Monthly Archives: April 2016

Should Young Metro trust them?: The power of social media

By: Menappe Kinkoue-Poufong

On March 30, 2016, the Twitter-sphere was set ablaze when artist Iggy Azalea tweeted her reaction to a video of her fiancé, Los Angeles Laker Nick Young, detailing how he cheated on her.

The controversy didn’t arise in the fact that Young had cheated but in that his confession was recorded by fellow Los Angeles Laker, rookie D’Angelo Russell.

Although Azalea appreciated Russell’s video, having said, “I actually liked his film. Thanks bro,” many saw the video as a betrayal and breaking the “bro-code.

The video had made Russell the subject of social media memes and backlash from within the basketball community. In a live TV interview with ESPN, former 2003 NBA champion Stephen Jackson said, “Old rule: Snitches get stitches. You don’t expect that from your teammate. It’s supposed to be a brotherhood.”

Attleboro High School (AHS) senior and four year member of the school’s soccer team, Junior Coca, shared similar feelings about the scandal. “A team is supposed to be a brotherhood. My boys are supposed to have my back no matter what”, he said.

On whether Russell should’ve been recording in the first place, Coca said, “Players can record each other singing and dancing in the locker room but personal conversations shouldn’t be recorded. There was no need to record the conversation. He kind of set himself up.”

AHS senior Jackie Johnson also believes the conservation should have been kept private. “100 percent it’s a violation of privacy”, Johnson said. “You would think as teammates there would be trust and loyalty between one another. Those are his boys.”

However, Coca believes that Young is responsible in the situation as well. “He (Young) shouldn’t have cheated. Some stuff you should keep to yourself. With something like this, it’s best to keep it to yourself.”

Personal reactions to the video were mixed. Reactions included disappointment, anger, and betrayal with AHS senior Fredy Moran having said, “[If I were Young] I wouldn’t talk to him knowing he screwed me over.”

On whether Russell deserved the backlash he received, reactions were also mixed. “I feel people were more upset with D’Angelo than Nick but it should be the other way around”, said Johnson. Moran, however, felt differently having said, “Russell deserves backlash from his teammates for breaking a brotherhood code. They’re not only teammates they’re friends” making the video more damaging to the teammates’ relationship.

Within the same week, another scandal rocked the sports and entertainment world and created another social media frenzy.

Artist PartyNextDoor posted an image of himself and R&B singer Kehlani together on Instagram. At the time the image was posted, Kehlani was in a high profile relationship with Cleveland Cavalier, Kyrie Irving.

Reactions to this situation were mixed as well. “Wow. It goes to show you no matter who you are, you can get cheated on”, said Coca. “I didn’t think it was a big deal. It’s not a big deal when guys do it, so I don’t see how it’d be different if Kehlani did it,” said Johnson.

On whether Kehlani deserves the backlash she’s received, Coca believes she didn’t deserved the criticism. “It’s sexist. Just because she’s a girl she’s receiving backlash. We don’t know the full story, so we can’t make judgements off speculation.” Johnson was 50/50 on the matter. “Celebrities and guys cheat all the time and people look past it.”

This situation took a more serious turn when it was revealed that criticisms had lead Kehlani to attempt suicide. Some believed the action was “overdramatic” and that she faked a suicide attempt for attention, but others could understand the action because of the scrutiny she had received.

Despite this, the impact of social media has turned the scandal into a spectacle and has garnered celebrity input. People have made jokes like “Kyrie Irving has the best handles in the NBA but can’t handle his girl” while continuing to shame Kehlani.

However, social media had blown both situations out of proportion. Although social media can be used for good, to do things like shed light on global issues, it can also do damage. Social media can spread false information and constant ridiculing can drive people over the edge. Ultimately, social media has tremendous power that can be used positively or negatively.

Iphone 6 plus vs. Iphone 6

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Iphone 6 and 6 plus

Photo taken by: Ashley Liriano

Both the iphone 6 and 6 plus are identical to each other; except three major differences. The iphone 6 plus being 2cm taller 1cm wider and 2 mm thicker than the iphone 6 and has more options of different colors than the iphone 6 plus. With the 6, the customer has more choice with colors like rose gold and black, while the 6 plus has only the two options of gold or light/dark silver.

