November 11 Issue 2011

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Blake Beat newspaper November 2011 Edition.


Students go all out for Benny Bengal and the Chocolate Factory spirit week, p. A4

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Sophomores Homecoming weekend takes tragic turnx & Kristen Freseby Savannah Doane-MalotteTragedy struck sophomore Deneah Gilbert October 22 when she arrived home from the Homecoming dance to discover that her mother, Daraye Aishia Tyson, was in critical condition. Ms. Tyson was pronounced dead the following day after attempted resuscitation. Says Gilbert, [My mom] was young, vibrant, really pretty and really funny. She never had an attitude; she never complained. She lived her life. Gilbert and her sister Zadreaun Lewis were extremely close with their mother, describing her as their best friend. [Ms. Tyson] was like my mom, says sophomore Mariama Ndure. Its tough for all of us, but all we can do is stay strong. Ms. Tyson was well acquainted with Gilberts friends, frequently spending time with them. Shortly after her first birthday, Gilbert lost her father to a shooting. Her mothers passing left her parentless, causing her move to Pennsylvania to live with her grandparents. Though she is close with her other relatives, moving from Maryland has been rough for her. Its going to be hard the only good thing is that were with our family, says Gilbert. It has been reported that on the night of her death, Ms. Tyson consumed a very small amount of alcohol, but suddenly had a strong negative reaction. For this reason, it is presumed that something was slipped into her beverage, but the cause of death is still being investigated. The funeral was held October 28 in her grandparents hometown of

Volume 14 Number 2

James Hubert Blake HS

300 Norwood Rd Silver Spring MD 20905


November 11, 2011

Gilbert relocates to Pennsylvania after her mothers unexpected deathAliquippa, Pennsylvania. She looked fake, with too much make up on her; she didnt look like herself, says Gilbert of her mother at the funeral. When we saw her in the casket, it was horrible. Gilberts new community has been very supportive of her recent struggles, offering her places to stay and bringing meals for her and her grandparents. I didnt really know her that well, but I hope shes getting all the support that she deserves, says senior Paris Broadus. I cant imagine ever having to go through something like that.

Aida set to hit Blake stage tonight for first of five performancesxby Leah Patterson & Samara TuAfter months of rehearsals, Blakes theater company will premiere their fall musical Aida tonight in the auditorium at 7:30pm with general admission tickets selling at $10. Aida tells the tale of Aida, a Nubian princess forced into slavery, and her love interest with her Egyptian capturer, Radames. In this play, Aida must choose between love with Radames and her leadership over her enslaved people. Junior Charles Harper, who plays Mereb, says, Im most excited to see a big audience for opening night to set the tone for all of the other nights we will be performing. The role of Aida is double-cast, and is played by seniors Yasmin Wamala and Alex Reeves. Im just excited for everyone to see the months of hard work the cast and crew has put in come to life on stage, says Wamala. Radames, the other lead role, is played by senior Yann Ellinghaus and junior Ryan Reynolds. The cast and crew have spent their afternoons every day after school rehearsing for the play. However, as opening night approaches, their rehearsals have been extended to 9:30pm on weekdays. Rehearsals have [been] a rollercoaster so far, says Harper. Some days we hit really high points and some days we hit really low points. Because of the various expenses that come with putting on a musical, staff and students have worked hard to fund Aida. To raise money, they have held fundraisers at Panera Bread and Caf Rio. While they have only earned about $500 from these events, they have also received donations from the community. Students have also worked to spread the word about the musical. Publicizing for Aida has involved putting up posters around the community, setting up an event on Facebook, advertising in the newspaper and telling people through word of mouth. The cast and crew hope to have wide attendance for their performances, even though the musical is in the fall and not the spring this year. The musical releases in the fall because the auditorium is available and it is easier for the AP students who would have to balance the AP exams in May and the spring musical. Director Michel DAnna says the play will also be unchanged from the original, unlike their performance of The Tales of Arabian Nights. In the past, Blakes theater company has shown Junior Ryan Reynolds and senior Yasmin Wamala act tonight and will continue showing through next week. lively shows like Hairspray and The Tales of Arabian out a scene in the fall musical of Aida, which opens --photo by Dennis Chan Nights. However, this fall musical is far from that. With a much more serious theme, the cast and crew are experienc- challenge people, says senior ensemble member Raquel night, as well as Thursday, Friday and Saturday next week. ing a change from the usual. Usually Mr. DAnna likes to Castillo. Students can see the show tonight and tomorrow Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Varsity boys soccer loses controversial game in regional semifinal, p. D1

