“Um” and “uh” are currently used words today even though they aren’t really words. We use them like words when we are trying to think of what we want to say. “Anyways” is another example. Did you know that anyway is a word, but anyways is not? I tried to talk for a minute without using any of these words and without pausing. It was very difficult. I find it interesting that these non-words are used all the time and real words like “thus” are becoming uncommon. Now you have a chance to read the words that our sophomore class likes to use!

— Kristen Parece, Editor

Planning Your Own Future  

By Alicia Oliveira>

This week Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School sophomores are choosing classes for next year. This is the beginning of many difficult decisions that we need to make about our futures. I feel like most adults didn’t know what they would do for a living when they were only 16 years old. We have to choose classes that will help prepare us for college. Living on an Island as we do, college is a big deal. I hear many horror stories about families paying thousands of dollars for a student to just go to college. When they took on that responsibility, little did they know that their student would transfer, change majors or just plain drop out. It’s hard to pick an occupation when you don’t know enough about your options. Most occupations aren’t that pleasant. Many people want to do what makes them happy, but usually the jobs that make you happy make less money than you need. I think in this high school we should be able to talk to young people who have just started their own lives and who want to give us advice. We need to know more about what is needed in our own area so we can help build up our economy. If we knew what shoes we are able to fill we would be more beneficial to the world.

Ferry Islander as Souvenir

By Samantha Billings>

The Islander will be set up for auction on eBay today by the corporation responsible for Governors Island in New York city. The ferry was purchased in July 2007 for $500,000 and costs $20,000 a month to maintain. The cost for just the steel would likely be at least $3 million, plus the money needed for other deferred maintenance problems. The Islander served the Island for 56 years and was put up for sale by the SSA in the spring of 2007. The Islander was later replaced on the Vineyard by the new $33 million Island Home. The Islander will make the ultimate Martha’s Vineyard souvenir.

Vineyard Loses Its Shelter

By Nina Levin>

I read in this week’s Gazette about the closing of the MSPCA shelter on Martha’s Vineyard. I couldn’t believe that after all these years of going there to pet the kittens and walk the dogs that it is actually going to close. We have no other place on the Island that takes care of animals like they do nor do we have a staff as wonderful as the people there. They are closing because of insufficient funds along with two other shelters around Massachusetts. The recession and money losses are the main contributors to the closing of these shelters. I truly hope that some miracle will happen and the MSPCA will remain open and stay as the most caring and highly regarded shelter that it is.

Closing Guantanamo Bay

By Olivia Cameron>

The Obama administration has called for the closure of Guantanamo Bay within a year which has met with approval from all around the world. This detention facility was an inhumane place set up to hold terrorist suspects indefinitely without charging them. It was set up during Bush’s term of office and was thought of as a branch of the legal system. President Obama hopes to do away with negative perceptions of the U.S. by getting rid of such detention centers and showing a renewed respect for the law and our constitution. However, the president’s proposal is not approved by all Americans, according to a recent poll. Many people are worried about dangerous criminals being released into their backyards, but the people detained in Guantanamo aren’t just going to be let go without being tried. While some of the people detained may be terrorists, or have information, many are probably innocent and they should receive basic human rights just like everyone else. I’m glad that President Obama is doing something about it. What is the point of saying everyone is equal if you deny rights to some of them just because you think that they might be guilty?

British Exchange

By Collette Jordan>

Soon I will travel to England with 20 other kids from my sophomore class.

Back in October 20 of us, 10 boys and 10 girls, hosted students from England for 10 days. Over those 10 days we got to know our exchange partners and become friends, not only with our own partners but with the other kids on the exchange as well.

During the week most of us hung out together and I had a good time. The English kids got to experience our sports games, and walk the beaches. They explored the different towns and enjoyed a night of glamour at Homecoming. We had all had a great time and the experience was amazing.

The parting was sad, but we were reminded that we would soon see each other again and that time is coming up soon. All 20 of us will be headed to England during the April vacation, and we are looking forward to a great time.

Stormy England

By Mary Louise Howell>

A winter storm shut down London’s roads, buses and subways on Monday despite a five-day warning of the coming snow. It was Britain’s worst snowstorm in 18 years with about six inches of snow in some places. More than 3,000 schools across England and Wales were closed, and it is predicted that the storm will cost Britain’s economy several billion dollars because 20 per cent of the workforce didn’t make it to work that day.

It was the first time in memory that London’s buses had been stopped and the mayor admitted that London simply didn’t have enough snowplows. England’s roads, the majority of which had not been sanded, salted or plowed, were reported to be backed up for 50 miles during the early morning rush hour. Sounds like global warming to me!

The Mystery of Rasputin

By T.J. Van Gervan>

Recently we have been talking about Rasputin and we watched a movie based on the story of his life. I wanted to talk about Rasputin because he was such a controversial person. I want to know the truth about him. He was said to be a holy man because of his mysterious ability to cure the Czar in waiting who was suffering from a disease where his blood could not clot.

People said Rasputin’s cures were being able to hypnotize the boy with his gaze and that slowed down the bleeding. It amazed me how he was able to temporarily cure the boy by talking to him even when he was in Siberia and saved the boy’s life by talking to him over the phone.

Rasputin was an amazing person to learn about because of the mysteries surrounding his life and his death. When the Czarina’s nephew tried to kill Rasputin he gave him wine laced with cyanide, and it didn’t kill him. He shot Rasputin several times but he didn’t die. When they found Rasputin’s body at the bottom of the canal he had water in his lungs which means he was still alive when they threw him in the water.

Although Rasputin was crazy and his behavior and influence over the Czar and Czarina was a major cause of the Russian Revolution, he was a very interesting and unique person, almost magical. I hope to learn more about him.

High Hopes

By Alex Jernagen>

My hope for President Obama is that he can do all the things that he told us he would because if he doesn’t, he will be very embarrassed and it will stink for us. Also I hope that by becoming president, he can help rid the United States of racism. I see that ending the war in Iraq correctly, peacefully and apparently safely will definitely be his highest and most important challenge. I believe that ending the war will help solve a lot of the United States’ financial problems, or at least give us a good start for fixing them.