Students try Yoga in Advisory

On Wednesday March 12th, high school students participated in a Yoga workshop for Workshop Wednesday.  The class was run by yoga trainer Suzanne Otterbein, who teaches in Manchester for all ages.  Along with participation in yoga, students learned how to live a healthy lifestyle and they got to try some freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices.

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Chris Herren Speaks to High School about Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Former Celtic player Chris Herren presents his journey of addiction and his road to sobriety. Herren has been sober since August 1st, 2008 and has been in multiple interviews speaking to over 500,000 people nationwide. Through his presentations he has established the Project Purple organization, which promotes students to be sober and “just be you”.

Speaker Chris Herren begins his presentation with a short video clip of his basketball highlights. “Hoop Dreams” informed the students of where Herren attended high school, and included interviews from his high school coach. Credit Molly Lynch for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Speaker Chris Herren begins his presentation with a short video clip of his basketball highlights. “Hoop Dreams” informed the students of where Herren attended high school, and included interviews from his high school coach. Credit Molly Lynch for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The entire high school attends the assembly with their advisories. After the presentation, the students went to their advisories and discussed how they felt and the affect that the presentation had on them. Credit Molly Lynch for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The entire high school attends the assembly with their advisories. After the presentation, the students went to their advisories and discussed how they felt and the affect that the presentation had on them. Credit Molly Lynch for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Herren begins his speech by describing his high school experience as a basketball player on and off the court. Herren stressed upon the fact that when he was in high school he never thought drinking and smoking would turn into a serious drug addiction. Credit Molly Lynch for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Herren begins his speech by describing his high school experience as a basketball player on and off the court. Herren stressed upon the fact that when he was in high school he never thought drinking and smoking would turn into a serious drug addiction. Credit Molly Lynch for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Herren recalls his third overdose. He was pronounced legally dead when the police arrived at the scene, but when the paramedics revived him, he was told to go to a rehabilitation center immediately after the incident.  Credit Phoebe Schwartz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Herren recalls his third overdose. He was pronounced legally dead when the police arrived at the scene, but when the paramedics revived him, he was told to go to a rehabilitation center immediately after the incident. Credit Phoebe Schwartz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Herren talks to the high school about the day his third child was born. Herren struggled with his addiction and with the threat from his wife of losing his children, which became his motivation to become truly sober after eleven years of addiction. Credit Phoebe Schwartz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Herren talks to the high school about the day his third child was born. Herren struggled with his addiction and with the threat from his wife of losing his children, which became his motivation to become truly sober after eleven years of addiction. Credit Phoebe Schwartz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

Students ask questions to Herren at the end of the assembly. Herren stressed upon the fact that his ultimate goal while giving the speech was to reach at least one kid who was struggling with substance or another form of abuse. Credit Phoebe Schwartz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Students ask questions to Herren at the end of the assembly. Herren stressed upon the fact that his ultimate goal while giving the speech was to reach at least one kid who was struggling with substance or another form of abuse. Credit Phoebe Schwartz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

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Teacher talent show for Stop Hunger Now

On Friday March 14, the Global Issues Class hosted a Teacher Talent Show to raise money for the Stop Hunger Now charity. At the show, teachers had the opportunity to showcase their various talents.

