Saturday, December 20, 2008


Laraine Waters, chair of the HHS Foreign Language Department, writes: World language students from eight area high schools competed in the annual Poetry Recitation Contest at Hanover High School. Hanover High has hosted this event for thirty-five years, as closely as we can count. Students of French, Spanish, Latin and German recited poetry before panels of judges who were all native speakers or teachers of the language.

Eighty students attended from this year’s participating schools: Woodstock Union High School, Kearsarge High School, Kimball Union Academy, Lebanon High School, Mascoma High School, Rivendell Academy, Sharon Academy, Windsor High School. Another forty students from Hanover High took part.

Afterwards teachers from other schools made these comments. From Woodstock: "Congratulations to all of you again for your hard work in putting together another meaningful poetry contest for all of our language students. Our students all felt that their experience was very positive this year." From Lebanon: "The students definitely enjoyed themselves. It always makes me happy to see students having a good time with foreign languages!" From Kearsarge: "Thanks for the opportunity. I think it was really great for my students to do it."

Students were encouraged to listen to other recitations and applaud one another’s efforts, and to relax together over bagels and juice. World language teachers from the various schools also had a chance to re-acquaint or meet for the first time. Click "read more" for the list of winners.


French Beginners:
1st - Andrew Stimson/Rivendell
2nd - Christina Moreland/Rivendell
3rd - Deborah Hill/Kearsarge

French Intermediate:
1st - Catherine Chevers /KUA
2nd - Clara Gray/Woodstock
3rd - Amjad Maher Elmashala/Mascoma

Fr ench Advanced:
1st - Courtney Conner/Kearsarge
2nd - Anne Cravero/Hanover
3rd - Janine Bonnekoh/Mascoma

Latin Beginners:
1st - Linnea Harrold/Kearsarge
2nd - Gregory Brunette/Kearsarge
3nd - Clio Doyle/Hanover

Latin Intermediate:
1st - Diksha Gautham/Hanover
2nd - Charles Henahan/Lebanon
3rd- Isaac Dayno/KUA

Latin Advanced:
1st - Chris Jayne/Hanover
2nd - Skyler Patton/Hanover
3rd - Emily McGee/Kearsarge

Spanish Beginners:
1st - Rebecca Schwarz/HHS
2nd - Hannah Gorman/HHS
3rd - Molly Pierson/Rivendell

Spanish Intermediate:
1st - Philip Tosteson/HHS
2nd - Nicholas Bernold/HHS
3rd - Melanie Emerson/Rivendell

Spanish Advanced:
1st - Keegan Dufty/HHS
2nd - Erik Jurado /HHS
3rd - Alison Taylor/Lebanon

German (only Hanover High competed)
1st - Eva Sachsse
2nd - Rosalie Lipfert
2nd - Miriam Whittington

German Int: (all Hanover High)
1st - Nicholas Bernold
2nd - Jordan Hitchcock
3rd -Mariclaire Joseph

German Adv: (all Hanover High)
1st - Miranda Wozmak
2nd - Mark Whittington
3rd - Michael Tecca

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Friday, December 19, 2008


Jeff Colt from Hanover, NH is December's Student of the Month. Jeff is an upbeat, positive presence in our building. He is a driving force in the Environmental Club, an organizer of “Trash on the Lawn” day, and serves as Public Relations chair of Council. He plays spring track, skis in three winter events and runs cross country in the fall. Jeff's strong friendships with a great number of students, and solid relationships with staff and administrators, make him a genuine friend to all.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008


Students and staff bought holiday gifts for 44 Upper Valley children through New Hampshire Partners in Health, a statewide charitable organization. Thirty-four Common Ground groups (home rooms) volunteered to buy the gifts requested by the families of children with chronic illnesses such as cancer, spina bifida or muscular dystrophy. Seven additional staff members each sponsored a child's gifts directly, and three home-schooling families who wanted to join the effort picked up and delivered all the presents gathered at HHS. Each child received three necessary clothing items and three other gifts.

In addition to the Holiday Baskets, New Hampshire Partners in Health gives year-round help to families in negotiating the medical system, meeting their special needs during a child's hospitalization, planning for school and problem-solving around financial concerns. NH Partners in Health's web site ( says: "Our community-based programs address the needs of families of children with chronic health conditions in New Hampshire. We work with schools, medical providers, churches, social services, and other community institutions."

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Senior Heidi Robbins devoted the three-day snow-day weekend to her research project in the Art Department's Sculpture course -- a gingerbread castle. "It was made very straightforwardly," she said. "No models, no molds. I just did what looked best."

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Monday, December 15, 2008


Students from HHS's Chemistry and Physics Problem Solving class won four out of the nine first-place awards given in the University of Vermont's annual Technology and Science Competition on December 6-7th. The challenge, known as Aero-Golf this year, read: "Teams must design and build a 'puttbot' (remote-controlled wind-driven vehicle) capable of transporting weighted golf balls from one point to another over a specified course within a prescribed amount of time, using only wind power. Wind from 20-inch box fans in fixed positions around each course will provide the sole source of power for locomotion."

The HHS students, who prepared for the contest in class and on weekends, won the Uphill Competition, the Marketing Award, the Design Notebook Award ("for keeping continuous careful records, as real-world industrial designers must do") and the Performance Award. They won a total of $1,500 for school programs donated by sponsors such as IBM, General Dynamics, Goodrich and Fairpoint Communications.

