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Senior Sadia Bangura optimistic about future after Sierra Leone hardships, p.


Volume 13 Number 3 James Hubert Blake HS Silver Spring MD December 17, 2010

Senior wins scholarship for I [never

felt] like
overcoming family hardship it was a
Mugge beats the odds after mother burden
suffers unexpected brain aneurism ...the
xby Somala Diby the unforeseen nature
of his mom’s condition,
Most seniors are at a transitional stage in their
lives. They try to determine who they are, what their
Mugge was able to bounce
back from the trauma he
aspirations are and where their passions lie. However,
for senior Nick Mugge, this transitional period was sty-
faced to help her.
His resilience was
mied when he woke up one morning to find his mother
lying unconscious on her bedroom floor.
awarded November 9,
when he was recognized
He later discov-
had suffered a ruptured
ered that she
brain aneu-
as a Children’s Defense
Fund (CDF) Beat the Odds
be giving
rism and a stroke that rendered her
scholarship recipient. As a
finalist, Mugge, along with
up my
ed. De-
four other high school se-
niors who have surmount-
social life
spite ed immense adversity, will
receive $10,000 every year Senior Nick Mugge beat the pictured with girlfriend,
for her.
throughout college. The odds, enjoying time with his senior Jamie Tran. --photos Nick Mugge
scholarship also provides mother (bottom left). Mugge by Aron Crews
recipients with a laptop
computer - a cherry on top to the significant fi- As her condition improved, she was moved from the
nancial support they will receive for college. ICU into the hospital. She was able to move and speak
“[Winning the award] felt awesome,” says but required the aid of a tracheostomy and a gastric
Mugge. “I feel like I really deserved it.” feeding tube to eat and breathe. The aneurism and
June 2, 2008, Mugge’s mother was stroke were unforeseen because she had never endured
admitted to Montgomery General Hospital any prior serious health risks. Adds Mugge, “She was
in Olney shortly after Mugge discovered probably the healthiest person in my family. Everyone...
her unconscious. At the hospital, a brain would get sick except her.”
scan revealed a large aneurism in her head. Despite the somewhat overwhelming flash-flood
She was immediately flown to Washington of his mother’s condition, Mugge was prepared to take
Hospital Center in Washington DC, where, care of her. On a typical school day, he goes to school
after more tests, a stroke on her brain stem while his mother sleeps. In the morning and early
was discovered. She then underwent a six- afternoon, his grandfather arrives at his house to feed
hour surgery in which the stroke, along her to give her medicine. Once Mugge gets home, he
with a piece of her skull, was removed. feeds her, empties her commode chair and adminis-
Mugge’s grandmother, who knew he ters her medicine, which consists of four to five pills
had final exams that day, drove him back to that prevent seizures, and stabilize her heart rate and
school from Montgomery General Hospital blood pressure. “I got used to was something I
to allow him to complete his exams. After had to do,” says Mugge. “I [never felt] like it was a
school, he joined family at Washington burden.”
Hospital Center to support his mother, who At the end of his work day at the NASA Head-
was stable but on life support. quarters in Washington D.C., Mugge’s father comes
A few days later, she sustained home to help him take care of her. The responsibility
another surgery where her aneurism was is especially hard on him on Fridays and Saturdays
clogged in order to prevent it from burst- because his father works at his mother’s shop until
ing. Mugge did not see her opened eye midnight. “The toughest thing would probably be giv-
again until she awoke in the Intensive Care ing up my social life for her,” says Mugge.
Unit (ICU) from a two-month long coma. Continued on A2

Staff notices negative trend in homework habits, test preparation

by Delilah Gates the drop in studying to the new Montgomery has her own theory to explain the trend in because I don’t feel like the test is hard
x & Blaire Hoffman County Public Schools (MCPS) reassess- students which she calls “fall fatigue.” She enough for me to study.” The last time
ment policy which allows students to retake believes students get overwhelmed with Lodenquai admits to seriously studying was
Teachers worry about grades as tests/quizzes when they do not perform well all their responsibilities outside of school in ninth grade, but he realizes the impor-
students succumb to a recent trend of poor the first time. Mr. Fribush adds, “The risk (work, friends and sports), so that they don’t tance of studying. “If I did study, I would
study habits marked by neglecting to pre- of not studying is very low.” have any energy left for their school work. probably have less free time but surely my
pare for assessments and rushing to do last Other teachers believe the trend “Doing less schoolwork to get a ‘break’ grades would go up,” says Londenquai.
night’s homework. derives from students spending more time from the pressure then leads to more pres- “I’m pretty sure I will study more in college,
Faculty have especially noticed a with their friends and getting too caught up sure,” says Mrs. Power, “which leads in turn especially with the bigger work load.”
decline in students’ willingness to put forth in technology. Photography teacher Sara to yet a stronger urge to get a ‘break’ from In light of the raised concerns, some
effort to get a good grade. Math teacher Hartenstine says, “In my classes, they prefer the pressure, and the cycle spirals down.” teachers like Mrs. Power have tried to com-
Jared Fribush says, “I think that preparation to stay after school than give up their lunch Says junior Dontava Lodenquai, bat the trend by implementing a “no new
for assessments – quizzes in particular – has time with their friends.” “Most of the time I don’t study because homework” reprieve for students to help
been on the decline for years.” He attributes Science teacher Elaine Power of lazi- ness or just them get back on track.

IN THIS ISSUE Pep Rally excites HBCUs give se-

Hair weaves gaining students for winter niors great oppor-
popularity, page C7 sports, page A4 tunities, page A2
Freshman David Cao immigrates from China to pursue his interest in the arts, p. E1
A2 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat
HBCU fair offers
senior admissions
African American students
receive information about
attending universities
x by Kemi Olowoofayoku
Students will have the opportunity to explore and gain
new information regarding colleges at the annual Historically
Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) 101 at Montgomery
Blair High School’s auditorium this Monday from 6:30pm
to 8:30pm.
The fair is targeted towards high school seniors with the
intent of attending one of the 105 HBCUs in the nation. Most
colleges were established after the Civil War in an attempt to
create safe havens for African Americans wishing to further
their education. To this day, that tradition is still upheld.
HBCU 101 includes a panel discussion from former
and current college students targeted to inform prospective
students of HBCU life. “I’m really looking forward to talk-
ing to people who currently attend HBCUs,” says senior
Christyna Falden. “I want to know what it’s like from a real
person, not just a college brochure.”
The event also prepares students for future on-the-
spot admissions which have become a popular trend among
HBCUs in the past five years. Students will have the oppor-
tunity to put their practice to work February 1 when Lincoln
University visits Blake High School for its first on-the-spot
The first accredited HBCU, Lincoln University lo-
cated in Chester County, Pennsylvania is among the top
HBCUs. “On-the-spot admissions are a great opportunity
for students,” says senior Chelsea Nnadi. “They give you a
chance to get into college right then and there! There’s a lot
less pressure.”
Although the visit is mainly to admit students, presenta-
tions are offered for parents and students grades 9-12 at 6pm.
Interviews for seniors begin 6:30pm and are expected to be
completed by 8pm. A minimum GPA of 2.5, SAT score of
850 or ACT of 18 is expected for admission. To be considered
for scholarships a minimum of 3.0 and SAT of 900 or ACT Seniors Alexis Thweatt and Georgette Bondon make more about potential college opportunites at HBCUs
of 19 is required. a stop in Blake’s Career Center during lunch to learn around the country. -- photo by Aron Crews

Counseling department to train juniors to utilize college, career website

Naviance-Family Connection helps students, parents plan for future
by Tara McIntyre Says college and career coordina- keep on track. Students can research possible and parents, both will receive
tor Katherine Moore, “Once we This is not the first Naviance careers and then use the college important updates. “That is why
x & Leah Patterson introduce juniors to the program, training; the counseling depart- search feature. It also provides it is important to register both
Naviance/Family Connec- they are eager to return on their ment has used this as an oppor- personality tests, career profilers, student and parent emails,” adds
tion training for juniors will take own.” tunity for juniors for the past few scholarship opportunities and Ms. Moore.
place Tuesday and Wednesday The training will take place years. Some current seniors have “scattergrams,” that show accep- The bell schedule will re-
during World History classes to earlier on in the year, in hopes that taken advantage of this training tance history with particular col- main all-period and only the
help students understand how to it will encourage students to make and still utilize the college prepa- leges, and other resources to help juniors will be affected. During
use this resource for the college college visits later in the year. ration website during the rigorous build college resumes. their World History class, all of the
admissions process. “You can check your progress process. “It’s good because we Naviance also focuses heavily students will be required to attend.
During the training, students easily,” says senior Git-Yee Chu. have years of data [on Naviance],” on keeping the parents involved in Juniors who do not take World His-
will receive an access code for Since Naviance/Family Connec- says resource counselor Jean the process. During the training, tory, however, will be updated later
themselves and their parents. The tion can match you with colleges Smith. students will not only sign up, but by the Counseling Department. To
goal is to assist students with this that would best fit your interests, Naviance is a website de- will also learn how parents can visit the Naviance website go to
website, so students and parents students are encouraged to con- voted to helping students and register. Since Naviance requires
can use it in college planning. tinue using it after the training to their parents plan for the future. the email addresses of students fc/signin.php?hsid=blake.

Despite ongoing battle, student’s diligence continues to impress teachers

Family, friends admire endless strength, stability regardless of adversity
Continued from A1 interviewed by the CDF in September, he was selected to ability to empathize with others despite his own adversity.
Many, including guidance counselor Jean Smith, be a finalist. “He definitely knows what it’s like to suffer,” says Tran, “but
agree that he deserves the award. Mugge transferred to English teacher Leigh Tinsley, who caught wind of his [he’s still able] to feel compassion for others’ pain.” To view
Blake from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School at the situation after he turned in a narrative describing his life in a video profile on Mugge, visit http://www.childrensdefense.
start of his sophomore year as a result of financial burdens her AP Language and Composition class, wrote his second org/programs-campaigns/youth-development-leadership/
and transportation conflicts. Ms. Smith, his counselor, was letter. Mrs. Tinsley thought of Mugge as a quiet student, and beat-the-odds/
told of his situation at home during the process of enrolling was surprised when she read his narrative. “As a teacher, it’s Today, Mugge’s mother suffers with myoclonus, a
him at Blake. nice to get a kid like Nick to open your eyes as an adult and neurological condition involving sudden and brief involun-
Mugge’s predicament did not, however, hamper his make you realize there are different reasons for people being tary jerking movements of a muscle or group of muscles.
desire to achieve success. Since entering Blake, Mugge has silent,” says Mrs. Tinsley. “He found his voice in writing. In October, she underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS),
managed to remain in the top 10% of the senior class and It’s great for him to be able to have that outlet.” a surgery where electrodes are connected to the top of the
has shined as a member of the football and wrestling teams. The ceremony, sponsored by the CDF, was held at brain to stabilize body movement.
“Nick, walking in here was very quiet. I expected him to... the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington DC. At the Every two weeks, doctors adjust settings on a battery
coast through high school,” adds Ms. Smith. “But really event, Mugge’s story and award were presented by Geof- located under the skin of her chest in accordance with the
what he’s done is excelled.” frey Canada, a social activist and president and CEO of the configuration of wires in her brain. Her myoclonus has been
Ms. Smith nominated Mugge for the award near the Harlem Children’s Zone. His presentation was followed by slightly alleviated; however, the restoration of her overall
end of the last school year after hearing about his story. “I’m a speech by Mugge in which he thanked the CDF and all condition is not guaranteed.
proud of how he’s weathered this storm,” says Ms. Smith. those who have supported him. His parents, grandma, and Mugge plans on attending University of Maryland
“I’m impressed by a kid that’s grown into a young man and girlfriend, senior Jamie Tran, also attended the suit-and-tie College Park next fall where he will study either business
has done so without any resentment or ill-will.” event. Says Tran, “I’m immensely proud of him. When I was or prelaw. He will continue to live at home to support his
To complete the application, Mugge had to write an at the ceremony, it finally hit me that he actually won.” mother. Says Ms. Smith, “He has really set aside that self-
essay, and submit his transcript and two letters of recom- Mugge was the first to be awarded and had many in centered [teenage] mode...he’s taken care of his mother with
mendation, one of which Ms. Smith wrote. Soon after being the audience in tears, according to Tran. She admires his grace and love.”
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 A3
Film Study proves to be rewarding elective I see no
Mr. Kelley’s class gets second chance, cut revoked
x by Kristen Frese & Lucas Irvin
was reviewed to see if it was a valid course. Though many students found the reason
Mr. Berry says, “I think it has a tremendous course to be enriching, not all agree on the
Elective course Introduction to Film
Study was reviewed by Montgomery County
educational value; it’s part of an overall thing
of making students critical viewers.”
educational value of Introduction to Film
Study. Junior Bethany Davis* understood
to cut a
Public Schools and was expected to be cut
from next year’s curriculum, but will now
In Film Study, students analyze dif-
ferent genres, eras, and film directors , and
the reasoning behind the review, and did not
believe the course was academic, though she
class that
remain an offered course.
Film study teacher Michael Kelley re-
create multiple projects throughout the se-
mester. Many students sign up for the course,
did have fun. Says Davis, “I wish the class
was more connected to the making of movies enriches
ceived the news via e-mail and was shocked and Mr. Kelley believes it would have been and things I could apply to real life.”
and upset by the lack of definite reason for
the class cut. “If it was [reviewed because] it
a shame to turn down these interested teen-
agers. Says Mr. Kelley, “I see no reason to
Mr. Berry, along with many students,
believes that film is a form of art that needs
was just seen as an excuse to watch movies
all year,” says alum Daniel Pistolessi, “then
cut a class that enriches students and doesn’t
hurt anyone.”
to be appreciated. Says Mr. Berry, “Film is
an artistic realm of our society…you can gain and doesn’t
I vehemently disagree.” Senior Emma Semanyk took the class an appreciation of cinematography.” He adds
Principal Christopher Berry called the last year and found it to be an enjoyable that studying film teaches students to find the hurt anyone.
curriculum office and told them of the edu- learning experience. Semanyk adds, “It’s a subtleties within movies and says the course
cational impact that film study has on the arts rewarding class to take because not only do has gotten many students to understand film
and humanities program. Because the course you have a great teacher, but you get to take on a deeper level. Michael Kelley
was new, it was labeled a “pilot course” and movies into different perspectives.” *Name has been changed.

MC offers college credit course, allows students to get head start

College Scholars Program provides opportunities, chance to save money
by Sonia Polyzos
x & Andrea Rizkallah
Montgomery College (MC) will be offer-
ing courses to students beginning next year to
enhance the Advanced Placement (AP) courses
already at Blake.
Current sophomores with a cumulative
GPA of 3.0 and juniors with a 2.75 or higher are
applicable to participate in the College Scholars
Program and will receive college credit. Says ju-
nior Antonella Perez-Ferreo, “With this program,
people will be able to focus on classes that will
guide them to their career path for college.”
Bengals will be treated as college students,
attending class three times a week every Monday,
Wednesday and Friday for three hours total. Says
junior Jessica Perla, “It prepares you for college,
so you get a feel for the class.”
Letters have been sent out to academically
inclined sophomores and juniors to inform them
of this opportunity. So far, only ten students have
replied. “The biggest challenge is getting it up and
running,” says Resource Counselor Jean Smith,
“because once we get it started, it will fly.”
In fact, other high schools in Montgomey
County already have extensive collaboration
programs with MC, with as many as 100 students
in the program. With the most popular courses
such as Intro to Communications, hopes are that
involvement will boom here as well. “I think
people will be into it,” adds Ms. Smith.
Some concerns have been brought up,
especially for parents of these students who will
possibly participate in these courses. William Kis-
ter, father of sophomore Michael Kister, questions
if the classes offered, are set in stone. “There are
general classes, like philosophy and computer
applications, that aren’t specific. These classes
should be taken at Blake,” says Mr. Kister.
No matter which classes are taken, stu-
dents will save money thanks to grant funds and
cheap courses; three hours of class begin around
$427.20, and four hours cost $569.60. Says Mr.
Kister. “It’s a way for students to get started on
their college career.”

National Honor Society inducts, welcomes 43 new junior members

by Savannah Doane-Malotte yellow roses and membership pins after NHS; scholarship, service, leadership and acter, and how as members, these students
x & David Hylton shaking hands with Barlow, math teacher character. “[We stress] the importance of represent and are now accountable for the
and NHS faculty advisor Katherine Kodan living up to the four pillars,” says Mrs. well-being of Blake.
New National Honor Society (NHS) and principal Christopher Berry. Addition- Kodan. “We try to encourage members to Mrs. Kodan and Ms. Shepherd also
members were initiated into the reputable ally, the 43 fall and five spring inductees share their talents to make both Blake High gave personal advice to the inductees and
group Tuesday night at the annual Induc- recited the Membership Pledge, led by School and the community better.” shared testimonies of the significance of
tion Ceremony, a key event which marks being models, not only in high school,
the beginning of their term. but also in the real world. Musical pieces
The ceremony is a formal presenta- We try to encourage members to share were performed by junior Erica Wang and
tion of the new members in NHS. “The seniors Julia Maas, Shannon Wade and
Induction Ceremony is important because their talents to make both Blake High Brittany Hamson.
it not only shows students’ commitment “Fulfilling your duties is important,”
to the group,” says senior NHS President School and the community better. says Hua. “Essentially, you’re living up to
Lauren Barlow, “but [it] also allows us to the promises you made when you signed
recognize students who have worked hard
Katherine Kodan the book and became a member.” NHS
to be eligible and admitted to NHS.” senior Induction co-chairs Lily Hua and Mr. Berry gave a few remarks regard- members have leadership projects they
NHS faculty advisor and special Lea Diggs. ing the honor and responsibility of being complete during their junior and senior
education teacher Beth Shepherd called A candle lighting ceremony was per- a NHS member. Junior inductee Irene year, along with attending monthly meet-
each new member up to sign the member- formed by Barlow, along with senior NHS Lemberos says, “I thought his speech was ings, and tutoring a few times a semester. In
ship book, an official document that has officers Linda Powers, Queenies Nguyen really encouraging, and conveyed a really order to apply to NHS, students must have
been signed by all previous members of and Nicholas Arnold-Medabalimi. Each good message to us new members.” Mr. a 3.5 unweighted or 4.0 weighted GPA, and
Blake’s NHS chapter. They also received candle lit represented the Four Pillars of Berry emphasized the importance of char- must fulfill application requirements.
A4 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat

Top: The cheerleading squad performs at the Pep Rally with

enthusiasm and smiling faces, proving that they really are number
one. Center left: junior Devon Johnson and sophomore Jack Stern
show their excitement as they participated in a lively game of musical
chairs that had students fighting hard for the last spot. Center right:
Benny the Bengal and senior Rachel Cooper pose together after
the head-turning performance by the Poms Squad. Bottom right:
sophomore Kristopher Rogers and sophomore Scarlett Rodriguez
make a hard turn in the wheelbarrow race, while other teams race
ahead of them. -- photos by Aron Crews

