Prepare your closet with spring fashion trends

Spring is in the air, and it’s not only the tulips that are in bloom but also the new spring fashion trends.

By Molly Friedman

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

 Spring is in the air, and it’s not only the tulips that are in bloom but also the new spring fashion trends.

It’s time for everyone to come out of their winter hibernation of sweatpants, jeans, UGGS, and winter jackets and transition to a more “springy” wardrobe.

  This season has been struck with a multitude of new trends including flowy dresses, sandals, shorts, bright colors, and fun accessories.  These new fads have taken over fashion websites and blogs in preparation for the spring lines.

A dress is a great way to put together a simple cute outfit in a hurry. Delias has a great purple ruffle dress for $44.50 that is included in their Tropical Paradise spring line. Pair it with some earrings, a layered necklace, and a pair of strappy sandals and you’re set for a day out under the spring sun.

  It’s time to let your body remember what it feels like to be warm and show some skin, but not too much!

  After spending endless hours in winter boots and slippers, our feet deserve to have some air and breathe. Gladiator sandals, flip flops, and wedges are all great options and can be used both during the day and at night.

  Urban Outfitters has a wide shoe selection ranging from sandals and heels to boots and sneakers. A nude color shoe is a necessity to any closet because it goes with every color and can be dressed up or down. Their Cooperative Canvas Strap Wedge, $48, is the right amount of height and comes in orange, nude, and black.

  No one wants to have their ghastly white winter legs forever, so invest in a pair of high waisted jean shorts from Free People for $117 and pastel chino shorts from J.Crew for $49.50 to allow some sun to color your skin.

  Hide your blacks and grays in the back of your closet and make room for your pastels and bright colored clothes. Spring is when everything is in bloom, so why not make yourself pop with a bright striped shirt for $45.90 from Zara and a cute pair of sunglasses?

  Accessories add to any outfit and can sometimes be the missing link needed to complete the look. Take a simple tank top and jeans look and add a statement necklace to make it come together.

  Anthropologie has a great selection of necklaces and bracelets ranging in price and styles. Their nuances necklace, $48, is a bold statement that can stand alone on top of a tank top or paired with a strapless dress.

  Break out your bags, sunglasses, and fedoras because spring is here and it’s time to get warm!

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Nook rivals Kindle in growing online market

New technologies have provided many useful benefits such as faster Internet, higher quality pictures, and now e-readers that have made it easier to buy and read books.

By Molly Friedman

INDPENDENT EDITOR

  New technologies have provided many useful benefits such as faster Internet, higher quality pictures, and now e-readers that have made it easier to buy and read books.

  The Amazon Kindle $149-$199 was the first e-book reader to hit store shelves and raised the standards of other competitors.

  This new way of reading books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs made it easier for avid readers to browse their own library with the click of a button or a swipe of a finger.

  A wireless Internet connection allows readers to easily download their desired books directly to their kindle. Most e-books cost around $10. E-ink electronic paper display gives off 16 shades of gray allowing for a longer battery life and makes it feel as if you are reading paper.

  The Kindle itself is constantly improving and is now up to its third design, which offers better e-ink technology. The Kindle DX line has a larger screen, making it easier to view textbooks and newspapers.

  With nothing else like it, other businesses raced to create their own e-reader.

  Competing against the Amazon Kindle is the Barnes & Noble Nook.

  The original Nook $149-$199 has a black and white e-ink display with a color “additional content” touch screen where the reader is able to browse through his or her purchased books.

  The Color Nook provides a color LCD screen larger than the original Nook and has arrow buttons on either side that turn the page of the book to make it more realistic.

  Both the Nook and Kindle allow book lovers to directly download their desired reading material, deciphering between the two depends solely upon personal preference.

  A reader who is only interested in the reading aspect and has no preference if it’s in color or not, would more likely choose the Kindle, but someone who reads more blogs and magazines would need the color provided by the Nook.

  The cost to download a book, newspaper, or magazine is the same cost as if purchased at Barnes & Noble.

  The price of both devices may be increased, depending on which version and any added accessories such as games, apps, and higher quality Internet connection.

