Reflections of a Cast Member by Kally Proctor

That moment when you are waiting backstage, waiting for it to start: there’s nothing like it. As you step out on to the stage: it’s dark, almost as if the curtain was down. But then the lights are turned up, so bright, the heartbeat quickens, the faces of the audience come into focus as they look at you, waiting, you take a breath, open your mouth, and it all begins.

Last weekend, Wayland Middle School students had a production of Peter Pan Jr. As a cast member, it thought it was thrilling. When I first volunteered to participate in the play, I was pretty nervous. But, eventually, I learned the play as we rehearsed over and over. In the process, I began to become close to so many of the other cast members, and I loved every moment of it.
As the show went on, behind all my makeup and my costume, I was smiling with pride at how far I had come (indeed, how far we all had come). At the end, I was sad that it was over: just as the cast and crew had become like second family to me, I began to realize that we would ultimately be separating(as next year the 8th graders would be moving on and we would also get new 6th graders). Still, I knew we would always have this experience to share and that on some level that we would always be “family”.

I learned that this is all a part of the process of participating in a play. It can be an amazing experience and while I didn’t quite know what I was getting into when I showed up at that first rehearsal, I learned that performing in a play can be really fun. Even better than just having fun, though, has been the chance to make new friendships.

Based on my experience, I encourage everyone to take the leap and join our next play. I am pretty sure that you, like me, will have lots of fun, and you may even discover some hidden talent you didn’t know you had! It may be your time to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight. You’ll never know until you try.

BoSox Romp Yankees by Ciaran Murphy

BoSox romp Yankees 14-1 in first real test

If there was any doubt before, it’s squashed now, as Mookie Betts and Alex Cora are the newest perfect manager and outfielder tandem. As a bench coach in Houston, Cora had watched Betts would lay off the first pitch in the first 2 at bats, then, seemingly would always swing at the first one during his 3rd AB. When Cora first got the job in Boston, he talked to Betts and told him that if he was more aggressive, he’d get more pitches to hit and have better seasons as a result. Nobody can argue with the result after yesterday. Betts went 4-5 with a walk, scoring 5 runs, a Grand slam, and 4 RBIS, becoming only the second player to do that against the Yankees, after Ken Griffey Jr.. Betts started the Sox offense early, and on the second pitch of the game, hit a screaming double to left- center field, and scored two batters later, when Hanley Ramirez grabbed his 9th RBI in the still young season. Ramirez would grab 2 more in following innings, combining with Betts for 6 runs and 7 RBIs on the night. Betts would go on, scorching a single in the second, taking a walk 2 innings later, and in the sixth, he started with a double, and then brought the Fenway crowd to its feet for a party with a grand slam off reliever Jason Shrieve.

 

The Red Sox as a team continued to make history last night, a trait so strong in the system, that even the Pawsox, the AAA affiliate of the Red Sox based in Pawtucket played the first minor league game in extra innings under the new pace of play rules with a runner starting on 2nd base for both teams in every extra inning played. For the Red Sox, they extend their best start of the season in their history, at 9-1, and the 9-run 6th inning last night was their biggest run-scoring inning since they scored 11 in the 3rd inning of the May 31, 1998 game that the sox won 13-4.

 

For anyone who had any doubts about the season and the Red Sox about the Yankees, the doubts are gone, because in the early season, the Yankee’s prize pickup Giancarlo “Strikeout” Stanton has an 8-1 strikeout to HR ratio, while Mookie Betts leads the league with a .432 average. Figures to be a great season, so keep track of the sox and have some fun!

MCAS Prep by Ciaran Murphy

How to be ready for the next MCAS Session!
The next Scheduled MCAS sessions are in 34 days, so here are some tips on how to maximize your success!

1: Eat a lot of carbohydrates within 30 minutes of the beginning of the test!

According to webmd.com, “Eating a small carb snack before a test – a whole-wheat English muffin with a little peanut butter and a glass of orange juice, will help boost concentration and brainpower, and is better than going in on an empty stomach”

2: Have a good night’s sleep

A UCLA study has revealed that getting enough sleep- 10 hours or more for anyone up to age 18- dramatically improves test scores the next day

3: Try to understand the test from the perspective of the Test Writer

If you try to understand the critical thinking that the writer so you understand the questions better and have a better chance and understanding the deep thinking and work of the test writer.

4: Understand how the test is scored

If you know how the test is scored, you can know what you will be scored on and focus your attention and brainpower on those parts in particular.

5: Get ready in advance

Get to school early, after a good healthful breakfast, and do the necessary things in your morning, plus a few more. Do Tip 1 in this article(It never hurts to get a few more carbs in before a test. If you’re cramming anything, make it carbs.), use the bathroom, because you don’t want to get distracted by.. Um… nature’s call during your test. You should also make sure you have everything ready for the test, like your chromebook, a couple #2 pencils, and your lucky objects (necklace, charm bracelet, lucky shirt exc.) and make sure you’re ready when your proctor starts the testing period.

