Articles on this Page
- 10/20/15--11:50: _One on One with the...
- 10/20/15--11:52: _Freshman College Vi...
- 10/20/15--11:55: _MHS Students Volunt...
- 10/22/15--11:33: _October Cross Word ...
- 10/22/15--11:33: _From the Editor: Gr...
- 10/22/15--11:33: _From the Editor: AP...
- 10/23/15--11:40: _Boys Soccer Photo G...
- 10/23/15--12:10: _Councilor-At-Large ...
- 10/23/15--12:24: _MHS Welcomes New Staff
- 10/26/15--11:12: _Monday Updates 10/2...
- 10/29/15--11:54: _From the Editor: Bl...
- 10/29/15--11:54: _MHS’ College and Ca...
- 10/29/15--12:00: _Mystic River Waters...
- 10/29/15--12:02: _Malden V Everett Fo...
- 10/30/15--11:48: _From the Editor: Ap...
- 10/30/15--12:00: _The School Council:...
- 11/04/15--12:05: _Malden High Footbal...
- 11/04/15--12:07: _Boda Borg Boosts Ma...
- 11/05/15--10:40: _Halloween Instagram...
- 11/05/15--11:41: _Nedlam’s Corner: 11...
- 10/20/15--11:50: One on One with the MHS Football Captains
- 10/20/15--11:52: Freshman College Visit: Clark University
- 10/20/15--11:55: MHS Students Volunteer at the Atria Maplewood Senior Living Center
- 10/22/15--11:33: October Cross Word Puzzle
- 10/23/15--11:40: Boys Soccer Photo Gallery: Malden v. Lowell
- 10/23/15--12:10: Councilor-At-Large Debate
- 10/23/15--12:24: MHS Welcomes New Staff
- 10/26/15--11:12: Monday Updates 10/26/15
- Girls Soccer 10/26/15: @Haverill — 10/28/15: Everett
- Boys Soccer 10/26/15: Haverhill — 10/28/15: @Everett — 10/30/15: Wilmington
- Field Hockey 10/26/15: Everett — 10/27/15: Lawrence
- Football 10/30/15: Playoffs-@Peabody
- Golf 10/26/15: State Finals
- Girls Volleyball 10/26/15: @Methuen — 10/28/15: @Everett — 10/30/15: Revere
- Cross Country 10/30/15: GBL Championship-@Everett
- Monday, November 2nd, is a late entry with the rotation 6, 2, 1, 7.
- The Malden Board of Health is giving free seasonal flu vaccines. You must bring an insurance card.
- Tuesday, October 27th from 9-11 AM at 630 Salem Street.
- Wednesday, October 28th from 1-4 PM in the City Council Chambers at 200 Pleasant Street, 3rd Floor.
- Wednesday, November 4th from 11:30-2 PM in the Malden Senior Center at 7 Washington Street.
- There is a city council meeting on Tuesday, October 27th at 5:30.
- There is a movie night at the Malden Public Library on Wednesday, October 28th at 6:00. The showing is for the 2013 film, The Conjuring, an American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan.
- The mayor is hosting his monthly Safety Awareness meeting on Wednesday, October 28th at 7:00.
- 10/29/15--11:54: From the Editor: Blimps that Go Up, Might Just Come Down
- 10/29/15--12:02: Malden V Everett Football Gallery
- 10/30/15--11:48: From the Editor: Appropriation Nation
- 10/30/15--12:00: The School Council: Keeping the “Kids” and Parents Engaged
- 11/04/15--12:05: Malden High Football: Vs. Peabody Tanners
- 11/04/15--12:07: Boda Borg Boosts Malden Retail
- 11/05/15--10:40: Halloween Instagram Contest Winner
- 11/05/15--11:41: Nedlam’s Corner: 11/5/15
Boys football captains Danley and DJ Exilhomme talk about this season so far and their goals both for the team and themselves.
To read an article about the football team, click here.
The morning of Oct. 10, 2015, a group of students from Malden High School arrived at the Atria Maplewood Senior Living center to take part in making art pieces with residents at the center. Seniors Kamila Regalado and Laura Suarez organized the event as their community project for the National Honors Society. “[They] wanted to have a project to bring together different members of the Malden community and [they] thought [their] project would do just that,” expressed Regalado.
