Chronicle 2014-2017

Head down. Low voice. Nod when spoken to. That was my first year on staff. I was a timid, quiet sophomore and I found almost everyone on staff to be intimidating (well, Stich was the graphic design editor then, so you get the picture). I ate my goldfish while staring at the computer screen and doing my work diligently.  I still eat my goldfish in class, but I cannot honestly say I am doing any work. I found that my time in The Chronicle is most fun when I am talking with others on staff, whether it is weekend plans or serious, complex issues. That is the best thing about our staff; we can be funny and make jokes, but we can also have such meaningful discussions. (Just to clarify, I do get my work done, but focusing in class nowadays is just not easy.)

These past 3 years have been insightful, entertaining, crazy, and so many more things. I wish I had the words to describe it perfectly. The Chronicle not only helped me grow as a writer and student, but it helped me grow as a person. My voice was heard. I stopped caring what other people thought and I started speaking up. At first, it was scary and I really had no clue how to write an article, but I learned. Everyone learned and before we knew it, we were the upperclassmen on staff with experience and people were asking us for help. As a sophomore, I was terrified when the editors yelled at us as a staff or sent out nagging emails about people not getting their pitches/drafts/visuals in on time. Now, I enjoy a good roast session because you gotta learn the hard way! You have to learn how to take the criticism, take the cruel jokes, and take the blame for your screw-ups.

I do not know what I am going to do without another Food Friday, another Chronsgiving, another Chronoeing trip, or just another day in C103. The friendships I formed and memories I made are sure to last a lifetime. Remember when Eric Miller punched the projector and it broke? Remember when Juliana jumped into a dumpster just to get a cardboard box? Remember when Zane broke his arm trying to capture a picture? Remember when Mr. Conner got pied in the face? These are the things I will never forget.

Thanks to Mr. Conner and The Chronicle staff for the past 3 years! I will always miss C103.

 

SUPER BOWL LI

Super Bowl LI. There are three words to sum it up: boring, exhilarating, and historic. Right out of the gates, the Atlanta Falcons were outplaying the Patriots and seemed to be unaffected by the pressure of the Super Bowl. At halftime, the Falcons were winning 21-3. The commentators said that the biggest deficit a team was able to come back from in Super Bowl history was 10 points. 10 points. At halftime, the Patriots were already down 18 points and the odds were certainly not in their favor. It was every football fans’ dream, unless you are me or anyone from New England. I actually turned my phone off for the entire second and third quarters because all of my Ohio “friends” were attacking me for the way the Patriots were playing. I never lost faith, but I definitely had my doubts. Dave Portnoy’s (President of Barstool Sports) halftime speech did pump me up though as he said if there is any team to have a major comeback like this in the Super Bowl, it is the New England Patriots. Boy, he had no idea what was coming.

When the third quarter ended, everyone thought the game was over. Atlanta was up 28-9. How could a team possibly score 19 points to tie the game with only one quarter left to play? I squeezed my eyes shut at the start of the fourth quarter because I could not bare to see another Falcons stop or another Falcons touchdown. My mom said to me, “Meghan, we need the Miracle speech.” So, I stood up in my basement next to the television and cleared my throat. If you do not know Herb Brooks’ famous speech from the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid, it starts something like this, “Great moments are born from great opportunity…” Let me just say, the Miracle speech works every time. I truly believed at that moment in time that we could win this game. We are all Patriots and I had faith in the team that had come so far this season. Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games this year due to Deflategate allegations and had a target on his back the entire season. He proved that despite all of Roger Goodell’s attempts at knocking him down, he could still defy the odds and improve his game. This Super Bowl meant so much.

In the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, I ran upstairs to the kitchen to turn my phone back on and communicate with my friends in Foxboro. While I was upstairs, the Patriots scored a touchdown. Of course, that meant I had to stay upstairs for the rest of the game for superstitious reasons. I sat on the large chair in my living room, digging my fingernails into the arm rests and praying for a miracle. Right before my eyes, I watched it happen. I watched history being made– Julian Edelman’s amazing catch, the touchdown followed by an indirect snap and successful two-point conversion, and another touchdown followed by another successful two-point conversion. Suddenly, the game was tied and we were headed into overtime. I thought I peed my pants (kidding). I was yelling, screaming, jumping up and down, and just thanking God for this chance. When the Pats won the toss, I knew this was it. I watched as my heroes drove down the field and Sweet Feet White (James White) ran the ball into the end zone. The game was over. It was a miracle.

