Centennial Alumnus Takes Trip to North Korea

Words: Miranda Mason

In September, Centennial graduate Owen Lee-Park traveled to Pyongyang, North Korea to explore the country’s medical system with a group from the Korean American Medical Association.

Lee-Park was able to observe and assist in surgeries, as well as interview the chair of Neurosurgery at Pyongyang Medical College.

Lee-Park, currently studying human biology, health and society at Cornell, moved to the United States from South Korea in 2005, allowing him to compare what he experienced not only with the American medical system but also with the medical system of South Korea.

“American doctors go through many more years of training compared to those in numerous other countries, North Korea being one of them,” said Lee-Park. “I think in South Korea students can study medicine in undergraduate and do more training in residency.”

Lee-Park’s experience in Pyongyang has also inspired him to continue to explore worldwide issues dealing with medicine.

“This trip has made me want to travel to and study about regions of the world where there have been some serious political and medical issues. I think that most of the issues in this world arise because people have a difficult time understanding each other,” said Lee-Park.

“Only communication and respectful interactions can lead to fair understanding of other entities, and only understanding can lead to genuine peace. This trip has made me want to be that bridge that leads to more interactions and communication.”

American Education Week: Learn More About Your Teachers

Words: Miranda Mason and Amanda Ali

In honor of American Education Week, we asked some Centennial teachers about why they became teachers and what they love most about their job!

Ms. Shipp
1. How many years have you been teaching?
-Seven years! I can’t believe it.
2. What college did you go to?
-University of Maryland, College Park
3. Have you won any awards for teaching?
-Class of 2012’s Teacher of the Year
4. What made you want to become a teacher?
-I’ve always loved working with kids and I love English. I was also inspired by some really great teachers who encouraged me. I wanted to honor them by following in their footsteps.
5. What do you love about teaching?
-I love that every day is unpredictable. I love that no matter how much I think I know about a topic, my students always teach me that there’s more to learn about life, about literature, and about myself.

Mr. Desmond
1. How many years have you been teaching?
-33 years, 28 years at Centennial
2. What college did you go to?
-I spent five semesters at Georgetown University and three semesters abroad.
3. What made you want to become a teacher?
-At the time when I first started, I wanted to combine my interest in language with my interest and teaching kids. I wanted to motivate others with languages, and it’s amazing knowing that I could touch lives. This has stuck with me through all of my years of teaching.
4. What do you love about teaching?
-I love the community. The parents are awesome with support towards the teachers, and the students are very respectful. It was a very comfortable fit from the start, and the community still continues to anchor in values of respect and responsibility.

Mrs. Norris
1. How many years have you been teaching?
-This is my 33rd year teaching
2. What college did you go to?
-I went to Longwood College in Virginia for my undergraduate degree, and then I went to Towson University in Maryland for my graduate degree.
3. What made you want to become a teacher?
-All the way up to the end of high school I was very active in the Girl Scouting Program. I had achieved the highest rank in the program at the time, and then I became a Girl Scout counselor. At the camp, I taught many different programs, which made me discover that I was great at it and wanted to do it as a career.
4. What do you love about teaching?
-The kids are first. The joy in seeing students learn and be able to use that learning in their life independently is so satisfying. Also, the support of the other teachers are amazing; we can’t do it alone.

Mr. Reisman
1. How many years have you been teaching?
-This is my 24th year teaching
2. What college did you go to?
-I went to Boston University for my Undergraduate degree in Special Education, and Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. for my Graduate degree.
3. What made you want to become a teacher?
-I have always been interested in working with kids. I once read a book called Dibs in Search of Self, which is about a young boy who is diagnosed with a disability. Everyone would make fun of him, but it turns out that he was a genius. This taught me that you never know what’s going through someone, and what you say changes lives. Also, being a good male role model is very important.
4. What do you love about teaching?
-First off, working with kids. I love helping them and getting feedback from them at the end of the year. It’s very satisfying seeing students do the right thing. Also, I love the co-workers; it is a great environment, and I could not do it without them.

It’s Academic Team’s Continued Success

Words: Amanda Ali

Photo Provided By: Claire Hafets

Photo Provided By: Claire Hafets

On Saturday, Nov. 9, Centennial’s It’s Academic team won their first match on the It’s Academic TV Show at WJZ TV studios. Centennial defeated Seton Keough and Easton by a score of 625 to 320 and 280, respectively. Their score was more than the sum of the scores of the other two teams.

