Frosting Over Tradition

It seems that in this generation we often have to ask ourselves if we should stick to tradition, or make changes to make it equal for everyone?

This is the dilemma of current Durham councilmen. After concerns that last year’s Christmas celebrate and tree lighting was discriminatory against people that don’t celebrate Christmas. The real concern came after they denied the option of putting a menorah beside the tree when lighting it.

Because of this, they have changed their annual Christmas celebration to a “Frost Fest” to refrain from discriminating against members of the community. I asked a Jewish source who has chosen to remain anonymous about his thoughts on Durham’s alternative celebration and the Christmas season in general. He said, “Christmas is a beloved holiday for others… I think people are so concerned with themselves and seeming like some righteous martyr that they try to take away other people’s fun by calling it ‘offensive,’” and I totally agree.

The town councilmen are not allowing the annual Christmas tree lighting happen and Santa is not making his appearance. They were about to replace the wreaths on light posts with snowflakes but community lash back has caused them to leave it and reconsider that decision. In response to these changes the town has been comparing the councilmen to The Grinch, insinuating that they have taken the Christmas spirit away.

To me, it seems that the councilmen are trying to cover up the fact that they did discriminate last year by going overboard on political correctness this year. The Christmas tradition is something that many people, religious or not, are excited for. Kids await Santa Claus, parents enjoy the decorations, it is a wonderful thing for many people. 

This is how Hanukkah is for other people too, a time of family and joy. Celebrating something that makes you happy and excited is not a crime against humanity. Many people agree with this, including this anonymous source that says, “What if someone held a celebration for Hanukkah, would that be discriminatory against Christmas? People should just have their celebrations.” Why not just let people enjoy their holiday season without making it a big social justice movement? 

Yes, denying the placement of a menorah beside the Christmas tree was wrong and discriminatory. However, taking away a town’s traditional Christmas celebration because of this is not the right move. 

The councilmen feel as if they are doing a big and just thing, but really the “Frost Fest” means that nobody can have what they want. Maybe they could have simply chosen to place a menorah beside the tree this year?

I think sometimes we all need to take a break from trying to save things that do not really need to be saved, and just enjoy where we are. The town tradition was very much more loved than hated, and the situation that occurred last year could have been handled in a different way than simply changing everything. The holiday season is wonderful for many people,regardless of religious affiliation, and Durham’s new “Frost Fest” is removing the wonder that was once present in nearly everyone’s holiday season.

Drusilla Szatko

Senior One Act Plays

After the closing of their recent musical, Cinderella, the CBNA theatre program has promptly gotten back to work. Their new endeavor: Senior One Acts. The One Acts consist of one scene with up to six characters, all directed by seniors. Some are, in fact, senior projects.

I have had the pleasure to interview one of the student directors, Caitlin Reynolds, who’s piece is called Jumping by William Borden, and features a man (played by: Calvin Swett, grade 11) who has just been cheated on by his wife and is about to jump off a bridge when a woman (played by: Ruby Carr, grade 12) approaches him and tries to force her political views onto him, evidently causing them to fall in love. 

Caitlyn says she chose this piece because it, “Really speaks to her,” has a good message, and shows us that, “There is still love in this world.” She says she knows her actors very well and when reading the piece she saw them playing the characters. She says she can’t wait to see it all come together and is very excited for the final show. She also says that although she didn’t choose to do this as her senior project, she has wanted to direct one of the one acts since she was a freshman. Her stage manager, freshman Cassandra Clery, is equally as excited. 

Along with Jumping, there are four additional one acts. Medieval Medicine directed by Madison Bowen, The Meaning of Halloween directed by Patrick Helm, In the Waiting Room of the Ghost Placement Agency directed by Abi Pellitier, and Weekend Warriors directed by Mrs. Lent and assistant directed by Lauren Rose. 

All cast, crew and theatre friends are very excited for this newest endeavor. Please join us on December 11th in the Garrish Gym at 7pm to watch these wonderful and hilarious shows! 

The Addams Family Review

Recently, I saw the new Addams Family movie with my grandma, and it is now one of my favorite movies. The animation was amazing. I liked how the tree had more fluid animation with the bending and everything. It was great to see how 3D animation has changed over the years. The cast was very well-chosen. I liked Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester. Kroll’s voice made the character match up with their look. 

Now for the story. Bear in mind, spoilers are ahead. The movie starts with Morticia getting ready for her wedding. In the wedding, there was a funny joke that could call back to the original show. The townsfolk attack, forcing the Addams clan to flee. The newlyweds end up in New Jersey, with another really funny joke with the sign. They meet Lurch,their forced butler after hitting him, and move on to their new home. The opening credits sequence is really cool with the growth of the family and showing the actors. Morticia wakes up and gives the house, which is alive and a spirit, coffee after it yells “GET……OUT!!!!!” Then we’re introduced to Wednesday and Pugsley Addams. The tree wakes them up and they have a sibling rivalry in addition to internal conflicts. 

