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 CVC@cvsdvt.org

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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? 

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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!

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Photo Courtesy of Nightmare Vermont

https://oxfordtreatment.com/veterans-mission-act/suicide/

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 healthvermont.gov, 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. 

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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.

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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 aterwillegar@cvsdvt.org

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!

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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. 

 

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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!

CVU OFFERINGS

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,  cvusummercamp@cvsdvt.org, 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, mcarter@cvsdvt.org.

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, mcarter@cvsdvt.org.


UVM COURSE OFFERINGS:

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. 

 

 SUMMER JOBS

*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. 

“Part-2″ WORK WITH KIDS

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, http://www.parttwokids.com/home.html 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 sweetrootsfarmers@gmail.com for more information.

 

CUCINA ANTICA- SHELBURNE 

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 https://www.bistrocucinaantica.com/form-job-application.

 

AGAVE- WILLISTON

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, https://www.agavevt.com/form-contact-us for job opportunities. 

 

HEALTHY LIVING- WILLISTON

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 https://recruiting.paylocity.com/Recruiting/Jobs/All/f6749321-6721-467b-9755-be942a498f22/ROAD-TO-HANA-INC for more information or inquire within at 129 Market St. Williston, VT 05495.

 

TRADER JOE’S- SOUTH BURLINGTON

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 https://traderjoes.avature.net/careers/ApplicationMethods?jobId=8820. Must be at least 16-years old.

 

LANTMANS- HINESBURG

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 https://lantmansmarket.com/employment-application.html. Age limitations for some departments range for 18+, but also in need for teen positions. Apply Today!

 

 WAKE ROBIN- SHELBURNE

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 https://www.wakerobin.com/contact-us/employment/ 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. https://open.spotify.com/artist/38ERXTcJrpEW4bwUiUAXJs?si=9HMk_S_HQ1-4_qAN7lqhrg

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  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. https://soundcloud.com/isaacgoldman

 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. https://soundcloud.com/grayson-moore-290909639

 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.

 

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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.

 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Opinion: The Problem With Desks

Ms. Talia Loiter

The ultimate truth is that kids don’t want to go to school just to sit inside in a dark classroom all day. Most American schools follow the same model where the day is split into blocks of class, with a small break for lunch, and bells telling students when it’s time to move on. This is an incredibly outdated system left over from the Industrial Revolution when rapidly growing factories needed a way to control the large amount of workers moving through their facilities. Most class schedules are designed without regard to the multifaceted needs of a student today.

Image courtesy of Talia Loiter

Students need a schedule and a space to learn that helps maintain a healthy lifestyle and mindset. A large part of this is getting outside and moving around. An experiment by the Department of Hygiene and Public Health at the Nippon Medical School found that students who were sent into the forest for two nights (know as forest bathing or “Shinrinyoku” in Japan) had lower levels of cortisol (a stress marking hormone) than those who spent two nights in the city. The constant buffer of our dark classrooms is stressing students much more than needed.

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Bohemian Rhapsody: Our Critic Casts a Skeptical Eye

Ms. Elena Crites

Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie titled after the iconic rock ballad/opera/hard rock anthem and directed by Bryan Singer, was released on November 2, 2018. The film follows the story of the spectacular Freddie Mercury, played by Rami Malek, and his band, Queen. The film is essentially just a pretty safe biopic – save for Malek’s extraordinary performance and the thrilling soundtrack you’d expect from a movie about Queen.

Bohemian Rhapsody
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie titled after the iconic rock ballad/opera/hard rock anthem and directed by Bryan Singer, was released on November 2, 2018. The film follows the story of the spectacular Freddie Mercury, played by Rami Malek, and his band, Queen. The film is essentially just a pretty safe biopic – save for Malek’s extraordinary performance and the thrilling soundtrack you’d expect from a movie about Queen.

 In the film, the story is presented that Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), born Farrokh Bulsara, an immigrant from Tanzania, met a group of band members while they were performing as a band called Smile. After they lost their lead singer, the ambitious Freddie joined the band and they began to produce new music as Queen. The film follows Freddie’s life and various romantic relationships, as well as the changing dynamics within the band.

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Stress: Turn and Face the Strain

Ms. Violet Hamel-Wade

 Life is full of stressors, ranging from more traumatic sources of stress such as the death of a loved one or a serious illness, to everyday stressors such as missing a bus or arguing with your significant other.

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Image from Blue Diamond Gallery

 American Psychological Association’s annual stress report sheds light on the stress that the people around us are feeling. The report lists Generation Z, roughly anyone born after 2000, as the second most stressed generation. Teen stress is often underestimated by adults, as most teens don’t have to manage the responsibilities of adults, such as paying rent or supporting a family. Studies, like this stress report, however, help to prove that teen stress is higher than it has ever been.