My emotions were uncontrollable. The Patriots had the BIGGEST comeback in Super Bowl history and Tom Brady earned his fifth ring!!! Unbelievable. Words cannot describe the pride and joy I felt watching my team win this Lombardi. I ran into the basement, tears streaming down my face, and hugged my mom, who was also crying. My younger brother was in shock. My older brother Facetimed us immediately and sobbed, “How did we just win that game?” I just keep thinking that in 20 years from now, I will look back on this Super Bowl and remember where I was, how it felt, and the great memories that came with it.

Of course, the people that texted me cruel things about the Patriots quickly recanted their statements. No one can argue that Tom Brady is not the greatest quarterback of all time anymore. Here is proof– five. The only thing that would make this win sweeter would be celebrating in my hometown of Foxboro, Massachusetts, but I guess this basement in Ohio with the people that matter most will do. I am so thankful for the season the Patriots had and I will continue to support them as long as I live. This game offered a glimpse of hope and a break from the struggles and routines of everyday life. It reminded me to just have a little faith. After all, I do believe in miracles.

INDIVIDUAL WRESTLERS DUEL FOR TEAM GLORY

Wrestling is literally the world’s oldest sport, originating between 100 and 200 B.C. – and labeled as one of the toughest. However, wrestlers do not compete for recognition or for the fan fare. They work out incessantly and compete vigorously for the love of winning and for individual glory.

The Mason High School wrestling team practices every day for two hours and usually has competitions on Saturdays that last the entire day. Senior and team captain Andrew Hauer said a typical practice consists of warm-ups, drills, techniques, and going live, which is an actual match situation.

“The toughest thing about practice is definitely going live and coaches are always yelling at you to go harder and everything,” Hauer said. “You feel completely drained, but you still have to keep going because he is watching and yelling at you because you aren’t doing stuff right, which is no fun.”

Junior Zaid Hamdan said that one of the most difficult things about wrestling is the constant movement and going his hardest even when he feels like giving up.

“A joke amongst a lot of the team is ‘I don’t know why I picked this sport to begin with,’” Hamdan said. “The thing about wrestling that separates every other sport is that you have your own drive. A lot of people will say ‘Fight for your team.’ Well, that’s all good and fun, but in real terms, in wrestling, it is just you. How far you want to go depends on you, so it is that little drive in your head because it will pay off later and you will reap the individual benefits.”

Wrestling differs from other sports in the sense that the accountability rests on the wrestler’s own shoulders. Senior and team captain Jack Stein has been wrestling since seventh grade and enjoys the pressure of wrestling.

“There is a team aspect of it, but really, it is only you on the mat,” Stein said. “It is like the win or loss is on you and I like how you are taking all of the ownership. Winning keeps me motivated, just that feeling.”

Senior Jaimen Hood said wrestling differs from other sports mainly because thae work output is completely different.

“In football and basketball, you come in with a lot of energy, so you’re expected to go out with a lot of energy,” Hood said. “Wrestling you kind of go on with not so much energy, but you have to put out just as much as if you were putting out for a basketball or football game. It’s like working with very little.”

Sophomore and team captain Kamal Adewumi said that when it comes to other sports played at the high school level, wrestling proves to be more challenging with competing individually.

“I think it is harder because you can be going against state placers and state champs, and just the environment in general is a lot different from other sports,” Adewumi said. “It is individual-based, but it is team at the same time. It is kind of different because you don’t really have the energy that football games and basketball get.”

Unlike for other sports where cheering is prevalent, wrestlers compete at meets in front of their parents and do not get much fan fare.

Hood said that because wrestling does not carry a large fanbase or Black Hole, he is more focused on how he is competing.

“When it does come to the glory, you don’t get as much,” Hood said. “You’re very in tune to what you are doing and you’re not focused on what is going on around you. It is like an in the moment kind of thing.”

Hamdan started on the defensive line for the Mason football team in the fall and said that the difference in crowd sizes does affect the sport.

“In terms of the intensity of the match, it is definitely more daunting in wrestling because no matter the size of the crowd, it is still only you out there,” Hamdan said. “The thing about playing football on Friday nights is you can mess up, but I don’t think the whole stadium is going to know you messed up. If you lose in a wrestling match, it doesn’t matter if there are 10 or 10,000 people there, they can all point to you and say he either won or lost.”

Hauer said that when wrestling gets tough, he stays motivated by remembering what he will gain in the long-run.

