I have strong memories of what went down during the flood of 2016, who here doesn’t? Riding my bike down to tiger bend to get a look at the water that was up to people roofs. It didn’t feel real, the water was dark and murky, filled with floating pieces of wood. It was like a movie, I marveled at it, at the same time hoping that those houses with water touching the roofs didn’t still have people in them.
There was a day I got a text in the group chat with my 3 closest friends in it. About an hour before we had all been talking about how scary this must be for people being directly affected by it, while we all stayed dry in our unflooded homes so sure we would be just fine. One of us had gone out to eat, anxious, but not scared of the water, I mean it had to stop rising soon, right?
But then the text came in, “The waters coming in so fast” it read. Text after text she sent looking for some consolation that I could only attempt to give her. Within the hour that she was gone the waters had started to close in, and had just begun to make their way into her back porch. In the next 60 minutes she would have to pack her things, bring as much upstairs as possible, grab her dogs and drive her car to higher ground. She got 5 feet, and within an hour had lost years of memories made in the house she grew up in.
Later that night I went to get a snack in the kitchen, admittedly exhausted but with too much on my mind to even sit still. I had been watching videos to clear my head, still staring at my phone as I grabbed a granola bar from the cabinet. I heard a car pass by and looked up for a split second, but just long enough to see the waves generated from the passing truck. I ran to the window, pressing my face to the glass, hoping to god it was just a dream.
Now panicking and breathing short and shallow breaths I headed to the end of the street, to see my neighbors in their yard at 2 am watching the water slowly creep into the street I had been so sure would stay dry. I frantically texted the only people I knew to, feeling sick to my stomach as I imagined what would be made of my house in the next 12 hours. I never did flood, at its highest point the water was about 3 feet away from my house, but never a drop indoors.
I was safe, and dry, but while I was crying over the fear of losing everything I had ever known, I got calls. Calls from the two friends in that group chat who had both lost the first floors of their houses, assuring me I would be ok, and calmly instructing me on what to pack and how to get ready in case I needed to get out of there fast.
The following weeks seemed like a blur, peoples entire lives were stacked up in front of their houses waiting for the garbage trucks, while the air itself seemed to be drenched in the thick muddy stench the water had brought with it. The town I had grown up in was reduced to trash, the memories that had once soaked the walls of people’s homes were now replaced with the cloudy water that didn’t seem to care who you were or what it took. Everything was leveled, and we were all on the same playing field.
Not even a day after the water had subsided did the texts start coming in. people who were otherwise never willing speak, suddenly started helping each other out, coming over without having to be asked, to do work in unbearable heat in houses without air-conditioning. Sports teams were sharing names and addresses of people who had been badly affected, asking anyone who could to help people they weren’t even related to, or friends with.
People who hadn’t spoken in years were talking like long lost friends, laughing together and offering any kind of help they could. My father, who was working in the emergency call center during the aftermath, would come home to tell me stories of people with boats begging officers to let them help in the more dangerous areas, and I’m sure we can all remember the video of the young man risking his life to not only save a strangers, but also dive under the water into her sinking car to rescue her drowning dog.
I realized in that time, that if anything good had to have happened as a result of the flood, it was the community that it brought forward. The sheer selflessness and need to help anyone hurting, no matter who they were or what they looked like, a stark contrast to what our city was like before the flood. In the weeks leading up to it we had become so polarized that the tension in the air could be cut with a knife. After the killings of Alton Sterling and the several police officers the streets had begun to feel unsafe, and news stations even began to advise against going out at night. Not because of one group of people, but because it seemed like everyone was just waiting for a chance to lunge at each other’s throats.
Violence began to break out, and at that time we paid more attention to the things that made us different, treating variances in physical appearance like flaws instead of examples of what makes this country great. It had become so easy to give into fear and hate, but in the moment when we all were afraid of the same thing, we came back together to be the community that we see today. Generous people who in a time of need forgot what they were so afraid of before, because in comparison to the rising waters everything else had become superficial.
