The Pingry Record - March 2020

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THE NATION’S OLDEST COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL NEWSPAPER

ON THE WEB: students.pingry.org/ record

March 5, 2020

Volume CXLV, Number III

Students Kick Off the New Semester at Snowball MARTHA LEWAND (VI) On February 1, Upper School students attended the annual Snowball Dance at The Westin Governor Morris in Morristown, NJ. Students spent the night dancing, having fun with their peers, and enjoying dinner while a small group of faculty chaperoned. This semi-formal dance was a great way for the student body to enjoy themselves after the end of a long first semester. Snowball is a “Sadie Hawkins” style dance—a school dance in which girls traditionally ask boys to be their date. Some students asked their dates to Snowball through creative “promposal”-style ways. At Snowball, most girls wore corsages as guys bore boutonnieres. A majority of girls styled dresses and jumpsuits from stores like Revolve, Free People, Lulus, and more, while most guys dressed in different colored suits with ties. Once students began to arrive at around 7 p.m., they checked in with chaperones and hung their coats. Shortly after, the dancing commenced. For roughly three hours, the DJ played many hit songs from the past few decades. The songs ranged in style and tempo from Rihanna’s “We Found Love” to The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.” “I had a lot of fun dancing,” said Nicole Gilbert (VI). “It was the most enjoyable Snowball of all the years I’ve been.” In the midst of the often crowded and lively dance floor, students took breaks to eat dinner and drinks catered by the hotel. Food options included pizza, dumplings, pasta, and more. At the end of the dance, there was an ice cream bar with an expansive selection of toppings to choose from. In addition, drinks such as non-alcoholic piña coladas were served. “The food and drinks were a great mix of student favorites and more formal options” said Jessica Hutt (VI). “There were lots of crowd-pleasers as well as classier selections to fit the evening’s dressed-up vibe.” After the dance, students collected their belongings and headed out. Some went straight home, to a diner, or hung out with friends. For some seniors, it was a night they made sure to cherish. “It was emotional because of the fact I never wanted to leave,” said Josh Thau (VI), a senior lifer. “I sincerely enjoyed it.”

Ore Shote (V) as Billy Flynn in the School Musical Chicago (article coming next issue)

SAC Winter Assembly CANCELLED SARAH KLOSS (IV) This past winter, many students were disappointed to hear that the Student Activities Committee’s (SAC) annual Holiday Assembly was cancelled. The assembly is a beloved (and entertaining) Pingry tradition, and many were surprised and confused as to why it would not be running. This resulted in a number of rumors and speculations about the cause for cancellation, but, according to Upper School Director Dean Chatterji, the real reason was the timing of the assembly. During the month of December, the school was dealing with a bout of poor decisions made online, which had impacted other members of the Pingry community. Dean Chatterji said, “Our highest concern is that the

SCHOOL NEWS: Pages 2-3, 8

Students Gain Alumni Insight on Career Day

Dr. Jennifer Weiss ‘89 shares her experiences as one of the few female orthapedic surgeons.

people in the community know that they are cared about, and during that time, people did not feel comfortable or cared about. We as a community could not be making fun of each other. We did not want people to be targets of public humor.” Therefore, on the night before it was to take place, the assembly was cancelled. This upset many students, including the leaders of SAC. According to Dean Chatterji, the content of the assembly had no impact on the cancellation, and SAC was ready to present their hard work to the school. Ola Weber (VI), a leader of SAC, explained that she didn’t think it was handled in the best way, as she was told the night before the assembly. By that time, they had pulled several all nighters to be fully prepared with a finished master

COMMENTARY: Pages 4, 6

Curriculum Changes in the Middle/Upper School Brian Li (IV) and Carson Shilts (V) investigate whether, and to what extent, Pingry’s curriculum is changing.

script. She believes that the school could have been more proactive in alerting the student leaders well before then. When asked about what the future of SAC looks like, Weber responded with “It’s concerning, we have to be really careful with our future content. We are not going to be able to make any jokes because we are afraid it will hurt people’s feelings. But the point of SAC is to make people laugh.” In regards to the holiday assembly, the content will be scrapped because it was mostly holiday focused. Even so, the club is pushing onwards and beginning to prepare for their next performance, which will be the spring assembly. Hopefully, SAC will remain an important part of the Pingry community because of the joy and humor it brings to the student body.

COLUMNS: Page 7

Music and Fashion: Snowball Musings Eva Schiller (V) and Rhea Kapur (V) digest Snowball 2020’s primary looks and sounds.

Community Celebrates Black History Month MAILE WINTERBOTTOM (V) The Pingry community gathered together to celebrate Black History Month in a moving assembly on Friday, February 7th. There were singing performances, videos, poems, and even a fashion show. The assembly kicked off with a video about the history of Black History Month, followed by a beautiful rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come,” by Kaley Taylor, who wore a shirt with the words “I Matter.” CONTINUE READING on Page 8

Calling all writers! We encourage all students, especially underclassmen, to join us in reporting on the dynamics of this community and the broader world.

Email: nbergam2021@pingry.org or bweisholtz2020@pingry.org

Photo Credits: Pingry Communications


THE PINGRY RECORD

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SCHOOL NEWS MARCH 5, 2020

Faculty Present Annual Art Exhibition MARTINE BIGOS (IV)

The annual Art Faculty Exhibition was on display in the Hostetter Gallery through January 31. The exhibition featured the work of many Pingry studio art teachers, including Ms. Xiomara Babilonia, Ms. Melody Boone, Mr. Miles Boyd, Mr. Russell Christian, Ms. Rebecca Sullivan, Mr. Rich Freiwald, Ms. Patti Jordan, and Ms. Nan Ring. Last year, the faculty exhibit, entitled “Now and Then,” explored the teacher’s artistic evolutions. By comparing their older pieces to new creations, viewers were able to see the growth and development of the teachers’ styles. Once again, this year’s exhibit displayed the faculty’s creativity and talent. On Wednesday, January 29, Pingry students and faculty were invited to a reception that celebrated the exhibit. While enjoying snacks, visitors explored the various pieces and appreciated the beautiful artwork. Among the pieces on display was Ms. Nan Ring’s “Veiled Figures”

Juniors attend Career Day panel on Management Consulting

series. Throughout the series, she explores “the way we fit in—or not—to our bodies, our clothes, our culture, and the planet.” When searching for inspiration, Ms. Ring was drawn to a veil’s “myriad folds and geometric patterns formed by the way the gauzy material overlaps itself as it is draped on the wearer.” She’s hopes that her “paintings evolve for viewers as the viewer evolves” and that they “mean different things to the viewer at different times of their life, just like a poem does for a reader.” In her paintings, Ms. Ring showcased the beauty and complexity of veils, as she explored the versatility of them. Next up in the gallery is the 24th annual Student Photography Show, which will be showing in the gallery until March 3. The show features the works of students from eleven different private and public schools across the region. Both exhibits, back-to-back, put the talent and creativity of the faculty, and the students they help mentor, on display for the whole community.

