Awards Season: The Fashion, The Winners, and the Relationships

Samantha Zaccaro | Staff Writer

:Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Emma Stone at the 2017 Oscars.

:Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Emma Stone at the 2017 Oscars.

Right now, awards season in sunny Los Angeles is in full swing, with the Golden Globes having happened in early January, and the Oscars coming up on February 24. Surrounding these awards shows is always much excitement and energy, not only about the possible winners, but also about what stars will wear, and with whom they’ll attend the shows.

The Golden Globes saw shows like Killing Eve and The Americans walk away with big awards, while popular movies such as The Favourite and Bohemian Rhapsody received their own accolades after popular success. Certain performances have already generated buzz for the Oscars, as well as movies like Mary Poppins Returns, whose lead actress Emily Blunt has received wide praise for her performance as the famous nanny.

Awards season in Hollywood is also a time when stars top the best dressed list, as well as the worst dressed list. While in 2018, the Golden Globes became a platform for the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements with most attendees wearing black in solidarity, this year, high fashion reigned supreme once more. Still, several actresses opted to wear black and white bracelets and ribbons, designed by costume designer Arianne Phillips in order to mark the second year of the Time’s Up movement. One of the most memorable looks from the Globes was Lady Gaga (who was nominated for A Star is Born), whose Valentino dress practically shut-down the carpet and paid homage to original A Star is Born star Judy Garland.

Red carpets at major Hollywood events also become a place where famous couples make their public debut or our favorite couples remind us how much they love each other. Though it seems that no new relationships have emerged yet, we’ll find out for sure about any new couples at the Oscars.


Ms. Romero: A New Member of the Marymount Family

Maeve Brennan | Staff Writer

“I absolutely love it here at Marymount,” Ms. Romero said. “There is a strong sense of community here between the teachers, faculty, and students, and that was obvious the moment I walked in the school.”

– Ms. Romero

Marymount welcomed a new Upper School administrative assistant in December, Jessica Romero. Ms. Romero, who has worked in education for the last twelve years, was responsible in previous positions for creating curriculums focused on developing positive social-emotional strengths in students and building community.

She first discovered her love for education in college, when she interned for an after-school program in Queens. Most recently, she worked as a program coordinator for summer and after-school workshops in technology and multimedia. “I really enjoyed being able to create outside-the-box activities that could teach students to become strong and confident human beings,” said Ms. Romero.

Now, as administrative assistant, Ms. Romero is tasked with several important jobs throughout the day. She tracks student attendance, helps Ms. McKenzie-Hamilton, coordinates events, sets up appointments, and much more. She hopes to get to know every family, student, and faculty member as she continues her job at Marymount.

“I absolutely love it here at Marymount,” Ms. Romero said. “There is a strong sense of community here between the teachers, faculty, and students, and that was obvious the moment I walked in the school.”


A March Marred by Controversy and Disunity

Kristin O’Donoghue: News and Layout Editor

:Women’s March, NYC, 2019

:Women’s March, NYC, 2019

This year’s Women’s March came across as a blurry, out of focus reflection of the vivid and exultant picture that was the monumental march of 2017. Crowds were smaller, and spirit ebbed. Why the dulled passion? It almost certainly stems from a controversy involving a board member of the Women’s March and her support for an anti-semitic leader, as well as the lack of a driving force behind this year’s protests. Whatever the reason, the happenings of this year’s march are reflective of what threatens today’s feminist movement: decay as a result of diverging priorities and competing identifiers.  

The controversy involving Tamika Mallory instigated upheaval and rejection in this year’s march. She voiced support for Louis Farrakhan — leader of the group the Nation of Islam— who has made a series of anti-semitic comments, including calling Jewish people “termites.” Mallory has publicly renounced his anti-semitism, but has refused to condemn him wholly, as she praises the work he has done in struggling black communities. Other board members have made a point of including Jewish women in the movement, and many potential marchers have accepted that Mallory and the few board members do not represent the collective group. The controversy led to groups in a some states organizing marches and rallies separate from that of the official Women’s March. In New York City, the Women’s March NYC hosted a separate rally in Foley Square, where women banded together under an apparently more unified message.

Another, arguably more positive, reason for smaller numbers was a lack of motivation. Perhaps some believed it was less necessary that women march this year because, relatively speaking, it was a good year for the woman. The most diverse Congress in history was elected, including a total of 102 women who now comprise nearly a quarter of seats in the House. Nancy Pelosi, now serving as House speaker, has become the most powerful woman in the history of United States politics. The #MeToo movement has provided a platform for women to be heard and for men to be held accountable for their unacceptable actions. Nonetheless, there is a long way to go and an ample reason to march.

Amid all of this, legendary women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem has given the following advice: “March with one of them. But march.” Some listened, and others sat this one out, but either way, indifference should not have been and cannot be an option.

Signage has been an informative way to understand driving forces behind each year’s march. The march in 2017 occurred the day after Trump’s inauguration, and was meant to project the voices of people, particularly women, who felt disparaged and threatened by Trump and his administration. Although the overall message was one of female empowerment, the anti-Trump atmosphere was manifested in the signs calling attention to climate change, immigration, reproductive rights and more.

Many protesters left the march with feelings of euphoria and purpose. A spark was ignited, and it would remain alighted for the year that followed, passing on to the candle that was the 2018 march. There, signs again demonstrated an overall frustration with and rejection of Trump’s persona and policies. Popular signs included messages of love, such as “Love trumps hate.” Flash forward to 2019, when the light began to flicker. Signage was scattered - some of it included an emphasis on the Russia investigation and the wall.

The fight for women’s equality encompasses many other movements, including rights of immigrants, LGBTQ+ rights, workers’ rights, and more - fortifying that women’s rights are human rights. Managing a tent this large demands a universal, clear message of inclusivity and concern for women of all walks of life. The Women’s March organization defines its mission as  harnessing “the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.” This seems to be as universal as it gets, and still, tensions have emerged overexclusivity.

Because of the inherent intersection of race, ethnicity, sexuality, creed, gender, socioeconomic status, and other identifiers, it is difficult, while still necessary, to create a collective group of women without falling victim to the schisms that result in diverging priorities. An effective feminist movement demands the adequate representation of all women, or else these separate movements will dominate and no notable improvements will be achieved.

The attempt to reach this place of equality and empathy, within a movement that is a fight for equality, will demand patience and time. The controversy with the Women’s March may serve as an example: some of the organizers were inexperienced and made a few mistakes, but this year’s march was only the third. Their efforts deserve praise and appreciation, as they did instill an enthusiasm in many women, which led them to act, to vote, and to lead in a way many of them never had before.

We must learn that with this movement as with all, when so many individuals from so many different walks of life, with divergent experiences, hopes, and beliefs, attempt to gather under one tent, there will be mistakes and there will be controversy. Fighters and marchers must be fortified and motivated by a shared ultimate goal: to achieve equality for the sexes. This they can never forget.


Another Successful Sophomore Retreat

Nazareth Battice | Staff Writer

:Kennedy Munz and Mia Campbell celebrating birthdays on the retreat.

:Kennedy Munz and Mia Campbell celebrating birthdays on the retreat.

Recently, Class X took part in the sophomore retreat. After a brief celebration of Mass in the Chapel, we were on our way to the Loyola Jesuit Center in Morristown, New Jersey. The icicle-inducing temperatures shook us from our early morning drowsiness as we pulled into the driveway of the mansion. The entrance leading up to the foyer was grand, and immediately I felt a wave of solemnity wash over me. I was reminded that while we were missing school for the next two days, this was still a structured retreat with a set agenda.

As we gathered with our RTL groups, I found myself worrying that I wouldn’t know my group well or that our discussions would evolve into heated debates. Melting my worries away, my retreat team leaders, Tara Carlin and Alice Shi, were extremely warm and gave us helpful advice for our M-PACT projects and our journey through the rest of sophomore year. My group included classmates whom I knew and some I talked to occasionally, which allowed me to deepen bonds with people I don’t always get to have conversations with. Our group activities were very reflective, opening my eyes to the values and perspectives that the rest of my class holds. It might sound corny, but it felt empowering to see the members of my class driven with the same sense of social justice that I hold in my heart.

As the hours passed, we started to feel the lack of sleep come to haunt us again, and the teachers let us spend some time running on the frozen bricks of the backyard. Stepping out, I glanced as my classmates flocked towards the glacier that had emerged atop the main fountain and the few people who dared to test the fates and walk upon the ice. The picture of my classmates gathered together in a brief moment of glee raised my spirit for the rest of the retreat. After dinner and a very thoughtful discussion about the wonderful feats of One Direction, the class watched Hidden Figures, had a closing chapel, and then rolled into bed. And by rolling into bed, I mean talking with my friend Camilla for two hours and eventually succumbing to sleep. In the morning, the class continued our reflections and made fun videos about of the sacredness in nature. Our class gathered in the main room, universally laughing at the absurdity of our videos.

Leaving the retreat, I felt refreshed. Seeing my class unified in a more relaxed setting made me appreciate the people that make up our wonderful class. As one classmate, Julia Madsen (X) observed at the close, the most enjoyable aspect of the retreat was “g[etting] to be together as grade.”


