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.

RPCS Winter Sports Recap

By Marsie Salvatori ’17

Heading into March and the start of spring sports, our RPCS winter sports teams have wrapped up their seasons. The swim team had an impressive undefeated season and took home the B Conference championships for the first time in school history! This was an important goal for the team after receiving the runner-up plaque for the past three years. The RPCS swim team beat second-place Bryn Mawr by 147 points, and absolutely dominated the meet.

The Varsity Basketball team had another successful season, starting off with a victory over Ossining High School, the 5th ranked team in the country. They completed a winning season, only losing conference games to St. Frances and McDonogh. After defeating John Carroll in the quarter final game, Roland Park fought hard in the semi-final game against McDonogh, but lost it in the fourth quarter. Many Roland Park students and faculty attended the game to cheer on the new RPCS basketball graduates, Liz Schlerf and Jeydah Johnson, as well as the rest of the team.

Indoor Track had a young team this year but many juniors stepped up as leaders. The team was bigger than usual, as many new runners tried out for the team. Due to this, many freshmen runners tried new jumps that were not completed by the RPCS track team in previous years. At the end of the season, many runners qualified for IAAM Championships and the team placed 3rd overall.

Indoor soccer had a tough season this year, as they recently moved from the B Conference to the A Conference. Despite their tough schedule, the indoor soccer team worked hard and finished out the season with a positive attitude.

Finally, Varsity Squash proved their abilities by winning almost every IAAM match. Besides one loss to Bryn Mawr (who RPCS had beaten earlier in the season) the squash team dominated the IAAM Conference. Over the weekend of February 10th, the top eight varsity players travelled to Connecticut for Squash Nationals. There, the team won many upset matches and ended up finishing sixth in the 3rd division. This is an impressive accomplishment at a national tournament, as there are seven divisions overall. Congratulations again to all of the winter sports teams for finishing out their seasons!

An Open Letter to the Other 11 Months of the Year

By Julia Schoenberg ’18

Every year, the month of February is dedicated to the celebration of Black History in America. Originating in 1926, Carter G. Woodson designated the second week of February “Negro History Week”, coinciding with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. Woodson, a graduate of both the University of Chicago and Harvard University, aimed to highlight not the victimization of blacks throughout history, but rather how they positively contributed to society. Similarly, Woodson believed that educating the white public on African American history could clarify racial misconceptions.

Exactly 50 years later in 1976, Negro History Week was extended to a month, formally recognized by the then president, Gerald Ford. Every year since then, Black History month has stood as a reminder of the indelible contributions that African American men and women have had on our society. From Madam C. J. Walker’s impact on the employment of black women to Bessie Coleman’s feat of being the first American with an international pilot’s license, February is meant to celebrate a courageous, though often under represented history.

I’ve always been slightly uncomfortable with the idea of minorities having designated months, as if to suggest that the other 11 months of the year are not as accepting of their cultures. While I know that this is not the true intent of social movements like Black History Month, my ambivalence stems from a place of curiosity. I have grown up in a society that is rather indifferent toward cultural recognition, it is not looked down upon, nor is it the center of attention. Black History Month is mentioned, maybe even discussed briefly, but the true goal of Carter G. Woodson, to educate students and adults on the historical contributions of African American individuals is not achieved.

Black History Month, however, is not solely about highlighting the achievements of black people. It is a reminder to our society that our passion for diversity and our standards for racial, religious, and cultural acceptance cannot waver. All over the news we hear about President Trump’s immigration ban. We are living in a world where certain people are rejected because of their ethnicity. Because of this, it is more crucial than ever that we celebrate the diverse nation that we are so privileged to live in. We cannot settle for simply an announcement or reminder the February is Black History Month. We need to be informed and we need to be discussing how we can further create an environment that does not only claim to accept all, but which actions reflect so as well.

White History Month. It sounds unnatural, ironic, and almost offensive. White History Month does not exist because the accomplishments of white Americans are celebrated every day. Then why is it that in 2017 we still believe it is sufficient to relegate centuries of accomplishments into one month? Shouldn’t one group of Americans receive the same recognition as another? Black History Month serves as a reminder of the accomplishments of Black Americans; a demographic of people without whom our country would not be the same. My hope for the future isn’t to abolish Black History Month in hopes that it will be seen as just as impactful as “white history”. My hope is that we will eventually live in a world where the race, gender, or religion of its contributors does not label history, but rather the uniting characteristic that we all share: American.