The team was represented by junior, and captain, Ryan Heslin, junior Anant Mishra, and senior Qian Mei. The rest of the team was at the competition showing their support, as well as Centennial’s Drill Team who cheered for the team, and our very own Principal Hafets. “It was the most amazing and emotional experience,” says Hafets.

The match on the It’s Academic TV Show was very overwhelming for everyone participating. Centennial’s team successfully battled each question with barely any time to spare, and conquered the two other teams with determination.

“For both tournaments and for the TV show, we make our teams balanced with experts in different areas to cover all the bases,” says team advisor Dr. Seifter. “Competition and repetition are important components in the training process.”

“From the beginning, Ryan, Qian, and I were pretty confident that we were going to win,” said Mishra. “We would not have this confidence if it were not for our wonderful teachers, dedicated and esteemed coaches, Dr. and Mrs. Seifter, and our numerous club members who push us to work hard and help us prepare.”

The club of about 50 members meets weekly to practice for the TV taping and for weekend tournaments. They aim to practice for speed and knowledge, and they must also study extensively on their own.

Photo Provided By: Claire Hafets

Photo Provided By: Claire Hafets

This year and the previous year have been their most successful years in Centennial’s history. Last year, they accomplished winning the Baltimore Metro TV Championship and were awarded $7,500 towards scholarship money. Their JV team also came in second in the nation in the National History Bowl. This year, the team came in first place in the Richard Montgomery novice tournament against Thomas Jefferson and Montgomery Blair. This team consisted of sophomore captain Gary Tse, sophomores Aniruddha Rao and Pranav Ganapathy, and freshman Jason Li. The team consisting of the TV players listed above and Gary Tse also came in first place in the Blake tournament, beating 35 other teams.

The next tournament that they will be competing in is at Woodson High School in Alexandria, Virginia as well as at the History Bowl at St. Anselm/s High School in Washington DC over the next two weekends. On Sunday, Dec. 8, their tournament against over 60 teams at Centennial will take place. There are many tournaments after the new year that the team will also be participating in. The next TV taping will be on Mar. 1 at 2 pm.

If the team keeps playing like they did this past weekend, there is no doubt that they will achieve every single competition. Don’t forget to catch the airing of the competition on WJZ Channel 13 on Jan. 11 at 10:00 pm!

Football Team Wraps Up a Great Season

Words: Giana Han

On Friday, Nov. 8, Centennial’s seniors finished their high school career with a win over Hammond High School.

Centennial kicked it off to start the game, and Hammond drove down the field, running the ball relentlessly. Hammond scored with 6:11 left in the first quarter, and the Eagle’s found themselves down 7-0.

Quinn Western had a 20-yard kick return, but the Eagles were unable to score and the ball was returned to the Golden Bears.  This time the Eagles held them, and a sack from Logan Tignall and Austin Kraisser led to a Hammond turnover.

A 65-yard touchdown from Walter Fletcher brought the Eagles within one point, 7-6.  They missed the extra point, but a flag on the play gave the Eagles a second chance. The Eagles then decided to go for the two-point conversion, and ended the quarter leading the Bears, 8-7.

Hammond was the first to score in the second quarter, but a missed extra point left the score at 13-8.

Before the end of the half, the Eagles scored two more times, going into the locker room up 24-13.

Opening up the second half, the Eagles increased their lead to 31-19 with another touchdown.  The Golden Bears responded with a touchdown of their own, and attempted to close the gap in the score with a two point conversion; they were unable to convert and found themselves down 31-19.

At the end of the third quarter, Chase Conley caught a pass from Tyler Morris for a touchdown, and the quarter ended with a score of 38-19.

In the final quarter, Conley scored another touchdown after receiving a pass from Morris. Western had a great interception that unfortunately did not lead to a touchdown. However, four minutes later, Western ran in the final touchdown for the year, and Sam Reichenthal kicked the final extra point of the year, making the final score 53-19.

“We put a great game together. It’s the last game. We put it all out on the line,” said senior Joey Shapiro. “It means everything [after] coming in as freshmen, working hard for four years, to be able to come out on top.”

Through the wins and losses, grueling practices, and pasta parties, the team has become a family. “I’m going to miss the team bonding,” said Fletcher. “Seeing them at school and then coming to practice – they’re my family.”

“We’re brothers,” Shapiro added.  “I’m going to miss them all so much.”

As Shapiro said, the team put everything on the line for their last game, and, within the final quarter of the game and of his season, Fletcher was able to accomplish a goal he’d had since his freshman year.

