The Hap

28th October 2021, 1st edition

In This Issue:

Welcome to The Hap!

Can Climate Anxiety Be Remedied In The Classroom?

Nostalgia and Comfort

U.S. Colleges and Tuition Need to Change

FHS Photo Gallery

Junior Class Fundraisers

SAC & School Committee Updates

Next Generation of NHS

Join the Debate Club!

Attention 9th Graders, Please Join Math Club!

Welcome to The Hap!

Maggie Folsom, editor, Class of 2022


In my three and some years at Framingham High School, I have noticed something extraordinary: our student body and staff are made up of the most unique and incredible persons imaginable. On my every-day-seven route from Literature to Psychology, it is more than likely that I find a flyer for a club I’ve never heard of, brilliant new art hanging on the concrete, or a student wearing an outfit so expressive and genius that it boggles my mind. This two-minute walk between classes never fails to leave me pondering how many fascinating stories are eagerly waiting in the minds of the Framingham High School community. How many friendships have the countless new clubs created? What inspired the beautifully fabricated art that scaffolds the hallways? And how are my peers so insanely fashionable? I came to the conclusion that- beyond answers to my questions- I was looking to learn from the people I spend five days a week with. Thus, welcome to the first publication of the Framingham High School’s newspaper The Hap.!

With a student body as large as it is, it can be easy to feel disconnected from the community and its countless student organizations. The goal of The Hap. is to create a place where students, families, and staff can discover the many moving pieces that make our school as special as it is.

Everyone involved in the Framingham High School community has a voice and The Hap. can help you use it. If you have artwork, photographs, a short story, or an article you would like to share, we would love to help you do it. And that’s The Hap.

Can Climate Anxiety Be Remedied In The Classroom?

Martine Schwan, editor, Class of 2022


A relatively new, particularly harmful strain of anxiety is sweeping through young people around the world, leaving fear and hopelessness in its wake. Climate anxiety, which is defined by the American Psychological Association as “a chronic fear of environmental doom,” is uniquely debilitating because it is often completely rational. Facts and objective truths may remedy other types of anxieties, but, for the climate-conscious, the science offers little solace. The statistics are notoriously unforgiving, and there always seem to be new developments. Between the microplastics and misinformation, the perpetually evolving clean energy debate, the floods and the wildfires, and climate change’s ever-nearing Point of No Return, the simple act of educating oneself on the present state of the environment can warrant a mental health day.

Those that are willing to take on the challenge receive an in-depth introduction to the topic in AP Environmental Science, affectionately abbreviated to “APES” by students. Climate change and its human causes are discussed in detail, and current events often make an appearance. Rebecca Maynard, APES teacher at Framingham High School, senses students’ anxieties surrounding the subject matter of the course. “They are fearful about what the future is going to bring,” she says. “They don’t know what the world is going to look like in ten, twenty years.” Graduates of APES at Framingham High School report learning a great deal about a broad range of topics, but they also note the depressing nature of some of the course content. “Positive stories are sometimes hard to find in environmental science,” says Maynard. In an environmental science class, occasional feelings of hopelessness are to be expected.

However, this view of the modern climate-conscious has proved to be reductive. Environmental awareness also cultivates great passion and interest. Although most students are aware of climate change, many have expressed a desire for further environmental education. A recent survey conducted by the Framingham High School Student Advisory Council saw an eagerness among student respondents for increased instruction in the classroom, with 45% of students indicating a desire for environmental education across curricular areas. Suffice it to say, the student body is getting excited about environmental science. Emma Rothwell, president of Framingham High’s Environmental Awareness Club, reports an increase in membership since the club’s reinstatement in 2018. She fondly notes an increase in younger members as well. Though Rothwell is arguably one of Framingham’s most environmentally-conscious community members, she is also a high school senior. She has observed a lifetime’s worth of climate anxiety in the classroom and believes it to be a particularly pernicious phenomenon among students. “To make the world a better place, we have to make sure humans are cared for too,” says Rothwell.

For climate-related anxieties, Maynard prescribes awareness and education. As the next generation, students play an important role in the distribution of information, and Maynard regularly encourages them to share their knowledge with others outside of the classroom setting. Climate education, though deeply affecting for many, may also relieve students of hopelessness and burnout, priming their minds for problem-solving and making them more receptive to new ideas. In a survey conducted at the end of the 2020-2021 school year, every single graduate of FHS environmental science classes reported having learned something in class that changed the way that they thought or acted. Although moments of exhaustion and hopelessness are bound to crop up throughout the learning process, the sharing of ideas seems to be our strongest defense against our climate change woes. Well-informed minds also happen to be fantastic idea generators. Perhaps climate anxiety and climate change are separate problems with a single solution. Maybe the remedy for climate anxiety looks a lot like action.

