BMHS PrideTime Reporter
On Wednesday March 14th, 2018 at 12pm Brien McMahon High School students put together a student ran protest because a lot of students didn't feel as if their voices was fully heard by administration.
As a student at Brien McMahon, I definitely thought the walk out we had wasn't really beneficial and failed to make a stand against gun violence and more gun control.
Before the protest actually began, Mr.Hurwitz made an announcement on the intercom, going against the protesting saying, if we do go outside we will have an consequence.
I was definitely wishy washy about participating in this protest, just for the simple fact I didn't want to lose any of my senior privileges, but I did want to stand up for something I believed so strongly.
Coming from where I am from, gun violence is critical to my environment, And gun control is strongly needed. From moments of seeing multiple shootings in my town and 3 or more shooting in one week was very detrimental to my environment. Seeing family friends or my friends friends being killed and the sadness in their faces would kill me on the inside. I was going around to teachers and students asking if we would really not be able to graduate if we go outside, but majority of the teachers were for us students standing up for what we believed in .Graduating is something that is very important to me, growing up I was always down talked and no one really believed in me and how great I could be, so graduating high school would help me begin to take the next step to being great.
I eventually said in my head “who really cares if I get in trouble if I am standing up for something I believed in” and walked outside to join my classmates. Some might say I was ‘following the crowd,’ but deep down inside growing up in my city I knew I had to fight for this very important situation. This protest was never about just getting out of class but was about standing up for gun control so no more lives will be lost to stupidity of others. Being outside actually protesting and standing up for something so serious was something I would’ve never thought I would do my senior year.
Hearing everyone give their speeches on how they felt about gun violence and how they felt their lives don't matter to the school system because a major change has not been made for the safety of all students brought tears to a lot of people's eyes.One particular person that stood out to me was Deyannah Vaughn (c/o 2018). Deyannah is such a shy person but also outgoing when with her peers, She spoke out about her life and why this protest was so important to her and she really just caught my attention fully, her speech was overall very moving.The experience was so heartfelt and warming. As a student at Brien McMahon I admit I was scared to go outside , just because of not knowing the consequences but , I did push that mindset to the side and I went out to stand up for all the victims of gun violence and to fight for gun control. I was just so proud of all my classmates and I for standing together to make a change. I don't regret anything about this day, and I feel we all proved how Senators should really be .
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
Photo: Lily Blair and Ashley Orozco / Contributed Photos
Gun violence has finally reached it's tipping point.
Protests about gun control continued around the nation this past Saturday as thousands of protesters took to the streets of some of America’s largest cities such as New York City and Washington D.C. demanding change. According to MarchForOurLives, 800+ sibling events also took place throughout the United States and around the world.
Among those in the crowd were some of McMahon's students, one of them including Lily Blair ('20). Blair was one of the organizers of the walk out that took place ten days earlier on March 14th at Brien McMahon in memorial of the victims of the Parkland Florida shooting. She was also one of the seventeen McMahon students that read a small biography about one of the seventeen victims.
“I thought these protests were more impactful. It wasn’t just us students alone. Parents and teachers were standing with us. Seeing all the people and hearing all the speeches was beautiful” she said. “The walkouts were impactful, but in these marches we were together. Thousands of people in all, together fighting for what they believe in.”
Blair’s parents were unable to attend the protest with her due to prior commitments so she set off for NYC with a group of friends to catch a train expected to leave Norwalk around 7:30 a.m. “My parents were extremely supportive. They always are. They know how important this issue is and they know how important it is to me, so of course they let me go.”
Ashley Orozco (‘19) was another McMahon student among the protesters and said she was tired of hearing politicians on tv complain about kids who “can’t even vote yet” protest. She explained that “Just because we aren’t old enough to vote, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a voice.” Orozco added that “It’s pretty sad that just because they feel that they have so much authority they think they can do whatever they want.”
In the end, both Blair and Orozco admired to how powerful and overwhelming the whole atmosphere was. “It was a really cool thing to be a part of” Blair said adding in that she even cried a little. Meanwhile Orozco said “There were people who were at the school, (Stoneman Douglas High School) who spoke, and it hit you so much harder. Everything became more real.”
By: Rebecca Lubin and Zariah Petway
With spring break quickly approaching many students anticipate the break due to not having school. A whole week of not having to get up early, being able to sleep in, and not stress over homework, projects, quizzes, and tests.
