Prom season: Throwback edition

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By Catherine Knipp ’18

Spring is here. The blossoming of luscious fields of flowers, the ephemeral beauty of nature’s rebirth, the lingering scent of fresh spray tans, the days of exploring various websites in pursuit of the perfect dress, the panic that comes with its later-than-anticipated delivery date, the hot plentiful tears streaming down your face as you ponder Baltimore’s lingering question: where can I find a decent date? That’s right, prom season is upon us. With a week left, some of us are left feeling helpless as crucial parts of our big night are still left unknown: a date, shoes, maybe even a dress. Others seem to have figured everything out six months ahead of time, sighing with relief as their peers scream with panic (we hate them for this). Many of us thought that we started looking for outfits five months ago with plenty of time, but have suddenly found ourselves transported into late April with no recollection of where the time went and still no dress. For those in the community who can relate, do not fret: prom panics always work themselves out. Some RPCS faculty kindly submitted pictures from their big nights, reminding us that the stress and anxiety is all worth it.

One Love

By Ellie DelGuercio ’18 and Nikki Goldstone ’18 

At the beginning of the school year, three juniors brought One Love to Roland Park. Unlike most clubs which start out small,  ninety students signed up immediately following the club fair in September. Presidents Ellie Del Guercio ‘18, Sierra Cockerille ‘18, and Nikki Goldstone ‘18 were pleased to have such a turnout after working since the 2015-1016 school year to plan the program. Just days after taking the club photo on the gym floor, the RPCS One Love Club was contacted by the One Love Foundation. Their immediate recognition affirmed for RPCS that although this was the club’s first year, it would certainly not be the last.

The One Love Foundation, established in memory of Yeardley Love; a former NDP and UVA student and victim of relationship violence, aims to educate young people across the country about abusive relationships and their warning signs. The goal of the Roland Park created One Love Club is to spread awareness within our own community, creating a safe and trustworthy environment for high school students. Roland Park’s club works closely with Boys’ Latin and Notre Dame Prep to create events and fundraisers for the One Love Foundation as well as working with the Baltimore House of Ruth, another organization dedicated to helping women and children in dangerous situations.

Boys’ Latin, another private school, is one of the few all-boys schools to have a One Love club. One of the club’s members, Josh Blibaum, stressed the importance of having a club that promotes healthy relationships in an all-male environment. Josh said,

“I really enjoy educating people around the BL community. We work closely with the One Love Foundation and it’s been a very rewarding experience. The issue of relationship violence affects people of every race, gender, and sexual orientation. I think that all-boys schools should have a One Love club so that all students and teachers become more aware of the dangers and signs of relationship violence and can be proactive about stopping it”

Hopefully BL’s example will spread to other all-boys schools, promoting not only healthy relationships, but also helping to identify unhealthy relationships..

This  fall,  RPCS held the Escalation workshop for 11th and 12th graders, in which they discussed signs of relationship violence and prevention strategies. The 9th and 10th graders participated in a similar workshop, focused on healthy versus unhealthy relationships and how to identify each. After the Escalation workshops, the club worked to hold several  fundraisers; in addition, the presidents and faculty sponsors hope to hold more events this spring.

Recently, the One Love representatives from RPCS met with the BL club presidents to plan a dedication game to take place this spring. The dedication game took place on Thursday, April 6th when RPCS plays NDP on our home turf.  In addition, NDP is hosting a field day to support One Love. It is a collaborative effort involving all of the schools that have One Love clubs.  The event will include music, food, games and activities and will take place on Sunday, May 7th. Additionally, the Saint Paul’s Schools will be hosting a Spring Fest lacrosse tournament on April 8th that will include games of many local teams, as well as teams from up and down the east coast.

There are definitely big things in store for the One Love community in Baltimore. With the development of more school clubs and the involvement of communities like ours, One Love will continue to educate people on how to maintain and foster healthy relationships.

Riveting Reviews and Recommendations (Part II)

By Kendall Lambert ’18

And we’re back, this time with some enticing movie recommendations that I highly suggest you consider. The movies I’m about to recommend are the types of movies that will leave you staring at the credits as they roll, feeling enhanced emotion. So, sit back in whatever form of furniture you are currently inhabiting, block out all the surrounding commotion, and give at least partial attention to this article, as these are movies you are going to want to remember.

The first is a romance about the most romantic man in a rather unromantic period. The Academy Award winning film is titled Shakespeare in Love, and it is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s life during the time in which he was writing his famous tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. I know to some, maybe to most, the name Shakespeare brings a bitter taste to the mouth.(Am I right? Did you do a little mental groan upon hearing his name?) The practically illegible old English, the dark and gloomy settings, and the moody protagonist certainly aren’t as appealing to some as they are to others. However, Shakespeare in Love, which can be found on Netflix and OnDemand, was made in 1998, thus the script was written in contemporary English.. The dreamy Joseph Fiennes, who plays none other than Shakespeare himself, and the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow, his love interest, manage their desires for each other in a time when their love was forbidden, much like young Romeo and his Juliet. The movie has droplets of humor, sprinkles of passion, and will bring out all the emotions the true William Shakespeare tries to provoke. Not only will it give you a better understanding of his various plays, but it will also twist your heart and have you rooting for their love like nothing else. Not to mention Queen Elizabeth, played by Dame Judi Dench, is an exceptional female leader who tells it like it is. The movie won a multitude of Oscars, including Best Picture, the highest honor a film can achieve. It is artistically beautiful, incredibly emotional, and all around, a superb love story.

