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CATS Academy Boston Prom 2017

By: Jackie Kovalcin

With the theme “Masquerade Ball” and  title “A Night of Elegance”, the prom had high expectations. And although I can only speak for myself, I’m sure everyone would agree that it went above and beyond in every way possible. It was truly a night of elegance. Prom 2017 was night of beautiful people, great music (especially Miron and Ha), lots of dancing, and a million photographs. From the delicious catering, going all out on the  dance floor, to the photos we’ll have forever, it’s easy to say we made the prom memorable night.

None of this could’ve been done without the Senior Prom Planning Committee who did everything from selecting the location to making sure there was a photo booth for our enjoyment. So for all your hard work, thank you. In addition to live music to kick off the dancing, we were treated to a heart-warming speech given by Jeungsoo Noh, a senior of four years here at CATS Academy, who introduced himself to the crowd as “Jeungsoo the Great”.

And a special congratulations to our prom king and queen Julliana Aya and Luigi Michelin!

Six Flags an Awesome Trip: Interview with Vuong Tran

Photo Source: Theme Park Review

By:  Brian Nguyen

“After spending a second on my very first roller coaster, I knew it was the greatest school trip this school year.” – Hieu Tran on our great trip to Six Flags.

What did you think about Six Flags trip for freshmen through juniors?

“I really liked the thrill rides.  I found out there was Six Flags near Boston when I came to CATS during the first month. At the beginning of the school year, Mr. Angell told us that we would have a trip to Six Flags at the end of the year. I have waited quite long, but the wait was worth it.”

What rides did you spend time on? And what was your favorite?

“I spent all of my time on roller coasters, primarily Goliath, Mind Eraser, Scream, Superman and Wicked Cyclone. The Wicked Cyclone was the one I liked most.  I wasn’t as “thrilled” by the Superman ride, but I still liked it. I went on Wicked Cyclone many times; when I had to leave, I wished I could have more time, even 30 minutes to continue riding it with my friends.”

What did you think after spending the day there?

“I really want to say thanks to CATS, for offering this trip to the students. I feel sorry for students who didn’t have a chance to go on this trip. I will be here next year, so I really hope CATS will offer this trip again for all students. If Mr. Angell announces that we will have a Six Flags trip again, there’ll be no words to describe my joy!”

Mr. Angell Appointed Headmaster of CATS Academy Boston

By: Jackie Kovalcin

You’ve probably heard the news  or seen the signs in the cafeteria by now, announcing the appointment of Christopher Angell to the head of school position here at CATS Academy Boston. Perhaps you tasted the celebratory sundaes served with lunch last week, congratulating Mr. Angell on his success. This is a very exciting time for both the administration and the student body. The announcement of Mr. Angell’s appointment is a big step in the right direction for the bright future of CATS Academy. I was able to sit down and have a conversation with Mr. Angell about this exciting time.

What does it feel like to be appointed headmaster?

Mr. Angell: “It’s exciting, but also challenging. I think it’s an awesome responsibility. I now have to be sure that every student here is successful in every possible way. I also have to supervise a huge group of really well-trained and experienced faculty, administration, and staff. Doing both of these things will be, like I said, exciting and challenging.”

What is your favorite part about being Headmaster?

Mr. Angell: “I think my favorite part of it is helping both the faculty and the students achieve the goals that they have set for themselves. I like to think of myself as a leader, I need to set a tone as far as the school’s concerned. But an even more important task for me is supporting both the staff and students. In other words, I told the faculty that I think of myself as helping to paint the painting, and supplying the faculty with the paintbrushes and paint necessary. This applies to the students as well.”

What are some changes you see for the future of CATS Academy Boston?

Mr. Angell: “I think that we’ve made some improvements over spring vacation. I think there are some changes coming up as far as the physical facilities are concerned. I am very interested in upgrading and improving the student living areas such as in between the dormitories and the athletic fields. I would also like to give the students as many different and new kinds of academic courses, electives, and challenges they want during the school year. I’m looking forward to the growth of the school. We’ll probably be seeing some additional students next year with our homestay and day-student programs. Adding that to the mix will be both exciting and challenging”

Congratulations Mr. Angell!

 

Participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day

Share a poem with everyone you meet on Poem in Your Pocket Day at CATS Academy Boston on April 27th. Select a poem or compose an original work and carry it with you in your pocket all day, sharing the poem and the fun of National Poetry Month wherever you go.

Adapted from: Academy of American Poets

CATS Madness Basketball Tournament

By: Tristan Fornari Hospital

On Friday, April 7th, 2017, the first CATS Madness 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament took place in our state of the art gym during the evening. The event was organized by Math teacher and Student Government Advisor Mr. Mike Cerbarano along with some students from student government. Each of these students’ passion and dedication showed through the success and meticulous organization of the event. The food, entertainment, music, mini-games, a three-point contest, and free throw competition added to the allure of the event.