Students on this year's team were Andrew Powell, Bob Collier, Devin Kehler, Jason Barry, Justin Yang, Kevin Dade, Max Hogue, Michael Balch, Michael Tecca, Peter McNally, Ryan Collins and Steve Dacey, led by chemistry teacher Kevin Lavigne. Other schools in the competition were Sharon Academy, River Valley Technical Center, Rice Memorial High, Champlain Valley Union High, Missisquoi Valley Union High, Mount Abraham High and a home-schooled team from South Hero, VT.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Five HHS students spent a Saturday afternoon with paint and brushes to create an artwork on this theme: "What do you do when the proper moral response to a problem goes against conventional wisdom?" The challenge, echoing the theme of the musical Les Mis, was set by the general manager of White River Toyota, Pete Stoddard, as part of the company's sponsorship of Les Mis at Briggs Opera House.

"You will answer," the challenge continued, "by creating your art installation on a very non-traditional canvas: a Toyota Tacoma truck. We will provide paint and brushes and the entire space of our garage. You will have six hours to finish your artistry before you present it to a panel of judges."

The HHS students painted their truck money-green with dollar signs on the fenders, George Washington's face on the hood and a binding of wire around the body. The binding was pierced by hearts and hands pointing outward and upward, symbolizing, as HHS senior Aviva Gottesman said, "Trying to liberate ourselves from the bondage of money."

Seniors Gottesman, Claire Brown, Mia Alvarenga, Maria Wallace and junior Scott Welch, along with art teacher Peter Lange, joined students from Woodstock, Hartford and Mascoma to work on four different trucks. At the end of the afternoon all contestants won tickets to Les Mis. The trucks, which Toyota had recalled for defects, are displayed in front of the dealership.

Photos: Peter Lange. To see a gallery of 72 photos by parent Laurie Welch, click here.

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Monday, December 1, 2008


Senora Prendergast's Spanish classes met the art of the Kuna people at the Hood Museum, then made their own Kuna-style designs. Senora Prendergast writes: The Kunas are a native Panamanian people who are allowed to maintain their own culture and administer their own territory on the country's Caribbean coast. Kuna women's blouses are textile artworks made with layers of appliques and reverse appliques in a colorful and playful style, and are now collected by museums around the world. HHS students took the Kuna blouses as models for their own paper Kuna-style designs. Students were given the choice of subjects from their own daily lives or from traditional Kuna themes. From left to right: John Chobanian, Sean Gemunden, Jeff Colt, Katie Currier and Gioia Cabri.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


HHS's Missie Rodriguez has been chosen as the Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year for 2008 by the New Hampshire Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. Since 1994 Missie has taught physical education for Dresden District students with mental or physical disabilities.

She came away from the Association's banquet with the following award: "Missie developed two adapted Physical Education programs, one for the Richmond Middle School and the other for Hanover High School. Each develops physical and motor fitness, fundamental motor fitness, functional motor skills and patterning, and each is geared for the particular and varying needs of middle and high school students. The program develops skills that are used in aquatics, dance movement, individual and group games and sports, including those sports considered lifetime sports i.e., swimming, dance, bowling, snow shoeing, biking.

"These are so important for a lifetime of physical activity and wellness for all people, disabled or not. The activities are carried out one-on-one, in small groups or full size classes in settings geared specifically for the activity involved and the students' needs."

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Monday, November 24, 2008


HHS Junior Forrest Miller has been given a Skip Bean Democratic Citizen Award. The nominating statement said: "Forrest is an exemplary Council member whose opinions are truly a pleasure to hear and consider. He is extremely thoughtful, and is one of the most level-headed Council members currently serving in any capacity. His statements in each Council meeting are always very well thought out, and always provide extra depth to each and every discussion. He is a strong leader and a good example of a democratic citizen."

HHS's Council, the governing body of the school, sponsors the Skip Bean award for a person or group in the school or community who furthers the purposes and ideals of a democratic school. This award is named in honor of Linwood H. (Skip) Bean, Jr., Associate Principal of Hanover High School from 1970 to 1997. Mr. Bean was a “founding father” of The Council and an outspoken advocate for and supporter of democracy at HHS. Any member of the school community may nominate someone at any time by writing a short statement for Council approval. The award-winner receives a bag of beans -- jelly, coffee, etc. -- and the statements about the winners are posted on the bulletin board and kept in an album.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008


The Siemens Foundation has notified senior Axel Hansen that he is a semifinalist in the annual Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology. He submitted a paper in the field of computer security which researched how to monitor a program to find attacks on computer programs, and then how to stop the attacks and enable programs to keep running.

Axel's project, titled "Improved Heuristics for Program Continuation in Failure-Oblivious Computing," earned him a Distinguished Presenter award (one of five) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology over the summer. According to the Siemens Foundation's web site, nearly 100 high school students are still in contention for the national scholarship in original research. This year 1,893 students registered to enter the Siemens Competition and submitted a total of 1,205 projects. The national finalist award will be announced on December 8.

As the Foundation describes the contest: "The Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology recognizes remarkable talent early on, fostering individual growth for high school students who are willing to challenge themselves through science research. Through this competition, students have an opportunity to achieve national recognition for science research projects that they complete in high school. It is administered by The College Board and funded by the Siemens Foundation."

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Friday, November 14, 2008


The Council has chosen Greta Mills November's Staff Member of the Month. The committee writes: Ms Mills can be summed up easily in one word-- awesome. Her energy is exerted not only to help her students, but also other staff and most anyone she meets. A math teacher, she also helps lead Math Team and the Sudoku club. Unknown to many students, she likes to arrange music (which she also does for the a cappella group, Highlights), and quite known to almost all students, she loves math. Congratulations, Ms Mills!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Jake Miraldi, HHS class of 2003, writes: "Hello from Fort Drum! I am the Platoon Leader for 3rd Platoon, Attack Company, 1-32 Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division. I am also originally a resident of Norwich, Vermont and a Hanover High School grad.

"We will be deploying to Afghanistan at the end of the year and need all the support that we can get! Anything from batteries to toiletries to letters and cards would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to support us overseas please call Laura and Lenny Miraldi at 802-649-1564 for further information."

