By J’Von Cooper
What is art?
That’s a loaded question, with many ways to answer it. Yet, considering the sizable amount of students participating in the arts here at Wethersfield High Schools, it begs the question.
With art existing in so many forms, is there any way to define it?
Well, according to the people participating in those programs, there are just as many answers as there are people being questioned. However, there is at least one constant within all of them: Emotion.
As Andrea Haas, one of three art teachers at WHS put it, “Art is whatever you want it to be.” She continues to specify, “I see art as a means to send a message. Make an emotional change in the person viewing it.”
That’s how many of her students view art. As Senior Brianna Boucher said, “Art is meant to mean something”, or in other words, elicit enough emotion to be meaningful. This theme of eliciting a reaction echoes through many of the people interviewed, including an unexpecting source.
Jeffery Roets, the current play director and English teacher, had a similar response to the aforementioned people interviewed, and a little more.
“Arts not only reflects our emotions, but makes us question them.” he said. “It makes us feel something.”
Well, if so many people feel so many different ways about art, what is concrete?
Well, as seen by the people interviewed, art means something. What that something is may be different depending on whomever you ask, but it means something to somebody, with everyone saying something.
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 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: 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: 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.
by: Kyle Edman and Nick McGrath
After a Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, the Chiefs pulled out an amazing comeback win with a final score of 31-20. This was a fantastic game to watch, even if you aren’t a fan of those teams it was most definitely a thriller.
With this nationwide event, we went around and asked some teachers in our school who they wanted to win and why they picked that team. With that being said, let’s see what some of our favorite teachers said.
Out of all the teachers we interviewed, only one teacher, history teacher Mr Sand, went for the 49’ers.
He said, “[I’m] mildly rooting for the 49ers. Not a fan but as a Vikings fan, I was going with the NFC team.” When we asked him how he felt about the niners blowing the lead he responded with “I don’t think they blew the lead. Mahomes and company are just really good. I thought they needed to outscore the Chiefs, not hold them to a low scoring output.”
The other six teachers had the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl, science wiz Mr. Walsh had this to say about the Super Bowl, “I wanted the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, because I prefer the AFC teams and I like Patrick Mahomes.”
Another history teacher, Mr Ferrett agreed with Walsh saying, “[I wanted the] Kansas City Chiefs. They had not won in 50 years and half a century is a long time.”
Earth Science teacher, Ms. Alexopoulus had an interesting and detailed response when asked why she wanted the Chiefs to win. “I know the coach wanted to be able to say he won the Super Bowl as a head coach, so given how dedicated and caring he is to his players, I just wanted him to get that win.”
She also followed up with, “[Andy Reid] also wanted to win for his son who passed away a few years ago, and that makes the win that much more special for him.”
All seven teachers we interviewed gave a similar response when asked why the 49ers blew the lead and it basically came down to the fact that they didn’t necessarily blow the lead, the Chiefs offense was just way more aggressive and ready to play.
Long time teacher and Patriots fan Mr.Gallivan said, “I think it was less about the 49ers blowing the lead and more about Patrick Mahomes just switching to another gear in the fourth quarter. Great quarterbacks can do that - as Tom Brady has demonstrated many times.”
Mr. Sikora added, “I had read and heard the coach was the winningest coach in NFL history without a ring, so I was hoping he could get one. Every game with Mahomes was pretty impressive too.”
As other teachers have told us about their thoughts on the Super Bowl, Andy Reid seemed to be a big motive as to why they wanted the Chiefs to win.
What were your thoughts on this exciting Super Bowl? Comment below!
by: Zack Grenier and Kassandra Vazquez
On January 3, Justin Bieber broke his 4-year silence in the music industry with his new single “Yummy.” The singer’s comeback was heavily promoted on all major social media platforms and led to big anticipation for the new song to be another one of Bieber’s chart topping bops.
While many people are excited for this era of Bieber's career, this new single couldn’t help but make others wonder if the singer’s new approach to music seemed un-authentic to the Bieber we all know and love. While “Yummy” peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, many fans are criticizing the lyrics on the catchy song.
