Opinion: Women’s Month and the Problematic Circumstances That Follow 

Image: BBC

March 8th marks the day of International Women’s Day to celebrate all that women, both cis and trans, have accomplished. But not only does the 8th of March claim this glorious day, March itself is also titled Women’s History Month.  

With a growing society full of equality and acceptance, you would think that we have moved passed the barrier of women being seen as inferior to men. However, statistics show that Google searches for “International Men’s Day” spike on March 8th; The scary part is that it spikes every year on March 8th. In my own personal experience yesterday on March 8thI’ve seen a lot of sexist comments (more than I’ve seen any other year). I’ve seen ads for companies pop up that have a misogynistic approach, and men of all ages making unnecessary remarks about their counterpart’s sex.  

It’s scary to think that people act like this. It’s the gender equivalent to a spike of racist comments in Black History Month or asking why there isn’t a White History Month. Another take is an increase of homophobic comments in Pride Month and wanting to create a Straight Pride Month.  

The reason there isn’t a men’s month or white or straight is because those have always been considered the “societal norm. Women, POC, and LGBTQ people have had to fight for their right to even be remotely seen as equal. They fought and continue to fight for their rights. The Salem Witch Trials were not an attack on witches; it was an attack on women. Women who were financially independent, having more than one female friend, not having children, showing stubbornness, having a birthmark, being an elder, being left-handed, doing math and even for having a cat you were seen as a witch. There are many other ridiculous reasons a woman would be dubbed a witch. But the Salem Witch Trial wasn’t an attack on witches, it was an attack on women who could do what a man could do. A man wouldn’t be hung or burned for having a birthmark, would he? No, just a woman. Women to this day are discriminated against because of their gender for such small reasons. Examples are if you see a slow or remotely bad driver, crazy how people will say “it must be a woman”? Or how almost every insult that you can call someone is feminine or is a derogatory term for part of a woman’s body?  

The bias and discrimination against women aren’t limited to the United States. In India, a husband can rape his wife without consequences. In Russia, domestic violence is not seen as a crime. In Sudana girl as young as 10 can get married. In Iran, wives need permission from their husband to travel. In Jordan, women can be killed in the name of “honor” and the murderer will have little to no consequences. In Belarus, women cannot be truck drivers. In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive. Still think we have it good? What about the tradition where if a woman doesn’t bleed on the honeymoon, it means she is not a virgin, and is then mocked and frowned upon or even divorced? Even though not all women bleed when lose their virginity 

The reason for an international women’s day is to celebrate how far we have come and generate the motivation to keep fighting. So, it’s absolutely disgusting that some men behave the way they do on this day, and throughout the month in the year 2021. Men have not had to fight for their own equality because they have always been seen as superior; therefore, they do not have a month dedicated to them. Whites have not ever been oppressed based on their skin color and did not have to fight their way to get rights, therefore they don’t have a month dedicated to them. Heterosexuals have never been frowned upon or sent to therapy for their sexuality, they have never been judged for what sex they were attracted to, so therefore there’s not a month dedicated to them. Sexism, homophobia, and racism are still somehow a part of society in 2021 and it is embarrassing 

So, on that note, happy Women’s History Month to all, and to all a good night. 

Some remarkable moments in women’s history: 

