Coping with Stress and Anxiety: You Are Not Alone

Ms. Greta Powers, Reporter-at-Large

With finals just around the corner, there is a lot of stress to be found at high schools everywhere, and CVU is no exception. Although students are salivating at the sweet realization that the school year is almost over, there can still be anxiety about final grades, schedules, and the future. This stress can quickly become overwhelming. It’s not just high school students who are feeling the pressure; parents can get caught up in stress about their children’s tests and futures, too. Not to fear though because there are specialists on just this problem that students and parents alike are facing these days.

Lynn Lyons is a nationally known expert on anxiety. She has written three books detailing how to cope with anxiety for parents and children, and has appeared on NPR, in The New York Times, and on Katie Couric’s morning show. More and more high school students are suffering from anxiety, and Lyons teaches how the large, heavy mass that is stress can be relieved.

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Author and therapist Lynn Lyons and one of her books

Lyons provided a view into why high school students are more anxious than ever. “I think it’s that this generation of parents are the post 9/11 generation and one of the things that makes children more anxious is when parents perceive the world as a dangerous place,” she states. “Since 9/11 there has been a lot more talk about danger of the world, danger about childhood, danger about adolescence, and danger of becoming of an adult,” she continues. This, of course, is true. The world can seem like an awfully dangerous place, and when parents reinforce this perilous perspective on their children, an already scary world can seem downright nightmarish.

A unique attribute of “Gen-Z” is the abundance of technology at teenagers’ fingertips. Technology at one’s demand means news, data, and facts at one’s demand, also. “Anxiety demands certainty, and with technology and social media there is this weird dichotomy of believing you can know everything ahead of time and at the same time getting too much information that is really hard to process.” Today’s teenagers are a generation in the midst of school shootings, and a confusing, controversial political environment where any sort of certainty is less achievable than ever. With heartbreaking tragedies popping up on the news frequently, it’s easy for one’s mind to be uncertain whether they are safe or not. Anxiety can creep into a constant restlessness that can translate into a lot of worries about one’s state of being.

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Maintenance Crew Gives CVU Sports Fields TLC

Ms. Sofia Dattilio

When fall and spring sports start to approach, the maintenance crew, made up of Nate Miner, Paul Hadd, Dylan Raymond and Tom Mungeon, has a big responsibility of preparing the fields for all of the games that will be played. This takes approximately half a day to accomplish.

Dan Shepardson, Director of Student Activities says, “They work 6am-3pm, so they can’t work on fields after games because it would be considered over time.”

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Paul Hadd puts the finishing touches on the lax pitch. Image by CVC staff.

Mowing, weed-eating, applying topsoil, seeding and aerating the soil are all components that go into making sure the fields are ready to go for game time. This ends up being very labor intensive for the maintenance crew.

Shepardson says, “At the beginning of the sports season, it takes longer to prepare the fields because you have to draw in the lines, but after that, it doesn’t take much to run the painter down the lines.” On average, maintenance will draw in lines twice a week.

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College Tuition: “A Never-Ending Trend Toward Absurdity”?

Ms. Greta Powers, CVC Culture Correspondent

With the recent CVU College Fair, students have the years after graduation on their minds. Questions on tests, applications, and final decisions are occurring even to 9th grader’s. A main worry is the unavoidable fact that college is expensive and getting more expensive every year. It’s well known that college will make a larger dent in one’s wallet than it used to, but just how much extra stress is being put on college students these days? According to Forbes, as of 2013, the total loan debt of students graduating from American colleges is $1 trillion. To say this is an outrageous amount of money would be an understatement. But will college ever be less expensive or are students’ tuitions on a never-ending trend toward further absurdity?

Matthew Seklecki is the Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont and has seen firsthand the effects of a large price tag on college enrollment. He explained where St. Michael’s gets its funding: “We receive the mass majority of our funding from tuition dollars and that runs our funding budget. College is costing more than it used to.” The latter is clear, but it can be hard to understand precisely why college expenses are rising.

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New Snapchat Update Doesn’t Please the Users

Mr. Zachary Hark

Snapchat users around the world are deleting and cutting back on use of the popular app due to the recent update [10.25.2.0] that occurred on February 9th, 2018.

With over 1.2 million e-signatures on Change.com, the Snap users of the world are pushing for a reverse to the update. Nic Rumsey, a Snapchat user from the UK and the petition creator, says, “There is a general level of annoyance among users and many have decided to use a VPN app, or are using other risky apps or steps, to go back to the old Snapchat, as that is how annoying this new update has become.”

