On Nov. 5, 2007, Blazers across Blair Boulevard were deeply disheartened to learn that new episodes of their favorite shows would be brought to a halt. Thanks to the Writers Guild strike, which started over a disagreement with television and movie producers over how much writers should get for DVD sales and podcasts, students were forced to suffer 94 miserable days of endless piles of homework and the unforgiving semester exams without the de-stressing relief of watching fresh episodes of Jim putting Dwight's Birkenstocks in Jell-O or an actually funny "Daily Show."
For Winston Churchill High School students Brenton Thomas Everson, 17, and Richard McManus, 16, it was supposed to be a quick trip to CVS. But after McManus lost control of his car at 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 21, Everson became yet another addition to the number of automobile accidents that have killed over a dozen Maryland teenagers since November.
Be still our hearts, it looks we've set a record - two days of mildly inclement weather in a row? Hopefully this Valentine's Day, we'll be showered with more than just gifts from our hearts' desires. After all, a day cuddled up in front of the fireplace with your significant other is a lot more romantic than - dare we say it - singing valentines and candy grams at school.
Why is the weather so cruel? The snow gods from above have hit us hard on nearly every scheduled day off this winter (think several inches of snow the day before semester break), turning the beautiful prospects of a free day into yet another drab day stuck indoors. And yet every time, the conditions have cleared up before we can get anything more than a two-hour delay the next morning.
Fifteen years ago, an eighth grader would be nervously hoping to receive an acceptance letter from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Richard Montgomery High School, inviting him to be one out of only 100 students in MCPS to enroll in the IB. Now an eighth grader applying may still be anxiously awaiting his acceptance letter to the IB at Richard Montgomery, but he will be one out of hundreds of students enrolling because of the open enrollment of the IB in other schools.
She was a bubbly 13-year-old who had overcome depression; her life was looking brighter. But then one day in November 2007, the mother of Megan Meiers found her daughter hanging from a rope in the closet. The shocking story of this Missouri teen caught the attention of the national media and spread like wildfire. Megan's suicide was prompted by hate messages sent by her neighbors, who had created a Myspace account under a false persona and befriended Megan. Her situation brings home the all-too-real torments of online hoaxes and bullying.
In a county school district, every constituent is entitled to rights – most importantly, the right to question authority. But when Devraj (Dave) Kori, a senior at Lake Braddock High School called Dean Tistdat, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Chief Operating Officer (COO) to ask why school hadn't been cancelled after three inches of snow, the call was returned with a hysterical message from Tistdat's wife, Candy. Calling an administrator at a publicly listed home phone is not a show of peskiness; it is a show of initiative.
In mid-December, County Executive Isiah Leggett proposed a $23.6 million savings proposal to taper the enormous $401 million deficit in Montgomery County. But only on Jan. 14 did he remove a controversial component of the legislation that would have burdened Blazers who routinely flash a Blair ID for a free ride home.
When D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee took control of the D.C. school system nearly five months ago, nobody expected her to so radically reform the district. To many Washingtonians, she was just another notch on old D.C.'s belt – another replacement for the six superintendents who have failed in the past decade.
The Student Government Association (SGA) collected a record-breaking 5,393 cans in this year's canned food drive, 3,272 cans last year and 2,456 cans in 2005, all of which were donated to the Rainbow Homeless Shelter in White Oak. Although the purpose behind the food drive is respectable, the incentive students receive to bring in cans – such as this year's breakfast party for the three winning classes – has caused not only a shift from the concern for the homeless to the selfish wants of a reward, but also a loss in the whole meaning of charity.
For every innocent snowball fight there is a wayward chunk of snow that finds its way crashing through a window. For every delicious helping of pumpkin pie there is a tooth-shattering slice of aunt Bertha's fruit cake. And for every street corner Santa with a heart of gold and a cowbell there is a creepy, child-molesting shopping mall Santa. Luckily for loyal readers, Silver Chips Online has solutions for all potential Blair-related holiday dilemmas.
The New England Patriots have looked all but invincible in 2007, sitting pretty at 14-0 with just two games away from the perfect season. Led by golden-boy Tom Brady, who juggles NFL record books and supermodel baby mamas with uncanny grace, this modern-day juggernaut is destined for greatness. But in their pursuit of history, there is one unlikely obstacle: the 1-13 Miami Dolphins.
