:Open Source


New Year, New Tea: Why New Year’s Resolutions Should Stay in 2018

Amelia Male: Staff Writer

Every year, we hear the same things from millions of people around the world. Everyone always promises that the upcoming year will be “their year”; 2019 will be when they finally start exercising, stop eating chips, stop procrastinating… but in reality, it’s highly unlikely that just making a New Year’s Resolution will actually make any permanent difference in their lives at all. About half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and about 92% of them fail, a majority of them before February. This is the reason I and many others believe New Year’s Resolutions should become obsolete.

New Year’s Resolutions are built solely upon the fact of a new calendar year and the whole “new year, new me” belief. This in itself is quite unreasonable; once New Year’s and holiday celebrations end, many people’s lives are the same as they were before January. The only change after December 31st is that the last digit of the year increases by one. However, people tend to take the fact that one thing is “new” and create the idea that everything else should be new to coincide with this. And it’s true; the idea of optimism and a time to reinvent yourself is tempting and seems perfect, but this alone is not enough for one to make a lifestyle change.

If one wants to improve something about themself and have the determination to achieve it, they shouldn’t wait until a new year. It would be more useful to start on goals when one actually wants to, instead of feeling the peer pressure around one date. Another problem with New Year’s resolutions is that most people go into them with almost no plan of action, which ends with them pushing themselves to do something they’re not even sure about. This is what causes so many people to give up on resolutions so easily. Another reason people will most likely give up on their resolutions is because they want to obtain a goal too lofty. So, people start their resolutions fixated on an unattainable goal, and when they don’t end up achieving what they want, they feel discouraged and quit. All in all, New Year’s Resolutions are an outdated social concept. People may think that a new year may make a new start, but in reality, any time can be a new start. The point of this article isn’t to discourage optimism felt in the beginning of the year, but to encourage the same optimism in all the other months of 2019 and every year that is to come.

:Open Source


Valentine’s Day: Not Really the Holiday of Love

Victoria Callizo: Co-Editor and Chief of Online Publishing

Roses are red, violets are blue, Valentine’s Day is a commercialized holiday for you and your boo!

Valentine’s Day has been a holiday since the Medieval Ages when rumors surrounding St. Valentine and his conduction of prohibited marriages ran rampant through cities. Supposedly, the idea is to celebrate the entire concept of love. However, over the years this holiday has transformed from a sweet day celebrating human connection to a day that is fueled by spending a quick buck and buying the most aromatic roses and cheesiest cards from your neighborhood florist.

Although the commercialization of the holiday does take away a bit of the magic, there can still be fun amid all the marketing. As Lauren Elliot (XII) observed, “I think it’s a great opportunity to show someone how much you love them, but it is clearly a commercialized holiday.”

Ultimately, the idea of Valentine's Day is good in theory, but it’s unnecessary to make huge Valentines Day-esque gestures in order to show someone you love them. A simple handmade card with genuine words or a nice movie night with your significant other suffices just as much as heart shaped chocolates and a bouquet of a roses. However, if you personally love Walgreens’ assortment of Valentine’s Day gifts and greeting cards, than to each her own. As long as the holiday’s true meaning is kept in mind, the celebration of love is all that matters. Love shared between all, for that matter - not just between a man and a woman.

image credit: Tara Carlin

image credit: Tara Carlin

Tara Carlin: Marymount’s Very Own Sugarplum Fairy

Samantha Zaccaro: Staff Writer

Q: When did you start dancing?

A: When I was three years old, my parents put me in dance classes. In second grade I quit because I got tired of it but I rejoined in third grade and continue because I love it.

Q: How many times a week do you dance?

A: Five times a week depending on the time of year. When we have a performance, sometimes that adds a sixth day or extra hours on the weekend.

Q: What's your role in the Nutcracker?

A: Since my dance studio is smaller I get to dance a lot of different parts every year. This year my main role was Sugar Plum Fairy. I was also a Doll, Snow Maiden, Chinese, Spanish, and Arabian.

Q: What's your favorite part of the Nutcracker?