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Image from WikiCommons, showing Snapchat’s global reach

“The format makes it impossible to find what you’re looking for,” says Daniella Shaw, another Snapchat user from the UK. With over 187 million daily users, the new Snapchat update is projected to go into full effect by the end of this quarter, March 31st.

According to CNN, more than 40 million users have received the update since its release. “Some analysts believe Snapchat’s update could turn off the app’s key user base of teens and young adults in their 20s,” says Kaya Yurieff, a CNN reporter and Snapchat user.

Even Kylie Jenner isn’t the biggest fan of the update. Since her tweet on Thursday announcing she wouldn’t be using the app anymore, Snapchat’s stock has lost $1.3 billion.

Finn Wheeler, a user since 2012 says, “I’m sure that all of the distress will go away within the next month or so, once we get used to [the update], but for now it’s a pain in the butt.”

As always, the distress caused by the update will dwindle as users adjust to the new features of Snapchat, but until then users will have to use (or choose not to use) what they have.

 

Editorial: We Can’t Legalize Weed – Here’s Why

Mr.  Ethan Duncan

Dear reader,

We cannot legalize marijuana in Vermont (or any other state, for that matter). It is too dangerous to us as people and as a society. The mental and physical harm that it causes is too great, it affects the lives and well-being of America’s future (kids and young adults), and the government, as it is with everything, would be ineffective in controlling the industry.  

Marijuana undeniably has some benefits, which is probably why 22.2 million people have used it in the past month in the US, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. According to Business Insider, glaucoma treatment, epileptic seizure control, and anxiety decrease, are just some of marijuana’s supposed medical benefits. However, it should not be available to the everyday person for recreational purposes because the risks of smoking weed outweigh any potential benefits.

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Image courtesy of ScubaBrett, via Flickr

First of all, the physical and mental harm that marijuana has on a person is simply crushing. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, marijuana affects brain development and impairs one’s long-term thinking ability, making it dangerous to young people, especially teenagers, who could suffer for the rest of their lives.

A study by the National Association of Sciences found that people who heavily smoked marijuana during their teenage years lost 8 IQ points on average between age 13 and age 38. Marijuana also causes breathing problems and lung irritation. The American Lung Association states that while they encourage the continued research of marijuana’s potential benefits, they caution the public against smoking marijuana and that it can cause “chronic bronchitis and marijuana smoke has been shown to injure the cell linings of the large airways, which could explain why smoking marijuana leads to symptoms such as chronic cough, phlegm production, wheeze and acute bronchitis.”

It also causes increased heart rate, which makes people more vulnerable to heart attacks. Studies also find that pregnant mothers who have smoked marijuana find their newborns have a lower birth weight on average and a greater chance of behavioral and brain development issues over time. Marijuana, according to LiveScience and the National Institute of Health, causes feelings of fear and panic, hallucinations, trouble concentrating, decreased ability to perform tasks, and decreased motivation. This is especially terrible for a nation in which people are developing a reputation of acting entitled and lazy.

Tim Trevithick, a counselor at CVU, spoke to the physical effects that he has seen in our own communities, stating that, “We have seen kids develop cases of cannabis psychosis. It used to be really rare, and now it is becoming less rare. Marijuana is highly celebrated by the pro-legalization side, but it is really one of the least understood drugs.”  

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CVU Sorting Stations Cause Confusion, which is Confusing

Ms. Sarah Clauss, CVC Environmental Correspondent

In 2013, CVU installed sorting stations in the cafeteria to separate trash, recycling, and compost. They were designed by students in EnACT (Environmental Action Club). Although all of the students currently at CVU have been using the stations since they started here, problems with sorting remain.

Grace Hemmelgarn and Tess Cloutier, the EnACT members leading the project to improve the stations and educate people about proper use, had some insights about why students have trouble knowing where to put their garbage. According to Hemmelgarn, “common mistakes include chip bags, brown salad boats, [and] wax paper.” Many of the items that confuse students come from food packaged by the cafeteria. For example, the salad containers are made from plant-based plastic, which is compostable. Since they look like typical plastic containers, however, they are often found in the recycling bin. Similarly, wax paper, which also belongs in the compost, often ends up in the trash. When a ‘batch’ of recycling or compost has an item that does not belong, the whole container is thrown away. In this way, more material ends up in landfills instead of where it belongs.