“I know it is terrible right now, but later in life, it will benefit you a lot more,” Hauer said. “It teaches you life lessons, like discipline and that things will always be hard, but you just have to keep going and push through.”

http://thecspn.com/?p=41881

 

“Girls don’t understand sports”

I cannot tell you how many times I have been approached by a boy saying, “You are a Patriots fan, aren’t you?”

“I am,” I respond.

“I bet you can’t name ten players on the team,” They retort with a smug look on their face.

“I bet you I can name fifteen,” I say. Then, I name fifteen–and their positions.

After these conversations, I cannot pretend that I do not feel a sense of pride. I will admit I feel like I just won a little Super Bowl of my own on the inside.

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Sporting my throwback Tom Brady jersey at a high school football game.

But, then of course, the boy has to say something like, “I bet you just stared at the roster and memorized those names for when people ask you.” This just leaves me in a disarray. Boys are more consumed with themselves and their own egos than I originally thought. When they look at me, they see an unathletic, dumb teenage girl, but little do they know, I am one of the most competitive and biggest sports-enthusiasts out there. I love the feeling of supporting my hometown teams and cheering them on with all members of my family. When you grow up in the town of Foxboro, Massachusetts, your culture is consumed with sports.

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Me and my brothers watching Big Papi play for the last time at Fenway this past year.

Sundays are for football and only football. Summers are full of games at the famous Fenway Park with season tickets two rows behind the Red Sox dugout. Basketball is always on and ready to be analyzed by my collegiate athlete of an older brother and truly the biggest basketball fan I know– my younger brother. You might be thinking that I just enjoy sports because I am the middle child in a family of all boys. Truth is, you are probably right. But, my sport is–wait for it– hockey. Where did my obsession with hockey come from?  I have no explanation. Ever since the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team beat the Soviet Union to win the gold at Lake Placid, I have been hooked. Of course, I was not alive for that game, but Miracle is my favorite movie of all time (I can even recite Herb Brooks’ speech from memory). Anyways, I digress.

Boys say that they like girls who know sports. But truthfully, men hate when girls can analyze sports and know what they are talking about. High school boys get defensive when you show them up with stats and analysis because they feel inferior and like you just stepped over the line. They like girls who will watch sports, but not girls who actually know what a Pick-Six is and can spot a block in the back before the flag is thrown. It is intimidating. I have been dwelling on this for a while now because of how I am treated when guys find out how much I know about sports. They engage in conversation with me and will start pointing out flaws within my teams, which they assume I will have no response for. They are not prepared for me to my hold my own and once they hear my retorts, they immediately get scared– and defensive.

I recently read an article from a female ESPN sports writer, Stacey Pressman, who clearly has experience with being a woman in a “man’s world.” She wrote, “Guys can accept questions, corrections and explanations relating to the intricacies of the game from other guys. But there is very little patience, even slight annoyance, when a woman adds insight that extends beyond the color of the uniforms and the basic you’ve-got-four-chances-to-go-10-yards fundamentals.” It’s true. I even hear men speaking of female sports reporters as “dumb” and “not knowing what they are talking about.” The fact of the matter is that female sports reporters spend just as much time watching and analyzing sports as male reporters, but are still not given the respect that male reporters are given.

Why is it this way? Personally, I believe that sports, especially football, hold a certain degree of masculinity to them. Sports that girls cannot simply understand because they have never played them are “guy’s sports.” Admittedly, I have never played football (besides in the winter with my brothers), so therefore, I do not know of the conditioning and intensity of games that players go through. Nor do I know what it is like to go out on the ice and skate tirelessly for twenty minutes at a time. I learn what I know about sports from what I observe on the playing field and from my brothers and from watching SportsCenter on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I follow my favorite athletes on social media and stay up to date with the team Twitter for updates about games, injuries, and inactive lists. I watch sports for the excitement and suspense, just like any other person. The jitters you get in the final minutes of a close game and the glory of witnessing your team come back to defy the odds are what I enjoy so much as well. I do not watch sports to prove a point about feminism or to engage in arguments with boys about specific teams, but I watch sports for the love of the game. Doesn’t that makes us all equal? It is not who knows more about sports or who can defend their team best, but our focus should be why we watch the teams we watch and how they bring something new into our lives. Sports and our teams give us hope and give us something to believe in when times are tough. It should not matter if you are a boy or a girl, but that you hold the same interests and goals at heart. Sports can offer different escapes for everyone but at the end of the day, we spend our time watching and cheering on the teams we do all because of the love of the game.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
Two of my favorite football players, Julian Edelman and Tom Brady.