“After the first verse it honestly got boring” WHS senior Haley DellaFera said, “It was disappointing to be expecting something so good as a comeback after 4 years and to get a song that is so repetitive.”
The lyrics didn't seem to be the only thing off-putting to people when it came to the new song. While promoting the song, Bieber and his team took a different approach to letting "Beliebers" know how to get the song to be as successful as Bieber wanted. People found the way the "Yummy" singer decided to promote the song to be very unlike him and overall desperate.
Joyclen Pinero, WHS senior and avid ‘Belieber’ felt disappointed in the singer’s new release. “I had higher hopes for this song, it feels very repetitive. It's very simple and there's nothing wrong with simple. It definitely was not a strong comeback song. The fact that he seems so desperate for views makes me not want to listen to it.”
This comment was made referring to Bieber’s recent instagram post explaining how to get “Yummy” to number one in the Billboard Hot 100. Bieber went as far as to tell his fans from outside the U.S to get a VPN app to stream the song so it seems more people in the U.S. are streaming the song.
Bieber has always catered to a teenage audience but it seems like they're the audience that dislike the song the most. This makes people like us wonder if Bieber is trying to switch up his audience. We asked Ashley Cavnaugh, a WHS teacher and pop culture enthusiast, her opinion on the song.
“I have mixed feelings on the song,” she said, “I like the beat behind the lyrics but I just don’t see the point in the song. It’s fun to listen to but I guess you're not supposed to think that deeply into the song.”
While the overall opinion in WHS seems to be that ‘Yummy’ is more of a flop than a bop, many fans around the U.S. are excited for the singers new album and feel like this era will be the best one yet.
by: Caitlin Nardella
“How many hours of sleep do you get?“ was the question asked to multiple students of WHS, the answers were quite concerning.
“About 5 hours, I usually go to bed after work and homework“. That was said during an interview with a senior in highschool, and in most of the interviews with juniors and seniors.
Studies show that the average teenager gets about 7 hours of sleep, However, they need about 9 hours of sleep to be fully rested.
Let's say that you get home from school at 2:15 when school ends. You have work from 4-8, that's 4 hours of work on top of 7 hours of school and then probably 1.5/2 hours of homework, that leaves you with a possible 8 hours of sleep without eating and cleaning yourself up (showering, brushing teeth, etc.), which would most likely take another hour. There is no possible way for students to be “Fully rested“.
“Neuroscientists say they are biologically predisposed to go to sleep around midnight and not feel fully awake and engaged until between 9am and 10am.“ If a teenagers brain doesnt officially wake up until about 9:30, how are we expected to get good grades if our brain isn't even fully awake to process and retain information? Well I have the perfect solution for this issue.
If our brains aren’t fully awake until 9:30 then we shouldn’t have school until then, schools should open later and get out earlier. Going to school for 7 hours is very non engaging and makes kids not even want to come in, like myself for example. Having 80 min classes makes it even worse, my first period class starts at 7:40 and doesn’t end till 9:09… technically my brain isn’t even awake during my whole first period! Making our school days shorter and making them start later will make not only the stress rate go up but the attendance will probably go up as well.
The new article by: “Mike” Irace and Malizia
The infamous, yet somewhat cult classic has touched each of us throughout our lives. Here’s Irace's recollection. “My mom would always tell me the morning of. My whole family had the same enthusiasm, being excited for another installment to a lifelong tradition. The whole day I would think about my old pal Chuck waiting for me at 7:00pm. By the time it was finally on, the whole family would be watching, despite the fact we already saw it once a year for mostly our entire lives.
It might have been because it was only on near holidays (that in itself being a great achievement), so my association with holidays made the Peanuts infamous. As it would end, I would panic and desperately wait to see what would happen next. Would another episode play, allowing me to stay down an extra 30 minutes to watch it? Or would my parents insist my night was concluded?
