Monthly Archives: May 2011

A View From the Top

by Vinny Roca

Hamlet Hernandez definitely has a passion for his job as superintendent of Branford Public Schools. One can tell by simply asking him his outlook for the near future of the schools, that he doesn’t count the hours that he puts in to helping the school system, but rather cherishes them.

What is interesting about Hamlet is the amount of carriers he has had leading up to his career as Superintendent of Branford Public Schools. He was a former Marine Officer and is currently a retired Lieutenant Coronel. After that, he decided to move to the path of education. His education carriers range from a middle school math teacher to a bilingual teacher in California. Hamlet was also a principal for several years before taking his position as assistant superintendent of Hamden public school were he worked for 6 years. After Dr. Halligan retired as Superintendent of Branford Public Schools, Hamlet decided he had to go after the opportunity. He applied to the Branford Board of Education for the position. After rigorous interviews, he was the number one choice for the position.

As the new superintendent, Hamlet has a wide perspective for the paths he wants to direct Branford public schools in. However, Hamlet agrees on the fact that students should be able to peruse their own inertest within their educational experience. Hamlet told the buzz that, “Students should be open to a wide variety of opportunities, but also be able to peruse their personal interest.” Hamlet is also ready to prepare students for a challenge. “An important part of education is personal rigor.” He explained to the Buzz how students must be challenged to their fullest ability in order to reach their full potential. Overall, the major focus that Hamlet was making was that he and all of Branford staff are trying to direct the education of Branford away from factual memorization, but rather learning and understanding a concept. Hamlet explained this to the Buzz when he said, “It’s not just about memorizing a fact, but understanding a concept.” Expansion of originality within the confines of the educational boundaries is another goal he hopes to achieve. He told the Buzz that when students truly understand a concept they can, “produce an original thought or idea and start to defend it.” This movement towards originality and creativity can be seen through out the Branford public school community with the emphasis on creativity in arts, writing, and ideas. Lastly, Hamlet hopes to prepare students to become responsible adults. He echoed the mission of Branford High School, when he told the buzz that he wants to, “prepare youth to become productive and contributing citizens.” Hamlet explained to the Buzz that our public schools provide all the provisions to prepare their students for the future.

Even though Hamlet is dedicated a passionate about his job, he does have pastimes that bring him joy. Hamlet enjoys reading and has a large passion for it, leaving the interview Hamlet recommended a book of Abraham Lincoln proclaiming it a “great book.” He also told the Buzz that Abraham Lincoln is his hero, right behind his father. Hamlet also enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his wife and two teenagers.

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Growing Up

by Marisa Kaplita

When you’re a child all you want to do is grow up and be a big kid, a teenager, a driver, a college student, an adult, and so on.  Where ever you are in life, all you want to do is grow up, but then somewhere along the way, somewhere in the high school years, all you want to be is a kid again where all the responsibilities of school, work, and money are not even a formed thought.  For most high  school is a place to get back all the time from childhood that was missed out on, because before you know it college will come and so will jobs and marriage and kids and lots of different responsibilties, then there is no more time to goof off and make mistakes.

There is nothing wrong with trying to act on your inner child, and sometimes it can be good for you, taking a break from the grudging stress of school work will keep you from exploding from trying to retain too much information for too long.  However there is a point at which you need to grow up and be a role model.  High school students need to be aware of the influences that they create, especially on the younger generations in Branford.

High school students are awesome and unbearable cool in the minds of elementary and middle schoolers, we represent their future and who they will soon grow up to be.  They look towards us as role models and try to be like us.  It’s great to know that all these kids are looking up to us, but its also a scary thought to think of the influences some of the kids in this school are making.

It’s not okay that kids who are only in sixth or seventh grade are swearing, drinking, having sex, or doing drugs, and it’s happening, in our town of Branford.  Kids of only 12 or 13 are barely able to get into PG-13 rated movies, so where are they learning all these R rated things?  Television and the internet are rotting out the brains of our youth and most have lost any respect for authority.  So when teachers and adults are no longer source of respect it falls upon us, the Branford Hishschoolites, to create a good influence for our younger generation to fallow.