Regalado and Suarez collected materials for the project, including leaves and other natural mediums, for the art project. “[She] was pleasantly surprised how welcoming the residents and staff were,” mentioned Regalado.
The lesson began with a brief introduction and a meet and greet. The first project consisted of manipulating aluminum wire wherein residents and students were asked to shape them to represent an emotion. Some of the wires were wavy, some were wild, but each expressed emotion in its shape.
Next they were asked to form line patterns to again express emotion. Some used the wires from before to create a pattern whereas others used freehand. The last project involved leaves in which the residents and guests arranged them in patterns, shapes, and abstract designs. There was a variety of designs, one stand out piece being a fan made of leaves with a lovely balance of calm and chaos.
Both students and residents alike enjoyed the day’s activities. Ted Goltz, a resident, found it to be enlightening and “had fun learning about art and meeting the students.” Freshman Rebecca Villatoro worked with Goltz on the projects and enjoyed using unconventional materials she otherwise would not have thought of using to create art. Barbara Difronzo, another resident, is in agreement with Goltz and would happily participate in another art class. Senior Sreypech Tham also attended and was already very fond of art, so it was of no surprise that she took satisfaction in the project. Tham mentioned that apart from the art, she liked interacting with the residents and would gladly return for another class.
The highlight of the project for Suarez was “creating unique designs with the leaves and being able to share the experience with the residents.” She added, “[She] like[d] that even though [they] used the same supplies, each person made a different and unique design.”
It is said that art is subjective. Everyone is an artist in their own way. Art has no wrong or right way to be done. Regalado and Suarez’s project demonstrated these aspects through their project as students and residents became artists for the day and took the skills and knowledge learned to apply in the future.
In developed societies where infectious diseases have become less of a threat due to vaccination and treatments, people are able to live longer. But with this increase in life expectancy comes an increased odds of cancer, in particular breast cancer for women. ‘Breast cancer [often] manifests’ itself in the age group of women 40-60 years old. Diseases or other agents that would have previously caused a woman’s death became obsolete with the introduction of vaccines and other treatment methods, allowing for her to live longer but have greater chances of falling victim to breast cancer in her later years. Other risk factors, though low grade, include “not having children at age 30” and obesity (Silver).
The American Cancer Society recently announced that mammograms should be conducted later on in a woman’s life and less often. Though this stirred up conflicts, these announcements are only pieces of advice, not policies as expressed by the society. False positives paired with unnecessary treatments prompted these recommendations so that women who are misdiagnosed do not have to undergo the harsh methods used to treat the cancer. In addition, the society mentioned that “women over age 55 can choose to get a mammogram every other year, since breast cancers in post-menopausal women tend to develop more slowly.” These suggestions are intended for women with an average risk of getting breast cancer. Women with a family history of breast cancer are advised to be screened earlier and more frequently (Cohen).
To read more, visit http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/20/health/new-acs-breast-cancer-screening-guidelines/ and http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/10/22/450830752/breast-cancer-in-the-developing-world-rising-rates-shrouded-in-silence.
For any student that takes Advanced Placement classes, you know well before the class begins what to expect. An insane amount of homework and a whole lot of studying; but what’s it all for? The first day of class the teacher introduces the infamous AP exam that doesn’t even take place until May, eight months in advance. From then on anything and everything taught in the class is referred back to the test.
I bring this up in relation to a thought that I had all last year and even this year. Sitting in my AP Spanish Language and Culture class last year as I was researching and comparing topics in the U.S to those in Latin America, I stumbled upon an article that pretty much breaks down how in many countries (like South America), teachers salaries are a lot higher than any other occupation. During the class discussion I brought up the point of how education is a lot more appreciated in other countries than compared to the U.S. This isn’t to cause any uproar about how Americans are unappreciative to education and school, but more so to explain what caused me to question why I was in that class.
As I was sitting in the AP class I thought about my reasoning to take it. I knew that I needed my third year of a foreign language and as I am a native spanish speaker I just thought that AP would be pretty easy. I never thought how much I was going to learn about numerous cultures and even my own. Why do we take classes on topics that don’t even interest us, more specifically college level courses? I understand that in order to graduate Malden High school and any other high school there are the core classes that are required in order for a student to graduate, however as time has passed it seems like school in general is a nightmare when in reality it should be a dream.
