How One NHS Member Has Overcome Pandemic Related Challenges
By: Camila Nobre and Lorien Touponse
The Wethersfield High School National Honors Society, advised by Mrs. Niemiec, Mrs. Bellas, and Mr. Leone, has been around for quite awhile. Each year, the students are required to plan and implement community service projects. Due to the pandemic, this has been a challenging task.
One student, senior Kate Anzidei, worked hard to create a project that will allow her to impact the community while staying safe.
Anzidei, who has always been a kind and compassionate friend to her peers, has found a way to help her furry, four-legged friends! Her love for rescue animals inspired her to hand sew dog toys for a local animal shelter — The Connecticut Humane Society. By the end of the year, she hopes to make 30 of them.
The dog toys themselves are made of fleece. Anzidei hand sews them and each one takes approximately 45 minutes, depending on the size. She has created many different shaped toys including hearts, stars, and bones. Her hope is to create unique toys that dogs of all sizes can enjoy. Anzidei plans to hand stitch pet blankets along with the chew toys.
Anzidei said, “I wanted to think of a good way to give back to the community while being able to do it socially distant and I could also get other friends or family members involved if they were interested.”
Anzidei has always had a love for animals and has some rescue pets herself. The newest addition to her family is a small Boston Terrier named Nemo. Anzidei told us, “This poor thing came in awful condition and I felt very bad. We ended up getting him the [medical attention] he needed, so that’s why I really wanted to support the Humane Society.”
Her love of animals has influenced her to create a project to better the environment for dogs in shelters while following COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines to do so safely. Anzidei feels that there is always a clever solution to a difficult problem, and thinking outside the box allowed her to come up with this form of community service.
It is often said that helping others will make you feel good. With that in mind, if we all take a page from Kate Anzidei’s book, we can make the world a better place while improving our own lives.
For further information, visit the Connecticut Humane Society website: https://cthumane.org/
I know that Wethersfield High School has a diverse community and I am a proud part of it. Here is why.
by: Fatma Bark
I was so nervous and unhappy, but excited on my first day in WHS. I was feeling so alone as everyone seemed to know each other. This feeling stuck to me until the start of the first period.
Even though I joined the school a couple of days later, I felt like everyone was ready to welcome a new student. Feeling of being welcomed is one of the most outstanding feelings that a new student is likely to experience on their first day.
I met maybe more than twenty people on my first day. All of them were smiling, asking questions and ready to offer their help to me. That feeling was like finding a new place to belong.
My thoughts about being an outsider were able to stay with me until my first ELL class. This class proved to me that WHS was full of students from all around the world and from many different backgrounds. I just met a couple of them, yet there were many others to discover.
I believe I have enough experience to make a statement about a school’s society as I have seen four high schools in total. This is what makes me different from many other students probably, but it is the same thing that makes WHS a society full of unique people.
I want to include a glimpse of my story to this article. I was a freshman at my dream high school in Turkey in 2016 until the day came and my dad told us he was fired unjustly from the bank that he worked for 16 years.
He wasn’t as sorry as we all were. He always wanted to work abroad and this gave him a space to find what he was hoping. He found a job in an international company and moved to a country that I would never imagine: India.
There was an education difference between Turkey and India. This led me to stay in Turkey one more year. Away from my parents.
To complete my sophomore year, I moved to my grandparent’s house. The time I spent in Turkey was challenging but I was able to leave Turkey, but there was something bigger needed to worry about. My life in India.
This journey was relatively harder. The need of learning a new language while taking classes in that language was very stressful. In addition to the language barrier, there was a cultural, climate and society change.
By: David Barajas
This year has been different then most years due to the ongoing pandemic and all of the other crazy things that have occurred. Some of us are trying to get jobs this year as for some it may be their last year here. I decided to figure out how it was working during the pandemic.
Jobs these days are really important due to the shutdown. Employment is more important than ever to help struggling families as well as learning important life and employment skills.
I decided to go and find out how working during the pandemic was like, I interviewed Aaron Maher, a senior at Wethersfield High School, to find out how it was to work at a pizza restaurant in Coventry during this unprecedented time.
I decided to ask him what were some differences he noticed at work between last year and this year, He said “Less people are coming in. More deliveries and people want touchless contact for delivery”.
He also said, “We don’t dine in anymore but delivery has been out the door. People are increasingly takeout.” This isn't surprising to as people want to do as much as they can to avoid getting COVID.
However, not all is lost, as places like restaurants, grocery stores, and other employers are still looking to hire high schoolers. And while so much has changed in the past year, we can make it through together!
by: Adrianna Uccello and Elma Huzejrovic
The transition alone from middle school to high school can be difficult to begin with, let alone without the help of COVID. In middle school, teachers are much more lenient with you and in my opinion, middle school was all around easier. When transitioning to the high school, you can see that things are much different.
Now, with COVID being brought into the picture, school life looks much different. With some students being full remote and others participating in the hybrid schedule, there is a broad variety of how students are participating in school this year.