Every student in this school knows at least one child of 10 or 14, either a sibling, family member, or a child from an organization or group.  Everyone in this school has a chance to make an impacted on a child and wether one chooses to make one or not.  Even if you don’t feel any desire to make an impact on a future Branford High schooler, atleast reframe from making a bad influence.  You may thing you have no power as a student, but you have more power than you might think.  And the things that you do will get talked about in the depths of the Middle school locker bay, so make sure you think before you act, if not for you, then for the kids that are watching.

 

 

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Who is Arcade Fire?

 

by Alexandra Augustak

In spite of recent events, many faithful Grammy watchers still ask questions as to who Arcade Fire is, and why they won, arguably, the most esteemed award in the music industry. But the questions do not stop there, since most are skeptical of Esperanza Spalding’s victory against the likes of Justin Bieber and Drake for the Best New Artist award. Even so, such events prompted an array of blogs and twitters dedicated soulfully to mocking how unknown these musicians are, while simultaneously accusing them of being undeserving of the award. But what these bloggers don’t seem to realize is that there is a whole other world of music outside of what they hear on the radio. While it is celebrated that people are so loyal to everything mainstreem, it is questionable if their ignorance is keeping them away from viewing music as a much larger picture.

“Who is Arcade Fire?” is a question that would insult any indie music appreciator before the Grammy’s. Now that the award show surprised many viewers by giving the Indie-Rock band the highest honor, many question how Arcade Fire could have won against music power monsters, like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Many people claim that such awards should be given to musicians who actually made an impact on the industry. However, many argue that the Grammy’s are not about the effects of a certain artist, but of the quality of the music that they produce. Those who think that awards should be given out due to the popularity of the artist and their impact on the industry should probably stick to watching The People’s Choice awards, which seems to have the same opinion.

The worst part about this situation is that these people who haven’t heard a single song by Arcade Fire prior to their performance on the show, automatically denounce it as bad music just because the band is not known as well. Because of our culture, it is seen that most people’s impression of a band depends on their popularity.

Mainstreem music seems to play as a safe haven for many today; knowing that the listener cannot be disappointed by whatever is playing on the radio. But such a mind set like that could keep quality music from ever being heard by the average person. After all my father once told me that “the worst thing you can do when it comes to music, is to limit yourself to one specific genre.” This seems to be true, since it is a lot more rewarding to have an open mind to things such as music; you will find so many more songs and artists that you would have just ignored otherwise. So the next time you create a new playlist, try making it a little more diverse than usual, in the end you may find yourself to be pleasantly surprised.

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Chemistry Club

by Pooja Ali

Recently, a new club began on February 15, 2011, called the Chemistry Club. The advisors are Amy Okamoto and Tommy Chen. In this club, students are given the opportunity to perform experiments that they don’t have time to do in class. The secretary is Abbas Zaidi, and president is Anne Liu. This club is open for all students interested in doing chemistry experiments, competing in local science competitions and learns a little more of what chemistry has to offer. Don’t be shy, come and join! Club meetings are held in room F20 every Tuesday afterschool. Here is what Mrs. Okamoto says about the club, “Chem Club provides the time to do all of the fun and crazy things we don’t have time to do during the school day, as we socialize, do demos and experiments, prepare for local competitions, etc.  Dr. Chen and I will teach club members about specific chemistry concepts that interest them.”

In the past few meetings the club has made ice cream, dealt with invisible ink and made rock candy.  They are doing a lot of interesting experiments by incorporating chemistry that’s learned in the classroom.  They made the ice cream by filling a small plastic bag with cream, vanilla, and sugar.  Then the small bag is placed in a bigger bag filled with ice and salt and shake it until the ice cream forms.  This experiment taught the students about the transfer of energy while they got to enjoy they’re homemade treat.  They have a lot more experiments and activities planned for the rest of the year and all the members are excited to learn more.

The chemistry club will be a place not only for kids to learn more about a subject that interests them, but also about future job idea.  “If a student is interested in going into the chemistry field as a possible career, then the chemistry club is a good place to explore all your options,” says Dr. Chen, co-advisor of the club.

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