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A NEW BRAND OF LAUGHTER: Stand-up comedy died and was reborn again with the evolution of Alternative Comedy.


ABOVE THE MENDOZA LINE: The baseball team looks to finish strong after a mediocre start.



ARTY PARTY: AP art students recently showcased their work in a daytime showcase.


TIME AND AGAIN: Alan Xie is reelected for his second term as SMOB.

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IMPORTED?: Is the controversy surrounding Barack Obama’s birth certificate warranted?


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Common Sense

Volume 40, Issue 9 - Thomas S. Wootton High School - 2100 Wootton Parkway - Rockville, MD 20850 - May 5, 2011

Time for change: Starr to replace Weast Megan Vincentz & Christine Chang staff writers After 12 successful years as Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, Superintendent Dr. Jerry D. Weast is preparing to step down on June 30 and make way for a newly appointed Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr. Weast will be setting the bar high for the new superintendent, having been in public education since 1969 and serving as superintendent for 30 years, overseeing eight school districts in five states. Weast was also a former clinical professor and instructor at several universities and is one of very few superintendents that have won the state Superintendent of the Year award in two different states. Starr was one of the 18 superintendents who applied to succeed Weast. Having graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a doctoral

degree in administration and social policy, Starr has taken on numerous jobs in the field of education all over the country. He began as a special education teacher in New York City Public Schools in 1993 and has assumed jobs such as Stamford Public Schools Superintendent, New York City Department of Education’s Director of School Performance and Accountability as well as Deputy Senior Instructional Manager and Administrator in Plainfield, N.J., and Freeport, N.Y. “If he does his job, I’ll be given the resources to do my job,” Principal Dr. Michael Doran said. “It’s a symbiotic relationship.” Under Starr’s six-year leadership for Stamford Public Schools, the city has shown academic progress in a few areas, although they haven’t been able to keep up with state averages. From 2006 to 2011, the average SAT score rose by 62 points to 1,500 (which still trails the see STARR, page 3

S TA R R’S CAREER: Doctorate in administration and social policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Superintendent of the Stamford, Conn. school system. Various administrative positions in New York and New Jersey.

photo courtesy of Stamford Advocate

Serving as the superintendent of Stamford, Conn., Dr. Joshua Starr discusses magnet school programs with visiting Chinese educators.

Brownies’ ‘secret ingredient’ causes stir

Boys’ tennis poised for playoffs Christine Chang staff writer Wootton’s varsity tennis team is hoping to ride the momentum of its undefeated regular season and win back-to-back county, regional and state titles. With no graduations of any of last season’s much-heralded team, which consisted of five USTA-ranked players, the Patriots entered the season with high expectations. True to widespread preseason predictions, the tennis team amassed an undefeated regular season record of 12-0, even with the occasional absences of USTA nationally-ranked senior

Anton Kovrigin and sophomore Alex Hahn. The team is aiming to win the number one, two, three and four singles and doubles matchups in the bracket-based May 5 county finals. With the expected addition of Kovrigin and Hahn–who won the state doubles title with Mateo Cevallos last season–the Patriots are looking to sweep states in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. “I think we can do it if we are consistent and play our best,” head coach Nia Cresham said, after the Patriots sealed the number one

Danny Wadler editor-in-chief

The show fits comfortably into the screwball genre, aptly described by film critic Andrew Sarris as “a sex comedy without the sex.” It is not raunchy, but has enough innuendo and slapstick to go around. “It’s not the deepest show that we’ve ever done, but the audience really liked it,” master carpenter junior John Minderman said. In addition to Goodman’s miming about the facts of life, the show’s first ensemble number addresses the unfortunate problems that are presented to the townspeople because they cannot marry.

On March 30, a student brought marijuana-laced brownies to school and distributed them among the student body. The students who knowingly distributed the brownies received 10-day suspensions and recommendations for expulsion. Several students consumed the druglaced brownies without knowledge that they contained marijuana. The issue was brought to the administration’s attention when some of these students checked into the health room feeling ill. “We found out about it very quickly,” Principal Dr. Michael Doran said. The incident covered multiple grade levels. Although several administrators were involved, Assistant Principal Dr. Ira Thomas was the first to be contacted. Disciplinary action took place for all students involved with the incident. “We followed MCPS Policy to the letter,” Doran said. Disciplinary action was also enforced for the students who were directly involved with the incident but not aware of the intoxicants. “There’s often somebody who’s innocent but gets themselves involved,” Doran said. “They are still part of the

see MATTRESS, page 8

see BROWNIES, page 5

photo courtesy of Eiichiro Okuyama

see TENNIS, page 14 Okuyama winds up for a powerful groundstroke.

‘Once Upon a Mattress:’ final hurrah for senior thespians Evan Rindler arts editor

It’s fitting that Wootton’s student body has been infected with Spring Fever when the theme of the spring musical, “Once Upon a Mattress,” is subtly sexual in its humor. In the show, senior Devin Goodman’s character, King Sextimus, has been beset by a curse and cannot speak. As a result, his hand motions are the only form of communication possible, which makes for creative visual humor, especially as he tries to educate his son Prince Dauntless, played by senior Ari Halevy, about the birds and the bees.

“People definitely enjoyed the pantomiming of [Goodman],” senior Jeffrey Popkin said. “He’s really expressive and it reads well with the audience.” The plot concerns a medieval kingdom where, until the prince can find a bride, no one in the kingdom can marry. Queen Aggravain, played by junior Julia Wainger, is determined to keep her son single, to the dismay of Sir Harry and his pregnant girlfriend Lady Larkin, played respectively by seniors Tiziano D’Affuso and Helena Farhi. When Prince Dauntless falls in love with a girl named Fred, played by senior Stephanie Wasser, the whole kingdom pitches in to help him get hitched.



Common Sense - May 5, 2011

ews lash

The latest unusual news from around the world Royal Wedding dominates the media The Royal Wedding on April 29 has generated a lot of media buzz. According to the Web Anaylsis Company, there were 217,000 status updates during the wedding. There were an estimated 327 million photographs taken, and 65 million of them were uploaded to social networking sites. Over 2 million viewers tuned in watch the wedding, making it one of the most publicized image courtesy of weddings of all time.

MCT Campus

See you later, Alligator! Florida native Alexis Dunbar received a shock when she walked into the bathroom and found a seven-foot alligator on the floor. It is believed that the alligator entered the house through the doggie door on the porch. Dunbar contained the animal in the bathroom and waited for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to come escort the alligator from her home. source: WFLA Tampa Bay

What would you do for a Big Mac? On April 11, a Florida police officer attempted to stop 64-year-old Roberta Spen for driving with a faulty tail light, but instead of stopping, Spen went to the drive-thru of McDonald’s to get lunch. Spen ignored the policeman’s request to exit her car and continued to get her food. After she got her food, she left the parking lot and started a massive police chase. After avoiding a police blockade Spen ran out of gas and was finally arrested. Spen was charged with fleeing and eluding an officer.

Junior Matt Schliep: SGA Vice President

Student body elects new SGA officers

source: Yahoo!news

image courtesy of USGS

image courtesy of Kenny Jacobs

image courtesy of Kenny Jacobs

Junior Emily Levenson: SGA President

Katie McRae staff writer After a month of campaigning for positions in the student government, votes were tallied and the results were revealed. Out of all the students running for office, 16 people were elected to represent their class as well as the entire student body. The officers of the Student Government Association are elected by students of each grade level. With returning SGA officers such as junior president Emily Levenson, the transition into the next school year should be as smooth as possible. “I think next year we will have an amazing homecoming and spring project, with not just the old officers, but with the new SGA group,” Levenson said. “It’s going to be a great year for SGA.” SGA sponsor Jennifer Taylor shares Levenson’s optimism for the upcoming school year and the success of the elections. “Overall, the elections went very well,” Taylor said. “I was very pleased

with the number of candidates that ran for office. Very few people ran unopposed.” This was generally true, with some exceptions such as freshman president Lydia Han, who did not have opposition in her race for presidency. “There was no one running against me, but the other races were quite tight,” Han said. “There were a couple of upsets as to the winning officers, but overall I think we are going to do well next year.” More candidates running for office meant more competition and, unfortunately for some, more losses. The entire school votes for SGA election, while each individual class votes for their peers for class officers. There are four positions available for each class: president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. “Everyone I voted for won, so I guess I am a good luck charm,” freshman Sarah Stuart-Sikowitz said. “I hope they will do a good job.” Even with the disappointment of losing candidates, the mood for the upcoming school year is mostly

optimistic. Sophomores elected Landon Fleischman for the position of vice president of the rising junior class. “I strongly believe that the next year will be our best yet for our class because over the past two years [the sophomore class] has been able to learn and grow from what we’ve learned,” Fleischman said. “Now we can apply the lessons we have learned in the past to future plans.”  The reactions to the victories were almost unanimous among the officers. “My reaction to winning was excitement for the following year and all the fun were going to have,” Fleischman said. With the end of the elections, the anticipation of the next school year grows. A chance for the elected officers to make their campaign promises come true awaits the student body during the upcoming year. “I think we will have a good time next year raising a lot of money for the school and working hard,” Han said.

image courtesy of Broward Sherriff’s Office

source: Sun Sentinel

School Calendar

image courtesy of Kenny Jacobs

Junior Katherine Panagos: SGA Secretary



2-13 AP Testing 6

Senior Picnic

16-19 H.S.A. Week 17-20 Festival of the Arts 23-26 Senior Exams 27


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


Dance the Night Away

Senior Planning is in the middle of organizing Wootton High School’s A Midsummer Night’s Prom. The theme is inspired by William Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Prom will be held on May 27 from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Bolger Centre, at 9600 Newbridge Dr. in Potomac. May 27 is also the last day of school for seniors. Tickets can be purchased on the online school store for $28 until May 23. After May 23, tickets will be sold for $35. Underclassmen and students outside of Wootton under 19 years old can only come as guests of a Wootton senior.


SP2K11 to host Picnic

Senior Picnic will be held on May 6 at Smokey Glen Park. Only seniors are allowed into the event, and it is customary and encouraged for seniors to wear their university t-shirt and colors. Seniors must have already purchased a ticket and must be present during the entire school day to be admitted. There will be food, moon bounces, Frisbee and other fun picnic activities including a senior slideshow with pictures students have submitted to Senior Planning. The event will be held from 5-8 p.m. at 16407 Riffle Ford Road in Gaithersburg.

image courtesy of Kenny Jacobs

Junior Michael Turow: SGA Treasurer

B R I E F S Zumba Aids Japan


On April 29, Wootton High School and the National Honors Society (NHS) held a Zumbathon for Japan in the school’s lower gym from 7-8 p.m. Zumba is a recently popular style of work-out, combining dancing and exercises. Students were encouraged to come and help support the relief efforts for the recent tsunami in Japan. The Zumbathon provided a fun workout as well as proceeds for Japan. The entrance fee was $10. NHS is still accepting further donations. Donations should be given to NHS sponsor and social studies teacher Fevronia Cresham.


Post-Prom to be a Blast

Post-Prom is to be held at the Strike 300 bowling alley. Post-Prom is intended to keep students safe, yet still allow them to enjoy their prom night, so the night will be filled with unlimited bowling, video games, casino tables and prizes. The event runs from 12:30-5 a.m. on May 28. Students do not need to attend Prom to be admitted to Post-Prom, and tickets can be purchased on the school store for seniors and their guests only. Please be advised that once a student leaves PostProm, he or she will not be admitted back into the event.



Common Sense - MaY 5, 2011

New SMOB secures the job; Alan Xie gains reelection Tyler Kessler staff writer

Alan Xie has been re-elected as the 2011-2012 school year Student Member of the Board (SMOB), defeating his opponent Hal Zeitlin for the position. Xie has already begun planning ways to improve for next year. “I was honored and excited to be able to continue serving on the Board for another year,” Xie said. “I’m really grateful to be able to work with the new superintendent, and I have a lot of plans and ideas for next year.” Xie also hopes to communicate with the MCPS students more. “Next year, I hope to expand the SMOB Council’s reach by scheduling visits to schools around the county and submitting morning announcement updates to every school,” Xie said. Xie will try his best to get the voice of MCPS students heard. He hopes with his new plan of reaching the students, he will be a more successful SMOB.

This year Xie helped to find the new superintendent of MCPS and to make decisions with budgeting. He looks forward to working with the new superintendent this year with the hopes of raising the dropout age from 16 to 18. “I also want to allow more students to use portable electronic devices at lunches in their schools,” Xie said. The idea was launched three terms ago by the SMOB Quratul-Ann Malik. According to Xie, this coming year is critical to the implementation of cell phone usage during high school lunches. However, Xie has to balance his life as SMOB and hopes to better manage his time next year. “Being SMOB is extremely time-consuming. It’s at least 1020 hours of work every week,” Xie said. Despite the immense time commitment, he is very optimistic about his productivity next year. “I’ll definitely make some changes to my schedule next year to better accommodate myself, but I feel that it’s very manageable,” Xie said. “It’s all about effective

time management. I never leave a minute wasted.” Xie’s main focus this past year was the search for the new superintendent of MCPS. “The superintendent search I participated in has great implications on the future of MCPS, and it’s amazing to realize that our new superintendent is, in a sense, part of my legacy on MCPS,” Xie said. Now that the new superintendent, Dr. Joshua Starr, has been appointed to replace Dr. Jerry Weast, Xie is greatly anticipating his work with Starr. “One of the biggest issues will be working with the new superintendent to make sure the transition is very smooth,” Xie said. Xie also wants to help with budgeting and SMOB voting rights next year.He worked with Delegate Anne Kaiser to lobby for local bill MC 7-11, which would grant the SMOB more voting rights. It passed the Maryland House, but died in the Montgomery County

photo courtesy of Alan Xie

SMOB-elect Alan Xie visits Governor Martin O’Malley’s office during his campaign trail to learn more about the roles of governement. Xie will resume his duties as SMOB

Senate Delegation before it could make it to a full senate vote. He hopes to continue fighting and eventually pass that bill. “Students I think underestimate the work that the SMOB really does,” Xie said. Xie hopes to prove to students

that being SMOB does make a difference in the county. “I love talking to students and bringing their opinions back to the Board, but the most humbling aspect of being SMOB is seeing changes I’ve made in the school system,” Xie said.