Negative costs of beauty outweigh looking good, p. C 4-5

Students review performance of iPhone 4S, p. C7

Stabbing rumor created by student spreads through Twitter and other media, p. A3

Out-of-control student drivers forget dangers on roadby Joal Chen x & Janine TairaTeen drivers are 50 percent more likely to crash in their first month of unsupervised driving than after the first year, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, which conducted the study for AAA, concluded that travel related to school events leads teen drivers to carry more passengers, sharply raising the risk of a serious or fatal crash. Students also believe loud music and other distraction impair inexperienced drivers. Says senior Lynne Virgil, I think the amount of people allowed in the car with [teens] at one time should be limited. Failure to slow down or yield is also a common mistake made by new drivers, causing 57 % of all crashes in their first month of provisional driving. Due to inexperience, students are also more likely to make simple mistakes, such as not signaling for a lane change or not checking a blind spot, which can have disastrous results. Virgil admits to almost crashing after not checking her blind spot one night. Students feel the need to continuously communicate with one another, even behind the wheel. Though it is illegal and strongly discouraged, young drivers still text and drive. AAA states using a cell phone while driving quadruples the risk of crashing. Teenagers always feel like they are invincible, says senior Courtney Cristaldi. [When] they text and drive or drive past curfew or speed they [think] they will be okay. Fellow students and parents worry that new drivers take advantage of the power associated with having a license. They think having a license allows them to drive recklessly, says senior Danielle Blocker. [They] dont realize that they dont know what theyre doing. Blocker has been in cars with teen drivers who drove recklessly and barely avoided crashes. Teenagers, nevertheless, are not the only risky drivers. Multiple students have seen adult drivers making dangerous decisions on the road. Ive seen adults have their blinkers on for miles which can be an indicator of drinking and driving, says junior Emily Tempchin. Some [adults and students] are reckless and think nothing bad can happen to them, adds Virgil. This causes crashes because you never know what they are going to do.


November 11, 2011

The Blake Beat

Teenagers always feel like they are invincible. When they text and drive or drive past curfew or speed, they think they will be okay.Courtney Cristaldi

Sporting pepper spray becomes safety trend among Blake femalesby Savannah Doane-Malotte x & Kristen FreseCarrying pepper spray, though a punishable offense inside school, has become a trend among teenage girls as a safety precaution against rape and other crimes. Many girls carry pepper spray regardless of the school rule, as they think it is a necessity to their well-being. We should still have the right to protect ourselves, says senior Samantha Tyler*. It doesnt matter whether its [in] the halls or the streets. The school rule explicitly states that students are not allowed to have any type of device to cause injury to another person inside school. Anyone caught with a weapon, including pepper spray, can be expelled or even reported to the police. Living in the DC Metropolitan area, many female students fear for their safety in everyday situations - even in attending school. Says senior Amanda Read*, Girls are targeted more and can be more easily taken advantage of, which is why we feel we need extra protection. Media coverage of crimes involving the kidnapping and rape of young women has increased awareness of their vulnerability. In the state of Maryland, pepper spray is categorized as a dangerous weapon and people may only possess it for very specific reasons. The law says that if a person feels that it is necessary to carry mace in order to be safe, it is not a crime. However, it is up to a judge to determine what a reasonable precaution is. Many parents provide their children, often young girls, with pepper spray so that the family feels secure. Says parent Amelia Castillo*, I think girls should carry pepper spray to protect themselves from being attacked, especially when they are alone. Ms. Castillo has her own daughter carry mace because she knows that a girls physical strength can often not match the power of an attacker. Some students worry that the possession of pepper spray could get out of hand if used in a non-emergency situation. They also question whether pepper spray is powerful enough to keep someone safe. Says senior Christian Jeong, It is a type of protection, but it isnt enough to [completely] protect anyone. Companies and foundations such as Safety Girl and Girls Fight Back, which educate young women about the importance of self-defense, have created feminine pepper spray products. These can be bought in several different colors and patterns, and are small and portable. Some can even clip

