The General Consensus The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School Mon, 10 Feb 2020 16:46:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Coronavirus: Should You Be Worried? Mon, 10 Feb 2020 16:46:38 +0000 The Coronavirus has been in the news for over a month, and is beginning to scare the population. A fast spreading respiratory virus from Wuhan China, the Coronavirus has motivated many to stockpile surgical masks, and become wary of anybody who comes from Asian descent.  

However, many people do not realize that the coronavirus does not as of now have the capacity to do the damage people fear it can. In reality, the Coronavirus has a death rate of just over 2% per the CDC. Yet, the virus does present many unique dangers that make it worthy of intense caution. The virus has a two week incubation period before the host shows any symptoms. This is not unheard of, but what makes it notable is that the individual is contagious during this time. This means that they can spread the virus before they know they have it, making it extremely difficult to control.

This disease has already been contacted by a Boston resident, a student of UMass Boston. However, in an interview with Inside Higher Ed, UMass Boston’s interim chancellor Katherine Newman reassures the public that “the risk to members of our communities [is] low,” and she expects “expects business as usual on campus.” The perceived threat to the university and the greater Boston area at this time is low, and we should act accordingly. However, there are still steps that the population can take in order to stay on top of this risk, and maximize safety.

Although the Coronavirus may be contagious, the following precautions will help you feel cleared from the virus mentally and physically. In an interview with school nurse Lea Tabanka, she said There is currently no vaccine to protect against 2019-nCoV. The best way to prevent infection is to  avoid being exposed to this virus.” This is unfortunate, but expected with a new disease. In an email written by Umass Boston’s interim chancellor, Katherin S. Newman suggests “thorough frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands.” are the best way to prevent oneself from contracting the disease.

Although these tactics are not 100% guaranteed effectiveness, it will help prevent other contagious viruses as well. Symptoms for the Coronavirus to watch out for include “a fever and symptoms of a respiratory illness (such as cough or shortness of breath)” Newman wrote. Signs of these symptoms should be reported immediately to any health care provider. Remaining up to date with the Coronavirus by reading the latest articles published by Boston Public Health Commission, Mass. Department of Public Health, and other reliable sources are definitely worth anyone’s time.

“CDC guidelines indicate that the virus is transmitted from close contact with an infected person, meaning within proximity of 6 feet” the Umass Boston’s ‘Coronavirus frequently asked questions” mentions. The virus itself is a “respiratory virus and [is] generally spread through respiratory secretions (droplets from coughs and sneezes) of an infected person to another person.” Umass Boston’s website also informs. In an interview with the school nurse, Lea Tabenkin claimed that as a community we are currently, “100% coronavirus free” so don’t worry there is no immediate risk as of now or the near future/

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The Grammy Awards Scandal Fri, 07 Feb 2020 15:53:41 +0000 Just ten days prior to the 2020 Grammy Awards, Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan was placed on administrative leave. In response, Dugan made claims regarding alleged corruption of the Academy. Citing misconducts such as systematic sexism and voting irregularities, she stirred up controversy surrounding one of the most watched awards shows on television.

The majority of Dugan’s accusations centered around the sexism she believes the Academy is founded upon. In fact, her lawyers released a statement that compared the treatment Dugan endured to the behavior of American film producer and indicted rapist Harvey Weinstein. She filed a discrimination charge with the office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but the central question remains: is Dugan telling the truth? 

In support of her claims, a recent study showed that only 10.4% of Grammy nominees between the years 2013 and 2019 were women. This is consistent with Dugan’s belief that women aren’t getting the recognition they deserve considering the level of female dominance at top of the charts. 

Grammy Awards Host and 15-time winner Alicia Keys seemed to address the rumors in her opening number, saying, “We want to be respected and safe in our diversity. We want to be shifting to (more) inclusivity.” Could she possibly be referencing the unethical “boy’s club” at the academy Dugan speaks of?

Taylor Swift, 10-time Grammy winner and 32-time nominee, was a no-show at the Grammys this year. Previously having been scheduled for a performance slot to debut her new single, “The Man,” Swift dropped out at the last minute, likely due to the Grammys sexism scandal. “The Man” is a feministic hit with empowering lyrics like “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can/ Wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man.” Amid rumors that the Academy presents nominations in favor of male artists, Swift’s choice to back out seems a tad suspicious. 

In glazing over the history of the Academy, Dugan’s remarks make sense. She was the first-ever female CEO, and was removed just eight months after being hired. Before Dugan, the Academy was led by former president Neil Portnow, who, unironically, was let go following sexist comments. After the 2018 Grammys, many were confused as to why women were only awarded 17 out of 86 trophies. 