It’s no secret that many CVU students are experiencing anxiety on a daily basis, all at varying levels. “Stress is a natural fight or flight response that people need,” school nurse Megan Trevithick says. “If school wasn’t stressful we wouldn’t be motivated. It’s all good practice”.

While this is true, there are many cases in which the stress of school can impact a student’s ability to learn. “If you’re emotional then you shut down. You’re not processing and absorbing information. You get stressed because you don’t understand what is going on. It becomes a cycle,” Trevithick continues. This negative cycle seems to be a reality for many CVU students.

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Editorial: The Desk Problem, American Schools Need to Move Beyond the Industrial Revolution Menatlity

Ms. Talia Loiter

The ultimate truth is that kids don’t want to go to school just to sit inside in a dark classroom all day. Most American schools follow the same model where the day is split into blocks of class, with a small break for lunch, and bells telling students when it’s time to move on. This is an incredibly outdated system left over from the Industrial Revolution when rapidly growing factories needed a way to control the large amount of workers moving through their facilities. Most class schedules are designed without regard to the multifaceted needs of a student today.

Students need a schedule and a space to learn that helps maintain a healthy lifestyle and mindset. A large part of this is getting outside and moving around. An experiment by the Department of Hygiene and Public Health at the Nippon Medical School found that students who were sent into the forest for two nights (know as forest bathing or “Shinrinyoku” in Japan) had lower levels of cortisol (a stress marking hormone) than those who spent two nights in the city. The constant buffer of our dark classrooms is stressing students much more than needed.

If everyone was given a break to spend an hour outside every day, we would all be much less stressed as the research shows. The time allows kids to have a mental and physical break from the blocked out back-to-back schedule. Instead of going from one class to the next, never giving their brain a chance to rest, they would be able to have a moment to simply breathe. Healthguide.org asserts that exercise decreases depression, anxiety, and stress. It would also allow students to get up and move their bodies which could reduce fidgeting in classrooms.

For many kids at CVU, coming back after the summer break is hard. Many of them spend their free days enjoying the warm Vermont weather outside. During break, kids are free to move about to their hearts’ content because of all the extra time they have. Students can spend time getting exercise, being outside, seeing friends and family, exploring new places, and learning about things that interest them.

The big thing is that this is all possible even with a persistent schedule. For example, I had a job this summer. I was able to stick to my daily schedule at work and then have free time to do what I wanted for the rest of the day. I was also able to pick a job that I enjoyed. I worked outside because that is what is important to me. The stress of school life doesn’t allow for people to make these types of choices.

However, one way our school is addressing this issue is the new RISE program. For the two week, end of school period, students can choose to take classes in many different subjects that interest them or do an independent study. It allows kids to have a well deserved break from stress while still learning.

Although this is a good step forward, RISE doesn’t fix the fact that we are cooped up inside all winter and fall, having our energy drained by fluorescent lights and plastic chairs. Whether it’s the incorporation of a green space, an extended lunch/recess, or the elimination of homework to give more personal time, there’s no doubt that there needs to be a way to let our brains and bodies rest throughout our busy school days to come.

 

Editorial: I Believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

Ms. Alexandra Anderson, CVC Editor

The voices and stories of women have consistently been silenced or ignored throughout history. Whether simply declaring them untrue, or claiming malicious intent, we have had to learn to keep our stories quiet for fear of retribution, discreditment, or continued and worsened assault.

Recently, when Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony captured the nation’s interest, there was a part of me that blossomed, a feeling of pride that expanded through my chest. Finally, there was progress. Finally, a woman would be given a platform to speak out against those who oppressed her. Quickly, that feeling dissipated, shriveling up and disintegrating just as it had bloomed. It was made clear that this was anything but that, more formalility than morality, simply letting her speak so that everybody else would shut up.

I wasn’t surprised. Time and time again, disappointment masquerading as progress has graced the national stage. After the Access Hollywood tapes about Trump were released, people yelled, and then moved on, then forgot, and he soon took on the title of President. People boycotted airports, only to watch as systematic xenophobia and racism still quietly wove itself through the core values of our administration. After countless school shootings, mass shootings, and massacres, the NRA still stood staunchly with the second amendment, while simultaneously declaring “fake news,” and ignoring the first.

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Dr. Ford swearing in before the Senate Judiciary Committee testimony

Since 2016, contradictions blared from every news outlet, stood bold faced on headlines, and slipped over harsh tongues in heated conversation. With the confirmation of Kavanaugh, it has never been more apparent. A man confirmed to overturn Roe v. Wade, an allowance for women to finally take control of their heavily regulated bodies, has been accused of multiple accounts of sexual assault. The worst part, however, is the apparent disregard for this fact.