Not only is school different in the aspect that there are full online students and also part-time in school students, there is also the added aspect of lunches, clubs, sports, etc. being altered.
Since we are seniors this year, we got to experience the “normal” school life for three years but as for freshman this is not the case.
We had the opportunity to interview freshman Racheal Chamberland, and ask her questions regarding her transition from middle to high school during COVID-19.
When asked about how things are different from the middle school to the high school, Rachael said, “It was much different than I expected…(the middle school) is much smaller, and you have all like your four class together, and in high school you have to walk around the whole building, but like I got the building pretty much… and in high school you’re pretty much expected to do everything on your own.”
Students are able to be much more independent now especially with COVID in the mix, because half of the student body is home everyday.
When asked about the move to high school with COVID affecting how class worked, Rachael said, On a google meet, sometimes it’s hard to focus”. Students are participating in either a fully remote learning plan or a hybrid learning plan, where half the students in the school are in school on Mondays and Tuesdays, no one is in school on Wednesdays, and the other half of the student body is in school on Thursdays and Fridays.
With losing a day of school on Wednesdays, Rachael provided some pros and cons: “You lose a day of school, but it’s easier to catch up and meet with teachers because we have a lot more time.”
Students have Wednesdays at home to work on missing assignments, but it takes away from the in-class learning time students had before COVID.
When giving advice to incoming freshman for next year, Rachael said “To not be nervous, I know it’s hard because I was so nervous, and you always get nervous on the first day, but I really like the environment here, and I really enjoy being at WHS rather than middle school.”
Students and teachers are still unaware of what the next couple months will look like due to COVID, but everyone is doing the best they can given the situation!
By: Spring 2020 Journalists
Throughout all the unprecedented changes in the Spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound change on the way we celebrate our high school seniors.
For my students, I had the simple assignment: Write what you feel.
The results were astounding. At times sentimental, reflective, frustrated and thankful, but altogether powerful.
I hope you get the chance to read each response with the care they took to write it. This gave me incredible insight into what seniors are going through, and I hope it does the same for you.
If you are a teacher of one of these students, discuss this with them. If you are a friend or family member, bring them up and support them during this time. We are all in this together.
Emily Fazzina--A letter to the year 2020
I miss you. I don’t think I ever knew how good I had it until you were taken away from me. But why did you have to let yourself go? We were rooting for you, we had high hopes that you would outdo 2019, but you let us down. Not even three months knowing you and It feels like I’ve been transported to a dystopian movie. There’s nothing we can do now, but why didn’t you warn us?
Every passing moment our future becomes the present, and the present becomes the past, so why do we have to live it like this, with time so easily wasted. Separated from what used to be, trying to reconnect with what we were rather than make this a new beginning.
I miss school, my friends, holidays, prom, being able to hug someone without worry that I would be endangering their wellbeing. But this is the new normal... at least for now.
But can you imagine that? I would have never thought in a million years that something so simple and loving as a hug would be considered practically illegal.
I’m still rooting for you to make a comeback though. It’s really easy for people to remember the bad things that happen. But give us something good to remember you by.
With best wishes,
Sam Odell, Matt Silver, Haley Krawczyk, Luciano Quagliaroli, Clarence Jubac
Last week, the WHS family learned that prom and senior picnic, two seminal rites of passage in the senior experience were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and school closure. The WHS junior and senior classes wanted to write a message to their peers, teachers, staff, and the entire Wethersfield community on the loss of this time. These are their thoughts.
It is a general consensus that the “corona-cation” that was affectionately named at the beginning of quarantine is no longer something that upperclassmen at Wethersfield High School enjoy. The blow of senior activities being canceled was a devastating one that will never be forgotten. We will forever be the class of corona, instead of the class of 2020.
Class of 2020 has a certain ring and meaning to it when you think about it. Think of it in the way of a person’s eyesight. 20/20 means you have perfect eyesight, you’ve got perfect vision. You’re able to see things clearly. What we as the students of the class of 2020 saw clearly and had a vision of, was that our time as kids, teens, young adults, and our childhood, in general, was coming to an end.
Senior prom, the senior picnic, and other senior activities were a way to end things off on a good note. These events were milestones that we would celebrate in a unique way, which is in most cases a once in a lifetime opportunity. With the COVID-19 pandemic occurring along with the school closure, our vision isn’t as clear or perfect as we thought it would be. No milestones fulfilled, and no proper way to say goodbye to the teachers and other students you’ve met through our journey in high school.
In a way, the most upsetting part is the fact that after going to school for over twelve years, we are going to miss the months that are the most fun. The second semester of senior year serves as a reward for the effort we have put in since we were five years old. In these last few months, most post-secondary decisions have been settled and students are finally able to relax and appreciate the last time that they will ever have with this class all together.
Having gone to school with the Class of 2020 since kindergarten, these are the people that we have grown up with. Throughout the years prior to this one, we have all fantasized about how much fun we would have in the spring of our senior year together. But, with the cancellation of senior activities, it’s very possible that we may never see a lot of our classmates again.