Weapon for emergencies provides security to parents, Bengals alike

to backpacks or key chains, making them accessible and convenient to use. The school rule states that pepper spray is a weapon and being caught with it can lead to suspension with a recommendation for expulsion. Administration stresses the trouble that a student could get in for carrying mace, but understands the desire to feel safe. Assistant school administrator Rudy Tyrell Jr. says, I think its a reflection of our societys moral decay and predilection for depravity. Its sad. He recommends carrying a whistle and a cell phone with the non-emergency police phone number. To feel safer, Mr. Tyrell also suggests that girls take self-defense classes and always travel in groups. It is important for girls to follow their instincts about what is safe, and to try to avoid instances where they may feel uncomfortable. *Names have been changed.

Fall Blood Drive saves lives, over 95 pints donatedx by Emily Eaglin & Nicole Sterling

The Blake Beat

November 11, 2011


Successful, noble cause draws in many BengalsLast weeks fad was dressing up as bloodsuckers for Halloween; however, Mondays red hot trend was donating blood through Inovas annual blood drive. Bengals were more than eager to donate blood at Mondays blood drive, donating a total of 95 pints and saving 285 lives. I feel like Im helping someone, says senior Brian Battaglia. Why not [give blood]? Its an easy way to help others out. The vast majority of student blood donors feel this accomplishment as well. There are countless reasons to donate blood to people who are in need of it. As a young generation its important to carry donations forward, adds Inova blood donation services worker Terrance Cochran. Even those who fear the procedures persevered through donations. I was really scared; people were holding my hand and they couldnt find my vein, says senior McKayla Adam. Im terrified of blood and needles, [but] I did it [and others] should too. With the help of many student and teacher donors, this years blood drive had a higher turnout than that of previous years. As long as students met the age and overall health requirements, students had the freedom of donating. For some, blood drives can be surprisingly relieving. I feel like donating blood can help relieve stress [and] build better self esteem, says Inova donor center trainer Val Thomas. As for the new shirt that comes with every donation, most donors agree that it is a great garment. With the motto Others Live Because I Give, donors could really relate to the shirts message which contributes to the shirts hip and

FAFSA process clarified by financial aid workshop for parents, studentsx by Samara TuSeniors and their parents attended the financial aid workshop November 1 to learn about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process and other student financial aid programs, including grants and scholarships. At the workshop, students learned how the government calculates their need and how they can potentially receive more money to cover college expenses even if they do not have critical financial need. Says senior Nnamdi Odoazu, [The workshop] was very helpful in the sense that we know everything were supposed to access and what was required. Melissa Gregory, Director of Financial Aid at Montgomery College, explained how the federal government uses a formula to determine how much aid they could give to a student. The formula subtracts the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the amount the family is reasonably expected to contribute towards college, from the Cost of Attendance (COA) which is the combined expenses at a college like tuition and room and board. While the average of the EFC is about $12,000, students who show that their EFC is low can earn more federal money. However, the monetary aid that the government gives out depends how much they have saved. Some families may not need financial aid to cover their students tuition, says college and career coordinator Kathy Moore. [However], middle class families can qualify for financial aid you wont know unless you apply! While it is not hard for a student who is in critical financial need to receive money from the federal government, many students who do not show critical need are struggling to find money to pay towards their college. Says senior Emmanuel Clarke, My mom [has a decent salary], but it never hurts to learn new ways to get money for college. For those students who believe they will not receive much financial aid, Mrs. Gregory suggests students to apply for the FAFSA anyway. Its important just to find out what youre qualified for, says Mrs. Gregory. You dont want to be overlooked for scholarships and need-based aid. She encourages students to research all scholarships early from both individual schools and private groups. Mrs. Gregory explained how students can participate in the federal work-study program to pay for college. The workstudy program is a campus-based employment program that does not have to be repaid, and is for undergraduate and graduate students. Students in this program are paid at least the federal minimum wage. Other advice students should take includes taking out loans or signing up for scholarship websites such as and www.

