By Julia Gokalp
On Wednesday, October 14, spirited students from all four grades gathered in an event hailed as “frenetic,” “fun,” and “AWESOME”: Blue and White Night. At this event in North’s gymnasium, freshmen are pitted against sophomores and juniors against seniors in several events such as balloon pop, tug of war, tire pull, shoot the rock, and the obstacle course, among others. Students commonly dress festively at this competition, and this year was no different. They donned many different types of apparel in the color of their grade (light blue for freshmen, black for sophomores, dark blue for juniors, and white for seniors). Although the four classes were competing, they all shared a level of competitiveness and spirit.
The spirit of the students was evident in not only the way they dressed, but also in the cheers that filled the room. Often during the competition, groups of students would chant for their class (or occasionally against the opponent). Although rivalry was clearly present, many students enjoyed the way that Blue and White Night bonds members of each grade.
Amanda Johnson, a senior, comments, “It’s a bonding experience with the rest of your grade and it’s super fun to participate in events.”
Angad Ahluwalia, a sophomore who enjoyed competing in shoot the rock (an event similar to knockout or a timed basket shooting competition), agreed that blue and white night is “[a] great class building activity.”
At the end of the competition, the seniors defeated the juniors, and the sophomores defeated the freshmen, continuing the outcome of most years. While some students felt worn out afterward, others had enough energy to continue cheering, filling the back parking lot with enthusiasm. . Even though the juniors and freshmen lost, some students such as Bria Long, a junior, still were able to recall reasons to be positive about the event, for those who lost “will just have to try harder next year….”
On the other hand, the seniors, who enthusiastically ran into the gym cheering for their class, were able to enjoy their victory in their last year of high school. Beyond the victories and losses, students were able to take away valuable memories, such as when the juniors ran onto the gym court after barely beating the seniors in balloon pop, participating in events, being with friends, and the feeling of an adrenaline rush as people fervently cheered on their classmates, for the night- as Johnson put it- “[brought] a competitive side out of everyone.”
By Julia Fischer
Each year as the leaves begin to change color and the temperature experiences a dip, Council Rock North holds its Fall Festival. Technically, it’s the event that leads up to the Homecoming Football Game (and, of course, the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen). Yet, it’s so much more. It’s a way for the many clubs and activities at school to represent themselves, get involved with the community, interact with others outside of the clubs, and fund raise in the process.
There is a myriad of activity to capture one’s attention at the Fall Festival. To get the blood pumping, some clubs had games set up for people to try their luck and potentially win a prize. National Honor Society had its carnival games (football toss is a lot harder than one may think), and the swim team captains braved a deluge of water balloons thrown at them in order to raise money for their teams. The French Club even had tricycles for people to race each other.
Naturally, there had to be food in order to sustain the level of energy necessitated by the Fall Festival, whether one was working a booth or walking around to the various tables. The possibilities were endless: dirt pudding at the Science National Honor Society booth, bratwurst at German Club, pumpkin muffins and hot apple cider at National English Honor Society, crepes at French Club.
The Fall Festival was a wonderful way to get into the autumn spirit with the caramel apples and biting cold that awaited those who were there on October 17th. It was also a way to get into the school spirit. As senior Becca Segel put it, “The Fall Festival is great because you get to see how involved people are within the school community.”
As the tradition has been passed down for many years (some teachers still remember it from their days at Council Rock), it will continue into the years to come. Let’s just hope that next year, parkas and gloves won’t be needed to stay warm.
By Celia Mulcahey
There is one form of communication that two people can understand without speaking the same language: a smile. To anyone, a smile means happiness, joy, and pleasure. Although further communication is forged on electronic devices and on programs such a Google Translate, there is no other excitement for a French-speaking student than to participate in the French Exchange Program. At Council Rock North, students who take a French course are eligible to host a student from Alsace, France. With communication between Mme. Drabot and the teachers from Jean XXII, American students can apply for a French student as early as the second week of September.
In years past, the program has allowed students to experience the same excitement of housing a French exchange student for a week and a half and then living with him or her in Alsace for two weeks during the summer.
Senior Monica O’Donnell hosted a French exchange student last year, and her experience with the French Exchange Program could not have had a more positive impact on her. O'Donnell commented that, “Immersing yourself in other cultures is the best way to learn a language. Through the French Exchange Program I improved my abilities allowing me to communicate easier. I made wonderful memories that cannot be made with any other program.”
These feelings are the same for many of the students who participated in the program. Marissa Bradley, also a senior, shared a similar experience. Even though her time in the program has finished, Bradley and her family are still in contact with her exchange student and her family.
On October 16, the French exchange students finally arrived at Council Rock North. With awkward hellos and uneasy goodbyes to the comfort of the francophone group, the French students departed with their host families to their new homes. With many activities such as Fall Festival and Homecoming, the French students quickly got a taste of American culture. In addition, the French students experience the wonders of New York via Times Square, the M&M shop, and the 9/11 Memorial; the wonders of Philadelphia via the Reading Terminal Market, the Parkway, and the Liberty Bell; and many more places.
As to my own experiences so far, I have not experienced anything more wonderful. Hosting a French exchange student has improved my speaking, reading, and listening to French and has expanded my passion for the French language and culture. I am so grateful for this opportunity, especially knowing I have a family overseas who is just as eager and open to me as my family and I was with my student. Not only do I thank my French exchange student and her family for my future experiences, but I also deeply thank all of my French teachers: Mme. Price, Mme. Davis, Mme. Drabot, and Mme. Mayer for preparing me and allowing me to participate in such a wonderful, life-changing experience.
Truly, the French exchange program at North is second-to-none and is a memorable experience for all involved.