I am alone, yet I am surrounded by people at the same time.
I am sad, and bursting from the seams with joy.
I have blonde hair, and I have brown hair.
I love my boyfriend, and I don't have a boyfriend.
I am a strong-willed person, and I struggle to hold a coffee cup, or my life.
I am intelligent, and I am unintelligent.
I am here, and I am not.
I am indecisive, and I am sure of everything.
This year's spring musical at MV is off and running! A couple weeks ago at our school each chorus member had one vote, and they could select from the following possible shows: Honk Jr., Lil Abner, and Willy Wonka Jr. Willy Wonka won in a landslide! Auditions were held by Mr. Putnam and the cast list was posted two weeks ago.
Congratulations to the main cast members! There are around 30 roles with about an extra 20 Oompa Loompas/squirrels/chorus. Rehearsals have started and they are off to a great start. Most of our rehearsed songs are really coming together and if we keep it going at this rate our Spring Musical performance should be flawless by April 7th and April 8th. Since the songs are really starting to come together I bet we will soon be working on each scene in between the songs. These are each of the songs that will appear in our Musical: Pure Imagination, The Golden Age of Chocolate, The Candy Man, I Eat More, I Think Positive, I See it All On TV, Cheer Up Charlie, Think Positive Reprise, I've Got a Golden Ticket, In This Room Here, Oompa Loompa 1, There's No Knowing, Chew It, Oompa Loompa 2, and I Want It Now Finale.
I have no doubt that this spring musical will be an unforgettable night. If new ideas will continue to blossom, and with teamwork, and if everybody works hard and equally commits this should overall be a spectacular performance and night! So if you have nothing to do April 7th or 8th and you are in the mood for a couple great laughs come to our show. Break a leg actors and actresses, and have a great night!
By: Tyler Sprague
You might hate it when your mom or dad tells you to clean your room, or brush your teeth, but what if your parents told you to hide for many years with only one egg a month to eat and almost no contact with the outside world?
Edith and Loet Velmans had to do just that. They survived with only hope for the war to end. Mrs. Velmans kept journals during the war like the famous Anne Frank, many years later she turned small parts of her journals mixed with other memories into a book. Once Mr.Velmans stepped onto the warfield in Asia he became a target.The japanese army enslaved him and forced him to work on railroads, but in the end he did escape. Both of them might have gone through tragedies but you can see them smiling while walking the streets of Great Barrington. Edith and Loet Velmans will both go down in history as heroes.
Edith and Loet Velmans are a married couple who live in Sheffield Massachusetts. They are both survivors of trauma but tend to look at the bright side of things. Mrs. Velmans was born in 1925 around when World War I broke out. So far she has come out with one award winning book named Edith’s Story, it won The Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Award. Her book is filled with uplifting memories that give you courage by breaking your heart. Some adults think of her as a grandmother figure because of her outstanding kindness. Last year in Holland they held a parade in both of their honer celebrating their amazing courage and strength. They visit The Mahaiwe Theater frequently to enjoy live shows and movies. Mr.Velmans was born around 1923. He has come out with 2 books, ¨Long way back to the river Kwai¨ and ¨From P.O.W to C.E.O¨. Both Mrs. and Mr.Velmans are to be remembered here in The Berkshires.
Many people know of World War II as when the Holocaust broke out and many Jews were killed, but it’s more than that, there was a war, a very bad war. Loet Velmans was one of the few to escape the Holocaust while being Jewish. As soon as he heard the news about Hitler, Velmans fled Holland. A couple years later he traveled to Asia, this time fighting for the English army. Soon after arriving he was captured by the Japanese army and became a Prisoner of War near the famous River Kwai. At kwai he became a slave with thousands of others. He built railroads in terrible conditions for many years. Out of the 2,000-5,000 only around 500 survived, and he was one of them.
The Holocaust in one of the biggest tragedies in our history. When Hitler went into power he had a plan to kill every single one of the Jewish people, created a group that called themselves the Nazis. They made every Jew wear a Jewish star on their clothes and on their ID cards they put a J. Concentration camps are places isolated from civilization where trainfulls of Jews were sent to be killed. Edith’s entire family were sent to concentration and they died in gas chambers. Velmans solution to the Nazis and Hitler was to hide with a non-jewish family and pretend to be christian herself. Many people hid, including the famous Anne Frank, but if you try to hide from Hitler there is a very high chance you will get caught, and then sentenced to death with millions of others. Thousands millions died during Word War II, only a few survived, and thankfully she was one of them.
Both Edith and Loet Velmans have gone through tragedies, but they do not let their past control their future. They look at the bright side of things even though they hold memories that could emotionally break someone down. To overcome their adversity they had to go through emotional and physical challenges, Mrs.Velmans went through the devastating tragedy of losing her immediate family, and still have fear run through her body every day while going on the street without wearing a Jewish star. Yet here she is, smiling while watching opera at The Mahaiwe Theater. Mr.Velmans has a different but similar adversity, but it is still as tragic as Mrs.Velmans. I do not believe slavery need an introduction, people including Mr.Velmans went through such pain to what, get money, get rewards? No, just to be kept alive. But again there he is standing excitedly on a podium receiving the 2011 Terezin Legacy Award. Both of them fought with their lives to receive their freedom, and it might have been their endless fighting, or their hope for the war to end, but they definitely received it.
