By: Mya Pellegrino
Most upperclassmen who are soon going to be graduating from WHS are ready for college, but are they really ready to take on the responsibilities of being an adult?
Most seniors graduating in the class of 2020 are worried about the major struggle of adjusting to the differences between high school and college. We can no longer rely on our parents to do things for us while we are in college, we are on our own.
Graduated student from the class 2019 Kylie Judson, who attends the University of Tampa was lucky enough to share with her how she adjusted in college, being so far from home. She said, “College was definitely harder for me to adjust to, especially being far away, it was a whole new scene for me. Meeting new people was hard for me because I've been surrounded by the same people my whole life.”
Having to meet new people all over again is also something that the class of 2020 is stressed about, as we are approaching the last few months of high school. Senior J’von Cooper is mainly stressed about starting over all over again.
Cooper says, “I’m already antisocial as it is, so it makes it really hard for me to make friends because I don’t actively go out and make them. Since I already came in from another school and had to make new friends, I have to go to college and do it all over again and repeat the same process for the third time.”
Honestly, I’m stressed about adjusting to being by myself and having to figure out how to survive without my parents constant help. I need to learn basic life skills like doing my own laundry or cooking my own meal before I head off by myself.
College seems scary as some of us seniors are starting to think about future plans and building new lives for oursleves, but, with alittle adjustment, another 4 years will fly by!
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: 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: 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or BlueEagle News at email@example.com
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: 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: Taylor Mcgeachy, Mary Leconche, and Jess Driscoll
Can you imagine a world where the number of likes you get on social media will DISAPPEAR? Looks like its turning into a reality for Instagram, this popular social media site will soon get rid of likes for good.
But this is actually a great thing for teenagers this day in age. Child Mind Institute quotes in their article about social media and self doubt in teens, “Donna Wick, Ed.D, founder of Mind-to-Mind Parenting, says that for teenagers the combined weight of vulnerability, the need for validation, and a desire to compare themselves with peers forms what she describes as a ‘perfect storm of self-doubt.’”
So is this a new start to social media for teenagers? Instagram chief, Adam Mosseri, says on stage at the Wired25 event, "We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people's well-being and health.'' The chief of Instagram is changing his $100 billion company to make Instagram a safer place for teenagers and well everyone.
We asked ten highschool students from freshmen to seniors if getting rid of Instagram likes was positive or negative, 9 out of 10 agreed that getting rid of likes will help with self image in teenagers. Anthony Zabrella says, “I think it's a good thing because it helps with confidence and overall freedom and happiness.”
Instagram cutting the likes is turning out to be a great idea in many different countries such as Australia, Canada, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand with all positive feedback. Mosseri has now announced they will start experimenting in the US next week.
by: Amanda Carmel & Joseph Cassineri
History teacher John Sand is known for his love of travel. He’s ventured with students to destinations like Costa Rica and Belize, just to name a few. With his 2021 trip yet to be planned, Mr. Sand and two students have joined forces to form the new Cultural Exchange and Travel Club, with heavy emphasis on the cultural exchange part.
“We’re interested in cultural exchanges—we’re interested in when we go abroad, meeting with kids from other countries, and exchanging cultures that way,” Mr. Sand said.
Sand helped organize the club to gain input from students on, as Sand puts it, “where they want to go, and what they want to do.”
The direct input of the student body is something he hopes will drive future trips tailored to the passions of a group of students, whether it be traveling for fun, to see history, or to make a difference in the world community. Sand is perhaps one of the biggest proponents of travel in our WHS community, and we asked why he believes it’s so important.
“It increases your understanding that there’s a great big world out there, other than out little old Wethersfield High School” he said, “It promotes cultural awareness, so that you understand and appreciate the differences in people, rather than being ignorant to them.”
Beyond traveling the globe, Sand mentioned his interest in experiencing other cultures locally.
“We have different cultures here at our high school, there’s other cultures at other high schools. Its kinda cool to meet each other and find some common ground.”
The club will meet once a month in room 112. If you want to have a say in our school’s trips, or even venture outward yourself, “Sign up today! Put your name on the list and then we’ll email you and keep you in the loop.”
By: Semsa Huric and Rachel Gopaul
Most students who vape simply are not made aware of the consequences. Consequences not being in the physical manner, but with the law and records that could ruin your life.
