Feb 2012

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HighpointFEBRUARY 2012 Belmont High School 221 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA. 02478

SAYA 2012: AGAIN A SUCCESSBy BETH YOUNG

During the week of January 14th, 15 Chinese students and 2 teachers visited Belmont High School, each staying at the household of one American student for a week, shadowing their daily activities, including school, extracurriculars and clubs. These Chinese scholars were from Nantong, Nanjing and Suzhou, participating in a program called the Sino-American Young Ambassadors (SAYA). Inspired by President Barack Obamas speech during his visit to Beijing in 2009 about Sino-American collaboration, the Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation began the program, dedicated to promoting mutual understanding between China and the Western hemisphere. SAYAs objective is to give American and Chinese high schoolers the opportunity to experience international awareness CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Participants of the 2012 SAYA Program

Beth Young

In This IssueBelmont Idol Coverage & PhotosNEWS, PAGE 2

All You Need to Know About the Apocalypse 2012By JESSIE LU

Beauty and the Beast BHS Musical PreviewNEWS, PAGE 3

On December 21, 2012, it is generally accepted that the world shall end. Well, it is generally accepted that if the world were really to end, then it would end on December 21, 2012. Whatever ones views on this issue, it still may be helpful to explore some facts about the apocalypse, just in case the world ends in about eleven months. Or just in case it doesnt end at all. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

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SAYA Experience 2012and cultural immersion. In February of 2010, the program was launched when 14 Chinese students and 2 teachers visited BHS for a one week pilot program. The following year, a total of 70 Chinese students and 7 exchanges occurred at: Belmont High School, Winchester High School, and the St. Stephenss and St. Agnes School, among others. In order to became an ambassador in SAYA, Chinese pupils are required to undergo the PreAmeson Scholastic Test to measure their English ability. After qualifying, the Ameson Foundation provides the rest of the logistics, such as travel arrangements and safety. As a host school, BHS decides the pairings of foreign and American students based upon gender and similar age. The trip is not only for the enjoyment of travel, though, for the Chinese scholars are instructed to write a few pieces of writing reflecting upon the outing, particularly the differences they noticed in school and everyday life. Furthermore, each of them are expected to give a presentation or

performance to their host families and any other classes that wish to watch, about Chinese culture and traditions at the end of the week. This years exchange was tremendously successful, with many new hosts participating. Acquaintances and memories were made that will never be forgotten. Lei Huang, whose English name is Fairy, was one of the ambassadors, and gave her opinion on SAYA, This trip is interesting and meaningful. America is one of the strongest countries in the world so it is very important to find out the differences between American schools and Chinese schools. And, as for the differences between China and the U.S. she mentioned, American students are very outgoing and friendly...creative and independent. The teachers are more like friends than teachers...its easier for students to [learn] when [they] are comfortable and relaxed. The SAYA program has experienced a wonderful 2 years of cultural diversity and will continue to do so in the future. To learn more

about SAYA, visit the Ameson website: http://www.ameson.org/en/2011-1130-19-47-48/exchange-initiatives/sinoamerican-youth-ambassadors. And, if you are interested in becoming a host family, contact Ms. McDevitt or Dr. Harvey for any upcoming opportunities. Fairy Huang: This trip is interesting and meaningful. America is one of the strongest countries in the world so it is very important to find out the differences between American schools and Chinese schools. American students are very outgoing and friendly...the way of teaching is more open and specific. They dont know tell the students every step as clearly as Chinese teachers. Instead, they just tell them the strategies to solve the questions...the American students not only have some worksheets to finish but many interesting projects to do so most of the American students are very creative and independent.

