The Only Existing Footage of Mark Twain

Courtesy of Mental Floss, we present the only remaining film footage of Mark Twain, which was shot by Thomas Edison himself in 1909, the year before Twain’s death.

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BHS English Department to Reintroduce Writing & Reading Assistance

Starting next school year, the BHS English Department will reintroduce a reading & writing assistance lab, which will be open to all BHS students. In the recent past, we have has a supplemental reading program, but that program has been dormant for the past few years. Our new initiative will be a work in progress, but what we envision includes the following:

  • Select English teachers will have set hours during the day to meet with students who require assistance with reading comprehension, writing fluency or vocabulary reinforcement.
  • Students will sign up for session hours during their free periods, study halls, etc.
  • Instruction will be either in a one-on-one of small group setting
  • Instruction will be tailored to meet the needs of the students – this option will be available to every student, regardless of ability level
  • While students might benefit from regular, weekly meetings, this might also work as a one-time session for seniors writing the college essay, for example
  • Potentially, high-achieving seniors might be able to work as a tutor in a work study of sorts

How many periods of the day we will be able to offer this service will depend on a number of factors, but in its inaugural year, we expect to offer this service for two or three periods during the school day, perhaps more.

Students will not need to sign up for this service – hours will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. As we refine the way that this assistance will work next year, we will post our most pressing updates on this page.

Three Collab Contests – Art contest ends THIS WEEK

Collab, the BHS Literary magazine, is running three of its biggest contests of the year.

The art contest is still open – we accept any medium, and any number of submissions from the same artist. DEADLINE: 12/21

The music contest is currently running, and will remain open through February break

The Final Thoughts Contest – our writing contest exclusively for seniors – is now open and will remain open until the Monday after midterm week.

Good luck!

Going Fast – Get a Literary-Themed Cover for your iPad

Uncommon Goods is selling the remains of their inventory of book-themed iPad covers. Choose between The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice or A Clockwork Orange. Probably avoid that last one unless you want to frighten your peers. Sure, you can be on your iPad, but you can make it look like you are reading a good, old-fashioned book. Click HERE for the information.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Opens TONIGHT

You are all cordially invited to attend the BHS Drama Club’s performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare. Students have been working hard since September, and they would love to see their teachers, administrators and coaches in the audience! We even added a matinee this year, in case the evening performances aren’t convenient.

Shows are tonight at 7:30 pm and Saturday, December 15 at 2:00 and 7:30 pm, in the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center of Burlington High School.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream features young lovers who fall comically in and out of love in a ridiculously brief period of time (a single, “enchanted” midsummer night)! Written in the late 16th century, it remains one of Shakespeare’s most popular works for the stage. A modern interpretation of the original, the BHS production will maintain Shakespeare’s written word but will leap centuries to the present day, reflected in updated music, costumes and actions.

The student cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream includes TJ Horgan as Puck, Marissa Cote as Titania (Queen of the Fairies), Anthony Cruz as Oberon (King of the Fairies), Mike Garcia as Theseus, Rachel Seeley as Hermia, Joram Coichy as Lysander, Katrina Gilstrap as Helena, Chris Cote as Demetrius and Tommy Bezreh as Bottom, the Senior.

Also included in the cast are Nicollette Moodie as Hippolyta, Theseus’s fiancée, Holly Brouillette as Marigold, the Fairy Leader, Sarah Burnham as Quince, Timmy Sullivan as Flute, Kara Amuzzini as Starveling, Xavier Little as Snout, Dora Kadish as Snug, Sherif Mehdi as Egeus, August Kaminski as Philostrate, Samantha Hovasse as Mustardseed, Miranda Russo as Cobweb, Emma Saltsman as Moth, and Sarah Iler as Peaseblossom. Ensemble members include Patrick Hoarty, Sarah Jamal-Eddine, Marisa Lee, Lauren Schissler, and Sharleen Varghese.

The artistic team includes Anne Ford as director, John Middleton-Cox as producer, Peter Waldren as set designer, and Maureen Krebs (The Costume Room) as costume designer.

Tickets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream are now available by visiting www.BurlingtonTheatre.com or by phone at 1-781-A-FUN-TIC. Tickets are priced at $5 for students and senior citizens and $10 for adults. All performances will be held in the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center, 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington, Massachusetts, a handicapped accessible facility.

