Issue #6



Annandale High School’s

4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, VA 22003


Informing the Atoms since 1954

Wed., March 24, 2021 Vol. 66 Issue #6


Read about one

student’s Etsy shop

where she features

her handmade

crochet crafts.


Sophomore Alejandro

Orelana attends

in-person instruction

as part of the hybrid

learning model with

two days of in-person

instruction and

two days of online

instruction. The model

has had success in

bringing students

back into the building



Hybrid model succeeds through Covid

Students and staff return to the building with limited problems as FCPS fast tracks timeline


Co-Editor in Chief

Students are back in the building.

Since the introduction of the hybrid

model on March 2, around 850 students

have returned to in-person instruction.

These numbers continue to fluctuate as

some students have decided to go back

to virtual learning from in-person.

“The hybrid model is almost the

same as the original all-virtual style. I

like the delayed start time but I miss

the longer breaks. In-person is more

relaxing since there aren’t a lot of people

in the building,” junior Nathan Ong


So far, several individuals at school

have tested positive for Covid-19. In

response, FCPS worked with the Fairfax

County Health Department to identify

other students and staff who have

been exposed. Other than that, hybrid

learning has gone smoothly.

“Hybrid learning is a refreshing

change compared to virtual learning. In

elective classes it is definitely awesome

to be back as so much is hands on. It

is much easier to learn in person since

there are less distractions. Overall, my


Co-Editor in Chief

In normal years, the yearbook is

filled with colorful spreads of Homecoming

and Heritage Night, pep rallies

and tailgates, field trips and Friday

night lights. But, this is not a normal

year. When all those things are suddenly

not happening anymore because of

the pandemic, it became quite the challenge

to still produce a yearbook.

In addition to finding material, it

has also been harder for the Antenna

yearbook to track down students.

“It’s hard to get quotes and pictures

from students who don’t respond

to emails or text messages,” senior and

Antenna editor Anjum Ashraf said.

“The staff used to get content by simply

heading down to the cafeteria or a

specific classroom to interview students

or take pictures. Now, we have to rely

heavily on the students themselves to

send us content and don’t have as much

freedom in that sense.”

However, the Antenna staff has

been taking these challenges in stride.

“It took a while and plenty of creative

thinking, but the book is really

taking shape,” adviser Julia Hanneman

said. “It’s structured a bit differently

and reflects more of a focus on student

life rather than specific events.”

In some ways, the staff was already

prepared for this situation.

“We already produced our book on

an online platform, so we didn’t have

to relearn how to use software on top

of adjusting the content of our book,”

Hanneman said.

They have been sure to make necessary

adaptations too.

“We made a Google Classroom

hybrid experience has been enjoyable so

far,” senior Madison Cruz said.

The hybrid model has been going

smoothly and many are optimistic that

it will stay for the rest of the school


“I think it’s [the hybrid model] going

all right. It’s definitely strange and I’m

finding myself making silly errors, like

forgetting to record or logging into the

wrong Google Meet briefly, because I’m

a little more distracted,” English teacher

Julia Hanneman said. “I also feel

a little strange about being behind my

desk when teaching with students in

the room. But, I have enjoyed being

able to see some of my students in person

and have the moments in between

to get to know them better.”

Many teachers have had to adjust

their teaching style to accommodate

both in-person and virtual students. For

one, they have to remain six feet away

from the in-person students, making

it harder for those students to receive


“The idea of teaching students virtually

and in-person is a challenge,” principal

Shawn DeRose said. “But, I think

our staff has done a great job in facing

where students can send in random pictures

if they want,” senior and Antenna

editor Kalkedan Malefia said. “We’ve

made a few spreads surrounding the

pictures we have received, and it’s been

really helpful.”

The yearbook unveiled their theme

to be disruption this year.

“With COVID, BLM protests, the

presidential election and virtual classes,

our lives have been disrupted, which

is why the theme is a really good fit,”

Malefia said.

The staff has also been playing the

theme to their advantage.

“If there’s a new spread idea specific

to this year, we could play into the idea

that it’s a disruption from the norm of

those challenges. This is thanks to the

success we had earlier in the year.”

Students attending in-person learning

have not been the only ones to go

back into the building. The writing

SOLs took place March 15 and March



virtually and

in-person is

a challenge,

but I think our staff has

done a great job in facing

those challenges.”


AHS Principal

22. The SOLs were for students currently

enrolled in English 11. While a

majority of students took the test this

year, some decided to wait until the

2021-22 school year to take the test.

“It was very exciting going back into

the building and seeing people I had

not seen for a year,” junior Finn Scott-

Daniels said. “I did have some technical

difficulties, but once I started the test it

was pretty easy.”

AHS has set their first priority

for the class of 2021. Seniors currently

attending in-person instruction will

have the option to go into the building

four days a week instead of two. Seniors

who stayed completely virtual will also

be given this option. AHS will be reaching

out to families in the coming weeks.

“I feel seniors being able to attend

in person four days a week is a great

opportunity for the consistency of learning,”

Cruz said. “Seniors have missed

so much over the past year that this

opportunity is something I am looking

forward to.”

AHS is doing this to give seniors a

sense of normalcy for their final months

in high school.

“It’s a good option to have, but with

our senior year coming to an end, considering

all IB exams have been cancelled

and IAs already being turned in,

it seems pointless,” senior Annie Nguyen

said. “It will give some an opportunity

to raise their grades, however, it

doesn’t change the fact that we have






Why did you


“I chose virtual

“I chose in-person

“I chose to come

choose to opt

school because it

because I felt like

back to school in

was the option that

I wasn’t learning

person because I

in to the hybrid

benefited my family

the most. Each

I found it hard to

ing my motivation

effectively at home.

felt like I was los-

model or to

choice had their

focus because there

online and I needed

pros and cons,

are a lot of distraction.

Also, I needed the change of scenery and my teachers to make the most of my classes. I

to physically be with

remain in fully

but virtual school was most beneficial for my

family and me. Though I am sure going back needed to get out more because I tend to be

just wasn’t performing well online.”

virtual learning?

would be exciting, we decided to finish off this stuck at home a lot.”

year online.”

Antenna Yearbook pushes forward

The staff embraces disruption to produce a yearbook for everyone to enjoy

previous years,” Ashraf said.

Currently, the staff is hard at work

to meet the 40% deadline where they

have to submit that percentage of the

yearbook by April 17.

“The staff has been working very diligently

to get underclassmen to turn

in pictures for the student section and

complete earlier spreads,” Ashraf said.

Still, the staff can’t help but mourn

what they’re missing out on because of

these unprecedented circumstances.

“Before Covid, the yearbook classroom

would be busy, loud and very fun.

Honestly, it still surprises me that we

got any work done,” Malefia said. “Now

that everything is virtual, it’s been very

quiet and no one really talks unless it’s


In early March,

the Yearbook

class surprised

their adviser Julia

Hanneman on her

birthday when

they all turned

on their cameras

during class

in the Google

Meet and held

up handmade

birthday cards.

in a breakout room.”

Nevertheless, the class hopes to

embrace the situation and overcome

these obstacles to produce a yearbook

that represents what a tumultuous

school year it has been.

“It would be inappropriate for this

year’s book to be exactly like every other

year – we need to honor the moment

we’re living in,” Hanneman said. “This

year’s theme, Disruption, is perfect to

reflect on how this year has impacted

all of us.”

Anyone interested in buying a yearbook

can go to

The yearbook will cost $85 with the

option of various customizations for an

additional cost.

missed a majority of our senior year

and all the events that come with it.

Personally, I will not be going back for

the four days or the hybrid days just

because if I’m going to be staring at

a laptop screen, I’d rather be doing it

from the comfort of my own room.”

Congress authorized a Covid relief

bill which gave qualifying Americans

$1400. It also gave families with children

$1400 per child. Many AHS families

qualified for this and it helped buy

food and pay for necessities.

“I appreciate that more money

is being given per child and that it

includes college age dependents,” junior

Eleanor Lauderdale said. “I don’t appreciate

that it is difficult for unhoused

people to get access to their money, but

that goes for just about every resource

and unhoused people. I also wish that

the federal minimum wage raise was

part of it.”

With teachers being vaccinated

and the success of the hybrid model,

FCPS has projected that all students

will be in-person for the 2021-22 school

year. For now, we can only hope that

the spread of Covid will decrease and

students will be able to stay in the






Co-Editor in Chief

Fairfax County Public Schools

Superintendent Scott Brabrand

announced several academic policy

changes last week as the third quarter

draws to a close and the end of

the school year approaches.

One of the most impactful changes

that affects all students is that

final exam scores will only count if

they raise a student’s grade in that


“As a teacher, while I empathize

with the struggle we are all going

through, I would still like to have

high expectations for our students

and hold them accountable to complete

a meaningful activity to finish

the course, and one that counts

towards their grade,” IB Topics

teacher Jonathan York said.

In addition, students have the

option of showing that they just

passed a class instead of a letter

grade for up to two classes, a change

that has prompted apathy.

“I feel like this isn’t the most

helpful change for students like it’s

really only worth it if you have a

D in a class,” said Teena Do, Falls

Church HS senior. “I’d rather have

changes that lessen the workload

for students because that seems like

a bigger problem.”

For high school credit-bearing

classes, students who earned an F

in a class will instead have a NM

(“no mark”) on their records.

The superintendent said these

changes would not be fostering

grade inflation and would instead

be righting persistent academic


“Overall, the new grading policies

allows the students an opportunity

to learn, succeed and put this

year behind us,” York said. “Let’s

hope next year we have increased



Have you


experienced or

witnessed racism?



Yes, I have experienced

racism as an Asian

along with many others.

Racism has made me

scared to walk out of my

house, and when I do I

can only think: “What if

I get attacked today for being Asian?” I am scared

not only for my life, but my friends and family. With

all of the nonsense going on, racism is nothing

more than a virus.

Wed., March 24, 2021

Hate crimes against the AAPI

community need to be addressed


Editorials Editor

There’s been a long-standing

pattern of racism towards Asian

Americans. It has yet to be addressed

on a larger level despite the percentage

of hate crimes against Asian people

increasing substantially in recent

years. Especially during the pandemic.

“As a Chinese-American raised in

the South, I often experienced racism

as a younger child, and growing up

I witnessed it happen to my parents

too,” junior Michelle Zou said. “When


I was younger, racism against Asians


was taken as a joke, but now there’s

Yeah, I experience

been such a huge increase of violence

racism for being Asian

towards the Asian community,

all the time. I feel like

especially our elders. Our community

in our modern society,

needs to stand up and use our voices, In response to the discrimnation, xenophobia and racism that Asian and Pacific Islander communities faced due to

racism towards the

but we often get shut down by people the racist COVID-19 stigmas, artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya created “I Still Believe in Our City,” which is a public

Asian American

who tell us that we’re too sensitive.” awareness initiative celebrating the beauty and resilience of Asian and Pacific Islanders and Black communities.

and Pacific Islander

When the first cases of COVIDcommunity

has become so normalized. I haven’t

19 were discovered in Wuhan, China, Team, and it was later posted by Le America.

and xenophobic language that leads to

gone one year without being made fun of for my

many people jumped to conclusions on his instagram account. Many AHS Recently, these issues are finally aggression, harassment, and exclusion

name or for my ethnicity.

and claimed that the virus came from students took the time to repost and coming to light and more information is of our students, families, and colleagues

Chinese people. These racist stigmas share the personal reflection.

being spread. This is a step in the right from Asian American and Pacific

encouraged people to commit even

The media has played a large role in direction, but more needs to be done to Islander (AAPI) communities,” the

more acts of hate against the Asian down playing the severity of anti-Asian stop these hate crimes from continuing. email stated.



hate crimes that have taken place

Last Thursday, the House Judiciary FCPS’s acknowledgement of

According to an analysis released


across the nation. News outlets have Subcommittee held a hearing regarding the issue is important so that our

by the Center for the Study of Hate been calling the

the recent attack

Personally, I have dealt

community can progress, as well as

and Extremism at California State murders that took

that took place

with micro aggressions

University, San Bernardino, anti-Asian place on Tuesday “Our

the rest of the world. Petitions and

in Atlanta. Many

while growing up.

resources were also listed in the email.

hate crimes skyrocketed by 150%. “incidents,” but community

lawmakers and

People have told me

The tragic incident has garnered

Last week on March 16, a mass that is not the

activists took the

that I’m “pretty for

shooting took place in an Atlanta spa case. The six needs to stand

attention from across the nation, and it

time to discuss

an Asian,” or that I

has started many discussions regarding

that left eight people dead. Six of them women that died up and use our

the issues and

don’t even look Asian.

the racist treatment towards AAPI

were Asian women.

last week were

declare their

Sometimes it would be little jokes about being Police have said that the attack was victims of a hate voices, but we


support for the

Asian that didn’t seem right, but for some reason I

Although it’s great that more people

not racially motivated, yet the attacker crime.

often get shut

AAPI community.

just let it slide.

are talking about this, it’s unfortunate

targeted three Asian-owned spas

Since the


during his rampage.

world went into

down by people who tell us

that people had to die in order for

representatives attention to be brought to this topic.

The shooter, Robert Aaron Long, lockdown last that we’re too sensitive.” and members of Discrimnation against Asians has

has since been arrested and charged year, there have

the committee

with eight counts of murder, but the been over 3,000


been around for decades. In 1882, the


were demanding

attack has left Asians across the nation reports have anti-


Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by


justice for the President Chester A. Arthur and it

fearful and outraged.

Asian hate crimes

lives that were

Yes, growing up I have

prohibited all immigration of Chinese

Considering Annandale’s 20% across the United States.


been discriminated

laborers into the U.S.