Weast retires after twelve years of service; replacement is shining Starr from STARR, page 1 state’s 2010 average by 25 points) and the percent of students scoring at or above “proficient” level was higher in 2009 and 2010 than it was in 2006 and 2007 (but has declined and been lower than the state rate each year over the past 3 years). Starr is said to have set a few of his primary goals on closing the achievement gap and maintaining the system’s standards while keeping the budget in check.

He and his staff have taken the time to study Harvard Business School’s “Leading for Equity” report on MCPS that archives the system’s successes in closing the achievement gap under Weast’s leadership. The 41-year-old husband and father of three has been known a hard worker who adheres vigorously to data and makes tremendous efforts to standardize instruction and improve academic results amongst minority students. According to the Washington Post, Starr

Seasons change: academia suffers Anna Tragotsi news editor

Towards the end of the semester and ultimately the end of the year, senioritis is the contagious killer of academia. “It is deadly, airborn and you cannot avoid it,” senior Hannah Botelho said. Senioritis is a colloquial term used to describe the declining motivation of students towards their studies the end of their high school career. “It is something we deal with every year,” Principal Dr. Michael Doran said. Early symptoms of the disease include laziness, lack of focus and difficulty making decisions. These symptoms usually emerge by the end of fall when the application process for colleges is almost over. “It hit big and early this year,” Career Center Coordinator Lynda Hitchcock said. According to Time Magazine, by spring, the average high school senior may have completely surrendered to senioritis. “At first I thought I would never have it, but halfway through the year it hit me and now I really don’t do anything,” senior Josh Bretner said. Many of the students feel entitled to a little downtime. “Students think they have earned the right to goof off,” Doran said. Senioritis has the strength to attack high-achieving, average and struggling students alike. “It is not easy to maintain that level of academia when you are almost done and you have already gotten into a college,” Hitchcock said. “It is really hard to motivate myself to do homework. I still feel obligated to do it

but I procrastinate way more,” senior Jenn Purisch said. By this time in the school year, most college-bound seniors have turned in their applications and received their acceptance letters. “The perception that it does not matter is wrong,” Hitchcock said. “If student’s grades drop two letter grades then there is an issue. Their college will not be very happy.” The second semester of the last year of high school is a waiting room for the next stage of life. But over the years, Wootton has begun experimenting with ways to keep students more engaged during the period between homecoming weekend and the senior prom. In the UK, students do not know which schools have accepted them until very late compared to the US kids. Therefore, they have no choice but to stay motivated. This motivation is what Doran wants to see retained in our seniors. “It is about blaming the system for allowing it to happen. It’s the system that is at fault because it lets it happen,” Doran said. Efforts include internships that keep seniors motivated by allowing them to explore their passions, dual-enrollment programs on college campuses (College Institute) that offer a sneak preview of the higher-education experience, and tests designed to alert students likely to have trouble keeping up in college that they should buckle down. Senioritis has been around forever, and the best cure for some cases is a strong dose of reality.

has received positive feedback throughout his career, but he has also received criticism. Some of his co-workers claim that he did not always maintain the best relationship with teachers and sometimes had difficulties with school board members in the city who pressed for details about his approach. “Will there be some ups and downs? Yes,” Doran said. “It’s in our best interest to support him.” Compared to Stamford, which includes 15,490 students and 20 schools,

Montgomery County will pose a much bigger challenge with its 180 schools and 130,000 students. Only time will tell if the new addition to the Board will be able to handle all the drastic changes and provide the county with the change it longs for. “The challenge in Montgomery is figuring out how I can take the district to the next level,” Starr said to the Washington Post. “That’s what I’m looking forward to doing.”



Common Sense - May 5, 2011

Fire and rescue speaker heats up Forensic classes

Katie McRae & George Ewald staff writer & news editor Senior Jessica Mullins, who recently underwent a year of formal training in the High School Cadet program to become a certified firefighter, attended Forensics classes last week to discuss firefighting with the students as a part of their fire and arson unit. “It is a lot of work and very exhausting, but it’s worth it,” Mullins said. Mullins first became interested in the Fire and Rescue program that Montgomery County has to offer after her initial ride-along with the firefighters in May of 2010. “After four ride-alongs I was hooked,” Mullins said.

Montgomery County is known for their Fire and Rescue Training Program. The Maryland High School Fire Science program is a national award-winning one or two-year program for high school juniors and seniors for education and training to become firefighters or emergency medical service (EMS) providers in Montgomery County. The firefighting pathway and the EMS pathway are separate oneyear programs, allowing students to choose either or both courses of study. “It is a great opportunity and not many schools have it,” Mullins said. Although Mullins is relatively new to the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFR) she has

been in 10 burning evolutions in the simulator at the training facility and has participated in several local jobs ,including the recent brush fire off of Quince Orchard Road where she worked on call for nine hours. “You make life or death decisions,” Mullins said. “It is about situational awareness.” Sanford Herzon’s 2nd, 3rd and 7th period forensic science classes listened to Mullins as she talked about her knowledge in her professional field. Students were able to ask questions and actively participated in the presentation; they were allowed to try on the gear, and many struggled with all the equiptment. Mullins boasted that she could

photo by George Ewald

Mullins demonstrates one of the many protective functions of her firefighting jacket.

put on all 90 of gear in 32 seconds, which is a standard with which all fire firefighters must comply. Mullins plans on continuing firefighting as a permanent career.

Budget cuts affect Career Center resources David Oganesyan staff writer As of this summer, the rising senior course “Ready for College” may be cancancelled for good. The Montgomery County Fiscal Year 2012 Operating Budget has implemented major cuts to schools countywide, and expects to save around $45 million. Wootton will shorten the amount of time that the Career Center will be available to students as part of many cuts that it will make to the budget. “This will mainly impact kids coming to see me in the summer to get help with anything regarding college admissions,” Career Center

coordinator Lynda Hitchcock said. If the classes fill, “Ready for College” may still be available to juniors this year, but after this summer the Career Center will only be open 10 months a year. “The biggest issues with the budget reduction are college visits and meeting with parents,” Hitchcock said, “because I will only be working during class time, some parents might not find the time to see me.” In the following school year, schools across the county will also experience an increase in class size, a reduction in the number of Instructional Technology Specialist positions, an

elimination of activity buses for those participating in extracurricular activities and a decrease in funds for high school athletics. Student reactions to the class cancellation, especially those of juniors, were critical. “I know that the school would be doing this for budget cuts, but I feel cuts should be made elsewhere because school education should be their number one concern,” junior David Grossman said. Grossman is just one of the juniors planning to get started on their college applications this summer. “I believe it is wrong because it gives many students a great opportunity to learn

how to write an application and be successful in college, and they might not have be able to get another opportunity like it,” junior Michael Turrow said. After this summer, the Career Center will relocate to room 105, and operate between 7:25 and 2:10 p.m. “There will definitely be some big changes. Scholarships will take a back seat. Stuff that goes on behind the scenes that students are not even aware of will greatly be affected,” Hitchcock said. “The budget cuts to our program are very unfortunate, and we were given very little notice. It really is a shame,” Hitchcock said.

17-year-old student on trial for criminal charges Student charged as an adult with counts of attempted armed robbery, concealment of weapon, attempted carjacking Christine Chang & Anna Tragotsi staff writer & news editor A 17-year-old Wootton junior was arrested on April 18 for the armed robbery of a convenience store. According to the initial police write-up that was later confirmed by the electronic district case record, the student was charged as an adult with attempted carjacking, concealing a dangerous weapon and armed robbery. He was released on April 19 after posting a $50,000 bond. “I think [the charges] will narrow down in scope as the trial progresses,” Principal Dr. Michael Doran said. According to court documents and the Montgomery Gazette, the student was seen outside a CVS store in the 9900 block of Key West Avenue around 5:15 a.m. on April 18, but ran away when a manager of a nearby 7-Eleven honked his

car horn at him. The student then returned to the store at 7:30 a.m., wearing latex gloves, a bandana and a dark jogging suit. Police found the student with a large kitchen knife, two pairs of sunglasses taken from the store and a note outlining a plan for a carjacking. The student waived his scheduled April 29 preliminary hearing in the District Court, which gave prosecutors 30 days to pursue felony charges in Circuit Court, amend the charges, or drop the charges completely. “No matter what I say, every word will be scrutinized and judged,” the student in question said. Megan Green, an associate attorney of Marcus Bonsib, LCC, cited personal family information at the bail review hearing, which journalist Sebastian Monte later included in his article for the Montgomery Village Patch, an online publication. In the comments section underneath the article,

the student allegedly posted comments protesting Monte’s decision to reveal his name and personal background information despite the fact that the student is a minor. While the student cannot freely comment on the case until the trial is over, Monte defended his decision to include the information in his article. “I have no interest whatsoever in sensationalizing this,” Monte said in a phone interview. “I just felt obligated to write it because if I were a Wootton parent, I would want to know if there was a Wootton student that was alleged to have had intent to kill.” However, there are some, beyond those who protested in the comments section, who believe Monte’s decision to be inappropriate given the circumstances. “I don’t think that so much damaging information should have been released about [the student],” an student who wished to remain anonymous said. “There’s stuff on the Internet that would probably hinder his everyday social life.” The student returned to school before the admin-

istration had been able to begin its investigation, but administrators warned the student to keep a low profile while the case went through court proceedings. Doran stresses that student safety was his number one priority in assessing this case. “We are not the police, and due process rights meant that we needed to investigate the situation as a school before deciding the appropriate action,” Doran said. The student has since been temporarily assigned to attend an alternative placement, a development which is a result of MCPS procedures and the school’s discretion. “It’s an issue that happened outside the school. If it disrupts the school process, then we can get involved and do something,” Doran said. “We’re in the business of helping, not handing out punishment.” The student is awaiting trial, where Doran believes he will get his chance to have his voice heard in the right forum. “The student hasn’t been found guilty, and you can’t presume guilt,” Doran said.

photo by Christine Chang


a new kind of family George Ewald, Anna Tragotsi, Katie McRae, Tyler Kessler news editors & staff writers While most people recognize the news section by the creepy female convicts and important school stories it covers, we, the family behind the section, are about so much more than that. “We are the world.” The celebrity remake of this song represents the News section perfectly. Not only does the song embrace worldly news, but it also contains stars like Enrique Iglesias and Celine Dion. These celebrities are often associated with News because we max out the volume on our computers and whistle while we work. So here we are, the news family, claiming to be the world. Now we have our much-desired column in our last issue as editors and we would like to take a moment right now to invite you all into the newspaper lab during deadline week. Editing pages, adding last minute news articles and making sure things get done. News editors are efficient and sassy by nature. It’s just how it is. The News family legacy is a family unlike any other family. We function as a single, completely functional unit. We are not like the Kardashian family or the Addam’s family (because they are just creepy). Our family, as unique as it may be, will unfortunately be split up. The seniors will be stepping down after this issue and passing on the torch. Luckily, the new News editors, Katie and Tyler have what it takes to handle the music, the deadlines and each other. We have taught them the ropes: Never accept any articles late, never let anyone compare you to Features, never lay out pages on an empty stomach (Tyler already knew that one) and never play music below the maxium volume level. These are all crucial to maintaining the News family legacy. These are rules that will be passed on to generations of newsworthy news editors. These rules will be modified each year and tailored by each group of editors as necessary. Since George and Anna don’t have anything else to complain about right now, we would like to say a goodbye to all of our readers. We are officially resigning, but do not worry. Our new, youthful editors will not disappoint you. They have much to learn, but their sass is already at appropriate levels. Let’s give them a chance to strut their stuff. Wootton, please welcome Katie McRae and Tyler Kessler to the Common Sense news family.



Common Sense - May 5, 2011

Parker travels to Haiti to aid patients Allie McRae & George Ewald editor-in-chief & news editor Over a year after the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, English teacher Dominique Parker returned to the country from March 26 - April 2. She took the seven-hour flight with Saint John the Baptist Church to aid the country that is still struggling to recover. Parker was born in Haiti and lived there for two years before moving to New York with her family. Through her time living in Haiti and speaking with her parents, Parker knows both French and Creole, the languages of Haiti. She wanted to help Haiti through her abilities in translating to English. The last time she went to Haiti was 10 years ago, and she was ea-

ger to see how Haiti had changed since the earthquake in January of 2010. Parker still has family living in the country. The earthquake was a magnitude seven, and devastated the underdeveloped country. “In visiting the capital, I thought I was pretty well informed, but I still found myself amazed at how much destruction was still visible,” Parker said. Parker was surprised to see that there was still a lot of debris and that many people still live in makeshift tents. “It was worse than I thought,” Parker said. “It is hard to imagine until you see it.” Along with Parker on the volunteer mission were two doctors, translators and people to help with the pharmacy. According to Parker, almost every American in Haiti was from

an aid group. Since she knows both English and French, Parker could listen to the patients’ complaints and tell the doctor what the problem was. “The best part was feeling that you are providing some kind of direct help,” Parker said. “It is nice to know that I am responsible for making someone’s life better.” Parker’s efforts to help are an inspiration to many and a reminder that any one is able to contribute to society. “I think it’s important to connect and go outside of our normal routines and figure out how we can contribute,” English Department Resource teacher Kimberly Boldon said. “Ms. Parker is really mindful of other peoples situations and is always willing to help out in any way she can,” senior Amanda Lyberger said. “[Ms. Parker] is always

photo courtesy of Dominique Parker

Parker translates a patient’s symptoms from French or Creole to English for a doctor.

willing to help out others. “I think it is really great.” Parker plans on returning to Haiti this summer with friends to help out for a longer period of time. For students interested in getting involved in relief efforts,

Parker stresses its importance. “If you’re not [to travel to Haiti] willing or can’t actually help, there are many local opportunities available,” Parker said. “You would be surprised what you can do with the willingness you have.”

Wootton student distributes brownies with some ‘unusual’ side effects from BROWNIES, page 1

problem, though they may not get in as much trouble.” Doran considers this to be an educational issue. Students frequently bring homemade baked goods to school, and Doran believes that students need to be careful about what they ingest and whom they trust. “For some kids, with peer pressure, it can be hard [to exercise proper caution],” Doran said. “These things can happen in any school.” Junior Kelsey Grolig recently celebrated her birthday at school with baked goods

made by her friends. “Somebody you can’t trust is someone unpredictable or that you don’t know too well,” Grolig said. “I’m particularly trusting, though, because I feel like no one would want to hurt me.” Pranks between friends within the school environment are common, but rarely escalate to the point of physical danger. “You can’t stop trusting people, but if you’re aware of the [dangerous] situation, you can pick up some red flags,” Doran said. The parents of the students involved have the need to know what happened, according to Doran, so they were contacted

by the administration on the day of the event. The administration would like to be proactive in dealing with future incidents of drug distribution and consumption in the school building. “If we’re going to keep this school safe, students need to talk to adults,” Doran said. According to junior Lauren Wynant, however, it is difficult for students to report incidents like drug use in the school, because they do not want their classmates to be punished. “It makes the person who told feel bad,” she said.

