Ya Zhou


Name: Ya Zhou
Position: Online Connections Editor & Online Copy Editor
Graduation Year: 2009
Ya likes what basically everyone needs. Eat, sleep…and more sleep. There can never be too much of it. In her spare time, she obsesses over Asian dramas and music. She often procrastinates, but hopes to remedy her problem by beginning SCO assignments before the weekend they're due. If you see Ya in the hallways, feel free to donate food and or books.


Stories (37)


Rose is "My Favorite Teacher"

By Ya Zhou | Feb. 5, 2009, midnight | In Local »

Over 100 students, teachers and press officials gathered in the auditorium today during 5B lunch as Magnet math teacher William Rose was presented with the Gazette's annual "My Favorite Teacher" award. Among 240 teachers nominated and 90 placed on an online ballot, Rose garnered 34,378 out of 95,000 votes.

A Chinese fiesta in your mouth

By Ya Zhou | Dec. 30, 2008, midnight | In Food »

For closet food lovers who are scared of heat and anything that conducts it, never fear! This traditional Chinese dish is easy to make and satisfying to even the pickiest palate. With ingredients you can count on your fingers, this dish is versatile and suitable for any meal or any appetite.

ReadiStep, trip

By Ya Zhou | Dec. 13, 2008, midnight

Remember those days in the sixth grade lunch room when the hottest topics were Chelsea's new pink sweater or your stale grilled-cheese sandwich? Today it might be applying to college. Having introduced recent changes to the SAT, College Board went a step further and initiated ReadiStep, a two-hour long test standardized test made to be a pre-pre-SAT for eighth graders. This new test, split up into three multiple-choice sections, is one of many programs that fall under College Board's College Readiness System. Created under the ever popular façade of preparing young students for college, ReadiStep is nothing but another marketing strategy from the watered-down College Board.

SGA announces homecoming and spirit week themes

By Ya Zhou | Oct. 27, 2008, midnight | In Local »

The homecoming theme this year will be movie genres, a theme nominated by the Student Government Association (SGA) and voted on by students in advisories. The subthemes are animated cartoons, superhero, science fiction and western for seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen respectively.

A gem in the neighborhood

By Ya Zhou | Oct. 13, 2008, midnight | In Features »

Students mill around in the courtyard, throwing around a football. Others sit around picnic tables, some chatting with friends and some alone, engrossed in textbooks. The students' voices are accompanied by sounds of construction, as older buildings are in the process of being renovated into state-of-the-art facilities. This may be a picture of any four-year university, but it depicts Montgomery College (MC), the community treasure that high school students often overlook as they conduct their college search.

A reporter's game

By Ya Zhou | Oct. 6, 2008, midnight | In Connections Blog »

As SCO is picking up on the new blog fad in journalism, Blair Connections will also try to update Blazers on the goings on in school, around the community - the serious, the funny, the scary. Students, teachers and cool stories you might not normally see will be blogged and duly noted.

Back-to-School Night opens communication with parents

By Ya Zhou | Sept. 10, 2008, midnight | In Local »

Welcomed by a multitude of balloons, voices and multicolored decorations, parents entered Blair for another successful Back-to-School Night yesterday from 7 - 9:30 p.m. Usual parking delays made some parents late, but Back-to-School Night began and ended on time. The two-and-a-half hour information session incorporated not only the highlights of Back-to-School Nights past, but also new technologies and activities as teachers and adminstrators unveiled the new school year.

Five-year-old criminals

By Ya Zhou | June 7, 2008, midnight | In Op/Ed »

While students and staff have every right to be protected from sexual harassment, it crosses boundaries when kindergartners who cannot tie their shoelaces have the permanent label of "sexual harasser" on their record. To consider any unwanted advance as sexual harassment will not solve anything. Instead of catching the real culprits and finding the true motivations for student behavior, sexual harassment policies in schools condemn everyone.

