Athletes benefit from morning practices

  Both the swim team and the boys’ hockey team have at least one morning practice a week. While this can be tough for athletes who don’t get to bed early, students have more time in the afternoons.

  In high school, sleep is a necessity. Morning practices do take away an hour or two of sleep in the mornings, but they also help wake students up and get them ready for the day.

  At the end of the day, kids can just go home and do their homework and get to bed early, without having to spend time at a practice after a long school day.

  Early practice scheduling gives student-athletes more free time to finish homework, relax, and catch up on any sleep missed.

  Overall, the occasional morning practice can actually help kids get more sleep and more time to relax, because they can start their homework right after school instead of after school and a long practice. The quicker they finish their homework, the earlier they can get to bed.

  Students are often tired after a long school day and would rather simply go home and rest.

  After a practice and a shower, kids can go to school feeling exercised and refreshed instead of still being tired and groggy.

  Morning practices are also often shorter than the normal practice time to make sure there is still time to shower and get ready for school. When athletes finish their practice, they can go to school knowing they’ll have extra time afterwards to complete their work and get to bed on time.

  While having morning practice every day could be too much, having it every so often is a refreshing change from the more common schedule with practices after school.

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Conflict in Libya: Should the United States have become involved? – Pro

When President Obama announced the U.S. was willing to take military action against Colonel Muammar al-Qadaffi of Libya, it was easy to jump to a conclusion: the country is getting involved in another war.

By Kaitlin McDonagh

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  When President Obama announced the U.S. was willing to take military action against Colonel Muammar al-Qadaffi of Libya, it was easy to jump to a conclusion: the country is getting involved in another war.           

  This idea, however, is not as inevitable as some may believe.

The United Nations Security Council voted on March 18 to authorize a no-flight zone over Libya and to “take all necessary measures” to protect the Libyan citizens.

  The no-flight zone, according to the BBC, “establishes a ban on all flights in Libyan airspace to help protect civilians,” with exceptions for flights the U.N. states enforces the ban and humanitarian flights.

  On March 19, France, Britain, and the U.S. began a series of air raids on Qadaffi’s forces to aid the Libyan rebels. Without this air raid, the rebels would have been overrun.

  According to the New York Times, rebel forces were able to gain control of the city of Ajdabiya on March 27, a city in eastern Libya, a day after allied airstrikes against Qadaffi’s military in eastern Libya. Clearly, foreign aid has helped the African country.

  Despite the success, opponents of U.S. involvement in foreign matters may criticize the Obama administration: Why should the U.S. get involved in crises that do not pertain to this country?

  It doesn’t matter whether or not the U.S. has any stakes in Libya; the issue became international once Qadaffi began attacking his own people. It’s impossible to ignore the immorality of this act; hundreds of citizens were dying, often in peaceful protest, because a tyrant ordered his military to murder them.

  If something as horrific as this were to occur in the United States, the government would have no qualms about sending in troops to resolve the situation.

  At this point in the Libyan revolution, politics should take a backseat to protecting the lives and basic rights of human beings, regardless of the different nationalities.

  For those who still believe the issue is a matter of diplomacy, not morality, consider this: the United States has relinquished control of the entire campaign to NATO. The Obama administration is already preparing to remove several U.S. warships from Libya. The situation won’t get out of control; the U.S. is not the only country involved in protecting the Libyan citizens, and the government is already preparing to lessen its presence.

  According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. will be finished with the situation in Libya from anywhere between a few months to a little over a year. To protect the lives of innocent Libyan citizens and preserve their rights to life and liberty, this is a small price to pay.

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Conflict in Libya: Should the United States have become involved? – Con

Korea. Vietnam. Iraq. All these countries are prime examples of American involvement that ended in nothing more than a cease-fire with few to no true results.

By Melissa Moore

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Korea.  Vietnam.  Iraq.  All these countries are prime examples of American involvement that ended in nothing more than a cease-fire with few to no true results. 

