Book Recommendation: Mrs. Bernard

Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan.

Are you as in love with your own dog as I am with mine? If so, then this piece of non-fiction is for you. Actually, it’s for any animal-lover out there. Grogan chronicles life with his new wife, beginning with their purchase of a rambunctious, impossibly cute, and ultimately unmanageable Yellow Lab. Marley has the run of the house: eating furniture, using the floor as his personal toilet, and barking uncontrollably at thunder storms. Sound familiar to you? Marley grows up into a very large, spunky dog. The bond between Grogan and Marley is unmistakable. Grogan has the ability to express the uncommon bond that man and dog share.

I loved this book because I could relate to Grogan’s impossible situation- loving a dog unconditionally that also eats all of your stuff. As the story progresses, John and his wife add two young children in the mix. With moments of utter chaos and hysterical scenes, Grogan has you laughing out loud at his portrayal of their home as “crazy town”. Marley is mayor of this “crazy town”, and the rest of the family is along for the ride. Since this book chronicles a dog’s entire life, the ending is a tear jerker! But an enjoyable one that has you reflect on your own love of your dog. Oh, and that’s the real Marley on the cover of the book- I judged the book by its cover, and it paid off. 

Romeo & Juliet – Coming to Burlington High

On Friday May 3 (next Friday), the entire freshmen class will have an in-house field trip during long period 6 and part of period 7.  They will be seeing a presentation of Romeo and Juliet performed by Shakespeare Now.  As plays were meant to be viewed as well as read, we feel that students greatly benefit from seeing a live presentation of the play. Furthermore, Romeo & Juliet is one of our core texts for the freshmen class, so we are excited to once again be able to present this play to our freshmen, most of whom have already read the play this year.

The play will take place in the auditorium and all freshmen students will be called down around 12:10 (15 minutes into the start of long period 6).  The play will last about an hour and a half so students will be returning to their period 7 classes about halfway through the period.

This production has been paid for by a grant that Ms. Driscoll worked on, so a special thanks to her for her hard work.

Freshmen, we hope you enjoy this production!

Creating a Gravatar Account

One of the benefits of our new online textbook is the ability to interact with your peers in responding to our vocabulary assignments. But as it is right now, nearly all of you have an icon that looks like a shady outline of a person – nothing too exciting about that. So how do you change that icon into an image of you? That’s easy. Gravatar. Here’s what you need to do.

1) Go to THIS WEBSITE and enter your email in the space next to the green box. PLEASE NOTE!!! You have to use the email account that you used when you set up your Exploros account for the vocabulary book. If you use your Burlington email account, it will not be able to link to your vocabulary book.

2) If you already have a WordPress account, sign in on the next screen that shows up. If you do not, click on the tab that reads “Sign Up For Free”

3) On that page, type in your email address and the name that you would like to appear next to your image

4) Authorize Gravatar to work with your WordPress account

5) Sign in to your email account and activate your new WordPress account

6) Follow the link that pops up and sign in to Gravatar

7) You will see a message that tells you that you do not have any images attached to your account. Click on the link to add an image, and follow the instructions.

From here on out, whenever you add any answers to your Exploros vocabulary homework, your image will show up next to it! And that’s all!

Collab (BHS Literary Magazine) and True North Pair Up Once Again

From the Collab Web site:

2013 Collab – For Sale at True North

For the second straight year, Collab is pairing up with True North, the best coffee house in Burlington. True North will be selling editions of the 2013 Collab, as well as the last remaining editions of our 2011 and 2010 magazines. So the next time you are there, relaxing, having a cup of coffee, pick up a Collab – the cost is $10.

Also, True North will again be hosting our Open Mic reading, where BHS students can read their original work. We haven’;t settled on a date yet, but stay tuned. This reading event was entirely fun last year, and to all of our poets and authors, we hope you are interested in sharing your work!

World Book Night Scavenger Hunt – Still Going

Didn’t get a free book yesterday? We still have books up for grabs remaining in the latter stages of our scavenger hunt. To speed things along, we’ll aim you to the next place where you will find a book, which means the questions have changed. If you are the first to answer one of these two questions correctly, you’ll get a book for free! We still have around ten books left to be claimed, and we’ll update the questions in the Collab display case as the week continues.


1) According to the mural at BHS that has eight children in it, The West School in Burlington was opened in what year?

Bring your answer to Ms. Fishel in the History Department.

