Category Archives: Opinion & Review

Got something to get off your chest, an axe to grind, or a point to sharpen? Care to engage with any of the opinions below? Please do! Get in touch with us at

unnamed (35)

CVU Student Successfully Misses All Deadlines Except One

By Vivien Sorce

A CVU student in Journalism has finally met their first news story deadline following a semester of overdue pieces.

On January 11, at 10:30 am, the Hinesburg resident known as V – a senior at CVU – officially submitted their final article for review. Previous evidence provided by their teacher, Terwillegar, reveals that they missed the deadlines of submission for every one of their four articles written in the Journalism course over the semester. The four pieces have since been turned in. This slow progress posed a serious problem for both teacher and student, as part of Journalism is meant to be reporting news in a timely fashion.

V enrolled in the Journalism course in the spring of 2022: “I mean, this will be a great fun class for me, I’ll stop procrastinating, I can write about what I’m actually interested in, maybe do some photojournalism as well. I think this subject will be a favorite.” When the course began September 2nd, it turned out that may not be the case. 

The first piece began drafting in early September. V chose to write a longer feature article on Lgbtq+ rights across the US; this was without regard to the time constraints, or difficulty of the topic. While research and the general writing of the piece was steady paced and intriguing for them, interviews and revision were “a grueling process that turned out much more difficult and long lasting than expected.” The article started According to Terwillegar, “V turned in a great article, just… about a month and a half late.”

Despite V’s interest in the topic, writing in an accelerated timeline was notedly a challenge for them: “despite how hard I tried, I kept getting stuck on where to go next with my pieces as I attempted to write fast and interview people – I kept over analyzing my pieces and not being able to finish them on time.” Within almost three months, V only completed the one extensive feature article, when weekly submissions were expected. “As much as I love the class, I don’t think Journalism is quite working for me.”

Before Thanksgiving break, a new assignment was begun. Once again, due the day before break started, the package was ideally hashed out quickly and drafted so it could be revised. V fell behind by first revising the unfinished begining before even getting interviews – the piece was not finished for another three weeks after break. According to them, the package was a fun project because they got to work with video and sound elements as well. 

At this point a change occurred: by working with a fellow classmate on the next two pieces, they were able to collaborate on a piece on the CVU Darkroom, then a feature story on the new Ceramics teacher and room. These articles were much more enjoyable for them and both were nearly finished on time.

By the end of the course, Lede paragraphs were becoming second nature and interviews much easier. Writing in a way that included no opinion or author perspective was an interesting lesson that made V “think in a different way and write as if I were the reader.”

And deadlines: deadlines were starting to be met… after all, it’s about time. 

unnamed (90)

“Hoping For Sugar” reactions

By: Taylor Rock

I asked a few staff members to read and react to my poetry book Hoping For Sugar. I have been writing my book for about a year through independent study in the Nexus program. It contains poetry regarding relationships with others that I have experienced throughout my life, and the emotions surrounding them. It is meant to be an emotional roller coaster, and to let others know that they are not alone in what they experience. 


unnamed (90)

Michelle Fongemie reading I hope you starve from Hoping For Sugar by Taylor Rock. Fongemie says, “Wow! That is a dagger straight to your chest!”

unnamed (89)

Fongemie reading Monochromatic from Hoping For Sugar by Taylor Rock.


unnamed (88)

Olivia Gatti reading from Hoping For Sugar by Taylor Rock. Gatti has been a major help with editing and inspiration for other books. 

unnamed (87)

Gatti and I talked about several ideas for Hoping For Sugar. I enjoy the passion she has for all things literature, and she portrays them well through her body language. 

unnamed (86)

As I am sure you can tell, we had a great time reading some of my work together. Gatti will continue to be one of my favorites as I move on to new books and places.


unnamed (85)

Rex McCoy has also been a large supporter of my work. He always has something to say about any kind of work that I put before him. 

unnamed (84)

McCoy is a bit camera shy; however, he graciously agreed to react to my book for me. We both could not stop laughing, and had a great time reading together. I appreciate McCoy’s cooperation and participation.



unnamed (26)

A Guide to Christmas Trees: When to Buy, How Much You’ll Pay, and Artificial trees versus Traditional

By Jocelyn Kaplan

A Christmas tree is a common centerpiece to the American Christmas experience. Getting a Christmas tree is more nuanced than it may seem, as it involves several aspects. The buyer must contemplate when to purchase the tree, the price, and whether an artificial tree or a living tree suits their needs best. 

Many Vermonters agree that the best time to obtain a tree is in the beginning of December. CVU senior Anna Arsovski agrees that anytime before December 1st is too early, “If you get your tree too early, it’ll be dead before Christmas.”

Country Living agrees with Anna, stating, “Typically, real Christmas trees last five to six weeks if they are looked after properly.” Many Vermonters follow Country Living’s advice and get their tree three weeks before Christmas. 

CVU seniors Julia Hunt and Maggie Whitman both wait until after the Thanksgiving festivities to end before getting a tree. Julia Hunt discusses how her family wants the healthiest tree for Christmas: “Most of the Christmas magic comes from the tree, and one you get too early in the season will be droopy and sad.”

While many Vermont families get their tree the second December rolls around, getting a tree is a several hour process that does not easily fit into everyone’s busy schedules. Robert Kaplan, a Vermont attorney, gets his Christmas tree two days before Christmas every year. “It’s the first real time I have off to spend several hours picking and transporting a tree. In a perfect world, I would get it early and have it up all season, but it’s not feasible for my family.”

The economic factor that comes with buying a tree is a big consideration of when families get their tree. According to Time Magazine, the busiest day to get a tree is the first Saturday of December. The weekend after Black Friday is when Christmas tree prices skyrocket.

Prices can reach as high as $80 during the first weekend of December, and fall as low as $30 right before Christmas eve. Maggie Whitman’s tree purchased from a tree farm in Huntington was $60. Robert Kaplan’s tree was only $35 on the Wednesday before Christmas last year.

If getting a cheap tree is a priority, waiting until as close to Christmas as possible would be the best option. Another financially secure option are artificial trees.

Artificial trees eliminate the hassle of buying a tree every year and worrying about the tree dying, but they are an investment. According to Consumer Reports, the average artificial tree purchased in 2019 was $104, but due to pandemic related supply chain issues the new average price for an artificial tree is $131. While artificial trees are initially expensive, the overall cost is cheaper as they are only purchased once. 

Owning an artificial tree is a less common option, but it is a very legitimate replacement to a traditional tree, along with several surprising benefits.

Lindsey Auriemma, a CVU senior, switched last year from a real tree to artificial. “I think my parents were sick of cleaning up the needles on the ground. Also we always know it’s going to fit in the house, which isn’t a guarantee with real Christmas trees. One year our tree scraped the ceiling and there was serious damage.”

Daynara Galvez, a CVU senior, has always had an artificial tree. “My mom thinks they’re prettier and also more manageable. It’s expensive initially but the investment pays off every year.”

While an artificial tree is manageable and prevents the mess a Christmas tree brings, the buying of article trees impacts small tree farm businesses. A Christmas tree farmer interviewed by the Huffington Post says, “Farmers plant millions of Christmas trees every single year, and without the business to sell them, they could lose thousands of dollars spent on the tree care.” An artificial tree may be cheaper in the long run, but it hurts the businesses around the community. 

Overall, Vermont citizens appear to get their trees early in December and while the tree is in good condition for Christmas, they have to deal with the hefty price tag. The ideal time to get a tree based on cost would be Christmas Eve, but the cheapest long-term option would be investing in an artificial tree. Getting an artificial tree does impact small businesses, so if able to buy a living tree from a Christmas tree farm that would be the best option. 

unnamed (72)

A tourist’s view of Qatari culture

By Colin Hallibuton

Recently I got the opportunity to visit Qatar for the World Cup. I was excited to see the games of course, but also to discover Qatar. Like many others, before the World Cup I had barely, if ever, heard of it. But when I got there and looked around, it was a little different to what I expected.

Qatar is an interesting nation culturally, because it has no culture. It feels middle-eastern, borrowing many traditions and ideas from its neighbours, like foods, architecture, sports, but nothing of its own. Only 8% of the 2.3 million people are Qatari, the rest being migrant workers or immigrants bringing their own cultures. The oil money has allowed it to build a shiny, but thin, veneer of cool skyscrapers and stadiums, but lurking close behind are the rows of empty apartment buildings, deserted hotels, and Lebanese restaurants. Qatar has spent the past 12 years rebranding itself and building everything around this tournament, which brought in over 1 million new visitors. The cost of focusing so heavily on what everybody thinks of you is that they forgot to focus on what they actually are. Even the national museum, while it has an impressive exterior, it only has a couple of exhibits about the nomads that used to live on that land, and where they came from.

