The Question of Change: P.E.

By Marijke Fulton and Jackie DeFerrari

The days of gym classes where we can just relax and socialize with friends may be long gone at Hanover High. The new gym class policy has caused a stir of annoyance among students, but others, especially teachers, deem it necessary. In the past, many students have viewed gym class as simply an elective, slacking off when it comes to participation, claiming that gym counts as barely anything on a transcript; however, that’s all about to change.

The new rules basically consist of three parts:

1) Students are now required to make up gym class when they are absent to avoid losing credit, (8/10 points for one makeup, 6/10 points for the next, 4/10 points for the one after that, and a detention for the last)

2) Students are now to be graded on participation, whether or not they’ve changed, and on their attendance. Each gym class is an opportunity to receive any number out of a maximum of 10 points.

3) Students MUST be wearing gym clothes that have been changed into in order to participate; “just sneakers” is not acceptable as of this year.

Now there are no jeans, skirts, dresses, heels, boots, or flip-flops allowed at all for participation credit, even for walking. (Then again, how many of us really feel like power-walking the mile in heels?)

The good news: our teachers will post on the bulletin board in the gym hallway which days are available for make-ups, and have graciously offered up extra pairs of clothing articles and shoes so we can at least participate…sadly, even then, there’s still no credit to be had.

When asked her opinion on the recent changes, HHS gym teacher Mrs. Bostwick commented, “I think it’s good; it holds people responsible and accountable for the decisions they make.”

HHS student Chris Greeley, who has stayed after to make up a gym class, calls the new gym rule a “good extra credit or make-up opportunity.”

One senior claims that the new rule is “annoying, but undoubtedly necessary …although it’s a bit strict, having to change every single class, no matter the time of day, and then having to stay after even if you forget your clothes in the rush to go to school at 7am, it at least provides structure so that students might be motivated to put in the extra effort for the grade.”

No matter what your opinion on the issue is, I think we can all agree that gym is getting more and more difficult to retain that ‘A’ status by the year. Many students feel that the new rules are too harsh for an elective, and that gym should be an easier class – that the severeness of having to stay after school (which could potentially cut into the clubs, sports, or other extra-curricular activities) in order to retain credit when something as simple as the changing into gym clothes isn’t put into action is a bit too much of an extreme.

However, is making PE more challenging necessarily a bad thing? It’s great to be active, it’s required by law in Massachusetts Public Schools, and the health benefits are immeasurable – the way in which exercise is executed, however, is what marks the difference between motivation and procrastination.

Complaints of  monotony in the singular class have been heard, and this year in particular, the upperclassmen have been given a wider range of activities to participate in, such as Ultimate Frisbee, tennis, and tennis baseball thus far. Still, many have claimed that “more fun” classes, such as capture the flag or dance, are still a high demand.

The idea of a more diverse gym class is much more widespread than just Hanover. According to their school website, Duxbury High in Massachusetts has multiple gym electives, ranging from Project Adventure, a course that allows students to participate in “cooperative game presentation[s] to the class, knots, belay techniques, and beginning level climbing…” and is “…designed to reinforce the importance of cooperation, communication, building self-esteem, self-confidence and decision making skills…” to a ‘Health and Nutrition’ course, specializing in “…addressing personal health and life issues. These issues…include AIDS/HIV, interpersonal relationships, human sexuality, refusal skills, violence prevention, drugs and alcohol, smoking, and family living issues.” and ‘Lifetime Individual Physical Education’, which includes “individual type sports: Archery, Golf, Badminton, Tennis, Yoga, Aerobics, CPR Training, and Weight Training…students learn the importance of maintaining a healthy life-style by participating in sports that they can continue throughout their lifetime. Students learn the skills, theory, and strategies needed for each lifetime sport.”

While it would be great for Hanover High to invest in similar activities, either monetarily or with support, the idea of simply creative and innovative P.E. elective options is on the table. That’s not to say that we’re unappreciative – we’re really immensely thankful for the effort of our teachers!

For the time being, whether we agree with it or not, gym is still a graded class, and like any class, work must be made up when you are absent, and you must come prepared. Good grades are possible, but the effort must be put in to get them.

So the next time you’re about to wear flip-flops to school on a gym day, think again. Your grade could depend on it.

