And in the blink of an eye…

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By: Abigail DesVergnes

As the first week of June approaches, local high school seniors are anticipating the “seal the deal” moment of their high school careers as they’ll march to the beat of “Pomp and Circumstance,” receive their diplomas, and toss their caps high up into the air.

Before that day, seniors are wrapped up in their final moments of high school: graduation rehearsals, year book signings, receptions and other senior activities take place.

Within these last moments, students are consumed with a mixture of emotions and are left to reflect on their high school careers, including the ups and the downs.

As the graduating class of 2017’s year comes to a close, seniors of Attleboro High School would like to share advice with the upcoming freshman class of 2021 on what they enjoyed, what could’ve gone better, and the memories they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives.

AHS senior Abbey Goldstein will be attending Salem State next year for social work and suggests all incoming freshmen understand that it is okay to be yourself. As the Dr. Seuss quote goes: “Today you are you. That is truer than true, there is no one alive who is you-er than you.”

For Goldstein, she strongly believes that her self advocacy was a major reason for her success in high school. “Gravitate toward whatever makes you feel like you, and you will go far,” she said, adding, “It’s okay to be scared. Even the guys who stand at 6’5’’ were once scared, just always know that everyone has a place and there’s something for everyone in high school.

Staying true to who you are is something that pulled at the heartstrings of AHS senior Kevin Chenard throughout his high school career.

Chenard, who will be attending the University of Rhode Island to study communications in the fall said, “You can spend so much time trying to fit in so people will like you, that you will lose track of who you really are.”

During Chenard’s freshman and sophomore years he said he spent most of his time trying to impress others, something he now “deeply regrets.”

“When everyone is trying to tear you down, rise up. Finding your voice and standing up for your own opinions is a very liberating experience. Never let anyone walk all over you. ”

Chloe Vieira, another senior at AHS suggests that next year’s freshman take risks.As a freshman in a big school with many unfamiliar faces, Vieira believes it’s easy to feel lost and insignificant, but it’s important to “never be scared.”

Join any after school activity you can, whether it’s student council, a sport or club Vieira said. She thought her times during track and soccer were where she made her best memories, and formed the strongest friendships.

“Take a deep breath and go for it,” she said. “Freshmen should never be afraid to open up and try new things. You never know who you’ll meet or what undiscovered, hidden talents and interests you may have.”

AHS senior Stephanie Pan, who will be attending the Massachusetts College of Arts and Design in September, said she will miss all the high school events, including dances, fundraisers, concerts, plays and sporting events.

Her advice to incoming freshmen: “Don’t take anything for granted. Everything will be over in a flash.”

“Although school seems like it’s painfully slow while you’re in it, once it’s finally over you will feel as if it went by in a matter of seconds.”

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The power failure that almost sunk the prom

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AHS junior girls taking prom pictures at Capron Park/ Photo Submitted

Power down, but the prom must go on.

Late Friday afternoon panic swept across the Attleboro area when a massive power failure brought high school teens getting ready for their junior prom to a standstill.

The power failure, caused when a tree fell on a transmission line in Cumberland, cut power to more than 24,000 homes and businesses in Attleboro, Plainville, Seekonk and Rehoboth.

Attleboro High School junior, Emily Saulnier was about to do her hair for prom when the power suddenly went out in her home near Wamsutta Middle School.

If you know anything about prom hair, it takes not only a lot of hairspray and bobby pins but electricity as well, as many girls use hair straighteners, blow dryers and curlers for the perfect do.

With wet hair, Saulnier ran outside to the light where she started her makeup, all the while thinking of a Plan B for her hair.

“I was going to braid it so that once it was dry it would be wavy or at least somewhat close to what I was planning it to look like,” she said.

Luckily for Saulnier, power was restored and she was able to finish her hair and get to her prom at the Taunton Holiday Inn by 6 p.m.

For Attleboro High School junior Gianna Fraielli if the power went out 20 minutes earlier, her hair would’ve been “a complete disaster.”

Immediately after Fraielli put the finishing touches on it, curling her last few strands, the power went out.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done if it went out any earlier,” she said.

AHS senior Andrew Gingras said the power failure was almost a blessing in disguise.

Right when he walked into his date’s home to take photos, all the lights turned off.

“It was inconvenient, but it got me out of taking some photos, which was pretty cool,” Gingras said with a laugh.

But his escape was short-lived as he and his date later joined other prom-goers at Capron Park for a photo shoot.

Across the street from the park, while Gingras and friends wrapped up their photo shoots, businesses on County street were in a panic.