Over this period of time during quarantine I have had a lot of time to think. My thoughts are all over the place. I am going to be honest as a senior, a seventeen-year-old girl. I am very stubborn and angry this is happening. Wasn’t this supposed to be the best three months of my life?
Why me? It is insane how I will never step back on the court with my team, I won’t ever have the chance to go to a different country with my three best friends during break. I won’t go to another prom or have our senior picnic, are we even having spring sports?
Every day I think about what I should be doing if this pandemic wasn’t happening. This “norm” that we have to distance from our friends and wear masks breaks my heart. Every day is a drag and I wish I was anywhere but home. My fellow classmates and I are miserable, not being able to go to accepted student’s day, worrying if we will have a freshman first semester of college online.
The 2020 seniors have been robbed of our senior privileges. I wish prom and the senior picnic were postponed and not canceled. There is still time and this can get better. My classmates and I deserve to have something! It's not fair that everything we have been waiting for has been taken away from us.
I hope to see my teachers and classmates again soon, hopefully at graduation following with a Safe Grad. We all have been waiting for this and I want to thank the teachers who have been on our side, fighting for our senior events back. You have stuck by and been strong for us during this time.
I hate you Corona, and if I could use stronger words, I would.
This was supposed to be our year. When my parents told me these next four years of my life would go by quickly, I didn’t think they meant this fast. I didn’t think that the “time of our lives” was supposed to end this way. The last few months of our senior year that we’re supposed to have fun are gone.
I never got to go to my senior prom. I never got to go on my senior picnic. I never got to fully say goodbye. I walked out of WHS on March 13th, thinking I would be back in two weeks. I never thought that it could’ve been my last time walking out of that building.
My senior year was cut short, and it sucks. We never got to fully take it in and experience our last year of high school. You not only robbed so many kids of their senior year, but you took so many innocent peoples’ lives. You preyed on the weak, and that isn’t fair.
Throughout my high school career, I have looked forward to the last semester of my senior year because it’s supposed to be a time to just look back and enjoy your last few months of high school. However, given the current circumstances that is no longer the case, because I can’t even see my friends.
Senior prom and the senior picnic are supposed to be a kind of symbolic time for the students because we get to look back and think about how great the last four years have been. I think we all just wish things were different because at the beginning of the year, no one could have expected that something like this would happen.
The students, along with the rest of the community, look forward to the senior picnic and prom and it’s heartbreaking to have it canceled due to something that’s so unpredictable and out of everyone's control. I’m thankful to have had a junior prom and an unforgettable first senior semester at Wethersfield High School but there’s so much I feel like I’ve missed.
Given the fact that we aren’t the only town facing these circumstances, it’s great to see that the parents and town as a whole are looking for ways to celebrate their seniors in the community. It’s safe to say that this pandemic is something that won’t be forgotten for the class of 2020.
Due to the unexpected Coronavirus pandemic, the senior prom and picnic were canceled because of school closure. I was told to chime in about my thoughts on this, so here are my thoughts:
I think that this is all unfortunate, as many seniors were looking forward to prom and the picnic. It sucks that we won’t ever get another school dance to go to, and some of us may never see each other again if the pandemic continues growing at this rate.
There is no possible way any of us could even fathom what is going on right now in the world. If you told me about 1 month ago that I may have had my last day of school, I wouldn’t have believed you, but here we are.
We’re all stuck inside, getting more bored with every passing day, waiting to go back out into the world we once knew. The normal life I once lived seems like a distant memory to me. I want nothing more than for everything to just go back to normal, but I also see something good in this situation.
Obviously, no one wanted this to happen, but we can come out of this and be better people. We were all rushing from place to place and season to season before this pandemic started, and I think this is a good chance for us to slow down and absorb the lives we all lived. We all have room for improvement, and I think if we take the time to strive to do one thing better in our lives, it won’t be time wasted.
Isaac Santos, Class of 2020 President
I am truly sorry for what is happening. I am alongside all of you when I say that I'm devastated, upset, and shocked over the cancellation of our senior prom and senior picnic. As your Class President and Board of Education Student Representative, I feel like you all deserve to have clarity on what has been going on these past weeks. On April 8, the class officers and I had a Google Meet conference with Mr. Moore, Mr. Webb, and Mrs. Belanger.
In the meeting, we discussed potential outcomes for our senior activities with the mindset and hopes that nothing would be canceled. However, last week on April 16th we all met again to hear the unfortunate news that our senior activities were canceled.
I understand the frustration that you are all going through. I understand that some of you have already purchased your dress for prom and can’t return it. However, When Superintendent Mr. Emmett met with officials from the State Department of Health and after meeting with Mr. Moore, they decided that it's best to cancel the events for our safety, and there is no arguing that safety is the number one priority.
This pandemic is something the state has never seen and wasn’t prepared for. I do understand that other school districts are rescheduling and postponing their senior activities. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out in our case, we are still looking at the possibility to reschedule. May 20th is a placeholder date to come back to school; it's not a guarantee.