The whole family is coming to Pugsley’s coming-of-age celebration in two weeks. Meanwhile, a super popular woman finishes wrapping a new episode of her home makeover show. The season finale is happening in two weeks so one can assume what’s going to happen. Soon Wednesday and Parker, the woman’s daughter, meet, and the conflict truly starts. Uncle Fester shows up early and then more hilarious “oblivious to pain and death jokes” start happening during Parker and Wednesday’s talk. The town is all the same and the Addams are different, so Parker’s mom goes on this neighborhood chat thing and it’s evident that it’s like a utopian dystopia. Soon Cousin Itt, played by Snoop Dogg, arrives, and soon the rest of the family shows up too. During the coming-of-age celebration, the town attacks and Pugsley helps the family realize that tradition should be followed in their own way. The townsfolk realize they made a mistake, and so change their ways. They rebuild the Addams house, the spirit returns, and then …Animated original intro to the show! This movie was really good, and deserves a watch.

-Lucas Laliotis 

Merry Christmas (in July)!

You know that time of the year, when the garden center at Walmart is filled with stockings, ornaments, and string lights. Red and green signs with bells and reindeer are hung up on the side of the aisles. Peppermint treats in many different forms are put out. You begin seeing Santa hats and red sweaters. It’s the wonderful time of the year where Christmas items are beginning to be sold.

You may feel that this time of the year (often times early September) is annoying and uncalled for, because Halloween has not even passed yet. I totally understand. When you are just getting ready to pick out a costume, and you begin purchasing fake spider webs and candy bowls, the cheerful red and green that is beginning to creep into the store seems out of place and might take away from the spookiness you are feeling. However, the early decorations of Christmas can be beneficial for many people.

Personally, when it starts getting colder outside and the leaves begin falling off the trees, my mood falls with them. Summer is my favorite time of the year, feeling like freedom and sunshine. The vitamin D improves my mental health and energy levels more than anything else. I love to pull on a pair of shorts and a tank top and walk outside without needing a jacket to cover up. I love how refreshing ice cream tastes and how nice it feels to sit in warm sand. Once the temperatures begin to drop and tank tops are moved to clearance racks in order to make space for sweaters, I can feel the freedom and glow of summer slipping away.

When I see the Christmas sections, however, I feel like a little kid, almost. I stroll through the aisles everytime I go to the store; smelling candles, pressing automated stuffed animal’s buttons, and walking excitedly through rows of fake lit up Christmas trees. Sometimes I splurge and buy peppermint bark just to get a small taste of what is coming. The early preparation gives me something to look forward to, it reminds me that even though I have to pack away my jean shorts and my tan is going to fade, good times are in store. The idea of Christmas is something I have always loved. The lights, music, and cheer that seems to be in the face of every person during the season. Winter, which usually seems dreary and dismal to me, is transformed into a winter wonderland. During this time, pulling on a sweater and winter boots seems like less of a task than ever before, sometimes I even find myself hoping for snow. I’m sure I am not the only one that feels this way either, there are plenty of Christmas enthusiasts out there.

Not only is this beneficial on an emotional level, but a financial one too. The reason behind the early displays is so stores can profit (Alexander). Consumers spend very large amounts of money on Christmas items every year, and decorating before the month of December only helps to maintain this trend. Almost all stores benefit the most during the Christmas season because of the purchasing of decorations, wrapping paper, and gifts.This provides the necessary money to many stores. 

The early celebration of Christmas can also benefit parents. When the season rolls around, it is often times stressful and overwhelming. There are gifts to be bought, old decorations to be replaced, and to do lists that seem to never end. This can become harrowing to a parent, and the early placement of Christmas isles provide an early opportunity to them so when December rolls around, they are not drowning in Christmas lists and necessities.

The way that I look at it, what does it hurt? Sure, you might be annoyed, but will it ruin your entire day? To some, the decorations are only positive, a bright light into the seemingly dark tunnel that is winter.

Drusilla Szatko

The Animal in Everyone

Hurry up and clear your plates, throw everything in the sink! Thanksgiving dinner is over. It’s time to trample a pregnant lady and 82 year old man at Target to get that 72-inch flat screen with that Black Friday deal. Does anyone else think Black Friday is the most awful, greedy, yet wholly American holiday in existence? In my opinion Black Friday is definitely an experience everyone should have, but just once. After a while it gets old, annoying and down right irritating. 

