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insidenews Common Sense speaks with Veteran Brian Doyne in honor of Veteran’s Day.




The student body opposes the dress code, so why is it still enforced?

Girls cross country place seventh at state meet.

Review of fall musical Honk!: the story of the ugly duckling.




Common Sense


Volume 37 Issue 3 - Thomas S. Wootton High School - 2100 Wootton Parkway - Rockville, MD 20850 - November 21, 2007

Girls’ Volleyball Reaches State Finals Eleanor Roosevelt 3-0. The Patriots won by just a combined 12 points in the first two games, but dominated in the final game,

person we all lean on, and [senior] Helena [Wang] has also stepped up her defense,” Malinauskas said. The Patriots finished the regular season The varsity atop the red division standings with a record girls’ volleyball of 10-4. The girls consistently outplayed team ended their opponents, and collected impressive one of the wins against Churchill, Seneca Valley, and most successful Sherwood in the last few weeks of regular seasons in the season play. squad’s history Even with the loss of six seniors, the on Saturday, Patriots are still expected to compete for the when they lost state title again next year. to Broadneck “They are going to have a little difficulty High School because they’re losing lots of experience, but in the state as long as the other players remember the championship. way they played this season they’ll be fine,” The team Malinauskas played with said. determination “ T h e and heart, team can but came up definitely short in the contend end, losing for a state 15-8 in the championship Senior Rachel Malinauskas sets up her teammates... tie-breaking next season,” fifth game. The game featured a high tempo, winning by a margin of 17 points. Chen said. “We’re going to states! This is back-and-forth style of play, and the two T h e teams appeared to be evenly matched as awesome!” senior Jennifer Chen said optimism they split the first four games. However, after the game. is definitely With a 3-1 victory over Blake on Broadneck overpowered the Patriots in the warranted. final game, and Wootton’s long playoff run November 9, the team became regional The team came to an end. Despite the loss, nobody on champions. In the first game of the will return the team is disappointed with their title as match, the Patriots barely edged out seven players. the Blazers, 26-24. Wootton won again runner-ups in the state playoffs. In addition, “Of course I’m not disappointed,” in the second game by a score of 25-16, the team will senior Rachel Malinauskas said. “We were in but were defeated in the third game 25move players 15. The Patriots closed out the match the state finals!” photos courtesy of Natalia Yee up from a In the state semifinals, Wootton swept with a win in the intense fourth game, ...and senior Jennifer Chen goes up for a spike against Broadneck. strong JV team.

Jared Nelson sports editor

25-23. In the opening round of the playoffs, Wootton edged out the Sherwood Warriors 3-0. After an intense 29-27 win in the first game, Wootton dominated in the second game, and won 258. In the third game, the Patriots prevailed for the sweep, and moved on to play Gaithersburg in the second round. Two days after the Sherwood match, Wootton beat Gaithersburg in another 3-0 win, thanks in large part to the excellant play of Malinauskas. Other players have stepped up on defense as well. “[Senior] Gena [Hlavinka] is a

SGA Spring Project to be Featured on CBS News Jen-Wei Chu editor-in-chief The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric will feature the Wootton Student Government Association’s (SGA) 2007 spring project, “What Went Wrong” (WWW), in a segment on internet safety tonight, Wednesday, November 21 at 6:30 pm. The news program’s crew set up in the Career Center on Monday, November 12 to interview students and staff that had participated in WWW, which focused on the dangers of posting private information on online communities such as Facebook. “The CBS report focuses on safety and the predator aspect of giving personal information on the internet,” SGA president Ben Gordon said. “I thought their report was a really cool thing to do.” The CBS program first learned of the SGA project through an interview with internet danger specialist Parry Aftab, who spoke at the WWW assembly last March. “[Aftab] raved about our program to [CBS]. It’s a wonderful way to be recognized for all the hard work SGA did last year for the spring project,” SGA sponsor Ms. Jennifer Taylor said. “Because the WWW spring project was innovative and built from scratch, I think CBS Evening News was impressed.” The CBS report will focus on two key aspects of the

photo courtesy of

CBS will feature the SGA’s fake persona Trevor Collins.

WWW concept: the creation of “Trevor Collins” and the “faux stalker” threat. The fake persona of Trevor Collins, whom the SGA had established on Facebook as a new Wootton student, was able to create relationships with 507 students, as well as lure some into meeting with him. The SGA had intentionally produced the Collins hoax to demonstrate the dangers of online personalities, hoping that the fake stranger would make students more cautious of their decisions on the internet. “CBS wanted to focus and learn about the reactions of the students when they found out about Trevor Collins,” Taylor said. The news report will also spotlight the part of WWW that posed a false stalker threat on a real student. Members of the SGA followed Class of 2007 graduate Adrienne Chavez’s drive home from work one day, closely following her every move. The SGA began “stalking” Chavez during her night shift at her place of employment. All the information the SGA needed to follow Chavez was found on her Facebook profile. “I think CBS saw what we did as a really creative and interesting way to show students how risky it can be to show your personal information on the internet, especially on a site where almost anybody can access your personal page,” SGA treasurer Amy Ding said. Among the students interviewed were SGA members and seniors Gordon, Ding, Naomi Kim, Sarah Spector, and junior Caroline Stapleton.



Common Sense - November 21, 2007

Students Face Tech Crackdown

However non-educational internet use is not the only way students abuse computers. Last year some confusion was caused when some Wootton seniors altered startup tasks during the As a result of two technology interns from a MCPS school login process. They were quickly found because they had used obtaining unauthorized access to grading applications used by their personal student account, which immediately led them to counselors, MCPS has issued guidelines to prevent all schools from punishment under the supervision of their administrator. giving student interns administrative access to computers. Several ‘‘I would say that the network is safer now,’’ Burgos said. Wootton interns, mainly seniors, have already been withdrawn ‘‘We had some issues in the past [with network security being from the tech intern program and more of them are expected to compromised].” be dropped next semester in an effort to downsize the number of The school is in the process of acquiring additional NetVision interns. software licenses, to add to the existing ones in the Media Center, to ‘‘The interns are helping me do my job,’’ Mr. Juan Burgos, be installed in all computer labs in the school. NetVision software Wootton’s Network Administrator said. “Since the administration enables staff members to remotely monitor the real-time activities will not hire another technician to assist me, I must rely on [the of users in the network. It also gives staff the ability to store student interns] to do my job efficiently.’’ information and user history when needed. Student and staff computer usage is being continuously ‘‘Usually I just have to look at the screen to see what a student monitored and scrutinized by sophisticated software and vigilant is doing,’’ Anderson said. MCPS bans websites remotely; Wootton staff members. Every student and staff member is monitored does not have the hardware to do that. from the moment they log in to the moment they log out. Most Teachers and staff help to uphold the bans and log network organizations and businesses utilizing networks that provide activity. internet access to their employees have the same, perfectly legal, “You can expect when you work for an organization your policy of logging all computer activity. network history will be logged, it’s real [in the workforce] and in that At Wootton, students using computers have found that doing way we are preparing the students to work in this environment,’’ anything considered ‘not-educational’ by staff members on the Anderson said. computers usually results in a swift response involving either a The majority of students don’t know of the penalties issued if restriction on the use of the computer, or a more severe loss of they engage in illicit network activity. network privileges. The administration tries to make clear that ‘‘I think the restrictions are justified, but I would really like to computer use in the school is a privilege to students; they are not have Facebook access in the school,’’ senior Nick Oganesoff said. required by law to provide computers or Internet access. Facebook, the popular social networking site, was banned county‘‘Fantasy football and e-mail are the most visited [sites],’’ Mrs. wide last year. Students use proxy websites to bypass filters by Anita Anderson, Wootton’s Media Center specialist said. Both web MCPS. sites are considered non-educational, ‘‘I usually access Facebook in school once a week except of course for schoolwork related or so, when I’m bored in class. I don’t think Facebook use of a personal e-mail account. should be blocked though,’’ senior Jeff Chang said. ‘‘YouTube is the Students are not the only ones monitored and site that I have penalized in the school. Last year a teacher was to stop [the] penalized for leaving his/her computer unattended. most students That careless act gave a student the chance to send from getting threatening e-mails through that staff member’s einto,’’ health mail account. Most of the e-mail traffic sent using teacher Mrs. county issued email by staff members is monitored Renee Simons and logged. said. In light of the recent events at Virginia Tech and other similar incidents, MCPS has urged all staff members and teachers to report on any suspicious or threatening behavior. Personal email and internet activity are among the categories reported to security. ‘‘Last year I printed out and delivered to security a copy of a student’s e-mail which included racist statements and remarks,’’ Anderson said. In the coming month MCPS is expected to ban more web sites, including proxy and fantasy football sites. ‘‘We rarely use the full extent of punishment for computer abuse,’’ Wootton principal Dr. Michael Doran said. ‘‘I trust that our students will make the right photo by Ali Schumacher Every day, Wootton students are blocked trying to access banned websites. choice [in how they use school computers].” Thanos Leontaris staff writer

Tired of having their opinions ignored, fans of British soccer team Ebbsfleet United decided to do something about it. An internet website of soccer fans in more than 70 countries agreed to buy a majority share in the lower-league English soccer club. For about $1.4 million, the website MyFootballClub will take over full control of the team and allow members to vote on all roster and personnel decisions.

On November 16, marchers flooded Pennsylvania Avenue and the area surrounding the Justice Department headquarters to protest a perceived failure by the national government to adequately prosecute hate crimes. The group, led by Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III, cited the controversy regarding the Jena Six Teen cases, in which six black students were prosecuted in the beating of a white student in Jena, La., as well as many recent incidents involving nooses and swastikas on display.

A cyclone ripped through Bangladesh last Thursday killing thousands of people. The death toll may eventually reach 10,000. Over one million people are now homeless. While the death toll may seem high, the last major cyclone to hit Bangladesh, in 1991, killed Emily Burklow & Eleni Kessler 140,000. staff writers

Medical Center Helps Amputees Heal

An Indian girl born with eight limbs, four arms and four legs, made her first public appearance on November 13 since surgeons removed the extra limbs nearly a week ago. Two-year-old Lakshmi Tatma appeared before reporters for the first time in her life without the extra limbs that led her village to revere her as a reincarnation of the four-armed goddess she was named after.

The smells of athletic equipment and sweat already linger in the brand new Military Advanced Training Center (MATC) at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. The center boasts a two-story rock climbing wall, state-of-the-art exercise equipment, and new technologies in therapeutic tools. In one corner, two young men have gathered around a table, sharing amusing anecdotes. Combined, they have two legs. This is not an uncommon sight in the MATC, which occupies a new building that opened in September. It is here that wounded soldiers take advantage of adaptive technology and highly trained therapists to regain the skills that are needed to return to their daily lives. Many of the new tools are designed to allow soldiers to

control use of their nerves- essential for powering a prosthetic limb. As of November 1, 2007, 528 service members had passed through Walter Reed; a total of 719 military personnel with one

“[amputation is] a physi-

cal loss.The patient’s grief is similar to someone dying.” -occupational therapist Oren Ganz

or more amputations have been treated in all Army facilities since the beginnings of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Occupational therapist Mr. Oren Ganz sat down with Common Sense to discuss the unique features offered to injured Soldiers in the Walter Reed community. A fact

commonly overlooked by the American public is that occupational and physical therapists are not the only sources of support for veterans. “[It is a] multi-disciplinary recovery… everyone works as a team,” Ganz said. According to Ganz, it is a collaborative effort among the prosthesis specialists, therapists and most importantly the soldiers and their families. Another therapist, Harvey Naranjo, said, “[the soldiers have] shared [a] similar understanding,” which leads to a sense of camaraderie. The men and women can relate to each other’s situations, and some may come from nearly identical pasts. The therapists agree each soldier must face his or her own demons, and problems are different for each veteran. Each young man or woman must cope with the physical and emotional consequences of being

see article and interview, page 6



Common Sense - November 21, 2007

Congressman Reflects on Job, Pressing Issues Governor O’Malley inherited a difficult budget situation when he came into office and has worked admirably to balance priorities and make the difficult decisions necessary to put Maryland’s fiscal house in order. 

photo courtesy of U.S. Congress

Van Hollen is Chairman of the Dem. Congressional Campaign Committee News Editor Preston Cornish was able to conduct an exclusive interview with Congressman Chris Van Hollen. Representative Van Hollen is one of the most powerful Democratic congressman as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He is also a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee in the 110th Congress. Many thanks to Rep. Van Hollen for his time.

As a [former] member of the House committee on education, what are you doing to ensure that today’s generation is able to attend college, despite skyrocketing tuition rates? Though I am no longer a member of the Committee on Education and Labor, I am working hard to make college more affordable. We recently passed into law the largest increase in student loans since the 1944 Montgomery G.I. Bill. The new law increases the maximum Pell grant, gives tuition assistance to students who commit to teaching in high-needs areas, sets up income-based loan repayment so graduates don’t have to choose between paying their loan and paying their rent, and extends loan forgiveness to graduates who work in public service for 10 years.  It also cuts interest rates in half over 5 years on new federal student loans, so paying off loans is easier.

