By Isabel Correa
On April 3, the Wethersfield High School’s Pieces Literary and Art Club is hosting a poetry slam. An event where writers and artists can come together and share pieces they have been working on throughout the year, however, you do not have to be a member to attend this event.
The poetry slam is called the Word of Mouth Poetry and Art Slam, and is being held at the local Wethersfield Public Library where doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the slamming starts at 6:30 p.m.
The newly named Pieces Literary and Art Club, formerly known as Pieces Literary Magazine, is run by current Wethersfield High School students, as well as their in-school adviser the librarian Ms. George. This year's presidents McKayla Dreger (president of the writers) and Christine Gallares (president of the artists) are not only glowing in pride but are very jubilant for this even being able to take place especially the new freshman members who have never experience an event like this before.
For those who do not know, Pieces is a club where writers and artists create pieces that will be shared with their peers to inspire others to create more artwork or poetry. Once one writer and an artist agrees to combine their work, they will ask Ms. George to edit their work as well as place both pieces on the same page in their magazine. Before the school year ends, the club produces a yearly magazine showing the amazing skills of the drawers and writers of the club, as well as how teamwork is used to create the stunning and colorful combined magazine that is distributed amongst club members, teachers and other students at the high school.
When being asked about the club and poetry slam in general, the president of the poets McKayla Dreger joyfully stated, “It’s a great opportunity for students to build their confidence and share their creativity with the community”.
Pieces is not only an after-school club but an experience for the diverse student body that takes place at Wethersfield High School. For the members who all come from different backgrounds, they learn to grow confidence in their work, as well as teamwork and learning how to place their emotions and daily struggles into artwork that others can experience as well.
So, if you are free tonight feel free to attend this public event at the Wethersfield Public Library, 515 Silas Deane Hwy, starting at 6:30 p.m. Do not forget to bring any writing or works of art to the event of you feel brave enough to slam. However, if you cannot make it to the event no fear because the pieces that will be slammed will in their Pieces Magazine, which is coming out in May or early June be sure to keep an eye out for the magazine and grab one to support the Pieces Literary and Art Club.
Good Luck Slammers!!!
By James O'Conner
Journalism student James O’Connor sat down with Mr. Tom Brown, a science teacher at Wethersfield High School, and passionate bike rider to give us some insight on what it is about the activity that so many find interesting based on his experiences.
The most rewarding aspect of the sport, according to Mr. Brown, is the meditative effects that are foregrounded when one takes the opportunity to expose themselves to the elements. Unlike the confines of a car, being on a bike stimulates all of your senses. You attain a much better view of your surroundings, besides just seeing them, and you are able to hear the sounds of the trail or town you are riding through. You can feel the air as you cruise through it, and you may even notice some pleasant smells in the air, especially in the coming season of barbecues.
The more personal exposure to nature can help to clear your mind of stress, and serve as a kind of reset button for your thoughts, Mr. Brown explained. He says that after riding he feels better emotionally, and usually ends up in a good mood. He also gets a better night’s sleep after a good ride. “[That] sensation of flying, as long as you’re in control, is a good feeling.”
Mr. Brown also noted how cyclists are usually friendly people. He recalled his tour of the UK, during which he rode from the top of Scotland to the bottom of England. All throughout his journey he would be cheered on and encouraged by other bikers who realised the significance of what he was doing. Even back in Wethersfield, he always shares a smile with passing-by bikers because they are aware of the fun that their sport brings them.
Mr. Brown believes that biking is a good introductory sport, being low-risk for injury and easy to maintain. Those who might not be comfortable with running as a primary exercise may find biking can provide the same physical benefits while also being more comfortable to adjust to. He has previously worked with students to help acclimate them to a point where they could ride comfortably and confidently.
Of people who are skeptical about taking up bike riding, Mr. Brown said he understands that the sport can seem intimidating. Some may be scared or discouraged by the hazards associated with the activity, or have had poor experiences in the past and are no longer open to the idea. But he is adamant that the beneficial qualities of bike riding far outweigh the bad.