The second film is amazingly empowering in many ways. It supports gender and racial equality and patriotism alongside teaching history about a subject on which many of us have little knowledge. Hidden Figures is based on a true story, making it even more special. (Let’s face it, inspiration from true events usually makes for a fantastic movie- unless it’s in the horror genre) The film presents the story of three colored women working for NASA during a time of intense segregation, working in a field designed to support male power. The message within the movie shows the audience that we humans are all one nation, in one world, among many different universes. Defiance of the system is necessary for progress, and this is prevalent in the story of Katherine Goble Johnson and the ladies of Hidden Figures. The Best Picture nominee, which you can still find in theaters, has more humor than expected in a film dealing with such serious issues. Its light-heartedness is what makes this film so enjoyable. I found myself smiling at the end, not only because of the educational content but also for the artistic substance of the film.. The sets were amazing, depicting the many planetary projects of NASA and the audience feels a certain passion within themselves as they grow with the characters, hoping for their success. The story told within Hidden Figures is no doubt inspirational and will leave you with a feeling of strength in your mind, body, and soul.

Now that you have read my nicely worded review of Shakespeare in Love and Hidden Figures, I expect you to watch these marvelous films and take in their glory for yourself. I strongly encourage you to see these movies, not only so that you may form your own opinions concerning these Academy Award Nominees, but so that you can gain some knowledge on these historical and influential people. But hey, I can’t force you to do anything! I can only very passionately and strongly persuade you to take my suggestions into consideration. So, with that, I bid you farewell and wish you happy watching!

Four Weeks for Women

By Lucy Van Dyke 18′

Every March the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia celebrate and emphasize the historical contributions of women to society. This month is centered around  International Women’s Day on March 8 and is meant to highlight women’s historical achievements to try to fight the enduring diminution of  women’s accomplishments in society. By celebrating these successes, many hope women will eventually gain the worldwide respect and equality that they truly deserve.

On March 8, 1980, President Jimmy Carter created National Women’s History Week. He emphasized that due to gender inequality, women’s contributions and achievements often go unnoticed. He and many others believed it was necessary to dedicate a week to reminding everyone of various important historical accomplishments made by women. Of course the male president deemed a mere week an adequate amount of time! In 1987, the National Women’s History Project petitioned to prolong Carter’s Women’s History Week into a full month. Congress approved their petition declaring March National Women’s History Month.

Throughout the tri-school community, Women’s History Month is celebrated in various ways. This year, Gilman School had multiple speakers come throughout the month to discuss women’s rights issues, one being April Ryan. Ryan is a journalist who works as the White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks. Roland Park participated with a display in the Faissler Library, and several History and English classes dedicated time to speaking about the importance of this month.

Many question the value and importance of National Women’s Month and let it pass by without much thought because of the misconstrued idea that women are in fact completely equal to men. Despite the progress that has been made in countries like the United States, there are still inequalities that women face such as the wage gap and the medicinal research gender gap. Also, many societies and governments in various countries oppress women through harsh laws and strict social standards.  For these reasons, taking time to uphold and discuss women’s value in society will hopefully pave the way for a future encompassed by gender equality.

Like many months dedicated to the celebration of marginalized communities, Women’s History Month should not end with the beginning of the next month. Although March is technically the only month set aside for the celebration of women, women have been active members of society since the beginning of time, and deserve the same amount of recognition. Although we are already well into April, women’s history is still in the making.

Mourning Meeting

By Julia Schoenberg 18′

Every day, the question of what will take place during MOD is murmured throughout the hallways. On even days, this very question is followed by an exasperated “morning meeting”, trailed by an equally disappointed sigh. It seems that most students, even some faculty, dread those 30 minutes that always seem to make us late for lunch. However, is it difficult to imagine Roland Park without morning meeting. It is part of our routine, and although sometimes monotonous, an important one. Morning meeting is the one time every other day that we can gather as a community, share ideas and upcoming events, and listen to senior speeches. It is undoubtedly a crucial part of our school’s philosophy. If this is true, then why do so many students shuffle grudgingly into the Sinex, only to put their feet up on the chair in front of them and half-listen to the all-too-familiar chorus of announcements?

We have a problem and the first step is admitting it: Morning Meeting isn’t enjoyable. Although significantly enhanced by Ms. Rifkin’s quirky rhymes and the occasional lower school song about cheese, it is obvious that the average Morning Meeting lacks the wow-factor that it needs. After 140 minutes of demanding classes, students need something engaging, something relevant, something other than an assembly line of announcements, most of which do not apply to them.

Recently, however, we’ve been making progress. With performances from a spoken word poet and a world-renowned musician, students reacted positively. Cabrini Class explained, “With the poet, I felt engaged but also like what she was saying was relevant to people my age.” Ellie Alban added, “The musician was interactive! It was a nice change of pace. Also, the involvement of the second grade brought back a care-free energy that we sometimes forget about in high school.”

Morning meeting fosters a sense of community. Nikki Goldstone noted that she enjoys seeing her friends and hearing what is going on in the community. However, for a community-centered gathering, most the announcements are not directed at our community, but rather specific groups. While there is nothing wrong with announcements, many students feel that unless an announcement applies to at least 80% of the community, it should be sent in an email. Information about individual clubs or news for just the senior class does not fall under this category. Additionally, there is a lack of student leadership during morning meeting. Teachers often dominate the line of announcements and lead activities when we have them. In the future, having student-led discussions and performances would allow for more creative presentations and a heightened sense of student interest.

No one wants morning meeting abolished. But revisions are in order. We must consider how we engage the student body, how we present information and who presents it. Including more interactive speakers, documentary showings and student-led activities will undoubtedly spike student interest and revitalize one of the core traditions at our school. Roland Park is home to a warm, exciting, and interesting community. Let’s prove it.