This is certainly the case in Environmental Awareness Club, where climate anxiety is not a frequent topic of conversation. Students arrive at meetings with an eagerness to effect change and a determination to work around the restrictions that come with being a young person under voting age and without a climate job. Club members exchange petitions and internship opportunities like phone numbers. Many volunteer regularly and have amassed an impressive collection of (recycled) cardboard signs from previous climate protests. Last year, several participated in the Yes on Three campaign to help pass the Community Preservation Act. Collaboration with the Department of Public Works and superintendent on climate change mitigation strategies, connections with other clubs on issues like environmental racism, and the creation of a pollinator garden on the Rail Trail are all on this year’s agenda.

However driven they may be, club members are not immune to burnout and anxiety. Like their peers, they are overwhelmed by underlying systemic issues and are frustrated by the negligence and seeming indifference of policy makers. The difference lies in the fact that, in environmental club, awareness is recognized as an advantage. Club members have channeled their anxieties and frustrations into a course of action, and their passion for their cause is infectious. “Seeing students in front of me that care keeps me going,” says Maynard, who also serves as one of Environmental Awareness Club’s staff advisors. In need of a quick fix for climate anxiety? Step into a classroom.

In the years going forward, Maynard wants to see increased enrollment in environmental science classes in Framingham High School. If and when climate change is taught more widely in schools, some students will inevitably look for opportunities to get involved. A few may become fast climate activists. Others may skim the most recent IPCC report and feel unsure about how to proceed. For these students, Rothwell recommends involvement in the form of signing petitions, attending protests, or joining Environmental Awareness Club. “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel-- there’s plenty that already exist,” she says. “The best thing you can do is keep them spinning.”

Nostalgia and Comfort

Danielle Williams, staff writer, Class of 2022


How many times have you found yourself rewatching the same shows, eating foods that evoke familiar, warm feelings, or just reminiscing about the past? These behaviors are the consequence of a nostalgic mind. Nostalgia is defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations'' (Oxford Languages Dictionary). Many people find nostalgia by rewatching televised media. Throughout my time in high school I have heard people say that they were watching the well-known show “The Office” for the fifth, ninth, or even fifteenth time! I wondered what it was that kept them so involved and addicted to the show. The answer is nostalgia. Turning to nostalgia, in this case by rewatching nostalgic material, is a self-soothing method.

Patterns are comforting, especially in stressful times. A research project from the University of SouthHampton concludes that “people become nostalgic in order to manage existential threats.” During the Covid-19 pandemic, people have become increasingly nostalgic. With the danger of infection, many people have had to stay home and have experienced the lack of interaction that results from isolation. To combat this, people have become nostalgic in order to feel a sense of normality. They reminisce about the past, rewatch their favorite shows, and look at photos from a time when all seemed right in the world, which can be very melancholy.

Reminiscing can be a distraction from deeper issues like depression, anxiety, and apprehension towards change, especially during the pandemic. Although nostalgia may have some negative impacts on people, it also has many positive impacts. Through nostalgia, people can look back on their fond years and re-experience what brought them joy. They can also reflect on themselves and how they have changed over time.


Works Cited

Juhl, Jacob, and Constantine Sedikides. “Nostalgia Provides Existential Comfort.” University of Southampton, https://www.southampton.ac.uk/psychology/research/projects/nostalgia_provides_existential_comfort.page#project_overview%0A____________________.

“Nostalgia.” Oxford Languages Dictionary`.

U.S. Colleges & Tuition Need to Change

Nilufar Noorian, staff writer, Class of 2023


If most European countries are able to make college relatively cheap or at almost no cost to the student, why shouldn’t America do the same? America is a first-world country, and many second and third-world countries are able to provide students with low tuition colleges and universities.

In the United States, students amass a great deal of student debt after going to college, which makes some students stray away from attending four-year colleges. Instead, students turn to community college, looking for jobs with a high school diploma, or turn to other forms of employment.

The fifteen countries that provide students with nearly-free university level education are Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Austria, Greece, France, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Panama, Morocco, Egypt, and Kenya.