A D&M pizza worker said the restaurant was in chaos as delivery orders had to be canceled due to the ovens not working.

“What an inconvenience,” said the worker who declined to be identified.

“It’s the worst time for something like this to happen.”

Next door workers at Honey Dew Donuts lost several customers because coffee could not be brewed.

 

Must-have learning tool becomes distraction in schools

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Screenshot: Google Images

By: Abigail DesVergnes

A gadget designed to help kids with ADHD focus has become so distracting that it’s being banned in many schools.

Sales of fidget spinners — a small, handheld gadget resembling a mini fan with three weighted prongs that, when gripped with the thumb and middle finger, will spin around and around and around — has exploded and become the must-have item for children and teens.

The gadget was designed in the 1990s to help children struggling with ADHD, anxiety and autism. Now, 20 years later, it’s become one of the most popular items in the toy industry.

Keith Lambert, owner of New England Novelty — a vendor that sets up sales tents and specializes in selling sports apparel and holiday flowers in the Attleboro area — is not just selling flowers this Mother’s Day weekend, but fidget spinners, too. All week, Lambert sold fidget spinners at his tents dotted throughout the Attleboro area, including one that was set up next to the D’angelo’s sub shop in South Attleboro.

Several months ago, Lambert ordered his first shipment of spinners after fellow salesmen in the area told him it was going to be the next big thing.

“My initial reaction was that it was going to sell just like every other toy, but boy was I wrong,” he said.

Since his first order, the spinners have made up 75 percent of Lambert’s growth sales — higher than any other item he’s sold. Compare that to the bubble gun, the second most purchased toy that Lambert sells. It spiked to just 30 percent of his sales. “This has been crazy,” Lambert added. “I’ve never seen a product sell like this.”

Now Lambert is receiving shipments every day, and with each shipment, his stands will sell out in hours.

“It’s all because of the kids, and once they have one, they want another, whether it’s a different color, or one that lights up,” he said.

Dylan Ilkowitz, a senior at Attleboro High School, bought his fidget spinner for $6 at a Mansfield convenience store.

“I just bought one as a joke really and because it’s become a huge fad, but after I bought it, I realized it’s actually really fun and satisfying to mess around with,” he said.

But that “fun” is getting to many students and teachers, according to Dylan Nisbet, an eighth-grader at Brennan Middle School in Attleboro.

“I usually use it mindlessly through the day, but some kids just won’t put them down,” he said.

And it’s this obsessive playing that has stirred issues in some schools.

Charley McKenna, a seventh-grader at Coelho Middle School in Attleboro, said she’s relieved that her school decided to ban the spinners in class unless it is used for a specific purpose, like managing ADHD.

“During class, all I could hear was the spinning of the fidget spinners and many of my friends couldn’t concentrate,” McKenna said.

She also said she notices teachers are being ignored by some students participating in the spinning. The same students will ask, “Wait, what are we doing,” once the teacher moves along to the next lesson, she said. “This distraction slows down the lesson we are learning.”

And during lunch and passing time in the halls when fidget spinning is allowed: “Everyone is using them,” she said.

Like Coelho, Brennan and Wamsutta also banned the item unless a student has a documented need to use the spinners during class.

“When used appropriately and according to that need, fidgets can be useful and practical tools for select students,” Brennan Principal Frederick Souza said in an email. “However, fidgets can also act as a distractor in the classroom when used by a multitude of students. It is for this reason that we limit their use to those students with a documented need.”

The issue hasn’t yet become a problem at the high school level.

“As of now, we have not had an issue with them at the high school,” Attleboro High principal Bill Runey said. “ I know that the lower levels are struggling with them, but at the high school level we try to allow students to work off any stress or anxiety that they have in an appropriate manner. As long as the spinner is not a distraction to the teacher or the other students, I feel that it can be helpful.”

Christine Ouimet, 33, of Attleboro and mother of three, recently uploaded a video on Facebook of her son showing off some of his talented fidget spinning tricks. In slow-motion, she captured her 12-year-old spinning the gadget using only his pointer finger before he threw it up in the air.

Ouimet said her children use their spinners often around the house, but she recently barred them from bringing the toys to school.

“I feel like it was getting to be too much of a problem,” said Ouimet, adding that she sympathizes with teachers who have to discipline a class of students who won’t stop using their spinners.

“It has gone a little crazy and it’s not being used as it was intended to be,” she said.

When ‘will you go to the prom with me?’ just doesn’t cut it

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Submitted Photo of Tyler Koppy, a senior at AHS, promposing. 