6: Review your answers

After finishing, check over not only the answers you aren’t sure about and bookmarked, but also the ones that you didn’t so that you can check for any careless mistakes and raise your score.

7: #1 RULE: KEEP CALM AND LOOK AT CUTE ANIMALS

As my mom says (you can always trust the study results when they’re coming from a sociology major), the #1 way to keep yourself calm and content is looking at some cute baby animals. (I personally like the google search pictures when you search ‘baby cats and dogs’ absolutely adorable)

So, when May 7 rolls around and you’ve read this article, you can rest assured that you will boost your scores on the MCAS if you follow these 7 easy steps.

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/cramming-for-a-test-don-t-do-it-237733

https://getcollegecredit.com/blog/article/8_tips_to_help_you_pass_a_standardized_test

Spring by Kally Proctor

Spring

flowers bloom and birds return

chirping outside your window, bringing the sounds of joy

the snow melts, the flora return,

and color comes back to the world the bleak world

of Winter disappears for another year

And Spring returns once more.

You wake up one sunny Spring morning

smiling from ear to ear

you open your window and peer outside at the once again beautiful world.

The flowers are adding more color,

the chirping of the birds adds

joy,

and as you look around you outside

you feel as happy as you

happy

can be.

NBA Review by Jayant Kuppuswamy

                                             NBA Review

 

So what’s up guys? It’s me, the one and only Jayant, and today I am going to tell you all the haps about sports lately.

 

First up: the NBA. Right now 5 teams in the East have got their ticket to the playoffs the Raptors, Celtics, Cavaliers (any team with LeBron will make it) 76ers and Pacers. If the season ended right now the Wizards, Bucks, and Heat would join them while the Knicks, Bulls, Nets, Hawks and Magic have no chance at all being eliminated and everything.

 

Now to West where everything is better, but only 2 teams have their tickets: the Rockets and Warriors (BIG SURPRISE). Well, if the season ended now the Trail Blazers, Thunder, Pelicans, Spurs, Jazz, and Timberwolves would join them but the Lakers, Mavericks, Kings, Suns, and Grizzlies have all been officially eliminated.

Too Much Stuff? We Think So! by Ciaran Murphy

Too Much Stuff?

We think so!

By Ciaran Murphy

We recently conducted a survey of 6th graders, and we received 29 responses in the span of a week and a half. This is clearly an important issue to students, and the data collected proves this point. 79.3% of 6th graders replied that their backpack was 11 to 20 pounds, meaning that if our backpacks were in the healthy weight range, 79.3% of us would have to be 110 to 200 pounds, and The average weight of a 6th grader is around 80 pounds, 30 pounds short of what the majority of backpacks require in our grade, as opposed to the 20.7% of students who’s backpacks fall into the 1-10 pound range. If the average 6th grader is 80 pounds, we should have our backpacks under 8 pounds. A chromebook weighs 4 pounds, and case its weigh 3. Mr. Rich will buy a ice cream bar for the person who submits a solution that brings the backpacks under 8 pounds, including the chromebook, and at least 2 books/ pencil box. Email your final solution to ciaran_murphy@student.wayland.k12.ma.us by FRIDAY, APRIL 16. We thank you in advance and look forward to seeing the great ideas flying!

Town Meeting Report by Carson Boyer

On Monday March 5th I attended a town meeting where people shared ideas for a new library in Wayland. In the same meeting someone shared an idea to keep the old library and renovate. Both ideas have pros and cons. This is what I learned.

 

First the library trustee chair spoke and presented their idea. Their idea is to create a new library located at 195 Main St which is right by my middle school. They are getting a $10 million dollar grant for the new building. Additionally, it will cost taxpayers around $16 million dollars. They showed us blueprints and drawings of the new building including a larger teen room, updated technology throughout the entire building, a huge meeting space, kitchenette, Children’s Room and open seating for anyone. It is two times as large as our existing library. It will take 4 to 5 years to build the new library. Other questions asked included how much it will cost to operate the new building and what their plans are for the old library.

 

After the Chair presented her idea, another women proposed her idea to renovate the existing library. Her point of view is the role of libraries are changing. People can now access books and even whole libraries on their phones, including the Library of Congress. Also people can check out books electronically and have access to the ebooks. She also explained the costs of both the new library and cost to renovate the old library. The cost to renovate would save the taxpayers $13 million dollars. If the town decides to build a new library, they will have to renovate the old building anyways and that will cost an additional $5 million dollars. She proposed that the current can be renovated and expanded for $9.5 million dollars.