How does it feel to be part of a legislative body (Congress)  that has a lower approval rating (22%) than President Bush?  Aside from the President, why hasn’t Congress been able to implement How did you get your job as reform on many important issues of our time such as Iraq, immigration, Congressman?  I have long been interested in Public children’s health care, the environment, Service.  After graduate school, I worked etc?  as a Legislative Assistant for National I am proud of the record of the new Security issues for Maryland Senator Charles Congress on domestic policy issues. The Mathias. Later, I served as a staff member Congress has worked successfully to enact on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  important legislation to reduce the cost I left to work on state and local issues in of college; implement the bi-partisan 9-11 the Washington, D.C. office of the State of Commission recommendations; raise the Maryland under Governor William Donald national minimum wage; establish more Schafer. In 1990, I was elected to the accountability and transparency though Maryland House of Delegates. Beginning lobbing and ethics reforms; help maintain in 1994, I served two terms in the Maryland America’s competitive edge; increase State Senate. In 2002, I was elected to the veterans’ health care benefits; and establish greater fiscal discipline. Earlier this year, United States Congress. the Congress passed legislation, modeled after the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group’s What prepared you best for your job? I come from a family of public servants – recommendations, to extract U.S. troops my father was in the Foreign Service and my from the middle of Iraq’s civil war, to mother worked for the State Department.  redeploy the bulk of U.S. combat forces I became familiar with the rules and out of Iraq by 2008, and to refocus the procedures of Congress as a staffer on remaining forces on the more limited the Senate Foreign Relations Committee missions of protecting the U.S. Embassy, and worked on policy as a State Delegate eliminating Al Qaeda elements, and training and State Senator. But the most essential Iraqi forces.  Unfortunately, President Bush skills for this job – the ability to listen and vetoed this sensible plan and we have not had debate, and to retain information on a wide the two-thirds votes necessary to override range of policy issues– come with time and his veto. Just as President Bush vetoed the Iraq legislation, he has also blocked our experience.  efforts to expand the Children’s Health Which historical figures have influenced Insurance Program to 10 million children your political philosophy most? Why? and bi-partisan legislation to provide federal Both Mahatma Ghandi, the father of funding for stem cell research to develop modern India, and Martin Luther King, Jr. treatments and cures for many diseases.  have influenced me. Both campaigned for We will continue to push for a change of fundamental fairness and achieved their direction on these and other important goals and transformed their nations without issues. violence. Every public official is required to pledge What is your relationship with the that they will uphold the Constitution Maryland Senators Cardin and when they are inaugurated, yet many public officials seem to have a blatant Mikulski? I have a great deal of respect for Senators disregard for what our founding fathers Cardin and Mikulski and we work together wrote. Is Article I obsolete? If not, regularly to advance Maryland’s priorities on what gives the government the right to perform functions not explicitly stated in the federal level. the Constitution? How do you feel about the job Maryland The Constitution is the framework that Governor Martin O’Malley has done so guides all of our actions in government.  The principles contained therein - to form far?

a more perfect union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty – are the basis from which all good laws are formed. We are also fortunate that our Constitution is an adaptable, living document.  As Thomas Jefferson said, “I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions.  But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.  As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.” And as Constitutional Convention Delegate Edmund Randolph wrote, the framer’s intended the Constitution to be a broad framework, “lest the operations of government shall be clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable, which ought to be accommodated to times and events.”  With respect to Article I, Section VII – that is still the procedure for how a bill becomes law.

When Wootton’s 2008 graduating class goes to the polls for the first time in November 2008 why should they vote for Democratic candidates? First of all, no matter how they cast their vote, they should vote.  We face important decisions as a nation, and Wootton students need to consider the issues and participate in the discussion.  If you do not participate, others will make the decisions for you.  I am a Democrat because, among other things, I believe that Americans should constantly expand their circle of opportunity here at home and be a beacon for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law around the world.  I also support the policies and priorities in the last question.  Students should evaluate their own priorities and positions on issues.  I hope they choose the Democratic candidate, but most of all I hope they choose to vote.

What should the government do to ensure racial and economic equality in America? The government must ensure that every American is treated fairly and has equal opportunity to succeed. That is a fundamental founding principle of our nation. We must first ensure that there is equality under the law, and we must also ensure that every American has a good start – beginning with a good education. The first bill I introduced this year is the Keep Our Promise to America’s Children and Teachers Act (Keep Our PACT), which would fully fund elementary and secondary education to expand education opportunities and make sure that in reality, not just rhetoric, no child is left behind. 


What is the most pressing issue facing America today? The country faces many challenges today, but the most fundamental may be the Iraq War. We have soldiers on the ground there, it has diverted resources from our domestic priorities and the war in Afghanistan, and it is has damaged our reputation in the world. No one is more frustrated with this situation that those of us who opposed the war from the start and who believe that, as our intelligence agencies have publicly concluded, the war continues to fuel extremists in the region and around the world. An indefinite U.S. troop presence in Iraq has allowed different factions there to postpone the day when they have to make the compromises necessary to achieve stability and national reconciliation. Going into 2008, what is the Democratic strategy to win more seats in Congress and the White House? We are going to make our policy differences clear – Democrats support a change of direction in Iraq, an expansion of children’s health insurance, more funding for domestic priorities like education, research, and the environment, a clean energy policy and strategy to fight global warming, and a fair tax system that relieves the burdens on the middle class. You can compare the votes we are having this year to those of last year – the policy differences are clear and on the record.

Getting To Know Your Congressman

Food: Indian Book: “To Kill A Mockingbird”

Film: Remember the Titans Music: Classic Rock

Birthdate: January 10, 1959 Born in: Karachi, Pakistan


Swarthmore College, 1982 Bachelor of Arts

Harvard University, 1985 Master’s Degree- Public Policy Georgetown University, 1990 Law Degreen


4 The Last Straw Has Been Gone Too Long

Over the course of a long and oppressive reign, the “evil” people of Wootton have been performing acts of desecration against important landmarks in the school. The sacred public facility known commonly in the U.S.A. as the “bathroom” has been treated with little to no respect. Graffiti, litter, liquids, solids, trash a la barbershop, empty soap packets, broken parts (of oh-so-many things) are a constant visual addition to trips to the few boys’ bathroom that are still open. What more have I seen in the bathrooms of T.S. Wootton High School? O, so many things. Faithful students have a lot of memories in the bathroom, and all that fan base loyalty is going to waste. Why are the bathrooms here so disrespected?! On October 29, 2007, after school started, some hooligan decided to destroy the greatest bathroom of them all. After repeated attacks against the welfare of “Tommy’s Washrooms,” an idiot known as “student” ripped the door off the lone stall in the only bathroom left in pretty-much pristine condition. Of course, I am talking about the second level bathroom by the English department, the one before “the bridge” over troubled commons. Why? Why do you get pleasure out of making people suffer? Do you get some kind of repulsive elation by ripping doors off of bathroom stalls? What’s your excuse? Some guy who owed you money was “hiding” in the stall? So you thought you would take that opportune moment to rip the door off as if the Patriot Act manifested itself in a six foot tall hulking mass of muscle of stupidity? Do us all a favor and please stop. PLEASE! Taking care of business is a crucial part of everyday life, and the men in this building do not deserve this kind of treatment. When we get passes to go to the nearby restroom, and we must travel to the other side of the school, what are we supposed to tell the substitute about our 15 minute trip? Just let us go to the bathroom in peace. The terror you have brought us has led me and others to delirium. Stark, raving mad delirium. What else is there to tell you, but to just stop it? Can administration open up those closed bathrooms a little faster, though? Do you realize how long it’s been since the ones by that stairwell have been open? No? I think this situation is pretty darn self-explanatory.


Common Sense Editors

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Common Sense - November 21, 2007

Patriot Points

How do you feel about the security restrictions on school computers? “I think the teacher in the class should decide.” Moshe Maizels, senior

“If you’re doing something wrong they shouldn’t necessarily take your login away.” Rebecca Redden, sophomore

“I don’t even use a computer because I don’t need it for any of my classes.” Julianna Bond, freshman

Kurdish Interests Do Not Interest America Samantha Ritwo staff writer An issue that has become a priority in U.S. foreign policy is dealing with the Kurds, people mostly of the Sunni Muslim faith who live in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Armenia, and Syria. This region is known as Kurdistan, but is not globally recognized as a country. Recently, tension has been high in the Middle East with the Kurds battling for independence, which they have long been denied by other Middle Eastern countries. The question is: should the U.S. intervene in Kurdish politics? Before World War I, the Kurdish people were sovereign and free. However, when the Ottoman Empire fell, Kurdistan was not one of the new nations created, and the Kurds were no longer able to control their own government. In 1920, the Treaty of Sevres established many states, and was meant to include Kurdistan. However, this possibility never followed through because the Turkish leader rejected the proposal. After the overthrow of the Turkish monarchy, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq all chose to ignore any existence of a Kurdish state. The Kurdish uprisings in the 1920’s and 1930’s did not help their situation. A majority of Middle Eastern countries discriminate against the Kurds. In Turkey, their language and traditional wardrobe are outlawed in the cities. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein attacked Kurdish people and villages with chemical weapons when the Kurds sided with Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. Iranian political struggles have found Kurdish political activists dead, and riots have been known to erupt often. The current scenario for the Kurds is not in their favor. Today, the Kurds continue to fight. There are roughly 15 million to 20 million Kurds today, most of whom still crave independence. The Kurds and Turks, who are especially strong enemies, have been becoming more passionate, willing to do whatever they feel it takes to gain independence. They feel violence is the answer, and it has escalated, with at least

42 Turkish soldiers killed within the past month and around 40,000 lives taken overall. Remember, Turkey also battled for independence. The Turks are a proud people and fear that the Kurds are after their land, a concern that is not denied by the continuing violence between the two nations. The Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), founded in 1984, has been declared a terrorist group by the United States. In midOctober of this year, Turkey passed legislation to allow military to invade Iraq and hunt down PKK members responsible for recent deaths of those 42 soldiers. However, the U.S. is urging Turkey to refrain from taking any drastic action, especially action that might compromise the current situation in Iraq. This is a sticky situation for the United States. On the one hand, 70% of the US military air cargo gets to Iraq through Turkish airspace. Turkey is one of the country’s few allies in the Middle East, an important relationship given the current Iraq war. On the other hand, the war in Iraq is about denial of rights. What rights have the Kurds been given? Still, Kurds have fought others with violence, rebellion, and uprisings. No side is innocent. At the moment, the U.S. supports Turkey. “[PPK] is a common threat, not just to the interests of Turkey, but to the interests of the United States as well,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Washington Post. The United States should not take a role in the current situation at all. With the Middle East already being a confusing mess, why choose to involve ourselves in something that we don’t have to? It’s not a necessity of the United States army to indulge in every battle. Recruiting the US to the establishment of Kurdistan may cause other countries to involve themselves, enlarging this fight much more than it has to be. The animosity between sides is so strong that no side has negotiated discussions or plans, choosing violence instead. Why involve ourselves in a battle among those who are stubborn and blinded by tradition and pride? The U.S. should take neutrality for as long as possible.

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Common Sense - November 21, 2007

Sounding Off: Should Gay Couples Be Allowed to Marry?

Yes, Gay Couples Have Every Right to be Married No, Marriage is a Union Between a Man and a Woman Ryan Gracia staff writer In 2001, it was the Netherlands that legalized same-sex marriage. Belgium and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia followed in 2003. These legalizations paved the way for Quebec in 2004, Spain in 2005, and South Africa in 2006. A poll conducted in August 2006 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, an organization which seeks to promote a deeper understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs, indicated that 54% of Americans approve of civil unions as an alternative to same-sex marriage. With over half of the country feeling as if civil unions are acceptable, it is confusing to understand why other national polls indicate that the majority of Americans actually oppose same-sex marriages. Massachusetts is the only state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. New Mexico, New York, and Rhode Island are the only states that are neutral about the decision of whether or not to allow samesex marriages. This means that every other state is either against the allowance of same-sex marriage or has not addressed this issue. The highest court in Massachusetts found it unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, thus legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. More states need to follow Massachusetts’ example and give same-sex couples the same rights and options given to heterosexual couples. Same-sex couples are looking for equality and not special rights. Society is evolving in many different ways, whether we like it or not. As we evolve, it is becoming more and more apparent that the best environment in which to raise a child is a loving home. Such an environment can be created by couples that are of any sexual orientation. It has been said that a “traditional family” must consist of a man and a woman. If

this is true, then how do single moms and dads raise successful children every day? It is obviously possible to raise kids without them having both a mom and a dad. Parents of the same sex are just as capable of raising children as any heterosexual couple. All it takes is love and the desire to do what is best for your family. Once people are given rights, they should never be taken away because of something as arbitrary as sexuality. People who are attracted to other people of the same sex should never be punished for feeling the way that they do. They are not a disturbance to anyone, unless other people get themselves involved in the personal lives of these people. Being homosexual is about much

more than just a sexual relationship, as some heterosexuals believe. This is a complete misconception, as healthy samesex relationships are based on mutual attraction, love and affection. It is not a choice, but rather it is what their feelings tell them. We once declared to protect “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” What went wrong?

Sam Hulsey staff writer People of the same sex are prohibited by law from marrying. Opposition to gay marriage has nothing to do with how one feels about homosexuality--it is simply about upholding the law. Poll after poll taken by organizations such as Gallup, CNN, Newsweek and Bloomberg show unequivocally that the American Public does not support gay marriage. Plain and simple, we are a country that is ruled by law. Can laws be changed? Absolutely, but American citizens have to want those changes. The overwhelming majority of United States citizens do not want to legalize same-sex marriages. The American citizens

art by Desiree Devries

have spoken loudly and clearly: they do not want the definition of marriage changed. In 2004, in 11 out of 11 states with gay marriage bills on the ballots, voters shot them down, yet gay activists, “vowed to keep fighting.” With every fight comes a price. The more gay-sponsored organizations push, the harder the ultra-conservatives push

back. With each proposal to legalize gay marriage comes one to have a constitutional amendment barring same-sex unions. But, the opposition tends to play hard-ball adding in provisions to bar governments from providing benefits to same-sex couples. The fight of a few ends up causing problems for many. Both Congressional and State legislatures are overwhelmed with the responsibilities of setting laws and rules “of the people, for the people and by the people.” Their attention should not be diverted from issues critical to national security. There are critical issues to be addressed by the government when it comes to the rights and safety of all Americans. Those who are affected by samesex marriage laws are a minority. Taxpayers have the right to have their legislators focus on what matters most to the majority of the populace. There are ways for same sex partners to have all the benefits of marriage without changing the inherent definition of marriage. Civil unions confer most of the rights and benefits available to married couples under state law to same-sex partners. Some states are beginning to offer legal recognition to same-sex couples through civil unions and domestic partnerships. Civil unions and Domestic Partner laws are ways same-sex partners can still be entitled to all the benefits a spouse gets (i.e. insurance & death benefits, family rate plans, medical right, tax benefits, etc.). This way the time-honored tradition and legal definition of marriage does not have to change. Once key issues are resolved in government, implementing these protections would be the right thing to do. As of May 2007, twenty-six states passed amendments banning the recognition of same-sex marriage, and nineteen additional states have legal statutes that define “marriage” as a union of two persons of the opposite sex. This is what the people wanted as shown by their votes. Not advocating “gay marriage” does not make one homophobic; it makes them a law-abiding American.