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Senior Cam Smith ends varsity Viking hockey career

Ending the season with an 11-5-3 record, the boys’ Rockport, Ipswich, and Manchester-Essex co-op hockey team lost to Wayland, 4-1 during the preliminary game of the state tournament.

By Molly Friedman

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Ending the season with an 11-5-3 record, the boys’ Rockport, Ipswich, and Manchester-Essex co-op hockey team lost to Wayland, 4-1 during the preliminary game of the state tournament.

  “We had a lot of dumb penalties and were never really able to get into a flow,” senior co captain and only Manchester-Essex player Cam Smith said.

  According to Smith, the team was more disappointed than anything else. “We should have won but we never gained our composure.”

  Senior Olivia Peterson who attended the game said, “The loss was a real bummer because we scored the first goal and the team was really feeding off the energy in the building.”

  If the team beat Wayland, they would have moved on to the semifinals and played Shawsheen Tech. They previously played Shawsheen and lost 3-2 but played a “really great game,” Smith said.

  Looking back on the season coach Derek Papalegis is “happy with the season’s record and how it improved upon last year, which was the best record in the program’s history and is now replaced by this year’s record.”

  The team will be losing five-year varsity player Smith.

  “The team is losing a great player both on and off the ice. He scored us the most points this season and is a big part of the offense,” Papalegis said.

  Smith is undecided about his future but knows he will definitely play hockey either on a varsity or club team.

  “I may do a post-graduate year at Bridgeton Academy or join a junior league where I would only play hockey and not go to school,” he said.

  Papalegis said he is looking forward to next year and hopes to make it to the tournament again and hopefully go further than this year.

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Hockey team inches to finals with help of senior Cam Smith

With a record of 6-2-3 the boys’ hockey team is three points away from entering the Division III tournament.

By Molly Friedman

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  With a record of 6-2-3 the boys’ hockey team is three points away from entering the Division III tournament.

  The team recently won 6-2 against Nashoba where senior co-captain Cam Smith,the sole Manchester-Essex player,  contributed two goals and two assists.

  “It was fun watching the team achieve a well deserved victory. Each player on the ice contributed to the victory,” senior Vicki Grimes said.

  In order to make it to the Division III tournament, teams must win half of their games and score above the 500 qualifying points. Ten teams make it to the tournament and go into single elimination where one loss disqualifies them from proceeding.

  “We’re on our way to fulfilling my goal of making it to the tournament,” coach Derek Papalegis said.

Papalegis said that the team “plays well in spurts,” but they “haven’t gotten up to the potential I know the team is capable of achieving.”

  Smith has a total of 29 points, consisting of 16 goals and 13 assists.

  “Cam is a player I can count on both on and off the ice,” coach said.

  Papalegis said he always sees Smith “giving it his all” and has the “best knowledge of the sport and is always contributing new ideas.”

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Physics teacher brings new approach to robotics class

In addition to teaching physics, Steve Cogger teaches the robotics class.

By Molly Friedman

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  In addition to teaching physics, Steve Cogger teaches the robotics class.  

  Beginning the year using NXT LEGOs, students learned the basic ways to program and design their own robots. Cogger said the LNX LEGOs teach the students the basic ways to move a robot from a starting point to an ending point and how to set it to respond to the specific surrounding environment.

  Cogger assigned several projects to accustom the students to the robot designing process in order to move on to the next step.

  “Whether it was having the robot follow a line of black tape or having it drive between a maze and hit a button at the end, students were constantly being tested on their ability to design a robot,” he said.

  As the class progressed, he added new projects to the curriculum that were not part of last year’s course.

  After writing a proposal over the summer and receiving a grant, Cogger received money from the Lab Research Interest Group, which allowed him to obtain certain materials to use for future projects.

 With the money, Cogger set up seven different robot platforms that allow each student to focus on his or her main point of interest with a group.  The students then get together to build their own robot using the provided materials.

  Cogger said students are constantly being tested and graded on their progress.   He believes the best way to grade a student is to get an accurate idea of how the student works over time.

  Freshman Josh Brewster chose to work with the Tetrix and NXT group where he uses the LEGOs to create his robot.

