Posts filed under ‘Harbor’

My Heart in a Suitcase

Abigail Rosenthal

Today in school, we took a field trip to the Flynn to watch a special show called My Heart In A Suitcase. My heart in a Suitcase is about a girl named Anne who is Jewish and her family’s struggles through the rise of the Nazis coming to power. You see how difficult it is for her to go to school or even to have a Christian best friend. Towards the end of the play,  it is too unsafe for her to stay in Germany,  so she is lucky enough to be on the Kinder Transport. Throughout her amazing story,  you really get a feel for how it was like for a Jew living in Germany.

I thought the show was pretty good. We had just finished a unit on the holocaust, so it was interesting to see the changes in the Jews lives that we hadn’t heard about. We haven’t studied the Kinder Transport,  so it was interesting to briefly hear about that. I personally am very  interested in the holocaust,  so for me, if they talked a little more about the Kinder Transport I think it would add to the play. Overall, the play was informative and some of the little musical cues really added to the play.

I think that to make the play better the sound should be a little louder because at points it was hard to hear.  I liked the story, but at points I got bored. One thing that confused me were some of the scene changes, like you had her friend in the background changing the sign but she wasn’t in the scene. I liked the emotion in  the voices, but sitting in the back I couldn’t see the facial expressions. I did however enjoy the play because I felt that, although it was very respectful to the holocaust, it was still informative to the audience.

Overall I want to thank the Flynn for giving our schools the chance to see the wonderful play. I think that other people who are interested in the play would enjoy it and I think that it is appropriate for all ages.

April 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm 1 comment

Perspectives on the Penguin Plunge

Ben TownleyWilliston Central School Penguin Plunge Team

Have you ever thought about jumping into an ice cold lake in the winter?  27 students and parents from our school jumped into frozen Lake Champlain on February 2, 2013.  We raised $10,221 for Special Olympics Vermont and also raised $600 for our Unified Sports Programs (Bocce and Snowshoeing.) There were new plungers and many who returned from prior years to take the plunge.

My first time doing the Penguin Plunge was in 2011 on my 13th birthday.  I had a great time turning into an icicle!  The first year I wore a black mullet wig into the lake because I thought it would keep my ears warm. After plunging, I asked my Mom this really weird question, “Can I do this every single day?”  Mom said, “No, but you can plunge again next year.”  I’ve plunged every year since then and hope to for many more years.

Now try to imagine what jumping into a frozen lake would feel like!  It takes about 10 seconds from the Staging tent to getting into the lake. When I went under I felt like I just suffered a non-electrical stun right through my body!  I could walk, but I felt like my legs were made out of cement!  It takes a little longer getting back to the changing tent, which is heated.  For the last 3 years, I was the 3rd to last person out.  I love the feeling of the ice cold water!!

I’m hoping more WCS staff and students will consider joining the Williston Central School Plunge Team next year!!  Congratulations to this year’s Williston Central School Plunge team!! Great job!!

Meghan Eustace

Brutal wind, freezing weather, ice everywhere, snow. This sounds like the Arctic right? Well actually, it’s the Burlington Waterfront in the beginning of February. Imagine running in the 30 degree water during the winter.  Sounds crazy, right? Well about 1,000 people or more decided it would be a fun idea to run into the water, me being one of them. I was a part of the Williston Central School Penguin Plunge team. We raised money for our Unified Sports team. This experience is one I am sure not to forget.  I only went into the water a little above my knees, but it still was the coldest I have ever been. Right when you run into the water you cannot feel your body, it’s very very cold. No matter how cold the water was, I still had a really great time. The experience is breathtaking; it’s a rush of nerves and excitement. Most people have no problem running right in, and even dive into the ice water; I was a little different going in. I hesitated at first, and then ran in! Remember, think again when you you don’t go into a cold pool, because trust me, there is colder water you could be swimming in!

