By: Alexis Almada and Andre Jorge
“Come to paint night and flex your painting muscles” -John Martin
Wethersfield High School’s National Art Honor Society (NAHS) will be hosting its fourth paint night, “Leap Into Spring” on Thursday, February 27th. Paint night will take place in the art rooms located near the pool entrance. No painting experience is required!
The NAHS has been selling tickets ($7 ea.) since February 10th, and will continue selling at the door. The event starts promptly at 6pm and ends around 8pm. To start off the night, guests will have the opportunity to sit in one of the two art rooms and learn to paint a spring themed canvas, instructed by two of the NAHS members.
Instructing this year’s spring paint night will be WHS seniors Alexis Almada (room 22) and Kiara Lazu (room 20). Both instructors will be teaching how to paint the same image. This will be their second time instructing paint night!
The schedule for the night is as follows, painting is taught from 6pm-7pm and then a quick intermission for pizza and other refreshments will be served from 7pm-7:30pm. After that, everyone will return to painting and deserts will be handed out.
Although Alexis and Kiara will be teaching everyone how to make a spring painting, guests are not required to follow along. If you would like, you can paint whatever you want. All supplies will be provided. In each room, painting jockeys will be replacing paint waters, paper towels, and paint as needed.
Everyone is welcome to join us for paint night! It’s a really fun event and everyone is encouraged to come. Please come out and help support the NAHS.
by: Serf Piedrasanta
Wethersfield High School’s very own drama club has been rehearsing for their spring production of The Addams Family. Students in the musical started their rehearsals in January, and they continue weekly until March, where they perform for three days.
What is The Addams Family? It is a musical following the iconic clan of misfits as they have to handle change.
The plot surrounds the daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams, Wednesday Addams, as she handles her new relationship with a “normal” person.
What is a typical week like for these students? We asked two students who have lead roles in the musical, Zane Tinker and Hailey Baranowski, about what they go through each week.
Hailey Baranowski, class of 2020, was asked about what her role of Wednesday Addams and her contributions to the overall story of the show.
“Wednesday is this 17 year old girl and she has this fiance her parents never met and a lot of the story is based around the conflict of Wednesday keeping her marriage a secret from her mother.”
Uncle Fester acts as a narrator of sorts, as he is the only character that speaks directly to the audience and summarizes small parts of the show. We asked Zane Tinker, class of 2020, about what Fester does for the show.
He said, “Uncle Fester is the weird uncle who simultaneously acts as the narrator of sorts. He talks to the audience and keeps them updated on what’s going on.”
“I spend about 20 hours a week, especially at the beginning when you’re just learning all the songs and dances” Baranowski said about how much time a week they spend practicing.
All this time spent in school rehearsing takes a toll on their lives outside of school, and when we asked Zane, he said, “Oh it’s rough, especially when I have another job. I have zero free time,” showing how busy these performers are each and every week.
“I really only can spend time with other people who are in the musical.” Baranowski said when asked how exactly this huge time commitment affects her life. This being said, the leads all interact frequently, with members of one group or family being on stage with each other a lot more.
But sometimes, outside relationships can make some scenes a bit awkward for the performers. “Getting comfortable on the stage with everyone while saying your lines is very important.”
Hailey said when asked about chemistry on stage, but it isn’t as bad as it sounds.
“It’s like hydrogen and oxygen. It depends on the people though, and those who tend to stay more focused bounce off each other a lot better than those who don’t,” Zane said when questioned on who on stage bounces off one another well. This shows that when these students put in the effort and focus, they perform a lot better, and get more done.
WHS’ musical productions are not your typical high school production. Not only do they try to stick to Broadway levels of formality with complicated harmonies and more singing parts then typical, there are also things that make these productions important to the performers.
There are numerous unique traditions special to the high school that make these productions special, and it shows the bond that these students have with one another. “Before we go on stage and before performance,s we all sing songs in a circle and everyone cries on the last day.” Baranowski said when asked about what traditions WHS has that aren’t seen anywhere else.
The Addams Family is a drastically different show than last year's production of Mary Poppins. When asked about how this show is going to stand out, Zane said “I think the songs and the show is a lot funnier than Mary Poppins, so it’s going to be a fun show to watch.”
The Addams Family is a lot more contemporary than last year’s production, and people who want a more comedic and brash show should definitely be sure to get tickets for a showing.
By: Natalia Travaglini & Eliza-mely Martinez
Studying can be a very hard thing to do for students. There are so many different techniques, tips, and methods to studying. Students are told they need to study for a test, but they are never really taught how to actually study. We were given different techniques, but most of the time they dont really work for us.
Depending on the type of learner, for example being a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner, some studying methods will work amazing and others will not work at all. We interviewed two seniors at Wethersfield and asked them about their studying habits and any tips they have for others.
When talking to Haley Dellafera, a senior at Wethersfield High School, about her studying habits, we asked how she studies and it varies depending on the topic she is studying for. For math, she studies by doing problems but for English, she studies by using Sparknotes and Quizlet.
Many students struggle with studying, Haley Dellafera struggles with finding the motivation to study. During our interview she said, “Actually finding the motivation to get up and studying for my test has always been a problem for me.”
This problem has taken a toll on her grades at certain times in her high school career. Haley mentioned it would be a lot easier to study if she enjoyed the topic, so she tries to find interesting subjects within the topic she is studying to make the process just a bit easier.
Since she studies differently for each topic, we wondered if she would keep the same studying habits from high school into college. Dellafera said she definitely wouldn't keep her habits. Most of the time she just tries to get by without reading the book or notes but in the end she can get by without it. In college, she thinks it's going to be a lot different and she has to read, learn, and retain the subject.
We interviewed another student from Rocky Hill High School when we asked Ianna Pagan if she believed her studying habits were good she said yes. Ianna explained that she had a good idea as to how she should study.