The similarities between the two iphones is that the smartphones are curved aluminum and have the 3D touch, which lets the owner access the iphone without entering a pass code. This makes it more difficult for anyone but the owner to gain access to the smartphone. Along with the fact that both iphones have a very improved camera, making pictures look sharper and clear.

The decision whether to get the 6 or 6 plus, is entirely up to the customer and what they want or prefer. Some people may prefer the 6 plus because of the size difference like a customer with bigger hands may prefer the 6 plus as opposed to the 6.  A customer with the iphone 6 plus may find it easier to use the virtual keyboard rather than having the thumb covering the whole keyboard.

Lastly, the iphone 6 plus has a bigger screen making it easier to watch videos and browse the internet. It has a better camera than the 6 because while iphones have improved with the camera, the 6 plus is able to make sure all of the blurriness in the picture is fixed. In the end, it is up to the customer in which iphone 6 they believe is for them.

REVIEW: Bombs Away Not Much of an Explosion

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Bombs Away Album Cover (Screenshot by: James Nordberg)

By: James Nordberg

Bombs Away is an album by the Australian indie-pop band Sheppard.  The album’s 12 songs are mostly light and mellow with a couple of energetic tracks mixed in.

Sheppard’s members include siblings George, Amy, and Emma Sheppard as well as Michael Butler, Jason Bovino, and Dean Gordon.  The three Sheppard siblings grew up surrounded by music. “Music was in the air from day one. Dad blasted Cat Stevens in the house to get the kids out of bed in the mornings, while Mom sent them for lessons in piano and music theory,” said George Sheppard on the band website.

“It’s about laughing through tragedy and making sad things happy. This is music for the underdog. I hope it offers up some fun, laughter, and happiness,” said George Sheppard according to the band website. He describes their music as it is, and it is certainly cheery.

Their songs lack a distinguishing sound, which sets them apart from other bands. Some of their songs are catchy, but many don’t demand much attention. The song “Geronimo” was attention grabbing because of its happy, catchy tune about making a leap of faith.

“Geronimo” despite being catchy was very simple repeating the words “say geronimo” seven times in a row twice during the song, giving it the least substance out of all of them.

While most songs were very joyful in sound, there were a few that came as a surprise in the middle of the album with a more bitter or angry tone. “Find someone” is an example of this change. The song’s bitter tone about betrayal differs from previous more upbeat songs helping to keep the listener’s attention.

The band members also use different sounds in their songs ranging from acoustic to heavy electronic sounds. The song “This Electric Feeling” has heavy electronic use setting itself apart from other songs. It’s about losing self control while desperately trying to find out what the truth is. The song says, “I can’t let go, now I’m possessed. It warps reality. And I need to find the answer.”

Overall, this band still sounds kind of new with a variety of sounds, but they stay true to their message of being music for the underdog with songs aimed to encourage listeners. Overall, Bombs Away is a two and a half out of five stars album because of their lack of consistency.

 

American Football

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Album Cover (Screenshot by: Nick Fritz) 

By: Nick Fritz

American Football, a band known for ragged emotions, melodic riffs, and simplistic vocals. American Football is a four piece indie rock band that formed in Champaign-Urbana, Ill in 1997, consisting of Mike Kinsella (Bass, Vocals), Steve Lamos (Drums), Steve Holmes (Guitar), and Nate Kinsella (Guitar). The band stayed together until 2000, after releasing one EP and one LP, both respectfully called American Football.

Before the glorification of their name on T- shirts, records and coffee shops, American Football was just another band. Members Kinsella and Lamos were involved in a band called The One Up Downstairs, which produced only one seven inch record in their time together, but Lamos and Kinsella stayed together, and later went on to work with Steve Holmes forming American Football.

Mutually, the band decided to stop recording together in 2000. Kinsella recently went to work on a solo project under the name Owen. In 2014, the band announced that they were getting back together, after Polyvinyl teased fans with a countdown on Americanfootball.com. Since the realization of their newfound success in 2014, American Football has agreed to stay together to show punk audiences again, what the definition of emotional music is.

They keep a melodic tone that allows listeners to think about the simple lyrics and the meaning behind them. The lyrics of the first track off of the album American Football (Never Meant), bring listeners into a sporadic train of thought behind the purpose of the lyrics. Kinsella’s talk on ending a relationship and leaving for college can relate to most young adults and slowly opens the gate for the rest of the album.

