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Malden High School's Official Newspaper

older | 1 | .... | 20 | 21 | (Page 22) | 23 | 24 | .... | 74 | newer

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    Now in mid-season for winter sports, the girls’ track team is on the path towards becoming GBL champs. A win against Everett with a final score of 66-20 and a win against Somerville of 44-42 brings the team closer to acquiring the GBL title. Consistency in teamwork has allowed the team to excel this season.

    To accomplish their goals of winning GBLs this year, sophomore Jasmine Gray believes that “with the progress and performance [they’ve shown] so far, [she’s] confident that [they’ll] be GBL champs.”

    The team has been consistently improving since the start of the season. With a strong team relationship, sophomore Qian Ren thinks that “the girls on the team are amazing and though running isn’t an easy thing to do, it gets better when people are [motivating] and cheering you on.” Ren added that “the girls on the team as well as [their] coach [David Londino] has helped [her] improve a lot.”

    With the team’s confidence in their abilities, freshman Renet Chan thinks that “since [they are] now in mid-season, everyone knows each other and [they] have each other’s back.” Chan mentioned that she has “never had a team like this before [who is so supportive] and they’re a significant part of [her] life now.”

    “The season has been absolutely amazing so far and maybe that’s why it has gone by so fast,” expressed freshman Birukti Tsige. She thinks that “together as a team…[they] will all have accomplished [their goals].” Many on the team share the common goal to become faster runners such as sophomore Imane Quachyryni and freshman Ranya Boufaida. The team hopes to complete goals and make higher records for the year. The team has already experienced success in the meets they have won and look to add to their wins while also improving and fine tuning their skills.

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    Sophomore Fern Bernard going for the lay-up. Photo by Abhishek Rana.

    Sophomore Fern Bernard going for the lay-up. Photo by Abhishek Rana.

    Check out the rest of the photos of the game against Somerville High School here.

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    On Jan. 12, 2010 at approximately 5:00 PM, a tragic earthquake eradicated thousands of homes and buildings and killed an estimated 200,000 people in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

    The earthquake had such a devastating impact mainly due to the type of construction of the buildings. Within hours of the earthquake, international help was sent and supporters from all over the United States were donating money to help the Haitian people. Days after the earthquake, cholera took rampage over the country. Even those who survived could still potentially lose their life.

    Now, six years post earthquake, the impacts of the earthquake are still apparent in the social class. Although there has been some improvements in removing the debris from the buildings off the streets, the progress isn’t significant enough to lift Haiti out of its constant struggle, made worse by the earthquake.

    Numerous Haitians are homeless. They still reside in tents placed in courtyards where their safety remains uncertain. When bad weather strikes, their lives become especially difficult because their temporary shelter is fragile and vulnerable to environmental damage. Limited amounts of food and lack of sanitary water are other major challenges also faced.

    Senior Amanda Pierre went to Haiti to visit her relatives last summer. She stated that, “As you drive down the roads, all you can see are tents on the sides of the streets. The smell is very unpleasant. You can see young, skinny children running around in dirty clothes.”

    The lack of significant changes reflect a corrupt government that delays the reconstruction of buildings. Haiti has a history of voting fraud, delayed election and dictatorship that have continuously detained its potential ever since gaining its independence in 1804. The haitian governmental system fails to realize that an unstable government will result in an instability in its people, causing an increase in crime and a challenge to progress.

    For the sixth anniversary of the earthquake, current president Michel Martelly, first Lady Sophia Martelly, and other officials gathered in Port-au-Prince over a headstone that stated, “12 January 2010 We Will Never Forget,” which represented the thousands of dead, to pay their respect.

    As a young woman of haitian descent, I think for any significant changes to be made, Haiti’s government needs to become more stable so that the people can unite for a positive change. Many people have contributed to the cause of rebuilding Haiti, yet that contribution has not been effective because no one has taken a firm enough stand to put an end to the misery experienced by the Haitian people.

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    The School Committee, composed of new and returning members, met for the first time this year on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016.  The majority of the meeting was focused reflecting on the progress made in Malden, which is continuing to be made, as 2015 came to a close. As always, the public was allowed to address the committee.