We didn’t care what we said or what we did before, the only thing that we knew was that others needed help; and in a time of such great need, we opened up our arms ready to accept others into our homes and share whatever we had. My question now is, why does that change.
When we’re going throughout our daily lives and are no longer in danger of a natural disaster washing us all away, why do we lose that sense of community. When things are dangerous and scary we come together, but when the common enemy subsides and we’re all back in our warm beds why do we find it so easy to sink back into the division we had before. Does it take a natural disaster that puts all of our lives at risk to make us realize that everything we hold against each other really doesn’t matter?
I hope not. And I hope that through education and times of reflection like black history month we can learn to come together like we did at that time.
“It is when we act freely for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.”
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
These moments where I felt like a completely and entirely different person were moments that I felt mental distress. Mental distress is between “Wellness" and "Mental Illness" on the continuum of mental distress. I’ve observed that this occurs with plenty of people in our society and, even more importantly, our school, Episcopal. Why? With investigation, I've found an answer: the enablement of technology.
American culture has always supported hard work ethic with ideals such as the American dream. Our culture has also generalized feelings of dissatisfaction or unhappiness with sayings such as, “Welcome to the real world.” Then, technology has broadened our abilities of completing work anywhere with wifi. With the combination of our cultural pushes and the enablement of technology, we complete a lot of work within the given day and it is perceived as “ok” when we start to suffer because of it.
Work is a factor of our everyday lives that we need in order to be mentally healthy, but somewhere along the way, we lost the balance between work and all the other aspects of our life. When people take breaks during their day and do something they enjoy they can majorly influence their mental health for the better.
When we start taking breaks we start feeling better and our brains begin to make connections to learn those feelings. When these connections build, it becomes easier and easier to remember those feelings. Basically, as we learn how to live well, we become used to having wellness.
Wellness is said to increase test scores and work productivity. Not only do we need to feel better, but feeling better gives us better futures full of ability and productivity. Instilling time in our everyday lives to focus on our mental health is basically building better experiences for our futures.
A lot of the time, breaks can be seen as a disadvantage. In reality, they give you the advantage. So, we created wellness week. Wellness Week is a time for the students to take these breaks with purposeful activities planned out for them. These activities were planned out in the hopes that although the students have plenty of work to be doing, they get the chance to have some fun along the way. By practicing wellness skills, we can incorporate them into our everyday lives adding to our sense of well being, our productivity, and the betterment of all our relationships. We hope students discover some skills that help them create better lives.
Libraries are hubs for information and ideas. Aldrich library is such a hub for Episcopal students and faculty in both its physical and digital space. While our physical space is well used and loved by community members, our digital resources aren’t always placed in the spotlight. February is Love Your Library Month, and I’m excited to share some of our digital resources that deserve lots of love!
Being new to Episcopal this year, one of my priorities in the library has been to get to know the resources we have available, so I can be poised to best connect them with appropriate students and faculty. Upon diving into the vast digital resources available through Aldrich Library, I decided to organize them within a new and improved library website.
When introducing our digital library resources to students, we discuss the importance of using reliable academic sources when conducting scholarly research. This is why we provide students with access to a variety of databases. Subscriptions to Gale Cengage, EBSCO, and JSTOR databases, as well as numerous other content specific options, grant our students access to academic publications that are not freely available through a typical web search engine. I love to share this video created by Ronald Williams Library at Northeastern Illinois University when students ask, “Should I use Google or library resources for a paper?”
Should I be using Google or the Library resources for paper?
Students don’t just have access to these amazing resources on campus. They are available 24/7 to Episcopal students via our library website. To gain access to databases from home, students must access the Google document linked on the main page using their Episcopal email login. This document gives them the various credentials needed to login to each database from home.
The Aldrich Library site also provides access to NoodleTools, a research service that helps students properly cite sources, take notes, create an outline, and format the works cited. This powerful tool provides support for students throughout the entire research process.
