Students receive national recognition for artwork

By Isadora Decker-Lucke

Each year, art teachers enter their student’s artwork into the Boston Globe sponsored Scholastic Art Awards.

Thirty Manchester Essex students placed at the regional awards this year. Two students, Maddy Smith and Willy DeConto, moved on to receive national silver medals for their artwork. They were the first students from Manchester-Essex in five years to receive national recognition.

Smith, a sophomore, entered a black and white photo of her brother shirtless and wearing a clip-on tie.

“It’s called Play. It wasn’t put together or highly thought out. It was just a weird moment in time I somehow captured,” Smith said.

Her photo won a Boston Globe Gold Key, and was then chosen out of other gold keys to receive a national award. Smith will travel to New York on June 1 to be recognized.

Caroline Epp is the photography teacher, who entered Smith’s photo in the contest. “I didn’t know if they’d absolutely hate it because it’s odd and unexpected, or if they’d think it was genius. I try to enter some that are really strong conceptually, and then I throw in a few cool but weird ones like Maddy’s,” she said. 

“I had forgotten Ms. Epp even entered the photo. I was like wait, what?” Smith said. “I am proud I got an award for my photography.”

“I’m really proud of [Smith]. She’s blossomed a lot in her photography,” Epp said.

DeConto also won a silver medal. His piece was “a combination of carbon transfers, block printing, and colored pencil,” and it “doesn’t really have a focal point, but its overall theme is the subway and public transportation,” he said.

Like Smith, DeConto was also surprised by the award. “I wasn’t really expecting it so it was kind of surprising because I had forgotten about it,” he said.

“I think it’s cool that high school kids have the opportunity to show their work with other students from totally different areas, and it seems like a great opportunity for people to check out art,” DeConto said.

DeConto will not be traveling to New York with Smith, but he did appreciate the chance to hear positive feedback about his artwork.


Bins replace Lucidomatic, reduce cross contamination

The new lunch system consists of a series of bins, each designated for different materials including compost, recyclables, and trash. The new system reduces the school's cost of waste per student.

Due to multiple problems with the Lucidomatic compost sorting-system in the cafeteria, the stand was replaced by a series of bins.

Many students have expressed disapproval with the new setup.

“I don’t see what was wrong with the [Lucidomatic],” sophomore Rachael Ghallager said.

According to Green Team director Eric Magers various complications associated with the Lucidomatic caused the Green Team to adjust the arrangement of the lunch disposal. 

“The Lucidomatic wasn’t working because people weren’t using it effectively, and there were many problems with cross contamination,” Magers said.

According to Jackie Rose, a junior and member of the Green Team, signs above the individual bins that display where each material should go simplify the disposal process.

According to Magers, half of the waste the school produces comes from the cafeteria. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to throw out trash, as opposed to disposing compost and recycled goods, which have a more reasonable price.         

He said that all trash district-wide is incinerated, which is destructive to the atmosphere. Separating food and paper from plastic and foil products prevents this, but even the slightest misplacement of materials causes cross contamination, and this leaves no choice but for the trash to be burned.

Some high school students are especially frustrated by the location of the bins, which were moved from the high school end of the cafeteria.

“It’s annoying for high-schoolers to have to throw out their lunch in the middle-school side of the cafeteria,” sophomore Lila Hughes said.

According to Rose, at this point, there can only be one setup.

“Green Team Scholars have been monitoring the bins each lunch, and only one arrangement can be supervised at once,” Rose said.

According to Magers, the bins have also reduced school waste fees, and after their introduction, the amount of organized materials has increased. The open barrels allow students to see what has already been thrown out and therefore know where to put their own lunch waste.

“After implementing the new system, the cost of waste per student has dropped from $16 to $8 and could be cut even lower if everything was composted,” Magers said.

According to Rose, the bins seem to be working, and people are already being more careful about where they put their food and trash.


New iPad utilizes advanced technologies

appadvice.comBy Kendall McCormick

Only a little more than a year after the introduction of Apple’s second-generation iPad, the third generation was recently released March 16. Though similar looking on the outside, the new Ipad possesses many innovative features and uses cutting-edge technologies. 

At $499, the iPad contains features such as the Retina Display, which includes four times more pixels than the second-generation, according to Apple. To the common viewer, this creates a life-like display uncommon for such a small screen.

Apple reveals that the Ipad features “a 2048-by-1536 resolution, 44 percent greater color saturation, and an astounding 3.1 million pixels — in the same 9.7-inch space. That’s four times the number of pixels in iPad 2 and a million more than an HDTV.”

In order to create such a high-quality display, breakthrough technology was necessary. Thus, Apple created the A5X chip, which is capable of producing the pixels necessary to the display while maintaining the speed of previous generation iPads. According to Apple, the iPad is still able to run on a 10-hour battery life.