These images are some of my favorites that capture the essence of Doha.

 unnamed (75)

One of many stray cats hangs around the new cruise ship port, built for these floating hotels used to accommodate the influx of world cup visitors

unnamed (74)

A shop owner walks through his falconry store, popular in the middle-east and the national sport of Qatar. The store is noticeably empty of customers, and full of stock.

unnamed (73)

Souq Waqif is the main market in Doha, built to emulate the traditional trading markets of the area. There are some higher end restaurants and craftspeople, although it mostly has lines of fake jewelry stores and cheap sports jerseys for tourists.

unnamed (72)

A lone camel rider passed our desert tour, riding into the sunset.

unnamed (71)

The view from the Qatar national museum, built by French architect Jean Nouvel to resemble a ‘desert rose’.


The view going into Ahmad bin Ali stadium before the USA v Wales game.
The view going into Ahmad bin Ali stadium before the USA v Wales game.


The view going into Ahmad bin Ali stadium before the USA v Wales game.


unnamed (29)

Get Moving: The Ultimate Guide to Jumpstarting Your Fitness Journey

BY Filip Popa

Getting started at the gym can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to fitness or haven’t worked out in a while. But with the right mindset and approach, you can quickly become comfortable and confident in the gym setting. As a trusted source for information on the gym and working out, I, Filip, am  a great resource to turn to. With 2 years of consistent exercise under my belt, I’ve demonstrated a dedication and commitment to fitness. I also have made good progress and learned a lot through my mistakes and advancement, showing practical experience and a deep understanding of the challenges and rewards of working out. I’m currently lifting above standards, meaning most of my lifts are 2x my bodyweight in lbs. (Squat and Deadlift), and am actively seeking out information and resources to improve my  fitness. As a 17-year-old, I am also relatable to a high schooler audience who may be interested in starting their fitness journey as I am a junior here at CVU.

First and foremost, it’s important to choose a gym that is right for you. This means finding a convenient, affordable facility and offering the equipment and amenities you need to achieve your fitness goals. Take the time to shop around and compare different gym options in your area, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and take tours before making a decision. Some examples of some decent gyms around the area are as follows:

  • Planet Fitness: This gym chain is known for its low monthly membership fee of around $10, as well as its “judgement-free zone” policy. It offers a variety of cardio and strength training equipment, as well as group fitness classes.
  • The YMCA (also known as the “Y”): The Y is a non-profit organization that focuses on community wellness. In addition to providing a wide range of fitness equipment and classes, the Y often offers additional services such as swimming pools, basketball courts, and childcare. Membership fees vary by location, usually around ~$39, but tend to be more expensive than Planet Fitness.
  • The Edge Fitness Clubs: This chain of fitness clubs offers a range of membership options, including access to multiple locations, personal training, and small group training. It also has a variety of cardio and strength training equipment, as well as group fitness classes. Membership fees tend to be more expensive than Planet Fitness usually around $14.99 per month for an Edge Red membership to $34.99 per month for an Edge Total membership, but may offer more amenities and options for those looking for a higher-end gym experience.

Ultimately, the best gym for you will depend on your individual fitness goals, budget, and preferred amenities. It’s important to do your research and consider all of your options before making a decision.

Once you’ve chosen a gym, it’s time to get started. The best way to begin is by setting specific, achievable goals for yourself. These might include losing weight, building muscle, improving your overall health, or simply feeling more energetic and confident. Write down your goals and refer to them often to keep yourself motivated and on track.

Next, create a workout plan tailored to your goals and fitness level. A great workout to start with is a full-body circuit training routine. This can be done using a combination of free weights, machines, and bodyweight exercises, and can be easily modified to suit your individual needs and abilities.

For example, a full-body circuit training workout might include the following exercises:

  • Bodyweight squats
  • Push-ups
  • Lunges
  • Bench press
  • Bent-over rows
  • Planks
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep dips

Perform each exercise for 45-60 seconds, with minimal rest in between. Complete the entire circuit 2-3 times, depending on your fitness level. This workout can be done 2-3 times per week, with at least one day of rest in between. According to Healthline, as you become more fit, you can increase the number of sets and add more challenging exercises to the circuit.

Incorporating cardio into your fitness routine is an important way to improve your cardiovascular health, boost your energy levels, and support overall health and well-being. There are many different types of cardio exercises to choose from, including running, cycling, swimming, and dancing.

When doing cardio, it’s important to find activities that you enjoy and that you can sustain for an extended period of time. It’s generally recommended to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This can be broken up into shorter sessions throughout the week.

To get the most out of your cardio workouts, it’s important to warm up before you start exercising and to cool down afterwards. This can help reduce the risk of injury and make your workouts more comfortable. It’s also important to stay hydrated and to listen to your body, taking breaks as needed.

As you become more fit, you can increase the intensity or duration of your cardio workouts to continue challenging your body and improving your fitness. It’s also a good idea to mix up your cardio routine by trying different activities to keep things interesting and prevent boredom. With a consistent cardio routine, you can enjoy the many benefits of this important type of exercise.

First, it’s important to make sure you are getting enough protein to support muscle growth and repair. Protein requirements may be higher for those engaging in strength training or other forms of resistance exercise, as these activities can cause microtears in muscle fibers that need to be repaired in order for muscles to grow stronger. Good sources of protein include lean meats, dairy products, eggs, beans, lentils, and nuts.

Carbohydrates are also an important part of a healthy diet for active individuals. Carbohydrates provide the body with energy that it can use during exercise, and they are particularly important for endurance activities like cardio. However, the amount of carbohydrates needed may vary depending on the type and intensity of exercise being performed. It may be helpful to experiment with different carbohydrate intake levels to see what works best for your individual needs.

In addition to protein and carbohydrates, it’s also important to consume a variety of other nutrients, including fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and fiber. These nutrients can help support overall health and well-being, and they can also help you feel more energized and ready to tackle your workouts.

Finally, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see instant results. Getting in shape takes time and effort, and everyone’s journey is different. Be patient, stay consistent, and trust in the process. With dedication and perseverance, you will start to see and feel the benefits of your hard work.

The length of time it takes to see results from your fitness efforts can vary depending on a number of factors, including your starting fitness level, the type and intensity of the workouts you are doing, and your diet and lifestyle habits.

In general, you may start to see some early improvements in your fitness within a few weeks of starting a consistent exercise program. These may include improvements in your endurance, strength, and flexibility. However, more noticeable changes in your appearance, such as weight loss or muscle gain, may take longer to appear.

As you continue to work out consistently, you may start to plateau, meaning that you stop making progress or see fewer improvements. This is a common occurrence and can be caused by a variety of factors, including not enough variation in your workouts or not increasing the intensity of your workouts as you become more fit.

To avoid plateaus and continue making progress, it’s important to mix up your workouts and try new activities, gradually increase the intensity of your workouts, and make sure you are fueling your body with the nutrients it needs to support your fitness efforts. It’s also important to be patient and trust in the process, as getting in shape takes time and consistent effort. With dedication and perseverance, you will start to see and feel the benefits of your hard work.

Ultimately, getting started at the gym can be intimidating, but with the right mindset and approach, you can quickly become comfortable and confident in the gym setting. Choose the right gym, set specific goals, create a personalized workout plan, pay attention to your diet and lifestyle, and be patient and consistent. With these steps, you will be on your way to achieving your fitness goals and improving your overall health and well-being.

If you’re looking to further progress your fitness knowledge, here are some things you could start looking into:

  • Progressive Overload: This refers to the concept of gradually increasing the demand on your muscles through weight training, in order to continue making progress and adaptations. In order to continue improving, you will need to progressively increase the weight, reps, or sets of your workouts over time.
  • Nutrition: Proper nutrition is essential for optimizing your training and recovery, and for supporting overall health. It’s important to pay attention to the quality and quantity of the food you eat, as well as to consider your individual needs and goals. You may want to consider seeking the guidance of a registered dietitian or a certified sports nutritionist if you are looking to take your nutrition to the next level.
  • Recovery: In addition to proper nutrition, adequate rest and recovery are also important for optimizing your training and performance. This can include getting enough sleep, using proper warm-up and cool-down techniques, and using active recovery or rest days as needed.
  • Variety: Incorporating a variety of exercises and training modalities can help to prevent boredom and keep you motivated, as well as to target different muscle groups and energy systems. This can include adding in new exercises or workouts, trying different types of equipment, or participating in group fitness classes.
  • Professional guidance: If you are looking to take your fitness to the next level and are not sure where to start, seeking the guidance of a personal trainer or coach can be helpful. They can assess your current fitness level and help you create a personalized plan to achieve your goals.

Is Cheerleading a Sport?

By: Taylor Rock

CVU–What drew me to cheerleading was the unity between peers. At cheerleading, I’m family with the people who surround me. I’m a family with the community that I cheer for and so avidly support. It is a high energy activity for me to engage myself and others in. I have cheered Freshman, Sophomore, and Senior year.

However, even as a Freshman, I was always told by peers, “You’re not an athlete because you don’t play a real sport.” That is why I asked professional coaches to answer the query of: “Is cheerleading a sport?”