Spotlight: Belmont Idol!Every year a talent show is hosted to benefit the Diversity Program at the Belmont High School. This year, more than thirty acts auditioned and only twelve were selected to perform in the BHS Auditorium on Friday, January 12 as a part of Belmont Idol. The emcees Sonia Mankin and Mikhail Fishman introduced the acts and entertained the audience between each performer. After each performance, the contestants were given feedback from the three judges Mr. Smokler, Ms. Larkin, and Fred Dominici. This year, Belmont Idol had its first rapper and its first band consisting of seven band members. After all of the performances, while judges determined this years Belmont Idolth

By CATHERINE TANG

winner, last years winner, Whitney Mulhern gave a special performance. At the end of the show, Whitney announced this years Belmont Idol winners: Olivia Kerins and Rosy Fitzgerald who sang and played the guitar. The show ended with all of the performers gathering on the stage to take a bow.(Right, Above) Whitney Mulhern

BHS Idolists

Elaine Miao

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Beauty and the Beast: A Preview By LAURA LEVITTBelmont High Schools Production of the Tale as Old as TimeWe all watched it as children. We sat on our living room floors and rooted for Belle, sympathized with the Beast, and despised Gaston. Well, now we have one more chance to watch Disneys classic, Beauty and the Beast. The Belmont High School Performing Arts Company is putting on its own unique rendition of the beloved fairy tale this March 15 17 . Director Christopher Brindley shares, Our production of Beauty and the Beast will most certainly pay homage to the Disney tale, however, as always I strive to find the truth in the story, which sometimes brings about some different choices. Brindley made the controversial and brave decision not to cut any student who auditioned and so with an outstanding seventy person cast a lot of true talent has made its way in. Brindley explains, It is my policy not to make cuts because I want as many kids as possible to have the experience ofth th

being on stage or behind the scenes. With that mentality in mind, the rehearsal process began, and students began the hard work necessary to pull off this tale as old as time. One actor, Chovi Nazaire who is playing the shows burly antagonist, Gaston, comments on the rehearsals noting, The rehearsals are generally lighthearted but always productive. Nazaire is a Belmont High senior who will be starring alongside senior Sienna Haines as Belle, senior Paul Green as the Beast, junior Alex Griffin as Lumiere, senior Katie Fallon as Mrs. Potts and a whole slew of other talented and enthusiastic actors. The production will also be starring two young boys to play the role of the endearing and innocent Chip, a young chipped teacup, making the production a true community effort, and one for all ages. The show also

has a 40 student backstage crew that will build the sets, make the costumes and essentially keep the whole show running from behind the curtains. Belmont High students are hard at work bringing to life their characters and the magical world the show takes place in. Soon, all they will need is an audience to share it with.

BHS Competes in the Division II MSTCA State RelaysBy LINDA LEE

On January 15, the Belmont indoor track team competed in the Division II MSTCA state relays at Reggie Lewis. The boys tied with Shepherd Hill and Tewksbury at 21st place with a final score of 2 points. They ran a hard race in the 4x200 meter, earning 43rd place with a time of 1:50.74. The boys ran another tough race in the 4x800 meter with a time of 9:31.26, placing 32nd. But things turned around for them in the 1600 meter spring medley: they ran an amazing race, placing fifth with a time of 3:50.18. In high jump, the boys placed tenth with a total height of 4.65m. On the girls side, though they did not place, they still ran well in their races. In the 4x50 meter, Belmont placed 20th with a time of 26.57. They did even better in the 4x200 relay, earning 17th place with a time of 1:56.00.

Unfortunately, Belmont got disqualified in the 4x800 relay because they passed out of the zone when they were handing off the baton. Even though they were disqualified, they still ran a good race, earning second in their heat. But the girls picked themselves back up in the 1600 sprint medley, placing 16th with a time of 4:40.31. The distance medley was a difficult race,

but the girls still placed 21st with a time of 14:19.95. Overall, the boys and the girls ran their hardest in the relays and they both represented Belmont High with flying colors.

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Apocalypse?

The actual term apocalypse is most likely derived from the Apocalypse of John in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. Literally, apocalypse means a lifting of the veil or revelation. The Book of Revelation depicts scenes of the future, some of which suggest the end of the world, which is perhaps why the term apocalypse was taken. The date of the apocalypse comes from one of the numerous Mayan calendars. This one calendar follows patterns of our suns relationship to the star Alcyone. The 26,000 year cycle end