The First Two Months of School and… What the Heck Happened?

By Abby Boyle

Ok, so first quarter is over, but what the heck happened in Branford High School in September and October? Every student knows that there has been some major events at Branford High to break up the routine of our everyday lives. And even though we all know the behavior at Branford High can showcase some of the worst in is, there is still plenty of good to be proud of.

The First month

It’s September and we all were dreading coming back to school because, well, it’s school. But we all sucked it up and end up coming back. And we all soon started getting used to our teachers and started to get into the flow of a new year.

Fall sports, and clubs started and it finally started to feel like school again. But when it really started to feel like Branford High was when the first fight/fights occurred. And particularly this year there were fights that happened one after another and seemed to gather more attention than anything else. From the fight in the A-wing to the multiply ones in the cafeteria, and all the other fights that seem to happen, we were all talking about them (because we are teenagers and people broadcast everything).

Yet, after the fights finally cooled down, the topic soon dwindled down and we all kept going through the motions of school.

The Hurricanes

And while we were living or normal lives as teenagers in high school, America was getting hit hard by two major hurricanes that devastated many areas including Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. That’s when Branford High did something very inspiring – students started to help.

Clubs, and sports all wanted to give back and give help to the victims of hurricane Harvey and Irma. And the way the whole community of Branford helped out was truly inspiring to see.

Student Council, in particular, did a fundraiser where the study body could pay to vote on which teacher they would like to pie in the face. Teachers nominated were, Dr. Chen, Mr. Hinrichs, Ms. Loesche, and Mr. Watts. And with that array of teachers, everyone wanted to donate. The way that we all got involved in donating to the victims was something I personally thought that Branford High could not accomplish. But it was a very pleasing shock to see how Branford students wanted to give back. In the end, the Student Council raised over 100 dollars just in change given by students.

And from that September was soon over and then we entered October.

The Second Month

It was officially Halloween season, but that also means quarter one ending on October 25(yikes). Which means more teachers trying to give in last minute tests, and students freaking out about their grades and begging the teacher for extra credit. It was crunch time in every class, and everyone stressed out to the max(aka me).Then someone how the beginning of October just flew by , and I saw my deadlines getting closer and closer and somehow October 25 came and the world didn’t end.

Everything was ok.

The Bomb Threat

But then it was October 26 and it was technically the “first day” of second quarter and just like out of nowhere, there was a bomb threat. It came as a shock in period 3 when Mr. Panagoulias came on the loudspeaker and told us all to remain silent, walk single file down to the football field, and to NOT go to our lockers.

We all knew nothing about the situation but we could tell that it was not a drill. You heard people saying through the halls a lot of unfounded theories – “It’s a shooter” “There was a bomb at East Haven” “He has a gun to his head.”

But mostly kids were saying “Lol, who cares at least we get to leave this hell hole.”

Then in a matter of 5 minutes the whole school was on the football field and scrambling around asking friends and teachers about what is going on. Soon after, Mr. Panagoulias came back on the loudspeaker and said: “Branford High has got a call from someone saying that they will bomb the school. So as a matter of precautions, we need to evacuate the building, and head to Walsh.”  Cue the screams of joy from the entire student body.

And even though everyone was soo excited to leave school, the fact that someone threatened to bomb our school is an extremely terrifying thought. A situation like this has never happened to Branford High, and even though most bomb threats are a “joke” it still doesn’t mean that this one could have been serious.

In the world we are living in today you don’t joke about situations like this, and no matter what your view is on the situation everyone knows that we live in a scary world, with terrible people in it. And even though everything ended up ok, no one knew what was going to happen in the moment.

So not matter if you thought the situation was scary, or a complete joke I’m sure many students will not forget this memory.

But the building was searched and we got the OK from the police that we could re-enter the building.

Finally Halloween

On October 27 we all had to come back to school and live our regular lives and somehow keep moving on. Which we did. Sports teams still met, teachers still gave out test, and we all had to keep going.

Then on October 30 we all woke up to no school due to a wind storm that hit the East Coast the night before. It was a bittersweet feeling for most because we get a freebie from school, but we now are getting out on June 1st instead of May 31. As of now.

But again Branford High had to keep going on the next day. It was Halloween and we didn’t let anything from keeping us from dressing up. And this year’s array of costumes were pretty interesting. We even got one sophomore dress up in a full T-Rex outfit. So that’s a win for Branford High right there.

And Halloween was a very interesting day at Branford High, we had an array of costumes, teachers giving out candy, and…. another fight.

Recap

But that’s just Branford High, we have our ups, but we also have our downs. And just think that all of what was talked about was just in the first two months. Just think what is going to happen in the next two months, or the rest of the year.

Let’s hope that we have more ups than downs for the rest of the year.

 

13 Must Watch Halloween Movies to Get You Ready for the Season

By Abby Boyle

Its October and it’s officially spooky season! Halloween is a holiday full of candy, costumes, and scary events. But one of the best parts about Halloween is all the movies that you get to watch. So here are 13 must watch movies to see before spooky season is over.

1.Hocus Pocus(1993)
A classic movie with perfect one-liners that will make you crack up, and will totally get you into the Halloween mode. From witches, to zombies, to black cats, this movie got them all.

2.Halloween Town(1998)
Even though this is considered a children’s movie it will most definitely get you in the spooky mode. At the end of watching this film, you’re going to want to live in the cool place of Halloween Town without a doubt.

3.The Nightmare Before Christmas(1993)
This is one of Tim Burton’s most successful films, and Tim Burton king is practically the king of Halloween movies. So, this is a must-see for all ages.