    First, teachers from the Ferryway School in Malden addressed the committee on behalf of their previous requests. The exponentially increasing number of students in the Malden Public Schools system produces larger class sizes, which can become overwhelming for teachers, especially in the elementary grades.The city has worked towards finding both short and long term solutions to this problem that is evident in all of the schools, not only Ferryway.

    Superintendent David DeRuosi discussed the interview process that occurred over winter break for these extra positions. Even though seven people have committed, the city is still on the lookout for more new hires. The schools need as much help as they can get, and “as fast as [DeRuosi gets] them, [he’s] plugging them [into]” the schools. Next year, the city and committee hopes to “work towards budgeting [the extra positions], and putting the information out early on…pulling people in earlier than December.”

    Next, Principal Carol Keenan of the Salemwood School in Malden addressed the committee on behalf of the sixth grade’s annual Nature’s Classroom trip. This is the thirteenth year students will be attending the camp, and this year they will travel to Maine for a week of outdoor learning. The goal of Nature’s Classroom is “to meet the common core sixth grade curriculum through an outdoor classroom setting,” explained Keenan. An eighth grade student present reflected on her experience at the camp, saying that it taught everyone to interact with “people [they] wouldn’t interact with in school usually.” As always, the committee approved the trip.

    Keenan was also present to address Project 351, which allows her to bring two students who show an “exemplary ethic of service, and the values of kindness, compassion, humility, and gratitude” to Boston to partake in a day of community service. Examples of community service organizations the project partners with are Cradles to Crayons and the Boston Food Bank. Keenan describes Project 351 as a “wealth of experience” for the students in attendance. This is Keenan’s fifth year bringing students to participate in Project 351. The first student she ever took still comes back to this day to talk about how enriching the experience was. This was also approved by the committee.

    Finally, DeRuosi addressed the Malden High School principal search. Before winter break, the search committee narrowed down the candidates to two. After further interviews, they have decided to bring Edward Lombardi in for a more in depth conversation about what the role of principal at MHS entails. The committee will soon be making a decision, which will be announced to the community once it is made.

    DeRuosi also brought up a few accomplishments the school system has recently made. This year alone, the Salemwood band has quadrupled in size due to the hard work of director Matthew Tavares. Also, four students at MHS were honored with the Posse Scholarship, which is a full tuition ride to a select four year college or university. Erin Craven, MHS’s Posse liaison, was recognized by the Superintendent for her dedication to the scholarship and its process.

    The committee agreed that the community of Malden is doing well, especially in the school system at the moment as they wrapped up the meeting. The next meeting will take place on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 at 6pm in the Council Chamber, and is open to the public.

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    With a current record of 3-5, Malden High School’s boys basketball team has  demonstrated great skill and athleticism. The boys have been working tirelessly on and off the court to improve themselves both individually and as a team.

    Sophomore Isaiah Likely shooting a three point jump shot. Photo by Abhishek Rana.

    Sophomore Isaiah Likely shooting a three point jump shot. Photo by Abhishek Rana.

    Senior captain Simson Liberis explained that “the season so far has been decent for the team.” “[They have] had some good wins and some tough losses but this team continues to get better every game [they] play.” Liberis added that “the underclassmen have really stepped up and are proving that they truly are the future for basketball [in Malden].” He has been absent due to injury “but [he] strongly [believes] that [they] still can…make the playoffs.”

    Though injuries have added challenges to their season, the team has managed to overcome them and continue fighting. “Besides [Liberis’] injury there are guys who get banged up and that changes everything for [them].” Liberis explained that “it changes how [they] play physically and mentally.” Newcomers to the team are still adjusting but they continue to improve and grow stronger as a team.

    The team has had strong wins over Boston English, Winchester, and Burlington. Liberis believes that the game against Somerville was the team’s strongest game, although they didn’t win. “Besides the loss, the team played so well that game, both offensively and defensively.” “The game came down to a mental mistake and that lost them the game but they played an amazing game” expressed Liberis.  

    Coach Don Nally carries these boys through the season with his effective coaching abilities and positive attitude. “After every practice and game no matter if [they] win or lose, [Nally] always tells [them] that [they] are a special team and he’s always motivating [them] to get better and continue competing as a team,” stated Liberis. The team is always reminded that at the end of the day, they are still a team, but more importantly, they are a family.

    Junior captain Nathanial Ilebode blocks a shot. Photo by Abhishek Rana.

    Junior captain Nathanial Ilebode blocks a shot. Photo by Abhishek Rana.

