Hello to all our readers. We have just finished an exhausting week of midterm exams and this week we share with you some of our issues and interests. We hope you enjoy our writing, and we’ll be back in two weeks.

— Dr. W’s Sophomore Classes

Sweet Peace — Ethical Chocolate

By Solvig Sayre>

Cocoa farmers are being ripped off all the time and I don’t mind supporting a company, such as Green and Black, that charges extra so the farmers can enhance their quality of life. The farmers hand pick the finest ingredients ensuring every bar has a “good snap.” The sugar is organic and they use real bourbon vanilla. Not only is the chocolate from Green and Black organic, but it has a robust flavor that doesn’t crumble in your mouth and is smooth and luscious. It gets that intense flavor because the cocoa farmers use sustainable biodiverse farming methods that recycle the nutrients back into the soil growing a healthy bean plant. I feel that paying extra for fair-trade and organic materials is important because not only does it ensure that it is of high quality, but it is helping our environment and the communities that helped produce the product.

Midterm Stress

By Anna Hayes>

I wonder how students are really supposed to do all of their studying in one night? Every teacher says to study a few nights ahead, but how can we do that for every class? Some kids have eight midterms and that means two a day. Some people may not think of that as a lot, but try taking two tests each lasting two hours for four days straight. Not exactly an easy thing to do.

Midterm Madness

By Hannah Marlin>

I am sure that nobody enjoys tests so when it comes to the middle of the year you can smell the fear of the students who are dreading upcoming midterms. These exams are given by academic teachers and most of the elective teachers. They cover everything that you have learned during the first semester in that class. Each exam is a frightening two long hours and is filled with things that some kids didn’t even know they had learned. The students I have talked to complain about having to improvise the meaning of the Sepoy Mutiny or having to make up how the Calvin Cycle works. I’d say the only good thing about midterm week is that it is half days.

Continuous Conflict

By Olivia Gross>

A continuous conflict at the high school, and on the Island in general, is the issue of whether or not student athletes have to participate in gym class. My personal opinion is that they should not, but I would like to present both sides on this dispute.

Many athletes feel that it is unnecessary because they are getting more than enough exercise any day after school. Also what happens in gym class doesn’t really stand up to the workout of an after school sport practice and they are missing out on something else that might better benefit them in their own area of interest.

On the other hand, if all the student athletes were removed from gym class, all that would be left would be the unathletic, unmotivated students. Also, this could have the potential to become more than just a school sports issue and people could say: “Well, I run every day,” with no way to prove that.

Fundraising Blues

By Michael Kendall>

Recently the amount of fund-raising that is done at the regional high school has grown to a ridiculous amount. So far this year just for three sports, not even including any school trips, I have had to get ads for cross country, basketball and now baseball. I have to sell 200 tickets for baseball and attempt to sell shirts and sweatshirts for basketball and find myself asking, isn’t there another way that we can go about getting money?

Hippie Graffiti

By Eric Fletcher>

I would like to address the current outbreak of hippie graffiti in Oak Bluffs. Graffiti doesn’t usually bother me, but the new wave is to spray paint dumb slogans on sewers and drains. Slogans such as Don’t Pollute: Fish Are Cute are popping up everywhere in Oak Bluffs, and I find it quite irritating. Sure, pollution is a serious topic but what this person is doing is basic destruction of public property. I get yelled at for skating on Circuit avenue when there are no cars around, but no one seems to want to stop an emerging graffiti epidemic. All because it spreads a good message? Fish aren’t cute unless they’re on my plate with a side of fries and a lemon wedge.

A Dangerous Nap?

By Jesse Shayne>

Recently on Martin Luther King Day, former president Bill Clinton took a nap. It wasn’t just any nap, it was during a televised speech by Martin Luther King 3rd. Bill, who was sitting up on the stage, appeared to doze off a few times. This was a very disrespectful gesture. He must have been exhausted to have fallen asleep on stage on prime time television.

Will this affect Hillary Clinton’s run at the Presidency? Bill’s nap could make him look like a racist which could take some African American votes away from Hillary. I guess we will soon see how this nap affects the election.

In Praise of Pit Bulls

By Nicole Deese>

In certain states, people are trying to ban keeping pit bulls as pets. People on the news say that they are vicious animals, but really there are lots of other dogs that are more vicious than pit bulls. I believe that there are more reports of dalmatians or terriers attacking people. I own a pit bull myself. As a matter of fact, I own five and the oldest one is six years old and during those six years neither she, nor any of my other dogs, have attacked people. Yes, pit bulls may be the number one dog that is trained for dog fighting, but that is not the dog’s fault. In fact, it is the owners’ fault because they teach them to be vicious. I really don’t agree that they should ban keeping pit bulls.

Cruelty to Animals

By Heather Welch>

Recently there was a rally protesting horse slaughter and those who support it. A few days earlier there was a piece on the abuse of animals who are used to make fur coats. All this really made me think about how mankind has become so devoid of guilt and compassion toward any animal considered lesser than themselves. Whether the animals are endangered or overpopulated, there are people who have taken it upon themselves to use the rest of the animal world for their own personal shopping accessories. They see cows as burgers, fox and mink as cute fur collars or coats. Yes, we have used animals as resources since the beginning of time but then we used every part of the animal and respected its life and its role in our world. But using animals for just their fur, torturing them and throwing out the remains? Killing an animal merely because it isn’t fast enough or isn’t wanted anymore? Our ancestors would be disgusted.

Heritage Trail Unveils 20th Site

By Reese Boyd>

On Jan. 17, two kids from Edgartown School’s third grade class unveiled the African American Heritage Trail plaque at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Edgartown. Their names are Cana and Ennis and their teacher is Ms. Knight. The plaque commemorated the 1964 founding of the Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the NAACP.

Thoughts of Summer

By Lauren Gray > and Haley Rossi>

We have recently been working hard to try to achieve our goal to be lifeguards this summer. We have gone to the Mansion House every day for the past two weeks to prepare for the pretest to enter the course. This would be the ultimate job: sitting on the beach all summer and feeling like you’re doing something important. We are looking forward to the warmth and freedom of summer. The pre-test came around and everyone passed. We hope everyone is ready for summer. It will be a sunny and safe one.