Viking Voice

Welcome to Amherst Regional High School's very own News Website! The Viking Voice is a group of students dedicated to writing and publishing articles to inform and entertain our readers. If you have any articles you wish to submit, or events you'd like covered, please contact us at [email protected]. You can find our articles listed below. Thank you and enjoy!

How-To Survive Grade 12

February 25th, 2019

So you've gotten through elementary and jr. high, and now you're almost finished the last stretch of high school. Whether you're in eleventh or tenth grade and you're reading this article to prepare yourself for your last year, or you're a senior who's not entirely sure what you're doing, here are some tips and tricks on how to survive grade 12.

Tip one: Don't procrastinate! I know not procrastinating is easier said than done, but trust me, when you procrastinate, you forget important assignments and then you find yourself in your spare period starting a paper that's due in third period (Speaking from experience… ). It's important to break this habit now before it comes back to bite you later!

Tip two: Choose your courses carefully. If you're a grad, it may be too late for this one, but for all of those tens and elevens, make sure you know what courses you need! It's the worst feeling when you're entering semester two and realize that you need a specific course to get into your desired program, but it's either too late to change your schedule, or the course doesn't fit in anywhere. Talk to a career counselor or Mr. Vansnick before it's too late!

Tip three: Be proactive. Now that you're in grade twelve, teachers aren't going to chase after you for not handing in an assignment, or missing a quiz. The days of being babied are over, you need to take responsibility into your own hands and visit teachers before or after class (never during!) and ask about missed assignments and homework.

Tip four: Focus on yourself. When you look at this, I know you'll think to yourself, "Huh whatever." but trust me this is the key to being successful in grade twelve. You can only focus on yourself and do your work. The minute you take someone else's responsibility into your hands, you are basically doubling your workload. Even if it's your best friend, you are not obligated to give up your time and energy. While you're being a helpful friend, you're not doing anything to benefit you and it's okay to be a little selfish.

Tip five: Take time to de-stress. Grade 12 gets hectic really quickly and if you don't take time to relax and take a break, you'll end up overworking yourself and be burnt out by first semester. It's okay to take an hour break in between studying, in fact, I encourage it! Taking a break helps you relax but also bring new perspective to your homework and assignments.

Tip six: Stay organized. Yes properly placing your notes in the correct sections of your binder takes more time, but trust me, when exam time rolls around you'll save yourself a lifetime of hurt. Especially when you're looking for that important note you took in class that one time three month ago.

Tip seven: Put your work ahead of your social life. I know this sounds pretty cliché, but going to a party Saturday night instead of studying for that unit test you have Monday will definitely be evident in your grades. This also applies to off classes. Having an off is one of the nicest things about being in eleventh and twelfth grade; they allow you to relax and catch up on class work. But if you choose to spend your off driving around with your friends instead of studying for that pre-cal test you have next period, you'll most likely regret it.

Tip eight: Talk to your parents. Grade 12 is an important time in your life, and it's important that you sit down and have a conversation with your parents about the serious topics that will be affecting your present and future such as course selection, program choice for university or college, and MONEY! This five letter word is the key to your success. Be sure to discuss plans on funding your future with your parents. Also, if you're planning on going to university or college, realize that you only have a few months left with them! Be sure to spend some of your free evenings with them; have movie nights or game nights every once in awhile. You'll regret not giving them some of your time when you're off at university and only able see them every few weeks.

Tip nine: Fill out all scholarships! Yes, scholarship applications are long, and some require a lot of thought, but don't let that stop you! So many scholarships aren't given out every year because nobody applies for them! You have the opportunity to receive so much $$$, you just have to apply!

Tip ten: Have fun! Grade 12 is a crazy and exciting year. Enjoy it! There are so many opportunities and events that take place during this year, and it will be your last chance to make great memories with your friends. Although grade 12 is chaotic and challenging, the journey through makes it all worthwhile.