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.
As usual, the predictions were wrong. Somehow, "a light dusting" turned into "1-2 inches," which turned into "2-4 inches," which turned into two and a half hours stuck in the world's largest parking lot, also known as I-270. When students arrived at school a few hours late (the Colesville bridge closing didn't help) only to find out that MCPS decided the conditions weren't bad enough to close schools, we decided that some real weather experts needed to be called in to make the shots.
Sí, todos las hemos escuchado: las líricas y maravillosas creaciones musicales que asaltan nuestos oídos. Todos y todas las mañanas: los estudiantes diligentes que esperan a que sus profesores les abran las puertasde los salones, y tambien aquellos, que no tan diligentemente, esperan que la campana suene para recordarles que deben arrastrarse a su primer clase. Como un fantasma, la canción de Michael Jackson, "ABC", acompaña a los estudiantes a clase, la canción de Kool and the Gang, "Jungle boggie," actua como imán, atrayendoa los estudiantes a sus salones y otras viejas canciones de éxito animan a los estudiantes a aprender.
As the 2008 presidential campaign heats up, the candidates are scrambling to come up with positions that please voters. Immigration is a particularly thorny issue, and the candidates are struggling to prove that they are the right ones to deal with the situation. Just last month, Republican candidate Mitt Romney accused fellow candidate Rudolph Giuliani of making New York City a "sanctuary city," or a haven for undocumented workers, according to the Associated Press.
The death yesterday of Washington Redskins' safety Sean Taylor was undeniably a tragedy. Taylor was a mere 24 years old and left behind a young fiancée and an infant daughter. But the response to his murder has provoked in the community calls into question society's tendency to mourn the death of a public figure while ignoring the everyday passings of ordinary people.
Blair's new policies this year have been a mixed bag of successes and failures. Earlier this month, students received their first report cards of the year as the first marking period ended. Now it's time to rate the school's new policies with Blair's own progress report.
More than 50 candidates are currently running for president of the United States, fighting for a chance to represent their party and spending an absurd amount of money on political advertisements in the process. On Oct. 15, candidates filed spending reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), revealing the high cost of campaigning – a whopping $420 million so far. Despite the considerable number of issues that the candidates need to debate and discuss, candidates are going about their campaigns wrongly, spending enormous amounts of money and time in order to gain publicity – a counterproductive exercise.
Un niño muere de hambre cada cinco segundos, según la Organización de Comida y Agricultura (FAO). Para una persona sencilla, este concepto sería difícil de entender. Hay más que suficiente comida para todos en el mundo; la agricultura global tiene la asombrosa capacidad de producir 2.270.000 calorías por persona por día. Considerando que al mínimo una persona necesita aproximadamente una de 2,100 calorías para vivir productivamente, uno esperaría que la población entera del mundo estuviera bien alimentada.
Desde hace ya dos semanas se nos rebanó parte de la torta de nuestra libertad y alivio de estrés, reduciéndola a solo seis minutos. Mientras meditamos en este cambio tan abrupto, como estudiantes responsables debemos de considerar las otras múltiples posibilidades que existen para otros actos de recortar la políticas de la escuela... asegurándonos de lograrlo antes de que suene la campana.
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.
Yes, we've all heard them: The lyrical wonders and musical creations that assault the auditory senses every morning as students diligently wait for their classroom doors to open, or as they not so diligently await the bell to tell them they need to haul it to their first block. Like a phantom Michael Jackson, "ABC" follows students to class, Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie" draws the denizens of the hallways into their respective classroom settings and all manner of other golden oldies mentally stimulate students for academic achievement.
In an attempt to save the country's floundering education system, the federal government enacted the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001 to set minimum standards for student proficiency in reading and mathematics. Under NCLB, Blair has failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards for two years in a row. However, all of the fault for the failure should not be heaped on Blair alone. The government's methods to help schools meet the standards disregard differences in the way education is run in states and impose unreasonable constraints on state governments.
Blair has been forced to adapt to numerous changes this year, from a new grading system to a modified dress code. With High School Plus finally comes a change that should be agreeable to most everyone. After being piloted at four high schools last year, High School Plus is now running at all high schools for ninth and tenth graders across the county and will completely replace Evening High School by 2009.
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