Winter pep rally gets students excited for upcoming season

Teachers, athletes make big debut, bring school spirit back to A-C-T-I-O-N
x by Kristen Frese & Matt Present did their dance,” says sophomore Maddy Bruffy. “I Varsity basketball coaches Marcus Wiggins and Patricia
In efforts to get students excited for the upcoming loved seeing [science teacher Michael] Tomlinson and Gilmore introduced their players and talked about their
athletic season, the Leadership class organized a winter [guidance counselor Christina] Gelb whip their hair winter seasons to gain fan support in upcoming weeks.
pep rally which included performances and games, back and forth.” The Leadership class and Miss Gelb worked to-
December 3 during seventh period. English teacher Christopher Schenk got the crowd gether to make the pep rally possible. The class was in
The captains of each winter sport were introduced going when he displayed his athletic abilities by do- charge of running the rally and scheduling the perfor-
along with the Varsity boys’ and girls’ basketball teams, ing back handsprings and flips. Social Studies teacher mances. Says senior Linda Powers, “People were very
followed by performances by the step team, the drum Donna Phillips, who is new to Blake this year, also competitive, which made it a lot more entertaining to
line, cheerleading and poms. Students were given the participated in the dance., “I think it’s awesome that at watch.” Their next project will be Pennies for Patients
opportunity to battle the other classes by participating in Blake there would be eight teachers that would want to which starts January 28.
games such as the wheelbarrow race and musical chairs. do [it],” says Dr. Phillips, “[and] that there are students Students and teachers both agree that it was a
Says sophomore Lydia Curdts, “I’m glad we had [the that had the idea to showcase their teachers.” Dr. Phil- positive experience. “It was very successful and I’m
pep rally] because it was a good chance for kids to show lips was a cheerleader in college and was excited to definitely glad we had it,” says senior Lucas Frangou.
school spirit, other than just homecoming week.” perform again. “[The rally gave] everyone a little Bengal-spirit boost
Despite all of these exciting performances, a sur- The enthusiastic pep rally was a way to encourage in the dry spell between Homecoming and the end of
prise dance routine by the teachers stole the show. Many attendance at Bengal sporting events. Says sophomore the year.”
students found this choreography to be the best part of Matthew Weiss, “I feel like it got students pumped up “I had lots of fun and I would do it again in a
the pep rally. “My favorite part was when the teachers about school sports and it gave us a break from class.” heartbeat,” adds Dr. Phillips.
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 A5
Graduates return to inform students about college lifeThe alumni panel will include a parents to total independence.” college and the work force,” says Blocker.
x by Joal Chen & Janine Taira diverse group of graduates. “We try to pick Alumni Christopher Riley and Ni- “It’s good to get a young person’s perspec-
Graduates from the class of 2010 will students from a variety of schools,” says kisha Gordon are excited to participate in tive.”
return Thursday to discuss their post high Mrs. Moore. “We handpick who should the panel. Says Riley, “[I hope juniors and “I really would have loved to go to
school experiences with juniors and seniors be on the panel, and we’re looking for… seniors gain] an understanding of what to this presentation [when I was a student
during sixth period as part of the annual different types of schools [and] different expect from college life and [I want] to show here],” says alumna Kirsten Petersen, who
alumni presentation. types of students.” them that we did it so they can too.” will also join the panel. “It’s great to hear
Seniors will meet in the amphitheater Students must sign up in the Counsel- Gordon adds, “I want them to know from students who recently graduated about
and juniors in the black box theater. “It ing Office by Monday to get a pass for the the big differences between high school their college experiences. It helps you visu-
proves to be an event everybody enjoys,” presentation. Attendees are encouraged to and college.” alize yourself in college.”
says College and Career Coordinator Kathy prepare questions for the alumni, but each Junior Danielle Blocker plans to at- After the event, alums will have the
Moore, who planned the meeting. “It’s one graduate will have a prompt. Says junior tend the event. “As high school students, chance to socialize with one another in the
of the things that the alums really love to Rhea Wyse, “I would like to find out how we’re constantly bombarded with advice Career Center. Mrs. Moore also encourages
come back for.” to transition from total dependence on your from [adults] on what to do to prepare for staff members to visit the graduates.


Blake students came out December 7 to Cheeburger Cheeburger in Burtonsville Wade, senior Mia Browne, and senior Shelby Morales await their meals (top right ,
to participate in a fundraiser for After Prom 2011. From 5pm-9pm, the restaurant from left to right). Seniors Bridget Hawevermale and Catherine Burkhardt (bottom
donated 20% of its profits to the PTSA. Senior Aimee Kohorst, a Cheeburger left) show their support for After Prom. Senior Erin Yates, junior Sarah Prather
Cheeburger employee, takes a break from serving (top left). Freshman Riley and junior Maryangel Rodriguez (bottom right) enjoy Cheeburger Cheeburger’s
Cruickshank, junior Alex Morales, senior Delaney Cruickshank, senior Shannon famous milkshakes. -- photos by Aron Crews
A6 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat

I believe even Lack of funding creates setbacks for MCPS

with the cuts, we Budget shortfalls force classes, bus stops to be cut
will continue to x by Lily Hua
deductions, but most of them will come
from the salaries of MCPS employees.
wake up earlier in the mornings and walk
further to the next bus stop. “[My school
provide a world Montgomery County Public Schools
(MCPS) is forced to make budget cuts for
Some of the other possibilities are larger
student-to-teacher ratios and complete
bus] doesn’t come at any consistent time,”
says senior Mary Burke. “People are ei-
class education... the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school
years, due to financial issues affecting
elimination of smaller classes. Despite
all of this, Mr. Berry is firm in his beliefs
ther missing the bus, running to catch it,
or standing in the cold.”
Everything costs the county.
The economic situation within the
that this will not affect the quality of the
MCPS system. Says Mr. Berry, “I believe
Another cut was the elimination of
the Kids Ride Free program back in June.
something. This county is rough. With MCPS pushing
for more funding than can be provided
even with the cuts, we will continue to
provide a world class education.”
The program allowed students to ride the
Metro and Ride-On buses for free with
just reminds us by the county, the school system will
have to face the economic realities of the
Regardless of how well the school
system is trying to keep the diminishing
their student IDs from 2pm – 7pm on
weekdays. By terminating this program,
that we can’t have proposed $19 million in cuts. “Everything
costs something,” says principal Christo-
funding from affecting the students, it is
nonetheless beginning to see the effects
students who need transportation after
school are hindered from getting to and
it all. pher Berry. “This just reminds us that we
can’t have it all.”
of the budget cuts. One of the cuts took
a toll on the amount of school bus stops.
from activities such as volunteering or
sports. Says senior Alistair McLean, “For
There are numerous possibilities as Since there are fewer bus stops, students some, it’s the only way to go from Point
Christopher Berry to how MCPS will try to distribute these who have less populated stops have to A to Point B.”

Touch screen vending Says senior Evan Lipshultz, “The vending machine
is amazing. I love being able to choose from 100 different
combinations of drinks and [flavors].”

machine attracts all The way the vending machine works is simple. First
you touch the screen, selecting the soda brand you want:
The vending
Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite, etc. Then you select a flavor to machine is
New drink fountain go along with the soda. For example, if a customer chooses
Coke the next step is to choose between the flavors such amazing. I love
allows customers to as raspberry, vanilla, cherry or lime. Junior Jessica Perla
says, “It has so many options to choose from and it has the being able to
design their own soda craziest flavors.” The machine offers up to 106 flavors.
California Tortilla has found itself swamped with
customers just wanting to use the vending machine, which
choose from
x by Larisha Winley & Leisha Winley just became available for use December 1. “It’s really cool
to see and there’s usually a line of people waiting to get
100 different
California Tortilla, located in Olney, installed the
first touch screen vending machine in the area December
drinks,” says junior Matt Lipshultz, “but I was entertained
just watching people get their drinks.”
1 allowing customers to choose from over 100 different
flavors to add to their soda.
The machine is usually enjoyable for customers,
except for when it freezes up from the being overused all
of drinks and
Even though the vending machine has only been
operating for two weeks, it has gotten a lot of positive
day. However, this has not stopped patrons from returning
to use it. Perla, Evan and Matt Lipshultz have all visited
feedback. “We have had [customers] come in like six times California Tortilla more than once to use the machine.
a day…buzzing off the walls,” says assistant manager This particular touch screen vending machine is also Evan Lipshultz
Ashley McLellan. “[The response] has been overwhelm- available at the California Tortillas in Dulles, Virginia and
ing.” Potomac, Maryland.

Security assitant Stefan Dade, who has worked at Blake since the 1999-2000 school on his hands, Mr. Dade plans to pursue his hobbies and take time to travel during
year, will be retiring from the school system as of January 1. With more free time his retirement. -- photo by Cecilia Girolami

Mr. Dade to retire January 1, plans to enjoy his new-found free time
will forever remain in the hearts of parents, decades ago. “He’s given me lots of advice As with any other job, Mr. Dade also
x by Karen Vanegas staff and students. over the years related to managing kids or had to confront many ups and downs when
Security assistant Stefan Dade will Before coming to Blake, Mr. Dade was even my own stress in dealing with kids,” says dealing with the school. His favorite memories
officially retire from his longtime career a first grade detective at the Metropolitan Mr. Tyrell. “He’s a man of great conviction.” include the friends he made and the bell that
January 1, after 12 memorable years of valu- Police Department for 25 years. He retired Mr. Tyrell, along with others in the school, signals the end of the school day. His most
able enforcement and protection services to from the police department and soon after feel that Mr. Dade has truly helped them somber memory is of the student that was
the school. was employed. Security team leader Charles throughout the years. killed in the school’s parking lot.
Mr. Dade’s natural ability to connect Harper says, “Mr. Dade was arguably the face The investigative background Mr. Dade Regardless, the time for a farewell has
with students has made him a crucial staff of Blake Security, having served faithfully and brought with him was of great service to the come. Mr. Dade will now use his free time
member. “Whether students walk away from reliably since the second year the school was school. “If we had a mystery to solve, [Mr.] to enjoy his hobbies, travel and work around
a serious or not so serious conversation with in existence.” Dade was the man to solve it through patience, his house. Mr. Dade says, “During my time, I
him, they always know he cares,” says Prin- Assistant principal Rudy Tyrell worked determination and a critical eye for details, hope that I have... made a difference in their
cipal Christopher Berry. Mr. Dade’s charisma with Mr. Dade at Francis Scott Key about two both large and small,” says Mr. Harper. lives.”
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 A7

ker Sam Ja
y Ac latt
Cod Nia ca G
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n n n Star Game. Lagerlef and Kuhney led the Lady Bengals to on November 13, 2010. Students competed with actors
Reflections, a PTSA-sponsored program, is a con- their first state semifinals appearance and finished with a from other schools in various categories. The following
test in which students of all ages submit their own artwork 12-6 record, 4-1 in their division. students won first place in their categories: Junior Alexan-
to be judged in local, state, and national levels. dra Reeves in Prose Interpretation and Readers Theater,
The competition accepts art in six forms: dance n n n sophomore Emily Eaglin in Informative Speech, senior
choreography, film production, literature, musical com- Junior baseball standout Cody Acker was named Mark Fearson in Readers Theatre, and sophomores Jour-
position, photography, and visual arts. The theme for to the Maryland Pre-Season All-State Team. One of just dan Lewanda and Calvin Perry in Ensemble Acting. The
this year’s Reflections is “Together We Can.” Students three Montgomery County players, Acker continues the following student won third place in her category: senior
interested in entering original work should visit the PTSA streak of three-straight Blake players being named to Ashley Peters in Dramatic Interpretation. The following
website,, to review the guidelines for the 30-man roster. Acker tied or set four Blake baseball students are finalists: freshman Angela Mix in Poetry,
each art category and to access copies of the entry and records last year for most consecutive games with a hit sophomore Assoumou Diby in Dramatic Interpretation,
consent forms. The deadline for submissions is today. (15), most multi-hit games in a season (11), career field- sophomore Jourdan Lewanda in Prose and in Poetry,
ing percentage (98.5) and most improved batting average and junior Richard Muhammed in Children’s Literature.
n n n between seasons (.317). The junior also led Blake last The following students are Participating Team Members:
Senior captain outside hitter Meagan Lagerlef was year in batting average (.547), hits (29) and runs batted senior Nia Chin, freshman senior Surasree Das, freshman
named 1st Team All-County and sophomore outside hitter in (26) and helped lead the team to a 3A West Region Rebecca Glatt, sophomore Azalia Hernandez, sopho-
Franchesca Kuhney was named Honorable Mention All- Championship appearance. more Sam Jaffe, sophomore Matt Krieger, sophomore
County by The Gazette. Lagerlef was also selected as one Kristina Mitchell, sophomore Ryan Reynolds, and
of the top 24 seniors in Montgomery County to participate n n n freshman Faith Ore.
in the annual Montgomery County Coaches Senior All- Blake hosted the First Qualifying Meet for Forensics The next meet will take place January 29 at Blake.


December 17 December 20 December 22
CCBC Indoor Track Meet JV girls’ basketball vs. Damascus, MCPS Developmental Meet #1 at
at CCBC Essex, 4:30-8pm 5:15pm Prince Georges Sports and Learning
JV boys’ basketball vs. Paint Branch, JV boys’ basketball at Damascus, Complex, 3-9:30pm
5:15pm 5:15pm JV boys’ basketball at Einstein,
Varsity boys’ basketball vs. Paint Varsity girls’ basketball vs. Damascus,
Branch, 7pm 7pm
Varsity boys’ basketball at Damascus, JV girls’ basketball at Einstein,
Ice Hockey vs. RMR at Rockville #2 5:15pm
Rink, 9:50pm Varsity boys’ basketball vs. Einstein,
December 21 5:15pm
December 18 Varsity Wrestling vs. B-CC, 6pm
Varsity girls’ basketball vs. Einstein,
Varsity Wrestling vs. Damascus and
December 23
Ice Hockey vs. Blair Rockville #2
Sherwood, 1pm Rink, 6:15pm
Swim and Drive Team PTSA meeting, 7pm
at Rockville Municipal, 4:15pm Alumni Panel & Reception in am-
JV wresting vs. B-CC, 7pm phitheatre and black box theatre,
Seneca Valley Pom Competition, Instrumental Music Winter Pops Con- 12:30pm
10am cert, 7:30pm
A8 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat
Student hopes for lowered voting age to increase teenage political awareness, p. B2

Section B Section B James Hubert Blake

Blake High School
Beat Opinion December 17, 2010 December 17, 2010

Learn to be Survival tips

a pro at job for midterm
interviews madness
Make a good by Sammi Levitt
x& Savannah Tyrens
impression January may be the start of
a new year, but the fresh begin-
with bosses ning is never easy with exams just
around the corner.
Making your way through
x by Andrea Rizkallah midterm madness may be stress-
Talking to your parents is ful, but a New Year’s resolution
the one situation you’re put in to make the frustration go away
every single day; maneuvering and ace your exams simply won’t
around them usually isn’t that do the trick. Relieving stress may
difficult. But a job interview is seem impossible, but a few tips
something that only comes around can take you far.
every so often. Even the second or Want a get-out-of-chores-
third time around, everyone’s still free card? Well, it’s your lucky day
Cut this out because no parent will turn down
“I can’t do the dishes - I need to
and take it go study.” We may sound like
we’re joking but we’re serious;
with you to you don’t need the extra hassle
of mowing the lawn or taking out
your interview! the trash, you should be focusing
on your trigonomic functions and
the good ol’ periodic table.
a little rough around the edges. Lock yourself in a room:
But there’s a first time for you don’t need a social life. By
everything, and to make your the rare chance you get asked to
first time a little smoother, I have hang out during exam week, ask
some tips for becoming the best to form a study group instead.
interviewee your future boss will If you go out and party, you’ll
ever hire. wake up the next morning and
Do arrive on time. By on regret getting nothing done, but
time, I mean about ten minutes if you study, you’ll wake up and
early. To be early is to be on time. will finally have learned what
To be on time is to be late. To be
late is to be forgotten.
Do arrive prepared. “Pre-
pared” is only an eight letter
Midterms are
word, but it carries a lot of bag-
gage. Have all your paperwork
only one week
filled out neatly, take a few deep
breathes before you go in to relax
of your life, so
yourself, and have a few questions
to ask about the company and
don’t get all
about the job; it will make you
seem extra engaging.
riled up.
Do dress appropriately.