A: My favorite parts are listening to the Nutcracker music, and spending time at the theater where we perform. I love the music because there are so many good memories relating to it. It's really fun being backstage and getting ready for the shows. We do Secret Santa during theater rehearsals, which is really fun too; we get really into it with gifts and stuff.

Q: Do you have a favorite part of dancing?

A: I really like the way ballet mixes physical exercise and artistic expression. I can express myself through movement which is a really special feeling. It is hard to balance strength and gracefulness, but it feels really good to work hard at it and see improvement that I'm proud of.

Q: Do you have a favorite dance memory?

A: My favorite memory was when I was little Clara in the Nutcracker five years ago. It was a part that I always watched and had really wanted. I practiced really hard for it and I was very happy to perform it for my family and friends. I got to dance in a very elegant red party dress and a satin nightgown, and at the end of the show I got flowers for the very first time.

image credit: Marymount

image credit: Marymount

Bringing Royal David’s City to New York City: Marymount’s Personalization of Lessons and Carols

Caroline O’Daly: Managing Editor

Christmas time welcomes many traditions at Marymount: delicately decorated Christmas trees that adorn the bookcases on the landing outside of the library, the Christmas carolers who unite with Lower School parents, and Lessons and Carols.

Lessons and Carols began in 1918 at King’s College in an attempt to establish a more creative approach to worship. While the BBC radio has broadcasted Lessons and Carols from King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England, every year since the first service, Marymount students have had the pleasure of watching and participating in Lessons and Carols every December for over twenty-five years.

Although Marymount did not create Lessons and Carols, the Religious Studies Department alters the service to emphasize Marymount’s values while maintaining the tradition of the original liturgy. Unlike King’s College’s choir, Marymount only features female voices. Ms. Kearney Alwin, the Director of Ministry and Mission at Marymount, understands that a young, male chorister would traditionally sing “Once in King David’s Royal City,” but maintains the broader tradition by giving the opening solo to an underclassmen in the Marymount singers.

Additionally, Ms. Kearney Alwin honors Mary, for whom Mother Marie Joseph Butler named Marymount, by including more hymns about Mary than the traditional Lessons and Carols. Marymount’s version of Lessons and Carols also features a reading about the life of St. Francis of Assisi, a saint especially beloved by the Catholic Church, during the nativity scene.

However, the banners used in the procession of Lessons and Carols serve as the most cherished tradition unique to Marymount. Throughout Marymount’s past, students have created banners, and some of the oldest banners are only used in Lessons and Carols. Ms. Kearney Alwin compares these beloved banners to a family’s treasured Christmas ornament. Although “the grandkids might not get the [backstory that was]... lost along the way,” the oldest members of the family understand the ornament’s significance.

Traditions in Marymount’s Lessons and Carols maintain continuity among the services, but unpredictable events occur each year. Last year’s service proved to be especially chaotic because a dog wandered into the church during the liturgy (dogs are permitted at the Church of the Heavenly Rest), the lights briefly shut off for the liturgical dancers, and a group of Upper Middle School students got briefly locked in a bathroom!

However, the most stressful event of the evening was when Ms. Kearney Alwin “looked in the [readers’] binder at about 5:52, and realized that about half of the readings were missing.” As a result, Ms. Kearney Alwin “had to run like the wind back to [Marymount,] reprint [the readings,] and come back” to the Church of the Heavenly Rest before Lessons and Carols began. One might call Ms. Kearney Alwin’s rapid reprinting of the readings a divine intervention.

This year’s liturgy matches the grandeur of past years’ Lessons and Carols.  In fact, Ms. Kearney Alwin believes that the memories of Marymount’s countless Lessons and Carols should blend together over the years, as that means the new “individuals were able to step into the shoes of the kids one year ahead of them and…  [fulfill] the requirements of the tradition while making it [their] own.”

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Featured Artist: Alice Foppiani

Emma Solferino: News and Layout Editor

This month’s featured artist is Alice Foppiani, a Class XI student, and a talented painter and drawer who enjoys many forms of art. She hopes to continue with this passion in some way after high school into her career.

Q: When did your interest in art begin?

A: I think I’ve been doing art ever since I remember. I’ve always been interested in visuals; even when I wasn’t doing art, I was always noticing things around me and taking note of them. But I’ve been drawing and taking art classes from a young age.

