Tag Archives: 2013-2014

“Through The Victim’s Eyes:” Play From the Heart

Recently, as a part of my Senior Humanities project, I wrote an original play portraying what it feels like for the average kid who is bullied either on a daily basis, or to the point where he breaks and loses all rational thought. Yes, this is somewhat common among children. I have read that at least 14 percent of kids end up committing suicide because they cannot handle the animosity that comes with their bullies. Think about that for a moment. I was shocked when I read that statistic as well.

The play itself wasn’t a total burden to write, but I just felt exhausted at one point. Saying that I didn’t want to write it anymore, seeing as how it sucked almost all of my positive energy out of me. But, obviously, I didn’t let this get to me as I continued to write it. Most insults that I used for one character, I found online. And they were all incredibly hurtful. Reading them to myself before I placed them into the character’s dialogue made me sick. What was worse?

Studies show that 58 percent of bullying happens out of revenge, or the bully thinks that the victim deserves it. That made me lose a bit of sanity inside of myself, as I ranted for at least a half hour about how angry it made me. Who deserves the animosity that comes with some people? The vicious hatred? No one. But, apparently, in this world, people think that others need to be bullied. And you know what? It made me reflect as well. I was bullied before, and I never chose to do anything about it.

Yes. I have been in this sort of position. Not to where I would want to commit suicide . . . Not even close. But, to where I didn’t want to go to school? To where I hated looking at myself? Yes. Last year was the worst for me. Because I was different (and had a pretty cool low voice), people called me all types of things. Each of them made my self esteem crumble down. But then, I realized . . . What do their petty words matter to me? Absolutely nothing.

It’s a horrible experience, and I commend you if you’re staying rather strong through it. No one wants to be bullied, but people think that you might deserve it.

Why did I call this a play from the heart? Well, like I said, I’ve been bullied. So, in a way, I can connect with the character in my play. Again, nowhere near committing suicide, but hating myself day after day. So, do me a favor before you bully somebody . . . Think about how much your words could really hurt someone else.

Sticks and Stones? That’s a lie. Words are etched in forever.

Sophomore Class Silent Auction Raises $2,000

Every year, the Hanover High Sophomores put together an auction to raise money for their collective class funds, and 2014 marked the start yet another auction endeavor. It was the Class of 2016’s turn to step up to the plate and plan an auction of its own. The respective class always does their best to put new twists on the auction to make it their own, and this year, the current sophomores decided to take a step in a new direction and hold a silent auction at the Hanover Mall for the first time ever. The auction was held in the center of the mall on April 12th, and in addition to the silent auction, the class also designed an auction website, where their auction items were available for bidding online from April 5th-12th.

On April 12th, all of the Class of 2016’s dedicated student council members gathered at the Mall and proudly displayed all of the items they had collected to auction. All afternoon, they greeted bidders, showcased items, and walked the entire length of the mall distributing flyers. The most popular aspect of the auction was a special wheel borrowed from the mall’s event department- the wheel was labeled with many different kinds of candy and gum, and for a dollar, someone could spin the wheel and win the coordinating prize! Class members even spent their own time creating custom Easter baskets filled with candy and stuffed bunnies, placing them in a raffle where tickets only cost one dollar. The auction ran from 12 until 7 pm, and caught the attention of many of Hanover’s citizens and mall employees. The afternoon proved to be both successful and fun, for the class’s members took great enthusiasm in encouraging mall customers to visit the auction, even writing out advertisements and placing them in plastic eggs to scatter around the mall, luring both children and adults alike to the auction site. The class advisor, Diane Turner, joined in the fun, calling out to all of the passing families and directing them to the auction tables and “Candy Wheel of Wonder.”