  The situation in Libya will end no differently.  Even if Muammar al-Qadaffi is ousted, little will be altered with American involvement.

  The United States’ interference in foreign countries throughout history proves that any success in Libya is unlikely.

Korea’s separation at the 38th parallel after World War II directly caused the Korean War.  America, supporting South Korea, entered the war too strong, causing China to enter the conflict to assist fellow Communist country North Korea. The war ended in a stalemate and the country remained split.

  In Vietnam in the 1960s, the United States supported the unpopular, pro-Western leader Ngo Dinh Diem, causing the majority of Southern Vietnamese citizens to despise America.  John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson strived to avoid involvement in Vietnam. 

  Johnson maintained a policy of limited warfare; however, the conflict quickly escalated to a full-blown war.  Few Americans supported the war, the United States ended the fighting with a cease-fire, and Vietnam was re-united under Communist rule after the Americans left.

  The conflict in Iraq began with American beliefs that Iraq was collecting weapons of mass destruction. Though dictator Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003, the country remains in turmoil. 

  These examples directly relate to the situation in Libya today.  The Korean War is a prime example of what could happen if Americans strike Libya too hard.  Qadaffi would not hesitate to call in any allies he may have to preserve his power.

  The Vietnam War shows how the policy of limited bombing and involvement is not successful.  Barack Obama plans on utilizing this strategy in Libya.  He wants to show that Americans will support the revolution with arms, but he does not want to commit many troops to the cause; however, this involvement could easily escalate to America being committed to supporting the cause with a large number of troops.

  As in Iraq, Americans hope to oust a dictator.  However, since Iraq is still in turmoil without a strong leader, the same is likely to happen in Libya. Even if America is successful in helping Libya, many coups d’état will likely take place.

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Tech Talk: iPad 2

Now faster, thinner, and lighter, offering FaceTime and Smart Covers, Apple’s innovative iPad 2 is on sale.

By Hannah Daley

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

   Now faster, thinner, and lighter, offering FaceTime and Smart Covers, Apple’s innovative iPad 2 is on sale.

   With a dual-core A5 chip, the iPad 2 can do twice the work at once, making multitasking even smoother. Owners can also use it for 10 hours before having to charge it, according to Apple.com.

   Thirty-three percent thinner and 15 percent lighter, it also makes traveling easier.

   Not only is it quicker, thinner, and lighter, but it also offers great quality in terms of images and video.

   Compared to the first iPad, the iPad 2 has nine times the graphic performance and consists of two cameras, one on the front and one on the back.

   The camera on the front is used for video chatting, which is known as the feature “FaceTime,” and the back camera is used to take videos. The back camera also serves as a convenient way to show something to a video-chat friend while still seeing his/her face.

   In addition to the 9.7 inches of high-resolution display with a 178-degree viewing angle, the iPad 2’s LED backlighting serves as a main component, making every image crisp, vivid, and bright.

   Although sold separately, the iPad Smart Cover serves as an accessory and protector.

   Sold in leather or polyurethane in 10 colors for $39, the Smart Cover folds in several different ways and contains built-in magnets that cling to the iPad for a perfect fit.

   The iPad with only Wi-Fi costs $499, $599, and $699 for 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB, respectively. Ipads with Wi-Fi and 3G (the service network) cost $629, $729, and $829.

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Band members venture to Montreal for performance, tour during week in Canada

Led by director Joe Sokol, 64 band members traveled to Montreal, Canada on March 18 for a weekend trip and performance at the Olympic Stadium.

By Morgan Kennedy

INDPENDENT STAFF

  Led by director Joe Sokol, 64 band members traveled to Montreal, Canada on March 18 for a weekend trip and performance at the Olympic Stadium.

  According to Sokol, the band left Manchester on Friday at 6:30 a.m. and arrived in Montreal at 12:30 p.m.

