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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

City Championships in the Coxswain Seat

Nichelle preparing to row a race. . .
As I jumped into the boat during the early Sunday morning of City Championships and we pushed off the dock, I tried to forget that I would only be coxing my second race.  Midway through the season, I had decided that I would transition from rowing to coxing; feeling as though I needed a change of pace.  If you are not a fan of rowing, a coxswain is the person in the front (or back) of the boat that steers and makes calls based upon what is happening during the race.  As a rower, I had the opportunity to push myself past my limits, pull so hard that I would lose my breath, and scream my heart out when I wanted to win.  I chose to transition from rowing to cox because it had finally caught up to me that I was the smallest girl on the team.  Though I still consider myself a relatively competitive rower, I thought that my size would be more beneficial somewhere else in the boat.
. . . and nervously preparing to cox one.

In my very first race, I didn’t have a single clue what I was doing.  I called the start late, I steered out to starboard so far that the coxswain in the boat next to me had to wave her hand around so that I wouldn’t crash into her, and I kept rowing way past the finish line because I wasn’t totally sure where it was.  But when we finally finished, my boat had done a great job, and we had proven ourselves as a team.  Between their post-race breaths, the rowers in the boat complimented me, telling me that I had done a great job and thanking me for all my hard work.  I couldn’t believe it.  If anything, I should be thanking them for a nice ride down the river and for exerting themselves so extremely that their voices turned into raspy growls.  Right then, I realized that I was as much motivation to them as they were to me; and from then on, we worked as a unit to be the best that we could.

In the time leading up to City Champs, there was a lot of stress.  In the two and a half weeks between the races, there had been a horrible flood which shut down the boathouse for several days.  Everyone was worrying about limited practice we had before the biggest race of the season.  When we all met at the river the day of City Champs,  the four rowers of my boat and I met to talk about how much this race meant to all of us.  We were nervous, but we were one unit; knowing that the mental preparation was as important as the physical.  As we approached the starting line of the qualifying round, I made the call to start.  The rest of the race was a blur, but only one thing mattered when we finished: we made it!
~ Nichelle H. '15
Members of GA's crew team pose post-race.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Girls' Lacrosse Season Winds Down

Lacrosse action this spring at Sisters' Woods.
The girls’ lacrosse season is down to its last week of games. Though I was on JV and we've won only 3 games so far, it was still a fun time playing with my team. I'm happy to have met some new friends through lacrosse. Practices are hard, though we still find time to have fun. We run every practice, which is good considering the large amount you run in games. It's nice to cheer on teammates who have never played before or see them, along with yourself, improve throughout the season. Watching Varsity play makes you want to do better yourself. As the season ends, it's sad not only because it means we won't play anymore but also because it means the school year is almost done. I'm glad to have played alongside these girls and have as much fun as we've had.

-Sarina S. ‘17

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Washington, DC Comes To Fort Washington

Senator Bob Casey spent a day talking with GA students.
            On April 17th, GA had the pleasure of hosting very well known Pennsylvania Senator, Bob Casey. Due to the busy life of a politician, he was only able to speak to the juniors for about thirty minutes. But in this time, Senator Casey was able to answer some very controversial and interesting questions from the Class of 2015.

            The assembly started with a question pertaining to the Affordable Care Act, which Senator Casey said he supports and also helped to create. Then questions switched to the topic of gun control. Senator Casey stated that he believes we do need better gun control, but that it will be very hard to implement since there are such strong opinions on both sides. While both of these questions were interesting to hear the answers to, my favorite question was the one regarding the legalization of gay marriage.

            To me, the fact that gay marriage is not legal yet is downright absurd, and while I know that many people do not feel the same way, I did expect Senator Casey to agree with me. But when he started to answer, I was surprised. Casey explained that initially, he was totally against gay marriage. He didn’t think it was a law that should be passed. But then he went on to explain that as he spent more time hearing the many reasons it should be passed, he slowly changed his mind because he realized that it’s the right thing to do. Now he considers himself an avid supporter of the legalization of gay marriage and is going to continue the fight to push it through.

            While a lot of the students who listened to Senator Casey talk did not agree with many of the things he said, I think that it was a great experience for everyone to meet such a high profile figure who has such influence when it comes to law making. Personally, I found the assembly quite interesting and I hope that GA continues to bring in more people like Senator Casey.

-Gideon S. '15
GA Patriots from the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools heard from and asked questions of the Senator.