Some Thoughts on Over-Thinking Things

You know when someone says something that resonates with you to your very core?  It can be a passing comment, a token of advice or just a statement, but it stays with you long past that person’s presence. It plays on repeat in your mind every second, it just won’t seem to get out. It’s called “over thinking” and personally, I deal with this on a daily basis. Everything that comes my way, I typically go crazy and think that if I mess this up, the entire world will go into peril. These situation can be anything from writing an essay to smearing peanut butter on my sandwich. It’s not just me who goes through these dilemmas, it seems everyone overthinks everything. Whether it’s what we think or what someone says, it affects us more than we let it show. But I, for one, am sick of it! So I decided to list several concepts that people need to stop over thinking:

Every painstaking detail of why something didn’t work out. It doesn’t matter anymore. There is a time for reflection for the sake of growth to not repeat a mistake, but other than that, overthinking the wrongness of it will just bury you in your own sadness and remorse.

Mundane social disparities that, contrary to your fears, do not mean anything. Sometimes people just don’t have the time to talk to you, or they just don’t want to hang out. We have a tendency to spiral into panic when these things happen, but in reality, more often than not, all these less-than-pleasing social cues mean nothing more than the person in question is saying they do.

Your overall performance. You will never receive constant validation that you’re doing a good job. Sometimes you just have to do your absolute best and let the other pieces fall as they may. Trying to decipher everyone’s opinion on what you do won’t make you any better at it, it will just drive you crazy

Your place in the world. The only place you belong is wherever you are right now, and if you’d like to change, where you belong next is where you want to go. There is no conflicting right and wrong when it comes to where you’re supposed to be in life. The mind may deceive you but your reality will not

How you look at any given moment. How people perceive you is a) usually a misconception of their own imagination and does not actually dictate anything about you and b) is never as in-depth as you think.

All You Need to Know About Relay for Life

Walking a mile in gym class can seem daunting on a rough morning, but walking 26 miles through the night around a track? I don’t think so! Or so I thought at first anyway. The Relay for Life is a huge undertaking but can be extremely rewarding. The good news is, you don’t actually have to walk all 26 miles, and you can stop to sleep for as long as you want, but more on that later. Let’s start with the big picture: what even is Relay for Life? In one sentence, this walk is organized by the American Cancer Society and claims the title of the world’s largest fund raiser. It generates the highest percentage of the Society’s funds, and unites people across the world. Walks are organized at the local level with just over 100 participants, but are also held at college campuses like MIT, University of Miami, and Stanford, along with huge cities including New York City, Washington D.C., and other sites around the globe. The first Relay for Life was held Tacoma in 1980, making the fundraiser older than any student at HHS! Since the very first event where just one man walked a high school track with friends who donated money to participate, Relay for Life has grown immensely. Every year, over 4 million people participate in 20 different countries!

So, how exactly does Relay for Life go? Well, the emphasis is on the relay. People form teams that fund raise as a group, with all profits going to benefit the American Cancer Society. The walks can last for up to 24 hours, but each individual team member can walk as much or as little as they would like as long as one person on the team is walking at all times. Now, you might think walking a track 104 times might get a little repetitive, but this isn’t the case; every few miles of the course is different in some way. The walk kicks off with a survivors’ lap, a time for past cancer patients to walk the track together and lead the battle against this terrible disease. After dark, a luminary ceremony is held with candles in paper bags around the track. Each candle represents a life lost to cancer. Finally, the fight back ceremony  involves personal pledges to fight back against cancer, not to mention doughnuts at 2 a.m., balloon animals, and glow sticks with blasting music!

I can’t wait for this year’s Relay for Life which will be held on Friday, June 19 through Saturday, June 20 at Pembroke High School. The walk is a local way to make a big difference, and requires just a fraction of the strength that cancer patients must constantly show. If you are interested in participating in this year’s walk, talk to Mr. Centorino or Mr. Hegarty, who have helped to coordinate the Hanover High School team.

For more information about the walk itself, visit:

http://www.cancer.org/involved/participate/relayforlife/index

To donate to the Pembroke walk, visit:

http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY15NE?pg=entry&fr_id=65394

Review: “Kite Runner” is Haunting Look at Childhood in Afghanistan

The Kite Runner, written by Khaled Hosseini in 2003, is not a new book, but it’s one that I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t gotten around to reading until now. Once I started it, though, I couldn’t put it down.

The book follows Amir, who grew up the privileged son of a successful businessman in the relatively peaceful time before the monarchy was overthrown in 1973. The ethnic and religious discrimination that tears apart the country today was strong even then, but Amir was spared. The servant boy who worked in his home, Hassan, was not. While Hassan and his father were treated like family in Amir’s home, they were mistreated in the wider community. This was a challenge for Amir, who grew up with and played daily with Hassan; their friendship was hindered by society’s expectations. When the boys are 12, a tragic incident drives a wedge in their relationship and forces Hassan and his father to leave Amir’s home. Amir is wracked with guilt for the rest of his life, through his family’s escape when the Soviets invade Afghanistan in 1979 and his adulthood in America.