Sexual Assault in Hospitals

Charlie Yonan | Staff Writer

A woman in Arizona gave birth on December 29, 2018 after being in a vegetative state for a decade. A coma is a state in which a person is unconscious and breathing independently for a prolonged period of time. If a coma persists, it is called a “persistent vegetative state.” People are put into a vegetative state if they’ve suffered a stroke, some type of severe medical illness, or in this case, anoxia, which is the loss of oxygen to the brain. This woman was put into her coma due to a near-drowning incident. Although she is unconscious, her body and organs are still fully functional, and able to grow a full-term baby. Because she has been unconscious for a decade, a pregnancy lasts around nine months, and she gave birth in December 2018, the question that arose was, “How did she get pregnant?”

The answer is that the woman was a victim of sexual assault, in the Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The woman was, and still is unconscious, so she was clearly not in any position to give consent. However, the family’s attorney, John Micheaels has reported that “the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for.” Investigators gathered DNA from men who work at the facility, and the investigators got court orders for those who didn’t voluntarily give samples.

The police charged 36 year-old Nathan Sutherland with sexual assault and abuse to a vulnerable adult on January 22, 2019. He was taken into custody after the baby’s DNA sample matched his own. Nathan Sutherland is a licensed practical nurse who joined Hacienda Healthcare in 2011, and he was primarily responsible for caring for the patient that he assaulted. He is married with 4 children, and is part of a Christian music group. The police are currently investigating whether other patients were assaulted.

One of the main concerns that has arisen is the fact that if she hadn’t gotten pregnant, then no one would’ve found out that someone took advantage of her. This is clearly a problem, and it’s mainly due to the fact that there wasn’t sufficient security. It’s difficult to determine a way to fix this issue, since we still can’t determine how the perpetrator assaulted her; however, we can draw conclusions from this situation. Something must be done to stop this from ever happening again, and efforts are now under way at hospitals across the country to ensure there is security to prevent horror such as this from repeating itself.


Let There Be Light!

Siwaar Abouhala: Staff Writer

The Christmas season, a festive time of year filled with tree decorating and present wrapping, has officially made its way to the Marymount community. There are many cherished school celebrations and traditions to get students in the holiday spirit. Besides the beloved Christmas fair, which has everything from baked goods to handmade teddy bears, and Lessons and Carols, a school-wide gathering, the annual tree lighting is an event for the seniors to illuminate the Christmas tree for the entire school.

The tradition was created for seniors to have a special event besides Lessons and Carols. Decades ago, seniors and their parents would originally come back to Marymount after the Lessons and Carols service to have an additional ceremony and light the tree. However, it became inefficient to transport and fit the entire senior class and their families into one room after a long church service. The result was the creation of the senior tree lighting tradition.

The ceremony consists of a special lunch for the seniors, a singing performance, reciting the Lord’s prayer in various languages, and the lighting of the tree. In this year’s senior tree lighting, students represented a wide variety of languages in saying the Lord’s prayer, including Polish, Korean, Greek, Ukrainian, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, French, ASL, Portuguese, Arabic, Twi, and Tagalog. The senior class reps, Mei and Li Kane, lit the tree, and all the seniors enjoyed listening to festive Christmas music and eating candy canes all while decorating the tree.


Creating the Next Batch of Marymount Ninja Warriors

Arabella Baker: Staff Writer

Recently, Upper School students had the opportunity to participate in sessions with Ms. Gabrielle Rubin to learn about Female Awareness Self-Defense courses. During these sessions, students learned techniques to protect themselves from potential attackers.

At the beginning of the sessions, Ms. Rubin started out by asking how many people in the room had taken some form of self-defense class before, and a very limited amount of people raised their hands, exhibiting the importance of a basic form of education on topics such as self-defense. Ms. Rubin then taught students safety tips for avoiding dangerous situations, in addition to physical defense techniques if prevention was unsuccessful.

Afterwards, students discussed what the self-defense courses covered. “I thought it was fun,” observed Emma Solferino (XI), “although we know that most sexual assault is by people you know, so I think that it may not have as fully prepared us for those more difficult situations.” The main focus of the self-defense courses was, indeed, on situations in which a female student is walking down the street. Helena Loomis observed, “I think that the class was beneficial because it highlighted that defense starts with prevention, as opposed to responding physically when in a dangerous situation.” Caroline O’Daly (XII) adds,  “I think it’s great that Marymount students have the opportunity to learn self defense. It is unbelievably important for young women in New York City and beyond to learn how to protect themselves and I’m glad that Marymount helps us learn more.”

Below are some basics tips offered by Ms. Rubin during the course:

  • Never walk while speaking on your cell phone. If you need to make a call, stop into a safe environment and put your back to a wall.

  • Don't walk on the street with headphones. You can't hear someone coming up behind you!

  • Carry a whistle, flashlight, or personal alarm.

  • Carry keys, cell phone and metro-card in your pocket, not your bag. Have these items ready to use.

  • Never stand in the back of the elevator. Stand near the buttons where you are in control.

  • Try to consolidate your bags so at least one hand is free.

  • Don’t mimic, meaning our best objective is to flee: listen to your gut if something doesn’t feel right.

  • Pay attention and don’t be scared of eye contact. If you let someone know that you see them, you are telling them that you could pick you out of a line-up.   

  • Instead of yelling “Help” or “No,” scream “FIRE!” This not only affects the people around you, but causes people to look out of curiosity.

  • Show confidence - good posture, eye contact, consistent pace.

  • Carry your bag on your less dominant shoulder.

  • When in a taxi alone, call a friend with the car number to ensure you get home safe. Make sure the driver hears you tell "your over-protective friend" your taxi number

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Another Juul Scandal?

Morgan Shepard: Staff Writer

A JUUL is a very popular vaping product that was created just over a year ago. It has gained popularity because of its easy use, ostensibly sleek look, and flavors. Teenage JUUL use continues to rapidly increase, not only because of these aspects, but probably because of the ease in hiding the devices from adults. Recently, the FDA has begun banning the sale of JUUL’s “fun” flavors. The aim is to fight teen use of this product, and banning these flavors will hopefully make the idea of vaping less appealing. The government is also pushing stricter age restrictions and enforcement when it comes to buying JUULs online.

In September, the FDA gave the company 60 days to implement initiatives to fight teenage JUUL use, with the understanding that at the end of that time, the FDA will also take action. For now, it is hard to tell exactly how these initiatives can accomplish. Even with flavors ban, if cultural popularity continues, how many teens will stop? In a survey by the University of Michigan, researchers learned 1 in 4 high schools seniors said they vaped in 2017. Many students also say that they share their devices, so it can be fairly easy to access them if one cannot buy one for themselves.

Linda Valdes-Rodriguez, a student in the eleventh grade, says, “I think banning flavors is a good start and it is important that JUUL is aware of how teens are misusing it. However, it will take a lot more to help too many teens stop using this addictive device.” Hopefully this start in restricting JUUL use will begin to prevent teens from using vaping devices or will encourage them to think before they act.

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Marymount Murder Mystery: Fall Production of The Mousetrap “Exceeds Expectations”

Juliet Davidson: Co-Editor in Chief

This November, the Marymount Players debuted their theatrical year with the wise whimsy of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. Since opening in 1953, its spookiness, dark humor, and thrill have riveted audiences. It’s these qualities and more that have made “The Mousetrap” the longest-running play in London’s West End. And here at Marymount, the cast put on an incredible performance, keeping the audience engaged and enthralled in answering “who dunit?”  

    The set was the impressive work of Set Tech, a student team that assists the director, Ms. Pietropinto, in production. They do it all; they create sound cues, put up the set, and handle the chaos of props and costumes backstage. Lucy Booth (XII) even got to play the murderer in the killing scene. Her acting expertise was much-appreciated by the cast and audience in keeping the mystery of Christie’s story alive into the second act.

    The cast was few in number but abundant in talent. With six Marymounters, a Fordham Prep student, and a Regian, the play was destined for success. However, according to the actors themselves, the success of the production wasn’t measured only on performances. Hours of rehearsal, jokes, and frantic coffee runs created a familial community, which is always a great victory. Charlotte Pontarelli (XI) felt this victory deeply: “Knowing our cast had each other's backs in a safe space where we could try new things and explore the show and ourselves was the most comforting and rewarding experience."

    Chris Poccia, a junior at Regis and newcomer to the Marymount Players, says, “Coming over to Marymount every day from Regis for rehearsal was a very different experience from putting on a show with the Regis Rep. However, change isn't always a bad thing. I came to Marymount and found a cast not only filled with the most talented actors I have ever had the pleasure of performing with, but I found a cast that really came together as a family that loved each other and knew how to have an awesome time together both on and off of the stage. Not only was the show a huge success, but I made a lot of really great friends that I will always remember as my Mousetrap family."

    Nazareth Battice (X) feels similarly, sharing, “This year’s play [had a] completely enchanting cast. Each member brought their own exciting and positive energies to each rehearsal, making it an absolute joy to be a part of this experience. As the first play production I have ever been a part of, I will never forget the amazing people that have made this experience so life-giving and fun.”