  After arriving, the band ate lunch and prepared for a 40-minute set at the Olympic Stadium, home to the 1976 Summer Olympics.

  The band performed for passing tourists in the lobby of La Tour de Montréal, a tower at the Olympic Stadium, with a set of nine songs including “O’Canada,” “Eagle Mountain Overture,” and “A Beatles Medley,” Sokol said.

  According to senior Grace Gillette, the performance was a success.

  “We had a great concert this year. There were more fans than we expected, and Mr. Sokol was asked to sign his first autograph,” she said.

  According to Sokol, the rest of the weekend included various activities and tours. The group took a guided tour of Montreal on Saturday, and band members were given time to shop and eat lunch on their own afterwards.

  On Saturday afternoon, 10 students visited a museum with art teacher Marion Powers, a chaperone on the trip, while the rest of the group went ice skating.

  Junior Brianna Malik enjoyed the freedom to choose which activities she wanted to do.

  “I liked that we had options on this trip. Whether you went to an art museum or ice skating was entirely up to you,” she said.

  According to Sokol, other activities included dinner at a sugar shack and a visit to Montréal Biodôme to see animals in a variety of ecosystems.

  Gillette said the weekend was well spent.

  “The whole trip was a blast. We all had fun going out to dinner, walking around the city, and just hanging out in the hotel,” she said.

  Sokol said his favorite part of the trip was watching the students have fun together.

  “One night at dinner I looked at the students and thought, ‘This is what it’s all about, being together like this,’” he said. “The students are always practicing, and it was neat to kick back, have fun, and enjoy each other.”

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‘Femme Fatale’ sure to be a fan favorite, lacks appeal needed for non-Spears fans

On her third album since her triumphant, post-breakdown, return to music, Britney Spears proves once again that she’s not going away anytime soon.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  On her third album since her triumphant, post-breakdown, return to music, Britney Spears proves once again that she’s not going away anytime soon.

  Though bound to be a highly successful album, “Femme Fatale (Deluxe Edition),” is nothing out of the ordinary or outside of Spears’ comfort zone. It has the same feel as her most recent albums, “Blackout” and “Circus,” and there are no surprises with this new set of tracks.

  Spears delivers her standard music, which for diehard fans is just what they were looking for, but those who have never been supporters, or are disgusted with the music industry, will undoubtedly turn up their noses at the music.

  Auto tuned to death and digitally edited to the point where Spears often sounds robotic, “Femme Fatale” brings nothing more to the table other than sugary, computerized songs fit for nothing but remixes and the club scene, playing into the current dubstep craze.

  Pre-released singles “Hold It Against Me” and “Till The World Ends” rapidly spread across radio stations and climbed the charts within the first week of their respective releases.

  Despite the fact that it’s cluttered with many of the same sounding tunes, “Femme Fatale” does have a few hidden gems worth checking out.

  “I Wanna Go,” an upbeat song that you can’t help but want to dance to, is one of the bright spots on the album. Its addictive hook and fun whistle effect make for an enjoyable track, although severely computerized.

  Another song off the album that fans are sure to love is “Gasoline,” which is typical Spears. The transitions from upbeat and catchy verses to a darker and edgier hook makes for an enthralling, though somewhat redundant, track.

  If listeners are willing to look past the heavy handed editing, autotuning, and regrettable introduction of dubstep in almost every one of the album’s tracks, “Femme Fatale” provides party perfect songs but lacks the depth and range of talent Spears is sure to still possess; the reintroduction of which would have been a welcomed change of pace.

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International Week informs students of foreign cultures

Since 1996, International Week has been a part of the middle and high school curriculum with the goal of broadening students’ understanding of other cultures.

By Marian Siljeholm

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Since 1996, International Week has been a part of the middle and high school curriculum with the goal of broadening students’ understanding of other cultures.

  This year, China, Ireland, and Cambodia, and the Dominican Republic, among others, were included in he curriculum.