I can’t speak for every Charlie Brown holiday special, but I vividly remember the Thanksgiving special being the preceder to an episode of Charlie and his friends taking a trip on the Mayflower back in the 1620’s. It didn’t matter which holiday and it didn’t matter how the holiday itself was, but Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a clear memory of a tradition I still encounter currently.”
Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving special was a pivotal moment in American culture. As a kid, watching Charlie Brown it is hard to notice the overarching theme.
Each story has its own moral; The Christmas special shows the powerful effect of being kind to others and Thanksgiving’s shows generosity and the nature of giving. The overarching theme at play in all Charlie Brown episodes is growing up.
Perhaps it is only the time period (1950’s-1960’s), but it is very apparent that no adults are around to supervise. In the Thanksgiving special, all of the kids get together and have their own “Thanksgiving” dinner. Unfortunately, through the years, the Peanuts gang has gone from “Count Holiday”, to barely recognizable among the younger crowd.
It’s apparent by its current absence from pop culture that a majority of Freeform’s annual broadcast is viewed by boomers, and possibly a few millennials. With that said, will this special fade to obscurity over the following decades?
Sure, there were attempts to revive it, but they were never able to capture the original charm and comedic timing of the OG special, causing them to go unnoticed by longtime fans, and not remembered by the new generations. Despite this unfortunate reality, it is a very heartwarming story about Friends coming together to celebrate regardless of any plans that parents have made.
Please tell your friends and family about this special, bring it back to mainstream popularity and keep the tradition going!
By: Jake Whitaker and Johnny Orsini
Popeye’s Chicken sandwich has taken the fast food industry by storm this year, when it was brought into the restaurants it took only two weeks for the chicken sandwich to completely sell out!
Now that they are being made again, some locations are selling as many as 1,000 sandwiches a day.
Now the real debate is who has the best chicken sandwich? The long time favorite Chick-Fil-A sandwich, or the Popeye's sandwich and its new found stardom?
With Popeye's being all over the news for having people attacked and even killed over a chicken sandwich you would believe that they must have the better chicken sandwich right? According to Wethersfield High School students that is incorrect, well, sort of.
31 students responded to our poll and 48.4% of them said that Chick-Fil-A’s spicy chicken sandwich was better than Popeye’s spicy chicken sandwich. 19.4% of voters said that Popeye’s spicy sandwich was better, while the other 32.3% either said that they haven’t had Popeye's or haven’t had either.
On the other hand, 45.2% of voters said that Popeye’s regular chicken sandwich was better, 32.3% said Chick-Fil-A’s regular was better, and 22.6% said that they have either had neither or never tried Popeye's.
With a one to one stalemate, there was one last vote. Who has the better overall chicken sandwich? By a vote of 66.7% to 26.7%, Chick-Fil-A was voted as having the better chicken sandwich.
While looking deeper into the voting, we realized that there may have been a reason that Chick-Fil-A took such a lead in the final vote. Many voters claimed that Chick-Fil-A pulled ahead because of great service. Senior Matt Silver says “Chick-fil-a has much better service so that makes the sandwich experience that much more enjoyable.”
The other big factor that affected our voting was that with Popeye's sandwich being new and the nearest Popeye's being almost 20 minutes away, many people haven’t tried it. Head football coach and history teacher Matt McKinnon has never tried Popeye's for one reason. “Popeye's is not near my house, I never have been there.”
So while we have the data that shows that WHS students like Chick-Fil-A better, we believe that if more students tried Popeye's and if there was a location closer to Wethersfield than the data would look much different.
What do you think? Which is the better chicken sandwich? Comment below!
By: Kaitlyn Fischer and Jacob Rivera
Since Thanksgiving is soon approaching, we set out to interview staff and students on how they celebrate and to see just how different we really are.
Starting off slow, we asked the easy question. Quite simply, for those who have turkey, how do you make it? One person deep fries their turkey, five bake it, one buys it from a store, and two didn’t know yet how their turkey would be cooked. One that stood out to us was student Joe Porriello, saying, “I just show up for the food”.
