Grad learns to live with chronic pain

Each day, we see girls walking through the hallways with crutches and a cast, wearing braces and sporting scars from surgeries. It’s pretty obvious; they’ve clearly been injured, and are on the road to recovery. We see their injuries, and empathize with their pain.

But, what about those whose pain is not as easily seen?

Many people, including students in the halls of MND, live with an invisible illness.  It’s much less likely for these students to be offered support – emotionally and physically.  Instead of asking what we can do to make their lives easier, we often judge and wonder, “Are they faking it?”

If there is no visual proof of an injury, it can’t really be real, right? Continue reading

I Walked Away

Standing in front of a building that no longer needed me and halls that I didn’t get enough of, I realized how much things were about to change.
The fear of leaving my safe place is paralyzing,
My feet seem to be cemented to the concrete I stand so firmly on.
How could it already be time for me to leave?
There was so much more to be done,
More to be said,
More to be felt,
More to experience.
I close my eyes tight and wish to go back,
Back to the beginning,
Start it all over,
Do it all again.
I open my eyes, hopeful. Continue reading

Popular

Being popular is not all it’s cracked up to be
Living up to standards that are unrealistic
Molding to the ways of those who hold the power
Doing things you don’t necessarily enjoy or want to do
Hanging out with plastic people, living plastic lives, thinking plastic thoughts, doing plastic things
Not knowing
Not talking
Not being
Not growing
Not living
Not creating
Living in the shadows
Never letting your true colors shine
Always looking to those around you before you formulating opinions
Never standing up for others
Always backing down
Wearing what you’re told is socially acceptable
Saying things that you don’t find funny
But your friends do, so it’s alright
Right? Continue reading

She’s a “Bizzy” bee

Elizabeth “Bizzy” Volz, freshman, loves to play soccer.  She can’t even think of a time in her life when she wasn’t playing the sport.

Soccer is a family affair for the Volz family.  Sisters Maddie ’15 and Kenzie ’16 both played for MND and her parents have also participated in the sport.

This year Volz took on the position of outside back / defender on MND’s JV team.   She also plays for a club team called Ohio Elite.

Elizabeth Volz’s nickname of Bizzy, is quite fitting for her.  It was given to her by a babysitter as not only a play on her name, but also as a way to describe her.  Continue reading

Cougar Volleyball Heads to State Again

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Student fans cheer on the volleyball team as they battle it out at the 2014 Final Four match. The team returns to the Nutter Center this week to do it again. Senior Erin McCarthy is asking everyone to come out again this year. “Come support us! Our fans help motivate us,” she said.

The varsity volleyball team is state bound for a third consecutive year, competing against Toledo St. Ursula Academy this Friday at Wright State’s Nutter Center.

School Administrators have decided to release students at 11:50 Friday so that fans can travel to the game and support the Cougars.

Students can purchase tickets from the athletic office starting Nov. 10 for $8 and the Final Four T-shirts will be sold for $10 on Nov. 11.  Buses will also be available to take students to the game, and for $20 fans will get a spot on the bus, a ticket to the game, and A Chick-Fil-A Sandwich and water bottle. Continue reading

