Lakers Explore Identity on One Love Day

On Friday, April 7, the whole upper school dedicated their annual One Laker | One Love Day to explore identity and relationships through group activities and educational comedy.

This year for One Laker | Love Day, the One Love club at BL decided to combine with the Diversity club. The goal was to have an understanding of different people and their identities in order to build stronger relationships.

There were objections to the decision to merge these two clubs for One Love Day. Some students throughout the school found a problem with the school combining these two clubs mainly because they felt the day would focus more on diversity rather than relationships and relationship violence, the focus of the One Love club.

The first event of the day was having the whole upper school gather in the Gelston Athletic Center and divide themselves into the groups they felt they best fit in. These groups included musician, educator, athlete, artist, gamer, and scholar. Then, they were forced to come to the center of the gym through questions that related to their identity.

The questions started simply then moved to more specific, personal questions such as family structure. Through these questions, each group realized what similarities they had.

“We want students to learn how to be comfortable with their identities and other people’s identities as well,” Diversity leader Kristen Tubman said before One Love Day.

“I feel like the day focused a little too much on diversity rather than relationship violence. It was One Love Day so I felt there should have been more of a focus on that rather than diversity,” sophomore Teddy Roebuck confessed.

Other students had a positive opinion on One Love Day.

“I thought it was a good experience for all to come together,” senior Jalen Milton said, who was one of the student leaders for One Love Day. “I think it was cool that the Diversity club and the One Love club merged and taught people how to strengthen relationships.”

“I had a great group,” Milton went on to say. “Mr. Dagenais kept our group on track which allowed us to learn more.”

“The whole day was entertaining,” sophomore Kevin Davis stated. “The comedians were funny and insightful. I learned a lot from them. Our group made each other talk but at the same time JP and Mr. Whitehair made it a safe space.”  

“It was a great day to be Laker,” Megan Kenney said, who is the One Love club leader. “The leaders’ hard work, dedication, and collaboration paid off. They really set the tone at the start of the day and modeled how to strengthen relationships, celebrate one another, and listen to each other’s stories.”

“I am grateful that Theodore Thomas, Rashawn Evans, Luke Shilling, and Theodore LaBonte Clark shared a piece of themselves to all of us,” Ms. Kenney went on to say.

 

one love pic cometry 2017

Iggy and Claudia of Cometry perform for the upper school students.

 

 

This Week in Pictures: Underclassman Enjoy A Competitive Game of Chess During Free Period

Underclassman Dale Roe and Igor Zaborowski focus intently on a competitive game of chess in the library.

week in pictures underclassmen playing chess

Drake Releases New Album “More Life”

Rapper Drake released his latest album entitled “More Life” on March 18, 2017 internationally through many music sharing websites.

The album was released by OVO Sound, Cash Money Records, and Young Money Entertainment. Drake described the album as a playlist.

There are a total of 22 songs on the album with a few different rappers featured on some songs. According to Spotify, “More Life” gained a total of 61.3 million streams in a single day.

Responses ranged from bad to good when several students were asked about the album and if it was over-hyped.

“I think the album did live up to the hype. The album overall was amazing. Most of the 22 songs were all fire. I am talking straight fire, too. It’s hard to put one song over another,” senior Jalen Milton said.

“‘Do Not Disturb’, ‘Passion Fruit’ and ‘4422’ were all the best songs. They are the best because he implements his more emotional side which gets you in your feelings while also adding some rap lyrics. It is a good balance,” Milton added.

“Drake’s album might’ve been his best album he’s put out so far. His lyrical greatness is a gift, and his album sounded more like a playlist because of the different genres he covered throughout,” junior Jaylin Andrews said.

“‘Since Way Back’ and ‘Teenage Fever’ were the songs I listened to for my emotional side because the songs have a sound that puts me in my feelings. ‘Gyalchester’, ‘Free Smoke’, ‘Can’t Have Everything’, and ‘Do Not Disturb’ are his rap songs which I enjoyed but not as much as the two emotional songs,” Andrews confessed.

“Drake’s recent album is possibly his greatest album he’s made. Each of his songs on the album flow into each other. People can listen to this full album the whole way through,” senior Logan McWilliams said.

Some people did not like the album and others were indifferent.

“I think “More Life” was okay. I just think the album got too hyped up and didn’t live up to its standards. I did like a couple songs on his album, but I personally think that he’s done better. I just didn’t like the beats and moods of the songs on this album,” senior Jordan Douglas said.

“More Life” was a disappointment because he tried to produce too many songs at one time. There are about four good songs on his album,” sophomore Noah Queen said, who was not in favor of the album.

Senior-Directed Play Turns Out To Be a Phenomenal Performance

The senior directed play “Among Friends and Clutter” at Boys’ Latin that was performed from March 6-8 was acclaimed by the Boys’ Latin community particularly for its stellar actors.

The play had several dramatic scenes of monologues as well as intriguing back and forth conversations between characters. A recurring theme in the play was friendship.

The spring play gave seniors the opportunity to come together and do something unique to the class. There were, of course, students in other grades who took part in the play.

Preparation for the play started as early as December. The actors and crew spent their time after sports practices reading their lines and memorizing their blocking. They had to learn quickly.

“Garrett Glaeser and Grant Iodice did a great job directing and acting,” senior Jimmy Magee said, who was also an actor in the play. “It was their first time directing and they worked with first time actors which was even more impressive.”

