Tag Archives: Boston

Hijab Attack

Fawzi, Romaisa and Rachel By: Rachel Oliveira

Fawzi, Romaisa and Rachel
By: Rachel Oliveira

By: Rachel Oliveira

April 17, 2015 Romaisa Khan invited two of her friends, Fawzia Nur and me, to celebrate her 18 birthday in Boston, Mass. After a long day of a Boston adventure, Romaisa and Fawzia dropped me off at South Station so I could take the commuter rail back to Attleboro.

We went to the bathroom before my train arrived, and there were a few women in there, particularly one Asian woman. When Fawzia Nur, Romaisa Khan and I walked in the bathroom, the Asian woman swung her umbrella, just missing Nur, but Nur thought nothing of it; it seemed like an accident.

When we walked closer to the sink, which was where she was, she started yelling loud comments; at this point we just thought she was crazy. Khan went to fix her hijab in the mirror, which coincidentally was near the women’s purse and that’s when this lady grabbed her purse in such a manner that it hit Khan.

She yelled, “Get away from me!” to which Khan answered, “Who me?” Then the woman said, “Yeah you! I know what your people do!”

At this point, Khan, Nur, and I were laughing because we were just so baffled by the situation. It was obvious that English was not her first language, which made things even more perplexing.

She left the bathroom, but then when she heard us laughing, she came back in, called us assholes and also threatened to call the police, to which Khan responded, “For what?” She then left the bathroom and the other woman in the bathroom just looked at us in awe, like “What just happened?” It was quite the experience.

Romaisa shared her initial thoughts with us: “Is this lady serious? It is crazy how ignorance has no language. It transgressed from white people to all people that night. I had never encountered hate for the hijab until this moment and it was just surprising especially because Boston has a very large population of hijabis.

“I was at a loss of words. I wasn’t sure how to process it properly and all I could think about was how crazy this lady seemed to me. But then, thinking back, it’s crazy that there are hundreds of thousands of people like her in this world.

“I was just an 18 year-old celebrating her birthday in Boston, but to be attacked and belittled by some lady who only defined me by what was on my head, really made me pity the future of this world. This lady did not know my name or that I was a born citizen and that, just like her, I condemn the terrorists just as much, if not more, as the next sane person,

“I brushed it off, but it frightened me to think that if this lady was capable of verbal abuse to someone much, much younger than her, then how does she treat others who are hijabis? Or people who beards, or wear religious garments?”

Thankfully this was Romaisa’s first and hopefully last time that she will be attacked for wearing her hijab. “I’m very blessed that I haven’t come across hatred for the hijab until that moment at the train station,” said Khan.

To Khan and many other Muslim women, the hijab symbolizes strength and faith in God.   “It symbolizes freedom and integrity because, now, rather than being defined for the way I look, people are more focused on my personality and intellect. Wearing the hijab felt as if I became a new person, someone who was better in all aspects,” she said.

According to www.telegraph.co.uk, Muslim girls face many different issues when it comes to wearing the hijab in public. “Since the terrorist attacks on New York City that brought down the Twin Towers, it seems life has not been the same for Muslims that live in the western world. Suddenly there was a spotlight shown on Islam when most non-Muslims had barely given it a second thought before,” Ava Vidal wrote in the Telegraph, an English online newspaper.

Romaisa’s message to all Muslim women who wear a hijab is, “There’s so much I want to say to young girls and women wearing the hijab, but I’ll start with saying that the only judgment that should matter is Allah’s, especially because this life is really only temporary. Do not let the hijab dictate where you are going in life but instead use it as a way to show people who you truly are and what you are capable of.

“If you ever face discrimination, especially in America, you have every right to fight for equality. I find myself getting angry at bigots often but I think another piece of advice would be to educate and not attack people. The anger is not unwarranted but it’s more beneficial to spread love and awareness than to give into stereotypes of being hostile and impulsive.”


Boston Marathon

Runners near the end of the Boston Marathon course (Photo by/ Haley Bishop)

Runners near the end of the Boston Marathon course
(Photo by/ Haley Bishop)

By: Haley Bishop

On Monday, April 20th the 119th Boston Marathon took place.  The course is 26 miles long, starting in Hopkinton and ending in Boston at Copley Square.  This marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the most prestigious races.

“I have never run in the marathon before, but I hope to some day.  I would like to run for a charity so that I have a purpose when I run.  I think it is a great event for our community and I am glad so many people come out to watch every year,” said spectator Ashley Brown.

This year, the runners persevered through the cold and rain to cross the finish line.  The male winner was Ethiopian runner Lelisa Desisa, finishing with a time of 2:09:17.  The female winner was Caroline Rotich from Kenya with a time of 2:24:55. It was a close finish, as Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia finished with a time of 2:24:59.

