Living on the Island has many benefits. One such benefit is all the job opportunities. Island teenagers have such a variety of choices for summer work. We don’t realize how lucky we are. Anywhere else jobs for teenagers would need to be close by. Here, even if it is in another town, it is still close. As much as we complain about summer on the Island, about summer traffic and tourists, there is an up side to summer. Remember to take advantage of it.

— Kristen Parece, editor

I Feel Lucky

By T.J. Van Gervan>

Recently, a guest speaker, Dr. Vanderpol, came to speak to us about his experiences during the Holocaust. It was amazing to hear someone who actually experienced some of the horrors of the Holocaust and the measures he had to take to stay hidden in society. Hearing and seeing someone who has had direct experience is much different than learning and reading about the Holocaust in class; it isn’t just facts you read in a book. Dr. Vanderpol’s story gave me a deeper insight on what was actually going on in the Netherlands at that time and what prejudice he had to endure. What was interesting to me about his story was the amount of help he received from people who risked their own lives to help him. The most important thing I learned from Dr. Vanderpol and his story was his humility. It was amazing that at the end of his story he admitted that he thought he was very lucky, which showed me how lucky I actually am.

Hatred Can Become a Habit

By Brian Montambault>

The topic we’ve been studying in Global Studies for the past few weeks is World War II, specifically the Holocaust. One of the main discussions the class has been having has been if blame should be put on the people who carried out Hitler’s orders. My opinion is that it would be very hard to go against what your country was doing. Also, if you were ordered to kill someone, I don’t think you would be able to refuse because they might kill you for not carrying out the orders. After awhile I think killing people became a normal part of their lives, and some might even have started to enjoy it. In class we watched the movie The Pianist; in the movie a Nazi officer orders a group of Jews to lie on the ground in a line. Then he goes down the line and starts shooting them. When he gets to the last guy he runs out of bullets, and he looks irritated as he puts in more bullets, like killing these people is just an annoying job that has to be done.

Is it a Crime that Can Be Forgiven?

By Tova Katzman>

In 2006, Steven Green, an American soldier, while on duty in Iraq, raped a 14-year-old girl and then killed her, along with her parents and her sister. He will serve life in prison without parole. On Thursday, he spoke his first public apology. It is hard to imagine someone saying they are sorry for doing an act so heinous. For me, it is difficult to understand how a person can do something, such as what Steven Green did, and then feel sorry. What could have been going through his head when he performed the murders? I’m sure there are some who may forgive him and he understands that he probably won’t be forgiven by the family he admits to destroying. What he said was “As inadequate as this apology is, it is all I can give you.” One wailing family member lunged at Green as she left the witness stand. Another member of the family said Green had lost the ability to distinguish between terrorists and Iraqi civilians. His story shows that the war in Iraq has not only ruined the lives of innocent people living in the country but the lives of Americans as well.   

Final Blues

By Jessica Kelleher>

The end of the year is almost here, and that means finals. And in my opinion finals for sophomores are not really necessary. Throughout the end of the year we have had MCAS exams for biology, math and English, so shouldn’t that be counted as a final? A final tests you on what you’ve learned in the subject for the second term of the school year, but an MCAS tests you on what you’ve learned throughout the year as well as part of the freshman year of the subject. In my opinion teachers of subjects that have an MCAS test should not be required to give a test, but a project should be allowed to substitute for the exam. Also, any teacher should be able to decide whether or not to give a test. I have teachers who want to have a project be their final, but cannot because of the requirement to give a test during finals week. A final should be decided by the teacher in a particular class, not by the school system.

Almost Summer, and What About Finals?

By Niki Alexander>

It’s almost summer which means it’s almost time for finals. Nearly every year during finals week, the weather decides to be the sunniest and hottest — and of course we are inside taking tests. I think every student would agree that doing a presentation project is way better than taking a two-hour test. Sitting for two hours straight taking a test will teach me nothing. I am a visual learner and therefore I learn better when I see the material I am working on. Several students I know have talked to teachers about how dreadful finals are for them, and many teachers tell them that they dread it too. They can’t stand sitting around watching kids take a test for two hours and not be able to leave the room.

Report Card on Trashy Movies

By Alex Dimovich>

I was just looking at the box office and I noticed something. Some movies had a very high gross, like the movie Obsessed, which had a box office gross of $67,500,481. It wasn’t a very good movie. And Ghost of Girlfriends Past received a one-star rating, yet had a gross of $50,021,779. Night at The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian had a three-star rating and a gross of $104,150,268. X-Men Origins: Wolverine had a three-star rating and a gross of $170,843,712.  Star Trek has a four-star rating and a gross of $209,313,884. But I found this strange — the movie Up has a five-star rating but it only has a gross of $68,108,790.

I’m noticing a movie doesn’t have to be good to be profitable. So we’re either wasting our money on a bad movie or we are watching the wrong movies?

This Album Rocks

By Salvdore Esposito>

On June 9 an album of mammoth proportions will be released — The Eternal by Sonic Youths. The album marks the band’s return to the world of independent record labels after being on a major record label since 1990. On April 28 the album was released only to people who preordered through the record label Matador, which they are now on. If you preordered, you also get the album on CD or LP on June 9 when it is released, along with a live LP of them performing in their home town of New York city on July 4, 2008. Since I preordered, I have been able to listen to it online since April 28 and I have come to the conclusion that this album rocks. It starts with the song Sacred Trickster, around two minutes and 30 seconds long. The album is a fast-paced rocker with Kim Gordon singing while the rest of the band pounds away at some heavy riffs. The band has again expanded to a five-piece group, adding the former member from the band Pavement on bass. On June 9 go to your local record store and pick up this work of art.

Lifting the Trade Embargo With Cuba

By Alex JernEgan>

For the past 47 years America has been completely cut off from all direct communication and trade with Cuba. The reason was to ensure American safety and also because we have not gotten along with Cuba since the Bay of Pigs battle, which was disastrous. In speeches prior to his election, President Barack Obama promised to lift the embargo. This is a controversial subject. Many people believe it should not be lifted while others believe it should be abolished entirely. I think it should be lifted to allow Cuban-Americans who live here today to see their families, or at least let them easily send them money. I also believe that both countries would profit from the extra trade.

Goodbye to the Seniors

By Chris Costello>

Monday, June 1 was the seniors’ last real day of school. They are still taking finals on Tuesday and then their summer begins. The energy level in the school on Monday was possibly the highest that I have ever seen. Throughout the day, students were waiting for the seniors to leave their mark with a senior prank. The beach that they made outside the performing arts center just did not seem like prank. At the end of the day, the final bell rang and everyone proceeded to go to the buses and toward their cars. Unfortunately the seniors were waiting for all the unsuspecting under-classmen with over 1,000 water balloons and buckets of water. Eventually everyone scattered and ran for the buses and cars. What a great way for them to end their senior year.