Asian population, many students and Former President Donald Trump’s Fairfax County issued a statement

against because I’m

In 1920, women were granted the

teachers were personally affected racist rhetoric regarding COVID- in response to the violent attack that

Asian. It’s become

right to vote, but Asian and Native

by the tragedy that took place last 19, and his repeated use of racist took place in Atlanta. In the e-mail, the

something that has

Americans still were not given this

Tuesday. The community has even phrases such as “China virus” and increase in harassment and violence

been so normalized in

right. Asian people could not vote until

been referred to as “Asiandale” or “Kung flu” inspired his supporters to against the AAPI community was

our society and it’s not

1952 under the McCarran-Walter Act.

“Koreatown,” not in a derogatory way. take discriminating against Asians to addressed.

okay. Something has to change because too many

The AAPI community has come a

Senior Jimmy Le, Co-Founder of another level.

“We know that members of our

people are getting hurt because of racist stigmas.

long way in this country, it’s time that

Annandale’s Equity Team wrote a

For months, the Asian American FCPS community are experiencing people acknowledge the issues that

personal reflection on the murders that and Pacific Islander community increased fear and anxiety; we see they have been facing for decades and

took place in Atlanta.

suffered in silence as mainstream you, we are in this together. We

it’s time that they are put to an end for

The reflection was originally media continued to ignore the hate will continue to work within this good.

shared with the Annandale Equity crimes that were quickly rising in community to address misinformation

It’s time to get rid of Daylight Saving Time



Editorials Editor

Twice a year, we have to go around

our houses and change the time on all

of our clocks. Not only is it a pain, it’s

also very unnecessary.

Daylight Saving Time is something

that people have been petitioning

to get rid of for years. Now there’s a

chance that it might actually happen.

Countries all over the world are finally

cutting daylight saving loose due to its


Daylight Saving Time isn’t

completely useless. It does have some

perks, but the cons still outweigh.

Daylight Saving Time first began

around World War I. The German

government began to search for ways

to save energy, and they did this by

implementing Daylight Saving Time.

Some of the advantages include

having an extra hour of sleep, the sun

sets later and energy consumption

is minimized, but this only applies

depending on the time of year.

Typically, you lose an hour every

year on the second Sunday of March,

and you gain an hour on the first

Sunday of November.

Since 2015, over 200 bills have

been introduced in attempts to make

Daylight Saving Time permanent.

This is so that people wouldn’t have to

change their clocks twice a year.

Since then, over a dozen states

have pushed for legislation to have

year-round Daylight Saving Time.

Regardless, it is up to the federal

government to make this change. A

federal statute is required for any

changes to be made by the states.

This is because the time is set by the

Uniform Time Act.

The Sunshine Protection Act of 2021

was recently re-introduced as a bill,

and if the Senate were to pass the bill

it would finally put an end to standard

time and the U.S. would go by Daylight

Saving Time (DST).

Many countries across the world

such as Russia and Argentina have

already cut seasonal time changes


Daylight Saving Time has also been

proven to negatively impact our bodies

in many ways.

Daylight Saving Time is known to

disrupt and lead to the misalignment

of your biological/circadian rhythms.

There have also been high rates of

heart attacks the week after time


It also affects people’s daily lives. It

makes getting up for work and school

much harder.

“Daylight Saving Time is not really

all that important. I think it just causes

more unnecessary problems for people

who work certain jobs with weird

hours,” senior Lizzie Earhart said. “It

just doesn’t seem useful, and the winter

is so unenjoyable because it gets dark

outside so early.”

If the federal government were

to adopt year-round Daylight Saving

Time, the sunrise and sunset times

would look very different across each


States like Massachusetts could

have sunsets starting around 4 a.m.,

whereas other parts of the country

could experience 8 a.m. sunrises.

Although this may seem odd, it is

arguably better than your health being

affected and having to manually change

your clocks twice a year.

“I don’t really mind Daylight Saving

Time, but I would rather have days

with longer periods of sunlight because

doing stuff in the winter is literally

impossible,” junior Mateo Carrasco.

There is a high chance of the

Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 being

passed since both Democratic and

Republican lawmakers have stood in

support for the bill.

The bill would entirely negate

standard time and seasonal clock

changes would forever be eliminated.

It’s time that Daylight Saving Time

is put to rest because nobody enjoys it

when the sun sets at 5 p.m., even if it





Khadija Ahmed

Adam Shawish


Jamileh Hamadeh


Khadija Ahmed

Adam Shawish


Fatima Sayed Eltayeb


Henry Hoang

Erik Rivas-Martinez


Evan Burita

Alex Burita


Tyler Plank


Elena Leopold

Vivian Phan


Uyen Huynh


Maram Ibrahim

Insaf Bouzana


Thonny Anwar


Mia Antezana


Maureen Hunt


Ryan Lam


Khadija Ahmed

Adam Shawish


Ryan Lam


Rylie Zimmerman


Leon Arceo

Leen Alawneh

Limia Bahar

Rym Benouna

Nareg Boghosian

Lilli Dalrymple

Sereene Darwiesh

Daniela Dosen

Mary Endalkachew

Rudy Flores

Tyler Foti

Shane Gomez

Emily Ha

Sydney Long

Eldana Mengitsu

Andrew Nields

Wendy Raymundo

David Sewall

Abdul Siddique


Alan Weintraut

Annandale High School

Vol 66. Issue No. 6

4700 Medford Dr.

Annandale, VA 22003

The A-Blast is

an award-winning

newspaper that 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 Washington


Signed letters to the

editor of 250 words or

less may be emailed to 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,

Copyright, 2021.

Follow The




Lana makes a controversial comeback

what it means to separate the music from the artist.

ASeason 10 reveal of AHS excites fans





Lana Del Rey shocked her fans after she released her latest album

“Chemtrails Over the Country Club.” The album was highly anticipated

due to the controversies surrounding it. When her album cover was

originally released many fans stated that it lacked people of color. She also

went under fire after she went on a social media rant and name dropped

many successful women of color artists and compared herself to them.

So far, her album has received great reviews. Lana is a prime example of

The creator of American Horror Story, Ryan Murphy, recently revealed

the theme of the shows tenth season. The television series was renewed

in August of 2018 but was pushed back until 2021 due to the COVID-

19 pandemic. The title of the tenth season is Double Feature. Many of

the fan-favorite actors and actresses are set to return to scree. Sarah

Paulson, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates and Adina Porter are some of

the many returning stars. Fans are excited due to the long wait, but

hopefully it’ll be worth it.

The NCAA needs to do better

The NCAA is under fire after a TikTok went viral of the conditions of the

women’s food, weight rooms, and swag bags during their March Madness

tourney. The TikTok made by Sedona Prince, a University of Oregon

women’s basketball player, displayed the differences of the weight rooms

between the men and women. The men’s weight room was supplied with

various weight-lifting machines and equipment whereas the women were

given a set of dumbbells and yoga mats. Professional Athletes such as

Steph Curry have expressed their disappointment in the NCAA.

More like Whammy’s

Students were disappointed, but not shocked after the 63rd Annual

Grammy Awards. The award show was hosted by comedian and

television host Trevor Noah. The night was filled with snubs, awkward

acceptance speeches, and so much more. Some of the highlights of the

award show included Harry Styles’ performance, Taylor Swift broke

records after she won album of the year for the third time in her career

and Blue Ivy became the second youngest person to win a Grammy.

Wed., March. 24, 2021 NOTICIAS DESTACADAS 3



Editor de Español

Fue el 13 de Marzo que la

ex-presidenta de transición Jeanine

Añez, fue detenida a las 1 a.m bajo

acusaciones de sedición, terrorismo y


De acuerdo a un reportaje de la

BBC, su arresto se produjo después

de la aprehensión de los exministros

transitorios Álvaro Coímbra, de

Justicia, y Álvaro Rodrigo Guzmán,

de Energía y de que se emitieran

órdenes de captura también para otros

exmiembros de ese gobierno.

De acuerdo al reportaje, tras una

audiencia virtual, la justicia boliviana

decidió enviar tanto a la ex-presidenta

como a sus exministros a prisión

preventiva durante cuatro meses,

después de que la Fiscalía lo solicitara

por “riesgo de fuga.”

Señalo que la ex presidenta no

demostraba garantías necesarias

como el tener una familia ya que la ex

mandataria es divorciada .

“Denunció ante Bolivia y el mundo,

que en un acto de abuso y persecución

política el gobierno del MAS me ha

mandado a arrestar,” escribió Añez

en un tweet realizado la noche que fue


“Me acusan de haber participado en

un golpe de estado que nunca ocurrió.

Mis oraciones por Bolivia y por todos

los bolivianos,” continuo Añez es su


El golpe de estado en cuestión,

se refiere a la renuncia del entonces

presidente Evo Morales, su

vicepresidente, Alvaro Garcia Linera

y la presidenta del senado, Adriana

Salvatierra, después de que la OEA

confirmó que existió un fraude


Esto culminó en la huida de

Morales y Linera a México y por orden

de sucesión el nombramiento de Añez

como presidenta transitoria debido al

vacío de poder que existía.

El principal rol de Añez como

presidenta transitoria era llamar a

nuevas elecciones democráticas en un

lapso de tres meses.

Pero debido a la pandemia, este

tiempo se alargó hasta Octubre del

2020 donde fue elegido el actual

presidente Luis Arce Catacora.

De acuerdo a un artículo de la

Infobae, el ministro de Justicia,

Iván Lima Magne, señaló que la

denuncia que abrió la investigación

que ha provocado la detención,

“se ha presentado contra la ex

senadora Jeanine Áñez, no contra

la ex presidenta”, por lo que “no

está protegida por un juicio de


Según el diccionario Panhispánico

del Español Jurídico, un juicio de

responsabilidades es un proceso

jurisdiccional mediante el cual se

sanciona a los altos servidores públicos,

tanto de una elección popular como por

designación directa e indirecta, por

violaciones graves a la Constitución y

leyes secundarias.

El ex-presidente, Jorge Quiroga,

quien también fue nombrado por

sucesión constitucional el año 2001

al 2002 , señala que el gobierno está

criminalizando este acto.

“Nunca antes en América Latina,

se ha criminalizado una sucesión

constitucional,” dijo Quiroga en

una entrevista a los medios de

comunicación Bolivianos.

“Y nunca antes se ha hecho arrestos

ni aprehensiones a ex-presidentes, a

ex-ministros sin que hubieran sido

previamente ni citados a declarar.

Violando todo lo procesal,” continuo


De acuerdo a un artículo

del periodico El Deber, los

Foto de Jeanine Áñez proveidas por el Ministerio Plurinacional de Bolivia. En esta foto podemos ver a Jeanine Áñez

minestra activa en su rol como presidenta.

pronunciamientos internacionales

se sumaron y organizaciones que

defienden los derechos de las mujeres

como la Oficina Jurídica de la Mujer

(OJM) preparan una demanda

internacional para denunciar seis

acciones ilegales que se cometieron en

contra de la ex-presidenta y acusando

al gobierno de persecución política.

Las seis acciones ilegales que se

están enumerando son; aprehensión

irregular, el traslado directo a una

celda sin darle la oportunidad de

tener un juicio de responsabilidades

como corresponde.

El derecho a la presunción de

inocencia, la negación a la atención

médica solicitada.

La desobediencia a una orden

judicial para llevarla a un centro

de salud y el traslado de un recinto

penitenciario a otro en vez de dirigirla

a un hospital .

“Para nosotros los actos que se


han desarrollado constituyen una

forma de trato cruel e inhumano,

por eso sacamos el comunicado y no

pedimos quedarnos calladas”, dijo la

directora de esta entidad, Jinky Irusta

Ulloa en el artículo.

Estos hechos nuevamente ponen

en enfrentamiento al país entre los

que apoyan el gobierno de transición y

los que sostienen que fue un golpe de

estado que son afines al partido político

del MAS.

Crímenes de odio anti-asiáticos en Estados Unidos


Editora de editoriales

Ha habido un patrón de racismo

hacia los estadounidenses de origen


Aún no se ha abordado a un nivel

más amplio a pesar de el porcentaje

de delitos de odio contra los asiáticos,

especialmente durante la pandemia.

“Cuando era más joven, el racismo

contra los asiáticos se tomaba como una

broma,” dijo la estudiante de tercer año

Michelle Zoupero ahora ha habido un

enorme aumento de la violencia contra

la comunidad asiática, especialmente

nuestros mayores. Nuestra comunidad

necesita ponerse de pie y usar nuestras

voces, pero a menudo nos cierran las

personas que nos dicen que somos

demasiado sensibles “.

Cuando se descubrieron los primeros

casos de COVID-19 en Wuhan, China,

muchas personas sacaron conclusiones

precipitadas y afirmaron que el virus

provenía de chinos.

Según un análisis publicado por el

Centro para el Estudio del Odio y el

Extremismo de la Universidad Estatal

de California, San Bernardino, los

delitos de odio contra los asiáticos se

dispararon en un 150%.

El 16 de marzo, tuvo lugar un tiroteo

masivo en un spa de Atlanta que dejó

ocho muertos. Seis de ellos eran mujeres


La policía ha dicho que el ataque no

fue por motivos raciales, sin embargo, el

atacante apuntó a tres spas propiedad

de asiáticos durante su alboroto.

Desde entonces, el tirador, Robert

Aaron Long, ha sido arrestado y acusado

de ocho cargos de asesinato.

Teniendo en cuenta el 20% de

la población asiática de Annandale,

muchos estudiantes y maestros se

vieron personalmente afectados por

la tragedia que tuvo lugar el martes


Senior Jimmy Le, cofundador del

Equity Team de Annandale, escribió una

reflexión personal sobre los asesinatos

que tuvieron lugar en Atlanta.

La reflexión se compartió

originalmente con el Annandale Equity

Team, y luego fue publicada por Le

en su cuenta de Instagram. Muchos

estudiantes de AHS se tomaron

el tiempo para volver a publicar y

compartir la reflexión personal.

Los medios de comunicación han

estado llamando “incidentes” a los

asesinatos que ocurrieron el martes,

pero ese no es el caso. Las seis mujeres

que murieron la semana pasada fueron

víctimas de un crimen de odio.