Students Gain Alumni Insight on Career Day

EVA SCHILLER (V) MEGHAN DURKIN (V) VICKY GU (VI)

On Friday, January 31, Form V and VI students attended Pingry’s annual Career Day, in which they were able to interact with a wide variety of Pingry alumni and gain insight into future career options. The event began with a keynote presentation by Dr. Jennifer Weiss ‘89, who spoke to students about her unique position as one of the few women who specializes in orthopedic surgery. After the keynote, students dispersed and were able to attend three career panels––two chosen before the event, and one that the student could decide that morning. Each panel was led by two or three Pingry alumni involved in a specific career–– among the careers featured were law, media and communications, and medicine. Students had the opportunity to ask the alumni questions about their education, career paths, and projects, as well as general life questions. At the end of the school day, after speaking about her profession, talking to students, and participating in numerous panels, Dr. Weiss was interviewed by the Pingry Record Staff. The following are excerpts from our conversation. How have you balanced your family life with your professional life? What was it like when you first had children? I like the phrase work-life integration. I brought my kids with me today, and I will try to bring one of my three kids to each meeting with me. My son mountain bikes with me. Lila will do her homework, and I’ll be in the room on my computer next to her. What would you like to tell the greater Pingry community? I want the people in this community to know how the Pingry family and the alumni network is extensive. People are open with their time and hearts through this connection. It’s gonna be there for you. How did Pingry prepare you for

the world of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine? I found Pingry to be more rigorous than college and medical school. My teachers [Mr. Lavalette, Mr. Grant] took an interest in where I thought my limits were, and pushed me past my limits. It is a place where I went from being a shy rule-follower to being proud. How did you become interested in orthopedic surgery/sports medicine? My dad was an orthopedic surgeon. Then, I had a funny route: as I got older, my dad was really excited about me being an orthopedic surgeon, so I got really unexcited about being an orthopedic surgeon. But, when I did my orthopedic rotation, I fell in love with it. What attracted you to a maledominated specialty? I was very comfortable with a group of my friends who were boys from a very early age. I believe that I grew up in a bantering environment, so when I came into the world of orthopedics, not as my father’s daughter, but as a medical student, I was comfortable with the way people spoke to each other. I fell in love with it socially.

Dr. Jennifer Weiss ‘89 speaks t0 juniors and seniors in Hauser

What do you think was the most challenging part in your entire career path? It was my second year of being a resident. The newness had worn off. It’s like when you’re going on a long run, the middle miles are the most tiring. The second year, I thought, is this ever going to be over? The fatigue set in mentally and physically. What is the biggest challenge you face on a day-to-day basis? I struggle with maintaining perspective of how privileged I am to have a healthy family, to have a job that I love, and that I can send my kids to a good school. I still get lost in the weeds because I want everything to be better and more perfect.

Pingry Alumni talk about their careers

Photo Credits (Left to Right): Pingry Communications


THE PINGRY RECORD

SCHOOL NEWS MARCH 5, 2020

Community Unites for Annual MLK Day of Service BRIAN LI (IV) On Monday, January 21, Pingry hosted its eighth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. In the morning, students, family members, and faculty volunteered for various organizations, including Cancer Support Community, The Sharing Network, and Color a Smile. In 2012, 50 families volunteered during the first MLK Day of Service; this year, over 200 members of the

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EVA SCHILLER (V)

members of the Pingry School Parents Association (PSPA) and put together a day where “we [invite] other community organizations and provide opportunities for our community to do service for these organizations.” Ms. Hartz also decided to include an informative aspect on “Martin Luther King, social change, and civil rights.” The MLK Day of Service provides the community with a chance to give back and contribute to society. To Ms. Hartz, the best part of the day

Students make sock puppets for charity Operation Smile Pingry community participated. Ms. Shelley Hartz, Director of Community & Civic Engagement, created the event after hearing the slogan, “Martin Luther King Day: A day on, not a day off.” She spoke with

was seeing students volunteer. “It is very heartening to me when students choose to participate instead of sleeping late. [I am] able to step back and see them having fun while they’re helping another organization.”

Middle School Smashes Geography, Spelling, and Talent Show

Vinav Shah (I) and Dhruv Nagarajan (I) win first and second in school spelling bee

ALEX WONG (I) On December 20 and January 10, the Middle School held its annual Geography Bee, Talent Show, and Spelling Bee. These events featured performances by various students in the Middle School, showcasing academic, musical, speaking, and spelling skills. The Geography Bee was held on December 20, with 24 contestants participating (eight from each grade

level). It featured both a written and oral round. Questions included questions relating to territories such as Ascension Island to natural phenomenons such as avalanches. Eventually, the field of 24 was narrowed down to two contestants, Dhruv Nagarajan (I) and Alex Wong (I), with Dhruv ultimately winning on the fifth question of the Championship round. He will now advance to the state tournament in March. Directly after the Geography Bee,

the Middle School hosted the Third Annual Talent Show. For the first time in three years, all students who auditioned for the show were accepted. Performances ranged from rapping to poetry to various musical performances. The crowd showed great enthusiasm for the various performances, such as playing the violin while hula hooping The Fourth Annual Spelling Bee (a Pingry tradition started by student Noah Bergam (V) in 2017) was held on January 10. Each grade had ten preliminary round winners, so there were 30 contestants. The Spelling Bee featured both vocabulary and spelling rounds. Nick Henry (I) remarked, “It was fun to participate in the Spelling Bee, since it was the first time I was involved in it.” Words in the Spelling Bee included “lightning,” “Sinai,” “artillery,” and many others. Ultimately, with a field narrowed down to two contestants, Dhruv Nagarajan (I) and Vinav Shah (I) remained. Vinav won the Bee with the word “austere.” He will now advance to the state round of the Spelling Bee in April. The Middle School ended 2019 and started 2020 with impressive displays of student skill. All of the middle schoolers had a great time watching their peers participate in the three events. The enthusiasm that every middle schooler displayed for their fellow students was amazing.

