For this video featuring a student teacher whose family was heavily impacted by the Holocaust, I felt that seeing a teacher’s familiar face, and hearing her own personal story relating to the Holocaust carried a different type of impact than the one found in horrifying videos in places like Auschwitz. I chose to keep the focus on the interview by using minimal voiceovers and no b-roll.
It was 1943 in Nazi occupied Amsterdam when two events occurred. Neither of them came close to making the cover pages of the newspapers that broke the news of the end of World War II two years later. But 1943 was the year that has unmistakably shaped the past three generations of student teacher Trisha Connors’ family. It was the year her mother was born; it was also the year that Connors’ great-grandfather and six of her grandmother’s nine siblings died in the Holocaust.
Connors’ father was Catholic and her mother was Jewish. Her mother’s side of the family didn’t actively practice Judaism, but they did live in the Jewish quarter in Amsterdam. That was enough for the Nazis. Connors’ grandmother’s siblings were rounded up at school one day and brought to the concentration camps. Her grandmother survived because she had married into a Protestant family. The other members of her family survived because her great uncle was at home sick, her other uncle and her aunt were living with different, non-Jewish families at the time.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day falls on Jan. 27. Amidst history textbooks that ramble about events in 32 B.C.E., at times it’s hard to believe that World War II was less than 100 years ago. But for families like Connors’, the end of the war wasn’t just another chapter in a textbook. The war and the Holocaust’s shadow has loomed over the past three generations of her family. And as those who bear the faded wrist tattoos from concentration camps age and pass away, the act of remembering is left to stories like the one that Connors tells in this video and to days like Jan. 27.
This video was part of our staff’s multimedia package focusing on what motivates athletes to continue with their sport despite the time commitments. For this video, I focused on the behind-the-scenes of a dance team practice to show what she does as part of that time commitment, how she began dancing and what motivates her to continue.
From practices to football games to competitions, dancing with the Marquesas is definitely a time commitment. Even so, senior and Marquesas’ officer Caitlin Malone has never considered the possibility of not dancing. On November 2, the day before the Helmet Game, Malone led the Marquesas through the majority of their practice, from warmups to rehearsing their halftime routine on the football field. Watch the video below to hear about the Marquesas’ practices, why Malone dances and what pushes her to keep dancing.
This podcast was about our school’s student advocate, who is a licensed therapist. Most people at our school knew about him, but not much about what he did. I thought a podcast fit well for this feature because he had a lot of anecdotes, and talked a lot following each question.
Halfway through seventh period, a visiting student leaves student advocate Richard Prinz’s room. He takes a seat on the brown couch in his room and starts juggling. Between the juggling, the couch and students coming and going freely from his office, it’s clear that Prinz isn’t the standard teacher. Throughout his 15 years at MVHS, he’s found himself in the ER twice, been through numerous Challenge Days and watched countless students grow up at MVHS and graduate.
At the end of the day, Prinz doesn’t like to think of himself as a therapist or a student advocate. In the simplest terms, he’s someone they can talk to if they fear that confiding in friends would lead to secrets getting around or if they just want to chat – he’s a friend for the students. With applications now available for Challenge Day on Mar. 23, El Estoque spoke to Prinz about the misconceptions around mental illness, his journey to MVHS and his experiences here.