Progressive Candidates Take Democratic Primaries By Storm

By: Kristin O’Donoghue, News Editor

An insurgency of progressive candidates in this year’s primaries have taken the United States by storm. Gubernatorial, senatorial, and congressional races have resulted in upsets in the primaries, with young and fresh-minded candidates unseating long-term incumbents. Candidates have run on campaigns based on left-leaning ideologies, and have themselves been a diverse group, including women and racial minorities, as well as members of the LGBTQ community. Turnout among voters has greatly increased, mostly because of the hotly contested races, which typically attract more voters. The victories reveal a dynamic shift in the Democratic party from the establishment centrist Democrats to more progressive Democratic ideas as well as Democratic socialism.

On June 26, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pulled off a historic victory in a primary Congressional campaign as a 28-year old Puerto Rican woman unseating the 10-term incumbent, Joe Crowley. Ocasio-Cortes is now set to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, and that’s not where her deviation from other candidates ends. Endorsed by Bernie Sanders, she is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). When commenting on her win, Cortes said:

“Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office. I wasn’t born to a wealthy or powerful family. . . . This race is about people versus money. We’ve got people, they’ve got money. It’s time we acknowledged that not all Democrats are the same. That a Democrat who takes corporate money, profits off foreclosure, doesn’t live here, doesn’t send his kids to our schools, doesn’t drink our water or breathe our air cannot possibly represent us.”

Her statement is one that reflects beliefs of today’s voters, especially those who feel marginalized and ignored. Alongside targeting the Republicans, she criticizes establishment Democrats, feeding off the division within the party.

Ayana Pressley, who is running unopposed in November, is set to become the first African-American woman representing Massachusetts in the House. She ran against Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) in the Massachusetts’ Seventh Congressional District. Pressley’s slogan was “change can’t wait,” promising tangible transformation to voters unnerved by empty promises. In Florida, Andrew Gillum is the state’s first African American nominee for governor. He was also backed by Sanders and ran on the promise that a voice in government must be returned to the people.

Candidates such as Presley and Ocasio-Cortes ran campaigns based on the discontent of voters who are tired of centrist Democrats compromising with Republicans and not making powerful enough strides for change. The future of the Democratic party is still unknown - will there be an even more thorough shift to the left, or will centrism prevail?

O’Daly 2036? It’s More Likely Than You Think

Elizabeth Gramley, Publicist

Caroline O’Daly loves talking about herself. But not in a conceited way, of course. At least, that’s what she assures me in an email that also includes her favorite profile of Harry Styles, so that I have something to work with.

Our interview begins with Caroline’s first foray into the cruel world of politics. She started her political career in seventh grade, with a run for vice president of Emil A. Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. She lost.

“I hadn’t come into my full comedic … potential yet. I went with a serious speech with some little cute phrases.” She had to give the speech in “an actual auditorium, blinded by stage lights, in front of like 600 kids including some very rowdy 8th-grade boys. At the time, it was terrifying.” This is an impressive feat for any twelve year old, but this was an election based on the comedic talent of the candidates. “I literally lost to this kid who - the whole premise of his speech was ‘I don’t know what I’m doing so it’ll be funny so vote for me.’ So I lost in seventh grade so traumatized that I didn’t run for president in eighth grade.”

So did losing to the guy with the funny speech affect Caroline’s outlook on speech writing, encouraging her to write more humorous speeches when she re-started her political career? “I think it happened organically because I was always a funny person,” she says, before detailing how in middle school, her best friend was the funny one, and she was just kind of “there.” “I was more charming and witty, but I wasn’t explicitly funny.” Then middle school ended, and Caroline left Emil A. Cavallini Middle School for Marymount, where her political career would really take off.

She decided not to run for Class Rep in ninth grade, despite being nominated. She knew her chances of winning were slim because she was new to the school, so she decided to wait it out. “I didn’t really feel like people knew me and my values.” Instead, she joined Singers. It wasn’t a great fit, but she stuck it out anyway.

At the end of ninth grade, Caroline was again nominated for class rep. “Lucy Booth, kind of as a joke, nominated me to be a class rep.” Knowing that another year of Singers was not in her future, she ran for Class Rep and won. “I take credit,” Lucy says. She’s not totally wrong, although her claim that Caroline owes her political career to her might be a bit of a stretch. “I’m a proud mom,” she concludes.

During her year as a Class Rep, Caroline and her co-rep, Violet Rizzieri, worked on several initiatives, including stopping the use of plastic bags at lunch.“I instilled fear in my classmates to not use [plastic] bags at lunch, which I think is one of my legacies as a Class Rep.”

At the end of sophomore year, Caroline ran for Vice President and won. During her tenure as vice president, she made it her focus to reduce stress in the Marymount community, culminating in what is perhaps her crowning achievement to this point: bringing service dogs to Marymount. “I thought, ‘I think if I really, really pour my heart and soul into this and figure out and just go through all the logistics - every single scenario - I think I can do it,’” which of course was true.

That brings us to today. “Junior year I thought, you know what: VP - go big or go home. So I ran for president. I won that, thankfully. I was fortunate enough to win all three elections that I ran in high school, so that went a lot better than it did in middle school.”

This year, she “has a really strong focus on food” as a way to improve the quality of life at Marymount. “I feel like it’s just a really simple way of making people so much happier.” Her plans are already in action, from a town hall during which the focus was food to a meeting with Chef William. It also includes streamlining the lunch suggestion process in the hopes of integrating more meals into the menu. “A lot of proposals organically happen as issues arise within the school, but definitely food is one of the goals for this year.”

The interview ends with a final message from Caroline to the student body. “I hope you’re not intimidated by me if I, I don’t know, freaked you out in any of my speeches. I’m really not that scary and I’m really excited for the school year. I know everyone on the student government team is very excited as well. We’re going to try as hard as we can to give everyone the best year possible, and I think it’s going to be a good one.”

To hear the full interview, covering everything from the quality of Spence apples (“spapples”) to O’Daly 2036, visit

“I Want the Antswers,” Students Report Appearances of Ants in Cups of Water from the Pit

Caroline O’Daly, Managing Editor

From mice running across the stage in the auditorium to cockroaches scurrying across the floor in the Tea House, Marymount students are more than familiar with their four-or-more-legged neighbors of the Pratt Mansions. The most recent pests to appear at Marymount are not on the floor, but in paper cups. Four students reported finding ants in cups of water that were filled from the water dispenser in the Pit. “I found some ants in my water cup while on the Retreat Team Leader retreat,” shared Sarah Sullivan (XII). “I did not pay [the ants] much mind then, but now I hope this problem gets resolved.”

In the second week of school, meanwhile, Kristin O’Donoghue’s (XI) witnessed a “cup filled with water and three ants” in person. O’Donoghue and Emma Solferino (XI) asked members of maintenance staff about the problem of ants near the water dispenser. After checking the tanks of the water dispenser and filling four cups with water, the maintenance staff did not see any signs of ants in the water dispenser. Although O’Donoghue still does not know how the ants ended up in the cups of water, several members of the maintenance suggested to her that  “the ants actually came from the cups, as opposed to the cooler.”

Mr. Wartel, the Director of Facilities, Security, and Fire Safety at Marymount, confirmed that there are no signs of ants in the water dispenser. In addition to the members of the maintenance staff who inspected the machine after the report from O’Donoghue and Solferino, Ms. Macon, a Food Preparation Assistant and Server, examines the water dispenser on a regular basis. Mr. Wartel added that an extermination company checks for mice, bugs, and other pests at Marymount two times per week in order to pass Board of Health inspections.

Ultimately, Marymount students should not refrain from using the water dispenser in the Pit, as the reported incidents of ants appearing in cups of water proved to be isolated events.

Floods and Falling Ceilings: The Chaos Endured by the Teahouse

Caroline O’Daly, Managing Editor

On Saturday, August 11, 2018, torrential rain pounded the streets of New York City. The preceding week, contractors worked on a project to shorten the distance of the crosswalk across Fifth Avenue by expanding the size of the sidewalk. As a result, the sidewalk on the corner of 84th street and Fifth Avenue was torn out. As the rain fell over the weekend, water filled the space of the old sidewalk and then flooded into the Tea House. Although the contractors finished the sidewalk construction on Monday, the deluge on Saturday had already ruined the Tea House, as the floor was buried under 6.5 inches of mud and water.

Shortly after the construction on the corner of 84th street and Fifth Avenue finished, construction on the sidewalk on 84th street began. When contractors uprooted the sidewalk, the force of their machines caused pieces of the ceiling in the Tea House to collapse. With under a month until the first day of school’s arrival, the Tea House resembled a swamp polluted with occasional chunks of plaster.

Working quickly and efficiently, contractors tore out the floor, removed all of the lockers, and cut the damp sheetrock, which began to grow mold, in the Tea House. Additionally, a cleaning staff dehumidified and mopped the Tea House in preparation for reconstruction. Thankfully, the Tea House’s makeover finished before the start of school, and students settled into the area without sensing the chaos that had occurred over the previous weeks.

However, the issues of the Tea House continued into the first day of school. Clear water seeped out from the lockers on the wall along 84th street and formed large puddles in the senior locker section. The issue puzzled the maintenance staff, as flooding never affected that area before.