“I think it is incredible what the elite runners are able to do. As a two time Boston Marathon runner, I know how mentally tough you have to be to make it through the difficult course and work your way through all the hills, especially in the rainy weather,” said Attleboro resident Jill Levine.

First place winners receive $150,000 in prize money, while second place winners receive $75,000 and third place winners receive $40,000.  An additional amount of $220,000 is available if new records are made, but none were this year.

The marathon is organized and managed by the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.). This year, there were more than 30,000 official participants in the Boston Marathon, including more than 5,400 participants from 86 countries outside the United States. The event raised thousands of dollars for the different charities that participated.

“I volunteer for the marathon every year.  My family stands with the Dana Farber team and we cheer on all the runners, especially the ones running for Dana Farber,” said Attleboro High School (AHS) senior Danielle Levine.

The course began on Main Street in Hopkinton and went through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, and Wellesley along Route 135.  It then continued on Route 16 and onto Commonwealth Ave in Newton.  It followed Commonwealth onto Chestnut Hill Avenue and continued onto Beacon Street.  The course went through Kenmore Square and Boylston Street, finishing near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square.

“I was glad I was able to watch the marathon this year.  I never have been before but it was a good experience and I definitely would like to go again,” said AHS senior Sarah Nordberg.

The marathon is organized into different groups that started at different times.  The mobility impaired group started at 8:50 a.m, the Push Rim wheelchair group started at 9:17 a.m, and the handcycles group started at 9:22 a.m.

“I find the wheelchair groups inspiring. They are sending a message that nothing can stop them from doing the things they want to do.  I also appreciate the military running in the marathon.  It can’t be easy with all of their heavy gear on,” said spectator Bryan Randall.

The elite runners, which are the professional runners who qualify for the event with times under 2:15:00 for males and under 2:37:00 for females, went next.  The elite women began at 9:32 a.m., and the elite men followed with wave one at 10:00 a.m.  Wave two, three and four began afterwards at 10:25 a.m., 10:50 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. respectively.

“I watch the marathon almost every year.  I always stand around the same spot and cheer on the runners.  It is exciting to see the elite runners speeding by, but I enjoy cheering on the people working hard for charities the most,” said spectator Aaron Walsh.

The race is open to everyone older than 18 who meets the qualifying standard, as well as charity runners.  In order to qualify, runners must complete a standard marathon course that is certified by an organization affiliated with the International Association of Athletics Federations, usually about 18 months before the race.  The times needed to qualify increase as ages increase.

For males, the time ranges are from three hours and five minutes, to four hours and 55 minutes, depending on the group.  For females, the ranges are from three hours and 35 minutes to five hours and twenty five minutes.

The last finisher of the race, Maickel Melamed of Venezuela, was an inspiration to many. After twenty hours of working through the downpours that continued all night, the 39-year old who suffers from muscular dystrophy crossed the finish line surrounded by his supporters around 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Most Insane Runs

Foam Glow 5K (Photo by/ Natalia Wroblewski)

Foam Glow 5K
(Photo by/ Natalia Wroblewski)

By: Natalia Wroblewski

Many new and innovative races have been created in the past few years. Runs such as The Color Run and different types of mud runs have become quite popular.

The Color Run is a unique paint event that doesn’t focus on the racers record time but more on the fun aspect of running. As runners go through the course, paint powder is thrown at them. It is known as the “Happiest 5k on the Planet.”

The Color Run website states, “We are the original paint race and have created a completely new genre of running events that continues to grow exponentially.”

The Color Run promotes healthiness and happiness and has been spread across the world coming to more than 50 countries and hosting more than 300 events just in 2014.

“I did The Color Run last year and it was awesome. I’d love to do it again,” said Attleboro High School (AHS) freshman Molly Sands.

The Color Run will be coming to Boston on May 31, 2015 at Gillette Stadium at Patriots Place. For more information, visit http://thecolorrun.com/boston/.

There are different types of mud runs such as the Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. These races are obstacle courses usually done in teams.

Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile race with 20+ challenges that includes crazy monkey bars, climbing over walls and ladders, and crawling under dirty platforms. There is no minimum or maximum for the size of teams.

Other runs use different materials to make the run more original and exciting. The Foam Glow 5K uses foam, the Slime Run dumps buckets of slime from above, and the Electric Run uses strobe lights to liven up the event.

The Foam Glow website states, “Foam Glow runners come from all different ages, shapes, sizes, and speeds. Whether you are a long term runner or a walk around the park stroller, the 3 miles of the Foam Glow 5K™ course will have you shining bright and waiting for the next run.”

“The Foam Glow was an awesome thing to do; it was messy and fun and I loved it,” said Foxboro Regional Charter School (FRCS) senior Avanna Menard. The Foam Glow was recently run in Brockton, Mass. on April 25.