The main concern Officer Knapp, with the Wethersfield Police Department and school resource officer, said, “Since the legal age to vape has changed from 18 to 21, none of our student body should be vaping. However, for those who get caught doing so, any student who is 16 or older will be provided with a ticket. Any minor or person who is 16 or younger is subject to automatic arrest, on top of whatever school punishment is applied.”
For the sixteen and younger students, the court decides where to go from there. We still have no information about how far the court will take the sixteen and older kids if they fail to pay their ticket.
While most students don't perceive vaping as harmful, science says otherwise. Moreover, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is stepping up efforts to keep vaping devices out of the hands of children.
Wethersfield High School is also trying to find ways for children in our school to learn more about vaping.
One way the school is trying to educate students on this matter is through online education. Principal Moore of WHS said “If a student is caught vaping on school grounds, it’s an automatic suspension, a fine, and students have to complete an online program which educates students on matter like the dangers of vaping. This program is 6 hours long and has to be completed before the students returns back to school from their suspension period.”
By: Abby Malizia and Paige Melillo
With Christmas right around the corner, we’re all excited for the holiday spirit to come in. It’s time to start bringing out the decorations, chopping down a tree, and sit by the fireplace and watch all your favorite classics.
With Christmas so close we were wondering what are our favorite teacher’s favorite Christmas movies and why?
“White Christmas because when I was young I wanted to be Vera-Ellen when I grew up. I loved the way she danced.”
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer because Rudolph was so cute!”
“Elf, it makes me laugh.”
“It’s a Wonderful Life is my favorite classic Christmas movie because I love black and white movies. My favorite modern movie is Elf because I love the storyline and how hope prevails. It is just absolutely hilarious.”
“A Charlie Brown Christmas because I love snoopy.”
“Elf because it is so much fun.”
“Christmas Story because it is just a classic.”
“The Holiday because it is funny,but it also has a good message.”
“Elf because it’s funny.”
“Home Alone because it is Christmas.”
“Elf because it is a funny light-hearted movie. Buddy has so many funny expressions and it is an all-around feel-good movie.”
“Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer because I like Bumble.”
“It’s A Wonderful Life because it is a feel-good story where the good guys win, but also because of Bert and Ernie.”
“Elf because it makes my whole family laugh and be happy for Christmas time.”
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas because it reminds me of my childhood.”
“Elf because he's hilarious and it's Will Ferrell!”
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation because it has the Christmas spirit without being over saccharin and sweet.”
What are YOUR favorite Holiday movies? Comment below!
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 Nathaniel Estifanos and Nick Ursini
Here in Wethersfield High School, we have a variety of different looking classrooms, ranging from an endless amount of posters hanging on each wall to album vinyl covers leaning above each cabinet. And, after close dissection and observation of each classroom, we have decided who has the best decorated classroom in the school, based on the amount of decorations, the quality of the decorations, and the overall look of the room. And this goes to: Mr. Mearman.
While many came close, we felt that Mr. Mearman had the overall greatest quality of decorations that you could have, and also has maintained an appealing overall look of the room. Many little details with his room is what led us to choose him over others, like how he changes the album vinyl covers that are above his whiteboard each quarter, or the countless amount of Patriots flags and towels that are pinned on the wall.
When asked why he designed his room the way he did, he said, “I tried to make the room an environment that is inviting to the students and one that I like.”
Go check out his room on the third floor soon!
by: Reece Skelly and Hannah Sullivan
This Friday, November 22nd, there will be a community bonfire at Millwoods from 6:00 to 8:00pm. The main purpose of the bonfire is to not only raise money for the senior class and sports teams, but to also bring the community together.
Multiple sports teams, clubs, and groups will be selling food and beverages such as pizza, hot chocolate, and water, to support their organization. No outside food or beverages will be allowed in, and the event is free to enter. For safety reasons, the Fire Marshall will be there to control and look after the bonfire itself. The event is projected to be exciting, while still safe.
This Bonfire was a Wethersfield tradition for decades, before it came to a halt in the late 1990’s. There was no particular reason the tradition stopped, it just faded out, according to the president of the senior class, Isaac Santos.
When asked why he wanted to bring the tradition back, Class President Isaac Santos said, “We hope to bring back this tradition for friends and family to get together and come support our school community whether that be the football team or any other group. The goal is to have the kids look forward to something after the carnival season is over and have a place to make new friends and reconnect with old friends”.
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!
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.