Annandale High School’s
4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, VA 22003
Informing the Atoms since 1954
Wed., March 24, 2021 Vol. 66 Issue #6
“MADE WITH LOVE”
Read about one
student’s Etsy shop
where she features
as part of the hybrid
learning model with
two days of in-person
two days of online
instruction. The model
has had success in
back into the building
Hybrid model succeeds through Covid
Students and staff return to the building with limited problems as FCPS fast tracks timeline
BY ADAM SHAWISH
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
BY KHADIJA AHMED
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,”
They have been sure to make necessary
“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
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,”
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
but I think our staff has
done a great job in facing
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
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.”
would be exciting, we decided to finish off this stuck at home a lot.”
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,
their adviser Julia
Hanneman on her
they all turned
on their cameras
in the Google
Meet and held
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 yearbookforever.com.
The yearbook will cost $85 with the
option of various customizations for an
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
BY KHADIJA AHMED
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
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
BY FATIMA SAYED ELTAYEB
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
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
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
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
just let it slide.
are talking about this, it’s unfortunate
targeted three Asian-owned spas
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
with eight counts of murder, but the been over 3,000
been around for decades. In 1882, the
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.
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
NYC.GOV/ AMANDA PHINGBODHIPAKKIYA
BY FATIMA SAYED ELTAYEB
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
“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
A BLAST STAFF
MAKIN’ THE GRADE
CO-EDITORS IN CHIEF
Fatima Sayed Eltayeb
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Annandale High School
Vol 66. Issue No. 6
4700 Medford Dr.
Annandale, VA 22003
The A-Blast is
newspaper that strives
to inform, educate and
entertain the student
body and community.
The A-Blast will not
print any material
that is obscene or
libelous; or that which
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
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,
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
EX-PRESIDENTA BOLIVIANA ES ENCARCERADA
BY MIA ANTEZANA
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
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
“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.
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
El derecho a la presunción de
inocencia, la negación a la atención
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
EL MINISTRO DE BOLIVIA
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
Crímenes de odio anti-asiáticos en Estados Unidos
BY FATIMA SAYED
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
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
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
BY SEREENE DARWIESH
Escritor del personel
No hay duda de que la pandemia ha
afectado a todos durante el último año,
en particular a los adolescentes.
Según Councilrecovery.org, 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
El reconocimiento del problema por
parte de FCPS es importante para que
nuestra comunidad pueda progresar,
Humanos de Annandale
¿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
¿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
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
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
BY LEEN ALAWNEH
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
“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
“I feel like the
was really important
usually we would
have an actual
audience to perform
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
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
BY SHANE GOMEZ
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
QR code to
watch the first
episode on the
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
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.
DONATE YOUR CAR
The Annandale Auto Tech Class is now accepting
donations of old cars for classroom use.
The sooner the better!
Contact Auto Tech Teacher Anthony Maniatakas for more details!
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
BY DAVID SEWALL
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
A DAY IN THEIR LIVES
Two students, one virtual and one hybrid, share how they go about their school day
Junior Johnny Jaldin: VIRTUAL
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
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.
BY THONNY ANWAR
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
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.
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.
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.
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
BY THONNY ANWAR
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
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.
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.
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.
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
TEST YOUR NOODLE!
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.
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
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.
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!
PHOTO COURTESY OF BRITNEY NGUYEN
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
ONE YEAR LATER: WHERE ARE WE NOW?
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
BEFORE THE PANDEMIC
Students share their favorite masks
BY NAREG BOGHOSIAN
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
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
huge so it is
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
BY EYOB DAGNACHEW
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
“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
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,
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
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
DURING THE PANDEMIC
“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
BY HENRY HOANG
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
“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
“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
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
“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,”
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
BY ELENA LEOPOLD
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
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
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
BY VIVIAN PHAN
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
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
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
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
The site serves as a third party
that provides an easy way for creators
and consumers to interact and sell
“Etsy is pretty cool since you
can discover small brands and help
support small businesses,” junior Isra
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
“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
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...
WHO AM I?
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
writing center and am now the workshop
coordinator. I love painting and just picked up
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
What are some of your favorite movie/book/
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
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...
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
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
BY SEREENE DARWIESH
There is no doubt that the
pandemic has impacted everyone
in the past year, particularly teens.
According to Councilrecovery.org,
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,
“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
also a huge
burden in my
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
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SERENEE DARWIESH
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
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
“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
Six ways to survive the allergy season
Improve and protect your immune system
this upcoming spring
BY LEON ARCEO
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
“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
“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
as I take my
I don’t let it control
Experiencing seasonal allergies
means you should be aware of the
surroundings and the weather. Luckily,
there are many websites and apps that
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 Pollen.com,
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.
Allergy medications are
very helpful in blocking the
inflamatory process. Allergy
sneezing, itching, and
watery eyes. There are
many types of medications
that can help treat your
allergies and help prevent
them from becoming worse.
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
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
Eyedrops are often used to
also get rid
of itchiness or watery eyes
caused by allergies.
Keep tissues on
When using tissues for a
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
use the EpiPen
to allow the
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
10 SPORTS Wed., March 24, 2021
Atoms football off to hot start
BY ANDREW NIELDS
On March 12, Annandale lost to a
strong T.C. Williams squad by a score
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
But now that the squad has many
more experienced seniors, they are
starting to win more games and play
Cross country team surges mid-season
BY EVAN BURITA
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
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,”
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
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.
“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
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
These runners have done an excellent
job with mentoring younger runners
and leading the team in practices
“I feel it is crucial that we push ourselves
as well as the younger runners,”
“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
Despite the departure of coach Ciccarelli,
the runners have performed
extremely well under their new leader,
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
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,”
The runners will continue to work
hard and train in order to achive their
goal of making states.
Golf Field hockey Volleyball
Last 3 games:
205-183 loss vs T.C.
241-176 loss vs T.C.
210-178 loss vs West
Last 3 games:
0-6 loss vs Robinson
1-0 vs Justice
0-6 loss vs West
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
Wed., March 24, 2021
Around the world for spring break
BY UYEN HUYNH
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
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
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
“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
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],”
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
“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
“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
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
“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
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
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
Immigrant stories: coming to America
Junior Sakina Azhar emigrates from Pakistan to the United States
BY UYEN HUYNH
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
“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
“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
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
She also participates in multiple
“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 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,”
Junior Sakina Azhar (upper left) celebrates her dad’s birthday with
Wed., March 24, 2021
Has cancel culture gone too far?
BY TYLER PLANK
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
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
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
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
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
BY LEON ARCEO
with a close-up as he explains how all enough, the viewers learn that the
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.
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
to the news where the new Captain
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
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.
Chemtrails Over the Country Club disappoints greatly
BY DESMOND FITZGERALD
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
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
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
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.
Snyder’s cut (2021)
Justice League was
apparently cut short and
is now being fully released
in a all new 4 hour version
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
A docuseries about the
backstories of different
proffesinal Formula 1 racers
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