opinions


"Starving" for global attention

By Anika Manzoor | Oct. 16, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

One child dies of hunger every five seconds, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). To a simple minded person, this concept would be hard to understand. There is more than enough food for everyone in the world; global agriculture is able to provide an astounding 2,720,000 calories per person per day. Considering that a person needs a minimum of 2100 calories to lead a productive life, one would expect the entire world's population to be well-fed.


Prohibir el dicho de maldades no las elimina

By | Sept. 25, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Hoy en día, los salones de clase no solamente son lugares donde los maestros presentan su lección sino que también crean situaciones para que los estudiantes participen activamente en conversaciones sobre temas de estudio. La limitación de estas prácticas en clase es un mal recuerdo debido a que algunos temas son demasiado polémicos para tratarlos en un ambiente escolar.


Tackling the HSAs, one step at a time

By Greg Kohn | Sept. 22, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

With less than two years before the Class of 2009 is scheduled to be the first year to only graduate students who passed all the High School Assessments (HSAs), state Superintendent Nancy Grasmick is conceding that students unable to pass all four tests ought to be allowed an alternative means by which to earn a diploma.


Dress to impress

By Susie Branson | Sept. 17, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

On the first day of school, students cluttering the hallways at Blair seemed to glow of one color: skin-tones. Spaghetti straps, boxers and short-shorts were the clothing – or lack of clothing – that paraded around the school. However, due to the additional regulations prohibiting spaghetti-strap tops, skirts or shorts that are not fingertip length and pants worn below the waist, the hallways now sparkle with the brilliant colors of new clothes this season.


Getting cut short

By Boris Vassilev | Sept. 14, 2007, midnight | In Humor »

The break afforded to the average student between class periods is a holy time of sorts. Grapevines grow exponentially as myths are swapped, bathrooms are hurriedly visited, stairs are ascended, descended and jumped over and a little bit of academic stress is let out before the next class begins. As of two weeks ago, Blazers had this little pie piece of freedom and pressure relief relegated to a mere three quarters of its former glory - from eight minutes to six. Thinking upon this rather abrupt action, a responsible Blair student should consider the possibilities for other acts of shortening…before the bell rings that is.


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.


Always soccer, never football

By Andrew Kung | Aug. 11, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Last Thursday saw the biggest moment in soccer for the Washington area since Freddy Adu, as British superstar David Beckham suited up for the Los Angeles Galaxy to take on DC United in his regular season debut. League execs hope that the presence of an international superstar of Beckham's caliber will be a turning point for the sport, as soccer establishes its presence here in the US, taking its place alongside football, basketball and baseball in the pantheon of American sports.


Where have all the heroes gone?

By Pia Nargundkar | Aug. 1, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Michael Jordan. Cal Ripken Jr. Jerry Rice. Not so long ago, it was easy for a kid to find a sports hero to idealize. He or she could turn to the sports section of the newspaper, and it would be filled with stories of last-second baskets, great receptions, solid pitching – anything and everything about the games themselves. Now turn to the sports page, and one thing dominates the section – scandal.


A "gut feeling" on homeland security

By Sean Howard | July 31, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Recently, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said it was his "gut feeling" that the country faces a higher risk of terrorist attack in the summer, which raises the question: are we really safer with this government agency, which has one-fourth of its top leadership positions unfilled? Since it was established on Nov. 25, 2002, the Department of Homeland Security has been at constant odds with the mission it was supposed to accomplish and people it was designed to protect.


Peterson Cos. does right, allows photography

By Jon Kesten | July 30, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The recent ban on photography in Downtown Silver Spring caused enough uproar to start a protest, a photographer rights group and now a change. Peterson Companies., the corporation who once claimed that Downtown Silver Spring is private property, has backed down and allowed photographers to freely take pictures in the area again. Nevertheless, these actions seem overdue and still leave the question of why the ban was placed to begin with.


"Speak no evil" does not destroy the evil

By Anshul Sood | July 22, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

In this time period, classrooms are not only places where teachers present lectures, but also situations for students can participate in active discussion on topics of study. A limitation on that classroom practice comes as a sad reminder that some subjects are just too controversial for a classroom setting.