Students’ ambitions have been redefined

Seriously, no tight jeans, no 2+2 equals (and for those of you
baggy jeans, no tights or leg- who’ve partied, we’ll help you out
gings, no low cut shirts, no tank just this once: it’s four).
tops, no sneakers, no sweatpants
or sweatshirts. You get the idea. Doctors, lawyers, teachers? Forget about Start saving up, kids, be-
cause you are going to need to
Simple dress pants and a button
up looks good on everyone, and
is absolutely acceptable no matter
it: stardom is preferred desire for majority invest in a 99-cent stress ball. We
know, going to the hospital for
punching a hole in the wall can
where you interview. Scrolling through Maxim’s 2010 Hot 100, out
x by Sonia Polyzos of the first ten females on the list, half have had plastic
be fun, but you may just end up
Now for the don’ts: breaking the hand you need to take
Do not slouch: sit up “What do you want to be when you grow up?” surgery. And out of those five females, I’ve heard girls your exam. Stress balls actually
straight with your legs either Starting from when we were first potty-trained until now, complain about how they’re not as dramatically beautiful do work but if you are skeptical
crossed or together. we were asked this question as many times as we missed or as bootyliciously curvaceous as every single one of of their magic then show the wall
Do not lean toward your the toilet seat…and that’s a lot. these phony celebrities. some mercy, get a punching bag
interviewer or onto the desk if Well, sadly, the once logical answers like, “When But answer this question for me, ladies: would you instead.
there is one. I grow up, I want to be a gym teacher!” or mermaid or rather be known as the chick with the most crucial tan Midterms are only a week
Do not chew gum or make even stamp licker have faded into the gloomy past. 2010’s lines (after spraying on your “new summer glow” tanner), of your life, so don’t get all riled
loud, interrupting noises. modern answer: “I want to be like Kim Kardashian, Nicki or as the missionary who saved sick, dying, orphaned up over them. Take the time to
Do not have wandering Minaj, or Lindsay Lohan!” Yikes… children in India- and worldwide? I, for a fact, will have study; the date of the test is no sur-
eyes: maintain eye contact, listen Swiftly flipping through flimsy magazine pages to pass on the Oompa Loompa orange tan this time. prise and cramming only makes
to everything he/she is telling you nowadays involves running into images marauded with I’m not asking for every female that earns two the stress worse. Two weeks prior
and ask questions. boobies that look like two balloons have been jam-packed million dollars or more to disappear from stardom; I to the test, focus on what you need
Do not insert “and”, “uhm” with cement and squeezed under three-sizes -too-small just beg for teenage girls to up their bright perceptions help on, which may be a lot, so
or “uh” between every word you bikinis; or waists so small, they look like someone liter- of these starlets. There’s more to life than looking up don’t be afraid to ask your teach-
say. ally took a vacuum cleaner and sucked every ounce of to celebrities who chow down on one celery stick per ers for help.
Do not have your cell meat out of a poor girl’s frame. week or who get injections that pull their face back far Exams may be scary and
phone on. But the most despairing thing of all is that teenage into their brain. we’re not saying you shouldn’t
Go ahead, cut this out of girls actually want to be these silicone Heidi Montag Growing from facing obstacles; modeling positive be anxious about them, just dont
the newspaper and put it in your look-alikes, considering them the next big Oprah Win- choice-making; feeling comfortable with yourself: these let that get the best of you. Make
pocket before the big show and frey, the future Hillary Clinton or Mother Teresa. So are all aspects that should be considered in a role model. sure you’re prepared and have
review it briefly. You will be someone, please, save us all; I will consider dropping And no, that doesn’t mean growing the length of your ev- proper stress-coping techniques
hired and employee of the month off the face of the earth if Nicki Minaj becomes our eryday weaves, modeling your most orange tan, or feeling and maybe the exams won’t be
in no time. next president. comfortable thanks to your newest pair of breasts. as scary.
B2 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat
Teens have many responsibilities Teacher evalutations: an
but no rights to go along with them essential part of education
Senior argues government needs to Junior believes ability to provide
pass bill, lowering voting age to 16 feedback at the end of semester
x by Nia Chin legalized voting age, and I’m not the only

In the land of the free, the Modern Rights Association, or NYRA, is a youth would improve overall schooling
one who thinks so. The National Youth

Era, or the society of today, we have arrived led national non-profit organization, in- and where they need to improve. Maybe
at a place where status quos have shaped corporated in 1998, dedicated to fighting x by Matt Present a teacher will find out that many students
our lives and double standards have limited for the rights and liberties of young adults. There are many teachers at Blake that need to have more of a visual approach than
them. One of the biggest double standards Located in all 50 states, the establishment are dedicated and incredibly knowledge- an auditory approach. Maybe a teacher will
we have come to know is the limitation of promotes change in unfair stipulations able in their subject area. However, for see that the class understood one unit really
the age as it relates to registered voting. which have been placed on teenagers. every good teacher there is a bad teacher, well, but struggled to understand another.
Over the decades, our In 2006, NYRA mem- teachers who are lazy and The point is that if teach-
patriotic country has perse- bers convinced New York
vered rights like freedom of Lowering City councilmember Gale
careless when it comes to
our education. It would ers are unaware that there is a
problem, they will not be able
speech and voting rights. Brewer to pass a bill, which
From the time that teens the voting lowered the voting age to
Some teachers have
a difficult time making the help to solve it and do a better job
teaching their future students. It
reach high school, to the mo- 16 for community elections.
ment when they head off to age would This change can put teens
material easy to understand
or the teachers who give teachers is our obligation as responsible
students to provide this feedback
college, they are pressured one step closer towards a
with adult responsibilities. present an higher ethical and govern-
busy work instead of home-
work. It is time that Blake by giving since it will help teachers just like
we would want them to help us.
In juvenile courts, the youth ment system.
are often judged to be ac- opportunity At age 18, teenagers
provides a way for students
to let their teachers and the them They give us grades and com-
ments on our assignments and
countable, responsible, and move out of their com-
mature. Yet when it comes to for more fort zone, and are quickly
administration know what
they think, allowing students feedback we would be doing the same for
their teaching.
more practical affairs like vot- plunged into new, unfamil-
ing, teenagers are considered political iar places. Suddenly, the
to play their part in improv-
ing education at Blake. We to improve Evaluations are used widely
and effectively amongst colleges
imprudent and senseless little thrill of being a first time
children. What twisted minds awareness voter is coupled with all
need teacher evaluations.
Teacher evalua- their and universities, so why can’t we
use that same system? By giving
created the rule which allows that is adulthood. It’s really
one to have adult responsi- among no surprise many first time
tions are the key to better
education. It would help teaching feedback we could make learning
easier for students who follow in
bilities, but not rights? Appar- voters feel apathetic towards
ently, we’re overruled. teenagers. politics; before 18, most
teachers by giving them
feedback to improve their methods. our footsteps. They would have
the opportunity to receive a bet-
Just like every other teenagers are alienated from teaching methods. Teacher ter education from teachers, who
American adult, young adults it. Lowering the voting age evaluation should take place may have considered students’
pay taxes. In fact, teens pay would present an opportu- at the end of each semester since many evaluations.
an estimated 9.7 billion dollars in sales nity for more political awareness among students have different teachers and classes. Students, understand the importance
tax alone. In addition, 80% of high school teenagers. The government will be the first There should be two copies of each evalu- of teacher evaluation for the improvement
students have jobs at some point before to say “the children are the future.” Adults ation: one for the teacher and one for the of education, and take action. Talk to your
graduation. The worst part is that working claim they have interest in the needs and administration. That way if there is a recur- teachers, your counselor or your grade
teens have no say over how much is taken ambitions of teenagers, but still we stand ring problem it can be addressed. administrator and tell them that there is
out of their paychecks. So much for taxa- together, unable to vote. The only way Teacher evaluations should be one easy way to improve the quality of
tion with representation. democracy can work is if people, young uniform throughout the school with ques- education at Blake: establish teacher evalu-
In my opinion, 16 should be the and old, are active participants. tions highlighting what teachers do well ations.
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 B3
Being grounded defined
differently for all; more
severe for some students
Parental interpretation of
punishment ranges from
non-existent to destructive
x by Britney Stuart Friday is your best friend’s
birthday party, yet Saturday
“Megan, you are grounded for your boyfriend wants to take
two weeks, no social events, phone, you out for your 2nd year an-
TV or laptop.” niversary - which one do you
This punishment is just one choose? Oh, and of course
example of what a typical ground- to make things even more
ing for a high school student would complicated - both will be
be. But has anybody ever thought: devastated if you do not hang
what if grounding had a completely out with them. Restriction can
different meaning? Interpretations of come very close to ruining a
this word could be taken in multiple, social life.
bizarre directions depending on your Last, there is that poor
parent. child who is grounded for
For the fortunate child, ground- life- whose social life is being
ed could simply mean “you are being burned in flames. This is by far
watched over.” This might seem the worst, most horrible stage
ridiculous, yet I have surprisingly and leaves few survivors. Now
witnessed this so-called “punish- obviously, a parent rarely ever
ment” in complete jealousy. Some of says, “You are grounded for the rest
my friends have been allowed to go of your life.” It is more likely your
to parties, concerts, movies, friends’ parent will say, “You are grounded
houses; the list is endless- while until you get your driver’s license and
they are “grounded.” Apparently as complete your college applications.”
long as they are being “supervised,” But everyone knows how long these
everything is acceptable. This bril- two processes take. Could take a
liantly constructed consequence is month… a year… even two years!
totally unfair. But why would parents ever
Next comes the average child, ground their child for that long? course,
the one under “restriction.” Accord- Normal justification might be “Oh… but gen-
ing to my parents, the definition of Megan received bad grades” or erally kids
being restricted is only going out “She drank at a party,” but there are these days
one night each weekend. In fact, I always those distorted answers such just become
am writing this article as I am con- as “She took her sister’s cardigan” punished for
fined in my home on a Friday night or “He is on the phone too much.” seemingly trivial
restricted. During the in-between Parents should not severely punish things and sometimes
stage, the child has some privileges, their child for something trivial or just out of the blue. So next
yet freedom barely exists. something that is common amongst time your friend tells you that
Restriction is by far the most us teens. she’s grounded for life, have a little
frustrating stage as well. What if There are exceptions of sympathy.

Britain celebrates engagement, ready to embrace new princess

Prince William proposes to longtime girlfriend with mother’s ‘cursed’ ring
Diana herself, and Prince William stated that he felt it was the having found her love, Dodi Al Fayed. Her life and death were
x by Tatiana Hetherington right thing to do. a tremendous tragedy and if it were me proposing, I wouldn’t
No one can forget the tragic death of Princess Diana of But was proposing with a ring that brought his mother bad want anything to do with that unfortunate ring. I would want
Wales. For years, the tragedy of her death has hung over Eng- luck in both marriage and divorce the right thing to do? to remember the positive events in her life and that ring was
land. But thanks to the recent engagement of Prince William and Looking back on her life, I have to disagree. The ring did just not part of it.
his longtime girlfriend, Kate Middleton, the people of England not bring joy to the princess so how could it bring happiness to Prince William could have chosen anything else that he
can once again rejoice. the Prince William and his fiancée? Princess Diana’s marriage felt well represented his mom. I’m sure during her lifetime,
Talk about the wedding of the century has spread all tragically ended on August 28, 1996, when her husband, Charles Princess Diana had accumulated a good amount of jewelry
over the world. However, rumors have started to surface over Philip, Prince of Wales, was found to have been in a long time which would have made a perfect and meaningful gift. When
the engagement, but rather the ring Prince William used to affair with Camilla Parker Bowle, now Duchess of Cornwall. getting married, one usually hopes for fortune, not misfortune;
propose to his now fiancée. The ring belonged to Princess Not only that, but the princess died soon after finally I just hope the latter won’t happen to the new royal couple.
B6 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat
Death of Merriam-Webster brings birth of Urban Dictionary
Slang words “lyk3 dis” devalues “da” education we once strived for
with abbreviations and grammatical errors, idioms does not reel me in to believing different things, and when teachers are
x by Caroline Pledger & Isak Shah enough to make Strunk and White turn in that you are worth dating, any more than no longer “Mr.” or “Mrs.” but “son” or
The past several decades have de- their graves. Even worse, our pop-culture’s a worm on a hook would. Pick-up lines “dawg.” At this point, “homonym” could
faced the purity of the English language festering stupidity now lives on in recorded heard throughout the hallways are often actually be perceived as a pejorative for a
beyond repair, dealing fatal blows and form, with asinine words like “bootyli- ill-thought out and offensively awful. And member of the LGBT community.
bringing about an inevitable and untimely cious” or “refudiate” (created by Sarah thanks to the nature of today’s speech, it is But if you’ve gotten this far and still
demise. Palin,) being granted access into a once now a compliment to call someone’s back- see nothing wrong with your maneuvering
While we cannot truthfully say highly sacred dictionary. side “fat” and make animalistic, sloppy kiss of the written word, think back to your
that we were not duly warned by George Such laziness has never been as noises at their retreating “donk.” constant blind operation of the synonym
Orwell, our perspective as bystanders is disturbing as the way we can seamlessly It seems that Prince Charming now option on Microsoft Word - making your
excruciating. incorporate “ain’ts,” “da’s” and expletives rides in a “Chevy with the butterfly doors” essays sound “smarter.” Your reliance on
To the terror of many, slang and col- where they simply do not belong. It is as- and wants a “shawty,” not a princess. And the spell check feature to make your actual
loquialisms now dominate the streets, as tounding how one thing can lead to another thanks to the inventions of “ridonkulous” writing skills more sophisticated usually
verbose vocabularies hide in the shadows, and how all of a sudden we simply feel and “unbeweavable,” we, as a species, results in a gigantic flop.
and spelling books are trapped in a time the need to leave off every syllable except have been able to completely annihilate So heed our words and expand your
where a world class education was once maybe the first two. comprehension as we know it. vocabularies, because if you aren’t careful,
something worth striving for. On another note, reducing a woman The world will end when “too,” you could end up like this: $0 !f u rN+ c@
School children produce essays rife down to “BAIT” and other demeaning “two,” and “to” cease to mean entirely r3FuL u cUD 3nd ^ L!k3 d!$ <3

Loophole found in Montgomery County’s Excused Absences policy

State of Emergency causes State of Confusion for staff and students
people be excused. But that hours of 7:25am and 10am, and emergency if Justin Bieber came teachers to get to school.
x by Samara Tu doesn’t make any sense. If there everyone in Maryland was rush- to Maryland and sang “Baby” on What if Michael Sorrentino
Look at page 13 in your were a terrorist attack, people ing to get one. Could that be a top of a school bus in the intersec- aka “The Situation”, took his shirt
agenda book. Read the Excused wouldn’t need an excused ab- state emergency? I mean, cars and tion of New Hampshire Avenue off at the National Mall, and ev-
Absences. You’ll notice the ba- sence; school would be closed. school buses would be stuck in and Norwood Road? I mean ev- ery girl in every county rushed to
sic reasons for being excused: see his supposedly hot body. This
illness, death in the immedi-
ate family, yadda-yadda-yadda,
But let’s say Apple was giving away Macs would cause a situation with the
police, who would try to control
hazardous weather conditions,
yadda-yadda-yadda, “state emer-
between the hours of 7:25am and 10am, the pushing and shoving, and the
streets would be crowded with
gency”…wait. State emergency?
You’re probably thinking, “Oh.
and everyone in Maryland was rushing to get cars rushing to get down to the
Well, I guess I have my reason
for missing school today.”
one. Could that be a state emergency? These are the factors Mont-
gomery County and the atten-
Well, apparently not. “State dance office should consider; you
emergency,” as defined by our Well, I’m not going to question bumper-to-bumper traffic all day, ery fan would ditch school to lis- never know when these things
attendance office would be when what is listed in the agenda and every student in Montgomery ten to his prepubescent voice and will happen. But until they agree
our state of Maryland is in a cri- book. County would be trying to get a the streets would be crowded with to these possible situations as a
sis or urgent situation such as a But let’s say Apple was Mac instead of taking a test on screaming Blake fans. It would be state emergency, people, don’t
terrorist attack. Only then could giving away Macs between the derivatives. Could there be a state impossible for buses to pass and use these excuses in your notes.
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 B7
Guide to getting
best out of worst
holiday presents
x by Isaac Appel
The winter holidays are here; bringing
presents encompassed in glorious wrapping
paper just begging to be ripped apart. All
that excitement goes right into the fireplace
when you open that present to find a scratchy
wool sweater your grandma knitted for you
or that awesome board game that says ages
three and up. And don’t forget those jolly
Santa socks.
The real Ho-Ho-Ho-rrendous part of
all this is pretending to like the gifts and won-
dering secretly to yourself how to dispose of
them. Traditionally, ways to get rid of the gifts
are to re-gift them to another lucky person, or
to return them back to the store. But thinking
outside the gift box, there are more captivat-
ing ways of coping with these presents.
If you are the unlucky chap this Holi-
day season to get that sweater, here’s what
you can do: Don’t keep the sweater and waste
your WoolLite on it! We’re in a recession;
save those pennies! A sweater was designed
to keep you warm, right? Well throw that baby
in the fireplace and light it up. This winter
season is going to be cold, and your house
could use some heating. You’re using the
sweater the way it was designed for, warmth.
All that excitement
goes right into the
fireplace when you
open that present
to find a scratchy
wool sweater.
Watch those beautiful flames, and say burn
baby burn. You’re happy the sweater is gone
and momma is happy she saves on her heating
bill. Everyone wins!
People who get cologne/perfume for
the Holidays are a special case, because
someone thinks you stink. Worst off, they’ll
buy you a bloody awful smelling cologne/
perfume to mask your stinky stench. Now