  In coordination with other language department staff, department head Michelle Magana oversaw the planning and speaker assignments for the week, which incorporated new additions of Guatemala, Liberia, and China.

  “It’s been great having student help as well,” Spanish teacher Robert Bilsbury said. “Freshman Charlie Hoff was instrumental in helping with technical aspects.”  

  Among the speakers were Martha Cox, who presented about Spain, Tom Paradis (Dominican Republic), Greg Caroll (Liberia), and Tamera Burns (Egypt).                                                                                                                                           

  Student speakers included seniors Olivia Peterson and Ben White, who spoke about their trip to Ireland, and junior Anny Carr, who presented on Spain.

  Bilsbury especially enjoyed the China presentation, which Kevin Heffernan, freshman Anna Heffernan’s dad, presented. He felt the presentation was both “informational” and “innovative” regarding the rapidly growing nation.

  The kitchen staff also played a role, offering meals planned to match each day’s theme.

  Conceptually, the idea originated under former department head Dr. Nicole Sherf, in an effort to incorporate community into the language department.

  Junior Haley Woodman said the International Week assemblies were beneficial.

  “The assemblies are a nice break from regular class,” junior Haley Woodman said. “The week gives a new perspective and teaches us to not define another country or culture by our own capitalistic standards.”

  The themes for the week depend largely on speaker availability and the cafeteria’s capabilities. This year, Bilsbury was especially pleased with the efforts saying, “The foreign language department is so happy about how well the cafeteria does; they go all out and it’s really amazing.”

  Speakers are all voluntary, mostly responding to the school’s online advertisement.

   Next year, the Rotary Club will sponsor foreign high school exchange students as speakers.

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Invisible Children raises awareness, touches students

In a time where it seems as though the human race is growing more selfish than ever before, the eye-opening experience of Invisible Children’s presentation at our school and the overwhelming response that followed it was a breath of fresh air for the school community.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  In a time where it seems as though the human race is growing more selfish than ever before, the eye-opening experience of Invisible Children’s presentation at our school and the overwhelming response that followed it was a breath of fresh air for the school community.

  On March 11, representatives from the Invisible Children organization visited the school to inform people about the turmoil taking place in poverty-ridden Uganda, a country where brutal war and violence has plagued its inhabitants for years.

  The representatives, or “roadies,” as they are affectionately called, donate months of their time and an incredible amount of effort into spreading awareness about the cause, speaking to schools and other groups about the situation in Uganda.

  As a part of their presentation, the roadies showed a film produced by the organization called “Tony,” which tells the story of a young Ugandan man whose education was supported by Invisible Children and who was eventually brought to the United States to educate Americans about his homeland.

  Though often in the public eye due to its heavy support by various celebrities, news of Invisible Children’s efforts had yet to reach the ears of students here. When it was announced that an assembly would be held during the day, students were excited, not because they wanted to learn more about the cause, but instead because they would be missing class.

  However, within five minutes into the presentation, that carefree sentiment evaporated from the auditorium as the mood shifted drastically from a fun way to get out of class to a serious, emotional atmosphere.

  As an avid supporter of Invisible Children and the individual responsible for their visit to our school, I was overjoyed that this urgent cause for action was receiving such a positive reaction from students and faculty alike.

  After the presentation had finished, the roadies set up tables selling merchandise and accepting donations. By glancing at the massive crowd surrounding the group, asking questions, and willingly offering up any spare cash, it was glaringly obvious that students had not viewed this assembly as just a way to get out of class for an hour.

  Not only did Invisible Children bring awareness to the school’s community regarding the tragedies that are often overlooked in Africa, but it also educated and touched the student body in a way that I had never seen before.

  Rather than allow this issue to disappear, it’s imperative that we get involved in the cause however we can. On April 25, Invisible Children is sponsoring the 25 campaign, where participants will be silent for 25 hours in order to raise awareness for the thousands silenced by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Africa.

