Varsity Gymnastics is not as safe as it could be for high school students. This is an argument that has taken place between parents, gymnasts, and the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) since 2013. There are very specific rules and regulations on both national and international terms for gymnastics competition and the VPA doesn’t honor all of them.
Varsity Gymnastics is one of the smallest high school sports in Vermont, and it is on the brink of extinction. The sport is going on its second year of probation with the threat of being cut if not enough girls join. Schools simply can’t afford the sport anymore.
Gymnastics is not only one of the smallest sports, it’s also one of the most expensive. Renting out a gym space every night and on some weekends, or buying equipment for a school gymnasium can cost thousands of dollars. Competition leotards can range from generic $60 leotards, to custom made $300 leotards per gymnast. In addition to long-sleeve competition leos, some schools have matching tank warmup leotards with a price range of $40-$200 per gymnast.
The deadline for college applications is fast approaching, and for those students applying for early decision, that deadline was this Tuesday, November 1st. According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 20 million students apply to colleges each year and there were over 21 million students attending American colleges and universities in the fall of 2014. However, what many students are discovering is that there are many more options available to them in terms of future plans and opportunities than the regular college experience that most experience the fall after their graduation. Students now have the option of taking what is called a gap year. The American Gap Association defines it as “an experiential semester or year, typically taken between high school and college in order to deepen practical, professional, and personal awareness” and they also have estimated that around 30,000 to 40,000 students in the U.S. take such time off annually. So what exactly are the benefits of taking a year off between high school and college, and what are the negatives of this unique, yet increasingly popular choice?
The American Gap Association states that 90 percent of students who took a Gap Year returned to college within a year in 2015. This seems to be a promising number and leads many to believe that gap years are actually a way to encourage hard work and focus in preparation for college and the rigorous experience it provides. Among the benefits of taking a gap year is that fact that it gives students time to take a step back and take a breath after years of working hard on getting good grades, being involved in extracurriculars, and establishing leadership roles within your school environment. The College View also states that a gap year also gives students time off to think about the academic direction and career path they want to pursue, the work and volunteering opportunities that many students use this year to become involved in provides them with invaluable experiences and strong additions to their resumes, students that work full time are able to save money for school tuition and other college costs. In addition, a 2011 study conducted by former dean of admissions, Robert Clagett at Middlebury College concluded that students who had taken a year off had consistently higher GPAs than those who didn’t. Princeton’s Bridge Year Director John Luria also said that “A lot of our students say when they enter as freshman that they have a greater sense of purpose in their studies”.
The benefits of taking a gap seem to be both substantial and convincing, but are the negatives equally as conceiving? Continue Reading →
CVU– Sept. 13th, 2016. It’s the start to yet another Season for the CVU girls field hockey team. Like many fall sports, the spirit and community between teammates is high and everyone is getting excited to see CVU take away yet another state championship. Last year, the girls field hockey team made it to the finals but lost against South Burlington High School 1 – 2 with a double overtime. It was a rough day for the girls, however, their spirit and team drive never faltered. They are ready and motivated as a teamnow more than ever.
This year, there are more seniors on the team then there are of any other player on the team. This means next year, a large majority of the more advanced team members will have graduated. If the girls want to win another state championship, this is the year to do it, considering the lack of new players on the South Burlington team, and the handful of new players who have joined the varsity team for CVU.
Kelsie Saia and Stasha Rup, two of the three captains on the field hockey team, are working hard to get their team to work together on the field by communicating and reading each other, they can be more productive and accurate. Both Saia and Rup have the same goal for their team, however, Saia sees more hope in her team than Rup.
CVUHS- Coffee, coffee, buzz, buzz! On a regular basis 58 of the 270 students surveyed drink caffeinated tea or coffee. While students are relying on caffeine for many reasons, it always brings back the age old question of is caffeine good for you?
Caffeine, coffee in particular, has benefits other than just giving people that little wake up nudge they need in the morning. It may help lower the risk of liver disease and type two diabetes. Coffee also contains a lot of antioxidants. While there are many upsides to coffee,there are also downsides.
Caffeine, in excess, may cause insomnia, nervousness, muscle tremors, an upset stomach and many other problems. An excess of caffeine is not an exact measure. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, anything over 600 mg of caffeine per day is ‘too much’. 600 mg of caffeine is the amount in three 8 oz cups of coffee, or about eight and a half cups the same size of black tea. For the Starbucks lovers out there, this is a Venti’s worth of coffee.