4.Corpse Bride(2005)
Another one of Tim Burton’s films that will give you the same spooky vibe but gives the audience a whole different plot to follow. I suggest a Tim Burton movie night and watching both of his animated Halloween movies together.

4.Beetlejuice(1988)
Beetlejuice gives a cool twist to regular Halloween movies, where the living are haunting the dead. They call on Beetlejuice to help them and things don’t go as planned. This hilarious movie is full of all the classical Halloween tricks.

5.Caroline(2009)
Coraline is a haughty and thrilling movie that definitely falls into the creepy side of Halloween, but it’s still a movie that will definitely make you feel in the mode for Halloween.

6.Bewitched(2005)
Even though Bewitched can be seen as a romantic comedy, there is still the Halloween aspect to it. For one thing, the whole movie is centered around a witch. You won’t regret watching this one.

7.Young Frankenstein(1974)
Young Frankenstein is a classical black and white film that will 100% get you in the Halloween mode. From classical actors to thrilling plot lines, this movie is a definite must-see.

8. The Addams Family(1991)
The Addams Family is packed with great characters and plots that will make you want to dress like anyone of the whole family for Halloween. Watching this one with friends is the best way to spend an October night.

9.Halloween(1978)
If you want a true fright, watch this movie. It will totally get you into the fright side of Halloween.

10.It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!(1966)
This classical movie is perfect to watch if you’re in the mode for a light movie. Watch it with friends while carving pumpkins and stuffing your face with candy. It’s a classic movie filled with characters that everyone loves.

11.E.T(1982)
E.T is a movie you can watch anytime of year, but during the Halloween season is the best. This classic movie will go down in history.

12.Saw(2004)
Saw is another movie that will make you scream. I recommend not watching this one alone.

13.Ghost Busters(1984/2016)
Both versions of this movie will make you laugh and totally get you into a spooky vibe, while wishing that you were secretly a ghostbuster.

And just remember make sure you stay spooky this Halloween season!

I Saw the Sign: September Tarotscopes

By Sarah Marsland

I know what you’re thinking. What the heck is a tarotscope?

BHS, allow me to introduce you to the exciting (and kind of insane) world of tarot cards. Over the summer, while procrastinating on my AP work, I happened to pick up a deck of these so-called “magic” cards to see for myself if there was anything to them. I’d been watching tarot readings on YouTube for about a year and wanted to try it out myself. What I didn’t know, though, is how complex tarot really is – and how much it is related to astrology. So I decided that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right. I bought a notebook and for the rest of the summer, I taught myself the meanings of the cards, the relationships between the deck and the astrological signs, and tested it out on my family and friends.

I’ve learned a lot from tarot over the past couple months, but the main thing I’ve noticed is that it works best when met with an open mind on both sides. There is something about the cards that demands faith from both the reader and the querent, or the person receiving the reading. The best readings I’ve done have been with people who trust me and the cards. This does not always mean that the reading completely resonates, but a lot of times, the most accurate readings happen when people come in with an open mind.

So, with that said, scroll down and find out what’s going on for your sign this month at Branford High School!

Aries

Cards: The Hermit, Death, Eight of Cups, Queen of Coins, The High Priestess, Two of Wands

You are on a journey, Aries. I think a lot of you have already started to shine that light into the darkness of your subconscious, your dreams, your deepest fears and desires. There is a deep need to know this month. There may be a Virgo woman in your life who has taken on a sort of role model status, who is guiding you through this process of self-reflection. She is someone with integrity, and a great sense of self-worth and accomplishment – someone who inspires you.

Don’t be alarmed about the Death card – it doesn’t mean you’re going to die! In fact, the Death card is actually a great card to get in a reading. It indicates a big transformation happening in your life. For you, I feel as though it is a caterpillar-cocoon-butterfly situation. There is a ghost of someone or something which has spurred this transformation. Did you recently go through a break up or loss that caused you to question what you know about yourself? If so, this is a sign that something good is coming out of that loss.

There is something you are walking away from. Ask yourself: are you walking away or trying to escape? Are you leaving something behind because it no longer serves you, or because you’re afraid of what it means? There are full cups behind you – are they full of potential, or full of baggage? Sometimes we escape by returning. Are you avoiding self-reflection by going back to old habits or people from your past? Don’t loop, Aries. Be wise. After this period of inwardness is over, you will emerge feeling powerful. Toward the end of September there will be a new spark of passion or creativity. You will also have a choice to make: will you take what you’ve learned and apply it, or revert back to your old ways? Once you’ve emerged from the cocoon, don’t be afraid to take a risk. It will end in your favor.

Bottom of the deck: Knight of Cups. The person spurring this transformation could be a water sign (Cancer, Pisces, Scorpio).

Taurus

Cards: The Chariot, Queen of Swords Reversed, The World, Five of Cups, Five of Coins Reversed, Two of Wands

You started the month off with a victory, Taurus. A reigning in of possibilities and potential. You have options, but you know what you want. You are taking on the role of the leader or protector. With the Cancerian energy of The Chariot, you may be taking people under your wing and providing support because you now have the inner stability to do so. Alternatively, there could be a Cancer entering your life who will be a source of support or guidance, or who will help you grow into this next phase.

However, there is some pessimism here. You may be feeling a bit cynical, as if it is impossible that things could really work out for you. Taureans have a tendency to do this, as they are grounded and reasonable by nature. However, there is no need to worry. Good things are right under your nose – or around the corner, if you let them unfold. Don’t sulk – people can feel when your energy is negative, and moping could detract from your enhanced magnetism this month, especially if you’re looking for a relationship.

