All of the prospective Wesleyan families were extremely impressed with the school following Wesleyan’s Open House; the day was a monumental success. On Saturday, Jan. 9th, Wesleyan hosted an open house for prospective families to tour the school in order to observe what Wesleyan is all about. Wesleyan’s goal was to impress these families so that the parents may decide to send their children to Wesleyan. Based on the feedback following the open house, Wesleyan reached and exceeded this goal.
From singers to dancers to magicians to improvisers, it’s clear that Wesleyan’s Got Talent. The Wesleyan talent show was a great success this year. With a full auditorium and a brilliant student section, it is safe to say that everyone was entertained by the amazing talent portrayed by the Wesleyan students. The show included music acts by sophomores Grayson Ragsdale, Sumeet Singh and Michelle Tan, Annabel Rushing and Gigi Huggins. Also juniors Zach Green and Jessie Roberts and sisters, senior, Mary Cowart and freshman, Annie Cowart. The last music act was a rap by the swag master himself, freshman Miller Thompson. The show also included dancing acts by many members of Wesleyan’s varsity cross country team including both freshmen and seniors Beck Coxhead, Kylie Reed, and Mary Cowart; juniors Nikki Villa and Nicole Fasciana; sophomore Emma Surber, and freshmen Quinn Kaloper, Ashley Doran, Mary Ann Manley, and Annie Cowart. The show also included a magic act by junior Xavier Cooper, “piano improve” by seniors Carter Gravitt and Emma Anderson, and a poetry reading by sophomore Brooks Lalley.
The talent show was greatly enjoyed by the audience and the entertainers. (enter grade and name) said, (enter quote). Senior Beck Coxhead, who was in the talent show, said, “I think we really brought the house down with our sick dance moves.” Senior Ellie Bradach said, “It was really fun to spend more time with the Cross Country team after the season had ended. Though we may not have actually won, we won in our hearts.”
The talent show got some very positive feedback from the audience. Senior Camille High said, “The talent show was almost as great as broken in Birkenstocks.”
Wesleyan’s cast of the fall play, The Canterbury Tales, traveled to Milledgeville where they took second place in the Georgia High School State Theater competition. The Green and Gold staff recently sat down in an interview with sophomore Payton Kaloper who played the Armorer, the Ravished Maiden, and Confidant 3 in The Canterbury Tales. Kaloper said her favorite part of being a part of theater at Wesleyan is, “the people (for sure). I love that we can always goof off and be ourselves with each other. We are such a family.” Kaloper then went on to talk about her and the rest of the cast’s experience in the State theater competition.
The Wesleyan theater team had to compete against seven other schools. Despite the competition, Kaloper said, “We weren’t nervous as a cast because we had ran through it and rehearsed it so many times that we could do it in our sleep. We all felt very confident!”
When asked about what set Wesleyan’s act apart from the other schools competing, Kaloper said, “Wesleyan’s act was more serious than the other acts. Different schools submitted musicals or shows that were more comedic, but, being biased, I feel as if our act was very understandable and it was definitely heart moving.”
After performing their act for the judges, Wesleyan’s The Canterbury Tales got second place in the competition. To describe the cast’s feelings and reaction to the news, Kaloper said, “None of our cast was nervous until the judging panel came back with the results. When they announced our school got second we all jumped out of our seats in excitement! We were all so ecstatic.”
Why travel to different countries for Christmas when you can experience all kinds of unique Christmas traditions right here in the Wesleyan community?
The first stop is in Cuba. The Cuban festivities begin with the Parrandas which is a festival including many floats and huge fireworks. Many Cubans also attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, better known as “Noche Buena” in Cuba. Another important aspect of Christmas in Cuba is the food. Gabby Hernandez, who is of Cuban descent, said that on the Noche Buena, “We have the whole family go to my grandparents where my dad, uncle and grandpa cook a pig in something called a Cajachina, which is basically a big grill.” She said that they also have a family dinner with rice, black beans and bread.
The next stop is in China. According to junior Richard He, because the Chinese government does not encourage religion, Christmas is not a widely-celebrated holiday in China. He said, “My family did not do that many things during Christmas. My parents always bought me presents. Since we do not have school holidays during Christmas, we had to stay at school and study for the final. If Christmas day was on weekend, we went shopping as a family.” He said that in China, there are two New Year celebrations. The first is on Jan. 1st which follows the Western calendar. The second Chinese New Year which is in late January is called the Spring Festival.
The last stop is in Poland. One of the main Christmas traditions in Poland is the sharing of the oplatek, a thin wafer, during the Christmas Eve dinner called the Wigilia. The breaking and sharing of the oplatek symbolizes peace and prosperity to the family. In Poland, Christmas Eve is the most important day of the year because it is the day waiting for and celebrating Jesus. On this day, the women in the house start cooking for the Wigilia early in the day, while the men and children decorate the tree, the choinka, and set the table. High school English teacher, Monica Tarnawski, who is Polish American said, “Wigilia is especially important in our family, both for preparing the meal and enjoying time together. There are always twelve dishes to symbolize the twelve apostles. Examples are pierogi, fish, salad, and vegetables; no meat is consumed during this meal.” The family can only start eating the meal once the first star of the night, the gwiazdka, can be seen. Before eating, the family prays and shares the oplatek. After the meal, the family exchanges gifts and sings Christmas carols, koledy, under the tree. Then, the family goes to Midnight Mass, called pasterka.