In relation to the rest of the punk music genre, American Football  relates to a softer music seen with bands like Everyone Everywhere, The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, You Blew It!, all bands that have recently received  large amounts of attention in the alt-rock music scene. American Football provided new possibilities with the alternative genre of music.

In comparison to 90s punk bands such as Blink 182 and Green Day, American Football stood away from the in-your-face distorted guitar and hateful lyrics and approached the alternative punk scene with despondency and sadness. Kinsella’s heartfelt tone backed by two guitars, a bass, drums, and a trumpet produced a sound that mesmerized and exasperated the audience, rather than being vigorous and temperamental. The sound was full of optimism and indifference, unlike most punk bands during the early nineties. Optimism is derived from the idea of moving on, while indifference dawns on the listener, who realizes the situation is not worth the time.

The band relies primarily on their sound to convey the underlying purpose of each song. “You Know I Should Be Leaving Soon,” off of the album American Football, paints a picture with its lack of words. The instrumental interprets how Kinsella is approaching the problem of leaving for college, whether he should stay with his girlfriend or leave and continue on with his life.

Beside the beauty and heartfelt lyrics that come with this album, American Football has a very formulaic sound, using the same conventional sound; even though soothing and pleasant on the ear, it slowly loses its touch on the listener halfway through the album. The sound is not completely repetitive, but is sharply altered in each song, keeping the same unhurried tone.

Overall, American Football stands tall, as one of the starting points of new age punk. Between Kinsella’s heartfelt lyrics and the trance-inducing guitar riffs, the band develops an introspection of confusion with heartbreak and moves on to a new chapter in life. American Football may be the first punk band to spark the idea of gentle heartbreak.

 

Growing Blue Pride at AHS

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Students grow Sweet Marjoram in AHS greenhouse (Photo by: Meghan Lancaster) 

By Amanda Lindley

Students at Attleboro High School (AHS) grow vegetables for the school’s Farm-To-Table program, which provides the student-run Blue Pride Bistro with fresh salad greens and herbs right from the school’s greenhouses.

“Students are learning ways to grow food organically,” said science teacher Mr. Gregg Finale, who has been part of the program for three years. Everything grown in the greenhouses is completely natural, which is something Finale takes great pride in. “Students grow everything from seed.”

The greenhouses at AHS have been running for over thirty years, but the Farm-To-Table program is relatively new. The project requires collaboration between the science department, CTE program, history department, and special education department; making a special connection between seemingly unrelated entities. The hands-on experience provides students with a chance to learn outside of the normal classroom setting.

Students in the program are able to take pride in their greens as they watch their hard work used in the culinary program. The students, chefs and diners enjoy the benefits of organic, locally grown vegetables. AHS culinary Chef Mr. Curtis Prew said, “It cuts down on price, is fresh grown, is picked daily for the day’s utilization, and shows the students that they can grow their own food.”

Finale’s class provides the Bistro with cilantro, parsley, spinach, spring mix, and other herbs and greens to help the culinary program create the freshest sauces, salads and salsas.

“The School Farm-To-Table helps spread Blue Pride around the school,” said sophomore culinary arts student Victoria Lussier. “It was made right here with students who enjoy what they are doing,” she added.

The extra greens are either sold to faculty or distributed to local charity food kitchens, allowing Blue Pride to spread out into the community for all to enjoy.

 

PoeTree Blooming at AHS

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PoeTree Display is Mrs. Reed’s Room, #303, later moved to the library (Photo by: Meghan Lancaster) 

By: Meghan Lancaster

It may not feel much like spring yet, but there is at least one tree in bloom at Attleboro High School (AHS). An English teacher and Study worker there, Mrs. Kelly Reed encourages her students to express their thoughts about the world around them through poetry. It was her idea to begin a project called the “PoeTree”.

Various English teachers chose their favorite works of poetry – sixteen in total – to be showcased in a school-wide face-off, along with one nomination from the Poetry Club. Starting on Monday, April 4th, every English class began voting for their favorite poem out of the daily selection, and the best-liked poem will win the competition. Last year, the spoken-word poem “The Paradox” by Sarah Kay won, surprising many who thought that one of Maya Angelou’s poems would win.