New gamers miss out on quality classics

first, take a shower and use soap…lots! But
you still need to get rid of the gift, what to
do? Keep it on you at all times, because when
you’re out; about to be approached by some- device that eschews good gameplay for fancy The games from this virtual Golden
one who you aren’t even slightly interested x by Miles Johnson hardware. Era will keep you entertained for days with
in, you need an escape. Whip out the gift and Unbeknownst to the young gaming And what about those normal games their intricate puzzles and storylines. If you
spray yourself ferociously, covering yourself population today, consumers are buying into still being released for the Xbox 360 and haven’t played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina
in that terrible stench, the person should run a scam of huge proportions: buying sub-par PlayStation 3? Well, if a game isn’t being of Time, start there. This work of art is the
away fast. If they decide to stay and stick it videogames. marketed as a ploy, it is probably extremely quintessential adventure role-playing-game
out for unimaginable reasons, you, my friend, First off, systems these days just rely violent. Just look to the new release, Call of and is considered by many one of the best
have a stalker and should call for help. on cheap gimmicks rather than solid game Duty: Black Ops. This game has one objec- games of all time. high-def blood and gore.
To those unfortunate few who get play. The hottest new game for the Xbox tive- shoot anyone in your way- and unfortu- If you’re into shooters go for the James
those festive holiday socks and don’t want Kinect, Kinectimals, is entirely made up of nately, this gets old after just a few missions. Bond-based Goldeneye, which lets you take
to be walking around with Santa legs, here waving your hands in front of your TV, to It’s hardly worth spending $50 on. out communists Rambo style without vomit-
is what to do with them. Keep them in your pet and groom a virtual pet. Last I checked For under $30, anyone can get a full inducing high-def blood and gore.
pockets or on your person and when someone grooming pets was an unfortunate chore, not working Nintendo 64 off eBay- with two The tech-savvy times have advanced
tries to shake your hand or tries to hand you a source for fun, and that barely makes up controllers and a myriad of games. These gaming, but in the wake the integrity and
something, quickly put the sock on your hand for its $40 price tag, plus a whopping $150 games are certified classics that I guarantee mesmerizing characteristics were lost. So
and make them feel awkward. They won’t for the Kinect system. Following in the Wii’s will give you more mental stimulation than my advice this holiday season- spend winter
know what to do. footsteps, the Kinect is another overpriced anything you can buy off shelves today. break with the classics.
Smell that folks? That isn’t the aroma
of the plastic Christmas tree in your family
room; it’s the scented candles that you have
been given yet again. Don’t forget the candles
Slang defines members of an ethnic or other minority
group, often as a result of social or eco-
nomic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.”
phrases like “that’s my manz” or “that’s not
rockin” are what adolescents today have
adapted as their daily dialogue.
little helper, the candle holder. This festive
duo gets thrown into your closet year after
year, making it smell like the Yankee Candle,
new language These days people normally use “ghetto” as
an adjective to describe loud and obnoxious
Here are some common transition
words and phrases that have come in and
out: stop joking = aye yo kill/ kill Moe;
x by Sarah Mansaray There are slang terms that have been “light skinned girl” = “yellow bone;”
almost knocking you unconscious every time
around so long that people do not even substance abuser = “unk;” not happening
you open it. Well now the days of dizziness
How do you go from saying “isn’t it realize that what they are saying makes no = “dead;” attractive person = “bait;” upset
are over.
just nifty that these knickerbockers fit?” to sense. Saying phrases like “what’s up” or = “salty;” making something bigger than
You’re at home alone and you hear a
“dude that concert was totally radical!” to “whaddup” to someone is a common way what it is = “sice;” you’re being too obvious
noise. Now you’re worrying if an intruder is
“aye son you straight loafin - you need to of asking how someone is doing. Or calling about something = “you’re makin’ it hot;”
in the house. Round the mass of candles into
stop sweatin’ my new kicks and get with someone your “son” or “shawty” is like calm down = “fall back;” disgusting = “tri-
a bag, carry it with you, and when you think
it cuz cuz.” calling them your friend; but if nothing’s fling;” secretly = “on the low;” big buttocks
you’ve found the intruder throw the bag of
Slang has impacted society to the up in the air and they are not your child or = “clappas;” cool = “slammin;” etc.
candles toward the foe. Then run in throwing
point where nouns have become adjec- shorter than you, what you are asking does For a long time, mankind has used
the candle holders at the fool, but don’t get
tives and phrases that would have been not make any sense. improper language to make communica-
carried away because you might find your pet
seen as improper have been incorporated Phrases that completely contradict tion easier. But as time goes on, I’ve been
is now severely traumatized.
into the everyday use in people’s lives. For the meaning of the literal phrase are be- inclined to “smh” (“shake my head”). How-
Next time you get a crappy holiday
example, the word “ghetto” is a noun and is coming the norm these days: “I be going ever, I can’t complain that much – if I grew
present, don’t waste your time returning it
defined, according to, as a ham while shawty upgrade from bologna.” up during a time where saying things like
or re-gifting it –no one wants it anyway. Use
“section of a city, esp. a thickly populated Well unless you’re making a sandwich that “groovy” and “swell” were cool, I might
these clever ideas to help you get through the
slum area, inhabited predominantly by also makes no sense. Furthermore saying have had to “plead the fifth.”
holiday season.
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 B8
The James Hubert Blake administration, faculty & staff
congratulate these students on making 1st Quarter Honor Roll
9th GRADE Maryam Outlaw Anna Haley ANTHONY BUI Matthew Present James Halpin
Michelle Adompo Melanie Outtarac Antony Harris Nicole Byrd Zachary Radov Sidra Hamdani
Alexis Afamefune Bryan Park Funmilola Harris Javian Caceres Erica Ragland Brittany Hamson
Claudia Alarco Nicholas Park Vivian Henderon Selena Castillo Andrea Ramirez Kelly Hanlon
MARY ARONNE Estefania Perez Brittany Herbert MAN CHAN Tai Ramsey Madison Hawkes
Paule Bahi Victor Phimphachanh Azalia Hernandez Joshua Chang Shardae Rawlins Bridget Hawvermale
Hunter Balog Wendy Pintado RACHEL HEWITT Joal Chen Brooke Rehman Anna Hinden
Nicole Barriga Samuel Preza Olivia Hubbard Charles Cheng Elizabeth Ann Reyes Blaire Hoffman
Zachary Bartlett Jeremy Radov Jodeh Huleis Hiu Chiu Samuel Rivera LILY HUA
Sean Bartley Julian Raul Jane Hwang Mark Cirincione Jahmila Roberts NICHOLAS HUNG
Gregory Bell Angel Renniger Samantha Ignacio Emmanuel Clarke Maryangel Rodriguez Avery Hunter-Hackney
JULIA BELL Maiah Richards Francesca Inman Samantha Comer Ryan Romig DYLAN HYSEN
Adam Beuttler Micah Richards Sierra Jackson Cameron Constantine Ghulam Sallman Jeremy Iocozzia
Rebeca Bonilla Marquis Robinson Karen Jacob MIYA COOK Amanda Salmon Mikhail Iriarte
Grayson Boone Ezra Roschu Samuel Jaffe Courtney Cristaldi Alison Scher You Na Jung
Sarah Bridegum Matthew Russell Anton Jeter Giancarlo Curzi Matthew Siegel Alexander Kahsay
TORIE BROER Austin Ryan Konner Johnson Phuc Vu Dang Andrew Simmons Zachary Kaye
Remington Brooks Kara Savercool IRENE JONES BRANDON DAVIS Jehwo Sims Joshua Kenes
Tariq Brooks Ada Seye Kendred Jones Ryan Deane Danielle Smith John King
Silvia Buglio Connor Shaw Melania Karmazyn Janelle Dixon Douglas Steinman Simone Kirkland
KEVIN BUI Ashley Sheibaniagdam Tharana Karzai Savannah Doane-Malotte Taneigha Swingler Peace Kish
Kimberly Callahan Larson Shilling Hamza Khan-Tareen CHRISTIAN DOMAAS Nicholas Tatnall Aimee Kohorst
Devin Cannon Brett Silverman Barzillai Kim Alexis Earley Megan Taylor Corinne Konoza
Sherry-Mae Canoy Margaret Simpson Sandra Kindete Johnyie Edwards Theophilus Thomas Zakaria Ismail Kronemer
Yujun Cao Sophia Stanley Rute Kiros Nia Edwards Maiha Thompson Sara Kushner
Jasmine Carter Thomas Stanton Michael Kister Sara Elalami Emma Towriss Meagan Lagerlef
Michelle Carter DAVID STEELE Cecilia Kwakye Kathryn Evans Savannah Tryens Ashley Larkin
Justin Chan Nina Tan Sakoo Lebrew Mary Fernandes Samara Tu Kevin Lee
Ryan Chang Cassidy Tarner Ashlin Lee Hayley Fixler Nicole Tuttle Michael Leonard
Shoshanna Chito CAROLINE TATNALL Dae Kyu Lee Jocelyn Flores Jean-Claude Tzeuton Jennifer Lien
In Ji Chun Dianne Techwei Westin Lee Lane Flynn Avery Ugba Katherine Lingan
Ann Cirincione Emily Temple Sara Lettieri Stella Fotso Karen Vanegas Brianna Livesay
Bryan Citrenbaum Gregory Thompson Jourdan Lewanda Linus Francis Lynne Virgil Julia Maas
Matthew Clanton Holly Tripp Kristen Lewis Amanda Freeman Cadijah Walcott Meredith Majower
Casey Clark Kelsy Turner Blaine Lowry Kristen Frese Alexis Wallace Austin Malner
Rene Cordon Elaine Udell Cindy Luu Kathryn Fuchs Erica Wang Nicholas Mauprivez
Alison Coyne Tan Vo Allison Marcus NEVA GAKAVIAN Zhichen Wang Matthew McGugan
RILEY CRUICKSHANK Robert Walker Eli Marsh Valentina Garcia Brandon Weber Brooke Mellish
Silvana De La Jara Tanner Willians Krystal Martindale Jacob Gill Rebecca Wellman Brianna Mitchell
Yancy Del Cid Dashawn Woody Mayia McKenzie Cecilia Girolami Jenna Williams JERRY MONTERO
Miles Douglas Carolyn Worden Rosie Meile Hayley Glantz Larisha Winley Winifred Morris
Ashley Escobar Kevin Wright Marissa Metzger Shawn Glisson Leisha Winley Joseph Morstein
Stephanie Filho SAMANTHA WRIGHT Cianna Miller Claudia Gomes Ellen Wood Nicholas Mugge
Morgan Fletcher Michelle Yeung Rushell Morgan Ramanda Graham Grace Yoo Toan Nguyen
Xavier Fox Timaj Yusuf Yonata Negatu Sarah Hagan Greggory Nicholson
Emma Friedman MICHELLE NGUYEN Lucy Harrelson 12th GRADE Amarachi Nnadi
Maia Gadsden 10th GRADE Adefolarin Orimolade Bradley Harrison Sheena Afoakwa Paige O’Flahavan
Kimia Gaines Aiman Abdelmouti Andrea Ortiz MARVIN HART IV Darlene Aniebonam Georgiette Oduro Boateng
Jason Glantz CHRISTIAN ABELL Darius Oxley Heather Heim DANIEL ARIAS Simisola Olamide
Rebecca Glatt Joy Akuchie Calvin Perry Gloria Henriquez Nicholas Arnold-Medabal Kemi Olowoofayoku
LEAH GOLDBERG Steven Alvarado Dorian Purse Phuong Hoang Sarah Aylor JESSICA ORTIZ
Betsy Gomez ABIGIA ARAGE PRADIP RAMAMURTI Victoria Hong Julia Baker Nikki Ostrow
Andy Gonzalez Kwame Asante Karelin Ramirez Derek Houston SPENSER BALOG Leena Owen
Sandra Guevara Angela Bair Rosa Reyes David Hylton Sadia Bangura Vanessa Owusu
ALEXANDRA HADYKA India Banks Ryan Reynolds Lucas Irvin LAUREN BARLOW Jeongyeon Park
LILLIAN HALLMARK Jenna Beers Christine Ricciardi Amina Irving Isabela Barriga Joshua Paunil
Bethany Hamson John Beers Christopher Richard Dorienne Jackson ASHLEY BARTECK Heather Phillips
Asha Henley Madeleine Benjoar Lara Richli Rachel Jaffe Joyce Bartlett Jessica Pinchinat
REBECCA HILL KATHERINE BLACKFORD Andrew Riedel Christian Jeong Reanna Beatty Eric Poloway
Kirsten Hines Roman Borris Traceyan Rosel Alyssa Johnson Daniel Bell Sonia Polyzos
Cathleen Ho Cole Bradshaw CHELSEA RYAN Devon Johnson Shannon Bell Susana Posada
Thao Hoang Graylyn Broadnax Katia Segura Michael Joiner Darryle Bennett LINDA POWERS
Ashley Holmes Michelle Brooks Susan Shelton-Der ASHLEY JUDAH Melissa Blue Carley Pressley
Tristan Holmes Lilet Broomes Min Shim Rebecca Kalinich Julia Boland Jasmine Pullen
Roxana Huaman Olivia Brown Sandra Simmons Johanna Kieroth Braden Bond Rohan Raju
George Hyde Madison Bruffy Laura Smethurst ROBERT KORYCINSKI Georgette Bondon Alexander Raul
Jacqueline Hyman THAIS CALDERON Rebecca Smith Robert Krakaur Maria Bonilla-Hercul Maya Reid
Hyla Jacobson Cory Camp Anna Steinfeld Kevin Lam Jesse Boulandi Cory Reyes
Janelle Jean Samantha Carpenter Nicole Sterling Melina Latona Britney Brincefield Naomi Richardson
Ashley Johnson Gregory Chaimson Jasmin Stevenson ZOEY LEE Deandra Brown Renatta Rickford
Steven Johnson Ryan James Chang Julia Stewart Adele Leishman Mia Browne Andrea Rizkallah
Arion Jones Kevin Cheung Kelly Stock Irene Lemberos Catherine Burkhardt Steven Rodriguez
Gabrielle Jones Michael Chheang Jean Suazo Peyton Leonard Stefan Byrd Clay Rorie
Madeline Kalen RYAN CHOE JANINE TAIRA Emily Lindsay Peter Calhoun IV Maximilian Sabelhaus
Dong Kang Hoyoung Choi Lucas Tax Sarah Lipkowitz Jordan Callahan Paris Saunders
Eunseo Kim Nicholas Colburn EMILY TCHAI Matthew Lipshultz Shaina Callahan Matthew Schnapp
Amanda King LINDSEY COMER Emily Tempchin Eugene Litman Maya Campbell Ariel Schwartz
Jocelyn Ko ANDREW CONCHAS Kimberly Torchenot COLLEEN LIVINGSTONE Jayson Carter Ana Segura-Cruz
Alana Kominski LYDIA CURDTS Lena Traore Dontava Lodenquai Kiarra Ceasar Emma Semanyk
Megan Kong Daniel D’Amico Jeffrey Vargas Jenny Lon Rafael Centeno-Armenta Isak Shah
John Kos NICHOLAS DAVIS Denise Venero Monika Looney Christie Chambers Max Shannon
Alexandra Krakaur Aliya Dean Natasha Virjee Julie Lopatka Jeremy Chen Andrew Shelton Der
CRYSTAL KUFFOUR Brandon Deane Wanjiru Waithaka Brianna Lopez Cynthia Cheng Mariel Shilling
Clauton Kum Jeenaba Deme RUSSELL WANKE Daniel Louloudes MAIA CHICHERIO Brandon Simms
Zachary Kushner Assoumou Diby CAROLINE WANNEN Stephanie Luk Nia Chin Daniel Simpson
Cassie Le Alison Dionne Lillian Watkins Ricardo Mancia Git-Yee Chu Cassandra Smith
Garcia Le Albert Djoum Jr. Deneen Watson Alimatu Mansaray InAh Chun Jessica Smith
Jamie Lee Julia Doh Kiana White Leslie Mata Lauren Colburn GILLIAN SPOLARICH
THEODORA LEMBEROS McKenzie Dreher Chris-Ann Whitehead Meredith Mathis Gladys Creppy-Hetherington Christine Garcia St Amand
Nicole Lertora Emily Eaglin KIELAN WILCOMB Kyle McArthur Joseph Crews Spencer Sterling
Brendan Lindsay Thomas Elkins Kionna Wiley Melissa McNabb Delaney Cruickshank Ny’Asia Stewart
Laura Lopez Darien Ellis Bryan Wilkerson Charis McNamara Ravi Dadlani Jordyn Tillman
DUNCHANDHN LYONS Monica Eng Karissa Wong MacKenzie Meyer Connie Dai Serge Tzeuton
Oscar Mariscal MICHAEL ERRIGO RACHEL WOO Terah Minor-Jones Surasree Das Kelly Umana
Kevonn Martin Alexus Ford Hannah Wynne Tara Mitchell Janjay Davis Akaninyene Umo
Theodora Martin Matthew Forsythe Rebecca Yim Danielle Moore Shelby Davis Ryan Valdes
Summer Massie Aryn Frazier Alexander Morales Kirstyn Desroches Kristina Valerio
Kristina McKenna Kamil Gabbani 11th GRADE Michael Morris Somala Diby Victoria Vanlear
Austin McKinnis Megan Gagern MOHAMMED ABBAS Juan Moscoso Leanna Diggs Sophia Venero
Matthew McLaughlin Anna Galeano Cody Acker Mihir Nakrani Christiane Djoum SHANNON WADE
Logan McMurray William Garey Kimberly Adam Michala Nathlar Portia Egwim Joshua Waldman
Angela Mix Tanner Giles-Tucker Nicole Alexander Vanessa Newman Marco Escobar Stacey Waldo
MARY MOLLOY Rachel Gist DERICK ANSAH Victor Nicholson Conrad Etchi Jasmine Walker
Chante Moore Da’Quan Givens-Coley Henry Aparicio Tayler Nine Kathleen Faisca Conor Wallace
Diego Munoz Christina Glasgow Isaac Appel Nnamdi Odoazu Markus Fearson Emily Watt
Kay Musika Gina Gomes Abigail Asantewaa Lauren Paniati Joseph Franks William White
Brigit Ngaleu Jamil Gordon Mohammad Ashrafi SEONG HWAN PARK DELILAH GATES Eric Wiley
VAN NHAN NGUYEN ERIC GOTTLIEB Brian Battaglia Leah Patterson Sylvester Gates Kira Williams
Tochi Nnadi Anjelica Grant Tiffany Bennett Jessica Perla Samuel Glatt Patrick Xiao
Daphne O’Grady Candace Grant Danielle Blocker Mandy Pham Zachary Goldberg Erin Yates
Thomas Olowu Paul Gregg Brittany Bradley Grace Plihal AMY GOTTLIEB Bemnet Yazew
Emmanuel Oppong Emily Greitzer Jordan Brooks Sarah Prather Gordon Gregg Shannon Young

Names in all caps indicate Straight A’s

Exhibiting new hair weaves becomes generation’s latest national phenomenon, p. C7

C Section
C James Hubert
Blake Beat High School
Features December
17, 2010 December
8, 2010

Picking out
is one of
the hardest
things to
do during
the holiday
Carley Pressley

Bengals give unique holiday gifts, bound to be loved by all

“People want gifts that are unique to them, able, it’s impossible not to find something + the Machine.
by Kemi Olowoofayoku
x & Gillian Spolarich the thrift store is the perfect place to find to like. Also, just about everyone has an Although it may be cheesy, your
that cute, quirky and different gift.” iPod. Giving an iTunes card allows the op- school portrait is the perfect gift for a family
Most teens are suffering from a lack Gift cards are an easy gift that allows tion to buy anything from Apps to music member. Says senior Janjay Davis, “Giv-
of funds and therefore cannot afford expen- each person to find exactly what they want. to videos. ing a school portrait is free, more personal
sive gifts for the holidays. But these Bengals Finding the perfect place to get one is the CDs and DVDs are a classic gift and from the heart.”Also, scrapbooks and
have found a way to avoid the hassle of only issue. “Picking out presents is one of that everybody loves. Says junior Amanie collages are the most creative choice that
falling into debt while still buying awesome the hardest things to do during the holiday Musa, “You can never go wrong with CDs shows how much time you put into their
gifts for family and friends. season,” says senior Carley Pressley. “The or DVDs. If you know specifically what gift, all at no cost to you.
Thrift stores offer just about anything, best way to ensure that your gift won’t be re- the person likes, it’s impossible to disap- The holidays may be stressful but
all for an extremely low price. Options turned is a gift card. It’s a win-win deal.” point.” Top choices for this holiday season there are always ways to make it work.
range anywhere from a nice sweater for Amazon and iTunes are two options are Kanye West’s new album, My Beautiful Channel your inner Martha Stewart, be
your brother to an authentic coach bag for that every individual likes. The best thing Dark Twisted Fantasy, Mariah Carey’s clas- creative and thoughtful to every individual
your best friend. Says senior Joyce Bartlett, about Amazon is that everything is avail- sic Christmas album, and Lungs by Florence on your list. Good luck!

Student’s life changed after witnessing brutality in Sierra Leone

Bangura experienced terrorism, poverty, extreme suffering of children
Leone by cutting off their hands
x by Blaire Hoffman and feet, and used their wrists as
Many of us can only imag- necklaces. Bangura adds, “I saw
ine the horrors that occur be- I saw with my own with my [own] eyes, a woman’s
cause of war and genocide, but womb cut open with a cutlass
for senior Sadia Bangura that eyes a woman’s and the child taken out.”
was the reality she experienced When Bangura moved
every day. womb cut open with a from Ghana back to Sierra Leone
While living in Sierra Le- in 2006, she was able to see her
one, Bangura witnessed extreme cutlass and the child country transforming as lead-
poverty and horrific acts by ers worked to build the country
rebels, consequences of the taken out. back up for the better. “[Sierra
war. Says Bangura, “The hard- Leone] is peaceful [now],” she
est thing growing [up in Sierra Sadia Bangura adds, “but I personally think it
Leone] was watching children has a long way to go because the
suffer.” Many houses were burnt country is corrupt.”
down by the rebels and as a re- years until she moved to Ghana they were able to buy food and fortunate than others, Bangura Despite the adversity she’s
sult, the people of Sierra Leone for five years, where she then clothes, attend private school and was still affected by the poverty faced and the tragedy she’s
became homeless or had to live briefly returned to Sierra Leone maintain their home. In 2007, and the terrorism by the rebels in witnessed, Bangura optimisti-
in houses with 15 to 20 other for a year. She lived in the capital Bangura and her family moved Sierra Leone. She saw children cally looks toward her future
people. The primary sustenance of Freetown with her mother, to the US after her father was who would beg along the streets and opportunities after college.
that they survived on were rice sister and brother. Her dad, who offered the position of advisor or go to work with their parents Bangura adds, “In the US, it is
and palm oil was earning his graduate degree to the executive director of the in the markets in order to make believed that you can be any-
Bangura was born in Sierra in Canada, sent money to her World Bank. a little extra money. The rebels thing you want to be if only you
Leone and lived there for nine family every month so that Although she was more brutalized the people of Sierra get educated.”

