citizens of the United Kingdom, a specific gene thread was directly related to excess body fat in all cases. Knowing this, it is impossible to assert that it is one’s “choice” to become fat. While diet and exercise play a major role in shaping the body of a human being, we must be sensitive to the fact that it is not always one’s fault that they are overweight. Because obesity is not fully controllable,

art by Polly Guo

it is not only inefficient but it is injurious to crusade against it. Many people will perceive the goals of such a movement as both physically impossible and damaging to self-esteem. While it is in the interest of a human’s health to be fit, declaring obesity as “generally wrong” is a terrible mistake. The result of such thinking will inevitably provoke eating disorders To define one’s physical appearance as right or wrong is exactly the perspective that allows self-conscious teenagers to make up 40% of the anorexia-afflicted population. Anorexia and Bulimia plague our country already, and a “crusade” against obesity certainly will not help the situation. Still, we cannot only focus on the obese, for people would not overeat nearly as much were it not for the merciless marketing of fast food chains, restaurants, and corporations. Even with the knowledge that their foods can harm and kill customers, corporations persist in their efforts. They produce what we see on TV everyday, sexy ad campaigns that inexplicably associate good-looking women with greasy hamburgers. This is a textbook case of executives being morally irresponsible with their money. Partly due to the ruthlessness that the free market fosters, bosses naturally care more about the success of their product than its effects upon the customer. We cannot, however, hold companies fully accountable for making people fat, so we must turn to other, more efficient, methods of combating such an issue. Ostracizing the afflicted population is counterproductive, teaching them is not. In order to create an active solution to the problem, we must educate people earlier and more efficiently about the dangers of obesity. If people associate cheeseburgers with death, it is more likely that a salad will instead be chosen for dinner. Still, in the midst of all of this, it is important to remember that like the clothing we wear or the books we read, what we eat is a personal choice. If eating makes people happy and it doesn’t affect you, why not let people be happy?

Is the Music Industry Partially Responsible for Surges in Piracy? Kyle Doherty staff writer Music piracy has been plaguing the record industry for years now. Ever since the jump from CD to MP3, and even the jump from cassette to CD, people have been finding ways around copyright restrictions in order to give music to their friends and even complete strangers. And there is no sign of this stopping anytime soon. Unfortunately, the steps taken by groups such as the Recording Industry AA, which is essentially a group of lawyers who file suits on behalf of the record industry, and their affiliates in the movie and other industries, have only exacerbated the situation to a point where things have gotten completely out of hand. The music industry clearly does not know how to fix the problem, and in their attempts to slap a band-aid labeled “law-suit” on their largely self-inflicted wounds, they continue to dig their own grave. The biggest problem the record compa-

nies face is that they don’t know their consumers anymore. The move into the digital age (where iTunes is the norm, and shrinkwrap an ever fleeting remnant of the past), has turned the industry upside down. Record executives and the lawyers who represent them simply don’t understand the technology behind digital music, and they certainly can’t seem to wrap their heads around it quickly enough to fix the problem. And filesharing, which many Wootton students are no doubt familiar with, is running rampant, with little to no possibility of checking on its use. Limewire, the now largely defunct KaZaA, and all other sorts of “Peer to Peer” (P2P) networks make downloading a song a trivial affair. So why do people pirate? Simply put, people pirate because it’s free and easy. They do it because they don’t find enough value in the product that Sony BMG, Capitol Records, Universal Music Group, Warner Bros. are producing. At least not enough to pay for it.. People pirate because it’s fast, discreet,

they can get exactly what they want, and expose themselves to new music. But above, once again; it’s free. People will always pay the lowest price they can, and now-a-days, people are paying nothing. People I know pirate because they know they can get away with it. So far, the way the record companies have responded to these problems has been litigation, subpoenas, and general scare tactics. They haven’t realized that their output has become more and more sub-par over the years, and people no longer find a worthy value in the music they produce. They haven’t realized that they can’t catch everyone, and the pirates know that. In short, the industry has come up with excuses. There is one simple fact they are missing out on, people would pay for music if it made sense. Today a person can say to themself, “Okay I really want this new album, but I know I can get it on Limewire for free. Why would I buy this?” This is the big question, and it needs to be answered by the record compa-

nies, and answered differently than “because it’s illegal if you don’t.” People know that it’s illegal, but they will do it anyway. The way traditional economics would work is that either the company improves its product or goes out of business. Not so in this situation. In this case they sue instead of cleaning house. While piracy is clearly illegal, the use of lawsuits doesn’t do anything other than alienate potential customers, and it also raises awareness of the fact that they still don’t have an effective way to stop piracy. Take the case of Jammie Thomas for instance. Thomas, a single mother is being sued for downloading music off of KaZaA, just one of the 20,000 lawsuits the RIAA alone has filed against P2P users since 2003. This can hardly be considered a great way to win public support in the fight against piracy. But more important than that startling figure is the quote from a representative for Sony BMG during her testimony, “When an see “piracy” on page 7


What do you think “Artificial” means?

Notes Common Sense - October 26, 2007

Budget No Longer Allows For Six Girlfriends Fandom Gone Awry Hit hard by the truth, seventeen year-old Jake Rabinski regretably told four of his six girlfriends that they would no longer be able to “hang” due to recent financial troubles. The budding Wall Street-er started dating during his fifteenth birthday party at ShadowLand, and has not broken up a single relationship. This lack of emotional strength has caused him to seemingly “collect” girlfriends at an irrational rate, as his mother noted in an exclusive interview. “My boy just don’t know how to treat his friends right. [sic] Teaching him how to be manly was the worst thing a mother ever could have done,” Mrs. Rita Rabinski said. “I just lost my job at the auto repair shop, so I’ve pretty much lost all financial support,” Jake

said. “Luckily, my father is the wealthy owner of a Middle Eastern Fur Coat Company, and he gives me a noteworthy allowance. It’s pretty big, I’d say. Real big.” Tiffany Rzechcharlos, Jake’s fifth and “most special” girlfriend, was admittedly disappointed about Jake putting her on the bench until next season. “I think I’m pretty nice to him and his guy friends. As far as I know, I was the nicest of the bunch,” sixteen year-old Ms. Rzechcharlos said. “I offered them bubblegum each time I had any to share. That was about 33 percent of the time.” Ms. Rzechcharlos plans on majoring in accounting, while living in Greece, next year. Jake’s other friends and homies were not available for comment.

Overachiever Has Going Away Party for Life Fictional Wootton freshman Jonathon Smitty recently held a going away party for his life. Smitty, who is taking eight Advanced Placement (AP) classes this year, wanted his life to go out “with a bang.” “I knew that this year, taking eight APs and all, was going to be too much for my life to take, so I decided to hold a big bash for all of my friends. Hopefully, when all is said and done, I can hold a ‘Welcome Back’ party for it,” Smitty said. With a real life Mariachi band and enough Hawaiian Punch to drown Dog the Bounty Hunter, the party was a smash hit with all five attendees, only

one of whom was non-imaginary. When we asked, ‘Bob,’ one of Jonathon’s imaginary friends to comment, he was eerily silent. “I wondered to myself, ‘Doesn’t anybody like Mariachi bands?’ but it was all for naught,” Smitty stated when asked about why only one person, his wheelchair bound grandmother, showed up. The thing Smitty will miss the most? “I mean, not being able to play Counter-Strike eight hours a day is a big, fat dagger but other than that, the homework should be pretty fun. Oh, and the fact that I don’t have a lunch whomps, ‘cuz like [sic] Lunchables are pretty much incredible.”

“I am a HUGE Kristján Kristjánsson (KK) fan! OMG!” - Yojimi Korishi

Quote NOT Within a Quote “I don’t use contractions.” - Sixth Period English Jeri K. Thompson, actor Substitute; October 26, 2007 Fred Thompson’s current

QuoteWithinaQuote “Everyday is silent and grey.” - Former Senator Mike ‘The Realist’ Gravel

wife, likes three things: NAFTA, the doctors’ advice column, and her cuteas-a-button republican politician husband. Pretty sure about those facts, but might be a little off.

Hard-Hitting Photojournalism/

For the Benefit of the World


Our premier political observasionist, Heston Roberts, also a one time Prime Minister of France, will be hosting an online chat on Sunday, November 19, 1987 on the official Republic of Czech Imperialists homepage (available on most LANs). The topic will range in discussion from the NRA’s new ban on cotton candy flavored ear plugs, foreign militants operating a headquaters for Peruvian mischief in Lima, abuse of the comma, Sonny and Cher’s recent reunion on Late Night, and Yanni’s latest album, Out of Silence.

Livin’ it Up in Fallsmead: High-Class Facilities

Whippersnappers Just Don’t Know Their Place Albert Harrington on a diet of lettuce and raisins After a shot of prune juice and some high-grade grits, I like to turn on my television set for after-dinner enjoyment. As I was slowly perusing through the channels on the TV box yesterday, I noticed an alarming fact: these young whippersnappers just don’t know their place. I see supposed gentlemen walking in their long-john low-pants and their backward hats. And it disgusts me to no logical end. And this is considered taste! When I was a boy, the only “high class” outfit I owned was my birthday suit, and that was stained thanks to years of neglect. When I went to school, I had to walk 42 kilometers each way, in the snow, barefoot, hopping on one leg, with a giant sign hanging over my shoulders that told of a local mattress store’s President’s Day sale. Anyhow, these kids today have these “cars” that magically “drive” them all the way to their air-conditioned schools. My parents did not buy me a car. They perished in the bubonic plague years before I was born (life insurance kept me afloat). These rude youngsters appear to me as irresponsible, wimpy men. Their skinny, slinky cheeseburger-ridden bodies defame all that was glorious about 1920s gloss. One brutally cold winter’s day found me immersed in a doomsday swirl of frost-sworn deathsicles. It was

minus twelve degrees at school and what did we do? We performed acapella versions of Tin Pan Alley songs in the schoolyard, while barrels of Hearstsponsored newspapers burned in used oil barrels. And on the good days, we would paint pastel portraits of the irreplaceable John D. Rockefeller, the founder of our formerly grand country. The state of the nation has fallen into a disturbing downward spiral, full of “Nintendo 64s” and “grunge” music. I’ve even heard of something called “fried chicken by the Colonel.” What is this?! In my day, our military officials were a proud people who would never lower themselves to hawking greasesmothered “nuggets” for the general public’s filthy money. Why, I remember when our dollars bills were in black and white! What is happening to America is a disgrace to the great likes of Moncure D. Conway and Charles James Fox. Even men like Guy Debord would be ashamed. And why should he be? He has no reason except for his human heart. And that, you young fools, is what the core of this debacle is all about. Heart is what this generation lacks. Heart is what this generation needs. Don’t you see? Please refer to the greater good (Civics 101 at BCX3) for more on this subject. Excuse me, while I sloppily apply my listerine-drenched dentures. I smile for no one but carnival rides and young waitresses of the South.

I May Be Old, But I Am Young At Heart! You’ve been too busy with your playing with your  “Wiis” and your “Hollister” to notice proper living technique! Take a look around, for this is not a world of such one I envisioned. My own journey has frequented an unrequited number of calamities and as a result, I have become the wiser of men.

 

Outwitting time and my own perpendicular b o u n d a r i e s, life is here as a savioral resonance to remind us all that the key is specialties and irregularity. For it is within this and without this that we experience the truest of human emotions

and our utmost inner beings are exposed to the bare meaning of life. And its wonderment. Is its wonderment not something to behold? For truth be the master, but lies and the like find no place in this miraculous existence! And the savorial being of passing? For yours too! For the being knows of all life. And yours! Let the spiritual w a s h away with your soul. Let it and prepare for everreadiness, as a grander one would ask of you. Now let this be a solemn reminder and Enjoy! Enjoy! For that is the truest of truths, and for you the self-evidence relies upon your own self, your being. There is truth and there is the path.