The amount of times that I scroll through my Twitter feed in homeroom every morning and see the constant complaints of students and how they don’t want to be in school is insane. A lot of what I believe is lacking, is the passion. I can’t say that I’ve never complained in school because I woke up at 3 a.m to finish a paper that I got a bad grade on, however I don’t think that’s the issue.
The fact that AP classes are even offered in high school is so beneficial yet I don’t think that students realize it. You are taking a college level class that is free compared to when it’s actually offered and has a price.
Coming from someone that has taken AP classes since sophomore year it didn’t hit me how much we take our education for granted until this year. Two of my AP classes this year are two of my favorite classes that I have ever taken. One of the first things that the teachers told the class is how they don’t see the goal of the class as to get a four on the AP exam, and that they hope we learn and take something away of value that sticks with us. I took this into consideration as I was out with my friends one night and some talking point came up and I was able to engage myself into the conversation because of the material that my class had covered. That feeling of satisfaction that for once something you learned in school comes in handy is undeniably wonderful, as any student would probably agree. As corny as it sounds, think about it. What value does something have if all that matters is a number grade? Sure the grade transfers as a credit for college if the grade is eligible, but that’s it. Nine times out of ten you won’t remember your prompt from your AP English Language and Composition class in seven years. The material that sticks with you is the kind that counts.
Although many argue that the blame goes towards the teachers, I know from experience that some teachers wish that they could, and some even do, lean away from the set curriculum. Some have the same mindset and believe that as mentors, their job is to do more than just teach and to provide knowledge. If you break it down that’s how the evolution of things are done; someone has the knowledge of a process or system and decides to adjust and make changes to it. So the next time that you’re complaining about the workload for a class or stressing over the grade on a quiz think about the big picture and realize what you’re really getting out of it. Does the 5 really matter or does the experience?
To view the full gallery of photos from Malden’s game against Lowell click here.
On Thursday night, Oct. 22, 2015, four candidates took the stage to debate their views on the upcoming city election ballot questions, affordable housing, the privatization of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or the MBTA, amongst other similar topics addressed by the panels.
Dana Brown, the Principal of Malden High School, served as the debate’s moderator. He began by introducing the first panel which consisted of Mass Senior Action Council Members, who sponsored the debate, Karen Lynch, Yi Zhao, Calvin Walker, and Nicole Erika Baltazar, a MHS student.
Following their introduction, the four candidates running for the three Councillor-At-Large positions were brought out: Councillor-At-Large Debbie DeMaria, Councillor-At-Large Craig Spadafora, School Committee Member Adam Weldai, and Councillor-At- Large David D’Arcangelo.
The first question asked by the MSAC panel referenced the November 3, 2015 election ballot questions, which includes the option of having a one year moratorium, turning the vacant Malden Hospital into green space and a historic park, and the Community Preservation Act that establishes a funding source for the city to use for acquiring, creating, and preserving space, buildings, and affordable housing to name a few.
The candidates came close to a consensus on their views. Weldai commented on how these issues are not “just in Malden” but all over this geographic location because of the “universities, hospitals, and the school systems” we have to offer. DeMaria made sure to emphasize Malden’s relationship with Hallmark Help, who owns Malden Hospital, and how that could come into play when deciding what to do with the old hospital.
When asked about the privatization of the MBTA, the candidates were able to personally relate to the many lives that would be affected by this because they too use the train almost everyday. Spadafora commented that we do not need to “increase the train line”; by “not [expanding], and [fixing] what we have”, the rundown line will be vastly improved.
All four candidates recognize the importance of public transportation for a city like Malden, and its necessity especially as Malden grows as a business city. Despite the growth, there is still unemployment, and citizens earning a wage that is not realistic. Each candidate mentioned the “smart residential and economic growth” Malden has undergone in recent years, and the amount of small businesses opening in our city. All agreed that the relationship with our small businesses is essential, because as Spadafora said “we need the economic and residential [aspects] to work hand-in-hand.
The MSAC ended their panel session with one final question that asked the candidates what their priorities would be if elected. Weldai was first to speak about how “a little change goes a long way”, and how they need to “build relationships with the people [they] work with” so there is no “disconnect.” He also claimed that Mayor Gary Christenson is one of the most “forward thinking mayors” he has seen, and how through him this becomes easier to do. D’Arcangelo added that “checks and balances exist for a reason”, and stressed their importance when making decisions in government.