Senior Daniel Kim prepares to donate blood during the annual drive Monday. Students and faculty unique appearance. I like [the shirts], says senior Brittany Bradley. Theyre really colorful, plus I love the quote. It expresses exactly why I [gave] blood. To those students who are still deciding whether or

donated 95 pints of blood, surpassing the goal of 75 pints. --photo by Niki Byrd not to participate in the next blood drive, Inova blood drive worker Mady Lopez, who has done over 300 drives, has one thing to say: Its really not that bad; if it was, people wouldnt come back and keep doing it.

Its important just to find out what youre qualified for. You dont want to be overlooked for scholarships and needbased aid.Melissa Gregory

False stabbing rumor gets spread throughout school communityx by Joal Chen & Janine TairaAfter a shelter for a medical emergency was announced during third period October 24, senior Eliot Campbell* and several other students spread a false rumor that a student in the school was stabbed. Campbell and three other students made the story sound believable by saying the news was on Blake Private. By word of mouth and Twitter, a large part of the student body was talking. We were just being funny and seeing if it would spread, says Campbell. The rumor evoked a wide array of responses from students. Some students were cautious about believing hearsay. Says junior Allie Marcus, I think [principal Christopher] Berry would have told us if there was a stabbing, which made me a little reluctant about believing the rumor. I would never believe that [there was a stabbing] unless I saw it for myself, adds junior Rachel Woo. Alumni Bryan Dowdall and Joanna Purich were both shocked that someone would create this kind of rumor. Via Twitter Purich said, Its just funny that anyone can say someone got stabbed at Blake and itsbelievable. Both alumni heard the rumor through Twitter. Not all students found the rumor funny. In fact, many students thought it childish. Some people are just really ignorant and just want to stir up stuff thats not true, says junior Musa Malik. They want to make a reputation for themselves. After the shelter, Mr. Berry announced that the medical emergency was resolved and the student involved was okay. I was a little mystifiedI thought, why is this happening? particularly because I communicated with students and staff about [the shelter], says Mr. Berry. There are confidentiality laws that restrict the details the administration can provide in those instances, but they provide as much information to the school as possible. Mr. Berry received only one parent phone call three days after the shelter, and no students approached him with questions about a the stabbing rumor, so he was not worried. I dont believe the pervasiveness of the rumor was that wide, says Mr. Berry. Unfortunately, the rumor was too close to the truth for some residents of the community. In 2005 after a football game against Sherwood High School, a Rockville High School student was fatally stabbed in the parking lot. However, Mr. Berry does not see the connection. I dont think there is a comparison. One is a rumor and one is a reality for our school, says Mr. Berry. Campbell saw the rumor as a joke. Once I saw [the rumor] on Twitter I was dying [of laughter], says Campbell. After the rumor was on Twitter for several days, Campbell revealed that the rumor was not true. Adds junior Tara Vides, Thank God we arent going to be the school known for a stabbing. *Names have been changed.