Even for people with disabilities, Mr. Brown is assurant that they can experience the thrill of taking out a bike. He mentioned that he is looking to make plans with an organization that specializes in bicycle modifications for the disabled. “Even with severe impediments, you could get a bike that could work,” he said of the idea. He stands by the adage that a positive attitude helps instill you with the energy necessary to take on any such task.
The WHS Bicycle club meets on Tuesdays and Fridays in room 401. With Spring on its way, the club will be riding soon, so don’t hesitate to take the opportunity.
Written by Micaela Pereyra from A Local Dreamer
This year’s musical at Wethersfield High School is titled “Fiddler on the Roof”. It’s based on the short stories of Sholem Aleichem with a strong focus on his character, Tevye the dairyman. Tevye is a Jewish father with five daughters that live amongst Russians in the early 1900s of Imperial Russia. The play revolves around his struggle as three of his daughters challenge his traditions.
An interview with Play Director/English Teacher Jeffrey Roets at Wethersfield High School gives insight into the cast’s preparations for their performances.
By: Lorien Touponse
“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger.” These words spoken by Nelson Mandela illuminate the reason why we debate. The Debate Team is a club at Wethersfield High School that teaches and develops public speaking, curiosity, organization, leadership, and so much more.
Mr. Pryor has been the WHS Debate coach for six years and absolutely loves it. He enjoys watching the students engage with one another. “I work with a fine group of young men and ladies. They want more than just what the classroom offers.”
Students commit their time and minds to this club. Usually they will spend one or two afternoons, during the week, discussing what they can continue to improve on and they ask questions. They also spend one full Saturday every month debating at another school. Mr. Pryor says, “They don’t get paid and they don’t get extra credit, but they do get the satisfaction of being part of an intellectual community to share ideas and to discuss major issues of the world today, in a civil environment.”
He also explains that this club does so much more for you than you might think. It is a good extra curricular activity to have on your college resumes, and it is also a great way to improve public speaking skills and ability to lead with an open mind. But beyond that, it instills values in students. “Never give in and never limit yourself. I think that is one thing that debate really helps young people realize and understand. The core values of debate are curiosity, courtesy, organization, and collegiality,” says Mr. Pryor.
According to Mr. Pryor, there are some common misconceptions that go along with debate, such as the idea that everyone in debate is a “geek”. But Mr. Pryor says that it couldn’t be further from the truth. “This year we seem to have more athletes on our team than anything.” Mr. Pryor encourages all to join because, “You never want to look back and say, ‘I wish I had …’.” Debate Team is a fantastic club filled with fantastic people and those who join get a lot out of it. Their next meeting is Tuesday, February 13, and their next debate is Saturday, March 3. If you are interested, come to the next meeting or email Mr. Pryor with any questions using email@example.com.
We decided to interview president Emma Murray to get more details about fashion club and what to expect this is what she said...
What excites you the most about the club “I’m excited for our school to express themselves through fashion, we are also going to do a few community service projects so i’m excited for that.”
What do you hope to get out of this club “ To meet new people who share the same passion as me, also to have people express, and be themselves.”
What is on the table for the first meeting “ We are going to create mood boards to get to know each other kind of like an ice breaker but with your personal style.”
What is it going to be like “Every week is going to be different, it's going to be very laid back, and chill.”
When is the first meeting and how often will you meet “Mrs. L and I still have to decide when the first meeting is, it is definitely going to be in October though, we will meet at least two times a week. I will get the word out when we decide a date.”
As a previous student at Wethersfield High School, it was clearly evident that Mrs. Griffin was passionate about her after school activities.
Being a female, sports weren’t exactly an option at WHS. Neither was wearing pants, which she describes as being “a huge change”, as skirts were mandatory. “Things changed quite a bit” she says.
