We are this week’s editors for Sophomores Speak Out. We are sophomore members of the class of 2010. This week we have a range of topics. All of our writers have strong opinions: Abbey Etner is passionate about dancing, Troy writes about Island restaurants, Haley Pierce explores the motivations for kids to do their work, and Jesse Shayne is excited about the Celtics. All these students chose to write about things that are a part of their lives. We hope readers enjoy.

— BreAnne Russell and Troy (85) Small

We Love Food

By Troy Small>

Food is a popular topic on the Vineyard, which means restaurants on the Island are popular as well. I interviewed a number of students on which restaurants they felt were the best; here are the results of my survey.

The Offshore Ale was a favorite spot among some students. Many said they like it because of their root beer and because of the restaurant decor. Others said it is a family favorite and that they have been going there for as long as they can remember. “I love all the peanut shells on the floor,” said Lauren Gray. “It makes me feel at home. I’m not saying that I have peanut shells on my floor, but it makes me feel more comfortable.” She thinks the restaurant will be a big success in the years to come just as it has been in the past.

Another popular restaurant was the Coach House. Students said they loved the food. When I asked which meals they liked best, Steve Handy said: “All the food at the Coach House is good. I don’t have a favorite. I could go there and order something different every time.”

Students also liked David Ryan’s. Most said they love the location of the restaurant and the look of the inside. Some said they always get good service when they go. Vicky Segal said she used to love the menu before they went under new management, and that her favorite meal was the pesto chicken. “I don’t go there much anymore because they don’t have the pesto chicken on the menu, but it is still a very good and comfortable restaurant,” she said.

Why Try Hard in School?

By Haley Pierce>

There is an abundance of motivated and intelligent students in our high school, but what makes them try as hard as they do? I know for me it is a combination of reasons such as making my parents proud, being able to participate in school sports, setting myself up to get into a great college and because it just feels good when I succeed. This is not the situation for all kids, though, because not all kids do well in school and not every kid puts their all into their education. I wondered what made some kids do well in school, or, if you want, what made them try. So I decided to ask around.

I interviewed 12 students. Many who are involved with sports said they try to keep their grades up so they could be eligible, but it seemed that even when they weren’t in season, they were still motivated. The students who didn’t play sports surprisingly gave one of two answers. They either said that they did well to make themselves, or their parents, proud or they said that they didn’t use their full potential.

I can relate to these answers because I know that my sports tend to keep me on a tight schedule that requires me to become organized. I am not an organized person and therefore sports are a big help to me. When I am out of season, although I still keep up with my academics, it becomes a little harder to stay organized and on track with homework. You would think that since I have so much extra time with no practice or games I would have plenty of time to do my work, but I always seem to wait until the last minute, because I can. I find I just always put off work until I have no choice but to do it.

Every student had a common view: that whatever effort that they put into their school work was to get them into a good college. It seems that in today’s society, at least at our high school, that it is an automatic yes when kids are asked if they want to go to college. Hopefully this is going to lead to prosperous things for our community, and, more importantly, our entire world.

AC/DC New Album

By Richard McAuliffe>

Sound off the guns! The legendary Australian rock band, AC/DC, have reunited to make a new album set to be released in 2008. The new deal was signed with Sony Records in January of 2006 and work has already begun on the record that the co-founder of the band, Malcolm Young, says “must be perfect.” Young says that the band is eagerly anticipating the new album and is going back to their heavy metal roots that made them famous worldwide.

Screaming lead singer Brian Johnson will be tackling the lyrics for the first time since 1988 as the band was working on the Razors Edge Tour. Face-melting guitarist Angus Young is reportedly writing “harder and more intense riffs” to add the vintage touch. Drummer Phil Rudd is also back on board with the band for the first time since the Bon Scott era in the 1970s and 1980s.