The event was supported by teachers, staff members, and dorm parents who volunteered to be referees. Their role in helping the event run smoothly cannot be overlooked.

Overall the tournament was a complete success that exceeded all expectations. Mr. Cerbarano was pleasantly surprised that many student spectators came to the tournament to support their friends who were playing. This added to the positive and fun environment of the tournament. Lastly, I want to congratulate all the winners of this major event, Sebastian Uribe Munera, Horacio Ornelas Ramirez, and Guilherme Sousa Pires beating the runners up Weir (Wenzheng) Zhu, Ross (Ganghun) Kwon, and Lo Tsz Fung. Ultimately, the whole CATS Academy community deserves credit for being supportive of this wonderful event.

Survival Guide: How to Survive the Springtime

By:  Jackie Kovalcin

Spring can be beautiful. The weather becomes gradually warmer, the flowers begin to poke through the dirt, and the sun shows more and more of itself with each passing day. Spring can also be less than beautiful. With the mud, allergies, and soggy fields, spring can be less-than-optimal. Below are some tips to help guide you through this transitional season.

  • Avoid pollen: This is a common allergen that can trigger strong allergies during the springtime. In order to minimize contact with it, try to limit your exposure to the outdoors on particularly high pollen-count days. Use the air conditioner instead of opening a window, run indoors instead of outside, and try to find an allergy medicine that works for you.
  • Invest in good sunglasses, and an umbrella: With the moody weather that coincides with the springtime, both of these objects will come in handy when battling the elements.
  • Clean up: Pick a day to have a “spring cleaning”. Rid your dorm room of unwanted possessions, old papers, and garbage. Organize! It will take work and time, but the feeling afterwards is worth it. Start off the spring season clean, you’ll thank yourself later.
  • Stay focused: As tempting as it may be to start slacking off with the promise of a lazy summer just around the corner, it is important to finish off the school year strong (this goes for you too, seniors). With finals coming up, and the inevitable end of year insanity, this is the time to buckle down and really apply yourself to your studies.

Earth Hour 2017

Photograph Source: Barrie Today

By: Rafaela Goncalves

In the essay “Earth Hour 2017: ‘There’s never been a more critical moment in the fight’, Jueun Choi, from USA TODAY, points out that, on the following Saturday from the day the news was published, almost 200 countries and territories all over the world would show their support for the “protecting the planet” cause by going dark for an hour starting at 8:30pm on March 25, 2017. Terry Macko, senior vice president of marketing and communications at World Wildlife Fund, believes that the Earth Hour is a chance to show the world we, as a whole, dwell and stay strong, firmly, to the Paris Agreement established purpose. In addition to shutting down all the lights, the organization urges people to contribute with other actions too, such as changing and donating their Facebook profile picture and feed to the cause. Aiguo Dai, a professor in the department of atmospheric and environmental sciences at the University at Albany, claims the dark hour is a symbolic gesture. In addition, some hotels as Hilton and Marriott International are collaborating with the cause by doing some promotions and some artists are even giving support to the campaign.

Snow Days Feedback

By:  Sasha Chernysheva

In the previous publication of our newspaper, Jacqueline Kovalcin suggested some great ways to survive a frosty, long, and severe New England winter. I suppose, however, that there is one more essential factor to be added: the snow days.

On February 8th and 12th the entire CATS Academy community was happy to receive an email with the sacred words: “No school tomorrow.” CATS staff members and students could sleep in and have a well deserved rest after all.

What were some of the things that the students enjoyed doing over these days?

  • Some of the students went outside despite the bitter cold, to build snowmen and jump in the snow. Students could be seen taking pictures and laughing the entire day until the very end of curfew at 7:45pm.
  • Maya Alarcon described her snow days by stating, “My experience on the snow days was amazing because I am from Mexico and I’ve never been to a place with snow. It was new for me. I also enjoyed playing outside in snow with my friends!”
  • My personal experience was far different from many of my peers. Since I come from Russia, a very snowy country, I have experienced far too often the feeling of snow days. I prefer staying in my bed on such days, reading, watching Netflix with a mug of hot chocolate in my hands, wrapped in a warm blanket, and dreaming of the beach and the sun.

Even though different members of the CATS Academy Boston community chose to spend these days in various ways, many doing homework, they still refill you with the positive feedback and energy to go back to classes.