CVU boys and girls cross-country won with record breaking times last saturday during the NVAC District Championships in Swanton, Vermont. Tyler Marshall, the senior superstar of CVUHS boys cross country running, won during the 5k with an astounding new personal record: a 15:24.2 minute 5k time. He ran just under a five minute mile and beat his nearest competitor by a minute. Tyler Marshall shared that with this new personal record, he was even more ready for next weekends race. “It was a confidence booster,” he said, “not only for myself but also for my team.”CVU’s girls team was lead to the first place title by none other than our very own Sophia Gorman, Ella Whitman, and Jennifer Ireland, scoring 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the competition. Gorman won with a 18:11.9 minute time and ran just under an impressive 6 minute mile.
However, even with these stunning times and multiple championship medals for both Gorman and Marshall, what will happen to their team as these two seniors leave for their college careers?
Time is the most unstoppable force known to man, Time is also famed for moving too fast, and in high school time seems to move even faster. As a young, bushy tailed freshman, becoming a senior one day seems almost unattainable.Although time strikes again and again, soon enough that same jubilant freshman has become a scarred, and cynical senior. Once that fourth year of schooling at CVU hits, every student is met with the task of handling more responsibilities than have ever been asked of them. To top off the stack of work, seniors begin to partake in the infamous Graduation Challenge.
As the Senior class of 2017 begins the lengthy capstone project, some new adjustments to the project have been added. The changes are poised to make the workload more manageable, make students access previous writing techniques, and turn the focus of the project more towards the experience, and less about the research. The modern student hopes the statements to be true, as less work is always a positive.
As the faculty and staff unveil the updated project, the list of changes is already a topic of discussion. The project has undergone three major adjustments, the first being the push to standards based grading. This change looks to be a smart move, as CVU has recently made the change to standards based grading in most classes.Continue Reading →
The new iPhone is out! Imagine, a perfect new iPhone. Wireless charging, a bigger battery, a phone body that isn’t as slippery as a bar of soap, maybe even a screen that doesn’t shatter if you drop it on anything harder than a pillow. Introducing the iPhone 7. They didn’t do any of that, but they removed the headphone jack.
It’s not easy to make a new and innovative phone each year. 50 years ago, computers were the size of a room, now millions of people carry around tiny computers in the palm of their hand. And the companies that make these amazing tiny computers keep making them better, moving them towards the future. Hopefully in 50 years we will snicker at the phones we have now, but the new iPhone 7 is not a step toward the future, it is behind the times.
NEWFLASH! Apple just released their newest iPhone model! And guess what? It’s even better than the previous model, with the newest iThing and the fastest iProcessor! Do you need it? Of course – how could you even live without the best smartphone camera and the newest revision of the iGadget?
Sound familiar? That’s because Apple does this exact thing every single year. Ten if not hundreds of millions of people throw out their fully functional one year old device and upgrade to the newest one. The power that Apple have over consumers is absolutely amazing – other companies dream of these kind of powers. As a result, their profit margins are unbelievable. Consumers need to boycott Apple entirely until they decide to stop these ridiculous profit margins, using their own “proprietary technologies” to support those profit margins, and making unrepairable products to also support their success.
If you’re an Apple fan, you’re probably mad at me and ready to refute the above. But I can agree with you that Apple does make excellent products, in terms of quality of both software and hardware. I understand that, however this isn’t what I’m here to argue. I am here to tell you how Apple robs you of your money without you even truly realizing it.
HINESBURG, Vermont– There’s always that one advisory every other week where every kid is glued to their phone and school might as well be let out 15 minutes early. What’s better than spicing up advisory with some storytelling by some of the most talented faculty and teachers of Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU).
Storytelling Tuesday’s began midway through last year’s first semester at CVU thanks to librarian Peter Langella. Peter, very influenced by writing, reading, and the art of storytelling has created something new and exciting to advisory that CVU has never seen before. Through many different faculty and staff telling their life stories and experiences, the storytelling Tuesdays have created special moments for many students and peers at the school.
In the heat of competition anything can happen. That’s why we love sports, the excitement that fills the lungs of spectators can only be found in the stands of CVU games. Our school undoubtedly has the most school spirit in all of vermont, but that level of excitement for the fans, as well as the high amount of pressure put on players, and we have to be ready for it.