   “I chose to work with these materials in order to see how they work together,” Brewster said.

    Junior Julien Gilbert chose to work on how a wireless PS2 controller can control an Arduino-powered car. An Arduino is a programmable mock brain that is able to attach to any object and be programmed to do anything. 

  Gilbert is also a member of the Robotics Club that meets after school and differs from the robotics class. The club is able to enter competitions and is not counted as fulfilling a science requirement. .

  “I’ve always had an interest in science, especially technology, and taking this class would give me an advance over the other kids in the club,” Gilbert said.

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Bower twins share love for art

Hailing from South Africa, Matt and Nick Bouwer are twin brothers who share a love for art and the resulting satisfaction of the final piece.

By Molly Friedman

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Hailing from South Africa, Matt and Nick Bouwer are twin brothers who share a love for art and the resulting satisfaction of the final piece.

  The twins may share many of the same qualities, but when it comes which type of art they prefer, they differ.

  Matt says he prefers ceramics and using his time to throw pots while challenging himself with new techniques and forms.

  “What I like most about ceramics is the idea that I can quickly turn a lump of clay into something beautiful,” he said.

  According to Matt, he has recently been inspired by ancient Greek pottery and is incorporating this into his own work. Usually, he will sit down at the wheel and begin to pull the clay to from an idea in his head, but the Greek style has influenced him with his latest work.

   Matt’s ceramic teacher, Tamera Burns, praises his dedication and skill.

  “Matt has shown great improvement over the years,” she said. “He was the student who would come in early to class to check on a piece he worked on the previous day.”

  While Matt prefers working with clay, Nick found a love for painting and drawing.

  “I have always loved to draw, but I have recently been trying new techniques such as watercolors,” he said.

  According to Nick, he has wanted to be an artist since he was a little boy and was greatly influenced by his mother, Anne. She is currently an art teacher at the French International School in Boston and still finds time to express her artistic ability outside of work.

  “I look up to my mother as an artist,” Nick said. “She introduced me to this hobby, and it stuck with me.”

  According to art teacher, Marion Powers, Nick’s style has matured from the previous years, and he now has a better understanding of the direction he wants to pursue. 

  The twins use art as a way to take time out of the day and relax.

   “When I’m throwing on the wheel, it really relaxes me. I don’t have to worry about anything else besides what I’m doing right there,” Matt said.

  “When I’m painting or drawing, I get into this zone where nothing else matters,” Nick said.

  Both brothers wish to pursue art in the future whether as a profession or a hobby. Nick’s first choice of college is Maryland Institute College of Art, where he will major in art. Matt aspires to be a scientist and attend University of Texas, but hopes to still find time to continue this hobby.

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ASR students conduct summer research

This past summer, 10 seniors took part in an Authentic Science Research internship where they were required to find a mentor, create a schedule, and take part in their specific field of research.

By Molly Friedman

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  This past summer, 10 seniors took part in an Authentic Science Research internship where they were required to find a mentor, create a schedule, and take part in their specific field of research.

  Students were involved with various jobs at departments such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Tufts University, and The Broad Institute.

 Class adviser, Maria Burgess, said that students are in charge of finding a potential internship and researching what is studied. Once an internship has been determined, the student must contact the mentor and set up an interview, available dates, and come up with a finalized schedule.

  “After little direction the kids took matters into their own hands and figured out all of the necessary components with their mentors,” Burgess said.

   Students such as Olivia Dumont who worked in obstetrics, Laurel Edington worked at the leukemia database at MGH, Kaitlin McDonough worked with dermatologists at the Harvard Institutes of Medicine, and many others successfully completed their internships.

  Another senior, Noah Prince, worked with Dr. Jordan Krall in the Weinberg Lab located at the Whitehead Institution, which is a branch of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prince worked on a project determining if and how cancerous tumors can influence the body of their host to release stored lipids into the bloodstream for use by the tumor.

  “I chose this internship because I love the study of cancer, and I find it all very interesting,” he said.

  While researching, Prince cultured cancer cells, harvested their DNA, and ran qPCR essays to analyze the DNA.