Volume CXLV, Number 1

Editors-in-Chief

Noah Bergam Byrnn Weisholtz

Assistant Editors

Vicky Gu Eva Schiller Meghan Durkin

Layout Editor

Justin Li

Cartoon Editor

Monica Chan

Photography Editor Copy Editors

Rhea Kapur Aneesh Karuppur Brooke Pan Brian Li Dean Koenig Martha Lewand

Junior Layout Editors Kyra Li Andrew Wong Mirika Jambudi Faculty Advisors

Meghan Finegan Megan Jones

Photo Credits (Left to Right): Pingry Communications


THE PINGRY RECORD

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COMMENTARY MARCH 5, 2020

CURRICULUM CHANGES Middle School

High School CARSON SHILTS (V) In the past year, the Pingry high school English Department has undergone major changes involving the Junior and Senior curriculums. Though previously a collective affair, Juniors and Seniors now take their spring electives separately, resulting in a shift of works and courses that are taught. As Pingry students, it is important to understand exactly what purpose these changes serve and what you may be losing and or gaining from this new curriculum. To further understand this topic, I interviewed Ms. Chatterji, who oversees any and all curriculum changes. Ms. Chatterji’s first answer to my question was “the curriculum has not changed.” She was speaking on the lack of changes currently being made to the curriculum, not changes that are currently in place. Ms. Chatterji explained that curriculum change is a “twoyear process” and that curriculum changes are “ are big changes that we are not undertaking right now.” The sentiment seems that change is a difficult and lengthy process that is only undergone when it is necessary. Ms. Chatterji also discussed how the most recent changes have been those made to the English curriculum. This prompted me to reach out to Dr. Dickerson, the head of the English Department, for an interview. Dr. Dickerson said, in the case of English, that “last year was a year of great change.” Dr. Dickerson explained how the English spring elective program was revised for Juniors and Seniors. Both classes used to take their second semester English elective together, in a mixed class, but that method was discarded. When asked why, Dr.

Dickerson stated, “We felt that the Juniors did not have enough options for Junior electives.” Th e Eng l is h d e partme n t added three new electives, Gold Rush, Waterways, and American Contemporary Poetry, which are meant to “complement American Literature” which is the required fall semester course. Dr. Dickerson further explained that “American Literature can be kind of rushed and packed so we felt that this would give students a chance to further explore these topics.” She also discussed how it was difficult for Juniors to keep a certain level of rigor up when mixed in a class with seniors because seniors leave early for ISP. Seniors now take a full year of courses related to world literature, and new electives have been added to their course sheet as well. Rising Juniors and Seniors may have noticed that they both have five different spring electives to choose from which is new to this year. Rising Juniors have the option to take The Contemporary American Short Story which is a new course that will run next year. Rising Seniors have two new options to choose from-Creative Writing and, The Great Epic: The Trojan War & Its Aftermath making the number of spring electives between Juniors and Seniors equal. Dr. Dickerson explained, “it’s all a trade off; you’re always losing something and you’re always gaining something,” which is something that is always important to keep in mind. Though some books such as The Adventures of Huck Finn are no longer part of the curriculum, many great novels have been added in response. As literature and world issues progress, the curriculum will continue to change to keep it as relevant and valuable as possible.

BRIAN LI (IV) The Pingry Middle School is a place of crucial educational development, character building, and educational discovery. The Middle School curriculum is extremely important to facilitate the future success of upcoming Upper School students and careers. As a result, the Pingry Middle School has been continually changing and updating its curriculum to remain exciting, educational, and relevant to modern developments. Spanish Teacher and Middle School Academic Dean Señor Thomas provided insight into the recent Middle School curriculum changes. Regarding the Spanish curriculum specifically, an additional level has been added for accelerated students. Originally, “there were three levels of Spanish, just as there were in all of the other world languages” offered in the Middle School: 1A, 1B, and 2, according to Dean Thomas. As many elementary and lower schools, such as the Short Hills Lower School, teach Spanish as a foreign language, an unignorable number of sixth-graders entering the Middle School already have substantial experience in Spanish and are qualified to start Spanish at level 1B. These students then required a new course when they reached eighth-grade after taking Spanish 2, the highest-level middle school course, in seventh-grade. As a result, a level 2B Spanish course was created for those students as a class that “steps away from lockstep grammar curriculum, [giving] students a chance to do more research, creative projects, and reading/writing/speaking.” For the other core academic disciplines (History, Math, Science, and English), Dean Thomas stated that the Middle School has been “looking carefully at [their] mission and the types of things that are important… for students to experience across disciplines.” Some of these concepts are algorithmic thinking, which will ensure that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are not only explained in math and science courses but also in other classes. Sustainability, diversity, and inclusion are also guiding cornerstones of the Middle School curriculum to guarantee a strong education. The Middle School is looking at ways to teach these core mission skills across disciplines and

to provide students with a “more holistically coherent academic program” with course collaboration. For the English curriculum, Ms. Lori Esmond, Middle School English Coordinator, mentioned that “[while] the skills have remained largely the same with a focus on writing and reading comprehension, the texts have changed over the years.” Grade 6 students are now reading Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, Beowulf translated by Robert Nye, The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, and The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. Seventh graders read Flying Lessons and Other Stories by Ellen Oh, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare, and other selected poems and articles. Lastly, the eighth-grade texts include Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Night by Elie Wiesel, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, and selections of Harlem Renaissance literature. A recent change that has been occurring in the Middle School over the past two to three years is ensuring that “teachers are mapping what they’re doing in terms of their curriculum,” as Dean Thomas explained. By tracking what they are teaching, teachers have the opportunity to examine places where they are truly working on the aforementioned principles, or areas where they could improve. Consequently, teachers can successfully incorporate “mission-driven skills” into their curriculum. For example, teaching Math easily allows students to think algorithmically by solving formulas, but could understanding grammar be another form of algorithmic thinking? Dean Thomas elaborated, asking if “thinking in terms of the processes and systems by which language works [helps students] think algorithmically and [incorporates] STEM education into language?” On the same note, teaching diversity or sustainability in an English course seems intuitive and easily achievable, but how might this be accomplished in, say, a mathematics class? The Middle School is achieving this by examining the problems students

are solving and therefore, bringing multi-disciplinary issues to the math curriculum. Furthermore, different subjects in the Middle School are being “dovetailed” to create more fulfilling projects and courses. Last year, the Science and English departments collaborated to create a combined Scienceand-English project. Specifically, students researched their topics in Science class and used their English classes to learn how to write and present their findings in a more sophisticated way. Another significant and recent change is not related to a single course but is the change in the schedule. The addition of “Friday classes” has altered the athletics system. Previously, sixthgraders would not participate in interscholastic athletic competitions and instead had a PE class as part of their schedule. Meanwhile, seventh and eighth-graders did compete in athletics. Now, all Middle Schoolers engage in athletics from Monday through Thursday as PE has been removed. New courses have been added on Friday that provides students “with the opportunity to explore learning in more creative ways,” Dean Thomas explained. Examples are music/drama courses, study skills courses, and cultural competency courses. Dean Thomas closed out the interview by saying, “A community that decides everything is perfect and shouldn’t change is a community that’s not engaging in reflective practice. Our mission is clear and the ways we develop that mission in terms of our course offerings and curriculum to our students is something that requires constant thought and reflection… to move forward and find the best curriculum for the students.”

