Gus Woods

Name: Gus Woods
Position: Online Op/Ed Editor
Graduation Year: 2008
William "Gus" Woods is a junior who enjoys, far more than anything else, tiddlywinks tournaments and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" re-runs. He is a great fan of any and all music and enjoys playing the piano in his spare time. He belongs, literally belongs, to the CAP program. He greatly appreciates the opportunity to write for Silver Chips Online, alongside so many cool and talented people.

Stories (33)

Earth to Blazers: go green

By Gus Woods | April 22, 2008, midnight | In Op/Ed »

This Earth Day, activists, politicians and pundits around the country will be discussing ways to make our society and technology more energy efficient. But it would be a shame if on the one day when the world focuses on the Earth's natural environment and resources, students and staff at Blair ignored the school's own problems with energy efficiency. Numerous methods to make Blair more energy efficient exist, many simple, some complicated and others ingenious. But no matter what, they should be considered as possible alternatives to the way the school currently consumes energy.

A seriously funny hobby

By Gus Woods | March 22, 2008, midnight | In Features »

"So this blind guy asked for my number. I gave it to him because I consider myself an equal opportunity dater," senior Molly Martinez says as her audience bursts into laughter. Martinez, standing firm, confident and self-assured, delivers her jokes as if she were talking to a crowd of friends. But the 18-year-old comedian is performing in a dimly lit room in Chief Ike's Mambo Room bar in Adams Morgan amongst a crowd of patrons and seasoned comedians.

Stylin' IDs

By Gus Woods | March 19, 2008, midnight | In Humor »

Who knew that a small rectangular piece of plastic could cause so much trouble? The administration has tried everything to get students to wear their IDs around their necks, but nothing seems to work. IDs required to buy a school lunch? Flash it and go. Five bucks for a replacement? Claim you temporarily lost it. Get yelled at in classrooms and hallways? Surprisingly unmotivational.

Pricey protection

By Gus Woods | March 12, 2008, midnight

Lobbyists have long balanced a precarious position in American government, between murky meddler and cozy cohort. Now, away from the media buzz around more notorious organizations, abstinence-only lobbying groups are wielding a large influence over public policy and keeping birth control prices high on college campuses.

Setting the 9:30 Club ablaze

By Gus Woods | Feb. 18, 2008, midnight | In Music »

For a band formed only six months ago, Blair's own Trees Have Cars is moon-leaping toward stardom. With fresh microphones and recording equipment, they have more than 14 original songs. The group, which cites such disparate artists as Jason Mraz, Linkin Park, Led Zeppelin and the Red Hot Chili Peppers as influences recently performed at the Nightclub 9:30, their first formal performance.

Bush's Scrooge-style agenda for children's healthcare

By Gus Woods | Oct. 28, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

President Bush, in a move that even the most hardened cynics had not anticipated, vetoed a bill on Oct. 3 that would have expanded the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which helps state-governments provide health insurance for children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private insurance.

The Big Easy still in big trouble

By Gus Woods | Sept. 10, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Two years after Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans, turning hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens into refugees, cutting the city's population in half, flooding 80 percent of the city and annihilating whole networks of infrastructure, New Orleans has yet to recover from the chaos wrought by the hurricane.

Many ways to say "Hello"

By Gus Woods | June 15, 2007, midnight | In International »

Throughout the world there are thousands of ways to say "hello," but it may come as a surprise to learn that there are dozens of different ways to say it in Blair itself. Spanish-speakers say "Hola," while French-speakers say "Bonjour." Hawaiians say "Aloha," which also means goodbye. Many people say, "Kelou," which is an Igbo greeting, or "Labas," which is Lithuanian. In the Yoruba language, there are 15 ways to say "hello."

Crossing the language barrier illegally

By Gus Woods | June 14, 2007, midnight | In Features »

Junior William Cavanaugh remembers Spanish class as a sophomore. He did the work, memorized vocabulary, learned the grammar and read about the culture. But after earning high grades in nearly four years worth of Spanish courses, Cavanaugh found himself unable to readily speak the language.

Thespians perform a series of one-acts

By Gus Woods | June 2, 2007, midnight | In Local »

Blair's Thespians Club presented six one-act plays on June 1 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. The "Better than Broadway" production was the directorial debut of two juniors, Brittany Allen and Caitlin Schneiderhan.

Gainous's shoes are not an easy fit

By Iliya Smithka Gus Woods | May 29, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

On July 1, Principal Phillip Gainous will say farewell to Montgomery Blair High School. Now that his decision is final and his departure imminent, the school has turned its attention toward his replacement. As Gainous himself has said, "Nobody is concerned about my leaving, it's who's coming in." Blair's new principal must continue Gainous's precedent of excellent cooperation with vocal students by exercising the administration's obligation of oversight while consistently taking student rights of expression into consideration.