Q: What is your favorite type of art to do?

A: Not so much drawing now; I’ve done a lot of drawing. Drawing from observation has become more of a tool for me to further my technique, but now I think I want to take that further and create something new, more into the illustration realm. Recently, I’ve been really enjoying painting with acrylics because I think that it allows me to explore texture and color in a way that I don’t get to do with drawing.

Q: Who is your art inspiration?

A: There are a lot of illustrators that I like, including Carson Ellis, Rumi Hara, Julia Murphy. I really appreciate their sense of what their art looks like and a sense of who they are through their art. Also, I’ve been enjoying looking at Diana Arbus, who is a photographer.

Q: Is that something that you like about art - people being able to express who they are through it?

A: Yeah, I value their expressing their thoughts, or emotional state, anything that can’t be expressed through words, but can be another way.

Q: Is art something that you hope to continue in the future to some extent?

A: Definitely! I think I want to do something in the arts realm; I’m not really sure what that looks like yet. I don’t think that I’m planning on becoming a professional artist, but working visual arts into my career, even if that’s not drawing or paint, but maybe filmmaking or other things that I don’t normally do, could be very promising. I definitely want to incorporate visual arts into my work.


Artists in Residence

Waverly Johnson, Staff Writer

This month for our artist in residence feature, we are featuring Waverly Johnson from Class X. Waverly mainly draws human figures and utilizes a variety of different filters and effects in her sketches that amplify the emotions and forms in her finished pieces.

N: So, how long have you been drawing?
W: Since I was one and a half.

N: What is your favourite aspect of drawing?
W: The theory that you can’t make mistakes and that if you draw something “bad,” you can always find a way to make something good from it.

N: What do you primarily like to draw?
W: I try my best to draw really really realistic figures, humans not really animals, because you can really accentuate [human] expressions.

N: Who is your main inspiration?
W: Bob Ross.

N: What is your favourite art medium?
W: I like watercolour and oil paint.

N: What motivates you to keep drawing?
W: (Sarcastically)The finished product! Actually, I’m not even joking, because when I’m making something, I tell myself that the finished product will turn out well so I can stay motivated.

N: Is there something specific you’d like to convey in your art?
W: I want the viewers to recognize the different emotions I put in the eyes. That’s because of this one time my archery coach mentioned how he could “tell how the girl was feeling just based from the eyes,” and I thought, “ok yeah I’ll go with that!”

N: Where can we find more of your art?
W: @behold.the.artist on instagram

Innovation that Excites

By: KRISTIN O'DONOGHUE, Staff Writer and OLIVIA MILLER, Co-Digital Editor-in-Chief

You may have noticed the sizable gold, bouncy house-looking device sitting in the Alumnae Parlor. This intriguing new apparatus is actually a Portal, or a “gold space equipped with immersive audiovisual technology.” This advanced immersive technology allows users on opposite sides of the world to feel as if they are in the same room. Current sites of Portals include Amman, Jordan; Erbil, Iraq; and Kigali, Kenya. The concept of Portals is revolutionary -- they spark conversation and have the potential to make all of us more globally aware citizens, citizens of the world.  

On Thursday, members of the Joritan had the opportunity to speak with a man and woman in Mexico City about their experiences and culture through the portal. The first question the Joritan staff asked was why they started working with the portals. The woman, from Mexico City, responded that a friend of hers was working with portals, expressed to her the need for a curator in Mexico City, and she thought it would be a great opportunity to practice her English. The man, from Atlanta and moving to Mexico City shortly, responded that he actually works in the United States as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines and that he will still keep his job when he moves, but could help with English to Spanish translation in the Portal while not working.

Then, a few pedestrians came into the portal and told us that they were from Mexico City and would feature us on YouTube, as they were all social media content creators promoting Portals. They asked where we were from and then quickly left. Though it would have been great to get into deeper dialogue with them, we knew that they were busy working and had a limited amount of time.

