By Cody Boteler


Recently, President Barack Obama signed 23 executive orders in an effort to curb gun violence. Opponents to the orders believe that they will restrict the Second Amendment – or else start the country on a path that will. This is not the case, however. Here is a brief description of the 23 orders President Obama recently enacted:

Continue reading

The Silver Patriot Café

By Carm Saimbre

Making its debut at TJ this year, The Silver Patriot Café is held during all lunch shifts on the last Friday of every month for staff members, courtesy of the Learning for Life program. Taught by Mrs. Roberts and Mrs. O’Sullivan, Learning for Life is a program dedicated to students with severe disabilities.

So how exactly did The Silver Patriot Café come to be?

Continue reading

Snowhere to be Found

By Sean Dennis


(image from flickr)

“Farmers’ Almanacs predict cold winter for East,” read an article headline on from earlier this year. Unfortunately, that headline is hard to believe when it’s in the mid-sixties outside in January. After last year’s disappointing lack of snow,

we’re all ready to get blasted but it doesn’t seem like the snow is coming just yet from the looks of things now.

Continue reading

Student Profile: Airon Dakhulezt

By Claire Scott


$20,000 dollars. That’s enough cash to fund your whole college education (or half a year of college at a really expensive school), or a used Ferris wheel! With $20,000, you could buy about 400,000 pieces of gum! If you chew one piece of gum a day, that is enough gum for 1,095 years.  What could be more fantastic than almost half a million sticks of gum? How about winning the nationwide Poetry Out Loud contest that offers up twenty thousand dollars to its winner!

Poetry Out Loud, a contest for students in grades nine through twelve, invites students to recite and perform poetry; the best performance wins. Contestants are judged on a multitude of merits: accuracy, voice and articulation, physical presence and dramatic appropriateness.  While many teenagers love poetry, they do not think it is cool to share their interest, humor, or connection – out loud. That $20,000 cash prize though, like Harry Potter under his invisibility cloak, usually makes that concern disappear .

Airon Dakhulezt, a Junior at TJ, moved one step closer to this fabulous prize on January 4, 2013, when he beat out students from all of the other Frederick County schools in county competition. Continue reading


By Jasmine Pelaez


“It’s a miracle I even made it to school today,” Senior Will Holtzinger admitted, “I dread it every morning.”

Around this time of year, a majority of high school seniors develop senioritis: an illness that inevitably results in lack of motivation, tardiness and complete disregard for all school subjects. Senioritis inhibits the day-to-day moods of almost all seniors, who, at this point, could care less about their high school responsibilities.

Continue reading

Stress Busters!

By Bridget Leonard


(image c/o

Test time at TJ is like taking medicine when you are sick: nobody likes it and nobody wants it, but it’s necessary for progress. Not only that, but like medicine, the tests been known to cause side effects — the side effects from final exams can include headaches, drowsiness and even a little bit of nausea (to name a few).

Continue reading


By Robert Smith

For the Holidays, I went to visit my grandparents in Ireland. One of the first things I noticed was the gas prices, which were €1.50. Sounds great… Right? Well, actually, petrol prices over there are done by the liter. In other words, that amazing €1.50 per liter is equal to €6 per gallon. But wait― that’s not all! When converting euros to dollars the current exchange rate is 1 dollar = 0.76 euro. So six euro is roughly eight dollars. The craziest part? The Irish do not complain. Now, obviously, they are not happy with these prices; however, the mentality of Europeans is quite different than that of Americans.

I asked a few friends I met in Ireland about how they view Americans. They all concluded that the majority of Americans are, “Imperialistic, fat, stupid, and … full of it.” Many Europeans, instead of complaining and feeling sorry for themselves, face problems with a good attitude. They get the job done.

As a result, Europeans are mending their energy dilemma by building fuel efficient cars,  convenient public transportation systems, wind farms, and solar panels. They construct buildings with skylights and have designed showers that use less water.  They are simply trying to save energy and water wherever they can.

Europeans also continue to lead the way in safety. A vast majority of buildings in Europe are made of concrete, cinderblock, stone, brick, or marble. If one’s house was to ever catch fire, the only things that would burn are paint, carpets, furniture, doors, and roofs. In the U.S., however, houses are being built more and more from wood and cheap building materials, resulting in homes that are capable of burning down in minutes.

When I went to Toulouse, France and Brussels, Belgium, I noticed a safety precaution in their public transportation . Unlike the D.C. Metro, the metro systems there have either a railing or wall. So when the train comes into the station, the doors on both the train and walls open allowing passengers to board without any risk of injury.

Why can’t we Americans follow in their footsteps. Are we really too proud to be able to change our American lifestyle? Could we not walk instead of drive? Can we not turn off lights when we leave a room? Do we really need to keep the water running when brushing our teeth.

If Americans honestly took a moment to change a few little things in their daily lives,  we would create a positive habit that would trickle down to the media and then to politics, and then to businesses. We do see some of this today― but it takes every citizen making the change to save our planet and country. And that’s what it takes to become an independent, green nation.

(Please note, the views expressed in this article are solely those of the author.)