Maeve Brennan: Staff Writer
Students, teachers, and activists came together at Marymount on November 17 for the 2018 WOW Summit, led and organized by the Women of Our World club. Rooms were transformed for panels and speeches, where speakers discussed STEM education for girls, gun advocacy, inclusivity for disabled people, and more.
One of the most popular speakers at the event was Jackson Mittleman, who began advocating for gun control after the Sandy Hook shooting occurred in his hometown. He was only 11 when he took his first trip to Washington D.C. to lobby members of Congress. “If you care about something enough, and you feel you want to make a change, whether it’s equal pay or furthering civil rights or more diversity, it’s something that you should think about getting involved in,” he told students, encouraging them to explore movements they’re passionate about, vote, and never let their age hold them back.
The summit also included several Marymount Alumni. Hutch Hutchinson, an advocate for the trans and gender non-conforming community, discussed understanding and awareness of gender identity. Alexon Gronchowski and Kerong Kelly spoke about their efforts building schools, working in hospitals, and delivering food and shelter around the globe.“Impact doesn’t always mean just picking up and going to a developing country like I did,” Alexon, who had previously spent three and a half years working with disabled students in Haiti, said. “Wherever you find yourself, you can be creating impact.”
Two panels, one composed of Marymount affinity clubs and the other of representatives from feminist clubs from different schools, explained their takes on intersectional feminism, current events, and the WOW Summit. The affinity club panel offered different perspectives on the feminist movement. For example, they discussed diversity at Marymount and using correct gender pronouns. Representatives from Dominican Academy, Trinity, Regis, Notre Dame, and Collegiate spoke about the differences between single-sex and co-ed schools, and how that affects students’ views of feminism and politics.
The WOW Summit was not only full of speakers dedicated to turning their passion towards injustice and inclusivity into action, but students committed to the same thing. It was a successful and moving event, informing and inspiring people to influence the world around them.
Fireside Chat: Mr Jarvis
Maddie Pedone: Staff Writer
Mr. Jarvis, a friendly face we see greeting us in the mornings on the 1026 stoop and playing ping pong in the Alumni Parlor, is a newer member of the Marymount community. The other day, the Joritan sat down with Mr. Jarvis for a chat.
Q: How long have you been working at Marymount?
A: I started on March 20th 2018. I was looking forward to it, but the next day there was the snowstorm, which was a surprise.
Q: What is your favorite aspect about the Marymount community?
A: My favorite aspect about the Marymount community is that we all reach out and watch out for one another. It is like a family taking care of stuff and each other.
Q: What is something you like to do in your free time?
A: I like to work on my car or my bike. I also like to explore and travel.
Q: What is your favorite holiday food?
A: My favorite holiday food is pepper pie. It is a dish from the Caribbean; I am from Georgetown in Guyana. I am really into the Christmas spirit and the holidays, and whenever it comes around, I always look forward to pepper pie.
Q: I have been told you enjoy playing ping pong during lunch. Has it always been something you enjoyed playing?
A: Haha, yes. I grew up playing that sport. I started playing at the age of eight or nine. Whenever I saw a ping pong table, I would look around for someone and get a game started. Croquet and ping pong are my go-to sports
Q: What is something interesting about you that people may not know?
A: I am very outgoing and helpful. I also like to stay busy.
Mr. Jarvis also mentioned that as he learns about Marymount and our community here, there is something new every day, and he is fascinated by how we are all different, but blend together as one big family. He said “Every day is like a learning process like a gift, I love it here.” We thank Mr. Jarvis for all of your hard work and the culture you bring to our community!
Lucy Booth, Co-Editor and Chief of Online Publishing
This year at Marymount, there is a new Saturday detention policy.
Mr. Davenport will be the monitor for Saturday detention. Mr. Davenport explains consequences thusly: “I think that having to spend a Saturday with me when I’m not my normal smiley and peppy self should be enough to discourage anyone from having to be there.”
While Saturday detention seems practical in theory, it may be a system that will need to be tweaked as it evolves. Serena Greene argues, “Saturday detentions should not be a thing. We have homework to do on Saturdays that require computers. We can't be expected to go to detention, do our homework, and still have time to rest.” Others, like Caroline Sullivan, think that Saturday detentions are reasonable. “I think it is fair, but it takes 18 violations to get a Saturday detention. That is a lot of violations to get in one semester!” Carla Escanillas laughed as she suggested that polos could also be a requirement of Saturday detention.
As the year continues, the effects of the Saturday detention will become more clear - and who knows? There may not even be a need for it. Our advice: stay clear of non-uniform attire as Saturday detentions are in full swing.
Photo Journalistic Account of Frost Valley
Charlie Yonan, Staff Writer
Meet the Teachers
By Maddie Pedone, Staff Writer
Summer has come to an end, and we are all excited to start a new school year, full of new beginnings, opportunities, challenges, and new faces. Indeed, the Marymount community is excited to welcome the following teachers to the Marymount Upper School:
-Ms. Angeles will be teaching Spanish, and will be the moderator for La Mesa Latina y Luso-Hispana and a Class XI advisor.
-Ms. Gallo will teach Humanities, American Literature, and English XII; she will also be a Muse moderator and a Class IX advisor.