Disturbingly good "Disturbia"

By Gus Woods | April 20, 2007, midnight | In Movies »

Ever wonder what would have happened in "Rear Window" if Jimmy Stewart had been a rebellious 21st century adolescent with more hand-held gadgets than Steve Jobs? "Disturbia" seeks to answer that question, starring Shia LeBeouf ("Holes") as a teen whose assault on his Spanish teacher gets him under house arrest. Throw in a creepy neighbor, a vulnerable mother, a goofball friend and an attractive girl-next-door and this movie has all that is needed for a satisfying teen thriller.


By Gus Woods | March 6, 2007, midnight | In Entrées »

What is a chupaqueso? The answer is simple: it is delicious. How do you make one? The process is simply fun. With this straightforward and little-known recipe under your chef's belt, you'll be astounding throngs of dinner guests in no time. Invented by Howard Taylor, creator of the web-comic space opera "Schlock Mercenary," this dish will make you feel like a true hero.

The BSA: scoring big time

By Gus Woods | Feb. 26, 2007, midnight | In Features »

In senior Jose Nieto's sophomore year, his GPA rose from 0.85 to 2.71. Now, he says, he has maintained a 3.0 since. His secret? The Blair Sports Academy.

Flagging down inclusion

By Gus Woods | Feb. 22, 2007, midnight | In Features »

Upon returning to school from winter break, Blazers were greeted by a series of flags of the countries represented at Blair. But some students have expressed disappointment with the absence of their flag in the new cultural showcase. Now, the administration and the Media Center specialists who helped collect and mount the flags are requesting that students voice their concerns with them.

Blair learns from AYP results, looks forward

By Priyanka Gokhale Gus Woods | Feb. 20, 2007, midnight | In Local »

The number "one-fifth" carries a lot of weight at Blair. After receiving Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results in October last year, Blair found that the difference between a pass and fail for last spring's English High School Assessment (HSA) score was one-fifth of a student in the special education subgroup, based on the state of Maryland's calculations. Because the special education subgroup narrowly missed meeting the passing mark, the whole school failed to meet AYP for 2006. Now, Blair is making plans to pass the HSA in the future.

Teachers vs. desks: a ceaseless struggle

By Gus Woods | Feb. 5, 2007, midnight | In Features »

As social studies teacher George Vlasits ponders how he should arrange the desks in his classroom, he must force himself to be selfish.

Girls basketball stumbles against Sherwood

By Gus Woods | Jan. 8, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

The varsity girls' basketball team's rebounding deficiencies, exacerbated by the absence of junior forward Regat Buluze, put them behind early in their game against the Sherwood Warriors Friday night. Blair turnovers led to Sherwood fast breaks and the Blazers were unable to turn the game around, adding another loss to their record, now 1-8 for the year.

A holiday refuge

By Gus Woods | Dec. 23, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Amid stacks of papers, mugs of hot cocoa and a half-eaten plate of cookies, a number of weary teachers seek refuge from the pre-holiday pressures raging outside their small room in the media center. An atmosphere of calm and quiet is in the air. All that is needed to complete the picture is a crackling fire and a snow-capped mountain vista through the window.

Anything but handicapped

By Gus Woods | Dec. 4, 2006, midnight | In Features »

In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Samath Warren and his soccer teammates were practicing for a game the following day. The team scrimmaged, ran laps and practiced their passing, dribbling and shooting. After practice, the other players left the pitch tired and thirsty, maybe a little hungry, but generally in sound condition. Warren left the pitch with blisters and rub burns that his teammates didn't have, nursing the effects of a new prosthetic leg. It may seem as if Warren struggles to play as well as his teammates, but Warren's love of sports and resilient spirit allow him to do just that.

The spirit of "Bobby" lives on

By Gus Woods | Nov. 28, 2006, midnight | In Movies »

"He saw wrong and tried to right it. He saw suffering and tried to heal it. He saw war and tried to stop it," so goes the tagline to "Bobby," a film that chronicles the lives of numerous witnesses to Robert F. Kennedy's assassination at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

Earlier curfew in DC only a first step

By Gus Woods | Oct. 26, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

D.C. faces what police chief Charles Ramsey has declared a "crime emergency." To grapple with it, on July 11, the D.C. government declared that the 12 a.m. curfew for all resident and non-resident teenagers 16 and younger was pushed to 10 p.m. Although the curfew represents an admirable effort to reduce the number of robberies and weapons offenses committed by young people, it is too controversial a crime-fighting tool to stand on its own. Unless officials move to support the new curfew with other anti-crime initiatives, it should either be pushed back to 12 a.m. or repealed. Furthermore, the latest anti-crime measures should also recognize the prevalence of adult crime and address the needs of at-risk adults, rather than targeting only adolescents.

