Student Voices

2017-Present

Putting The Beautiful Pieces Together

 

 
Combining a photo essay with an intimate written portrait, Cristian T. ’18 presents the story of his month in Spain as an exchange student.

I could stand there for hours, days, staring up at Picasso’s “Guernica.” My host family had taken me to visit the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid on this Saturday night in March. On one of the walls, a number of photographs were hanging, showing the progression of Picasso’s piece. I got to see how “Guernica” changed over time and came to be what stood there towering over me.

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My host mother directed me through the photographs. She pointed out that the bull’s eyes were not originally crossed, how in an early incarnation the eyes stared straight ahead at the same point. Picasso decided to change this and make its left and right eye stare out in two different directions. As I stood there at the far right and stared up at the bull, it stared back at me. She explained to me how by doing what he did, Picasso was putting the viewer into the piece, making us a part of it rather than just observing it. In this room I realized that I want to achieve the same with my art. I decided that when I begin college in the fall, art will be my major and not my minor, even if that means taking on a double-major.

I’ve always had a passion for taking photos. I started out just using my phone, but it wasn’t until I got a camera for Christmas in 2015 that I was able to take the basic photography class sophomore year. With a camera in my hand, I get to see the world anew. Looking through the viewfinder, I see the visual speak to the invisible.

Photography can not only capture people’s emotions or the mood of a place, it can evoke and change feelings by hitting the shutter button, by the act of taking the photo itself. Having a camera in my hand gives me space to think both strategically and spontaneously, and allows me to piece together a puzzle that depicts something far beyond what the eyes can see.

I recently spent a month in Spain as part of the LCDS-CVE exchange, attending the Colegio Virgen de Europa in Madrid and living with a host family. I was sitting above the dining commons beside the international flags when I first read about the program last summer. I applied in August and found out I had been accepted within the first few days of school.

It was the one of the most exciting pieces of news I’ve ever received, and an opportunity that I got more from than I could have ever imagined.

With my host family, we traversed arches and doorways that showed us Spain’s past, present and future. Underground parking lots and subway stations connected me to each city I visited. Each train ride felt like a pulse through a city’s living heart.

Together, we stared up at Muslim, Jewish and Christian ceilings. With every excursion, they taught me more rich history of the Iberian Peninsula they call home.

This experience only strengthened my desire to study and document different societies and cultures. Being able to mix my perspective with different customs and ways of living gave me renewed clarity as to the life I want to live in the future.

I know I want to return to Spain and live there again, but I also intend to explore Latin America. For a time, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do both, but this exchange taught me to strive for both. I want to build for myself a bridge of understanding between these disparate regions united by a common language.

I want to visit the birthplace of my parents and ancestors in the Caribbean, and explore the relation of my family to the people who made me feel like family on the other side of the Atlantic.

My travels took me into Madrid a number of times, and I also toured Toledo, Granada, Barcelona and the small town of La Iglesuela. But for as beautiful as these places were, it wasn’t that beauty that made my experience what it was. It was the people who made a whole out of the beautiful pieces, my host family.

It was watching movies and TV shows, and singing along with them in the car. It was sharing a place at their kitchen table and in their conversations. It was every time I asked them what a word meant in Spanish, and every time they wanted someone to practice their English on without fear of judgment.

It’s hard to believe that a handful of days one spring could pack in so much meaning and affect me so profoundly. I now have a stronger sense of what I want to do after graduating from LCDS. I want to live and explore these regions more deeply, and experience new cultures with an open mind.

And I know that art will be an integral part of that journey.


Enjoying the Right to a Speedy and Public Mock Trial

By David W. ’18
 

 

On a crisp February morning, seven sharply dressed men and women flowed into the Lancaster County courthouse, through the security checkpoint and up to the seventh floor, toting the full complement of lawyerly accessories: briefcases, legal pads, and loose papers, pens and folders.

They walked briskly down an empty hallway toward Courtroom 19, where a bailiff ushered them through the two large wooden doors. They took a seat at one of the two counsel tables and arranged their case materials while they waited for the judge and jury to arrive.

The seven looked the part and acted the part, and they cut an impressive professional figure. Except for the fact that none of them were lawyers.

The dapper group consisted of six LCDS students and one teacher, and made up half of the school’s Mock Trial team. More likely than not, we looked less important and impressive than described. Still, narrative license aside, we walked with confidence.

“Mock Trial is performative,” said Jack K. ’19, an attorney for the LCDS Mock Trial team. “You need to look confident. The other team, the judge and the jury will think you know what you’re doing.”

Mock Trial is certainly a performance, and the preparation required to put on a good show is demanding. The class is a single-trimester elective course that begins in November. Students receive case materials shortly before Thanksgiving; by the end of the month, they have been assigned to either the Plaintiff (in a civil case), the Prosecution (in a criminal case), or the Defense, and they begin preparing for a trial.

Come early February, students compete against another team in front of a real judge and jury. They call witnesses, they make objections — they are in control. LCDS sends two groups to the courthouse on two days every year. This year, the Plaintiff team went first on February 13 and the Defense team followed a week later.