-Ms. Mackowiak, or Ms. Mack, will be the school nurse as well as part of the Health and Wellness team.
-Mr. Madden will be teaching Class IX Dramatic Arts.
-Ms. Melenciano will be a Creative Technologist and teach AP Computer Science Principles; she will also be moderator of DIY Club and a Class IX advisor.
-Mr. Morten will be teaching Class IX Vocal Music.
-Ms. Semaj will teach Spanish, and will be moderator of Black Girls Rock and a Class XI advisor.
-Ms. Richard will be teaching World Religions and Scripture, will serve as a co-moderator of the Campus Ministry and part of the Spiritual Life team, and will be a Class IX advisor.
-Ms. Zecy will teach Geometry, Algebra II, and Calculus, and be a moderator for Social Events and co-moderator for CAMBIAS; she will also be a Class XI advisor.
-Ms. Zheng will be a Science Tutor as well as a member of Academic Data Support. We are looking forward to a great school year where we will challenge, shape, and change the world as a community. We hope you all have a great year first year at the Marymount Upper School and don’t get too lost throughout the building!
Women's History Month, and Some Women to Remember
By: ELIZABETH GRAMLEY, Staff Writer
March marks Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women and all they do. In honor of the month, here are some powerful, fabulous women from throughout history to remember.
In many ways, Lilith was the original feminist. Lilith was the first wife of Adam in the Garden of Eden. When Adam demanded that she lie beneath him, she refused and requested to lie next to him as an equal. Adam refused, and Lilith was kicked out of Eden. In many texts, Lilith is portrayed as a demon, and she is never even mentioned in the Bible, simply because she wanted to be treated as equal to men.
Boudicca (30-61 CE)
Boudicca was the queen of the Iceni tribe during the Pax Romana. The death of her husband led to the collapse of the alliance between the Iceni and the Romans, and the latter quickly invaded. Boudicca’s two daughters were raped, and she was flogged, which led her on a rampage for revenge. Her army of more than 200,000 went on a rampage that left around 80,000 people dead and burned 3 major cities. She’s also the inspiration for an epic Horrible Histories song.
Ching Shih (1775-1844)
Ching Shih was one of the most successful pirates of all time. After being abducted by a notorious group of pirates, part of the Red Flag Fleet, Ching married their captain and later, after his death, his right hand man so she could cement her authority. She oversaw more than 70,000 pirates and basically controlled the South China Sea. Under her rule, the Red Flag Fleet even defeated the Chinese navy. She retired after nine years at sea at age 35, but not before securing amnesty and compensation for her and all her pirates.
Josephine Baker (1906-1975)
Born in St. Louis, Josephine Baker danced all the way to Broadway, and to the Paris revues soon after that. France’s adoration of Baker led to her fame on stage and screen. During World War II, the French government asked her to be a spy. She complied, and socialized with German, Italian, and Japanese officials, all while carrying secret notes as she traveled freely across borders while on tour. When she returned to the U.S., she was outraged by segregation laws and became a civil rights leader, in addition to raising 12 children, all adopted from different countries.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-)
Born in Brooklyn, Ruth Bader Ginsburg would go on to attend Harvard Law School before transferring to Columbia Law school, where she graduated first in her class. Just after becoming Columbia’s first tenured law professor, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Projects at the ACLU. She was the second woman to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, and has continued her crusade for women’s rights from the bench. She has even become something of a cult figure in recent years, inspiring everything from Tumblr posts to SNL sketches, and is affectionately known as the Notorious RBG.
Of course, this is not a comprehensive list, and there are many other women who deserve to be celebrated. But we thought we’d start here. For the point is this: strong, independent women have been around since the beginning of time, and deserve to be commemorated every March, and beyond.
Fireside Chat: Ms. Adams
By: JULIET DAVIDSON, News & Layout Editor
Nestled in an office on the fifth floor or dancing in the auditorium with the Harambee cast is Ms. Adams, creating, telling a story, or cheering on Marymount’s Thespians. Ms. Adams is the Diversity Coordinator, director and writer of Harambee, and is heavily involved with the Drama Department. Always there for a chat, advice, or a song, here is Ms. Adams.
When did you first come to Marymount? I came to Marymount in first grade and fell in love with the staircase. Somebody held my hand and brought me around the school. That was my first interaction with Marymount; it was so personable and loving. Then I stayed here for 12 years, went away, and came back for the students and the theater department.
Do you like working here? I love it here. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love it. I love the people more; I think that’s what makes a place a home, the people that come through here year after year and always come back.
What’s it like being an alumna and working at the school now, seeing all the expansion and developments happening now? I think it’s really amazing to see the growth of Marymount. My graduating class was 32, and my 8th grade class was only 9 or 11 kids. A bunch of new students came in ninth grade and shook up the vibe, which was fun; it was almost like going to a new school. When you have new energy coming in, it changes the flow of things. Now when I look at everything you guys have, I want to go back to school. We didn’t have Bloomberg Terminals, we didn’t have the tinkering space, or programming and coding classes. We were learning how to type with Mavis Beacon. You’re doing so much more. Even the diversity and supportive spaces and clubs and that you have allow the girls to really think outside the box.