“I’ve been here for twenty-five years, and we’ve never had a water issue like this,” Mr. Wartel, the Director of Facilities at Marymount, shared. Although the cause of the flooding is currently unknown, Mr. Wartel contacted Marymount’s attorney and the contractor responsible for the sidewalk construction in order to uncover the origin of the issue. However, Mr. Wartel believes that “there was an existing problem [with the water on 84th street,] and until they fixed the street, the existing problem went somewhere else, and now it’s coming to [Marymount.]”

Although the clear water will pose a slight inconvenience to seniors, the administration believes that the issue will be resolved soon, as contractors will “dig down and figure out why [water is] coming into our building when it never did before” in the near future.

Heightened Controversy Over Spring Musical

By: TRUDI GARNETT, Staff Writer

This spring, the Marymount Players will put on a production of In the Heights, a vibrant musical, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, set in Washington Heights about a predominantly Latino community. This is Marymount’s first production of In the Heights and has already caused a great deal of discussion. Many students question whether or not it is appropriate to put on a musical that features Latino characters with a predominantly white cast. Others see no issue. As you can see from the quotes we’ve assembled, opinions range widely.

Indeed, some students believe that it would be wrong to have people who are not Latino play characters who are Latino. The show itself was created to tell a story about the culture of Washington Heights and to provide a vessel for diversity. By having a predominantly non-Latino cast, so goes this argument, the production could defeat the original purpose of the show.

However, other students believe that In the Heights is exactly what Marymount needs as a predominantly white school. They feel that the story, which contains so much culture, will give people the chance to experience diversity through art, even if the cast is predominantly non-Latino. In addition, this view posits that the musical will combat type-casting, which is when people are casted for their physical or cultural resemblance to a character. The lack of diversity in the cast almost guarantees that casting will be solely based on whether the role is right for the actor. As Miranda himself observed to, "When I see a school production with not a lot of Latino students doing it, I know they're learning things about Latino culture that go beyond what they're fed in the media every day. They have to learn those things to play their parts correctly. And when I see a school with a huge Latino population do HEIGHTS, I feel a surge of pride that the students get to perform something that may have a sliver of resonance in their daily lives. Just please God, tell them that tanning and bad 50's style Shark makeup isn't necessary. Latinos come in every color of the rainbow, thanks very much."

There are many reasons to fall on either side of the argument, but all the people with whom the Joritan has spoken agree that In the Heights is an important show because of how it highlights the necessity of diversity. They also agree that the Marymount Players’ production of the show will be interesting to watch, as well as serving as a topic of discussion.

Here are some of the opinions directly from the cast:

“As a Hispanic, I love the fact that the show is In the Heights, but I also understand how some people might not agree, given that it's a predominantly white cast. Regardless, I think it's cool that Marymount is attempting to switch it up a bit and embrace diversity through theater.” -Victoria Callizo (XI)

“I’m really excited that we’re doing In the Heights not only because the music is amazing, and there are a lot of interesting scenes, but also because of how it shows people coming together during times of trouble and adversity. In this way, I think In the Heights is not only a great choice of a musical, but also an important musical to do in this time when we as a society are so divided.” - Marina Bien-Aime (XII)

“I am super excited about the show being In the Heights. It is completely different from anything we have done before, so I think it’s going to be a very exciting challenge!” - Lauren Elliott (XI)

“I think In the Heights is an amazing show, but I don't know if Marymount will be able to put on a production that stays true to the piece because we are not a very diverse school. Regardless, I know we'll try to make the most of it and do the best we can.” - Elena Cacho (X)

“In the Heights is a great show that steps away from the usual Broadway cultural clichés and really explores a fresh and unique area. I’m really excited to be given an opportunity to be part of this show and for another year with the Marymount Players!” - Brendan Tuite (Regis High School, XI)

A Brief History of Marymount and the Ghosts Who Haunt It

By: CAROLINE O'DALY, News & Layout Editor

After publishing my piece on lunch prices at Neofytos in the last issue, I decided to continue on my path of hard-hitting investigative journalism and write another exposé. There are many controversial stories to cover at Marymount, but there is no scandal more relevant to the Marymount community than the alleged ghosts that haunt the school.

The first of the three Pratt mansions, affectionately known as “1028” to students, underwent construction in 1901 when Jonathan Thorne, who amassed a large fortune in the leather trade, hired C.P.H. Gilbert, a renowned architect of mansions and townhouses, to build his retirement home. Thorne lived in the mansion from its completion until his death in 1920. After Thorne’s death, Florence Vanderbilt Burden, the great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, owned the mansion for five years before selling it to the Marymount School of New York. A New York Times headline stressed that the school would provide students with “religious training as a safeguard against ‘socialism and chaos,’” which most likely reveals the bias of the writer more than the goals of Mother Marie Joseph Butler.

Brian Williams, a real-estate speculator, planned the construction of the 1026 and 1027 townhouses. The architectural firm of Van Vleck and Goldsmith designed the buildings and construction began just as the 1028 mansion finished construction. George Crawford Clark bought the 1027 mansion, and Mary Kingsland, the daughter of a wealthy businessman in the whale oil trade, purchased the 1026 mansion. After Clark’s and Kingsland’s deaths, Herbert Lee Pratt bought the 1027 mansion and Dunlevy Milbank purchased the 1026 mansion. Expansion was necessary for Marymount by 1936, as the student body continued to increase in size. Pratt sold the 1027 building to Marymount in 1936, and fourteen years later, Marymount acquired the 1026 building.
The history of Pratt Mansions is almost as impressive as their copper-detailed mansard roofs. However, any building as old as the Pratt Mansions is bound to come with some disadvantages, such as physical deterioration - or paranormal occupants. And regarding the latter, the buildings of Marymount must have resonated with several of their owners over their 117 year lifespans, so surely some previous owners must now want to spend the remainder of their after-lives at their beloved home. Although I firmly believe that several ghosts roam about Marymount, I myself have never experienced a paranormal event at school. However, after sending out a school-wide email, I learned that Marymount is indeed home to several spirits.

Bloody Mary is the quintessential urban legend of schools across the country. Even my suburban safehaven, the Upper Saddle River School District, had more than one Bloody Mary scare throughout the years. At Marymount, Bloody Mary supposedly lives in the mirror of the bathroom outside of the Lower School art room. Although it may seem far-fetched, Ann Marie Burke (XII), Aubrienne Krysiewicz-Bell (XI), Nancy Unrath (XI), and Lola Van Praag (XI) have all shared the same rumor separately. Unrath avoided that bathroom as child because she “was deathly afraid that Bloody Mary would appear.” Krysiewicz-Bell recalls that fellow students attempted to summon Bloody Mary though different rituals, such as turning around three times and flushing the toilet.

Tara Carlin’s (X) mother, Joyce Carlin, attended Marymount from Lower School to Upper School. When Carlin was a Lower School student, she witnessed a paranormal presence in the archive room off of the Lower School Library. As Carlin stood at the entrance to the archives, she saw several objects move and heard a little girl’s voice. Sr. Clevie also shared that “besides the Holy Spirit, there is an actual spirit of a young girl who watches over Marymount.” Although Clevie has never seen the spirit, she feels her presence throughout the school.

There have been other strange occurrences at Marymount as well. The window of A-522 burst open during Maxine Jacey’s (XI) math class this year. Margaret Fenniman (XI) reported that the cursor of the computer in her Spanish class moves without anyone touching it. Emma Solferino (X) shared that a desk leaning against a wall, which had not been touched by anyone, unexpectedly crashed to the floor in A-503. Marymount will always welcome visitors, whether they are foreign exchange students or prospective families. However, I hope that we continue to see visitors from the other side as well.

Therapy Dogs: A Student Government Update

By: CAROLINE O'DALY, News & Layout Editor

High school is an exhausting and emotional, yet enriching, experience for most students. We wake up early, take a test or two, absorb copious amounts of information, attend lunch clubs, attempt to understand even more information, spend some time at after-school extracurriculars, find a time to eat dinner, complete as much homework as possible, go to bed, and do it all over again.

At our first meeting this year, Student Government recognized that Marymount students become bound to the daily grind every year. As students fall into their grueling routine, they forget to cherish each day of their fleeting high school career. School should be a place where students are eager and excited to arrive and learn, not a mandatory task for teenagers in a to-do list of life. However, we also understood that it is impossible for students to be happy all of the time. Everyone is entitled to a bad day, and constant happiness would be incredibly annoying. I truly do not know how the Admissions Department appears so upbeat everyday!

We soon realized that it was Student Government’s job to offer occasional retreats from the chaos of high school for Marymount students. This year, we have already sponsored a free cookie decorating table, changed the day of the math final into a half day, ran several successful bake sales, and, as of last month, welcomed several therapy dogs.

Although it may seem like Student Government does not do much, we work as hard as possible to create a positive impact on Marymount. Receiving approval from the administration is not always easy, but nonetheless, I proposed a “Therapy Dog Day” last March, in keeping with the fact that Student Government is incredibly motivated to instill positive changes at Marymount. To our delight, the proposal was approved.