Ricky McCullum, our sports and activities director here at CVU, is clear when stating that cheerleading is indeed a sport. He stated “…when people talk about sports, I’m like, that’s definitely a sport. To me it’s similar to football as far as one of the top sports that are team oriented.” Cheerleading is a larger sport than what is simply presented to crowds at rowdy events.

In order for something to be considered a sport, what must it possess? I asked the coaches this same question, and all answers were almost identical. “For me, having a goal, having work ethic, and working towards something I think makes it a sport.” McCullum states.

Rex McCoy, one of our two Esports coaches, says, “I don’t think the physical aspect is as important. I might be biased being the Esports coach, but I think that the kids I see succeeding in my group are taking away the same values that I took away from high school sports.” McCoy is the only coach who did not answer with a physical component in order to classify an activity as a sport.

From my experience, I would define a sport as a cooperative activity working toward a common goal, with some sort of strategy and competitive nature. The Oxford Languages Dictionary defines a sport as, “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment”. Oxford Dictionary defines cheerleading as “a sport involving organized cheering and dancing in support of a sports team.”

Cheerleading consists of two seasons: fall and winter. Fall cheerleading is classically known for being represented at football games, and rallying the crowd. Rahn Fleming, the varsity football coach, is one of the biggest supporters. “The primary function is to evoke energy from the crowd. There’s a lot of vocalization to it, there’s specific gymnastic and dance moves…” Fall movements consist of choreographed cheers, stunts, dancing, and tumbling. During the fall season, we tend to focus mainly on cheers and stunts, while we dabble in dance and tumbling during quarters and halftime performances.

unnamed (57)
Cleo (Left) Cailie (Center) and Jackie (right) at our CVU vs Hartford home game, 10/8/22

Winter cheerleading is a competitive season. Winter cheer is known for intense dances, stunts, and tumbling. The competitive nature makes cheering extremely time-consuming with back-to-back practices, performances, and tournaments. McCollum states, “Just watching… It’s really impressive. You have to have courage, you have to have coordination. It’s a team sport. Everyone has to be in unison. Especially when you’re doing ones where you’re throwing each other up. Catching. Got to have trust. Because any mistake can be… the last. It’s very dangerous.” It is McCullum’s first year working here at CVU, and he has been extremely supportive of our team.

unnamed (58)
A needle pose at the CVU vs Hartford game, 10/8/22

Jaden Parker, a member of the boys Varsity Volleyball and track team here at CVU, says that cheerleading is not a sport. He says, “In fall you’re cheering for a team… in winter it’s more competition based with no sports team that you’re cheering for.” I asked why he would not consider cheer a sport, and his response was “I don’t think that something you don’t compete in can be considered a sport. That is why I believe winter cheer is a sport and fall is not. Most sports don’t require another sport to be happening at the same time to be able to participate in it. And I don’t think you can compete against yourself and call that a sport.” I agreed that he has a good point with the differentiation between winter and fall cheerleading. I also agreed with the fact that competing against yourself cannot really be considered a sport. Is there such a thing as a one person sport?

I asked Will Sprigg, a variety sport player and member of our E-Hawks esports team, if cheerleading was a sport. He says, “No, it’s a hobby. You’re not going against teams. Taking two teams and comparing them against each other, there’s no actual interaction between the two teams, and it does not create a sport to compete in. It’s like looking at two videos and comparing them, and calling that a sport.” He defines that sports need real competition between two or more teams, and he does not believe that competition exists within cheerleading.

Coaches have qualified cheerleading as a sport. Some students have disagreed with that definition. The Dictionary definition of sport is debatable based on where you source your definition; however, cheerleading has filled every category given in the definitions to some degree. This includes cooperation, competition, athleticism, and spirit. I believe cheerleading is a sport, and I would consider myself an athlete. If you were in my shoes, would you think the same?

Music Technology and the Vinyl Resurgence

By Colin Halliburton

My first LP was A Night at the Opera (1975) by Queen. When I sat down to listen and enjoy the album, I understood why they are still around. Interacting with the physical versions of my favorite albums created a more in-depth experience, with more character and soul. Before I had first encountered vinyl records, I thought they were nothing more than old tech, something we had created CD’s and streaming to replace.

Music has been a constant and recurring source of entertainment throughout history, but the way music has been captured and enjoyed has changed drastically. Vinyl records were first invented and released in 1930 as a way to record and listen to music and audio outside of a live performance. This brought music and joy to many homes across the world, and that continues today. Over the decades since new technologies have been invented, and the record’s purpose has changed.

In the 90’s vinyl records experienced a sharp decline, partly because record labels/corporations became stricter with their buyback policies, which many record stores relied on to keep a rotating stock of popular items. They also stopped releasing many of their albums on vinyl, and closed some pressing plants. Many saw this as a ploy to get consumers to buy more CDs, which were more profitable for the corporations.

However since 2007, vinyl sales and general popularity have been on the rise, passing CDs once again in the first half of 2020. Almost in spite of the meteoric rise of streaming services (currently the cheapest way by far to listen to music), vinyl continues to grow. Many audiophiles or anyone else who appreciates sound quality often prefer vinyl records to digital streaming, because of the compression.

Revenues by Format (1)
Courtesy of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

They are also very popular for collecting. Many (including myself) find the artwork and physical disc of music alluring and captivating. A lot of record sleeves come with previously unseen photographs or art, and some record discs even have art on them. In a few rare cases there is vinyl exclusive music on them as well. For example on Tyler the Creator’s 2019 album IGOR (Columbia), the song BOYFRIEND is only available on vinyl, making it a more fulfilling listen.

The almost therapeutic process of sorting through record bins to find a specific album or even anything that catches my eye is addicting. It’s also just like any other collection hobby where building the collection, seeing the shelves full of your favorite albums is enough for a lot of people. The nostalgia factor is also attractive, as vinyls are a way for many to relive their memories.

The Flaming Lips’ album Heady Fwends on hand-splattered Vinyl (via

Interestingly, despite Hip-Hop/R&B being by far the most popular genre in streaming numbers (29.8% of all streams across platforms in the U.S. as of 2021, via Headphone addict) and just pop culture in general, Rock dominates the vinyl market with a staggering 41.7% of US sales as of 2018 (according to Statista). This further shows that a lot of the vinyl LP’s popularity comes from nostalgia and tradition.

For me, I have always loved music, and I think my dad fostered that love by always playing music around me and encouraging me to learn to play it. When we got a record player for Christmas a few years ago, the records really felt like a more tangible way to listen to music. To feel, see, and hold my favorite albums in front of me. Of course streaming and modern technology has its benefits of being less expensive, easier, and quicker to use, but for when you just want to really enjoy the music and have the time, I find records to be the perfect medium.

Some of my favorite albums to leave you with, along with the aforementioned IGOR, are: Gorillaz’ synth heavy statement on modern consumerism in 2010’s Plastic Beach (Warner/Parlaphone); Pink Floyd’s classic 1979 concept rock album The Wall (Columbia); the rare, limited, and sample-filled French Exit by Tv Girl in 2014 (Self); Childish Gambino’s modern soul/R&B of 2018’s “Awaken my love!” (Glassnote); the classic funk/soul of The Beginning of the End’s 1971 album Funky Nassau (Alston); and the technical jazz of Clifford Brown and Max roach on 1955’s Study in Brown (EmArcy).

From the author's collection

From left to right: Study in Brown, “Awaken my Love!”, IGOR, The Wall, and Plastic Beach

CVU Graduation at Patrick Gym, UVM

Graduation: A time of hope or fear?

By Molly Simons

This year there are 357 seniors in CVU’s graduating class. Graduation is on June 16, 2023. As a senior, I am undecided how I feel about graduating, so I decided to interview a few students in the month of September 2022, and see how they feel about what’s happening next. I interviewed 3 seniors including Bevan Roberts, 17, Jameela Memoli, 17, and Maggie Whitman, 17. I will interview them over the year to see how their feelings will change about the topic.


I sat down with Bevan to see how she felt about graduating. She said she was “excited to leave but scared to start a new chapter.” I asked her where she was going after she graduated and what she was looking forward to. She said, “I have no idea, but I am looking forward to going to college and getting a job.” When I asked,“Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” She replied, “I see myself married, hopefully I have a kid, and a house.”


I asked Jameela the same questions, but she gave an almost opposite response to each one. Regarding graduating, she said “I am very nervous about moving out and being on my own.” I then asked her where she was going and she responded with “I am applying to a few colleges but my main goal is to go to Castleton University and get my Psychology and criminology degree.” After asking her where she was going after high school and what she was looking forward to. She replied “Maybe getting an apartment in New York City and going to College parties.” When I asked her where she saw herself in 10 years she wanted to be settled down.


Lastly, I asked Maggie the same questions. She said she was “hopefully going to UVM.” I then asked what she was looking forward to and her response was different from the others. She said that she was excited for “freedom and not having to abide with certain schedules.” In 10 years, Maggie said that she was “hopefully at a job that I enjoy and living successfully!”