Do you have a favorite Marymount tradition? So many come into my mind, but I’ll say Lessons and Carols. I really must say that after Thanksgiving break, I love seeing Marymount decorated and the Christmas spirit around everyone. It’s a season of love and family. I think Marymount shines best in that light because I feel like that’s who we are at are core; we’re a people school, and I feel like that’s the season of people. With Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and Christmas, we really get to experience and cherish collective responsibility and family; I love that time of year.
When did your space here on the fifth floor become home? This is probably the second year. I made it bigger so I had more space, but you should see how many people try to fit in here. It’s like a clown car. I am excited for a school with more space, but that’s a long time to wait for my big office.
Were there as many diversity initiatives and affinity clubs when you were attending the school? There weren’t any. The year after I left, CAMBIAS was created, but we had something that was called Cultural Awareness Club, which was closest to the discussion on issues of diversity that they have. It was about being culturally aware and knowing what was going on in the world, so we touched on a bunch of different topics. However, there weren’t specific affinity clubs like there are now.
Do you think there is more we can do as individuals and as a school to be more aware, obtain new experiences, and be more inclusive? I think you can never say no to growth and learning. The world is changing. It’s like technology; every minute a new version or update needs to happen. I think we as a school have come such a long way. I think we’re doing such a great job, but that does not mean the progress or the updates stop. You always need to update, you always need to go back and educate, and you always need to be aware of what’s happening around you. We’re an educational institution, so we have to continue to not only educate our students but also ourselves; we have to be fresh. You have to know what’s hot. When you’re teaching someone about old things, it’s not going to improve someone’s growth when they go on to college and the world.
You are the wonderful director and writer and student-motivator of Harambee. Why should people go to Harambee? What makes it different from other performances here at Marymount? People should go to Harambee because it’s different. It’s still a combination, like theater, with music, acting, and dancing. I always start off Harambee with a dance piece. What motivates my ears is how the show plays out. It’s never the same every year; every year has a different theme. It’s about learning. You walk away learning something and feeling something. It should be fun; I always call it “edutainment.” There’s nothing better than walking away with your heart full and your mind exploding. And then you get to eat, too! Oh, and between that, it’s like touching all your senses. It’s a very diverse and eclectic cast as well. People who you might have never seen in a play or musical come to do this. Some of our theatre Thespians and musical theatre people are in it, but we have our sports people in it, too. It’s a whole different group of people, and, because it’s such a different group coming together, it makes it even that much more special.
Would you mind telling me a little bit about how you got involved with your show Taina on Nickelodeon? I guess I was always a people person, an actor. I had an agent and auditioned a lot for different things. I became really close with the Nickelodeon casting people. I auditioned for a lot of the different shows like All That and Cousin Skeeter. I actually got cast for Cousin Skeeter, but it shot in LA, [and] Marymount is not a performing arts school. My mom was not totally for acting; she wanted me to be a lawyer or a doctor. When Taina first started I was a junior in high school. The producers of the show pitched the show by casting it first. That was pretty much my senior year, recording the pilot. During the college decision time I was waiting for two things: whether they would air Taina and whether I was accepted at Carnegie Mellon. They both happened. I got accepted into Carnegie Mellon, on a full scholarship and Taina would air. I had to decide if I was going to college or do the show. However, because I got a full scholarship, they allowed me to defer up to three years, so I could shoot the show. I went to Orlando and shot our first season of Taina.
What are your views on the college admissions nowadays? I think it’s definitely more competitive because now more people are realizing they have access to college, so more people are applying. However, I think that still students have a lot more power in terms of the process. A Marymount friend taught me this: It’s not where you start off but where you end up. You do want to get to college, that is very important, but it’s important not to put so much pressure on yourself. For me, I knew i wanted to do drama, so I looked at those schools and set myself apart. Setting yourself apart and being honest about where you want to go and what you want to do really helps narrow down the choices.
Would you say you’re more of a play or musical person? It’s so interesting that you ask that question because at Carnegie Mellon I was a theatre person; however, I was closest to the people that did musicals. I think that’s because I danced in all their shows, and, in the end, I was casted in their show. I love music; it tells a story all in its own. Taina was based off of Fame, so it was a musical on TV. All the shows that I’ve done have been music-based. It’s hard for me because I love really good acting, but music just makes you feel. When people ask me how I’m doing, I’ll sing a song. People will say a phrase, and it’ll always be in music because I think I have that connection to music. It’s my ear; everything that I hear is connected to my soul and spirit.
What’s your favorite season? I have to say summer; I’m a summer baby. You’re just free. There’s more light in the day, there’s more sun, the day feels a little bit longer. That means you can do more with the hours in the day, and you can just give that much more time to what you want to do.
Do you think our 8 o’clock start is too early? I think it is a long day. I come from a place of moving and learning in different ways. I think, as a parent, I want my child to be in school from 8:00 to 3:00, but I want you to forever love learning. If you’re already thinking that it’s too long, then it is too long because then you’re not enjoying what you’re doing while you’re here. We should spice it up so when you come you’re like “What are we doing today?!”
An Exchange Student's Perspective
Hi, my name is Vivian, and I'm from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. I have always dreamed of taking part in an exchange program. I think it is the best opportunity to get to know different places and now here I am.
