Month: October 2014

Halloween Tips: What to do for Halloween

Words and Photo: Ashley Berry

Tip #1: Throw a Costume Party

Don’t feel like trick or treating on the streets? Bring the excitement inside! Turn your house into a haunted mansion and invite all your friends to put on their favorite costumes and have some fun. Serve food, drinks, and plenty of candy. Make sure to include Halloween music, such as Thriller by Michael Jackson, on your playlist, and provide bowls full of popcorn for your favorite horror movie.

Tip #2: Have a Bonfire

Nothing is better than sitting outside with a blanket on your lap around a hot, smoky fire. Take the night to relax with your closest friends, talking and laughing until the wee hours of the morning. Sit under the stars with the moon shimmering in the sky, roast a marshmallow until it is perfectly golden. Add a piece of chocolate and two graham crackers and you have the perfect s’more for the perfect evening.

Tip #3: Spend a Night at Field Of Screams

Everyone loves a good haunted house, but the Field of Screams takes haunted to the next level. With the sound of murderous screams and the crackling of fire, Field of Screams ensures every visitor a terrifying, bloodcurdling, spine-tingling night. The four different attractions, Lusion Manor, Paintball Apocalypse, Hades Hayride, and the Trail or Terror, provide a horrific but fulfilling night. Field of Screams Maryland is located on Laytonsville Road in Olney, MD.

Tip #4: Carve Pumpkins

People first started carving pumpkins because they believed the scary faces they carved into them would ward off evil spirits. Now, we carve pumpkins as a tradition; it is something fun to do with friends or family. Grab a pumpkin from any local farm, market, or grocery store and dig in. Some people prefer the basic carved pumpkin, while others prefer to show off their creative side. Knives are even optional; some people simply choose to paint a design. Either way, this group activity is a lot of fun!

Tip #5: Watch Scary Movies

Sometimes it’s best to take a seat on a comfortable couch with some of your closest friends and spend a night in front of the big screen. Grab a bowl of popcorn and pick out your favorite scary movies. Turn the lights out, grab a blanket, and see how long it takes until you cover your face and let out a bloodcurdling scream. Don’t get too comfortable, you never know what might jump out at you.

Tip #6: Tell Ghost Stories

Chilling ghost stories have been told for over two thousand years. Take the opportunity to gather together your family and friends and tell the best story you’ve got. Turn off the lights, turn on the flashlight, and see who can handle the scariest story.

Tip #7: Contact the Dead

If you think you can handle it, grab a Ouija board and be prepared for a daunting response. Halloween is the just the right night to try and contact the spirits that haunt you.

Centennial Alumni Wins Baltimore Marathon

Words: Maryam Elhabashy

Not everyone can run a marathon let alone win one. However, Centennial alumni Alex Wang did exactly that on October 18, 2014. She completed the Baltimore Marathon with a time of 2:58.41, making her not only the sole female in the entire race to complete the 26.2 miles under 3 hours but also the winner of the female division.

“She had been hoping to go under three hours, and to do it in Baltimore is a tremendous accomplishment because it’s such a tough course,” said Wang’s former coach, Robert Slopek. “To run a [personal record] and win a marathon is something very few people can ever say they’ve done.”

Wang graduated from Centennial in 2009. She ran for the cross-country and track teams where she was mentored and coached by Alan Dodds and Robert Slopek.

“She ran varsity every year. She was a very strong runner and was able to push through a lot. She certainly contributed to the toughness of our team and was someone people could look up to,” said Slopek.

“We were very pleased when Alex moved into the Centennial district and joined our program. She certainly made our team better. Alex was an above average runner,” said Dodds.

Wang later ran for her college club at the University of Maryland and now runs for the Howard County Striders. Wang joined the Howard County Striders racing team in April of this year.

“She has posted some great performances this summer and … But I think the win at the marathon this past weekend is by far her most impressive accomplishment since joining the team,” said the racing team director of the Striders, Carlos Renjifo. “I expect many more outstanding results from her in the year to come.”

The coaches involved in training Wang were all very excited when they heard of her victory.

“I was very excited and very proud of her.  I was watching the marathon on television and wondering when they were going to give an update on the women’s race and as soon as they showed her picture and said it was Alex, I was very happy but not surprised,” said Slopek.

Dodds mentioned, “Mr. Slopek actually texted me while I was at cross country practice, to let me know that she was about to win the race.  I felt very proud that one of our own was that successful.  I couldn’t wait to tell my runners.”

Coach Phil Lang said, “She was prepared; she paced herself well and she proved to be most talented woman in the race.  We are all very proud of her.” Renjifo added, “Having her as part of the team has lifted the team up as a whole, making everyone push themselves a bit harder, and getting faster in the process.”

Boys’ Soccer Passes Through First Round of Playoffs

Words: Michael Moore

On Friday, October 24th, the Centennial soccer team took on Long Reach in a playoff showdown.

The Eagles got on the board first when senior Tommy Wang scored on a free kick about 10 minutes into the game.

After the Eagles took the lead, they did not look back. Seniors Kevin Wilson and Andrew Flick were defensive leaders, allowing Long Reach minimal opportunities to tie the game.

On the offensive end, senior Alex Johnson and junior Michael Merkey lead the offensive charge, holding the ball for longer periods of time as to limit the chances for Long Reach to score.