Nevertheless, Doran stresses the need for students to report potentially dangerous situations in the interest of all students’ safety. Ingesting marijuana can have harmful effects, such as anxiety, panic attacks, impaired judgment and motor coordination, decreased alertness and increased heart rate. In this instance, particularly serious health impacts were avoided, and all students who had checked into the health room are fully recovered. For reasons of privacy, the health room could not release additional information about the incident.



Common Sense - may 5, 2011




Death of bin-Laden cause for celebration


As news broke, throngs of people dwelled in city centers nationwide, celebrating the death of al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden. “USA, USA,” chants broke out, and students from American Do you think television commercials reinforce gender stereotypes? University and George Washington University scaled the fences in front of the White House. And the jubilee was justified. The “mass “Yes, because when you see Axe commercials, you just see inmurderer,” in the words of President George W. Bush, had been killed, appropriate pictures of women in underwear, and it objectifies effectivly cutting the head off of the world’s most prominent terrorist them because it doesn’t show who they are inside.” organization. Javier Rosada, ‘14 After 10 long years, we could finally breathe again knowing that the face of terrorism worldwide had been killed. “Justice has been done,” President Obama said while publicly announcing the death of “Yes. Food commercials show women, tire commericials bin Laden. And this was cause to celebrate. A wrong had been righted always show the guys. The Mieneke Tires commercials never and a inhuman, cold-blooded killer had been wiped out. show a female mechanic.”. It should be clear that people are not celebrating the end of a life as Isha Agarwal, ‘12 much as they are celebrating the end of an era of fear and terror. After “No, because both genders are represented.” all, bin-Laden was a symbolic representation of al-Qaeda, but not the Bobby Pak, ‘13 al-Qaeda itself. The innapropriate claims of, “I want his head on a stick,” are understandable but do not represent a large opinion. The death is a crushing blow to al-Qaeda and its followers and that is what people are and should be cheering about. While everyone knows that “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” this is an exception. “Definitely. Commercials do reinforce gender sterotypes, many To not feel this sense of relief and happiness contradicts all of of which have misogynistic undertones.”. our feelings towards bin-Laden since 9-11. He has been portrayed as Long-Term Substitute Teacher Rainer Kulenkampff “public enemy #1,” and the public is reacting to the news of his death as such. “I think that they depict women as obsessed with material While the news of death is cause for celebration itself, the ability of possessions. Also, for marketing the same product to men and the government to carry out such a mission with no public knowledge women, they use different techniques.” is another reason to celebrate. We are proud of our military and our Yiwen Feng, ‘11 leaders abilities to conduct such an important mission with such swiftness, accuracy and precision. The patriotism in the early hours photos by Washiq Ahmed of May 2 united our country in a way that hadn’t been done since the attacks in 2001. We are taught to be sad at the death of another human. What are we supposed to feel when a human with no regard for our lives dies? Notorious B.I.G. said, “Mo’ money mo’ problems.” The only normal reaction is to celebrate because it makes us fear less Samuel Morse And that is also what he got. for our lives and it makes the world we live in a safer place. Osama bin- opinions editor For Manny, money proved more important, as Laden’s death is the beginning of hope for a world that isn’t shaken by Manny Ramirez ended his career not because the last two years of his career were spent on many suicide bombings and terrorist attacks. of injury, age or a case of bad knees, but because he different teams. He didn’t dominate the game as he Common Sense welcomes letters to the editor, but re- wasn’t able to do the time for the crime. Ramirez, used to and only few swings of the bat brought back serves the right to edit them as necessary for style, punc- who finished his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, was memories of what he used to be. tuation, grammar, and spelling. Letters may be submitted caught one too many times using performance enHe lost his presence as a hitter and a fielder, and to the Common Sense mailbox. All letters must be signed, hancing drugs by the ever stricter drug policy in Major people quickly tired of “Manny being Manny.” but requests to remain anonymous will be considered. League Baseball (MLB). To put Manny Ramirez in the HOF puts him next Please contact us at Rather than serving his mandatory 100-game to the Cal Ripken Jr.’s and the Yogi Berras, and franksuspension, Ramirez opted to retire from the game ly, he does not belong beside these people for eternity. of baseball, effectively labeling him as a prominent He didn’t change the game as did the great baseball Editors-in-Chief steroid user in the game. While with the Los An- players, with their likenesses in bronze, which grace Allie McRae & Daniel Wadler geles Dodgers in 2009, Ramirez had a brush with the walls of Cooperstown. Manny’s love for the game steroids that benched him for about a third of the of baseball was never doubted, but his two run-ins Managing Editors season. MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment with steroids cast doubt over how much he actually Michael Krakower & Daniel Moon Program suspended Ramirez for the first time in his values the integrity of the game Arts Editor career and it went relatively unreported. When Manny is being considered for the Hall of Evan Rindler Since 1993, Ramirez has dominated baseball and Fame in the future, his numbers will make him a shoo has been one of the most respected players in the -in, but based on the mental aspect of the game he is Commons editors game. However, this second encounter with steroids a weak player that doesn’t deserve to be alongside the sagari Rao & Arun Raman will further mar his record. greats of the game. In the last few years of his playing days, Ramirez Features Editors Jeffrey Hilnbrand & Alisa Sonsev seemed to give up on the game. He went from being the franchise player with the Boston Red Sox until News Editors they ended the curse in 2004, to the free agent that George Ewald & Anna Tragotsi headed to Los Angeles, betraying many fans. Whoever could give Manny what he wanted got Opinion Editors Manny. These events do not take away from the fact Samuel Morse & Phyu-Sin Than that Ramirez will go down as one of the best baseball Sports Editors players to ever play the game, but it does make cloudy William Browning & Katherine McKenna the legacy he leaves on baseball which leaves no room for him in the Hall of Fame (HOF). Photo Editor Ramirez’s shift from baseball’s best to baseball’s Ashley Gladner greediest in 2009 signified that he was not what he used to be. After rejecting a one-year, $25 million ofBusiness Manager Daniel Moon fer from the Dodgers, it became clear that Ramirez wanted more money. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus Distribution Managers And more money is what he got. But as the late Ramirez, now retired, might not be inducted to the Hall of Fame.

Common Sense Editors

No room in Cooperstown for Manny

William Browning & Samuel Morse

Online Editor Earl Lee

Online Assistant Editors

Christine Chang & Phyu-Sin Than


Jaclynn Rozansky Thomas S. Wootton High School 2100 Wootton Parkway Rockville, MD 20850 301-279-8550

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Common CommonSense Sense-- March may 5, 1, 2011 2011



SHOULD PRESIDENT OBAMA HAVE RELEASED HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE? Yes, the doubtful public needs reassurance Washiq Ahmed staff writer After facing a mountain of controversy, President Barack Obama made the right decision by releasing his long form birth certificate to the public. His actions not only mirror the deep integrity he embodies, but they also reveal his desire to move America forward. With or without the public release of his birth certificate, the mere fact President Obama was given the green light by officials to run for president in 2008 should have been enough for voters to realize that he is, in fact, a natural born citizen. Common sense did not, however, seem to prevail as poll after poll conducted on the Republican Party report that close to 45% of registered Republicans believe Obama was not born in the US (CBS/NY). The very legitimacy of the highest office in the land came into question, and for Obama to wipe away any doubt of whether or not he is qualified from the Constitution to be president only reinforces his authority to lead as one. To most, it would make little political sense to release his long form birth certificate right at this moment, prior to the Republican primaries simply because highly unqualified candidates such as Donald Trump somewhat had a shot to win the Republican nomination or at least use his ridiculus rhetoric and radical conspiracy theories to distract Republicans from qualified candidates. Unfortunately, with the valid birth certificate out in the open, the appeal for candidates such as Trump has declined, which could cause the Republi-

cans to nominate a sensible candidate that can make Obama’s re-election campaign a touch more challenging than it currently is. Though, by releasing the long form birth certificate, Obama sets aside politics and puts the nation first. Instead of being distracted with sensationalized headlines speculating on Obama’s birthplace, the public and lawmakers can focus on how to handle the real issues that matter, such as a rising deficit or turmoil in the Middle East. After all, isn’t it the best politics to appear to be above politics? President Obama is in no way appeasing the public or caving under the pressure by releasing his birth certificate. Rather, he is reiterating his own legality for holding office as president, which will cause some in the public to grudgingly acknowledge his legitimacy and not scrutinize every single decision he makes with the thought that his allegiance lies elsewhere. It was and is right for President Obama to release his birth certificate on his own as it rids the nation of any doubt of llegitimacy. After its release, Obama’s political opponents have nothing to do but to come up with valid criticisms. rather than send low, fictional blows.

No, the election committee is competent Maria Zlotescu staff writer

On April 27, White House staff released President Barack Obama’s official birth certificate to several reporters. This, following years of doubt of the president’s citizenship. According to Article Two of the Constitution, a person may not become the President of the United States of America unless he or she was born in the country. It can be reasonably assumed that Obama, as the current president, would have had to show proof of citizenship already. The fact that so many people demanded to see Obama’s birth certificate is an insult to the election committee and their trustworthiness. A birth certificate is a personal document. No other president has ever had to show his birth certificate to the public as a result of demand. Obama is just as much the president as George W. Bush was three years ago. The only difference between Obama and all the other presidents is that his name just sounds a little different, as prevous presidents did not have Hussein as their middle name. When a picture came out in 2008 of Obama wearing exotic clothing, people tried to use that as proof that he is not from the US. Obama has already shown the courtesy o MCT Campus short version of The official birth certificate, released by the state of Hawaii.

SMOB is an inadequate student voice

Daniel Moon managing editor

Having a student member participate in county decisions alongside adults is a progressive achievement rarely seen around the world, let alone in the United States. In that sense, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) deserves to be applauded by the student body. On the other hand, having a student member of the board (SMOB) that is supposedly a member of the county’s Board of Education but doesn’t have the power to vote on the most essential issues is a form of hypocrisy that deserves some booing. That’s what the SMOB is right now in Montgomery County; a half-member that sort of votes on county’s public school issues, but doesn’t really. The supposed student seat in the county’s Board of Education is surrounded by restrictions on voting rights. Here’s an example - an interesting question surfaced during the debate between Alan Xie and Hal Zeitlin: what are their stances on firing teachers? Both of the candidates answered with respectful tones towards the teachers while acknowledging the rights of the students to get the best quality of education. Both were great answers, but there is one problem: the SMOB has no right to vote on issues concerning firing of personnel in MCPS. Funding school classes and departments? Not a chance. The student member cannot vote on any budgetary issues either. Of course, it is important to acknowledge that the SMOB nevertheless has a voice in the board in the sense that they can speak and persuade the fellow board members and even cast opinion votes – the kind

of vote that doesn’t count but nevertheless expresses the voter’s position on the issue. But in the end, we have to face the obvious fact: the ones with the voting rights are the ones with the final say. Many candidates and actual SMOBs have advocated full voting rights of the SMOB as one of their goals. However, none actually ended up getting it. The closest we ever came to actually achieving it was when Timothy Hwang, the SMOB from two years ago, tried to pass a bill named “MC 12-10” in the state legislature in order to attain full voting rights except for firing of personnel. The bill passed the House of Delegates, but did not pass the Senate, failing to become a reality. Is it such a challenge to expand voting rights because there’s a certain bias towards students? Do certain people think that students are too young to understand “complex” issues like the budget? Who is to say that an adult, simply because of his or her age, has a better understanding towards the budget than a student who studied AP Economics and BC Calculus and worked in managerial positions? After all, the students are the bulk of the population that is affected by budgetary decisions by the Board of Education. Isn’t it democratic common sense that those affected by the policies are entitled to a voice – an actual voice – in the process of governance? With full voting rights, we’ll be able to see a legitimate student participation in the county’s affairs. We’ll also be able to see actual discussions during SMOB debates, instead of listening to the same exact answers from both candidates.

his birth certificate, and now he has given the public access to the original document. Even after Obama released his long form birth certificate to the public, people still claimed he was not born here. Many conservatives, labled as “birthers” by the media, have started saying his certificate is fake, and that he was not really born in Hawaii. They have cited the actual paper as not official and have analyzed each and every letter on the document. Other people even have the ignorance to pretend that because Obama’s father is not a natural born citizen, he cannot be either. According to a CNN survey, over a quarter of Americans doubt Obama’s US citizenship. If Obama’s own birth certificate will not satisfy these people, then nothing will. For over a hundred years of American history the nation has trusted the election committee with the responsibility of verifying presidential candidiates. It makes no sense to distrust this independent regulatory agency without any proof or prior cause. The very essence of this mistrust stems from racial prejudice, and as a nation we should be ashamed to succumb to a few radicals by forcing our president to release a private document. This event is a testament to the latent racism and fear in America today. Obama has one of the biggest jobs in the world: running the US. He has bills to propose, acts to sign, and now he has his reelection campaign to worry about. People may not agree with what he’s doing, but that does not mean they should make up conspiracy theories about the president.