“It’s an incredible course. At the end of the day, we have to take a giant packet of course materials and condense them into a presentable, believable case that the jury can get behind,” said David D.T. ’19, a veteran of Mock Trial.

The case materials include jury instructions, a memorandum and opinion, witness affidavits, and around a dozen exhibits. The LCDS Mock Trial team must craft a legal argument around these papers. Each year, the Pennsylvania Bar Association provides the material for a civil case, giving three witness affidavits to both the Plaintiff and the Defense. On each side, three students play the role of witnesses and three others play the attorneys.

The class appeals to a diverse set of students with a variety of interests. Some take the class out of a passion for debate; others as a way of pursuing theater beyond the stage. Many share an interest in the law, and Mock Trial provides an excellent opportunity for students to explore both legal research and litigation.

However, the class is much more than Practical Lawyering 101; much of the curriculum is deeply rooted in philosophy and history. Students must have a basic understanding of common law in order to grasp more complex topics in the legal code.

To prepare for the final show, students comb through the affidavits and exhibits to gather evidence and draft questions for direct examination (in which an attorney asks questions of a friendly witness) and cross examination (in which an attorney demands answers from a hostile witness).

They read the Mock Trial Rules of Competition as well as the Rules of Evidence, which are taken nearly verbatim from federal evidentiary code. They research objections and prepare to defend their evidence at trial. The case is fiction, a contrivance of the PA Bar Association, but the process is very much real.

At trial, one attorney from each team makes an opening statement, followed by the Plaintiff beginning their case-in-chief. They call witnesses and ask direct questions. After direct, the Defense begins the cross-examination, using sharp logic and biting language to discredit the witness and undermine his or her testimony.

While a direct examination is more narrative, on cross-examination, the witness and the attorney fight for control. The lawyer backs the witness into a corner; the witness takes the question, spins it, and turns it back on the attorney. So it goes.

Throughout the entire process, opposing teams object to questions, evidence and procedure. The judge sustains or overrules every objection, and all the while the jury ranks the performances of witnesses and attorneys.

After the closing arguments, which are largely improvised and argumentative, the jury deliberates, tallies up the points, and announces a winner.

This year, LCDS Mock Trial posted its best performance in its decade-long history. After years of frustrations and learning experiences, the team has found its strength. “In past years, we spent a long time focusing on the substance of our argument. We’re still doing that, but this year, we rehearsed decorum and procedure. I think that’s what got us points with the jury,” said Matt Kelly, a local attorney who has run the Mock Trial program at LCDS since its inception.

“There’s a Mock Trial Council, complete with a Board of Directors and member students, that manages much of the class. I teach and advise, but the students have a lot of control over this operation.”

The competition culminates in a statewide championship trial in Harrisburg, with the winner advancing to national competition. Next year, David D.T. ’19 predicts, “We’re taking it to nationals. That’ll be our year.”


High Times in the Scottish Lowlands

 

 
By Frannie T. ’22
Photos by Eddie P. ’22 and Ms. Formando

The trip started off great. If we understand great as missing our flight and having to spend the night at an airport hotel, then it was great indeed.

Even with a less than ideal start, everything worked out in the end due to the patience and hard work of Miss Formando and Mr. Mylin. After two days of airplanes, airports and lots of waiting around, we finally arrived in Glasgow.

As we exited the bus, we were greeted by our amazing host families who had gotten up at midnight to face the cold and welcome us. Despite the time and temperature, it was great to finally meet the people we had been talking to for so long. After all the introductions were made, everyone was very excited to get out of the cold and get a good night’s sleep.

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We spent our first day in Scotland shadowing our hosts at school. The similarities and differences between LCDS and Kelvinside struck us immediately. One of the biggest similarities was the spirit. Everyone was welcoming and excited to meet the newcomers. One of the most obvious differences was the uniforms. All ages wore a very formal outfit of a white button-down collared shirt, a necktie and blazer with the Kelvinside logo. Black pants for the boys and kilts for the girls.

The next day we toured Glasgow with our hosts. Our first stop was the Riverside museum where we saw everything from antique cars and motorcycles to old double-decker buses and a model of an old city street complete with shops and horse-drawn carriages. Afterward we walked through the historic campus of the University of Glasgow and toured the city’s beautiful West End.

The next morning was perhaps the saddest part of the trip. It was the day we had to leave our host families. After many thank yous, hugs, and some tears, we left Glasgow behind and headed off for York.

Everything about York was charming. Even the train ride, along green fields with coastal views, was idyllic. Our first stop was the magnificent York Minster, and the view from atop its tower. (Which managed to be awesome in spite of the decidedly not awesome 275 steps we had to climb to reach it.)

Fountains Abbey was another building that encapsulated the beauty and history of York. The snow that had just settled on the ground that morning gave the grounds a peaceful feel as we walked around the ruins. My favorite part of York, besides wandering the cobblestone streets, was the ghost tour that we took on our last night. It was a fun and scary way to learn some of the obscure history of the city.

