October is here. This can translate to a variety of things depending on whom you ask. For football fans, the couch is just getting that comfortable groove back and the air is ripe for tailgating. For marketers, it marks the start of advertising…for Valentine's Day. (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are covered by July). For students it brings the anxiety and excitement of Homecoming, PSATs and another eight months of cafeteria food. But for politicians, it means a month of anticipating the unexpected. The October surprise is around the corner.
At a time when college frenzy can begin the moment a student steps through the doors of high school, Harvard has just taken a step toward making the frenzy last longer.
Every year, 195 million trips are taken on our capital's overcrowded and under-budgeted Metro rail. The "Purple Line" also known as the Bi-County Connector, is a proposed extension of the Washington area's railways. Connecting key stations like Bethesda, Silver Spring and New Carrolton, this expansion would offer the average commuter a break from long traffic delays and offer a cheaper, cleaner alternative to driving.
Pluto, the beloved underdog planet, has been kicked out of the Big Boys Club. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted in late August to demote Pluto to "dwarf planet" status. Normally, no one would care what 2,500 astronomers in the IAU decide, but this has repercussions. Big Time.
After last spring's test administration of the High School Assessments (HSA) for Algebra, Biology, Government and English, the U.S. Department of Education made the decision to allow Advanced Placement tests to be used as a substitute for the HSA so students would not have to be burdened with so much test taking for graduation. One flaw, however, mars the plan: students do not find out the results of their AP exams until after they would typically take the HSA in May.
While most Americans are lounging the summer heat away, going to baseball games and taking dives in the neighborhood pool, 6,000 miles away a conflict rages on in the Middle East. For the past three weeks, Israel and the militant Shiite group, Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon, have been engaged in fierce fighting. The daily headlines are grim: scores of innocent children killed in Lebanon, barrages of rocket fire raining on Israel. Hundreds of both Israeli and Lebanese civilians have been killed or wounded in the conflict, as well as four UN observers and a handful of foreign nationals. The United States needs to take a more active approach if we want to disarm a malicious terrorist organization and stop the horrific murder of Lebanese civilians.
Life is not fair. William Goldman, author of "The Princess Bride," made this case to the world in the novel that exposes just how unfair life can really be. For the purpose of saving others time, money and weasels, I have compiled a list of tips; the do's and don'ts of life. I am under the assumption that the reader already knows about the dangers of bringing a knife to a gunfight (thank you Mr. Connery), so I'll skip that pointer and move on to the lesser known hints to living a fulfilling life without regrets.
For a state that prides itself on its schools, Maryland's pension plan is an embarrassment and an obstacle to attracting and retaining quality teachers. Maryland's teacher pension plan ranks 51st in the nation - dead last. Retired Maryland school employees receive just 38 percent of their peak salary, half as much as in neighboring Pennsylvania, according to the Maryland State Teachers Association (MSTA).
The warm weather that usually comes with spring has only just begun to assert itself, but the race for Montgomery County Executive seems to be growing hotter by the day, as could be seen in a debate held in Silver Spring last week between candidates Ike Leggett and Steve Silverman. Despite leaving many issues still unsettled, especially issues regarding mass transit and the purple line, both candidates left this early debate having thoroughly established their platforms when it comes to real estate and hopring and the warm weather that usually comes with it has only just begun to assert itselfme ownership.
A depressed sophomore contemplating suicide who checked himself into a George Washington University Hospital was sent a letter by the University's administration stating that his "endangering behavior" could result in his suspension or expulsion unless he withdrew from school, according to a March 10 article published in The Washington Post. In the meantime, Jordan Nott, the student, was barred from the campus.
It rises majestically from the Forest Glen Metro stop, flying high into the air, running parallel to Georgia avenue before soaring over the Beltway on- and off-ramps, ducking under the Beltway itself and making a landing next to what, in the mind of some bureaucrat, is a spot of vital importance to pedestrians: the parking lot of some town homes.
Two weeks ago, Maryland State Senators passed "Andrew's Law," a provision named for former Blair student Andrew Helgeson, that would require every Maryland high school to have an automatic external defillibator. State legislators have taken the first step to improve an inadequate environment for student health in schools but why stop at defibrillators? MCPS should make cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid training a requisite for all teachers at all levels of education in the county.
While legislators engage adults about issues they think voters care about, they can be quick to leave students out of the democratic process and overlook their concerns. Although most students do not vote, they do represent a large portion of the population - but even in an area as politically active as Montgomery County, their views are rarely heard.
Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito, a staunch conservative, replaced moderate Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on Jan. 31. In his career as a judge, Alito's radical ideology has fueled an archaic, reactionary interpretation of the Constitution that he seems to value over the common good of the American people.
A student brings home a perfect report card. It is an ideal situation: Parents and child are happy, and MCPS is patting itself on the back for successfully educating another pupil. But, this situation also illustrates one of the main tools MCPS uses to maintain its reputation for stellar academics: grade inflation through letter grading.
"In line with local laws and policies, parts of the result are not listed." Written in Chinese characters, this message appears across the bottom of a web page after a search. Unfortunately Google, a company that has prided itself on its accurate, unbiased web searches, has hypocritically decided that censorship is acceptable when there is money to be made.
In lieu of the New Year—and the realization that there actually is a National Squirrel Day (Jan. 21)—we have decided to embark on an excursion through the year in hopes to discover all the random "holidays" that the world does not know of. Everybody has heard of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Thanksgiving, but there are so many other holidays out there that stir our curiosity.
Gone are the "good old days" of our parents' youth when the movies that Hollywood made were actually good, original ideas, or at least did not focus entirely on sex and violence. Although most critics believe that the increasing presence of violence and sex in films is the biggest issue in the movie-making industry, the real problem is the lack of new ideas.
In an attempt to limit overcrowding, a zoning ordinance passed Dec. 29 requires Manassas, Virginia residents to live only with immediate family members. After being widely criticized as discriminatory, the ordinance was suspended, according to a Jan. 5 article in The Washington Post. That such a law was passed in the first place is evidence of an emerging pattern of growing prejudice towards immigrants, a pattern perpetuated by current immigration policy.
The Christmas tree is in the trash and all the lights and ornaments hidden away in the depths of the basement; the menorah is out, and so are the Kwanzaa candles; the Three Kings are long gone; the wrapping paper has been recycled and all you have to remind you of the holidays are those extra pounds. Reality has struck: Break is over.
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