Lost

Lost in the world. Lost in my mind. So many to please yet so many denied. So many win but more will lose. I decide and I get farther into this maze. Farther into this trap of a mind. Why is it that what we do matter after all we are just tiny specks of dust in the wind that flow around this universe. Taking a look from outside this world we are like the skill cells that you need to see with a micro scoop or the nucleus of the cell where you need a more powerful one. So why does it matter what we do? Oh gosh why does it matter if we disappoint or deny anyone anything? Why can’t we be fair and equal in this world full of chaos? Now I’m even more lost in this mind of mine. It’s like a maze with no end. No dead ends no way to know if you made the right choice until it’s too late to turn back and the brush has trapped you in until you come to another cross roads. And you have to choose again left or right. Yes or no. win or lose. Love or hate. Stay or move. What do you choose when your lost in your mind? When you’re lost on a giant planet that doesn’t really matter. We are all just tiny nucleus of a skin cell that we can’t really see anyways. So why not make the world full of cause? It’s not like we are good at peace anyways. Why not just live freely. We only get so much time to begin with. Why keep score if it doesn’t really matter in the end. We try to please all and yet deny so many. We are trapped in an infinite maze that just keeps going. After all we are just specks of dust in the wind in an infinite universe. We don’t really matter. There that’s the end of the Maze. To see that what we do doesn’t matter and to just live freely. To live freely as specks of dust. We are like ants crawling from place to place. No one knows where they’re going and yet it seems we all have a destination. A destination where we really don’t want to go. But we as many before have and all will fallow after us. You see we are like each other in that aspect of things. We all die. Just like specs of dust get eroded in the wind to disappear altogether. We are forgotten and yet saved. Throw away like trash and yet kept with the teaser. Is life more valuable than this? Than the world? No. we are worth everything and yet nothing. We are the things you don’t see and yet we make ourselves known to this universe. We run on faith and yet we want logic. You just can’t find all the answers and we never will. Yes or no. win or lose. Fly or fall. The Maze has started again. You think you have found the end just to pounder more. You travel farther into this twisted maze never to see the same wall twice and yet they all look so similar to the last. Eventually they will all just blur together if you don’t stop and study the details of life every once in a while. Just stop and see how the cracks lay together of the wall of the maze known as life. That’s the end of the maze. We need to slow down and look around. And there you go spiraling off into more questions.

Submitted by Creative Writing teacher, Mrs. Kathy Louder, on behalf of Hannah Jones ’17

 

Freshman faces fears, sparks a new interest

Do you hear the screams of others, feel the sweat dripping down your face, rapid heartbeat, and the touch of a stranger on your back?

Halloween is here.

One might not expect a quiet freshman soccer player like Lauren Ritter to have a love of scary things.  On the field, she works hard on the front line to score goals, but off the field she likes to experience an adrenaline rush of a different sort, one that comes from overcoming her fears.

Ritter was not always an adrenaline seeking child.

She thoughtfully said, “When I was younger, my brother would have something scary on, and when I walked through the room I would tell him to turn it off. But now I enjoy it.” Continue reading

Silence for the Unborn

Over 60 students across all grade levels participated in the Respect Life Club’s annual Day of Silence on Wednesday. The Day of Silence is a national prolife event done to raise awareness about the respect and dignity of every human person. “This day was very important to me because I knew God was calling me to stand up for all the unborn babies.” said freshman Shannon Reel.

Over 60 students across all grade levels participated in the Respect Life Club’s annual Day of Silence on Wednesday. The Day of Silence is a national prolife event done to raise awareness about the respect and dignity of every human person. “This day was very important to me because I knew God was calling me to stand up for all the unborn babies.” said freshman Shannon Reel.

The halls were a little less rowdy on Wednesday.

This was due to the many students who choose to participate in a national Day of Silence that raises awareness about abortion.

According to the National Right to Life website, there have been more than 55 million abortions in the United States since 1973. However, those numbers have plummeted to the lowest rate ever!

Members of the MND community are hopeful that efforts to bring awareness like this are part of the solution.

This was freshman Shannon Reel’s first time participating in the day.

“They (Unborn) might not have a voice, but I do,” she said. Continue reading

Seniors Alex Herbert and Abby Aubrey put the final touches on their first quarter physics project. The assignment is to create a working Pendulum Wave designed and built completely by the students. The partners are almost ready to present their final product to their teacher, Dr. Matt Fletcher.

Seniors Alex Herbert and Abby Aubrey put the final touches on their first quarter physics project. The assignment is to create a working Pendulum Wave designed and built completely by the students. The partners are almost ready to present their final product to their teacher, Dr. Matt Fletcher.

Sophomore Payton Drefcinski, an MND ambassador, prepares to welcome the 39 college reps for today’s College Fair. The College Fair is an annual event part of College Week Live, and allows students to obtain information about colleges by speaking directly with college admission counselors. Drefcinski is most excited to meet the representative from Butler University to discuss their Criminal Justice program.