We asked this question of our classmates and teachers:
Should Animals be used to test products?
Here are their responses.
Camden: “No, because it’s stupid.”
Sam: “No, because they are just like human beings. Would you test your son?”
Aria: “I think no. Because it is unfair to them and they die in the labs.”
Mrs. Ramsey “NO!!! Because they have ways they can test products in other ways- they don’t have to put cosmetics in a rabbit’s eye- they can get the same results in different ways.”
Dennis: “No, because to test products- they can die and get poisoned, either way! Like, they will get hurt, they should live in the wild.”
Luke: “Yes, then we know if it works or not. If they die, it doesn’t work….. I don’t care if they live!”
Damian: “No, it is animal abuse.”
Justice: “No, they can get an allergic reaction.”
Kaelin: “No, because if they are testing a certain animal it is in danger and can possibly kill it.”
Maya: “I think no because if you are testing a certain animal and it dies if you didn't mean it that would be bad.”
Timmy, Zeb, and Koel: ‘NOOO!!”
Kayla and Cayenne: “No, it could be harmful.”
Ms.Eline: “Yes. I think the products would be important… I’m guessing that they are medical products, not cosmetics or anything like that.”
Tyler: “No, it is abuse and animals should not be treated that way.”
Sophie E: “No, it’s cruel to the animals.”
Alek: “If the animal is a snow leopard, yes. Because I have a stuffed snow leopard named Pi-Pi, and he is really cute!”
Natalie: “No, cause it is not fair to the animals.”
Savana: “NOOO! Because, like, it can ruin the animal’s life… If you are an animal and you were tested for cosmetics how would you feel?”
Athena: “Absolutely no!”
Marcella: “Absolutely no because they normally have to kill the animals. How would you feel?”
Our opinion: We think companies shouldn’t test their products on animals. It’s just unfair to use animals and risk killing them just for the consumer’s likes and needs. Animals have hearts and souls too, even though animals can’t speak our language and cannot say that it is unjust. We can test the products through scientific research instead of risking animal's lives. The overall opinion was no.
Bees. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Bees? Those creepy insects that sting? Why is everybody so interested in bees? That was my initial reaction when I heard the word “bee.” Now I’m writing about how great they are! Well, what if I told you that one in three bites of everything you eat is made possible by bees? It’s true. When I heard that, and that bees were beginning to die out, I knew there was so much more to lose than honey.
Bees are insects. They start out as tiny eggs, then hatch into their larva stage, in which they are white, helpless grubs. They will do nothing but eat, which they will do a shocking 1,300 times a day! Within five days, they will be over 1,500 times their original size. They’ll soon be covered with beeswax, and they’ll spin a cocoon. In doing this, they are moving on to the pupa stage. The bees don’t stay like that forever, though! As they are pupae (plural for pupa), they will go through a series of changes, transforming from grubs to the bees we know. The pupae develop eyes, wings, and legs. They gain the proper coloring, and finally, they chew their way out of the cocoon to join the other bees. This is called the adult stage.
Bees live in beehives, wondrous, busy homes. Take a look inside and see tens of thousands of bees with many different roles. Some are setting off to collect pollen, a substance coming from flowers that bees use to feed the hive. Others are doing a type of dance, telling other bees where to find many flowers. Bees called nurse bees feed the larva. These bees, the most common in the hive, are female worker bees. They do not lay eggs. That job is for the most important bee in the hive, the queen. There are male drones who mate with the queen, but there are only a few hundred of them, a small amount compared to the workers. Along the hive, there are many beeswax hexagonal cells, called honeycombs. These honeycombs serve a variety of purposes, including housing the eggs, larvae, and pupae. They also store honey. Beekeepers may remove these cells to harvest honey.
What are the bees outside of the hive doing? Bees are pollinators, like butterflies. This means that they move from flower to flower, collecting pollen. Bees even pollinate flowers just by flapping their wings! They will use the pollen they collect to feed the hive. What’s really important is the honey they drop on flowers. Why? When bees drop pollen, the pollen they leave on the flowers helps the flowers produce seeds. A seed will grow into a new plant. This plant may be the shade for another species, a food for humans and other animals, and even a source of pollen for other bees. And so the cycle goes on. This process is necessary for the health and well being of the creatures on our earth. It keeps our gardens and ecosystems diversified, as well as providing food for the many creatures on this planet. Let’s not forget about the delicious honey provided by these magnificent creatures.
Making honey is the opposite of easy. Bees must visit 2 million flowers just to make a single pound! That’s 55,000 miles of flowers. Wow. I’ll never think of honey in the same way again.