The next morning, as we waited for the train that would take us to Edinburgh, we used Mr. Mylin’s new game of “suitcase curling” to help beat the boredom and stay awake. We all fought hard for the coveted title of Suitcase Curling Champion but in the end, Peter R. emerged victorious.

First up on the agenda when we got to Edinburgh was a tour of Edinburgh castle. When we finally arrived after a long hike, we were greeted by a beautiful, sweeping view of the city. The castle itself was an interesting blend of old and new. For instance, you could visit the still-functioning barracks then turn around and see the oldest building in Edinburgh. After the castle we walked down the Royal Mile to the Holyrood Palace, the official home of the British monarch in Scotland.

The best part of the Royal Mile was visiting the Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. For our last meal in Scotland, we opted for traditional Scottish fare, with most of us trying haggis for the first time.

And then it was time to go home. None of us was ready to leave such a fascinating and beautiful country. The time had flown by so quickly that the whole trip seemed like one big, blurry dream. We all would have loved to stay another day, or week, or month. And as the plane climbed into the air and we all waved goodbye, my only thought was, “I can’t wait to go back!”


The Difference Between Experiencing and Observing

 

 
Text by Lauren N. ’19
Photos by Lauren N. ’19 and Lauren Mac. ’19

Stepping off of the plane in Kona was the most refreshing thing that many of us had experienced in a long time. The temperature was in the 70s, palm trees peppered the landscape, and the sun peeked through the clouds as 15 students and three faculty chaperones walked across the tarmac. After a trip to the island’s only Costco and a receipt as long as one might imagine with a house of 10 teenage boys, we found our rooms and fell asleep almost immediately.

As soon as we awoke the next day, we hit the road for Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park in Hilo, setting off into the rainy forest and hiking through the Thurston Lava Tube to reach our final destination: the Kīlauea iki Crater. The crater, made from lava that dates back to the 1959 flow and that grows deeper by 10 centimeters a year, was a sight to see with its many steam vents, mounds of volcanic rock, and ʻōhiʻa lehua plants dotting the barren landscape.

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Soaking wet, we then continued to travel down the coast to the Makaopuhi and Mau Loa o Mauna crater. Observing the vast and beautiful landscape of the coast and lava flows dating to the 1800s was awe-inspiring. We visited the Jaggar Museum and overlooked the Kīlauea Caldera, which, unfortunately, was closed to hiking due to volcanic activity.

The next day we headed to the beach to snorkel in a small and secluded bay. There, we saw many of the fish that we had studied throughout the year. Afterward, we trekked to the other end of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for our unique live lava hike. The experience was well worth the 10 miles hike. Being so close to the lava allowed us to take stunningly great photos, while at the same time experiencing the scorching heat of molten rock.

We spent our third day in Hilo, starting at the local, open-air farmers market where we bought a variety of local foods, drinks, Hawaiian shirts, and authentic, handmade trinkets. Then we headed to Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park (site of the 1946 April Fools Day tsunami that killed 160 people) and several other places, such as Waipi’o Valley, Wai’luku River State Park, and Rainbow Falls. Finally, we traveled to the Kaumana Caves, where our caving was cut short because of a collapse a few yards past the cave’s entrance. Our day finished with a dinner of the fusion cuisine that locals enjoy.

The green and black sand beaches were our destination on the fourth day. After driving to the southernmost point of the island, we hiked to Mahana Bay, one of Hawaii’s few green sand beaches. Then we had a bit more leisure time at the black sand beach in Punalu’u, where we saw two sea turtles — our first turtles of the trip.

The fifth day was our earliest morning; we woke up at 2:45 to set out for the sunrise over Mauna Kea. At 13,000 feet above sea level, we could see the island of Maui peeking over the clouds as the sun rose. We watched the landscape while surrounded by the dozens of telescopes planted on the peak for private research.

Two Step is one of Kona’s most popular snorkeling spots, known for its colorful coral and abundant marine life. That’s where we started our sixth day, and where we saw many creatures, such as sea turtles, sea urchins, moray eels, moorish idols, yellow tang, and perhaps the most surprising, a white-tipped reef shark. We had the afternoon to ourselves, before leaving for our night snorkel with manta rays. The rays, which can grow to seven feet in width, glided right over divers’ heads, and the snorkelers watched in awe from the water’s surface.

On our next to last day, we returned to our first snorkeling spot, where we collected data on the amount of fish of certain species in the bay and the quality of the coral. Afterward, we spent the afternoon at Kekaha Kai Beach, where we played football, relaxed in the sun, hiked over lava rocks on the beach, and swam with more sea turtles. We then cleaned ourselves up and headed to Royal Kona Resort luau, where we ate traditional food and learned about Hawaiian history and culture. We all looked especially festive sporting our leis and Hawaiian shirts (and for some of the boys, khaki short shorts).

All too soon, our last day arrived. We spent it touring coffee plantations, touring the town of Kailua-Kona and eating dinner at a local taqueria.

