Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Students and staff are planning several events to raise funds for Haiti earthquake relief. The week of 2/8 to 2/12 will be "A Valentine for Haiti" week, with students selling baked goods and valentines in the atrium. There will also be a raffle for staff, students, and community members with prizes donated by local businesses. On Friday, February 12 at 7PM we will host a variety show of student and local talent in the Hanover High auditorium. All money raised, including raffle proceeds and ticket sales, will support Haiti Relief Fund sponsored by Partners in Health. This is a medical organization with clinics already working in Haiti. Local medical teams from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center are in Haiti now, working with Partners in Health.

Finally, the greatest need in Haiti right now is for financial support. If you wish to send a donation to Partners in Health please use our website, "A Valentine for Haiti" at http://act.pih.org/page/group/AValentineforHaiti. Scroll to the bottom and look for the goal thermometer and the "Click Here to Donate" button. You can donate on-line directly to Partners in Health at any time.

Thank you for your support. .

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Friday, January 22, 2010


Math teacher Greta Mills writes: the Mathematical Modeling Class worked on motion projects recently. They could choose among in-school projects based on Bungee Jumping, Skydiving or The Seconds Pendulum (building a pendulum with a one-second swing).

The assignment: build a physical model, collect data, replicate the results in a computer model, and solve the equations of motion.

In these photos of the bungee-jumping and sky-diving experiments, the paper hanging from the bridge in our atrium is meant to record distances, so students who took videos could measure both distance and velocity.

The emphasis was on the use of "found" objects. Students were asked not to go out and purchase materials; instead, use of ordinary household items was encouraged (note the use of a water bottle and a Co-op bag in two of the groups, as well as rubber bands).

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Thursday, January 21, 2010


Julia Murdza, class of 2010, wrote this essay in the Senior Writing Seminar:

It’s the end of August: the leaves are still green, your feet are still bare, and your mind is still intact. You’re a rising senior, and you need some advice about the months ahead. Allow me to prepare you for your senior fall semester. No, you won’t get through it sane, healthy, or good-natured, but it’s time you knew better. Your body might make it to January, but your soul certainly won’t.

First, sign up for classes. Sign up for too many classes. Sign up for classes that, after eating all your free time, turn on each other and conflict in nasty, terrible ways. Attend these classes. Rush around school, and around town, because it’s a fifteen minute scramble to get to your Dartmouth lecture on time. As you do all this, rush around in your head as well, as you try to remember where you’re supposed to be, what your homework was, and whether you did it. Don’t mess up.

Sign up for activities, too. You’re already a member, and probably a leader, of many clubs and organizations, but that’s not enough. Join something new. Let these interests consume your activity periods, your afternoons, your evenings, and your nights. Let them become just as important as your classes. Agonize when they conflict with each other and you have to prioritize. You won’t want to prioritize. You will want to do everything, and you will want to do all of it perfectly. You can’t mess this up either. Other people depend on your success. And so do your college applications. Don’t forget about college. Like you ever would. You won’t ever, ever stop thinking about colleges. It will come up in nearly every conversation you have, no matter who you’re with. When you’re with other seniors, it will be all you talk about.

Spend your nights and weekends, even though you won’t have them anymore, applying to colleges. Apply to far too many colleges. Apply to colleges your parents make you apply to, and apply to your favorite colleges, the ones your parents scorn. Apply to so many colleges that you can’t rattle off your list anymore. Then again, maybe you’re just too tired to get through any sort of list.

You’ll be more than tired, you’ll be exhausted. You’ll determine the minimum amount of necessary sleep, and then get less than that. Watch as your sleep deprivation leads to exponential increases in swearing and in talking to yourself in public. You’ll need gallons of coffee to stay lucid through the day, but then you’ll spend the last of your cash on postage for transcript mailings. Survive without caffeine by whining, muttering, and microsleeping. Go home, do that homework and apply to those colleges. Don’t even think about going to bed before midnight. Promise yourself that you’ll clean your room, take a shower, do some laundry. You won’t do these things, at least not all of them, at what you used to consider normal waking hours. You’ll be diurnal, nocturnal, and crepuscular by turns, and sometimes all three. You will not be coherent or cheerful.You’ll need to be coherent, unfortunately, though you’ll give up on cheerful. Why is coherence important? Because you’ll need to write your college essays. As you’ll be repeatedly told, this is the only part of your application you’ll have left to control, besides your senior grades. The essays are supposed to represent the Real You. Before this fall, the Real You might not have been completely normal and content, but it managed. That’s the image you want to present to colleges: that of Someone Who Can Manage. To portray that, you need to be somewhat coherent. Good luck.