The iPad essentially serves the same purpose of a laptop in a more convenient manner; however, the second-generation introduced an easily accessible camera as well. Now, the camera is back, but with improvements.

The Apple Website says, “The 5-megapixel iSight camera features a backside illumination sensor that captures great-looking pictures whether by sunlight or candlelight.”

iSight additionally allows a tap to focus and provides a built-in face detection.

The new camera allows you to take high-quality pictures and videos. An automatic video stabilization feature prevents shaky recording.

Additionally, the iPad is compatible through a large variety of networks. Internet access is present almost anywhere. The new device supports cellular networks, resulting in a faster and more enjoyable Internet experience.

The iPad contains more than 200,000 apps to choose from and takes many older features to a new level.


Library passes create a nuisance

By Morgan Kennedy

In an attempt to control and keep track of students, a new library pass system was enacted over the past few weeks; however, this new method simply burdens study hall monitors and students alike. 

Five students from each study hall are allowed to go to the library. The new system requires each of these five students to have their own pass, signed by the study hall monitor. In some cases, three study hall classes are assigned to one teacher in a given block, forcing the monitor to write out 15 individual library passes.

Because of the unnecessary time taken to write out a pass for every student, the line to a study hall monitor’s desk is often out the door of the classroom. Students are stuck waiting in line for 10 minutes for a pass, while monitors waste just as much time writing them out.

Once students arrive at the library, they place their passes in a designated basket. This method might control the amount of students who get to the library, but it does nothing to stop them from leaving and wandering the halls. Just because a student places a slip of paper in the basket does not necessarily mean he or she is accounted for.

Requiring each student to have his or her own pass is contradictory to our “green” school values because at least 15 slips of paper are wasted every study hall.

The new system is also a nuisance for seniors who come to school late when their study hall falls during first block. Each senior checks in and gets a pass at the main office when they arrive at school, but if they wish to spend the rest of their study hall in the library, they must find their monitor and get another pass first. There is no difference between placing an office pass and a study hall pass in the basket, so both should be accepted in the library.

Under the old system, study hall monitors recorded who left the classroom and where they went, so aside from a massive increase in wasted time, not much has changed.

Allowing five students per pass would clear up classrooms quicker while still ensuring that everyone in the library is accounted for. Laminating and reusing library passes every block would improve the system as well, decreasing paper waste.

Krause said the new system is going well but recognizes that it creates more work for the study hall monitors.

“Ms. Hunt and I will meet and discuss how things are going at the end of the year,” she said. “We’re here to please, but we still need accountability.”


‘The O.C.’ timelessly addresses adolescent issues, entertains audiences

By Nabila Mahmud

Love, drugs, violence, music, and beautiful people living in an affluent society—that is why “The O.C” will forever be timeless television.

Having four seasons running from 2004 to 2007, the show is centered on the life of misunderstood teen Ryan Atwood, his philanthropic adoptive family, and gorgeous Chanel-wearing girlfriend. It navigates the turbulent struggles between the family and parochial-minded society they reside in.

Each generation of teenagers face similar issues: young love, social problems, and family concerns. These are issues that will never die simply because of the way society functions.

The themes “The O.C” addresses perfectly fall into line with these different generational problems.

Moreover, simply addressing perpetual teenager issues does not make a show timeless—it has to require massive appeal.

Think about shows like “Fullhouse” or “Friends.” Each day a new generation can start watching both series with the same excitement as the initial audience did the time it first aired.

The only reason this works is because these television shows are extremely attractive to viewers: “Fullhouse” is good-hearted family television while “Friends” never fails to make a person laugh out loud.

“The O.C” works in the same way. Creator, Josh Schwartz, portrayed the lives of these troubled teens in such an alluring, engaging way that it is impossible to turn the television off.

Society is more inclined to watch something that is drastically different from their ordinary lives. “The O.C” provides a way to vicariously live through wealthy, beautiful people who seem to always perfectly overcome obstacles.

Each episode has viewers craving for more. It is equally engaging in 2012 as it was in 2004 and will forever be timeless for years to come.


‘The Hunger Games’ lives up to expectations of readers

By Rachel Daley

From the futuristic structures of the Capitol to the events taking place in the arena, the movie “The Hunger Games” captures the details of the book which readers love.

The movie, directed by Gary Ross, who also directed “Seabiscuit,” came out on March 23 and reached $155 million in the box office for the opening weekend.  Only “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” and “The Dark Night” have earned higher numbers.

