The homework, the lectures, the rush of graduation: teachers are usually the guides, the instructors and the supporters as their students work their way through the year’s curriculum.

Some, however, have coursework of their own. From 7:20 until 2:10, these teachers may be instructing freshmen through seniors, but afterschool, on weekends or in the summer, they are taking graduate classes of their own, and pursuing advanced degrees.

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In a studio in downtown Herndon, an actor is delivering a monologue. Upstage, the rest of the ensemble sits in a circle, their backs to the audience. A low beat comes up behind her words. “There are so many people like me—sometimes I just have to wonder why?” she starts. “They all dance, why am I different? … Because the anger inside of me gets to be so possessive. I clear out the garage, lace up my hardshoes—tight. Turn on the music; let the noise flood through me. Drown out life. Drill and drill. Hammer and push. Push myself.” She continues, her words intertwining with the beat.

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In school, English teacher James Macindoe said, he and his friends were bullied.

“I don’t think we thought of it as bullying at the time,” he said. Macindoe cited petty incidents in elementary school and times that he saw physical violence between his best friend and upperclassmen in high school.

“My best friend played on the soccer team and every day after school one of the seniors on the team would beat the crap out of him,” he said.

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“If you ask any of my students if I’m weird, they might say yes.” Correcting himself, English teacher Jason Tamborini said, “They will say yes.”

Tamborini, a new teacher this school year, recently moved from Massachusetts, where he taught special education after earning a master’s degree from Emerson College.

“I just felt like I needed a change of venue,” he said. “It was time to do something different.”

Here, Tamborini is involved with theatre, and he helps “build sets [and works] with some of the students.”

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It is sprawled on the bathroom stalls in sharpie and on the tops of desks in pencil. It covers everything it touches — roads and bridges and garage doors. Sprayed by artistic teenagers or painted by gangs to claim territory, it can be found from downtown DC to rural Great Falls.

“It’s a misdemeanor to do graffiti,” school resource officer Tom Harrington explained. “You can be charged with the removal of it, and that can go into the thousands of dollars, depending upon … how big it is.”

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In an attempt to foster the skills of young writers and artists, the Alliance for Young Writers and Artists recognizes excellence each year in creations by high school students on a local, regional and national level in the annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Students in visual arts classes submitted work this year in several of the contest’s 28 categories. Their art was then entered in a selection process, which involves teacher and judge evaluation.

Art teacher Nicole Walter said art entered in the contest is judged on three artistic categories.

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There is still, though, a huge swath of dating abuse victims and potential victims who do not have the same national and international attention that some are, rightfully, receiving: men. Young men and minority men are at particular risk for dating abuse. In 2008, 13 percent of male Latino seventh-graders reported that their partners, according to a study by the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, had physically abused them.

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When Algernon Moncrieff implores his friend Jack Worthing, who is spinning the tale of his double-life, to “pray, make it improbable,” he hits upon the very message of The Importance of Being Earnest: that deception (and un-deception, as one character puts it) become more trouble than they are worth whenContinue Reading

“And a war will be won,” concluded CIA Director Leon Panetta’s email to the CIA last Monday, following the capture and deadly shooting of Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the international terrorist organization Al-Qaeda and a man considered by some to be the most dangerous extremist of the 21stContinue Reading

On Hot 99.5, the day opens with the babbling of four hosts on The Kane Show, a national, or syndicated, culture show that is featured on the popular DC radio station. Hot 99.5 (or WIHT-FM) is one of the top stations in the Washington DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia area, reaching over 100Continue Reading