Tag Archives: featured

French Exchange Students Visit HHS

For some, Friday the 13th can be a bad omen, but for Hanover High School, it will be an exciting opportunity to meet students from across the Atlantic. More than 20 French exchange students will be arriving to stay with families in Hanover and learn about  American culture. Later in the year, students from Hanover will get to travel to France and stay with the exchange students’ families.

This program was created in the last few years and has been well-received, having been approved by the town. The French students will visit sites like Plimouth Plantation, Salem and the city of Boston. They will also attend classes with their host students, so expect to see them in the halls the next few weeks.

The exchange is coordinated by Madame Dhomee and fellow Hanover French teachers Mrs. Youngsworth and Mrs. Greene. There are four main benefits to this program: educational, personal, historical and political traditions, and practical. All of these benefits combined turn out to be a great learning experience for all involved when it is critical for people in our world to have an understanding of others and compassion for all. 

Students Seize Chance to Take College Courses

How do you say hello in American Sign Language? How do you argue a point convincingly? These are just a couple of the questions that many Hanover High School students are investigating this year. Thanks to a new partnership with Massasoit Community College, students have the opportunity to take courses at the college level for both high school and college credit. Two of these classes, American Sign Language and Philosophy, have already proven popular among Hanover students.

For senior Nick Jones, American Sign Language provides a chance  to explore his avid interest in linguistics. Right now, in fact, Nick is studying six languages: American Sign Language, Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and English. Learning ASL is unique, Nick said, because the language is composed of hand movements rather than verbally spoken words. In addition, ASL involves expressing oneself with the eyes as well as with the hands to convey meaning.

Nick’s ASL class has about 25 students, and runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the high school. (Students have directed studies the remaining days) The teacher, Glenna Caliendo, was born Deaf, but is both verbal and very skilled at reading lips, according to Nick. She also wears a cochlear implant and is thus able to discern sounds around her. Unlike the majority of Deaf adolescents, Nick explained, Ms. Caliendo attended non-Deaf public schools growing up, meeting with a speech pathologist until the age of 18 and learning to read lips. Actually, it was not until college that Ms. Caliendo became familiar with ASL. Nick has already learned much about the language from Ms. Caliendo, including grammar and vocabulary, and he has also learned about the culture of the Deaf community.

“Unlike most people, I was aware that there was a Deaf community, but I didn’t know a lot about it,” Nick said. “They also don’t consider being Deaf a disability, and neither do I. They are truly like everyone else. They just can’t hear. But that benefits them in the sense that they are exposed to this entirely new culture that will embrace them with open arms.”

In the future, Nick looks forward to learning more vocabulary as well as performing skits in ASL at the end of the school year. Already Nick has been able to use what he has learned to communicate with and assist a Deaf person at a job outside of school.

Like the ASL course, the Philosophy class runs three days per week at the high school, and includes 12 students. For senior Lauren Gelly, philosophy has long piqued her interest.

“I took a philosophy mini course over the summer and AP Gov last year and I was excited to revisit the topics of logic and structured argument,” she said.

Lauren enjoys learning under her current teacher, Joshua Cabral, who has helped the students learn how to debate and ponder important philosophical questionsAccording to Lauren, the course has taught her more about herself and her peers. The class offers a unique learning opportunity as she is in class with a group of people with whom she normally doesn’t interact, she added.

Philosophy students have already talked about how to form solid arguments and about stream of consciousness. Right now, they are concluding their study of logic and how to frame an argument. Lauren’s favorite topic so far has been learning how to disprove someone else in an argument.

Lauren, Nick, and the other Hanover High School students enrolled in American Sign Language or Philosophy seem to have already learned much valuable information that they can use in high school and in the outside world.  The partnership with Massasoit, which will include courses later this year in ASL 2 and Creative Writing, is part of the HHS Connect initiative, according to Principal Matthew Paquette.

“We hope to provide a more diversified educational experience that capitalizes on teacher expertise and provides greater student choice,” Mr. Paquette said. “As well, our vision is to provide even more opportunities for students to increase engagement and to demonstrate their learning in ways that our relevant to their interests and futures.”