Seniors Chris Dente and Liam Logue were the MC’s for the talent show. Dente and Logue performed some stand-up comedy and also announced the upcoming acts. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Seniors Chris Dente and Liam Logue were the MC’s for the talent show. Dente and Logue performed some stand-up comedy and also announced the upcoming acts. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
A representative of the charity Stop Hunger Now showed the students and faculty how to put together meals that help feed starving children and adults in countries all over the world. The meals consist of rice, soy, vegetables, and 21 vitamins.  Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
A representative of the charity Stop Hunger Now showed the students and faculty how to put together meals that help feed starving children and adults in countries all over the world. The meals consist of rice, soy, vegetables, and 21 vitamins. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
High school Spanish teacher Robbie Bilsbury and his wife, Kate Bilsbury sang “Falling Slowly” and “Kathy’s Song” for the show.  Bilsbury played the guitar, and they were accompanied by sophomore Tyler Quade. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
High school Spanish teacher Robbie Bilsbury and his wife, Kate Bilsbury sang “Falling Slowly” and “Kathy’s Song” for the show. Bilsbury played the guitar, and they were accompanied by sophomore Tyler Quade. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Members of the History department including Lauren Dubois, Abigail Donnelly, and Shannon Alger were all a part of the “You Could Be A Part-Time Model” team. Two teams competed in a game of charades, acting out words that the Global Issues students came up with. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Members of the History department including Lauren Dubois, Abigail Donnelly, and Shannon Alger were all a part of the “You Could Be A Part-Time Model” team. Two teams competed in a game of charades, acting out words that the Global Issues students came up with. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
History teachers Alison Wright, Jennifer Coleman, and math teacher Sarah Deluca made up the “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink” team when playing charades.  This team won the game and celebrated with miniature confetti cannons. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
History teachers Alison Wright, Jennifer Coleman, and math teacher Sarah Deluca made up the “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink” team when playing charades. This team won the game and celebrated with miniature confetti cannons. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Physics teacher Philip Logsdon informed the audience about the elements, the Big Bang, and other scientific subjects while adding in science-related jokes.  Towards the end of his performance, Logsdon sang a song that consisted of all of the elements on the Periodic Table. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Physics teacher Philip Logsdon informed the audience about the elements, the Big Bang, and other scientific subjects while adding in science-related jokes. Towards the end of his performance, Logsdon sang a song that consisted of all of the elements on the Periodic Table. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Middle school physical education teacher and sophomore class advisor Thomas Durfee performed a Star Wars rap at the show. Durfee made an original rap that summarized the Star Wars saga. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Middle school physical education teacher and sophomore class advisor Thomas Durfee performed a Star Wars rap at the show. Durfee made an original rap that summarized the Star Wars saga. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Instead of doing a traditional act on stage for the teacher talent show, the English department created a video spoofing the show “Breaking Bad.”  The teachers replaced the use of drugs with poetry.  Dan Koughan played the lead role of Walter White (dubbed Byron Black in the spoof) with the rest of the English teachers playing supporting roles. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Instead of doing a traditional act on stage for the teacher talent show, the English department created a video spoofing the show “Breaking Bad.” The teachers replaced the use of drugs with poetry. Dan Koughan played the lead role of Walter White (dubbed Byron Black in the spoof) with the rest of the English teachers playing supporting roles. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

High school teachers Robbie Bilsbury, James Wallimann, and David Alger sang “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers, “Sparkle” by Phish, and You Are My Sunshine.  This was the last act of the teacher talent show, and all of the teachers and students involved with the Global Issues class came out on stage and sang along for the final song. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
High school teachers Robbie Bilsbury, James Wallimann, and David Alger sang “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers, “Sparkle” by Phish, and You Are My Sunshine. This was the last act of the teacher talent show, and all of the teachers and students involved with the Global Issues class came out on stage and sang along for the final song. Credit: Susie Buck and Cassandra Gonser for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

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Norwegian culture presented for international week

On Thursday March13th, 2014 Katherine Birkeland a local mother came to MERMS to present her knowledge on Norway for international week. Her husband is a Norwegian native and she has also visited there herself.

