Annandale High School’s
4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, VA 22003
Informing the Atoms since 1954
Wed. Nov 20, 2019 Vol. 65 Issue #3
As more and more
away from the
SAT, is it worth
BY MANNY PRECHT
Co-Editor in Chief
BY SUAD MOHAMED
Co-Editor in Chief
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
Over 700,000 live in fear as SCOTUS debates legality of DACA
Junior Sarah Lopez came to
Springfield, VA with her mom and
two older sisters in 2003, when she
was just 5 months old.
A few months later, her father followed.
For most of her childhood, she and
her family lived in fear of deportation.
The A-Blast has changed her name to
protect her identity.
“Typical everyday things scared
us,” Lopez said. “Going to the doctor’s
going to school, going to work. We
weren’t safe anywhere.”
Some of that fear lifted in 2012,
when President Barack Obama
announced the creation of Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Known as DACA, this policy
allowed for people who were brought
to the U.S. as children in an unlawful
manner to get temporary legal status,
go to school, and obtain work permits.
Applicants needed to be in school
and/or honorable discharged from the
armed forces and needed to pass a
Currently, DACA has placed over
700,000 people under protection from
As soon as the program was
announced, Lopez’s parents filed
applications for her and her two sisters.
“When DACA was announced,
me and my family felt like we had a
chance to make things work in America,”
Lopez said. “But things have
changed recently. It has all taken a
turn for the worse.”
Lopez is certainly not alone, as of
45% of AHS students
are of Latino
facing the same
fear as Lopez.
his campaign for
the oval office in
2015, he made a
promise to end
that the program was “illegal” and
“unconstitutional,” even going as far as
to say that he would rescind the program
on his first day of office.
Now, it looks like he may have a
chance at fulfilling this promise, as the
Supreme Court began hearing arguments
revolving around the legality of
DACA last Tuesday.
In June 2017, the Department of
Homeland Security announced that
any expansions to the original DACA
“I don’t know what
will happen to me, my
siblings, or my parents.
How is that fair to a
policy would be rescinded, but the original
policy would stay intact and be
Less than three months later, Attorney
General Jeff Sessions announced
that the program was to be repealed,
calling DACA recipients ‘lawbreakers.’
Quickly enough, DACA recipients,
often called DREAMers as a reference
to the DREAM
junior and DACA recipient
Act, a policy that
would give DACA
recipients a route
to citizenship but
was never passed,
were put in a
state of fear.
no clear instructions
to do,” Lopez
said. “There are
so many people
whose whole livelihoods
depended on DACA, and President
Trump and his administration
were taking it away with just a snap of
In his announcement, Sessions
defended the repealment of DACA by
saying that the existence of the program
was taking away jobs from U.S.
citizens, and that there was an increase
in children arriving to the U.S. without
parents, in hopes that they too would
receive protection from DACA. He also
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SUAD MOHAMED
claimed that a majority of law experts
agree that DACA is unconstitutional.
“Those words were extremely hurtful,
and only put more fear into people
like me,” Lopez said.
Swiftly, fact-checkers proved all
of these statements to be wrong and
the general public condemned these
Protests were held in nearly every
major city, including Washington, D.C.
Even some Republicans were
aghast at the repealment of DACA.
Within days, state governments
began to file lawsuits against President
Trump and his administration.
The very next day, New York headed
a lawsuit with 14 other states and
Washington D.C. A few days later,
President Trump was slapped by
another lawsuit from California and
four other states.
There was plenty of back and forth
that culminated in three different federal
district courts ruling that the
Trump administration was to continue
accepting DACA applications and that
the program was not unconstitutional
in early 2018.
“This gave us some hope,” Lopez
said. “Someone cared about us, and
they were willing to do something
What seemed like a moment of
peace for DREAMers ended quickly.
CONT. Page 5
The official Christmas ornament of the White
House Historical Society. The ornament honors
the 34th President Dwight D. Eisenhower
and symbolizes his commitment to innovation.
A U.S. military attack helicopter is
depicted with a Christmas reath at the front.
The ornaments costs $25 and to can be purchased
by contacting sponser Aileen Walsh.
In this day and age, having an
environment club is critical to school
life. At AHS, the Green Atoms have
been the go-to environmental club
for years. The club is great for all
things community service, providing
students with easy and interesting
“We want to raise awareness
about environmental issues and build
a strong sense of community in the
school.” Green Atoms board member
Tomas Lineras said.
However, the Green Atoms aren’t
all about the weekly recycling on
Wednesdays and other environmental
projects in the area.
Recently, the club has teamed
up with the White House Historical
Society and has been raising money
through the purchase of the 2019 official
White House ornament.
This year’s ornament honors President
Dwight D. Eisenhower and
symbolizes his commitment to innovation.
The ornament is American made
as well, coming from a vetern-founded
business in Rhode Island.
Purchased ornaments are expected
to deliver between Dec. 9 and
13. Payment of the ornament is due
All proceeds from ornament purchases
will go to the Green Atom’s
sustainable land-scaping efforts.
In addition, volunteers who work
to sell the ornament will receive three
to four hours every day they work.
“This opportunity is great for
those who want hours and great for
funding of our club,” Lineras said.
The White House Historical Society
releases an official Christmas
ornament every year. Howver, this is
the first time that the WHHS has collaborated
with the Green Atoms.
BY SUAD MOHAMED
Co-Editor in Chief
Following Principal Tim Thomas’
departure last school year, AHS
is still looking for a permanent
principal to take his place.
In August, Mark Merrell was
chosen to be the interim principal.
Since then, Fairfax County
Public Schools has been actively
looking for someone to permanently
take over his role.
Last Wednesday, the county
held a principal selection meeting.
Teachers, staff, parents, and
other members of the community
were invited to discuss what they
wanted in a new principal.
“Personally, I would want our
future principal to be dedicated
and willing to work with everyone
to make this school the best it can
be,” junior Anjum Ashraf said.
School Board Members Sandy
Evans and Megan McLaughlin,
embers of the school board were in
attendance to listen to what people
had to say. Region 2 Assistant
Superintendent Fabio Zuluaga
and Region 2 Executive Principal
Penny Gros were also available.
For those who were unable to
make the meeting, Zuluaga and
Gros were also at the PTSA meeting
For any other additional input,
people are encouraged to email
ideas to Adam McGeehan (APMcGeehan@fcps.edu)
Operation Clean Vape put in motion
AHS security team
cracks down on
students vaping in
BY MANNY PRECHT
Co-Editor in Chief
The end is nowhere close to near,
vaping nicotine or THC products continues
to be a widespread issue across
the nation. In our niche of Annandale,
the problem is highlighted through the
continuous use of vape products by students.
It is a common sight to see multiple
students vaping in the bathrooms in
between classes, during lunch and even
during class time.
“It gets hard to tell whether the
girls bathrooms smells like perfume or
a JUUL pod nowadays,” senior Sydney
Just last week, the bathroom in the
business/math hallway was shut down
due to excessive incidents of vaping.
The issue is so bad, students have
strted to take a comical approach to the
One student has labeled the time in
between periods in the very bathroom
that was shut down “IB Vape SL”
“I just don’t understand why kids
can’t wait until after school,” senior
Michael Brown said. “All I want to do is
use the bathroom but I can’t have any
privacy if I have JUUL smoke clouding
Teachers and administrators have
taken notice of the vaping problem and
the security team has developed a counterattack
against vaping in the bathrooms.
The AHS security team has dubbed
it “Operation Clean Vape.” The
Smokin’ in the boys room
Juuls or other vaping devices are a common scene in the bathrooms at AHS. The problem got so bad, the boys bathroom in the
business hallway had to be shut down for a whole day.
operation will be carried out over the
next several weeks to come and the
team will be targeting different bathroom
locations throughout each week.
Safety and Security Specialist Philip
Taylor sent out a message to all staff
members outlining the goals of the operation.
“The security team will be proactive,”
Taylor said. “However, we need
your [the teachers] help.”
The operation states that teachers
should limit giving their students bathroom
passes. Teachers are especially
encouraged to limit bathroom passes to
students who have a consistent record
for leaving class to use the bathroom.
Due to the high number of passes
that have been handed out in the past,
passes often float around the school;
allowing multiple students to have a
“pass” for the restroom.
This ‘Operation Clean Vape’ will
only be successful if we get buy in from
you,” Taylor stressed in his message to
Although many students find the
excessive vaping in bathrooms a nuisance,
some students argue that the
operation is an impediment on their privacy
and that it won’t be that effective.
“I don’t think the operation will
work as effectively as planned,” senior
Mohammed Khatib said. “Using fear
tactics and invading other people’s privacy
is just going to make students
trust the administration less and be
more secretive about their activities.”
Despite student opinion, the problem
of vaping in school bathrooms is
likely to be affected by this new strategy.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY MANNY PRECHT
2 EDITORIALS Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
Are students being censored?
BY ADAM SHAWISH
More and more websites have
been becoming blocked by FCPS.
Sites like Hulu, Netflix, and
Reddit have all been victim to
School Board Policy 6401.
Even at home, when students
want to relax, the sites are still
blocked. These sites are blocked
on every school issued computer.
When a student or staff visits
a blocked website, the message
not available because it is categorized
FCPS blocks sites they deem
as inappropriate for juveniles.
However, some of the sites they
block are harmless.
FCPS filters content by using
lightspeed, a filtering vendor, to
categorize websites. These categories
can be anything from
games to entertainment.
The school board then chooses
to block certain categories
based on their policies.
There is a way around
blocked websites. Staff are
allowed to request that certain
sites be unblocked. This does not
help students at all though.
The main reason that sites
are being blocked is because of
internet speed. When thousands
of students log onto streaming
services it greatly slows down
the servers. Another thing that
slows down the servers is the
amount of people on the FCPS
WIFI. When students get to
school, a majority of them log
onto the WIFI.
The amount of websites that
are being blocked is getting out
of hand. When someone is at
Twitter is doing the right thing for the public
to ban political
ads ahead of 2020
BY ADAM SHAWISH
Social media websites have always
been a platform for companies and campaigns
to get their messages out into the
world. Political advertisements become
more frequent around elections.
With the 2020 presidential election
coming up, political advertisements
should be popping up all over the place.
However, social media platforms like
Twitter have decided to ban all political
CEO Jack Dorsey announced that
Twitter would stop political advertisements
in response to the spread of misinformation
that has been plaguing the
Twitter has not agreed upon the official
policies, but Dorsey says they will
take place in November.
This is a huge public relations win
for the company.
Facebook is currently embroiled in a
debate over its decision to allow political
campaigns to push advertisements containing
The company has said it does not
think it should be the arbiter of political
speech, though it does stop companies
and political committees from using
Senior Connell Kou gets frustrated while trying to watch shows in his his downtime.
home, they should be able to
watch their favorite TV show on
Hulu or Netflix because they are
on their time.
FCPS even blocked the
Google T-rex game. How much
harm can a small dinosaur
false information in ads.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg
said that no changes will be made to
their political advertisement policy.
Although, some politicians and consumer
watchdog groups have asked the
company to reconsider their stance.
It will be nice now that unwanted
political ads will not be forced into
everyone’s Twitter feed. No longer will
candidates agenda be pushed on the
Most of the ads on social media give
false information anyway.
Last month, Joe Biden asked Facebook
to take down an ad by the Trump
campaign that included false information
Facebook declined the request,
which is what started this.
Facebook should reconsider changing
their policy because if they are
responsible for spreading even more
false information into the world, they
might not be able to bounce back.
Candidates tend to spend more
money on Facebook ads due to the fact
that more active voters frequent Facebook.
For example, Trump has run not a
single ad on Twitter for one week, while
he spent nearly a quarter of a million
dollars on Facebook over the same period,
according to the companies’ archives.
Banning political ads will not hurt
Twitter. The ads only make up about 1%
of total revenue.
In the 2018 midterms, only $3 million
was made from political ads out of
an estimated $3 billion.
Twitter is doing it right and other
companies should follow their lead.
game do? The game can only be
accessed when there is no WiFi
It is ridiculous that FCPS
will not even allow students to
escape boredom whenever the
WiFi is down.
A BLAST STAFF
Twitter, and Facebook have not
been blocked. Though, they will
most likely be blocked soon.
This is becoming excessive.
It is understandable that they
would block the inappropriate
sites, but blocking games is just
How do you feel about
FCPS blocking websites?
“I believe there are
certain websites that
should be blocked, but
students should be
able to access harmless
“The blocked websites
are awful but there
are ways to get around
them, so they don’t
really affect me personally.”
Students are going to find
a way around this. Even if the
games are blocked, everyone has
a phone that they can play on.
Maybe someday FCPS will
realize that they should allow
access to certain sites at home,
but it will not be anytime soon.
“Blocking websites is
not the greatest idea.
Some of the blocked
websites have good
information and can
help us with learning.”
“I do not like how some
websites are blocked
because some of them
are actually useful and
relevant to our school
“The blocked websites
generally aren’t the
ones that I would go on
anyways, so I have no
problem with them.”
“I think that it’s kinda
useless. On one hand,
be allowed, but on the
other hand, there are
some websites that
doesn’t even make
sense to block. Either
way, people just end
up using their phone.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, popularly known
as AOC, is an American politician and
activist who serves as the U.S. Representative
for New York’s 14th congressional district.
The district includes the eastern part
of the Bronx and portions of north-central
Queens in New York City. She is a member
of the Democratic Party.
# of followers: 5.8M
# of tweets: 9,344
Ben Shapiro is an American conservative
political commentator, public speaker,
author, and lawyer. At age 17, he became
the youngest nationally syndicated columnist
in the United States.
# of followers: 2.4M
# of tweets: 145.8K
Post of the Month
The best Instagram post on The A-Blast page.
CO-EDITORS IN CHIEF
SPORTS X-TRA EDITOR
Mia Antezana Garcia
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Fatima Sayed Eltayeb
Jensi Ralon-De Leon
Alondra Obando Pereyra
Annandale High School
Vol 65. Issue No. 3
4700 Medford Dr.
Annandale, VA 22003
The A-Blast is an awardwinning
strives to inform, educate
and entertain the student
body and community.
Published monthly, The
A-Blast will not print any
material that is obscene
or libelous; or that which
substantially disrupts the
school day, or invades an
individual’s right to privacy.
The A-Blast is an independent,
open forum for discussion
that is printed at
the Springfield Plant of The
Signed letters to the editor
of 250 words or less may
be emailed to theablast19@
gmail.com or submitted to
room 262 or mailed to the
school. The A-Blast reserves
the right to refuse advertisements.
All submissions become
property of The A-Blast,
Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
Do security cameras
help with crime
or infringe on our
BY JANE ELKINS
A WORLD WITHOUT PRIVACY?
Over the past 30 years, the use of
security cameras and facial recognition
technology has become more and
more prevalent throughout the United
States. From public streets to airports,
to stores, security cameras have most
likely monitored you at some point in
Facial recognition software
distinguishes people from recorded
video, normally taken from security
cameras, and compares their facial
features with an array of other faces
within a database.
In a matter of seconds, the software
compares millions and millions of
faces and works efficiently to find
perpetrators and solve cases. From
petty theft to muggings and shootings,
facial recognition helps to solve many
forms of crime and overall maintains
However, some see the situation
differently. Instead of seeing the usage
of facial recognition technology and
security cameras as bettering public
safety, they see it as a threat to their
right to privacy.
They argue that the Fourth
Amendment protects them against
unreasonable searches and seizures
and the use of security cameras
without their explicit consent violates
Another concern that worries people
is the accuracy and racial preference in
During its prototype, the software
was trained on mainly white men
and other races were not there to give
varying distinction to the system. In
fact, according to the American Civil
Liberties Union, the misidentification
rate for people of color is around
39%, which is way too high to be
implemented into our law system.
Unfortunately, there are no laws put in
place to neutralize this bias.
Another worrisome factor is that
technology can never be 100% accurate
and could cause a multitude of wrongful
arrests. In one instance, during the
testing phase of Amazons’ facial
recognition software, it mistakenly
matched 28 members of Congress as
For those reasons, so far four U.S.
cities have banned the use of facial
recognition. Despite all this, those
instances do not represent how effective
facial recognition can be to our society.
For one, public safety should be
our number one concern. Although
privacy is an important right, in our
current society with mass shootings
happening often people should be okay
with giving up a small part of that. This
new technology may give increased
convenience or security at the cost of
privacy, and people put their ignorance
aside realize that this tradeoff in its
entirety benefits society.
Another reason surveillance and
facial recognition are beneficial is that
it will inevitably reduce crime rates.
When the installation of security
cameras is clearly seen there is a
continual reminder to every other
person in the public that they’re being
watched. This understanding creates a
second thought in the heads of potential
criminals before they take chance in
Places like parking lots and public
streets are the most common places
that crime occurs and the installation
of security cameras considerably assists
the police in the identification and
That ideology along with the usage
of facial recognition technology, even if
it is not the most accurate system, will
greatly reduce the rate of crimes.
In fact, in Orange County, New
Jersey, a place infamous for its crime
rates, saw a 50% drop in crime rates
after they installed security cameras all
over their city.
Finally, it provides residents with
the knowledge that they earn, knowing
that possible criminals will be put to
justice for their actions.
Although there are some flaws
need to be corrected and there are
some legal barriers it needs to go
through, generally, the advantages of
security camera surveillance and facial
recognition overbalance its negativity.
From enhancing public safety to
guaranteeing the justice of criminals,
the world will be a more secure place all
thanks to advancing technology.
Do you think
there is a
“I feel like as more
and more kids are seeing
guns normalized in
video games it’ll normalize
actual guns in
“I don’t really feel
like there is a correlation
between the two
because of the age
restrictions on video
games, which allow only
mature teens to play
these “violent” games.”
“I think that if kids are
play ing violent games
which have guns in
them, it might make
guns seem like less of a
“Video games have a
very essential impact
on gun violence
because of the games
that we play such as
GTA are very graphic
and could cause kids to
be influenced by them.”
“I think that video
games expose kid to
violence and killing
and could also it teach
them knowledge on
guns which could inevitably
“I think that the correlation
between gun violence
and video games
is that video games
make players seem like
it is okay to shoot people
or like steal cars.”
