Eli Okun

Name: Eli Okun
Position: Print Managing Op-Ed Editor
Graduation Year: 2011

Stories (28)

Braving the boulevard

By Eli Okun, Natalie Rutsch | March 10, 2011, 11:43 a.m. | In Print Entertainment »

T-5 minutes. You leap from a moving vehicle, slam the door shut and join the herd making its way toward the entrance. Once inside, you confront a new set of obstacles: From the slick floors to the confusing maze of halls, the journey promises to be difficult. But before you reach your destination, a chime overhead seals your fate. It's 7:25 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, and another day at Montgomery Blair High School has begun.

Oscar predictions 2010

By Eli Okun, Ava Wallace | Feb. 26, 2011, 9:57 a.m. | In Movies »

This Sunday, audiences everywhere will tune in to watch the 83rd annual Academy Awards. 2010 was a dream year for movie lovers; Hollywood cranked out flawlessly executed franchise hits, thrillers, love stories, dramas, westerns, charming animations and epics. But soon it will be time for the dream to end, for actors, directors and crews to accept their little golden statues and get back to work on making even more fantastic films for 2011.

Crossing the line

By Eli Okun | Feb. 9, 2011, 2:35 p.m. | In Print Features »

Where only first names appear, names have been changed to protect the identities of the sources. The conversation was private enough: Mike, a sophomore, casually told a friend that he wasn't supposed to be at the school. The secret should have stopped there. But Mike looked up and saw a teacher walking by. He had overheard. In a flash, all of it – the addresses forged, the documents fabricated, the boundaries crossed – threatened to fall apart. The fear of discovery flickered through Mike's mind, but the teacher's next words erased it: "Don't tell the whole school,” he said, and continued down Blair Boulevard.

From international terrorism's twisted web, a solution unspools

By Eli Okun | Nov. 11, 2010, 11:41 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

The little green signs that flutter on many a lawn around here seem to be multiplying weekly. Their simple message, however, reflects a much more complex reality half a world away. The signs that protest U.S. involvement in Afghanistan show a loss of hope in western efforts to rebuild democracy there.

Head of the class

By Eli Okun | Oct. 7, 2010, 12:12 p.m. | In Print Opinions »

The best public school system in the nation, the number one education governor, $250 million in Race to the Top (RTTT) funds – it could all come crashing down on Nov. 2, if voters send a former tenant back to the governor's mansion. Or we could rid ourselves of overwrought standardization, dire neglect of teachers' union considerations and a complete failure to support charter schools. Which set of principles will vanish if Robert Ehrlich (R) reclaims Annapolis? It all depends on which side of the education debate's proverbial classroom you're sitting in.

An intriguing spin on letting go

By Eli Okun | Sept. 28, 2010, 9:30 p.m. | In Movies »

In the opening scene of "Never Let Me Go,” narrator Kathy H. stares sadly through the glass panes of a hospital operating room, a moment that well captures the complexities of this elegant but flawed movie.

A 'Top'-notch meal with a side of Chips

By Eli Okun, Natalie Rutsch | June 3, 2010, 12:23 p.m. | In Print Entertainment »

The knife block was ready, the ingredients from a quick trip to Safeway were arrayed on the table and the griddle was sizzling. Natalie and Eli crouched in anticipation in front of Eli's refrigerator. Silver Chips's own version of "Top Chef" - in a decidedly less glamorous Chevy Chase kitchen - was about to begin, and emotions were running high. The timer sounded, and the reporters-turned-cheftestants were off to Eli's six-burner stove to whip up the best bites this side of Bravo.

Chefs in the city

By Eli Okun, Natalie Rutsch | June 3, 2010, 12:15 p.m. | In Print Entertainment »

D.C.: it's the metropolis in our backyards, the site of our field trips and the destination of our Metro rides. The city boasts great monuments, restaurants, museums, festivals and concerts - all the typical markers of a lively city. But, really, what tells us that our beloved neighbor D.C. has made it? That's right, the only honest indicator of success we have left today: reality television.

