BMHS PrideTime Reporter
Recently, two CGS students co-created a discord server for the school that could hopefully benefit CGS in the future.
While Discord is normally used for gaming and online chatting with friends, one now-admin (Madison Kostuk-Krepps ‘19) of the server came up with the idea as she had experience on working with discord chats. She suggested to her friend (Mason Lapine) that they should create an online bot, she states “we’ve been the only two working on it since.”
Pridetime asked what cool things does the server have to offer? Within the chat, one can play music through the chat AI bot and even color code your text. There are also three separate chats for the different CGS languages and a general chat where everyone can talk with each other.
There is even one chat solely for, yes, memes. However, because it is supposed to be for school, it is to be kept family-friendly. That means no cursing, or anything inappropriate!
The launched server doesn’t have an exact date as it might have been during the first quarter or even an earliest time during the second quarter of school. As of now, we were informed that there is no set place to distribute the code that allows you to join. Though the plan seems to be during an upcoming CGS house.
Here are some questions from the interview with one of the admins. We hope you find this just as interesting as I did:
Jennifer: How do you think this could help CGS?
Madison: I think it could allow kids from different classes get to know one another, or request some help for their language, even a general place to just hang out. Announcements can be made for upcoming events, so everyone can be in the loop.
Jennifer: What do you hope the end goal of the chat will be?
Madison: A way to interact with other students outside of school time, be it for general conversation or for help with languages. I just want it to be a safe and happy place, a difficult task for sure, but I can always try.
Jennifer: What would you say to encourage CGS students who have not heard about the chat to join?
Madison: Join us and make some friends!!! I hope that this can be a place for all who want to be in it, and that there can be something for everyone!
Linda Garcia & Alejandra Bonilla
BMHS PrideTime Reporters
According to Red Cross Blood, the average adult has about 10 pints of blood in his body. During donations, 1 pint is removed from the donors body.
After a stressful week of midterms and finals, McMahon held their spring blood drive on Friday, January 26, starting from 7:45 AM all the way until 1:15 PM. During this time, several McMahon students volunteered to donate their blood to those who need it.
However, before you walk in to donate there are several things you needed to take into consideration like the qualifications you must have had in order for you to participate.
In general, you must be at least 17 years of age in order to donate blood. If you are 16, your parent must sign a permission slip saying that you’re allowed to donate. You also must be a certain height and weight.
For a male you must be at least 5’1’’ and weigh 130 lbs, and for a female you must be at least 5’5” and weigh around 150 lbs. If you do not reach these requirements, you are not able to donate due to concerns regarding the risk of fainting, lightheadedness, nausea, etc.
“I donated blood because it was for a good cause. I wanted to donate in the last blood drive, but I couldn’t do so because of my age. Instead I decided to wait until the next blood drive until I was of age, and my friends said it was for a good cause, so they convinced me to do it with them” Guadalupe Saldana (‘19).
People who donate blood are doing so to ensure that there will be blood on the shelves for others to use if need be. Donating is something you can give without harming yourself in any way since the sterile is used only once for every donor.
Many people contribute to give blood so that they can see how the need is constant and how their contribution will lead to a life being saved. Many of the people who do donate do it so that many people can have a healthy life.
Because of all the people who donate to the American Red Cross, the red cross is allowed to give blood every 8 minutes to many hospitals that have a crisis. The red cross needs to get more blood donors so that they can continue saving lives.
If you were not able to make it or did not meet the requirements, there is no need to worry. The Red Cross doesn’t just get donations of blood; you can also help by raising and sending money to them. The money they receive they send it out to places that will put the money to good use. The money will be used to help people who really need it such as people who’ve gone through a natural disaster or to those who are sick in hospitals.
BMHS Pridetime Reporter
On December 28th, an email titled “Study Hall 2.0 Policies and Procedures” was dropped into the inboxes of Brien McMahon seniors. Blasted out by Vice Principal Qadir Abdus-Salaam, the email gifted us with “new and improved “ study hall procedures.