“I don’t like to say there
is a correlation because
everyone should be
able to make their own
“I think that people
who play video games
and take it to extreme
just not mature enough
to play those types of
Graphic and violent video games have increased in popularity over the past couple
of decades and it has recently recieved a lot of blame as a reason for school
CALL OF DUTY MODERN WARFARE
Don’t blame video games for gun violence
BY FATIMA SAYED
Gun violence has been a
controversial topic for the past few
years but we have yet to come across
the reason for what is causing it.
Since 2019 began there have been
over 21 deadly mass shootings, but the
problem is that nobody knows where to
point the blame.
Some say it’s because of mental
illnesses, others say video games, and
some say that it’s because of guns in
Many politicians such as the
Californian Congressman Kevin
Mccarthy and President Donald Trump
have come out to say that shootings are
in fact linked to “violent video games.”
The issue with that claim is that
there is no hard evidence linking
shootings and video games together.
However, there is evidence that
proves that gun violence is not related
to video games at all. According to
Newzoo Institute for Health Metrics
and Evaluation, the United States isn’t
even the biggest consumer for video
games that are considered violent, it’s
Even though the leading consumer
is China, the United States is leading
in the number of deaths in mass
Therefore proving that there is no
correlation between the two. A majority
of the people who are making these
claims are conservatives and this
makes it seem like they are to use any
excuse to protect their gun rights.
Video games have been a constant
scapegoat every time a new mass
shooting occurs. Walmart even began
removing displays of violent video
games after the shooting that took place
in El Paso, Texas.
It is unnecessary that Walmart took
this action because they’re trying to
stop shootings by getting rid of game
displays but they won’t remove guns
from their stores.
Over 70% of high school students
play violent video games; yet only
20% of school shooters have played
these same video games, according
to the director of the Interpersonal
Research Laboratory and professor of
psychology at Villanova University,
Patrick Markey. If the claim of games
influencing gun control was factual, the
statistics would be much higher than
Playing violent games doesn’t mean
that you want to be violent towards
people in reality.
If there is no statistical evidence or
any evidence at all for that matter, why
do so many conservatives keep pointing
the figure at video games? It’s because
they don’t want to admit shootings keep
happening because of the guns that
they are trying to protect.
It’s clear that efforts need to be made
regarding gun reform but that won’t
happen until people stop pointing the
finger at things that are unrelated and
holding guns and the people using them
with the intention of harming someone
MAKIN’ THE GRADE
Caps season starts strong
The Washington Capitals season is off to a great start. They are currently No.
1 in the Metropolitan Division and currently have the best record in the NHL
with 14 total wins. The most recent game was against the St. Louis Blues and
they won 3-2. As of now, it looks like the Capitals are on track to reclaim the
delivery robots in DC
Self-driving delivery robots have been appearing all over the country but most
recently in DC. They were made by a food delivering company called ‘Starship
Technologies’ and by 2022 they plan to become the main delivery system
at 100 different universities all over the country. Although many enjoy the
service, there has been a couple of incidents. During one delivery last year, a
car hit a delivery robot and another spontaneously burst into flames.
Popeyes sandwiches are back
The re-release of the Popeyes spicy chicken sandwich just like last time
prompted long lines at Popeyes all over the country, this time however there
have been a bunch more violent incidents. In one instance, a man stabbed
another man over a chicken sandwich and is now arrested. He is now charged
with first-degree murder as well as first-degree assault. In fact, at one
restaurant in Maryland was closed due to numerous amount of assault.
Wizards without wins
The Washington Wizards have dug themselves a hole early in the season. They
are currently ranked 14th out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference. As of
now their record is 2-7 which is one of the worst in the NBA. As of a team, they
need to get together and learn to build upwards to more wins, but, they’re in
bad shape. Hopefully they can get back on track and start winning again like
the WNBA team in DC, the Mystics.
4 NOTICIAS DESTACADAS Miércoles, Noviembre 20, 2019
en Bolivia causan
caos y agitación
entre la gente
POR BRENDA HUAMANI
Editora de Noticias
El país sudamericano Bolivia
tiene caos unido con su nombre. Evo
Morales, su presidente durante más
de una década, renunció la posición
después de que protestas y disturbios
en todo el país duraron más de 2
Por las últimas semanas, en países
como los Estados Unidos, han habido
muchas protestas, todo sobre las
elecciones presidenciales en Bolivia
que ocurrió el 20 de Octubre del 2019.
Los dos candidatos principales
fueron Evo Morales, quien ha sido
presidente desde 2006 y Carlos
Mesa quien fue presidente interino
anteriormente desde 2003-2005.
Después de las elecciones
recientes, fue anunciado que Evo
Morales ganó por la cuarta vez.
Según The Guardian, Morales ganó
con 47.07% de los votos de la gente y
Mesa se quedó atrás con 36.51% de
Los votos fueron proporcionados
por el electoral de la Comisión de
Bolivia pero por 24 horas, la página
web se apagó. Antes de que se cayó,
Morales estaba atrasado pero cuando
comenzó a trabajar, otra vez, Morales
estaba adelante de todos los otros
POR DUC NGO
Escritor de Personal
“Primal” es un nuevo programa
de dibujos animados que acaba de
estrenar el 7 de octubre de este año. Los
espectadores interesados pueden verlo en
el sitio web Adult Swim.
Muchos niños de los 90 y a los
principios del 2000 están familiarizados
con Samurai Jack y su fantástica
narración visual y visión artística.
Después de casi dos décadas, el
espectáculo sigue siendo muy apreciado.
En “Primal”, el espectador está
llevado en un viaje inmersivo en
tiempos prehistóricos. El espectador se
presenta por primera vez con uno de
los personajes principales “Spear”, un
homínido masculino temprano llamado
simplemente por la lanza de piedra que
maneja durante la primera temporada.
Inmediatamente, las capacidades
visuales de narración de historias de
Genndy comenzaron; hay dos cosas
que vemos en los primeros minutos
del espectáculo. Mientras pescaba, un
cocodrilo gigante saltó del agua, Spear
reaccionó, se sumergió y evadió el ataque,
la expresión de su rostro permaneció
constante en todo momento, una mirada
tranquila. Después del intercambio,
él caminó hacia su casa, una pierna
cojeando visiblemente, pero no hubo
heridas. Estas dos escenas establecieron
a Spear como un cazador experimentado,
es fresco, tranquilo y sereno, es obvio
por su pierna mala que ha pasado por
peleas paralizantes (si no que amenazan
la vida) con la fauna prehistórica. Lleva
el pescado a casa para presenciar una
tragedia, su familia se ha ido.
Solo unos minutos más tarde, Spear
sube una montaña y alcanza su punto
más alto. Él mira hacia el suelo distante
debajo de él, y da un paso hacia su
borde. Está claro que el suicidio estaba
en su mente, la pérdida de su familia
fue demasiado, claramente eran todo
por lo que él vivía, y ahora este impulso
se había ido. Con el cielo rojo en el
fondo y la montaña oscura en la que se
encuentra Spear, esto crea una escena
inquietantemente hermosa. No pasó
nada durante unos segundos, las cuerdas
que suenan en el fondo se hacen más
fuertes, Spear no se movió y esta falta de
acción fue exactamente lo que hizo que
esta escena fuera tan tensa. Él se sienta,
Esto les pareció bien sospechoso a
los ciudadanos y encontraron de que
varios factores estaban alterando los
Evo Morales ganó la elección
en 2006 con más de la mitad de
los votos, el 54%. Su popularidad
creció rápidamente por ser el primer
presidente indígena después de varios
líderes de descendencia europea.
Con esto, él mantuvo su posición de
Presidente por varios años pero la
gente se empezó a dar cuenta de lo
que estaba pasando.
A la gente le pareció de que
Morales no pensaba dejar el rol del
Presidente de Bolivia y de que el
gobierno se estaba volviendo corrupto.
Después de varias disturbios y
peleas entre la gente, el Presidente
Evo Morales renunció bajo la presión
de las protestas callejeras civiles y las
propias fuerzas armadas de Bolivia.
Al principio, las fuerzas armadas y
los policías estaban detrás de Morales,
pero también siendo parte de la
comunidad, ellos se dieron cuenta de
lo que estaba pasando y en vez, fueron
contra Morales. La policía se amotinó
contra el Presidente y se unieron con
El mismo comandante de jefe
de las fuerzas armadas de Bolivia
todo hasta que todo lleguen. Vemos un
poco de fútbol, y si no tambien juego
Fifa con mis tíos,” dijo un estudiante del
último año Elvis Cornejo, “una vez que la
comida está lista, todos se reúnen en la
mesa, decimos las gracias y empezamos
Sé que los estudiantes aquí en
Annandale están entusiasmados por las
vacaciones del Día de Acción de Gracias
al poder quedarse en casa o salir del
estado, sin tener que preocuparse por la
le pidió a Morales que renunciara
después de ver el efecto.
Morales anunció su renunció el
10 de noviembre y el próximo día,
anunció que se iba para México a
recibir asilo político.
Bolivia tiene un límite de mandato
que permite a los presidentes ejecutar
un total de dos veces por un período
de cinco años cada uno. Dado que
este habría sido el cuarto mandato de
Morales, tuvo que hacer ajustes para
La convincente narración visual de Primal
POR JENSI RALON
Escritor de Personal
El Día de Acción de Gracias es un día
festivo nacional celebrado en los Estados
Unidos, así como en otros países. Se
celebra el cuarto jueves de noviembre de
Lo primero en que pienso cuando oigo
el Día Acción de Gracias es un pavo. El
olor a pavo recién cocinado recién salido
del horno, una pequeña reunión familiar
y la frase “Estoy agradecido por ...” al dar
Ese es mi escenario del Día Acción de
Gracias, pero cada persona o familia tiene
su propia tradición para el Día Acción de
Gracias o incluso puede no celebrarlo.
Varias personas pasan el Día de
Acción de Gracias en casa con sus
familiares y variod otros viajan.
Los estudiantes de Leadership de
Annandale también se meten en el
espíritu cuando colocan decoraciones
alrededor de la escuela durante las
“Voy a la casa de mi tía. Ella prepara
sin lágrimas, pero el espectador puede
fácilmente empatizar con su dolor.
La tragedia lo llevó a la venganza, y
a través de la venganza conoció a Fang,
una mujer T-Rex que también tiene
dos hijos y los está criando solos. Justo
cuando Spear decide emboscar y matar a
Fang, descubre que ella está pasando por
la misma desgracia que él. Spear se vio
de inmediato en Fang, la pareja coopera,
la violencia se produce cuando los dos
luchan contra los perpetradores. Genndy
se asegura de que cada movimiento
esta llevado en un
viaje en tiempos
de los dos personajes tenga peso con
ellos, y cada decisión que toman en
esta pelea los caracteriza, la sangre se
convierte en un placer para la vista del
espectador mientras la pelea continúa y
los perpetradores son asesinados uno por
uno bajo la lanza y el colmillo.
Toda esta acción y drama son creados
y puestos a la vista en el sitio web Adult
Swim. Los cinco episodios se crean sin
ningún diálogo, todos los intercambios
se realizan mediante acciones, gestos
corporales y faciales, o gruñidos y
rugidos. En general, es un placer para
la vista y un buen cambio de ritmo en
comparación con otras caricaturas como
Bojack Horseman o Rick and Morty, todo
depende del diálogo para transmitir su
mensaje al espectador.
Celebran el Día de acción de gracias
hasta que todos
-- ELVIS CORNEJO senior
Personas bolivianas se reúnen en DC al frente de el edificio de Organización de los Estados Americanos para protestar
por una segunda ronda de elecciones en Bolivia el 24 de octubre de 2019.
“Primal” está fascinando
a varios adultos jóvenes
Arriba: Una instantánea de “Primal” de
uno de los principales charcters, Fang, un
tiranosaurio luchando contra la vida silvestre
Abajo: El nuevo espectáculo “Primal” de
Genndy Tartakovsky cubre incidentes en los
que Spear, el cavernícola es llevado de vuelta
a la prehistoria y se une a Fang, el dinosaurio
mientras luchan por sobrevivir
escuela durante cinco días, incluido el fin
Personalmente, yo lo pasaré con
familiares y amigos principalmente, pero
también dedicaré algo de tiempo para mí.
Seamos realistas, la escuela genera
mucho estrés entre los estudiantes.
Algunos maestros incluso dan tarea para
que los estudiantes hagan durante el
descanso, lo cual es cruel. Mi sugerencia
para eso es terminarla el mismo día para
que no tenga que preocuparse más tarde.
En general, durante el descanso,
espero que todos puedan relajarse y
disfrutar de los cinco días libres. Vive,
ama, ríe y simplemente rodéate de una
Ponte al día con sus familiares y
disfruta el tiempo que pasas con ellos.
Para aquellos que no celebren el Día de
Acción de Gracias, mi sugerencia sigue
siendo lo mismo pasa tiempo con tu
familia, disfruta del descanso y diviértete.
Para todos, regresen con una vibra
positiva y compártela con los demás.
En 2016, Morales pidió un
referéndum que propusiera un
proyecto de ley que esencialmente le
permitiera a él y a su vicepresidente
postularse para un tercer mandato. La
gente votó en contra de la propuesta,
pero el partido de Morales no estuvo
de acuerdo con los resultados.
En lugar de aceptar los resultados,
su partido se enfrentó a él y convenció
al máximo tribunal electoral de
Bolivia para que aceptara su
propuesta. Después de hacerlo, corrió
y ganó su tercer mandato. Aquí es
cuando se dice que la oposición entre
el pueblo ha comenzado.
Ahora que ha renunciado Evo
Morales, sus sucesores también han
resignado. Por el momento Jeanine
Añez esta sirviendo como la titular
hasta que un nuevo Presidente sea
Ellos querían terminar con el poder
de Morales y hacer cambios en el país
de Bolivia para lo mejor de ellos y de
todos los ciudadanos.
Humanos de Annandale
(Corrección de la última edición)
¿Por qué enseñas
Siempre me han encantado las
matemáticas y he sido bueno en
eso. Creo que es un lenguaje universal
que es la base de todo en el mundo. ¡Además es divertido!
Espero poder hacer que los estudiantes estén tan interesados y
apasionados por las matemáticas como yo.
¿Quién es tu inspiración (s)?
Al crecer, mis padres siempre me apoyaron y atendieron a
mi agenda ocupada (deportes, banda, etc.). En cuanto a la enseñanza,
he tenido algunos maestros / profesores favoritos que han
influido en la forma en que enseño.
¿Cuál es tu parte favorita de venir a la escuela todos
Me gusta que cada día sea diferente y que pueda conversar
con los estudiantes; no solo sobre la escuela, sino también sobre
sus vidas y su futuro. Espero no solo poder enseñarles matemáticas,
sino también proporcionarles un ambiente positivo para
venir a la escuela.
¿Estás orgulloso de la diversidad en AHS?
La escuela secundaria a la que asistí en Nueva York no era
muy diversa, por lo que venir a Annandale fue un gran choque
cultural. Pero estoy muy contento de haber podido ser parte de la
diversidad de Annandale. Aprendí muchísimo sobre muchas culturas
y pude ver de primera mano muchos caminos de la vida
diferentes a los míos.
El comienzo del
horario de verano
POR BRENDA HUAMANI
Editora de Noticias
Es esa época del año
cuando el horario de verano ha
terminado. Este año, terminó
el 3 de noviembre a las 2:00
am como lo hace cada año el
primer domingo de noviembre.
Ahorro de luz natural se
inició hace varios siglos para
ahorrar energía utilizada por la
electricidad en los hogares.
Arizona y Hawái son los dos
únicos estados de EE. UU. que
no siguen el horario de verano.
Arizona, sin embargo, ha hecho
una excepción para la Nación
Navajo que se conoce como
territorio nativo americano.
Arizona está exceptuado
debido a su clima cálido y
Hawaii porque es el punto
más lejano al sur de todos los
Comienza el segundo
domingo de marzo y
esencialmente le da a la gente
más tiempo de luz a medida
que el sol se pone en una hora
Why is this page translated in Spanish?
This section was created with the intention of expanding our
reach as a publication towards the growing population of Spanishspeaking
students. As one of the most diverse schools in Fairfax
County, Spanish has become the second most spoken language
at our school, accompanied with an extensive ESOL (English for
Speakers of Other Languages) program.
The goal of The A-Blast is to inform and entertain the largest
possible group of readers. Las Noticias Destacadas is a collection
of articles of relevant news affecting the hispanic community,
written in Spanish. We hope that this section will allow the
A-Blast to be a more inclusive and diverse newspaper.
KARLA MERCADO DORADO
De esta manera, las
personas no necesitan usar la
electricidad tanto y en su lugar
pueden confiar en la luz solar.
“Por lo general tengo un
horario al que sigo, pero
desde que cambió la hora, lo
cambió todo el horario”, dijo
una estudiante de último año
Christine Trieu, “me siento
desorientada, pero me estoy
adaptando poco a poco”.
Ahora tendremos cuatro
meses cuando el sol se pone en
un momento anterior, por lo
que se oscurecerá antes. Con el
invierno llegando y las nubes
empezando a cubrir el sol mas
y mas, comienza a dar el efecto
general de un día más corto.
Esto puede resultar como
inconveniente para varias
personas que ya creen que no
tienen suficiente tiempo en un
día para hacer las cosas
Son tres meses más
hasta que comenzamos a
despertarnos más temprano así
que es mejor que disfrutemos
del tiempo que tenemos ahora.
Wed. Nov 20, 2019
NEHS hosts Atoms and Eagles program
BY MANNY PRECHT
Co-Editor in Chief
The Annandale National English
Honor Society chapter has started the
Atoms and Eagles Buddy Readers program
hosted by Braddock Elementary
The program consists of around
14 members of the honor society, all
of whom have made the dedication to
visit their elementary school buddy
once a week.
The program is held every Thursday
from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. where
Annandale students walk as a group
to Braddock Elementary and help students
who have been struggling with
reading in school.
The first session of the program
was held on Nov. 14 and will continue
for the rest of the year.
