Monthly Archives: December 2008

Dear Maggie

Dear Maggie,

I’m a senior this year and one of my major concerns during this time is college applications. I’ve already applied early action to a couple of schools and I’m applying regular decision for a couple others. My parents want me to follow in their footsteps and go to a state school but I have my heart set on a college in New York. I feel that the college in New York best suites me but I don’t want to disappoint my parents. Should I go to the state school to make my parents proud or should I follow my own heart and go to the college that I want to go to?

Miss College Crisis

Dear College Crisis,

I’m sure that college applications are stressfull. However, there is a good part of college apps. and that’s getting the acceptance letters, especially to your number one choice. That feeling when you recieve that big manilla envelope from your top pick has to be the best feeling in the world, a sense of accomplishment. This feeling shouldn’t be destroyed because your parents want you to attend a different school. You need to follow your own heart and attend the school that you want to go to. Your parents might be dissapointed at first but you have to understand that they’re always going to be proud of you regardless of what you do. One of the main things that your parents want you to be is happy. If your top pick is going to make you happy then they will understand that. So be happy, follow your heart, and enjoy your first pick college. Good luck next year! I hope I was of help.

Love, Maggie

Dear Maggie,

When I was in the Intermediate School I had a group of friends that I did everything with. We met in fifth grade and after that we were inseparable. When we got into high school, I went here and all my other friends went to different high schools. Now I have no one in this school who I’m really close to. What should I do?

All Alone

Dear Alone,

Going from the intermediate school to the high school can be a scarey experience but what makes it a lot easier is having friends who are experiencing it with you. I understand that it’s hard to make new friends especially in high school, but in order to have a great high school experience you need friends to share the good times and the bad. So start trying to make some new friends; in class talk to the people you sit next to and during lunch sit with someone who’s in you class. Eventually this will result in a friendship that will last throughout your four years in high school. I hope I was of help.



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Great Caesar and the GoGetters

By Madeline Alden

The Buzz presentsyok

Inspired by Vh1’s You Oughta Know.

Meet Great Caesar and the GoGetters


Photo Credit: Emily Spine

They are a jazzy rock band with a twist. Here’s a Q and A with Stephen from Great Caesar and the GoGetters


Photo from Caitlin Armitage Photo

What towns are the members from?

  • All the members are from Madison, CT, except for (me) Stephen who is from Oyster Bay, NY.
  • Right now, we’re all in college. John-Michael (vox/piano/guitar) and myself (alto sax) go to Yale; Mike (guitar) goes to Quinnipiac; Adam (bass) goes to NYU; Sean (drums) goes to UCONN; Andy (tenor sax) goes to UMass Amherst; and Tom (trumpet) goes to Williams.

When did the band form?

  • The band formed a long time ago (I believe in 2001) as a jazz trio, featuring only John-Michael (who played sax at the time), Adam, and Sean. Over the years the rest of the members joined and the band evolved more into what it is today. Fun fact: some of our current songs are actually rock versions of the jazz trio’s originals.

What genres/bands does GCGG sound like?

  • This is a tricky question. All of us have very diverse influences on our personal musical styles, and so the music that we make together is not easy to classify. Of the four songs on our upcoming EP, one is in a jazzy style (almost like “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles) but quotes classical composers like Mendelssohn and Chopin; another song has an atonal sax solo; one is in a latin style that switches to a disco for the chorus; and there’s a hard rock song that’s mixed with a little funkiness. Of the new songs we’re writing right now, one’s very latin influenced but the melody is a quote of “Nature Boy” by Duke Ellington; one of them is very reminiscent of new music like Wolf Parade; another one is heavily influenced by John Mayer, but also at the same time Sly and the Family Stone.
  • I think if I were pressed to give a short list of our musical influences, I would list the following artists (in no particular order):
  • Monty Are I, RX Bandits, Wolf Parade, John Mayer, Muse, Mad Caddies, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Brand New, and Charlie Parker.
  • Here is a quote from Mike (guitar): “As far as bands we sound like, Steve from the Space said we remind him of Buena Vista Social Club. I think we try to stress that we don’t really sound like anything out there, that’s a pretty clichéd response but we’ve started writing songs that sound like Mad Caddies, Brand New, or John Mayer songs and by the time we’re done they don’t resemble those bands much at all. Everyone has their own influences, and they all seem to come out at once.”
  • Another important point I want to make is that, yes, we are a rock band with horns, but we definitely don’t categorize ourselves under the ‘ska’ or ‘funk’ label. So it’s tricky to tell people about us without them automatically thinking we play ska.

Does GCGG have any claims to fame, who is the best artist you’ve shared the stage with?

