Tag: Madhu Lal

She’s the First Zumbathon

Words: Madhu Lal

Photos Provided by: Rachel Baeq

She’s the First held its first Zumbathon on Wednesday, May 18. The club, created in order to help raise money towards educating girls, held the fundraiser in the main gym at Centennial. Juniors Rachel Baeq and Suqi Wu planned the event and Anthony Edgehill was the instructor. Students paid one dollar for a ticket and shirts cost $7. The event included dancing and the opportunity to use a photo booth.

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Junior Interviews

Words: Madhu Lal

Photos: Izzie Chausse and Hunter Hall

Centennial hosted its annual junior interviews on March 22 and 23. Juniors created resumés and prepared for their interviews in their English classes. These interviews were a way for students to gain an understanding of what it takes to apply for a job in the real world. Students not only created resumés in their English classes, but also participated in activities which taught them what employers look for in an employee.

Each student was assigned a volunteer who asked them questions similar to those addressed in a real interview. After the interview students received an evaluation of their interview skills.

Junior Daniela Thomas said, “I think this [junior interview] was very helpful because students are starting to apply for internships, jobs and are doing interviews for college. It helps people understand what is okay and what isn’t okay for an interview.”

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Words: Madhue Lal

Photos: Michael Merkey

Centennial hosted WorldFest on, March 22 from 6-9pm. The event hosted an array of different cultures and ethnic cuisine.

The cafeteria was lined with foods ranging from German apple desserts to Indian samosas. Student produced projects, each displaying a different culture, were set up in the hallway outside the cafeteria. Guests were given the opportunity to learn from students about the different customs, traditions, and foods that are specific to different regions.

Bushra Lohrasbi, a senior with a strong Persian background, explained how in school she tends to be more reserved about her cultural heritage.

Lohrasbi feels that, “…this a good opportunity for me to share the culture that has been so deeply ingrained in my family’s tradition.”

Workshops and classes such as Chinese yo-yo and Greek masks were held in various classrooms. These workshops gave guests the chance to interact and experience different ethnic arts and culture.

Shanna Grimes, a language teacher, stated that, “It is important to learn about cultures other than our own.”

The night ended with a talent and fashion show where students sang songs, danced, and showcased different traditional clothing. The night was filled good food and plenty of cultural information.

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Cultural Masks

Words: Jacob Mauer

Photos: Madhu Lal

Guest Photographer: Danielle Kalivretenos

Centennial students in Mr. Hanssen’s Art II and Art II GT classes have begun making masks. The masks, when finished, will be an expression of their individual cultural identities both on the outside and inside. The masks are made by putting paper mache over the students’ faces to recreate their faces. Once the masks have dried, the students will decorate the inside of the mask and outside separately.

Mr. Hanssen said, “[the mask] is what you see on the outside and what you are on the inside.” Hanssen also said the masks are expected to be finished in three weeks, if not, by the end of the quarter.

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Centennial Black Out

Words: Madhu Lal

Photo: Izzie Chausse

Students flooded Centennial’s hallways with a sea of black today, February 19, as hundreds of students participated in a school-supported blackout, partially in response to the controversial video released a few weeks ago by several Mt. Hebron students. Many students at Mount Hebron walked out of school on February 2 as a response to the video. The walkout received some media attention and even inspired a community meeting.

Many Centennial students also wanted to have a schoolwide walk out, and over 300 students signed a petition urging Centennial to host the protest. However, the event could not be approved. Instead, the administration worked with S.O.A.R. (Students Organized Against Racism), to organize an event that would give students a way to express their support in a manner in which school policy would allow. The alternate activity to the walkout was a school-supported blackout on Friday, February 19.

Students and administrators made announcements during the week leading up to the blackout, providing support to students who wanted to participate and wear black to express their opinions regarding racism. According to S.O.A.R member Lexie Clay, the color black was chosen because all colors put together create the color black. Clay explained that the color represents the coexistence between different cultural identities.

The event served as a way to reignite the dialogue about racism and acknowledge the fact that racism isn’t restricted to specific areas, but can occur anywhere, including within our community and school.

S.O.A.R plans to take this idea even further by arranging a summit sometime in March or April. The club hopes students, parents, Dr. Foose, and state and county board members will come together to discuss the topic of racism. According to Clay, S.O.A.R. wishes for the summit to be a place where students are able to share their stories and viewpoints about racism and “end the silence.”

