Gymnastics Team Falls Below Radar

By Lilah Vieweg

The Arlington High School gymnastics team is often overlooked by students and teachers alike. Because their meets are rarely announced or their triumphs published, many students are totally unaware of the team’s existence.

When asked about this lack of knowledge about the gymnastics team, junior team captain Emily Smith-Kaufman replies, “I think maybe because there aren’t a lot of people who do gymnastics and because the team is really small, people don’t pay as much attention to it.”

“We are a lot better than people think we are,” says Smith-Kaufman. “ Last year, I wish people had come because we broke the school record, and we have done a lot that people don’t recognize.”

Says sophomore team member Karenna Ng, “I think what we do is pretty cool. I wish more people at AHS knew about us, because we work just as hard as the other teams.”

Sophomore team member Katja Ampe explains, “It’s an American tradition to watch football. It’s not a tradition  to watch gymnastics. I think generally more people attend the other sporting events, but also, that’s mainly because people don’t know that we have a gymnastics team.”  Unlike other sporting events at AHS, gymnastics meets are free.

“I really like the sport, because it’s physically hard, but it’s also mentally hard,” comments Ampe. “I mean, some sports are nice, but they aren’t as scary. In gymnastics, you have a four-inch wide piece of wood, four feet in the air. That is scary, and half of it is knowing that you can do it.”

Unlike other sporting events, gymnastic meets are free.

 

Chengdu Students Experience Arlington High

By Eveline Ho

Students from Chengdu, China visited Arlington High on January 24th. This event was the result of a collaboration of the two parties involved in China and Ms. Ritz at AHS. The mandarin students led the 32 visitors around for a full school day to learn about what Americans study and shed some light on our culture.

The program helps “promote an understanding between two very different cultures”, notes Ms. Yuen, the Mandarin teacher at Arlington High. The foreign exchange students are a part of the Chengdu Foreign Language School. They are the only school who are permitted to tour AHS due to the large quantity of students. They spend their vacation to come to America.

They are quite surprised when they find many differences between our schools.

“An American’s student life is more relaxing and follows their heart because they choose the courses that they’d like, but in China, we can’t actually choose the courses that we like. We must learn all the courses, nine courses a day… When I saw you guys playing the violin, I was really surprised because we don’t have these kinds of classes in China,” said Jane Kan, a Chinese foreign exchange student.

“I think that the biggest difference between China and America is that the people here have more freedom. We have to follow teachers, parents, and do homework,” voiced a male student, Sherlock Li.

These students  were quite happy to see the different foods in the cafeteria, the free time in Old Hall, and the many different classes here.

The freedom of speech in America is often taken for granted. These foreign exchange students greatly value their time in America, especially seeing the ability of students here expressing what they feel in public.

“You can’t always live in one atmosphere; you have to change and see the world. Because China and America have a lot of differences,  it is important to see where the differences are from,” said Kan.

Ruby Xu, a supervisor for the exchange students,  shared, “I think now we must get to know  the culture of the East and the West due the diversity of the world.”
This program is expected to continue. Students from China will visit every two years.

Hockey team honors Catherine Malatesta

 

unnamedBy Anna Hinkel

On Sunday, February 12, the Arlington varsity boys’ hockey team took on Hingham at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena in a game to honor Catherine Malatesta.

The game started out fast. Cully Curran, assisted by Drew Malatesta and Kevin Ouellette, scored the first goal during the first period.

Throughout the rest of the first period, through the second, and into the beginning of third, the score remained the same. Both teams were playing hard and the game was close.

Then John Piggot, with an outstanding pass from Michael Curran, scored the second goal for Arlington. The fans cheered and the stadium came alive again.

Desperate to somehow come back, Hingham pulled their goalie in favor of putting an extra player on the ice. This sealed the deal for Arlington, when Kevin Ouellette scored on an empty net, assisted by Cully Curran and Michael Curran.

At the end of the game, Drew Malatesta was named Player of the Game, chosen for his assist of Cully Curran in the first period.

Arlington finished the game with a 3-0 lead, making their record 10-0-1.

Foreign Languages Share Fun Facts

By: Juliana Bird

February is worldwide National Language Month. In honor of this, the National World Language Honors Society (NWLHS) of AHS is providing the school with fun facts about the languages.

Throughout the month, members of the NWLHS will be submitting facts about their designated language to the officers, Eleni Blanas, Sharon Lincoln, or Peter Mitri. Facts can be emailed to these officers. These facts will be read out loud over the announcements every morning during the month of February, so keep an ear out!

National World Language Honors Society President Eleni Blanas says that the purpose of the language facts is to “promote foreign languages throughout the school, and to gain knowledge of different cultures.”

Each member of the NWLHS who submits a fact about either the Latin, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Italian languages will gain points towards graduating with NWLHS credit. They will be accepting three facts per language for submission.

