Friday, September 30, 2011

Hey THS -- Learn to Walk!

By Alexis Turner, Reporter

Are the hallways your worst nightmare? Have a hard time getting from class to class without bumping into someone or walking behind someone unbearably slow? How about the people who just stand in the middle of the hallway?

Well listen up, because you’re not the only one. Walking through these hallways for the past four years opened my eyes to how inconsiderate we are on a regular basis.
Personal experience: first day of school this year, just walking with a couple friends, and this underclassman comes running through the halls and knocks me side to side. You would think he would turn around and say something along the lines of “I’m sorry” ha, no, he just keeps running through people. Honestly, you will get to class. Trust me.

Then, we have the people who walk at a 0.5 miles per hour pace in the hallway. The “I don’t care about being late to class because I’m so cool” attitude does not make you cool; it makes you look pretty bad. If you want to walk like you’re sleepwalking, stay home, because you annoy half the people in the school who are actually trying to get to class.

Lastly, my favorite, the people who just stand in the middle of the hallway to talk. It doesn’t matter if you talk, but please just do it near a locker or something, instead of being a nuisance and taking up half the hallway, so people have squeeze by you.

I think it’s time we set some ground rules for the hallway.

1. Do not run in the hallway. It’s sad that we need to tell people in high school not to do so. Honestly, if you’re worried about being late, manage your time a little differently.
2. Walk at a moderate pace. There is no reason to walk at a snail’s pace. Just because you may not want to get to class, and you do not care, does not give you the right to make anyone else around you late too.
3. If you want to talk in the hallway, stand by a locker. Stop getting in the way of other people, and holding up traffic.

Teen Wolf - Not Just a Twilight Remake

By: Andy Serven, Reporter

Teen Wolf
is a new show that has recently ended its first season on MTV. The show premiered June 5th of 2011, and had 12 episodes throughout the season. Tyler Posey, who appeared in the movies Lincoln Heights and Maid in Manhattan, and also the show Smallville in 2006, plays the main character.

The show is about a teenager in high school named Scott, who plays lacrosse and is bullied by a peer named Jackson. One night, Scott and his best friend Stiles are searching the woods for a dead body reported on the news, when Scott is suddenly attacked by a wolf and later on finds out he has become a werewolf.

He finds a love interest named Allison, and then the trouble begins. Scott faces tons of problems in this show. His girlfriends father and aunt are werewolf hunters, alpha wolf is trying to kill him and his friends, and he is the new captain of the lacrosse team because of his newly acquired speed and strength, but has trouble keeping his temper down without killing an opposing player. A lot of more problems appear just as soon as they all seem to go away in the season finale, and leaves you off with a giant cliffhanger.

I watched every episode of this new show, and actually began to enjoy it. At first I thought, it was just going to be another stupid show like Twilight, and all the girls would be obsessed with it. For me, someone who watched the show rarely saw any resemblance to Twilight.

Unfortunately for Teen Wolf, they are facing the same problem the rest of the movie business is facing. Our generation has assumed any movie with a vampire or werewolf is automatically a spin-off of Twilight. What about a movie like Fright Night (released on August 19th 2011) that is a part horror movie? Is it a Twilight copy because it has a vampire in it?

The new season of Teen Wolf is expected to come out in the summer of 2012. I suggest you watch it because it truly is a great show. It captures romance, fear, suspense, and thrillers all in one episode.

End of School Year Now One Day Later

By: Molly Sczucka, Co-Editor
We’ve had no snow days yet, no power outage days yet (no matter how we hoped)… we have already added a day to the school year.

A new district calendar has been published, changing the last day of school from June 14 to June 15. In exchange, students will have October 11, the day after Columbus Day, off from school. Teachers will have to report for professional development.

According to Acting Superintendent Kloczko, the teacher day had been scheduled in August but “was lost to Hurricane Irene.” While in the past, such days have been split into two half days, preventing a change to the school year, Kloczko insisted that such a choice was unavailable.