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Really, how hard can it be, people?

Since the installation of the sorting stations, EnACT has done several projects directed to improve sorting accuracy. EnACT members have conducted several “trash audits”, where students sorted waste pulled from the landfill and recycling bins to figure out commonly misplaced items. Posters were put up around the school with pictures of these items and their proper places in the stations.

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Sophomore Engage Day Offers Exercise in Activism

Ms. Alyssa Gorton

In today’s political climate, it can be difficult choosing who and what to believe. Even more difficult is standing up for your own personal convictions in a way that is peaceful, respectful, and powerful. As a 14-17 year old in Vermont, it may seem like there is little to do or to be done due to the voting age. With passion, however, there is always work to be done, especially if you have an affinity for a governmental profession. CVU’s Engage Day is an amazing opportunity to let students get involved in what they’re spirited about, and make connections within the community.

For many students, including myself, social activism is important, seeing as the environment we’ve been forced into is one of ceaseless media coverage, dividing politicians, and up until recently, the silencing of the youth. One of CVU’s workshops titled Social Activism, sparked the interest of both me and many of my friends. No matter what political party you identify with (if any), it’s easy to see that we’re in a time of division and strong opinions, but knowing how you can make a difference in your community is without a doubt empowering to you and those around you.

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Image courtesy of Alyssa Gorton

The workshop was, without a doubt, run extremely well. That was mostly due to the charisma and kind nature of the selectboard candidate Rebecca (Becca) White, who composed the workshop and interacted with those in the group in a way that was genuine and educational. One of the first things we did as a group was discuss issues that were important to us and put them up on the whiteboard to get a general feel of the room.

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Most people in this room came prepared with a variety of questions to ask about how to get involved in their community. While there are already many ways to get involved at CVU through school clubs and opportunities, some students would either like to seek a more individual approach to activism, or just go above and beyond with their community involvement.

A club new to the CVU scene, Student Justice Committee (SJC), was made with the intention to allow and commit students to seek out and change that which they deem unjust, unfair, or inane. The founders, Sydney Hicks and Asha Hickok, who also helped organize our walkout, stated that their intentions lie within “further pursuing actions based around activism, and inviting students to discuss politics in an open and safe environment,” which is a prime example of the student leadership culture founded within the walls of CVU.

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Students Sleep Out for a Cause

Ms. Elyse Martin-Smith

Have you ever imagined what it would be like if you didn’t have a home? If you didn’t have a family or a place to sleep? If you didn’t have the device you are reading this on at this very moment? Many people around the world are deprived of these simple opportunities that we take for granted. However, sometimes it is enlightening to forgo these privileges and live without them, so that we can be more empathetic to those who actually don’t have them.

The Spectrum Sleep Out was a great way to experience this in an organized manner. Spectrum is an organization that works to prevent homelessness for young adults and youth in Vermont. They have had multiple sleepouts, with some for adults, like in Burlington. This year was the first year that CVU participated in the Spectrum Sleep Out as a school.

Mia Brumstead was a leader in organizing this event at CVU. This occurred on Thursday, April 5th, at the CVU grounds from eight at night to eight in the morning. The Spectrum Sleep Out was an event where roughly 40 kids and teachers slept with tents or without tents in the 20 degree weather overnight. The purpose of the sleep out was to raise awareness and to fundraise for Spectrum, with the end goal of eventually preventing homelessness around the country.

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Mia Brumsted, a CVU sophomore, gave me some information on how she organized this event. “In the beginning of the year Mark Reidman, who’s the executive director of Spectrum came to CVU… We just started talking about how CVU has never done one before and I think that really struck me… so I thought it’s only fitting that we do one at CVU because of how inclusive our community is.”

When asked about her favorite part of the night she said, “when Mark came and brought Kathleen, who was at one point in her life homeless… but her life was completely turned around because of Spectrum, and I think listening to her talk to everyone at the Sleep Out was very meaningful and super informative.” For me, the largest takeaway from the night was also hearing Kathleen’s first hand experience. Mia then added, “I hope that even after I leave CVU that this will be a tradition… and I hope that as a community we can be more aware of the homeless community and the problems they face every day.”