“While shopping has traditionally surged after Thanksgiving, Black Friday’s roots only trace back a matter of decades. The term “Black Friday” (as used today) originated in the 1950s in Philadelphia, where the Army-Navy football game is most commonly held the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. When throngs of mid-century shoppers and visitors swarmed the city that Friday, Philadelphia police officers required to control crowds would begrudgingly call it “Black Friday.” By the 1980s, retailers nationwide latched onto the term “Black Friday” and spun it to their advantage. Rather than using the phrase to bemoan the crowds, they exalted it as a prosperous start of the holiday shopping season when stores started turning profit (or “went into the black”). You know the rest of the story: blockbuster bargains, massive lines, and sales stretching into Cyber Monday” (Lim).

Black Friday shopping was a one-day event following Thanksgiving in past years. Eventually, many stores have begun opening earlier and earlier, starting Friday at midnight, then on Thursday night and now even before Thanksgiving has passed. Some stores have also started opening on Thanksgiving, closing at midnight and reopening Friday morning. Starting earlier can cause a dilemma for shoppers who have to choose between cooking Thanksgiving dinner and getting out early before all the good deals are gone. This also causes issues for retail workers who have an even shorter break before they have to start work. 

Black Friday is the oxymoron holiday to Thanksgiving. We are supposed to be giving thanks and relaxing with family and loved ones. Instead we are running to get the best deal and christmas presents for people and ourselves. Not only are we missing out on the meaning of Thanksgiving, but the retail shoppers are losing their special dinner all together. Working a shift noon to midnight takes up the whole day and by the end all they are going to want to do is sleep and relax. The retail associates might have to work on Thanksgiving and the following day for Black Friday. My opinion is that all of this seems so unethical and frankly not fun.  

Just three days after Black Friday is, Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is like Black Friday’s less annoying and more mature, older sibling. Cyber Monday in my opinion is more enjoyable because I can shop amazing deals in my pajamas while still laying in bed. I do not have to deal with other people, over crowded lines and rude people, “got there first”.

Morgan Tatem

Jingle Bell March

On December, 6, 2019, the freshman CBNA class government is holding a Jinglebell March up at the track. It is free admission and there will be free hot cocoa available to the people who participate. To participate in the walk we ask you to make a pledge of as low as 25 cents per lap, and  most of the profits are going to the Alzheimer’s community. It is going to be a fun winter event, there will be stringed lights all around the track, as well as your favorite Christmas music playing on the loudspeakers. We hope you’ll be there, it will be a fun event!

CBNA Career Fair

Coe-Brown has been experimenting with new activities for the past few years. The Career Fair is one of those experiments that they’ve been working on. It’s been two years since Coe-Brown started to host the Career Fair and this year it was better than ever. The Fair was hosted on September 11 and happened between 8:30-10:10 Am. 

The Career Fair has become an annual event at Coe-Brown and every year it gets bigger and bigger. “Every year we try to get more unknown jobs out there and show the students that would otherwise not know of their existence,”Co-organizer Ms.Cox. “There were people from sheriffs and members of the Navy, to folks working in agriculture and architecture”. 

This year’s sophomores were allowed to attend the fair with the juniors and seniors. “We wanted to start introducing them early to these job opportunities, so that’s why we allowed the sophomores to come,” Co-organizer Mr. Bassett said. When asked if they would allow freshmen next year they had this to say: “We have thought of it before and maybe we will do it next year,” Ms. Cox said. 

The fair lasted from 8:30-10:10 and was more successful than last year. When asked if they would host it next year they responded, “Oh yeah definitely,” said Co-organizers Mr. Basset and Ms. Cox. There are already plans for next year’s Career Fair. 

George Fasulo

Season Closing Success for Boys and Girls Cross Country

It has been one whirlwind of a concluding season for the Coe-Brown Cross Country teams! 

On October 26 the Coe-Brown Boys Cross Country team traveled to Derryfield Park in Manchester. The boys worked hard and definitely earned their title. The group of boys placed first with the lowest champion score in 30 years, their score was 21. First second and third place were all filled with Coe-Brown Boys. In first place was Luke Tkaczyk (Junior), second place was Aidan Cox (Freshman) and in third place was Dawson Dubois (Senior).

Winning this race was Coe-Brown’s 5th title in six years. Luke’s first place win was the fourth DII win fin male’s division for Coe-Brown since 2017. Coe-Brown boys had seven runners finishing in the top twelve and all seven runners ran the race in under seventeen minutes. Top three runners were about 3 seconds apart from each other. As a team collectively they ran faster than any DII team in history. Coach Cox says, “These accomplishments are because of their commitment to a lifestyle and each other.” This team currently is number one in NH regardless of school size number 5 in the northeast and 25 in the country. 