The Eagles held on for a 1-0 win and are going to advance to the next round. They will play at City College of Baltimore on Tuesday. Stay tuned to chswingspan.com to follow the Eagles throughout the playoffs.

Photos from National Writing Day and Eisenstein’s Physics Project

Photos: Martha Hutzell

Words: Giana Han

On October 20, Centennial students pulled into the parking lot to see writing filled parking spots that celebrated National Writing Day.  Mr. O’Brien’s Advanced Composition class arranged the event, and they were at each lunch running different writing activities. During lunch,  the Advanced Composition students had games, posters, and contests that the other students could participate in.  They asked students why they write, and the students were able to put their response on a huge poster.

Words: Jonah Drenning

In Mr. Eisenstein’s physics class, students pushed Eisenstein’s car across the small road leading to the teacher parking lot in order to apply concepts taught in the classroom to a real world setting. Students recorded measurements in order to calculate push forces exerted by the students and the friction coefficient inside of the car.

Photos from Crab Feast and Soccer Senior Night

Photos: Caroline Oppenheimer and Izzie Chausse

Words: Giana Han

On October 16, Centennial hosted both the Senior Crab Feast, the boys’ soccer senior night game against Hebron, and the volleyball senior night game against Atholton.

The boys’ soccer team lost 4-0 against Hebron, but they will be playing Long Reach at home for their first play off game on October 24 at 5:00.

Volleyball won against Atholton in five sets and will play the last regular season game on October 22 at Wilde Lake.

 

 

Day of the Girl

Words: Chy Murali

Day of the Girl, an international movement to end violence against girls and women and empower them for the future, kicked off last week at Centennial with students celebrating the week by supporting the fight to end violence against women. The week concluded Friday on October 11, The International Day of the Girl Child, with students wearing yellow and gathering in the Media Center after school, from 2:15 in the afternoon till six, to recognize Mrs. Vanderpool, one of the first and few female athletic directors in Howard County, and watch the CNN documentary, “Girl Rising.”

Mrs. Michelle Mckinnon, a special education teacher at Centennial, organized the weeklong event with the help of students and fellow teachers. With their assistance, posters were drawn and a table was set up in the front of the school to sell yellow ribbons and raise awareness for the cause. Her purpose was to introduce the movement to all the students at Centennial. “I wanted to get the momentum and educate them about global issues and where they can take it,” she stated.

Gabriel Deleon, a freshman at Centennial, felt that it definitely got out a huge message. He attended the the screening of the documentary and was proud to be there. “I liked the part when people got to share their differences and experiences where they are treated differently, but are still not broken by it,” said Deleon.

Centennial students were able to answer the question of what girls plus education meant to them, view the literature display in the front of the school authored by girls, and receive an invitation to the celebration in Silver Spring.

Mckinnon wishes for the event to spread a positive message among women, especially growing girls.

“Girls should know that they can excel,” said Mckinnon. “ Some girls do not know that they can excel in STEM or other subjects. Girls of all cultures should respect each other, but they should also respect themselves.”

After school on Friday, the week concluded with a final event that lasted from 2:15 to 6:00. Students and teachers gathered in the Media Center to listen and watch as Vanderpool was presented with an award. Vanderpool was very flattered and proclaimed, “It was awesome. I think it is a wonderful movement for women. Not just young women. All women.”

Afterwards they watched “Girl Rising”, a documentary that closely followed the tales of nine girls in different developing parts of the world attempting to pursue their dreams while overcoming numerous obstacles. Festivities included cake, goldfish, and popcorn for everyone.

The documentary was one that Mckinnon wanted to show girls. “I wanted the girls to open their eyes,” says Mckinnon, “The girls in the movie had obstacles. All were different. No matter what obstacles, it is you that can overcome and come out to the top and dream big. That’s what those girls did.”

Crab Feast: First Senior Event of Many to Come

Words: Amanda Ali

Excitement filled the air once seniors walked through the halls and were hit with the wonderful aroma of crabs Thursday night. They were able to hang out with their friends and eat crabs as they got to experience their first official senior event at Centennial, the senior Crab Feast.

Seniors prepared days before this event by gathering groups and making classic shirts to fit with the theme of Crab Feast. They showcased their talent with puffy paint through their colorful and creative t-shirts and made sure to snap some pictures with their groups before the night was over. Some of these brilliant shirts included phrases such as “I want Crabulous,” “Where my old bae at?”We’re bringing Crabby back,” “Can you feel it now Mr. Krabs?” and “Seaniors.”

Once they entered the cafeteria, they were greeted by set-up tables and music to jam to and delicious food to eat before the main dish, CRABS. Seniors were also given the opportunity to do karaoke during the event, and many of them did not pass it up. From throwing it back to “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys to rapping vigorously to “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj and pouring their singing skills out to “Diamonds” by Rihanna and choreographing a hilarious dance number, seniors clearly showed that they were having a great time.

Crab Feast was not only for seniors to enjoy crabs, but also for them to value the last year that they have together before they all go their separate ways after high school ends. Although this senior class still has the rest of the year, it feels as though it is going by way too fast. This event reminded them to cherish their last year of high school, and made them excited for what else is in store their senior year.