Monthly Archives: January 2014

SCOREBOARD: It’s Super Bowl Time

By: Cameron MerrittCameron Merritt senior pic

After another NFL season, it’s that time of year again. Super Bowl Sunday, the quintessential American sports holiday, a festival of football, food, and showmanship, is only two days away. The eyes of millions of Americans will be focused on MetLife Stadium in New York (well, actually New Jersey) as the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos square off for a chance to call themselves the champion of Super Bowl XLVIII.

Across this nation (and even the world), people are jumping on bandwagons, rooting against a rival, or, for a lucky few, awaiting the chance to see their favorite team lift the Vince Lombardi trophy and join in the celebration that ensues. It’s a feeling that many in New England have become quite familiar with these past few years, however, one which will not occur this time as the New England Patriots fell one game short of another chance at glory. Looks like we’ll have to settle for just one championship in Boston this year…

As for the game itself, the clash presents several opportunities for its participants. For Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, a win would help solidify his stellar career in an area which has often been his weak point; playoff success. This is the 37 year old’s third trip to the big game, and he currently holds a 1-1 record in his previous two appearances. After breaking even on his playoff record at 11-11 following his team’s 26-16 win over the Patriots and longtime rival Tom Brady, Manning seems as strong as ever and must be hungry to prove his doubters wrong with a victory Sunday.

As for the Seahawks, it’s a chance for the trash-talking genius (he graduated Stanford with a 3.9 GPA) cornerback Richard Sherman to back up all he’s said and prove he really is the best corner in all of football (which he probably is). For the Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, it’s his chance to complete his underdog story. A former Minor Leaguer (actually he’s on the Texas Rangers 40 Man Roster), Wilson was underrated in the 2012 NFL Draft compared to his counterparts, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, but has so far had more playoff success than either of them combined. A Super Bowl ring can well be imagined to further sweeten all he’s accomplished so far and set a precedent for his legacy going forward.

If waiting for a prediction, I’m here to say I don’t have one for the game. The Seahawks are carrying a lot of momentum, but remember how I doubted the Broncos two weeks ago? Yeah, they proved me wrong, and in a game where they took the lead early and never relinquished it, and pretty emphatically as well. It’s a toss-up for me; I have no stakes either way. Hopefully it’s an enjoyable one (and that the lights don’t go out again).

Scoreboard is the Eagle’s Eye’s column for Fridays, written by head editor Cameron Merritt. The senior, who came up with the idea for this website, is AHS’s man at Hockomock Sports. He discusses the latest in sports around Boston and the world. Warning: he treats soccer like a serious professional sport.

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Safety in Attleboro Public Schools

The AHS library. (Photo/Kayla Houle)

The AHS library. (Photo/Kayla Houle)

By: Kayla Houle

Grabbing the attention of the Attleboro Public School district and many other communities across the world was the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012, leaving 20 students, ages 6 and 7, and six adults killed at the school.

Schools in the Attleboro Public School district continue to make their buildings safe, ensuring that the most important thing is to make students feel secure and to keep the desire of wanting to come to school and learn alive, despite the tragedies that have happened across the country.

 “I am not scared to attend school every day, I feel safe because of the extra cautionary steps my school takes,” said senior Rachel Stevens.

Most schools in the Attleboro district are becoming stricter about who can enter a building. After someone enters any school at the principal’s office, a license or form of identification must be shown. By taking this extra step to ensure the school’s safety, it reflects how the students feel about attending school every day.

“They don’t just let anyone into the building. They have to sign in first and I feel they are always on the lookout for any unusual behavior,” said Stevens.

“Throughout the school year we only practice the drills once,” senior Jared Lee said, adding, “no” to the idea that AHS focuses enough on safety.

Even though Lee disagrees he explained that he still does feel safe and the tragedies that have happened do not affect his everyday learning experiences. “Not at all,” he said, adding, “I just don’t believe it could happen here.”

“There’s only so much a school can do for every single student’s safety,” said Stevens.

Along with the students of AHS, the teachers also should feel safe when coming to work. “I believe we are just as vulnerable as the schools that have had the shootings; I try not to think about it,” said AHS carpentry teacher Mrs. Eileen Homen.

A survey was sent out to teachers at AHS. Forty-seven out of the 55 teacher responses said that they did feel safe coming into work every day. Six out of 55 said they did not or “sometimes” did.

“Deans, hall monitors, the resource officer, cameras, and all the precautionary elements are in place. Reaction time to incidents is prompt; you can only control that which you have control over. If an individual decides they are determined to do something that, in most cases, cannot be stopped. Precautions, awareness, communication and expectations are very important,” said art teacher Ms. Lindsey Nygaard.

Also asked through the survey was if teachers believe that AHS staff would alert the school of suspicious activity.

“Although I feel safe I do believe an incident could always occur without warning as has happened elsewhere,” said mathematics department head Mrs. Patricia Izzi.