I will be interviewing these students later this year in the winter. I look forward to seeing how their answers will change.


First Semester Senior Year Off The Checklist 

Ava Bartlett

Time flies, huh? The countless amount of times I had been told to cherish high school while it lasted hadn’t become real to me until now. I’ve officially made it to the end of my last first semester of high school.

When I sat down to record my perspective on this somewhat-of-an-accomplishment, I froze. What was I about to reflect on? I left my desk and meandered around CVU, hoping to find inspiration in the halls I’ve spent most of my life in for the last four years… I then realized that was it. I have spent nearly 205 weeks (4,920 hours), (give or take a few days) in the halls, classrooms, and education centers of CVU each year for the past four years of my life. That excludes the time I’ve spent on my sports field and the sidelines of others. 

Every new grade year in high school felt like a different life and that has become clear as I reflect. The first day of my freshman year was hair-raising, then on the last day, I walked out of the building with a feeling of freedom and independence. And every year after that I walked in with new feelings and impressions and left that school year with another new feeling to bring with me in my next cherishable “life” at CVU. Along with these perspectives came the adventures, people, and memories that were the concrete attributes to my results of each year. Every year was a completely fresh experience and time to gain control, attentiveness, and compassion for myself and the new people and tasks I was taking on. No matter what I had pulled forward with me from my previous “life”, there were always new ingredients added to my plate and that is what gave my high school experience distinction. Each year was so distinctive, it felt like a new life. And now I am halfway through with my last life here at CVU. 

The basic aspects of life that people experience are placed in front of us in high school, providing students with the opportunity to grow and understand how we wish for them to play out in our lives. I was gifted the opportunity to create conversation, problem solve, collaborate, and learn leadership, along with a standard educational experience. It would be a typical senior statement to reflect on what I have learned in my classes here at CVU, and I don’t want to do that. I want to cherish the impact of every moment of my high school experience, small and large.

My most valuable moments of high school were the little intimate gestures I had with familiar and new faces. The simple hello’s in the hallway to my teachers and classmates turned into valuable friendships I have withheld to this day, and which have supported me and my decisions, allowing me to grow into who I am.

Every hand I’ve raised at CVU has deepened my thoughts and loudened my voice in my community, giving me the power to speak on my thoughts and interests with confidence. 

Each experience that I have taken with me these past years, I have utilized to be able to take on the biggest steps of my life so far, which I have taken in this past semester. This semester was filled with highs and lows as I began my transition into college. It may just be the beginning, but as I filled out and submitted applications, I was indeed using all of the small and large moments CVU gave me. 

I walked into this year with excitement knowing I only had one year till college, and now, with 21 weeks left till graduation, I am developing a feeling of disconnection. I know that soon I will have a slight disconnection from this place and these people once the memories from this school will no longer resonate in the building, and will only take place in my long-term memory. Time flies, huh?


unnamed (53)

Semester one done

By Dau Dau

With the semester coming to an end and the new year starting I just wanted to share my experience with the public.

The first month of school was a little rough. I was trying to get used to the 5 days a week of school, but was exhausted by Wednesday. Although it was exhausting and very different from last year I would say it was definitely worth it. Being able to get help when I don’t understand a task or need is irreplaceable. Even though I don’t really ask the teachers for help that often it was still nice to have them around. I also was still getting back in the groove of things since last year we only had 2 days of school and heck of a lot of free time. I used to come home excited, enjoying my free time, thinking about all the things I was gonna do, was I gonna go outside and hoop, watch a movie on Netflix or workout in the backyard. Now I come home with my eyes heavy and my bed is the only thing on my mind, next thing I know it’s 8pm and I have spent my whole afternoon sleeping.

Other than the fatigue, school has been pretty good the past few months. They’ve gone by pretty fast, but it’s not really a bad thing though. Since the new semester is starting I finally get some new classes.

Another thing is sports. I cannot wait to watch some of the basketball games this year. It has felt like forever since I’ve watched a basketball game in person and generally excited to watch the games this year. That’s how the semesters have been this year for me. I’ll try to write another one by the end of semester two, but I cannot promise that I won’t forget.

unnamed (49)

What should the Red Sox do this upcoming off-season?

by River Mitchell

The Boston Red Sox, who had a magical ride in 2021, finally saw their season come to an end as they lost by a final score of 5-0 to the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the 2021 ALCS. With the off-season coming up, with some big free agents hitting the market for the Red Sox, this is going to be a big off-season as they look to try to make it even further than last year. In this piece, I am going to go over what the Red Sox should do this off-season from who walks, who they re-sign, and who they snag from other teams. 

First thing they should do is let Garrett Richards and Martin Perez walk. Both were brought in one 1 year deals this off-season, to help improve the starting rotation which was abysmal the year before. While their numbers might not look great, they were big parts in getting the Red Sox to the postseason, improving that starting rotation and giving the Red Sox a chance to win each and every game. However, with Tanner Houck expected to have a big breakout year and Chris Sale returning from Tommy John surgery, both are looking to take spots in the rotation. Considering Richards and Perez were both moved to the bullpen to make space for Houck and Sale in the rotation, I don’t see a world where they are starters next season. These moves will probably save them about 15-16 Million dollars. 

Another big topic of conversation is whether the Red Sox should bring back the southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez. Eduardo had a bad year this season for the Sox, posting a 4.74 ERA (Earned Run Average), a 1.389 WHIP (Walks + Hits/Innings Pitched), and a 3.32 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) which is really the only stat that was good for him last year. He did have a few good starts in the postseason but the question still remains. He was really good in 2019 for the Red Sox, posting a 3.81 ERA in over 200 innings, but was sidelined in 2020 due to myocarditis which he contracted from having COVID. He also had a dead arm to start off the 2021 season, missing his first start. He provides value in the fact that he is gonna eat some innings in the back of the rotation, and knows what it’s like to win, being a part of the 2018 Red Sox won it all that year. Considering he had a down year that could’ve been affected by his health and a really good FIP, if given a full offseason to recover he could return to old form. If I’m the Red Sox, I would give him a 1 year prove it deal, for no more than 5-7 million. If he is commanding more than that, I would let him walk in free agency to go find a new team. He won’t have any troubles with that, as there will be teams that would love a guy like Eduardo Rodriguez. 

 In terms of the Red Sox slugger Hunter Renfroe, I think they would be fools not to bring him back. They signed Hunter Renfroe this past offseason to a 1 year deal, worth about 3.1 Million dollars, which he more than lived up to. He had a phenomenal year for the Red Sox, hitting 31 home runs, while driving in 96 runs while posting a .816 OPS (On base % + Slugging %) with a 112 OPS+ and a wRC+ (weighted runs created) at 114. While his overall fielding metrics aren’t great, he has an absolute cannon of an arn, with 16 outfield assists on the season. Overall, this is a guy that drove in runs at a high clip and was very valuable to the Red Sox both with the bat and with his arm. He was a huge reason why they made it as far as they did last season.

Next player we are going to talk about is Red Sox reliever Atam Ottavino, who I would let walk. Adam Ottavino was acquired in a rare trade with the Yankees this past off-season, with the yankees needing the clear payroll and the Red Sox needing a reliever. Adam Ottavino overall put up decent numbers, but definitely struggled a little more during the 2nd half of the season. He finished the year with a 4.21 ERA, a 1.452 WHIP which is very high, and a 3.96 FIP. He did have a very solid FIP and a decent ERA, but was super inconsistent. Sometimes he was lights out, and other times he looked absolutely lost on the mound. I think if he is willing to come back on a 1 year 2-3 million dollar deal, then I would probably bring him back. But, I think he might be commanding more money and in that case I would let him walk to go find a new team.

Next thing I would do is pick up the club option on Christian Vazquez. Vazquez in 2021 was not good offensively, but he does provide value. He led the league in innings caught in 2021 and was also still very good defensively. He did have some big hits for the Red Sox however, including a walk off homer in Game 3 of the 2021 ALDS against the Rays. He showed a lot of promise offensively in 2019 and 2020 however, hitting 23 homers in 2019, and in 2020 posting a .801 OPS and a 115 wRC+. He was on the team for the 2018 WS, he’s always great defensively, and his club option is only 7 million dollars. He could also be a really good mentor for Connor Wong, who made his major league debut last season and is looking to spend more time with the big club than he did last year. He was a piece in the Mookie Betts trade, so the Red Sox definitely see him as a very solid player.

 Next up, the Red Sox should re-sign Travis Shaw and Jose Iglesias. Both were released by their teams in the middle of the season, and were brought in to help with the Red Sox depth off the bench and provide quality at bats and give them more options. Both players have played for the Red Sox before in years past, with Shaw playing with the team in 2015 & 16, and Iglesias playing with them from 2011-2013 before getting traded to the Tigers in 2013. Shaw gives the Red Sox depth, as a left handed bat off the bench that can pinch-hit if needed and also someone that can hit homers, which he had a lot of big ones in 2021 for the Red Sox. Iglesias also gives the Red Sox depth, and will probably end up splitting time at 2nd base with Christian Arroyo. He is a great contact hitter, hitting .356 with the club in 23 games and 59 AB’s. Both love playing for the Red Sox, and would not be very expensive to bring back for another year.