Students can vote in one of two ways: either by submitting through the website bit.ly/PoeTree2, or by taking tallies in class. Most of the poets are traditional and well-known, while others are not as famous, including AHS junior Alyssa Campbell, who runs the school’s Poetry Club.

The English Department at AHS started this project for National Poetry Month last April, and they decided to make it an annual tradition. Reed, who has been teaching here for fourteen years and is the primary leader of the project, first got the idea while searching Pinterest for ideas for bulletin board displays. The feedback she received has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I’m hoping that it changes some people’s minds about poetry… and to get students to reconsider poetry as an art form,” said Reed.

She explained that her goal with this project was to bring more poetry into the classroom, apart from the traditional setting. She said that this project can show students that poetry can be read for the sole purpose of enjoyment, not just for analysis.

“The more you write, the more you revise, the more you’re putting yourself out there and being brave enough to write about things that are true – rather than what you think people want to hear – that’s when you come up with the things that speak most to people, which is the irony of humanity,” said Reed. “The world’s big, and it’s vast, and it’s complex; sometimes our tiny world view is just that – tiny. It’s really important to find and redefine yourself through the exploration of the world.”

Chosen poems:

April 4th:

“Acquainted with the Night” by Robert Frost

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost

“Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes

April 5th:

“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” by William Shakespeare

“My Library Has 17 Books” by Anis Mojgani

“sisters” by Lucille Clifton

April 6th:

“Fairy Reel” by Neil Gaiman

“Sea Fever” by John Masefield

April 7th:

“I Saw the Devil with His Needlework” by Bianca Stone

“A Song in the Front Yard” by Gwendolyn Brooks

April 11th:

“Hooked Cross” by Jesse Parent

“And So She Smiled” by Alyssa Campbell

April 12th:

“Knock knock” by Daniel Beaty

“If” by e.e. cummings

April 13th:

“Because it looked hotter that way” by Camille T. Dungy

“I Have News for You” by Tony Hoagland

April 14th:

“A Reading” by Wendy Cope

“Patty’s Charcoal Drive-In” by Barbara Cooker

The quest for a new AHS

 

Photos by: Mark Stockwell-Sun Chronicle Staff

By: Abigail DesVergnes 

They’re calling it a renovation, but really the city is looking to rebuild Attleboro High School from the inside, out. Essentially, it would be a new school.

When — and if — the project is completed in the summer of 2022, today’s high school freshmen will be half-way through college.
And, that’s a big “IF.”
The renovation could cost as much as $120 million, and would require voters to approve a temporary tax increase through a Proposition 2½ override to pay for it.
Even with a 60.57 percent reimbursement from the state it could cost tax payers about $48 million.
The first step is to find out exactly how much the project will cost, and how much the city can afford. To do that, a study will be launched in September to determine what must be done to bring the 54-year-old, 428,000-square-foot building up to 21st-century standards.
A study is required, but students and staff at Attleboro High already have plenty of ideas.
Here’s a walk-through of the sprawling, maze-like complex.


The Science Department
The future is science, and there’s a national call for more science majors. Yet, AHS opened days before the Cuban Missile Crisis, during the administration of President John F. Kennedy, at the apex of the Cold War.
There have been upgrades since then, of course, and Attleboro High offers an array of science classes in a variety of disciplines, but students complain the infrastructure has fallen way behind.
“If the science lab was provided with improved equipment, it would enhance our learning capabilities tremendously,” junior Advanced Placement biology student Katherine Furtado said.
Senior AP chemistry student Keegan Douglass often works in lab with computers based off graphing calculators to find the pH of substances.
“Many of the products are old and some of the wires are broken, leaving very few products to function properly,” Douglass said.
Not only does the equipment need improvement, students say, so does the furniture.
“It’s time for the stools and benches in the lab to be replaced,” junior AP biology student Brielle Ciccio said. “Most of the equipment seems to be past its expiration by now.”


Art Department
What is art instruction without light and space?
Teachers at AHS are looking for both.
“There is not enough space in my classroom to organize all of my materials, and for the students to be comfortable at work,” painting teacher Lindsay Nygaard said.
Nygaard and many in her department — including students — hope the renovation will include open and spacious classrooms.
“When I’m painting, I often have to shuffle my work around to finish,” senior painting student Fatima MacDonald said.
Many of MacDonald’s classmates agree their workspace offers limited elbow room.


