In an effort to help the community during these challenging times, Mount Carmel School is bringing some of its recent creative content online to provide more entertainment and engagement options for everyone staying home as part of social distancing measures. Content includes the most recent film entry in the award-winning We Drank Our Tears series, various school spirit initiatives, and a series of TED-style talks from students.
WWII stories on Amazon
Adding to other titles from the school already available on Amazon, We Drank Our Tears: The Stories of Carmen, Antonieta, and Rosa are now available for rent on amazon.com. The film dramatizes the experiences of Carmen Acosta, Antoineta Ada, and Rosa Agulto during the World War II battles on Saipan. Produced in collaboration with D&R Visuals as a follow up to stories from Francisco Babauta, Benjamin Abadilla, and Rafael Mafnas, the films were presented last year as part of the CNMI’s 75th anniversary commemoration of the end of World War II battles in the islands.
The film was directed by veterans of the school’s Theatre Club. AlumKnight and Theatre Club co-adviser Aysia Adele Duenas Santos directed Ada’s story; Junior student William Blake Deleon Guerrero directed Acosta’s story; and senior student Quincy Chinen directed Agulto’s story.
For Santos, telling Ada’s story had personal meaning. “To have personally met her and now to have her story turned into a film is such an honor. Not many people know about our history and I’m very glad I was chosen to tell such a powerful story.”
Deleon Guerrero feels equally humbled in telling Acosta’s story. “I felt honored having the opportunity to tell a story, especially one from my island. It was definitely a new experience, but it was one that allowed me to express myself in ways I only dreamed of.” He was also thankful to the cast and crew for their contributions to the film. “I’m glad to have my friends help me accomplish a lifelong dream.”
While normally behind the camera or backstage as a manager, Agulto’s story was Chinen’s directorial debut. “Directing was a new experience for me, because I’ve always been behind the scenes, managing cast and crew, doing everything to aid the director.” However, Chinen appreciated the opportunity to step up. “It was a privilege to work with such a talented group of people to tell a story that, I believed, will teach future generations what families went through in the war.”
Keeping school spirit alive
To maintain school spirit during this difficult time, the school also sponsored several online events. Three weeks ago, the school joined the CNMI Public School System and schools across the nation in celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week. Throughout the week, students and their families shared different stories of how teachers have helped them on the school’s various social media platforms. The week culminated with a special compilation of appreciation messages from students, which can still be viewed online at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZbb8PaphMYXQChRR9t2BGG4x1zAyK3zX.
After Teacher Appreciation, Week, the school’s Student Council sponsored an online Spirit Week that concluded with the school’s first ever virtual pep rally. The rally was streamed on the school’s Facebook page and YouTube channel and featured songs, dance, and skit submissions from students in grades 7 through 12. The rally was a huge success, engaging thousands of viewers on social media, and be viewed at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-wx3Yk-j4E&t=3s.
The rally also featured a special message from AlumKnights to the Class of 2020, which can be viewed at the following link:mhttps://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZbb8PaphMYVbulWgxHWWILeY8h0MaT2k.
TED-Ed student talks
Mount Carmel School’s TED-Ed Club also streamed its first series of TED-Ed Student Talks on both the school’s Facebook page and YouTube Channel. The stream featured a number of students delivering TED-style talks on topics and ideas that they have been working on all school year.
The talks were originally scheduled to be presented to a live audience, but due to mitigation and containment efforts for COVID-19, the event was cancelled. However, the school’s TED-Ed Club members explored how they could proceed with the talks by bringing them online. According to TED-Ed Club president and sophomore student Larry Cruz, “These talks allow us students to share our thoughts and ideas to an audience unconfined to the walls of a classroom. …We are more than grateful to be provided with this opportunity that most students are not given. For the past year, we developed our speeches and practiced our talks, which is why it’s important that we present these ideas because these are ideas worth spreading.”
Following on the success of the first set of TED-Ed Student Talks, the school held another round of streamed talks last Thursday, May 21. Previous talks are already available on the official TED-Ed YouTube channel.
Authorized and supported by TED-Ed, the MCS TED-Ed Club is open to all grade levels and aims to support students and teachers who wish to discuss, debate, and explore ideas. (PR)