Austin Davis and Hansel Robles are both interesting cases. Both were brought in at the trade deadline this season, and were both decent with the club helping out that Red Sox bullpen. Davis was traded to the Red Sox in exchange for Michael Chavis, and Robles traded to the Red Sox for minor league pitcher Alex Scherff. I think that if the price is right, I would bring them both back on 1 year deals. But, I wouldn’t want to pay them much, no more than 1-3 million dollars. But with that being said, there is a lot of good free agent relief pitching on the market. I wouldn’t be mad if either of them came back, but they are both easily replaceable. 

Now this might be the biggest talk of the town for the Red Sox this off-season. What happens with JD Martinez and Kyle Schwarber. Kyle Schwarber is a free agent this off-season, and JD Martinez can OPT out of his contract, which for this season is about 19 million dollars. There is a very good chance that JD opts out of his contract, considering that he could probably make more money if he hits free agency. However, JD Martinez really likes playing in Boston so that makes this very interesting. I think that if JD ends up opting out and finds a new team, they should definitely bring Schwarber back. But, if JD opts into his contract, then I have a feeling that Schwarber will be finding a new team. But I have a good feeling that no matter what happens, one of those guys will be suiting up in a Red Sox uniform next season.

Now this brings up why they should sign. The Red Sox are definitely in need of a starting pitcher, and could really use several bullpen arms as well. I think if there is a way that the Red Sox could sign Justin Verlander or Max Scherzer, that would be really good because they are both going to be highly sought after, arguably being the top 2 pitchers on the market this off-season. But, I don’t think that will happen because they will probably be commanding more money than the Red Sox are gonna be willing to pay them. I think 2 options for them that could be very realistic signings at more affordable costs, are Marcus Stroman and Kevin Gausman. Kevin Gausman will probably end up finishing top 5 in CY Young votes in the national league, while Stroman had a really good season posting a 3.02 ERA and a 1.145 WHIP in 179 innings. In terms of relievers, Raisel Iglesias and Kenley Jasen are both really good relievers that could give the Red Sox a lot of really high quality innings, considering they don’t have a closer at the moment. There are also some other good options, like Joe Kelly, Corey Knebel, Ryan Tepera, Kendall Graveman, Mark Melancon, and Aaron Loup. 

No matter what happens, the Red Sox are still going to be really good. Next year they are going to be looking to make it even further than they did last year, which is certainly achievable. But, they need to go out and make some moves and some trades if they want to make it as far or even further than they did last year. Because all the other teams are going to be getting better, and look to make a run at the chip as well. This also includes the highly competitive AL East, which had 4 teams with 90 with or more last season. 


unnamed (48)

What are my rankings for the top 10 shortstops?

by River Mitchell

MLB rankings can be one of the most controversial things around sports. Every ranking for every position is always going to be different, which is what makes these conversations so fun and entertaining. But today, I am going to give you my opinion on who I think are the top 10 shortstops in the MLB. So for this ranking I am going to go from 10-1, starting at 10 and working my way down to 1. Let’s get into it.

Also before getting into this, I am going to be using some more advanced statistics in this article to evaluate the rankings and the value of the players, so here are what those mean.

wRC+ → weighted Runs Created plus

DRS → Defensive Runs Saved

OPS → On base % + Slugging %

HM: Trevor Story

Story came up in 2016 just a year after the Rockies had traded franchise player Troy Tulowitzki. Considering that Tulowitzki was the face of the Rockies for so long and was their franchise player, Story filled the gap very well. Story has been one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball for the last several seasons, but last year was a down year for the Rockies slugger. He had a literal bang on average season, posting a 100 wRC+ in 2021. His defense also did decline a bit, but I don’t think that he is this kind of player. He had almost no protection in that lineup besides maybe CJ Cron, and the Rockies were not competitive at any point in the season. I do expect him to leave the Rockies, and that could potentially hurt his offensive numbers playing outside of Coors. That’s why I’m leaving out of the top 10, but I still think he is going to be a very solid player wherever he goes this offseason. 

HM: Javier Baez

Javier Baez was one of the most beloved players on the Cubs when he was there, helping his team win a WS and being a very solid player for years to come. However, he has always had a massive flaw in his game which is his plate discipline. However, when he got traded to the Mets his plate discipline improved drastically in the 47 games with the club. He has always been a wizard with the glove and has a lot of power in that bat, so he does provide value. He recently just inked a massive deal with the Detroit Tigers, signing for 6 years, $140,000,000. If he can perform how he did on the Mets this past year for a full season, this could be the steal of the offseason. 


  1. Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson has been in the league since 2016, but to start his career was not that good especially with the bat. But since 2019, Tim Anderson has been a really good player for the White Sox. He has had a wRC+ above 120 the last 3 seasons, with him posting a 141 wRC+ in the shortened 2020 season. He also is a guy that consistently has a batting average over .300, and even won the batting title in 2019. He even has improved his defense a little bit, with a 2 DRS in 2020 and a 3 DRS in 2021. Overall Tim Anderson is a very solid player with no really big holes in his game, which puts him at number 10.


  1. Bo Bichette

Bo Bichette got called up in 2019 later on in the year, to at the time a struggling Toronto Blue Jays squad. As soon as Bichette came up to the MLB level, he started absolutely raking at the plate. He has had very similar offensive numbers to Tim Anderson, posting no lower than a 120 wRC+ in any of his 3 seasons. I’d maybe just give a slight edge to him defensively, but both very close. I don’t think you’re necessarily wrong if you put Bichette over Anderson, but I think that Bichette has a higher ceiling than Andeson, so I’ll put him at 9.

  1. Wander Franco

Wander Franco might be one of the greatest prospects that the game has ever seen. Before this year, Wander Franco was ranked as the #1 overall prospect in 2021, and got called up only a few months after the season started. He started off pretty slow, but as the season went on he started to show everyone why he’s the best prospect in baseball. He posted a 127 wRC+, had a .810 OPS, and is very good defensively. He can’t go up any further for me because he’s only played 70 career games, but the sky’s the limit for this guy and will be a stud for a long time to come.


  1. Brandon Crawford

Brandon Crawford has been a stalwart at shortstop for the Giants, coming up with them in 2011. He has been there for 2 World Series, and has always been a really good defensive shortstop. Towards the front part of his career was very good offensively, but the past few years his offense has declined quite a bit. But last year he had a renaissance to his career, posting a .895 OPS and a 139 wRC+. He also had a 6 DRS in 2021, being one of the best shortstops in baseball this season. He is going to be 35 next season so I’m not too sure if he will put up the same numbers, but he definitely deserves to be in the top 10 here at #7.


  1. Francisco Lindor

Francisco Lindor has had a very interesting season. He started off the season not good, having an abysmal first 2 or so months. But since then, his offense has vastly improved, being a really good player for the Mets. The thing with Lindor is that he is nasty defensively and when he was with the Indians was arguably the best offensive shortstop as well. In 2020 in the shortened season he had a 104 wRC+ and in 2021 had a 103 wRC+. Mix that with the fact that he has a career 42 DRS, this makes him the 6th best shortstop in baseball.


  1. Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts got called up with the Red Sox in 2013, winning the World Series with the team and is currently the longest tenured member of the Red Sox. When he was first called up he struggled a little bit with the bat, but he really turned that around in 2016 and moved forward. Bogaerts might be one of the most well rounded hitters in all of baseball, as he has the unique ability to hit for power and contact at the same time. This is a guy that has 30 homerun power, can hit over .300, drive in 100 RBIs, and consistently hits for an wRC+ in the 130’s. His defense is far from perfect, as it is not very good. But when you hit like Bogaerts does, you are ok with the below average defense because his bat is just that good. 


  1. Corey Seager

Corey Seager came up with the Dodgers in 2015, and immediately put the league on notice with a really good run in 27 games that season. Ever since then he has continued to put up really good offensive numbers year in and year out. His average career wRC+ is 132, which is very high. He is a left handed bat that has pop, can hit for a decent average, and has had a lot of postseason success in his career. He is also ok defensively, as he is not elite but won’t cost you really any runs either. He has all the talent in the world, which is why the Rangers gave him a 10 year, $325,000,000 contract.


  1. Trea Turner

Trea Turner might be the most underrated player in baseball. Since coming up with the Nationals he has been a really good hitter, minus his 1st season in 2015. Trea Turner is not only phenomenal defensively, but he might be one of the best offensive shortstops as well. In the shortened season in 2020, he had a 158 wRC+ and a .982 OPS and a 142 wRC+ with a .911 OPS in 2021 split between the Nationals and Dodgers. He has always been good offensively but it wasn’t until just recently that he really took his game to the next level. He can also fly around the bases with 203 career stolen bases. He deserves a lot more credit than he gets, and is the 3rd best shortstop in baseball.