However, I am here today to shine some light on all this darkness. The class officers and I are planning a Senior Event that can potentially be done in the near future if Social Distancing allows it.
Although Senior Prom at the Aqua Turf is canceled, I promise you this: we will have some sort of senior activity and I promise you that you will end your senior year on a good note. The class officers and I agree that we don’t want to end our senior year like this and we will have an event, whether it be school organized or organized by the class officers. We will get some sort of closure.
As more information comes to light I’ll be sure to let you all know. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via social media.
Well this sucks.
I’m not going to lie, I've been avoiding writing this ever since this became an assignment because it just made me feel like my senior year is over. But it’s 5:50 something on a Friday afternoon and since I “forgot” to do assignments for some of my classes, I thought I might as well accomplish something today.
Yes, I am frustrated that my senior prom and picnic were canceled. While things like dresses and appointments can be replaced, I won't have the fun memories with my friends at prom. However, this situation is bittersweet. I didn't want my senior activities to get canceled, but I also know that I won't spread or be infected by this virus if I stay home.
There are just a few things that I wasn't prepared to let go of yet, like going to choir early in the mornings so my friends and I can sort music and get the chairs ready. I miss Sand starting off class with “Alright so here’s the skinny…” and him giving eye-opening lessons that, in my opinion, are some of the most important lessons to learn. Also not seeing my friends that I don't usually get to see in the hallway is strange. And Mrs.Niemic…who doesn't miss Mrs. Niemic?!
Although I could go on and on about what I miss, I’m glad I get a few glimpses of our old reality through distance learning. The long messages and funny videos some teachers post are really helpful. I appreciate how all the teachers are trying to work with the students as this is an unfortunate time for everybody. I know it probably doesn't mean much coming from some random student that barely talks, but I think you guys are doing a pretty good job.
Anyways, I don't want to be all sappy for too long so please stay home, get some rest, hydrate yourselves, bake a cake whatever. Stay safe guys!
In times like this, everything feels to be unknown. The COVID-19 virus has affected everyone in a negative way In some shape or form.
This article isn’t supposed to express how 2020 graduates, myself, or anyone has it the worst. This article Is just expressing the struggles of my, as well as many others in the year of 2020.
The seniors of 2020 are very grateful for all the support and leniency the school has provided us. The timing of the COVID-19 virus happened to personally affect me as well as seniors across the world.
It’s so very unfortunate, but in times like this, I try to not remain angry at anyone for this. It’s no one’s fault and no one could be prepared for this.
While I feel the school isn’t making efforts to reschedule prom into the summertime, my friends and I have taken it into our own hands to create our own prom after the quarantine is lifted.
To all of my fellow classmates, teachers, board of education, and parents, It is important to stay positive and kind during these times. We need to stay together and rise above, We can’t blame people or be unkind to one another in stressful times like this.
Our kindness, strength, and determination will get us through this. For when this is over, we will have the best summer, or the best school year we can have. This COVID-19 virus will show us a new appreciation for hugging our loved ones, going out to eat, and spending time together.
That morning when I got the email that prom was canceled, my heart dropped.
Ever since I was little, I’ve always dreamed of going to my senior prom with my friends and getting all dressed up, but who knew that your dreams could get washed away so suddenly.
The thought of never experiencing a senior prom, and for some people never experiencing a prom at all, it sucks.
Our senior year was supposed to be the best year of high school, and we got ours taken away from us. Something that we will never get to experience like everybody else, and we will never get to tell our future children about other than how it was ruined by COVID-19.
The best year of everyone's high school experience, senior year. At least that’s what people think, I am at a loss of words almost to say the least about my last year of high school and I can’t believe me and the entire class of 2020 are going out like this.
We have just learned that there will no longer be a senior picnic and one of the most exciting high school events, our senior prom. I was so ready to have the most fun year of my life and the last with friends that I’ve known for so long, the last year before we went to college and I had plans to go out with a bang.
Over April break, I was supposed to go to Costa Rica on a school trip with some of my best friends and favorite teachers. I was looking forward to this trip for over a year and it was going to be one of the best trips that I would ever experience, especially with great teachers like Mr. Sand and Mr. Martin. This ended up getting canceled as well due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
I feel like I have just lost so many fun times and not getting to see my friends in school has just been unreal. Overall this has been one of the worst situations ever but there is nothing we can do to get this time back.
I never thought I would say this but I hope we can get back in school before the year ends and if not I hope to at least have a summer. Thank you to everyone who has made my high school life fun including teachers and all my friends. It's been real, Wethersfield.
From the moment quarantine bled in April, I knew things weren’t looking good. It was around that time when I realized that the likelihood of prom, the senior picnic, and even a graduation ceremony was slim. I mourned that for a bit, as I knew that these were things that solidified the end of an era. Knowing I won’t have this closure, has made me feel lost in many ways.
Maybe I sound pessimistic, or depressing, but it’s only a side effect of this growing predicament. Through this, I’ve been taught not to get my hopes up on things. This, in the end, has made the disappointment easier to bear.