Desde que el mundo se cerró el

año pasado, ha habido más de 3.000

informes de crímenes de odio contra los

asiáticos en todo Estados Unidos.

La retórica racista del expresidente

Donald Trump con respecto al COVID-

19 y su uso repetido de frases racistas

como “virus de China” y “gripe Kung”

inspiraron a sus partidarios a llevar

la discriminación contra los asiáticos a

otro nivel.

Durante meses, la comunidad

asiáticoamericana e isleña del

Pacífico sufrió en silencio mientras los

principales medios de comunicación

continuaban ignorando los delitos de

odio que aumentaban rápidamente en

Estados Unidos.

Recientemente, estos problemas

finalmente están saliendo a la luz y se

está difundiendo más información. Este

es un paso en la dirección correcta, pero

es necesario hacer más para evitar que

estos crímenes de odio continúen.

El jueves pasado, el Subcomité

Judicial de la Cámara de

Efectos de COVID en la salud mental


Escritor del personel

No hay duda de que la pandemia ha

afectado a todos durante el último año,

en particular a los adolescentes.

Según, los

adolescentes tienen la corteza prefrontal

en el cerebro que no se desarrolla por

completo hasta los 25 años.

“Los estudiantes perdieron la

estructura del horario escolar, y cuando

se combinó con la falta de apoyo de los

padres, esto dejó a los estudiantes para

navegar por su cuenta ”.

Esto ha provocado patrones de sueño

irregulares y falta de concentración

entre los adolescentes.

“Toda mi vida he sido un nadador

competitivo, y hasta el 2020 estuve

practicando de 5 a 6 días a la semana.

Una vez que llegó el Covid, mis prácticas

fueron canceladas y no pude nadar, lo

cual ha sido parte de mi rutina diaria

desde que tengo uso de razón ”, dijo

Maya Mann, estudiante de segundo año.

“Al principio, fue realmente extraño

porque me quitaron algo a lo que estoy

tan acostumbrado y solo se esperaba

que me quedara en casa todo el día,

pero afortunadamente puedo volver

a la piscina con algunas restricciones

implementadas, por supuesto.”

“La escuela también es actualmente

una gran carga en mi vida porque estar

en línea es extremadamente agotador

y he perdido casi toda la motivación.

Paso la mayor parte de mi tiempo libre

haciendo la tarea y se está volviendo

agotador ”, dijo Mann.

Un estudio del Instituto Roxs

encontró que más del 80% de las

adolescentes se han sentido más solas

que nunca. Esto puede provocar un

aumento en las enfermedades mentales

como la depresión y la ansiedad en todos

los adolescentes, independientemente

de su género.

Esto puede afectar la vida escolar

de los estudiantes porque, con todas

las nuevas responsabilidades a las

que tienen que atender, es posible que

no tengan los medios para dedicar


“Los investigadores encontraron que

los adolescentes que mostraban una

mayor conectividad, o interconexión,

en un conjunto de regiones cerebrales

particulares eran menos propensos a

experimentar depresión y ansiedad

relacionadas con la pandemia”, dijo

Rajpreet Chahal del Departamento de

Psicología de Stanford.

A muchos psicólogos y científicos

les preocupa que la pandemia pueda

afectar el desarrollo psicológico de los


Ninguna generación en los últimos

cien años ha tenido que crecer en

cuarentena y distanciamiento por lo que

no hay duda de que va a dejar un efecto

en la salud mental de los adolescentes.

Antes del Covid, los adolescentes

estaban acostumbrados a practicar

deportes en equipos y participar en

actividades al aire libre, pero desde que

comenzó la pandemia, muchos equipos

deportivos han sido cancelados y los

adolescentes ya no pueden participar en

actividades sin distanciamiento social y

uso de máscaras.

“Muchos de los miembros de mi

familia corren un alto riesgo, por lo

que la pandemia me asustó mucho. Fui

muy cautelosa cuando salía a lugares

como el supermercado y no había visto

a ninguno de mis amigos en meses ”,

dijo la estudiante de segundo año Ellie


A pesar de las circunstancias,

las cosas tienen un lado positivo. El

presidente Biden ha anunciado que las

vacunas estarán disponibles para los

adolescentes este próximo otoño, lo que

les dará una sensación de normalidad.

Sin mencionar que se están

implementando muchos deportes y

actividades dentro de la escuela, pero

esta vez con máscaras y el cumplimiento

del distanciamiento social.

Aunque ahora tenemos que tomar

precauciones adicionales, es bueno

poder ver a nuestros compañeros en

persona y que la pandemia no se lo lleve

todo por completo.

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 Spanish-speaking 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.

Representantes celebró una audiencia

sobre el reciente ataque que tuvo

lugar en Atlanta. Muchos legisladores

y activistas se tomaron el tiempo para

discutir los temas y declarar su apoyo a

la comunidad de AAPI.

Los representantes estatales y los

miembros del comité exigían justicia

por las vidas perdidas.

El condado de Fairfax emitió un

comunicado en respuesta al violento

ataque que tuvo lugar en Atlanta.

En el correo electrónico, se abordó el

aumento del acoso y la violencia contra

la comunidad AAPI.

“Sabemos que los miembros de

nuestra comunidad de FCPS están

experimentando un aumento del miedo

y la ansiedad; te vemos, estamos juntos

en esto. Continuaremos trabajando

dentro de esta comunidad para

abordar la desinformación y el lenguaje

xenófobo que conduce a la agresión,

el acoso y la exclusión de nuestros

estudiantes, familias y colegas de las

comunidades asiático-americanas e

isleñas del Pacífico (AAPI) ”, decía el

correo electrónico.

El reconocimiento del problema por

parte de FCPS es importante para que

nuestra comunidad pueda progresar,

Humanos de Annandale

Señora Padgett

Profesora de


¿Qué es lo que más te gusta de AHS?

¡Lo que más me gusta de AHS son mis estudiantes!

Aunque este año ha sido una locura, los

días en los que puedo hablar con mis hijos uno

a uno o en grupos en clase son los mejores días.

Tenemos los niños más amables y amables de

todos los tiempos.

así como el resto del mundo. Las

peticiones y los recursos también se

incluyeron en el correo electrónico.

El trágico incidente ha atraído la

atención de todo el país y ha iniciado

muchas discusiones sobre el trato

racista hacia las comunidades AAPI.

Aunque es genial que haya

más personas hablando de esto, es

lamentable que haya gente que haya

tenido que morir para que se preste

atención a este tema.

La discriminación contra los

asiáticos existe desde hace décadas.

En 1882, el presidente Chester A.

Arthur aprobó la Ley de Exclusión

China y prohibió toda inmigración

de trabajadores chinos a los Estados


En 1920, a las mujeres se les otorgó

el derecho al voto, pero los asiáticos

y los nativos americanos todavía no

tenían este derecho. Los asiáticos no

pudieron votar hasta 1952 bajo la Ley


La comunidad de la AAPI ha

recorrido un largo camino en este país,

es hora de que la gente reconozca los

problemas que han estado enfrentando

durante décadas y es hora de que se les

ponga fin para siempre.

¿Por qué enseña geografia?

Me encanta enseñar estudios sociales; durante

los últimos 10 años, he enseñado Historia mundial 1 y 2, Gobierno, Geografía

del IB y Teoría del conocimiento del IB, así que he podido hacer un poco de casi

todo. Lo que más me gusta de la enseñanza de la historia es que en realidad todo

se trata de contar historias; es genial hacer que los estudiantes se involucren.

Sin embargo, la geografía es sin duda mi materia favorita para enseñar; la mejor

parte es cuando me encuentro con ex alumnos años después y me cuentan sobre

una actividad o lección que recuerdan, o cómo usan lo que aprendimos en sus

vidas después de la escuela secundaria.

¿Que es lo que mas le gusta enseñar de su materia?

Enseño Geografía del IB en parte porque cuando comencé a enseñar, ¡nadie más

lo quería! Así que me reclutaron como nueva maestra. Sin embargo, se ha convertido

en la mejor clase que he enseñado, ¡y finalmente llegué al punto en el que

ahora puedo enseñar a otros profesores nuevos sobre la clase! Me encanta que

sean todos eventos actuales y que haya algo para todos: un poco de ciencia, un

poco de historia, un poco de sociología, algo de deportes, política e incluso un poco

de matemáticas.

¿Estas orgullosa de la diversidad en Annandale?

Estoy muy orgulloso de la diversidad en AHS; es la escuela más diversa y también

la mejor en la que he trabajado. La variedad de experiencias, historia y culturas

que mis alumnos traen a clase todos los días es increíble. ¡No cambiaría mi

tiempo aquí por nada!

4 NEWS Wed., March 24, 2021

News Briefs

Spring Break

Spring Break will be from Mon.,

March 29 to Fri., April 2. This takes

place right after the end of third

quarter on Fri., March 26, which

is a two-hour early release day.

Teachers have been instructed to

not require students to complete

any work over the break. There

may be long-term assignments

that span over Spring Break, but

nothing should be due immediately

after the break.

2021-22 School Calendar

Only Recognizes Religious

and Cultural Holidays

Despite efforts from many religious

groups in Virginia, FCPS will not

close school for Rosh Hashanah,

Yom Kippur, Eid al-Adha, Eid

al-Fitr and Diwali but will instead

recognize these days along with

Dia de Los Muertos, Bodhi Day,

Three Kings Day/Epiphany,

Orthodox Christmas, Orthodox

Epiphany, Lunar New Year,

Ramadan, Good Friday, Theravada

and Orthodox Good Friday/Last

Night of Passover. The county has

instructed no tests, quizzes, field

trips, graduation, homecoming or

FCPS-scheduled athletic events to

be scheduled during any of these 15

religious and cultural observances.

Class of 2022 Chipotle


Those who hope to support the

Class of 2022 can order from the

Chipotle on Little River on Mon.,

April 5 from 5 to 9 p.m. A flyer can

be shown at checkout or the promo

code WD2B4R2 can be used when

ordering online or through the

Chipotle app.

Spring Sports Begin

On April 12, spring sports will

begin. This includes Boys and Girls

Soccer, Boys and Girls Lacrosse,

Boys and Girls Tennis, Baseball,

Softball and Outdoor Track.

The Annandale Activities Office

website has the most up-to-date


Grab and Go Meals

Available to All Students

FCPS is offering free healthy

meals to all students until June

30, 2021. Meals are available at

school sites and along bus routes.

The specific schedule can be found

online. Breakfast and lunch meals

are offered for pickup at the same

time Mondays through Fridays,

excluding holidays. Meals for

Saturday and Sunday are offered

for pickup every Friday.

ATC releases live four-episode series

The cast had to

get creative to pull

off virtual theatre

from home


Staff Writer

On Thurs., March 25, the Annandale

Theatre Company will present the

fourth and last episode of their series,

The Death of Theatre: 100 Years of Sad

Plays Crammed Into Less Than 100

Sad Minutes, by Dannie Snyder.

The play was produced through the

work of four actors, a director and a

playwright. The show stars sophomore

Atlas Martindale as Actor 1, junior

Amanda Weaver as Actor 2, senior

Isaac Nebyu as Actor 3 and senior

Hunter Duggan as Actor 4.

Despite the limitations placed on the

cast by coronavirus, they were able to

act and produce this show through a little

creativity and determination.

Still, senior Isaac Nebyu felt like he

was able to explore the full range of his

acting skills.

“I would say 40 percent of my script

is improvised,” Nebyu said. “In the

beginning, I wasn’t allowed to ad-lib,

but when they saw that it improved the

script they let me continue, as long as it

made it better.”

Acting virtually, live in a Zoom

meeting, was certainly a struggle but

one that paid off. The cast rehearsed

each episode around six times, and they

had two months of rehearsals from

around December to February.

The actors also learned a lot dealing

with Zoom. In the end, they knew how

to pay attention to the audience and

their script at the same time, change

angles, deal with microphone issues,

hosting, links and many other elements

to produce a successful show.

“I think virtual theatre is a great

way to include more of a diverse

The cast, clockwise Katie Brunberg, Amanda Weaver, Atlas Martindale and Hunter Duggan, rehearses an episode on Meet.

audience, since it allows for flexible

viewing times,” Theatre Arts teacher

Katie Brunberg said.

Virtual theatre proved to still be

rewarding and


“I feel like the

comment section

was really important


usually we would

have an actual

audience to perform

to,” Duggan

said. “I feel

like this is why Ms. Brunberg chose this

play, because of audience participation

through the comment section.”

Overall, the actors learned from the

experience and got to perform theatre

in a new light.

“Everyone was great, all the actors,

Ms. Brunburg and Dannie Snyder,”

Nebyu said. “We

all worked really

hard and hope

more people can

watch and give

us their feedback.

It was a

fun time and

everything went

pleasantly well.”

Episodes one

to three are now on YouTube. If you

tune in live, you can chat, comment and

support the actors during their last live


There is more to come from the ATC

in the future, but the goal stays the


“I hope the future of ATC is one of

inclusion and diversity,” Brunberg said.

“I hope to create space for all types of

actors, technicians and audience members

to feel represented and celebrated.”

Through it all, there’s always the

hope to get back to normal as soon as


“I hope ATC is able to return to

doing live theatre, because there is a

special kind of magic that comes from

it that just doesn’t happen virtually no

matter how hard you try,” Brunberg


School to be in-person 5 days a week next year


Staff Writer

Fairfax County Public Schools aims

to return nearly all of its students to

in-person learning, five days a week,

next school year. FCPS superintendent

Scott Brabrand also announced that

come fall, virtual options will be limited

and most likely restricted to students

with health conditions.

“In-person is the best for all of the

Performing Arts, especially choir!”

Chorus teacher Patrick Vaughn said.