By: Abigail DesVergnes

The term “promposal” has taken the Internet by storm, circulating in the halls of high-schools and across the country as teenagers find elaborate and public ways to ask their dates to prom.

It’s no longer a simple “Will you go to prom with me?” but a complex, witty, and sometimes eyebrow-raising way of asking.

The phrase was first used in 2001 by the Dallas Morning News, as the paper commented on ways students were asking their dates to prom, and with the introduction of social media websites like Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram the term went viral as high schoolers shared their promposals to the cyber world.

And now, the idea of “promposing” has spread like wild-fire.

Attleboro High School senior Marissa Dias was asked to prom in a way she said she would’ve never expected.

When she walked into her date’s house she was greeted with a sign that read, “You betta go to prom with me,” and sitting next to him was a fish tank with a Betta fish in it.

“I was surprised and laughed a lot,” Dias said about the witty slogan. “Although we already had plans to go to prom together, the promposal was an extra bonus.”

The real question is: “Does she still have that fish?”

Indeed she does, a pet that will be a constant reminder of the day she was promposed to, Dias said.

AHS senior Owen Scannell decided to use two Corgi puppies to seal the deal with his date.

Scannell got the idea to use Corgi puppies in his promposal because his date had an obsession with the breed. Luckily, he was able to find a friend to lend the dogs so he could finalize his plan.

He arrived at his date’s home with two corgis on leashes with a note attached to one of the dogs’ collars. His date opened the note and read “you are corgilly invited to prom,” and she couldn’t help but say “YES!”

And if you just can’t get enough of these promposal stories …

AHS alum and University of Massachusetts freshman, Dante Arcese, went viral last year when he designed his promposal based off of rap sensation, Drake’s, album cover.

On Drake’s album, the cover says, “If you’re reading this it’s too late,” and Arcese created his own album cover writing, “If you’re reading this, be my date.”

Arcese and his prom date posted the photo to twitter, where it received attention from many of their friends. Arcese then decided to share the photo with a promposal twitter account, and then it “blew up everywhere.”

Even Drake’s online blog shared the photo of Arcese’s promposal.

“It was crazy to see the thousands of retweets and favorites it was getting,” said Arcese, whose promposal was shared over 25,000 times.

Ryan Ringler, a senior at AHS, asked Kathryn LeBlanc, also a senior at AHS, to prom while they were on a school trip to Portugal and Spain over April vacation.

Throughout the week, Ringler had a friend take photos on a Polaroid camera of Leblanc and himself at varying destinations they visited. Once the vacation was nearly over, Ringler aligned the photos and spelled out “PROM?” on the pictures.

“Promposing emphasizes the fact that you care and took the time to actually put thought into asking your special someone to prom. It is more exciting and simply means more to the person you’re asking,” Ringler said.

’13 Reasons Why’ draws mixed reaction from local students

 

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Screenshot of Hannah Baker, the protagonist in 13 Reasons Why

By: Abigail DesVergnes

Netflix’s new drama,‘13 Reasons Why has been added to many high-schoolers’ binge-watch lists, making it one of the most popular series of the year. But the show’s graphic depiction of teen suicide has left local teens divided — both criticizing and praising the show’s intentions.

The 13-episode series follows the suicide story of Hannah Baker, a 17-year-old who leaves behind 13 recorded tapes, each explaining a reason for her suicide.

The show covers heavy topics including: bullying, sexual assault and depression, building up to the final episode — a graphic depiction of Baker’s suicide.

The controversy surrounding the show is a major topic of discussion in high schools across the country and locally among administration, guidance counselors, and of course — students.

At Attleboro High School, high school seniors are divided on their opinions of the show, some arguing that the storyline is an accurate representation of what goes on in the life of a high school student, while others argue that its dramatized representation of suicide goes too far.

Kyla Mucciarone, 18, recently finished the Netflix series and said it left her thinking.

“(It) gives a deeper insight into the mind of someone who is suffering from depression and shows that you never really know what’s going on in someone’s life,” she said.

The golden rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” was a message Noah Sweeney, 17, said he took away from the show.

“No matter what, you have to respect the people around you and be kind,” he said. “Just something as little as a friendly smile could make someone’s day.”

Mucciarone and Sweeney both said although the series was extremely difficult to watch, its message about depression was eye-opening.

“The show is far beyond suicide,” Sweeney said. “It’s about everything that led up to it.”

Others were disturbed watching the series, finding themselves unable to stomach some of the topics covered, especially Baker’s suicide.

For Cassie Cabral, 17, the final episode proved the most difficult to watch.