Even as your writers, we celebrate differently. For Jacob Rivera, his family does not have turkey. Instead, they celebrate with mostly Latin American foods such as rice and beans, gandules, tostones, mofongo, pasteles, and alcapurrias. The main substitution for having turkey for the Rivera family is Pernil, which for your understanding, is roasted pork. The Rivera family, among many other families celebrate Thanksgiving in many different ways, mixing in what they know and how they live.
Senior Megan Kelleher celebrates by having antipasto every year. “It's become a tradition where, every year, we have to have it.”
While doing our interviews, we found that a lot of people have yearly traditions to celebrate this holiday.
Malvina Katapuqi celebrates by having lamb, which is part of her religion.
As you can see, Thanksgiving is a holiday that holds many traditions for most families. No matter how you cook your turkey, what other foods you may eat, or simply just showing up to be with your family, it's a holiday that brings everyone together.
By: Isaac Rios
Back in 2018, we heard the news that Disney would be making their own streaming service. Now, in late 2019, the service has been released as Disney+ and both students and teachers are loving it.
“Disney+ was a big next step for Disney. They have almost everything Disney has released throughout their company’s run,” said senior Katie Bridges.
Despite being a fan of it she has one major criticism, “It doesn’t have a recently watched list or [the ability to] save your place in the episode is something to improve on.”
“Disney+ has been an excellent addition to the media world. In PE class, we have it in the fitness room to motivate students to be off of their phones and entertained while exercising,” said physical educator Ms. McLaughlin.
Apparently, she found a way to watch Disney+ in class without giving detentions, “Students have the opportunity to watch shows and films from their childhood while getting a workout in during the day. It’s a win win.”
What do you think about Disney+? Is it better than Netflix or is it worse? What’s your favorite show? Comment below and let us know!
By: Isaac Rios
It’s that time of the year where the last three months bring not just winter, but special holidays that most people in the school can’t wait for, mostly due to the food, days off, and/or gifts.
Especially with Thanksgiving coming up since Halloween passed, everyone can’t wait to eat, sleep, and hope to not get trampled in a Walmart.
Do most people think the holiday is just “a cookout with a parade,” or is it more than that? Here at WHS, the teachers have something to say about this holiday.
“Over Thanksgiving I usually get together with my family,” said social studies teacher Mrs. Zaleski, “We eat delicious dinner but sometimes we play football outside, we have a family football game, and we always end with other games; like around the table.”
“It’s a day of thanks giving, we give thanks to people and everybody around us. [It’s about] family and friends who wish the world to be a better place.” said physical educator Mr. Scoppetto. Every teacher here at WHS believes the same message, that this is the time when we would get together with people we know and love as a way to give thanks to everyone for the life we can live.
What makes your Thanksgiving special from others? Do you agree with Mr. Scoppetto on what Thanksgiving is about? Leave your comment below!
By: Nathaniel Estifanos and Nick Ursini
While in the eyes of most the NBA is as wide open this season as it has ever been, some of the staff here at WHS had the same general idea for their NBA Finals winners, with both of the teams in Los Angeles accounting for all of the picks.
Both English teacher Mr. Martin and principal Mr. Moore picked the L.A. Clippers to win the title, while Athletic Director Mr. Maltese picked the L.A. Lakers to win it all. Mr. Maltese even went as far as saying who he sees coming out of the Eastern Conference, saying “You would have to think Milwaukee Bucks. With [Brooklyn] hurt, with Lebron’s second year out of the East, I think Milwaukee has the easiest path.”
Those interviews also had similar views on the NBA’s most valueable player, with Moore and Martin saying Kawhi Leonard will win the award. Mr. Maltese picked James Harden to win his second award. And the way our interviewees talked about who would win the NBA title and who would be selected for MVP made it seem that there was a very slim chance that any other team had much of a chance.
For example, Mr. Martin said, “When you add Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with crazy energy guys like Pat Beverly, that sets up a dynamic for a city that has gone so long without the title. It could create a perfect storm for them.”