Monthly Madness

Cartoon By Jeanie Kim



Common Sense - May 5, 2011

Innuendo and wit in ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ performance, children were given a special opportunity to arrive early and meet the “You have to read between the lines a actors in costume. bit to understand what they are really talking “I had a lot of fun preparing activities about,” assistant stage manager junior Leo for the kids to do,” master painter junior Meister said. Elise Tonelson said. “But most importantly, Departing from the humorous sexual the kids had fun too.” double entendres in the story, the musical In addition to being able to explore the does prove to have an uplifting overall set, children were encouraged to make chalk moral. In the touching song “Shy,” Wasser’s drawings and paper crowns. The familycharacter expresses that all she really wants friendly atmosphere was palpable when is to be herself, despite the high standards by senior cast members Jeffrey Popkin and which she is being judged. Divya Mouli read fairy tales to the assembled “The theme is accepting people for who youngsters. they are,” senior ensemble member Garrett “It was a mini-Disney experience by Schaffel said. having the actors entirely in character,” The energy and choral director high spirit of the show Jacqueline Serratore t was a little sad conwent over well with said. “Those kids ducting in my last show the audience, which will hopefully grow provided enthusiastic and seeing all those othup and want to do laughter and applause Wootton theater.” er seniors on the stage. every night. The success of “The...sexual -Andrew Devine, pit conductor the family night in undertones were creating memorable hilarious,” junior Grace Corbett said. moments and word-of-mouth publicity “The pit sounded great and the set looked could lead to similar events in the future. amazing.” “It was a good precedent to set,” director One of the audience’s favorite gimmicks Adam Graham said. “Our [actors] really was when the actors repeatedly jumped over enjoyed it, and the feedback I’ve gotten from the back wall of the set to land in the moat parents is fantastic.” below. Stage crew constructed a mattressOver the course of six shows, the covered platform just below the wall for audience demonstrated their approval with actors to land safely on, hidden from the laughter and applause, an auspicious sendview of the crowd. off to the graduating cast, crew, and pit “The audience loved when [Goodman] members during their final show. jumped over the wall,” Wainger said. “The “It was a little sad conducting in my illusion worked really well.” last show, seeing all those other seniors Despite the sexual innuendo, the on stage,” student pit orchestra conductor atmosphere at the show was relatively senior Andrew Devine said. “But I’m also family-friendly. During the Thursday night from MATTRESS, page 1


photos by Arun Raman

Top: Junior Daniel Hamburg and sophomore Courtney Pories join in a ensemble song and dance number. Left: Seniors Helena Farhi and Tiziano D’Affuso share an emotional duet about their burgeoning love. Right: Senior Divya Mouli’s jester shoots a mean look to senior Jeffrey Popkin’s minstrel in “Normandy.”

going off to college and can always come back to visit.” It was hard to find a show that had parts to fit all the senior class, and still be viable for the short rehearsal schedule available. “There were some other shows I looked at, but the problem was they had too many production numbers for the time we had,” Graham said. “I think it turned out be a

great choice because the seniors were able to be involved in the process.” Reproduction may have been a common motif of the show, but for the theater department, “Once Upon a Mattress” was the final production of the year. “The audience loved the show,” Graham said. “That experience is a great way to go out.”

SPOTLIGHT: Julia Wainger First AP art show hopes to Darren Koraganie staff writer

knew what was going on.” Since then, Wainger has gone on to play the domineering Mrs. Mae Peterson in “Bye Bye Birdie,” the merry Mrs. Fezziwig in “Mrs. Bob Cratchits’ Wild Christmas Binge,” and most recently the wicked Queen Aggravain in “Once upon a Mattress.” “My advice to young actors is to not be afraid to play different characters,” Wainger said. “I haven’t always portrayed nice people, but the audience appreciates it.” Wainger’s rise through the ranks of theater was much appreciated, and fulfilled her childhood aspirations. “I remember going to see ‘Honk’ in eigth grade and thinking that everyone was so good,” Wainger said, “I never thought I’d make it in a show, let alone have a big part in it.” Next year Wainger looks forward to being a leader in theater community. “I’ve been excited to participate in theater tradition reserved for seniors,” Wainger said. “However, it will be upsetting to know that each performance is closer to my last.” Though Wainger is active in theater right now, she isn’t sure if she will be continuing in college. “I hope to do theater in college, but even if I don’t, theater applies everywhere in life,” Wainger said, “The skills I learned about public speaking and presenting myself photo by Arun Raman will be really helpful.”

If you went to see “Once Upon a Mattress,” then you know Julia Wainger, the charismatic villainess Queen Aggravain. Wainger is no rookie when it comes to entertaining. In “_ Thursday Night Live” she strutted her stuff with her band Tools of Demonstration in a first-place performance. “When we played at TNL it was awesome because I’d never performed in front of so many people,” Wainger said. “Winning was cool; I never expected that.” The judges and the audience appreciated the band’s sound, which they describe as acoustic hip hop. In practice, the music is a mix of alternative rock and rap with a clear influence of laid back surfer tunes. Other members of TOD include junior Cody O’Donnell on guitar and bass, sophomore Eric Eaton on drums, and senior Axel Kabundji on vocals and guitar. “[Wainger] brings soul and has a great range,” O’Donnell said. In addition, Wainger also is an enthusiastic participant in Wootton’s theater program, starting her career with “Beauty and the Beast” her freshman year. “In ‘Beauty and the Beast’ I was a singing and dancing plate,” Wainger said. “It was a lot of fun for me because it was all new and everyone was older than me and Wainger as Queen Aggravain, who plans to keep her son unmarried.

become a lasting tradition Falon Lewis staff writer On April 27, the Art Department launched its first daytime art show. The show featured 12 students in AP art classes who each submitted five works to be displayed in the art rooms and hallway. “These students have worked extremely hard this year,” said art teacher Grace Buas, who coordinated the event. Wootton holds a Festival of the Arts each year in May, during which students from all art classes present their best pieces for their peers. However, this year the AP Art Show was held for students who, due to portfolio submissions, could not have their work featured in the festival during the month of May. The 12 students are submitting these works to the College Board, which will make them unavailable for display in May. “With a daytime show we are able to feature the work of AP art students that would normally go unseen due to the date of the festival,” said Buas. The five works displayed were all created under a certain theme decided by each student at the beginning of the year. Senior Audris Park chose Fantasy as her theme. “I got the idea from fantasy books, ‘Twilight’ and ‘The Vampire Diaries.’ Those were all my inspiration,” Park said. Another student featured was senior Jane Zackharova. “My theme is a mix of still life and landscape. That’s

what I was trying to accomplish with my work,” Zackharova said. Themes have been the students’ focuses for the year and are the focus of the show. The show lasted three days to ensure enough time for all students to see the artwork before it was sent to the College Board. “I really loved the show,” junior Leah Jacobs said. “It gave me the opportunity to see the works of art that won’t be up at the Festival of Arts.” Free refreshments were provided and the artists themselves attended in order to speak with anyone who may have been interested in their work. “My skills have really developed from taking this class, and this show has been a really great opportunity for me,” Park said. “It’s helped me to blend better, focus better and to emphasize in my work.” This was the first AP Art Show to be held at Wootton during the day and was smaller than most of the other art shows. “I would really like to see another show like this again,” junior Gabriel Miller said. “I think it’s cool that these artists still get to show their work before they send them to the College Board.” The Art Department is considering holding this event again in the years to come due to its popularity with both viewers and artists. The Festival of the Arts will be held in May and will feature many of the other artists within Wootton.



Common Sense - May 5, 2011


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                  

by Zach Hodes, Sophie Lehrenbaum, Sagari Rao and Arun Raman


or some Wootton students, May 27th may be one of the most important nights of their lives. The girls have on beautiful dresses, stunning corsages along with sweet smelling perfumes, and the boys attempt to dazzle their dates with their stylish tuxedos and boutonnieres accompanied with a different cologne choice other than Axe. But why exactly has this dance been praised in such a way through the generations, and what has changed over the years?

Prom Throughout the ages Prom is known as the formal dance held for a high school or college class typically at or near the end of the academic year, but why is such an occasion so important? Some students feel that after a long four years of hard work and studying, Prom is a time for students to celebrate the last days of adolescence by pampering themselves with extravagant dresses and accessories. Prom has definitely changed over the years. Typically in the past, boys would build up the courage to ask out their special someone, while girls would race to the mall to find their perfect dress for one night of wearing. The two would step in the boy’s car and arrive in their school’s gymnasium in style for a night of dinner and lame dance songs. It’s 2011 and a lot has changed. Girls now take part in asking their boys out, prom dresses and tuxes can be ordered online, and dates gather in groups and travel in their luxurious rented limousines to The Bolger Center just outside of Washington D.C.

you’ve got a golden ticket A ticket to prom is like scoring an invite to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding. The date, the limo, it’s pretty much a big deal, which makes it hard to believe that there’s only one entry fee for a night fit for royalty. Wootton, like many other public schools, is charging students $28 a ticket before May 20th. The topic of ticket price has got the student body caught up in a whirlwind of opinions. “I think it’s a good price because the entire price for Prom is very expensive,” senior Justin Stuart said. “$28 fits my budget.” Some students share Stuart’s opinion, arguing that a $28 price-tag for such an expensive event is a bargain. Other seniors, however, find themselves dispirited by the cost. “If we’re paying this much, [seniors] better be getting our money’s worth,” senior Keera Gilbert said. Though Wootton’s special night will be taking place in the Bolger Center, a number of private schools hold their proms in hotels or trendy clubs. The ticket price, however, racks up to a whopping $125-$250. With this last major event in their high school careers, many seniors, despite the ticket price, will find themselves more than willing to kick off their college years with a big bang.

A mIDSUMMER NIGHT’s THEME They See Us Rollin’ What better way to celebrate the end of high school than to the theme of the renowned Shakespearian tale of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”? Senior Planning, besides handling Thursday Night Live and Puttin’ on the Hitz, plans out all the intricate details of Prom, but one of their main jobs is coming up with the theme. According to Senior Planning Adviser Valerie Noel, the members presented their favorite ideas for a theme through PowerPoint presentations and had a vote on which idea to carry out. The winning theme was thought up by seniors Stephanie Plave, Anna Tragotsi, Kit Trowbridge, and Lindsey Carver. “[Senior Planning] chose this because the members were told to look at a Prom proposal that included theme, design, and favors,” Noel said. “I like the theme because it is very fitting for this summery and elegant venue.” Senior Planning would like Wootton to know that Prom is not Shakespeare-themed. “Everyone thinks its Shakespeare theme, but we’re going for the atmosphere of [A Midsummer Night’s Dream],” Plave said. While Senior Planning cannot give away too much information about Prom, they were able to give a small aspect of the overall picture. “Were trying to make [Prom] a romantic ambiance,” Trowbridge said.

Most people are aware of the classic ride to Prom: The Limousine. Limousines have been the hip transportation for seniors and give them an aspect of the luxurious lifestyle by being driven by a chauffeur in a stretched out automobile. Limousines are roomy and cozy, and can fit up to 15 people. Hummer limousines can fit up to 20 people. While some seniors want their one night of the affluent standard of living, other seniors prefer to bring their dates or groups and travel by car. Cars may not be the typical carriage, but they definitely have their advantages. For a group of ten people. Limousines will usually cost on average $100 per hour. Two cars, however, will carry the entire group for only the charge of a tank of gas, and doesn’t break the bank. “Limousines are just expensive and stupid,” senior Jennifer Nimalan said. The alternative that some seniors have if they have a massive group of people is the party bus. While they may be quite stylish, the party bus can be up to $30-$90 a person for the night. But for a group over 30 people, the party bus may be the right vehicle to take to Prom. “We have too many people to fit in a limousine, so we’re taking the bus,” senior Jake Bradley said.

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senior class portrait courtesy of Lifetouch

THe Power of The flower The corsage and the boutonniere: one more thing that most prom-goers will want to add to their list of pre-party hassles. The dazzling pair makes prom season every florist’s favorite time of year. Annually, people around the world don these miniature amalgamations of flowers, along with their finest evening wear and brightest jewelry, in order to keep this little piece of tradition entwined with modern day customs. The corsage was originally the name of the bodice of a woman’s dress.They are located at the heart of the bodice, and are often held with small bunches of flowers. According to, the French word “corsage” is applicable to a bouquet placed anywhere upon the body, however, it was ancient Greek custom to wear them on the wrist at weddings due to their common belief that its fragrances warded off evil spirits. The boutonniere has similar origins. The Blue Bouquet, a floral design group, explains that men traditionally throughout Europe wore flowers in their button holes. Men soon transferred their flowers to their lapels. The boutonniere’s original purpose was to rid the wearer of displeasing odor, disease, and evil spirits. Nowadays, corsages and boutonnieres have come to represent something wholly dissimilar to the original intent. Those tiny bouquets have become a small token of an individual’s feelings for their escort and help make important events like prom even more memorable.

M&Ms, cupcakes, Teletubbies, fire crackers and massive signs are filling the air this month. It may sound as we are going crazy, but we are simply describing the many creative ways people are asking each other to prom is year. Instead of the old Facebook message or phone call, seniors are going all out with their Prom proposals. n April 27, senior Sean Rhinehart executed a sweet plan to ask senior Emily Bolek to prom. Rhinehart pre-ordered a set of personalized M&Ms printed with the words “Emily...Prom?” The candies ere placed inside a vase with a pink flower spouting from the top with a note attached telling her to read the &Ms. The vase was given to her during her 8th period class. Rhinehart then waited for her at the end of the eriod to give her a bouquet of flowers. Senior Jake Bradley requested the company of senior Michelle Healey at prom by not only sending her a plate cupcakes arranged in a heart with the letters of her name inserted on top of them, but also with a group of olicking students (one of whom was dressed as the purple Teletubby, Tinky Winky) lighting fire crackers in her onor. “I had no idea it was coming,” Healey said. “They were all standing outside of my house and hiding behind y car when [Bradley] rang the doorbell with the cupcakes.” As soon as Healey answered Bradley’s proposal, the oup of students which included seniors Noah King, Grant Hemberger, Roberta Foster, Nitish Malladi and nathan Sperber and junior Kenny Freeman (who was dressed as the Teletubby) ran around the scene maniacally ghting fire crackers to celebrate the event. Even students who have significant others who attend other schools are being asked to prom in unforgettable ays. Senior Allie Myers was asked to prom by her boyfriend, Churchill senior Bret Johnson, with a massive sign anging over a bridge on Wootton Parkway. “It took me by surprise,” Myers said. “[Johnson] told me we were going to pick up his paycheck, but when e drove past the bridge on Wootton Parkway there was a sign hanging over it that said ‘Dear Allie, Prom? Love, ret.’ It was really sweet.”