Blake seniors breathe sigh of relief as early acceptances to college arrive in the mail, p. C2
C2 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat

Environmental committee seeks to help save the world

Club advocates conservation, conducts fundraisers to fight for cause
x by Nia Chin & Tatiana Hetherington The committee plans to host an earth expo the week of April
22. The event will include free organic/locally grown food as well I believe
Saving the planet has become a top red button issue in the world.
Due to global warming and the endangerment of many species and
as information on how to make the school more green. Students can
purchase items such as reusable lunch bags and t-shirts at the event. that our
habitats, scientists have been focusing on ways to prevent further
destruction to the planet.
There will be other fundraisers in the future to raise money to provide
new eco- friendly products for the school. society
Thanks to our environmental committee, Blake is also now a
part of the movement. Sponsored by junior Grace Plihal and advised
As the planet continues to be affected by rapidly rising factors
such as global warming and pollution, the committee is urging Blake is not
by science teacher Colleen Roots, the committee is taking Blake head
first into the fight to save our planet. “The environmental club is all
students to take part in saving our planet. “Recycle trash in the bins
located around the building,” says Ms. Roots. “It really does make sustainable
about making our school a greener and more earth friendly place,”
says Plihal.
a difference.”
“The Environmental Club was started to encourage Blake stu- and that
In an effort to conserve more energy and water, the environ-
mental committee is encouraging everyone to turn off their lights and
dents to become involved in issues impacting our natural world and
educate those who might be interested in making a contribution,” need to be
electronics when not in use. Furthermore, the environmental commit-
tee urges people to make a practice of eating more organic foods.
says Ms. Roots. One of the committee’s main goals is to promote
and encourage more environmental-related activities. changed.
“The environmental club is open to any and all students and we “I believe that our society is not sustainable, and that needs to
welcome every new member,” says Plihal. “We are like a family.” be changed,” says senior member Cassandra Smith, “I want to be a Cassandra
The committee meets every Wednesday, in room F-171. part of that change.” Smith

Early admitted seniors reap benefits, allowing more planning time

Colleges send out acceptance letters; students get jump start on decisions
by Dylan Hysen does not know which of the schools he has form of early application. If a student is says Hawvermale.
x & Conor Wallace been accepted into early he wants to attend. accepted through early decision, they must Senior Spencer Sterling has also
Morstein has already gotten into Indiana withdraw all other college applications. Says committed to the University of Maryland.
Most seniors do not hear back from University and East Carolina University College and Career Information Coordinator He was recruited by the swim team and has
colleges until April, but some are way through rolling admissions. Says Morstein, Kathy Moore, “With the economy the way received a scholarship to play for them. Says
ahead of the curve. They not only applied “I applied early because I wanted to know it is today, some colleges are taking a large Sterling, “I wanted to get my decision out
to schools early, but have already been ac- where I was going early in senior year to number of students from the early decision of the way. I really liked the atmosphere of
cepted. take the pressure off.” applicant pool because they are guaranteed the school and team.”
Senior Sara Kushner is one of those Though only a small fraction of the that tuition.” Many students who applied to early
students. She was accepted into Ohio State senior class has already been accepted to a Certain students who did not want to admissions for December 15 will know
on rolling admissions (where a candidate college, many more have applied early but bind themselves by applying through early whether they have been accepted by this
submits their application anytime within a have not heard back yet. The most popular decision still have already committed to weekend. But those who have already been
large window) in October. Kushner knows schools that seniors apply early to are in- a school. Senior Bridget Hawvermale has admitted, like senior Renatta Rickford who
she wants to go to Ohio State. “It was totally state schools like University of Maryland committed to the University of Maryland has been accepted to Towson University, are
worth it to apply as early as I did.” says College Park, Towson University and Uni- after being recruited by their softball team. now stress-free. “I applied early because…I
Kushner. “Now I don’t have to worry about versity of Maryland Baltimore County. “I committed because they are my number didn’t want so much pressure,” says Rick-
getting into college ever again!” Very few students at Blake apply to one school [and] because they have sports ford. “Plus my mom pretty much banned me
Unlike Kushner, senior Joey Morstein schools through early decision, a binding in the ACC but also offer a great education,” from social activities until I applied.”
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 C3
These Bengals raking in cash with their do-it-all company
x by Brianna Livesay

Lawn care is most likely at the end of
your list of career aspirations, but what if
it means a way to schedule your own jobs,
establish your own prices and stop asking
your mom for ten bucks to see a movie?
These factors have encouraged some
hard-working students to start a business
all on their own.
Juniors Victor Bennett, Estevan Cas-
tro and senior Braden Bond have dedicated
a number of their after school hours to
doing yard work for families around the
Stonegate neighborhood. “We can pretty
much choose to do whatever jobs work
out for us,” says Bennett. “It’s really cool
to get to be your own boss.” They first es-
tablished their presence in the work force
by sending out a message to the Stonegate
list-serve, the neighborhood’s email base,
and then their availability spread by word
of mouth.
The boys make 100-120 dollars
per house that they rake; each job usually
takes only three to four hours to complete.
Despite occasional long days and tough
jobs, the work is more than enjoyable for
this team. Bond adds, “It’s not even bad
when I work the entire afternoon; I’m
with my friends so I can still have fun and
be social.”
Not only do they rake leaves, but the
boys also are more than willing to shovel
snow, move furniture, and even organize
bookshelves. “We do a lot of interesting
things,” says Castro, “especially things
no one else has time for or knows how to
do.” The trio has learned to power wash
and re-pave driveways, unique skills which
may very well come in handy later in life,
when they will not need to hire someone
to do the job.
No matter how exciting their newly
acquired skills are, the boys have a com-
mon idea that they are all thrilled about. “I
definitely enjoy making my own money,”
adds Bennett. “I can save it, I can spend
it when I’m out with friends, I can buy
munchies, and I can do whatever I want and
not feel too wasteful.” What seems to be a
big issue for so many teenagers has been
solved by these three high school boys- get- From left to right: junior Estevan Castro, senior Braden Bond beautifying yet another leafy yard. The boys do all sorts of work
ting a job and making money. and junior Victor Bennett prepare to expand their business by for people around their neighboorhoods. --photo by Aron Crews

Sporcle: not just a computer game, an addiction for your brain In fact,’s mission state- cereal” one can find quizzes like “Name the
by Dylan Hysen
This creation x & Conor Wallace
ment is: “We actively and methodically search
out new and innovative ways to prevent our
capitals of African Countries.” Says senior
Gregg Nicholson, “[Sporcle] wastes time…
has changed my Do you know the 37th president of
the United States? Can you name the capital
users from getting any work done whatsoev-
er.” Another Blake student who has fallen into
but it also teaches [us] things we didn’t
already know.” levels of Cameroon? How about the most popular
types of soda or the names of Simpsons
Sporcle’s trap is senior Joey Morstein. “I play
anytime I’m in a lab at school or can get on at
Sporcle is growing in popularity
among Blake students. Morstein, Raju and
of not doing characters?
If so,, a hub of infinite
work,” Morstein says. “It’s addicting.”
Every day Sporcle publishes new quiz-
Nicholson play Sporcle about three, four or
five times a week respectively. “Sporcle is
homework have knowledge on the most useful and unusual
facts, is where you belong.
zes. There are currently over 4,000 published
quizzes and many more user-created ones.
greater than sliced bread and bungee jumping
combined,” says Raju. “If one was to look up
increased so is a quiz site that was
launched in 2007 by Matt Ramme. The
For each quiz, the player types in potential
answers. If an answer is correct it will appear
the definition of ‘awesome’ in the dictionary,
there would be a picture of Sporcle right
much that I am quizzes vary in topic and are also timed. An
increasing number of Blake students, like
beside its clue. Some quizzes allow players to
type responses that apply to any of the miss-
next to it.”
According to Raju, students certainly
now a master of senior Niraj Raju, are playing Sporcle. Says
Raju, “This creation has changed my
ing answers while others make it so questions
have to be answered in a certain order.
learn from Sporcle. “I have learned the most
important skill for the adult working world
procrastination. levels of not doing homework have increased
so much so that I am now a master at the art
Some of Sporcle’s quizzes are cer-
tainly trivial, but many others can be edu-
- how to look like you’re doing something
while not doing a darn thing at all,” says
Niraj Raju of procrastination.” cational. In addition to “Identify the type of Raju.

Boy Scouts build essential life skills through 12 years of dedication

Students earn merit badges, pride as they soar to highest rank of Eagle
by Michael Joiner Scouts. “You have to be dedicated review. For the ranks of Star, Life, completed his project at the Wood- skills and experiences, and enhanced
to become an Eagle Scout,” says and Eagle, a scout must get a certain side Child Care Center, fixing the my ability to be both a leader and
x & Andrew Markowitz Brandon, “whether it is camping in number of merit badges, which are interior and building a sandbox. “It’s a follower,” says Irvin. “[This is]
Marching through tangled 35-degree weather or hiking 55 miles given after completion of a set of has matured me in many ways, and just one of many ways how I have
woods, crawling up rugged moun- in three days with heavy luggage.” obligations in a particular field such taught me how to balance my respon- become much more mature.”
tains and hiking through natural In order for a scout to move up as camping, cooking and caving. sibilities,” says Brandon. For Brandon, being a Boy
campgrounds, these Boy Scouts from Tenderfoot Scout, which is the However, the main require- Brandon, Garrett and junior Scout is more than just the chance
have approached the highest peak first ranking of scout, to one of the ment that differentiates the rank of Lucas Irvin are all part of troop 457, of getting good scholarships. To him,
of their journey having soared their other six levels on their voyage, the Eagle Scout other ranks is that, a which is referred to as “The Pio- it’s about the bonding experience
way to the most eminent position of scout must pass certain requirements. scout will need to do a final project neers.” Irvin, much like Garrett, is and the time he gets to spend with
Eagle Scout. For all ranks, the scout must have that requires about six months to also completing his final project. Ir- his friends in his troop. “Some of
After many years of devotion participated for six months, abided complete. The scout must become vin is removing and replacing rotten my closest friends are scouts,” adds
to the Boy Scouts, seniors Brandon by the Scout Oath and Scout Law, involved with a non-profit organiza- walls, repainting picnic tables and Brandon, “I think of them as being
and Garrett Krixer are less than a few and been interviewed by the Scout- tion in order to show how the scout landscaping a garden at Sherwood my brothers, because we always have
months away from becoming Eagle master conference and the board of has helped his community. Brandon Elementary. “I have gained outdoor each other’s back.”
C6 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat

Students break bank accounts with unnecessary swipes

Employed teenagers cash in without thinking twice about check balance
by Sonia Polyzos have jobs, money is spent routinely. that I don’t even need in reality. Just
x & Simone Taylor “Chipotle - almost every day I’m because I have the card to say, sure
there,” says junior Cadijah Walcott. why not?”
Swipe. $1.62 on a cherry slurpee. “The $6.47 charged to my card? No Walcott finds herself surfing
Swipe. $6.19 on a sandwich and biggie.” The same thought process the web, looking for items to buy
soup at Panera. goes for senior Spencer Sterling, who online with her debit card. “Shoes,
Swipe. $13.00 on a 3D movie makes pit stops to 7-Eleven right after clothes, jewelry-anything, I buy it,”
ticket. swim practice. “I basically go get says Walcott.
Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. Account something to eat daily after school,” This innocent money spending
balance: zero. says Sterling, “and because I’m a big may have its perks now, but it has
This is a pretty typical experi- eater, I’ll spend at least ten dollars some shortcomings as well. Walcott’s
ence for teenagers who have a job, on food.” account has been overdrawn twice in
a debit or credit card and the ease of After these expensive sched- the past few months. “Every time [it’s
spending their money whenever and ules, students have found themselves withdrawn], I have to pay 30 dollars
wherever they go. completely broke. Says senior Jesse but that doesn’t bother me,” says Wal-
When your card is filled with Boulandi, “I have received two pay- cott. “I just keep on spending.”
money from your latest check, it is checks so far and I have basically [no With the easy-to-manage piggy
easy to slide it through the money- money] left after buying one pair [of] bank in your little wallet emptied
eating machine without thinking. Says expensive shoes.” with a swipe, depleting your bank
junior Amanie Musa, “I go to the mall In fact, it seems that students are account seems easier than ever. “It’s
often and no matter what, I always swiping their cards for the sole pur- impossible to spend money you don’t
come out having bought something.” pose of asserting their independence. have, but with a credit card, that all
Amanie Musa Now that younger students Says Musa, “It’s easy to buy things changes,” says Musa.

Junior volunteers spare time for organization close to her heart

mothers discover life and love, despite bottles full of loose change [for the Gabriel tremendous dedication.
by Maria Nassanga
their challenging pregnancy. It provides Network],” adds Fortunak. She began to The greatest lesson Fortunak has
x & Karen Vanegas emotional, physical and spiritual assis- help out at the Gabriel Network in eighth received while volunteering at the Gabriel
Baby supplies, diapers, infant for- tance to pregnant women who have lost all grade and fell in love with its mission. Network is very personal. Fortunak lives
mula, temporary housing, and transporta- hope, facing homelessness and poverty. Now knowing the house’s residents, in a stable environment with her parents,
tion are all provided by Angel Friends. As an aspiring pediatrician, Fortunak Fortunak volunteers by herself. She helps unlike the women that live in the house,
Junior Angie Fortunak is one of them. says, “This was another opportunity where out all of the time, especially when she who either became homeless when they
Fortunak volunteers her free time I felt I could use my skills of being good has days off. Regardless, Fortunak is found out they were pregnant or are cur-
for the Gabriel Network, located in Mont- with young kids.” For Fortunak, the Ga- always ready to help whenever they may rently jobless.
gomery County, which has been empower- briel Network gives her an occasion where need her. Fortunak was adopted shortly after
ing women to embrace motherhood and she can improve her social techniques with Driving mothers around and watch- she turned one, by a caring and loving
choose life for more than ten years. “It is infants, toddlers and children in order to ing children fills up Fortunak’s agenda at family that would be able to support her.
a great place to go and see how everyone fulfill her childhood aspiration. the Gabriel Network. “It is a great place “My biological mother just could not take
is lucky [to have a new opportunity],” Fortunak first heard about the Ga- to help out with the children if you find care of me,” says Fortunak, “And had the
says Fortunak. briel Network through her church, St. John you are good with them,” adds Fortunak. courage to give me up for adoption to a
The non-profit organization has the Baptist Catholic Church. “Every year This is a cause Fortunak does because of family she knew could take care of me...
Christian foundations that help expecting the school [at my church] collects baby free will. She does not get paid for her I am lucky.”
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 C7
From celebs to teens:
unbe-weave-able trend
x by Tyasia Hutchinson & Sarah Mansaray
Weaves, wigs, extensions, clip-ons, clip-ins, braids and a number of dif-
ferent techniques are all things women and some men have done to enhance
their look. By applying artificial hair, many give the allusion that most of the
hair on their head is real when that may not be the case.
In the past decade weaves have become a national phenomenon; ev-
eryone from celebrities to the girl that sits next to you in class is rockin’ a
There are many different types of weaves like synthetic weaves, which
have both pros and cons. Synthetic is available in weaves and single strands
for braids. One disadvantage is that it does not last as long as human hair does,
and can get quite nappy if not brushed on a regular basis. Also, if one uses
a curling or straightening iron, trust and believe there will be some Michael
Jackson hair burning going on in your bathroom, but if you’re on that reces-
sion watch, then go ahead.
Then there is human hair, which is derived from human heads and sold to
vendors to be used as a weave or wig. Most people prefer human hair because
it lasts longer and can be styled with heat appliances; on the downside it can
be more expensive. Lace front weaves, which have been on celebrities from
Beyoncé to Tyra Banks, are made with real human hair and have a sheer lace
base in the front to look resemble your own hair.

My favorite part about weaves [is that]

I don’t have to worry about my own
hair in the morning.
Christina Buckley
Beauty Lane in Briggs Chaney Shopping Center and African Hair Gal-
lery in Colesville are common places in the area to buy weaves. The price for
a pack of weaves can go from $10 to $500; if you want a decent wig, prices
usually start around $50. Most weaves can last from a couple weeks to a
year, if maintained well. You can also purchase and look at different types of
weaves at
Some students, such as junior Christina Buckley, sophomore Chanel
Barnes, and senior Marieme Sall wear weaves as well, flaunting their new
hair styles every few weeks. Buckley, who wears Senegalese braids says, “My
favorite part about weaves is that [they are] easier to deal with… I don’t have to
worry about my own hair in the morning while getting ready for school.” Braids
are easier to manage because they can easily be styled into a ponytail.
“I started wearing [tracks] a few months ago after I cut my hair… right
now I have synthetic [in].” Barnes says.
“I wear Remy weave,” adds Sall. “It’s expensive but worth it…[the
weave] stays straight and I don’t have to flat iron or anything.”
There are many advantages weaves present for the men and woman that
wear them. YouTube sensation Antoine Dodson spoke about it on the George
Lopez Show. Even comedian Chris Rock made a documentary called Good
Hair. Obviously, this isn’t just a local thing, it’s a global thing, and people
Senior Janjay Davis (top) and seniors Simisola various weaves, which can be worn long, short who wear weaves take it seriously. Anyone can wear it, so if you see a brand
Olamide and Breant Smith (bottom) flaunt or braided. --photos by Aron Crews new weave, respect it.

