‘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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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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Maura’s Column

As an avid Hornets SuperFan, I couldn’t be more enthusiastic when cheering on my peers at any sort of sporting event. However, it is, to say the least, particularly annoying, when the always huge student section is stifled for uttering so much as “Airball!” after a missed shot by the opposing team.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  As an avid Hornets SuperFan, I couldn’t be more enthusiastic when cheering on my peers at any sort of sporting event. However, it is, to say the least, particularly annoying, when the always huge student section is stifled for uttering so much as “Airball!” after a missed shot by the opposing team.

  Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as much of a fan of watching our Hornets take on other schools as I am of both giving and receiving respect, but couldn’t one argue that the job of a high school student is to support their teams, even if it involves some good natured heckling at the expense of the other fans?

  Granted, this so called “good natured heckling” can absolutely get out of control on occasion and the unfortunate easy access to events on social networking sites definitely encourages the rivalries between fans from other schools to escalate, but when the intention is originally to just actively support and cheer for your home team.

  The student section is in place to ensure an active support system for the Hornets, and, for example, its presence during boys’ basketball games is particularly loud and raucous, as it is always packed with students who came to the game to cheer loudly and often.

  However, students like myself cannot help but feel irritated when we’re constantly told by administrators what we can and cannot cheer about, or when they stand dauntingly in front of the section, arms crossed, threatening to toss out the next enthusiast who yells something that they deem inappropriate.

  Obviously, this threat is sometimes perfectly acceptable, as are the reprimands received by certain fans who cross the line, but the atmosphere that this imposing authority creates takes away from something that should be fun and exciting.

  What the administration does not understand that the student sections taunts are often the result of harassment from fans from the away team. With a few exceptions, we as a section rarely cross the line or say anything insulting without being provoked by our rivals across the court, purposely teasing us our or peers playing in the game, who we feel the dire need to defend at any cost.

  Perhaps what is most insulting and frustrating to fans is the fact that it seems as though opposing fans are never thrown from the game or even scolded for their offensive remarks

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Girls’ basketball happy with season’s outcome despite not qualifying for state tournament

For eight members of the girls’ varsity basketball team, their high school basketball career playing for coach Lauren DuBois has come to an end.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  For eight members of the girls’ varsity basketball team, their high school basketball career playing for coach Lauren DuBois has come to an end.

  With a final record of 2-17, the team was unable to qualify for the preliminary round of the state tournament.   

  “Even though our record wasn’t what we had hoped for, I’m happy I finished my basketball career with this team,” senior Olivia Colpoys said.

  However, the team ended their season on a positive note with a winning score of 50-36 in the final game against Rockport on Feb. 17.

  Twelve of the team members scored during the senior night game, including senior captain Abbi Biggar with 10 points, senior Grace Gillette with 9 points, and senior Jesse Taylor with 7 points.

  Even with a win, playing the final game was bittersweet for both the players and DuBois.

  “I will miss the seniors very much. It’s rare to have eight members of a class stick with a sport for all four years, and it shows how close this class is,” DuBois said.

  “I’ve been playing with most of these girls since MAA and have so many memories with each member of the team, so I’m really sad the season is over. Not only is that because I won’t be playing at Manchester anymore, but because I’m going to miss spending time with all the girls and our coaches too,” senior Carina Taliaferro agreed.

  The team will be graduating senior co-captain Rebecca Lynch, Biggar, Gillette, Taylor, Taliaferro, Colpoys, Kaitlin McDonagh, and Piper Browne.

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Advertisement of love through tattoos ends up foolish, ridiculous

Despite all the love that Susie may feel for Johnny now, it is just plain foolish to ignore the possibility that it won’t last forever. Clearly, Susie’s choice to permanently ink her body with a heinous tattoo proclaiming her love for Johnny after only knowing him for just under a year is absolutely ridiculous.

