Around the Corral
GLSEN Day of Silence by Dr. Kim Spagone
On Tuesday, April 28, 2020 students from Rally for Diversity and their friends and allies will be taking a "virtual" vow of silence to symbolically represent, in solidarity, the silence and erasure faced by LGBTQ people and their allies and families everyday. Many LGBTQ students (and adults) and their allies remain silent everyday at work, school, in their communities, and within their own families. For the past few years, the students have distributed cards with a brief explanation for their silence, but this year, we're simplifying and simply ending class comments with Rainbow and Shhhh emojis. 🌈🤫
GLSEN's (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network) Day of Silence is an international observance that was initially started by one student at the University of Virginia in 1996. Created by then-student Maria Pulzetti, she explained: "I wanted to do something for BGLAD week that would impact many people at the school and that would be very visible...I knew that if we held panel discussions and events like that, the only people who would come would be the people who already were fairly aware." In 1997, Day of Silence went national, with almost 100 colleges and universities participating. In the last several years, over 10,000 participants have registered their participation with GLSEN each year. These participants attend middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities. They include students from all 50 states in the U.S.A. as well as students from around the world, including New Zealand, Singapore, and Russia. Please feel free to check out this website for more information and FAQ’s :www.glsen.org/day-silence
Here at Mainland, The Day of Silence is an opportunity for students to take the initiative to teach one another about diversity, respect and safety for all students. Students gain leadership skills, provide a valuable service to the school community and empower themselves by realizing their ability to make a difference in their school.
The first year, there were about 20 students who participated, and last year, that number quadrupled!
Finally, while it is understandably difficult for teachers to take a vow ofsilence during a normal school day, this format presents a unique opportunity! Feel free to share any information with your classes, and we'd love to see some Rainbows and Shhhh faces! If you are a club advisor, you're more than welcome to share with your groups and invite them to participate in support of their classmates in the LBGTQ community.
Amirah Giorgianni Earns Second Place In NJ State Wrestling Tournament by Jenell Sistler
Amirah Giorgianni, a junior, is the only female wrestler at Mainland this year. On March 7, 2020, she came in second place at the NJ state wrestling tournament in the 180lb bracket. I interviewed Amirah last week, here are some things we talked about. She said that it was a last-minute thing because she switched to wrestling from basketball. Amirah also said that she was surprised to get second place.
When I asked how she felt to be the only female wrestler at Mainland right now and to get second place at this tournament, she replied, “It feels good that I got it myself, and that I got myself there. The boys helped practice with me, but during the matches it was only me.”
My last question to Amira was what was her biggest motivation moving forward in wrestling, she stated, “My mom, she kept pushing me. That motivated me most.”
Amirah accomplishing this in only her first year of wrestling is very motivating. Especially in the time of Women’s Month, and the event was a day before International Women’s Day; she was able to push herself and get herself this far in a sport that was new to her.
I also interviewed Coach Smith about his feelings on the event and wrestling overall. I asked him how he felt about how a first-year female wrestler made it that far.
Coach Smith said, “It’s quite amazing to see any wrestler, let alone a first-year female wrestler make it to the state finals.”
I then asked if he ever had a female wrestling team or female wrestler at Mainland before, he said, “Never a female wrestling team, this is the second year NJ has had all female wrestling as a sanctioned event. I have had a few girls on the team in the past, but they had to compete with any other girls at the time [which were very few] or boys.”
I then asked him if the competition was difficult, he responded, “The competition was tough. Amirah wrestled in 4 tournaments. She placed 3rd, 1st, 1st in the region, and 2nd in states respectively. Every tournament had at least one ranked wrestler in it. , the girl she lost to in the state finals is ranked 12th in the nation for sophomore girls freestyle. Amirah took her into double overtime. That’s how tough the competition is.”
To get a little insight on what the team does to train/practice I asked him, he said, “Drill, drill, drill. They practice moves until it is a reaction, not a response. Conditioning is a big part of training as well. Wrestlers run more than some other sports that are based on running.”
We are proud of Amirah’s accomplishments, and we hope for the best next year as she will continue wrestling. If you do see Amirah, wish her congratulations.
Special Thanks to Mr. Gatley and Amirah Giorgianni for the photos in this article.
Mainland Falls to the Prep in CAL Semifinals by Luca Cocchi
The CAL Tournament Semifinals kicked off with a great game between Mainland Regional Mustangs and Saint Augustine's Prep Hermits at Absegami High School. #3 ranked Mainland won a promising victory against Holy Spirit High School without Senior Star Jake Cook. #2 ranked Saint Augustine's Prep beat Pleasantville in commanding fashion. The Mainland vs. Prep game was highly anticipated, a 2 seed vs a 3 seed lead to most people believing it would be a great matchup and a great game. The first quarter of the game was a massive surprise for spectators. Mainland came out running and put up a great first quarter. Mainland every possession would switch up their defenses to confuse the Prep’s offensive scheme. On offense, Mainland was hitting shots and taking their time to find wide open jumpers and layups. After one quarter, Mainland had a comfortable 17-9 lead.
The second quarter arose, and Prep coach Paul Rodeo must have had a huge talk about tightening up their defense, because Saint Augustine's Prep almost had an almost perfect defensive quarter, only letting Mainland have 3 points, while putting up 24 of their own. Saint Augustine used their big guys, Matt Delany and John Horner to get some easy layups to take a commanding lead. Jake Foreman also took control to run a steady paced offense. The Hermits were up 33-20 at half time.