    Compared to last season’s team, the current players seem to “have better chemistry which will help in the long run” explained sophomore Fern Berard. “Last year around this time the team started breaking apart and that caused [their] season to go down the drain but this year , despite the start, so far these guys continue to work together and build a stronger bond with each other,” expressed Liberis. Every player on the team is working towards the same goals to improve and are all “willing to sacrifice anything for what’s best [for the team]” mentioned Berard.

    Their goals have been set straight, and they know that if they keep on improving they can reach them.

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    I was on the train last week and when I got off at Back Bay I looked back to make sure I didn’t forget anything (like I always do) and what I saw stuck with me for some odd reason. The entire car holding about thirty people were on their phones. Not only that but it’s like their eyes were glued to them; thirty people, and not a single one of them was reading a book or taking a nap or looking out the window. I don’t mean to sound cliche but this sight was something that I have never really paid much attention to.

    ‘The Era of Technology’- that’s what we’re called, this generation. I never really paid much attention to it due to the fact that we were sort of born into it. Our parents and teachers all love to use the excuse of the fact that we’re addicted to social media, that teenagers like to ‘Instagram’ their every single move, when in reality it’s not true. This exaggeration might be a little stretched but I think some changes have to be made.

    The cliche saying of ‘we are consumed by technology’ may be overused but it’s hard to argue against it when you see an entire car on a train glued to their phone. Obviously they aren’t going to be making conversation with a random stranger but what draws the line?

    I am not anti-phone, I do prefer to write out my notes rather than take them on my laptop, but trust me I love my phone and laptop just as much as any other seventeen year old. But what I do find ironic is how relaxed I feel when I’m not attached to my phone. Sometimes my two hour practice is the one thing I look forward to solely because I don’t have to worry about constantly texting someone back or checking Snapchat every five minutes to see what people are doing.

    I love using Instagram to see all the pictures my sister who’s traveling abroad in Spain posts, and find Facebook very convenient to talk to my family, so I know how addicting it is, but it’s sad when it’s come down to the fact that people are tweeting about how bored they are because everyone is in school and aren’t tweeting.

    Coming from someone who is constantly stressed about things that need to get done, I have tried probably a hundred different methods of relaxing and concentrating on what I need to do. One method is simply putting away my phone. I love my friends, I love my family, but we all have things that need to get done, and I also know that they won’t hate me if my phone’s in the other room when I’m home and I just want to watch a movie and actually concentrate on it. I strongly recommend this method; it may seem cliche, but actually try to put your phone down. Don’t just turn it on silent but actually just put it away for a little the next time that you’re walking home and notice things that you wouldn’t usually. Taking a break can actually be relaxing sometimes. We all know that you can’t just take a break from everything on Earth, but if you walk home in silence rather than listen to music and on Twitter or sit on the train and look out of the window you might just remember that what you post on Snapchat isn’t the most important thing in your life.


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    We’ve all watched MTV shows like 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom. On these shows teen moms expose their vulnerabilities dealing with the responsibilities of motherhood at a young age. As a teen, dealing with being a first time mom can be especially hard when trying to balance school, social life and a baby. Priorities change and teen moms often find that being responsible for another human being is intimidating and scary.

    Controversies have risen over whether these shows should be aired. Some critics have expressed that these shows will send the message that being pregnant as a teen is beneficial because one can become the next television sensation, while others have expressed that these shows help teens in the real world see the struggles of teen moms.

    The latter opinion proves to be the most accurate. Some improvements illustrate that “the teen pregnancy rate has halved since its peak in 1990, declining in all 50 states and among all racial and ethnic groups.” Due to this decrease the average age of first time moms have increased significantly. This result can be partially attributed to these television shows and the “Bill Albert with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.”  As more teens are educated on unplanned pregnancy and as contraception methods improve, more women wait to have children at a later stage in their life.

    This change is significant because having a child while one is still a child herself poses great obstacles. When women wait to have children in a later stage, they are better equipped to care for a child.


    Sources Consulted:



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  • 01/25/16--10:23: Back on the Ice
  • Currently, Malden High School does not offer an ice hockey program of its own. Fortunately, MHS hockey players are still able to sharpen their skills because MHS partnered up with Revere High School to let students from MHS students play hockey. MHS has had a history of teaming up with other high schools to allow its students to play hockey. Previously, MHS had played with Pope John XXIII High School to create a combined and co-ed hockey team. Back then, MHS was able to play in the North Massachusetts Catholic Conference with substantial success. Now, with Revere, MHS plays in the Northeastern Conference.