It’s true what they say: you booze, you lose. While prom can be one of the most enchanting nights of our lives, it can also be one of the most hazardous in America. According to Buzz Free, in 2005 nearly 25 percent of drivers ages 16-20 involved in fatal automobile accidents had been engaged in teenage drinking. The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) and Senior Planning intend to make sure that no student becomes a post-prom statistic. “[Drinking and Driving] has always been a big issue long before I was driving,” Head of the Security Gregg Melvin said. “We haven’t heard of many incidents of drunk driving by students, but we know that students are doing it.” Parents want their children to have fun, but nothing would be worth risking their children’s lives. The PTSA and Senior Planning have booked 300 Shady Grove Bowling on prom night from 12 a.m.-5 a.m. for a night of fun for a mere $20. Students are welcomed to take part in various activities such as with Texas hold ‘em, roulette, blackjack, bowling, and many other cash events. “If a senior isn’t sure if they want to come, I’d like them to know that we understand. It’s arguably the biggest night of your lives and one you’ll most likely remember forever. But there’s also some angst as to how the night will play out,” PTSA’s postproms co-chair Ann Connolly said. “It’s only $20 and you may end up being the winner of some of the many grand prizes like iPad 2’s, flat panel televisions and GPS’s.”

SAY YES TO THE DRESS...OR TUX Haven’t gotten your spectacular prom attire yet? No need to fret! Here are a few popular brands and stores that could carry the outfit you’ve been looking for. For the ladies: La Femme: Among the hundreds of different popular prom dress styles they carry is an imitation of the most expensive prom dress in the world. The original, made by DressGoddess, is made entirely of diamonds and costs a whopping $13,997. In an effort to save you quite a few wads of cash, La Femme sells their version for $398. Cache: This small boutique is conveniently located in North Bethesda, Bethesda, Towson, Columbia and Annapolis, so finding a store will not be a problem. This boutique carries quite a few popular styles of prom dresses ranging from one shoulder, strapless, spaghetti strapped and even sleeved! Nordstrom: Though a bit expensive, this store carries a variety of elegant dresses, and is popular among many female high school students. If you wish to sport a style that screams sophisticated yet fun, this may be the store that carries that special dress. David’s Bridal: This is an extremely popular store for girls on the look-out for prom dresses. This store has a wide array of selection ranging from sleek to billowing. For the gents: David’s Bridal: Along with prom dresses, this store offers a wide array of tuxes for inexpensive prices. Men’s Wearhouse- This is also extremely popular place among boys who are shopping for tuxes, mostly because they send out 25 percent off coupons in the mail!

La Femme’s version of the most expensive prom dress in the world.

So...Do you have a date yet?

dine without the wine



Common Sense - May 5, 2011


Lacrosse Boys: 8-4 Girls: 5-3

Volleyball Boys:12-0 Co-ed: 6-3





Tomorrow vs. Watkins mill

Today vs. BCC

Track Boys: 3-2 Girls: 5-0

Tomorrow vs. WJ

Regional meet on May 18 @ Whitman


12-0 Tomorrow @ Magruder


Patriots’ lax looks to build momentum for playoffs Katie McKenna sports editor A six-year winning streak was snapped on Monday, May 2 when the Patriots fell 13-8 to the 8-1 Sherwood Warriors. After not being defeated by any Montgomery County Public School team for the past six seasons, the Patriots were overpowered by a scrappy Warriors squad. was able to overpower the Patriots. “I think that any game and any team can come out on top, and they just wanted it more than we did,” senior co-captain Matt Greenblatt said. “We did not play our game, the game I know we are capable of playing.” Despite the loss the Pats still boast an 8-4 record and have defeated quality opponents such as Whitman and Gaithersburg. “I think it’s tough to live up to all the hype that surrounds the streak, but we try not to pay attention to all that and just take it one game at a time,” Greenblatt said. This season the Patriots were faced by many private school competitors, including Bullis and Gonzaga, against whom they held their own but just fell short of claiming the victory. On Thursday, April 28 the Patriots faced the traditional public school powerhouse, the Whitman Vikings. The Pats were able to decisively beat the Vikings 11-5, which would improve the Patriots’ record to 5-2 and still keep their

photo by Arun Raman

Senior Matt Greenblatt carries the ball and looks to teammates upfield in the squad’s 11- 5 victory over Whitman on April 23.

streak alive. “Every year and every game is a new start, we have to play in the present and we cannot think about what has happened in the past,” Greenblatt said. “We just have to focus on the task at hand and play like we want it.” The Patriots have passed any test that has come their way so far this season easily defeating the Blake Bengals 13-5 on Wednesday

April 27. The Pats started strong right out of the gate and kept their momentum up for the rest of the night, not letting the Bengals back in the game. Over spring break, the Patriots hosted a tournament featuring many out of state teams, including Canisius High School from Buffalo, N.Y. and Coronado High School from Coronado, Calif.

The Pats easily defeated Canisius 13-9 and fell to Coronado 21-3. The tournament was held on Wednesday April 20 at Wootton. “That was a really good tournament for us, it was good to play against teams from outside of the area and see what different schools do with their offense and defense,” Greenblatt said. Arguably the best game the Patriots played all season came

against the Northwest Jaguars on Thursday April 14, where the Pats won by an incredible 20 goals with a final score of 21-1. The Patriots cleared their bench and had each member of the team contribute in their dominating victory. Playoffs begin Friday May 13 for all Montgomery County schools and the Patriots expect to be one of the top four seeded teams heading in to the tournament, with that luck the Pats will face a lower ranked team, make it out of the early playoff rounds and hopefully make it back to the state tournament. “By playoffs I fully expect us to step things up, playoffs are a new season for us and I know that all of the seniors will carry the weight and lead the team,” Greenblatt said. That Patriots’ next game is senior night on Wednesday, May 4 at home against Bethesda-Chevy Chase. The next big test after that will come against Quince Orchard on Monday, May 9. “We will use these last two games to prepare for playoffs. It is always a different atmosphere when the postseason begins,” junior defenseman Curt Brooks said. “Depending on how well we prepare will dictate how well we will do and how far we will go.” The Patriots’ game on Wednesday May 4 against Bethesda-Chevy Chase ended too late for this edition.

Boys’ volleyball heads to playoffs following their undefeated season Christine Chang staff writer As Wootton volleyball gears up for the postseason, players are content, or as some players would say, “sicced,” to be in the same position they were in last year. Thanks to their hard work during the regular season, the balls are all lining up in favor of the Patriots. After amassing a perfect 12-0 regular season record again, they are sitting atop Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) rankings and preparing to play schools with home court advantage on their side. What volleyball seeks to avoid, however, is the unhappy ending they suffered last season. After accruing an undefeated season, the volleyball team looked to be in good position going in to the playoffs, but fell just short of the county championship in a hard-fought three-set loss to the Sherwood Warriors last year. Now, with all but four seniors returning and the addition of several key underclassmen, the Patriots have squeezed out the Springbrook Blue Devil for the top seed with an overall set record of 36-1. On Senior Night the Patriots faced an inexperienced Gaithersburg Trojans squad where they easily swept the Trojans 25-6,

25-6 and 25-10 and were able to keep their winning streak alive for at least one more match. According to head coach John Hartranft, the team has benefited from the improvement of contributors who have stepped up from the periphery to make solid plays. Freshman middle blocker and right side hitter Paul Malinauskas provided a welcome complement to the seasoned captain trio of setter Eray Wang, hitter Aaron Yee and Marky Yang. Juniors Christopher Wong and Michael Ip have developed into premier defense players for the Patriots. Hartranft attributes the team’s depth to the increased intensity and focus of this season’s practices. “Our practices are very competitive,” Hartranft said. “Our practices are just as intense, if not occasionally more intense, than actual game situations.” This season the Patriots can afford to focus more on serve-receive and intense game situations during practices than fundamentals to better prepare the team for the tough tests they will be faced with in the postseason. Hartranft focuses on optimizing the strengths of this athletes to overcome the

photo courtesy of Natalia Yeel

The boys’ volleyball team huddles around head coach John Hartranft before their game against Kennedy.

few flaws that the squad has. “We have a lot of people who can come off the bench and contribute,” sophomore setter Justin Fowler said. “Most of the players get a good amount of playing time throughout the game.” The county final, which puts MCPS teams in a seed-based format, will prove to be the final testament of the Patriots’ depth.

“We will face some very tough teams, no doubt,” Hartranft said. “If we keep our intensity high, then we stand a good chance of winning.” Richard Montgomery, Blair and Springbrook will be main contenders down the road. The Patriots’ match on Wednesday, May 4 against the Clarksburg Coyotes ended too late for this edition.



Common Sense - May 5, 2011

Softball team prepares for playoffs Will Browning sports editor Despite a talented roster, the Wootton softball team has struggled at times to find consistency. With wins against Walter Johnson and Churchill, the Lady Pats feel capable of beating any team in the county. “With the playoffs looming, we need to start playing at the top of our game,” senior Amanda Lyberger said. “We need to start consistently winning.” Recently, the Patriots have reeled off three dominating wins after having lost three games in a row. Through 12 games, the Lady Pats have compiled a 6-6 record. The team’s most recent loss to Sherwood dropped their record to .500 on the season. The Lady Pats were overmatched in their game on April 29 against Sherwood, losing 11-1. The Patriots gave up 13 hits to the Warriors in the loss. “We played them hard, regardless of the result,” coach Alton Lightsey said. “It shows the progression we’ve made throughout the season.” The loss ended their threegame win streak, which included wins over B-CC, Churchill and Walter Johnson. On April 27, the Lady Pats defeated the B-CC Barons 15-1 to give them their longest win streak of the season. Junior pitcher Casey Haynes pitched four innings, striking out four batters and allowing only one run. The Patriots’ offense was led by senior Amanda Lyberger and

photo by Ashley Gladner

Junior Casey Haynes winds up for a pitch against the Sherwood Warriors on April 29.

sophomore Hallie Rolfes, who both had two RBIs. Lyberger, senior Jennifer Purisch and sophomore Andrea Kemp lead the team in runs batted in this season with 14, 13 and 10, respectively. Sophomore Ellie Gesiskie is tied with Lyberger for the team lead in runs. Kemp and Purisch are also the only two on the team to have hit home runs on the season. “Our underclassmen have done a good job for us this season,” Lyberger said. “If they continue to play well, then we have a strong chance of making the playoffs.” On April 14, the Lady Pats won a closely contested game against rival Churchill. Tied 2-2 after the first inning, the Patriots eventually took a 5-2 lead in the fourth inning, but the Bulldogs

were able to come back scoring two runs in the top of the fifth. The Pats found their rhythm adding three more to the board in the bottom of the fifth. But the Bulldogs weren’t ready to lie down, scoring four in the top of the sixth sending the game into a thrilling extra inning where the Pats would go on to win it 9-8. With two games in two days, the Lady Pats found little time for rest – beating Walter Johnson 12-2 the day before their showdown with Churchill. “We are very confident about where we are now,” Lightsey said. “There are four more games left in the season, and we need to win all of them to secure the fourth playoff seed.” The Lady Pats’ game against Northwood on May 3 ended too late for this edition.

Girls’ track team wins division; boys finish regular season at 3-2 Conor Higgins staff writer Both the boys’ and girls’ outdoor track squads are off to strong starts, each being regarded as top contenders for the county title. The boys’ squad is 3-2 and took third at the Cougar Relays, while the girls’ team is 5-0 and won the Cougar Relays on April 2. In their last and most recent meet on April 5, the Patriots defeated Whitman to finish off their regular season. Sophomores Sylvia Deppen and Gwen Shaw placed first and second, respectively, in both the 100 meter hurdles and the 100 meter dash. “Our underclassmen have stepped up for us this season,” senior co-captain Maya Walsh said. “We need them to keep up the good work even after the regular season is over.” The Patriots won the 1600 meter run for both girls and boys, with juniors Grace Corbett and Will Severynse finishing first. With an abundance of point scorers, the Patriots dominated Whitman in nearly every event. The girls team won 103-33, while the boys won in similar fashion, 11716. “The win today was a good tune-up for a number of our runners for the post-season,” senior Rori Kameka said. “Still, we have to keep improving if we want to do well. The competition in Montgomery County gets tougher and tougher each season.”

Led by seniors Seth Margolis, Taariq Elliot, and juniors Justin Hassani and Daniel Nozick, the boys took first place in the 4x200 race. The girls won the sprint medley relay (400, 200, 200 and 800 meters) run by senior Maya Walsh, Corbett, Shaw and Deppen. “The leadership on our team is one of our strong points,” cocaptain Margolis said. “Both our guys and girls on the distance and sprint side are performing well.” Now that the team is nearing the end of their season, the sprinters are working on more technical details. Distance runners are doing more speed-oriented workouts to prepare them for the county and state meets. “I don’t feel we need to fix anything at this point. It is all about moving forward and making strides at each meet with our goal being the state meet. We are working hard at practices and fine tuning things,” head coach Kellie Redmond said. Against JFK and Richard Montgomery, the girls performed very well, winning both meets – as did the boys. “We ran very well at the meet, and are looking forward to the county championship,” Walsh said. The next event is the Montgomery County Championship on May 10 at Walter Johnson. “For many of us seniors, this is our last opportunity to run for our school,” Margolis said. “I hope to take full advantage and perform up to the level that I know I can.”

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14 SPORTS Baseball hopes to find success as playoffs approach Common Sense - May 5, 2011

Katie McKenna sports editor

The Patriots’ baseball team is in the midst of a mediocre season at 6-8, but the squad hopes they will find success since playoffs are right around the corner. Despite being in one of the most competitive divisions in the state, the Pats have been able to post a 1-5 record in the 4A West division. On Friday, April 29, the Patriots were matched up against a 15-0 Sherwood Warrior squad. The Patriots were able to hold their own against the Warriors, testing them early and swinging at good pitches at the plate. The Warriors took an early lead in the bottom of the first scoring one run. When they equaled that in the bottom of the second adding another, the Warriors were up 2-0 after two. In the top of the third the Patriots were able to score three runs giving the Pats the lead until the fifth when the Warriors were able to put two more runs on the board. After five the score was 4-3 where each squad could not find any more success, leaving the score to be decided in the fifth inning, as the Pats would eke out no more runs. “We have done pretty well this season. Of course it’s hard to duplicate last year, but I’m satisfied with the team’s improvement, although we still need to work on our fielding,” senior catcher AJ Avant-Johnson said.

photo by Arun Raman

Junior Andrew Craig has a strong outing in the team’s game against county rival Churchill on April 14.