ARHS Dance Recital 2019

Written by Mason Carter

January 30th, 2019

Amherst Regional High School played host to a night of talent and entertainment. A group of students, ages 15 to 18, put on a performance that wowed audiences and received standing ovations. Villains of Dance is the first performance put on by the Dance 11 class that has been performed at the high school in many years.

January 23rd was a night packed with talent, and skill. Abbey Letcher's solo performance as Cinderella was one for the books. Letchers performance showed real raw emotion, it could have one believe that she did spend several years living under the wrath of an evil stepmother.

Many dancers, old and new, displayed incredible talent and pure determination. They had a week of rehearsals that would drain just about anyone, yet they still put on one of the best dance recitals to have graced the Suzanne Taylor Theater's stage. A special acknowledgment goes out to Cole Stevens, Grade 12, who performed in five separate dances, one of which he was assigned to the day before they performed. Stevens played many different roles, but for me the one that stole the show was his performance as the Beast. During this performance you really felt like he was losing the love of his life. He pushed away both mental and physical boundaries and performed beyond my greatest expectations.

The show was given a lighter theme with special performances by students who were not in the Dance 11 class, but volunteered for speaking roles. Jakob Legere played the part of Gru, and it was truly a match made in heaven. Everything matched from the steely gaze to the toupée. Josh Lohnes played Shrek, the green ogre that towers over everyone. Rohin McKinney and Jayda Ripley were comedic and entertaining as Minions; Jayda's antics had the entire audience laughing, for a few moments it was possible to believe that she was actually a minion, and not human.

Villains of Dance was a pleasure to watch. The dancers pushed themselves to put on a performance that would shock the audience, and it did. The Dance 11 class succeeded in every way; they performed multiple times in one day and still managed to make their last performance one of the best. The next Dance 11 class has high standards to meet, but it seems ARHS talent grows more with each year. I look forward to returning in two years to watch the next masterful performance put on by both students and staff.

Stand Up, Speak Out

Written by Mason Carter

October 2nd, 2018

On September 13th, Amherst Regional High School played host to the Youth Project, who came up from Halifax to talk to our school about the importance of words and why they matter. September 13th is known as Stand Up Speak Out Day, a day dedicated to addressing the seriousness of bullying; an oppressive force that affects people from all walks of life.

Stand Up Speak Out Day was started to raise awareness and understanding that people from different backgrounds need different things to help them succeed in life. Over the years, Amherst Regional High School has hosted many different speakers, in 2016 we had Corey Hunter come and talk about her experience as a trans woman and how she discovered herself throughout high school and university, and in 2015 we heard from a gay man who was a victim of a hate crime after a fun night out with friends. All of these stories prove that communities of care are essential.

During this presentation, Hari Eswaran spoke about how bullying is only called bullying in school, and how once you leave high school and enter postsecondary or the workforce, bullying is called a whole other name; racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and ableism. Eswaran spoke about how this has become the problem with school systems. Staff is becoming too afraid to call children out for their intolerance in hopes that through minimal lessons they will learn better. Eswaran spoke about how punishing children is not the best course of action; instead, they suggested we take on a more proactive role in teaching students from a young age, about how to build a community of care.

Communities of care are where you put yourself. First, you express what you need to feel safe, valid and happy with your life and those around you. For some, those are things like accessible restaurants and gender inclusive bathrooms. Communities of care are often thought of as unrealistic and for 'special snowflakes'. When you take a step and open your mind, you can see why these communities are needed and how they are achieved. Communities are not a place for people who face adversity to gather and bash those who have it easier than them, they are places for everyone to love themselves and be loved; the fundamental principle of communities of care is to give everyone around you the basic respect that they deserve.