    On the team, there are seven MHS students, including junior James Pandolfo, a three-year high school hockey veteran, having previously played for Malden Catholic before transferring to MHS for his sophomore year. Among the sophomores of MHS, Paul Gennetti, Michael Giordano, and Michael Goroshko make up those who play for the Revere Patriots. Freshmen include Marc Giordano and Zachary Rufo. While the group of MHS students is small, Pandolfo expressed that he “[wants] to improve [their game] and hopefully clinch a berth in the state tournament.”

    Leading the co-op team is head coach Joe Ciccarello. Under his guidance, the Revere Patriots have done well so far, as they are currently standing at a record of 5-4-2. The Patriots play their home matches in Revere’s very own Cronin Skating Rink. So far, the team has had four home games, and seven away games. Each game was hard fought as every player gave their all until the clock hit 0, never letting up. Up until now, the team has faced Lynn twice, and Gloucester, The Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational High School, Bourne, Swampscott, East Boston, Saugus, and Salem once each. The team has also played in the East Boston Cancer tournament.

    The co-op team is still relatively new, as Pandolfo expressed that when they “[came] into the season, the coach put on a lot of pressure on [returning members] to really step up and get to the next level.” Pandolfo loves the sport because it is a “brotherhood, and a true team sport, [because] in order to succeed [one needs] to be on the same page as the team.”

    These seven MHS students have proven their dedication and passion for hockey. MHS wishes its hockey players all the best for the remainder of their season.

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    If you are interested in taking up a career in politics, a good place to start might be to take part in a campaign. Here, you’ll find the true meaning of civic participation, despite the long days, stress, and pressure. Campaigns are made up of three things: time, people, and most importantly, money.

    Candidates are nothing without a good lawyer and a strong finance chairperson. These people not only advise the candidate during their campaign, but they also are in charge of all fundraising, campaign spending, and campaign laws. Candidates constantly need money in order to continue on the campaign trail and get their names on the ballots. In order to get this money, they need to get donations from their supporters. These donations can come from individuals or groups of individuals. However, these groups and individuals can only provide each candidate a certain amount of money and they are forbidden by law not to give them anymore money after a certain amount.

    Candidates are also given the option to accept a certain amount of tax payer’s money to run their campaigns. The federal government sets aside a budget for each candidate and the candidate can choose whether or not they want to use that money. With that said, as soon as a candidate dips into their fund from the government, they are limited how much money they can receive from other sources. For this reason, candidates don’t want to dip into their government fund, they would rather get as much money as they can from their donors.

    One of the reasons why so many people claim they support Donald Trump is because he stated over and over again that he isn’t being bought by anyone; that he isn’t being controlled or influenced because he is using his own money for his campaign. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is also making a stance on his campaign financing, saying that he is funded only by the people and not big political groups that may create influence him like other candidates have done.

    One of the biggest debates during the campaign season is whether or not campaigns need to be regulated in order for every candidate to have a fair chance of winning the seat that they are running for. Some Americans believe that yes, regulations need to be put in place because without them, only the elite are able to run for office, leaving others behind because they can’t afford it. Others believe that it is the right of the candidate to use their money however they want because, well, it’s their money. However, just like almost everything else in the political world, nobody knows what the answer to this conflict. The most important takeaway from this week’s article is that money is a HUGE aspect in these campaigns and without them, candidates wouldn’t be able to do anything. Next week, we’ll be discussing the people and groups behind these dollar signs and just how much power they have. Stay tuned.

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    The Malden High School gymnastics team faced off against four teams at a meet hosted by Winthrop High School. The other two guest teams were from Medford High School and Salem High School.

    Senior Bianca Alves performs her beam performance. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral.

    Senior Bianca Alves performs her beam performance. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral.

    The meet started off with Malden on the balance beam. Routines were performed by senior captains Jessica Munroe and Kiley Ruelle, seniors Bianca Alves, Irma Kurtagic, and freshmen Tihun Lawrence and Tyler Risteen. Each of the routines consisted of the skills they have practiced and worked hard to improve upon over the season.