Two HHS home rooms (Common Ground) collected items for Jake Miraldi and his unit. They're shown making posters. Jake, who graduated from West Point in 2007 and spent a year at Fort Benning, GA, visited HHS this week to explain his unit's mission and say hello to his teachers.

Athletic Director Mike Jackson writes: I am particularly happy to have had the opportunity to see and hear a young man who was so much a large part of the fabric of our school and community. After four years at the U.S. Military Academy and more years of training, he has grown so much more than the obvious changes he displays physically. Jake is a terrific public speaker with a very clear perspective on what he feels is important in Afghanistan and what he can do to help facilitate positive growth there. It was a genuine pleasure to have him back with us.It's really too bad that more of the school was unable to break free to experience the growth and position in llife of one of our own. We are proud of all the different paths our graduates have chosen and where they lead them. Jake Miraldi personifies that which, in my opinion, is the best of our product. While he is a professional soldier and talked about that part of his mission, he emphasized much more strongly the humanistic philosophy that is so important to him and his men over there.

It was an honor for me to be there when Jake Miraldi visited his roots with a clear message: "Help someone else." I will pray for his and his comrades' safe return to their family and friends.

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Monday, November 10, 2008


Beryl Frishtick wrote this essay for Ms. alsup's Senior Writing Seminar. Students are invited to submit essays to a teacher for posting on Life and times.

This July I experienced something grand, painful, and confusing: I watched Sergei Bondarchuk’s eight hour long film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. The Hopkins Center created a special showing for this semi-forgotten movie masterpiece by dividing it into two four-hour segments, the first on a Friday night and the second the following Sunday afternoon. There is a 95% chance that at least half the audience would have died of natural causes during the showing if the film had not been broken down, so it’s fortunate the Dartmouth Film Society knew where to draw the line.

Watching movies at the Hop is always a captivating and somewhat ludicrous experience. I love it because I am usually the one person under seventy-five years old in the audience. This means I don’t have to deal with ungrateful teenagers laughing and mocking the movie, or couples making out, or rowdy behavior in general. The only downside is that some older folks are hard of hearing, and therefore can’t whisper very well. In fact, their whispers are usually more like stage whispers, the point of which is to allow the audience to hear every word. I was sitting behind one kindly couple in particular who couldn’t stop “whispering” about their grown daughter and her children, even in the middle of the film. I now have a complete biography in my head of Sarah, who lives on Cape Cod with her three kids and husband Mark, and who will visit her parents this Thanksgiving, if not sooner. I remain understandably less thrilled about that than the grandparents sitting in from of me were. Nonetheless, I did my best to ignore side chatter and focus my attention on the movie, which between the two separate parts I had paid $16.00 (an hour-and-a-half’s worth of my summer wages) to see.Originally divided into four separate sections to convince Soviet viewers to actually watch it, War and Peace was the most expensive film ever made. It took seven years to shoot, and was finally released in the United States in 1968. Some scenes, like the Battle of Borodino or the burning of Moscow, make the expense understandable. Director Sergei Bondarchuk used tens of thousands of extras in most of the battles; the gore resulting from so many men trying to kill each other could at times prove too much to handle, and I would take those opportunities to close my eyes and concentrate all of my attention on the grandparents’ titillating conversation occurring in front of me.

As we can glean from the title, War and Peace can’t all be about war. The other storyline, in addition to Napoleon’s failed attempt (oh, I hope I didn’t give anything away!) to take over the largest country in the world, centers on the misadventures of Natasha Rostova, played by Lyudmila Savelyeva. Natasha attempts to find love throughout the movie, first with an army officer, then with a prince, then with another army officer, then with a society man, and finally with an ostrich (just kidding, but by the end of the eight-hour film I might not have noticed if this had happened). This young woman is shallow, weak-willed, and ignorant. Her character made me want to kick something, or someone—the couple in front of me afforded the easiest access, but I restrained myself because I did not want to be forever banned from the Hop. All Natasha does in the first part of the movie is prance around like a spoiled four-year-old and make a fool of herself with a soldier. By the end of Part One, I realized she reminded me of a young Audrey Hepburn—pretty, petite, slender, brunette, and unfailingly irritating. It wasn’t until I left the theater and googled the film that I learned Audrey Hepburn played the exact same character in the 1956 version of War and Peace. I gave myself a congratulatory pat on the back for stumbling upon this delicious morsel of useless trivia.

Aside from the vast literary and cultural benefits, the only reason to watch this film is to catch an eight-hour long glimpse of Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, played by Vyacheslav Tikhonov. He reminded me of a younger, thinner Christopher Plummer, before The Sound of Music. Stoic and brooding, Andrei doesn’t say much, but he has mastered the art of wearing epaulets so well that he distracts the audience; therefore his silence never reduces the quality of his appeal. When he does speak, though, it’s the low, pleasing, seductive type of Russian any teenage girl (or seventy-five-year-old retiree on an evening outing at the Hop) would be happy to hear.

The film was obviously made in Russian, and English subtitles were added for its international release. I first realized what a treat I was in for when the characters began to speak French, a common practice of the Russian aristocrats in the 19th century, and the actors’ voices were then used in voice-overs to aid non-French-speaking Russians. In these circumstances the American audience was forced to dig through two foreign languages to get to English. War and Peace has given me a newfound appreciation for the Russian language. By the end of the movie I felt I was able to realistically imitate how some characters sounded, even though what they were saying made sense (most of the time) and what I was saying certainly did not. I far as I can tell from watching the film, Russian is a very full and emotional language, albeit slightly ridiculous in its written form, as the film’s minutes and minutes and minutes of credits attest.