Students Make Strides Against Breast Cancer in Fundraiser Walk

It truly was a “Sunday morning, rain is falling” moment on Sunday, October 6th, when a sea of pink pride swept along the coast of the Charles River, united in the eternal fight against breast cancer. Over 7,000 dedicated breast cancer awareness supporters trekked the five mile scenic path through the beautiful city of Boston in the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” event. And Hanover High was proud to boast that many of its very own students were among these dedicated supporters! The journey was a wet one, but that did not stop anybody. The thousands of walkers trudged on, clad in pink T-shirts and soggy sneakers, splashing through puddles and embracing the light shower of rain drizzling from overhead branches. It was an amazing opportunity for HHS students (and Bostonians alike) to walk alongside their closest friends, experience a morning of crisp fall air, and most importantly, “make strides” against the prominent disease. There was never a dull moment on this five mile course, for the scenery continued to change, ranging from geese-infested riverbanks, to lush, tree-filled fields, to intricate, graffiti-ridden bridges. And if the abundance of nature was not enough to keep our eyes occupied, every so often there would be breast cancer awareness signs posted. These signs were printed either with humorous and inspirational quotes or with little known facts about breast cancer, keeping all of us striding supporters focused on the true goal of our journey.  One read “Just keep swimming!”  and another informed that “1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer.”

What was really astounding about this event was how many people were stationed throughout the course, wrapped in rain jackets or ponchos, huddled against the rain, and still yelling encouragement through their shivers and extending their numb hands for high-fives. And, of course, the final stretch of the trail came with a bittersweet ending. It sure did feel exhilarating to finally finish, yet crossing the finish line meant that the beautiful scenery, cheerful company, and easy conversation had to end. But then again, ahead of the finish line was yet another bright pink mass to look forward to, with more volunteers, spirited and lively, clapping and cheering and yelling words of praise while all of us proud walkers reached our final destination.

Overall, the walk was an incredible experience for all who took part and more than $1 million dollars was raised toward breast cancer research, prevention, and awareness. The effectiveness of the walk was evident in the smiles of all walking survivors, volunteers, and anyone involved really believed that every step and splash was worth it. At the end of the day, it was not about how fast you walked or even what a great time you had. It was about giving hope to all of those out there suffering from an unfortunate disease. And I’d say that there’s no better way to spend a rainy Sunday morning than by giving hope to those who need it most.

These are the StuCo members who participated in the walk.
These are the StuCo members who participated in the walk.

Marching Band Supports Breast Cancer

The Pride of Hanover Marching Band is known for its in-the-stands and halftime performances at home football games. In that respect, the game on Friday, October 4, against North Quincy was no different. The band started the game off with a rousing National Anthem which alerted the crowd to the start of the game in the absence of a working PA system. During halftime the band performed, in the words of Band Director Mr. Ketchen, “[their] best show of the season yet!” This year, the field show is centered around the works of legendary movie composer John Williams. Specifically, the show on Oct. 4 included adaptations from movies such as Star Wars, E.T., Empire of the Sun and Far and Away. To add to the impressive music, the band also manages to move around on the field and even forms a small airplane at one point! In case this was not enough, the Band is right now hard at work on completing another part of the show. This part to the field show will include adaptions from Raiders of the Lost Ark and will end with the epic and insane Star Wars Throne Room theme. In the words of junior drumline member Eric Smith ’15, “It will raise the hair right off your very spine!” The only way to verify that claim is to attend the Homecoming Game on Saturday, October 26, when the band will be performing next. It has been promised by all in the band not to disappoint.

At the same time, everyone in the band is aware of the fact that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Evidence of this came during the Field Show itself. All members wore pink gloves with their uniforms. The Color Guard even waved pink flags in lieu of their usual multicolored ones. Finally, although easy to miss from afar, all band members sported pink ribbons directly on their front of their uniforms. All in all, the band’s support for breast cancer was palpable for anyone who attended the game.

In addition to the band sporting its new pink swag on the field, during the third quarter the band went around in the stands and solicited monetary donations for breast cancer research. The band raised around $250 dollars in about 10 minutes through their third quarter solicitations. This sum was no surprise considering the generosity that poured out of the people in the stands. In fact, in talking with various Band members, even they were amazed at the outpouring of support.  The fundraising drive was so successful that Trumpet Section Leader Nick Stevenson ’15 commented “It was great to spend my quarter off from playing helping out such a great cause.” Finally, the Band will be collecting additional donations during the Homecoming Game for anyone who was unable to attend the game on Oct 4.

EDITOR NOTE: David plays the Clarinet for the Pride of Hanover Marching Band and is the co-Publicity Chair in charge of in school communications about Band events.