The Archives

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Staff Spotlights:

Staff Spotlight: Mr. Garbe

By Tom Ingalls, Staff Writer / 11/28/2018

Mr. Garbe is our shining star this week. Garbe teaches classes like Technical Math, Probability and Statistics, and also teaches Honors Geometry. But it’s not all he teaches, “I work after school every Monday to Thursday teaching courses at Beal College.”

As much as it seems he works hard at school and his job. He also has his own personal time. Mr. Garbe states that it can be a struggle to balance his social life and work life. “I always try to keep my weekend schedule clear which rejuvenates me for the work week. I go to bed as early as possible on weekdays which allows me to cheat a little on the weekends when I’m having a social life.”

IMG_7795On his time off, he has quite a few hobbies. One of the things most students don’t know about Garbe is that he works with a non profit organization called The Ripple Effect Project. They are currently helping an orphanage/school in Kisumu, Kenya. It’s almost like a boarding school for students who can’t afford to attend “public” school. In Kenya, it cost money for students to attend public school. They need to pay for their own books, supplies, and uniforms. This makes education inaccessible for students who don’t have parental support and money.

Mathematics is difficult for many students and even less interesting to them. This is what Garbe claims to be the most difficult part of his job.  “A lot of students come in with math anxiety due to past experiences. I believe math anxiety is a cultural issue in the United States. I often hear adults saying “I was just never good at math and never will be” or  “Once letters and numbers get mixed, I’m completely lost.” This is sending a message that it’s perfectly acceptable to be bad at math and is promoting a fixed mindset.” It’s safe to say that Garbe wants all his students to succeed.

The advice Garbe would give to a senior is that you shouldn’t rush into your future. You should start with a plan and go from there. “When you’re 18 years old, you think the future is so far ahead; you think that paying off college loans is so far in the future that you don’t need to plan. This was my mindset as a teenager.” You can see he really knows what he’s talking about. He also talks about how the experience of college can be a wonderful one, but you shouldn’t go just for the experience.

To the freshmen: ask questions!  “If you are curious about a subject, school should be the place to explore those curiosities.” He then proceeds to highlight a student who asks questions frequently, explaining that he never refuses to answer the questions. ”I know he is making deeper connections in his learning.”

Teachers connecting with their students is very important, even more so in math! Mr. Garbe does this spectacularly. Thank you Mr. Garbe!

Mr. Garbe favorites:

Song: September by Earth, Wind and Fire
Food: Pizza with pineapples and onions
Movie Star: Denzel Washington
Quote: “Ransack the celery drawer” – Anonymous
Writer: Roald Dahl

 


Staff Spotlight: Mr. Petersen

By Tom Ingalls, Staff Writer / 11/05/2018

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Mr. Petersen steps into the spotlight today, he teaches multiple classes of World & American I and World & American II. He is very interactive with the students. He makes sure they are doing well in school, and talks about things going on in the world and our school.

Mr. Petersen enjoys being a teacher and he works hard. Sometimes that requires him to bring work home. But even then, he still sets aside time for family, which is a very important aspect of being a teacher. “While being a teacher sometimes requires me to plan and grade at home, I also try to set aside time for myself and my family.”

Mr. Petersen loves to create things, whether its music, drawing, painting, poetry, videos or photography. He does it all! He even makes time for his dog, Billie. “She was named after Billie Holiday,” he states.

When asked what he enjoyed most about teaching, he explains, “I have always loved history and learning about other parts of the world. It is really fun to share what interests me with others and I enjoy introducing students to new ideas and cultures.” This is something we can all admire. You never work a day in your life if you love what you do. His hope for all his students is that they learn to see the world differently and realize how many interesting things are out there. Which he succeeds at.

Caring for students and interacting with them is something Mr. Petersen can be found doing daily. “I want all my students to succeed, so I spend a lot of time thinking about what I can do to support their goals.”

Mr. Petersen, who is also dedicated to our school by being the senior class advisor, has advice for the graduating seniors, and the new freshmen pondering their future four years. For the seniors, “Don’t be afraid to explore new interests and never be afraid of being ‘weird’…” Which is something we could all learn from. And for the freshmen, “enjoy your time at Hermon High School and take advantage of academic, extracurricular, and social opportunities. As cheesy as it sounds, be nice. Kindness pays off.”

Mr. Petersen is a compassionate teacher that we are all lucky to have.

Mr. Petersen’s favorites:

Song: ‘Round Midnight by Thelonious Monk

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Food: Kæstur hákarl

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Movie star: Humphrey Bogart

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Writer: Cormac McCarthy

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Animal: Horses

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Quote: “If you can talk you can sing, If you can walk you can dance.” – Unknown


Staff Spotlight: Ms. Kidder

By Jacob Lana, Staff Writer /  10/18/2018

This week, the spotlight will shine on Ms. Kidder. She teaches numerous classes to a wide range of students. Her classes include AP Lang, Journalism, and Survey English 11. She is happily engaged to Mr. Garbe, who popped the question over the summer.

After being asked how she handles social life and school life, she wittily responded, “What social life? Lol.” Things quickly turned serious as she followed up with, “you go home and you have a lot of stuff to do, or there’s a kid you’re really worried about, or there’s… you know, it’s not like a job that you can just leave at work.”AF1QipMHcuCcxpg6brTwuleojDYc7Sp4Gx_XdGlX-xIi=I-U

Her solution to dealing with this is finding the right balance between her career and her home life. When prompted, Ms. Kidder happily admits that her favorite thing about teaching at HHS is her students. Those of you who have had her as a teacher probably recognise how friendly and open she is about her life. She also loves how staff and students are “just so willing to be involved in the community.”

When she was asked about something most students don’t know about her that she wishes they did; she responded, “I feel like I am a pretty open book with my students, so I don’t know… I hate driving? I love Drake?”

Ms. Kidder is always giving thoughtful and insightful advice to all of her students. When asked for some advice she would give to a graduating senior, she responded with a lengthy, but well worded paragraph, in her usual fashion. It would be a sin to leave any of it out.

“As cheesy as it may be: do what makes you happy. Life is too short to stick with a major you aren’t interested in or a job you hate, to stay with friends or a place you’ve outgrown, or to become passive in your own life. If there is something that’s holding you back, don’t be afraid to say, ‘you know what? I’m going to do something different.’” She cares a lot about all of her students and will do anything she can to make sure they always walk away knowing more than they did before.

Ms. Kidder followed up that piece of advice by saying, “change can be really scary, but you’ll never grow if you’re always in your comfort zone. Don’t let life be boring in that way! The best decisions I’ve made were usually the most terrifying. And, even if you make a huge mess or mistake, I promise you this: It’ll all work out in the end exactly the way it’s supposed to.”

Ms. Kidder’s Favorites:

Song: “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World
Food: Chicken Fingers or anything chocolate
Movie Star: James Franco (her biggest celebrity crush)
Animal: Dogs (hates snakes)
Quote: “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights.

My hope is that as this section progresses, you take away just one thing; teachers are people too. They truly are more than just the people who assign us homework. They are caring and want everybody to succeed just as much as they wish for their own success. Check back in next week for more Staff Spotlights!


“How To”: With Jacob

How To: Jumpstart a Car

By Jacob Lana, Staff Writer / 11/09/2018

Have you ever tried to start your car only to find out the battery is dead? Well, here’s what you should do if that happens.

  1. Pick up your phone
  2. Call AAA
  3. If you don’t have AAA, proceed to the following steps
  4. Find another car
  5. Open the hoods of both cars (make sure neither car is running)
  6. Attach the red clips to the red leads on both batteries

    Screenshot at 2018-11-09 13:55:42

    Image from Shutterstock

  7. Attach the black clips to the black leads on both batteries
  8. MAKE SURE YOU ATTACH THE RED CLIPS FIRST
  9. Start the dead car
  10. Remove the black clips from both cars
  11. Remove the red clips from both cars
  12. Let the previously dead car run for a few minutes, then keep driving!

How To: Chicken Parm

By Jacob Lana, Staff Writer / 10/31/2018

Think that Ramen is the only meal you can create on your own? Think again with this week’s “How To.”

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How To: Tie a Tie

By Jacob Lana, Staff Writer / 10/18/2018

At some point in everyone’s life, you will need to learn how to tie a tie. This may seem intimidating, but it’s actually a lot easier than it seems. Here’s how to tie a perfect tie in only a few steps!

 

  • Place tie flat on a table with the narrow end on the left and the back of the tie facing up.
  • Loop left side of tie so the point is pointed away from you.
  • Loop right side of tie so the point is pointed towards you.
  • Grab left loop with your right hand making sure that your thumb is in the loop.
  • Twist the loop in your hand clock-wise one rotation and place it inside of the loop to the right.
  • Put the small end of the tie through the 2 loops and place on the larger end of the tie.
  • Pull the new loop while holding the two ends together in order to tighten the tie.
  • Adjust as wanted.

 


Cody’s Corner

Cody’s Corner: Court Blocks Poliquin Lawsuit;  Maine Loses Seat at White House Table; Paul LePage Mulls Over Gubernatorial Candidacy

By Cody Porter, Staff Writer / 12/18/2018

The Poliquin lawsuit failed on Thursday when Trump-appointed District Court Judge Lance Walker released his opinion of the Court.  In short, his opinion stated that contrary to Poliquin’s legal team’s arguments, the U.S. Constitution does not stipulate that whichever candidate receives the most votes – otherwise known as a “plurality” – is to be declared the winner.  Despite the state approving of ranked-choice voting in both elections and Maine’s Second disapproving of it also, the ranked-choice system was ruled constitutional by the District Court.

“To the extent that the Plaintiffs call into question the wisdom of using RCV, they are free to do so but . . . such criticism falls short of constitutional impropriety,” Walker wrote. “A majority of Maine voters have rejected that criticism and Article I (of the U.S. Constitution) does not empower this Court to second guess the considered judgment of the polity on the basis of the tautological observation that RCV may suffer from problems, as all voting systems do.”  For more information on the Poliquin RCV case, view the latest article.

Also this week, a White House meeting was held to welcome a bipartisan group of 13 new governors across the nation – but Governor-elect Janet Mills wasn’t present.  During her tenure as Attorney General, she made it commonplace to oppose President Donald Trump at nearly every opportunity. Former State Senator Eric Brakey, a well-known legislator who often worked across the aisle during his tenure, released a statement: “Snubbing the President’s bipartisan meeting with new Governors, Janet Mills is showing us she intends to be just another ‘run-of-the-mill’ politician, putting party politics ahead of the Maine people.”

Maine Governor Paul LePage is looking over running for governor against Governor-elect Janet Mills in 2022.  In a letter to Mills authored Tuesday, LePage wrote, “I wish you success as governor, because if you succeed, the state succeeds. However, if the state is not succeeding, I plan on being your opponent in 2022.”

The letter was curated in response to a request from Mills to halt approval of any new contracts until she assumes office in January.  LePage made it clear that he’ll closely monitor how things are going in the state from away.

“I’m telling the Maine people right now we are taking a baseline,” he said on WVOM radio. “We have taken a baseline of every department and the financial conditions of the state effective when I leave on January 1. Everywhere starting January 1. And then I am going to monitor this governor’s performance and if she does what I think she’s going to do, she’s going to return to the days of the Baldacci 2010 era, I will run again in 2022… to challenge her.”  According to the Maine Constitution, a governor can run for two consecutive terms, take a one-term break, and run for two consecutive terms again.


Cody’s Corner: “This is a failure!” says Expert During Ranked-Choice Voting Case

By Cody Porter, Staff Writer / 12/07/2018

“This is a failure!” exclaims James Gimpel, a University of Maryland Political Science professor, who testified before the Maine U.S. District Court on Wednesday, when asked if the ranked-choice voting system was effective in Maine.

According to lawyer Jim Goodwin arguing for Rep. Bruce Poliquin, Mainers were “voting blind” in the latest election, unsure about the effect the ranked ballots would have on the election itself.  “It is likely that second, third and fourth choices on ballots could have an unforeseeable effect in distorting the voters’ intentions,” Gimpel stated.

Poliquin filed a lawsuit a week after Election Day in the U.S. District Court, attempting to halt the ranked-choice tabulation process.  Judge Lance Walker had not reached a decision preliminary to the results coming out.

In the first round of voting, Rep. Bruce Poliquin was winning over Golden with 46.3 percent to 45.6 percent.  Due to no candidate reaching the necessary 50 percent of ballots under RCV, the race went into rounds of ranked-choice voting, where those that voted for Tiffany Bond and Will Hoar largely had their votes allocated to Golden, resulting in Golden winning the election 50.53 to 49.47.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin has requested a hand recount set to begin on Thursday, which will likely last until January.

On Thursday, the Maine Republican Party issued a press release asserting that formal affidavits, or testimonies, have been written by 17 voters in Boothbay Harbor who were able to vote in Maine’s Second Congressional District election.  Boothbay Harbor is a ME-01 town.

“Clearly, there is a problem we need to get to the bottom of here,” said Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine GOP. “This is the latest in a long line of irregularities in Maine’s elections, and one that these voters deserve answers for.”

“When the wrong candidates are showing up ballots far outside their district, apparently in significant numbers, we need an investigation,” said Savage.


Cody’s Corner: Courts Pick Up Poliquin Election Lawsuit

By Cody Porter, Staff Writer / 11/15/2018
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Image from Bangor Daily News

It’s Thursday, November 15, and it’s been nine days since the November 6 midterm election occurred.  The victor in the race for Congress is still uncertain due to ranked-choice voting, a system that around 20,000 voters in Maine’s Second Congressional District voted not to enact in 2016.  Nonetheless, the race is still anything but resolved.

Yesterday on November 14, Rep. Bruce Poliquin filed suit, citing that the district he seeks to serve did not approve of Question 5, the ranked-choice voting initiative, and that without it having been approved he would have already been declared the winner of the plurality vote.

Today, Rep. Poliquin declared himself the victor in a Facebook video he sent to his constituents.  “It’s time that we ask ourselves — did my vote count once, and someone else’s vote count two or three times?”  He also said in a recent Facebook post, “200+ hours: Election Day was almost 10 days ago and still no results, other than the fact that Bruce won on Election Day. The Red Sox won the whole World Series in two less days, including traveling across the United States. We can stop calling this RCV system anything ‘instant.’ Maybe a better name would be ‘Really Confusing Voters’ system.”

Although Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says that the ranked-choice voting tabulation process should be set to end today, it seems that there is a long way to go before this will diobocal will actually be resolved.  Maine has until December 15 to resolve who to send to Washington.

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Image from NPR


CODY’S CORNER: What’s Next for Maine: Your Roadmap

By Cody Porter, Staff Writer / 11/08/2018

The Maine people have spoken, and so have the students of Hermon High School.

Janet Mills is now the governor-elect, Senator Angus King is heading back to Washington as a U.S. Senator until 2025, and the election between Bruce Poliquin and Jared Golden is extremely tight.

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Image from stuartbramhall.wordpress.com

I’m not going to focus on who has been elected, but what is still unfolding before our eyes for the first time in national history — a Congressional election wagered by ranked-choice voting.

As of today, November 8, with 88% of precincts reporting, Rep. Bruce Poliquin is up 46.1% to Jared Golden’s 45.7%, with Tiffany Bond and William Hoar trailing with a combined 7.2% of the vote.

With 12% of precincts to go, Bruce Poliquin needs to win a majority (50% plus one vote) in order to win the first round of ranked-choice voting.  If the first round is not won, the race will go into a second round, where Will Hoar’s votes will be allocated to their second choices, likely being skewed toward Jared Golden.  Then the race will proceed to a third round, where Tiffany Bond’s votes will be allocated to either Poliquin or Golden.

If Poliquin does not win the first round with the remaining 12 percent, it’s quite certain that Golden will win through ranked-choice voting.  A legal battle will likely ensue as Poliquin won a plurality in the first round (which in all other states would be conducive to a win), which is all that is needed to win under the Maine Constitution.

According to Article IV, pt. 1, §5 of the Maine Constitution, “. . . a plurality of all votes returned . . . shall finally determine who are elected.”


CODY’S CORNER: Election HQ — What’s ahead for ME-02?

BY CODY PORTER, STAFF WRITER / October 26, 2018

 It’s that time of year again — election season.  After the Republicans nationally overtook the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016, everything is at stake for the Grand Old Party.

In the contested Maine legislature and, indeed, the race for the Blaine House, Democrats and Republicans alike face an all-out onslaught going into November 6.  

Screenshot at 2018-10-30 07:23:16This presents a trivial question: how is Maine, especially the Second Congressional District, going to react to familiar faces on both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle?

Secondly, how is ranked-choice voting (which will only be utilized in the races for Congress and U.S. Senate) going to skew the final results? As a state that has over the past half of a century been reliably Democratic up until 2010 when then-Republican candidate LePage was elected governor, will Maine stay the course, or make a return to that 50-year reign of Democratic leadership?  

Perhaps one of the most intriguing of this state’s races would involve incumbent Congressman Bruce Poliquin, and State Representative Jared Golden.  One of the latest New York Times/Siena College polls shows Bruce Poliquin safely winning by a five-point margin, with the margin of error being up to 4.8 points.  A later poll conducted by the same group vividly began to demonstrate that no one was safe in this race.  Luckily for Congressman Poliquin, it is rumored that an endorsement from President Donald Trump came on Thursday, November 25, which likely will again add points to Congressman Poliquin’s side.  My prediction is that Poliquin will win by three points — not a margin that he’s well-acquainted with by any means, but a win nonetheless.  According to Ballotpedia, no incumbent has lost a race in this district since 1916.

The gubernatorial election is also a campaign that could still come with plenty of surprises in these final ten days leading up to the election.  Running to succeed a Republican former businessman Paul LePage is Shawn Moody, also a businessman, and Attorney General Janet Mills, running on a mainstream establishment Democratic platform.  A Suffolk poll conducted showed the race in a 39-39 dead-heat between the two candidates.  With the debates still in progress, this election could still go either way.

Finally, the race for U.S. Senate is turning out to also be a very intriguing one.  Angus King, an Independent who has been campaigning for Democrats this election cycle, is facing fierce competition from Republican Eric Brakey, and Democrat Zak Ringelstein.  A poll shows 41% for King, 27% for Brakey, and 7% for Ringelstein.  Although King is up 14 points, this kind of margin in some of the polls was visible at this time before President Trump was elected.  I predict that King leads by five points, but with more U.S. Senate debates coming up before the election, anything can still happen.

Days ago, students from across the Second Congressional District voted to elect Shawn Moody for governor, Angus King for U.S. senator, and Bruce Poliquin for Congress.  Stay tuned for continued coverage of how Hermon High’s election turns out in comparison to the statewide election on November 6, and how these elected leaders could impact you and your family going into the future.


CODY’S CORNER: TIMES OF TRAGEDY – ARE WE DOING ENOUGH?

BY CODY PORTER, STAFF WRITER / October 18, 2018
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As students walked into school one autumn morning, many subconsciously noted the mundane array of three flags at half-staff during their regular commute to school.  Many conversed with friends and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The morning announcements came, went, and students moved on to class. The date was September 11.

In multitudinous other areas in the country at this time, people are memorializing those who died as a result of September 11, 2001 in many different ways: planting flags, bowing heads in a moment of silence and optional prayer — observing due diligence as patriotic citizens.  When I asked Kent Raymond, senior and vice chairman of the Hermon High School Young Americans for Freedom chapter, and Maggie Carlson, executive director of Bangor Young Republicans, what had been done to remember that tragedy, or any tragedy in the year for that matter, they both replied, “Nothing.  The student body treated it as another day.”

I am not reluctant to confess that we — the student body — failed to do our part in memorializing this tragedy, let alone any other day of remembrance, such as Constitution Day, or Election Day, which is coming up on November 6.  It’s our job as students to be civic-minded and to take the initiative. Our teachers are more than willing to facilitate, as they have for countless other events we’ve taken part in as a student body.

As one of the eldest members of Generation Z myself, the senior class in which I reside is largely the last of those who were even alive during the horrific event.  None of us were alive long enough to have our personal “9/11 story” that many Millenials and Generation X’ers have. The famed mantra surrounding it shouldn’t anymore be “never forget,” we cannot afford to.  When more tragedies of the like occur, as they are bound to, we must revere the heroism of those who selflessly ran into the building to save so many lives.

Although, indeed, many of us were not alive during this tragedy, it affects us as resolutely as it does anyone.  9/11 cuts much deeper than that — it was the beginning of a constant siege on America’s foundations: capitalism or economic freedom, freedom to worship (or not worship), and the American exceptionalism that we believe sets us apart as a nation.  If we let go of our memory of 9/11, we will consciously be letting go of those things that make America so great. My hope for this school as we go forward is that we continue on setting a vivid example for this generation in our patriotism, and that we can build a new American century that studies the mistakes of history and looks optimistically into the future.


News

Class Spotlight: Technical English

By Nate Cyr, Staff Writer / 01/14/2019

Every high school student has a different idea for what they would like to do in the future. These career ideas may range anywhere from a teacher to a mechanic. Mrs.Cook, an English teacher at Hermon High School teaches a new english class in Hermon High called Technical English.

This class is a class for seniors only, that are looking into the trades aspect of the workplace. The class focuses on the necessary tools and skills needed to have a successful working career. This may range from spending classes on learning how to fill out applications, to learning how to make a cover letter, resume, and letters of resignation.

Daniel Harriman, a senior in the new Technical English class said, “the most useful part of Technical English is the small class size and the fact that we are learning material that we will need in life, opposed to things that we may never use again.”

The idea in creating this course was to allow seniors take a high school English class that emphasizes the real world applications of literacy skills. This class is a very career based class, allowing those who want to go straight into a career the opportunity to use the most connected English lessons to help them get ready for the workforce.

The curriculum not only tests students on reading writing, but also on presenting info and public speaking. Guidance Counselor Mrs. Smith says, “we felt that we needed to offer an English experience that would offer real world applications. We thought we could make a more hands on tech writing experience that would help students in their career. This class was not intended to devalue any of the other English courses. This class was intended to provide enrichment for those going into the technical pathway.” She adds, “ This course was created through a collaboration between the English Department and the administration.”

Throughout the year in Technical English we have learned out to make a resume, cover letters, and we have had the chance to present information on a certain topic in front of a group of other students.

As a student in this course, the most helpful project was the presentation about sexual harassment in the workplace that we, as a class, presented to our school’s JMG class.

Another student, Senior Kameron Franck, said, “the most important thing we have done in my opinion was resume writing, because everyone is going to need to know how to write one eventually, so being able to learn how to in this class is very helpful.”


Hermon Hawks Sport App Makes 2018/19 Season Accessible to Community

By Caitlynn Tracy, Staff Writer / 01/11/2019

Hermon High School has always done well in the sports category. Since our sports are so well known there needed to be an easier way for all of our fans to see the schedule, the scores, rankings, and  anything else sports related.

All of our winter sports teams have been working really hard, from breaking records in track and 8-0 records in both girls and boys basketball teams. It would really be a shame if fans weren’t involved in this year’s winter sports by missing out with this cool app.  