Bageshree Blasius, CVU AP Government and Politics teacher at CVU commented, “I think women in general are not seen as powerful in politics…[they are] not taken as seriously.” The message sent is abundantly clear; the lives and stories of women in this country are valued less than the credibility of men in power.

I am sixteen years old. That makes me one year older than Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when she experienced the trauma-inducing event that stalked her every move for the past thirty six years. Though thirty five years younger, though living in a new age, though safe in my small town, parts of her testimony ring bells of familiarity within me.

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Opinion: Two Students React to Gun Violence in Schools

 Mr. Zachary Hark

To sum up how I feel about all of the gun violence in America, I am here to say this: I believe that life comes first, and guns come second. There. I said it. I believe that we, the citizens of America, need to produce stricter gun laws, and, more importantly, outlaw semi automatic guns like the AR-15. The AR-15 is one of the most popular semi automatic guns around today.

Many people say, “oh it’s not the gun that does the shooting, it’s the human,” and yes, I agree with that, partially. However, when the second amendment was written, there were no semi-automatic weapons around, which made it much harder for mass shootings to occur.

I believe that Edward Stack took a very good approach to solving the issue. Edward Stack is the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods and his corporation recently took a huge stand on gun sales. The store is no longer selling high capacity magazines and is also not selling guns to consumers under the age of 21.

I applaud every student activist in Florida who is taking a stand. Young people are finally having their voices heard on huge platforms such as CNN, NBC and many more. Political representatives are finally hearing us out and even though we may be young, we have lots of valid points and ideas to make.

In the end, it doesn’t come down to which party you’re in or stand with. Instead, it’s an overall goal. The more lives we save now, the better. I do believe that someone in power will take a stand and will do something about this epidemic. It’s not if, but when.

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 Ms. Mya Rendall

Students Across America Demand Action Towards Gun Violence

As a child, I was taught that going to school would provide me with an education and that there I would learn about many interesting topics. That’s what almost all children are told; however, we aren’t told that one day we may never come home.

In light of the recent school shooting that took place at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed, students across America are protesting for a change.

 

The Second Amendment has been a controversial topic ever since it was created in 1791. It protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. At the time the amendment was established, it took a while to reload a rifle after shooting one bullet. Now it takes seconds to shoot a round off of an assault rifle. Guns have changed since the Second Amendment was established. Why shouldn’t the law?

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Editorial: CVU Kids Need to Represent & Respect When Out in the Community

Ms. Sofia Dattilio

“Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. Take care of this place.” This is the mission that the CVU community strives toward. But what happens when we step into the community outside of CVU? Do these rules still apply? Do we remember who we are? Do we remember where we come from?

When CVU students step into the community not too far outside of CVU such as Jiffy Mart, Paisley Hippo, or Papa Nicks we need to be aware of how we represent our school, the greater community and family. We are CVU. We want to show the community we are respectful and that we care about those around us. We need to think about how our actions may affect others.

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Image courtesy of Jiffy Mart Stores

Imagine you’re working behind a cash register and a large group of teenagers come into your place of work. In a larger group, they are loud, they throw money down on the counter towards you, and they don’t say “thank you.” Quite disrespectful, right? Is this really what we want to show the community about who we are as CVU? All of these disrespectful actions happen right here in the town of Hinesburg.

Local businesses see how, when in large groups, students end up disrupting the community and engage in rude behaviours. Briana Dattilio, a 25 year old cashier at Jiffy Mart, says, “When they get into large groups, that is when they begin to be rude and hold up the line by talking and not respecting others who are in line by cutting them to be with their friends.” She goes on to explain that she automatically notices the actions of the CVU students and is often annoyed by the way CVU students make Jiffy Mart employees and other patrons feel.

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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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March for Our Lives: A Documentary Short

Ms. Alexandra Anderson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR81CMosBqQ

Eds note: According to USA Today and the organizers of the March for Our Lives rally, as many as 800,000 people, mostly high school students, exercised their First Amendment rights in the nation’s capital on March 24, 2018. By some accounts, it is the biggest single-day rally in Washington DC’s history.

Opinion: Are Millennials Entitled or Driven?

Mr. Scott Stanley

F’ing millennials.