On April 28 the Patriots faced the Gaithersburg Trojans, falling 10-6. The Trojans jumped on the Patriots early, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning, a deficit that the Patriots were never able to

overcome. Gaithersburg added another run in the bottom of the fifth making the score 6-0. The Pats were finally able to get on the board scoring three runs in the top of the

sixth and adding three more in the seventh, but the Trojans were able to silence the Pats scoring four go-ahead runs in the bottom of the seventh en route to their 10-6 victory. On Thursday, April 14 the Pats were prepared to face county rival the Churchill Bulldogs, which is always an exciting matchup. The Patriots drew a big crowd for the game and put on a good showing. The squads were deadlocked after one, but the Bulldogs were the first to break, letting in two Patriot runs in the bottom of the second inning. Two was not enough for the Patriots as the Bulldogs were able to come back and score four in the top of the third inning and add nine to the board in the top of the seventh. The Patriots were unable to bounce back, falling to the Bulldogs 12-4. “I was disappointed with our performance against Churchill because I knew we could have played better. We did not play the game I know we are capable of,” junior shortstop Kacper Coulter said. The Patriots’ next test will be against Watkins Mill on Friday, May 5, and they will use the game to prepare for the fast -approaching post season. “I expect us to go as far into playoffs as we can push ourselves,” Avant-Johnson said. “I think we will be able to get deep past the first round and maybe even get to the state championships if we want it bad enough.” The game on Wednesday, May 4 against Northwood ended too late for this edition.

Girls’ lax retaliates, defeats Sherwood Will Browning sports editor After struggling at the beginning of the season, the Lady Pats have won five straight to pull their record up to 5-3. The Lady Pats went winless in their first three games of the season against Walter Johnson, Bullis and Churchill–all played away from home. However, recent wins against Sherwood, Blake, Whitman, Gaithersburg and Richard Montgomery have given the Lady Pats hope for the upcoming playoffs. On May 2 the Patriots faced a competitive Sherwood Warriors squad. After being knocked out of playoffs in a controversial game last year, the Pats were looking for revenge on the Warriors, and that’s just what they got. The Pats took the victory 9-8 from the Warriors. “Our confidence really took a hit at the beginning of the season

because we were playing tough opponents, and we were at their home stadium every time,” senior Steffi Pappas said. “Winning our most recent games is essential if we want to perform well in the playoffs.” The Patriots dominated the Blake Bengals in their most recent game. Sophomore Marisa Cresham led the Lady Pats with seven goals, scoring the same amount as the entire Blake team, in their 18-7 win. In their game against Whitman on April 11, the Patriots outpaced the Vikings in an important conference game 18-10. The win gave the Pats a 3-3 overall record and pulled their conference record up to 3-2. Junior goalkeeper Angela Bauroth anchored the Lady Pats with eight saves. Senior Amanda Carlson and Cresham led the team with six and five goals apiece. Cresham leads the team with

an astonishing 42 goals and ranks second in the county behind Churchill’s Katie Ruben, who has 56. Stephanie Dwyer is the next leading scorer on the Pats with 18. On April 7, the Lady Pats beat winless Gaithersburg 17-8. Senior Stephanie Dwyer and Cresham each scored six goals, leading the Patriots against the overmatched Trojans. On April 4, the Patriots won their first game of the season, routing Richard Montgomery 198. Cresham led the team with seven goals, while Dwyer added four goals and two assists. Freshman Mady Romm stepped up for the Lady Pats, scoring four goals. “Losing the first three games of the year was hard for us,” senior Lauren Millikin said. “But we have responded well, winning three straight and positioning ourselves well for the playoffs.” New head coach Kasey

photo by Ariana Amini

Senior midfielder Amanda Carlson sprints upfield with the ball against Walter Johnson.

Marchwicki has been essential to the team’s growth this season. The Patriots are gearing up for their next two games, against Holton Arms on May 7 and

Quince Orchard on May 9. The game against Bethesda-Chevy Chase on Wednesday, May 4 ended too late for this edition.

Patriots’ tennis chasing after back-to-back state championships from TENNIS, page 1

seed in the county finals with a win over Kennedy. Although Kovrigin and Hahn were only able to play a few dual matches due to their USTA commitments, they are set to play at regionals, in the number one singles and doubles slots, respectively. Sophomores Gabe Fan and Titas Bera round out the singles lineup while Lipman and senior Akshay Shanker will join forces to play number one doubles for the county championship. Contrary to popular belief, team members state that the most

stressful part of the season is the beginning, which involves tryouts and position evaluation placement. Generally, the Patriots have dispatched their opponents in straight sets throughout the regular season, and often won with no dropped sets. “We don’t have any weaknesses really,” Lipman said. Despite confident assessments, senior leaders are doing their best to help the younger members harness their experience from last year to avoid becoming complacent prior to playoffs. “I hope that they learn how to represent and conduct themselves as the number one team for

years to come,” senior co-captain Eiichiro Okuyama said. “They came last year with a blank slate, but they’re expecting to win and to get the same results. The reality is that they might get too cocky, so I’m trying to keep them levelheaded.” In order to pull off the string of postseason wins the team is seeking, the Patriots will have to make sure they maximize the talent on the team while keeping their games tight, minimizing unforced errors, and finishing off sets. However, in a departure from last season’s pristine storyline, the tennis team experienced several moments of tribulation

in the regular season. With both Okuyama and Cevallos playing through sickness, they lost to Churchill senior Kevin Chu and Seneca Valley senior Kamal Patel, respectively. “I am looking forward to a rematch in the county finals hopefully,” Okuyama said. In addition, the Japan earthquake in March involved many members of the team as they helped drum up support for a fundraiser organized by Okuyama’s family, Stand Up for Japan. Fan, Mateo, Hahn, sophomore Kevin Chan and junior Julian Mu are among those who are preparing to move up the ranks next season.

“We have a deep team, so they will be moving up to doubles after the seniors graduate,” Cresham said. The Patriots have enjoyed a small but consistent crowd of supporters, robust with reporters and photographers. “We’ve bonded very closely throughout the season,” senior Guarav Gopal said. “We play games a lot outside of school too.” The county seeding meeting will be on May 3, and the tournament will begin on May 4. Play will extend for a week. The Patriots are expected to receive the top seeds in the regional and state matches.



Common Sense - May 5, 2011

Co-ed volleyball looks strong heading into county playoffs Robert Logan staff writer

After their early exit in the second round of the playoffs last year, the co-ed volleyball team is looking to show that last season was just a fluke, posting a 7 – 4 record thus far, despite their most recent loss to the Gaithersburg Trojans. The Patriots were looking forward to their senior-night opponent, Gaithersburg. Unfortunately, the Patriots were not able to ever get themselves into the match, finding themselves on the losing side of a sweep. The Trojans took the first game quickly, and never looked back, winning the next two in decisive fashion to seal the victory over the Pats. Gaithersburg is a traditional 4A force in Montgomery County volleyball, with only one loss in the season to powerhouse Poolesville. “After our bumpy start to the season, we have been able to come together as a team and play better because we started to trust each other,” senior Maurice Harari said. On April 27, Wootton traveled to Seneca Valley to face the Eagles. The Patriots took care of business and got the win in a 3 – 1 victory. The win was their fifth in the last six games. In a very close match with Paint Branch, the Panthers were able to edge out the victory in the fifth and final game of the match by a score of 15 – 13. In the back and forth game, the Patriots took the second and third games, but the Panthers were able to fight back and win the fourth game 25 – 22 to send the game to the deciding fifth game. “We had plenty of missed opportunities

and lost too many points that could have been prevented in order for us to have won the game,” Harari said. After three straight wins, Wootton traveled to Magruder to try to extend their streak. Despite dropping one game to the Colonials, the Patriots were able to take care of business and get the victory, three games to one. “We were able to execute our game plan, and when we do that, we always give ourselves a chance to win,” head coach Mary Malinauskas said. On April 6, Wootton took care of the Kennedy Cavaliers on the road, overpowering them with three swift victories, quickly gaining them the victory. The team took a big hit after the season last year in losing eight seniors to graduation, forcing a lot of underclassmen to step up this year. However, the transition has been smooth, with extensive contributions coming from seniors Katherine Chen, Kat Lew, Paul Clifton and Hanari. Unfortunately, the Patriots have lost sophomore Trey Troxell for the time being due to a foot injury, and he may be out for the remainder of the season. “It really hurts losing Trey because he is such a good hitter and blocker upfront with his height,” Clifton said. On April 4, Wootton was able to overcome Northwest’s come-from-behind effort, en route to a three matches to two victory for the Patriots. After taking the first two games, the Jaguars came roaring back and tied the game. The final game came right down to the wire, but Wootton was able to land one point,

photo courtesy of Natalia Yee

Junior Lillian Gao sets up her teammates in the squad’s game against Richard Montgomery on March 21.

giving them the 15 – 13 win of the game and the match. “We really played great defense by keeping ourselves in good positions and placing our hits well,” Clifton said. “When we do that, we always give ourselves a good chance to win.” In one of their biggest matches of the year, the Patriots were able to beat out the rival Churchill Bulldogs at home in a onesided effort by Wootton.

Aside from one game, Wootton maintained control during the entire match, allowing them to take the match, three games to one. “A lot of other teams will yell at each other when things are not going well,” Clifton said. “We really do not do that, which has allowed us to come together as a team.” The Patriots game against Paint Branch on Wednesday, May 4 ended too late for this edition.



Common Sense - May 5, 2011

P A T R I O TP R O F I L E S Pete Spiropolous: Baseball

Jenn Purisch: Softball

Chris Papadopoulos staff writer After tearing his ACL in a football game against Magruder two years ago, Pete Spiropoulos was told by doctors he might never play sports competitively again. Now a senior, Spiropoulos has developed into one of the county’s top baseball players. Typically, it takes an athlete anywhere from 6-12 months to recover from an ACL tear. But Spiropoulos worked continuously and was back in five months. “It was one of he quickest recoveries they have seen. I put all my energy into getting better because there was nothing I wanted more than to be playing baseball again,” Spiropoulos said. Spiropoulos started playing baseball at age four, and hasn’t stopped since. “Its my favorite sport because there is no other sport like it,” Spiropoulos said. Spiropoulos plays both centerfield and shortstop and is also one of the Patriots’ better pitchers. On the mound, Spiropoulos hits 81 miles per hour on the radar gun with his fastball, and also features a curveball as well as a palmball. This season, Spiropoulos is 3-1, while holding opponents to a .237 batting average and striking out 21 in 21 innings. Offensively, Spiropoulos has started this season with a bang, leading the Patriots in hits (14) runs scored (14), RBIs (11), extra base hits (6) and slugging percentage

Jason Oringher staff writer

photo by Ashley Gladner

Senior Pete Spiropolous throws the ball to the first baseman in practice.

(.561). In the Patriots’ sixth game of the season against Richard Montgomery, Spiropoulos hit a walk-off home run, his first of the season, to give the Patriots a 5-4 victory. Spiropoulos also had a walk-off hit against Bethesda-Chevy Chase last week. “My personal goals are to be the player of the year in the state of Maryland and to be first team all-gazette. Our goal as a team is to win a state championship,” Spiropoulos said. Last year, the Patriots entered the playoffs as the number one seed, after finishing 17-1 during the regular season and fell in the first round of playoffs. Spiropoulos doesn’t want to see that happen again. “To prevent something like that from happening

again we need to work really hard during the season to be prepared for the post season. We need to have the right attitude going into the post season as well,” Spiropoulos said. Although captains haven’t been announced yet, Spiropoulos is considered a leader by many of his teammates. “Pete has helped us spark our second half of the season rally. Whenever we are down in a game or in practice, Pete is able to get that big hit we need or make a good play to show us we can compete and we can do well in the post season,” junior catcher Chris Powers said. Spiropoulos doesn’t plan on playing baseball in college, and is going to Indiana for school next fall.

For senior catcher and outfielder Jenn Purisch, not working hard has never been an option. Despite a shoulder injury that has prevented her from playing her usual position of catcher for most of the spring, Purisch is enjoying an extremely successful last season at Wootton. Purisch has put up an impressive line thus far, boasting a .333 batting average, .472 on-base percentage and 13 RBIs. She is tied for the team lead in total bases with 16. “I work extremely hard outside of school. I am a year-round athlete and spend the pre-season in gyms working on my swing and becoming a better player,” Purisch said. Purisch’s softballplaying roots go all the way back to when she was four years old, the age at which she started playing T-Ball. She moved on to playing fast pitch softball in fifth grade, and has progressed through higher levels of play ever since. “I decided to play because my family is very much a baseball family,” Purisch said. “I just always loved the sport.” Purisch has taken it upon herself to be a team leader this season, and has had a large impact on the team’s record not only with her play but with her attitude and work ethic. “As a senior I have the responsibility to make sure

photo by Ashley Gladner

Senior Jenn Purisch fields the ball against Churchill on April 14.

we have team unity and we all work well together,” she said. “I need to be a good role model both on and off of the field if I want to be a leader.” Purisch carried her approach from the offseason over into the first game of the year, playing an essential role in the Patriot’s 19-2 massacre of Springbrook. She was dominant at the plate in the season opener, going 3-3 with a home run, triple, single, walk, 4 runs and 6 RBIs. “[Jenn] is a great leader and steps up at any clutch moment to give the team what we need to do to win,” senior co-captain Amanda Lyberger said. In the team’s game against rival Churchill,

Purisch went 2-3 with a double, run and RBI in helping Wootton to a 9-8 victory in extra innings. “We have the drive and skill to play alongside the teams that are considered the top teams and come out with wins against them,” Purisch said. “My favorite part about playing softball for Wootton is our relentless determination. We can be a strong force going into the playoffs.” After she finishes out her final season at Wootton and graduates high school, Purisch has committed to continue her softball career playing at Washington University in St. Louis. “I felt Wash U was the best fit for me,” she said. “They have a successful softball program and I love

Coach’s Corner: Kellie Redmond, Outdoor Track Varsity Outdoor track coach Kellie Redmond talked with sports editor Katie McKenna to discuss how she helped make Wootton track and field as dominant as they are.

Q: How would you best describe your coaching style? A: I try to capitalize on commitment. The athletes who are willing to come to practice every day and work as hard as they can are the ones that I am going to focus on. People would probably say that I am a touch coach, but I just demand and expect a lot from my athletes. Q: What are the expectations you have for your athletes on and off the track? A: I expect my athletes to be respectful to each other, the coaches and the sport. They need to work hard every day, enjoy what they do and always give 100 percent. Q: What has given you so much success in your time here at Wootton? A: Well this is my fifth season at Wootton, but before I got here the program had no consistency, it wasn’t taken seriously, and there would be new coaches every year. I demand a lot out of my athletes and they know they can count on me to be here day in and day out.