Fall Sports Update: Homecoming This Weekend

Hanover High’s fall sports teams are deep into their seasons and working toward spots in post-season play. This weekend, we celebrate Homecoming with the football team’s  7 pm game Friday at the Harry Gerrish Memorial Field. Spectators will also be treated to performances by both the Cheerleaders and Marching Band.  In addition, members of the State Champion Rugby Team will be recognized and the Hanover High School Homecoming King and Queen announced.

Admission for the game is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens, and $3 for all students.  Two HHS Cheerleaders, Sammi Shisler and Lindsey Hillier, are leading a charge to Black Out Cancer.  The students have been selling long-sleeve shirts that they designed.  All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the local organization Wicked Good Cause.  Anyone wearing the Black Out Cancer shirt at the game will be admitted free of charge. Shirts can be purchased before the game at a table located next to the concession stand.

Football is 1-2 in league play with an overall record of 2-3.

In other sports:

Field Hockey is 5-2-0 in league play with an overall record of 6-4-1. The team has been playing well and will now be tested on the road, said athletic Director Mr Hutchison.  The team, led by captains Alyssa Wilcox, Abby Hammett and Alesandra Paluzzi, plays its final regular season home game on October 23.

Boys’ Soccer is 4-3-2 in league play with an overall record of 4-4-2.  They have won two games in a row and look to extend that streak with home games against Silver Lake and North Quincy this week.  Team captains are Garrett Madison, Joe Doyle and Ryan Hennessy.

Girls’ Soccer is 4-4-1 in league play with an overall record of 5-4-1.   They have two home games next week: Monday against Pembroke and Friday night against Rockland under the lights.  Captains areAlyssa Frates, Hannah Levin and Marisa Shoulla.

Volleyball is 3-7 in league play with an overall record of 5-8.  They play three home games in the next two weeks.  The atmosphere in the Edward M. Amaral gymnasium during volleyball matches is something everyone should experience, Hutchison said.  Varsity matches start after freshmen and JV games end, which is typically 5:15PM. Team captains are Taylor Scott, Morgan Lundin and Cassie Calabro.

Golf is having an excellent season.  They are currently 10-2 with three matches remaining. Team captains are Drew Cratty and Drew Zielinski.

Boys’ Cross Country is 3-3 on the season and Girls’ Cross Country is 2-4.  The seniors will run in their final home meet next Tuesday against Plymouth South.  A great spot to support the seniors and the entire program is on the hill at the opening of the middle school trail, according to Mr. Hutchison. Captains are Brian Hoyt, Kevin Talbot, Nick Courtney, Lauren Gelly, Sierra Little-Gill and Kristen Marchetti.

Cheerleading is approaching its competition season.  The competition team, led by captains Jaclyn Mignosa and Cammie Porzio, has been working hard to prepare its routine in hopes of defending its South Sectional Championship from a year ago.

 

For more photos, check out #HHStribe on Twitter

 

Should NFL Players be Fired for Kneeling During Anthem?

If you’ve tuned in to any NFL games in the past few weeks, you’ve definitely noticed the number of players sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem. But why are they doing this?

It all started in August 2016, when the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick announced that he would not be standing for the National Anthem. His goal? To call attention to police violence and his opinion of injustice toward African Americans. This act caused an uproar of mixed emotions in the media and among fans. A handful of other athletes followed his lead, until this fall, when dozens of NFL players joined in.

Some players kneel, some sit, some link arms, and some don’t even leave the locker room. Since when has the NFL turned into a political podium to announce your stance on certain issues in the country? Most people want to turn on the television to watch a football game on any given night and witness two teams compete. Players are being paid to play, not to give their political views. And since when has making a political statement turned into disrespecting your country? The anthem stands for our country, and if you kneel or sit during it, you’re sending a message that you don’t like this country. If you feel the need to talk about politics, do it on your own time, not before a game on a stage where millions of people are watching.

In my opinion, the NFL should not fire players participating in this act, but they should start fining them, because it needs to end. If they fired every player who protested, an alarming number of players would lose their jobs and the NFL would be left very sparse.

This past Sunday, almost all teams protested in some way, many of them in response to President Trump’s comments of discontent with the players of the NFL. In my opinion, sports should be something you can watch where no politics are involved. People are tired of the protests. It is time for the NFL to unite as one, and resume standing for the National Anthem. We want to watch football again, not a political debate.