 

In my opinion, I believe we should just keep the old library and make renovations as we need. We should  save our money to put towards other town projects such as athletic fields and renovating the old fire station. As a town we do not have an endless supply of money; therefore, we should be frugal and wise with our cash. We have a lot of town needs and a new library is not a “need” but a “want.” Yes, a new library would be cool but why do we need a library to be two times the size of the old library? With a little expansion and some renovation, the old library will better serve the needs of our town.

 

On April 2nd, the town of Wayland will come together to vote whether or not to fund a new library. If you could vote, what would you choose?

VERNAL POOLS: Why Are They Important? by Chase Dallin

Vernal pools are beautiful. Vernal or ephemeral pools are temporary pools of water that offer protection to juvenile amphibians and insects. They are created when snow melts, and a large amount of the water gathers in a single place. Since vernal pools usually develop inland they’re completely free of predatory fish. We don’t typically think of little freshwater fish as fierce predators, but to insects and amphibians, especially young ones, they may as well be what an owl is to a mouse. Vernal pools are home to many rare species of frogs, toads, salamanders, crustaceans, bacteria, as well as many rare species of flora. Vernal pools can be found in places all over the world, but they’re becoming rarer and rarer due to agriculture and urbanization. Over 90% of California’s vernal pools have been destroyed, and the sad thing is most of the people destroying them didn’t even know they were doing something wrong.

Luckily Massachusetts has laws that protect vernal pools, but it’s not that simple. People in Massachusetts still destroy vernal pools because of lack of awareness, or simply blatant disregard.
There are a number of laws concerning vernal pools in Massachusetts. Although originally protected under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, vernal pools are also protected by Title 5 of the Massachusetts Environmental Code, Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act, the Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards which relate to Section 401, and the Massachusetts Forest Cutting Practices Act. For more information concerning the laws involving vernal pools is at www.mass.gov. Once a vernal pool has been destroyed, it can’t be brought back, once it’s gone…it’s almost certainly gone for good. Numerous experiments have been done trying to create artificial vernal pools, and many have failed. It’s possible to create, a vernal pool, but it’s very difficult to do.

There are ways ordinary citizens can help protect vernal pools. In Massachusetts vernal pools can only be protected if they’re certified. The process by which vernal pools are certified relies on volunteers that submit evidence of a vernal pool. I encourage you to go out, to try and find a vernal pool. Even if it’s already certified they’re amazing to see.
Although I wasn’t able to interview him in person I have exchanged multiple emails with Wayland’s conservation land manager Brian Harris, I asked him some questions and here are his answers:

“How many vernal pools are there in Wayland?”

Currently the town has 3 “certified” vernal pools. A certified pool is one that meets the criteria set forth by Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Service. One of my goals as conservation land manager last year was to get out there and find more vernal pools and map them accordingly. I get extremely busy in the spring and just didn’t have the time to properly survey them. However we have some vernal pools out there that haven’t been submitted to the state whom is responsible for overseeing certified pools(see below)

“How many vernal pools in Wayland have been destroyed?”

-I have no idea the numbers of vernal pools that have been destroyed. If I looked at historical aerial surveys when technology was sharp enough to identify a vernal pool I imagine the number would be extremely high. Before Wetland regulations were put in place to conserve areas of critical habitat like vernal pools the destruction was probably vast, but again to reiterate I personally do not have this data.

“Why are vernal pools important?”

– Per a field guide to vernal pools by Kenney and Burne:
“Vernal pools are indispensable for biodiversity, both locally and globally. For a species with a wide distribution individual vernal pools are essential to the local population. Eliminate those pools and the population of that organism will die out in that area. For a species with narrow distribution a specific vernal pool might be the only place on earth that organism is found. If the pool is destroyed that species becomes extinct.”

They are also so susceptible to disturbance, destruction and pollution and are in such short supply that its critical to preserve what few pools remain for these organisms

“What are some species of vernal pools?”

The following species are obligate species of vernal pools:
Wood frog, spadefoot toad, spotted salamander, blue-spotted salamander, Jefferson salamander, marbled salamander and fairy shrimp

Obligate species refers to in this case an organism dependent on a particular habitat to be able to breed.

“How can people help protect vernal pools?”

-become knowledgeable about vernal pools and spread the knowledge
-become involved in local governments such as conservation committees planning boards and similar regulatory groups that make decisions which affect land use and vernal pools
-similarly become involved with and support regional and nationwide environmental or biological organizations that promote environmental protection species protection and land preservation

Vernal pools are some of the most beautiful and rare natural habitats, and we should do everything we can to protect them. I’m Chase Dallin and I hope you enjoyed and learned something from reading this article of mine. Bye!

Wayland Middle School