Spring break is celebrated in many different ways all around the world. From people going on vacation out of the country to people staying home and simply relaxing and doing nothing. But one thing for sure that every spring break in each country has in common is that it always falls around Easter or other similar religious holidays around the world.
According to Wikipedia, in Japan, the spring break starts in March (at the end of the academic year) and ends on April 1st starting with a new academic year.
In Germany, universities schedule a semester break which lasts from about 5-8 weeks in March. The Whitsun (Pentecost) holidays are around late May or early June, they also consider this as spring break.
In Portugal, spring break is mostly known as “Easter Holidays” and students have 2 weeks off around the country.
In Spain, there is no spring break proper, but the holy week is celebrated and students have holidays during these days.
In the United Kingdom, they have an Easter break that lasts from 1-2 and a half weeks for high schools and 2-4 weeks for university students.
In Columbia, spring break takes place the first week of April, during the Holy week until the second week.
Brien McMahon is known as a very diverse community and the many things students do for spring break may vary.
Liberty Brown (‘18) says, “For spring break I'm going to track practice and work. I gotta keep my body in shape for summer.”
Another student says she looks forward to traveling this break. Trinity Hurd says, “I get to see and do new things. I am also going to teen talent, which is a competition for children and teens to show their talents at a Christian event, I’m gonna be chilling in a hotel.
Aisling Murray says, “I like spring break because it gives me time to chill, get some things done that I may have slacked off on, and I get to go on mini vacations. This spring break I'm going to the Dominican Republic, I can’t wait to relax.”
By: Carlin Barton
CGS students (Back row, from left to right) Jack Cocchia, Danny Robillard, Trinity McFadden, Tes Dejaeger, and April Gall and their Japanese homestays.
On March 15th, 30 Japanese students arrived at the Center for Global Studies (CGS) at Brien McMahon High School, eager to meet the CGS students, and their families, that they would be staying with for a total of two weeks as a part of the annual CGS exchange with Kojo High School in Kanagawa Prefecture, outside of Tokyo, Japan.
For the 30 students that arrived from Japan, around 30 CGS students volunteered their home for the students to stay with them. While the Kojo students are here, they will follow their CGS counterparts around their daily routine, which includes accompanying them to all of their classes to learn more about American school life. CGS students also go out of their way to give the Kojo students various American experiences, from taking them into New York City to see the Empire State Building, going out to restaurants and bowling, to everyday activities like grocery shopping and hanging out with friends.
Although hosting a student from another country can be a lot of fun, CGS students must shift pieces of their lives to accommodate their homestays.
Tes Dejaeger, a senior a Brien McMahon who has hosted a total of six times throughout her four years at CGS, notes, “Usually after homework I'll watch a TV show or exercise but now that I have the responsibility of taking care of another person I can't just watch TV or leave the house. I have to take into account what she wants to do.”
April Gall, also a senior at Brien McMahon, added, “Growing up as an only child, it was certainly an adjustment for me to have another younger person in the house, and to have someone accompanying me to all of my daily activities. We also have to provide accommodations for the student within our home and transportation for the student to certain events.”
Another notable challenge for many CGS students who are hosting is the language barrier. Although most of the students who are hosting students from Japan also take the Japanese language at CGS, there are still problems that arise in communication.
Trinity McFadden, a senior at Brien McMahon who has taken Japanese for four years, says, “If you don’t know basic Japanese, it can be difficult. There are many things that get lost in translation.”
Despite the difficulties, a large number of CGS students eagerly volunteer to host every year. This is in part due to the fact that the cultural exchange isn’t one-sided. While the Japanese students from Kojo High School visit America every year around February-March, CGS students also have the opportunity to visit Japan in November and stay with students from Kojo High School.
This exchange creates long-lasting relationships between Kojo and CGS students, who communicate throughout the year through social media.
Dejaeger explains why she decided to host: “I had the opportunity to host a student that hosted me when I went to Japan 3 months before I hosted her. She felt like family when she came.”
McFadden, who has hosted every year except her junior year, also had the chance to host a Kojo student who she stayed with while she was in Japan. “I really liked it when I went to Japan and someone hosted me. Then she came and I hosted her! There was no awkward first day because we already knew each other. It was so blissful and we had so much fun.”
She adds that every hosting experience is different, but “With all of my exchange students, we tend to be very close… All of my homestays are like family. A lot can happen in 2 weeks!"
CGS students also appreciate that they have the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture while they are hosting.