Mr. Moore was also on the same page, simply saying, “One word. Kawhi. Last year, he put that team on his shoulders and brought them through the entire playoffs, and with help, can he do it again? I think he can.”
As we can see, WHS clearly has their minds set on a select group of teams and individuals, so we’ll see how these picks play out for them in this upcoming NBA season.
by: Cole Nocida and Andrea Martinez
The Career Advisory Board? Are they the ones that organize our advisory? No, the CAB is the organization that puts together all the exciting things that happen around the school that you may not even know about.
They are the ones that bring lunch and learns, like our most recent with a physical therapist. They have programs that allows students to dip their toes into the real world of career and career readiness. They are here for the benefit for us!
They meet once every month and their next meeting will be November 25 in the Media Center. Chairperson of the Wethersfield Board of Education Bobbie Granato plans on talking about some specific goals in their next meeting with the members of the committee, which includes business leaders and members of the town and school communities.
Throughout high school in any history-related class, you’ll learn about the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001. It’s so important now for all high school students to learn about 9/11 because the graduating class of 2020 would be the first generation born after the 9/11 attacks. So it almost feels like a responsibility to carry on the information given to us by our teachers who had to experience this horrible act of terrorism.
Around 2,996 (19 of the 2,996 people were hijackers) lives were lost that day and over 6,000 people were injured. The country stopped where it was nobody knew what to think. So many people lost family members and friends. All they could do was hope that the people they loved survived, hope was all anyone had.
I interviewed Mr. Sand, the Current Issues teacher at Wethersfield High School. He expressed his feelings and reasons for why he went so in depth when teaching about 9/11. Mr. Sand said, “When you go down there [the 9/11 memorial in NYC] and you see what happened and you learn about it and you make a personal connection, it really puts your own life in perspective and I think it’s really important. This is true especially for seniors who are going out into the big wide world next year to get a sense that there is so much more out there than their lives in a small central Connecticut suburban town.”
The United States will never recover fully from the terrorist attacks that took place on 9/11 but to be educated and to never forget the people that were lost that day is how the people of the United States became stronger. For sometime after the attacks, everybody was still in shock but everyone came together and supported each other people and all people wanted to do was help those who lost someone that day in any way they could.
The fact is my generation and more specifically the senior class of students is the first of many new people to be born after 9/11 that’s why it’s even more important for us to learn about the events that occurred on that tragic day.
By: Logan Lichatz
We all stress out for the one day where our score on a three hour scantron test can determine the next part of our life. SATs have become a huge selling point for you to get into college: if a college sees good test scores on your resume the chances are good that your going to get in.
But how do you prepare for the biggest test of your high school career? These five steps can help!
1. Practice SAT problems.
Make Khan Academy your best friend and use this site all the time to help you get used to the type of questions asked on the SAT. Also, use the SAT time in your classes to get used to the timed portion of the test.
2. SAT preparatory classes (through the Wethersfield Adult Education Program).
There's nothing better than getting professional help from a trained SAT teacher. Although it may cost a little money, it's worth it, they teach you how to approach each question and give you good strategies. The SAT classes are also not that time consuming sometimes they’re only once or twice a week.
3. Prepare yourself the night of and morning before your SAT.
Use the night before to do some last minute studying and have a good dinner. After having a nice dinner get to bed early enough to between 8-10 hours of good sleep. Wake up an hour before the SAT doors open and make sure to have a good breakfast.
Although this will be one of the most stressful times, you need to take a mental moment to relax. Don't stress yourself out too much. Stay relaxed and comfortable throughout the test and remember that you can take the test multiple times and “superscore” (combining your best English and Math scores).
5. Assemble everything you need for the SAT.
Make sure you have a calculator and two #2 pencils. Also it would be ideal for you to bring a little snack or two, there's nothing worse than getting hungry throughout the test and not being able to go get something to eat.
Doing these steps won't guarantee that you'll have the best score but you will most definitely feel more prepared to take the test if you do.
by: Emma Fahnestock
For thousands and thousands of years there have been myths and stories about the supernatural. From werewolves to warlocks, they have all been just as scary, giving people the goosebumps and shivers.