Q: What is a phrase you often say to your athletes? A: It depends on the situation. There are a number of things, but generally I say ‘you must be working hard’ and ‘don’t give me any excuses.’ Q: What is the best compliment you can give an athlete? A: That I believe in them and they should believe in themselves. I don’t just tell that to anyone but when I really feel that an athlete can accomplish their goal, I make sure it’s known. Q: To you what makes a good athlete? A: The willingness to commit themselves to the greater good of the team. Whether they are competing or not, athletes who support one another will succeed. Q: What is your strategy going into every meet? A: I use the earlier meets to take the proper steps to get where we want to be in late May. My goal is always to win a state championship, but I take it one meet at a time. Track in general is a very progressive sport. Q: What do you consider the most important aspect of a team? A: Commitment to one another is the most impor-

photo by Ashley Gladner

Track Coach Kellie Redmond encourages her runners during practice.

tant. What makes Wootton track strong is that even though everyone is competing in different events, they all wholeheartedly support each other. Q: How do you expect your team to do by the time championships get here? A: We set ourselves up really well this season with exceptional performances from both the boys, and the girls’ squads. I am pleased with the way we have set ourselves up, and I expect us to be very competitive in the regional and state meets.



Common Sense - May 5, 2011

Give me a break: a global look at Spring vacation Sophie Lehrenbaum & Katie McRae staff writers

Beaches? Babes? Parties? Fun under the sun? Save it for college because here in MCPS, our Spring Break is a tad different. We don’t have the same kinds of freedom or time off as our not-so-far-off peers in college, and thus our Spring Breaks are not as outrageous. Nevertheless, on April 15, a magical sensation swept through the halls of Wootton High School. Students felt a sudden release, as the anticipation gnawing at their stomachs subsided and a collective sigh was heard ringing out of every classroom. At 2:10 something snapped, like a rubber band taut with tension, and the consequence was beautiful and, in some cases, tear-inducing. Students stretched 10 days into sheer relaxation, providing a haven in which the alarm button could harass them no more. It was an evasive retreat where the English essay was merely something to put off and thoughts of nailing that A in the plethora of AP courses were distant. But what happens when reality slaps us hard and cruel in the face, like dodge ball and seven-year-olds? We soon realize that, as Rebecca Black so deftly puts it, “The time is goin’, Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin,’” and our spring break draws to a heart-wrenching close. For freshman Sarah Saggiante, spring break was not always so short. “I went to a bilingual school named Peterson, located in Jardines del Pedrega, México,” Saggiante said. “Spring break in Mexico is about two weeks long or so, [but] in Mexico kids have a lot more homework than here and more at-home projects with other kids.” Ariana Kashefi, alum from South Hampstead High School, located in the heart of London, England, had a significantly longer break than Montgomery County’s. “We had around three weeks of spring holiday,” Kashefi said. This year, South Hampstead High School’s break is over 20 days long, more than double that of Montgomery County. Why is our break significantly shorter than those of other schools? Executive director of Montgomery County Public schools Robin Confino explains that MoCo has a quota to fill. “The school calendar is based on 184 instructional days – four more than the minimum required by the state of Maryland, and 193 duty days for teachers,” Confino said. “There is a process that the superintendent’s staff uses to gather input on the school calendar before a recommendation is brought to the Board for adoption. A school calendar committee chaired by me is convened each summer for the purpose of seeking stakeholder input,” Confino said.


Earl Lee online editor

photo courtesy of Stephanie Plave

Wootton students stroll through the streets of Switzerland during a Spring Break trip to Europe. Students on the trip also visited Belgium and France, getting a chance to see some of Europe’s most beautiful destinations.

The process incorporates contributions from the Montgomery County council of PTA’s, employee unions, the Maryland Association of Student Council Montgomery County Region, and other community and school leaders. The Board of Education is a hard at work, hoping to accommodate the needs of its students while still allowing for a reasonable amount of recreational time. “Every effort is made when building a proposed school calendar to keep what makes sense with instruction at the forefront while maintaining a high level of family friendliness,” Confino said. “At Holy Cross, we have a week-long spring break as well as a separate Easter break a couple weeks later. It’s comforting because it makes the spring semester feel a lot shorter. My friends at other private schools just have one big spring break,” Holy Cross freshman Danielle White said. However, though some schools lack a lengthy break, students in other areas somehow feel as if their breaks are more substantial and fulfilling. Freshman Will Salter attended middle school in Petaluma in Sonoma County, CA. “The break was the same as here, but I enjoyed the break more in Petaluma,” Salter said. “The beach was only 30 minutes away and the downtown was in walking distance. The weather also made it more enjoyable.” This was the same for freshman Belen Rodriguez who used to attend school in Summerset County, N.J. Her break was the same length as it is in Montgomery County; however the breaks do not compare. “I liked [the break] better there because there [were] more things to do,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez went on fun day trips with friends to the Jersey Shore or New York City

because both places were only 45 minutes away. With 10 days of relaxation, boredom was an issue on many adolescent minds. There are not enough “Top Chef ” reruns in the world to get through 10 days without getting anxious to go back to school. However, the length was favorable for some students. At the United Nations International School of Hanoi in Vietnam where freshman Natalia Jaffee attends school, the weeklong break is the same. “The length pretty much only allows us to travel to close places in Asia like Thailand, Cambodia and China,” Jaffee said. Although the spring break is the same length, the Vietnamese school also has a one-week fall break, a three-week winter break, and a one-week Tet break. Tet break is during the Lunar New Year, which is one of the most celebrated holidays in Vietnam. And of course most students are probably familiar with the stereotypical college Spring Break blowout parties on the beach with lots of scantily clad guys and girls, dancing, and alcohol. However, the extent to how many college students actually do this is exaggerated by teen flicks. “I know I prefer to just sleep and watch TV on my break,” University of Maryland sophomore Tanya Pakzad said. For the most part, other students either have longer breaks than Montgomery County Public Schools or better nearby attractions that provide something to do over their break. But fear not, Wootton-something is burning big and bright in the horizon, hanging over us like a rising sun, drenching our world in golden light; summer break is weeks away.

Students strive to eliminate climate change, one club at a time Jeanie Kim staff writer Wootton’s chapter of the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) has launched the Star Wars Competition, which runs from mid-March to May 20. The competition aims to educate youth about global warming and aims to have students develop possible solutions. Students make an “action team” and attend fieldtrips and other activities to promote climate education in order to earn stars. The team with the most stars by the competetition will win a Solio Classic Solar Charger. The charger uses solar energy to charge common electronics.


In the Atlanta-Washington, DC division, Wootton leads in first place with 14 stars, followed by New Hope Academy and Wheaton High School tied with five stars, and Hyde Leadership Charter School in third. The Global Leaders Club represents Wootton. The club, sponsored by English teacher Dominique Parker, is geared towards making the environment better and inspiring students along the way. “ [The] More people we inspire, bigger change we will make on environment,” junior Global Leaders Club video department head Khan Um said. “It is nice to do small things around the school, but

to make the real difference and impact, we must go out into the community,” senior club member Ellen Yoon said. Members of ACE noted that their leadership skills and environmental knowledge that they have attained will help them throughout their life. On their quest to earn the 14 stars, the Global Leaders Club went on a field trip to the Montgomery County Recycling Center, held an art contest and a pizza sale. “It is great that we can help out the environment while having fun. Through this club and the activities we do here I got to meet a lot of friends,” Yoon said.

With only a few days left until the end of the competition, the club strives to earn as many stars as they can before any other team catches up. “Right now, we are thinking to do more events and activities to add more stars until the dead line of the competition. The overall goals for the club are to have more unique activities and activities outside of school,” Um said. Interested students are welcomed and can assist the club in not only winning the competition but positively impacting the environment. The club is open to new members at any time and meetings occur on Mondays in room 254.

food & trend


p (+2.46) Shake Shack Trend Maybe you have not heard of it yet, but if you have visited New York City during peak hours, you have probably seen it—it being the serpentine line of patrons hungrily waiting for food. Shake Shack’s flagship restaurant, nestled in the center of Madison Square Garden, attracts lines that practically wind around the entire park. When I visited, the wait lasted over half an hour. Shake Shack serves simple food, burgers, hot dogs and shakes, but it does so with the execution of a Michelin star restaurant. After all, Danny Meyer, the restaurateur who manages Shake Shack, also manages wildly successful Union Square Cafe and Blue Smoke. Soon, Shake Shack will make its way onto the list of must-eats for Washington D.C., as Meyer plans to open a Shake Shack branch on DuPont Circle during the upcoming few months. The DuPont Circle Shake Shack will purportedly obtain its meats from the same provider for Shake Shack’s New York restaurants. While shipping meats halfway across the east coast might make one question the quality of Shake Shack’s DuPont Circle burgers, Meyer has already proven himself capable of delivering consistent quality across all of his restaurants, including a Shake Shack located in Miami, FL that opened last summer. Shake Shack uses a proprietary burger blend engineered by Pat La Frieda, the wholesale meat purveyor that also happens to provide meats to an assortment of upscale restaurants in Manhattan. Consequently, the burger meat is tender and juicy, and strikes a harmonic balance of saltiness that straddles the line between fast food and upscale dining. The quality of ingredients permeates into other components— including the mysterious yet delicious ShackSauce, a well-guarded secret—which makes Shake Shack’s burgers look as good in real life as they do on advertisements. Taste alone, however, does not make Shake Shack a legend. The prices, as low as $3.50 for a plain hamburger and as high as $7.00 for a premium, double-meat ShackBurger, provide great food at a bargain price. Over its past seven years, Shake Shack has built a cult following. For April Fool’s Day last year, a group of college students plastered construction notices for In ‘n Out Burger around Shake Shack’s Madison Square Garden venue as a prank. By doing so, the students gave a silent nod to Shake Shack’s growth into a foodie’s burger haven, the East Coast’s answer to California’s unparalleled burger chain. On Yelp, Shake Shack’s Madison Square Garden branch has garnered 2035 reviews with an average rating of four out of five stars. While there always exists the possibility that D.C. denizens will shy away from greasy burgers, my guess is that Shake Shack will be an instant hit. The opening of Shake Shack in D.C. serves as evidence of recent forecasts by industry professionals that D.C. has positioned itself to become the next food capital of our nation. The presence of celebrated chefs such as Jose Andres and the Voltaggio brothers have also contributed to the allure for new D.C. restaurant ventures. The DuPont Circle Shake Shack will demonstrate an uptrend in the D.C food scene and cement D.C into a prominent food city. Shake Shack 1216 18th Street NW Washington D.C. , DC 20036


The senior prank: Daniel Moon managing editor

With 40 years of history comes 40 years of tradition. Senior pranks, though not unique to Wootton, are nevertheless a part of its history that has been around since the beginning. The Class of 1975 set the precedent for the future senior pranks by putting a car on top of the announcing booth by the track field. Upon discovering a Volkswagen in the forest behind the school, some of the seniors drove it to school, disassembled it, took the parts to the top of the announcing booth on the bleachers and reassembled it. Part of the senior prank also included a naked senior in a ski mask streaking through the cafeteria, running up the stairs, and jumping into a getaway car before driving away. Social studies teacher Fevronia Cresham was part of the Class of 1975 and saw the senior pranks in action. “They were pretty radical, but none of it was destructive,” Cresham said. The Class of 2009 filled the Commons with water cups for its senior prank after an approval by the school administration. A year later, the Class of 2010 paraded around the hallways in a standard senior march-out as they threw

FEATURES Common Sense - May 5, 2011

An annual tradition of mischief

away their school papers. However, they did not organize any specific pranks. “I couldn’t even tell you what our senior prank was,” Wootton alumnus and freshman at the George Washington University Brian Campos said. “We were kind of lame.” There was a rumor of all the seniors going to Petsmart, each buying a dollar’s worth of crickets and releasing them in the hallways on the last day of school, though it did not become a reality. “I feel that the notoriety surrounding the senior pranks is primarily overkill on the part of the faculty,” Campos said. “You only graduate high school once, and it’s perfectly natural to go out with a bang. Let the kids have fun without fear of not graduating because of one prank.” In addition to teaching at Wootton for nine years, social studies teacher Matthew Winter taught at Watkins Mill High School and has seen a number of senior pranks. In one occasion, the seniors began stealing the chalkboard erasers subtly over a number of weeks. In the end, the gathered piles of erasers were dumped in the principal’s office. Other cases of senior prank at Watkins Mill included attempting to set off the fire alarm 99 times (unsuccessfully – the pranksters

were caught before they could even get to 20) and placing a car on top of the school building. On certain occasions, security guards were asked to sleep at school to make sure that the senior pranks did not get out of hand. “I think [senior pranks] are good if they’re subtle and clever,” Winter said. At Wootton, past senior pranks included painting over the lines in the parking lot, stealing the cement blocks, painting over the speeding cameras on Wootton Parkway, drawing graffiti everywhere and so on. The electronic billboard in front of the school was installed as a result of a senior prank that covered the previous board with white paint. “Pranks should be funny, but they shouldn’t be destructive,” senior Adam Erat said. Certain pranks such as the ones on the speeding cameras and the school billboard have often been considered overly destructive and brought legal and financial complications over their replacements. Outside Wootton, other senior pranks have also brought significant damage to public properties including school buses and fire extinguishers. Though some advise caution, others view the violent part of senior prank as the very features that make them senior pranks. “Joking around with things

graphic by Daniel Moon

Senior pranks from around the country include balloons, spray paint, cups and cars.

– that’s the whole point of senior pranks,” Wootton alumni and sophomore at the Catholic University of America Kenneth Congmon said. Outside Wootton, another well-known high school senior prank is the “Pig Prank,” in which three pigs numbered one, two and four are let loose in the school and lead the administration to

frantically search for the missing pig number three. Another prank includes releasing small polystyrene pieces into the air conditioning system to make it “snow” in the building. “Pranks can be funny but they shouldn’t be destructive,” Arts resource teacher Susan Thorpe said. “You don’t want the senior class to leave on a bad note.”