  • Yeah – we’re played with these guys: Minus the Bear, Kevin Devine, Mad Caddies, Nightmare of You, and Patent Pending. Plus other bands of course, but I would say those are the most famous ones we’ve shared the stage with. I guess a well-known CT band would be Tip the Van, who we love playing with.
  • Another claim to fame, I guess, is that we went on a self-booked and self-promoted tour last summer for two weeks. It was a really awesome experience and we gained a ton of fans.

Anything new such as CDs, Merchandise or tours/shows?

  • As I mentioned before, we have a 4-song EP coming out soon which we’re hoping to sell and also to send out to record labels & venues. We have some sweet T-Shirts and stickers as well that you might see around CT. It’s usually a bit difficult to play shows during the year as we’re sort of separated from each other due to school. However, we usually play shows around weekends, breaks, and the summer. We’ve been taking a break from shows to write new music, but I know that we will be appearing in a bunch of Battle-of-the-Bands later this year.
  • We are also going to be filming a music video for “Everyone is a VIP to Someone” during the next few months. This could really hit it big (we’re hoping at the level of MTV, etc) so be on the lookout for it.

Anything else interesting you feel like sharing?

  • We’d like to give a shout out to Doc Rocktopus and the Nunks, Hungry Hungry Hypocrites, and Kevin D. Also, our next appearance in CT will most likely be at Toad’s Place in New Haven, and if not that, the Madison Arts Barn in Madison. We love making friends with and supporting local bands, so if somebody has a sweet show they want us to play at, we’d love to.
  • Finally, we’re looking to start building a street team in a bunch of different cities around the East Coast, so tell a friend about us 🙂


Photo from Betty M Haggerty

Great Caesar and the Go Getters were also mentioned on MTVU

An additional interview is at The New Haven Advocate
Other Buzz Local Artists You Oughta Know are:

The Smyrk

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Fall Play “The Crucible” Review


Photo From Moore’s Lore

By Hannah Kahl
“The Crucible”, written by Arthur Miller, is a very well known play that the BHS theatre performed on December 4-6, 2008. “The Crucible” is about the Salem Witch Trials that occurred in 1692. “The Crucible” was directed by Mrs. Ogren and all of the students that were involved did a great job. All of the acting was excellent and all of the students acted out their characters very well. There were a lot of lines in this play and they did a good job memorizing them. The costumes were great and they helped to make the play more realistic. The costumes helped the audience understand the setting and time period of the play. “The Crucible” has an interesting storyline based on actual events, but it must have been hard for the students to act out actual events that happened over 300 years ago. The audience seemed to enjoy the play and there were quite a lot of people there for the Thursday night show. Everyone involved in the “The Crucible” should be very proud of themselves because they did a wonderful job.

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How to Save Energy in Your Home

By Sergei Poljak

Although it may not occur to you, there is a special someone paying that electricity bill every month at your home. Unfortunately, citizens of Connecticut have the highest electric bill in the country, at 24 cents per kW/h. I’ve asked a few students to see what they were paying, and although I did not get any answers, the fact is that you are most likely paying over two hundred dollars a month for your power. That’s equivalent to about 2400 a year, and it’s only one utility bill! However, you don’t just have to sit and watch as you get ripped off every month. There are many simple steps you can take to combat high electric bills. You may ask, “Will I have to sacrifice my well being?” Well, you may have to give up a few simple luxuries but, at the end of the year, you will have saved much more money than you would have thought possible.

light-bulbImage from Wayne White Coop

You may have heard of simple measures such as unplugging your cell phone charger, but the simple truth is that it won’t make the slightest difference. You’re going to have to work slightly harder if you want to reduce. A good beginner step would be to replace all your incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s if you haven’t already. CFL’s will save you about $40 a year, and they last 5 times longer than regular incandescent ones. It may cost you an initial amount (about $2 per bulb) but, in the long run, they will save you a significant amount. Furthermore, simply turning things off when you’re not using them is a great way to save money. For instance, TV’s and computers can all be turned off when not in use. So can lights and radios. You may not think about these things very often, but they are a major contributor to the energy that we use. The average American is not home for at least 8 hours a day. Those are 8 hours when nothing should be running, not even the heat (This includes radios and computers, which should be turned off when not in use). Don’t worry, your pipes won’t freeze, and when you get home, the heat will warm you up within minutes. If it’s slow, well, why do you buy sweatshirts? Lastly, if you really want to get serious, purchase space heaters, which heat only the room you’re in. They may not be entirely practical, but they can save you up to $1000 a year.