We have all been on The Edge of Seventeen

Movies rarely pull on my heart-strings. Truthfully, I have never been a fan of sappy chick flicks. But last night, I decided to see The Edge of Seventeen with a couple of friends and wow, I was in for a rollercoaster ride of emotions and realizations.

I will not give the entire movie away, but here is a quick synopsis. The movie is about your average seventeen-year-old girl, Nadine, who is trying to make it through high school after being hit with struggle after struggle. Nadine’s best friend (and only friend) begins dating Nadine’s older brother who certainly seems to have it all. Nadine’s mother does not understand Nadine and continuously blames Nadine for being so difficult and hard to read. Nadine ignores the boy who adores her and chases after the boy who will only bring her pain. Nadine’s father is not present in her life, which makes this journey through high school even more troublesome. Ultimately, Nadine reaches a point where she feels completely alone and hates who she is. Her entire world has collapsed and she has no one to confide in or assure her that everything will be okay. She cannot explain why she is lashing out and acting in these ways as she watches her life fall apart with no way to stop it.

Now, the majority of this is in the trailer, so I really did not spoil much for you. I will say this though– the movie had a happy ending, but not one of those predictable, cheesy endings. The Edge of Seventeen is a comedy, which made it so much more enjoyable than those depressing chick flicks. I laughed (a lot) and honestly, my eyes welled with tears as I related to Nadine’s hardships and pain. She tried to keep it in for so long and embrace her uniqueness, but that is so tough to do when everyone is telling you to be someone you’re not. Nadine was not the only one going through difficulties, her brother was too, but he hid it well until he reached his breaking point.

The Edge of Seventeen truly captured what it is like to be a seventeen-year-old journeying through some of the most challenging years of life. High school is a crucial time when everyone wants to conform to avoid standing out in the crowd. Nadine knew she was born to stand out sooner than most teens, which is something I envied about her. Nadine was honest with herself and others, and most importantly, she was real. She embraced her old soul until her entire world fell apart and she was forced to piece it back together. It got me thinking that maybe, it is good to feel like you are at rock bottom as a seventeen-year-old. Maybe, it is crucial to reach that point of a mental breakdown, the point in which you let yourself fall apart, so you can pick up the pieces and start over. The Edge of Seventeen conveyed a truth that is universally ignored, so it resonates in a way different from most movies. Teenagers get hit with a lot of crap (for lack of a better term) and are expected to accept it and move on. In reality, burying the pain deep inside causes more conflict and distress than just expressing it.

The Edge of Seventeen gets it. Teenagers will pretend everything is fine until they hit rock bottom and cannot pretend any longer. Once the smoke has cleared and they can finally get back on their feet, they are not the same person they once were. Through heartbreak and hardships, teens learn from their own personal experiences and can then choose to embrace who they really are. Whether you are an adult or you are seventeen now, you know what it is like to go through the hardest of times and make it out alive. This movie really brought it all together for me. We, seventeen-year-olds, are not alone. Even though we may not show it, we are each going through different things that are unimaginable and unnoticeable to others. So, be kind to everyone and sensitive to their emotions too. It may feel like the end of the world, but how we bounce back and find our true selves in the midst of everything is worth the battle. What matters is moving past the edge and knowing that things can only get better from there.

KIDS ARE FLOCKING TO POPULAR HOUSEPARTY APP

Meghan Pottle | Staff Writer

Students are just now joining the party – and it has been sitting in their back pockets the whole time.

In 2015, Developer Alexander Herzick launched the application Houseparty, a group video chat that allows up to eight people to chat together in one room, which is a group of people. The app syncs with the user’s contacts and sends them push notifications every time their friends open the app and are in the house.

Users are able to see with whom their friends are chatting and can join their room if they choose. Likewise, if two people are chatting in a room together, any of the users’ friends can join, even if one may not be acquainted with the other person’s friends on the app.

Sophomore Sunny Patel said he uses the app every day.

“When I first got it, everyone was still new to it, so it was just a couple of my friends and we would talk,” Patel said. “Afterwards, I started using it for homework too. For homework, I get on like every night after football because a lot of sophomores get on to do homework together.”

Senior Destyni Dulin said she spends about seven hours on Houseparty on school nights and 12 hours on the weekends.