“Being quiet while the play goes is definitely one of the difficulties of working behind the scenes,” senior Jake Glatz said. “Another difficult  part was figuring out which scene you’re on because you lose track, having to set up each scene quickly.”

“You have to put everything in the exact spot while the lights are off which is even a greater challenge,” Glatz added.

How was the play in terms of the plot? A lot of people agreed that the plot itself was hard to keep track of.

“The acting was really good as well as the directing and staging,” sophomore Alex Lee said. “But, the plot of the play was hard to follow in my opinion. They jumped around a lot and changed characters without giving any clear sign which was confusing to me.”

“At first I did not understand the plot of the play. But I noticed that the flashbacks of each storyline conveyed themes that we can reflect on in our own lives. The play was awesome because it was very relatable,” senior Theodore Thomas declared.

“The plot was interesting, to say the least,” Jimmy Magee confessed. “It wasn’t linear and somewhat hard to follow but made for a good story. The actors added to a great performance,” Magee said.

“It was very observant of different social identities in that there were three homosexual characters,” senior Trey Lonte Gaither.

Despite the confusing plot, the senior play was a huge success due to the great acting. The play sold out in a matter of two days.

Students Display Talents at BL Coffee House

Boys’ Latin hosted its annual coffee house on February 16th in the Student Commons where people inside and outside the BL community displayed their talents through stand up performances.

The coffee house took place from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. and was hosted by seniors Jalen Milton and Brian Oguike who emceed the event. There were a few guests from the Oldfields School who both watched and performed in the coffee house.

“Co-hosting the event was a different, interesting experience. The kids were lively and upbeat which made my job easier,” Jalen Milton said. “I am glad I got to do it with Brian Oguike, one of my best friends.” 

The coffee house gave access to students, teachers, and guests alike to show off their talents. There were musical performances by Carrington Scott, Evan Gaines, and Ms. Oppenheim.

As the earlier performances happened, more people became comfortable standing up and displaying their talents impromptu.

“It was slow getting into it first, but it did pick up steam later on in the night. I would definitely host the event again,” Milton admitted.

There were many performances especially from BL students in the beginning of the coffee house. “The eighth grader Jonathan Elliot’s PSA-like poem over music was super dynamic. It was great for them [younger students] to share,” English teacher Matt Lafreniere stated.  

“There is a communion amongst everyone as soon as the ice is broken. This communion creates a space where people can share emotional and creative depths,” Mr. Lafreniere added.

“The performances by all the BL students were very fun, deep, and enjoyable,” sophomore Carlos Davis said. “I really liked the fact that the guests from Oldfields were eager to perform.” 

“We have a community that celebrates all forms of artistic expression, and I believe that is the attraction of the coffee house,” Spanish teacher and diversity club leader Kristen Tubman said. “It is special to see people get excited to let their unique identities shine.”

“Brandon Bradsher and Desmond Banks’ lip sync performances were very funny and enjoyable. And of course I loved Mr. Franklin’s two daughters singing which was very cute,” Ms. Tubman said.

“The coffee house allows students as a whole to meet and connect with each other which is really great,” senior Deven Smith expressed.

This Week in Pictures: Speculative Sophomores

Mr. Albert Freihofer’s 10th grade English class show off their “thoughtful poses” as they participate in a round-table discussion.

mr-frei-class-thoughtful-pose

BL Alumnus Returns to Speak to Black Diversity Club Members

Boys’ Latin graduate and data analyst Todd E. Bowens returned to the BL campus on February 3rd to offer advice to African American diversity club members on their future academic and athletic careers and racial issues.

Mr. Bowens came back to BL welcomed by diversity club members eager to listen to his experience at BL and as a data analyst. Mr. Bowens is not only a BL alumnus but also a B.E.S.T alumnus who, according to Kristen Tubman, was recommended to come into the school.  

Mr. Bowens graduated in the class of 1997 at BL and the fact that he was an alumnus was also a big factor for students. The centers for his talks were “Lessons from 20 years post graduation” and “How to Succeed as an African American student at BL and beyond.”

 

diversity-pic

Upperclassmen Jalen Milton, Justice Brown, and Trey-Lonte Gaither (L-R) listen as Bowens gives advice.

 

“I think that it is important to have alumni voices, connections, and visits specifically from cultural awareness,” said Kristen Tubman, BL Spanish teacher and diversity club leader.  “I think Mr. Bowens is influential because he offers relevant perspective while challenging change.”

“He also faced lots of challenges and was still able to be successful. He is an excellent role model and provides a guide to success.”

“The most influential part of having Mr. Bowens come in was him putting up the words ‘pivot’ and ‘rebound’  on the board,” senior Trey-Lonte Gaither said who has been a member and leader of the diversity club for a long time. “The key word he put up is pivot.”

“Through that word, he influenced me to change the little things in order to get back on track. When you are down, you have to pick yourself up and pivot, change the way you operate to improve your life. It is the small things that you change that can make a big difference,” Gaither said.

“Nothing is really different for me,” senior Theodore Thomas stated. “What he said was, for the most part, a reiteration of what I heard. But it was interesting because he put it in a different perspective than what I’m used to.”

“Also, the fact that he attended BL affected me in a positive way because he was easier to relate to as compared to some random person from another school.”

Mr. Bowens’ speech seemed pretty typical to the students who attended. He offered advice to the students on how to adapt in a predominantly white school. “Mr. Bowens taught me to trust each other and to keep in contact with all my friends in order to grow and be successful in the future,” junior Carrington Scott said.