We hope that students enjoyed their time with the dogs from New York Therapy Animals and that the grind was broken for that day. We would also like to thank the administration, especially Ms. Califano, who spent countless hours communicating with the organization, creating Google Forms, and collecting waivers, as well as the volunteers at New York Therapy Animals, especially Nancy George-Michalson, the director of the organization, for allowing students to indulge in a few minutes of joy with some adorable dogs.

Sweet Treats from a Bitter Beginning


At 11 years old, Kathleen King took over running her sister’s cookie table at their parent’s farmstand to make money for school clothes. Thus began the business that would consume most of her adult life: thin, crisp cookies. Her first official company, Kathleen’s Cookie (later Kathleen’s Bake Shop) was a failure. Despite the business’ initial success, her business partners undercut her, leaving her without the company she had nurtured for decades, in debt, and under federal investigation.

But King bounced back. She had lost the rights to the name Kathleen’s Bake Shop, so she named her new business Tate’s Cookies, after her father. “The biggest change was me,” she said. King had been successful financially, but she had been too emotionally involved. “[You] can’t focus on the minutiae,” she concluded. So instead, she focused on the bigger picture. It paid off. Tate’s began selling the cookies Kathleen had been making for years, which she had initially adapted from the recipe on the back of a bag of Nestle chocolate chips. The company grew and grew and now makes about 1 million cookies a day. They are sold nationally and internationally, including the farmstand where it all began. She recently sold the company for $100 million.

So after several decades in the cookie industry, is she tired of them? “I wanted to be one of those people who worked in a bakery for three months and said ‘I never eat any of that,’ but that didn’t happen,” she has recalled. Her favorite cookie is also the number 1 cookie in America - Tate’s chocolate chip cookie. Yum!


The Givers Are Glittering Up the Community Service World

By: SAM ZACCARO, Staff Writer

Givers Who Glitter is a club that meets on day 8 to polish with a purpose! Club members, or Givers as they’re called, learn and practice different nail-painting techniques with the goal of spreading joy to others through giving manicures. Earlier this year, in October, GWG visited Gigi's Playhouse, a nonprofit center for kids with Down Syndrome. The Givers brought polish and joy as they spread their Halloween cheer.

GWG is currently accepting donations for its upcoming community service visit at the children's hospital at New York Presbyterian. Unused nail polish and nail polish remover will be collected in the red bag in the Math Center.

Givers Gina Li Abuiso and Selin Bacaksiz in Class X describe the club as “relaxing” and “so rewarding.” Ella McCarthy, co-founder and co-president, “looks forward to volunteering again soon!” Givers Who Glitter offers free manicures on day 8, so feel free to stop by! After all, as Grace Conde, co-founder and co-president, says, “it makes every day 8 great!”

Givers Who Glitter 1.jpg
givers who glitter 2.jpg

The Legacy of the Women's March


On January 21, 2017 between three and five million people participated in the Women’s March in the United States to advocate for the protection of human rights and issues for women and the LGBTQ+ community. Examples of the topics for advocacy include reproductive rights, racial and gender equality, and healthcare and immigration reforms. The inaugural Women’s March was held a year ago, the day after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, as a form of protest. Comments from the President of the United States, which many people experienced as misogynistic and hateful, sparked this movement to become as big as it was in 2017.

The first Women’s March was an event that has never been seen before. Although the March occurred on a single day, the movement was kept alive for long after through social media and sub-movements. “What happens next?” was a question that many people found themselves asking after the March. Social media was therefore the step in the movement to keep the goals of the March alive.

The Women’s March has caused many people throughout the United States to become aware of government actions and to voice their opinions on the matters. The March gave minority groups the platform to talk about issues and spread awareness, although governmental action has not emerged in response. Does that make the Women’s March a failure? Not at all. The Women’s March was a key step in showing that people will be fighting every step of the way for human rights, and it also reminded a lot of people throughout the country there isn’t yet full equality in America regarding gender and equality.

Indeed, in the moment of the #MeToo Movement, the Women’s March is an avenue for women to claim their voice, especially when it comes to being victims of sexual assault. At the first Women’s March, people protested how the president was accused of sexual assault, and those same women are now able to use their voice against other people accused. The #MeToo movement helped keep the Women’s March alive because it further proclaimed to Americans how so many people, especially women, are kept silent. The new Time’s Up Legal Defense can work in conjunction with this effort, as it aims to end sexual assault, harassment, and inequality in the workplace. Both the #MeToo and the Time’s Up movements were in turn able to gain more support and momentum because of celebrities and because of how the issues they are working against were brought to light through the Women’s March.

This year, the Women’s March 2018 discouraged people from wearing pink hats because to many, those hats excluded transgender women and gender non-binary people. The Women’s March in 2018 had the theme “Power to the Polls” with the goal of empowering more women to run for office and vote in elections. Real change in the United States happens through voting, and getting people into government who will fight for equality in America could be the biggest accomplishment of the Women’s March. With that in mind, America will have to see the results of the mid-term elections in order to see the full results of this year’s Women’s March in effect.

March For Life: Raising an Argument in the Marymount Community

By: ARABELLA BAKER, Staff Writer

Friday, January 19th marked the 45th annual March For Life in Washington D.C., dating back to 1974, when the first march was begun by Nellie Gray in protest of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States in 1973. The slogan for this year’s march was “Love Saves Lives.” The march follows the Catholic Church’s understanding of the sacredness of all life, including those of people not born yet.

Because Marymount is a Catholic school, its institutional understanding of this subject is that of the Catholic Church’s. The school exercises this belief through the policies of M-PACT, for example, as members of Class X are not allowed to advocate for funding for openly pro-choice organizations. As a Catholic school, Marymount is pro-life; however, much - if not most - of the student body is pro-choice. This raises an interesting dilemma about the school’s identity and sparks interesting arguments between people who are  pro-life and people who are pro-choice within our community.

Some of the pro-lifers at our school believe that the Marymount community is not the most welcoming place to express their belief because so many at the school are pro-choice. As one student said, “Unfortunately, I feel like I would be attacked by some students if they knew I was pro-life. While I have been able to tell a few of my close friends how I feel on the topic, I tend to stay away from the discussion with other students and faculty at Marymount.” She later added that she thought it was great that so many pro-choice students are passionate about their views but that some students can be judgmental and inconsiderate of other students’ opposing views.

In places such as lunch clubs and classes, students tend to push discussions about  reproductive rights more than other topics. While most of the time, the conversation is respectful of other people’s beliefs, sometimes it is more condescending to those with different opinions. We at the Joritan encourage our fellow students to work in their conversations to promote dialogue, and to listen while also being advocates and activists. After all, as we engage the RSHM goal, “That all may have life,” we ought to remind ourselves that people on both “sides” of the debate support this idea. Indeed, the truth is, there is a spectrum of thinkers in our community on this issue.

When I asked one of the pro-lifers her reasoning behind her position, she said that even though she had been raised in a Catholic household, she did her own research on the subject and still believed the same as what she’d been brought up with, but was now more educated and more able to talk affirmatively and confidently about her view. She also stressed the importance of bringing up this subject so that people can develop their own opinions and not just follow everyone else’s.

The organizers behind the March For Life are already planning for next year’s march, showing that the debate is far from over, with hundreds of thousands of people supporting  their cause. The steadfastness on both sides shows that it is very important to keep the conversation going.

Laptops: for Better or for Worse?

By: NINA CURRAN, Co-Editor-in-Chief

At the beginning of the school year, Marymount was named an Apple Distinguished School, an award honoring our use of “technology to inspire creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking.” We received this recognition, as we have before, because of our integration of technology into every classroom, most notably the 1:1 iPad and MacBook Air program. Recently, however, a conversation has started, both in the Marymount community and the broader world of education, over the question: are laptops actually helpful in a classroom setting?

Within Marymount, the Upper School students use their laptops for almost everything: taking notes in class, homework readings, downloading worksheets from syllabi, checking emails, the list goes on and on. In fact, this whole newspaper—article-writing, editing, and layout—is put together on our laptops. Teachers readily utilize the technology as well, with some working towards a paperless classroom. Some teachers, however, feel as though laptops in class are doing more harm than good; between the innumerable distractions of the internet and the mindless transcription that can come with typing notes so rapidly, computers are not always a learning tool.

In November, the New York Times posted an opinion piece, titled “Should Teachers and Professors Ban Student Use of Laptops in Class?” about this very topic. According to studies at various universities, typing notes on laptops does not allow a student to retain the same amount of information as handwriting. At Marymount, Dr. Cunningham does not allow her Humanities students to use their laptops in class for precisely this reason. While freshmen are still learning about their preferred learning styles, Dr. Cunningham wants to prevent them from becoming “transcription machines,” while fostering an environment of collaboration and discussion. She believes that it is “important to keep the attention in the room,” “to help students learn” and become “alert and critical thinkers.”

Many students see their laptops as an invaluable resource in class: notes can be taken faster, communication is fast and simple, and infinite amounts of information can be accessed with ease. That said, every student has her own preferred method of learning. Over my years at Marymount, I’ve come to learn that hand-written notes work best for me. Last year, my classmates thought I was crazy for taking all of my AP US History notes by hand, but I believe that it helped me study and better retain the information I learned. With so many options for learning tools today, both technological and not, it is important for all students to learn what works best for them to ensure success in class.