Sophomore Payton Drefcinski, an MND ambassador, prepares to welcome the 39 college reps for today’s College Fair. The College Fair is an annual event part of College Week Live, and allows students to obtain information about colleges by speaking directly with college admission counselors. Drefcinski is most excited to meet the representative from Butler University to discuss their Criminal Justice program.

Bellarmine University Admissions Counselor, Laura Ruble, is excited to a part of Mount Notre Dame’s annual College Fair. She is ready to recruit prospective students for Fall admission of 2016. She is is new to the job, only having worked in that position for four weeks, but has had experience in their office for over a year and a half.

Bellarmine University Admissions Counselor, Laura Ruble, is excited to a part of Mount Notre Dame’s annual College Fair. She is ready to recruit prospective students for Fall admission of 2016. She is is new to the job, only having worked in that position for four weeks, but has had experience in their office for over a year and a half.

The Empty Chair

He sat on the cold cement, back pressed up against the cinderblock. His eyes stared listlessly to the hall in front of him. The thoughts in his head were confined, just like him, he hadn’t been able to think about anything other than that night for years. The thoughts were like tumultuous waves, as soon as they would pull back and offer him some reprieve, they came rushing and screaming towards him again, endlessly, endlessly. He hadn’t spoken a word freely to anyone in the many years he’d been in here, not a word since the verdict was handed down, the judge’s gavel hitting the podium like the nail in his coffin. He didn’t dare think about that night. That night that changed and ended his life in the same beat. Too many nights he could feel the guilt that never left like an oppressive heat wave, stealing his breath and crushing his lungs. Too many nights the tears formed an ocean in his cell, his lips silently forming prayers of repentance to his maker with the ground chafing his knees and his cold hands folded together. Too many nights, the cool caress of death was the only thing to look forward to. He wasn’t scared. He was ready. So when the guards came into his room that day, the day that every day before it had been ticking away to like a bomb, he felt nothing. He was as empty as the sky after a storm, as weightless as a feather. He was led into the room, the final doorway he would see, the guard’s hands clenching around his arms the last human contact he would feel, the empty chair the last place he would lay his head. As the restraints were pulled taut around his arms and legs and the cool metal pricked his skin, he thought of the sky, of the ocean, and then nothing. 

Submitted by Creative Writing teacher, Mrs. Kathy Louder, on behalf of Megan McDonell ’16

 

 

 

Sophomore Khyla Porter releases her first car on the track in her Integrated Science class.  Her teacher, Mrs. Mary Beth Rieth provided the toy cars and tracks for students to see how speed, velocity and acceleration correlate.  “I believe they thoroughly enjoyed the activity as it is fast-paced and fun, comparing the acceleration of three different kinds of Hot Wheels,” she said.

Sophomore Khyla Porter releases her first car on the track in her Integrated Science class. Her teacher, Mrs. Mary Beth Rieth provided the toy cars and tracks for students to see how speed, velocity and acceleration correlate. “I believe they thoroughly enjoyed the activity as it is fast-paced and fun, comparing the acceleration of three different kinds of Hot Wheels,” she said.

During Mrs. Beth Wurzelbacher’s Art Foundations class, Julia Romano, junior, works on a rough sketch. This project calls for the students to turn a drawing into something that they will later paint onto their own hand. Romano decided to create a snake.

During Mrs. Beth Wurzelbacher’s Art Foundations class, Julia Romano, junior, works on a rough sketch. This project calls for the students to turn a drawing into something that they will later paint onto their own hand. Romano decided to create a snake.

Mount Notre Dame

Mount Notre Dame is one heck of a school to attend,
And I will shout “graces and blessings” until the bitter end,
I cannot thank my teachers enough for always going the extra mile,
And having faith in me when I lost sense of it for a while.

Empowering young women roaming the halls every day,
All shooting reassuring smiles seems to keep the sadness away,
I have yet to meet someone I didn’t find intriguing and unique,
Oh and the food is delicious, especially pizza after a long week.

The support I’ve gotten to be my weird & whimsical self,
Is something I have never found before and now can’t live without,
The bond between cougars is one that cannot be lost,
Everyone is willing to keep you safe, no matter the cost.

Not a day goes by when I don’t find myself thankful for MND,
Without this school, I don’t know where I would be,
Somehow it’s worth it, coming to school in the snow,
Every day here matters, and every day I learn to grow.

