Teacher Appreciation

Author Spotlight: Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Hello reader. My name is Lucas Laliotis and welcome to the 1st installment of Author Spotlight. For the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, I will highlight a living author who has impacted the literary world in a unique way. Our 1st highlight is an author from New England, Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Born and raised in Worcester Massachusetts, Krosoczka has written some great books, most notably, his graphic novel series Lunch Lady. In some of his books, his Worcester life is evident. I actually have one of the Lunch Lady books signed by him and it’s very close to my heart. In his 1st book, Good Night, Monkey Boy, the book is dedicated to his grandparents. At 1st glance, it may seem that he was very attached to them, but if you read Krosoczka’s graphic memoir Hey, Kiddo, the truth is revealed. I will touch upon that in a minute, but for now, here’s some more information. Though he is in his early 40s, he looks much younger. From posts on his Instagram and TikTok, he is a charming, funny and humble man. But he has a history not many readers know. In Hey, Kiddo, we learn about his childhood. The dedication isn’t a metaphor on his attachment to his grandparents, but is a literal statement. Jarrett was raised by his grandparents because his mother was a heroin addict. She had made many poor decisions in her life. When I 1st read this and realized that this was the guy who wrote Lunch Lady, I was very, very taken aback. The book, unlike most memoirs of this style such as Smile or El Deafo, starts with the life of his grandfather Joseph and grandmother Shirley during the Great Depression and the war.  Through the book, there is a timeline that is evident, going from the Depression era to Jarrett’s birth and finally to his graduation from high school. But he still has questions. Near the end of the book, he meets his birth father. I’m not going in depth because I want you to read it or at least listen to the audio book. The writing is great. But nothing compares to the art. Krosoczka’s other books have a very clean art style, with flat, crisp lines. But in this book, rather than using traditional digital work, uses ink. The book has a dedicated section to the art at the end. These lines make everything smeared and chaotic while making the characters and set pieces clear, which is a perfect metaphor for his childhood. I felt emotional after reading this book. Next time you’re in the library, head over to the graphic novel section and if it’s available, check it out or ask the librarians to place a hold for you because this is one book you do not want to miss.

Does the New Schedule Work?

At the beginning of the school year, a dramatic change happened with Coe-Brown’s curriculum. The once six-classes-in-one-school-day-schedule changed into four. To everyone this was monumental. Never before had anyone from CBNA seen something like this. Although the schedule is new and different, was the change all that bad? 

After surveys and brief interviews with students, teachers, and staff members, the majority of Coe-Brown believes that the new schedule is for the better. Specifically, the point that was most mentioned with the new schedule was time. “There is more time to do everything now” one student said. Every class has an extended length of time, which was basically the length of a double period last year. With the longer periods, more learning can get done at a more relaxed pace. Teachers can take the time to go over homework and review, without the forty-five-minute pressure from last year. Another benefit for teachers with the new schedule is more quality time to teach their students. 

Teachers aren’t the only ones who feel the relief of the four-period schedule. Since classes rotate to almost every other day, students have more time to get their assignments completed. Another point that was made by a student was, “I no longer feel like I have to sprint, just to make it to my class on time”.  Students can now walk, almost at leisure, to their next class while also being able to take a bathroom break and prepare for their upcoming lesson. 

Granted some people might have had a problem with adjusting to the new schedule and still might not like a different style of learning. Certain subjects such as math, history, and electives might have had more difficulty adjusting since the classes are lecture-based. Mr. Usigner reported that “ there has been no falter or change to the course, and that the curriculum was still on schedule”. Another problem some students seemed to have was the increased amount of time in class made the day feel longer. On the contrary, one student mentioned that “since the day consisted of only four classes, the school day seems shorter”. Although the classes are longer, there is a smaller amount of classes, this was the trade-off. 

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons of the new schedule. The pros of the new schedule include more time for all aspects of the school, a better quality of teaching for teachers and learning for the student, less pressure, and more time to get work done. The only possible cons are possible courses behind schedule, which hasn’t really been happening, and students feeling like the class is longer. This new schedule has been very beneficial to Coe-Brown Northwood Academy. Who knows, maybe we might stick with the new schedule?

Samuel Marcotte

Opinion: What I Would Tell Other Schools About CBNA’s In-Person Experience

My school does fully in person schooling. So far we have been doing this for 5 months now and there has been only one hiccup where we had to go online, that was because there was around eight positive COVID tests. Because it has gone so well so far I think it was the right decision. It also still gives some students the flexibility to be online if they do not feel safe in a school environment. I would say that one of the main challenges of being fully in school is that when students do have to go remote, it can be tough to fully understand what is going on through a Google Meet when the teachers are completely focused on the students right there in front of them. For the students in school, the school has put in place plenty of new guidelines for students to be following this year which has helped keep everybody safe, for example there is one way hallways and they added in another lunch. Even when the school does encounter a positive test or even an outbreak they have handled it well this year and that is why we are still able to be in person in late January in the midst of a COVID spike. 