Eighth graders Konrad Nowak and Will Mulvaney listen closely as foreign language teacher Doris Ann Vosseler instructs them to take notes and introduces their presenter. The presenter for this class was named Mrs. Birekland. Credit: Ainsley McLaughlin for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Eighth graders Konrad Nowak and Will Mulvaney listen closely as foreign language teacher Doris Ann Vosseler instructs them to take notes and introduces their presenter. The presenter for this class was named Mrs. Birekland. Credit: Ainsley McLaughlin for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Eighth graders Courtney Doane, Luke Heffernan, and Alexi Woodward listen in as Vosseler introduces their next presenter. International week happens every year at MERSD and gives students more information about places they may not have visited before. Credit: Ainsley McLaughlin for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Eighth graders Courtney Doane, Luke Heffernan, and Alexi Woodward listen in as Vosseler introduces their next presenter. International week happens every year at MERSD and gives students more information about places they may not have visited before. Credit: Ainsley McLaughlin for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Between informational slides, Birkeland asked the class true or false questions about Norway. For this question the answer was true that Norway has a very long coastline with many islands and fjords. Fjords are long, narrow, deep inlets of the sea between high cliffs. Credit: Ainsley McLaughlin for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Between informational slides, Birkeland asked the class true or false questions about Norway. For this question the answer was true that Norway has a very long coastline with many islands and fjords. Fjords are long, narrow, deep inlets of the sea between high cliffs. Credit: Ainsley McLaughlin for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Before starting her powerpoint presentation, Birkeland informed the class on basic geography of Norway. Norway is located in the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula. Credit: Phoebe Savje for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Before starting her powerpoint presentation, Birkeland informed the class on basic geography of Norway. Norway is located in the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula. Credit: Phoebe Savje for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Birkeland gives the 8th graders a visual of where Norway can be found on the map. Norway extends about 1,100 mi from the North Sea along the Norwegian Sea to more than 300 mi above the Arctic Circle, the farthest north of any European country. Credit: Phoebe Savje for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Birkeland gives the 8th graders a visual of where Norway can be found on the map. Norway extends about 1,100 mi from the North Sea along the Norwegian Sea to more than 300 mi above the Arctic Circle, the farthest north of any European country. Credit: Phoebe Savje for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

These 8th grade students were obligated to take notes during the presentations. Half of their 10 sentences had to be written in Spanish and the other half could be written in English. Credit: Phoebe Savje for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
These 8th grade students were obligated to take notes during the presentations. Half of their 10 sentences had to be written in Spanish and the other half could be written in English. Credit: Phoebe Savje for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

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March WebSurfer

SoundCloud gives every music lover what he or she wants. It provides music available to stream and play unlimited times for free and the ability to create playlists of your favorite songs. If the artist allows it, there may be the option to download the song or buy from iTunes directly linked to the window. You can explore by genre depending on what music preferences you have – from folk to hip hop. EDM (electronic dance music) is especially prominent on the website as of late, so if you’re a fan of that, this is a great website to check out because of its wide assortment of subgenres.

Redbubble is a canvas for all of your brightest ideas. It is a diverse place and the biggest marketplace on the Internet for pieces of art and intricate designs. When you contribute designs and upload them to the website, people can look at and buy them for the price you set depending on the product. Once a sale is made, you get a significant portion of the profits from the item. A variety of products is available for purchase – from photo prints and posters to stickers and iPhone cases along with most types of standard clothing items.

First We Feast provides an assortment of articles solely dedicated to the culinary arts. Their articles are divided up in to six categories: Latest, Eat, Drink, Travel, Laugh, Features. The Features and Latest are the ones that make their way to the front page. Each article gives an interesting summary of current food news. One such piece of breaking news is the announcement by Taco Bell to sell Waffle Tacos nationwide, which yielded an insane reaction from people all over Twitter. This website is perfect for all food fanatics.

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New graduation requirements affect this year’s freshmen and sophomores

New graduation requirements have been put into place that will affect the class of 2017 and the class of 2016.

The new requirements will be in three main areas: foreign language, math, and physical education. Under the new requirements, students must take two years of the same foreign language, four total years of math, and four years of gym class, Principal Patricia Puglisi said.

Puglisi said the changes have been made in order to remain in line with the MASS core program of study. The gym class requirement, however, was as a result of MERHS being cited by the state when it failed to meet state standards.