Blair honors students at annual awards ceremony

By Ya Zhou | June 2, 2008, midnight | In Local »

Blair held its annual awards program on May 19. The two-and-a-half-hour long ceremony honored over 300 students for more than 70 awards. Resource counselor Marcia Johnson coordinated the event, saying that the night ran smoothly after a plentiful reception held 45 minutes prior to the ceremony.

InToneNation in the spotlight

By Ya Zhou | May 26, 2008, midnight | In Music »

Blair's energetic a cappella group, InToneNation (ITN), stunned the audience once again with a magnificent and creative one-and-a-half hour program showcasing 22 selections last Friday. The show was the latter of two spring concerts, as well as the final concert for the group's four seniors. Throughout its varied and exciting program, ITN exhibited exceptional vocal mastery - not only as individual soloists but also, perhaps more importantly, as a successfully cohesive a cappella group.

Chiapanecas with children

By Ya Zhou | May 1, 2008, midnight | In Features »

The girls stand primly, watching the rowdy boys run up and down the stage stairs, hollering incessantly. Suddenly as if on cue, the girls form into two straight lines as the boys shuffle with less energy on stage right next door. Teacher Maya Maldonado-Weinstein brings back the boys' attention as she claps and hums a catchy melody, leading them in quick-paced, disciplined dance routine that sharply contrasts with the energy the 10 and 11-year-olds were previously exhibiting. With zeal, the young dance students start practice, preparing for two performances they will be putting on for their peers at Rolling Terrace Elementary School on May 2 and May 21.

Boys' tennis crushes Springbrook

By Ya Zhou | May 1, 2008, midnight | In Blair »

BLAZER COURTS, April 30 - Blair's boys' tennis ended its regular season with a decisive 7-0 win against the Springbrook Blue Devils. The Blazers will be heading into the playoffs starting next Monday, with preliminaries beginning this Friday.

Boys' volleyball triumphs over Northwest

By Ya Zhou | April 25, 2008, midnight | In Blair »

After an electrifying hard-fought victory against Sherwood, Blair's ticket out of the playoffs last season, boys' volleyball defeated the Northwest Jaguars in straight sets to up their record to 5-1. The Blazers showed exemplary attention and concentration, especially in the second set, which ended 25-22.

Blazers demolish Wolverines in home opener

By Ya Zhou | April 8, 2008, midnight | In Blair »

After losing the season opener to Rockville, the boys' volleyball team won decisively against the Watkins Mill Wolverines on Monday in their home opener. The three sets (25-17, 25-18 and 25-13) were characterized by strong serves and mediocre hits. While the Blazers began sluggishly, they quickly picked up speed and momentum to capture the win.

Unplanned fire evacuation disrupts HSA practice test

By Ya Zhou | March 13, 2008, midnight | In Local »

An unplanned fire evacuation at the beginning of fourth period today was caused by either smoke or dust triggering one of the photocell sensors on the ceiling of the school, according to Blair business manager Jim Funk. A fire alarm was also pulled. The administration is unsure which triggered the alarm first, but will conduct no further investigation of the incident, Funk said.

Teatime treats revamped

By Alisa Lu Ya Zhou | March 9, 2008, midnight | In Desserts »

As winter soon draws to a close with no snowstorm in sight, the next best thing is a spring tea party celebration! But scones were never easy to make and stale store-bought cookies just don't cut it. The answer to this predicament: ice cream cone cupcakes. Fun to make and eat, ice cream cones cupcakes combine two of the most beloved childhood desserts - ice cream and cake.

Pro/Con: A coach for all seasons

By Sophie Schwadron Ya Zhou | March 2, 2008, midnight | In Op/Ed »

As they gear up for the spring sports season, Blair coaches and teams are reminded of a small rule that means a lot when it comes to preseason training. Per Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) policy, high school coaches are only allowed to hold organized practice with their teams within the limits of the season, according to the Maryland State Board of Education Athletics handbook. In late April, the MPSSAA will consider changing the rule. Is the policy dispensable?