The end of this film did peculiar things to me. At one point I started looking for a sharp object with which I might be able to poke my brain out (sitting in front of a screen for four full hours TWICE will occasionally do that to you). At another I was insanely elated, and felt as though I’d accomplished something noble. Since I hadn’t read the book, I was thoroughly confused by the plot twist that took place in the last minutes of the 480-minute movie. Natasha’s final choice of a mate struck me as unacceptable—it made me think I had missed something important in the rest of the story.

When I stepped out of the theater I slowly realized it was a dreary, rainy day—no wonder the power had gone out in the middle of the movie for about twenty minutes, trapping me inside a black auditorium with sixty octogenarians (note to self: never attend a Hop movie alone again). I was emotionally drained and mentally invigorated, but had no idea how I was going to reenter the real world. Thanks to Sergei Bondarchuk, I’m still working on that.

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Friday, November 7, 2008


Coach Greta Mills writes: Congratulations to Hanover High's math teams for their outstanding performance at the Oct. 30 Twin State Math League Meet at Woodstock High in Woodstock, VT! About 10 teams from Vermont and New Hampshire competed. HHS fielded an incomplete team (five students instead of six) in the Senior Division but we still placed first with 122 points! The second-place team earned 121 points, so it was a close contest. High Scorer: Senior Savannah Wallace with a perfect score. Congratulations also to seniors Anqi Ren (shown holding the trophy) and Kyle van Leer, junior Sucharita Jayanti, and sophomore Scout Wallace.

Our team in the Intermediate Division also placed first with 132 points. High scorers: freshmen Daniel Hernandez and Asie Makarova. Congratulations also to sophomores Isabelle Dietz, Xavier Stone, Thea Valence and Min Yu.

The meet has four categories, each 10 minutes in length. Calculators may be used on some categories, but all the tests use paper and pencil rather than computers. In the team category, team members work together and submit one team paper. Otherwise each category is made up of individual results.

Click "read more" for sample questions and answers.Sample Intermediate problem (9th and 10th grade): A rectangular solid has dimensions x, y, and z. Suppose x was increased by 10%, y was increased by 20%, and z was decreased by 30%, by what percent would the volume of the solid be increased or decreased? (Answer: a 7.6% decrease).

Sample Senior problem (11th and 12th grade): A pair of dice is rolled randomly. Find the probability that (a) the product of the dice is greater than 20 (Answer: 1/6) and (b) the product is a multiple of 3 (Answer: 5/9).

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Thursday, November 6, 2008


The Guidance Department has posted on its part of the HHS web site the new School Profile, which is of interest to parents and college admissions officers. Colleges receive a copy with every recommendation letter mailed by Guidance. The six-page document describes the school's Mission Statement, its philosophy and governance.

About 88% of HHS's 2008 graduates now attend four-year colleges, while another 5% either elected to defer college, or have plans for further study.

The profile gives data on faculty: Out of the 79 professional staff, 69% hold at least a master's degree, while another 18% hold either a master's + 60 credits or a doctorate.

It explains grading, and opportunities for different courses, such as Honors Classes, Career and Technology classes, Advanced Placement opportunities and courses at Dartmouth College. Its charts allow parents and students to compare Hanover's results on SAT 1 tests to national results. Similar comparisons appear for SAT-2 tests.

Lastly the profile lists every college which the class of 2008 is attending, and the names of the colleges which accepted members of the class divided by the highest grade-point averages, by the next-highest level of grade-point averages, and so on. And here is the rest of it.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The day before Halloween the three home rooms in the third-floor Math area met for a large trick-or-treat block party during the half-hour Thursday break called Common Ground. Led by Principal Deb Gillespie, senior Kasey Ng,and junior Leighton Kunz, students went from room to room to get candy, pie, popcorn, cheese sticks and other treats. It was a great opportunity to meet with other common grounds, relax, and socialize.

Each 15-student Common Ground group mixes students from all four classes, students who might not know each other in daily school life. The common ground stays together through all four years of the school, losing seniors each year and adding Freshmen. These homeroom-style once-a-week meetings allow students to meet and talk outside the demands of organized classes or activities.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Twelve biology students took a field trip with Mr. Hermanson to the electron microscope facility at the Dartmouth Medical School. Rachel Finlayson, class of 2012, writes:

Sooner than I thought, it was Thursday, and we left at 12:15 sharp. The facility was largely concrete and all sound was slightly muffled. As we passed by doors leading to classrooms, we occasionally saw students and teachers in lab coats performing experiments, or signs saying "Caution: Radioactive Materials!" This was the real thing! After walking down several hallways, we met up with the head of the department (Dr. Daghlian) and Dr. Howard. Our group was split in two; half were to go to see the scanning electron microscope, and the rest were to go see the transmission electron microscope.

My group first learned about Dartmouth’s scanning electron microscope (top photo). Dr. Daghlian explained that the SEM shoots an electron beam down on a specimen, enabling one to see the surface of a cell. After the beam bounces off the specimen in a certain pattern, it is interpreted by the Scanning Electron Microscope and projected in live feed. My question, why Electron Microscopes are better than light microscopes, was quickly answered: certain things are too small to see by light, and light just doesn't show the same precision for small things that electrons do. To my disappointment, you cannot see electrons with the SEM. However, you can see Mycoplasms (tiny tiny bacteria), viruses, proteins, lipids, the list goes on.
After about half an hour we switched groups and followed Dr. Howard into a dimly-lit room full of plastic and machinery. A glowing green light showed us where the transmission electron microscope’s stage was. (The photo shows Spencer Hardy, class of 2012, working with this microscope.) TEMs are used to see inside cells and study their interior makeup. In some ways, it can be compared to a light microscope. TEMs work by focusing a beam of electrons through the specimen, just like light microscopes send beams of light through specimens. However, instead of using glass, which can be faulty in some cases (I have learned), TEMs use electromagnets to direct the beam of electrons.