“I believe everyone is fairly alert around school and teachers have a good enough relationship with students to hear about possible trouble,” said language based teacher Ms. Stephanie Forte.

Six out of 55 teachers said no they did not think their students would alert the school to suspicious activity. Forty-seven out of the 55 teacher responses said yes they think students would alert the school.

“I have been teaching here for 14 years and have never felt threatened. Sure, there could be one person who is disturbed enough to do something violent, but I don’t worry about it,” said English teacher Mr. Dan Walter.

“As safe as anyone can be, if someone wants to come in and do harm, not much will stop them. Good plans minimize impact,” said District Health Coordinator Mrs. Deb Ebert.

KENNA’S WORLD: Lazer Gate

By: Kenna BeechKenna's World

Lazer Gate in Fall River offers a lot for teens to do. A group of my friends and I took a never ending ride to Fall River for something I had previously only done as a child, and honestly, didn’t spark my interest then or now. None of us had been to this area in Fall River even though we’d heard of it.

Approaching an abandoned looking building, which possibly could have been a factory at one point in time, we entered a dimly lit hallway, only to find a single elevator in an empty room. We walked into an old, beat up elevator only to be welcomed, when the doors opened into a calm, music, smile-filled atmosphere filled with people of all ages laughing, playing, and jumping around.

“Our experience was thrill seeking with an entire two floors of complete darkness and smoke – trying to hunt other people down. It was honestly the best experience and was so much fun, especially with people who we didn’t know, all coming together to play a game,” said Tri-County High School junior Sierra Brodeur.

Arcade games, black light mini golf, and Lazer Gate are just a few of the endless possibilities of fun offered. We were all shown how to play and sign up for the games, which cost $7 each and last twenty minutes. The price for two games is $13, three for $17, four for $20, and an all day pass is offered for $25.

“It was above and beyond everything I had imagined,” said AHS junior Ryan McGovern.

We then entered another room where we could become a team or pick a color to be placed by ourselves. Vests with an attached gun were supplied to players, and the vest would light up with the color chosen.

“Everyone was so energetic, and the lazer grounds are awesome,” said AHS senior Megan Pulster.

Black lights along with neon arrows were painted across walls to guide players so they would know which way to go.

“I had a lot of fun,” said AHS junior Harley Farrell.   

The range area for laser tagging covered two floors. It was dark, with tunnels, mazes, mines, and bombs. Shot players would have to wait a few seconds until they were able to start shooting again. Everyone was sweating profusely, due to all of the running around.

Everyone had a blast and wanted to continue playing. A few of us were still new to the game and weren’t sure how to really make sense of it, but everyone agreed we’d all go back and try it again.

“The service was quick; it was an inviting environment with friendly employees. The game had cool upgrades and landmines were a cool idea even though they weren’t really used. Some parts could be considered unfair and easy, such as the camp spots. Overall I thought it was great,” said AHS junior Josh Whitney.

The hours of operation are Monday 3-10 p.m., Friday 3 p.m. to midnight, Saturday noon-midnight, and Sun. Noon-10 p.m.

Specials on prices and events for Lazer Gate can be found online on their monthly calendar of deals. Lazer Gate is located at 288 Plymouth Ave. Fall River, Mass. More info can be found at http://lazergate.com/.

Kenna’s World is the Eagle’s Eye’s column by Teen Interest editor Kenna Beech. The junior discusses topics important to herself and about things important to teens.

StumbleUpon

The home screen of Stumble Upon. (Screenshot/Rachel Letourneau)

The home screen of StumbleUpon. (Screenshot/Rachel Letourneau)

By: Rachel Letourneau

StumbleUpon is an app that is available for Apple and Android phones and tablets.

Derived from the website of the same name, it provides users with websites, photos, videos, and news that they might enjoy based on their own personal interests.

When signing up for StumbleUpon, the user checks off what appeals to them from a list of topics, including various hobbies, music genres, or even certain animals. Users can either “stumble” over all of their interests at once or focus on a specific one.

If the user discovers something they find intriguing, they can press a “like” button, helping StumbleUpon to become more familiar with their preferences. The same goes for disliking something, so then the app knows not to offer those types of websites.

There is an option to create lists so users can group related website pages. For example, a user could make a list of places to travel to or organize exercises for fitness inspiration. It’s also possible to follow other users’ lists through social tools and even be notified when something is added to their lists.

The StumbleUpon staff has their own blog, which consists of employees’ favorite websites and lists, including “The Wide World of Sports Stumbling” and “Designing Your Space.”

An account can be made either on the app or at www.stumbleupon.com. The account is then automatically synced between the app and website.

Ins and Outs of Auditions

The stage in the Bray Auditorium. (Photo/Pete Tarsi)

The stage in the Bray Auditorium. (Photo/Pete Tarsi)

By: Kaitlyn Jumpe

Drama auditions are often portrayed as a time where people sign up, say a few lines, and then go home. However, after watching auditions for a multitude of different shows, this is far from the truth.

The Drama Club offers a variety of shows, each with its own story and style. Simply reading lines on stage doesn’t make the cut.