The School’s Dress Codes are Oppressive and Unnecessary Subikram Pandey staff writer Why is the dress code such a source of concern, of aggression between uncaring students and overly strict administration? Usually, the general war cry of security is that items of clothing are “inappropriate.” But the very notion of certain outfits being inappropriate is subjective. Who determines what is appropriate and what is not? If the goal is not to offend anyone, then the dress code would have to be much stricter than any code, even the most severe dress code in America. After all, fundamentalist Christians and Muslims would be offended by women wearing a skirt that does not touch the floor, and girls would never be able to wear shorts. The lack of restrictions to protect these minorities at Wootton proves that the point of a dress code could not possibly be to prevent others from being offended. Wootton’s dress code currently bans clothing that is, among other things, “lewd, vulgar, obscene, revealing, or of a sexual nature… or is associated with gangs,” because it is “offensive to the Wootton community standards.” So, obviously, anything “lewd vulgar, obscene, or of a sexual nature” does not happen at Wootton, lest it offend the standards, right? Yet, there are many activities and readings that are necessary for students to complete in order to pass classes that are required to graduate from Wootton, which would “offend the standards.” Everyone is required

to read Romeo and Juliet, which has many references to the gang fights between the Montague and Capulet families. In biology you are required to rip open dead animals, and in English the amount of “double entendres” or sex jokes you are required to read is endless. If you did not know curse words before tenth grade, you have a fantastic opportunity to learn all of them from the required reading Catcher In the Rye. Some other examples of oh-so-wholesome themes covered in required readings are prostitution, cheating on school assignments, extortion and murder. All this fine, schoolboard approved literature has addled my brain. What moral standards were they trying to protect again? Wootton has also banned “inappropriate head gear…bandanas, do-rags…[and] hoods over the head.” How a bandana or a do-rag will harm a student’s ability to achieve is beyond me. And if my classroom is cold, well, I want to wear my hood! During the fire drill two weeks ago, even the teachers and staff were wearing their hoods because it was cold outside. It’s a hood. Not a weapon. Or a cell phone (heaven forbid). All this being said, one can really only wonder, if the dress code is not designed to protect students, protect “the Wootton community standards,” or stop students from being distracted in school, then what the heck is it for? art by Jane Mahoney



Common Sense - November 21, 2007

American Hero Talks Iraq Staff Writers Eleni kessler and emily burklow interview an injured vet

In observance of Veterans Day, which was November 11th, Common Sense staff writers Eleni Kessler and Emily Burkow interviewed Army Sergeant Brian Doyne, a former member of the 797th Ordinance Company, who lost his arm in an attack in 2005, on his third tour in Iraq. Stationed out of San Antonio, Texas, he was on a mission to save a driver who was trapped inside a tank after an improvised explosive device hit his convoy. The mission went horribly wrong. Currently, Doyne lives in Fredricksburg, Virginia, working for a private military contracting company. He is an active volunteer, helping other amputees, like himself, transition back to normal life through sports. What was your official unit and rank? I am retired now, but I was with the 797th Ordinance Company (Explosive Ordinance Disposal), a Sgt. E-5. I worked at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. EOD is basically the army bomb squad. What were some of your duties? We only really had one duty in theatre, and that was to [find] all the roadside bombings and the IED [improvised explosive device] attacks. Our duty was to find roadside bombs, disable them and protect U.S. soldiers. When were you first interested in the military? I come from a military family, so I wasn’t destined to join the military… but it’s the only job I ever wanted. I grew up when most people were saying they wanted to be veterinarians, astronauts, firemen and everything else but the only thing I ever wanted to be was an airborne infantry[man]…I guess you could call it my “calling” if such a thing is possible in life. How did you get injured? Well, that is a wonderful example of what the military calls a “FUBAR”. F---ed Up Beyond All Recognition. It was an armored column that had been taking the same patrol route everyday for weeks--basically setting themselves up to get hit. The morning of February 24, 2005, it finally happened. A [tank convoy was hit] and the driver was trapped in [a] vehicle…everyone started panicking and calling back to the FOB [forward operating base]… when the FOB commander, who was the colonel of the cavalry… called in and asked us why we were still there. When they had called [we] said someone was still trapped… the day was just getting started, totally outside of the standard operating procedures; typically we brief[ed] our convoys on the situation, checked out the security and we would have created a plan, but this time that didn’t happen. But this time they actually drove us right over the crater instead of coming in over the far side, since there was a life in danger. We had to figure out how the crater was constructed, how the explosives got there and what it was made out of… Our job is to protect lives. The driver was still trapped in the tank, [so] we had to restrain ourselves in what we did. We had to protect the driver, the recovery crews and everyone else that was there. From there, we went down range. My team and I… we stayed in the crater, initially, for a while. We found the remains of the device; the battery it was connected to, everything was in tact. I told my team leader that I was going to go back up range and get our forensics kit. And then I remember the explosion suddenly happened and a second [explosion] happened when I was in the air. And then I remember another went off about 25 meters away from the helicopter tail while I was being medivaced.  So where were you taken from there? From there, I was flown to FOB Speicher, and they did the initial stabilization. They stopped the bleeding, checked my vitals. Then I was flown to Camp Anaconda where I

underwent eight hours of surgery with 12 surgeons… I was hit on the 24th and I was at Walter Reed on the 27th. They rushed me back here quickly because they didn’t think I was going to survive.  Do you know how many surgeries you underwent in

to guys have gone through the same things and the same situations.  I think that’s probably the best part. The other part is… that none of my therapists have had amputations [but] they have figured out the hard parts [of helping amputees].  Do you know if your unit is back yet?  My unit came home and they are actually in the process of being deactivated. They are restructuring the way EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) units work in the Army. So some units are being made bigger and some are being combined. Unfortunately, [my unit] is being deactivated and they hav[e] to split up into other units.  Would you describe the time in the Army as having been rewarding? If you had known what was going to happen would you still have done it? Yes, to both.  I look at how many lives [I] have potentially saved and how those lives have saved other lives and so forth, and you get into the quantum mechanics of it all. I look at everything I’ve done and it’s been very rewarding. A lot of people thank me for the sacrifice I have made and I didn’t make a sacrifice, I was doing my job. I wouldn’t change anything because everything I have done ha[s] made me the person I am today. Is there anything you want high school students to know about the Army? There are a lot of things I could say. There is a whole large book of quotes I could give you. The biggest thing is, yeah, the Army is a challenge. A lot of people look at the Army as a last ditch, “I have nothing else in my life,” but that’s not true. If it weren’t for the people who served in the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force nothing in your life would be possible. Everyone thinks that life has so many problems here with the war, but the truth is, go to the Bahamas, go the Haiti, go to Somalia, go to Iraq and Afghanistan and you will see [that in] the other countries, that there are some things in life that do suck. We’ve got it great here. If photo by Emily Burklow it were up to me, everyone would have to join the military. Sgt. Doyne, above, lost part of his right arm to a bomb. It builds leadership skills; it teaches people how to succeed and teaches people all the skills you need to succeed… It that period of time? teaches you perseverance; it teaches you courage, things that The eight-hour surgery was one long continuous surgery people have forgotten.  The Army teaches you integrity, with 12 surgeons.  They had a blood transfusion going the loyalty, patience. Life is about living, life is about giving back entire time.  to people… The main thing is that what we do, we don’t it What do you remember? for fame, we don’t it for money, we don’t do it for college I remember everything from the time I got hit, until I got money or statues and monuments: we do it selflessly.   We into the trauma room at FOB Speicher where they did their hear people say, “we shouldn’t have gone to war; the war this, assessment on me.  I got to the trauma center and they told the war that;” it’s irrelevant. The fact is that we chose our me… “Sergeant we’re going to take the pain away now,” and country, we chose our freedom and we choose to fight.  they put me under.  They did a good job, the surgeons.  Some Are you going to continue to volunteer with the Army? point later I woke up and then they put me back down and My focus is with other amputees.  I volunteer with the then some time later there was a plane ride. I woke up and I Paradox People can go to saw a white light and thought, “Surely, I’m not dead.” And for information there.  It’s a chance to show not just military then the only thing I remember from that was the doctor personnel, but amputees in general that you can get back came up to me and [asked if there was] anything I would like out there again and do the same things as before. I also to say.  And I said, “IEDs suck.”  He said, “Is there anything work with Disabled Sports USA, it shows upper extremity you want?” and I said, “Coffee.” And then they put me back amputees they can still do things like [rock]climb and [that] out.  I’m practical, pragmatic.  you are the only person who decides what you can and Have you already completed occupational therapy?  cannot do in life.  Whether I completed it or not, I guess that’s up for Were you involved with rock climbing before you got interpretation, I’m not sure.  I’m not sure occupational injured? therapy or physical therapy is every completed for guys in I was one of those off-again, on-again climbers.  Since I’ve my situation.   been injured, I’ve gotten back into it.  It’s kind of like a What have been the most helpful parts of your lifestyle.  Rock climbing is the only place I’ve found where therapy? while I’m on the rock, with other rock climbers, I’m not For the most part, it’s been the other guys in my situation.  I disabled, I’m not the war veteran, I’m just another climber.  wasn’t here with just… able-bodied people.  It’s nice to talk

Amputees Look to Move On in Life continued from page 2 injured on the battlefront. At Walter Reed, many soldiers have to face the amputation of one or more of their limbs. “[Amputation is] a physical loss,” Ganz said. “[The patients’] grief is similar to someone dying… [It is a] mourning process, because a part of the body dies.” Many soldiers planned on serving in the Army for their entire lives but undergoing

such traumatic injury creates obstacles for them in completing their duties. In the hospital, there is a sense of security for many of the veterans and leaving such an environment is ominous. “Looking into the future, not knowing what’s going to happen [is daunting],” Naranjo said. The goal of occupational therapy is to let the injured regain the ability to perform everyday tasks, which may be made difficult

by their injury. Walter Reed organizes activities outside of the clinic that will help the veterans complete their therapy in a stimulating environment. “[We do a lot of] adaptive sports, [but also] everything from [leading] a tour of the zoo to running a triathlon,” Naranjo said. These excursions are funded by non-profit organizations, such as Disabled Sports USA and the Wounded Warrior Project. Any student is capable of helping

soldiers by showing them respect. Regardless of one’s political views regarding the overseas conflict, soldiers appreciate it when citizens show support for the troops who defend the United States. Writing letters, sending care packages, and making donations are all ways students and their families can help their soldiers. “When you pass [an amputee] on the street, look at the soldier, not the wheelchair,” said one soldier at the clinic.



Common Sense - November 21, 2007

ARCC Thanks Servicemen Elizabeth Overton staff writer Wootton’s American Red Cross Club (ARCC) demonstrated their gratitude for the commitment and dedication of American service-men and women through an enthusiastic letter writing campaign held in mid-October. According to members of the ARCC, service men and women are public service workers who sacrifice their time for the community year-round, even on holidays. This includes police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and sanitation workers. “It is important to write these letters to make [these service men and women] feel like someone is recognizing them and appreciating them,” sophmore Tomer Lagziel, a member of the ARCC said. Performing their demanding jobs can often put their personal lives on hold to make ours photo by Elizabeth Overton run more smoothly. The handmade, creatively decorated The American Red Cross Club has written numerous thank you letters to service-men and service-women. and illustrated letters will thank them for their efforts, remind them to stay safe, and wish them well during the “They put their lives on the line every day to help us California fire victims is currently in the works, and will likely holidays. during crises. They need to know the community appreciates take place at the Safeway supermarket in the local Fallsgrove With the holiday season approaching, public service what they do,” Ms. Lynn Goodman, ARCC sponsor and Shopping Center. workers will have to spend time on the job while many of us guidance counselor said. The club is associated with the American Red Cross take time off to be around our families and friends. The ARCC was established three years ago by Darwin and focuses on community service learning and leadership “Our goal is to let all the people who spend time serving Mach, a former Wootton student who attended an American development, urging its members to make positive changes us know that we appreciate what they do and the sacrifices Red Cross leadership program over the summer and felt in their community. It educates Wootton about health, safety, they make for us,” sophomore Margaret Zheng, a member Wootton needed a club dedicated to the same cause. The and disaster prevention. of the ARCC said. The letter writing campaign aims to club meets once or twice a month on Tuesdays. Their other The ARCC is sending the letters to public service specially thank them for their hard work and let them know annual activities include two blood drives. They recently held workers as a gesture of kindness, letting service men and that they are admired. one in October and plan to hold another one in the spring. women know that the work that goes behind the services we The ARCC plans to put on the finishing touches this There will be a canned food campaign for the December take for granted has not been forgotten. month by attaching a small bag of candy to each letter. holidays. A plan for a bake sale to raise money for the This is the ARCC’s first letterwriting campaign.

Cafeteria Under Fire for Food Safety Concerns

photo by Sameer Malla

Soup Kitchen: Some of the ingredients that go into the school’s lunches are shown above.