In August, the athletic director, Mr. Sinclair implemented the Hermon Hawks sports app. There are over 1,000 people that have downloaded or looked at this app, according to Sinclair.img_2711

Our sports app contains a lot of information that fans would love to see and have access to. For starters, the app has all of the sports rosters and schedule. After every game the scores are posted so that our community, and anyone else that wants to know, can see the details without going through all of the trouble to find it through someone they know or on the website.

The app also has some media like pictures and videos of all the different sports and activities. The app will post both pictures and videos of all sports so that fans can see who has been winning and which teams have been successful.

The app has a roster for every sport so fans can see who plays what sport. Our Hermon High School sports app not only has all of the high school sports teams but all of the middle school teams as well.

There is a huge advantage to downloading this app because fans don’t have to search and look for scores or anything this else that they want to know involving Hermon athletics. It is all in one convenient spotr on fan’s smartphones.

Sinclair said “They can get all the information about all the different sports in one place.” The sports app gives you a bunch of pictures and videos so you can see what happened at the game if you couldn’t make it. With this app you can be updated and always know what’s going on!


Supports to Raise Your Grades

By Grace Qualey and Shannel Barker, Staff Writers / 01/10/2019

Many people have started off this year with the mentality of “a new year, a new me” even if you may not be one of the many saying this it is of the utmost importance to start the new year off right academically. There is a large amount of procrastination and distractions around the holiday season that kept many students happily diverted away from school work. However, now the holidays are over and it’s time to catch back up. Many students grade are at an all time low for one reason or another. With just days before the quarter ends, you may find yourself asking, “How will I get my grades up in time?”

There are many ways to raise your grades, whether that means getting a little extra help or retaking summatives that have lowered your overall grade or making up some homework. Intervention is a great opportunity to do some of these things. You can ask for a teacher to tag you or you can go online and make a tag request yourself.  That extra time provided on Tuesdays and Fridays, is there for you to receive more individualized help from your teachers, whether that is to look at your grade and have your teacher tell you what they will allow you to make up or what you can do to bring up your grade, get help on work you don’t understand, or to have some quiet time to get some work done.

Study halls are also a great opportunity to get help and get work done. If you have a problem with either math or science, Mrs. Haskell is here to help. Unlike last year, she is not teaching any classes and is here to tutor during all class periods. Need to retake a test? If you have your teacher drop it off with Mrs. Haskell she will hold onto it for you and let you take it in her room during your study hall. However, if you are one of the few students who don’t have a study hall we have a new  opportunity coming to the library after school. We now will have a math and science tutor, Professor Joseph Lawrence, P.E. to help students after school in the library. He presently doesn’t have a set schedule of when he will be on campus but you can arrange a set time to receive his help after school by contacting him via email at professorJJJJ@gmail.com or by phone at 207-270-2485.

Just inside the library doors, formerly known as the fishbowl, is the writing center. There, some of your peers who have have a passion for writing, also known as coaches, are there to help you with all of your English needs. First semester some students found it difficult to get help there due to their limited blocks the writing center was open. However, they have been able to extend their hours and cover more class periods. Starting second semester, the writing center will be open all day on blue days and second period on gold days. If you cannot get into the writing center during your study halls because you’re visiting Mrs. Haskell or maybe you don’t have a study hall, the writing center has an email in which you can send your work to. Once you send your work to writing.center@schools.hermon.net, one of the given coaches will give suggestions, and gramerical comments.

Your teachers and the rest of our HHS staff is here to support you. They want to see you succeed and help you in the best as much as they can. Reach out to your teachers and take advantage of the support they provide through our tutors and writing center. It’s a new year, let’s start it off right with some great grades!


Club Spotlight: Art Club

By Nate Cyr, Staff Writer / 01/08/2019

Art club is an after school club at Hermon High School where students can go to express their artistic abilities and just express their interest in art. Students in Ms. Shapiro’s art club are given the opportunity to show off their creativeness with many different guided lessons and free roam options for different art styles.

screenshot at 2019-01-08 14:10:41Art club is after school every Thursday from 2:30-4. “My goals are to provide additional opportunities for students that enjoy art, through hands on, social opportunities and field trips,” says Ms. Shapiro.

Are you interested in joining art club? Maybe you want to join to create art on your own and just have time dedicated to creating art. Maybe you want to join to have guided lessons on different types of art. This club is definitely for you.

Ms. Shapiro explains “We meet every Thursday for a hour and half 2:30-4, have a topic idea for the meeting, those who want to participate can, and those that want to do their own thing can do as they please, whether it be drawing or creating holiday related artwork.”

Freshman, Cody Harriman, says “The opportunities in art club were fun, we were allowed to either work on the prompt that Ms. Shapiro taught us or we were allowed to do art that we wanted to do.” The freedom of this club is amazing and it gives you the opportunity to express your artistic abilities.

If you’re interested in joining Art Club speak to Ms.Shapiro in room 124 to talk about the options with Art Club and for more information about the club. Ms. Shapiro and the club members are very eager to accept new people for art club and encourages people to visit her in her room and talk about joining art club.


Hawk Battalion Service Learning Project Helps Spread Cheer

By Owen Shaw, Staff Writer / 12/14/2018

Hermon High School’s JROTC Hawk Battalion helped spread holiday cheer this year by providing gift bags to local children.

Thanks to the generous donations of numerous local businesses, 40 bags filled with toys, coloring books, games, children’s books, markers, gift cards, and warm clothing made their way to the towns of Hermon, Carmel, Glenburn and Levant.

Cadet Lieutenant Colonel and Hawk Battalion Commander, Halle Cole, was in charge of the organization and distribution of the gift bags. When asked about how this project was made possible, she responded, “it was a combined effort between the Hawk Battalion and the generous donations of local businesses. This project would not have been possible without the amazing community we are a part of.”

Bags will be delivered by senior members of the Hawk Battalion Command and Staff from Hermon High to town offices and elementary schools. From there, the bags will be distributed to ten students from each town. A full list of the Hawk Battalion’s sponsors who helped to make this possible  is offered below.

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Northeast Pain Management

Valley Home Services

Varney GMC

Studio 64

A.C. Moore

Hannaford

Governor’s

Danforth’s Down Home Supermarket

Chase’s Family Restaurant

Chick-Fil-A

Bangor Mall Cinemas


Chamber Choir Preparing for HHS Holiday Concert and Public Caroling

By Evan Staples, Staff Writer / 12/12/2018

Chamber choir is currently rehearsing for their first concert of the year.

carol

Image from teenandtwenties.com

Memorizing the carols is one of the most difficult tasks they’ve had to do in the group. Chamber choir, along with band, are arts electives at Hermon High School for the students to take. Each year, they put on a few concerts performing songs they’ve been working on the whole year to showcase to the audience. The concerts aren’t just restricted to the family members of performers. Anybody is invited to watch with free admission in the auditorium.

The concert is scheduled for December 13 at 7:00 PM. It’s recommended that people get there early as seating in the auditorium is very limited. If there is a snow day on the 13th, then it will be moved to December 18.

The choir is getting in the season with classic Christmas carols such as “The First Noel”, “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” They will also sing “Toto” by Africa to give the audience a classic throwback.

John Kollman, the choir director for Hermon Middle and Hermon High and pan director, has noted that he likes to include many different styles of music, so he can expose new genres to the students as well as parents listening to the concerts.

On top of performing carols for Hermon High School, chamber choir is also caroling for Kiwanis at Dysart’s in Bangor and at Bangor Nursing and Rehab and Ross Manor on December 20, a tradition during the Christmas season for the group. In the past they have also sang for patients at Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital.

“I like how happy the elderly people get and the little twinkle they get in their eye” says choir member, Grace Qualey, when explaining her joy for caroling. The idea of doing this to the people during this time in their life seems like a great contribution to the community.

The Hermon High School Winter Concert takes a few hours out of a Thursday night to unwind and listen to the success that the students have achieved. The performers would appreciate anybody who attends.


Art Club Hosts North Pole Painting Party

By Shannel Barker and Grace Qualey, Staff Writers / 12/07/2018481B1283-7091-4881-B469-30B3A5B5405B

It’s that time of year, snowflakes are falling from the sky and the North Pole is busy. On December 8th from 1 to 3 PM Miss Shapiro and the art club are hosting the North Pole Painting Party. The painting will take place in the cafeteria for spacing reasons. This fundraiser’s admission is $10 for students, $15 for seniors, and $20 for adults who do not qualify as a student or senior.

It is greatly suggested and appreciated if people RSVP so the art club knows how many canvases and other supplies to purchase. To RSP please email Sue Shapiro at susan.shapiro@schools.hermon.net or visit her in room 124.

Admission will include refreshments, materials, and the instructions. The money from the fundraiser is going toward many things the art club will be doing in the future such as going on field trips, purchasing Art Club t-shirts, as well as “Community Artreach Programs” as Miss Shapiro likes to call it, pun intended.

One of the “artreach” programs the art club will be looking forward to being included in is The Memory Project. Their mission statements states,  “ We invite young artists around the world to create portraits as special gifts for children facing challenges. It’s for positive memories, kindness, and peace.”  The results of this program are amazing, people feel thought of and cared about. The smiles put on these people’s faces are heartwarming and down right beautiful.

At the party, there will be three paintings to choose from of all difficulties so everyone can be included.  Come join the fun at Art Club’s first annual painting party!


Technology makes Mars History Possible

By Owen Shaw, Staff Writer / 11/30/2018

History was made Monday, November 26 when NASA successfully landed a Mars lander robotically controlled by researchers on the desert plains Elysium Planitia, Mars. However, according to NBC News, the end of the seven-month journey to Earth’s sister planet also marks the beginning of the second phase of the lander’s mission, consisting of a two-year, 850 million dollar experiment using a seismometer to measure seismic activity and frequency of “marsquakes”.

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Image from mars.nasa.gov

The purpose of this landing is to give scientists new insight on how rocky planets, such as Earth and Mars, formed and evolved. Powered by two solar panels that gather energy from the sun, the Mars lander begins to set up its wind and thermal shield to protect it from the harsh Martian environment. Once the shields are in place, the lander will begin assembling the instruments necessary for the lander to do its job. Elizabeth Barrett, head of InSight’s instrument operations, explained that the process of setting the instruments on the ground alone will take up to three months, followed by another two months to drill into the Mars terrain and begin the process of observing data. Seismometer designer Tom Pike states “We should be listening for Marsquakes for at least two years, and we hope considerably longer.” (cnet.com).

Following in the lander’s footsteps, NASA has announced it will be sending the Mars 2020 Rover, whose mission is to focus on astrobiology; the continued search for life in space. NASA plans to have the rover explore the Jezero Crater, once a 30-mile wide lake on the surface of Mars. According to researchers, Mars was once a warm and wet paradise that life could have flourished on billions of years ago. However, as the atmosphere slowly began to deteriorate, the surface was unable to support any life as dangerous radiation began to attack the planet. This would have forced life, if there was any present, to move to caves and under the surface. Researchers agree that descendants of those ancient Martian life forms may still be living off subsurface water and geothermal energy. However, these life forms are very likely no more advanced than bacteria.

The possible discovery of life on Mars, despite the size, has raised moral and ethical dilemmas for some researchers. Some believe that it would be immoral of humans to put the lives of native Martians at risk by establishing a settlement on the red planet. With biological contamination risks in mind, NASA has made efforts since 1959 to sterilize all possible interplanetary equipment. However, some things necessary for human colonization cannot be sterilized, such as food, which raises the concern that any colonization attempt will result in contamination of Mars. Some may think it’s up to scientists to decide the line between the necessity of morality and the survival of humanity, but the future relies on high school students. More than likely, human colonization of Mars won’t happen for many years.

Students with an interest in science and technology are humanity’s greatest hope at interplanetary habituation.


Spotlight: United Technologies Center

By Caitlynn Tracy, Staff Writer / 11/19/2018

Students from Hermon High School are very grateful for all of the different opportunities that they have to get started on their future ahead of them. United Technologies Center (UTC) is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) school that serves high schools all over the area like Hermon, Hampden, Bangor, Brewer, John Bapst, Central, Old Town, and Orono.

Students who sign up for UTC attend for half a day, every day. Some students have morning UTC while other students have afternoon UTC. The schedule of a UTC student could look different depending on what grade the student is in. Juniors and seniors that attend UTC for half a day take their core classes at the high school. Besides being a junior or senior the only other requirement that you have to meet is a minimum of completed 10 credits.  

Most students visit UTC during their 8th grade year and then again sophomore year in January. According to Mrs. Pelletier in Guidance, 32% of juniors and seniors attend UTC. The majority of juniors that take UTC will take it again their senior year and stay with that same program. “If students think they may be interested in attending UTC, they should meet with their Guidance Counselor to make an academic plan,” says Mrs. Pelletier.

UTC offers 18 different programs. Some of the most popular programs include Health Occupations, Business Management, Outdoor Power Equipment, and Welding. There are many advantages of taking UTC in high school. Mrs. Pelletier says that “Two benefits of enrolling in a program at UTC are the opportunities to earn industry certifications as well as college credits before graduating high school. This means students are leaving UTC prepared for both career and college through their program.”   Getting a certification and/or college credits in high school is a very good strategy to help you get ready for your future.

Students at UTC may have the opportunity to compete in the Maine State SkillsUSA competition, where they compete against other students to prove who is best in their technical field. Students who win the state competition earn the chance to compete in the national competition. For the past four years, this competition has been held in Louisville, Kentucky. Mrs. Pelletier speaks highly of her experience working with CTE students, and says “SkillsUSA is an incredible experience. As an adult, it has given me the chance to see my students perform at a high level and feel pride and accomplishment in the work they are doing.”

UTC is a very good program and an awesome opportunity. For more information, you can ask Mrs. Pelletier in Guidance.


HHS Civil Rights Team Brings Positivity to School and Students

By Shelby Reynolds and Caitlynn Tracy, Staff Writers / 10/31/2018

 Hermon High students are grateful for the many different opportunities we are given to get involved in our school. We have such a large variety of clubs and activities to join. One of them being the Civil Rights Team.

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Image from Shutterstock

The Civil Rights Team is a group of students who work toward reducing bias behaviors and harassment in schools while increasing safety in all levels of education. Hermon’s CRT meets every other Monday with Ms. Barry in room 161. They distribute positivity throughout the school with hope for all students to feel equal.

While taking a deeper look at the team’s movement, they recently attended a field trip to start the year off with training. The training was an all day event held at Jeff’s Catering. According to The Civil Rights Team Project, the purpose of the training, was to help students think about their schools related to race and skin color, national origin and ancestry, religion, disabilities, gender (including identity and expression), and sexual orientation.

The training consisted of different activities and lessons based on those listed above. The trip was an opportunity for students on the CRT to learn about the important events taking place in everyday life and how they can make a positive change in their schools.

The students left the field trip with more knowledge on the movement and ideas to promote it in their own schools. For example, one idea Hermon thought of was a lunch serving a variety of different meals from different cultures. This idea would further open diversity in our school and teach students how to be more open towards the subject.

The positive impact the team has on the school and the opportunities to grow students’ knowledge would not be possible without their leader, Ms. Barry. She has led the team for four years now and enjoys every part of it. She values the importance of students knowledge on everyday life in school and in our community. It’s one thing to be aware of the issues students face but it’s another thing to be able to speak up and make the difference.  

For students who show interest in joining The CRT can meet with Ms. Barry to join. This club is so important to our school in teaching all students and the entire community on the issues we face in schools.

CRT is how we can solve the issues of stereotyping and bias to improve the entire environment. School should be a safe place for all students to feel welcome and appreciated.


Long Anticipated Semi-Formal Dance Arrives Next Week

By Evan Staples, Staff Writer / 10/31/2018

Students at Hermon High School are confused as to why the Homecoming semi-formal dance is so late into the year. Spirit Week and Homecoming athletic games were over a month ago and generally a dance directly follows that week.

Student Council Representative Kaden Nevells says, “it’s not because we couldn’t find a DJ. It’s because the availability of the DJ was booked up,” Timing on the Homecoming dance isn’t something new. In 2016, it was on October 15, but last year it was on September 30, the day after the Homecoming football game against Winslow.

Despite the reason for the delay, the interest from students is still strong. Screenshot at 2018-11-01 10:13:17

The cost is $7 for singles and $12 for couples. Junior Class President Bill Hartt says, “most of it’s [admission money] towards paying for the actual dance itself, but the rest of it goes towards student council and whatever they allocate it towards.”

Hermon High School holds three dances in the year: Homecoming, one in March for the celebration of spring, and prom for juniors and seniors only.

This is a low number compared to how many dances middle schools have, whether it’s Hermon Middle or Caravel Middle. These schools mainly have casual dances about once a month.

Comparing this to Hermon High, which doesn’t have any casual dances, Brooke Dempsey says, “we should have [casual dances] because they make semis less stressful . . . It’d be more fun to have casual dances because you wouldn’t have to get dressed up and you wouldn’t have to be stressed out about corsages and stuff like that.”

If a student has ever attended a dance at Hermon High School, they’ll know that they are held in the cafeteria with very limited space and the room can achieve high temperatures.

Holding dances in the gymnasium looks to be a simple alternative to this issue. Sydney Hanson gave her opinion about dances in the gym, “the gym is too big of an area to hold the dance when there aren’t many people who go to the dances anyway. There are less people going to each dance.” There are also thoughts that dress shoes wouldn’t be good to the gym floor considering basketball is starting soon.

The Homecoming dance is on November 3 from 7:00 PM to 10;00 PM in the Hermon High School cafeteria. Tickets can be bought from student council members.


Thirst Project Visits Hermon High School

By Madison Brown, Owen Shaw, and Nadia Garcia, Staff Writers / 10/29/2018
Thirst-Square

Image from Thirst Project

The Thirst Project came to Hermon High School to present their YOUTH water organization during a full school assembly on Friday, October 26th. The Thirst Project was brought to HHS by our Key Club organization.

The purpose of the Thirst Project is to “provide every single person in Swaziland access to clean, safe water for life.” This organization exists to educate students about the water crisis and mobilize them to fundraise for global water projects. They are the first organization with the goal to bring clean water to an entire nation (Swaziland) by 2022.

It is important to bring these global issues to light in the eyes of teens and young adults who may not know these issues exist in the everyday life of others outside of the comfort of our own communities. The Thirst Project did just that when they came to HHS to present their organization, educated students, and empower us to figure out what we can do to help.

Mrs. Deabay, HHS teacher, said the Thirst Project presentation “made Hermon students look outside their own world and see the bigger picture.” She commented on the impact of the presentation by adding, “we also tend to take water availability for granted.”

Owen Shaw, HHS senior, was present at the assembly and his thoughts were that he enjoyed the inspiring presentation but felt that “it was time sensitive, in future years maybe if we had more time [for the presentation] then it would be even more impactful.”

How to Get Involved

thirstpro

Image from Thirst Project

Allison Treat, Key Club president, stated that the purpose of the Thirst Project is “to help a small community understand more global issues and help us become a more united community.”

Treat gave exclusive details about the Thirst Project at HHS stating, “there will be an announcement to talk about joining a committee through Key Club, opening up to the whole school eventually. There will be an Advisors Meeting on November 5th. The Hermon High School is in contact with the thirst project to discuss fundraising ideas.”

One thing is for sure: the presentation inspired HHS to take this opportunity to come together as a community to take part in something bigger than us; to better a life one by one.


Room 107 is Abuzz with HHS Yearbook Production

By Tom Ingalls, Staff Writer / 10/30/2018

Every year in May students rush to grab a yearbook and flip through the pages with their friends, pointing out the fun times they had. But no one acknowledges what goes into making that happen.

IMG_1807.jpegMr. Hargrove, our yearbook advisor, states that the deadlines students reach to meet can be massively stressful for them. Waiting for content to come in and get it into the yearbook before the next deadline can cause this stress. He states that there is much work for them to do inbetween, such as organizing the different sections of the yearbook.

The most stressful deadline they have to deal with is the Senior Packet, which they need completed from all seniors around the end of November. There is so much involved in the process of putting this information in the proper section. The portraits, the baby photos, the senior rides, and more. Putting these memories in a book and online will help it remain there forever.

The students in yearbook are always busy, from the beginning of the year until April. “It’s entirely a student developed project, the first thing we do in the beginning of the year is a workshop in early september we design covers and we work with developers of the yearbook publisher on how to turn those ideas into a sketch, and make it into a theme,” Hargrove states.

They work closely with the yearbook publisher to come out with the best product for our students. Most yearbook students are often new students to yearbook. That’s why they spend most of the first quarter getting used to the software, and learning the ins and outs of developing a yearbook.

Many say the yearbook is expensive for students, but Hargrove has worked to bring down the price and they are currently having a holiday sale, bringing the price down to $35. They’ve been able to do this by boosting advertisements and using careful design which allow them to bring down the prices.

So in May, when you look at your new yearbook and flip through the memories,  remember the work put into it and enjoy it even more.


JROTC Opens Official School Store: The Snack Shack

By Raegan Merriman, Staff Writer / 10/26/2018

The JROTC in HHS has established an official school store in their room: The Snack Shack. They have linked up with the cafeteria to provide healthy and quick foods to eat throughout the day. This will provide nutrients for student’s teenaged bodies and brains.IMG_8172

Nutrition through out the day provides a teenager’s body and mind with energy needed to grow, feel well, be active, stay healthy and have a better learning mind throughout the school day. All the snacks that are being sold will be funding various programs at HHS that does not have funding provided. Every penny earned helps out the school.

Many schools in Maine have a school store for the students that need it. Some school stores do not provide a lot of snacks and instead provide pencils, erasers and supplies that are necessary in a classroom. The HHS Snack Shack also provides pencils and book covers for classes that require them.

The Snack Shack is placed in the JROTC room and is open all day except for 3rd block and lunches, they are also open after school. The store officially started this school year.

Major Fortier said, “help us, help you.”

The top selling item that is purchased is beef jerky that sells at $1.50 and flavored water that sells at $1. The day store sells “smart snacks” for the nutrients of teenagers. The menu includes items like fruit gummies, Sun Chips, pistachios, and more. When it comes the end of the day, there is an after school menu includingcandy, pastries, and soda for those who want it.

The top leaders in JROTC come in and help out when they have a study hall.  The school store is placed in back of the JROTC room. Major Fortier included that the Snack Shack is in a secure area for students to enjoy. It is lit up with lights to highlight the many healthy options.

The Snack Shack will love any suggestions that anyone has!


JMG Students Organize New Fall Events

By Allison Fetha, Staff Writer / 10/26/2018

Jobs for Maine Graduates students have been organizing a new Haunted Trails Halloween event which will open this Saturday, October 27th from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. It’s recommended for ages 10+. For younger children, they are also throwing a Boo Bash inside from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm. Both events will have a $5 admission fee.

Screenshot at 2018-10-26 15:49:02

Image from Shutterstock

This is the first year Hermon will be having a Haunted Trail. Students from JMG have been working hard to plan this event which they came up with themselves during class. Local high school, Hampden Academy, has previously hosted a Haunted Trails event that brought in 500 to 700 attendees. Mr. Woodside is hoping for a similar turnout this year.

“The students have been in charge of the promotion,” he stated while students started arriving to class and instantly pulling out their laptops to work on the event planning. “They made the flyers and hung them up around the schools and given them to local businesses. They’ve even contacted radio and news stations,” he said, pointing to the multiple flyers and posters around the room.