“As long as we have herd immunity

and folks have been vaccinated, I am

good. I hope the mask requirement can

be removed, but if it stays, I’ll make it

Scan the

QR code to

watch the first

episode on the

ATC YouTube



Starting fall, Virginia’s largest

school district will allow social

distancing of less than six feet, since

the CDC has recently updated its

guidelines to recommend a distance

of three feet as ideal inside schools.

However, Brabrand said it will still be

difficult sending 180,000 students back

into the buildings.

“I believe the school is rushing us.

I don’t feel comfortable going back to

school with Covid still here,” sophomore

Gleny Chicas said. “I would worry

about my safety at school. No matter

how cautious someone can be, Covid

can still creep up on me or you.”

Others are cautiously optimistic

about the plans for next year.

“I guess it depends on how things

are by fall: how many cases there

are, if it’s dying down, if people are

keeping a safe distance from each

other,” freshman Audrey Nguyen said.

“Basically, as long as people continue

to keep following the safety guidelines,

then I think it’s a good idea.”

Brabrand said FCPS is also

grappling with another challenge:

convincing families to return, especially

families of color. While 57 percent

of White families selected in-person

learning this March, only 37 percent of

Black families and 27 percent of Asian

families did so.

Brabrand said families of color may


be less trusting of FCPS and its safety

guidelines because those communities

have been hit hardest. He added that

it’s up to the school system to help

begin to repair that trauma and change

their minds.

Although next school year will be

significantly different than this one,

Brabrand hopes it will be as near

normal as possible. This initiative will

bring changes, but for many, they will

be good ones.

“I’ll miss online learning, partly

sleeping in and not having to change

out of my PJs in the morning,” Nguyen

said, “but I think I’ll enjoy getting to

meet new friendly faces at Annandale

and seeing my friends daily.”

This survey was

launched on Instagram,

and responses were

collected on March

21 to 22. A total of 158

responses were collected

with 67 respondents

saying that they are

buying a yearbook this

year and 91 saying that

they are not.


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!

(703) 642-4100

Cooking classes, like Culinary Arts and Gourmet, have required teachers

to adapt to virtual learning for typically hands-on classes. They are

also sometimes simultaneously dealing with in-person students.

Electives adapt to virtual

learning environment


Staff Writer

Career electives and visual and performing

arts classes are among those

that have changed dramatically to continue

learning at a high level amid this


These electives are hands-on programs

that require engagement and

teamwork from students, which is

hard to obtain when not in a classroom


Teachers have had to adjust their

teaching styles and the way they present

lessons to their students. Trying

to adapt to new learning systems

and platforms, sharing their screen on

Google Meet or even splitting their computer

screen have all been new challenges.

“I have grilled on my own deck. I

have cooked at home and had my family

kicked out of the kitchen. I have

cooked at the school in the culinary

kitchen. I have had to use my own cell

phone to record video,” Culinary Arts

teacher Christine Gloninger said. “I

went from showing students how to

do a technique, hands on, to students

being online and not having access to

the food or equipment that they need.”

Many career and technical education

classes depend on public funding

to purchase the necessary food and


equipment for the class. With students

participating in class virtually and

unable to make food in the classroom,

funding has been cut short due to the

lack of food produced and then sold.

In electives that depend on student

collaboration to succeed like orchestra,

band or chorus, it has been difficult

for classmates to mix and match their

music and voices to create a polished

result because everyone is not together.

In these classes, teachers have given

out online sheet music so students can

listen to a recording and then play or

sing along with it.

“Our teacher has made a great effort

to try and recreate a classroom environment

online with breakout groups and

sheet music online,” sophomore Shalini

Vlcan said. “Obviously, it’s not the

same as being physically in the classroom

talking directly to my classmates

and teacher, but it is still a great experience.”

Teachers have continued to hold

online office hours after school and on

Mondays to offer support to students

with assignments or concepts they

might be struggling with.

“It’s been more difficult to collaborate

with my classmates to spark ideas

and help on projects,” sophomore Olivia

Cruz said. “This year, I have had to

reach out to my teachers more than

ever if I am having trouble with an


Wed., March 24, 2021


Two students, one virtual and one hybrid, share how they go about their school day

Junior Johnny Jaldin: VIRTUAL

7:30 a.m.

Start of the day

I wake up and check my phone to see if I have

any notifications and go back to sleep until my

next alarm goes off 20 minutes later. If I feel

good when the alarm goes off, then I get up. If

I don’t feel good when I wake up, I go back to

sleep for another 10 minutes before turning

on my computer and getting ready for class.

Usually, I go to class in my pajamas because

it’s not like anyone can see me anyways.

Senior Madison Cruz: IN-PERSON

7:00 a.m.

Start of the day

I wake up and check my phone for

notifications before getting my things ready

for school. I make sure that I put my fully

charged laptop into my backpack and that I

have my computer charger too. I get dressed

in comfortable athletic clothing and make sure

I don’t forget to bring a mask! Once I have my

things together, I fill up a water bottle and put

on my shoes. I then leave my house and drive

to school since I have my license.


Talkin' with



Academics Editor

Dear Thonny,

I used to be a senior who

was happily waiting for college

acceptance letters, but now I seem

to be a senior with way too many

college rejection letters, one of

them being from my dream school.

I, thankfully, did get accepted into

other schools, but it’s still hard to

enjoy the acceptances. My friends

and family keep trying to cheer me

up, but I just can’t seem to shake

off and let go of the fact that I was

rejected from so many schools.

How am I supposed to get over

these rejection letters and move


9:40 a.m.


Normally, I eat breakfast after my first class

during the break before the start of my next

class. I eat whatever I have at home which is

usually cereal and sometimes I might make a

breakfast sandwich when I have enough time

to make it in between classes. It all really just

depends on how much time I have and what I

have at home. It’s nice being at home because I

can also grab food during the first few minutes

of class while people still log on.

11:08 a.m.

Free time

In between classes, if I’m not finishing work

from the previous class, I’m on my phone

either playing games or watching YouTube.

Sometimes, I will even go on Netflix or

Disney+ for some downtime or a brain break. I

can also quickly grab a snack from the kitchen

if I’m hungry. I really have a lot of flexibility in

my schedule during virtual learning and seem

to have a lot of downtime which is nice because

I can use that time in whatever way I want.

1:30 p.m.

During classes

Most of the time, I do pay attention during my

classes. I might check my phone or respond to

a text here and there, but I always complete

my work and fully participate in class

activities. When teachers will give us time in

class to do work, if I finish early, I might go

on my phone to play some games, but I only

do that after I finish my work because I don’t

want to fall behind in my classes.

2:50 p.m.

End of the day

Directly after school finishes, I relax for an

hour to give myself a well-deserved mental

break before starting homework. I try my best

to finish homework as soon as possible, but

sometimes I don’t feel like doing work right

away, so I’ll take some time to myself. I’ll

typically use my phone to watch YouTube or

play games and then I’ll get back to completing

my work. It really just depends on how busy

my day was and how I feel after school.

Britney Nguyen dives into IB


Academics Editor

Q: What is your favorite IB subject?

A: My favorite IB subject has to be Biology

because science is my favorite subject and I love

my teacher, Ms. Camire. The class really shows

me why I aspire to be a Biology major in college.

Q: What clubs are you in?

A: I participate in many sports like swim and

dive, field hockey, cross country, lacrosse and

track. I am also a part of the National Honor


7:30 a.m.


For breakfast, I will grab something simple if

I’m running short of time like a banana or a

granola bar. Typically, I like to have heartier

breakfast food like scrambled eggs and a bagel

so that I don’t have to worry about snacking as

much throughout the school day. Since I’m an

athlete, I always need to make sure I’m getting

enough calories in a day. I need to make sure

that I have enough energy for the school day

and my after-school practices.

9:40 a.m.

Free time

In between classes, I spend my time walking

in the halls. Walking through the halls

between classes is much different than last

year. The halls are very empty, which makes

it easy to get to your classes quicker but also

makes the school feel eerie. I miss not being

able to walk with friends in the hallways.

What’s nice, though, is that many teachers in

the hallway are friendly and say hi to students

even if they don’t know them.

11:16 a.m.

During classes

When I walk into classes I have to go directly

to my seat. In Animation, everyone has

assigned seats spaced apart from one another.

The classroom feels empty because of the

spacing. We can’t really walk around the room

and interact with classmates. I do miss being

able to talk to communicate during class when

Covid did not exist, but even though classes

are different than they were last year, I very

much enjoy my time in the classroom itself.

2:50 p.m.

End of the day

When the final bell rings to dismiss me from

my final period, I turn off my computer, pack

up my bag, and walk outside to the parking

lot near Ossian Hall. I have student parking

near Ossian, so I have to walk a little bit to get

there, which I don’t mind because I like getting

fresh air. Sometimes I have enough time to

go home before my sports practices start, but

other times I’ll wait in my car and start to do



A sad future college


Dear sad future college student,

It seems to me you are paying way

too much attention to the wrong thing.

You got into a college! Nothing else


I’m really sorry you couldn’t get into

your dream school. It hurts and it sucks

but guess what? It is a key part of life.

Learning to handle rejection will make

it easier for you to move on to bigger

and better things.

It’s not fun getting turned down,

I know, especially from a college you

imagined yourself attending. Take your

time to mope about it a little bit, but

eventually you need to pick yourself up

off the ground and remember you’re not


Lots of students are getting rejected

from college and it’s part of the process.

Yes, there are those lucky few who got

accepted to all the colleges they applied

to but who cares? Don’t worry about

them. Focus on you!

Celebrate and embrace the schools

that did accept you. Every school will

have amazing things to offer their

students and the colleges that accepted

you are no exception.

Being sad about this is normal,

but you need to stop yourself from

constantly thinking about these

rejections. It won’t change the decision,

so don’t continue to waste your time

thinking about things you can’t change.

These rejection letters are just

setbacks that you have to overcome, but

you will eventually move on to achieve

success no matter what.

It’s important to remember:

rejection just means redirection. Maybe

this isn’t the path you saw yourself

taking in life but you need to count your

blessings and acknowledge that you’re

taking a different path now.

Instead of thinking about

your rejections, work past your

disappointment. Go to college and do

great things in your life!



Do you have a question that

you want me to answer? Email



1. Senior sponsor Mr. Smith is providing everyone in the

senior class with doughnuts to help celebrate their last

year. One box of doughnuts contains 48. There are 384

students in your grade. How many boxes of doughnuts

does he need to purchase?

2. There are 117 ice cream cones in your school. 1/3 of

them have been devoured by the senior class. How many

ice cream cones have not been devoured?

Q: What made you decide to do the IB


A: I was already taking the required coursework,

so it just made sense to get the diploma. I also love

challenging myself with rigorous coursework.

Q: What skills do you

think the IB program

has taught you that can

help you later in life?

A: The IB program has

taught me to never

procrastinate and to

maintain a balance between

both my social and academic life.

IB Spotlight:

Profiles of



Q: How have your friends and family

supported you this year?

A: My friends and family are always there for me

when I am overwhelmed and stressed and need to

talk and let my feelings out.

Q: What colleges have you applied to/plan to

apply to?

A: I applied to many schools in Virginia because

I want to be close to home. Some of the schools I

applied to are the University of Virginia, Virginia

Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University,

James Madison University and George Mason

University. I got accepted into all of them which

I am really happy about. I have it narrowed

down to two and will be choosing between the

University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

A: I hope I finished all my schooling and residency

programs and am fulfilling my dream of being a

Nguyen practices her diving during an Annandale

swim practice in order to give a stellar

performance during competitions.

successful doctor.

Q: What lasting impact do you want to

leave on this school?

A: Being in a senior class with a full pandemic

year has made me believe that the impact of the

class of 2021 is that we were guinea pigs! We

had to navigate through a whole new system

and also support our teachers while they learn

new things as well.

Q: What advice do you have for future IB


A: My advice to IB candidates is to really think

about whether you want to give up time and

energy for the diploma. It’s not easy and it’s not

for everyone. It’s important to prioritize and also

to manage time!


What literary devices are used in the phrases below?

3. I’m so excited for Easter I could just die.

4. My baby sister is an angel on Easter.

5. Life is a gift we must enjoy.

6. The Easter Bunny lifts a load of eggs by pulling the

rope of a pulley system. What force is applied by the Easter

Bunny to lift the load?

7. What force is responsible for making the moon revolve

around the Earth?

8. Who invented the Easter Bunny?

9. What is the symbolism of eggs at Easter?

10. How often has Easter fallen on April 1?

1) 8; 2) 78; 3) Hyperbole; 4) Metaphor; 5) Metaphor; 6) Muscular; 7) Gravitational; 8) German

immigrants; 9) New life; 10) 4 times

6 IN-DEPTH Wed., March 24, 2021 Wed., March 24, 2021



After abruptly getting out of school back in March of last year due to the Covid pandemic, students and staff reflect on the past year

It’s been a year of



Students share their favorite masks


Staff Writer

When Fairfax County closed all public

schools for a minimum of two weeks

in response to the outbreak COVID-19.

Students were thrilled as they

looked forward to what seemed to be

just an extended spring break. Many, at

first, would embrace the chance to stay

at home and relax.

What seemed to be a brief break

from classwork, jobs and responsibilities

slowly became less welcomed as

months of social distancing piled on.

The realization of an extended

quarantine gradually set into the

lives of millions worldwide. Though

the virus was not as hostile to global

health as the Black Plague, the effects

of the Coronavirus are certain to have

changed the world.

The implementation of face masks

stands as one of the largest adjustments

in our daily activities concerning

the pandemic.

Because of the virus, face masks are

now an essential part of our lives just

as items such as cell phones and car

keys. Simple tasks like going to the

grocery store cannot go by without the

thought of packing a mask.

Activities related to physical health

bear the effect of the virus as well.

“I wear a mask in the gym while

I’m getting huge, so it is a different

experience” senior Jason Kim said,

describing his gym experience throughout

COVID-19. “It’s just something I

had to get used to.”

