Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

50 Shades of Grady

Travel is often looked upon as a luxury. To me, it’s much more than that. Cultural immersion and first-hand experience are essential to learning. Travel, especially in an educational setting, is something that every student should experience during high school. I love to travel. I've grown up traveling, so it was only natural that I participated in some of the many trips offered by MHS.
My sophomore year, I was a member of the Spanish exchange. The idea of the trip was daunting, because I wasn't close with any of the other students on the trip, most of who were upperclassmen, and my fluency in Spanish left a lot to be desired. Living with a Spanish family in Valencia allowed me to delve completely into the culture in a way that learning solely in a classroom never would have allotted. My Spanish improved tenfold, and I was able to experience unadulterated or culture for myself, instead of just reading about it inside my textbooks.
Over April vacation, I traveled to Portugal. The trip was meticulously planned by Mr. Santos, who had been to Portugal several times prior to bringing us there. I decided to go because; as he pointed out during a preliminary meeting for the voyage, when else would I get the chance to go there? Our time in Portugal was, in a word, beautiful. Though I learned little Portuguese (most notably gratís), I now have a solid understanding of the nation’s culture. For example, an earthquake in 1755 caused damage to many of Portugal’s greatest landmarks, such as castles, monasteries, and cloisters. Before visiting, I had no idea of just how religious the Portuguese people are and how large a role Catholicism has played in shaping their history. Of course, I would know none of this without the expert knowledge of Sergio, our amazing guide.
I feel that I have a unique perspective on educational travel, having participated in both an exchange and a trip. The experiences I had on these journeys were very different from one another, even if the countries I went to are not. My time in Spain was definitely more immersive linguistically, just because I was living in a household where only my exchange partner spoke English. Though I was living in Spanish culture, we visited a lot of touristy sites, which didn't take away from the experience but created one slightly dissimilar to the one I had in Portugal.
An often-overlooked benefit of traveling with people outside of your family or friend group is bonding. Both of my trips abroad allowed me to forge wonderful, albeit unlikely, friendships with my peers that I now cherish. Being in close quarters with people you've just sort of passed by for the last few years is an interesting endeavor that usually pays off well.
Next time you hear about a trip to [insert European or South American nation here] on the morning announcements, do yourself a favor and look into it. 

By Allie Grady

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Dollop of Driscoll

        Over the years rock music has transformed with many different people to many different lifestyles and perspectives. Pioneers of our musical history that have I have found personally interesting include Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder and Bruce Dickinson. Dave Grohl has been in a number of bands that have gotten the ball rolling on certain rock genres such as punk, grunge and metal. Dave Grohl has been in bands such as Scream, Nirvana and The Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl has had great views on the music industry and its stance on artists and the profit they make from shows and album sales. His long life in the musical realm has provided the rock audience a new deity to praise.  Dave Grohl along with Eddie Vedder (lead singer and front man of Pearl Jam) has always been true to their music and have not “sold out” while most artists do today for many different reasons and products. Eddie Vedder, like Dave Grohl has been he music genre of grunge but many consider his sound to that of Alternative or Hard rock. Bruce Dickinson (lead singer of Iron Maiden) has helped on another spectrum of Rock Music, plain old Heavy Metal. Being formed in the mid 70’s, it took time to progress to become the Heavy Metal king that Steve Harris (bass guitarist) had formed. Iron Maiden has officially released 22 studio albums always with raw material to for fans to have. The rawness of rock and roll music displays a variety of emotions, and when paired up with deep lyrics and stunning vocals, almost any message and sounds can be created, creating the greatest style of music (in my opinion of course). Bruce Dickinson, Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl have been on different side of the rock world, but all create amazing music for everyone to enjoy.

By Andy Driscoll

National Honor Society Service Project

            National Honor Society is a nationwide organization that serves to honor students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character throughout the United States of America. Among the many responsibilities of National Honor Society members is completing group service projects that benefit the chapter’s school and community. The students of the Melrose High School chapter of the National Honor Society did their part in serving the community on March 14 and 15 when they volunteered to run one of the monthly dinners at a local food pantry. 

            While deciding on a worthwhile and feasible group service project is complicated and stressful, actually following through with such a demanding project proved to be even more difficult, but the MHS chapter of NHS was ultimately able to run a successful dinner that helped many underprivileged people from Melrose and its surrounding communities. 

A Servants Heart Food Pantry, where the monthly dinner is held, was originally created by Joan Dean and Shirley Samson to give out food necessities to those in need and it now serve over 200 families every month. This is what the food pantry is most known for in Melrose as the majority of the food collected at sports games, food drives and holiday collections goes directly to A Servants Heart and is given out every week. In addition to food that families may take home for the week, the food pantry also holds a community dinner once a month to serve a free meal to the families and individuals it serves, and it is this service that the NHS decided to help with.      

            These twenty-eight Melrose High School leaders decided that they would help plan and set up for the dinner, cook the food, serve the meal, and help clean up afterwards. The dinner turned out to be a great success, serving more than seventy-five people. 

Additionally, members thought it appropriate and beneficial to create Easter baskets with toiletries, gifts, and baked goods for all who would attend the food pantry on a bi-weekly basis, making about ninety baskets in total. 

In the end, the members of NHS completed a total of one hundred hours of community service together. The project was a great success in both helping the community and becoming an amazing learning experience for all involved. By the end of the service project, NHS members realized that helping out in the community is not only beneficial, but also meaningful and even fun! Members were able to share laughs, tell stories, and unite as a group as they helped to serve countless individuals in the Melrose community alongside at the Servants Heart Food Pantry.

 By Betty Anne Richardson

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mud Cups

Rating: 4.5/5.0
"I'm crying they are so good"

-whipped cream
-gummy worms

Plastic cups and spoons

Blend the cookies so they are are 'dirt' or 'sand' consistency. Put a spoonful of the blended cookies at the bottom of the cup, using about half of the mixture. Next, you will want to layer your choice of chocolate pudding onto the cookies in the cup. After you are done with the pudding, you will add about a third of a cup of whipped cream to each individual cup. Use the rest of the cookies to cover the whipped cream and finish the mud cup off with a gummy worm or two! Chill in the fridge and enjoy! The amount of each ingredient can be changed for different mud consistencies.

By Sydney Soucy