Page 1

December, 2010 Volume 1, Issue 3

The Mohawk Post The Millis High School Newspaper

Of special interest:

Ms. Ziemba: MVP! By Kasey Aulenback

• Ms. Ziemba!

For this issue The Mohawk Post would like to acknowledge the work of someone who is very special to the students, the faculty, and the school as a whole: Ms. Ziemba. She is the MVP of our entire school. If you need help with anything Ms. Ziemba is there: no questions asked. Besides being an excellent teacher, she is also a wonderful “friend” who will always listen and guide without judgment or criticism. What most people don’t realize is how much effort and love Ms. Ziemba puts into this school. For the past five years, her efforts helped make Millis High School a happier place. What has she done in December? Most recently - she planned a birthday party for our custodian, Emil. Ms. Ziemba and Mr. Mullaney were discussing Emil turning 60 and decided to throw him a bowling birthday party. A good number of students and staff attended, and Emil was really happy. Why did she do this? Because, she said, it was a nice community gathering, it made her happy that the school participated, made a card, and congratulated Emil. “I brought the coolest cake I could find! Emil loved it.” Student Council plays a big role in our school and is another part of Ms. Ziemba’s dedicated time and effort. Ms. Ziemba loves boosting the school’s spirit and having the students come together. She told me that Student Council itself does not get enough recognition. The students who run the council are awesome leaders with creative ideas and in her opinion are “the hardest workers in the school.” Ms. Ziemba, a woman fascinated by civic virtue and responsibility, worked with

• Emil’s birthday! p. 4 • Barnes & Noble photos – p. 5

Individual Highlights: Winter Concert


Commercialism & Christmas?

2, 3

Around the Town 4 New Year’s


I Pads


students to amend the Student Council Constitution and encouraged the students to build awareness. Student Council organizes nearly every school event. The leaders of student council are amazing, and Ms. Ziemba without a doubt deserves the credit for steering them in the right direction. If you want to get involved (because, as Ms. Z. says, it’s so rewarding!) they meet on B days. For the fourth year, Ms. Ziemba read at the Barnes and Noble book fair. Going to the Barnes and Noble book fair is one of Ms. Ziemba’s favorite things to do during the year for two reasons: she love books, and she loves reading to children. As she described it, “I love seeing their eyes widen and their mouths gap open as I am telling the story.” When asked what holiday message she wants to share, Ms. Ziemba responded, “I want them to realize that it is not about the gifts. If you do good things for each other all year long then that’s all that matters.” To her, kindness should not begin and end during the holiday season, but is a never-ending occurrence. For example, she asked her ninth grade history class to contribute a dollar each to help buy gifts for the Home for Little Wanderers. Instead, they generously brought in enough money to buy numerous gifts for children their age. “I want everyone to recognize their compassion, ” says Ms. Z. Ms. Ziemba’s wisdom, guidance, generosity and humor makes her an incredible person and valued asset to Millis High School. The Mohawk Post would like to say “Thank you, Ms. Ziemba! You are truly our December MVP!”

Note: Ms. Ziemba would also like all female students to know how rewarding it is to know that you can protect yourself! The R.A.D. program is an excellent confidence booster than embodies female power. It is a self-defense class instructed by the Millis Police Department. If you have any questions or to sign up, please see Ms. Ziemba! Ms. Ziemba, our MVP!

The Mohawk Post

Page 2 of 6

Christmas & Commercialism: Editorials Christmas commercialized – by Juliana LaVita It's Christmas morning. You see the vibrant, glowing red of your digital clock telling you that it's only 6:30 AM, but that doesn't matter to you. You toss aside your covers and start excitedly sprinting down the hall to uncover what awaits you under the tree. You bask in the glory of an ornamented spruce with presents circling its stem, a wide array of presents, from big to small, not even including the red stocking hanging over the fireplace filled to its capacity. A wide grin appears on your face, clearly from the recognition that it's a religious holiday, right? WRONG. No matter the season, whether it be Christmas, Hanukah, or any other ethnic celebration, this time of the year has come to mean gift-getting and basically nothing else. With the abundance of commercials revolving around holiday deals, even so far as car dealers thinking that everyone wants a Lexus under the tree this year, one can think, “what happened to the morals behind holidays?” Everyone has a tradition, but it st seems as though the only tradition of the 21 century is gift exchange. The gift-getting of the holidays is apparent as early as the time when classic rock stations start blasting Christmas music,