The school’s response to a positive COVID test has also been good. I can’t think of one positive test this year that has led to more at the school. They do a good job limiting the transmission of the virus which has been one of the key ways to stopping the spread in a school environment. The school has typically been able to notify the close contacts of the positive test within 24 hours which means for the most part they do not go back on campus because of how quick the school is able to find out the close contacts. All things considered I think the school made the right decision when they decided to try going fully in school. They had a safe, clearly thought out plan that has allowed us to continue being in school and connecting with our friends and teachers like some students these days are not capable of doing.

Hunter Murray

WandaVision: Why All the Hype?

WandaVision: Why All the Hype?

By Julianna Vagi

There has been a lot of advertisements lately during broadcast games, cooking shows, and even television providers like Hulu about a new show called WandaVision.  But what’s the big deal?  If you aren’t currently a fan of the Marvel franchise or aren’t intrigued by black and white television, this show may seem unworthy of all of this attention.  But today, we will find out why WandaVision deserves all the hype it is getting.  Let’s dive in!

1. The First Release in Phase 4

Marvel is kicking off its fourth phase of movies with WandaVision!  This is very exciting because this is the first phase in motion since the creator of Marvel, Stan Lee, passed away.  Fans of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) have been very skeptical on whether this phase will be related to the Marvel comics or if it will be more of a Hollywood style movie set.  But, all of us are excited for the long awaited Black Widow movie!  Anyways, starting off phase 4 with an original series was a bold move, but based on the current episodes it was a good one!

2. Brings Back the Vision 

 

 

Previous Marvel fans will know that in Avengers: Infinity War something happened to the Vision. (Don’t worry, no spoilers!)  so seeing him back in another Marvel piece is very exciting for many of us.  In Wandavision, Wanda Maximoff (or Scarlet Witch) is happily married to the Vision in a 1950s style sitcom where they have to hide their powers to have a normal life.  But they soon realize that not everything in their quaint town is how it should be.  Seeing the Vision and Wanda together is many fans’ dreams, and it is so nice to see a happy Marvel series!

 

3. Has Crazy Twists and Turns

 

Okay, so WandaVision isn’t all in black and white.  And it’s not all happy.  In fact once every episode something crazy happens!  You never see it coming, and it is so fun to try to guess what in the world is going to happen next.  So many theories can spiral around!  It gives a mysterious and creepy element to an otherwise happy and fun show, which makes for a very interesting 30 minutes.  Even weirder, something happens after every creepy moment…   

4. Weekly Episodes

Alright, so some of you may be freaking out.  What?  I can’t binge-watch this show?  What’s the point?  WandaVision releases every Friday, which is one of the best parts of the show.  Each episode ends on a cliffhanger, and having the newest episode come out gives an even more fun experience on a Friday night!  It also makes it really easy to catch up to any episodes you have missed so far (There are six episodes).  Looking forward to a new episode is so wonderful, especially if it has been a long week!

 

5. Newest Series since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

These newlyweds star in the newest series from the Marvel franchise, following up Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Any previous views of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  will remember it being amazing, but a little boring at the end.  Luckily, WandaVision is going to be a miniseries, so no boring, elongated episodes should occur!  Sometimes it is nice to watch a series instead of a two and a half hour long Marvel movie, so anyone getting ready to jump into Marvel might want to try a few episodes of WandaVision first!  30 minutes is a lot easier to manage than two and a half hours, for sure!

 

So, why all the hype?

In short, the hype is due to the fact that this is a long awaited trip into a fantasy world.  Due to COVID-19, many movies have been delayed, so having a new, exciting series coming out can really lift spirits around the globe.  So, if you are looking for a new television show or just ready to start watching a new branch of movies, try WandaVision!

 

Thanks to:

https://disneyplusoriginals.disney.com

https://www.disneyplus.com

https://www.digitalspy.com

Theatre Feature

The Coe-Brown theatre department has had to seriously rethink their approach to how they would continue the program. Due to the Corona Virus, no actual shows have been allowed for the foreseeable future. The CDC recommends having shows outside with the actors ten feet apart, but this is simply impossible. Instead, the program has had a different approach to their way of keeping the theatre alive. The school theatre has made the plan to have weekly workshops to practice and improve upon their students’ skills. The three main subjects that the program has worked on are movement acting, technical theatre, and they have just started to work in musical theatre. The new program is solely based on improving the skills of these fresh and experienced actors, without the stress of a fall show. 