She usually starts by making sure if she is comfortable she has snacks to eat while she is studying. Then she starts to make a study guide that will make it easier for her to know what to study. In this study guide she writes example questions, tips to help her remember, and the hardest topic she struggles with. Ianna Pagan said “I think I will use my studying habits in college because it has never done me wrong, everytime I use this method I get a pretty decent grade”
We made sure to get more than one perspective about studying habits in high school and interviewed senior, Kassandra Vazquez as well.
Kassandra finds studying using youtube video explanations is the best way for her. A tip she has for other students who are struggling to find good studying techniques is studying for 30-45 minutes and then taking a break to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Although finding the perfect studying technique can be difficult, we hope that the tips and experiences shared by two of our high school students could possibly make the task easier.
Stress has got to be one of the worst things to go through and we all know that. This will affect your feelings, emotions and actions.
Stress can cause health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, which can be a very scary situation.
Stress is tiring for the mind and body. It's not unusual to give up on everything when you are stressed and basically anything can cause someone to stress.
Ways people can help or prevent being stressed are to get good sleep and rest, manage your time, try yoga, or a stress diary and take deep breaths. Even trying physical activity is a popular thing to help.
English teacher Mrs. Ryba said the thing that stresses her out the most is that she has “set high expectations for myself and sometimes my students.” “I believe kids should learn to THINK and work hard and not just get straight As for showing up. I think sometimes people take the easy way out and I'm not good at that . However I do lighten up at times.”
Ryba also was saying “training” helps to destress her. “I love to work out, but balancing and finding time to do so stresses me out. The gym is too crowded and people don't respect social space as they used to do so this stresses me out,” she said.
The symptoms of stress could be physical pain, poor judgement, feeling overwhelmed, loneliness, isolation, and anxiety. We all need to learn how to cope with stress because the symptoms are harsh.
This is all compared back to the stress impact level on everyday life. This is showing not everyone has the same stress but everyone is dealing with it. Everyone is stressed. We are all just dealing with it in our everyday life. We all handle stress diffrenlty than others.
However, if we don’t deal with stress in our teens, then it will continue to follow us. We need to learn how to cope and deal with stressful situations now so we can be more successful in the future.
Stress will never be fun but there will alway be some things to help the stress. Like I had said before, more sleep,anxiety medication,hot tubs, anything on the relaxing side to help the stress. The world would be a better place without stress, that’s why we all love weekends!
By: Kaitlynn Bertucio and Kevin Torres
Being students at Wethersfield High School, we have a lot of important news and events to worry about. Especially since we’re seniors, college deadlines don’t make matters any better.
Every Wednesday and Friday in second block, we watch Blue Eagle News, a student and teacher run news program informing students and teachers about important information and events that are coming up.
Blue Eagle News started in 2016 by Ms. Coco, engineering, video, and technology teacher here at WHS.
While many students are involved in the whole process; which includes filming, scripting, editing, uploading, and being on camera, most students don’t know the process behind creating a segment, and they have a lot of questions.
A big question is, how does these segments operate? Ms. Coco said, “It is run by a group of kids who had to go through a whole interview process. We meet two to three times a week and I put in a few hours a week with these students.”
When we asked Ms.Coco how close she thinks Blue Eagle News is to an actual news corporation, she had this to say, “[The processes are] very introductory, I would like to see it better.” Her ultimate goal is to make Blue Eagle News an even more integral part of school culture.
She works hard to make Blue Eagle News better. From adding new equipment and graphics, to adding more students on the team, and even decorating the studio and personalizing different segments. This includes painting one of the studio walls for the sports segment, done by the students.
We hope that this gave more insight on how Blue Eagle News runs, and hopefully it will make you better appreciate the effort they put in to produce a news segment twice a week.
by: Class President Isaac Santos and Class of 2020 Seniors Bella Samse and Jimmy Luiz
It has always been a tradition for the senior class to get shirts that represent them. This year, the Class of 2020 is currently stumped and looking for a new design. Every senior has been saying they do not care what the shirt looks like, but then get mad at the design presented at the cap and gown ceremony. Now we are currently on the hunt for a new shirt design.
We took the authority to interview seniors, Emily Karwic, Dzenita Korkutovic, and Teacher of the Year, John Martin. They shared their thoughts on our senior shirts and this is what they had to say for it.
When asked about the original shirt design senior Dzenita said, “Personally, it was okay. I would wear it, I thought it looked cool. It was something different, it was unique.”
However Mr. Martin said “I thought that the original senior shirt was a little outdated, I talked with Class President Isaac Santos and I thought about how Marvel’s Endgame came out almost 18 month before you graduated.”
However, he has high hopes for the new upcoming designs.
A shirt can have many different designs and to satisfy an entire senior class with one design can be quite the task. Senior Emily Karwic said, “I wish it had more school color and maybe add the Eagle or 2020, but make it something unique.”
Mr. Martin had a different approach and said, “I like the fact that Santos gave students the choice to make and upload designs will make it the best shirt at the end, I trust in this year's senior class.”
At the end of the day, when you think of a senior shirt, what comes to mind are themes that unify the entire class such as the school mascot, the year of graduation for that senior class, and the school’s colors.
Seniors after been notified that they have until this Friday, Feb. 14 to submit new designs for the chance to be pick for the senior shirt for the entire class. Will you submit a design? Do you care what they final product will be?
By: Gabby Amoddio
Accounting is a full-year course offered at Wethersfield High School that is available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors and is taught by Joanna Griswold, who has taught multiple business classes over her years working at WHS.
In this course, students learn a variety of skills that are used by accountants. They focus on the bookwork for a service business in the first semester and switch to a merchandising business in the second semester.
If you plan on becoming an accountant when you’re older, this is a great opportunity for you. You get to experience the ins and outs of accounting without the stress of being in the actual work environment. It’s helpful to learn, in depth, the process of accounting and the basic terms that go along with it.