At the end of the day, the sophomores packed up their supplies with satisfaction, for they had rounded up over $2,000 in winning bids and had put smiles on the faces of dozens of children, parents, bidders, and even simple bystanders throughout the day.
But it took intensive planning to pull off such an event, and student council spent an extensive amount of time designing flyers, writing letters, planning details, designing the website, meeting with a Hanover Mall event coordinator, and even visiting, emailing, and calling countless businesses on their own time outside of school. The members of the Class of 2016’s StuCo worked extremely hard to get their items donated from some of Hanover’s generous businesses, and even some of the students and families. A few of the Class’s proudest accumulations was a Fender Guitar, donated by Crossroads Music, Celtics and Red Sox Tickets, acquired by John Carroll, and a round of Golf at Harmon and a Calloway Golf Bag, both donated by Austin Beringer. And these are only a few of the generous donations acquired by the class! Not only were the donators of the auction items very generous, but the bidders were, as well. All of those who bid were clear supporters of Hanover High and it’s Class of 2016, sometimes placing bids even higher than the item’s initial value.

 

Walk For Hunger Nourishes the Soul of First-Time Participant

Sunday May 4th dawned sunny and mild, perfect weather for for a dedicated group of Hanover High School students planning to complete Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger. After meeting at the Braintree train station at 7 o’clock sharp, the various student council and National Honors Society members participating wiped any remaining drowsiness from their eyes and boarded the train which would carry them to Boston Common, the starting and ending location of the walk. The route itself was 20 miles and wound through the surrounding towns of Boston, Newton, Watertown, Brookline, and Cambridge. This year was the 46th annual Walk for Hunger, and an astonishing 43,000 people came together to participate. Project Bread’s aim in the walk is to raise awareness for the issue of hunger in Massachusetts and raise funds for their continuing anti-hunger work in the state. Shockingly, the food insecurity rate in Massachusetts rose 80 percent from what it was in 2000, and there are 200,000 children in the state who have parents earning less than $11 an hour, making it hard for many families to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Thankfully, this year’s fundraiser raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, including $450 contributed by the Hanover High School team. That money will be put toward educating local students about healthy choices, providing reduced-price school lunches to children of struggling families, staffing school kitchens with nutritionists and health-conscious chefs, and connecting local farmers with school lunchrooms.

This was my first time participating in the Walk for Hunger, and I really enjoyed being part of something so significant. People had traveled from all over the state to participate, and many walkers sported stickers proudly labeling them as veterans of 20 or even 30 walks. It was really interesting to read the signs posted along the way bearing information about hunger in Massachusetts, most of which came as a huge surprise to me. Walking through the suburbs of Boston gave me a chance to see a part of the city I had never visited, and the Boston College and Harvard University campuses provided a beautiful backdrop to portions of the route. Project Bread’s volunteers cheered for walkers at street corners all along the way, and helped keep me motivated with their megaphones, signs, and catchy songs. I considered myself to be in pretty good shape being in the midst of track and field season, however, in all honesty I was feeling pretty exhausted by mile 19. Thankfully, the sun broke through the clouds and everyone’s mood lifted when we saw the balloon arch finish line in the distance. I picked up the pace and when my feet crossed the finish line I was filled with personal pride. We had walked almost an entire marathon and in the process raised awareness and funds for an important cause. That night, as I rested my aching limbs, I knew I would be returning for my second walk for hunger next year.

Boy’s Lax Takes on Tough Schedule, But is Still Successful

If you look around the sports team at HHS, you will see many of them play very similar schedules. They are mandated to play other Patriot League teams (Keenan Divison once, Fisher Divison twice) and a handful of selected non-conference games. Almost all the teams stay pragmatic and schedule Norwell, Rockland, Abington and one more relatively local team. Not the boy’s Lacrosse program. Partially because Lacrosse on the South Shore is still growing and Hanover is ahead of the curve, and partially to be challenged, Boy’s Lax has arguably played the most difficult schedule of any HHS athletic team the past two years. Already in a league with two teams perennially in the state’s top 15 (Hingham and Duxbury ), the boys load it up in non-conference too. Last year the program faced Mansfield, Milton, Acton-Boxborough, and Cohassett out of league. Three of those teams are classified as Division 1 by the MIAA while Cohasset has been a powerhouse the past five years. The schedule resulted in an excellent season in which they dabbled in and out of power rankings and eventually fell to a great Dover-Sherborn in a thriller of a game.