I arrived in New York on January 10th, and from the first time I saw the city, when I was on the plane, I was fascinated; the sun was rising and the city lights were still on. On the drive to my new home, I was still fascinated. I was amazed by the tall buildings, the mixture of architectural styles, the streets, Central Park, the snow (which I had never seen until that day). It was a dream come true.
In the time that I’ve been here, I have been able to get to know a little bit of the city – Central Park, Times Square, Top of the Rock, the World Trade Center, Wall Street – and see and feel the differences: different (and amazing) people, different habits, different languages, different weather (the cold is a challenge, since in Brazil we are used to warm weather all year long). I thought it would be harder to adapt to all this, and of course, I still get lost sometimes, but my host family and the girls from Marymount are helping me a lot.
Speaking of Marymount, in Brazil the school is quite different. We always stay in the same classroom, the teachers are the ones who change, and we can’t choose what classes we will take. Furthermore, we wear pants, not skirts, and the school has not only girls, but boys too, and we can’t use computers in class. Because all of this, the first day of school was a little bit shocking, but not in a bad way - everything was just so different!
Now, after some time in the city, I’m better adapted, I’m starting to understand how the school works, with all the different buildings and computers during the classes, all the changes, clubs, stairs, and skirts. I’m getting along with the girls, who have been so nice and kind to me. I’m starting to get along with the hectic lifestyle of New York City as well and when it comes to my host family - well, I’m already feeling like a part of it (and it isn’t simply because I look like them)!
I’m excited about making these weeks in New York the best that they can be: with a lot of new people to meet, friends to make, pictures to take, museums and places to visit. I just hope to get the most out of it!
Neofytos: The Price is Right... Or Is It?
By: CAROLINE O'DALY, News & Layout Editor
The high price of food is a hallmark of the Upper East Side. Whether it is a six dollar hot chocolate at Sant Ambroeus or a fourteen dollar sandwich at Eli’s Bread, an overpriced meal is never too far from Marymount. One of the most popular lunch destinations among students is Neofytos Deli, a small market on Madison Avenue that serves sandwiches, pizza, coffee, and more.
Over the past year there has been some speculation that Neofytos may be overcharging students. A Neofytos employee once told Chloé Fequiere (XI) that the price of an ice cream sandwich was $3.00, but she was charged $4.50 at the cash register. In New York State, prepackaged ice cream is exempt from tax. The tax on Maxine Jacey’s (XI) meal was 10% of her order instead of 8.875%, the set percent of tax in New York City. Jacey added that the cashiers are often reluctant to give her a receipt and Katie Pepi (XI) agreed that it is a rare occurrence to receive a receipt from Neofytos.
My investigation began when Ms. Chavali, my advisor, mentioned how several students in her class complained about overcharges at Neofytos. Since Ms. Chavali is a fan of both the Joritan and justice, she proposed that I follow up on the story. After hearing multiple students and teachers recount their experiences at Neofytos, I decided to investigate if these allegations were in fact true or simply misunderstandings.
During this investigation, it was clear that some students speculated that the reasoning behind the rumors about pricing was the notion that students might be profiled as stereotypical Upper East Siders when they wear their uniform. However, after speaking to teachers and reading online reviews, it was obvious that students are not the only people who experienced price fluctuations. Mr. Walters, a long-time customer at Neofytos, notices a price fluctuation only in the afternoon. Every morning Mr. Walters buys an iced coffee or Snapple, bagel, and a copy of the New York Post from Neofytos. Since Mr. Walters is a morning regular, he is recognized by the cashier working the early shift—Mr. Walters is on first name basis with one of the employees—and the price of his meal never changes. However, Neofytos has charged Mr. Walters different prices for his order in the afternoon. Mr. Walters shared how he “usually get[s] a tuna wrap and an iced coffee at lunch, and whichever the wind blows [his meal] can cost either nine or ten dollars.” Mr. Walters believes that the prices change at lunch and that different cashiers will charge different prices as well. One Yelp user had a similar experience with Neofytos and shared in a review that “the price of certain items… fluctuate depending on who is at the cash register.” Mr. Walters understands that “it is a madhouse [at Neofytos during] lunchtime and with many permutations… [it is possible to] get charged different amounts for the same thing.” Mr. Walters also shared how Neofytos “has been there 20 years, so they must be doing something right.”
On January 17, during the usual Marymount lunchtime rush, I bought a egg and cheese sandwich with cash and was charged $2.99. That afternoon, Mr. Chavali bought the same sandwich, paid with a credit card and was charged $4.08. The next day, Anna Steinbock (XI) bought the same sandwich before noon with a credit card and was charged $3.00. Fernanda Standora (XI) bought the same sandwich after noon and was charged $3.00. The raw price of an egg and cheese sandwich on a roll is $2.75 in the morning, and with tax it costs $2.99. After 1 pm, the raw price of the same sandwich is $3.75, and with tax it costs $4.08. As it turns out, Neofytos explicitly states on their menu that an extra dollar is added to the price of egg sandwiches after 1 pm. In my experience, the price of an egg and cheese sandwich on a roll did not fluctuate over time.
The manager at Neofytos said that he did not know anything about fluctuating prices, but he did say that Neofytos changed the menu a couple months ago, which resulted in some price changes and that people sometimes order extra toppings without seeming to consider the extra cost.