Even if you’re unsure about your future plans, taking Accounting can help you get a feel for what the career is like. After taking the class, you can decide if accounting, or any other career related to business and finance, is a good fit for you.
Another benefit of the class is that it is an official Capital Community College course. This means that passing the class can actually give you a college credit. All you have to do is fill out an enrollment form before a certain date and get above a C average.
The fact that it’s a college course can make the class difficult at times but It's good to get a feel for what college will feel like.
However, it is not a class that you can go into unprepared, as it asks a lot of students.
“Accounting is the type of class where you have to study 4 days before just to get a B,” says Kyle Martinez, a senior at Wethersfield High School. Martinez is currently enrolled in the class and just started the second semester.
Accounting is known as the language of business because it is how managers communicate the financial information of a business to people who will use it like shareholders and creditors. It is important to understand accounting first so you know how to properly run and improve your business.
Think Accounting may be for you? Make sure to sign up for it next year!
By: Dzenita Korkutovic
Myths and Legends is a semester course that is part of the English department. To learn more about this exciting class, I interviewed Mrs. McKenna, teacher for Myths and Legends and English department liaison. Here is a few questions I’ve asked her and her responses:
According to Mrs. McKenna, the class is “a semester long class that seniors take for half a credit and goes towards the English requirement for graduation. We study mostly Myths and Legends. We look at Myths from all over the world and look at the meanings behind them. We don’t look at just Greek mythology or Roman mythology, which a lot of people are aware of. We look at the deeper meaning of myths in general. As for Legends, we do a lot of real life legends meaning we look at how real life people become legends or become their own story.”
I asked if she would recommend kids to take the course and why. She said she would course recommend kids to take it. She mentioned they do lots of different things, students have a lot of choices within it. Even if you aren't a big fan of mythology, everyone can find something interesting in the class.
I wondered what kinds of activities or projects she did with the class. She named a few things that they do. She said they watch videos or read short selections of myths, legends, fairy tales and other things. All of this culminates in a big essay that they end up doing in real-life legends, or kids can pick someone within the topic to research.
When asked what students should know, McKenna said that she would want kids to know that it's not just about one culture or group of people, it's about many different ones. Also, you would look at American cultures because not many people know about them.
As you can see, the course Myths and Legends is an interesting class to take. From researching one culture to watching movies on a whole different culture, all students get to experience multiple cultures within the class.
Personally, I’ve been in the class for only a few weeks now and I love it!
If you have already taken the course, comment down on what you thought of the class!
By: Emily Karwic
Wethersfield Studies is a half-year English class where students learn about the history of their town. This class, taught by Ms. Krawczyk, discusses the town’s geological formation, Native American history, Puritans, witch hunts, and more.
Ms. Krawczyk highlights that the course focuses on the students’ impact on the town, not just the past history. She outlines in her course information that, “Your past and current experiences in this town are contributing to the future history of Wethersfield”.
A class like this allows students to see further into the history of the town they’re a part of. Aside from learning about the town, the students complete projects and activities related to its history. Students also make posters about their own history in the town so that Ms. Krawczyk and their classmates can learn more about each other.
Throughout the semester students perform one-act plays, write a letter to the editor regarding an article in Wethersfield Life, and look at past yearbooks to see how much the school has changed.
Another thing students do to expand their knowledge about the towns past is attend either a Board of Education meeting or a Town Council meeting. In these activities, students will, “Compare and contrast what we learn about Wethersfield’s past, with our towns current issues of interest and concern.”
In asking more about the class, I learned that one of the most interesting things for Ms. Krawczyk is learning about her students and she enjoys them learning about how much the town has changed over the years.
This class poses a unique opportunity for the students to learn more about the town they live in. It’s available for seniors to take every semester.
by: Jillian Gray
With graduation right around the corner, seniors are starting to make one of the toughest decisions of their high school career. Seniors are getting their acceptance letters, and now it’s time to pick where they will spend their next couple of years.
There are many factors that students are looking at while they decide which college they want to go to, from looking at how nice the campus is to how much money it costs per year. With these decisions so close, I decided to interview a few of the seniors here at Wethersfield High school, to see how they are determining what college they want to go to.
Senior Mya Pellegrino is thinking of her living situation, saying, “I think the campus matters and how the dorms are. I don’t like using public bathrooms, and I also need an AC. That's why I chose my college”.
Although many people may choose their college based on the dorms, I got the chance to talk to Jacob Rivera. He expressed, “When I was going through the process, my main idea was to pick the college that was less money-wise. Since I would be in school for such a large amount of time, I knew the money would accumulate”.
When it comes to college, money is indeed a big aspect of choosing where to go in my eyes. With saying that Ellie Kieselback described how money and time was a big factor for her. Ellie said “I don’t want to spend years in a college, I wanted cosmetology school because it’s only one year.”
People may think of the cost, budgeting, and all the complicated aspects. When interviewing Kyle Edman he simply said, “I look at how nice the campus is.”
Graduation is coming up fast, and decisions are going to have to be made. There are many aspects that people think about while choosing where they want to spend the next couple years of their lives.
At the end of the day, you will make your decision based on how money, time, the campus, or even if you want to go to college at all. Comment below if you have chosen your college already, and what made you choose it?
By: Tyler Wolf, WHS Eagles mascot
People ask me all the time, is it hot in that suit? Listen really carefully to the answer I am about to give to you, the answer is YES, all mascots get hot. No matter how many times people ask, the answer is always YES!
Thank goodness I got that straightened out!
Let me first introduce myself, my name is Tyler Wolf and for the past three years, I have been very privileged to dress up in an eagle suit, serving as the mascot at basketball and football games.
Before me, there was a person that did the mascot for one day after realizing they do not want to sweat profusely or hated the smell, either way! Believe it or not, I used to hate mascots, but now I am proud to be one!
After going to my first hockey game, meeting mascots Sonar and Pucky, I came to the realization that I love mascots! I wanted to be a mascot from that point on because you can make people happy, nobody knows who you are, you can be yourself, and have a barrier by which to hide behind.