    Kurtagic stated that before performing “it is a little nerve wracking but when the judge calls your name to start your event all that goes away and you do what you’ve been practicing the whole season.” She continued, “When you finish and see your score and the improvements you’ve made from the last meet it’s a great feeling of accomplishment.”

    Uneven bars was the next event performed by Munroe, Ruelle, sophomore Max Weng and freshman Kevin Phan. These performances require a lot of upper arm strength, which is what the team is working towards building.

    The next event was floor exercises performed by Kurtagic, Munroe, Ruelle and Weng. Their performances consisted of fast paced movements as well as varied stunts. Their scores mainly ranged around a seven out of ten.

    Sophomore Max Weng performing his floor routine. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral.

    Sophomore Max Weng performing his floor routine. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral.

    The final event was vault. Munroe, Ruelle, Phan, and juniors Sandy Ip and Ricky Mei showed off their ½ twists.

    The team is looking forward to competing in their next meets and improving even more. Ip stated that it is not always about beating other teams but rather “about improving your own routine and that feeling you get knowing you tried your best and the outcome was good.”

    Kurtagic believes that, “the team has grown very close [and] are all very comfortable with each other…like a little family.” She explained that they are always there to help one another overcome their struggles, making them an even stronger team that is ready to work hard towards achieving their goals.




    Senior Kylie Ruelle performing her floor routine. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral. Senior Jessica Munroe performing her floor routine. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral. Senior Irma Kurtagic performing her floor routine. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral. Senior Irma Kurtagic performing her floor routine. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral. Senior Kylie Ruelle performs her bars routine. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral. Senior Bianca Alves performs her beam performance. Photo by Tatyanna Cabral.

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  • 01/26/16--09:00: Hit the Jackpot
  • After 19 consecutive, unsuccessful draws of the Powerball Jackpot, the time has finally arrived. On the night of Jan. 13, 2016, six winning numbers– 08, 27, 34, 04 and 19, and the Powerball 10– were drawn for the Powerball Jackpot, one the the highest selling lotteries in the United States. The winning tickets were sold in California, Tennessee, and Florida. The value of the lottery was 1.5 billion dollars Powerball and will be split between the three winners.

    The cash value of $930 million is the highest it’s ever been in Powerball history, with the chance of winning being 1 in 292 million.

    Besides the winners, key benefactors such as “Atwal, who has owned [7-11 convenience stores] for 24 years, will receive a $1 million bonus for selling the winning ticket” (Riley). Luckily for the winners, they don’t have to pay state taxes leaving only a federal tax of 39.6% to pay. After all these deductions, winners will be expected to receive $187.2 million each.

    Leading up to this event, the social craze over the possibility of becoming rich overnight increased dramatically. Thousands of tickets were being bought per minute just hours before the draw. However this event is significant not because of the impressive cash value but because it makes one question the value one puts on the Jackpot.

    The Powerball Jackpot is another way that the government receives taxes. Although the government claims that the money raised goes towards funding education, recent studies have proven otherwise. The money collected is shown to go towards a supplement. In this way the odds are always in favor of the government and never in the favor of the players because the goal is to collect as much money as possible from the people through the hopes that they will have a 1 in 292 million chance of becoming rich.

    Those who actually win will rarely receive the amount of money advertised because of taxes, the chance of having to split the money with other winners, and many other factors. Upon winning the lottery, one often tends to make rash decisions regarding the money won. Some winners announce to everyone they know that they won prior to going forward and collecting their prize, not realizing that the chances of becoming a target just increased. Other mistakes involve a winner rashly spending his winnings.

    Assembling a trusted management team for one’s finances would be a smart decision if one was to win the lottery.

    The Powerball craze is ludicrous because statistically, the chances of winning are close to none and the winners don’t get the advertised sum that they are promised because the government does everything it can to take the majority of the money back. One should keep in mind that the participating in the Powerball Jackpot is mathematically irrational.


    Sources Consulted:


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    Blue and Gold member and AP Literature student Ashley Leung created this video as a creative project for her class. 

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    This video was a creative project by AP Literature and Composition student Jilian Molokwu as a creative project for her class. 

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    By Haley Mallett and Marly Loreus

    Blue and Gold members and AP Literature students Haley Mallett and Marly Loreus created this video as a creative project for their class. 