The presentation touched on aspects such as gender, sexuality, and consent, all of which were talked about by Gabriel Enxuga, Gabriel spoke about how the way that we perceive gender is very sheltered. We are taught that you are born a boy or a girl, and you cannot choose which gender you prefer. Whichever one you are assigned comes along with its very own set of restrictions and expectations that can be extremely detrimental to a child's development mentally and emotionally. When children are given the words they need to express themselves and aren't confined to stretch gender roles, there is a significant increase in confidence and even grades can improve.

Words matter because when we take them and use them to lift up students by supporting them and everything that makes them who they are, we watch them blossom. When we let them be used in harmful and hateful ways, we are tearing students down; words are powerful and can shape whom you become in life. When something so powerful and influential is taken and used to lift up all students, one will see the students grow and improve not only themselves, but their community as well.

September Book Review

Written by Will Hydorn

September 30th, 2018

Scottish cult classic novel Lanark: A Life in Four Books was first published in 1981 after nearly 30 years of writing by author Alasdair Gray. It focuses on protagonist Duncan Thaw, both during his life in Glasgow, as well as his afterlife in Unthank, a surrealist depiction of Hell where he forgets his past life and assumes the eponymous identity of Lanark. The realist and surrealist portions of the book seem at first like they would contrast in a fairly jarring way, but they are instead held together seamlessly by strong theming and clever structure.

The structure of Lanark is probably the most immediately remarkable aspect of the book. It is divided into four books, with books one and two telling Thaw's story, and books three and four telling Lanark's. Rather than placing these books in chronological order, they are organized in the order three, one, two, four. Placing Thaw's story in between the two parts of Lanark's seems like a confusing move at first, but it is actually very effective from a storytelling standpoint. Thaw's story is quite straightforward compared to Lanark's, and therefore makes the novels themes much clearer. The reader is then prompted to retroactively apply these themes to the events of book three, meaning both stories are very much on your mind as you get to book four. Book four then seamlessly ties together the intricate narrative set up in book three with the themes established in the Thaw narrative, making for an incredibly thought provoking piece of literature.

Lanark's themes lie at the core of the novel, as they hold the two contrasting narratives together. Both stories explore the difficulties humans have with loving one another and the consequences of failing to do so, on a personal scale in Thaw's narrative, and on a societal scale in Lanark's. Through exploration of this theme, the novel is emotionally resonant, tragic, and often darkly comedic. It is also, even thirty years after its release, still relevant to our modern world, as our fractured political climate begins to more and more resemble the cynical, loveless dystopia portrayed in books three and four. Many other themes are covered too, particularly in the Lanark narrative, which confronts subjects like societal structure, bureaucracy, and capitalism in an almost satirical way.

None of this would really mean much, though, if the book wasn't well written. Alasdair Gray's prose is the most fundamentally appealing aspect of the novel, and makes it a fiercely enjoyable read even during its bleakest sections. The pacing is wonderful, with fast moving scenes broken up by moments of vivid description, creating a great feeling of immersion. Dialogue is also excellently executed, with every character having a distinct voice, and conversations between them being some of the books best highlights. The novel is also full of many memorable quotes, and almost poetically written moments that beautifully encapsulate important themes and ideas.

Despite all of the positive things I have to say about it though, Lanark is certainly not for everyone. Many will be put off by the unorthodox structure, and I can see people having trouble engaging with Lanark as a character, given that he is intentionally for thematic purposes, sort of a boring guy. The Thaw narrative also relies greatly on the reader relating on some level to it, which means it is bound to alienate some people. Finally, towards the end of the book it gets very meta in a way that would irritate some people. In my opinion the moment I am referring to feels completely earned, but I would understand why someone may disagree. Overall, Lanark: A Life in Four Books is a thoroughly enjoyable, thought-provoking read that I believe earns its status as a twentieth century classic.

A Letter From The President

Written by Rohin Minocha-McKenney, Amherst Regional High School Student Council President

September 18th, 2018

Dear Vikings,

Welcome back to another school year, full of all the theme weeks, dances, spirit games and antics that the student council can throw at you! It is my greatest pleasure to be your 2018-2019 Student Council President. I can't wait to leave my mark on this amazing school, which has given so much to me, and make your year the best year it can possibly be.