Everything we did in Hawaii felt authentic, the difference between experiencing and observing Hawaiian culture firsthand. Overall, this trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and, if given the chance, every one of us would go back and do it again.


London, Stonehenge and Shakespeare, Oh My!

 

 
By Delphi A. ’18
Photos By Hayden F. ’20

We got through the security at Philadelphia International Airport with plenty of time to spare so Ms. Wolanin separated the 13 of us into two groups — Delphi Red Boots, and Mitch Mahoney — and sent us on an airport scavenger hunt. We had to ask strangers to name Shakespeare shows, take a photo defining ufology and many other quirky or theater-related prompts. Back at our gate, the scores were tallied (Delphi Red Boots was in the lead). Seven hours later, we landed in London.

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Since it was morning local time, we had to push through the haze of exhaustion that hung over us and do a walking tour of the city. Our amazement quickly overpowered our tiredness. We rode the Tube and took a double-decker bus. We saw the statue of William Shakespeare in Leicester Square and almost got drenched by a fountain. From the top of the London Eye we could see over the tops of many of the buildings we had seen on foot, and huge expanses of the city we didn’t have time to see close up. After a dinner of meat pies and mashed potatoes, we made the way to our hotel and our rooms. We had been awake for around 32 hours.

The next morning we set out for some of the major landmarks, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Westminster Abbey to start. From there we headed to Buckingham Palace, home of the Queen, whom we were lucky enough to see. Many photos later we were on our way to Windsor Castle, the Queen’s favorite home, a building with 1,000 rooms. We got back to the city with just enough time to grab some delicious hamburgers before popping over to a local theater to see our first show, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s performance of “Hamlet.” Intense and emotional, the show left us with lots to discuss.

The next morning we had a theater workshop that began with us warming up our bodies by jumping in unison and then in rounds. As more steps were added we learned that the simple act of jumping and clapping can be quite difficult. Next, we attempted to copy the walk of someone in the room, learning not only how challenging it is to imitate such a seemingly simple action, but also how our own way of walking may be unique. Finally, we attempted to tell stories using only our bodies frozen in a scene. As actors who spend a lot of time memorizing lines, it was eye-opening to tell a story without any sound.

After an afternoon that included a trip to the British Museum and some spirited Scrabble in a café basement, we made our way to the next show, “The Play That Goes Wrong.” The comedy about all the things that can go wrong during a performance hit close to home for all of us actors and technicians. There were many moments when we thought, “That has totally happened to us.” It was relatable and had me in tears of laughter.

The next day we left early for Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. First, we stopped at Anne Hathaway’s cottage. (Not that Anne Hathaway.) Shakespeare and his wife grew up in the same town. Next, we headed to Trinity Church, the final resting place of the Bard himself. We stood in reverence barely a foot from the stone marking Shakespeare’s grave. It had been raining when we entered the church, but when we left the sky was clear.

From where his days ended, we then journeyed to where they began. Our tour through the small home that Shakespeare grew up in included a sing-along with a man dressed in Elizabethan attire and playing a Renaissance instrument. Before we left, we ran into two Shakespearean actors who performed a monologue before asking some of us to join them in a scene from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” not realizing that many of us are going to be in our own production of that show this April. After dinner back in London, we headed to the National Portrait Gallery, where we spent the remainder of our time before seeing “Mamma Mia!” Bright lights, with songs that make you want to dance, “Mamma Mia!” was a truly exhilarating experience that had us laughing and smiling.

The next day began with Ms. Wolanin’s proclamation: “It’s Globe day!” After a tour of the reconstructed Globe Theatre, we took an acting workshop in which Hayden F. ’20 and Ben K. ’21 got to perform the iconic balcony scene from “Romeo and Juliet.”

That afternoon we went on a tour of the city through the lens of Harry Potter, visiting many of the films’ locations and discussing the places that exist only in the magical world of green screens and movie studios. After that we got the chance to go to St. Paul’s Cathedral to participate in Evensong, an evening service.

After dinner, we headed out on the second themed tour of the day, but this one was much darker. As we walked down the back alleys of Whitechapel, a district in London’s East End, we heard the gruesome and bloodcurdling stories of the Jack the Ripper murders. We headed back to our hotel, hoping not to have nightmares.

On the way to Bath, we stopped at Stonehenge for a tour and plenty of photo opportunities. We discovered you cannot actually touch the stones as there are still many artifacts beneath the earth that we could disturb by walking above them. It was still very eye-opening to stand so close to such an ancient structure. In Bath, we saw the interior of the well preserved Roman baths. A monk stood by the main bath, blessing all travelers. The next morning we got a chance to visit a henge with stones we could actually touch, in the small town of Avebury. The wind whipped our hair around us as we strolled the beautiful countryside. It seemed we were as far from the city as we could possibly be.