That being said, there is a lot of good I see in this. In ways, it’s endearing that there’s a whole generation of students who have missed out on the end of their senior year. A generation that will likely console one another in the future, and will carry out new activities to replace these lost moments.
More than ever we will look at one another in a new light, and with a new understanding. Those who were once surrounded by so many now have a taste for what loneliness and isolation feels like. Looking at those who struggled with this even before the outbreak will begin to be looked upon with a new sense of empathy. This is only a hope of mine though because again, I can’t get my hopes up.
All I can say, for now, is that I thank all of the WHS staff members who have affected me in ways unimaginable. I would gladly give up prom and the senior picnic if it meant I could walk those halls once more, on June 12th, and say a final goodbye to those who have inspired me, made me laugh, and left my head full of new perspectives, and new ideas. Above all else, those are the things that have made my high-school experience worthwhile.
So with that, I thank you, WHS! Thank you for all you have done for me.
I am upset. The one thing I was looking forward to was canceled...senior prom.
I understand the school had to take precautions to COVID but it just sucks that they had to take the most fun things of our senior year away.
My date and I picked out our outfits for prom already, I picked out how I was going to do my makeup and hair. My dress came in like a month ago and I kid you not, I cried. I have been to prom with other people but it would have been nice for a prom day for my grade at my school.
I didn't go to my junior prom (which I kind of regret) and now I won't go to my senior prom. I was planning on popping off this prom also...smh. I'm also upset about the senior picnic because it's like a whole day I get to spend with my best friends is all gone. I think I'm just more upset about prom than the picnic.
The class of 2020 was recently informed that our senior prom and senior picnic was to be canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic and school closure. This news is heartbreaking for us because these events give us an opportunity to experience our classmates' company before graduating and spending time with people we enjoy.
Many of us are very upset because we had a lot to look forward to with these events, such as taking pictures, going to prom with your friends, having an after prom, and just enjoying each other's company. It is frustrating because this pandemic continues to be a disaster and continues to ruin things that we have all been looking forward to. It is also unfortunate because in the future, we cannot look back on having a senior prom or picnic, and that is heartbreaking.
I appreciate the WHS Staff for looking out for our health and realizing it might be too early to have a prom because it could jeopardize our health and safety, and a large group of people for prom would not be a good idea.
Bella Del Aguila
We had finally reached the end of an era.
Freshman year was a new world for everyone. We were a little scared, but feeling empowered and ready to take on the world.
Sophomore year was cool because we weren’t the “babies” of the school anymore. We knew our way around the building and this life was normal by then.
Junior year was stressful for many reasons. But hey, we were finally upperclassmen so it was a shift in power. It was a lot of pressure but we got through it. We took our SAT’s and started thinking realistically about college.
We had one last summer of fun, and then we were suddenly seniors.
We thought, “wow, we made it! We’re finally in the home stretch!”
The first half of this school year was spent applying to colleges and getting our decisions back. We learned and laughed and cried with the people we had grown to know and love. We started to reflect on the fact that we were all about to part ways in college.
It was bittersweet, but everything finally felt okay.
People say that high school shouldn’t be the best four years of your life, but it certainly has its moments. We were about to experience the last few things that would truly make these last 4 years feel worth it.
This pandemic is taking all of that away. Nobody wants to stay inside, but it’s not going to get any better if we ignore the rules. Because of this, we can’t celebrate as we should. We’re supposed to be getting ready for our big picnic, and buzzing with excitement for our last prom, and fitting our caps and gowns for graduation. But we might not experience any of those important little moments. We’re all dealing with it in our own ways, but it’s overall very sad.
This was meant to be OUR time, and now that’s being taken away from us.
Gabriella Amoddio, Class of 2021
As a junior, the news that my prom was canceled was very sad. My friends and I had been talking and planning for months and were really looking forward to a night filled with fun.
That being said, I can’t even imagine how the senior class is feeling. I can come back next year and enjoy all the senior activities, but their high school career came to a halting stop with no warning at all.
Obviously, this decision was a tough one and I know that administration probably thought long and hard about it, but it’s upsetting to see that they couldn’t figure something out, whether it was rescheduling it or finding an alternative solution.
Covid-19 has definitely changed everyone's life but as a senior in high school, my world is being flipped completely upside down.
We all share the changes like not getting to go out on the weekend and for me not being able to work. But I also have some more changes that are way more important to me.
My number one problem with this pandemic is the fact that I probably won't have a senior season for baseball. This is my last year ever to play the sport that I love and it hurts so much to see it going away. I'm not going to be able to hear my name being called for senior night or playing in the state tournament.
Baseball is one of the only things I truly love in this world and it totally sucks to see it go. I'm going to miss playing with my best friends but this pandemic is just another obstacle to overcome.
Senior year was three months away from ending and a pandemic shut the world down. junior/senior prom, senior picnic, and graduation were all things I was looking forward to. As disappointing as it is for these events to be canceled, I feel blessed and at peace.
It's a complete bummer that these things were taken from us and my Thai friend Moss had to go home, but that doesn't change the fact that I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, a Chromebook to type this on, and a caring community that is getting through this together.