penguin plunge

Maggie Warren

Every year in February in Burlington, more than 1,000 people jump into Lake Champlain to raise money for the Special Olympics.  I am proud to say that I am one of them.  The Penguin Plunge is basically a lot people jumping into freezing water trying to raise money for the Special Olympics.  This past Penguin Plunge was my third year doing it and I can’t wait to do it again next year!  The day of the Penguin Plunge is crazy; everybody who signed up is there plus watchers, friends and family, so the place is packed.  You have to wait about two hours before actually going in the water.  First, you go to the sign-in tent where you  sign in and get your free hat and gift bag, there’s also hot chocolate and bagels. Then you go to the changing tent where you get into whatever you are wearing into the water.  After that, you and your group walk (or run) to the staging tent where you wait for your number to be called.  The staging tent is really small and it has a lot of excited and anxious people in it, so it feels like the tent is shaking.  Everybody is really excited and nervous to go out because you are about to jump into frozen water!  It takes a lot of courage to do the Penguin Plunge and everybody gets nervous. “At this point I don’t want to do it anymore.”  said team member Cassidy right before jumping in!  After that it is pretty much how everyone explains it: wet and really cold.   Then you are running out you grab a towel and heading in the direction everyone else is going – back to the changing tent. Unfortunately,  most of the people on the WCS team are boys, so on my first year I found myself in the boys changing tent! I have learned my lesson and luckily that has never happened since then. The Penguin Plunge is a great way to raise money for the Special Olympics and have a really fun time!  I can’t wait until next year!

March 13, 2013 at 6:34 pm 5 comments

Red Ribbon Week

Maddie Huber

This week in Williston Central School students wore sunglasses, dressed mismatched, and sported the school colors for an engaging way to spread awareness about the danger of drugs. Red Ribbon Week isn’t just an event that happens at WCS, it’s all over the world. Enrique Camarena was an agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Mexico.  He was tortured and killed in 1985. Camarena was in Mexico investigating a drug cartel when he was shoved into a car. A month later his body was found dead. To show support, friends and family wore red satin badges. Angry civilians started to form leagues fighting against the use of drugs and Enrique Camarena’s image was used by these groups.

Every day, if you dressed up, during lunch time you could receive a ribbon. Each day, prizes were raffled off with gift certificates to Plato’s Closet, Ramunto’s Pizza, and other fun places! Friday was probably the most important day to dress up because it was Red Day.  At lunch, students receive a red ribbon to honor this honorable man for whom fun week was created.

October 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm 1 comment

Candidate Profile- Randy Brock

Rebecca Chicoine

Candidate Profile


Randy Brock


Professional Experience:

Randy Brock, the 2012 Republican candidate for Governor of the State of Vermont, served as Vermont’s 28th State Auditor. He currently is in his second term as a member of the Vermont State Senate.  His experience includes domestic and international leadership in a multinational corporation, experience as CEO of a fast-growing entrepreneurial firm that was packaged and sold to a public company, national non-profit board leadership, and service as a statewide elected official, a legislator, and a presidential-appointee.

Personal Background/Family:

He is married to Andrea Forrest Brock, and the couple have one daughter.


Randy Brock is a republican politician.

Campaign Issue Emphasis

Randy Brock thinks that every Vermonter should have  100% access to quality health care at an affordable cost. Randy brock’s main issue is health care because not everybody can afford health care and he wants to help people get the healthcare that they need.

Links to Candidate Website/Information

October 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm 3 comments

Harbor House Goes to Northern Lights

Shorya Malhotra and Joe Waren

For the beginning of the year school trip, Harbor House took a trip to Northern lights Rock and Ice.  It was really fun!!! All of Harbor went by bus. It took about 20 minutes to get to Northern Lights. We hope you like this article.

At Northern lights, Harbor house was divided into 10 groups each with an instructor. Then everyone went to the rock climbing wall where we sat down and paid close attention to what the rules were. After that everyone headed to their specified group and got their equipment. Every group did different stuff, but some groups did the same as other groups (not everything the same). Some groups were on the rock climbing wall while others were on the giant swing. Similarly, everyone got lunch break. Northern lights has a wide variety of activities. Someone would be walking blindfolded on a thin piece of wood while someone else would be jumping across a bridge. In speaking to our classmates, we learned that the most frustrating part of the day was when people got their harness’ caught and they couldn’t move and  had to wait until the instructor came and helped him/her get it fixed.