 

Bands Battle Saturday Night

By: Maya Pockrose

The 11th annual Battle of the Bands will be Saturday, January 28th, 2017 at 7:30pm at the Regent Theatre.

The six bands performing are Giulia and Caroline, Haley Wood & the Greater Good, Error 404, Saturn VI, Star-67, and Insight. Tickets are $15 in advance or at the door.

The STAND Club organizes the event, which is a fundraiser. The money will be donated to the  organization Save the Children.

Paul McKnight,  teacher and advisor for the STAND Club, says,“The situation in Syria and the Syrian Refugee crisis are issues on people’s minds as well as the millions of displaced people, especially kids. We want to support and recognize them this year.”

McKnight says,“We’re calling this the 11th annual event. We have done at least 11.”

To audition, bands had to fill out a form and submit a CD or links with 3 songs. There was no cost to submit audition material.

In addition to the band performances, there will be a raffle. “The Arlington businesses are very generous,” says McKnight, in their donating raffle materials.

Last year, the prizes were assembled into baskets to raffle off. This will likely be the situation this year, as well. The raffle helps to generate more money for the cause.

Each band gets 20 minutes to perform. Although there is no intermission, there will be about five minutes between each band. The event usually ends between 10:00 and 10:30pm.

For McKnight, who plays music and was in a band during high school, playing in the Battle of the Bands was the first time he got to “show [his] classmates what [he] did in [his] spare time,” in high school. For him, aside from the fundraising aspect of the event, giving bands the chance to play is the best part.

Each year, there are typically students who may never have played on such a large scale. “They’ll come up, and they’ll be really thankful,” he says. That’s the part that is “most rewarding” for McKnight..

There will be a prize for the winning band, but it has yet to be determined. A cash prize is a possibility, and, of course, “bragging rights,” says McKnight. In years past, music store gift certificates have been given as prizes.

McKnight will “very possibly” be performing at the event this year. The Educated Guests, a band comprised of AHS teachers, will “definitely be performing,” for about 10 minutes towards the end of the event.

Battle of the Bands is open to the community. Although he realizes that $15 can be a lot, McKnight stresses that the event is a fundraiser and that this year’s bands are a good bunch. It’s a family-friendly event and is open to students from other schools besides AHS.

Team Skates at Fenway

hockeyBy Anna Hinkel

On Wednesday, January 11th, the Arlington High boys’ varsity hockey team played on their biggest stage yet: Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, which had been transformed into Frozen Fenway, a massive outdoor ice rink, for the two weeks of January 3-16th.

Arlington High was selected to play against Burlington High at Frozen Fenway; they were the first public high schools that were not from Boston to be chosen.

Other teams that played from Massachusetts include the Boston Bruins, Boston University, and Boston College.

The game was meant to be for entertainment, not competition, therefore, the outcome would not affect either team’s record. This did nothing to take away the Arlington High boys’ desire to win.

Though the pressure to win wasn’t there, it was different and daunting to be under big lights and more on display than normal. Not only did they want to win for themselves, but also wanted to win to prove they could perform in a higher level stadium, not just in local indoor rinks like Arlington’s Ed Burns Arena.

Everything in a rink is controlled, the temperature and the quality of the ice, especially. One would expect the conditions at Fenway to be less than exemplary, but the ice was smooth and well-kept, despite the high 50s temperatures.

The only thing that was really affected was the depth perception of the players, which was thrown off slightly by the bright lights of the park.

At a local rink, the spectators are usually just parents and fans from the school, such as classmates and maybe people from the opposing team’s town.

At Fenway, there is a huge crowd, people from both towns and some people who just come to watch a game at Fenway. There is no home team; it’s neutral ground for both teams.

This was a change of pace, but it was also amazing for them to play at Fenway – a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The Frozen Fenway experience would not have been complete without some behind the scenes perks for the team, which they got. The team dressed in the clubhouse and went  into the visitors’ batting cage. They also viewed all the old and new framed photos.

The team came out of this with not only an incredible experience, but also with a 6-3 win.

Senior Michael Curran had one goal. Sophomores Dara Conneely, Cameron Ryan, and Joel Hanley all had one, and freshman Brendan Jones, who provided all the information for this article, scored two goals.

Vandals Destroy Property

By Claire Kitzmiller

This November, students in the Downs House were rushed out of the school because  smoke billowed out of the second floor girls’ bathroom. Vandalism has always been an issue at Arlington High School but in the past few months, it has reached a peak. Teachers’ cars have been targeted and keyed, car windows have been smashed, classrooms have been vandalized, and a bathroom has been set on fire.

A faculty member has had her car repeatedly vandalized on school grounds. Officer Porciello, the school safety officer, has reason to believe a student is causing the damage because everyday, the teacher parks her car in a new location, and still it is vandalized.

Two faculty members have even had their rear windshield windows smashed. Porciello is cautious before saying the smashing is caused by a student, because the windows were smashed on Mass Ave. He thinks it could be anyone.