You may have to Google some of this.

Beach Photo Shoot Goes Well Record Industry HARDCORE OPINION

Presented by Dr. Arthur von Gugenheim Putssmith and Dr. Chadithan del Liechtoro (Theorists) Dearest Doctors, 194 years ago I buried myself in a hole to hide myself from York policemen. However, as I awaken from my zombie-like slumber, I find that I simply cannot cope in a world where the textile industry has taken so much away from the average citizen. In my travels abroad, I have found that, yes, the demons of progress have hounded not only stoic Britain but the entire world! I had to travel all the way to India to get my smash on! Yes, possibly the only good thing that has come with time is the gradual disintegration of language as a whole. But this is not my point.  My point is, I can’t find a good embalmer to save my life! It looks like the entire industry was replaced by deviants of the most disturbing nature. Pray tell, can you give me some advice for both coping and staying fully-limbed in a world of electricity? Sincerely Yours, Ned Ludd Well Ned, we understand your technology-riddled plight better than you know. Every bit of electronic mail we receive is painstakingly forwarded to our man in India, whose talents allow him to scribe the letter onto a layer of papyrus as we wire his fee into his bank account (based on the monetary merits of sea shells and the hides of wild Care Bears). We then wait 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. For all we know, Algor Mortis has already set in, making your usually warm company when dealing with morticians less so. As for your technology problem, we suggest holing yourself up in the mountains, or perhaps a bell tower until people start to understand. Until that day comes… You Know Who We Are To My Most Magnificent Birds of Joy, I’m in quite a spot of trouble. My visa has just expired, the love of my life has just run away, my Visa Checkcard has just expired, I have an unhealthy obsession with archiving product recall announcements, I live in a run-down threatening part of town that might frighten me on my walk home tonight, and I have an unshakeable habit of writting horrid run-on sentences with a complete disregard for proper comma usage. Please. I am tired and I am lonely and I am profound. Help. Well, we feel your pain, dear reader. This letter marks a dark time in today’s column. Very sorrowful. We, of our own humanity, have been utterly shaken by the disturbing reality of your problems. We wish you luck. And to solve your recurring problem with run-on sentences, we have sent a hit man (“Vinny the Butcher”) to end your writing, mid-sentence. You are very welcome. Wise Doctors, As a longtime reader of your advice column, I know your dynamic duo can solve my ill-timed and dire problem, even if it isn’t exactly in your field of doctoring. You see, my family has, for ages, lived inland, miles from any source of water. However, our

Digging Its Own Grave

from “piracy,” page 5

The prefered monetary note of people with college degrees everywhere, anywhere: “cute lil’ doggies.” landlocked clan recently has moved closer to the shore, and with this move we have noticed that our normally mundane beliefs have become the hottest topic in town, this side of Astro Boy reruns. So, changing our family name from Alka-Daa to Jones, we moved to the coast only to find our oil-driven luck has run out. As we approached our new seaside villa, we saw demons flying overhead leaving fruitcakes and other horrid “gifts” atop our roof. These white-winged monsters were already making our home a den of depravity and feces. As I thought things could not get any worse, they attacked my brother, who, incidentally, is made entirely out of bread. They tore him to pieces before my eyes. In the name of all that is Holy, tell me what to do before it is too late! Hail, Hail; Akeem of Nazareth P.S. Sheikh Sells Sea Shells By The Sheikh’s Shore. Luckily for you and your inanimate brother, you are incorrect. Sometime before or after our “dynamic” escapades began, we were forced to become ordained as Quaker ministers (yes, we apologize but we no longer are selling Buddha statues on eBay. Please continue to support our worthy charity by purchasing from our selection of used records and magazines. Thanks, and may a deity be with you). Even as we escaped the iron fist that is imprisonment, we still kept our official titles as Ministers. If anyone is looking to sell us a subscription to The Friend, ours just ran out. However, what you need is not a Minister to exorcise your home of demons, but an exterminator! You seem to have a home infested with seagulls, or possibly terns (maybe even a flock of Michaelera John Travoltas?). I would suggest not having any more children with a loaf of any kind. Additionally, you should probably get away from the Mediterranean, where The Blair Witch Project was not filmed. Excuse us while we finish watching The T.A.M.I. Show (Thank you American International Pictures! Our teenage tempers have been tamed!). Until Next Time, Surfer Dudes and Dudettes, The Doctors

STOP Being a Lazy Hypocrite ...and send us an e-mail. Do it. Please. Ask us a question. Tell us a story. Say hello. Do something to confirm our life-long quest to confirm our lives. Or even put a note in the Common Sense mailbox in the main office. Why don’t you write a letter to the editor? The paper has just received its first letter in many a season and we are very grateful (see page 4). The good public has responded! Many thanks and we look forward to some correspondence.

Let’s Be American About This: • Bluegrass band sells two CDs at local bar. Peanuts stolen. • Freshman cites Aladdin as best film of the 90s • “My son tried. And that’s all you can hope for, really,” admits a disappointed father. • Evidence of Lead in Water at Every Turn. Mercury Spill Can Wait. • Irony Lost on Students • Teacher Secretly Insults Class of Snotty Kids with Subversive Comment and a 70s Pop Culture Reference

“piracy,” continued from right

Pandora’s Box has been opened and continues to swell because of the ignorant stance of the music industry. People know a dirty little secret, they can get music online, for free. Unless they can somehow come to their senses and focus on changing what is wrong with their distribution and marketing, fixing themselves rather than changing everyone else, we’re likely to see the end of the big record companies of the past. After all, “the times they are a-changin’,” as Bob Dylan so aptly put it. People expect more now, and it’s up to the record companies to keep up.

individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.” In effect, what Jennifer Pariser, the head of litigation for Sony, is saying is that copying a song you already own, for use on your own computers, on your own iPod, is a crime. This is just a sad testament to how stuck in the past the music industry is, and this is why Sony BMG is half the size it was in 2000. They don’t understand the digital world, to them, a song is a physical entity, because it used to actually be a physical entity. They haven’t gotten their minds around the fact that it’s just bits and bytes now, that re-producing a song doesn’t cost hardly anything anymore and they’re paying for it dearly. This can most accurately be equated to the pharmaceutical industry, where the joke “The first pill costs 30 million, all the rest are free,” is often asserted. This is equally true of music in today’s world, the first song may take money to produce, but a digital reproduction of that song costs next to nothing to make. Therefore, unlike the CD world of old, each actual copy of a song costs next to nothing and the record labels don’t lose money off the actually copy. It is also a testament to the greed of the industry, they want you to have to pay money for every copy of a song, every time you want to move it from place to place, all due to a simple lack of understanding of their users and the evolving marketplace. Apple’s Ringtone venture with the latest release of iTunes is so fraught with deceit and wrong-doing that it is almost sickening. Paying another dollar so you can download a 30-second clip of a song you already purchased is just an example of the place the music industry is in right now, and it’s a frightening place indeed. This could be the best reasoning behind a person’s choice to pirate. No one in their right mind will pay again for a shortened version of a song they already own so it can be “converted” into a ringtone. So what is the solution? Clearly litigation isn’t working, as piracy figures have only increased in recent years, and the use of over-restrictive locks on legitimately purchased music, (see Apple’s FairPlay technology and others) has caused more people to download a lock free, also known as digital rights management (DRM), free copy off of P2P Networks. The answer is to change the way we think about music. People are starting to get sick and tired of the same old same old, and while a discourse on music taste is beyond the scope of this article, listeners have started to put their foot down in the form of not paying for music anymore. Instead of suing their customers for their lack of loyalty, big music has to start offering incentives to buy legitimately. We’re already starting to see this in the form of “Extras,” bonuses like music videos attached to album purchases on iTunes, and various pre-order exclusives and the like. This is one of the few steps forward the industry is making, in their attempt to stop crawling and start walking in this new age. However, it’s really going to be the artists themselves who make a difference. It’s their product after -all, the record companies just market and sell it. Lately, Prince, Nine Inch Nails, and Radiohead have made headlines by ditching conventional distribution and offering their music up to fans for either an incredibly reduced cost, or in some cases, absolutely free online. This kind of sanctioned distribution is a great thing for artists, who are the people we really want to support anyway. The widespread availability of songs will only lead to increased exposure and customer loyalty if done through the artists themselves. Radiohead is actually letting you pick your price for their new album via their website, and taking a gamble that people will support them if they make a quality product. This is one of the first examples of progress that music has made forward in the last few years. In the end, music piracy can never go away. please look to your left

art by Amy Fofa

“The Revolving Door” is on vacation. Can you blame him?



Common Sense - September 28 2007

Students Walk For Homeless

Rebecca Lurye staff writer

Students gathered on the Wootton track on September 28 to participate in the mini-walk. The event was sponsored by the National Honors Society to raise awareness and money for the homeless in Montgomery County. “[The walk] is something we do with the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH),” said social studies teacher and National Honors Society sponsor, Ms. Nia Cresham. The MCCH has implemented a 10 year plan to end homelessness and improve the conditions of those living with homelessness right now. “Our goal was to raise money specifically for the homeless in our county,” Cresham said.  In order to reach their goal, NHS students were asked to contribute money and recruit other students to join the walk.  Participants could pay 15 dollars to walk and get a Tshirt or could pledge 15 dollars and get someone else to walk in their place. Members did this in order to involve as many students as possible and so that people could participate in ways other than by donating money.  Some NHS members found that system complicating.  “It was very difficult to recruit people, because [Friday] was a half day,” junior Evon Davis said, “but once it started, it was very fun and quick.” Junior Raevathi Ramadorai also had suggestions for the next walk. “I really liked the idea, helping the homeless, but we should have had sponsors,” Ramadorai said. “If we had donations for the number of laps a student walks we would have raised a lot more money.” Another walk is scheduled to take place later this year, and plans for improvement are under way. “I wanted to get into the concessions area, so the drinks could be cold, and I wanted to have music piped in [during the walk],” Cresham said.  Even though the event was the first of its kind in seven years at Wootton, it was hugely successful.   “I was so impressed with the number of kids that

photo courtesy of Mrs. Cresham

Seniors Matt Chang(L), Amit Singal(C), and Vaishali Purohit(R) walk for homeless around the track. The event raised $5000.

showed up. We had a great response, even without the music playing,” Cresham said. Around 5000 dollars was raised to go directly to the homeless with no money earmarked for overhead. Many students were surprised that the NHS chose homelessness to address with a mini-walk. “Homelessness [is] much more of a problem than people are aware of.  People think that everyone in this area is affluent.” Cresham said. Of the 12,000 homeless in Montgomery County, one in four is a child and 40% are in families. Furthermore, of

those, half are currently employed but still cannot afford housing. The MCCH has worked to raise wages, increase the supply of affordable housing, and develop a variety of community recourses, according to their website. The next Wootton-sponsored walk will take place later this year, but there are ways to get involved now. Students are encouraged to participate in the Help the Homeless walk November 17 in Washington, DC. “We meet at the subway and do the walk as a group. It’s very exciting,” Cresham said. Those interested can contact an NHS member or Cresham.