The leaders of the CBNA theatre program are Mrs. Moynihan and Ms. Hume. They have taken over for the retired Mrs. Lent, and are continuing the legacy of the theatre. When asked: How do you think the theatre is going in the new world of covid? Mrs. Moynihan replied, “it is a sad and challenging time, but I am thrilled to see how artists are coming together to find new and innovative ways to bring theatre to audiences. For us, it has been a challenge, because we have not been able to do our fall and winter shows as usual. We have come up with workshops, staged readings, and a planned writing project to help fill that performance void. While this has been tough, it has also allowed us to focus on skills building, which we did not always previously have time to do. The work that we have seen from our students has been tremendous and has really allowed us to see future directions for shows and programming in later seasons”. When asked the same question Ms. Hume responded by saying: “I mostly feel lucky that we’ve been able to come up with a plan to keep CBNA Theatre moving forward here. I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with Mrs. Moynihan who is brilliant and excited to work with our students and share all of her knowledge and experience. We are very proud of the program that we’ve put together for the fall! Although we can’t produce a typical show, it’s been really exciting to plan and develop workshops to introduce students to new skills and practice ones that might be a little rusty. We wanted to put together something for everyone: Movement Mondays, Tech Tuesdays, musical theatre, straight plays, playwriting, and more! It feels like we are teaching and learning even more than we would have during the run of a traditional show.”

I also asked the teacher if they feel any pressure running the theatre program. Mrs. Moynihan responded with: “I do feel pressure to run the theatre program because I am lucky to be stepping into a well-established theatre program that Mrs. Lent ran for many years along with Ms. Hume. I am so thankful that I got to spend all of last year getting to know the students at Coe-Brown and the way the theatre program was run. The Covid situation has changed many things for us, but the dedication of our students has not. My hope is always to be providing students with challenging, engaging, dynamic, and fun theatre experiences, while also giving them theatre skills that they can use in the classroom and beyond. One of the more challenging aspects of my job as a theatre teacher is making sure that I am picking a material that is appropriate for the students that we have but will also challenge them allowing them to expand on their existing skills and talents. Ultimately, it is the absolute best part of my job. I have always believed that theatre is an important area of the arts and I am thrilled that I get to bring my love and passion for it to the students at Coe-Brown. Ms. Hume answered: “I think the thing I feel most pressured about is making the theatre program just as fun, collaborative, and educational as it typically is under very atypical circumstances. We have so many talented new freshmen and sophomores that haven’t had a lot of time with us yet! It’s important to me that they feel like they’re a part of our company, and that everyone’s time is being valued. That can be tricky at the end of a long day in a mask. Overall, despite all of the challenges we are facing in terms of performance and spacing restrictions, I feel like each individual student has had more opportunity to learn and grow under these unusual circumstances than they might have during a full production! That’s what makes all of the pressure worth it.”

Students such as Darin Sweet, a Senior at Coe-Brown and President of the International Thespian Society, agrees that “there has been a lot of restriction when it comes to the new program, but we are doing a great job with doing our best and improving our theatrical skills”. He also stated, “that he missed the old theatre, but he is still having lots of fun”. Darin is a long-time member of the CBNA theatre, participating in all four years of Highschool and he is planning on continuing in college. Ariella Price, a freshman at Coe-Brown, was anxious about joining the theatre program at the beginning of the year. During her interview, Ariella stated that “many things changed during the pandemic and definitely the theatre she had been used to”.  Ariella also says she “is free to be herself, and that she loves the theatre program. Ariella is a, just joined theatre member, but is planning to participate for the rest of her Highschool career.

Hopefully the future is brighter for the theatre program. Everyone was disappointed with this year, but the theatre program found a way to keep up the spirits of its members. Perhaps one day things will get back to normal, and show production will be able to continue. For now the audience will just have to wait. 

Samuel Marcotte

Teacher Feature – Chris Burns

Mr. Burns is a new teacher this year! He is teaching freshman physical education and sophomore team or individual sports. I have the pleasure in taking one of his sophomore team sports classes and it is a blast. This also means that I had time to ask him some questions about his experience as a bear. 

Mr. Burns taught at Northwood Elementary School before he started teaching here for the 2020-2021 school year. He talked to me about how different it is here saying, “It is different to be teaching older, more mature, students that are all so close in age”. He says he enjoys teaching older students and getting to play with them and interact with them on almost a daily basis. “I end up playing a lot of games and getting in on activities with all of my students and I really enjoy it”. Mr. Burns is almost like one of the kids in class and gym class with him is so fun. He also has some of his former students from Northwood in his new class and everyone involved enjoys the fun and lighthearted atmosphere!

I also had some time and asked him how the experience of being a CBNA bear is going for him. He told me that it is definitely different to be teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic especially it being his first year here. He also says that it has been good for his teaching style to receive feedback from his fellow faculty members and that he too is learning a lot. The only difference from Northwood he says, “I got to walk around the whole school when I had freetime. Now I’m kind of stuck in Smith Hall all day but I do have lots of kids and classes”. Overall Mr. Burns has decided that he really likes being a part of CBNA and most of his students would say that we love having him.