When asked about it, Portnow was not shy, stating, “Women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level … [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome.” 

After going public with her accusations, Dugan further defended herself on NBC, saying that the core group of those in charge is made up of “predominantly white males.” So what has the recording academy done to reassure its voting members as well as the general public?

In the words of Harvey Mason Jr., interim president, “our focus on service to the music community…will remain uninterrupted and undiminished.” Women on the executive committee shared this attitude, stating they are doing everything in their power to increase diversity in the music industry. 

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ELECTION SEASON 2020 Mon, 27 Jan 2020 17:17:54 +0000 It is election season and the date for the 2020 election is November 3rd. The political climate in the United States is already a hectic one. While it’s clear that President Trump is the Republican candidate, the top four Democratic candidates running for the presidential nomination according to polls are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren. They all have similarities and differences amongst themselves, but one thing is certain about all of them; they desire to “defeat Trump” and implement new policies including how to address student debt.

Joe Biden is first in many polls (though recently an Iowa poll has Bernie Sanders leading). The former vice president to President Barack Obama is as close to the nomination as anyone has been in this cycle. His lead in the national polls and isn’t going anywhere due to strong African-American support. Biden continues to rack up endorsements, and he looks to have had a strong fourth-quarter fundraising total. He also continues to poll best against Trump, which is a quality that is at the top of most democratic voters’ minds. Biden’s ‘vision’ as stated on his website,, proclaims he will choose “hope over fear, science over fiction, truth over lies, and unity over division.” But what about his stance on student loans? According to Forbes, he plans to reverse the debt crisis. Biden doesn’t support across-the-board tuition-free college but supports two years of free community college.

Bernie Sanders, second in some polls first in others, promises to “achieve economic, racial, social and environmental justice for all” according to his website. Sanders has a very dedicated fan base particularly online. He desires to reinstate DACA, reform immigration laws, and champions himself as the vanguard of social justice. Sanders is popular among young people for his plans towards a “free” college, pursuing a “college for all” policy, as well as his plans to legalize marijuana as a whole. Sanders wants to cancel all student loans by Americans who owe a debt and place a cap on student loan interest rates going forward at 1.88 percent. He would be the first U.S. president of Jewish descent if elected. For more information on Sanders, check his website at

Pete Buttigieg, third in the polls, was actually in the military prior to his political career, deployed in Afghanistan. According to his campaign website,, Buttigieg promises to reinforce political, economic and social freedom and is also a member of the grassroots movement; he claims to be staunch environmentalist that will combat climate change. Buttigieg aspires to make college debt-free as much as possible and make a clear pathway for middle-class families to be able to pursue higher education. If elected, he would be the first (openly) gay president.

Elizabeth Warren is fourth in the polls and one of the six women from her party who have run this season, which is a historical record. According to Warren’s site,, she also follows liberal policies like the previous candidates and wants to help groups of people whom she believes are disenfranchised. Warren has proposed the elimination of college tuition and fees at all public two-year and four-year public colleges.

For the most part, high school Seniors who are 18 will be able to vote this election season. In Massachusetts, students can submit an application to register or pre-register to vote if he or she is a U.S. citizen, at least 16 years old, and has not been incarcerated by a reason of a felony conviction. Those who meet the criteria can apply online, by mail or in-person at a DMV. Students can find more information online on the government’s official site regarding the voting at

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How to avoid getting sick this season Thu, 16 Jan 2020 17:27:58 +0000

As students return from vacation, bad colds and flu-like symptoms begin to appear. Everywhere students are seen coughing on desks or wiping their noses on their sleeves. Germs are spreading all around the school, but there are ways people can help prevent getting sick themselves. 

Lea Tabanken, the nurse at Hamilton Wenham Regional High School, recommends that students wash hands with soap and water before and after meals and use hand sanitizer throughout the day to kill and prevent germs. 

Additionally, Tabanken says that adding, “lots of vitamin C and veggies in your diet can help.” According to, some great sources of vitamin D include orange juice, kiwi, cauliflower, kale, cantaloupe, and sweet yellow peppers.

She also says that “for a teenager, hydration is key and everyone should drink at least 70% of their body weight in ounces of water a day to stay healthy.” That may seem like a lot of water but that is the recommended amount to stay healthy. For a teenager who weighs 120 pounds should drink about 84 ounces of water a day.  That average bottle of water holds 16.9 ounces, so a 120-pound teen should drink 5 bottles of water a day. If using a Hydro flask that holds 24 oz of water, be sure to fill that up and costume three and a half times a day.