Some people are just really ignorant and just want to stir up stuff thats not true.Musa Malik


November 11, 2011

The Blake Beat

From left: freshmen Joseph DCosta and Patryce Washington support

the freshman class. --photo by Allie Marcus

From left: (bottom row) freshmen Frankie Hedgepeth, Lauren Gil, Jenna Galeno and Chisom Exeani (top row)

Logan Dreher, Kathleen Edquilban, Maya Eaglin on Wacky Tacky Day. --photo by Tram Truong

From left: sophomores Cassidy Turner and Keiry Garcia roll out bed in their

comfy pajamas on Pajama Day. --photo by Allie Marcus

Spirit week provides sweet escape from everyday school routineby Larisha Winley x & Leisha WinleyBenny Bengal and the Chocolate Factory was this years Homecoming theme, which kicked off with the showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory October 13 and ended with the annual Homecoming dance October 22. This year featured only four spirit days, due to the Maryland State Teachers Association convention held October 21. Homecoming week started a few days early with a movie night, followed by the traditional spirit week. Those days included pajama day, throwback day, wacky tacky day and class colors day. Senior Homecoming king Ricky Mancia says, My favorite part of Spirit Week was class colors day [because] I felt really close to my fellow seniors and proud to wear blue. Adds senior Lizzie Reyes, Ever since I was a freshman, Ive been waiting to get the honor of being the color blue and wearing it around school. Many students were pleased that principal Christopher Berry reinstated class color day after past years hazing forced administration to cancel this day of spirit week. With the return of class colors day, students were shocked and disappointed when a fight broke out at Battle of the Classes. While many students feared the cancellation of the newly appointed day, Mr. Berry addressed students on Eubie TV stating that he would not punish the entire student body for the stupid acts of a few. My favorite part [of Homecoming Week] was class colors day and powder puff because I was able to be with my friends and show my school spirit, says junior Chante Goodger. Other Homecoming activities included the student-staff basketball game, hallway decorations and the powder puff game. The Pep Rally was held on Friday in the gym where the cheerleaders and poms teams performed and where both the Homecoming court and spirit week winners were announced. Seniors won Homecoming Week overall, as well as powder puff, while the junior class won hallway decorations. Says SGA co-president and senior Rhea Wyse, The SGA received a lot of negative feedback for moving the Pep Rally [to Friday], but surprisingly a lot of people showed up and some even tailgated. There was so much school spirit [at the Pep Rally], adds Homecoming queen and senior Devon Johnson. I was really proud to see how many people came out even though we didnt have school. The fact [that] we won the [football game against Blair High School] completed the night. The varsity football team won the game 7-0. Freshman Amber Reese enjoyed her first high school spirit week. [Homecoming] was great. I liked all the spirit days, says Reese, who participated in every spirit day. My favorite [day] was Thursday, when all the class hallways were decorated. I really liked the hallway decorations, adds sophomore Cassidy Tarner. [The hallways] were all really cool and it was fun getting candy.

Junior Maddy Benjoar shows her junior class spirit during the Battle

of the Classes activities. --photo by Allie Marcus

From left: seniors Cadijah Walcott and Melissa McNabb hand out candy while

showing off their hallway decorations. -- photo by Rebecca Kalinich

The Blake Beat

November 11, 2011


Senior Richard Muhammad displays senior pride on Class Colors Day

through his blue-themed outfit. --photo by Margi Warner

Seniors Sarah Hagan (left) and Alison Scher (center) go back in time on Decades Day

wih photography teacher Sara Hartenstine (right). --photo by Cecilia Girolami

Seniors from left: Matt Lipshultz, Raquel Castillo and Ashley Guevara wear their senior blue proud at the

Homecoming Game against Blair. --photo by Rebecca Schwartz

Seniors Erika Arancibia (left) and Ahmani Jones (right)

particpate in Pajama Day. --photo by Allie Marcus

Juniors from left: Emily Tempchin, Allison Dionne and Caroline Wannen

represent their junior class in all black. --photo by Margi Warner

Freshmen from left: Joan Wood, Kate Murphy, Zoey Hatzes and Alexa Steadmen

pulled out all the stops for their first Wacky Tacky Day. -- photo by Allie Marcus