Education faced major challenges

as a result of coronavirus. The United

Nations cited that the COVID-19 pandemic

has created the largest disruption

of the education systems in history

in over 190 countries and all continents.

FCPS was to instruct the entire

county to launch the concept of a

remote learning system for the first


“It was like being a first year teacher

all over again,” Music Teacher and

Choir Director Patrick Vaughn said.

“Teachers of the county felt like we had

to relearn how to teach.”

The process was extremely difficult

for Annandale’s performing arts program

as it was impossible to have effective

ensemble rehearsals online.

“I wear a

mask in the

gym while


huge so it is

a different

experience. It’s just something

I had to get used




“Although we have learned to maintain

school days virtually, I hope in the

future the county will still hold its traditional

snowdays for the sake of family

values,” Vaughn said.

Despite the negative effects of

COVID-19, many saw quarantine as

an opportunity to achieve what they

may not usually have time for such as

Students sound off on

vaccination rollout


Staff Writer

As this hectic school year draws

to an end for AHS students, Summer

Break is looking to be the only chance

that students have to gain back some

of the fun that COVID took from them

this year.

“After I’m done with school and I

get my college decisions, I’m definitely

gonna try to hang out with my friends

as much as possible however I can,”

senior Johnny Rodriguez said.

But, even as students plan hangouts

with friends, the threat of COVID and

mask mandates still hold back students

from enjoying themselves as if there

was no pandemic at all.

To go back to those maskless hangouts

and having more stores being

open, vaccines are the closest anyone

can get to being back towards those

kinds of hangouts.

And while vaccine distribution has

improved a lot since their release to the

public in December of last year, the vaccine

distribution for students under 18

is a lot less clear than some students

might hope.

It is currently the case that the

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines

are authorized for ages 18 and up,

while students that are ages 16 or older

should get the Pfizer vaccine.

While this does provide a chance

for Annandale students to get that

non-socially distant summer, the CDC

does specify that, “efforts are focusing

on children ages 16+ who have one

or more CDC-listed chronic conditions

that are associated with poor outcomes

from COVID-19 and live in a community

with a higher risk of COVID exposure

based on community prevalence of


Students in Patrick Vaughn’s virtual chorus class work together to make music.

For many students, this means waiting

longer until they can resume their

regular lives again.

However, for students with preexisting

conditions under the added

threat of COVID, this pushes up the

vaccination waiting line that could help

take care of one issue and become a

definite course of action in the coming


This is a sentiment mirrored by

senior Anon Rahman.

“I’m definitely going to apply for the

vaccine, so that maybe in a few months

I can hang out with my friends without

worrying about my asthma on top of

“I was never

a really big

fan of Prom,

but graduation


being able to

walk across the stage was

always a dream of mine.”



COVID,” Rahman said.

But, students without pre-existing

health conditions have their patience

tested yet again, becoming frustrated

by being put back in a situation where

they are expected to sit back and follow


“I remember I was really excited

when I found out that people over

18 can get all three vaccines since I’m

turning 18 myself soon,” senior Wasiq

Ali said. “After finding out the pre-existing

condition requirement, it sucks having

to go back to waiting again, but I

cooking, spending time with immediate

family, exercising and getting organized.

The phenomenon of Zoom virtually

brought together families and friends to

check in on one another throughout the

year more often than usual. Older generations

had no choice but to adapt to

new technology due to quarantine.

Younger generations thrived on

social media platforms and applications

such as Snapchat, Discord and

TikTok to entertain, communicate and

digitally spend time with one another.

COVID-19 truly allowed the world to be

brought together virtually in the safety

of their own homes.

There was a major relief from the

stress of school allowing students to

grasp a steady pace in terms of schoolwork.

“It made me enjoy school more actually

and stress a whole lot less,” junior

Audrey Barnes said. “I just really

enjoyed how online school feels.”

Still, now that most strive to retain

normalcy, many are scarred by the negative

effects of the pandemic. The United

States alone has faced an estimated

number of half a million lives lost to


One year ago from March 2021, no

one could have imagined to what extent

lives would be reshaped having experienced

a pandemic.

think it’s fair because people with a preexisting

condition are more at risk.”

COVID makes things even harder

because last year when the class of

2020 did not get their prom nor graduation,

we thought for sure that this pandemic

would have been over. This vaccine

also gave the Class of 2021 false


One of the most important ceremonies

of our lives will not be the same.

Twelve years waiting for this day and

once again ruined by COVID 19. Even

if the Class of 2021 has the chance to

have a ceremony, it wouldn’t be the


Masks would be required, distance

would be kept, the amount of capacity

would be lower; walking the stage

would not feel the same.

“I was never a really big fan of prom,

but graduation and being able to walk

across the stage was always a dream

of mine,” senior Isabella Rodas said.

“Graduation or not, I look forward to

the next chapter and I hope we can go

back to our normal lives soon.”

For school next year, it seems as if

there will be higher chances of having

a normal high school life as FCPS has

already announced in-school learning 5

days a week.

Infectious diseases expert Anthony

Fauci has also stated that it looks

like high school students will be able to

get vaccinated by the beginning of fall


So, as the school year ends and

Summer Break grows even closer for

the students at Annandale, the vaccine

seems like it’s the only way to be able to

take full advantage of that summer.

But, as with everything during a

pandemic, uncertainty still lingers and

causes the vision for vaccines and a

carefree summer to become a much foggier





“I really like this mask

because it feels really

snug on my face and

lets me breathe easier.

It also matches a lot of

the clothes I wear.”



“I like the mask

because it frames my

face and it’s black so

it matched with everything





“I really love this mask

because I found it easy

to breathe and it can go

with any of my outfits.”

How the pandemic changed

school as we know it


In-Depth Editor

On March 12, 2020, students were

told that school would be canceled for

a few weeks to control the spread of

Covid-19, but those few weeks turned

into a year.

Schools were forced to turn to online

learning for the rest of the year which

was mostly asynchronous.

Many students couldn’t find the

motivation to do their work since none

of it was graded but was rather an

opportunity to raise grades for those

who needed it.

The situation was worse on the other

end too for teachers that weren’t trained

to teach using technology. Teachers are

trained to teach and work with students

face to face, interacting via Google Meet

was just not the same.

School was the least of some students’

worries as they were forced to get

used to this new world.

Life was much different and hardly

recognizable because of the precautions

that were made to keep others safe and

keep communities at bay from the virus.

“Before Covid, I was able to do so

much with so many of my closest friends

in school and I was also able to see places

with more freedom and appreciation

because there was no pandemic and

people were outside and greeting each

other and being happy,” senior Anthony

Assadzadeh said.

“I was able to visit colleges, play basketball

with my friends, and go to homecoming

and have the time of my life, but

with everything going on now, none of

that fun can really happen.”

Before COVID-19, students were

walking in the hallways and classrooms

were filled with loud students, pencils

tapping against desks and scraping


Now, the day to day life of most students

is spent asleep in their beds while

signed into a class, tuning out their

teachers’ voices on their laptops.

When there’s no accountability, it’s

hard to do what you’re supposed to.



“It stands out in comparison

to all the blue

ones and because it

was custom made, it’s

fit to my face making it

easier to breathe.”



I like this mask because

black matches with all

of my outfits and I use

it every time I leave my

house to go to the grocery

store or to get

some food.”




“I picked this mask

because it looked good

and matched with basically

all my clothes and

it fit my face perfectly

unlike the blue mask.”




“This has to be my

favorite mask because

my mom decided to put

a heart on it and i feel

like it just makes it look

ten times better than

how it originally was.”



“The regular blue

masks would start to

irritate my skin after

long hours when I’m at

work so I switched to

wearing these cotton

ones which were softer

on my face.”




“This is my favorite

mask because it is

easy to breathe and it is


A hallway that was once filled with students pushing past each other now stands

empty with occasional students taking part in in-person learning.

At this point, many are just waiting

for it to be over. Seniors this year

are feeling “senioritis” more than past


“I can hardly get myself to sign on to

class. I can’t wait to graduate and finish

this year off,” senior Gabby Urbina

said. “Had we been in school, it would be

so much easier to keep my focus on my

school work.”

Although many students do not like

the idea of online school, many appreciate

the liberty of being able to do school

work on their own terms.

“I enjoy online school because I have

the freedom to do school from anywhere

now,” senior Kayla Trace said.

Others are more critical.

“Online school was a failure, in my

opinion, and I just couldn’t get what

I wanted out of it,” senior Anthony

Assadzadeh said. “By the time I was

allowed to come back, there wasn’t



“My mom made me

this mask and she gave

it to my whole family.

Usually, masks fog up

my glasses, but these

are better made or

something. I have had

no issues.”



“I wear a lot of neutral

colored clothes so

I didn’t want my mask

messing up my outfits. I

like it because it makes

me feel safe and protected.”



“I chose this mask

because it’s not too

extra, but it’s not too

basic. It’s still good for

this pandemic and it

lets me have another

color besides the basic


much else left of my high school experience,”

Assadzadeh said.

Students like those that are heavily

affected by the drastic changes in learning

this past year have all had one thing

in common: they are tired.

“I hope that whatever I do in the

next few months set my path to college

the right way,” senior Timothy Sue said.

“Working while taking 5 IB classes have

been a struggle lately, but I am pushing

through with the encouragement of my

peers and others around me.”

With staying up late at night, having

countless amounts of homework,

and now IB students are forced to finish

their Internal Assesments as they are

graded for their final IB grade, students

do not know what to do.

“This kind of stuff takes a toll on us

kids and sitting in front of a computer

screen for seven to eight hours a day

isn’t helping,” Assadzadeh said.

8 PEOPLE Wed., March. 24, 2021

COVID vaccine: the good and the bad


People Editor

In early December, the FDA

approved Pfizer - BioNTech’s COVID-19

vaccine for emergency use.

The vaccine was made available to

people in Phase 1A, which was limited

to healthcare personally and residents

of long-term care facilities.

Next came Phase 1B, which included

people 65 and older, individuals living

or working in long-term care facilities

and people age 16-64 with underlying

medical conditions.

I am considered “high risk” for

COVID-19 with moderate Asthma, so

my parents thought it would be best to

speak with health care professionals to

see about getting me vaccinated.

The process was long and tedious. I

had to take multiple screenings to make

sure I was eligible and meet with my

doctor.I finally got a note and was able

to put my name on the Fairfax County

Health Department waiting list.

To put the timeline into perspective,

my name got added to the waiting list

on January 25.

The appointment was then

scheduled for March 10, a little under a

month and a half later.

What my parents and I were not

Over 7,600 volunteers from Fairfax County have helped out with vaccine administration,

including doctors, nurses and members of the MCR .

informed of though, was the guideline

for the weeks leading up to the

appointment: don’t get another vaccine.

If you are eligible for the Moderna/

NIAID, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Johnson

and Johnson vaccine, the CDC

recommends waiting at least two weeks

in between vaccines.

The day my appointment would not

have allowed for the time in between, so

my appointment got pushed back even


With the registration and waiting

process over, the day of my appointment

finally came.

Even at the appointment, there are

lots of precautions and steps you take

before even getting the shot.

I had to receive a text from the

county before even entering the health

department building, and upon walking

in, follow the strict directions of a

volunteer who greeted my mom and me

at the door.

Throughout the building, there are

floor markers that tell you where to walk

Student opens up online Etsy shop to sell crochet crafts


People Editor


and stand to ensure social distancing is


When checking in, I was asked my

name, date of birth and if I had a parent

or guardian with me.

The volunteer informed us that had

my mom not been with me, I would have

been turned away because I’m a minor,

regardless of if I had an appointment

and for how long we’d been waiting.

All in all, the process, though tedious

and annoying at times, proved to be

efficient and smoothly run.

After being directed into a room, a

volunteer from the Medical Reserve

Corp checked my name against a

national database, asked me questions

about my general health, and explained

the possible side effects of the first dose

of the Pfizer vaccine.

Almost everyone working at the

vaccine site was from the Medical

Reserve Corp and had volunteered their

time and put their health on the line to

help others.

The volunteer and I chatted about

her history in the corp and all of the

natural disasters she had helped with,

from creating safe evacuation sites

during Hurricane Katrina to the floods

in Houston just two years ago.

Listening to all of her stories of

selflessness and caring, despite her age

or wellness, tugged at my heartstrings.

The shot itself was nothing special,

and I only noticed three differences in

the protocol.

First was that the syringe came

empty, and it was up to the person

inoculating the patient to get the correct

dosage from the vial.

I also received a COVID-19

vaccination record card that I have to

bring with me to the appointment for

my second and final dose.

The last difference was the protocols

taken after receiving the vaccine.

The CDC requires that all persons

receiving the vaccine must wait 15

minutes at the place of administration

to watch for any signs of anaphylaxis or


During my 15 minutes, I felt slightly

dizzy and a little nauseous.

Overall though, I did not have a

severe reaction and felt fine a few hours


While the process of registering and

eventually getting the vaccine was long,

I am incredibly grateful and feel a lot

safer having gotten at least one dose.

Though the first shot provides

50% immunity, and the second 95%

immunity, nothing is more effective than

staying safe and socially distancing.

Junior Ishat Hannan, with a lot of

free time due to the pandemic, picked

up crocheting last July as a hobby and

a way to pass the long days filled with

sitting around and staying home.

Over the past seven months, she

had crocheted a wide variety of things

ranging from oversize cardigans to

tiny hats for some of her friend’s pets.

During quarantine, Hannan would

often make crocheted items for herself

and her friends, but she realized that

she could actually make a profitable

business out of it, and so she did.

“I decided to open an Etsy shop

because I wanted to have to have

something to do to pass time,” Hannan

said, “as well as be able to share my

creations with others”.

Etsy, a popular online marketplace

created back in 2005, focuses on the

sale of handmade goods.

The range of products on the

website is practically endless, ranging

from jewelry to home decor pieces, to

personalized anniversary gifts and

much more.