Back in London, we made a fast shopping visit to Harrod’s, took the obligatory photo walking across Abbey Road, then we spent some time at the Sherlock Holmes museum at 221b Baker St. We went to see platform 9¾, and as we were leaving Kings Cross, we were caught in brief hailstorm. We ate a delicious curry outside the Tower of London, and then headed to our final performance, “The Comedy About A Bank Robbery,” a dark comedy with an even darker twist in the second act. The show drew us in and made us gasp.

As we went to bed our on our last night, we played cards and reminisced. The feeling was unanimous that the trip had been a both educational and magical experience.


Katie Warfel ’13

 

 

“The teachers that you’d seen your entire life growing up … really knew you as a well-rounded individual,” said Katie Warfel ’13. The summer before Katie began her doctorate at Northwestern University, she shared her memories of Country Day. “There was always a friendly face,” she said.


MUN: Forging a Unique Kind of International Bond

 

 
By Clare J. ’18
Photos by Calvin B.’18 and Mrs. Woodbridge

Model United Nations at LCDS is an integral part of the school’s culture. We all know that every year, for 10 days, a handful of seniors will depart, leaving classes feeling sparse and practices missing a few players. This year, 10 students, joined by Head of Upper School Jenny Gabriel and Director of Global Programs Heather Woodbridge, traveled to the Netherlands and Belgium for the 2018 THIMUN Conference.

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The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) Conference boasts attendance of more than 3,200 students from 200 schools across the globe. Students from Afghanistan, Ireland, Egypt, the United States and elsewhere join together for a five-day conference in which they discuss topics from nuclear disarmament on a global scale to measures to assist Syrian refugees. Most assemblies hold around 150 delegations, all made up of students who have spent months preparing to represent their country’s policy.

This year, LCDS students represented the Kingdom of Bahrain, a small archipelago off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. With a 94 percent literacy rate and a high number of employed and educated women, Bahrain is somewhat progressive compared to other Middle Eastern countries. Their official policies when on social issues, such as LGBT and women’s rights, are more in line with those of the U.S. than those of neighboring Saudi Arabia. As the only post-oil economy in the Gulf, Bahrain has a unique economic situation. Their private sector continues to expand, unlike Middle Eastern states that continue to solely rely on revenue from gas and oil production and purification.

Changing from our Western mindset to that of a Middle Eastern country came with its challenges, but our months of class prepared us well to do so. For example, Bahrain’s policy on assisting Syrian refugees leans toward monetary assistance rather than offering asylum. Rather than jumping to our instinct of signing resolutions offering asylum to refugees, we had to carefully consider the position of our delegation and act on it, no matter how reluctant we were to do so.

In the weeks leading up to our departure, the class buzzed with thoughts of what the conference would be like. We wondered if we would be prepared, if our resolutions would get passed, and most of all what it would really be like.

The day before the conference officially began, our class decided to take a quick tour of the World Forum. We walked through the grand hallways and found where each of our assemblies would be meeting. Soon enough our group crossed paths with another delegation from London. Within mere seconds of introductions, our teams had merged and looked like one large group that had known each other for years.

On Monday, the first day of the conference, I met a 17-year-old from Cairo. We exchanged names, ages and where we were from. As soon as I told her I was from the U.S., I was inundated with questions about my life in Pennsylvania. She asked about the election, what Amish people are like, and if I had ever seen a protest. We talked about our day to day lives, both of us amazed at the other’s stories. At the end of our first conversation, she said something to me that will not be soon forgotten.

“Isn’t it great that we live such different lives, but it feels like we’re just two old friends?”

It wasn’t only me who bonded with another student at the conference. Approach any one of the students that took part in the trip, I’m sure that each one would tell you about a unique friendship they formed.

THIMUN was unlike any other experience I’ve had. After bonding with not only our class but students from other schools and countries, I can say with confidence that any future MUNers will feel the same.


Steven Frick ’16

Alumnus Steven Frick tells us about the international experiences that LCDS gave him that prepared him for University of Notre Dame. As he says, LCDS is “at its heart a good community of good people that want to see you succeed.”


Connections that Last for Life

Emily Churchill ’15 talks about the close connections Country Day students have with their teachers and how that prepared her to have great opportunities at college.


‘For the Dead and the Living, We Must Bear Witness’

 

 
By David W. ’19

Last Friday, September 15, the juniors embarked on a field trip to Washington, D.C. After a visit to the Smithsonian Museum of American History and a short lunch on the National Mall, we arrived at one of the most important memorials in the country.

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The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is dedicated to the millions of Jews, Soviet civilians and prisoners of war, Serb civilians, people with disabilities, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Nazi political opponents, and LGBTQ peoples who were systematically murdered from 1933-1945 in Nazi Germany and elsewhere. It is a museum created so that we never forget the six million Jews killed by a regime which sought to eradicate the Jewish people entirely.

It is also a sobering reminder that genocide is not a thing of the past; it continues right now, in countries like Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, the Central African Republic and Myanmar.