The extra two years the requirements add can be eliminated during junior and senior year if a student participates in a sport or if he or she participates in another exercise centered extra-curricular like a dance class or the school weight lifting program, Puglisi said.

Sophomore Lydia Parker believes that this exemption will prove beneficial for some, but that it will prove unfair for others.

“The new requirements for graduation will prove to be a problem for students because they’re more aimed at students who have time to play sports. Many students are busy with art, drama, or other extra-curricular activities,” Parker said.

Although the new requirements are required by the state, some students still feel that they are unfair and could potentially limit their ability to choose courses.

Freshman Antonio Gillespie says he feels that the new requirements will limit students’ ability to choose electives and have a hard course load.

“The new requirements will make for a tighter schedule with less opportunities junior and senior year,” he said.

Although many students may agree with Gillespie, Puglisi says that students will maintain the same type of course load as with the old system, adding that the requirements may augment a student’s profile.

“The new requirements will enhance student’s academic profile. They will not detract from students’ ability to take a rigorous academic program and/or expand their interest through our elective program,” she said.IMG_1748

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‘House of Cards’ sets new standards for the political drama

By Landon Komishane

Men who want power will do whatever it takes in order to rise to the top. This is the plotline for Netflix’s original series, “House of Cards.”

“House of Cards” is a political drama set in Washington DC. Garrett Walker (Michel Gill) is inaugurated as the 45th president. While he promises South Carolina Congressman and Democratic Majority Whip Francis “Frank” Underwood (Kevin Spacey) the position of Secretary of State, Walker does not keep his promise.

Underwood then resolves to do whatever is necessary to create his own empire in Washington, with the support of his wife Claire (Robin Wright) and his loyal Chief of Staff Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly).

Underwood has his pawns, and he sets out to destroy anyone in his way. He gets help through Washington Herald journalist Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), but they don’t just have a professional relationship.

Seasons 1 and 2 create fictional situations out of real current events in order to move the plot, including issues with the energy crisis and China. These situations allow Frank to move forward with his plan.

By Season 2, Frank is in a new position, and the stakes are even higher as more people are pushing to find out his corruption. The Season 2 premiere provides a shocker that changes the landscape of journalism and politics.

An interesting aspect with “House of Cards” is the narration. At times, Underwood will look straight into the camera and explain what the situation is. While annoying at first, the narration from this perspective becomes entertaining.

Netflix has been progressive in the past two years with this series because not only is this the first online-only series, but Netflix also releases all the episodes at the same time. While this opportunity may result in binge watching, it allows viewers to watch the episodes whenever they want.

“House of Cards” was renewed for a third season, and this new season will bring about change. It should continue to entertain viewers with its interesting succession of events and its use of American politics.

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Students offer input on grading

By Landon Komishane

With grading at the forefront of issues that the school is addressing, Principal Patricia Puglisi moved to get input from students regarding concerns of grading procedures.

Puglisi formed a committee of students to meet on Feb. 12. Juniors Courtney MacDougall, Chris Noriega, Sam Kane; sophomore Charlie Davis, and freshmen Jillian Furber and Madi Trumble were present to answer Puglisi’s questions and give their own opinion on how grading should be conducted.

Questions included how many valedictorians there should be, what a “0” represents, what should be included in a grade, and what a curve should be.

According to Noriega, students had common responses to these questions. The group agreed that a “0” represents an assignment not done. However, there was debate on what should be included in a grade.

Furber argued that class participation should not be included in a grade because there are shy kids, and they cannot push themselves to speak up.

Davis countered by saying that these students could find other ways to participate, including going up to talk to the teacher to make sure they know the material.

Puglisi found these responses to be helpful for further action.

“We may bring [these students] back for another meeting which could involve the faculty,” she said during the meeting. “These answers were very helpful to me, and it’s beneficial to get students’ input on issues.”

There was also discussion on the uses of Aspen and whether parents should be informed of their child’s progress.

“We discussed the possibility of not sending out report cards, but I think it is very important for report cards to be sent out,” MacDougall said. “In a lot of cases, parents aren’t checking Aspen, so sending out report cards makes sure the parents actually do see the final grades.”

