Monday, November 23, 2009

America's Next Top Blogger - Week One Winner - Nadean Talley!

Congratulations to freshman Nadean Talley, the week one winner of America's Next Top Blogger.  Our first topic was "What are you looking forward to MOST about homecoming?"

What I'm looking forward to most about homecoming is seeing what Thurgood has to give.  I have never been to a homecoming, period, so I hope it is something exciting.  So I'm looking forward to my first homecoming ever and having fun.

Stay tuned for week two of America's Next Top Blogger!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Mentor Program enters its blue period

Not really.  Not really a blue period, that is.  But we DID go to the bowling alley and after about 30 minutes of what seemed like normal bowling, this happened:

And it was awesome.  And it didn't stop anyone from knocking down as many as four or five pins over as few as two or three legitimate attempts with the heavy round ball.  But Obama-like bowling was not all that transpired this past Saturday.  We also split the program up into teams (named after prominent colleges that have accepted our graduates) and had a little healthy competition.  They had a word-scramble, a trivia contest, and a mascot-naming challenge in addition to the bowling.  The current standings are as follows:
First Place: Cornell University (273 points)
Second Place: Howard University (246)
Third Place: Morgan State University (245)
Fourth Place: University of North Carolina (231)
Note: standings are based on attendance, bowling performance, and trivia responses.  Points assigned are entirely arbitrary. 
In addition to this new (healthy!) competition, we have also found a genius photographer in our midst.  Each of the pictures featured on this post was taken by junior Dream Jackson.  She and her mentor, Marissa Zanno, have agreed to spend this year (their second in the program) as Official Photographers!  Many thanks to Dream and Marissa!

So now we have had two stellar mentor days and most of our pairs are well on their ways to great new heights.  On their own, participants are getting out into the community and as a large group we are taking the district by storm.  Next month we head to the movies to see a social action documentary and do some community service planning. 
Stay tuned...and keep those shoes on!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First dunk on the Supreme Court

Not to worry, Justice Sotomayor was not posterized by Blake Griffin. Instead, Programs' very own Billy Kaplan was caught throwing down in the new yet-to-be-named gym (I'd like to think Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall would have wanted our students playing ball on a court named The Supreme Court). This video, taken over a month ago and dug out of the archives, documents what I believe to be the first dunk on the Supreme Court.

Monday, November 16, 2009

America's Next Top Blogger

Calling all TMA Students: We Want blog. Beginning this week, all students will have the opportunity to have their thoughts displayed on our blog for the world to see. The contest is simple. Each week, the programs office will choose a topic. The topic will be revealed on the bulletin board outside the cafeteria. Over the course of the year, we will offer an eclectic range of topics, ranging from school life to political debate. Students will submit their 100-200 word post to the box outside the cafeteria or electronically to Every Friday, the programs office will choose one winner whose post will be designated the featured post on The Other 17 Hours. The contest is open to all student's who wish to have their opinions heard. Please come by the programs office if you have any questions about the contest. Otherwise, get those fingers moving and start blogging!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

Newspapers are flying off the presses in the 2009-2010 school year. With an astounding fifteen journalists, the TMA newspaper, Warrior Blitz, has a record number of contributors. The students have thoughtfully taken the newspaper in a more serious direction than in years past. Topics students are interested in writing about include TMA sports teams, law-day, law-firm tutoring, dress down days, homecoming activities, movie reviews, poetry, and of course, what's a newspaper without an advice column??! The first publication was distributed Monday November 9th and was a raging hit with the students at TMA! Way to go Ms. Scogin and the newspaper contributors! Keep up the good work… we are already looking forward to the next publication!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the other 29 days...

Blog readers and members of our Mentor Program are well-aware of the schedule: once a month all of the mentors and mentees get together for 168-person fun. In fact, our next Mentor Day is right around the corner! On November 14th we head to the bowling alley for some healthy competition and some less-than-healthy eating.

But the program does not begin and end on Mentor Days. Oh no. For most of our members, it is the monthly outings away from the program that make the relationship special. Check out some of these awesome outings:

Deja Edmundson (pictured above) and Allison Macbride (speaking)
"We took a trip to U street to do the walking tour. For the 11th grade DC history class Kathryn [Otrosina] had assigned a project on a DC neighborhood. Deja got U street. So, in the pouring rain, we did the whole walking tour. It took a few hours with a stop to Ben's Chili Bowl. She was really into it and we took LOTS

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For All the Marbles...

The '72 Dolphins. The '85 Bears. And the '09 Warriors? Could this year's squad be poised to join the debate as the best team to ever take the gridiron? We'll learn this week, as our Warriors continue their playoff run, hoping to prove they are a team of destiny.

The playoffs commenced yesterday and our Warriors wasted no time, making light work of Hospitality in a convincing 45-12 victory. Junior Kyle Holley led the team with three trips into the end zone, while frehsmen Mylek Saab and Chris Ridout did the lion's share of the defensive work, each contributing interceptions. The playoffs continue tonight as the Warriors take on I.D.E.A. at 4:00. Please wish our players luck.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Law Day #1 - Discrimination

This past week TMA had its first Law Day of the 2009-2010 school year. Approximately 145 ninth graders ventured off to either The Capitol or Hogan & Hartson, a DC Law Firm, to kick off the year. Law Day is a year-long program in which TMA ninth graders join DC lawyers to discuss various facets of the law. Each month, students explore a new topic and combine real-world hypotheticals, group activities, and brief lectures about the finer points of our legal system.

At Hogan & Hartson last Friday, the students participated in activities to gain a better understanding of discrimination and were challenged to think critically about both positive and negative examples in our society. The activity culminated with a student-hosted talk show aimed at getting students to discuss their own views about locker searches, zero-tolerance policies in school, and prioritized public housing.

While half of the ninth grade was at the law firm, the others visited the Capitol to see where our legislative process takes place. Many noted that the highlight was the "whisper spot" in the old house chamber. Due to the acoustics of this room, you can whisper into your hands and (amazingly) be heard all the way across the room!

Students are already excitedly awaiting the next Law Day on November 13th. Thanks a million to Hogan & Hartson and the DC Capitol Staff for all of their help on Law Day to make the experience such a positive one!