You’ve got to be careful not to let this newfound power go to your head. You are in danger this month of being perceived as bossy, intimidating, or cold-hearted. Your Cancerian desire to protect people might be interpreted as controlling or overreactive. Take some time to relax and try to veer away from that pessimistic, cynical side of yourself. You are at your best when you’re positive and not dwelling on what could/already did go wrong. In terms of work and money, the worst is over! Maybe you’re starting a new job or have found a new purpose. You’re regaining your confidence, and are ascending to a place of spiritual enlightenment. You’ve recently gone through a transformation that made you reassess your life, and now you are extremely grounded in your power as an earth sign. Use this power and good luck energy to make the world around you better.

Bottom of the deck: The Star. This is an overwhelming sense of healing and hope. Perhaps there is an Aquarius close to your heart this month.

Gemini

Cards: Nine of Swords Reversed, Ace of Swords, Four of Wands, The Emperor Reversed, Five of Swords, Six of Swords

You’ve been worrying about something, Gemini. Something is gnawing at you and taking up a lot of space in your thoughts. You might be having sleepless nights or bad dreams, and you could be stressed about work or the future – how are you going to get where you want to go? You’ve put a lot of expectations on yourself to succeed. These worries could also be related to an authority figure in your life. Although not necessarily a man, this person has masculine qualities, and is somewhat dominant and controlling. You may see them as an obstacle. Look for an Aries who has plans and big ideas of their own – there might be a clashing of egos going on there.

Intellectually, you are bursting at the seams. You’ve got so many ideas and not enough time to work on all of them. You feel invigorated and ambitious. Perhaps you’ve met someone who challenges or stimulates you intellectually, and is a match for your wits. Don’t be afraid to loosen up a bit. You don’t always have to live in your head, and collaborating with others could be a way to resolve the tension/conflict of the Five of Swords, which denotes a power struggle. You may be feeling defensive or isolated. Remember that you do not have to juggle everything on your own, although you are skilled at doing so.

There may be celebrations coming up with friends or with family. Take advantage of these times to get out of your head and have fun. At the end of September, you will find yourself moving away from something that no longer serves you. It could have to do with pride, or irreconcilable differences with a boss/friend/significant other. Maybe you feel like your potential isn’t being put to work as much as it could be. You’re ready for another challenge. Just make sure that before you leave, you make peace with those who your decision affects.

Bottom of the deck: The Hanged Man. You may feel as though your hands are tied, and that something is boxing you in. Don’t panic. Sit in this state of suspension for a while. Let the tension work to hold you in the air, rather than letting it build up inside you. You might learn something from letting go.

Cancer

Cards: Nine of Cups Reversed, Death Reversed, Eight of Wands, Four of Coins, The Hermit, Four of Cups, Ten of Swords, Seven of Swords, Four of Wands

You’ve got a full plate this month, Cancer. Nine cards came out for you, with three Major Arcana and all four elements represented. You started the month off dissatisfied, perhaps a bit heartbroken. There is something in your past which you put a lot of work into but which did not ultimately work out, and now with the Death card in reverse, you aren’t able to move past it. The urgency of the situation is emphasized by the Eight of Wands – there is something important beginning in your life, but if you are still hanging onto the past, this opportunity will whiz by you faster than you can catch up to it. There may be positive messages coming in from a fire sign (Aries, Leo, Sag) at the beginning of the month.

There is definitely a theme of missed opportunities here. There is something waiting for you, begging to be seized, but which, for reasons of self-doubt, you do not take. What is that? The Hermit is the card of the Virgo. During this Virgo season, take some of that hardworking energy and swim, even if it’s against the tide, toward what you want. Otherwise you will be left like the Four of Cups, indulging your sorrows away and failing to see what is right in front of you – or what once was.

The Ten of Swords signals a rejuvenation of some sort. Perhaps the pain of losing that opportunity will propel you to steal back what’s rightfully yours. The Seven of Swords is the thief card. I see this as you finally taking charge: sending that text, making that move, taking that risk. Similarly to the other signs, you are set to receive a healthy dose of fire at the end of the month. For you, this will take the form of a celebration – perhaps of the achievement which resulted from that risk. Get out of your head and move, Cancer. The world can’t wait for you to act.

Bottom of the deck: The Magician. This message reads loud and clear: you’ve got all the elements at your disposal – don’t just stand there, do something!

Leo

Cards: Seven of Wands Reversed, Eight of Swords, Queen of Wands, Ten of Wands, Nine of Coins, The Emperor

With the Queen of Coins Reversed at the bottom of the deck, the main issue this month is one of self-worth. As Leos, you are notorious for your egos, but internally you can actually be the most sensitive of the signs, and small criticisms can really get to you. You may have started this month with the feeling that everyone is against you, or that you are disliked. Normally, you might feel defensive and fight back against these perceived criticisms. But for whatever reason, this month you have given up that fight. Perhaps the sun moving out of your sign and into Virgo has made you more self-critical and prone to perfectionism. However, it is important to remember that the whole world is not, in fact, against you. The Eight of Swords is self-imposed slavery – you are the only person in your way. There may also be issues with money this month. Toward the middle of the month you may find that a fellow fire sign (Aries, Leo, Sag) will encourage you to have more faith in yourself. Who do you know who is confident, ambitious, and bold? Look to them for inspiration.