“It’s something for the students to take pride in, they can include it in a resume, and it gives them real world experience.” This event has taught the students involved about marketing, budgeting, and community outreach which are all transferable skills that will be used in future careers.

“It’s definitely taught everyone some really important skills,” Kaleb Goodine stated. He’s the President of Hermon JMG and has been working closely with other students on the Boo Bash.

The Boo Bash event will be held in the high school cafeteria and gym. There will be a costume contest, halloween crafts, carnival games, face painting, a pumpkin patch squash, and a mummy race.

“We’ve all been working really hard on these events for a while and we hope a lot of people come and have a good time.” These events won’t only give pride to the students who organized them, but also to the Hermon community.


Annual Pan Dance at Hermon High School

By Grace Qualey, Staff Writer / 10/15/2018screenshot-at-2018-10-26-090012.png

Mid-afternoon, when wandering through the halls of Hermon High, you may hear the loud pings and pangs rubber hitting metal.

This loud rhythmic sound is one of Mr.Kolman’s five steel pans classes practicing for their next big performance.  Steel pans also called steel drums are traditionally made out of steel oil drums. The drums are beaten down and cut down depending on which part the drum is intended for. They are tuned and crafted by taking a hammer and tapping out different sections of the metal to create the different notes on the pans.

Throughout the years, especially since their outstanding performance of Radioactive by Imagine Dragons last year, the group has gained many fans and many new pannists. When asked about the growth of the class, pan instructor Mr. Kolman stated, “Last year’s performance [of radioactive] has definitely gained us a lot of new students to the group.”The group hopes that as more songs in different varieties become more available more students will be interested in joining the group.

In celebration of Halloween and to share their music with the community, Mr.Kolman is  hosting his annual Pan Dance! The line up will include the 5 Hermon High School pan classes as well as Pan Storm, a local group instructed by Mr.Kolman after school, as well as a group from Blue Hill. These groups will play a large variety of soca pop. Some of these songs include, Happiest Man Alive, Carnivale, Sand Storm, Ola, Memory and many more.

Many members of the groups will be coming in costume. All attendees are encouraged to come in costume to help enhance the magic of Halloween, however it is not required. When asked about attendees coming in costume he told us, “Yes, a lot of people show up in costume… For the longest time there was this guy that used to come as a killer clown and Krista [a graduated student] could never stand to go near the guy.” All attendees are highly encouraged to come in costume in spirit of Halloween, however it is not require. This event is open to all community members and is free of charge.

Aidan Tait, veteran pannist and pan fan,  he said, “I found it was a load of fun! It was always great to see what creative things people could come up with for their costumes and it was always funny to watch people with elaborate costumes jump around while they were playing. It’s always a blast!”

The Pan Dance is on October 26th from 6pm to 10pm.


The HHS Writing Center is Open for Business

By Tom Ingalls, Staff Writer / 10/18/2018
The Hermon High School Writing Center is now open for business and accepting students! With student coaches and teachers working together there is nothing a student can’t write.

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Shelby Reynolds, writing coach, sits in the writing center eagerly awaiting a student to help. A sophomore walks in looking for help with a persuasive essay assigned in their English class. The student fills out a check in sheet and sits down with Shelby. She guides the student through asking questions and not giving answers, and the student writes their own essays. Shelby and other writing coaches give the student the tools to write the essay themselves.

Shelby learned how to help students write their own essays through her training to be a coach. “We learn how to be positive about it. We don’t tell them what to do, instead ask questions and guide them to help them figure it out and learn it themselves,” said Reynolds. According to Reynolds, the writing center can also provide leadership opportunities for the coaches. “I think it’s a good opportunity for students and coaches to learn more about writing and an even better opportunity for coaches to learn leadership.”

Mr. Murray, an English teacher at Hermon High School, is very excited for the Writing Center to get started and he’s looking forward to seeing where it goes. The coaches in the Writing Center were all ready to help whoever needed their assistance when the Writing Center opened on October 1st this year.

Mr. Murray drew inspiration from his college professor Rich Kent, and even from our own math/science tutor Mrs. Haskell. “I felt like it fit a need here, we saw what Mrs. Haskell was doing with math and I thought we could do the same. My college professor Rich Kent gave me the tools to start a writing center, he is probably the inspiration more than anything else,” says Mr. Murray.

A session at the Writing Center will only take fifteen to twenty minutes. When a student comes in an intake form will be filled out and the student will be assigned a coach. The coach’s process of helping a student will be very question based, they want you to come up with your own answers.

The Writing Center doesn’t exclusively coach writing assignments from English classes, the coaches support writing in any content area. The Writing Center even helps write college essays!

“The end goal was to give them the tools they need so it is not necessary for them to come back,” states Mr. Murray.

Murray is optimistic on the how the Writing Center will progress. He explains that when students find out they are able to help with college essays, they will be very busy. They are already accepting students. It sounds that the Writing Center is the place to be to become a better writer.

The Writing Center is open for all, during periods one, two, and three on blue days. They will also be available during periods one, two, three, and four on blue days, and period two on gold days during the second semester.


AP Opportunities could Help Students and School Mission

By Christopher Guzman, Staff Writer / 10/18/2018

Hearing the words “more AP classes” and “college level courses” may be enough to make one gag and sigh, but they carry more significance than you may think.

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Image from ShutterStock

Currently, Hermon High School offers around 16 classes that grant college credits upon completion from a variety of schools such as the University of Southern Maine. There are also programs such as bridge year, which offers dual enrollment courses with various colleges around Maine, and AP4ALL, which provides online AP courses not offered by the school. With all these college credits, it’s easy to assume that students have more than enough opportunities to get a head start to college and become adjusted to higher expectations than most, but compared to other schools across the nation, it might not be enough.

Earning college credits in high school can be beneficial to students for a variety of reasons. In terms of experience, offering college level courses gives students a chance to see whether they are truly ready for life after high school, or if they may need to reach out for help early so they don’t become so overwhelmed during the real deal. According to a study conducted by Columbia University done over six years (2010-2016), it was found that an astonishing “88% of community college dual enrollment students continued in college after high school, and most earned a degree or transferred within six years.” This is especially important, as a recent UCLA study found that college freshmen have reported “feeling more stress and low ‘emotional well-being’” than freshmen did back nearly thirty years ago, as well as seeing a “20% increase in seeking help for anxiety or depression… that [is] likely stress induced.”

In terms of practical benefits, earning college credits in high school can help make it easier to attain your degree in the future and significantly reduce the cost of college education, as the total cost for all classes taken in one’s freshman year alone can add up to over $14,000, with each class demanding around $600 (according to studentloanhero.com), compared to the $75 that the USM credits for the statistics and calculus requires.

Dual enrollment classes in particular have been proven to help students immensely, as proven by a study conducted by Harvard Kennedy School in 2015, which found that Tennessee students who took dual enrollment classes in high school were “2.5 times more likely to complete an associate degree within two years,” and another study found that “students who participated in dual enrollment programs in high school were much more likely to earn bachelor’s degrees later in life than those who had no experience with dual enrollment.” It’s also important to show on a high school transcript, as it shows the college that the student challenged themselves by taking high level courses and that they care for their future. Simply put, taking college level courses does a lot more good than harm in most cases.

So how can Hermon High School offer more courses to help students to be better prepared for college? One might think a simple answer would be to add more AP classes, but as Mrs. Taylor (who is teaching AP Biology for the first time this year) states, courses like AP Bio can be hard to implement because “it took several years for it to get going here… AP Bio has a high start up cost because of all the lab materials and equipment, [whereas] a lot of other classes it’s the books but not the lab materials and equipment, so it cost probably twice as much as others to get started and to run year by year.” She also worries that offering too many AP classes would “reduce the number of people signing up for them and make it so the classes can’t get going.” Although this may be true, there are regular courses taught in this school that have as few as seven students enrolled while still functioning, as well as the fact that there are more students who are taking AP Calculus AB than there are kids taking regular calculus.

             Another teacher, Mr. Garbe, whose statistics course offers dual enrollment credits with USM, talked about whether there needs to be more or less college level courses by saying, “there’s pros and cons to having college credits in high school… The con is that… it’s not truly a college class because our expectations are probably different than what a college professor’s expectations would be.” He went on to say that the school needs to have stricter prerequisites for college classes. This is where the AP4ALL program can help, as courses that aren’t popular enough to be taught in school are taught by college professors online through the University of Maine at Fort Kent, while simultaneously following university standards and providing a real college experience. While for some students this works out well and can be done trouble free, with other students it varies.

According to Mrs. Griffin, the HHS AP4ALL coordinator, “it varies depending on the course and the teacher. If the teacher doesn’t give a lot of feedback or if the class is more math based and it’s really hard to do the work on the computer and get good feedback, then it’s pretty tough… If there’s another option for some of these classes then I tend to push [students] in that direction.”

When asked whether more college level courses in classroom environments should be taught, she said yes and mentioned her family attending other high schools by saying, “they aren’t even close to what Hermon is offering… there’s only a couple of AP classes that they can take, no college classes, dual enrollment, bridge year, none of that. If you can come out ahead when you graduate high school, you’re saving yourself a lot of time and money, for the kids that can handle it.”

Studies across the nation prove that offering college level courses to high school students is beneficial to students no matter what type it is. Currently, the courses we have aren’t enough. Our school may be small, with only 505 students total, but there are multiple AP classes that have nearly twenty kids, with well over 40 students enrolled in what few AP courses are available here. The interest for more college credit classes is there, but it doesn’t seem the school is taking steps to satisfy the students’ interests. Our mission statement is to “prepare students for personal success in college, career, and the community,” but if we are not doing everything we can to fulfill this statement, how can we truly prepare our students for success in life after high school?


Hawks 4 Change Seeks to Welcome More Members

By Evan Staples. Staff Writer / 10/18/2018

Hawks 4 Change is having their bi-weekly meeting in Mrs. Cough’s room. When the H4C members walk into the room, it is filled with food from the Danforth’s food drive to distribute to all of the homerooms’ boxes. The group splits off into four groups to cover all grades’ homerooms.untitled-presentation.jpg

This group is taking steps forward to combat issues that they think are relevant in the school. Hawks 4 Change is led by health teacher, Holly Cough, and Hermon resident, Kim Nichols. The group was created in March 2017 when a group of students were selected to attend Maine Youth Action Network, a leadership conference held at the Cross Insurance Center.

“Our main objective is to reduce youth substance abuse,” Cough explained. This can cover a wide variety of drugs like alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.” Their biggest accomplishment is the food cupboard in the school and “grab-and-go boxes” in every homeroom in case a student didn’t get sufficient nutrition one day or needs to have a snack before a sport practice or game. Cough notes, “We have researched a connection between food insecurity and substance abuse,” believing that the food cupboard will “reduce risk factors” of students starting to use substances.

A food drive was held at Danforth’s on September 15 to gather the food needed for every homeroom’s box and the cupboard in the nurse’s office. The boxes contain non-perishables like applesauce, granola bars, boxes of pasta, and sandwich crackers, etc. Cough continues, “There’s a presence in the community even though the food is for the high school.” Without anybody contributing to food drives, the food cupboard would not be possible and some students might go a whole day without eating food.

Hawks 4 Change has also devoted their time to other deeds for the community. Sticker Shock is an event held in April, during prom season, when group members go to local convenience stores placing “stickers on multi packs of alcohol that remind people who are 21 and over that it is illegal to purchase alcoholic beverages [for minors],” says Cough. They are hoping that this will make adults think twice before providing minors with alcohol. Stores vary from Village Market in Carmel to Levant Corner Store to Danforth’s in Hermon.

With people graduating every year, Hawks 4 Change is losing members and is desperately trying to recruit more. On October 18th, Hawks 4 Change successfully held an informational session and ice cream social with the intent to gain new associates to be part of this important organization. The group’s next meeting is November 15 at 2:30 in Mrs. Cough’s room (Room 117).


Under Pressure

By Shelby Reynolds, Staff Writer / 10/17/2018
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Image from PBS.org

Senior year is the year of change. There are so many exciting things going on for every senior but there’s one particular thing we can all relate to: post-grad decisions.

We have spent all four years waiting and preparing ourselves for this exact moment. The transition from high school to college is new yet terrifying. We love to say we have so much time left but in reality, we do not. The clock is ticking and college is just around the corner.

The scariest part of our new adventure is being thrown into a new career path. Some students know what they are going to do when they permanently leave the doors of HHS but for the other handful, they see nothing but question marks ahead. Making this choice is difficult for some. Just when you think you know, you could change your mind. It’s hard to leave high school knowing exactly what you want to do. It almost feels like a punch to the stomach when you hear all of your friends planning their futures and discussing the steps they have to take to get there. Your vision is just blurry.

For all four years we have been guided right down to our final days. Now, in this very moment, it’s our turn to make a move. We are under pressure to make a huge decision ourselves.

As graduation approaches, we have plenty of resources to help us make our decision. One of those resources being our very own guidance department. Both Ms. Pelletier and Mrs. Smith encounter students in this exact position around this time of year. They are never worried for those students, though. Guidance understands as seniors in high school, we still have a lot of time ahead of us. Maybe we don’t have everything figured out yet, and that is normal. Guidance not only understands, but does their very best to help us think of our interests, our talents and hobbies, to hopefully create a new outlook for us into the world beyond HHS.

At the end of the day, it feels a lot better when you know you aren’t alone. It’s time to take advantage of the opportunities available for us and get out there. If we don’t know right now, then we will know when we are ready.

Sometimes the best things come later.


The Common Application and its Application

By Connor Cropley, Staff Writer / 10/18/2018

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The Common Application ( found on commonapp.org) may seem like a confusing mess of paperwork and technicalities, which it is sometimes, and therefore may appear to be rather intimidating to a senior looking to apply to college. However, once a student has filled out the six thoroughly detailed pages, the application is complete, and ready to be your best friend throughout the trials and tribulations of the college application processes. Upon completion, it is used as a zero-effort tool to send forward to a college and never worry about again. Leslie Smith, the Hermon High Guidance Director, adamantly advocates for the completion of this one-stop shop application in order to make the college application process easier for everyone involved.

But what about the cost?

Smith wants to stress to students to not let the cost of applying to limit you. “The Common App itself is free, but you do have to pay an application fee depending on the college… what I’ve been trying to tell seniors is that their fee can be waived.”

Depending on the level of involvement or interest in the college or being in a certain income range can get your fee waived. The academic cost, however, is up to the student.

“If you’re getting into a math or actuary science program, those [SAT] scores really matter,” says Smith. The same goes for highly competitive fields like nursing and engineering. On the Common App, you’re given a space to fill in your highest SAT scores, as this is something colleges consider while reviewing your application, especially if you are looking into a more competitive major, like the ones mentioned previously. However, the SAT is not always reflective of a student’s ability, so students don’t have to put in their scores. You might think that would look bad, but it actually doesn’t hurt you in any way. If an admissions office doesn’t have an SAT score to go off of, they simply review the rest of your information and don’t take the SAT into account.

The Common Application covers all of an applicant’s academic history and paints a picture of them as a student, whereas their letters of recommendation (Something you request and is uploaded by a teacher, coach, guidance counselor, or other trusted adult) describe your character and personality traits.

One thing an admissions office really looks for in your application is to learn about you as a person. They want to get to know you. This is where your Common App prompt essay comes in. Use that to get personal, and talk about yourself and your beliefs, your ideas and your opinions. Smith remarks, “They want to see you in the essay, that’s my biggest message here, they want to think they’ve had a fifteen minute conversation with you.” Therefore, you should try to use that essay to your advantage and write about one of the more subjective essay topics, like “When have you ever questioned your own beliefs” or “Talk about a time of change in your life.” These types of questions really give colleges a deep look into who you are as a person, and simulate that “fifteen minute conversation.”

All of this information may seem overwhelming, which is completely understandable. Many at Hermon High School are in that same boat. Smith wants to remind students that it’s not as scary as it may seem, and actually has the capacity to be a great help when applying to multiple colleges.

Send your Common App on over to a college and then wait for your acceptance letter. Additionally,  here’s a word of advice: remember to stay calm and meet your deadlines!


Community Service Options and Opportunities for Students

By Allison Fetha, Staff Writer / 10/18/2018
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Image from ShutterStock

At the moment, 63% of the senior class haven’t completed the required amount of community service hours to graduate. Hermon High School requires 20 community service hours to graduate, while most surrounding schools require 60. To incoming students it seems like an easy task, however it’s often one of the most overlooked. Our school’s mission statement is to prepare students for personal success in college, career, and community. Getting involved and completing community service hours is important because being part of our community will follow us after graduation.

The guidance office is extremely involved in helping students find community service opportunities. They give reminders at class meeting, print flyers, and make announcements to draw awareness. They post about the opportunities on the Hermon High instagram page for students and the Facebook page for parents.

“We really like to explain how important it is to get community service hours completed to freshman and encourage them to not put it off,” Mrs. Smith, Hermon High School’s Guidance Director, stated. “They think they have a lot of time, but once they get to junior year students start getting jobs and becoming very busy, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for community service.”

Some students may be completing their hours and not even realizing it. “It doesn’t have to be organized,” Smith explains. It could be spending a couple hours helping at the humane society, soup kitchen, or even helping out a neighbor. Several students have gotten their hours from mowing or raking lawns, plowing snow, or helping elderly neighbors with housework they have trouble with. It’s important to be active in our community because as adults there will be many occasions where we help others or organizations.

Major and First Sergeant can attest to this. The JROTC program is about leadership and citizenship, therefore students have the chance to be very involved. “Many students have gotten their hours completed within the first year of the program,” Major shared, surrounded by his own plaque and medal recognizing him for his part volunteering with the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. He was eager to mention the ways he gives back to the community by being a board member with the Goodwill Riders Snowmobile Club as well as helping with their events, and assistant coaching for the school. The pair explained how the requirement for community service goes hand in hand with the school’s mission statement, and how it follows you after graduation.

“We’ve had some students graduate with over 300 hours,” First Sergeant stated. “Almost everything we do involves the community.”

“I have three or four hours so far,” said Jack Cole, a freshman who’s only been part of JROTC for nearly two months. “The program definitely helps.”

Two seniors, Halle Cole and Hannah Morin have also gotten their hours through the program, which between them is over 200.

Even though JROTC is a great way to get involved, there are plenty of opportunities posted by the guidance office every month.

Pumpkins in the Park is looking for volunteers on October 21st from noon to 5pm at the Anah Shriners building. There are several things to help out with from assisting with setup, selling tickets, supervising activities, painting faces, making popcorn, and working in the photo booth. There’s also help needed at the Kenduskeag Haunted House this coming Saturday and Sunday. Basketball concessions are also coming up for classes. It’s never too early to reach out and get involved in a cause, organization, or project that means something to you.


Navigating the Transition to High School

By Caitlynn Tracy, Staff Writer / 10/18/2018

The freshmen face a very big challenge to transition into the high school. There could be so many different thoughts running through their minds like, “Am I going to be late?”  or “Where are my classes?”

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Image from Shutterstock

Hermon High School goes above and beyond to make sure all the freshmen are comfortable and having fun. Each and every student has a different personality and that’s why it’s difficult to make sure all of the freshmen are settled in the best way that fits for them. Guidance is a good resource for all freshmen or students in this transition to high school.

There are currently 138 freshmen in our school. This class is bigger than any of the other classes in attendance at our school. 37% of the students that go to the guidance office are freshmen. This year, we have the position of a guidance counselor that is specifically for the freshmen, our very own Ms. Barry.  When asked if joining sports and other school related activities are helpful for the freshmen, she said, “yes, it helps the freshmen with engaging with upper classmen.” Also, they have noticed that when students join sports or clubs it gives them motivation and pushes them to get their grades up.

Barry also thought that there was a big difference in action and behavior from freshmen year to sophomore year. A lot can happen in a year, however high school can really change students. Although HHS has excellent supports for incoming freshmen, the big question is do you think that there is anything that Hermon High School could better with incoming freshmen?

Over the years, the school really focuses on making sure the freshmen are comfortable. This year they brought the freshmen into the high school early (at the end of last year) so that during freshman orientation they already knew where their classes were and they could focus more on socializing, learning, having fun, and finding out what high school is all about.  They focus on making sure that step up day and other activities are working, which is helpful to all students taking the step into high school.

HHS Spirit Week 2018: Recap

By Ayla Oxley & Shannel Barker, Staff Writers / 10/18/2018

Spirit rose at Hermon High School, as the fifth day of spirit week concluded with the traditional school pride day! School pride was shown by many in multiple ways including, but not limited to: wearing both school colors, school logos, and items such as jerseys or merchandise for Hermon athletic teams.untitled-presentation-1.jpg

Spirit day events during and after school, aided students with excitement and showed everyone a sense of their spirit! After classes on Friday, September 28th, students were called down to the gym by class to assemble for the pep rally. Heading to the pep rally, students were hooting and hollering, while riding on each others shoulders to show their excitement.

Volleyball started off the pep rally, with many competitive students playing for their classes. As students were running around their designated team area, putting their best effort forth, classmates cheered them on, in hopes they would win to add spirit points for their class. The senior class won the volleyball portion of the spirit games.

While preparing for the next activity, students who participated in athletic teams or clubs, were recognized by being asked to stand up, and stay standing, when their team or club was announced.

Suspense rose as they scattered single chairs all throughout the gym floor. Some students started to process ideas of what the next event could be. Ah, classic musical chairs, a game typically played cautiously in day cares and sunday school. However, when played in a high school gym, at the end of the day on a Friday during spirit week, it wasn’t very cautious.

Students ran around, completing laps in the gym, burning all their calories from lunch. Running, falling, eliminating, and tripping were all contributors to the event. The games were so intense that a chair was broken.

Last but not least was the limbo competition, each class tested who had the classmate who could go the lowest and was judged by the English department’s Mrs. Cook and Mrs. Bjorklund. As few contestants remained, supporting classmates gathered around cheering with the hope that their classmate would win.

Despite the competition that ensued, the afternoon rounded up with an announcement that the senior class won spirit week.

Before the home football game was a series of events and contests families could participate in as well as students. A car decorating contest to show the most spirit amongst families and friends of players, and students, started off the afternoon activities. Students, parents of athletes, and others in the community also helped to decorate the football field for the homecoming game.

There was tailgating and a chili contest before the game started where fmiles set up a table of their chili for others to vote on which tasted the best! The night ended with the Hawks winning the football game. The journey of our 2018 fall spirit week ended positively!


Sports

Hermon Girls JV Basketball Team Rising High

By Evan Staples, Staff Writer / 01/11/2019

Hermon High School’s girls JV Basketball Team has been outstanding in performance as of late. Their current record is 9-0, The school seems so drawn towards the undefeated varsity teams, boys and girls, that it overshadows how well the future varsity stars of the JV team will do when a number of players on the varsity team graduate this year.

The team has players who swing to the varsity team to test out how well they play in the games. This can determine whether or not they should be a consideration to continue playing on the varsity team.

“I enjoy the excitement from the games, and being able to play with amazing teammates,” says Junior, Kayla Yost, who can be seen wearing jersey number 5 on the JV team. This is Yost’s second year playing on the team.