The United States has not committed to programs that could decrease the tuition that students must pay in order to receive a college education. This decision has had a significant impact on students because their debts continue to increase throughout their lives. After a student graduates from college and begins to look for a job, they will purchase, or rent a house, as well as a car to commute to their job, depending on the location. To do these things, they would need to get bank loans. These loans generally have a high interest rate, which students must deal with on top of the student loan debt that they have from attending college.

Some professions such as doctors or lawyers are able to pay off their debts more easily, because, though they pay more money to go to medical or law school, these professions generally get paid more than other jobs. Due to the fact that not every student goes into these majors, it may take other students longer to pay off their debts. In addition to not being able to pay off student loan debts, they would have already had new debts such as mortgages, car loans, and possibly small business loans. As a result, more and more debt is added, and it gets increasingly harder for former students to be able to pay off their debts.

Although some may argue that scholarships, grants, and the FAFSA help students pay for college, this is only true to an extent. Yes, students do receive scholarships, but depending on your family’s income, you could get a different amount of scholarships than another student. The amount of scholarships you receive also depends on whether you choose to attend a public university or a private one. Scholarships do help students, but they are not enough. The government needs to do more to address this problem before it gets too out of hand. It can help fix this problem by allowing students to receive more help from the federal government or by creating a student loan forgiveness program. However, making college more affordable for students would be the best solution since the root of the problem is the price tag that colleges have for students.

Even though Net Price Calculators, which determine your college tuition based on a few questions regarding your family’s income and contribution, do exist and are fairly accurate, they do not assist the student with paying off their debt. Now, some could argue that making college free or low cost to students could be detrimental to banks, but banks have profited off of students for decades. Banks can still make money from mortgages, small business loans, and car loans. It would be beneficial for humanity to decrease the tuition that a student must pay for a college education. On another note, it would also make more students want to go to colleges since they would not have another obstacle in their way of obtaining a degree.

Overall, lowering the price of college would ease the amount of pressure that high school students and their families face in regards to the price tag of attending college or university. It is important to note that college is not for everyone. For those who are interested in going to college, it is important to consider the price of it as well. You will amass a great deal of debt after graduation, so make sure that you are doing everything in your power to take the classes that you are interested in, challenging yourself (if you like), being engaged in your community, and applying to schools that you know will be a good fit for you. Make sure that you have weighed the benefits and drawbacks of attending that school, and, after consideration, just go for it! Clearly, the best thing to do is to decrease college tuition for students in order to reduce the pressure that rests on the shoulders of the future of students and their families.

Junior Class Fundraisers!

Joaquin Erasquin, Class of 2023


The junior class steering committee wants to thank everyone for participating in all of the fundraisers we held in the month of October! We are so grateful for everyone who showed up to any of our events; all of your support was greatly appreciated. Thanks to you, the money we raised will be going towards better apparel, and ultimately an awesome prom for 2023.

We want to give a big thank you to Mad Willie’s Ice Cream in Framingham for supporting us every Friday this month as well as to Chick-fil-A for holding a great benefit night on the 19th! But we want to give an especially big thank you to all of the parents and guardians who donated some delicious baked goods for our fall bake sale on the 14th. We could not have done it without you!

But just because October is coming to a close doesn’t mean we won’t keep fundraising! Here’s the info for our next fundraiser at Hot Doogy in Natick in November. We hope to see all of you there too!

Upcoming Fundraiser (Class of 2023):

Monday, Nov. 8th, 11:30am to Monday, Nov. 15th, 10pm

1300 Worcester Street

Natick, MA

The junior class needs all of your help to make the most of our last two years at Framingham High. Come out and show your support! Make sure to let them know you're with the class of 2023!

SAC & School Committee Updates

Nilufar Noorian, Class of 2023


As the chair of the Student Advisory Board (SAC) and student representative on the School Committee, I am pleased to inform you that the SAC had its first presentation on October 6th. The SAC collaborated with the FHS Environmental Awareness Club to create a survey about “Environmental Awareness in the Curriculum” and received 665 responses, which is approximately 26% of the student body. According to one of my advisors, this was the highest turnout from any of the surveys that were done in the past! As a result of the successful survey, Ms. Bright, the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, and Dr. Gerade, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, are currently working on the further implementation of the climate into the curriculum.

Most of the students indicated that they were interested in learning more about ocean contamination, climate change, population growth, and deforestation. In addition, 45% of students responded that they would like to learn about environmental topics in science and in other classes, such as English and history. Approximately 27% indicated that they would prefer to learn this information in school-wide assemblies. Other comments on the form were also brought up to the attention of the Superintendent and the School Committee.