As of the beginning of the 2016 fall sports season, all teams and club sports have to put an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) into place. Previous to this new requirement, coaches have had a plan on how to handle the collapse of an athlete, but this course of action addresses the possibility of a fallen coach, and how players should handle that situation.
The Emergency Action Plan looks to become a staple of the CVU community as past acts of heroism have prompted a change, and a general goal of educating the athletes can be achieved with this new system in place.
Earlier this year the unstoppable CVU girls basketball team was facing Rice in a star studded semi-final showdown. As the game became closer and closer, and the time winded down, stress for both players and coaches alike high. With only 3 points separating the teams and a lone minute on the scoreboard, the coach for the Rice team; Tim Rice, collapsed. Rice needed medical attention, luckily CVU trainer Tony Lora was on hand. Just to be safe Tony always carries an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) with him. Mr. Rice would come to thank Tony and the AED for his life. The compact defibrillator was able to resuscitate Tim Rice and keep him alive until the professionals could step in and take him to the hospital. The Coach is now alive and well, and he has become a catalyst for this conversation. Tim’s wife Candy told the Burlington Free Press, “What we really need to stress here is the fact we had the defibrillator”, she said. “That’s huge, if CVU didn’t have that, we’d be having a whole different conversation here”. Thankfully Mr. Lora was on hand and ready to take action, but he cannot be everywhere at once, thus the Emergency Action Plan was born.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the two major party nominees for president, and come January 2017, one of them will be sworn in as President of the United States of America. They have both made lots of promises to voters, but will they keep those promises?
Trust is a delicate thing. Thomas J. Watson said, “The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it’s very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer.”
In this presidential election, many voters have lost their trust for the candidates. Election after election, you hear lie after lie, and these candidates are the worst offenders. 66% of voters think Hillary Clinton is untrustworthy and 57% of voters think Donald Trump is untrustworthy.Continue Reading →
iPhones are the norm for many people. According to Cnet, “An estimated total of 94 million iPhones were in use in the US at the end of March , including 38 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units.” Apple has a huge brand, but there are tons of Androids out there that you might not have even considered. Here I will compare a three flagship phones from three brands, starting with Apple. This is just a taste of Android phones, and don’t worry, most of them don’t catch on fire. All the specs that I use are from gsmarena.com.
iPhone 7 ($769)
Image courtesy of gsmarena.com
401ppi pixel density
Camera: Dual 12mp cameras
RAM: 3 GB
Overall: The new iPhone is a good all-around phone. It has great specs, two cameras, and is waterproof. Unfortunately, Apple decided to remove the audiojack which leads to unnecessary inconveniences, and may require you to carry around extra cables. The battery has only gotten 5% larger from the previous generation. It does not have wireless charging or improved build quality. It is Apple’s most expensive phone, so luckily there are cheaper alternatives.
A loud boom, followed by a series of loud crashes is heard around the CVU cafeteria. Shortly after, an uproar of voices is heard from the origin of the crash. Looking closer, there is a group of 30 people huddled around a circular table, clapping the victor of the game on his back. The loser sits down in disbelief, disgruntled with his loss. 5 minutes later, the bell rings, and everyone leaves; like nothing ever happened.
CVU has been hosting an underground Jenga tournament for over 2 weeks, and it is just now beginning to gain popularity. The tournament is set up in a loser bracket system, where the worst players compete to be the worst at Jenga. The ultimate loser will face a punishment decided by the winner.
Jaden Rogers strategically removing a block from the tower.
Finstagram (Finsta) is a fake (or second) Instagram account. Students (usually girls), get a second Instagram account along with their real Instagrams (Rinstagrams), to post silly pictures or videos.
Every year, trends are spreading and changing throughout the world. This year in 2016, the art of finstagrams have been a hit among the youth in the U.S. Finstas are fantastic! All the people involved with Instagram know the endless entertainment and humor that can come from a good finsta account. By the end of this article, not only will you be educated on the true expressive art of finstagramming, you will want to pull out your phone and make your own.
What is the purpose of finstagrams? According to Katie Dempsey, a finstagram sensation, “It’s the best way to just… just post pictures that you would never post on your normal account. It’s a great way to make people laugh and it gives you some recognition and I mean… I’m hot [BLEEP]! And I like it when people remind me that I’m hot [BLEEP]!” Very convincing words from Dempsey indeed. However, finstas don’t just make you feel good, they allow you to post pictures and videos that show your true self without feeling like you’re being judged or losing respect on Instagram. People know the whole point of a finsta is to be goofy, and to practically roast yourself so other people don’t have to.