2) Our maps that are up around the building show that we used to have a planetarium. In that room today, there is a mural that mentions a city. What is the city painted on the wall inside the former planetarium?

Bring your answer to Ms. Sullivan – Foreign Lang.

World Book Night 2013 – Hooray Literacy!

World Book Bight at BHS has come and gone, and at the end of the day, we’ve gotten a lot of books into a lot of people’s hands. We hope you enjoyed participating as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Special thanks once again to Ms. Bularzik, Mrs. Janovitz, Mr. Lally and Ms. Stuart for getting copies of the books.

And just a reminder – there are still a few unclaimed books in our scavenger hunt. Are you upset that you didn’t get anything? Well, get back on the horse, gaucho. There are still more books to be won. Check this webpage or the Collab display case in the English hallway to find the shortcut to the next set of books.

And a big thanks to all of the students who participated!

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World Book Night – an Update

Nice job, BHS – it appears that you have found most (perhaps all) of the books hidden around the school! But the scavenger hunt still continues…

For each day, for the remainder of the week, we will update the starting point for the scavenger hunt in our display case in the English Department and on this web page, so you can go directly to the next post in the scavenger hunt and skip all of the posts that have been depleted already. If any books remain after Friday, they will be given out at random to those of you who retweeted our last post on Twitter. Good luck, and keep hunting!

World Book Night – 4/23 – Win a Free Book!

World Book Night is here! We have 80 books to distribute – 20 copies of each of the following:

Fahrenheit 451 – a dystopia about a society that has banned literature
Good Omens – a comedy about an angel and a demon who attempt to save earth from the Apocalypse
Looking For Alaska – A young adult novel by John Green – seriously, just ask your friends
The Tender Bar – a memoir about the author as a young boy, being raised without a father, who finds community in his neighborhood bar

We have set aside some copies for individual distribution, but there are three ways that you can get a free copy of a great book (which has been specially printed for this event!)

1) Look for copies of Word Wealth around BHS – if you see one, look inside it – it may have a free book within the cover! Find it, and it’s yours.




“I hold the key to great literacy – I always have”



2) BHS Scavenger Hunt – We have two scavenger hunts running at BHS. Each has five posts – if you are one of the first two students to provide the correct answer at a post, you get a free book! If the post has given away its 2 copies, then you’ll have to follow along to the next post.

The first questions:
(A) From the main lobby, you can see two current BHS teachers along the wall of valedictorians and scholar athletes, and a third helped paint the school’s mission statement on the wall. Name all three teachers. Bring your answer to Ms. Deacon or Mr. Sheehan

(B) What is the sum of the four numbers that are on the framed jerseys outside of the gym? Bring your answer to Ms. Boyle – Math Department

Please note: You may not win more than one book in the scavenger hunt

3) Lottery – To enter the lottery, retweet the post on our Department’s Twitter feed that advertises this event between now and the end of the school day on Tuesday! Students, teachers and administrators will be randomly selected as winners, and the winners will be announced at the end of the school day.

Good luck!

World Book Night: Spotlight on The Tender Bar

On April 23, BHS will participate in World Book Night, an annual event where people give away special editions of great books for free. BHS has been awarded with 20 copies of 4 different books. Between now and the 23rd, we will highlight each of these four titles. In this post, The Tender Bar: A Memoir by J. R. Moehringer, introduced by Mrs. Janovitz.

The Tender Bar


J.R. grew up in Manhasset, NY, on a street with a church at one end and a bar at the other. He felt this location allowed everyone to have a holy place. For him, a young boy with an absent father, that bar was indeed a place he held sacred. It was where he was accepted and applauded, where he found refuge, where he learned to be a man. J. R. Moehringer’s memoir, The Tender Bar, is a moving coming of age story that follows J.R.’s journey to manhood. This journey is one full of mentors simultaneously admirable and questionable. Along his path, he is influenced by foul-mouthed and often chauvinistic bar-owners and patrons who give him a sense of individual power, intellectual and reclusive bookstore employees who give him a sense of direction, a young cousin impressed by his drinking ability who offers him freedom and escape, and an unapologetically strong mother who teaches him determination and integrity. Classically American in its themes and style, the story is inspiring and honest. An homage to Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in many ways, Moehringer doesn’t gloss over the truths of the American dream or the American family. The Tender Bar is a great read, one that will leave you ready to reflect on the characters that make up your own life.