Although these creatures are fascinating and captivating, many movies made about them were far too terrifying for children. Luckily, Disney made a few Halloween movies so that children could also enjoy the thrills of Halloween; two of their most popular movies being Halloweentown, and Hocus Pocus.
The cast of Hocus Pocus has been in many other popular movies, a few of which are Sarah Jessica's role in Footloose and Bette Midler's role in the new animated movie, “The Addams Family.” On the other hand, the cast of Halloweentown didn't appear in many movies or television shows afterwards, other then a few simple roles on Disney.
Since most of the Hocus Pocus actors had huge movie roles, you can tell that they are amazing actors. Halloweentown has a few good actors but they could never compare to the cast of Hocus Pocus.
Another point to be made is that Halloweentown didn’t have much character development and moved along very quickly. To compare, Hocus Pocus built up their characters throughout the whole movie, and dug more deeply into the storyline.
Halloweentown has some benefits as well. When the children go to Halloweentown, they encounter many different monsters; such as witches, skeletons, ghosts, werewolves and vampires. In Hocus Pocus, they only have witches, and a few references of other creatures through halloween costumes.
The main goal of the Hocus Pocus witches is to take the souls of children so they can look younger for the rest of their lives. Many children could find this scary, thinking this would happen to themselves.
Additionally, Hocus Pocus contains several inappropriate jokes and other mature topics. Although these jokes may fly over kids head, Halloweentown is filled with only child-friendly humor.
After asking six WHS students which movie they prefered, I discovered four students favored Hocus Pocus, one student didn’t know either movie, and one student preferred Halloweentown. One freshman, Izzy Berube, strongly responded with, “Definitely Hocus Pocus over Halloweentown.”
All of this being said, In my opinion, I believe that Hocus Pocus is perfect for tweens and older, but Halloweentown is suggested for younger children.
Which do you think is the better Disney Halloween movie? Comment Below!
by: Samuel Garcia and Jordan Hickey
There is always a controversy between favorite baseball teams such as the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees. You always hear it here and there, “the Yankees are better” or “the Red Sox are better.” Which team is actually better?
We, Samuel Garcia and Jordan Hickey, seniors at Wethersfield High School, are here to find out. We set out to determine which team is more beloved at Wethersfield High School.
We went to question some of the Wethersfield High School staff to actually determine who the better team is.
The first person we interviewed was Mr. Moore, the principal at Wethersfield High School. According to Mr. Moore, “I have been a baseball fan ever since I was a little kid.”. Ever since Mr. Moore started watching baseball as a little kid, the New York Yankees have hit home for him because he lived near New York growing up. Mr. Moore said “It ain’t over till it’s over.” This is a quote said by Yogi Berra, a famous Yankees player. Moore claimed that he always has this quote in the back of his head because he never gives up.
Another Wethersfield High School staff member we turned to was Mr. Miller, a math teacher. We asked Mr. Miller why he was specifically a fan of the Boston Red Sox, or if there is a certain reason why he likes the Red Sox. Mr. Miller said, “When I was a little kid, my father took me to Fenway Park” and that is what formed Mr. Miller into the Red Sox fan he is today. He told us he remembered sitting down and watching them play ball when he was little. This is why he is a fan because he has special memories with the Red Sox.
Mr. Sand, another staff member at Wethersfield High School is a fan of the Baltimore Orioles. This is because once again we have a lot of memories created from baseball. Mr. Sand said, “My son and I have gone to an Orioles game every year ever since he was 2 years old.” This creates a lot of emotional pull on the Orioles which explains why Mr. Sand is a huge fan of the Orioles.
Overall, the staff at Wethersfield High School are all fans of different teams and the reason is because of the memories when we are young and get that emotional pull from our family traditions.
Who is your favorite sports team? Comment below!
By: Paige Melillo and Abby Malizia
We interviewed some of the group leaders of our international trips at WHS to find out what it really like to travel and be a leader of one of.