Within the email Q states that the new policy was put in place in order to make BMHS a “safe and well-organized school for everyone”. Specifically, Study Hall 2.0 is designed to crack down on students “unsupervised and unstructured time.”
Attached to the email a PDF titled “Study Hall 2.0, 5 Things You Need To Know” explains the new “expectations” of study hall. Some of the new installations are as followed;
The new rules are designed for faculty to have better knowledge as to where students are, during their study halls. Q states “Part of making the change is to get control of the traffic in the hallways.”
If students do not follow the new procedures 3 hour detentions will be given out. Q says “Overall there has been a major change and improvement”, although some students disagree.
Cathy Colmenares ‘18 expresses that the new policy is effective but tedious and annoying, “For students who have always followed the rules it's really inconvenient.”
Colmenares details her long journey that occurs every A day in order for her to leave her study hall. For her, crossing the entire school to get a pass from Mr.Arcari to the science hallway often causes her to arrive late to her study hall. She then has to sit for 10 minutes in her study hall before making the trip back to music hallway.
Olivia Leone ‘18 concludes “It sucks to have to wait ten minutes to leave a study hall, but I'd rather wait and be able to leave then not be able to leave at all.”
BMHS Pridetime Editor
You heard about a basketball game was going on and you wanted to see what the score is and no reporters are covering it and you cannot find it on any social media platform, what should you do? You missed an event and you heard that the event looked visually appealing and you want to see how it looked, what should you do? You want to meet some new students and discover hidden talents of classmates, what should you do? The answer to all those questions is simply check Pridetime. Pridetime is much more than the school magazine and block. Pridetime has the scores of games on the Pridetime homepage, you can visually view events you missed in the new tab “PicMahon,” you can look at the YouTube channel and discover different students talents. Pridetime is where you want to look when you want to know what's going on throughout 300 Highland Avenue.
With only about one-two magazines being produced each school year, it was a bit of a struggle to keep students informed of what was going on throughout McMahon. In an effort to have McMahon students be aware of what’s going on throughout the school, Chief Editor Grace O’Malley (‘18) came up with “The Weekly Senate,” a weekly newsletter that is released every Monday, to let students know about upcoming events and upcoming sports games. The Chief Editor stated, “The newsletter helps with spreading information about the school and the student body, not everyone knows what the game schedules are, so we made sure to put to put them on the first page.”
Grace also wants students to get to know some new faces, this is why the stories featured in the newsletter will only be McMahon stories, “Since a lot of students get busy with their own studying and friend circles, they don’t really get a lot of time to meet new people, including feature articles shines a new light on someone's life, and introduces their unique story to the school.” The newsletter incorporated a “Athlete of The Week” section and “Instagram/Twitter post of the week” both sections feature only McMahon students.
Pridetime this year has been challenging our reporters to expand their visual creativity as a YouTube channel and “PicMahon tab” has been launched as well. The YouTube channel (Brien McMahon Pridetime) features sports hype videos, weekly events, tutorial videos, and a student spotlight series; which highlights students special talents. One video featured Charlie Johnson a photographer who plans on becoming a professional photographer. Another video displayed on the channel was “The Pridetime Athlete of The Fall Season: Olivia Leone.”
As one half of the creators of the PicMahon tab, Editor Yanira Matute ‘19 commented, “People like to read our articles, but images are more appealing. Images on PicMahon help capture a moment, a still image is more effective than a descriptive article.” This why her and her sister Dayanara Matute (‘19), who is also an editor, came up with the idea of PicMahon. After taking pictures of The Celebration of Sound event, the pair came up with an idea to dedicate a whole tab to pictures of McMahon events. The PicMahon tab is one of the new tabs added to the blog, and students are welcomed to save pictures from whatever is posted.