By Maura Driscoll

 INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Despite all the love that Susie may feel for Johnny now, it is just plain foolish to ignore the possibility that it won’t last forever. Clearly, Susie’s choice to permanently ink her body with a heinous tattoo proclaiming her love for Johnny after only knowing him for just under a year is absolutely ridiculous.

  How does one know that his or her once passionate love affair won’t crash and burn within just a few months? And when it does, how will he or she cope with having a painful reminder of what once was, on top of mending his or her broken heart?

  This firm stance on tattoos with the names or faces of boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, or wives does not extend to the idea of tattoos in general. In fact, I happen to be a major advocate of tattoos. I believe that some things truly are worth having on one’s body for the rest of his or her life.

  As a matter of fact, not all names or faces used as tattoos are necessarily reprehensible, either. For example, people often view inking oneself with the name or picture of a lost loved one as, rather than foolish and ridiculous, sweet and endearing.

  Granted, there are always exceptions to the rule. I’m not narrow-minded enough to think that there are absolutely no relationships that exist in which love will be lost and tattoos will be regretted, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

  Some may call me pessimistic, unable to accept that perhaps some people are so truly in love that it is entirely appropriate to tattoo themselves with the name of their significant other, but I prefer to view myself as a realist.

  Forgive me for believing that only in fairytales does everything work out for the best, and that there is plenty of time in one’s life to have regrets.

  It’s impossible to know that you will be with that special person forever, as things are constantly changing, and feelings for another person are no exception.

  Why risk the grief of potentially regretting a tattoo that just serves as a reminder of your possibly unlucky past?

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Despite 1-10 record, girls’ basketball team hopes for success in postseason

Unlike last season, the girls’ basketball team continues on in season with losing record of 1-10.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Unlike last season, the girls’ basketball team continues on in season with losing record of 1-10. 

  “Our results don’t reflect our efforts, because we’re working hard,” senior Kaitlin McDonagh said.

  During a Jan. 25 game, Masconomet beat the girls 63-22, though coach Lauren Dubois was “pleased” with the team’s performance, as they were able to hold Masconomet’s leading scorer to just 8 points, despite her 21 points per game average.

  In a Jan. 28 game against Triton, juniors Jelisa O’Hara and Jess Crossen each had five points and four points, respectively, and led the team in the 47-23 loss.

  The team lost 51-25 to Pentucket on Jan. 31, with seniors Jesse Taylor and Grace Gillette leading offensively with six points apiece. On Feb. 4, Wilmington too beat the team 62-30.

  “Our record is frustrating because there are some games that we could have won and because in many games the problem wasn’t that the other team was better. We just didn’t play our best,” DuBois said.

  “It’s not so much that we are losing a lot of games, but it’s just we aren’t playing as well as we can,” senior captain Rebecca Lynch agreed.

  Regardless of the team’s unfavorable record, the girls still have a chance at qualifying for the tournament.

  “Because we are Div. 4 and play 70 percent of our games above our division, we have to win 50 percent of the Div. 4 games to qualify for the tournament, which is called the Sullivan rule,” DuBois said.

  Regardless of the team’s record, DuBois continues to have an optimistic outlook on the season, and still has goals to work on.

  “I want the team to continue to improve, especially on our rebounding every game. We also need to keep working toward qualifying for the tournament,” she said.

  Five regular season games remain before playoffs begin.

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Peer leaders, guidance organize college homecoming panel

As a way to begin the college process for juniors and to give seniors an idea of what freshman year is like, the guidance department organized the annual College Homecoming panel.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  As a way to begin the college process for juniors and to give seniors an idea of what freshman year is like, the guidance department organized the annual College Homecoming panel.

  The panel, comprised of graduated seniors from the class of 2010, was emceed by senior peer leaders Brittany Edwards and Laurel Edington, who led the discussions for both the junior and senior class assemblies.