This problem of self-worth is heavy, and it may be a burden you are used to carrying alone. This can be a very lonely battle. Reach out to loved ones for support. Rebuilding confidence after a hurtful situation can be hard work, but it is worth it. With the Nine of Coins, this insecurity could stem from loneliness, or feeling like you are unwanted by those who you love, especially in a romantic way. The way to regain this confidence is to define yourself not by your relationships to others, but by your relationship with yourself. The Nine of Coins is a person who is single, independent, happy, and free. She is focusing on her money (which by the end of the month will be flowing in), and that which she’s passionate about. By being confident on her own, she then attracts others who respect and admire her, and who match that power she holds. Toward the end of the month you may form a close relationship with an Aries.

The Queen of Coins Reversed could also denote an overarching conflict with an earth sign woman (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn). Perhaps this person is the reason for your feelings of self-doubt. Reconciling this issue could be helpful in solving your problems.

Virgo

Cards: Ten of Coins, The Lovers, The High Priestess, Six of Swords, Page of Swords, The Hermit

Virgo, I want to start this reading by saying this: don’t worry. You’re in a good place, and you don’t need to stress yourself out. You’ve done a great job of preparing yourself, and it’s going to pay off really soon, most likely in terms of money and grades. This month, it would be awesome to see you guys take that internal security as a green light to explore, and get out of the little burrow you’ve worked yourself into. I feel that you’re starting off the month from a place of stability in terms of love, as well. Either you’re in a committed relationship, or just very balanced within yourself. The nuances of love and self-love aren’t really on your mind at the beginning of September. But as the month progresses, you’re going to be called to question those ideas and your relationship to them. With the High Priestess card, you’ll be going into unknown spiritual territory. You may have been so focused recently on physical reality that when this spiritual questioning arrives, it feels very foreign. That High Priestess part of yourself might even seem like a stranger. Don’t be afraid. Embrace the uncertainty.

This is a very linear spread of cards, and it reads like a story. You start as the card at the bottom of the deck, The Fool, blissfully unaware or oblivious of some aspect of your life. Until now you have not had to question much. You might be the kind of person for whom relationships come easy and without much thought. But for whatever reason this month, you are finally having to ask yourself the big questions: who am I and what do I really want? This process of questioning will eventually lead to you walking away from a relationship, job, or general mindset which has stayed the same for quite a while. It’s scary, but you know in your gut that it’s the right choice, and you’re realizing the immense power you have within you. If it’s a relationship you’re leaving, it might be with a Gemini. After this transition, you’re going to have a new sense of identity – it is no coincidence that the last card in the spread is the Virgo card. There will be a sense of clarity, and you will be able to shine a light onto the events of the past few years, seeing them for what they really were. This month is all about perspective, and although there will be struggles, I think overall you’re going to enjoy this time of self-discovery.

Libra

Cards: Judgment Reversed, Five of Cups, Ace of Cups Reversed, Ten of Wands, Six of Cups, Page of Swords

Libra, I have this image of you running. Not beginning to run, not finishing the race, but running. There is a sense of infinity here, and a lack of finality. Something is dragging on so long that it feels as though it will never be over. I get the feeling this conflict has something to do with your home life, but it could be anything – mental health, a rough patch in a relationship, even writers’ block. Whatever it is, you are very much in the middle of it. You’ve been running for so long that you’ve reached this sort of meditative state, where the past and the future are contained in the present. What do I mean by that? This month, you may find yourself daydreaming of the past, or of simpler times, to get through whatever problem you are facing. Or, you could be prone to imagining the future as a way to “escape” your present circumstances. Just as the body has strategies of self-preservation during a workout, like breaking down sugars and pumping blood faster, your soul is trying in various ways to cope – and one way we cope with pain is by putting our mind someplace else. I feel like a lot of you are doing this at the moment.

So, let’s talk about all these cups. You are an air sign, represented in tarot by the suit of swords. I interpret the presence of cups in this reading as a sign that you are trying with all your might to be compassionate, but it is just not yielding the results you need. You are trying to be softer, to be understanding, but in the end all it’s doing is draining you. And you’ve only got so many cups of that energy left to give. You may also be dealing with a water sign (Cancer, Pisces, Scorpio), and trying to communicate with them in a way you think they’ll understand, but which feels foreign to you. It’s like trying to write a novel in a language you don’t speak. The Ten of Wands is a brief experiment in fire. Perhaps during the middle of the month you will act violently or aggressively out of desperation and then immediately regret it. This tendency to try on different identities this month could stem from a yearning to be accepted by your peers. As a Libra, you are impartial and objective by nature, and when friends or family are experiencing a perceived injustice, it can be annoying for someone to insist on “seeing both sides.” But by the end of the month, you will realize that it is no use trying to be something you’re not in order to please others. Your power is your ability to see both sides, and it is a renewable, inherent source of energy that will allow you to get to the finish line of this seemingly endless journey.