Students outside of the journalism program are encouraged to be featured in the weekly newsletter and PicMahon.If you see any posts, athletes who deserve recognition, stories that should be told, just dm the instagram page @bmhs_pride_time. All artists/doodlers are welcomed to dm the instagram page and request to doodle the front cover of the newsletter. Photographers are also welcomed to dm the instagram page to upload photos of different events to PicMahon. Credit will always be given.
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
Last month, 22 students returned home from a twelve hour flight on Christmas day, bringing back all of the new information they received, as well as the experience that came with representing Brien McMahon/CGS as ambassadors while in Japan.
The students were given an eight day opportunity to fully extract all that this learning experience had offered. On the first day, while many had explained fatigue from the flight, they were taken to a hotel in Tokyo. There, they had an authentic Japanese dinner and a full nights of sleep. The next morning, it was a breakfast and then a scenic view of Tokyo’s imperial palace and government buildings bus ride. The students stopped at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (MOFA) where they were officially given the full Kakehashi orientation.
And then, on another flight to Okinawa they went!
“Traveling to Okinawa turned out to be an extremely culturally enriching experience for me. Not only was I able to learn far more about Japan’s culture than I expected, but aside from visiting monuments, I also very much enjoyed the various other activities planned for us in Okinawa (hearing the guest speaker tell of his experiences during the Battle of Okinawa, visiting with the host family, etc). I was exposed to an entirely new side of Japan; one that is different from what is found in mainland cities such as Tokyo.”-April, (‘18) First time in Japan.
They visited ancient ruins, a renown shrine, and Okinawa World-being immersed in the history of Okinawa and its importance as a bridge for Japan-US relations.
A number of students those during the trip and those in the interview would explain feeling homesick and how the feeling would instantly be distilled and shadowed by the fun and enlightenment.
At the end of the program on their return to Tokyo, they gave a final presentation to the supervisors and JICE, MOFA coordinators. CGS gave its all at a presentation describing how they would accomplish the Kakehashi requirement; disseminating their experience locally acting as a “bridge” for the continued strong relations of the two countries. And so, it starts with you, McMahon! Here are what a few students have to say to their fellow high schoolers.
“I would like to tell them to not listen to stereotypes. Although stereotypes are made for a reason, they don’t align with every single person's traits. There are always gonna be some odd people out, and we have to understand that. I’d also want to tell all of Brien McMahon that it’s okay to step out of their comfort zone. Traveling to a strange country all the way across the world is scary, but 100% worth it. (Angelina (‘20))”
“I would like the students of McMahon to know that Japan has an extremely rich culture and many traditions embedded within this culture. I want to dispel all negative stereotypes concerning Japan and the Japanese people. It is important for us to be accepting and to make more connections to the Japanese and their culture.”
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
According to National Alliance on Mental Health, in 2017 it was determined that 1 in 5 adults in America experience mental illness in a given year. Furthermore, 1 in 25 adults experience a severe mental illness.
Despite these frightening statistics, the stigma around mental health and illnesses still prevails and thrives in today's society.
With this in mind, the Center for Youth Leadership, also known as CYL, held its 3rd annual production of Medicated and Mighty in the CGS Community Room.
“Medicated and Mighty is a spoken word performance about mental health which consists of poems, songs, monologues and personal accounts of how mental illnesses have affected our lives or the lives of people close to us,” said McMahon senior Tatyanna Molina, who curated and ran the event this year.
“I selected the poems, monologues and songs that would be included in the show. The selection process is always really hard. There's so many great slam poems out there, but my main goal was to find ones that hit me hard, because impactful poems are the ones that spark the greatest reaction from our audience. Also, I tried to make sure I included a wide range of poems, so, poems that not only talked about depression, but also, eating disorders, anxiety, OCD, suicide, and positive ones about the good days.”
Though this may seem like a small detail, the representation of various illnesses is incredibly important to include in conversations regarding mental health.
The National Alliance on Mental Health reported that 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia, 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder, 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
Additionally, the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders stated that at least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S.
Though McMahon students tend to learn of these illnesses in health class, the conversation never really leaves that room, and action is hardly ever taken. Even accounts by those who must deal with these issues are seldom heard of.