When the pedestrians left, we did get to learn more about the man and woman working at the Portal. We spoke about everything from Mexican food to earthquakes. Regarding the food, the man said that real Mexican food is really good. The woman chimed in that Taco Bell doesn’t exist there. They both added how extremely affordable the food was. Specifically, the man stated that one taco is 14 pesos, which is equivalent to 75 cents in US Dollars.

Next, we talked about earthquakes, something that we are not very exposed to in New York. We learned that in Mexico, if an earthquake is 7.0 on the Richter scale, an alarm will go off and people have about 30 seconds to figure out where to go. To make sure there is not too much chaos during a real earthquake, there are drills in place throughout the year to ensure that as many people as possible can find safety.

Then, a Joritan staff member asked the man and woman their thoughts on the political climate. The man told us that recently one Mexican told him that he liked him, but hated all Americans, which shows how much tension there is right now between many citizens of Mexico and the United States. The woman said that though she is not in favor of President Trump, she and other Mexicans must focus on their own politicians first.

Members of the Joritan staff who interacted with the Portal all agree that it was a once in a lifetime experience. We all enjoyed feeling as though we were speaking to the man and woman from Mexico City in the same room, due to the Portal’s structure. We encourage that everyone go to the Portal while it is still at Marymount.


Santa Tell Me If You're Really There

By: LUCY BOOTH, Publicist

Santa is the personification of Christmas. We all still carry Santa deep in our hearts because Santa keeps our innocence alive. High school is a time when we typically look back and reminisce about our childhood Christmases: writing our wish lists, sitting on Santa's lap, and making cookies to be left out on Christmas Eve. We have all experienced the heart-wrenching pain of realizing that Santa is not real. While some of us just figured it out on our own, it was a more difficult process for others. Here are some stories of how Marymount students found out Santa wasn't real:

Katie Guastella: One day around the holidays, I was at the mall with my dad getting my mom a gift for Christmas. I stopped believing in Santa when I saw him on two different floors.

Allie Tillinghast: Gwyneth Bernier told me when we were in 3rd grade. I remember crying with no end and then managing to convince myself that Gwyneth was wrong until 5th grade.

Brigit Lapolla: When I was six, I found presents labeled “To Brigit from Santa” in my mom’s room before Christmas. I was shocked and confronted my mom, and she told me that Santa drops off the presents beforehand so he does not need to carry everything on Christmas Eve. It was not until 6th grade that I actually fully believed that Santa was not real.

Elena Oehler: Though I eventually figured it out on my own, I technically still believe in Santa because my mom says “if you don’t believe, you don’t receive.”

Aubrienne Krysiewicz-Bell: My cousin Ian told me in front of my mom when I was six.

Fernanda Standora: When I was in middle school, I got a present from "Santa." It was a little reading-light that you clip onto your book when you are reading before bed. However, I lost the light about a week after I got it. I looked everywhere for it, but couldn't find it. When I told my mom I lost it, she got really mad and said to me, "I tried so hard to find that for you!" On the wrapping it said Santa had got it for me, and I was old enough to know that my mom was impersonating Santa.

Helen Jenks: My parents paid for “letters” from Santa and then addressed them to my sister, Eleanore, and I. We realized after receiving them that they said basically the same thing. At that moment we both knew, and our dreams were crushed.

Grace Anci: My mother told me when I was eleven to not tell my seven year-old brother that Santa was not real, but at the time, I still believed in Santa.

Trudi Garnett: When I was seven on Christmas, I picked up a letter that said, “from Santa.” I looked my mother in the eye and asked “who is this from,” even though it clearly said “Santa.” She responded “it’s from Santa honey,” but then I said, “why do you and Santa have the same exact handwriting?” She was shocked and didn’t know what to say. The next day, I was talking with my mother in the street about the fact that Santa doesn’t exist, which meant to me that the tooth fairy didn’t exist either, and a boy my age turned to me and shouted, “The Tooth Fairy is real!” so I responded “No! The Tooth Fairy is your mother!” I crushed his dreams, then went home to enjoy some candy canes and hot chocolate.

As for me, Lucy Booth: My family was coming home from a midnight Mass when I exclaimed that I had forgotten to leave out cookies, milk, and carrots. I was asking my sisters what cookies I should leave when my mom blurted out, "I prefer Oreos!"