Bottom of the deck: Ace of Swords

Scorpio

Cards: Nine of Wands, Five of Wands, King of Cups Reversed, The Fool, Four of Cups, Seven of Wands Reversed

Scorpio, you are in fighting mode. September starts with you in a war, maybe against a fire sign (Aries, Leo, Sag), for territory or attention. I feel as though you both want to prove that you’re in the right and the other’s in the wrong. You’ve got secrecy on your side, and the other person is constantly confused as to what you’ll do next. But I think you might’ve overestimated your opponent. Toward the middle of the month, don’t be surprised if they drop out of the race. If this was a conflict in the context of a romantic relationship, you might have scared this person away. Perhaps you thought they were just as intense as you, but once you got together you realized they were more bark than bite. So they flee, and you’re left feeling like you overstepped some kind of line, a feeling that I think you guys are very familiar with. Lorde’s a Scorpio; she said it the best: it’s feeling like you’re too much, like you make people “wild” and then make them leave you. And this whole situation is just sending you into a spiral of emotions. I think there’s a lot of brooding going on, mulling over decisions you’ve made, feeling angry, confused, sad. There’s definitely a feeling like you ruined an opportunity. You’re withdrawn. You’re not looking at what could be, but instead at what could have been. And then there’s the Seven of Wands, which is just so pessimistic. Giving up. Don’t do that!

The bottom of the deck is the Ten of Wands. This fits so seamlessly with that feeling of being a liability: you feel as though you just have so much baggage and you’re tired of carrying it all by yourself, but giving it to someone else hasn’t worked either. But there is a light. There is something good amid all this darkness. You’ve got so much fire this month, and I almost feel like the cards are telling you to burn that baggage. Write down all the things that hurt and throw them into a fire or something. Be done with it. End with a bang. And let the light that those things make show you where to go next.

Sagittarius

Cards: The Sun, Page of Coins, Ace of Coins Reversed, The High Priestess Reversed, Ace of Cups, Justice

Alright, Sagittarius, so things are going well. It’s such a blessing to start off a reading with any major arcana, let alone the Sun. I love this energy, the playfulness of it, and I know you love it too, because of how much you crave freedom. You’ve been exploring a lot recently, whether that’s through travel or just learning new things, reading, etc. And that’s great! But I feel as though something is a little bit off. There are issues you might be overlooking. While you’ve been off on this exploration, things have been shifting, and I think there’s going to be a rude awakening when you come back to reality.

The High Priestess in reverse tells me that someone in your life who you respect might be raising an eyebrow at your behavior and perceiving you as a bit childish. You guys love truth and wisdom, and you’ll go to great lengths to get it. But I think there might be too much of an emphasis on big ideas and not enough on details right now. Sometimes the truth is more subtle, and finding it is not always an adventure. Sometimes it’s slowing down and being calm and observant which helps you find what you’re looking for. Maybe you’re in a class, or a job, that feels too easy for you. You’re kind of looking at the material or the work and thinking, “why am I even here?” You feel like you’re being put back in square one when, on the inside, you’re way ahead of the crowd. This could apply to love, as well. Perhaps you’re in a relationship that feels too easy or “safe,” because you’ve become used to a sort of reckless, passionate idea of love, and you feel as though you’ve “seen it all.” If that’s the case, I’ll tell you something a wise person once told me: “Oftentimes a great relationship happens when two people don’t need each other. They just enjoy each other’s company.” This softer, easier side of love might seem elementary to you, but there actually could be quite a lot to learn. There is a process of humbling here, of realizing nuance, and it could very well involve a Libra.

Bottom of the deck: Knight of Cups Reversed. Be careful that you’re not being manipulative, Sagittarius. This goes along with your need for adventure. I get the feeling you might be making problems for yourself in order to legitimize your relationships as “real.” But in doing this, you could be hurting the other people involved.

Capricorn

Cards: The Tower Reversed, Page of Coins Reversed, The Sun, The Fool, Queen of Swords, The Hermit

Capricorns, I love you guys. You’re scared, and so am I, since I’m a Capricorn moon. I’m in this with you. We shudder at instability and vulnerability. We shield ourselves, we self-deprecate before anyone else can even think of a way to make fun of us, we build walls – anything to outsmart the enemy. But these cards have got me thinking…who even is the enemy? I think we’ve spent so long protecting ourselves that many of us have forgotten from what. Sure, we might have examples of people who have betrayed us in the past, but are those people really the enemies? They can’t hurt us anymore. What apocalypse are we so desperately planning for?

The answer is: there isn’t one. At least not outside of our own heads. The Page of Coins is a sign that life is changing, whether we want it to or not – we are growing up into Knights and Kings and Queens. Our values are shifting. Our whole perception of risk is being revolutionized. And I think this is where the Leo comes in. The Sun card indicates a person who is so, totally unafraid, it’s infectious. Leos are performers, the inner children of the zodiac – so it makes sense we should gravitate to them when we’re scared of growing up. I see this experience with Leo energy as constructive rather than destructive. Everyone’s gotta be the fool once in their life (or twice, or three times…). This is so beautiful for you guys, because it’s courage. And you’re gonna gain wisdom from this, because who’s on the other side of The Fool? The Queen of Swords. I think in some ways you guys are an example of the book smart vs. street smart idea. You are deeply intelligent people, but you don’t often put yourself in situations which require quick thinking or being on your feet. This experience with the Leo and the risk is going to instill some of that quick, air energy in you. I really feel like this month you could be performing in some way, or public speaking. Have you been wanting to audition or try something out, but have been too scared to do it? Now is the perfect time. Of course, after you’ve had this little excursion, you’ll inevitably go back into your shell, but hopefully this time you will have some new knowledge to chew on, and a boost in confidence, as well. It’s time to live a little.

Bottom of the deck: Four of Swords. The meditation card. A confirmation of The Hermit card at the end of the reading, and the reflection which comes after this risk.