After walking through the cold, dark hallways of the museum, you find yourself in the Hall of Remembrance. Sunlight streams through long, skinny slits of glass. It is inexplicably warm and bright; the walls seems to glow with a yellow hue. Far removed from recordings of Nazi propaganda, the room is quiet and solitary. The sound of your own breathing echoes up to the high ceiling and cascades back down a million times over, creating what sounds like myriad tiny whispers. A pleasant smell wafts through the air, emanating from candles which adorn the walls. On the far side of the room, resting on a block of granite, burns a small flame. Above it, an inscription reads:

“Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life. And you shall make them known to your children, and to your children’s children.”


Spending Summer in the South African Winter

 

 
By Lauren M. ’18
Photos and video by Hayden F. ’20

On July 18 this past summer, three students and two teachers met before dawn at Lancaster Country Day to begin a 21-hour journey to Cape Town, South Africa. Every year, LCDS sends three students to study at the Herschel School for Girls and Bishops College for boys for a month-long exchange.

We would be staying with host families, but before we met them, we spent four days taking in Cape Town. We rode a cable car to the top of the magnificent Table Mountain, which overlooks the city, petted cheetahs, and explored Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for almost two decades.

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After these packed days, we met our host families. The students we stayed with will later come to stay with us and study at Country Day for eight weeks. For me, this was the best part about the trip because I was able to take in much more of the culture and experience more things authentically South African than I otherwise could have.

For the next four weeks of our time in Cape Town, my fellow students and I attended classes either at Bishops or Herschel, as well as participating in many activities with other exchange students and our host families. With my host family, I was able to attend a rugby match, go on a boat ride to observe wild flamingos, and visit the University of Cape Town.

The last week of the exchange we went on a tour of the Garden Route with all of the exchange students from places such as India, Spain and the U.K. that were currently attending Bishops or Herschel as well. The tour included a visit to an ostrich farm where the challenge was feeding the giant birds without getting bitten by one (not all of us succeeded at that).

The next day, we visited the Cango Wildlife Cheetah Ranch where we were able to observe various large cats as well as animals such as meerkats, alligators and pygmy hippos. The following day, we went ziplining in the morning and as if that weren’t enough of an adrenaline rush, students were given the option to go bungy jumping off of the Bloukrans Bridge, the highest commercial bungee jump bridge in the world. Finally, we visited an elephant sanctuary where we were able to walk around with and feed the elephants while learning about conservation.

The week — and the exchange as a whole — was full of friendship-making, adventures and experiences that I would have been unable to have anywhere else. Leaving was bittersweet because although we had to say goodbye to all the friends we had made and our host families, we knew we’d be able to see our host siblings again soon when they attend LCDS later this in the fall.


2016-17 Archive

Giving Everything for ‘Anything Goes’

 
By David W. ’19
Photos by David W., Sam D. ’18 and Mrs. Wilcox

 
David W. ’19 presents a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Anything Goes.”
 

 

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MUN 2017: Taking The Hague and Beyond

By Madison B. ’17
Photos by Mrs. Woodbridge

 

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Eighteen students. Four months. Dozens of sleepless nights. Countless pages of research. All for one international conference: The Hague International Model United Nations.


 

The Trials and Travails of Science Fair

By David W. ’19
 

 
Every summer, rising seventh and eighth graders are given one deceptively simple assignment: Come up with five ideas. In the months that follow, students will expand one of those ideas into a massive, multi-month project that culminates in a single trifold poster board.

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Diversity of Growth

By Madison B. ’17 

If you were to ask the six students and two faculty members who went to Atlanta this winter about their experience, they would all say the same thing: “There is no place like SDLC.”


 

A Day In The Middle School Life


Photos and captions by Maddie L. ’22
 

Just before winter break, Maddie L. ’22 documented a day in an LCDS seventh-grader’s life for this photo essay with captions.

Students prepare for their day while hanging holiday decorations on their lockers.
A student reads in the library before school starts.
The Middle School is sitting and talking in the library before morning meeting starts.
Dr. Collins shows the class an iPad app that can display what each element looks like.
In history class, students are discussing some of the first battles in the Revolutionary War.
Seventh graders enjoy a small snack at 10 a.m. break.
The seventh-grade girls gym class gets deep into a game of team handball.
Students receive their lunch at the warm plate section.
Middle Schoolers enjoy lunch.
After lunch, we enjoy watching the last game of the Middle School Dodgeball Tournament.
Alyssa K. and Laurel M. working diligently in Spanish class.
Mrs. Wilikofsky demonstrates to arts and crafts club how to make clay bowls.
Students pack up to head home for the weekend.
Boarding the afternoon buses.

 


A Classroom-Free Education at Outdoor School

By Luke B. ’23
Photos by Mr. O’Gorman

 

The entire sixth grade went on a fun-filled yet educational trip to Outdoor School at Shaver’s Creek, Penn State’s nature center. The class learned about how everything in nature is intertwined, as well as the importance of natural resources and their conservation.

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An Unexpected Enlightenment in D.C.

By Delphi A. ’18
Photos by Evershea A. ’18

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The experience became more intense and moving than any of us who had not visited the museum before expected it to be. Witnessing even the depiction of genocide is no pleasant thing, but the museum is also a memorial. Its goal is to educate visitors, and provide a sanctuary for mourning.