Photo Credits (Left to Right): Pingry Communications, Monica Chan (V), Google Images


THE PINGRY RECORD

ASSEMBLIES MARCH 5, 2020

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Pingry Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. At Assembly ANJOLA OLAWOYE (III) On Friday, January 17, the Pingry community held an assembly to honor and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is an annual event, in which the Short Hills and Basking Ridge campuses show their appreciation through poetry, music, skits, and more. In one past MLK Day assembly, Sarah Collins Rudolph, a survivor of the bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, shared her unique experience. This year, the Middle and Upper School students and faculty members remembered Martin Luther King, Jr. with a number of music and dance performances, spoken word, and slideshows. The assembly began with an uplifting spoken poem by Jordan McDonald ‘26 named “My Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams,” which paid homage to her ancestors. The performance was followed by a group of Middle Schoolers who danced to the R&B/ Soul song, “Rise Up,” by Andra Day. “Rise Up” spreads the message of

The faculty and students who designed the 2020 MLK assembly perseverance during hardships and prompts listeners to feel hopeful. Another highlight of the assembly

Variety of Performances for Lunar New Year DEAN KOENIG (V) The annual Lunar New Year assembly on January 24 commenced as Middle School Chinese 1B students performed the celebratory Chinese Dragon Dance. The students raised and lowered the body of the long, red dragon figure around the auditorium. As one of the most common Lunar New Year traditions, the Dragon Dance is performed for a variety of reasons, including to deter evil spirits and bring good luck. Next, Jeremy Lin (V), Kyra Li (III), Lauren Kim (III), Aneesh Karuppur (V), and Justin Li (V) played a Chinese folk song called “The Joy of the New Year.” The bright tune of this traditional folk song from the Hebei Province was perfectly captured by the diversity of instruments the students presented. The song represents familial harmony and the lively spring in the New Year. After the folk song, the Purple Swans Dance Troupe returned to the stage for the second year in a row. Former Upper School Chinese Teacher Ms. Yi Hao, who plays a pivotal role in the group, helped bring them back. They performed an elegant Chinese folk dance for the “New Attire” ritual. The “New Attire” dance represents a Lunar New Year custom in which women wear new clothing and dance joyfully for a year of good fortune. Next came Franklin Zhu (IV) and Ram Doraswamy (IV), who celebrated the New Year in one of the most popular ways: singing. The two performed “Look Over Here, Girl,” a 1998 Chinese pop song by Taiwanese artist Richie Jen. While singing in Chinese, Zhu played the tambourine and Doraswamy strummed a guitar.

Perhaps the audience’s favorite part of the assembly was when the emcees, Monica Chan (V) and Guan Liang (V), announced that day’s lunch menu. Since food is an integral part of Chinese culture and celebrations, the SAGE Dining crew prepared a delicious Chinese-themed meal. In addition to the lunch, there were Chinese cultural stations led by Chinese students and families in the cafeteria during conference period with activities and treats, such as dumplings, a chopsticks contest, and bubble tea. As the excitement settled down, a video was played that showed the celebration of Lunar New Year through the lens of student interviews. Those in the video shared the ways in which they celebrate and what they enjoy about the festivities. The video was both informative and humorous, getting several laughs due to the comical editing style. To close the assembly, the fan favorite Taiko Drumming Club performed a piece called “Tatsumaki,” which means “whirlwind.” The energy of a whirlwind could be felt throughout the auditorium as Pingry Taiko, led by math teacher Mr. Christofer Leone, put on one of its strongest and most dynamic performances yet. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see all the hard work and hours of preparation that the students put in pay off on stage,” Mr. Leone said. Overall, the assembly was an entertaining way for the community to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Liang said, “The Lunar New Year is a time of joy, and I’m happy to be able to share this joy with the Pingry community.”

Taiko Drumming Performs “Tatsumaki”

featured singer/songwriter K’Lynn Jackman, who performed songs including “Tomorrow” by Trevon

Campbell. Similarly to “Rise Up,” “Tomorrow” is another uplifting song that discusses the mindset

of being hopeful for a promising future. The song was also released as an inspirational way of leading people into Black History Month. Throughout the assembly, historical slideshows and videos were projected to remind the Pingry community of Martin Luther King’s crucial role in activism. Towards the end of the MLK assembly, affinity groups including the Black/African American, South Asian, and Latinx groups wrote letters to Martin Luther King that reflected upon his profound impact on activism. The South Asian affinity group discussed how “although they are neither black nor white, Dr. King is not only an advocate for the black community, but other minorities as well.” Not only did the Pingry community honor Dr. King in the assembly, it engaged in community service during the MLK Day of Service the following Monday. The MLK assembly provides an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to learn and remember Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy.

Drama II Students “Succeed In High School Without Trying” EMILY SHEN (IV) On Tuesday, January 21st, the Drama II students performed “How to Succeed in High School Without Really Trying,” a short comedy written by Jonathan Rand. Not only did the performance showcase the students’ performing skills, but it also reflected all of the hard work that the students put into their drama class this year. This piece consisted of 7 different “lessons,” including Homeroom, English, Math, Foreign Languages, Science, History, and Physical Education, and each presents the audience with “tips” on how to succeed in the class without overworking themselves. Each of these “tips” were brought with joy and comedic relief to the audience. For instance, some tips to succeed in English class included “stroking your chin, nodding, stroking your chin while nodding,” and “whenever possible, use the word ‘juxtaposition’ during class discussions.” Students apply these tips into “real-life examples,” triggering heartfelt laughter from the audience members. Another tip in this comedy pertained to foreign languages. For instance, if a student struggles to find the right word, “just rattle off random words anyone would know” such as “déjà vu” and “baguette” for French class. Behind the enjoyable performance was the hard work of Drama II students and Mr. Van Antwerp. When asked about the rehearsing process for the performance, Sarah Kloss (IV) responded, “It was a large cast, so it was hectic trying to get everyone where they were supposed to be [ … ] but, I think Mr. Van Antwerp chose a play that we thought was really funny, and it was nice to have multiple roles because we were able to play different characters.” Because it was their first time performing on stage, many of the Drama II students were quite nervous before the performance. “I was actually extremely nervous before we were supposed to perform because I had never

performed in front of the whole school before, but as soon as I said my first line, I felt ready” Kloss noted. Franklin Zhu (IV), another Drama II performer, shared an anecdote about his experience. “During our rehearsal before the assembly, I accidentally tripped on the microphone and caused a big scene” said Zhu. “I am glad I did that during the rehearsal and not the actual performance.” The Drama II assembly was a delightful experience for both the performers and the audience members. Both Kloss and Zhu agreed that the script Mr. Antwerp chose worked really well in a school

setting. “I really enjoyed how our scenes were about school. It gave me different viewpoints about the environment we are in,” noted Zhu. Olivia Telemaque (IV) reflected on her experience with the assembly, “I really liked the performance! It was really chill and light to alleviate the tension and stress about all the bad news that recently happened.” The performance went smoothly, and the cast members did an amazing job collaborating with each other to carry out an enjoyable assembly for the Pingry community. We can’t wait to see future performances featuring these talented students!