  Seven graduates returned to speak to the juniors and seniors. Bobina VanderLaan of Fordham University, Jasmine Bailey of Bowdoin College, Jack Kelly of Northeastern University, Scott Cowman of Dickinson College, Monique Costello of St. Anselm College, Jake Douglas of The College of William and Mary, and Justine Kane of The University of Massachusetts at Amherst all dedicated their time to the event.

  According to guidance counselor Karen D’Amour, “Not only did the graduates themselves play an important part in the organization and running of the event, but the peer leaders did as well.”

  “Members of the Peer Leaders meet with Ms. Maguire and myself to select a date and time for the event, find out which college freshmen will be home and willing to participate, determine a nice cross section of schools students have attended based on private, public, large, small, medium, with city, suburban and rural campuses,” D’Amour said.

 The panel members addressed students’ concerns about applying to college, talked about their life at their respective schools, and answered questions. Panelists such as Costello and Cowman were able to talk about unique aspects of their college experience, as she is transferring and he is a member of Army ROTC.

  Juniors seemed to enjoy talking to the panel and gathering new information about the next steps in the college process.

  “I thought the assembly was very useful for juniors because it helped give us an idea of the process we will be experiencing next year as well as giving us important aspects of the application process that we should focus on,” junior Katerina Eichenberger said. “They were all very warm and welcoming, and overall, it was a very good learning experience.” 

  Though the panel that took place for the seniors was aimed more at the college experience itself, students still found the discussion useful.

  “I feel that the kids coming back to talk to us was beneficial because it allowed me to get more realistic sense of what to expect in college and my life there. I would say that it was definitely helpful, and it actually made me a lot less stressed about everything,” senior Jason Stasiak said.

  “It is always nice for the school community to welcome former students back and to learn how well our teachers prepared them for their college level courses,” D’Amour said.

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‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One’ makes for a spectacular, moving installment of ending

As the first half of the finale in the epic Harry Potter saga, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One,” directed by David Yates, accomplishes its goal of being a thrilling first installment in a pair of movies already proving to be spectacular representations of the book itself.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  As the first half of the finale in the epic Harry Potter saga, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One,” directed by David Yates, accomplishes its goal of being a thrilling first installment in a pair of movies already proving to be spectacular representations of the book itself.

  Picking up where the last movie, “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” left off, “Part One” starts on a high note, as Harry and members of the Order of the Phoenix hilariously take protective measures, by transforming themselves to all look like Harry himself, to safely transport themselves to the Burrow.

  But their trip is not burden free, as not too long after they all take flight, Death Eaters are upon them, with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) at the helm.

  The harrowing escape is just the beginning of the action-packed adventure that main characters Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) go on together in their quest to destroy Lord Voldemort’s seven horcruxes.

  Perhaps the most important quality of the new film is the improvement of the acting. In the past, characters like Harry Potter were portrayed as silly and unbelievable due to the unfortunate acting from actors like Radcliffe, whose weepy reaction to the news of Sirius Black’s escape from Azkaban in the third film was more cringe-worthy than sad.

  However, Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson all step up their game individually with the ability to give moving and phenomenal performances as their characters, with exceptional chemistry.

  Finally, a Harry Potter film with emotion and depth has been made. Most apparent in the relationship between the three main characters, in the adorable yet incredibly frustrating sexual tension between Ron and Hermione, and any scene involving Dobby the house elf, “Part One” conveys a poignant sentiment that was previously unattainable in the film series.

  Though some could argue that the film drags in some spots, as over 100 minutes of it take place in the wilderness with just Harry, Ron, and Hermione present, the cinematography presented is positively breathtaking and makes for an enchanting plunge into the realm of Harry Potter and his world.

  Cliffhanger ending aside, the riveting penultimate to the revered Harry Potter series is one that leaves the viewers satisfied yet craving more.

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‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy fosters discrimination, prejudice

In such a progressive and ever-evolving society, an archaic rule such as the disgustingly prejudiced “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy has no place.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  In such a progressive and ever-evolving society, an archaic rule such as the disgustingly prejudiced “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy has no place.