Some of the favorite activities were the leap of faith, the zip line through water, the high ropes course, and the giant swing. The giant swing is where you are taken very high on a wire, and then you drop yourself.   As said by Kevin about the Giant Swing, “It looked like you were going to crash to the ground, but you didn’t.” The Ropes course is a course about 50 feet in the air doing tricky obstacles.   As said by Maddie “It was very scary; but fun.” The zip line starts at the top of the ropes course and on the way you get drenched with water mist. As said by Max “My adrenaline was rushing, and it was very exciting.” The leap of faith is where you climb up a pole and jump off and see if you could hit a buoy. As said by Victoria “The leap of faith was kind of freaky, but thrilling.”

It was a phenomenal day full of fun adventures and team building. Going home on the bus, it was very hard to leave. All in all everyone had a great time and they said that they wanted to come back again.

September 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm 6 comments

Fight Against Internet Censorship!

Phillip Nguyen

Warning! The Internet as you know it may be at risk due to the United States Government’s interference of the Internet! Even if you don’t regularly use the Internet, this change may affect you in ways you couldn’t imagine! US Congress is threatening to pass a bill infamously known as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) that could permanently damage the future of our lives. The US government has no right to affect our freedom of speech or take away our free knowledge, creativity, and our entertainment.

Protect IP will not stop illegal downloads. You can enter a blocked site by entering it’s IP address instead of it’s name. Therefore, the bill could just turn everyone into creepy hackers. In China they use Tor (The Onion Router) to bypass “The Great Firewall of China”. It’s actually very simple: in onion routing, data is repeatedly encrypted and sent to other onion routers. Each router removes a layer of encryption to uncover routing directions to be sent to another router for the process to be repeated. These processes make your web activity completely anonymous and impossible to intercept. That shows that censorship in other countries cannot hold a tight grip on the Internet, so why should America? If downloaders cannot be fully stopped by the government, why ruin the Internet?

What if other countries follow in our path and make their own laws? Everyone in the world will have different Internets. Protect IP will probably mess with the inner workings of the Internet, making it less secure and less reliable. Experts believe that if we mess with the registry of domain names, the result would be less security and less stability. “It contains provisions that will chill innovation. It contains provisions that will tinker with the fundamental fabric of the internet. It gives private corporations the power to censor. And best of all, it bypasses due legal process to do much of it,” says James Allworth from Harvard Business School. In short, Protect IP won’t stop piracy but will hinder the Internet and our creative ideas.

Online piracy is bad, but SOPA and PIPA are not needed. The government wants to stop piracy by killing the Internet, but honestly it’s just several steps too far. Online sites such as YouTube already have the power to take down pirated content and gain the same power to users to report illegitimate content. Private corporations already  have the power to sue software companies out of existence. Under current DCMA laws, users that post copyrighted content are responsible, so in this case the user and content are mainly focused on. As opposed to SOPA and PIPA, they focus on links to violating sites. Sites such as YouTube that contain lots of movie clips, copyrighted music, and stolen content also include lots of protests, art, creative content, and free expression are at risk of being shut down. Some may argue current laws aren’t good enough, but what about what’s too much?

SOPA and PIPA also affect the lives of Americans. The Internet is a vibrant medium that many people use to express themselves, post ideas, art, protests, as well as run businesses. According to US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton: “When ideas are blocked, information deleted, conversations stifled and people constrained in their choices, the Internet is diminished for all of us.. There isn’t an economic Internet and a social Internet and a political Internet. There’s just the Internet.” I believe that this is a violation of freedom of speech. What’s even more is that The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that PIPA alone would cost $47 Million in tax money over five years! I believe that money can go to much better causes. There has been history of corporations stretching and abusing their power. They tried to take a video of a baby off YouTube just for the music playing in the background. This “solution” to commercial piracy will target families and children. Ordinary people can be sued and/or sent to jail for up to five years for posting copyrighted work, even singing to a pop song. So how far could the government really take this?

The government is trying to pass an ineffective bill that would ruin the Internet for US citizens.* Protect IP will not stop illegal downloaders and it would only make it slightly harder for them to access their content. The world may follow our example and we will all have very different Internets. SOPA and PIPA will affect the lives of US citizens. We can stop this, we can fight this! The government will only go as far as we’ll let them.
* Currently, the bill has been withdrawn in response to popular demand.

February 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

How to Survive School: A Harbor House Production

Becca DeCamp

The time has come again for the second of the five house plays that will make their debut on the Williston Central School stage this school year. The casts of the Harbor 7th and 8th graders are preparing their lines and learning their cues las they do in any house play.