Important Updates from the October 6th, 2021 School Committee Meeting:

  • Each week 3,000 students and 700 staff in the Framingham Public School (FPS) system get tested for COVID-19

  • They discussed the Kindergarten schedule of having one recess that is fifteen minutes long since they are aligning all 9 elementary schools to be the same

  • Mr. Corazzini’s Department is working on the Wrap Around Model, which would bridge the gap of access to service to families

    • Mr. Corazzini will be leaving his position to accept his new position at Clark University on November 1, 2021

  • The Welcome Center is in the Farley Building, one is based at FHS

  • Discussed the Title XI complaint from a student at FHS in May 2021

    • An athletic audit was conducted by a third party corporation


Please feel free to tune into the Framingham School Committee Meetings either on the government channel (Comcast 99, RCN 13/HD613, Verizon/Fios 42) or on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/framinghamps/. Click on this link (or visit: https://www.framingham.k12.ma.us/Page/2520) if you are interested in learning more about the School Committee and your designated district member.

Next Generation of NHS

Elizabeth Dionisio, Class of 2022


During the pandemic, it was difficult for National Honors Society to participate in the community like we have in the past. Even now, it has been challenging to find COVID safe activities. However, that has not stopped students from continuing to be active participants in the NHS. This month, we will be welcoming a new generation of 155 members from the class of 2023. This will be one of the biggest generations yet!

These new members have yet to experience a NHS meeting, but we did do something special for our members in the class of 2022. As Early Decision deadlines begin to approach and seniors start to think about their next steps, we thought it would be nice to have Mrs. Erikson--our very own in-house College Advisor-- speak about the future and the multitude of options that students have after graduation. It was a positive and uplifting meeting, and I believe that everyone who was there can say that it quelled some of their anxieties.

We are looking forward to our first meeting with both our junior and senior members! The theme for the months will be service and we are excited to roll out a slew of meaningful, community-oriented opportunities for our members to engage in. We are also still working closely with the COVID safety team to figure out how to make our induction ceremony a reality. To the seniors that didn't get their induction last year: don’t worry, we got you!


Advisors: Mrs. Corcoran, Mrs. Galvin

Join the Debate Club!

Nilufar Noorian, Class of 2023


Hello FHS Community!

It is my pleasure to invite you to join the FHS Debate Club! If you are interested in improving your public speaking skills, arguing your stance on an issue, or getting involved in your school community, then Debate Club is the right extracurricular activity for you. In Debate Club, members, such as yourself, indicate topics that you are interested in and vote to choose a topic. We research that topic for one or two meetings, and then we debate!


Some topics that we have done in the past:

- Supreme Court Justices: Amy Coney Barrett (Associate Justice) (October 2020)

- Should public colleges in the U.S. charge tuition? (June 2021)

- Should the Electoral College still exist or should we replace it? (November 2020)

- Should the top 1% of U.S. taxpayers pay more taxes? (September/October 2021)


We generally explore and debate on topics that are currently trending in the news, but we welcome all suggestions! Debate Club meets on Mondays in room E102, Ms. Shorey's room, at 2:15 p.m.


We hope you consider joining this club,


Nilufar Noorian

President

nnoorian5879@fpsed.org


Ms. Shorey

Advisor

ashorey@framingham.k12.ma.us

Attention 9th Graders, Please Join Math Club!

Angie Dibb, Class of 2023


Math Club is looking for new members, especially freshmen and sophomores (though all grades are welcome!). If you’re interested in joining us, feel free to come down to C106 on Wednesdays! Math Club is a great way to meet new people, give some more challenging problems a shot, and improve your math skills every week. No matter how much experience you have or whether you’re in algebra or calculus, you’ll always be an appreciated addition to our club.

We also participate in monthly meets against other schools, which are a great way to put your practice into action. Our next one is during the week of November 8th. From individual rounds based on arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and more to a team round with a mix of problem types, you're bound to find your strength! These meets are organized by the Greater Boston Mathematics League. To learn more about them or the types of problems you could be doing with the club, check out gbml.net! If you like a challenge or if going to our meets interests you, be sure to come by C106. We hope to see you there!


Advisor: Ms. Strader

The Hap Staff

Maggie Folsom, Editor, class of 2022

Martine Schwan, Editor, class of 2022

Staff: Danielle Williams, Gabrielle Casey, Nilufar Noorian, Joaquin Erasquin, Makayla Sidney

Susan Corcoran, Publisher, Advisor

Questions? Feedback? email fhsnewspaper@framingham.k12.ma.us