The cold, crisp days are gone, spring is here. Haven’t you noticed it’s been a lot warmer this past week than it has been? GMHS students have started wearing dresses, shorts, and skirts, saying goodbye to those stuffy winter jackets and pants. Goodbye hot chocolate and snow, hello cherry blossoms and shorts.
Like most schools, Mason requires students to follow a dress code. According to the GMHS dress code found on the school website, “Students are not permitted to wear any clothing or apparel that is deemed distracting, overly revealing, unsafe or dangerous, a health hazard by school authorities, exhibits offensive or obscene signs, slogans or words degrading to any gender, culture, religion, or ethnic group. Students are also not allowed to wear any gang-related apparel. Students are reminded that both droopy trousers for gentlemen and excessively bared skin for young ladies are inappropriate attire for school.”
Many students didn’t know that there is a dress code.
“I've started to wear shorts more and not wearing a sweatshirt as much,” said eighth grader Viraj Suri. “The dress code seems more aimed at girls, but it’s so nice to walk outside and not need a jacket.”
“I’ve been having fun outside with friends, and eating watermelon. It’s so nice outside,” said freshman Eleanor Christensen. “We have a dress code? I didn’t know that.”
"We film movies. In the nice weather, we will be doing that in our free time,” said freshman Nathan Bloomgarden. “This was the first time I have heard of our school having a dress code.”
So have fun in the sun, put those long pants and jackets in the back of your closet, and pull out those shorts and warm weather shirts. Some teachers are even taking classes outside. Enjoy this weather with a stroll in the park, bike ride with friends, or plan a family/friend picnic or cookout, because this weather doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. However, please keep in mind the school dress code and dress appropriately.
School counselor Mr. Brad McAdam’s 1991 prom, held in his high school gym, was kicked off with the 'Grand March' where all the seniors entered with a choreographed march while the parents took pictures. “I was one of the class officers and therefore, got to lead the march, which, at the time, seemed like a big deal,” says McAdam. “However, some of my best memories are things that occurred before and after prom. In my junior year, I was on the prom committee and we spent days transforming our gym into a 'Moonlight by the Sea' themed extravaganza,” adds McAdam. He also recalls post-senior prom, spending the night with his friends at his parents’ beach house in Maine and sleeping around a fire they had built. “It was one of those real 'teen movie' moments for me where, at one point, we all kind of looked at each other and realized that was the end of one phase of our lives,” comments McAdam. He also adds that “the biggest difference in terms of prom traditions is the great lengths the guys now go to when asking someone to prom… I like how it's done now, it makes it seem more special.”
School counselor, Mrs. Marcia Schumann, attended prom in 1980 and ended up marrying her prom date six years later. The prom was held on her birthday. “What a great birthday present!” exclaimed Schumann. Her school held its proms on a riverboat in Pittsburgh. The evening consisted of a cruise up the river to downtown Pittsburgh and partying at the Sheraton. “We stayed up all night and then headed up to a nearby lake to spend the day at the ‘after-prom’ party,” added Schumann. “Those were the days!”
Mrs. Joy Wagener, English teacher and Lasso Advisor, remembers enjoying the process of getting ready for the prom more than the dance itself. “All of my friends always came over to my house before dances for photos in my parents' backyard. That's my favorite memory,” explains Wagener. Though she attended prom only a few years ago, she notices that the main difference now is “that students seem to think it's cooler to leave prom early than to stay all the way through. At my prom, everyone stayed for the last dance. It was all about class unity and savoring our high school moment together. My senior year, the last song played was a special request, Garth Brooks' ‘I Got Friends in Low Places.’ We all stood in a circle, holding hands and kicking up our feet, line-dance style. That was an awesome moment!” Additionally, her prom was more formal, consisting of a fancy, seated dinner, tuxedoes and floor-length dresses. “It was a big night out!,” she exclaimed. To top it off, her boyfriend and prom date for both junior and senior prom became her husband!
George Mason’s band and choir students’ long awaited trip to New York occurred over the weekend of April 20. The members of the two musical groups met at school at 5:30 a.m. for their six-hour bus journey to the Big Apple.
The band, led by Mary Jo West, and the choir, led by Lauren Glass, had prepared for and anticipated this trip for a long time. In order to raise funds for this trip, members of the musical ensembles sold chocolates.