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  • 01/26/16--09:10: Star Wars the Force Awakens
  • A poster for the Star Wars movie. Picture from wikia.com.

    A poster for the Star Wars movie. Picture from wikia.com.

    In the not too distant past, in the same exact galaxy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens took both the country, and the world, by intergalactic storm. Releasing on December 18, 2015, The Force Awakens quickly shattered many box office records even before the movie itself had actually released. Post release? It’s become the biggest movie in the U.S, beating out James Cameron’s Avatar, and it is quickly rising through world records with steady pace. With the final opening weekend estimate sitting around 250 million dollars, and world wide sales reaching nearly 2 billion dollars, it’s safe to say that The Force Awakens has been relatively successful, or a smash hit. Either or. Directed and co-written by acclaimed director J.J Abrams, the film had quite a reputation to live up to, with standards for the movie rising far higher than one could possibly hope to satisfy. So the question is: what is it that has made Star Wars such a cultural phenomenon yet again?

    To begin: the writing. One of the biggest concerns surrounding The Force Awakens was the quality of the writing and the level to which the story would compel audiences to love the characters of the series once more. After creator George Lucas stepped away from Star Wars, Disney acquired the brand and all the rights to creating future movies. To say this raised anxieties regarding the possibility of making Star Wars only for young children would be a massive understatement. Not to mention anxieties were already high regarding writing after the not-so-well received prequel movies, which were mercilessly torn apart for their various plot holes, terrible dialogue, and lack of coherent story. Stepping up the plate was returning writer Lawrence Kasdan (who had worked on original trilogy Star Wars films), Michael Arndt, and even Abrams himself. The group turned out to be a near perfect fit for the film, capturing both the old essence of Star Wars that so many fans hold near to their hearts while still making the film extremely relatable and approachable for newcomers to the series. The Force Awakens is thrilling from beginning to end, with drama that will leave audience members in tears, and laughs that will just do the same. The characters all have unbelievable chemistry, carrying out scenes in quick, believable, and most importantly fluent fashion. There’s plenty of easter eggs for old fans as well, that are constructed well enough that new members won’t feel left out at all in the middle of a scene. The franchise hasn’t seen writing this well done since the original trilogy, and even then, some claim it soars above even that.

    Almost as important as the rich storytelling, the special effects in The Force Awakens are a natural blend of both Computer Generated graphics as well as realistic practical effects that create a nearly seamless and absolutely beautiful piece of cinema. Even the original release of Star Wars saw groundbreaking special effects that dazzled audiences everywhere; this film is no exception. The environments in The Force Awakens are mainly actual sets found around the world, meaning that desolate deserts and flourishing forests alike are as beautiful in the film as they would be in actuality. Even the inside of ships are as spotless and luminescent as one could imagine they would appear. This is a refreshing return to the series, as the prequels saw mainly CG environments. Some films may be able to pull it off nowadays, but at the time of the late 90’s and mid 2000’s the technology had just not come far enough, and often left environments looking undetailed and flat. While some imagery in the film has been criticised due to its overuse of Nazi tones, it’s really an aesthetic preference that comes down to the individual watcher, and is not reflective of poor quality in the imagery of the movie. Thankfully it’s not only the environments or imagery of The Force Awakens that capture the beauty of the Star Wars universe, as intense and varied color palettes throughout the film steal the audience’s gaze. It’s easy to lose track of the beautiful environments when deep and bright shades of green, blue, and red race across the screen, often erupting into beautiful flashes of light that dazzle. Everything feels just as vintage and familiar to the series as it does fresh and adapted to 2015. The lightsaber scenes alone stand on their own as astounding works of art, as brilliant flashes of light dance both gracefully and dangerously across screen. This, coupled with the intense realism that comes with practical effect explosions and stunts creates both ambient and action-heavy imagery that is as pleasing to the eye as it is engaging.