“Many of the programs from that August day were full day workshops, some with outside presenters, and they had to be schedule when …. available.” She also explained that the information teachers will receive was too important to postpone.
This pushes the last day of school just a little closer to graduation. Should we use more than 5 snow days, underclassmen will have to return to THS after the seniors have graduated.

Mr. McSpiritt explained that the ends of the marking period and final exams will be pushed by a day, however, just like when we have a snow day. This means that students will be taking finals on those last days, whenever they end up being after winter has passed.

In addition to the student’s day off on Oct. 11, two school days have been made half days for students as well, for more teacher workshops. Kloczko says that these days have been requested by principals to cover important changes from the State Department of Education.

The half-days will be on December 13 and March 13. Furthermore, THS only is adding two half-days on November 16 and 17 for parent-teacher conferences. According to Creedon, these days were left off of the original calendar, which did have the half days marked for the spring conferences on March 28 and 29.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Following a request by Principal Creedon, the Raider Times organized a survey of students today concerning the color of lanyards. While many claim it is a small issue, students overall were bothered by the switch to maroon lanyards over class colors that was made this year (with seniors as the exception). Juniors particularly expressed disappointment over not being able to have the distinction of the blue lanyard. The majority of the school body does agree, the survey says! 90% of respondents voted for a return to the class colors for lanyards, and over 60% indicated that they would be willing to purchase one this year to have the distinction of their class. Check the Sept. 30 issue of the Raider Times for more details on what the administration plans to do with this information.

Monday, September 26, 2011

THS Takes a Beating Against Ansonia

By: Andres Macias, Reporter

Torrington high school recently battled Ansonia on 9/15/11. The THS crowd supported their players traveling all the way to Ansonia on a fan bus thanks to the help of our principle Ms. Creedon. Despite our support Torrington lost 49-20.
Assistant coach, Burns, said, “ Our performance failed in effort and expectation. Preparation was thwarted by their multitude of formation, offense and defense.” He stated that our away crowd has increased since he’s been coaching here. He thought we had a, “Promising THS crowd, unfortunately we didn’t our best football, saw enthusiasm from fans and excitement.” Coach Burns had confidence in our team but stated, “It became apparent they were just as good as we thought they would be and more.”
Jerry Aguero (sophomore) was one of the raider crazies at the Ansonia game. He expected more from our team saying, “ Ansonia got the best of us that night. The Ansonia fans were really rude, for every touchdown they would rub it in our faces. The cheerleaders were the worst they made unnecessary comments. There were also a couple of fans who wanted to fight us.”

Sunday, September 25, 2011

4 Simple Rules to Surviving THS

By: Amanda Welch, Co Editor
Hey Freshman! Welcome to high school! It might seem right now as if the low man on the totem pole, this is going to be the longest four years of your life, but in a blink of an eye it will all be gone. The ride might be a little bumpy and rough at times, but trust me, you will come out just fine. Just follow the simple rules.
            There are so many opportunities in high school, but your first focus is your school work. Don’t blow off a class just because you may not need it to graduate. Every class you take will help you later on in life, even if it doesn’t seem like it now. Take all classes seriously. Take notes in class. If the teacher puts it on the board, she or he is not doing it for their own health, they know it already. Pay attention at all times and do not waste time by socializing.
 Study a little bit every day for each class because this will help you retain the information and it means you will not be trying to learn 3 weeks worth of material the night before the test. Just look over your notes that you took for the day and the day before.
Do all your homework. It is only 10% of your grade, which doesn’t seem like much but that 10% is a difference between failing and passing. Failing behind on your assignments will lead to unneeded stress. Learning time management is extremely important.
Come to school every day, everyone has days where they don’t want to be here, but even if you come, you will learn something and have less work to make up.
Get involved; join a sport or a club or band. Dare to go out of your comfort zone and try something new. It is true that academics should be your top priority, but being a well-rounded student is also important. By joining extracurricular activities, you will meet many potential friends. Being involved gives you an edge in applying for scholarships, admission to colleges later. College is right around the corner, it’s never too early to start thinking about it.
Do not be afraid to branch out and try something new. Don’t think you are too cool for a club or because you join a club you will lose friends. If there isn’t a club that interests you then start a new one! Some of the clubs are: Ceramics Club, Guitar Club, Multicultural Diversity Club, Oceanography Club and many more!
Explore all your opinions. Think about your future, you don’t need to plan out your whole life right now as a freshman, but do everything possible to grow your knowledge. It might seem like college is far away and you have plenty of time before you need to start thinking, but the days will slip by you in a snap of a finger.
Remember the 4 rules:
1.School is work
2.Get Involved
3.Think about your future
4.Get to know your teachers
High school marks the beginning of your independence and eventual self-reliance. Good luck and enjoy the ride.