Faulty smoke detector initiates school evacuation

By Gus Woods | Oct. 24, 2006, midnight | In Local »

A faulty smoke detector at the end of the 140s hallway near the back exits went off today initiating a school evacuation. A fire drill initially scheduled for today during 3rd period was cancelled because of the cold weather, but the defective smoke detector caused an evacuation despite the cancellation.

JV Blazers finish season on a high note

By Gus Woods | Oct. 23, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

Blair's junior varsity boys' soccer team prevailed against the Einstein Titans in their final game of the season, winning 3-1. After a shaky first half that produced just one goal in the first few minutes, the Blazers came together in the second half and pressured the Titans on offense, pinning them to their goal box. The win gives the JV Blazers a solid final record of 7-3.

JV boys' soccer vanquishes Blake

By Gus Woods | Oct. 18, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

Oct. 14, BLAZER STADIUM- After a solid 2-1 win against the Damascus Hornets on Oct. 10, the junior varsity boys' soccer team played an outstanding offensive game and thoroughly trounced the Blake Bengals Saturday in a 4-0 win that puts their record at 4-3 on the year.

Springbrook bedevils JV Blazers

By Gus Woods | Oct. 6, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

Despite good effort and strong desire, the junior varsity boys' soccer team 's mistakes got the best of them during their game against the Springbrook Blue Devils, ending in a discouraging 4-1 loss to Springbrook. The defeat was surprising because the Blazers trounced the Blue Devils during their scrimmage against the team five weeks ago.

Ludacris fails to top himself with "Release Therapy"

By Gus Woods | Oct. 4, 2006, midnight | In Music »

There's little doubt that Ludacris is one of the biggest rappers out there today. He has a huge career, best selling albums and lead roles in two academy-award nominated films, 2004's "Crash" and 2005's "Hustle and Flow." His booming voice gives his rapid-fire songs high-energy and a fast-pace. Despite high expectations and anticipation, Ludacris does not offer his listeners anything new with "Release Therapy," just consistent Ludacris material.

Cougars scratch JV Blazers

By Gus Woods | Sept. 29, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

The boys' junior varsity soccer team was worn out from the previous day's emotionally charged game against the Churchill Bulldogs, a hard-fought game that ended in a loss for Blair. An air of fatigue hung over their game yesterday against the Quince Orchard Cougars. The Blazers lost 1-0 but they gave the game a good shot.

"All the King's Men" fail in remake

By Gus Woods | Sept. 27, 2006, midnight | In Movies »

Without reading Robert Penn Warren's 1946 novel or seeing the original 1949 film adaptation of the book, understanding the basic plot in the most recent onscreen incarnation of "All the King's Men" is like trying to study a painting through a cloud of black smoke.

JV Blazers fight but succumb to Churchill

By Gus Woods | Sept. 26, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

The boys' junior varsity soccer team lost to Churchill 3-2 yesterday. Yet despite the team's defeat at the hands of the notorious Bulldogs, the Blazers fought hard and passionately, showing significant improvement since their Sept. 11 game against the Wheaton Knights. Last year, the only game the Blazers lost was the one against the undefeated Churchill. The Bulldogs managed three goals over Blair's two, the Blazers sticking it out through injuries and Churchill's reckless tactics.

Blair Sports Academy begins fall activities

By Gus Woods | Sept. 19, 2006, midnight | In Local »

The Blair Sports Academy held a series scrimmages yesterday for the academy's new basketball tournament. The BSA is supporting basketball for the first time this year in the fall along with the traditional ping pong and board games.

JV soccer slips by Wheaton

By Gus Woods | Sept. 12, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

The Blair boys' junior varsity soccer team’s win over Wheaton in the first game of the season was an uninspiring one. The players had trouble sticking to their placements and staying away from the ball when it was already covered. But the Blazers were able to muster a 2-1 win over the Knights.

A warmhearted wrestler poses his way to heroism

By Gus Woods | June 19, 2006, midnight | In Movies »

"Nacho Libre," the latest film from Jared and Jerusha Hess, will entertain moviegoers who are loyal to the infinitely quotable and hilariously self-deprecating humor present in "Napoleon Dynamite." The film stars Jack Black, in all of his exuberant glory.

Images (5)

Photo: Molly Martinez Jason Saenz

By Gus Woods | March 22, 2008, midnight

Martinez with host Jason Saenz outside of Chief Ike's.

Photo: Molly Martinez Rendezvous Lounge

By Gus Woods | March 22, 2008, midnight

Martinez at the Rendezvous Lounge in 2006.

Photo: Molly Martinez Chief Ikes

By Gus Woods | March 22, 2008, midnight

Martinez performed at Chief Ike's on March 10.

Photo: Samath Warren

By Gus Woods | Oct. 26, 2006, midnight

Samath Warren, a freshman, overcomes the drawbacks of a prosthetic leg.

Photo: Samath's Leg

By Gus Woods | Oct. 26, 2006, midnight

Warren's prosthetic leg still does not keep him away from sports.