“I found myself looking away from the device I was watching it on. It was very scary. It was not something I wanted to watch someone do to themselves,” she said.

Other students agreed, and said the show’s depiction of suicide could be dangerous to someone suffering from mental illness.

One study found that exposure to portrayals of suicide can negatively influence those experiencing suicide risk factors. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention said risk of additional suicides increases when a story “explicitly describes the suicide method, uses dramatic/graphic headlines or images, and repeated/extensive coverage sensationalizes or glamorizes a death.”

“I would say in a medical sense that what they are showing is very dangerous,” said 18-year-old Meghan Cooper. “If seeing that could have a negative effect on someone dealing with suicidal thoughts, then to me, the show loses its purpose all together.”

Cooper also said the show should present more ideas about finding help and dealing with depression realistically.

“There is help out there,” she said. “No guidance counselor will turn you away if you tell them you are suicidal.”

The storyline caused concern for at least one student.

Owen Scannell, 17, said he has suffered from depression throughout his youth.

“‘13 Reasons Why glorifies suicide in a world where kids learn more from media than in school, and that terrifies me,” he said.

Scannell said he was lucky enough to have a strong support system who helped him in his times of need.

In times of depression, Scannell knows first-hand how sensitive people can be, and he is concerned that people struggling with depression are putting themselves at risk by watching the show.

“My advice for anyone dealing with depression: As much as you feel it, as much as it may seem, you are not alone,” he said. “If you can’t find your light, your rock, your anchor, then be someone else’s. Try new things, make mistakes, you might get hurt, but hey, that’s how you know you’re alive.”

The Senior Wall

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Oh the places they’ll go… Congrats to the senior class on their decisions for the future! Above is a picture of the wall where students have signed their names, writing where they’ll be heading in the future.

Senior Assassin 2017 Rules

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Typed out by: Abigail DesVergnes

Rules made official by AHS Senior Marissa Dias.

1) It will cost $5.00 to play. The winner will take home half of the total money and the other half will be donated to this year’s Special Olympics.
2) Each person will be assigned a “target.” You must eliminate your target from the game using a water gun. (No water balloons.)
3) In order to eliminate your “target”, you must soak them with a visible amount of water from a water gun. After they are out, they must tell you who their target was and you inherit their target.
4) SAFE ZONES are areas where people are safe from getting out. These include:
School Grounds-The only exception to this rule is that the fields and tennis courts become fair game after 4:30 p.m. DO NOT BRING A WATER GUN INTO THE SCHOOL.
Athletes- Athletes are safe to, from, and during practice/games/required events. Once they leave the school afterwards, they are eligible to be eliminated. (Remember, the parking lot is off limits.)
Cars- The target is only safe within their own car. If they are in anyone else’s car, it is fair game.
Homes- The target is safe within their own home UNLESS you are invited in by a permanent resident of the house. (Ex: If the mother says it’s okay for you to enter, you can then get them out in their own house.)
Work- The target is safe during, and on their way to work. However, as soon as they are off of their shift or step out of work, they are fair game.
5) Defense: If you know who your assassin is and you shoot your assassin with a water gun before they get you, you have an hour-long period in which they are unable to get you out. Only you can shoot your assassin in defense, no one else. You can use a shield, but it cannot be something you are wearing (Ex: backpacks and sweatshirts)
6) The assassin must have a video of the elimination, a picture of the target after being eliminated, or at LEAST another witness. (The proof will be used to make a montage at the end of the game.) If anyone has a Go-Pro…. That would be awesome. You must update the Facebook page with the picture, video, or status as soon as you can after eliminating your target in order to keep the information as recent as possible. You cannot get your next target until the last one you got has been posted.
7) Your targets will be chosen at random by someone who is not playing in the game.
8) Once your $5.00 has been collected, your name will be added to the list of participants.
9) IT MUST BE WATER. Do not put anything else in the water gun. It will not count.
10) If you are eliminated, be honest about it. Don’t ruin the game and make it into an issue.
11) Don’t do anything stupid, don’t ruin the game for yourself & everyone else, and have fun!
Important Dates:
ELIMINATION DATE: If you have not received at least one target out by midnight, April 25, you will be automatically eliminated. On this night, new targets will be assigned and you will disregard your current targets. (This day may be adjusted if the game hits a standstill.)
*Other dates will be added as the game goes along as well as surprise twists.
*The last day of classes will be the last day of the game. If there is only one person remaining, they will be declared the winner. If there is more than one individual left at midnight on the last day of classes, the individual with the most points will be declared the winner.