Winning first place could not have been done without all the runner’s hard work and strict discipline. These boys and several others not only worked hard during the school year, but also throughout the summer. Not only do these boys work hard on the trails, but they also commit time to their school studies. Winning this could not be possible without the help of their coaches, Coach Cox and Coach Tkaczyk. These coaches have pushed their runners to work hard and succeed in all that they do. 

Most importantly because we won first place, there was a second place team. That second place team was Oyster River with 63 points (Sullivan). So, Coe-Brown Boys not only won first, but beat our rival team. The rivalry for the Route Four Cup lives on.

On Saturday November 2nd the boys competed in the Meet of Champions and with all their hard work paying off, they won first place. Aidan Cox got second place overall, and first place for Coe-Brown, with an average mile of five minutes and ten seconds. Carter Sylvester got ninth overall, but second for Coe-Brown. Dawson Dubois and Luke Tkaczyk earned seventeenth and eighteenth place both with an average mile under five minutes and ten seconds. The boys received 57 points over all and set a record of best overall time.

The Coe-Brown girls also took 2nd place in the championship meet. The top scorers for the bears were Abigail O’connor, Addison Cox, and Sheldyn Fisher. Many people believe this was one of the best races of the season for the girls. This was a very strong end of the season for the team, and many say that it was one of the best races for the girls.

Congratulations to both teams for outstanding performances in their meets! 

Medical Waste

Medical Waste 2 – Ian Helm & Chris Helm

CBNA Theatre Presents: Cinderella

The CBNA Drama Club presented Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella over the weekend. The show opened on October 24th and concluded October 26th. 

Several seniors appeared on stage as well as behind stage in this production. Seniors Ethan Meeker, Kate Blake, Patrick Helm, Brianna Jackson, Shannon Jackson, Caitlin Reynolds, Rylee Rodgers, and Lauren Rose appeared on stage alongside the lead actors Connor Nowak and Mirah Johnston. Not to be forgotten are the amazing seniors behind the magic of the set and tech, stage manager assistant Olivia Fontes, stage manager Madison Bowen, and projection designer Emily Dallaire. Mirah Johnston played Cinderella and Connor Nowak played Prince Topher and their outstanding duet of “Ten Minutes Ago (Reprise)” concluded the first act and left the audience wanting more.

Underclassmen in the cast were Mary Katherine Patteson, Clayton Price, Darin Sweet, Jordan Trahant, Mairead O’Shea, Calvin Swett, Caleb Yates, Christopher Helm, Savannah Laughlin, Sam Marcotte, Allie McGuigan, Christopher Reed, and Katerina Xanthopoulos. Their magnificent performances brought Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella to life before the audience’s eyes. The cast especially shone during their ballroom dance routines, choreographed by Ms. Hume. 

This production allowed the full talent of the costume crew to shine with all of the breathtaking dress transformations.The lighting crew created spectacular imagery and added to the beauty of the set. Stage crew helped with fast paced transitions that moved Cinderella effortlessly from one scene to the next. 

Accompanying the cast was a live orchestra consisting of  Mr. Ludwig, Mr. Baker; guest performers Ms. Amanda Ludwig and Mr. Eben Hearn; and CBNA students Sylas Aucella and Hazel Dellario. Often in the past, recorded music has been used to accompany the annual musical. The decision to use a live ensemble was appreciated by both cast members and the audience alike. Having student musicians share their abilities in this capacity served as a wonderful reminder of all the amazing talent the Coe-Brown community houses. Mr. Baker and Mr. Ludwig continue to prove their dedication to our music program by bringing in outside talent and sharing their own. 

Much to the delighted surprise of the audience, Mrs. Lent, beloved director and teacher, lent her own talents to the production. Appearing as Marie, Cinderella’s godmother, Mrs. Lent left the crowd smiling and applauding as she transformed from a mysterious old woman in the forest to a magical fairy donning a splendid ball-gown. The strategic costuming was made possible by Gay Bean. Mrs. Lent’s acting and singing abilities were on full display throughout the duration of the show, and reminded the audience why we are so fortunate to have her at the helm of our drama department. Mrs. Lent wished to be humble about her appearance in the show, even leaving her name out of the program, but her heartfelt performance and the obvious joy the students felt about sharing the stage with her proved to be two of the biggest highlights of the production. 

The CBNA Today staff would like to congratulate all of the cast and crew of Cinderella on a truly magical show! Make sure to see their next production, Radium Girls, in March 2020.