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Dealing With Depression- Madhu Lal

Words: Madhu Lal

I’ve dealt with depression for almost three years now. My illness ran my life most of my sophomore year. I stopped caring about my friends, my family and myself. At the time, I felt worthless, like the life I was given was supposed to be gifted to someone better than me, someone who wanted it.

After about a year of hiding my illness, I became so fed up with silently suffering that I ended up telling my family that something wasn’t right. I started to go to therapy and was put on medication. Slowly I started to get better, but I knew that this wasn’t the end of my recovery process.

If there’s one thing I learned from dealing with depression, it’s that you can’t and won’t get better unless you actively try to. No amount of medication or therapy will help unless you yourself are proactive in the recovery process. The ultimate step towards recovery starts with lacing up your boots and telling yourself, “I am not my depression and I will do all it takes to get out of this position.”

Although I was put on medication which stabilized my mood, I knew I couldn’t rely on it forever. In order to deal with the feelings of depression without the aid of medication, I started finding ways to change my lifestyle and combat these feelings independently. I started the change by trying to shift my mindset. By replacing my cynical perspective on situations with positivity, I was able to handle obstacles with a clear mind, instead of becoming discouraged or overwhelmed.

Whenever a situation became difficult or aggravating I would stop what I was doing and try to find any positive aspect of the situation. It was hard at first, after years of cynicism, actively doing the opposite seemed impossible. However, after actively convincing myself that there is always a positive aspect to a situation, I was able to open myself up to new experiences that I realized I actually wanted to be a part of.

I found that helping and taking interest in others also aided in my recovery process. By shifting my attention to helping people, I no longer was focused on my feelings of depression. Offering a hand out ear to someone taught me that my actions can have a powerful effect on those around me.  By just volunteering for a local organization or taking an interest in someone else’s day, can not only help the person, but also increases your own self confidence and self esteem.

Another big component to my recovery was identifying and prioritizing my goals.

What stunted my recovery most was the masses of work and the detrimental effects that depression had on my grades and social life. By having a notebook designated to planning assignments, homework and social activities, I was able to alleviate some of that extra weight and pressure.

I found that making time for yourself aids in calming the chaotic thoughts that sometimes inundate the mind. What I mean by allotting time for yourself, is not watching Netflix in bed, that just distracts you from the real problem. The time you allot for yourself, whether it be ten minutes or an hour, should be spent doing relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, writing, or drawing (even if you’re bad at it). Doing these activities helped me escape from the sometimes mundane or monotonous tasks of everyday life and gave my mind a time to calm down and recharge.

Although depression stunted my social and academic life, I don’t think I would be the person I am today without my illness. Instead of being disappointed in the things depression has taken away from me, I am thankful that this illness showed me the strength every individual.

In my opinion, depression is not something that can be cured forever.  However, the difference between suffering your whole life and dealing with depression, are the tools you gain along the way. Knowing that you’ve dealt with these feelings before can help stop your illness from spiraling out of control in the future.

People coming from all background can suffer from depression and there has been an upward trend in the number of diagnosed depressed individuals. By identifying your illness or someone else’s illness, you have the ability to take action. Seeking help and getting the support you need to re-stabilize yourself is important, but is only have the journey.

To find out information about the symptoms and possible treatments for depression please visit, nimh.nih.gov or mayoclinic.org

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Poetry Out Loud

Words: Madhu Lal

Yesterday Thursday, November 18 the auditorium was filled with students waiting for their peers to recite poetry during the annual Poetry Out Loud competition.

Poetry Out Loud is a national competition aimed to encourage youth to explore the subject of poetry through selecting and memorizing a poem of their choosing. The organization also hopes to help individuals who participate in Poetry Out Loud, with strengthening their public speaking skills through recitation.   

Students first participated in class competitions, the winners moved on to the school competition. The contestants included Tara Laneheart, Chetana Jadhav, Tori Montanez, Anna Moorhead, Fayyaz Zaidi, Miguel Fernandez, Mackenzie Brandon and Megan Hromek.

After a series of impressive performances, the winners were named, the Poetry Out Loud winner was Miguel Fernandez, first runner up was Megan Hromeck and second runner up was Fayyaz Zaidi. These students will be moving on to the next stage of the competition, the regional competition which will be held at the College of Southern Maryland.

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