According to Noriega, there were varying opinions on whether effort should be a separate grade, but she said more meetings will allow issues and opinions to be resolved.

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Apparel and lingerie brand Aerie markets natural photos

Since the commercialization of Photoshop in 1989, the digital photo editing tool has permeated the entire marketing and modeling industry, setting an impossibly high standard for female appearance.

Several decades later, Photoshop technology is impressively advanced, continuing to set an ever-unattainable expectation for models and everyday women alike. Magazine photos are glossed perfection, unwrinkled both figuratively and literally.

Finally calling attention to the unfair standards that commercial industries present, lingerie brand Aerie recently released an ad campaign featuring un-retouched (or un-Photoshopped) models. Aerie has used the same models as in  past campaigns, but the newest images are refreshingly authentic.

The brand has also pledged to stop featuring supermodels in their campaigns, meaning that moguls like Nina Agdal, who has modeled both for Aerie and the notoriously unrealistic Victoria’s Secret brand in the past, will no longer be representatives for the American Eagle subsidiary.

The models in the campaign don’t have completely flat stomachs when they’re sitting down, just like everybody else on the planet. Some of them have bony hips, less than perfect belly buttons, birthmarks, and folds of skin in places that most girls have come to think of as wrong or unacceptable.

Despite a lack of digital editing, the models still look completely beautiful. They benefit from professional hair, makeup, and styling, good lighting, and flattering angles.

Some critics of the campaign have mused that the brand claims to promote realness while still using unusually attractive models. Nonetheless, Aerie took a significant step in the right direction, practically setting an ultimatum for other brands to embrace real beauty and empower their customers.

Aerie deserves praise for being the brave first retailer to abandon Photoshop. The slogan of the campaign, “The Real You Is Sexy,” is placed on dressing room mirrors as a decal at in-store locations, reminding shoppers to love their bodies as they truly are.

If Aerie’s actions spark a trend throughout the industry, epidemic eating disorders and self-esteem issues could decrease dramatically. Without faux perfection taunting them at every turn, young girls in Aerie’s target market can expect further empowerment and body positivity from the brand.

 

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Class fundraisers help to reach finance goals

  Students in each class are holding upcoming fundraisers to reach their financial goals.

  The freshman class has earned money through bake sales after school, selling homemade baked goods.

  “We have earned a couple hundred dollars from bake sales so far, but the second half of the year has many fundraising plans,” freshman class president Avery Shaw said.

  Along with bake sales, they collected money by attempting to “sell food at the Halloween dance,” Shaw said.

  Upcoming fundraisers include a bakeoff and a 3v3 Basketball tournament after school.  A Lucky Leprechaun raffle will be held in March.

  “We have been told that the Lucky Leprechaun can earn lots of money, so we will be focusing most of our attention on that,” Shaw said.

  Finance goals for the freshman class include raising $6,000 by the end of the year. “A large amount of that money will come from student dues,” Shaw said. They currently have a couple hundred dollars in total.

  In order to raise money, the sophomore class has an upcoming student talent show in May.

  The goal for the end of the year is $10,000. “Senior year we need $40,000,” sophomore class president Chelsea Rose said.

   Junior class officers share co-presidency between Meghan Conway, Devon Musgrave Johnson, and Andy Creighton. They have $14,000 so far from fundraising.

  “We have been doing restaurant nights, selling raffle tickets, and we have upcoming sports tickets,” Creighton said.

  They will be hosting a Casino Night to raise money for the junior class.

  The senior class has had many fundraising opportunities over the years.

  “We’ve done a lot of bake sales and a lucky leprechaun raffle. Our parents helped us do a silent auction last year, which was really successful. We hosted the a cappella night last year,” senior class adviser Jennifer Coleman said.

  Seniors have “just about $25,000 at this point,” Coleman said. They need another $5,000 by the end of the year.

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