Students Take Initiative: Conference for Women in Business


Kennedy Munz, Katie Hall, Julia Madsen, and Lila Fremont-Smith (from left to right) attend the Young Women’s Business Leaders Conference at Harvard University.

Kennedy Munz, Katie Hall, Julia Madsen, and Lila Fremont-Smith (from left to right) attend the Young Women’s Business Leaders Conference at Harvard University.

Four ninth grade students attended the inaugural Young Women’s Business Leaders Conference (YWBLC), led by the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business club, on the weekend of November 4. Katie Hall, Lila Fremont-Smith, Julia Madsen, and Kennedy Munz were informed of the conference through an email from Ms. Kutner. The girls decided to organize and embark on a trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Two parents accompanied them, encouraged by their enthusiasm about the upcoming conference.

Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business’ website shares the mission of YWBLC: “to bring together high school women throughout the nation who share a passion for business and build a community of support and empowerment for those young women.” The conference provides women in high school with the opportunity to meet other women with similar passions, learn more about the business world, and discover from leaders of the industry what it’s like to be a woman in business. All the students had a wonderful, fulfilling experience. As Lila Fremont-Smith says about her time at YWBLC, “I wanted to attend because I’m interested in going into business. It gave me a lot of insight about different fields I might want to look into. As a feminist, I’m especially interested in women in business. I got a lot out of the conference because it focused on the roles of women in the business world, and the setbacks they face.”

Lower Schoolers Effectively Clean Up with a Song, While Upper Schoolers Struggle to Keep Student Sections Clean

By: CAROLINE O'DALY, News & Layout Editor

Three words commonly associated with Marymount students are challenge, shape, and change. Clean is not among those words, and anyone strolling through the student sections after lunch would see that. The mess in the Teahouse and Pit has always been a problem, and the increased class size has contributed to the problem. Although students agree that the mess in Pit and Teahouse is unacceptable, we cannot seem to bring ourselves to take action and clean up.

There are many theories as to why students do not clean up after themselves— pure laziness and forgetfulness are among the most popular. Charlotte Hickey (XII) described how “lunch is a chaotic time, and people forget their food when they are rushing to get to their next class. However, that’s not an excuse to leave your trash and be disrespectful to the cleaning staff.” Caitlyn King (X) agreed that students are “in a rush to get to their class after lunch and forget to throw [trash] away, but people need to be more responsible about cleaning up their food and plates. It is so easy to throw away trash, because there are huge garbage cans everywhere in the Pit.”

Not only are the piles of trash in student sections displeasing to the senses, but they create numerous problems. Katie Pepi (XI) explained how “there have been rodent problems in the past, and every time a critter crawls into Marymount, screams can be heard 'round the school! Why would we want to sustain that issue? One would think cockroaches and mice would be enough to scare the messiness out of Marymount.” Pepi also added that “the mess not only sends the message of ‘I don't care that I am being disrespectful,’ but it is also a health hazard. I am continuously baffled at the chaos that is made up of wrappers, coffee cups, water cups, old homework assignments, pieces of clothing, food on the tables and floors, and the liquids that seem to just keep spilling.” The mess has become so overwhelming that students who want to work in the Pit or Teahouse after lunch must choose between working among the filth or cleaning up their classmates’ mess.

The mess in the Teahouse is even more relevant to the freshmen, as the fate of their lunch privilege depends partially on their cleanliness. Mary Hayes (IX) pointed out how “it is annoying that people are not throwing out their trash, because it's keeping us from being allowed to go out for lunch.” Sophomores, juniors, and seniors begin their year with the lunch privilege, but students seem to forget that going out to lunch is a privilege, not a right, and rumors of revoked lunch privileges have already surfaced in Homeroom.

Above all other causes, the mess in the student sections stems from a lack of respect. Ms. Chavali, an advisor for Class XI, shared that her advisory meets “in the Lower Pit, and [she has] to occasionally stand at the top of the staircase to the Upper Pit to ensure that the students will clean up their space before advisory.” Students among all grades also agree that respect for the community is the root of the mess. Caitlyn does not “understand why people do not throw away their food when they are done with it because it is just common decency… [and] at the end of the day, the maintenance staff has to clean up the messes we make even though it's our responsibility to throw away our own trash.” Hickey believes that students “need to be more aware of how they contribute to the problem and hold each other accountable, because it does not reflect well on our school and shows a lack of appreciation for the work of the people behind the scenes at Marymount… It's not [the maintenance staff’s] job to spend hours picking up after us.”

Pepi summed up the problem well when she said, “Do we not put such emphasis into community service at Marymount? We are always working hard to help out communities in need, a righteous thing to do, but why can't we do the same in our own community? Just because cleaning up after ourselves is not called ‘community service’ doesn't mean it isn't so. Perhaps it is not called community service because it is just assumed that any person would clean up after themselves in awareness that they are part of a community. We do not have to pick up each other's messes if we are all picking up after ourselves. Ms. Chavali so wisely says ‘take pride in your work.’ The same goes for our community. Take pride in our community. Let's clean up, be aware of our actions, and take the lead in making the school a happier, healthier place to learn.”

Grab and Going, Going, Gone: Take-Away Lunches

By: ARABELLA BAKER, Staff Writer

Recently, the “Grab and Go” lunch option was launched. This lunch alternative aims to offer quick meals for students who are in a rush to get to their club meetings. The student body’s overall reaction regarding the “Grab and Go” lunches has been positive, and students seem to like the selection of sandwiches they are offered, which include turkey and tomato and mozzarella. The one downside is that there are some students who will take a “Grab and Go” lunch even if they do not have a club to go to that day, causing the sandwich supply to deplete. A quick resolution to this problem is for students to only take a sandwich if they have club meetings and to be considerate of the other students who do have clubs that day - something to keep in mind, even if you really want that tomato, mozzarella, pesto sandwich! Generally speaking, the “Grab and Go” lunches represent a good initiative by our student government. Just remember after you eat your sandwiches, please clean up after yourselves - it’s the right thing to do!

To Kneel or Not to Kneel: That Shouldn't Be the Question

By: NINA CURRAN, Editor-in-Chief

It has been more than 14 months since Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, first kneeled in protest during the National Anthem. Since then, the gesture has divided both football players and fans and, after numerous tweets from President Trump, has been brought to national attention.

Kaepernick, when asked in 2016 why he was kneeling, said that he refuses to “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses... people of color.” After citing incidents of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement as catalysts for the protest, he stated that he will not honor the flag until it “represents what it's supposed to represent.”

While some other players sat or took a knee during the anthem last year, support for Kaepernick’s movement has been wider in the NFL so far this year. A few weeks into the 2017 season, President Trump commented on the protest, saying that it is “a total disrespect of our heritage" and that players who choose to kneel deserve to be fired from the NFL.

President Trump has not been the only voice of opposition, however. Many, and not just those who support Trump, believe that not standing during the National Anthem is disrespectful to the veterans and soldiers who put their lives on the line to defend our country. Others believe it’s disrespectful to the nation’s values themselves. In response to this, several other NFL teams began standing with linked arms, an action that is POTUS-approved.

Nevertheless, it does not actually matter what gesture players choose to make during the National Anthem. Kneeling, sitting, even doing a cartwheel — anything that’s not standing with your hat off and your hand over your heart — all accomplish the same goal of drawing attention to the inequality and injustice that exist within our nation. And such actions are certainly protected by the First Amendment - though there is debate about the degree of protection within the confines of a private institution.

To all the players who took a knee or linked arms: you have the country’s attention. So, instead of continually rehashing the debate over players’ poses during the National Anthem, we should be asking, “What's next?” It’s one thing to shine light on a problem, but another to try to remedy it.

Once again at the forefront of the movement, Colin Kaepernick has already donated close to $1 million in the past year to charities that tackle (no pun intended) “oppression of all kinds... through education and social activism.” This is the kind of positive action that is needed to repair the fractured spirit of a country that is founded on the ideals of justice, equality, and unity.

Harvey Weinstein Scandal Uncovered

By: AMELIA FAY, Managing Editor

Harvey Weinstein, the co-founder of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company, is known for his work producing films such as Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love, Good Will Hunting, and The King’s Speech. In acceptance speeches at the Academy Awards, he has been thanked a total of 34 times--seemingly as many times as God. Recently, however, he has been the subject of much controversy due to accusations of sexual assault, rape, and harassment from over forty women.

Harvey Weinstein smiles at a camera.

Harvey Weinstein smiles at a camera.

The publication of exposés in both The New York Times and The New Yorker led to Weinstein’s firing from The Weinstein Company, as well as the resignation of four members of the company’s board. The articles feature powerful testaments from the victims, which describe how Weinstein often invited them to his hotel room under the guise of career meetings. The New Yorker also released a recording in which Weinstein admits to touching model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez. When Gutierrez objected to Weinstein’s behavior, he simply said, “I’m used to that.”