I never knew a school could mean so much to me,
I now have faith in myself to be all I can be,
My MND pride is something that will never fade,
The life changing experiences I’ve had are something I would never trade.

Submitted by Creative Writing teacher, Mrs. Kathy Louder, on behalf of Samantha DeCaprio ’16

Changes made to Ohio Math League Contest

Bridget Sypnewski, Senior board member of Math club, prepares an opening math problem to kick off the first Mu Alpha Theta meeting. Members of the club attempt to be the first to solve the problem in order to get food first. The answer is revealed after multiple people have received food and all others are then allowed.

Bridget Sypnewski, Senior board member of Math club, prepares an opening math problem to kick off the first Mu Alpha Theta meeting. Members of the club attempt to be the first to solve the problem in order to get food first. The answer is revealed after multiple people have received food and all others are then allowed.

Mathematics Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, will no longer be offering the Ohio Math League Contest extra credit opportunities for non-members this year in an effort to better reflect the abilities of it’s members.

Mu Alpha Theta is made up of math students who are interested in enhancing their knowledge and understanding of math. As a nationally recognized organization,  the club requires that interested students apply for membership and have a cumulative average of 90% or above in her math course.

While actual club membership has always been limited, Math League events were previously open to the entire student body.  Teachers would offer students extra credit toward their math grade for participating in the monthly morning sessions.

While the idea of students gathering together before school to do math exercises might seem like a big win for the Math Department, the resulting cumulative scores did not represent the the true ability of the group. Continue reading

Making friends around the world

Senior Meghan Shea has her senior pictures taken at Eden Park and invites Bea Lucea to join her for a couple photos. Lucea will be here for a total of five weeks as part of the Spanish Exchange program with MND. Shea remarked “Bea and I have gotten really close, we’re like sisters” and plans to make a trip to Spain the summer of 2016 to visit Lucea.

Senior Meghan Shea has her senior pictures taken at Eden Park and invites Bea Lucea to join her for a couple photos. Lucea will be here for a total of five weeks as part of the Spanish Exchange program with MND. Shea remarked “Bea and I have gotten really close, we’re like sisters” and plans to make a trip to Spain the summer of 2016 to visit Lucea.

Eight exchange students from Colegio Santa Maria del Pilar arrived in Cincinnati on Sept. 2 from Zaragoza, Spain as part of the 10th annual Spanish Exchange Program with Mount Notre Dame and Moeller High Schools.

Zaragoza, located in the northeast of Spain, is home to the school Colegio Santa Maria del Pilar, a co-ed school for students approximately kindergarten through high school age.

The exchange students, Bea Lucea, Maria Hauke, Carmen Gracia, and Cristina Montero are paired with their MND sisters Meghan Shea, Jessie Gries, Maria Beckman and Abbie Smith, all seniors. The students will be going back to Zaragoza after a five week stay on Oct. 8.

Like MND, Colegio Santa Maria del Pilar is also a private school, although it has some significant differences.

Lucea, paired with senior Shea, said “Well, first of all, we have boys. And we have students aged 4 years old to 18 years old in different buildings in the same area, and we don’t wear uniforms.” Continue reading

Penn Station declares MND “Most Spirited”

Athletic Director Mr. Mark Schenkel, Dean of Student Development Mrs. Judy Metcalf, and Retreat Director Ms. Maggie Prosser, in the cougar suit, went to Fox19 to receive the check from Penn Station East Coast Subs. It was presented to them by D Lo from Kiss107, Fox19 Sports Director Joe Danneman, and Deb Osterfeld from Penn Station.

Athletic Director Mr. Mark Schenkel, Dean of Student Development Mrs. Judy Metcalf, and Retreat Director Ms. Maggie Prosser, in the cougar suit, went to Fox19 to receive the check from Penn Station East Coast Subs. It was presented to them by D Lo from Kiss107, Fox19 Sports Director Joe Danneman, and Deb Osterfeld from Penn Station.

On August 26, during the school year opening pep rally, the school was presented with a check for $1500 from Penn Station East Coast Subs restaurant for having the best school spirit.