This season has held a similar tough schedule in which they face Division 1 teams Weymouth, Falmouth,  and Sandwich, along with D3 stalwarts Cohasset and Norwell. The boys have jumped out to a 8-2 start while overwhelming teams with their talent and performing well offensively and defensively. As of Thursday, they were #6 in the Boston Globe South Rankings and named to the ESPN Boston High Schools’ top 25. Their two losses came at the hands of reigning D3 State Champ Cohasset (#13 ESPN Boston) and a talented Hingham group (#10 ESPN Boston). Both games were tightly contested and were lost by a 2-goal margin. Their record has put them second overall in the Patriot League, behind only Duxbury.

The remainder of the schedule will continue to challenge the team as they will take on a good Scituate team as well as a solid Silver Lake squad, both winnable yet challenging games. Hanover will also have to face state #1 Duxbury, as well as Scituate and Cohasset again. If the past is any indication, they boys will still make it though with an outstanding record and high playoff seed.

Indians Still Working Things Out on the Diamond

The Hanover Indians baseball team has started off to a pedestrian first half and they know it. It took the team longer than usual to get through 10 games due to four rain postponements against Norwell, Pembroke, Quincy, and Middleboro. The second half of the season will be very compacted with three to four games a week and will require great stamina from the boys. If they play in a way similar to the first half, they very well may miss out on a coveted MIAA postseason birth.

Junior Shane Fallon takes a lead off first vs. Duxbury.
Junior Shane Fallon takes a lead off first vs. Duxbury.

The Indians started out rough with a blowout loss to Norwell, followed by a disappointing 8-4 loss to a mediocre Scituate team. The subpar play was picked up slightly in a 2-0 victory over North Quincy with Ryan Kelleher getting the win and Mike McLeod’s surprise success at the plate. Hanover continued to struggle against Whitman-Hanson through 6 innings, but a change was sparked with a 4-run rally to come within one before the umps took the tie away from them.

Heading into vacation week, Hanover lost freshman Matt Lanagan and junior Mike McLeod to travel, but their absence opened it up for the emergence of sophomore Sean Cornell. Hanover hit Rockland all over the place, taking a 7-0 lead before Rockland made a comeback and Troy Bridson had to come in for the save. Thursday of vacation week marked a doubleheader against a highly touted and undefeated Abington team. The first game, Kelleher pitched a complete game gem and Hanover hit Abington hard for a 5-0 victory. In the second game, Dave Griffin went out and topped Kelleher’s performance while getting an early 2-RBI hit from Kelleher to back him up. The game would end 2-0. Hanover then got beaten 4-1 by a highly ranked Silver Lake team. Matt Sointu threw his best but Hanover couldn’t get its bats moving til the end.  In the next outing, Hanover was tied with a good Duxbury squad 1-1 through 5 innings but a few mistakes in the 6th lead to a domino effect and Duxbury won with ease.

Despite the inconsistency, some Hanover players still put up great numbers. Pitchers Sointu and Kelleher are pitching great, each with a 1.94 ERA. Kelleher has also been hot at the plate, leading Hanover with a .345 batting average, followed by junior Justin Paskell at a .344 clip. In limited action, Phil Levangie is hitting .294 and just getting started.

Despite their ups and downs, Hanover is ready to get rolling in the second half. The second half of the season will be a grind for the Indians but that doesn’t mean they can’t be successful. Says senior captain Kelleher, “We need to have more timely hitting if we want to start winning games. Our pitching has been strong but we need to start scoring more runs.”

Kelleher pointed to the performance of Sointu, who has a 1.94 ERA but is 0-3 due a lack of run support, and team batting average of .210 when he is pitching.

Kelleher is very optimistic about the second half. “I’m looking forward to getting the bats going. As soon as we start to hit we are capable of going on a 5-game win streak. Tourney Time is the best time of year and hopefully we can make a run this year after an extra innings loss to Apponequet last season.”

Hanover gets back at it May 5th in Patriot League play.