On the afternoon of the 20th, the chorus, symphonic band and percussionists attended a Meet the Artist program, while the Wind Symphony members had a private clinic with one of the National Band & Orchestra Festival guest clinicians. Dinner and a group picture in Times Square followed, and the students also attended a Broadway show.
Anna Barbour-Leslie, freshman, most enjoyed the Broadway musical, Once. “It was really good and really funny. It was just so good, overall,” she said.
The next day, the choir students and their chaperones walked around Rockefeller Center and Fifth Avenue. Meanwhile, the wind symphony warmed up for a performance. After that, they all attended a Blue Man Group show.
One band student, freshman Philip Whittlesey, most enjoyed the “Blue Man Group. They were really good, but it is hard to explain what I liked about them.”
On the last day of their trip, the students visited the 9/11 Memorial.
Freshman Justin Trainor favored “the 9-11 Memorial, because you could look up at Freedom Tower and it just goes up for miles.”
The George Mason High School Band and Chorus had a performance at 2:00 p.m. then they started their journey back to Falls Church. After a hectic and adventurous trip, the travelers arrived at George Mason High School around 9:30 that night.
Prom is right around the corner and juniors and seniors have made some very big “promposals.” A “promposal” is when someone asks another to prom in a cute and creative way. It’s been a tradition at Mason to ask someone to prom in a really fun way, but some people still don’t know what to do to make their proposal memorable. Here are five ways to give someone the “promposal” they have always dreamed of.
- Make a poster. This is creative and super easy. You can take one poster and spell out their name in their favorite colors with cool designs. Then take another poster and spell out “Prom” with a question mark. Make sure the letters are big and bright so the person can see it really well. Have some of your friends hold the posters and hold some flowers and stand in between the person’s name and “prom.” Don’t forget to smile!
- Bake them something. Everyone loves sweets, so find out what their favorite dessert is and make it. If you want to be really creative, write on the dessert “Prom” or even spell it out with your baked goods.
- Write a note. This is a very classic way to ask someone out to Prom. Write a long note about him or her and give it to one of their friends so they can deliver it or put it somewhere where you know they go, like their locker. While he or she is reading the note, stand there with balloons or flowers and ask if they want to go with you.
- Make a scavenger hunt. This is a really fun and creative way to ask someone. Before you make clues, figure out where you want him or her to go and be sure a friend goes with him or her to help find the clues. Next, write some clues on a piece of paper, making sure the clues are short and sweet. Post them at the places you decided on earlier. At the last clue, make sure you are there with flowers to ask. To make it more romantic, attach a flower or a balloon to all of the clues.
- Sidewalk Chalk. If you are artistic, then use chalk. In front of the person’s house, write out their name and then “prom?” Make it really big and colorful. Stand behind the chalk with flowers and a big smile on your face.
Don’t be nervous about asking someone out; it’s the thought that counts. Just be creative and have fun with it. You don’t have to do a huge “promposal” either. Something small and thoughtful can have just as much impact.
Anna Ayre, a junior at George Mason High School, volunteered at Georgetown Hospital for more than 30 hours this school year. Ayre had to contact the volunteer office at Georgetown University Hospital and fill out an application, then attended an interview, and once accepted, a training and information session. She also attended additional information sessions about pediatrics and the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, for sick children and babies.
Says Ayre about the experience, “I mostly entertain the children who are living at the hospital for an indefinite amount of time. In the pediatric ward, this involved bringing toys to their rooms, playing with or reading to them, sometimes wearing a gown and gloves, and then afterwards disinfecting the toys and putting them away. In the NICU I hold and ‘snuggle’ babies and just generally provide human contact and affection, since the parents of these children can’t be at the hospital all the time.”
Ayre began volunteering at Georgetown Hospital at the age of 15, which was the age requirement at the time. However, the age requirement is now 18 for Georgetown Hospital. Georgetown not only accepts volunteers to help out the nurses; they love to have volunteers for all departments, especially the front desk.
“It’s a great opportunity to serve the community, and especially those individuals who need it most, and I would highly encourage anyone interested to pursue the possibility of volunteering at the hospital,” says Ayre about the rewarding experience.