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One-Act Wonders Showcase Student Directors

Ms. Greta Powers, CVC Arts Correspondent

The CVU Theatre Program’s spring performance this year was comprised of the One-Acts, a series of four short plays. The plays featured were Attack of the Moral Fuzzies, Death, 13 Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. As usual, the spring performance rotates between a full-length play and the One-Acts each year. Since last year’s spring performance was the show, Get Smart, it was time for the students to step up this year and have a go at a new experience. This is the second performance of school year with the first being the fall musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The biggest difference between the One-Acts, the fall musical, and even last year’s play is that the One-Acts were student directed.

CVU Student Directors

Photo courtesy of CVU Theatre

Instead of an adult leading a group of high school students, four experienced CVU seniors lead their peers to create the production. Brenna Comeau, Weller Henderson, Alexa Kartschoke, and Halina Vercessi-Clarke were certainly up to the task of individually directing the short plays. What was possibly the most unexpected, though, was what these four directors would experience during their time as directors.

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School Resource Officer Anthony Cambridge Builds Bridges

Mr. Logan Jipner

HINESBURG, VT – Word of a new police presence at CVU has been floating around the school community, lately. People are seeing police more often at school and are curious as to why Anthony Cambridge, CVU’s Student Resource Officer, has been making more regular appearances on school grounds lately.

Officer Cambridge stated, “I’ve actually been there more in the past year compared to the  previous years. I’ve been there more than I’d like to be.”

Cambridge comes to CVU for a variety of reasons. “It’s always something different. Sometimes it’s something stolen, an accident at or near CVU, weapons or drugs or cigarettes (violations of school policy).” In addition he says, “I go to CVU to talk about things that are going on to prevent incidents from occurring.” Cambridge comes to school when he is called to deal with policy violations, but in his current position, he also works alongside students, faculty and the school board on initiatives and training that are meant to be preventative safety measures.

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Anthony Cambridge tests out a new infrared digital thermometer. Photo courtesy of the Citizen.

At first, Officer Cambridge says he didn’t want to be the SRO for CVU. “…my relationship with the school used to be bad, but I should be familiar with the school.” Cambridge expresses that when cops are only seen as punishers, it makes it difficult to build relationships. However, when students learn to appreciate police for all they do to create a safe community, positive relationships between students and local police can become the norm.  

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Track & Field Program Sees Changes, Still Charges Ahead

Ms. Joyce Ke, CVC Correspondent

With Spring just starting, CVU is getting ready for another year of Track and Field. There are many new changes coming our way. The CVU Track and Field program has officially changed and added to the season this year with new head coaches, event captains, and rules. Another topic of interest is the weather that we have been experiencing this year. The snow that we got this past winter left the Track covered late into April, which causes the team to have to practice inside the gym. The good news is that the track was plowed early and is almost always available but. The field, however, took much longer to dry out.


This year the Track and Field coaches have announced that Scott Bliss, who is the distance and high jump coach and former head coach, has stepped down. Scott is also the coach for Cross Country which takes place in the Fall. In his place is Jessica LaPlante and King Milne are acting co-head coaches this season. Along with being a co-head coach, LaPlante is also the throwing coach and the Jv Field Hockey Coach in the Fall, and Milne is also the hurdles coach and the Nordic coach which takes place in the Winter. 

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Club Stalwarts: FBLA Manages Statewide Presence

Mr. Ethan Duncan

Future Business Leaders of America, or FBLA, is a “career and technical student organization, with a focus on business education,” according to Vermont FBLA Treasurer and CVU FBLA President Preston Webb. “What we try to do at CVU is enhance everybody’s business skills through a number of activities… it’s this cool relationship between community service, leadership activities, and collaborative activities.”

Noah Lemieux, Vermont FBLA Vice President and CVU FBLA member, added“If you are at all interested in going into business, or even just having a job, FBLA is a great thing to be a part of.”

 

“As a local officer, being president of CVU FBLA, I help facilitate our meetings, create agendas, try to make it entertaining and try to get stuff done. We’ll do stuff like business trivia and different games as well,” says Webb.

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Image thanks to the Fantastic Ms. (Carol) Fox

Webb is the president of CVU’s chapter, but several other officer positions are available besides president. Local officers help the chapter run its services in and out of school. These positions include vice president, secretary, treasurer, parliamentarian, and more. Members of FBLA are allowed to run for local office and help their local chapter, but also have a chance to participate at the state level through elections at the Vermont State FBLA conferences. Noah Lemieux was elected the 2018 Northern Vice President of Vermont’s FBLA chapter.

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