 

Students ‘Highly Recommend’ Winter in South Africa

Words and Photos By
Kendall K. ’19 and Sammy S. ’17

 

As our trip came to a close we had to say goodbye to all the friends we made and our host sisters. There were many tears shed. Cape Town is a beautiful city and we both highly recommend this beautiful trip.

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2015-16 Archive

UK 2016: ‘What’s Next?’

By Tony A. ’20
Photos by Evie A.’20

 

After our parents’ bon voyaging concluded, 22 eighth graders boarded vans in early June and headed for the flight that would land 14 hours later on the rain soaked runway of Edinburgh Airport. As we broke through the thick layer of gray clouds, we were greeted by a lush, green landscape whose patchwork of fields of crops was dotted with farm animals (mostly sheep). As picturesque as it was, many of us remarked that the scenery was very similar to that of Lancaster County.


 

A Day In The Lives

By Sam Brandt ’17

AP US History: The class begins work on review for the AP exam by mapping out the unit time periods covered throughout the year.
American Literature: Students engage in a graded discussion on one of the books they are reading, acquiring group information for their essays.
Candidates for the position of Upper School president present their speeches on why the students of the Upper School should vote for them in the upcoming election.
Candidates for the position of Upper School president present their speeches on why the students of the Upper School should vote for them in the upcoming election.
Honors Pre-Calculus: Mrs. Oravec teaches the students about inverse sine and cosine graphs, and how they relate to the unit circle.
Photography: Calvin B.'18 prepares a duralar sheet on which a negative will be printed, which will then be transferred to a wet sheet of paper to produce a print.
During US lunch, mother duck and her chicks ventured forth from the courtyard to their new home in the wider world.
During US lunch, mother duck and her chicks ventured forth from the courtyard to their new home in the wider world.
The Shakespeare Class rehearsed "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged," which the five-member cast performed later in the week to standing ovations. The class had been working on the production since September.
The Shakespeare Class rehearsed "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged," which the five-member cast performed later in the week to standing ovations. The class had been working on the production since September.
Girls LAX: Playing against Ephrata, the girls LAX team won - 17-3. The team was then 7-1 in the league and 10-3 overall.
Girls LAX: Playing against Ephrata, the girls LAX team won - 17-3. The team was then 7-1 in the league and 10-3 overall.

In this photo essay, junior Sam B. catalogs one day in an Upper School student’s experience, both as a witness and as a participant.


 

‘A Steady Rhythm Of Exploration And Adventure’

By Claire C. ’17
Photos by Julia R. ’17

The second the Hawaii trip crew arrived back at the Philadelphia airport, we were already planning our return. As we stumbled to claim our luggage, it was obvious that all our minds were still fixed on the island we had just left. And who could blame us? Hours earlier, we were in a sunny paradise with exotic fish, incredible landscapes and kind locals. But most importantly, we were also in the place where 15 classmates became a family that will forever share the memories of a fantastic, enriching experience.

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We’ll Always Have Paris

By Lily D.-L. ’17
Photos by Andrey Drobot 

At the Palais Garnier in Paris, an animated and effervescent set of individuals forged a bond that would carry through for the rest of our time in France. While the grandeur of this legendary opera house was unforgettable, what we saw on the boulevard outside was even more spectacular: Our very own LCDS students took part in a street musician’s routine. With more than a hundred passersby stopping to listen, Elliot Rhodes ’16 belted out Adele songs while the rest of us sang along and encouraged him. As we danced and cheered Elliot on, we all soaked in the marvelous spontaneity of the moment. But before I get too far into our trip, let me back up a little…

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Little Shop, Big Talent

By Olivia S. ’19

“A man-eating plant?” is what many were thinking before seeing “Little Shop of Horrors” on the Lancaster Country Day School stage. Before the production on Friday, I had watched the movie multiple times and seen the TV show. I can honestly say that this was one of the best versions I have seen yet.

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MUN 2016: One Big Ghanaian Family

By Bailey M. ’16
Photos by Meghan Kenny

MUN 2016: One Big Ghanaian Family

After months of preparation, 16 members of the Lancaster Country Day School Class of 2016 began the experience of a lifetime: representing a nation at The Hague International Model United Nations Conference in the Netherlands.

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The Inexplicable, Happy Chaos of Spirit Week

By Chandler S. ’17

 


Lions, Cheetahs and a Little Sister in Leopard Print

By Victoria G. ’16
 
Lions, Cheetahs and a Little Sister in Leopard Print

In late June, Tahra W. ’16 and I flew down with our families to South Africa to begin our six-week stay in Cape Town. The culture of Cape Town and the people we became friends with opened our minds and hearts to new perspectives, and Cape Town is now a part of us both. This is something that can only be achieved through an exchange with a complete immersion into another way of life. We were given the opportunity to become more than tourists and truly experience the beauty of Cape Town. The memories, friendships, and ideas we have taken with us from South Africa will be with us for the rest of our lives and we both highly recommend this exchange to anyone considering it.