Aquarius

Cards: Knight of Coins, Ace of Swords, The Chariot Reversed, King of Coins Reversed, The Star Reversed, Knight of Wands

There are a lot of opposites in this reading, Aquarius. You may be experiencing an inner conflict, or feeling “split down the middle” in terms of mood. The Ace of Swords rooted down by the Star card reversed indicates to me that there is a disconnect between how people see you and how you really are, or between how you’re acting and how you’re feeling. Perhaps you don’t feel like yourself, or are “spacier” than usual – stuck in your head, pondering, overthinking. You may even be feeling a bit desensitized, or numb. This could be due to dissatisfaction with your job or with school. The Knight of Coins combined with the King of Coins reversed indicates that although you may be earning plenty of money, your heart is not in it. You might feel overwhelmed by your classes, or just plain uninterested in what you’re learning. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing poorly – in fact, I think a lot of you are doing quite well in school – but due to stress or unhappiness, you’re not able to enjoy your accomplishments, and they feel like hollow victories.

This lack of motivation/enthusiasm could stem from ongoing problems in other areas of your life. As Aquarians, it is very important to you to be able to connect with others, and to feel like you’re part of a community. There could be problems with relationships, whether it’s with a significant other or with friends or family. There might be a fire sign (Aries, Leo, Sag) in your life who is contributing to this, and making it hard for you to appreciate the positive aspects of your life. I feel that you might be surrounding yourself or engaging with people who don’t have the same values as you, who don’t share your passion or your creativity, and that’s what’s keeping you stuck in this rut. With the Nine of Swords at the bottom of the deck, you are definitely dealing with some negative, pessimistic people, and that’s filtering the way you look at the world. This is also a card of weariness. Have there been issues in your life which have worn you down? Do you feel as if, even though the school year is just beginning, you’re already at the end of your rope? For seniors, this could indicate some early-onset “senioritis.” This month, try to surround yourself with people who are motivated and enthusiastic about the year to come, and reach out to them for help if you feel stressed or overwhelmed. I would also suggest getting outside. Do anything you can to ground yourself in nature, whether it’s swimming while it’s still warm, or just going for a walk. Some earth energy might do you good.

Pisces

Cards: Two of Cups, The Emperor, Three of Cups Reversed, The Magician Reversed, Knight of Coins Reversed, Temperance, Queen of Wands

Pisces, I need to tell you this: don’t give up on something good just because things are getting rough. There is something beautiful that you have in your possession, something hopeful, something harmonious. I want it to work out and I know it can. But you can’t let other people get in the way. There are going to be people this month who will try to sabotage you and get under your skin. The Three of Cups Reversed is gossip, lies, pettiness. It’s people devaluing your work, or devaluing your ideas, or devaluing your relationship. And it’s making you feel powerless. It’s making you doubt yourself and wonder if they’re right and you should just throw it all away. Don’t listen to them. Your ideas, your work, your relationship is not weak. It is held up by something powerful and strong: that Aries, Emperor energy that is all about beginnings. You’ve been given a good start by the universe. Take that energy and run with it while you can. Don’t doubt or save, because at the bottom of the deck is the Four of Cups, the card of missed opportunities. Be careful not to get lazy, Pisces. Knight of Coins Reversed is like that friend who complains about not having money but who hasn’t ever applied for a job. Love, school, work – these are all hard things, but they pay off, and you’ve got something good going. So keep going.

There might be a Sagittarius woman who inspires you. She is able to manifest the things she wants without appearing to exert much energy. Talk to her. Let her know you’re feeling stuck, and ask for help. Perhaps she can help you get back on track if you feel yourself falling behind.

 

Branford Helps Harvey Victims

By Danni Dunlop

As we all know Hurricane Harvey caused a lot of damage and destruction not to just the state of Texas, but to people’s lives, too.

Students at Branford High School have been doing multiple fundraisers to raise money for Harvey victims.

Branford High School National Honor Society and Student Council put many efforts in to helping out.

NHS hosted a Chili Cook-Off on the 13th for the faculty while Student Council sold Branford themed T-Shirts during lunch waves all week plus raised money at home sports games.

T-shirts were being sold at $12 for one or $20 for two.

Katie Spaulding, President of Student Council, said that so far, they have raised just under $100.

Tips to Survive Branford High School

By Abby Boyle

Welcome to Branford High! We are almost done with our first month of school and this article is going out to all newcomers to the high school. By this time you probably have all the basics of high schools down. Like where your classes are, and how you don’t sit on the senior balcony couches! But since high school is fairly new, here are some tips from a professional on how to survive your experience at Branford High.

Get involved

 

I know going to school isn’t always the best, but if you get involved in the school community like joining a club or team school will be a lot more enjoyable. There are great clubs out there like environmental club, student council, model congress, and so much more.

Don’t be afraid of upper classmen or seniors

They are just people and aren’t as big and scary as they look. They were once in your position just a few short years ago.

Ask question and ask for help

High School can be tough and work will get harder, so don’t be afraid to ask question from your teachers or friends. Email your teachers or ask to stay after. Most likely every teacher will be willing to help.

Try not to miss class

 

When you miss class you miss the work and it can always be hard to try to makeup all the work, so try to go to class. And a reminder that you only have 8 legal absences per semester and 3 tardies=1 absence. Just keep a mind out for how many absentees you have.

 

Remember that you only have 4 minute passing times

 

Just keep in mind of the time so you’re not tardy to your next class. Getting from the f-wing to the c-wing can be a little difficult in four minutes.

 

Dress for changing climates throughout the school

 

As the seasons are starting to change you are going to notice that one class might be humid and hot then your next class might be freezing, a tip would be to keep an extra sweatshirt in your locker just incase you get cold

 

Don’t over stress

 

School work will get hard, but don’t over stress yourself for a test or midterms or finals. When you stress yourself out it makes the whole situation worse. So just breath because it will all be ok.