There will be too many essays. The Common Application one, and then the one,
two, or even three supplemental essays that every college finds it amusing to assign. Panic. If you were not, by chance, already panicking, this is your cue. Standby panic, panic go. You’ll delay writing the essays, because when you do write them, the prompts will be awful and your responses worse, and they will make you want to curl up in a ball and hide from all the ickiness. You will not want to explain why colleges should want you, and you will want even less to explain why you want each of them. You will be asked to write thousands of words, to revise and rearrange time after time. Don’t forget, these essays are supposed to reveal your intelligence, your creativity, and your sense of humor. Don’t mess these up either.

You won’t have time for all this, and you won’t have the motivation either.
Fatigue is part of it, but even after you sleep for twelve hours on a Sunday morning, you won’t be able to make yourself work. Check email, Facebook, web comics, the weather, and Facebook again. You’ll procrastinate and spend five hours on a week-long assignment the night before it’s due, and you’ll discover the sort of crap you can churn out at ridiculously early hours. Avoid making eye contact with teachers when they return your papers, because the quality of your work will be joke compared to your ability. You will feel guilty, and you will want to produce thoughtful work, but if you do, it will be some sort of miracle.

Even if you do work hard, you will not be good enough. You will have friends
taking more and harder classes than you, and doing better with less effort. If you do not take a Dartmouth class, captain a varsity sport, get the lead role, run three clubs, and complete the Common App by November, you will be inadequate. You will feel inferior during those constant discussions of colleges, no matter where you are applying. Either your friends will be looking at Ivies while you compare state schools, or you will regret yuour Ivy deliberations as your friends apply elsewhere to study the arts. When you read other college essays, your own will seem even more banal, pretentious, and artificial than before. No matter how hard you try, you just won’t be able to win.

While drowning in academics and activities and applications, you’ll miss things.
You’ll miss family events like soccer tournaments and apple picking, and you’ll miss things with your friends like birthday parties and concerts. You will have some fun, because if you don’t, you’ll be dead and buried instead of just undead. Even though you can’t afford to, you will spend time with your friends. You’ll all complain, commiserate, and offer consolation. When you finish a worksheet or a set change or an essay, you will find moments of exhilarated relief heightened by exhaustion. And by the end of December, the pace will slow and you might have some unallocated time. Time that you’ll use to worry whether your soul-killing senior fall was worth the agony. To worry about the letters that will soon assault your mailbox. To worry if you did mess up everything after all. Have fun.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Teacher Margaret Caldwell writes: Thank you so much to all the groups that participated in the Can Sculpture Contest. I think it was our 7th annual event.

Today, the Haven food bank will get a delivery of 50 + + grocery bags of food. The quality of the donated food was remarkably better than it has been in the past. Thank you for that. Prizes will come to the following groups on January 28th (the first Common Ground / home room of the second semester).

"CAN-ival" -- Most creative.... and most lucrative

"CAN-demic" -- Most cans

"CAN-junctivitis" --Punniest

Again, it is all about the cans and the food bank in the end, but thanks for making it a fun event!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Coach and Chemistry teacher Kevin Lavigne writes: I think this was one of the most difficult contests I have tried to solve with the kids. Fifty teams from all over Vermont signed up this year, but only 20 showed up with machines ready to compete, and only 10 teams had machines that actually worked when the time came. Hanover High began the week before the contest with no machines working, and brought four functioning machines to UVM ... It was a very stressful week with lots of long hours after school. On the day of the contest we had three machines working and one partially working. Three out of the 10 functioning in the whole contest were from Hanover!

This year's design challenge was to build a machine(s) that moved as many apples as possible from the trees in the Orchard to the Market Apple Bin in three five-minute runs. Power for the machine was derived from “wind” blown by no more than two standard window box fans.

The 19 HHS students in five teams placed as follows:

1st and 2nd in the IBM Overall Performance Award
3rd place in the General Dynamics Efficiency award
2nd place in the IEEE Design Profit Score Award
2nd place in the Pizzagalli Performance Bushels Delivered Award
1st place in the NRG Table Award

Click "read more" to see the official description of the contest.