 In a nutshell, the play is about the stereotypical cliques that we see in school every day. Some of them are nice, and some of them… not so much. Another big component of the play is what happens when a football jock falls head-over-heels in “like” with one of the matheletes. This may seem like any typical play that you might see in the Williston Central theater, however this play is a bit different.

 The play that Harbor is putting on is a student-written and a student-directed play, which has become a new tradition for the house. The writer and head director is Shea Savage, a local Harbor 8th grader who, in addition to directing this year, had a lead role in the last Harbor play, which was also a student-written play by Seamus Nolan, now a 9th grader at CVU. She also had other roles in 5th and 6th grade in the Meeting House plays, before the house was disbanded.

 As a lead director, Shea holds a main leadership position in this play, along with fellow 8th graders Emily Pierson, Aliza Anderson and Michael Chirgwin, the other co-directors. These are the kids who have the responsibilities of making sure actors learn their lines and reminding them that the whole cast has only about 14 practices to prepare for performance day.

 The actors are not the only hard workers. This year, Harbor has a great stage crew that has been busy at work painting sets and building props for about as long as the actors have been rehearsing. The three stage managers, Zack Davis, Jeremy Fuller and I, have been leading the crew in the building and painting of sets, working on cues with lights and sound and even helping the directors block and reminding the cast about important things such as bringing in costumes and props.

 As part of the article, I conducted an interview with the young writer Shea Savage.

Q: The main theme of the play this year is stereotypical middle/high school cliques. Why did you decide to write a play that depicts this side of school that sooner or later, we all see?

Shea: “For one thing, I couldn’t think of anything better (chuckles). And for another thing, I thought that making fun of the stereotypes in this play might be funny, since we don’t really see these things in our school. I don’t actually know any of the people like the people in my play.”

Q: You’re in charge of a lot of kids in this play, who, as I have observed, have been a little unruly. What is it like to work with the young actors/actresses that you cast?

Shea: “Well, it gives you a great perspective on how teachers feel every day, but it’s also good to see them grow and learn as actors and actresses. So I guess that makes it worth it.”

Q: Another part of the job is praising the good actors. Are there any potential actors that we might see in the upcoming school production Honk?

Shea: “Kaity McSalis, definitely. She’s got a great love for acting, and she’s been in lots of school plays in the past. Plus she’s good. (chuckles) Lots of other people I know have definitely expressed interest in doing the school play as well. So I guess this is good practice for them.”

Q: I noticed in the play that you have a Lady Gaga fan club, led in their passion of theatricality by their president, Stephanie. What made you decide to write the role for these “Mother Monster” lovers? Was it perhaps your love of the singer?

Shea: “Well, in truth, Lady Gaga kind of scares me. But we wanted to have an opportunity for kids who like singing more than acting so they can shine. So what better person to have a fan club for than someone who’s creative and colorful and weird like Lady Gaga?”

Q: A big process of the play is blocking. How did that go for you, considering it was your first time attempting to do something like that?

Shea: “Well I can say that I was lucky to have Emily as my co-director for that experience. I would have had no idea about how to go about doing that. I mean, I’ve been in plays in the past, but I’ve never actually had to come up with the blocking myself.”

 Q: Another big part of the play production process is the stage crew. What do you think about the stage crew this year? Were they helpful?

Shea: “Oh, well, stage crew is a really difficult job because they have to create a set out of my imagination. I worked with them quite a bit this year, and I think they’re really good. “


Q: My final question for you today is about the other directors. Did you find that they were able to re-create your vision for this play as accurately as possible?

Shea: “I was lucky enough to have directors that were friends with me, so they kind of share my sense of humor, especially Michael (Chirgwin). So I think they all did a really great job bringing it to life. (I say ‘so’ a lot, don’t I?)”

When you’re a middle school kid, seeing a house play is kind of a second-nature thing to you. In Williston, we see about five of these a year. But what really makes ours special is that the kids just didn’t take part in performing and setting up for it. They also played a big role in running, directing and even writing it. With our opening night being tomorrow, everyone is working especially hard to make this happen, but no one is working harder than the directors, who are in charge of making writer Shea Savage’s vision come to the stage.

February 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm 1 comment

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