I spoke to musician Taylor Smith about his views on the new CD, and he said: “I’m not a huge fan of classic rock bands who make comeback albums years past their prime. It tarnishes the band and takes away from how great they really were in their time. Artists and groups such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Guns N’ Roses attempted comeback records and I feel they did more harm than good, so I am curious what the quality of the music will be.” Well, Mr. Smith, I have to disagree as I think the album will be groundbreaking and just as amazing as earlier AC/DC work such as Black in Black, the number three selling rock album of all time. In the words of Brian Johnson: “For those about to rock, we salute you.”

Celtics Return

By Jesse Shayne>

The Boston Celtics have a lot to look forward to this upcoming season after two huge off-season acquisitions. The Celtics pulled off two blockbuster trades to acquire ten-time all star Kevin Garnett, and seven-time all star and second best shooter in NBA history Ray Allen. With these two new superstars on the team as well as five-time all star Paul Pierce, the Celtics have high expectations to win the finals for the first time since 1986. If the Celtics stay healthy and don’t get injured, they have a huge shot at the championship. They may have traded seven players and three draft picks for Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and one draft pick, but after signing a few good free agents their roster is looking good. On top of getting KG and Ray Allen, they also signed veteran free agents and three-point sharpshooters James Posey and Eddie House. In addition they signed two undrafted rookies and veteran big man Scott Pollard. Not to mention the players the Celts already had.

With second year point guard Raijon Rondo and center Kendrick Perkins as the other two starters, the Celtics have one of the best starting lineups in the NBA. Rounding up the Celtics lineup is fourth year guard Tony Allen and big men Brian Scalebrine and Leon Powe. The only downside about the team is its injury history. Pierce, KG and Ray Allen are all getting old. Paul is 29, Ray is 33 and KG is 32. The last few seasons, Pierce has been having problems with his left elbow and foot and Ray has been having ankle problems. Tony Allen and Kendrick Perkins have also been having some injury troubles of their own during the last couple of seasons.

Fans and players are hungry for a championship. The Celts haven’t won since 1986, and in the last five years they only made the playoffs once, losing in the first round. If the three superstars play unselfishly, and most of the team stays healthy, the Boston Celtics are going all the way.

Teen Drama

By Vicky Segal>

The drama in teenage life has yet to stop. Does drama on Martha’s Vineyard differ? After interviewing a group of sophomores, I got an idea of how difficult life is for everyone growing up. All the people I interviewed agreed that fighting in school is usually girl on girl, and that it won’t stop. How can we help? The ideas that circulate the Island are yet to be enforced: talking about problems, welcoming everyone and not talking about people behind their backs. How is any person supposed to make this change? It isn’t just one person. We all need to stop lashing out in anger. This Island may be isolated but in no way does this mean that it’s okay to treat people with disrespect. The Vineyard is not the only place dealing with the gossip of high school, but we do have a closed community.

Having such close ties could be beneficial, but people bring drama into their lives and spread it through everyone else’s by being mean. You do not have to be part of this. You are your own person. Relationships and friendships may change you, and you need to make sure that you are the person that you want to be, not the person that everyone else wants you to be. After talking to other sophomores, I realize that we all have a common need. We all want everyone to get along. If we decide to work together we can make this happen, but otherwise life will keep carrying on like this.


By Abbey Etner>

Starting on Oct. 15 a new performing arts studio named Rise opened. Jill Matrisciano and Sandy Stone worked hard all summer trying to find a studio, put together a schedule, decide on classes and develop a plan for the first year of Rise Vineyard Performing Arts.

Ms. Matrisciano and Ms. Stone have about 50 students who are registered. Their goal as teachers and organizers is sign up 75 or more students by the end of the year.

In a telephone interview, Ms. Mastrisciano said she hopes that Rise will become a performing arts studio. But both of these women majored in dance and said that dance will always be the main focus of their studio. The studio will include a class for musical theatre which gives students a chance to sing and dance. Ms. Matrisciano wants dancers and performers of all ages to make Rise their second home and know that they have a safe and exciting place to go. “I know that kids do different sports and hobbies, but I want Rise to be place where kids can’t wait to go after school,” she said.

I myself will be dancing at Rise and I am thrilled to see a studio opening with a variety of genres. For more information, the web site is risevineyardperformingarts.com. See you there!