But while it seems uncomfortable to listen to such a personal aspect of a stranger’s life, Tatyanna believes there is a power to listening to others, no matter how intimidating and foreign the issue may seem. “Medicated and Mighty is extremely significant because it lets you step into the chaos of others, which most people don't do very often. The pieces spark emotions in you and a lot of people can relate to what's being said. I think it offers awareness through a forms of art.”
As for the performance itself, McMahon students Jackie Aguiar, Amy Ozols, Cia Negron, Alex Wilson, Cathy Colmenares, Andrew Thompson, Bella Bardos, Alexandra Molina, Willow Macol, Maddy Gordon, Gaby Duran, Liz Murphy, And Safia Hamada gathered for a night full of moving songs, slam poetry, and tearful monologues/personal accounts.
When asked about last nights performers, Tatyanna said, “To everyone who participated; thank you. Thank you for getting on that stage and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and presenting those pieces with your heart on your sleeve. I know doing that is extremely hard, but you all did amazing and thank you again for entrusting me to run this show. I love you all!”
After several tears, hugs, and tissues were exchanged, the performance came to a close. However, Tatyanna had a final message about the conversation about the stories shared last night.
“Mental Health is extremely important and should not be taken lightly. I’m extremely thankful for the overwhelming help and support I had from my fellow executive committee members and the cast for understanding the importance of having this show. Thank you for helping make my vision come to life and thank you to whoever came for coming in with an open mind. I hope everyone left with a deeper understanding of mental health than when they came in.”
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
This past week in our community, there has been an outbreak of money pools. These money pools are being spread by means of Snapchat Stories, Instagram posts, and word of mouth. This leaves students asking one thing: what is a money pool?
Money pools follow a simple format: there are spaces at the bottom of the pool for a given price, and that cash eventually makes its way to the top of the pool. The most popular pools going around have 15 people in them with eight spaces in the bottom row, so we’ll use those as an example. The people who bought the eight original spaces now “move up” in the pool (the pool splits off into new pools with the same amount of spaces). In order for these new pools to regain the missing spaces, the individuals who “moved up” now must sell the empty spaces and bring eight more people into each pool. In order for this to work and for the original 15 original individuals to make their money, they need to sell off 112 additional spaces.
Money pools were traditionally a money-saving technique that impoverished communities used to save up for large expenses or for a common cause. However, the money in the system often finds its way to one specific individual if manipulated correctly, better known as a pyramid scheme.
The reception of the widely varying student body is exactly that. Some are skeptical while others are cautiously optimistic. “I think that it’s a lot of suspicious people running it. I don’t think it’s very organized and I haven’t seen anyone get results.” Said Bret Rodgers ‘19. Students like Rodgers stay away from the money pools, which is smart in the eyes of the law.
Money pools are highly illegal, with pyramid scheme facilitators getting arrested for it today. Bernie Madoff is perhaps the most notable name who has been busted for running pyramid schemes, but other major firms such as Herbalife have been accused of running one.
It’s important to realize that the police take claims of money pools very seriously, and will not hesitate to investigate any alleged money pool. If you’re a McMahon student thinking about joining a money pool, all I ask is that you gather the facts before you do. It could be the difference-maker that saves you $50.
BMHS PrideTime Editor
NORWALK- While you were given presents on Christmas Morning, Eric Carroll, an English Teacher at Brien McMahon, decided to keep one of his gifts until December 30, 2017 when he got down on one knee and proposed to his fiancé Julia.
Preparing for his proposal, Carroll gave Julia tickets for the Lion King, but she didn't know Carroll had bought her tickets to her favorite musical, Hamilton, instead. “Leading up to the day… I didn't plan to the minute like you probably should. I kind of just threw a couple things on the wall hoping it would stick,” says Carroll.