Going into the third quarter, Mainland knew they needed to fix up their offense. The Mustangs only made 3 out of their 19 three pointers in the first half. For the Hermits, all they wanted to do was have the same consistent offense they had in the second quarter. The Hermits were able to accomplish their goal while Mainland fell short. Mainland continued having shooting struggles and never got on any game-changing offense runs. The Prep, on the other hand, played in the lane and got easy layups. The Mustangs, without star Jake Cook, had trouble guarding the paint, there were no players big enough to handle the Prep down by the basket.
By the forth quarter, The Hermits had a large lead over Mainland, not soon after the quarter started, both teams started subbing in the rest of their team. Ultimately, the Hermits beat the Mustangs with a final score of 65-41. The Mustangs were led by Jaquan Mace who had 12 points, followed by Luke Mazur and Kareem Spence, each scoring 8. The Hermits were led by Jackson, who had 16 points, and Matt Delaney, who scored 19 points.
The Mid-Winter Festival Comes Back to MRHS by Guadalupe Cardenas
The midwinter festival is an event made up of people interested and involved in arts around our school. This February 13th, it was celebrated in the auditorium of Mainland Regional High School. A big number of students were involved in the process and set up of every act, getting a result, the best show in our community. The students of Mainland performed all day and had as an audience the majority of the English classes. Many forms of art were presented, such as theater, music, dance, and poetry. This year, the midwinter festival transformed our school into a place where you could feel the excitement and euphoria of the students to be performing for some of them, the first time.
To start the show, ”10 reasons to stay home sick” directed by Mrs. Sannino was presented. This is a comedy, performed by intro to theater class. the play was broken into 10 scenes, each one explains a reason to stay at home when sick. The play was well-received by the audience, and when it was done, the applause did not cease. The play, in general, was described as “easy to understand and amusing”.
Elisa Gonzalez, part of the cast stated, ”I really enjoyed being part of this, this was my first time performing in front of an audience and I hope I can repeat the experience next year ”.
In addition, a new segment was added to the Midwinter Festival. This year, the Drama club student recited poems for the first time. The poems had a theme in common, they were about the four seasons of the year. If you enjoy poetry, this part of the festival was remarkable.
Another momentous part of the festival was when students from the Special Education Department and the dance student performed together. When they started performing, the good energy of the room was palpable, it
To conclude, the Midwinter Fest was perhaps one the best event of the year. It had such a big impact on our community. Students who are interested in art had the chance to perform in front of an audience and show their passion, making everyone proud of having so many talented people being part of our school.. In addition to this, the Midwinter fest was a way to demonstrate local talent, and show what students and teachers have been working really hard on for months.
High School Changes by Guadalupe Cardenas
High School is meant to be the time of our lives, the place where we will meet our closest friends and make unforgettable memories.
As a freshman in Mainland Regional High School, I can confirm that high school is not what a middle schooler expects; there is no such a thing as girls that wear pink on Wednesdays, or school suddenly becomes harder, nor there are musicals in the hallways. There are so many clichés that involve high but you would be surprised to know that 90% of them are pure lies. Movies and media have contributed to create a picture of high schools that is far from reality, it certainly is not as good as they made it seem, but the problems they illustrate are also not true.
When I first stepped in Mainland for registration I did not anticipate that I was about to begin one of the most important stages of my life. I could not possibly process what was happening. It was until my first day of school, four days later than everyone else. The moment I stepped in the doors, I got a belly ache and was ready to quit school, the feeling of being the new one in school again made me sick, I felt like I was not ready for such a big step, I was afraid of the changes that were coming up.
My first class was better than I expected, my second class was quite weird, it was Honors Journalism which I did not remember picking, Writing was not something that I enjoyed, let alone writing articles, it could not possibly go well. I was surprised when after a week it became one of my favorite classes. Maybe High School would not be so bad after all. I quickly figured out the schedule, and even though I got lost a couple of times, it was quite funny how the teachers expected the freshmen to get lost. I was also surprised by how nice the environment was, there was no such a thing as drama, the teachers were wonderful and most of the students were friendly enough to tell me where the hallways were. I became involved in clubs and everything seemed to be working out, High school was easier than I expected and I could not have been happier. I love everything except Monday mornings; most of the students would agree that the first hour on a Monday feels like being physically assaulted by some sort of devil. I also learned that it was all about assuming my responsibilities, do what I was expected to, and having a nice time while doing my best because at the end of the day procrastinating would not get me far.
As we are beginning the second half of the year, I can say the Mainland was not what I was expecting, but I would not change anything. I believe that every student should get involved and be a productive person for the Mainland community, assume responsibilities and contribute positively. We all should make of our high school experience the best, try our best to achieve goals by using all the resources available here in Mainland. For all those 8th graders looking forward to high school, I shall say there is nothing to worry about, of course there will be changes but they are not extreme and in less than a month you will get used to them. A new school can be intimidating but it is part of life to grow up and change while doing it, you probably will lose a couple of friends but also new people will join so there is nothing to be afraid about, sometimes change is good and it helps you build character, I believe Mainland is a great place for change.
A History of Mainland Football, Part I by Luna Navas