CONT. Page 1
The Trump administration kept
pushing for the Supreme Court to hear
the case, which lead to the hearings last
Following the confirmation of Brett
Kavanaugh last year, the Supreme
Court now has a conservative majority.
This practically ensures that the
hearings will conclude in the termination
If the Supreme Court does conclude
that DACA is unconstitutional, which it
is likely to do, the result will be a gradual
shut down of the program.
President Trump has stated on
“The Atoms and Eagles program is
a way for NEHS members to be directly
involved in our community,” NEHS
president Anoosh Taquir said. “Furthering
the next generation is something
that’s very imperative in our community.”
The program is very meaningful to
the students and staff at Braddock Elementary,
providing a unique opportunities
for struggling kids to be successful
in the future.
At the first session of the program,
AHS were introduced to the goals of the
program and the children at BES. Participants
and students engaged in an
ice breaker before they paired off.
AHS and BES students were paired
off perfectly, 14 volunteers matching
with 14 students.
Each volunteer went to a quiet part
of the room and engaged in various
reading activities with the children.
Twitter that he would work with the
Democrats in Congress to figure out a
way to “let them [DREAMers] stay.”
However, past efforts have failed, so
this one is likely to as well.
DACA is renewable every two years,
so each recipient’s benefits have a different
It seems like once the benefits
expire, the recipient is likely to be
This will lead to the separation of
families and friends, and people having
to leave the country that has been their
home since childhood.
“Every day, I am scared that someone
is going to come and take me and
First, volunteers were encouraged to
pick books out of the designated bins for
The volunteers and students were
assinged to read the books they chose
Volunteers took different approaches
to how they were going to help their
“The book my buddy chose was
pretty difficult compared to her level,”
senior Thomas Chang said. “We spent a
lot of time on that one book.”
Some volunteers even chose to discuss
the books contents after reading.
After the volunteers and students
read a couple of the designated books,
the children were encouraged to pick
some books of their choice off the shelf.
Students were also encouraged to
read aloud to their AHS buddies as
they helped them when needed.
“The whole thing went by really
my family away,” Lopez said. “I don’t
know anything except the U.S., and
everything that I have here can be
taken away from me in a second, and
that is super scary.”
From an economic point of view,
many businesses and schools are in fear
of the termination of this program as
Because nearly all DACA recipients
attend school and have jobs, they
are also reaping the benefits of this program
by making money.
In fact, the CEO of Apple Tim Cook
filed a brief with the Supreme Court,
asking for the continuance of DACA.
Locally, the possible repealment
of DACA strikes fear in the hearts of
fast,” Chang said. “But I really enjoyed
the experience and felt that I had really
made a difference.”
The goal of the whole program is,
indeed, to make a difference for the kids
and the community as a whole.
“The program has allowed us to create
a bond with a student at Braddock
Elementary and show them the importance
of reading,” Taquir said.
Not only is the opportunity a great
learning experience for AHS students
and BES students, NEHS members
earn quick points; completing their 10
point obligation fast.
However, points are not the incentive.
NEHS members have made a commitment
to bettering their community
and the lives of their buddies.
“I want to help my buddy progress
with their reading so they can be better
off in the classroom,” Chang said.
DREAMers at risk of deportation due to hearings
people in the AHS community as well.
Fairfax County does not enforce civil
federal immigration laws and promises
to protect the rights of immigrants.
In fact, just seven months ago the
county proposed a legal defense fund
that would be used to help anyone
entangled in a deportation case.
However, it should be noted that the
county has not been designated as a
This means that it must cooperate
with any law enforcement agency,
“It is sad to know that I love this
place so much, but I am not safe here,”
Lopez said. “It’s safer here than where
my parents came from, of course, but
Annandale Book Club
The Annandale Book Club,
which is hosted by National English
Honors Society, will have its first
meeting today at 3:15 p.m. in room
Thanksgiving will be on Thurs.
Nov. 28. There will be no school
from Wed. Nov. 27 to Fri. Nov. 29.
Winter Spirit Week
Students and staff are invited
to participate in this year’s winter
spirit week, which will take place
from Mon. Dec. 9 to Fri. Dec.
13. Individual themes will be
announced at a later date.
Winter Movie Night
and Gingerbread House
Leadership will host this
year’s second movie night, which
is holiday-themed. The movie
will begin at 7 p.m. and will be
preceded by a Gingerbread House
Competition at 6 p.m.
The second annual Winter
Formal will tkae place on Fri.
Dec. 14 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tickets are currently for sale on
MySchoolBucks. The ticket alone
costs $3, while a bundle with food
Band and Choir
Band will hold its winter concert
on Thurs. Dec. 12, while the Choir
will hold their concert on Tues. Dec.
17. Both are to start at 7 p.m.
being here means I risk being sent
The D.C. metro area, which includes
Fairfax County, is reported to be home
to over 14,000 DACA recipients.
What happens to them once the
Supreme Court gives its final decision
in June 2020 remains unknown.
“I could end up being able to stay
here. I could end up having to move to
a different city or state. I could end up
going back to Central America,” Lopez
said. “I don’t know what will happen to
me, my siblings, or my parents. How is
that fair to a kid?”
*Sarah Lopez is not a real name, as
the student wishes to remain anonymous.
DONATE YOUR CAR
The Annandale Auto Tech Class is now accepting donations
of old cars for classroom use
The sooner the better!
Contact Auto Tech Teacher Anthony
Maniatakas for more details!
In today’s technological age, computers, and other devices, have become an
integral part of day to day learning in schools.
FCPS introduces fee
for school laptops
BY SUAD MOHAMED
Co-Editor in Chief
Earlier this school year, Fairfax
County Public Schools announced
that all high school students would be
charged $50 for
officially sent two
weeks ago, right
after the first
quarter ended, via
My School Bucks,
As an update,
were charged $25.
fees were waived
for students with
This fee, which is included in the
county’s fiscal year 2020 approved budget,
was created to ensure that the
county is able to support each student’s
need for a laptop with the same software.
It also helps by covering the costs
of any damages or replacements that
could be incurred by the students as
the laptops are used.
While students will not be charged
for incidental damage, action will be
taken against repeated damage.
Students and their families are also
“The fee is a good idea
because it makes it easier
for the county to
provide laptops to everyone,
which have become
an essential part of our
financially responsible for any lost or
stolen laptops or chargers.
Laptops cost $467, while laptops
cost $28, totaling $495.
“I think that the fee is a good idea
because it makes it easier for the
county to provide laptops to everyone,
PHOTO OF SUSAN CONNELL BY SUAD MOHAMED
become an essential
part of our
“It allows for
of their financial
status to have
access to things
like Google Docs
or their email outside
of the school,
which only makes
learning easier,” senior Isabella Steiner
In 2016, FCPS started giving out
laptops as part of its FCPSOne program
in an attempt to support teachers
in the digital age.
A goal of the county is to ensure
that all students in third grade and
above have a school laptop.
The fee will be applied each school
year, and is not set to increase or
decrease any further at this time.
Parents are to pay the one-time
annual fee using My School Bucks, as
checks and in-person payments are not
Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
you think of
dropping the SAT
‘‘I’m happy about it
because I feel that
SATs do not really show
how good of a student
“If you have a high GPA,
it won’t affect you as
much. If your GPA is
lower, It might hurt your
Photo created by Nathan Ferson.
Students weigh in on the SAT
BY NATHAN FERSON
If you haven’t taken the SAT
already, chances are you will soon.
The SAT is a standardized intelligence
test administered by the College
Board company. Most colleges in
the US require applicants to submit
their SAT scores along with the rest of
their application. Students must sign
up through the College Board website
to schedule a day in which they will be
tested. But is the SAT worth it? Many
colleges are drifting away from standardized
testing and many students
believe the SAT is not a fair assessment
of a students abilities.
The SAT has been a part of the
American education system for
decades, but when did the first SAT
come to fruition? Robert Yerke, a
20th century American psychologist
and part of the “new IQ testing movement”,
proposed to the US army a
mass administered IQ test during the
first World War. The test, called the
“Army Alpha” was distributed to all
U.S. soldiers during World War I and
for all intents and purposes, was a
In 1926, Carl Brigham, an apprentice
of Yerke, decided to adopt the
“Army Alpha” and alter it to make it
more difficult so it could be used as
a college admissions test. After the
apparent success of the adapted Army
Alpha test, it was distributed to more
college applicants and gained more
legitimacy. In 1933, Henry Chauncey,
an assistant dean at Harvard, sought
to use Brigham’s altered “Army
Alpha” test (now called the SAT) as
a national baseline test for college
admission. In 1948, the Educational
Testing Service was formed. The ETS
would distribute the SAT as more and
more colleges began to use the test.
However, in recent years, colleges
have been dropping the SAT requirement.
Although many colleges still
recommend the SAT, the general
trend has been that colleges will favor
a student’s SAT score less. This has
correlated with a drop in SAT tests
taken in the past few years, with a
gradual drop since 2016.
off as greedy
money for a test that is
The SAT, like many other aspects
of college preparation, places a lot of
stress on students. Students must
study general math and english subjects
to prepare for the test, with many
taking online practice courses or hiring
a tutor. Many have accused College
Board (the company that distributes
the SAT) of overcharging
students. Students must pay around
Senior Zakaria Belkhayat bosses up on IB
$50 to reserve a spot to take the test,
with an extra twenty dollar fee for late
sign ups. College Board also charges
students $12 for each college they
want to submit their SAT to. “College
Board comes off as greedy when they
charge students money for a test that
is seemingly required.” said senior
These fees have spawned debate
over College Board’s “non-profit” status.
The president of College Board is
set to earn $750,000 this year, along
with other high-ranking executives
that will make hundreds of thousands
of dollars. In addition, College Board’s
biggest revenue generator (pulling
in $446,000,000 last year) is classified
as “AP and instruction”, meaning
that College Board makes most of
their profit selling study programs and
Many students who sign up for the
SAT early have ample time to study
and prepare for it. College Board
offers programs and books that guide
students through the studying process
and prepare them for the testing environment.
“I found YouTube videos to be
the most helpful tool for last minute
studying, the most important thing
is knowing the structure of the test. ”
senior Nathalia Burch said. However,
many students feel that they did
not have enough time to prepare. “I
couldn’t study for the SAT as I had to
work on other homework and focus on
extracurriculars.” senior Mohammed
Currently there are only five
colleges in the U.S. that require the
SAT as a prerequisite for applications.
This is a stark drop in the number of
colleges that require the SAT, with the
number being 44 in 2006. Ivy league
colleges such as Cornell, MIT, and
CalTech require the SAT and have not
had any meaningful talk of moving
away from it.
Of the five colleges that still
require the SAT, the score requirements
are very high, with MIT having
a base score of 1490 to be considered.
Caltech has a 25th percentile score of
1530, meaning that a 1530 will put
you in the lower one fourth of students
with a shot at being accepted. Many of
the few colleges that still require the
SAT have dropped the writing portion.
Many see this action as a move away
from the SAT as a whole, following the
Most colleges still recommend
that the SAT be submitted along with
the rest of the application because it
increases a student’s chance at being
accepted. Many colleges also release
a baseline SAT statistic that provides
a general range of scores that if met,
will increase your likelihood of being
Tufts University students conducted
a study in which they looked at
a portion of the student bodies SAT
scores and compared them to the academic
success of the student. The
study found that there was almost no
correlation between the two factors
and in March of 2018, Tufts University
dropped the SAT.
“I believe this is a step
in the right direction
because SATs are honestly
just stressful and
shouldn’t define your
“I think it’s good
because I’ve heard it’s
not an accurate assessment
of a student’s
“It’s good because the
SAT should be something
that is not mandatory.
sometimes do poorly
on the SAT.”
“I think it’s a good thing
because not everybody
is a test taker and the
SAT is one of the hardest
“I think ultimately it will
be a good thing. A student’s
identity can’t be
determined by a test.”
“I believe that the SAT
is important, but it
shouldn’t be the only
thing colleges look at.”
BY NATHAN FERSON
Q: What clubs are you in?
A: I am in Marching Band, Science Olympiad,
along with honors societies including Math
Honors Society, Social Studies Honor Society
and National Honor Society.
Q: What is your favorite IB subject?
A: My favorite IB subject is physics because I
like the real world problem solving aspect.
Q: What made you decide
to do the IB diploma?
A: I decided to do the
diploma because my brother
and my sister did it. It
also has the most rigorous
coursework, giving me a few
more options after high with
abroad and other perks.
Q: What skills do you think the IB program
has taught you that can help you later in
A: I definitely learned a lot more about meta
cognition (thinking about thinking) through
IB Theory of Knowledge. I also learned how
to connect different subjects together for an
interdisciplinary academic experience, which
is useful for college and pursuing a degree.
The focus on writing skills and open ended
questioning has also definitely improved my
ability in those areas.
Q: What is your extended essay topic?
A: My extended essay topic is in global politics,
focused on the increasing influence of Russian
propaganda through their manipulation of social
media and targeted advertising.
Q: What lasting impact do you want to
leave on this school?
A: I hope to leave a positive impact on this school
through the quality of my work, but more
importantly, I want to leave a positive impact on
my friends and teachers.
Q: What colleges have you applied to/plan
to apply to?
A: So far, I have applied to Georgia Tech,
CalTech, MIT and Purdue.
Belkhayat poses with astronaut Robert Krouch
during the VASTS summer academy at NASA’s
Langley Research Center. Belkhayat is involved in
a plethora of after school acitivties such as honors
societies, marching band and other clubs.
Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
A: Hopefully in ten years I’ll have a stable career
in an engineering field and I’ll be working to
make an impact on the lives of other’s through
innocvation and technology.
Q: What advice do you have for future IB
A: For future IB candidates, I mainly suggest that
you try to see the benefits in taking the diploma
path more than the negatives, because while you
may not see a tangible payoff right now, there
is a lot of very useful experience to gain from it.
I also suggest that you definitely start early on
big written assignments or projects like Internal
Assessments, CAS and the extended essay.
SET NUMBER: 27
Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
Freshman Correne Bellem, a vegetarian, turns down a homemade pepperoni pizza offered to her by Freshman Shalini Vican during their lunch period.
Students prepare for a meatless Thanksgiving
BY JAMIE HAMADEH AND
Health Editor and Staff Writer
When someone mentions
Thanksgiving, the first thing that
comes to mind is probably a time for
delicious turkey and gravy.
For vegetarians and vegans who
celebrate Thanksgiving, that is not the
The traditional Thanksgiving meal
consists of turkey, mashed potatoes,
stuffing, green beans and more.
Many vegetarians eat tofurky
which is a “turkey” that is made out of
tofu to be the main source of protein
for a Thanksgiving dinner.
Tofu is a great substitution for meat
because it is a great source of protein
and it an extremely bland flavor,
making it easy to absorb the flavors
that you add to your “turkey.”
Not only is the “turkey” made
out of tofu, but there are many
substitutions for meat when it comes
For example, instead of chicken
pot pie, you can substitute that with
pumpkin pot pie which has been a
favorite of many vegetarians for many
Most healthy side dishes:
“Most of the foods that we eat for
Thanksgiving are traditional,” junior
Savannah Jones said. “My family
makes the normal Thanksgiving foods
like mashed potatoes, stuffing, biscuits
and more but anything we make is
Many students are vegetarians
and have found several ways to enjoy
Thanksgiving without the turkey.
There are a lot of options to choose
from when you are avoiding turkey.
“I have been vegan for about
two years now and my favorite
Thanksgiving food is apple crisps with
a side of ice cream,” junior Han Le
Eating vegetarian on thanksgiving,
as well as life in general, also has a lot
of health benefits.
A normal turkey has 7,197 calories
whereas a tofu turkey contains 290
“I became a vegetarian three years
ago, when I was in 8th grade and my
parents became vegan five years ago,”
Not only is the vegetarian turkey
healthier but it’s much easier to cook.
A tofu turkey takes an hour to cook
while a regular turkey can take up to
“I do not usually have a
replacement for turkey so I eat side
dishes,” Jones said. “I have tried tofu
turkey but I have never had it for
Being vegetarian or vegan, it can
become difficult to find a premade
lot of options
and large enough for
the whole family. It even
looks like a turkey.”
However, many local supermarkets
advertise Tofurky so it is just as
accessible as a regular turkey for
everyone to enjoy their Thanksgiving.
“My dad makes everything that my
family eats for Thanksgiving,” Jones
said “We don’t really buy anything
other than ingredients to make our
own special dishes.”
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION JAMIE HAMADEH
For people going meatless this
Thanksgiving, there is a plethora
of foods that are available to have a
“I recommend mac and cheese with
cashew cheese and eggplant bacon,”
Jones said. “The recipe my dad makes
is pretty good, but there are also some
that aren’t good, you just have to find
the one that you enjoy most.”
Some students grapple with the
debate between meat and non-meat
Many argue that the tradition of
Thanksgiving is ruined when Turkey
and other animal based products are
replaced by vegan or vegitarian items.
“I just can’t see myself making
the change,” senior Anthony Marnell
said. “I’ve been eating the same
Thanksgiving meal for all my life so I
don’t really see the need for change.”
Whether the switch to a vegan
or vegitarian Thanksgiving is for
personal or health reasons, some
students have seen change undergone
in their tradition without the intention
to do so.
Either way, a Thanksgiving meal
can be thoroughly enjoyed by all,
whether it includes meat or not.
makes the typical
dinner. We eat
turkey, pumpkin soup, cranberry sauce
and stuffing. My favorite thing to eat on
Thanksgiving is the dessert that my family
“We do not
eat turkey for
Instead, we eat
chicken, rice and
salad. My dad
cooks the food and he makes his special
sauce along with his homemade fruit punch.