Due to the extent of Weinstein’s power and influence, this scandal--Hollywood’s open secret--has remained under wraps for over twenty years. Weinstein used nondisclosure agreements and bribes to keep victims quiet, and many of the women feared that speaking out against Weinstein would irreversibly damage their careers. Actress Asia Argento, who spoke to The New York Times about her assault, said, “He has crushed a lot of people... That’s why this story--in my case, it’s twenty years old, some of them are older--has never come out.” Since the publication of these articles, many more women have come forward with their own experiences of sexual assault at Weinstein’s hands. These women include some of Hollywood’s biggest names, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Cara Delevingne. In an Instagram post, actress Kate Bosworth shared that, after telling other producers about how she was almost assaulted by Weinstein, they said, “Well, that’s just Harvey.”

Weinstein’s behavior, while indefensible, is unfortunately not uncommon, and many actresses have recently spoken out about their experiences with sexual assault in the workplace. In an interview with the BBC, Emma Thompson said predatory men were “endemic to the system... this has been a part of our world--women’s world--since time immemorial... I spent my 20s trying to get old men’s tongues out of my mouth.” In an article for The New Yorker, actress Molly Ringwald said, “When I was fourteen, a married film director stuck his tongue in my mouth on set. At a time when I was trying to figure out what it meant to become a sexually viable young woman, at every turn some older guy tried to help speed up the process.”

The Academy recently revoked Weinstein’s membership, stating, “We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.” However, many have criticized the hypocrisy of the Academy’s statement; yes, Weinstein may have been punished, but just last year, Casey Affleck won Best Actor despite the sexual assault accusations against him. On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver said, “The group that counts among its current members Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, and Mel Gibson has found the one guy who treated women badly and kicked him out. So, congratulations, Hollywood! See you at the next Oscars where... Casey Affleck will be presenting Best Actress.”

Many Marymount students also have strong opinions about the scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein. Bree Vance (XII) said, “I think that the worst part is that everyone in Hollywood knew but nobody did anything. Obviously, [Harvey Weinstein] should have been kicked out [of the Academy] because he’s a criminal, but things should’ve been worse for Casey Affleck--I don’t think you should award that type of behavior. We need to focus on encouraging women to come forward and think about why it took so long for Weinstein’s victims to speak out so that in the future these things won’t stay hidden for so long.” When asked what we need to do moving forward, Cathy Shi (XII) said, “I think we need to create a safe environment within both society and social media that allows women to speak up and makes clear to everyone that any form of sexual harassment should not be tolerated.”

Shaping Tomorrow's Changemakers: WOW Summit 2017


On November 18, 2017, Marymount’s Women in Our World club will be hosting its second annual summit, a conference meant to empower students, educate them about the many facets of gender discrimination, and inspire them to use their voices to speak out and act out against gender inequality. The event’s theme this year is “Young Changemakers and Pioneering Trendsetters.” It will be open to all students, whether or not they go to Marymount. A number of influential women, all of whom are pioneers in their field, will be holding workshops where they will share their stories and address the effect that gender discrimination has on our world today.

Doreen St. Felix, a journalist at the New Yorker, is recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List and is named one of the “Top 100 Influential People in Brooklyn Culture” in Brooklyn Magazine. Her work is also featured in an article on Huffington Post entitled, “The Most Important Writing from People of Color in 2015.”

Another young changemaker, Yasmine Hamdi, is just seventeen and is already a published author, an advocate for human and animal rights, and a world traveler. She has used her writing talents and interest in global issues to add a deeper meaning to her adventure stories for middle school children.

Evelyn Atieno got her start just a year earlier than Hamdi when she started Affinity magazine in 2013 which aims to give teenagers a platform to take part in a global discussion about our world, and provides for them a way to publish their opinions and perspectives.

Another speaker is Trish Donelly, CEO of Urban Outfitters Group, who was once President of Steven Alan and currently works as a mentor for the CFDA Fashion Incubator Program.

Taina Bien-Aime, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, who devotes her life to fighting gender inequality and human trafficking will also be speaking. She was also involved in the founding of Equality Now (an NGO that works “for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls around the world") and served as its Executive Director, in addition to being the Executive Director of Women’s City Club of New York.

Jeannine Shao Collins works to empower girls through the power of technology, media, and entertainment. To put her dreams into action, she founded Girl Starter, an organization that aims to educate and empower girls everywhere.

Maria Cuomo Cole is an award-winning producer of hard-hitting documentaries focused on topics such as gun violence, homelessness, veterans’ PTSD, domestic violence, and sexual assault.

Aimee Mullins was just inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame for her inspirational work as an American athlete and fashion model in the 1996 paralympics. Mullins’ perseverance and determination despite her double amputation is a tribute to her success in all of her fields.

Michelle Moghtader is Director of Global Development and a Co-Founder of Shared Studios. She was once a journalist who wrote for some of the biggest names in media, and worked to empower citizens to become active members of their societies.

Christina Corbisiero, Co-President of W.O.W., believes that this year’s summit will “inspire students of both genders [sic] to take action and advocate for gender equality” and believes that this year’s speakers are the perfect ones to incite this important conversation.

Be sure to check out the W.O.W. Summit website for more information about WOW and summit speakers, and to RSVP!

Bloomberg Terminals Enhance Marymount’s Financial Curriculum

By: CAROLINE O'DALY, News & Layout Editor

Anyone who has walked through the second floor C-Landing has noticed the new Bloomberg Terminals. At first glance, the terminals appear to be a few monitors paired with fancy keyboards, when in reality, Bloomberg Terminals are some of the most powerful tools in the financial field.

Although Bloomberg Terminals are new to Marymount, Bloomberg L.P., a private financial and media company, created the software system 35 years ago. The terminals grant access to Bloomberg Professional, a data vendor service where users can analyze live financial market data and place trades on the electronic trading platform. The typical Bloomberg Terminal has two monitors and a specialized keyboard. When the program is opened, multiple panels appear on the screen, allowing users to view up to four sets of data simultaneously. The keyboard is designed for traders and market makers who have no previous experience in computers, as the color coded keys and shortcuts make navigation easier. It is obvious that Bloomberg Terminals offer an advantage to anyone tackling the world of finance. However, the benefits do come at a high monetary price.

Thanks to the generosity of a donor in our school community, Marymount has become the first school in Manhattan to offer Bloomberg Market Concept coursework and trading terminals to students. There are currently four terminals on the second floor C-Landing, more in the adjacent classroom, and plans to install more in the Math Center. Marymount has also installed several terminals at the 97th Street Campus. Dr. Cornelis, the Economics teacher, agrees that the Bloomberg Terminals are “certainly a significant investment for the school,” which “means that [Marymount has] to make sure that as many students as possible get exposure to [the Bloomberg Terminals].”

To go through with this, Marymount is following a two-year plan to ensure student interaction with the Bloomberg Terminals. Dr. Cornelis shared how “this year, only students in Economics and students in the Business and Finance Club will work with the terminals, but next year, the goal is to allow all of the seniors to do the online certification course.” He added that “everyone who graduates Marymount will have the opportunity to get Bloomberg certification and exposure to finance.”

It is also worth noting in this context that today, women are significantly underrepresented in the financial field. According to a research report held by Morningstar in 2015, about 2% of the industry’s assets and open-end funds are run exclusively by women and under 10% of U.S. fund managers are women. In classic Marymount fashion, the school seeks to change the underrepresentation of women in finance through opportunities at Marymount. As Dr. Cornelis put it, “empowering women is not just about giving them the confidence to go out there and make change—it’s also about giving them the tools to achieve change… If [Marymount] can give women, who are underrepresented on Wall Street, financial power and combine that with our curriculum in philanthropy and social justice, that is a changemaker.”

Though Dr. Cornelis recognizes the possibility that "the vast majority of students will not eventually work on Wall Street," he believes that the Bloomberg Terminals "will bring up a new set of goals and career ideas for some students." Seniors taking Economics this semester have started their Bloomberg certification course and are optimistic about what they will achieve. Christina Corbisiero (XII), an Economics student, recognized how powerful it is to “give students the tools to see what is happening in business and news globally.” Shannan Denihan and Aubrey Franzoi (both XII), who worked at the Bloomberg Terminals from 2:50 pm to 6:45 pm one day after school, shared how “the Bloomberg Terminals look intimidating, but are easy to navigate once you become familiar with the program.” Shannan was especially interested in investigating insider trading.

Whether you plan to become the next Warren Buffet or only want to check out the latest global news, the Bloomberg Terminals can have a lasting impression on students’ understanding of the financial world and their roles in it.

Summer 2017: Senior Internships


Cathy S. ('18), Digital Editor-in-Chief, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Cathy S. ('18), Digital Editor-in-Chief, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Each summer, when you might be sleeping until 12:00 or lounging by a pool, incoming seniors are hard at work, embarking upon new and exciting summer internships meant to prepare them for their future in the workforce. This year, students had the opportunity to work in mosquito labs, at new business start-ups, and even completed hands-on work in medical labs. Hopefully these internships haven given the students a better idea of what career they would like to work toward, and hopefully their stories will inspire some of you who will be in their position one day.