What’s Black and White and Red All Over?

By Lucy Van Dyke and Julia Schoenberg

As the editors of Red All Over, we had one new year’s resolution: to print our first issue. Having worked all semester on editing articles and finishing the website, it seemed only fitting to introduce our new newspaper at the start of the new year.

Red All Over began with three goals: to connect the community, inform the student body, and, most importantly, provide a platform for student expression. There needed to be a place where student interests, issues and events were brought to the attention of the community.

We began at the end of last year. The plan was to work all summer, releasing our first issue by the Opening Day convocation. However, having no knowledge about starting a newspaper, writing articles, or formatting a layout, we soon realized a first-day-of-school issue might be unrealistic.

Covering election drama, debates, and campaigns was our new mission, so our team started writing in November. We believed that our new goal was achievable and began to write. Our staff worked tirelessly, covering the Trump vs. Clinton chaos, hopeful to publish  before November 8th. But November came and went, and with it went our second failed attempt at publication.

Feeling slightly discouraged, we set back to work, desperate to release something before we were forgotten completely. With the help of Ms. Blatti, Ms. Malfa, our faculty sponsors Ms. Radov and Ms. RT, our faculty editor Mr. Souser, and the technological genius of Mr. LePain, we were able to complete our first issue. It took many meetings in the science prep room (yes, that’s where we meet) and countless rewrites of articles, but we are proud to announce the very first issue of Red All Over.

Red Head

By Julia Schoenberg

In September of 2016, Roland Park Country School welcomed its seventh head of school, Caroline Blatti. Within weeks of her first day, it was confirmed that Mrs. Blatti was a perfect fit. Constantly buzzing through the halls, eager to learn the names of every student, Mrs. Blatti brought undeniable energy and excitement to her new position. Despite her busy schedule, Mrs. Blatti’s efforts to connect with students and become someone they feel comfortable with was apparent from the moment she entered our campus.

In the past, many students felt there was distance between the administration and the student body. However, with the introduction of our new head, it seemed only fitting to try to bridge this gap. With this in mind, we interviewed Mrs. Blatti to try to achieve the personable and transparent relationship between students and administrators that Mrs. Blatti conveys everyday.

Sitting in her oak paneled office, we started with the basics: wait, where are you from again? Mrs. Blatti was born in the Bronx, although she was raised in New Jersey. After attending the Academy of the Holy Angels, Mrs. Blatti went on to Princeton University, where she majored in English. Prior to coming to RPCS, Mrs. Blatti lived in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was the Upper School head at The Hutchison School, another all-girls private school. There, Mrs. Blatti not only helped run the newspaper but also founded a leadership program.

Obviously dedicated to the education of young women, we asked Mrs. Blatti, why all-girls? Her answer embodied everything Roland Park aims to instill in us. She explained that an all-girls education promotes confidence. Because the entire student body is female, all leadership roles are assumed by women. Similarly, it is very rare to come across a community that fosters both rigor and camaraderie; however, this is commonplace at all-girls schools.

Preliminary background check complete, we were able to move onto what really matters.

Favorite food? Salad. (We obviously recommended Nalley Fresh.)

Favorite TV show to binge-watch? Veep.

Superpower of choice? Super speed.

Go-to book? To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

Hidden talent? Irish step dancing..

Favorite place you have traveled (excluding Roland Avenue, of course)? Wales.

Although you may have doubted how many similarities you share with our new headmistress, hopefully now you see that binge-watching television and the need for super speed do not  diminish with adulthood. We are so excited to welcome Mrs. Blatti into our community and to get to know her more as the year progresses.

#ITCANWAIT

By Lindsay Cashman and Spencer Sutley

Did you know texting while driving makes a crash six times more likely than driving drunk does? It is estimated that you spend an average of five seconds looking at your phone while checking it. Those five seconds are considered blind driving. Every year, 1.6 million crashes are caused by using a cell phone and driving at the same time. Ninety eight percent of people are aware of the risks caused by texting and driving, but thirty five percent of those people admitted to doing it anyways. In our Roland Park community, a survey was sent out to the Upper School Students asking about who participates in distracted driving. Out of all the students who can drive, sixteen percent admitted to texting and driving, thirty three percent admitted to looking at notifications while driving, and forty five percent admitted to looking at their phones to change the music. Also, a shocking seventy three perfect of responders said their parents use their phones while driving as well. Next time you reach for your phone, ask yourself, is it worth it?

One text or call could wreck it all. #Itcanwait