around Black Friday. At this time in November, not only is everyone preoccupied with gifts in stores, but even at home people are shopping for deals online! According to, “Online retailers saw an overall 15.9% sales growth between Black Friday 2009 and Black Friday 2010. The price of the average order also rose 12.1% from around $170 per order to $190.80,” showing that people have definitely set their minds on consumer goods more than the supposed joy and magic of holiday bliss (“Black Friday Sales Figures Soar for Online Retailers”). Years ago, the holidays were simple times, accompanied by families gathering around the television to watch the TV specials such as Frosty and Rudolph. Nowadays, people are going online to outbid, out-shop, and outdo relatives for the latest trends to buy for their tech-savvy kids. It's strange to believe that holidays were once based on religion judging by how kids now idolize Santa, or even the nice man at the Apple store promising that their parents will definitely purchase that great new Mac. Source: “Black Friday Sales Figures Soar for Online Retailers.” Mashable. 2010, Web. 14 Dec. 2010.

Winter Concert highlights by Linh Nguyen and Anna Turovsky The Millis High School band and chorus performed their annual winter concert December 22nd. Selections included holiday songs such as Sleigh Ride, with special guest Ms. Ziemba playing the slapstick. Also included

are “Christmas Recollections” and “Celebration of Hanukkah”. The band and chorus worked hard to make this a terrific concert. Thanks to the members and their teachers, Mrs. Norton and Mr. Femino. Great job!

Page 3 of 6

The Mohawk Post

More Christmas Commercialism Comments – by Paul Rowley I visited the Natick Mall one early November evening. Already, its “halls” were decked, the storefronts sported festive glass ornaments and wreaths, and each window was wrapped in garland. The only missing component was Santa and his elves! Mostly, I noticed the delicious scent of Aunt Annie’s Pretzels. During the day, Aunt Anne’s blends into the air, but at night, the smell fills the entire complex with the aroma of cinnamon holiday twist. I remember when I was little, and I used to fight with my mom for her to buy me a pretzel from the Aunt Annie’s on the second floor. She eventually gave in, and either got one for each of us or just ate some of mine. But if you tried to buy one, the line was terrible. So, the Natick Mall solved this problem of by opening an identical Aunt Annie’s on the first floor. Yet the thought of two Aunt Anne’s diminishes its value for me. Next I past Brookstone, a very swanky, geeky paradise of awesome things no one actually needs, but marketed as “wants”. A store employee was flying a $300 helicopter jet hybrid around the store, and a crowd of people had gathered in the front to watch him. I sat in a massage chair to observe the toy as it hovered right over my head. As the jet was maneuvering through the store, it crashed it into the wall, sputtered and hit the floor. He turned to me and enthusiastically said, “Isn’t that sick?” I nodded. It was. But who would have any useful purpose for it? Maybe you could attach a camera to the bottom of it and try to be a secret agent. Brookstone probably has cameras for this purpose. When someone asks you why you

are spying on your neighbors, you could turn and say, “But isn’t that sick?” The Apple Store is a gathering spot: people check their Facebook pages on highspeed laptops, use the latest iTouch, and play with the new iPhone 4G. (Just make sure you don’t save your password!) When we left I happened to notice the iPone 4G ad – nearly a duplicate of the ad for the “older” iPhone 3G. And comparing the two – there isn’t a huge difference. As I was leaving, I saw a little girl on the elevator. She was dressed in Abercrombie and Fitch, lugging a huge shopping bag in one hand and a cell phone in the other. She was yelling at her mother that she was hungry. I wanted to tell her that there was an Auntie Annie’s on the first floor. So I left the mall, go into my car, and the radio played Andy Williams, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year”. When I was younger, that song signified that the best part of the seaon. I’d listened to how wonderful the kids jingle belled, and how everyone told you to be of good cheer, and didn’t care how many times I heard it. That night, though, it didn’t matter how wonderful this time of the year was. For the first time, I thought about how Andy Williams would return next year, singing the same song and what I thought the holidays were didn’t really matter. Either way it was going to be wonderful and too early, and shoved down your throat, until you start believing that the spirit of Christmas wants you go buy a $300 helicopter jet hybrid, or a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s, on any floor of the mall you choose.