  With this discriminatory and previously unspoken policy, the United States Armed Forces target men and women who are both openly homosexual and those who remain in the closet.

  If a supporter of DADT was asked about the principle, I’m sure that his or her response would inevitably be that the policy’s goal is to provide privacy for the gay members of the American Armed Forces.

  Despite whatever supposed good intentions that the creators of this rule once had, the fact remains that DADT is a repulsively ancient violation of a person’s basic civil rights.

  In no other occupational circumstance is it lawful or constitutional to terminate an employee based on his or her sexual orientation. Why should the military be any different?

  Clearly, the American public has no problem with gay figures in society, and the fact that the courts have yet to overturn this policy is startling and disturbing.

  Openly gay politicians have been elected to major offices in the United States government. Various prominent celebrities and public figures who are revered by the public are also members of the gay community. Even Dumbledore, the famed and idolized wizard in the “Harry Potter” series is gay.

  If having a member of the gay community in a government position is socially acceptable, why does the military view its own soldiers fighting for their country as such a problem?

  The “Don’t Ask” aspect of the policy states that military officials will not inquire into a soldier’s personal life, and the “Don’t Tell” portion implies that soldiers should not disclose the nature of their private lives.

  Are the expectations the same for heterosexual enlisted soldiers? Should they not wear a wedding ring, post pictures of their loved ones, or share anecdotes in casual conversation about their home life, in order to keep their private lives a secret?

  If the answer to that question is no, then gay members of the military should not be burdened with those expectations either.

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Nov. deadlines relieve senior application stress

Since the Nov. 1 early action and early decision deadline has now passed, high school seniors are beginning to feel the stress of college applications lift, though not all attribute this relief to the guidance department’s new Naviance program.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Since the Nov. 1 early action and early decision deadline has now passed, high school seniors are beginning to feel the stress of college applications lift, though not all attribute this relief to the guidance department’s new Naviance program.

  According to guidance counselors Sharon Maguire and Karen D’Amour, Naviance is a software program that will help students electronically manage all their college information during all four years of high school. For example, during freshman year students will fill out a learning style profile, sophomore year they will do a personality profile, junior year they will begin the college search, and during senior year, guidance will process students’ applications through Naviance to streamline the application process.

  “Naviance was helpful when it came to my organization and my resume, and it really helped me figure out when the due dates for things actually were,” senior Hannah Beardsley said.

  “I used it all the time when I was applying early action. It definitely relieved some of the stress I would have been feeling if I had to do everything individually and on paper,” senior Olivia Peterson agreed.naviance was helpful when coming to my resume and organization. it really helped me figure out when my actual due dates werenaviance was helpful when coming to my resume and organization. it really helped me figure out when my actual due dates werenaviance was helpful when coming to my resume and organization. it really helped me figure out when my actual due dates were

  However, despite the guidance department’s introduction of the Naviance program to alleviate students’ workload, many felt as though the new method didn’t make a significant difference.

  “Yes, I definitely feel like some weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that I’ve applied early action to some places,” senior Olivia Colpoys said, “but I didn’t really use Naviance very much.”

  Even those students who are already done with their college processes did not feel as though Naviance was particularly helpful.

  “Though I did use it occasionally, it was never for my actual application process. I primarily just used it for the college search,” senior Caroline Kiley said.

  Another senior, Alex Carr, agreed. “To be honest, I didn’t use it at all,” he said.

  Though Naviance’s resources are meant to be used for both early and regular decision deadlines, seniors who did not apply early also had mixed reviews about Naviance. “It looks helpful, but I haven’t used it since I haven’t even applied to schools yet,” senior Heather Burgess said.

  Despite the mixed reviews about Naviance, most seniors feel relieved that this first big deadline has passed. “I’m just happy to have half of it done!” Colpoys said.

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