According to, students who get 8-10 hours of sleep are less likely to catch colds or sickness, than students who barely sleep. Being sick has become more and more common this year, and more cases of the flu have been diagnosed. CNN News reports that this flu season is said to be the worst in decades. 

As midterms approach, make sure to wash your hands and stay away from germs to try to stay healthy!

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Was Spirit Week Rigged Thu, 16 Jan 2020 16:56:04 +0000 Perhaps the most memorable ending of spirit week was lead by none other than the beloved senior class, who capped off the eventful week by walking out of the gym. Every class is remembered for something; for some, it’s raising a lot of money, and for others, it’s having a funny senior prank. This senior class will most likely be remembered for their walkout, instead of their many great attributes. When reflecting back at spirit week there was an obvious divide between the senior class and the faculty of the high school. Both have their own views, and neither side seems to be backing down. 

Being a freshman at Hamilton-Wenham, there are a couple of things that we’re clear about spirit week. The first is that prior to this year, the seniors always win; no matter what any other class does, the seniors will be crowned victorious at the end of the week. Some say this is because, by the time students are seniors, they are the most enthusiastic, perhaps because they are graduating soon. However, many also believe that the competition is rigged in favor of the seniors. Many classes seem to have resigned themselves to losing,  knowing when their senior year rolls around they will win. Regardless, every class seems to have a good time. Most people are excited to have the opportunity to represent their class in fun activities. This year, however, something felt different.

This year there seemed to be a cloud of tension between the seniors and the staff. It started with the hallway competition. Several seniors were seen messing with the freshmen hallway prior to judging, however, the freshmen didn’t seem too fazed.  Several other classes said this had been done other years and this was not the first time by any means. Additionally, a few seniors put up inappropriate pictures on the senior wall that faculty removed. This lead to a discussion about disqualification. The seniors were not disqualified, but were penalized and did not score well on this competition. 

From that point on, tensions seemed to rise.  Many seniors felt that the staff were over scrutinizing every decision they made as if the seniors had a target on their backs.  Some faculty felt that the seniors should set an example and were not necessarily acting their age.   

Other classes started to take sides.  The sophomores started supporting the seniors, while the juniors seemed to bate the seniors.  Nowhere was this better seen than the dodgeball tournament when the juniors were playing the seniors. Both classes were on the floor, yelling for their team. The seniors fell behind but were making a comeback when a controversial call was made by a staff member ending their fairytale win.  Students surged forward, seniors furious, juniors yelling taunts, both classes having to be told to sit down by the staff. 

As the week continued there were no events that matched the animosity of the dodgeball game. However, for anyone who paid attention, it was obvious that the feud between the juniors and seniors was far from over. Finally, as the end of the week came students gathered in the gym excited to start thanksgiving break. People were also anticipating the seniors walking out victorious, as much as the juniors had made a strong fight people knew that their time would be next year. As the assembly came to a close, it was clear the seniors were getting ready to storm the court, victorious. Then it was announced the juniors had won. It seemed as if the gym went quiet for a while, though it was mere seconds, then the started cheering. This is the seniors led the famous walkout. No one was sure what to make of it. Whatever it was it was followed with more controversy.  

Following the announcement, there was a powder puff game between the junior and senior girls.  Students on both teams were more physical than usual, including pulling hair and purposeful tripping of opponents. Finally, the game ended with the seniors being victorious all left a little bruised for break.

This year’s spirit week will always be considered one to remember. By the faculty, it will be remembered for the drama involving the seniors. The seniors will leave this school remembering the year they were robbed of the prize of bragging rights over the rest of the school that every senior class had been granted prior to this year. As spirit week continues in the years to follow one can only imagine what will be done by the faculty to prevent a repeat of the events that took place this year. Whether it be removing spirit week altogether or cutting back the number of days, changes will likely be made.  However, no changes will give the seniors back the win they lost.   









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Midterm Schedule 2020 Thu, 16 Jan 2020 15:15:33 +0000 This year Mid-terms are the week of January 21, 2020. Please follow the schedule below and make sure you are prepared for all of your exams. Good Luck Generals!