Are you making a new year’s resolution? Check out Chi Chi’s article and share yours, too! Tell a staff and we’ll put it in our January Issue!

The pretzel smell fills the entire complex with the aroma of cinnamon holiday twist.

Holiday helpers at B&N!

The Mohawk Post

Page 4 of 6

All Around the Town - by Kelly Lane

Culture is alive at Millis High School!

The students of Millis High School have been hard at work over the weeks leading up to the holidays! We have been working on a diverse array of impressive projects. Many students have been getting into the spirit of giving in time for the holidays through various charitable endeavors. The TV Studio, in conjunction with Benefactors, put on a telethon on December 16 to raise donations for the Home for Little Wanderers. Many students lent their talents at the Barnes and Noble Book Fair on December 15 to raise money for the school library. Representatives from Benefactors and National Honor Society volunteered at the Lions’ Club annual Senior Citizen Christmas luncheon. Thank you to all these students for improving our community! Culture is alive at Millis High School! The band and chorus, besides playing at the book fair, played lovely holiday concerts. Terpsichore performed a gorgeous rendition of the Nutcracker Suite. The Drama Club put on a hilarious production of The Father of the Bride. The Art Club hosted a fused glass workshop. The

students who participated in all these events took part in enjoyable, educational experiences. Finally, Common Ground hosted its second annual UBU Week last week! This week was dedicated to loving yourself for who you are. On Monday, Common Ground held a poetry slam in conjuction with Dead Poets’ Society in which students were invited to read original poems about self-confidence. Tuesday was Roots Day, when students dressed up as something that represented their heritage or something they were passionate about. Wednesday was Wacky Tacky Wednesday, and Thursday was NoMakeup-and-Sweats Day; both these days were meant to show that you’re comfortable with yourself. Friday was Sticker Day, when students sport stickers covered with all the reasons their friends love them. These are just a few of the projects students have been working on! As you can see, students have earned the break they’re about to enjoy. Hopefully, we can come back in 2011 well-rested and ready to work harder than ever at all our many endeavors!

Happy 60th Birthday, Emil!

Ms. Ziemba bought Emil “the coolest cake I could find” and Emil loved it!

Bowling Party – what fun! Ryan’s Family Amusements

Team Millis joins the celebration! Thanks for your help, guys!

The Mohawk Post

Page 5 of 6

Page 5 of 6

New Year’s Resolutions by Chi-Chi Osuagwu Happy New Year! It’s a new year and, to many, a new fresh start. Writing New Year’s resolutions is a tradition in many different families, but how many people keep them? One reason people do not commit to resolutions is because they don’t think they can stick with them. But here’s a plan to help you follow your resolutions: 1. Choose a goal that is within your reach (NOT “winning the lottery”!) 2. Set guidelines for your goal (for example, if your resolution was to focus more on schoolwork, a guideline could be to limit watching TV). 3. Don’t give up! The most important thing about New Year’s resolutions is that they try to help your lifestyle and to help you be a better person. Senior Marisa Parand, past Captain of the Millis Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team., discussed her ideas on resolutions: Chi-Chi Osuagwu: Do you take your New Year’s resolutions seriously? Marisa Parand: Well, it depends on if the resolution I choose is serious or not. CO: Okay, well, what do you mean by that? MP: For example, say my New Year’s resolution was to play basketball. That would

be unrealistic because I don’t like basketball. But a New Year’s resolution to work hard in the summer and practice soccer so I can play better next season would be realistic because I really like the sport. The basketball one is a joke. CO: Okay, so did you make any resolutions last year? MP: My one resolution was to treat my parents with more respect at all times. CO: Any tips on how to stick with a new resolution for the New Year? MP: Stick with it and, if you feel like you’re faltering, just remind yourself why it was one in the first place. CO: So did you feel like you achieved your resolution this year? MP: Yes, I feel like I definitely did, and it helped me get closer with my parents. CO: Thank you for your time, Marisa. MP: No problem, Cheech. Marisa made an effort to work on something for the New Year. Why don’t you try something too? If you work hard and accomplish your goal, in the end you will feel really good about it. Have a happy New Year everyone, and see you in 2011!