Libya's Revolution

By: Amanda Welch, Co-Editor
Libya's agonizing freedom struggle is almost over. No one knows what is in store for the county. It all depends on what choices the Libyan people make. There are many dangers, such as chaos, tribal warfare, and a replacement dictatorship.
The revolution happened because the Libyan people were of one mind: Qaddafi Must Go. Being of one mind, the people won, which proves the basic ground truth of democracy.
The Libyan rebels began full-scale attacks to end the holdouts of Bani Walid and Surt. Their plans failed when enemy fire became too much and hade to surrender. The rebels tried to create peace negotiations, but failed and the loyalist forces opened fire on the rebels.
The rebel cornered Colonel Qaddafi in the desert town of Bani Walid, and he and his two sons were killed. During the rebel’s final weeks of Colonel Qaddafi’s battle, the Chinese state companies offered to sell his government large stockpiles of weapons and ammunition.
After Colonel Qaddafi’s killing the rebels pressed the loyalists into the desert town of Bani Walid, in order to have them surrender peacefully. This event might have shifted the balance of power, after six months of conflict.

Students Travel to Spain for World Youth Day

By: Tiana DeLorge, Reporter

From August 16th-21st over a million Catholics gathered in Madrid, Spain for World Youth Day. The streets were packed with Catholics from all over the world and thousands of volunteers.
            Among the million, were a group of 8 from Torrington. For are students at Torrington High School, including Amy Kostak, Dennis Cardenas, Zamir De Jesus, and Tiana DeLorge. They were lead on this journey by Torrington Cluster of Roman Catholic Parishes’ priest Fr. Carlos, and youth leader, Marlene Carrier.
            Throughout the journey they heard keynote speakers on many different subjects, including the media and chastity. Among their favorites were Jason and Crystalina Evert, who spoke on chastity. “Crystalina was so real. She had actually gone through hard times in her life and really knew what she was talking about,” said Kostak. The group also celebrated mass with the Pope amongst over a million youths and went through the Stations of the Cross.
            While walking back from watching the Pope’s arrival with thousands of youths on the streets of Madrid, the group stumbled upon an open spot in the crowd where they were able to see the Pope riding in the Pope Mobil from about 8 feet away.
            They were also able to participate in the United States mass, as Kostak and DeLorge were a part of a group of 8 youths that brought up the gifts for the mass. The group also journeyed to Cuatro Vientos, an air base, where all the youths from World Youth Day gathered for a final Vigil and closing mass with the Pope.
            When asked what his favorite part was from the whole trip, Zamir De Jesus said, “I loved meeting everyone from all the different countries! Everyone was so nice and friendly, and would just come up and talk to you or ask to a picture with you! They loved America, and when they saw our flag many people would ask if we could trade it with them, but we couldn’t because we only had one.”
  “This was such a great experience for the kids! They were able to worship with many Catholics from all over the world and become closer to the Lord,” said Carrier.
            World Youth Day has been going on since 1984 when Blessed Pope John Paul II initiated it. The next World Youth Day will be held in two years, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2013. The group hopes to attend and double its size.