Presentation skills are essential to bring the research process full circle, where students share their findings with an audience. The Presentation Tools page provides students with a variety of tools to create digital products, as well as helpful tips for creating strong visual presentations.
All of these resources are neatly structured on the Aldrich Library page so they are easily accessible at all times. Making use of this wealth of information to establish strong research habits is important as we prepare students for life in college and beyond.
Tiffany has been an educator for nine years and joins the Episcopal faculty this year as the Upper and Middle School Librarian. A lifelong resident of Baton Rouge, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University and her Masters in Educational Technology Leadership from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. She has served as the President for ISTE’s Librarians Network and was recognized as one of ISTE’s 2014 Emerging Leaders. Tiffany is National Board Certified in Library Media and was named one of the 2014 Library Journal Movers & Shakers. She was the 2016 recipient of the Louisiana Library Media Specialist Award. Tiffany speaks regularly at state, national, and international conferences on school library and technology topics.
Memories of My Father:
“Integrity is doing what’s right, even when nobody is watching”
“Integrity is doing what’s right, even when nobody is watching”. That was Dad’s favorite quote. He constantly preached this to both my brother and me. I never really understood it, nor did I care about it until that Sunday. Now I understand. Although Dad is not here to tell me right from wrong, his morals and values are motivation for my success in all aspects of life. His work ethic is the reason for my work ethic. I remember seeing him wake up early on weekend mornings to either finish some work or take a quick jog before anyone was awake, so he would not take time away from the family. I think about this when I wake up before dawn to run a few miles or go to school early for extra help.
Kristopher Jackson was born on July 3, 1998 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kris moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2006. He is currently a senior at Episcopal School of Baton Rouge and has participated on the school’s track and cross country team since he was in the 6th grade. Along with being an active distance runner, Kris has been working hard, since 2014, as President of Club U-Knighted. For the past two years, Kris has participated in multiple leadership programs, such as Carleton Liberal Arts Experience, the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, and the American Legion: Louisiana Boys State.
Episcopal Indoor Track and Field
Congratulations to our boys indoor Track & Field team! Episcopal boys take home the Louisiana High School State Championship! Read more here
Congratulations to our girls indoor Track & Field for being State Runner Up!
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Logan Robertson scores in regular time and in PK along with Trevor Bisson and Eliot Reimen.
KNIGHTS DEFEATED BOLTEN (1-0 )in the Semi. Score was by Logan Robertson.
COME SUPPORT OUR BOYS at the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
TAD GORMLEY STADIUM, NEW ORLEANS
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd 8:00PM
Episcopal High School Athletic Hall of Fame Nomination
Nominees may fall under one of four categories:
- The individual lettered in a varsity sport at Episcopal High School and graduated from Episcopal. The time period since he/she graduated must be at least five years.
- The individual has made an outstanding contribution or offered extraordinary service to Episcopal High School athletics while a student or since leaving the school. The time period since he/she graduated must be at least five years.
- The individual did not attend Episcopal High School but has made significant contributions to Episcopal High School athletics and has not been employed by the institution for a period of at least five years. This category may include but is not limited to: administrators, coaches, faculty, trainers and contributors.
- Deceased candidates shall be given equal consideration. (The waiting period may be waived.)
As one of our Project Based Learning Units, students were challenged with the task of starting and running their very own business.
Through much deliberation and teamwork, the Theater on the Bayou was born, and off to work they went. On February 16th, our little theatre would host its first annual Variety Show: “Third Grade’s Got Talent.” There is so much responsibility, planning and organization that comes with a new business but these youngsters were up to the challenge. The students discussed their individual strengths and talents and chose the roles which fit them best. The Production and Design team planned and structured the event. They also created a movie trailer to promote their show. A logo was created and voted on, and marketing materials such as posters and signs were produced and hung around the school. Our talent acts included magicians, hula hoopers, singers, dancers, musicians, artists and basketball players, just to name a few. The Hosts and Hostesses wrote their own scripts, created their own persona and kept the show moving along with humor and praise.