But as I got to the fourth grade after meeting mascots for the first time I was hooked! I was Hanmer School’s mascot Hootie the Owl. I did that up until sixth grade.
At the end of sophomore year I finally felt well adjusted to the school. I asked Mr. Maltese and got the opportunity! They needed a regular person to do all the varsity boys football and basketball games. I decided I wanted to not only give it my own touch-ups to the suit itself, develop a personality for the character that was full of energy and that appealed to people young and old. It was the best experience I ever had at Wethersfield High School.
It was really fun to see the student section pumped up to see the eagle at the games, and when the rare time he was not people were disappointed. I feed off of the crowd's energy. That gave me an adrenaline rush to keep going and have the energy to love what I do best. It feels good to know that I’ve made an impression on the school.
I hope the next person to take over will do as good, if not better than me. I will truly miss this AMAZING OPPORTUNITY! It has had an impact on my life in terms of getting out of my shell , it helped me in more ways than I ever imagined it would!
The reason why I became a mascot is because you can not only bring joy to others, but also the fact that you can express yourself behind a mask. Generally you do not know who is inside the suit, therefore making it more fun for people to guess or enjoy the magic a mascot brings.
Thank You to Mr. Maltese for believing in me, as well as giving me the chance to create a character, that is now a part of who I am in real life. The mascot experience has taught me to not be afraid to be yourself, go out there and have fun no matter what others think. I truly thank you for this experience I will never forget.
By: Audrey Mainville and Kadin Joyce
In a recent WHS advisory, students were informed of the school’s Skills21 #EaglesBreakBoundaries movement.
However, many classes were left with little understanding of what each grade is supposed to do to exemplify it. In response, here is what #EaglesBreakBoundaries is, and what each student can do to be a part of it.
#EaglesBreakBoundaries is a media campaign that has been created by students in the Skills21 group here at WHS to push people out of their comfort zone. Every year, the group releases a theme that students have to incorporate into their project. This year's theme is Breaking Boundaries.
“Breaking Boundaries” is designed to motivate WHS students to gain a sense of independence, as well as responsibility. Ms. Coco, advisor of this campaign states, “Our group uses this program [Skills21], along with BlueEagle News, to reach our audience and try to create community by working towards a common goal.”
With that, here is what each class can do to participate in this campaign:
Freshman and Sophomores: The goal for the Freshmen and Sophomores is to reach out to the community. Volunteering and participating in town events are just some ways these underclassmen can exemplify this. The Skills21group wants them to reach out of their comfort zone, and make connections.
Juniors: The goal for juniors is to learn how to be financially responsible. Getting a debit card or learning how to budget money are examples of this. The Skills21 group wants juniors to focus on becoming more financially independent, and not always rely on guardians for money.
Seniors: As seniors approach adulthood, their goal is to take steps towards their future. This can include, applying and committing to a college, joining the military, setting up their own appointments, looking at places where they may be interested in living. All of this they believe shows independence and responsibility.
Students and people in the community are encouraged to take photos of themselves carrying out these activities! Show how you broke boundaries! Submit photos to firstname.lastname@example.org OR post pictures to social media with the hashtag #Eaglesbreakboundaries as well as a tag of your advisory teacher’s name and the year of your graduation.
For more information contact Ms. Coco at email@example.com or BlueEagle News at firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Andre Jorge and Alexis Almada
The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards were on Sunday, January 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Grammys recognizes the best recordings, compositions, and artists of the year. Sunday night’s show featured several moments of spotlight to Tyler The Creator, Lizzo, Billie Eilish, and Rosalía, some of today’s youngest pop innovators.
Lizzo received the most nominations with eight Grammy nominations, followed by Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X.
When you consider all the Grammy winners of 2020, do you think that their wins will lead to more people listening to their music? Do you think the Grammys are good at representing today’s best music?
We were on the hunt to find out if the Grammys are in fact an accurate example of today's music. We interviewed Mr. Mearman, a teacher at Wethersfield High School, and Antonella DiCenso, a mother of a sophomore athlete, to find out their opinions.
“Absolutely not, because what we listen to on the radio is going to be what people want to hear because that's what’s being requested. Meanwhile, on the Grammys, the people who are winning, I don't even know half the people. I don't recognize some of the songs,” said DiCenso.
“Well, I have to say no, the Grammys don’t accurately represent today’s best music because it’s very narrow,” said Mearman.
The Grammys focuses on the top 40 hits, where a Grammy Award is presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry.
We also asked about how the Grammys could be improved to better represent today’s music.
“They should include other types of music, you know not just pop...and they may give awards out to other genres but they don’t ever air it. Air more on TV than just the glitter stars that are obnoxious,” said Mearman.
While interviewing, we narrowed down the Grammy award ceremony to some specific topics like Billie Eilish winning five awards.
Billie Eilish, an 18 year old singer-songwriter, earned six Grammy nominations and five wins including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. She became the first artist to win the major four categories since Christopher Cross in 1981.
With all of Eilish’s wins at the Grammys, does this mean that she’s a good representation of today’s best music?
“I don’t think she’s that good. Gee, well I could be really snotty and say she’s a good representation of today’s music, because today’s music is not that good,” said Mearman.
“It depends on what they are being nominated for and what they are winning for. Sometimes I feel like some artists are the ‘Flavor of the day,’ and other times this artist is outdoing everybody else and should be winning and getting it all,” said DiCenso.
What do you think? Were any of your favorite artists nominated?
by: Nathan Loura
High school is something that people usually have to do in order to move on with life, spending four years of their life going through high school and slowly trying to figure out what their plan is for the future and adulthood. However, do former high school students find their high school experience enjoyable or not?
Every high school is different, different teachers and different classes, so every person's high school experience is going to be different than the next person, however in the end is high school an enjoyable thing that kids have to do for four years?