Former Frost Teacher Incarcerated Preston Cornish news editor

this was not the first brush with the law for Marks. She was convicted of malicious destruction of property in 1998 and charged with a number of other offenses. Despite that lengthy prior record, Marks was hired as a paraeducator at Wootton. Marks was almost universally disliked by former Frost students that she taught. When asked about Marks, one student, who asked to remain anonymous said, “I always thought she was scary, but it was still crazy that she got busted.” In other Frost-related news, former teacher Joseph Ballmann’s trial begins January 28, 2008. He is charged with three counts stemming from an alleged relationship he had with a former Frost student from 2004 to 2005.

Former Robert Frost Middle School teacher Erin Marks was sentenced to nine months in jail and 18 months probation on September 26, 2007 by the Montgomery County Circuit Court. Judge Paul Weinstein handed down the jail time after Marks pleaded guilty in July to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Another count of distribution of a controlled substance was dropped as part of a plea deal. The charges stem from a November 2006 cocaine deal Marks instigated involving an undercover officer. She was arrested February 15 of this year, after a search of the house she shared with her then-boyfriend turned up, according to police, marijuana, cocaine, drug paraphernalia, drug-cutting agents, digital scales and several thousand dollars in cash, That boyfriend, Ronald Dwyer, pled guilty to three drug-related charges in July and is facing a minimum of five years in jail when he is sentenced October 26. Marks’ attorney, David Felsen, told the Rockville Gazette that Marks was visibly upset at her sentencing. He said that, “at all times she has accepted responsibility [for her actions].” Marks was placed on administrative leave following her arrest. In April, she resigned from her position. Frost principal Dr. Joey Jones would not respond to our interview request, citing MCPS policy. Last month, Common Sense reported that Marks will spend nine months in jail.



Common Sense - October 26, 2007

Mathletes Zero In on Competitions Hannah Lehrenbaum staff writer After a strong 2006-2007 school year, the Wootton High School Mathletes are looking to dominate again this year in the Montgomery County Interscholastic Mathematics League (MCIML). Led by math teacher Mrs. Alexandra Brasoveanu-Tarpy, the team consists of students from varied backgrounds, with varying degrees of math experience. “[The main goal of the team is] getting a group of interested students to do math problems that differ from those in normal curricula,” Brasoveanu said. The club is open to any Wootton student who wishes to improve his or her proficiency in mathematics, and students can join at any point in the year. The team meets every Wednesday to train and prepare for meets by studying practice problems from previous years’ competitions. The MCIML is comprised of all of the high schools in the county. Based on performance in this competition, students may be selected to become members of the Montgomery County team, which competes in the American Regional Math League (ARML).

In addition to participating in meets, the Mathletes have the opportunity to compete in the University of Maryland High School Mathematics Competition and the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC). These competitions are widely recognized throughout the United States. The University of Maryland Competition has two parts and during the 2005 edition of the competition more than 2,300 students took the exam. First, second, and third place are recognized in this competition, in addition to the highest score in each county. Last year three Wootton students received

Wootton Math Team was awarded the Certificate of Merit for outstanding proficiency from the AMC12. This year’s 22-member team, led by senior Captain Sean

photos by Hannah Lehrenbaum

Weerakkody, is hoping to channel some of the success of last year’s team and make an impact on the county, state, and possibly national level. Though the competitions are challenging, the team remains optimistic that they will perform well in the upcoming year. “[The problems] are very difficult and require a lot of experience. You need to make connections between subjects and use creativity,” Brasoveanu Mrs. Brasoveanu-Tarpy coaches the team to victory. said. Even some of the most experienced team honorable mentions in the competition. members find the work challenging. The AMC is designed to recognize and “Some of [the tests] are easy, like ARML, but some of reward excellence in mathematics. The AMC10 is them are very hard like USAMO,” junior Suyan She said. designed for students in 9th and 10th grade, while In addition to developing skills in mathematics, the team the AMC12 is designed for students in 11th or 12th provides a great opportunity to meet people with similar grade, though younger students are also able to interests from Wootton and other schools in the county. participate. This year, the math team has attracted new members, Success in these competitions qualifies who will make an impact during competition. students to participate in American Invitational Freshman Russell Brown said, “[The math team] is Junior Tristiana Zuban (left) works on the math challenges while.... Mathematics Examination (AIME) and the mentally challenging but rewarding. It’s a good experience United States of America Mathematical Olympiad and I’ll definitely do it again [next year].” (USAMO). The team is looking forward to a successful year and Members of ARML participate in competitions on a Two Wootton students, juniors Suyan She and Qinxuan encourages people to join for the experience. “Mrs.. national level. In 2006, five Wootton Students, David Pardo, Brasoveanu and the mathletes invite everyone to come Sandeep Venkatarum, Sean Weerakkody, Ashish Shenoy, and Pan, qualified for USAMO last year. In addition to the individual success of the team, the support the math team,” She said. David Li, were selected to train for ARML.


News Common Sense - October 26, 2007

Sexual Orientation to Be Part of Health Curriculum from SEX ED, page 1 for the reinstatement of the previous curriculum. CRC bases its primary arguments around students being required to read undocumented stories about other students announcing their homosexuality, and argue that the class does not inform students of the dangers of transgender surgery. Although the LGBT community undeniably still encounters some discrimination, relations and acceptance has come a long way. The movement for homosexuality tolerance is considered to have started in Australia in 1970-71. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders, helping remove a stigma from those who had “come out.” In recent years, many celebrities, such as Ellen Degeneres and Rosie O’Donnell, have also “come out of the closet” due to the increased acceptance of the homosexual community. Currently, the topic of gay marriages and civil unions is hotly debated among the presidential candidates, and all of the Democratic candidates support expanding gay rights. Though only Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and former Ohio Sen. Mike Gravel favor gay marriage, all the Democrats say they support civil unions that would give same-sex couples most of the rights and benefits available to married couples. The change to the MCPS Sex Ed. curriculum to include the topic of sexual orientation is a refelection of the move in the United States toward a more informed acceptance of the LGBT community. MCPS currently requires students to take the health course, which sophomores usually take either during the school year or during the summer. Health at Wootton High School is taught by Ms. Suzanne Foster and Ms. Renee Simons.

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News Common Sense - October, 26 2007




Scariest Places

Baltimore—Washington College Hospital In the 19th century, Washington College Hospital was faced with frightening stories of people who experienced pain on the surgical table. Because of the hospital’s reputation, most patients decided that they would prefer to die from the disease rather than experience the potentially excruciating cure. This left the hospital in financial ruins, and the owners decided to abandon ship. They left behind many of their books, surgical tools, and equipment. They also neglected to remove a large number of bones and other human remains. In the 1930s a cemetery was built nearby. It was said that many corpses that were buried in the cemetery didn’t stay in their graves for long. Within twenty-four hours the dead bodies would be snatched from their graves and put on a dissecting table in the Washington College Hospital. One day a man appeared at the door of the hospital around midnight with a large bag containing a corpse. He was most unhappy to find the hospital void of all doctors. Several other similar scenarios were reported, making Washington Hospital a horror to the people in the city of Baltimore. After the sun went down, hardly anyone would venture near the hospital.

Is It Okay For Hallowe excuse t innopropiat



Freddy Vance, Sophomore “Yes! Dressing risque is an excuse for girls to express their inner desires...They want to dress this way every day of the year, but they can’t because it is frowned upon in our society. It’s the one day they can do this freely and not be looked down on.”

*On October 3, 1849 Edgar Allan Poe, a famous poet best known for his stories of mystery, was found collapsed on the streets of Baltimore. Poe was taken to Washington College Hospital, where he died early in the morning on October 7. Supposedly Poe repeatedly called out the name “Reynolds” on the night before his death, and sources say his final words were “lord help my poor soul.” Poe suffered from bouts of depression and madness, and may have attempted suicide in 1848.

Jacqueline Keenan, Sophomore

“Yes because it’s one day out of the year that you can dress inappropriately. As long as you’re not doing it alone it’s okay; if you’re the only one it’s not okay”

Rockville- The Rockville Game Preserve At the turn of the century a woman and her baby were walking home late at night at the Game Preserve in Rockville. As they were walking, a group of gang members attacked and killed them. They were found early in the morning lying sideby-side in the center of a narrow bridge. At night when there are no cars in the area, you can hear the baby crying. Some say you can see the shadow of the woman and her baby walking towards you, preventing you from crossing the bridge. Another report claimed that one night, four years ago, a group of teenagers went to explore the bridge and never returned.

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Kelly Tadken, Senior “Even if people think that it is okay to dress inappropriately, it’s not. The kind of things people wear is a distraction and makes the person look dumb.”

Gaithersburg - Gaithersburg High School Gaithersburg High School was built in the early 1900s. Several years ago there was a janitor named Robert, a scrawny man in his early 60s. He was said to be very social and made friends with almost all the students in the school. Everyone appreciated Robert’s hard work. One night several years ago the boiler room started acting up and Robert went to investigate. Suddenly, there was an explosion in the room and Robert died. A funeral was held for him and almost all of the students attended. It is said that Robert still hangs around the school, and at certain times in the day you can hear the jingling of his keys in the halls. *In Gaithersburg High School there is a hall that is named “C-Hall,” but little does anyone know that under C-Hall there is a lower C-Hall that is blocked and hidden. There was a door recently built in front of the hall that is always locked. In 1976 there was a chemical spill in the lower C-Hall and eight students and one teacher died. It is said that at night you can hear the screams of those nine people.

Arman Aroutunov, Junior “Girls who dress promiscuously on Halloween make a bad impression. Even if you are a conservative girl you still make a fool out of yourself.”


and Lauren Sternberg

Bethesda—Old Georgetown Road Several people have reported seeing disturbing sightings of ghosts on Old Georgetown Road. It’s been said that six years ago a man who lived there heard a noise at 1:20 in the morning. The noise seemed to be coming from his lawn. He peeked outside his window and swore he saw a shadow of a person mowing the grass. When he looked out his door the noise suddenly stopped, and the shadow went away. The next morning however, the lawn was cut and it read, “Get Out Of My House.” Every time the grass grew back, the same words were cut in the lawn. After two years of this, the family moved out. No one lives in the house today. Some people pass the house late at night and see lights on in the house and shadows moving, but in the morning the lights are always off.


SPORTS Common Sense - October 26, 2007

Girls Head Into Playoffs 10-1 Current

Records Varsity Football 4-3

Next game: 10/26 vs. Magruder

Varsity Soccer Final Records:

Boys: 7-5-2 Girls: 9-2

Cross-Country Boys: 0-5 Girls: 5-0

Regional Meet: 11/1 @ Watkins Mill


Final Record: 15-3

Field Hockey Final Record:


Girls Tennis 7-5

Counties: 10/26 @ Churchill

Girls Volleyball 9-2

Next match: 10/26 @ Damascus

photo courtesy of Michael Berman

Sophomore stand-out Allison Yeager (11) pushes the ball upfield against Churchill.