  • July 18th, 1848the first women’s rights convention.
  • January 23rd, 1849Elizabeth Blackwell is the first woman to graduate from medical school.
  • December 10th, 1869Wyoming passes the first Women’s suffrage law which allows women to vote and hold office.May 15th, 1869Susan B. Anthony founds the first Women’s Suffrage Association
  • October 16th, 1916Margret Sanger opens the first birth control clinic.
  • April 2nd, 1917Jeanette Rankin is the first woman to be elected in congress.
  • May 20th, 1962Amelia Earhart is the first woman, and the second person ever to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • December 1st, 1955Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man, which sparks the Civil Rights Movement.
  • June 10th, 1963President John F. Kennedy signs the first Equal Pay Act, which prohibits the sex-based wage gap when a man and a woman are working the same job in the same workplace.
  • June 30th, 1966Betty Friedan found the National Organization for Women.
  • June 23rd, 1972President Richard Nixon signs Title IX law, which allows anyone of any sex able to participate in activities without being denied or excluded from based on gender.
  • July 7th, 1981Sandra Day O’Conner is the first woman to be sworn into the supreme court.
  • July 18th, 1983Sally Ride becomes the first American woman on a space shuttle to outer space.
  • March 12th, 1993Janet Reno is sworn in as the first female attorney general.
  • September 3rd, 1994Violence Against Women act is signed by President Bill Clinton.
  • January 23rd, 1997Madeleine Albright is sworn in as the first female secretary of state.
  • January 4th, 2007Nancy Pelosi is the first female speaker of the house.
  • January 24th, 2013US Military lifts the ban on women being able to fight in the military.
  • July 26th, 2016Hilary Clinton becomes the first woman to be nominated as a presidential candidate. 
  • January 20th, 2021Kamela Harris is the first woman and Person of Color to become vice president. 

Opinion: Art is Just as Important at Sport 

Original illustration by Sara Ellsworth ’21

Northwood is a school dominated by athletics and it is full of hockey and soccer players, ski racers, jumpers and freestylersTo many of the athletes, art isn’t seen as important, and instead seen as “for the weak. This is probably because of the logic of you don’t have to practice and work out for it, and instead sit in a chair splashing colors on a canvas. But this is not just what art is about. In fact, despite what jocks may think, art is one of the most important things in the world 

Art isn’t just visual works on a piece of paper. Art is also music, performance, and design. Some may argue that cooking can be considered an art as the practice is dubbed Culinary Arts. Therefore, with that in mind, art is everywhere. It’s the music you listen to during workouts, it’s the Northwood logo and your team uniform designs. Art is the food you eat every morning, and art is that horror movie you watched last night with your significant other.  

Art is how detectives will find a criminal by description when sketch artists draw a suspect’s face. Art is the graphics and character designs in your favorite video game. Art is the architectural buildings that you see on every block of your hometown. Art is writing. It is your favorite book series, and your favorite poems. Art is the makeup you put on, and the costumes you wear for Halloween. Art is our 3D visuals of a virus or other pathogen, and the cartoony diagrams for things in scientific magazines.  

Art is our dreams that our brain painted, and our wackiest thoughtsArt is everywhere, and essential to human existence. To say art isn’t as important In Northwood is like saying oxygen isn’t what we should breathe. One may value their athletic pursuit more, but it’s impossible to deny that without art, we wouldn’t flourish. 

Maher: Face shield project wraps up

NOTE: This column, written by Head of School Michael Maher, was originally published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

The newly married Leigh and Gino Riffle help make face shields at Northwood School’s Innovation Hub in Lake Placid. (Photo provided)

As fears of the virus and a lack of personal protective equipment for health care workers began to swell in our region, new uses for 3D printers began to circulate. Our Associate Head of School Tom “Brody” Broderick quickly jumped into a leadership role, teaming up with local entrepreneurs and teachers to bring together the Northern NY 3D Printing Network, a collaboration between North Country high schools, volunteer printers, residents and businesses.

Forty-five days later, the initiative has concluded at the Innovation Hub at Northwood School on Main Street, and we are proud to announce that with the tremendous support of the community of volunteers, 3,000 face shields were made and delivered.

The initiative and 3D printer network spread into three regional hubs, of which the Innovation Hub at Northwood School supported the Tri-Lakes, Beekmantown Central School District supplied the Lake Champlain area, and a group of community leaders banded together to manage production for St. Lawrence County. We delivered 1,600-plus hospital-grade facial shields to Adirondack Health, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Clifton-Fine Medical Center, Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, Elizabethtown Community Hospital and Hudson Headwaters Health Network. We delivered 300 first-responder-grade face shields to Lake Placid, Keene Valley, Wilmington, Colton Rescue, Essex County Emergency Services and Warren County Emergency Services. We delivered 650-plus first-responder-grade face shields to nursing homes in Lake Placid and North Creek, Will Rogers at Saranac Lake, and throughout St. Lawrence County through United Helpers. Lastly, we also delivered 125-plus face shields of first responder quality to individual groups, alumnae and/or community members. Groups included North Country Life Flight, North Country Life Net, local doctors, urgent care of Saranac Lake, animal hospitals and others.