When asked about physical education teacher and coach Shawn Good, Yost said “[Coach] puts a lot of time and effort into each and every player to help improve ourselves, while still making sure we’re having fun,” Yost says about physical education teacher and coach, Shawn Good. Good has been coaching for a number of years and has build up a reputation at Hermon High School.

Games typically take place an hour and a half before the girls varsity games.

Their wins this season have been against Caribou, Foxcroft, Oceanside, Old Town, Washington Academy, Brewer, Orono, and Ellsworth. Their next game is on January 17th against Oceanside at Hermon High School at 5:30 PM. This is their first time playing them this season so they hope to continue the winning streak. Their final game is on February 4 against Orono.

The JV Team encourages anybody to come out to their games for the moral support.


Football Begins Pre Season Prep for 2019 Season

By Keith Pomeroy. Staff Writer / 01/10/2019

A few months after a great season by the Hermon Hawks football team, finishing 7-1 and making it all the way to the Class C North Regional Final game the Hermon Hawks have officially started preparing for the 2019 season.

Although 2018 didn’t finish as the players and community would have liked, the program still took some huge leaps and the future of Hermon Football looks bright. January 7th was the first day of organized pre season winter weight training. All returning players have the opportunity to get a head start on becoming bigger, faster, and stronger for the upcoming season.

The players are excited about being around their teammates and looking forward to next season.Screenshot at 2019-01-10 13:21:02.png

“We’re all happy about getting back to it and really focusing on finishing the job this season,” says returning senior, PJ Cannon.

The weight lifting program is designed to improve every player’s overall strength and conditioning. Every player completes the same workouts every night. They vary depending on the day and schedule rotation they’re on.  

Cannon went on to say, “We love coming in the weight room and getting better that’s the idea every day we come in.”

The Hawks are looking forward to another great season and with the right attitude busing around the players, the community will be in for a show.


Girls Basketball Season Preview

By Caitlynn Tracy, Staff Writer / 12/13/2018

The Hermon varsity girls basketball team has come close to a gold ball every year. This year they could possibly go all the way. What is different from this team from the rest is not necessarily talent, but team chemistry. Their  team chemistry this year could be what takes them all the way to the end.

Coach Kelley said, “The girls genuinely have fun together and enjoy being around each other. This year the girls have moved forward from just being teammates and developed a positive, encouraging sisterhood.”

The girls varsity basketball team will have some struggles this year though. They have to build a whole new team with 6 incoming freshmen joining our returners. Senior Captain Madi Curtis said, “The freshmen may be a little nervous to play this year because its their first year.” The past couple years they had at most two incoming freshmen so having six is a big change.  All of the returners are making it their main priority to make sure each and every freshman feels welcomed.

With all of the new players to the team we have to work extra hard. They have to relearn every single play. With all of this learning they have to make sure they also focus on their cardio and staying in shape as well. As soon as they start to slack it takes away from the little time that they have. Players have been going to work with some of the coaches in the gym after or before practice to work on fitness.

Another struggle that the team will have this year is injuries. They have a few players coming back from injuries or still injured. We have been practicing with as little as 8 players which can throw off our game.

With all of these struggles it’s just going to make all of the players work harder. They also have some advantages as well. All of the returners have at least been playing together since freshman year so they all play really well together. All of the freshmen have also participated in summer, fall, and spring leagues as well.

Coach Kelley also said “Having 6 new freshmen on our team brings a different kind of energy that we have never had before.” Most of them have been playing since elementary school and all of their hard work is about to pay off.  

Another huge advantage they all have is their incredible coaching staff. They currently have five coaches that help them out during practice. These coaches have been with them since freshman year so they know them all very well. They all know just how hard they can push them. They are a big reason why they are going to go so far this year.

Their first game was Saturday, December 8th against Caribou. As a season opener they had to really prove themselves. Their first regular season game could be nerve racking for anybody especially all of the freshmen that have never played in a regular season game before. They all worked together and pulled out the victory. They can all agree that their supporting fans help them out on the sidelines. They appreciate all of those who go to out home and even away games.

Madi Curtis stated “Fans that show up to our games help us out a lot because we feed off of of their energy and it gets us more pumped up.”  

Agreeing with Madi, Coach Kelley says, “There’s something special knowing you have a crowd of people behind you supporting you an excited to see you succeed.”


Beaton Commits to the University of Maine

By Keith Pomeroy, Staff Writer / 12/11/2018

beaton.pngHermon Hawks track and field standout Zach Beaton has decided to continue his running path, at the division one level for the University of Maine. Beaton, a 4-time state champion, was recruited by multiple top level schools before ultimately committing to UMaine.

“I had received many different letters and emails from other schools all around the country. I was honored to be noticed by so many different schools ranging from California to schools in Texas. I toured the University of Hartford and met with the coaches, and for a while I though Uhart would be the school I would run for. However, things just didn’t work out.”

The University of Maine seemed to be the right decision for Beaton and he’s very happy and satisfied with his choice to continue at UMaine.  “I decided I wanted to stay close to home, but I also wanted to run top level track. This led me to the University of Maine because it’s both close to home and a D1 athletics school.”

Beaton seems poised for the opportunity and understands the challenges that come with being a division one student athlete. “The biggest challenge that I will face at Maine, is the level of competition. Competing with local athletes from Maine poses a challenge, but college will be completely different. The competitiveness in me will keep me engaged and to be honest I can’t wait to get rolling.”umaine.png

Zach looks to make an immediate impact for his team and has even set a few goals to keep improving. “My goals when I arrive at Maine are to be as successful as I possibly can be. I’m going to help my team to the best of my ability and to be honest I feel with new teammates, new coaches the transition will be smooth.”

Beaton, one of the best track and field athletes in the region, has officially made the first steps to long and successful career at the college level.


The End of a Successful Football Season

By Christopher Guzman, Staff Writer / 11/28/2018

The Hermon Hawks’ Varsity Football team undoubtedly had their best season in school history in 2018, going 8-1 in the regular season and making their first ever trip to the the Class C North Regional Final game, before losing to the Nokomis Warriors 13-6 this past Saturday.

Nokomis jumped out to an early 13-0 lead through taking advantage of two Hermon turnovers. Quarterback Garrett Trask ran for a 75 yard touchdown during the second quarter to give Hermon hope, but it wasn’t meant to be as the Nokomis defense held the Hawks’ offense to short drives and more turnovers during the second half. Although both teams weren’t able to get much going on offense, they played stellar defense, holding each other to less than 100 yards combined in the second half, including just 23 yards from the Nokomis offense in the last two quarters.

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Image from 92.9 The Ticket

Despite not bringing home the trophy, this was still by far the most successful season Hermon football has ever had. After last year’s success of finishing 6-2 and hosting their first ever playoff game, they took it one step further by finishing 7-1 on the season and advancing far into the postseason. Hermon was a menace on offense, averaging almost 36 points a game, the highest rate in Class C North.

The Hawks started 3-0 before losing to the two-time defending champions MCI, but then bounced back with 4 straight wins to finish 7-1. In the first playoff game, Hermon dismantled Oceanside 41-0, avenging last year’s quarterfinal and tying for the second highest scoring game they had all season. Next, they overcame an early 13 point deficit to beat Winslow 20-13, which took them to their first ever regional final in school history.

Although they came up short, this was still the farthest Hermon football has ever made, and many of the players are proud of what they accomplished. Kenyan Robinson, a senior, said, “We may not have been the team that took home the gold but we were the team that put Hermon on the map.” Speaking on the coaching staff, Robinson also said “The coaching staff I believe is the reason we did so well, they actually cared about us and made sure we did what we were supposed… I’m hopeful for the future. The players on the team are in good hands and if they maintain their progress and workouts they will be even better than we were.”

Indeed, Hermon football has a lot to be excited about with a group of kids and a coaching staff like this.


Winter Sports are Here

By Keith Pomeroy, Staff Writer / 11/14/2018

As the fall sport season has finished at Hermon High School, incomes the winter season!

hawkHere at Hermon High School, we offer a few sports for everyone. If you’re looking to play a sport this winter, we offer both Boys and Girls basketball, indoor track and cheerleading. This year’s expectations are sky high for all teams competing.

The energy around the town is excitement and optimism for how this winter season will play out for all sports. “Everyone’s super excited to get going again, and get back in the swing of things,” says senior varsity basketball player Joel Bergeron, who last year was a part of capturing the state championship victory over Wells to top off a perfect season.

“Obviously we’re going to try to do it again but we have to take one game at a time and I think this group is ready to do that,” says Bergeron. G

irls basketball seems to always be right in the mix of things and is looking to rebound from last year and win a gold ball for the community.

Winning is the goal in Hermon. Indoor track is excited to get rolling again, “We all can’t wait to get back on the track,” says Senior Zach Beaton.

Lastly, but definitely not least the powerhouse cheerleading team who is in the mix for a state championship every year is looking to add to the history of Hermon Cheering once again.

It’s a great time of year, everyone is excited.


Hermon Hawks Fly Away with the Season

By Nate Cyr, Staff Writer / 10/30/2018

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The Hermon Hawks varsity football team has been on a roll this season winning 8 of 9 games so far. The Hawks started off the season 3-0 with wins against John Bapst, Morse, and Nokomis. In these three games alone, the team had outscored their opponents 99-19. Their fourth game was a tough one against the difficult Maine Central Institute team in MCI the result of the game was a loss 25-29. The Hawks overcame the tough loss against MCI after adding another win to their collection with the monstrous victory over the Mount Desert Island Trojans, the Hawks ended up winning the Hermon High School homecoming game with a score of 49-14.

The Hawks appeared strong and confident going into their sixth game against Old Town on October 5th, the team powered through coming out on top with a score of 42-27. The Hawks are sitting in second in the standings for Class C Maine high school football right now behind MCI.

Junior Brandyn Matheson, a wide receiver, said, “MCI was a tough loss, we only lost by four points. But when we face them in the playoffs it won’t be a hard game.” Matheson seemed confident in his team’s ability to make it far in the post-season this year and their ability to overcome the loss to MCI.

For some people, a high school football game is just a place to see friends and hangout, but for most it is a very intense and hyped up event. In the past years, as a new team, the fan turnout was not as big as they would like, it mostly consisted of parents and siblings but as the team developed and became better they started to get the turnout they had expected.

With a fan base ranging from family to kids at school and even other people from the community. Many people during these events are screaming and clapping for their team and for their kids. When you walk in those gates it is a completely different environment, you see people with Hawks apparel and with Hermon seats and blankets.

Keith Pomeroy, a wide receiver, said, “the coaching staff has definitely helped us gain the community’s support, due to the change in the coaching staff we have become a winning team, which leads to the support of the community. ” When you walk in those gates you see a whole new side of the Hermon community, you see a family linked in arms supporting and cheering their team on.

The Hawks won their first ever playoff game last Friday night against Oceanside with a score of  41-0. The team looked very strong against this Oceanside team and dominated their first playoff game.

“The football team is having a great year with the most wins in school history,” said Mr. Sinclair, the Hermon High School athletic director. “The win against Oceanside was a great win, they played a lot better this week than last week, defensively they were very good and we have a lot of offensive weapons.”

The Hermon community continues to cheer on the Hawks throughout their historical journey to playoffs. Go Hawks!


 


Season Review: Boys Varsity Soccer

By Christopher Guzman, Staff Writer / 10/25/2018

IMG_2545The 2018 Hermon Boy’s Soccer season came to an end this past Friday, losing 3-0 to the MDI Trojans in their home preliminary playoff game. Despite the early exit, the Hawks had a successful season, finishing with a record of 6-5-3, and having a home playoff game for the second consecutive year in a row. This was the second season under the guidance of head coach Mark Dieuveuil, as well as his second straight winning season with the team after guiding them to an 8-5-1 finish last year and a trip to the semi-finals.

Hermon began the season in stellar form, going undefeated through the first five games of the season (including a big road win at Washington Academy) and briefly holding the number one spot in the Class B North standings. A dip in form saw the team go through four straight games without a win, before bouncing back with a memorable win in overtime at Old Town, and just in time to finish with another winning record and securing the eighth seed in the standings.

At the beginning of the season, many of the players expressed confidence in the team and the recognition of the potential to do well throughout the season. Midfielder Shawn Samuels, when asked again about his thoughts of the team as a whole said, “we definitely had so much more potential than what the playoffs [as well as our record] showed,” but also remarked, “the team always played its hardest…Overall, I think we did well.”

Given the accomplishments of the last two seasons, it is hard not to commend the Hawks for their achievements. Girl’s soccer is still going strong however, winning their latest playoff game against Mt. View 5-3, with their next game being the home semi-final against Winslow on Saturday.


Boys Cross Country Sweeps Class B

By Owen Shaw, Staff Writer / 10/18/2018
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Image from Hermon Hawks Athletics Facebook

Hermon High School’s boys varsity cross country team added a fifth win to their record Saturday, September 22nd in Old Town under coach Megan McCarthy. When asked about the key to Hermon’s comeback season, Coach McCarthy stated, “it’s all about how much work the students have put in on their own time. We have a great group of runners who are willing to work for it.”

Senior Braedon Stevens came in first for the Hawks, ending in second place overall with a time of 17:50. With five runners in the top ten overall, the Hawks swept the second-place Caribou Vikings by 18 points. Senior varsity captain, Zachary Beaton, spoke about the key to the Hawks’ success this season by saying, “the unity and ability to really work together to push one another. We’ve been able to set goals as a team and work together to achieve them.”

After a strong win in Ellsworth on September 1st with a team score of 40, their season has shown no signs of slowing down. The Hawks continued to sweep the competition in the Lynx invitational, managing to leave with a perfect team score of 15 on the boys varsity side, as well as a first place award for boys varsity, junior varsity, and girls varsity. 5 days prior, the Hawks won at Dover-Foxcroft against John Bapst, Calais, and Foxcroft. Since then, the Hawks have trained hard at practice, running up to 8 miles a day to continue their comeback season.

Festivals of Champions, the largest sports event in New England, also went well for the Hawks, placing 11th overall out of 65 competing teams with a team score of 356. With just one more regular season meet, the Hawks are in the final stretch of the season, looking to top Lincoln Academy at the state meet.

After a very unexpected victory late last season in the PVC and Regional meets, the Hawks were disappointed to finish in 7th place at the 2017 State Championship in Cumberland last season. “We were just exhausted and didn’t prepare correctly for [what] states was going to be like. We were there physically and mentally, our bodies had just taken too much in the span of 2 months,” says Beaton.

His teammates agree. “We were ill-prepared for the competition because we were used to winning at the regional level,” says fellow senior varsity captain, Kyle Byram. Hermon began their postseason Saturday the 13th in Presque Isle, facing off against schools from both Class B and C. The Hawks won by 2 points against the second-place Caribou, taking the title of Penobscot Valley Champions.

The Hawks hope to maintain their momentum for the rest of the season, with just two weeks until the state meet. “I feel that we are more prepared this year than we were last year and we are more motivated to win,” Beaton explains.  All of their hard work will show during the Class B State Championship October 27th in Belfast.


Boys Soccer Looks to Contend for Class B State Title

Keith Pomeroy, Staff Writer / 10/18/2018

As the regular season is winding down in class B boys varsity soccer, The Hermon Hawks are looking to finish strong and compete to win a state championship.Untitled presentation (3)

The Hawks are currently 4 – 4 – 3 in the sixth place with 3 games to go. They clearly have great aspirations of winning a state title. Sitting in 6th place this time of year does not seem to bother senior captain, Joel Bergeron. When asked what challenges could possibly come with competing on the road as a sixth seed in the playoffs, he simply said, “every team is beatable. we don’t fear anyone. We have as good of a chance as anyone else. We have nothing to lose.”

Confidence isn’t anything that is lacking in Hermon and it comes from the energy Coach Mark brings to his team. “He’s a very talented minded coach and has great energy towards our team,” says Bergeron implying his coach has a good mind when it comes to knowing soccer.

The Hawks believe their record may not show who they can be come playoff time.  They pride themselves on energy and competition and when it comes to gametime senior veteran, Jacob Polo, thinks that “ defense wins championships.”

Everyone has a role on a team and when speaking about his role, Polo said, “I pride myself on being a lockdown defender and trying to help my team in that way.”

Things are starting to heat up and playoff time is right around the corner. The Hawks don’t plan on laying down. In fact, with the past playoff experience this particular group of players has, don’t be surprised to see them at the top when it’s all said and done.


Arts & Entertainment 

Superbowl Snacks for the Win

By Shannel Barker and Ayla Oxley, Staff Writers / 01/16/2019

The 53rd Superbowl is approaching!  Now, this doesn’t just mean watching American football and cheering on your favorite team, while waiting for the Super bowl halftime performance or the hilarious commercials to play. Although that’s a huge part of this Sunday evening, everybody knows that the snacks are just as important. These snacks will leave you satisfied even if you’re routed team loses!

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Image from News Max.com

A fan favorite snack is spicy wings, typically served with celery sticks to cool down your mouth from the hotness of the wings. Many different types of wings include, jalapeno (Jalapeno Chicken Wings ), orange-glazed (Orange Glazed Chicken Wings), apricot-glazed (Apricot Glazed Wings ), pineapple teriyaki (Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Wings ), and maple-chipotle (Maple Chipotle Wings), however the most common flavors for football games are honey BBQ (Honey Barbecue Wings) and Buffalo (Buffalo Wings).

A real debate can be whether or not to have  bone-in or boneless wing. Coming to a consensus between the two could be as simple as offering both at your Superbowl party, but that can be more expensive than hoped for. The prices can start at a minimum of $7 (per bag for Tyson brand) for premade wings to over $65 if made homemade.

An easy go-to is chips and dip, such as salsa (Classic Fresh Salsa ) (homemade or store bought) and tostitos. Other options include, french onion dip (French Onion Dip) with classic wavy chips, guacamole (Guacamolewith some restaurant style tortilla chips, and even fritos scoops with bean dip (Hot Bean Dip ), doritos can be used too. Don’t forget you can offer flavored chips as well.

A healthier, go-to, is a fruit platter with fruit dip, or a vegetable platter with any dip of your choosing. If you’re still on board with platters, you can never go wrong with a cheese, cracker, and pepperoni platter which is perfect snack for pre-game.

Another amazing snack, if you enjoy seafood and bacon, is bacon wrapped scallops. Although this super bowl snack is more expensive than most, it is definitely worth the money. Where the minimum price of making bacon wrapped scallops is about $17 and higher. The infamous “Pigs in a Blanket” are also a quick snack to whip together that is just as tasty, making Pigs in a Blanket can be as cheap as $5 and some change.

Loaded nachos are a great way for people who love mixing foods to get their snack on. The toppings of your nachos can make or break how amazing they are. Nacho toppings can include things such as cheese, sour cream, peppers, salsa, hamburg, onions, tomatoes, and so many other options. A topping that may sound strange in nachos but found to be tasty are things such as bacon, beans, guacamole, and shrimp.

If you love cheesy dishes, than fried Mac and cheese balls (Fried Mac and Cheese balls recipe: Fried Mac and Cheese Balls ) are the ideal snack for you. This ball of cheesy goodness can be dipped or ate plain and still be amazing. Some cooking gear for Mac and Cheese balls are a Dutch oven, which can be found at Walmart or Target, and a cookie scoop.

These snacks are a few Super Bowl favorites, hopefully a mentioned snack will catch your interest or maybe spark you to try something new. Super Bowl weekend is a great time to spend with family and friends, to share a laugh, your love of American football and of course, snacks.


Local Winter Activities to Redeem the Season

By Allison Fetha, Staff Writer / 01/15/2019
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Image from The Hungry JPEG

Now that the holidays are over, winter can seem somewhat pointless. A snowy winter night can make a great setting for Christmas or New Years, however it eventually loses its magic when Christmas spirit is packed up and saved until next year. Even though the cleaning off cars and shoveling becomes tiring, here are some activities that will help redeem winter.

Trying something new at Hermon Mountain

Hermon Mountain is a great place to go with family or a group of friends for skiing and snowboarding. They offer lessons if you don’t know how and if that’s not appealing, they also have a tubing lane. Don’t worry if you don’t own a pair of skis, they have rental equipment!

Daily Passes

Full Day Adult $32
Half Day Adult $27
Full Day Junior $27
Half Day Junior $22
Children 4- Years Free
Adults 70+ Free

Unlimited Pass

Adults $350
Juniors 12- $230
Youths 13-18 $250

Skating at the Penobscot Ice Arena

The Penobscot Ice Arena is a high school hockey rink that hosts the Brewer High School hockey team. They open their doors to the public for Public Skates that cost $7, Skate and Play lessons, and Stick and Pucks for $7. They put all of their public events and daily schedules on their website. http://penobscoticearena.org/

Getting a start on New Year’s Resolutions

Many people create New Year’s Resolutions to help better themselves for the new year. Some of the most common are to exercise more, learn a new language, or managing money better.

There are plenty of ways to achieve these resolutions. To start there are a lot of local gyms in the area. Planet Fitness offers memberships for $10 a month. Golds Gym lets you try out what they have to offer with a free trial. They have open gym, personal trainers, and group exercise classes that include yoga, zumba, aerobics and kickboxing.

Learning new languages are now easier than ever because you can accomplish this outside of the classroom. There are many successful apps that can teach you languages like French, Spanish, Mandarin, any many others. Some of the most popular are Duolingo, Memrise, and Babbel.

Apps won’t only help with learning new languages this year but also with managing money. Apps like Mint and Goodbudget will help you budget whereas PocketGuard will keep you from overspending. There are multiple apps for different needs when it comes to money, all it takes is a quick search to help you be more financially stable in the new year.  


Club Spotlight: Conspiracy Theory Club

By Jacob Lana, Staff Writer/ 01/14/2019

Every Friday after school, a group of eager students meets together to discuss conspiracies.Most days, the club doesn’t even discus conspiracies.

Mr. Stahl, the club’s advisor, has a large assortment of board games that we all enjoy playing. As with anything that goes on amongst a group friends, it’s organized chaos. We talk about everything from conspiracy theories (obviously) to funny videos and politics. The best thing about the club is that no matter what they do that day, everyone has fun.

Currently, the conspiracy club is planning a group trip. Previously, the club has gone to the Bangor Escape Rooms. After the escape rooms, everyone went to eat dinner at a local restaurant. As with everything the club does, everyone had a great time together.

Some of the conspiracies they’ve discussed in the past are some pretty popular ones, such as the Mandela Effect. Another one they’ve discussed is the possibility that the president has knowledge of aliens. They’ve also discussed some sillier conspiracies such as bigfoot, or that Justin Beiber is a lizard.

All in all, I would highly recommend taking the time to visit the conspiracy theory club at least once. Meetings take place every Friday after school in Mr. Stahl’s room. I hope everyone who reads this stops by at least once to see the club for themselves!


Birdbox Review – Spoiler Alert!

By Ayla Oxley, Staff Writer / 01/14/2019
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Image from IMDB / Netflix

A popular new thriller movie that swarmed the last two week of 2018 was the Netflix original movie Bird Box, about an unknown force that’s killing a population. No certainty exists, other than if you see it, you die. You die by brutally committing suicide. To survive the apocalypse, you can’t look anywhere, and only few get away with not looking.

Birdbox was rated 6.7/10 on IMDb, 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, and with a 52% on Metacritic. 88% of google users liked this movie.