Many years later, a family friend still in Afghanistan contacts Amir, now a married man and published author. That phone call forces Amir to return to modern day, war-torn Afghanistan. He must face the devastation of his childhood homeland and, if he has the courage, right the wrong he committed against Hassan.

The glimpse into the culture and history of Afghanistan was eye-opening, revealing the history and consequences of deeply rooted differences that still divide the country. The book widened my understanding of and empathy for the generation that grew up after Amir, the children who never knew life without gunfire, bombs and war. It helped me understand that no matter how long our soldiers are in the country trying to rebuild it and keep peace, the fighting and intolerance have been around longer. Those differences are not easily overcome.

But even without that historical element, the story of friendship, betrayal, courage and redemption was riveting. Amir is the main character and tells the story, and while he is not always likeable, he is very realistic. He has the petty jealousies of a child, the yearning for his father’s approval, and the cowardice of not speaking up for himself and his friend Hassan. He struggles with the transition to America and with coming to terms with his past.

The story gets its name, The Kite Runner, from the person who outruns all of his competitors to retrieve the last and most valued kite knocked out of the annual kite fighting competition. With kite strings coated in glass, the contest is painful but the winners are granted highest honors. Hassan was Amir’s kite runner, willing to do anything for the person he considered more his friend than master. As a child, Amir could not return that loyalty. To find out if he can as an adult, you have to read the book.

While the book is often heartbreaking, it ends on a hopeful note. I recommend this to anyone interested in historical fiction and global issues. I also think anyone who likes a good story about friendship, betrayal and redemption will also enjoy it. It’s 371 pages and can be a little slow at the beginning, but it’s worth sticking with it.

Math Team Crunches Numbers, and Its Competition

In only its second year of competition, the HHS Math Team has finished in second place in its division. Coached by our venerable physics teacher Doc (Dr. DeFranzo), the team competes against West Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, Bridgewater-Raynham, Rockland, Abington, and Whitman-Hanson. There are six other divisions in the league which contains high school from all across southeastern Massachusetts. The HHS team is captained by seniors Megan Scribner and David Raab.

Math Team Group Picture
Math team isn’t just number crunching, it can be fun too!

Starting in September and continuing throughout the competition season, the team meets once a week on Tuesday nights in Doc’s room. Practices go roughly an hour and a half and include all different categories of math from Algebra 1 and Geometry to the more complicated trig identities of PreCalculus. As such, there is a place on the team for students from all grades at HHS and in fact this year saw a good number of freshman competing. While it’s over for this year, you can always start practicing rounds for next year as most of the general topics remained unchanged from year to year.

That being said, the Team is always looking for new members and everybody should join because Math Team math, as anyone on the team can tell you, is very different from the math you do in class. “Week to week you’re learning some new trick for a certain type of equation and sometimes you learn a new concept all together,” said Scribner, echoing many of her teammates sentiments. While only 10 students can compete in any one meet, there is always room for alternates and Doc decides on who competes based on scores in practice rounds held during meetings.

Lauren and Ally
Lauren Bilton and Ally Knight representin’ Math Team

Math Team competitions are an event that you really have to participate in to truly appreciate. There are five, 10-minute rounds that are taken by individuals and then everyone reassembles in order to participate in a closing team round that is worth twice as much as the individuals. Teachers from the competing teams tabulate scores and the winner is solely determined by which school scores the most points.

Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for: team statistics. The Team cumulatively scored 283 points across the four meets. November’s meet was by far the highest scoring one with a total of 97 points scored. The lowest scoring matchup was the January meet with only 42 points scored. The December and February meets had 94 and 52 points, respectively. Megan Scribner was the top scoring senior with 23 total points, Linnea Martin was the top scoring junior with 24 total points, and Tom Clinton was the top scoring sophomore with 21 total points.

Students who competed in at least one meet include seniors Scribner, Raab and Eric Smith; juniors Ally Knight, Max Bruchowski, Linnea Martin, Annika Rowland, Mike Gosselin and Mike Meads; sophomores Tom Clinton and Lauren Bilton; and freshmen Spencer Kubicki, Alex Linn and Becca Prentice.

You can follow Math Team on Twitter now! @mathletes_hhs

Binge On Something Healthy!: Shows To Watch

You know what’s so dope?  Avoiding problems in my life and watching TV shows whose characters have more interesting lives than I do. So dope, trust me. In recent years, TV has become more than just schlock to numb your brain. Many would argue it has become the new form of artistic media replacing movies for quality, creativity, and tone. There’s no denying that shows have become even more of a fixture in people’s lives in the past years. With Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and On Demand, there are so many options at one’s disposal that it can be daunting. Don’t worry, I got you. I’ve spent many wasted hours watching TV and I feel immense shame for it. But at least I can guide you guys to some good shows right? . . . I’m so lonely.