Sameer Malla staff writer A recurring problem that has been plaguing the Wootton cafeteria is the many cartons of milk that are sold past their expiration date. The milk looks and smells normal, but tastes sour and causes those who drink it to feel sick. “Sour milk killed three other guys and me,” junior Matt Song said sarcastically. “We all had different [milk] containers too.” According to the cafeteria, however, students should not be overly concerned. “Milk is good for five days past the due date on the carton,” Wootton Cafeteria Manager Sharon Forbes said. “And of course, there is that one [milk carton] that is way overdue, and that just gets in there.”

How does the school ensure safety of the food and drink items they sell at the cafeteria? Forbes said that Wootton, as well as the entire Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) system, “[has] a very strict [food safety policy].” Andrew Finke, school supervisor for Food and Nutrition Services said that the four county school clusters including Wootton, “ha[ve] a system that was originally designed for the space program.” This is how the system works as food passes through critical control points: when food first enters the kitchen and goes into the refrigerators, the fridge is considered a critical control point. Temperatures are taken when the food is being cooked. All the food has to be reheated to a temperature of 165 degrees, and held at 140 degrees. “[The heating method] is used to

prevent bacterial and microbial growth,” Finke said. “[The staff has] a very clearly defined hand-washing policy. Staff is trained to wash their hands when they do anything not food related; they should be washing their hands and putting on gloves. So, by using very strict temperature controls and sanitation controls, we assure the states of food and food products.” The cafeteria receives an average 750 breakfast and lunch orders per week. There is no single source or vendor – the school system gets food from all the major manufacturers, such as Tyson Products. The school system’s distribution and warehouse facilities are located in Rockville and it has its own fleet of trucks for the almost 100 public schools in Montgomery County. The most popular food on the Wootton menu is a “healthy” cheese pizza, with reduced fat cheese and whole wheat crust, while the most popular drink on the menu is bottled water. Some Wootton students are less than enthusiastic about the food items on the menu, noting that items such as chicken patties are quite tasteless. “Ever eaten cardboard?” junior Chris Hogan said when describing the taste of the cafeteria food. Some students do not buy food at the Wootton cafeteria and instead bring lunch. Junior Rohan Prasad said, “I don’t usually buy food at the cafeteria but I find it to be pretty costly for the distasteful quality of the food.” He said that there is not much variety of food, especially for vegetarians. The only vegetarian foods on the menu are the popular french fries, tater tots, salads, vegetable soup, veggie pizza and Cup Noodles. “We haven’t had too many complaints about the food,” Forbes said. “Occasionally, someone will bring back the food and

say they don’t like it, and [would] like to exchange it with something else.” Some students advocate an open-lunch policy, where students can eat lunch at places other than their own cafeteria. Such a policy is allowed at other MCPS high schools and has been argued for by students at Wootton. “Open lunch periods should be allowed because there is no reason why we can’t stop by Fallsgrove for a quick bite and head back to school by next period,” Hogan said. However, an open lunch policy carries


is that one [milk carton] that is way overdue and that just gets in there” -wootton cafeteria manager Sharon Forbes

its risks. Students may feel rushed. Forbes noted that it is a question of safety. If a student is injured or hurt on the way, MCPS gets the blame. “Once a student leaves his or her home and enters school, he or she is a responsibility of Montgomery County Public Schools,” Forbes said. Forbes was in two schools previously that had open-lunch policies and had to deal with students being killed rushing to get back to school in time for their next class. Opponents use a logical fallacy to argue that the students might go elsewhere and never return back to school possibly going to illegally buy “drugs and alcohol.” “An open lunch counteracts what we are trying to do,” Forbes said. She claims that the cafeteria provides healthy food, while many restaurants in the area have food that is fat-filled and unhealthy.


SPORTS Common Sense - November 21, 2007

Final Records Varsity Football 5-5 Boys’ Varsity Soccer 8-6-2

XC Places Seventh at States Jason Krakower managing editor The 2007 season was a memorable one for the Wootton girls’ Cross Country team. After an outstanding regular season in which multiple runners on the squad recorded personal records, the team headed to the state meet to compete against the best runners in Maryland. The state meet took place on Saturday, November 10, at Hereford High School in Parkton, Maryland. From the girls’ squad, the Patriots were represented by seniors Veronica Salcido, Iona Machado, and Kerry Nisson, as well as sophomores Jessie Rubin, Briana Rotello, Amy Levine, and Abby Peller. Senior Kenny Siu was the

Patriots’ only representative from the boys’ squad. The girls completed their outstanding season with a remarkable finish, as they came in seventh place at the competition. They finished in fourth place as a team in Montgomery County, only behind Churchill, Whitman, and Northwest. The average time for the Patriots was an impressive 21 minutes and 13 seconds (21: 13) for the five-kilometer race. “The team was much more cohesive as a unit this year,” Machado said. “We had four [top 25] runners in the county and three [top 30] runners in the state.” Salcido’s high school career is already filled with accolades, and her last meet exemplified her accomplishments for

Girls’ Varsity Soccer 11-3 Boys’ XC 0-4 Girls’ XC 4-0 Golf 9-3 Field Hockey 14-2 Girls’ Tennis 7-5 Girls’ Volleyball 13-5

photo by Perry Hamburg

Senior Iona Machado placed in the top 30 at the Maryland state competition.

Meet Ms. Lea Archer Jamie Burke staff writer

Wootton. She placed fifth out of 146 female competitors with a time of 19:37, which helped the Patriots achieve their high state ranking. Since Siu was the only male runner for Wootton at the state meet, the Patriots did not have a chance to win the overall team championship. However, Siu represented the team well, finishing in 22nd place out of 161 runners with an incredible time of 17: 34. His time ranked him 16th in the county. In the team competition, Quince Orchard won the state title with an average time of 17:10. The results at the state meet were a reflection of how well both squads ran throughout the season. Led by head coach Ms. Kellie Redmond and assistant coach Mr. Doug Powell, all members of the team were prepared for their postseason meets. The captains were also influential in the team’s success, as they kept everyone focused and determined to achieve their goal of getting to the state competition, and hopefully winning it. Even though they did not come in first place, every member of the cross country team can agree that this was a successful season for the Patriots. The team, especially the girls’ squad, is also optimistic for the future, since four of the participants at the state meet were only sophomores. Correction: In the previous issue we incorrectly reported results from the County Meet from the “Cross Country Team Excels at County Meet” article. The other medals were earned at the “Glory Days” meet on Saturday October 13. The only Wootton runner to earn a medal at the county meet was sophomore Jessie Rubin, who placed fourth. We applaud Jessie and we apologize for our error.

Field Hockey Team Falls in Semifinals

This year, the Wootton Poms were fourtunate enough to hire new coach, Ms. Lea Archer. She was Mike Briggs born and raised right in Las Vegas, and has a lot section editor The varsity field of dance experience. Our Jamie Burke was able to hockey team made a ask her a few questions...

Q: What previous experiences with dancing and/or poms have you had? A: “My experience with dance includes companies such as Las Vegas Civic Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Culture Shock San Francisco. I have performed in Vegas shows staring Michael Crawford, Lance Burton, and Wayne Brady. I was also the choreographer for the Houston Rockets Power Dancers.” Q: What was your experience with the Houston Rockets? A: “I never danced with the Rockets. I was their choreographer for Planet Funk Productions in Houston. The Houston Rockets Power Dancers hired me for choreography.” Q: Where did you go to college? Did you dance? A: “I went to University of Nevada at Las Vegas where I cheered with coach Tarkanian. I also attended the University of Houston where I danced on their pom team, the “Cougar Dolls.” Q: Where did you grow up? A: “I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada.” Q: How do you like being the Wootton Poms coach? A: “I love it!! It is so much fun and I love the girls!” Q: What are you expectations for the Pom squad? A: “I expect the girls to achieve their own personal goals for dance, but I want them to open their mind to all forms of dancing.” Q: What are your goals for the Wootton poms? A: “I would love for them to become strong in technique as a squad!” Q: How do you like coaching? A: “I enjoy it so much! I think of the girls as my kids and want best for them! They are great.”

name for themselves this year, and established themselves as one of the premiere Wootton athletics. The team reached the state semifinals before eventually falling to Quince Orchard 3-0. QO came out very strong and scored in the first minute of play on a defensive lapse by the Patriots. Later in the half, the Cougars aded two goals and looked particulary dominant. Wootton was unable to convert on scoring opportunities that they came upon. Wootton also struggled with their corner shots. In the second half, however, Wootton improved their defense tremendously. They allowed only a few shots on goal, and

photo courtesy of Ali Schumacher

The field hockey team finished the season 14-2.

the defense was able to pitch a shut-out in the second half, but this was not enough for the team to claw its way back into the game. The offense continued to be stymied by the tough Cougar defense. Before advancing to the state semifinals, Wootton first had to defeat rival Whitman in the regional finals. The game was very intense, and featured tough defense from both sides. The game was tied 0-0 at the end of two overtimes.

The game was forced to penalty shots, which Wootton won 3-1. The goals were scored by Sonley, junior Rachel Baron, and senior Michelle Nguyen. Sophomore goaltender Caitlin Zolet made several key stops to secure the win in overtime. Wootton defeated Springbrook and Blair in previous playoff games to advance to the regional finals. The team finished the regular season 11-1.


SPORTS Common Sense - November 21, 2007

Seniors Generate Playoff Aspirations Adarsh Kannan editor in chief One of Wootton’s most exciting teams returns to the court as the varsity boys’ basketball team takes on Blake at home on December 5. The team returns a strong group of seniors who have developed good chemistry, and is introducing underclassmen who could be key players this year. After a crushing second round playoff loss to Quince Orchard and the loss of seniors Peter Barrett, Jason Dickey, Patrick Lane, Stephen Tolbert, and Derek Eng, the team looks to regroup and prepare for the season ahead. The team features two backcourt stars, seniors Chris Cohen and Josh Dorsey, who are two of the most dynamic guards in the county. Cohen is known for his knowledge of the game and ability to lead, while Dorsey is known for his big-play ability. Also returning are sharp-shooting senior Chris Lawder, Titus Cheng, John Osinski, Tommy Whitlock, and center/ forwards Jeff Killion and Jamil Abdur-Raoof. Juniors Terrence Jackson and Stephan Ngoumou are the only two returning underclassmen on the team. Last year, Dorsey led the team in scoring in the first year of coach Christopher Bohlen’s reign. After an opening round defeat of Gaithersburg, the team lost to QO.

Ngoumou is expecting to be a major player on the team because of his athleticism. Cheng and Killion are the fundamental players on the team. Cheng had his coming-out party in the opener against rival Churchill as he scored 12 points to lead the Patriots to victory. Cohen, who will continue to play basketball at Emory next year, was the Patriots’ floor general last year. A four year member of the varsity squad, he has proven to be one of the key players for the Patriots. The new members of the team look to be junior forwards Matt Canter and Nitin Potarazu, as well as junior guards Jason Korth, Brian Hollins, and Scott Hsieh, who all played together on the junior varsity team last year. After a year together in the starting lineup for JV, these players hope to make a difference at the next level. “We have great chemistry together and hope to add to the team,” Potarazu said. Korth led the junior varsity team in scoring last year and hopes to add some punch to the varsity squad as well. “I think I can contribute to the team, not only scoring wise, but on the other side of the ball also.” After a tough game with Blake to begin the season, the Patriots go on the road to play Damascus and Magruder before returning home to play Blake at home. Several key match-ups during the season include December 21 and January 29 battles against QO, January

22 and February 11 against Churchill, and a game against a very talented Sherwood squad to conclude the season on February 22.

photo courtesy of Yearbook

Several players like Killion have four years of experience in the Wootton basketball program.

Talented Girls’ Squad Returns to Court

photo courtesy of Girls’ Basketball Website

Senior Shaunice Ellis dribbles the ball upcourt against Richard Montgomery as Becca Feldman (1) watches. Mike Briggs section editor Last year, the Wootton girls’ varsity basketball team faced a disappointing end to an incredible regular season, finishing 20-4. However, their high hopes in the playoffs were dashed with a loss to Gaithersburg in the regional semifinals. This year, Wootton faces a big challenge in returning to their winning form from a year ago. The team graduated 5 seniors from last years’ team,

leaving this years’ squad relatively young and inexperienced. “I think it will obviously be tough losing 5 seniors, however I think we have several girls that are going to step up this year,” said head coach Maggie Dyer. In fact, Wootton is only returning one starter from last years’ team, junior center Chelsea Craig. Craig was a dominating presence in the paint, blocking 32 shots and grabbing 178 rebounds a year ago. Dyer believes that this will be Craig’s break out year and, like last year, will continue to lead the team in blocked shots and rebounds.

“I think having a player like Chelsea on your team will always make you better because of  her strong work ethic and positive attitude,” Dyer added. The team also returns senior Becca Feldman, who was the second leading scorer last year at 9.6 points per game (ppg), leading all returning players. Feldman saw many minutes off the bench last year and hopes to follow that up with an even better season.  “I think this year we are going to rely heavily on Becca’s guard play and her ability to attack the basket,” Dyer said. Feldman replaces Lindsey Weiner, the team’s leading scorer and Wootton’s all-time leading scorer with 1197 points. Weiner finished the season last year at a 12.5 ppg mark, led the team in three pointers made and continued her basketball career at Tufts University. Junior guard Kara Vetrano also has big shoes to fill, replacing defensive stalwart Carolyn Weis. Weis was the squad’s best defender last year, leading the team with 73 steals. She was no slouch on the offensive end either, finishing with 91 assists. “I learned so much from watching the way Carolyn played last year,” Vetrano said. “Her ability to involve everyone in the offense is something I am looking forward to doing this year as well.” In addition to Weis and Weiner, the Patriots also lost senior forward Marley Goldin, center Daylin Short, and guard Caitlin Godstrey, all who were integral to the team’s success. Goldin and Godstrey ranked fourth and fifth on the team in scoring with 7.00 ppg and 5.38 ppg respectively. Another obstacle the team will be forced to overcome is the loss of junior Katie Kobylski. Kobylski was expected to be a huge offensive presence on the court before she tore her Anterior Crucial Ligament (ACL) in July. “We’re definitely going to miss [Katie]. She was certainly going to be a huge contributor on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball,” Vetrano said. The Patriot’s first game is against perennial power house Blake on December 5th. The team also faces tough games against Damascus, Gaithersburg, an up and coming Quince Orchard team, and 4A East defending Champions Whitman. A major change to the usual schedule will be the implementation of new divisions. The Patriots’ divison (4A West) consists of QO, WJ, Whitman, Churchill, Northwest and Gaithersburg. Although this schedule seems to be more difficult than last year’s, Dyer believes the team can replicate the success of a year ago. “I think we will definitely have a winning season this year, but I think our success will depend on our team chemistry,” Dyer said. “It is imperative that our team comes together on the court.”