Questions about the film swarm the internet everywhere, from Instagram and Twitter, to Tumblr and Facebook. Some posts even went viral among other media platforms opposed to where they originated. Questions including, What happened to everyone? What IS the creature? What ARE the answers?

Theories are discussed and also shared on social media platforms in attempt to answer these questions. A theory seen commonly includes that the creatures people see that make them kill themselves are mental health disorders. Suggesting that some people see the true demons and the ones around them don’t.

Mental health disorders that affect people are often unseen or overlooked. That’s why people don’t see the creatures until after, the one they love kills themself from seeing. Then the instant grief causes them to see the creatures.

There are other chilling theories that surround this movie as well that can be found in this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVfasd1Yjh0

Although this movie showed a fresh new plot, or so was thought, it wasn’t the greatest storyline. The Happening with Mark Wahlberg had almost the same storyline; an apocalypse of people killing themselves and trying to understand why.

Sandra Bullock acts in this movie as the leader of an important trip. In the movie Gravity she travels through space, and in Speed she drives a bus, if there’s anything this series of movies teaches you, it should be not to travel with Sandra Bullock.

Netflix original film Birdbox, overall had an interesting storyline but there were a few little details that didn’t pertain well to the story.  

A detail that didn’t pertain well to the story was that it didn’t have a consecutive time period. Clothing was a mix of vintage and modern styles. These styles were mixed throughout the movie. The clothing leaned to a more vintage or older style which made it difficult to guess the time period. This might have been intentional, which then didn’t make sense with the superficial technology. Newer models of phones, security systems, cars and even medical advancements, appeared through the movie. The time frame was confusing, when adding these details together.

A second detail that didn’t make the story of Birdbox add up was how the movie kept switching back and forth. Although this was a great hook to keep the audience interested, it was overdone. Instead of being helpful to the movie, it was almost harmful. Switching back and forth so much meant you had to go through and connect all the little details together. Connecting these details together wouldn’t have been such a headache if the connections were made closer together.

Overall Birdbox had a good storyline but a few details held back the success. Overlooking these details can shift the opinion of the movie. Now, we wait for the next Netflix Original film, that goes nearly as viral.


Preparing for Poetry Out Loud

By Madison Brown, Staff Writer / 12/14/2018

This months top assignment in most English classrooms at HHS is Poetry Out Loud. Poetry Out Loud is a national competition that is essentially a poetry recitation contest for high school students over a variety of famous poems.

Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

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Image from Poetry Out Loud

POL first made an appearance at Hermon High School in 2015. Many students take advantage of this opportunity to work on their recitation skills and read their favorite poems in front of their classmates. The requirements for POL include being able to stand in front of an audience comfortably and being able to recite your poem fluently with appropriate tone and understanding of the poem chosen.

There is a lot of controversy over whether students should have to stand in front of their classmates and be graded on their ability to recite fluently. Many students suffer from not being able to present in front of crowds of people which makes them fear they will not get a good grade, even though they may have the poem memorized perfectly.

Since this project is a staple we can look forward to in our English classes and it can be nerve wracking for some students and may cause stress, or if you are simply looking for some ways you can improve your poetry recitation skills, here are some tips to stay calm during your best recitation:

  • Take deep breaths before starting your poem, and keep your hands by your side to avoid fidgeting.
  • Don’t make eye contact if that makes you nervous, you can make it look like you are making eye contact by picking points around the room and looking at them during your presentation.
  • Make sure your poem is memorized in full.
  • Ask your teachers permission to have your classmates to turn their heads if them looking at you makes you nervous.

HHS will hold their annual POL competition on December 19th in the HHS Auditorium after school.


The Pool on the Third Floor: A Satire

By Jacob Lana, Staff Writer / 12/11/2018

It’s a cold, dreary day at Hermon High School. As I walked down the hallway, I overheard a senior telling a freshman that they should go swimming on the third floor pool. That made me wonder, what if there really was a pool on the third floor? I knew then that I had to devote my highschool career to finding this pool.

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Image from alexandrianews.com

My first step was asking around. I asked a senior named Tom Ingalls, “How do you get to the pool on the third floor?” He responded by saying to “ask Mr. Marzilli.”

The problem with that was Mr. Marzilli retired a few years ago. I decided to keep looking. While searching for people to ask, I found a shady figure sitting in a side stairwell. As I walked towards him, someone started to play the saxophone behind me. When I asked him where the pool was, he said, “There is no pool, you idiot” and walked away. I sat there listening to the jazz music as I pondered if I could be searching for something that doesn’t even exist.

I decided that they were just trying to throw me off. I continued to search. In the elevator, there was no third floor button. The side stairwells only lead to the first and second floor. Even the back room in the JROTC room only went up 2 floors. I had looked everywhere, but to no avail. The whereabouts of the third floor pool shall remain a mystery.


Hallmark Holiday Movie Preview

By Ayla Oxley,  Staff Writer / 11/09/2018

As the Halloween festivities end and 2018 starts to wind down with the last two months, it can only mean one thing. It’s the holiday season! Every holiday season has something special about it, whether it’s festivities like ice skating, drinking hot chocolate, wearing mismatched fuzzy socks, or something simple like decorating or watching movies.

This year jumps into the holiday spirit thanks to the Hallmark Channel’s movies, tons of Christmas movies are played on the Hallmark Channel yearly. This year, Hallmark is introducing 22 original new movies, to their Christmas countdown! Hallmark plays holiday movies 24/7 and some of them are very interesting. The countdown officially started on October 26th.

A must watch Hallmark Christmas movie I recommend is A Christmas Prince. Christmas Prince isn’t one of this year’s new ones, but is newer and it’s even on Netflix!

The reasons for watching Hallmark Christmas movies varies from person to person. “Because they’re cute,” Kayla Yost, a junior at Hermon High School, said about the Hallmark Christmas movies. Kayla also said her favorite Christmas movie is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey because she watches it with her mom each year as a tradition.

Hallmark has created a series of 136 original Christmas movies since 2008, which doesn’t include the 22 premiering this season. Most of these movies, if not all, are typically played all throughout the holiday season and you can catch them even two or three times.

These Hallmark movies typically involve a love aspect, small town, and the entirety of December, including Christmas and New Years.

There are many opportunities to jump into the Christmas spirit by watching Hallmark movies or even other Christmas movies. Amazon prime also has a list of 399 Christmas movies. Although there may be some repeats there are definitely different ones to check out.

This year don’t forget to watch at least one or two Christmas movies to jump in to the Christmas spirit, and make sure to check out some of the new Hallmark originals being premiered this month!

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Image from Hallmark Channel


Top 5 Places to Visit in your Lifetime

By Owen Shaw, Staff Writer / 11/09/2018

The United States of America has some of the most beautiful resorts, allowing travelers to relax on pristine beaches, hike diverse trails filled with a variety of flora and fauna, and view the Earth as it was billions of years ago. In this guide, I invite you to experience five of the most beautiful vacationing locations in the nation.

Lake Tahoe, Border of California and Nevada

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Formed by the rise and fall of landscape 24 million years ago, Lake Tahoe is a beautiful location on the border of California and Nevada, spanning nearly 22 miles of beautiful terrain where travelers can hike vast mountaintops, ski crisp white slopes, and relax on pristine beaches under the California sun. This lake was the heart of the Washoe tribe until the discovery of silver in nearby Virginia City turned this quiet lake into a bustling lumber community that used the lake to process and ship lumber via flume in the 1860’s. Today, it’s used as a beautiful vacationing spot.

Glacier National Park, Montana

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With more than 700 miles of trails to choose from, Glacier National Park is perfect for the adrenaline-seeker deep down in everyone. 1932’s benchmark Going-To-The-Sun Road divides the park east and west with a paved 50 mile two-lane highway that is perfect for sightseeing from the comfort of your own vehicle, and is well worth traveling both directions, as one side is much different than the other. Visit the popular Grinnell Glacier, famous for its beautiful scenery and awe-inspiring hiking trails. It’s likely you’ll need to come back to beautiful Glacier Park to experience the full extent of its glory.

Sanibel Island, Florida

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15 miles of Floridian beaches are sure to top any traveler’s list, and that’s exactly what gorgeous Sanibel Island offers. Snorkeling, beaches, marinas and cruises are just part of what this waterfront vacation has in store. Bike, moped, and segway rentals make the entirety of the island within reach, allowing you to enjoy the bird watching, spas, restaurant and nightlife offered. This remote location is perfect for fishing exotic species and spotting sharks off the coast. Tripadvisor topped their list of “Top Ten Best Vacations for Families with Toddlers” with Sanibel Island in 2017.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

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One of the more obvious geographical landmarks in the United States is the Grand Canyon, known for both its size and beauty. 277 miles long and 18 miles wide, this one-mile deep crater is considered by many to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Colorado River offers a unique opportunity to whitewater raft through this geographic spectacle, and views while hiking are unparalleled anywhere else. With some rock sampled reporting to be over 2 billion years old, the Grand Canyon is among the most beautiful historical sites the United States has to offer.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

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Resting at the top of an active volcano, Yellowstone National Park spans 3,472 miles, making it larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Filled with miles and miles of hiking trails, this vast mix of of forest, water and grassland became the world’s first national park on March 1st, 1872 under President Ulysses S. Grant. Beautiful scenery, 67 species of mammals, 285 species of birds, and two threatened species make this national park a hotspot for wildlife photographers and fishermen hoping to catch the infamous cutthroat trout.


Bad Movie Review: Undercover Grandpa

By Owen Shaw, Staff Writer / 10/26/2018

This week, I watched the Netflix classic, Undercover Grandpa, starring James Caan as the grandfather of the “relatable” protagonist Jake, played by Dylan Everett.

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The movie starts off with the cheesy upbeat melody as the camera pans over the typical suburban American home. Already we find Jake running late for school as he brushes off his overbearing mother. At school, he finally gets a date with his long-time crush Angie after an excruciating and hard to watch scene, but then finds out he may have to cancel due to his crazy veteran grandfather coming over for dinner. After an uncomfortable dinner scene with clearly forced conversation, Jake is finally free to pick up Angie; or so he thinks. While driving his grandfather home, he gets a call from Angie who explains that her car broke down by the “old sock factory.” You know, like every town has.

When Jake and his grandfather arrive, he finds nothing but two bullet casings, causing Grandpa Lou to suspect foul play; a suspicion that somehow Jake disagrees with like bullet casings are a common thing to find in this town. To get to the bottom of this, Lou takes Jake to a scary underground arms dealer, thinking that’s a good idea. It was at about this point in the movie when I really just stopped caring about how realistic this plot was and just focused on the fantasy aspect after Lou, an elderly man, beat up a group of gang members about two times his size. Anyway, after Grandpa’s beatdown, the gang leader discloses his secret contact to be the war criminal known as Komenkho, played by Paul Braunstein.

Knowing he’s taking on one of the most notorious criminals in the world, Grandpa Lou decides to assemble the Devil’s Scum, his old WWII team, once he finds out where Angie’s being held. The worst part of this movie, I think, follows when the Devil’s Scum decide they’re too old for another mission of this magnitude and it’s up to Jake to convince them that they are Angie’s only hope, using such sentiments as “my generation, we have no idea how good we have it”, “men like you have fought so that kids like me are free to text and tweet and ‘like’ and ‘poke’” and “old people have a lot to teach this generation. But one thing they don’t have to teach us is how to quit. ‘Cause we already know how to do that.”

Now I’m not sure, but I have a hunch this scene was written by a boomer or at least someone born earlier than the 1990’s. This scene really makes me question who the target audience is for this film, since there’s basically a 5 minute scene where millennials are just getting bashed for no reason.

The following scene shows our heroes, the Devil’s Scum, infiltrating Komenkho’s hideout and attempting to take out the villains. Unfortunately for them, every one of the Devil’s Scum become compromised one way or another, and it’s up to Jake to throw a dud grenade and get them to cover. Ensuing is an unnecessarily long firefight scene ending when one of the Devil’s Scum summons a literal lightning bolt out of his walker and kills all of the enemies except leader Komenkho, who meets his fate after Grandpa Lou throws him off a two-story ledge.

The following scene shows Grandpa Lou keeling over, clutching his chest before an ambulance rushes him off to a hospital. A transitional scene brings us to a graveyard where we see the ending of a funeral; Jake is being consoled by Angie and the camera shows us who is being grieved; Grandpa Lou. The Devil’s Scum approach Jake and offer him Lou’s dog tags as a way to remember him.

One month later Jake and Angie’s uncomfortably erotic conversation gets cut short as a man exiting a white car interrupts. Grandpa Lou walks toward Jake and they are reunited by a hug as Lou explains he faked his death as a cover from his old military enemies and then leaves.

I’m not kidding when I say that’s about the pace of this scene. For a family reunion between a grandson and his “dead” grandfather, this scene was unbelievably quick.

One thing I would like to point out is that as I was researching other reviews of this movie, many people stated that they were only disappointed by the foul language in a seemingly family-friendly movie, which I don’t understand because there were a lot more disappointing aspects from this movie, especially considering James Caan was the lead.

The acting was poor in parts and the script was a little unwatchable in some scenes, such as Jake’s motivational speech. All in all this was an enjoyable movie if you’re looking for something you don’t have to focus on too much and just want to have it on in the background. With all of its faults, I still found myself enjoying the cheesy family aspect and relationship the Devil’s Scum have with each other.

I’d give this movie 2.5 out of 5 stars.


Buzzfeed Review: 9 New iPhone Tricks that’ll Change your Life

By Madison Brown, Staff Writer / 10/20/2018

Rating: 4/5

Are you looking for a website to go to for the latest news, hacks, and everyday gossip? Buzzfeed can fulfill all your social media needs. Buzzfeed has many different channels to appeal to everybody such as BuzzFeedVideo, BuzzFeedBlue, BuzzFeedViolet, BuzzFeed Celeb, Ladylike, Pero Like, Tasty, BuzzFeed Nifty, BuzzFeed News, BuzzFeed Unsolved, and After Party.

bfAs high school students and being a part of our generation, social media and technology plays a big part in our lives both socially and academically. Buzzfeed contributes a lot to social media and appeals mostly to our generation with these videos and topics.

The video that I am reviewing this week is 9 iphone Tricks that’ll Change your Life. I enjoyed this video because as high school students and our phones being a key aspect in our lives, this video was informational and gave tips on your phone and how to better navigate it. Like most Buzzfeed content, I thought the information and tips were important for viewers. I would reccommend this article on Buzzfeed with a 4 / 5 rating.

Thank you for listening and tune in next week for another review on a new topic!


Superbowl Snacks for the Win

By Shannel Barker and Ayla Oxley, Staff Writers / 01/16/2019

The 53rd Superbowl is approaching!  Now, this doesn’t just mean watching American football and cheering on your favorite team, while waiting for the Super bowl halftime performance or the hilarious commercials to play. Although that’s a huge part of this Sunday evening, everybody knows that the snacks are just as important. These snacks will leave you satisfied even if you’re routed team loses!

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Image from News Max.com

A fan favorite snack is spicy wings, typically served with celery sticks to cool down your mouth from the hotness of the wings. Many different types of wings include, jalapeno (Jalapeno Chicken Wings ), orange-glazed (Orange Glazed Chicken Wings), apricot-glazed (Apricot Glazed Wings ), pineapple teriyaki (Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Wings ), and maple-chipotle (Maple Chipotle Wings), however the most common flavors for football games are honey BBQ (Honey Barbecue Wings) and Buffalo (Buffalo Wings).

A real debate can be whether or not to have  bone-in or boneless wing. Coming to a consensus between the two could be as simple as offering both at your Superbowl party, but that can be more expensive than hoped for. The prices can start at a minimum of $7 (per bag for Tyson brand) for premade wings to over $65 if made homemade.

An easy go-to is chips and dip, such as salsa (Classic Fresh Salsa ) (homemade or store bought) and tostitos. Other options include, french onion dip (French Onion Dip) with classic wavy chips, guacamole (Guacamolewith some restaurant style tortilla chips, and even fritos scoops with bean dip (Hot Bean Dip ), doritos can be used too. Don’t forget you can offer flavored chips as well.

A healthier, go-to, is a fruit platter with fruit dip, or a vegetable platter with any dip of your choosing. If you’re still on board with platters, you can never go wrong with a cheese, cracker, and pepperoni platter which is perfect snack for pre-game.

Another amazing snack, if you enjoy seafood and bacon, is bacon wrapped scallops. Although this super bowl snack is more expensive than most, it is definitely worth the money. Where the minimum price of making bacon wrapped scallops is about $17 and higher. The infamous “Pigs in a Blanket” are also a quick snack to whip together that is just as tasty, making Pigs in a Blanket can be as cheap as $5 and some change.

Loaded nachos are a great way for people who love mixing foods to get their snack on. The toppings of your nachos can make or break how amazing they are. Nacho toppings can include things such as cheese, sour cream, peppers, salsa, hamburg, onions, tomatoes, and so many other options. A topping that may sound strange in nachos but found to be tasty are things such as bacon, beans, guacamole, and shrimp.

If you love cheesy dishes, than fried Mac and cheese balls (Fried Mac and Cheese balls recipe: Fried Mac and Cheese Balls ) are the ideal snack for you. This ball of cheesy goodness can be dipped or ate plain and still be amazing. Some cooking gear for Mac and Cheese balls are a Dutch oven, which can be found at Walmart or Target, and a cookie scoop.

These snacks are a few Super Bowl favorites, hopefully a mentioned snack will catch your interest or maybe spark you to try something new. Super Bowl weekend is a great time to spend with family and friends, to share a laugh, your love of American football and of course, snacks.


Local Winter Activities to Redeem the Season

By Allison Fetha, Staff Writer / 01/15/2019
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Image from The Hungry JPEG

Now that the holidays are over, winter can seem somewhat pointless. A snowy winter night can make a great setting for Christmas or New Years, however it eventually loses its magic when Christmas spirit is packed up and saved until next year. Even though the cleaning off cars and shoveling becomes tiring, here are some activities that will help redeem winter.

Trying something new at Hermon Mountain

Hermon Mountain is a great place to go with family or a group of friends for skiing and snowboarding. They offer lessons if you don’t know how and if that’s not appealing, they also have a tubing lane. Don’t worry if you don’t own a pair of skis, they have rental equipment!

Daily Passes

Full Day Adult $32
Half Day Adult $27
Full Day Junior $27
Half Day Junior $22
Children 4- Years Free
Adults 70+ Free

Unlimited Pass

Adults $350
Juniors 12- $230
Youths 13-18 $250

Skating at the Penobscot Ice Arena

The Penobscot Ice Arena is a high school hockey rink that hosts the Brewer High School hockey team. They open their doors to the public for Public Skates that cost $7, Skate and Play lessons, and Stick and Pucks for $7. They put all of their public events and daily schedules on their website. http://penobscoticearena.org/

Getting a start on New Year’s Resolutions

Many people create New Year’s Resolutions to help better themselves for the new year. Some of the most common are to exercise more, learn a new language, or managing money better.

There are plenty of ways to achieve these resolutions. To start there are a lot of local gyms in the area. Planet Fitness offers memberships for $10 a month. Golds Gym lets you try out what they have to offer with a free trial. They have open gym, personal trainers, and group exercise classes that include yoga, zumba, aerobics and kickboxing.

Learning new languages are now easier than ever because you can accomplish this outside of the classroom. There are many successful apps that can teach you languages like French, Spanish, Mandarin, any many others. Some of the most popular are Duolingo, Memrise, and Babbel.

Apps won’t only help with learning new languages this year but also with managing money. Apps like Mint and Goodbudget will help you budget whereas PocketGuard will keep you from overspending. There are multiple apps for different needs when it comes to money, all it takes is a quick search to help you be more financially stable in the new year.  


Club Spotlight: Conspiracy Theory Club

By Jacob Lana, Staff Writer/ 01/14/2019

Every Friday after school, a group of eager students meets together to discuss conspiracies.Most days, the club doesn’t even discus conspiracies.

Mr. Stahl, the club’s advisor, has a large assortment of board games that we all enjoy playing. As with anything that goes on amongst a group friends, it’s organized chaos. We talk about everything from conspiracy theories (obviously) to funny videos and politics. The best thing about the club is that no matter what they do that day, everyone has fun.

Currently, the conspiracy club is planning a group trip. Previously, the club has gone to the Bangor Escape Rooms. After the escape rooms, everyone went to eat dinner at a local restaurant. As with everything the club does, everyone had a great time together.

Some of the conspiracies they’ve discussed in the past are some pretty popular ones, such as the Mandela Effect. Another one they’ve discussed is the possibility that the president has knowledge of aliens. They’ve also discussed some sillier conspiracies such as bigfoot, or that Justin Beiber is a lizard.

All in all, I would highly recommend taking the time to visit the conspiracy theory club at least once. Meetings take place every Friday after school in Mr. Stahl’s room. I hope everyone who reads this stops by at least once to see the club for themselves!


Birdbox Review – Spoiler Alert!

By Ayla Oxley, Staff Writer / 01/14/2019
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Image from IMDB / Netflix

A popular new thriller movie that swarmed the last two week of 2018 was the Netflix original movie Bird Box, about an unknown force that’s killing a population. No certainty exists, other than if you see it, you die. You die by brutally committing suicide. To survive the apocalypse, you can’t look anywhere, and only few get away with not looking.

Birdbox was rated 6.7/10 on IMDb, 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, and with a 52% on Metacritic. 88% of google users liked this movie.

Questions about the film swarm the internet everywhere, from Instagram and Twitter, to Tumblr and Facebook. Some posts even went viral among other media platforms opposed to where they originated. Questions including, What happened to everyone? What IS the creature? What ARE the answers?

Theories are discussed and also shared on social media platforms in attempt to answer these questions. A theory seen commonly includes that the creatures people see that make them kill themselves are mental health disorders. Suggesting that some people see the true demons and the ones around them don’t.

Mental health disorders that affect people are often unseen or overlooked. That’s why people don’t see the creatures until after, the one they love kills themself from seeing. Then the instant grief causes them to see the creatures.

There are other chilling theories that surround this movie as well that can be found in this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVfasd1Yjh0

Although this movie showed a fresh new plot, or so was thought, it wasn’t the greatest storyline. The Happening with Mark Wahlberg had almost the same storyline; an apocalypse of people killing themselves and trying to understand why.

Sandra Bullock acts in this movie as the leader of an important trip. In the movie Gravity she travels through space, and in Speed she drives a bus, if there’s anything this series of movies teaches you, it should be not to travel with Sandra Bullock.

Netflix original film Birdbox, overall had an interesting storyline but there were a few little details that didn’t pertain well to the story.  

A detail that didn’t pertain well to the story was that it didn’t have a consecutive time period. Clothing was a mix of vintage and modern styles. These styles were mixed throughout the movie. The clothing leaned to a more vintage or older style which made it difficult to guess the time period. This might have been intentional, which then didn’t make sense with the superficial technology. Newer models of phones, security systems, cars and even medical advancements, appeared through the movie. The time frame was confusing, when adding these details together.