Participate in school events

 

Branford high has many fun events like homecoming, or dressing up for halloween, or spirit week. Even though they might not look very fun they are actually a lot a fun. So don’t be nervous to go full out and join in on school wide events.

 

Challenge yourself

 

High school can be challenging but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and try your hardest in your classes to get the best grade you can. And in future years don’t be afraid to take more challenging classes that interest you.

 

It’s ok to make mistakes

 

High school is tough and we all make mistakes, so don’t beat yourself up about one little mistake you make. We all forget our homework sometimes, or get in fights with friends but it will all work itself out. High school is high school and were all going through it together, so you’re not alone.

 

2018-2019 School Year: Possible new schedule to take place

By Danni Dunlop

Have you ever wondered what each school day would be like if it were run on a block schedule? Branford High School students might just find out in a couple of years.

Block schedules replace the typical 8 daily class periods with longer class periods that meet fewer times each day and week.

The Academic Standards Committee, a group of teachers, parents and students, voted on a certain block schedule that will be implemented for the 2018-2019 school year.  Mr. Hamilton Hernandez, a social studies teacher at BHS, said that they had voted on the Hybrid schedule.

The Hybrid schedule is a combination of the normal schedule we have now with the block schedule.  Each school week will contain 3 normal schedule days along with 2 block schedule days.  Students will attend four 90-minute class periods on the block days rather than eight 46-minute class periods.

When I talked to some students about the possible schedule change, a lot of them didn’t like the idea of it while the minority didn’t mind it.

“Personally, it really doesn’t bother me that much of the changes that are being made, but I do prefer the 8 periods with the shorter time because I feel like I get a lot done in one day,” Nicole Evans, ’20, said.  “Something about moving from class to class every 45 minutes or so keeps me up.”

Students complained that they could barely stay focused for the full  56-minute class periods we have now; they feel as though they’d lose their head sitting in the same seat for over an hour.

What are your thoughts on the block schedule?  Give us your input in the comments or tweet us @BranfordBuzz.

Below is what a sample hybrid block schedule might look like at BHS in two years.

Modified Block Schedule

Studying for the SAT: Tips for Juniors

By Danni Dunlop

Juniors have just under a week left for preparation to take possibly one of the biggest tests they may ever take.  The SAT is set to be taken Wednesday, April 5th.

Many students feel that studying for the SAT is a big affair and don’t know exactly where to start.  After you learn about the structure of the test and figure out which section you need most improvement in, follow a few of these steps:

1.) Set a Goal for Yourself

Setting goals are my greatest motivation.  Ever want to score a goal or hit a homerun in a sport?  Most likely, you’d practice over and over again until you reach that goal.  Treat the SAT the same way; Look up the top 3 colleges you are interested in getting accepted into and see their SAT score requirements.  Trust me, you’d be so motivated to score that perfect score to get into your favorite college.

2.) Take Practice Tests

Most practice tests are very similar to the real deal SAT.  It could never hurt to give it a try; Then you could see where you need to focus most. Don’t forget to score yourself on the practice test and review what you got incorrect. Click here to start practicing.

3.) Get to know the Vocabulary used

Remember being in the middle of reading the passages from the PSAT sophomore year and questioning yourself “What the heck does that word mean?” or “Is that even a word?”  If you struggled with the vocabulary used in the PSAT, it’d probably be best to familiarize yourself more with it by taking a couple SAT vocabulary word tests.

4) Get Plenty of Sleep the Night before

Don’t stay up tearing away your brain by studying all night the night before.  It’s best to spread your studying out over time rather than cramming it all in the night before.  The morning of the test, you should feel alert and confident, not tired and crabby due to lack of sleep.

5) Eat a healthy breakfast

Eat a good breakfast filled with protein.  Eating foods with protein is always the way to go to start of your day.  Don’t show up to the SAT with an empty stomach;  You’ll most likely get hungry and be focusing on your stomach growling rather than the test.

6) Be prepared: Make a check-list

Make sure you know what classroom to report to on April 5th and that you have the right materials you need. Do you have two #2 pencils?  What about the right kind of calculator?  Make a check list to help better prepare and organize yourself prior to taking the SAT.  Put a note on the door to remind you of the things you need.

7.) Don’t Stress

Though it’s more easier said than done, don’t freak out.  Sometimes the more you stress, the less successful you will be. If you reach a question that you don’t know the answer to, skip it and go back to it later. Never leave a question unanswered; You are not deducted points for getting a question incorrect so always go with your gut and take your best guess.

Good luck to the class of 2018 on taking the SAT and to the sophomore class on taking the CAPT test.

What are you doing to get ready for the SAT? Let us know in the comments or @Branfordbuzz on Twitter.

14 Romantic Comedies to make this Valentines Day Extra Sweet!

By Danni Dunlop

With Valentines Day only a few days away, I decided to put together a rom-com movie “playlist” for you to watch over the snowy weekend.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Meet the Stratford sisters: Pretty and popular Bianca is forbidden to have a boyfriend until her shrew-of-a sister, Kat, has one of her own. Seemingly impossible, could Patrick Verona win Kat’s heart?

The Proposal (2009)

When Margaret faces deportation for an expired visa, she blackmails her assistant, Andrew, to temporarily marry her.  With plans for the weekend to travel to Alaska and celebrate his grandmother’s 90th birthday, Margaret comes along and they act as a soon-to-be married couple.  Over the short period of time, they may have realized just what they want in life.