Let’s start with the basics: any show that you’ve heard about but you still need to watch. People talk about them for a reason.

Breaking Bad: Imagine if Mr. Decie decided that he couldn’t support his family being a teacher anymore. Now imagine he also has an illness where the meds cost an immense amount of money. Then picture me as a burnout who loves shouting profanities. Now imagine we join up and make a meth empire with his chemistry expertise and my street smarts. Would you watch that? If so, you will like Breaking Bad.

Parks and Recreation:  This show is so awkwardly funny and I can’t stop watching. Amy Poehler is spot-on as the mostly insane park manager. Even though I’m only three episodes in, I can tell it’s good.

The Office: Hey, did you know this show was funny? If no, please remove yourself from my presence forever. Steve Carrell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski and the rest of the cast are perfect for the show’s slow, awkward tempo. (The producer is the same as Parks and Rec so it has a similar feel.)

American Horror Story: The only show in recent history that can make me uncomfy from just its intro. Each season is its own story with only the actors returning and nothing else. So far they’ve given us a dandy murder house, a demon/alien/psycho asylum, witches be b*tches, and a circus freak show. The upcoming season is in a hotel and features Lady Gaga. How wonderful.

The lesser knowns: Shows that might have gone under your radar, but should be on your radar.

Peaky Blinders:  First point . . . The main characters have razorblade hats, SECOND POINT . . . they have sick hair cuts. THIRD FU%^ING POINT . . .  It’s a really complex gangster show taking place in early 1920s Birmingham, England, focusing on the Peaky Blinders gang’s rise to the top of the criminal underworld through murder, treachery, and quick thinking. The main character is a cold heartless leader, while both brothers are maniacs, doing whatever– and I do mean whatever — it takes to help their brother.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia:  The main characters of this show have become more and more scumbaggish with each season and it’s amazing. It follows four friends and Danny Devito running a bar and just . . .just  barely functioning in society. They bumble through the most awful situations with no tact or class. It’s brilliant, plz watch plz.

The Sopranos: Another gangster show or more specifically, the Italian mob. This show follows Tony Soprano, an overweight, incredibly damaged, and ruthless crime boss and his life, family, and “job” (waste disposal). It’s set in New Jersey so you really get the depressed feel that plagues Tony, and anyone who lives in New Jersey for that matter. It’s an interesting tale of a man with plenty of exterior power, control, influence. But in truth, he’s falling apart episode by episode… and so is his life. THE FEEL GOOD SHOW OF THE CENTURY.

That’s my list of things I’ve spent hours of my life on. Instead of forwarding myself in education, I watch TV. I do this for you people. Hope you’re happy.

Hockey falls to Norwell; Ends Another Successful Season

The Boys Hockey team’s bid to return to the Garden to play in the state championship game ended Sunday, when Norwell beat Hanover 5-1 in the South Sectional Final at Gallo Arena. Norwell moves on to the Emass Championship March 11 against Watertown.  The winner of that game heads to the title game.

hockyfinalThe score was deceiving as Norwell isn’t four goals better than Hanover, but at times Sunday they certainly looked it. The Clippers came into the game having beaten Hanover 4-2 very early in the year. They just lost their best player, Senior Captain and SSL League MVP Dave Talanian, to a broken leg in their semi-final against Cohasset. But their youth didn’t hurt them as they consistently kept Hanover at bay offensively while putting on good pressure down the other end. Norwell scored first but Hanover was able to strike back. Tom Martin got the puck on the wing in his own zone and threw a beauty of a two-line pass to lead Ernie Meads into the Norwell zone where he went top corner with it. The elation was short lived as Norwell scored 45 seconds later. They put a shot on Clapp and there was a huge scrum in front of the net, bodies went down and everyone was taking pokes on net. Alex Ferguson came away with the puck and put it away.

Hanover had its chances though. They would get 5:30 of power play time in the span of about 5 minutes and 45 seconds and failed to capitalize. A Norwell defenseman got a 4 Minute Major for Boarding after he launched Landon Hasenfuss into the boards with a cheap hit from behind. As someone who is certainly not a hockey expert but knows the game, there is no question in my mind he should have been tossed. Hassenfuss was pretty shaken up on the play but would return to the game. After four minutes of the power play without anything to show for it, Norwell would do Hanover another favor and pick up another penalty. The Indians were again unable to capitalize and Norwell would score before the end of the period. The 3rd period was all Norwell but Hanover fought until the end.