The EM Facility can be used by most people at Dartmouth: the faculty, staff and students. The DHMC staff also comes here to do research, I learned. The facility is meant to provide service to anyone who needs it, but it does have limited faculty; anyone who wishes to use the Electron Microscopes has to sign up for a specific time slot at $35 an hour. Usually, one does one's own microscopy unsupervised, so it a good idea to sign up for some training! Two or three people are usually trained at a time. Of course, anyone wishing to use the Dartmouth EM Facility must be okayed by the Facility Director in order to protect the instruments from possible damage. They cost about a million dollars!

My visit to the Charles Gilman Life Sciences Lab really had me considering being a scientist as a job. It was absolutely fascinating!

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Sarah McAndrew played a toccata by Katchaturian, juggler Logan Mills brought the sold-out house to its feet, and the guitar duo of Camille Shaffman and Emma Lumley played Camille's tune "Strength." The photos show the Faculty Chorus singing a song from "Rent" with new lyrics by Mr Falcone, and a string quartet of Alexandra Burkot, Rachel Finlayson, Molly Finlayson and Rebecca Haynes playing Joaquin Turina's "Prayer of the Bullfighter."

Andrew Beaubian, Jordan Hom, Tom Slater, and Xavier Stone played "Wolf" on guitar, organ and bass. Savannah and Scout Wallace, Logan Mills, Jake Van Leer played and sang "Just in Love," and GHOTI ( Sterling Alden, Parker Hatch, Will Kermond and Peter Kraus ) played "Susie Q." The MCs were Pat Doherty, Brendan Donahue and Ben Rimmer.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008


David Bernstein, class of 2009, wrote this essay for Ms Alsup's senior writing seminar. From time to time we'll post essays, fiction and other writing by students. All students are invited to submit their work to a teacher to be forwarded to Life and Times. Click "read more" to see the complete essay.

Just over seven years ago, it happened. This event changed America, changed the world, changed the way we view the globe. It was not expected, was not thought to be possible, and certainly was not believed to ever happen by the average American. Ever. One plan. One terrorizing plan halted the world in the midst of its daily routine. Stopped the world from turning. We will never forget it, that sunny, brisk morning of September 11, 2001.

Everyone remembers where they were. I was in elementary school, amidst my naive friends. We were in our own world, clueless that we would soon face the reality of death of thousands of innocent people in the world we preteens believed was completely safe. Free of all worries, my buddy and I battled out a Jenga match while munching on Doritos, our preferred cheesy snack food. We took turns yanking out small wooden blocks. On and on this match continued, the cheese from our fingers creating a fire effect on the wooden slabs. Finally, one last jerk from my friend and our tower crumbled to the desk below, its rubble everywhere. As I celebrated my win with a bottle of victory soda, the school’s intercom woke from its slumber. “Everyone to the auditorium NOW! No exceptions!” Then a click, and God was gone. In my five long years, I had never heard such a call. My teacher, bewildered, directed us into a straight line and led us to our designated spot in the auditorium. The school’s principal and vice principal arrived shortly after us, clearly distraught about a recent event. After a quick mike check, the principal began to speak.

“A terrible, horrific, unthinkable event has happened on our country’s shores,” he announced. I obviously had no idea what the principal meant as he struggled to remain calm.

“The school district has deemed it necessary for the safety of its children to send you all home immediately upon confirmation that a parent will be available. Please remain quietly seated as we call you up alphabetically. Thank you.”

I was only ten years old; it was clear something was very wrong; but in reality, I was ecstatic to be sent home. What ten year old wouldn’t be? Everyday, I would wake up thinking of that secret plan to weasel my way out of going to school and on this day I was actually being sent home. Crazy.

My mother fought through the heaps of traffic and rescued my best friend and me from the chaos at the school. We drove home in silence. I asked why. The only response I got was a shake of the head and urging to just wait until we all got home safely. As we unpacked the car, my mother made it clear that an unthinkable event had occurred and the TV and radio would have the best, most current facts. We turned on the box. Headlines raced across the bottom and top of the screen, while people yelled and a gray matter filled in the rest of the screen. It wasn’t static. It was smoke.

Watching the screen, I soaked in the horrific images. This was not the typical news footage and every news crew was airing live. There was no censor. I watched in utter horror as people propelled themselves from the twin towers, falling to their deaths. Their only hope to survive was to jump, but it didn’t work. I was, at this point, terrified. Never had I ever began to imagine such an event could even occur on our country’s soil. As I continued to watch, my mom came up behind me and gave my friend and me a hug. Finally, I felt safe.

We tend to associate anniversaries with happy memories. A birthday, a marriage, or a relationship. However, we all know this is different. No other anniversary has changed the current culture of our country. Subconsciously, another terrorist attack looms in the back of our minds. Security has been heightened from the airports to the city corners. People now glance nervously at a small piece of luggage left alone when once upon a time, it was the norm to leave your bags and go grab a bite to eat or run to the bathroom. Risks are no longer taken. On this anniversary we should all pause to remember how our world has been changed and the people we have lost. We may be working or playing or doing neither, but we must stop. They deserve it. The innocent people remain engraved in our nation’s history and in most of our hearts.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Quiz Bowl coach and social studies teacher Bill Murphy writes: Last Saturday's round robin with teams from nine high schools was just for the fun of it and didn't count towards the upcoming Vermont and New Hampshire state tournaments. The Vermont tournament will begin here at Hanover on Sunday afternoons November 2nd and November 16th at 2 PM.

The Hanover team on Saturday was -- top photo, left to right -- Nick O'Leary, Ari Brown, Olivia Marshall, Asie Makarova and Gabe Brison.

