Friday, February 26, 2010

Behind the Iron Curtain: BERSI in Eastern Europe

“Standing at ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ and the remnants of the Berlin Wall, brought me back in time to a world that I thought never existed, or that I never appreciated, being born after Berlin and Europe were united.” So wrote Michael Gallagher ’11, one of the thirty-two students on this February’s BERSI trip to Eastern Europe, in his reflections afterward.

Joined by Director of Campus Ministry and theology chair Brian Scott and theology teachers William Hahn and Tim Lewis, the group visited Munich, Krakow, Prague and Berlin.

Gallagher continued: “Prior to my visit, the Berlin Wall was just a wall, and nothing more. But I learned that the magnitude of despair there was much greater than what I would have imagined before visiting it."

Students might have gotten lost in Berlin, lost their passport, or lost a lot of sleep due to jetlag on the trip. But according to Brendan MacNabb ’10, who went with BERSI to Peru last year, the gains offset the losses.

“These trips have given me perspective of the world outside Boston, and outside of the U.S.,” he said.

At the Berlin Wall.

The group’s visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau, MacNabb noted, will likely stay with them forever. “Just the desolation…it just stretched on as far as you can see,” he said. “The gas chambers and barracks. Where there weren’t buildings, there were still the smokestacks, and rows and columns as far as you could see.”

Although Berlin has been modernized and reborn, students saw glimpses of the old Europe in Krakow. “It was left untouched by the Nazis, and then the Soviets, and all the original architecture was there,” MacNabb recalled. “But once you stepped out of the nucleus of it, you see the modern city. Just the dichotomy of it was noteworthy.”

Mr. Lewis arranged the itinerary in collaboration with Vice Principal Dr. Keane and art teacher Mrs. Malachowski. Brother Jeff Oxx briefed the group on contemporary European history before they left.

“A personal highlight for me was walking behind the young men and seeing their reverence for the cemetery at Auschwitz,” Mr. Lewis said. “Their respect for that place was admirable.”


“We were extraordinarily happy with how the trip went,” said Mr. Lewis. “The kids really embraced the diversity of Eastern Europe, and will fondly remember their time there.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Postseason update: CM Hoops downs West Roxbury, 79-57

Senior captains Kyle Lawrence '10, Dan Brooks '10 and Mike DeRoma '10 enjoy a break in the 4th quarter as CM won its first round game against West Roxbury in the MIAA Division 1 South Sectional bracket, Feb. 23. Lawrence led the Knights in scoring with 16 pts. The team faces the winner of Weymouth/Newton North this Saturday at 7pm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Speech and Debate wins University of Pennsylvania tournament

The CM Forensics team took home its third consecutive team championship from the University of Pennsylvania's 35th Annual Liberty Bell Classic on February 13. In the team's first year at the tournament, it surpassed fifty-five schools by earning individual spots in the finals in every speech category.

"This was an impressive showing for CM and an outstanding overall team effort," said head coach Rob Croteau '93.

The team was led by Pat Simas '10 and Ethan Madden '11, who earned a first place trophy in duo interpretation, and Jhovani Vonleh '11 who earned the tournament's first place trophy in declamation.

Also earning high honors were Chris Masterson '10 (2nd - Original Oratory), Pat Simas '10 (3rd - Dramatic Interp), Kevin Donnelly '11 (3rd - Declamation), Mark Woodall '12 (3rd Oral Interp), Laroy Streat '12 (4th - Oral Interp), Marcus Jackson '12 (4th - Declamation), Sean Steinberg '10 (5th - Dramatic Interp), Eric Butts '10 (5th - Oral Interp), Andrew Fanikos '10 (6th - Extemp) , Joe Botsch '12 & Michael MacKenzie '12 (Octo-Final - Debate) Joe Sweeney '10 (Super Session - Congress), Tom Foley '12 (Semifinals - Declamation), Chris Traynor '12 (Semifinals - Declamation), and Kevin Verity 10 (Semifinals - Oral Interp).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Forensics team earns 19 spots at Nationals

Nineteen CM students will travel to Omaha, Nebraska over Memorial Day Weekend to compete in the National Catholic Forensic League Grand Tournament.

The following students qualified for Nationals at the National Qualifier Tournament held at Shrewsbury High School on February 6:

Patrick Simas '10 (Dramatic Performance)
Patrick Simas '10 & Ethan Madden '11 (Duo Interpretaion)
Chris Masterson '10 & Sean Steinberg '10 (Duo Interpretaion)
Aram Gurekian '11 & Raffi Grigorian '12 (Duo Interpretaion)
Kevin Verity '10 (Original Oratory)
Andrew Fanikos '10 and Joseph Sweeney '10 (Extemporaneous Speaking)
Joe Botsch '11 & Michael MacKenzie '11 (Public Forum Debate)
Laroy Streat '12 (Oral Interpretation)
Kevin Donnelly '11 (Declamation)
Jhovani Vonleh '12 (Declamation)
Marcus Jackson '12 (Declamation)
Andrew Rogantino '12 (Declamation)

The following students were selected as alternates for Nationals:

Chris Traynor – Declamation (1st Alt.)
Mark Woodall – Oral Interpretation (1st Alt.)
George Evangjeli – Congress (2nd Alt.)
Eric Butts – Oral Interpretation (3rd Alt.)

“Congratulations to our entire team on a true team effort,” said Coach Rob Croteau ’93. “Our team showed great strength this weekend in all facets of our program—drama, public address, and debate.”

On January 30, Kevin Donnelly ’11 and Ryan Lemoie ’12 led the team with wins in declamation and radio as it earned its third Tournament Championship of the year at the Cape Ann Classic, hosted by Manchester/Essex High School. Individual winners also included:

Andrew Fanikos '10 – 2nd Place (Extemp)
Michael MacKenzie '11 & Joe Botsch '11 – 2nd Place (Public Forum)
Frank Theodat '11 – 2nd Place (Novice Reading)
Aram Gurekian '10 & Raffi Grigorian '12 – 2nd Place (Duo)
Eric Butts '10 – 2nd Place (Poetry)
Mark Woodall '12 – 3rd Place (Poetry)
Pat Simas '10 & Ethan Madden '11 – 3rd Place (Duo)
Joseph Sweeney '10 – 3rd Place (Extemp)
Gerard Lawler '12 – 3rd Place (Novice Extemp)
Marcus Jackson '12 – 3rd Place (Declamation)
Chris Ryan '12 – 4th Place (Novice Reading)
Brendan McGowan '12 – 4th Place (Declamation)
Nicholas Leney '11 – 4th Place (Radio)
Sean Steinberg '10 – 5th Place (Play Reading)
Pat Simas '10 – 6th Place (Dramatic Performance)
Brendan Shea '11 – 6th Place (Play Reading)
Ethan Madden '11 – 7th Place (Play Reading)
John Clarke '13 – 7th Place (Radio)
Eric Butts '10 – Semi-Finalist (Prose)
Kevin Verity '10 – Semi-Finalist (Prose)