I never really liked turkey so I enjoy eating
“My family has a
dinner. We have
potatoes, red onion
salad. We occasionally add our own twists
to the meal, but we like to keep it pretty
my family makes
rice, salad, and
with tortillas. I
would have to say
that my favorite part about our Thanksgiving
dinner is the dessert that my family brings
1. Green beans
Serving size: 1 cup
Sugar: 3.3 grams
Sodium: 6 mg
Fat: 0.2 grams
2. Butternut squash
Serving size: 1 cup
Sugar: 5 grams
Sodium: 8 mg
Fat: 2 grams
3. Cranberry sauce
Serving size: 1/4 cup
Sugar: 22 grams
Sodium: 10 mg
Fat: 0 grams
4. Mashed potatoes
Serving size: 1 cup
Sugar: 3.5 grams
Sodium: 699 mg
Fat: 8.8 grams
5. Mac & cheese
Serving size: 1 cup
Sugar: 8.5 grams
Sodium: 669 mg
Fat: 16 grams
“I eat turkey and
ham as the main
I’ll eat whatever is
in front of me because it is always delicious.
My wife makes a really nice green bean casserole,
which I really like.”
Prep time: 2.5 hours
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup dried sage
2 teaspoons dried thyme
salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons miso paste
5 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon honey mustard
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1. Line a colander with a clean dish towel. Place the tofu in the colander. Put another
dish towel on top of the tofu. Put the colander on the top of a bowl to catch the liquid.
Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a large frying pan saute onion, celery and mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of the
sesame oil until tender. Add garlic, sage, thyme, salt and pepper, rosemary and 1/4 cup of
the tamari. Stir well; cook for 5 minutes. Add prepared herb stuffing and mix well. Remove
3. Combine 1/2 cup sesame oil, 1/4 cup tamari, miso, orange juice, mustard and orange
zest in a small bowl; mix well.
Look out for the next poll @theablast on
Twitter to vote for the next issue!
Would you try a vegan
19 people voted
32% said yes 68% said no
“I would try it because
the turkey is not the
best part. I think
mashed potatoes is the
“I would probably try a
bite but I do not think I
would want to replace
my entire Thanksgiving
dinner for a vegan one.”
“I would try a vegan
I have never trird vegan
food before. I think
it would be a good
“I would not try a vegan
Thanksgiving. I need
to get protein during
Thanksgiving from my
4. Hollow out so there is one inch of tofu still lining the colander. Place the scooped out tofu
in a separate bowl. Brush the tofu with miso seasoning. Scoop stuffing in center of tofu
shell. Place extra tofu on top of stuffing and firmly press. Turn the tofu on cookie sheet flat
side down. Press on the side of the “turkey” to form an oval shape. Brush the tofu with oiltamari
mixture. Place the sprigs of rosemary on top of the tofu. Cover with foil.
5. Bake for one hour. After one hour, remove from the oven and remove the foil. Baste
with the remaining tamari-oil sauce (reserving 4 tablespoons of sauce). Return to oven
and bake another hour or until the tofu turkey is golden brown. Place the tofu turkey on a
serving platter, brush with the remaining tamari-oil mixture and serve hot.
“I probably would not
try it because the whole
point of Thanksgiving is
“I would not try it
because I have tried
vegan food before and I
did not like it at all.”
“I personally would
not try a vegan
Thanksgiving. Turkey is
the main dish during
Thanksgiving so I
wouldn’t give it up. ”
“I would try a taste of
it just to experience
something new. I
probably wouldn’t eat
a lot of it unless I really
Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
Senior Christopher Le perfoms a tire change on one of the many cars available for use in the Auto Tech classroom. “We get to experiment with other people’s cars,” Le said. “My favorite part about this
class is learning how to perform oil and tire changes.” On occasion, the automotive program recieves donations from local car dealerships with the latest technology that the students can learn from.
Most recently, they recieved a new Ford Fiesta from Sohail Nasim of Jerry’s Ford. This was apart of the partnership that FCPS has with Ford that began Spring 2019.
Take a closer look into the
day-to-day operations of
one of Annandale’s most
ALL PHOTOS BY DANIEL VO
Senior Colin Bonneau works on tire pressure and tire balance. “We work really hard in this class
and I enjoy figuring everything out from simple things like changing tires and changing oil, to
more complecated things like engine repairs,” Bonneau said.
RIGHT: Senior Brian
Grijalva works on a
head light restoration.
“The most interesting
this class is working
along side everyone
else. I enjoy learning
like oil changes,
tire pressure, and
engine checks,” Grijalva
Senior Rudy Serat changes the oil and oil filter for a car. “This class teaches you a lot. We get
to work on cooling systems and transmitions, and sometimes get to bring in our own cars to
work on. I really like learning about the ins and outs of cars because it’s useful information for
aspects outside of school,” Serat said.
Students in Tony Maniatakas’ R7 Auto Technology 3 course spend their period learning about
and perfoming different types of car maintenance.
LEFT: Senior Christopher
Le looks for tools to prepare
for an oil change.
Students learn the purpose
of certain tools
and what size tools are
right to perform a task.
Along with this, students
are required to
wear special clothing in
order follow the safety
guidelines of the workshop.
Maniatakas works with senior Christopher Le on an oil change. “We do any kind of repair, from
oil changes to engine jobs. We mainly do brakes. tire rotations, and tire balance. That’s our basic
repairs that we do in here,” Maniatakas said.
Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
District 10 auditions begin
ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY MIA ANTEZANA
Brandon Cao, 11, tenor
Why did you audition for District Chorus?
“I auditioned because I am in the top choir at school and it’s a
very fun experience. The fun part is the auditioning part. You
get to experience what it would be like to audition for a college
and learn how to improve your singing based off of the
notes they provide on your score sheet.”
Why do you believe people should audition for districts?
“I think they should audition to improve themselves as singers
and feel a sense of achievement if they make it into districts.
It has definetly helped me in the past. I have been able
to find out what I need to improve on when I sing, and I have
become an all-around better performer because of it.”
Iris Tran, 11, alto
Why do you think it was important to audition?
“I think it was important to audition because it helped all of
us as a choir to improve our singing skills and take risks for
future performances. Our director Mr. Vaughn also encouraged
all of us to audition. Even though it was nerve wracking,
it was also really fun to be with my classmates and just
have a good time. I would definitely try out again next year to
boost my level of confidence and do better.”
What tips would you give people who are auditioning?
“You should just practice your music to calm your nerves,
that way when you audition you feel secure. Try to surround
yourself with positive people and be in the presence of a positive
Jackson Fornaris, 11, tenor
How has your experience with District Chorus been?
“I was very nervous, but it’s actually the easiest thing in the
world. It’s just a mental game. I got to learn from really experienced
choir directors and musicians from our district. We
all made beautiful music with each other.”
How would you compare this year’s experience with
“This year, I felt more comfortable going into the audition.
I just made sure I came prepared and clear-minded. I think
that if you do that, you’ll be fine. It’s a very relaxed environment
and there’s nothing to stress over.”
Ishat Hannan, 10, violin
Why did you audition for District Orchestra?
“I auditioned for District Orchestra because I wanted to further
my playing abilities and meet talented musicians. It was
a very professional experience and I was very excited about
that. I definitely believe that more students should audition
for it. Even if you don’t make it in the experience is truly
How did you feel about your audition?
“I’m not sure. I feel like anyone who auditions thinks they did
worse than they actually did, so I’ll have to wait until I get
my scores back. I’ve talked to a lot of people for advice and
they told me it was scary but once you get the audition over
with it feels better. That didn’t apply to me however. I was
scared from the moment I stepped into the school and until
the moment I got back into my car.”
Spring Musical auditions:
December 3, 2019
The Theater Company will be performing
the musical “Sister Act,” based off the 2006
Jason Escobar, 11, violin
What was it like to audition for District Orchestra?
“It’s a learning experience. You are not able to see the judges,
but that’s kind of what it feels like to audition for a college
orchestra or a professional orchestra. You don’t really know
anybody because everyone who is auditioning is from a different
school. When we audition we play a short excerpt so it’s
hard to know what the whole song is like.”
Why do you want to be a part of District Orchestra?
“I’ve been a part of it before and it was a very fun yet realistic
experience. You are in an orchestra where you don’t know
anyone, so you get a chance to learn from one other. You get a
couple of months to practice the music on your own and then
three days to rehearse with the whole orchestra, which is
how professional orchestras work.”
Band winter concert:
December 12, 2019
Wind ensemble will be playing the popular
Christmas carol “In the Bleak midwinter,” to
celebrate the Christmas spirit.
Jenna Saykhamphone, 9, bass
How would you compare your past experience with
District Orchestra to your recent one?
“The first time I did it, I was in 7th grade. I was adjusting to
how different orchestra was in middle school and how it was
harder, so trying out for districts was definitely a challenge.
This time around, it felt easier. I felt more prepared than last
time. It certainly did require more preparation, but it was
What excites you the most about districts?
“The challenging music and getting to play with other people
is rewarding. I think that playing with people that have
different techniques and playing skills makes it exciting and
Chorus winter concert:
December 17, 2019
Men’s Choral will be singing the classic holiday
song, Jingle Bells.
District Band audtions:
December 7, 2019
Sophomore David Miller is in wind ensemble
and will be auditioning for District Band
through a blind audition.
Orchestra winter concert:
December 10, 2019
Artiste orchestra will be playing L’inverno
from Vivalid’s infamous “Four Seasons,”
Winter play: January
17 through 18, 2019
The theater winter play will be performing
a series of one-man-acts.
Artist Spotlight: Senior Gabe Mills keeps the beat
What instrument do you
“I play drums because they are
the best instrument in existrnce.
They can be a great outlet
for when you’re stressed or
angry at something. There’s
nothing better than being able
to whack something as hard
as you need! I highly recommend
How did your interest in
“I’ve had drums in my house
for as long as I can remember.
As I grew up, I simply started
to figure out how to actually
play them, and I still haven’t
lost intrest in them.”
Are you a part of a band?
“I have played occasionally in a
band with classmates of mine.
It’s one of my favorite activities
during my time at Annandale.”
Why do you like playing in
“Jamming with other people
is a great way to let loose
and play some different types
of music that aren’t taught at
Who are your biggest influencers?
“I admire a lot of metal drummers
such as Chris Adler and
Mario Duplantier because
metal is a really difficult style
to play. I have been working on
it for the past year or so, and I
hope to perfect it in the future.”
Do you plan to carry out
your interest in music in
“I would like to continue drums
as a hobby for as long as I
can. I would like to start more
bands in college and if possible
beyond it to play for fun.”
What extracurriculars are
you a part of?
“I have always been a part of
the AHS drumline. This year, I
played snare and was in charge
of all the marching band percussion,
which was incredibly
cool. I am currently trying to
set up a drum club to get more
underclassmen involved in
playing drums and build a bigger
drum culture at this school
for the future.”
How has music influenced
“It played a big part in my personality.
It’s allowed me to give
more thought into who I am
and what my likes and dislikes
are. I guess you could say that
music is something that defines
a significant part of me.”
Mills performs with the Marching Atoms at a home football game on Sept. 13, 2019.
10 IN-DEPTH Wed. Nov. 20, 2019 Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
In 1958, teenagers in Wichita, Kansas participated in a sit-down protest for racial equality. Now, teenagers in the 21st century have to protest for gun control reforms due to the increase of school shootings, such as at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Though times have changed and new issues arise, students have
proved that the youth voice should be heard.
TAKING MATTERS INTO OUR OWN HANDS
Sophomore Bilan Osman protest to
become a climate change activist
BY BILAN OSMAN
Special to The A-Blast
I am a climate change
activist. I have recently started
protesting and organizing just a
few months ago. What inspired
me was seeing a world issue
that our current leaders in the
U.S. government are not doing
anything to find solutions. It
upsets me that such leaders can
promise us change, yet refuse to combat climate
I work with the U.S. Youth Climate Strike and
I am part of the Virginia Youth Climate Strike
(VYCS). I came across this organization on social
media websites and wanting to get more involved,
I applied to be part of the VYCS. Now, I am a
regional organizer, which means I organize protests
for the Northern Virginia region
alongside other organizers.
Usually, we protest on global
climate strike days. Currently, we
have a protest planned to happen
in the upcoming weeks, and we will
have a School Board Member Ryan
McElveen as our guest speaker for
From my involvement in protesting,
I hope to see changes being
made in my community because
climate change is an issue affecting
all of us. I protest because I demand
our world leaders to put forth action
and bring policies to combat this
matter. It’s through activism that I
have been more aware about world
issues and even problems in my
community. It has also taught me
to do something about it, whether
it’s attending a protest or educating
others about these issues.
Students should do activism
because activism works. Call your
representatives and tell them why
they should vote on policies that
combat climate change. Attend a
protest. Raise awareness. After our
September 20 strike in Arlington, the county board
voted and passed a community renewable energy
plan that will take effect by 2035. However, climate
change isn’t the only crisis that’s going on, sadly,
there are plenty more out where it comes from. If
there’s ever an issue you see in your community,
advocate for a change and find ways to solve the
issue! If no one is speaking up, be the first in doing
so! Don’t wait for someone else to start advocating.
My advice for students is to attend a local
protest or organize one on your own in your area.
Students can also join a group or organization that
advocates for an issue they’re passionate about, just
like I did. They can also raise awareness in their
community and at school for example hanging up
flyers, getting on the school announcements, posting
on social media or even knocking on doors. It’s
small things like this that can make a real difference
in the world we live in.
Sophomore Bilan Osman attends the Arlington Climate Strike with the
Virginia Youth Climate Strike on Sept. 20.
Senior Dani Villarroel explains why she
chose to become a student activist
BY DANI VILLARROEL
Special to The A-Blast
It all started during my freshman year of high
school. The Women’s March was finally getting
really recognized. So, I attended that freshman
year and I went to every Pride Parade as well.
Both of these events are held at Washington,
D.C., which is a convenient place for people
who live in the Northern Virginia area.
Most recently, last year was special
because through my mom’s work, we
were able to raise money for the Trevor
Project which helps LGBTQ+ youth that
are facing problems such as suicide and
I attended the March
for Our Lives,
which also took
place in DC.
march is especially
important to me
only am I a
it was also more
of a youth kind of
thing since a lot of
us have the power to
This right isn’t
to other countries
around the world. It’s
important for us to
recognize that we have
that privilege and
right to free assembly
and free speech, according to
the U.S. First Amendment. It’s
really important for me to speak out
on things that aren’t morally right and
need to be changed.
Although we are teenagers and we
can’t really run for office yet, the least
we can do is speak up for what we find,
needs help and needs to be addressed. Activism
has really shaped me to be the kind of person
I am today, because I love to help people with
law. That’s why I’ve decided I want to become
a lawyer, specifically in human rights. It has
influenced me so much because the law can
really be on someone’s s side if the right person is
representing them. I hope to be that person
to represent those people that have lost
their voice or don’t have the platform for
their voice to be spoken, and their
isn’t being told.
For those reasons, I think activism
as a whole is really important, not just
for youth, but to also be applied in
futures. I really hope that one day,
I could be the person that
need in order
right in the
rights, gun control, and
pro-choice rights. I do
realize I’m very liberal, but I
believe in democracy and in
representation, especially for
those who have their human
rights taken away from them,
due to any circumstances.
Senior Karla Mercado Dorado’s stands up for
Bolivia’s democracy at the Bolivian Cabildo
BY KARLA MERCADO DORADO
I went to a demonstration in
Washington D.C., outside of the
Lincoln Memorial, to show my
support for Bolivia in light of
everything that has happened
there recently. It was the second
time my mom allowed me to
attend a protest and even joined
me as well—the first having
been the march for families separated at the border.
The purpose of the demonstration was to show that
Bolivians around the world also have a voice and
are concerned about the threat to democracy in our
This was important to me because it allowed me
to connect to my country and feel like I’m a part of
something that could genuinely make a difference.
I haven’t been back to Bolivia since I left in 2003,
but through protests like this one and advocacy
TIMELINE OF STUDENT ACTIVISM
on social media, it’s like I’m right there fighting
alongside my family and neighbors back home.
There wasn’t much preparation I needed to do
before going other than bundling up because it
was super cold. When we got there, it was a sight
to behold. There were hundreds upon hundreds
of Bolivians of all ages and ethnic backgrounds
gathered on the hill with flags waving in the air
and posters demanding change. I’d never seen
anything like it. There was a small stage set up
where advocates from the DMV, Bolivia, and even
Venezuela gave speeches and told their stories.
The crowd could be heard chanting and applauding
from almost a mile away. At one point, we sang the
national anthem and then participated in a moment
of silence to honor those who perished in their fight
for democracy at the height of the violence that
ensued in Bolivia.
It was truly an incredible experience to witness
so many people coming together for a common
cause and seeing later in the news how our actions
actually do make a difference and help turn things
around. The crisis
in Bolivia has yet
to cease and so the
battle is not over
and I will continue
to speak out about
it. As people become
more and more
aware of global
social media and the
internet, there is
more probability for
change. If we have
the power to use our
voices, we must take
advantage of it.
Senior Karla Mercado Dorado attends her second protest on Nov. 3, the Bolivian
Cabildo in Washington, D.C. Her first protest was the Families Belong Together march
in June of 2018.
KARLA MERCADO DORADO
CECIL J. WILLIAMS ARCHIVES.GOV
Get your voice heard!
Prepare yourself for
BY FRANCES MONTEVILLA &
Many students have been engaging in
protests or demonstrations throughout the
school year in order to make their voices
heard by others. FCPS has recently allowed
students to miss a school day to protest by
getting permission from their parents.
Students who have taken advantage of
this opportunity may have protested in demonstrations
relating to climate change, gender
equality, LGBTQ+, Bolivia, and more.
In order to protest, there are many
aspects should be considered in order to be
prepared. These are a few things that students
and other individuals who decide to
protest should know before they do so.
BRING A CHARGED PHONE
Make sure your phone is always
charged and off mute when at a protest.
If your phone is on mute this will make
it difficult for people to contact, if you get
separated from others or if it’s your parents
checking in on you to make sure that everything
is going fine. If you believe that your
phone will die or want to stay safe bring a
portable charger with you the day of the protest.
Charge the portable charger overnight
beforehand so that you are prepared for the
following day. Also, make a list of emergency
contact numbers on your phone either in
your notes or write it down somewhere such
as on yourself. It is important to have a list
of emergency contacts because you should
always expect the worst and if you are
arrested for example you have access to calling
someone if you write it down on yourself.