Ever wanted to go on one of these trips? Are these trips for you? Here at WHS, there are multiple amounts of trips with some of your favorite teachers. Our school works with Education First Tours or EF Tours to help plan and make these trips a once in a lifetime experience. Some teachers that have led these trips are John Sand, Drew Nicholas, John Martin, Shannon Belanger, and Patricia McGrath, just toname a few.
Over the past 15 years, WHS teachers have taken students to Costa Rica, Greece, Belize, Ireland, Spain, England, France, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand, plus many more to come.
Mr. Nick is an English teacher at WHS and has been working with EF tours for over ten years and has gone on 12 trips. He has been to France, Spain, Italy, London, Costa Rica, Ireland, and Greece. I interviewed Mr. Nick last week to find out more about these trips and what's it like to be a leader.
When asked about what types of students he looks for, Nicholas said, “Students who have an intellectual curiosity, someone who wants to broaden their horizons opens their world view and wants to go and learn, different from book learning in school, experiential learning not something you would necessarily see in a museum.”
Being a leader of these trips for so long, Mr. Nick has definitely gotten the hang of it. “It’s a lot to do, but you have months to do it.”
Shannon Belanger is a Math teacher at WHS and has been involved in the EF tours as a chaperone for one trip to Australia/New Zealand and has taken trips with them as a student as well. She has now been on both ends, the stressful chaperoning and the fun as a student. I got together with Mrs. Belanger last week to discuss the trip altogether, fun parts, stressful parts, and the experience.
During the interview, I asked Belanger what makes her want to go back on more trips, and she said, “Sharing my experience with not just the culture but the memories. There is so much more to it than just going and seeing and doing things.”
Belanger enjoys the bonds she is able to make with fellow students when it comes to plane rides, bus rides, and just free time around the resorts.
Though there is stress that comes along with the beautiful trips. These teachers volunteer their time to let us students enjoy the trip while keeping it as safe as possible. When asked the main fear fellow chaperones have experienced, Belanger said, “I think the hardest part is the unknown.”
Mrs. Belanger is planning an upcoming trip to Germany and Switzerland for all grades in Summer 2021.
With all the feedback given from chaperones themselves, what would make you not want to experience these trips? The bonds you create, the things you get to experience, they are all once in a lifetime. From warm sunshine to brisk cultural experience, there are so many trips available that could fit your preference. What’s stopping you?
by: Emma Fahmnestock
Many high school students undergo tons of stress, just ask Freshman student Abigail Albright. She states that lots of homework and studying is thrown on you, “Sometimes it would get overwhelming,”
She also explains that “If you mess up, your grade is ruined.” Abigail Albright isn’t the only one who's been feeling huge amounts of stress.
Another student has stated that friends stress them out because “I sometimes have to pick between them and it makes me feel bad.” To help out these students, and hopefully many others, school counselors Mrs. Coffey and Mr. Deguire have given us some advice.
“Don’t save your homework until the last minute and utilize study hall,” said Mrs. Coffey. Additionally, If you “do the hardest first,“ you will be able to focus better on the stuff you don’t know, and use your leftover energy on the stuff you are already good at. “A ten to fifteen-minute clarification could save you an hour at home.”
Mrs. Coffey admits that she tends to procrastinate as well and that you need to do little bits at a time, practice rewriting your notes, and study. You don’t want to “study to get it done, you want to study to understand it.”
She also said slipping up isn’t always a bad thing, “You learn the most when you face adversity.” Mr. DeGuire reveals that you shouldn’t be afraid to fail, If you are prepared, you won’t even have to worry about that.
Mr. DeGuire also says to, “Find things you are passionate about and these are the friends you will gravitate towards.”
It's important to devote time to each of your friends. Adding on to this, Mrs. Coffey communicated that “A good friend will understand that you have other friends.”
In the end, stress is always going to be a part of many students' everyday lives, but if students can find ways to reduce and cope with that stress, their lives will result in much more joy and fewer issues. So next time you’re facing a lot of stress, take a deep breath and know you're going to be okay.