A second detail that didn’t make the story of Birdbox add up was how the movie kept switching back and forth. Although this was a great hook to keep the audience interested, it was overdone. Instead of being helpful to the movie, it was almost harmful. Switching back and forth so much meant you had to go through and connect all the little details together. Connecting these details together wouldn’t have been such a headache if the connections were made closer together.

Overall Birdbox had a good storyline but a few details held back the success. Overlooking these details can shift the opinion of the movie. Now, we wait for the next Netflix Original film, that goes nearly as viral.


Preparing for Poetry Out Loud

By Madison Brown, Staff Writer / 12/14/2018

This months top assignment in most English classrooms at HHS is Poetry Out Loud. Poetry Out Loud is a national competition that is essentially a poetry recitation contest for high school students over a variety of famous poems.

Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

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Image from Poetry Out Loud

POL first made an appearance at Hermon High School in 2015. Many students take advantage of this opportunity to work on their recitation skills and read their favorite poems in front of their classmates. The requirements for POL include being able to stand in front of an audience comfortably and being able to recite your poem fluently with appropriate tone and understanding of the poem chosen.

There is a lot of controversy over whether students should have to stand in front of their classmates and be graded on their ability to recite fluently. Many students suffer from not being able to present in front of crowds of people which makes them fear they will not get a good grade, even though they may have the poem memorized perfectly.

Since this project is a staple we can look forward to in our English classes and it can be nerve wracking for some students and may cause stress, or if you are simply looking for some ways you can improve your poetry recitation skills, here are some tips to stay calm during your best recitation:

  • Take deep breaths before starting your poem, and keep your hands by your side to avoid fidgeting.
  • Don’t make eye contact if that makes you nervous, you can make it look like you are making eye contact by picking points around the room and looking at them during your presentation.
  • Make sure your poem is memorized in full.
  • Ask your teachers permission to have your classmates to turn their heads if them looking at you makes you nervous.

HHS will hold their annual POL competition on December 19th in the HHS Auditorium after school.


The Pool on the Third Floor: A Satire

By Jacob Lana, Staff Writer / 12/11/2018

It’s a cold, dreary day at Hermon High School. As I walked down the hallway, I overheard a senior telling a freshman that they should go swimming on the third floor pool. That made me wonder, what if there really was a pool on the third floor? I knew then that I had to devote my highschool career to finding this pool.

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Image from alexandrianews.com

My first step was asking around. I asked a senior named Tom Ingalls, “How do you get to the pool on the third floor?” He responded by saying to “ask Mr. Marzilli.”

The problem with that was Mr. Marzilli retired a few years ago. I decided to keep looking. While searching for people to ask, I found a shady figure sitting in a side stairwell. As I walked towards him, someone started to play the saxophone behind me. When I asked him where the pool was, he said, “There is no pool, you idiot” and walked away. I sat there listening to the jazz music as I pondered if I could be searching for something that doesn’t even exist.

I decided that they were just trying to throw me off. I continued to search. In the elevator, there was no third floor button. The side stairwells only lead to the first and second floor. Even the back room in the JROTC room only went up 2 floors. I had looked everywhere, but to no avail. The whereabouts of the third floor pool shall remain a mystery.


Hallmark Holiday Movie Preview

By Ayla Oxley,  Staff Writer / 11/09/2018

As the Halloween festivities end and 2018 starts to wind down with the last two months, it can only mean one thing. It’s the holiday season! Every holiday season has something special about it, whether it’s festivities like ice skating, drinking hot chocolate, wearing mismatched fuzzy socks, or something simple like decorating or watching movies.

This year jumps into the holiday spirit thanks to the Hallmark Channel’s movies, tons of Christmas movies are played on the Hallmark Channel yearly. This year, Hallmark is introducing 22 original new movies, to their Christmas countdown! Hallmark plays holiday movies 24/7 and some of them are very interesting. The countdown officially started on October 26th.

A must watch Hallmark Christmas movie I recommend is A Christmas Prince. Christmas Prince isn’t one of this year’s new ones, but is newer and it’s even on Netflix!

The reasons for watching Hallmark Christmas movies varies from person to person. “Because they’re cute,” Kayla Yost, a junior at Hermon High School, said about the Hallmark Christmas movies. Kayla also said her favorite Christmas movie is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey because she watches it with her mom each year as a tradition.

Hallmark has created a series of 136 original Christmas movies since 2008, which doesn’t include the 22 premiering this season. Most of these movies, if not all, are typically played all throughout the holiday season and you can catch them even two or three times.

These Hallmark movies typically involve a love aspect, small town, and the entirety of December, including Christmas and New Years.

There are many opportunities to jump into the Christmas spirit by watching Hallmark movies or even other Christmas movies. Amazon prime also has a list of 399 Christmas movies. Although there may be some repeats there are definitely different ones to check out.

This year don’t forget to watch at least one or two Christmas movies to jump in to the Christmas spirit, and make sure to check out some of the new Hallmark originals being premiered this month!

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Image from Hallmark Channel


Top 5 Places to Visit in your Lifetime

By Owen Shaw, Staff Writer / 11/09/2018

The United States of America has some of the most beautiful resorts, allowing travelers to relax on pristine beaches, hike diverse trails filled with a variety of flora and fauna, and view the Earth as it was billions of years ago. In this guide, I invite you to experience five of the most beautiful vacationing locations in the nation.

Lake Tahoe, Border of California and Nevada

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Formed by the rise and fall of landscape 24 million years ago, Lake Tahoe is a beautiful location on the border of California and Nevada, spanning nearly 22 miles of beautiful terrain where travelers can hike vast mountaintops, ski crisp white slopes, and relax on pristine beaches under the California sun. This lake was the heart of the Washoe tribe until the discovery of silver in nearby Virginia City turned this quiet lake into a bustling lumber community that used the lake to process and ship lumber via flume in the 1860’s. Today, it’s used as a beautiful vacationing spot.

Glacier National Park, Montana

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With more than 700 miles of trails to choose from, Glacier National Park is perfect for the adrenaline-seeker deep down in everyone. 1932’s benchmark Going-To-The-Sun Road divides the park east and west with a paved 50 mile two-lane highway that is perfect for sightseeing from the comfort of your own vehicle, and is well worth traveling both directions, as one side is much different than the other. Visit the popular Grinnell Glacier, famous for its beautiful scenery and awe-inspiring hiking trails. It’s likely you’ll need to come back to beautiful Glacier Park to experience the full extent of its glory.

Sanibel Island, Florida

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15 miles of Floridian beaches are sure to top any traveler’s list, and that’s exactly what gorgeous Sanibel Island offers. Snorkeling, beaches, marinas and cruises are just part of what this waterfront vacation has in store. Bike, moped, and segway rentals make the entirety of the island within reach, allowing you to enjoy the bird watching, spas, restaurant and nightlife offered. This remote location is perfect for fishing exotic species and spotting sharks off the coast. Tripadvisor topped their list of “Top Ten Best Vacations for Families with Toddlers” with Sanibel Island in 2017.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

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One of the more obvious geographical landmarks in the United States is the Grand Canyon, known for both its size and beauty. 277 miles long and 18 miles wide, this one-mile deep crater is considered by many to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Colorado River offers a unique opportunity to whitewater raft through this geographic spectacle, and views while hiking are unparalleled anywhere else. With some rock sampled reporting to be over 2 billion years old, the Grand Canyon is among the most beautiful historical sites the United States has to offer.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

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Resting at the top of an active volcano, Yellowstone National Park spans 3,472 miles, making it larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Filled with miles and miles of hiking trails, this vast mix of of forest, water and grassland became the world’s first national park on March 1st, 1872 under President Ulysses S. Grant. Beautiful scenery, 67 species of mammals, 285 species of birds, and two threatened species make this national park a hotspot for wildlife photographers and fishermen hoping to catch the infamous cutthroat trout.


Bad Movie Review: Undercover Grandpa

By Owen Shaw, Staff Writer / 10/26/2018

This week, I watched the Netflix classic, Undercover Grandpa, starring James Caan as the grandfather of the “relatable” protagonist Jake, played by Dylan Everett.

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The movie starts off with the cheesy upbeat melody as the camera pans over the typical suburban American home. Already we find Jake running late for school as he brushes off his overbearing mother. At school, he finally gets a date with his long-time crush Angie after an excruciating and hard to watch scene, but then finds out he may have to cancel due to his crazy veteran grandfather coming over for dinner. After an uncomfortable dinner scene with clearly forced conversation, Jake is finally free to pick up Angie; or so he thinks. While driving his grandfather home, he gets a call from Angie who explains that her car broke down by the “old sock factory.” You know, like every town has.

When Jake and his grandfather arrive, he finds nothing but two bullet casings, causing Grandpa Lou to suspect foul play; a suspicion that somehow Jake disagrees with like bullet casings are a common thing to find in this town. To get to the bottom of this, Lou takes Jake to a scary underground arms dealer, thinking that’s a good idea. It was at about this point in the movie when I really just stopped caring about how realistic this plot was and just focused on the fantasy aspect after Lou, an elderly man, beat up a group of gang members about two times his size. Anyway, after Grandpa’s beatdown, the gang leader discloses his secret contact to be the war criminal known as Komenkho, played by Paul Braunstein.

Knowing he’s taking on one of the most notorious criminals in the world, Grandpa Lou decides to assemble the Devil’s Scum, his old WWII team, once he finds out where Angie’s being held. The worst part of this movie, I think, follows when the Devil’s Scum decide they’re too old for another mission of this magnitude and it’s up to Jake to convince them that they are Angie’s only hope, using such sentiments as “my generation, we have no idea how good we have it”, “men like you have fought so that kids like me are free to text and tweet and ‘like’ and ‘poke’” and “old people have a lot to teach this generation. But one thing they don’t have to teach us is how to quit. ‘Cause we already know how to do that.”

Now I’m not sure, but I have a hunch this scene was written by a boomer or at least someone born earlier than the 1990’s. This scene really makes me question who the target audience is for this film, since there’s basically a 5 minute scene where millennials are just getting bashed for no reason.

The following scene shows our heroes, the Devil’s Scum, infiltrating Komenkho’s hideout and attempting to take out the villains. Unfortunately for them, every one of the Devil’s Scum become compromised one way or another, and it’s up to Jake to throw a dud grenade and get them to cover. Ensuing is an unnecessarily long firefight scene ending when one of the Devil’s Scum summons a literal lightning bolt out of his walker and kills all of the enemies except leader Komenkho, who meets his fate after Grandpa Lou throws him off a two-story ledge.

The following scene shows Grandpa Lou keeling over, clutching his chest before an ambulance rushes him off to a hospital. A transitional scene brings us to a graveyard where we see the ending of a funeral; Jake is being consoled by Angie and the camera shows us who is being grieved; Grandpa Lou. The Devil’s Scum approach Jake and offer him Lou’s dog tags as a way to remember him.

One month later Jake and Angie’s uncomfortably erotic conversation gets cut short as a man exiting a white car interrupts. Grandpa Lou walks toward Jake and they are reunited by a hug as Lou explains he faked his death as a cover from his old military enemies and then leaves.

I’m not kidding when I say that’s about the pace of this scene. For a family reunion between a grandson and his “dead” grandfather, this scene was unbelievably quick.

One thing I would like to point out is that as I was researching other reviews of this movie, many people stated that they were only disappointed by the foul language in a seemingly family-friendly movie, which I don’t understand because there were a lot more disappointing aspects from this movie, especially considering James Caan was the lead.

The acting was poor in parts and the script was a little unwatchable in some scenes, such as Jake’s motivational speech. All in all this was an enjoyable movie if you’re looking for something you don’t have to focus on too much and just want to have it on in the background. With all of its faults, I still found myself enjoying the cheesy family aspect and relationship the Devil’s Scum have with each other.

I’d give this movie 2.5 out of 5 stars.


Buzzfeed Review: 9 New iPhone Tricks that’ll Change your Life

By Madison Brown, Staff Writer / 10/20/2018

Rating: 4/5

Are you looking for a website to go to for the latest news, hacks, and everyday gossip? Buzzfeed can fulfill all your social media needs. Buzzfeed has many different channels to appeal to everybody such as BuzzFeedVideo, BuzzFeedBlue, BuzzFeedViolet, BuzzFeed Celeb, Ladylike, Pero Like, Tasty, BuzzFeed Nifty, BuzzFeed News, BuzzFeed Unsolved, and After Party.

bfAs high school students and being a part of our generation, social media and technology plays a big part in our lives both socially and academically. Buzzfeed contributes a lot to social media and appeals mostly to our generation with these videos and topics.

The video that I am reviewing this week is 9 iphone Tricks that’ll Change your Life. I enjoyed this video because as high school students and our phones being a key aspect in our lives, this video was informational and gave tips on your phone and how to better navigate it. Like most Buzzfeed content, I thought the information and tips were important for viewers. I would reccommend this article on Buzzfeed with a 4 / 5 rating.

Thank you for listening and tune in next week for another review on a new topic!


Lifestyle

Cost of College Part II: Deciding

By Connor Cropley, Staff Writer / 01/17/2019

Deciding on which college to attend can be a daunting and exhausting task. There are so many factors that go into making a final decision on a school. These factors, like costs including financial aid, benefits of going to the candidate college, and the future returns are all vital to making a proper decision.

A previous article covered the fiscal cost of college. It was determined that the average tuition of a UMaine student who lives on campus is $23,650 before financial aid or scholarships. Spread this cost out over the standard four years for a grand total of $94,600.

Yes, that number is terrifying, but keep in mind, that is spread over four years and not accounting for loans, financial aid, or scholarships. Filing your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) can earn you financial aid towards cutting down on that tuition price.

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Image from Klipinger

The FAFSA takes into consideration your family’s level of need, your academics, gross income (what your family makes in a year before taxes), and the like. Naturally, the level of aid you receive varies on those factors, though the average amount of aid received by first year students is $13,218. For example, our average cost of attending UMaine would be cut down to nearly $10,000 just from financial aid.

Scholarships play a big part in tuition costs, as well. In fact, it’s so variable that it cannot be exactly pinned down what the impact on one’s tuition might be. There is the presidential scholarship worth around $12,000, all the way to UMaine’s Black Bear scholarship worth $1,000. There are a few scholarships that can be found in the guidance office on the shelf outside Mrs. Pelletier’s office!

Loans are also an option. If one applies for a loan and gets accepted, there are loans for anywhere from $5,000 all the way to $20,000. These are repayable up to 10 years after receiving them, though, they do come with the cost of interest. Any bank offers them. Unless you’re over 18, have your own credit card and credit score, a bank will determine loan worthiness through your parents’ credit score, capital and capacity. Those are small details that we pick up on in Mrs. Deabay’s Personal Finance Class. This is an important step, it must be taken seriously, and considered carefully. Loans are huge investments, and are not for everyone. They accrue interest, so if a loan of $5,000 is taken out, paid over 10 years, that interest would build up and you’d have to paid back far more than just that $5,000.

While financials do play a big part in deciding where to attend college, the value of your education also weighs in heavily. Sure, college A might have the major you want, but college B might specialize in it! Weigh the pros and cons of each of the colleges’ programs, and use that to help determine what the best fit is for you academically. What might you be able to do with your degree upon graduation? How does this four year investment affect your future? While not pressing, these are still matters to be considered. Getting a feel for the school you’re going to is important. Tours are always a good idea, as they show you what a day in the life of a student is like, the places you’ll go, and how a class dynamic would work out. This, too, is an important step of deciding where to attend, and it’s really a decision only you can make.

One of the most important factors of deciding where to go, however, is your choice! Where will you be happy? Moving away to the out-of-state school seems daunting, but you think you can do it. If you think you can handle it, you probably can. Would you be happier surrounded by your friends back home? It’d be an easier transition to make. With friends by your side from day one, the switch into college life will become a much easier one. Either way, college serves as a reality check, and a massive change of pace for most. Costs, value of education and your own opinions of the schools of choice are all major factors in choosing where to go. It’s a colossal decision, and one that, ultimately, only you can make.

With the next chapter of your life fast approaching, it’s important to determine how to go about deciding what school to attend. Keep in mind the costs, both fiscal and academic. Determine the best way to pay, what school fits you the best, and how well your desired major is represented there. College, as previously stated, is a whole other chapter. It’s a highly different dynamic than high school, and just as freeing. The choice is yours, what will you do?


Sleep Deprivation: The Struggle is Real

By Nadia Garcia, Staff Writer / 01/17/2019

High school students are often times followed with the stigma of being overtired. They can be found with coffee in their hands. Most high school and college students are severely sleep deprived. 50% of students report having daytime sleepiness while 70% do not get enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation comes along with many consequences such as: lower grade point average, increased risk of academic failure, and compromised learning. On average, teens should be getting nine and a half hours of sleep every night.

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Image from Medical News Today

There are many reasons as to why students get such a lack of sleep. After puberty there is a biological shift in a child’s internal clock of two hours. For example, a child who use to fall asleep at 9:00 pm will now fall asleep at 11:00 pm.

Also, many argue that schools start to early. In some school districts school starts as early as 7:00 am. This causes some students to have to get up as early as 5:00 am to get ready and have time to travel.

Most teenagers are also involved in afterschool activities, causing them to have to stay up later, especially if they have homework. Those who become sleep deprived oftentimes suffer from moodiness and irritability.

Risk taking behaviors also increase, sleep deprived teens are more likely to engage in activities such as drinking, driving to fast and engaging in other dangerous activities. Teenagers are at a very high risk for drowsy driving. Drowsy driving is most likely to occur during the middle of the night during the hours of 2:00 to 4:00 AM, but also in mid-afternoon between 3:00 to 4:00 PM. Drowsy driving poses a real threat to drivers, causing slow reaction time.

There are many different ways to avoid sleep deprivation. Turning off televisions, computers, and radios can drastically help with sleeping. These activities cause stimulation which interferes with sleeping patterns.

Over sleeping also can disrupt normal sleeping patterns. On the weekends it’s very common for teenagers to oversleep. This can pose a real issue because sleeping until twelve in the afternoon will drastically affect the time you go to bed that night.

Sleep deprivation is a real issue that is very common among teenagers. It poses many hazards to adolescents health and safety.  


Dissecting the Cost of College

By Connor Cropley, Staff Writer / 01/15/2019

By now, many seniors at Hermon High School are getting their college acceptance letters in the mail. Many of these seniors will make their decision of where to go based on the cost of college. Our local state university, University of Maine at Orono has a relatively low cost, as compared to other colleges, depending on certain factors. Some examples of these factors would be what college (program) at the university you enroll in, and whether or not you choose to live on or off campus. Using UMO as an example, we can dissect the whole bill sent to you by the University, and through that, calculate the total cost of your average four-year experience there.

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Image from Getty Images / thebalance.com

Firstly, we want to find the base tuition. This is the main cost, what determines the majority of your cost of attendance at any given university. Many public universities have a varying base tuition, depending on whether or not you live in or out of state. Fortunately, UMO is local, so we have the luxury of in-state tuition. This in-state cost is $10,610 (To complete all required credit hours) as compared to the out-of-state $28,880. Obviously, this shows a strong, clear advantage of staying in-state for college. Our total cost for attending the College of Liberal Arts so far is $10,610.

The upside about living within a 30 mile radius of the university means that a student can live at home if they want. If they do, they omit themselves from having to pay the most expensive part of the cost of attendance: Room and Board. This is the cost of living in a dorm room at the university. You’re taking up their space and using their resources such as water and electricity. Naturally, the cost would be pretty high regardless, though UMaine marks their room and board for the Fall 2018 Semester as $10,718. This cost is about one hundred dollars higher than the base tuition. Yes, the entirety of your secondary education costs less than the stiff twin bed you pay to sleep on. If we attend the college of Liberal Arts and Sciences and choose to live on campus, our total cost will come up to a hard-hitting $21,328.

The final few additions to tuition (yes, there are more) don’t drain your pocket nearly as much as the base or room and board do. However, they’re recurring costs, and always come back to haunt you. One of these might be textbook costs, or “Supplies,” as universities put it. For one semester, the average cost of books for every class in one semester can run as high as $584! Since the average number of classes a student takes a semester is four, that means each textbook runs for an average of $131! Multiplying this by two to give us our yearly tuition cost shows us a shocking cost of $1,168/year, putting up the total cost to $22,496 a year.

Fortunately, the meal plan is where things start to slow down. UMaine’s “50 Plan” includes 50 prepaid visits to the dining hall per semester, and two guest meals. This costs $487 per semester, and $974 yearly. Therefore, we’re sitting at $23,470 yearly.

How much worse can it get? Fortunately, not much! All that’s left to disclose from the average on-campus resident’s tuition is the gym membership! Yes, it has to be paid regardless of whether or not you use it. Every semester, you’re being put back about $180, $360 yearly. With this, we close out the shockingly terrifying tuition talk, with a final average tuition of $23,650 every year.

Yes, the full college experience is expensive and certainly could end up roping you into some years of debt. However, depending on what you make of your degree, it is certainly a worthwhile experience.


Taking a Gap Year

By Connor Cropley, Staff Writer / 01/14/2019

You might have heard a friend or a relative say in passing, “I took a gap year before college.” To someone like a high schooler or someone who chose not to take one, this may sound like a sophisticated way of saying “I was lazy.” However, this is not the case.

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Image from greatschools.org

A gap year is a period of time between high school and college where a student takes time away from sitting in a classroom to continue their education in other meaningful ways. This includes, but is not limited to, travel, internships, working, and the like. Working grants you experience in the workplace, while an internship is essentially the same except you learn more about that respective field. In recent years, more and more students have started taking gap years between high school and college.

How might taking a year out of school benefit one’s educational growth? Surprisingly, it helps in multiple ways. A lot of people take gap years to travel the world, leaving open the door to living within the mold of a different culture, or a different dynamic. An experience like that is priceless, and helps to make one more worldly. Travel is a learning experience in the way that it can help to recharge you, and give you a break after 12 long years of schooling. This helps to sharpen your focus, and gives you time to discover your passions, helping you to find what you might want to do in the future. A break from constant work is always beneficial, and leaves you energized and ready to work more. Although, what if you didn’t want to take a “break” per se?

A gap year can also be used to make and save money. Since one isn’t as preoccupied with education, the week can be dedicated to work and making money. What a person decides to do for work is up to them, but saving that income for a future education or buying a place for yourself is a great idea.

However, taking a gap year can also mean that you’re a year late to the game. Know that job listings, like us, also take vacations. There are as much as 50% less job listings in the dead of winter or the height of summer as compared to other times of the year. If one fails to secure a job within that first year, opportunities start to slip. A gap year typically starts in the late spring, then continues on until the next late spring. This means, as that year ends, we’re going into that dangerous summer drought of jobs.

The takeaway of this is that, if you wish to, taking a gap year is a great idea, but needs to be thoroughly planned, because a lapse in judgement or planning can ruin  the purpose of that whole year. On that same note, however, taking a gap year could end up being a fantastic and overall beneficial decision to make.


Beauty Dupes

By Makenzie Leonard, Staff Writer / 01/10/2019

For many high school students, appearance is everything. Most of this is made up of hair and makeup. But, this can get expensive and impossible for some. Here are some products to give you the professional look, without breaking the bank.

First up, foundation. It gives your face the flawless, glowing look you want. This can range from $30-$70 for name brand/professional product. The following is a  product identical to a name brand people are spending so much on.