Pretty Little Liars Recap

By: Tiana DeLorge, Reporter
As summer started, Season 2 of “Pretty Little Liars” began. The four girls, Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily, were forced into therapy with the local therapist, Anne Sullivan, who was surprisingly understanding and willing to hear all of their problems, but most importantly their secrets.
            Yet, when she asks them to find other friends separately, the girls become upset and concerned, seeing as it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Spencer still has a relationship with Toby while Aria and Ezra hope to go public with their relationship, as Ezra has moved to Hollis College to teach.
 Emily may move to Texas, and Hanna has some very confused feelings now that Caleb’s back in town.
Not to mention Ian may still be alive! Jason DiLaurentis has moved back into town, and Spencer’s sister Melissa has been acting strange since Ian has disappeared.
            Through all the crazy twists and turns of the summer from Emily moving in with Hanna, Dr. Sullivan’s office being trashed, and finding Ian’s dead body, to Hanna’s father coming back into town, and the fashion show disaster.
As Aria’s brother becomes distant and begins lashing out, “A” puts HGH in Emily’s shoulder cream and putting her in the hospital and threatening to expose the traces of HGH (that could put her in a lot of trouble for swimming in college.)
“A” even comes in contact and touches Emily, which leads to the season finale where Dr. Sullivan finds out who “A” is, only to be kidnapped and have the girls framed with Ali’s murder weapon. The girls find themselves in trouble with the police yet again, just as they were at the end of last season. 
            Check out the Pretty Little Liars Halloween event coming Wednesday, October 19th!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Summer on Main Street

From Our First Issue: Main Street Comes Alive
By: Molly Sczucka, Co-Editor

Every Thursday this summer, downtown Torrington hosted Main Street Market Place (MSMP) as a way to create more business down town. For the second year MSMP has attracted thousands of people each week to a selection of some 50 vendors and a farmer’s market.

For Vendor Coordinator Jessica Hordorski, MSMP is one of the main reasons businesses have been moving downtown and people have been choosing local shops.

“MSMP has helped downtown by making it a destination point again. People have been able to re-familiarize themselves with the stores, restaurants and activities that take place on or around Main Street,” says Hodorski

This year at MSMP people got to witness a fire show, fried dough, and a variety of vendors and other ds. For Kristin Ellis (‘12) who attended MSMP more than once, the market place made Torrington a little more interesting.

“There were alot of the same things each week, but it shows you that its not “Borrington” and that there are things to do and little shops to go in,” says Ellis

For the shops already down town, MSMP has helped their business to gain more notoriety. The vintage and local clothing store Brazen Betties has been a hometown hit with their original “Raggie” shirt. Backstage Restaraunt enjoys increased customers due to the major foot traffic of MSMP.

For Hodorski, her ideal Torrington is a vibrant arts and culture destination. She like other appreciators of local businesses hopes for the down town store fronts to be filled with customers and business. Horoski also understands that the center of cities and towns are what make them unique.

“Downtowns are generally the heartbeat of a town. They can make or break a town. If there is nothing to offer people, then the people will leave. If there is a lot of variety and destination points, then people will visit and support the town,” says Hordoski.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crossing the Bridge with Nick Collins

By Mr. Vergaro, Guest Reporter

Life was good, and it was about to get better. I was on my way to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for a Packers’ Shareholder meeting. Green Bay, the center of the football universe! For a fan, it was a bucket list trip. I had been to games years ago, but now I had a chance to attend a shareholder’s meeting at Lambeau Field and the in the Hall of Fame.

I had an exit row seat on the flight out of Detroit, and even better yet, I was alone in the exit row. Leg room and privacy were mine. The flight attendant offered a seat in the exit row to another passenger, assuring him that he would welcome the extra space. I made room for a twenty-something (28, in fact) black man wearing an Angles baseball cap (slightly sideways). The guy was obviously an athlete, and with training camp opening up in two days, I didn’t need to be a genius to figure out this was one of the Green Bay Packers.