Gall explains, “My favorite part about hosting is the exchange that occurs when people from two different cultures come together. I loved teaching my host student about my daily routines and showing him around Connecticut, and I also loved learning about his routines and what his life is like in Japan”
She added “One night we cooked spaghetti and made salads. [My homestay] usually studies while his father makes dinner, so helping us make dinner was a relatively unfamiliar experience for him.”
Overall, hosting a student from Japan seems to be a very positive experience for almost every CGS student that has had the opportunity to do so.
McFadden says, “The best thing about hosting is when they help you with your Japanese homework. Well, it’s a plus. It’s not the best thing. I think the best thing about hosting is the memories you make. If you make an effort to talk to your host, you’d be surprised at what you learn.”
She adds that any student who is thinking about hosting a student from another country “definitely should. The experience is one of a kind and you will have a friend for life.”
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
It was just another day at Norwalk High School on February 20th, 2018. Montanna C. (18’) of Norwalk High School was enjoying her morning until she suddenly heard the lady come over the loudspeaker saying, “Shelter in place!” This was the beginning to her hectic morning.
Montanna was on her way to the vending machine to get a bag of chips when she heard that there was a shelter in place drill. She went into the nearest room she could find which happened to be the public forum room.
“I was in there for about a hour and a half with no teacher,” said Montanna. She was stuck in a small lecture hall with 8 other students, not knowing what was going on. They sat there and joked around, thinking that it wasn’t a serious drill. “I was mad because I was hungry and nobody was telling us what was going on,” she said. She resulted to reading Twitter updates to find out that the drill was serious, it was no joking matter.
Photo taken by The Hour
Montanna was extremely nervous, it was so close to the Florida shooting and she didn't have any staff with her to tell her what to do.
She and the 8 other students were brought to the cafe, which was filled with the police and the swat team. “We sat there for hours without any information or food,” stated Montanna. Norwalk High students were then told they were leaving early and had to leave their bags there. If students had drove their cars to school. They’d have to be left in the parking lot.
Later Norwalk High student’s found out the reason for the shelter in place. They were devastated and slightly traumatized that something like that could happen in their school. Some students even took to Twitter to post about their feelings.
“The next day my mom didn’t really want me going to school. It made her nervous. so I just ended up going to school late. This was a huge scare for us [Norwalk High students],” said Montanna.
Norwalk Public Schools and Norwalk High School are now taking precautions, to ensure all their kids stay safe. NHS is thoughly checking open beginning and open end passes to make sure students aren’t going and coming as they please. They are also stationing security guards at every door that exits the building.
Jennifer Romero & Linda Garcia
BMHS PrideTime Reporters
Norwalk has gotten hit by three nor’easters in the past ten days. The first was only rain and wind, but still left many in the community without power, floods, fallen trees and cables.
The second nor’easter was primarily wind and snow, yet again leaving a lot more without electricity and fallen trees, but also causing them to leave their homes and look for shelter. Around one third of Norwalk lost power and approximately thirty-one roads were closed due to this storm. While the third was not as serious for Norwalk.
During the first nor’easter, McMahon had been opened up as a shelter by the American Red Cross for those without power.
Many students, especially seniors, have been upset with the unnecessary missed school days and just want to get out and graduate.
“We don’t need more snow days, because we need to graduate early”- Josefa Herrera (‘18)
As seniors grudgingly pass through the days, it seems like spring is not coming. Winter makes its presence known during the month of March.
Yet another storm is expected to hit the tri-state area next week. It is unknown what the qualities of this fourth nor’easter will be, but as you can imagine, seniors and some underclassmen are not liking what this means for the last day of school.
It seems the last day will still be in June, but most likely towards the end.
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
Inside the gym of Wilton High School on a February night, the Bear pack gathered for their face off with Trumbull High School in Boys Basketball for the FCIAC semi-finals. However, you would still find multiple Senators amongst the bear pack in an attempt to cheer on NHS in their tournament run. “I thought the Norwalk team deserved to be supported as much as possible and I wanted to be part of the history if they made the championship,” said McMahon Senior Nik Wilson. Wilson continued saying, “I don’t think the rivalry has gone away, and personally, I have a lot of friends at both schools, but when you play against them there are no friends on the field.”
“Everyone got along so well I never even noticed McMahon students in the student section, we were all just having fun,” said Bear pack leader Joey Somma (‘18). If the roles were reversed, I would absolutely go to a McMahon game but not drop plans for it like I would for NHS.”