Barnes & Noble reading – Thanks! Many thanks from Mrs. Divver to everyone who came to read, perform, and gift-wrap at the Barnes and Noble event last week. With the Millis High School Band and Chorus members, staff members reading, student volunteers gift-wrapping, and artwork from the HS students on display, it was truly a ‘whole-school’ effort!. Over $400 was raised for the library. Thank you!

Thanks to everyone for reading and performing!

TheGrade Mohawk Postby Siobhan Fagan I-Pads for Eighth Students

Page 6 of 6 Millis Middle/High School 245 Plain Street Millis, MA 02054 PHONE: 508-376-7010 FAX: 508-376-7020 E-MAIL:

Kelly Lane, Editor Editorial Board: Milan Artis Kasey Aulenback Melissa Donovan Siobhan Fagan Marissa Ford Lillie Greenwood Zara Ignatova Kostyuchenko Kateryna Juliana LaVita Shannon Miles Julia Molinaro Linh Nguyen Chi Chi Osuagwu Paul Rowley Caroline Spangenberg Sara Spangenberg Francesca Williams Maggie Xenidis Mr. Carter & Mrs. Divver, Co-Advisors

How many times have we asked our math teachers “why do I have to learn this?” or said “I will never need this in real life”? How often do we as students not understand the material we’re being taught because the way it is taught is rather difficult for us to comprehend? The new 1-to-1 learning initiative is working towards solving this problem, working from the ground up. Starting in late January of 2011, the 8th graders of Millis Middle School will each be given Apple iPads. There are 110 students and 120 student iPads. The 14 middle school teachers and other administration were all given iPads at the beginning of the season; in all there are 150 in the district. With these new iPads, the teacher’s role is redefined as a facilitator, rather than the one who stands up in front of the class providing the information. Students are given different choices on projects in this new project-based learning system. They are given more responsibility, not only on learning on their own, but they are also responsible for the safety of the iPads. They will be given cases and locks for their lockers with recharge carts available in the homerooms for students who elect not to bring their iPads home. The iPad will be used in every class and its bounds will be pushed to see how effective it truly is. The main question on most people’s minds, however, is why 8th graders? Why not give iPads to seniors, juniors, or anyone in the high school? The response from Ms. Magley, head of the Technology department, made right next door toTechnology.

Do you have something to add to the newspaper? Photos, poetry, ads? Please feel free to send them to us, or to ‘drop in’ a meeting and join the staff! We meet on G Days in the Library and are always open to new members or contributions! Send your articles to us online in word or pdf format. Photos should be in jpg if possible. Send to Kelly Lane, Mr. Carter or Mrs. Divver.

Literary Lunch – Join us!

sense. The team of teachers in the Middle School has been trained in blended learning. Also, location was ideal: the middle school is The 8th graders will be in high school next year and this is preparation for them. It is also the goal of the Technology department to expand to the high school next year, depending on how this year goes. They intend to start with the freshmen and gradually move up, year by year. It wouldn’t make sense, explained Ms. Magley, to start with juniors and seniors who are getting laptops at this point anyway. This world is becoming more and more technology oriented and students need to be able to use technology to a higher degree of proficiency than in the past. There will be several evaluations in the coming months to see if the iPad really is effective both in helping students learn and teachers teach. All evaluations will be posted on the Millis Public School’s website on the Technology page.

The next meeting of the Literary Lunch group is on January 10th, and we are reading Dennis Lehane’s books (Shutter Island or Gone Baby Gone are in the library). This group has been meeting for the past six years, with Mr. Caulfield, Mrs. Boissy and Mrs. Divver co-leading the discussion. Interested? Bring your lunch and come talk about books! Check out our blog, too! The Lit Lunch Book Blog:

The Mohawk Post - December 2010  

Revisit a past issue of the Mohawk Post.