If you don’t know Mr. Carroll, he’s a very go-with-the-flow kind of teacher: a real people person. He will talk to just about anyone and everyone. Being with him for 4 years, Julia could sense something was up when Carroll was looking out the taxi cab window instead of engaging in conversation with the driver.
Mr. Carroll isn’t the best at time management so as you could imagine, Julia and Eric were running down the streets of NYC trying to make it to the 8 o’clock performance. About a block away from the theater, Carroll stops Julia to tell her to close her eyes and walk a few feet forward to see a sign saying ‘Hamilton.’ When Julia looked at the sign with excitement, Carroll got down on one knee and proposed.
“Terror. Absolute terror. Her reaction to everything is always terror and I was used to it like I know it doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to. It means she doesn’t know how to process that moment as well as we need to and it was okay because i was in a moment of terror too.” Says Carroll.
Carroll may be the most recent engagement at McMahon, but he isn’t the only one with a proposal story. Robert Ayala, a History Teacher at our school, successfully tied the knot.
“Mine wasn’t very stressful because my wife knew it was coming,” says Ayala. They’d only been dating for almost a year before they picked out the ring together and discussed their future.
Coming from a Catholic family, Ayala’s father-in-law asked if his grandchildren would grow up the same. “I said ‘No as long as they’re good kids.” Says Ayala. On September 1, 1993, she said yes!
Michael Epstein, a history teacher at our school, proposed the way his wife always imagined it would happen.
“I was a Stamford high Teacher at the time and I had cheerleaders in my class. I couldn’t really afford the whole Yankees or Knicks thing, but she always thought it was cute to get proposed at a game. The cheerleaders in my class made a 10 yard banner that said “Will you marry me Terri? and unraveled it after their halftime performance.” Says Epstein.
It’s safe to say that there is no right way to propose to the one you love, but at the end of the day, your engagement story will be a great story to tell.
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
On January 6th, 2018, the seniors from Norwalk High School and Brien McMahon High School came together for their annual Poinsettia Ball.
At the Dance, food wise, they served Chicken Parmesan, Pasta, Salad, and Garlic Rolls. For dessert, they served vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream with different types of toppings.
“The chicken was good, but the pasta was kind of dry," said Angelica De Los Santos ('18).
There was also music from the Dj that the hall provided. “I had a lot of fun, the music was really hyped and the friends I had around me made it even better," Said Kassandra Scott ('18).
Tiffany Scott ('18) a student who attends Brien McMahon said, “Some songs were good, but it wasn’t like a routine. It was horrible."
Overall a lot of the girls wore bright and/or velvety colors, with a mixture of Long and short dresses. The boys wore nice tuxedos that matched their date(s).
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
The Lip Dub Dream Team at Brien McMahon High School, in collaboration with the Future Project, is currently preparing for the 2017-2018 Lip Dub to help raise school spirit.
A Lip Dub, which is a type of music video that combines lip syncing and audio dubbing, has become a common practice for high schools throughout the country. It was adopted at Brien Mcmahon as a way for each senior class to leave their mark on the school, as well as raise Senator pride.
The 2018 senior class has been doing Lip Dubs since their freshman year, and the Lip Dub has become a tradition at McMahon that many students and faculty look forward to.
In previous years, the Lip Dub has been held the day before Thanksgiving break. However, when Thanksgiving break passed and there was still no word from faculty about the Lip Dub, students decided to take action.
With help from the Future Project - a program implemented at Brien McMahon to teach students how to develop ideas, dreams, and projects - students created a Dream Team, which has single-handedly designed this year’s, Lip Dub.
Kristen Carrano, a senior at Brien McMahon High School and the Head of Communications for the Dream Team, says “We’ve had weekly meetings and each meeting we try to get one aspect of the Lip Dub completed: decorations, songs, surveys, etc.”
The Dream Team is currently seeking help by our school’s Future Project Dream Director, Carrie Sangiovanni, who is helping and guiding the team of students in the process of designing the Lip Dub. The team is using the Future Project’s practice of possibility, which consists of a process called the “5 D’s.”