Other events are holiday themed to bring in the spirit of the holiday. During Halloween, there are runs like the Halloween Hustle that have participants dress up in costumes or the Zombie Chase, which has people dressed as zombies chase the runners.

“I’m not a big runner but I did a Halloween run in Providence and I dressed up as a pirate. It was a great time,” said AHS sophomore Elizabeth Geoffroy.

Christmas themed runs have people dress up in holiday themed costumes such as Santa’s and elves. These events can be run or walked.

One very popular holiday run takes place in Los Angeles, Calif. It is known as the Christmas Run.

Their home page states, “The Christmas Run is one of the most popular running events in Los Angeles, regardless the time of year. For almost four decades it has not only remained one of the most popular local running events but has become an integral part of the Los Angeles community during the holiday season.”

Registration fees for bizarre runs like these vary from $20 to $75 per person, depending on the run and when the sign up is. If the participant signs up early they can get a discount with an “early bird special.”

Some runs coming up are The Blacklight Run, which will be coming to Mass. on Aug. 29, Color Me Rad 5K that is going to be in Boston on Aug. 1 and Providence on Aug. 29, and the Color Vibe 5K, which is coming on June 27 to Springfield, Mass.

Welcoming Susanne Breen


Speech and Language Pathologist Susanne Breen (Photo by/Keegan Douglass)

Speech and Language Pathologist Susanne Breen (Photo by/Keegan Douglass)

By: Keegan Douglass

Starting off the new school year, Attleboro High School (AHS) not only welcomes an entirely new freshman student body, but also speech and language pathologist Ms. Susanne Breen. She is located in House 3, room 342 on the left of the student entrance.

Born in Boston, Mass., Breen initially wanted to major in either nursing or teaching, but chose language therapy because it was the best of both worlds.  This form of therapy can be used in a teaching environment, a medical environment, or a combination of the two according to her.

“For years I have known that I had a passion for teaching and hospital work,” said Breen, adding, “The trouble with finding which career to go with is the actual decision process.”

Breen spent six years studying Communication Disorders at Emerson College in Boston where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communication Disorders. She completed clinical practice in the Developmental Evaluation Clinic at Children’s Hospital, Boston.

For over 30 years she worked at Brockton Public Schools, Cardinal Cushing High School in the Cambridge public schools.

She still lives in the Boston area volunteering two nights a week at The Abundant Table. A few years ago she was voted “volunteer of the year” for her diligent and dedicated work.

“I always love my work to challenge me, so that’s why I decided to come to AHS, as well as working with children privately at a horse farm with a method called Hippotherapy,” said Breen.

Hippotherapy is when a child with a speech disorder rides on the back of a horse without a blanket so that they can feel the horse’s movement, thus enhancing their nerves. Doing this helps the child with sensory and motor input, which in turn helps develop the child’s speech and communication skills.

“From what I’ve seen, this procedure works very well. I’ve never seen a case where the child remains with the same level of disability,” said Breen.

According to Daily Strength, Hippotherapy’s success percentages are anywhere from 81 percent to 100 percent, depending on how severe the child’s disability is. More information can be found at Daily Strength online.

“I have combined my passions for a job. I feel I have been able to help hundreds of children and their families by teaching them how to speak,” said Breen.

Helping people learn to communicate does not just pertain to speaking, but also the other 93 percent of nonverbal communication. Many of the autistic children she helps have trouble with greeting others appropriately, starting conversations, staying on topic, using the correct volume or tone of voice, establishing personal space and looking at someone when they’re speaking.

“AHS has been good so far, but I know that I’ll be very busy throughout the year. I have over 90 students’ IEPs (Individualized Education Program) to work with. That is the largest number of students I’ve ever had in any school environment.”

Not only will her work help the students, but it will also help their families as well. Students who couldn’t communicate in most situations will now be taught more skills, become more independent and able to function in society.

“I believe that everyone has positive aspects about them, and through my work I wish to illuminate them, making this world a better place,” said Breen.

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey (Photo/Marie Urmson)

Lana Del Rey (Photo/Marie Urmson)

By: Marie Urmson

On May 6, singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey came to the House of Blues in Boston on her 2014 tour, promoting her new album, Ultraviolence. The concert was supposed to start at 7 p.m., but was delayed until 8 due to the number of people who had to be let in and seated. The show was sold and the House of Blues was at capacity with 2,430 people.

“I had a really great time, we were really lucky because we got really good seats, kind of out of the blue,” said Katy Lum, a sophomore at Foxboro Regional Charter School. Tickets sold out within minutes when the show was announced in March. “I’m glad we got tickets when we did, they sold out really fast,” she added. The line to enter the House was around the block, it was at least a 20 minute wait.

Although it was a challenge to get in, the experience was worth the wait. “I was so happy to be there, Lana was so much better in concert than I expected,” said Lum.