However, as expected, not everyone was on board with BMHS cheering on NHS. McMahon Junior, Pete Young, had some words to say about the merger: “People don’t understand the meaning of rivalry because I hate those people and I don’t want to sit with them in a student section or root for them, I’d rather see them lose.” Pete was not shy to share his opinion openly as he also tweeted about the situation. When asked about his ties to the hockey games, where both McMahon and Norwalk students play, he said, “I go to a bunch of hockey games but that’s because I have some boys from McMahon there. Any other event...you will not catch me there.”
Many wonder how this will affect the future of McMahon/Norwalk athletics, only time will tell.
By: Rebecca Lubin
In highschool one of the most memorable and biggest event, besides graduation is prom. So much preparation goes into this one special night with finding the perfect dress or tux and getting hair and makeup done. A lot of money is spent on prom and it can be stressful. For the juniors at McMahon, this will be their first prom and that can be stressful.
The prom committee at McMahon is working very hard to relieve some of that stress from juniors. “The prom committee is here so that all of the junior class has a say and input on a prom theme, music, etc,” said the class of 2019 advisor Ms. Murphy.
Murphy added, “Prom itself is a huge undertaking so the committee will help with the planning for prom.”
At the prom committee meetings, they come up with different ideas for the theme decorations, favors, sales, and advertisement. Some of the prom themes for the junior prom so far are; a starry night, Great Gatsby, and Hollywood.
The official theme is the starry night.
To make sure this prom is a night to remember the committee does much different planning like ordering food, ordering balloons, and meeting at the Italian center where the prom will take place this year. “There's a lot of different planning and big decisions being made,” said Murphy.
Last year the Italian center was temporarily closed due to a fire that damaged most of the building. Some people don’t attend junior prom because the price of the tickets being too high. Last year junior prom tickets were original $85 and were brought down to $80.
“There is ongoing fundraising for this prom,” Murphy says, “We’re going to be selling lanyards, t-shirts, have a homecoming t-shirt sale, and raise money from the student-faculty game.”
All this is being done in hopes of bringing down the price of prom tickets so everyone can go.
Junior prom is set to take place on Friday, May 4th, 2018.
By: Brendan Duddy
Its March again and everybody knows what that means. It’s course selection time, a time when freshmen, sophomores, and juniors select their classes for the following year laying the foundation for their future.
On the week of March 19th, counselors will hold meetings with juniors (and their parents if they wish to attend) to help them prepare for not only a successful senior year but also help them prepare for the college application process. Meanwhile, freshmen and sophomores will select their classes for the following year in-house on PowerSchool.
However, they too will be given the opportunity to meet with their counselors in April. Freshmen will have their meetings during English classes and sophomores during their social studies classes.
Every year, one question that is raised for juniors is, “what classes do I take next year to make my life less stressful but also look impressive to colleges?”
To answer this question PrideTime sat down with Brien McMahon senior, Rebecca Dickson, to find what classes she thinks the juniors should take to help impress colleges but also allow them to have minimal stress in their final year as a student at McMahon.
When asked what her easiest class was this year Rebecca said, “Dramatic experience, we do simple things every day and there's never any homework. We do have tests but for tests, we just have to do a simple one minute scene and other things.”
She went on to say, “It's overall really easy but helpful for speaking and getting comfortable in front of crowds. You just have to be willing to use your imagination and do things you wouldn't normally do.”
She was also sure to warn of her hardest class, UConn French, explaining, “It's really hard. There's a lot of speaking and writing assignments. There's always lots of homework each class and our tests aren't ever specified, it's always a range of things in a textbook, so we never really know what could be on it.”
What about science?
Most juniors take either chemistry or physics. Most chemistry students traditionally move onto physics next but for the students in physics, there aren’t many full year science class options for their senior year unless they're willing to take an AP level course.
Rebecca found herself in this very predicament and chose to take AP Environmental Science. “I enjoy the class because of Mr. Linsky. I enjoy the fact that he doesn't treat his students like children but more like young adults who he respects and can connect with intellectually.”
Rebecca, who is an aspiring lawyer, has recently received acceptance letters from; the University of Connecticut, the University of Maine, Roger Williams University as well as Quinnipiac University.
She also has one final recommendation for the juniors.
“I would suggest (the BMHS Voluntary Internship Program) it gets you out of school earlier and allows you to go out and experience new things that will help you in the real world.”
McMahon's Hyper Local Weather Report