A new panel was presented to the candidates for session two that consisted of Wendell Waters (Malden Observer), Jenna Coccimiglio (Malden Chamber of Commerce), Juhi Varma (Malden Advocate) and Cassandra Reyes (MHS Blue & Gold). Each panelist had the opportunity to ask the candidates one question.
Waters began the second session by addressing how “drug addiction, especially to opioids, has become a huge issue across the state, not just in Malden.” She, as well as many other citizens of Malden, want to know “what role can the City Counsel play in addressing this issue … on both fronts: decreased drug abuse, and increased safety?
Spadafora made sure to point out how drug issues are not just a “02148 issue”, but an issue everywhere. He also emphasized how these issues are not a result of “economic issues, [or] level of income” families make, contrary to popular belief. All four candidates agreed that with education and awareness, drug addiction can be helped among the youth and adults of our city.
Following Waters was Coccimiglio, who asked the candidates “if elected, what would [they] do to support the Malden Square businesses that will be affected by the City Hall and Pleasant Street reconnection project?” The importance of small businesses in the square was brought back up because of the way it is structured. Opening up Pleasant Street again will take a lot of worth, but “was worth the wait.” The candidates also reminded us that Malden Square is not the “only square in Malden. There is also Maplewood Square, and Linden Square” that need help too.
Next, Varma addressed the economic development taking place in Malden that attracts families to the city. These families bring their children, who are then enrolled in the Malden Public Schools. Although, for years the enrollment numbers have been a concern of many parents, staff, and even the School Committee, so “if elected, how would [they] approach the issue of rising enrollment numbers?”
Even though enrollment numbers have been an issue that has impacted the budget in Malden for years, there are “sixty-two languages spoken at MHS” and almost “seven thousand students” in our system, which DeMaria finds to be an important part of our culture. “There are so many clubs and organizations at MHS … like the Malden Teen Enrichment Center” that she believes is a “wonderful haven” for the teenagers. Other candidates commented on the financial aspect of building a new school, and how realistically it would be up to the School Committee to decide.
Finally, Reyes reflected on her own experience at MHS, and how the diversity of the school plays an important role in the city. Representing the students, Reyes asked the candidates “what would [they] do to reach out to this young and diverse group of young citizens” if elected.
“MHS represents the entire country” according to Weldai; he is a MHS graduate. Overall, he believes that “talking to the kids” and “making strong connections” with the parents who “don’t get to voice their opinions in the government” is crucial. D’Arcangelo agreed, and pointed out that these students are the “youth of the future”, and we should “do everything to engage them” to “continue down the positive path” that has been consistent for years. DeMaria and Spadafora, both active in the schools because of the various committees they serve on, or their own young children, agreed.
Session two ended, and the candidates gave their concluding statements as to why they should be elected as Councillor-At-Large. All candidates mentioned what an “honor” it would be to serve this position. DeMaria, Spadafora, and D’Arcangelo are serving as the current Councillors-At-Large, and Weldai is up for election for the first time.
It is important to vote, especially because the turnout is not always what the candidates are expecting. There are three votes to use, and four candidates. We have the privilege to vote, so we might as well use it to our advantage to make beneficial changes in our city, and elect true leaders.
Here are updates for the week of October 26 on current events in Malden. Some information may have been pulled from the morning announcements and/or the Tornado Times.
NOTE: @=Away Game
Did you look to see that giant white mass in the sky yesterday? And no, I’m not referring to the moon. A military surveillance blimp broke away from its tethering at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, an army installation in Maryland, and drifted all the way up to Pennsylvania.
As the blimp glided along the picturesque Pennsylvanian landscape, its dangling cords dragged along, taking out power lines across the state. Some “30,000 people in Pennsylvania lost power” (Miklaszewski and Kube) but most lines were restored last night. The blimp landed near Muncy, Pennsylvania in at least two pieces, “the tail section detach[ing] first [where it] was found about a quarter-mile from where the rest of the blimp landed” (Burns, Groot, and Sisak).
The blimp is known as “a Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, or JLENS” which is used to “detect hostile missiles and aircraft” (Burns, Groot, and Sisak). As to how the blimp escaped as it was attached to a tether made of “a durable synthetic fiber” that has “withstood storms of more than 115 mph,” (Burns, Groot, and Sisak) remains under investigation.