We sincerely hope to see you there!

Dying Inside by Kylie Scott

In its entirety, here’s Kylie Scott’s published short story. Enjoy!

Dying Inside

Queen of the moonlight.

Princess of air.

The six-year-old version of me would love it.  Soaring through the night with you, a fantasy, the stuff of legends.

Peter.

But now I am older and you are still just a boy.  A boy who doesn’t understand grownup things and who scorns the real world.  My real world and your nightmare.

We float in the velvety blue of the sky, surrounded by stars and sea.  You, caressed by the wind, resting on its back and defying all logic, make endearing little comments that are meant to persuade me.

“Young forever,” You whisper in my ear, soft as the starlight that glows around us.  I wave my arms and try to catch up.  Who wants to be bothered by horrid things that only adults care for?  Things like taxes and divorce?  Growing old and losing the chance to do whatever one wants, accepting fate and death as friends.  No.  Definitely not for me.  We laugh and chase each other through the night, spinning and dancing, forgetful of all things and ready to bask in your world forever.  You, gliding, flying through the air with minimal effort, a boy forever.  And I follow, getting farther and farther behind because I’ve never done this before.  Stop and go.  Short bursts where I forget, where I am ready to pass up all opportunities and follow my whims.  And times where I halt and think of what children cannot do.

If I continue after you I will never drive.  They don’t have dances or makeup where you are from, do they?  I couldn’t get married or fall in love, could I?

You’re just a boy of eleven.

And I must grow up.

Your face twists from elation to hatred and anger.  You zoom away and never look back, disappointed with my choice and prone to tantrums, because you choose eternal youth.

Now I am stuck here, above the ocean, alone and done for.

The wind refuses to carry me.   The sky no longer tries to help me and turns into a storm of grey clouds that roll in as fast as the tears down my face.  I am sinking into the water beneath me.  The disappearing stars glare down at me, wondering how my choice is worth more than you and bidding me goodbye because, in the grown up world, no one believes in you.  Waves crash at my ankles and soon cover my mouth, my nose, and my eyes.  I can’t stop it.  And I sink into the foamy deep, pulled by an invisible anchor that has latched itself around my waist.  Shouting, Peter! Peter!  But all I get are lungs full of water.

Because when I grow up, no one will save me like you tried to.  The world will be a place filled with contempt and malice.

So here’s my first taste of reality.

More Publishing Success! Billy Restivo, Published Poet

Short on the heels of Kylie Scott’s success in having her short story published in The Marble Collection, we’ve learned that senior Billy Restivo has also been accepted into the same magazine! And getting published in this magazine is no easy task – each edition draws submissions from over 150 schools, and they generally only accept around 60 stories or poems each year. Billy’s piece is an accomplished Shakespearean sonnet about the struggle to find direction and make progress in life. And here it is:

Toy Car
by Billy Restivo

The rubber tires disguised in faded paint
Stood digging into indents of a track.
And as the motor hummed so dull and faint,
This children’s toy would trudge along the cracks
Over such a poorly crafted circuit;
I didn’t know this and I didn’t care.
Fingers gripped the base and hands secured it
As eyes pursued each move in empty stares.
And all the while, this beaten down machine
Drove about; no faults, yet no direction.
Until the engine gave— a bleak, foreseen
Fate, its path was paved with such perfection.
So now I ask, is such perfection wise,
To drive along until my engine dies?

Kylie Scott, BHS Junior, Published Author

BHS Junior Kylie Scott has recently received word that her short story “Dying Inside” will be published in an upcoming edition of The Marble Collection, a statewide art and literature magazine for high school students. While Burlington students have had some consistent success getting original artwork published in the Marble Collection since its inception in 2009, this marks only the second time a BHS student has had a written piece get accepted, with Katie Desmond (class of ’11) as the only other time.

Congratulations, Kylie!

Folger Shakespeare Library Offers Free Shakespeare Texts Online

The Folger Shakespeare Library recently released a dozen of Shakespeare’s most famous plays for free download. The plays can be read on any eReader or computer, and you will be able to enhance the text through the open access to their web-coded version. The look of the texts is user-friendly, and you can easily search around for acts, scenes and vocabulary. Plans are in place to release every one of Shakespeare’s 37 plays, as well as his sonnets, by the end of 2013.

Interested in brushing up on your Shakespeare? Check it out HERE