"Live Earth" is killing Earth

By Anika Manzoor | July 16, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

If we don't think about it, "Live Earth" sounds like a great idea: celebrities from across the globe unite to spread awareness about man-made climate change and how detrimental it is to our environment. Let's face it, whether we like it or not, celebrities have a significant impact on the mindset of the average person. They are considered role models by many, their words have value, so when they say, "The world is in trouble, we need to save it," people are likely to listen. However, this message is deeply marred by the disturbingly huge amount of gas used and pollution expelled to put this event into action.


Politicians unleashed on the Internet

By Kiera Zitelman | July 16, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The next presidential election is more than fifteen months away, but the battle is already being fiercely fought in ways unseen in any other election. The new weapons at the candidates' disposal: social network and video sites like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook.


California dreaming may become reality

By Greg Kohn | July 7, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

As humans continue to test the strength and resilience of Mother Nature, several U.S. state governments have been proactive in limiting their contributions to global climate change. Now the state of California, the leader of the pack, may be able to force the auto industry to manufacture cleaner cars, something the federal government has failed to do.


A sad strike against student freedoms

By Monica Wei | July 7, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against a high school student last week in Frederick v. Morse, the first major case involving students' First Amendment rights since 1988. However, the Court did not reinforce the famous Tinker precedent that students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate as it should have, choosing instead to create a whole new rule on the First Amendment that allows censorship of student speech advocating illegal drugs.


The "Scooter" Libby cakewalk

By Lucas Alvarado-Farrar | July 7, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

After the U.S. Court of Appeals denied I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's plea to avoid prison time while he worked out his next appeal, it was time for President Bush to step into action and make a decision. He was stuck. The President could pardon Libby – who was convicted of perjury in the Valerie Plame CIA leak affair – to satisfy the unanswered calls from his conservative base or leave the issue alone and allow the court's sentence for the former vice presidential aide stand in an attempt to soothe the Democratic Congress.


Git out of Gitmo

By Kevin Teng | June 30, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

White House officials have been discussing the prospect of closing the detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay – an interrogation and holding facility for suspects of terrorism. Last Friday, they finally acknowledged that this issue has become a priority.


A false start with AP exams

By Boris Vassilev | June 10, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

High school is supposed to prepare us for college. Counselors encourage students to take challenging courses, try their best, maximize capabilities and show potential. And what better way to do this than taking and scoring well on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam? Many colleges currently offer exemptions from their first year courses if students score well enough on the respective AP exams. In light of this, students are using these exemptions in order to skip semesters, or even entire years of their college education. But instead of getting a head start on life, students who skip college courses are cheating themselves out of important life education.


Seven tips for 07

By Maya Calabrese | June 3, 2007, midnight | In Humor »

Graduation. After four long years of high school, seniors can finally celebrate…by sitting in a room for what seems like another four, long years. The sad truth is that graduation is like the Academy Awards – without the designer dresses, lavish goody bags or George Clooney.


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.


Supporting Service

By Ethan Kuhnhenn | April 26, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Amid the frenzy of preparing for high school graduation, Student Service Learning (SSL) often becomes an afterthought, a vague notion that settles into the far corners of memory until, for some, second semester of senior year rolls around.


Homework doesn't make the grade

By Simon Kanter | April 24, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

For as long as anyone can remember, there has been homework. It has become an unquestionable constant in our society, a concept so etched into the minds of our collective conscious that it's hard to imagine life without massive take-home packets, book work and essays. But what if we did?


Advanced ego

By Pia Nargundkar | March 27, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The number and score of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams is a) a good indicator of progress in the county b) a testament to how well MCPS is doing compared to the nation c) a testament to better preparation and teaching d) none of the above


Chaos ensues every morning in the student parking lot

By Erica Turner | March 16, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Imagine that you are driving down University Blvd. toward Blair High School. Your iPod is blasting your favorite song and traffic is flowing well. You turn right to enter the student parking lot and as soon as you enter, you immediately press down on the brakes and come to halt. From the entrance all the way down the far lane closest to University Blvd., there is a long line of cars. Parents are stopping in the driving lanes to drop off their children and it is impossible for you to pull around them.


Minimum wage needs more than just a raise

By Maya Calabrese | March 6, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

For Blazers the typical after school job pays anywhere from $5.15 to $8.00, adding up to just enough for the latest gaming system or pair of sneakers. But what if you had to live on that money? For minimum wage workers this is just the case.

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