It's hard not to acknowledge the fact that this crisis has turned so many people's lives upside down, so I feel like if my prom and picnic being canceled are the biggest of my problems, I'm doing okay.
It is important to acknowledge our losses, no matter how small they are, however, we also have to acknowledge our blessings. I feel a lot more blessed than I do cursed in this time despite the cancellation to these ¨rites of passage¨. I do feel very grateful towards my teachers and wish I could've said goodbye in person, but I'm sure I'll see them again at some point.
I've accepted every inconvenience due to this pandemic up to this point. I hope that in the summer things do get up and moving again because it is my last summer before college. I really just wish for colleges to not cancel the Fall semester because I want to start on campus as soon as possible.
As disappointing as it all is, I try to look at the silver linings. There are many of them and I encourage everyone to do the same. If we dwell on the positive we´ll come out of this ok.
A couple of weeks ago we got the devastating news that our senior events would get canceled. We have all been waiting for this event and looking forward to it for about 12 years.
I remember as being a freshman seeing pictures online of people having fun at senior prom, the picnic, and all the other events. It is really sad but we can’t do anything about it except hope that we will get these events back later in the year.
I was looking forward to spending time and having fun with my fellow classmates because I don't know when I will be seeing them in the future. Mostly wanted to spend time with my guys but not everything goes as planned.
2020 has always felt like a special year for me. Something about it has made it so that I have looked forward to it since my freshman year. Along with graduating, it felt like a year that held some sort of special sentiment.
Now that 2020 has come, I realize that maybe the importance I felt was not one I should have anticipated excitedly. COVID-19 has made my senior year practically nonexistent.
My senior show, The Addams Family, was canceled after one public showing. The senior prom and senior picnic that make all the stress of college applications and the transition into a new stage of life a little less intense are completely gone.
For now, we only have our graduation to look forward to, but it still doesn’t feel right. All of the traditional farewell ceremonies are gone, so the class of 2020 just feels... confused and lost.
We have learned one thing from all of this though, and that is to never take anything for granted, and nothing is ever set in stone.
I’m frustrated as one of the seniors of the Class of 2020, this was supposed to be the time where we get to do all the fun things we have been waiting for our entire lives/ high school careers to be doing, sort of like a rite of passage but now, because of the virus, we can't.
We as a class have been taken away the few things we all were really looking forward to…senior picnic, prom at the Aqua Turf and especially graduation, which we don't even know how that's going to play out.
It's frustrating and heartbreaking and I think as a class we’re all insanely bummed out that this happened our year.
It’s like running the race your whole life to get to the finish line and suddenly the finish line isn’t the same.
We spent the last twelve years of our lives in public education looking forward to the last year. The best year, filled with heartfelt moments and memories that would last a lifetime.
Even when times were rough we still had something to look forward to, our senior year. Especially for me, I made the decision at the beginning of my junior year to graduate early. Going to school was the worst thing for me.
However, the last few months of my junior year changed my perspective of school. I was genuinely enjoying spending time with my classmates and teachers. I saw the senior class having even more fun. I made the choice to no longer follow the path of graduating early because I wanted my senior year.
If I graduated early, the only thing I would be missing out on was the best months of my high school experience, and that was something too precious to give up. Even when times were hard, I told myself it will get better because I had this time of year to look forward to. Not only is it senior prom, senior picnic, but the last few months I get to spend with my classmates and teachers that I might never see again. Our adult life is ahead of us and the opportunity to say goodbye to our childhood the right way was stripped away from us.
As humans, we’re used to sticking to a regular routine. The structure seems to be the only thing keeping us from potentially going insane. We know what day of the week it is as soon as we wake up.
There was a time not long ago when my alarm would ring at its usual time. I would drag myself out of bed knowing that it was 6:30 on a Wednesday. I had a subconscious sense of peace knowing that although school was stressful, I could at least see my friends and have some sort of closure at the end of the day.
As soon as school was canceled, all of that went down the toilet. For the past 5 weeks, that sense of peace has been M.I.A.
I’m up until 3 AM, restless and desperate to fall asleep. Then, once I wake up after my long-awaited sleep, one email after another comes rolling in, making me even more restless than before. My life has gone from a strict line of scheduling to a seemingly endless cycle of wallowing in self-pity and anxiety.
For those who cannot understand how the seniors are feeling right now, try this analogy on for size.
Imagine you are a hamster. You have lived your entire early life in a glass box with all the other hamsters. You play with the others, eat with the others, learn with the others, and even fight with the others. You’re used to the same giant hand reaching down and giving you food every day. Your whole life is dedicated to the box.
You and your hamster friends have all been discussing what will happen after you leave the box. You know exactly when you will leave the box and have a general idea of your next step in life. But before you can run on your squeaky wheel or hang out with the other hamsters for the last time, the giant hand swoops in and snatches your from the box into another box, forced to be by yourself, leaving you with no answers to when you can go back to your normal life, or if you ever can.