The North Country community came together in a remarkable way. We would like to recognize and thank Tom “Brody” Broderick alongside the members of the core group including Andrea Audi, Brad Rafferty, Jeff Erenstone, Debbie Erenstone, Brian LaValley, Dan Mannix, Nathaniel Horn, Matt Burnett, Sarah Galvin, Marc Galvin, Michael Aldridge and Darcy Norfolk.

Rising freshman Drew Donatello, left, and Tom Broderick of Northwood School help make face shields at the school’s Innovation Hub on Main Street, Lake Placid. (Photo provided)

Thank you to all of the printers, printing volunteers, schools, organizations and businesses that have supported this initiative, including Lake Placid Central School District, Saranac Lake Central School District, SUNY Canton, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, Loreman’s Screenprinting, UPS Store, Compass Printing, Bookstore Plus, Adirondack Foundation, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, North Country Public Radio, Sun Community News, Post-Star, Paul Strack, Scott Shipley, Cathy Tedford, Bill Short Jared Bandru, Bob Bever, Bob, Jennifer Bourdette, Scott Brightwell, Logan Coggins, David Craig, Terry Fishlock, Calista Fraser, Kaden Jewell, Emma Keilmeier, Kyle Lapan, Aaron Miller, Corey Moussea, Elliot Mousseau, Dylan Murnane, Kaleb Pecoraro, Brian Post, Randy Pray, Jonathon Santamoor, Kate Sears, Jo Skiff, Ben Smith, Lief Sorgule, Randy T. Todd II, Michael Walters, Sam Baker, Amelia Brady, Brian Brady, Matthew Brady, Alicia Brandes, Brian Brandes, Kate Broderick, Angie Carlisto, Dan Carlisto, Olaf Carlson, Kelly Carter, Josh Dann, Andy Donatello, Carrie Donatello, Drew Donatello, Zach Dupree, Francis Eisenger, Laura Finnerty-Paul, Lori Fitzgerald, Peter Frenette, Tricia Garrett, Trevor Gilligan, Lisa G., Woo Jeon, Mary Jane Lawrence, Sydney Lawrence, Lia Loomis, Jeff Martin, Jason McComber, David Miller, Karen Miller, Meredith Miller, Tony Miller, Chase Ormiston, Matt Paul, Olivia Paul, Wendy Poole, Trish Preston, Amy Quinn, Gino Riffle, Leigh Riffle, Alex Russo, Cammy Sheridan, Elise Stosiek, Brian Vasser, Jason Wamsganz, Carrie Wardlaw, Tait Wardlaw, Teegan Wardlaw, Wyatt Wardlaw, Ellen Yousey, Ken Yousey and Zach Zienko, and so many others that may not be named here.

We live in an incredible community, and during this challenging time, we have generously shown that we are #inthistogether.

Dispatch from South Korea: Su Hae “Jessica” Jang ‘20

Note: The Mirror’s editor-in-chief Su Hae “Jessica” Jang ‘20 has been home in South Korea since the pandemic led to all students departing campus in March. She shares her personal experience f the pandemic in this essay.

JESSICA (SU HAE) JANG ’20

Both South Korea and the United States confirmed their first cases of COVID-19 on the same day, January 20, 2020. Now, three months later, the U.S. has the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in the world, whereas Korea has seen a sharp decline in the number of cases reported daily since its peak in late February. On April 19, Korea announced a single-digit number of new cases. How did Korea manage to flatten its curve?