A lesson in love

By Ya Zhou | Feb. 14, 2008, midnight | In Features »

Once upon a time, Saint Valentine wrote a letter to his love while in jail, signing it "Your Valentine," a tradition that has evolved into the beloved Valentine's Day. While Saint Valentine's act of love may just be a legend, the Valentine's Day of today is characterized by all things romantic: couples, candies, roses and the occasional poem. Contributing to the festive spirit, Blair teachers recount their romantic proposal experiences, teaching that while there is no one proper way to propose, some basic steps are recommended.

Young Democrats sponsor mock primary

By Ya Zhou | Feb. 8, 2008, midnight

The Blair Young Democrats club sponsored the school's first ever mock presidential primary this Tuesday through Thursday during both lunch periods on the stage in the Student Activity Center (SAC). All students were eligible to vote for one presidential candidate out of seven from the Democratic and Republican parties. The Young Democrats also held a celebration today after school to announce the results of the mock election.

Underground sport on the rise

By Ya Zhou | Feb. 1, 2008, midnight | In Features »

Junior Aaron Kozloff zeroes in on the 13-foot wall before him. His eyes strain towards the obstacle and he hesitates momentarily. With a final resolve, Kozloff runs up the barrier in order to vault himself over the top ledge, but narrowly misses. "Only half-an-inch more," the four others surrounding him say encouragingly.

Fred Thompson

By Ya Zhou | Jan. 7, 2008, midnight | In National »

Editor's Note: Fred Thompson dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 22.

Ron Paul

By Ya Zhou | Jan. 7, 2008, midnight | In National »

Political Party: Republican Current Position: Congressional Representative (since 1997) State: Texas Political Experience: Former Representative from Texas (different district), 1976-1977 and 1979-1985

Duncan Hunter

By Ya Zhou | Jan. 7, 2008, midnight | In National »

Editor's Note: Duncan Hunter dropped out of the presidential race after the Nevada caucus on Jan. 19.

Rudy Giuliani

By Ya Zhou | Jan. 7, 2008, midnight | In National »

Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 30, 2008 after the Florida primary.

Half-hearted return of the chipmunks

By Ya Zhou | Dec. 19, 2007, midnight | In Movies »

Since its creation in 1958, the beloved music group Alvin and the Chipmunks has made its mark on the music industry, the TV industry and finally now, the film industry. While the group's transition from music to TV was well-received, transforming the characters onto the big screen took more effort than was exhibited. Tim Hill's rendition of the "Alvin and the Chipmunks" relies too heavily on the chipmunks' "cuteness," leaving too much of the plot unexplained and too many of the human characters underdeveloped.

Academy Day should be here to stay

By Ya Zhou | Dec. 17, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Academy Day. Many Blazers will take these words to mean an extra day off of school tomorrow, where in fact, this day is one of the most important all year. In the half-day event set aside for all Blazers, students will be presented with possible career paths via guest speakers from various professions, according to Academies Coordinator Jennifer Kempf.

"No Country" for bad movies

By Ya Zhou | Nov. 12, 2007, midnight | In Movies »

Ethan and Joel Coen's new psychological thriller "No Country for Old Men" artfully draws viewers through the too often mishandled subject of horror and torture and into a complex web of fantastic plot and striking cinematography.

Unlucky draw concludes girls' tennis

By Alisa Lu Ya Zhou | Nov. 4, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

After a 5-7 season last year, the girls' tennis team was anxious to keep their Division I berth this fall. The Blazers met their goal, finishing 7-5 with wins against division rivals Richard Montgomery and Magruder and losses only to Division I powerhouses such as Churchill, Whitman and Walter Johnson, and hoped to be in the top five of the county playoffs.

Seniors wave a teary goodbye

By Ya Zhou | Oct. 5, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

In the emotional last home game for seniors on the girls' tennis team, the Blazers fell in a disappointing 7-0 shutout against the Churchill Bulldogs. The Bulldogs dominated with superior technical ability, but the Blazers stood their ground and fought back in a great change of game attitude from previous games, according to Coach David Ngbea.