Mike Briggs sports editor The varsity girls soccer team heads into the playoffs with high hopes and a certain swagger that this could be “the year.” The girls ended the season with a 9-2 record and expect to go deep into the playoffs. “We have a good shot of going far in the playoffs. We are strong team, both mentally and physically, but at the same time we are keeping our egos in check,” senior co-captain Katie Duncan said. “We could go deeper this year but that depends on so many factors like seeding, injuries and who is hot at the time,” head

coach Chris Thompson said. “Many years teams have swept through the playoffs by getting hot at the right time.” The biggest game of the year for the Patriots was against the Quince Orchard Cougars, who are the leaders of the 4A East division. Wootton lost 2-1, however the game showed Wootton fans, as well as the rest of the county, a match-up that is likely to show up again in the playoffs. Unfortunately, the team was unable to come through, losing 2-1. The only goal for Wootton came from Allison Yeager. Yeager led the team with seven goals during the regular season. The team put up big wins against Gaithersburg and Whitman, winning 1-0

and 2-0, respectively. Against Gaithersburg, the girls were able to capitalize on the only goal of the game from senior Amanda Hoy on a pass from senior co-captain Schuyler Cosby. The defense was on great, as it has been all year, causing the Trojans to make many erratic passes and take bad shots. Against Whitman, the Patriots earned two goals from freshman Abbey Engleman, both off passes from senior co-captain Melissa Cohen. Engleman had been moved up to the varsity level less than a week before the game, and it did not take long for the move to pay off. “Melissa set me up nicely with both passes. I’m just glad that I was given the opportunity to help our team come through,” Engleman said. Against Blair, Wootton made yet another defensive statement. The girls won 2-0, with goals coming from Cohen in the first half and sophomore stand-out Yeager in the second. The goals were few yet the defense was strong, putting up their third shut-out of the year. In fact, until the team put up nine goals against Springbrook and four more against Magruder, they had only scored 11 goals in 5 games. However, if anything is to be shown from these games, it is that the Patriots are certainly capable of putting up a huge amount of points when needed. Fortunately, Wootton boasts one of the strongest back lines in Montgomery County, anchored by senior captains Duncan and Cosby, with talented goalie Sarah Harper backing them up. The trio has only allowed nine goals this year, with most of them coming when the team was up big late in games. The 9-0 blowout against Springbrook opened up the month of October well. Goals were scored by almost every forward who entered the game for Wootton, including two from both Yeager and Cohen. Senior Julie Klatzkin added two assists in a game that was more of a stat-padder than a competition.

Boys’ Soccer Finishes Strong Year Jared Nelson sports editor As the start of postseason play approaches, the varsity boys’ soccer team is looking to continue their hot streak. In their last match of the season, the Patriots defeated Rockville 3-1, and received key contributions from seniors Chris Ray and Evan Austen, who combined to score the team’s three goals. Wootton also beat Quince Orchard 3-1, and tied Gaithersburg 2-2 in the final two weeks of play. Despite high expectations, the Patriots had a mediocre start to the season. In their first match, Wootton lost a close game to Bethesda Chevy Chase – a team that is widely considered the best in the state. The boys’ team then outplayed Blake 7-0 in a game that displayed stellar goaltending play from senior Brett Burka. Following the big win, they lost to Walter Johnson 4-2 after giving up three goals in the first half and getting shut out in the second half. However, the Patriots rebounded from

this loss by scoring three straight goals in the second half of the Wheaton game for a 3-2 win, and then by dominating Bullis 9-0. Many consider these two games to be the boys’ most important wins of the season. “We came out tired and seemed not ready to play but the team made a big comeback

in the second half after [we were] losing 2-0,” junior Skylar Olson said of the win against Wheaton. “We wanted to get back at them for last year and it felt great to crush them,” senior captain Eli Beavers said of the win over Bullis. Despite this recent success,

photo courtesy of Skylar Olson

Gracia (10) and Olson (7) battle for control against Sherwood.

the Patriots dropped three straight games to Churchill, Sherwood and Magruder in a span of just eight days before tying Springbrook. Next, the boys’ team beat Blair in an intense, low-scoring game 1-0, and upset the heavily favored Whitman team 2-1. The Patriots’ final regular season record stands at 7-5-2, and the boys’ team is looking forward to a respectable seed in the playoffs. “I think we are one of the most talented teams in the county by far, it just depends on our fitness and determination to win. If we play like we have been lately and step it up a little more I think we can go very far in the playoffs,” Beavers said. All three captains of the team (seniors Ryan Gracia, Eli Beavers, and Daniel Livchitz) have played exceptionally well, but several other players have also made major contributions. “Michael Buse, Andy Streilein, and Stephen Ho have played a huge role in our wins this year,” Olson said.


SPORTS Common Sense - October 26, 2007

photos courtesy of Debbie Dillon

Junior linebacker Justin Dhyani returns interception into Rockville territory; Junior wide receiver Ngoumou hands ball over to referee after scoring on Mooney’s 72 yard pass.

Patriots Crush Rockville, Blair

Sameer Malla & Zach Asman staff writer & business manager

After a crushing loss to the Clarksburg Coyotes, the Wootton Patriots varsity football team reeled off two consecutive wins against the Rockville Rams 50-17 and the Blair Blazers 19-6. With the victory against Blair, the team doubled their win total from last year to 4-3. The Patriots defense dominated the game against the Blazers, forcing four turnovers, including an interception by junior defensive back Dillon Kennedy. The defense ended the game with two consecutive sacks by junior linebacker Mike Cresham and senior defensive lineman Miles Jones.  “The defense played fairly well, and it kept us alive [throughout the game],” head coach Greg Malling said. The Patriots received touchdowns from junior running back Andrew Rosenblatt and senior running backs Mike Ashe and Jimmy Cockerill. The win against Blair came off a dominating homecoming performance against the Rams of Rockville. “Coming off of two straight losses really fired us up and we knew that we needed to get a win and get things rolling again,” junior starting quarterback Michael Mooney said. “[This was] the most complete game in the three years that I have been coaching here,” head coach Greg Malling said. “The atmosphere is incredible. The crowd was large and loud, and the [players] feed off them.” “Our triumph over Rockville definitely felt great. It was good to go out on our homecoming game and play so well, and give the fans something to cheer about. We had a great week of practice leading up to the Rockville game, so we felt confident going in that we would play well,” Mooney said. The Patriots played a near-perfect game against the Rams in all aspects– on offense and on defense. On the second play from scrimmage for the Patriots at their own thirty-two yard line, quarterback Mike Mooney lofted a 72-yard pass down the right sideline to junior wide receiver Stephan Ngoumou. On their third possession of the game, senior wide receiver/ linebacker Brendan Ray dove for a one-yard TD run with 5:50 left in the second quarter. The Patriots’ offense, as well as Ray, did not stop there. Following a Rockville punt, Wootton had the ball with second and one at their own thirty-three yard line. Ray made a spectacular juggling catch down the left sideline for an impressive thirty-eight yard pass from Mooney to continue the drive.

The drive ended on a twenty-yard screen pass from Mooney to junior wide receiver Matt Paris. The Patriots’ defense was as good as their offense in the homecoming game. The first drive of the game by the Rockville Rams lasted 10 minutes and twelve seconds, gained 41 yards, and included two pass interference penalties, one offside penalty, and a bunch of runs by the Rockville running back Tarik Paul. Despite all of this, the Patriots’ defense stood its ground, only allowing a field goal on the drive to set the tempo for the remainder of the game. “[This] drive I was most proud of. [It was] the best stand of the year,” Coach Malling said moments after the game. Rockville’s first possession of the second half was a dreadful one, thanks to the crowd and the stellar Wootton defense. After a minimal run of two yards, the Rams had second and eight at their own thirty-five yard line. They committed a false start penalty, and on the following play, Rockville quarterback Malcolm Robinson threw a pass that was picked off by junior linebacker Justin Dhyani.   The win was particularly sweet for the Patriots after two consecutive losses to Northwest and Clarksburg. Although they trailed 13-0 with three minutes and 30 seconds left in the game, Mooney and Ray led the charge with a six-play, sixty yard drive to close the gap to 13-7. In that drive, Ray had a huge fourth-down haul of 15 yards and also a 39-yard reception from Mooney. Ray finished off the drive with a six-yard run with two minutes left in the game to cut the gap to six. On the subsequent possession for the Patriots, with a minute and seven seconds left on the clock, Mooney perfectly passed a 19-yard strike to Jones on the Coyotes’ 35 yard-line. With nearly no time on the clock, Mooney tried a desperation “Hail Mary” pass to the end zone but came up short. “We were disappointed after the Clarksburg game. We were waiting for this game,” Malling said. The junior varsity team, under the leadership of sophomore Jeff Porter, has struggled to a 1-4 record after a season opening win against Walter Johnson, including a blowout loss against Northwest. “It was a tough game, but I still think we can be a successful football team,” sophomore receiver Alex Hindman said.

Field Hockey Team Rolls into Playoffs Evan Pappas staff writer The varsity field hockey team is having an excellent season with only one loss in 12 regular season games. In the last ten days of the regular season, the Patriots won two close games against Blake and Paint Branch 1-0, and dominated Rockville in their final match, winning 6-0. With a balanced attack led by senior Joanna Sonley, the Patriots garnered a top seed in the playoffs. “We are in an excellent position for playoffs this year,” head coach Mike Parrish said. “This year’s team has been able to build off of last year’s team and has been able to do critical things slightly better.” This year’s field hockey team (11-1) is expected to surpass last year’s team, which was eliminated in the first round of the regional playoffs. Not only did the Patriots best last year’s regular season record, but they also broke the school record for winning percentage in a regular season. The previous school record was 9-2-1, and this year’s team broke that mark with ease.

“We’ve been playing really well this year and we think we can have a lot of success in the playoffs,” Sonley said. The team’s success is also due to the fact that they have been playing excellent defense. “One of the areas that we have been able to excel on is team defense,” Parrish said. In the past nine games, Wootton has only let up just four goals and has outscored their opponents by 24. The team’s practice has also led them to success on the field. Unlike some other schools, Wootton attempts to control a short passing game that will help them drive the ball downfield. “We have been able to do critical things better than any other team out there,” Parrish said. The local teams on the Patriots’ upcoming postseason schedule should not be overlooked. Wootton may face several obstacles in the beginning of the state tournament this year because local teams such as Poolesville and Churchill also look impressive. In order to surpass last year’s squad, the team must maintain focus and keep a mindset ready for state playoffs.

photo by Evan Pappas

Senior Joanna Sonley and junior Rachel Baron lead an offensive push in a key win against Blake.


SPORTS Common Sense - October 26, 2007

Volleyball Team Clinches Division Luis Batlle staff writer After a slow start to the season, the girls’ varsity volleyball team is on a roll, cruising to a seven-game winning streak. They went 8-2 in their first ten games, and clinched the division title with their most recent victory over Seneca Valley. The team came ready to play against Seneca Valley and kept their focus on executing what they learned in practice. Head coach Mary Malinauskas felt the key to the game was to stay focused. “We needed to stay focused all game,” Malinauskas said. “We needed to take the game seriously, and then just relax and play like we normally do.” Following the words of their coach, the girls came out and executed their game plan to perfection. They went on to win the game 3-0 with an overall score of 75-40, holding them to single digits in the opening match. The team was lead by the strong play of seniors Gena Hlavinka, Rachel Malinauskas, and Rachel Ludema. “It feels awesome,” Rachel Malinauskas said after the Seneca Valley match that clinched the division title. “We hit the ball hard and followed through with our hits,” Hlavinka said. To begin the streak, the team had four straight shutouts, including wins at Wheaton and at Springbrook. In their first match against the Quince Orchard Cougars, they gave up 16 points in the first game, 14 in the second, and 8 in the third. They improved every step of the way, just as they have this season. More recently in a match against Paint Branch, they lost the first game by a score of 32-30 in a back-and-forth battle. Following the close game, coach Malinauskas called a quick huddle, and the team was back on track. The team went on to win the next three games by an overall score of 77-47. During the seven-game win streak, the team continued to play at the top of their game.

photo by Luis Batlle

Coach Malinauskas gives the team words of encouragement between matches. The Patriots defeated Whitman, Wheaton, Springbrook, Watkins Mill, Blake, Paint Branch, and Seneca Valley during their winning streak. In the two matches where they were defeated by Poolesville and Bethesda-Chevy Chase, the team lost by only one game in both. As their season comes into the home stretch, the team faces three tough opponents in Magruder, Damascus and Churchill before the playoffs. Rachel Ludema, one of the team’s key players, believes that the team can ride their recent success into the postseason. “We can [continue the streak], but we have to beat Magruder [who is undefeated],” Ludema said.

