Spring Break Stories - Robotics, Dance, Mountains, Overseas, and more

By: Rachael Jennings

While one group of students attended the National High School Dance Festival at Point Park University—learning and dancing through complicated choreographies and sore muscles, others were trekking across mountainscapes in India, getting to know their homestay families, and learning more about the rich history and perspective from Nanital, and the Robotics team rose from a challenging spot near the bottom of the ranks to be number one—the victorious top spot—of FIRST Robotics’ Regionals. While these trips all proved worthwhile, enriching, and empowering, these were not the only noteworthy adventures of Dublin’s March break. 

Some students and faculty members travelled north—perhaps longing for more of the winter that fluttered past us too quickly this year. Joe Dupont-Roche journeyed to Quebec City for the first time, where he visited family. Faculty members Alexandra and Alexander Scalfano drove to Montreal with Music Director Patrick Marr, where they enjoyed sightseeing, the delicious cuisine, and a hockey game. Others travelled far: Clare Halacy ventured to Kenya and Tanzania, and during her travels, she had the opportunity to work at an elephant orphanage; Jared Lewis journeyed to Munich, skied the Alps, and visited classmate and friend Andrew Johnston in Vienna.

While students and faculty members alike enjoyed spring break reading, a few took on additional academic pursuits. Sarah Doenmez, Academic Dean, visited her son, Zak ’10, in Washington, D.C., where she “followed the inspiration of Ms. Sintetos to get involved in archival research in the National Archives” and “was able to locate an elusive copy of the briefing by General Groves to President Truman on April 25, 1945, when the newly elected president first learned the nature of the secret Manhattan project in the National Security Archive at GWU.” Rachael Jennings, English Chair, finalized her first draft of a forty-page essay on Saartje Baartman and Beyoncé. The essay examines the intersections of neoliberalism, capitalism, oppression, and exchange in creating identity, the process of personal erasure in creating a symbolic public self, and performative and negotiated black femininity across centuries and continents. After she completed this draft, she sent the paper to her advisor, who will in turn provide eagerly anticipated feedback; the paper itself will be her last project in her Master’s program at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. For now, she is excited and relieved to be done draft one of many.

Athletic adventures ranged from the school-sponsored dance trip to Calvin Bates’ exceptional performance at Junior Nationals, which is discussed later in this newsletter. Faculty member Denis Maguire went skiing in Lake Tahoe, while Silas Howe “shredded some sick gnar” in Utah, where he skied at mountains like Solitude and Snow Bird. Sarah Doenmez ran the D.C. Rockfest Half-Marathon and received an unexpected personal record! 

Some students, like Aidan Carter, took up jobs. Aidan’s job was particularly eventful and unique: he worked at a dog hotel called the Hydrant Hotel! There, he and his co-workers cared for dogs, got them out to exercise, and performed office tasks. Still others, like Dow Umbach, completed long-term community service projects. Dow completed his Eagle Project at Red Mountain Park in Birmingham, Alabama. The project involved installing posts with hooks for visitors to hang hammocks on: ten6x6 posts and nearly two tons of concrete went into the production. Providing this area for hammocks reduces the impact of people hanging them from trees, and the village can now house up to thirteen hammocks at one time.

Students and faculty members alike have since returned from near and far, full of stories and their own enriching experiences. We are all glad to be back on Dublin’s campus, which looks even more beautiful than it did in our time away. We are looking forward to a full, fulfilling spring semester!