In post-apocalyptic America, twelve districts are controlled by the Capitol and its leader, President Snow. Each year, a boy and girl from each district are chosen to fight to the death in an arena to remind them not to rebel against the Capitol, like they attempted in past years.

Unlike most movies based off of books, “The Hunger Games” successfully portrays the emotions and events that the story thoroughly develops.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence is perfect for the role of the main character Katniss. The movie revolves around her ability to speak a million words without opening her mouth.

In the arena where she fends for herself, Katniss’ actions and emotional drawbacks portray her inner voice.

Her relationships with both her longtime friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and tribute companion Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) reflect exactly what the book describes.

Katniss develops a questionable relationship with Peeta in which he truthfully loves her, while she simply uses the bond as a strategy in the Games.

The producers made the action scenes, sporadic and blurry in order to fit the criteria for PG-13 movies, yet they provide enough suspense and adventure to satisfy the viewers.

The final fight scene, consisting of the District 12 team against Cato, is disappointing due to its lack of clarity, but still displays the exact events which occur in the book.

Other supporting actors include the hilarious Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, Katniss and Peeta’s mentor, and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, Katniss’s stylist for the Games.

Despite changing a few minor scenes to make the film a reasonable length, the movie captures the overall vibe depicted by the book.

With intense special effects, acceptable character roles, and a beautiful transition from the book to the movie, “The Hunger Games” definitely meets its expectations. Let the Games begin!


Dynamic duo Tatum and Hill star in comedy ’21 Jump Street’

Actor Channing Tatum reveals not only his good looks but also his ability to make audiences laugh, in his new film, “21 Jump Street.”

Starring Tatum and Jonah Hill, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s latest project is based on the 1980s television show, “21 Jump Street.” This new comedy tells the story of two underachieving cops who go undercover as high school students. While undercover, they must bring down the dealers and suppliers of a new synthetic drug before it infiltrates other schools.

Embracing their role as two under-qualified, undercover cops, Tatum and Hill manage to keep the movie both entertaining and comical throughout. Although often inappropriate, their jokes are original and cause the audience to erupt in bursts of laughter.

Even though the movie runs at a decently long time of 109 minutes, the jokes never get old and overused. Instead, the characters continue to come up with new humorous lines, and the plot remains surprisingly unpredictable. For example, the ending includes a few plot twists that are completely unexpected by the audience.

Rated R, this movie is clearly not appropriate for anyone under 17, due to the general adult theme and the language used throughout. However, for a more mature audience, the film is quite entertaining.

Although this 2012 film was written by new storywriters, Hill and Michael Bacall, it also serves as a sort of sequel to the TV series that first premiered on television in 1987. Created by Stephen J. Cannell, the original TV show starred Johnny Depp and followed the same premise of young cops who are sentenced to the police squad located at 21 Jump Street.

The writers made this film version modern, however, by incorporating current day trends of adolescents such as Facebook, texting, and the movement to stop global warming.

The film opened to theatres on March 16, 2012 and was distributed by Columbia Pictures. The total budget for the movie was around $42 million, and the box office sales exceeded just about $87 million.

Although all the scenes were shot in New Orleans, the setting was mean to be a generic city, meaning that the filmmakers specifically went out of their way to avoid any signs giving away the true location.

Overall, this movie makes the list of must-see comedies of 2012, for viewers 17 and older. With its all-star cast and original plotline, this film is sure not to disappoint.


Students anticipate prom at Cruiseport

 Prom is the most anticipated dance of the year. The task of finding dresses and dates is beginning, and with just a month left until prom, many are waiting for the day to arrive. 

  This year, Manchester-Essex Regional High School’s prom will take place Friday, May 5, from 7-10 p.m. at the waterfront Cruiseport in Gloucester. Tickets cost $50 per person.

  According to English teacher and senior class advisor Elizabeth Edgerton, the cost of tickets pays for dinner. The venue and DJ are already covered by senior funds, and the junior class paid for buses.

  In the upcoming weeks, all girls attending join an annual group on Facebook to post a picture of their prom dresses and avoid any repeating outfits. Every year dress-drama is reported, but according to senior Katerina Eichenberger, a member of the prom committee, the system is effective.

  “The group works well because it helps girls know which dresses have already been purchased. Girls should really only post their definite dress,” Eichenberger said.

  According to Eichenberger, in the past, there have been conflicts on the group page over dresses, but these issues get resolved.

  Like previous dances the school has held this year, the “no grinding” rule will apply for prom as well.

  “[It] may have a small effect on how many people go, but most people want to attend their high school prom, especially the seniors,” Eichenberger said.

  Edgerton and James Wallimann, history teacher and senior class adviser, both agreed.

  “It’s a classier event, so I think that people will behave accordingly,” Edgerton said.