“You to talk your friends; you see what’s up with them,” Dulin said. “Last night, I made my friend feel really good. She had a breakup, so we were dancing on it and jujuing.”

Freshman Jensen Adleta said she had a strange experience when on Houseparty.

“I didn’t know that you could Facetime someone and Houseparty at the same time, so I answered and I thought it would just go out of Houseparty, but it didn’t,” Adleta said. “They could hear me talking to her, but I can’t hear them, so I can only hear the person on Facetime. When I was talking to my friend, they could hear everything I was saying and then I hung up with the girl on Facetime, and I realized I was still on Houseparty. They were like ‘What the heck were you saying?’”

Because users can see who their friends are chatting with on Houseparty and have the ability to join their room, they may meet new people from MHS.

Dulin said she met several people in the grade below her through Houseparty.

“Before I never talked to them, but now we are pretty good friends,” Dulin said. “My other friend was talking to them, so I just jumped in on their conversation and we started talking. We became friends on Houseparty and now, we are friends in real life.”

Senior Joey Bowlin said he has been able to catch up with friends he has not spoken to in years.

“Since high school started, I haven’t talked to a lot of people,” Bowlin said. “But then, I added them on Houseparty, so we have just talked even though we don’t talk that much (in person) because the school is so big and you don’t see them every day.”

Patel said he became friends with two MHS students he had not spoken to before when they joined his room.

“I met those two from another friend of mine and we were just talking, then they joined in,” Patel said. “That’s what I like about it. You can be open with anyone. Most people are always welcomed in as long as you are not too shy or too awkward. I am an open person, so I get to meet all these people, and they are chill and all fine.”

On Houseparty, there is a feature that allows users to lock the room they are in, so that no one else could join.

Patel said that because users can lock the room, other people on the app could possibly take that as social exclusion.

“Sometimes, me and my friends will be talking about something personal that we don’t tell anyone else,” Patel said. “These are things that happen in high school life. It could possibly have that effect on some people if they don’t realize what we are talking about, so they feel that way.”

Adleta said her boyfriend wants her to delete Houseparty because it takes up too much of her time, and he does not like how users can lock rooms.

“When you lock something, it makes people suspicious,” Adleta said. “It makes people feel like you don’t want them to come in because you’re afraid they are going to hear what you’re talking about. That’s why I don’t lock a room anymore because I didn’t realize that’s how it makes other people feel. Now, I realize I feel the same way when I see my friends in locked rooms and I am like ‘What are they talking about?’”

Dulin said if she could give any advice to people on the fence about getting the app, it would be this.

“If you do not have Houseparty, get it,” Dulin said. “I know some people are like ‘I don’t want to join the trend because I am so cool.’ But, you’re not cool. You’ll be cool once you get Houseparty.”

mpottle.chronicle@gmail.com

Snapchat Addict?

As of today, my longest Snapchat streak is 598 days. That means I have snap chatted the same person for 598 days straight without ever breaking the streak or spending a day away from the application.

But, I have a reason for snap chatting this same person for 598 days straight. Her name is Jacey and she lives in Foxboro, Massachusetts, my hometown. She has been my best friend since I was three years old and still is to this day. We snapchat to keep in touch, to see what each of us are doing that day, and to chat about our lives. Just because we snapchat constantly, does not mean we do not FaceTime, call, and text either. I FaceTime Jacey about once a week and visit her in Foxboro a couple times a year.

Am I addicted to Snapchat? I would not say so. I am not on the app every second of every day, but I do check it every few hours to respond to friends. Actually, as I have gotten older, I am on the app less and less. If one of my friends breaks our Snapchat streak, will I hold a grudge? No, but I know people who will. Breaking a snapchat streak might as well be saying you do not want to be friends with the person anymore to some people. I will say it is crazy how far people will go to keep Snapchat streaks though. When people go on mission trips without phones, they give friends their Snapchat usernames and passwords to keep their streaks for them. With technology constantly growing and evolving, I have no doubt that Snapchat will become more popular as the company updates the app and adds more new features. My only concern is that Snapchat allows teens to be social without really being social. Snapchat certainly does not constitute conversation most of the time and is just an exchange of selfies between individuals. I sometimes wonder if people who hold long Snapchat streaks can hold a real conversation in person. I know I can, but younger generations have it cut out for them when it comes to socializing in the real world.

Snapchat has been around for quite some time and it does not seem to be disappearing any time soon. While I don’t think Snapchat is a real addiction for me, it certainly poses as a threat to those who want to socialize without having to start conversation.