The First Amendment allows for the
right to assemble and free speech,
which allows people the right to come
together and express their views. However,
there are other limits that police officers
can put into place that affect the freedom of
speech. You can attend a protest that is in
a public location such as streets, sidewalks,
and the front of government buildings, if you
are allowing people to go in. You also have
the right to take pictures of people, buildings
and police officers. Remember that if it
is in a private location you need to have it
approved by the owners of private property,
so that the government cannot restrict what
is being said. If the police decide to make the
crowd disperse, they must give the protestors
a specific amount of time to do so and
must have a clear reason as to why they
want them to disperse.
ASK FOR PARENTAL
It is important to let your parents
know when you plan on participating in a
protest. If you don’t let your parents know
and plan on not coming to school, you will
receive an unexcused absence. An unexcused
absence means that you will not be
able to make up any of the work that you
missed and will be getting a zero for all of
those assignments. Letting your parents
know will also help with when they are trying
to get in touch with you or cannot find
you. It is better to be safe than be in trouble
without anyone knowing where you are.
MAKE A SIGN
When attending a protest, you want
to make yourself heard by others,
so that Congressmen pass laws regarding
the issues you are trying to raise awareness
for. Making a sign for the protest you
are attending is a good way to catch people’s
attention and allow them to see what
is happening in the world. A good place to
make signs is at a friend’s house, where you
can bounce ideas off each other and help
each other with the designs. If you made
more than one sign, other protestors will
be thankful that you made extras if you are
willing to share. It is important to write the
signs in big, clear letters so that others can
read what you have written.
GO WITH FRIENDS/FAMILY
Bringing a friend or group with you
is a good way of having someone else
look after you or vice versa. If something
happens to either of you, one of you will be
able to contact that person’s family. It’s also
important because during a protest if someone
gets lost, disappears, or even gets hurt
there will be a way to contact other friends.
Also, letting a friend know who isn’t going to
the protest is a great idea because you can
contact them if anything happens to you.
Overall, considering this short list will
help you be better prepared before attending
a protest. Remember, that you should
always tell somebody before you do a protest
so that others aren’t worried about
your whereabouts. Being a student activist
means standing up for what you believe in
even if it is a controversial issue.
Keep in mind, there are different other
ways you can be a student activist other
than attending a protest or a march. This
includes internet activism, petitions, media,
boycotting, protests, strikes, sit-ins, demonstrations,
Senior Emily Shawish (left) particpates in the 2017 Women’s March held in Washington,
D.C. “I felt really empowered by the Women’s March,” Shawish said. “Since it was
right after the inauguration of the U.S. President, the march was a statement that
women are not to be objected and taken for granted.”
A movement focused on
protesting against U.S.
involvement in the Vietnam
War, which took place on
Pride Parades are a cultural
protest where individuals in
the LGBTQ+ community and
supporters come together to
show self acceptance through
In response to the
inauguration of President
Donald Trump, both women
and men marched to support
Four black students came into
a “whites only” lunch table and
refused to move. More and more
black students began to come in
every day, which lead to protests
in the South.
Tinker v. Des Moines
Mary Beth Tinker and other students
wore black armbands to protest the
war in Vietnam. Des Moines Public
Schools did not agree with this act and
decided to ban the armbands. Tinker
and other students refused to follow this
regulation, so was suspended by her
Black Lives Matter
An activist movement from
the black community for the
purpose of protesting against
violence and racism against
black people by legal officials.
March For Our
In response to the Stoneman
Douglas High School shooting,
March for Our Lives is a studentled
movement in support of gun
control regulations in the U.S.
Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
Sentenced to death at age 15
Students write letters to advocate for minor on death row
BY BROOKE FEKRU
Two years ago in South Sudan,
when Magai Matiop Ngong was just 15
years old, he was convicted of murder.
The murder he was on trial for was of
his cousin, whom he accidentally shot.
According to Amnesty International,
Ngong was attempting to ward off his
cousin who was trying to stop Ngong
from fighting with one of his neighbors.
In court, Ngong inadequately represented
himself because of his inability
to get access to a lawyer. At just the
age of 15, the judge sentenced Ngong to
death by hanging.
There are many issues that arise
while looking at this case. The first and
foremost is that Ngong was a minor
at the time of sentencing and is still a
minor as he awaits the country’s brutal
This is not an isolated incident
in South Sudan. In fact, according to
Amnesty International, in the past two
years, the South Sudanese government
executed three juveniles.
This goes against not only international
human rights law that prohibits
the execution of prisoners under the
age of 18, but also South Sudanese law
which states the same thing.
The other issue at hand is the access
to legal representation during a trial.
According to Human Rights Watch, the
majority of lower-income South Sudanese
end up being incarcerated due to
the fact that the majority go through
the criminal justice system without
Unlike in America where the right
to a lawyer is embedded in the Sixth
Amendment of the Constitution, in
most countries such as South Sudan,
the privilege to
a lawyer is only
upper class citizens.
was among the
many AHS students
Write for Rights
event last Tuesday.
Rights is a letter-writing
a way for
to be global
by standing up for social
by Amnesty International to shed light
on various cases across the world in
which people’s basic human rights are
being infringed upon.
Each year, the non-profit chooses
10 cases and distributes them to 170+
countries and regions to take part in
“This year was incredible because
we saw that all the cases were of young
people who are similar to our ages, and
their rights were being violated in different
ways by their government,” Just
World Vice President and senior Rudha
1. China (1,000+)
2. Iran (253+)
3. Saudi Arabia (149+)
4. Vietnam (85+)
5. Iraq (52+)
6. Egypt (43+)
7. USA (25)
8. Japan (15)
This year’s cases ranged from advocates
demanding change from their
government about climate change, to a
young woman jailed for improper clothing,
to a student fighting for the right
of property ownership. Amid all of
these cases however, the trial of Ngong
caught the attention
of many students.
This is because
the case of Ngong
was not something
that was completely
The death penalty
is a larger
problem that is
the world as it is
passed down as
a form of punishment,
when the laws that
are being broken are not that severe.
This can be specifically seen in the
In 2016, Rodrigo Duterte came into
power after campaigning mainly on the
issue of tough crimes on drug traffickers.
After coming into office, his administration
has been accused of human
rights violations, as thousands of citizens
were killed as a crackdown on the
drug problem that is rampant in the
Again, this administration mostly
targets the lower class who are unable
to get fair due process.
Issues revolving the death penalty
are not only relevant in developing
nations. The death penalty causes strife
and controversy right here in the U.S.
In just 2019, the United States has
executed 19 people. States across the
U.S. have continued to execute convicted
criminals even when at times, even
when there is a lack of evidence.
An example of this was the case of
Larry Swearingen, who was executed
in Texas in August of this year after
being convicted of murdering a woman
by the name of Mellissa Trotter. New
evidence that has emerged, however,
suggests that Swearingen was under
police custody during the time of the
In the past few months, the U.S.
federal government announced its plan
to continue federal execution after a
16-year hiatus. The decision, which is
being criticized by many officials across
the country, was pushed by President
It is important to ask if the death
penalty is an ethical way of punishment.
With the emergence of new evidence,
faulty witnesses and unfair trials,
many across the world are sentenced
to death unjustifiably. It is
important for an international governing
body such as the United Nations to
condemn this method of punishment.
and abolish it altogether.
Immigrant stories: coming to America
How senior Daiany Salomon made her journey from Bolivia to the United States
PHOTO CREDIT: BRENDA HUAMANI
Around the world
Nigerian Security Forces are
refusing to release a journalist
who is being held despite being
granted bail. The Department of
State Services convicted journalist
Omoyele Sowore with treason
after he organized a protest
against the government. Amnesty
International has continually
criticized Nigeria's government,
which has a history of attacking
freedom of speech and press
within the country.
Jihad leader dead
An Israeli air strike launched on
Nov. 12, killed prominent Islamic
Jihad leader Abu al-Ata. Abu al-
Ata is thought to be responsible
for numerous rocket fires from
Gaza aimed at Israel in the past
Capitalism on trial
Protests were started in Chile
after the government raised the
price of metro tickets early October.
Although the protests were
initiated by this event, the issue
speaks much louder about the
wealth disparity that is present
within the country. Many protesters
are demanding a reform to
the constitution, which incorporates
Canadian government is facing
backlash after denying visas to
researchers from Africa, who
were invited to participate in a
conference on Artificial Intelligence
(AI). This has been an
issue that occured last year as
well, with 100 attendees failing to
attend because their visas were
denied. In response to this, a
major AI conference named International
Conference on Learning
Representation has chosen Addiss
Ababa, Ethiopia for its 2020
Should the death penalty be
allowed around the world?
"I feel like it depends
on what kind of crime
you did and the severity
of it all, but overall
I don't believe it is a
"Personally, I don't
believe the death penalty
should be used as
a form of punishment
because regardless of
the situation, their life
should not be taken
"Yes, I think the death
penalty should be used
based on what crime
the person committed.
If they killed so many
people, then yes."
"No, because people
can learn from their
mistakes and usually
new evidence come
into light that can prove
"Yes, but I think it only
should be allowed in
some cases depending
on the crime committed."
BY BROOKE FEKRU
Senior Daiany Salomon moved to the
U.S. at the age of seven from Santa Cruz,
Bolivia. The decision for the move was a
plan that was first initiated by her mother
when Salomon was just a toddler.
As Salomon entered preschool, her
mother made a monumental decision to
leave Bolivia and move to America. The
reason for her move was the hopes to provide
Salomon and her sister a better future.
During this time, Salomon and her sisters
stayed with their grandmother, whom
she calls their second mom.
“My grandma has been our mom for
most of our lives, especially the years that
my mom was not there to take care of us,”
After two and a half years, Salomon’s
mother was ready to take her daughters to
Salomon remembers the emotional
moment at the airport when she had to bid
farewell to her relatives. Salomon especially
remembers the immense sadness she felt
when she said bye to her grandmother. Her
mother, wishing to lighten the mood, began
talking about how better things are waiting
for them in America.
“My mom told me how my sister and I
had our own rooms and that we were going
to get a lot of toys to make us feel better,”
The flight from Bolivia to the U.S. took
approximately 15 hours. During her flight,
Salomon recalls how her ears keep popping
because of the elevation.
After spending almost a day and a half
in a plane ride, Salomon and her family
stopped in Miami, Florida to transit to
another flight to Virginia.
As Salomon finally got out of the airport,
she saw a familiar face waiting for
her. “I saw my grandfather after years of
not seeing him,” Salomon said, recalling
the joy she felt. With her grandfather, her
stepfather was also waiting, whom she was
excited to meet after hearing about him
from her mother.
After leaving the airport, Salomon
and her family began making their way to
Burger King to eat their first meal in America.
Salomon and her sister were excited to
go there because unlike in America, Burger
King is a very expensive place to eat in
One difference that stood out and surprised
Salomon the most was the driving
etiquette present in America.
“The roads were much cleaner in America
and most people obeyed traffic laws
which was so different from Bolivia, where
people's driving etiquette was extremely
bad,” Salomon said.
Another difference Salomon noticed was
the schooling system. In Bolivia, private
schools were more common in order to get
a good education. However, when she came
here, she noticed many students attended
“Here, the public schools are well
resourced and provide a good education for
students, but it was not like that in Bolivia,”
One hardship Salomon faced when she
came to America was getting learning English.
“It took me a few years to fully understand
and use the language well,” said
Salomon who spoke Spanish all of her life.
Planning to visit soon, Salomon says
she is excited to see her relatives again.
“I really miss my family because I
haven’t seen them in 9 years,” said Salomon.
As she is preparing to finish her final
school year, Salomon says she is working
hard to show to her mom that the sacrifices
she made when deciding to come here were
not all in vain. “I was given a chance to get
a better life because of my mom, and I work
hard every day to get it,” Salomon said.
PHOTO CREDIT: DAIANY SAOMON
Wed. Nov. 20, 2019 LIFESTYLES 13
Would closing stores on
Thanksgiving be a good idea?
BY THONNY ANWAR
Thanksgiving is a day to give
thanks to everyone around and create
new memories with the ones you
love. Memories like being stuck with a
bunch of wild customers are not ones
that should be made on this holiday.
Working students have found that
it is hard for them to get time off on
the week of Thanksgiving because
Black Friday is right after the holiday.
Many stores have pushed back their
Black Friday sales to start on Thursday
With stores giving off specially
reduced prices, they are reluctant to let
go of employees because they need to
be there to handle the massive crowds
of customers. This results in many students
celebrating Thanksgiving by
helping people purchase their items.
“Stores shouldn’t be starting their
sales on Thursday. It’s called Black Friday
for a reason,” junior Lissel Lopez
said. “I found a great job at Springfield
Mall, but now I find myself taking a
shift on Thanksgiving when I should be
helping my mom cook.”
Black Friday is a prime day for
business and Thanksgiving is a prime
day for family. Closing stores on
Thanksgiving would be a grand idea
for working students who need a break
to spend quality time with their loved
Black Friday is a day of wild crowds,
stampedes and extreme tiredness. The
sales make people go crazy and let go of
their judgment. People stand outside of
stores in the middle of the night wearing
their sweats and pajamas impatiently
waiting for the doors to open.
There have been many severe injuries
as a result of ruthless Black Friday
shopping. Lots of things can go wrong
and become very dangerous. Here are
some tips to help steer clear of those
Junior Dilan Yousif's family cooks a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Yousif will not be joining her family’s annual Thanksgiving dinner
because she will be working at Justice, a clothing store for girls.
Tips to avoid the Black Friday mayhem
MAKE A LIST
5 BY THONNY ANWAR
Making a list of what things to
Walking around tired is a horrible
way to shop. People start to get
purchase is an easy way to shop
and on a day like Black Friday, easy is exhausted and hungry after experiencing
what is needed. Having a list will make
the chaos of the early Black Friday
sure you don’t get distracted. You can sales. Take a break from shopping and
just grab all the things on the list and rest at a local food court.
be in and out.
KEEP YOUR HEAD UP
Make sure to pay attention to your
surroundings. Watch where you
are going at all times and be aware of
the people around you. Some people
get grumpy while they're shopping and
accidentally bumping into someone will
get them annoyed.
Waiting in a line for a long time
can be agitating, but it will eventually
be you next to pay so make
sure to be patient. Yelling for people
to move in line will make things troubling
for everybody. You have to be
sympathetic to the people around you.
BY ANJUM ASHRAF
Special to The A-Blast
Most people believe that on Thanksgiving,
families meet to feast on turkey,
watch football, and most importantly be
thankful. It is expected to be tradition
to celebrate, but for many, the holiday
is an annoyance.
Not a lot of people want to invite
back relatives who have unnecessarily
criticized them and enjoy a great meal
to celebrate practically nothing. Instead
of doing the traditional Thanksgiving
celebration, they go do some early Black
Shopping on Thanksgiving can be
how families spend their quality time
together or it could just mean people
want to get ahead on the Black Friday
Lots of stores like to start their sales
early which is helpful for people who
don’t want to get stuck in the chaos of
“I would prefer to go shopping on
Thanksgiving rather than Black Friday
because the shops are less crowded
and it gives me the chance to buy all
the things I want before they sell out,”
junior Melanie Reyes said.
People can meet up with their family
and be thankful any day of the year.
Customers are everywhere on this day
and stores being closed would be a bad
DON'T FIGHT OVER ITEMS
Stores only have a limited
amount of items, things can sell
out fast on Black Friday. Arguing
over items will only lead to chaos.
Sadly, sometimes people do not get
all their desired items on Black Friday
and that is okay.
DON'T STEAL ITEMS FROM
For this holiday, it is best to not
let your greed take over. The person
who got the item first is the person
who keeps the item. Stealing items
from others can be very tempting but
can result in major fights.
BY THONNY ANWAR
I have a really big problem. I
hate the Trump administration
and its policies. However, I
love to eat Chick-fil-A. The food
is so good, but I always feel
guilty afterward since the CEO
donates to Trump and anti-gay
groups, some of which even
support conversion therapy.
Is it okay for me to continue
eating here even though
I despise the causes they
A friend in need
Dear friend in need,
The first thing I want to tell you
is that you are not alone. Many
people are experiencing this same
Choosing to eat at Chickfil-A
is your decision and your
decision alone. I guess it just
depends on whether you think
the deliciousness of their food
outweighs your moral code.
A lot of people love their
sandwiches, myself included, but
I personally will never eat there
again after hearing about their
views on the LGBTQ community.
That is just my own opinion.
It is your hard-earned money
and you can use it however you
like. Some argue that one person
doesn't make a difference in the
grand scheme of things.
Even if you don’t agree with
their LGBTQ stance, you can
choose to set aside politics and stuff
your face with their delicious food.
Since you seem to feel guilty
afterward, I suspect eating there
isn’t the best thing for you. I
understand that the food is good,
but it isn’t worth it if you are just
gonna end up feeling regret.
Before you eat at Chick-fil-A, or
any other businesses that support
Trump, think about what impact
your actions will have.
Do you have a question that
you want me to answer? Email
Popular items that will be on sale for Black Friday
The Fitbit Versa 2 has a
diamond textured small band
with straps to prevent unwanted
movement. Best Buy will offer
a sale which lowers the price to
APPLE AIRPODS PRO
These have just been released
and they're already on sale.
Right now, Apple is selling them
for a little more than $14 off,
setting the price at $235 instead
BEATS SOLO 3
These headphones have a great
design and give off an incredible
sound. Target will be having a sale
that drops the price down to $179.
You will be saving $120.
APPLE IPAD PRO
This iPad has a screen size of
10.5 inches with a front and rearfacing
camera. It will be selling at
$479.99 at Target which means
you will be saving $300.
MICROSOFT SURFACE GO
The Surface Go is perfect for all
daily tasks and gives you the
ability to easily carry just like a
tablet. Best Buy will be selling
them for $429 instead of the usual
Idil Ahmed, 12
Senior ldil Ahmed wears a white turtleneck under a
mustard-colored floral shirt, along with a tan hijab.
PHOTO COURTESY OF IDIL AHMED
Q: How did you learn to dress?
A: I take inspiration from fashion sites, but
I have a certain style that I go by.
Q: Where do you like to shop?
A: I like to shop online at places like Zaful
or Forever 21 because it’s easy to use.
Q: What is your favorite accessory?