The University of Vermont's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences sponsors an annual competition called Design Technology And Society Connection (TASC). The purpose is to give teams of high-school students the challenge and satisfaction of designing, building, and testing a device to perform a specified task. The program begins in September and culminates in December with schools bringing teams (a maximum of five students per team) to UVM to display devices they've created.

This competition is sponsored by businesses in Vermont and surrounding states.

The program is designed to help teachers encourage high school students to use their knowledge of physics and mathematics in a tangible way. The competition features many different aspects that appear in the high school curricula: including physical principles such as, work, energy, efficiency, pressure, friction, and inertia; mathematical principles such as functions, minima, maxima, and logarithms; oral and written communication skills; and drawing skills. Teams who carefully consider all of these aspects of the problem, who look at possible trade-offs in the design, and who thoroughly test the apparatus have the greatest success. Teamwork is a critical factor in determining success.

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Friday, January 15, 2010


Eric Meade and Skyler Patton are featured in the 1773 comedy by Anglo-Irish playwright Oliver Goldsmith. Poster design by Emma Rottersman. Be there!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Senior Amanda Washington from Hanover is the Student of the Month for January. Amanda is a focused and academically motivated student. She received a National Achievement Scholarship which places her in the top 3% of African-American students in the U.S. She is captain of the Swim Team, a council member and an organizer of Operation Day's Work. Amanda is vibrant, upbeat and gregarious and brightens our days at Hanover High.

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Monday, January 11, 2010


Chloe Connelly and Anna Johnson describe what they've done and what's coming up with Model U.N. Check out the video.

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Friday, January 8, 2010


Robin Nuse, a well-known local pastel artist, paid a visit to the HHS Drawing One class the day before winter break. Robin talked about pastel techniques, demonstrated them, and then led students in the creation of a small pastel landscape drawing.

Robin's web site describes her as working realistically in pastels and oils. Her subjects range from rivers, lakes, flowers and mountains to intimate glimpses of farms and the Connecticut River Valley. She showed her pastels and oils at the Howe Library in Hanover in December.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Art teacher Elizabeth Greene writes: Sculptor Glenn Campbell visited the HHS Art Department's sculpture class for an in-school field trip in December. He set up his temporary casting foundry in the back parking lot to melt bronze so that students could cast their work using the "lost wax technique." Students worked all day casting, cleaning and polishing.

Glenn has been visiting the sculpture class since 2003, starting as a guest artist on a Friends of Hanover Schools grant. Each year the students create wax pieces. Glenn makes molds for the work and brings the molds to HHS. The class (and any others interested) are invited to observe the casting. Students finish the bronze pieces in the school's art studio. It is an incredible opportunity for the HHS community to participate in such a complex and exciting process.

Glenn has a foundry in West Rutland, VT where he enlarges and casts the work of nationally-known artists. In December he installed a finished piece by Jim Sardonous (of 'Whales Tales' fame) in New Jersey.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Patty Armstrong of the HHS Music Department writes: Vermont Public Television is currently airing "Celebrate America", a program that includes the HHS Chorus performance of "To Where You Are." The program was conceived by musician Tim Janis and involved 15 high school choruses from Vermont recording at the public broadcasting studio in Colchester, VT. The program mixes traditional songs with new ones written by Janis for this public television special. The 110-member HHS Chorus enjoyed their first experience in a recording studio!

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Monday, January 4, 2010


Principal Deb Gillespie writes: Greta Mills, an HHS math teacher, has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching from the State of New Hampshire. The Presidential Award program identifies outstanding mathematics and science teachers who qualify to serve as models for their colleagues. Greta was one of two math teachers recognized in New Hampshire. Now her candidacy will be moved to the national level. Hanover High School is proud to have two previous Presidential Award winners, Jeanine King (Math) and Kevin Lavigne (Chemistry).

Greta remembers: This is my 10th year teaching at Hanover. I taught for four years at Kearsarge Regional High, my alma mater. Incidentally, my high school math teacher, Herwood "Zeke" Curtiss, was the first NH recipient of the Presidential Award, back in 1983. I think I was in Algebra 2 with him that year.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the nation's highest honor for teachers of mathematics and science. After state winners are chosen, the National Science Foundation convenes its selection committee of prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science educators, and past awardees who recommend to NSF a finalist in each category (mathematics or science). The Director of NSF then submits to the President of the United States a single finalist in each category for each state.

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