 

– Ella Brooks

Care About Your Local Election

As everyone knows the day of voting is almost here for the next election. I’m sure you’ve seen political ads on Chris Sununu, Dan Feltes, Biden, and Trump, with everyone telling you that “this is the most important election of our time”. Well in some ways it is, but why should high school students care when most of us can’t even vote yet? Even though you are not the legal age to vote, you should still pay attention to your country’s politics. Listening to debates, reading articles, or watching the news could improve your understanding of what’s happening. If you still don’t understand, ask your parents or grandparents about politics, what their views are, who they are going to vote for, and why. Local elections are just as important as national elections. Chris Sununu is the Governor of New Hampshire, which means he makes a lot of important decisions for our state. Even he is running this year for another term. You should care about what happens to where you live. 

It’s a part of your American rights to be aware of politics. Even as a teenager, you are shaping the very world you stand in. Our generation is the future of America.. Eventually, it will be your turn to decide on your candidate and to vote for them, if you pay attention now, you’ll be ready. Your vote will be one of the most important things you can do as an American citizen. So get out and do your research! sure you learn as much as possible about politics and voting because one day you might need to.

Samuel Marcotte

Should I Get a Yearbook?

Whether it’s your freshman year or the last time you’ll ever be in high school again, school yearbooks capture multiple memories over the years. Here’s the top fourteen reasons you should buy a yearbook! 

  1. Remember your friends and teachers when you were at school.
  2. It’s a collectible; a piece of history.
  3. An entire year’s worth of memories are in one book.
  4. Look back at what you were wearing and what the biggest trends were–and maybe wonder what you were thinking!
  5. In years to come, you can prove that you went to school with a famous person.
  6. When you have a school reunion in the future, see if people followed their ‘In 10 years time I’ll be…’ ambitions.
  7. In the future, enjoy looking back and getting nostalgic. A yearbook is a memory book too.
  8. Future children will laugh at the changes in generations.
  9. A piece to smile, laugh and reminisce with down the road.
  10. A cherished piece if a life is suddenly lost.
  11. It can stand the test of time, unlike the digital world that changes consistently.
  12. It’ll be more valuable to you when you are older.
  13. It is about you; YOU are in it!
  14. Celebrate the achievement of finishing school with the excitement of receiving your yearbook!

The last day to order your CBNA 2019-2020 yearbooks is Friday, January 24. There is no guarantee that books will be available after this date. All yearbook orders automatically include the 32 page spring supplement, which includes spring sports, Prom, Spring play and concert, graduation and Baccalaureate. Supplements are completed over the summer. To order, use the link on the Coe-Brown website (https://coebrown.org/2019/12/20/order-a-coe-brown-northwood-academy-yearbook-for-your-student/). See Prof Clauss or Mrs. Biery if you have any questions.

 

– Lauren Best

Jumanji: The Next Level: A Review

Over vacation, my sister and I went to go see Jumanji: The Next Level, and I have to say that this movie was better than the first. Now, I’m not going to spoil any scenes or any big plot, I’m only to say that you should go see it for yourself. 

The first Jumanji introduces the magical board game that unleashes a world of adventure. When four high-school kids discover an old video game console with a game they’ve never heard of—Jumanji—they’re immediately drawn into the game’s jungle setting, literally becoming the avatars they chose; gamer Spencer becomes a brawny adventurer (Dwayne Johnson); football jock Fridge loses (in his words) “the top two feet of his body” and becomes an Einstein (Kevin Hart); popular girl Bethany becomes a middle-aged male professor (Jack Black); and wallflower Martha becomes a badass warrior (Karen Gillan). What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji—you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves—or they’ll be stuck in the game forever…

The second movie has a twist to it. It’s years later and all the group is in college doing their own thing. All of the characters enter back into the world of their video game. When Spencer goes back into the fantastical world of Jumanji, his pals Martha, Fridge and Bethany re-enter the game to bring him home. But the game is now broken—and fighting back. Everything the friends know about Jumanji is about to change, as they soon discover there’s more obstacles and more danger to overcome. New characters are added into the mix, and help the new characters learn and develop personally. 

After watching the second movie, it’s pretty clear that people need to watch the first to understand some of the things that happen. Both movies are not separate, and the concepts and ideas are similar. The second movie doesn’t forget the first, but it also creates a new meaning for the characters with a fast-moving plot. 

Jumanji: The Next Level has already made $311.9 million in the box office since its release date December 13. In the local area, show dates and times can be found on http://barnzs.com/location/3118/BarnZs-Barrington-Cinema-Showtimes, https://oneilcinemas.com/, https://www.regmovies.com/, and https://www.cinemagicmovies.com/

 

-Lauren Best