Clueless (1995)

Cher and her best friend play matchmaker with two of their teachers.  Inspired by this, Cher realizes that she wants someone of her own, too.  Several misfits come and go, but during this time she realizes that there is more to life than appearance and popularity before finding her soulmate.

Life as We Know It (2010)

Holly and Messer have nothing in common except for their mutual hate for each other and love for their Godchild. The two are set up on a first date by their best friends, Peter and Allison.  After a tragic car accident kills Peter and Allison, they are left with being the legal guardians of their Godchild.

Just go with it (2011)

Danny, a plastic surgeon convinces his loyal assistant, Katherine, to pose as his soon-to-be divorced wife to cover up a lie he told to his much younger  girlfriend.  To keep the girl he loves, covering up one lie soon turns into covering up multiple lies.

Just Friends (2005)

Chris, a fat, unpopular nerd and Jamie, a pretty, popular blonde had always been best friends in high school.  Realizing that he’d like to take their friendly relationship to the next level, he confesses his love for her to only be met with heart-break and humiliation.  Ten years later, Chris is thin, attractive and very successful.  Visiting home, he encounters Jamie and will do whatever it takes to be more than “just friends,” no matter the obstacles.

A Cinderella Story (2004)

After Sam’s father tragically died in an earthquake, she is left with her step-mom and two evil step-sisters.  Sam has an email-relationship with a guy named Nomad.  After meeting Nomad at the Halloween dance, she finds out that he is the most popular boy in school, Austin Ames.  While rushing back to her step-mother’s diner before the clock strikes midnight to hide that she even went to the dance, she drops her phone.  Austin finds her phone starts searching for his Cinderella.

The Wedding Planner (2001)

Mary Fiore, a wedding planner, knows exactly how to plan the perfect wedding and all the rules to follow.  However this time, she breaks the most important rule of all, and falls (literally) for the groom.

Monster In-Law (2005)

Charlie finally finds the man of her dreams, Kevin, only to find out that his mother is the woman of her nightmares and is willing to do anything to sabotage their relationship.

There’s something about Mary (1998)

A geek in high school realizes 13 years later that he is still in love with the most popular girl in school, Mary.  He hires a private to track her down.  But, the private investigator discovers that he, himself may be in love with Mary.

13 going on 30 (2004)

After a failure of her 13th birthday party, Jenna’s wishes to be 30 years old come true.  To her surprise, this isn’t what she truly wanted and wants her old life back.

17 again (2009)

Due to some choices he has made when he was 17, Mike O’Donnel wishes he could be 17 again.  After trying to save a janitor from jumping off a bridge, he realizes that he is 17 again.  He takes this opportunity to make better choices and fix his relationship with his family.

16 Candles (1984)

Sam Baker’s “sweet” 16th birthday becomes everything but sweet, dealing with every embarrassment possible throughout her special day.

Grease (1978)

Good-two-shoes Sandy Olsen and popular Danny Zuko fell in love over the past Summer.  Thinking that she’d be leaving, they say their goodbyes. To their luck, they reunite after discovering they go to the same high school.  Being two totally different people in school, will Danny find his love for Sandy again?

What do you think? What is your favorite film? Leave a comment or @BranfordBuzz on Twitter.

BHS Reacts To New President Trump: A Series of Photos

By Madeleine Mattson

With Donald Trump set to be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America today, the Buzz has looked back at the last three months at Branford High School since the contentious election. Below are a series of pictures and statements from BHS students reacting to the transfer of power.

From tears, to free hugs, to cheers of joy, the 2016 Presidential Election reflects just how diverse of a community BHS really is.

 

Some were indifferent about the whole thing…

“I really don’t care.” Ethan Mills, ’17.

Some joked through their frustration…

Sophia Smith, Alanna Grimm, and Sushraya Jay, ’17.

 

Julia Campanelli, ’19.

 

“I’m looking forward to becoming a heterosexual.” Ian Bergemann, ’17.

Some were confused…

Cole Chase-Beach, ’17.

 

“I really can’t believe this happened.” Maryam Yasir, ’19.

Some were overjoyed after the election…

“Trump! I love Trump!” Jon Ye, ’17.

 

“Excited for our Country’s future.” Stephen Cruz and Logan Distasio, ’18.

Others were deeply upset…

“Who? He’s irrelevant to my life.” Khayla Liburd ’21 “Trump may be our president but he does not truly control me.” Julian Clarke-Dixon ’21

 

“Not my president.” Sonny Reed, ’17.

So we plunge into the next four years uncertain: waiting to either change or confirm our initial impressions of our newest President. Despite our varied opinions, hopefully everyone at BHS can agree to hope for the best in our country.

What are your thoughts on the Presidential Election? Leave comments or tweet us @bhsbuzz.

A Look Back At The 11 Best Albums of 2016

By Sarah Marsland

2016 has not exactly been an easy year.

Amidst the chaos and divisiveness of the election, seemingly constant news stories of conflict and violence, and the uncertainty of what lies ahead both within America and abroad, at times it has been hard to find something worth celebrating. Internet memes proclaiming that 2016 will go down in the books as “the worst year in history” have gone viral, received with nervous laughter by young people across the country – at times, it can seem like a scary time to come of age.

But although 2016 may be remembered as a somewhat dark time politically and socially, there is one story of growth and progress that should not be ignored: 2016 turned out to be a golden age for music.

Continue reading “A Look Back At The 11 Best Albums of 2016”