Library Media Center
There’s a reason schools today no longer call a big room with books, “The Library.”
It’s function goes way beyond that.
Today’s library media center is a space for research, collaboration and creativity. The traditional library doesn’t suit the needs of a world steeped in technology.
“The Internet age has transformed the image of a library,” library and media specialist Lisa Ryder said. “An area with an open floor plan and collaborative media learning centers would be a necessity for this rapidly changing environment.”
Ryder, along with paraprofessional Natalie Carr, recommend a space built around flexibility and versatility to accommodate inevitable changes to come in a high-tech learning environment.


Cafeteria
Lunch is a time for students to unwind and take a break from their tightly scheduled days — to enjoy and recharge themselves.
And, of course, to eat.
That’s hard to do when, in warm months, all three AHS cafeterias feel like airless saunas.
“The cafeteria needs air conditioning. I see kids coming into the lunch rooms sweating in the summer,” said Whitsons Food service worker Gwen Vieira. “It’s not a good environment for students.”
The worn and chipped paint on the walls of the cafeteria isn’t very appetizing, either.
“Just by simply repainting these walls, the space would look a lot better,” Whitsons Food service worker Linda Chabot said.


Health and Physical Education Department
The goal is improving overall student wellness, but that’s not easy in a space built long before anyone took girls’ athletics seriously — no matter how many upgrades or work-arounds have been attempted.
The classrooms and gymnasiums lack resources to meet today’s needs, students and staff complain.
Look no farther than the locker rooms.
“There aren’t enough lockers in the girls’ locker room, and because of that, theft is an issue,” PE teacher Lauren Checksfield said.
Junior track athlete Chloe Vieira has been advocating for new locker rooms since the start of the school year, even circulating a petition that has garnered 448 signatures.
“I’m hoping the girls’ locker room will be on the list of renovations. It’s time to reflect the pride students feel by improving our high school,” Vieira said.
Meanwhile, the fitness and weight room is used not only during the school year, but during the summer months when football players train in the space almost every day.
There is no air conditioning.
“I know there are a lot of guys and girls in the weight room who complain about the heat,” soccer and lacrosse athlete Paul DeLuca said. “It would be a better workout environment if there was air conditioning to keep us cool.”


Career and Technical Education Program
Students in the career and technical education program are as highly motivated and serious about their studies and future careers as Advanced Placement students are about their’s.
Attleboro High is fortunate and among relatively few schools to have a technical program, but teachers say better equipment and infrastructure — despite recent upgrades for programs such as plumbing — are needed to give students a leg up before moving on to additional training.
“The labs need to be brought up to the 21st century industry standards,” CTE Director Susan Edmonds said. “I want customers to be able to enter these facilities, and feel as if they are in a professional shop.”
New equipment and better wireless Internet connections throughout the workshops would help.
“To meet 21st century standards, wi-fi needs to be provided,” automotive teacher Bob Vinskus said.
Students agree.
“It takes a while to look up parts on the computer,” junior automotive student Veecheat Sim said. “If the shop is provided with a stronger wireless connection and new computers, it would make everything much easier.”
Junior automotive student Mike Frazetti says the same.
“New equipment such as code readers would help students like me keep up with the new equipment coming out in the automotive field,” he said.
And, all agree more locker space is needed for both girls and boys as the gender gap continues to shrink in what once was male-oriented classrooms.

Administration
City officials, school administrators and the school committee are all huddled in discussion of the proposed renovation and any implications that might arise.
High school Principal Bill Runey recognizes the huge expenditure needed for such a project, but says it’s long overdue.
“I believe it’s important that our students are able to learn in a 21st century environment, and it’s our responsibility to prepare them for the next step,” he said.
Runey encourages parents and students to become involved by attending open houses and public forums as the proposal moves forward. A project website also is in the works.
He described the project as an “occupied renovation,” meaning students will be in the building while reconstruction goes on. Some classes will be taught in modular classrooms, and others in the network building — ironically, the old high school on County Street.
“I’m very thankful for our school committee,” Runey said. “I hope the momentum of Blue Pride will be an influence throughout this entire process.”