A: My favorite accessory would have to be
earrings because they can match with any
Q: What is your typical outfit for
A: My usual outfit for school is jeans and a
sweatshirt. I sometimes match my favorite
jeans with a cool T-shirt that I like to wear
Q: What do you wear on bum days?
A: On my bum days, I wear sweats. I have
sweats that are different colors and styles
so I can still feel cute and comfortable.
Q: Do you dress to impress or for
A: I definitely dress for myself. I don’t try to
think about how other people view me.
Q: What's your favorite season to dress
A: My favorite season would have to be
spring because the nice weather allows me
to wear a wider range of clothes.
Q: How long does it take you to get
A: I would say it takes me around 15
minutes to get ready.
Q: How much do you invest in clothing?
A: I don’t spend a lot of money on my
clothes. I don’t think I have ever gone
above $30 or $40 on my outfits.
Q: What is your favorite pair of shoes?
A: I like to wear my black Vans a lot since
they are simple and easy to put on.
Ahmed wears a white shirt under a black and white
striped v-neck, paired with a black and white hijab.
PHOTO COURTESY OF IDIL AHMED
14 PEOPLE Wed, Nov. 20, 2019
What is YOUR number?
Students tell their stories
Funnily enough, my favorite number is 2
A number that's important to me is the
for two different reasons.
The first is pretty simple. I was born on the
22nd of July of 2002; that's a total of four 2's,
which I think is kind of cool.
The second reason is more personal. The
number 2 gives me motivation to keep working
hard because although getting second place is
good, it also means tht there is still work to do
to be the very best at something.
Right now, I'm working towards getting
back in shape for the upcoming indoor track
season. I'm also trying my hardest to get all A's
again this quarter.
Also, my jersey number when I played
soccer back in Peru was 2, so that makes it
even more special to me. Soccer used to be
my favorite sport, but now my cross country
and track and field have my heart.
Despite that, its still a connection to my
home country, bringing back fond memories
that I will always treasure.
number 4 because there are four other people
in my family: my mom, my dad, and my two
brothers. My family matters a lot to me.
Four is also my brother's number for football,
and my preferred number for sports. I
play field hockey and lacrosse.
Going back to family,they are really important
to me because I used to move around a lot,
so the only people that I would consistently see
was my family.
The number four is related to moving
even more, in that I've lived in four different
countries. I've lived in New Zealand, Hungary,
Germany, and America.
Moving around a lot allowed me to experience
a lot of different cultures, so I see the
world from different perspective now, which
is pretty cool.
I've lived in Annandale for the longest
time and have grown to love it, although I
do miss Europe sometimes.
The number 3 matters a lot to me because
I chose 5 because it's the number of Euro-
it represents me starting my first season of
field hockey ever at AHS. It was a new experience
for me to be a part of a school team and I
really enjoyed it.
The field hockey team to me has been like a
family and the coaches have motivated me to
try my best and be the best version of myself.
Additionally, the number 3 is my jersey
number. While it might seem insignificant at
first, field hockey has become a big part of my
life and is now my favorite sport to play.
Field hockey is the first sport I’ve really
played in the sense that I made a full committment
and had regular practices.
Playing for the past 2 seasons has
inspired me to continue my hockey career
by playing in college or doing club after high
pean countries that I've been to. At the end
of junior year in June 2018, I visited Monaco,
Switzerland, Italy, France, and Spain.
I found out about the trip through a friend.
I'd been to California two years back and loved
it so I made it my goal to travel at least every
I thought this trip to Europe would be a
great opportunity to travel to a completely different
place where I knew absolutely nothing
so I could learn about new cultures.
That experience allowed me to gain a
new set of eyes with which to see the world.
I was finally able to step out of my comfort
It was fascinating to me to talk to new
people and learn that every person has their
own unique story. I've been wanting to go
back ever since.
A number that has significant meaning to
me is 26 because that was the day I had my
Quinceanera party and it was very memorable.
I had a lot of fun. My favorite part was dancing
with my dad and grandparents. I enjoyed the
company of friends and family.
Fun fact: the dress I wore on that day was
actually my second favorite dress, not my first.
I had to wear heels, which was new for me,
and I was very stressed because I am a perfectionist.
My mom and sister were a huge help for me
that day. They calmed me down and assured
me that everything would turn out right so I
was able to enjoy the night
After so many months of planning, everything
came out just the way I wanted and it
was everything I could ever ask for.
My life is surrounded by the number 2, it is
a constant motif.
I was born on the 2nd of the year 2002. Second
day of the second year of the second millenium.
Also, I was born on the fourth month
and two times two is four so that's kind of awesome.
Even my height ends in two! I'm 6'2...tall,
I know. So when I say it's a constant motif in
life, it really is!
I always aim for second place, because it
makes first place feel even better - when it
happens, of course.
Currently, I'm aiming for second place in
boxing, which I decided to take up this year
through the spring.
I'm also wrestling so that's something
else I'm working towards. Oh, and I'm 200
pounds, too! So that's my weight class in
wrestling. The number two is everywhere
Being politically active is one of the
most important things to me. To me, politics
isn’t just a “difference in opinion”. The
party you decide to stand by impacts real
America, although it has its faults,
really is a beautiful concept. The fact
that I can vote, my opinion matters, I
can choose my representatives- that isn’t
something you’ll see everywhere.
I choose to be a volunteer for campaigns
to keep people informed about the
politicians who will eventually represent
us in Congress and our country in foreign
affairs. I choose to get everyone I know
registered to vote so that come Election
Day they can go and decide what happens
to our community.
I know how important it is to vote and
spread your opinion because I see people
misinformed every single day. I hear people
talking about not knowing when registration
deadlines or the next election is.
If there’s any one thing that inspires
me to stay active, it’s the people around
me. Many of the people I know can’t vote
and need other people to vote and make
sure their voice is heard for both of their
I’m a very open person when it comes
to voicing my opinion and that really
comes from how there’s so many platforms
for me to express my opinion and
that people before me didn't have the opportunities
that I do.
My grandparents grew up in a village in
Bangladesh and didn’t have a way to voice
their opinion. A high school junior just fifteen
years ago couldn’t have their voice heard
like I have mine. Since I have the ability to
put out my views, help others get their voice
heard, and vote when I’m 18, I do.
I know that many people don’t have a say
in their government. Since I have the opportunity
to have a say in mine, I take it and
make sure others take the opportunity as
Cornell University where I majored in Entymology
and Animal Science.
I was born in…
Long Island, New York
My favorite movie is…
Before teaching at Annandale….
I worked at my family's restuarant
Why did you choose teaching…
I like kids and and I love science.
Favorite movie genre is…
I have a soft spot for superhero movies!
What I'm proudest of is…
WHO AM I?
I teach at Annandale because…
I did my student teaching at Holmes Middle
school, and I like the kids here
My favorite food is...
New York-style Pizza (because the pizza here
What I do in my free time is…
My kids! But I also like to hike and go berrypicking
Favorite famous person is...
I really admire Abraham Lincoln. He's my favorite
Favorite quote is…
by Thomas Eisner, a professor that I had in
college, who said:
"Bugs are not going to inherit the Earth, they
own it now, so we might as well make peace
with the landlord"are not going to inherit the
Earth, they own it now, so we might as well
make peace with the landlord"
Use a QR
Who Am I?
Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
SPORTS X-TRA 15
How social media is changing sports
BY DUC NGO
The development of technology has
brought social media to the masses,
since television and radio are both slower
and are considered antiquated to the
new Generation-Z fans. Social media
is undoubtedly a great marketing tool
for anything, from the nobodies to the
celebrity, and sports teams are no different.
“I use the Annandale Twitter page
that Mr. Aldenderfer runs,” lacrosse
and football Coach Bill Maglisceau said.
“If we ever did something, like when
the lacrosse team volunteered at a clinic
youth, or when there’s any change in
schedules, I’d just send a picture and
description, and he’ll tweet it out.”
It is safe to say that every established
sports team has a dedicated Instagram
or Twitter page for their fans
to keep up with their progress. These
two incentivize the production of compressed
information, and they are optimized
for the mobile user, which is perfect
for people’s short attention span
For example, Twitter allows only
280 words in one tweet, so every tweet
contains only the essential information.
Instagram shifts the significance
of words to photos by making font sizes
of the description smaller than the pictures.
Many people are deeply passionate
sports fans, and talk about their social
media engagement. “I’m a big fan of the
Oakland Raiders, grew up loving them
because my mom’s family lived in San
Fran,” senior Peter Epperly said. “Being
very, very committed to the Raiders, I
don’t really follow any team other than
the Raiders for the NFL. Instead, I follow
their every move, watch every
game, even rewatching them. I monitor
their transactions, all the players they
signed, traded, and drafted for. I even
research the players they could possibly
sign, trade or draft for the team.”
Other than the Raiders, Epperly
also follows the NFL, NBA, college football,
college basketball, watches the
Winter sports kick off for the school year
BY CYRUS ASSADZADEH
As the fall season for sports is
coming to an end, new opportunities
to participate in winter sports are
Varying sports such as wrestling,
indoor track, swimming, and basketball
will be featuring in winter sports
this season. Coaches are prepared
and excited for the start of the 2019-
2020 winter season.
“I am most excited for seeing how
we’ve progressed from last year to
this year,” varsity wrestling Coach,
Joshua Domico said. “We’ve had people
working in the summer this year,
and we have a solid core of students
returning and newcomers who can
help us contend in the district and
The practice schedule for
Seniors Peter Epperly and Salvon Simmavong show off which teams they follow on Instagram.
MLB on occasions, and even the Olympics.
“I do hate seeing my Raiders lose
but I always watch until the end,”
A simple statement that showcases
his loyalty for the Raiders that would
last through thick and thin.
This investment in the Raiders, not
surprisingly, gave him a serious opinion
on team loyalty, “If you follow multiple
teams, you don’t get as much enjoyment
out of seeing them succeed,” Epperly
said. “Like if you’re cheering for a team
during a 4-12 season and then they go
12-4, you’ll feel like you succeeded too.”
Epperly uses a large range of sources
to keep himself informed, “All of
this information I got, I see it on social
media, more times than not I see it first
on fan pages, NFL websites, YouTube
channels, and the Raiders websites.”
wrestling goes from Monday to Friday.
It goes from 3:15 p.m. to 5:30
p.m. for varsity players while JV goes
from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Saturdays,
practices will begin at 9 a.m.
and end at 11 a.m.
“My main goal is to make sure
that our athletes are prepared as
best as possible for all their matches,”
With basketball coming around,
Domico is focused on the season
ahead and is ready to rebuild after
losing nine seniors last year.
“I’m excited about building a team
with new and young guys in the mix,”
Domico said. “I think we’ll be doing
well with our new squad.”
Girls indoor track Coach Harris
is also excited for the winter season
“Coming off of cross country was
great.” Coach Harris said, “We had
Another NFL fan, senior Salvon
Simmavong also uses social media, “I
follow everything out of interest but
I’m a Chicago Bears fan so that’s where
my focus is,” Simmavong said. “I follow
most of their players on Twitter, also
the official team account on Twitter and
Although Simmavong is a Bears
fan, she doesn’t seem to be as serious as
Epperly when it comes to teams other
than her favorite.
“I also keep track of the Steelers,
Redskins, Raiders, and Packers
(because they’re our rivals). I’m a Bears
fan always but I just like watching the
stats of other teams,” Simmavong said.
Aside from the two main social
media platforms, she also uses the
ESPN app to keep informed about the
stats of other teams.
“Although the Bears do lose to the
Packers quite often, I’m a realistic fan,
many great athletes in the season,
and we even had one who improved
her time substantially.”
Harris has very high hopes for this
“It’d be great to see all of them
return for the indoor season and I’m
excited for people who are interested
as well, so they can reach their full
One of Coach Harris’ main goals is
to build a higher endurance for athletes
during the indoor season so they
can compete at a higher level during
the outdoor season. He also seeks to
win a conference.
All in all, coaches are excited for
players to return in the winter season
and are thrilled for the athletes
who are excited to get back to playing
sports again. They are ready to push
athletes to be at their best, physically
so when we lose, we lose,” Simmavong
said. “It sucks but I’m not gonna go
all out and act like we’re the greatest
out there. I acknowledge the pros and
cons of both defense and offense of both
Of the three people interviewed,
Senior Ollieu Kamara had the least
passion for factions.
“I like watching anything involving
two teams whenever they get interesting,
but I don’t have a favorite team
that I commit myself to,” Kamara said.
He explained this lack of investment
to any singular sports team.
“I don’t really root for a team
because that’s usually for people who
grew up loving the sport since day
one,” Kamara said. “Since I didn’t get
into basketball until middle school,
at that point, having a favorite team
didn’t really serve a purpose anymore I
guess,” Kamara said.
Which winter sport are you most excited for?
However, it’s worth noting that
Kamara still likes to keep himself
informed. He follows the Nets, Clippers,
Pistons, Wizards, Bucks, DC Breeze, all
on Instagram, but nothing on Twitter.
“I watch games when the scores are
really close, or when a player is really
heated up in terms of playmaking
or dominating,” Kamara said. “I
remember watching Kevin Durant lead
a comeback against the Knicks last
year, that was intense, or when LeBron
James played in game 5 of the 2012
Eastern Conference finals.”
Appealing to the new generation’s
fast-paced tendencies would definitely
let sports teams reach more people, but
it seems that student fan commitments
are influenced much more by how
they’re brought up, rather than how
good the account’s postings are.
Senior Umi Herman swims the butterfly at a varsity meet last year.
“I’m most excited for basketball
because it’s fun to play.
It’s just a blast in general
whenever I play basketball.”
“I’m most excited for basketball
because my mom played
for a while but stopped due to
a knee injury. I’m just trying to
finish what she started.”
“I’m most excited for basketball
because it’s fun to watch
and is fun to play in general
and I can’t wait to go out
and see the teams compete
“I’m not excited for any sports
this winter, I’m not a very big
fan of watching them.”
“Track, because I’m a vaulter
and this is probably going
to be a season where I clear
at least 11 feet and im pretty
excited about that.”
“I’m excited for wrestling
because I like the
competitiveness and we have
a really good team coming in
“I’m excited for swimming the
most. I grew up swimming and
it’s fun to participate. It’s also
fun to watch and it has a great
“Track, because I am really
hoping that I can perform better
than I did last year and give
it 100% all season.”
Sports trivia! Can you get them all right?
Q1: Who is the oldest quarter
back in the NFL?
A. Tom Brady
B. Drew Brees
C. Patrick Mahomes
D. Ben Roethlisberger
Q4: Who was the highestpaid
athlete in 2013?
A. Tiger Woods
B. Lionel Messi
C. Kobe Bryant
D. LeBron James
Q7: How many gold medals
does Michael Phelps have?
Q10: When was the last time
the USA won a gold medal
for hockey in the Olympics?
Q13: How many Stanley
Cups have the Montreal
Q16: Which NHL team has
won the most games in a single
A. Tampa Bay Lightning
B. Edmonton Oilers
C. Washington Capitals
D. Montreal Canadians
Q2: What position did the
Montreal Expos draft Tom
Brady for in 1995?
Q5: Who scored the most
points in a single NBA
A. Wilt Chamberlain
B. Luke Babbitt
C. Micheal Jordan
D. Stephan Curry
Q8: In 2003 What team did
Michael Jordan play for?
A. Chicago Bulls
B. Carolina Bobcats
C. LA Lakers
D. Washington Wizards
Q11: Who holds the NFL
record for rushing yards?
A. Emmit Smith
B. Jim Brown
C. Frank Gore
D. Adrian Peterson
Q14: Which team has never
been to a World Series?
A. Detroit Tigers
B. Seattle Mariners
C. Miami Marlins
D. San Diego Padres
Q17: Which soccer team has
the most MLS cup wins?
A. D.C. United
B. LA Galaxy
C. New England Revolution
D. Chicago Fire
Q3: Who won the world cup
Q6: Who holds the MLB
record of 1,406 Career Stolen
A. Jackie Robinson
B. Tim Raines
C. Rickey Henderson
D. Trea Turner
Q9: What is the Oldest NHL
A. Montreal Canadians
B. Toronto Mapleleafs
C. Boston Bruins
D. New York Rangers
Q12: Who is the first player
to hit a homerun in November?
A. Alex Rodrigez
B. Randy Johnson
C. Derick Jeter
D. Albert Pujols
Q15: How many teams have
Winless seasons in the NFL?
Q18: Who won the 1919
A. The Chicago White Sox
B. The New York Yankees
C. The Cincinnati Reds
D. The Brooklyn Dodgers
Answer Key: Q1: (A ) Q2: ( B) Q3: (C) Q4: (A) Q5: (A) Q6: (C) Q7: (B) Q8: (D) Q9: (A) Q10: (C) Q11: (A) Q12: (C) Q13: (D) Q14: (B) Q15: (A) Q16: (A) Q17: (B) Q18: (c)
16 SPORTS Wed. Oct. 23, 2019
Sophomore Jane Elkins drives up the court against Thomas Jefferson HS scoring 12 points that game.
Girls basketball hoping for stronger season
After a tough 8-14
Last season, the Atoms were defeated
by the Lancers so hopefully this time and hopefully take a W.
Girls Basketball schedule
watch the Atoms take on the Lancers
season, Atoms strive around they’ll be successful.
“I can’t wait for the first game of the
The Atoms have many fresh new season. We’ve been working really hard 12/03 vs Robert E. Lee
01/21 vs Mt. Vernon
for a deep playoff run faces on their varsity roster which is at green days and at tryouts. I’m super
exciting many students to come out and excited to show my love for the game 12/06 @ Wakefield
01/24 vs T.C. Williams
watch. Students want to see how the out on the basketball court,” sophomore
BY FATIMA SAYED ELTAYEB
new team dynamic will play out. Nyah Stallings said. “Almost every girl 12/10 vs Thomas Jefferson
01/31 vs Hayfield
“This season will be different from freshman to varsity has been waiting
for basketball season to arrive so we
because we are building new team
The Lady Atoms basketball season
is warming up as the weather cools
12/11 vs Yorktown
chemistry with our varsity ranging can dominate.”