Beyond the boulevard

By Eli Okun | June 3, 2010, 12:13 p.m. | In Print Entertainment »

Courting the wrong priorities

By Eli Okun | June 3, 2010, 11:48 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

Distributors deserve the right to market videos of women squashing puppies with stiletto heels for twisted sexual pleasure. Businesses merit the same rights as individuals. Residents of the 16th-most dangerous city in the U.S. shouldn't have to keep their home rifles unloaded. If you've been watching the Supreme Court for the past couple years, you've seen this lack of logic at work at the highest level of the American judicial system.

Not business as usual

By Eli Okun | April 22, 2010, 12:17 p.m. | In Print Features »

There's a new civil rights movement afoot in America, and it plans to stretch the definition of 'person' beyond race, gender or religion. This time, Murray Hill Inc. is spearheading a movement to demand that the Maryland legal system extend campaign freedoms to the corporate world. After the Supreme Court declared in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in January that corporations have the same rights as individuals, Murray Hill pounced on the opportunity for publicity and a chance to poke fun at the Court's controversial decision. That's right – the Silver Spring public relations firm is running for Congress.

Finding strength in the aftermath of a brutal tragedy

By Eli Okun | April 22, 2010, 11:44 a.m. | In Print Features »

Freshman Samendjy William couldn't move. She couldn't speak, either, because the debris pinning her down shot pain below her ribs every time she tried to call for help. Unable to see the widespread destruction around her, William imagined that the trembling earth had opened a gash in only her house. Nearby, underneath the rubble, her older cousin whispered words of encouragement. William inhaled the air she could reach, and prayed: "Jesus, please, show me your miracle."

ESOL students lead workshops

By Eli Okun | April 22, 2010, 11:38 a.m. | In Print News »

Members of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Level 4 classes conducted student-run workshops in other ESOL classes on March 22 and 23, emphasizing the importance of open communication and listening, according to ESOL teacher Ailish Zompa.

Pro/Con: Will the Congressional jobs bills be the solution America's economy needs?

By Jewel Galbraith, Eli Okun | March 11, 2010, 8:04 a.m. | In Print Opinions »

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed similar versions of a $15 billion jobs creation bill, initially created by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid drafted the new bill as an alternative to a bipartisan Senate jobs proposal and after the House passed a $155 billion jobs bill in December.

Country in Profile: Guyana

By Eli Okun | March 11, 2010, 12:02 a.m. | In Print Features »

Their village was called Friendship, but freshman Yakemi Wilson's grandparents feared even to peek out the window. Outside, ethnic riots had torn through Guyana, and Wilson's grandparents were holed up inside their house, unwilling to show their faces to the aggressors fighting beyond the panes.

Ice hockey falls to Whitman in first round of playoffs

By Eli Okun | Feb. 13, 2010, 6:27 p.m. | In Blair »

The Blair ice hockey team (6-6) lost 1-8 to the two-time reigning state champion Walt Whitman (11-1) in a hard-fought game Friday night, ending the Blazers' first playoff run since 2005.

Athlete of the Week: Jens Josephs, Ice Hockey

By Eli Okun | Feb. 12, 2010, 3:41 p.m. | In Blair »

The second period has only just begun, but senior forward Jens Josephs' skates slice across the ice with urgent finesse. In one fluid motion, Josephs slams the puck into the back left of the net.

Miles apart, two worlds shaken

By Eli Okun | Feb. 5, 2010, 3:43 p.m. | In Print Features »

Late afternoon, on Jan. 12, junior Ruben Dumay's sister delivered a shocking piece of news to him: An earthquake had struck Haiti, their home country. Her tone of voice lulled him into disbelief. The cries on television and photos on the Internet soon revealed a new reality, though: The earthquake had been a lethal, 7.0-magnitude catastrophe. Dumay wasn't sure what to feel. He trudged to school the next day, but when he returned home, he dammed the flood of media around him – television darkened, computer powered off – and collapsed into bed without speaking to anyone.