The average high school graduation rate in the 2016-2017 school year was 84.6% according to Usnews.com. So why did those other 15.4% of kids drop out of high school?
Rocky Hill School graduate Morgan Decarlo had this to say about her high school experience. “I have mixed feelings about my experience at Rocky Hill, I liked going to high school on a social piece, I got to meet great new friends and do social events such as prom.”
High school is a great place to experience social events, the majority of high schools have prom and other social events that kids can go to and do different things that students can do and get to meet new people and make new friends.
The high school experience can be different for each student, some students connect very well in high school and make the most of the four years they are there, others feel that high school is more a chore than actual fun to them, whether it’s the school, the teachers, or the just the atmosphere itself.
According to LiveScience, 71% of high school graduates say that they didn’t enjoy their high school. 61% say that they didn’t like the teachers that they had, and 60% said they didn’t see any value in what they were learning. Also according to LiveScience, less than 2% of high school graduates say that weren’t “bored” during their high school years.
Jacob Perez, a 2018 Newington High School graduate had this to say about high school experience, “I wouldn’t do it again, I basically just coasted through the four years. Just trying to get that completion grade.”
“I never got into it, it was hard for me to form relationships with my teachers and have fun. The social piece of it I enjoyed, but other than that nothing else really grabbed my interest.”
Every student has a different experience in high school, no one person really has the same experience because everyone is different and processes high school a different way.
Madisun Dunn, a 2020 Wethersfield High School early graduate had this to say about her high school experience. “It was a bunch of ups and downs for me, I had some issues with some teachers and some years were better for me than others.”
“What do you think of your high school experience overall?”
“Overall, I am kind of on the fence about it, like I said some years were better than others. I am kind of in between good and bad, because I did have some good relationships with teachers and I did do some fun things.”
There are some ways in order to have a good high school experience. High school doesn’t have to be all bad it’s what you do in high school that determines it. Make relationships with teachers, go to events that are put on by the high school. The biggest piece thing is to try and make new friends. There are so many new people in high school that you can meet and form relationships with. These are a couple ways to make your high school experience something to remember
What was your high school experience like? Comment below.
By Bryce Arnold
The New England Patriots are coming off a disappointing season from their standards. They lost their first round home game in the playoffs to the Tennessee Titans, a team they were favored to beat. The defense was solid as always, but the offense struggled to put points on the board.
This is a cause for concern for the Patriots, who could score on any team at will. Lots of things seemed off, especially Tom Brady. He wasn’t making throws he normally makes, he wasn’t moving well in the pocket, and he didn’t look like himself at all. Now the question has to be asked, will he return to the NFL next season? I asked students around Wethersfield High School what they thought about it.
“No, [I think] he’s going to go to the Raiders,” said Junior Michael Sargis, a Detroit Lions fan.
Let’s face it: Brady just isn’t the same anymore. He was put into the spotlight almost by accident, and he was tearing up the league from the start. He’s won 6 super bowls, the most by any NFL quarterback, and is looking to win one more before retirement.
Does he have it in him, though? He started out this season strong, and finished out the season sort of flat. During the playoff game against the Titans, Brady went 20/37 for 209 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. Not exactly the stats of a 6-time world champion.
This is the opposite of what people are used to seeing with Brady. He and the Patriots usually lose a few games early, win out, lock up the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs, and win the super bowl. This year, with an early exit from the playoffs, also arose question marks about an early exit to Brady’s career.
I asked Brendan Martin, a New York Giants fan from my Computer Animation class, about whether or not he thought Brady would return or not, and he said, “Yes. He said he wasn’t going anywhere [in the commercial], so I think he’s staying.”
There seems to be a common theme in the opinions of Wethersfield High School students, and that opinion is that he’s not returning to the Patriots. Whether Brady decides to return to New England, go to another team, or retire, there’s no doubt that the upcoming NFL Season will be much different for him. He hasn’t been faced this much adversity before, so it will be fun to see how he responds to it.
By: Zane Tinker and Gianluca Scata
As video games rise in popularity, Wethersfield High School keeps up with the times by banding together and creating our very own ESports club. Led by club president Jack O’Leary and Advised by Mr. Bowles, the ESports club is looking to compete at the state level and potentially even at the national level through the PlayVS Competition.
The Esports team will be playing in the PlayVS Competition, which, according to their official website, is run through CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference), who also manage all other high school sports programs. This makes ESports an official sports team for the school.
This was an important fact that advisor Mr. Bowles spoke on, saying, “Instead of being a club environment, this is a legitimized sport through the state, and you get to see groups of kids who may not be the biggest athletes going and being a part of a team, a part of the school, and get to represent the school.”
ESports is different than the other competitive teams in WHS, as it is all encompassing. It doesn't matter who wants to join the ESports club, there will always be a space for whoever is willing to participate.
ESports club has already taken up a place in the hearts of many of the members, as said by advisor Mr. Bowles “The group is very student driven.” The free play events that the club hosts, where everybody from the school is welcome to enjoy playing a variety of fun, more casual games that anybody can enjoy.
ESports is a genre of entertainment has been exploding with popularity as of late, and there are both college and professional leagues looking for players to compete in.
These leagues give a chance for students to gain scholarships to big schools, as many schools have been handing out money to the select few who are able to play above the rest of the competition.
Serf Piedrasanta, the club's vice president, said that though there are those options for future scholarships and careers, the group isn’t driven by those things, and instead derives from the members passions for the games they play.
Though the Esport club is new to the sport team roster, it seems that it intends to make a lasting impact and in time hopefully will come to find a place in the heart of this WHS family.
By Antonia Vardal and Hailey Hodsen
An ECE humanities course titled “American Studies” may be coming to WHS in the next few years. This half-year class and half-credit course is described by UCONN as a “multi-disciplinary inquiry into the diversity of American societies and cultures.”
History teacher Courtney Bradley and English teacher Kristen Mucinskas plan to collaborate to teach students about history by applying it to modern literature.