    Returning to Star Wars is composer John Williams, who introduces both re recordings of classic and iconic pieces from Star Wars, but also new pieces that capture the feelings of grandeur that are often associated with the franchise while adding new and creative twists. WIlliams is known for crafting some of cinema’s most iconic music, such as the pieces found in of course Star Wars, but also Jaws and Jurassic Park, so it’s no surprise that his new compositions are just as impressive as they always are known to be. Compositions by Williams breathe life and feeling into The Force Awakens, drawing upon the deepest of human emotions, in order to create both atmospheres of pure dread and oppression, but also exhilarating moments of triumph and adrenaline. To say that Williams brings his all in his compositions for The Force Awakens is a massive understatement. Sound design for The Force Awakens is equally as eloquently pulled off. Familiar and classic sound effects such as the high pitched shrieking of a TIE fighter or the energetic hum of a lightsaber have been tweaked and adapted for 2015, creating high definition sound that feels fresh for a new trilogy. Everything from the ascending tones of engines whirring to life to the sharp bangs of a blaster bolt hitting a wall resonates deeply with the eardrums they hit, and immerse the audience just one level deeper into the Star Wars universe. Attention to sound design such as this is rarely found in cinematography, and is quite an achievement in itself.

    Possibly one of the strongest aspects of The Force Awakens comes in one of the most human elements of the film: the acting. The Force Awakens sees the return of many of the franchise’s beloved actors, including Harrison Ford as Han Solo and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. Even “lesser” original characters see the return of original actors; a treat for veterans of the franchise. While the old cast holds just as much chemistry as they ever did with each other, it’s the new cast and characters that steal the show. Actors Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) expertly execute their roles. Even less seen characters such as Domhall Gleeson’s “General Hux” or Andy Serkis’ “Supreme Leader Snoke” are executed well, with performances that leave the audience wanting. Every moment of drama, suspense, joy, and fear feels real in The Force Awakens, and often times it’s easy to forget that these actors are actors at all. Chemistry between characters is not only present where needed, but is used effectively and not over saturated in the film. The actors not only present their characters in expert fashion, but also play off of each other seamlessly, with interactions feeling as real as any conversation between two people in public. Some characters with great potential are unfortunately wasted, their actors’ performances left something to be wanted. Beyond these few characters, performances are solid at the least and exquisite at the best, creating a cast of characters that are just as important to The Force Awakens as any special effect or plot point is.

    To end: the directing. J.J Abrams brings his all in The Force Awakens. There had been some controversy leading up to the release of The Force Awakens regarding the reception of some of Abrams’ other recent films, such as the very similar reboot of Star Trek in 2009. Abrams himself admitted he didn’t do as well as he could have with said film, though pledged to really give Star Wars his all, as he has always been a massive fan of the series. This pledge shows in The Force Awakens, as the film takes Star Wars in different directions in almost every aspect than anything from the likes of creator George Lucas; different directions that were very much needed and make all the difference in this film. Everything from the cinematography of action scenes to the intense shots of dramatic scenes screams “Abrams,” and is something that Star Wars has never really seen before. Abrams was heavily involved in various aspects of the film, and approached it from not only a director’s standpoint, but also that of a fan. The end product is without a doubt some of the best design and cinematography the franchise has seen since the original trilogy, most likely even topping some of that.

    All and all, The Force Awakens is at the least a very worthy continuation of the Star Wars franchise, and at the most a masterful blend of both classic and fresh elements that really breathes new life into the series as a whole. Almost everything in The Force Awakens is a hit, from the story to the execution and cinematography of scenes, dramatic and comedic alike. It offers an absolutely beautiful spectacle of an experience that when accompanied by the incredible talent involved and the classic thematic roots of the series creates one of the best films of 2015, no questions asked. The Force Awakens’ extremely rapid ascension into the number one spot in domestic box office grossing of all time speaks volumes for the film’s quality and popularity; however it does not speak nearly as much for the film, as the film does itself. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll absolutely love the ride The Force Awakens has to offer. And even if you aren’t already a fan, this film may very well be the one to turn you over to the “light side.” Whether you love it or you hate it, there’s no denying that The Force Awakens has taken not only the U.S but the world by storm, and has rightfully done so.

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  • 01/28/16--11:21: January Crossword Puzzle
  • january crossword

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    Malden High School sophomore, Michael Goroshko, bringing the puck by his teammates. Photo by Ryan Hames.

    For the rest of the pictures, check out the Facebook gallery of the game here.

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    The new snack bar open for business in Cafeteria B. Photo by Megan Downer.

    The new snack bar open for business in Cafeteria B. Photo by Megan Downer.