If you’ve been looking to replace any appliances, try looking at the energy star rating. The lower the wattage is (big number on the sticker), the more energy efficient. Often times a more efficient machine will be less expensive in the long run, even if it seems pricey to start. One highly suggested switch is that of electric heat (stove, hot water heater etc.) to gas. Natural gas is cleaner for the environment, cheaper, and much higher quality than electrical heat. If you happen to be looking into air conditioners, try looking at ceiling fans. They are fairly effective, and can save you in upwards of $700 a year. Sure, your house may not be as cool as you’d like it, but would you rather be able to afford college, or have it five degrees cooler when you’re at home. Once again, whether you use ceiling fans or airconditioners, they should be off when you’re not home. I’m sure everyone will be able to wait those few painful minutes until the house cools down.

Even if you refuse to change your ways, I hope you think of the wasteful lifestyle that we, as Americans, live. Most people in the world don’t have heat or air conditioning, so at least be thankful that you do. Lastly, tell your parents about this. Take initiative and encourage them. Just tell them how much money they’ll save, and I’m sure they’ll agree.

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Fashion Alert: Peace, Love, and…Scarves?

By Merissa Blitz

Photos- Madeline Alden


This school year, many new fashion trends have bloomed. The two most popular seem to be the peace sign and the scarf. You can see many of the street vendors in places like New York City carrying scarves and peace sign attire. Scarves are popular at stores such as American Eagle, Hollister, PacSun, and many more. “I love wearing a scarf,” says Ashley Austin, “it goes with my outfit and looks good and, at the same time, it keeps me warms.” Delia’s carries a variety of different clothing options that contain the peace sign; they even have a peace sign scarf! “I made my peace sign in jewelry class,” explains Kearny Sneath “I like to wear it because I support peace and not war.”


People usually wear scarves folded in half and tucked in hanging in front of themselves usually with a plain shirt or a shirt of the matching color and skinny jeans. It’s also fashionable to either wear a scarf around your head like a head band, or as a belt. There isn’t any one specific way to wear a peace sign; instead, they can be placed on anything, and anywhere.  They tend to be on bags, scarves, shirts, drawn on pants, jewelry, and an infinite number of other options.  Though scarves and peace signs are two of the most fashionable items this year, it is important to wear what YOU think looks good, not just what is “in.”

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Horoscopes, or Should I say Hornetscopes

Capricorn 12/22-1/19 – Happy Birthday Capricorn! Make your holidays great by volunteering at a local soup kitchen or other organization on Christmas day. This will be a great way to give back to your community.

Aquarius 1/20-2/18 – Finally you are no longer alone. Make sure you show your newly appointed special someone some love by giving him/her and very meaningful present (maybe a poem?)

Pisces 2/19-3/20 – You haven’t really had any time to yourself lately. Take a nice soak in your tub; even turn it into a bubble bath if you want. Make sure to fill the room with candles.

Aries 3/21-4/19 – You are working way too hard. During your winter break, plan a party or be sure to attend one. This is a great way to relieve stress…and to meet a cutie!

Taurus 4/20-5/20 – Time to make a New Year’s resolution. You know what you need to work on, now go and fix it!

Gemini 5/21-6/21 – You’re lucky, you have that special someone that will keep on coming back to you no matter what, but be careful; one more wrong move and it may be the end of you’re “relationship”.

Cancer 6/22-7/22 – You stole a heart; good for you! Now make sure you keep it. Get this person something special for whatever holiday they celebrate and he/she will love you forever

Leo 7/23-8/22 – Get your butt out of your computer chair and get outside for once! Hopefully show comes soon – take advantage of that and make a snow angel or two.

Virgo 8/23-9/22 – Just one piece of advice for you: listen to St. Patrick’s Day by John Mayer; not only a great song but it could help you out with some relationship issues right now

Libra 9/23-10/22 – Try to avoid Secret Santa day at work…your present isn’t the best.

Scorpio 10/23-11/21 – Whether it’s under the mistletoe by the fireplace, or under the snow on New Year’s Eve, you are soon to get the best kiss of your life.

Sagittarius 11/22-12/21 – You may have just lost the love of your life, but things happen for a reason. On your vacation you are going to meet someone new and you will completely forget about your lost love

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Local Artists You Oughta Know

The Buzz presentsyok

Inspired by Vh1’s You Oughta Know.

Meet the Smyrk.


The Band is made up of three members: Doron, Ari, and Chris. They are a phenomenal band and I actually got a chance to interview them. Here’s a Q and A with Ari from the Smyrk.


What towns are the members from?

  • Doron and Ari are from New Haven. Chris is from Hamden.

When did the band form?

  • The band started around 2004 when Doron saw us at an outdoor festival in New Haven. I happened to announce that we were looking for a singer and he approached us after the show. We wrote a song at our first practice and it was a done deal. His old band sounded like Boyz II Men. They were called On Point.