Most females would spend their time after school in clubs. In Mrs. Griffins case, the Phoenix magazine was one of her outlets. Being a staff member of the Phoenix, she describes the process of how much effort went into the yearbook and the magazine.
Done on a real newspaper press, the magazine and yearbooks were printed in house and cut out by hand to look perfect. A full print shop was opened and the amount of work described to make the old yearbooks was immense.
The Yearbooks are now completed online through simple templates, that are described as “a piece of cake” compared to the old system. Students used to have to handwrite entries, and had most of their time consumed as a yearbook staff member.
Griffin graduated from the University of Hartford and got her degree in Instrumentation (automation and running factories).She transferred into United Technologies for her first line of work. Working in the plating lab and designing prototypes from huge sheets of acetate, down to simply designing onto computers was a massive change, and one that occurred right in front of her eyes.
Brought by United Technologies, Mrs. Griffin took an IT approach and landed herself a career at Wethersfield High School in 1998, working in the computer lab.
Although you can catch her behind a desk at the library most days, her love for computers is unmistakeable. Shown in the interview below, she has a passion for code and for making sure everything gets done on time.
Her other passions outside of the workplace include an active gardening life, tending to her birds, and sailing with her husband down in Old Saybrook.
There is no doubt that Mrs. Griffin is the right candidate to run the yearbook. Here is an interview with her about her career.
Q: What does working in the media center at Wethersfield High School entail?
G: Mostly just helping the kids with whatever they need. There’s paperwork and all those kinds of things but we’re mainly here to direct and help the students.
Q: Is there a lot of organization of books?
G: Mainly just following the Dewey decimal system and organizing fiction from non-fiction. It’s not a lot of work.
Q: What do you think about the newer students and how they learn? Are you seeing a decrease in book checkouts?
G: I’ve only been in the library for two years actually, but we take out a fair number of books. Mainly fiction. Now when there’s projects there’s actually a requirement for there to be a book component, not just look it up online. So we’ll have some come down and check out some non-fiction. It’s driven mostly by the assignments.
Q: What do you think about the decrease in book checkouts?
G: Well being a computer science person, I deal mostly with the computers. My focus is all about finding the resources online rather than a book. I’m more on the technology side.
Q: What’s your opinion on the school becoming more technologically driven ie: iPads and Chromebooks?
G: Totally my opinion. I’ve been with computers since the beginning and came along with them. I unfortunately see that students are understanding computers less and less. They expect things to be done at a touch of a button. It’s a mobile thing. They have difficulty formulating a good search. They’re letting Google take over everything. It’s about digging deeper. Pretty soon we won’t even have to type, it’ll be all speech.
Q: What made you decide to work at Wethersfield High School?
G: Quite honestly because my kids are in school haha. Only reason I’m here.
Q: Is there anything this job entails that you wouldn’t have expected?
G: Just that there’s so much repetition. That I have to tell some of the same people over and over again the same things. Talking to a whole group becomes difficult because a lot of students aren’t tuned into it. I just expected it to be different. Students are used to multitasking, a lot of retention isn’t there. That worries me.
Q: What does being in charge of the yearbook entail?
G: Deadlines. Deadlines. Always deadlines. The book is printed in sections because the company that prints them does so many different schools, and that means deadlines. It’s something that students don’t know about. Hard deadlines. With teachers extending deadlines for projects the yearbook isn’t quite like that. When the deadline is due the section goes to the printer that day. You can’t have another week. The hard deadlines are something that can be difficult to deal with.
Q: Any challenges with running the yearbook?
G: Besides deadlines, getting students to participate. Not just those on the yearbook committee, but the students. I have some students who haven’t even gotten their senior picture taken yet. Senior quotes are due too, and there’s a deadline for that. Sometimes getting the information out to the students can be difficult because no matter how many announcements, emails, teachers, or advisory classes tell them about them, there’s always some who don’t pay attention. It’s the kind of challenge that happens with every yearbook. It’s that it’s YOUR yearbook. I need your pictures, quotes, candids, family pictures or anything you want to put in. The problem is that students don’t do this and I never get submissions. My job is pretty much all the boring work but it’s important. It’s something that has to be done.