The football player glanced over. He saw what I I see in the mirror every day. He saw a conservatively dressed, 55-year-old white guy with a military buzz cut. He immediately pulled out an iPod and put in his ear buds. Seriously, what could we have in common with each other? He sees a fan and expects the same tired questions, so he sends out the message with his ear buds. He wants his privacy. I respect his space, and pull out the book I was reading, A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin.

The professional athlete glanced over at my book, a nd then I see the double-take. Out come the ear buds. He asks me about the book. He is watching the adaptation of the book in the form of an HBO series. And so it begins. I get an hour and a half talking to Nick Collins, a Superbowl winner, and the starting safety on the Green Bay Packers.

The book was the bridge. We did have something in common. We had a story, a fictional world and a narrative that drew up both in. And once we crossed that bridge, we found that we had much more in common. At the end of the flight, when we shook hand and I said, “It’s been a pleasure,” he responded with a very genuine, “Yes, it really has been.”

The moral? Read. It will enrich life and provide connections that cut across age, race, professions, and every other barrier life tries to put up. Reading bridges our differences and provides one more piece of common ground.

Oh, and of course, “Go, Pack, Go!”

Soccer's Pains and Sorrows

Tuesday, September 6, saw an up and down contest between THS and Northwestern soccer in yesterday's scrimmages. After an amazing performance last Friday, the varsity boys unfortunately found defeat on the field yesterday.

The varsity girls, however, rallied and scored big in a win against their opponents. The win was not without sacrifice, however; Morgan Thulin (12) sustained injury to her knee. Confirmation of what type of injury has not been received.

Regular season games begin on 9/13. The boys will be at home vs. Wilby at 3:45.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Awkward" Makes Hook Ups Not Awkward.

By: Molly Sczucka, Co Editor
MTV’s new scripted show “Awkward” follows the life of Jenna Hamilton, a 15 year old high school girl who of course isn’t popular, has the enemy cheerleader, and has a witty sense of humor.

While the theme may be a cliché - an unnoticed girl going through a self-conscious stage in her life who is pining after the hot football hunk - the dialogue and sense of humor heightens the show’s promiscuity and humor.

We first meet Jenna as she recounts the defamation of her precious virgin flower at camp with the high school hunk Matty. While her first time is uncomfortable, the story takes an unusual turn when Matty admits his feelings for Jenna but also the fact that admitting his affection towards her would ruin his own image. While I find the dialogue clever, this unusual theme hooked me on to the show first.

To add oil to the fire, Jenna has a mishap in the bathroom with a hairdryer, a tub, razors, and pills. While to some this may seem like a harsh joke on teenage suicide, MTV relieves the tension and presents the situation in a way that you just can't help but laugh.

While the humor of the show began with what appeared to be an attempted suicide, the flawed characters and witty diction add more spice. Jenna’s parents who became pregnant in high school alleviate the on going issue of teen pregnancy by trying to be friend their daughter rather than guide her. Jenna’s sidekick Tamara pokes fun at the social climbing aspect of high school where it’s believed you gain popularity by the amount of “red cup” pictures you have.

While the crash humor entertains my inappropriate sense of humor, the dialects can sometimes be a little stereotypical. Yes as teenagers we find it easier to say “LOL” rather than “that brought me great humor” but when the acronym “DTR” came about one episode, I was insulted by the idea that we base our whole vocabulary off of acronyms. Never have I once use the term “DTR” in any situation. (For those who don’t watch the show DTR means define the relationship, something that Jenna has an issue doing with Matty.)

If you’ve never seen the show before it could be because it airs at 11 o’clock at night. The late airing is due to the graphic sexual dialogue for a teen series that you wouldn’t normally find. But at this time in pop culture, how often can you replay the outsider girl who gets the hunk’s attention card without spicing it up a little?

This raunchy and witty new comedy will have you falling for Jenna’s hope to find herself in high school. John Hughes may have coined the theme of high school loners finding their place in school, but MTV is revitalizing that theme and making “Awkward” the show to watch.