Reaching the South Sectional Final is an impressive feat, but this year’s team had already tasted more and was striving for the state title. It’s funny how things worked for them this year. Last year’s team had more talent but they struggled in the regular season, including a patch of five straight losses. But they turned it on in the postseason and earned a deserved spot in the state championship against Shrewsbury. Comparatively, the cupboard wasn’t bare this year but it seemed there was a drop off in talent after losing several excellent seniors and two sophomores who were very good. But this Indians squad dominated in the regular season, they had very few losses, won their league and beat top 25 Duxbury. They just didn’t have the horses to reach the Garden. While they could have beaten Norwell on Sunday, Norwell looked like the better team.

Fans in the stands wore all black in support of the boys hockey team.
Fans in the stands wore all black in support of the boys hockey team. Photo courtesy of Andrea Murphy.

The Hockey team still provided four of the best student experiences at HHS: tournament games at Gallo. The rink itself is great, the overwhelming student support and enthusiasm is what makes it great. It’s an incredible atmosphere.

Their season is over and the team may be dissatisfied right now, but when they look back at this year they should be proud. A Patriot League Championship is an impressive feat. Landon Hasenfuss won League MVP and he, along with Tom Martin and Noah Clapp, were named league all stars. Trevor Doucette had a great season as the first line center and wore the Matheny jersey well. Along with Martin and Hasenfuss, Alex Wisnes, Ernie Meads and Connor Morris were all very potent forwards for the team. Seniors Alex O’Dowd and Joe Maguire as well as Junior Dan McDougall (who made his return to puck after 2 years of being a sharpshooter in the basketball program) led the team’s grinder line and put in the hard work. The fourth line of Ryan Mahoney, Zach Taylor, and Ryan Phillips really came along as the season went on. All of them were underclassmen and will be back to contribute.

On the back end, Tyler Powers, who was the third line center on last year’s Garden run, moved back to the top D pairing. He brought great quickness, toughness, and puck-moving ability back with him. He was paired with Shane Fallon who made big hits and launched rockets from the blue and back all year long. The second D pair was a little smaller and quicker. Mike McGlame, arguably the team’s top defenseman, was great all around with strong offensive and defensive skill sets. His partner, Freshman Paul McCabe, was small but quick and never afraid the throw the body around at bigger opponents. Drew Cratty and Christian Sarruda made up the last D pairing. Sarruda was the big and tough defender with the hard shot, and Cratty was the smaller with puck-moving skills and agility on the ice. Behind them was a stud pairing of goalies. Noah Clapp was back between the pipes and was phenomenal all year, hence his All Star selection. But behind him was Drew Zwart, who saw less ice time but was stellar when in there. He had a .949 save percentage on the year. Senior Forwards Chase Coogan, Mike Martino and Junior Scotty O’Brien made up the team’s fifth line. Junior Reese Fallon and Freshman Jason Galotti were on varsity as extra defensemen. While they didn’t see that much ice time, all five of them were integral to the team’s success.

It might not have ended how or where they wanted, but the Indians should be proud of their season and the Seniors should be proud of their careers. Like I’ve said so many times already, and I mean it every time, despite losing a great senior class, there is a lot of talent coming back and the future for boys hockey is bright.

Anchor TV: New Show Highlights Hanover Schools

The Hanover school district is using a new method of reaching out to students, parents, and the wider community. That method is Hanover Community Television’s  new show Anchor TV.  Each school has its own segment in the show to highlight what is going on. New episodes are released roughly once a month, with the latest released on March 3rd. Episodes are broadcast on Channel 22 (Comcast) or Channel 37 (Verizon FiOS) Tuesday and Thursday at 7 pm or Friday and Saturday at 12:30 pm. Archives can also be found online at www.vimeo.com/hanoverctv.

The segment of the show about the high school is always featured first and prominently. Students from Mr. Patch’s advanced digital media class are the main producers. The latest episode interviews students on how they would describe the best principal HHS has ever had: Mr. Paquette. Seniors are also asked about their college plans;  I certainly know the stress of that whole process firsthand. Finally, Tyler Powers and Tom Martin were interviewed about their experience being on the hockey team all four year of high school and being captains this year. As we all know, the hockey team has had an amazing season and has made it farther in the tournament than any other sport here at HHS.

Later in the show, STEM Director Mr. Plummer is featured in the “Professor Plummer” segment where he dons a lab coat and invades Chem Lab 217 to do his evil bidding. Students from Center-Sylvester school explain who he is and the reasons behind his “evil” activities.

Anchor TV is just one of many ways that HPS district administration has sought to expand communication with the public. A team of digital media teachers from all of the schools and district central office staff meets once a week at HHS in order to plan their episodes and go over how their current episodes are received by the community. I personally think it is an amazing right now and it will only become better as it continues on the rest of this school year. They really make an effort to feature all of the notable events going on across the district and there is good chance that if you watch it, you may eventually find yourself in it! Everyone likes seeing themselves on TV, even if it just Channel 22.