Senior year, the year everyone waits for once they first step into high school. As a senior you are most likely thinking of where to get help for your common application, your portfolio, or any tips and pointers for life after high school. In the college and career center, located in room B337, all your answers can be found there.
The senior portfolio consists of recommendations from teachers, a brag sheet for you to boast to the colleges about the accomplishments you have achieved in high school, and a list of all the colleges you are dreaming of or you want to attend. Also, in the folder there is a generic employment application if you are planning to apply for a job. Caitlin Quinn (the new Holland house guidance counselor) adds that, “every Wednesday there is a new different topic to work on, all centered around college or a post-secondary plan”.
The significance of the college workshop is to help out students that need assistance in deciding what they are going to do after high school. Often people choose a four or two year university. “A two year college is important because it could expand your options on what career you want to pursue,” adds Quinn.
If you are not familiar with a gap year, this is a period between academic years. There are a couple gap year programs Malden High School offers to students. City Year is one of the most popular options, where you get paid to help students with their school work. Another option for a gap year program is Year-Up, which is where you can get paid to go to school.
Everyone knows that college tends to be costly and not everyone is able to afford it without financial aid, so MHS offers the option to attend Bunker Hill Community College for 2 years until you are able to transfer to another school. This is called MassTransfer. For any seniors that are interested in the military, you may have noticed the little booths at lunch. Talking to your guidance counselor will make the post-high school process easier and effective.
The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) is a group of people who are skilled and dedicated to working together to clean the rivers in the United States. The MyRWA’s goal is to connect people to the water resource in their community, specifically the Mystic River, and help them realize the importance of this resource.
The local watershed is an area of land that drains to the Mystic River, includes all of Medford and the communities surroundings. When water hits the streets or goes into the ground, it eventually drains into the Mystic River. The water quality is a important thing to pay attention to because the Mystic River is a frequent paddling sight, as well as a nice jogging and hiking destination along the river.
There has also been some pollution in the Water Segments like Mill Creek, which has a compliance rate at 32%, affecting the Mystic River. Mill Creeks has become unclean over the years, and is filled with oil from construction sites around it.
MyRWA focused on cleaning the Mystic River for a long period of time, which now has a compliance rate of 95%, whereas in 2009, the Mystic River was covered in water chestnuts; an invasive species that was clogging the Mystic. Through the efforts of volunteers and support from the MyRWA, the Mystic River is cleaner and has a lot less compliance than before.
In the MyRWA there are different categories where you can help and support the Watershed cleanup: Herring Monitoring, Water ChestNut Removal, Advocacy, Art and etc. The Watershed cleanup is where the MyRWA members and volunteers advocate for unimpaired water quality to be established in the 22 communities. It’s based on the MyRWA Quality Policy Statement, adopted in 2012, that gave the MyRWA certified water quality monitoring programs to reach high goals.
Herring Monitoring is a process to collect data in order to estimate the total herring run size in the Mystic River. The data gathered is shared with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries to help on passing knowledge across the state, thanks to the Department of Conservation, Medford Boat Club and the monitors.
The Water Chestnut Removal is a project for the MyRWA of these invasive plants clogging the Mystic River in 2009. During the time the municipalities, local environmental organizations, boat clubs, corporations, community members to pull all the water chestnut in the MyR to obtain funding for mechanical harvesters.
The water chestnuts still grow ferociously every year, so this project involves many volunteers that help the MyRWA to collect the water chestnuts. In 2015, 966 volunteers hand-pulled 4,280 baskets of water chestnuts during summer. The MyRWA strives to get gain more volunteers, and are always looking for more help.
Including MyRWA Art Gallery at Medford Arts Center who is seeking the artists of various media productions regarding the environment of the Mystic River. In the MyRWA there are more activities. All of these categories must be concerted and coordinated with actions from residents, municipalities, regulators and legislators.
On October 19th, the MyRWA held a meeting for the members, volunteers, and people who want more information about the association. Jessica Norway, who moved to Medford a month and half ago, went to the her first meeting in September, and again in October.
She considered volunteering and recommends people to come and help out for the association. Norway studies water management at Tufts University. “Get to know your local watershed [as it eventually] comes out of your faucet, [so you can] know where your water is coming from.”