Medical research is one highly-coveted internship area each year, so Marymount gives students the opportunity to take advantage of its abundant resources. Seniors are required to complete three weeks at the internship of their choice. Cathy Shi, however, worked for eight at Memorial Sloan Kettering. There she studied small lung cancer, and even performed an experiment in which she “characterized the role of the Schlafen-11 (SLFN11) gene mutations in the H446 small cell lung cancer cell line in response to DNA damaging treatments such as chemotherapy.” Because she did not get to finish her experiment, Cathy returns to Sloan Kettering two times a week to complete her work, this time with a different cell line. She learned a lot during her time there, including how to work in a professional lab setting and how to remain sterile in the tissue culture room, and most importantly, she learned that medical research is certainly a career she would look for in her future.

Christina Corbisiero worked in a different line of work, but one just as interesting: the world of business. She worked at a startup for an infinite whiteboard teaching app called “Explain Everything.” At the company she was tasked with recording her voice for a children’s lesson feature on the app, as well as working on the database; she even got to sit in on a strategist meeting. She was particularly happily surprised by her incredibly young bosses, one of whom was twenty! Christina recommends this internship to those who might want to be “creative and spend some time playing with an app, but also want to learn about the marketing of an app.”

Siena Gioia has a story possibly similar to yours. She has always wanted to be a doctor, but has never been sure about what field in the medical world to pursue. Siena primarily worked at a physician’s office, doing a lot of hands-on work, including performing EKGs and taking the blood pressure of patients. When she wasn’t working with the physician, Siena was working in Cardio, ENT, and OBGYN offices. Like Cathy, Siena will be returning to her internship to observe a colonoscopy. She says that she left the experience “feeling more excited about going to college and taking the next step toward what I want to do in life.”     

While you may have spent your summer racking up a nice collection of bug bites on your arms and legs, Sarah White was busy studying them! She worked at an NYU Langone in the Ryoo laboratory in the Department of Cell Biology, in hopes of getting more of an idea about what being a biologist would be like. Sarah got to work on an important experiment in which she “analyzed several Drosophila strains in order to identify any strains that acquired a green fluorescent transgene during a genetic recombination.” The strains that she observed to have positive results would be used in future research in the lab! Overall, she said that her internship served as a “really great opportunity to learn lab skills and contribute to real experiment.”

New Clubs at Marymount

By: OLIVIA MILLER, Digital Editor-in-Chief

This year there are six new clubs in the Marymount Upper School. These new clubs are Rhyme and Reason, Stitchuation Knitting Club, US Mentors, Graceful Leaders, Health and Wellness Club, and Givers Who Glitter. Below is a brief description of each club, what day they are on, why they were started, and what students can gain by joining these clubs.

Rhyme and Reason (Day 1) Marymount’s creative writing club, Rhyme and Reason, encourages young writers to share their imagination through prose, poetry, and short stories. Working closely with peers and club leaders, our members are grounded in the fundamentals of creative writing as they write, edit, and submit their best work for publication. Whether through quick free-writes or elaborate epics, here the passion for writing can flourish. Mei Kane (XI) and Helen Jenks (XI) proposed Rhyme and Reason last year. Mei Kane said her reason for wanting to start the club was to complement the Muse’s focus on “the editing and creation of a literary arts journal.” Helen Jenks said that she wanted to start the club because she wanted to “create a space where creative writers of all varying skill levels and style could join together to just write in ways that both challenges and helps them to improve.” Both Mei Kane and Helen Jenks agree that what is so great about Rhyme and Reason is that writing is done during club meetings, so “not having the time” is no excuse!

Stitchuation Knitting Club (Day 1) The Stitchuation Knitting Club is a fun space where you can knit for a cause. Brynn Hanson (XI) says “We welcome knitting beginners and veterans. Not only do we teach knitting, but we teach the values of social justice as we create teddy bears for underprivileged children in Haiti and hats for our own city's homeless community.”

Lower Upper Mentor Program (Day 3) Upper School Mentors is a new club started by Serena Greene (XI) and Allie Tillinghast (XI), who piloted the program last year by working with Kindergarten classes each cycle. The club will pair US students with PK-Class II classes and aims to foster meaningful relationships between the biggest and youngest students in our community.  In addition to participating during Enrichment periods, members will plan crafts, participate in some Lower School activities, and teach a few Health classes.  Another project they are working on is the Shared Space Initiative, which is a fun and playful way to remind Upper School students to be more aware of their behavior and language around Lower School kids. Anjali Barnabas (X), member of the club, said that she believes this club was needed to help create a space for students to be themselves, especially given larger societal concerns about bullying and peer pressure. She went on to say that anyone who joins US Mentors is guaranteed a great time and more confidence in anything they do!

GRACEful Leaders (Day 3) GRACEful Leaders represent the upperclassmen who hold leadership positions in clubs that focus on the eight social identifiers. These leaders underscore the missions of their individual clubs and unite to bring their message to the whole school. Here, they make sure that everyone is spoken for, no matter what their identifier or identity is. These girls then collaborate to host the Graceful Dinner and conversations that are important to the RSHM goals. Naomi Horsford (XII) says the reason why the club was founded was because students wanted to become more involved in planning Bias Awareness Days, Harambee, and the annual Grace Dinner. Naomi also advocated that these conversations, such as the ones during Bias Awareness Day, should happen every year, not just every other year.

Health and Wellness (Day 4) The Health and Wellness club focuses on helping those who may be in a time of need and creating awareness about nation-wide issues. All members of the club share their ideas about how they can make a difference in people’s lives, collaborate with the Red Cross, and educate the Marymount community about relationship violence and work towards ending it. The club plans to use the first few meetings to brainstorm and then later implement ways to help the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Katia, and Jose.

Givers Who Glitter (Day 8) Givers Who Glitter is a club where students can practice fun nail painting techniques during club meetings and then use those skills to spread joy within their communities through painting the nails of the disabled and elderly. Organizations that this club has partnered with include Gigi’s Playhouse and senior citizen homes. The reason for starting this club was because “a few girls expressed interest in having a nail club” according to the club’s moderator, Ms. Lazzeri. She then thought that it would be a great idea to incorporate community service and nail painting, which is how the club was born.

Summer Exchanges & Cuba Trip!


Marymount girls in Cuba.

Marymount girls in Cuba.

This summer, Marymount Medellin hosted four intrepid Upper School girls for five weeks. Sophia Villacorta (X), Erica Chan (XI), Maisy Moss (XI), and Soonie Kim (XI) attended classes in Spanish, stayed with welcoming host families, and sampled delicious Colombian cuisine. Their language skills improved immensely,  and they made many new friends. Unfortunately, the Amazon trek that the Medellin exchange is known for was moved to later in the school year and was not included in their experience. However, although this was disappointing, the girls had an amazing time, immersing themselves in the rich Colombian culture and language of Medellin.

Another highlight of the summer for several other Marymount students was the trip to the beautiful island of Cuba. Chaperoned by Ms. Kutner, Dr. Speiser, and Ms. Croson, the study tour included historical, cultural, and artistic aspects. Meetings prior to the trip ensured a background knowledge of Cuba-related topics. Upon arrival on the island, the group members met their guide and were driven to a rooftop restaurant where they enjoyed traditional Cuban chicken and a view of the lively streets. The week-long tour included visits to art studios, lectures by speakers in architecture and film, and a chance to experience a vibrant, traditional church service. The trip included a day at the magnificent beach of Varadero and days crammed with eye-opening cultural encounters. It was an incredible trip, and an experience of a lifetime.

Marymount's Views on World Events

By: ARABELLA BAKER, Staff Writer

Several important things happened over the summer, especially within our country’s government. Most recently, President Donald Trump announced plans to end the DACA program later in the year. President Trump announced that he plans to terminate DACA, which was a program that allowed illegal immigrant’s children a right to a work permit and the right to stay in the country. Many are outraged by this act, including some of Marymount’s own students. Meanwhile, earlier in the summer, there was controversy over Chris Christie sitting on a beach, after his administration had not been able to fund staff to open the beach for the holiday weekend for taxpayers.  And then in mid-August, a rally called “Unite the Right” took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, when activists demanded the removal of a Confederate statue, and neo-nazis opposed the removal of the statue. On August 11, a member of the Unite the Right rally drove his car into a crowd and killed a protester named Heather Heyer.  We surveyed MMT students their opinions on a few of these topics.

Regarding DACA, a largely representative view was that while multiple views exist on immigration, it is more than questionable to punish someone who did not choose to come to this country and only came because their families took them. That's tantamount to punishing a child for a crime that their parents may have committed. We will see what happens: Congress has now stated that any person whose permits are set to expire by March 5, 2018 can renew their permit for two years if they apply for it before October 5.

Marymount students keep up with world news.

Marymount students keep up with world news.

We also asked students about their opinions on the Charlottesville protests. In our survey (we asked one from each grade), Marymount students found the gathering of these hate groups sickening, while also acknowledging that  in America, people have the rights to their own opinions, the right to express them, and the right to peacefully protest. Regarding the statues themselves, there was wider division among the student body.

With so much happening in the world right now, it is vital that we examine everything carefully, and although we don’t have to agree with everyone else’s opinion, we must be able to listen to each other with some sense of tolerance, in order to move forward and progress and not repeat the same mistakes we have made in the past.