STOP THE Percent of students who do drugs at Wootton:


Most commonly used drugs:

90% 10%

marijuana: other:

Wootton Students who drink alcohol:



Ever wonder why it takes some students three hours to finish a simple assignment on the computer? Could it be Facebook and its tempting “power” to make you sign on and get distracted? Facebook is a social networking website that allows friends to communicate with one another through the Internet. Facebook has become one of the most popular websites in the United States that exists in the twenty-first century. Safer than MySpace, Facebook has grown into a population with more than 60 million users. Each school, city, country, and workplace has access to their own network specifically designed for them. Every night, hundreds of kids in the Thomas S. Wootton network log into their Facebook accounts, delaying them from doing their homework. Facebook “addicts” like Juniors Brain Hollins and Matt Paris admit that they are on Facebook up to two hours a night and rely on it for their social connections. Why has this addiction gotten so bad? Some students say that Facebook is so addicting because people are always uploading new pictures and writing on each other’s walls, so you can keep up with what your friends are saying and doing. Like other Montgomery County Public Schools, Wootton has restricted access to Facebook through from the school computers. Many students use proxy websites to circumvent these restrictions. Ironically, a Facebook group called “Access Facebook from Your School” was made to inform students of how to log onto Facebook from school. A recent Wootton survey showed that 91 percent of students have a Facebook account. Bottom line: when you feel the need to sign onto Facebook in the middle of your school work, slowly step away from the computer. -Lindsey Binder, commons editor


After a long and stressful school to call up your dealer, take a few hits, a especially for adolescents. Drug abuse partly due to adolescents’ heightened s particularly areas critical to judgment Recovery Research at the National Instit dependent on drugs started using befo turned into a lifetime of addiction. And d rapidly expanding. Prescription drugs ar to marijuana. Nearly seven million Ame who are abusing cocaine, heroin, halluc pharmaceutical abuse over just the past chemicals into your body in order to fe a powerful stimulant, are battery acid, Marijuana, which is the most widely a carcinogenic agents found in cigarettes individuals died from drug induced caus September 11th attacks that took place

In today’s world of ultra-consum and technological frenzy, cell phone te messaging has become the next big thing, a kind of sport for the modern teenager. Look into any high schoo classroom and you can find at lea three students with their fingers fly frantically under their desks. Also kn as Short Message Service, or SMS, messaging is speedy and cheap. It off instant gratification that renders IM me and emailing archaic. Text messagin claim, is a convenient way of comm when one is preoccupied or when sim is rude. Parents, however, see text m another product of the nation’s ultra45% of Americans ages 12-19 own a 37% of those teens use text mess According to the Cellular Telecom Internet Associations, text messaging States grew from 33 million messages

For most people, food is a neces

walk, run, think, talk, and perform all of success, and has even become the cent the nomadic hunter into the patient farm always available at any local restaurant humans’ eating habits have become unco is when a person loses control over the contrary to popular belief, are also exa problems. Strong messages that preach types of media and it is often difficult to of advertising, even exhibit their food b more and more people are afflicted with of first to third grade girls want to be th seem scary at elementary ages, imagin America is the highest in the world and important to remain aware of the issue. pain, and heart disease, but it is a promi hamburgers and nachos in the Wootton fat). If you feel like you have a proble please contact your doctor immediately.

Lindsey Bin



week everyone is looking for that release from it all. So it is totally fine and get high, right? Think again. It’s a slippery slope to drug addiction, e starts early and peaks during the teen years. “This increased risk is sensitivity to social influences (friends) and their still developing brain, and impulse control,” Dr. Mark Willenbring, director of Treatment and tute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism said. 95 percent of people who are ore they reached the age of 20. Their “one time release” as a teenager drugs aren’t just found in back alleys anymore; the narcotics’ market is re one of the most widely abused in the United States today, second only ericans are abusing prescription drugs. That is more than the number cinogens, ecstasy, and inhalants combined, showing an 80% increase in t 6 years. Drug addiction is feeling the need to continuously put harmful eel the resulting “high.” A few of the ingredients in methamphetamine, cold medicine, drain cleaner, rock salt, lye, kitty litter, and antifreeze. abused drug in the nation, contains two to four times the amount of s. Addiction can lead to drastic and fatal consequences. Over 26,000 ses in America in 2002, seven times more than those killed in all of the the preceding year. Still looking for that release? Try a bubble bath. - Ilana Avergun, staff writer


merism ext g n ol ast ying nown , text fers an essaging ng, teens municating mply talking messaging as -consumerism. cell phone, and saging regularly. mmunications & g in the United s sent in 2001 to

more than 1 billion in 2002. Just this summer, thirteenyear-old Morgan Pozgar of Pennsylvania was crowned LG National Texting champion and winner of $25,000 after she typed “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” in just 15 seconds. She estimated that she sends more than 8,000 text messages a month. Apparently, text messaging has become a reason for celebration. But its social implications are serious. The string of Cingular “My Bff Jill” commercials, while humorous, shed light on a disturbing trend: text messaging only exacerbates the language barrier between the teen and parent generations. The population is quickly texting its way to a cyber-society. Vis-à-vis conversations will be extinct and facial expression unknown. Perhaps it is time to close the phones –even if just for a second -and reflect on the state of human interaction. -Sidney Kao, features editor


ssity. Food is the general unit of energy that humans ingest in order to f our daily tasks. It is representative of concepts such as family, love, and terpiece for the majority of American holidays. Since man evolved from mer, we have been able to control our food. What we want to eat is almost t or supermarket. Yet, because of this and many other problems, some ontrollable. A food addiction, commonly known as compulsive overeating, e amount of food they consume. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa, amples of a food addiction. There are many notable catalysts for these h “perfection or dejection” are sent from all types of companies through all o avoid them. Fast-food restaurants, perhaps the most damaging vessel being eaten by beautiful models.While it may seem slightly far-fetched, h dietary problems every day. According to, 42% hinner, and 81% of ten year olds are afraid of being fat. If those numbers ne them during high school and college. Being that the level of obesity in that we are currently at the age most susceptible to food addiction, it is . Not only does obesity lead to problems such as diabetes, leg and back inent cause of mortality. While it is hard to stay away from those delicious cafeteria, keep in mind what that homegrown goodness turns into (hint: em with compulsive overeating or any of the aforementioned problems, . -David Taylor, features editor

nder and Lauren Sternberg


IIn the U.S. one must be 21 years old to drink. High school students across the nation must be misinformed about this law. It is not uncommon to hear about students who get drunk on the weekends, after final exams, sporting events, or a school dance. This behavior is not a surprise to most teenagers. The real question to be asked is: why do students feel the need to drink? Some argue that the reason behind this epidemic is not that rules are not strict enough, but rather that there are laws against drinking in the first place. For many students, drinking gives them an exhilarating feeling that they don’t get in their seldom-exciting school week, and knowing that what they are doing is against the law promotes this feeling even further. Unfortunately, some students take their drinking habits to an extreme. When an individual drinks an abundance of alcohol over a short period of time, it is called binge drinking. Binge drinking can be extremely dangerous and has caused many deaths throughout the United States. According to the website, an estimated 63,718 deaths were attributed to harmful drinking in the U.S. in 2000. Aside from death, drinking can also lead to difficulty in concentrating, memory lapses, mood changes, liver damage, alcohol poisoning, seizures, and other problems that can dramatically affect one’s daily life. So why do students drink despite these possibilities? Most students don’t think about these negative side effects as they are chugging their beer or downing a shot of liquor. They are solely focused on getting drunk, not even considering the possibilities of being hung-over the next morning, throwing up, or worse. Another question posed is how are these students getting alcohol? “People from Wootton and across Montgomery county have easy access to alcohol,” senior Jamie Turow said. “Most kids are willing to pay their older friends to get them alcohol or have fake ID’s,” junior Elliot Belzer said. It doesn’t seem like this dilemma is going to be fixed anytime soon. In general students seem to have the feeling of invincibility; that the risks of drinking don’t apply to them. Sadly, the truth a b o u t

drinking o n l y seems to b e t a k e n seriously when a death in t h e community occurs, a n d even then it doesn’t always stop kids from drinking. -Lauren Sternberg, commons editor


SPORTS Common Sense - November 21, 2007

Hockey Team Rebounds From Playoff Loss

With a new season lurking around the corner, the Wootton ice hockey team looks to rebound from its early exit in the regional playoffs last year against Churchill. The Patriots, similar to past seasons, have been called one of the pre-season favorites to make a push for

the state championship this season. The Patriots will be captained by seniors Chris Puderbaugh and Scott Futrovsky, both of whom believe that their chance of a state title is legitimate. “Unlike in recent years, every player on this team has the will to accomplish what no other team has done before,” Puderbaugh said. “Winning a state championship is our ultimate goal, and we believe we’re highly capable of doing so.” Although the Patriots lost several key players from last year’s squad such as Matt Mitchell, Greg Cohen, and Victor Panagos, the team is still “senior-heavy” this year. In addition to Puderbaugh and Futrovsky, the team features senior forwards Jason Burke and Jeff Rubin. Along with Puderbaugh, senior Andy Benn will be patrolling the backline. Juniors Dylan Skarupa and Andrew Stein will also have to play crucial roles this season in order for the Patriots to find success. “This year will be all about taking things one game at a time,” Stein said. “Last year we looked ahead to the Churchill game and we blew an easy victory against WJ. We can’t let that happen again this year.” In the team’s first pre-season game, they beat Churchill easily by a score of 10-3. Futrovsky and Skarupa led the offense by notching several points apiece. In the net, junior goalie Chris Hogan held a shutout through two periods of play. This game was just a preview of what this strong Wootton team has to offer this year. “We played an exceptional game today,” head coach Dave Evans said. “We still have some fundamentals that need work, but our veteran guys came out and played they way they know how.” Over the summer, the Patriots held conditioning two days a week to prepare for the season. Run by the senior captains, they worked on endurance, speed, and agility. In addition to conditioning, several players attended hockey camps to polish their skills. “Going to Penn State goalie camp really helped me develop as a player,” Chris Hogan said. “I was able to better my knowledge of the game, while working on my skills.” The Patriots will begin their season in early December, but the core of their games will come in mid-January. Some of the tougher opponents on their schedule are rivals Churchill and Walter Johnson, as well as last year’s regional champions, B-CC. The Patriots next game is Friday, November 30 against Blair at 8:30 pm.

people,” O’Neill said. “This year’s team has a lot of potential and a lot of hard workers,” Rosenthal said. Coach O’Neill expects “Machine” Park to be one of the leaders for this year’s team. “As far as work ethic, I don’t know if we have anybody on the team that can match his,” O’Neill said. “I’m really looking for him to step up and be a leader for everyone else on the team.” Although this is his first year as head coach, the players are familiar with O’Neill. “It’s definitely a big change, but his coaching style should be similar [to that of previous head coach Mr. Christopher [McTamany],” junior Jack Corbett said. O’Neill plans to implement a mentormentee program which would allow varsity wrestlers to take notes on the younger wrestler’s matches, allowing both the varsity and junior varsity wrestlers to improve. The wrestling team opens up their regular season on December 12 against Northwest.

Junior Jeremy Rosenthal begins conditioning for the upcoming wrestling season.

photo courtesy Debbie Dillon

Senior Chris Puderbaugh is the highest returning scorer from the 2006-2007 team.

Jon Cohen staff writer

Wrestling Team Embraces New Coaches, Wrestlers Rachel Marcus staff writer The varsity wrestling team has high hopes for this season, as they attempt to build on last year’s strong performance of 13 wins and one loss. The team is led by head coach Mr. Kevin O’Neill. Although this is his first year as head coach, it is his third year with the team. As a whole, the team is less experienced than last year’s squad due to the graduation of six key wrestlers. O’Neill said,  “[The team is in] a rebuilding mode.” Despite the team’s inexperience, they have no lack of leadership. They are led by experienced seniors Su Young Park and David Taylor, and juniors Jeremy Rosenthal and Jack Corbett. “I’m looking for all the guys that are coming back this year to be leaders. I’d rather have people step forward and take the captain’s roles instead of just picking

Football’s Five Wins Are Most in 16 Years

photo by Rachel Marcus

Stewart Leads the

Swim & Dive Team

Jared Nelson section editor

Evan Pappas staff writer

The Wootton varsity football team ended their sixteen-season consecutive losing streak with a win over Richard Montgomery on November 3. However, the Patriots were eliminated from playoff contention in the following week, when they lost to Churchill 15-0. Churchill scored on a pair of Ryan Quinn one-yard touchdown runs and on a safety in the second quarter when junior Alex Kelly was sacked in the Wootton end zone. While the Bulldog offense completed only one pass in the entire game, they ran for nearly 350 yards. The Patriot offense never really got going, and found it difficult to put together one complete drive. Mike Mooney threw for 91 yards, and finished the season as one of the top-rated passers in Montgomery County. “We certainly aren’t disappointed. It’s the program’s most wins since 1991, and while we expect more, we are grateful that photo courtesy of Debbie Dillon we were in a position where games still mattered in November,” Senior Brendan Ray catches touchdown pass from Malling said. Mooney in a 26-15 comeback win against RM.