HITS AND MISSES HITS

MISSES

CHICAGO

THE WINTER SAC ASSEMBLY

THERAPY DOGS LEBOW

NOT ENOUGH SNOW DAYS

BLACK HISTORY MONTH ASSEMBLY

SOPHOMORE TIKTOKKERS

MR. YONG’S 3-POINT SHOT

BRIAN LI (VI) GETS HALF HIS HEAD SHAVED

SMALL BRIAN LI (IV) MAKES AN ANNOUCEMENT PARASITE

THE COMPOST CONTEST TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE PT. 2

BERNIE? CORONAVIRUS Photo Credits (Left to Right): Pingry Communications


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THE PINGRY RECORD

Big Fish Refuted NOAH BERGAM (V)

Lights. Silence. 390 seconds of glory. Ever since I first watched in sixth grade, I knew I wanted to do LeBow. From the win of Katie Coyne ‘16 to the two-year reign of Rachel Chen ‘18 to the triumph of Miro Bergam ‘19, I sat anxiously in the audience year after year. I was the nervous yet critical viewer, who, in his endless deification of the stage, kept imagining how he himself might fare or fail in front of 700 academics. Time flew like an arrow, from imagination to reality. In my sophomore year, I took the stage with a speech about memes. And I won. The aftermath followed a rapid progression from satisfaction to excitement to terror. I achieved what I had dreamed of for years, and I could still look forward to another chance at the stage in 2020. But I also knew I could very easily fail that second chance and fall short of the high expectations. In preparing for this year’s competition, I believed that the only way to successfully replay the game would be to break it. So I chose to call out the unsettling pattern of universal agreeability that LeBow speeches were developing, a problematic pattern I myself upheld the year before. In this sense the speech was a critical self-reflection––I chose to burn the magic that I had internalized and glorified over the years, and from those ashes construct an argument against the very anti-argument nature of Pingry culture I embraced. Did I fail? Certainly in the sense of losing the title. But in retrospect, I got what I asked for. I did not design my speech to maximize likability among a judging panel––I wrote it in order to spark critical thought and disagreement among the broader student community. And in that sense, I think it was a success. I met two counterarguments that, in the spirit of debate, I want to address. To reiterate, my thesis is as follows: “In order to make sure students develop the key skills of political disagreement, we ought to bring timely, wholehearted, messy debates into the classroom––and then we students ought to embrace more

MEGHAN DURKIN (V)

of that argumentative style in our own independent endeavours [eg LeBow itself].” 1. My message is NOT that Pingry students lack the capability to have difficult discussions. I can’t speak for what goes on within specific environments like affinity groups. I simply question how far-reaching, especially between identity boundaries, these discussions are. Thus, I assert that the humanities classroom is the best place to make controversial discussions informed and ubiquitous. Otherwise, Pingry students, like most citizens, will naturally flock to echo chambers, and schoolwide communication, especially in assemblies, will continue to favor numbing agreeability and “political correctness.” 2. Yes, I do think teachers should give their personal opinions in class. Obviously, this comes with a two-pronged expectation of maturity. The student should be able to respect the teacher’s opinion without bowing down to it, and the teacher should be able to be subjective with the explicit intent to inform rather than directly convince. As I defend this thesis, I don’t pretend my speech was perfect. I made plenty of miscalculations, the most obvious of which was the exclamation that “I’m the Big Fish in a Little Pingry Pond!” Yes, that sounds arrogant. I was trying to be ironic, I was trying to make it clear that the concept of a big fish here is a dangerous illusion that limits one’s ability to think outside the scope of this community’s limited discourse. But I suppose using such a phrase as the cornerstone of the speech might have given some pretty negative impressions. So it goes. It’s over now. Now I will return to the audience for one last year to watch the brilliance of LeBow from yet a new lens. But I won’t forget the message I crafted. I’ll continue to defend it and live it out, especially in regards to this newspaper. The theory of the Big Fish was refuted. But defeated? The point was made onstage and proven offstage. So I accept this loss wholeheartedly.

COMMENTARY MARCH 5, 2020

2020: Losing Hope?

ANDREW WONG (V)

As the ball in Times Square finished its long descent, with the chants of over a million people in Times Square and millions more glued to their TV screens counting down, our world would be ushered into not only a new year, but a new decade. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Happy 2020. For many of us here at Pingry, 2020 will be a year of great accomplishments and change. Seniors will go to college. Juniors will embark on the college process. Sophomores will start another hectic year of high school, and the freshmen will no longer be the wide-eyed newcomers they once were when they first walked in. This year, we will meet new people, we will learn new and fascinating subjects, and we will write the next chapter of our lives, as we enter another year, full of hope for the future. At least, that was the plan. On January 3, I opened Instagram to find a deluge of posts about World War III. These posts were in response to the U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, and they ranged from sensationalized faux news reports on how the US was about to start a war with Iran, to memes detailing how to dodge the draft that the U.S. government would soon supposedly start. Media outlets had a field day with this news, as they scrambled to point a finger at who was to blame for this sudden escalation of panic. As tensions rose, Iran would launch missiles at American troops, and 176 people would tragically die in a commercial airplane crash after being accidentally shot down. Maybe World War III would start after all. Of course, as we know now, World War III never did start, no one would be drafted, and the world breathed a collective sigh as we stepped back from that tense moment. But it was just the start. Later that week, I read on Hong Kong news that a new SARS-like virus had infected around 100 people in

Wuhan, China, and medical experts were scrambling to identify what this new deadly virus was. By the next week, experts called it the novel coronavirus, which was spreading at an exponential rate and killing hundreds. As of February 2020, coronavirus has now spread to 28 countries, infected 35,000 people, and has killed 700 people. As the world focused on the possibility of World War III and the spread of coronavirus, there would also be terrible and highly destructive environmental disasters. New wildfires would ravage the