Word from the Wyse: senior recognized for gene studiesBengal works with NIH to make strides in African American researchx by Sammi LevittSenior Rhea Wyse was recently featured on the National Institute of Healths website for the work she completed this summer with genome research. Wyse first became interested in genetics when she attended a genetics camp at Montgomery College in seventh grade. Wyse, a Sierra Leonean, became passionate about researching diseases that affect African Americans. Diabetes, hypertension and obesity are the three most prevalent diseases that affect the race and they are the diseases that Wyse studied the most. Wyses research focused on the genetic disparities between the genes of people living in Africa and African Americans who live in the US. Her and her fellow peers mission was to understand the environmental and genetic contribution to the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in the African American population. Wyse says, Participating in this lab made me feel like I was giving back to my country of Sierra Leone. Last March, Wyse was accepted to the NIHs summer program internship. She found an attractive opportunity in The Center for Research on Genetics and Global Health (CRGGH), which is a part of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), a branch of NIH, which focuses on the Human Genome Project. The center allowed Wyse to continue to pursue studies on her ancestral roots in West Africa. Wyse was able to work in the lab and use cutting edge technology to analyze the genes of obese African American individuals with Type 2 Diabetes and without Type 2 Diabetes. I had a great time because I was able to receive lab training and conduct research in my future field, says Wyse. She was exposed to many different aspects of the field like biostatistics, data recording, lab safety and genotyping. After finishing her research, she presented a scientific poster of her project to the National Human Genome Research Institute scientists in a lecture hall and then presented it at the Annual NIH Poster Day, which included scientists, medical students and others. She was later featured on the NHGRI website ( for her work. Wyse plans to work full-time in the clinical center this summer. She will have more exposure to patients and will get a feel for the job of a clinical geneticist- her future job. It was great to know that I was making a significant difference in the world of health and medicine, adds Wyse.


November 11, 2011

The Blake Beat

Senior Rhea Wyse is prominently displayed on National Institute of Healths (NIH) website for her

innovative research this summer on human genomes. -- screenshot by Ghulam-Nabi Sallman

Students flushed with embarrassment when seen by boy in restroomx by Vanessa Newman & Johnelle RevellLadies, you walk into the bathroom either to do your business, your hair or simply to get out of class, then you turn around andthere is a dude in there. According to a number of students, there have been multiple sightings of a male student consistently using the girls bathroom. Senior Kathryn Evans would go into the restroom to do her makeup every morning and find him in his usual spot. This is not the first time controversy has occurred in the bathrooms. In past years, transgender students have stirred controversy by using bathrooms of their intended sex. But, never before have male, straight or gay, students used female bathrooms for fun. For some, this occurrence may become a little less peculiar the more regularly it is witnessed. But the first time can almost leave some girls on the verge of wanting to shriek and run the other way. Says senior Amanda Raleigh*, When I went into the bathroom, and a guy [was] in there, I personally was a bit uncomfortable and thrown off. However, as startling as the experience of seeing someone of the opposite gender in your restroom is, it still doesnt seem to alarm students to the point where they believe it is an issue administration needs to deal with. I dont think its [that] much of an issue [as long as] he isnt peeping on girls, says junior Sandra Waithaka. Today, the idea of the both genders sharing a bathroom is not so farfetched. Waithaka says, I think gender neutral bathrooms are not a bad thing as long as there is a mutual respect for the use of the bathroom. I think [gender neutral bathrooms] are a good thing, adds Raleigh, especially for transgender [students] or homosexuals. The idea of creating a bathroom free for anyone to use would eliminate the confusion some have about which bathroom gay or transgender people should use. Although this young male student brought much