  1. Carlos Correa

Carlos Correa was drafted with the 1st overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft, drafting him with the expectations of being a super star. Well looking back at it now we can certainly confirm that the Astros made a phenomenal pick. Correa has been one of the most polarizing and controversial players for several years now, with the news breaking in 2019 about the Astros cheating scandal, which helped them win the 2017 World Series. However, any controversy around Correa has not been with his play. Whether you like him or don’t like him, he is one of the most talented players in baseball currently. His elite hitting abilities with his really good defense makes him one of the most intimidating players in baseball to pitch to. He’s so incredibly good, but there is 1 player better than him.


  1. Fernando Tatis Jr

If you are a die hard baseball fan like myself, it should be extremely obvious why Fernando Tatis Jr is the best shortstop in baseball. Since he made his MLB debut in 2019, he has been one of the most electrifying and outstanding players in all of the MLB. Tatis is a guy that can hit 40 home runs a year, have an OPS over 1.000, and has had a above 150 wRC+ in all of the seasons he has played. Those numbers are absolutely phenomenal. The only thing to improve for Tatis is that he did make a lot of throwing errors last season, but he was dealing with a not so great shoulder for the entire season. He is without a doubt the best shortstop in baseball, and he is one of the bright young stars of the game. Not to mention his glove is also phenomenal as well.

unnamed (46)

being an exchange student 

by Méline Palkovic

When my sister started talking about it, I knew right away that I would want to go, that I would want to be an exchange student. When I really think about it I’m not really sure why I decided to go; when people ask me even today I say that I wanted to discover a new country, a culture, sports, another language that I could speak fluently and also some change, something new that stands out from the everyday. But on the other side I just knew that this is what I wanted to do.

Before being able to leave, there are many steps: finding an association (unless you are leaving privately), creating your profile to find a host family, the documents to obtain the visa, the meetings preparation,… All of this requires preparation.  

Then, when the departure gets closer, we start to say goodbye to the people of our family until the real departure where in general we say goodbye to our parents. For me it was the hardest step before the trip. It’s something to say that you will not see your family again for almost a year. And also to leave his country for so long. I live in Switzerland, in Geneva, and I personally love the place where I live. Geneva is not too big a city, it’s not too crowded but there is a lot to do. There are the “rues basses” especially frequented for shopping, the different restaurants for all tastes, the jet d’eau, the old town and the numerous buildings and museums like for example the one of the red cross,… It’s my Home. 

Then, the departure, the trip, the arrival and the first meeting with our host family and our “new home”. I was excited to live in a new place and have a new bedroom. At the beginning I learned to know my “new family”, their habits, the activities during the weekends and the week… At first it’s a little “weird”. I remember when I arrived. My flights had been changed and I arrived at midnight. I was tired and a little lost, although Burlington airport is very small. And I saw them far away. They had made a sign with “Welcome Méline” written on it. We had two zoom before, but this was the first time I met them in real life. I was a bit stressed but it went really well. I was shy but after a time we got to know each other. At the beginning, literally you live with strangers but little by little they start to become a second family for you.

Many other exchange students told me that during the Christmas period it would be particularly difficult because for many people Christmas is an event that gathers all the family and where they spend time together. This is not my case. For me, so far it was very hard at the beginning, before starting school. Then, I started to do more things like going out with my host sister’s friends, going for walks, visiting my new city… ; now I am busy during most of the day with school and sports. It’s always hard at times, but it will get better.

One thing that helps me when it’s hard and I miss my family is to think about how lucky I am to be here and to be able to discover and do things that I’ve never done. I celebrated Thanksgiving, I’m going to spend Christmas in Arizona, skating on frozen lakes,… I also strongly advise new people in general to do sports. When you’re in a team it allows you to meet people easily. You integrate on the team, you make friends and it’s good for your health :)

I think being an exchange student is a unique experience. Everything you learn, whether it’s about the country you discover and the culture, the country, the language, the fact that you grow enormously in your autonomy, your way of thinking… I don’t hide from you that it’s hard (more or less depending on the person) and I think you have to admit it, it’s normal. But overcoming this difficulty makes you stronger. So if you’ve always wanted to go abroad for an exchange year but you’re not sure, you have doubts, you’re… Do it! 

Some pictures…

unnamed (45)

Some pumpkins we made on Halloween. It was really fun to make. It took me about 3 1/2 hours to make it. Mine is on the small table, it’s two characters from a comic book. 

unnamed (46)

Back in the summer, it had only been a few days since I arrived in the US and it was very hard. Tess (my host sister) suggested that I come to the lake to swim because one of her friends has a boat. It was so nice. In the picture from left to right there is Sophia, Sabina, Me and Tess. Today we all play on the same ice hockey team :)

unnamed (47)

A few days during the Thanksgiving vacation we went to Maine. In the picture you can see the lighthouse overlooking the ocean. We visited and ate sushi, it was great!



Vermont Fall Activities

By Vivienne Babbott

The end to summer in Vermont is always bittersweet. Yet as the leaves shift to their signature red, many Vermonters look forward to Halloween and the classic fall activities that accompany it, especially after a year in lockdown with few celebrations.

If you´re looking for a sweet treat, Shelburne Sugarworks offers delicious pure maple syrup, maple candies, and a variety of handcrafted maple ice creams. This includes a seasonal favorite, maple pumpkin cheesecake flavor.

Whitcomb’s land of pumpkins is known for their usual assortment of pumpkins and gourds, however their pumpkins are sold out for this year. However there is still an impressive 4 acre corn maze, which is open to the public from 10-5 on the weekends. To complete the maze, you will come across checkpoints, and learn about the pumpkin-growing process along the way. How fast do you think you can do it? 

unnamed (1)

Photo courtesy of Whitcomb´s 

Though most orchards are closed for the season, Yates Family Orchard is one of the few apple orchards still selling fresh fruit! Stop by their stand in Monkton to get your apples, cider donuts, pies, Dreamees, and treats while they last! Yates Orchard is open from 9:30-5:30 every day, up until October 31st! Get your apples while they last!

Speaking of October 31st, if you wanted to get spooky this Halloween, Nightmare Vermont was the place to be! This year they offered a scare-maze with actors & animatronics, as well as a narrative walk through performance, with vendors and live entertainment in the lobby. Nightmare Vermont also focuses on charity work, and donated $32,000 this year alone. All the more reason to go next year!

unnamed (2)

Photo Courtesy of Nightmare Vermont

Vermont Veteran Suicide Rate Highest in Country

By Mia Kenney

HINESBURG VT. – Veterans are the people who protect our country from war, terrorism…the “real world”. But this responsibility comes with a lot of baggage, including PTSD, brain trauma, anxiety and an abundance of lost relationships and emotions. This trauma is one of the biggest reasons Vermont’s suicide rate in veterans is so high. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, the rate is about 56.8 people out of 100,000 people, which puts the state’s rate at about 88.7% higher than the national average.

According to, PTSD is something that keeps people’s brains in high alert mode. It makes their brain constantly send out distress signals when something triggers it. Triggers can include smells, sounds, sights, and even thoughts. These triggers can make people lash out, have panic attacks, become violent; they could just start to feel sad or scared. People with PTSD tend to have a hard time creating new relationships and keeping old ones, too; they also tend to have marital problems.

Technical Sergeant (TSgt) Jake Kenney is in the Air National Guard. He has served in the Guard for about 12 years and has been full time at the guard for about a year and a half. He has a wife and 4 kids and lives on a farm with lots of animals.  He said he comes from “…a culture that started from farmers. They don’t like asking for help. They’re stubborn, they think they’re fine and they can handle it on their own.” The problem is that they don’t talk about their problems and sometimes they just can’t express their feelings due to PTSD. And when they have marital problems, they lose that support system and connection. 


Sometimes, when veterans lose their support systems they turn to places like The Wounded Warrior Project, which is an online program where veterans can get counseling, therapy, and funds. They also can go to Josh’s House in Colchester, an organization where veterans can go and play videogames, exercise and most importantly they can go there and get the support from other veterans who know and understand what they are going through. These are both places that can get help, but they are mostly volunteer places, they don’t get money from the state to help.

So what does the state do to help our veterans? In the words of TSgt Jake Kenney, “V.A. clinics are bogged down slow and inefficient, they’re underfunded and they’re unable to provide the help tha veterans need.” According to Veterans like Kenney, the state isn’t putting enough money towards veterans and suicide prevention and that is one of the reasons Vermont’s numbers have been getting worse since 2005. 

“Check in with your local veteran that you seen the store; just saying hi can sometimes change their aspect”, says TSgt Kenney. There are many ways to help veterans that sometimes help more than a donation. Volunteering at places like Josh’s house, and just going and visiting them can change their lives.


On Sunday October 17th, I volunteered for Josh’s House at a UVM soccer game. I sat at a table and tent, passing out information cards alongside collecting donations for the Josh Pallotta Fund. While doing this I noticed that many people didn’t know or understand how bad this problem is, or that it is even a problem at all. 