THE SUN ARRIVES LATER, THE LIFE OF THE THEATRE BEGINS NOW

By: Jennifer Phan

The Sun Arrives Later, CATS first student-directed and produced play, made its debut on February 16 and 17 to an outstanding success. The play grapples with its center conflict of conformity versus non-conformity through the life of Edward (Daniel O’Hare), a schizophrenic accountant in a dystopian world, his adventure to the Bass Café, house of the strange and the eccentric, and his adventure of self-discovery to reconcile between social expectations and personal longings. Told in witty dialogues and enacted through superb students performances, The Sun Arrives Later has not only set precedent as the first student-led production but also high standards for theatre in our community.
I had the chance to sit down with Gabriela Santana Taveras, the director of The Sun Arrives Later, to talk about inspirations, themes, and the possibility of a play within a play.

The title, The Sun Arrives Later, is a perfect embodiment of time as a social construct, a recurring theme in the play. It also reminds me of Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Would you say that your title was inspired by Hemingway’s? Were there other works that influenced your creative process?

Yes, I was definitely inspired by Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, especially in the sense that the characters in my play were also modeled after real people. I also drew inspiration from some of my favorite plays of all time, Waiting for Godot, Equus, and Nice Fish. But I tried not to rely too heavily on classics and existing works, because this is, after all, experimental theater.
Can you tell me more about experimental theater and your experience with it?
Definitely. I think my understanding of experimental theater comes largely from my time at the American Repertory Theater. What we did for the whole first week at the ART was coming up with ideas, and somehow they all came together to create a coherent piece, World Sick. That was what I did for The Sun Arrives Later. I had ideas, but there was no concrete story. We started off with a rough draft and a single question, “Would you choose to conform to society?”, and the actors added on to the plot from there. The play as it was performed must be in its seventeenth-something version, but who’s counting, you know?
Writing a play together from scratch, that must have been very challenging for everyone.
It was, and we struggled quite a bit at the beginning. We actually lost quite a few people after the first few rehearsals. But the people who chose to stay really stepped up their roles and made it happen. The exciting part about experimental theater is, instead of having the actors adjusting for the roles, the actors can adjust their roles to what they see fit. Vladimir is absolutely made for the role for Homeless Many. On the other hand, Peace (Alice Nguyen), the hippie, was built upon Alice’s many suggestions and inputs – the monologue was her idea. And for John (Horacio Ramirez) and William (Caden Stone), I did not initially have any specific plans for them, but Horacio and Caden really took the initiatives and bringing the characters to life.
The actors’ performances went above and beyond my expectations as well. Speaking of John and William, I did notice the chemistry between them. It’s hard to miss out on that, with William comparing the colors of light in the universe to the color of John’s eyes and everything.
I’m glad you caught that! With John and William, and Charlie (Gigi Lai) and Julia (Saule Pranskaityte) portrayed as same-sex couples, Edward and Lily (Sandrine Veilleux) as a heterosexual couple, and Jean as a transgender, I really want to represent the whole spectrum.
That’s interesting; I did not notice that Jean was a transgender.
Jean was supposed to be transgender, and only Sebastian (Pranav Sultania) sees Jean for who she is. The casting did not go to plan, however, so that might have been a bit hard to notice.
Representing the whole spectrum, is that the underlying political message that you want to get across to your audience?
Yes and no. I’d say that it’s part of the larger theme of conformity versus nonconformity. You see, when I first became a part of the ART ensemble, I was really shocked. There were gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and even a transgender in the cast. The LGBTQ community is very under-represented in my country, and so, although I did not have any prejudices against them, it felt odd at first. Representation, I realized, it’s very important. I want my art to bring the LGBTQ community into the spotlight. I want to show everyone that we are all the same. I mean, John and William have a more child-like affection for each other, while Charlie and Julia’s relationship is more serious where there are responsibilities involved. But, in the end, love is love.
You said that the LGBTQ visibility is only part of the overarching theme of conformity and non-conformity. What are the other aspects in this conflict?
I think there are few subdivisions: ordinary lives versus the extraordinary lives of the artists, time as defined by society versus time inside Edward’s mine and the flow of time inside the Bass Café, civilization, as embodied by the Doctor (Norah Laoui), versus the wilderness, Homeless Many and the Tainos (Victoria Shi, Anna Merzliakova, and Shirley Li), and reality and Edward’s version of it.
Edward’s version of reality – can you tell me more about that?
So the play starts with Edward at the Doctor’s office right? Edward talks about his anxiety and hallucinations, but he says that the Doctor won’t ever understand, to which the Doctor urges him to explain it to her. At the end, when the police (Amber Nguyen and the production team) has shut down the Café, Homeless Many asks Edward to join him in the jungle, the Doctor also comes out from behind and asks Edward to come with her instead.
Since the play ends there, are you leaving it open to interpretation?
Or maybe everything, the Café, the artists, the police, is all in his head.
Wait, so none of it actually happens?
It is open to interpretation.

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