    It is finally here! Malden High has welcomed to the school a new snack bar in Cafeteria B. The process of opening up the snack bar has been in the works for some time now. The snack bar is in what used to be the coffee shop here at MHS.

    For years the lines during lunch have been unbearably long, especially for those students who did not intend on purchasing an entire meal. The snack bar is a great solution in helping to control the size of lines and have easy access to purchasing quick snacks or grab and go meals. The original thought was to simply add smoothies to the menu but opening the snack bar included more options that has shown to be a great success.  

    The snack bar has only been opened for a couple of weeks and it is already a popular choice for lunch with students buying smoothies, pretzels, muffins, etc. With reasonable prices and quick service the snack bar is becoming a big hit here at MHS.

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  • 02/01/16--08:10: MBTA Discusses Fare Raises
  • On Jan. 27, 2016 the Massachusetts Department of Transportation had a meeting to discuss fare raises and the commuter rail. The event was hosted in the Jenkins Auditorium at Malden High School.

    The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has thought of three options regarding the hike in prices. Their first option would be to raise the fare by 6.71% and the second would be to raise it by 9.77 %. The third option would be something entirely different. The final decision will be decided in March but will not come into effect until July.

    The night started off with the Chief Administrator of the MBTA, Brian Shortsleeve

    speaking. He started off on the topic of fares, explaining that “the increase is a last resort.” He continued to talk about cost control. In the past fares have been increased unpredictably and sometimes by a lot. Now the MBTA is scheduled to have modest and predictable fare changes every two years by no more than 10%.

    Shortsleeve added that the Fiscal and Management Control Board is working hard to control costs and will continue to do so even after the fare increase. They have already started looking into ways to cut costs, including reducing overtime.

    Then Shortsleeve addressed improving the MBTA’s service. He mentioned that in order to fix rails, signals, buses, and any equipment related to public transportation, the MBTA needs income and they are working hard to get it. An increase in the fare will be put towards better maintenance.

    Next, he went into specific price changes. Shortsleeve compared the two different options to the audience. The student and senior passes would be raised from 80 to 85 cents no matter which plan is put into effect. For others with option one, the passes could go up by 10 cents and with option two, up by 25 cents.

    Representatives were then asked to speak. Among them was Jason Lewis, the Massachusetts state senator. When he spoke about the fares he mentioned that it was “hard enough for many riders to afford the fares as it is.” He also mentioned that last time there was an increase in fare there was a decrease in riders which could potentially happen again considering the low gas prices.

    At the end of the night members of the community were allowed to go up and give their own opinions. Many brought up the same idea of looking into what the MBTA can do internally instead of raising the prices first. One of the other main topics brought up was that fare boxes sometimes do not work which lowers the income. Shortsleeve replied that people can easily get through the fare boxes at train stations since most stations do not have employees to make sure that they pay.

    One of the speakers, David A. Senatillaka, brought up that 30% of what the MBTA gets goes towards debt that they have made for themselves. Another speaker, Joe Ballen, explained that runs a multi-million dollar company and when he loses money he does “not make [his] workers pay for [his] mistakes and the MBTA should not do that to [riders] either.”

    The night closed off with Shortsleeve reminding the audience that there are still plenty of meetings to be had before the decision in March and that the costs will be initiated starting July first.

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  • 02/02/16--08:45: Let’s Get Ready
  • The May SATs are fast approaching, leaving students to their books in preparing for the exam. An opportunity for SAT-preparation offered in partnership with Boston University and Malden High School is offered to Malden High School students.

    The free program is called “Let’s Get Ready” and meets the fall and spring term before SATs. The spring program is offered mainly to juniors who qualify for free/reduced lunch and/or first generation college bound students. The fall program is offered to seniors for the December SAT exam.

    “Let’s Get Ready” gives students the opportunity to take practice tests and learn tips and techniques for taking the SAT. This program is designed to help students prepare for the upcoming exam and could help students to attain higher scores.

    SATs are an important aspect to be reviewed when applying to most colleges and participating in “Let’s Get Ready” might help students to boost their SAT scores. Guidance counselor Caitlin Quinn is in charge of the program. “It is important for Malden High students to take advantage of this free course, because SAT scores are a big component of the college application process,” stated Quinn.

    “Let’s Get Ready” runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Malden High School from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Students interested in the “Let’s Get Ready” program can apply here, or go to their guidance counselor for more information.


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