Tuesday, January 21, 2020: 

A block 8:00 -10:00

Break 10:00 -10:30

B block 10:30 -12:00

Wednesday, January 22, 2020:

C block 8:00 – 12:00

Break 10:00 – 10:30

D block 10:30 – 12:00

Thursday, January 23, 2020

E block 8:00 – 10:00

Break 10:00 – 10:30

F block 10:30 – 12:00

Friday, January 24, 2020

G block 8:00 – 10:00

Make-up 10:00 – 12:00

Could There Be a Draft? Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:29:38 +0000 As reported by the University of Michigan, between the years of 1964 and 1973, the U.S military drafted 2.2 million Americans,  ages 18 to 25, to fight in the Vietnam War. To some draftees, the war was justified, and they were honored to serve their country. However, to many others, the draft seemed like a death sentence. From intentionally failing aptitude tests to fleeing the country altogether, men went to extremes to avoid being drafted. For those men who were not drafted, but chose to enlist, 80% did not have a college education and came from poor families. 

Christian Appy stated the soldiers were, “powerless, working-class teenagers sent to fight an undeclared war by presidents for whom they were not even eligible to vote.”  

History may be repeating itself. On January 3rd, Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was assassinated by an air raid in Baghdad ordered by President Trump. Since then, tensions between both countries have risen immensely, causing people to question the possibility of a war. As America sent over 3,000 soldiers to the Middle East in response to the assassination, the Iranian government vowed to seek revenge on the US and President Trump. In retaliation, Iran launched missile strikes early Wednesday, January 8,  morning at Iraqui bases housing American soldiers, resulting in no casualties. 

However, it doesn’t seem their desire for vengeance is fulfilled; According to The New York Times,  Abdollah Araghi, a member of Iran’s joint chiefs of staff, stated they will “impose a harsher revenge on the enemy in the near future.”

Following Iran’s attack, President Trump signaled that there would be no further strikes in an attempt to de-escalate the conflict between the countries. Yet, Americans are still concerned about the fate of the country. Particularly after The Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) flight PS752 was shot down by a missile, believed to be a mistaken attack by Iran who thought the plane was a threat, not a passenger jet. All 176 people civilians aboard were killed.  

Additionally, many people around the world are confused about the evidence that lead the assassination Soleimani. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with CBS News on America’s decision to instigate, saying, “we made the right decision to take out this terrorist. [Soleimani] not only caused enormous death and destruction throughout the region, killed hundreds of Americans over the years, but had done so in the past couple of days, killed an American on December twenty seventh.”

Crowds form in Tehran, Iran to protest U.S policies and mark the anniversary of the American Embassy Takeover (1979). // Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Despite the government’s efforts to reassure the people, the general public became fixated on the chance the US may go to war. As the new decade began, an overwhelming surge of tweets, posts, and articles suggested many were fearful a war would lead to the implementation of a draft, as seen throughout history.

“World War III” started trending on Twitter and debates arose over the details of the draft, including female participation. As of now, only men between the ages of 18 to 25 are required to register for selective service. While this could change in the future, it would entail the establishment of new legislation. 

However, as tension is slowly decreasing, it seems these discussions do not need to be had at this point in time. Connecticut College’s assistant professor of Government and International Relations, Eric Fleury, told  USA Today that “the likelihood of a draft is astronomically small,” as the decision would be “militarily impractical and politically toxic.”  Currently, America has a sufficient amount of people to serve in Iran, but if the situation escalates to an emergency that could change.

On January 8th, President Trump addressed to the American public, reminding them that America is safe and their government has the country’s best interest in mind. The US government is confident they did what was necessary in order to protect its people, and believes it rightfully established the notion Iranian leadership must understand: “attacking Americans is not cost free” (CBS News). That cost, however, could one day be paid by men, and perhaps women, who are drafted. For now, the draft remains solely a part of history.

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Running for Team Big Heart Tue, 14 Jan 2020 19:07:42 +0000 On April 20th, 2020, Boston will host the 124th annual marathon with participants from 112 countries and all 50 states. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual Marathon dating back all the way to 1897, which only had 18 participants according to The Boston Athletic Association. The Boston Marathon is held on each Patriots day with an average of 30,000 participants, a significant increase from the first marathon. 

Two local participants running the 2020 marathon are brothers, Jay and Adam Frontierro. This year will be Jay’s second time participating in the Boston Marathon and Adam’s first. The Frontierro’s are running for the non-profit charity known as the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation. The foundation was created by the Middlemiss family and friends in memory of their baby boy, Joseph Middlemiss. 

Joseph passed away in September of 2013 at the age of six. He suffered from a disease known as “cardiomyopathy”. Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease that causes the heart to struggle to deliver blood throughout the body. The Joseph Middlemiss Foundation is dedicated to raising money for funding cardiomyopathy research and supporting families battling pediatric cardiac conditions. The money will help the families pay medical bills, buy groceries, and gas so they can focus on caring for their child. The foundation also spreads love, joy, and kindness to all as Joseph did in his daily life. 