Should the burden be on just the military to support their soldiers and veterans, or is this a community-wide issue?

We would like to hear your thoughts on this topic! Email

Reporter's notebook

What does it mean to be a CVU Journalist?

By: Phoebe Henderson

HINESBURG, VT– As a Junior at Champlain Valley Union High School, I wasn’t sure what to expect when joining the group of journalists for my last quarter of the year. I had little to no knowledge about what it meant to be a journalist. After completing my Creative Writing class second quarter, I learned that I have a passion for writing stories and poems. This influenced my decision to join the Journalism class taught by Amanda Terwillegar. 

My experience this year gave me the chance to dig deeper into the world of local news. I have never been one to read the newspaper or watch the news, but becoming a journalist has opened up new opportunities and experiences for me. Personally, I wouldn’t have normally chosen a writing class that involves interviewing people outside of the classroom, but doing so has taught me to speak up and become more involved with our local community.

An average day in Journalism consisted of first reading the news and sharing out amongst the class some of the top headlines from breaking news websites such as BBC, CNN, VTdigger, etc. Then we moved into editing our individual stories.

There are many different forms of journalism that we worked with, such as investigative journalism, where journalists dive deep into a certain topic, researching and interviewing different ideas (these pieces tend to be longer). A roll-in piece is a film that includes main footage of a specific topic, along with a voice over explaining what’s happening in the short video which we then sent over to the CVU Show. “Hard news” refers to breaking news and is normally a much shorter and very relevant piece. Lastly, feature articles tell you what you want to know; they take you behind the scenes and explain everything in much more depth and greater length. I worked mostly with feature and hard news pieces.   

As you know, Covid has played a major role in our education system this year. School schedules were shifted and classes were cut in half. Meaning that I was only able to experience Journalism in half a semester. Although we were cut short with time,  we made the best of it and ended up receiving a lot of consistent news regarding the pandemic that then got turned into pieces.

All of our pieces go through editing and revising once completed. Then they either get posted on the CVU Chronicle, which can be found on the CVU website, or are passed onto the CVU show!

If you are interested in writing or even just need another English credit, I highly recommend joining Journalism. It gives you a new perspective on writing and can open up new opportunities of learning filled with great experiences!


What CVU has Learned About Covid-19

Kobey Pecor

HINESBURG, VT–I was reading a Vox news article about how the Pandemic has affected the United States and this one line struck me: “America has an opportunity to learn from its mistakes during the Covid-19 pandemic.” So, I was interested and I wanted to connect this back to my community and my school and get their point of view on how Covid has affected CVU.

I spoke with two teachers, Tim Wile (Lead Counselor) and Rahn Fleming (Director of Learning Center)  about the strengths and weaknesses of COVID-19 on CVU. 

Both Fleming and Wile both gave me similar responses to questions. They both very much value relationships  in their lives, especially what they do as their jobs.  Communication and Relationships seemed to be the heart of the conversation.

I asked, “What would you do differently to prepare for the next pandemic?”

“The first word that comes to mind is communication, Having new ideas brought up on the fly. Generating, Decimating, and following up on new   information,” said Fleming.

I asked what CVU has learned about COVID-19, and this is where relationships between students and teachers became valuable. Wile said,  “I think relationships for students and teachers have been very valuable this year, only being able to see each other 2 days a week.” Fleming also said something similar to this. “Looking out for each other, taking the 1 on 1 conversations between students and staff to heart.” The CVU community values relationships, teachers love their jobs here because of the student connection between everyone.

CVU has done numerous amounts of positive things during this pandemic. Both Wile and Fleming came up with multiple responses to the question What CVU has done well during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Wile, our Lead Counselor, focused a lot on how well he thinks the CVU community did on creating a schedule that provides students that come in 2 days a week with either Cohort A or B with the learning that is needed. They coped with the fact that not all students are provided with good Wifi or cellular data to access their asynchronous learning at home, but they figured out ways to make it work. Wile quoted “I think the way CVU set up our schedule was very helpful and productive this year, our focus on student well being and content this year was quite good. Going onto a 4v4 schedule made a big difference for students and staff.”

Fleming, The Director of the Learning Center, didn’t have the same view as Wile on what CVU has done well during the pandemic, but he still had positives! If you knew Rahn, he absolutely loves students and working with anyone. Fleming said, “I really think we did a great job at patience and coming up with answers on the fly.” Fleming also spoke about how teachers are taking the time to connect and see students for extra help and just seeing them, because only coming to school 2 days a week isn’t much time. 



Jobs and Summer Activities for Students!

By Erin Fina

HINESBURG, VT–This school year is quickly coming to an end and summer activities are quickly approaching! This summer there are plenty of events for students to get involved in for credit and for non-credit interest based activities through CVU, UVM, and a list of Summer Jobs!


For all in-coming 9th grade students:

You have the opportunity to attend the classic CVU Summer Camp! This is open to all 9th graders and is known to help with a positive transition from middle school to high school. There are 2 sessions (with the option of attending both), with Session A the weeks of July 5 and July 12, 2021 and Session B, weeks of July 19 and July 26, 2021. Students have the opportunity to pick one of the following interesting areas to explore in the camp, such as Outdoor Recreation,  Exploring the Arts, and Into the Wild. This is an outstanding opportunity for upcoming highschoolers to get to know their peers from other schools, explore the CVU building, participate in interest based activities and have a ton of fun! Rising 9th graders can sign up HERE and contact Rick Kinsman,, with any questions. 

For ALL CVU Students:

There are FREE summer course offerings that will be hosted by CVU over the summer! YOU can receive CVU credit for the completion of the following courses! Some of the many courses range from Writing Prose and Creative Writing to Public Speaking and Anatomy & Physiology to The Oceans and You, among others. Students are able to earn CVU credit for completion of the course, with many earning up to .5 for the subject area. Dates and times vary from course to course, but you can find all of the courses and more information HERE and fill out THIS ONLINE FORM if you are interested. Email Monica Carter for additional information,

For ALL CVU Students:

Interested in an interest based workshop this summer? CVU is hosting many workshops for students looking to keep busy over the summer! Workshops range from Computer Programming to Abenaki Culture and Heritage to Paint and Poetry to a Vermont Adventure Week and many more, all free of charge! You cannot earn CVU credit for these courses, but it is a great way to connect with peers, teachers and staff, explore interest- based fields and have fun after such a long, isolated past year. You can find all of the workshops listed here (scroll down to the CVU Workshops) HERE and fill out THIS ONLINE FORM if you are interested in any of the workshops. Contact Monica Carter for any additional information,


Attention CVU Students! You are able to register for UVM Pre-College Courses for the Summer 2021 and the Fall 2021. Most courses are fully-online, but courses like Chemistry will be taught from a Hybrid Learning approach. You are able to receive college credit for the completion of these courses. Additional information can be found HERE and please don’t hesitate to contact your House Counselor about any additional information. 



*These are some local businesses that are looking to hire potential employees. Age limitations, work experience, job positions needs, etc at specific locations might vary from business to business. Contact businesses directly for any questions and concerns. 


In need of a Summer job? Like working with children?  Part-2 is the perfect place for you! Part-2 is hiring teens like you for preschool and school-aged summer camp positions, at their 8 locations around Chittenden County, such as Shelburne, Williston (Allen Brook School), Montpelier, Richmond, among others. You can apply HERE and Inquire within their website, for additional information. 


SWEET ROOTS FARMS (formerly Charlotte Berry)-CHARLOTTE

Need a summer job? Former Charlotte Berry Farm, located just off of Route 7 in Charlotte, newly named Sweet Roots Farms is hiring for summer positions for 2021! Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, creemees, baked goods and more, Sweet Roots is a great place for a hard-working, berry- lover! Please email for more information.



Delicious pizza, salads, calzones, pasta and more, right in the heart of the Shelburne Village! Located just across from the Shelburne Supermarket and right next to Aubuchon Hardware, Cucina Antica offers delicious Italian Cuisine. They are hiring now for positions including Servers, Counter/Phones, Dish, Kitchen. Some experience is preferred, but not necessary. APPLY NOW AT



Located in the Maple Tree Place in Williston, Agave is a delicious Mexican restaurant specializing in Mexican-inspired food and drinks! They are short on staff and looking for students like you to join their team. Inquire on their website via the Contact Form, for job opportunities. 



As of September 24th, 2021, the Williston Healthy Living was officially opened and ready for business! They are looking to hire passionate and hard-working people to join their team, through paid positions such as Dishwashing, Cashier, among others. Visit for more information or inquire within at 129 Market St. Williston, VT 05495.



Trader Joe’s is looking for passionate, hard-working and welcoming employees to join their business in helping to create a warm and friendly shopping experience, as members of their “Crew” team. Duties include Working on teams to accomplish goals, Operating the cash register in a fun and efficient manner, Bagging groceries with care, Stocking shelves, Creating signage to inform and delight customers, Helping customers find their favorite products, among other things. If you are interested in becoming part of the Trader Joe’s Crew, inquire within the South Burlington location (200 Dorset St, South Burlington, VT 05403) or apply at Must be at least 16-years old.