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Tarte Shape Tape Foundation $39                Revolution Conceal and Define Foundation $12

https://tartecosmetics.com                                           https://www.revolutionbeauty.com

 

Second on the list mascara. Mascara can range from $15-$35 and is thought to be one of the most important steps of makeup. Here is a great product to make your lashes pop for less.

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Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara $23                   New York Color Big and Bold Mascara $5

https://www.smashbox.com                                              https://www.newyorkcolor.com

 

And lastly, dry shampoo the keep your hair looking fresh and clean. Not everyone has time to wash, brush, dry, and style their hair everyday (no judgement there!) Dry shampoo is a quick easy fix for that. But like everything else can get pricey. Big brands ranging from a big $25-$35. Our last product, and possibly our most important can save your hair and your bank account!  

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Klorane Dry Shampoo $20                                                             Dove Dry Shampoo $6

https://www.kloraneusa.com                                                           https://www.dove.com


The Truths of Vaping

By Nadia Garcia, Staff Writer / 01/07/2019

Vaping has been the new and upcoming trend for young teens. In specific, Juuls.

Juuls are a small vaping device that closely resembles a USB port. These devices have grown in popularity over the past year. Schools are having more and more trouble cracking down on them.

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Image from Business Insider

These vaping devices pose a real threat to teens. Surprisingly, 66 percent of teens think that there is only flavoring in the vape while 13.7 percent do not know. The companies that manufacture what goes into these devices do not have to report the ingredients. This makes this very dangerous.

One Juul pod has the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. According to
the National Institute on Drug Abuse teens who use E-Cigarettes are 30.7 percent more likely to start smoking actual cigarettes.

Teens who vape are more susceptible to popcorn lung. Popcorn lung is the nickname for bronchiolitis obliterans. This is a condition that damages your lungs’ smallest airways. In return this causes shortness of breath and chronic coughing. This disease is
irreversible.

It’s very important to have teens realize how damaging vaping really is. At this age it
may seem cool to be doing it because you’re friends are. However, with the irreversible damage that it does, it’s far more dangerous.


Personality Types

By Raegan Merriman, Staff Writer / 01/02/2019

There are many different types of personalities that make a human…human. Most personalities can be described as funny and unique to the person.  The 16 personalities test is a great test to use to figure out your personality traits. One Hermon student who took the test said what type of personality they are off the 16 personality test, “ I am defender, I love helping people and being there to help anyone in need.”

Another student said, “ It told me I was a consul but I’m very shy, for most part it was what I am for personality, and it’s awesome knowing what type of personality I am.”

To give you a better picture of the 16 Personality Test, one of the most unique personality is  The Artist, they are quiet, serious, sensitive and kind. This personality does not like conflict, and are not likely to do things which may generate conflict. They are loyal and faithful, extremely well-developed senses, and have an aesthetic appreciation for beauty. The Artist is not interested in leading or controlling others while being flexible and open-minded. Like their name, they are original and creative. The Duty Fulfiller type is serious and quiet, and interested in security and peaceful living. These people are extremely thorough, responsible, and dependable. They have well-developed powers of concentration and are usually interested in supporting and promoting traditions and establishments. Everyone one has a personality type and they can find theirs at http://www.16personalities.com.

Personalities are important. In the movie Split, when three girls are kidnapped by a man diagnosed 21 personalities. He changes personalities throughout the movie showing how different each of them. This can show how people can change and what types of personalities that people can have.

To know what type of personality that you are then you would need to take a test on the 16persnaolites.com that will give you questions that are easy to answer and quick. It will take you at least 5 minutes to answer and very accurate. It’ll show you 16 different personality with a very descriptive details about it.

Knowing what type of personality is important because it can change how you live with yourself. Maybe changing a career that isn’t right, or boring to you.


A Psychological Reflection on the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

By Christopher Guzman, Staff Writer / 12/30/2018

The holidays are one of the few times that everyone bands together to buy mediocre gifts for one another just for the sake of being nice. Parents rush the stores in search of the perfect toy their little ones desire, and couples spend hours surfing Amazon and eBay to find that special something for their special someone. It’s a wonderful time that fills many with glee, but why only now?

Why don’t we see this same rush to buy gifts all year round? After all, if we love our friends and family so much, why don’t we buy gifts for them all the time rather than just one month out of the year aside from their birthdays? Some point to the religious origins of Christmas, as the holiday is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ (a gift from God himself), as well as a modern homage to the Three Wise Men, who traveled from afar to give Jesus gifts in celebration of his birth. Others think that the commercialization of traditions and holidays by big corporations is the reason why buying gifts seems so enticing. While these theories may have played a part in this, social, cognitive, and evolutionary psychology play an even bigger role than you might think.

Before delving into the true psychology of Christmas, we must explain evolutionary psychology. This form of psychology is “a theoretical approach to… that attempts to explain useful mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as the functional products of natural selection.” This essentially states that since, biologically, life’s main goals are to survive and reproduce, the behaviors and actions that humans perform determine whether they can achieve that goal. This theory can be used to explain something like why people are afraid of open heights. Early in human history, those who did not fear open heights were more likely to take risks and die as a result, while the ones who were scared did the exact opposite, which resulted in them being able to live longer and have kids that also had this innate fear of heights. These kids then went on to have more kids, and so on until we get to today’s society, where most people probably would not flail around a cliff and risk their life. This explanation, while seemingly farfetched, can also be used to explain our Christmas habits.

Part of the reason why we celebrate Christmas the way we do is based on what goes on in our own brains. According to Janelle de Weerd, people can hold what’s known as “cognitive biases,” which are “mistakes in cognitive processes like reasoning, evaluating, and remembering. These can be the result of automatic processes that happen within our subconscious mind and are often based off of a person’s preferences and beliefs.” Humans naturally don’t like change, as it disrupts what has kept them safe and reproductive throughout their lives, which is why it’s so difficult for many to change even something as simple as a morning routine. Thus, the traditions that much of western society has upheld for thousands of years are deep rooted into our brains, and hard to replace or get rid of.

Despite the desire of many to be “unique,” for the most part, humans have the natural desire to “be with the herd;” that is, they strive to be accepted by the people around them. Since early human history, humans have been social animals, and have always had greater success in finding mates and surviving the wild while in a pack than alone. This can be seen today as well, since those who have a large amount of friends and are deemed sociable are more likely to find stable jobs and have successful families. This has caused the creation of what are called social norms, which are “unwritten rules” of how people in public setting should act. One such norm is the norm of reciprocity, which is the rule that people should benefit those who have benefited them.

In terms of Christmas giving, this was perfectly demonstrated by an experiment done by psychologists Kunz and Woolcott (1976) who, after sending Christmas cards to randomly pulled names if strangers from a telephone directory, actually received cards back from most of the participants. Related to this is the phenomenon called normative influence, where another person’s behavior provides information about how to appropriately react. For example, studies conducted by the researcher Strohmez in 2002 found that customers who received a piece of candy with their food from their waiters were more likely to tip them extra.

Although many will be quick to point out that it’s simply the nice thing to do, it’s important to clarify that many of these processes happen subconsciously, meaning that while one will not actively think about these principles or norms, deep inside the brain the mind is taking all of these social and cognitive aspects of psychology into account every Christmas season, thus explaining why people tend to follow the traditions of Christmas instead of abandoning them after one year.

Although the Christmas season has passed, keep this in mind whenever the Christmas traditions seem to become redundant or (heaven forbid) you get sick of Christmas. Doing what everyone else does is completely normal, natural, and may even be advantageous to your survival!


The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide: Teen Edition

By Makenzie Leonard, Staff Writer / 12/13/2018

The Holidays are here! Christmas is right around the corner, which means you’ll need to

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image from Reader’s Digest

start shopping for the important people in your life. Shopping for teens may not be simple, let alone cheap for everyone, but do not worry! Here is your Ultimate Holiday (cheap) Gift Guide for the teens in your life this year.

From a teen girl perspective I can confirm that small simple things go a long way. Here are some small simple items, to look out for and put on your shopping list:

  • Candles
  • Fuzzy Socks
  • Gift Cards
  • Blankets  
  • Scrunchies
  • Face Masks
  • Scented Lotions
  • Sweatshirts
  • Bath Bombs
  • Chapsticks

Now for the young  gentleman in your life. Growing up with all male cousins, the general response to “What do you want for Christmas” is: “I don’t know, I don’t care.” So, I took it upon myself to ask a few male students around the school what they would like. Here is the majority vote:  

  • Sweatshirts
  • Gift Cards
  • Video Games
  • Sports Jerseys
  • Candy
  • Cologne
  • Sweatpants/ Joggers
  • Hats
  • Speaker
  • Headphones

Throwback Thursday: Teacher Edition

By Shelby Reynolds, Staff Writer / 12/06/2018

This week with seniors preparing their photos for the yearbook, I thought it would be fun to reflect on the teachers of Hermon High’s own experiences. I asked some of them a couple questions about their dreams in high school and how teaching has changed since their locker days.

When I was in high school I wanted to be either a fashion designer, a big important magazine editor-in-chief, or a best-selling author. I actually very adamantly did NOT want to be a teacher — even though everyone I knew told me that was what I was meant to be,” said Ms. Kidder.

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Ms. Kidder

Her realization of her love for teaching came when she was the editor in chief for her college newspaper. She loved taking charge and helping others. When asked how high school has changed since she was there she replied with, “I feel like teaching is more focused on helping students gain real skill to use in the world.”

She believes that teachers are much more innovative and creative with their teaching now. Although, she thinks there are parts to high school that will never change: friendships, relationships, peer pressure, college stress.

The impact social media has on our generation adds unneeded stress that was non-existent when Ms.Kidder was in high school. She believes it’s unfortunate how important it is to our generation.

My junior year of college I realized that I should have majored in business with a concentration in marketing and a minor in psychology. I narrowed my choices down to specializing in Human Resources or School Counseling. I took  job as a middle school secretary and after a few months of working with the school counselor there, knew that becoming a school counselor would be a good fit.” Ms. Pelletier reflected on her realization of her dream to be a guidance counselor.

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Mrs. Pelletier

When asked about how high school has changed she also said social media has a huge impact on our generation. She does think today’s resources and technology are a huge benefit to our education. During her high school experience, she used encyclopedias and had to do research on colleges. “Everything seems to be at a teens fingertips these days.”

“In high school, I wanted to be a news broadcaster and be the face of the nightly news,” said Ms. Barry.

Her love for teaching arrived when she took Conflict at HHS with Mrs. Gavett. She said she has her to thank for showing her how much a teachers impact on a student can change someone’s life. She loves teaching and is more than glad that teso many incredible opportunities.

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Ms. Barry

Lastly, Ms. Barry also reflected on the change in social media.“In 2009, when I graduated, there was MySpace and Facebook and smartphones just came out so no one used them! We did not have the extra pressure that comes from snapchat, instagram, twitter, etc,.. We did not have formative and summative assignments, meaning everything counted so homework needed to be completed! I love that there is so much involvement here at athletic events, thankfully that hasn’t changed, but we used to have WAY MORE people attend dances and they were very fun!”

We can all agree that times have changed. It’s fun to reflect on how things have changed especially in places like high school. I hope you enjoy this blast from the past as much as I did!! Can you guess who these classics are???

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How to Beat the Holiday Stress

By Raegan Merriman, Staff Writer / 11/13/2018

The holidays are the time to celebrate with friends and family. But for the holiday season it can bring an unwelcome guest: stress!

It’s no wonder people get stressed with all the shopping, cleaning, parties, baking, and entertaining and socializing with family that haven’t been seen in a while. During the winter, when major important holidays are only a month apart. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two major holidays celebrated that cause stress. Not to mention Black Friday shopping that makes everyone stress, because it’s the day to get those holiday presents. Students are happy about these holidays, but for that, means stressing over school work because of how much to get things done.

“School puts too much pressure on kids over the holidays. It affects me because I want to see my family and spend time with them and not worry about school work.” Haley G, a senior student at HHS, has described how holiday stresses out students.

This is the time of year when teachers will try to give less work but after the Christmas holiday, there are midterms and the end of the first semester is right after break. This can affect student and teacher’s mental and physical health.

Some ways to look after yourself and to help with the holiday stress are to pay attention to your eating, sleeping, and downtime. According to Katherine Lee from verywellfamily.com, during this season you should plan ahead of time what your strategy will be when times get stressful. Take a walk outside for 15 minutes or go to a different room when a family gathering gets stressful. Grab a calendar and a planner and write down everything that need to be done over the holidays. Because of the world wide family events that happen, students will have a hard time being on task and being stressed than normal.

The holiday season may be stressful, but during the stress try to focus on spending time with friends and family. Enjoy the holiday spirit.


Making Your Own Path: Exploring Options Other than College

By Connor Cropley, Staff Writer / 11/01/2018
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Image from Shutterstock

College costs money. A lot of money. It often serves as a reality check for most recent high school grads and their parents. One might think that college is the only way to go after high school in order to get a good start in adult life and find a successful career. This, however, is not the case.

If you’re part of the Hermon community, you’ve probably heard of the United Technologies Center, or UTC for short. It is a vocational school that works with high schools in Central Maine (Bangor, Brewer, Hampden, and Hermon) in order to educate students in fields not explored in regular education curriculum. These fields include trades, business, and technology. UTC opens students’ eyes to paths alternative to college and universities. It isn’t UTC or bust, though, right?

That’s right! Fortunately, there are plenty of options other than college or vocational school after high school. An example would be enlisting in the military.

Michael Lana, a sophomore at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Hermon High alum, helps to detail the benefits of enlisting after high school. For example, the GI Bill. The GI Bill is designed to help servicemembers and eligible veterans cover the costs of getting an education or training.

Lana explains, “there are… benefits from the GI Bill which help pay for college while you are in or once you get out of serving.”

This means that one can have the costs of college partly or wholly waived depending on their qualification. Enlisting in the military can help with the extreme cost of college and set one up for success in the future. Going into the military as your career is also a solid choice. There’s insurance exclusively for veterans, your family gets compensated in plenty of different ways, you help protect and serve your country, and it looks great on any resume. The military, however, may not be for everyone. That’s understandable. Exploring more options reveals to us that there is more than just being a businessman or a serviceman.

The aforementioned UTC has the capability of teaching a trade that educates and qualifies a student, and nearly guarantees a job for a recent alum out of high school. Think plumbing, mechanic work, electricians. Many tradesmen come out of high school with a job, and subsequently, a stable source of income, without the expensive and stressful burden of student debt. Some even manage to start their own shop, and end up becoming their own boss, with their own business, rates, and hours.

Nearly 30% of mechanics run their own shop, be it auto-repair, parts, or other services.

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Image from Shutterstock

The other 70% work for larger companies, and have a stable yearly income, a salary. A salary is a set amount of money you’re projected to make throughout the year. The average mechanic’s salary runs at around $40,000. Some may get paid hourly, or by commission, too. UTC has many opportunities for future success, however, and doesn’t just narrow down to exclusively trades.

As the evidence suggests, college is just one of many paths one can take. Additionally, don’t let yourself limit options down to the ones here, there are many more that go unmentioned and many yet unexplored. Compared to these other options, college may even sound like an unappealing choice to you! Remember that everyone makes their own path, and you decide where yours takes you.


Trend Alert: Socks to Start the Holiday Spirit

By Grace Qualey and Shannel Barker, Staff Writers / 10/30/2018

IMG_3124.JPGAs the leaves flicker through the wind, they will soon turn to large flakes of snow. It is of the utmost importance that we dress our toes appropriately. Although it’s not in the dress code policy, having holiday socks is an absolute must for the cold that comes with this season. This trend makes for the perfect accessory for any outfit!Screenshot at 2018-10-30 13:29:43

Looking to personalize your semi-formal dance apparel? Whip out those twerking turkey socks to help you shake your tail feather!

The holidays are already upon us as Halloween is already here. That means frostbite is not far behind and is patiently waiting to be nipping at your toes. You can save your toes and wear those socks decorated with big “HO HO HO”’s or gingerbread homes.

Mr. Murray, a very trendy English teacher, has a wide variety of fun and fresh socks for his wonderful, unique sense of style. Mr. Murray says that fun socks are “a hobby that is like a snowball effect, once I find one pair of unique socks it makes me want to go out and find more fun socks.” Mr. Murray can be seen sporting his various socks. He says he “also I like wearing cool socks to school so I can connect to my students who are into fashion.” If Mr. Murray can do it, you can too!

Wearing fun patterned or holiday socks is an easy way to add a little cheer to your outfit without going over the top. They can easily be hidden if they don’t match the rest of your outfit so you do look like a five year old dressed you.

Not only can this trend help add to the holiday spirit, but it’s an easy habit to start. According to Tom Ingalls, “I was at Old Navy shopping and I saw cool socks and I was like woah…”

Woah and a new habit had been born! Around the holidays you can find these socks in just about any department store. Presently, Jc Penney has a large selection including but not limited to, Santa socks, reindeer socks, and sliding penguin socks.


Things to do: Ghostly Bangor Walking Tours – Visit a Historical Museum right in Bangor!

By Ayla Oxley, Staff Writer / 10/26/2018
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Image from Bangor Historical Society

Revisit old crimes of downtown Bangor through the upcoming Ghostly Bangor Walking Tours through the Bangor Historical Society at the Thomas A. Hill House. The Thomas A. Hill house is a structure in downtown Bangor, across from the YMCA, located at 159 Union Street. Visitors can go and check out Civil War artifacts and a collection from the Bangor Historical Society.

The house was built in 1836 inspired by a design by Richard Upjohn.  Part of the building on the Union Street side, burned down in 1918.

The museum is a 3.5 star museum and is opened Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. The general admission tickets are $5. The building was originally known as the Grand Army Memorial home, before it was deeded to the historical society in 1974.

Throughout October, in spirit of Halloween, the Bangor Historical Society is producing Ghostly Bangor Walking tours, these walking tours are typically 90 minutes to two hours. The tours consist includes stories of unsolved mysteries, murder, and tales of spirits that still linger, in the city. Upcoming walking tours are Saturday the 27th and Monday the 29th, both tours are at 7 pm and go through 9 pm. Tickets for the tour are $10 and can be preordered online, or paid for at the time of the event. You can buy tickets prior here: http://www.bangorhistoricalsociety.org/purchase-ghostly-bangor-walking-tour-tickets/

Although there are special events occuring in spirit of Halloween, this museum is an interesting place to go, during school breaks or on Saturdays, to kill time and learn valuable information about the Civil War.

The Thomas A. Hill House is a great find for something to do because it’s reasonably priced, and you can earn a sense of knowledge from it. Going through the museum is an interesting way to see Civil War artifacts that you might not get a chance to see any where else. A visit to the Thomas A. Hill House is definitely worth the time and money, because it’s a great overall experience and a more interesting way to learn about the history right next door than reading it from a textbook.

Check out the seasonal events going on at the Thomas A. Hill House. Overall the visit, no matter what time of year it is, would be a great way to spend your time and the beat the Maine winter boredom.


Coping with Anxiety

By Staff Writer / 10/17/2018
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Image from ShutterStock

Anxiety causes pain to millions of high school students world wide. Anxiety is commonly looked at as a taboo, where one is too scared to overcome something. This is a misconception. In reality, anxiety is a mental health disorder where fear can interfere with their day to day pursuits.There are many ways to handle the darkness inside. The human brain is very intricate and can cause pain in many different ways. The “disease” of anxiety is often referred to as an exaggeration; this is false. Though, anxiety can be very mild and not take a big toll on some, it can be extremely intense and scary for others. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to help overcome the struggle brought on to many.

For our first method, we will explore deep breathing. From personal experience, even a few deep breaths, can help you start to feel a decrease of adrenaline. From personal experience, the deep breathing method should be done in a “safe spot” or somewhere you feel comfortable. This could be your bedroom, or even just a place that you trust. After you have found your safe spot, find a place to relax, sit back, or lay down. After your body is completely relaxed, close your eyes and slowly breathe in and out through your nose. As you are doing this, try setting your hand(s) on your chest and/or stomach. The pressure of your hands is comforting to the human body in a time of panic or fear. This of one of the many very effective ways to cope with anxiety.

The second coping method is the rectangle method. The rectangle method is a common suggestion given by therapists and counselors. It is very similar to our last method, deep breathing but with a visual piece, that could be more effective for some. Again, you will need to find your “safe spot” and relax. Close  your eyes and start with your deep breathing technique, in and out the nose with hand pressure applied to the chest and/or stomach. Next, tilt your head back. Imagine a rectangle, and trace it with your eyes a few times. Now, start breathing with the shape of the rectangle. Breathe in for ten seconds across the width of the rectangle, breathe out for five seconds down the length of the rectangle. Continue this for ten to twenty minutes to ease your body and mind.

For our third and final coping mechanism: Time management. Here a few tips and tricks to help guide you into a easier less stressful life using time management. Findapsychologist.com suggests that organization is a big game changer. Don’t overbook yourself, plan out times and dates to gets things done; but also give yourself time for short breaks throughout your day. Prioritize things not only by importance, but by how long each event will take you. Finally, avoid things that are wasting time with no productivity. Things like scrolling through social media, watching tv, and playing video games for hours on end. It is okay to do these things, but manage your amount of time doing them.

Medical News Today defines anxiety as: “a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave and can cause physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can seriously affect day-to-day living.”

It is important to remember that anyone struggling with anxiety, is not alone. Although, there is no way to completely get rid of anxiety, there will always be a way to help ease it in at least the slightest way possible, and that could make all the difference.


Opinion/ Editorial 

Editorial: Honoring MLK

By Nadia Garcia, Staff Writer / 01/18/2019

Monday the 20th is the day we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

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Image from WRTI

MLK was a social activist who led the Civil Rights Movement. This was at its peak in the mid 1950’s. MLk was born January 15th in 1929 in Atlanta,Georgia. He started off his early years as a baptist minister. He started his activist movement in 1954. A series of events sparked the movement. However, one event in particular started it all.

In 1955 a black woman by the name of Rosa Parks refused to get out of her seat. She was sitting on the front of the bus, while at this time blacks were supposed to be sitting in the back of the bus. After this, the bus boycott started. This boycott lasted from December 5, 1955  to December 20, 1956. This was a peaceful protest that took place in Montgomery, Alabama. This protest was against racial segregation on buses.

During this time blacks and whites were very segregated. There were separate schools, restaurants, and even water fountains. MLK wanted to make sure everyone was treated as an equal, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

By the end of the Civil Rights movement the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation in public schools. However, although this went through the court system, segregation did not end everywhere. Many argue that even today blacks are treated differently.  

It is important to treat this date as a celebration. Everyone should celebrate what Martin Luther King did to change this nation.  He represents a symbol of freedom and social justice. He strived for peacefulness and always wanted the best for everyone, no matter what they did. King laid down the foundation for Civil Rights. If It weren’t for him who knows where America would be now.


What Journalism Did For Me

By Shelby Reynolds, Staff Writer/ 01/14/2019

Journalism was a new elective offered at Hermon this year for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Although, the class was only half a year and .5 of a credit, there is an opportunity to participate in journalism the second half of the year.