Cross Country Team Excels at County Meet Perry Hamburg staff writer Last Saturday, the hard work put in by the cross-country team paid off, as the girls placed fourth and the boys placed 13th out of 25 teams. The girls have been tearing up the track, and finished the regular season as the division two champions. They were led by consistent performances from seniors Veronica Salcido, Iona Machado and Kerry Nisson, and sophomore Jessie Rubin. Salcido and Rubin have placed near the top of every race they have competed in this fall, and both finished in the top 10 at the county meet. The girls’ team finished third as a team in the varsity B race and Salcido placed 3rd, Machado placed 7th and Nisson placed 10th; all earned medals. The boys finished 20th out of 47 teams, and senior Kenny Siu finished 7th in his race. “The girls cross country team has made such a comeback from being ranked #10 to (now being ranked) #5 in the county,” Rubin said. “Although the boys appear to have struggled this year, [I am] actually very pleased with the progress to date,” coach Kellie Redmond said. “Most all of the varsity runners run

photo by Perry Hamburg

Salcido makes the last push needed to finish the race.

PRs (personal records) this season and we have had many

younger runners step up and contribute.” Although cross country is an individual sport, the team is very united. Players attend meets to support their teammates even if they do not participate in any events. As individuals finish each run, they are greeted by cheers from their teammates no matter what their race time is. “Cross country is a fun, family sport,” sophomore Abby Peller said. The Wootton girls finished with an undefeated record this season along with county rivals Churchill, Clarksburg and Poolesville. After finishing second overall at Bull Run on September 29, the team has managed to keep up the success all season long. “I am very encouraged by the performance of both the boys and the girls team this season; I feel we have had some great performances and expect that our best showings will be with the big meets at the end of the season,” Redmond said. “As the regional and state meets approach, we are increasing our workouts to be in top shape,” senior Ben Gordon said. With the strenuous practices and hard work that the team goes through, they are confident that they will be successful in their postseason.


SPORTS Common Sense - October 26, 2007

Tennis Team Finishes Streaky Season Naomi Sapiro staff writer The Wootton varsity girls’ tennis team is hearing an end to the regular season, with a current record of 7-5. The girls started the season off with two dominating matches against Clarksburg High School and Damascus High School. The girls are finishing their season on a high point, with their last game, a dominating win over Rockville High School 7-0. The team entered the county playoffs on a high note with the doubles pairs of senior Sidney Kao and junior Malavika Ramachandran and senior Monica Chan and freshman Leeya Maizels. “We ended up 7-5. That was close to what I was anticipating. I knew it was going to be difficult when you lose your 1,2,3 singles. I still consider us one of the best teams in the county,” head coach Brian Ligon said. “I’m really happy about this year’s season. We accomplished a lot,” sophomore Danielle Rotbert said. Other wins include a match against Einstein (7-0), Watkins Mill (7-0), and Richard Montgomery (6-1). During the Blair game, many of the matches where

dominating in result the girls beat Blair (52). Losses include tough matches against the top two schools in the division, Walter Johnson (0-7), and Churchill (1-6). “It’s hard to beat all the Division 1 teams, but I definitely think that we played our best,” Rotbert said. The girls’ last loss was to Magruder High School, where all the doubles matches won, but all the singles lost. “We lost a couple of matches this season against some of the tougher teams, but we all played hard and we won a lot of matches too, so the team did an awesome job,” senior captain Michelle Kim said. With the season ending, the underclassmen girls are sad to see the seniors leave. “I love the captains,” sophomore Rachel Heimburg, one of the top competitors on the team, said. “They are so spirited, and always have something fun and crazy to do; I’m really sad to see them go.” “The captains are good at what they do, they’re always high spirited, good leaders and make the team fun,” junior Amy Lipton said. Other than Kim, captains include seniors Kao, Chan, and Varsha Kishore.

photo by Ilana Avergun

Sophomore Rachel Heimburg, the top singles player, returns a serve. The team made an effort to make sure that each match was played to their fullest and they tried to do the best they could.

“Even though we lost our top 3 singles last year, we were able to maintain being one of the best in Division 1,” Heimburg said.

Cheerleaders Aim for First Place at Competition Jeff Zifrony staff writer As the fall sports season wraps up, the Wootton cheerleaders are still showing as much enthusiasm as ever. The varsity cheerleading team is preparing for the MCPS Cheer competition on November 17 at Blair. In the competition last year, the Patriots had a disappointing fourth place finish. This year, however, the Patriots have a new and improved attitude towards the competition and expect nothing less than a first place finish. The squad also is performing at the University of Maryland Cheerleading competition on January 18. “We’ve gotten so much better as the year goes on, and we love to work with each other,” returning sophomore Amanda Benjamin said. The team is composed of 16 girls and led by senior captains Erica Silver and Kelsey Barton. There are many new members of the squad, as some former members are now on the Poms squad. Even though much of the the squad is young, the

photo courtesy of yearbook

members feel that they are talented enough to overcome any inexperience. “Our overall talent and athleticism makes us the best in the county,” sophomore Alyssa Warrick said. This year, the cheerleading squad added new daring and exciting stunts to their résumé. The Patriot cheerleaders are persistent in the goals that they want to achieve this year. “The main goals are to support all the Patriot athletes and to perform and place well in our competitions,” coach Ms. Kristen Smith said.   Even though the cheerleaders have performed well on the field, one of the main reasons the cheerleaders continue to perform well is their off-field relationships. “We’re all so close, and it makes the team so much better that we love working and hanging out with each other,” sophomore Savannah Yokley said. “That’s one of the reasons we’re so good. We love to push each other to be the best we can possibly be.” All 16 girls on this year’s squad feel they are prepared to step up when the time comes. The cheerleaders are fully confident in their talent, and are determined to win the MCPS competition this year.

The squad gets ready for its November competition.

And pain-free laser hair removal!


SPORTS Common Sense - October 26, 2007

JV Soccer Teams Enjoy Successful Seasons

Ilana Avergun staff writer The junior varsity (JV) boys’ soccer team played well this season. Their final record of 7-3-1 reflects the team’s efforts throughout the year. “We’ve worked hard every day for the past two months, and I’m very proud of our team’s record. We started our season out strong and we [finished] strong as well,” sophomore co-captain Ethan Broner said. The boys came out with a close 3-2 win over a tough Quince Orchard squad on Oct. 18 to end rhe season on a high note. The team played outstanding soccer throughout the season, and it showed with a solid 4-0 win against Springbrook on Oct. 1. They had a tougher time later in the week with a 1-0 loss to Blair, where Broner was ejected from the game with a red card. Even with vigorous daily workouts and the superior teamwork that coach Kraig Bauer emphasizes, Whitman proved to be a little too tough, and the boys lost 1-0. However, they came back with a big victory over Gaithersburg on Thursday, Oct. 11. Gaithersburg scored within the first 5 minutes of the game, but Wootton came back to score four goals for a final score of 4-1. “Overall we have played well, but our record would’ve been better if we could have found the back of the net more often. We have a lot of talented freshmen, so we should be set up well for next year,” Bauer said. “The boys still have more to learn about the game of soccer but [have played] very well and [worked] hard every game,” co-captain sophomore Matt Harlow said. The JV girls’ soccer team has also been playing high quality soccer this season. They started the week of Oct. 1 with a huge 7-0 victory over Springbrook. Their first loss in the season was against Blair later the same week with a final score of 2-1. Their final record for the season was 5-2-3. The girls were on the field every day, which led to minimal losses this season. The girls had a challenging week beginning on October 8, as they lost to Whitman 2-1. On Oct. 11, the girls had another tough game against Gaithersburg. The game went to double overtime, but neither team could put the ball in the net, and it finished as a scoreless tie. “We put our hearts into every game, and do anything it takes to pull out with a victory,”

10 Things Forward to ‘07-’08 NBA

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sophomore co-captain Christina Libutti said. “We have fallen a few times but we have gotten right back up, and our record proves this.” Another big factor in their wins came from the camaraderie the team shows on the field. “We all get along with each other and it shows in the game when we are able to pass the ball around,” freshman Gillian Sissman said. Teamwork has been the ticket to success with these girls, and combined with their skill, it led to a strong finish to the season for the team.

photo by Ilana Avergun

Freshman Kayla Murray (6) is up on her toes, preparing to steal the ball.

Krak’s Korner

Look the Season jason krakower......managing editor

I’ve heard that I’m obsessed with sports. It’s actually becoming a problem. Instead of remembering formulas or historical dates like a normal person, I’m stuck with useless statistics and trivia that have no real value, except to keep me from ever getting bored. So, just to give you an idea of what goes through my head on a regular basis, here are 20 obscure facts that I apparently considered important enough to commit to memory. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

photo courtesy of

Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce form a terrific trio for Boston. Adarsh Kannan & Rachel Marcus editor-in-chief & staff writer

1. The Boston Celtics with Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce should be one of the contenders for the NBA championship from the Eastern Conference. 2. Although Greg Oden had microfracture surgery and will sit out the season, college phenomenon Kevin Durant makes his debut for the Seattle Supersonics. 3. The San Antonio Spurs, the defending NBA champions, continue to be the most boring team in the league...and the best. 4. Rashard Lewis joins Dwight Howard in Orlando to provide a dynamic duo for the Magic. 5. The Dallas Mavericks will try to overcome their first round loss to the Golden State Warriors after dominating during the regular season. 6. Isaiah Thomas returns to coach the Knicks after the Anucha Browne Sanders incident. 7. Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O’Neal hope to lead an invigorated Miami Heat squad to their second championship in three years 8. Superstar Lebron James attempts to return to the NBA Finals, but it might be difficult with the holdouts of Anderson Varejao and Sasha Pavlovic. 9. The Chinese sensation Yi Jianlian reluctantly joins the Milwaukee Bucks after hoping to land in a city with a high Asian American population. 10. The Washington Wizards hope their trio of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison remain injury free throughout the season and receive additional help from rookies Oleksiy Pecherov, Nick Young, and Dominic McGuire.

7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

There are four Division-1 universities whose college name is also a color: Brown, Navy, Auburn, and Siena. Mariano Rivera is the only current baseball player with the uniform #42, and will be the last player ever to wear that number. Former Boston Celtic Bill Russell has more championship rings than fingers to wear them on (he has won 11 titles). There are eight professional team nicknames in major sports that do not end in the letter “s”: Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Utah Jazz, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning. The Orioles once had four pitchers win 20 games in a season (Pat Dobson, Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally, Jim Palmer).That means that those four pitchers won more games than the entire Orioles team this season. Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. hit back-to-back home runs in a 1989 game for the Seattle Mariners. Oscar Robertson once averaged a triple-double for an entire season. Four colleges have produced both U.S. Presidents and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks (Michigan, Navy, Miami (OH), Stanford). Bobby Jones is the only golfer to win all four major tournaments in one season. Alex Rodriguez’s contract with the Texas Rangers in 2000 earned him 63 times President Bush’s salary. The Rangers broke the record for most runs scored in a double-header before the second game started (they beat the Orioles 30-3 in the first game). Dave Winfield is the only athlete in history to be drafted in four different professional leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, ABA). The shortest player (“Muggsy” Bogues – 5’3”) and the tallest players (Manute Bol/Gheorghe Muresan – 7’7”) in NBA history have all played for the Washington Bullets. The late Roberto Clemente has exactly 3,000 career hits. Duke’s basketball coach’s last name is spelled K-R-Z-Y-Z-E-W-S-K-I. Pittsburgh is the only city that has three major sports teams with the same uniform colors. The Penguins, Pirates and Steelers all wear black and yellow. Denver Broncos kicker Jason Elam tied the record for the NFL’s longest field goal (63 yards). The other record holder is former New Orleans Saint Tom Dempsey, who had no toes on his kicking foot. Former Senators pitcher Walter Johnson has more career shutouts (110) than Roger Clemens (46), and Randy Johnson (37) combined, who are the two highest ranked active pitchers. When Michigan lost to Appalachian State this year, it was the only time in history that a Division 1-AA team has beaten a ranked Division 1 team (I’ll remember this one for a long, long time). The great Mike Sellers played college football at Walla Walla Community College in Walla Walla, Washington. Walla Walla.