Young and reckless, fast moving vehicles, and poor decision making. These are some of the characteristics that CVU students have obtained within the last year. You may think that every student goes to and from school safely and responsibly but the harsh reality is that CVU students are making poor choices behind the wheel and believe that they are as so called “Invincible”. Many students have been reported for reckless and negligent driving so much that last year the surrounding police forces(Williston, Shelburne, and hinesburg) installed radar detectors along major school routes travelled by students and adults. These radar detectors relay information that help the police target certain areas that are commonly known for speeding or have become speeding spots in the recent months. Yes police have caught some individuals, but for the most part, most kids at CVU continue to speed to school.
Safe teen driving has been a discussion that has been ongoing for years now, and year after year communities are affected, whether it’s a teen who continues to wreak havoc with their terrible driving skills or a tragedy occurs. Regardless, this is issue has yet to be resolved and every more dangerous drivers hit the roadways.
CVU’s Wellness Department just got a little bit bigger. Recently, the department purchased the yard game Corn Hole.
Corn Hole was purchased to be used for Life Team Sports classes. Wellness teacher Anthony Spagnolo says the purpose of the game is is “jump start the transition” from more active games to less active ones. Spagnolo says that there have been “rave reviews”. Senior Colin Monsey says that Corn Hole is a “great game for friends to have fun.” There is controversy about the new addition to the department though. Senior Hannah Munn says that she “hates Corn Hole” and that it is “frustrating”. Kiera O’brien says that the game is “Pretty lame”.
Spagnolo talks about how the game “brings people back to a simpler time” and that it is “like a family reunion” whenever people play.
The traditional game is played on wooden boards, the ones CVU bought, a much sleeker plastic design, which is much more durable than the original material.
Last Winter, Rhan Fleming stepped out onto the stage of CVU’s auditorium with the simple goal of telling a story. No one knew what Rahn was going to say, because Rahn himself didn’t know.However he took to the stage, and expressed a remarkably incisive ideal: A 360 Degree Self. He talked about making sure that you are the best you that you could be, and exploring even the most remote passions.
Almost a year has passed since then, and the idea of a 360 degree self is one that Rahn cherishes. I went to speak with him and ask some questions about it to see what he had to say about the idea, and if there was any more insight he could offer. “It means not over-specializing” Fleming commented. “It’s being more than just a lacrosse player, and branching out…It’s about taking the opportunities to discover and sustain.” Fleming then offered an anecdote of sorts, that embodied the 360 degree self in all of its beauty.
Fleming’s son Konnor is an avid football player, and a soloist in an acapella group “The Tune Ups”. He was faced with the dilemma of attending a football practice, or going with his acapella group to Minneapolis for a show there. Distraught and confused, Konnor sought guidance, and called his father. Here’s what Rahn Fleming had to say: “It’s your call. No one else can make it for you.” Konnor went on to sing with The Tune Ups in Minneapolis.
I asked Fleming what he thought of the adversity that presents itself with pursuing your passions, despite other people’s judgement or their opinions. Fleming stated “We often draw courage from the support of friends, and family. We often find the courage within ourselves because we are reminded that we have it… There are cultural fogs that preclude us, and if you can find one trusted individual, a peer, a family member, you can find the energy to shoot through that fog like a laser.” That, is the key to maintaining a 360 degree self, and finding “you.” Self expression is vital to the soul, and a 360 degree self is vital to self expression.
Everyone knows that one kid. The kid who doesn’t pay attention in class. The kid who is antisocial to everyone around him. The kid that sits at home and plays video games all day long. The kid with no friends, and no life. Everyone believes that he will get nowhere, and will work at McDonalds for the rest of his life. Even his own parents have given up on him. He will be forever known to everyone who knew him as the neck bearded guy that lives in his mom’s basement.
Of course, until he wins over a million dollars at an international gaming tournament.
Professional gaming is something that started taking off in the last 10 years, and is gaining more respect and popularity. It began humbly, but quickly gained a substantial amount of popularity. Atari held their first ever Space Invaders Championship in 1980, with more than 10,000 people competing. This was regarded by many to be the start of competitive gaming, as it was the first major tournament involving a specific video game. Since then, gaming had started to take off. The 1990’s saw the introduction of onlinevideo games, and the Nintendo World Championships. Several different tournaments containing several different games spanned the decade, until the introduction of globalization during the 2000’s.