Lantman’s Market; a locally owned quality market since 1925, located in the heart of Hinesburg is hiring NOW for cashiers, stock floor workers, deli personnel who are “available weekends, evenings and/or daytimes.” Potential employees should be “reliable and enthusiastic to provide friendly customer service to our community” and if this sounds like you, apply today via Age limitations for some departments range for 18+, but also in need for teen positions. Apply Today!



Wake Robin is a retirement community, located just beyond the Shelburne Museum. They are looking for people who demonstrate strong customer service skills and a desire to work with an active population of seniors, and if this sounds like you, apply today! They are looking for Cooking, Cleaning and Wait Staff among others. Apply at or Inquire within


Asha Reviews CVU Musicmakers

 Ms. Asha Hickok

It’s no secret that quarantine has brought out the creativity within many people. Our CVU community is no exception to this. Across all four grades, the silence of the halls of CVU has been replaced with the music of students. Across SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify and more, CVU students have released music to keep our spirits up. 

  In early April, CVU Junior Ezra Brown released his first official EP, Third Block Saved My Life. Filled with a unique but joyful blend of songs, Brown’s music has a distinctly indie pop sound to it, with lyrics that appeal to the core emotions of many teenagers. Brown’s EP has five total songs on it. The songs range from speaking to the melancholic loneliness that can be felt even when one is surrounded by their closest friends, teenage love, pure joy, the vulnerability of being honest with another human, and longing. The songs range from slow and dreamy to upbeat and dance-inducing. Overall, the EP has professional production quality and should definitely make space on your late night driving playlist. Check out Brown’s most recent single, Plants, out now.

musician 3 musician 2 musician 1

  No stranger to the local music scene, senior Isaac Goldman has been a trailblazer as a CVU singer-songwriter. While Goldman started by playing lead guitar for The Fonies, a band made up of all CVU students, quarantine has inspired Goldman to release his own music on Soundcloud. Goldman has four total songs released. While the songs have a simple and honest sound to them, the lyrics are poetic and thought-provoking. Most songs are guitar focused with reverb-heavy vocals, although a few tracks feature percussion and even piano. Goldman’s music is perfect for a night of relaxing and reflecting. Feel like this isn’t enough? Don’t worry! Goldman has more music on the way, so keep an eye out.

 If you’re looking to venture into a more heavy and less meditative genre, Grayson Moore began releasing originals and covers on his Soundcloud. Moore is a newcomer to the CVU music scene but not to making music. He first released a short, guitar instrumental that showed off his technical skills. It could easily be described as short and sweet. He then released a stand out piece called Satisfied?. With heavy guitar track and raw vocals, Moore emphasizes heartache and pain with this grunge-esque single. Moore’s music would be most fitting when you’re feeling particularly  scorned by life and all it’s thrown at you recently.

 These three musicians are just the tip of the iceberg. While these three have been advertised on social media, there’s bound to be more local CVU musicians out there releasing music to fit your every mood.








Opinion: Take Time to Escape the Pandemic

 Mr. Calvin Lord

When this pandemic first struck, there was an adjustment period of sorts. We all gathered our things, made sure our support systems were ready, and frantically tried to learn all of the safety measures that were so suddenly necessary to accomplish simple things, like going to the grocery store. But after a month or so, things started to fall into patterns. Coping methods became second nature. The new way of life that had felt so unreal began to feel habitual.

Now, a whole two months later, we’re all settling in for what looks like the long haul. The news and the government tip side to side, trying to provide us with hope and comfort without allowing us to put ourselves in danger. 

We’re able to see each other’s faces now, the top halves of them, at least. There are still heavy restrictions on social congregation, and this is, unfortunately, shaping up to be one of the longer-term effects of the virus. Many people, like myself, have surely taken up new hobbies and pastimes by now, to fill the solitude in their lives.



It’s hard though, to ignore that lonely melancholy. Sometimes it just can’t be pushed down. When that happens, and this might seem counterintuitive, the best thing one can do is to bask in it. Find ways to bring it out and feel it through. One of those ways is exploration. Exploring your town, county, or local roads is one of the few ways to get out of your house and move without putting anyone else in danger. And it can have fantastic psychological effects.

It’s common knowledge, at this point, that going for walks can help you clear your head, and get your brain moving. But what about finding a pretty corner of the woods? When was the last time you had that childish sense of adventure awakened in you, that vison of the world that bends to your imagination, carving paths and stories around you as you walk and climb? It is a wonder that is so easy to forget.

 I assure you, it is equally easy to bring back. Everyone’s got that one road they always thought was so pretty but never walked down, or that cool path into the nearby woods with a bramble and weeds barring the way.

Go down that road. Let the little subtle world surround you, and breathe. You’ll find yourself in a place where it’s okay to be alone, even lonely, without it feeling so shocking, scary, or utterly fundamentally wrong. By introducing yourself to somewhere entirely new, you can break the painful cycle we’re all drowning in. You’ll find it’s easier to be in the moment, and stop thinking about the world and the future.

Some would call this escapism. And yeah, that’s exactly what it is. A little bit of escapism is okay right now. We have to get away from this pandemic, in whatever ways we can, to stay human. It’s not like the virus is something we can exactly rise up to and face head on, not any more than we’re already doing by just staying home all day. 

So, go for a walk. Escape with me.


Opinion: Students Should Know their Choices at the Polls

Ms. Julia Grant

With the election looming 11 months away, people are tuning in to process the candidates and score them on various topics they care about. 

CVU has a large number of students who will be eligible to vote in this upcoming election, and many of them are looking for a candidate they can stand behind.



The options are becoming slimmer, as the past few weeks have brought the end of the campaign trail for many hopeful Democratic presidential candidates including Kamala Harris, Steve Bullock, and Beto O’Rourke. Among the many reasons for dropping out, these candidates have mostly blamed financial shortages or lack of support substantial enough to keep them in the race.

As the candidate pool narrows, it becomes more imperative that new voters remain informed on the remaining candidates as Election Day approaches rapidly. A better understanding of who’s running for candidacy and their stances on important issues is the best way we as young voters can make an informed decision and fight against political apathy. 

A poll conducted by the Washington Post surveyed young voters (ages 18-34) on the issues that are most important to them and the issues that will get them to the polls. The poll results showed that stances on social justice issues such as environmental issues, reproductive rights, and gun policy are most likely to persuade young voters to get out to the polls and vote for a certain candidate. 

Continue reading

Opinion: Climate Change Will Alter Our Children’s Futures

Ms. Elyse Martin-Smith, CVC Editor

Could you imagine the devastating effects of having your home destroyed by flooding or a powerful hurricane? Could you imagine constant heat waves, like in Vermont where they are used to skiing the snowy slopes? Could you imagine getting only so much water per person, per day, because your supply is drastically low? If we continue on the path we are on in terms of global warming, this could be our reality in less than fifty years. Many people don’t realize how quickly our futures and the futures of our children will be permanently altered because of climate change. One question we should ask ourselves is: What is going to happen and how can we fix this?

According to the 2014 National Climate Assessment, “between 1958 and 2010, the Northeast saw more than a 70% increase in the amount of precipitation falling in very heavy events (defined as the heaviest 1% of all daily events).” This battle against climate change hasn’t just begun, but in fact climate change has been a problem for quite a while.

Based on this trend, scientists have begun to predict what weather changes may happen in the near future. NASA says that “heat waves, heavy downpours and sea level rise pose growing challenges to many aspects of life in the Northeast. Infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries and ecosystems will be increasingly compromised.” This is the opposite in the Southwest, where they predict increasing numbers of droughts.

Continue reading

Opinion: Is it Cool to Talk Politics in School?

Mr. Caleb Martin

In our highly polarized political climate, controversial issues seem to highlight the news every day. It seems as though both sides of the political debate are so far apart that they both are unable and unwilling to hear the other perspective. Students grades 5-12 are continuously trying to find their own political views through consuming media and exploring existing opinions.

Screenshot 2019-04-16 at 10.36.40 AM
Image courtesy of the BBC.

How should schools, the places designed for learning, help in that process while also providing different and unbiased perspectives to allow for students to discover what they believe? According to Pew Research Center, “A decade ago, the public was less ideologically consistent than it is today. In 2004, only about one-in-ten Americans were uniformly liberal or conservative across most values. Today, the share [of those] who are ideologically consistent has doubled. 21% express either consistently liberal or conservative opinions across a range of issues – the size and scope of government, the environment, foreign policy, and many others.” So, how does this disparity affect schools and students?

The way to arrive at truth is to listen with an open mind and to state opinions with the intention to help students understand their point of view, not to instigate disputes. Students and teachers must practice freedom of speech in classrooms, maintaining a neutral platform that questions all perspectives and allows for objective discussions.

Continue reading