That seems to be the motto of our nation’s older generation. Millennials are viewed to be lazy, entitled, and narcissistic. People believe our nation’s youth are to blame for many of our nation’s problems, like the high unemployment rate, for example. That being said, so many studies on this seemingly ‘useless’ and ‘narcissistic’ generation highlight some of the benefits of our entitled generation, as well as the negatives. While a millennial’s sense of entitlement can make them act selfishly, it also allows them to be ambitious and tech-savvy.

A millennial’s sense of entitlement can cause them to act selfishly, leading to multiple behaviors. According to Forbes Magazine, millennials act selfishly by breaking the rules and demanding higher pay. These qualities in an employee can cause friction in the workplace. Millennial workers may develop poor relationships with their superiors as they believe they are above the system, thus not subject to its rules and guidelines.

Maybe we need to ask ourselves, is those who are in the system or the system itself that needs to change?

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With a millennial’s sense of entitlement comes an ambitious attitude towards their profession. According to Forbes magazine, “Entitled people feel a stronger drive for achievement; after all, if you feel like you deserve to be the top salesperson in your organization, you’re going to work harder to make that title a reality.” Entitlement works both ways. While it can seem to make millennials irritating and bothersome, it does give them the drive they need to progress in the workplace. Unlike previous generations, millennials don’t settle for where they are in their profession or life; they constantly work to improve themselves to be the best they can be.

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APGOV Wire: Financial Help is Hope for Opioid Abusers

Ms. Lily Toensing, APGov Correspondent

On a summer Saturday morning, I was driving into Burlington. At a stop light, I looked over at a church to my right. A man, in his early twenties was sitting on the steps. He was shivering ferociously, yelling at god, and begging for help. His tremors were not from cold. He was shaking from withdrawal. Beads of sweat trickled down his forehead and soaked his shirt. His body was unable to handle the side effects of withdrawal. He was a heroin addict. This homeless man with torn clothing, could not access a treatment center. His last ditch effort was to sit on the steps of a church and pray, scream, for a miracle.

Image Courtesy of RehabNow247
Image Courtesy of RehabNow247

A miracle is “a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences”(Miracle). Miracles are meant for things we cannot control, not things we can control like making help available for drug addicts.

By funding public drug rehabilitation centers, we can help drug addicts to recover from their addictions. No addicts can do it alone and adequate support is the only way to help with these problems.  

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APGov Wire: We need a Multi-faceted Approach to Confront the Opiod Epidemic

Ms. Lilly Cazayoux, APGov Correspondent

There is no doubt in my mind that the biggest problem in the country, as well as in Vermont, is the opioid epidemic.  No matter where you go, it’s impossible to find any community that has not been affected by scourge of these drugs.  Whether it’s an addiction to prescription painkillers, or dangerous street drugs like heroin, we need to dedicate greater resources to fighting them.

Opioid death tolls have been on the rise over the past two decades and began to accelerate rapidly in 2011.  Opioid overdose deaths nearly doubled over the last five years, surpassing 42,200 nationwide in 2016.  In Vermont the death toll was 100.  Opioids don’t care where you come from, nor do they discriminate based on socioeconomic status. Twenty of the deaths in Vermont occurred with people who had no high school diploma, however, an equal number occurred with people who had a college degree. No matter who you are, you are just as susceptible to opioid addiction. It’s time as Vermonters, as Americans, as citizens who care for one another, that we take a stand.

There are two aspects to this problem that must be addressed and fixed; keeping addicts alive, as well as preventing more people from becoming addicted

The big dangers with these drugs, are how easy it is to overdose on them, and the diseases contracted by injecting with unsterile needles. The first thing we must do is preserve the lives at risk, by preventing fatal overdoses. I believe the best solution to that would be to open supervised injection sites. Popular in Europe, supervised injection sites allow addicts to use drugs with sanitary materials, provide treatment consultation, as well as medical help in the case of an overdose emergency. With newer, more potent drugs on the market such as fentanyl, it’s crucial we find a quick way to save these lives before thousands more are lost. These supervised injection sites would provide a chance to preserve lives until users can make the decision to begin the rehabilitation process. The main goal of implementing these sites would be to reduce the immediate health issues that opioid addiction presents, as well as attempting to refer the addicts into treatment.

The other preemptive part of this plan would be targeting doctors that over prescribe highly addictive opioids in unnecessary cases. I believe more stringent rules regulating these prescriptions could prevent many people from becoming addicted to these medicines in the first place, before they turn to the cheaper more dangerous cousin, heroin.

Attacking the epidemic from both sides of the problem could be the solution to saving lives from opioid addictions.

Ed Note: this essay was one of the finalists of Bernie Sanders’ State of the Union Essay Contest.