Christmas in Other Cultures

By: CATHY SHI, Co-Digital-Editor-in-Chief

When many American Christians are younger, they abruptly wake up at the crack of dawn on Christmas day, leap out of bed, and rush to the Christmas tree after waking their entire family to open gifts. Whether they’d been naughty or nice, they’re still excited to open the gifts they’ve been patiently waiting for. They might then celebrate Christmas with their own traditions, such as having a family breakfast, drinking hot chocolate, or lounging in pajamas all day. These activities are classic American Christmas traditions, but meanwhile, other countries have developed their own versions of the holiday that are quite different from what we know.

According to Hannah Seibold (Class XII), for example, in Germany, “all gifts are exchanged on the evening of the 24th, but through the month of December, children receive little gifts every day, especially on the 6th, which is the day of St. Nicholaus. Children usually put big shoes (usually their father’s boots) outside their doors, accompanied by a plate of milk and cookies. If they have been bad, Knecht Ruprecht will leave them coal instead of candy or presents from St. Nicholaus.” What’s more, Hannah shares that the Weihnachtsmarkt, a famous German Christmas market, is quite popular, as are stollen, a type of Christmas bread with raisins that takes several weeks to make. Some of these German traditions are quite similar to American traditions, but they have their own unique twist to them.

In Austria, Krampus, a beast-like demon, is said to roam the streets to find the naughtiest children and capture them in his sack. Young men in the first week of Christmas dress up as Krampus to continue the tradition.

Furthermore, in Iceland, Yule lads (jólasveinarnir) are said to visit children in the thirteen days leading up to Christmas, leaving small mementos. The children will leave their best shoes by their windows - similar to the German tradition - and they will receive nice gifts if they were nice, or rotting potatoes if they were naughty throughout the year. The Yule lads are named according to the mischief they tend to cause: Spoon-licker, Bowl-licker, Pot-scraper, Door-slammer, and Candle-stealer are among the thirteen names.

In Norway, people hide their broomsticks, dating back to an old belief that witches came out on Christmas looking for broomsticks on which to take flight.

In Venezuela, people roller skate to church in the early morning. This tradition is so popular that roads are closed for the safety of the skaters. After church, these people go home to eat tamales, steamed wraps made of cornmeal dough stuffed with meat.

In Colombia, the Christmas season is kicked off with El Día de las Velitas, the Day of the Little Candles, when people place candles and paper lanterns on their property to welcome the Virgin Mary.

In India, especially in the north, many people plant trees to celebrate the holiday.

In Japan, even though Christianity is practiced less, Christmas customs reign, with Christmas trees and nativity scenes prominent in many homes.

This year has been all about embracing different cultures and traditions, and perhaps creating new ones. As the Christmas season approaches, try to speak to friends of different backgrounds and find out what unique traditions they have when celebrating Christmas, and perhaps incorporate them into your own set of traditions!

Holiday Crossword

By: EMMA SOLFERINO, Staff Writer

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Answer Key

Across: 2. Cookies 3. Kwanzaa5. Stocking 6. Dreidel 7. Menorah

Down: 1. Eggnog 2. Candycane 3. Kinara4. Reindeer

Is Juul Trying Too Hard to be Cuul?

By: JULIET DAVIDSON, News & Layout Editor

Over 3 million have done it and a million more have probably gotten away with it. It’s not murder; it’s a Juul. According to the Juul Lab website, their mission is to “improve the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers, including any of our family, friends, and colleagues.” The product is intended for current smokers who are over the age of 21 and are looking to wean themselves off cigarettes while simultaneously satisfying their nicotine cravings. However, more often than not, Juuls do not appear in the hands of adult smokers, but rather in the hands of high schoolers.

Juul is well-known for its appealing aesthetic: sleek, grey packaging and puffs of white vapor that smoothly glide out of the mouth. Vape culture has already become quite popular in this generation, but with the emergence of Juuls, vaping has become an easier and much more social activity. Juuling is almost never done in secret; it’s done in the company of friends to liven up an experience or to give the user that signature “head rush.” There are more purposes to Juuling, though. As with any drug, people use them for a variety of reasons. Maybe the drug relaxes users; maybe it makes them feel cool; maybe someone pressured them into using it; or maybe it’s used simply because teens get bored. Though the reasons for juuling vary for each person, there is no doubt that its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years.