Vermont teams came from Fair Haven, North Country, Burr & Burton and Spaulding; the New Hampshire schools were Laconia, Portsmouth Christian Academy, Londonderry, Winnisquam and Hanover. Four students came down from Dartmouth to enter a team, including Hanover alum Dan Hopkins, class of 2006 (bottom photo). So there were about fifty students participating. The playoffs included a thrilling match between the Dartmouth team and the high-school coaches. Dartmouth won 15-14 with a quick response to the question, "What is the term for a financial option that gives you the right to buy stock at a certain price?" (Answer: a call.)

Click "read more" for the answers to these Quiz Bowl questions:

1. Which US state that borders on Canada extends the farthest south?
2. What structure regulates the buoyancy of bony fish?
3. What form of government was overthrown during the 1917 revolution in Russia?
4. The set of possible values of an independent variable of a function is a ...
5. What is the solution set for this equation? 4 plus 3 times the absolute value of (y-5) = 7
ANSWERS: 1. Idaho, 2. air (gas, swimming) bladder, 3. monarchy, 4. domain, 5. answer 4,6

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Friday, October 24, 2008


The Advanced Latin class visited the Dartmouth College cemetery and translated the elaborate Latin inscription on a 188-year-old tombstone. It commemorates Francis Brown, who served as president of the college and defended its independence when the state legislature tried to make the college into a state university. Our headline translates as, "He revived his alma mater in difficult circumstances." The inscription contains several figures of speech found in Latin poetry that the class is reading. Mr Buck has offered extra credit to any student who does research to find out the author of this Latin inscription.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008


Five brave teachers, some dressed in garbage bags, shower caps or lab goggles, encouraged students (and one teacher!) to throw pies at them last week in the atrium.
Rachel Woods, class of 2010, writes: Mr. Falcone got it easy, wearing a lab coat and goggles. Mr. Donnelly, however, ended up with pie in his hair, face, and all over his orange polo shirt. Although students would not need an excuse to pie their teachers, there was a purpose to the pie-ing. For three years now, the annual Teacher Pie-ing has been the opening fundraiser for Operation Day's Work, a student club that supports a different charitable organization each calendar year. The 2008 project is the Kigutu Health Clinic run by Partners in Health in the African country of Burundi. The clinic provides healthcare at a minimal cost to people in the village of Kigutu, with an emphasis on treating and preventing AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. The $226 raised by Mr. Falcone, Mr. Donnelly, Ms. Alsup, Mr. Jenisch, Mr. Lavigne and the students of Hanover High will go directly to the clinic. Thank you to all these teachers, MC Jake VanLeer, and the custodial staff who made it possible!

The photos show, from left, Mr. Falcone, before and after; Ms. Alsup, holding a sign asking "Have you ever seen such cruelty?" from the movie Blazing Saddles; and Mr. Donnelly smushed by Emma Rottersman, class of 2010.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Congratulations to six HHS band members who have been chosen to participate in the All New England Band Festival at Plymouth State University in November. The student musicians are Zach Sheets, flute; Kevin Dade, flute; Miriam Fiering, oboe; Jahn White, french horn; Aaron Watanabe, euphonium; and Dan Carroll, tuba. These music students will rehearse and perform with others from around New England in a concert with renowned guest conductors.

The festival's invitation says: "These bands will provide a memorable musical and educational experience for the proficient music student. Participants will be chosen on the basis of instrumentation needs, director’s recommendation, past musical achievements, and seniority in school. Acceptance into the Festival Bands is quite competitive."

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Monday, October 20, 2008


At least 42 colleges will send representatives to meet HHS students this year. They come from as close by as the University of New Hampshire and Lebanon College, and as far as Pomona College (California) and the University of Colorado at Boulder. The photos show students meeting with (left) a representative of Lehigh University and HHS Guidance Director John McCracking; and (right) a representative from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The schedule of visits is posted outside the Guidance office and in the Guidance section of this web site.

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Friday, October 17, 2008


Jessica Liu, class of 2009, wrote this essay for Ms. Alsup's Senior Writing Seminar. From time to time we'll post essays, fiction and other writing by students. All students are invited to submit their work to a teacher to be forwarded to Life and Times. Click "read more" to see the complete essay.

Have you ever watched figure skaters on TV? Is it not amazing how they cut so swiftly across the rink on those thin metal blades? Is it not incredible the way they fly into the air and become mere colored blurs in suspension? And how marvelous is it that when they come down again, the ice catches them like a cushion as they glide away effortlessly? It must be so liberating to be a figure skater, to command such inhuman movement with such grace and ease. This was my conviction as a child. This was my delusion.

As a young skater struggling to stay on my feet, tripping over my first crossovers, crashing my first half-revolution jumps, I would always look towards the older skaters spinning freely in arabesque and convince myself that my clumsy labors would someday be worth it. I thought, there must come a time in a skater’s career when innate grace simply transcends physicality and beauty of motion inevitably manifests. Indeed, the evidence was right before me: in the girl whose tiny ankles somehow sprang her high into the air, or the girl whose ponytail came undone from the sheer speed of her beautiful rotations. Surely for them it was easy. After all, they weren’t falling over their feet or flailing their arms wildly anymore. They must have discovered some magic ability within themselves that suddenly made everything feasible, a secret I myself was bound to uncover one day. …What a pathetically naive thought. Nevertheless, for years I endured the lackluster pains of training with this hope that it would all become effortless in due time.

Eventually there came the day when I suddenly realized that I was one of those older skaters I had I always admired. That awkward spin that was straining my back and killing my thighs was the exact same move that had so stunned me with its elegance years before. Those jumps that had seemed impossible when I was a child, I had already mastered a few months ago. In fact, not only had I reached the level of my idols of old, but I had surpassed many of them. Thus came the dread epiphany: figure skating was a lie. I had been bewitched by an illusion of beauty, had reached my goals only to realize the impossibility of their fulfillment. There I stood, at the point where young skaters looked up to me for inspiration, and the truth was, it still hurt.