Young or old, small or large, tall or short, you can always play video games. No matter your gender, age, or lifestyle, there is a game out there for everyone. Some people find passion in competitive games, and those are the ones who win millions of dollars via tournaments.
Professional gaming has been getting more recognition since the beginning of the 21st century, and although most pros are college-aged or older, there are some young prodigies.
17 year old Syed “SumaiL” Hassan, is a professional Dota 2 player. He’s won first place at five major tournaments, one of which being The International 5- the largest gaming tournament in the world. Over the course of his career, his competition winnings total over 2.3 million dollars. He was fourth in the world during 2015, second to only his own teammates.
CVUHS– Mark Pogact is one of the famed CVU math teachers, arguably the best according to some students, except for Peter Booth. Last year Pogact played a huge part in the the Best Practice teaching program CVU has been implementing. Best Practices teaching, according to the Teacher Development Group of 2013 is as follows, “strategies and plans for implementing teaching practices that align with research regarding how students learn mathematics, that produce increased and equitable mathematical understanding and achievement by all students, and that foster a culture of rigorous learning in which all students see themselves as capable mathematicians who can achieve.” Simply put, they help students to represent the connection and importance of each problem which, according to research, makes the learning more memorable and valuable to students. Now that part of the program has ended, questions are rising about how to proceed.
For the past three years CVUHS has been in a contract with a company to help teachers implement Best Practices. The way it works is one teacher and one of their classes are subject to the entire math department coming in and watching said teacher teach a lesson that a Best Practices instructor helped that teacher to desing to design. The teachers watching then watch the class proceed, without talking, helping or interacting with the students. This happens four times a year, about once each quarter. Mark Pogact was this teacher for the 2015/16 school year with his R2 Geometry class. Unfortunately, in the 2016/17 school year CVUHS decided not to renew the contract. While the exact reasoning for not renewing the contract is unknown at this time, it can be assumed that the money to fund it may have been lacking.
Voices whisper in the trees, “Tonight is Halloween!”
It’s that time of year again; the air is crisp, the Vermont foliage is at its peak, and the whispers of Halloween are circling through the air and conjure magical memories of this special night.
When we think of Halloween, we think of candy, costumes, and maybe a few scary flicks for the brave of heart. The actual Halloween tradition dates back 2,000 years ago when the Celts (who inhabited what is now Ireland), began a celebration to honor the harvest and the start of the cold winter months. According to Dr. John Santino, an academic Folklorist, this festival was called Samhain. The Celtic calendar designated November 1st as the start of their year and the beginning of winter. The start to winter months entailed the harvesting and storage of crops, and this preparation was celebrated through the lighting of bonfires, and the sacrifice of various animals and the offering up of harvested fruits and vegetables.
“Samhain Bonfire” by Digimaree Doddy
During the festival of Samhain, it was believed that the boundary between the living and the dead could be crossed, and that ghosts would come to mingle with the living here on earth. On this night, October 31st, large bonfires would be lit not only to burn crops but to make animal sacrifices, as well as to guide the dead on their journey. The traditions of these ancient Halloween/Samhain rituals soon began to change as Christianity spread throughout Europe.
“Urinetown” the musical opened on Broadway in 2001 as a satirical comedy that commented on capitalism, populism, environmental scarcity, corporate mismanagement, and even musical theatre itself. And, yes, the bizarre title is purposeful. “Is this really the title?” was even a comical addition to the Original Broadway Cast album design as shown below:
“Urinetown” Broadway Musical Home www.broadwaymusicalhome.com/shows/urinetown.htm.
So, welcome to Urinetown…not the place, but the musical! We may not know what “Urinetown the place” is (you’ll have to come see the show to find that out), but we do know that this comedic combination of musical spoofs will have you laughing like there’s no tomorrow and will not let you leave the theatre unamused! Set in a town suffering heavily from a drought, this lively musical will have you rethinking the extra 20 minutes you spent in the shower singing through Whitney Houston’s hits. So, come see this comedic musical with a purposefully unpleasant title, love-at-first-sight gone wrong, dancing cops, tragedy, and of course, many over-exaggerated reactions.
Friday the 28th and Saturday the 29th at 7:30pm
Sunday the 30th at 2:00pm
$7.00 for children, CVU students, and CVU faculty
$9.00 general admission
(you can buy your tickets at the CVU Store, or order them online here)
Images of cast are courtesy of the CVU Theatre Program Facebook page