APGOV Wire: We Need a Change in the Political Climate Regarding Climate Change

Ms. Lily Miner, APGov Correspondent

During this first year of the Donald Trump presidency, we have witnessed many questionable decisions being made for our country that not only affect us, but also those around the world in a negative way. One particular decision, however, has set our country on a path to continue the horrific damage being done to Earth. President Trump’s adjudication to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement has left us as the only nation in the world to oppose it since Syria signed to join in November. The main objective for this agreement was to restrict levels of CO2 emissions from each country. The consequences of Trump’s withdrawal are grave, as CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen past 400 parts per million—levels that are already superseding what Earth can handle to support the flora and fauna living on it. Continuing this trend will most likely result in a mass extinction event.

Hearing the White House argue that removing us from the agreement will help boost our economy filled much of the American public as well as climate experts around the globe with a sense of outrage. We have already accumulated a surplus of evidence that man made climate change is having a drastic negative impact. In the past two decades, sea levels have risen at a rate of .13 inches, which is twice the rate of the past century. From 1992 to 2011, Greenland lost 152 billion tons of ice per year, West Antarctica lost 65 billion per year, and the Antarctic Peninsula lost 20 billion per year. Increased intensity in extreme weather including hurricanes, floods, and snowstorms has been recorded since the 1950’s. These are just a fraction of the plethora of examples. Given the massive amount of damage that has already been done, how can it be justified to place the economy as a higher priority?

Thank you to the United Nations for graciously sharing your Paris Agreement logo.
Thank you to the United Nations for graciously sharing your Paris Agreement logo.

 

This choice is especially irresponsible when considering the fact that the United States produces more excess CO2 than any other country. While there are many factors to blame, one of the largest and least necessary of these is the use of fossil fuels. They provide 81% of the energy in the United States, yet they are both incredibly harmful and incredibly easy to replace. A change needs to be made.

It is imperative that we as a global superpower begin to invest in renewable energy such as wind and solar. Many economists agree that the long term benefits from switching to renewable energy would outweigh the short term costs, improving the economy through more environmentally sound means. Certainly a more competent course of action than removing ourselves from the Paris Agreement. Though the cost of installation for these methods are pricier than more conventional ones, they have no fuel costs once they are functioning and the maintenance costs are cheaper. The United States has not only the resources, but the duty to fight against these issues. We need to combat this now, because we will not be given a second chance later.

Editor’s Note: this essay was one of the finalists of Bernie Sanders’ State of the Union Essay Contest.

 

Review: Del Toro’s The Shape of Water

Ms. Alyssa Gorton, CVC Arts Correspondent

The Shape of Water poses the question, “Who’s the real monster?” to the nth degree, and in an entirely new way.

In Guillermo Del Toro’s most recent film, he creates a stunning universe set in the 1960’s and makes it his own. Within minutes of watching, I was entirely intrigued by the beautiful aesthetic, unique protagonist, and lovable characters. IMDb states, “Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. Her life changes forever when she discovers the lab’s classified secret — a mysterious, scaled creature from South America that lives in a water tank. As Elisa develops a unique bond with her new friend, she soon learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFYWazblaUA

 

The film has won and been nominated for many awards such as Best Motion Picture, Best Achievements in Directing, and Best Director. As it goes with critically acclaimed movies, not everyone agrees with the critics. I was extremely hesitant to go see the film, as I don’t usually make a point to see movies revered by academies or judges, but I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. One statement I can make with full confidence is that Del Toro completely enthralls you in this vintage, science fiction world, from the costumes, sets, and dialogue, to the plot, music, and characters.

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APGov Wire: How ‘Bout a Little Mutual Respect?

Ms. Ella Whitman, APGov Correspondent

When my high school principal told us that there were only three rules we had to follow I was shocked. How can you sum up every expectation that must be demanded of a young adult into three things? He went on to inform us that we must take care of ourselves, take care of each other, and the place. While thinking about these three guidelines it became apparent that achieving them can be challenging at times but the step to do it is simple; you must respect all things. Looking at our nation today it is clear that lack of respect creates the most conflict in our nation. Our negligence to respect each other’s bodies, opinions, ethnicities, races, backgrounds and beliefs leads us to discrimination, hatred and prejudice. We see endless examples in our lives today.

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The lack of respect for one another’s opinion is vividly apparent in politics today. The Pew Research Center recently reported how the partisan divide on our nation’s politics is increasing. A study concluded, “The shares of Republicans and Democrats who express very unfavorable opinions of the opposing party have increased dramatically since the 1990s, but have changed little in recent years.” This is alarming because if we as people can not see others perspective, we will not be able to collaborate or work with one another to collectively strengthen our nation. By respecting others’ opinions we can gain insight and also learn their specific needs.

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