The website has become popular

over time for those looking to start

their shop to sell their products, or

for those looking for specialized more

original products.

The site serves as a third party

that provides an easy way for creators

and consumers to interact and sell

products safely.

“Etsy is pretty cool since you

can discover small brands and help

support small businesses,” junior Isra

Kertgate said.

Kergate, upon hearing news of

Hannan opening an Etsy shop, was

proud of her friend, and ready to do

Yellow crochet bees are one of the products that Hannan plans on selling. “For

my first launch, I plan on making three to four different colors,” Hannan said.

whatever she needed to support her.

“I’m so happy that she has found a

new hobby, and I’m sure her products

will sell great on Etsy,” Kertgate

said “It seems easy to use and people

usually go to Etsy to buy handmade

stuff which is perfect for her.”

Anyone over 13 can make an

account on Etsy and start their

business from there, selling their

products, which is what Hannan plans

to do.

“I plan on making and selling

crocheted goods such as plushies and

blankets,” Hannan said.

A major appeal of Etsy shops,

and one that drew Hannan in, is

the astounding difference between

mass-manufactured products and the

handmade, original, and better quality

that Etsy products provide.

“It’s nice knowing that the products

I buy from Etsy are handmade by

real people instead of in a factory by

machines,” junior Cassandra Quach



“It adds a personal touch that

makes the products better even if

sometimes it’s a bit pricier.”

Hannan plans to open her Etsy

shop, called Handmade By Ishat,

sometime in early to mid-April.

Once she establishes her business,

she has plans to expand her range of

products as her business grows.

Over the years, there has been an

increasing number of teenagers who

have started their own businesses, like


“I think it’s a great idea for teens

to get into business and start making

their own money,” Hannan said.

Aside from making money, teens

who start their own businesses can

also obtain and learn new skills that

they can use in the future.

“Starting a business helps teens

become more independent and learn

more about marketing and running a

business,” Hannan said.

Though will not be available on her Etsy shop, Hannan also make crochet purses

A huge perk of having a business is

the money you make.

With the earnings that Hannan

makes from her Etsy shop, she plans

to use some of it to improve her local

community by donating money as well

as buy supplies to keep her business


“For a while, I’ve always wanted

to use the money that I earn for good

purposes,” Hannan said.

“So I plan on regularly donating a

portion of my proceeds to charities and

local organizations”.

Looking towards the future,

Hannan is very excited to continue

to pursue her newly found business

venture and hopes she’s able to bring

smiles to all of her customer’s faces by

sharing her passion for crocheting with


Hannan models an oversize cardigan she




I was born in...

Annapolis, MD


I am not just goal-oriented. I am purposedriven.

This year has challenged me to

find the appreciation of extracurriculars.

Constantly feeling the pressures of being

an honor student/IB diploma candidate, the

pandemic not only gave me the freedom to

pursue things that I was interested in but

also gave me the courage to try new things.

The most memorable being starting my

non-profit Girls Steps to Success. My vision

is to encourage young girls to feel empowered

to be the best versions of themselves, in

whatever that might be. I want to bring girls

from all around the country together so we

can all uplift one another.

I joined the Equity Team this year and

became the student chair for the College

Assistance Committee. What I thought would

be just another club turned out to be one of

the most absorbing (and I mean this in a good

way) experiences. It has taught me so much

about what it means to have an equitable

society, but more importantly, what it takes

to get there.

The college application process has

always fascinated me, which is why I felt

drawn to this committee in particular. With

this committee, I have created a website

that guides students on the journey and

is currently working on a student panel

discussion for First-Generation Low-Income


I have played the cello for six years and

have recently picked up the piano. I love

writing, so I became a writing tutor for the

Lauryn Mills


writing center and am now the workshop

coordinator. I love painting and just picked up

film photography.

I have also run varsity track and field

since my freshman year and enjoyed pushing

myself to my limits as an athlete. Instead of

listing all of these activities, I like to consider

myself an artist. Music is an art in the same

way writing, photography, painting and even

running are all art forms.

I don’t do all of these extracurriculars and

hobbies because they look good on college

applications. I do them because it is my

purpose: to help young women, to make an

equitable change, and to remain authentic to

myself through my art.

In college, I want to major in STEM and

plan to be equally as purpose-driven as I am

today, as I will in the future.

I went to school at...

DeMatha Catholic High School, Brown

University (BA) and the University of MD (MA

and PhD)

What are some of your favorite movie/book/

TV shows?

Books: Beneath a Scarlet Sky, Symphony for the

City of the Dead and People of the Book

TV Shows: comedy shows by Dave Chappelle

and Tom Papa

Musical artists: Bob Marley, Frank Zappa, and

Tom Waits

During the pandemic I have...

Started doing yoga, going kayaking, and

“campfires” with my family and friends

What do you enjoy doing outside of school?

Outdoor activities with my family, watching

sports, listening to music, and working in the


During virtual learning I am teaching...

In person

Some fun facts about me are...

I used to coach soccer, wrestling, and baseball

and have played trombone and steel pan in

reggae and ska bands.

I have been teaching at Annandale


2006, but I have been in education since


Why did you decide to start teaching?

I believed I could affect positive social

change by educating young people from

diverse backgrounds, and I wanted to get

young people interested in discovering new

things and asking critical questions about

themselves, the past, and present society.

Use a QR

Code scanner

to reveal

Who Am I?

Wed. March. 24, 2021

The long-term impacts of COVID-19

Students weigh in

on the toll of the

pandemic on their

mental health


Staff Writer

There is no doubt that the

pandemic has impacted everyone

in the past year, particularly teens.

According to,

teens have the Prefrontal cortex in

their brain that does not fully develop

until age 25.

“Adolescents may need additional

support when it comes to regulation,

which includes sleep patterns, use of

time, and technology usage. Because

of the pandemic, students lost the

structure of school time, and when

coupled with a lack of parental

support, this left students to navigate

on their own.”

This has led to irregular sleeping

patterns and a lack of focus amongst

teens. With that part of their brain

having to develop in quarantine,

it could majorly affect future

relationships and mental health.

“My whole life, I’ve been a

competitive swimmer, and up until

2020, I was practicing 5 to 6 days a

week. Once Covid hit, my practices

were canceled and I wasn’t able to

swim, which has been part of my

daily routine for as long as I can

remember,” sophomore Maya Mann


“At first, it was really weird

because something that I’m so used

to was taken away and I was just

expected to stay home all day, but

luckily I’m able to get back in the pool

with some restrictions implemented,

of course.”

“School is also currently a huge

burden in my life because being online

The girls JV volleyball team playing a game with masks on and adusting to the new affects and regulations of COVID-19.

is extremely tiring and I have lost

almost all motivation. I spend most of

my free time doing homework and it’s

becoming exhausting,” Mann said.

A study coming from the Roxs

Institute has found that over 80% of

adolescent girls have felt more lonely

than ever. This can cause a spike in

mental illnesses such as depression

and anxiety within all teens

regardless of their gender.

Having to quarantine is hard

enough as a teen, but adding other

responsibilities such as babysitting

or housework adds additional

stress. This can also affect students’

school life because, with all the new

responsibilities they have to tend

to, they may not have the means to

completely dedicate their time to

school as they normally would in


With social distancing

implemented within our local

government, it is hard for teens to

receive emotional support from their

friends during this unprecedented

time. Although we have FaceTime

and other apps made so that we can

“School is

also a huge

burden in my

life currently

because being

online is

extremely tiring and I have

lost all my motivation.”



virtually talk to our friends, many

complain that it lacks the same effect

as seeing your friends in person and

being able to physically socialize.

“When the pandemic first began,

I was really worried because I didn’t

know how this would affect mine

and millions of others’ lives. I was

worried that this is something with

no end and this will just become our

new normal,” junior Hana Wasuge

said. “Now with all the research

that’s coming out and vaccines I

have a peace of mind and my anxiety

has calmed down.”

“The researchers found that

teenagers who showed greater

connectivity, or interconnectedness,

in a set of particular brain regions

were less likely to experience

pandemic-related depression and

anxiety,” Rajpreet Chahal from

Stanford Department Of Psychology


Many psychologists and scientists

are worried that the pandemic



could affect teen psychological

development. No generation in the

past hundred years has had to grow

up quarantining and social distancing

throughout their childhood, so there

is no doubt that is going to leave an

effect on teens’ mental health.

Not to mention the fact that the

pandemic has had on teens’ physical

health as well. Pre-Covid, teens were

used to playing sports on teams and

participating in outdoor activities,

but since the pandemic began, many

sports teams have been canceled and

teens are no longer able to participate

in activities without social distancing

and mask-wearing.

This has obviously left a major

effect on teens because they were

used to getting some sort of physical

activity at least twice a week but now

that has completely been thrown out

the door.

“A large number of my family

members are high-risk so the

pandemic was very scary to me. I was

very cautious when going out to places

like the supermarket and I haven’t

seen any of my friends in months

sophomore Ellie Davis said. This has

taken a toll on my mental health but

things are definitely getting better as

new research and medicines are being


Despite the circumstances, there

is a bright side to things. President

Biden has announced that the

vaccines will be available to teens this

upcoming fall time, which will give

teens a sense of normalcy and peace

of mind when hanging out with their

friends in person again.

Not to mention, many in-school

sports and activities are being

implemented, but this time with

masks and social distancing enforced.

Although we have to take extra

precautions now, it is nice to be able to

see our peers in person and not have

everything completely taken away by

the pandemic.

Six ways to survive the allergy season

Improve and protect your immune system

this upcoming spring


Staff writer

Allergies can be seen year-round, but

spring is a time that is especially difficult

for those who suffer from allergies.

Around this time, there is an increase

in allergen production, the largest being

pollen, and when these particles get into

one’s immune system, they can trigger

a reaction.

“My eyes get really tired and heavy

and my sinuses swell and hurt,” senior

Nick Bellem said. “I also get a sore

throat and headaches if they get really


Sadly, allergy season has begun

early this year. Although, this shouldn’t

frighten those who suffer from allergies

as there are many ways to overcome the


Firstly, you should consult with your

doctor or an allergist to discover more

about your situation and the cause of

your allergies.

“There’s a wide range of allergy

medication at the pharmacy, so it’s best

to check with your doctor to see what is

best for your symptoms.” Pharmacist

Natalie Kim said.

However, as mediation can only do

so much, there are other things you

need to be cautious about.

“When I go outside, I make sure

to stay away from areas with a lot of

flowers or where grass is being cut,”

senior Alan Nguyen said.

Make sure to clean your house

regularly to remove any dust or pollen

that may trigger your allergies. Along

with that, keep any windows or doors

closed to avoid pollen getting in.

Another precaution is removing your

clothes after being outside and taking

a shower to remove any leftover pollen

from your body.

Ironically with our circumstances, a

mask can provide a lot of help with your

allergies. Many doctors recommend

N95 respirators because they block

around 95% of particles in the air that

can trigger your allergies.

“My allergies have a

small impact

on my

health, but

as I take my


and precautions,

I don’t let it control

my life.”



Experiencing seasonal allergies

means you should be aware of the

surroundings and the weather. Luckily,

there are many websites and apps that

can help.

The app, WebMD Allergy, alerts

you when you are in areas with high

amounts of allergens and allows you to

track your symptoms and medications.

Aside from that, the app also provides

an extensive library of materials you

can read about treating your allergies.

Another resource is,

which provides allergy reports of

locations. The reports consist of top

allergens in the area and the pollen


“My allergies have a small impact on

my health, but as I take my medicine

and take precautions, I don’t let it

control my life,” Bellem said.

Take medicine

Allergy medications are

very helpful in blocking the

inflamatory process. Allergy

medicine alleviates

sneezing, itching, and

watery eyes. There are

many types of medications

that can help treat your

allergies and help prevent

them from becoming worse.

Wear sunglasses

If you have severe eye

allergies going outside be

very uncomfortable. Wearing

sunglasses can prevent pollen

and dust from entering your

eyes. Not only that, but





from eye


as well.

Use nasal spray

There are many different

types of nasal sprays many of

which work faster than pills.

They are helpful in relieving

a runny nose or congestion

and sneezing. Nasal sprays

also shrink



vessels and

tissues in

your nose.

Use eyedrops

Eyedrops are often used to

relieve minor


They are


that relieve


dryness, and


Along with

that they

also get rid

of itchiness or watery eyes

caused by allergies.

Keep tissues on


When using tissues for a

runny nose

make sure

that you use

soft tissue and

pat your nose

dry instead of

wiping it to

get less skin


After you blow

your nose, moisturize the

skin around your nostrils.

Have an EpiPen

In the case of a severe

allergic reaction have an

EpiPen on hand.

If you feel like

you have trouble

swallowing or

can’t breathe,

use the EpiPen

to allow the

airways in

your lung to be


Wear a mask

Aside from being required in

public, masks are helpful in

protecting you from high levels

of pollen and reducing your

exposure to airbone allergens.

Masks also prevent you from

touching your nose and eyes

with your



germs away

from your



10 SPORTS Wed., March 24, 2021

Atoms football off to hot start


Staff Writer

On March 12, Annandale lost to a

strong T.C. Williams squad by a score

of 34-14.

The loss ended the team’s undefeated

streak, as their current record is now


Despite their recent defeat, the

team is still off to a tremendous start to

the season. On Feb. 23, Annandale beat

Woodson in the first game of the year

by a score of 28-6.

This was a great win for the team

considering that they lost to Woodson

last year and did not win a single game.

This victory proved to give the team

a boost of confidence and provided

momentum for upcoming matchups.

The following game resulted in a

38-0 blowout win against Herndon.

The Atom defense did an excellent

job stepping up during the game to hold

Herndon to a shut-out.

The team then followed their 2-0

start with an amazing offensive performance

as they beat Hayfield 63-28 and

rushed for over 400 yards.

The Atoms have improved a great

amount this season after last year’s disappointing


They finished with a winless record

of 0-10.