Bradley says the history and English classes will eventually combine to form humanities classes. “I like the idea of having more of a humanities approach, which is not only how the world sees itself, [but also how] people just look at the world with a more holistic attitude.”
Currently, she has several students taking this class as an independent study, which starts its initial steps in becoming an official course. Bradley says that by doing this, she’s able to get feedback from them about the assignments and readings to improve the class.
Although it’s labeled as an ECE course, Bradley doesn’t want kids to assume they have to be an honors student to take it.
“[We’re] trying to pull more people in and show more people that you can do really good, amazing, interesting, academic work without the AP, ECE, or honors stamp.”
She plans to start off the course by connecting American citizenship and immigration to The Hobbit, which will be the anchor book for the rest of the course.
“Even though it was a book written by a British soldier after World War I about the war, we’re going to take a look at how that applies to American citizenship. That’s a totally different text than you might’ve expected, and we’re going to try and pull in a lot more kids from a bunch of different kind of social groups, almost regardless of whether or not they see themselves as top end kids for academics.”
If students are interested, they should talk to Mrs. Bradley or Mrs. Mucinskas about taking it as an independent study until it becomes an official class.
By: Matthew Stearns and Connor Stahl
This upcoming spring season will be the first time in Wethersfield High School history that lacrosse is a varsity sport. In recent years, lacrosse at Wethersfield High School has only been a club and JV team.
For many of the students and faculty at Wethersfield High School, this news resulted in positive reactions to finally be recognized as a true varsity team.
With all the buzz circling the question of why all of a sudden is lacrosse being recognized as a varsity sport, Athletic Director Michael Maltese said, “This definitely wasn't all of a sudden, this has been really something over a number of years. Started with a group of individuals, concerned parents and, townspeople who love the sport of lacrosse. Certainly, Wethersfield was one of the larger high schools in the area without the sport or team in town.”
Tryouts take place in March. Junior Spencer Bartone said, “I’m excited for what's going to come.” With only a month away until the season starts, WHS is getting amped.
Physical education teacher Richard Scoppetto said, “It’s great, I love the game, I have been teaching lacrosse for 40 years in this town from the Dean when it was junior high all the way up to the high school.”
With all this excitement, how do players feel about this change? Senior Logan Lichatz says, “It feels good that a sport with a lot of potential for the school is actually being taken seriously, which is a good thing.”
In the spring we can officially say we have a varsity team for lacrosse with an exciting season coming. WHS met the requirements of the CIAC, with the many years awaiting finally over for the journey from a tiny club team to a high school club team to finally becoming varsity sport.
All we can do now is wish them good luck on their season this spring.
By: Bella Rende and Olivia Morais
Caps and gowns have been a topic of debate for years on end. Many believe caps and gowns should symbolize unity and be one color.
Another reason many believe it should be one color is to help many students feel comfortable identifying their gender. Although students have various opinions on the caps and gowns, teachers do too. To get a teacher’s perspective, we interviewed teachers from different departments in WHS.
When asked if she was aware of the cap and gown change, senior class advisor and math teacher Mrs. Belanger said, “Of course I'm aware of the cap and gown change as your advisor. We have changed colors from royal blue and white to a solid navy blue cap and gown. There was a long conversation about why it was a royal blue to begin with, I don’t really know because that’s how it’s been since I started here, but I think It’s a good change.”
Comfort and mental well-being is important in the school system. “I think it was changed to promote the comfort, well being of all students.” Said Mrs. Niemic.
When asked about the importance of the change, Belanger said, “I think it’s important to make sure that all students have equal rights and that no one feels marginalized. [Graduation is] a very important day, you have worked so hard for graduation.”
When I asked him if he agreed with the change, senior English teacher Mr. Pfister said, “Yes, I agree with the change, I think it was a perfect decision to make, especially because of students and their willingness to want to identify with a specific gender. It includes those students, and again it brings the senior class together and has them do something as a group for the final time.”
Many of the teachers have similar views on the cap and gown topic, that it is an important and necessary change to bring together the senior class and make all students feel comfortable on their special day.
By Luciano Quagliaroli
Music, we all listen to it, we all love it. But who likes what?
This the question I've decided to dive into and ask fellow students and teachers at Wethersfield High School. With varied responses, the results were interesting.
The majority shows most of us here at WHS vary in the genres we enjoy listening to. ¨I don't think I have a favorite artist, I'm an eclectic person as far as music goes¨ says Kristen Muscinskas, one of the top English teachers at WHS.
Matthew Silver, star quarterback of the WHS football team can agree with Muscinskas´s statement, ¨I like everything, but for different reasons¨ said Silver.
Have you ever gotten head chills from music? I have, and I set out to find out if others have had the same experience. ¨Oh yes definitely, especially when I see them perform it¨ said Julie Ercolani, star substitute here at WHS.
A study carried out by Matthew Sachs at University of Southern California states people who feel chills when listening to music have a higher volume of fibres that connect their auditory cortex to the areas associated with emotional processing.
Favorite artists at WHS vary greatly. Matthew Silver’s favorite artist, Katy Perry, even changed Silver’s life being in it since he was young as a musical influence.
Then you have an up and coming producer like senior Sam Odell who looks up to the game changing producer, Kanye West. ¨I'm going to go with Kanye West because he's just a generational artist, changed the game completely, just someone who is a role model¨
Two students and two teachers interviewed about music here at WHS and so much was learned. A person's playlist says a lot about them and displays how complex our personalities can really be. More research should be conducted on people and the power of music.
by: Finn McCarty
As someone with anxiety, I often have panic attacks. My heart rate quickens, my palms start sweating, the whole package that lets me know that I’m on the brink of one. Immediately, I spring into action, scrambling for my phone and headphones. I open the music app and turn on my ‘Anti-Anxious’ playlist. Very soon, a sense of relief washes over me. Mission accomplished.