How do you deal with stress in school? Comment below!
by: Brianna Garcia
After watching the Jonas Brothers’ documentary Chasing Happiness about how they became the Jonas Brothers, I feel like I really got to know more about the band and each of the brothers as an individual. The movie didn’t get as much fame as it should have gotten, because it was really a masterpiece, showing how they got to where they are now.
The documentary Chasing Happiness really told us more about the brothers, and it really added nicely to their new album Happiness Begins. Fans of the Jonas Brothers were all in awe that the band got back together, and I’m sure many of the fans loved their new album and movie.
I asked English teacher Mrs. McKenna if she knew that the Jonas Brothers got back together and about them, she said “My daughter was obsessed with them when she was a child!”
This makes me believe that the Jonas Brothers appeal more to younger listeners, since her daughter was loved their music. But who wouldn’t love their music? Their songs are so upbeat and catchy, and Mrs. McKenna must’ve liked their songs too, since she knew a bit about them.
Lots of the songs on this new album have lyrics were they talk about finding where “happiness begins”. Could this repeating lyric and album name have a deeper meaning for the Jonas Brothers?
Well, if you’ve seen their movie, you’d know that they say “happiness begins” because they’re referring to how music impacted their life, and would begin their happiness later on when they became a band. Although there were times when they weren’t happy with making music together (which was when they split up), they still continued to pursue music in their own lives.
It seems like music is something that’s just a large part of the Jonas Brothers’ lives. Even their younger brother, Frankie Jonas, who isn’t in the band because he’s so young, is still involved in producing and writing music. Music definitely runs deep in the Jonas family.
By Christine Vittner
In July 2019, English teacher Mr. Martin and three other chaperones took 29 kids to Australia and New Zealand for 14 days. These kids ranged from the sophomore to the senior class. Many said it was the trip of a lifetime.
Asking him to pick his favorite part was so hard, they did so many crazy things. Mr. Martin said,¨I think it was more of an overall. We had some incredible individual experiences, we did surfing at Bondi beach, we saw the set of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in New Zealand, and we went down a mountainside in an inflatable OGO ball.¨
From all of the pictures they brought back, they looked like they had a blast. Many said they would love to go back because of how beautiful it was.
Traveling through Australia and New Zealand, they met so many different people in all the different parts they visited.
However, the flight home was not easy with there being long layovers and 36 hours to travel back across the globe. For many people was the worst part of the whole trip but others said it wasn’t as bad. After seeing Australia and New Zealand, they said it was totally worth it.
If you are a WHS student interested in world travel please look for the posters around the school or talk to one of the teachers running the trips. This upcoming April, Mr. Martin and Mr. Sand, among other teachers, will be taking students to Costa Rica and there are other upcoming trips to Western and Central Europe!
By: Megan Keleher and Dante Burgos
Stripes over checks... there is always so much controversy between Nike and Adidas and which brand is better, nobody can ever agree. This week, we interviewed students and staff around the school to get their opinion.
Nike is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services.
Adidas is a multinational corporation, founded in Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world compared to Nike.
Both brands being the top sportswear manufacturers in the world means that the competition is very high. So many people could argue all day about which is better. We wanted to find out from a random selection of students and staff which brand is actually better. Going into the interviews we asked each person three questions and they were, Which do you prefer Nike or Adidas? Why? What makes this brand better than the other?
When asking senior soccer player Lucas Villagra he said “Nike, I like the clothing and they have a better fit.”
However when we asked security guard Mr. Rumley, he had a different answer claiming, he hasn't owned a pair of Nikes because they don't fit his feet the right way, he definitely prefers Adidas in this debate.
When asking teacher Mr. Roets he had a very specific answer and he seemed very prepared. We asked him what he prefers and he simply said “Neither.” He then went on to say, “Brand loyalty isn't based on any factual information, it's based on whose shilling the product.”
We got a variety of responses from the students and staff around the school, and we were not surprised when many of the answers were Nike.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.