Male stirring up controversy by deciding to use girls bathroomtalk and shock factor as he walked through those female restroom doors, he has yet to leave a monumental impact on many students. Even though it can make people feel uncomfortable, says Raleigh, it doesnt really cause a problem. Still, there are always students who believe regardless of ones personal preference, there are male and female signs outside the bathroom for a reason. Just because hes gay doesnt give him the right to use the girls bathroom, says senior Donald Harris*. Theres a difference between being transgender and gay. Many students will continue to believe that their peers, including boys who choose to use the girls bathroom, should do whatever they have to do wherever they feel most comfortable doing it. If you are doing your business, you dont want to feel uncomfortable and strange in the bathroom, says Waithaka, Each person should have that privacy and comfort in the bathroom they use. *Names have been changed

Each person should have...privacy and comfort in the bathroom they use.Sandra Waithaka

The Blake Beat

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BLAKENovember 15 November 16 November 17The University of the Arts visit, 12:45pm Morehouse College visit at Gaithersburg High School, 6pm Aida performance, 7:30pm SGA General Assembly in Amphitheater, 11am PTSA meeting, 6:30pm Hampton University visit at Richard Montgomery, 6pm

CALENDARNovember 19Last Aida performance, 7:30pm

November 11 November 12Mock SAT, 7am Aida performance, 7:30pm

Aida premieres, 7:30pm Western New England Unversity visit, 11:45am

November 21Thanks for Giving SGA event, 3pm

November 14Coppin State University visit, 10am Informational meeting for the Alicia Betancourt Prize for Excellence in the Arts in D253, 11am

November 23Early release, 11:40am

November 24Holiday - Thanksgiving

November 18Aida peformance, 7:30pm

November 25Holiday - Thanksgiving


November 11, 2011

The Blake Beat

Senior proposes double the fun, encourages celebration of half-birthdays, p. B3 jjjjywryohwrthnsrsrnsbiuyulfyuttfcufyufysrjoinbusrjnlisurtnislrutnjsrtnrtnrsttrdrtdn

Seniors empty wallets paying for school fees, graduationExcessive costs for final year buries too many students in piles of billsx by Hayley FixlerCap and gown: $51. Yearbook: $75. Senior Pictures: $400. Fall sport clothing: $100. Homecoming dress: $50. Senior year of high school: priceless? Senior year is supposed to be a year of no regrets - our last hoorah before heading into the adult world. But instead of going crazy and having a carefree existence, we are being thrust into focusing on the numerous expenses that senior year brings. Being a senior comes with status, power, and excitement; however, it also brings great responsibility. We no longer can expect our parents to pick up the slack for us and pay for our clothing, outings with friends, or unnecessary things rather, we are expected to get a part time job and provide for ourselves. But what parents dont seem to understand is just how expensive everything is and how it all adds up. Since school has started, I personally have spent about $300 on my homecoming dress and ticket, food, fall/winter Pom clothing orders and so on. Although my parents have paid for the important things like my SAT, cap and gown, yearbook and senior pictures (which Im grateful for, dont get me wrong), the money Ive spent, and will spend in the future, is ridiculous. As a hostess at a restaurant that pays practically nothing, I usually dont like to pay for stupid, frivolous things, but I find myself spending more and more money on things that actually do matter. I cringe at the thought of the money Ill spend during prom season (limo, dress, dinner, etc) and then shortly after for beach week. At a time that is supposed to be for making memories, we are breaking the bank to ensure we dont miss out or regret anything. I should have listened to former seniors when they warned me to start saving up for senior year. So now, Im passing that advice onto underclassmen. Although you might be excited for your final year of high school, know that there is indeed a price of seniority.