 

Field Trip Features French Culture, Amazing ‘Phantom’

Do you enjoy musicals? Are you a fan of mystery and extravagance? Regardless of whether you are drawn to musical theatre or not, The Phantom of the Opera on stage is well worth the ticket. With an iconic soundtrack, intriguing characters, and skilled actors and actresses, the play will entice all audiences, regardless of their interest in classic musicals.

Recently, a group of French students at Hanover High School took a field trip to see Phantom performed live at the Boston Opera House. The play is based on a 1910 French novel by the same name written by Gaston Leroux. The story has inspired many movies and play productions because of its dramatic and original plot.  In the story, a female performer at the Paris Opera House catches the attention of a masked composer who hides below the Opera to conceal his disfigured face. Christine, the singer who attracts the concealed “Phantom,” must choose between an admirer from her childhood and the mysterious, often unpredictable composer. Though the play contains elements of tragedy, the convincing performances by the actors, the beautiful stage sets, and the dramatic music make the experience of seeing the play exciting and suspenseful.

Before watching the play, French teachers Mrs. Dhommee and Mrs. Youngworth took their students to Brasserie JO, a Boston restaurant that serves French cuisine. Students ate from a delicious selection of foods, including French onion soup, a variety of sandwiches, and a plate of French desserts such as crème brûlée. Some even tried escargot—and liked it, for the most part!

Overall, the day served as an enriching learning experience, exposing students to aspects of French culture from baguettes before lunch to French literature performed on stage. It is uncommon for students to leave high school for the day to travel into Boston and experience so much culture firsthand, and it will be an unforgettable experience for all who attended. I highly suggest seeing The Phantom of the Opera when it comes back to Boston again, or wherever it finds you in the future!

Everything New from Apple’s iPhone Event

Above: Apple CEO Tim Cook Announcing Apple’s Latest Products

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus – No, there’s no 7S

As the successors to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and a cheaper alternative to the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus bring a new design. Made with a glass back like previous iPhones, the new iPhone no longer has an aluminum body. The new glass back finally allows the iPhone to support wireless charging — but it can still be charged via the usual lightning cable if you don’t want to shell out the cash for the wireless charging pad (sold separately). Hopefully, though, this glass-backed phone fares better than the shatter-prone iPhone 4 and 4S of the past. This new design makes the new iPhones both thicker and heavier, although not by much.

Also new with the iPhone 8 is the A11 “Bionic” chip (Your best guess as to what “Bionic” means is just as good as mine). For the average user, just know this is 25 percent faster than the iPhone 7 and will remain fast for the next few iOS updates. The camera on the iPhone 8 also gets an upgrade, now taking better pictures in low light, with an improved flash that no longer leaves the background dark.

The iPhone 8 also bumps up the base storage size from 32gb to 64gb, which is good considering Apple raised the price of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus $50 and $30 respectively. It comes in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold (No more Rose Gold, Jet Black, Matte Black, or Red). Overall this new iPhone feels more like an iPhone 7S than an iPhone 8, but it’s still a worthwhile upgrade if you’re in the need of a new phone. This also highlights the problem for Apple: iPhones have gotten so good, you rarely need a new one. Apple seems to have a solution to this problem and it ends in “X.”

iPhone X – Yup, seven ate nine

Yes, it’s pronounced “ten” not “x,” and yes, it’s $999. When the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus weren’t matching the rumors, Apple released the last trick it had up its sleeves. Marking 10 years of the iPhone, Apple says the iPhone X is the future, now. This iPhone, which was years in the making, is probably the biggest change to the iPhone since the iPhone 6 in 2014. Featuring an edge to edge screen which eliminates the iconic home button, it’s a bold move for Apple. Users now swipe up from the bottom of the screen to mimic the function of the home button. Also gone with the button is Touch ID. Formerly Apple’s default method of device unlocking, Touch ID is being replaced by the similarly named Face ID facial recognition system. Face ID is supposed to be 20 times more secure than Touch ID– and much easier to use. Now the user only has to look at the iPhone to unlock it. Apple says it should work even at night or if you put glasses on; just don’t have a twin. It can, however, tell the difference between you and a picture of you with depth sensors, so rest assured, nobody will use a family photo to get into your iPhone. Face ID seems to be a much easier way of unlocking your phone, but we’ll have to see how reliable it is when the phone is released in early November.