*Editor’s Note: I apologize in advance for any time wasted while reading this.

SPORTS Common Sense - October 26, 2007


Rockies Seek First World Championship Zach Stone staff writer After six months of play and 162 games, the results of the Major League Baseball (MLB) season will be determined throughout the next couple of weeks. This season will be remembered as a typical one for the American League (AL). Led by intimidating power hitter David “Big Papi” Ortiz and Cy Young candidate Josh Beckett, the Boston Red Sox looked like a playoff team from start to finish, and won the American League East title. Their chief rival, the New York Yankees, took a different route to reach the playoffs. They struggled in the early stages of the season, then came roaring back to take the Wild Card, thus ensuring their 12th consecutive playoff appearance. The AL Central was captured by the Cleveland Indians, who outlasted the defending AL champion Detroit Tigers. Out west, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim coasted to a division title, facing little resistance from the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics, which were the Angels’ expected challengers. The National League more than compensated for the AL’s lack of exciting playoff races. Despite a seven-game advantage with less than three weeks to play, the New York Mets could not hold onto the NL East lead, and were eliminated from playoff contention on the last day of the regular season by the offensive juggernaut Philadelphia Phillies. In the central, the Chicago Cubs’ off-season spending spree, which included household names such as Alfonso Soriano, paid off as they finished ahead of the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, as well as the up-and-coming Milwaukee Brewers. The NL West representative is the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are led by a great cast of unheralded young players, including infielders Conor Jackson and Mark Reynolds. The most exciting race, however, was the NL Wild Card. After 162 games, the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies had identical 89-73 records, forcing the first one-game playoff since 1999 to determine the winner. On October 1, the Rockies prevailed 9-8 in 13 innings to secure the bid. In the first round of the AL playoffs, the Red Sox took charge quickly. Boston swept Los Angeles after a phenomenal pitching performance in game one by Beckett. The Angels only scored four runs the entire series. The Sox will face the Indians in the American League Championship Series (ALCS). The Indians prevailed over the Yankees three games to one. Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang was lit up in both of his starts, partially costing New York the series. On the other side of the draw, the divisional series were decided even more abruptly. Colorado shut down the Phillies dynamic offense, sweeping the series 3-0. They faced a fellow NL West team in the National League Championship Series (NLCS). The Diamondbacks stunned the Cubs, also winning the series 3-0. With their last championship in 1908, this result put the finishing touches on the Cubs’ historic century-long World Series drought. The catalyst for Arizona was 24-year old Stephen Drew, who crushed 2 home runs in the three games, in addition to an impressive .500 on-base percentage (OBP). In the ALCS, the Red Sox faced a similar challenge, trailing three games to one in the best-of-seven series. Reminiscent of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees in which they trailed

three games to none, Boston rose to the occasion and completed a dramatic comeback, winning the last three games of the series. Cleveland’s ace pitchers, C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona, each pitched two poor games, crippling the Indians’ hopes. Boston’s offense was stellar in nearly every game, led by Kevin “Greek God of Walks” Youkilis and slugger Manny Ramirez. Japanese import Daisuke Matsuzaka, who Boston won by bidding over 100 million dollars this off-season, won the deciding game seven. This result means that the Red Sox will be playing for their second World Championship in four years. The NLCS was far less dramatic. Colorado completely shut down Arizona; they swept the series four games to none. Rockies’ ace pitcher Jeff Francis out-dueled Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb in game one, and the Rockies never looked back. Heading into the World Series, the Rockies won an extraordinary 21 of their last 22 games. By winning their series so quickly, the Rockies had eight days off to prepare for their battle with the Red Sox. Whether this means the Rockies will be refreshed or rusty remains to be seen. Unfortunately, the first two games of the World Series in Boston occurred too late to be included in this issue. The teams will head to Coors Field in Colorado after a day off, where they will play three games, followed by the two games at Fenway Park if necessary.

photo courtesy of

Matt Holliday slides in with the winning run in the one-game playoff to enter the postseason. The Rockies won 21 of their last 22 games going into the World Series.



Common Sense - October 26, 2007

Honk Cast Prepares for Opening Night Melissa Marcus staff writer

photo by Melissa Marcus

Junior Matthew Popkin lifts senior Ellie Chessen.

The fall musical, Honk, is quickly approaching. Set to open on November 2, the cast and crew are hard at work preparing for this special show, whether it is rehearsing lines or preparing the set. This production is under the direction of Ms. Carla Ingram. The main characters include musical veterans such as senior Keith Schwartz as Ugly, junior Rachel Lipman as Ida and Max Swider as the lusty cat. Honk, an Olivier Award Winning Production, has been in production for quite awhile with variations more widely known as “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Aesthetically Challenged Barnyard Fowl.” The musical is an expanded story of the traditional “Ugly Duckling.” Honk takes the ugly duckling to new places, allows him to experience new things and meet new animals. There are also some different twists incorporated including the villainous cat who aspires to eat Ugly. “Viewers should expect to see a variety if really interesting and funny characters,” Ingram said. Not only does Honk include ducklings, but there are also bullfrogs, fish, and other fun animals. However, there are not  going to be any animal costumes on stage, just simply the actors. Physical appearance is now left to the audience’s imagination.   Honk appears to be progressing steadily, but it is crucial that the cast and crew continue to succeed and build momentum toward the final production. “Progress has to move quickly because the show is not that far in advance,” Lipman said, who believes the entire cast and crew has been working especially hard since

opening night is not too far off. Honk features upbeat, cheery music and is not only entertaining for kids, but for all ages. “The music in Honk is up-tempo, fun and enjoyable. It should have you tapping your feet,” Lipman said. The musical even teaches moral lessons: never judge a book by its cover and love one another unconditionally. “It’s a great story about accepting each other’s differences,” Ingram said. Ingram chose Honk to be this year’s fall musical because she felt the music was charming and clever. It would also be a chance to reach out to the children in the community. “I felt we had the right people for casting,” Ingram said. According to Ingram, the cast was carefully chosen so that each actor fits his or her role perfectly. The vocal range of the person auditioning must match the range of the character. Initiative and creativity must shine through, and it is also helpful if the person who is auditioning has prior experience in drama. Ingram has also been working arduously to prepare all of the necessities for the musical. Besides directing the musical and teaching the music to the cast, she also decides what the set will look like, instructs the crew and pit orchestra, chooses the costumes and apparel, and advertises for the show. “There is a talented cast, and the set will be amazing,” said Ingram, who knows the crew has been working especially hard. “Come see Honk, or else the cat will scratch you,” Swider joked. Honk will take place in the auditorium and is open to the public on November 2 and 3 at 7:30 pm and November 3 and 4 at 2:00 pm.

Fall Play, Macbeth Did It, Promises Laughs Emily Burklow staff writer This year’s fall play, Macbeth Did It, a comedy by John Patrick, is fast-approaching and is highly anticipated by students and teachers alike. Every day after school, student actors and actresses have been meeting for hours at a time to rehearse for the upcoming production in the auditorium, under the direction of Mr. Adam Graham. The play is set in modern-day America, and is about the story of a young director, Larry, at a community theater. Larry gets no payment for his work, and yet he still dreams of ascending to stardom in New York. In an attempt to build his résumé, he undertakes the formidable task of putting on the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, but the only actors at his theater have little or no experience. As the plot unfolds, the cast members grow in skill, with one actress in particular making enormous strides in her acting abilities. In the middle of his production, however, Larry encounters a rival, who wishes to drive him out of the theater and his play. Even with the drama that comes from the hopes and hardships of the improving director, there is a great amount of humor woven into the story. “Humor comes from believability… when silly things happen to a character,” Graham said. “There is more to comedy than yelling a punch-line and hitting someone on the head.” Graham said that making the humor in the play entertaining was his favorite part of working on this production. Audience members can look forward to sophisticated jokes and subtle hilarity in Macbeth Did It. This is Graham’s third production at Wootton. Among other responsibilities, Graham helps his actor analyze the scripts,

to interpret characters, and to make sense of the scenes. “It would take pages and pages [to describe] everything that I [have to do],” said Graham, about his role as director. A fundamental part of acting is understanding movement on the stage, an art called “blocking.” The techniques of setting lines for stage movement and for the direction of each character are vital to increase the audience’s perception of the production. Blocking helps the audience to form realistic pictures in their minds for each scene. The lines of movement evolve constantly as Graham and his actors gain new understanding about how to maximize the visibility of each character and convey each person’s emotions effectively. Graham chose the comedy Macbeth Did It for a variety of reasons, but mostly for its small cast size and the actual material of the production. The director wanted to give less experienced students the opportunity to grow in skill, and to express themselves in a unique way. “[The actors are] quirky,” said Graham. “[I try to] pay attention to different talent.” Although there was no pre-casting, Graham knew the forte of each of his actors, and photo by Emily Burklow wanted to let them develop his or her one-of-a-kind skill. They had to audition Student actors listen as director Mr. Adam Graham gives performance notes. to receive a role in the production, and the and that everyone should have something rewarded when they see their peers in the audience. director is confident that each actor brings that they love to do. Mrs. Susan Thorpe, the Arts Department The production is set to open on Nov. something special to the stage. One first time lead is actress Faith resource teacher, is in charge of selling 29, and there will also be performances on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Nelson, a sophomore. Although she has tickets for each of Wootton’s productions. Thorpe said that while past plays and Members of the Wootton community been acting since she was in first grade, this is her biggest role at Wootton. Nelson said musicals have been very successful, she are now able to purchase tickets online (see that she has had a wonderful experience would love to see even more people in page 21), and tickets will also be on sale in and that she loves the atmosphere at each attendance. She expressed a great admiration the box office from 3:00 to 6:00 pm during for the students, and was impressed with the the week before opening night. practice. Tickets cost $5 for students, and $10 “Every rehearsal something new comes commitment of the actors. “[It’s great that a] high school student for adults and non-Wootton attendees. up… I can’t stop laughing,” Nelson said. Although the actors are required to put can learn all the lines…and how to present The play will be performed in the Wootton in a huge amount of time during each week, them,” said Ms. Thorpe. According to her, auditorium, and is open to anyone who she thinks that the commitment is worth it the actors and actresses feel extremely enjoys comedy.