Section B B Section

Blake Beat Opinion Blake Beat Opinion

November 11, November 11, 20112011

Teen pop stars are not measuring up to their counterparts of the 90sx by David HyltonMichael Jackson. Usher. Britney Spears. Christina Aguilera. Rihanna. All of these world renowned entertainers started out performing as teens. And even though they were performing to younger crowds and their vocals and dance moves were a little embarrassing, they were still able to chart music high up on Billboard charts and make a name for themselves that was actually taken seriously. What have Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus done? Absolutely nothing. I often cringe when I think about whats going to happen in a few years when Rihanna gets too old to be smellin the sex in the air and Usher doesnt have enough breath in him to be saying Oh my gosh! I mean think about it, our favorite teen performers have moved on with their lives and their talent and pizzazz have wound down. Christina Aguilera just had a flop of an debut album in 1999 sold 252,000 copies its first week and spawned three singles that topped the same chart that she now seems to struggle successfully impacting. What does this all mean? The music industry seems to be losing its youthful touch.

Our favorite teen performers have moved on...and their talent and pizzazz have wound down.album in 2010 with Bionic. Her highest single peak was at 23 on Billboard Hot 100 and her album sales were just at 110,000 in its first week. To put this in perspective: Aguileras Young entertainers are used for that purpose strictly: to entertain the youth. They arent to be taken seriously- the only thing that Justin got the youth to do was sing the word baby

over and over again; Selena Gomez has tween girls singing flops of heartthrob songs and our girl Miley is just a Lindsay Lohan, Jr. Im not saying these individuals have no talent whatsoever, I just think that the way the industry has portrayed and approached their careers has made it impossible for them to move forward and be seen in a serious light. America has always liked the idea of becoming obsessed over teens with true, raw talent. But in the past couple of years, this obsession has made the artists into works of laughter that will never be taken seriously. Because I mean, cmon, can you seriously think that the Beebz will be performing all the way until hes 30 something with his own little Bieber children? I dont think so.

Student cautions against most disappointing cell phones on marketxby Savannah Doane-MalotteEveryone has had that one cell phone that just never works. It breaks over and over and over again, causing you to get replacement after replacement, and prompts the purchase of an entirely new phone. Maybe its the reception, battery life, or the mortality of the cell phone itself that is unsatisfactory, but do not fear here is a list of 2011 phones you should never buy (in no specific order), as their mediocrity will only leave you with disappointment. 1. Blackberry Curve: Crackberries have been popular for the past two years, usually leaving their owners completely addicted to their numerous features and easy to use data system. But the recent Blackberry Curve has been a huge disappointment for reviewers. This phone is not only cheap looking, but is not long-lasting: many reported that their phone stopped working within a month. In addition, the keyboard is teeny tiny (similar to other Blackberry models), which can make typing really difficult. And for those who use their phones for all camera use, the Curve is definitely not for you, as the picture quality is reported to be awful. 2. LG enV Touch 2: Remember when everybody used to have some version of the enV? Though popular, it has never been well-rated, and the LG enV Touch 2 is no different. Reviewers state that the phone constantly shuts off and freezes, a huge warning sign that it is not a great cell phone. The battery life is also insufficient, causing users to constantly lug around their chargers just to be able to use their phone on a regular basis. The touch screen is also not well-designed; some reviewers even called it unusable. 3. HTC ThunderBolt: First of all, this phone is a brick: so heavy that if you put it in your pocket, itll weigh down your pants if youre not wearing a belt. In addition, many owners warn that you may have to carry around a spare battery, a car charger, a charger for work, and another spare charger due to the ThunderBolts very poor battery life. There is also no 3G/4G toggle which annoyed several reporters who previously held iPhones or other Androids with this feature. 4. Anything from AT&T: AT&T was recently awarded the worst cell phone provider in the nation by Consumer Reports, and many customers agree. Regardless of what phone you buy from this provider, the service will always be terrible. With tons of dropped calls, super slow internet, and horrible customer service, buying anything from AT&T is just a bad idea. Avoid phones from this company at all costs. The next time that youre buying a new phone and a salesassociate tries to get you to buy one of these horrible phones run as far as you can in the other direction. Theres nothing more frustrating than having to deal with a crappy phone or provider, especially for those of us who cannot survive without our daily dose of phone use.

Bad reception, poor battery life, sudden freezes frustrate consumers

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