With 1753 rushing yards, Fletcher broke Centennial’s single season rushing record. “It was my last time on the field. I gave it my all,” said Fletcher. “It feels great. I worked hard since freshmen year to get where I am now – my hard work paid off.”

That night, the 2013 Centennial football team left behind a legacy. They finished the season with a 7-3 record, a winning season, and something that had not been accomplished by the Eagles in most of the student’s memories.

“The best part [of the season] was definitely beating Hebron,” said Fletcher, reflecting back on the season; Shapiro voiced the identical opinion.

The 29 seniors ended their high school careers on a high note, and they will be missed. “Being here for four years, it’s all I know. It’s going to be different not playing for Centennial,” said Fletcher.

Centennial’s seniors are Ben Bloom, Tyler Boettcher, Melvin Boulware, Wesley Brown, Luc Chausse, Joseph Choi, Chase Conley, Kade Conner, Steve Doney, Sean Donohue, Walter Fletcher, Jose Gomez, Adam Haj Hammad, Justin Haver, Josh Kim, John Kolp, Carlos Lucero, Tom Lund, Jabari Mansell, Connor Marcinek, Connor McAnallen, Tyler Morris, Michael Price, Damon Reaves, Sam Reichenthal, Anthony Saunders, Joey Shapiro, Logan Tignall, and Quinn Western.


Social Media’s Effect on Personal Relationships

Words: Maryam Elhabashy

If you were to go out on any normal day and ask someone at random how many friends they have, they would most likely respond with a question: “What do you mean?  Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Tumblr?” It seems that in the modern world, most people don’t have an absolute number of “friends.” People have forgotten what the term “friend” even means. So what is a friend? A friend is a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.  Now you can look back at all of your social media followers – how many of them do you actually know? Furthermore, how many of them do you actually like?

According to Edison Research, the average number of friends a person has on Facebook is 303. Anthropologist Robin Dunbar, creator of Dunbar’s number suggested that the average person is capable of maintaining 150 stable relationships. Dunbar’s number is a theoretical limit to the number of people with whom any individual is able to sustain a stable or meaningful social relationship, a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size. This indicates that at least half of the 303 followers you might have on Facebook aren’t even your friends. If they aren’t your friends who are they? Why do they have the right to see all of the things you are posting about your daily life if they’ve never had anything to do with it?  The best answer to this is egomania.

The followers a person accumulates creates an artificial, temporary confidence. The more “friends,” the more “confidence.” This confidence is built on bricks of social media that don’t deserve the term “confidence.” However, everyone can relate to that exhilarating feeling when your phone is blowing up with extol. However, the world isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. I know people who receive multiple likes and comments via Facebook.  But a single comment makes them so upset I receive a phone call that transforms into talk therapy – “confidence” should not deflate completely that quickly. Apparently, people don’t understand that there is will always be someone that doesn’t like you. When someone can only judge you on social media posts, they have free reign over judgment. Almost every time I speak about an actual friend, at least one person in the group will scour at the mention of their name. “Well then! Do you even know them?” The trademark reply is often, “No, but I follow them on Facebook, and they literally post everything they do! It’s annoying!” I rarely convince them that my friend is actually nice; that who they are on Facebook isn’t necessarily who they are in real life.

Otherwise, social media is a waste of time more than it is anything else. In July of 2012, Americans spent 230,060 years on social media in that month alone. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average time spent on Facebook is nearly seven hours. It has come so far that studies prove that people’s bodies react to tweets and Facebook posts the same way they react to actual interaction. What does this mean about society? What might happen in the future? Like in most other situations, we won’t realize the problem until we personally feel the effects; so, the future really is in our hands.

Traffic Light Malfunction Causes Delays

Words: Miranda Mason

On Monday, Nov. 4, and Wednesday, Nov. 6, all first period teachers were told to hold attendance because a large number of students were arriving late for the 7:25 a.m. bell due to a traffic light malfunctioning.

The light at Old Annapolis Road and Centennial Lane was not turning green for drivers attempting to turn left from Old Annapolis Road onto Centennial Lane. Centennial’s School Resource Officer, Mark Perry, went up to observe the problem after it was called in by a Centennial faculty member. Perry had to briefly control traffic before county officials arrived to fix the problem.

“The light would miss a couple of cycles,” said Perry. “At one point I directed traffic.”

According to Kris Jagaratu, Chief of Traffic Engineering in Howard County, the light is controlled by a camera, which informs the system whether or not anyone is waiting to turn.  A spider web was blocking the lens of the camera, which prevented the system from recognizing the cars. The light should function normally from now on.