Australian Outback, there would be devastating earthquakes in Turkey and the Caribbean, and the worst locust swarms in over 70 years in East Africa would destroy thousands of acres of crops, eating over 1.8 million tons of vegetation a day. On January 26, I, along with many other people around the world, watched in horror at the news that the great Kobe Bryant, at age 41, and his daughter Gianna, age 13, had been killed in a horrific helicopter accident in California. Fans around the world mourned the basketball legend, who had been an inspiration to the whole world on and off the court. All of these horrible events, in the span of just a month into the new year. It is evident that this is not the 2020 we were looking for. Browsing the internet today, it’s

very easy to find memes or articles lamenting just how bad the start of the year was. The memes try to find some sense of humor in all the tragedies, while the articles will try to find a source of blame for the problems, whether in politicians, climate change, or even ourselves. Both sources continue this fearmongering with the argument that 2020 will only get worse. These memes and articles, while trying to be funny or push a pessimistic message, expose a wider, pernicious problem. It is evident that there has been a loss of hope in our world these days. According to a recent YouGov/Economist poll taken on January 9, 2020, less than 39% of respondents said they are optimistic about 2020. Is this the world we want to live in? As we move deeper and deeper into 2020, we should not be afraid of this new year. Pope Francis told diplomats in a speech at the Vatican in early January as tensions rose between the U.S. and Iran that “Precisely in light of these situations, we cannot give up hope. And hope requires courage. It means acknowledging that evil, suffering and death will not have the last word, and that even the most complex questions can and must be faced and resolved.” If we move on past all the terrible events of January, there is a lot of hope that 2020 will be a good year. Already, efforts are being made to combat the spread of coronavirus, with new treatments and potential cures being discovered every day. New technologies will be unveiled that have the potential to change our world forever. We will meet new people and start new friendships and relationships that will change our lives forever. The year is still young, and there is so much to look forward to in this new year, regardless of all the tragedies that have befallen us. All we have to do is just remind ourselves there still is good in this world, and there is so much more to look forward to. I am ready for this new year. Are you?

A Complicated History of U.S.-Iran Relations

It’s February 1979. The phone rings. The clock reads 3 a.m. as my grandfather holds it up to his ear. It’s 11:30 a.m. in Iran, where the Shah, Mohammad Raza Pahlavi, had fled in response to insurgency a month earlier. At the time, my grandfather was working for American Bell International, an AT&T subsidiary tasked with facilitating the improvement of telephone and communication systems in Iran. However, with the overthrow of Pahlavi and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini, AT&T’s project ceased. Over the next few weeks, my grandfather, who handled insurance for the company, worked to repossess valuables left by AT&T employees, who were forced to leave their apartments in Iran following the fall of the Shah. After finding where workers had left clothing, jewelry, pets, and more, my grandfather transferred that information to employees still in Iran, in hopes of reclaiming their belongings. Prior to the winter of 1979, during the height of AT&T’s project in Iran, U.S. relations with the country were bolstered. The pro-Western policies

of Pahlavi fit American economic interests, specifically in regards to the oil industry. However, to many Iranians, the Shah’s policies felt repressive and tyrannical. The “White Revolution,” a number of reforms established by Pahlavi in the early 1960s, implemented land redistribution, and the expansion of women’s rights. These policies were quickly met with popular dissent, as the poor found little relief. By the end of the Shah’s reign, the U.S. appeared to support a leader unpopular with his own people. Once Pahlavi fled, his favorable relations with the U.S. seemed to continue, much to the resentment of Iranians. U.S. President Jimmy Carter went so far as to allow Pahlavi into the U.S. to receive cancer treatment. In November of 1979, in retaliation for Carter’s action, Iranian students took 66 Americans hostage at the U.S Embassy in the Iranian capital of Tehran. The crisis, which lasted 344 days but ultimately ended in the safe return of the hostages, began a long

history of strained relations between the U.S. and Iran. These historic tensions were in the spotlight this January, when President Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. After the strike, T r u m p

threatened to carry out further attacks. On Twitter, he referred back to the 1979 crisis, noting that the 52 Iranian sites that had been identified as targets represented “the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago.” Many Iranians, who

considered Soleimani a hero, were quick to declare revenge and violence against the U.S. However, President Trump and his administration have continued to justify the act as a preemptive attack against a supposed plan of Soleimani to strike a U.S. embassy. Over 40 years after the overthrow of the Shah and the consequent American hostage crisis, U.S.-Iran relations seem rockier than ever. Under President Obama in 2013, the countries attempted reconciliation through the Iran Nuclear Deal, which outlined that Iran would restrict their nuclear activities. In 2018, however, President Trump abandoned the plan, and the two countries have faced growing tension and subsequent violence over the past few years. Now, after Soleimani’s death, there seems to be no end in sight. Thus, the question remains: is compromise between the U.S. and Iran possible? Is an amicable relationship on the horizon, or will we continue towards aggression and animosity? To me, the two

countries have grown too divisive to ever find a real compromise, and the U.S. does not have a compelling reason to concede to the Iranian government. When President George W. Bush coined Iran one-third of the “axis of evil,” it was clear the United States viewed the country’s regime as radical and dangerous; the government has been accused of supporting terrorism and seeking to bolster weapons of mass destruction. Thus, our government doesn’t owe the Iranian government diplomacy, but it does have a responsibility to support the Iranian people. As a result of economic sanctions placed on Iran in 2018, its people have faced an economic recession, rising prices, and stagnant economic growth. As innocent people suffer, the U.S. government seeks to break a regime, without thinking of the consequences for the average citizen. So, while I believe I will never see a time like my grandfather’s, where the United States and Iran came together for economic gain, I do believe it’s possible for our government to protect itself against Iranian threats while still treating the Iranian people humanely.