Using this process, the students learn to Discover, Define, Design, Do, and Digest their project.
Sangiovanni explains, “We’re fully in the Do mode: wrapping things out, getting communications out, we’re decorating, doing all that stuff, and then at the end we ‘Digest,’ which is when we reflect on the whole process and learn how to learn from your mistakes.”
Working with the Future Project and creating a Lip Dub Dream Team could be promising for a more successful Lip Dub in 2018 than in recent years.
“I think we’re taking a lot more time with it, in the planning process. I haven’t been part of the projects in the past, but just from what I’ve heard from the students, they happened rather quickly. This is the first time there is a full team dedicated to it that are meeting every week to plan it, which I think helps. I think maybe other people [classes] didn’t have enough time - it’s a very big project.” Sangiovanni says.
The Dream Team has been working vigorously to have everything ready in time for the Lip Dub, which they hope to do on January 25th, 2018, although the date is not currently set.
Students at Brien McMahon can start keeping an eye out for communications on Lip Dub rehearsals and how to help with decorating, making posters for their teams, clubs, etc.
“I’m most excited to see the final product. We’ve worked so hard and I can’t wait to see it all come together.” Carrano (‘18).
Rebecca Lubin and Zariah Petway
BMHS PrideTime Reporters
On January 3rd, 2018, a program called Heal who is associated with Brien Mcmahon High School went to visit the elderly at the Notre Dame nursing home in Norwalk, CT.
The healing program is essentially an after-school program here at Brien Mcmahon High School that does community service all around Connecticut. Heal stands for Health, Empathy, Altruism, and Love.
The program started with women working with project returns which is a non-profit organization. The benefits that you gain from being apart of the heal program will give you a sense of belonging. It also allows you to give back to the community and you meet new people.
Jennifer Amon the program director says, “I feel that the program has grown exponentially over time and not only are you surrounded by kids in school but heal brings people together." Some of the activities we have done so far were things like making cards for wheeler clinic (foster care), pillows for the elderly, visits to daycares, and make blankets dogs.
Amon also said, "Heal is the program that it is today because of who we are."
Pridetime got the chance to speak to three elderly women by the names of Hedwig Anderson (104), Mary Mcgrath (88), and Jane Marsico (90). Before the nursing home, all of these women lived completely different lives, they were independent and had families.
The nursing home calls Hedwig by Ms. Anderson because she is the oldest one there, it is also considered a sign of respect. Ms. Anderson says, "An important lesson in life is to be kind because when you are kind you stay out of trouble."
When asked what was the most difficult thing about getting older Ms. Anderson says, "The passing of my daughter was the hardest thing to deal with." She also said, "The older I get the more people I lose since I am 104 years old and not everyone gets that chance to live for so long."
According to the statistics portal, in North America, the average lifespan of a woman is 81 years old.
Mary Mcgrath was a teacher for special ed students at Tracy Elementary School, she is 88 years old. "I like being around new people and meeting them."
Every year these ladies always make new years resolution, but something different happened this time. "Going into the new year we make new year resolutions," Mary says, "I don’t make them anymore because I never end up going through with them."
Jane Marsico who is 90 years old was a stay-at-home mom before coming to Notre Dame and she says, "When you get older you become more patient, but when you're younger you're just going around living life to the fullest. As you get older you mature and slow down." Some advice that Marsico has for people who are also getting older is to "take advantage of every opportunity and enjoy life and family because family is very important and it means a lot."
Amanda P, a senior at Brien Mcmahon who is currently in the Heal program and has been since her sophomore year says, "Heal gives me something to do after school. I also get to be around people."
Amanda always wanted to help people and because of heal she now gets the chance to do so. So when asked, how has the program impacted her life, she responded, "It has made my life more interesting. It’s important to help treat people because if the roles were reversed we would want the same."
Thanks to the Heal program, Amanda now gets to make the world a better place despite all the crazy things that have been going on. “It’s nice to see people do good and it’s nice to do some good."