The biggest change with the iPhone X is that its screen is now OLED. This means blacks are deeper, colors are more vibrant, and battery is better (The pixels of an OLED screen are actually off when showing the color black). Since the screen is almost edge to edge, it puts a plus-sized iPhone screen in the body of a regular sized one. The body of the iPhone X is also glass-backed like the iPhone 8, but to differentiate between the two, the iPhone X has polished stainless steel around the edges. It can also be differentiated from the iPhone 8 by its vertical dual cameras, which Apple claims are its best yet (the second camera being for 2x zoom). Unfortunately though, the iPhone X only comes in two colors, Silver and Space Gray, which seems boring considering Apple has been releasing new colors for the iPhone almost every year. It’s also both thicker and heavier, but most people will probably enjoy the greater battery life (2 hours more than the iPhone 8).

While this iPhone finally brings a huge change to the lineup, the X has one drawback. The$999 price tag is much more than Apple customers are used to paying, and its at the top of the phone price range. It’s a big risk, since people will either see the value in the new technology, or Apple will learn it just outpriced its average customer.

Everything Else – But wait, there’s more

Apple also released a Series 3 Apple Watch, and a new Apple TV that plays 4K content. The latest watch now can be used with or without your iPhone nearby, since it features its own cellular connection (identified by its red Digital Crown button). Apple also announced the arrival of iOS 11, which was released last Tuesday with changes to the iPad and redesigns to Control Center, Notification Center, and core apps like the App Store, News and Siri.

In Towers Falling, a Novel Approach to Understanding 9/11

The commemoration of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have passed, but as we held a moment of silence for those who died that day, I wondered how much do students really know about what happened. To adults my age, it’s not history; it’s something we lived through and will never forget. And being in the Boston area, where two of the planes originated, many of us have connections to someone who was directly impacted by that day. But if you’re a freshman, you likely weren’t even alive; if you’re a senior, you may have still been in diapers. In both cases, you may have little understanding of the events beyond what’s been covered in history class.

That’s where media comes in, the countless documentaries, news specials, fictionalized reenactments and books hoping to shed some light on the story. Since I personally still have a hard time looking at pictures or video of the planes slamming into the World Trade Center, I naturally head toward books to help me not just understand, but to remember and, even after all this time, to grieve.

Unfortunately, for years, I couldn’t find any good books about what happened (and this is a librarian talking!). There were children’s books, inspired by a fireboat that helped rescue survivors in New York or a general push toward kindness and tolerance. There were adult books, dense tomes trying to follow the paper trail toward the attackers and their financial backers. There were books that recorded survivors’ testimonials, chronicled the hero dogs that helped dig through wreckage for body parts, or recounted the devastating effects on soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq during the seemingly endless War on Terror. There is a great novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron Foer, about a boy trying to make sense of his father’s death in the attacks, but at 368 pages, it scares some students away.

Then I found Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes. Set in the boroughs of New York City ten years later, the book follows 10-year-old Deja in her struggle to understand why her father went “crazy” after Sept. 11, why he can’t hold a job and the family must live in a cramped homeless shelter. In school, her classes memorialize the attacks, but don’t really understand the ramifications, the effects still rippling through people’s lives. With the help of her friend Ben, whose father served in the military, and Sabeen, who has been bullied for being Muslim, Deja uncovers her family’s long-held secret.  She finally understands why her father is the way he is.

Although this book is geared for middle schoolers (grades 4-7 if you read the reviews), I bought two copies for the HHS Library. Sure, the main characters are younger, but I think many of us can relate to their confusion over something that adults feel was life-changing but is mere ancient history to them. When I read about Pearl Harbor or Vietnam, I feel the same sense of detachment that young people may feel about 9/11. This novel can help students explore and process their feelings about the attacks, and the memorial services that come every September. It’s done without being overly graphic or unnecessarily somber, and I would recommend that every HHS student devote the few hours it would take to read this short novel.