- Leah Duval of Salsbury Dodge
- Juan Simoneaux - Marketing Consultant
- Mollie Hill and Glynes Hyde - owners of Red Beans and Alex Kathleen
- Kellie Bruce - Episcopal Business Office Manager,
- Melanie Couvillion- Executive Director of Manship Theater,
- Mr. Worrel- BRZoom
- Paige Gagliano - Episcopal Drama Teacher
- Coach Taylor Walker- Basketball advice for one of our acts
- Avery Kyle - Master Chef Junior contestant
- Tricia Deloney and Louis Gagliano- All of their help with the show
Amy Weidig Arceneaux
Amy Weidig Arceneaux has been teaching third grade at Episcopal for 24 years. She is a graduate of Episcopal and loves to read, swim, spend time with her family and sing with the band at Trinity Episcopal Church. Amy is happily married and is the mother to Ellie Shoemaker, 8th grader at Episcopal.
The reaccreditation process gives the Episcopal community a “view from the outside,” by bringing in experienced independent and Episcopal school educators from all over the country. Their primary purpose is to verify that we are living out our Mission and Ministry and generally, “doing what we say we do.” The final accreditation report will consist of commendations and suggestions to aid in our continual improvement process. Our accreditation also serves Episcopal on the state level, allowing us to grant Louisiana state diplomas.
The visiting teams were appreciative of the warm hospitality provided by parents, teachers, staff, and administrators on the campus. We look forward to receiving the finalized report in the future.
Many thanks to Dr. Jewel Reuter for organizing the school report and leading a seamless reaccreditation process!
Seriously, I have a problem with wanting to read TOO much. In fact, it used to be a problem for my budget. I would spend massive amounts of money buying books...I would read them once, let them sit on a bookshelf for a while, and eventually give them away. But now, thanks to our amazing public libraries, I DO NOT BUY BOOKS. The library has a massive collection of digital books. There are classics, bestsellers, newly released books and just about anything that you would find on the shelves of a bookstore. You can download a book to your phone, ipad, Kindle or other device in under 10 seconds! This has been life-changing for me! All you need is a free library card and you have access to millions of books for everyone in the family! There are so many advantages of checking out digital books: First, there are no overdue fees. After your loan period is over, the book goes directly back to the library. You can return the book early, but if you forget, then it disappears from your device. (I find this so freaky!) Secondly, digital books can be borrowed in an ebook version or an audio version. Long car trips are now enjoyable because you can download an audiobook to listen to along the way. I have also found that struggling readers can benefit from listening to an audiobook, while holding a print copy of the book. My 14 year old uses this method for his summer reading every year. It motivates him to keep reading. Lastly, you do not even have to get out of your pajamas on a Saturday morning to get a new book! Need I say more?
If you do not have a library card or can’t remember where yours is, simply go to any public library, fill out an application, and receive a free card. You will need your library card number to check out books online. Next, download OverDrive- it is a free app. You can get it from iTunes or Amazon- this will be the place where you are going to “store” all of your books. If you have a Kindle and already have the Kindle app, you can also choose to store your books there. (If you do not have a Kindle, disregard the last sentence.)
Once you have the OverDrive app, open it and search for the name of your library. If you live in East Baton Rouge Parish, you will search for East Baton Rouge Parish Library. If you live in another parish, search for the name of the library where you received your library card.
Once you have the name of your library saved in Overdrive, click on it, and it will send you to the library webpage. It will look something like this:
Once you have checked out one or more books, you will need to go to your “bookshelf.” It’s the book icon below.
Catherine Word is the Lower School Librarian. She received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Alabama and her Masters of Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University. Before coming to Episcopal, she taught First Grade, Eighth Grade English, and was a Middle School Librarian. Catherine not only loves to help students fall in love with reading, but also creates an environment of creativity and exploration through participation in Maker Space. Her passion motivates her to stay current with library science skills to enhance student creativity and exploration through participation in programs such as Worlds of Making Makerspace Admiral Program. Catherine works side by side with technology staff and teachers in professional and student development through trainings and on-hand, in-class modeling.