Everything still hurt, and I realized then that it would always hurt. Sure, I could lap the rink in seconds, and it’s all very well to feel my hair whip out behind me, except that the air against which I throw myself so forcefully is, well, cold. Out on the ice, ears freeze instantly; eyes water and blur. Each bitter breath is painfully drawn through the mouth, for trying to take in icy air through the nose stings. Cold muscles ache and take twice as long to warm. Staying hydrated is synonymous with “brain freeze.” And forget not that the figure skater’s armor against cold consists of thin spandex and tights. Where is the ease and grace now? Really, what kind of deranged person would voluntarily revisit this hellish icebox day after day? What kind of rewards could one possibly receive to make such a senseless ordeal worthwhile?

Whatever they were, I found them not. Was I supposed to be filled with enormous satisfaction and pride when I landed my first double-salchow? Perhaps I did, for an instant. However, that one success was the accumulation of countless failures. I shudder to think of the number of bruises I have acquired over the years from figure skating alone. Whole winters have gone by without a single day of unmarred legs. I am not so vain to despair over a large purple-green blemish (or five), but when it hurts to even sit down, then the situation starts to seem ridiculous. Indeed it is proof that skating can never get easier, for the harder the jump, the harder the fall.

And what happens in the lucky event of a successful landing? We cheer, we smile, we grit our teeth, and we jump again. Chances are, we’ll fall on the next one. In figure skating, it is a rough, uneven road to mastery, by the end of which the particular move has been executed so many times that it is completely deprived of any novelty. Indeed, there was hardly any novelty to begin with. Just about every trick has been tried before and will be tried again, so that every “new” move is really only an imitation something old. There is no creativity, no spontaneity. Programs to music may suggest an art form, but whatever expressive elements initially existed are lost through endless repetitions and broken by the technicality of the sport. Picture again that figure skater on TV, programmed to glide about with her arms outstretched in the most aesthetically pleasing angles possible. Why then, does she suddenly drop them before the jump? One, the necessary concentration at that moment is such that there is no room to bother with extraneous gestures. Two, she needs momentum from her arms to propel herself higher into the air, thus having them low before takeoff is essential. The concentration and physical requirements for the execution of a jump effectively inhibit any artistic expression within the move itself, a trend which is repeated throughout the many technical facets of the sport. Overall, the creative outlet in figure skating is depressingly small.

But what about that unfaltering smile some skaters have that seems like silent evidence of their love and passion for their sport? That too, is a lie. That smile is put on at the beginning of the program for the benefit of the judges and literally freezes to the face. I insist upon this in all seriousness. Many times I have stepped off the ice in competition, unable to stop smiling, not out of happiness, but because I can’t move my face. Frozen lips also add the extra benefit of restricting certain vowel sounds, so that speech on ice often degenerates to incoherent blabbering. However, the extremity of the figure skater that suffers the most by far is the foot. Those white, delicate-looking boots are really just like a second layer of skin. Stiff, leather skin. It is true that they provide fantastic ankle support. But they also fail at insulation, blister mercilessly, and apply pressure in just the wrong spots so that my feet after skating are numb, red, and over the years have become misshapen with bone spurs.

O, what suffering! How painful! How pointless! And in the end, what was my gain from those many years I spent on the ice? Insight into the true nature of something deceptively beautiful, one might say. My response to that: Return to me the illusion; I’ll return to you my pain!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Senior Zach Sheets's orchestral composition titled "Midnight Unfolding" will be performed at First Night in Burlington, VT by the 100-person Vermont Youth Orchestra.

"Sometime during the day on December 31st it will be played at the Flynn Theater," Zach says. The Flynn is downtown Burlington's main venue for the arts.

Zach writes: The VYO posted a "call for scores" on an online composition program called the Vermont MIDI Project. The project ( is how I learned to compose, and my pieces have been played eleven times by various ensembles in their biannual competition.

It's an amazing program that works to integrate composition into the school curriculum by having mentors post comments to young composers on the website, through a music notation program called Sibelius. Since HHS doesn't participate, I work as an independent study student. This year I have started to work as both a student and a mentor for some of the younger students.

The VYO has never played any of my pieces before, but I have had pieces played by the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Constitution Brass Quintet (in Burlington), and the Arcadian Wind Quintet in Boston. I don't play in the VYO, so I won't be playing flute on my piece. I go down to Boston every Sunday and play in the Boston Youth Symphony.

from the Vermont Midi web site:

For ten years, the Vermont MIDI Project has fostered a community of music educators, professional composer mentors, and pre-service educators who encourage and support music composition for students. Addressing composition in the curriculum for classroom music, theory and composition courses, instrumental and vocal ensembles is being achieved through a variety of activities.

Professional composers and other project participants critique compositions in-progress and make suggestions about possible changes and improvements. This work takes place in a respectful climate with established protocols for this mentoring.
Resources for music composition are gathered and disseminated through a variety of means: print handouts, interactive learning network sessions, lecture/demonstration sessions, and in-school residencies.

Since April 2000, the Opus events have been held each fall and spring. The power of live performance by professional musicians has become a driving force for students in the Vermont MIDI Project. Teachers also encourage live performance of original compositions in their own schools.

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Beryl Frishtick, class of 2009, wrote "A Discourse on the Topic of Women's Enormous Foot Sizes and Society's Reluctance to Bring Said Sizes into Mainstream Shoe-Marketing" for Ms. Alsup's Senior Writing Seminar. From time to time we'll publish essays, fiction and other writing by students. All students are invited to submit their work to a teacher to be forwarded to Life and Times. Click "read more" to see the complete essay.