With the little information Norway knows about the MyRWA meeting as her first experience, she stated that “the first meeting was awesome, because they did a storm water infrastructure and planning kind of workshop. I learned a lot and thought everyone is really friendly and informative who want to educate of what’s going on the community to make a firm decision. I’m excited.”
Russ Cohen, a retired environmental state fishing department member in the Mystic River Watershed Association since 1976, still supports the MyRWA staff. To those who would like to join the MyRWA, but do not know what to do, Cohen explained that when someone comes to work with the MyRWA, “[They] need to decide whether you want to be outside or inside.” They offer many different types of jobs, such as desk jobs, being out in the field, working at a laboratory.
Debbi Edelstein, a board member of the MyRWA who works in the environment field as director conservation non-profit who worked in watersheds and rivers. Edelstein like people to know the MyRWA is a great organization. Edelstein expressed that, “Whatever you live, you can get involved with your local watershed communities. There are all kinds of outreach projects and awareness building to let people know.”
She explained that people need to refrain from dumping waste into storms drains because, “the filth goes to the rivers to cause a bad aquatic life. [She] wants young people to care about the environment and get involved in any way that interest them rather it’s animals, land, sea,etc.” Edelstein also feels that, “The planet needs our help.”
Michael Fager, a board director, vice president member in the MyRWA stated, “During the winter is bird watching, of a bald eagle. If you go between the dam of the upper and lower of the Mystic Lake in Medford. First of January when the lake starts to freeze, the bald eagles show up because below the dam is always a open water where the eagles hunt for ducks and fishes. Spring is where the MyRWA host a row race and canoe race in May to be in the race or volunteer. In Fall, to watch the changes of the river through Summer to Fall. Lastly the summer where people participate in the water chestnut project.”
There is more information on the MyRWA on their website, and more options to learn more about the MyRWA watershed, projects, programs, events, history, and what the citizens can do to make a better environment can be found under the “make a difference” tab.
Malden High made history by defeating Everett 22-19. Check out the gallery for the game here.
Halloween is tomorrow, and along with the pumpkins and the horror movies comes the ever-present (and extremely annoying) question of what constitutes an appropriate costume. I personally find it hard to believe that in 2015 we are still managing to offend thousands of people, if not entire cultures, by diminishing the importance of their cultures and donning their most sacred traditional garb as a costume for candy. While I won’t expressly outline what you can and can’t wear, I will point out some common mistakes people make.
Cultural appropriation is the sociological concept of members of one culture using elements of another culture in a typically degrading way, or to emphasize a negative stereotype. When you or your friends are trying to pick out costume this year, ask yourselves “would an actual _____ be offended by this?” For example, one of the most controversial issues this year was the transitioning of Caitlyn Jenner. Recently, a costume mimicking Jenner in her Vogue magazine cover with a sash that reads “Call me Caitlyn” has surfaced. While this seems more like impersonation rather than appropriation, there are some clear differences in the way this costume is presented.
When you choose to wear something that another culture values as important for your Halloween costume, you willingly take part in cultural appropriation. By donning the Caitlyn Jenner costume, you disregard the struggles of every transgender person and ignore the very real perils they face. The same can be said for sugar skulls, another popular costume in America, and clothing like Native American headdresses. Those are specific aspects of a culture other than your own, that apply to specific things that are not Halloween. Sugar skulls were not created so that you could dress up as one to look pretty — they are Mexican ornaments for the graves of loved ones to be used during the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
Even with perfectly healthy intentions, cultural appropriation is still not okay. If you respect and revere a culture, you can show that respect not by dressing up as their most sacred figure, but by doing the exact opposite. Taking aspects of a culture and reducing them to mere fashion accessories is not the correct way to celebrate Halloween. If anything, it’s lazy. Get creative. Dress up as something funny, something scary, or something completely unique. Don’t use this holiday as an excuse to offend people. It’s not just clothes you’re playing with, it’s an important part of someone’s life.
For more information on Halloween and cultural appropriation, click here.
Last night, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, the Malden High School Council addressed issues that not only affect MHS, but all of the Malden Public Schools, including back-to-school night, parental involvement, and the standardization of coursework across the elementary and middle schools.