Over the last four years I have been trying to make ARHS a cornucopia of opportunities for students. Unbeknown to many, Amherst Regional has some pretty good things going on. Yes, like every school, we have our flaws, like how, to this day, the student council cannot seem to keep the microwaves clean (yes, we did give up on them and yes we'd appreciate it if messy food is kept out of them). However, ARHS has many good things about it as well, for example we have one of the largest international student programs in Nova Scotia per capita, our athletics program stands up to schools with twice the population, and we indisputably have the best school spirit ever! That sounds like a great place to me!

This year, for everyone, can be one of two things. It can either be amazing and the best time of your life, or it can be your worst year ever. The decision is yours. The best way to get the most out of this year is to do one simple thing, PARTICIPATE!!! Participating can make or break your year and it can be the difference between a 'stupid' year or an amazing one, the path that you take is up to you.

I have one last thing to say (yes, I know you are tired of hearing me), I want to wish everyone an amazing year full of all the green and gold you can imagine. To the grade 9's: enjoy it while it lasts, it gets harder but I promise, it's an amazing ride. To the 10's: you're like the middle child here (I'm a middle child so I'm used to it) so have a good one and don't do drugs. To the 11's: you have two years left to leave your mark, don't waste your time, it will be gone all too soon. And finally, to the 12's: lets make this year a great one; do what you think will make your year amazing and I'll (hopefully) see you in June when we walk across that stage.

Have a good one ARHS, and stay classy.

September Spirit Week 2018

September 17th, 2018

Our first spirit week started off with a bang this year with Green and Gold Day; nearly everyone participated and ARHS was full of school spirit!

Then came Classy Tuesday, where all the students of ARHS were dressed to impressed while staying classy, of course. Socks and Sandals Day was on Wednesday, and lots of people where found participating as many of the students of ARHS wear socks and sandals as their usual choice of footwear! Thursday came and the staff of Amherst Regional thought they were seeing double as it was Twin Day! Some students even decided to go all out and do groups of three or four! It was successful day. Then, on Friday, we had Generation Day where each grade was given a certain generation to dress up as (ex. babies, university students, mid-life crisis, and seniors), not a lot of students were seen participating but many were seen taking pictures in the atrium, so we count that as a success!

Be sure to participate in the next theme week coming up in October, ARHS!

ARHS From a Grade 9 Perspective

September 11th, 2018

Exhilarating, intimidating, and exciting.Those are all words I would use to describe walking into Amherst Regional High School for the first time as a new ninth grade student. The first couple of days have been confusing and scary, full of finding classes, navigating the school, and being pushed around in the halls, but I'm starting to adjust to the atmosphere. I've gotten to know the teachers, I've met some new friends and now I really understand what's going on.

High school is extremely different than junior high. In junior high they consider you a kid, and they treat you that way. In ARHS you're treated like an adult; you have the freedom to do what you like. With that freedom comes more responsibility, which I, unlike some, really enjoy. I appreciate being treated with respect.

Although the classes are almost double the length than in E.B. Chandler, I feel like the day goes by quicker. Personally, I find the subjects that we cover in class much more interesting at Amherst Regional; the teachers here really know the material and are passionate about it. They're excited to teach, which makes the students excited to learn.

My last observation is how much school spirit ARHS has. At E.B. Chandler there wasn't much spirit, but as we saw on green and gold day, the spirit is everywhere here at Amherst Regional.

I'm super excited to finally be a high school student. I didn't really believe my friends when they talked about how awesome ARHS is, but now, after only four days of being here, I've seen how nice everyone is.

In conclusion, I'm so excited to be in this school for the next four years, ARHS is already the best school I've ever been to. Based on all the school spirit, the classes and all the people, I know I'm going to have an amazing time at Amherst Regional High.

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