Training for the marathon is intense and meticulous work. For first time runners such as Adam, there are around twenty weeks of training time. Training includes running at least 30-40 miles a week, a healthy diet, and weight lifting once or twice a week. For runners who are time qualifiers, such as Jay, run around 70 miles a week. Training is especially crucial for running in Boston because unlike other major marathon courses, Boston has tight twists and turns and brutal, long uphill runs.

The course begins in Hopkinton and ends on Boylston Street with numerous historical landmarks for the runners to pass as they complete the marathon. Water, food, energy gel, course clocks, and mile/kilometer signs are conveniently place along the course as the runners need. Medical staff are found throughout the course to treat injured or exhausted runners.

Celebrations are held after the marathon is over where participants can eat, drink, interact, party, and receive jackets with their time embroided on the back as a simple memento for a great achievement. Runners also share training techniques and overall experiences of running. 

Runners from all over the world participate in the Boston Marathon for various reasons, many of which are to raise money for charities. Each year the Boston marathon succeeds in creating a sense of unity and pride for the runners and those who have come to support them.


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HW Teacher and Other Locals Run for a Cause Tue, 14 Jan 2020 18:58:38 +0000 0 What will the GOAT do? Tue, 14 Jan 2020 18:57:16 +0000 Every Patriots fan, every football fan nationwide watched the TV with shocked faces as the underdog Tennessee Titans toppled the goliath that is the New England Patriots. The greatest player of all time, Tom Brady ended his season with a pick 6, losing the game 20-13. It felt surreal, and in many eyes, reflects the end of a dynasty and the eventual decline of Brady. 

Without a doubt, Tom Brady is one of the greatest players of all time, winning six Super Bowls out of 9 total played, as well as holding numerous records for passing, and both regular season as well as postseason wins. However, the decline in his performance has been noticeable this year. His pass completion percentage has decreased significantly in the last three years from 67 to 61%, according to Brady has never been a running quarterback but he could always compensate for this pinpoint accuracy and arm strength. This year he threw for, merely 24 touchdowns, his lowest in the last 11 years, and a far cry from his record 50 in the 2007 season. 

What Tom Brady should do is walk off into the Sunset, proud of all his accomplishments, and retire as a patriot, the team he has spent his whole career with. Brady is 42 years old, an ancient relic compared to the 20 sum starting quarterbacks in the NFL under the age of 27, as noted by CBS. Continuing to play, worsening in performance each year, will only tarnish his legacy and lessen his statistical accomplishments. Worse than this, playing for another team, which is a possibility, would be a betrayal of millions of Patriots fans who view him as nothing less than a God. Riding off into the sunset as a Patriot, the winningest QB of all time will solidify his legacy as the greatest player of all time. 

Unfortunately, I don’t think that this is the plan. When asked about his plans for the future, especially retirement, Brady responded, “I would say it’s pretty unlikely, but yeah, hopefully unlikely.” This would indicate Brady plans on continuing to play. His next responses worried me, “I was proud to be a part of this team. Again, I just don’t know what’s going to happen, and I’m not going to predict it.” and “I’ve loved playing for this team for two decades and winning a lot of games. I’ve always tried to do the right thing. Who knows what the future holds, so we’ll leave it at that.” 

Brady has never been so indecisive about his future before, and especially his future with the Patriots. Even more notably, his family’s house has been put on the market. Willie Mcnnit, an expert on the NFL commented on Brady’s salary, which as of 2017 was less than 12 other quarterbacks, who were all unequivocal less qualified and successful than him. He said “ I don’t think the hometown discount gonna happen anymore. When you look at all the players, the teams in the NFC, all those quarterbacks make more than Tom. There’s a lot of players that make more than Tom with fewer accomplishments. I think that plays a big factor.” 

What I say to all is this: How much is money worth to a man with a net worth of 180 million? The only reasons for Tom Brady leaving the Patriots would insinuate a big ego, feeling he is underpaid, and his desire to prove he can win without Belichick. Tom Brady should hang up the cleats, leaving his legacy as both a player and a Patriot intact. The debate is over about his greatness, and there is nothing else he has left to prove, but rather something to lose. 


Photo of Gillete Stadium, Foxborough MA prior to the Patriots-Titans playoff game. Taken by Audrey Fusco on Saturday, January 4th.

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