Although the Wootton swim and dive team lost some key athletes that graduated in 2007 including Joe Finn and Matt Bresler, success is still likely due to the return of talents such as seniors Steven Sakaris and Sean Stewart., who were All-Met Honorable Mention and the All-Met First Team respectively. The boys, who were led by Sakaris and Stewart, finished as the Division 2 champions last season. Last year at the Metropolitan Championship Meet, Sakaris and Stewart were both a part of record-breaking relays for the Boys 200 yd Freestyle and for the Boys 400 yd Freestyle. Stewart also had the record setting time at 4: 36:39 for the 500-yd Freestyle. Wootton had success at the county championship last year as well, and finished seventh as a team. At the county meet last year, the boys finished third out of 25 high school teams and the girls finished ninth.

SPORTS Common Sense - November 21, 2007



SPORTS Common Sense - November 21, 2007

NFL Season Reaches Midway Point Zach Stone staff writer As the second half of the National Football League (NFL) season begins, the contenders have begun to separate themselves from the rest of the league. Once again, the AFC appears to be the superior conference. For most of the season, the top two teams appeared to be obvious. The New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts each entered week nine with perfect records, creating a historic match-up. Two undefeated teams had never played each other that late in the season. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady used his new weapons, Randy Moss and Wes Welker to complete a dramatic 4th quarter comeback, winning the game 24-20. The Patriots are a lock to win their division and earn a playoff berth, due to their unprecedented dominance this season in addition to playing in a very weak division. The Buffalo Bills won four straight games, bringing their record up to 5-5, yet they still trail New England by five games. The AFC East also includes the only winless team in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins (0-10), and the New York Jets, who have only won two games. one of which came at the hands of Miami. Indianapolis was not able to rebound after their 1st loss of the season. With the help of six Peyton

Manning interceptions, the San Diego Chargers beat the Colts in week ten 23-21, dropping their record to 7-2. The Colts are facing much more competition in their

Pittsburgh Steelers merited discussion as the second best team in the league. They recovered from a 21-6 deficit to beat the 2nd place Cleveland Browns 31-28 in week ten.

photo courtesy of

Quarterback Tom Brady has lead his Patriots to an incredible 10-0 start this year.

division than the Patriots, as the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars have began the season with impressive 6-3 and 7-3 records, respectively. In the North, the 7-3

This dropped the Browns to 5-4, and gave the Steelers a two game lead. In week 11, however, the Steelers surprisingly lost to the woeful Jets, and the Browns beat the Ravens

Wizards Lose Five, Then Win Four to Begin Season KRAK’S Bryan Oringher news editor Last year, Washington Wizards superstar Gilbert Arenas dubbed the 2006-07 NBA season as “The Takeover,” when, Arenas hoped, the Wizards would make the jump to becoming a title contender. For a while, it looked as if Arenas would be correct. After starting 4-9, the Wizards turned it around and went 22-9 in December and January. Arenas scored 60 points against the Lakers on December 17, the most in franchise history. For December, Arenas was named Player of the Month and Eddie Jordan was named Coach of the Month. However, injuries derailed the once promising season. On January 30th, Antawn Jamison went down with a sprained knee and the team went 4-8 without him. In March, Caron Butler missed six games with a knee injury. He fractured his hand in April, causing him to miss the rest of the season. Three days later Arenas tore his meniscus in a collision and missed the rest of the season as well. After losing Butler and Arenas, the Wizards limped into the playoffs as the sixth seed before getting swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. According to the Washington Post, without Arenas and Butler, the Wizards had lost 42.3% of their offensive production, quite possibly “the most costly” loss for any team in the midst of a playoff hunt in NBA history. The Wizards made a few changes in the offseason, which general manager Ernie Grunfeld defended by saying that this team, when healthy, was among the top of the Eastern Conference for a good portion of last season. Last year, offense was not a problem for the Wizards. They scored 104.3 points per game were the highest-scoring team in the East by almost 5 PPG. Arenas ranked third in the NBA with 28.4 PPG, while Jamison

in overtime. After a rough start to begin the year, the San Diego Chargers, who went a remarkable 14-2 last season, have won four of their past six games to bring their record to 5-5. In the NFC, the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers are taking control. The best division is undoubtedly the NFC East, which features the aforementioned Cowboys, who have a record of 9-1. The division also includes the 7-3 New York Giants, whom the Cowboys have beaten twice. After a pair of tough divisional losses to Philadelphia and Dallas, the hometown Washington Redskins sit in a tie for third with the Eagles at 5-5. The Packers are setting the pace in the NFC North, matching the Cowboys at 91. Brett Favre is having a Pro Bowl caliber year, despite contemplating retirement once again this past off-season. The Lions, who went an ugly 3-13 last season, trail Green Bay by three games at 6-4. Last year’s NFC champion, the Chicago Bears, have had a rocky start to the season. They sit at 4-6, as do the Minnesota Vikings, despite the efforts of rookie sensation Adrian Peterson. The NFC South is led by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are 6-4 despite tailback Carnell “Cadillac” Williams being on injured reserve. The Seattle Seahawks lead the NFC West at 6-4. New Orleans, despite a four game winning streak earlier this season, is currently 4-5.


I saw the Coors Light football ad with Dennis Green for about the 19th time the other day, which made me think about how stupid people can be. Then I thought about how stupid sports people can be, which gave me an idea for this issue’s segment of the “Korner.” So, here is my list of the top ten dumbest things any athlete, coach, commentator, or Editor-in-Chief has said in the history of sports.

photo courtesy of

Arenas and co. have struggled so far. added 19.8 and Butler 19.1, forming the league’s highest scoring trio. Defense, however, plagued the Wizards tremendously. The Wizards allowed 105 PPG last year on the defensive end, thirdworst in the NBA. In the offseason, the Wizards finally brought in outside help to fix the defense, hiring assistant coach Randy Ayers, who is considered a defensive guru. To open this season, the Wizards suffered five consecutive losses, mired in an awful offensive slump that was wrapped up with a 118-92 loss to the Nuggets. Since then, however, the Wizards have turned it around, winning four straight behind the tremendous play of star Caron Butler, who scored over 20 points in six straight games.

10. “My career was sputtering until I did a 360 and got headed in the right direction.” - Houston Rockets forward Tracy McGrady. McGrady didn’t go to college. You can’t tell, though. 9. “I’ve had to overcome a lot of diversity [to get to the NBA].” – Cleveland Cavaliers forward Drew Gooden. I think he was confusing diversity with an old, old wooden ship used in the Civil War era. 8. “Left hand, right hand, it doesn’t matter. I’m amphibious.” - Former North Carolina State basketball player Charles Shackleford. Amphibious and ambidextrous do have a couple of the same letters. 7. “We sittin’ here, I suppose to be da franchise player, and we in here talkin’ ‘bout practice. Listen, we talkin’ ‘bout practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game. We talkin’ ‘bout practice.” - Denver Nuggets guard Allen Iverson. I couldn’t put the whole quote in here, but he says ‘practice’ about 74 more times. Not the best role model, but his grammar is top-notch. 6. “Baseball is 90% mental - the other half is physical.” - Former baseball player and coach Yogi Berra. Somehow, everything Yogi says makes sense. 5. “I know a lot about sports.” - Wootton Common Sense Editor-in-Chief Adarsh Kannan. No comment. 4. “Here’s a guy who when he puts his contacts in, he can see better.” - Sunday Night Football commentator John Madden. And we thought his knowledge was only limited to football. 3. “Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.” - Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. According to Sports Illustrated, Norman Einstein was the class valedictorian when Theismann was in high school. Still, that tackle by LT couldn’t have done that much damage. 2. “He called me a rapist and a recluse. I am not a recluse!” - Former heavyweight boxer and convicted felon Mike Tyson. At least we agree on something. How is he not still in jail? 1. “Th-the Bears are what we thought they were. Th-they’re what we thought they were. We played ‘em in the preseason. I mean, who the hell takes the third game of the preseason like it’s bull****? Bull****! We played them in the preseason, everybody played three quarters…the Bears are who we thought they were! That’s why we took the damn field! Now, if you want to crown ‘em, then crown their a**! But they are…who we thought they were! And we let ‘em off the hook!” - Former Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green. To give you the context of the situation, Coach Green was asked about Bears quarterback Rex Grossman’s turnovers. This was the most irrelevant response in the history of football. Even though the Cardinals lost, at least the Bears were who he thought they were. Hope you enjoyed it. I’m out like the Adarsh Slant. *Editor’s Note: I apologize for any time wasted reading this article.



Common Sense - November 21, 2007

The More You Ignore Us... Presented by Dr. Arthur von Gugenheim Putssmith and Dr. Chadithan del Liechtoro (Doctors) Glorious Doctors, Your revolution of the literary world has made me a raving interweb addict for years, yet I have never taken the time to send a working class McFry meal to you. However, as the coming age approaches, I find myself like so many other “Lenin”-ites. You see, I was at the local metro one day, consuming the transport necessary to make me a good citizen, when I misplaced my glorious portable effigy of your glorious figures vainglorious.  Over the past few days I have scoured the area for it (it is not very hard to miss, as it is easily half life-sized), and I have found neither hind nor tail of it. I am beginning to think that someone stole it for purposes opposing those of the Fatherland. My question is: how should I retrieve your effigy? Since Alaska, I cannot believe that any other than enemies of the state could have taken it, since it was painstakingly created with guano, symbolically representing the life you give to the people. Phosphate is new world trade milestone, no? Ja. Also, if I do not start a vendetta against these enemies in my home country I will surely lose face, since everybody who is pro-wheat is in a war right now.  Please send word soon, great leaders! Your Proletariat, Mikhail Proudhon P.S. Can you give me a Glorious “hey-hey-amen” for the fatherland?  Thanks to the good people!

The Revolving Door Preston Cornish news editor

It’s hard out there for a Republican. Bottled inside me for the past few years has been a great desire to explain to the world exactly why I support our great President George Walker Bush. Shrouded in mysteriousness and ignorance, people just don’t get the man. Am I appalled with recent poll numbers? Yes. Absolutely. Definitely. Precisely. 100%. One of the greatest leaders this nation -- no, the world -- has ever seen and, if the media’s polls are to be believed, only 30% of Americans approve his actions. Disgusting. This man is a man of action. And he takes action. He would be out on the front line if he wasn’t bogged down with the menial task of being president. As Robert Frost once said, “Freedom lies in being bold.” And friends: Mr. Bush is bold. All you do is whine. Good photos of moose are very, very hard to find. Now, Bush has to deal with some very serious things. am I supposed to do? I’m not going to invite the old witch, And we as a nation must come together and unite together. so I just need to know how to let her down gently. These children’s birthday parties are all she has to look forward For when we don’t unite together, but unite by other Uf. Well. What can we say? Look harder. Sometimes these means…it only leads to bad things. Very bad things. to in her old age! things get stuck in escalator steps. What type of shoes were One thing we need to gang up on as a nation is the Your Finest Hour, you wearing? Were the laces tied, if laced? Utilize your local enemy. Threats. We must protect and do-fend! (Mrs.) George Yvor Atwood van Auchterlonie de Fulton “police” force’s K9 unit? Who’s to say, really? Just let me Islamo-Mexi-Francos are the biggest threat to our Barker Weld Loy enjoy some Inca Kola (“The Golden Kola”) while string country since the invention of male thongs.  quartets pay tribute to modern rock in the background. Not To the Lovely, Absolutely Not Obsessive Lady, Until we take out each and every one of these people our usual diet. We’re much more into the Alt side of things, Your love for mass-market, consumer America bring us to a less-than-appealing restaurant, our liberty and our way right? While we support all political persuasions, we cannot way back. All the way back to the days when rocks were of life are at risk. Exxon’s Quick Mart is calling. Time is condone the mistreatment of Parisian elephants. Sorry. acceptable presents and brain damage came with the test. running out and we need a strong leader to stand up to Wait. No, that’s now.  However, brain damage didn’t come these terrorists and kick their collective booty. Dear Doctors, from SATs and “PTL” quotings (or did it?), but revolutionary Bush is that man. My aunt/kinda-sister is turning 32 soon and I’m on the war, and the French liked it that way. Making as much sense His job is a decision-making job, and as a result, he bench about whether or not to invite her to my son’s as Rob Reiner’s 1987 paycheck, it was American brother makes a lot of decisions. birthday party at Jeepers!. I really like Jeepers! and all, against English brother, celebrating birthdays on both sides Those decisions have almost always been right. but the whole idea of her coming to a child’s place of play of the battlefield. However, this is beside the point, as your Since 2001, Bush has been cracking down on and frolic gives me the chills--much like that monkey problem has to do with Jeepers! and grape soda, only slightly terrorists (carrying on a presidential tradition...NOT), mascot who supports, in every way, the lifestyle of a affiliated with a power struggle. I firmly advise you to not Jeepers! fanatic. But the real problem here is this: My son with the wannabe suicide bombers at the top of his “Must only bar your elderly related kin from your child’s birthday is turning 8 years old. It’s a children’s party. I’ve set the Inspect” list. For added measure, he also has been taking parties, but go a step further and bar your own children age limit at 30 so not to worry about AARP money-hawks names. That’s what we call going the distance. from your child’s “birfdai” parties. The ludicrous amounts and such. Of course, I, the mother, am allowed to attend After 9/11, he refused to give in to the terrorists, of sugar will not only give your children health-related and supervise though. I’m basically 30 anyways. But, the continuing to read to the children at Booker Elementary diseases, but their friends’ long gone medieval diseases. Dr. previous years have all been celebrations of my child’s School. Bush knows that you have to finish what you Liechtoro theorize that Jeepers! will be able to give people birthday sans age limit. My aunt might become mad begin—something that liberals don’t seem to get [Iraq]. sugar overdoses with only a mere glance. As niche-filling as with me if I exclude her from the party. But I can’t even that superpower would be, it would be best for society, nay, What’s to be expected from foreign terrorists? They’re afford another slice of pizza. And I’ve bought every 2 liter the world, if you banned holidays from your home. You silly more cowardly than William Shatner around J.J. Abrams. bottle of grape soda in the region. I need to save all the person, you. xoxo Or Rosie O’Donnell around Weight Watchers. nutritional foodstuffs for my kid and his friends! So what Many lefties say the intelligence was “falsified” before “The Revolving Door” column is back on track after a slew of small sins. Please refer to the Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed. the war began. Even if it was, that does not mean we In ALERT: Tax-Free Prizes available with should criticize the war. Even if we disagree with the Winnipeg President, we should never speak against him publicly. a “cheerio” and your name to Doing so does nothing but demoralize our troops Any who have so gladly volunteered to defend our nation from “toodles” earn severe punishment via the love-hating fascist extremist pigs. These men and the VP, his backyard pool, a diving women are in harm’s way every day; the least we can do is board, liquid soap, & some dirty laundry. dutifully support the politicians who put them there. What we need to do, and what the president has more glory. It’s from the right.Yep.Yay! repeatedly thought about (yes, he does think), is send a Just impound the vehicle and arrest the man Mike Mukasey-Chuck Norris tag team on a roundhouse when he comes back, and then interrogate him. kick tour around the terrorist world that will send those Get the answers out of him, people! dry-butt babies all the way back to the Stone Age. It’s called efficiency. All we need to do is And we might as well dragon punch North Korea and continue to ignore the Constitution. If the Venezuela and Iran while we’re at it. We must aggressively crappy dictators Putin, Chavez and Musharraf engage in Dibombacy with all the terrorist nations. can all do it, why not let our wonderful GWB? At home, we have to accept the fact that we must Write-in Bush ‘08. Fight the system. Re-elect it! sacrifice some liberty for our security. If we do not, the amount of paperwork will skyrocket. Really, who needs that? Just think of all the trees we’ll save. And isn’t that photos courtesty ASNE “We love you. And we would what the Al Gore Club really wants? Real Decreasing stacks of paper and things of that nature not put you in jeopardy.” will allow our federal investigators more time to actually Wootton Principal Dr. “Fake” capture and eliminate the terrorists. “We love you. And we Michael Doran. 2:08 PM, Why, just the other day I saw a policewoman place would not put you in Thursday, October 25, 2007; Apologies. No authentic, 98% a ticket for a parking violation on top of a Volvo station jeopardy.” discrediting rumors that the true photojournalism by way of staph infection had invaded wagon. But wait. Are you kidding me? Secretary of State