But now that the squad has many

more experienced seniors, they are

starting to win more games and play

more competitively.

Cross country team surges mid-season


Staff Writer

Boys varsity cross country runners

performed extremely well in their meet

on March 20 at Bull Run.

In their third competition of the season,

they finished second overall against

various teams in their region.

”The meet went very well for us and

it gave us a good idea on where we currently

stand against the other teams in

our district and region,” senior Bennett

Stenberg said.

All of the runners times improved

significantly since their previous meet

on March 9, which can be credited to

their hard work in practices.

“It was also nice to finally be able to

race against schools outside of our conference

on a new and faster course,”

Stenberg said.

The Atoms believe they stack up well

against other teams in their region and

district and hope to achieve a district

championship this season.

The overall goal for the team is to

make it to states. In order to qualify for

the state-wide competition, the Atoms

must finish in the top three of the region.

Other contenders that will prove to

make it difficult for Annandale to qualify

may include West Springfield and


Both of these schools have many fast,

upper class runners who will challenge

the Atoms.

So far this season, the team as

defeated both Mount Vernon and Hayfield,

but lost to T.C. Williams by one

Senior runningback Prince Agyeman rests on the sideline in

the Atom’s 38-0 blowout win over Herndon.

against Herndon.

“I feel like last year’s struggles really

players entered was held at the St.

made us motivated to turn the season James sports, wellness and entertain-

around this year and make things right. ment complex.

The skills players joined a 7 on 7 league Entering these types of leagues are

in the fall to get us ready for the season very common for players so that they

in the spring and we worked hard over can stay in shape and improve their

the summer to get ready,” senior quarterback


Danny Salisbury said.

“A lot of us put a lot of work in dur-

The 7 on 7 league that some of the ing the off-season that has really helped

point due to star runner Yofthae Hailu

being absent.

The team plans to have intense training

during the buildup for their meet

against West Potomac on March 24.

This meet should be very close as

both schools have very similar times.

Based on average points, the Atoms

should lose by only a few points.

This means several runners need to

step up and have great races in order to

win the meet.

This meet will help the Atoms

improve their times before the district

meet on April 8, which is crucial for their

chance to make states.

In order to train for upcoming meets,

the team has focused directly on speed

workouts to better familiarize themselves

with the pain felt at the end of 5k


Many training techniques the team

uses includes tempo runs, interval workouts,

hill running, and more.

In their last meet, the top 5 atom finishers

all recorded times under 18 minutes.

These team leaders are Bennet Stenberg,

Yofthae Hailu, Alex Burita, and

Colin Mcgee.

These runners have done an excellent

job with mentoring younger runners

and leading the team in practices

and meets.

“I feel it is crucial that we push ourselves

as well as the younger runners,”

Stenberg said.

“The only way for us to succeed is

if we run as a team and perform well


The next two weeks will be very

important for the Atoms season.

The final two meets will be at Lee

District, where the runners already feel

comfortable running at.

In order to best prepare for post season,

the team needs good performances

during their remaining meets so they

can transition into post-season with

The Atoms kick an extra point after scoring a touchdown

refine our skills and improve our confidence

as a team,” said senior Nicholas


As the football season continues, the

players all have one common goal.

“Our team’s main goal is to win,” Bellem


The team is hoping to put a district

championship under their belt, as well

high standards.

Despite the departure of coach Ciccarelli,

the runners have performed

extremely well under their new leader,

Coach Willis.

The runners feel the new coaching

style was refreshing for the team and

can be credited to their recent success.

as a potential regional title. The Atoms

play the Mount Vernon Majors on

March 26, followed by a clash with West

Potomac on April 4.

The team hopes to win both of these

games to extend their winning record to


Although the team is playing great

at the moment, there is still a challenge

that they have to face because are playing

during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means that there are a lot of

precautionary measures put in place to

keep athletes safe.

One of these measures put in place

is that each player is only allocated two

tickets to give to friends or family members.

This means that there are way less

fans that can cheer them on.

“Playing under the COVID-19 circumstances

is very difficult but I’m glad

my family can still come and watch me

play my senior year,” Salisbury said.

Many players also believe that the

playing under these circumstances are

difficult, but they still give it their all

and come to compete for every game.

It is safe to say that the football team

is playing great this year.

They are off to a hot 3-1 start, but

they are not done yet.

They are still hungry for more and

are hoping to keep on winning. With district

and regional championships on the

players minds, we can expect the football

team to continue its hardwork and

successful performance.

Boys varsity cross country runners start their race during their meet against other district teams on March 9.

Records and upcoming meets

“We focus much more on stretching

and rolling out, which helps us feel better

prepared for practices and meets,”

Stenberg said.

The runners will continue to work

hard and train in order to achive their

goal of making states.

Golf Field hockey Volleyball

Record: 0-6

Last 3 games:

205-183 loss vs T.C.

241-176 loss vs T.C.

210-178 loss vs West


Record: 1-6

Last 3 games:

0-6 loss vs Robinson

1-0 vs Justice

0-6 loss vs West



Record: 0-3

Last 3 games:

0-3 loss vs T.C.

0-3 loss vs West Potomac

1-3 loss vs Fairfax


Junior Andres Castro practices putting before a

match against Hayfield.


JV field hockey celebrates a win over West Springfield

on March 3.


The volleyball team wears blackout uniforms during

their meet


Wed., March 24, 2021


Around the world for spring break


International Editor

When the Covid-19 pandemic

reached numerous countries around the

world last spring, the travel industry

took a huge hit.

As areas underwent lockdowns and

people started quarantining, airlines

and hotels lost a lot of business since

there wasn’t a huge need for these


Even going out into the community

presented numerous threats due to the

risks of infection.

“My family planned a summer trip to

Vietnam, but it was canceled because of

Covid,” junior Victoria Nguyen said.

Learning disabilities teacher James Bryant travels to Uganda

James Bryant takes a picture by a lake.

Junior Kyle Ho takes a selfie.


Junior Sajal Khan plans to spend

her spring break in the great city of

London in the United Kingdom.

She will be travelling there with her

mom and sister.

Khan will leave for London on Mar.

28 and spend two weeks enjoying her

time there.

She has previously been to London

in the past so this isn’t her first time

visiting the city.

“I went to London before in the 4th

grade,” Khan said.

The main reason for her trip was

to visit her cousin, so on her trip, she

hopes to be able to spend some quality

time with her cousin.

“I look forward to spending time

with my cousin that I haven’t seen in

years and exploring the beautiful sights

of London,” Khan said.


However, recently things have

started to shape up for these businesses.

“The travel industry is recovering

as numbers continue to decline for

Covid cases,” business teacher Gina

Consumano said.

An increase in travelling can even be

seen in some states.

Learning disabilities teacher James

Bryant is planning on spending his

spring break in Uganda, where he will

be exploring the beautiful country by


This will be his first time ever

travelling to Uganda. In the past he has

visited Africa before, but only for a brief

amount of time.

When asked how long he plans to

stay in Uganda for, he jokingly replied,

“I may never return…,” Bryant said.

In Uganda, Bryant has a full

schedule of activities planned, which

will all require him to spend a lot of

time outdoors in nature.

“I will trek to see the primates, sail

the lakes, and see the national parks

and wildlife,” Bryant said.

He wants to see the gorillas, golden

monkeys, and chimpanzees.

On his trek he will also be able to

In addition to spending time with

her cousin, she also hopes to do a lot of

sightseeing all over the city.

The places on her list are the

London Eye, London Dungeon, London

Bridge, and castle.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the

London Eye the most because the view

from the top would look so pretty,”

Khan said. “I also plan on seeing

France from the London Eye.”

One aspect of her trip that she

anticipates the most is being able to be

worry free.

“I look forward to relaxing and not

having to worry about school work the

most,” Khan said.

Another activity that Khan hopes to

do in London is spend the day shopping.

“We’re probably going to go shopping

a lot because my mom, sister, and I love

Junior Kyle Ho has plans to spend

his spring break in the country up

north, Canada.

He has been to Canada once in the

past before to visit his mom’s friend, and

will be doing so again.

“My mom wants to visit her old

friend from high school who lives in

Toronto,” Ho said.

Ho will be driving up to Canada

with his parents and brother instead of

getting there by plane.

On his way to Toronto, there is a

chance that Ho and his family will also

stop by New York City along the way.

His family is still discussing the

possibility of staying in New York City

for a day to enjoy themselves before

heading back on the road to Canada.

“I want to go to some shoe stores and

also try new foods,” Ho said.

“I did recently go to Florida and

there were a lot of travelers,” junior

Jenna Cappello said.

Many people are beginning to make

summer travel plans and even some for

the upcoming spring break.

There are people that will be

travelling to other states or to the many

see other animals besides primates.

“There are also lions that climb

trees, giraffes, elephants, hippos, and

many more,” Bryant said

Bryant also hopes to do a lot of

sightseeing while he is on his trip.

“Murchison Falls NP, Queen

Elizabeth NP, Bwindi NP, and Lake

Mburo NP [Places he plans to see],”

Bryant said.

Along the way to Uganda, Bryant

will be making a pit stop at a popular

tourist city in South Africa.

“I will also have a stopover in Cape

Town, South Africa, since I used miles

to book the trip,” Bryant said.

In Cape Town, he plans on spending

some time in the sea with more


“In Cape Town, I want to cage dive

with the sharks, snorkel with the seals,

and see the penguins,” Bryant said.

to buy new clothes,” Khan said.

Even though Khan is very excited

for her vacation, one thing that she is

not looking forward to as much is the

possible quarantine.

“We’ll probably have to quarantine

for awhile so it might get boring,” Khan


Despite the new obstacles that come

with travelling due to the pandemic,

Khan doesn’t seem to be worried much

about the new policies and restrictions.

“I don’t have many concerns,

since we will be social distancing and

wearing masks,” Khan said.

Khan has also travelled abroad

during the pandemic before so that also

helps her feel less worried.

“I recently went to Pakistan and

everything went okay,” Khan said.

They also plan to make a second

stop to visit a famous sight that almost

anyone who drives to Canada likes to

stop at.

“We’re also going to stop at Niagara

Falls and maybe go on a boat tour,” Ho


On his trip, he hopes to do some


“My mom’s friend wanted to take us

to the Entertainment District,” Ho said.

“We’ll probably go to some museums

and just browse around the district.”

He originally also had plans to

go see the famous CN Tower in the

Entertainment District, but his plans

were put to a stop after he found out

the CN tower would be closed due to the


“It’s a shame we won’t get to go,” Ho


countries that are opening up again.

“My extended family in Texas is

planning a road trip to come and visit us

in Virginia this spring break,” Nguyen


Some of the students and faculty at

AHS who have made plans to travel

internationally for spring break are

Learning disabilities teacher James

Bryant, junior Sajal Khan, and junior

Kyle Ho.

Ho will be keeping his travels close

as he crosses the border to Canada,

while Bryant and Khan will journey to

the continents of Europe and Africa.

Even though these three will be

going abroad, they will still take many

precautions to ensure that they will stay

safe on their trips while still having fun.

He also wants to go sightseeing in

Cape Town as well.

“I want to see Tabletop Mountain,

Shark Alley, near Gansbaai, the spot

every Shark Week features in South

Africa, and the penguin colony,” Bryant


Two aspects of his trip that Bryant

is looking forward to the most is his

safari and spending time with the


Although travelling to a new

country during the pandemic can be

worrying for some, Bryant doesn’t feel

as concerned.

“Africa has done the best of any

continent during this pandemic,”

Bryant said. “I am more concerned

about going to a grocery store in

Northern Virginia than I am about

going to Africa.”

Junior Sajal Khan travels across the Atlantic Ocean to London

Junior Sajal Khan poses for a selfie.

Junior Kyle Ho goes on a family road trip to Toronto, Canada


One part of the trip that Ho is

anticipating the most is being able to

buy some Canadian snacks to take

home with him.

“I love ketchup chips so I’m going to

buy a few bags to take home,” Ho said.

In regards to travelling during the

pandemic, Ho is not heavily concerned

about it.

Since he is travelling by car to

Canada, it will be a little safer than if he

were to travel by plane.

“I’m not that worried since we’re

going in our own car and not to an

airport,” Ho said. “But we’ll still wear

masks and social distance when we go


His family along with the family

of his mom’s friend will also be getting

tested before seeing each other.

Around the world


Many families of senior

citizens that were neglected

proper care during the

pandemic are now speaking

out and demanding change.

Some care facilities were

accused of practicing bad

hygiene habits as they were

leaving the elders in dirty

clothes and sheets for hours.

In addition, elders who cried

in pain were ignored by

staff for long periods of time.

During the early stages of

the pandemic last March,

hundreds of care homes had

stopped allowing visitors in

hopes of protecting the elders,

who were the most vulnerable

to the virus. This prevented

family-care givers from coming

in to assist their seniors when

the staff could not.


Thailand is launching a new

program called “Digital Yacht

Quarantine” in an attempt to

attract more tourists and yacht

travelers to Phuket Island.

This program will allow for

travelers to complete the

required two week quarantine

on a yacht. The yacht that

the passengers quarantine on

will have to be one that they

own. Travelers will be given

a digital health tracker that

they are required to wear at

all times. They will also have

to stay within 10 kilometers of

the shore. After the two week

period is up, officials will look

at the data collected from the

digital health trackers and

decide if the visitors are safe to

explore Phuket.


On March 4, Italy utilized

European Union powers

to block 250,000 Covid-19

vaccines from being exported

to Australia. This is the fist

time such EU powers have

been used for vaccines. Italy’s

decision is an escalation from

the dispute between the EU

and AstraZeneca, a drug giant.

The conflict between the two

parties began back in January

when there was a delay of

vaccines from AstraZeneca.

The company said that it will

deliver tens of millions fewer

doses than it had intended to.

Italy believes that Australia

is not a vulnerable nation to

the pandemic. The European

Commissioner has since then

instated new measures that

allow its members to restrict

Covid-19 vaccine exportation.