Juuls do not work like traditional cigarettes. Unlike traditional cigarettes, which bind solid ingredients together, Juuls have a liquid cartridge (called a pod) that is placed into the e-cigarette. Like most e-cigarettes, the cartridge is heated, turning the liquid into vapor that’s inhaled by the user. The pod is roughly equivalent to one pack of cigarettes and is composed of nicotine, flavoring, and many other chemicals. One of these chemicals is propylene glycol, also known as anti-freeze.

The one thing that Juuls do not contain, though, is tobacco. For this reason, many people believe that Juuling is not bad for them. However, we don’t actually know the clearest answer to that. Because Juuls is relatively new to the market, we have few studies about what this concentration of nicotine can do to the body. What we do know is that if people start using an addictive drug, it’s a gateway to other drugs. The brain typically develops until age 25, so when teenagers are using Juuls with a developing brain, they are becoming predisposed to a lifetime of addiction.

Though Juul makes it clear on their website that the product is meant for customers over 21, the company has received a lot of backlash. Obtaining a Juul in New York City is frighteningly simple. Juul’s website only asks a customer to fill out a check-box indicating age, but, after selecting “21 and over,” you are immediately taken to the website in all its glory. To Juul Lab’s credit, there are multiple disclaimers on the website about age restrictions, and purchases online require a state-issued ID. But many claim that Juul Lab’s packaging was made to intentionally resemble a USB drive, so teenagers could easily hide it from their parents. Additionally, many claim that Juul tries to lure in young customers with its “kid-friendly flavors,” like mango, mint, creme brulée, and fruit medley. In a recent statement, Chuck Schumer said that high school students in New York City are more likely to smoke e-cigarettes than in any other state. The prevalence and accessibility of Juuls have made it a staple for many such students.

People who Juul are not bad people; they’re not evil or immoral. My intention in writing this article is not to call out those who use this product, but rather to relay information. When we live in an age where we can easily acquire information about almost anything, it would make the most sense to do research before using this product; it’s wise to know what you’re getting yourself into.

A Culture, Not Just a Costume


This gloomy Sunday morning began just like any other. I woke up mid-afternoon, ate some breakfast, and, as I finally sat down to start the plethora of weekend homework awaiting me, I realized something: I had yet to figure out what I was going to dress up as for Halloween! The haunting date was right around the corner, and I quickly clicked off the English homework I was supposed to be doing (sorry, Dr. Dyton), and furiously typed “Party City” into the Google search bar. Thousands of elaborate costumes greeted my eye as I scrolled through the website’s extensive collection. I thought to myself, “wow, they really do have everything!” Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of an ad for an interesting costume: “Adult Sexy Senorita Day of the Dead Costume.” Curious, I clicked on the costume, and was quickly transported to the “International Costumes” section, where, to my disbelief, hundreds more like it appeared: “Sexy Geisha Costume,” “Indian Princess Costume,” “Men’s Mariachi Member Costume,” and on and on.

There’s a certain danger that comes from pretending, especially when you’re pretending to be someone of a completely different culture. The problem with these costumes is that they not only perpetuate racist stereotypes, but they also undermine the true beauty and complexity of the cultures they’re attempting to portray. They can rob minority groups of the recognition they deserve, while the people who appropriate these minority cultures are the only ones who profit. These costumes promote racist stereotypes to younger generations, allowing them to grow up not knowing any better, assuming all of this is in no way hurtful or harmful.  How are we supposed to become a more culturally accepting society if those considered “the future” are growing up blindsided? Although many claim they dress up in this way to “show appreciation” or “pay homage,” there’s still a chance someone might take offense. Mexicans aren’t solely sombrero-wearing mariachi members, for example; Japanese women aren’t all oversexualized Geishas; and, I promise you, dressing up as “Pocahottie” on October 31st isn’t a harmless act. Next Halloween, put down the sari, undo the corn grows, store away the maracas, and instead try to learn some truth about the cultures being appropriated.