What genres/bands does the Smyrk sound like?

  • We try to sound like The Smyrk first and foremost, but we’ve been compared to Incubus, John Legend, and Minus the Bear to name a few. Our goal is to sprinkle some Motown soulfulness into post-rock goodness.

What claims to fame does the Smyrk have, who’s the best artist you’ve shared the stage with?

  • Doron was born with 6 fingers on each hand. Oh, fame… yeah. We recorded an EP with Ben Kenney, bass player for Incubus, and opened a show for his solo project as well. We were on MTV a couple times for a contest sponsored by Mountain Dew. Too bad it’s a terrible drink.

Is there anything new, such as CDs, merchandise or tours/shows?

  • I can’t really give away too much at the moment, but we played our “last show” this summer and we’re somehow still a band…

Anything else interesting you feel like sharing?

  • We have some exciting things going on but like I said, I can’t reveal anything right now. We once watched “Purple Rain” 3 times in a row. Doron’s hair once caught on fire at a show. Chris had a pet goose named Frederick. I was voted 3rd best barista in town by the New Haven Advocate.

Check out their Myspace, Purevolume, and store.


Above photo from Bold As Love

-Madeline Alden

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Dancing With the Staff

Every week the Buzz Blog will upload a video from Dancing With the Staff.

This week it is a video of D.K., Ms. Saur and Brittney P. performance!

if video doesn’t show up click here.


-Madeline Alden

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Q and A with Ms. Valauskas

By Ella Borkowski

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: Guilford, CT

Q: Why did you choose to teach at BHS?

A: I have always heard great things about BHS, and feel very lucky to have been given an opportunity to teach here. It is a school unlike many others where the atmosphere is one of mutual respect between students and teachers and it is a place where students are given freedom that others in surrounding towns are not.

Q: Have you ever taught anywhere other than Branford High School? Where?

A: I taught for four years at Lauralton Hall in Milford, CT, and then spent two years teaching at the Bronx Zoo in NY.

Q: What do you teach?

A: Lauralton Hall: Biology, Env. Science Zoo: I traveled both nationally and internationally teaching teachers how to incorporate conservation education in their classrooms, taught courses in science education at Brooklyn College, The College of New Rochelle, Queens College, and Fordham University. Internationally I did capacity building work with communities focusing on their native habitats and teaching them ways to conserve them and educate people about their importance.

Q: What do you think makes BHS different than other high schools you have worked at?

A: There is a relationship between adults and students here that I haven’t seen elsewhere. It makes for a really nice environment to come to every day.

Q: Are you involved in any clubs, or bands? What do you do for fun?

A: I play, sing and write songs for a band based out of New Haven. We have one cd out and another on the way in October. Music has always been a huge part of my life, and I feel really lucky to be able to teach and play music on the side. I also enjoy yoga and being outdoors as much as possible.

Q: Why did you choose to be a teacher?

A: I sort of fell into teaching by mistake. I took a long-term sub position to make some extra money when I finished school and found out that I loved it.

Q: What makes teaching so rewarding?

A: I think what makes it so rewarding is that I learn so much on a daily basis from my students, and also get to share my love of science with them, with the hopes that some of it might rub off on them.

Q: Have you ever held a different job than being teacher?

A: I worked on a farm and at an environmental education center just out of college, I still waitress one night a week and I did some animal training at the zoo.

Q: Why did you choose to teach at a high school level?

A: Despite what everyone thinks, high school students are fun!!!!!!!!!!

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Award Winning Year Book

By Liz Tate

The 2008 Branford High School Milestone yearbook won four marks of distinction from the National Scholastic Press Association.

The NSPA rated The Milestone yearbook a 42.50 out of a possible 45 points.

This puts The Milestone in the top 5% of the best yearbooks produced in the country.

In fact, one of the judges said, “What you produce here is a college quality yearbook.”

With award winning coverage, photos, concept, and design, Mrs. Butler wants it to be known that she is only the staff’s “cheerleader,” and that she gives them free reign to produce the yearbook.

She gives all the credit to the editor-in-chief, and other staff members.

Jack Prior, 2008 Editor-in-chief and graduate of the class of 2008 definitely deserves some recognition and praise.

He got everyone to do all they needed to do in order for The Milestone to be the award-winning yearbook it is today.

Let’s just hope that this year’s Editor-in-chief, Morgan Krause and her Co-Editor-in-Chief, Lauren Hackett can do just as good a job, or even better.

Lauren Hackett says, “since this is the first year for our all color yearbook, we hope that everyone will enjoy the new change and be motivated to buy a book.”

With this new change our yearbook should be brought to a new level, making it even better than before.

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