In these times of uncertainty, however, it is important to remember that you will be able to leave your box and roam around soon enough, just as long as you stay in your hamster ball.
Senior year, the time you are supposed to have the most fun in school people would say. There are so many activities you can do before they ship you off to work or to college.
Before all of COVID-19, I was excited for my senior year because I was going to be able to ask my girlfriend to prom. Now all I can do is sit in my house and I can’t even see my girlfriend or my friends.
Above all, I am just annoyed. I put all my time into being a good student and this was supposed to be the time where I was going to be rewarded for my hard work; being cooped up in my house getting cabin fever doesn't seem like a fitting reward.
This is an awful time for high school seniors across the world, but that's selfish to say, it’s an awful time for everyone.
For many of my class peers, we can all agree that this tragic experience to go through that our prom and senior picnic, something which has held so many fond memories is gone. This is not the case for many students, me being one of them.
I understand this situation and commend those who are working to keep everyone safe. It's good to have these cancelations but not ideal because of what time we're in; this is not a normal situation and will never be one.
Am I disappointed to not have these senior activities? Yes, although I am sympathetic more towards people who are out there fighting. With that, I say stay safe and remember we will all make it out.
Since I was little, “High School Musical” was always one of my favorite movies. I've always pictured that's what my high school years should look like; full of joy and excitement.
When I finally made it out of middle school and finally got the chance to call myself a high schooler, I was ready to live out my “High School Musical” fantasy. However, high school for me wasn't all singing and dancing 24/7, but it definitely brought me the joy and excitement I pictured.
When I was just a little freshman, I was honestly terrified of what the future holds for me. However, I knew I had three more years until I really had to crack down on my future plans. Fast forward to junior year, by far the hardest year of High School, for me at least. The stress of getting exceptional SAT scores and thinking about college plans. Junior year brought me many tears and countless hours of staying up late at night studying, but I knew that the best year of High School was around the corner, senior year.
August 29, my last “first” day of high school. I was filled with so many emotions: Excitement, joy, sadness, and fear. This was the last year at WHS and I knew it was going to be the best one yet. The fall started off great! I got captain for soccer, I had an amazing season with the girls and did not stress about anything, it was the best feeling in the world.
Winter came around and it was around that time where we heard back from colleges. Let me tell you, I was super nervous, but once I heard back from my first school, I felt a sigh of relief go through my body, I was going to college!
I finally chose a college and all the stress left my body. I knew the rest of the year was going to be the best..until a pandemic hit and my senior year was put on hold. The day I left school I was so happy to have a 2-week “vacation.” However, I didn't know that it would be as dangerous as it is, keeping me out of school for a little more than a month and possibly even more. I tried to stay as positive as I can and of course wanted everyone to be safe.
It didn't really hit me that my senior year was basically over until we receive that text that activities were canceled. I wish I had the closure to our 12 years of school.
I know that our faculty is under stress and can't control the virus to give us the senior year we deserve. I wish I got to tell some of my favorite teachers how much I appreciate all their love and support in my four years of high school before this happened.
Honestly, having things taken away from us shows us to never take things for granted. I know I took some parts of High School for granted and wanted to graduate ASAP, but now, I wish I could walk down those halls one last time. Although I didn't get the ending in the “High School Musical” I wanted, I wanted to thank WHS for some of the best memories.
Amid all of these cancelations and disappointments, some may find it hard to see a positive light among all of this. Yes, it’s sad that all of our senior activities have been canceled, but other people are struggling much more than we are.
Personally, I’m sad that all the fun parts of the end of our year have been canceled, but when it comes down to it, us staying home is just another step in trying to make sure that everybody stays safe, and this disease stays under control.
It’s better to think about the doctors, nurses, and store workers, those who still have to go out, who risk their own safety to ensure that everybody else's lives, go smoothly.
In our own sadness and reflection we should think about the time we had together, and the time we will have together after this all wraps up.
Even though our activities have been canceled, it’s so that we can help keep everyone safe, and so we can do more fun things in the Future. We just have to keep holding onto that thought.
I never thought March 13 would be my last day of senior year.
It seems silly, but the only thing I remember about that day was the outfit I wore because I remember waking up early and taking the time to put extra effort in.
What makes me saddest about this unprecedented loss of time is the realization that I may not have closure. I wanted to say goodbye to my classes, my teachers, my fellow classmates, and just have the time to say a proper farewell to WHS.
The cancellation of prom, though it’s really disappointing to me, isn’t as upsetting as not getting to walk the halls of my high school one last time. I feel as though I should have appreciated the little things more.
PROM AND SENIOR PICNIC CANCELLED? WHAT???!!!
Well, I’m not really surprised with everything going on right now it makes sense or does it? That is the question that has the Class of 2020 wondering. There are some mixed emotions, for me personally I am disappointed for the fact that those opportunities were going to be the last for us as High School students to experience together.
I thank you for keeping me safe from this COVID-19 pandemic. I know that some people may think you are doing a disservice, and I want people to know they are actually helping us. I know this stinks now with the COVID-19 and this virus being longer than projected.