B-CC Barons defeat the Blazers

By Ya Zhou | Sept. 25, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

In torturous heat, the girls' tennis team was pitted on Tuesday against the Divison I Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons. Although both teams played assiduously and appeared evenly matched, the Barons ended on top, winning 5-2 and sending the Blazers' record to 5-2. Second singles freshman Shilpa Kannan and fourth singles senior co-captain Priyanka Gokhale gave the Blazers the two winning matches, but coach David Ngbea was disappointed with the Blazers' overall performance.

Celebrate reunion with family and friends

By Ya Zhou | Sept. 25, 2007, midnight | In Food »

According to Chinese folklore, a goddess named Chang'e is banished to earth from the heavens. In an effort to regain her immortality, Chang'e takes the immortality pills and is forever separated from her friends and family. On Sept. 25, the day of the annual Mid-Autumn Festival, the Chinese will celebrate Chang'e's reunion with her loved ones. As a part of the celebration, the Chinese will enjoy various foods, including longevity noodles, which represent the hope for eternal gathering with family.

"Sydney White:" a much less magical Snow White

By Ya Zhou | Sept. 24, 2007, midnight | In Movies »

From director Joe Nussbaum, who brought audiences the oh-so impressive and epic film "Sleepover" (2005), "Sydney White" stars Amanda Bynes, Sara Paxton and Matt Long in a movie which, though it is wrought for a narrow teenage population, still squeezes in humorous characters and brief moments of true sentiment.

SGA initializes a new academic support structure

By Ya Zhou | Sept. 23, 2007, midnight | In Local »

After receiving enthusiastic responses from Blair's Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) and teachers, Blair's SGA-sponsored peer-on-peer tutoring program will be launched in early October. Seniors Ariel La and Benjamin Simon will be leading the program.

Blazers outplay Bengals on the tennis courts

By Ya Zhou | Sept. 20, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

The girls' tennis team surpassed the Blake Bengals in a closely matched 4-3 game, lifting its season record to 5-1. The Blazers beat out the competition with solid wins from several players but also fell in key matches, including the top two singles. Coach David Ngbea insists that the team needs to keep improving its net game and footwork in order to play at optimal standards.

Blazers vs. Blue Devils: the heavens decide

By Ya Zhou | Sept. 15, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

The girls' tennis team upped their record to 3-1, dominating all seven matches against the Division III Springbrook Blue Devils. The Blazers improved their net game and played consistently despite the windy weather.

PTSA holds meet and greet with new principal

By Ya Zhou | July 11, 2007, midnight | In Local »

On Monday evening, community superintendent Heath Morrison introduced Blair's new principal, Darryl Williams, to Blair's PTSA for the first time. The principal discussed his plans and vision for Blair's upcoming school year in the question-and-answer session held in the SAC at 7:30 pm.

"Transformers": not the familiar cartoon

By Ya Zhou | July 9, 2007, midnight | In Movies »

With nothing short of what is expected in a plotless summer film, director Michael Bay delivers "Transformers," the robot-inspired action extravaganza. Though the movie lacks a solid and sensible storyline, "Transformers" makes up for it with clever humor and spectacular, though expensive, robot-on-robot action.



Images (6)


Photo: T&E1

By Ya Zhou | Dec. 30, 2008, midnight

This recipe needs only a handful of ingredients.

Photo: T&E2

By Ya Zhou | Dec. 30, 2008, midnight

When cooking, make sure to turn food frequently to distribute flavor.

Photo: T&E3

By Ya Zhou | Dec. 30, 2008, midnight

A colorful dish to be enjoyed!

Photo: Longevity Noodles

By Ya Zhou | Oct. 5, 2007, midnight

Noodles represent longevity; eternal reunion with family and friends.

Photo: La & Simon

By Ya Zhou | Sept. 22, 2007, midnight

La and Simon volunteered to take on the task of reshuffling academic support.

Photo: williams meet and greet

By Ya Zhou | July 11, 2007, midnight

Williams spoke to parents individually after the PTSA meeting.