Common Sense - May 5, 2011

Rotary club hosts bike fundraiser Alisa Sonsev features editor When the average American thinks of the easiest way to get to the mall or the movies, the majority of them will think of either cars or public transportation. This, however, is a luxury that most developing countries do not have. Bikes for the World (BfW) is a Washington Area Bicyclist Association sponsored project whose mission is to collect unwanted bicycles and related material in the United States and deliver it at low cost to community development programs assisting the poor in developing countries or in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Bikes for the World uses the donated bicycles to help set-up self-sustaining bicycle repair operations which can make enough money to pay the shipping costs for subsequent container shipments of donated bicycles. They also collect operating portable sewing machines, and old cell phones in any condition. In order to get involved in this effort, Wootton’s Rotary Club is hosting a Bikes for the World fundraising event on May 14 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. “We’ve worked with Bikes for the World before and it was a big success,” senior and Rotary Club member Paxton Misra said. Bikes for the World has collected and shipped more than 51,000 bikes since its founding in 2005, more than 9,000 in 2010 alone. Bike donors are asked to contribute a suggested $10 per

photo courtesy of Bikes for the World

A young girl from Nyariga,Ghana was provided with a bike from Bikes for the World. In developing countries, bikes are a main mode of transportation.

bike to defray a share of shipping and handling costs, and will receive a receipt for this financial contribution as well as the value of the bike. “This is a great fundraiser because it helps much more than people think. A bike can provide transportation for an entire family, meaning they can have better access to medical help, food and water,” Misra said. Bikes for the World was founded in January 2005 and made its first independent shipment in February 2005, to Honduras. In its first three years, Bikes for the World has donated more than

20,000 bicycles to ten partner agencies in eight countries, as well as to several programs serving youth and adults in the DC area. In the spring of 2007, BfW opened its own youth bike program in Rockville, Md., serving local youth and the community at large. The Rockville Youth Bicycle Project offers local youth opportunities to learn about bicycles, fulfill Maryland high school community service requirements (student service learning), earn a reconditioned bicycle, and bike safely and enjoyably. The bulk of bikes coming to Bikes for the World are donated by the public at scheduled collections—public events sponsored by a community service organization, typically held on a weekend morning in the spring or the fall, and staffed by the sponsoring organization’s volunteers. In 2009, they supported more than 80 collections, concentrating in the DC-Baltimore area but ranging as far south as Winston-Salem, N.C. and as far north as Bucks County, Penn., and Williamsville, N.Y. “I was working at the fundraiser last year. It’s hard work because we have to disassemble the bikes ourselves but it’s definitely worth it when you think about the cause,” senior Rotary Club president Una Lee said. “I had never heard of this organization before until I saw the posters all around school. I think it’s a great idea and I’ll definitely be donating a bike,” sophomore Roni Zelivinski said.

Alternative humor: new face of comedy Michael Krakower features editor

Long gone are the days of the “what’s up with that?” style of comedy. The art of standup comedy is evolving with the ever-diminishing attention spans of today’s society. To keep up with changing times, comics have adopted their own unique styles and joined the movement of Alternative Comedy. The term Alternative Comedy was first coined in the 1980s when comedians began to define their unique styles and break away from the norm. Many have tried to invent their image, but have failed in being any different from one another. How can you be a non-conformist by conforming to the styles of non-conformity? To navigate through the weeds of the comedy world, Common Sense has compiled a list of today’s, and yesterday’s, best Alternative Comics. Steven Wright Wright, in the minds of many, is the father of Alternative Comedy. His personality-less delivery put complete focus on his brilliant one-liners. With his raspy, monotone voice, he is immediately recognizable. Top Jokes: • To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research. • I’d kill for a Nobel

Peace Prize. • Cross country skiing is great if you live in a small country. • “Did you sleep well?” “No, I made a couple of mistakes.” • I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn’t park anywhere near the place. • A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I’m afraid of widths. Mitch Hedberg Not the originator of one-line comedy, but surely the master. Hedberg was a self-proclaimed druggie who adapted his style to create a drugged-up character. He unfortunately died in 2005 due to drug overdose. Top Jokes: • I tried to throw a yo-yo away. It was impossible. • I want to get a vending machine, with fun sized candy bars, and the glass in front is a magnifying glass. You’ll be mad, but it will be too late. • I can read minds, but I’m illiterate. • A friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana and I said no, but I wanted a regular banana later…so yes. • An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience. • I’m against picketing, but I don’t know how to show it.

Zach Galifianakis Galifianakis’s career exploded after his role as Alan in the hit comedy “The Hangover.” However, unbeknownst to many, he had a prolific career as a standup comic before he became an actor. Like Hedberg and Wright, Galifianakis has created a character for himself to give a personality to each one of his succinct jokes. Top Jokes: • For 8 years now I’ve been addicted to cold turkey. When I tell people I’m quitting cold turkey, they say, “What are you quitting?” I’m f***ing quitting cold turkey. • My dream is to move to India or Pakistan. And become a cab driver. • I had dyslexia as a kid. I used to write about it in my dairy. • I don’t mean to be gross, but the only time it’s ok to say, ‘I have diarrhea,’ is when you’re playing Scrabble...because it’s worth a s***load of points. • Have you seen that show on CBS called ‘The Amazing Race’? Is that show about white people? • My girlfriend looks a little like Charlize Theron, and a lot like Dog the Bounty Hunter. • Sometimes, I like to read the Bible in public and yell out, “Oh Bull****!” Demetri Martin Martin gained much exposure from his Comedy

Central show “Important Things,” but he never strayed from his unique style. His relaxed delivery combined with intelligent writing has been a hit with younger audiences. Top Jokes: • A drunk driver is very dangerous. So is a drunk backseat driver if he’s persuasive. “Dude, make a left.” “Those are trees.” “Trust me.” • Some jokes are short and elegant, like a mathematical proof or a midget in a ball-gown. • I like parties, but I don’t like piñatas because the piñata promotes violence against flamboyant animals. Hey, there’s a donkey with some pizzazz. Let’s kick its a**. What I’m trying to say is, don’t make the same Halloween costume mistake that I did. Honorable Mention: • Anthony Jeselnik. Eugene Mirman, Doug Benson, Jim Gaffigan, Robin Williams, Sarah Silverman

Steven Wright is often referred to as the undisputed king of Alternative Comedy.

Top 11 It’s One Bigger!

No comment.

Worst Traits About Us Jeff Hilnbrand & Michael Krakower features editor & managing editor Watch out boys and girls, bullies are on the prowl. In the past year, whiney housewives across the nation have decided to put an end to the epidemic that is bullying. Upon hearing of the devastation, we felt it necessary to take preventive action. We can’t even tell you how many times we heard a middleaged woman named Carol telling us to ‘grab the bully by the horns.’ Well Carol, the time has come. We have made fun of ourselves before the bullies even had a chance. Take that, Harold Berman! This was a challenge to write. What point of view do we use? 11. Jeff ’s simpleton-ness. Hey space cadet, quit wandering around in the abyss that is your mind and join us here on planet earth. 10. Michael’s averageness. You’re everything. Physical fitness! Tolerating dairy! Archery! This is a below-average description, so ha! 9. Jeff: King of BBYO. Watch out! Someone slipped a piece of Swiss onto your roast beef on rye! Remember to bring your limited edition copy of the Talmud to this year’s Mid-Southwestern Induction Initiation Convention for the Benefit of Eco-Friendly Plumbing Efforts in Tel Aviv. 8. Michael’s wheezing laugh. The face swells up, the eyes go thin and the subtly-intense exhaling beckons. What’s worse, you were probably just watching “Asian Baby Eating Spaghetti.” 7. Jeff ’s misdemeanor arrest for public urination. So many things happened on Spring Break ‘96. I’m suprised this is all people remember. 6. Michael’s Twitter. @ConnieMuldoon isn’t even as funny as last week’s obituaries. Spare your followers the uncomfortable feeling of reading a tweet about how ‘souperb’ the chicken noodle is at the local brothel. At least you don’t have a Tumblr. 5. Jeff ’s pre-teen musical preferences. Destiny’s Child... Michelle Branch... N*Sync... You’re like a 12-year-old girl with temporary tatts and a band shirt your Daddy bought you. We don’t understand how these tastes are coupled with screamo and dubstep, too. 4. Michael’s obsession with Zach Galifianakis. Okay we get it, he tickles your fancy. But seriously, it wouldn’t be that surprising if you let him tickle your tummy too. Draw the line somewhere. 3. Jeff ’s clothing. It’s time to move up from Baby Gap and OshKosh B’Gosh. Your bright green shirts and middle school rec baseball hat has got to go. You look like a fourth grader with patchy prepubescent facial hair. And what’s up with those capris? 2. Michael’s ‘weight problem.’ Seriously Michael, take care of yourself. Eating cheeseburgers is not a competitive sport (yet). 1. Our lame Top 11 column. What would you do with an eight-centimeter-wide column in the community’s most popular newspaper? Unfortunately, we use it for this stuff instead of for inspiring the young, rallying the old, or discussing latent political themes in ABC’s “Cougartown.”



20 Common Sense - May 5, 2011


Jeff Hilnbrand features editor

High School means High Pressure “Ugh, I’m so stressed!” has to be one of the most common phrases to leave a student’s mouth. But what exactly is stress? What does it do? What does it mean? Having a better understanding of stress can help you better

adjust to it, in turn improving your overall lifestyle. Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.

Supress the Stress Obviously, much of your stress comes from your own school habits. Procrastination and overcommitment can be changed with effort, but research has shown that stress is tangibly reduced in some ways that aren’t always expected. Play! Leisure can provide the necessary relief from intense stress. Also, deep belly laughter actually suppresses the body’s naturally occurring stress hormones and boosts the immune system. Relax... Whether with meditation, reading, yoga or listening to music, relaxation allows the mind to reset, increasing focus and morale while reducing stress. If it

hasn’t been drilled into your head already, sleep is probably the best way to lower stress-levels and reinvigorate your body, but some sleep benefits can be acheived while awake through designated relaxation. Finally, take a load off. Your guidance counselor will tell you that you don’t need to take six AP courses and be president of ten organizations. Be efficient, and the lessened stress will play out well in the long run.

Energy Drinkin’ Teresa Lewandowski staff writer There’s a test tomorrow, and you haven’t even cracked open your textbook. The stress is high, but luckily, you have all night to cram. You swing by Giant to grab a couple cans of Monster, then head home for an epic study session. While you may be getting some Vitamin A, this is no surefire A+. Energy drinks are full of sugar, an amount only rivaled by sodas like Mountain Dew, and it’s common knowledge that taking in too much sugar can only result in one thing: a huge crash. If you’re staying up late and drinking a Monster, you’re taking in 200 calories that you won’t be able to burn off. Studies show that it is actually healthier to drink a latte than a Monster or Red Bull. Additionally, the combination of caffeine, sugar, and chemicals creates a mixture that can make you jittery and nervous, not the kind of condi-

Effects on the Body

Stress goes beyond just emotional pressure, and can actually lead to physical effects in the body. Most of these changes are negative, but some can be positive. The human body is specifically engineered to experience stress, and to react and adapt to it. Stress can occasionally be positive, keeping people alert and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a

tion you want to be in when studying for a test. These symptoms make it hard to concentrate, actually decreasing your chances of retaining the information you’re memorizing. Sugar aside, the caffeine level in energy drinks is way above the FDA approved limit. Too much caffeine can cause stomach problems and make your heartbeat irregular. Instead of an energy drink, which has roughly the same nutritional value as a liquified bowl of skittles, drink coffee. You’ll be more aware of the amount of caffeine that you’re putting into your body (most energy drinks don’t even list this on their nutrition facts). Even better, drink water. Suprisingly, water has been proven to boost your energy level and wake you up. It’s definitely healthier than either coffee or an energy drink. So next time you’re up late studying, think twice before reaching for that Red Bull.

person faces continuous challenges without relief. As a result, the person becomes overworked, and stress-related tension builds. Without eventual relief, stress can lead to distress. Distress can result in physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.

Stress can’t turn hair gray, but it can cause hair loss. Hair loss can begin up to three months after a stressful event. Stress-related inflammation, not a rise in sebum (oily substance in skin), causes most acne problems. Pupils dilate during stress to gather more visual information about a situation. The stress hormone cortisol not only causes abdominal fat, but it also enlarges individual fat cell.

Not-so-Fun Facts

43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.

75-90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually. The most stressful jobs are surgeons, commercial airline pilots, journalists, advertising account executives, and real estate agents. The least stressful jobs are actuaries, dietitians, astronomers, systems analysts and software engineers.

s you e k a t m at school? a Wh sed es r t s Grades

Homework Extracurricular Activities Looming Tests * results based on a survey of 100 students


Daniel Wadler editor-in-chief Do you ever experience lengths of time during which you just can’t stop smiling? It’s like realizing that in only four months you’re actually going to be moving into your new home in WinstonSalem, N.C. and shaking the hand of your new best friend. You just can’t stop smiling. It’s like your debilitating senioritis desperately needs to be checked, but you just can’t bring yourself to lose sleep over it. (FYI: Just because you missed an NSL assignment does not mean you’ve developed “premature senioritis.” I made the same mistake when I was an underclassman. Trust me, genuine senioritis is far worse than anything you could ever imagine.) You just can’t stop smiling. It’s like you’ve eaten dinner in a fancy restaurant that’s now offering dessert options, but you can’t decide between the pistachio ice cream and the Bananas Foster. You go with the simple solution; you order them both and mix them together. You just can’t stop smiling. It’s like you’re starting to believe you actually are funny, because that’s the only fathomable explanation as to why the girl who agreed to go to prom with you still hasn’t realized she’s better looking than you. (I’m just kidding: I’ve always believed I was funny). You just can’t stop smiling. Wait. I’ve just been informed that this may very well be my last installment of “Waddle This Way.” I stopped smiling. Don’t for a second think that I’ve been rambling for half this column just because I want to fill up space. I’m really going to miss writing these things. Not to mention, there’s a plethora (last SAT word of my high school career) of information that I owe to all of my loyal readers. All two of them. For example, none of you know the story of how I came up with the title “Waddle This Way.” (You want to hear the story? It’s a play on my last name. Another editor gave me the idea. Wasn’t that a great story?) And none of you know about any of the conspiracies, either. I’m not at liberty to tell you any details, so just take my word for it that if there were a secret message in this column, you certainly couldn’t uncover it by reading only the tenth word of the first five paragraphs. But cry not for me, Wootton, and have no fear, for I have indeed found a suitable replacement. I have found a man who’s just a bit shorter, but is just as funny and a lot less conceited. I’d like to dedicate the final paragraph ever of my column to Evan Rindler! Congratulations, and may you take this flipside to new heights!

Vol. 40 Issue 9  
Vol. 40 Issue 9