02/04 vs West Potomac
from players in grades 9th-12th,” varsity
Coach Fawn Tucker said. “I am and more exciting. This doesn’t neces-
02/07 @ Mt. Vernon
This season is expected to be better
down. Although the school is going
12/13 @ Herndon
from Friday night lights on the football
excited to see how this unfolds and how sarily mean that the overall record will
field to basketball games in the gymnasium,
the Atoms’ campus will still be
12/17 @ Robinson
hard the ladies are willing to work to be better than last year, but the dynamic,
energy and confidence will certainly
02/11 @ T.C. Williams
accomplish each of the team goals that
we’ve set for ourselves this year”. be emanating across the court.
02/14 District Quarterfinals
Girls basketball is one of the winter
With every new season comes new “I am expecting for us to continue
sports people are most excited for. After
players who are working hard to give it placing our team principles of character,
academics and athletics at the fore-
01/03 vs W.T. Woodson
02/18 District Semifinals
last year’s 8-14 record, the girls are preparing
for a more successful season.
their all on the court.
The Atoms usually have a smooth front which will always assist in producing
better seasons,” Tucker said. 01/07 vs Fairfax
02/21 District Finals
Last year, the girls lost many
time when it comes to working with
seniors who were star players, but that
new players and building that ability An excellent and fun season from
won’t stop the Lady Atoms from having
a victorious season. Their first offi-
02/24 Region 1st Round
to play like a team that’s been playing the Lady Atoms is anticipated and 01/10 vs Westfield
together for years.
many can’t wait to watch them on the
cial home game of the season will take
02/25 Region Quarterfinals
As the date of the first basketball court dominating schools from left to 01/14 @ Hayfield
place Dec. 3 against the Robert E. Lee
game of the season nears, more and right.
02/27 Region Quarterfinals
more students are getting ready to
01/17 @ West Potomac
Wrestling plans to take district title back in upcoming season
COURTESY OF RICH FINNK
138 lb Sophomore Brent Sanchez in lock with competitor in district match against T.C.
Swim and dive team gets ready to hit the water
Junior Umi Herman swam butterfly throughout last season and will do the
same this upcoming season.
Sanchez wins district match against T.C. opponent freshman season,
proving smaller is better in wrestling.
COURTESY OF BRENT SANCHEZ
COURTESY OF BRENT SANCHEZ
BY TYLER FOTI
COURTESY OF RICH FINK
BY TYLER PLANK
After ending the season third
in the district last year, the
Atoms wrestling team doesn’t
plan to skip a title again this
In the past ten years, they
have won the conference five
times. This season will mark the
last of the decade and they want
to finish it with six championships
in the 2010’s.
“My expectations this season
are to win back the Gunston
District and to qualify multiple
athletes to states,” Coach Joshua
Damico said. “We have a good
mix of experience and youth. The
coaches feel that by tournament
time, we will be strong enough to
accomplish both of these goals.”
Last season was Damico’s first
time coaching the team. It was
a trust building season but he
seemed to fit in the program well
and of course, plans to do better.
As the temperature drops and layers
of clothes increase, it is evident that the
seasons are changing, not only with the
weather but also with the sports here.
Winter sports are beginning to start,
and the swim and dive team are just
waiting to hit the water and get the season
On Dec. 6, the swim and dive team
have their first meet at Mount Vernon
Rec Center where they will take on the
T.C. Williams Titans.
“I am really excited for the swim season
to start,” freshman Chelsi Lilli said.
“It’s my first time playing a high school
sport, so I’m a little nervous as well. I’m
looking forward to making new friends
and hopefully creating bonds with people
that can last throughout high school.”
The team will continue to practice
daily in hopes that they will improve a lot
as the season goes on. In practice, some
“Last year was a learning experience
between myself and the
wrestlers; I was the new guy coming
in and they didn’t know what
to expect out of me,” Damico said.
“I feel that by the end of the year,
I earned their trust and they
believed in what I was teaching.”
Damico’s coaching style is
“hands on,” meaning teaching by
doing. He believes showing is better
“I will wrestle with the athletes
to give them different looks and
help them figure out different positions
and situations,” Damico said.
In practice matches, he lets the
experienced wrestlers do what they
do and point out minor improvements.
“I will sit back and point out
some things they might be missing
during a match” Damico said.
He spends most of his time
teaching the younger wrestlers.
“Younger wrestlers I will be
a bit more vocal and help them
through a match in order to help
them learn that muscle memory
teams implement a drag system in
which the swimmer will wear heavier
clothes to make them work harder
and put forth the extra effort.
“I just want to improve on my
swimming, but I especially want to
improve on my backstroke because,
in my opinion, that’s my worst
stroke,” Emma Findler said. “I have
been looking forward to swimming
season since the beginning of school
so I’m pretty excited for the season
The swim and dive team are looking
to improve on last year after both
the girls and the boys went 1-6 during
the regular season.
Although the swim season didn’t
go how the coaching staff and the
swimmers wanted it to, many swimmers
improved during the season
and reached their personal goals.
The girls finished the Gunston
District Championship coming in
fourth place out of five teams with a
Player Profile: Brent Sanchez
Q: When did you start
A: I started wrestling last year.
Q: Besides wrestling, what
other sports do you play?
A: I play lacrosse in the spring.
Q: What’s your favorite part of
A: My favorite part of wrestling
is probably the individual
improvement. Since it’s one on
one, I can pick out what I need to
Senior Annika Yunger takes shot against conference rival West Potomac
Q: What is the most difficult
thing about competing in
A: The most difficult part is
competing against people who
have more expierence than me.
Q: How do you get mentally
prepared for a match?
A: I listen to my hype playlist and
think about my technique.
Q: How long do you plan to
A: I plan to wrestle for the rest of
COURTESY OF RICH FINK
and eventually get comfortable out
on the mat.” Damico said.
The team has strong diversity in
age which is good for this season and
building on the future. After having
a strong participation from freshmen
last year, there is a lot of sophomore
strength in the program.
They don’t lack in veterans either.
Seniors Dylan Weaver and Patrick
Lee both led the team last season
and are strong assets to the team.
The other good thing about having
experienced veterans is that they
can be role models.
“I expect our younger classmen to
work hard, show up on time, and not
to be jerks,” Weaver said.
This is a hopeful season for the
Atoms. They have great work ethic
and the experience to take back the
“I plan on hitting the ground running
and establishing an identity
early on that Annandale will be a
team that will fight and scrap and not
back down,” Damico said.
score of 304. The boys finished the tournament
last with a score of 224, coming close
to Mt. Vernon, who scored 232.
For this new season, the swim and dive
team will need to train hard in practices if
they hope to win this year in the very competitive
The team has seven meets, including two
tri meets before they will compete in distract
finals on Jan. 31, where they will face
multiple different high schools.
The team continues to work hard and
continue to get better every day.
The 2018-19 dive team at first district
meet of the season.
high school. I would have to work
really hard if I wanted to wrestle
Q: What are your expectations
for this season?
A: My expectation is that we get
our district title back, and qualify
at least five of us to go to state.
Q: Who do you see as a role
A: My role modes are my brothers.
They taught me to be mentally
tough and introduced me to WWE.
COURTESY OF ATOMS ATHLETICS
16 SPORTS Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
CC team falls short of states
Varsity cross country celebrate the end of a great season. The Atoms came fourth in the region.
Abel Mehari and Mikyas Salhu qualified for states as individual runners. They
placed 52nd and 33rd in the meet overall.
Despite fourth place regional finish, Atoms send two runners to states
BY EVAN BURITA
Cross country raced in regionals
with hopes to qualify for states.
The Atoms had been contenders to
qualify for states the entire season, but
fell short of their goal by one spot.
Despite the team not making states,
the Atoms were able to send both Abel
Mehari and Mikyas Salhu to the competition
due to their impressive times at
The two runners trained for several
days before racing against the best runners
in the state. Mehari placed 52nd
and Mikyas placed 32nd overall.
Fourteen schools competed in the
regional meet at Burke Lake Park and
ten runners from each team ran the 5k
course on Nov. 7.
To advance to states, the Atoms
were required to place within the top
three regarding total points scored.
Points are based on individual placements
in the race. The higher the runners’
overall placement is, the fewer
points are scored. The team with the
fewest total points wins the meet.
The team had several impressive
individual performances in the meet
and finished fourth overall, only a few
points away from third place.
Annandale placed behind West
Potomac, Woodson, and West Springfield.
The Atoms scored 99 points, only
13 fewer than West Potomac, who finished
third with 86 points.
The team recorded two top-15 finishers.
Senior Mikyas Sahlu and sophomore
Abel Mehari finished in twelth
and thirteenth, with times of 16:09 and
The result of the meet was rather
disappointing for the team, who concluded
their season after missing states
by one place after confidence was high
Although the meet did not pan out
the way the team had hoped it would,
many positives can be taken from this
Each runner on the team improved
their times and speed. In addition, the
atoms placed second in the Gunston
“My season had some ups and
downs, but I came away with a personal
record in every event that I ran,” varsity
runner and junior Bennett Stenburg
said. “This is the best our cross country
team has performed in 30 years.”
Most of the team is currently preparing
for indoor track, which takes
place during the winter sports season.
Runners have been training for several
weeks to build endurance and
speed before the track season begins.
“Indoor is a short season with only a
limited number of opportunities to compete,”
track and cross country Coach
Dave Ciccarelli said. “For distance runners,
I see it as a bridge between cross
country and spring track.”
The team is looking forward to running
track, as it is a great oppurtunity
to condition during the winter and
helps runners improve.
“I think I practiced hard and did
pretty well on workouts this season,”
JV runner Connor Lilli said. “But
indoor track has shorter events, so I
want to work on my overall speed.”
The Atoms have many individual
goals for the track season.
Atoms basketball season underway
BY ELDANA MENGISTU
As the winter sports season
approaches fast, many athletes,
including basketball players, are
The players have been practicing
during the offseason as they played in
games in the spring league and AAU.
These leagues have contributed to
the team’s preperation for the school
The varsity team is expected
to perform at a high level and has
impressive goals for the upcoming
Although the team has many
returning players, the roster has many
Freshman John Awoke, a
new player, reclassed and was
homeschooled to focus more on his
Sophomore Amanuel Tucker
arrived at Annandale this year from a
private school in Maryland.
Tryouts for the team were held on
Nov. 11 through Nov. 13.
“Tryouts went well. It was a lot of
conditioning to help people get back
into shape for the season,” Tucker
said. “I think the season is going to go
very well and we are going to win a lot
The tryouts played an important
role for the team as they identify
players skills and abilities.
They also help players get in shape
for the season.
“Tryouts were good but they were
a little hard,” Awoke said. “I think
this season is going to go really well
because we have a good team.”
The team has high hopes for
the season and has seen a large
improvemnt from last year. The
players feel they can be sucessful.
“Tryouts went really well. The
boys worked extremely hard and I
could really see their imporovment
since last year and I am very proud
of them,” basketball Coach Deidrich
Many runners hope to achieve personal
records before the winter season
“My goals for winter track are to
train really hard and to break 5:20 for
the mile,” Alejandro Erazo said.
As many of the Atoms runners are
working hard and training for the winter
season, the team is looking to be
sucessful for upcoming meets.
“Given my experience as a coach, I
feel that only the fittest, top performing
distance athletes can successfully compete
at a high level for three seasons in
high school,” Ciccarelli said. “We will
also work extensively on weight training
to improve upper core, upper body,
and overall strength and fitness.”
Recovery for the runners after a
long season of vigorous training is very
important in order for them to be ready
for the start of the winter track season.
“Team preperation for indoor consists
of recovery from cross country
including rest and refocusing,” Ciccarelli
said. “Runners need to build weekly
mileage back up to 40+ miles a week
and gradually reintroduce speed work
and nterval training.”
The varsity team sits during halftime in a game last season.
Needless to say, Atoms cross country
and track have performed at a very
high level for the past several seasons.
They have two district champoinships
in the past three seasons and
are expected to qualify for states in the
The majority of the roster consists of
sophomores and juniors, meaning the
team will remain strong for the next
few seasons if runners stay with the
team and improve.
After missing states by a meer 13
points, the atoms will be determined to
do all they can to reach states.
Top 6 teams in the region:
1. West Springfield (21 pts)
2. Woodson (77 pts)
3. West Potomac (86 pts)
4. Annandale (99 pts)
5. Lake Braddock (101 pts)
6. Justice (193 pts)
Athlete Spotlight: Leoule Yared
BY EVAN BURITA
Leoule Yared is a sophomore at AHS. He
plays point guard for the basketball team and
runs varsity for cross country.
After completing a very sucessful running
season, he is now preparing to play basketball
for the school.
He has a great passion for both sports and is
a very talented, well rounded player.
Although managing to play several sports is
very difficult, Yared constantly works hard and
has became a very skillful athlete.
He enjoys playing for the team and spending
time with his teammates.
He hopes to improve and continue playing
basketball in the future.
Q: What is your favoite part about playing
A: “I love the joy it brings me and I can always
go to it to take my mind off things.”
Q: How did you discover your interest in
A: My older brother played and I ended up
doing the same. I instantly fell in love with the
Q: What are your strengths as a player?
A: “My strengths are my ball-handling and
ability to finish over taller defenders. Also, I am
able to shoot off the dribble and guard my man
Leoule Yared plays in a game against Falls Church last season. Yared scored 39 points.
the full length of the court.”
Q: How long have you been preparing for
A: “I have been preparing for the season since
last season ended. I have been in the weight
room getting stronger and have studied fast
paced games to see what I have to do to adjust
to the pace of a game.”
Q: How long have you been playing?
A: “I have been playing basketball since I was
Q: Do you plan to keep playing in college?
A: “I do plan to play in college. I would be happy
with any Division 1 school because it is a goal I
have had for a while.”
Q: What are your goals for the rest of the
A: “I want to be an all-district player, but the
main goal is to win districts and make it to
Q: What is your favorite memory of
playing for Annandale so far?
A: “My favorite memory was the Lake
Braddock game when the team was losing by
double-digits going into the fourth quarter. The
entire team perservered and came back to beat
Q: What activities do you participate in
outside of basketball?
A: “I run cross country and track for the school,
and I like to hang out with my friends to watch
Q: What is your favorite professional
A: “ My favorite team is the Lakers because
Lebron James has been my favorite player for
Q: What game did you perform your best
A: “In our game against Lake Braddock last
year, I had 41 points and 7 steals. This game
was my favorite performance because we
were down the whole game, but the entire
team pulled through and beat them at the last
18 ENTERTAINMENT Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
go at it to
JAMES LOKE HALE
KSI and Logan at it one more time
BY ERIK RIVAS-MARTINEZ
As of now, it has been over a full
year since the first clash of two iconic
YouTubers in one of the biggest events
in internet history.
The first fight between YouTube
sensations Logan Paul and KSI took
place in August of 2018.
However, both sides left rather
unsatisfied with the ending to the fight,
as it was ruled a 57-57 draw.
KSI and Paul went to the ring on
Nov. 09, to conclude this long time beef.
The conflict started when KSI called
out Logan Paul after he fought Joe
Weller, another YouTuber.
“Logan Paul is really annoying and
KSI is one of my favorite youtubers,”
junior Nalin Rawat said. “I was excited
to see KSI land some punches.”
Olajide “JJ” Olatunji, also known as
Feb. 2, 2018
First YouTuber boxing match
KSI, is known for his vlogs and entertainment
videos with his group of “Sidemen.”
He has 20.7 million subscribers
on YouTube and releases music, his last
release being “Down Like That” with
Rick Ross and Lil Baby.
On the other hand, Paul has 20 million
subscribers on YouTube and, like
KSI, posts vlogs and other challenge
Both KSI and Paul took their training
up to the fight seriously and hired
well known trainers to get them the
best shot at winning the title during the
“internet’s greatest event.”
KSI’s corner features Stitch Duran
as the cutman, who is well known and
has appeared in the Creed movies.
He had Leon Wills as his trainer,
Viddal Riley as his head coach, and Jeff
Mayweather as team advisor.
Paul’s corner looked very different
in terms of the amount of well known
fighters. The only big name associated
did get points
also KSI was
his knockdown, so there
is controversy on both
with Paul in the fight was Shannon
Briggs, a two time heavyweight championship
However, due to Briggs’s aggression
and violence past with Riley’s cousin,
he was ineligible to be present at
Logan’s corner during the fight.
The initial 2018 fight took place in
KSI’s home country of England, in the
This time around, the rematch took
place in Los Angeles, specifically in the
That was not the only difference in
In the first fight, they used 12 oz.
gloves and headgear, but this time they
used 10 oz. gloves and no headgear.
This means that the rematch counted
as a professional boxing match.
The build up to the event happened
through two press conferences, one in
the U.K. and one in the U.S. There was
also a public workout in LA.
KSI was believed to be the underdog
since the beginning because of Logan’s
height and weight advantages.
In the weigh in that was held the
Evolution of Logan Paul KSI rivalry
Aug. 28, 2018
First KSI vs. Paul fight
Sept. 3, 2019
Rematch first announced
Oct. 7, 2019
First press conference held
day before the fight ,Paul weighed 199.4
lb., while KSI weighed at 193.2 lb.
Overall, the whole match looked like
a standoff that might have resulted in
yet another draw.
Neither Paul nor KSI seemed to
gain an obvious upper hand that would
result in a victory.
In the end though, KSI claimed victory
over Paul by split decision.
Two judges scored it 57-54 and 56-55
for KSI and the other judge scored it
56-55 Paul, squeezing KSI past Paul for
“The fight seemed pointless I do not
think it was worth paying to watch both
Youtubers still could not box,” junior
Fernando Machado said.
Nevertheless, it was a fight for the
ages that popularized two conflicting
internet sensations in a fight that will
go down yet again as one of the greatest
events in internet history.
Nov. 9, 2019
Final fight night
KSI fought YouTuber Joe Weller. After KSI
came out victorious and got the belt, KSI said
whoever wants it come get it and called out
Jake and Logan Paul.
Did Endgame deserve Best Movie in the E! Awards?
KSI and Logan Paul fight for the first time in
the Manchester arena. This fight was with
head gear and 12 oz. gloves. The fight ended
in a draw.