Photo Credits (Left to Right): Noah Bergam (V), Monica Chan (V), Monica Chan (V)


THE PINGRY RECORD

COMMENTARY MARCH 5, 2020

7

Digesting the Snowball Look

EVA SCHILLER (V) Opportunities for Pingry students to show off formal fashion are few and far between, particularly for underclassmen. In the wake of Snowball, the only schoolwide formal of the year, I felt obligated to resurrect last year’s fashion column and attempt to break down five hundred formal fits into some common trends. I’ll start off with the broadest category: dresses. As always, mini dresses prevailed as the most common choice for female students at the dance. Replacing the skater dresses of 2019 was the sheath dress, which is marked by its straight cut and fitted skirt. It was a clear winner by popular vote, with nearly half of female dance-goers (by my unofficial survey) choosing some variation of this

cute and classy shape. In terms of style, the little black dress remained a staple. Paired with trendy heels and a few accessories, this classic is an elegant, simple attack of the Snowball style. However, I was excited to see some bolder trends emerging in the crowd. Sequins and sparkles, which can often be hitor-miss, were a particularly p o p u l a r approach to the ‘quirkybut-dressedup’ look this year. Fringes, tassels, and feathers also added a fun component to otherwise simple pieces, while jumpsuits and rompers were a clever way to stand out

in Snowball’s sea of dresses. Now, let’s talk shoes. The most ubiquitous female shoe choice (which happened to be my shoe as well) was the classic nude, silver, or black heel with a single ankle strap. Of course, there were plenty of daring shoes in the crowd, including neon or multicolored heels, knee-high boots, and my personal favorite: clean white sneakers. With nearly every girl having removed her shoes by the end of the dance, more practical footwear is clearly a must-have for next year. A cute but sporty white

sneaker is not only more comfortable; it will also protect your toes from sharp stilettos on the dance floor. Finally, we’ve made it to the suits. Most suit-wearing students stuck to the classics this year, choosing from a simple array of dark jackets paired with pastel shirts. The night’s coolest combinations included all-black, subtle plaid, and of course, the classic blue or black with a white shirt. However, some went for a more unusual look, donning brightly colored suits or even a t-shirt underneath a sports jacket. If you’re looking to spice up your outfit for next year, consider investing in a bow tie or unique jacket, or adapt a look from one of this year’s

best-dressed students. Overall, this year’s Snowball was an impressive demonstration of taste, style, and a healthy amount of risktaking. Although it can be intimidating to try something new on one of the only formal nights of the year, a successful breakaway from mainstream fashion will allow you to stand out and attack the night with confidence. When the time comes to think about next year, I encourage students to break up the monotony of Snowball fashion and blaze the trail for generations to come!

Karuppur Scrutinizes the Spicy Stuff in Tech

ANEESH KARUPPUR (V)

Welcome back to another edition of The Pingry Record Tech Column! Let’s see how the new decade started off in the world of technology. But first, a brief update on Pingry’s wonderful Student Technology Committee (STC). STC’s various groups are working hard in hopes of having significant results by the end of the school year. One team built a charging station near the cafeteria and is currently working on equipping it with cables. In addition, mobile charging carts have arrived and are under construction. STC has also started a top-secret project relating to technology and interpersonal communication! Stay

tuned for more updates on that group’s proposal to our existing technology issues. STC’s 3D Printing team hosted its first workshop of the year, when Julian Lee (V) ran an AutoCAD workshop for STC members. In the near future, the team expects to roll out workshops for the student body and faculty, which will focus on integrating 3D Printing into specific curricula. As of now, anybody can use the 3D printer for a valid, school-related reason. In fact, architecture and art classes have already started using it. To print, simply make a model using your CAD software of choice, save it as a .stl file, and speak to an STC

member for help printing. Now, let’s broaden our scope of discussion and take a look at some global tech news, starting off with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. The buzziest part of the show was Neon, a Samsung subsidiary that is planning to make artificial humans for use in various settings. Neon ended up being completely overhyped. When excited showgoers went to the booth, they discovered that the life-sized images of people were actually just actors and not artificially intelligent cyborgs. Although Neon promises results eventually (as is the case for many tech startups!) it may take a while

for anything to come of it. One of the main focuses of the CES was the new display technology. Samsung showed off an 8K television (which has about sixteen times more pixels than a standard MacBook screen), which would not be very special if it were not for the fact that the TV has no bezels (black bars around the edge). This means that the visual content extends the entire length and width of the TV and provides an immersive viewing experience. In other news, LG, TCL, and other major TV manufacturers introduced some minor improvements to their existing lineups. Another interesting development was the increased emphasis on 5G.

5G is the next-generation cellular network and has been reported to be much faster than existing 4G LTE technology. 5G has already been rolled out in numerous places across the country. Since it requires special phone models, its adoption has been fairly limited thus far. Nevertheless, major carriers have promised that more devices will support 5G by next year. At CES, laptop makers like Lenovo and HP jumped on the trend by offering 5G-enabled laptops so users can work anywhere with a cellular connection. Well, that about wraps it up for this edition of the tech column! Be sure to continue reading in the next issue to observe the trends of the tech world.

Snowball Musings: What Music Accurately Reflects Our Generation? RHEA KAPUR (V ) In preparation for Snowball, Pingry’s annual winter formal, there are a couple items to consider. One is, of course, the look. For female students, it’s finding the perfect dress—classically beautiful, yet original—and for the gentlemen, a suit that stands out. Refer to this issue’s fashion column for more! Other items that come to mind include finding a date, perhaps, a group of friends to get ready with, and everything in between. In all the mayhem that ensues in the week leading up to the event, many don’t stop and think about the music. Out of sight, out of mind—until the event starts. There, it’s, “Ugh, what are the words to this again? Let’s go get a drink and wait ‘till something we know comes on.” The cycle repeats itself every year. The real fun at Snowball— or any dance, for that matter—is to vibe with your friends and just enjoy the music. Many upperclassmen I’ve talked to agree: at a dance, we enjoy the music to the fullest when, first of all, we like the songs, and even more importantly, we know the songs– the chorus, when the beat drops, and a cool freestyle that matches. And let’s be real here: a lot of the time, that isn’t the case. To investigate this further, I reflected on exactly what type of music is played

at Snowball. A friend on Student Government sent me the suggested playlist, which is curated by members of the group and sent to the Snowball DJ. Looking at it, we see that the songs mainly fall into two categories: hiphop and iconic bops. The latter is self explanatory: the likes of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” and John Legend’s “All of Me” are commonplace. These are songs that we’ve grown up listening to on the radio, the kinds of songs that friends scream out loud together, smiling, arm in arm—the songs that bring us teenagers together. These fall under the wider umbrella of “pop,” and they’re perfect for a close-knit, schoolwide dance. An observation, though, if I may—at Snowball, it’s mainly the female students who dance to these songs, while the males stand on the side awkwardly. Maybe it’s because the lyrics are more touchy-feely, and that, even though male students know the words, singing along goes against the “masculine” image that they must project. Or, maybe this music just isn’t as popular among male students—but I digress. The roles quickly reverse, though, when songs from the former category— hip-hop—come on. These are characterized by rhythmic beatboxing and clean beats accompanied by raw,

flowing rap lyrics. The most popular of them—Drake’s “One Dance,” Travis Scott’s “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM”— are decently well known to all genders and bring most people out to the dance floor. However, when just slightly less popular songs come on—Lil Uzi Vert’s “That’s a Rack,” Migos’ “Narcos”—it’s the male students that jump up and crowd around the middle of the dance floor, enjoying the beat and shouting the lyrics, while female students step back.

following with teenagers of all genders and backgrounds, including Pingry’s own—both artists are on the Snowball playlist and stirred the entire crowd to their feet when played. They’ve blurred the lines between the different genres. I believe this is also reflective of the world our generation is growing up in as a whole: we’re more accepting, more fluid, more willing to combine different aspects of what is known

to create what is not. Although there may not be as many artists like Lil Nas X and Eilish out there just yet, with the same degree of popularity, I think that’s the direction we’re going in. Soon, popular music will be more obviously made up of more than just two sounds. Just imagine what the dynamics at Snowball will be like when that’s the case.