Freshman year: Obama's report card

By Eli Okun | Feb. 5, 2010, 12:17 p.m. | In Print News »

In November 2008, shortly after an exuberant American electorate chose him to lead the world's foremost superpower, Barack Obama told an interviewer, "The first hundred days is going to be important, but it's probably going to be the first thousand days that makes the difference."

Ice hockey crushes B-CC

By Eli Okun | Jan. 28, 2010, 10:05 p.m. | In Blair »

The Blair ice hockey team (5-5) out-played Bethesda-Chevy Chase (3-5) Wednesday night, defeating the Barons 8-3 in Blair's last home game of the regular season.

Blazers splinter Sherwood

By Eli Okun | Jan. 14, 2010, 8:07 a.m. | In Blair »

Blair ice hockey (3-5) defeated the Sherwood Arrows (4-5) in a nail-biting victory at home that kept Blazer playoff hopes alive. Blair's final two goals struck the Sherwood net in the last 67 seconds of the game, breaking a tie and driving the Blazers to a 5-3 win.

BOE votes to expand SMOB role

By Eli Okun | Dec. 17, 2009, 3:23 p.m. | In Print News »

The Board of Education (BOE) added expanded Student Member of the Board (SMOB) voting rights to its 2010 legislative platform in a Nov. 10 vote, according to SMOB Timothy Hwang, who introduced the proposal.

Ice hockey falls to Wootton 1-8

By Eli Okun | Dec. 17, 2009, 1:59 p.m. | In Blair »

Blair ice hockey (2-4) fell to the dominant Thomas S. Wootton Patriots (5-0) Wednesday night in the Blazers' first loss at home this season. Despite a mostly competitive game, Wootton shot to a six-point lead in nearly six minutes during a string of goals late in the second period, which allowed them to win by seven points.

Blair flies past Falcons on the ice

By Eli Okun | Dec. 3, 2009, midnight | In Blair »

The Blair community boys' ice hockey team (2-2) defeated a Poolesville/Northwood/Albert Einstein/Seneca Valley combination team 7-3 in their third home game and second victory of the season. Blair's players and coach described it as the team's strongest performance yet.

Ice hockey shoots Rockets into outer space

By Eli Okun | Nov. 26, 2009, midnight | In Blair »

Blair's boys' ice hockey (1-0-2) defeated a Richard Montgomery (RM)/Rockville combination team in a provisional match-up that showcased the Blazers' superior skating skill in their first home game of the season. Led by strong offensive talent and anchored by junior Peirce Marston's excellent goal-tending, Blair cruised to an easy 7-3 victory.

Going to seed: Time to overhaul state ranking system

By Eli Okun | Nov. 12, 2009, midnight | In Print Opinions »

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a professional soccer star. Your team does well throughout the season, but you end up with the fifth-best record in your division. The top four teams are guaranteed the top four playoff spots, but everyone else is randomly seeded. So you draw last place, you play the best team in the first round of the playoffs and your season ends there. It seems unfair because it is. And that is the problem with the state's current playoff seeding system for high school teams.

A powerful "Education"

By Eli Okun | Oct. 31, 2009, midnight | In Movies »

Outside, the leaves are turning golden and floating to the ground, which means only one thing for films: it's Oscar time. That's right, the crop of films released at the end of the year – just in time for Academy Award consideration – has commenced and among the most buzzed-about is Lone Scherfig's "An Education," which hit nationwide release last Friday.

Blazing through Beijing: Balla journeys overseas

By Eli Okun | Oct. 8, 2009, midnight | In Print Features »

The city was a chaotic mass of 17 million people sprawled across the capital of the largest country in the world, but the quiet pink apartment was tucked away, six long stories up from the streets below. Inside, a gentle wind breezed through the feng shui-arranged space, and Blair science teacher Desiree Balla and her family were the new occupants, embarking on their year abroad with few expectations and eager anticipation.