Laughin’ & Ponderin’

+ =


QuoteWithin a Quote

Condoleezza Rice

the pros on Broadway.

the school.

glory on the left


features Common Sense - November 21, 2007


to remember


November 1) “Macbeth Did It”

Nov. 29th - 4PM Nov. 30th - 7:30PM Dec. 1st - 7:30 PM

2) Wootton Art Show

photo by Cherry Liu

The Tables Have Turned

Patrick Roberts, a Biology and Horticulture teacher, attempts a free throw in the teachers’ disappointing showing.

Students School Wootton Teachers 67-62 Staff Players Student Players

Annie Bleecker staff writer

Rockville Towncenter in the library All through November

3) Native American Heritage Month

4) Thanksgiving

“Every day your teachers school you in math, English, and Science. Now it’s your turn to school your teachers.” This was the galvanizing mantra for this year’s Student-Staff basketball game, inspiring the students in their 67-62 win over the staff. The staff struggled at times, but played hard. Despite having fewer than ten players, they remained strong and energetic throughout the entire game. Before the match commenced, the opposing teams laid out their game plan. Ironically both staff and students had the same strategy: “Just score more points than the other guys,” said both science teacehr Mr. Patrick Roberts and senior Matt Jasnoff in unison, both playing power forward. “[The best part of this game] is embarrassing the teachers,” Jasnoff said. The teachers, however, had a rather different goal in mind: “Physically, mentally, and emotionally abusing the students [is the best part],” Roberts joked. “All will be punished equally.” Little did Roberts know that Jasnoff was particularly looking forward to personally schooling Roberts himself. Under the leadership of senior basketball star and coach Chris Cohen, the students started out strong. Though he could not play, his presence could definitely be seen through his coaching. “The boys knew what they had to do, and they did it. I expected nothing less,” said Cohen of his players. Because the boys’ varsity basketball team was excluded from playing due to the monopoly they would have over the match, they were given the opportunity to mediate the game. Senior varsity basketball players Jamil Abdul Raoof and Jeff Killion served as referees. The game had an action-packed start, with students quickly putting points on the board first. The first half was dominated by sophomore Jonny Heiber and seniors Luis Batlle, Chad Botha, and Adarsh Kannan. At first, teachers struggled to put points on the board, but their aggressive approach soon turned into a game of tag. No doubt, Roberts was an essential member of the staff team, scoring or assisting on most of the shots. The first half went to the students 39-28. During half time, the Wootton Poms performed their

Mr. Roberts Mr. Thompson Dr. Critton Mr. Benya Mr. Long Mr. Lightsey Mr. Graham Mr. Herschler

November 22nd!

Amir Afkhami ‘09 Perry Hamburg ‘09 Neil Lerner ‘10 Johnny Heiber ‘10 Drew Doherty ‘10 Paul Kang ‘10 Nick Kracov ‘11

Halloween routine, which was originally rained out at the Magruder football game. “The Poms were actually really scary…They were like some creepy cross between cheerleaders and Samara [from The Ring]” senior Dan Jo said. The second half of the match was a display of student domination. Sophomore Drew Doherty schooled physical education teacher Mr. James Long. Roberts then tied up the staff score with 12 minutes left in the game. The teachers even pulled ahead by two points thanks to Roberts’ height. It was not enough, though. Strong players such as Batlle and senior Ben Gordon secured the final win of 67-62 for the students, despite the teachers’ win last year. Though the stands were not completely full, it certainly sounded like they were. Parents and students alike came to support the effort. There is no question that the idea of teacher-student role reversal is appealing, either on the court or off. “There’s something intriguing and really funny about students beating the teachers at something. We’re earning some respect here,” Jo said. The annual Student-Staff basketball game provides a level playing field for both staff and students, offering a rare opportunity for students to prove their dominance over something--anything. “It’s strange to see teachers out of the context of school and class. You don’t think that teachers can play [basketball], but they really can,” senior Debbie Chen said. The event, as usual, was organized by Senior Planning. “We had an amazing time putting the game on for everyone,” senior planner Eric Fleischman said, “We worked really hard to get all of the teachers and students involved, and in the end, it really paid off. I hope everyone had an amazing time.”

CONGRATULATIONS to “PULP,” Wootton’s Literary Magazine! “Pulp” won a number of awards at the Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Scholastic Press Association Conference on Friday, November 16, tying with Montgomery Blair High School for the most individual awards for a literary magazine. Bravo!

Adarsh Kannan ‘08 Luis Batlle ‘08 Ben Shapiro ‘08 Chad Botha ‘08 Joey Bronstein ‘08 Furbod Abedimi ‘08 Ben Gordon ‘08 Jason Krakower ‘08 Matt Jasnoff ‘08 Matt Evans ‘08

1st Place, Cover Design……………………… Daniel Zhang, Pulp 1st Place, Inside Page………………………... Design Staff (Title Pg. & TOC) 1st Place, Art……...................Yao Li, “American Life Series” 3rd Place, Poetry……………………………...Stephanie Miller, “Once There Was a Wait”

3rd Place, Prose (Tie)………Emily Khalid, “Empty Mattresses”                               Amy Levine, “Shoes Come in Families” Honorable Mention, Art…....Erica Ham, “Peas”  Yao Li, “DNA Man” Erica Ham, “Empty Pockets” Dasol Kim, “Grandfather”

features Common Sense - November 21, 2007


Honk! Gets Everybody Singing Along Wootton Center for the Arts Produces Another Stellar Show Naomi Sapiro staff writer Once again the Wootton Center of the Arts has pulled off another phenomenal musical. From Children of Eden to Sweeney Todd and now to Honk! the show quality and talent keeps improving. The casting of Honk! was well selected and each actor/actress portrayed their characters wonderfully. “My favorite part [of the musical] was the really talented cast. Everyone was so focused and so talented,” senior Keith Schwartz said, who played the lead role of Ugly. The set, lighting, and sound coalesced for a memorable experience. Everyone was shocked to see that the costumes where not animal costumes but were, in fact, simply regular clothing. The confusion was evident through the audiences’ low mumbling of curiosity that could be heard when no animal costumes were to be seen. It was clear that each scene had been thoroughly rehearsed; the actors executed their lines perfectly and with very little hesitation. The opening act was amusing and catchy. The music was upbeat and was really a great way to grasp the audience’s attention, which the audience applauded for louldy when the curtains closed. The costumes were “retro” and unique. Every person had their own personalized costume that consisted of resplendent colors and patterns. The music in the show was also exceptional. The pit orchestra did an excellent job of providing a light tone throughout the musical. The actors and actresses maintained rhythm and their voices. “I really enjoyed playing the music for the show. And the way the actors coincided with the music helped provided a great show,” senior Aaron Shakin, a part of the pit, said. The stage and lighting were well thought-out and on cue. The stage set was detailed and fit the show very well. “The set had a lot more detail in it than most of the other shows. A lot of time was spent on the grass, eggs, and flats in the back because of the detail required,” said sophomore Wolfie Devine, assistant stage manager. “This particular production had relatively few set changes. Other than moving the eggs on and off stage, the set changes only required two or three people.” Most of the audience found the scene, The Marsh, a Late Summer Morning, a humorous piece. The Cat, played by senior Max Swider, as well as Queenie, played by sophomore Jordan Smilan-Goldstein, and Lowbutt, played by junior Stephanie Helwig took part in a not so PG scene. “For a PG show, the scene was rated NC-17,” sophomore Anna Agarunova joked.

photo by Elizabeth King

The cast of Honk! produced a show of fun tunes, entertaining people of all ages The scene was about the Cat falling in love with Queenie. They expressed their infatuation by dancing and passionately “hugging” each other. “I had been warned sufficiently,” said Mr. Goldstein, Jordan’s father. The audience found this scene funny, and it elicited relaxed laughter. Although, Honk! was very different from Sweeney Todd in music, setting, and genre, the cast and crew were pleased with the outcome. It was obvious that a lot of thought was put into this production. “I knew that I needed to do something to hit the community,” director Carla Ingram said. It appears Ingram’s goal was achieved as Honk! attracted people of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents. “Every minute [of this show] was exciting and interesting and a great learning experience,” junior Rachel Lipman, who played Ida, Ugly’s mother. When it comes to putting on musicals, Wootton knows how to put on quite a performance.

Students Prepare to Start Puttin’ On The Hitz

photo by Melissa Marcus

A group auditions their act in hopes that they will be selected to perform in this year’s Puttin’ On the Hitz. $25 for third place. In the class competition, the freshmen, Melissa Marcus sophomores and juniors compete to win a $100 prize. staff writer The three staff judges determine the winners of both competitions based on creativity, lip sync accuracy, stage Every year students and faculty gather in the auditorium, presence, costumes and props, and overall entertainment. eagerly awaiting Wootton’s annual show, “Puttin’ On The This year, POTH will feature a disco theme. Hitz” (POTH). Students lip-synch and dance to their The show this year will have the classic dance-offs favorite songs in a competition extravaganza. There are but will also include some new twists. The Supertonics, two competitions within the show: the individual and class Wootton’s own elite male a capella group will perform competitions. and welcome the audience to the show. The local band In the individual competitions, students will compete to Lemonface will be performing as well. Lemonface includes win prizes: $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and

senior Brendan McCusker. “The show is different this year because we’re trying to make it more fun in order to get a greater response and more people to come,” senior Planner Megan Ladd said. There are also song requirements for the performers: one boy band song, one disco song, one Disney song, one song in a foreign language, one current song, one reggae song, one rap or hip-hop song, one techno song, and one movie theme song. “The class of 2009 has always dominated POTH and we’re looking to finish a three-peat dynasty this year,” junior Planner Andrea Tian said, who looks forward to showing off her class spirit with this year’s performance.  “We have a lot of good dancers, and we’re going to be really good this year,” junior class Vice President Elijah Martin said. Although there is money involved in the grand prize, for some, the money is merely a fringe benefit to the good times put into the planning and rehearsing for POTH. “It’s not about the money, it’s about the pride of being the best class,” Martin said. Although the senior class participates in this event, they do not compete in the class competition because they plan POTH. “We changed it up this year because we thought by letting other types of performances into the show, people would be more interested in coming,” senior planner Robert Yin said. Even for those not participating in POTH, watching it should be entertaining. “It is a very great experience for the whole family. Me and my dad both loved it,” sophomore Adam Solomon said. “POTH is always the best part of planning,” Tian said. “It’s so much fun to work with everyone and dance the night away.” Auditions and rehearsals on December 10 and 12 are mandatory for performers. “Puttin’ on the Hitz” will take place on December 13 at 7:00 in the auditorium, and is open to the entire Wootton community.