Does this mean that the music tastes of our generation, our age group, also split into these two strict categories— and that the gender interests do as well? I would disagree. Take a look at recent breakout stars like Lil Nas X or Billie Eilish, for example. Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” a smashing hit, combines a country sound with the classic hiphop beat. Both sounds are prominent, and by putting them together, Lil Nas X becomes original, a pioneer, and instantly popular. Eilish’s sound is also definitive, original; she specializes in horror pop, with tunes that are uncannily catchy but also creepy and spine-tingling, and even have a bit of the hip-hop influence mixed in with the beat. As such, Eilish’s music has an entirely different, captivating sound, unlike anything that has been heard before. Both artists have a fantastic

Photo Credits (Left to Right): Monica Chan (V), Google Images


THE PINGRY RECORD

8

SCHOOL NEWS MARCH 5, 2020

Girls’ Winter Sports Highlights

Community Celebrates Black History Month

MARC BLIEMEL (IV)

MAILE WINTERBOTTOM (V)

So far, this winter has been a resounding success for Pingry girls’ sports. The girls’ fencing team performed outstandingly over the past couple of weeks. Recently, in the district 5 Fencing Tournament, the team placed second overall, with Jessica Lin (V) and Katie Lin (III) placing first and second in epée, respectively. In the foil competition, Zala Bhan (III) received first and Alison Lee (VI) placed third. All four of these players advanced to the state tournament, which will take place in Livingston in early March. On the court, the Big Blue basketball team has been holding a winning record of 12-7, despite a few marginal victories along the

Another video was then presented, which featured black students sharing what Black History Month means to them. Many other presentations followed, including a group reading of a poem by the Afrofuturism HIRT, a performance of the song “Amazing Grace” by Ore Shote, and the reading of an original poem by Ajuné Richardson. All of these presentations did an excellent job of showing the beauty and power of the black community in Pingry and around the world. Next came a fashion show in which a number of lines were showcased, all inspired by the works of well known African-American fashion designers. One line was called “black girl magic,” a hashtag started in 2012 that celebrates the beauty, power, and resilience of black women. Another line was “black boy joy,” which was explained to be a line that encouraged young black men and

Pictured (left to right): Katie Lin ‘23, Jessica Lin ‘21, Ashna Kumar ‘20, Jamie Wang ‘20, and Ameera Ebrahim ‘21

way. On the squash courts, girls’ athletics has also been successful.

Renee Chan (VI) wins first in the Girls Division

The 41st NJ State High School Squash Championships was held at Pingry this year, where cocaptain Renee Chan (VI) received first in the Girls Division. Moving over to the ice, the girls hockey team is 12-1-1. In the first game of the season, co-captain Allie Moss (VI) reached 100 total points in her high school career. Earlier this year, Pingry runner Nicki Vanasse (VI), placed ninth at the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals, advancing her to the national stage in San Diego. Overall, Big Blue girls’ sports has been performing at a top level throughout the season, with many more games to go before spring seasons pick up.

Boys’ Winter Sports Highlights HUGH ZHANG (V) Following successful seasons across the board last winter, Pingry boys’ athletics have raised the bar even higher this year. Outstanding accomplishments from all teams continue to demonstrate Big Blue’s athletic excellence, and Pingry is poised to finish strong this season. Here is a look at some of the most memorable highlights so far. Coming into the season, Matt Fallon (V) boasted several records on his resumé. Only a junior, Matt is already one of the best swimmers in the country, and this winter he added a few more achievements to his list. Against North Hunterdon, Fallon broke the national independent short course records for the 200 meter IM and 100 meter breaststroke. He also claimed the meet record for the 100 yard breaststroke at Lawrenceville. Regarding these successes, Fallon commented, “The hard work during practice definitely paid off, and I couldn’t have done it without the team.” Armed with one of Pingry’s best lineups in recent memory, the

powerhouse boys’ swimming team, led by seniors Reid McBoyle (VI) and Will Stearns (VI), swept both the Skyland Conference and Prep Championships, and won its 13th consecutive state title, breaking the state record for the most state titles won back to back in a 98-72 win over Bishop Eustace. Upon winning the state title, captain Reid McBoyle remarked “After seeing the other captains in years past win the state title, it’s been an important ritual for us to come here, do well and win. And this year if feels really good because we finally broke that record. It’s awesome that we got to go through the program and become the first team to beat that record.” The boys’ winter track team is also having a terrific season; as Captain Henry Wood (V) remarks, “we are consistently dropping PRs each race.” The team put up impressive results at the Prep Championships, with James Draper (VI) coming in fifth for shotput and Wood winning the 1600 meter run. Wood also broke the 1000 meter school record at the New Balance games and placed second in the 800 meter at the Skyland Conference

boys to feel vulnerable, as it is often perceived that they are not allowed to be. Finally, a line called “Ankara with Attitude” was presented, which showcased traditional African outfits. Following the fashion show, a group of African American Pingry parents came up to the stage, showing pride for their respective historically black fraternities and sororities. As their children cheered them on in the audience, the parents danced joyfully across the stage, some wearing clothing with their fraternity/sorority colors. The assembly ended with all of the participants of the assembly getting on stage and dancing and doing the “electric slide.” “I thought the combination of music, fashion, and poetry were all really beautiful,” remarked junior Sandra Adablah. Overall, the assembly did Black History Month justice, and it celebrated black history and culture in a way that was both powerful and fun.

Ajune Richardon (V) and Lauranne Hricko (VI) walk the runway

Championships. Pingry has dominated the ice as well, with the boys’ ice hockey team heading into the state tournament as number one seed. Juniors Eric Bush and Jared Kordonsky both hit the 100 point mark this season, and the team has secured multiple victories, including a recent win against The Hun School. Overall, it has undeniably been a “solid season,” according to hockey captain Henry Wood (V) taking the lead at the Prep Championships James Cummings (VI).

Boys’ hockey against Hillsborough

Photo Credits (Left to Right): Pingry Communications


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