Music is known to be a natural remedy for stress. According to Portland Music Therapy, “When the body is stressed, it may feel tense and tight. Listening to music can help facilitate relaxation.”
It has also been recognized in ancient practices. Portland Music Therapy states that, “In Native American culture, there are more than 1,500 songs that are used for healing purposes.” Ancient Greece also used music to express emotion in plays.
The tempo and vibrations of the music can be a helpful factor to the effectiveness. Certain tempos and vibrations of instruments can make a person feel at ease, and even drowsy. This is because, according to Harvard Health Publishing, “The human brain and nervous system are hard-wired to distinguish music from noise and to respond and repetition, tones and tunes.
Personally, I think songs by indie/ indie rock artists like Briston Maroney and flor are the most calming. This is probably because music is one of my main comforts, and since it is my favorite genre, it is probably where I receive the sense of calm.
WHS senior Audrey Mainville says, “I listen to folk music, like 60s and 70s because it’s just simple.” When I asked why this calms her down, she said, “I think there’s good harmony and good guitar. Just not as many theatrics as other songs. It’s very simple and easy to listen to.”
WHS teacher John Martin says, “[When anxious] I like to listen to music that I’m familiar with. I also like to listen to music that is naturally calming. So for me right now, it’s Bon Iver. I love their music because he has a high falsetto voice that calms me, and also the background music is a lot of atmospheric noise-pop, and for me it almost acts like white noise at times and helps calm me down.”
Although it may not be helpful for some people, I think that music can be a very effective way to reduce anxiety. It is a valid coping skill that should be taught to more people. Everyone, whether or not they have anxiety, should have some sort of coping skills to deal with stress.
Check out Finn's "Anti-Anxiety" Playlist below on Spotify!:
By: Haley Krawczyk and Matt Silver
Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, California, among others.
Kobe’s death has had an impact on former and current students from Wethersfield High School. Many students looked up to Bryant and were shocked to learn of his passing.
Despite never having met the former NBA player, freshman Christian Bonvisuto said, “It just doesn’t feel right without him here today. He meant a lot to me and I am heartbroken by his passing.”
After playing professionally for twenty years for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe retired from the NBA in 2016. As a senior who was able to see a younger version of Kobe, Tyren Watt said, “Kobe was a role model to a lot of younger people and even adults. He always had a positive attitude towards every challenge he faced.”
On the impact that Kobe’s death has had on her life outside of basketball, freshman varsity player Gabriella Tomaino said, “Ever since it happened, I took more risks and seized more opportunities. I think it is the perfect example of how tomorrow isn’t given, so you have to go out there and just live it like it’s your last minute.”
The media attention surrounding the death of Kobe Bryant represents the legacy and inspiration that he has left. “His biggest saying for young kids whether it be athletes, students, or just regular kids was to keep trying and it’s okay to fail. He definitely inspired me to never give on what I aim to do in life,” said junior,Kaitlin Ryan.
While the Bryants are the focus because of their notoriety, there are more families currently dealing with loss. There were seven additional passengers that died in the crash.
The media has recognized these individuals far less and sophomore Abigail King said, “Because Gigi and Kobe were the most well-known, they got the most attention. And it is almost like their lives mattered more. But, in reality, that’s not true.”
The students continue to grieve the loss of the famous player, his daughter, and the other passengers. Kobe’s influence on the sport will continue to impact players and students, despite his passing.
by: Michelle Guerard
TikTok is a rapidly growing platform, and I wanted to find out more about it. TikTok is a social media platform where people express themselves through singing, dancing, comedy, and lip-syncing and was the most downloaded app in 2019. The app has seen enormous growth in the past year, with 1.5 billion downloads and 500 million active users.
I asked history teacher Ms. Cavanaugh her opinion on TikTok, she said that she’s never downloaded the app, but she knows about it from her students. She said she doesn’t like it, and that she finds it a “waste of time” and a “distraction in school.”
Senior Dzenita Korkutovic loves TikTok because it’s “funny and addicting”. I asked her what she likes about it and she said, “I like its funny content, the dances, and the music.” She said it’s addicting because “everyone’s trying to be on the ‘for you’ page,” which is another word for going viral. She believes the app’s hype will eventually die out like Vine previously did.
Another senior, Kassandra Vasquez, thinks the app is overhyped. She said she has the TikTok app, but she doesn’t make her own TikToks. She said TikTok has “Vine energy,” which is a good thing because vine was very popular.
Junior Alijah Ruocco is not a fan of TikTok. He’s never had the app and he thinks it’s annoying. He said he sees girls make them in public a lot. He also believes the app will die out like vine did.
Overall, people have different opinions on TikTok. Half like it and half don’t. I believe what drives the app to be so popular is the idea of fame and users trying to go viral. Users create more and more in hopes that their videos will go viral. Some people do go viral and some people have even created a living off the app. I’m also an active TikTok user and try to get on the “For You” page.
What are your thoughts on TikTok? Comment below!
By: Emily Fazzina
Many people know what a hot dog, hamburger, and a sandwich are, but are they the same thing? That is what I have set out to find! I interviewed a few teachers at Wethersfield High School to get their opinion and you’ll never guess what I found out.
When interviewing math teacher Mr. Bucchi, I found out that his favorite of the three foods is hot dogs. His favorite place to get a good dog is Capital Lunch in New Britain. He also said that he disagrees with the statement that a hot dog is a sandwich. He mentioned something that no one I interviewed brought up.
“Technically no [in reference to my initial question], but I have put a hot dog cut up into halves and quarter it, so it's laid out on a piece of bread,” said Bucchi.
Following this, Bucchi turned around in my interview to ask me a question, and what he asked was eye opening. “I’m going to flip the table, have you ever eaten a hamburger with a hot dog bun?” This comment opened my eyes to the unfairness of the way we treat hot dogs and hamburgers as American foods.