Student remembers past year’s exciting events as new decade dawns

Hysen highlights top memorable
August 5, the San José copper-gold mine
x by Dylan Hysen caved in, trapping 33 Chilean miners 2,300
Ushering in a new decade, 2010 was feet underground. The miners survived
certainly a full year. From the ‘mystery
missile’ to the recent bombing of South
moments, news stories of 2010 underground for 69 days until they were
rescued October 13.
Korea, there were many newsworthy items 2) Haiti Earthquake: 2010 featured
history. Totals ranged up to around 30” in tory over Algeria.
this year. Only 10 of them, however, were many natural disasters, including an earth-
the suburbs for ‘Snowmaggedon’ February 5) WikiLeaks: WikiLeaks, an orga-
the top events of 2010. quake in Chile and flooding in Pakistan,
5 – 6, making it the fourth biggest snow- nization led by Julian Assange, divulged
10) Winter Olympics: The 21st but the most publicized one was the mag-
storm on record. secret documents throughout the year, the
Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver nitude 7 earthquake in Haiti on January 12.
7) Midterm Elections: 82.5 million most important being the Afghan War docu-
this year. Canada led the games in gold 230,000 people died from the earthquake,
people turned out to vote during the mid- ments, Iraq War logs and US diplomatic
medals with 14, while the USA led in 300,000 were injured and over a million
term elections this year which resulted in a cables. These leaks have caused a disrup-
overall medals with 37. were left homeless.
Republican takeover of the House of Rep- tion of international relations and sparked
9) Eruption of Icelandic Volcano: 1) BP Oil Spill: The Deepwater
resentatives. The Republicans also made outrage from many.
Eyjafjallajökull, one of the many volcanoes Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of
gains in the Senate, but the Democrats 4) End of the War in Iraq: The Last
in Iceland, erupted primarily during April Mexico April 20, killing 11 workers. The
maintained a majority with 53 seats. US combat brigades left Iraq August 19
and caused widespread air travel delays all resulting oil spill dominated headlines for
6) World Cup: During the 19th ending Operation Iraqi Freedom. 50,000
over Europe. the five months that it lasted. 185 million
World Cup in South Africa this year, Spain troops still remain to provide general sup-
8) Record-breaking DC Winter: gallons of oil were released into the Gulf
won over the Netherlands. The United port until a planned withdrawal at the end
The winter of 2009-2010 was the snowiest causing extensive wildlife and habit dam-
States lost to Ghana in the knockout round of 2011.
on record for DC and featured some of the age, while also harming the fishing and
after winning their group by a thrilling vic- 3) Chilean Mining Accident: On
biggest snowstorms in the nation’s capital’s tourism industries in the area.
C8 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat
You’re using that umbrella wrong JBB forever
______________________________ ______________________________

COUSIN Sammy is the best I love me some Ellen
______________________________ ______________________________

White Anglo-Saxon bias- Daniel Arias Julian Carr is a beast

______________________________ ______________________________

BLAKE’S INDOOR TRACK TEAM IS We should do something fun for my

BEAST!!! See any BEAT staffer to buy your birthday
______________________________ Unclassified in our next issue. ______________________________
70¢ for the first ten words, 5¢ for each additional word
Sammy made my day love creepo Raven JBJ
W. ______________________________
That’s debatable. I’ll take the pro, you
Tigers never sleep! concede.
______________________________ ______________________________

Music is Kevin’s girlfriend, his instrument Bombing.

are his bros ______________________________
From the makers of I will hurt you, with
Please don’t go=robot love Jon Stewart comes I will main you with
______________________________ Stephen Colbert.
Hello Jake Hayman
______________________________ Corinne is the most amazing person in the
Lucas Irvin and Brittany Hamson! Going ______________________________
strong all December long.
______________________________ KEEGS crack ups: “Kill the voice, kill the
monitor, kill yourselves…wait - not that
LUCAS IRVIN IS A CHEATER!!! last one.” “If you have a virus, tell me so I
______________________________ can get Mr. Hall to kill that sucker.”
Becca, Jaqueline, and Kaylie, you are
wrong!!!!!!!! Take’s awesome. Sign up for
______________________________ next year. We need great writers and pho-
tographers!! We have yummy parties:)
Gladys and Joanne for life ______________________________

______________________________ Julia Baker, you are the love of my life.

hi brendan lindsey, i’m in love with
you...-? Britney Stuart, you are the bain of my
______________________________ existence.
Two is always better
______________________________ Grace Philal. You know what you are.
Who let the dogs out? Woof woof.
______________________________ I have three pair.
Thanks, for being my friend
______________________________ Kevin Keegan does not support Vocal
Class 2012! ______________________________
But if you do, then talk to Somala Diby or
What are you looking at? Pretty Little Caroline Pledger to join the up and com-
Liars- Jan. 3rd can’t wait!! ing A Cappella Vocal Jazz Performance
______________________________ Group. Feel free to join! NO AUDITIONS!
Just fun!
Let me live my life ______________________________
I love the Blake Beat! Take journalism...
Not what mama wanted to hear we’re the best.
______________________________ Love life. Live it to the fullest and share it Josh is the best associate editor- Nick Tax ______________________________
with your best friends. Don’t trust people ______________________________
Can you hear that? so easily especially jerks. Love ya Nia, Fish are friends, not food.
______________________________ Antoinette, Briy, and my hubby Bryan! Improv. Go to it. ______________________________
______________________________ ______________________________
Hate spinnerbait! Mary Fernandes=ma coeur
______________________________ I love tea MR² Laughing is good for you. Watch improve ______________________________
______________________________ shows.
“Roll of thunder, hear my cry.” ______________________________ Antonella, marry me?
______________________________ London Boys rule! ______________________________
______________________________ Improv, Fridays at lunch in the amphithe-
Take Latin American History! atre. I don’t understand Unclassifieds.
______________________________ Musu give me that cinnamon bun! ______________________________ ______________________________
Always I want to be with you, and make Josh’s loan company is still afloat due to Winter Break, please hurry up!
believe with you and live in harmony Foursome first! Conor despite Britney. ______________________________
______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________
Anna Newman. <3 Starbucks today?
Learn to love, not to judge Alison Dionne, I love you! Josh’s company is a scam. DO NOT PAR- ______________________________
______________________________ ______________________________ TICIPATE. IT WILL RUIN YOU.
______________________________ Sunshine is back for a month HOMG
I’m dreaming of a black Christmas…fight Lindsey…I didn’t forget about you ______________________________
the power! ______________________________ Unclassifieds rule!
______________________________ ______________________________ I almost got killed by a bycicle!
Everyone’s incompetent ______________________________
Yesterday brought the beginning tomor- ______________________________ It’s an honor sitting next to Savannah!
row brings the end, and somewhere in ______________________________ Don’t open the door for Josh.
the middle we become the best of friends. There’s my Hanukkah money… ______________________________
“Sadie B” ______________________________ To Raj, Tim, Adam, Darius, and Durrell.
______________________________ I got the kosher pepsi, this party is ready Peeps. Gotta love em’.
JBB 4ever. to go.
Dylan, you need a shovel.
Bengal Basketball stars recruited to Navy, American among other D-I schools, p. D7

Section D Section
D James Hubert Blake
Blake High School
Beat Sports December
17, 2010 December 17, 2010

up and take on more responsibil-

ity,” says Ostrow. “We have had to
change plays and coaching style to
better fit the team.”
The Lady Bengals again
could not stop the opposing of-
fense in their 52-36 loss Friday to
the Poolesville Lady Falcons. Says
senior captain Jasmine Walker,
“As a team we need to improve
our communication level, as well
as passing and defensive game,
which will lead to a better of-
fense.” Coach Gilmore predicts
that despite these early struggles,
they will win at least 12 games.
Blake got off to a slow start
in a 63-49 loss to the Bethesda-
Chevy Chase Lady Barons De-
cember 7, even with sophomores
Caroline Wannen and Snowden
leading the way in scoring with

We need to
improve our
level, as well
as passing
and defensive
game, which
will lead to a
better offense
Nikki Ostrow

17 and 10 points, respectively.

“As a team so far I feel as though
we haven’t played to our utmost
potential,” says Walker. “Once
Sophomore guard Caroline Wannen shoots over the Springbrook Wannen scored six points in the team’s defeat and is averaging over everyone takes ownership for our
defender as the Lady Bengals fall to the Lady Blue Devils, 67-41. ten points per game on the season. -- photo by Aron Crews team, we will be able to accom-

Lady Bengals off to by Lucas Irvin

x & Matt Present
fort. “We had a very good second plish great things.”
half,” says coach Patricia Gilmore, The Lady Bengals will host
“but we need to start out stronger the Damascus Lady Swarmin’
Despite early struggles, and be more physical.”

rough start against

Hornets Monday as well as divi-
the varsity girls’ basketball team After having reached the sion opponent the Einstein Lady
remains confident that they will regional finals last year, the Lady Titans Wednesday before head-
get more accustomed to playing to- Bengals had to cope with the loss ing into winter break. Beginning

tough competition gether and will make a run against of five seniors, including alumni January, the Lady Bengals will
their division opponents. Christine Weithman and Gaby play almost exclusively division
Monday the Lady Bengals Hall, both of which were named opponents, whom they play twice

Wannen, Ostrow lead team lost 67-41 to consortium rival, the First Team All-League and were each, for the remainder of the
Springbrook Lady Blue Devils. selected to play in the Montgom- season including Wheaton, Rock-
Senior forwards Nikki Ostrow and ery County Public Schools Top 10 ville, Northwood, Kennedy and
in scoring with combined Reanna Beatty led Blake scorers Senior All Star Game. Weithman is Einstein high schools. If the team
with nine points apiece and sopho- the only Blake basketball player plans on making a run deep into
20-points-per-game average more center Danielle Snowden to have over 1,000 career points. the playoffs, division wins will be
added six rebounds in a losing ef- “Younger players have had to step important down the stretch.

Varsity boys’ basketball off to a slow start after losing two of three
Hedley pouring in 20 points as squad prepares for Paint Branch tonight
coach Marcus Wiggins. “It was obvious that we couldn’t win. Blake got off to a quick start due to Hedley’s 100% shoot-
x by Paige O’Flahavan & Josh Paunil match their size.” The Blue Devils more than doubled the ing from the floor, including four three pointers, and the team
Despite a slow start to begin the season, the varsity Bengals’ total for rebounds and shot twice as many free took a 23-15 lead at the end of the first quarter. “Brandon had
boys’ basketball team has showed a lot of potential with two throws as well. a hot hand,” says McGugan. “No one could stop him.”
returning starters and other key additions in hopes of repeat- In Blake’s first home game of the season, they lost to a However, despite a late run by the Barons to tie up the
ing last year’s success. tough Poolesville Falcons team, 67-54. The game was close game at 40 apiece with seven minutes left, the Bengals put
When Blake traveled to play consortium rival, the the entire time with the Bengals only down three points with away the division foe on McGugan’s 6-6 shooting from the
Springbrook Blue Devils, the team was unable to keep up a few minutes left in the game when senior Matt McGugan, free throw line in the final minutes.
with the Blue Devils and lost 74-58. Despite a season-high 20 who had 23 points and six rebounds, suffered from cramps. Despite the slow start to the season, the Bengals’ goal
points for senior captain guard Brandon Hedley and career- The Bengals also suffered from mishandled passes and is to build on last year’s success to make it even farther. Says
high 19 points from junior center Avery Ugba, the Bengals a lack of scoring on the team outside of McGugan and Hedley, senior forward Brandon Simms, “We’re trying to go back to
were out-rebounded by the Blue Devils and gave their rival who accounted for over 75% of the team’s points. Comcast and bring home the trophy.”
too many second-chance points. When the Bengals traveled to face the B-CC Barons in The team plays at home against the Paint Branch Pan-
“We were ineffective early on the boards,” says head their first game of the season, they came away with a 56-51 thers tonight at 7pm.

JV boys’ basketball team crushes competition, starts season undefeated, p. D5

D2 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat

Girls dive head first into new season with high hopes
Crushing victory over Gaitherburg propels Lady Bengals to strong start
x by Eddie Madden Fribush. cide the division,” Mr. Fribush year even though the team is
The Lady Bengals next says. Before then however, the very small. They may lack depth
After a 124-47 blowout of meet is against division oppo- Bengals will be tested by the as past years, but they do not
the Gaithersburg Lady Trojans, nent, the Rockville Lady Rams Kennedy Lady Cavilers January lack the talent and aptitude to
the girls’ swim team’s confi- on Saturday at the Rockville 15 at The Martin Luther King compete with the best teams in
dence is elevated as they have Municipal. The Bengals look to Swim Center and the Einstein the county.
advanced to 1-0, with high hopes use the momentum of their great Lady Titans January 22 at the “[The team] is having a lot
for the rest of the season. start to keep the success coming. Olney Swim Center. of fun in and out of the pool, and
“So far, so good,” head “[We have] a really strong team After losing many mem- I’m excited to see where we’ll
coach Jared Fribush says about this year…we have a lot more bers last year, the team re- end up,” says Jaffe. Come sup-
the team this year and their per- depth which should really be bounded with over 40 girls port the Lady Bengals Saturday
formance December 11. After a big factor in big meets,” says coming to tryouts and making as they take on the Rams.
moving down from Division junior captain Rachel Jaffe. the team. This not only gives
2 to Division 3 this year, the The Bengals are working the Lady Bengals depth, but it
Lady Bengals hope to contend
for the division title. “Our girls’
hard in preparation for their
meet against division rival, the
allows the team to push each
other at practice and make each So far, so good.
team lacks the star power as past Magruder Lady Colonels Janu- other better.
years, but it has depth past years ary 29. “[It] will be our toughest The girls dive team looks Jared Fribush
Rachel Jaffe cannot compete with,” says Mr. dual meet, and will probably de- to perform at a high level this

New year brings new expectations; Bengals torpedo into Division 3

Season starts off swimmingly, as boys lap competition in first meet
Division 3, their talent pool this year has only nitely the strongest team we’ve had while I’ve
x by Eddie Madden risen. “Our boys team has the chance to be the been at Blake,” says Lancon. “Magruder looks
Despite missing several key swimmers best team Blake has ever had,” says Fribush. like our best competition…and we definitely
due to an out of state club match, the Bengals This should in part be due to the team’s off- have a shot to beat them.”
were able to get off to a fast start as they beat season dedication and the strong work-ethic The boys’ dive team is very experienced
division opponent, the Gaithersburg Trojans, during practice. and looks to have one of its best years. Junior
102-67. Blake has many returning swimmers who captain Victor Bennett is eager for the team
After a last place finish last year in Divi- hope to be able to have a large impact and propel to be able to show off their talent. “We have a
sion 2, the team was moved down to Division 3, Blake to its first division championship. “Our bunch of gymnasts and trampolinists this year…
giving them high hopes for this year. Head coach team has a lot of depth this year,” says senior overall I think we’re one of the best teams,”
Jared Fribush is very excited this year’s team. captain Spencer Sterling. “We have a good shot says Bennett.
“We dropped down a division and are going in of winning the division this year.” The Bengals go on to face division foe
as one of the favorites this year. We should be Senior Cameron Lancon, who had a the Rockville Rams tomorrow at the Rockville
one of the top teams,” says Fribush. strong previous year, is very excited about the Municipal where they look to stay undefeated,
While the Bengals may have dropped to possibilities of this year’s team. “This is defi- on the road to win the division.

We have a good shot of winning the division this year. Cameron Lancon
Spencer Sterling
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 D3
Blake wrestling has early success on mat, brings home wins

Junior Edwin Callender pins his opponent at the Mad Mats tournament at Magruder Kwame Asante made the finals in their weight classes. Earlier Blake beat Blair to
High School where Blake finished fourth. Senior Evan Lipshultz and sophomore start of the season with a win. --photo by Aron Crews

First match goes well for varsity Bengals, take 57-9 victory over Blair
Senior Evan Lipshultz and sophomore Kwame As- majority of the match. We just couldn’t pull through in
x by Sammi Levitt & Savannah Tryens ante are two of those people. Though neither one won in the end.”
Trying to get off on the right foot, the varsity wres- the final, Lipshultz and Asante both had tough matches, In their first match of the season, the Bengals domi-
tling team capitalized on their strengths and defeated managing to place second in the 103 and 140 weight nated Blair in a 57-9 victory, bringing both their division
division opponent, the Blair Blazers, and placed fourth classes, respectively. Says senior co-captain Zakaria and overall record to 1-0. On a squad of fourteen, ten
out of 18 at the annual Mad Mats tournament. Kronemer, “Both guys had to wrestle tough competitors Bengals impressively either teched (being the first to get
The competitive Mad Mats tournament, which takes all tournament long. The fact that they made it that far 15 points) or pinned their opponents. Says junior Brian
place at Magruder High School, allows the wrestlers to is impressive.” Battaglia, “It was a great start to the season, and it gives
compete not only against fellow Montgomery County Overall, the Bengals only lost to wrestling pow- us a lot of momentum for our upcoming matches.”
schools, but also with schools from all over the state. erhouses the Magruder Colonels, Glenelg Gladiators Tomorrow the Bengals have a tough match against
The impressive finish was made possible by the wres- and Walt Whitman Vikings. “They are all tough teams the Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets and Sherwood Warriors
tlers who competed in the final round and in consolation to beat,” says junior Edwin Callendar, who placed third at home, followed by another home match Tuesday against
matches. in his 171 weight class. “We were in the top two for the division rivals, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons.