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The Burgundy Tour

 
The Burgundy Tour

Traversing Europe Speaking the Language of Music

By Andrew S. ’17

This summer, a group of eight LCDS choir and orchestra students participated in the American Music Abroad European Tour to France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 

Country Day students at the final concert of the trip, in Westendorf, Austria.
Dancing it up at a Tyrolean folk festival.
Warm feelings atop the Hinterlux Glacier.
Celebrating American independence with some Fourth of July bowling in Rosenheim, Germany.
The whole gang in Munich.
With Lisa Shah (fourth from left: LCDS German exchange student) and her family at a concert in Germany.
Following our moving concert at the American WWII cemetery at Normandy we visited Omaha Beach.
Chilling at 10,000 feet atop the Hinterlux Glacier in Austria.
Following our moving concert at the American WWII cemetery at Normandy, we visited Omaha Beach.

 


Discovering a Brave New World

By David W. ’19
Photos by David W. and Mr. Miller

Discovering a Brave New World

English writer Aldous Huxley once said that, “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” Despite our apparent existence in a world with no boundaries, the fact remains that no one truly knows about a society without having lived within it or having travelled to it. A Google search cannot explain a culture. A Wikipedia article cannot adequately describe a people. CNN cannot present a report that provides a holistic understanding of a foreign country. All of this is exactly why Lancaster Country Day School created an eighth grade trip to the United Kingdom.

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2014-15 Archive

Toward Global Citizenship: MUN 2015

By Doug W. ’15
Photos by Mrs. Simonds


 

Service Learning Reaches New Heights

By Ethan S. ’16
Photos by Maddie M. ’16
Group photos by Mr. Bondy
Video by Nicki A. ’15

 


Propitious Union’s Joyful Reunion

By Lauren M. ’18
Photos by Sarah F. ’18


 

Looking Back Now, Off the Beaten Path

 

Written and journal by Maddie M. ’14
Trailer by Kyla S. ’14, for the documentary by Kyla, Liam F. ’14 and Christina P. ’14
Photos by the class

 


 

Eagles in the Land of the Dragon

 

By Madi S. ’15

Photos by Chandler S. ’17 and Andrey Drobot

 


 

Hawaii: Breathtaking at Every Altitude

 

By Hannah S. ’15

Photos by Mr. Bushong, Ryan M. ’14 and Hannah S.

 


 

‘Help Shouldn’t Stop Until Everyone Has What They Need’

 

By Kat D. ’18

 


 

Western Civilization’s Creators Teach A Western Civ Lesson

 

By Ethan S. ’16

Photos by Ethan S. and Kurren P. ’16

 


 

 Freshman Guide — Large

 

The Freshman Guide To: Safely Walking The Lower School Hallway

By Ethan S. ’16

with freshman emeritus Michael Schwartz ’98

1)    If you see a runny-nosed child walking toward you, stay perfectly still. Children sometimes sneeze when startled, and a single spray is capable of killing dozens of adults’ spring break plans.

2)   Even if insects fascinate you and the child asking is really cute, always answer, “No thank you, I’d rather not see your lice.”

3)   Be sure to boil your hands in iodine after touching anything.

4)   (If you carried any food through the Lower School hallway and still plan on eating it, it’s not a bad idea to boil that too. Remember to use fresh iodine.)

5)   That hallway runs through the oldest part of school and, for all its character and charm, does lack some modern comforts. Just stay hydrated, wear layers and odds are your heatstroke or hypothermia will be mild.

6)   Have you ever seen the running of the bulls? How guys jump and dive and just hang on to whatever they can and pray they survive? Do that if you’re anywhere near the doors when recess starts.

7)   Nobody loves historical reenactment more than teenage girls. If you happen to see a group of four or five abreast doing a superb Roman phalanx impression, don’t be a barbarian hero. Turn around and go the long way.

8)   Mrs. Simonds will visit her wrath upon anyone in the hallway running or wearing an untucked shirt. But if you just kneel down and blend in with some passing kindergarteners, she’ll be none the wiser.*

9)   Just keep moving forward toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

 

* — By guest freshman and Head of Lower School Christina Simonds, who knows all about the blending-in-with-the-kindergarteners trick and isn’t falling for that again.

 


 

 

More Student Voices

Pun-believable Wins for Cougars and Charity

By Chandler S. ’17
 

 

The Freshman Guide To: Organization

By Maddie H. ’16 and Sara K. ’16

 


 

Dangerfield Diplomacy: MUN Gets Some Respect for Comoros in The Hague

By Ethan J. ’13
Photos by Christina Simonds

 


 

iBeholders

By Caroline P., Maggie E., Sara K., Maddie H. and Ethan S. ’16 

 


 

Nurturing Nature 

By Victoria G. ’17 with Michael Schwartz ’98
Photographs by Chandler S. ’17
 
 

 

Knowing Their Faces 

By Gabbi M. ’15

 

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