The performance was very good live; Lana sang a selection of 12 of her best songs, including the radio hit “Summertime Sadness.”

Refreshments were available throughout the concert at the bar. Attendees under the age of 21 were required to have X’s drawn on their hands so they could not purchase alcohol. Even though these precautions were taken, security guards did not do much to keep people in their assigned seats. “The security was very loose after the concert started,” said Lum.

After the show was over, merchandise was available for purchase and fans could wait outside to meet and take photos with Lana. “She [Lana] was very kind to fans,” said Lum.

Bangerz Tour

Miley making her big entrance. (Photo/Angela Porrazzo)

Miley making her big entrance. (Photo/Angela Porrazzo)

By: Angela Porrazzo

On April 2, Miley Cyrus performed a show at the TD Garden as part of her Bangerz tour. It was an emotional show for Cyrus because her dog, Floyd, had recently passed away.

Senior Hannah Smith attended the concert. She said, “Loved it! Best concert I’ve ever been to.”

Every song had a new theme and different stage props, including a huge blow up dog that was put on stage during “Can’t be Tamed.” A replica of a Cadillac truck drove around the stage during “Love Money Party.”

Mount St. Charles High School senior Ally Goralski, who attended the concert, said, “I thought the show was fabulous. I waited six months for it and was more excited than ever. I also thought it was the most different concert I’ve ever been too. [It was] definitely memorable.”

Junior Emma Giddens said, “My favorite part was when Cyrus performed a cover of a Coldplay song titled ‘Scientists.’”

Cyrus released Bangerz in August of 2013. Junior Rachel Ware said, “It kind of sucked that she was crying so much and I don’t know many of her new songs, but she was very energetic and the show itself was awesome.”

The opening acts, Sky Ferreira and Icona Pop, performed for about an hour. Goralski said, “The first one was awful but Icona Pop was wicked good.”

Not only has Miley grown up physically but even more as a person. She strongly stands by her “not caring” attitude during her performances with some of the raunchy selections of clothing. “The concert represented her new personality, because she acted like she was the queen and that she didn’t care what anyone thinks of her,” said Ware.

Asked whether they preferred “New” Miley or “Old” Miley, Smith, Giddens and Goralski all agreed that the “New” Miley is just a reflection of who she has always been.

“Old Miley wasn’t really who she was,” said Giddens.

“I think she has always been the same person and she is just being more of herself now that she has grown up and figured out who she is,” added Smith.

Cyrus’s most recent show was in England on May 14. She will be touring Europe until returning to America on Aug. 1.

Body World Vitals

By: Kaitlyn Jumpe

Preserved half of a human head on display at Body Worlds Vital. (Photo/Kaitlyn Jumpe)

Preserved half of a human head on display at Body Worlds Vital. (Photo/Kaitlyn Jumpe)

The Bodies Museum moved to Faneuil Hall, Boston to showcase an extraordinary human body exhibit, Vitals. It showcased all of the important systems in the body, such as digestive, respiratory, and muscular. The displays can only be described as remarkable.

The creator of the exhibit, Gunther von Hagens, uses actual people who have died to show the majestic intricacies giving viewers a new vision about how hard bodies really work. All of the organs, tissues, and yes, people, in the museum were alive and working at one point, but with the help of preservatives these bodies have remained intact. It takes one year to fully preserve a body to go on display.

Viewers walking by the bodies see them in different positions and activities and are amazed at how many muscles are involved in even the simplest of actions. From dancing, fencing, and even playing hockey, the power and majesty put into every movement people make is beyond fascinating.

Some bodies were cut in half so the organs and cavities could be seen from multiple angles. Some organs were on display in glass cases. A few organs and limbs featured different medical conditions so the viewer could see how the condition affected the bodies underneath the skin. One example was a hand with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Along with each system, the exhibit featured these indescribable blood vessel models. Hagen managed to remove everything but the blood vessels, allowing the viewer to witness every vein and artery inside the body. The vast amount of blood vessels in the arm, kidneys, body, and face make the organs look like sculptures made of thick red netting.

In the respiratory system there were many lung samples. Some were together with the diaphragm and larynx, while others were open to view inside the lung itself. The exhibit also featured a few pairs of smoker’s lungs, which resembled scaly black rock.

The digestive system also featured a hall that showcased the average weekly grocery list from multiple countries around the world. From India to America the food products varied from fruits and vegetables to McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. It’s fascinating to see what foods different nationalities eat.

The museum includes the reproductive system and contains fragile structures so those with young children should wait until they’re a few years older. However, the Bodies Vitals exhibit was a fantastic experience and “must do” for those who are fascinated by the structural anatomy of the human body and those who can handle looking at skinned dead people.

Tickets for adult’s tickets are $22.50, children are $15.50 and seniors, college students, and military are $18.50. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.