Community ice hockey team looks to rebound after slow start to season
Squad struggles with defense despite good performances from goalie
by Josh Paunil in the division, 13-2. Freshman group allowed 39 shots on goal, The team clocked in their of the season, they lost to the
forward Aiden Bittinger-Esser and due to the Wildcats winning most best performance of the year de- Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets com-
x & Robert Krakaur sophomore forward James Stradely of the face-offs. fensively when they traveled to munity team, 10-3. Rankin had his
With their five leading scor- scored the lone goals for the team. When the squad played the face the DC Tigers community best game of the season after scor-
ers back from last season and two “They just out-skated us and were Sherwood Warriors, the third-place team and lost, 8-0. Klemko once ing a goal and having an assist, and
four-year veterans returning, the able to get behind our defense to get team in the division, they came again played well for the team by was joined by Bittinger-Esser who
community ice hockey team has a lot of shots on goal,” says senior away with their third loss of the sea- having a save percentage of close scored a goal of his own.
a good chance to post their best forward Matt Rankin. son, 11-1, December 6. However, to 85%. “[Klemko] kept us in the Despite the slow start to the
record in recent years despite a The team also struggled to junior goalie Cross Klemko had one game most of the time by allowing season, the team is confident they
slow start. get past the Wildcats’ defense, of his best games of the season, sav- only a few goals despite our poor can rebound. “We just need to take
In the latest game against the managing only seven shots on goal. ing over 75% of the shots on goal. defense,” says senior center Daniel each game one at a time,” says Bell.
Walter Johnson Wildcats, the team “Their defense is among the best Stradley scored the team’s lone goal Bell. “He came up big for us.” “If we do that, we can pick up our
fell to the highest-scoring team we’ve faced,” adds Rankin. The in this game as well. In the team’s opening game first win of the season.”
D4 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat
Indoor track hurdles opponents, boys take first place, girls third
Runners strive for new achievements, hope to make improvements
by Danny Lee ter, the new head coach Charles placed third in the 4X1600 meter Christina Falden placed second scrimmage at PG County’s
Simms has intensified the train- relay and eighth in the 4X400. in the shot put, while senior Sports and Learning Complex,
x & Ricardo Mancia ing. “I’m really looking forward The boys did well too, placing Nhial Agok placed first in the where the Bengals put in many
Shot Put, 100 meter dash, to this season,” says coach first in the 4X800 and 4X400 300 meter dash and sixth in the new runners. With no points at
1600 meter relay. These events Simms. “I coach a bunch of events and placed fourth in the high jump. stake, the Bengals were able to
are not things you would expect good kids that come out every 4X1600. Senior captain Rachel Sophomore Darius Ox- enter their underclassmen into
to see during the season of snow day outside in the freezing cold Porzel says “[The team] is go- ley was another example of an different races in an effort to
and 20 degree weather. How- and work hard to get faster and ing to do really well…the relay individual success at the meet explore talent at the scrimmage.
ever, the Bengal indoor track put Blake track on the map in teams are our strongest event.” by coming in second in the 800. “It’s a pretty new team and I see
and field team is hard at work at Montgomery County.” While the boys’ and girls’ Junior Justin Ingram also did a lot of potential,” says senior
these events and more. This past Saturday the team did well, some of the play- well by placing second in the captain Alistair McLean. “We
This year the team has one team had their first meet which ers had their own personal wins 55 hurdles. have more of a drive this year.”
of the biggest turnouts ever. The they fared well in. The girls and achievements as well. Senior The season opened with a The team looks to keep
roster is compiled of 51 players: improving and doing well. There
23 boys and 28 girls. Senior
Erin Yates says, “The hard work
The hard work we’re putting in during are three meets the team is
hoping to excel in before the
we’re putting in during practice
is paying off during the meets.”
practice is paying off during the meets. Montgomery Invitational, the
culmination of the season, Janu-
Along with the larger ros-
Erin Yates ary 8.
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 D5
Boys’ basketball
begins season
with three wins
Team dominates
with over-20-point
margin of victory
x by Paige O’Flahavan & Josh Paunil
Looking to continue their success from last
year, the JV boys’ basketball team has started off
undefeated with a win over consortium rival, the
Springbrook Blue Devils, and an average margin
of victory of over 20 points.
The Bengals defeated the Blue Devils in their
latest game, 58-46, with sophomore captain guards
Breon Herbert and Stefan Sigwalt leading the way,
scoring 20 and 11 points, respectively. However,
Blake started off the game slowly allowing the Blue
Devils to lead at the half, 27-25, due to the team
committing nine fouls.
“We played well together and did a good
job communicating,” says sophomore guard AK
Jones. Jones also scored ten points. Sophomore
center Leon Dean added seven of his own showing
the multitude of scoring options that the Bengals
In Blake’s first home game of the season,
they came away with a 69-38 win against the Pool-
esville Falcons. “We’re a very athletic team and
have good chemistry,” says Herbert. The Bengals
dominated the whole game holding a lead at the
end of each quarter, and having a double-digit lead
throughout the second half.
When the team took on the B-CC Barons to
start off the season, they doubled their opponents’
score, winning 72-36. However, even with a con-
vincing win such as this, one the Bengals found
a lesson to be learned. “We have a lot of talent,”
says Sigwalt, “but we need to work on finishing
and controlling the pace.”
After a strong start to the season, the Ben-
gals look to continue their domination throughout
the rest of the season. Says freshman center Ohio
Sophomore guard/forward Folarin Orimolade dribbles basketball team defeats the Blue Devils, 58-46. The team Chiazor, “Our long term goal is to go undefeated
past a defender from Springbrook as the JV boys’ has won its first three games. --photo by Aron Crews this season.”

Junior Varsity squad picks up first victory of the season over Blue Devils
Girls lose to Poolesville after tough, three-point overtime loss against B-CC
by John Beers ning our offensive plays,” says the very end. game at 33 with two free throws Comer.
sophomore captain guard Lindsey The Lady Bengals began just before regulation ended. Over- Despite their 1-2 start, the
x & Michael Errigo Comer. their season with an overtime loss time was a defensive battle, as the team remains optimistic. Cameron
JV girls’ basketball used The Lady Bengals domi- to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Lady Bengals came up just short adds, “If we keep working hard the
excellent shooting, scrappy de- nated all aspects of the game. Lady Barons, falling 37-34. The on several offensive possessions. way we have been, then…we will
fense and great teamwork to pick Defensive execution led to easy Lady Bengals displayed great “The team worked really be successful this season.”
up their first win of the season baskets as the Lady Bengals forced defense throughout the game but hard throughout the game,” says The Lady Bengals travel to
Monday night defeating rival, the many turnovers and held the Lady could not hold on for the win. Comer, “but we started getting ner- face the Paint Branch Lady Pan-
Springbrook Lady Blue Devils, Blue Devils scoreless for long “We didn’t give up and we kept vous when the score got close.” thers tonight hoping to continue
57-21. stretches. going and fought to the finish,” The Lady Bengals execut- their winning ways.
The Lady Bengals jumped In their second game of the says sophomore guard Megan ed offensively and defensively Upcoming home games for
out to an early lead and were in season, the Lady Bengals suffered Cameron. throughout the game. Tough de- Blake include the Damascus Lady
control for the entire game. They a tough loss at the hands of the The two teams both played fense led to easy fast-break points Swarmin’ Hornets Monday, the
scored first and never gave up the Poolesville Lady Falcons, 52-27. hard, as the Lady Bengals fought and lay ups. “We have multiple Wheaton Lady Knights January
lead. “We started off very strong, They showed good effort through- back from a first quarter deficit defensive plays that cause the 4, and the Rockville Lady Rams
playing great defense and run- out the game and played hard to to lead at the half. B-CC tied the other team to get frustrated,” adds January 7.

If we keep working hard the way we have been, then... we will be successful.
Megan Cameron

Wrestling looks to learn, improve, prevail throughout the season

Year off to a positive start after close 30-24 win against Blair Blazers
their limit at practice to allow them to be in peak physical The matches are set up according to whoever is pres-
x by Michael Joiner condition. Most find wrestling is a great way for them to ent at the match and whoever is able to wrestle. However,
Whether they are trying their hardest to make varsity get something out of the season. “I’m wrestling to stay in even if the sport requires individual wins, they wrestle as
next year or just using JV wrestling to condition for the shape and get stronger for baseball,” adds Acker. “And a team. “The captains really keep the team working hard
spring season, the junior varsity wrestlers gave it their all since every practice is hard and intense, it really teaches as a group,” says sophomore Danny Gonzalez, who wasn’t
beating the Blair Blazers, December 8. us discipline.” able to wrestle due to an injury. “It’s great to be a part of
The match against the Blazers was the team’s first The team has a lot of first time wrestlers this year, this team.”
match of the season, ending with a final score of 30-24. who come onto the team with hopes of developing new Wrestling can teach lessons important not only to
Junior Cody Acker, who is wrestling for his second year, skills and staying in shape. Sophomore Zachary Johnson the sport, but to life too. “I hope [this season] teaches me
pinned his opponent in the Blair match. “You really have was pinned in his first match, but looks forward to what how to reach my maximum potential,” says sophomore
to want it to get a spot on varsity,” says Acker, “and the the season can offer. “I hope to learn more about wres- Brandon Deane, “not just in wrestling, but in everything
only way to do that is improve.” tling,” says Johnson, “and hopefully get some wins under I can do.”
The junior varsity wrestlers push themselves to my belt.” The team’s next match is at home Tuesday against
D6 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat

New coach, new quarterback, new defense...same results

For the third straight year, the Redskins are practically offensive line is priority number two. The Redskins clearly tion, and it will likely get thinner in the next couple of years
out of the playoff hunt with three weeks left in the season. lack depth, since once starters got injured, Donovan McNabb after the 35-year-old London Fletcher retires. The bottom line
Washington has had many problems this season in every had no time to throw and running backs had no room to run. for the Redskins is if they cannot solve their problems at nose
aspect of the game but they all start and end with one thing: Washington cannot survive with Stephon Heyer at tackle, even guard and inside linebacker, they will need to switch back to
poor line play. The Redskins have had bad offensive line a 4-3 because the inside part of their defense cannot be
play throughout the season due to injuries to starters such the weakest part.
as first round pick, Trent Williams. But the defensive line Going back to the offensive side of the ball, wide
issues were recently exposed in the Giants game in which receiver is another position Washington could improve
New York rushed for close to 200 yards. on. Anthony Armstrong has come along very nicely but
One way to solve the defensive line problems is for second-round picks, Malcolm Kelley and Devon Thomas
Albert Haynesworth to be the starting nose guard; however, were both busts, and Santana Moss is aging faster than
due to his problems with head coach Mike Shanahan it Redskins fans would like to admit. Not only do the Red-
looks like this is his last year as a Redskin. Washington skins need to provide blocking for their quarterback (yet
needs to find a dominant nose guard to put in the middle another issue that needs to be addressed), but the quarter-
of the defense so the linebackers can make tackles, the sole back needs to have targets to throw to as well.
purpose of the nose in a 3-4 scheme. With all the problems that Washington has, it is
The best chance the Redskins will have to fix their very unlikely that they will make the playoffs this year
defensive line problems is the draft, when three excellent and the next couple of years as well. If the Redskins want
defensive tackles will be available (all of whom can play to be successful, they need to draft players at positions
nose guard). Washington will probably end up getting a top-12 if it is due to an injury. they need and play free agency intelligently, meaning they
pick so they could get one of those players with that pick. The linebacking core is another issue for the Redskins. shouldn’t pay 100 million dollars for a defensive tackle with
Once the defensive line problems are addressed, the Washington has very little depth at the inside linebacker posi- no work ethic.

Despite recent six-game slump, Capitals look to weather storm

Semin strikes Lightning while team loses thunder on special teams
for the league lead. have fallen into a very familiar November 26. have allowed six power play goals
x by Andrew Markowitz As his Russian counterpart hole: goaltending. Michael Neu- Since the beginning of the in a six-game stretch.
Throughout the month of basks in the limelight, superstar virth was on a tear for Washington, season, Washington has continued The end of November also
November, it seems as if the spot- Alex Ovechkin has hit another with 12 victories under his belt to improve on their power play signified the end of left wing
light for the Washington Capitals speed bump. The left winger until he tweaked an upper body unit, which struggled early on Tomas Fleischmann’s career in
has shifted from one Alex to matched his career-high in goal- injury and ended up dropping his in the year. The man-advantage D.C. The Capitals traded “Flash”
another. scoring droughts when he went last three starts. Semyon Varla- has improved to 23.8%, earning to the Colorado Avalanche in
Alexander Semin proved nine games without a goal before mov is 4-2-0 in the seven games a fourth place rank in the league. exchange for 13-year veteran de-
to be the offensive flame for the scoring the lone Washington goal he’s played, with a 93.4% save As a whole, the team has scored fenseman Scott Hannan. Hannan
Capitals during the month of No- in the team’s 3-1 loss to the Atlanta percentage. a total of 24 power play goals, is viewed as a potential missing
vember, as he scored 12 goals and Thrashers, December 4. How- He turned in his best per- with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex link in the Caps’ quest for a deep
19 points through 14 games. He ever, the superstar captain did not formance of the season so far Ovechkin tied for the team lead playoff run: a stay-at-home de-
also scored two hat tricks against seem to mind the dry spell as he when he allowed only one goal in with 14 points apiece. fenseman.
division rival, the Tampa Bay notched an incredible 16 assists in the Capitals’ 4-1 win over the St. The penalty-killing has, The Capitals will kick off a
Lightning. The 12 goals brought November. In his last five games, Louis Blues, December 1. He also however, dipped a little in effi- two-game road swing when they
Semin to a team-leading 18 goals, Ovechkin has two goals and four earned his third-career-regular- ciency. The PK is currently ranked visit the Boston Bruins and red-
trailing Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby points. season shutout when he blanketed ninth at 84.3% efficient, which is hot goaltender Tim Thomas at TD
and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos Once again, the Capitals the Tampa Bay Lightning, 6-0, respectable except that the Caps Garden at 7pm tomorrow.
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 D7
Seniors surge in basketball, get ready for next level
McGugan and Hedley’s hard work earns interest from college coaches
x by Eddie Madden & Josh Paunil
Throughout senior co-captains Brandon
Hedley’s and Matt McGugan’s careers at Blake,
the two have led the varsity basketball team to
a 40-10 record, a Division championship and a
Regional championship, resulting in multiple Di-
vision I and Division II offers between the two.
Hedley has received D-I interest from
American University, the University of New
Hampshire, University of Delaware and the U.S.
Naval Academy. Says Hedley, “I want to stay on
the east coast, hopefully North Carolina or New
York, and make sure the school has a winning
program and I get enough playing time.”
Hedley has continued to improve his stock
ever since post-season play last year, in which
he averaged over 17 points per game, by having
a great summer league and scoring 33 points
against ESPN’s number 24 ranked player over-
all, Quinn Cook. “He has a very high basketball
IQ and really understands how to play the team
game,” says Mid Atlantic Select AAU Coach
James Lee. “He also moves very well without the
ball and is a great student athlete, which college
coaches love.”
Realizing the importance of academics in
the recruiting process, Hedley has maintained
a 3.0 GPA over his high school career. He also
was named to the First Team on the All-League
team, selected by MCPS coaches.
Similarly to Hedley, McGugan has been
approached by many D-II and D-III schools
including Randolph-Macon, Davis & Elkins and
St. Mary’s, Randolph-Macon and St. Mary’s be-
ing his favorites. Says McGugan, “[I’m looking
for a] strong academic school with a respectable
basketball program as well as a head coach that
I will enjoy playing for.”
McGugan has also learned of the benefits
of good grades in the recruiting process, which
has lead to him earning a cumulative GPA of
3.4. “He is a great student athlete which is very
attractive to college coaches,” says Lee. McGu-
gan plans on majoring in Communications or
Broadcast Journalism in college.
Both Hedley and McGugan love playing
basketball and have no intention to stop in the
near future. Says McGugan, “I love playing it. I
love the friendships you create and just the whole Senior co-captains Matt McGugan (left) and Brandon Hedley schools after leading varsity team to a 40-10 record over their time
basketball environment.” (right) are receiving multiple offers from Division I and Divsion II at Blake. -- photos by Karen Vanegas (left) and Cecilia Girolami

Super scintillating sensational swimmers save sleeping for after season

Athletes get no shuteye while participating in both club, Blake sports
make it through the day. I don’t want to let my teammates down.”
x by Isaac Appel & Adele Leishman Not only do these students swim for their club team, Those who have not experienced the life of a competi-
Getting out of bed at 6am is something many high they also participate on Blake’s swim squad. Says Freeman, tive swimmer usually have not thought about how big a com-
schoolers rely on their parents for, but when it comes to “It’s a nice break from the challenges of my club team.” mitment the sport is. Sacrificing your social life is something
competitive swimmers the drive to wake up is the only thing While we are tucking ourselves into bed, these athletes most teenagers would not even consider; however sophomore
that is going to keep them afloat. are still up, sometimes just beginning their homework. Jaffe Cory Camp chooses his teammates before fun. Says Camp,
“I don’t have a problem getting up in the morning, it’s and senior Spencer Sterling know this feeling all too well. “Swimming affects my social life quite a bit, I can’t stay out
staying awake during school that I have trouble with,” says With eight practices a week, four in the morning and four at too late on Friday nights due to practice the next morning.”
junior Amanda Freeman. “I usually eat something that sticks night, it is no wonder these students have a hard time staying Dedication, flexibility and determination have al-
with me during my practice which helps keep me awake.” awake in school. lowed each of these students to pursue competitive swim-
Junior Rachel Jaffe has mutual feelings. “Early classes Sterling, who has committed to Division I swimming at ming.Though they have their ups and downs with school
are the most difficult to stay awake in,” she adds. However, University of Maryland College Park, says, “Some mornings sometimes in the way, each of them has found a balance
with a dose of caffeine in addition to a little nap time, she can I feel like sleeping in and skipping practice, but I go because that works for them.

BCS bowls’ inadequate system leaves out good teams, leads to debates
Junior calls for playoff tournament to make great showdowns possible
system, it is almost impossible for a team power to change it are making money from
x by Lucas Irvin
The Boise State At the end of the season for every
with a fluke loss or a team who is not in an
AQ conference to make it into the champi-
this system. Coaches, athletic directors and
bowl directors get hefty bonuses whenever
(BSU) Broncos major sport, teams are bracketed and have
a playoff to determine the champion. The
onship game.
Teams such as the Boise State Bron-
postseason rolls around, but at the expense
of the universities.
and the Texas only exception to this is Division I-A col-
lege football, which instead has the Bowl
cos (BSU) and the Texas Christian (TCU)
Horned Frogs, who have both been contend-
According to an NCAA report, 106 of
the 120 schools that play I-A football lost
Christian (TCU) Championship Series (BCS).
There are 125 teams in Division I-A
ers in recent years with undefeated records,
are always left out because of their easy
money in 2009, and Big Ten Commissioner
Jim Delany says an NFL-style football play-
Horned Frogs... and 35 total bowls, so a winning record near
guarantees some postseason game, lead-
schedule, though they almost always blow
away their competition.
off would generate “three or four times” as
much as the current system.
are always left ing to such trivial games as the San Diego
County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
In 2006, an undefeated Boise State
finished 8th in the BCS standings, but did
As strong as the opposition and
reasoning is for a college football play-
out because The best ten teams are supposed to
make it to a BCS bowl, but since lackluster
not play the only other undefeated team
left, Ohio State in the championship game.
off, it seems highly unlikely that one will
emerge. People have been trying to get one
of their easy automatic-qualifying conferences (AQ)
still have to send a team to the BCS, this
A playoff would completely do away with
this problem, giving every team in conten-
ever since BCS buster Boise State beat the
Oklahoma Sooners in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl
schedule. rarely happens. This year, an unranked
Connecticut is headed to the BCS, but #9
tion a shot at the title.
The main reason this is not being
after Oklahoma was expected to embarrass
Boise, proving that teams in weak confer-
Michigan State is left out. With this faulty changed is that the people who have the ences aren’t necessarily weak themselves.
D8 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat
Marching band, once largest in county, has shrunk in size after county ruling, p. E2

Section E Section E James Hubert Blake

Blake High
Beat Fine School
Arts December
17, 2010 December 17, 2010

New York Voices sings alongside Blake jazz ensemble

by Delilah Gates vocalists I have ever heard.” the stage with us.” [had] this opportunity to learn from not the only ones impressed with
x & Lily Hua At various parts through- Before the performance, the musicians I admire so much.” Blake’s musicians by the end of
out the performance, the New jazz ensemble and a cappella sing- In return, the student musi- the night. “My favorite part of
Professional vocal jazz York Voices joined with student ers had a private rehearsal with the cians dazzled the New York Voices the night was hearing the jazz
group the New York Voices, gave musicians to treat the audience to New York Voices, where they were with their skills. Says Ms. Kinhan, band and solo singers,” say au-
back to the musical community collaborated music pieces. “They privy to priceless tips and advice. “[The musicians] are wonderful. dience member senior Delaney
December 3 by performing along- were an amazing group that we “They’re incredibly talented, [yet] They worked hard [and] took in a Cruickshank. “I had no idea my
side Blake’s jazz ensemble and a loved sharing the stage with,” says such real people,” says a cappella lot of information. It shows how classmates were that talented. One
cappella group for a night of musi- jazz ensemble trumpeter Stephen member and soloist Brittany Ham- smart and motivated they are.” day I might even be seeing them
cal entertainment. Bonhag, “and they loved sharing son. “I feel so honored to have The New York Voices were on stage!”
Invited by band director
Brian Damron, the New York
Voices were more than happy to
perform with Blake student musi-
cians. “We love being part of the
educational [process] of young
musicians,” says New York Voices
member Lauren Kinhan. “Passing
on the tradition of jazz and giving
back - that’s an exciting thing for
us to do.”