  Senior Cody Gillis worked at the Langer Lab at Whitaker College of Biomed Sciences at MIT and engineered surgical glues to test for salt toxicity within the glue.

  “It was my only option at the time, but I am happy with my decision and had a great experience,” he said.

  After completing their internship, students were required to write a research paper describing what they learned and their work experience.

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Teaching assistant positions, study halls banned from the same schedule, upsetting students

At the end of last year, department chairs and members of the administration agreed that students would not be allowed to be teachers’ assistants and also have a study hall.

 By Molly Friedman

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  At the end of last year, department chairs and members of the administration agreed that students would not be allowed to be teachers’ assistants and also have a study hall.

  The number of teachers’ assistants tripled since the year before, leading to the adjustment. Department chairs and the administration want students to choose more rigorous electives rather than be teachers’ assistant, Principal James Lee said.

  “The workload a student is given as a teacher’s assistant varies with the teacher,” Lee said.

  In order to graduate, students must fulfill 30 core class credits per year. Administrators said that being a teacher’s assistant while having a study hall may complicate this requirement. Having a study hall provides no credit, and teachers’ assistants receive 2.5 credits.

  Students who already have enough credits should have the ability to become a teaching assistant, regardless of whether or not they have a study hall in their schedule. Obviously, if a student does not have the required credits, they should not be eligible for both courses.

  What may seem to be an appropriate decision by the administration and department chairs ended up causing many issues for students who planned on being teachers’ assistants.

  Students who counted on this block the previous year now had to adjust their whole schedules due to this change. Agreements that had already been made between students and teachers had to be cancelled due to the new rule.

  A student who may be interested in becoming a teacher may rely on the experience of being an assistant.                 Being able to experience a position in a field of interest in education allows students to practice and observe what it is like to be a teacher.

  If a student can’t be a teacher’s assistant, he or she may be forced to take a 2.5 credit elective but may not be able to succeed in that class due to lack of skill.

  Even though they lack credits, students should not have to choose between study halls and being teachers’ assistants. A time to relax during a busy day or  time to get a jump start on homework, study halls are beneficial to the student body.

  No homework, tests, or quizzes are required, but being a teacher’s assistant comes with certain responsibilities and duties that require students to be mature and productive.

  Allowing students to have study halls and be teachers’ assistants not only improves their transcript, but also gives them experience in a field of interest.

  Students with the required number of credits should not be penalized for wanting to take on extra responsibility while also having a study hall.

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New adviser program leads to greater faculty-student bonds

Introduced by James Lee, a newly formed adviser program will help students connect with teachers and peers

By Molly Friedman
INDEPENDENT EDITOR 

Introduced by James Lee, a newly formed adviser program will help students connect with teachers and peers.

  According to Karen Lucas, the school’s adjustment counselor and member of the adviser board, students and faculty will meet six times per year to catch up and talk about schools, grades, and take part in group bonding activities.

  The adviser groups consist of about six to 10 students and one faculty member. Lucas believes that a small group size allows for a more personal connection between students and will allow every student to have at least one adult that he or she feels comfortable approaching.

  One major goal of the program is to “make sure every student has an adult to trust and know on a more personal level and feels calm going to this teacher during a good or bad time,” she said.

  Lucas said as the years progress, the staff will be able to build this program and the bonds with their students.

  She said if the program was already developed and had strict guidelines, it would not be the same, but since the idea is a new small and simple one, teachers are allowed to add in their own ideas.

  Cathy Hunt, school librarian and adviser, said this program is a new way to meet students.

  “It’s a nice opportunity to meet the new freshmen and other students I didn’t already know,” she said.

   Both Hunt and librarian Sue Krause are happy with the size but wish for weekly meetings and regular check-ins.

   Senior Grace Gillette prefers how the groups are of a mix grades rather than all students from one year. “I would not have had the chance to meet some of the people in my group.”

   “Mr. Lee is not a teacher I regularly see, so this gives me the opportunity to connect with him in ways I could not have before, “she said.

  Junior Connor Booth said he is excited to see how the group progresses over the years and the relationships he will build with fellow schoolmates.

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