By Shawn Bertucio and Frank Notaro
The Wethersfield High School Design Team also known as the JETS team is ready to begin another year. Every year the Design team works to build a device to help people with disabilities.
Last year the team built the Functional Label Application Guide(FLAG) 2.0. The FLAG was a device designed to help Nasheema, who is an employee at CW Resources in New Britain and also has retinopathy of prematurity, place labels on an envelope. The FLAG and Nasheema made it to Washington D.C. last year and got 5th Place. This year the team hopes to make it back to D.C. and get to first place.
Sophomore, Matthew Stearns says, “I hope that this year will be an exciting year and we will design a new innovating device to help someone with a disability.”
The Wethersfield High School Design Team has earned multiple 1st place awards for their devices. The competition not only requires a prototype to be built that works, but also requires an extensive paper and a short video that explains how the prototype works.
The club meets on Thursdays at 7 p.m in room 24 with Mr. Sikora. If you have any questions feel free to ask Mr. Sikora.
Photography has always been something people seem to be drawn to, especially today. Most phones have cameras built in and the quality of those cameras have been skyrocketing. They’re almost professional grade, why not put it to use and join Exposures Photography Club?
Exposures is run by Mr.Bayek in the Media Center every other Thursday. It’s a lot of fun and very engaging! Students are shown different techniques and then go on to take their own photos independently.
Before each meeting, everyone submits their photos on the club’s tumblr page. During each meeting, everyone views and discusses photos taken by the students in the group. Each photo is open to comments, constructive criticism, and compliments.
By: Elena Lapa (18)
Directed by Jeffrey Roets, “Sister Act” will be featured as Wethersfield High School’s Spring Musical on March 10th and 11th at 7:30 p.m. both nights, and at 2:30 p.m. on March 11.
Commenting on the play's strengths and weaknesses so far, Roets said, “Our strengths are that we have some really good singers this year, but because we are a week away from production, at this point all I see is weaknesses because I feel like we are not where we should be. I’m like this every single year and every single year it always comes together which is why I panic.”
Directing a play definitely has its perks, but stage manager Jocelyn Wilcox says the most challenging thing about working backstage is “coordinating everything so that it flows. The point of the crew is to really make the audience feel like they’re in a story or movie, rather than a live production, and it can be challenging sometimes.”
Roets’ and Wilcox’s main goal is to create a connection that moves the audience, and to make sure everything flows perfectly for the final production.
If you would like to watch Sister Act come to the Wethersfield Auditorium on March 10th or 11th at 7:30 pm and March 11 at 2:30 pm.
By Julia McNally (18)
The Future Educators Club is a club at Wethersfield High School that trains the future teachers of tomorrow. This program is run by Gina Gallivan, a Wethersfield High School teacher, who is dedicated to helping students learn what it takes to be an educator. It meets once a month right after school in room 332.
Students who participate in the program have the option to shadow any teacher in the district they want for a day. The gives them the opportunity to learn what it’s like in class in an actual classroom setting and get real experience teaching students.
To get the real scoop, I interviewed Lexi Munger, Wethersfield High School Junior, who has been a member of the club for three years. Upon inquiry, Munger stated, “The Future Educators Club gave me the opportunity to be mentored by experienced educators in a hands on classroom setting, working with children.”
Through this interview I really saw how her life had been impacted in an extremely positive way because of her participation. Munger also said, “My entire life I’ve wanted to be a teacher and this club and now I can begin to pursue my dreams.”
Central Connecticut State University hosts a field trip where the students who participate in the club are able to attend for the day. They got to do a whole workshop and listen in on seminars at the university.