Ms. Fay: Read-a-holic, Pop Culture Fan!

You all know Ms. Fay, am I right? The awesome English teacher with passion and soul for teaching. Well, she started to teach at Hanover High School in 2003, but going even further back, she taught middle schoolers right when 9/11 had happened.

“I will always remember that year not because it was my first year of teaching, but because I had to  try and keep a room full of eighth graders from panicking after they heard that America was under attack,” Ms. Fay said.

That commitment to her students has made Ms. Fay one of the most popular teachers here. She actually cares about the well-being of her students instead of just walking in and giving lectures all day long.

Before Ms. Fay was a teacher, she had the following jobs to keep herself going: copy editor, medical transcriptionist, executive assistant, and, one of the most difficult jobs, a stay-at-home mother. She said that she could’ve gone right into teaching when she came out of college, but she wanted to have a family and devote all of her time to raising her family as best as she could.

Ms. Fay says that she always has some sort of an adventure each day, and that is her favorite part of teaching at HHS. “I really never know what the day is going to bring. Each time I step foot into this school it’s an adventure waiting to happen. Each day has the potential to be amazing!” And she’s not kidding. With more than 700 students roaming the building, each day will always bring something unpredictable.

Speaking of the students, Ms. Fay has some advice for graduating seniors. She says that they should take every opportunity given to them, especially when it comes to improving their quality of life.  Career-wise, she says that you should never place yourself in a profession where there is absolutely zero passion for it. “Find out what it is you love to do and then do it — even if you have to change your major three or four times to get there!” she said.

When she’s not teaching students, or helping her kids at home, Ms. Fay is either watching television, reading, or planning her next family trip to Disney. Some of Ms. Fay’s favorite shows include “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” (quite the obvious one), “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” “Modern Family,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and “Grimm.” She is also calls herself a “read-a-holic.” She reads about one book a week — imagine that! She also does soccer, kickboxing, and yoga..

YouTube Access on the Way for Students on School Computers

 

Every student knows that YouTube is one of the most popular websites on the Internet today. It contains a wealth of videos about a wide array of topics. There is truly something for everyone on the world’s largest user content site. Many teachers frequently access SonicwallYouTube in order to show  videos relevant to their lessons. I would bet that the average student would be hard pressed to go an entire day without watching at least one YouTube video as a part of class.

In spite of the educational benefits, YouTube has been blocked for student access for as long as anyone can remember. After all, with the great power of educational videos comes the opportunity to waste time watching the infamous 10-hour Nyan Cat video or perhaps even worse things.

Within the coming weeks, all students will have the ability to access Youtube. “Students will be able to sign onto the Sonicwall and gain access to YouTube on any school owned iMac computer,” said Mr. Ciccolo, the Hanover School District Director of Technology.  It is important to note that students will not have access to YouTube through the HHS-Guest wireless network. According to Mr. Ciccolo, this is both for reasons of network limitations and personal accountability. Simply put, the existing school wifi infrastructure cannot handle the additional traffic. Already, according to Ciccolo, “75+ devices” are connected to any one access point at a time, which is way over the recommended capacity.  Also, by limiting YouTube access to school-owned computers, teachers will be able to monitor which video students watch. Inappropriate usage would result in discipline according to both the teacher’s classroom rules and the district’s Digital Technology Acceptable Use Policy.

Mr. Patch’s Advanced Digital Media class served as the pilot group of students for this school-wide initiative.

“Having access to YouTube is extremely useful when trying to create videos,” said Maya Collins, a student in the class. “A lot of the time we use references of videos we’ve seen online while filming. Being able to access this helps in constructing ideas  as well as viewing our own videos, which are uploaded to the school’s YouTube channel.”

Seeing the benefits, the school administration gave the green light for everyone else to have access.

Social media websites, including Facebook and Twitter, will be still be blocked for students on school-owned computers and the guest wifi.

Please remember that with the power to access Youtube comes great responsibly. The school tech staff certainly have the option to block YouTube once again if usage gets out of hand.