  Following standard tradition, couple and group photos will be taken at Tuck’s Point in Manchester before buses leave the high school at 6:15 p.m.  

  For sophomore Ella Rodier, this is her first time attending prom.

  “I love that prom is set on the water this year. The scenery will look amazing, and I can’t wait to dance,” she said 

  For seniors though, this will be their last year.

  “I’m excited, but also sad because it will be one of the last times the senior class will be together,” senior Connor Bergman said.


Breakfast wakes students up, provides energy

By Anna Tyler

Teenagers lead a very hectic life, and some find that breakfast just doesn’t fit into it. Most students don’t want to hear over and over again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but breakfast has too many benefits to be ignored. 

The American Dietetic Association found that, “more than half of male teens and more than two-thirds of female teens do not eat breakfast on a regular basis.”

Leaving the house without eating breakfast is the wrong attitude and way to start one’s day because breakfast cannot only improve one’s behavior and school performance but also help maintain a healthy weight, which is what many teenagers strive for.

Sebastian Reed/

Breakfast allows one to stay focused and, by eating the right foods, full till lunch, which makes sure embarrassing stomach noises are kept to a minimum.

Many teenagers long for ways to wake themselves up in the morning, especially those who don’t prefer coffee. It turns out the body’s best friend in the morning is protein because it gives the gives the body consistent energy that won’t make the body crash such as sugary breakfast foods do.

Protein has been had been found to reduce hunger later in the day and keep people alert. The ideal amount of protein the average person should be consuming for breakfast is 30 grams. Ideas for a quick protein fix include foods like Greek yogurt, milk, eggs, peanut butter on pita bread, or even cottage cheese.

As for that single cup of coffee some teenagers call “breakfast,” the caffeine amounts in the coffee can increase anxiety, and the “wakeup kick” is only temporarily, so students will be crashing even before lunch.

Fiber has also become a very important factor in jump-starting one’s day and can be found in fruit, vegetables, and whole-wheat foods. A fruit smoothie or jam and toast can actually be very beneficial foods to grab on the way out the door.

Everybody should be able to find time for breakfast, and it should be made a morning priority. Even grabbing a granola bar, instant smoothie, or peanut butter on a piece of toast can wake up the body and make sure the mind stays focused throughout much of the day.




Seniors recieve college adminission decisions

Class of 2012 acceoted to many colleges despite high competition

By Melissa Moore

Seniors, having been accepted to a broad spectrum of colleges, had a “very good year” for college acceptances, guidance counselor Sharon Maguire said.

“I’m so thrilled with you all,” she said.  “The best part [of hearing about acceptances] is seeing you rewarded for your hard work.”

According to senior Sam White, the record high number of applicants to many colleges caused the perception that people have done worse.

“In reality, people have done as well as can be expected,” he said.

Senior Peter Goulakos agreed that the seniors have received many acceptances.

“I think everyone at least has one school they feel they could go to,” he said.

After applying to 10 schools, Goulakos was accepted to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Boston University.

According to him, he is most proud of being accepted to Tufts.

“I felt awesome and thankful when I got the acceptance,” he said.  “I didn’t think it would happen.”

Goulakos expects to attend either Boston University or Tufts.  The other schools he was accepted to are more specific and in an “engineering bubble,” whereas he would receive more diverse education at Boston University or Tufts.

“I don’t want to get too specialized too soon,” he said.

White, also having applied to 10 schools, was accepted to Oberlin College, Bard College, University of Vermont, University of Connecticut, and Skidmore College.  He was waitlisted at Tufts University and the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College.

Upon receiving the letter from Bard, White’s first reaction was “I’m going to college!”  He was “very excited.”

When White saw the envelope from Oberlin College, he was “very excited and almost in disbelief.”

“I was amazed,” he said.

White will likely attend Oberlin College next year; however, he is going to see if he gets off the waitlist at Tufts. 

“Oberlin was my top school when I saw it.  I had a good gut feeling,” he said.  “As for Tufts, I really liked it, and I want to see if I can get in so I can make a more educated decision.”

According to Maguire, all waitlisted students should contact the school with any additional information that would improve admissions’ view of them, let the school know if it is their first choice, and ask if they had any blatant weakness in their transcript.

“You need to sell yourself again,” she said.  “Present yourself in a positive light and let them know you are passionate about the college.”

For students denied admission, Maguire said not to worry.

“Three weeks into September, you will be so excited that you won’t be able to imagine you could have wanted to be someplace else,” she said.

Maguire wanted to remind students that college is “what you make it.” 

“[College] is only the first step in your path.  If you follow your passions, you’ll be a happy, productive person.  [The guidance department] wishes you all the best.  We want all to be happy,” she said.