Although I did not find Neofytos guilty of changing their prices, it is still important for students to be conscious of their expenses whenever they shop. Also, they should press for details: for instance, the menu at Neofytos states that egg sandwiches become more expensive after 1 pm, but the manager told me that egg sandwiches become more expensive after noon. Standora bought an egg sandwich after noon and was charged the morning price, which meant that the menu is correct, and the manager told me the wrong information. The receipts at Neofytos are not itemized, which creates even more uncertainty about the price of an item. Small discrepancies like these can contribute to incorrect charges at any store.
Since the arrival of the Bloomberg Terminals, Marymount has prided itself as a school that encourages its students to be financially active and aware in their own lives. Although there is nothing to immediately be done about the high prices on the Upper East Side, I encourage students to pay attention to how they spend money and speak up when they believe that there is an error.
Fireside Chat: Dr. O’Brien
By: OLIVIA MILLER, Co-Digital-Editor-in-Chief
Why English literature? I’ve always loved to read. My earliest memories are of my father reading to me before bedtime. I got to pick out a story from Mother Goose every night. So, reading has always been an escape, a pleasure, a way to explore multiple other lives in one lifetime, and I’ve always loved storytelling. I cannot imagine not reading, and now, as an English literature teacher, I get to do what I love.
What’s your favorite book of all time and what’s your favorite book to teach? I don’t know that I can pick just one all-time favorite book! There are books from my childhood that still resonate, such as anything by Beverly Cleary featuring Ramona, and books I read over and over by writers such as Jane Austen and Edward Abbey. To me, good books are like good friends, and I am fortunate to have many. Favorite texts to teach include the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Hamlet, and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
When did you start leading the feminist club, Women in Our World, at Marymount? About ten years ago. When I first came, actually, I worked on the Joritan for four years. Then different people were looking for a change, and I was eager to moderate what was then called Women in Action.
Have you ever thought of writing a book? Every now and then I daydream about a great American novel, but I think that writing can be isolating, and I like the interactivity of teaching, so my dream would not be to be alone in a room just working on a book. Also, I have no illusions about how brilliant my ideas would be. Maybe when I retire and I’m not baking cookies.
Did you ever aspire to do anything outside of teaching? Not professionally. I feel very lucky that what I do is inspiring and educational for me, as I learn from my students every day, and I think it helps make a difference. I think teaching is a form of activism. My second favorite way to learn about the world, besides reading and teaching, is travel, but I don’t want to do that professionally, just for fun.
If you could pick any author (living or dead) to have as a roommate in twenty-first-century New York, who would it be and why? I’d go with Liane Moriarty. She’s my new favorite contemporary author--among other things, she wrote the novel Big Little Lies, which was made into an HBO miniseries--and I love her work, which is witty, satirical, and socially aware all at the same time. I think I’d enjoy sharing space with her, plus she’s Australian, so maybe she’d invite me to visit her homeland, which is on my bucket list.
What is the part of teaching that you think students understand least? The fact that we are rooting for you! I mean, it is a power relationship and most students are focused on the grade and maybe it feels adversarial at times, but I think people go into teaching because they love their subject matter, and they want to expose their students to that magic. Plus, grading takes a lot more time than students think.
What do you do in your spare time? In the very short term right now, I am binge watching season one of Grey’s Anatomy, because my husband has never seen it, so I’m reliving the first year of the interns. Also right now, I am reading a book by James McBride called The Good Lord Bird, which is historical fiction about a young slave who gets caught up in John Brown’s raid. I also like to travel. For Thanksgiving, I am going with my husband to meet his family in San Antonio, Texas, and to visit the Alamo. And for New Year’s, we are traveling to Charleston, South Carolina, where we will visit Fort Sumter.
New words have been added to the dictionary over the past few years. Examples include: facepalm, irregardless, google, and photobomb. Which is your favorite and least favorite? Why? Irregardless? That is not a word! If that has been added, I protest! I love the terms “mic drop,” “salty” (as that is often me in the morning), and as I learned from my 2016-2017 American Literature Honors students, I love when someone or something is “extra.”
Oxford comma, or no? Absolutely yes! Not optional for me.
Class XII Christmas Tree Blessing
By: CATHY SHI, Co-Digital-Editor-in-Chief
After Thanksgiving break, Marymount students were excited, yet, apprehensive about the end of the first semester of the school year. While students are focused on the tests, quizzes, essays, and projects, they cannot help but feel enthusiastic about the festive decorations throughout the building.
One of Class XII’s tasks is to decorate and bless the impressive Christmas tree in the Alumnae Parlor. This year, Class XII read the Lord’s Prayer in many different languages and dialects, including: Spanish, Latin, French, German, Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Italian, Korean, Irish, and Gaelic, representing the various cultures that comprise the Class of 2018. The girls representing each language volunteered to read one line of the Lord’s Prayer, and were responsible for learning their lines. Each and every one of these readers eagerly anticipated the blessing, as it was a way to showcase not only their unique language talents, but also ring in the holiday season in their own cultures. This exciting new addition to the ceremony will hopefully be the beginning of a tradition that will be a part of the Marymount community for years to come!