features Common Sense - November 21, 2007


Reese Higgins managing editor

Greystone Grill Offers Costly Flavors

art courtesy of Hydra Head Records

Here we are again. All the below are albums released earlier this year. The good, the okay, and thankfully we aren’t plagued with horrid stuff. Lucky for you, most of the albums we review are of a highly enjoyable quality. So you go on and enjoy. The Austerity Program, Black Madonna Wonderful. The taste of the studio is very prominent, but it is of no concern. It probably only adds to the power of the fast metal featured here. There’s no real singing, but there is some melody-following yelling on this mostly instrumental album. Chugging, shredding, irrationally pounding: this group is all about the guitars. But, the guitarist-bassist combo has one of the most reliable drummers in the music business. And what a well programmed drum machine it is. 3.5 out of 5 Bergraven, Dödsvisioner Anticipating heavy, deathly thrash within the first second, Dödsvisioner starts with over 2 minutes of silence, only to then have some haunting choir briefly sting the air. And then comes the heavy thrashing. The Swedish band proceeds to build up and then blow up. These death metal crazies go wild with death and gloom. 3 out of 5 Botch, American Nervoso [Bonus Tracks] Landmark hardcore metal band’s 1998 album gets reissued with bonus tracks. Littered with furious and entertaining metal-punk numbers, there also is a surprising piano instrumental of a ballad nature (“Oma”). 3.5 out of 5 Clouds, Legendary Demo Good ‘ol rock and roll modified with contemporary metal guitars and hard rock drumming. As you might be able to imagine, the 19–minute plus album closer “Quartulli Dub” strays from the rock path. 4 out of 5 HEALTH, Self-Titled Noise rock? I suppose this is the noise rock of the day, or at least that’s what the kids are calling it. This Los Angeles four-piece completely disregards convention, banging away at whatever cymbals they so care to, strumming fanatically on their guitars when they’re not giving us their new take on white noise. And then come the electronics… It gets catchy with “//M\\,” though. Not quite half-an-hour, HEALTH is a fun, if not scatter-brained, record for those of you who want to go all experimental or something. 3.5 out of 5 Pelican, City of Echoes Several good instrumental albums were released in 2007. City of Echoes is one of the excellent ones. 4 out of 5 Zozobra, Harmonic Tremors Hard alternative rock coupled with throat-scratching, death n’ doom metal vocals, as well as typical rock vocals. The occasional sludgy guitar is backed by characteristic metal guitar effects. Highlights include the, of course, harmonic opener “The Blessing.” The vocals are actually pretty mixed, between the singing and the metal gruffness. 3.5 out of 5 Correction: Last issue's review of Radiohead's In Rainbows mistakenly awarded the album a score of 4.5 out of 5. The actual score is a 5 out of 5. In an attempt to preserve the sanctity of a 5 out of 5 rating, we pledged not to give out the score unless we came across the perfect album. But we realize that the perfect album is a rare achievement, so we're joining the ranks of those that give awesome albums great scores. It is still hard for us to give out high scores though. Sometimes, even the decision of whether to give a 4 out breaks our hearts. So if you see something like 3.5 (or above, of course) then you know the CD has some replay value. You will enjoy it. It is good. So anyways, In Rainbows certainly rocks and is indeed most excellent. It's pretty darn good. Deserving of a 5 out of 5? Sure. No, it's not perfect, but yes: Go listen.

photo by Vivian Chen

The Town Center’s Greystone Grill offers an overpriced version of the average American steakhouse. Vivian Chen staff writer Among the various new restaurants opening in the Rockville Town Square, Greystone Grill is one of the few steak restaurants on my list of favorites. Greystone Grill is an elegant, contemporary American restaurant that recently opened this summer in Rockville Town Square. The restaurant gives off a relaxing and clean feeling, an ideal place for families to indulge themselves or to celebrate a special occasion. The décor is simple: paintings and photographs adorning the walls, light jazz music playing over hidden speakers, deep cherry wood, stone columns and glass structures.   The food was prompt. But while some waiters were welcoming and friendly, a few others were rather robotic. Like many other restaurants, they offered a bread basket with dinner rolls, and their own homemade spread of light and fluffy butter. First to be served to the table was the appetizer, the Calamari Rockefeller. The plate, tender calamari lightly breaded and sautéed with fresh garlic, peppered bacon, chopped spinach, and diced tomato, was light and crunchy with a slightly sour and spicy taste. Unlike

other calamari dishes, the flavors do not overpower the calamari itself. The portion size is perfect for an appetizer - enough to silence a stomach growl, but not enough to sate an appetite. Next came the Greystone Flat Iron. The perfect representation of what a perfectly grilled steak should be, the entree was juicy, but not gushing out blood with every cut. The meat was tender, with a warm, pinkish color at the center. All steak dishes also come with a choice of sides and a salad. I chose the mashed potatoes and a classic Caesar salad. The mashed potatoes were dry and hard to swallow, but the Caesar salad is recommended. The classic Caesar salad has romaine lettuce tossed with Parmesan and croutons with a choice of grilled salmon or grilled chicken. It was not drenched in Caesar dressing, so the Romaine lettuce actually had a crunch to it. For pasta lovers, I highly recommend the Shrimp and Champagne dish. The combination of shrimp, mushrooms, shallots, and chopped tomatoes all mixed with a light cream sauce over linguini was simply delectable. The sauce did not overwhelm the other ingredients, but instead complemented them. I found the Greystone side salad rather mediocre, and very different

from the classic Caesar. The Greystone salad had crisp greens, candied cashews and crumbled Maytag bleu cheese tossed with raspberry vinaigrette. The leaves were soggy, and the vinaigrette had a slightly bitter taste. The Pecan Crusted Tilapia is a fresh pan-seared tilapia, finished with a peach mango mint chutney. The fish had a crusty outer coat while still remaining soft and tender on the inside. But the sauce was so tremendously sweet that I could not even taste the fish. The complimentary wedge salad was basically a wedge of Iceberg lettuce topped with bacon, tomatoes, bleu cheese, and blue cheese dressing. The dressing was too heavy, burying the salad under cheese. Saving the best for the last, the Molten Chocolate Lava Bomba was a right-out-of-the-oven chocolate soufflé, topped with vanilla ice cream and fruit, all drizzled with a sweet raspberry sauce. This dessert literally melted in my mouth. Although this French sweet dish takes 20 minutes to prepare, this heavenly dessert was worth every minute of the wait. Greystone Grill, however, is rather pricey. An entree ranges from $17 to as high as $30, and the appetizer and desserts can range from $7 to $12. The total for my dinner with my family of three was a hefty $97.58.





5014 Cedar Croft Lane Bethesda, MD 20814 phone: 301.332.9118 email:


Investigating the Boyfriend

photo courtesy of

Daria Snadowsky’s new novel, Anatomy of a Boyfriend Katy Tong staff writer From a quick glance at the cover of Anatomy of a Boyfriend, it appears to be light and humorous. However, first-time novelist Daria Snadowsky has no intention of portraying a joking matter nor does the story have a happily-ever-after ending, as the “Ken” doll artwork might otherwise imply. Rather, Snadowsky’s ambitious effort is a serious tale that poignantly reveals the exhilarations of first love and the agonies of heartbreak. In the story, senior Dominique Bayer is the model student, with her college and career paths planned out meticulously. Unlike her best friend Amy, Dom would much rather participate in Science Quiz meets or play Operation with her family than scope out guys. In her mind, “boys are all a**holes or bores”

anyway. Life, however, rarely goes as planned. During a studentteacher football scrimmage, Dom falls head over heels - literally - for Wesley Gershwin, a shy track star. The two become inseparable, and their friendship quickly grows into romance. As the relationship blossoms, Dom experiences a full whirlwind of emotions both new and thrilling, as well as many of love’s physical “firsts.” At one point, Dom’s infatuation morphs into an obsession. The once innocent girl begins to sneak behind her oblivious parents’ backs, considers adopting Wes’ vegetarian practices, and even goes as far as attempting to rearrange her college plans and follow him to college. In any case, love’s roller coaster cannot always be set on forward motion, and there comes a time when emotions must be tested. So, rather than closing the novel at the end of high school, Snadowsky proceeds onward to describe the couple’s freshman year at college. Dom majors in pre-med at Tulane, while Wes heads to NYU with hopes of making the track team. Even as the two struggle to keep their bond alive, believing that love would trounce the distance between them, the inevitable occurs. The passion that once propelled their relationship slowly withers away, leaving behind mere memories in the ashes. In the process, Dom learns that nothing is forever, even love; only time can mend a broken heart. Out of the ordeal, the quick-minded girl becomes stronger emotionally and prepares to take on more complex relationships. Anatomy of a Boyfriend, though written simplistically, feels honest and its message rings true. We live vicariously through Dom’s narration, past her blend of emotions and even awkward moments: we laugh with her, we cry with her, and we cheer her on throughout the hurdles she encounters. At times, however, the candor presented in the book can be a bit shocking. Whereas most young adult writers tend to butter up sexual encounters with flowery generalizations and ambiguity, Snadowsky details the reality of love almost too vividly. Such material may not be appropriate for younger readers. Still, it is often best to leave the birds and bees with some sense of mystery. The novel feels reminiscent of Judy Blume’s Forever, which was published over 3 decades ago and deemed controversial also because of its overwhelming realism. Fittingly, Snadowsky includes Blume among her acknowledgements, noting Blume’s works as sources of inspiration. Ultimately, Anatomy of a Boyfriend follows a predictable plot and cast of characters, conventional to novels of this genre. Not exactly era-defining, perhaps a little more originality is needed to make a truly captivating story. But who is to blame for that? Like history, love cycles and circumstances reoccur. Three stars out of five. This novel is recommended for chick-lit readers.

Beam Fuses Rock and Poetry Brandon Golden staff writer While those of you who fill your eardrums with the Top 40 hits of 99.5 FM radio station will have no idea what I am talking about. However, fans of Zach Braff and the indie film explosion Garden State could probably identify new age folk icon Iron & Wine faster than you can get a speeding ticket on Wootton Parkway. Iron & Wine is the brainchild of its only member, guitarist/multiinstrumentalist Sam Beam. Beam has been drawing in fans since he quit his job as a film professor at the Florida State University Film School to put out his swaying Southern Gothic swan song debut album, The Creek Drank The Cradle (2002). With a few scattered EPs soaring around the internet, Beam followed up with 2004’s Our Endless Numbered Days. The year proved to be his best, as he also contributed a brilliant composition of The Postal Service hit, “Such Great Heights” to the Garden State soundtrack. This year, Beam emerges from the studio armed with a strong record bearing his signature whisper and a backing band

that supply him with surprising blends of worldly beats and a psychedelic rock tinge. That long-awaited record is called The Shepherd’s Dog. The record commences with a soft twang backed by African polyrhythms in “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car.” The fronting opus immediately proves that although Beam’s sound may have set a new course, his poetry remains just as potent as ever: “a bone cold and older than our bodies, slowly floating in the sea.” Other strong tracks include the photo courtesy of shorter, but upbeat “The Devil Never Beam makes an album soft rhythms Sleeps Alone,” which was the selection musical influences and tastes and from the album that the band played on unsurprisingly does so impeccably well. The Late Show with David Letterman in The album has been on constant rotation early October. Beam sings in the bluesy on my iPod since the day it came out, and tune, “No one on the corner had a quarter won’t be leaving anytime soon. for the telephone, everybody bitching I would recommend this record to there’s nothing on the radio.” everyone, but seeing that not everyone Beam’s slower ballads haven’t lost a has my elitist view on music, I’ll stick to step either. “Flightless Bird, American those of you who are fans of Nick Drake, Mouth” and “Carousel” (the latter being Death Cab For Cutie, Andrew Bird, my favorite song from the album) both Sufjan Stevens, and of course the Garden strike a soothing nerve - endorphins State film or soundtrack. I hope that all flowing through your ears. of you guys love this record as much as I The Shepherd’s Dog spans several do. Cheers!



Common Sense - November 21, 2007

DTayl’s Details

Features Editor David Taylor

Another day of thanks is just over the horizon and I find myself, for some reason, craving turkey. Yes, I know, at this time of the year such a dilemma may seem perfectly natural to almost every reader, but I assure you it is not. I don’t even like turkey. In fact, on any given day I would go out of my way not to eat turkey. It usually turns out dry and leaves a stale taste in my life, and the only salvation rests in nearly suffocating the meat with gravy. If turkey was a day, it’d be a Tuesday. Those suck. A lot. Yet for some reason, my acknowledged frustration with the bird does little to calm my excitement. I can not wait till November 22nd. I don’t consider myself all that religious, but I can confidently say that this inexplicable longing for turkey made me want to go to synagogue to find the answer. After much deliberation, I concluded that it isn’t the turkey that entices me. No, it is the correlation my mind has so sturdily constructed that links the food with the long break it brings. Because of the glorious holiday of Thanksgiving, public schools grant students two days off. Thinking of those wonderful days off, I wondered what made the holiday so special to warrant itself two breaks from education. In a nutshell, the holiday is celebrating a successful end to the seasonal harvest. As traditions tell us, to express our gratitude for teaching us to farm in the New World, we provided the Native Americans with a huge feast (and raped their women, gave them diseases, and stole their land, but that’s beside the point). This holiday teaches us a great lesson of being thankful for what we have. But, in deeper thought, what kind of message does giving this holiday two days off of school send? Are other holidays’ messages being disrespected in not observing their sanctity? What about Columbus Day? Veteran’s Day? Valentine’s Day? How about Groundhog’s Day? National Pirate Day? National Biodiesel Day? World Leprosy Day? Plan Your Epitaph Day? Have a Bad Day Day? Free Hug Day? Maple Syrup Day? We don’t even bother to honor the Native American equivalent of our Thanksgiving, You’reWelcome-Giving. The omission of these holidays from the MCPS calendar is blatantly offensive and ultimately counterproductive to society at large. No, I am not asking for two days of school back -- I don’t like school that much -- but changes must be made. What I am asking for is for the school system to equally honor the holidays our nation’s people embrace. Whether people prefer to celebrate giving thanks or guzzling maple syrup should not be decided by the schools. The only way (and I repeat, only way) to make sure each holiday is properly represented is to grant each holiday a day off of school, and according to my calculations, that leaves us with a grand total of zero days left of school this year. Enjoy your turkey and have a good summer, and winter, and spring.

Vol. 37 Issue 3