On March 11, WHO, the World Health Organization, declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Later that day, Northwood ceased all on-campus programming and transitioned all instruction online. I had been expecting the news from some time before, as I had already witnessed my home country Korea experience the worst of the outbreak when the number of daily infections reached close to a thousand. Nevertheless, I was stunned and overwhelmed. As of March 12, Korea had about 8,000 total confirmed cases, while the States had less than a thousand. Does it make sense to leave a safer country to go back home where the virus poses a serious threat to public health? Should I pack everything in my dorm room just in case? Is it even possible to do so in less than two days without anyone’s help? What will happen to my family in Korea if I catch the virus at the airport on my way back home? Will I be able to handle online learning at home? (Korea is 13 hours ahead of the States.) What if I can’t come back for graduation? What about college? But I was most scared to find the answer to this: Will I ever see my friends and teachers at Northwood again?

Despite the numerous questions floating around in my head, I still believed, or at least hoped, that I would return to Northwood to celebrate the end of my high school career with my family and friends. So when I left Northwood, not knowing that I wouldn’t be able to set foot on campus for the next three months, I said neither “Goodbye” or “See you later” to my friends. Instead, I told them, “Have a nice spring break!”

But by the time I safely arrived home, the tables had turned. Americans watched the exponential growth in their number of new COVID-19 cases with growing alarm. Meanwhile, Korea, which has been a country with the second-highest infections after China, noticed its curve beginning to plateau. All of a sudden, Maybe I won’t be able to go back to the U.S. became I probably shouldn’t go back to the U.S.

Although Korea extended its social distancing measures until May 5, it has recently eased restrictions on shops, restaurants, religious services, and other facilities to allow local economies to recover from the pandemic. Yet I haven’t witnessed drastic changes in people’s lifestyles. We continue to wear masks at all times. Emergency text alerts continue to inform the routes of patients who have tested positive in the area we live in. (The patients remain anonymous.) All students, from elementary school to college, continue to take online classes at home.

What surprised me most about Korea’s response to the pandemic was the absence of any lockdowns. From lessons learned from the MERS outbreak in 2015, Korea was able to quickly contain the virus without restricting the movement of people. By tracking locations of phones, records of credit card transactions, and footages of surveillance cameras, health officials identified and tested people the patients had been in contact with. Once tested positive, the patients were promptly treated. This method of contact tracing, which is used only during disease outbreaks, along with the widespread availability of test kits, which were developed and distributed early on, and drive-through and walk-in testing centers allowed the testing of up to 140,000 samples a week. As of April 27, 601,660 tests have been performed.

Another striking aspect was the absence of hoarding. As I read “Week in Pictures: Pandemic Leads to Suspension of Campus Activities and Moves Classes Online” on The Mirror, I realized that Koreans, including myself, did not stockpile toilet paper, hand sanitizers, face masks, or any type of daily necessities. Before leaving the States, I had heard from my family and friends that they had to line up at pharmacies to buy masks and were allowed to purchase two per week. Now, I can buy up to three masks a week and check the number of available masks at nearby pharmacies with an app. Without panic buying, the public has managed to remain calm.

South Korea, my home country, has been maintaining a comparatively low fatality rate of 2.26%. As of April 27, there has been a total of 10,738 confirmed cases—8,764 have been released from quarantine, 1,731 are still isolated, and 243 have died. Only 10 new cases were added to the data on the 27th. Yet the United States, where I study and where my friends and teachers live, is experiencing a surge in new cases with 999,237 accumulated cases—137,243 have recovered, 56,173 have died.

As health officials around the world warn the possibility of a new wave of coronavirus outbreaks if vaccines are not developed soon, I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. I eagerly anticipate seeing my friends and teachers at Lake Placid sometime in the near future.

A Personal Look Behind-the-Scenes on the Musical

Olivia Paul

Olivia Paul ’20 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

It’s often noted that the majority of Northwood students are athletes. In the past, as a non-athlete, I sometimes felt out of place among my friends who are so passionate about their sports. So this year, I wanted to break out of my comfort zone to try something new. I joined the school’s drama program and took part in the musical “The Good Old Days.” I never thought that I’d be able to dance and sing, let alone dress up as a man in front of the school. But I’m glad I did.

It felt nice being a part of something. I worked hard with people that I had never talked much with and heard positive feedback from the audience. I also got closer to the crew behind the scenes. Without them, we could’ve never put on the show, and I would’ve never found my new passion for drama.