2017 Marymount Look Back
By: CHRISTINA CORBISIERO, Staff Writer
2017 has been a very busy year at Marymount. First, there have been many strides in technology and STEM at Marymont; for example, as of this year all students who currently take physics will be inducted into the Society of Women Engineers. Also, all seniors in Atmospheric Science became members of the local chapter of the American Meteorological Association. This year, Olivia Miller (XII) won the National Award in Computing, becoming the first Marymount student to do so. Lastly, Marymount received the Apple Distinguished Award once again - and of course, as the Joritan has reported elsewhere, the school has excitedly greeted the arrival of the Bloomberg Terminals.
Sports at Marymount have also been successful this year. One of the highlights of the fall season was that Field Hockey, teaming up with the Spence School for its fifth consecutive year, won against the Master’s School. The Varsity Volleyball Team won both the AAIS and NYSAIS, repeating as champs! In Cross Country, Lauryn Heskins (XII) became individual NYSAIS champion, and broke many Marymount Cross Country records. Marymount also added a rowing team this year.
In theater, the Marymount Players shared their rendition of The Little Mermaid. The show involved bubble machines, flying, and an array of bright costumes and familiar tunes. In November, The Players also performed Little Women and even interacted with the audience during the show. It was definitely one of the best shows yet!
That same month, Marymount hosted its second annual Women In Our World Summit, welcoming guests such as Maria Cuomo Cole, Doreen St. Felix (’10), and an LGBTQ+ panel. This year, the theme of the summit was, “Young Change-Makers and Pioneering Trendsetters.”
A bit of additional miscellany at Marymount this year: we learned that the crest on the Junior Year ring is not technically our school’s crest, but due to tradition it will be kept on the rings! The Marymount School also has an Instagram account now, created in April but growing by the month. Also, the Joritan has a new website (www.joritan.com)! With all these exciting events, this year has flown by. No doubt, 2018 will bring more wins, more new Instagram accounts, more memories, more achievements, and the continued successes of the school community.
Fireside Chat: Madame Tesson
By: LUCY BOOTH, Publicist
How long have you worked at Marymount? A while. I believe 16 years going on 17.
Where in France are you from? The city of Troyes en Champagne.
Why did you become a teacher? Because I always wanted to be a teacher. I used to line up my dolls and teach them.
Is being a teacher is France different than teaching in the US? How so? Totally. I think teachers in France are more hardcore, and they give more lectures.
What is the craziest story that happened in one of your classes? When I was teaching in southern California, I told my students that in order for them to get credit for homework they had to have the best excuse that I had never heard before, but only one gave me such an answer. It was very rainy and his backpack, including his book, had gotten wet, so to do his homework he had to dry his book. He opened the oven, and put the book in the oven to dry the page. And of course, he brought back the book to me and it was burned, and I gave him full credit for it.
What is your favorite Marymount tradition? I think I like 100 Nights. When students talk about teachers, and then the other way around before graduation.
How would you describe a Marymount student? This is the first single-sex school I have taught at, but because there are no boys, I believe that girls are more empowered and feel free to be themselves. Marymount students tend to be driven and very friendly.
What is something that no one at Marymount knows about you? Nothing, I am an open book.
What do you want to be your legacy? How would you like Marymount to remember you? I would want the French department remaining as strong as it is today. I want to be remembered as someone who is personable, yet very serious about what she is teaching.
What is one thing you can not live without? Friends and chocolate. Black chocolate with hazelnuts is my favorite.
What is the most authentic French restaurant? I don’t go to French restaurants; I like Indian food. French restaurants tend to be expensive.
What is your favorite TV show? I am a sci-fi person. Right now, I like the new show called Gifted.
What do you find most enjoyable about working at Marymount? My friends and my students.
How do you think Marymount is different from other schools? I have taught in many schools, but I think the friendships and closeness of teachers working together is a lot more genuine.
What is the best advice you can give a new teacher at Marymount? Go with the flow. There is more to life than work.
What is the best part about the French language, and why should students take French? I think that taking any language should be a priority for students because the world is a big place, and not everybody is speaking English.
Vive la France!
140 Characters or Less: Trump's First Year in Tweets
By: NINA CURRAN, Editor-in-Chief
November 8th marked one year since Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States. Throughout his campaign, Trump promised to “make America great again” and bring the power “back to the people.” To make sense of the legislative actions he has taken and the people he has angered, let’s take a trip through his most sensational tweets since taking office.
Since announcing his run for president, Trump has made it clear that immigration reform is a top priority.
Unlike the Obama administration, Trump and his team have pulled their immigration focus away from undocumented gang members and multi-offense criminals to all undocumented criminals, even if they have never committed a crime. In addition to sending back undocumented immigrants, Trump is also trying to keep them out altogether.
The POTUS is still intent on building a 20-foot-high concrete wall across the stretch of the US-Mexican border, despite the fact that many have deemed the endeavor costly and impractical. In addition, Trump has been criticized for his actions to send back and keep out undocumented immigrants, rather than attempt to integrate them into American society. In early September, the President expressed his desire to end the DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, program.