“I feel like other students don’t know what it actually takes. They take it more as a level perspective,” said Ryan Qumiby, a freshman member of drama.

“I think a lot of people think about acting and singing. They know only what the media presents,” said sophomore and Drama Club member Delenn Martin.

“People just go on stage and read a part,” said senior Alex Wood.

What happens in auditions must go along with what the show requires. The production switches yearly from drama to comedy. This can be as simple for actors and actresses as certain actions, voice quality, or creativity on the stage.

“It’s really whether or not I can understand them, whether their voice has unique qualities to it and making sure they’re just not reading,” said AHS Physics teacher and drama director Mr. Peter Tarsi.

Before the audition starts each student practices their audition piece in their own way. Some rehearse lines with their partner, while others go over what they’re going to do on stage.

 “I’m probably more nervous after an audition than before,” said senior Alyssa Germaine, who is the secretary and treasurer of the AHS Drama Club.

The first show of the year is in the fall. From tales of sorrow like To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday to side splitting comedies like Almost Maine, actors must match the spirit of the script in order to give a truly amazing performance.

As with the fall show, the children’s show, around the same time, demands a different set of skills. The audience is made up of mostly elementary school students, so those who audition bring a different kind of energy to the stage.

Festival is what the Drama Club deems as Varsity Drama. Actors or actresses must show a high level of dedication and the capability to perform a variety of roles. Sometimes auditions are more than a one day process.

“It feels good because you get to be part of a team,” said senior and president of the Drama Club Mike Pratt.

If the actor or actress stands out, then they receive a call back to read a different part, or read a different part in a larger group, or both. The purpose of this is to match up the student with a specific role.

“It means the director wants a second look,” said Tarsi

Auditions match up a student’s traits and acting ability with a character and cast. One student may have the lead while another may be a tree. Regardless of the role, it’s a team effort and everyone in the cast gives it their all.

I DON’T KNOW: Procrastination

By: Charles ArnaudoCharlesA

Procrastination – To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.

Simply put, it’s a lot easier to stare at a blank page than it is to put writing on it. It’s so easy to be distracted from a task, making it harder to complete work and easier to put it off for at least another day.

“In middle school, I didn’t have to do work. I could put it off and maybe do it the night before it was due. Now that I’m in high school, I’ve realized that I can’t get away with not doing work,” said freshman Peter Pignatone.

Senior Ron Lee said he has spent many late nights doing work which was assigned to him weeks prior, just because he put it off until that day.

A lot of the time the assignment isn’t even hard, it’s just some are digusted at the idea of doing the work. Even this column is late, which was a result of procrastination.

The truth is, procrastination is just a sign of weakness. It shows how hard people actually will work, but only when they have to. Procrastination shows a lack of drive and care for what happens in life. Why be alive if you’re not going to care? It seems like a dumb thing to do.

I hear a lot people give the excuse that they’re really smart, but that they just don’t do their work. How smart is that?

I Don’t Know, written by music editor Charles Arnaudo, is usually published on Mondays, but appears today because of  procrastination. Topics include personal experience in music and life of the AHS junior and drummer for the band Reversion.

AHS Club Continues Strives Toward an Answer for Cancer

Answer for Cancer club posing with the Chemo-Care packages. (Photo/Nancy Krieger)

Answer for Cancer club posing with the Chemo-Care packages. (Photo/Nancy Krieger)

By: William Martindale

On Dec. 21, 2013, the Answer for Cancer Club at AHS donated Chemo-Care Packages to the Oncology Ward at Sturdy Memorial Hospital. The donations consisted of objects that a patient might want if they were receiving chemotherapy.

“We wanted a hundred,” said health teacher Mrs. Nancy Krieger. These items included word searches, lip balm, hard candy or gum, gloves, socks, and unscented lotions.

Collections began in early Nov. and ran right up until the day of delivery according to Krieger. The collection was “overwhelming” she said.

Donations exceeded the club’s 100 bag expectation, so all the extras were delivered to Sturdy Memorial alongside the Chemo-Care Packages.

Krieger emphasized their upcoming plan to participate in the Relay for Life, an overnight event that the club has attended for the past two years. She hopes to increase participation and said, “We want to make Relay huge this year.”

“I’m excited to be a part of it and it’s a perfect opportunity for people to give back and show their support for the people they care about,” said Answer for Cancer secretary and senior Samantha Dart.

Other officers include the club president, senior Karissa Hand, club vice president, junior Erin Jette, and club treasurer, junior Sarah Nordberg.

“I mention it in my health classes,” said Krieger, as a way to make freshmen aware of the Answer for Cancer and their events.

In addition to the Relay for Life, Answer for Cancer is currently selling sweatshirts to raise money for the club until February 4. They are $25 each with sizes ranging from Youth XS-XL to Adult S-4XL.

“You can order from club members or directly from me,” said Krieger is excited about the clubs future and the year to come. She is located in room 118A.