Unfortunately, bees are dying out. Why? This is happening for a variety of reasons. One is because plants are being sprayed with pesticides. This is bad in many other ways, too. Pesticides pollute the water that many people drink. They can damage soil. Plus, do you really want to eat food sprayed with chemicals? Pesticides can pose a serious health issue to humans. Bees are also dying because of diseases. I’m not going to list them all because there are sadly so many. One common threat to bees is the varroa mite, an insect that can kill an entire colony. It is small and crablike, and is visible from the back of a bee. It can carry illnesses such as the deformed wing virus.
No bees means a lot of things. Bad things. Remember when I told you that one in three bites of everything you eat was made possible by bees? Well, having no bees would mean not as many of those juicy, delicious fruits you have come to enjoy. It would mean less access to those savory vegetables, crunchy or leafy, that keep you strong. No bees would mean not having diverse and colorful gardens.
So what can you do to help bees? Try to buy organic foods. Start a diversified, colorful garden. If you can, give bees a home and keep them near your house. Spread the word about bees and how important they are. Next time you take a bite of food, savor a sweet spoonful of honey, or admire a beautiful beeswax candle, think about how a bee made it possible. Think about how these black and yellow, buzzing creatures - even though they are small - manage to pollinate our plants, enrich the beauty of the earth, and feed the world.
The 7th graders have a new bulletin board set up. It's titled, What's So Funny? Students were asked to put up anything that they thought was funny, clever, or witty for the whole grade to see. They could put whatever they wanted, as long as it wasn't inappropriate. 7th graders are encouraged to put up more, but here are a few that are already up.
If you are in String Ensemble, you probably have gotten a piece called Starlight, and have been told about the auditions to go play it with the high school orchestra kids in their concert. The auditions are being held this week, so from Tuesday to Friday (2-23 to 2-25) at D period. Mrs. Moran will be judging you on 4 criteria, with a possible score of 20. If you want to tryout, and you're in String Ensemble, go ahead! This is a great opportunity! Good luck!
Should our school have sports teams?
Here at MVRMS we aren`t exposed to as much athletic education as we would like to be. (However, some students beg to differ.) Kids at our middle school interested in sports are forced to join a county team, as there are no school teams.
The lack of athleticism in our school is very concerning. Sometimes kids feel the need to drop the sport they were playing because our school does provide the team needed to play the sport!
Along with the quitting, our school spirit has gone down tremendously. Kids don´t try as hard and don´t feel joy when they come to school. School spirit can really boost excitement in the district.Clearly MVRMS needs sports teams! As you can see we feel very strongly about this topic and we hope you understand!
by Marti Cunningham and Maisy Seckler
Should MV students have to wear uniforms?
Dahlia and Evie asked alot of students and a few teachers, here's what they said.
What do you think?
Kyle: “No, maybe, I don’t know.”
Sam: “No, no one should ever have uniforms!”
Tyler: “It depends. It is school spirit, but it’s also not allowing them to express themselves.”
Aria: “No, schools should not have uniforms. It’s annoying and expensive, and might not be fit for the weather.”
Maisy: “No, it depends on the school. If it is a hippie school, no.”
Marti: “In some cases, yes.”
Julian: “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!”
Ms. Astion: “No, I don’t think so as long as people respect the dress code.”
Jacob: “No, I don’t think schools should have uniforms because it gives them more freedom which is good for students.”
Kevin: “No. Public schools shouldn’t, private schools should.”
Emily: “NO! Because you have to wash it everyday.”
Nic: “NO! Please no.”
Chelsea: “Yes, because a lot of people get bullied for their clothing which is really unfair.”
Anna: “No, I like wearing my own free clothes.”
Jordan: “Yes, even though you have to wash it everyday, you could get multiple. And you don’t have to decide what to wear each morning.”
Amelia: “Yeah. Because kids won’t get bullied for what they wear.”
Ms. Arnold: “No. I think that it is good for kids to show their individuality.”
Ali: “No, my mom used to have uniforms and she said it wasn’t fun.”
Aiden: “No, because it will be stupid.”
Kayleigh: “No, because kids should have the freedom to wear what they want.”
Colin: “No, kids should be able to express what they what to wear.”
Abby: “No. Just not be inappropriate with what they wear.”
Andrew K: “No.”
Andrew L: “No.”
Ethan: “No, that would be bad.”
Ms. Gillis: “I can’t give a yes or no answer, it would be nice for students to be socially acceptable and for teachers to be able just to wear khakis, but the creativity going into it is good.”
Wednesday Morning Advisory
Have you ever felt bored during Wednesday Morning advisory? If I were to take a reasonably but truthful guess I would say you have. In fact, maybe you even feel like this every Wednesday morning. I know that is is one of the many feelings that I feel during this time period. From 8:00 to 8:29 is sometimes frustrating. I know that in fifth grade we talk about good behavior and controlling your feelings. This is definitely a topic kids should discuss, but maybe not all the time. I have heard that in seventh grade they are allowed to play on the computers and phones. Do we really think that doing that right before going to class will help in the learning process? Having advisory also takes away from our class time throughout the day. I know that there are a lot of solutions we can suggest for these problems. For example, we could have a more organized extended advisory. Instead going on electronics we could have a reading period, or we could catch up on work. These are few of my opinions and suggestions I have about Wednesday morning advisory.