Principal Dana Brown, teachers Paul Degenkolb, Abbey Dick, and Shereen Escovitz, and many parents of high school students were all present.
Next Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, the annual back-to-school night is taking place at MHS. Typically the school’s two cafeterias are divided by subject, for example math and science in one, and English and history in the other. This year, Brown has decided to list every teacher’s name outside of the cafeteria which they are located in, an easy solution to an issue a lot of parents have, especially with all of the co-teaching occurring this year. Even though it is not a “perfect system [with] no perfect solution”, Brown says it is “really about getting the parent or guardian [there].”
A few of the parents suggested having a time limit for parent-teacher meetings to prevent parents from waiting in line the entire night, but Brown pointed out that “when [teachers] have that captive audience, sometimes that twelve minute conversation could be a lifesaver” for them. Many students’ parents work late nights, and go days without seeing them. Getting parents actively engaged with their children’s teachers is crucial to a student’s success, and making the process easier for them will only help. Brown added that even though time is a problem at conference nights, it is a “good problem to have.”
Parental involvement was the overall theme of last night’s meeting. The lack of a parent information center is another problem in our school system. Escovitz, a MHS math teacher, suggested that the parents “run a workshop for parents, by parents”, whether it’s on how to use x2, or navigate through the high school. A lot of parents “think of the school building as a place they should not go to, … a place they would only go to for a problem.” This needs to be fixed, and can be fixed by developing an improved information center for parents to resort to with their issues.
Another topic discussed throughout the meeting was the standardization of classes across the elementary and middle schools. The Salemwood School, for example, offers art, computers, gym, health, music, and Spanish, unlike some of the other schools in the district. Abbey Dick, an English teacher at MHS, commented that even she can see “the differences in writing”, for example, when comparing students from different middle schools.
When students become freshmen, they might not take interest in electives such as Concert Choir, or Studio Art that MHS offers because their middle school did not offer music or art. This is an concern of many parents, especially when it comes down to taxes and the unequal opportunities their children receive. It is also a “civil rights issue” for students because they do not receive the same education under the same system. Brown and the teachers agreed that this comes down to “principal autonomy”, an important factor in selecting the next MHS principal.
The school council serves to make beneficial change for the students and parents not only at MHS, but for the other schools as well. With Brown, numerous teachers, and parents on the panel, all parties are able to contribute to this change, and help others get involved. To Brown, keeping the “kids engaged”, and their parents, is the priority.
The next meeting will occur on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 at 6:30 pm in the MHS library. All meetings are open to new members, or anyone looking to participate. Also, in the upcoming weeks there will be a list of the attendees and minutes discussed for each meeting on maldenps.org for reference.
For the full Facebook photo gallery, click here
Having held its grand opening on Saturday, October 10th, the first North American location of Boda Borg has been attracting customers from all over the state for over three weeks now. With coverage from both WCVB, and National Public Radio, it is safe to say word of Malden’s newest attraction has been reaching the attention of many people. Originating from Sweden, Boda Borg offers indoor “quests” in varying degrees of both physical and mental difficulty, creating a unique experience that is capable of challenging even the most prepared of individuals.
Malden’s Boda Borg currently offers 16 different quests, each of which is home to multiple rooms and therefore various challenges for people to tackle. There are three color-coded categories of challenges an attendee at Boda Borg can attempt: green, red, and black. Green is handicapped accessible and does not require physical activity, just mental prowess. Red is both mental and physical, but keeps physical activity relatively low with simple activities like crawling. Black is the most physical quest to attempt, with activities rivaling that of some of the challenges present in the “American Ninja Warrior” obstacle course on television. Boda Borg does require a team, with a minimal of three people and a maximum of five per quest. Possibly the biggest catch of Boda Borg, is that people must figure out on their own how to complete a quest; often the only prerequisite hints people have come from the name of the quest itself. Employees work as quest guides, giving aid to those who are truly stumped, but in the end people are responsible to complete the quest on their own.
Blue and Gold member Chaimae Eladlouni is currently employed at Malden’s Boda Borg, and offers an insight to the work environment there. Describing the atmosphere of the location as “fun and interesting,” Eladlouni enjoys greeting guests and talking to people about the quests they have embarked on. She continues, explaining that “the faces of people who get so excited when they complete a quest has to be one of the best parts working [at Boda Borg.]” Eladlouni overall describes Boda Borg as “an awesome place,” stating that “there’s something [there] for everyone, so make sure [you] bring your friends and quest, you’ll [surely] come back for more.”