Common Sense - October 26, 2007

ACTRESS PROFILE RACHEL LIPMAN Ali Shumacher staff writer An upcoming actress and singer, junior Rachel Lipman is starring in the approaching fall musical, Honk. She is thrilled to have one of the lead roles in this year’s production as the ugly duckling’s mother, Ida. Lipman began singing seriously when she was ten years old, but she was always singing around her house when she was younger. At ten years old, she enrolled in a class specializing in musical theater and she immediately fell in love with it. “I love theater because it’s like its own world outside of classes and rehearsals,” Lipman said. Prior to starring in Honk, she has been in numerous shows including Wootton productions such as Children of Eden (Aphra) and Sweeney Todd (Beggar Woman) last year. Usually, practices are everyday after school. Lipman is able to manage her time as she does her homework immediately after school and then leaves for rehearsal. “I have to make [sure I get my work for school done] if I want to do what I love,” Lipman said. Outside of Wootton, Lipman takes voice, dance and acting lessons. She has dance twice a week and voice once a week. “I practice everyday to work on my skills because you can’t get better if you don’t practice!” Lipman said. She is also in a performing ensemble called Singular Sensations though the Musical Theater Center. Also starring in Honk, Keith Schwartz, a senior, compliments Lipman in many ways. “Rachel is one of the most talented people I know. She works

Wootton Center of the Arts is excited to annouce the launching of its new (and first in the county) on-line ticket ordering website. Now, the Wootton community can purchase tickets in thr ee dif fer ent ways:

so hard and her performances always show that. She makes me want to work hard,” Schwartz said. In addition to theater, “she is also such a fun person to be around,” Schwartz said. Schwartz has been in Children of Eden and Sweeney Todd with Lipman. To prepare for auditions, Lipman practices the song until she is comfortable and confident. She usually practices in front of a mirror a numerous number of times. Lipman’s goal in this area is to keep singing as long as she can. “I love singing so much and can’t imagine my life without it,” Lipman said. She tries to set small goals for herself, such as mastering a specific song. This way she feels like she has accomplished one of her goals instead of dreaming of the impossible. Carly Benjamin, a senior, has been in previous shows with Lipman. “It’s a really joy watching and learning from her,” Benjamin s a i d . Benjamin acted in Sweeney Todd with Lipman and is also currently a part of Honk. “She is an amazing performer and I can’t wait to see what else she can do,” Benjamin said. “I am [also] pretty sure that I am going to major in musical theater,” Lipman said. Regarding Lipman, Jonathan Helwig, a sophomore, said, “She is an inspiration to all of us.” Helwig acted in Sweeney Todd with Lipman and is also in Honk. For students who want to become involved in theatre: “Get active in musical theater! It’s a great outlet and so enjoyable and entertaining! There is a place for anyone interested,” Lipman said. Honk is November 2 and 3 at 7:30 pm and November 3 and 4 at 2:00 pm in the auditorium. Tickets are on sale now through the Wootton website. photo by David Taylor

1. At our new online ticket store through Wootton’s website 2. By mail-in ticket order from Wootton’s website 3. In person at the Wootton Box Office at school

HONK Cast List (chorus not listed)

Ugly.....................Keith Schwartz Ida........................Rachel Lipman Drake....................Jonathan Helwig Cat........................Max Swider Greylay.................Spencer Wright Farmer/Turkey....Mattia D’Affuso Barnacles..............Ben Greenberg Bullfrog................Jenay McNeil Father Swan.........Fasil Gebeyehu Grace....................Ellie Chessen Dot........................Liz Weiss Lowbutt................Stephanie Helwig Maureen...............Katina Kempel Snowy...................Lynda Cholvibul Queenie................Jordan Smilan-Goldstein Mother Swan.......Dana Lipowsky Penny...................Carly Benjamin Jay Bird...............Bryan Pike Pinkfoot...............Matthew Popkin Ducklings............Emma Devine ............Marie Jose Pettier .............Kelsey McDonnel .............Samhita Tankala

MACBETH DID IT Cast List Juanito.................Joe Ray Larry Rencher......Brad Harlan Jill Sears..............Faith Nelson Effie......................Sreya Sinha Clara....................Mia Katz Mary Lou Steiner...Jessica Futron Biff.......................Sam Hendel Curtis Hogg.........Ben Gershowitz Duke Marlboro....Neal Lerner Louise..................Nicole Cho Angie...................Rebecca Munley Ralph...................Jake Kresloff Dolly Dibble........Johanna Koenig Rodriguez...........Jordie Halevy Rosita..................Suzie Bobdilla Dixie Delaney.....Sajni Patel Doctor Goldman..Moshe Maizels Stella...................Brittney Byers Eric.....................Dan Feldman Assistant Director...Salah Czapary Stage Manager....Annie Bolek

Stage Crew Working Hard For This Fall’s Play Annie Bleecker staff writer Wootton students are working on putting together the musical, Honk, and soon to be the play, Macbeth Did It. Behind the scenes of it all is Wootton’s own stage crew, working long, hard hours to put together the sets and props for each show and figuring out lighting and sound for the upcoming productions. Stage crew is a student-run organization supervised by Mr. Kenny Jacobs and led by junior Annie Bolek and assistant stage managers sophomore Wolfie Devine and senior Becca Pardo. After the productions are assigned, the stage crew takes many steps to ensure that on show day everything runs according to plan. In short, they design and build the sets and props as well as run through transitions on set, sound and lighting until they are perfect through the use of a “blueprint.” “[It is necessary] for every stage crew member to be coordinated and good at following directions to stay safe,” Bolek said of her hard-working staff. It is evident that all the members of the crew possess these qualities from the exceptional shows that they have helped Wootton produce, including last year’s Children of Eden and Sweeney Todd. “One of the most difficult parts [of the job] is keeping from running over people,” Bolek said of the difficulty of making set transitions in the dark. Stage crew may just seem like an opportunity for students to work with their hands and tools, but it is more a chance for students to pull together for a final product. “[By the time the plays come around] we are all so well rehearsed, and teamwork plays a large part in doing set transitions well,” Pardo said. So far, stage crew is working hard to produce the sets of the musical. Right now, they have completed the design process and are working on the building process of the various props needed to enhance and personify the scene. Sound and lighting are jobs picked by talented students. They require constant alertness because they change throughout the show. Depending upon the scene or song, the lighting changes to accommodate.

photo by Annie Bleecker

Sophomore Aaron Fensterheim works on steps for the set of the fall play.

“One of my favorite parts of crew is doing lighting up in the ceiling,” junior Daniel Strauss said. Behind the curtain, stage crew is always very busy trying to stay quiet and to prepare for the next transition. “[The] crew talks, hangs out, and gets ready for the next change,” Bolek said. All of stage crew agrees that the best part of being a member is when it all comes together. They all enjoy their work and are very dedicated to bringing Wootton a phenomenal show.


......... Homecoming


features Juniors, Seniors Dominate Homecoming Competitions Common Sense - October 26, 2007

Monochromatic Monday

photo courtesy of Emily Khalid

Twin Twosday

Wacky We d


Pajama Thursday

Patriot Friday

Contrary to tradition, the juniors beat the seniors with first in this year’s float competition at the homecoming game. Emily Khalid staff writer The 2007 homecoming theme, Dynamic Duos, sparked immediate approval by the student body and members of class planning. Each grade hoped to build an impressive float and decorate a creative hall in order to wow the judges, but ultimately, it was the upperclassmen who took home the gold: the seniors won the hall competition, and the juniors took first prize for floats. The seniors claimed the famous superhero partners, Batman and Robin, for their hall and the classic Disney couple, Beauty and the Beast, for their float. The juniors decided on everyone’s favorite videogame duo, Mario and Luigi, for their hall and best friends, Keenan and Kel, from the comedy Good Burger for their float. The sophomores used the famous fish, Dory and Marlin, from Finding Nemo and clumsy Scooby Doo and Shaggy from the 1960s show Scooby Doo, Where Are You? Finally, the freshman claimed Shrek and Donkey, the comedic friends from Shrek, and every little girl’s favorite couple, Barbie and Ken. Soon each class planning began organizing meetings several times a week and plan halls and begin building the float. “I’m glad I’ve gotten involved in planning because you get to hang out with friends while helping out your class,” freshman Kevin Redden said. The first place prize for winning float and hall is one hundred dollars each, which goes to the class’ junior banquet or prom. The freshman class used the first portion of the hallway for Shrek’s home at the swamp by covering the walls in large pictures of tree scenery, real leaves, and green cobwebs. Further down the hallway, a sign reading “Far Far Away” stood to represent the distant kingdom of fairy tale characters. Despite a skit involving Donkey feeding Princess Fiona his prized waffles, the judges, including English teachers Ms. Barbara Gatewood and Ms. Krista Price, placed the freshman in fourth. The sophomore class, coming in third, transformed the hallway behind the gym into an underwater world by lining the walls with blue poster paper with cut-outs of Dory, sea weed, and jellyfish. They also hung pink balloons with five pink streamers hanging from them as floating jellyfish. The sophomore skit was an encounter between Nigel, the blood thirsty shark, and Marlin and Dory. The junior class gave the hallway to the right of the gym a video game transformation, earning them the second-place spot. The hallway represented the inside of a television and a Super Smash Brother’s video game. Gold coins hanging from the ceiling with “09” engravings, colorful “mystery” boxes, and blow-up ghosts hanging from the walls completed the authentic Nintendo atmosphere, and red and white mushrooms and gold stars were also scattered down the

hallway. The junior skit was a humorous act of Mario and Luigi’s battle to have Princess Peach as their homecoming date. Reminding judges of the game itself, they jumped on mushrooms, obtained the golden star, and soon Mario won Princess Peach as his date after Luigi was eaten by Bowser. The senior hallway was decorated as Batman’s domain further down the same hallway as the juniors. One portion of the hallway was decorated as Batman’s ordinary life in his mansion. Batman’s cave was the transition to the portion of the hallway that represented Batman’s super-hero life. The walls were lined with posters painted with black brick detail and a cut-out of the Joker, Batman’s number-one rival. The senior skit was Batman and Robin facing the Joker in a showdown. Each class agreed that they had spent a lot of time on the halls and hope for the best results. “Our hall is amazing,” junior class president Fasil Gebeyehu said. “I think we have a chance at beating the seniors.” “I think the seniors did amazing on the float and hall. I know that senior planning did a lot of work and spent a lot of time on each of them,” SGA treasurer Amy Ding said. Later that night at the homecoming game, the adrenaline was high during halftime. The freshman were first to drive by with their Barbie and Ken float for judges Mr. Alton Lightsey and Mrs. Suzanne Pykosh. The inside was decorated as a dollhouse with a miniature refrigerator, bean bag, television, and cabinets. The freshmen took home the third place prize for their float. The sophomores then came rolling along in their rendition of the mystery mobile from Scooby Doo with spooky skulls and cobwebs, which won fourth place. The juniors wowed spectators with their Keenan and Kel Good Burger restaurant float, and took the first place prize. It displayed the inside of a diner with records on the wall, a cut-out of Elvis Presley, and a jukebox. They seniors finally arrived with their Beauty and the Beast two-story brick castle. The castle had four rooms and a portrait of the Belle and Beast in the center. The seniors were given the second place slot in the float competition. The juniors were ecstatic about their first place float win and second place hall after dedicating so much time to each. “I think we did amazing considering the amount of work we did with the float in getting it with only six days before the game,” junior Ali Milloy said. The fourth place winners were equally as proud of their class’ efforts.“I think our float was really good, and we worked really hard on it. I think we could have done better than fourth place, but I think we will definitely do better next year. Our group really put a lot of time into the float and hall. Our hall was also really creative and the  sophomores really came through,” sophomore class President Swetha Iruku said.


features Common Sense - October 26, 2007

4 Artists You’ve Never Heard Of

Reese Higgins, managing editor

Taken By Trees Open Field

You may have heard of Taken By Trees because Rolling Stone keeps writing about them. On September 11, 2007 Taken By Trees put out their (her) debut, Open Field. Taken By Trees is Victoria Bergsman. And vice versa. Bergsman’s voice will certainly sound familiar if you have paid attention to popular culture in the past year. She was the female voice on the Peter Bjorn and John hit “Young Folks.” With Taken By Trees, we find her surrounded by echoes or reverb or a choir or some effect that makes you think all of those vocal flourishes are happening. Her high, and nearly annoying but in-the-end pleasant, voice always comes through clear and human. On Open Field you’ll find plenty of “Ah, Oh, Uh, Ohs.” Songs like “Hours Pass Like Centuries” and the catchy “Too Young” are mildly reminiscent of “Young Folks,” but that’s only because they are the most ear-catching tracks on the album. A remix of “Too Young” by The Tough Alliance is quite good. Summing it up: There are wind instruments along with some whistling. To quote the album, “Weeee.” 3 out of 5.