  All proceeds of this event will be used to fund the Invisible Children Protection Plan in Africa, a project aimed at aiding communication and rehabilitation to the victims of the LRA. 

Please visit www.invisiblechildren.com/25 for more information on how to join the movement.

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College process should start earlier

With the May 1 deadline rapidly approaching for seniors’ final decision on which school to attend next year, many are still waiting to hear from top choices or deciding between multiple schools. Most would not be in this position had they started the college process sooner.

STAFF EDITORIAL

  With the May 1 deadline rapidly approaching for seniors’ final decision on which school to attend next year, many are still waiting to hear from top choices or deciding between multiple schools. Most would not be in this position had they started the college process sooner.

  According to guidance counselor Sharon Maguire, freshmen and sophomores are introduced to their Naviance account and provided with personality and interest surveys to see what types of careers they would be compatible with. Some students choose to begin to discuss secondary planning, such as college.

“While we do introduce the topic of college, we are aware that we don’t want to present this to stress or worry our students. We want them to enjoy their high school time and get involved in activities that they’re interested in,” she said.

  Starting to figure out where one might be interested in applying is an intimidating task for freshmen or sophomores, but the more familiar they are with different schools and what factors students should look for, the easier the process will be during junior and senior year.

  Underclassmen should have at least a few meetings with a guidance counselor to discuss not only types of colleges they are interested in, but also to establish academic goals.

  Students will have a better chance at getting into reach schools if they know what grades they will need for all four years of high school. This will inspire them to work harder and help them choose what level of classes and number of APs they want to take as upperclassmen.  

  Guidance gives great tools to students through Naviance, but the intimidation of the process makes students wait until junior year to start looking at schools.

  Current seniors should be brought in to talk to underclassmen about strategies for searching for colleges. The process is fresh in seniors’ minds, and underclassmen need specific tasks they can do to start figuring out what schools they might be interested in. Merely signing up for Naviance is not enough.

  Some students take initiative and start the process early. Others blow it off until the application deadlines arrive. The ones who need help are those who want to start looking but are not sure how.

Increased guidance interaction during freshman and sophomore year will largely benefit these students and reduce stress later throughout the application process.

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Boys invite dates to prom in innovative, unique ways

Although prom is still two months away, boys began to ask their dates far in advance – and in extremely creative, cute ways.

By Kyle Marsh

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Although prom is still two months away, boys began to ask their dates far in advance – and in extremely creative, cute ways.

  Every year students attempt to find interesting ways to ask their special someone to the prom, but this year, students are creating elaborate, even time-consuming plans to ask others to prom.

  Junior Casey Weld was of the first to ask his desired date to the dance. In order to ask senior Olivia Colpoys, he had to involve the school administration.

  According to Colpoys, she was in AP Government when she was called down to the main office.

  “Mrs. Lumsden was there and quietly said to me that I needed to go to the auditorium to see Mr. Lee. I was really confused. Then I walked in and the first thing I saw on the projector was ‘Will you go to prom with me?’ and I saw Casey with flowers and gave him a big hug,” she said.

  In order to ask his senior girlfriend Rachel Jones, senior Alex Ray created a scheme that also involved advanced planning.

  According to Jones, she was on her way home from the gym when she started to see eight different signs on Route 133. The first said “Rachel Jones,” the next, “will,” until the signs put together said, “Rachel Jones will you go to prom with me?”

  “I held the last sign in her driveway with a rose. She was so excited and very, very happy,” Ray said.

  Senior Alex Porter asked his girlfriend, junior Caroline Bernier, in an equally creative way.

  According to Bernier, Porter asked her to go to Friendly’s for dinner. In the fence on the bridge over Route 128, Porter placed red plastic cups that spelled out “Prom?”

  “The bar was set really high after Casey asked Olivia. I think that pushed Alex to get creative, and he did really well; I loved it,” Bernier said.

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