This claim by Eladlouni is not at all far fetched, as literally thousands of participants have flooded into the location just in the few weeks Boda Borg has been open, with many being hooked after the first hour or so of questing. Any prior skepticism most likely comes down to the unfamiliarity of the concept of questing challenges. As Chad Ellis (the owner of the North American Boda Borg) explains, “if you don’t experience quests, it’s very difficult to understand what they are. Explaining them in words is very hard. When you do it, then you experience it, then you get it.” This idea is reflected in Boda Borg’s company tagline: “Experience the quest” or as Ellis jokingly suggests, “frustrating fun.”
It is often this frustration that often keeps participants coming back for more, as Ellis explains, “somehow no matter how many times people fail it’s just really engaging and once they get it you hear this shriek of happiness from inside the room.” Boda Borg at its highest difficulties demands said engagement, as “you really use your brain and your body together. Every quest is different. Every challenge is different. Some of them are silly, some of them are dramatic, some of them are physically difficult and some of them are trivial but figuring out what you’re supposed to do is really hard and you have to look for clues everywhere.” Ellis goes on to set apart Boda Borg from other room escapes, illustrating how “you have all of these unfamiliar challenges with no structure and no conventional puzzles. If you do a room escape it’s full of conventional puzzles like word puzzles and mathematical puzzles. Here, you’re just in a room and you figure it out, do what you want to.”
Aside from the uniqueness of each Boda Borg challenge, Ellis considers the teamwork that each quest demands a special attribute of the Boda Borg experience. “There are so many activities we do as adults where we are each doing our own thing and I think part of what makes Boda Borg so special is that never happens here. Every quest and every challenge has to be solved by the team.” Individual problem solving simply does not happen at Boda Borg and teams often feel rewarded after exerting collective physical and mental dexterity in their quests. “There’s no instruction so it makes you engage in a different way. You have to collaborate with each other and everyone has their moments of being a hero.”
Ellis has high expectations for Malden’s Boda Borg, explaining that “malden is [already heading in a] great trajectory, [he hopes] Boda Borg [can become] a part of that.” Determined to become a larger, more contributing part of the Malden community, Ellis believes that “[we at Boda Borg] bring a lot of people in and over the long term, and I would think that would help revitalize the retail sector in malden. If you have this large influx of people, [it will] help bring in more interesting retail over time.” Ellis is not only interested in the growth of Boda Borg, but in the growth of Malden as a whole, explaining that “we’re not transforming Malden, we want to be part of the transformation that’s already happening in Malden.” Experience Boda Borg at their location on 90 Pleasant Street in Malden, MA.
For a Facebook photo gallery showing off Malden’s Boda Borg, click here
I sit next to an obnoxious and annoying person in one of my classes, and I can’t stand their remarks! It is distracting me from paying attention in class, and I get really irritated. How can I deal with this person?!?!!!
Dear Super Annoyed,
If I’m being completely honest I think in every class there’s that one kid who tends to get on everybody’s nerves. Normally I would say just try to ignore them and talk to your friends, or, if it got really bad, transfer out of that class. However, since it’s affecting your schoolwork, this is a situation where you can definitely talk to your teacher about it. If the person sits near you, ask the teacher if your seat or the person’s seat can be moved. In the case where this person makes remarks during the lesson, tell your teacher how it distracts you from the lesson and I’m sure they’ll be happy to talk to the student about their behavior in class, or address the whole class about appropriate behavior. Going to your teacher might seem a bit extreme for some people, but the teacher won’t mention your name, and if you’re serious about doing well in that class I highly recommend you consider it. If it gets more serious and your teacher doesn’t do anything about it talk to one of the counselors or a house principal. Those are the extreme measures, if you don’t want or need to go that far then you can always try to take notes on the lesson, even when your teacher doesn’t tell you to so you are focused on writing down what she’s saying and have a reference for later in case you forgot something. If you’re really committed, and you ask your teacher for permission, you could also record the lesson in case you missed anything. Unfortunately, there’s not much I can tell you about how to handle this person, because you can only change your own actions, and this person can only change his/her own actions. Hopefully what I’ve told you might help. Good Luck!