While many Conservatives support this decision, others outside the White House see this as a move that will disrupt thousands of lives, many communities, and the economy. Conflicting comments from Trump about DACA, however, have led many to believe that he is only going through with these actions to appease conservative members of Congress. In the past, he has said that the recipients of the program were “incredible kids” and that he has “great love” for them. Before he took office, he stayed silent about DACA, even when promoting his plans to keep out Mexican undocumented immigrants, as well as those from Middle Eastern countries.
In the beginning of the year, one of the top news stories was Executive Order 13769, also known as the Travel Ban. This order suspended the US Refugee Admissions Program, as well as suspended the visas of those visiting from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. This legal action caused protests and riots, both in America and in the Middle East. Even though many saw the Executive Order as a motion to keep out Muslims, Trump said that "this is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”
While not usually at the forefront of the media, the economy has seen significant changes since Trump took office.
According to a recent CNN poll, the US economy has the highest approval rating since 2001, and many are crediting this to Trump’s focus on tax reform and lowering the unemployment rate. His proposals include lowering business tax rates, as well as reducing personal tax brackets. One way in which he is working to lower the unemployment rate is by investing government funds in major manufacturing companies.
Similar to the economic approval rating, the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since the turn of the century, around 4.4%. As referenced in the tweet above, a major part of Trump’s plan to create jobs is giving money to large “American manufacturing” corporations, like Toyota and Mazda (let it be known that both are, in fact, Japanese companies), who will use the funds to expand, thereby creating demand for additional employment. This strategy has so far had a positive effect on unemployment, and that did not go unnoticed by the President. In an interview with PBS during the summer, he said, “I think probably seldom [sic] has any president and administration done more or had more success so early on, including a record number of resolutions to eliminate job-killing regulations. And we see it all over the country, where jobs are starting that would never have started, ever, under any circumstance.”
What had been an important issue for former-president Barack Obama is also important for President Trump: healthcare. Going into his presidency, Trump made it known that he disagrees with the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed Obamacare, and is going to do all in his power to repeal and replace it.
While many Americans on both sides of the political spectrum can agree that Obamacare is not perfect, protesters often cite in their arguments that removing it will cause millions to lose their healthcare. Republicans in Congress have tried to write their own healthcare bills, but because of pushback about costs and the ridiculous list of “pre-existing conditions,” the bills never became law. Despite this loss, Trump is still committed to reforming healthcare, and recently signed an executive order that will do just that.
It is clear through this executive order that Trump thinks of the Affordable Care Act as an overreach of government power, and is looking to put healthcare back into the hands of the free market. This would create competition between insurance companies, possibly resulting in lower prices, but also in compromised coverage. On the other hand, critics point to the fact that these changes will raise premiums and deprive millions of their previous coverage.
Military reform is often a focus of Republicans, and the Trump administration is no different. He made headlines over the summer with this controversial tweet:
Seeing it as a step backwards in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, many concerned Americans have protested the memorandum. Very recently, Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly temporarily blocked enforcement of the ban, saying that it is “not genuinely based on legitimate concerns regarding military effectiveness or budget constraints,” but rather is “driven by a desire to express disapproval of transgender people generally.”
Because of his avid Twitter use, President Trump has been able to comment on current events and share his opinions in ways that former presidents never could. Trump’s contentious election into office has deepened the divide between many different groups of American people, especially the liberals and conservatives. Amidst this tension, extremist groups like the Klu Klux Klan and neo-Nazis made a reappearance in mainstream society, most notably at events like the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Immediately after the devastating event, Trump criticized leftist groups (such as Antifa), deeming them the “alt-left;” but stayed fairly silent about the white supremacists, leading many to believe that he supports them. A few weeks later, however, he signed a resolution that reproved “white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups." In addition, it stated, “No matter the color of our skin or our ethnic heritage, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.”
Another recent example of ideological divide in the US is the debate over monuments that memorialize controversial figures in our country’s history. Through his tweets, Trump has made it explicitly clear that he does not support the removal of such statues.
Those who are working towards a post-racial America have been urging the government to remove statues of Confederate Leaders and Thomas Jefferson (even George Washington), as well as Christopher Columbus, because of their ties to slavery and genocide, respectively. Trump, supported by many others, believes that such monuments should remain as a reminder of these figures’ positive contributions to the United States, independent from their immoral actions.
Here at the Joritan, we see ourselves as the journalists of the future; a future that now looks grim because of Trump’s tirades against “fake news” and biased reporting.
There is fault on both sides. Trump accuses news outlets that disagree with him of being erroneous and “fake,” while said news outlets are becoming increasingly biased and opinionated. By discrediting sources like CNN and the New York Times, the President has caused a widespread lack of trust and confidence in the press. This has caused a divide in where Americans get their news: Republicans tend towards Fox and the Wall Street Journal, and Democrats flock to, CNN and the New York Times. As the audiences of these news outlets become increasingly one sided, so is the content of their articles and features. It would be almost impossible to find an article criticizing the President’s impractical “wall” idea on Breitbart. Similarly, a piece praising Trump’s positive contributions to the economy would be rare sight on Buzzfeed.
Lastly, Trump has used Twitter to launch a number of personal attacks, against fellow Americans, others, Democrats, Republicans, and everyone in between.