Texas Christian University this fall
Auburn University this fall
Wellesley College this fall
Spring Hill College this fall
- Girls make higher grades throughout their school years.
- Enactment of Title IX legislation has resulted in a ten-fold increase in the number of female athletes playing at the high school and college levels.
- Women are earning bachelor’s degrees and entering graduate/professional programs at higher rates than their male counterparts.
- Girls as young as 6 years old develop gendered beliefs about intelligence and innate abilities and avoid games meant for “really, really smart children.”
- Girls are more routinely exposed to sexualized depictions of girls and women in the media, which is related to higher rates of self-objectification and reinforces unrealistic standards of beauty, leading to adverse cognitive, emotional, and mental health effects.
- Girls and women are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and disordered eating, which are in part attributed to cultural influences.
While this is concerning, there are things we can do to buffer the impact of these negative influences on our girls:
- Focus on the process, not the outcome. Often, girls are praised for doing well on a test or making good grades. Because they are often reinforced for these outcomes, they may hesitate to stretch themselves and engage in a more challenging task. By focusing more on effort and work ethic, we can alleviate some of these performance-based stressors many girls experience.
- Monitor and encourage critical consumption of media. Girls today are inundated with images of girls and women that are oversexualized and inconsistent with more realistic representations. Girls may internalize these beliefs, which can compromise their self-image and lead to more serious mental health issues. We can encourage girls to consider the impact that exposure to different forms of media has on their mood – “How do you feel when you spend time on social media?” We can also help them to develop a more analytical approach to their perceptions of media portrayals of girls and women. For example, we can point out the use of software programs to digitally enhance images and even point them to websites that show before and after images of touched up photographs.
- Foster open communication. Open communication promotes a healthy dialogue and a safe space for girls to talk about the challenges they face and to seek constructive solutions. Listen attentively, making eye contact and giving your full attention. Don’t interrupt or focus on your response, but rather listen carefully and paraphrase to show you heard her. Rather than telling her what to do or how to feel, work together to help her gain insights and come to a conclusion that is authentic for her.
If you’d like the know more about developing resilience for girls in today’s world, please join us on Wednesday, February 15th at 11 am for a lunch and learn with Laura H. Choate, LSU professor and author of Swimming Upstream: Parenting Girls for Resilience in a Toxic Culture. Event details and registration are located at https://goo.gl/forms/yRcGXn9gDmsU1Ojh2
Choate, L. H. (2008). Girls’ and women’s wellness: Contemporary counseling issues and interventions. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
Dangerfield, W. (2012). Before and after title IX: Women in sports. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/06/17/opinion/sunday/sundayreview-titleix-timeline.html?_r=0#/#time12_265
Voyer, D. & Voyer, S. D. (2014) Gender differences in scholastic achievement: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 140 (4), 1174-1204.
Yong, E. (2017). 6-year-old girls already have gendered beliefs about intelligence. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/01/six-year-old-girls-already-have-gendered-beliefs-about-intelligence/514340/
Jodi is Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and is currently serving as the Upper School Counselor at Episcopal School of Baton Rouge. She has a Master’s of Education with a concentration in Mental Health and a Certificate of Education Specialist with a concentration in School Counseling from Louisiana State University. Prior to working as a school counselor, she worked in various clinical settings, including a community-based family clinic, a university mental health clinic, and a substance abuse detox facility. Jodi’s areas of focus and experience include school counseling, adolescent and family counseling, individual and group counseling, identity development, girls’ and women’s wellness, military personnel and veterans, academic and career counseling, and substance abuse treatment.
College Bound 2017
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From The Library
Head Of School Messages
Project Based Education
Spirituality And Service
The Teachers' Lounge
Visual And Performing Art