It was a pure
delight of which
I wouldn’t trade
for the world
Ryan Reynolds
The show opened with pre-
concert entertainment by the jazz
ensemble, student soloists, and a
cappella singers. For the student
soloists it was a unique chance to
perform with a live band behind
them. “When it was time to per-
form we fit together like a jigsaw
puzzle,” says sophomore Ryan
Reynolds. “It was a pure delight
of which I wouldn’t trade for the
world.” Reynolds performed Mi-
chel Bublé’s “Everything.”
During the second half, the
New York Voices took to the stage
and performed several of their
pieces, all of which impressed the
audience. Says soloist and senior
Matias Perez-Ferrero, “The New Drummer Carter Howard (left) and saxophonists Calvin Daniel Louloudes get the crowd going during the New York
York Voices are the most talented Ward, Paul Gregg, Jalen Marshall, Wesley Hunn and Voices performance December 3. --photo by Aron Crews

Junior creates online magazine, Pianist hopes to begin high school

showcases talent, expresses angst in new country on positive note
by Molly Cohen … getting A’s [in English who used to fail],” good,” adds Cao.
says Tu. x by Gillian Spolarich
x & Shannon Wade Cao, who left behind his sister, parents,
Each issue of Teen Inkst is published Bengals are full of young talent, rang- and many friends in China, says, “The biggest
Teen Inkst channels angst on the inter- online at the end of every month. There are ing from dancers, actors, and artists to musi- change is family. [My] parents are not with
net. In the age of blogging it only makes sense nine different sections for people to read de- cians; but none have the story of freshman [me] anymore. It’s kind of hard to accept but
that an online magazine like Teen Inkst would pending on what they are interested in. “I like piano player David Cao. [I] must get over it.” He plans to visit them
be created. The opinions on the site stray away the fact that the online magazine is public, so Cao, who is originally from Chi- for a month in the summer.
from society’s stereotypical viewpoints, often anyone can read it,” says Chiu. This magazine na, has been playing the piano since The transition from Chinese to
placed on teenagers. is made mainly for middle and high school he was three years old. He de- American schooling proved to have
It is a magazine written by teens for kids, but adults read it too. cided to make the move to the lots of differences. In China,
teens around the county to get noticed for The staff is composed of 15 regular United States last June and Cao went to school every day
their photography and writing skills. Teen contributors, but anyone can submit an article currently resides with at seven o’clock and did
Inkst magazine, created by junior Samara Tu or photo. Articles can be about anything that his uncle’s family. “I not return home until
this past July, can be found at http://teenink- the writer deems important. Says Chiu, “I love considered coming six. “I think stu- fashion, so [writing for Teen Inkst] is a great here a long time dents have more
The magazine gained momentum by way for me to express my feelings for it.” The ago, I was just free time to spend
word of mouth. Students from all over Mont- latest issue includes beauty tips (called DIYs), preparing,” says here than China,”
gomery County as well as Howard County reviews, non-fiction stories, and features about Cao, “I thought the says Cao. “We [had]
have gathered together to form the staff of local stand outs. education here would suit like five hours of home-
Teen Inkst. “It feels like we’re [all] a big Not only does Teen Inkst feature unique me better.” work every night.”
gang,” says junior Jenny Chiu. “We all just teens, it also provides an opportunity for the Many of his uncle’s fam- Cao is fitting in per-
come together and write our hearts out.” staff to show off too. Says junior Alison Scher, ily members play the violin and fectly at Blake and is starting to
Writers send their articles, photographs “I like being able to showcase my talents and study at the Peabody Institute in foster his own interests. He plays the
and graphics to Tu by e-mail; she then edits hard work for people to see.” Baltimore. Cao was lucky enough to piano in his musical theater class and
and critiques them to be revised before pub- Anyone daring enough to join Teen land himself an audition at the Institute is also in TV production. Cao also proved
lication. Tu advertises by placing posters up Inkst should go to E163 Mondays at lunch. and was accepted for his exceptional piano his musical skills when he placed second in
all over the school to encourage students to Chiu adds, “I think I love being a member playing. He now studies at the Institute once a the Talent Show. Says Cao, “[Blake] gives
contribute their work while simultaneously because of the joy I get when a person readss week. “The teachers and equipment are really students the stage to show their talents.”
improving their writing. “Now I have friends [my writing] and falls in love with it.”
E2 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat

Winter choral performances spread joy, give audience chills

The Vocal Ensemble Chorus, directed by Sandra Zinkievich, performed in the Song of Seville Overture” were sung by the choir. The upcoming band concert will be
of the Season concert on December 8. Songs such as “The Silver Swan” and “Barber held on December 21 with a Rock and Roll theme. --photo by Cecilia Girolami

Musicians talk about upcoming band concert, excited to play for peers
by Kristen Frese Zinkievich, “The most rewarding [part of can be both difficult and rewarding. Says that the songs that will be performed appeal
the night]… is the look on students faces Honors Choir member Lizzie Reyes, “It was to people of all ages, so everyone in the
x & Leah Patterson when they know they’ve done well.” difficult sometimes to get us blending with audience will be entertained.
Winter brings out the musical tal- The high-energy performance re- one another…and perfecting [the sound] to Many students look forward to the
ents of many Bengals, with the Choruses’ ceived a positive response from teachers, the best that we can.” band concerts because they know there are
concert December 8 and the upcoming performers, and audience members. Says The second band concert of the year always surprises involved. Some concerts
Instrumental Music Winter Pops Concert junior McKayla Adam, “I thought overall will be held December 21 at 7:30 pm. The have included props such as a fog machine
Tuesday, many students are ready to show it was very well put together, and when I Instrumental Music Winter Pops Concert’s and last year music teacher Brian Damron
off their talent. looked around, the audience was always theme is Rock and Roll and will feature read a poem as his band performed in the
The choruses’ winter concert De- smiling.” songs by famous bands such as The Beatles background. Other students simply enjoy
cember 8 began at 7:00 pm. The concert, The choruses have been preparing the and Led Zeppelin. “The winter [instrumen- the music played, and the talent showcased
entitled “Songs of the Season,” showcased songs for the concert since the beginning of tal] concert is probably the best one of the in the events. Says junior Matthew Lip-
performances by all three choruses - Vocal the year. The performances included songs year,” says junior Daniel Louloudes. “All shultz, “I really like the drumline perfor-
Ensemble, A Cappella and Honors Concert such as “The Silver Swan” and “Barber of of the ensembles play and all of the coolest mance, it’s always something different and
Choir. Says Vocal Ensemble teacher Sandra Seville Overture.” The preparation process stuff happens.” Many band members agree cool to watch.”

Roaring Bengals marching to new beat, now with fewer members

Despite decreased size, band hopes to uphold prestigious reputation
by Leisha Winley either badly or favorably for us.” Overall, from marching band.”
We used x & Larisha Winley however, band members feel the reduction The band is now split into two I have
should help rather than harm the band. separate bands: Silver and Blue. Both the
to pride From 160-plus student musicians “It’s kind of sad to see the marching Silver and Blue bands perform in parades learned
down to 80. band shrink,” says junior Danielle Blocker. and in the stands during football games.
ourselves The Roaring Bengals Marching “We used to pride ourselves on being the However, the Silver band’s duties are far a lot
Band has shrunk drastically in size due to largest marching band in the county.” The more expanded; they perform at the half
on being Montgomery County changing marching strong commitment to the marching band time shows, participate in competitions about
band from a requirement to a voluntary which members are expected to uphold and play at pep rallies.
the afterschool activity last year. may be the source of its reduction in size. Every year, the band partakes in the discipline
“It is sad that we don’t have the Students must constantly memorize music Burtonsville Day Celebration in Septem-
largest largest band in Maryland anymore,” says and practice for hours, which repelled ber; the Silver Spring Thanksgiving Day and
music teacher and band director Brian some band members. Those who are part Parade; the Washington DC St. Patrick’s
marching Damron, “but it is refreshing to have only of the marching band believe that the fee Day Parade; the Cherry Blossom Festival restraint
dedicated musicians in the group.” Since may also be discouraging for potential Parade in the spring and the Rockville
band the decline in size, the band has been able members. Memorial Day Parade in May. On January from
to do more elaborate performances and has The many advantages of being a 4, the band will perform at the Sugar Bowl
in the worked to create a cleaner sound. member of marching band - learning self- in New Orleans. marching
The new size of the band led to discipline, leadership skills, and gaining a Says junior Marciana Esteves,
county. some significant changes performance connection between movement and music “Even though it’s a lot of work, sweat, band.
wise. Says junior Erica Wang, “We defi- - have appealed to some students. Says and can be frustrating, the marching band
nitely [have to] compete in smaller divi- newcomer, junior Grace Plihal, “I have is totally worth it and everyone should
Danielle Blocker sions in our competitions, which could go learned a lot about discipline and restraint join.” Grace Plihal

Blake’s dancing queens and kings to sashay across stage January 12

goosebumps and a concert that will entertain them,” and…to reveal the movement.”
x Regina Cameron & Samara Tu says Mrs.Iriarte. The dance concert will not only feature choreo-
Bring your enthusiasm to the Winter Dance Dancing to R&B, hip hop, and instrumental music, graphed pieces, but it will also display lighting that
concert January 12 to see Blake dancers show off their the Hip Hop club, led by juniors Devon Johnson and makes the show spectacular and eye-catching. With the
moves. Terah Jones, will showcase a dance about a character use of pars, ellipsoidals, and the fog machine, it will be
The Winter Dance concert will feature students finding true love. “We want to leave them in awe, make hard to take your eyes off the stage. Mr. Ovington says,
in Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, and Jazz classes and per- them want to get out of their seats and dance with us,” “When we use the fog machine, we light it low to make
formances by the Hip Hop club and Dance Company, says Johnson. it look like clouds rolling off the stage.”
choreographed by dance teachers Danielle D’Anna, After months of practice, students will have a dress With the recent budget cuts, the dance department
Donna Iriarte, and Nicole Houchens, and by students. rehearsal on stage the day before the concert. During is struggling to come up with costumes and other neces-
Mrs. Iriarte is choreographing a Janet Jackson that time, choreographers will decide which lights and sities; that does not stop the students from performing.
mix with her advanced jazz class, along with a modern special effects to use. Says Media Services Technician “High school [students] always amaze me,” says Mrs.
dance routine inspired by an Edgar Allen Poe poem. “I John Ovington, “There’s lighting required for a dance. Iriarte. “When [they] want to pull it together, they can
hope [the audience] will see a concert that will give them You need lighting to reveal the form of the dancers do it.”
The Blake Beat December 17, 2010 E3
When you think no one watch as an “intoxicated doc- adult instead of a teenager? As the audience, we are
is watching to step in, step out, tor” tries to leave the bar to go But not everyone sits ashamed by those who d
or step away? perform surgery or as a “crazy quietly watching and ignor- turn a blind eye or stand es


This is the exact ques- mother” ties her children to ing these sensitive situations. back and watch be-

tion the TV show, Primetime: a post outside a store a like Some people act. Whenever cause we ourselves

By Delilah G
What Would You Do, asks. dog. a passer-by stops a “drunken have been there.
By performing the same person” from getting in a car; But when a per-

The premise is simple: actors
portray a troubling scene in skits with actors of different or scolds a “racist cashier” son stands up for

public, while hidden cameras races, genders, clothing-styles who refuses to serve a Muslim, the underdog

watch to see how the unsus- and ages, the show brings out Jew or Latino, we revel in the we are inspired

as catch
pecting bystanders react to the sad truth about stereotypes morality and brevity of our to be more than
the ethical dilemmas. But the in our society. Did you know fellow man. Should such a an inactive by-
results are amazing. that people are less likely to situation arise in my presence, stander. So I
The show, which cur- intervene when “destructive I will choose to be more than don’t know
rently airs 9pm Fridays on teens” are defacing a stranger’s an inactive bystander while what you do on
ABC, highlights human ten- car if the teens are white in- others suffer. Friday nights,
dency towards inaction. You stead of black; or when an “ag- The show is raw because but if I were you

f ethical absen
would be appalled by how gressive guy” is abusing his its sole purpose is to observe I’d be watching this

many people would simply girlfriend in public if he is an the actions of real people. show.

Mons Kanye West, in his Swift lovers alike that it is: a preciated about
er t newest musical install- he’s the same West we hip-hop album. Songs West’s previous album,
ment, My Beautiful Dark used to appreciate. like “Monster” and “So but he sticks to rapping
Twisted Fantasy, does In an effort to avoid Appalled” feature well- and leaves the sing-
everything right. an unintentional leak, known artists like Jay-Z ing up to John Legend.
is z

Everywhere he West released a song and Rick Ross as well The best part, though,

went wrong in every Friday prior to as up-and-coming art- features the wildly hi-

By Damon K

his excessively the release of his album, ists like Nicki Minaj and larious Chris Rock. It’s
synthesized birthing what fans grew Pusha-T that lend the two minutes of Rock

and overly to know as G.O.O.D. album a well-rounded ranting and raving about
lbum runs aw

emotional Friday. Because of this, line up. Backing up the one of West’s old girls,
album, 808’s most of the tracks I had wide array of featured with her laconically re-
and Heart- already heard before. artists is the interestingly sponding, “Yeezy taught
break, has Nonetheless, his album consistent, yet distinc- me.”
been righted was still worth buying; tively different beats I say the album is
here. He’s Kanye added outros, featured on each song. a must-buy for anyone
capitalized samples and, in some Ranging from the simply who appreciates music.
on every- cases, whole new bars layered, “Runaway”, to It’s also definitely worth
thing he does to certain songs to make the multi-layered, “Lost going deluxe if you’re
best, yielding them different from their In This World”. Each buying from iTunes; the
an album remi- released versions. song has its own specific deluxe version features
niscent of his Late We s t ’s h i g h l y mood and concept. his critically acclaimed


Registration days memorable kick-off My personal fa- visual album/movie,

h au h with a newer Yeezy single, “Power,” estab- vorite on the album Runaway.

flare. He’s proving to lishes My Beautiful Dark is “Blame Game”. It If you haven’t al-
all his critics and Taylor Twisted Fantasy for what combines aspects I ap- ready, go buy it.

Let’s get one thing straight: I love lads. Nicki does not meant about this Tee
Nicki Minaj. Unfortunately, her debut to be singing ballads. Although “Save song. Rihanna’s vocals on each
album Pink Friday just didn’t sit right Me” is easy for anyone to relate to, the chorus definitely help to
with me. song is not anything like we’re used to make this song a close

After “Mixtape Nicki” and verses hearing from Nicki, and is easy for any second to “Blazin’”.
on such songs as Kanye West’s “Mon- fan to skip upon listening to the first All in all, I

By Sam Glatt
ster”, I was expecting a much fiercer verse. definitely have to
and intense rap album. What we got There is one song on this al- say that this debut

was a couple of good rap jams, and bum that I can definitely classify as my album is only

then a majority of songs in which she favorite. Nicki has a duet with Kanye okay. I love

tries to sing. Let me stress try. West entitled “Blazin’” and it is by far some songs and
ve me” f

The only songs on par to those the stand out track on the album. It has I completely
from her mixtape days are the smash the perfect blend of Kanye’s perfect hate others.
hits “Roman’s Revenge” featuring rhymes and Nicki’s new style of rap. It I personally
Eminem and her solo song “Did It definitely isn’t as intense as “Roman’s think that Nicki
On ‘Em”. Besides these songs, Nicki Revenge”, but it doesn’t drag on slowly should stick to
goes back and forth between attempts like “Last Chance”. being featured
to show off some amount of vocal The song I was most looking in other people’s
talent and a few somewhat successful forward to definitely met my expec- songs. A solo ca-

attempts at slower songs. tations. Nicki’s collaboration with reer may not be
Songs such as “Save Me” and Rihanna entitled “Fly” is definitely the best idea for her;
“B u

“Last Chance” (which features Natasha

Bedingfield, who is extremely out of
place on this album) are basically bal-
one of my favorites on the album. Even
though it is slower, Nicki raps instead
of sings, which is what I love most
features and collabo-
rations are definitely her
strengths. la zin’” bad al b
Movi The much-hyped release of obvious lack of depth to the storyline: screw finally comes around
eb The Tourist, filled with excite- not only was it redundant, for most of in the last five minutes of the movie,
ment over the pairing of two of the movie, it was totally predictable. all the fluff and froth has diminished
r Hollywood’s most attractive I found myself caught up in admiring the attention spans of the audience,
stars, and packed with ex- Angelina Jolie’s wardrobe choices, and the blow is irreparably dulled. We

citing commercials was rather than gasping at the explosions are, indeed, more interested in Jolie’s

only just that- hype. and suspense that should have been, perfectly coiffed up-do than the secret

Needless to say, we all but were not. For once, it is painfully identity of the film’s mystery man, Al-
enjoyed the movie- apparent that she is, in fact, acting in exander Pierce. As the couple rides off

B y Is ak

it was cute and at a rather two-dimensional movie, as a in to the Venetian sunset, the signature

times funny and rather two-dimensional character. The enigmatic smile on Jolie’s lips, the audi-
even suspense- lack of believability is only made worse ence is left feeling somewhat cheated
bad trip,

ful at a couple by a needling awkwardness in her inter- of ten dollars.

points- but it was actions with Depp that runs throughout It’s certainly a movie worth
nowhere near the the course of the entire film. seeing, but only for free, and in the
must-see I thought Elise, as a character is a com- comfort of one’s own home while
it would be. plete opposite to Depp’s Frank- en scrolling through the movie channels
Angelina Jo- mode, where he is underdressed, on a boring Saturday night. The Tour-
lie was ravishing, eloquent while he is at best, a king of ist is in no way, the page-turner it was
complete with her malapropism. The schism in chemistry cut out to be by the high-pace, intense


effortless air of mys- is less than thrilling, and even the com- commercials. With a measly 2 1/2 stars

t tery as the femme fatale, out of 5, I doubt this movie will be


bined talent of the actors, the beauty of

nch s Elise. Her pairing with the renowned as a riveting performance

ored by big
the set and wardrobe, and the renown of
dashing Johnny Depp could the director couldn’t bump the second- by Depp or Jolie, and I’m sure fans of
have been absolutely first-rate. rate storyline up to first. both await the next breakout role with
The only problem was a painfully By the time the turn of the bated breath.
E4 December 17, 2010 The Blake Beat

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