Many of the Backstage Crew were new to drama, just like I was. And all of them were glad that they had tried something new. Sarah Sheridan ‘21 co-wrote the play with Ms. Noël Carmichel, Theater Director, and managed the props. “I was on the edge of my seat for the entire play because I wanted to make sure everything on stage looked right. But ultimately it was a fun time,” said Sheridan.

Noel

Ms. Carmichael at a rehearsal of “The Good Old Days” (Photo: Northwood School).

Matthew Brady ‘22 designed costumes with the help of Maisie Crane ‘23. They went to local venues to borrow and order costumes and made a Google Doc to make sure all the actors knew what they were wearing. Brady said, “I decided to be the costume designer for the play because it seemed interesting. I liked hanging out with everyone and learning about the process of putting on a show.”

Chase Ormiston ‘23 was the stage manager. Although she had gotten a foot surgery only days prior to the opening night, she was still able to continue helping out. Ormiston was at every rehearsal, helping the actors by taking notes on all of our dances so we could become better. “It was really amazing to see the show come together in the last week of rehearsals,” she said.

Overall, everyone who participated in the production of the play got closer earned not only knowledge on how to put on a show but also long-lasting friendships. And we are thankful for that.

Review: Marvel Avengers: Endgame: “Worth it or Wasted it?”

Eleven years have passed since the first movie of the Marvel Comics Universe premiered on the big screen. After twenty-two movies, the Infinity saga has come to an end. The epic started with Iron man and then Captain America, and continued to introduce new characters until the team of Avengers was assembled. Now, the “Endgame” will put an end to the Avengers series. [Read more…]

Opinion: Tom Brady is the GOAT

The NFL has had many star quarterbacks in the past. Joe Montana for the 49ers, Dan Marino for the Dolphins, and Peyton Manning for the Colts all stand out. None of these quarterbacks manage to top the legend that has been Tom Brady’s career. [Read more…]

Essay: Social Media and the Pressure to Conform

Like any teenager, when I’m bored, I check Instagram, go to the search option, and see what the app has to show me. Often there are posts regarding dance, feminism, comedy, and fashion. But sometimes a thread pops up saying things like, “Get the perfect body!” or “How to make him want you!” and “How to be irresistible!” With kids spending so much time on social media, both girls and boys are prone to be molded into social norms from an early age. For instance, a girl has to dress up, act dainty, and be sweet, whereas a guy has to be macho and mysterious.

These days, women play a big role in society. Some of the best-known figures around the world are women who own their own businesses. Despite all of this progress, women are still paid less in workplaces and are expected to conform to gender norms.

For girls, the pressure is mostly appearance-based. You can’t show too much of your stomach, back, or anything without the outfit coming off as “slutty.” You can’t wear as much makeup as you want because if you wear too much, you’re “hiding something.” The need to impress boys has become so woven into the culture of teenage girls today.

An “ideal” man must always be muscular, athletic, and the list goes on. On Instagram, I see some guys posing in front of an ocean, shirt off. Just look at the models of Calvin Klein and Abercrombie and Fitch on billboards and magazine ads.

Following these norms doesn’t make you a bad person. Social media has put these “standards” out, and it’s your choice to follow them or not. But these expectations certainly are hurting today’s society as people receive unwanted attention and comments by the way they appear.

How Come Girls Do Everything Around Here?

Standing at the front of the room full of CARE volunteers, I noticed hardly any boys. What’s more, most of the boys who were at the meeting came simply because I had asked them to. Later that day, when I went to a Sustainability Committee meeting, I noticed something similar: no boys. [Read more…]

Opinion: A Plan to Throw Hockey Pucks at Shooter is Better Than No Plan

On March 2, 2018, The Mirror published an editorial on gun violence and its effects on our nation. The article called for Northwood School to create a school safety plan in the event of an active shooter. It has been nearly 300 days, and there is still no plan. There have been no emergency drills — other than basic fire drills — in at least 5 years. In the drill more than five years ago, students ran into the surrounding woods upon hearing the victory bell ring. No current students have had an active shooter drill. [Read more…]

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