As of recently, only 5.5% of the

EU’s 447 million population

has been given the first dose of

the vaccine.

Immigrant stories: coming to America

Junior Sakina Azhar emigrates from Pakistan to the United States


International Editor

Junior Sakina Azhar first immigrated

to the United States from Pakistan at the

age of three in 2007.

Although when she first moved to the

U.S., she did not officially settle here until

years later.

“I moved from Pakistan to America a

couple of times when I was a child before

permanently moving to America in the

fifth grade,” Azhar said.

Whenever Azhar would travel back

and forth from Pakistan, she went with

her mom and siblings while her dad

worked and resided in the U.S.

“He wanted my siblings and I to have

a strong sense of cultural identity so I

primarily lived in Pakistan for most of my

formative years,” Azhar said.

As Azhar recalls how she felt when

she stepped off the plane on her last move

knowing that she would stay in America

for good, she remembers feeling unfazed.

“Because I was only nine when i

moved back to America, i didn’t really

fully understand the concept of having to

leave my home country,” Azhar said.

However now thinking back, Azhar

does miss her family back home.

“Something I enjoyed about living in

Pakistan was being close to my extended

family and cousins,” Azhar said.

Since Azhar was constantly on the

move between countries, she didn’t get to

see her dad as frequently as she wanted

“I was mainly just really excited to

live and see my dad for more than three

months at a time,” Azhar said.

Even moving around frequently was a

tad tiring for Azhar, it did have its perks.

It allowed her to get used to American

culture and life before she finally

immigrated permanently.

“I didn’t have much trouble adjusting

to life in America, as i had already lived

here before,” Azhar said.

Unlike most immigrants, Azhar didn’t

face the challenge of having to learn a

new language, which was another bright

side to the multiple moves.

“I already knew English before coming

to America, having already lived here

previously and also having gone to an

international school in Pakistan,” Azhar


Azhar notices that there are many

differences between Pakistan and


She mentions that one difference is

the etiquette of answering questions in

both countries.

In the U.S., when students are called

on by a teacher, they give their reply

while sitting down, while this was not the

case in Pakistan.

“Whenever the teacher calls on you to

answer a question you have to stand up

and answer to show respect,” Azhar said.

Even though Pakistan and the U.S.

have different languages and cultures,

Azhar does see some similarities.

One similarity that Azhar is very glad

that both countries share is the tradition

of celebrating national holidays and

events with a day off from school.

In school Azha works hard as an IB

Diploma candidate.

She also participates in multiple

extracurricular activities.

“Outside of school I am a part of an

online organization and work as a mentor

for a club at my local elementary school,”

Azhar said.

Azhar still likes to visit her home

country fairly often.

“I actually just came back from

Pakistan in January,” Azhar said.

Since her final move to the U.S., Azhar

has fully adapted to living here and very

much enjoys it.

“Something I enjoy about living in

America is the sheer amount of options

and freedoms that are available here,”

Azhar said.

Junior Sakina Azhar (upper left) celebrates her dad’s birthday with

her family.



Wed., March 24, 2021

Has cancel culture gone too far?


Entertainment Editor

The world is getting more and

more progressive, which like anything,

has its ups and downs. One of

those downs is definitely “cancel culture.”

There are a lot of things that need

to be addressed like sexual assault,

harassment, violence, racism, etc. But

there’s a line between raising awareness

of issues and raising chaos for

almost no reason.

Some people deserved to be canceled

such as Bill Cosby, Harvey

Weinstein, Louis C.K. and such, but

there are artist who have made their

ways being offensive and saying outlandish

things that the young audience

of TikTok and Twitter have

taken out of context or just don’t

understand and try to “cancel” these


The Grammys, which aired on

Mar.14, brought controversy Bill-

Burr’s way after he had made a joke

where he said “I bet all the feminists

are going nuts right now, ‘why is a

cis white male doing all this Latino

stuff’”. He said this while giving out

the award for the best Latino Tropical


He would make matters worse for

himself after he couldn’t pronounce

the winning artist’s name.

Twitter was all over this, as a lot of

people don’t know who Bill Burr is or

why he’s famous.

This also prompted the question

of why Bill Burr was giving out the

award for best Latino Tropical album

of the year.

Bill Burr made his way into comedy

for being offensive and saying

Bill Burr onstage during a comedy show.

out-of-pocket things for nothing else

than a laugh.

His style of comedy is being offensive

or saying the not-so-popular

thing, that’s what makes Bill Burr’s

comedy his own.

Twitter and TikTok also just recently

came after Eminem…. Again…. And

failed…. Again.

Eminem has a distinct offensive

style. But this time, Eminem was

under the spotlight for a 2010 song off

his very successful Recovery album,

“Love the Way You Lie”.

“Love the Way You Lie” is one of

Eminem’s most famous songs, and at

first listen, is one of the less offensive

songs. Eminem says in the song “If she

ever tries to (explicit) leave again, I’ll

tie her to the bed and set this house

on fire.”

If you listen to the song, it’s metaphorical.

A metaphor that’s not even

one of Eminem’s worst. Eminem is

no stranger to controversy and this is

nothing new.

It feels like double jeopardy for

these artists that already went

through that first wave of newbie controversial


Now this young progressive

audience is on their tail again for

Watchlist of the Issue

something these artists have already


Joe Rogan, who rose to fame

through TV, comedy, and his wellreceived

podcast “The Joe Rogan

Experience”, got in some heat over

conversations he’s had with politically

incorrect guests.

In a previous podcast with

famously politically incorrect comic

Joey Diaz, Rogan’s conversations

with Diaz were nothing but jokes.

At one point, Diaz said that he

would get younger girls to perform

sexual acts with Diaz to perform

comedy while Rogan laughed at the

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier starts strong

Bucky’s troubles are finally seen help out the business, surprisingly


with a close-up as he explains how all enough, the viewers learn that the

Staff Writer

his life he has been fighting and rarely Avengers don’t get paid.

has ever had peace.

“It’s crazy how the Falcon was out

Only two weeks after the finale of

As Bucky sets out in the real saving the fate of the universe but

the critically acclaimed, Wandavison,

world, he befriends Yori, an old man never made money and is practically

Disney+ began the debut of its second

Japanese man in grief who misses his broke,” Timothy Su said.

Marvel show.

son who was mysteriously killed years As Sam struggles to adjust to the

Released March 19, The Falcon


real world, his friend Lieutenant

and the Winter Soldier shines the light

Sadly enough the reasoning Torres shows him that there’s a new

on the two side characters of Captain

behind Yori’s name in Bucky’s book villain on the horizon. A group called

America a few months after Avengers

of amends is that the civilian who he the “Flag-smasher” enjoyed how


murdered in the memory was Yori’s things were before the blip and half

The first episode dives right into the


the population was gone.

life of the two characters. Once again

Previously, we mainly see Bucky However, this is quickly

reminded of the quick high-budget

as Captain America’s friend or a sidetracked as Sarah tells Sam to turn

action scenes, which Marvel is famously

stone-cold villain.

to the news where the new Captain

known for.

However, the viewer sees a new America is unveiled.

Sam Willson (The Falcon) is seen some of the flying scenes had some bad As for Bucky (The Winter Soldier),

vulnerable, and lonely side of Bucky Somewhat hilarious to see a

still fulfilling his duties as a hero as quality,” Mitchell Huynh said.

the viewers are thrown into a flashback

as he no longer has his best friend. Walmart-looking Captain America

he takes on a mission for the U.S.

After saving the day, Sam goes to where he breaks through walls,

The show revolves first hand appear, the show leaves everyone

Air Force. Soaring the skies, dodging Washington D.C. deciding he is not the murdering security guards, and kills a

the influence of Captain America’s curious about who this man is and he

missiles and bullets trying to save a fit for the role, Sam donates Captain civilian attempting to run-away.

absence has on Bucky and Sam. plans to take over the distinct role of

military captain who was captured by a America’s shield to the Smithsonian This memory haunts Bucky as the

After the series fashionably Captain America.

group called LAF.


camera shows him waking up from this

introduces each character, the hidden For fans looking for their dose

It was nostalgic seeing the

The scene disappointed me as I nightmare.

reality of being a hero is revealed. of classic marvel storytelling, I

classic Marvel action and fighting was hopeful The Falcon would carry The scene switches to Bucky in

Sam heads out to Lousianna to recommend tuning in this Friday, for

choreography. However, high intense on Steven Rodger’s legacy and become a room speaking to a therapist. The

help out his sister Sarah with the the next episode of The Falcon and

actions often bring high amounts of the next Captain America. Although, dialogue between the two is filled with

family business.

The Winter Soldier.


it brought me joy that Sam is still out witty banter as Bucky avoids discussing

As Sam tries to receive a loan to

“I liked the fast-paced action, but there helping the world.

his nightmare.

Chemtrails Over the Country Club disappoints greatly


Staff Writer

California based pop star Lana Del

Rey’s newest album, Chemtrails Over

The Country Club, released this past

Friday. This release comes amidst tons

of controversy for the artist, with 2020

being and especially tumultuous year

for Lana.

Although I am very much a Lana

denier, with albums like Ultraviolence

and Honeymoon being insanely

boring, derivative, and ugly at point,

the quality of her two newest releases

really surprised me.

Lust For Life is an at times middling

project, but really nails the mix of vocal

pop, hip-hop, and 1950’s aesthetics

that Lana was going for in her early

work, with tracks like “Get Free” and

“Heroin” being perfect examples. It’s a

fun, novel album with some really good

hooks and guest verses. Lanas following

record, 2019’s Norman F***ing

Rockwell, was and even bigger surprise.

Huge, lavishly arranged pop stunners,

her catchiest and most creative tracks

the to date, and a cover of Sublime

made NFRa must listen.

That being said, Chemtrails over the

Country Club is easily her worst album

to date.

The opening “White Dress” might be

a contender for the worst song I’ve ever

heard. Terrible, shottily put together

midi pianos, boring, overly generic

lyrics, and the absolute worst vocal

performance I’ve ever heard Lana give

make this 5 and a half minute song

borderline on impossible to get through.

Lanas upper register is absolutely

awful on this song, and the sped up

sections on the hook are blood boiling.

This song should have been laughed at

and scrapped.

Luckily, the next song, and title

track for the album, is not as overtly

garbage. Super generic, soaring vocals

and a vapid piano instrumental

make this song feel saccharine, but

In comparison to the last track, it’s

stunning. The lyrics on this track are

meandering and fake deep, even if they

are more descriptive. The end of this

song is somewhat satisfying, but this

still felt like a huge waste of time.

The time wasting continues onto

the next couple of cuts, with Tulsa

Jesus Freak and Let Me Love you like a

woman being some of the most generic

and underwritten songs that Lana

has ever put on a record. The former,

Tulsa Jesus freak, has a somewhat

sweet, nostalgic melody from Lana.

Although the vocal lines and harmonies

are somewhat pleasant, the extremely

generic, piano based production and

heavy reverb make this song feel like a

terrible Weeknd cut. This song doesn’t

overstay it’s welcome and is somewhat

pleasant, but absolutely nothing to

write home about. Let me love you like

a woman is and equally generic, yet

straightforward guitar ballad. Lana

somewhat sticks to her strengths

on this one, but it is still extremely

underwhelming, with generic vocal

lines and the most basic lyrics that

I’ve heard on a Lana album.

Wild at Heart follows the same

formula as Let me Love You, but has

quite possibly the best chorus on the

entire album. The sauntering, catchy

hook adds a much needed sense of fun

to COCC. Despite this, it still makes

me wanna hit the snooze button.

The following two tracks, Not

All Those Who Wander are Lost,

and Yosemite are some of the most

boring songs I’ve ever heard. Total

snoozefests, with Lanas signature,

grating, boring croons over a shottily

constructed instrumental, complete

with and annoying guitar lead. The

same can also be said for the track

Dance Until We Die, however, around

2:30, Lana breaks into my favorite

passage on the whole album, where

Lana sassily sings over a Motown

blues instrumental. This brief

moment shows off so much vocal

prowess and incredible talent, that it

crazy insane stories Diaz was telling


The stories weren’t true and

couldn’t have been true but Twitter

was insanely offended for jokes

these comedians are famous for


Twitter failed and only gave the

Joe Rogan Experience and Diaz’s

podcast more listens,

It’s worth it to cancel what’s

wrong in the world. But we need

to take away the sheer attack of

everything “offensive”. If you want

to hurt these artists, don’t give

them the extra publicity.

almost made me forget how boring the

rest of the song is.

The tracks Breaking Up Slowly

and For Free offer the only guest spots

on the record, going to popstars Nikki,

Weyes Blood, and Zella Day. All of

these features totally stun, leaving

Lana in the dust on her own songs.

This is especially the case for Weyes

Blood, who absolutely dominated the

track she’s on with a gorgeous melody,

explosive performance, and super

tight vocal layering. The rest of the

features do a good job at proving that

Lana is the weakest part of her own

song. However, these tracks do leave

COCC on somewhat of a high point,

it is still not even close the enough to

make up for the rest of this record.

Chemtrails Over the Country Club

is a boring, disappointing, and very

difficult listen. With standouts being

few and far between, I see absolutely

no problem with saying this is my

least favorite Lana album to date.

Justice League:

Snyder’s cut (2021)

Justice League was

apparently cut short and

is now being fully released

in a all new 4 hour version

(HBO Max).

The Last Blockbuster


A new documentary

about the rise and fall

of Blockbuster and how

the last block buster store

is surviving (Netflix).

Formula 1: Drive to

Survive (2021)

A docuseries about the

backstories of different

proffesinal Formula 1 racers


Operation Varsity

Blues (2021)

A crazy documentary film

about the deep truth of the

college admission scandels


New Girl (2011-18)

A classic 2010’s comedy

show about a girl

who lives in a loft with 4

other guys in Los Angeles


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