When I was three years old my family lived in Boston and I attended a daycare center that often took its charges on field trips around the city. More importantly, I had the loveliest pair of black Mary Janes a girl could ever wish for. They were petite, and shiny, and had graceful straps that traversed my delicate feet in just the right places. I remember one spring day in particular; I was sitting with the other children on the bank of the Charles River, watching sailboats make their way back and forth across the sparkling water. This moment plays itself over and over again in my mind not because of the gloriously sunny day, or the excitement of leaving the day-care center, or the immense amount of bird poop that had accumulated on a nearby railing. No, I remember this moment simply because of those too-good-to-be-true Mary Janes. That was a happier time, when shopping for shoes never crushed my spirits, and my feet could fit into beautiful creations that now would not even cover my big toe.

These days, my feet are colossal. They dwarf the everyday objects that surround me: a stapler, a flower vase, a Puffs Plus tissue box, a glass bottle of lemonade, even the Penguin Classics edition of War and Peace. They are not just big - they are gargantuan. I am the proprietor of the type of feet that, averaged together with two tiny shrunken feet belonging to an aristocratic 19th century Chinese woman, would probably make a pair of normal-sized feet. I think about this every night before I fall asleep.
My friends complain about wearing size eight, eight and a half, or nine shoes. Half sizes don't even EXIST where I come from: The Land of the Twelves.I haven't always belonged to this bittersweet (no, just bitter) kingdom. My progression through the Lands of Sevens, Eights, Nines, and Tens occurred too quickly for me to notice or remember anything. It was only when I fit into elevens that I started to feel peculiar about my abnormally large feet. This began when I tried to buy new shoes so I could wear them to all my friends' Bat and Bar Mitzvahs in seventh grade. I didn't understand why all my girl friends were wearing beautiful, cute, fancy strappy sandals and I was relegated to dancing the Horah in depressing brown or black pumps.

It was only later, in 8th grade and my first year of high school, that the state of my feet truly started to distress me. Before that, I hadn't cared what I wore everyday; my usual outfit was accessorized by practical, unfailing sneakers. Suddenly I was invested in how I looked, but unable to do anything about a vital aspect of it: my shoes.

What wearing size twelves means is that it is virtually impossible to walk into a shoe store, browse around, try on a pair of shoes, and fit into them. Fancy shoe stores are absolutely out of the question -- most of them cut off their product lines at size ten. When I was about eight or nine I accompanied my mother into a relatively upscale shoe store in Richmond, Virginia and had a peculiar and discouraging experience. We were perusing the size nines for my mother when I saw a middle-age woman peer into the special tiny room the store used to show their larger sizes. She held up a pair of shoes that were probably size elevens or twelves, turned to her friends, and said, "That's so sad!" This woman obviously did not belong in the back of the store; her feet were covered with fashionable and diminutive high heels. But she had felt it absolutely necessary to go out of her way and choose a pair of big shoes to pick on, and to do that under the guise of expressing her pity for the women who would be forced to wear those shoes. I was young, but I remember feeling confused, angry, and insulted. If I ever see that woman again, I will fill my purple Converse All-Stars with rocks and throw them at her. Due to my "sad" large feet, I should be able to stuff in a couple of good-sized boulders.

Fancy shoe stores aside, Payless Shoestore is the only establishment where I ever have any sort of luck with this frustrating aspect of my life, but since it contains the words "pay" and "less" in its name, you know the quality can"t be that spectacular. In truth, my respect for Payless has diminished increasingly in the past month due to a horrifying and thought-provoking experience I underwent at the company"s franchise in the Mall of New Hampshire. This incident speaks volumes about the hell through which our society puts women with big feet.

On average, this shoe store's cheap but reliable stock can be counted on for including about twenty to thirty pairs of shoes in my size. (Granted, most of them are so ugly or outlandish that no one would buy them. Speaking of which, I'd like to point out that the higher the size climbs, the lower the Pretty Index drops. Grandma Moses with size twelve feet may want to buy black and white knock-off looking Velcro sneakers, but I certainly do not!) I walked into this Payless with lofty hopes and my head held high, but, lo and behold, there was only ONE COLUMN of size twelves. That means about six shoe pairs that would fit my feet, never mind how they looked. It broke my heart, right there under the fluorescent lights and huge signs advertising cute shoe and handbag matches. I immediately retrieved my cell phone and used it to make a thirty-five second video documenting the atrocities to which I am subjected in this cruel world.

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Monday, October 6, 2008


October's staff member of the month is Spanish teacher Senora Prendergast. The selection committee writes: "Senora is optimistic and always has faith in her students. She is also very funny. Her students can expect to laugh in every class. On top of that, she is extremely sharp, and has a treasure trove of knowledge that you can only hope to learn a fraction of. Senora is also extremely hard working. She put a great amount of effort into ensuring the success of the recent student exchange with the Spanish high school. Congratulations, Senora!" And here is the rest of it.

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Sunday, October 5, 2008


Science teacher John Phipps writes: The Bike Club leaves for a ride from in front of the flagpole every Thursday just after school. We've been going out for about an hour recently. The distance depends on who shows up and their level of experience. We adapt the ride to any level of rider.

Bike Club also meets during Activity Period on Tuesdays in room 230 to talk cycling, work on bikes and plan rides. Those interested in riding the road on Thursdays or planning rides on either trails or the road on other days are welcome to join us.

The Club took part in Bike to School Day on October 8th. Photo, left to right, Jake McLaughlin, Mr. Phipps, Scott Sanderson, chemistry teacher Mr. Lavigne.

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David Bernstein is Hanover High’s October Student of the Month.
David is a serious, insightful and involved student who lives his life proactively and makes things happen. He sees the school's needs and then volunteers before he’s asked. He’s a member of Council, on the baseball and basketball teams and has served on the Judicial Committee. David gets along with a wide variety of students and is one of the most polite and considerate of HHS students.

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