C.O.C.O. Play Drums + Bass

Yet another Sept. 11 release, C.O.C.O. do what they do best on Play Drums + Bass. Whoa. Listen to that bass line. Awesome and quite danceable (hasn’t some electronica artist used this?). And coupled with that lady’s voice? Goodness, things sound pretty crazy over art courtesy of K Records here. And now it’s a very catchy pop magic piece! What a catchy chorus! And the guy yelling “Whoo!” in the background! Near genius! You’ll find that on “Good,” and much more on C.O.C.O.’s third album, Play Drums + Bass (the formula the band exclusively subscribes to). High on the enjoy-o-meter are the songs “For You” and “Asteroids.” Check out “Your Own Secret Way/Sly” and “Ess.Ay.” as well. C.O.C.O. plays the type of music that cheerful, unplugged, post-punk bands should play and creative hiphop groups should sample. Well, it seems like a good idea, and you’ll understand once you give them a listen. As with Orange, you really want to give the album a better score, but once again it’s not quite the ultimate. 3.5 out of 5.


Dälek Deadverse Massive Vol.1: Dälek Rarities 1999-2006

Dälek is often very intense hip-hop, well known for its unclassifiable nature. The duo (MC Dälek and producer Oktopus) make music with "out-there" sonic backgrounds, dedicated percussion and heavy rapping. The beats come from the darkest depths of hard rock art courtesy of Hydra Head Records and the accompanying white noise chills. But that’s only one side of Dälek. The song styles run amuck. The chill verse is not left out (songs like “Rouge (Deadverse Remix)” abandon rap structure for unusual and repetitive talk/sing vocals over multiple layers). Just take a look at these lyrics from the track “Ruin It, Ruin Them, Ruin Yourself, Then Ruin Me (Deadverse Remix)”: “The odd loud screech, which may have startled a few from this middle poor Americana dream/The rest only to sleep/My speech the soundtrack to their nightmares.” The song includes a reference to Americana. You can’t ask for much more. Remember that this is a rarities collection, though. Certainly be sure to investigate Dälek in some way or another. Highlights: “In This City (Deadverse Remix);” “...Ruin;” “3: 46;” “Streets All Amped;” “Ascention.” 3.5 out of 5

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Radiohead’s latest release. Could the muchhyped In Rainbows really top The Bends (my favorite album by the English rock band)? Could it beat out the landmark 1997 album OK Computer? Shocking fans everywhere with their relatively revolutionary “pay us what you think our music is worth” distribution model, the album was purportedly released less than two weeks after it was completed. Copy downloaded, I was greeted with a sonic adventure, the likes of which I had never expected or really heard before. I cannot quite remember the last time I enjoyed listening to music this much. Thing is, you can’t really equate Radiohead to any other band because they

art courtesy of Misra Records

We continue to give you the names of albums you should consider (or maybe avoid). Every broad pop sensibility is represented here with at least one album.

Big Business, Here Come The Waterworks Good, good, good, and better. The latest full-length from the Melvins collaborators is an excellent one, worthy of placement in any fun-loving headbanger’s collection. “Hands Up” already! 4 out of 5 Coalesce, There Is Nothing New Under The Sun + This cover album (save for one band original) by “metalcore” band Coalesce sees them “hardcoreifying” a bunch of older rock songs. Out of the 15 songs here, nine of them are Led Zeppelin covers. And it’s hard to ruin a song like “Black Dog.” So what the band does here is to make the vocalist sound like a rabid Scooby Doo (“Row yeah! Row yeah!”). The treatment continues, covering The Get Up Kids, Black Sabbath, Undertow and Boy Sets Fire. 2.5 out of 5

Mobius Band, Heaven Heaven is an energetic, smile-inducing, electronic pop album that succeeds in many ways. Listening to Another album that was released on September 11: the selfthe album is an overall enjoyable experience, and that titled full-length by Adrian Orange & Her Band. Mr. Orange alone is worth the price of admission. 3.5 out of 5 (yes, the Adrian in question is a man) and Co. provide what has been called world music as indie pop (not too accurate though). Oxbow, The Narcotic Story Have you heard of Orange? The occasional indie rocker If Tortoise was a bizarro hard rock band, fronted name-drops him, but otherwise… Adrian Orange is a young, by Tom Waits’ illegitimate son and overloaded with said-to-be prolific artist with musical styles dropping all over distorted background noise, you may get Oxbow. Europe and Asia, only to resurface in America. Horns, horns, The wacky and seemingly deranged quartet presents horns! The first two songs on the record are excellent, littered incredibly worrisome music. All of it disturbing with trumpets and their instrumental relatives. because of its realness. Jagged and sorrowful. A mess. With a significant number of musicians in the studio, The vocalist sounds like a crazed ball of twisted energy Orange nicely compliments all the players with a voice that often on most songs. There are exceptions, but the sounds sounds like it’s about to crack, or as if he just got rid of a mild presented here are so puzzling, one may only be cold. When Adrian tries to scream/yell he sounds like a certain, able to focus on the strangeness of some tracks. Very fearful Scottish musician. interesting if approached well enough. 3.5 out of 5 The guitar, horns and drums work exceedingly well on the album. All aspects of the percussion are well-handled. On the Sleeping States, There The Open Spaces superb “You’re My Home,” Orange sings, “My parents were Markland Starkie’s (the sole member of Sleeping poor/my country is whipped/so I’m going around/taking all I States) voice goes in and out, up and down, but does can get/I wanna do what I want/no matter the cost, for better not stretch itself. Sweetly welcoming, warm melodies or worse.” Pretty self-explanatory. with an overall soft and quiet aurora. And yes, no Song titles include “Window (Mirror) Shadow,” “Give To “acoustic guitar strumming.” 3 out of 5 Love What’s Love’s,” and “A Flower’s Is Mine.” Yep. It is a little hard to give this album a score of something like a four (out of Southeast Engine, A Wheel Within A Wheel five) because while not amazing, it’s very enjoyable. Southeast Engine’s vocals equal John Cale times You really want to give all three of them better scores, but Patterson Hood minus Michael McDonald (which there’s a lot of competition out there (good for us, bad for them). leaves more room for the Hood to take over the minor Certainly, all three of these artists are talented, entertaining, and implications of a barely noticeable Cale influence). worthy of your time. Good ‘ol rock music with bible references aplenty. 3.5 out of 5. Southern rock as indie pop/rock? Maybe. 3 out of 5

Adrian Orange & Her Band Self-Titled

Feeling Groovy In Rainbows Kyle Doherty staff writer


don’t sound like any other band. They don’t even sound like Radiohead sometimes. However, for better or, most of the time, worse, a bunch of bands try to sound like them. And none of them capture the essence of this unique and ever-changing quintet. So instead of me filling you in on details of the group, just go download In Rainbows and have a listen for yourself (you can get it for free, and I say that with absolute legitimacy thanks to the band themselves). You’ll feel better after a good listen to some really good music. Starting up the album I got ready for a “Planet Telex”-esque intro. Instead I got the unexpected: “15-Step,” which I can only lovingly describe as disjointed. The song is the most computerized instrument-addled track on the album (a departure from the

electronic leaning tendencies of previous albums like Kid A and Amnesiac). There’s definitely some grooviness here, as “15 Step” starts with a no-strings attached beat. As soon as I wrapped my head around that it went flying off into a completely different direction, as instruments and surreal vocals entered the picture and created a cavalcade of merriment which I hadn’t ever heard before. We get back into more traditional territory with “Bodysnatchers,” my favorite song on the album (probably due to my fervent love of that style of Radiohead music. This is surely In Rainbow’s rock song). The journey continues with the ridiculously titled “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi,” showcasing the band’s ability to craft a beautiful rhythm and add just the right amount of vocals to create a song with a beat that will stay with you for hours, if not days. As the album nears its conclusion we get

faint glimpses of familiar territory, with “All I Need” and “House of Cards,” but just like everything Radiohead does, it may sound familiar but it’s never the same. Haunting vocals and an otherworldly beat accompany “Reckoner.” Despite its title, it’s a slower song; nevertheless, it’s a slam dunk. I think it’s pretty obvious by this point that I can’t adequately describe In Rainbows, so I think it’s best if you go download it right this instant. If you’re a fan, your love of the band has already been renewed and you’ll be listening to this album for months. If you’ve never heard of Radiohead, then you’re missing out. I recommend you stop starving yourself of such excellent music. You literally have nothing to lose. 4.5 out of 5. art courtesy of WASTE Ltd




Common Sense - October 26, 2007

The RESTAURANT REVIEW You’ve All Been Waiting For...

The Wootton Cafeteria

The Adarsh


An in-depth look into the twisted mind of Adarsh Kannan

Pizza ($1.75) Wootton’s pizza is the perfect fusion of savor and tartness. If there is Do not be derailed by the debilianything y o u tating glare of the grease. No one should read in this should miss a blanket of crispy newspaper, it has to be this cheese on a slightly sour amazing slant right here. crust.

No, not because it addresses anything important to you, the school, the

Chicken Patty Sandwich ($2.00) At first touch, the patty actually sinks into the bun. But do not be alarmed! The meat is surprisingly moist and flexible.

Salad (price varies) Only Wootton could make a bowl of fresh greens actually look unhealthy. The salad is sprinkled with rubber chicken strips and lightly sprayed with Wootton’s own dressing, Liquid Fat.

Hamburger ($2.00) A feat of human engineering, the burger actually bounces off solid surfaces. The beef patty is perhaps the dryest and chewiest piece of processed meat known to mankind. Bravo.

Fries ($0.75) Fries are conceivably the most popular item on Wootton’s menu--and why not? These fries are a an art form. Not only are they edible, but they are also perfect flinging objects and door stops.

community, the country, or the world, but because it’s about me. See the thing is, I am the most important thing that has happened to the world in a really long time (since the birth of Sean Taylor). But now once again, some things that are on my mind and should be on yours…simply because they’re on mine:

1. According to my mind, the car crash I had on September 7 was terrible. It was so bad – my car was totaled…and yet I came out unscathed. I must be a child of destiny. 2. Why do people speed up to 90 mph on Darnestown Road? Is it that hard to wait for an extra three minutes? No, I didn’t think so. 3. How good is the Italian Market? Amazing. I went there recently and got a Caprese sandwich and a 1liter bottle of Orangina. I brought the Orangina to school in a brown paper bag…and I was stopped by security at least three times. Is it really that suspicious if you have something in a brown paper bag…does it have to be alcohol? 4. I like to bring really distracting food to first period--Slurpees, Frappuccinos, bagels with cream cheese, subs, quesadillas, hard boiled eggs, and anything made of pure sugar. It really pisses off my teacher, which is why I do it. That’s all folks. I’m out like the Redskins offense after halftime.

Vol. 37 Issue 2  
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