In just his first year alone, President Trump has managed to alter and affect many aspects of American society. Whether it was the economy, healthcare, or the press, Trump tweeted about it, and America listened. @realDonalTrump has received much criticism, with many seeing Twitter as too casual a system of announcing new government policies. In addition, Trump has been knocked for sharing his true and unabridged opinions so readily with the public through social media, something a president has never done before. Even though Trump’s tweets may cause protests and riots, this transparency is an effective way of integrating the president into civilian society. In the end, the president is merely a US citizen with, as George Washington put it, the added “glare which hovers round the external trappings of elevated office.”
Fireside Chat with Dr. Nisinson
By: LUCY BOOTH, Publicist
Born in New York City, Dr. Nisinson attended Vassar College, where she studied Latin. She began teaching Latin in graduate school and later taught at Georgetown Day School, Archbishop Carroll, and Hunter College High School.
How have your classes been? They are great -- all of you girls are lovely, respectful, sweet, engaged, and interested in what I have to say. I think that’s fantastic.
Have you had any trouble adjusting to Marymount? The schedule is unique. I am slowly adapting to it -- it has been somewhat of a trial.
What is your favorite thing about Marymount so far? So far I think the students. I also really like my colleagues.
How do you like the language department office? It’s great because we have our Christmas lights. We’re just chilling and we’re very cordial with one another.
Why did you become a Latin teacher? I just really love Latin, and it sounds really nerdy, but I love Latin and Greek and ancient history. I really love talking about it. I started studying Latin when I was in high school, and it was my favorite thing about high school. I really wanted to be able to share that with other humans.
Why should students study Latin? The number one reason is that they love it and find it interesting. You should study things that inspire you and make you feel good. You should also just generally be aware of where you came from if you are looking to go forward.
If you had to teach another subject what would it be and why? History or English, I think, because I would teach in translation. I really like talking about literature, reading, and analysing documents. Super nerdy, but there you go!
What is your greatest pet peeve in class? When someone opts out of answering a question. Especially on a quiz or something -- if you don’t give me anything I can work with, then it wigs me out, but if you try to answer me, even if it’s wrong, then you get more brownie points.
Do you have any hidden talents? If so what are they? I can score a baseball game.
Is baseball your favorite sport? Yes, absolutely. I have been a Mets fan my whole life.
Do you have any pets? I have two cats. They are Felix and Indi -- we call her Dr. Jones because we decided at the shelter that Indi was short for Indiana Jones.
Who is your icon and why? Someone I emulate is my mom. I know everyone says that, but she’s my mom. She was a good communicator and also very studious, strict in the right ways and lenient in the right ways.
If you could have any superpower what would it be and why? I would have the power to make my voice incredibly loud because as it is, I wind up trying to talk to students and be louder than the air conditioner, and it doesn’t work.
Hear From the Joritan's Founder, Sr. Rita!
By: AMELIA FAY, Managing Editor
Did you know the name “Joritan” is a portmanteau of the names of its two founders, Sisters Jo and Rita? Since the first issue, The Joritan has worked to challenge, shape, and change, a goal emphasized in this quote from founder Rita Rowley:
Meer the President, Brigit Lapolla!
By: VICTORIA CALLIZO, Staff Writer
What made you decide to run? What were some of your feelings prior? I always loved Student Government at my old school. I considered running for class rep in freshman year, but I was too nervous and wasn’t that comfortable with putting myself out there like that. Once the nominations were made for president, however, I knew I had to do it, or else I would regret it. I also knew it would be a great way to get to know and help as many people as I could in my last year at Marymount.
What do you personally think is the biggest challenge affecting MMT right now, and how do you think we should go about solving it? I think the biggest challenge is the space, but we are currently brainstorming ways to fix it! Since we are expanding so rapidly, sometimes it is tough to find budget-friendly solutions. I think if more people start using other common spaces such as the Alumnae Parlor for lunch more often, it’ll alleviate a bit of the crowdedness in the Tea House and Pit!
If you could give one piece of advice to each upper school grade level, what would it be? To the freshman, I would definitely say to not be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things. There are many clubs I didn’t join until sophomore or junior year that I wish I had joined early on. I think it’s really important to find things you love and keep doing them throughout all of high school! I would tell the sophomores to really take advantage of the year ahead and try to find what they care about. Since tenth grade is the year centered around social justice, I think finding an issue you are passionate about helping to solve is super important. I would also tell them to go out of their way to make friends with Class IX because friendships among grades are amazing. I would tell the juniors to really enjoy each other’s company. This is the year that your class becomes unified, and you all will have so much fun. It isn’t too late to make new friendships. And to the seniors, I would say we are going to have a fantastic year together! Let’s make this one the best yet!
If you were President of the U.S.A, what's the first thing you'd do? I would definitely address the lack of adequate education for many children with special needs throughout the country. Many children are forced to go to separate schools with inadequate resources and poorly run facilities. Additionally, many programs are designed to teach only one type of learning style, instead of teaching to the individual.
Do you have any advice for other girls who have always wanted to run for something, or try something different, but are too scared? I would say just bite the bullet and do it. Even though the fear of rejection or public speaking can be daunting, everything is worth a try. I was super nervous last year, but now I am beyond happy that I ran, and I am so excited for this year. Running for something you want or trying something new is what high school is all about—finding yourself and being your best self.