When talking about the ongoing investigation of the vandalism, Porciello said, “The biggest asset is the student body, because there’s definitely more than one person who knows who’s doing it. People talk about stuff.”

Porciello says there are two ways to catch whoever is vandalizing the cars. Someone reports it to him, or someone is caught in the act. There is an ongoing investigation into the vandalism of faculty members cars, but no one has been caught yet.

When someone is caught, he/she will be charged for the penalty which is “malicious destruction of a vehicle”. The severity of the punishment is based on the cost of the damage.

The fire in the girls’ bathroom is also an ongoing investigation. The evidence shows that the fire was set on purpose. It is being considered arson, a serious offense.

When students smoke in the bathroom, they often smoke close to the stall, so they can quickly throw their cigarettes in the toilet. The fire in the bathroom originated on a piece of furniture, relatively far away from the stalls. This causes investigators to believe that the fire was started intentionally.

When asked about the investigation, Porciello said, “I’d like to ultimately catch the person/people who are responsible for doing this destruction, but at the end of the day, the number one concern is to make sure that whoever is doing it, stops doing it.”

Project lights Darkness

By Claire Kitzmiller

On January 19, 2017, at 5:30pm people all across the country will gather in and around theatres to participate in the Ghostlight Project. The Ghostlight Project is a movement across the country to bring light to the darkness.

The movement is “to make or renew a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone, regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”

A physical ghostlight, is a light, required in many theatres, that must stay on when all others lights are off, to prevent an accident in the darkness. A ghostlight provides safety and security among the darkness.

On January 19, Michael Byrne, AHS Drama teacher, invites students students to sing, read a poem or play an instrument to bring light to the darkness. This will be taking place in Byrne’s classroom.

When asked why Byrne is participating in the project, he responded, “I think it is important to have voices heard.” Byrne believes in the power and unity of having a common goal with people all across the country.

Byrne said, “It’s just this sort of statement of safety about who you are and safe to be who you are regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”

The Ghostlight Project states, “We aim to create brave spaces that will serve as lights in the coming years. We aim to activate a network of people across the country working to support vulnerable communities.”

The Project is not limited to January 19 at 5:30 pm. It is an ongoing mission, trying to accomplish equality and tolerance across the nation. This is a new project that may continue into the end.

Students Head to Cape Town

By: Eveline Ho

History department teacher Melanie Konstandakis will be the advisor for a trip to Cape Town, South Africa. The trip will take place during February break, 2017, from the 16th to 28th. Other chaperones include Mrs. Bavuso, Mr. Bavuso, Ms. Daley, and Mr. Mahoney, a geography teacher from the Ottoson.

The purpose of this trip is to “help students connect to a culture very different from their own and experience a different part of the world,” says Mrs. Konstandakis. Students will learn to develop a sense of self confidence and “inspire students to know that they can make the world a better place,”announces Mrs. Bavuso.

This trip was open to any AHS student willing to join. Students of many age groups will be attending. The total cost of the trip is $3250, and there are currently  42 participants this year.

Students will be expected to perform community service for Cape Town and do site work.

During day four, students will hike up Lion’s Head, a mountain in Cape Town with an elevation of 2,195 feet.

On day nine, the students will experience a tour of Robben Island, an island about 4.3 miles(6.9km) off the coast of Cape Town.

On their last day in Africa, before returning home, the students will go on a safari.

There will be two freshmen on this trip. The freshmen share their thoughts before the trip. “I am very excited and I am very lucky to be able to have this opportunity to see all the cultural diversity in Africa,” says Lillian Hempel. “I’m kind of nervous… we’re the only two freshmen. It’s going to be kind of dangerous, but it’s a good experience,”Lena Goodnow adds.

Africa is expected to be an interesting experience for these students! There is no room for more students this year, but the trip is anticipated to be available again in a couple of years.

Caroling Spreads Joy

By: Claire Kitzmiller

On Friday, December 23 and Thursday, December 22, Jolinda Alderuccio will take her level three french classes caroling throughout Arlington High School. She will take her A block class on Thursday and her D block class on Friday.

The classes will be singing a variety of Christmas songs and some class favorites. The students will sing a range of songs including “Rodolphe Au Petit Nez Rouge” and “Aux Champs Elysées”. The classes will sing in the main lobby, on the fourth floor of the Fusco house and on the sixth floor.

Alderuccio says she’s been taking her French classes caroling ever since she’s taught at AHS. She also took her classes caroling before she transferred from the Ottoson Middle School to AHS. It has been a tradition she has carried throughout most of her teaching career.

When asked why, she has her classes caroling, she responded, “To encourage a spirit of community within the school…to encourage a love of languages for everyone, whether they’re taking a foreign language.”

Alderuccio often gets emails from staff members thanking her for the beautiful caroling. It always inspires a good mood in the students right before winter break.

The students singing always enjoy performing for their peers. Alderuccio’s former students frequently join her to sing along with her classes.