Robert Downey Jr. receives the award for Endgame and thanks fans and Stan Lee.
KSI and Logan Paul both announce that a
rematch will be held. They announce it will
happen Nov. 9 at the STAPLES Center.
BY GRACE RAI
The 45th E! People’s Choice Awards
was held last month. The PCAs have
been held every year to recognize
achievements in the entertainment
This year, the PCAs were held at the
Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California,
but without a host.
“I really enjoyed watching the
awards,” said junior Lara Dib.
“All my favorite actors and actress
were there and some even won
something.”Jennifer Aniston, who
starred in the Netflix film Murder Mystery,
was named People’s Icon.
Adam Sandler, who was nominated
for two other awards, won Comedy
Free apps of the issue
Cloe - Skin Care Diary
KSI brings a dog who looked like Logan Paul’s
old dog. Logan had posted a video a couple
months back saying, his dog Kong, was killed
by a coyote. KSI even said the dog’s name was
Movie of 2019.
After won Drama Movie. Aladdin
won Best Family Movie, and, last but
not least, Avengers: Endgame won Best
“I saw Endgame but I thought Joker
would win for the Best Movie. Maybe if
they had been more specific for best solo
movie-actor, the movie along with Joaquin
Phoenix would of won it for sure,”
Freshman Guillermo Lopez said.
Cole Sprouse won Drama Movie
Star for his role in Five Feet Apart and
Male TV Star of the Year as Jughead
Millie Bobby Brown won Female TV
Star of 2019 for Stranger Things.
“I just wanna say, it matters not
what you’ve done but what you do with
what you’ve done, for others” Noah
Centineo said during his acceptance
KSI ends up victorious against Logan Paul.
After the fight, KSI and Logan Paul eventually
shake hands. Afterward, Paul still maintains
that he should have won.
speech for the Comedy Movie Star of
2019. Some viewers were confused as to
what exactly he was trying to say.
Kevin Hart made his first public
appearance since his horrifying car
crash in September and ended up winning
the Comedy Act of 2019 for his acting
Keeping up with the Kardashians
won Best Reality Show, with Khloe
Kardashian also winning TV Reality
“I think it is great to see such a successful
Armenian family in American
culture. Armenians play a vital role
in the success of America as a diverse
nation,” junior Bennett Stenborg said.
It is safe to saw that the 45th PCAs
was a success.
Shudder: Horror & Thrillers
Compete with your
friends to guess whose
picture is shown. The
photos are displayed for
only 5 seconds so you
will get a brief display of
Released on Nov. 12, Disney+
gives you access
to your favorite movies
from Disney, Pixar, Marvel,
Star Wars, National
Geographic and more.
Have you ever wanted an
app to keep track of your
skincare routine? Track
your progress with daily
photos. Discover what
products that actually
work for you.
Used for mobile payments,
money to another device
is also popular with this
app. It is the easiest and
safest way to send and
A subscription service
operated by AMC networks.
This includes horror,
thrillers and suspense
genres of movies
Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
Is it worth the
BY DYLAN GILL
Do you want to build a snowman...again?
The hit animation
film looks for
BY DYLAN GILL
With a gripping story and songs
you can not get out of your head,
everyone loved Frozen.
After making over $1.2 billion in
half a year, Frozen became the top
grossing animated movie ever.
It has also become the fifth highest
grossing film ever. Frozen was all the
craze for the Winter of 2013.
As a movie that big, Frozen was one
of the biggest movies in the animation
division of Disney ever.
With the major twist on the
princess cliche that Disney helped to
create, Frozen was everywhere.
“I think that the movie Frozen
was one of the biggest Winter hits
everywhere. I can’t even begin to
imagine what will happen for this
movie,” senior Jonathan DeLeon said.
While Disney Animation tries to
not make sequels to many of their
animated movies, they needed to make
“I really loved the movie,” junior
Evelyn Granados said. “It brought
memories back of the first time I
watched it when I recently watched it
with a group of friends.”
On Nov. 22, Frozen is coming back
again for a sequel, Frozen 2.
Like the first movie, Frozen 2 will
feature many catchy songs, lovable
characters, and even cute little jokes.
“Olaf was one of my favorite
characters,” senior Vincent Nguyen
said. “The way he was is so cute.”
While it is an animated-kid’s movie,
the tone of this one is a bit more tense
than most were expecting.
But, that should only excite us as
viewers to see what is coming when the
film hits theatres.
The trailer of Frozen 2 doesn’t give
away a lot of the story, but it gives
With these hints, when we combine
them, the plot of the movie becomes
easier to see and understand.
When they find out the kingdom is
not safe, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff set off
for a journey North.
Elsa wants to find where her powers
came from and try to save the kingdom.
“I loved the first Frozen and I hope
the second one is just as good,” junior
Sarah Gonzalez said.
Olaf the snowman and Sven the
reindeer also accompany them on their
Magic seems to be the cause for
trouble in Arendale and Elsa has to find
out how to stop it.
“The first movie’s plot was really
simple. Hopefully they can do that
again to appeal to kids,” junior Evelyn
The trailer had a record 116.4
million views in 24 hours. This makes
it the most viewed animated trailer in
Elsa adds a different perspective to
Most of them fit the stereotype of a
Elsa on the other hand, has her own
troubles, which adds to the appeal of
Actors Kristen Bell and Indina
Menzel will be returning as Anna and
The film is currently at 81% on
Early reviews have had positive
reviews overall, but they admit it is
not as good as the first movie.
The gripping story from the first
film does not seem to carry over into
thr second, as many critics have
complains about the story.
The animation animation
however has gotten even better.
Frozen 2 is sure to add for action
and dramatic scenes.
“I hope the new movie brings more
excitement,” senior Moises Marquez
said. “It will be really cool to watch
and my little brother cannot wait.”
The movie will be released just in
time for winter.
With a strong first movie, Frozen 2
will not disappoint.
It will be a family classic for many
years to come.
If the songs are as catchy as the
first movie’s, get ready to hear winter
classics all over again.
After the tremendous success of the
first AirPods release, Apple has created
the AirPods Pro.
This new version’s biggest addition
is noise cancelation, which is something
many users have been waiting
“I was happy to hear they created
this feature,” senior Eric Gonzalez
said. This makes them the only in-ear
headphones with active noise cancellation.
AirPods Pro are smaller than the
original, with a slightly wider case.
They have also created silicon tips to
help them fit the user’s ear better.
“The first AirPods didn’t fit my ears
that well which made them hard to
use,” senior Maddy Kim said.
They have three different sized tips
or you can take them off completely.
You can take a fitting test with each
tip and they will tell you which one
fits best. A smaller, but still significant
revision is making them sweat and
You can now switch between noise
cancelation and “transparency mode”,
which allows you to hear things
around you, with the tap of a button.
You can also share audio through
the Control Center. This feature is the
coolest because now you can listen to
the same song through different series
All these new features have
increased the price to $249, nearly
$100 more than the first version.
“The new ones cost a lot, but they’re
definitely better than the ones I have
now,” junior Andrew Pang said.
Apple has changed the headphone
game with the AirPods Pro, keeping
them at the top of technology.
“I’m not buying them
the Galaxy Buds are
“I’m just going to keep
the AirPods that I have
“They look really small
compared to the ones I
already have, so I would
not buy them.”
“The price is really
high, but the noise cancelling
might make it
“They look really cool,
but the price is way too
“I don’t see the point of
buying new ones when
I already have a good
“I really like the new
noise cancelling feature,
so I’ll probably get
“The first edition didn’t
fit my ears so hopefully
the new tips will help.”
TikTok famous students
BY SEREENE DARWIESH
The growth of TikTok has been
insane. The app was released in
September of 2016 and there are
already 100 million users on the app.
TikTok is used to make comedy,
lifestyle, dancing, and many more
Many teenagers use this app on a
day to day basis so they can keep up
with their favorite TikTok influencers.
Some students at school are even
Being famous by taking videos on
your phone is a scenario anyone would
“I became TikTok famous by
posting consistently and by posting
the trends and what people wanted
to see,” senior Cerys Jones said. “It’s
crazy that people take the time out
of their day to look at my page on
Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.”
Cerys Jones racks up a total of over
300 thousand followers and almost 10
But TikTok isn’t just an app for
videos and comedic endeavours.
You can learn a lot of life lessons on
TikTok because there are numerous
accounts teaching math, science, and
The app is not only used by
teenagers, rather there are people
of all ages using and posting on this
“My TikTok went viral because it
got on the ‘For You page’ which is a
page where TikToks become viral. A
lot of people agreed with my opinion
so it went viral,” junior Jocelin Rivera
said. “What I like about the app is that
you can express yourself in whatever
way you want, like singing, drawing,
and being comedic.”
(From left to right) Junior Jocelin Rivera and seniors Christian Nguyen and Cerys Jones have
well over a total of 20 thousand people watching their TikToks.
While in the midst of all of this,
Rivera has a video on TikTok with
well over 100k views.
TikTok bought Musical.ly in
2016 and has been a hit ever since.
Celebrities such as Jessica Alba,
Howie Mandelle, and Mariah Carey
are popular users on the app.
A lot of popular trends have started
on the app like VSCO and e-girls.
Many of the0se trends are seen in
school worn by many of the students.
But becoming a TikTok isn’t easy.
Many stay up countless hours
to perfect their transitions or to put
up their “TikTok lights,” but senior
Christian Lamn has some tips to get
some views flowing.
“I think a good tip about becoming
viral is to constantly post videos.
People will look at your profile and
believe that you create good content,”
said Lamn “Hopping on the trends of
TikTok can also make you viral.”
Lamn has a fair amount with 14K
views and over 50K views on posted
TikTok is very popular for being
known as ‘addictive’ to teens. As well
as being addictive, many apps like
TikTok die out.
But, TikTok won’t be going
anywhere for a long time.
Here is a code
to Cerys’s Tik-
Tok with over
Playlist of the Issue
MAKES NO SENSE
AI YoumgBoy 2 (2019)
In his first album of the year,
YoungBoy delivers with a fast
START WIT ME (FT.
For his second single released
since Feed Tha Streets II, Roddy
and Gunna make a dynamnic
LOVE ME MORE
Trippie Redd releases a song to
give viewers a taste of what his
next debut album will be like.
LOVE YOU TO LOVE ME
After her last album in 2016,
Selena gives you a classic that
could tease at a new album.
DON’T START NOW
As a new face to the pop scene,
this new single puts her to the top
of the charts.
Scan the QR code to access the
Playlist of the Issue with additional
songs on Spotify.
FATIMA SAYED EL TAYEB
20 WEEKEND Wed. Nov. 20, 2019
TAKE PART IN FRIENDSGIVING FESTIVITIES
A twist on a favorite
national holiday brings
BY ELENA LEOPOLD
In recent years, Friendsgiving has
become a largely popular tradition.
A group of some of your best friends,
great food and the festive season are the
perfect way to celebrate the fall weather
and the Thanksgiving holiday this
Class of 2019 graduate Eva Bottcher
first got the idea to have her own
friendsgiving last year over break and
will be hosting one again this year.
“I wanted to combine seeing all my
friends, especially those back from college,
with a giant holiday meal that we
made together,” Bottcher said. “This
year will be year number two.”
There are no rules to Friendsgiving,
so Bottcher decided to switch up the
food style - everything is vegan.
She had been vegan for a few years
and wanted to share that part of her life
with her friends.
Friendsgivng is usually done in a
potluck style, with everyone bringing a
different entree, dessert or appetizer.
“My favorite part was seeing all of
the vegan food that everyone decided
Mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and a fruit platter are among the dishes that
were brought to Bottcher’s Friendsgiving last year.
to cook, especially since most people Some things do stay the same though.
attending aren’t vegan,” Bottcher said. A normal Thanksgiving meal is a lot of
In place of turkey and ham, there is work, and Friendsgiving is no different.
a larger variety of food types, ranging Most of the work is the food prep and
from roasted veggies to vegan mac ‘n’ cleanup of dishes.
“There’s a lot of work, but some people
Most of the desserts stay the same, show up early to help me cook and set up”
like fruit cobblers and chocolate peanut Bottcher said “The cooking and food prep
takes a while, but is well worth it.”
“Last year, everybody brought all The group needs to have a plan for leftovers,
kinds of things, and it was an amazing
meal,” she recalled.
“Last year there were tons of leftovers,
Changing up long standing traditions,
especially the food, is what home with someone for them and their
so we had to make sure it all got taken
Friendsgiving is all about!
family to enjoy,” she said.
All in all, the preparation and clean
up for the get together can take anywhere
from a total of 1 to 4 hours
depending on how many people come to
Sophomore Isabel Dalsimer went to
Bottcher’s Friendsgiving last year and
helped out with meal prep beforehand
and dishes after.
“My favorite is probably eating all
the delicious food and being around my
friends,” Dalsimer said.
For her, making all vegan food
makes the process more fun, as she
could experiment with so many ingredients.
“I knew that everyone would be able
to eat it and no one would miss out on
a good dish,” Dalsimer said. “Friendsgiving
was really fun and I’m glad I got
A twist on a national holiday,
Friendsgiving could be the perfect way
to bring you and your friends together
this holiday season.
Being able to share traditions and
enjoy some Thanksgiving classics is
what Friendsgiving is all about.
“I like sharing my vegan lifestyle
with my friends, and so getting creative
to make really yummy dishes
that everyone will enjoy is always fun,”
If you’re looking to make your holiday
just a little different, gathering
friends for a Thanksgiving dinner could
be a blast.
Cozy up inside with blankets and your favorite
hot drink, and watch a festive fall movie.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a holiday
classic perfect for the season. The animated
short film is based on the Peanuts comics
and has all of the characters from the comics,
including Snoopy the Dog and Woodstock
the Small Yellow Bird. Another classic holiday
movie to enjoy this fall is A Winnie the
Pooh Thanksgiving. The film shows Pooh and
his friends learning about the true meaning
of Thanksgiving and enjoying the holiday
together. Watching a movie is a perfect
way to get out of the cold, but still stay in the
Five fun activities to try out this fall
With Thanksgiving upon us, it’s the time
to refresh your baking and cooking skills
for the holiday. On a brisk day, baking
delicious sweets in the oven can warm
up your home and fill the air with delicious
aromas. From pumpkin pie to cinnamon
rolls, there are endless possibilities
to what you can whip up. Get a group
of friends together, find recipes - or create
make whatever er you
think of. The process is fun, and the out-
come of your hard work
is even en better.
As fall rolls around, there are lots of charities
and businesses hosting Turkey Trot
5ks and mile runs. If you are someone who
likes running, a Turkey Trot could be a
fun activity for fall. Most runs require a
small amount of money or a few canned
as an entry fee to the race. You can
do something you enjoy, and donate to a
good od cause while doing it. A few local turkey
trots are the Alexandria or Quantico
ATTEND A CAPITALS
Fall brings chilly weather, colorful leaves
and fun holiday. However, it also brings
hockey. The Washington Capitals, winners ners
of the 2018 Stanley Cup, play home games
just half an hour away in Washington, D.C.
If you are a hockey fan, going to see the
Caps play this fall could be a fun
with friends or family. Even if you do
like hockey, a Capitals game could be something
new to try. Hockey games are
and fast paced, and watching the
zoom around the ice is always ays fun.
HOST A FRIENDSGIVING
A twist t on the
a great way to see friends
and enjoy a holiday meal with them. There
or “rules” to Friendsgiving,
so you can
change it up however you like! If
you want to cook
ok alone, you can have people
do food prep, or you can
group a little early to help out
and then enjoy the
food once it is made. Traditional
Thanksgiving dishes like turkey,
pie and mashed potatoes can still definitely
be on the menu, but seeing what cre-
ative foods od
your friends bring can help to
make Friendsgiving your own.
Restaurant review: The Pho Factory delivers in all aspects
BY FATIMA SAYED ELTAYEB
Vietnamese Pho is a popular dish
that many enjoy eating, including
myself. It’s a Vietnamese soup that
consists of broth, your choice of meat,
herbs,vegetables and rice noodles. It is
a popular street food in Vietnam that
has made its way to the taste buds of
Living in Virginia makes it hard to
find the perfect place to get pho from
because the places around aren’t very
appetizing except for one place: The
The Pho Factory offers a variety of
delicious types of pho such as seafood
pho which has shrimp, calamari, and
fish. They also have chicken, steak,
and vegetarian pho as well as many
The Pho Factory also offers many
dishes aside from pho such as rice
dishes and vegetarian dishes like a
tofu vermicelli bowl. There are also
different types of pan fried noodles and
lots of starters and sides. One of the
options I liked the most was the bubble
tea. They make their own bubble tea,
and it is a delicious drink to enjoy on
the side with your food.
During a recent outing, I decided to
try out the restaurant for the first time.
I was expecting to be disappointed with
the lack of authenticity of the pho, but I
was shocked at how good the food was.
After reviewing the menu, I decided
to order the well done flank steak pho
with a side of calamari and two spring
The food was packed with flavor
unlike any other pho that I have tried.
My pho came with different kinds of
herbs and vegetables such as baby corn,
green onion, mint leaves, jalapenos and
The spring rolls were hot and
smelled great when I got them and the
calamari was cooked to perfection.
The Pho Factory is unlike any other
pho restaurant because not only do they
have a cozy feel to the atmosphere and
a traditional taste in the food, but the
customer service is efficient and timely.
It took them less than 15 minutes
to prepare my food which caught by me
suprise since I’ve waited over half an
hour before at different pho places.
What I like most about the pho itself
is that you get to pick what you want
and how you want it cooked.
You can even choose the type of
broth that they use for soup or ask to
have certain vegetables removed or
The Pho Factory usually isn’t very
busy which is definitely an upside
because the restaurant isn’t that big
The employees are very kind and
attend to all of our wants quickly and
efficiently. I’ll definitely come back for a
second time to explore their wide variety
- Open from 10am-8:30 pm all week
- Located at 6237 Little River Turnpike,
Alexandria, VA 22312
The Pho Factory is known for its abundance of authentic Vietnamese pho flavors.
Above is a photo of its renowned flank steak pho.