The award came after 2015 graduate Lizzie Walsh was chosen as a Penn Station Athlete of the Month for becoming a National Champion synchronized swimmer.

During flex one day last school year, there was a gathering of supporters in the foyer, where Fox19 (News/TV Station) and radio station Kiss 107 came to interview Walsh and witness the school’s amazing spirit.  Many students came wearing goggles and other swimwear, ready to cheer on Walsh. Each time she responded to questions by the reporters, the crowd roared in support. Continue reading

Walls

These walls were built to keep me safe,
To keep you out.
But the issue is that by blocking you out
I block the demons in,
And they stay in my head with nowhere to go but in circles,
Beating at the walls and screaming in my head
Telling me all the things that I did wrong in my life
And how this broken home is my fault.

They tell me that I’m nothing but invisible,
A castaway who found herself washed up to this shattered place
That decided she could make a home out of the shards of what used to be
Only to find that she had just enough stone to build walls around herself without a door.

I try to speak to you through the cracks in the walls held together by safety pins
That I want this place to change
And that I want to let you in,
But your heart is as black as ink,
Not seeing anything wrong with the situation we’re in,
And you just say that I repeat this every day
And that I’m the girl who cried wolf trying to find an escape of this place.

One day though these walls will catch fire
And I will carry on far away from this broken home that I have had to shield myself from.
I will get on an airplane and fly away,
Gone from your life like a vapor,
As if I was never really there
Because now I know that you don’t deserve me in your life
And that the demons were wrong because this home that is falling around us in pieces isn’t my fault,
It’s yours.

So while you waste the night and waste our time
Repairing the cracks in my protective walls to keep me in
Instead of putting this shattered house back together to make us whole once again,
I will be dreaming of San Francisco,
Of outer space,
Of anywhere but this broken home with the demons and with the hurt and with you.

Submitted by Creative Writing teacher, Mrs. Kathy Louder, on behalf of Hannah Gordan ’17

Welcome “Back” Judy Back Gerwe ’78

Mrs. Gerwe and her youngest daughter, Julia, visit Newport with her other daughter’s grandchildren, Nick and Joe. The four enjoyed the beautiful view of the Nina and the Pinta docked in the Ohio River.

Mrs. Gerwe and her youngest daughter, Julia, visit Newport with her other daughter’s grandchildren, Nick and Joe. The four enjoyed the beautiful view of the Nina and the Pinta docked in the Ohio River.

A 1978 graduate, Mrs. Judy Back Gerwe, begins her thirty-third year in education as the new Head of School. Many people know about Mrs. Gerwe from her education experience, but who is she as a person?

Mrs. Gerwe was born in Cincinnati, and attended All Saints Grade School and Mount Notre Dame High School.

One of her favorite childhood memories was her summers at a cottage on the White Water River with her family.

For college, she traveled to Chicago and attended the National College of Education, majoring in Elementary Education. She now lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband, Ken, youngest daughter, Julia and her cat, Tom.

Some of Mrs. Gerwe’s hobbies include traveling, crossword puzzles, and reading. She loves going to the beach, and has also visited Italy. She has never travelled to Hawaii before, but plans on going one day. Mrs. Gerwe also dreams of going on a Mediterranean Cruise, and maybe stopping by Greece on the way. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Bonino!

On Friday, May 1, Mrs. Amy Bonino's 2CD English Literature class threw a surprise birthday party for their beloved teacher. Despite National Signing Day and Senior Dads and Donuts, the all-senior class managed to organize a birthday celebration for her complete with a card, balloons, cookies, fruit, and lemonade. After the class sang 'Happy Birthday', Mrs. Bonino commented,

On Friday, May 1, Mrs. Amy Bonino’s 2CD English Literature class threw a surprise birthday party for their beloved teacher. Despite National Signing Day and Senior Dads and Donuts, the all-senior class managed to organize a birthday celebration for her complete with a card, balloons, cookies, cupcakes, fruit, and lemonade. After the class sang ‘Happy Birthday,’ Mrs. Bonino commented, “Aww, you are all so sweet! This is amazing.”