My next interview was with Science Teacher Ms. Alexopoulos . When asking what her favorite type of food staple was, she said that she likes both hot dogs and hamburgers. And if put in a social gathering of sorts (like a picnic or barbeque), she asks for both.
When I asked her the question of the hot dog being a sandwich she also disagreed with my statement. When asking her more questions, she revealed that she eats her hot dogs with no bun! Shocking!
Technology educator Mr. Sikora tends to put his own spin on the foods, making his own. He preferred the hamburger meat to be shaped into tiny sliders, adding A1 sauce to the patties after being cooked. When he isn’t at home making his own burgers, Sikora enjoys a good hamburger at Goldburgers in Newington.
When I asked the relation of hot dogs to sandwiches, Sikora told me that he considered the two foods to be like cousins. Where hamburger and sandwiches look similar, a hot dog has the same elements of a sandwich but a different complexion.
After that, I headed across the art wing to art teacher Mr. Bayak’s room to get his opinion. Shockingly enough, I found out that he is a vegetarian. Another fun fact, he has eaten the same lunch for the past twelve year while working at Wethersfield High School, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Sticking with the theme he answered that he would eat sandwiches for the rest of his life, because he’s already doing so, considering his daily lunch choice. He also said that his food lifestyle doesn’t hold him back from eating hot dogs. Rather, he enjoys veggie dogs and veggie burgers, which he told me were just as delicious.
Ms. Campbell’s had her own opinions on the debate. She agrees with my statement by the notion that you can eat both with your hands. She also enjoys a good hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut. And depending on the day, she likes to grab a good cold cut sandwich from D'angelo's.
Finally, I stopped by English teacher Martin’s room to get a final opinion on the question that is rattling everyone’s brain. He doesn’t agree with the statement that hot dogs are sandwiches because his point is that culturally they’re two different things.
“If you asked a member of our world community that's not from the United States and ask ‘What is the most American food?’ They would probably say, ‘hot dogs or hamburgers’” said Martin.
His argument is that hot dogs are a different food species than sandwiches, but the same genus as hamburgers.
Martin also doesn't trust hot dogs. Weird, right? He says that he saw a video of what is truly in the meat casing of the hot dog, and has been grossed out ever since. But that doesn’t stop him from eating veggie dogs or shrimp burgers, but by far his favorite place to go for a burger is Max Burgers in West Hartford. And if given the choice to eat one of the three food staples for the rest of his life, he chose sandwiches for the reasoning that there is an endless possibility for food that is labeled as a “Sandwich.”
At the end of my interviews, I was surprised to find that a majority of the teachers don't consider a hot dog as a sandwich. I also found out that if they had to eat hamburgers, hot dogs or sandwiches for the rest of their lives; a majority of the teachers said that they would eat a sandwich for the rest of their life. Understandable.
But given the choice, What would you choose? Would you make the right choice? Would you be surprised if you asked for a sandwich and was given a hot dog. Or would that make sense to you?
OPINION/EDITORIAL: Social Media Apps are doing something that seems illegal, here's how they are getting away with it
By: Michaela Collins
I know we are all aware by now of the dangers of social media. The several school assemblies on cyberbullying and privacy has kept us all well informed. However, there is still something about social media that we all tend to ignore: The Terms of Service.
Now I don't blame anyone for not sitting through the 70 something pages of rules and policies that social media apps have. I couldn't even make myself read the entire thing for this article. But with recent controversies such as Facebook’s $550 million lawsuit over facial recognition and Tiktok saving information and possibly sending it to it’s country of origin, you have to wonder what we are giving up when accepting these policies.
I decided to take a look at some of the policies for three popular apps among teenagers today: Snapchat, Instagram and Tiktok. Now again, I didn't read the whole thing. Instead, I read the parts where it tells you what information they collect and how they decide to use it. And let me tell you, it's a little creepy.
All of these apps said that they send your information to third-party affiliates. Meaning, if you searched for a certain thing using their app, they record that information and continue to give you more ads related to your searches. So while no one is listening to you or watching you through your phone, they are recording everything you type.
The apps also stated that they collect data like the things you watch/see so they can push other videos/pictures onto you so that you will stay on the app.
Now these things were general knowledge at this point, but reading further into it, it got more shocking. Snapchat states that they collect information log information about the pages that you visited before and after you use their app. If you search something up on Google before using Snapchat, they’ll be able to see what you’re doing.
Not only can Snapchat look at other things you’re doing while not using the app, they even record how long you’ve watched a certain ad or story for. As for location, if you use Snapmaps, they can store your “favorite” places for up to 40 days.
Snapmaps has also gotten the company in controversy, alarming child safety groups everywhere. According to Childnet International :“It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time.”
If you decided that you no longer want your Snapchat anymore, delete your account, Snapchat states that they will delete most of your information. They were not specific as to what information they do keep.
However, Facebook owns Instagram. Facebook has had a little history with violating users privacy. I wouldn't be surprised if Facebook had a little influence on Instagram in regards to their rules.
The new app with rapidly growing popularity, Tiktok has had a few run-ins with the law recently. Their policy was similar to the other apps' policies. They do record everything you watch on the app and keep all of the information.
Tiktok has been accused of saving information after you delete your account. So if you decided to make another account with this app, they will recommend the same videos you watched on your deleted account.
Also just as appalling, in late 2019 the app has been accused by a California college student of sending users information to China, where the app originated.
According to Reuters, “The plaintiff downloaded the Tik Tok app in March or April of 2019, but never actually created a Tik Tok account. Why would they send information to China and what exactly are they sending? We don't know.
Now I don't expect many people to delete their social media if they took the time to read the Terms of Service. In today's world, it's difficult not to have some sort of social media. It provides us with current news, keeps us in touch with one another, allows us to see what our favorite people on the platform are doing, etc.
The media does have several benefits. Unfortunately, these benefits also come with consequences. While you may have fun posting pictures of your vacations or making short dance videos with you friends, you may be giving up a lot more then what you intended.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.