My interest in journalism sparked from my love to write. I enjoyed the course and the variety it brought to my school work. Throughout the class, we are assigned an article a week. Although, the best part of writing the articles is the freedom that steams from being able to choose our own topics. It was rewarding choosing a topic of interest and sharing it on the website for the community to read. I had multiple different people address me over some of the articles I wrote and even give me some recommendations for what they would love to see. That was by far my favorite part of the course — the feeling you get when someone actually enjoys your writing.

In an interview with Connor Cropley, a journalism student, he addressed his . “It’s important to inform the community on the school’s current events and news.” He feels like the course also helped benefit the way he looks at informational writing.

I would encourage students to take this course not just because of how rewarding it is but of the benefits in your writing. This course teaches you how to write from the eyes of a journalist which will benefit writing in college.

On the plus side, how cool does it look on a college application?!


The Importance of Getting Involved

By Madison Brown, Staff Writer / 01/17/2019

If you’re anything like me, you always would wonder to yourself why everyone always says “you need to get involved more!” or “join some clubs!”

I always heard this from my parents, teachers, and guidance counselors, especially before going into high school. Now, being a senior and looking back at the four years I spent here, I realise I didn’t join one club or activity. It’s not that I regret not joining any, but part of me wishes that I did get involved more than I was.

Joining clubs or activities is a great way to learn more about your peers that you’re going to be spending a lot of time with in the next four years. You’re going to go through a lot together, your first day of high school, your first semi formal dance, getting your driver’s license, going to prom, GRADUATING!! Trust me, going through high school you’re going to want as many people as you can have to call your friends. It will be a lot easier to get through the harder ‘firsts’ that you’re all going to go through together.

Like your first break up, or your first bad grade in a class, or your first encounter with a ‘big, bad senior’ telling you to stay on the right side of the hall. Making friends is going to make all your ‘firsts’ and all your ‘lasts’ of high school, so much more worth it. Go out and get involved in our school.


How to Stay Motivated

By Madison Brown, Staff Writer/ 01/07/2019

As the end of the second quarter nears, the ending of the 2018/2019 school year comes closer to ending too.

You may have heard of the term “senioritis”. This term refers to seniors who may feel as though their final year of high school is dragging on. Many seniors apply to college in the fall and hear back sometime in the winter. Every year after students find out they have been accepted into a college and like clockwork, their work efforts go down, whether it be conscious or not.

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Image from inklingnews.com / Graphic by Amina Abdulkareem ’15

Some students might see it as they’ve already gotten into a college in which they prepared for their whole high school career for, so there is no need to try anymore. Some people may believe that senioritis is real, and others believe that it’s just an excuse to be lazy; but maybe it’s both.

Although claiming to have “senioritis” may let you off the hook in some mild cases such as being a few minutes late to class, it doesn’t give you an excuse to ruin what you worked so hard for all these years in one semester.

There are many consequences to senioritis, such as you failing a class, a parent or teacher being disappointed in your work efforts, or even a college withdrawing your admission due to failing classes, even though you were already accepted.

Whether you are a freshman and getting used to the heavy workload and atmosphere of high school, or a senior getting ready to graduate and say goodbye, don’t let your temptations get the best of you. Remember to always work hard and don’t slack off, make those around you proud, and most of all, enjoy high school while it lasts!

– A High School Senior


Opinion: In Poor Taste? Stand Up Comedy Examined

By Tom Ingalls, Staff Writer / 12/13/2018

What was socially acceptable then, is definitely not now. Many homophobic, rape, and anti semitic jokes were made during that time. Many stand up comedians, alongside professionals targeted those jokes, because it was their job. They come under fire once those jokes are found. Many of them have been found on twitter.

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Image from thelaughfactory.com

Director of critically acclaimed movie Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn lost his job after a barrage of his old tweets surfaced, “According to Fox News, they were posted because Gunn is an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and the effort was to knock him down a few pegs.” The jokes Gunn had posted to twitter in the 2008-2010 Gunn were like any normal twitter update, out of the blue and just random. He definitely crossed the line, but again it’s socially unacceptable nowadays. Back then, it was even funny to some people. It’s a comedian’s job to target popular humor and make jokes about it. But it can be seen that Gunn as since changed, the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy saw this, and wrote a letter to show their stance and stood with James Gunn.

Dane Cook, a dark comedian has been under fire many times. But one time specifically, he had made a joke about the massacre at a Colorado movie theater during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” but swiftly apologized once he realized the joke he had made was uncalled for. Different situations call for different consequences. A spiral had begun a descent from his worldwide fame. Another time, Cook had become vulgar and aggressive towards a staff member at renowned comedy club, “Laugh Factory” exclaiming later “I own this place!” He was then swiftly banned permanently. At one point Dane Cook had been known my most adults but that ended after these mess ups.

At another instance at Laugh Factory comedy club, Daniel Tosh, a well known comedian who also targets dark humor, had made a rape joke. Daniel Tosh again is known for his dark humor, so that might be something you expect when you visit one of his shows. Tosh crossed a line when he had a comeback for a viewer who didn’t approve of one of his jokes. An apology was released from Tosh, these apologies that you see from many situations like this are, in my opinion half hearted and forced. But maybe what they could be thinking is that they just want to get this over with and put it behind them. But how difficult is it to type a written apology on twitter that has some emotion in it.

These were just three examples of comedians who have come under fire for their content. On one hand, it’s obvious to see that this was wrong, that these comedians got what was coming to them. The jokes they made were inappropriate and crossed the line. However, the jokes they made we acceptable back then, will everything we say later come back to get us in the future? Where do we draw the line? What jokes do we consider offensive and which ones are just barely okay? Should we fire comedians who make these kinds of jokes, or simply accept their apologies and move on with our lives?


The Pros and Cons of Social Media

The Pros of Social Media

By Mackenzie Leonard, Staff Writer / 12/07/2018

Technology is unavoidable. One of the biggest reasons being social media.Often times this is looked upon as a bad, mindless thing. Why is that? Over the past decade not only has technology improved, but the way we use it has as well. Apps and websites such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook, have changed not only lifestyles but communication altogether. Let’s break these down.

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image from Facebook.com

Instagram is known as one of the most regularly used social media among generation z. It most often is thought to be an endless feed of pictures and recurrent comments among teens. Instagram can actually be used for much more than that. By switching an instagram account into a “business profile,” you can promote and notify the public about upcoming events and important charities such as: Charity: Water, Doctors Without Borders, and Pencils of Promise. Not only does this benefit charities but helps young adults make a change or helping hand in our world.

Another app commonly used is Snapchat. Snapchat is a great way to keep up with friends through pictures, videos and voice chats. Snapchat otherwise known as “Snap” also lets you save pictures and videos throughout your daily life, known as memories. Memories are a great place to store pictures without taking up space in your phone’s library.

Facebook, more commonly used among millenials, is very similar to Instagram. News feeds of the daily lives of friends, family and acquaintances. A peak to Facebook is that you can actually “claim a page.” This can be used for businesses and organizations all over.  Another common use for Facebook are its group chats and pages you can join. Facebook offers many different pages, that start discussions, selling and trading maong similar individuals in the community.

Lastly, the app used by both millennials and generation z equally, Twitter. Twitter is a very resourceful place to keep up on politics, current events and trending topics. Twitter has not only been used by young adults recently, but even our past few presidents. Twitter is a great way to express thoughts, feelings and facts, as well as breaking news and important events among the public.

Technology, without a doubt, has changed life as we know it. Social media can, and does have that same impact when used efficiently and resourcefully. Social media can be frustrating and upsetting when put into uneducated hands. Educating students and young adults on the impact they can have on the world is crucial in today’s world.

Writers Note: To donate and find more information about Charity Water and Pencils of Promise,visit their page on instagram and click the link to read more and donate today!

Citation: https://www.classy.org/blog/10-amazing-nonprofits-to-follow-on-instagram/

The Cons of Social Media

By Allison Fetha, Staff Writer / 12/07/2018

Social Media has become an essential to our everyday lifestyles. It’s common for people to wake up to an alarm on their phone and begin their morning by scrolling through instagram or checking Snapchat, maybe refreshing their emails before heading to work or school. Almost everything in our lives can be found on our phone. We get the news, upcoming events, what our friends and family are up to and numerous other things on social media alone. Today social media seems like a necessity, however that may not be a positive thing.

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Image from Computerworld

Our communication has moved to social media. To be fair, it’s easier to Snapchat someone instead of calling them, but it also puts people behind screens. It’s been proven time and time again that it’s easier to say something over the phone while texting. This being said, it’s easier to bully online.

Cyberbullying has become an epidemic. According to DoSomething.org, 43% of teens have been bullied online. Social media offers the ability to be able to communicate 24 hours a day which can make kids feel like they can’t escape. “It honestly ruins your whole day” an anonymous student states. “You can block them or report their posts, but it’s even worse just wondering how many people have seen the rude things ‘the bully’ has said about you and how many others believe it.” Cyberbullying is also harder to recognize since parents or teachers may not have easy access to kids social media. If a negative or inappropriate post is made about an individual on social media where they’re “tagged” and it’s not deleted it can be traced by college admission boards or future employers.

Social media can also have negative effects on teens by giving them more opportunities to compare themselves to others. For example, Instagram is mainly photos or videos that can show what a person is doing that day, their looks, their lifestyles, anything really. There are also influencers on instagram that show their luxurious lifestyles and gain millions of followers who look up to them and make that type of lifestyle an ideal. “I definitely compare myself to others on social media. Sometimes it’s because I want to look like them, sometimes it’s because I want the same things they have.” Another anonymous student says. “With apps like Instagram or Snapchat I feel like I have to uphold a certain standard of beauty to post anything with myself in it.” This is a common feeling for teenagers to have.

Have you ever thought to yourself how many times you’ve had to retake a photo because you or your friends didn’t like how you looked in it, or how many times someones deleted something because it didn’t get enough likes? Social media has some perks, but it also has a lot of downfalls that can be detrimental to teens.


Rudolph the Problematic Reindeer

By Owen Shaw, Staff Writer / 12/06/2018

2018 is a year of massive movement and reform, from the flipping of the house to the “Me Too” movement. However, criticisms may have gone too far this year when the radio classic “Baby It’s Cold Outside” got banned from the airwaves. Earlier this year, viewers called “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” racist due to the one black friend sitting on the side of the table opposite the rest of the gang. However, the holiday season slaying doesn’t end there.

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Image from popsugar.com

Every holiday season, the television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” airs to joyful viewers who look forward to this Christmas classic. However, in recent years, this claymated 1964 tale of overcoming adversity and hate has been criticized by some of Twitter’s most unnecessary social justice warriors. Said to be “pairable on racism and homophobia,” the holiday classic is under a lot of heat from internet users far and wide.

Even Hermey the elf was mentioned in the Huffington Post’s twitter beration, pointing out that the other elves made fun of him for wanting to be a dentist. Seeming to need to find a flaw with this Christmas classic, a fellow tweeter describes the message of Rudolph to be “deviation from the norm will be punished unless it is exploitable.”

While some may argue that this is the true message of the film, it begs one question: how deep are we willing to dig to find the flaws in everything?


Parent-Teacher Conferences in the Books for 2018-19: Student Perspectives

By Evan Staples, Staff Writer / 11/27/2018

Parent-teacher conferences took place last week at Hermon High School. This is the time where teachers have to take time out of their day during Thanksgiving vacation to allow parents to schedule meetings with their children’s teachers to discuss how the year has been for their students thus far in the school year.

Conferences took place on Monday, November 19 and Tuesday, November 20 this year. Generally, one of the days for conferences is the week before vacation and the other day is during vacation. Since November 19 was a regular school day, that is why the conferences days were back to back.

Some students believe that it is a waste of time to schedule and attend conferences if they have no issues with the class. Junior Brandyn Matheson told me, “Overall, parent teacher conferences create more problems than they solve. It makes the teachers go to school for longer than a normal day, and has parents come in when they typically wouldn’t,” Some parents, like mine, insist that they always would like to know what’s going in my school life since I don’t talk about school that much when I’m at home. I have classes that don’t have as much pressure as others, such as chamber choir, and I still signed up for a conference with Mr. Kollman just so he, my parents, and I can discuss topics like what songs are going to be in the programs and the dates of the concerts. Matheson also said, “Parent teacher conferences could be done through email, and would save everyone a lot of trouble.”

A notice about parent-teacher conferences was sent in the mail to all parents of students along with first quarter final grades, so there is a slim chance that not every parent is oblivious to their existence.

Signing up for conferences is a tedious and sometimes difficult process to deal with. It takes place online at www.signup.com and it might be impossible to get all conferences directly after each other because of filled spots. Personally, I was trying to get a spot for Ms. Merrill for the Monday conferences to talk about how I’m doing in chemistry class. The majority of conferences are scheduled on Monday because most parents are out of work by 4 o’clock. As a result, she had many spots filled in a row with the exception of one. I had to rearrange a few in order to avoid not having to wait in between interactions with teachers.

Not having internet access can hinder registering for conferences, because although parents can call the guidance office to schedule the conferences, it is now their job to try to get all conferences to the satisfaction of the parent and would perhaps take more time and confusion.

Like I said earlier, I signed up for all of my conferences to take place on the Monday meetings. When I was walking through the hall to get from one class to another, there seemed to be a lot of people in the school. It was definitely a lot more than I expected for the night before vacation starting. Despite this, all of these situations are factors that are likely present and possibly even common to the parents and students of Hermon High School. It may not be required for students to arrange conferences with their teachers and parents, but in my opinion, it’s good if existing problems in classes, whether it is behavior or struggles with the work, are brought up to parents so there is a way for things to become easier for the student.


Why do They do it?

By Shelby Reynolds, Staff Writer / 11/14/2018
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Image from Shutterstock

During our four years here at Hermon High, we experience all kinds of different teachers and different teaching methods. We meet teachers we instantly click with and will remember forever and some teachers we just don’t meet eye to eye with. It’s important to remember that all teachers really just want the best for their students. Sometimes we get caught up in being teenagers and we overlook their number one intention. To prepare us for life beyond the lockers.

As students we are always told we need to want to learn. Although, we are rebellious teenagers who never asked for this workload. Who wants to learn?

Some students even dread coming to school. Those students who refuse to put in any effort and just sort of slip their way by end up missing out on the biggest lesson of all. In life, we will not succeed unless we want to. Success doesn’t just show up on your doorstep one day. You have to go out there and work for what you want. Sometimes we just learn the current learning target and think that’s good enough. Then we wonder what’s the point? When will I need this in my future? The point is exactly that.

Maybe you won’t need it. There are so many things in life you’ll be faced with that you don’t agree with. So many more “what’s the points?” It’s how you still manage to benefit through it.

I challenge students to change “When will I ever need this?” to “Thank you.”Thank you for teaching me about work ethic even when I find it challenging. Thank you for teaching me that success only comes from effort. As students it’s tough to put our egos aside and realize teachers true intentions. To prepare us for life beyond the lockers.


The Ever-Growing Problem of Childhood Obesity Vs. the Body Positivity Movement

By Christopher Guzman, Staff Writer / 11/07/2018

Over the last few decades, there has been an alarming and rapid change in society and our children across the entire world, especially here in the U.S. The obesity rate is skyrocketing across all groups of people. According to the World Health Organization, worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975, 39% of adults were described as overweight in 2016, and every single country has seen an increase in obesity rates among their population since the beginning of the 21st century.

The same is true for childhood obesity as well; in the U.S childhood obesity has also

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Image from Shutterstock

tripled, and measures 18.5% of 2-19 year olds as being obese, with high school obesity rates increasing by a dramatic 10.6% since 1999 as well, according to stateofobesity.org. Obesity, as everyone should need no reminder of, comes with an extreme increase in health risks too, such as heart diseases/strokes, kidney diseases, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes (which directly occurs as a result of obesity and high blood sugar), and many others.

Needless to say, there is an international health crisis facing today’s world. At the same time of this epidemic however, comes the ever increasing prevalence of the “body positivity” movement, where everyone is preached to accept themselves no matter how big or small they are, and to not feel pressured by our culture to lose weight or change their lifestyle. While this can be a good thing and should be taught to kids across America in schools, it should also be taught with a warning that people cannot just forget about their health. Too much body positivity can be extremely damaging to a child’s health and physical well-being if preached too much.

This can be seen in articles such as Michael Hobbes’s “Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong” on the Huffington Post where, although he does highlight some real problems of fat shaming and the efforts to fight obesity, he ignores most of the health risks associated with obesity by claiming doctors are just biased against everyone who’s “fat” and that it shouldn’t be okay for someone to try to lose some weight just because they’re deemed unhealthy.

Other forms of media, like the website fatgirlflow.com, preach that it’s okay to be 400 pounds or over, even though weights such as these carry significant health risks with them. Media sources such as these are twisting what should be a sensible campaign into a shameful crusade against healthy habits, and are leading people to abandon the notion of trying to stay fit, killing them in the process. Just ask Lionel Shriver, an American journalist whose brother died in 2009 as a result of complications from obesity. In her article on The Guardian written on the fat-acceptance movement just hours before her brother died, she wrote of how her brother had essentially given up on trying to combat his condition, at the time stating, “his only chance at a future is to refuse to accept himself that his weight gain is irrevocable,” and later went on record to say that his reluctance to improve his health and lower his weight, which was exacerbated by fat acceptance movement, led to his death.

To get more of an idea of just how much obesity can affect people, especially high school kids, you don’t even need to leave Maine, where obesity rates among high school students ranked the 19th highest in the country at 14.3% in 2017, according to stateofobesity.org. Our own school nurse, Ms. LeBreton, has seen how it affects students first hand. She commented that “people that are heavier do seem to come into the nurse’s office more often than normal weight students. It’s not so much mental health issues, which is more for the guidance office, but ailments with things like their stomachs,” and listed other, more surprising health risks obesity carries such as the damage to your feet, as heavy weights are not good for the structure of the legs, and “issues with their feet… causes them to be less healthy.”

It is important to look at both sides of the issue instead of quickly jumping to fat shaming and calls for more activities and less eating. There are a lot of factors that go into obesity, whether it be an identifiable medical condition or other factors. As physical education teacher, Mr. Good, pointed out, “obesity correlates with kids’ socioeconomic status. Kids that are active in clubs stay active and healthy because they can afford it, but there is no assistance for the ones that can’t. There isn’t a way for them to stay active or to eat right, most poor families can only get them McDonald’s or Burger King to eat because that’s all they can afford.”

Indeed, poverty does have a strong correlation with high rates of obesity. Alabama, the most obese state in the U.S, is also the fourth poorest state, and Brent, England’s most obese region, is also its ninth poorest region. Internationally, obesity and poverty are connected to and influence each other, and sadly, there currently aren’t many available methods to stop this.

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Image from Shutterstock

Mental health plays a big role in obesity as well, as health teacher, Mrs. Cough, pointed out that “[Shame] is not the best way to inspire kids to become healthier… What happens sometimes is, someone will binge eat to ease some of the feelings of [shame and guilt], so it’s kind of like a vicious cycle that can happen for some of these people.”

Simply put, there are many factors that go into making people obese, which is why it’s never acceptable to fat shame people. However, this is also not an excuse to for those to feel that it’s fine to be obese even if they feel they can’t necessarily control it. No amount of body positivity and economic/mental factors change the fact that obesity is still detrimental to human health, and no amount of fat shaming or bullying will help people become healthy.

So what can we do to combat obesity? According to Ms. LeBreton, the issue goes deeper than just limiting sodas and unhealthy foods. “Taking out sodas and foods won’t help because it’s a part of [students’] lives, they’ll just get them after school or at home. We need to reinforce good eating habits and physical activity…” she said.

Both Mr. Good and Mrs. Cough advocated for education of healthy habits early in kids’ lives. Mrs. Cough stated, “the more that we can get them out from behind their screens and getting them to enjoy being active, I think that that plays a role. It’s those early habits we develop as children that we bring into adolescence and adulthood. Modeling healthy eating and discussing with children at an early age about what that looks like is important to. Younger kids… tend to be more accepting, they don’t tend to separate based on [obesity]. It’s not until they get older that they start to pick up on those extreme differences.”

Mr. Good echoed this statement, saying young children should look at it as “a diversity issue, teach them that everyone is different, so that way it doesn’t carry a negative bias later on.” He also advocated for more after school programs to help students who don’t have as many opportunities at home to stay healthy. “After school programs will definitely help,” he said. “Wellness classes such as nutrition, self-esteem classes, and making those classes accessible and affordable will go a long way. We need to take [students] to do things that help them build self-esteem outside of school and give them chances to improve themselves so that way they can be motivated to help themselves too. Get them to join/create physical activity clubs, walk or bike the trails, and create a non-bully environment.”

Fighting the obesity epidemic will not be easy, but there are certainly many things we can do to help.


Editorial: Journailsm should Count as an English Credit

By Nadia Garcia, Staff Writer / 10/19/2018

In just about every high school curriculum it’s mandatory to take four years of English class. However, traditional English classes usually leave little room for creativity or real world application. Students should have the option to take Journalism as an English credit instead of an elective.

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Image from ShutterStock

If students are given this opportunity they may be more likely to put in effort. I have always had a love for writing but conventional papers such as research projects do not let me really showcase myself as a writer.  Journalism isn’t just about writing a random narrative story or reporting on the latest news. Journalism is a great way for students to learn about a wide variety of skills such as, writing structure, advertising, social media marketing, and communication. These are skills students are more likely to use in the real world.

To write and create an article requires certain skills and mechanics. The writer has to masterfully create a story that keeps the reader engaged while still being informative. Journalism takes care of the common topics learned in any traditional English class. Journalism requires deep thinking and creativity that all students are capable of. This would be a perfect alternative to those pesky five page research papers.


The Importance of Using Technology in our Classrooms

By Raegan Merriman, Staff Writer / 10/17/2018

One of the greatest benefits of technology in the classroom is that students are being able to have a more open variety in their learning. It’s the year 2018 when the internet is the biggest part of one’s life. It’s a faster tool to research topics on than taking hours reading old dusty books and newspapers in print.

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Image from ShutterStock

Technology is important to the students in the classroom and the teachers who create the lessons and teach the class. Ms. Schwartz, library media specialist from HHS, said, “A good teacher, which we have here, that will use technology in a good way and still be responsible will help the students evolve into a better student.”

Technology is important so that the teachers can help students have a better understanding of complicated real life scenarios that involve our digital world. Utilizing technology can help students understand different ways to solve a problem. There will be times when there is no need for the technology, for example when there is a lecture or speech and students need to focus on the teacher or speaker.

An effective time to use the technology that’s given in the class is when told to, or when students need to define, look up, research, or type out formal papers. The reason why technology is important in the classroom is because they give a higher quality information that is getting researched. Technology is a less time consuming tool for students, it can further knowledge of the news and support more organized work. There are new ways for the future of the students, “…the the way we use technology in the workforce [could provide students] with a better understanding of what they want to be. Technology could be used in welding, engineering, art teaching, or even being a football coach,” Ms. Schwartz responded to show many jobs that could be our path where technology is involved.

In 2018, the technology has changed since the 90’s when the internet was just starting to make its way into schools. In a survey done by Edtech Magazine, they calculated that 74 percent of educators support the use of technology in schools. Now students use the internet as an efficient tool of knowledge for their learning. Technology can provide the greatest benefits in our schools and classrooms.