But this span of time of non-normal taught me that things in life do not go as planned, but we have to do our best to say look this is an unfortunate circumstance. I can be upset at something, but then I have to pep talk myself into thinking everything will be okay. It is not the worst thing that has ever happened. There are always new and exciting opportunities out there.
Kaitlynn Bertucio & Kevin Torres
Over the past few weeks of this very long and stressful quarantine, we honestly had hoped that Prom wouldn’t get canceled and there would still be a slight chance at getting to walk the stage for graduation with our families and friends there to watch. However, learning last week that Senior Prom was canceled us seniors had a breakdown about it.
While many would think to just postpone it until the summer, a reason for why they just outright canceled prom is likely due to that all of us kids would be having vacations, packing to move to college, having graduation parties and trying to make the most of their last summer with their friends and seeing some family.
We believe that because it’s senior year, more people would be willing to do it later on because there are kids who didn’t go any other year in high school and this is their last chance to go and they’ve waited for it because they maybe didn’t go any other year. We also believe that to our parents, this is a big deal for their children to go to prom because it's a memory for their children to cherish and hang pictures on the walls.
We seniors would like to say a huge thank you to all the amazing teachers we've had over the past four years at WHS, and we'd like to say that we've had a great and memorable experience attending this school for four years. We have gained friends, we've lost friends, but over the past four years, it has only helped us to grow and become better people.
We are grateful for all that we've gained and lost in these past four years and we will keep it all with us forever and remember all the good times and be thankful for the bad times that have hopefully helped us to change and grow as better people.
To Wethersfield’s Class of 2020, I think I could say for all of us that we never expected this to be the way our senior year would end and that we are disappointed. Many of us were told our senior year was going to be the best year of high school, but it’s hard for us to agree at this moment.
I would say for many of us that the first semester wasn’t bad, but it is the second semester that we looked forward to because that was when we would experience our “lasts” of high school.
We are all feeling similar about the decisions made in terms of our senior activities, being sad, angry, and frustrated, but I think we can say that we will be one of the classes that will go down in history, surviving all the uncertainty happening around us and having a story to tell in the future.
On the last day of Journalism class before the coronavirus, we had talked last how you encouraged that we used this time as a learning experience that most would never imagine could be this hard. Learning is not the same as in the classroom and interacting with others.
If we return back to school, I would use all this time dedicated to me in the classroom to the best advantage. I never would have thought online schooling was much harder than being in school.
Coronavirus has definitely kept me bored and quiet at home. It is not easy because I am definitely not used to sitting down or being home 24/7. I am struggling to keep up with my normal school day routine of just getting up on time, eating breakfast the time I used to, or even just going to bed.
But as you said Martin, it is an experience. I just had my second birthday away from family. It's sad and it sucks but you gotta move on from the past and just forgive or you’ll stay stuck on being sad and letting that person or parties play with your emotions by letting them win.
I am reminded of the quote, “Time is like a river, you cannot touch the same way water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again, so enjoy every moment of life.”
Quarantine has taught me this opportunity cannot be regained. Thanks to all my teachers and guidance counselors without your help in and out of the classroom I would definitely lose my way.
Andre Jorge & Kassandra Vazquez
We learned as a senior class that all of our senior activities were canceled. Now as a staff member, you can see how fun those events were in the past and say that you’re sorry for not being able to experience them. But let’s be honest, we all grew up with an expectation of what high school would be like and one of those things that made high school so great was senior year.
For the past three years, the Class of 2020 has been looking forward to ‘our year’ to be the best one. It’s absolutely upsetting that we as the Class of 2020 have been stripped of that closure.
The thing that's the most upsetting is that this issue is bigger than just our class or the school. We as a class feel powerless in this situation, along with many others. We hope that our class not only gets to finish up our year and get our diplomas but also get some type of celebration for our class. As much as this situation sucks, we still deserve some type of recognition.
It’s devastating that I worked hard to get here and earn a right for prom, senior picnic, and other senior events even my own graduation got canceled.
But in times like these, we have to look forward. It gives us time to focus on our futures. After high school ended, it was kind of sad but it is what it is being able to walk across the stage, hearing my name called, and hearing people clapping is something I’ve been waiting for my whole life.
Hearing my family and friends from walking across and starting my future now I might have graduation over a screen. High school graduation is something you will remember for the rest of your life, and now I don't get a chance for that. It’s pretty sad. but as long as I graduate and get my diploma, I just have to look forward
We need to focus and look ahead of these terrible times. Not having graduation can’t bring our motivation down, it should make us more hungry to go out there.
Just as it was getting to the end of senior year a pandemic occurred canceling senior year activities by not being able to be in school or in large numbered groups.
These events being canceled definitely have a hard impact on the senior class by not being able to be in school for the last days or go to prom or senior picnics to experience their last moments in high school all together. These last events would have brought the class of 2020 together for some of the last time. All though this is no one’s fault but the pandemic itself, it is sad to see we can't live out our senior events for our last time as high schoolers.
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.”
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.